The World is My Burrito Podcast

Episode 9 - Message to Adolf part 2

September 19, 2021 Kory Torjussen Episode 9
Episode 9 - Message to Adolf part 2
The World is My Burrito Podcast
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The World is My Burrito Podcast
Episode 9 - Message to Adolf part 2
Sep 19, 2021 Episode 9
Kory Torjussen

Leave a little verbal snacky

Join me for the second part of Message to Adolf by Osamu Tezuka as I cover chapters 7-17 and dive even further into the history of Jewish evacuation from Poland across the Asian continent! Also announce my upcoming spooky episode!

Show Notes Transcript

Leave a little verbal snacky

Join me for the second part of Message to Adolf by Osamu Tezuka as I cover chapters 7-17 and dive even further into the history of Jewish evacuation from Poland across the Asian continent! Also announce my upcoming spooky episode!

Intro

Whaddup all you Yittish and Skittish listeners and welcome to The World is My Burrito -that’s TWIMB for short- a podcast where I unwrap the complex History + Pop Culture burrito, separate the ingredients roll it up, pack it in now lettuce begin.

It’s ya boy Kory T comin’ at ya with episode 9 recorded on September 17th 2021 and today I’m finally covering more Message to Adolf by Osamu Tezuka. If you haven’t listened to part 1 yet, pause here then go back to episode 5 which contains necessary story and relevant historical information. That said, this is also your lazy spoiler warning because this taco is getting re-heated.


Before we hop right in, let’s clean this kitchen 

Kitchenkeeping


I’m slowly but surely taking quality of life and organizational steps that should allow me to release episodes more frequently while also providing some newer, greater level content than before. Even while preparing for this episode I prepared for and released the Let’s Taco Bout It episode with Erik, and have been prepping for another secret project that will take more time to come to fruition. While the goal of this podcast is very personal, it should inevitably reach Patreon-worthy content that more listeners outside of my mom will take seriously.


Secondly, some weeks ago I asked my fans what topic they would like me to cover in celebration of spooky season and was promptly flooded with responses. I mean just.. Riverside after Hurricane Irma flooded. So, of the 5 suggestions I picked “Hellraiser” which was recommended by Bob from Straight Chilling Podcast. One of the suggestions is actually already part of a bigger project while another been added to said project. Hellraiser seemed just simple enough for me to over-complicate. Yes, this means part 3 of this Message to Adolf will be delayed. 


Thirdly, we’re going off-format because of some changes concerning my source material. In the previous episode I read from Part 1 of 5 from the 1995 Cadence publication. Snagging all 5 volumes is pretty pricey and, as aesthetics go, their covers are absolute trash. This and the final part will be from Vertical, Inc.’s 2-Volume collection released in 2012. Vol. 1 consists of 647 pages across 17 chapters. If you’re reading along, my previous episode covered the first 6 chapters. We’re now beginning chapter 7 on page 262. 


Enough of that - strap onto your nearest toilet because this burrito is absolutely stuffed with an extra serving of spicy history.


World History

War


Chapter 7 begins by briefly mentioning events of the second Sino-Japanese war -Japan’s incursion on the Asian continent and several Pacific Islands- took place between 1937-1945 with some shenanigans going back as far as 1931. The 3 specific locations mentioned are Nanjing, the battle of Xuzhou, and the Canton Operation. Though Tezuka doesn’t detail these topics -probably because these are very well known points of history among the Japanese- let’s break down this single page anyways. The events in order are: 


  1. the Nanjing Massacre of Winter ‘87-’88 involved the widespread rape, murder, and looting of between 40,000 and 300,000 unarmed Chinese in Nanjing. I believe this was the same time there were literal games made out of murdering people. These atrocities included but weren’t limited to the elderly, women, children, disabled. You name it, they were for it. The reason this number is so vast is partially due to the Japanese not recording their actions AND them setting fire to a lot of records when they officially surrendered. To this day there is still contention between Japan and China about this one event. 
  2. Following this was the Battle of Xuzhou in Spring of ‘88 was both a step further inland and a means of preventing the Chinese military from withdrawing west. 
  3. Finally, the Canton Operation in South China in winter of ‘88. Canton (actually named Guangzhou) is a port city that supplied China with food, military supplies, and contact with the outside world so it was a primo target to cut China off from any hope. Hopefully this gives you a glimpse into why he didn’t feel the need to expound.


Famine


Immediately after this Tezuka goes into some detail about the actual state of Japanese soldiers’ health versus the propaganda the government was feeding the public. Namely that everything was super amazing in China, the soldiers were doing great and not to be worried. Now, this particular topic was difficult to find specific history on. Tezuka mentions how soldiers were suffering from exhaustion and supply shortages as they overextended in China, but when checking out Wikipedia or research papers all I could find were Japan’s mainland policies concerning rationing to the general public with only the briefest of mention about starvation of soldiers. 


It’s also mentioned that Japanese citizens who doubted the success of the military were arrested or branded as non-citizens. Being that I live in America, any term I search either resulted in American Concentration Camps or general Japanese Nationalism history. Bit of a bummer, because I’d love to know more about this.


Escape


Most of the relevant history this book touches on actually comes from the final chapter and it’s all about the Jews’ needed to escape.


The reason we’re evac-ing Jeeeeews



Reason


Hey do you know exactly why Jews needed to evacuate Poland? Because I didn’t. On the 23rd of August 1939, the Germans and Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, a non-aggression pact between the powers. What they *also* did was divvy up some of the land separating these two powers. “You take this land we’ll take this land”. Unfortunately, neither of them informed the current occupants of that land. Enter: Poland. Just 1 week after this pact Germany invaded from almost every side. The Polish attempted to defend but got another surprise some 2 weeks later when the Soviet Union attacked from everywhere Germany hadn’t.


Hey if you thought there wasn’t enough meat in this burrito, don’t worry. I paid for extra. 



Destination History


The final and most complex bit of history mentioned comes down to the Jewish evacuation history routes and destinations. I’m going to mention 3 routes but cover 2 just so you can understand the dumb shit they had to face just to survive.


The destination mentioned in this volume is Shanghai. Now, why Shanghai? Hey that’s not a short answer. Well Shanghai was already home to British, French, Americans, Russians and Iraqi and did not require a visa for residency.


 More importantly, Shanghai already had a 10 year old Russian Jewish community by the 1930s. Between 1933 and 1941 over 20,000 jews sought refuge in Shanghai. 


More-MORE importantly, if you recall in episode 5 I mentioned the weird relationship the Japanese had with Jews. Enter: Inuzuka Koreshige-taisa or Colonel Inuzuka the head of the Japanese Imperial Navy's Advisory Bureau on Jewish Affairs. This guy believed that assisting the Jews would greatly benefit Japan by possible means of monetary support from wealthy foreign Jews who weren’t being oppressed, and by means of general Western power favour. But let’s not forget that this is a HWEIRD relationship - that’s “hweird” with an “h”. Colonel Inuzuka believed in the Tsarist conspiracy that the Jews had this plan to covertly conquer the entire world using their financial and political power; much like a poison. So he officially called this plan to assist the Jews the “Fugukeikaku” (河豚計画) or “Fugu Plan”. Fugu is Japanese for “puffer fish”. Homeboy’s approach was: the Jews are gonna be cool with us even after they take over the world. Anyways, he did do a lot of work in both Shanghai and Manchuria to see that Jews were safe, provided autonomy, allowed to prosper, and able to travel to Japan.


Mention japanese takeover in next part



Route 


How did anyone get anywhere? Let’s find out!


There are at least 2.5 routes to get out of Poland and into Shanghai or Japan. We’re gonna blaze over route one because it isn’t referenced in this volume:


During the earliest evacuations the Jews could travel SouthWest from Poland to board a ship in Genoa, float through the Suez Canal in Egypt, stop at Colombo - Sri Lanka then off to Manila - Philippines for a Pina Colada, next comes Hong Kong, finally docking in Shanghai. This is a 3-week ordeal.

Route 2 to Shanghai. For whatever reason, while there are tons of articles and papers providing so much information about super niche topics concerning Jewish escape to Shanghai, the exact route to Shanghai isn’t mentioned. Seriously, some of these go into detail in minutiae about how Jews got visas, where they could go with said visas, how much a visa cost, yadda yadda. The only thing mentioned is the Trans-Siberian train… 


Which catapults me to number 3! The route that takes them to Japan and subsequently Kobe. Exit Poland to Lithuania in the NorthEast, take the Trans-Siberian train to Hotel Novo Moskovskaia (hotel new moscow) > short stop in established Jewish Community of Birobidzhan, Russia> cross one border to Khabarovsk, have ALL of their money and valuables confiscated by the Soviets, board a boat to Tsuruga, Japan, where they could finally take a train to Kobe. If you caught that little note, what I’m saying is that every Jew that took this route was a pauper by the time they entered Japan.


There was seriously a lot more going on here. I could easily do another half hour just talking about the intricacies of the Jewish evacuation, who was involved, when and where they were involved, but even I have limitations.


There’s no book history this time because I covered it last time so let’s move onto this WACK STORY


Continued Story

Last we spoke, Adolf was forcefully taken from his friend Adolf to serve under Adolf. 



Soge


This story begins some time in 1938 and we are mostly focusing on Journalist Soge Tohei, who occupies 8.5 of the 10 remaining chapters.


It’s nighttime and we start in a dimly lit warehouse with a small group discussing the current state of politics, particularly how the government is becoming more extreme by labeling anyone who doesn’t believe 100% everything they say -like this group- as communists. Then they re-introduce Miss Ogi. Now, Miss Ogi was a character in the previous chapters who went unmentioned because served a very small role. She was Adolf Kamil’s teacher in like 1 chapter and was being observed by the special police because she writes anti-war poetry. Some years prior she was the teacher of Toge’s younger brother, Isao, and was the recipient of the birthright documents Toge is being hunted and tortured for. Are your connective tissue senses tingling? Good. Back to the meeting.


Miss Ogi briefly shows her documents to the leader, who is amazed by what he sees when their scout notices they’re about to be raided by the special police. 


 As everyone scurries out the leader tells Miss Ogi to hold back so they don’t capture her and associate her with that group.


She does escape the raid but, of course, they know what’s up. She arrives home and is greeted by a shadowy figure… It’s Toge! He explains his relation to Isao before mentioning some mysterious, important documents that were sent to Japan but he doesn’t know to where or to whom. She offers up the parcel Isao sent her and, lo and behold, they are the birthright documents proving Hitler is a Jew. Ogi doesn’t know what to do with these so she gives them to Toge and they part ways. 


Surprise again! The special police were waiting outside and know Toge was handed something important. Toge denies it, but after inspector Akabane threatens to throw Toge in jail just because he can, Toge knees him in the groin then makes a break for it. What follows is a genuinely fun chase sequence. He runs off, only to be ambushed in that direction. So he hails a taxi, hops in one door, gives the guy some cash to drive, then hops out the other side. The cops follow suite.


Toge slowly walks to the nearest train station only to find the last passenger train already left. Go figure, the special police are right behind him. He makes a break over the guard rails and books it down the track. Remember, our boy is a professional runner. He makes it a ways down then ducks around a corner, guessing the fuzz’ll be waiting for him outside the tunnel. Off in the distance he hears a noise: a late night freight car. He throws his coat onto the tracks to slow it, then hops on top. The train reaches the outside and is still stopped by the special police, who search it inside and out but to no avail. Using some real smartly done drawing, it turns out our boy was hanging onto a railing that just so happened to be above the stopped train.


Through a short series of events he ends up in the presence of Mrs. Kaufman who lends him money for a taxi. The following day he returns it, is invited inside learns her story and her son’s affiliations with the Hitler Youth, then leaves…. To be publicly greeted by the special police.


He goes in, gets the absolute tar beaten out of him again -this time by Akabane-, then ends up in the care of Mrs. Kaufman. 


After he heals up we spend the next 50 pages watching as he attempts to get back into daily life but is fired from his job. The constant hounding by the special police sees to it that he gets kicked out of his apartment and can’t get another decent job or decent apartment. He reaches a point where he can only do day labour in the slums, and even that manages to be taken from him. The end result is Detective Akabane confronting Toge on a rainy day in a literal pile of trash. A fist fight and more break out, Akabane is hospitalized, and Toge is taken to jail again. This encompasses the better part of a year which takes us to….



Adolf


August 1939, in Germany. This is a short chapter -only 16 pages- covering Adolf Kaufmann’s struggles at school. He is very successful and astute in studies and attendance, even so much as being granted an audience with Hitler himself to receive an Honor Badge. But his lack of enthusiasm against Jews brings up doubts in his superiors' minds. He returns to reading Mein Kampf but swears he’ll never hate his friend Adolf. He meets with Hitler, hears Hitler’s story, then returns to his room and has an existential crisis. Adolf is now confused about who he is, but is certain he only wants to be German, particularly because the Japanese are a second-rate race in Mein Kampf. The chapter ends with hitler declaring war on and attacking Poland.



Toge


Fast forward to Toge in his jail cell. And, honestly, while this is an action-packed story, we’re gonna fast forward through a lot of this section because it is very dense and introduces many temporary-yet-important characters. Toge meets a detective who believes his innocence and wants to see his case through to the end. Acetylene Lamp -the German who tortured Toge in our previous episode- comes into play, Ms. Ogi and Inspector Akabane come back into play, a lot of traveling transpires, there’s a shootout on a deserted island, Ms. Ogi and Inspector Akabane go out of play again (one of them forever), some potential wives appear, Tezuka makes a cameo as a Taxi Driver, now we’re on to a small but important plot point. Ms. Ogi ends up with Hitler’s birthright once again and turns them over to Adolf Kamil, since his father is so heavily associated with the Jews’ relocation to Kobe. This allows for a very smooth transition to the end of the volume.



Isaac


Isaac Kamil -Adolf’s father- is selected by the local Jewish organization to go to Lithuania to bring home 500 Jews since he has a contact at the Kovno consulate. Once they reach Shanghai he would involve Col. Inuzuka from our history section to pull strings with the ministry of foreign affairs to get the Jews accepted. What. could. Go. wrong. Let’s find out…


Shortly after he makes arrangements with the Synagogue in Lithuania he is pick-pocketed of his identification and Japanese residency papers; bad news for a Jew. He’s caught in an off-limits area by Germans and thrown in the back of a truck with a bunch of other escaped Jews without paperwork. This truck is conveniently hauled to a concentration camp where Adolf Kaufman’s school is visiting. The refugees are put on display for the children, Isaac calls to Adolf, is silenced then immediately led away.


Much of what happens throughout this chapter focuses heavily on some of the German kids poking fun at and playing pranks on Adolf for being half-inferior. We get to see some of their daily life, Adolf falls in love with a young Jewish girl because of course, he’s blackmailed by one of the students for this then is selected along with several other half-Germans for an allegiance drill.


The children are taken to a forest outside the school grounds where they’re made to wait for a truck to arrive. The truck unloads and several people walk out and are made to stand against a wall. All Jews. One of whom is Isaac Kamil. The boys are each given a gun and ordered to kill several Jews. In an act of desperation, Adolf chooses Isaac. He misses, hitting him in the should. Isaac attempts to crawl away when Adolf shoots him again in the back. The instructor reprimands Adolf for his poor shots and orders him to shoot the Jew in the head. He does and is ordered to shoot another, but not to miss this time. The young lady cries, “Long Live Freedom” before receiving a shot to the head. Adolf walks away from the range and pukes next to a tree while the other boys take their shots and while a different officer reassures him, “don’t worry. In less than a year you’ll be able to kill with a cool head”. The final scene is a pile of bodies in a hole.


End Volume 1.


This was a pretty intense 


Likes


When Adolf first reads Mein Kampf all of the speech bubbles are kind of melting, which I took to represent either his own sweat from reading something he doesn’t believe in or that he is reading something disgusting.


The allegiance drill is definitely the hardest part of the story to read. Especially because it kinda comes out of nowhere for the reader and Adolf. Like, he’s in the middle of dreaming about the Jewish girl he likes, the we’re just in the middle of the mess hall or something and he’s being called upon. Even in real life, that type of call would always have been sudden so there’s no real reason to go about his every action between the moments.


My last like is going to also be a dislike. There are a lot of side stories that occur here. This episode crosses 385 pages if that gives you any idea of how much I left for you to discover. Not all of these side stories are necessary within this volume, but they take you to many different locations and allow you to experience the effects of the war, the racism, the fear, the oppression at many levels, and more. There are plenty that feel like Toge is being used as a vehicle to tell others’ stories, or just show you around Japan.


Dislikes

On the dislike end, several of the vehicles or unrelated stories involve several people falling head over heels for Toge within seconds of meeting him. One of the interested parties does serve a purpose both for the plot and as a visual example of nationalistic identity crisis people might have gone through, but the other two were completely unrewarded. As in, if their interest were completely removed we would still get the same story. There is another volume so we’ll see what happens.



Things learned


The steps Jews had to take to get out of Poland were tedious. From acquiring different types of visas and paying to go so far only to have their money confiscated, then having to rely on various international Jewish organizations to pay to move them around, on top of the various routes taken was pretty mind-numbing and involved a helluva lot of faith. It was insane to learn that even a wealthy family might be broke as a joke by the time they hit the Japanese coast, and it all came down to the Soviets takin’ money or Germans restricting access. All of this was before ‘41 when it became almost impossible to move Jews anywhere for any reason.


Among the complexities of visas I did find something the said if you got a Visa to -I think- curacao then you could get out of Germany but not out of Japan. They were some weird technicalities in there.


Learning more about the weird relationship between the Japanese and Jews was also wild. I mean, one of the Jews greatest allies in the 30s was a dude who thought they were gonna take over the world and he didn’t want to be on the wrong side. Even after the war was over he continued to assist the Jews in Japan in many ways.


Alright folks it’s time for everyone’s favourite part of the show...


Nacho Business


Because it’s my business!


As mentioned in my Green Knight episode, I’ve recently moved. All of the preparations that went into moving followed by everything that comes after opened up a ton of free time, which I’ve spent reading excessively.


The Hellraiser pick inspired me to start reading some Clive Barker. Not Hellbound heart, because that lament configuration shouldn’t be cracked open yet. Instead I started with the anthology series Books of Blood and have finished 1, 2, 5, and am currently on 3. Barker’s got a great writing style and his content varies from terrifying to genuinely fun. I would absolutely recommend Books of Blood volume 1. If you like that, just go ahead and move on to 2! There are 6 volumes total and you can find them collected in 2 volumes.


With any luck I plan on knocking out a few horror books this season. Aside from the various Hellraiser titles I’m aiming at Tommyknockers by Steven King and hopefully one more among a list of horror books recommended to me.


On the manga end I’ve finished around 500 chapters in the last month completing Chainsaw Man, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure parts 1-3, Kaiju No. 8 and Mashle: Magic and Muscles. Chainsaw Man is a must read. JoJo’s manga is very intriguing because almost nothing is different from the anime yet the manga is somehow totally different and more dramatic. If you liked the anime, read the manga. Since I’ve gotten all that out of my stream I can now focus on more seasonally appropriate titles like…. Blood on the Tracks, tbhe psychological thriller by Oshimi Shūzō.




Plugs


Alright guys it’s time for some plugs so you can sleep off the itis from this burrito. 


The new mini-season of Podcasters Assemble is about to get started covering the Ghostbusters Franchise. For those uninitiated this is a public submission podcast meaning anyone can participate as much or little as they want. Instructions can be found at ProbablyWork.com and any of their social media outlets. Just search Podcasters Assemble. You can also give any episode a listen. It’s pretty easy to follow.


If you want to check out my photo work, search the letters KTORJ anywhere and you’ll find me.


If you haven’t yet, be sure to find TWIMB Podcast on any social media platform. Be sure to find and subscribe to me elsewhere to keep updated with news, polls, requests, and my innermost thoughts. You can reach out to me at TWIMBPodcast@gmail.com for questions, comments, or anything. It’s lonely to be perfectly honest. Please reach out to me.


I still don’t have a sign-off and god knows my next music project has nothing to do with me so…