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Twitter before Twitter

Otto Hampel, in custody.

An episode from the April 6 talk, the story of Otto and Elise Hampel. They were trapped in Berlin during World War II and wanted to protest Hitler’s government. They had no political skills or allies, no  kind of public voice. They hit upon the idea of writing short, Twitter-like messages on postcards and leaving them around town. What happened next survives in police records and Gestapo files.  We’ll see pictures of some of the actual postcards as well as film footage of the Nazi judge who tried their case, and then we’ll talk about aspects of the Hampel’s story that are more visible to us now that we have social software like Twitter and blogging. See you, perhaps, on April 6th?

The story of Elise and Otto Hampel was passed down in the form of a 1947 novel by German writer Hans Fallada. Recently translated into English and published in the United States as Every Man Dies Alone, the novel uses and fills out the chilling details contained in the historical records.

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