TIL that 80’s pop sensations Spandau Ballet got its name from the standard drop method hangings at Spandau Prison when the condemned would twitch and jump at the end of a rope. Spandau Prison was home to seven high ranking Nazis sentenced to imprisonment at the Nuremberg Trials.

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Joy Division also has sinister roots.


If anyone clicked on the comments section without going to the article, please look at it, it’s amazing. Spandau was one of two inter-Allied organizations that survived the beginning of the Cold War (the other was the Berlin Air Safety Centre), so you can imagine what it was like when the directors, one each from the USSR, USA, Britain, and France, sat down around the same table…during the Cuban Missile Crisis. And discussed if they needed to buy more paper towels. > As prison regulations slackened and as prisoners became either apathetic or too ill to maintain their plots, the garden was consolidated into one large workable area. This suited the former architect Speer, who, being one of the youngest and liveliest of the inmates, later took up the task of refashioning the entire plot of land into a large complex garden, complete with paths, rock gardens and floral displays. If you ever think you’re bored, be grateful that at least you’re not stuck-in-prison-with-six-coworkers-you-hate bored. Also, Speer’s imprisonment was a very rare case of justice served. Twenty years is a hecking long time to spend gardening and staring at the ceiling (and smuggling out letters begging your friends to get you out of there). Also, another random fact. In his last years, Rudolf Hess was allowed to watch television. He lived so long, he was able to find out about the Challenger explosion, the 1986 World Cup finals (he was not impressed), and Mathias Rust’s flight to Moscow (unfortunately, we don’t know what he thought about that). Just imagine that – Hitler’s onetime deputy watching colour television. In prison. At the age of 90. Together with a Soviet and US guard, who got along just fine.


My understanding is that the term came from the German MG 08 machine gun, made by Spandau during the First World War. Occasionally on the front lines of the Western Front, a soldier would get caught in the barbed wire in an upright position, visible to both sides. (One can imagine a body getting blown into that position by artillery.) To amuse themselves and horrify and insult the enemy, a machine gun team would start firing rounds into the enemy dead body. The body was suspended on springy barbed wire, and it would “dance.” Hence, the Spandau Ballet.


It’s True


That is one of the most twisted, insane, WONDERFUL things I have heard on Reddit! When I was a kid we would joke about that band name, mainly because of their sappy hit ‘True’. I always thought it was derived from something sappy or arts-related. Thanks for making me smile during these crazy times!