Glad to be at service :-)Originally Posted by Dani
Frozen WWII airman identified - Air Corps cadet Leo Mustonen
The U.S. military has identified the body of a WWII airman that climbers found in October at the bottom of a glacier in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Family members said they learned this week that the man was 22-year-old Army Air Corps cadet Leo Mustonen, who died in a 1942 plane crash. Mustonen joined the Army during his senior year in high school in Brainerd, Minnesota, and was in training to become a navigator when he was reported missing on November 18, 1942. Mustonen was son of Finnish immigrants. He was one of four cadets aboard a training flight that crashed in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Yard reopens inquiry into former Nazi soldiers still alive in Britain
Scotland Yard has relaunched its search for war criminals almost seven years after its specialist Nazi-hunting unit was disbanded. The team is focusing on former members of a division of the Waffen SS which was recruited by the Nazis in the Ukraine and brought to Britain en masse to provide farm labour after the war. Home Office officials believe several hundred former members of the unit may still be living in the UK. The Guardian has identified and located more than a dozen survivors of the Galizien division. Most still live in small clusters in the East Midlands, Yorkshire and East Anglia, a short distance from the PoW camps where they arrived almost six decades ago.
U.S. to return three paintings looted from Germany at end of WWII
The United States is returning to Germany three paintings that were stolen at the end of WWII after they turned up in an auction last year. U.S. Ambassador William Timken will hand over the 19th-century works by Heinrich Buerkel to the mayor of the southwestern city of Pirmasens on Feb. 10. The three paintings, now valued at US$125,000, disappeared from an air-raid shelter at a school where they had been stored to protect them from Allied bombing. The Pirmasens Museums reported at the time that they were "lost during the arrival of the American troops" in March 1945.
Last surviving child of Benito Mussolini dies
Romano Mussolini, the last surviving child of Italy's Fascist wartime dictator Benito Mussolini, died in a Rome hospital following recent heart surgery. The youngest of Benito and Rachele Mussolini's five children, he was considered one of Italy's best jazz musicians. In 2004 he published a memoir, "Il Duce, my father," using the Italian word for 'leader' which his followers called the dictator for 20 years until he was killed by partisans at the end of WW2. In the book, Mussolini painted an affectionate portrait of his father and his mistress Clara Petacci, who was executed with him in 1945. "For me, 90% of what my father did as a man and as a politician was positive.".
Why does Russia love Stalin now?
His appalling crimes are on a scale so vast as to defy comprehension. Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin is blamed for the deaths of anywhere between 11 and 43 million of his own subjects. Yet today - just 50 years since his successor Nikita Khrushchev denounced him as a bloodthirsty tyrant - many Russians look back at his iron-fisted rule with nostalgia. The then Soviet Union was a superpower, and Uncle Joe was their great leader. Today once-mighty Russia is in chaos - riven by crime, corruption, unemployment and desperate poverty and reduced to having to play second fiddle to the despised United States. Suddenly the Red Tsar's cruel reign doesn't look so bad after all.
WWII POW Honored Posthumously For Escape
During WWII, historians said less than one out of 100 prisoners of war managed to escape from their captors. In 1943, Weaver was piloting his plane over Naples when it was hit by enemy fire. "They were in the life raft for 48 hours until they were picked up by Italians," said family friend Val Periman. Weaver said he was on a train being transferred to a POW camp when he used a pick handle to pry the bars off the boxcar. "They didn't know how far it was down to the bottom, but they jumped and they were expecting rifles to get them," said Periman. Weaver said that for 34 days he and another survivor walked the hills and rejoined their troop.
S. Idaho tourism boosters hail new vintage aircraft museum
A new aircraft museum opens in Rexburg. The 18-thousand-square-foot Legacy Flight Museum has nine vintage planes from World War Two and the Korean War. It also includes a Russian jet from the Cold War and a replica World War One plane. All are still flightworthy. One of the planes, a P-51 Mustang fighter owned by John Bagley, is one of only 150 in the world that can still fly. Bagley built the hangar with his brother Terry to house the planes. They plan to have an air show in June to showcase the planes.
The hundreds of letters Roosevelt and Stalin exchanged
What was said, and what wasn't said, in the hundreds of letters Roosevelt and Stalin exchanged during WWII would chart the course of postwar history. In 1939, Franklin Delano Roosevelt warned Josef Stalin that if he signed with Adolf Hitler rather than with the Western Powers, Germany would likely win in the West and then turn against both the Soviet Union and the US. After Stalin disregarded this warning, and Hitler made preparations to invade the Soviet Union, Roosevelt had a copy of the German plan of attack transmitted to the Soviet leader. Although the latter had, received similar information from his own intelligence service, he once again disregarded the warning.
Prince Harry's Nazi gaffe sparked anti-Semitism: report
Prince Harry's much-criticized gaffe of wearing a Nazi uniform to a costume party helped to trigger 10 anti-Semitic attacks on Britain's Jews, according to a report. The Community Security Trust (CST) also said comments by London mayor Ken Livingstone had contributed to anti-Semitic incidents. In January, Prince Harry, sparked international outrage when he was pictured wearing a Nazi uniform at a costume party two weeks before Holocaust memorial celebrations. Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, later apologized. "This revelation and the ensuing furor were the trigger for 10 anti-Semitic incidents in which the perpetrators made direct reference to Prince Harry," the report said.
The horror of the Holocaust, occupation never fades
As a witness to the Holocaust of WWII, I have used every opportunity to inform this generation about "the horror" of it. For years we had our friendly neighbors, "the Jewish family next door." In 1943, a very foggy October night, my mother and I stepped over to our neighbors with the information we had just received, the gathering of the Jewish people to "the death camps" and the gassing of them. We didn't believe it — nobody could do such a thing. Inside our neighbors' house, a hysteric commotion was taking place, and we were unable to deliver our message. With rage they told us that the German officer in charge was a very friendly, charming man, promising them safe harbor.
Obviously democracy does not always give us the results we want
Adolf Hitler was elected in the 1930s. Twice. Many would say under suspicious circumstances in a country that wasn't really democratic at the time. But elected he was and we know the murderous devastation that occurred as a result. Democracy in all its forms - ones we approve of and ones we don't - is messy, but it's the best we've got. Does this mean we should have accepted the election of Hitler? Of course not. Hindsight, which is always perfect, tells us we should have made him an instant outlaw without access to a single penny. Obviously democracy does not always give us the results we want - in Europe, in Asia, in the Middle East and for some, in Canada. But when democracy kicks sand in our faces, it is expediency that often works.
Nazi hunter brands Austria a "paradise" for Nazis
Austria's legal system and its insufficient zeal in investigating alleged crimes committed under Hitler's Third Reich make it a "paradise for Nazi war criminals," a top Nazi hunter said. Frustrated at slow progress in finding suspected war criminals in Austria and bringing them to court, Simon Wiesenthal Center director Efraim Zuroff came to Vienna for talks with ministers aimed at accelerating the process. "The law in this country does more to protect Nazis than to bring them to justice," Zuroff told. "There is a system here that makes Austria a paradise for Nazi war criminals, plain and simple."
No proof of teenage suicide bombers' WWII camp - FSB
The Federal Security Service's archives contain no documents suggesting that orphaned children were trained as suicide bombers at a Russian secret police special camp in the Alatau Mountains outside Almaty during WWII. Mass media and veterans' organizations inquired about this after a feature film with the same name was released in Russia. However, "The FSB has materials describing a German school which trained teenage saboteurs, organized by Abwehrkommand-203 in Hemfurth near Kassel, Germany, in July 1943. The children were taken from orphanages in Orsh and Smolensk, in occupied Russian territory."
German authorities investigate nazi execution of african soldiers
German judicial officials have opened an inquiry into the 1940 killings by German troops of at least 1,500 African soldiers serving in the French army, said a German official in charge of investigating Nazi war crimes Tuesday. Writing in a German publication, German historian Raffael Scheck confirmed that the Wehrmacht, or German ground forces, executed at least 1,500 soldiers from French overseas colonies who were fighting alongside French troops when the Germans entered France in 1940.
Forgotten History: Christians and the Holocaust
One salient example is the critically important fact that Christians bravely and vigorously fought Nazism. At one time, everyone knew this. John Heinberg in 1937 textbook, Comparative European Governments, informed college students that the first mass organized opposition group to the Nazis when the Nazis gained power, the Pastors Emergency Committee, doubled its membership when the Nazis tried to keep Jews out of churches. Ernest Hambloch in his 1939 book, Germany Rampant, wrote “It is not mere accidence that an anti-Christian movement should have coincided with brutal anti-Jewish persecution. Not by the most ingenious sophisms could persecution be justified by Christian tenets and the Nazis have not attempted it.”
Turin's Alpine residents recall bloody past
Like the thousands of athletes and visitors streaming to next month's Winter Olympics in the Alps near Turin, Felice Burdino loves the mountains. Unlike them, he looks at the peaks and valleys with a feeling of sadness as well as pleasure. As a young man, the Italian fought German occupiers on the slopes where skiers will be battling for gold medals in February. He saw soldiers burn down parts of the villages that will provide a picturesque backdrop to the Olympic races, and ambushed German troops on the winding roads that connect the venues for the Turin Games. Despite the horrors of World War Two, he still feels deep affection for the mountains and sometimes retraces the hidden paths he used as a partisan.
German Film Nominated for an Oscar
"Sophie Scholl -- The Last Days," a story of a young anti-Nazi resistance fighter which has won numerous European accolades, has been nominated for an Oscar. German director Marc Rothemund's film about the last days of a young anti-Nazi German has been nominated for the prestigious Oscar awards in the category "best foreign language film." The film starring popular German actress Julia Jentsch tells the story of Sophie Scholl and her brother who were members of the White Rose student movement in Munich, which printed and distributed flyers inciting Germans to "passive resistance" against Hitler and the Nazis.
Austrian Survivors Gain Closure
The expulsion and extermination of 182,000 Austrian Jews during the Nazi era is a wound that will never heal completely, but two important decisions during recent weeks at least point to a symbolic closure for the dwindling number of survivors and the Austrian government. In a high-profile case, Maria Altmann won her seven-year battle to recover from Austria five famous paintings looted by the Nazis from her uncle, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer. Meanwhile, after an even longer period of legal and diplomatic wrangling, a court decision has cleared the final hurdle for payment of restitution money to survivors or the heirs of victims.
First payouts distributed in WWII 'Gold Train' case
The first payouts have been distributed from a $25 million settlement with Holocaust survivors who lost jewelry, artwork and other treasures when a Nazi "Gold Train" was commandeered by the U.S. Army during WWII. The train was loaded with gold, jewels, silver, china, 3,000 Oriental rugs and 1,200 paintings that had been stolen from Hungarian Jews. It was captured by U.S. soldiers from pro-Nazi Hungarian forces in May 1945. A U.S. investigation found in 1999 that some Army soldiers failed to return items initially "requisitioned" from the train.
Hangman Waits: Nuremberg TV Special
Saddam Hussein's trial is a twopenny farce compared with Nuremberg, where the Third Reich's major criminals played their final performances to a disgusted audience. "The Nuremberg Trial," chilling one-hour PBS special, focuses on the battle between chief prosecutor Robert Jackson and Hermann Goering, commander of the Luftwaffe and the highest ranking Nazi to survive the war. Goering, a malignant blowfish of a man with a ready smile, was a shrewd opponent. When he surrendered May 6, 1945, he brought along 17 truckloads of personal necessities and the expectation of being treated like royalty.
Roma Holocaust in Slovakia
WWII ended more than 60 years ago, but the Roma Holocaust in Slovakia is only now being recognized. Tens of thousands of Roma in Europe were among the victims of the Holocaust, but many Slovaks still don’t know that people other than Jews were victims of persecution during WWII. Only recently, moving stories of Roma survivors have begun to emerge. Those survivors are finally seeing their pain acknowledged in memorials, and some have even received compensation. The Roma Holocaust is called Baro Porrajmos in the Roma language, which literally means large losses of human lives or “the Devouring.”
Resident recalls his role in the Nuremberg trial
The Nazi was ranting again. Isolated in a dark cell at Nuremberg, Julius Streicher easily became enraged. The founder of the anti-Semitic newspaper Der Stürmer launched into another tirade as soon as Howard Triest entered the cell. As an interpreter helping psychiatrists interview the prisoners, Triest had the run of the prison, and had become accustomed to Streicher's outbursts. Streicher had some very important personal papers and would entrust them only to a "good German," like the blond-haired, blue-eyed interpreter. He reached past the psychiatrist and handed the papers to Triest. He never learned that the interpreter was Jewish.
German postwar suffering in Terezin is Communist crime -senator
The Terezin camp where Germans were interned after WW2 was operated by the Communist interior ministry, Christian Democrat (KDU-CSL) senator Zdenek Barta said in explanation of his recent statement that the suffering of Jews and Germans in Terezin, north Bohemia, was similar. "I don't understand why we are still afraid to call things their right names and why we so ardently defend the crimes of [Czech] Communists committed already before [the Communist coup in February] 1948," Barta said. Terezin was a place of "unspeakable suffering of members of the Jewish nation but also of similar unspeakable suffering of members of the German nation."
Professor finds success with second book
Professor Ronald Rychlak thought his second book on religion and World War Two would sell about 50 copies, with his mother buying half. But the book, "Righteous Gentiles: How Pope Pius XII (the twelfth) and the Catholic Church Saved Half a Million Jews from the Nazis," has attracted worldwide attention. The book examines the role of the church during World War II, gaining attention because it creates a more positive picture of the church's role than most other accounts.
War plane debris washed ashore
Beachcombers at Felixstowe are finding more than shells, coins, and odd bits of wood - and are recovering parts of a crashed world war two fighter plane. A number of pieces of the aircraft have been washed ashore as winter's fierce tides have stirred up the seabed off the coast, moving items which have been buried for years. While it is very difficult with so little evidence to identify the plane, it is thought to be an American fighter because there are some flush-riveted parts which were found on US planes. This could mean it was a P-38 Lightning, a P-47 Thunderbolt, or the powerful P-51 Mustang. Mr Tod said: “It is a bit of a mystery and we would love to solve it.”
Timeline: Latvia - A chronology of key events
1940 - Soviet troops invade Latvia following Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939. Latvia incorporated into the Soviet Union along with the other two Baltic republics. 1941 - Nazi forces invade; some 77,000 Latvian Jews murdered by Nazis and Latvian police. 1944 - Red Army returns, presaging deportations of Latvians and repression of resistance to sovietisation. 1986 - First anti-Soviet demonstrations held by nationalist and environmental activists.
21 unknown Hitler paintings for sale
21 watercolours and sketches by Adolf Hitler are to be auctioned in Britain after 70 years in a suitcase in a Belgian attic. The collection was apparently produced between 1916 and 1918 when the young Hitler was a corporal during the Great War. The works are to be auctioned at Jefferys in Lostwithiel, and are expected to fetch up to £100,000 ($A238,000). Among the watercolour landscapes are one of a church on the edge of town and another a hastily-erected barracks in pastel shades. They show little trace of the war raging around the scenes. They carry the hallmarks of Hitler's previously seen art work and some carry a distinctive signature. They were kept in an attic close to where Hitler served near the French border.
British Schindler: all holocausts should be remembered
A man who saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish children destined for the Nazi death camps has waded into the debate over whether other victims of persecution should be remembered on Holocaust Memorial Day. Sir Nicholas Winton says the word 'Holocaust' should be replaced by 'Holocausts' to remind people that there have been other genocides. The 96-year-old, often referred to as the 'British Schindler,' spoke to the Express prior to his appearance at a Holocaust memorial event at Reading Town Hall.
The Great Terror - A massive new history of Hitler's tyranny
Looking at the enormous tide of books written about Hitler and the Third Reich, we may note an interesting discrepancy. The majority of non-German historians have devoted their main interests to Hitler's war and crimes, 1939-45. The majority of German historians have devoted their main interests to topics about the first six years, 1933-39. This is understandable. In 1939 Hitler chose war, with the results of total defeat. But what led up to that? The Third Reich in Power is Richard J. Evans's attempt to answer many of those questions through historical synthesis. The second part of this British historian's planned 3-volume history of Nazi Germany, it is crammed with information, sustained by the author's knowledge of German and his acquaintance with all kinds of German sources, many of them relatively recent ones.
Survivors mourn at Auschwitz, ponder Pope visit
Survivors of the most infamous Nazi death camp, Auschwitz, on Friday marked the 61th anniversary of its liberation and looked to a May visit there by German-born Pope Benedict as a sign of healing. Benedict served briefly in the Hitler Youth during the war when membership of the Nazi paramilitary organization was compulsory. But he was never a member of the Nazi party and his family opposed Hitler's rule.
On Holocaust Exploiters, Deniers, & Heroes
Six decades on since the slaughter of WWII and the Nazi holocaust, we hear extremist voices alternately exploiting or denying the Holocaust for political gain. Several Muslims have since been honored by Yad Vashem and other Holocaust memorial groups as Righteous Gentiles. They include: the Bosnian Dervis Korkut, who harbored a young Jewish woman resistance fighter named Mira Papo and saved the Sarajevo Haggadah, one of the most valuable Hebrew manuscripts in the world; the Turk Selahattin Ulkumen, whose rescue of fifty Jews from the ovens of Auschwitz led to the death of his wife Mihrinissa; the Albanian Refik Vesili who - as a 16-year-old - saved eight Jews by hiding them in his family's mountain home.
WWII bombs still found in Berlin
WWII ended 60 years ago, but it doesn't always feel that way to the people of Berlin, whose lives are disrupted regularly by bombs left over from that conflict. Allied bombs first crashed into Berlin in 1941. But it wasn't until the autumn of 1943 that they started falling like rain, after Nazi forces had overextended themselves by fighting in North Africa, Europe and the Soviet Union. The allies dropped about 50,000 tons of bombs on Berlin during that time; Wegener says that averages more than 1,000 a day for about 18 months. Many of the bombs -- German estimates say 10% -- didn't explode. At the end of the war, Germans guessed that there were 50,000 large, unexploded bombs in Berlin.
Berlin to Build Memorial to Gays Persecuted by Nazis
The Berlin government has given the go-ahead for a memorial designed by a Scandinavian artist-duo in central Berlin commemorating thousands of homosexuals persecuted by Nazi Germany. The structure, which appears cool and distant at first glance actually conceals an intimate aspect -- it will have an oblique window featuring a black and white video of "an endless kiss between two men."
Accused Holocaust Denier Gets Fan Mail
Right-wing British historian David Irving, who has been jailed in Austria pending trial next month on charges of denying the Holocaust occurred, has been writing his memoirs and receiving fan mail, his lawyer said. Irving had begun writing his memoirs and receiving 200 to 300 pieces of fan mail a week from Australia, Canada, China, New Zealand and many European countries, Kresbach said.
I survived horrors of the Holocaust
"You stinking Jew!" shouted an SS soldier, pointing his rifle at Jack Kagan. Jack, just 13 at the time, was among the 1,500 Jews held in a Polish ghetto by German troops under Hitler's reign during the Second World War. "My knees were shivering," he says. "I was lined up with about 50 others and a machine gun was assembled. I thought that was the end of it.
Revealing WWII Sub's Secrets
Three safes aboard as World War Two-era submarine docked in Hackensack have yielded more trove than treasure. It took world champion safecracker Jeff Sitar about 24 minutes to crack the safes aboard the U-S-S Ling. Inside were three training manuals, two .45-caliber bullets, carbon paper and pennies. Two safes still need to be unlocked.
Bronze eagle retrieved from sunken WWII battleship Admiral Graf Spee
Divers working in the muddy River Plate have unbolted and scooped up a heavy bronze eagle from the Admiral Graf Spee, a famed German WWII battleship. The eagle stands some 2 meters (6 feet) tall and weighs more than 300 kilograms (660 pounds). The Graf Spee, a pocket battleship, was considered one of the most sophisticated vessels of its time. It prowled the South Atlantic, sinking as many as 9 allied merchant ships before warships from Britain and New Zealand tracked it down and damaged it during the "Battle of the River Plate".
Japanese court refuses to rule in WWII press freedom case
A court refused a verdict to clear the names of five late journalists convicted of promoting communism in Japan's most notorious violation of freedom of expression during WWII. 1942-1945 some 60 journalists, editors and other publishing workers were arrested, and taken to police stations and a jail in Yokohama, with 7 of them allegedly dying from torture. The district court in Yokohama, declined to hand down a ruling in a retrial, saying the law had changed since the defeat of imperial Japan in World War II.
Red Cross, His Way to Serve in WWII
Sixty years ago Joseph Cappiello drove his Army jeep into a cactus patch while trying to avoid a German Fighter plane in Italy. He may have been able to laugh about it now, but at the time he and his assigned driver were not amused. Cappiello tried to enlist, but because he was born without fingers on his right hand, he was not considered. He heard that the Red Cross was looking for men to work as field directors, who would be assigned to U.S. military units and provide the soldiers with messages from home. In April 1943, he was shipped overseas and assigned to the 15th Infantry Regiment in North Africa. Most of the time, Cappiello served with the soldiers that were engaged in combat.
Military museum in Germany seeks model U.S. aircraft for exhibits
[2006-02-11] [Stars and Stripes]
Wanted: well-crafted model U.S. military aircraft — especially a B-17 bomber — for display at the Grafenwöhr Museum. The museum opened a display of 150 model military aircraft in January. However, German aircraft dominate the display. And with U.S. visitors making up more than 30% of the museum’s business, curator Meiler said he would like to see more US airplanes. Not that the German aircraft are not worthy of attention. The exhibit includes several variations of Messerschmitt fighters and the Heinkel bombers from the Battle of Britain as well as the deadly Stuka dive bombers that tormented Allied troops at Dunkirk.
Gun Hitler May Have Owned Fetches $140,000
With a link to Adolf Hitler driving up the price, a WWII - era German gun sold for $140,025 in an online auction. Bidding began Jan. 30 and stalled for days at $13,000 before rising as deadline loomed. At least 60 bids were put in for the weapon; the name of Thursday's winning bidder was not released. Randall Gibson, author of "The Krieghoff Parabellum," a reference book on the gunmaker, has said he believes Hitler did own the gun. He said the company gave engraved guns to Hitler and other high-ranking German officials as it sought military contracts before WWII.
Russia returns Sarospatak library to Hungary
[2006-02-10] [ria novosti]
The State Duma has decided to hand over to Hungary antique books from the Sarospatak Library, which consists of 134 volumes. Before WWII it belonged to the Sarospatak Calvinist College of the Tisza Diocese of the Hungarian Reformed Church in Budapest. Although Hungary was a German ally in WWII (but was occupied by the Nazis later on), the Library was confiscated and transported from Budapest to the Third Reich. It was there that it fell into the hands of the 49th Army. Eventually, the books landed in the U.S.S.R., where the trophy collection became part of the Nizhny Novgorod research library.
Neo-Nazi revisionist on trial - applauded loudly
Neo-nazi historian Ernst Zuendel, one of the leading figures in the Holocaust denial movement, went on trial in Germany on several counts of inciting racial hatred. He was applauded loudly by supporters as he entered the packed court in Mannheim. His trial was suspended in November after the court ordered the replacement of his lawyer, who was being advised by Horst Mahler. Mr Mahler has praised the September 2001 attacks on the US and has accused Jews of seeking "world domination". Today, the trial was immediately dominated by a new row over his defence, as three lawyers chosen by Mr Zuendel complained about another three the court had appointed.
History Channel honors black WWII soldiers
[2006-02-09] [Hollywood Reporter]
If classroom history books are not telling the story of the 761st Tank Battalion of WWII, they are doing a disservice to school children. Thankfully, there is the History Channel, which documents the tale of hundreds of black men who enlisted and fought during WWII despite racist barriers. "Honor Deferred" brilliantly chronicles the group's gallant efforts against Nazi Germany. Stock footage of combat and archive photos of soldiers in crisply ironed uniforms heighten the storytelling, as do interviews with 761st veterans and historians.
Body of Brainerd airman lost during World War II returning home
The airman whose body was found on a California mountainside more than 60 years will be buried in Minnesota, where he grew up. Leo Mustonen died in an airplane accident while preparing to join the World War Two effort. His remains will be interred in Evergreen Cemetery, where his Finnish immigrant parents are buried. Mustonen's well-preserved body was found in October in the cold Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Nazi chasers target torturers
After decades of chasing Nazi-era war criminals, the Justice Department has shifted its focus to accused torturers in more recent conflicts who eventually became U.S. citizens. Until recently, OSI targeted only Nazi-era war criminals. But many of those suspects are dead or dying. Now OSI is empowered to go after other foreign-born torture suspects using the same methods it applied to Nazi-era suspects -- stripping them of citizenship and then having immigration authorities put them in deportation proceedings.
Finally Filling a Vacant Lot Ravaged by Tides of Terror
During the Nazi era the site was the headquarters of the Gestapo, perhaps the most dreaded of Hitler's secret police. Berlin took a long while to figure out what to do with the spot where top Nazis like Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich had their offices. It has always been a worrisome task for the Germans to construct places dedicated to portraying the Nazis, in part because of the fear that they could turn into pilgrimage sites for neo-Nazis. The places most closely identified with Hitler, his chancellery on Wilhelmstrasse and the famous underground bunker, are destroyed and unmarked. Most Berliners do not even know where they were.
Site of British surrender in WW2 to be preserved as national monument
The old Ford Motor Factory in Upper Bukit Timah Road will be gazetted as a national monument from February 15th. It would then be exactly 64 years since the historic surrender of the British at the site to the Japanese during WWII. It was there that the meeting between General Percival and General Yamashita was held and the surrender document signed on 15th February 1942. Britain's wartime leader Winston Churchill called it the "worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history" and it was widely seen as a turning point for anti-colonialism by destroying the myth of European superiority.
Infamous neo-Nazi literature found in killer’s room
Jacob D. Robida wallowed in symbols and words of hate, including the infamous neo-Nazi “diary” that inspired Oklahoma City terrorist Timothy J. McVeigh, according to a police inventory of property seized from the gay-hatcheting cop killer’s bedroom. Investigators confiscated more than two dozen items, among them Aryan pins and a small collection of books about Hitler’s Third Reich and the Holocaust. “The Turner Diaries” was written in 1978 under a pseudonym by William Pierce, founder of the neo-Nazi group National Alliance. It’s a hard-core, neo-Nazi, racist, fictional account of white revolution in America. It’s inspired people who have committed very violent acts, including Timothy McVeigh.
Auction on for possible Hitler gun - Already $13,000
A rare German gun that may have belonged to Adolf Hitler already is worth $13,000. The auction ends Thursday night. Engraved with the initials A.H., the Drilling likely was given to Hitler as a gift by the Krieghoff gun company. Wes Lane, owner of Midwest Exchange, expects the gun to be sold for more than $50,000. There's no official proof the gun was Hitler's, but a family has tried to document how it made its journey to the US after being seized from one of Hitler's palaces in the Bavarian mountains. A man from the U.S. Army's 506th parachute regiment supposedly sold the gun to an Army lieutenant, who settled in Central Illinois and kept the gun under his bed for decades, taking it out only occasionally to hunt.
Dutch return 267 artworks stolen by Nazis
The Dutch cabinet has shocked museum directors by agreeing to hand over a multi-million-pound art collection stolen by the Nazis in 1940 to the family of its original owners. Some 267 paintings will be returned to the family of the Jewish art dealer Jacques Goudstikker. They include works by the Dutch masters Rembrandt, Steen, Van Goyen, Ruysdael and Van Dyck. Goudstikker was the biggest art dealer in the Netherlands. He fled with his wife and son at the start of the WW2, leaving behind an estimated 1,300 works. About 800 were seized by Field Marshal Hermann Goering and 300 were returned to the government after the war.
Repost - The Nazis: A lucrative industry
The trade in Nazi memorabilia is an international, multi-million dollar business involving dealers and collectors from countries across the world. Although three European countries (France, Germany and Austria) have banned the sale or display of such material, the appetite for it remains as strong as it has ever been. One U.S.-based site is offering a full Nazi concentration camp Jewish prisoner's uniform, at $1,275. While site based in Britain, has a catalogue containing a Nazi battle flag ($333) and a Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross ($5,449). Prices for truly rare items -- an SS Honour dagger -- can sell for tens, and in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The pacifist who plotted to kill Hitler
A very different kind of hero is the subject of "Bonhoeffer", a brief but fascinating documentary about a pacifist German theologian whose Christian faith inspired him to plot to kill Adolf Hitler. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a pleasant-looking, owlish, bespectacled German pastor who, as a young man during the 1930s, recoiled at just about every element of the Nazis' rise. He renounced Hitler's anti-Semitism and saw his dictatorial mania as the god complex of a false idol.
Jewish group warns Nazi ideas alive in world
Plans by an Iranian newspaper to publish cartoons making light of the Holocaust showed that Adolf Hitler's ideas remained alive in Islamic societies, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said. "They're following the classic formula of Adolf Hitler, which says if there's a problem, it's the fault of the Jews," Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Wiesenthal Center. Hier spoke after Iran's largest selling newspaper, Hamshahri, announced it was holding a contest of cartoons about the Holocaust. The competition was a response to cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed printed in Danish newspapers that have sparked angry and violent protests across the Islamic world.
Neo-Nazi violence increases in Germany: report
German state security agencies are reporting an increase to neo-Nazi violence. The state Offices for the Protection of the Constitution reported that Germany witnessed an average of 2.5 extreme-right offences daily. Radical groups find most of their recruits at concerts where skinhead music is played. While violent attacks increased, the far-right movement in Germany was stable at about 40,000 members. The agencies believed the far-right Nationalist Democratic Party (NPD) might surpass the minimum 5 per cent of votes needed to win seats in state elections in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania in September.
Thousands line up to view Klimt paintings ordered returned
Thousands lined up outside a Vienna, Austria, museum this weekend for a final glimpse of five Gustav Klimt paintings _ treasured works that a court has ordered to be returned to a California woman who says the Nazis stole them from her family. Officials say a record number of people are expected to view the paintings at the prestigious Belvedere Galley before they are pulled down and packed up tomorrow. The paintings are considered part of Austria's national heritage. Last week, Austria's government said it could not afford to buy back the works, which were valued collectively at 300 (m) million dollars.
New drive to deport ex-SS men and Auschwitz guards
Hundreds of alleged Nazi war criminals living in Britain face deportation under tough new immigration laws. An eight-strong team from Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist branch is examining files containing the names of more than 200 suspects understood to be in hiding or living under false names. They include at least 75 Auschwitz guards and former members of the 14th Waffen-SS Galician division, which has been blamed for atrocities. 6,000 of them were allowed to settle as contract labour in Britain at the end of the war and many emigrated, mostly to North America. Only one man, Anthony Sawoniuk, has been prosecuted here for Nazi war crimes.
Book: The Master Plan -The use of pseudoscience in the Third Reich
A tale of scholarly detection illuminating a little-explored corner of Third Reich history: the use of pseudoscience in the service of ideology. Heinrich Himmler seemed an unlikely choice to command the elite praetorian guard called the SS. He had a knack for shoring up fragments of Nazi ideology with fragments of half-learning that seemed self-evident to true believers. Thus, Himmler established a think tank that he called the Ahnenerbe. In time, the institute would employ more than 130 historians, linguists, geographers, agronomists, folklorists and classicists with an eye to producing evidence that the so-called Aryan peoples were the font of civilization.
Japan close to giving up on WW2 "stragglers"
Diplomats and journalists were losing hope of meeting two Japanese soldiers left over from WWII as suspicion mounted that the story was false. Media have named the pair as Yoshio Yamakawa, 87, and Tsuzuki Nakauchi, 85. The last known Japanese straggler from the war was found in 1975 in Indonesia. Officials have said the mediator admitted he had not met the men himself and had only heard about them from Filipino contacts. On a roster of Imperial Japanese Army members, the two men were registered as dead. General Santos residents said it was well known that some Japanese soldiers had avoided surrendering to allied forces and had settled down with tribal communities in the nearby mountains.
Dutch state poised to return art looted by Nazis to Jewish heirs
Two Connecticut residents are in Amsterdam waiting to find out if they'll get back a major art collection taken by the Nazis. Jacques Goudstikker was the biggest art dealer in the Netherlands before WW2. When he fled at the start of the war, he lost an estimated 1300 artworks. About 800 were seized by Hitler's right hand man and 300 others were returned to the Dutch government after the war. Now the Dutch cabinet is deciding whether to return 267 artworks to Goudstikker's descendants. The artworks are worth tens of millions of dollars.
Rewriting history in The Blue Light
[2006-02-05] [calgary sun]
In the 1930s, Leni Riefenstahl was arguably the most important and accomplished female filmmaker of her generation. But, since her primary backer was Adolf Hitler, and her best-known work was a documentary on the Nazi party’s 1934 Nuremberg rally, an unending debate on whether Riefenstahl was a fascist propagandist or a talented artist, whose only crime was doing a job too well, still rages. The play Blue Light does not attempt to end the argument. Instead, through an intelligent and thought-provoking script, she presents the audience with just enough information about Riefenstahl’s life to ensure many quality after-theatre discussions.
Antique collectors find thrill in the hunt
Most antiques vendors start as collectors, says Craig Tallman, manager of Magnolia Antique Mall. Part of it's the hunt, finding something rare and unusual you've been looking for. It also has to do with nostalgia - old toys are popular - and history, looking at a piece and wondering where it's been and who owned it. A vendor at the Palmetto mall used to display a spoon that supposedly was part of Adolf Hitler's silver service, Tallman says. Priced at $750, it had a swastika and the initials "AH" printed on it. The same vendor collects American coins and Third Reich stamps. Some of the items may be controversial, Tallman says, but they're all a part of history.
Hitler's Willing Bankers
Like many German firms, Dresdner Bank hoped after WWII its unsavory activities during the Third Reich would be forgotten. But an unparalleled company-sponsored research effort shows Germany's second largest bank supported the Nazi regime much more actively than had been previously thought. Perhaps one of the most damning associations for Dresdner is its close ties to Heinrich Himmler's SS. The bank was the most important private lender for the Nazi organization and played a key role for its operations in occupied Europe, essentially acting as the bank of the SS in Poland.
My Father Mr Spitfire
On an early spring afternoon a group of men watch a unique plane howl across the English countryside. In its maiden flight test pilot Mutt Summers will slam the experimental all-metal craft up to 370mph. For the first time ever the legendary Spitfire, scourge of Luftwaffe, has taken to the air. As it lands, creator RJ Mitchell rushes over to ask the flier his impression. "Don't change a thing," says Summers breathlessly. Satisfied, Mitchell turns towards his colleagues. It is 1936. A little over 12 months later the designer will be dead, killed by cancer. He will never see his creation fire a shot in anger. As the 70th anniversary of the Spitfire's first flight approaches, his son Gordon reveals his father's story.
Japan apologizes for destroying Manila in WW II
Japanese ambassador to the Philippines apologized for the destruction of Manila toward the closing stages of WWII. In ceremony which marked the 61st anniversary of the Battle for Manila that left over 100,000 Filipinos dead and destroyed the city once known as the Pearl of the Orient. But matter the Japanese government would not apologize for is that of the so-called comfort women. These young women were rounded off and turned into prostitutes in brothels where the imperial troops went for “rest and recreation.” The Battle for Manila began on Feb. 3, 1945 and lasted 28 days. It is said to have made the city the second most devastated city during the last war after Warsaw.
Japanese internment camp named historical landmark
An internment camp that housed thousands of Japanese Americans during WWII is now a national historical landmark. Federal officials designated the Tule Lake Segregation Center to recognize former Japanese prisoners. The decision comes a day before the anniversary of a 19-42 executive order to evict and intern 120,000 Japanese people. The designation will ensure that aging survivors of the camp will be honored before they die. Congress has authorized up to 38 (m) million dollars to restore ten internment camps.
The Graf Spee eagle is landed
A bronze eagle salvaged from the Admiral Graf Spee, the German pocket battleship scuttled after the Battle of the River Plate, could fetch more than £15 million at auction. It said a collector in south-east Asia had offered $15 million (£8.6 million) and the owner of an American hotel chain had topped that with $26 million (£15 million). Capt Hans Langsdorff scuttled the Graf Spee on Dec 17, 1939, to prevent it from falling into British hands.
Hitler's SS collaborators in Latvia preparing for street marches
Public tensions are mounting in Latvia over the plans of local nationalists and radicals to hold street marches in the capital Riga and the Baltic port city of Liepaja March 16 in commemoration of the Latvian Waffen SS legion, which fought in Hitler’s side of the frontline during WWII. Nationalistic public association All To Latvia promises to set up a live corridor around this country’s main monument, the Freedom Memorial in Riga so that former SS veterans could walk up to it unabated. The Latvian authorities have not issued permits for the SS marches or counter-marches so far.
Torture files uncovered
Court papers detailing torture, rape and murder at the headquarters of a Nazi-aligned regime allegedly commanded by a Melbourne pensioner have been uncovered in Holocaust archives in Jerusalem. The testimonies of Holocaust survivors tortured in the basement of the Budapest headquarters of the fascist Hungarian Arrow Cross party back up the new evidence revealed this week. Included in the evidence sent to Budapest by the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Centre are several additional testimonies of survivors who gave evidence in the post-war trials of Arrow Cross officials.
Wiesenthal docu in works
[2006-02-18] [Hollywood Reporter]
Nicole Kidman will narrate a feature-length documentary examining the life of Holocaust survivor and Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal, who died in September at 96. Simon Wiesenthal Center dean and founder Rabbi Marvin Hier and director Richard Trank have started production on the film, produced by the center's documentary films division, Moriah Films, which is eyeing a fall 2006 release.
Di Canio meets Holocaust survivors
Lazio's Paolo Di Canio has defended his political views after meeting with Jewish survivors of Nazi death camps. Di Canio has always insisted his salutes had no racist overtones, although he has never hidden his admiration for former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. After Thursday's meeting, however, he admitted that Mussolini's laws prohibiting Jews from holding public office, going to public schools and universities had been wrong and unjust.
Soil tests reveal no evidence of Hitler's Bomb, but radioactive material was found
Soil tests have revealed no evidence that Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler tested a nuclear weapon just two months before losing the WWII, government scientists said. A Berlin historian, Rainer Karlsch, brought out a book last year on Nazi nuclear research and offered circumstantial evidence that the Germans may have tested a bomb on March 3, 1945 at the Ohrdruf army training camp. A statement said radioactive material was found at the site, but this could be explained by the fallout from the 1986 explosion at Chernobyl. The PTB stressed that it found no evidence to disprove the Karlsch hypothesis either.
Hitler's raid to burn London recalled in PBS special
Hundreds of air raids made nights hell for the people under the planes in WWII, but a few were major events that stood out from the others. One was Adolf Hitler's attempt to burn out the heart of London on Dec. 29, 1940. The raid is the subject of Louise Osmond's dramatized PBS documentary, "The Blitz: London's Longest Night," which shows the big picture and fills it in with details of individuals. By the later standards of the war, the raid was medium-sized. Only 136 planes spent five hours bombing London, dropping 24,000 incendiaries, followed by 120 tons of high-explosive bombs. Amazingly, only 163 Londoners were killed.
Polish director Wajda makes film on Katyn atrocity
Polish director Andrzej Wajda said he aims to finish a film close to his heart this year about the 1940 Soviet massacre of 15,000 Polish soldiers, including his own father, in the Katyn forest. Wajda said most Poles always knew it was a Soviet atrocity even though propaganda during WW2 and afterwards wrongly tried to pin the blame on Germany.
Invasion of Norway - For 5 years no outside connection to the world
Henry Aadahl stood on a dock in a Norwegian shipping town as 1,500 soldiers from Germany unloaded from a troop transporter. Adolf Hitler had ordered the invasion of Norway and Denmark for the spring of 1940. The invasion cut off Norway from the rest of the world. In the first year of the German occupation, the Aadahl family was lucky to salvage some potatoes or salted herring. A Norwegian neighbor had “turned Nazi” and reported Aadahl. On his 16th birthday the neighbor and a Gestapo officer came to their home. Aadahl was not the only American citizen who had been rounded up 10 months after Germany declared war on the US. 85 men and 129 women were sent to a concentration camp.
Irving says he has no choice but to admit charges of Holocaust denial
David Irving revealed that he would plead guilty to charges of Holocaust denial. Irving said he did not consider himself to be a Holocaust denier but had no choice but plead "guilty as charged". Irving said he had been labelled a Holocaust denier by Austrian and German journalists and deliberately misunderstood. "It means they've not read anything I've written since the actual offence was committed, which is 1989 - 17 years ago," he said. "If they read that, they'll see I describe in great detail what Hitler and his troops were doing to the Jews behind the Eastern front … I'm very angry indeed about it."
Brady Oliver Bryson, 90, lawyer at Nuremberg trials
Brady Oliver Bryson, a lawyer who had been a member of the prosecution team at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, died. He joined the Navy in 1944 and was assigned to an intelligence unit that specialized in breaking Russian codes. At the end of the war, he was sent to Nuremberg to serve as liaison between US and Soviet legal staffs. Later Mr. Bryson was put in charge of a small team assembling documentary material and preparing a trial brief on the persecution of Jews. When that job was completed, he joined the trial team that prepared the case against Hjalmar Schacht, the former Reich minister of economics and president of the Reichsbank.
France honors Franco-Russian WWII Squadron
France awarded its legion of honor to the surviving members of a Franco-Russian fighter plane squadron on Tuesday in a Moscow ceremony steeping in symbolism and sentiment. If only a handful of the Free French volunteer pilots and Russian mechanics from the Normandie-Niemen squadron that flew more than 5,000 missions were on hand, it was not so much because they have fallen victim to age but because so many died in action.
What Russia's soldiers suffered
Fresh research shapes a fascinating yet also devastating portrait of Russian infantrymen in World War II. Josef Stalin and his successors made sure the story of Soviet history in the war was crafted and protected in a way that served their political purposes. Great monuments were built, but documents were sealed. Pensioned soldiers and their families were honored as "heroes," but they were kept from telling of experiences that might have deviated from the official line - especially anything traumatic. Historians, Russian and foreign, were prevented from working independently.
Japan veteran seeks UN status for 'death railway'
A Japanese war veteran who helped interrogate prisoners of war building the Thai-Burma railway during WW2 is seeking to preserve the "death railway" as a reminder of the horrors of war. Takashi Nagase was once an interpreter for the military police, but he has devoted much of his life since the war to trying to atone for the actions of the Japanese military. Allied prisoners, mostly British, Dutch and Australian, were forced to work on the railway in such harsh conditions that 16,000 of them died of starvation and disease. Many times that many local laborers also lost their lives.
Nazi mosquitoes drew blood on Italian front
The Nazis tried to halt the advance of British and American troops through Italy during World War II by unleashing malaria-carrying mosquitoes in what is believed to be the only biological warfare attack carried out in Europe, according to new research. It was meant to hinder the Allied push from the south and to punish the Italian people for what the Germans saw as treachery after Italy switched sides.
Former Nazi SS major Engel dies at 97
Friedrich Engel, a former Nazi SS officer involved in the massacre of Italian prisoners in World War II, has died. He was 97. Engel died overnight into Feb. 5, said his wife, Else. She did not give a cause of death or say where he had died. In 2002, a German court convicted Engel of 59 counts of murder and handed him a suspended seven-year term for the 1944 shootings in a mountain pass near the Italian city of Genoa.
First German fictional film on Dresden bombing confronts taboos
Germany's first fictional film about the Allied bombing of Dresden was screened on the 61st anniversary of the firestorm, in a fresh sign the country is finally confronting its own wartime suffering. "Dresden -- The Inferno" tells the story of how the architectural jewel in eastern Germany known as Florence on the Elbe was reduced to rubble within hours in the British and US bombing of February 13-14, 1945. At least 35,000 people perished, including hundreds of refugees who had fled the horrors of the Eastern front.
Japanese Bomb the West Coast
Most Americans probably believe that continental United States has never been bombed. A floatplane launched from an Imperial Japanese Navy submarine dropped its bombs in September 1942--the first time the continental United States was bombed from the air. The IJN began experimenting with aircraft-carrying submarines in 1925. By the time of Pearl Harbor, 11 of its submarines were equipped to carry, launch, and recover one specially configured floatplane. Most of those early boats were classified as scouting submarines, B1 Type, of the I-15 class.
Are Waffen SS Killers Still Living in Britain?
They were Hitler's elite - soldiers of the dreaded Waffen SS. And now they are living out their last days anonymously in Britain. Around 8,500 members of the Ukranian 14th Waffen SS Galizien Division were given refuge in 1947. Among them were men who had perpetrated appalling crimes against humanity, including the massacre of civilians. Defence chiefs at the time wanted to use the Nazi-trained troops as a possible fighting force against Communism. MI6 also saw them as rabid anti-Soviets and a resource to recruit spies to send into the USSR.
WWII pilot to share perspective on history
After flying dangerous missions in a P-51 Mustang over Italy, 1st Lt. Bill Holloman was ready to return home at the end of WWII. "But when I got off the boat in New York, I realized I was black again," said the former fighter pilot. "That was the thanks America gave us for putting our lives on the line." Holloman was a member of the elite all-black fighter pilot group known as the Tuskegee Airmen. The 332nd Fighter Group that trained in Tuskegee Army Air Field flew more than 700 missions and, as escorts for bombers, never lost a bomber to enemy aircraft.
War brides not considered Canadian
[2006-02-13] [global national]
It was a common sight 60 years ago. War brides and their children boarding trains heading overseas to Canada. When WW2 ended, 64,000 women, mosty from great britain and many with children in tow followed the Canadian soldiers they had married to Canada. They came thinking they were citizens, but changes in immigration law in 1977 meant, even though they married Canadians, they were forced to officially apply for Canadian citizenship. It's a change that still taints ceremonies like across the country that honour war brides and their families.
Newly donated papers shed light on Murrow war broadcasts
The WWII radio broadcasts of Edward R. Murrow are now regarded as high points in the history of journalism, vivid examples of how the spoken word can bring home events of infinite horror and complexity from thousands of miles away. But when it came to preserving Murrow's scripts from that time, few people had the foresight or the luck to think of history. Some materials were lost when the Germans bombed CBS offices in London. When war came, he immortalized himself for his detailed, emotional radio broadcasts from London during the German air raids, with bombs often exploding in the background.
New book on Noor Inayat Khan - British agent who defied Germans
The life of Noor Inayat Khan - a descendant of Tipu Sultan and the only Asian secret agent to work for the Allied forces during WWII - have been captured in a new book: "Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan". It is based on extensive research and interviews with Noor's relatives, descendants and friends, the book presents a graphic account of her life till Sep 13, 1944, when she was shot dead by German forces at Dachau. She was 30. Born in Moscow, and raised in the Sufi style of Islam and joined Britain's Special Operations Executive (SOE) during the war. She was one of three women in the SOE to be awarded the George Cross and the Croix de Guerre.
The Sinking of the Lancastria - Book tells dramatic story
On June 17, 1940, the 17,000-ton British liner Lancastria was attacked by German bombers. The ship caught fire, capsized and sank rapidly off the French port of St-Nazaire, where it had called to take on members of the British Expeditionary Force routed by the Nazi blitzkrieg in northern France. About 4,000 of 6,000 passengers were lost. Jonathan Fenby has done a superb job of research to document the sinking. He also tells the story of that segment of the BEF that had remained after a large contingent had been evacuated from Dunkirk only days earlier. It is a story of disorganized retreat ahead of the advancing Panzer forces.
The all-black crews escorted all-white crews on bombers — and never lost a bomber
As a fighter pilot and later a bomber pilot during WWII, Leslie Williams flew scores of missions, but when Williams and his comrades returned to their U.S. bases, they were refused admittance to officers' clubs, assigned separate tables in the mess and housed in buildings isolated from the other men. Their officer status was ignored. They were outcasts. Why? Williams and his comrades were black. They were members of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of almost 1,000 black airmen who had graduated from pilot training. During the war, 450 Tuskegee Airmen flew as fighter pilots in North Africa, Sicily and Italy. 150 died. The all-black crews escorted all-white crews on bombers — and never lost a bomber they escorted.
Expert speaks on Nazi Intelligence
WWII expert Dr. Richard Breitman presented two lectures: First lecture covered the American 1933-1939 policy toward Germany. Second lecture consisted of U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis. Breitman was given special clearance to review 240,000 pages of documents at the National Archives that are related to the Nazis. One of the more shocking discoveries was that the CIA recruited some 23 intelligence sources that committed war crimes, while the FBI and CIA put pressure on the Immigration and Naturalization Service to allow war criminals to live in the US. Breitman has written 5 books, including The Architect of Genocide: Himmler and the Final Solution; and Official Secrets: What the Nazis Planned, What the British and Americans Knew.
Chemical Wars of all time
As early as 1675, France and Germany outlawed poison bullets. In the 1899 Hague Convention, major countries swore not to use "poison or poisoned weapons". But these efforts were dashed by the battlefield necessities of WWI. In April 1915, Germany launched the war's first major chemical attack. The diplomats tried again in 1925, with the Geneva Protocol. And even though Italy had ratified it, Mussolini used mustard agent during the 1935-36 conquest of Ethiopia. Nazi Germany pioneered a new generation of quick-killing nerve agents like sarin. IG Farben's report for Hermann Göring, boasted that chemical weapons were "the weapon of superior intelligence." But Hitler was cautious on the battlefield: fearing Allied retaliation, he planned to use chemical weapons only if the Allies did first.
Righting a WWII wrong
The new History Channel documentary, "Honor Deferred," about African-American soldiers during WWII, includes two very compelling elements: one astounding fact and one riveting interview. The fact is that, of 432 soldiers awarded the Medal of Honor for their service in WWII, not one was black - even though African-Americans had been given the country's highest honor after previous wars. The interview is with Vernon Baker - who is the one man left alive to tell his own story. It's an account told so matter-of-factly, and yet about such racism, boldness and bravery, that it makes this one-hour documentary worthwhile all by itself.
Deal lets gallery keep painting looted by Nazis
One of Scotland's most important art galleries has paid £10,000 in compensation to keep a painting looted by the Nazis. It researched claims by the descendents of the owners of the Munich-based AS Drey Gallery that the painting was the subject of a forced sale in Berlin in 1936 to meet an unjust Nazi tax demand. The resolution comes on the back of another case involving art looted by the Nazis. Four drawings were confiscated from Dr Arthur Feldmann's collection of 750 at his home in Brno by the Gestapo on March 15, 1939, when the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia.
Air legends of WWII to return
Three warplanes, heavy hitters in the skies during WWII, will be in South Florida through the end of the month. Visitors may walk through the aircraft, restored to their 1944 condition, and for a few hundred dollars fly ersatz missions over South Florida. A B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator and North American B-25 Mitchell will be in the skies and on display as part of the Wings of Freedom Tour. "I get a chill in my spine every time I see them," said Howard Collins, 80, of Coconut Creek. In WWII, Collins served as flight engineer in a B-24, risking attack in seven sorties over the southwest Pacific.
In charge of assembling gliders for the invasion of Europe
Gliders are described in the dictionary as "aircraft similiar to an airplane but without an engine". However, to Jack Welborn of Tyler, gliders are the silent heroes of the sky. During WW II, Welborn was in charge of assembling gliders at Crookham Commons, England, for the invasion of Europe. Eisenhower ordered 600 gliders for the Normandy invasion. Although the glider missions were successful, mortality among the pilots were high and the majority of gliders were lost. Welborn has been able to locate the frame of a WWII glider and is restoring it.
Former SS guard loses appeal
A man who served as a guard at Nazi concentration camps during WWII has lost his appeal, clearing the way for his deportation. Kumpf admitted that he had stood guard at the perimeter of the Trawniki Training Camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, and the Sachsenhausen near Berlin. Kumpf said he was forced to enter the Waffen SS, and he never hurt or killed anyone. The government claimed that Kumpf was a guard at Trawniki in Nov 1943, when German soldiers shot 7,000 prisoners. Trucks with speakers played loud music to drown out the victims' screams. Kumpf said he arrived at Trawniki after the massacre.
The first american soldier to set foot on German soil in WWII
Veterans from WW2 and other foreign wars are getting older. In Iowa about 6,000 veterans die each year. Jack McKay was awarded one of his two Bronze Stars during D-Day on the beaches of Normandy in 1944. He also received two Silver Stars, the Distinguished Service Cross, and five Purple Hearts. He was field commissioned to Lieutenant after his superiors saw his leadership and bravery. According to McKay's son, a district court judge, McKay was believed to be the first american soldier to set foot on German soil in World War Two.
WWII ace Claude Kinsey dies
Claude R. Kinsey Jr., a "flying sergeant" who became one of the earliest U.S. aces of WWII, died Feb 4. Kinsey was credited with shooting down 7 enemy planes over North Africa between Jan. 29 and April 5, 1943, when he was shot down by his own inexperienced wing man. After recovering from severe burns, he ended up in a large POW camp near Chieti, Italy. Later the young pilot slipped out, evaded machine gun fire and began his 30-day escape down the Apennine Mountains toward Bari, according to a 40-page excerpt of his unpublished biography.
Debate On Holocaust Denier's Sentence
Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt was once sued by David Irving, but that doesn't mean she supports the jail sentence given to the Holocaust denier this week. "I'm in principle against laws that promote censorship. I'm in principle against laws on Holocaust denial." Lipstadt, a professor of Jewish and Holocaust studies, told a day after an Austrian court sentenced Irving to 3 years. "We don't need laws to fight Holocaust deniers. We've got history on our side," Lipstadt said. Irving's lawyer, Elmar Kresbach, lodged an immediate appeal after the sentenced was announced.
Was the Allied Bombing of Civilians in WWII a Necessity or a Crime?
Was the deliberate targeting of German cities by the Royal Air Force in the last three years of the second world war justified by the threat to Britain and its allies, and by the moral depravity of the Nazi regime? From the start, the Third Reich had unleashed terror and repression upon most European states not allied with it. And all this came before the tally of the Holocaust - little was known about it or admitted until the end of the war, so it cannot stand as an a priori justification for the bombing strategy.
Decorated WWII aviator looks back on career
Talbott found his squadron of P-47 Thunderbolt fighter planes outnumbered 3 to 1 by German fighters. The Luftwaffe fighters were flying at 20,000 feet and had positioned themselves to block the return to the base of the Thunderbolts, which were low on fuel and ammunition. Talbott ended up alone at 15,000 feet after losing his element leader and wingman, but he still downed two German fighters before his plane was shot down. As Talbott parachuted to the ground, he see the 4 Luftwaffe pilots salute him before flying away. The courageous action that impressed German warriors was later recognized with a Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross.
Hitler and Stalin were greatly interested in the magic of ancient runes
Germany was the first European country that started to restore the knowledge of the runes back in the 19th century. A number of secret societies emerged. Hitler and Himmler were the members of the Thule Brotherhood. Later Nazi leaders set up a network of research institutions called Ananerbe. Swastika, a runic symbol of the Sun became the emblem of the Nazi Party and the Third Reich. Every military unit had a magus of its own. The SS structure was originally formed as a magic order. Up until 1940, every SS commissioned officer was to take a special course in the runic magic. The emblem “SS” is a double rune Sigel which is well known as a victory symbol.
Witness of Nazi Defeat - and a letter from Hitler
WWII robbed Ursula Howard of any childhood boredom. She was born a decade before the world exploded. By 1943, the German war machine began buckling before Allied troops. Her mother wrote Adolf Hitler: "I have sent three sons to fight for you. I no longer believe the effort is worth our sacrifices." Hitler sent her a bronze bust of himself with a letter explaining his position. In 1945 the family sped westward in a horse-drawn buggy as the Red Army approached. Her mother said, "Don't lose that schwein (pig)," referring to the Hitler bust. They were on a months-long journey into hell. One morning, Howard saw a member of the Hitler Youth, about her age, hanging from a tree. Howard said she left the Hitler letter and bust at one of the many stops she made during those hectic months.
Friendships forged in war soldier on
There was considerable confusion on the evacuation of children from Ipswich. At first children were brought from London to Ipswich. This was thought to be a mistake, as Ipswich with its dock engineering works and airport was a target. Many went to Leicester only to find it was just as dangerous there. Hundreds returned home, others were unable to return as their families could not afford the fare home. A friendship spanning over 60 years was formed when a little girl was evacuated from Ilford to Ipswich. That 67 years later we are still in contact with our evacuees who have become our life-long friends.
Roma, victims of the Holocaust
Bucharest - Senators agreed with the request of President Traian Basescu to acknowledge the Roma as victims of the Holocaust from WW II. In the initial variant of the law, the Holocaust was defined as the systematic persecution, supported by the state, and the annihilation of the European Jews by Nazi Germany, and its allies and collaborators in the period 1933-1945. Answering the request of the President, the Senators established that the Roma population formed partially the object of oppression and annihilation during WW II.
Seoul to compensate WWII forced laborers
South Korea has decided to compensate citizens who were forced to work in Japan during Tokyo's 1910-45 colonization of the Korean Peninsula. Up to 100,000 South Koreans will be eligible for the individual compensation. If workers have died, their families will receive the payments. The government estimates that unpaid wages owed by Japanese companies to Korean forced laborers totaled $1.95 million. The decision could affect lawsuits filed against Japan and Japanese companies by wartime forced laborers, which have increased since the 1990s.
The February strike in the occupied Netherlands
Every year a gathering is held at the statue of a dockworker in Amsterdam's Jonas Daniel Meijerplein to commemorate the general strike of 25 February 1941. Unlike other strikes, this one was not for higher pay or world revolution. Instead for the first time in the occupied Netherlands, a city revolted against the Nazis' treatment of the Jews.
WWII relived as vintage planes visit - photo of a B-24 bomber falling
Inside Irwin Stovroff's wallet is a small grainy photo of a WWII B-24 bomber falling from the sky. A wingman captured the image before all 10 soldiers on board, including Stovroff, bailed out of the plane. The Americans were hit during a bombing run in France in 1944. The image has done nothing in 62 years to dampen his love of flying. The former bombardier shouted with glee while buckling his seat belt as the B-24 Liberator nicknamed Witchcraft left the Airpark bound for Boca Raton.
Russian WWII poster features US ship
Authorities in Moscow removed posters put up to mark Russia's war veterans day after a newspaper noticed that a WWII ship depicted in the artwork was America's USS Missouri. The posters were taken down just hours before Defender of the Motherland Day celebrations. The defence ministry blamed civilian poster designers who did not know the difference between a Russian and American ship. The Missouri was the last battleship built by America and was the venue for Japan's surrender in Tokyo Bay. The vessel last saw action in the first Gulf War in 1991. It is now retired and is a major tourist attraction at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii.
Tuskegee Univ. to honor famed W.W. Two airmen
72 heroes of WW2 will be honored in a familiar Alabama town. Members of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen will receive honorary degrees in public service as part of the sixth annual Tuskegee Airmen convocation. The Tuskegee Airmen, created in 1940 by the U.S. Army Air Corps, flew raids and protected bombers on missions, never lost a bomber to enemy fighters in more than 200 combat missions during the war. The record has been unmatched by any other fighter group. Their achievements include 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 744 Air Medals and 14 Bronze Stars.
Latvians debate history and archive of the Latvian 15th Waffen-SS Division
The Latvian government announced that it wants schoolchildren to study the country’s history as a separate subject. But in a country whose history is still under debate, the reforms are proving to be controversial. Latvia’s independence is based on the claim that the country’s annexation by the Soviet Union was an occupation. Moscow claims that Latvia volunteered to join the U.S.S.R. The most awaited event of the year will be the opening of the regimental archive of the Latvian 15th Waffen-SS Division, recently returned from Holland and already the subject of intense debate both in Riga and Moscow.
I won't be silenced - says David Irving
Historian David Irving refused to apologise for offending victims of the Nazi death camps and said he would not be silenced. Asked whether he regretted the offence he had caused to Holocaust survivors and their families, Irving replied: "Freedom of speech means freedom to say things to other people that they don't want to hear. And if that causes offence to them then that's partly their problem and partially mine. "Freedom of speech is the right to be wrong, basically. Sometimes I'm wrong," he added.
Genocide at the Jews concentration camps - Red Cross factual appraisal
A three-volume Report of the International Committee of the Red Cross during the WW2 includes a survey of the Jewish question in Europe and the conditions of Germany's concentration camps. According to the report authors, the ICRC successfully applied the 1929 Geneva military convention in order to gain access to civilian internees held in Central and Western Europe by the Germany authorities. But they were denied access to the Soviet Union, which had failed to ratify the Convention. But what makes the Red Cross Report unique is that it is the first to confirm the legitimate circumstances under which Jews were detained in concentration camps.
German Director Performs Penance Through Film
In the 1940s, director Marc Rothemund's grandmother pledged her allegiance to Hitler and to Nazi Germany. Sixty years later, in what might be seen as an act of penance, Rothemund is offering audiences the story of a German girl who took a very different path from the director's own ancestor. And recognition has come fast: "Sophie Scholl: The Final Days," a tribute to the famed anti-Nazi resistance fighter, was nominated for the Oscar for best foreign language film. Scholl was a member of a group of college students who mounted an underground resistance movement in Munich, calling themselves The White Rose.
European press split over David Irving
The 3-year prison sentence handed down by an Austrian court to British historian David Irving for denying the Holocaust divides opinion in Europe's press. In Austria, a commentator on a leading daily has no doubts that the sentence was fully justified, notwithstanding that the country is a democracy. But elsewhere, commentators worry that the sentence has undermined the fundamental democratic right of freedom of speech, and argue the principle should be upheld however abhorrent the views expressed.
When Scientific Ideology Was a Mask for Racism
When Americans talk about racism, we are mostly referring to white discrimination against blacks. But racism, in its early-20th-century heyday, was about more than simple hatred. As the word itself suggests, racism, like communism, originally purported to be a science. Facts, as they emerged in the writings of 19th-century racial theorists, seemed to fit perfectly into the world picture advanced by Charles Darwin, who revealed the merciless truth about the survival of the fittest. As with species, so too with human races, thought the founder of eugenics, Darwin's cousin Francis Galton, and the head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler.
David Irving: An anti-Semitic racist who has suffered financial ruin
In 2000 David Irving was in court to sue the historian Deborah Lipstadt, whose book singled him out as a Holocaust denier. The unsuccessful 32-day libel action brought financial ruin and professional disgrace. Most damning were the words of Mr Justice Gray, presiding at the High Court, who branded the Third Reich historian "an active Holocaust denier ... anti-Semitic and racist". The author of more than 30 books on the WW2, Irving contends that most of those who died at concentration camps were not executed but succumbed to diseases such as typhus. His career has been characterised by a savage intellect and a consuming self-confidence.
Flying the swastika is to stay legal
It is not an offence to burn the Australian flag. Neither is it an offence to fly the Nazi swastika and the Government has no plans to make it one. But Prime Minister John Howard did say today that there were occasions when displaying a swastika flag could result in prosecution. The swastika issue surfaced when a couple displayed a Nazi flag for a week in their backyard, only removing it after intense pressure. Jenni Duncombe told the media she did not know what the flag signified. Mr Howard said many people would be offended by display of the swastika, the symbol of the Nazi regime responsible for about 35 million dead during WWII.
Journalists Urge NA to Acknowledge Failure to Aid Journalists Fleeing Hitler
More than 70 leading journalists have signed a letter urging the Newspaper Association of America to acknowledge the failure of American journalists to aid German Jewish refugee journalists who were trying to flee Hitler in the 1930s. The letter comes in response to new research by Laurel Leff, who found that U.S. journalism schools refused to aid German Jewish refugee journalists in the 1930s. She also revealed that the American Newspaper Publishers Association would not agree even to a ten-minute discussion of the refugee issue at its 1939 convention.
He nearly started World War III in the newly-divided Germany
[2006-02-21] [News Journal]
Staff Sgt. Dwight Tooker was too late to fight in WWII but just the right age to start WWIII when he shot the slats out of a Russian guard tower on the other side of the divided Germany. There were two Russians soldiers stationed in it and he has no idea how they fared. Tooker was letting off some steam after one of his men had been shot in the shoulder by a Russian soldier. After the man was taken to a hospital, a Russian lieutenant motioned him over to the fence. "He asked me if anyone had been hurt," Tooker said. "I told him one of my guys got shot in the shoulder. So this officer goes over to see the soldier that fired those shots. And he shot the man to death."
U.S.-German Flare-Up Over Vast Nazi Camp Archives
Tempers are flaring over a US demand to open a huge repository of information about the Holocaust contained in the files of the International Tracing Service. Based in part on documents gathered by Allied forces as they liberated camps, the stock of files holds information on 17.5 million people. The collection is unique in its intimate personal detailing of a catastrophe, which is what makes the question of open access so delicate. The papers may reveal who was treated for lice at which camp, what medical experiment was conducted on which prisoner and why, who was accused of homosexuality or murder, which Jews collaborated and how they were induced to do so.
Latvia regrest Holocaust role
Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga expressed regrets during a visit to Israel for her country's role in the Nazi Holocaust during which around 75,000 Jews were killed in the Baltic state. Only around 6,000 of Latvia's pre-war Jewish community survived the genocide. Latvia was incorporated into the Soviet Union after the end of the Nazi occupation in 1945 before gaining its independence in 1991.
Jehovah's Witnesses and the Third Reich
The book addresses the relations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany with the Nazi regime. Penton challenges some long-standing assertions by JW leaders relating to this period — particularly the claim that the Witnesses were politically neutral in early 1933. The author provides evidence that there was an attempted compromise with Hitler when he came to power in 1933. Long before Hitler came to power, Judge Rutherford had made them hated by the majority of Germans. During the summer of 1933, Watch Tower leaders at all levels attempted to ingratiate their movement with the Nazis by attacking Great Britain, the US, the churches, and the Jews.
Fascists versus Nazis
Very early in the history of Fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany, Anton Drexler, the founder of the National Socialist German Workers Party wrote that Mussolini was “probably a Jew” and that Fascism was a “Jewish movement.” When Hitler was in Landsberg Prison, Nazi racial theoretician Alfred Rosenberg and Drexler published articles and books condemning Mussolini for his ties to wealthy Italian Jews. They stopped only when Hitler himself ordered it.
The Speech of the Century
It was 50 years ago that Nikita Khrushchev delivered his "secret speech" denouncing Josef Stalin. Khrushchev spoke for nearly four hours on Feb. 25, 1956, the last day of the 20th Party Congress. The session was unscheduled and restricted to keep the speech secret. It was not a secret very long. A translation made for the comrades in Poland reached the CIA via Israeli intelligence. In May, the U.S. State Department released a copy to The New York Times, which published it on June 4.
Austria sentences Irving to jail for Holocaust denial
An Austrian court sentenced David Irving to 3 years in prison for denying the Holocaust during a 1989 stopover in Austria, dismissing his argument that he had changed his views. Irving pleaded guilty, but the Vienna criminal court concluded he was only making a pretence of acknowledging Nazi Germany's genocide against Jews in order to escape a jail term. Irving said he was shocked by the sentence and lodged an immediate appeal. His lawyer said that even if Irving lost the appeal, he was likely to serve a maximum 1-1/2 to two years because of his age and status as a first-time offender.
Eichmann papers convinced Irving Holocaust happened
British historian David Irving pleaded guilty to charges of denying the Holocaust 17 years ago, but told an Austrian court that the personal files of Nazi mastermind Adolf Eichmann had changed his views. Asked whether he had denied in speeches in 1989 that Nazi Germany had killed millions of Jews, Irving said he had until he had seen the personal files of Adolf Eichmann, the chief organizer of the Holocaust.
Black tank corps member battled Germans, bigotry
The motto of the 761st Tank Battalion was “Come Out Fighting,” and Mark Henderson Jr. said that was appropriate for the all-black unit he fought with during WWII. Henderson was a supply officer in the battalion. He said he faced plenty of prejudice from white soldiers, but some of that ebbed once the 761st joined up with Gen. George S. Patton's 3rd Army, fighting in campaigns like the Battle of the Bulge. The unit fought for 183 days, meeting up with the Russian army by the end of the war.
Battle to save last U-boat
A campaign have been launched to keep one of the last surviving German U-boats in Merseyside. The warships are being forced to move from their current location in Birkenhead because of development plans. Mersey Docks and Harbour Company (MDHC) have offered a temporary home for the warships, but the site is not big enough for the U-boat. The collection also includes Falklands War veteran HMS Plymouth, a Rothesay-class frigate, and HMS Onyx, one of the last British diesel-electric submarines. The U534 is the only German U-boat to have been raised from the sea-bed.
Noor Anayat Khan: The princess who became a spy
This is the story of a young Indian Muslim woman who joined a secret organisation dedicated to acts of sabotage and terrorism across Europe. She was the first female radio operator sent into Nazi-occupied France by the Special Operations Executive (SOE). Through the terrifying summer of 1943, the untried spy found herself virtually in charge of Resistance communications in the Paris area as the Gestapo arrested cell after cell around her. Captured, she proved impenitent and uncontrollable. She died a horrific death in custody, kicked into a "bloody mess" on the stone floors of Dachau concentration camp, and then shot.
Internee who filmed WW II camps dies at 92
Dave Tatsuno used a smuggled Bell and Howell camera to film secret movies of the WWII internment camp where he spent three of his 92 years. He wasn't trying to spy, he said decades later, but document everyday life in the early 1940s at the Topaz Relocation Center in the Utah desert. In 1996, his 48 minutes of silent footage, called "Topaz," became the second home movie placed on the list of historically significant films kept by the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. The first was Abraham Zapruder's film of the assassination of President Kennedy.
Exhibit shows Nazi effort to kill gays
"Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945" exhibition examines the rationale, means and impact of the Nazi regime's attempt to eradicate homosexuality. Curator Ted Phillips said finding that information was difficult because the experiences of homosexuals in Nazi Germany weren't documented because of fear of persecution. Dubbed "paragraph 175," German criminal law section 175 declared "unnatural indecency" between men to be "punishable by imprisonment" for up to two years.
Japanese-Americans remember sorrows of WWII internment
Even though Ruth Yamauchi, 90, is an American citizen, she was forced from her home in San Francisco to live in a horse stall and then an internment camp in arid Topaz, Utah, for three years during WWII. The camps, including one near Granada in eastern Colorado, housed people forced to leave their homes on the West Coast between 1942 and 1946. Two-thirds of those detained were U.S. citizens, and half were children.
Rommel: The End Of A Legend by Ralf Georg Reuth
The legend of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox, is threefold: he was a simple soldier who did his duty and knew nothing of Nazism; he was a commander of superlative talent in North Africa in 1941-2; he was a leader of resistance to Hitler who gave his life after the failure of the July 1944 plot. Reuth shows that all of these assumptions are false. Rommel was a officer whose ambitions were in perfect harmony with the aims of the Nazis. He colluded in the marketing of his persona by Goebbels, whose newsreels built him up like a movie star. He was mindlessly loyal to the Reich and Führer.
Alaska's Bloodiest Battle - The History Channel
In 1942 and 1943, the Aleutian Islands in Alaska played host to the only armed conflict fought on American soil since the War of 1812. In an effort to draw resources away from the Battle of Midway, Japanese forces bombed Alaska's Dutch Harbor, setting up a year-long occupation of the islands of Kiska and Attu with 3,000 soldiers. In May of 1943, a force of 11,000 Americans landed on Attu. They were met with the bone-chilling cold of the Alaskan winter and found themselves battling the unforgiving tundra as much as the Japanese themselves. The 3-week battle was one of the bloodiest in all of WWII.
Japanese-American served as paratrooper in the 11th Airborne Division
Clarence Ohta served as a paratrooper and linguist in WWII with the Army's 11th Airborne Division, nicknamed "the Angels." The 11th fought to liberate Leyte and Luzon in the Philippines in 1944 and 1945. The Angels were the first of the occupation forces in Japan. Ohta said the servicemen who occupied Japan after VJ Day, were permitted to bring home a sword or pistol as a souvenir. "I brought home a long sword myself." He had his sword's history researched. The sword was 350 years old and worth $3,500.
D-Day paratrooper veteran to leave his house and demolish it
Paratrooper Llewellyn "Luke" Plunkett rode with 24 comrades from the 82nd Airborne's 325th Battalion in a glider that crash-landed at St. Mere Eglise in France when they flew in to fight the Germans on D-Day. He suffered a serious head injury in the rough landing on June 6, 1944, then had an operation to have his appendix removed. He could no longer carry a rifle, but still he rallied to cook pancakes for troops at the Battle of the Bulge. In recent days, the 82-year-old soldier has fallen on the hardest of times. He faced the prospect of becoming homeless, of losing the dilapidated house where he has lived.
Remains of two second world war tanks found on the beach
[2006-03-04] [Archant Regional]
Remains of two second world war tanks found on the beach at Titchwell. The exposed rusty remains of the tanks offer an insight into the 1940s when the beach was used by the Royal Tank Regiment as a practice range. The squadrons that may have used the tanks were the A Squadron, the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, the 13th/8th Hussars and the 27th Lancers.
Massacre in Velke Mezirici - A commando from Hitlerjugend
South Bohemian police have ascertained the circumstances of a massacre that occurred at the end of WW2 in Velke Mezirici. The findings would help police uncover persons responsible for the massacre. However, this will not be enough putting the perpetrators to trial since it is still necessary to question possible eye-witnesses living in Germany. During the massacre that happened on May 7, 1945, 63 people died. At the time when the war ended at most places in Europe a commando of young people from Hitlerjugend decided to punish people who joined the new local authorities.
Memoirs of a sailor in Polish Navy
Kazimierz Kasperek survived 3 Polish Navy ships sunk during WWII and led a German prison camp escape. He was on deck duty Sept. 1, 1939. "About 5 a.m., three German planes flew right over our navy harbor. I sounded the alarm, but it was too late for our artillery." His ship was hit two weeks later: "We went down in minutes. Our little navy was shrinking almost every day." Kasperek was thrilled with the end of the war in 1945, but bitterly disappointed by the treaties that followed: "We did not fight for a Communist Poland."
Battle for the Desert - footage from the frontlines of WWII
Some of the most famous battle footage from the frontlines of WWII is included in this five-hour marathon of newsreel and documentary film. The highlight of the first disc is Roy Boulting’s Oscar-winning 1943 morale-booster Desert Victory. Using footage shot in North Africa by cameramen of the Army Film and Photographic Unit (4 of whom were killed during the campaign), it tells the story of the Allied defeat of Rommel's Afrika Korps and climaxes with the Battle of El Alamein.
The first American flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima
A WWII hero whose accomplishments were forgotten for years may soon have a veterans' health clinic named in his honor. Lindberg helped raise the first American flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima. His accomplishment was later overshadowed when a replacement flag was raised a few hours later.
Quiet WWII hero - From North Africa to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest
Jimmy Gilbert, a quiet hero from the WW II generation, died. Gilbert didn’t offer many personal details of his war-fighting career, which spanned from the shores of North Africa in the autumn of 1942 to the 3rd Infantry Division occupation of Hitler’s famous “Eagle’s Nest” bunker in the German Alps near Berchtesgaden, in May 1945. His quiet pride was in the 3rd Infantry — the division he served with throughout the war. Gilbert knew Murphy, another quiet young man who became the most decorated soldier of the 3rd Infantry Division and of the entire Army.
France Discovers Two Living WWI Veterans
France has discovered that two more World War I veterans are still living, bringing to seven the number of French soldiers from the "war to end all wars" known to be alive. Marie-Georges Vingadassalon said she had no immediate details on the names, ages or circumstances of the two newly discovered veterans. But she confirmed their discovery means the office now knows of 7 surviving French veterans. French media reports identified the two "poilus" — as French veterans of the war are known — as Francois Jaffre, 104, and Rene Riffaud, 107.
Bound by memories as prisoners of WWII
There are 3 men who share a friendship forged with stories of the horrors and humanity of WWII. "I don't talk about being a prisoner of war unless I'm with these two men right here," said Westfall. Kelly was beaten by a crowd of Hungarian civilians after his B-24 crashed in an open field - and that was before they tried several times to hang him from a nearby tree. Vienna was rated the second most heavily defended target in Europe, after Berlin, of course. Swan, who has 3 Purple Hearts, got half of his teeth knocked out by a German soldier for assisting a comrade whose eyeballs were hanging on his cheeks.
Kamikaze pilot - We were ready to die for Japan
The story of a kamikaze pilot: He was 21 and preparing for what was supposed to be his valedictory contribution to the Japanese war effort as a member of the elite Tokkotai Special Attack Squadron - the kamikaze. Late 1944 he was in the Philippines preparing for a suicidal attack on a British cruiser. But for the first time in his flying career, his beloved Zero fighter let him down. When the aircraft developed engine trouble, Mr Hamazono was forced to return to another base in Taiwan. By the time he returned to Japan, doubts were surfacing about the value of the men of the Tokkotai: the 2,000 kamikaze aircraft dispatched had managed to sink only 34 ships.
Reunion of World War II Rangers
Historians argue whether the demise of Darby’s Rangers was the result of faulty intelligence and poor planning on their mission to capture Cisterna, or was due to the German General Field Marshal Albert Kesselring’s strategic deployment of forces. But the fight that ensued was the end of 3 battalions of untested replacements and battle-hardened veterans, most of whom had spearheaded invasions and fought their way through Africa, Sicily and Italy. Only a handful of men from the 1st and 3rd Ranger Battalions escaped after an overwhelming force of German soldiers — equipped with mortars and tanks — surrounded them.
Villains or Victims - the myths about Sudeten Germans
Two different messages about the Sudeten Germans confront Czechs: They are still taught about the German colonialists who turned Nazi and wanted to destroy the country. And yet one cannot escape reports of postwar death marches, expulsions and mass graves, where Sudeten Germans were victims not perpetrators. One myth: Sudeten Germans supposedly all voted for the Nazi puppet Sudeten German Party (SdP) of Konrad Henlein. In fact, the SdP is likely to have received 50% to 55% of the Sudeten German vote.
Little Willy, a Play About Hitler's playboy Nephew
"little Willy is a humorous production that tells the little-known true story of the devil-may-care playboy William Patrick Hitler – who also happened to be none other than Adolf Hitler’s estranged nephew. The show exposes William’s life as a skirt-chaser, VW Beetle car salesman and United States Naval soldier and reveals publicly for the first time the secrets that he used to bribe his notorious uncle.
Holocaust victims sue France for theft
Holocaust survivors sued France seeking compensation for taking personal property during WW2. The lawsuit filed seeks class-action status for Jews and others imprisoned in holding camps in France including Drancy, where prisoners were stripped of personal property like cash and jewellery before being transported to Nazi camps. 3 defendants are named in the suit: the Republic of France, French national railway SNCF, which assembled trains from holding camps to Auschwitz and Buchenwald, and French state-owned financial institution CDC.
The day Hitler took a King-hit
The huge insignia which once adorned the battleship Admiral Graf Spee is a trophy which recalls the vaunting pride of Nazi Germany and its humiliation by the Royal Navy in Dec 1939. The Graf Spee was a dangerous novelty, a hybrid with the broadside of a battleship, the speed of a cruiser and oil bunkers which enabled it to steam 15,000km without refuelling. Such a formidable warship had one purpose: to intercept and sink merchant shipping in distant waters. Together with its sister ships, Deutschland and Admiral Scheer, the Graf Spee was a surface raider which would haunt the world's shipping lanes.
Two stories behind collection of 100 uniforms
Military exhibitor Charles Covucci has a collection of 100 uniforms from WWII. A New York native, he came up with the idea of collecting military uniforms while attending a Veterans' Day dinner-dance. Before the evening was over, he had, or was promised, six uniforms. From there, it mushroomed. I soon had uniforms from all (U.S. military) branches, even added my father-in-law's from WWI. I have Maj. Gen. David Dozier's uniform. You may have heard of him, captured by the Germans during the campaign in Italy, then rescued.
Only four intact WWII German U-boats in museums worldwide
When the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago recently took the step of relocating its U-boat to a underground exhibit hall, it also revamped the entire exhibition. As with the physical exhibit, the U-505 website guides visitors through a historical context related to the main attraction: the U-Boat Menace in the Atlantic Ocean, the US Navy's response in the form of Hunter-Killer Task Groups, and the role of Intelligence and code breaking in the war against the subs. A 6-part series on Capturing the U-505 follows.
Woman tells of working for resistance
Mary Rostad worked for the resistance effort in WWII following the occupation of Belgium by the Nazis, who even made up laws on the spur of the moment. One was that the Belgian people could not walk on the sidewalk. "What do you do when you are 15 and someone tells you not to walk on the sidewalk?" she said. "You walk on the sidewalk." Rostad made a sport of doing things to frustrate the Nazis. She would take her small rations of sugar and pour them into the gas tanks of military vehicles. Working as inspector in a factory that made flashlights, she carried nail files and filed the switches so that they would break off after just a few uses.
Watching the enemy from the side of an ice-coated mountain
The Japanese had taken over Attu and 4 other islands and were preparing to capture Dutch Harbor when U.S. troops recaptured the islands. Sgt. Anderson arrived at Attu in Alaska just a few months after its return to US control. Living in a wooden shack cut into the side of an ice-coated mountain, Kenneth Ray Anderson shared the only room with 4 other soldiers. The only window was the observation point for a telescope manned day and night to track Japanese ships. To exit the tiny shack during the winter, the soldiers had to dig through ice and snow almost daily.
Irving: Hitler had no systematic plan to exterminate Jews
Historian David Irving, who began serving a three-year prison sentence in Austria, repeated Tuesday earlier claims that he does not believe Hitler systematically worked to annihilate European Jewry. Responding to a question about the whether he thinks there was a systematic plan by Hitler to exterminate all Jews, Irving told the BBC, "That is absolutely wrong and nobody can justify that... Adolf Hitler's own involvement in it has a big question mark behind it. Given the ruthless efficiency of the Germans, if there was an extermination program to kill all the Jews, how come so many survived?"
Soldier a prisoner of his memories
Curt Perry is living with memories most men don't want to remember. It was that prison of war camp and the now-infamous Bataan Death March that Perry carries in his memory. He was already in the Philippines when Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. Just months later, after being outnumbered, outgunned and with his troops starving, Gen. Edward King surrendered his troops at Bataan on April 12, 1942. The general thought his troops would be treated under the laws for prisoners of war, but he was wrong. By the end of the war, of the 10,000 men captured 6,000 were dead. They had been starved, beaten, burned and beheaded.
Most causalities of any military branch - Merchant marines
The Wall of Honor at the Berkley Town Hall lists the names of those who served in the Army, Navy and Marines during WWII. But two men are excluded: Merchant Marine veterans Alexander Trzcinski and Joseph John Trzcinski Jr. The merchant marines transported everything: Tanks, planes, ammunition. You always wanted to have diverse cargo on each ship, because then the Germans would have to sink ten ships to get it all. The merchant marines were non-combatants and suffered the most casualities of any other military branch. The government wouldn't announce the true casualties because then nobody would go to sea. We were the only way to get supplies through. You needed 15 tons of supplies for one soldier per year.
Life getting better for former tail gunner
A former POW in Nazi Germany, Dyvig is one of the dwindling numbers of WWII veterans still alive today. Dyvig and his crew were hit 3 times while flying over enemy territory and had to jump out of the plane at 26,000 feet. Ironically, cigarettes may have helped save his life that day. After convincing the German soldiers to let him reach into his coat pocket, Dyvig pulled out several packs of cigarettes and began passing them out. The hostile gun muzzles were lowered and Dyvig began his imprisonment at Nazi prison camps. The Stalag Luft IV camp was liberated by Gen. George Patton, and Dyvig remembers the general’s entrance: he looked around and said, "I bet you sons of bitches are glad to see me."
Reunion of the "light brigade" - secret project of WWII
During WWII the Butler Valley was the site of a secret government training camp the Army had declared the middle of nowhere. Their mission was to conduct experiments on one of the most secret projects of WWII, second only to the atomic bomb. Soldiers who talked about it were threatened with death. The secret weapon was the Canal Defense Light, a high-intensity light mounted in the turret of an M3 tank. Its purpose was to exploit Germany's vulnerability in night combat. U.S. troops hoped to disorient the enemy. "It was considered to be the decisive weapon of the war," says professor Roger Baty.
Distributed computing cracks Enigma code
More than 60 years after the end of WWII, a distributed computing project has managed to crack a previously uncracked message that was encrypted using the Enigma machine. The M4 Project began in early January, as an attempt to break 3 original Enigma messages that were intercepted in 1942 and are thought never to have been broken by the Allied forces. These messages were encrypted using a four-rotor Enigma. That version was considered by Germany to be completely unbreakable. Cryptologists at Bletchley Park managed to break Enigma through their development of early computers, led by Alan Turing.
Soldier's memoir relates Russian Front horrors
The Inhumanity of War: Russia, 1941-44. By Willy Peter Reese. On his 21st birthday, Willy Peter Reese was drafted to fight for his Fuehrer and the Fatherland. For almost 3 years, he survived fleas, frostbite and food rationing while completing four tours of duty on the Russian Front. In 1944, on his fifth deployment, he was killed. While on home-leave, Pvt. Reese turned his war memories into this manuscript, which outlines depraved conditions for the foot soldier and the inhumanity of war.
Luftwaffe maps hold key to hidden UXBs
Original maps of Luftwaffe raids on Britain are being used to protect building workers from unexploded Second World War bombs. Researches revealed a Luftwaffe bomb plot indicating at least 24 bomb strikes on the site, 49 high explosive bombs recorded, and details of some 4,000 incendiary bombs landing within the site boundary. Many German bombs were never found and others were "abandoned" as too difficult to recover and left where they lay. The Luftwaffe maps were used during checks on a site in the Midlands that was heavily bombed in 1940-41.
Soldier Hid For 60 Years After Burma Horror
A traumatised former POW has finally emerged from his home after 60 years hiding. The 100-year-old British veteran was left a broken man after being part of the slave labour force used to build the Burma railway. When he was freed at the end of WWII, his devoted wife cared for him at their house. After she died, their spinster daughter carried on looking after him. It was only after the daughter's death that the old soldier's plight was uncovered. He finally explained his story to the ex-servicemen's mental illness charity. Officials described it as the most extreme example of battlefield stress they had ever encountered.
WWII Ace, Author Robert L. Scott Dies
Retired Brig. Gen. Robert L. Scott, the WWII flying ace who told of his exploits in his book "God is My Co-Pilot," died. His death was announced by Paul Hibbitts, director of the Museum of Aviation where Scott worked in recent years. The Georgia-born Scott rose to nationwide prominence during WWII as a fighter ace in the China-Burma-India theater, then with his best-selling 1943 book, made into a 1945 movie. He shot down 22 enemy planes with his P-40 Warhawk, though he recalled some were listed as "probable" kills.
U.S. veteran scours Okinawa's caves for relics of bloody 1945 conflict
For the past 21 years, Ron Fuller has been digging into the past. His mission is to find remains of Japanese victims who perished in the fierce Battle of Okinawa. But the relics are not keepsakes. Here in the deep caves, where Imperial Japanese Army soldiers and Okinawan civilians fled for their lives, Fuller tries to imagine what they thought and felt during those frantic last moments. The so-called Typhoon of Steel raged across the island for 3 months. About 200,000 Japanese were killed. Many of them were terrified civilians who committed group suicide in caves rather than be taken prisoner by U.S. soldiers.
So the soldier did not want Eric to see him as a Nazi monster
By 1943, German soldiers were patrolling the streets. The Germans came with artillery and half-track tanks, fascinating to a 13-year-old boy. So Eric took a ride with them. "I remember my mother standing there, just ashen white." Eric knew nothing then of extermination camps. The Germans seemed like great guys. Eric helped them get around. They had canned fruit, chocolate, whole chickens and they liked to share. There was one german soldier in particular: One day he came to visit and walked out some distance with me. "I understand you're Jewish, not all Germans are alike", he said. So the soldier did not want Eric to see him as a Nazi monster.
A new book of Grossman’s war writings
In 1941 the war came. Like many others, Grossman rushed to volunteer for the front... A new book of Grossman’s war writings—a collection taken from his notebooks and his published pieces has appeared in English as "A Writer at War", translated by Antony Beevor. Halted outside Moscow in December, the Germans resumed their offensive in the south as soon as the snow melted. The Red Army reeled again until it reached the very edge of European Russia, at a large industrial city on the Volga that had been renamed Stalingrad. When Grossman arrived, the city had already been laid waste by the same Luftwaffe commander who, during the Spanish Civil War, had bombed Guernica.
Ivan's War - LIfe and Death in the Red Army, 1939-45
The observations, words, thoughts and feelings of Russian soldiers were lost amid the patriotic zeal of the Cold War. The cause of the Russian soldier was never popular in the West. Turns out, it wasn't popular in Russia, either. Joseph Stalin's idea of the perfect war hero was Joseph Stalin. In the recently unsealed documents, Catherine Merridale found a story of absurdity. In interviews with veterans, she found a reluctance, even today, to speak against the state. It's not an American-style history. There is no Band of Brothers, no Private Ryan worth saving. The romance of the battlefield didn't exist in Russia.
First museum honoring Stalin in 50 years
Even though he was responsible for killing millions, many Russians view Joseph Stalin in a positive light and look forward to a new museum in his honor. Polls show almost 50% of Russians view the former dictator in a positive or very positive light. In May, the first major museum dedicated to Stalin in 50 years is scheduled to open in Volgograd, formerly named Stalingrad. It is expected to contain telegrams from Stalin to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. "He was a great man with a great personality," said curator Valentina Klyushina, even though her mother was jailed for 7 years during Stalin's rule.
Only living black WWII veteran to receive the Medal of Honor
When Vernon Baker went to join the Army in the 1940s the recruiter told him they didn't have quotas for his kind of people. What he meant was black people. 50 years later, Baker, a native of Cheyenne, stood with tears streaming down his face as President Clinton hung the Medal of Honor around his neck for his heroic actions. Baker is the only living black WWII veteran to receive the Medal of Honor. Struggle between the all black platoon and white officers created enormous hardships. That left them really fighting two wars, one against Nazi Germany and one against racist commanders.
The Eva Braun story: Behind every evil man...
She was a good Catholic girl. Her ordinariness was her defining quality. So why did she devote herself to Adolf Hitler? As a major new biography is published, Frances Wilson looks at her strange life - and death. It wasn't much of a wedding; just the bride and groom and a few of his colleagues. Appropriately for a workaholic, the ceremony was held in his office without ceremony, but there was plenty of champagne in the store, so they drank a hearty toast to the bride. She would have preferred to wear a different dress of course, so it was all a bit disappointing, but she wasn't going to let silly things ruin the moment she had waited 15 years for.
Special tribute to Swazi Army - Swazi Unit at Anzio
The Swazi contingent that fought on the side of the Allies during the WW2 last weekend received an unexpected accolade when it was remembered in the South African broadsheet ‘The Sunday Times’, 62 years after the war. Headlined ‘Swazi Unit at Anzio’ the paper wrote in 1944, about the exuberance our lads carried themselves about as they did their bit for the Empire. Excerpt: ‘The only African natives in the Anzio (Italy) beachhead are members of a Swazi smoke company that landed on January 21 and also participated in the landing at Salerno (Italy) last year.
The Brilliance of the Lend-Lease Act
65 years ago today the US Congress passed a bill that altered the course of the Second World War. By a vote of 60 to 31 in the Senate and 317 to 17 in the House of Representatives, Congress Passed HR 1776, “A Bill Further to promote the defense of the US, and for other purposes”—the Lend-Lease Act. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was authorized to “sell, transfer title to, exchange, lease, [or] lend” arms and other equipment to countries whose well-being he judged “vital to the defense of the US.” By the end of the war, the Lend-Lease Administration provided more than $50 billion in aid to 50 allies. In 1941 approximately 1% of British arms were obtained through Lend-Lease. Over the course of the war that number leaped to a remarkable 17%.
D-Day training beach remembered
More than 250,000 US troops trained for the D-Day invasion just 60 miles south of Tallahassee. This weekend they'll celebrate the 61st anniversary of that training. And for many of them, it's an emotional trip back in time. Each year the group of Veternas that return to the amphibious soldier camp shrinks but the stories of those soldiers only grow. "We'd get in these boats and go out to Dog Island, make invasions of Dog Island, and one time you may have noticed, 16 men from our batallion drowned," said Martin Kruse.
The only Filipino soldier who was awarded the Medal of Honor
During WWII, the only Filipino soldier who was awarded the Medal of Honor was Sgt. Jose Calugas. His award reads: "For conspicuous gallantry and interpidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy at Culis, Bataan Province, Philippine Islands. When the battery gun position was shelled and bombed until one piece was out of action and casualties caused the removal of the remaining canoneers to shelter, Sergeant Calugas, voluntarily and on his own accord proceeded 1,000 yards across the shell-swept area to the gun position and joined the volunteer gun squad which fired effectively on the enemy."
Gathering of Mustangs and Legends — the Final Roundup
Rickenbacker Airport is attempting to land a historic gathering of P-51 Mustang fighter planes and pilots for 2007. The show is significant, because of the aircraft’s popularity and because it could be the last major gathering of P-51 pilots from WWII. P-51 Mustangs were the aircraft of choice to escort American bombers during World War II. The show would be called "Gathering of Mustangs and Legends — the Final Roundup."
A convoy under air attack
Retired Army Capt. W.W. Wilkins Jr. is on a mission to win the Bronze Star for retired Cpl. James F. Weyandt, an ambulance driver. A convoy – part of the 4th Armored Division of the 3rd U.S. Army under Gen. George Patton – was strafed several times by a German plane, which then dropped anti-personnel bombs that rained down shrapnel. "They explode in the air, there are no foxholes there, so you’d just lay down. Many guys got hit in the back." Weyandt loaded two men on stretchers into his ambulance and helped 7 men who could sit up. Weyandt drove off to the nearest field hospital. The ambulance drew fire on a road through enemy territory. Three times, the vehicle came under rifle fire. Then, a German plane zeroed in on the lone ambulance...
A battle plan that made the Germany the focus of the Allied airpower
On March 6, 1942, Lt. Gen. Henry H. Arnold had won approval for a battle plan that made the European theater the focus of the majority of Allied airpower, with minimal airpower in the Pacific theater. 3 days later, the Army released Circular 59, War Department Reorganization. The plan streamlined the Army's resources into three major commands, defining the Army Air Forces as an autonomous command within the Army. The technology gap between "us" and "them" had never been so pronounced as during the Nazi Luftwaffe's siege of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War in 1937.
What happened to the British led anti-Nazi resistance in Hungary
“Sword of the Turul,” by Catherine Eva Schandl, tells the true story of how the British-led anti-Nazi resistance in Hungary was secretly imprisoned by the NKVD and abandoned by the British intelligence service after WWII. The only thing missing from the book is names. The author is now disclosing the real names of: the Hungarian leader of her father Karoly’s resistance group, one of the group members who also ended up in Vladimir prison, and the arrested Dutch lieutenant who was working for Raoul Wallenberg.
Second Marine Division Were Warriors
Bob Cary remembers their wartime stories of weathering artillery fire and howling bombs, of antics activated in the name of survival, and the firm friendships formed among the fearless fighters. Once his battalion was overlooked for food supplies: There was no way to requisition supplies through the Army, so Cary was recruited to devise a solution. With two trucks, smeared with mud to hide their identity, Marines set out on their looting mission. Approaching the supply docks, Cary improvised, stating they were with the 33rd Engineers. The trucks were soon filled with canned beef, corn, beans and peaches.
Nazi Govt. Wanted to Deport Jews to Soviet Union
A document found in a Moscow archive suggests that the Soviet leadership rejected a Nazi proposal to deport Jews to the Soviet Union. The letter discusses a German proposal - maybe written by Adolf Eichmann and Alois Brunner - to move more than 2 million Jews to the Soviet Union. But the Soviet leadership rejected almost immediately the idea: "We cannot take these Jews. We have an awful lot of our own already," Chekmenyov wrote in the letter to Molotov. Nazi officials had also proposed other ways of evicting Jews, such as deporting them en masse to the island of Madagascar, as a territorial solution to what the Nazis referred to as the “Jewish question”.
MI5 saved goddaughter of the late king George V from jail
MI5 documents now reveal Dowager Viscountess Dorothy Downe had her mail intercepted at her home but was not interned. She was noted in official files as a "most fanatical admirer of Hitler" but not involved in pro-Nazi propaganda. However, unlike some other fascist aristocrats, she avoided jail. The newly released file records that Lady Downe was also said to have "for some time almost entirely supported the National Fascists out of her own pocket".
Neil Lambell flew in the most successful Lancaster during WW2
There were only 35 Lancasters out of 6500 that were successful in achieving 100 or more operational missions. The most successful plane was Lancaster ED888, which achieved 140 ops. ED888 arrived at 103 Squadron's base and began operations on May 4, 1943. The Lancaster became known as "Mother Of Them All". Neil was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for gallant service. On one occasion during an attack on Berlin he was hit on the face by a piece of shrapnel whilst making his bombing run, but undeterred, he released his bombs at the correct time.
Pilot asked me if I would go on a secret mission with him
"The major asked me if I would go on a secret mission with him," Sgt. Pete Chisholm recalls. When we were airborne, the major told we were flying into Burma to pick up Merrill's Marauders. We landed our C-47 on a "awfully short" bamboo runway. The minute we landed the major said, "Pete, get those Marauders in here! They're out there in the bushes." I hollered for them to come out. Nothing! Finally I called them every name I could think of, and they came out of the tall grass and climbed aboard. We weren't off the ground when we reached the end of the bamboo runway - but the major kept right on flying through the bamboo until we were off the ground. "That was when my trouble really began..."
Plaque To the only German air raid on Londonderry
[2006-03-09] [Century Newspapers ]
The victims of the only German air raid on Londonderry are to be commemorated with a memorial plaque. While Belfast was blitzed by Nazi bombers, causing widespread death and destruction, only once was Londonderry targeted by the Luftwaffe, even though it had been a strategic sea and air base. On April 15, 1941, two parachute mines were dropped from a single German bomber, aimed at the ship repair base on the River Foyle. No-one was hurt when one of the bombs fell near St Patrick's Church, but the second landed on nearby Messines Park, killing 13 people and injuring 33.
Exhibit will feature vintage posters from World War II
A new exhibit from the Smithsonian Institute featuring home front posters is about to make its way to Elkins. The poster exhibit, titled "Produce For Victory" is only one part of the traveling exhibit. It will feature vintage posters like the now classic "Buy War Bonds" posters seen so much throughout the war. Before the exhibit arrives in November, the Smithsonian is looking for folks who have local WWII memorabilia to display along side the posters.
Auschwitz escapee and leader of Belgian Resistance - William Herskovic
William Herskovic escaped from Auschwitz and helped inspire Belgium's resistance to the Nazis during the Second World War. Three months after being sent to Auschwitz, Herskovic escaped by cutting through a chain-link fence with two other prisoners. The three hopped a train to Breslau, but a local rabbi threw them out when they tried to tell him about the horrors at Auschwitz. In his prewar home of Antwerp, Herskovic delivered one of the earliest firsthand accounts of the atrocities of the Holocaust. The resistance swiftly mobilized, placing bricks on railway tracks to stop a train bound for the camps.
The French Croix de Guerre and a Purple Heart with 4 clusters
His heroism in France brought him the French Legion of Honor. Pete Jimenez was a squad leader in the 29th Infantry Division, going ashore on D-Day at Omaha Beach. Among his decorations were the French Croix de Guerre, the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart with 4 clusters - signifying the 5 times he was wounded in combat. Sept. 17, 1944, he led a small squad of GIs to try and recover some American soldiers who were taken prisoner near Brest. Fighting off several counter-attacks by German infantry units, his small group found themselves in a heavy firefight with German soldiers entrenched in a subway tunnel.
Letters Offer Glimpse of Life in Nazi Labor Camps
The New York Public Library opened an exhibit of 300 Holocaust-era letters saved by Sala Garncarz, a Jewish woman who spent 5 years in the labor camps. Garncarz was interned in 7 different Nazi labor camps between 1940 and 1945. Although conditions at labor camps were often harsh laborers could sometimes receive mail. Over the next 5 years she kept every piece of mail she received, more than 300 letters, postcards, drawings and photographs. These letters are more than a family's chronicle of survival: They document a vast network of Nazi slave labor camps.
British POW death march is marked by heritage trail
One of the most brutal episodes of the Second World War, the Sandakan death march in Borneo, has been commemorated with a heritage trail. Tourists will be able to trek the same route taken by the POWs, who were forced to walk 155 miles. The Japanese soldiers guarding the ragged column were ordered to execute all those who faltered. Even those who made it were not safe. They were later shot by Japanese commanders who wanted to cover up the atrocities. Some were executed 12 days after the war had officially ended. Of the 2,434 British and Australian POWs, only 6 escaped, all Australian.
Museum acquired a rare M-36 Jackson tank destroyer
Tank destroyers were meant to combat the big-gunned, heavily armored German Tigers and Panthers that "badly outclassed" the American Sherman tanks during the war. They were basically fast, lightly protected gun platforms firing shells that could penetrate the German armor. Their survival — and that of their crews — depended on speed and elusiveness, rather than heavy armor. Only about 1,500 M-36s were manufactured, and they reached the front in 1944, replacing older, smaller tank destroyers like the M-10 Wolverine and M-18 Bearcat.
The ten lessons of Winston Churchill
In May of 1940, the same day Hitler’s panzers began their blitz across Europe, Churchill became prime minister. With Holland, Denmark, and Belgium quickly overrun and France, England’s last fighting ally, about to sign an armistice, with a quarter of a million British troops, the country’s entire army, stranded at the French port city of Dunkirk, Churchill refused to quit. "Of course, whatever happens in Dunkirk," he told his cabinet, "we shall fight on."
Berlin: Nazi rallying with giant swastika banners
An alarming sight in Berlin: The city's central "Lustgarten" square transformed into a Nazi rallying ground complete with giant swastika banners and a ranting Führer. But Germany's first comedy film about Hitler was bound to break taboos. Tourists stared open-mouthed at the scene in central Berlin: huge red banners bearing the Nazi swastika fluttering in the winter sun outside the city's cathedral, Wehrmacht soldiers in their steel helmets standing guard between the imposing pillars of the Old Museum and a crowd of hundreds cheering their Führer with enthusiastic Hitler salutes and chants of "Sieg Heil!"
27th Air Transport Group - goods to the battle front
Joseph W. (Bill) Stevens was assigned to the 27th Air Transport Group. A primary duty was ferrying goods to the battle front, gasoline for Patton's tanks, ammunition, and other goods. Return flights were usually filled with wounded headed. Most flights were uneventful - one wasn't. They were descending through a layer of clouds when they were hit by flak. One engine was damaged, the throttle and prop control were useless. A burst hit one wing just outboard of a fuel tank. Others hit the fuselage. The only passenger, a Frenchman was systematically destroying the documents he was carrying as the crew struggled to keep the aircraft flying.
The pencil "too slow" to ridicule Hitler
John Heartfield found the pencil "too slow" to ridicule Hitler, so he made his point with photo montages, as illustrated in a Getty show. In his effort to secure power, Adolf Hitler engaged in a fierce propaganda war. He not only had a minister of propaganda, the notorious Joseph Goebbels. He also had some shiny new tools at his disposal: public radio broadcasts and the new wide-circulation, photographically illustrated magazines. Hitler's opponents had a powerful weapon too, and his name was John Heartfield, who's most searing works were the 237 photomontages he made for the magazine Arbeiter Illustrierte Zeitung (Workers Illustrated News).
P-51 Mustang in WWII as a bomber escort
They called it a search and destroy mission, the perfect way for a P-51 fighter pilot to wrap up a day's work over Nazi Germany. "It was a plane that changed the whole course of the war," George Valentine said. Until the Mustang appeared, American bomber crews were on their own during missions over the Third Reich. But the Mustang was the fighter plane that could go all the way with them and fend off enemy fighter attacks. Until jet fighters made their appearance at the very end of WWII, the Mustang was the fastest, nastiest thing in the air.
Pearl Harbor attack a strategic failure for Japan
Japan's two-year "window of opportunity" resulted in its decision to go to war in the Pacific. Japan needed resources to become the world power, and the resources in the south were too great a magnet. The only power that could oppose it was the US. So strategic plan was formed: With a massive first strike, Japan would destroy the US Navy based at Pearl Harbor. The battle plan: In late Nov 1941 sail a huge Imperial Japanese Navy fleet across the northern Pacific. When the fleet was 200 miles north of Hawaii, aircraft carrier planes would be sent out to bomb the US naval base, sinking as many of the ships as possible.
Prince Philip talks frankly about his family's links with the Nazis
Prince Philip has broken a 60-year public silence about his family's links with the Nazis. He said they found Hitler's attempts to restore Germany's power 'attractive' and admitted they had 'inhibitions about the Jews'. The revelations come in a book about German royalty kowtowing to the Nazis, which features photographs never published in the UK. They include one of Philip at the 1937 funeral, flanked by relatives in SS and Brownshirt uniforms. Another one shows his sister Sophia sitting opposite Hitler at the wedding of Hermann and Emmy Goering. "There was a lot of enthusiasm for the Nazis, the economy was good, we were anti-Communist and who knew what was going to happen to the regime?"
WWII airman lost over Himalayas
Gerard Rugers Jr was a 24-year-old radio operator in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He flew the treacherous Hump missions over the Himalayas that between 1942 and 1945 would claim more than 1,000 U.S. fliers. Rugers had been missing and presumed dead since March 27, 1944. His remains were identified after a U.S. military forensics team trekked to the long-hidden crash site along the Tibetan frontier. Rugers’ long journey home began when the Chinese government sent a team to investigate villagers’ reports of a crash site on Meiduobai Mountain in Tibet. The team found wreckage of a U.S. C-46 Commando, tail number 124688.
From bombs to bronze, WWII veteran tells of his Army life
Aubrey "Bob" Jolly managed to save 22 lives while serving in Italy. A member of the 109th Engineer Battalion, Jolly specialized in clearing minefields, and building and blowing up bridges. A newly appointed lieutenant sent a squad through the wrong road. Accompanied with 3 trucks loaded with 200 pounds of TNT and anti-tank mines, Jolly and his squad were engaged by enemy fire and were forced out of the trucks to take cover. If hit, each truck carried the potential to kill everyone nearby. Realizing the soldiers were too close to the explosive-laden trucks, Jolly ran toward the vehicles dodging bullets, got inside each truck and drove them 350 yards away.
Descendant of Goering converts to Judaism
"I used to feel cursed by my name. Now I feel blessed", said physiotherapist Matthias Goering, a descendant of Hermann Goering. He says he did not have a happy childhood. His great-grandfather and Hermann's grandfather were brothers, and that was enough to ensure problems after the fall of the Third Reich. His father, a military doctor, was a Soviet POW, but returned with his anti-Semitic views intact. "When times were hard our parents would say to us, 'You can't have that, because all our money's gone to the Jews.'" Other descendants of Nazis have trodden the same path. Katrin Himmler, who's uncle was the SS commander Heinrich Himmler, married an Israeli.
The only Gestapo spy to evade capture in Britain in WWII
The only German spy to evade capture in Britain first surfaced in London in 1940 and set off a panicked search amid fears he was an advance man for a Nazi invasion, security service documents show. Wilhelm Morz had operated first in Czechoslovakia, followed by Holland, and both countries fell to German forces not long after he vanished. Then in June 1940 he was spotted in Britain for the first time. The Security Service began a frenzied hunt for Morz. "He is in fact one of the cleverest secret agents the Gestapo has," a Sept 1940 document says.
The Nazi bid to poison Shetland
British secret service documents reveal that Hitler wanted to introduce lethal bacteria to Shetland. The plot began in Jan 1943 when 3 exhausted Norwegians staggered ashore from Nazi-occupied Norway. Alarm bells rang when MI5 intercepted a German signal saying the boat had left Norway on a mission for German intelligence. Captain Lieutenant Klein, the new head of German intelligence in Trondheim had ordered the Reidar to be sent as a "feeler". MI5 discovered that if the Reidar trip succeeded, spies would be sent on subsequent journeys "and these would also be equipped with the necessary material for spreading bacteria in this country".
German-born Jewish refugees trained for a very special mission
[2006-03-05] [Contra Costa Times]
During WW II German-born Jewish refugees were recruited and trained by U.S. forces for a very special mission. Their objective? Going behind enemy lines to wage an intellectual and psychological battle in the hopes of stopping the senselessly brutal bloodshed. They were called the Ritchie Boys. What must it have been like for these German-born Jews to return to Germany to fight against the very people who persecuted them? "You know, it really didn't mean much anymore," was Habermann's quiet but emphatic response. "I was no longer a German. The Nazis had told me so either get out or get killed."
The Spitfire - Tribute To Warplane That Saved Britain
An aviation expert has published a new book which pays tribute to Britain's most famous warplane - the Spitfire. The fighter aircraft which helped to change the course of the WWII celebrates the 70th anniversary of its first flight. Peter R March's book is a picture-led account of the history of the Spitfire - from its first flight to its role in the war. When it first flew at Southampton 70 years ago, the Air Defence ministry ordered 310 aircraft straightaway. It meant the plane could go into production in time to be operational for the WWII. Without it, the outcome of the WWII would undoubtedly have been different.
Secret files reveal WW2 problem of Nazi nobles
Newly-released papers show the scale of suspicion and fear around the British High Command during the Second World War. It has emerged that intelligence chiefs faced a dilemma over how many aristocrats with Nazi sympathies they should arrest, amid fears that interning too many would inflate their importance. MI5 spied on a god-daughter of the late King George V, Dowager Viscountess Dorothy Downe, noting her as a "most fanatical admirer of Hitler" and intercepting her mail.
The Complete Correspondence of Franklin D Roosevelt and Joseph V Stalin
Joseph Stalin did not like to travel, a trip to his dacha outside Moscow, was about as far as he was willing to venture. But, in his wartime letters to Franklin D Roosevelt, Stalin gave the impression that he was constantly on the move. "I have frequently to go to the different parts of the front," he wrote in August 1943, fully two years after his last such expedition. There could be no clearer indicator of the failure of the industrialisation of the Soviet Union than its inability to produce even the basic requirements for war. By winter 1941 lacked even the leather for the soles of its boots.
Female racing ace hoarded pictures of Hitler
The celebrated female racing driver Fay Taylour hoarded a cache of pictures of Adolf Hitler during a 3-year prison spell in the WW2, British Security Service files have revealed. In a letter to a friend, the Irish-born driver said: "I love Nazi Germany and the German people and their leader and this war seems terribly unfair." A memo from the detention camp authorities, revealed the extent of her devotion to the Nazi cause. It said: "She is in the habit of hoarding pictures of Hitler and had in her possession a hymn in which his name was substituted for God's."
Auschwitz photographer worked with Dr. Josef Mengele
Brasse was sent to Auschwitz as a political prisoner for trying to sneak out of German-occupied Poland. Because he had worked in a photography studio, he was put to work in the photography and identification department. One day in 1943 his boss, an SS officer Bernhard Walter, called him into his office. An immaculately uniformed SS officer was waiting. The stranger politely addressed Brasse as "sir." It was Dr. Josef Mengele, the infamous camp doctor and practitioner of cruel medical experiments. He said that he was going to send some Jewish girls for pictures, and that I had to take pictures of them naked. For years afterward Brasse saw them in his dreams: emaciated Jewish girls, herded naked in front of his camera. Eventually, his dreams stopped. But he never took pictures again.
Former P.O.W. reveals nasty side of the French Resistance
Canadian Jack Fairweather temporary worked with the French Resistance, earning one of France’s highest honors. He was part of the June 6 D-day landing in Normandy. On the second day he was taken as a POW. Train transfering him was bombed by the Allies, he wasn’t hurt, but the explosion allowed him to escape. He was picked up by French resistance fighters after the escape. "The leader of the group was an outlaw of sorts named Lecoz. The guy was pretty much out for himself. Anyone that got in his way he’d have them either executed or beaten to death." While with the group, Fairweather helped to liberate the small French town of Loshes. Once the town was liberated, Lecoz rounded up many of the residents and executed them for no reason other than he found them undesirables.
World War II Lasted Longer for China
[2006-03-19] [Deutsche Welle]
In its resistance to Japan, China became one of the four leading powers fighting fascism. Although its role in WWII is often underestimated in the West, the war in the Pacific broke out first and lasted the longest in China. For the Chinese, WWII started on July 7, 1937, when Japanese troops seized control of the Marco Polo Bridge near Beijing after a heavy exchange of fire with the Chinese. In the West historians occasionally cite the war as having started and ended in China, after 8, instead of 6, years. But their opponents contend that this view risks minimizing Germany's guilt for having unleashed WWII.
Failed strategy of Neville Chamberlain led world back to war
Neville Chamberlain, Britain's prime minister 1937-1940, symbolizes the failed policy of "appeasement," which more than any other policy, allowed Adolf Hitler to plunge Europe into war. Chamberlain proposed to acquiesce to Hitler's ever-increasing territorial demands rather than stand up to him and risk war. The irony was that as Hitler gained more territory -- the Rhineland, co-opted Austria, the Czech Sudetenland and the rest of Czechoslovakia -- he became more powerful and confident that he could start, and win, a war. Appeasement was a popular belief in Europe in the 1930s because Europeans remembered what the WWI had cost them, and they were determined not to repeat it.
Author believes US was testing atomic detonator at old N.S. site
For Betty O’Toole the world changed in 1942. A car came and the 3 men in it wanted to speak to her father. Politely but firmly, the they offered him a choice: sell us the land across the road, or we’ll have it expropriated. Next day they bulldozed the old houses. That same week, 3 new buildings went up. Everything was controlled by U.S. Naval Observation Laboratories, a branch present at the actual testing of the nuclear devices in 1945. Their experiments involved an aircraft dropping bomb- and mine-shaped devices into Cobequid Bay at high tide. "They didn’t want the bomb to fall freely. They wanted it held back, so they’d know when to detonate. So the bombs on Japan detonated above ground, " she explains.
A commander of airborne forces - Brigadier "Speedy" Hill
In 1942 Hill took command of the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment, which was dropped at Souk El Arba, deep behind enemy lines in Tunisia. To impress the French commander with the size of his unit, Hill marched the battalion through the town twice, first wearing helmets and then changing to berets. On learning that a mixed force of Germans and Italians, equipped with a few tanks, was located at a feature called Gue, Hill put in a night attack. But a grenade in a sapper's sandbag exploded, setting off others, and there were heavy casualties when the element of surprise was lost.
4000 German corpses stored in a Czech factory for 3 years
The exhumed bodies of thousands of German soldiers killed in World War II have been stored in a Czech Republic factory for three years, reports say. The remains include soldiers who fought across eastern Europe during the war. The remains have been stored in containers in the town of Usti-nad-Labem until the German association draws up final plans for their permanent burial.
Ex-SS legionary's new book "Latvian legionary in true light"
On the eve of Day of Latvian Waffen SS legionaries, famous public writer and ex-SS legionary Visvaldis Latsis presented his new book "Latvian legionary in true light." The author tried to collect all "justificatory" arguments of the presidential historical commission, and stress the importance of their deeds in patriotic education of youth. He said that he wanted to prove that Latvians fought for their freedom, but were naive. Latsis himself is a contradictory person: Loyal soldier and commander of Latvian SS Legion Strike Force.
Auction: Wartime relics like Third Reich German boot knives
For Sale: A World War One German officer’s helmet A WEST Cumbrian collector of war relics has attracted massive international interest to an auction at Cockermouth on March 23 and 24. The sale is just part of the vast collection of bayonets, guns and steel helmets. Among the items are a rare German officer’s Pickelhaube helmet with the characteristic spike from the Great War, expected to sell for more than £1,000. There will be Third Reich German boot knives, SS and SA army bayonets among the hundreds of items for sale.
Submariner hero of the Tirpitz raid - Richard Kendall
Former naval diver Richard Kendall was one of the bravest participants in the Royal Navy's most daring operational success of the WWII - the midget submarine attack on the Tirpitz, Hitler's mightiest warship, in its Norwegian base in autumn 1943. At 53,000 tones and armed with eight 15-inch guns, the battleship had been the bane of the British home fleet since Jan 1942, threatening allied convoys taking munitions to Murmansk. British air attacks on the battleship at anchor failed, but from May 1943 the navy began to develop the X-craft, a midget submarine only 51ft long and displacing 35 tonnes. Its only armament was a pair of detachable mines.
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose did not die in aircrash
One of India's longest-running political controversies, and one of history's 'mysteries', is about to return to centrestage. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is believed to have died in a plane crash in Taiwan on August 18, 1945. Incidentally Justice Mukherjee confirmed to the media that the Taiwan government had denied any such crash on that day in 1945. Netaji, one of India's greatest heroes, rebelled against Mahatma Gandhi's Indian National Congress, raised the Indian National Army with Japanese help to overthrow colonial British rule in India, and is believed to have died in a freak crash in Taihoku airfield when the Japanese were evacuating Rangoon.
English army veterans who didn't get a single penny
Indian soldiers who fought under the British flag during the WW2 gathered together in Jammu for a reunion. It was also a chance for old friends to remember a time when Indian soldiers formed the backbone of the Royal British army. "Fighting all the way from Kohima we went up to Rangoon and after that English army sent us back home. They did not pay us even a single penny," said Chand. There are about 80 soldiers living in Jammu and Kashmir who fought in the WW2. After the war got over, all of them were forced to retire. Now they are fighting a different battle, one for retirement benefits including pension.
A virtual tour of Hitler's "New Chancellery" is causing an uproar
[2006-03-17] [Deutsche Welle]
In late Jan 1938, Hitler called in architect Albert Speer. "I have meetings with important people and I need grand halls and rooms with which to impress them." And a year later, the testament to Nazi power was finished. The New Chancellery's stern exterior was sparsely decorated and featured a statue of a nude soldier carrying a sword. Inside, the corridor was 300 meters (328 yards) long. There was a court of honor, a mosaic hall, a round hall and a marble gallery. The reception hall was 146 meters long, twice that of the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. Hitler's office was a staggering 400 square meters with 10-meter high ceilings. The chancellery was Hitler's pride.
Russia's Top Female Fighter Ace With 12 Luftwaffe kills
Lily Litvak is the most famous female fighter pilot of all time. Stunningly beautiful with blonde hair and gorgeous grey eyes, Lily was known as the White Rose of Stalingrad. With 12 Luftwaffe kills to her credit, she was the Soviet Union's top female ace fighter pilot. In September, 1942 flying a Yak-1 with white roses painted on both sides of her cockpit, Lily shot down a Junkers JU-88 and a Messerschmitt Bf-109 during her second combat mission while flying with the 296th IAP. The day of her final mission, Lily had already flown 4 previous sorties. She was escorting a flight of Soviet bombers when her Yak was jumped by a flight of 8 Bf-109s.
Green Nazi silk robe with a gold eagle and a swastika
Someone donated a strange silk robe to the American Military Museum last month. The robe is green with a gold eagle and a swastika on the right breast. It is undoubtedly cut for a woman. A couple of weeks ago, a German tourist was making his way through the Military Museum, and he recognized it immediately - it was, he said, a robe from a Nazi state-sponsored brothel. Despite the Nazi regime's condemnation of prostitution, by 1939 the government itself had opened several brothels for the troops' morale. Given the naval eagle on this robe, it would seem every branch of the military had its own home port.
Latvian Waffen SS Vets Honor Their Dead
Dozens of aging veterans from a Latvian Waffen SS unit celebrated Mass in Riga's Dome Cathedral before heading to a WWII cemetery to honor 50,000 comrades who died in battle. Some Latvians regard the Latvian Waffen SS as heroes who fought not for the Nazis, but for Latvian independence against Soviet occupiers. Some of the veterans say they regarded the Nazis at the time as the lesser of two evils. Soviet forces occupied the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia in June 1940 but were driven out by the Germans a year later.
Expedition to recreate heroic Arctic trek of Norwegian commando
A former Welch Guard will lead a team in a bid to recreate the epic journey of one of the WW2's bravest resistance heroes. Baalsrud was a Norwegian commando who survived against all the odds when his boat was blown up near the Norwegian port of Tromso in 1943. He escaped alone into the icy wilderness north of the Arctic Circle after German troops had killed all his compatriots. His struggle to survive led to an trek across northern Norway, Finland and Sweden during which he killed a German officer with a single shot, survived an avalanche, lived in a snow-hole for almost a fortnight and was forced to cut off his own toes to avoid gangrene after he contracted frostbite.
Untold story of U.S. Merchant Marine
During WW II, the first American service to see combat was the Merchant Marine. TheSS City of Flint was captured by a German Nazi battleship in October 1939 and taken to Murmansk in the Soviet Union before eventually being freed with the help of Norway. Under the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, the members of the Merchant Marine, called mariners, are civilians except during time of war or national emergency, at which time the Act mandates the Merchant Marine function as a naval and military auxiliary.
Aryans on the Altar; Swastikas on the Church Bells
A Protestant parish in Berlin has grabbed an ethical dilemma by the horns with an appeal for funds to save Germany's last Nazi era church. The building's interior is full of Third Reich symbols. The aim is to turn it into a place of remembrance. The stark entrance hall is lit by a black chandelier in the shape of an iron cross. The pulpit has a wooden carving of a muscular Jesus leading a helmeted Wehrmacht soldier and surrounded by an Aryan family. The baptismal font is guarded by a wooden statue of a stormtrooper from Adolf Hitler's paramilitary Sturmabteilung (SA) unit clutching his cap.
A copy of "Mein Kampf" personally belonged to Hitler?
Gentile's students had written the German government in researching whether a copy of "Mein Kampf" personally belonged to Hitler. The leatherbound book reportedly was taken as a souvenir when American troops advanced into Berchtesgaden, at the close of WWII. A Wisconsin soldier from the 101st Airborne had loaned the book to Gentile's students. Janssen possesses the book and now wants to sell it. The letters could help boost the book's value, he said.
Enigma project cracks second nazi code
Online codebreaking enthusiasts working to solve a series of German WWII ciphers have cracked the second of 3 codes. They were sent in 1942, during a period when the Allies were unable to crack German codes because of the introduction of a new code book and a more complex version of the Enigma machine. The first code was cracked on 20 Feb, and was confirmed as a message from the commander of a German U-boat, Kapitanleutenant Hartwig Looks. The second resolved code was less dramatic than the first, which detailed the aftermath of a clash with an Allied vessel.
Special Forces officer who won the Military Cross
Lieutenant David Sutherland and Royal Marine John Duggan were the only two to return from Operation "Anglo", a raid on the Italian-occupied island of Rhodes by the Special Boat Service in Sept 1942. The SBS team was pursued relentlessly; it had attacked two airfields and destroyed aircraft positioned to support Rommel’s threatened advance on Cairo and to bomb supply convoys to beleaguered Malta.
Leading ladies of the Third Reich
Austrian historian Anna Maria Sigmund succeeds revealing the brutal insensitivity of the leaders of the Third Reich. She writes about Magda's fury upon discovering that the fuehrer had brought his mistress, Eva Braun, to the Nazi party convention in Nuremberg in Sept 1935. Magda had always thought of herself as the only woman worthy of Hitler's attention. Three months earlier, miserable over Hitler's indifference toward her, Braun had attempted suicide for the second time. She swallowed 20 sleeping pills, but was saved by her sister, Ilsa Braun, who was returning a dress she had borrowed.
China Hails a Good Nazi who shielded more than 200,000
69 years ago the courtyard of two-story brick building was filled with Chinese seeking refuge from Japanese troops who were rampaging through the China's capital. The invaders subjected Nanjing to a 6-week reign of terror, killing large numbers of unarmed Chinese soldiers and murdering and raping thousands of civilians. The property was the home of John Rabe, a Nazi Party member and employee of Siemens. In addition to sheltering people in his own compound, Mr. Rabe led a score of other foreigners in the city to form an international safety zone that shielded more than 200,000 Chinese.
Boy's pancake breakfast delayed the end of WWII
On Aug. 14, 1945, Jones, a 16-year-old messenger in Washington, D.C., was entrusted to deliver to the White House the cable announcing Japan's surrender to the United States to end WWII. Unaware of his cargo's import, the boy, in cavalier teenage fashion, put work on hold to eat pancakes at a diner, hang out with his friends and flirt with waitresses. Meanwhile, President Truman and his inner circle waited for the note that would change history.
FBI Returns German Paintings US troops Stole in WWII
They were casualties of war—three nineteenth-century oil paintings that went missing from a German air-raid shelter during the waning days of WWII. September 19, 1945: The Pirmasens Museum reports that "about 50 paintings which had been stored in the air-raid shelter at Husterhoh School during the war have been lost during the arrival of the American troops on March 22, 1945." The works were later smuggled to the U.S. by unknown individuals.
Nazi's secret atom bomb project - Ferry with a cargo of "heavy water"
The outcome of WWII was in doubt in 1942 and ’43, and would certainly have been influenced by a Third Reich with atomic weapons capability. One of the most daring resistance operations was the 1944 sinking of a Norwegian ferry with a cargo of so-called "heavy water" destined for the Nazi’s secret atom bomb project. Hitler’s Sunken Secret documentary includes first-person interviews with survivors aboard the ship and the sole living Norwegian saboteur who helped to sunk it. A salvage expedition team explores the bottom of a Norwegian lake with a remote-operated vehicle in order to find the sunken ferry and haul up one of its long-lost barrels.
Film examines religious leaders’ support of Nazi Party
In 1933, when Adolf Hitler rose to power, many of Germany’s religious leaders viewed the Nazi Party as a vehicle for the country’s spiritual revival. Three men in particular *— all prominent Protestant theologians — saw Hitler’s ascent to power as God’s blessing. Paul Althaus, Gerhard Kittel and Emanuel Hirsch eventually joined the Nazi Party and to varying degrees rationalized Hitler’s killing of millions of European Jews. The movie is based on Robert P. Erikson’s book “Betrayal: German Churches and the Holocaust.”
Patton: Black soldiers cannot fight - ended up needing them
Laurel, James B. Jones joined the U.S. Army and became a part of one of the few black combat units fighting Nazis shortly after the June 6, 1944, D-Day landings at Normandy. The German POWs were treated better than black soldiers: "They could ride on buses and were accepted much more quickly than we were." Gen. George S. Patton who lost so many tanks trying to break out of Normandy during the weeks following the invasion, ended up calling up the all-black tank battalion, 761st. This was despite the outspoken general's earlier assertion that black soldiers couldn't fight.
The Port Of Last Resort - The free city of Shanghai
Documentary - The Port Of Last Resort: In 1938, as the noose began to tighten around them, German Jews began casting about for anyplace where they could find refuge. For about 20,000 of them that place turned out to be the city of Shanghai. Up until 1941, prior to Japan's entry into WW2, Shanghai remained a free city, which meant there was no need of passports, visas, or entry stamps, to gain admittance. All you had to do was be able to get there. Shanghai's unique situation came about as a hold over of colonial times.
Tug of history - Supporting the invasion of Iwo Jima
Glenn Fox joined the Navy in 1943 and was assigned to the Zuni - one of 67 fleet tugs the Navy commissioned to tow, salvage and rescue other ships. Fox was on board for all the action the Zuni saw in WWII: supporting attacks on Luzon and Formosa; rescuing the USS Reno after it was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine; Iwo Jima, where it would assist huge landing ships (LSTs) ashore to unload their tanks. At one point the Zuni's tow cable got caught in its propeller, causing it to wash up on shore sideways, and on top of a tank. During those days Fox saw Marines raising the U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi, a photograph of which would become the war's most lasting image.
In the bowels of Berlin's past - Nazi-era bunkers
Under modern buildings shooting skywards from Berlin's avenues and squares, the layered history of the city is being unpeeled by historians and archaeologists - with sometimes controversial results. From Nazi-era bunkers to Cold War nuclear fallout shelters, underground Berlin is now breaking surface - and serving as a growing tourist attraction. "Every time, the numbers we show round are growing," says Michael Foedrowitz, a historian and consultant with the Berliner Unterwelten, a group of historians, archaeologists and urbanists which has been opening up underground Berlin to visitors.
Stalin's shame wiped WWII's greatest battle from history
Few Westerners have heard of the greatest battle of WWII, fought on a scale never matched in western Europe. The Russians wrote the battle of Moscow out of their history books after their suicidal bravery smashed the myth of German invincibility. More than 7 million combatants took part, compared with the 4 million at Stalingrad and the 2 million at Kursk. The Soviet Union lost 926,000 soldiers killed, more than the British lost in all of WWI. Initially, the blitzkrieg attack left the Russians in disarray. The Red air force lost 1200 aircrafts on the first morning. Stalin retreated to his country house for 36 hours until his commanders demanded his return.
The hell of loving Hitler - Eva Braun
She was Hitler’s lover for 14 years. But few know the truth about Eva Braun. Now, private diaries reveal a woman in her sexual prime tortured by her passion for the Führer. Erich Kempka, Hitler’s personal chauffeur, called Eva Braun "the unhappiest woman in Europe". Albert Speer said: "Eva Braun will be a great disappointment to historians." Chroniclers of the Third Reich have followed like sheep. There has been little research into her life and until now she has been dismissed as a lightweight who was not worth investigating. As a result, Eva Braun has never been given credit for the skill with which she managed her role at the heart of Hitler’s private life.
226,000 people living who served in the siege of Leningrad
The mayor of St Petersburg has reminded the local legislature that there are still 226,000 people living who served in the siege of Leningrad during WWII. The 900 day siege by German and Finnish troops was unsuccessful, and Leningrad's defenders secured the northern flank of the Russian lines. 73 of these veterans are older than 100 years, but most were actually children during the siege. While 60% of the veterans are 70 years and older, 40% are younger. Everyone inside the city during the siege was under fire, and everyone helped with the defenses, even little children. Over a million Leningrad residents died during the siege, in addition to 300,000 soldiers.
Sisterhood of Spies - Women of the Office of Strategic Services OSS
A train will be carrying Japanese passengers and it is agents of the Office of Strategic Services' job to convince the Chinese to plant explosive coals before bailing out. It was one of the few experiences former OSS agent Elizabeth McIntosh shared at her book signing for "Sisterhood of Spies: The Women of the Office of Strategic Services." Women, she said, played an integral role in the intelligence agency, helping keep records and answer telephones and encode and decode messages. But there were handful that worked behind enemy lines.
With the U.S. Army’s 10th Infantry Regiment
Cliff Wilford’s military training included a 1941 march from Ft. Custer to Nashville, about 500 miles carrying 60-pound field packs. He traveled To Iceland in a 150-ship convoy in Sept 1941 shadowed by a "wolf pack" of German submarines. "I observed two of the torpedoes running side by side near the surface, missing by about 10 feet." In June 1944, Gen. George Patton came to North Ireland to give the troops a "pep talk." He made it plain that it was either kill or be killed. Wading ashore in Normandy, German artillery fired intermittently 24 hours a day. After being relieved by the Royal Scots Light Infantry Brigade, Wilford’s unit was ordered to relieve the 2nd Infantry Division, which was in danger of being overrun.
Anna Marly wrote the anthem of French Resistance
Anna Marly, who wrote the melody to the song that became the anthem of the French Resistance in WWII and whose whistling and singing on the radio were an inspiration to the anti-Nazi underground, died on Feb. 15 in Alaska. She wrote the melody to "Chant des Partisans," or "Song of the Partisans," which became an unofficial French anthem in the last years of WWII. Gen. Charles de Gaulle called Miss Marly the "troubadour of the Resistance."
Red Army phrasebook hints at plans to fight Hitler on British front
A newly discovered relic of the WWII shows how the Red Army was expected to take a no-nonsense attitude if they ever encountered English speakers. The Russian-English military phrasebook told officers how to interrogate English-speaking soldiers and civilians. But the date of the phrasebook's publication, summer 1940 - a year before the Soviets published their German phrasebook - is seen as highly significant. Some historians believe it adds weight to a controversial theory that Stalin would have sent troops to Britain if the Nazis invaded in order to open up a "Second Front" against Hitler.
Embarking on Hitler’s trail in Munich
Konigsplatz, in Munich, was Hitler’s favourite parade ground, a place to mass and strut helmeted troops in uniforms, military bands and swastika flags. Munich is intimately connected with Adolf Hitler’s youth and his life as a Nazi leader. Places in Munich associated with Hitler are quite popular with tourist. Visitors are curious to know where he lived, the restaurants he frequented, places where he delivered his fiery speeches, the place where the historic but failed political coup (the Putsch) took place and his Munich headquarters. In his autobiography, Mein Kamph, Hitler writes fondly about Munich.
Government not to deal with German war dead
The solution to the situation around the remains of German soldiers from WW2 that have been kept on the premises of a construction company in Usti nad Labem, north Bohemia, is within the remit of Usti Mayor Petr Gandalovic, Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek told. The government will not deal with the problem, said Paroubek. President Vaclav Klaus Klaus sent letters to the local development and defence ministers, as well as to the Prague and Usti nad Labem mayors, asking them to "jointly solve the intolerable situation."
Out of the ruins of Stalingrad - Life and Fate
Through the winter of 1942-43, Vasily Grossman reported from the craters and cellars of the Stalingrad front line as the besieged Russians turned the tide and encircled Hitler's forces. His writings made him a national icon. After the German surrender, Grossman rode west with the Red Army, providing the first and most authoritative eyewitness report from Treblinka. In May 1945 Grossman was at the Brandenburg Gate as Berlin fell. In Hitler's bunker he pocketed stationery from the Führer's own desk for souvenirs.
Massachusetts Man Who Participated In Liquidation of Warsaw Ghetto
A federal appeals court has affirmed a lower court ruling revoking the naturalized U.S. citizenship of a Massachusetts man Vladas Zajanckauskas based on his service during WWII in a Nazi unit that participated in the destruction of the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto in 1943. "The brutal destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, made possible by the active participation of Vladas Zajanckauskas and others, was one of the most infamous Nazi crimes of the Second World War," said OSI Director Eli M. Rosenbaum.
"Enigma Secret" - Fascinating account of Nazi code
The Nazis seemed to have it made with their Enigma Machine. It was a highly complex communication device that made it impossible for the good guys to decipher communications of the Third Reich. At least that's what the Nazis thought. In fact, three Polish mathematicians figured out the encoding device in 1933 and managed to keep their secret under wraps even after the invasion of Poland. The Poles supplied a duplicate of the Enigma to the British and French, and continued to decode vital information while moving around Poland and France to avoid detection. This documentary is an fascinating story of geniuses who also were extremely brave.
The only Medal of Honor recipient who refused to carry a weapon
The only conscientious objector to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor as a noncombatant in WWII has died. Desmond Doss Senior refused to carry a weapon during his wartime service as a medic. He was the subject of a 2004 documentary, "The Conscientious Objector," and a previously published book, "The Unlikeliest Hero. In 1945, Doss was invited to the White House to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Harry Truman for his bravery on May 5th, 1945. The 24-year-old medic stayed atop a cliff on the island of Okinawa, lowering down soldiers under Japanese attack.
D-Day invasion and Battle of the Bulge - 10 medals 60 years later
Leslie Harris parachuted through a hail of bullets in the morning darkness of D-Day — the pivotal invasion of France in WWII. The American soldier landed in an irrigation canal, found his Army regiment, and went on to fight for the liberation of France from Nazi Germany. Then came the invasion jump into Holland, where Harris was wounded by shrapnel. Then came the Battle of the Bulge. And then came a wait, nearly six decades long, for his medals. On Thursday Harris finally received 10 medals and awards for his service in WWII.
Woman recounts life in Hitler's Nazi Germany
Kristallnacht shattered what had been a near idyllic childhood for German-born Maria Jackson. "We got up the next morning and saw people going from shop to shop looting the stores. We were amazed that so much damage could happen over night. And from that day on, the Jews had to wear the yellow Star of David on their sleeves." Later Virtually everything became rationed - food, clothes, gasoline. Membership in the Hitler Youth was mandatory. There was an initial sense of security throughout the country largely because of the Siegfried Line, an almost 400-mile link of fortifications, bunkers and tank traps running along western border.
Ferocious fighting at the bunkers of Siegfried Line
Joseph Pitas was an Army infantryman in the 103rd Division, he landed in France the day after the Normandy invasion. From there, it was a two-year slog through Germany. He remembers walking much of the way. Pitas was wounded, suffering shrapnel wounds to his hand during ferocious fighting at the Siegfried Line, a defensive system of bunkers and tank traps. "We were pinned down for two months," Pitas recalled. A shell went off close enough to Pitas to burst his eardrums. He bled from the ears and suffered permanent hearing loss, but remained in battle.
Life after wartime - Photos and writing reveal the emotions
John Swope's photos and writing reveal the emotions of the victors and the vanquished in post-WWII Japan. WWII ended Aug. 15, 1945, when, reeling from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Emperor Hirohito announced Japan's surrender. Two weeks later, the U.S. Navy, deployed its first boat to the Japanese shore to begin the liberation of prisoners of war. Among the handful of officers aboard this boat was photographer John Swope. Swope's record of this landing and of the three weeks he spent touring camps around the country are resurfacing now in an exhibition at the UCLA Hammer Museum — "A Letter From Japan: The Photographs of John Swope."
Yankee Samurai who was wounded during a kamikaze attack
In Jan 1942 Spady A. Koyama walked into Selective Service office, and was told: "Go home. We're at war, you know." He was told that he "looked like the enemy." Koyama was allowed to enlist when the Army learned that he wrote and spoke Japanese fluently. He went into Army intelligence and he interrogated Japanese prisoners in General Douglas MacArthur's headquarters. He became a member of the "Yankee Samurai," U.S. soldiers of Japanese descent in WWII. In 1944, Koyama took part in the invasion of the Philippines and was badly wounded during a kamikaze attack.
Fighting Past Battles: documentary about Baltic Nazi collaborators
Nazism, Baltic-Style - Is a controversial russian documentary about the Baltic pro-German collaborators. The Latvian Waffen SS (the Latvian Legion) was formed while the country was occupied by Nazi Germany. In 1943-44, about 150,000 Latvians were conscripted in a last-ditch effort to stave off the Red Army. In interviews mixed with archival footage, the film examines the 15th and 19th police divisions, voluntary units that were integrated into the legion. The film features testimony from former volunteers, one of them says: "I have never been a member of the Waffen SS. When I enlisted, I was told I would serve in the Grenadier Guards."
Americans during Battle of the Bulge: "We figured we’d end up in the North Atlantic"
A 358-foot-long barge docked at the port of Antwerp, after dodging torpedoes 60 days across the stormy ocean. But Barton Smithey and Glen Alleman Jr. didn’t think they would be staying in Antwerp for long. On Dec. 16, 1944 – just a week earlier, Adolf Hitler had thrown the last of his armed forces into a last-gasp battle. At the start of the surprise attack, dozens of U.S. Army units were pushed back west to the English Channel by German panzer tank battalions. At the time, in the midst of confusion, panic and the fog of war, there was no relief in sight. "We just figured we’d end up in the North Atlantic," Smithy said. Alleman nodded his head silently in agreement.
The world’s most famous living Nazi hunter - Serge Klarsfeld
Serge Klarsfeld is probably the world’s most famous living Nazi hunter, credited with having brought to justice war criminals ranging from Maurice Papon to Klaus Barbie; convinced the president of France, Jacques Chirac, to acknowledge his country’s complicity in the deaths of some 80,000 Jews. Klarsfeld and his equally motivated wife, Beate, a German convert to Judaism, are best known for their quest in tracking down "desk murderers" – French and German officials who signed orders to arrest and deport Jews in France during the German occupation.
German ex-politician and Wehrmacht officer on trial for war crimes
Klaus Konrad is accused of taking part in the so-called "Massacre of San Polo", in which German soldiers rounded up and murdered 61 civilians from two small villages as part of a reprisal against partisan resistance fighters. The victims of the 1944 massacre reportedly included a sexually- abused pregnant woman, children and elderly people. Also facing murder charges in the same trial is former Wehrmacht officer Herbert Handsck. The former Nazi major, who along with Konrad and a third man is accused of ordering the massacre.
Mussolini's villa, secret bunker go on display
Villa Torlonia, the 19th-century Villa of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, opens to the public for the first time, allowing visitors to see his elegant frescoes, intricate chandeliers and his hidden bunkers and anti-gas chamber. Mussolini, who lived lavishly and entertained guests at the Rome residence, built the underground chambers to protect himself and his family from possible air raids. Mussolini dug the bunker 23 feet deep, burying a 10-foot thick concrete box with bare cylindrical corridors and multiple escape routes.
The only American to rise from private to four-star general
Four-star Army Gen. Walter Krueger will be recognized for his heroism during Memorial Day weekend. The only American to rise from private to four-star general, Krueger was one of the major heroes of WWII, commanding the 6th Army under General of the Armies Douglas MacArthur in the most extensive series of amphibious operations in the history of the world. MacArthur declared Krueger to be “my very finest general” in the campaign to defeat the Japanese, who triggered WWII with their sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
Search of Nazi leader Hermann Goring's private train and safe
Alden Todd was a writer and WWII parachute infantryman whose wartime exploits included a search of Nazi leader Hermann Goring's private train. Because he spoke fluent French and knew some German, he was assigned shortly after V-E Day as a driver-interpreter in southern Germany, where Hitler and several high-ranking Nazis maintained vacation estates. A captain inspecting Goring's private train ordered Private Todd to translate documents found in the Nazi leader's safe. He told the captain that the documents were difficult to understand but that they had something to do with Germany's attempts to split the atom, an almost meaningless concept to the young soldier.
Lithuanian volunteer of secret police on trial for WW2 killings
Algimantas Dailide, who could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted, admits volunteering for Lithuania's Nazi-backed secret police, the Saugumas, but says he was a mere clerk. His accusers say he is one of the last surviving links with the genocide which all but wiped out Lithuania's more than 200,000 Jews. Only 6%t of the country's Jews are estimated to have survived the war. "I never conducted interrogations but sometimes I was sent out to buy snacks," he told the court.
The Myth of US Prosperity During World War II
The main reason most people, including economists, think that the U.S. entry into WWII was good for the economy is that they compare the economy during the war with the economy during the Great Depression. On its face, this reasoning is plausible. But let's look more carefully at those numbers, beginning with the unemployment rate. The U.S. government imposed military conscription in 1940 and got the draft machinery moving early in 1942. Of the 16 million people who were in uniform at some time during WWII, fully 10 million were conscripted. In other words, they had "jobs" because the alternative was jail.
Currant - One of the RAF's most successful fighter pilots
Wing Commander "Bunny" Currant was twice awarded the DFC during the Battle of Britain when he was one of the RAF's most successful fighter pilots, being credited with destroying at least 13 enemy aircraft. Currant achieved his first success on August 15 1940, the day the Luftwaffe mounted its biggest raid against the north of England. In a co-ordinated attack, large formations of bombers attacked from Norway and Denmark and were intercepted by the few RAF fighter squadrons. Currant shot down two Heinkel bombers and probably destroyed a third. The Luftwaffe's losses were so high during this raid that they never returned in force to the north.
Merchant Marine: Memories from Murmansk and Antwerp
"Our convoy to Russia consisted of 32 cargo ships; 40 destroyer escorts, two cruisers, a battleship and an aircraft carrier and we still lost 5 ships during the crossing," Perman said. On top of that, as the convoy pulled out of the Russian port of Murmansk, the Germans managed to sink two more cargo ships in the harbor entrance. All the way to and from Murmansk, our convoy moved along the Norwegian coast, trying to lure the Graf Spee out to fight - it stayed away but German submarines made the trip dangerous. "I saw a lot of our ships take torpedoes," Perman said. On the trip to Murmansk, we had steam locomotives tied down on the deck to deliver.
Veterans tracked down old plane used by his regiment
WWII paratroopers Elmo Bell and Daryle Whitfield have known each other for years and shared stories about their harrying experiences over the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. "We knew the rusting shell of a plane was there, but the likelihood of it carrying someone from my company seemed impossible," Bell said. Wise believes the plane was assigned to the 309th squadron of the 315th Troop Carrier Group that flew the 1st Battalion of 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment into Ste. Mere Eglise. That was the same battalion Bell was with.
A huge Nazi gun filled 16 rail cars
Ed Smith and his buddies weren’t the ones who stopped a huge Nazi railway gun that could have wiped out London, but they recognized history when they saw it. Soldiers in the Army’s "C" Battery, 182nd Field Artillery Battalion, came upon the behemoth — so large it filled 16 rail cars — in Northern France, after an Allied air attack had stopped it in its tracks. If it had been installed as planned on the French seacoast and aimed at England, its 50-mile range could have destroyed that city.
David Seymour photographed war damage more than battles
Never aspiring to be a battlefield photographer like his friend Robert Capa, David Seymour instead often focused his lens on those left in the wake of war. He covered the Spanish Civil War from the losing side, landed in France soon after D-Day and died when his jeep was attacked in 1956 near the Suez Canal. Born David Szymin in Warsaw, Seymour acquired the nickname Chim - pronounced Shim - from French efforts to pronounce his family name. He gained U.S. citizenship during the WW2 and changed his name to Seymour, fearing Nazi reprisals against his parents. They died in a Jewish ghetto in German-occupied Poland.
Oswald Mosley was a financial crook bankrolled by Nazis
Oswald Mosley and his British Union of Fascists received huge sums of money from Hitler to fund their pre-war activities, a book to be published reveals. In his book, Blackshirt, Mr Dorril shows that Mosley received money in cash, carried in by a man known as "Agent 18", who was almost certainly Franz Wrede, a henchman of Josef Goebbels. Mr Dorril quotes extracts from the recently published diaries of Goebbels. "Mosley needs money," Goebbels recorded in 1937. "Wants it from us. Has already had £2,000 [£78,000 at today's prices]. £100,000 [£3.4 million] necessary. £60,000 [£2.04 million] promised. Must submit to Fuhrer."
Japanese Corporations Turning a Blind Eye to History
Just as Nazi Germany did in Europe during WW II, Imperial Japan made extensive use of forced labor across the vast area of the Asia Pacific it once occupied. Today, however, Japan’s government and corporations are dealing with the legacy of wartime forced labor very differently than their German counterparts. This article examines the corporate counter-offensive to reparations claims for Chinese forced labor in Japan.
Paintings recall California internment camp
The Lost Mountain resident made some of his most evocative paintings as a teenager in a camp known as Tule Lake. The Modoc County, Calif., compound was hastily built during WWII, after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, forcing the evacuation of 120,000 Japanese-Americans. More than two-thirds were U.S. citizens. Tamura was among the children sent to what would later be called "America's concentration camps." He was 13 when he went with his family to Tule Lake, a desolate 26,000 acres of barracks, barbed wire and guard towers.
D-Day + 62 Years: Rhode Island Veterans Return to Normandy
Richard Fazzio invades France for the third time. "Remember the beginning of Saving Private Ryan?" he asks. "It was exactly like that, only worse." He is one of five men from Rhode Island who will go back to France this week with Tim Gray and cameraman Jim Karpcichik to talk about what they did there on and around June 6, 1944. And on D-Day, he says, he won the "lottery." He was sent in in the first wave. And he saw soldiers shot down all around him before he was shot in his armpit. The bullet went out through his back.
American in a Canadian artillery unit in 1916
In 1916, while the young men of Europe were in the trenches, the US remained at peace. However, some Americans volunteered to serve in the armed forces of Great Britain, France or Canada. One such individual was Paul Didier who served in a Canadian artillery, First brigade. 1916 edition of the Herald Review carried the following story: "Paul N. Didier is home from the battlefields of ‘somewhere in France,’ for a six week furlough. Mr. Didier was injured by having a transport wagon run over him, crushing some of his ribs and otherwise injuring him."
Germany’s Foreign Intelligence Agency Turns 50
The Germany's foreign intelligence service, BND, says it delivers information that others don't. Over its 50-year history, it has employed former Nazis and received much bad press, but has often proved it does good work. Even the birth of the BND 50 years ago provides grounds for critique. Originally designed as an agency to help American secret services, it was first called the Gehlen Organization, named after the former Nazi-era Major General Reinhard Gehlen, who led the agency at the start.
Survivor to speak at Holocaust event
In 1941, at the age of 13, Martin Lowenberg and his family, including his 7-year-old twin brothers, were taken from central Germany to Riga, where they were interned in a ghetto for two years until Lowenberg and his sister were taken to the Kaiserward concentration. Lowenberg said it was at the Auschwitz concentration camp that his twin brothers were "most definitely" handed over to the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele, also known as the "Butcher of Auschwitz," and the "Angel of Death."
Okinawa - Often overlooked final battle of World War II
Veterans of all military branches gathered to celebrate what they all had in common: memories of the Battle of Okinawa, an 82-day battle in which more than 250,000 civilians and troops lost their lives. "Once a Marine, always a Marine. The love for (my) comrades and our nation keeps me returning every year," William Henry Honchell said. L-Day was the day 183,000 US troops stormed the beaches of Okinawa. A faked landing by the Second Marine Division drew Japanese troops to the southern tip of the island. One problem during the 82-day battle was rain: 10 inches fell in 10 days during early May. The thick mud meant many supplies had to be delivered hand-over-hand.
Warplanes' farewell to last operational Battle of Britain airfield
Three of the 20th Century's greatest war planes flew in tribute as pilots bade farewell to one of Britain's most famous RAF bases. RAF Coltishall, near Norwich, is the country's last operational Battle of Britain airfield. RAF Coltishall - motto Aggressive in Defence - was built in 1939 and became a fighter station the following year. It has been in the front line of Britain's air defences ever since. The station is due to close later in the year. The RAF had also planned flights by a Spitfire and Hurricane - but officials said high winds made it unsafe for the vintage aircraft to take off.
For sale: Car given by Mussolini to Hitler's Third Reich
Two history-laden cars will be auctioned, including the only official vehicle used by the two presidents of France's post WWII fourth republic and a car given by Mussolini to Hitler's Third Reich. Lovingly maintained and in perfect working order is a 1938 Lancia Astura, one of four vehicles ordered by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini as gifts for Germany's Third Reich government. This car was used by Magda, wife of Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler's propaganda minister, who sent it to Mercedes to have the original cream-coloured interior changed to red.
Veteran's spy tales have left him out in the cold
Reg Newton claimed a colourful military past -- serving as a secret agent during the Cold War, being decorated by King George VI and throwing one Military Cross into the Thames -- but he has gone to ground as his record comes under scrutiny. Many still do not know, after evidence emerged that Reg Newton was never a major, never won a Military Cross and never served overseas. His service record shows he spent 1149 days in the Citizens Military Forces, enlisting and leaving as a private.
WWII Diaries - New Book by Reveals War's Daily Impact
Based on diaries kept by the author Irene Zarina White, Fire Burn tells in vivid detail the events that happened in Latvia and Germany between September 1939 and May 1946. Just two days after her graduation from the University the Soviet Union invaded her country, inflicting chaos and destruction. Irene and her mother "escaped" to Germany where they survived four terrifying years of Nazi oppression, injustice, bombing, and hunger. Within a six-year span they lived under four different governments: the Republic of Latvia, the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, and the United States Occupation.
Auschwitz escapee who alerted the world dies
Rudolph Vrba, one of five Jews who escaped from Auschwitz and delivered the first report about the shocking reality of the Nazi concentration camp to the Allied forces, has died in Canada at the age of 82. He managed to escape past Nazi guards in April 1944 with his compatriot, Alfred Wetzler. They then delivered a detailed, eyewitness account about Auschwitz, considered the first document to have alerted the outside world and Jewish leaders about the workings of the death camps. The report was was initially given to Hungarian Jewish leaders and was in the hands of the Allies by June 1944.
Diary fragment: Meetings with Hitler, Mussolini and future Pope Pius XII
In May 2003, a Washington lawyer was cleaning her basement when she came upon fragments of an old diary. Where was the rest of the journal? It would take an archivist at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum months to find the answer. Stephen Mize discovered a treasure trove: more than 10,000 pages of meticulous entries chronicling one man's desperate attempts to help Europe's Jews escape the Nazis. McDonald diaries details meetings with Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini as well as with Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, the man who would become Pope Pius XII, Mize said.
Documentary: Jewish refugee who became a translator at trials
It couldn't have been easy for Howard Triest to keep his emotions in check as he questioned Hermann Goering, Joachim von Ribbentrop and the other Nazi leaders in their Nuremberg jail cells. After all, if Triest had not fled Germany as a teenager in 1939, he likely would have been sent to a death camp, as his parents were. In 1945, Triest was hired to serve as a translator during the Nuremberg war crimes trials. Triest never lost his composure during his many conversations with the defendants. Not when Julius Streicher, the founder of the notorious anti-Semetic newspaper Der Stuermer, mistook Triest for an Aryan and told him that "I can smell a Jew from a mile away."
Time to remember the Hurricane - Overshadowed by Spitfire
France had surrendered. Britain stood alone. Hitler's invasion barges were massing across the Channel. Once the German Luftwaffe had knocked out the RAF, the Nazi invasion could begin. Hurricanes equipped more squadrons, scored more "kills," and brought more wounded pilots safely home than any other RAF fighter. And yet then, as now, the Hurricane was overshadowed by the glamorous Supermarine Spitfire.
UK plans to "forcibly" employ German scientists after WWII
The UK drew up plans to "forcibly" employ leading German technicians and scientists after WWII to prevent them working for the Russians. There were fears the Germans could help the Soviet air force become the most powerful in the world, papers released by The National Archives reveal. About 100 ended up agreeing to work for the UK government in 1946 and 1947. The so-called denial policy was first drawn up in the summer of 1946 and highlighted over 1,500 German scientists and technicians formerly involved in wartime research.
S. Korea Blasts Japan Over WWII History Whitewashing
The South Korean government denounced Japan for "whitewashing, distorting and glorifying" its militarist past after Japanese officials ordered a series of controversial new changes to high school textbooks. Japan's Education Ministry requested revisions to 55 textbooks in an effort to avoid student "misunderstandings." The revised books clearly label disputed territories as Japanese territory. Also, references to the 1937 Nanjing Massacre were changed to indicate the number of people killed by the Japanese may have been less than the 300,000 victims claimed by China.
Auction for a wartime German Enigma encoding machine
Bidders in an Internet auction are offering more than 13,000 euros ($15,600) for a wartime German encoding machine, similar to ones whose messages were cracked by British code breakers in WWII. The portable Enigma encryption machine made in 1941 has a keyboard and a series of rotors designed to scramble messages. "We've had it inspected by an expert who said that due to its good condition it looks very likely to have been in German state ownership at the time."
Hitler's British Slaves - Slavery under the Third Reich
The Third Reich was not famous for following the rules, but what is not widely known is that under Geneva Convention Article 27 all able-bodied prisoners below the rank of corporal were obliged to work. And boy did they work: in farms, factories and mines, and clearing bombsites under conditions of unimaginable severity! That was the fate of 200,000 Commonwealth men captured between the defeat of the British Expeditionary Force and the war's end. George Marsden of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment: "A slave is someone who is made to work under threat to his life. We were given a bowl of soup and bread made from sawdust. It you didn't do as you were told you were shot."
Saving the Auschwitz Oven Factory - Holocaust History
For years, the Topf & Söhne factory which manufactured the Auschwitz ovens has been sinking into disrepair. The major hurdle to creating a memorial -- which would be the first such monument to industrial involvement -- is likely to be money. Topf & Söhne began life in 1878 as a company producing industrial ovens and brewery equipment, and later crematoriums. During WWII the Nazi SS needed an efficient method for the disposal of the corpses piling up as the mass murder accelerated. Soon, Topf & Söhne engineers were busy calculating the most efficient way to burn thousands of dead bodies -- some employees even visited camps to assist in the installation of the ovens.
Legendary soldier who led Canadian paratroopers on D-Day
[2006-03-30] [Canadian Press]
Brigadier James Hill, a legendary British soldier, died at the age of 95. Hill was one of the last men evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk and he was in the vanguard when the allies returned. On D-Day, Hill's 3rd British parachute brigade was scattered wide by contrary winds during the parachute drop. He gathered a group, which was strafed by their own aircraft under the illusion that anyone walking toward the landing zones would have been German. He was wounded in the right bum cheek. When asked why he wasn't evacuated to hospital, he said he hadn't trained the brigade for all that time in order to leave it in the midst of the action.
Ben Ferencz prosecuted the largest murder case in history
In 1947, Ben Ferencz prosecuted the largest murder case in history: the trial of the Nazi mobile murder units in Nuremberg. When US entered WWII, Ben fought as a foot soldier, but his background in law brought him to the allied forces tasked with liberating the camps. "We'd come into the camps with the tanks, the inmates are lying everywhere; you don't know if they are dead or dying. The inmates are catching the guards and beating them and burning them to death. It was my job to get in there and gather evidence." Ben realised that while the Nazis were to blame - ultimately war itself was the real cause of these atrocities. And the only way to avoid them was to make war illegal.
The Flying Typewriters - William Warren Wade
William Warren Wade was a war correspondent during WWII. Long before journalists were embedded with troops, he was among a group of 8 distinguished reporters selected in 1943 to fly with the 8th Air Force on bombing missions over Europe. The group was initially called "The Legion of the Doomed" and "The Flying Typewriters," but the reporters eventually settled on "The Writing 69th." Although the Writing 69th reporters were scheduled to fly on several missions each, the program came to an abrupt end when a reporter died in a midair explosion after his plane was attacked by German fighters.
Triumph of the Will: Special Edition
"One people! One leader! One Reich! Germany!" - crowd during the Reich Labor Service review. Leni Reifenstahl's 1934 Triumph of the Will, is considered a propaganda masterpiece. Featuring powerful cinematography and editing, the film builds an image of a charismatic leader contradictory to his later actions. We see the adoration of his public, the respect by his subordinates, and the strength with which he would lead Germany into their future. The techniques and imagery would serve as example, and her influence can be found in many modern productions, from political campaign ads to the closing ceremonial scenes in Star Wars.
Tale of a dark genius: Riefenstahl drama does justice to her talent
Hitler called her, "My perfect German woman." Her works are still studied in film courses all over the world. Leni Riefenstahl stands as one of the great figures of ambiguity of the 20th century. As Hitler observes in Mieko Ouchi's powerful new play, The Blue Light, "You made a masterpiece that even our enemies must admire." Riefenstahl was a dancer who became an actress after an accident ended her dancing career. She brought a ferocious dedication to her new craft, moving quickly to become a director - Her most famous film was The Blue Light. Hitler loved the film and sought her out to chronicle the rise of the Nazi party.
Pilot who escaped 7 times from prisoner of war camps died
A Second World War pilot who escaped seven times from prisoner of war camps has died aged 102. Friends said Sqn Ldr Eric Foster was part of the inspiration behind Steve McQueen's character in the film The Great Escape. As a flight lieutenant with 38 Bomber Squadron, Mr Foster was shot down over Paris while flying a Wellington bomber in 1940 and captured by German troops. Over the next four years he escaped seven times from prisoner of war camps, sometimes in a German officer uniform. At Spangenberg Castle, which was surrounded by a moat, he sneaked out disguised as a member of the Hitler Youth.
As child in Nazi-occupied Europe - Family friend of Anne Frank
Pieter Kohnstam vividly recalls when his family was fleeing Europe that he once slept in a place where Nazis tortured people. "It was full of blood and it was smelly and stinky. We slept on our raincoats and there was no place to clean our coats, and they were covered in blood." Kohnstam recounted how his parents fled to Amsterdam in the mid-1930s. While in Amsterdam, The Kohnstams became good friends with the family of Anne Frank, who at the time was living in the same building. It was Kohnstam's mother who suggested to Frank that she write her memories in a diary, he said.
Bernt Balchen: Rescue missions from Greenland
Norwegian Bernt Balchen was America's greatest Arctic expert of modern times, most notably he was the first pilot to fly across the South Pole. In WWI he served as a cavalryman in the Finnish Army, which fought against the Russians. In 1921, he became a pilot in the Norwegian Naval Air Force. At the beginning of the WWII, he spent the next two years building air bases in Greenland so that aircraft being ferried from the US to Great Britain would have airports to refuel. From a base in Greenland he flew many spectacular rescue missions, saving the lives of numerous U.S. flyers whose planes had gone down on the icecap.
"French Eichmann" Louis Darquier - Villain of Vichy France
By focusing on Louis Darquier, an overlooked villain of the Vichy regime who acted as Commissioner for Jewish Affairs, biographer Carmen Callil says she used the "underbelly of history" to expose the truth. In 1978, Darquier gave an interview to "L'Express" in which he called the Holocaust a "Jewish invention" and said the reason for the gas chambers was to get rid of lice. In the end the Vichy state deported 75,000 Jews. Of 70,000 sent to Auschwitz only 2,500 survivors returned to France.
Lithuania: Nazi helper convicted, released
An 85-year-old Lithuanian deported from Florida was convicted of helping Nazis murder Jews during WWII, but the judge said the man was too frail to serve prison time. The Court said Algimantas Dailide helped round up Jews for the Nazis as a member of the Vilnius security police. "The defendant was fully aware he was committing crimes against Jews but did not personally take part in killings or torture," Judge said. Efraim Zuroff, from Simon Wiesenthal Center, criticized the court's decision: "Once again Lithuania proved that it is totally incapable of punishing its own Nazi war criminals."
Members of Waffen SS among Wehrmacht troops remains in Usti
Members of the Nazi SS are among the German troops buried in the Czech Republic and probably also among the remains of the soldiers temporarily buried on the premises of a construction company in Usti nad Labem, north Bohemia. "Along with Wehrmacht members, we have also exhumed and buried members of the Waffen SS," director Martinic told. He stressed that only remains of the Waffen SS members had been found, not those of the SS guards who were notorious for their brutality in extermination camps.
The Lost Life of Eva Braun - Frau Hitler for a mere 36 hours
Eva was - apart from Hitler's niece Geli Raubal, who, unable to cope with her uncle as both Führer and lover, killed herself - the only woman he allowed himself to love. She gave Hitler no children because he officially refused to marry because he was married to the Party, and, in reality, refrained from marriage because marriage in his society dictated children and he refused to breed because, while he disapproved of degeneracy and brought in eugenic laws to stamp it out, he knew his own family history was dangerously prone to a madness he did not wish to pass on or perpetuate.
Germany's war children scramble to find their American GI fathers
They were offspring of romance in the occupation era, born to German women who had flings with American GIs -- sometimes for love, sometimes for a moment's passion, and sometimes, in the hardest days immediately after WWII, for a few packs of cigarettes or a pair of nylon stockings. Johnny went marching home, often leaving no forwarding address or even a full name. Perhaps unaware of the pregnancy. His lover was left to face disapproving parents and neighbors. Or a German soldier-husband returning from the front.
Battle of Okinawa mass suicides recalled, debated
Masahide Ota fought as a member of a "Blood and Iron Corps" of students mobilised to defend the southern Japanese island against American invaders. As many as one-third of Okinawa’s inhabitants were killed in the battle, described by many historians as a doomed sacrifice ordered by Japan’s military leaders to delay an invasion of the mainland. Many civilians, often entire families, died in mass suicides, by some accounts at the order of fanatical Japanese soldiers. Ota and others argue that whether or not there was a direct military order to commit suicide is not the point.
Hitler's Third Reich and World War Two in the News
A daily edited review of Third Reich and World War Two related news and articles.
Nazis had "Einsatzgruppe Egypt" ready for Palestine
Nazi Germany planned to expand the extermination of Jews beyond the borders of Europe and into British-controlled Palestine during WW2, two German historians say. In 1942, the Nazis created a special "Einsatzgruppe," a mobile SS death squad, which was to carry out the mass slaughter of Jews in Palestine. They say "Einsatzgruppe Egypt" was standing by in Athens and was ready to disembark for Palestine in the summer of 1942, attached to the "Afrika Korps" led by the famed desert commander General Erwin Rommel. The Middle East death squad was to be led by SS Obersturmbannfuehrer Walther Rauff.
Trooper of the Japanese Imperial Army - Battlefield Kuala Pak Amat
At midnight on Dec 7, 1941, Japanese transport ships carrying 5,300 men had anchored off Kuala Pak Amat and Sabak beaches. By 12.25am the next day, the first wave of Japanese shock troops had landed and they were met by fierce resistance by the British units. The onslaught against Kuala Pak Amat was one and half hours before Japanese dive-bombers attacked on the US naval fleet at Pearl Harbour. "The battle was fierce ... to the extent that the water turned red due to blood from the bodies of dead soldiers." A monument to mark the first landing of Japanese invaders in the country may be be constructed soon, along with the conservation of 7 British war-time bunkers in area.
With the aim of wiping Hamburg from the map of Europe
In the summer of 1943, the Bomber Command of Britain's Royal Air Force began Operation Gomorrah, "5 major and several minor" aerial attacks on the city of Hamburg, "with the aim of wiping Hamburg from the map of Europe." Most of the bombs it dropped were incendiaries, "small bombs filled with highly flammable chemicals." The result was "the first ever firestorm created by bombing, and it caused terrible destruction and loss of life," almost entirely among civilians. At least 45,000 human corpses were found in the ruins, and more than 30,000 buildings were destroyed. Air Marshall Sir Arthur Harris "wanted to make a tremendous show" (the words are his own) in Hamburg.
Hit the silk: Tail gunner's harrowing story of B-17 combat
Nelson B. Brode Jr. was a tail gunner on a B-17 bomber in his 26th mission. The crew was to bomb the Japanese base of Gasmata and take some photographs. As the plane closed in on its target: "The ack-ack and pom-poms were filling the sky around us," Brode wrote. The plane jerked violently and turned up on one wing. A side gunner reported a large hole in the wing. The plane dived and the electrical system quit working, but then the Flying Fortress leveled out. About 10 minutes later, Brode saw 12 Japanese fighters. The Zeros formed into 3 groups of four planes, and they attacked the B-17 in waves, riddling it with bullets...
Twin tyrants - Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia
The book "The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia" culminates in the explanation of how the industrial might of Russia (supported by Allied material aid) outstripped Albert Speer's vaunted miracles of wartime production. As the war proceeded, Hitler took control of virtually all of Germany's tactical and strategic decisions, divesting himself of experienced generals like Manstein and hamstringing his general staff. Stalin, on the other hand, realized the military arguments put forward by a Marshal Zhukov were sounder than his own judgments and left the conduct of the war to his many talented generals.
War Lives On at Museum of the Biological warfare experiments
Exhibit shows Japanese biological warfare experiments carried out on thousands of Chinese prisoners from 1939 to 1945. Researchers estimate 3,000 Chinese were killed and 300,000 sickened by the hideous wartime experiments. In the case of Unit 731 much of the picture was blurred until the 1980s and 1990s, when documents uncovered in Japan, China and the US gave scholars a better idea of what went on. Some Chinese prisoners were dissected live and without anesthetic, for instance, while others were cremated before they were dead.
"German Village" in Utah may soon collapse
Franklin D. Roosevelt suggested building it. It was designed to match structures in Nazi Germany. Utah prisoners helped construct it quickly. Then the Army hit it for years with incendiary bombs, flame-throwers and chemical-agent tests. Now, "German Village" — where the Army tested how weapons would work on German architecture and materials during WWII — is finally about to collapse. The Army is proposing to let it do so, rather than repair it to allow its inclusion on the National Register for Historic Places.
Auschwitz escapee who provided the first eyewitness evidence
Rudolf Vrba, who as a young man escaped from Auschwitz and provided the first eyewitness evidence not only of the magnitude of the tragedy unfolding at the death camp but also of the exact mechanics of Nazi mass extermination, died. His greatest importance is as an author of diagrams of gas chambers and crematories. With specificity gained from camp jobs that gave him unusual access to various corners of Auschwitz, Dr. Vrba told the unknown truth about it. The report became known as the Auschwitz Protocol. When parts of it were released in the summer of 1944, the US government endorsed it as true.
Pope became priest because of Nazis
Pope Benedict XVI said he became convinced he should become a priest to help confront what he called the "anti-human culture" of the Nazis in his native Germany. Benedict was enrolled in the Hitler Youth as a teen and later deserted from the German army near the end of World War II.
Sketches capture the raw emotions of 19-year-old infantry serviceman
There is a famous drawing by Bill Mauldin, where two officers are gazing at spectacular mountain scenery and one turns to the other and says, "Beautiful view. Is there one for the enlisted men?" Sergio Bonotto laughs so hard remembering the cartoon that tears start to flow. He and his fellow GIs witnessed equal opportunity misery — waiting around for something to happen or trudging through the mud, rain and cold and early spring near Dusseldorf. Because his Army experience was so intense, he carried a notebook and pencils with him, and whenever he could he sketched scenes that recaptured moments of his life in the infantry.
Maori Battalion Voices Heard Again - Historic CD
It could have been called 'the singing Battalion'! When the soldiers of the Maori Battalion sailed for the Second World War, they took with them songs that embodied the love and prayers of those at home. The National Library of New Zealand will soon release an historic CD featuring recordings of the Battalion while it was overseas. Also included are rare recordings by the Battalion's 1st Reinforcements during a farewell concert, including a message previously not known to have existed from Princess Te Puea Harangi.
Remains of Wehrmacht soldiers to be transported from Usti soon
The remains of the German Wehrmacht soldiers that have been deposited in a construction company's store in Usti nad Labem, will be transferred to some of the Czech military districts in the days to come, Usti Mayor Petr Gandalovic told. Representatives of the Usti municipality, the Defence Ministry and the German People's Association Caring for German War Graves have agreed on the transfer. Some of the Usti remains are those of soldiers who were members of SS units.
Building model airplanes for 70 years, including Hitler's yacht Griselle
John Muro's tiny workshop is filled with model airplanes. There are squadrons of P-51 Mustangs, along with a number of B-25 Mitchell bombers, a couple of B-26 Martin Marauders, Corsair F4Us and P-47 Thunderbolts. He has built many German ME-109 fighters and a number of Folk-Wolf 190 fighters. In his living room is the creme de la creme of his models: Adolf Hitler's yacht, "Griselle," which he made from the original plans. It was built in 1934 at the Blohm & Voss shipyard, and used as a training ship for German naval cadets before it became Hitler's yacht. After the war it was sold to a Lebanese businessman George Arida. Eventually the vessel was sold for scrap.
Hitler's eight Nazi spies in the US during the summer of 1942
Transported by submarine, eight Nazi spies swept across the United States in the summer of 1942, targeting a series of rail lines, water channels and factories. The nearly successful terrorist attacks of 1942 have become a modern day obsession for Richard Cylinder. The FBI said the grandiose plans nearly succeeded, but a turncoat German agent George John Dasch sold his countrymen in exchange for a reprieve from execution. On the morning of June 17, 1942, Nazi spy Dasch placed a call from his Washington, D.C., hotel room to FBI headquarters, relealing the plot.
Art treasures and the Gestapo - The casket and the Nazis
For 25 years, this exquisitely enamelled medieval casket had been on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum. The casket was designed to hold the relics of Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury famously murdered in Canterbury Cathedral. Until one day Metropolitan police from the art and antiques squad arrived at the V&A Museum and seized it. This police action was prompted by a claim submitted by an aristocratic Polish family, the Czartoryskis, to the British Spoliation Advisory Panel, which is an independent body set up to help resolve cases involving cultural property lost - stolen or seized - during the Nazi era and later acquired by British museums.
WWII fighter pilot of the Wolf Pack soared into the record books
In the world of flying aces, Fred Christensen soared. Flying his P-47 Thunderbolt in WW II, Christensen scored 21.5 confirmed aerial victories. "His feat was matched by only a handful of U.S. Air Force aces," said Bill Deane. An ace, a fighter pilot who downed five or more enemy aircraft in air combat, Christensen shared one victory with another allied fighter. Christensen set many records, such as shooting down 6 German transport aircraft as they approached a Luftwaffe airfield in western Germany one day in July 1944. He flew with the 56th Fighter Group - nicknamed the Wolf Pack - under Col. Hubert "Hub" Zemke.
Tank battalion honored - Part of Bataan Death March
WWII veterans, including members of the Salinas tank company who fought in the Philippines and survived three years in Japanese prison camps, will gather to dedicate a monument to C Company of 194th Tank Battalion. The monument consists of a WWII vintage armored half-track and a plaque. With no chance of rescue or resupply, Bataan's 11,000 American and 66,000 Filipino troops were ordered to surrender by their commander, Maj. Gen. Edward P. King. Those who obeyed the surrender orders were marched 63 miles to a prison camp. An estimated 10,000 died on the way. Troops who weren't taken prisoner, fought as guerrillas in the Philippine jungle for the next 3 years.
Austria: 6,292 artworks looted by Nazis may be returned to owners
An Austrian advisory panel handling claims for paintings, sculptures and other items looted by the Nazis during the Second World War has recommended that 6,292 artworks be returned to their original owners, the culture minister said. Only about a dozen of the requests received through March 31 have been rejected. A website would be set up by the end of the year to help owners track down works they claim were confiscated by the Nazis. Austria's first postwar government also effectively confiscated hundreds of paintings from Jewish owners and their heirs, using a 1923 law preventing the export of artworks.
The ski industry came from the 10th Mountain Division
The portrait of a soldier with skis slung over his shoulder autofeeds to one's memory when thinking of ski pioneers. And, according to veterans, it wasn't until the WWII success of the 10th Mountain Division that skiing really skyrocketed in the US. -- "Living outdoors at 30-below-zero in six-foot snow drifts was rather difficult," **** Over said. "We had a series of simulated battle conditions at Camp Hale called the D series. Six feet of snow and 30 below. We were out for six weeks at a time living in that."
Who owns war loot of Gen. George Patton and Allied leaders?
Huntington's display: Original copies of the three Nuremberg Laws, signed by Hitler, including the infamous Blood Law of the Third Reich. The claim to ownership of the documents rests on the fact that they were a gift from Gen. George Patton. But the documents are war loot, a prize that wasn't his to take or give, and a piece of history whose own history needs to be cleaned up. Collecting battlefield trophies was common during WWII on all sides. Former President Hoover had a man in Germany seeking documents for him. Rabbi Judah Nadich, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower's advisor, took home a couple of Joseph Goebbels's swords. But Patton acquired more than most people.
P-51 Mustang ace: Shooting down Messerschmitt 262 jet fighter
WWII fighter ace Clayton Kelly Gross has published a memoir about his adventures shooting down six German airplanes as a P-51 Mustang pilot. His flight leader assigned Gross to fly low, luring German attackers so the rest of his outfit could shoot down the enemy fighters. On April 14, 1945, flying at 12,000 feet, Gross plunged his P-51 into a dive so he could boost his speed enough to catch a 100 mph faster Messerschmitt 262 jet fighter cruising below. The plummeting P-51 was shaking so badly that Gross almost couldn't control it. Nearly colliding with the 262, Gross squeezed the trigger in his control stick and shot it down.
Sweden's Lutheran church applied Nazi race laws
Sweden's Lutheran church applied Nazi race laws to stop Germans living in Sweden during WWII from marrying Jews. The Swedish state church applied German laws that forbade "Aryan" German citizens from marrying Jews, and stopped at least 5 such marriages from taking place. The church acted on the recommendation of the foreign ministry as Sweden, which was officially neutral, sought to appease Germany to stave off an invasion. More than 400 Swedes who married "Germans of so-called Aryan heritage" were forced to sign a written assurance that their parents or grandparents did not have Jewish roots.
Nina von Stauffenberg - Widow of Hitler "assassin" dies
Nina von Stauffenberg, widow of the aristocratic Nazi army officer who tried to kill Adolf Hitler with a briefcase bomb, has died. She was 92. Col. von Stauffenberg was one of the best known internal German resistance fighters during WWII, leading the failed attempt to kill Hitler with a briefcase bomb placed under a conference table on July 20, 1944. Four people died in the bombing, but Hitler was only superficially wounded after an aide moved the briefcase before it exploded. Von Stauffenberg, along with other members of the resistance, were shot and their families arrested by the Gestapo.
WWII relics fetch 180,000 euros at car auction
A French collector snapped up the only presidential car of France's Fourth Republic paying EUR 180,000 euros at an auction and keeping the vehicle in the country. A second car, given by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini to Germany's Adolf Hitler, was bought for the same sum by an anonymous US collector at auction. The car was used by Magda, wife of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister before being requisitioned at the end of the war by French General Francois de Linares, commander of the 2nd Mountain Infantry Division.
The United States Army's First Division -- the Big Red One
The United States Army's First Division -- the Big Red One -- has fought from the slaughter of WWI through the current carnage in Iraq. The division's museum at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, honors the Big Red One's record. The WWII displays had several uniforms, a few rifles and some helmets, but too many video screens and walls filled with dry text.
Photographs of Victims of UK's post war torture camp
Photographs of victims of a secret torture programme operated by British authorities are published for the first time after being concealed for almost 60 years. The pictures show men who had suffered months of starvation, sleep deprivation, beatings and extreme cold at one of a number of interrogation centres run by the War Office in postwar Germany. Believing that war with the Soviet Union was inevitable, the War Office was seeking information about Russian military and intelligence methods. Dozens of women were also detained and tortured, as were a number of genuine Soviet agents, scores of suspected Nazis, and former members of the SS.
How Lots of Little Nazis Turned Germany Into the Third Reich
Look at the little schoolgirls on the side of the road, crowding off the curb, waiting for the parade. See how happy they are. They are waiting for someone, who is probably riding in a big, open car. Perhaps it is Dr. Goebbels. Maybe it is the Fuhrer himself. The little schoolgirls are waving swastika pennants. It's hard to imagine a more perfect cover for "The Third Reich in Power" - the second volume of a planned trilogy on the Third Reich by historian Richard Evans.
Exhibit notes that German Americans were interned during WWII
An unusual museum is rolling around Wisconsin with a little-known story from wartime. Housed in a dark green bus, exhibits tell the tale of thousands of German Americans who were arrested and interned in Wisconsin and elsewhere during WWII. In Milwaukee German-born Anna Schafer was arrested on Dec. 9, 1941, with her infant son and taken away. Her husband Karl, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was investigated while she remained detained until April 1942. Although many people testified to the Schafers' patriotism and loyalty, she was embarrassed by her arrest and rarely discussed internment with her family.
Of all the Gaul: The mystery of the French
The French complain of everything. And always. No, George W. Bush didn’t say that – and neither did Winston Churchill. The author of that remark was a chap who knew les gens de la Republique better than most. His name was Napoleon Bonaparte. It seems that being a leader of the French is even more exasperating than merely observing them from afar. Somebody else once moaned "how can anyone govern a nation that has 246 different kinds of cheese?" His name was Charles de Gaulle.
Man seeks answers to mystery gun
Shrapnel rained down on James Aguilar as he furiously shoveled a foxhole in the woods of northern France. His orders were shouted by an Army sergeant: "Dig in! Dig in!" Clunk. His shovel hit something hard. Aguilar unearthed a strange package, quickly tossing it aside. It spilled open to reveal the dull gleam of a muzzle. Forgetting the bomb blasts for just a second, Aguilar pocketed a gun unlike any he'd seen before.
Amber Room hunt makes lake Toplitz the Tsar attraction
It was the most opulent of Tsar Peter the Great's rooms, brought to his new capital of St Petersburg on 18 horse-drawn wagons in 1716, a present from the King of Prussia. The fabulous Amber Room contained six tonnes of the precious resin and took 10 years for some of Europe's top craftsmen to complete. But more than 60 years ago it was plundered by Nazis as they stormed across Europe, never to be seen again. Now, after years of searching, a team of treasure hunters believe it is at the bottom of an Austrian lake. A group of American divers will today begin a £7 million project searching the 338ft-deep Lake Toplitz situated in the heart of Austria.
Kalashnikov, still selling weapons at 86
His most famous creation has sold 100 million copies, but at 86 Mikhail Kalashnikov, father of the assault rifle that bears his name, is still a busy man. Automatic weapons had been banned for the Red Army shortly before WWII by the deputy defence minister and in the climate of fear imposed by Stalin nobody dared challenge the ban. The prohibition went some way to explaining the defeat of the Red Army in Finland and its huge losses during the German offensive in 1941. He fought in WWII and was wounded in 1941. He was evacuated to the rear and began designing the assault rifle that in 1947 became the AK-47.
Even Hitler had to get expert help from Norway with his genocide
Historically, Norway has a gruesome track record of human rights violations. Prime victims have been the Sami people, the Romani people, War prisoners, children of German soldiers, the mentally ill and orphans. Even Adolf Hitler had to get expert help from Norway in implementing his genocidal programme. The Nazi’s had a problem killing the people on their hate list fast enough. The Norwegian company Norsk Hydro came to Hitler's rescue and manufactured the Zyclone B gas which was used in Nazi gas chambers. It was this methodology that increased the speed of Nazi genocidal programme. The majority shareholder of Norsk Hydro -- The Norwegian Government.
He launched daring escapes from German PoW camps 8 times
War hero Alfred Passfield launched daring escapes from German prisoner-of-war camps eight times in WW II. The courageous Digger told that he was constantly running escape plans through his mind while in captivity. Despite making friends in the camps, his escapes were all solo ventures. But Mr Passfield never made it out of Germany, though he was once on the run for three weeks and used stolen bicycles to make his escapes.
Toll the bell for 52 U.S. submarines lost during the war
The river turned another tale when about 30 people, including members of U.S. Submarine Veterans of WWII, gathered at the Southeast Missouri to dedicate a commemorative storyboard and toll the bell for 52 U.S. submarines lost during the war. Vance Combs said his reasons for volunteering to be a submariner were simple: ego and hazardous duty pay. Because only the top 5% were picked from U.S. Navy Radio School, it was an honor to be a part of this elite group responsible for "special missions," including conducting reconnaissance, landing guerrillas, laying minefields, searching for enemy minefields and rescuing aviators.
German teens ashamed of Nazi past
The atmosphere in the two-hour history class is more serious than usual. Today's lesson is National Socialism. My German classmates have a lot to share about the subject. We discuss the apathy of many German citizens of the WW II generation and many of my classmates refer to their own grandparents in examples. They speak about the Holocaust with shame, although they personally had nothing to do with it. They discuss the guilt German youth of today feel for simply being born German. Many think they should feel guilty as a means of preventing their nation's dark past from ever repeating itself.
Chechen Heroes of the Great Patriotic War
Almost 400 Chechens and Ingush took part in the heroic defence of the Brest Fortress. Machine –gunner Khanpasha Huradilov was posthumously awarded the "Gold Star Hero of the Soviet Union" having personally destroyed 920 fascists. Khakim Ismailov hoisted the banner above the Reichstag in Berlin. Cavalryman Movlid Visaitov was the first Soviet soldier to meet the American allies on the Elbe. There were around 20,000 – 40,000 Chechen front-line soldiers. However, today almost any Russian resident will tell you that the Chechens were traitors, that they waited for the arrival of the Wehrmacht and even got a white horse ready to present to Hitler.
An Enigma Machine For Every Budget
Cryptology and history buffs who missed a chance to buy a World War II-era Enigma machine on eBay have the option of building their own codemaking machine at home, from a kit. The Enigma-E Kit sells for about $210, and is available through the Bletchley Park Web site. Bletchley Park is the British National Codes Centre, where allied forces broke the German Enigma code during the Second World War. The machine auctioned on eBay sold for more than $30,000, substantially higher price than other recorded sales dating to the mid-1990s.
When orders for the battalion to withdraw were not received
In 1944 Major Tasker Watkins won the Victoria Cross - only the second Welshman in the WWII to do so. While commanding a company of the Welch Regiment, the battalion was ordered to attack objectives near Balfour. Company had to cross open cornfields in which booby traps had been set. The company came under fire, and the only officer left, Major Watkins, charged two posts in succession. When he found an anti-tank gun his Sten gun jammed, so he threw it in the German's face and shot him with his pistol. The company had only some 30 men left and was counter-attacked by 50 enemy infantry, and orders for the battalion to withdraw were not received by company...
Black Sunday - The greatest non-combat aviation loss in WWII
On April 16, 1944, Capt. Thomas Paschal and his B-24J crew vanished in the clouds. Paschal's Liberator and more than 300 other planes were returning from a bombing run over Dutch New Guinea during WWII when they ran into what one pilot called the "worst storm I ever saw." The bad weather gave the American planes a tougher fight than they had gotten from the Japanese, claiming 54 crew members and 37 aircraft. It was the Army Air Forces' greatest non-combat aviation loss in WWII. Thirty fighter and bomber crew members are still missing.
Protests over plan to honor Bavarian bishop with Nazi ties
Plans by the German Protestant Church to honor a former bishop known for his close ties to the Nazis have angered the country's Jewish community. The Church wants to hold a memorial service on June 8 for Hans Meiser, who historians have said made repeated anti-Semitic and racist remarks before and during the Nazi era. Meiser was leader of the Bavarian Protestant Church from 1933 until 1955.
German town postpones tribute to Nazi-era engineers
A German town has postponed plans to honor German aviation engineers Willy Messerschmitt and Claude Dornier -- known for their aircraft production in the Nazi era -- after protests. Dornier died in 1969; Messerschmitt in 1978. Historians say both aircraft engineers had close ties to the Nazi regime. The Luftwaffe used the Messerschmitt Bf 109 in the "Battle of Britain" while later models were used at the Eastern front against the Soviet Union.
For sale: 70 military vehicles and artillery pieces
When John Belfield takes his pride and joy for a cruise down his driveway, his neighbour complains that his house shakes. A 50-tonne Centurion main battle tank will have that effect. His arsenal includes WWII Matilda tanks with flame-throwers, an AC1 Sentinel and AC3 Thunderbolt tank, an M3 A1 Stuart tank, anti-aircraft guns, a mobile radar unit, a white half-track armoured vehicle and a Saracen armoured personnel carrier. His weapons are surrounded by searchlights, bugles, uniforms and gas masks. Plastic soldiers fight historic battles within glass cases.
The Master Plan: Himmler's Scholars and SS Ahnenerbe
"Nazi Science": the phrase sounds absurd. But for Heinrich Himmler, the stargazing Reichsfuhrer who ran the SS, Hitler's elite praetorian guard, Nazi science was going to build a future world full of genetically pure Aryans. Himmler insisted that science had to serve the Nazi party. He set up the SS Ahnenerbe institute to scientifically prove Nordic racial superiority. Himmler brought together a motley collection of fanatics, madmen and opportunists under the auspices of the Ahnenerbe. In its early stages, the institute sent archaeologists to search the globe for documentation of the origins of Nazism in a mythical ancient Aryan civilization.
Britannica Preps in-depth multimedia Holocaust Web Feature
As another Holocaust Remembrance Day rolls around April 25, Encyclopedia Britannica announced they were unveiling a new Web feature to "probe the history of the Holocaust, in which six million Jews and millions of others were killed by Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime during World War II." Dubbed "Reflections on the Holocaust", this multimedia loaded Web feature will debut in five parts later.
Escape maps and stamps for PoWs were hidden in prunes
An extraordinary collection of materials used to help prisoners of war and French Resistance fighters in occupied Europe is to go under the hammer. It includes two prunes of the original thousands used by the Special Operations Executive, Churchill's secret army of undercover agents, to smuggle miniature documents into PoW camps. The documents included intricate maps of continental railway networks, allowing PoWs to plan their escape. There were also accurate forgeries of official German rubber document stamps and elaborate plates used to forge "camp money" used by PoW officers to buy a limited range of goods.
They may have been shot by MI5 as a precaution if the Nazis had landed
Italian cafe owners, leaders of the Welsh Nationalist Party and an elderly nun were blacklisted as potential collaborators with Adolf Hitler in Wales. Historian Ivor Wynne Jones says the 156 people on the list would have been arrested and some might even have been shot as a precaution if the Nazis had landed in Britain. His book, Hitler's Celtic Echo, also suggests former Prime Minister David Lloyd George may have hoped to become Britain's puppet leader. The book features the full Welsh list of people regarded by MI5 as potential threats to British security after an invasion.
Bravery under fire - 7:40 a.m. Kiel, lots of flak, some fighters
A smudged and faded pocket calendar from 1944 bears evidence of the close encounters with death 1st Lt. He flew 33 missions over Germany, France and Normandy as the pilot of a B-17 bomber. Rudolph Smith experienced during WWII. "Over Paris we ran into heavy resistance both on the ground and in the air. When we got back to our base we counted 45 holes on the underside of our plane. Some of the holes were big enough to stick your hand in. It wasn't unusual for us to return from our mission with one or two engines out."
Unseen Anne Frank letters on show
A special exhibition of private letters written by Anne Frank has opened at the Amsterdam Historical Museum. Almost everyone is familiar with Anne Frank - the girl whose diary of life in hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam made her world famous. But now her private letters reveal more about her independent spirit. The exhibition shows photos of the Frank family home in Amsterdam before the Nazi occupation.
Commander who won a Military Cross at the Battle of Cassino
Lieutenant-Colonel Monty Ormsby, who has died aged 89, was a fighting commander of a very high order and won a Military Cross at the first Battle of Cassino and a Bar in Malaya. On the night of February 17 1944, the 1st Battalion (King Edward VII's Own) 2nd Gurkha Rifles was ordered to launch an attack in the hills north of Monte Cassino. The monastery had been destroyed by Allied bombing the previous day, but the Germans still held the area in strength. They were equipped with automatic weapons concealed in well-defended posts and covered by machine guns firing from enfiladed positions on both flanks.
Marlene Dietrich DVD: The Glamour Collection
With Marlene Dietrich: The Glamour Collection Universal taps into one of the biggest stars of the 1930s and one of the truly most glamorous women of the 20th century, a mysterious creature of a million male daydreams. Marlene Dietrich became the Trilby to Josef Von Sternberg's Svengali for a series of exotic romances. And she was one of the most beloved figures of WW2, reportedly associated with the song Lily Marlene by soldiers on both sides of the conflict in Europe.
WWII ace who flew with black cat dies at 84
To make a point to fellow fighter pilots in WWII, Col. Fred J. Christensen always flew with Sinbad, a stray black cat he had found. Seeing him return safe from combat missions — black cat and all — helped motivate the other pilots. And counter to traditional superstitions, Sinbad was very good luck for her father, who shot down 22 Nazi planes during the war, including six in a two-minute span of one air battle. Though he flew 107 combat missions against the German Luftwaffe, "he was a very humble man," his daughter said. "He didn't want to be known as a war hero."
Dodging depth charges aboard the U.S. Submarine Thresher
Unlike the air-and-ground war in Europe, the war in the Pacific was more a naval war. All the U.S. Pacific Submarine Fleet reported to headquarters in Hawaii. Due to the lack of advanced communication, the sub commander had a lot of autonomy. Patrols could last weeks, depending on fuel, torpedoes and damage sustained. On one patrol, the Thresher sank a big Japanese freighter. Unknown to the sub crew, a group of Japanese destroyers was nearby, soon pursuing the sub. For 18 hours the Thresher evaded the depth charges. On another mission, the Thresher was carrying 25 rangers, when it ran aground on a sand bar on the way and wouldn't come off...
Kokoda tale of the 39th Militia Battalion hits big screen
64 years ago, Australian soldiers from the 39th Militia Battalion carried their weapons and the hopes of their homeland into the Papuan jungle to confront a vastly superior Japanese force along the Kokoda Trail. At the start of the campaign, these militiamen were derisively called "chocolate soldiers". By the end, they were known as "ragged bloody heroes" for their part in stopping the Japanese advance. The world premiere of a film dramatising a small part of the Kokoda campaign finally reaches the big screen. But the movie's release has sparked a fresh skirmish over whether it really captures the spirit of Kokoda.
Veteran recalls cavalry, bombardier experiences
John Fisher found himself assigned as a cavalryman at Fort Riley, Kan. "Many of the guys in our unit didn't know one end of the horse from another," he said. ... "We had a wire-haired little puppy named Squinty who was our unit mascot. When a Dalmation dog attacked him one day, I skidded a garbage can lid at the bigger dog and chased him away." Unfortunately, the Dalmation belonged to Gen. Marshall and he had watched the whole scene from up on a hill. Fisher lost his stripes.
Bletchley Park Review - Project with the highest security rating
You may have read Robert Harris's book Enigma and seen the film of the same name, but to really appreciate the role of Bletchley Park in World War II, you need to actually visit the site. Bletchley Park was the most closely guarded and enduring secret of WWII. Code - named Station X, it was responsible for the interception and decoding of encrypted German military radio communication, including the famous Enigma code. The work at the Park was of such importance that it was given the highest security rating - ultra secret. Only four people, including Winston Churchill knew the entire truth.
Poland's bid to rename Auschwitz stirs controversy
A controversy has erupted over Poland's request to officially specify that the death camp Auschwitz was built and run during the WW2 by Nazi Germany. The Polish government's request to UNESCO for the name of the World Heritage Site to be changed to the "Former Nazi German Concentration Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau" has met with criticism from both the international Jewish community and Germany's Berliner Zeitung newspaper. Poland's request comes after a string of incidents over the last decade in which international media have mistakenly referred to the camp as "Polish" due to its location in Poland.
Hunting submarines during World War Two
Willis Vanasdale recalls when The USS Solomons went submarine hunting in the South Atlantic. In the summer of 1944, the Solomons' planes managed to locate and sink a German submarine. Vanasdale said he can actually see the photos of that attack when he calls up the history of the Solomons on his home computer. There are even photos of the submarine's 20 survivors being brought aboard the carrier after being plucked out of the sea by the Solomons' destroyer escorts. Later he was transferred to his final ship, which helped to train Navy pilots in the newest submarine detection system.
61st anniversary of Soviet storm of Konigsberg being marked
Kaliningrad is marking the 61st anniversary of the Soviet storm of Konigsberg. The third Belarussian front led by Soviet Marshal Alexander Vasilevsky defeated a 130,000 fascist force and seized the presumably invincible German fortress Konigsberg on April 9, 1945. Thousands of servicemen, who stormed Konigsberg, settled down in that city, which was transformed into Russia’s Kaliningrad.
The Search for the Long Island Hitlers - The Führer's half-brother
In "Little Willy," which Mr. Kassen researched and wrote over the course of six years, he plays William Patrick Hitler, born in 1911 to the Führer's half-brother, Alois, and an Irish woman named Brigid Dowling. Accurate as far as the evidence goes, and astutely imagined when evidence is lacking, "Little Willy" dramatizes the young man's attempts to trade on his family name, first as a salesman in prewar Germany, where he played up his closeness to the chancellor, and then on American lecture tours that advertised "his daring exposé of intrigue among the enslavers of Europe."
NZ World War II hero accused of murdering German soldiers
A New Zealand war hero has been accused of war crimes by murdering German soldiers in WWII while disguised as a Nazi paratrooper. Clive Hulme, who was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest British and New Zealand bravery award, killed German soldiers while dressed in a German paratrooper's smock duringthe 1941 Battle of Crete. Hulme's daughter Anita said that accusing her father of war crimes was unfair to his memory. She said the family was aware that her father had worn a German uniform as a way of infiltrating the enemy. "I didn't know it was against the rules of war. You do what you need to survive, don't you?"
War hero killed German soldiers while disguised as a Nazi paratrooper
A New Zealand war hero broke the international rules of combat by killing German soldiers in WWII while disguised as a Nazi paratrooper. The claim appears in a newspaper report about a new book. Alfred Clive Hulme was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest British and New Zealand bravery award, for his actions in the 1941 Battle of Crete. It is there that he killed 33 German snipers and other soldiers while dressed as a German paratrooper.
Stalin's strange victory - Moscow 1941: A City and its People at War
The Russian victory over the Germans was one of the most unexpected, almost preposterous, outcomes of the Second World War. Underprepared in every sense, Russia was completely overwhelmed. During the summer of 1941, the German army advanced 400 miles towards Moscow within three weeks. By the end of the year, it was within 15 miles of the Kremlin. Within days, however, it had retreated in defeat. Hours before German forces attacked, Stalin was convinced that there was no prospect of war: he threatened to shoot any of his generals who prepared for it.
Tribute to heroes of a top-secret cowboy-style rescue mission
For 45 years, nobody visited this small village where 2nd Cavalry Regiment soldier Pfc. Raymond Manz was killed in action during a top-secret mission. The mission, Operation Cowboy, was designed to rescue 600 Allied POWs and save the famed Lipizzaner horses in April 1945. Operation Cowboy began after a German veterinarian contacted advancing U.S. soldiers under Gen. George S. Patton and asked them to rescue the Lipizzans. The horses were being held with Allied POWs who cared for them. A task force was organized to break through a line of German SS troops, rescue the horses and drive them back to U.S. lines cowboy-style.
"Lost Diary" recalls horror of Bataan
Lewis C. Beebe tried to stay upbeat after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, despite the near-daily bombing runs that rattled his windows at headquarters in Corregidor, despite the fact that food was running out. But on April 6, his trademark optimism was beginning to fade. "Situation doesn't look good in Bataan tonight." Bataan fell two days later, and the infamous Death March ensued. A diary kept by Beebe tells the tale of American soldiers under siege, cut off from supplies, reinforcements and news from home.
France bestows honor on two Wichitans - Helped to save a battalion
[2006-04-09][The Wichita Eagle]
Hank Harvey was a Wichita kid who crawled through French countryside filled with German soldiers to help rescue a battalion of Americans. He served in the 320th Infantry Division, working under fire in the front lines, running wires to units serving under Gen. George S. Patton. He often worked from Patton's headquarters and knew Patton well. In August 1944, Patton personally ordered Harvey to sneak wire to the 30th Division's "Lost Battalion," near Mortain. That unit had fought on a bluff for several days; they were out of food and ammunition. Harvey crawled and walked through a mile and a half of terrain occupied by German troops. They strung telephone wire all the way.
Hitler's Third Reich and World War Two in the News
Caught in the middle: part-Jewish Germans served in Nazi army
Filmmaker Price is the director of "Hitler's Jewish Soldiers," a documentary film featuring interviews with five Mischlinge - Nazi term for Germans of partial Jewish ancestry - who served in the German armed forces, Wehrmacht, during WWII. Historian Rigg estimates that at least 150,000 men of Jewish origin served in the German army during WW2. Arno Spitz, a German paratroop officer who was awarded three Iron Crosses for bravery, was raised as a Christian. When captured by American troops at the end of the war, however, he informed them that his Jewish father had fled to the U.S.
British WWII Swordfish Pilot Recalls Bismarck Sinking
Commander John Moffat hadn't seen a Swordfish biplane since 1945, when he was a pilot for the Royal Navy on a mission to sink the largest ship in the German fleet. He visited the London Air Show to see what is now a vintage aircraft, reflecting on the attack that sank the Bismarck and killed all but 115 of the 2,200-strong crew. On May 26, 1941, 15 torpedo-armed Swordfish aircraft were sent from the aircraft carrier Victorious to attack the Bismarck. Moffat's torpedo was one of two, possibly three, which hit the ship. He believes it was his torpedo that jammed the ship's rudder.
Re-creation of one Nazi's day in Nuremberg court
Hugh Taylor knows he doesn’t have grim Nazi eyes and he hasn’t quite nailed the accent, but he did find a uniform. In recent weeks he has been memorizing Nuremberg trial transcripts, practicing his German and hunting down an original Nazi SS uniform. He found it from a WWII collector and promptly drove down to get his picture taken in the outfit. "The photos were primarily for evidence. I thought it would be a nice touch to enter them as exhibits." Taylor’s commitment to detail is typical of the group of lawyers and judges who will re-create the Nuremberg trial of Nazi SS commander Otto Ohlendorf.
The Unfree French and Bad Faith - Two Books
The novelty of The Unfree French is to discuss those forgotten people, dismissed as "collabos", who had to make impossible choices: the ones, for example, who voluntarily went off to Germany as workers, or the women whose heads were famously shaved (les tontes) for sleeping with the enemy, or black market "profiteers". Vinen suggests that sheer survival was frequently a factor, particularly for those escaping histories of abuse or poverty, not sufficiently privileged through contacts, wealth or class.
Totenbuch inside controversial archive reveal Nazis' full horror
The nazi archive managed by International Tracing Service is compiled from tonnes of documents recorded by the Nazis and contains cards relating to more than 17.5 million civilians. Much of it is simple, solemn facts: name, serial and prisoner number as well as the place and date of their birth. "It also shows how they died," said the archival manager, showing a copy of the camp's Totenbuch, or Death Book, from 1942 and 1943. "These prisoners were killed every two minutes with a shot to the back of the head." In a few hours, 300 were executed on 20 April, 1942. "That was Hitler's birthday. The camp commandant did it as a birthday gift for him."
WWII tank killer to be honored later this month
Back in 1942, John "Jack" Francis III was just another young soldier enlisted in the Army tank corps. A year after he found himself in Sicily where Allied troops were fighting the Axis powers. During a patrol Cpl. Francis single-handedly wiped out two heavy German 88-mm cannons with his own 37-mm tank-mounted gun. Cpl. Francis, once handy with a tractor on farm, was "a wizard with the light tank." Having shipped out of Italy, Cpl. Francis participated in the invasion of Normandy, and was seriously wounded after his tank suffered a direct hit by a German bomb. Incorrectly assuming he had been killed, other crewmen in the tank left him behind to make their escape...
I saw both of the atomic bombs and lived
Anyone who survived the world's first atom bomb blast must have felt the worst was past. But Kazuko Sadamaru was caught up in the second explosion too. That she did so and is still alive today is perhaps the most uniquely improbable story of all. This unassuming woman is among a handful of people alive who witnessed both the Hiroshima bomb and the obliteration of Nagasaki three days later. "I cannot forget the events on 6 and 9 August 1945. I saw the flashes and the mushroom clouds of both A-bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So many were exposed to the A-bomb but I am one of the few people who have experienced the two bombs, and still I am in good health."
Secret Nazi Weather Station in Newfoundland
The U-537 made the only armed German landing on North American soil in WWII. U-537 left Kiel, Germany on September 18, 1943. The boat went on patrol in the western North Atlantic under Kptlt. Peter Schrewe. Its task was to set up an automatic weather station on the coast of Labrador. The station was a secret known only by a handful German seamen and scientists. The story became known in the late 1970s, when an retired engineer found photographs of one weather station and a U-boat that did not fit in with the installations he had previously been able to identify.
Assault on Axis convoys in Malta At War
In the autumn of 1941 the aircraft, ships and submarines from Malta were causing havoc among the convoys transporting men and material between Italy and Libya. The issue II of volume four of Malta At War covers extensively the operations of September 1941, including the arrival of the Halberd convoy. The merchant ships were escorted by heavy units, including battleships, totalling a force of 27 warships. A series of photographs never before published record the drama of their arrival. 17 of the escorting warships were to be lost within a year, the carrier Ark Royal, the new battleship Prince of Wales and the destroyer Cossack within a few weeks.
Merchant Marines Want Benefits: Branch of the highest casualty rate
They served beside other military branches, they suffered the highest casualty rate of any service branch during WWII. However, Merchant Marine veterans have not gotten the same benefits as other veterans. Some in Congress say it is time to make up for lost benefits with monthly cash compensation. Merchant Marines who served in WWII were not given veteran status until 1988, causing many of them to miss out on earlier veterans benefits.
Fear of invasion by Japan was a reality for Australians in early 1942
Fear of invasion by Japan was a reality for Australians in early 1942. Darwin had been bombed and the only remaining garrison outside Australia, at Port Moresby was under grave threat. By the end of 1941, most of the experienced soldiers of the all-volunteer Australian Imperial Force (AIF), were in the Middle East or Malaya, leaving only 168,800 troops to defend Australia. Of these, 132,000 were members of the Australian Military Forces (AMF), a militia of generally older citizen soldiers and new conscripts seemingly to be stationed on the home front. The AIF men called the AMF "chockos" - chocolate soldiers who would melt in the sun.
Tribute to women in uniform - Shows also resistance to the idea
The Harwich Historical Society is preparing an exhibit featuring Harwich women who served in WWII. Women by their military service helped to win the war and make a permanent place for women in the U.S. military. "Ladies in Uniform from WWII," opens June 25 and will display uniforms, photos, recruiting materials and the keepsakes of these pioneering women who forever changed women’s role in society. The exhibit will also show some of the resistance by both the military and civilians to women in uniform, despite the patriotic fervor following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Hitler's love book to Eva Braun for sale
A book of Bavarian poetry Adolf Hitler gave his girlfriend Eva Braun in 1940 with a sentimental inscription is up for auction with an asking price of $175,000. The copy of "Josef Filsers Briefwexel" is inscribed in German with the words: "My darling Eva. A gift of love from the heart. Adolf Hitler. Berlin Jan. 19, 1940." The German adjective Hitler used for darling indicates a sincere, tender affection. It is the only known written indication of affection Hitler showed for Braun. The pair later married, and committed suicide together in a Berlin bunker.
Germany agrees to open World War II archive
Germany will drop its long opposition to opening a vast WWII-era archive to public inspection, Justice Minister announced. Her government had argued that the collection, used for decades by the Red Cross to trace victims of the Nazis, should remain under tight control to protect the privacy of millions of people named in the papers. Representatives of the 11 countries that oversee the 50 million-record archive are scheduled to hold an annual meeting. Workers at the archive have already scanned many of the documents into digital form.
"Suicide squad" vet gets medal for aiding troops in WWII
The U.S. Navy Armed Guard was an outfit no one had heard of, a WWII "suicide squad" that protected cargo ships from Axis forces. A gunner during the war, McConley has been awarded the Russian Medal of Honor for taking vital supplies to Russian troops on the Euphrates River in 1944. Along the way, he faced German U-boat attacks and strafing from enemy warplanes. The Naval Armed Guard was a division of the U.S. Navy that served aboard U.S. Merchant Marine and other supply ships -- They were the subject of the documentary "Forgotten Valor.". Of its 150,000 members, 1,800 were killed in action.
Buchenwald and its records kept by the SS Oberführer in charge
Records kept by the SS Oberführer in charge show the deaths at the Buchenwald camp near Weimar numbered 6,477 in January, 5,614 in February, 5,479 in March, and 915 in April. The April toll was only up to the 10th of the month. The next day the American Third Army overran the area and brought release to the 21,000 inmates at this resort of starvation, torture, hangings and shootings. When the sound of gunfire from the approaching Americans was heard, thousands of the inmates were marched off by 600 SS Guards to an unknown destination.
Touring Third Reich in 1938 and seeing the man himself
"It was the 29th of August, 1938. I had been touring Europe with a friend, and we were in Freiburg im Breisgau. So we sat down in the beer garden. Moments later, a big open-topped Mercedes fishtailed to a stop near us. Top brass in Wehrmacht uniforms stepped down and had the SS arrange everyone on the street in a row. Blackshirted men stood at six-foot intervals beside our hedge watching the citizenry, hands on pistols. Everyone was aware that some big shot was coming, but we did not expect the man himself. Then Hitler came through, fanning his signature sloppy salute to the crowd. In preparation for the coming war he was inspecting the Rhine fortifications."
Japanese WWII Imperial Army soldier found alive
A Japanese ex-soldier who disappeared after WWII and was officially declared dead in 2000 has turned up alive in Ukraine. Ishinosuke Uwano was serving with the Japanese Imperial Army in Russia's Sakhalin Island when the war ended. He lost contact with his family in 1958. The 83-year-old has now reappeared, in Ukraine, where he has a family. He was one of thousands of Japanese soldiers and civilians who were left stranded across the Pacific and in parts of China and Russia after the war ended.
Family offered more than $1m for Victoria Cross
A world record price of more than $1 million has been offered for the double Victoria Cross awarded to New Zealand military hero Charles Upham during World War Two. Only three people have been awarded two Victoria Crosses, which is likely to make it very attractive to collectors. Captain Upham's is the only one awarded to a combat soldier.
Netaji's Indian National army as seen by a Ceylonese recruit
It was in 1945, the year of the decisive defeat of the Japanese Imperial Army and its auxiliary, the Indian National Army (INA) founded by Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Netaji's dream of freeing India from the British yoke, lay shattered. Angry with the INA, the first thing that the returning British did was to blow up the 15 ft monument for the dead of the INA, which, to the Indians, was the hallowed Azad Hind Fauj or the Free Indian Army. But the shocking part of the blowing up episode was that the British had got the job done by the Indian troops under their command!
Bridge Busters - WWII veteran recalls bombing
After basic training, "Jim Bob" Williams was sent to the Glen L. Martin aircraft factory school, where the B-26 Maurader medium bombers were built. The intensive training there would enable him to survive several harrowing experiences during some of his 59 bombing missions in Europe. There the 397th bomber group was known as the “Bridge Busters” because of their ability to knock out highway and railroad bridges that were important to the German Wehrmacht. The Group supported Gen. Patton's Third Army. On a mission calling for very close support, their bombs fell 300 yards from his command post.
Young Jewish woman who fell in love with a Nazi Officer
As a young Jewish woman on the run from the Gestapo Mrs Hahn Beer survived by assuming an Aryan identity. She also fell in love with a Nazi official. In 1942 she was convinced that she had signed her own death warrant when she confessed all to Werner Vetter. Instead of turning her in, Vetter was determined to marry her. "He loved me. I trusted him," recalled Mrs Hahn Beer. The extraordinary tale of their courtship and marriage is the subject of a film to be coproduced by David Parfett. The film’s working title is The Nazi Officer’s Wife.
Drexel A. Sprecher: Prosecutor vs Hitler Youth Baldur von Schirach
Drexel A. Sprecher, who prosecuted Nazis during the Nuremberg war-crimes trials, edited the official 15-volume report of the trials and wrote his own two-volume work on the topic, has died. A labor lawyer before WW II, Sprecher was a prosecutor in Nuremberg from 1945 to 1949. He made the principal presentation against two of the 22 highest-ranking defendants in the first trial: Hans Fritzsche, a Nazi radio propagandist who was acquitted, and Baldur von Schirach, the head of the Hitler Youth, who was convicted.
Rather silly in my opinion...both designers made civilian aircrafts also, with this line of thinking the makers of the atomic bomb should be denigrate.A German town has postponed plans to honor German aviation engineers Willy Messerschmitt and Claude Dornier -- known for their aircraft production in the Nazi era -- after protests. Dornier died in 1969; Messerschmitt in 1978. Historians say both aircraft engineers had close ties to the Nazi regime. The Luftwaffe used the Messerschmitt Bf 109 in the "Battle of Britain" while later models were used at the Eastern front against the Soviet Union.
I agree. Line should be drawn somewhere, or soon we will be accusing the sun because it shone during nazi-era.Originally Posted by Panzerknacker
There's a difference just doing your regular common day job, or planning a war of aggression.
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