Where I grew up-I was so ‘privileged’.

This is going to be a bit of a rant.

I am just getting so fed up to hear that racism is only a white thing and to imply that every white man is basically born a racist. There is this notion that every white man on the planet has a very privileged background.

Let me tell you about my privileged background. Or rather let me illustrate it. The picture above is a picture of the place where I grew up . At the top of the picture you can set a few apartment blocks in the background. I have circled the one I grew up in.

As you can see straight behind the apartment block , is a massive chemical plant, part of it was basically my playground, that and the steel factory between the plant and our apartment.

I was going to post pictures of all my toys. Then I remembered and I didn’t have any . A wooden tree branch is what I used for a toy gun.

Yes I was soooo privileged.

Yet I actually do consider myself privileged, because I grew up not having a notion of entitlement, or being offended by every word or insult that was thrown at me, What I did with insults, I insulted myself even more taking away all power from those other insults.

Mercer Greene Abernathy- A hero who gave his life for strangers.

History of Sorts

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One of the definitions of a hero is “a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character”

Mercer G. Abernathy was such a person and even though I don’t know him it is with a 100% certainty I can state he was a hero.

I know nothing of this man except for his Army records and a page of his high school year book, and that he  was born on December 29, 1924. in Texas

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He doesn’t even have a grave because he died in Germany or the Netherlands  missing In Action as navigator on a B17 Flying Fortress.

All that he is remembered by is his name on a memorial marker in the Netherlands American War Cemetery in Margraten near Maastricht in the Netherlands.

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He died in a foreign land trying to liberate strangers from evil.

At the entrance of American War Cemetery in Margraten there is a text on a…

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The silent killer in WWII-An unexpected enemy.

History of Sorts

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Of all the enemies Allied soldiers confronted during World War II, malaria proved to be among the most stubborn. The mosquito-borne disease was a constant scourge for soldiers stationed in the Pacific and Mediterranean theaters. General MacArthur’s retreat to the malarial Philippine peninsula of Bataan in early 1942 led directly to his sickly army’s surrender to the Japanese a few months later. The illness continued to cripple American forces during the ensuing campaigns in Papua New Guinea and Guadalcanal, where it was so rampant that a division commander ordered that no Marine be excused from duty without a temperature of at least 103°F.

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Troops in Southern Europe faced similar problems. During the Seventh Army’s Sicilian campaign from July to September 1943, 21,482 soldiers were admitted to the hospital for malaria; 17,535 were admitted for battle casualties. All in all, malaria accounted for almost a half-million hospital admissions and more than 300 American deaths during the war.

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Taught to Hate- The Hitler youth.

History of Sorts

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From the 1920s onwards, the Nazi Party targeted German youth as a special audience for its propaganda messages. These messages emphasized that the Party was a movement of youth: dynamic, resilient, forward-looking, and hopeful. Millions of German young people were won over to Nazism in the classroom and through extracurricular activities. In January 1933, the Hitler Youth had only 50,000 members, but by the end of the year this figure had increased to more than 2 million. By 1936 membership in the Hitler Youth increased to 5.4 million before it became mandatory in 1939. The German authorities then prohibited or dissolved competing youth organizations.

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The Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls were the primary tools that the Nazis used to shape the beliefs, thinking and actions of German youth. Youth leaders used tightly controlled group activities and staged propaganda events such as mass rallies full of ritual and…

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Westerbork the Jewish refugee camp that became a concentration camp.

History of Sorts

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What a lot of people don’t realize is that Camp Westerbork was actually established as a refugee camp for Jews escaping the Nazi regime in Germany and Austria.and who had illegally entered the Netherlands. It was established by the Dutch government in the summer of 1939.

In July 1942, the Nazis took over the camp and turned it into a transition camp. Jews arrested in the Netherlands were taken to the camp and put on transport. Transport trains arrived at Westerbork every Tuesday from July 1942 to September 1944, and left with close to 100,000 jews.But also Roma and Sinti were transported from Westerbork.

The Deportations were part of  the responsibilities of Gestapo sub-Department IV-B4, which was headed by Adolf Eichmann.

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Although the camp was relatively “humane” by  Nazi standards , it was cruel in other ways. Jewish inmates with families were housed in 200 interconnected cottages The cottages  contained…

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The Nurses of WWII -the forgotten Heroes

History of Sorts

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The myth that men are the stronger sex has already been disperses many times, Women have a more stamina, a higher pain level and sometimes are physically even stronger. It is true that they never have to suffer the Manflu but that is about it.

It was never more true then during WWII.Physically they may not necessarily have been stronger but mentally they were and especially the Nurses who not only have to deal with horrific injuries, they also had to be comforters to those whose lives had been turned upside down,often in a split second.This blog is a tribute to the forgotten heroes, the angels of WWII.

A nurse wraps a bandage around the hand of a Chinese soldier as another wounded soldier limps up for first aid treatment during fighting on the Salween River front in Yunnan Province, China, on June 22, 1943.

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With some of New York’s…

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The Librarian of Auschwitz

History of Sorts

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I started reading ‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’ I got the book as a birthday present a few days ago. It is based on the story of Dita Kraus, it is partially fictional and historical.

However this blog will not be a book review nor will it be about Dita herself. The blog will be about Fredy Hirsch, one of the main people mentioned in the book.

I don’t think that people appreciate the remarkable bravery of this man. It is also one of the stories I really should have known but didn’t. Fredy was born in Aachen ,Germany which is a city not far away from where I was born and grew up, it was also a place which I visited several times a month.

To illustrate how close Aachen was to me hometwon of Geleen, in the Netherlands. In October 5th.1942 the RAF bombed Geleen, believing it to be…

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Derry Girl

History of Sorts

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Technically you weren’t a Derry Girl , you were born and raised in Belfast. But you made Derry your home, you became one of its daughters.

Like the show Derry Girls, witty, sharp and funny, so were you.

But what happened today is not funny, It is rotten to the core. A talented young prime example of humanity was killed. Killed by thugs who claim to fight for a cause.

There are some who say that these people don’t represent them, but not all of them are truthful in that.

I did not know you nor did I ever meet you, but that doesn’t matter for it was clear to me that you were pure in your heart and steadfast in what you believed in.

I hope that those who loved you can find solace in the knowledge that you were a decent human being. a rarity in this ever…

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Unusual WWII Facts, Part 12.

History of Sorts

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“Last Kiss”, With the onset of World War Two, millions of young men were forced apart from their loved ones. And, as this poignant yet heartbreaking photo shows, the sacrifices made by these soldiers extended to their loved ones.

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A shell shocked reindeer looks on as World War II planes drop bombs. Many forget the impact war has on nature as well as human beings, a truth that is timely captured by this photographer when Russian planes bombed an unknown location taken by Yevgeny Khaldei.

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Two Calgary Highlanders stand by the banks of the Bow River, Calgary, before departing for the war. They are humourously depicting Canada’s equipment shortages at the beginning of the war… too many volunteers, not enough uniforms!

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The British people never lost their sense of humour during the war. Even during the worst bombardments they kept the morale high.

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This photo was taken shortly after…

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The Lindbergh baby kidnapping

History of Sorts

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On the evening of March 1, 1932 Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr., eldest son of aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, was abducted from the family home in the town of Highfields, in East Amwell, New Jersey.

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Lindbergh, who became an international celebrity when he flew the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, and his wife Anne discovered a ransom note demanding $50,000 in their son’s empty room.

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The kidnapper used a ladder to climb up to the open second-floor window and left muddy footprints in the room.

The Lindberghs were inundated by offers of assistance and false clues. Even Al Capone offered his help from prison. For three days, investigators found nothing and there was no further word from the kidnappers. Then, a new letter showed up, this time demanding $70,000.

The ransom was packaged in a wooden box that was custom-made in the hope…

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