Attack on the twentieth convoy to Auschwitz.

Train

War often brings out the worst in people. they commit crimes they would usually never even contemplate, but equally war also brings out the best in people performing heroic acts they know can cost their lives.

Early 1943 Jews throughout Belgium were rounded up and arrested.People like three members of the Gronowski family(Mother,son and daughter), who were arrested for committing the awful ‘crime’ of being Jewish.

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After the round up they were transported to the Kazerne Dossin,army barracks in Brussels.For most this would be last ‘residence’ in Belgium they would ever be in, for this was the gathering place for the final transport to the death camps.

Kazerne

On 18 April,  1,631 were informed they were going to be  deported by train the following day.The end station would be Auschwitz. The train was designated as Transport 20.

Shortly after the train had set off on route to Auschwitz it was stopped.

Three young students and members of the Belgian resistance including a Jewish doctor, Youra Livchitz  and his two non-Jewish friends Robert Maistriau  and Jean Franklemon armed with  only one pistol, and a makeshift  red warning  lantern ,  stopped the train on the track Mechelen-Leuven, between the towns of Boortmeerbeek and Haacht. This was the first and only time during World War II that any Nazi transport carrying Jewish deportees was stopped.

The train  was guarded by one officer and fifteen men from the Sicherheitspolizei. After a quick  battle between the Germans train  the three Resistance members, the train started again.In the mean time the resistance fighters had opened one rail car and were able to set 17 people free.

The train driver Albert Dumon most I have felt inspired by this  he deliberately drove  slow enough . and stopped frequently to allow people to jump without being injured or killed, 236 in all escaped. 115 of those were never recaptured.

Youra Livchitz unfortunately  was arrested by the Gestapo one month later, but managed to overpower his guard and escape; he was rearrested in June and executed by firing squad the following year.

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His two brothers in arms survived the war. As did Simon Gronowski the son of the Gronowski family.

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks

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Sources

BBC

 

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Gallery

Nintendo

History of Sorts

600px-Nintendo.svg

The day has finally arrived to show off my gaming knowledge and leave you all in awe and amazement!

Ah no, in fact I wouldn’t have the foggiest, I never got into the whole video/computer games universe, Yet the title is Nintendo, the name of one of the biggest gaming publishers.

A lot of people,including gamers,  don’t know that Nintendo did not start of as gaming console company. On this day 129 years ago in 1889, Nintendo was founded Fusajiro Yamauchi in Kyoto, Japan.

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The Nintendo Playing Card Company was a small business that would go on to revolutionize gaming around the world.

The handmade cards soon became popular, and Yamauchi hired assistants to mass-produce cards to satisfy demand.In 1949, the company adopted the name Nintendo Karuta Co., Ltd., doing business as The Nintendo Playing Card Co. outside Japan. Nintendo continues to manufacture playing cards in Japan and organizes…

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WWII Propaganda-Part 3

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One of the most effective weapons in WWII was propaganda. Although the Nazis did use it the most effective, the allied forces and the other axis nations all used propaganda as an effective tool to further their cause.

After all propaganda is really weaponized and politicized PR. Not unlike the use of social media nowadays, propaganda was posted on billboards,newspapers,leaflets and magazines. Although it wasn’t as instant and widespread as social media, it did still reach large groups of the population.

Below are just some examples of WWII propaganda.

One of the most popular of the WWII bond posters.Title: Don’t let that shadow touch them, Buy War Bonds Artist: Lawrence Beall Smith.

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A referendum on the Anschluss with Germany was held in German-occupied Austria on 10 April 1938,in conjunction with one in Germany. Germany thad already occupied Austria one month earlier, on 12 March 1938. The official result was reported as 99.73% in favour,with a 99.71% turnout. The Austrian poster below states that teh whole nation said yes.

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I suppose this could be considered a WWII meme.

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Japanese propaganda “Be quiet, others are listening”

 

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A poster telling the Italians that the Germans are their friends. Implying nothing to fear.

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Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks

$2.00

 

 

 

16 bodies in Lake Maggiore

Meina

The lakes of Italy are known for its beauty. Although I have been to Italy several times it was usually the Lake Garda area I would visit, every time I was awestruck by its beautiful surroundings. I did see Lake Maggiore once in passing and it also looked majestic.

However this majestic beautiful place was also a place of horror for at least 16 Jewish Greeks during WWII.

Even though Italy did have a brutal and fascist regime and there were persecutions of Jews, the majority of the Jewish population did have a relatively ‘normal’ life compared to Jews elsewhere in Europe.

However this changed after the dismissal and arrest of Mussolini. Hitler sent an elite squad to free his ally from captivity after Italy had signed an armistice with allied forces in September 3,1943 and officially announced 5 days later on the 8th of September.

Hitler moved fast to establish a new Fascist Italian state in the North of Italy. The Repubblica Sociale Italiana.The Italian Social Republic was proclaimed on 23 September, with Mussolini as both head of state and prime minister.But the new republic really was a puppet state run by Nazi Germany.

Duce

Meina was a small village at  the southern area of Lake Maggiore. The village had a Hotel with the same name Hotel Meina. The owners were the Behars, a family of Turkish Jews.

The hotel had about 30 guest rooms,  a billiard room, a reading room and a room where the guests could play cards. The garden faced Lago Maggiore. In September 1943, it had a number of Jewish guests, mostly from Greece, who had escaped the Nazi occupation in Greece.

Since Italy had signed an armistice there was this false believe the war was over, nothing could be further from the truth.

On Wednesday morning, Sept. 15, the Meina hotel was surrounded by the SS. Twenty Jews were identified, including: Alberto and Eugenia Behar, the owners of the hotel, with their children; the Fernandez Diaz family; the Mosseris; Raoul Torres and his wife, Valerie Nahoum; Daniele Modiano; Vittorio Haim Pompas; Vitale Cori, the hotel’s bartender; and Lotte Fröhlich-Mazzucchelli.

The SS men were from the SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler. They kept the Jews as prisoner in the Hotel, where the Non Jewish guests were free to do what they wanted to do.

SS

On the night of 22/23 September the 16 Jewish guests were taken out of the Hotel and driven a few miles outside of the village where they were shot.

The 16 bodies were dumped in Lake Maggiore.

Lago

In the  following days, the bodies floated to the surface. The SS recovered the corpses and burned them.

The fate of the 16 souls was initially forgotten but in 1968 those responsible for the Meina massacre were tried in Germany Mario Mazzucchelli, the non Jewish husband of  Lotte Fröhlich-Mazzucchelli, testified as a witness. Three officers were sentenced to life but in 1970, the Supreme Court declared the statute of limitations had expired and released them.

In Meina commemorative ‘stumbling blocks’ were put down to remember the victims of the Meina Hotel  massacre.One separate block for each victim and one general block for all 16.

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In 2007 director Carlo Lizzani shot a movie of the awful event. Hotel Meina.

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks

$2.00

 

 

 

 

 

Staatsmijn Maurits-Dutch State Coalmine

History of Sorts

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I can never understand people who are ashamed or embarrassed of where they are from or where they were born. You should always be proud of your roots.

Even if you live somewhere else you should never lose your pride of your birth place. It is perfectly possible to be proud of the place you were born and the place you live in.

My roots are in the south east of the Netherlands in a town called Geleen.

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Although it started of as a small village near a small creek it really started to prosper and became a vibrant industrial town after the State Mine Maurits opened up

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By the end of the nineteenth century, a few German and Belgian companies had started coal mining in South Limburg. Geologically, the Belgian Campine, South Limburg and large swaths of the German state North Rhine-Westphalia form a single coal-rich area. Recognizing the…

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Karl Frenzel-‘Fair’in his punishments

Frenzel

Karl August Wilhelm Frenzel  was an SS non-commissioned officer in Sobibór extermination camp. As the commandant of Camp I, he was in charge of a Sonderkommando, a unit consisting inmates, mainly Jewish prisoners forced to do a variety of jobs including herding  victims into the gas chambers.

Frenzel claimed that he was always fair in conducting punishments.

Below are a few examples of his ‘fairness’

A 15 year old boy was caught stealing a can of sardines, Frenkel took the boy to Lager III, the crematorium and shot him.

In spring  1943,  two Jews from Chelm escaped from the camp, Frenzel announced that as a punishment , every tenth prisoner at the morning roll call would be executed. He personally walked along the lines of the roll call and selected the victims  to be shot at Camp III. Twenty prisoners were shot as a reprisal for the two who escaped.

One  survivor testified that one time Frenzel grabbed an abandoned baby in an incoming transport, smashed the baby’s  skull and threw the infant aside, like a dead rat.

After World War II, he was arrested by United States troops at a prisoner of war camp near Munich, but was soon released. Frenzel found a job in Frankfurt as a stage lighting technician. On 22 March 1962, while on a break at work, he was again identified, arrested and brought to trial along with other former SS officers at the Sobibór trial on 6 September 1965.

Trial

Frenzel was  charged with personally murdering 42 Jews , and was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for war crimes but was ultimately released after 16 years.

He died 2 September 1996,aged 85.

It seems to me the only one who got a ‘fair’ punishment was Frenzel. Another case where justice wasn’t served.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks

$2.00

Daniel Pearl-Killed for doing his job.

History of Sorts

Capture

I don’t get shocked easily but the murder of Daniel Pearl shocked me and had a profound effect on me, why I don’t know, meaning he was not the first one to die by Al-Qaeda terrorists and he wasn’t the last either. But it did touch me.

Daniel Pearl (October 10, 1963 – February 1, 2002) was a journalist for The Wall Street Journal with American and Israeli citizenship. He was kidnapped by terrorists and later murdered in Pakistan.

The Pearls settled in Mumbai, India after Daniel Pearl was made Southeast Asia bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal. They traveled to Karachi, Pakistan, which he used as a base for reporting on the United States’ War on Terrorism following the 9/11 attacks by Al-Qaeda terrorists in 2001 in the United States.

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On January 23, 2002, on his way to what he thought was an interview with Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani at the Village Restaurant in downtown Karachi, Pearl was kidnapped near the Metropole Hotel…

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Martin Sommer-Too evil for Nazi standards.

Sommer

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The bizarre thing about the Nazi regime was that they had so many contradictions.They had no issues with committing mass murder and genocide or evil and cruel medical experiments, but they had issues with cruelty which was not conform with their policies.

It was okay to murder and torture but it had to be done the Nazi way.

Walter Gerhard Martin Sommer was an SS Hauptscharführer who served as a guard in 2 concentration camps First he served in Sachsenhausen  later in  Buchenwald. Where he got the nickname  “Hangman of Buchenwald”

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He was born in Schkölen, to a farming family  in Thuringia in 1915. In 1931 at age sixteen, Sommer joined the Nazi Party and 2 years later became a member of the SS.He was also a  a depraved sadist.

After he left Sachsenhausen he was assigned to Buchenwald where he was put in charge of a cell block where he reigned over his prisoners with impunity. Later he promoted to head the punishment bunker and was promoted once more to Chief Penal Officer.

In both camps Somner served under Karl Koch.

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Sommer was quick to utilize his  position to fulfill  his natural sadistic desires.

His favorite manner of torture was tying prisoners’ wrists together behind their backs and then hang them a few inches off the ground from cell bars, stanchions, or branches of trees until their arms became dislocated. This  earned him the nickname “the Hangman of Buchenwald.”

HangmanWhen this special form of torture was conducted on prisoners in the woods around the camp, the screams of the victims were so intense that the other inmates soon gave the area a name, the “singing forest.”

Sommer had a special dislike for clergy men. One time he ordered two Austrian priests, Otto Neururer and Mathias Spannlang, to be crucified upside-down.Another time he beat a Catholic priest to death for performing the Sacrament of Penance for a fellow inmate.

At one stage he beat  a German pastor, then hanged him naked outside in the winter and threw buckets of water over him and let him freeze to death.

Sommer also had a secret compartment underneath the floor under his desk.  Where he kept his private instruments of torture concealed.Instruments  such as the needles he used to kill his victims after he finished torturing them, he would inject them with carbolic acid, or inject air into their veins causing his victims to die by embolism. Sometimes, after ‘private’ late night torture sessions he would hide the bodies of his victims under his bed until he could dispose of them the following morning.

He sometimes would  rubbed prisoner’s backs with steel brushes and then pour acid on the wounds

In 1943 ,Heinrich Himmler appointed SS judge Dr. Georg Konrad Morgen to investigate allegations of cruelty and corruption at the Buchenwald camp.

Morgen

Morgen found the allegations to be true and Sommer was put on trial.

After the  trial Sommer was sentenced to  a reduction in rank and was sent to a penal battalion fighting on the Eastern Front where he was wounded in a tank explosion, losing his left arm and right leg. He was arrested by the Soviet army and was detained as P.O.W. until 1950 when his prisoner status was changed from Prisoner of War to war criminal. In 1955 as part of the negotiations conducted on behalf of Soviet held German prisoners by Konrad Adenauer, Sommer was released.

After his release he returned to West Germany where he married his Nurse, and they had a child ,Sommer filed for and received a pension for his service related disabilities. sommer newsHe received a pension of 280 marks a month and over 10,500 marks in back payments.

He escaped punishment for his crimes until 1957, when he was indicted for complicity in the death in 101 concentration camp inmates.In 1958, the German government deemed  Sommer healthy enough for trial.

He was convicted of 25 deaths and received a life sentence. The sentence was appealed but  the case was upheld in May 1959 by the German  Federal Court. In 1971 he was released from jail because there was no facility to continue his treatment of his war injuries. he was transferred to a hospital and in 1973 to a nursing home where he remained until his death in 1988.

 

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks

$2.00

 

Sources

Der Spiegel

German Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

The day President Carter saw an UFO.

History of Sorts

JIMMY CARTER

I have to be honest the title is not 100% correct because Jimmy Carter was not President yet , it happened a few years before he took office.

On the 18th of September in 1973, future President Jimmy Carter files a report with the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP), claiming he had seen an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) in October 1969.

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During the presidential campaign of 1976, Democratic challenger Carter was forthcoming about his belief that he had seen a UFO. He described waiting outside for a Lion’s Club Meeting in Leary, Georgia, to begin, at about 7:30 p.m., when he spotted what he called “the darndest thing I’ve ever seen” in the sky. Carter, as well as 10 to 12 other people who witnessed the same event, described the object as “very bright [with] changing colors and about the size of the moon.” Carter reported that “the…

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I am human being just like you!

Sandro

When the rain falls, my face gets wet.

When the sun shines, it blinds my eyes.

When the snow falls, I want to go out and feel the crunch of the fresh new snow beneath my feet.

When it is muddy, I get dirty.

When I am hungry, I eat.

When I am thirsty, I drink.

When I see a baby cry, I am sad for I know only a few years ago I was a baby.

You see, once you were a baby too.

Once the sun would would blind your eyes, and the rain would make your face wet.

Your mother would also be annoyed when you came in with a muddy face.

Once you were a 5 year old mischievous little angel.

Like you, I am a human being too.

At least I maintained my humanity, where you no longer are that mischievous angel.

The day you killed me in Auschwitz you became a devil.

I am Sandro Sonnino, aged 5. Once a human being, now an angel.