More of the less known WW2 facts

Japanese Propaganda

Ticket-to-Armistice-Japanese-leaflet-dropped-on-Allied-troops-1942-small-300x199

During World War II there were many different forms of propaganda to support the war effort in Japan. Sometimes the Japanese used sexual images in order to influence Allied soldiers to pick up surrender leaflets. The leaflet above depicts a bare-breasted female in an inviting pose. The bearer of the present ticket is considered as “willing to surrender to the Japanese army”. The Japanese army will charge itself with ensuring his life in condition that he shows this ticket to Japanese soldiers, with a white flag or raised arms, carrying his rifle stock upwards.

Hitler’s war Speech

The speech where Adolf Hitler declared war on the USA, 1941

On December 11, 1941, several days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States declaration of war against the Japanese Empire, Nazi Germany declared war on the United States, in response to what was claimed to be a series of provocations by the United States government when the US was formally neutral during World War II.

The decision to declare war was made almost entirely by Adolf Hitler, without consultation. Hitler had received no advance notice from the Japanese about the attack on Pearl Harbor. Although he and his Foreign Minister Ribbentrop had verbally indicated a willingness to join Japan in war against America however it broke out, Hitler had absolutely no formal treaty obligation to declare war on the United States. Such a treaty had in fact been drafted and circulated in the weeks prior to Pearl Harbor, but it remained unsigned.

Life in a concentration camp as perceived by a child.

A girl who grew up in a concentration camp draws a picture of home while living in a residence for disturbed children, 1948

A girl who grew up in a concentration camp was asked to draw “home” and what she drew was scribbles. It shows how the horrors of the concentration camp warped her mind. It’s a mystery what the lines truly mean to her, probably the chaos or the barbed wire.

This photograph was taken by Chim (David Seymour) in a home for emotionally disturbed children located in Warsaw, 1948. There are a few versions of this image, but most of the captions (including one at the War/Photography Exhibit currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum) mention that the subject grew up inside a concentration camp. There’s little information about the girl’s identity, her name was Tereszka, a diminutive version of Teresa. Her eyes are piercing, like a window to her soul. Not the eyes of an innocent youth. She’s probably experienced horrors at that age most will fortunately never have to. Like the soldiers who have seen heavy combat, she’s got the terrifyingly haunting one thousand yard stare.

Muslim members of the Waffen-SS 13th division at prayer during their training in Germany, 1943

Muslim members of the Waffen-SS 13th division at prayer during their training in Germany,  1943

The photo is taken during the division training at Neuhammer. The romantic notions that Himmler had about the Bosnian Muslims were probably significant in the division’s genesis. He was personally fascinated by the Islamic faith and believed that Islam created fearless soldiers. He envisioned the creation of a Bosnian SS division constituted solely of Bosnian Muslims in a manner similar to the Bosnian divisions of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Marlene Dietrich kisses a soldier returning home from war.

Actress Marlene Dietrich kisses a soldier returning home from war, 1945

Dietrich, a staunch anti-Nazi, became an American citizen in 1939. In December 1941, the U.S. entered World War II, and Dietrich became one of the first celebrities to raise war.

This photo shows Marlene Dietrich passionately kissing a GI as he arrives home from World War II. It seems that the guy on the left holding her up is enjoying the view. It was first published in Life Magazine with the caption: “While soldiers hold her up by her famous legs, Marlene Dietrich is kissed by a home-coming GI”. Photo taken by Irving Haberman..


A German soldier shares his rations with a Russian mother, 1941

A German soldier shares his rations with a Russian mother, 1941

Germany deliberately starved occupied Soviet territories by plundering their food for German use. This was the ‘Hunger Plan’, which starved to death millions of people. It was in part a practical decision to have German forces live off the land, but it also fit nicely into German plans to exterminate the population of the Soviet Union. And this makes this photo particularly poignant. This is a good man who has no idea that his role will ultimately make his gesture futile and starve them to death anyway. This photo was taken in 1941 by the photographer of the 291st Division of the Wehrmacht George Gundlach. One of the many, out of the photo album “Volkhov’s battle. Documents of horror 1941-1942″

Stalin had done the same the years before the war to his own people.
Two RAF airmen are buried with full military honors by occupying German soldiers, Channel Islands, 1943

A RAF airman is buried with full military honors by occupying German soldiers, Channel Islands, 1943 (1)

Full military honors were granted by the Luftwaffe at the funerals of R.A.F Sergeants Butlin and Holden who were shot down over Jersey, Channel Islands. It is thought this was to try and pacify the local population. The Luftwaffe behaved much differently than the SS or Wehrmacht. Much more chivalry.

R.A.F Sergeants Butlin took off on an operation to Frankfurt at 23.15 hrs from R.A.F. Burn in Yorkshire and ditched roughly 3 miles south west of the Channel Island of Jersey after a call was made by Sgt. Odling for assistance. The body of observer Sgt. Holden was eventually washed up on St Queens Bay in Jersey on the 3rd June 1943. On the 5th June his and the body of a Sgt. Denis Charles Butlin from 1663 H.C.Unit lay in state in the Hospital Chapel with hundreds of islanders visiting the coffins to pay their last respects, prior to a service on the morning of 6th June. The coffins were then draped with the Union Jack before being taken to the cemetery. Hundreds of people lined the route but the Luftwaffe prevented them entering the gates of the cemetery.

These gestures weren’t done only by the Germans, the British and the Americans did it too.

Japanese troops using prisoners of war for target practice, 1942

Japanese troops using prisoners of war for target practice, 1942 2

The Japanese treatment of prisoners of war in World War II was barbaric. The men shown in the above picture are part of the Sikh Regiment of the British Indian Army. All of them are sitting in the traditional cross-legged prayer position. They’re probably reciting their final prayers as this picture was being taken. It’s very morbid if you think about it. The vast majority of Indian soldiers captured when Singapore fell belonged to Sikh community. These photographs were found among Japanese records when British troops retook Singapore

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