Dutch Olympian Athletes Murdered during the Holocaust

It is strange sometimes how one thing can draw your attention to another. I did a piece recently on the German national anthem, that led me to look at the Dutch national anthem. “Wilhelmus van Nassouwe”, usually known just as “Wilhelmus” is the national anthem of the Netherlands. It dates back to at least 1572, making it the oldest national anthem in use today.

I mostly associate it with sporting events like the Olympics. It still give me the goosebumps every time I see the Dutch flagged being raised and the anthem is played during the Olympics, or any other sporting event for that matter. Although the Dutch do punch above their weight when it comes to sport, considering the size of the country. it only hosted the Olympic games once, in 1928. It was held from 28 July to 12 August 1928.

It was the first time that female athletes were competing in the field of gymnastics. Five women on the Dutch Olympic gymnastics team were Jewish: Helena-Lea Nordheim, Ans Polak, Estella-Stella Agsteribbe, Judikje-Judik Simons and Elka de Levie. The team’s trainer, Gerrit Kleerekoper, was also Jewish. The team won the gold medal for women’s gymnastics at the 1928 Olympics, and the Dutch press elevated the women to the status national heroines.

“Everything was taken care of down to the last detail. Nice practice material – not too heavy – logically composed, neatly executed in class, wonderful order and leadership, in one word sublime. …The jury was also enthusiastic and awarded the Kleerekoper corps a total score of 316.75 points, leaving the other teams far behind. With their well-deserved success the gymnasts were the first female Olympic champions in the Netherlands. At a quarter past five, the Dutch flag fluttered above the Olympic Stadium and the National Anthem sounded over the central area. However, the cheers rose when HRH Prince Hendrik stepped forward and shook hands with each of the participants. …and then they, our ladies, to whom we owe the first victory, disappeared under the grandstand to their dressing rooms.”

The Dutch Olympic women’s gymnastics team at the Amsterdam Olympics, 1928. The team won the gold medal. The coach was Jewish, as were five of the team members.The Jewish team members are standing on the first row: From left: Helena-Lea Nordheim (second), Anna Polak (third), Estella Agsteribbe (fourth), Judik Simons (last) and Elka de Levie (second row, first from right). Courtesy of NOC-NSF Gelderland collection

Less then 12 years later that status was forgotten. On May 10 German troops invaded the Netherlands and a few days later the country was fully occupied by the Germans who quickly found collaborators and a Nazi regime was put in place.

Leah, Estella and Elka trained at the “Bato” sports club in Amsterdam, which had been established in 1902 and was one of the largest Jewish sports clubs in the city. In September 1941, the Germans banned Jews from all sports activities, but even after the club’s closure, Jews continued to train and exercise illegally until 1942. From the summer of 1942, Dutch Jews were deported to the East.

Judik Simons married Bernard Solomon Themans in 1935, and they had two children, Sonja (b. 1937) and Leon (b. 1940). After the team’s win, Simons and her husband ran an orphanage in Utrecht, where they lived with their own two children. During the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, the family was given a chance to escape deportation to the death camps, but Simons and her husband refused to leave the orphans. On March 3, 1943, the entire family and dozens of children from the orphanage were gassed at Sobibor.

Helena Nordheim married Abraham Kloot, and their daughter Rebecca was born in 1933. Lea and Abraham were both hairdressers. In 1943, they were arrested and sent to Westerbork. On 29 June 1943, a deportation train left Westerbork, arriving at Sobibor three days later. The deportees included Helena Kloot, her husband and their ten-year-old daughter, and Gerrit Kleerekoper-the coach of the team- his wife Kaatje and their 14-year-old daughter Elizabeth. They were all murdered. There were no survivors from this deportation. Gerrit and Kaatje’s 21 year old son Leendert was murdered on 30 July 1944 at Auschwitz, according to the Totenbuch des KL Auschwitz-Monowitz (death register)

In 1936, Anna-Ans Polak married Barend Dresden, a tailor, and in 1937 their only daughter Eva was born in Amsterdam. In May 1943, the family was arrested and sent to the Vught concentration camp in the Netherlands. Approximately one month later, Anna and Eva were transferred to Westerbork. On 20 July 1943, a deportation train left Westerbork, arriving at Sobibor three days later. Among the deportees were Anna Dresden and her six-year-old daughter Eva. They were both murdered. There were no survivors from this deportation. Anna’s husband Barend was deported from Vught to Auschwitz on 15 December 1943. He survived the selection, and was sent to forced labor in Auschwitz III: Buna-Monowitz. On 30 November 1944, Barend was murdered at Auschwitz.

In 1928, Stella Agsteribbe competed in the first ever Olympic gymnastics competition for women. Despite placing 13th in the Dutch team selection event, she was elected to compete in the group competition. The Dutch quite comfortably earned the gold in the five-team competition. Individually, Agsteribbe placed 3rd at the Dutch all-around championships in both 1930 and 1934. At the latter event, she competed as Stella Blits, having married Samuel Blits, also a gymnast with her club BATO. Like several of her team mates (Lea Nordheim, Ans Polak, Elka de Levie, alternate Judikje Simons and coach Gerrit Kleerekoper, Agsteribbe was Jewish. During World War II, she was deported to Auschwitz with her husband and children. She was killed shortly after arrival on 17 September 1943, along with her six-year-old daughter Nanny, and two-year-old son Alfred. Her husband, Samuel Blits, died at Auschwitz on 28 April 1944.

Elka de Levie managed to evade the tragic fate of her fellow Jewish teammates, and survived in the Netherlands. She passed away in Amsterdam in 1979.

Mozes Jacobs competed in the men’s gymnastics team. He didn’t win any medals, I believe he came 8th. He taught physical education. He joined the resistance and participated in acts of sabotage and helped those in hiding. On 1 April 1943 he was caught in Vierhouten and held at the house of detention in Arnhem. From there he was deported to Germany via Westerbork. He was murdered on July 9,1943 in Sobibor.

Cornelis Compter was of Jewish descent. He was a truck driver by profession. He competed in the featherweight weightlifting event at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, where he achieve the 19th place. Hewas a memer of the the Hague communist resistance. He was involved in the distribution of the resistance magazine De Vonk. He was arrested on August 4, 1941 by Johannes Hubertus Veefkind, a member of the Hague Police Intelligence Service before the war. Compter was arrested as a result of an infiltration action by Johannes Hubertus van Soolingen, ordered by Mayor De Monchy in May 1940. In March 1942 he was transferred from the Oranjehotel to Kamp Amersfoort. The same month he was transferred to Buchenwald. In 1944 he was transferred to the Nacht und Nebelkamp Natzweiler. In September 1944 he was transferred to Dachau and shortly afterwards to Mauthausen, where he died of exhaustion on 23 February 1945.

Elias Hyman Melkman was a member of the gymnastics association Plato in Amsterdam. He took part as a gymnast in the Olympics of 1928 in Amsterdam. He was murdered in Auschwitz on January 3,1942.

Israel Wijnschenk was also a member of the Dutch men’s gymnast team. He competed in seven events at the 1928 Summer Olympics. He was murdered in Auschwitz on January 31,1943.

Pierre Marie Robert Versteeghwas a Dutch horse rider who competed in the 1928 Summer Olympics and in the 1936 Summer Olympics. In the 1928 Summer Olympics he won the bronze medal in the team dressage with his horse His Excellence after finishing ninth in the individual dressage. Eight years later he finished fifth with the Dutch team in the team dressage and placed eighth in the individual dressage.

Pierre Versteegh trained for the Dutch military, enrolling at the Royal Military Academy in Breda in 1906. In June 1909 he was appointed second lieutenant and assigned to the Third Division in Ede. In the years before World War I, and also after the conflict, Versteegh became an active equestrian participant, winning numerous local competitions. In 1925 he was promoted to captain and in 1936 to major in the Army. In 1931 Versteegh had been awarded the Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau with Swords.

When the Germans invaded the Netherlands in May 1940, Versteegh held the rank of lieutenant-colonel, and was also concerned because his wife was Jewish. After the Dutch Army surrendered, Versteegh joined the Dutch Underground, working with the Ordedienst (OD), a fusion of several underground groups. On 2 May 1941 Versteegh was arrested after being found to be a member of the OD. He and several other OD members were kept in the state prison in Scheveningen, later called the Oranjehotel. In March-April 1942 Versteegh and many of his compatriots were tried in Amersfoort, and all were found guilty, and sentenced to death.

On 1 May 1942 the convicted OD members, among whom were included Richard Schoemaker, a Dutch fencing Olympian, were taken by train to Oranienburg, near Berlin, and then transported by truck to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. On 3 May 1942 all of the convicts were executed by firing squad, in groups of 12 each. Pierre Versteegh was among them.

Jan Geert Ankerman was a Dutch field hockey player , he was born in Wommel in Friesland, the Northwest of the Netherlands. He competed in the 1928 Summer Olympics. He was a member of the Dutch field hockey team, which won the silver medal. He played all four matches as halfback.

He did not die in any of the Nazi deathcamps. He was murdered in another concentration camp, by another axis power. He died on December 27,1942 in a Japanese prisoners of war camp in Burma.

Although the Japanese camps were not to the scale as the Nazi camps, they were nonetheless horrific and inhumane and often described as hell on earth

sources

https://www.olympedia.org/lists/3/manual

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/535112/about-elias-hyman-melkman

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/158818/israel-wijnschenk

https://peoplepill.com/people/pierre-versteegh/

https://www.timesofisrael.com/the-jewish-olympians-among-hitlers-victims/

https://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/exhibitions/sport/dutch-gymnastics-team.asp

https://peoplepill.com/people/jan-ankerman

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Remembering Günther Ernst Aronade

History of Sorts

Günther Ernst Aronade was born on March 19, 1918 Kattowitz, Germany, now Poland.

I am not sure on the exact date but it looks liked Günther and his wife Alisa (Ilse) Heymann moved to Amsterdam in 1938, I can only imagine because of the Nazi regime in Germany.

In September 1943 the couple ended up in Camp Westerbork, they managed to escape on September 15, 1943. They fled to France in December,

In France they were captured again and were sent to Auschwitz on February 10,1944 via Drancy.

Günther was murdered in Auschwitz on February 1943. he was aged 25.

His wife survived the war, she died on January 8, 1986. in Israel.

Source

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/358450/gunther-ernst-aronade

https://www.geni.com/people/G%C3%BCnther-Aronade/6000000002292874170

https://www.geni.com/people/Alisa-Ilse-Heymann-Elsberg/6000000030450294861

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Earth-the final frontier.

Space-tourism is the buzzword nowadays. It seems like some of earth richest men are desperately trying to leave this planet. I have no issues with space travel, far from it, if I would be offered a place on one of those rockets. I would grab that chance with both hands and feet.

But I do think that there is still so much to explore here, on the 3rd rock from the sun.

You could argue that ‘space-tourism’ started this day 75 years ago. The first photos taken from space were taken on October 24, 1946 on the sub-orbital U.S.-launched V-2 rocket (flight #13) at White Sands Missile Range. Photos were taken every second and a half. The highest altitude (65 miles, 105 km) was 5 times higher than any picture taken before.

The V-2 No. 13 was a modified World War 2, V-2 rocket that became the first object to take a photograph of the Earth from outer space.

The famous photograph, as seen above, was taken with an attached DeVry 35 mm black-and-white motion picture camera.

source

Denazification of the German National Anthem.

Denazification was the process of removing Nazi ideology and influence from all forms of public life in Germany after World War 2.

This process does not seem to have happened on the German National Anthem, I think this was a great mistake. A national Anthem is not just a bit of music, it instill a sense of pride and belonging in people’s hearts and minds.

It is my opinion that the German National Anthem should have been changed after the war.

The “Deutschlandlied” – “Song of Germany”)- officially titled “Das Lied der Deutschen” (“The Song of the Germans”), or part of it, has been the national anthem of Germany since 1922.

The music is the hymn “Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser”, written in 1797 by the Austrian composer Joseph Haydn as an anthem for the birthday of Francis II, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and later of Austria.In 1841, the German linguist and poet August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben wrote the lyrics of “Das Lied der Deutschen” as a new text for that music. The melody used by the “Deutschlandlied” was still in use as the anthem of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until its demise in 1918. On 11 August 1922, German President Friedrich Ebert, a Social Democrat, made the Deutschlandlied the official German national anthem.

When the Nazis took control in 1933,only the first stanza was used, it was also used in conjunction with the “Horst-Wessel-Lied”

The first stanza or refrain has the following text(English Translation)

“Germany, Germany above all,
Above all in the world,
When, for protection and defense,
It always stands brotherly together.
From the Meuse to the Memel,
From the Adige to the Belt,
Germany, Germany above all,
Above all in the world!
Germany, Germany above all,
Above all in the world!”

Although they changed the anthem from the 1st to the 3rd stanza after the war, with the lyrics.

“Unity and justice and freedom
For the German fatherland!
Towards these let us all strive
Brotherly with heart and hand!
Unity and justice and freedom
Are the safeguards of fortune;
Flourish in the radiance of this fortune,
Flourish, German fatherland!
Flourish in the radiance of this fortune,
Flourish, German fatherland”

The melody remained the same and the 1st stanza is still an official part of the whole piece of music. In the recent past it has resurfaced by some far right extremists and Neo Nazis. This could have been avoided if they had changed the National Anthem in its entirety.

There were efforts between 1945 and 1950 to change the anthem, but it was not popular with the German citizens. So in 1950 they decided to stick with the anthem and to just change the stanza. I think they gave up too easy.

At least the East German government changed the anthem to .”Auferstanden aus Ruinen” risen from ruins.

For Germany to escape their constant association with Fascism and Nazism, I believe it is important for them to realize that changing the anthem will be an important step to that. Maybe they should adopt the former DDR anthem

sources

https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/periods-genres/national-anthems/german-national-anthem-lyrics-world-war-two/

https://www.bundestag.de/en/parliament/symbols/anthem

https://www.classical-music.com/features/works/german-national-anthem-lyrics/

Auschwitz Erkennungsdienst-Auschwitz Identification service.

The Nazis at Auschwitz were determined with documenting prisoners. They also kept records of their experiments and war crimes. That is how arrogant they were, they did think that they would be held accountable and that all these records would be used against them.

The Politische Abteilung Erkennungsdienst -“Political Department Identification Service”-in Auschwitz was a kommando of SS officers and prisoners who photographed camp events, visiting dignitaries, and building works on behalf of the camp’s commandant, Rudolf Höss.

One function of the Erkennungsdienst was to take three photographs of each newly registered prisoner, unregistered prisoners were gassed on arrival, and to create prisoner identification papers with fingerprints. These details were circulated to the police in the event of an escape. If a prisoner died as a result of an escape attempt or suicide, the Erkennungsdienst took photographs of the body, which were added to the prisoner’s file and forwarded to SS-WVHA Office Group D (the Concentration Camps Inspectorate).

Prisoners were photographed soon after their arrival in Auschwitz-Birkenau by fellow-prisoners who were forced to work in the camp photo laboratory in Block 26. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum identifies names of some of these camp photographers: Wilhelm Brasse (No. 3444), Alfred Woycicki (no. 39247), Tadeusz Myszkowski (no. 593), Józef Pysz (no. 1420) Józef Światłoch (no. 3529), Eugeniusz Dembek (no. 63764), Bronisław Jureczek (no. 26672), Tadeusz Krzysica (no. 120557), Stanisław Trałka (no. 660), and Zdzisław Pazio (no. 3078).

Wilhelm Brasse died on October 23,2012. These are some of the photographs he took. I will only post the pictures and the names. It is up to every reader to find out what happened to them. That is a task I am setting for all of you. I also want you to look into the eyes of these poor souls and see the fear in them. The picture above is of Stefania Siebler.

Krystyna Trzesniewska
Gottlieb Wagner
Rozalia Kowalczyk
Czeslawa Kwoka

sources

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/jan/20/secondworldwar.warcrimes

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9344309/Wilhelm-Brasse-risked-life-Nazis-hide-atrocities.html

http://auschwitz.org/en/museum/about-the-available-data/prisoners-photos

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Living with Information and Communications Technology (ICT)


ICT or Information and communications technology has become an integral part of our daily lives. Whether it is for work or personal use we can not do without it. Especially in the last 2 years or so, during the Covid 19 pandemic, ICT has become the cornerstone to keep the economy and education going.
However, it has also become something which can be exploited for negative use. Cybercriminals have exploited weak spots in ICT infrastructure of many public and private companies.
For example, on May 14, 2021, the Health Service executive, Ireland, fell victim to ransomware cyber-attack. Ransomware is a malicious software designed to deny access to an ICT system until money is paid. The HSE had to shut down all their computers and fix them one by one.
Additionally with the development of mobile ICT devices like smart phones and tablets, and the creation of social media platforms it has become extremely easy to spread misinformation and conspiracy theories. On the other hand, it has also become much easier for people to work remotely.
For people like me who have family abroad, good reliable broadband connection, is especially important to stay connected to family and friends across the world. This has become evident to me when my youngest son moved to the Netherlands for the Erasmus project of his studies at the University of Limerick. He moved to Tilburg at the end of August, where before it would be too expensive to stay connected daily, nowadays we can chat and see each other every day via the app What’s App, at no extra cost.
Another advantage of Information and communication technology is in relation to the entertainment industry. Musicians no longer need to buy expensive studio time or equipment. With software like Audacity, Audiotool or Adobe audience they can record, edit, and stream it directly to platforms such as Spotify or Deezer. It has also become a lot easier to enjoy a TV show. Applications like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney + and Apple TV allow viewers to watch shows and other contents on every device that has a screen be it a laptop or desktop computer, tablet, smartphone, or smart TV, shows can be streamed directly to any of these devices, at any time the user wants it.
But the flipside of this is that there is a risk that down the line a price will have to be paid for all this convenience. Just as is the case with convenience food, just because it is easy and often immediately consumable does not equate with being healthy. People nowadays do not have to move out of their houses anymore. They can order food, watch a favourite show, and listen to music by using the same tool. Often a device that fits in a back pocket.
We most also take in consideration the environmental impact of ICT devices, and particularly the mobile, handheld devices and electric cars. They all run on rechargeable batteries called ‘Lithium-ion batteries. Most of these batteries contain minerals and chemicals as components. To name but a few-Lithium cobalt oxide, Graphite, Lithium iron phosphate and Lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxides- aside from the environmental impact of these components, they also sometimes with a human cost, mining these components often happens in third world countries at elevated risk and little pay.
They also have a high energy density; therefore, they need to be charged quite often, sometimes more than once a day, which is a drain on the electricity grid and can result into higher energy prices. Unfortunately, this is seldom heard in debates regarding so called ‘green’ energy.
A major innovation though is 3d printing. It enables things to be printed in a very quick way where it used to take a long time. Especially in the medical industry it has become a major driver to design and create all sorts of artificial limbs and other things.
I mentioned Social Media platforms earlier. In general, most of these are accessed via apps on mobile information and communications technology devices. Although most social media platforms were initially designed as tools to make it easier and more convenient to connect people. These platforms now have become facilitators of hate speech, history distortion, misinformation and are often politicised.

With the inbuilt programs where you can alter images to make you look better than you do, these platforms are in danger of becoming the purveyors of lies rather then connectors of people. Many especially younger people suffer from mental issues cause be unreal expectation and cyber bullying facilitated by some of the social media outlets.
In summary there are advantages and disadvantages to the use of ICT systems. But if they are used in a controlled in a sensible way, by using common sense, and perhaps by waiting a minute or two before giving a kneejerk reaction to what somebody may have sent you, I believe that overall, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. However there need to be better regulations and enforcement of those regulations of the more damaging aspect of the information and communication technology

After the Holocaust

History of Sorts

The one subject I find difficult to address is how the Dutch treated the Jews during the war. It is easy for me to say they didn’t do enough to help their Jewish neighbours, because that would be true. However I did not live in that time. I did not have to face severe punishments, even death, for helping my Jewish fellow man or woman.

In retrospect it is easy to judge. This doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be addressed properly, and it doesn’t mean we can look at it from a critical point of view.

It did take the Dutch government decades to apologize for the inaction of the Dutch government during the war.

On January 26,2020. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte apologised on behalf of his country’s government for its failure to protect Jews during World War Two.

Mr Rutte made the remarks at a Holocaust remembrance event in…

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Nemmersdorf massacre-Murder of civilians

No one can deny that the Nazis committed unspeakable atrocities during World War 2,against civilians. But the Nazis were not the only ones.

On October 21, 1944, the Soviet Red Army was steamrolling the German army on the Eastern Front, reaching the town of Nemmersdorf, at the time it was a German rural town in East Prussia, though today the town finds is part of Russia and is called Mayakovskoye.

The 2nd Battalion, 25th Guards Tank Brigade, belonging to the 2nd Guards Tank Corps of the 11th Guards Army, crossed the Angerapp bridge and established a bridgehead on the western bank of the Rominte river on 21 October 1944. The German forces tried to retake the bridge, but several attacks were repelled by the Soviet tanks and the supporting infantry. During an air attack, a number of Soviet soldiers took shelter in an improvised bunker that was already occupied by 14 local men and women. According to the testimony of a seriously-injured woman, Gerda Meczulat, when a Soviet officer arrived and ordered everybody out, the Soviets shot and killed the German civilians at close range. During the night, the Soviet 25th Tank Brigade was ordered to retreat back across the river and take defensive positions along the Rominte. The Wehrmacht regained control of Nemmersdorf and discovered the massacre.

A Soviet officer had ordered the civilians to be killed. There were some conflicting reports in relation to the age and gender of the victims , as well as the number of victims, with both sides trying to spin the incident to their respective advantage.

Nazi German authorities organized an international commission to investigate, headed by the Estonian Hjalmar Mäe and other representatives of neutral countries, such as Francoist Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. It heard the report from a medical commission, which reported that all of the dead females had been raped (they ranged in age from 8 to 84). The Nazi Propaganda Ministry (separately) used the Völkischer Beobachter and the cinema news series Wochenschau to accuse the Soviet Army of having killed dozens of civilians at Nemmersdorf and having summarily executed about 50 French and Belgian noncombatant prisoners-of-war, who had been ordered to take care of thoroughbred horses but had been blocked by the bridge.

After the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, new sources became available and the dominant view among scholars became that the massacre had been embellished and actually exploited by Goebbels in an attempt to stir up civilian resistance to the advancing Soviet Army.

The former chief of staff of the German Fourth Army, Major General Erich Dethleffsen, testified on 5 July 1946 before an American tribunal in Neu-Ulm:

“When in October, 1944, Russian units temporarily entered Nemmersdorf, they tortured the civilians, specifically they nailed them to barn doors, and then shot them. A large number of women were raped and then shot. During this massacre, the Russian soldiers also shot some fifty French prisoners of war. Within forty-eight hours the Germans re-occupied the area.”

Karl Potrek of Königsberg, the leader of a Volkssturm company present when the German Army took back the village, testified in a 1953 report:

“In the farmyard stood a cart, to which more naked women were nailed through their hands in a cruciform position … Near a large inn, the ‘Roter Krug’, stood a barn and to each of its two doors a naked woman was nailed through the hands, in a crucified posture…. In the dwellings we found a total of 72 women, including children, and one old man, 74, all dead…. Some babies had their heads bashed in.”

While the Germans claimed that most of the 653 residents of Nemmersdorf were killed, Soviet records showed only 20 to 30 killed. It was generally believed that the Germans had inflated the number of deaths, grouped evidence of other isolated atrocities to embellish the size of this massacre, and might even had created the situations where civilians would be killed by the Soviets (for example, some accused the German military of using civilians to shield one of the attacks on the Angrapa bridge). The Soviet claim of only 20 to 30 killed was equally fantastic, as the Soviet Union was also known to take great liberties with numbers even with its official state records. The actual number of deaths was likely somewhere in-between.

Regardless what the numbers were, it was nonetheless a massacre on civilians which never should have happened.

sources

https://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=198

https://www.bridgemanimages.com/it/noartistknown/wwii-nemmersdorf-massacre-1944/nomedium/asset/2497462

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nemmersdorf_massacre

https://history.stackexchange.com/questions/45432/were-the-events-in-nemmersdorf-a-pr-stunt-of-the-nazi-propaganda

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Lou Manche-Dutch Artist and Nazi propagandist.

One of the most powerful weapons during World War 2 was propaganda. The armies did not have to be persuades to go to war, it was their job to follow the orders of their respective governments.

However to persuade the civilians of the merits of war, propaganda was used this was done by all sides.

But World War 2 was different then any other war before. it also included the targeted mass murder of civilian population. For the Nazis to convince the general population that they were not only fighting external enemies but also ‘internal# ones they came up with a whole range of propaganda tools to sell their lies and market them as truth. It is a fact there is an element of truth in every lie.

Lou Manche was a member of the NSB, the Dutch Nazi party. He was also a member of the WA, which was the Dutch equivalent of the Stormtroopers, they called themselves a group who maintained order, but in fact they were just a gang of thugs.

Lou was also an artist, and by all means a very talented artist, but rather then using his talents for good he used them for evil.

He became a prominent propagandist for the NSB. The poster at the start of the blog is one of his posters. In the poster he makes clever use of semiotics, the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation, there are a few symbols in the poster: The star of David; the hammer and sickle, a caricature of Winston Churchill sitting on someone, who I believe to be Stafford Cripps, who was appointed Ambassador to the Soviet Union by Churchill..

Lou also makes use of words like: retarded; dandy ; millionaire communist; gold trading Jews. All of these symbols and words are all subliminal messages- messages that are meant to kind of ‘slip past your mental radar’ and embed itself deep into your subconscious mind- they were aimed to make Jews, English, Communists and also people with mental illness look to be the enemy of the state.

People who read these messages may have thought they were no so harmful because they didn’t call for aggression. They may have thought they were warnings of what could happen. The headline says “If England wins the war” it then lists all that could happen. In short it says that the Jews would exploit the Dutch and the English described as retarded’ and Soviets would destroy the country.

The poster also makes reference to a piece H.G Wells had written in a magazine called the ‘Fortnightly’ .

Wells warns about the mistake the English government has made by going to war with Germany. To end Hitler’s regime, he warns about what may come after Hitler. He also says that they think that they can render Hitler powerless just so that can go back fishing and golfing, quoted on the poster of Lou Manche. This of course was one of those cherry picking tactics of the Nazis, H.G. Wells had been one of the authors banned by the Nazi regime. His book “The Outline of History: Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind” was one of the books, thrown into the flames, a the 1933 book burnings. But if it suited the Nazis agenda they would be willing to overlook that fact.

Although many Dutch used their common sense and did not heed the propaganda of the NSB and Lou Manche, there were plenty who fell for it, and quite a few were well educated. 75% of all Dutch Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, Lou Manche’s ‘art’ had a part to play in this.

Many of Lou Manche’s propaganda posters remind me of modern day memes, which are often used in a similar way to get a political message across. Like then they are usually taken out of context.

After the war Lou Manche was only jailed for a short time. In 1954 the Royal British Legion had even commissioned him to do a stained glass piece for them. But afters a great number of protests they decided to assign it to another artist

sources

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/hg-wells

https://historical.ha.com/itm/books/philosophy/-h-g-wells-contributor-the-fortnightly-fortnightly-review-may-1940-issue-original-wrappers-some-wear-and-t/a/201306-93219.s

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ROCKTOBER-Paranoid

Say what you want about Ozzy Osbourne, but he did perform and sing some truly classic Rock songs.

He was still a teenager when he joined Black Sabbath and was only 22 when they recorded ‘Paranoid’.

As the title suggests, this song is about a man who is paranoid. The driving guitar and bass create a nervous energy to go along with Ozzy Osbourne’s desperate vocal. Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, who wrote the lyric, explained the song’s meaning to Mojo magazine June 2013: “Basically, it’s just about depression, because I didn’t really know the difference between depression and paranoia. It’s a drug thing; when you’re smoking a joint you get totally paranoid about people, you can’t relate to people. There’s that crossover between the paranoia you get when you’re smoking dope and the depression afterwards.”

Although this was the first Black Sabbath-penned single, the band’s debut single was actually a cover of Crow’s “Evil Woman Don’t Play Your Games With Me” a few months before the “Paranoid” release. “Paranoid” was much more successful. It was released six months after their self-titled first album and had a huge impact in their native UK, going to #4 and becoming one of their signature songs.

It is the first single from their second album with the same title, while the B-side is the song “The Wizard”. It reached number 4 on the UK Singles Chart and number 61 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The group never charted again in the UK Top 10, but that wasn’t a problem since album and ticket sales more than made up for it. Many UK rock bands, including Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, put little emphasis on singles.

sources

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/black-sabbath/paranoid

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranoid_(Black_Sabbath_song)