The Brigitte Eicke Diary-A parallel universe


This blog is not meant as an accusation it is merely meant to illustrate the differences of teenage life between German teenagers and the lives if teenagers who were considered sub human by the Nazi regime. the best way to describe it is a parallel universe.

Brigitte Eicke’s teenager account of life in wartime Germany illustrates  a complete different  perspective on the Nazi years.(shown on the right in the picture below)


In  many ways Brigitte was just a typical teenage girl, obsessed with her friends, first kisses with boys and trips to the cinema.

However  as a  resident of Berlin  in the pre-WWI and WWI years , Brigitte was a first-hand witness to one of the most turbulent chapters of modern history and crucially, at the age of 15, she began keeping a diary.

Below are some excerpts of her diary.

‘There were some Jewish girls in my first ever class photograph, taken in 1933, but by the time the next was taken, they were all gone. When I asked my mother about them, she said they had moved to Palestine.’

May 11th , 1944

“Went in BDM (Nazi girl guide) uniform to the Admirals palast to see Madame Butterfly. It was wonderful, my first opera”

February, 27, 1943

‘Waltraud and I went to the opera to see “The Four Ruffians.” I had a ticket for Gitti Seifert too. What a load of nonsense, it was ridiculous.

‘We walked back to Wittenbergplatz and got on the underground train at Alexanderplatz. Three soldiers started talking to us. Gitti is so silly, she went all silent when they spoke to her. The least one can do is answer, even though we weren’t going to go anywhere with them.

‘Jews all over town are being taken away, including the tailor across the road.’

1 February 1944

“The school had been bombed when we arrived this morning. Waltraud, Melitta and I went back to Gisela’s and danced to gramophone records.”

2 March 1945

“Margot and I went to the Admiralspalast cinema to see ‘Meine Herren Söhne.’ It was such a lovely film but there was a power cut in the middle of it. How annoying!”


November 1944

She writes that she has just been given a “disastrous” perm by her hairdresser and is worried about going to work “looking a fright”.

A different perspective

July 20th, 1944

Brigitte Eicke: “Sunned myself on the roof. Failed assassination on the Führer. In the night we heard the speeches of the Führer, Dönitz and Göring. Wonderful.”

Anne Frank: “Great news! There was an assassination attempt on Hitler … Sadly, ‘divine providence’ saved the Führer’s life and he survived with a few grazes and scorch wounds.

August 1st, 1944

Brigitte Eicke: “It rained all day. We had a nap in the afternoon and were in bed already by 10. It’s a shame, such a waste of a lost evening.”

Anne Frank: “Dear Kitty! … I’ve often told you that my soul is divided in two. One side contains my boisterous happiness … (and) squeezes out the other, much nicer, side that is more pure and deep. Nobody knows the nice side of Anne…” [Anne’s final diary entry]

2 May 1945

Brigitte Eicke: “At 3am Frau Schöbs came into the cellar and said: the Führer is dead, the war is over. I could only let out a scream… we went on to the street and all the soldiers were withdrawing, it is so sad.”



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Irish Times

Der Spiegel






Happy St Patrick’s Day


The history of St Patrick, , is a bit sketchy, the exact date of birth is not known .Similarly, the place where St Patrick was born cannot be confirmed. Suffice to say there is a broad agreement that he was active as a missionary in Ireland during the second half of the 5th century.And he is regarded  as the founder of Christianity in Ireland.

There are so many theories and books on St Patrick and to do just one blog on the patron saint of Ireland,( also of Nigeria and Montserrat), would do no justice to the man. I am therefor focusing on other Irish historical traditions.

Amhrán na bhFiann or A soldiers song- The Irish Anthem.


The National Anthem, called ‘The Soldier’s Song’/‘Amhrán na bhFiann’ was written by Peadar Kearney either early in 1910 or late in 1909 (according to an affidavit signed by him in 1926). The music, by Patrick Heeney, is understood to have been composed around the same time. The original English text of ‘The Soldier’s Song’ was first published in Bulmer Hobson’s, Irish Freedom newspaper in 1912. ‘The Soldier’s Song’ was not widely known until it was sung at the GPO during the Easter Rising of 1916.

Liam Ring (Ó Rinn) was responsible for its first translation into Irish in late 1916 and it was published in the Army magazine, An tÓglach, on 3 November 1923. The Executive Council of the Irish Free State, on 12 July 1926, decided to adopt the music of ‘The Soldier’s Song’/‘Amhrán na bhFiann’ as the official National Anthem.

All three men responsible for the National Anthem, Peadar Kearney, Patrick Heeney and Liam Ring (Ó Rinn), were from Dublin’s north inner city and lived within 200 yards of each other.

Ireland’s Call-The Other Irish Anthem


Rugby is one of the most if not the most popular sports in Ireland, The national Rugby Union’s team consists of players from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.Rugby fans will know that since 1995 two Irish anthem are played at the start of rugby matches.

Even though Ireland’s official anthem is ‘The Soldier’s Song’, it is sensitive for those who have Unionist sympathies in Northern Ireland. This is similar to Northern Ireland’s national anthem which is ‘God Save the Queen’ and which is favoured by those who have nationalist sympathies. All rugby matches are played in the Republic of Ireland and both ‘Ireland’s Call’ and ‘The Soldier’s Song’ are sung. After the first verse is sung, it is followed by a chorus which is also sung in the same key and then repeated in a higher note at the end.

The song came into being in 1995 and was composed and written by Phil Coulter in a bid to merge different Irish traditions. The song was first broadcast in the Kelly Show in Northern Ireland and in the Late Late Show in the Republic of Ireland by Andrew Strong.

boys in green

Today on St Patrick’s Day .Ireland will be playing England in Twickenham,England for the last match of the 6 Nations Championship(which is basically the European Cup for Rugby) and although had already won the championship, if they win today they will have won the grand slam for the 3rd time in history, it will also mean they will win the triple crown( the original trophy when the championship was only played by England,Ireland, Scotland and Wales).


Although I am a Dutch man(living in Ireland) and know very little about Rugby, on days like today I feel as Irish as any Irish man.

All that is left for me is to wish you all a Happy St Patrick’s day and may the luck of the Irish be upon the National Irish rugby team this afternoon.



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




The consequences of following a mad man.

Hitler rehearsing his public speeches in front of the mirror 1

It is often said that the German people were victims of the Nazi regime too, and to a large extend that is true. However the German people have to look at who to blame for that, and if they are honest they will come to the conclusion that the inescapable fact is the blame lies with themselves.

So many reasons are named for the start of WWII,mostly because of the mistreatment of Germany by the world after WWI, and to an extend this is also true, but it was also the Germans who in conjunction with other smaller nations started that war too.

The real reason why they should put the blame on themselves is that they elected the man and the party who put them close to the abyss. Not only did they elect him, on -August 19 1934 they gave him a Carte-blanche to basically do whatever he wanted to, in a referendum. This was the question put to the German nation.

“The office of the President of the Reich is unified with the office of the Chancellor. Consequently all former powers of the President of the Reich are demised to the Führer and Chancellor of the Reich Adolf Hitler. He himself nominates his substitute.Do you, German man and German woman, approve of this regulation provided by this Law?”

The government did use intimidation and electoral fraud to secure a yes vote but that doesn’t take away the fact that many still voted ‘Yes’ anyway.

There were so many signs before the 1933 elections and the 1934 referendum that Hitler and his cronies were nothing more then thugs fueled by hatred. The irony that is often missed that Hitler wasn’t even a German.

Hitler rehearsing his public speeches in front of the mirror 4

Germany did pay a high price for following a mad man but not quite as high as those who were butchered by the Nazi regime.

Below are some examples of the consequences of following a mad man.

A  German prisoner of war returning to his home town of Frankfurt to discover his house bombed and his family no longer there.

German Soldier returning home Tony Vaccaro

A pile of bodies awaits cremation after the firebombing of Dresden, February 1945.

A pile of bodies awaits cremation after the firebombing of Dresden, February 1945

War-torn Cologne Cathedral stands out of the devastated area on the west bank of the Rhine, in Cologne, Germany, April 24, 1945.

Last_days_of_Nazi_Germany (24)

A mother and her children killed in the bombing of Dresden

A pile of bodies awaits cremation after the bombing of Dresden, 1945 (2)

A dead Wehrmacht soldier in the ruins of Berlin 1945

Berlin in 1945 4

Don’t get me wrong I have a lot of German friends and there is a realization in the German generations born after the war of the consequences caused by the previous generations, but I do see a shift of attitude towards the war in the some of the younger generations which does give me a cause of concern.


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



I am just a child

childI am just a child

I wear no uniform. nor do I carry a gun

My best friend is a doll

I am just a child

I do not hate nor do I judge

My school days haven’t even begun yet

I am just a child

I play with toys and like to draw pictures of our house and garden

My parents love me as I love them

I am just a child

I caused people to hate me but I do not know how or why

My life has just begun

I am just a child

Actually I am no longer a child

I am a number and a statistic

To some I am a non entity

I am a child with a name

I am Aline Korenbajzer

I was born on August 31, 1939 in Paris. France.I was killed on August 30, 1942 . A day before I turned 3. at Auschwitz .


Source of Picture

Ancient Faces

Sex Sells-Even in WWII,Part2

++Contains some nudity++++


Fear not, I haven’t turned my site into a porn site, not that there is anything wrong with that, but each to their own and that just isn’t me. But because we live in a PC world and so many people get so easily offended I felt compelled to start this blog with a warning.

If we are to believe science the average men thinks about sex every 7 seconds.

Put that in the  context  of WWII ,with testosterone bouncing left,right and center in men who haven’t seen their girlfriends,wives or any member of the opposite sex in weeks possibly months and longer , the notion of using Sex as a weapon and propaganda is extremely powerful, nt only for men serving but also for young boys who were of an age where they could sign up for the armed forces.

Life Magazine 1942 My Gal Sal Movie Ad Rita Hayworth WWII Pin Up Sexy Red-Head.


Encouraging to but War Bonds



Defense-industry worker Norma Jeane Dougherty, as shot by U.S. Army photographer David Conover for the June 26, 1945, issue of YANK magazine, the weekly news for U.S. military personnel. The photo was colorized for publication, and it is contended by some that this led to modeling and pinup work and, in 1946, a movie contract with 20th Century Fox where, eventually she acquiesced to the screen name Marilyn Monroe, mainly because of the phonic appeal of the “MM” alliteration.


Some good old fashioned Sexism  from the US State department didn’t go astray either.


Aside from the  obvious concerns of losing troops on the battlefields there was also a big fear of troops getting infected by venereal diseases like  Syphilis and Gonorrhea.



A 1940’s US Navy recruitment poster.

in the navy


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Happy Birthday Santa Claus


I know what you’re all thinking” Has he lost his marbles, we are only 2 days away from St Patrick’s day and he is coming up with a Christmas story”

Do not worry I can assure you that I still have all my faculties. Legend has it that on this day in the year 280 Saint Nicholas was born. Saint Nicholas who we now know as Santa Claus, Saint Nick or if you live in a Dutch speaking country Sinterklaas or still as Saint Nicholas


There are so many different version of his origin varying between Lapland and Spain.

According to tradition, he was born in the ancient Lycian seaport city of Patara, currently in Turkey,,when he was young, he traveled to the Middle East. He became bishop of Myra soon after returning to Lycia. He was imprisoned during the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Diocletian but was released under the rule of Constantine the Great. He attended the first Council of Nicaea (325), where he allegedly struck the heretic Arius in the face.


He was buried in his church at Myra, and by the 6th century his shrine there had become well known. In 1087 Italian sailors or merchants stole his alleged remains from Myra and took them to Bari, Italy; this removal greatly increased the saint’s popularity in Europe, and Bari became one of the most crowded of all pilgrimage centres. Nicholas’s relics remain enshrined in the 11th-century basilica of San Nicola at Bari,


It is however also alleged that Saint Nicholas is buried in County Kilkenny,Ireland. Tradition in these parts tell that the earthly remains of St. Nicholas were secretly removed from Bari by returning crusader knights, who brought them back to Newtown Jerpoint for safe keeping.

The grave’s stone slab is carved with the image of a cleric with the heads of two knights behind each shoulder, said to be those of the two crusaders who, so the story goes, brought Nicholas’s remains to Ireland. Evidence lends some credence to this tale as the Normans in Kilkenny were keen collectors of religious relics, and it is known that Norman knights participated in the Holy Land Crusades.



We all know of course that all these theories are incorrect because he still delivers present every Christmas.


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



It could have been my Family.


One of the most disturbing aspects of the Holocaust was the randomness of its victims. There were targeted groups like the Jews,Roma, Sinti,Homosexuals,Disabled people and Jehovah witnesses and a few more groups deemed to be undesirable and ‘untermensch-sub human’, The Nuremberg laws dictated who was or was not fit to live in the Nazi occupied countries.




However it was often also left at the discretion of local Nazis to determine who was considered to be Jewish or Sinti or otherwise.

The picture at the top of this blog is of Anna Maria (Settela) Steinbach. The haunting picture is often used in Holocaust documentaries, but ever since I found out about the origin of the picture it has haunted me more then I ever could have expected. Anna Maria (Settela) Steinbach was Sinti and was born 23 December 1934 in the village of Buchten, in the southeastern province Limburg of the Netherlands. She died in Auschwitz-Birkenaus on July 31 1944. Buchten is only a few miles away from my birthplace Geleen, in fact it is so near that in 2001 it merged into the bigger municipality of Sittard-Geleen.

Although I am not Sinti or Jewish or otherwise, being 6.2ft tall,blonde(ish) and blue eyed, the Nazis would have loved me. However my father who was born in 1936, could have easily been mistaken for Sinti or Roma he had a sallow complexion, dark hair and brown eyes. Even his surname could have been a reason for the Nazis to assume he was Jewish, our name is ‘de Klein’ but all too often people leave out the ‘de’ bit turning the name ‘Klein’  from a Dutch name to a Jewish name, although it is also a German and French name.

There is a 1976 French movie “Mr. Klein” which is about a French art dealer who gets mistaken for a Jewish man with the same name.  He then frantically tries to proof there was a case of mistaken identity.Although the movie is not based on a true story I have heard of instances where people were pursued because of mistaken identities, often mistaken on purpose by Nazi sympathizers who wanted to get rid of people they just didn’t like and who had Jewish sounding names.


My father was never arrested or picked up or anything like that, My Grandfather though was executed by the Nazis,unfortunately the circumstances why are still not clear to me and I may never find out why.

Something that has played in my mind for a while now is the fact my  family name is “de Klein” rather then “Klein” might just be the reason why my family survived. Those 2 letters just could have saved their lives

It could have so easily been my family who would have been put on that train to Westerbork.Auscwhitz or any other of the concentration camps.



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



The US Army K 9 unit.


They say that the dog is man’s best friend and I do subscribe to that nation, although I haven’t had a dog for several years. The reason being, the last dog I had got very sick and needed to be euthanized, it broke my heart, and ever since that time I decided not to have any dogs anymore.

But before I get sidetracked this blog is about the heroic dogs that served in WWII.

On March 13 in 1942, the Quartermaster Corps (QMC) of the United States Army begins training dogs for the newly established War Dog Program, or “K-9 Corps.”


Many brave dogs served in various war efforts including scouting, message couriers, patrolling, sentry duty and mine-detecting, not to mention the companionship they provided to the troops.


In the United States, the practice of training dogs for military purposes was largely abandoned after World War I. When the country entered World War II in December 1941, the American Kennel Association and a group called Dogs for Defense began a movement to mobilize dog owners to donate healthy and capable animals to the Quartermaster Corps of the U.S. Army. Training began in March 1942, and that fall the QMC was given the task of training dogs for the U.S. Navy, Marines and Coast Guard as well.

The Dogs for Defense program was initiated by a private citizen, a well-respected breeder of poodles, Mrs. Alene Erlanger. She gained the support of the American Kennel Club, and her organization soon became the primary procurer of dogs for the military.

(Greer Garson and poodles with Alene Stern Erlanger, circa 1942)


The K-9 Corps initially accepted over 30 breeds of dogs, but the list was soon narrowed to seven: German Shepherds, Belgian sheep dogs, Doberman Pinschers, collies, Siberian Huskies, Malumutes and Eskimo dogs. Members of the K-9 Corps were trained for a total of 8 to 12 weeks.



After basic obedience training, they were sent through one of four specialized programs to prepare them for work as sentry dogs, scout or patrol dogs, messenger dogs or mine-detection dogs. In active combat duty, scout dogs proved especially essential by alerting patrols to the approach of the enemy and preventing surprise attacks.

jungle dog

A number of dogs trained by the Quartermaster Corps earned outstanding records in combat overseas. Probably the most famous war dog was named Chips. Donated and trained at Front Royal, Virginia, Chips was among the first dogs shipped overseas. Assigned to the Third Infantry Division in North Africa, one of his assignments included sentry duty at the Roosevelt-Churchill Conference in Casablanca, Morocco, in January 1943. On another occasion, Chips, sensing danger, broke away from his handler to attack a pillbox containing an enemy machine gun nest. A bullet pierced his body, but, ignoring the pain, he threw himself upon the enemy and forced the entire crew to surrender. Chips was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart.


Unfortunately all medals were revoked because he had violated the sacred rule to never break away from his handler. Even though Chips did not need an award to validate his heroism, his service friends took the matter into their own hands and bestowed a theater ribbon on their pal.

By 1945 the Quartermaster Corps had trained 10,425 dogs, including 9,295 for sentry duty, issued to the Army, Navy (Marines) and the Coast Guard. Fewer than 1,900 of those animals were shipped abroad, and by the end of the war only 436 had actually served overseas.



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





America Comes Alive







Have a Yabba Dabba Do time- The Darker side of the Flintstones


Who hasn’t grown up watching the Flintstones, a wholesome family TV show if there ever was one. However it did have a slightly darker side.

The Flintstones was originally aimed at an adult audience and the first two seasons were co-sponsored by Winston cigarettes.



It was only at season 3 when it became mor child friendly and was sponsored by Welch’s, who produced grape juice and jellies.

The First Couple to be Shown in the Same Bed Together on Prime Time TV were Fred and Wilma Flintstone.


This occurred during The Flintstones’ original run on ABC from 1960 until 1966. Many falsely claim that the Ricardos from I Love Lucy were the first couple to do so, but in fact Lucy and Ricky slept in separate beds for the duration of that series.

It is still one of the most entertaining TV shows though.



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


How the 1953 North Sea flood resulted in a professional football league.


On the night of 31 January – 1 February 1953, many dykes in the province of Zeeland, the southern parts of the province of South Holland and the northwestern parts of the province of North Brabant ,in the Netherlands,proved unable to resist the combination of spring tide and a northwesterly storm.

It was to become the biggest natural disaster to date in the Netherlands.It was  estimated that  the flooding killed 1,835 people and forced the emergency evacuation of 70,000 more. Floods covered 9% of Dutch farmland, and sea water flooded 1,365 km² of land. An estimated 30,000 animals drowned, and 47,300 buildings were damaged, of which 10,000 were destroyed. Total damage is estimated at 1 billion Dutch guilders.



Although my hometown, Geleen, in the southeastern province Limburg in the Netherlands, was not directly impacted by the storm and floods. Indirectly it was affected by it but in a positive way.

Geleen is the home of Fortuna 54 which was the first professional football team in the country.


One of the key players was Cor van der Hart.

Van der Hart was one of the players participating in the Watersnoodwedstrijd(Flood disaster match) of 12 March 1953.This was a match played in the Parc des Princes stadiumWatersnoodwedstrijd_Aufstellung_L'Equipe_1953-03-13-2 in Paris and was played in honour  of the victims of the North Sea flood of 1953, and to raise money for the relief work and survivors of the disaster. Van der Hart, who still played as a professional in France those days, together with several others like Bram Appel, Theo Timmermans, Bertus de Harder and Kees Rijvers  heard the news of the flood  on the radio and realised his home country needed help .The KNVB (the Dutch football association) still prohibited professional players within the country.

Five days earlier, the Netherlands lost 2-1 to Denmark in another match held in Rotterdam. This time at Paris’ Parc des Princes, the Netherlands trailed 1-0 when de Harder tied the game on a 58th-minute goal. Then Appel, who along with Theo Timmermans helped orchestrate bringing this game, scored the winning goal in the 81st minute.

8,000 Dutch fans travelled to Paris to witness the match and saw their team beating the strong French team 2–1 with goals scored by De Harder and Appel.



The match was the breakthrough to introduce professional football in the Netherlands. Only 17 months later the first professional match in the country was played.

When professional football started in the Netherlands Van der Hart returned to his native country to play for Fortuna ’54,



Fortuna 54 no longer exists ,on July 1 1968  it merged with RKSV Sittardia of the neighboring town of Sittard and was renamed “Fortuna Sittard” and Sittard became the home of the newly founded football team.

In 2001 both towns Geleen and Sittard also merged and formed the municipality of Sittard-Geleen  and is currently  the second most populated municipality in Limburg.


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