Hooray for Hollywood

I don’t think there is one person on the planet who doesn’t know what Hollywood is, or what cultural significance it has. It is a place where dreams are turned into reality, and reality turned into dreams, sometimes nightmares.

This is just a pictorial blog about that place we all love and sometimes hate, or rather what is produced there The most visible symbol of the district is the Hollywood sign that overlooks the area. First built in 1923 (a new sign was erected in 1978), the sign originally said “Hollywoodland” (to advertise new homes being developed in the area), but the sign fell into disrepair, and the “land” section was removed in the 1940s when the sign was refurbished.

Greta Garbo and the Dubliner Cairbre, he was the first lion used by MGM, and was born in Dublin Zoo.

Judy Garland on the set of the Wizard of Oz

D. W. Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks founders of United Artists.

George Reeves as Superman

On the darker side of the entertainment business, The Hollywood Ten were a part of an industry-wide blacklisting of individuals thought to be connected to or involved with the Community Party.

Psycho

Born to be wild-The filming of Easy Rider

In a galaxy far, far away-Star Wars

We are going to need a bigger boat, and probably cinema-Jaws the first block buster.

source

https://historyinorbit.com/vintage-pictures-that-define-old-hollywood-2

Stolpersteine-Holocaust history on your doorstep.

A Stolpersteinplural Stolpersteine; literally means “stumbling stone”, metaphorically a “stumbling stone” is a sett-size, ten-centimetre (3.9 in) concrete cube bearing a brass plate inscribed with the name and life dates of victims of Nazi extermination or persecution..

Created by the artist Gunter Demnig in 1992, Stolpersteine are brass-topped cobblestones embedded in the pavement outside a home or building of significance pertaining to a Holocaust victim.

There are already over 91,000 stolpersteine in over 700 locations. Many cities and villages across Europe, not only in Germany, have expressed an interest in the project. Stones have already been laid in many places in Austria, Hungary, the Netherlands, Belgium, in the Czech Republic, in Poland (seven in Wrocław, one in Słubice), in Ukraine (Pereiaslav), in Italy (Rome) and Norway (Oslo). Today the first stolpersteine will be placed in Dublin, Ireland.

The first Irish stumbling stones were embedded at St Catherine’s National School in south Dublin by their creator, German artist Gunter Demnig.

Founding trustee of the Holocaust Education Trust Ireland, Lynn Jackson, explained that in the early 20th century Ireland had a Jewish population of around 5,000 people and the area around the South Circular Road and Portobello in Dublin was once known as “Little Jerusalem” as there was a vibrant Jewish community there.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, she said the stones will commemorate six Irish victims of the Holocaust: Ettie Steinberg Gluck, her husband Wojteck Gluck, and their baby son Leon, along with Isaac Shishi, Ephraim Saks and his sister, Jeanne (Lena) Saks.

I just want to highlight the youngest of the group.

Leon was born on the 28 March 1939,in Paris. Unfortunately, the threat of violence spread throughout France in 1940 and this put them in danger. From 1940 to 1942 the small family was in hiding, moving from place to place, rarely staying still for more than two nights at a time.

Back in Dublin, the Steinbergs, Leon’s grandparents, worked desperately to save their daughter Ettie by getting her and her family back to Ireland. Pleas were sent to the Vatican and the Red Cross for information, but to no avail. They eventually managed to secure three visas from the British Home Office in Belfast and sent them to Toulouse, where the family was in hiding. However, they arrived one day too late for Ettie, Vogtjeck and little Leon. The Glucks had been caught in a round-up of Jews on the 2 September 1942 and were put on a train to Auschwitz.

sources

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/146364294/leon-gluck

https://www.rte.ie/news/regional/2022/0601/1302393-stumbling-stones/

The Charley Project-My interview with Meaghan Good.

The Charley Project profiles over 14,000 “cold case” missing people mainly from the United States. It does not actively investigate cases; it is merely a publicity vehicle for missing people who are often neglected by the press and forgotten all too soon. A person must have been missing for at least one year to be listed; see the FAQ for additional information on the site, its goals, and its founder/administrator. This is my interview with Meaghan Good, founder of the Charley Project.

One of the cases we talk about is of Annie McCarrick, 26, of Long Island, New York. She went missing on 26 March 1993. She was living in Sandymount, Co. Dublin. The last confirmed sighting of her was at a post office in Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow. However, there was an unconfirmed sighting of her outside Johnnie Fox’s Pub in Glencullen, Co. Dublin. This sighting was by a doorman of the pub who said she was with an unknown man. They left the lounge of Johnny Fox’s Pub and entered the cabaret room where the unknown man paid for both of them to enter. McCarrick had invited her friend, Hilary Brady and his girlfriend, Rita Fortune to dinner at her apartment the next day. When McCarrick was not there, they contacted her parents in New York and she was reported missing. McCarrick’s parents, John and Nancy McCarrick arrived in Ireland shortly after their daughter was reported missing, but left after a six-month long unsuccessful search for McCarrick.

source

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Chaim Herzog-Irishman and President of Israel.

On may 26,1992,Israel’s President Chaim Herzog unveiled a rock from Jerusalem, at Auschwitz. The rock serves as a permanent memorial to the 1.65 million Jews who were murdered there.

Visibly anguished and tearful, President Herzog said the following words during the unveiling.

“In this dread place, I stand here brokenhearted. This ground on which we stand was drenched in the blood of the pure and holy. In this place, a fearful fire consumed all that was generously supplied by the Nazi annihilation machine. I stand here representing the state that came into being for us, the Jewish people, three years after the conclusion of the ineffable crime,”

The slab of rock from Jerusalem, inlaid with a memorial plaque, was intended for Auschwitz. But it took the Israeli president six months before his visit to convince the Polish authorities to place it at the site. The Poles agreed only after the personal intervention of President Lech Walesa.

Chaim Herzog was born in Belfast on September 17,1918. The family moved to Dublin when his father became chief rabbi of Ireland. Isaac Herzog was an ardent Zionist and Irish nationalist. Chaim was bar mitzvahed in Adelaide Road synagogue, and received his secular education at Wesley College. Proficient in cricket, rugby and boxing, he was Irish youth bantamweight champion.

Sent by his parents in 1935 to attend a Talmudic academy in Jerusalem, he joined the Haganah, the underground Jewish paramilitary force. He studied law at London University and was called to the bar in November 1942. Enlisting in the British army, after lengthy training he was posted in 1944 to Normandy as an intelligence officer.

Herzog participated in the liberation of several Nazi concentration camps as well as identifying a captured German soldier as Heinrich Himmler. After the German surrender, he was assigned to identify and interrogate top Nazi officials.

He left the British Army in 1947 with the rank of Major.

In Israel he directed Israel’s Labour Party’s public relations office in the 1981 general election, and won election to a Knesset seat. As Labour’s 1983 presidential candidate he attracted cross-party support, and was elected as the sixth president of Israel. After the deadlocked 1984 general election he played a major role in the formation of the “national unity” government.

On a 1985 state visit to Ireland he inaugurated the Irish Jewish Museum on Walworth Road in Dublin, and in 1987 became the first Israeli head of state to visit Germany. He was re-elected unopposed to a second five-year term in 1988.

He died on April,17 1997. His son Isaac Herzog is the current President of Israel.

sources

Click to access 1992-05-27_101.pdf

https://www.ushmm.org/information/about-the-museum/mission-and-history/herzog

https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/abroad/the-belfast-man-who-became-president-of-israel-1.3433703

https://www.rte.ie/news/world/2021/0602/1225566-isaac-herzog/

https://www.tracesofwar.com/sights/90645/Memorial-Stone-Chaim-Herzog.htm

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Hitler’s Irish sister in law.

brdie

Bridget Dowling born on July 3, 1891 in Dublin. She grew up at Flemings Place, near Mespil Road.  She was still in her teens when she met Adolf Hitler’s half brother Alois Hitler, Jr. at the Dublin Horse Show in the RDS in 1909.

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Alois had pretended to be a wealthy hotelier who was touring Europe, but in fact he was a kitchen porter working in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, which he later admitted to. He had left Austria  for, Dublin, Ireland, in 1896, aged 14, because of the  increasingly violent arguments with his father and the strained relationship with his stepmother Klara.Adolf’s mother.

Bridget fell for Alois’s charms and after a number of months courting in Dublin,the couple eloped to London in 1910 . mainly due to her family’s disapproval of her relationship with Alois, ,  They married on 3 June 1910 and later settled in Toxteth, Liverpool. On the 12th of March 1911, the couple had a baby boy called William Patrick,or Paddy.

The Census of England and Wales from 1911 shows that all three were  residing in Liverpool at 102 Upper Stanhope Street. Alois is listed as “Anton,” and wrote down the German word “sohn” (son) in reference to Patrick William.Bridget’s name is crossed out on the form as Cissy Fowling, instead, she appears as “Cissie Hitler”

cissy

In 1914 Alois left his wife and son and went to Germany. After WWI he pretended he had died. He had remarried although he was still married to Bridget, thus committing bigamy and he was charged with bigamy by the German authorities in 1924, but escaped conviction because Bridget intervened and divorced him even though she was a devout Roman Catholic.

Bridget raised her son as a lone parent  She moved to Highgate, North London, and took in lodgers to pay the bills.

Her son had moved to Germany in the 1930s and tried to capitalize on the Hitler name, he even got help from his uncle Adolf who got him a job in a bank. But William “Paddy” Hitler soon became an embarrassment for Adolf Hitler, especially after William threatened to tell the press that Hitler’s alleged paternal grandfather was actually a Jewish merchant. William moved back to the UK and immigrated to the US in 1939, where he eventually joined the US Navy in 1944.

us navy

In 1939, Bridget joined her son on a tour of the United States where he was invited to lecture on his infamous uncle. She decided to stay with her son in the USA Bridget settled in Long Island, New York, changing her name to Stuart-Houston, as did her son.

in 1947 William married  the German born Phyllis Jean-Jacques,The couple had four sons: Alexander Adolf (born. 1949), Louis (born. 1951), Howard Ronald (born died 1957–1989), and Brian William (born. 1965).

Howard Ronald Stuart-Houston, was a Special Agent with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service. He died in an a car crash on 14 September 1989,leaving behind no children.

Allegedly the other 3 sons of William made a  pact not to have children in order to end the Hitler bloodline, but Alexander denied there was an intentional pact to do so.

It is amazing to think that the Hitler bloodline is still continuing because of an Irish woman.

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Sources

Mail Online

Irish Central

Journal.ie

Independent.ie

 

 

 

 

Richard Hayes AKA Captain Gray-Ireland’s WWII code breaker.

Doertz

Although Ireland was neutral during WWII it didn’t stay completely out of the war.There were even some famous Irish war heroes like the Beamish brothers from Cork who became RAF flying aces.

beamish

On the other hand there were less conspicuous heroes, unlikely heroes even like Limerick man Richard Hayes.

He was born in Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick and grew up in in Claremorris, Co. Mayo. He was educated in Clongowes Wood College in Klidare and in Trinity College in Dublin.

trinity

Richard Hayes was no soldier ,he was a librarian, in fact in he was the director of the National Library in Dublin. It is nor clear how Colonel Dan Bryan, head of Ireland’s G2 intelligence service identified Hayes as a code breaker, but he did, probably because Hayes,was highly regarded for his mathematical and linguistic expertise.

Great  Britain had complained of radio transmissions from a house in north Dublin owned by the German Embassy.ciphers had been found on another captured spy here. So with the support of Eamon de Valera, who always had a big interest in maths, Hayes was given an office and staff to go to work on the German codes.The coded messages were a substantial  threat to Irish national security and the wider war effort.

Hayes’s biggest  nemesis was Dr. Herman Görtz,

Gortz

In the summer of 1940, Görtz had parachuted into Ballivor, County Meath, Ireland uis goal was  to gather information. He moved in with former IRA leader Jim O’Donovan. His mission was to act as a liaison officer with the IRA to get their their assistance in case of potential German occupation of Britain. However, he quickly decided that the IRA was not reliable enough. On landing, he had lost the ‘Ufa’ transmitter he had parachuted with. Goertz, attired in a Luftwaffe uniform, then walked to Dublin. He was not arresested despite calling into a Garda barracks(police barracks) in Co Wicklow, asking for directions to Dublin.

Goertz’s  was eventually arrested in Dublin in November 1941, he was carrying a code later described by MI5 as “one of the best three or four in the war”.

The “Görtz Cipher” – which was a complex substitution of figures for letters had puzzled many of the greatest code-breaking minds at Bletchley Park, but the mild mannered librarian from Co.Limerick had cracked the code. The first of the Goertz messages to be successfully decoded was unlocked with the key ‘Cathleen Ni Houlihan’. Informed of the breakthrough by Hayes, Cecil Liddell of MI5 visited Dublin in 1943 and the Irish and British secret services continued to share intelligence information until the end of the war.

Another German spy in Ireland , Günther Schultz, had used an un-coded system of “microdots”, allowing tiny messages to be contained within the letter “O” in newspaper cuttings, which had baffled the American OSS. Hayes cracked that too , as well as enciphering system used by the  Sicherheitsdienst

The captured Germans only knew their quiet-spoken and polite interrogator as “Captain Gray”, only a few at the G2 secret service knew that Captain Gray was Richard Hayes.

Hayes

Hermann Goertz was released from jail in Athlone in August 1946, but was arrested again in 1947. Friday May 23, 1947 he arrived at the Aliens’ Office in Dublin Castle at 9.50 am and was told he was being deported to Germany . Goertz was afraid he would be handed to the Soviets ,he opted to take his own life.

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Sources

Irish Times

RTE Radio

Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

Hitler in Dublin, Ireland.

Alois

Many people think that Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945. This is not true, he actually died on May 20, 1956 in a traffic accident  aged 74 in Nidwalden, Switzerland.

But before I am getting a whole bunch of emails and comments saying how wrong I am ,please allow me to explain. I am talking about an A.Hitler, but not Adolf. The Hitler I am referring to is Adolf’s  half brother Alois.

Alois was born out of wedlock on January 13 1882. His Father Alois Hitler Sr, had an affair with Franziska Matzelsberger. Alois Sr was married at the time to Anna Glasl-Hörer but when she died 6 April 1883 he married Matzelsberger, Alois Jr then got the surname Hitler.

On August 10, 1884 at the age of 23. Alois’s mother died. Alois Sr married his housekeeper Klara Pölzl. Adolf Hitler was the son of Alois Sr and Klara.

KLARA

Alois Jr left home for, Dublin, Ireland, in 1896, aged 14, because of the  to increasingly violent arguments with his father and the strained relationship with his stepmother Klara.

After working as an apprentice waiter, he was arrested for theft and served a five-month sentence in 1900, followed by an eight-month sentence in 1902.

In 1909 he attended the Dublin Horse Show where he  met Bridget Dowling and her father William/ Alois claimed to be a wealthy hotelier touring Europe ,but in fact, he was a poor kitchen porter at Dublin’s Shelbourne Hotel.

Shelbourne

Alois dated Bridget at various Dublin locations and soon they were talking about marriage. On 3 June 1910, the couple left for London, where they would live  in Charing Cross Road for a while. Her father threatened to charge Alois with kidnapping but accepted the marriage after Bridget pleaded with him.

The couple settled at 102 Upper Stanhope Street, a boarding house in Toxteth, Liverpool and, in 1911 they had their only child, William Patrick Hitler.William Patrick would eventually join the US Navy, after failing to secure a place in the British Navy, where he took up the fight against his uncle’s army.

william

Alois abandoned his family. just before the start of WWI. He returned to Germany, remarried  in bigamy, and pretended after the war that he was dead. His lie was later discovered, and he was charged with bigamy by the German authorities in 1924. He escaped conviction due to Bridget’s intervention. Bridget raised her son alone with no support from her husband from whom she was eventually divorced.

 

 

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Cairbre aka Slats- A Real Dubliner

mgm

Born on March 20 1919, Cairbre is probably one of the most famous Dubliners to have ever lived, but yet hardly anyone knows him.

Maybe it’s because he was renamed to Slats?

As so many stars, Cairbre came from humble beginnings. There was no crib or hostel for him when he was born, there may have been a stable. He was born in Dublin Zoo.

When MGM opened their studio they needed a mascot, Not just any mascot but one with a bite and a roar. So they bought Cairbre the Lion from Dublin Zoo and shipped him over to Hollywood, where they changes his name to Slats.

This of course did not please Cairbre one bit, when he was asked to roar he just refused. Being from Dublin he was just not going to do as he was told especially not after they  changed  his  name.

MGM did stick with him though as the first logo from 1924 to 1928 as their now so famous MGM Lion, there have been 6 after him, but the Dubliner Caitbre aka Slats remains the first MGM Lion.

slats

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I am passionate about my site and I know 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 To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Willem Jacob van Stockum-Scientist and WWII Hero.

Willem Jacob van Stockum

This is one of those men that makes me proud to be Dutch, and like me he has also a connection with Ireland.

He was born in Hattem, a small town  in the east of the Netherlands. His father was an officer in the Dutch Navy.

Willem studied mathematics at Trinity College, Dublin, where he earned a gold medal.

Trinity College, Dublin

He continued his studies in Edinburgh and Toronto where he received  an M.A. from the University of Toronto and his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh. His main academic achievement was to solve Einstein’s field equations for an infinite rotating cylinder. His work is regularly cited by those interested in time travel.

Van Stockum moved to the USA in hope of becoming an understudy to Albert Einstein.albert-einstein

Eventually in the spring of 1939 he gained a temporary position under Professor Oswald Veblen at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

 

The outbreak of World War II happened  while he was teaching at the University of Maryland. Eager to join the fight against Hitler and Fascism, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941, where he eventually earned his pilots wings in July 1942.

willem.

Because of his advanced knowledge of physics, he spent much of the next year as a test pilot in Canada. After the Netherlands was invaded by the Nazis, van Stockum sought to join the war as a pilot.

He moved to Britain in the spring of 1943 and and in 1944 became the only Dutch officer posted to the no. 10 squadron at RAF Melbourne in Yorkshire.

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On 10 June 1944, van Stockum and his crew of six took off on their sixth combat mission, as part of another 400-plane raid. Near their target, the plane was hit by flak, and all seven crew members were lost, along with seven from another bomber on the same mission. The fourteen airmen are buried in Laval, near the place where the planes went down.

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Ending the blog with the last line he wrote in an article about his decision of  becoming a fighter pilot.

“For goodness’ sake let us stop this empty political theorizing according to which a man would have to have a University degree in social science before he could see what he was fighting for. It is all so simple, really, that a child can understand it.”

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Happy 124th Birthday, Count Dracula.

stoker

When I was a young boy, Count Dracula scared the crap out of me. Having an older brother pretending to be the blood sucking Count didn’t help either. The fear was so real that to this day I still have a phobia for Bats.

rafinesques-big-eared-bat-940x

Little did I know then I would end up living in the country where the legend of Dracula was created, Ireland.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, on November 8, 1847, Bram Stoker published his first literary work, The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, a handbook in legal administration, in 1879. Turning to fiction later in life, Stoker published his masterpiece Dracula, in 1897.

Bram_Stoker_1906

On 26 May 1897,Stoker published his masterpiece, Dracula. While the book garnered success after its release, its popularity has continued to grow for more than a century. Deemed a classic horror novel today, Dracula has inspired the creation of numerous theatrical, literary and film adaptations. Among them are the 1931 film Dracula, starring actor Bela Lugosi, and F.W. Murnau’s 1922 film Nosferatu, starring Max Schreck.

the-best-dracula-movies-u2

Dracula is literally translated in Gaelic as Drac Ullah (or Droch fola) meaning bad blood.

Count Dracula, a fictional character in the Dracula novel, was inspired by one of the best-known figures of Romanian history, Vlad Dracula, nicknamed Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler), who was the ruler of Walachia at various times from 1456-1462. Born in 1431 in Sighisoara, he resided all his adult life in Walachia, except for periods of imprisonment at Pest and Visegrad (in Hungary)

Vlad-the-Impaler

Although he never traveled to Romania, Stoker crammed his book with descriptions of many real locations that can still be visited in present-day Romania. They include the most important historical places associated with Vlad Tepes, such as the 14th century town of Sighisoara where you can visit the house in which Vlad was born (now hosting a restaurant and a small museum of medieval weapons).

Sighisoara-1

Other Dracula sites include: the Old Princely Court (Palatul Curtea Veche) in Bucharest, Snagov Monastery, where, according to legend, Vlad’s remains were buried; the ruins of the Poenari Fortress (considered to be the authentic Dracula’s Castle); the village of Arefu where Dracula legends are still told, the city of Brasov where Vlad led raids against the Saxons merchants, and, of course, Bran Castle.

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“Vlad the Impaler” is said to have killed from 40,000 to 100,000 European civilians (political rivals, criminals, and anyone that he considered “useless to humanity”), mainly by impaling. The sources depicting these events are records by Saxon settlers in neighbouring Transylvania who had frequent clashes with Vlad III. Vlad III is revered as a folk hero by Romanians for driving off the invading Ottoman Turks, of whom his impaled victims are said to have included as many as 100,000.

Impalings-of-Vlad-the-Impaler

The story of Dracula has been the basis for numerous films and plays. Stoker himself wrote the first theatrical adaptation, which was presented at the Lyceum Theatre on 18 May 1897 under the title Dracula, or The Undead shortly before the novel’s publication and performed only once, in order to establish his own copyright for such adaptations. This adaption was first published only a century later in Oct 1997.[49] The first motion picture to feature Dracula was Dracula’s Death, produced in Hungary in 1921.

Drakula_halála

F. W. Murnau’s unauthorised film adaptation Nosferatu was released in 1922, and the popularity of the novel increased considerably, owing to an attempt by Stoker’s widow tried to have the film removed from public circulation.

Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens

In 1958, British film company Hammer Film Productions followed the success of its The Curse of Frankenstein from the previous year with Dracula, released in the US as The Horror of Dracula, directed by Terence Fisher. Fisher’s production featured Christopher Lee as Dracula and Peter Cushing as Van Helsing, but it diverged considerably from the original novel.

Dracula_1958_c

It was an international hit for Hammer Film, however, and both Lee and Cushing reprised their roles multiple times over the next decade and a half,

Dracula-AD-1972-vinyl-01

concluding with The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (with Cushing but not Lee) in 1974. Christopher Lee also took on the role of Dracula in Count Dracula, a 1970 Spanish-Italian-German co-production notable for its adherence to the plot of the original novel.

count

Many adaptions have been made over the years, The one truest to the novel is probably the 1992 adaption directed by Francis Ford Coppola,Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with Gary Oldman in the role as Dracula.

Dracpos

Nearly as popular as the main character is  the main protagonist,Professor Abraham Van Helsing.He is an aged Dutch doctor with a wide range of interests and accomplishments, partly attested by the string of letters that follows his name: “MD, D.Ph., D.Litt., etc, etc,”[4] indicating a wealth of experience, education and expertise. The character is best known throughout his many adaptations as a vampire hunter and the archenemy of Count Dracula. The character is been portrayed in most of the Dracula movies but also in other fictional Gothic  stories. In 2004 he was the main character in the movie “Van Hesling” played by Hugh Jackman.

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After 120 years the story of Dracula still captures the imagination of many and  is as popular as ever(if not more) it really has stood the test of time. Happy Birthday Count Dracula.

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