Sex and WWII

++++ Contains some nudity+++++

We watched the 2001 World War II drama “Enemy at the Gates” a few nights ago. There was one scene where the characters played by Rachel Weisz and Jude Law had sex whilst surrounded by other soldiers, in the sleeping quarters.

This made me wonder how often something would happen for real during the dark days of WWII. It also made me think about the wider concept of sex during the war.

Sex is the most primal instinct human beings, and indeed all animals, have , even though nowadays some of the woke generation may dispute that . But sex is a normal and a beautiful thing.

Clearly sex was still happening during WWII if that hadn’t been the case there would have been no births during 1939 and 1945.

In Germany, and later in other countries occupied by the Nazis young women were encouraged and often forced to have children, through the Lebensborn program. The purpose of this program was to offer to young girls who were deemed “racially pure” the possibility to give birth to a child in secret. The child was then given to the SS organization which took charge in the child’s education and adoption. It was really meant to breed the “super-race” In the later stages children who looked ‘aryan’ were also forcefully taken from parents and given away for adoption.

Anni-Frid Lyngstad from Swedish super group ABBA was one of the children born via the Lebensborn program.

Sex of course isn’t just for making babies it is also to have fun and make you feel good about yourself. Even in the darkest days and despite facing horrors every day, some of those who were in the concentration camps still managed to have sex. In Rudolf Vrba’s book “I Escaped From Auschwitz “ he writes that on one occasion male kapo, part of a male inmate work group had a longing for sex with a female kapo of a female work group working in the same operation, sorting the belongings of the victims who had been murdered in the gas chambers. The female kapo was an attractive, young Hungarian girl who agreed to have sex if she was given some specified gifts. Vrba was instructed in one case was to transport the gifts to the female kapo before the sexual encounter.

Great Britain is not really known for its liberal attitude to nudity and sexuality, but the Blitz intensified sexual desire. A full two decades before the so-called permissive society of the Sixties, a dramatic, if understated, sexual revolution was already taking place. Life magazine featured on its cover in May 1941 three showgirls dressed in only underwear and gas masks. A more powerful symbol of the sexualisation of the Blitz would be hard to find.

All the major combatants involved in World War II used pornography as a small part of their psychological operations (PSYOP) strategy. Mostly this involved dropping propaganda leaflets using sexual themes from the air, in an attempt to demoralise enemy soldiers at the front.

There were also some hidden dangers especially in the time where condoms were not really used as much as they are now, aside from the unplanned pregnancies by lovers rather then husbands. There was also the danger of STI’s (sexually transmitted infections, aka VD).

In June 1942, a woman named Billie Smith was arrested in her hotel room in Little Rock, Arkansas, and charged with prostitution and violation of the state’s immorality laws. Smith pled guilty and paid the fine of $10—equivalent to $150 today—but authorities weren’t quite done.

Smith was turned over to the city’s health examiner, who ran tests for syphilis and gonorrhea. When both came back positive, the officer ordered her committed to a federally run quarantine center in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

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Sources

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-quot-lebensborn-quot-program

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3165954/How-Blitz-sent-Britain-sex-mad-New-book-reveals-Hitler-s-bid-bomb-surrender-startling-effect.html

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/10/during-world-war-ii-sexually-active-women-were-a-national-security-threat/409555/

Not Just Numbers

The approximate number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust by nation .

Poland 3,000.000; Ukraine 900,000;Hungary 450,000; Russia 352,000;Romania 300;000;BaltIc countries 228,000;Germany/Austria 210,000;the Netherlands 105,000;France 92,000;Slovakia 75,000; Greece 54,000;Belgium 40,000;Yugoslavia 26,000;Bulgaria 14,000 ;Italy 8,000,Luxembourg 1,000;Norway 900. Total 5,907,900.

These numbers are just estimates. I believe the number is actually higher, because not all suicides are included n this number nor are all the numbers of those who died during the transport.

However when I saw these numbers I had 2 questions. My first question was “How come there are no numbers for the Danish Jews?” The Danes had been very successful in saving their Jewish neighbours. Many of then were enabled to escape to Sweden with help from their Danish neighbours .Like 19 year old Henny Sinding who used hos boat ‘Geda III’ to smuggle Jews from Denmark to Sweden.

This is not to say that no Danish Jews died. Some did die either by suicide or they didn’t survive the escape journey to Sweden. There will also have been Danish Jews who lived elsewhere who would have been deported .

My second question was “Who was responsible for the Holocaust? ” The answer to that is not as easy as one might think. No one will doubt or deny that the Nazi regime in Germany and Austria were responsible for the death of millions, however their counterparts in other European countries also did play a part in this. The excuse of being occupied they had to do as they were told is often used, but the fact is many European governments were willing participants.

Even the countries which weren’t occupied played their part. The picture below and at the start of the blog are pictures of Jewish refugees Not much is known about the group of mostly Jewish refugees who came from the region of Moravská Ostrava/Mährisch Ostrau in former Czechoslovakia, and arrived in Great Britain on March 29 1939 ,shortly after Germany had invaded Czechoslovakia, but a day after the British Police deported them at and put them on a plane at Croydoen airport.

Although the exact number of murdered Jews will never really be known, in a way it doesn’t really matter. Because each of these numbers represent a person, a human being with a living soul. A human being like any other human being, but because they were seen as a lesser life form by a sick and twisted ideology they were murdered.

A human being like Max Baum a cattle dealer who was born in Linnich, Germany , 18 August 1907 but lived in Doenrade in the Netherlands and spent some time in Geleen. Maz was murdered in Auschwitz, 18 December 1943. His wife survived

sources

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https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/227984/max-baum

The death of Dafydd ap Gruffydd.

pRINCE OF wALES

On October 3rd 1283, Dafydd ap Gruffydd, prince of Gwynedd in Wales, became the first person to be tried for what later would become high treason against a king, hewas also the first nobleman executed by being hanged, drawn and quartered.

On Palm Sunday 1282 Dafydd ap Gruffydd attacked Hawarden Castle, in so doing, thereby starting the final conflict with Plantagenet-ruled England,King Edward I(Edward the Longshanks), in the course of which Welsh independence was lost.

On 22 June, Dafydd and his younger son Owain ap Dafydd were captured at Nanhysglain, a secret hiding place in a bog by Bera Mountain to the south of Abergwyngregyn. Dafydd, who was seriously wounded in the struggle to arrest him, was conveyed that night to King Edward’s camp at Rhuddlan. Dafydd was taken from there to Chester. Dafydd’s wife Elizabeth de Ferrers, their seven daughters, and their infant niece, Gwenllian ferch Llywelyn, were also taken prisoner at the same time.

On 30 September, Dafydd ap Gruffudd, Prince of Wales, was condemned to death, the first person known to have been tried and executed for what from that time onwards would be described as high treason against the King. Edward ensured that Dafydd’s death was to be slow and agonising, and also historic; he became the first prominent person in recorded history to have been hanged, drawn and quartered, preceded by a number of minor knights earlier in the thirteenth century. Dafydd was dragged through the streets of Shrewsbury attached to a horse’s tail then hanged alive, revived, then disembowelled and his entrails burned before him for “his sacrilege in committing his crimes in the week of Christ’s passion”, and then his body cut into four-quarters “for plotting the king’s death”. Geoffrey of Shrewsbury was paid 20 shillings for carrying out the gruesome act on 3 October 1283.

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Sources

http://www.deeside.com/palm-sunday-736-years-ago-dafydd-ap-gruffydd-attacked-hawarden-castle/

http://www.englishmonarchs.co.uk/dafydd_grufydd.html

https://biography.wales/article/s-DAFY-APG-1283

View at Medium.com

 

 

The first WWII casualty on British soil.

bomb

The first Luftwaffe bombing on British soil took place on November 13,1939 northeast of the mainland of Scotland. at Sullom, Northmavine, Shetland . Of the 8 bombs which were dropped only 4 were dropped on land, the other 4 landed in sea.

Eye witness Laurence Shuardson said the following of the air raid.

I was going to school and I had two miles to walk. I was on top of a hill at a place called Bobby Ratter Loch, when this black pencil like aircraft came from behind me. I could see the people in the aircraft, it was that low. I later found out it was a Dornier 17.

Dornier

As it passed over the guns started firing from Sullum Voe, the shells were dropping in the sea and exploding in the air. I took fright, ran down the hill to see my friends and told them that I wasn’t going to school that day, and then I ran all the way home and hid in a haystack.

The bombs and shells were dropping in the sea and making big splashes. One hit near a village school. My uncle, who was a haulage contractor helping to build the airfield at Sullum Voe, went and picked up a fragment of this bomb. It lay around the house for years as a doorstop.

Apparently the only casualty was a rabbit; and there were pictures in the national press about this rabbit. I was led to believe that the ‘Crazy Gang’ wrote a song called “Run Rabbit, Run” – what truth there is in that I don’t know!! That was the very first bomb dropped in the Second World War.”

Now the song ‘Run Rabbit, Run’ was actually not inspired by the event because it had been around long before the air raid.

The intended target had been  RAF Sullom Voe which was was a Flying boat base and was closely associated with the adjacent airfield of RAF Scatsta. But the base was not hit.

The only fatal casualty was a rabbit, although there may have been 2 dead rabbits. Some people have suggested that these rabbits were planted to underline the complete  incompetence of the Luftwaffe. And to be honest the rabbits did look in good shape especially after being pulled out of a crater.

But against my better judgement I will not be cynical today and will contribute the rabbits as casualties of war.

crater

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Sources

BBC

Shetland museum archives

 

The Nine Sovereigns at Windsor for the funeral of King Edward VII.

9

I have often wondered If World War I was nothing else then a family feud gone out of control.

If you look at all the royal families in Europe and even outside of Europe, they are mostly all related  in one way or another. There is nothing more clearer indicating this then a picture which was taken after the funeral of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of India occurred on Friday, 20 May 1910.(picture above)

Standing, from left to right: King Haakon VII of Norway-  the late King’s nephew by marriage/son-in-law and fourth cousin (once removed);Tsar Ferdinand of the Bulgarians-  the late King’s second cousin; King Manuel II of Portugal and the Algarve,-the late King’s fourth cousin;Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Prussia- the late King’s nephew;  King George I of the Hellenes(Greece) – the late King’s brother-in-law/fourth cousin and King Albert I of the Belgians- the late King’s second cousin.

Seated, from left to right: King Alfonso XIII of Spain-the late King’s nephew-in-law; King George V of the United Kingdom- the late King’s son; and King Frederick VIII of Denmark-the late King’s brother-in-law/fourth cousin.

These nine Sovereigns all had direct connection but most of the other Royal dignitaries also had direct or indirect ties.

Only 4 years later most of the sovereign states these men. were head of state of would be at war.

Two of the main nations at war German and Great Britain had direct blood ties.As a grandchild of Queen Victoria, Wilhelm II was a first cousin of the future King George V.

(Wilhelm with his father, in Highland dress, in 1862)

wilhem kilt

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Penny Black

black

It may sound like a 19th century Gothic novel or the name of an Irish folk singer but neither apply, Penny Black is in fact the name of the first adhesive postage stamp.

It was first issued in Great Britain om May 1 ,1840 but was not valid for use until 6 May   it showed the head of the monarch of the time, Queen Victoria. Printed in sheets of 240, each had to be cut from the sheet by hand until the Irishman, Henry Archer, came up with an early perforating machine.

Even though  the stamps were not officially issued for sale until 6 May 1840, a few offices such as those in Bath sold the stamps unofficially before that date. There are covers postmarked 2 May, and a single example is known on cover dated 1 May 1840. All London post offices received official supplies of the new stamps but other offices throughout the United Kingdom did not, continuing to accept payments for postage in cash for a period.

Posted in Dublin on May 8, 1840, the Fitzpatrick-Thomas letter is the first clear use of the Penny Black on an Irish letter.

The Penny Black lasted less than a year. A red cancellation was hard to see on the black design and the red ink was easy to remove; both made it possible to re-use cancelled stamps.

red

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Sources

An Post

 

Fighting for the enemy

brit ss

Before you read this blog, have a close look at the above picture. It is a picture of an SS soldier, and you have probably seen many pictures like it, but there is something special about this one.On the sleeve on the left arm, at the left bottom, you can see part of a flag, however it is not the German flag but the Union Jack.

The picture is of Roy Courlander, a British born New Zealander. He was one of 54 Brits,Australians and New Zealanders who served in the British Free Corps, a unit of the Waffen SS

ss

The British Free Corps were recruited from the POW camps, they were given a choice to fight for the SS or remain in the camp. In total 54 of them chose the former. However At no time did it reach more than 27 men in strength.

I could have focused on any of these men but what is so intriguing about Roy Courlander is his background.

He was born in London in 1914, out of wedlock. He was adopted  by Lithuanian Jewish businessman Leonard Henry Courlander  and his wife Edith Cater .

Roy was sent to a boarding school, his parents divorced when he was 19. He was sent to live and work on a coconut plantation owned by his father in the New Hebrides in the South Pacific.

In November 1938, Roy Courlander moved to  New Zealand and found administrative work  with the Land and Income Tax Department in Wellington.

On the outbreak of WWII, Courlander was enlisted into the New Zealand army, he was placed in the Intelligence Corps because his linguistic abilities, and served in the Western Desert and Greece, where he was captured in April 1941. As a prisoner of war, He  acted as a translator at the camp. He joined work parties in Austria and eventually in September 1943 was sent to Genshagen camp or Stalag III-D

stalag

unbeknown to his fellow PoWs, Courlander secretly had fascist sympathies and was convinced of  the inevitability of a Nazi victory.

The Germans recruited Courlander in January 1944 for the British Free Corps.While imprisoned in  Genshagen, Courlander  came into contact with one of the most infamous British traitors of WWII – John Amery.

ja

The British Free Corps had actually come  from John Amery,  son of the then serving British Secretary of State for India, Leo Amery.John Amery had  travelled to Berlin in October 1942 trying to sell the idea to the Germans for  the formation of a British volunteer force.

brtis.JPG

Initially christened the ‘Legion of St George’, the idea was personally approved by the Führer. On December 28, 1942.

In April 1944 Roy Courlander  was promoted to Unterscharführer (sergeant). his aim was to oust John Amery and take control of the Corps.

But eventually Courlander, left the BFC by volunteering for service with the war correspondent unit SS-Standarte Kurt Eggers, which operated at the Western front. As the year wore on, even the most hardened members of the BFC came to the realisation  that the war was going against Germany, and they had no desire to go into action. Their ultimate goal was to make for the Allied lines as soon as they got the chance. During thE summer OF 1944 Roy Courlander made plans to escape.,along with another BFC member, Francis Maton.

The two men boarded a train for Belgium in the company of a Flemish Waffen-SS unit. On 3 September 1944, the two men arrived in Brussels, where they teamed up with the Belgian Resistance. They partook in street fighting against the Germans. Courlander got injured  during the action. The following day, they surrendered themselves  to a British officer, and  became  the first two BFC men to be arrested.

He was Court-martialed by the New Zealand military authorities, on 3 October 1945, in Westgate-on-Sea near Margate in Kent and was sentenced to 15 years in prison on a charge of “voluntarily aiding the enemy”

In May 1950 the sentence reduced to 9 years after an appeal by Courander. He died in Australia in 1979.

What amazes me the most that although he was brought up by Jewish adoptive parents, he by all accounts gave him a good life, he joined the SS.

BFC

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Who is afraid of Virginia Woolf? Well apparently Hitler was.

Virginia_Woolf_in_1902

As part of the preparation of ‘Operation Sealion’ the planned invasion of Great Britain. A  secret list of prominent British residents to be arrested, was produced in 1940 by the SS.

The original name in German was ‘Sonderfahndungsliste GB’ (Special Search List Great Britain) it was a 144 page document with 2,820 selected targets to be arrested after the German invasion of Britain.

black book

The list was made up of hundreds of prominent politicians, authors, poets, journalists, actors, scientists, musicians, heads of industry and religious leaders.

The ‘Black book’ was drawn up by SS General Walter Schellenbergs office. Schellenberg was to become the Gestapo chief responsible for GB after an invasion, the main Gestapo offices were to be based in Birmingham.

_Walter_Schellenberg

After the German invasion of Britain Hitler wanted the  SS and Gestapo to have rounded up every person on the list, arrested them and, in many cases, executed them.

The invasion that was,  never to be, largely as a result of the ‘Battle of Britain’ culminating in September that year with air supremacy retained by the British RAF

bob

The list had several notable mistakes, such as people who had already died like Lytton Strachey or moved away like Paul Robeson.

The writer and feminist Virginia Woolf as well as  the ‘War of the Worlds’ author HG Wells were on the list as potential threats to the Nazi Government, if there had been a Nazi controlled government in the UK.

h-g-wells

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The assassination of a British Prime Minister.

John Bellingham assassinating the Rt Hon Spencer Perceval in the Lobby of the House of Commons, 11 May 1812

British politics is probably the most intriguing politics in the world. With all its traditions and even the sometimes humorous debates in the house of commons are often fascinating.

However what many people don’t know that in 1812 on the 11th of May the only ever assassination of a British Prime minister took place.

assassination

 

Spencer Perceval, the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Ireland, was shot and killed in the lobby of the House of Commons in London, around  17:15 pm  Hisassassint was John Bellingham, a  merchant from Liverpool who had a bone to pick  with the government. Bellingham was arrested and, four days after the murder, was put on , convicted and sentenced to death. He was hanged at Newgate Prison one week later on 18 May.

Newgate_West_View_of_Newgate_by_George_Shepherd_1784-1862_edited

As the Prime Minsiterl entered the lobby of the House of Commons a number of people were gathered around in conversation as was common practice. Many turned to look at him as he came through the doorway. No-one noticed as the quiet man stood up from beside the fire place, removing a pistol from his inner pocket . Nor did anyone notice as the man walked calmly towards the Prime Minister. When he was close enough, without saying a word, the man shot his gun directly at the Prime Minister’s chest. The Prime Minister staggered forward before falling to the ground, calling out as he did so words that witnesses later recalled in different ways as: “I am murdered!” or ‘Murder, Murder’ or ‘Oh God!’ or ‘Oh my God!”

Assassination_of_Spencer_Perceval

 

John Bellingham was a businessman in his forties, who in 1804 had been falsely imprisoned for debt in Russia. The British embassy would not help him and when he was released in 1809 he returned to England seeking compensation from the British government, which kept turning him down.

On Friday 15 May 1812  John Bellingham  got his day in court, but only to answer a charge of murder. The trial took place in a crowded court room at the Old Bailey, presided over by Sir James Mansfield, the Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas.

Old_Bailey_Microcosm_edited

Bellingham was denied to plead insanity and was found guilty of murder, executed by public hanging at Newgate .

The execution was fixed for the morning of Monday 18 May , his body was then  handed over to the anatomists to be dissected.Bellingham’s skull was preserved at Barts Pathology Museum

Hangin_outside_Newgate_Prison

Perceval, meanwhile, was brought in an impressive funeral procession from Downing Street to Charlton, to be buried in a family vault at St Luke’s.

Spencer_Perceval_(1762-1812)_Prime_Minister_lived_here

 

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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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Sources

History Today

The Guardian

The Princess mechanic

Elizaebeth 1

Love her or loath her, there is no denying Queen Elizabeth II is an iconic figure and is well able to stand her ground and she is not afraid to get her hands dirty.

hbz-queen-elizabeth-badass-ap-9307150277

On April 25 1942, at age 16, the then Princss  Elizabeth registered with the Labour Exchange ,the British employment agency at the time, and was extremely keen to join a division of the women’s armed forces. Her father was reluctant to let her do so, but eventually relented.PROD-The-Princess-Signs-Up

She enlisted in the Army age 18 .Once in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, Elizabeth learned how to change a wheel, deconstruct and rebuild engines, and drive ambulances and other vehicles.

She  joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service as an honorary Second Subaltern, Princess Elizabeth achieved the rank of honorary Junior Commander within five months. Unlike the other members of the ATS, Elizabeth returned each night to sleep in the royal residence of Windsor Castle.elizaebeth 2

lIZ 3

 

 

 

Donation

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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Sources

Military.com

Mashable