Brazil at War

History of Sorts

Brazilian troops in Torre di Nerone, near Monte Castello

We all know about the allied troops which consisted out of the US, British, Soviet, Australian , Indian and South African forces and there were others of course.

However one country that is always over looked as a supplier for troops during WWII is Brazil.

Roosevelt knew it was important to get the whole continent of America(North and South) involved in the efforts to fight the axis powers. He held several conferences . Although President Getúlio Vargas of Brazil did feel sympathetic to the idea of a totalitarian state, he himself was a dictator, he did eventually agree to join forces with the US against the axis powers.

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Brazilian President Getúlio Vargas aboard USS Humboldt.

The Germans themselves has done quite a bit pushing Brazil to war, by attacking Brazil’s coast with U-Boats and sinking…

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Last Farewells

History of Sorts

01b94195f5a55992568e66a3bdfe2e0eThe everyday life of the Jewish Gold family, who lived in the village of Jutphaas near Utrecht, came to an abrupt end in April 1943: Father, Mother and their son Lothar were picked up from their home and eventually deported. They always had close contact with the neighbours across the street, the Steenaart family.


Father Julius Gold was a shoemaker and the night before leaving he promised that when he returned he would make baby Willy Steenaart a pair of shoes. Along with this promise Julius gave the Steenaart family his shoemaker’s box, filled with tools, for safekeeping.

The farewell words to the Gold family were those of a neighbourhood kid shouting ‘Where are you going, Lothar?’ to his friend, as the family was driven away by truck. The Steenaarts never received another sign of life from Julius Gold and his family. Later, Willy Steenaart took good care of the…

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How weird was Hitler ?Part 3.

History of Sorts

No one will in his or her right mind argue that Adolf Hitler was pure evil and without making less of the things he was responsible for , it is interesting to pick out a few more particular weird traits der Führer displayed.


During World War II, the United States intelligence agency OSS collected information about Hitler’s personality and commissioned a research team led by Walter Charles Langer to develop psychological reports in 1943.


In one of these reports, titled A Psychiatric Study of Hitler, the hypothesis was developed that Hitler was treated in Pasewalk by the psychiatrist Edmund Forster, who had in 1933 committed suicide for fear of reprisals.


The starting point of this report was the testimony of the psychiatrist Karl Kroner who also worked in the hospital in 1918. Kroner confirmed in particular that Forster had examined Hitler and that he had diagnosed him with “hysteria”.

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keeping joy alive.

I didn't have my glasses on....

Krewe of Red Beans Hire a Mardi Gras Artist
new orleans mardi gras home – photo credit: ryan hodgson-rigsbee

 “Hire a Mardi Gras Artist,” the latest altruistic endeavor from Krewe of Red Beans, is a grassroots effort that aims to transform 40 Orleans Parish homes into Mardi Gras floats, putting laid-off artists back to work and inspiring the city along the way.

The project is the brainchild of artist and float designer Caroline Thomas. The idea for “Hire a Mardi Gras Artist” came to her after several people asked her to decorate their homes. Thinking there might be an opportunity to put the whole…

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Beyond Anne Frank…Her Father’s Gift to the World.

Beyond the Flow

Yesterday, I visited the Sydney Jewish Museum to see two overlapping exhibitions: Anne Frank- A History for Today and Otto Frank’s Lost Letters. This was naturally a deeply moving experience and it was wonderful to recapture the intimacy I shared with Anne Frank as a 13 year old and revisit it now as Mum to my  13.5 year old son and almost 10.5 daughter, who are about to step into her shoes.


As a writer, it always interests me how we hear a story from a certain perspective and then we rediscover the story completely when we see it through someone else’s eyes. After all, when you read The Diary of Anne Frank, you are drawn completely into her world, her perspective, her heartbeats. We know nothing about how the rest of the people in the annexe saw her.

Otto Frank is the only survivor and the best…

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Helga Deen- Another teenage girl,another diary.

History of Sorts


We all know the story of Anne Frank but unfortunately Anne wasn’t the only teenage who died in the camps. Helga Deen another teenage girl who lived in the Netherlands also died as result of the Nazi ideology and she also wrote a diary.

Helga Deen (6 April 1925 – 16 July 1943) was the author of a diary, discovered in 2004, which describes her stay in a Dutch prison camp, Kamp Vught, where she was brought during World War II at the age of 18.


Deen was half-Dutch. Initially her father lived with his German GP wife in Germany, but moved back to the Netherlands as persecution increased. Her mother worked for a time as a doctor at a concentration camp at Vught. She was given leave to remain but chose to accompany her family to Sobibor, where she died.

After her last diary entry, in early July…

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Phil Bloom in Hoepla

History of Sorts

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

This is a bit of a deviation of my usual blogs but Phil Bloom has a significant cultural meaning to the Netherlands .The name Phil Bloom will mean very little to people outside of the Netherlands. She is an artist and actress

On July 28,1967 she caused quite some controversy and a scandal. She was the first person to appear completely nude on Dutch television. The show was called Hoepla and was broadcast by the broadcaster VPRO.

It was made by and for a teenage audience (the post-World War II generation), at a time (the early 1960s) when Dutch culture was one of “boredom and obedience”

In the opening sequence of Hoepla 1, during a performance by rock musician Teddy Lee J, who performed his song I am a Sexman., Phil Bloom is seen walking around the set, naked except for a few wreaths of plastic flowers…

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What makes a character – 1 – The beginnings of a writer

Thrills, Spills, and just a dash of Romance

My characters are many, a diverse group of people that are based on people I know, people I’ve known, people I’ve met, or seen, or interacted with. Some of them make up a single character with several traits.

Some are like me, but most are people I would have like to have been rather than the dull as ditchwater person I am. No-one wants to read about dull people, they want someone larger than life, someone who can do the impossible, or at the very least, the improbably.

I’ve always wanted to be someone else. For a long time I never liked who I was, and, to a certain extent, I still don’t. That was a result of the early stages of my life, those years the form who we are going to be.

And, had you asked me 50 years ago whether I would be the person I am…

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