When Police Academy’s Commandant Lassard went to war.

History of Sorts

lassard

Who hasn’t seen Police Academy or any of the sequels? I reckon mots people have. But one of the actors in the movie had such an interesting life that his story would warrant a movie and would probably become a box office success.

George Gaynes who played the clueless Commandant Lassard was born George Jongejans  May 3, 1917, in Helsinki, Finland  which  was then still, part of the Russian Empire , the son of Iya Grigorievna de Gay , a Russian artist, and Gerrit Jongejans, a Dutch businessman.

Tsar Nicholas II of Russia had abdicated the throne on March 15, two months prior to Gaynes’ birth, and the Empire was about go through some turbulent times, and was already at war.

Tsar

The Jongejans familyy left the country, and George was primarily raised in France, England, and Switzerland.

George attended college in the vicinity of Lausanne, Switzerland and graduated in 1937…

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Een Gele Ster.

History of Sorts

ster

Ik draag een gele ster.

Waarom? Kenden zij mij dan van te voren niet?

De kinderen bij mij in de buurt hebben geen gele ster.

Ben ik anders?

En als dat zo is, hoe ben ik dan anders?

Ik adem de zelfde lucht, ik lees dezelfde boeken en speel met hetzelfde speelgoed.

Ik zie hetzelfde uit.

Mijn Moeder zegt omdat we Joods zijn worden we nier meer gezien als een mens.

Ik draag een gele ster

De ster van David.

David, die mijn vrienden ook kennen want ze hebben over hem gehoord tijdens Zondag’s school.

Ze vinden de verhalen over hem leuk, want hij was een grote Krijgsman en Koning.

Waarom kijken ze dan naar mijn gele ster van David alsof het een kenteken van schande is?

Ik ben Hanna Lehrer, geboren in München,Duitsland  maar vermoord in Riga,Letland..

yellow star

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A single rail track.

History of Sorts

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I took the picture above this morning at about 11:00 am . It is a rail track just around the corner of my home. When I looked at that rail track this morning several thoughts came to mind.

Firstly I thought how the railways made such a big change in the lives of ordinary citizens. It connected cities and also countries. People were no longer bound by the location they were born in. To this day it still fuels the imagination of children. Shows like Thomas the Tank engine are immensely popular as are the books. Even my own children when they were growing up loved to read those books and watch the show. My oldest son first learned to read from a book entitled “My first book of trains”

My second thought when I looked at the tracks  and at the picture after I took it,was that it looked…

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A.B.C- The Boys from Argentina

ABC

“Mengele and Eichman tour
I was here last year due to my father’s Nazi hunt in the 50s, lovely small Restaurant, even met a man in his 90s who knew many Nazis. Even had dinner in the corner with him where Mengele and Eichman once sat. You wont find anything from the past inside like old tables or chairs,but the idea what folks were talking about back then was intriguing”

The above text is from a restaurant review posted on Tripadvisor in September 2018. The restaurant is the A.B.C restaurant in Lavalle 545, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

abc rest

I was always surprised where there were never any sanctions against Argentina, and other South American countries, but Argentina appears to have harboured and still does provide a safe haven for escaped Nazi war criminals.

The A.B.C restaurant is a prime example where Nazis dined and wined in plain sight. In 1950 Adolf Eichmann escaped with help from the Red Cross to Argentina m in 1952 his family followed him. Eichmann changed his name to Ricardo Klement.

ricardo

Joseph Mengele also moved to Argentina after he had been hiding ,more or less in plain sight, in Germany, In 1949 he fled to Argentina via Genoa in Italy, using the alias Helmut Gregor, also assisted by the Red Cross via a passport and Visa he obtained from them. Now I don’t want to be too critical of the Red Cross because the whole civil administration was a chaos in the ;ate 40s in Germany.

Mengele though soon started using his own name again, be it a with a slight Spanish angle to it as Jose Mengele.

Somewhere in 1953 both men met in the German style A.B.C restaurant where they held a party for another Nazi, the propagandist Johann von Leers, who worked for Goebbels and also wrote propaganda for Juan Perón. von Leers was moving to Egypt , so Mengele and Eichmann threw him some sort of goodbye party.

There were so many Nazis who received refuge in Argentina, there is a small town called Bariloche, which made international headlines in 1995  when it became known as a haven for Nazi war criminals, such as the former SS Hauptsturmführer Erich Priebke and SS officer Reinhard Kopps, known in Argentina as Juan Maler. Priebke had been the director of the German School of Bariloche for many years.

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Sources

BBC

https://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/the-long-road-to-eichmann-s-arrest-a-nazi-war-criminal-s-life-in-argentina-a-754486.html

 

 

 

 

The World War 2 hero who saved my sight.

History of Sorts

Charles

Just before Christmas 2011 I lost the sight in my right eye. The retina had become detached but after 2 operations the sight could not be saved, in fact my eye shrunk, dramatically  and I have now a glass shell with  an eye painted on it in front of the remainder of my eye.

In November 2014 the retina in my left eye also became detached, so I was facing going blind. I had to undergo an emergence operation in a Hospital in Cork which is 100 km away from my home in Limerick.

In Cork the consultant surgeon advised me he would be putting a scleral buckle in place to re-attach my retina and to save my eye and sight.The operation was a success this time and my eye was saved.

buckle

The man who pioneered this technology was Dr Charles L. Schepens. Hewas born in Mouscron, Belgium, in 1912 …

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My letter to Anne Frank

anne

Dear Anne,

You don’t know me, but I know you.In fact nearly everyone knows you, and yet no one really knows you.

We know you  through your personal stories you wrote in your diary. We see each word, each letter and each paragraph, but we don’t see your hopes, your fears or your anxiety. You write about them , however we cannot really imagine how it must have been. I know I can’t.

Although because of a virus which has engulfed the world now, we are all told to stay at home as much as possible, we get a bit of an inkling how it must have been for  you and your family, but not really. All we have to do is to stay at home and enjoy ourselves. We can write like you did, but we don’t have to stay silent, we don’t have to be afraid to be dragged out of our house.We can do whatever we want to do.

In your time there was also a virus,it was fueled with and by hate, a sickening ideology.

I have a daughter who is about the same age as you, she even looks a bit like you. I really don’t know what I would do if something would happen to her, I am sure I would be devastated, sad and angry and more then likely would want some sort of revenge, but those are just speculation for I try not to think of an event like that.

I once passed by your house or rather the place you hid in, I could not get in because there was a queue of several hundred meters of people who had booked a ticket to see the annex. A thought then came to me, what if there had been a similar queue on the morning of 4 August 1944, the day you and your family were arrested, and what if all the people in that queue would have protested against the arrest, would have made a difference?

You’ll be happy to know your book has become one of the biggest selling books ever, only in recent time it has been surpassed by the books about another teenager, a boy called Harry Potter, but his story is fictional whereas yours is a brutal reality. I am sure though you would have loved his stories.

Even now there are people who dispute the genuinity of your writing. They say your father tempered with it. I am not angry with those people, I pity them, their indifference blinds them to the power of your words, the lessons to be learned from them.

What saddens me the most is not so much that you died a horrible death but the fact it is not even known when you died, it says about the date February or March 1945.

Dear Anne, I am not going to say you are a hero because you weren’t really. You were a young teenage girl whose diary should never have published, but whose life should have been lived to the fullest. Nothing excuses your death, it should not have happened.

Maybe one day when I leave my earthly coil behind we may meet ,but for now know this your memory lives on. Evil was not able to silence you.

 

Yours truly

Dirk de Klein, a father of a teenage girl.

The bombing of Schaffhausen-Switzerland.

History of Sorts

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74 years ago on April 1, 1944  the United States air force accidentally bombed the Swiss city of Schaffhausen, mistaking it for a German target. Some 400 incendiary and demolition bombs were dropped, killing 40 people and destroying large parts of the city.

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About 15 B24 planes unleashed their bombs, mistaking the city for the target of Ludwigshafen am Rhein near Mannheim, about 235 km north of Schaffhausen.

B-24 Liberator

Bad weather had broken up the American formation over France and winds that nearly doubled the groundspeed of the bombers confused the navigators. The radar systems also failed to function. As Schaffhausen is on the north side of the River Rhine, it was apparently assumed to be the German city.

Switzerland was neutral during the Second World War but the fear of being bombed was acute. Up until then, air raid warnings had been sounded many times in Schaffhausen with no follow…

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April Fool’s Day in WWII

History of Sorts

1943squid_lg

Although the world was going through one of the darkest era’s in its existence , there was still a sense of humour prevailing. For many it was this sense of humour which was all that remained of their humanity.

Below are some examples of April Fool#s day hoaxes during WWII.

On April 1 1943

The Kingsport Times (of Kingsport, Tennessee) ran a photo on its front page of what it said was Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s “escape ship,” spotted going down the local Holston River. It said the ship had entered the Holston River by way of the Gulf of Mexico.1943rommel_lg

“ROMMEL RUNS UP REEDY CREEK — In the absence of the Tennessee State Guard from Kingsport due to training at Camp Forrest, a hurry-up call was placed today for the Piney Flats Regulars and the Bays Mountain Reserves to rush to Kingsport to prevent Field Marshal Rommel’s escape ship…

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A smiley face on a passport application form.

passport

A smiley face on a passport application form.

A smiley face of a girl who had high hopes of travelling and get many stamps in her passport.

A smiley face of a girl who maybe one day would become a famous child actor, like Shirley Temple because she looks just like her. The same Shirley Temple who would become an ambassador of the US in the country where this passport application was issued.

A smiley face of a girl who perhaps one day would become the scientist who who find a vaccine for many diseases.

A smiley face of a girl who just wanted to be that, a girl. But she was not allowed to be a girl.

A smiley face of a girl who became a statistic, but she is not a statistic. She was murdered for the crime of being a human being.

She was born 29. 10. 1930 and was put on Transport B, no. 411 on 21. 10. 1941, Prague to Łódź, where she was murdered.

Her name is Eva Abelesova.a girl with a smiley face.

Source

https://www.holocaust.cz/de/opferdatenbank/opfer/141943-eva-abelesova/

 

 

 

 

What if Henry Tandey had taken that shot.

History of Sorts

henry-tandey

Most of you will never have heard of the soldier called Henry Tandey, but this very soldier could have allegedly changed the course of history by carrying out one action. It could actually be disputed he changed the course of history by not firing that one shot.

Henry Tandey   was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He was the most highly decorated British private of the First World War.

On Sept. 28, 1918, one of the greatest mysteries of World War I is said to have taken place. During the fifth battle of Ypres, near the French village of Marcoing, 27-year-old Henry Tandey earned the Victoria Cross, which along with other medals, made him the highest decorated private of the First World War.

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But during the battle, a wounded and…

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