When the Dutch gave New Netherland to the Brits

treaty

Although the Dutch and the Brits are good friends now, it was not always thus. There have been several Anglo-Dutch wars.

The 3rd ,  Anglo-Dutch war ended this day in 1674 by the signing of the Westmnster Treaty of 1647. The English were dismayed by the unexpected fact that Dutch raiders managed to capture more English ships than vice versa and that New Amsterdam had been retaken by the Dutch in 1673.

New Amsterdam was the Capital city of New Netherland

New_Netherland_'NOVI_BELGII_NOVAEQUE_ANGLIAE_NEC_NON_PARTIS_VIRGINIAE_TABULA'

It was located on the east coast of North America(the Delmarva Peninsula to extreme southwestern Cape Cod,  part of the Mid-Atlantic States of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut, and  outposts in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.)

Part of the treaty was that New Netherland was to be returned to the Brits, while the Dutch kept Surinam.

The official peace was proclaimed  was proclaimed at Whitehall on 27 February at 10.00 am.

New Amsterdam is now called New York of course.

New_York_City_harbor_print

Donation

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

$2.00

Advertisements

The Case of the Treasonous Dolls

Dickinsondollshop

The facts of the case are odd.

Five letters were written in early 1942 and mailed by seemingly different people in different U.S. locations to the same person at a Buenos Aires, Argentina, address.

Velvaleedickinsonfeb221942letter

In early 1942, five letters were written and mailed by seemingly different people in different U.S. locations to the same person at an address in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Even more strangely, all of them bounced “Return to Sender”—and the “senders” on the return address (women in Oregon, Ohio, Colorado, and Washington state) knew nothing about the letters and had not sent them.

The FBI learned about all this when wartime censors intercepted one letter postmarked in Portland, Oregon, puzzled over its strange contents, and referred it to cryptographers at the FBI Laboratory. These experts concluded that the three “Old English dolls” left at “a wonderful doll hospital” for repairs might well mean three warships being repaired at a west coast naval shipyard; that “fish nets” meant submarine nets; and that “balloons” referred to defense installations.

One of the letters, supposedly sent by a Mary Wallace of Springfield, Ohio, did indicate her home address – 1808 E High Street – but had been postmarked in New York, a place she had never been. The letter, primarily discussing dolls, contained references to a “Mr. Shaw, who had been ill but would be back to work soon.” The letter corresponded to information that the destroyer USS Shaw, which had been damaged in the Pearl Harbor attack, completed repairs on the West Coast and was soon to rejoin the Pacific Fleet.

Another letter, given to the FBI in August of that year and said to have been written by a woman in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was postmarked from Oakland, California. That letter, written in February, made reference to seven small dolls which the writer stated would be altered to look as though they were “seven real Chinese dolls”, designed to mimic a family of parents, grandparents and three children. The FBI determined that the letter was written shortly after a convoy of ships had arrived at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo. The letter contained certain details about the ships, that if made public, would have been detrimental to the war effort.

 

The FBI immediately opened an investigation.

It was May 20, 1942, when a woman in Seattle turned over the crucial second letter. It said, “The wife of an important business associate gave her an old German bisque Doll dressed in a Hulu Grass skirt…I broke this awful doll…I walked all over Seattle to get someone to repair it….”

ef050db0-bd57-46aa-bc4a-1acdaac1c347

In short order, the FBI turned up the other letters. It determined that all five were using “doll code” to describe vital information about U.S. naval matters. All had forged signatures that had been made from authentic original signatures. All had typing characteristics that showed they were typed by the same person on different typewriters. How to put these clues together?

It was the woman in Colorado who provided the big break. She, like the other purported letter senders, was a doll collector, and she believed that a Madison Avenue doll shop owner, Mrs. Velvalee Dickinson, was responsible. She said Ms. Dickinson was angry with her because she’d been late paying for some dolls she’d ordered. That name was a match: the other women were also her customers.

Velvaleedickinson

Who was Velvalee Malvena Dickinson? Basically, a mystery. She was born in California and lived there until she moved with her husband to New York City in 1937. She opened a doll shop on Madison Avenue that same year, catering to wealthy doll collectors and hobbyists, but she struggled to keep it afloat. It also turned out that she had a long and close association with the Japanese diplomatic mission in the U.S.—and she had $13,000 in her safe deposit box traceable to Japanese sources.

Following her guilty plea on July 28, 1944, Ms. Dickinson detailed how she’d gathered intelligence at U.S. shipyards and how she’d used the code provided by Japanese Naval Attaché Ichiro Yokoyama to craft the letters. What we’ll never know is why the letters had been, thankfully, incorrectly addressed.

Yokoyama_Ichiro

 

FBI Laboratory examination of all five letters confirmed that the signatures on the letters were not genuine, but were forgeries which the experts decided were prepared from original signatures in the possession of the forger. The examination also showed that the typewriter used in the preparation of the letters was different in each case, but that the typing characteristics indicated that the letters were prepared by the same person.

The conclusion reached by the FBI cryptographers was that an open code was used in the letters, which attempted to convey information on the U.S. Armed Forces, particularly the ships of the U.S. Navy, their location, condition, and repair, with special emphasis on the damage of such vessels at Pearl Harbo

high

On February 11, 1944, Velvalee Malvena Dickinson was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for violation of the censorship statutes, conviction of which could result in a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

She pleaded not guilty and was held in lieu of $25,000 bail. A continuing investigation by the FBI resulted in a second indictment on May 5, this time on charges of violating espionage statutes, the Trading with the Enemy Act, tradingwithenemy00natirichand the censorship statutes, conviction of which carried the death penalty. She pleaded not guilty and was released on the same bail.On July 28, 1944, a plea bargain was made between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Dickinson in which the espionage and Trade Act indictments were dismissed and she pleaded guilty to the censorship violation and agreed to furnish information in her possession concerning Japanese intelligence activities.

After pleading guilty, she admitted that she had typed the five forged letters addressed to Argentina, using correspondence with her customers to forge their signatures.

She claimed the information compiled in her letters was from asking innocent and unsuspecting citizens in Seattle and San Francisco near the location of the Navy yards there, as well as some details from personal observation. She stated that the letters transmitted information about ships damaged at Pearl Harbor and that the names of the dolls corresponded to a list that explained the type of ships involved. She furthermore stated that the code to be used in the letters, instructions for use of the code, and $25,000 in $100 bills had been passed to her husband by Yokoyama around November 26, 1941, in her doll store at 718 Madison Avenue for the purpose of supplying information to the Japanese. She repeated her claims that the money had been hidden in her husband’s bed until his death.

However, an investigation by the FBI refuted those claims, disclosing that while Dickinson had been a friend of Yokoyama, her husband had never met him. It was also learned that a physical examination done on him at the time indicated that his mental faculties were impaired at the time of the supposed payment. Both a nurse and a maid employed by the Dickinsons at the time emphatically stated that no money had ever been concealed there.

Velvalee Dickinson appeared in court for sentencing on August 14, 1944. Upon sentencing, the court commented:

It is hard to believe that some people do not realize that our country is engaged in a life and death struggle. Any help given to the enemy means the death of American boys who are fighting for our national security. You, as a natural-born citizen, having a University education, and selling out to the Japanese, were certainly engaged in espionage. I think that you have been given every consideration by the Government. The indictment to which you have pleaded guilty is a serious matter. It borders close to treason. I, therefore, sentence you to the maximum penalty provided by the law, which is ten years and $10,000 fine.

Still maintaining her innocence and claiming that her ,at that stage deceased. husband had been the Japanese spy, Dickinson was imprisoned at the Federal Correctional Institution for Women (now the Alderson Federal Prison Camp) in Alderson, West Virginia. She was released with conditions on April 23, 1951.

1024px-Alderson_Federal_Prison_Camp_entrance

 

 

Donation

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

$2.00

 

Life in the Big Apple

flying-by-statue-liberty

New York city has such a rich history. Although I have never been there (but I will someday) I find it one of the most fascinating cities in the world.

For me to write a whole essay on the city would do it injustice, therefore below some pictures of its rich history.

A woman dressed in only heels and a barrel that reads “I Did My Bit, Did You?” stands in Times Square.

The promotion, organized by the United National Clothing Collection was part of drive to collect clothing and bedding for overseas war relief. April 1945..

promo-girl-times-square

Police attempt to enter the residence of the Collyer Brothers, a pair of legendary New York hoarders and recluses, after receiving reports of a foul smell coming from the house. They later found the bodies of the two brothers dead under a mountain of rubbish. 1947.

removing-junk-collyer-weird

A window washer at work on the Empire State Building poses during a brief break from his duties. March 24, 1936.

window-washer

French aerialist Philippe Petit walks a tightrope strung between the tops of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. 1974.

philippe-petit-twin-towers

From a board stuck out from the 54th floor of the Chanin Building, daredevil pole sitter Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly balances on his head while dunking doughnuts to celebrate Friday the 13. 1939.

manhattan-headstand

The Brooklyn Bridge during construction in 1882.

new-york-city-bridge-half

Waiters serve lunch to two steel workers on a girder high above the city on November 14, 1930, during construction of the famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

waiters-on-beam-weird-nyc

The German airship Hindenburg, swastikas and all, flies over New York City on the afternoon of May 6, 1937, a few hours before its historic, fiery crash in Manchester Township, New Jersey.

airship-over-skyline

 

9/10 :the day before-The forgotten date.

2870200-3x2-large

September 10,2001. A day like any other, people go about their daily lives, A young mother brings her kid to school. A sister is visiting her brother, an IT manager is on the phone to a help desk in a call centre,discussing data and telephony issues.

Not knowing that less then 24 hours later their world is turned up side town and even ended.

Following are just some impression from 9/10 the day before.

Picture above Australian David Officer took this photo from the Empire State Building on September 10, 2001, and was planning to visit the World Trade Centre with his family the next day.

Evan Kuz took this photo of downtown New York on the afternoon of September 10, 2001.

2863826-3x2-large

Artist Monika Bravo was filming out the window from her studio on the 92nd floor of the World Trade Centre’s Tower One as a storm rolled across the city. One of her fellow resident artists was killed in the attacks the next day.

2863924-3x2-large

World Trade Center. 9/10/2001

6124260148_9fa9281eee_b

September 10, 2001 at night

twintowerssept102001.jpg

Some headlines of the 10th of September.

Missing money

Donald Rumsfeld held a press conference to say that the Pentagon was missing more than $2.3 trillion.

010920-D-9880W-052

Gunmen Open Fire in Mosque; 11 Killed

Assailants wielding automatic weapons opened fire in a mosque in northern Algeria, killing 11 people and wounding eight others, security forces said. The attackers were believed to be Islamic militants, according to a statement issued by the security forces.

The massacre took place during Saturday evening prayers in Arzew, east of the port city of Oran.

The country’s Islamic insurgency broke out in 1992, when the military canceled elections that an Islamic fundamentalist party was set to win.

Bermuda Skirted by Storm

HAMILTON, Bermuda — Hurricane Erin strengthened Sunday, stranding tourists on Bermuda but sparing the wealthy island its lashing winds as it veered to the northeast.

Hard rain pelted the island, but the storm’s center stayed 110 miles northeast of the British territory. There were no reports of flooding, wind damage or injuries.

Erin’s sustained winds reached 120 mph, up from 105 mph earlier Sunday, making it a Category 3 hurricane, which can cause extensive damage.

The storm was not expected to grow stronger but could affect Canada within three days, said Richard Pasch, a specialist with the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

010910.erin

 

On “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Love interest Riley is behaving oddly and, when it’s discovered he has an abnormally fast pulse, Buffy becomes concerned.

The Scooby gang must get him to the Initiative doctor for help, but why is he so reluctant to go?

Meanwhile, Spike is also less than happy. He’s feeling confused and thinks Buffy is at the root of it. Is it time to tell her how he feels?

resizedimage600298-Standard-Image-Size-Buffy

One more picture of the World Trade center September 10.2001.

twin-towers-brooklyn-bridge

Donation

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

$2.00

When New Amsterdam became New York

frontpage-background

One of my favourite songs is from a band called Extreme it is called “When I first kissed you” The opening line goes as follows.”New York city can be so pretty from a bird’s eye view” If history had gone a slightly different direction the lyrics to that song would have not been the same.

On this day in 1664 Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant surrenders New Amsterdam, the capital of New Netherland, to an English naval squadron under Colonel Richard Nicolls. Stuyvesant had hoped to resist the English, but he was an unpopular ruler, and his Dutch subjects refused to rally around him.

peter-stuyvesant-9498392-1-402

Following its capture, New Amsterdam’s name was changed to New York, in honor of the Duke of York, who organized the mission.

The colony of New Netherland was established by the Dutch West India Company220px-Flag_of_the_Dutch_West_India_Company.svg in 1624 and grew to encompass all of present-day New York City and parts of Long Island, Connecticut, and New Jersey. A successful Dutch settlement in the colony grew up on the southern tip of Manhattan Island and was christened New Amsterdam.

 

3-new-amsterdam-granger

To legitimatize Dutch claims to New Amsterdam, Dutch governor Peter Minuit formally purchased Manhattan from the local tribe from which it derives it name in 1626. According to legend, the Manhattans–Indians of Algonquian linguistic stock–agreed to give up the island in exchange for trinkets valued at only $24.

The_Purchase_of_Manhattan_Island

However, as they were ignorant of European customs of property and contracts, it was not long before the Manhattans came into armed conflict with the expanding Dutch settlement at New Amsterdam. Beginning in 1641, a protracted war was fought between the colonists and the Manhattans, which resulted in the death of more than 1,000 Indians and settlers.

In 1664, New Amsterdam passed to English control, and English and Dutch settlers lived together peacefully. In 1673, there was a short interruption of English rule when the Netherlands temporary regained the settlement. In 1674, New York was returned to the English, and in 1686 it became the first city in the colonies to receive a royal charter. After the American Revolution, it became the first capital of the United States.

vue-vers-manhattan-photo_16848502-770tall

Ironically nowadays the name Peter Stuyvesant is more associated to a brand of cigarettes.

cigarettes

William Kemmler-First execution by electric chair.

WmKmlr-execution (1)

At Auburn Prison in New York, the first execution by electrocution in history was carried out against William Kemmler, who had been convicted of murdering his lover, Matilda Ziegler, with an axe.

William Kemmler was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Both of his parents were immigrants from Germany and both of them were alcoholics.After dropping out of school at age 10, having learned neither how to read nor write, Kemmler worked in his father’s butcher shop. His father died from an infection that he received after a drunken brawl and his mother died from complications of alcoholism. After his parents died, he went into the peddling business and earned enough money to buy a horse and cart, although at this point he was becoming a heavy drinker.

William_Kemmler.jpg

In one episode involving him and his friends after a series of drunken binges, he said he could jump his horse and cart over an eight-foot fence with the cart attached to the horse. The attempt was a failure, and his cart and goods destroyed in the incident. He was known to friends as “Philadelphia Billy” due to his drinking binges that were very well known around the saloons in his Buffalo neighborhood. Kemmler was reportedly slender, with dark brown hair. He spoke both English and German.

Electrocution as a humane means of execution was first suggested in 1881 by Dr. Albert Southwick, a dentist.

2014_03_12_15_58_12_110_Southwick_Alfred_200

Southwick had witnessed an elderly drunkard “painlessly” killed after touching the terminals of an electrical generator in Buffalo, New York. In the prevalent form of execution at the time–death by hanging–the condemned were known to hang by their broken necks for up to 30 minutes before succumbing to asphyxiation.

In 1889, New York’s Electrical Execution Law, the first of its kind in the world, went into effect, and Edwin R. Davis, the Auburn Prison electrician, was commissioned to design an electric chair. Closely resembling the modern device, Davis’ chair was fitted with two electrodes, which were composed of metal disks held together with rubber and covered with a damp sponge. The electrodes were to be applied to the criminal’s head and back.

first-electric-chair-Auburn-NY-photo-International-News

On August 6, 1890, William Kemmler became the first person to be sent to the chair. After he was strapped in, a charge of approximately 700 volts was delivered for only 17 seconds before the current failed. Although witnesses reported smelling burnt clothing and charred flesh, Kemmler was far from dead, and a second shock was prepared. The second charge was 1,030 volts and applied for about two minutes, whereupon smoke was observed coming from the head of Kemmler, who was clearly deceased. An autopsy showed that the electrode attached to his back had burned through to the spine.

Dr. Southwick applauded Kemmler’s execution with the declaration, “We live in a higher civilization from this day on,” while American inventor George Westinghouse, an innovator of the use of electricity, remarked, “They would have done better with an axe.”

 

Anthony and William Esposito-Mad Dog killers

1fca3f4f011e026507443b338c30c859

It was the New York police commissioner who would nickname brothers Anthony and William Esposito ‘the mad dog killers,’ a description that would catch on in the press. On Jan. 14, 1941, the Esposito brothers held up office manager Alfred Klausman for the $649 payroll he was carrying, shooting and killing him in the elevator of an office building in Manhattan. What followed was a spectacular mid-day gun chase along Fifth Avenue, with the pair running and shooting in and out of department stores and taxis — William, shot in the leg, fell to the ground, and while pretending to be dead surprised, shot and killed the policeman who chased him.

01-true2a-3

The Police man was Police Officer Edward Maher. Bizarrely enough on the 14th of January 1921 Officer Maher had lost his wife, leaving leaving the young cop to raise the couple’s infant son alone.

edward-maher

Fifth Avenue shoppers and pedestrians overtook William, beating him unconscious, and police arrested Anthony in a convenience store nearby.

97aa3__Anthony-and-William-Esposito-Ten-Notorious-Insanity-Defense-Cases_thumb

(Anthony Esposito on Jan. 16, 1941, as he was brought before a police identification line-up)

insanity-defense-4

During their trial, the brothers made an effort to convince the court they were insane; they barked, howled and made other animal noises, drooled and banged their heads on the table. But the barking and drooling wasn’t compelling evidence to the jury, and the brothers were both found guilty of first-degree murder. The two continued their behaviors, including speaking in gibberish and undertaking a hunger strike, while incarcerated at Sing Sing until both were put to death by electrocution in 1942.

1024px-Sing_Sing

They were executed  on March 12 1942 by electric chair five minutes apart at Sing Sing for the January 14, 1941 slaying of Officer  Maher and Alfred Klausman.

pm_1941_01_16a_small-3

Both brothers were in such fragile health that they had to be brought into the death chamber in wheelchairs because they had refused all food for the past 10 months that was not fed them forcibly

1993 World Trade Center bombing

hith-remembering-the-1993-world-trade-center-bombing-e

On February 26, 1993, terrorists parked a rental van in a garage underneath the World Trade Center’s twin towers and lit the fuses on a massive homemade bomb stuffed inside. Six people died and more than 1,000 were injured in the subsequent explosion, which carved out a crater several stories deep and propelled smoke into the upper reaches of the quarter-mile-high skyscrapers.

Completed in 1973, the World Trade Center’s twin towers loomed over lower Manhattan at 110 stories each. Although these iconic buildings, which were the tallest in the world before being overtaken by Chicago’s Sears Tower, struggled at first to attract tenants, some 50,000 office workers eventually filled them to near capacity. Tens of thousands of additional visitors came daily to check out the view from an observation deck or a 107th-floor restaurant.

19215655

Safety concerns became apparent as early as 1975, when a disgruntled custodian set a fire in the north tower that caused millions of dollars in damages and prompted calls for the installation of a sprinkler system. A decade or so later, the government agency that owned the World Trade Center began examining possible terrorism threats. But it ended up ignoring many of its security team’s recommendations, including that public parking be eliminated or that cars at least be randomly inspected.

In September 1992 explosives expert Ramzi Ahmed Yousef arrived in New York City on a flight from Pakistan and began planning an attack on the World Trade Center, with the alleged goal of toppling the north tower into the south tower.

ramzi_yousef

He received help from followers of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind, Egyptian-born Muslim cleric who spoke in sermons of destroying the “edifices of capitalism.”

download

The plotters rented a storage locker in New Jersey, where they stockpiled urea, nitric acid, sulfuric acid and other ingredients for making bombs. They simultaneously concocted a nitroglycerin trigger at a nearby apartment and scouted out the World Trade Center’s underground floors.

On February 26, 1993, the plotters loaded their homemade bomb, which weighed about 1,200 pounds, into a yellow Ford Econoline van they had rented from a Ryder dealership in New Jersey.

download-1

Two of them then drove it across the Hudson River into Manhattan, made their way south to the World Trade Center, entered the basement parking garage between the north tower and a hotel, parked in an illegal spot on a ramp, lit four 20-foot fuses, got into a car that had trailed them and sped off.

At 12:17 p.m. the bomb exploded, knocking out the World Trade Center’s sprinklers, generators, elevators, public address system, emergency command center and more than half of the high-voltage lines that fed electricity to the complex. The FBI later called it the “largest by weight and by damage of any improvised explosive device that we’ve seen since the inception of forensic explosive identification.” Six people died, including a pregnant woman. More than 1,000 others were injured, mostly from smoke that snaked its way up the stairwells and elevator shafts. Yet both towers remained standing.

As rescue workers dug for victims, survivors began making their way out by any means possible. A woman in a wheelchair was carried down 66 flights of stairs by two friends. A class of singing kindergartners descended from the 107th floor. A group of engineers stuck in an elevator pried open the doors and then used car keys to cut a hole in the sheetrock walls leading out to a 58th-floor women’s bathroom. Nearly 30 people with medical conditions were taken to the roof and whisked away by police helicopter. By late that night, the buildings had been completely cleared. They would not reopen for nearly a month.

Investigators sifting through the rubble soon came across the vehicle identification number for the rental van, which had been reported stolen the day before the attack. FBI agents then arrested Mohammad Salameh, who had rented the van under his own name, when he returned to the Ryder dealership to ask for his $400 deposit back.

wtcarrest27a-5-web

Subsequent arrests were made of Ahmad Ajaj, Nidal Ayyad and Mahmoud Abouhalima. In March 1994 a federal jury convicted the four of them for their role in the bombing, and they were each sentenced to life behind bars.

Meanwhile, authorities uncovered a related plot in which followers of Sheikh Abdel Rahman planned to blow up the George Washington Bridge, the United Nations headquarters and other New York City landmarks. In that case, the sheikh and nine co-defendants were found guilty of seditious conspiracy and other terrorism-related charges. A third case led to life sentences for Yousef, who was captured in Pakistan in 1995, and the driver of the rental van, who was captured in Jordan that same year. Only one suspect, who fled to Iraq after being questioned and released by the FBI, remains at large.

In the aftermath of the World Trade Center bombing, the buildings’ owner repaired the damage, upgraded elevators and electrical systems, put battery-operated emergency lights and luminescent paint in the stairwells, and set up emergency command centers. By 2000 the complex had reached its highest occupancy rate of all time. But terrorism struck again on September 11, 2001, when militants associated with the Islamic extremist group Al Qaeda flew hijacked planes into the towers, killing nearly 3,000 people. More than 11 years later, reconstruction at the site, which includes a 9/11 memorial and the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, is nearing completion.

remembering-september-11-2001-attacks

8306069668_9f88289664_k-1024x1020

Eddy Hamel- Player of AFC AJAX,killed in Auschwitz.

enhanced-2793-1403104209-1

AFC Ajax is one of the most well known football clubs in Europe if not the world.Aside from dozens of national trophies it also won 12 international trophies, a feat repeated by only a few other clubs.

1024px-ajax_puchar

Historically, Ajax was popularly seen as having “Jewish roots”. Although not an official Jewish club like the city’s WV-HEDW, Ajax has had a Jewish image since the 1930s when the home stadium was located next to a Jewish neighbourhood of Amsterdam-Oost and opponents saw many supporters walking through the Nieuwmarkt/Waterloopleinbuurt (de Jodenhoek—the “Jews’ corner”) to get to the stadium.

Die-hard Ajax supporters call themselves “Joden” — Dutch for “Jews” — a nickname that reflects both the team’s and the city’s Jewish heritage. This nickname for Ajax fans dates back to before World War II, when Amsterdam was home to most of the Netherlands’ 140,000 Jews.

The club  has an academy where it draws most of its players from but it has also always attracted foreign players. Eddy Hamel was no exception.

Hamel was the first Jewish player for Ajax. Born in New York City, New York, he moved to Amsterdam in his teenage years. As a right winger, Hamel became a first team regular for Ajax. He was the first player with a Jewish background who made it to the first team, and to date only three others have followed in his footsteps – Johnny Roeg, Bennie Muller and Daniël de Ridder. Hamel was a fan favourite and was cited by pre-World War II club legend Wim Anderiesen as part of the strongest line-up he ever played with.He was Ajax’ right winger from 1922 to 1930.  He scored eight goals in 125 league games.

After his retirement as a player, he managed RKV Volendam, in 1935 they became champion and he also managed  Alcmaria Victrix for three years and continued to play in an Ajax veteran squad.

alcmaria_victrix_logo

Hamel was also to become the club’s only war victim who played for the first team of Ajax. In 1941 all Jewish players were dishonorably discharged from their clubs as decreed by the Nazi’s.He possessed a United States passport, which he could not produce when Nazi Germany invaded.

In October 1942 Eddy Hamel and his family were arrested and deported to Westerbork to the “English Baracks” where he meets and befriends Leon Greenman.

He was murdered in the Auschwitz concentration camp on 30 April 1943. In the TV document Auschwitz: The Forgotten Evidence, fellow inmate and friend  Leon Greenman said he was in front of Eddy when he told him he had an abscess in his mouth, while in a regular medical selection queue, while Leon passed that selection Eddy was sent to the gas chambers because of his abscess.

austwitzsurvivorobetype

 

 

 

 

U123-the U-Boat that could have attacked New York.

Lorient, Einlaufen von U-123

On this day 75 year ago U123 surfaced so close to New York Harbor that the rides at Coney Island could be seen silhouetted against the evening sky. Captain Reinhard Hardegen expected the U.S. east coast to be blacked out after more than a month at war and was surprised to see the glow in the sky from Manhattan’s millions of lights.

reinhard_hardegen

U-123 took part in the opening of Unternehmen Paukenschlag (“Operation Drumbeat”), also called the “Second Happy Time” in January 1942. She began by sinking the cargo ship Cyclops about 125 nmi (232 km; 144 mi) southeast of Cape Sable, Nova Scotia on the 12th.

Moving down the coast, she sank Norness, Coimbra, Norvana, City of Atlanta and the Latvian Ciltvaira.

ciltvaira_sinking

She was also credited with sinking San Jose on 17 January, although this ship was actually lost in a collision.The Malay was only damaged because Hardegen had under-estimated her size and chose to use the deck gun rather than a torpedo.

U-123 was attacked by an aircraft off New York City, but withdrew without any damage being sustained.

coney_island_beach_and_amusement_parks_june_2016

She also had a lucky escape on 19 January when Kosmos II tried to ram the boat off Oregon Inlet.

kosmos_ii

At 12.50 hours on 19 Jan 1942, the Kosmos II . spotted U-123  from a distance of about 400 metres about 17 miles northeast off Cape Hatteras. The U-boat had troubles with one of the engines and steered a course out to the sea on the surface. The unarmed whale factory ship steered at full speed (about 17 knots) towards the U-boat and tried to ram it, while they send radio messages to notifiy the maritime authorities. The U-boat was out of torpedoes and the draught of the whale factory did not allow the U-boat to submerge. As the U-boat was only 75 metres from the ship, they managed to start the second engine and evaded the ship at full speed. The big ship followed the U-boat for over one hour, but it was making 18 knots and slowly got some distance to her. Hardegen thought about firing the machine guns at the ship to irritate the crew, but decided to fire two flares with the signal pistol at the bridge of the vessel.