Your job in Germany and Our Job in Japan.

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Cat in the hat;How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and It’s a Wonderful Life are not stories you would associate with WWII or propaganda, and yet they have a distinct ,albeit indirect link to WWII propaganda movies.

The name Theodor Seuss Geisel will mean little to many people,although there is a hint in his name which gives away the name he is known by to most. He is better known as Dr. Seuss.

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In 1943, he joined the Army as a Captain and was commander of the Animation Department of the First Motion Picture Unit of the United States Army Air Forces. Where he got to work with Frank Capra, the director of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.

Initially they worked together on a series of black-and-white American instructional,  cartoons, of a character created by Capra called ‘Private Snafu’,that were produced between 1943 and 1945

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The cartoons were humorous very much like the Looney toons. The short movies were directed by famous  directors like Chuck Jones and Fritz Freleng.

In one episode of the series ‘Three Brothers’ released on December 4, 1944 a certain Bugs Bunny made an appearance.

Frank Capra and Dr Seuss worked on 2 hard hitting propaganda films ,shortly after WWII in 1945.

Your Job in Germany

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The film would probably be called racist and non political correct nowadays but in the context of the time it was accepted and also understandable.This training film was made for U.S. Army occupation forces in Germany following World War II.

It  tells how Germany has always been evil and when given a the chance again they would start another war with another leader like Hitler.

In the films the troops are urged not to become friends with the Germans, for the Nazi mentality is still prevalent in the German psyche, and probably always will be.

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Jack Warner, of Warner Brothers,  secured the rights to ‘Your Job in Germany’ and turned it into a short documentary entitled Hitler Lives?, directed by Don Siegel. It was released commercially on December 29, 1945 and won the 1946 Academy Award  for Documentary Short Subject.

Our Job in Japan

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Our Job in Japan was a United States military training film made in 1945. Equally to ‘Your Job in Germany’ this movie would now be perceived as racist and totally not political correct.But similarly in the context of the aftermath of WWII and the brutality the Japanese army had displayed during the war it was understandable and probably warranted to portray the Japanese people in the way they did.

The film was aimed at American troops heading to Japan to occupy the country in 1945  It presented the problem of turning the militarist state into a peaceful democracy.

It starts off showing Japan surrendering  , followed by the depiction of bad things that they did during the war, and also how the Japanese always followed a backward quasi religious philosophy. The  narrator explains that although the war is over the Japanese brains still need to adapt to a more modern society based on common sense and not by worshiping the old ways.

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Our Job in Japan was also used as a  basis for a longer, commercially released film, with the title ‘Design for Death’  in 1947 directed by Richard Fleischer. It won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

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Sources

National Archives

IMDB

 

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Nazi War criminals in Ireland

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Before I start I have to say I love Ireland and I love living here, but like most nations in the world Ireland too has some black pages in its history.

Although Ireland was supposed to be neutral, at times it took that neutrality too far, Sending condolences to Germany after Hitler died was a good example. What is even more disturbing is that it did harbour Nazi war criminals and helped some evade justice. Often these evil men did lead a very comfortable life in Ireland.

A small number of Germans, Croatians,Belgians and Dutch who arrived in the Irish Republic after 1945. Although some were suspected of having worked for Hitler, there was no determined official effort to weed them out. It is estimated that between 100 and 200 Nazi criminals found refuge in Ireland.

I will be looking at just a few of them, starting off with a fellow Dutchman. Pieter Menten.

 

Menten, a millionaire art collector, was convicted in the killings of dozens of Jews in Podhorece, a village in Poland, while he was serving as a translator with a Nazi SS unit in 1941.

Menten built up much of his business empire trading between his native Netherlands and Poland, he was a significant importer of lumber for example. He lived in Eastern Poland from 1923 until 1939 when the Soviet Union invaded.

Two years later, he returned to Poland after the Nazi counter-occupation.This background was kept hidden and he lived much of his time in Ireland, in county Waterford in the mansion Comeragh House.

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But it all became public in the 1976 when he was arrested for his crimes in Holland. He claimed a case of mistaken identity, but was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in jail.He was freed from prison in 1985 on good behavior after serving two-thirds of his 10-year sentence and entered the nursing home in July.

Pieter Menten died on 14 November 1987, a demented old man age 88.

Andrija Aurtukovic aka Andrew Aurtukovic aka Alois Anich aka the Butcher of the Balkans.Butcher of the Balkans

Andrija Aurtukovic, called the Butcher of the Balkans, as a Croatian minister of Interior set up a concentration camp which ended up killing one million under his authority. He was deported to Yugoslavia and sentenced to be executed decades later but was judged ‘too old’Andrija_Artuković_za_govornicom

With other members of Government, he left Zagreb on 6 May 1945 and went to Austria. He was detained in an Allied camp in Spittal an der Drau. On 18 May 1945, British extradited some Croatian ministers and Prime Minister Nikola Mandić to the Yugoslav authorities. Artuković was not extradited, but he was released soon with remaining ministers. He left the British occupational zone, then went via the American to the French occupational zone, where his family was. With a Swiss passport under the pseudonym of Alois Anich, he traveled to Ireland. In 1948, with his wife and children, he entered the United States on a tourist visa and settled in Seal Beach, California. The Visa he got using Irish identification papers.id

He was eventually extradited to Yugoslavia Artuković died of natural causes in prison hospital in Zagreb on 16 January 1988.

Otto Skorzeny is a special case for not only did he escape to Ireland he ended up working with the Mossad in Israel.

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Not an easy man to miss, Skorzeny stood 6 foot 4 inches tall and weighed 250lbs. And he was known as “Scarface” for a reason. He had a long, distinctive scar on his left cheek.

Skorzeny achieved ‘fame’ during the war for rescuing deposed Italian leader Benito Mussolini from an Italian hilltop fortress. Like so many other Nazis he went to Argentina after the war. where he  served as a bodyguard to Eva Peron, wife of the Argentine dictator Juan Peron. It is rumored that he had a romantic affair with her.

In July 1957 he traveled to Dublin where he was met with a gala reception by members of Parliament and celebrities. Following his warm welcome he purchased Martinstown House, the 160-acre farm estate in The Curragh, County Kildare.

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Skorzeny was recruited by the Mossad conducting operations for the agency from 1962, where he worked with Avraham Ahituv and Rafi Eitan.

On Israel’s request, Skorzeny flew to Egypt and compiled a detailed list of German scientists and their addresses. Skorzeny also found for Mossad the names of many front companies in Europe that were procuring and shipping components for Egypt’s military projects. Skorzeny agreed to work with Israel on the condition that Simon Wiesenthal erase his name from the list of wanted Nazi war criminals and act to have an arrest warrant against him cancelled. Though Wiesenthal rejected this request, Skorzeny decided in the end to cooperate with the Mossad.

 

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Sources

Irish Times

Irish Independent

FBI

Jacques Cousteau-Oceanic explorer,Naval officer and Resistance fighter.

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Before David Attenborough explored the oceans in the Blue Planet, Jacques Cousteau had been doing it for decades and he did much more then that. When it comes to Oceanic exploration he literally wrote the book.

The title ” The Silent World” was released this day 65 years ago.

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As a kid I would be glued to the Television every time they aired one of Cousteau’s explorations, they would be the highlight of the week. In this blog I will be focusing on his work during WWII and the years after the war..

During World War II, when Paris fell to the Nazis, Jacques  Cousteau and his family took refuge in the small town of Megreve, near the Swiss border. For the first few years of the war, he quietly continued his underwater experiments and explorations. In 1943 he met Emile Gagnan, a French engineer who shared his passion for discovery. Around this time, compressed air cylinders were invented and Cousteau and Gagnan experimented with snorkel hoses, body suits and breathing apparatus.

In  that time, they developed the first aqua-lung device allowing divers to stay underwater for long periods of time.

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Cousteau was also instrumental in the development of a waterproof camera that could withstand the high pressure of deep water. During this time, Cousteau made two documentaries on underwater exploration, Par dix-huit mètres de fond (“18 Meters Deep”) and Épaves(“Shipwrecks”).

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Having kept bonds with the English speakers (he spent part of his childhood in the United States and usually spoke English) and with French soldiers in North Africa (under Admiral Lemonnier), Jacques-Yves Cousteau (whose villa “Baobab” at Sanary (Var) was opposite Admiral Darlan’s villa “Reine”), helped the French Navy to join again with the Allies; he assembled a commando operation against the Italian espionage services in France, and received several military decorations for his deeds. At that time, he kept his distance from his brother Pierre-Antoine Cousteau, a “pen anti-semite” who wrote the collaborationist newspaper Je suis partout (I am everywhere) and who received the death sentence in 1946. However, this was later commuted to a life sentence, and Pierre-Antoine was released in 1954.

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In 1947, Cousteau, using the Aqualung, set a world’s record for free diving, reaching a depth of 300 feet. The following year, Dumas broke the record with a 306-foot dive. The team developed and perfected many of the techniques of deep-sea diving, working out rigorous decompression schedules that enabled the body to adjust to pressure changes. This physically demanding, dangerous work took its toll; one member of the research team was killed during underwater testing.

On July 19, 1950, Cousteau bought Calypso, a converted U.S. minesweeper

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Jacques-Yves Cousteau died of a heart attack on 25 June 1997 in Paris, 2 weeks after his 87th birthday.He was buried in the family vault at Saint-André-de-Cubzac, his birthplace.An homage was paid to him by the town by naming the street which runs out to the house of his birth “rue du Commandant Cousteau”, where a commemorative plaque was placed.

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Flight 19-The Lost squadron

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The Bermuda Triangle’s reputation as a boat and plane-devouring chasm was first sealed in December 1945, when a group of five U.S. Navy Avenger torpedo bombers known as “Flight 19” vanished in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida. No sign of the Avengers was ever found, and a Navy seaplane sent to rescue them also disappeared without a trace.

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At 2:10 p.m., five U.S. Navy Avenger torpedo-bombers comprising Flight 19 take off from the Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station in Florida on a routine three-hour training mission. Flight 19 was scheduled to take them due east for 120 miles, north for 73 miles, and then back over a final 120-mile leg that would return them to the naval base. They never returned.

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Flight 19 was a training flight with five TBM Avengers or Torpedo Bombers and was led by Commander Charles Taylor. Each was a 3-seater plane, very robust, safe and US Navy’s best bombing planes to destroy enemy submarines. It could carry up to 2,000 pounds of bombing ammunitions and had a range of 1,000 miles.

Other than Taylor, there were 13 others in the flight (in different planes) but were all trainees. Taylor was the only experienced pilot. On December 5, 1945 at 2:10 p.m., the five Avengers of Flight 19 took off one after the other from the Naval Air Station (NAS) of Fort Lauderdale at Florida for a routine training session. It was a clear day.

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At first, Flight 19’s hop proceeded just as smoothly as the previous 18 that day. Taylor and his pilots buzzed over Hens and Chickens Shoals around 2:30 p.m. and dropped their practice bombs without incident.
But shortly after the patrol turned north for the second leg of its journey, something very strange happened.
For reasons that are still unclear, Taylor became convinced that his Avenger’s compass was malfunctioning and that his planes had been flying in the wrong direction.
The troubles only mounted after a front blew in and brought rain, gusting winds and heavy cloud cover. Flight 19 became hopelessly disoriented. “I don’t know where we are,” one of the pilots said over the radio. “We must have got lost after that last turn.”

As the weather deteriorated, radio contact became intermittent, and it was believed that the five aircraft were actually by that time more than 200 nmi (230 mi; 370 km) out to sea east of the Florida peninsula. Taylor radioed “We’ll fly 270 degrees west until landfall or running out of gas” and requested a weather check at 17:24. By 17:50 several land-based radio stations had triangulated Flight 19’s position as being within a 100 nmi (120 mi; 190 km) radius of 29°N 79°W; Flight 19 was north of the Bahamas and well off the coast of central Florida, but nobody transmitted this information on an open, repetitive basis.

At 18:04, Taylor radioed to his flight “Holding 270, we didn’t fly far enough east, we may as well just turn around and fly east again”. By that time, the weather had deteriorated even more and the sun had since set. Around 18:20, Taylor’s last message was received. (It has also been reported that Taylor’s last message was received at 19:04.)He was heard saying “All planes close up tight … we’ll have to ditch unless landfall … when the first plane drops below 10 gallons, we all go down together.

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As it became obvious the flight was lost, air bases, aircraft, and merchant ships were alerted. A Consolidated PBY Catalina departed after 18:00 to search for Flight 19 and guide them back if they could be located. After dark, two Martin PBM Mariner flying boats originally scheduled for their own training flights were diverted to perform square pattern searches in the area west of 29°N 79°W. US Navy Squadron Training No. 49 PBM-5 BuNo 59225 took off at 19:27 from Naval Air Station Banana River (now Patrick Air Force Base), called in a routine radio message at 19:30 and was never heard from again.

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At 21.15, the tanker SS Gaines Mills reported it had observed flames from an apparent explosion leaping 100 ft (30 m) high and burning for 10 minutes, at position 28.59°N 80.25°W.

Captain Shonna Stanley reported unsuccessfully searching for survivors through a pool of oil and aviation gasoline. The escort carrier USS Solomons also reported losing radar contact with an aircraft at the same position and time.

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The disappearance of the 14 men of Flight 19 and the 13 men of the Mariner led to one of the largest air and seas searches to that date, and hundreds of ships and aircraft combed thousands of square miles of the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and remote locations within the interior of Florida.

No trace of the bodies or aircraft was ever found.

Although naval officials maintained that the remains of the six aircraft and 27 men were not found because stormy weather destroyed the evidence, the story of the “Lost Squadron” helped cement the legend of the Bermuda Triangle, an area of the Atlantic Ocean where ships and aircraft are said to disappear without a trace.

The Bermuda Triangle is said to stretch from the southern U.S. coast across to Bermuda and down to the Atlantic coast of Cuba and Santo Domingo.

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Denazification-a small price to pay for a Genocide.

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After the liberation of Germany in May 1945 the Allied Powers initiated a comprehensive denazification program. Its purpose was to eradicate National Socialist thought from political, economic as well as intellectual and cultural life. As a first step the NSDAP and its subdivisions were prohibited, Nazi laws were abolished and the external signs and symbols of National Socialism removed. The main focus of the program was the systematic screening of all former members of the NSDAP – party membership was defined as the criterion for their dismissal from executive positions in industry and from public office.

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The term denazification was first coined as a legal term in 1943 in the Pentagon, intended to be applied in a narrow sense with reference to the post-war German legal system. Soon afterward, it took on the more general meaning.

The denazification program in Germany mandated the elimination of Nazi names from public squares, city streets, and other venues. US, Soviet, and British soldiers enthusiastically removed Nazi emblems and renamed public spaces.

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The process of denazification was carried out diversely in the various zones. The most elaborate procedures were instituted in the United States zone, where investigated individuals were required to complete highly detailed questionnaires concerning their personal histories and to appear at hearings before panels of German adjudicators. In the British and French zones, denazification was pursued with less vigor because the authorities thought it more important to reestablish a functioning bureaucracy in their sectors.

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Denazification was most rigorous in the Soviet sector. Civil servants, teachers, and legal officials with significant Nazi pasts were thoroughly purged. Denazification was also used as an instrument for seizing the resources of the so-called “class enemy”: former Nazis who owned factories or estates were denounced and their property confiscated. After participating in the social transformation, some former Nazis were pardoned and even gained high positions within the new communist ruling class.

The denazification process mandated that simpler cases involving lesser offenders be tried before more complicated cases involving officials higher up in the Nazi regime. With time, however, prosecution became less severe, and the United States came to be more concerned with the Cold War. When denazification ended in March 1948, the more serious cases had not yet been tried. As a result, numerous former Nazi functionaries escaped justice, much to the regret of many Germans.

Diese Schandtaten: Eure Schuld! (“These atrocities: your fault!”) One of the posters distributed by U.S. occupation authorities in the summer of 1945

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Very soon after the program started, due to the emergence of the Cold War, the western powers and the United States in particular began to lose interest in the program, and it was carried out in an increasingly lenient and lukewarm way until being officially abolished in 1951.

After the defeat as part of the Denazification the German and Austrian populations were forced to visit the concentration and deaths camps to be confronted with the crimes committed by their leaders.

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German prisoners of war were forced to see footage of the atrocities in movie theatres.

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The U.S. conducted opinion surveys in occupied Germany.Tony Judt, in his book Postwar: a History of Europe since 1945, extracted and used some of them.

  • A majority in the years 1945–49 stated National Socialism to have been a good idea but badly applied.
  • In 1946, 6% of Germans said the Nuremberg trials had been unfair.
  • In 1946, 37% in the US occupation zone said about the Holocaust that “the extermination of the Jews and Poles and other non-Aryans was necessary for the security of Germans”.
  • In 1946, 1 in 3 in the US occupation zone said that Jews should not have the same rights as those belonging to the Aryan race.
  • In 1950, 1 in 3 said the Nuremberg trials had been unfair.
  • In 1952, 37% said Germany was better off without the Jews.
  • In 1952, 25% had a good opinion of Hitler.

British historian Ian Kershaw in his book The “Hitler Myth”: Image and Reality in the Third Reich writes about the various surveys carried out at the German population:

  • In 1945, 42% of young Germans and 22% of adult Germans thought that the reconstruction of Germany would be best applied by a ‘strong new Führer’.
  • In 1952, 10% of Germans thought that Hitler was the greatest statesmen and that his greatness would only be realised at a later date and 22% thought he had made ‘some mistakes’ but was still an excellent leader.
  • In 1952, roughly 33% opposed the assassination attempt of Hitler in the 20 July plot in 1944.
  • In 1953, 14% of Germans said they would vote for someone like Hitler again.

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When did WWII really end-Was the cold war really cold?

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It can be argued that WWII never really ended or that the cold war wasn’t really all that cold. Immediately after WWII, in fact technically still during the War in the Pacific,Indonesia declared it’s independence triggering an armed conflict with the Dutch and British.

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Under pressure from radical and politicised pemuda (‘youth’) groups, Sukarno and Hatta proclaimed Indonesian independence, on 17 August 1945, two days after the Japanese Emperor’s surrender in the Pacific. The following day, the Central Indonesian National Committee (KNIP) elected Sukarno as President, and Hatta as Vice-President. It lasted until 1949.

War in Vietnam (September 13, 1945 – March 30, 1946)

The War in Vietnam, codenamed Operation Masterdomb, was a post–World War II armed conflict involving a largely British-Indian and French task force and Japanese troops from the Southern Expeditionary Army Group, versus the Vietnamese communist movement, the Viet Minh, for control of the country, after the unconditional Japanese surrender.

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The Korean War

On June 25, 1950, the Korean War began when some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south. This invasion was the first military action of the Cold War. By July, American troops had entered the war on South Korea’s behalf. As far as American officials were concerned, it was a war against the forces of international communism itself.

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In July 1951, President Truman and his new military commanders started peace talks at Panmunjom. Still, the fighting continued along the 38th parallel as negotiations stalled. Both sides were willing to accept a ceasefire that maintained the 38th parallel boundary, but they could not agree on whether prisoners of war should be forcibly “repatriated.” (The Chinese and the North Koreans said yes; the United States said no.) Finally, after more than two years of negotiations, the adversaries signed an armistice on July 27, 1953. The agreement allowed the POWs to stay where they liked; drew a new boundary near the 38th parallel that gave South Korea an extra 1,500 square miles of territory; and created a 2-mile-wide “demilitarized zone” that still exists today.

The Indochina war.(19 December 1946 – 1 August 1954.)

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The  Indochina War (also  known as the First Indochina War in) began in French Indochina(Vietnam) on 19 December, 1946, and lasted until 1 August, 1954. Fighting between French forces and their Viet Minh opponents in the south dated from September 1945. The conflict pitted a range of forces, including the French Union’s French Far East Expeditionary Corps, led by France and supported by Emperor Bảo Đại’s Vietnamese National Army against the Viet Minh, led by Ho Chi Minh and the People’s Army of Vietnam led by Vo Nguyen Giap. Most of the fighting took place in Tonkin in northern Vietnam, although the conflict engulfed the entire country and also extended to  French Indochina protectorates of Laos and Cambodia.

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Greek Civil War(30 March 1946 – 16 October 1949)

The first major military conflict of the Cold War. Communist rebels supported by Yugoslavia and other Communist nations fought against the pro-Western government of Greece, which was given significant support by the United States and Great Britain. The war ended with a government victory.

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The Vietnam War (1 November 1955 – 30 April 1975)

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The Vietnam War was a long, costly and divisive conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. The conflict was intensified by the ongoing Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. More than 3 million people (including over 58,000 Americans) were killed in the Vietnam War, and more than half of the dead were Vietnamese civilians. Opposition to the war in the United States bitterly divided Americans, even after President Richard Nixon ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces in 1973. Communist forces ended the war by seizing control of South Vietnam in 1975, and the country was unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam the following year.

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Suez Crisis (29 October 1956 – 7 November 1956)

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On 29 October, Israel invaded the Egyptian Sinai. Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to cease fire, which was ignored. On 5 November, Britain and France landed paratroopers along the Suez Canal. The Egyptian forces were defeated, but they did block the canal to all shipping. It later became clear that the Israeli invasion and the subsequent Anglo-French attack had been planned beforehand by the three countries.

Congo Crisis (5 July 1960 – 25 November 1965)

The Congo Crisis was a period of political upheaval and conflict in the Republic of the Congo (today the Democratic Republic of the Congo) between 1960 and 1965. It began almost immediately after the Congo became independent from Belgium and ended, unofficially, with the entire country under the rule of Joseph-Désiré Mobutu. Constituting a series of civil wars, the Congo Crisis was also a proxy conflict in the Cold War, in which the Soviet Union and United States supported opposing factions. Around 100,000 people are believed to have been killed during the crisis.

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Yom Kippur War (October 6–25, 1973)

The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War,also known as the 1973 Arab–Israeli War, was a war fought by a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria against Israel from October 6 to 25, 1973. The fighting mostly took place in the Sinai and the Golan Heights, territories that had been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat wanted also to reopen the Suez Canal. Neither specifically planned to destroy Israel, although the Israeli leaders could not be sure of that.

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Soviet–Afghan War (December 24, 1979 – February 15, 1989)

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The Soviet–Afghan War lasted over nine years, from December 1979 to February 1989. Insurgent groups known as the mujahideen fought against the Soviet Army and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Between 562,000 and 2,000,000 civilians were killed and millions of Afghans fled the country as refugees,mostly to Pakistan and Iran.

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The USSR entered neighboring Afghanistan in 1979, attempting to shore up the newly-established pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. In short order, nearly 100,000 Soviet soldiers took control of major cities and highways.

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Foreign support propped up the diverse group of rebels, pouring in from Iran, Pakistan, China, and the United States.

Falklands War (Apr 2, 1982 – Jun 14, 1982)

Falkland Islands Waralso called Falklands War, Malvinas War, or South Atlantic War, a brief undeclared war fought between Argentina and Great Britain in 1982 over control of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and associated island dependencies.

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 It began on Friday, 2 April 1982, when Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands  in an attempt to establish the sovereignty it had claimed over them. On 5 April, the British government dispatched a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Air Force before making an amphibious assault on the islands. The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with the Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982.

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The Yugoslav Wars/Balkan Wars (31 March 1991 – 11 June 1999)

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The Yugoslav Wars were a series of ethnically-based wars and insurgencies fought from 1991 to 1999 in the former Yugoslavia. These wars accompanied and facilitated the breakup of the Yugoslav state, when its constituent republics declared independence, but the issues of ethnic minorities in the new countries (chiefly Serbs, Croats and Albanians) were still unresolved at the time the republics were recognized internationally. The wars are generally considered to be a series of separate but related military conflicts which occurred in, and affected, most of the former Yugoslav republics.

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The conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia claimed more than 120,000 lives. In Bosnia alone more than half of those in the pre-war population were forced out of their homes, either in campaigns of ethnic cleansing or bids to find safety.

Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo was under siege for 44 months, during which its 350,000 residents struggled to get basic necessities. At least 10,000 were killed by sniping and shelling from Serbs in the surrounding mountains.

Thousands of people were held in camps on all three sides, where many were tortured, starved or executed. It is estimated that more than 20,000 women, mostly Muslims, were systematically raped.

The worst atrocity occurred in July 1995 when Bosnian Serb forces overran the eastern town of Srebrenica, slaughtering almost 8,000 Muslim men and boys in a massacre described by two international courts as genocide.

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I am limiting the wars to the last decades of the 20th century, although the Cold War ended with the fall of communism in the East bloc, the tensions that caused that conflicts never really ended and are currently flaring up again.

I left out the 1st Gulf war because that is basically still an unresolved issue and is still ongoing.

The 21st century has seen a great number of wars, some of them which are still ongoing. The current “World war” is the Global war on terror.

 

Do cry for me Argentina- The other side of Evita Peron

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The former first lady of Argentina has been accused of accepting Nazi treasures stolen from wealthy families during the Holocaust in return for using her country as a safe haven. 

According to a new book, Eva Peron and her husband, former president Juan Peron, kept quiet about the number of Nazis who were hiding out in Argentina after the Second World War.

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Among those who fled to the South American country was Adolf Eichmann, a key orchestrator of the concentration camps.

Germany Eichmann Files

He lived under a false name and worked for Mercedes Benz until 1960, when he was kidnapped by Mossad agents and taken to Israel.He was later faced trial and was hanged for the war crimes he committed.

Josef Mengele, the Nazi ‘Angel of Death’ responsible for human experiments on Holocaust victims, also found refuge in Argentina and lived in South America until his death in 1979 at the age of 67.

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In ‘The Politically Incorrect Guide to Latin America,’ authors Leandro Narloch and Duda Teixeira wrote: ‘It is still suspected that among her [Eva Peron’s] possessions, there were pieces of Nazi treasure that came from rich Jewish families killed in concentration camps.
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‘Peron himself even spoke of goods of ”German and Japanese origin” that the Argentine government had appropriated,’ they added.Switzerland is said to have launched an investigation into whether Argentina deposited stolen Nazi loot in Swiss banks after the war.

In 1947, then First Lady Eva Peron included a brief trip to Switzerland during a publicity tour of Europe to try and boost the image of her husband’s regime abroad.

According to historians, she may have opened at least one secret Geneva account to stash funds and valuables she allegedly received from Nazis in exchange for Argentine passports and visas.

Records  emerging from Swiss archives and the investigations of Nazi hunters, an unpublicized side of Evita’s world tour was coordinating the network for helping Nazis relocate in Argentina.

This new evidence of Evita’s cozy ties with prominent Nazis corroborates the long-held suspicion that she and her husband, Gen. Juan Peron, laid the groundwork for a bloody resurgence of fascism across Latin America in the 1970s and ’80s.

Besides blemishing the Evita legend, the evidence threatens to inflict more damage on Switzerland’s image for plucky neutrality. The international banking center is still staggering from disclosures about its wartime collaboration with Adolf Hitler and Swiss profiteering off his Jewish victims.

The archival records indicate that Switzerland’s assistance to Hitler’s henchmen didn’t stop with the collapse of the Third Reich.

And the old Swiss-Argentine-Nazi connection reaches to the present in another way. Spanish “superjudge” Baltasar Garzon is seeking to open other Swiss records on bank accounts controlled by Argentine military officers who led the so-called “Dirty War” that killed and “disappeared” tens of thousands of Argentines between 1976-83.

The second wife of Juan Peron, Evita was given the official title of ‘Spiritual Leader of the Nation’ by the Argentine Congress before her death from cancer in 1952 at the age of 33 and is still regarded as a national heroine.

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The heart broken widow bride

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Marine Sergeant Lena Basilone was the wife of Medal of Honor winner John Basilone,one of the famous Marines every Marine Corps recruit learns about at boot camp. He is often discussed in Marine Corps history classes but no one ever mentions that his wife was a Marine too.

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John Basilone (November 4, 1916 – February 19, 1945) was a United States Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant who was killed in action during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for heroism above and beyond the call of duty during the Battle of Guadalcanal and the Navy Cross posthumously for extraordinary heroism during the Battle of Iwo Jima. He was the only enlisted Marine to receive both of these decorations in World War II.

On Iwo Jima’s D-Day – February 19, 1945 – Basilone was a machine-gun section leader who came ashore on Red Beach 2.  He was part of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 27th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division.

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Facing unbelievable firing power, from Japanese defenders, Gunnery Sgt. Basilone and his Marines made progress toward their objective – an airfield on the island.  Urging his men to keep moving forward (lest they die), Basilone displayed the same type of heroic behavior which earned him the Medal of Honor at Guadalcanal.

Then … he was hit and killed.

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Lena never remarried and she lived in California until her death in 1999. One of her few, if not only, public appearances after John’s death was about nine months after he died. She was the official sponsor of the destroyer named after him, the USS Basilone, and she participated in its christening ceremony:.

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Above is the obituary of Lena Basilone.  It tells us that she never remarried, after the Iwo Jima death of her husband, John Basilone.  Lena was 86 years old when she died on the 11th of June, 1999.

Before her death, the federal government had offered Lena a burial spot in Arlington Cemetery, not far from the location where her husband is interred.  Lena turned down the offer, reportedly saying that “she didn’t want to cause trouble for everyone.”

Instead, she is interred at Riverside National Cemetery, Plot 50 0 5557 in Riverside, California.

Here is the text of the article:

(Originally Printed) WEDNESDAY. JUNE 16, 1999
Ex-Marine Lena Basilone dies

Obituary:  Services Wednesday for longtime Lakewood resident.  Lena Basilone, former Marine, tireless volunteer and wife of America’s first Word War II Medal of Honor recipient, died Friday. She was 86.

Lena Mae Riggi was born March 7, 1916 in Portland, Ore. to Italian Sicilian immigrants. After leaving Oregon, she attended business school. When WWII broke out, she found herself enlisted in the Marine Corps, stationed at Camp Pendleton. “She served as a field cook (on the base), and her title was Sergeant,” said Barbara Garner, longtime friend and roommate.  “Her attitude was ‘I can do anything they (men) can do.’ ”

It was during this time that she caught the eye of a decorated Marine, a man who was the United States’ first WWII war hero. His name was John Basilone. John had been stationed in the Pacific theater of the war. After defending a narrow pass and annihilating an entire enemy regiment on the island of Guadalcanal in 1942, John was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The medal is the United States’ top honor for war-time duties.

John returned home to ticker-tape parades and instant nationwide fanfare. He went across the country, mingled with the president, met movie stars and helped raise $1.4 million in War Bonds. He was even offered a commission and a position in Washington. However, John was not complacent hanging around desks and smiling for the cameras and his reaction to the Washington job was:

“I ain’t no officer, I ain’t no museum piece and I belong back with my outfit.”

So back into action he went.

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But before he left, a romance blossomed between him and Lena. “They met at Camp Pendleton. He was very charming, good-looking, yet tough. He was a man of honor and quite a hero. All the ladies thought he was a very good man,” said Barbara. On July 7, 1944 the couple wed.

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After a short, happy time together, John headed back to the war-torn South Pacific. It was there that John died, in an exchange of heavy gunfire on the island of Iwo Jima. The date was February 19, 1945. “Lena was notified of Johnny’s death on March 7, 1945. It was her (32nd) birthday,” said Barbara.

For his selfless dedication to his country, John was awarded the Purple Heart and Nary Cross posthumously.

In 1949, Lena christened a Navy destroyer ship, named the USS Basilone. Years later, the city of Raritan, N J. erected a statue in his honor.

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Lena never remarried and was content with her life. She once told Barbara: “Once you have the best, you can’t settle for less.” She purchased a home in Lakewood and stayed there for over 50 years until her death.

“Lena had a large network of friends, she was active in many organizations and she was a terrific cook,” said Barbara, “She enjoyed inviting a large group over and cooking them a special meal (for Thanksgiving and other holidays).”

Lena stayed active by working at an electrical company, volunteering at the Long Beach Veterans Hospital, the American Veterans Auxiliary and the Women’s Marine Association. She also was a faithful member of the Liberty Baptist Church of Long Beach.

“She was a very determined lady, loved by many … when she saw a need, she would go about filling it,” said Barbara.

One important event that Lena never lived to see was the dedication of a 17-mile stretch of the San Diego (5) Freeway near Camp Pendleton, to be named ‘Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone Memorial Freeway.’ The official word that the resolution passed came Monday, just three days after her death.

“The (newer generation of) Marines don’t know who he was,” said Frank Turiace, former U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant and decorated Korean War veteran, wanted to change that,” With the help of state Sen. Bill Murrow, Turiace set out on a mission to make sure that John is never forgotten.” He (Murrow) was very instrumental in putting this through … he has the connections,” said Turiace.

“This stretch (of highway) is to honor John and Lena.” Although the federal government offered to bury Lena in Arlington National Cemetery near her husband, she refused because “she didn’t want to cause trouble for everyone.” Services are set for 2 p.m. Wednesday at Hunter Perez Mortuary, 5443 Long Beach Blvd.

Local Marines will provide a bugler and pallbearers. A private service will follow at Veterans Administration National Cemetery in Riverside.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Veterans of WWII Association.

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Operation Paperclips-Evil deeds rewarded.

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Operation Paperclip (also Project Paperclip) was the code name for the O.S.S.–U.S. Military rescue of scientists from Nazi Germany, during the terminus and aftermath of World War II. In 1945, the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency was established with direct responsibility for effecting Operation Paperclip.

The primary purpose for Operation Paperclip was for the U.S. to gain a military advantage in the burgeoning Cold War, and later Space Race, between the U.S. and Soviet Union.

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By comparison, the Soviet Union were even more aggressive in recruiting Germans: during Operation Osoaviakhim, Soviet military units forcibly (at gunpoint) recruited 2,000+ German specialists to the Soviet Union during one night.

Lager Friedland, wartende Kriegsheimkehrer

The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) established the first secret recruitment program, called Operation Overcast, on July 20, 1945, initially “to assist in shortening the Japanese war and to aid our postwar military research.” The term “Overcast” was the name first given by the German scientists’ family members for the housing camp where they were held in Bavaria.[4] In late summer 1945, the JCS established the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA), a subcommmittee of the Joint Intelligence Community, to directly oversee Operation Overcast and later Operation Paperclip.

The JIOA had one representative of each member agency of the Joint Intelligence Committee: the army’s director of intelligence, the chief of naval intelligence, the assistant chief of Air Staff-2 (air force intelligence), and a representative from the State Department.In November 1945, Operation Overcast was renamed Operation Paperclip by Ordnance Corps (United States Army) officers, who would attach a paperclip to the folders of those rocket experts whom they wished to employ in America. President Truman formally approved Operation Paperclip and expanded it to include one thousand German scientists in a secret directive, circulated on September 3, 1946.

One of the most well-known recruits was Werner von Braun, the technical director at the Peenemunde Army Research Center in Germany.(dresses as civilian in the picture below)

Peenemünde, Dornberger, Olbricht, Leeb, v. Braun

who was instrumental in developing the lethal V-2 rocket that devastated England during the war.

Peenemünde, Start einer V2

Von Braun and other rocket scientists were brought to Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Proving Grounds, New Mexico, as “War Department Special Employees” to assist the U.S. Army with rocket experimentation. Von Braun later became director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the chief architect of the Saturn V launch vehicle, which eventually propelled two dozen American astronauts to the Moon.

SS General Hans Kammler, who as an engineer had constructed several concentration camps, including Auschwitz, had a reputation for brutality and had originated the idea of using concentration camp prisoners as slave laborers in the rocket program. Arthur Rudolph, chief engineer of the V-2 rocket factory at Peenemünde, endorsed this idea in April 1943 when a labor shortage developed. More people died building the V-2 rockets than were killed by it as a weapon. Von Braun admitted visiting the plant at Mittelwerk on many occasions, and called conditions at the plant “repulsive”, but claimed never to have witnessed any deaths or beatings, although it had become clear to him by 1944 that deaths had occurred.He denied ever having visited the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp itself, where 20,000 died from illness, beatings, hangings, and intolerable working conditions.

Some prisoners claim von Braun engaged in brutal treatment or approved of it. Guy Morand, a French resistance fighter who was a prisoner in Dora, testified in 1995 that after an apparent sabotage attempt, von Braun ordered a prisoner to be flogged, while Robert Cazabonne, another French prisoner, claimed von Braun stood by as prisoners were hanged by chains suspended by cranes.However, these accounts may have been a case of mistaken identity.Former Buchenwald inmate Adam Cabala claims that von Braun went to the concentration camp to pick slave laborers: “[…] also the German scientists led by Prof. Wernher von Braun were aware of everything daily. As they went along the corridors, they saw the exhaustion of the inmates, their arduous work and their pain. Not one single time did Prof. Wernher von Braun protest against this cruelty and bestiality during his frequent stays at Dora. Even the aspect of corpses did not touch him: On a small area near the ambulance shed, inmates tortured to death by slave labor and the terror of the overseers were piling up daily. But, Prof. Wernher von Braun passed them so close that he was almost touching the corpses.

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Von Braun was not the only one who had actively taken a part in the genocide. Many more of the Operation Paperclip scientist had committed awful crimes, but yet they were rewarded with a comfortable job working for

Every year since 1963, the Space Medicine Association has given out the Hubertus Strughold Award to a top scientist or clinician for outstanding work in aviation medicine.

Hubertus Strughold

In April 1935 the government of Nazi Germany appointed Strughold to serve as the director of the Berlin-based Research Institute for Aviation Medicine, a medical think tank that operated under the auspices of Hermann Göring’s Ministry of Aviation

In October 1942, Strughold attended a medical conference in Nuremberg at which SS physician Sigmund Rascher delivered a presentation outlining various medical experiments he had conducted, in conjunction with the Luftwaffe, in which prisoners from the Dachau concentration camp were used as human test subjects.

 

These experiments included physiological tests during which camp inmates were immersed in freezing water, placed in air pressure chambers and made to endure invasive surgical procedures without anesthetic. Many of the inmates forced to participate died as a result. Various Luftwaffe physicians had participated in the experiments and several of them had close ties to Strughold, both through the Institute for Aviation Medicine and the Luftwaffe Medical Service.

 

 

WWII- The aftermath

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The effects of  WWII were felt for years and even decades after the war ended. It can even be argued that the effects can even be noticed nowadays.

Below are some pictures of the Aftermath of WWII in Europe.

A German soldier returns home to Frankfurt am Main after the end of the War, 1946.

German Soldier returning home Tony Vaccaro

The photo of a German prisoner of war returning to his home town of Frankfurt to discover his house bombed and his family no longer there.

Three girls skate home from school, past blocks of houses destroyed by Allied air raids, Essen, Germany, February 14, 1949.

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Three German girls skate home from school past blocks of houses destroyed by Allied air raids in Essen, Germany, Feb. 14, 1949. These kids can’t remember a time when their city didn’t look like that, because they weren’t old enough or even born when the city was still standing. For them, life had always been like that

A smiling prisoner of war returning home to Vienna passes a woman holding a photograph up in a mixture of hope and despair

A mother shows a picture of her son to a returning prisoner of war, 1947 (1)

The hunger-winter of 1947, thousands protest against the disastrous food situation (31 March 1947)

Krefeld, Hungerwinter, Demonstration

One year after the D-Day landings in Normandy, German prisoners landscape the first U.S. cemetery at Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, France, near “Omaha” Beach

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In the streets of Brignoles, angry French citizens publicly rebuke a woman who is suspected of having collaborated with the Germans.

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Dutch boys helping to rebuild Rotterdam, a city badky damaged by the Luftwaffe. . The photograph was taken November 5, 1945

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Mar 3, 2017 – A huge bomb that was discovered at a construction site in North London