Operation Market Garden

History of Sorts

1024px-waves_of_paratroops_land_in_holland

Today marks the 77th Anniversary of Operation Market Garden,mostly associated with the book of Cornelius Ryan ‘A Bridge too Far’ which was made into a star studded block buster movie in 1977 with the same title. It is a lengthy blog but it is an important story to be re-told because the effects of this operation were felt long after the war.

Operation Market Garden was in fact two combined operations.

  • Market – the airborne forces, the First Allied Airborne Army, who would seize bridges
  • Garden – the ground forces, consisting of the British XXX Corps.

    airborne_troops_arnhem

On 17 September 1944 thousands of paratroopers descended from the sky by parachute or glider up to 150 km behind enemy lines. Their goal: to secure the bridges across the rivers in Holland so that the Allied army could advance rapidly northwards and turn right into the lowlands of Germany, hereby skirting around the…

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Dancing Mania aka dancing plague, choreomania, St John’s Dance

This may sound like a joke, but it was deadly serious.

Dancing mania (also known as dancing plague, choreomania, St John’s Dance and, historically, St. Vitus’s Dance) was a social phenomenon that occurred primarily in mainland Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries. It involved groups of people dancing erratically, sometimes thousands at a time. The mania affected men, women, and children who danced until they collapsed from exhaustion. One of the first major outbreaks was in Aachen, in the Holy Roman Empire, in 1374, and it quickly spread throughout Europe; one particularly notable outbreak occurred in Strasbourg in 1518, also in the Holy Roman Empire.

The Strassbourg outbreak began in July 1518, when a woman, Mrs. Troffea, began to dance fervently in a street in Strasbourg. This lasted somewhere between four and six days. Within a week, 34 others had joined, and within a month, there were around 400 dancers, predominantly female. Some of these people eventually died from heart attacks, strokes, or exhaustion. One report indicates that for a period the plague killed around fifteen people per day.

Affecting thousands of people across several centuries, dancing mania was not an isolated event, and was well documented in contemporary reports. It was nevertheless poorly understood, and remedies were based on guesswork. Generally, musicians accompanied dancers, to help ward off the mania, but this tactic sometimes backfired by encouraging more to join in. There is no consensus among modern-day scholars as to the cause of dancing mania.

The several theories proposed range from religious cults being behind the processions to people dancing to relieve themselves of stress and put the poverty of the period out of their minds. It is, however, thought to have been a mass psychogenic illness in which the occurrence of similar physical symptoms, with no known physical cause, affect a large group of people as a form of social influence.

Modern theories include food-poisoning caused by the toxic and psychoactive chemical products of ergot fungi, which grows commonly on grains in the wheat family (such as rye).

Ergotamine is the main psychoactive product of ergot fungi, it is structurally related to the recreational drug lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD-25), and is the substance from which LSD-25 was originally synthesized. The same fungus has also been implicated in other major historical anomalies, including the Salem witch trials.

The forgotten James Bond songs

Most ,if not all, 007 fans will be excited that finally the newest instalment of the James Bond franchise, will be released in cinemas at the end of the month.

Of course with every Bond movie there is also the obligatory Bond song, there have been so many classic songs from “Goldfinger” by Dame Shirley Bassey to “Skyfall” by Adele. However there are quite a few songs which seem to have been forgotten.

Here are just a few of them. Starting off with “Never say never again”. Maybe the reason why this one was forgotten is because, although Sean Connery had reprised his role as James Bond one last time, Never say never again was officially not a James Bond movie.

Never Say Never Again was based on the 1961 James Bond novel Thunderball, which had been previously adapted in a 1965 film under that name. Unlike the majority of Bond films, Never Say Never Again was not produced by Eon Productions but by Jack Schwartzman’s Taliafilm in association with Kevin McClory, one of the original writers of the Thunderball storyline with Ian Fleming and Jack Whittingham. McClory retained the filming rights of the novel following a long legal battle dating from the 1960s. 1983 also saw the release of another James Bond movie with Roger Moore, Octopussy”

Never Say Never Again was the title song to the 1983 film by the same name. It was sung by Lani Hall and composed by Michel Legrand with lyrics by Alan & Marilyn Bergman.

In 1979, Dame Shirley Bassey performed her 3rd and final James Bond song “Moonraker” another one that seems to have been forgotten, maybe because it was by far the worst Bond movie.

A song titled “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” sung by Shirley Bassey was originally slated to be the theme song of Thunderball. It was re-recorded by Dionne Warwick, but Albert Broccoli insisted the theme song must include the film’s title and also decided that the lyrics should not start before the film’s title Thunderball appears on-screen. A new song was composed and recorded at the eleventh hour titled “Thunderball”, performed by Tom Jones. The melody of “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” remains a major component of the film score.

The songs of the first 2 movies with Daniel Craig also have seen to be ended up in the dustbin of memories, even though they are both great rock songs.

“You Know My Name” is the theme song of the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale, performed by American musician Chris Cornell, who wrote and produced it jointly with David Arnold, the soundtrack’s composer. The film producers chose Cornell because they wanted a strong male singer. Cornell and Arnold tried to make the song a replacement theme for the character instead of the “James Bond theme” reflecting the agent’s inexperience in Casino Royale, as well as an introduction to Daniel Craig’s grittier and more emotional portrayal of Bond.

“Another Way to Die” is a song by American musicians Jack White and Alicia Keys. Written and produced by White as the theme song to the 2008 James Bond film Quantum of Solace, it was released as a single in the United States on September 30, 2008 and in Europe on October 20, 2008. The song, which features White on vocals, guitar, piano and drums and Keys on vocals, is the first duet in the Bond film series.

“No Time to Die” is a song by American singer and songwriter Billie Eilish. It is the theme song for the upcoming James Bond film of the same name, and was released through Darkroom and Interscope Records on February 13, 2020.The song was written by Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell, and recorded in a bedroom studio .At age 18, Eilish is the youngest artist to have written and recorded a James Bond theme song. I am including this one in the list of forgotten Bond songs purely the whole movie was nearly forgotten because of the Covid pandemic.

The day Roland Freisler received justice.

History of Sorts

Freisler

One of the most despicable henchmen of he Nazi regime was Roland Freisler. The only redeeming factor he had was that he also tried high-ranking Nazis . You could be for 90% certain that if you would appear before his court you would be sentenced to death or to life imprisonment.

On 20 August 1942, Hitler appointed  Freisler as president of the People’s Court.This court was instrumental in securing the Nazi stranglehold over Germany

Not only would Freisler sentence defendants.often for no real reason or without any evidence, he would also humiliate them.

One time he yelled at one defendant“You are crying!”  who started to cry in court, “What do you want to tell us with the tears in your eyes?” Freisler  sentenced that man to be hung with a thin rope so that he would, as per Hitler’s orders, suffer a slow death.

However on February 3rd, 1945 Judge…

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The tragic death of Ola Brunkert.

The name Ola Brunkert will mean very little to most, in fact I only found out about him today. I get these history notification on my phone, today I got a notification telling me it was Ola’s birthday today.

I hear you asking” Who is this Ola Brunkert?” As I stated most of you will not have heard of him before, yet you will have heard him before.

Ola Brunkert was a Swedish drummer who was one of the main session drummers for the pop group ABBA. Brunkert and bassist Rutger Gunnarsson are the only two side musicians to appear on every ABBA album. Ola’s first known ABBA-related session was also the group’s very first single, “People Need Love”.

He was born in Örebro, Sweden on 15 September 1946. Before working with ABBA, he worked often as a jazz drummer but also with acts like Slim’s Blues Gang and Science Poption. Aside from ABBA he recorded with Janne Schaffer, Opus III, Ted Gardestad, Björn J:son Lindh, Jerry Williams, Ingemar Olsson, and others.

He appeared on stage with ABBA at the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 and played with them on their concert tours of Europe and Australia in 1977, North America and Europe in 1979 and Japan in 1980.

He bought a property in the Betlem housing complex in Artà, Majorca, Spain, in the 1980s and lived there for the remainder of his life. It was at his home that he died, less than a year after the death of his wife, Inger, in 2007.

On March 16 2008, he crashed head first through the door in his kitchen at his home on Majorca, wounding his neck on a shard of glass. He managed to wrap a towel around his neck and left the house to seek help, but collapsed in the garden and bled to death.

Police said an autopsy confirmed that Mr Brunkert’s death had been an accident. Mr Brunkert lived alone and there was no sign of a break in, police said.

sources

http://abbalatestreleases.blogspot.com/2010/05/frida-and-genesis.html

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Laws against Jews in the Netherlands.

At their annual rally held in Nuremberg on September 15, 1935 Nazi party leaders announced, after the Reichstag had adopted them, new laws that institutionalized many of the racial theories underpinning Nazi ideology.

The so-called Nuremberg Laws, signed by Hitler and several other Nazi officials, were the cornerstone of the legalized persecution of Jews in Germany. They stripped German Jews of their German citizenship, barred marriage and “extramarital sexual intercourse” between Jews and other Germans, and barred Jews from flying the German flag, which would now be the swastika.

It would be less then 5 years later, when the Nazis introduced laws against Jews in the Netherlands.

In October 1940, only 5 months after the Germans invaded, a ban on ritual (kosher) slaughter was introduced. Additionally there were, removals of Jews from government employment, confiscations of radios. Jews were banned from recreational facilities, hotels, restaurants. Jews had to register with Dutch authorities by the deadline of January.

A great number of laws were to follow. The most cynical laws, at least that’s what I think, were the laws restricting the movements of Jews. In June 1942 Jews were forbidden to ride on public transportation such as buses and trams. Jews were given a residential curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. And one that may not seem like a harsh one, but anyone who knows the Netherlands knows the importance of the bicycles for the Dutch, On June 23 1942, Jews were required to turn in their bicycles.

The reason why I think these were cynical laws, is because they ensured that the Jews could not travel, therefore they had to remain near their home. This made it easier to find them and round them up during raids.

In a way I can understand why some Dutch turned a blind eye, I can understand it but don’t condone it. However one thing I can’t fathom is why some people did report their Jewish neighbours if they hadn’t turned in their bicycles. Neighbours they had lived next to for many years, and even had invited them into their house for coffee and cake. There was no punishment for not reporting Jews, yet so many were quite eager to betray their fellow citizens.

sources

https://www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/text/anti-jewish-measures-netherlands-and-belgium-between-1940-and-1944

https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2010/winter/nuremberg.html

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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The Ku Klux Klan in Canada

Recently I made the mistake to referring to my local petrol station, “Circle K”, as ‘Triple K’, i suppose this could be considered a Freudian slip.

I remember back in 1998 there was talk about a KKK chapter in Ennis, Ireland. Thankfully that appeared to be a false claim.

However there is this notion that the Ku Klux Klan, or KKK, is a racist group that only operates in the USA. It might surprise some of you to find out that the KKK also had a presence in Canada.

In March 1922, an African American man named Matthew Bullock fled North Carolina after the Ku Klux Klan had stated he was a wanted man, accusing him of inciting riots.[11] His brother had been killed by Klansmen, who the Toronto Star reported at the time had “threatened to send robed riders to fetch Bullock and whisk him back to the American south”.

The invasion that the Star worried about in 1922 didn’t happen until 1924, when an official path for the Ku Klux Klan of Kanada was drawn up by two American wizards and Toronto resident James L. Cowan, who rented an office on Toronto Street near Adelaide Street, and set about recruiting. By 1926, a Barrie newspaper reported that there were gatherings of hooded men in more than a dozen Ontario towns, including Barrie, Sault-St-Marie, Exeter, London, and St. Marys.

One of the most prominent groups was the Ku Klux Klan of Kanada, whose main principles of white supremacy and nationalism required members to pledge that they were white, gentile, and Protestant.

Organizers stated that the Ku Klux Klan was a Christian organization with “first allegiance to Canada and the Union Jack”, disqualifying Jews from membership because they are not Christian, and Roman Catholics because their first allegiance is to the Pope in Rome.

There were cross burnings all across southern Ontario, southern Alberta, in the Maritimes, and the primary targets were Black people, Catholics, Jews and the French. In 1926, there was an explosion at a Roman Catholic church in Barrie, Ont.; three perpetrators were sent to prison.

In the 1930s, some Klan members and leaders had moved towards fascism and Nazism, and some of the early members popped up again in fascist and Nazi-like organizations in Canada.

Although the KKK operated throughout Canada, it was most successful in Saskatchewan, where by the late 1920s its membership was over 25,000.[11] Historian Allan Bartley states that this success was a result of opposition to liberal Government of Saskatchewan policy established by the entrenched Saskatchewan Liberal Party, which had held power in the province since its inception in 1905.

Although the Kanada Klan, many of whom even embroidered maple leaf insignias on their robes, billed itself as a kinder, gentler mob, it was responsible for violent domestic terrorism, most frequently in attempts to burn down or blow up places of worship—notably in Quebec City, Barrie and Winnipeg, the latter incident causing 10 fatalities. In Oakville, a mob of 75 hooded men burned a cross while parading through the town en route to their targeted victim, a white woman about to marry a black man, which they tried to prevent by kidnapping her. (They married anyway and lived happily ever after.) None of this even gets close to the power and fear the KKK wielded in Saskatchewan, where an extremely virulent Moose Jaw chapter thrived, influenced by aggressive franchisers from South Bend, Indiana.

T.J. Hind, the reverend of First Baptist Church in Moose Jaw, stated that one of the purposes of the establishment of the Ku Klux Klan was for the protection of the physical purity of current and future generations.

By the end of the 1930’s, however, the Klan was as good as dead as an organization in Canada, During the Second World War, fascism and Nazism became the enemy for many Canadians.

“By the time you get into the 1940s and 1950s and 1960s, the only echoes you see of the Klan in Canada are basically echoes from the United States,” according to Bartley .

After a couple of decades of dormancy, the Klan made yet another resurgence in the 1960s and ’70s, spurred on by the Black civil rights movement in the U.S. and by the official adoption of multiculturalism in Canada.

David Duke, who led this resurgence in the U.S. as the Klan’s grand wizard, was also amassing a number of followers in Canada. These followers established a new Ku Klux Klan of Canada, led by James Alexander McQuirter, who became the group’s grand wizard.

Canada, like the United States, had a history of segregation. But unlike the U.S., where Jim Crow laws were officially on the books, Canadian segregation was less formal.

Sources

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/sunday/the-sunday-magazine-for-november-22-2020-1.5807350/the-rise-of-the-ku-klux-klan-in-canada-and-why-its-lasting-impact-still-matters-1.5807353

https://www.tvo.org/video/a-history-of-the-kkk-in-canada

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_Klan_in_Canada

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Finnish escort Aura II-The ship that sank itself

History of Sorts

pescort-aura

Aura II (formerly known as SS Halland, Bore II, SS Seagull and SS Aura) was a Finnish escort vessel, and a former presidential yacht, operated by the Finnish Navy between 1939 and 1940. The ship participated in the Winter War.

The ship was originally constructed as the passenger vessel SS Halland. She was renamed into Bore II during a sejour with another shipping company. She was bought in 1930 by the Finnish businessman Hans von Rettig, who rebuilt the ship into a luxurious yacht, and renamed her SS Seagull.

hans_von_rettig

He donated the ship to the Finnish state in 1936, to be used as a presidential yacht. She was then given the name SS Aura. She was taken over by the Finnish Navy when the Winter War erupted in 1939, and since the name Aura already was taken by another vessel, she was given a…

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ART IN THE FACE OF THE HOLOCAUST

History of Sorts

The below pictures are from the Ringelblum archive at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. Named after Emanuel Ringelblum who was executed on the 7th of March 1944 at the Pawiak Prison in Warsaw.

EmanuelRingelblum_1900-1944

I will not say too much about these paintings, I will let them do the talking.

Rozenfelddownloaddownload (1)

Other pieces of art

1942. Esther Lurie used ink on cardboard to draw this scene. She described here new deportees arriving
in the ghetto, carrying bundles of their meager possessions and scrutinized by armed guards.

lurie

Josef Nassy (1904–1976) was a black expatriate artist of Jewish descent. Nassy was living in Belgium when World War II began, and was one of about 2,000 civilians holding American passports who were confined in German internment camps during the war.

laufen

Fear and separation by Ella Liebermann.

By Felix Nussbaum. Born in 1904, he died at Auschwitz in 1944.

nussbaum

“Kommando”and “Normal life”, by Fernand Van Horen. Van Horen…

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Fatebenefratelli Hospital & Syndrome K.

Initially Italy was an ally of Germany and the other axis powers. during World War 2.

By 1943, Italy’s military position had become untenable. Axis forces in North Africa were finally defeated in the Tunisia Campaign in early 1943. Italy suffered major setbacks on the Eastern Front as well. The Allied invasion of Sicily brought the war to the nation’s very doorstep. The Italian home front was also in bad shape as the Allied bombings were taking their toll. Factories all over Italy were brought to a virtual standstill because raw materials, such as coal and oil, were lacking. Additionally, there was a chronic shortage of food, and what food was available was being sold at nearly confiscatory prices. Mussolini’s once-ubiquitous propaganda machine lost its grip on the people; a large number of Italians turned to Vatican Radio or Radio London for more accurate news coverage.

In July 1943, Allied troops landed in Sicily. Mussolini was overthrown and imprisoned by his former colleagues in the Fascist government. The Italian king replaced Mussolini as prime minister with Marshal Pietro Badoglio.

On September 8, 1943, Badoglio announced Italy’s unconditional surrender to the Allies. The Germans, who had grown suspicious of Italian intentions, quickly occupied northern and central Italy.

The 450-year-old Fatebenefratelli Hospital which is situated on a tiny island in the middle of Rome’s Tiber River, just across from the Jewish Ghetto. When Nazis raided the area on Oct. 16, 1943, a handful of Jews fled to the Catholic hospital, where they were quickly given case files reading “Syndrome K.”

The name Syndrome K came from Dr. Adriano Ossicini, an anti-Fascist physician working at the hospital who knew they needed a way for the staff to differentiate which people were actually patients and which were Jews in hiding. Inventing a fake disease cut out all the confusion, when a doctor came in with a “Syndrome K” patient, everyone working there knew which steps to take. “Syndrome K was put on patient papers to indicate that the sick person wasn’t sick at all, but Jewish.

The name Syndrome K not only alerted hospital staff that the “patients” were actually Jewish refugees in good health but also served as a jab to their oppressors, specifically, Albert Kesselring and Herbert Kappler. Kesselring was a Nazi defensive strategist and the commander responsible for the Italian occupation, while Kappler was an SS colonel.

Hidden away in a separate ward of the facility, those “infected” with Syndrome K were instructed to cough and act sick in front of Nazi soldiers as they investigated Fatebenefratelli. The patients were said to be highly contagious, deterring Nazi officials from coming anywhere near the quarters they were being kept in. Nazi officials became terrified of contracting the mysterious illness, steering clear at all costs.

Credited mainly to doctors Sacerdoti, Borromeo, and Ossicini, the operation was only made possible with the help of the entire staff, who played along with the plan, knowing exactly what to do when confronted with an incoming patient diagnosed with Syndrome K..

“The Nazis thought it was cancer or tuberculosis, and they fled like rabbits,” Vittorio Sacerdoti, a Jewish doctor working at the hospital under a false name, told the BBC in 2004. Another doctor orchestrating the life-saving lie was surgeon Giovani Borromeo.

Initially, the hospital was used as a hospice on the premises of the San Giovanni Calibita Church. Later, it was expanded into a modern hospital by Dr. Giovanni Borromeo, who joined in 1934, with the help of Father Maurizio Bialek.

Besides Fr. Maurizio and Borromeo, other doctors on staff assisted the Jewish patients and helped to move them to safer hideouts outside the hospital. In May 1944, the hospital was raided and five Jews from Poland were detained. However, the ruse saved dozens of lives.

Fr. Maurizio and Borromeo also installed an illegal radio transmitter in the hospital basement and made contact with General Roberto Lordi of the Italian Royal Air Force. After World War II, Borromeo was lauded by Government of Italy for his work and was recognized as a Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem. He died in the hospital on 24 August 1961.

If only one person in the Hospital, be it patient or staff, had reported it to the Nazis, then without a shadow of a doubt, all of them would have been killed.

The combined efforts of Sacerdoti, Borromeo, Ossicini, and the entire hospital staff were only revealed 60 years later, and Borromeo specifically was recognized by the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in October 2004, not only for his work with Syndrome K, but for transferring Jewish patients to the hospital from the ghetto long before the occupation of the Nazis.

The Fatebenefratelli Hospital was recognized as a shelter for victims of Nazi persecution, and was named a “House of Life” in June, 2016. The ceremony was attended by Ossicini, 96-years-old at the time, along with some of the very people that his heroic efforts had helped save six decades before.

Fatebenefratelli survivors embrace during a reunion at the hospital on June 21, 2016

Sources

https://qz.com/724169/an-italian-doctor-explains-syndrome-k-the-fake-disease-he-invented-to-save-jews-from-the-nazis/

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/93650/syndrome-k-fake-disease-fooled-nazis-and-saved-lives

https://allthatsinteresting.com/syndrome-k

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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