Forgotten History-Major Tommy Macpherson

Major Tommy MacPherson AKA the “Kilted Killer”

I think that outside the UK not many people will have heard of thie WW2 hero and perhaps even in the UK itself his story isn’t that well known, But this man made a huge impact in WW2

Sir Ronald Thomas Stewart Macpherson  (4 October 1920 – 6 November 2014) was a highly decorated Scottish British Army officer during and after the Second World War. He fought with the No. 11 Commando unit and French Resistance forces, becoming infamous among Axis forces as the “Kilted Killer”. Having caused so much damage to military infrastructure, a bounty of 300,000 francs was placed upon his head. He was awarded the Military Cross and the Croix de Guerre three times, and the Légion d’honneu.

Macpherson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was youngest of seven children of Sir Thomas Stewart Macpherson CIE LLD and Helen, the daughter of the Reverend Archibald Borland Cameron.

Macpherson was commissioned in the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders Territorial Army in 1939, before serving in No. 11 (Scottish) Commando in 1940-1941.

Macpherson was part of a four-man team sent to recon. beaches in preparation for Operation Flipper, an attempted raid on the headquarters of Erwin Rommel, the famous German Field Marshal.

In two canvas fol-boats, they waited at sea for their rendezvous with a submarine which was to return them to their base at Apollonia. After two nights, the submarine had not appeared and one boat was leaking, so the men decided to land again and make a final attempt in one boat, but in the end the weather was too bad. They then decided to walk to Tobruk, despite the fact they had no food, water or maps, and were dressed only in shorts. Captain Ratcliffe and Lieutenant Ravenscroft were captured on 2 November, Macpherson and Corporal Evans managed to hold out for another day before they too were captured by Italian forces near Derna. Interrogated by four army officers and six carabinieri, one asked MacPherson to demonstrate how his Colt Automatic worked, he did so “by putting in a spare magazine [he] still had, and then held the party up with the loaded weapon”.Unfortunately, he then suffered a severe attack of cramp, and was recaptured and placed in solitary confinement. He made one further escape attempt before being taken to Italy in a destroyer, and held in a prisoner of war camp at Montalbo; here he made a further escape attempt, breaching the inner perimeter, but he could not find a way over the outer fence. In June 1942 he was moved to another camp at Gavi, near Genoa.

After the Italian armistice the camp was taken over by German forces on 9 September 1943, and the prisoners transferred to German prisoner of war camps from 14 September when they were taken by road to Acqui. From here they were to be taken by train to Austria. Macpherson managed to get away from his guards, but was soon recaptured, and almost shot; fortunately the order by a feldwebel (NCO) was countermanded by an officer. The prisoners were then transported by train to Stalag XVIII-A at Spittal an der Drau, near Wolfsberg in Austria.

On arrival at this camp, Macpherson and a New Zealander, Captain Colin Norman Armstrong managed to hide from the Germans whenever they tried to take a roll call, and obtained assistance from the French held in a different part of the camp, escaping in French uniforms on 21 September, also accompanied by a Captain A. A. Yeoman. They managed to recross the Italian border, and were intending to make their way into Yugoslavia and link up with Allied-supported partisans there. Unfortunately, Armstrong became separated, and on 26 September Macpherson and Armstrong ran into a German patrol near Chiusaforte, Macpherson spoke to the patrol in Italian, pretending to be an Italian officer, and tried to convince the patrol that Armstrong was Croatian. The Red Cross rations they were carrying revealed their true status, and they were sent to a camp in Hohenstein, arriving on 30 September after a five-day train journey with only a small amount of bread to eat and little water. On 1 October they were transferred to Stalag XX-A at Toruń, Poland. On 9 October they escaped again, with assistance from Private Hutson and Sergeant Glancy. The four then managed to travel to Sweden via Bromberg and Gdynia; flying back to Kinloss, Scotland on 4 November 1943, two years after he had been captured in Egypt.On 17 February 1944, Macpherson was awarded the Military Cross (MC) for his escape.

Within a few days of returning to Great Britain McPherson was instructed to report to Milton Hall. There he discovered he was to be part of Operation Jedburgh.

Under this operation three man units were to be dropped into occupied Europe to carry out sabotage and guerrilla warfare, acting as a high profile focus for the local resistance. His training lasted from January to March 1944, at the end of which he was promoted to Major and placed in charge of team Quinine. His team members were a French lieutenant, Michel de Bourbon, and a British radio operator, Sergeant Arthur Brown.

On the night of 8 June they were parachuted into Aurillac to liaise with resistance unit led by Bernard Cournil. Under his jumping smock, Macpherson was wearing full Cameron Highland battle dress, including a tartan kilt.

“Just as I arrived I heard an excited young Frenchman saying to his boss, ‘Chef, chef, there’s a French officer and he’s brought his wife!”. “Their mistaking me for a woman wearing a skirt was an easy error to make.” He later explained, “As a British officer parachuted into a resistance situation…your only authority was your own personality, which I had tried to reinforce with my kilt and a degree of flamboyance”.

To motivate the resistance unit, Macpherson decided on immediate action. On the next night (9 June) they demolished a railway bridge on the Aurillac-Maurs line.The following day they were contacted by two resistance fighters from Bretenoux, who told Macpherson that the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich were advancing towards the Normandy beachhead via the Figeac-Tulleroad. Macpherson realised that the best they could do was delay the division’s progress by preparing a series of ambushes. During the night they mined the road and the surrounding trees. At the first ambush they blew the tracks off the leading armoured vehicle, thus blocking the road. Then, as the Germans began to work through the trees to outflank them, the resistance fighters brought down the trees and withdrew.

They then switched to attacking road and rail routes between Brive and Montauban, eventually completely stopping railway traffic between Cahors and Souillac, Lot on 1 July. Similar operations continued through July, and following Operation Dragoon (the Allied invasion of Southern France, aimed at capturing Marseille), operations increased in scale. In one attack Macpherson and his men trapped 300 Germans and 100 members of the Milice (Pro-German French forces) in a railway tunnel for several days.

Over the course of the next two months Macpherson killed or captured many German troops and systematically blew apart bridges. He operated from caves and woodland areas with his radio operator. Under the mantle of Agent Quinine, he achieved an operation of some kind virtually every day,[his high-profile presence – he brazenly toured the countryside in a black Citroën with a Union Flag pennant on one side and a Croix de Lorraine on the other infuriating the Nazis to the extent that they placed a 300,000 franc bounty on his head, describing him as “A bandit masquerading as a Scottish officer and extremely dangerous to the citizens of France”.

On one occasion when a German staff car was approaching a level crossing Macpherson booby-trapped the barrier arm so it crashed down on the vehicle, decapitating the local commandant and his driver.

As axis forces in the south of France were cut off by the allied advance, Macpherson negotiated the surrender of two German units, the most notable being FK541. This was an assortment of Axis forces, totaling 23,000 men and while mainly second line soldiers it did include 7000 front line troops. It was the command of Major General Botho Henning Elster.Macpherson was informed by another Jedburgh leader Captain Arthur Cox that the Major General wanted to negotiate surrender. A meeting had already been held with the Americans, conducted by Lieutenant Samuel Magill, but it was felt that Germans were prevaricating, so another meeting was set up in a village in allied hands.

Unarmed and accompanied by a German doctor and a French officer, Macpherson was driven in a captured German Red Cross vehicle through miles of enemy-held territory, through machine gun fire, to the village’s school house. Dressed in full Highland uniform complete with hat, he bluffed that he would unleash heavy artillery and call on the RAF if the Germans did not surrender. The Major General agreed on condition his forces were allowed to keep their side arms until they were in safe custody of the US 83rd infantry division.

 

In November 1944, Major Macpherson led Italian partisans in several major attacks on railways in Udine, northern Italy, despite being wounded soon after his arrival. Much of this effort was aimed at disrupting the German defensive line based on Tarvisio.

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On one occasion during an allied air raid Macpherson spotted a group of Italian officers retreating into a bomb shelter. The Scot opened the shelter hatch and threw a grenade down it. Macpherson was shot by an Italian officer, who arrived late but whom he succeeded in stabbing after a struggle.

Macpherson was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London in 1977, and served as High Sheriff of Greater London in 1983. He was knighted in the 1992 New Year Honors,receiving the accolade from the Queen at Buckingham Palace on 17 March 1992.In 1985/86 he served as Prime Warden of the Worshipful Company of Dyers and between 2001 and 2005 he was President of the Highland Society of London.

Beside his British decorations, he was also a Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur and was awarded the Croix de Guerre (2 Palms and Star) and was personally awarded the Star of Bethlehem and a papal knighthood from the Pope.

He died aged 94 on 6 November 2014. A packed Memorial Service was subsequently held for him at St Columba’s Church of Scotland in Pont Street, Knightsbridge, London, at which the eulogy was given by Malcolm Rifkind. Others present included Jeffrey Archer and his wife, Gregory Lauder-Frost and Mr & Mrs Alexander Hay of Duns Castle, Berwickshire.

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Forgotten history-Battlefield Geleen

History of Sorts

I was born in a small town in Limburg, the most southern province of the Netherlands.

The name of the town is Geleen, it was a mining town until 1967. In 1967 the mine Maurits,which was the biggest in the country and up to 1958 the biggest 2 shaft mine in the world, closed. However that is not what the forgotten history is about.

On October 5 1942 approximately 30 bombers of the RAF carried out a bombing raid between 21:55 and 23:10, killing 83 and severely injuring 22 other. Leaving about 3000 people homeless.

The intended target had been Aken just over the border in Germany.

Due to bad weather those 30 bombers which were part of a squadron of 257 bombers had deviated from their direction thus resulting in the bombing of Geleen. Killing 83, wiping out 57 houses, severely damaging 227 more house and causing further damage…

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Forgotten History-Noor Inayat Khan

Nowadays it has become so easy to blame Muslims for all evil in the world. And I get why people think that way, given all the awful acts of terror which have been committed in the name of Islam in the recent past and are still happening.

But the fact is the criminals who commit these acts use Islam for their own twisted political ideology and has very little to do with Islam. The biggest group of victims are Muslims themselves.

Next time you want to say that Muslims are a threat to our western freedom, spare a thought for Muslims like Noor Inayat Khan who gave her life for our Western freedom.

Khan was a wartime British secret agent of Indian descent who was the first female radio operator sent into Nazi-occupied France by the Special Operations Executive (SOE). She was arrested and eventually executed by the Gestapo.

Noor Inayat Khan was born on New Year’s Day 1914 in Moscow to an Indian father and an American mother. She was a direct descendant of Tipu Sultan, the 18th century Muslim ruler of Mysore. Khan’s father was a musician and Sufi teacher. He moved his family first to London and then to Paris, where Khan was educated and later worked writing childrens’ stories. Khan escaped to England after the fall of France and in November 1940 she joined the WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force). In late 1942, she was recruited to join SOE as a radio operator. Although some of those who trained her were unsure about her suitability, Nevertheless, her fluent French and her competency in wireless operation—coupled with a shortage of experienced agents—made her a desirable candidate for service in Nazi-occupied France. On 16/17 June 1943, cryptonymed ‘Madeleine’/W/T operator ‘Nurse’ and under the cover identity of Jeanne-Marie Regnier, Assistant Section Officer/Ensign Inayat Khan was flown to landing ground B/20A ‘Indigestion’ in Northern France on a night landing doubleL ysander operation, code named Teacher/Nurse/Chaplain/Monk. She was met by Henri  Déricourt who turned out to be a double agent.

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She travelled to Paris, and with two other women, Diana Rowden (code named Paulette/Chaplain), and Cecily Lefort (code named Alice/Teacher), joined the Physician network led by Francis Suttill (code named Prosper).

Over the next month and a half, all the other Physician network radio operators were arrested by the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), along with hundreds of Resistance personnel associated with Prosper. Colonel Maurice Buckmaster, head of F Section, later claimed that in spite of the danger, Inayat Khan rejected an offer to return to Britain, although it was certainly in SOE’s interest that she stay in the field in the aftermath of the round-up of their largest network. As the only remaining wireless operator still at large in Paris, Inayat Khan continued to transmit to London messages from agents of what remained of the Prosper/Physician circuit, a network she also worked to keep intact despite the mass arrests of its members. She was now the most wanted British agent in Paris with SD officers sent out to look for her at subway stations, and an accurate description of her widely circulated among German security officers. With wireless detection vans in close pursuit, Inayat Khan could transmit for only twenty minutes at one time in one place, but constantly moving from place to place, she managed to escape capture while maintaining wireless communication with London: “She refused to abandon what had become the most important and dangerous post in France and did excellent work

Inayat Khan was betrayed to the Germans, either by Henri Déricourt or by Renée Garry. Déricourt (code name Gilbert) was an SOE officer and former French Air Force pilot who had been suspected of working as a double agent for the Sicherheitsdienst. Garry was the sister of Henri Garry, Inayat Khan’s organizer in the Cinema network (later renamed Phono).Allegedly paid 100,000 francs, Renée Garry’s actions have been attributed by some to jealousy due to Garry’s suspicion that she had lost the affections of SOE agent France Antelme to Inayat Khan

On or around 13 October 1943, Inayat Khan was arrested and interrogated at the SD Headquarters at 84 Avenue Foch in Paris.

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Though SOE trainers had expressed doubts about her gentle and unworldly character, on her arrest she fought so fiercely that SD officers were afraid of her.She was thenceforth treated as an extremely dangerous prisoner. There is no evidence of her being tortured, but her interrogation lasted over a month. During that time, she attempted escape twice. Hans Kieffer, the former head of the SD in Paris, testified after the war that she did not give the Gestapo a single piece of information, but lied consistently. However other sources indicate that she chatted amiably with an out-of-uniform Alsatian interrogator, and provided personal detail that enabled the SD to answer random checks in the form of questions about her childhood and family.

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Although Inayat Khan did not talk about her activities under interrogation, the SD found her notebooks. Contrary to security regulations, she had copied out all the messages she had sent as an SOE operative (this may have been due to her misunderstanding what a reference to filing meant in her orders, and also the truncated nature of her security course due to the need to insert her into France as soon as possible). Although she refused to reveal any secret codes, the Germans gained enough information from them to continue sending false messages imitating her. London failed to properly investigate anomalies which would have indicated the transmissions were sent under enemy control, in particular the change in the ‘fist’ (the style of the operator’s Morse transmission though according to M R D Foot, the Sicherheitsdienst were quite adept at faking operators’ fists.As a WAAF signaller, Inayat Khan had been nicknamed ‘Bang Away Lulu’ because of her distinctively heavy-handed style, which was said to be a result of chilblains.

As a result of London’s errors, three more agents sent to France were captured by the Germans at their parachute landing, among them Madeleine Damerment, who was later executed.

Sonya Olschanezky (‘Tania’), a locally recruited SOE agent had learnt of Inayat Khan’s arrest, and had sent a message to London through her fiancé, Jacques Weil, telling Baker Street of her capture and warning HQ to suspect any transmissions from ‘Madelaine’. Colonel Maurice Buckmaster ignored the message as unreliable because he did not know who Olschanezky was. As a result, German transmissions from Inayat Khan’s radio continued to be treated as genuine, leading to the unnecessary deaths of SOE agents, including Olschanezky herself, who was executed at Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp on 6 July 1944.

When Vera Atkins investigated the deaths of missing SOE agents, she initially confused Inayat Khan with Olschanezky (they were similar in appearance), who was unknown to her, believing that Inayat Khan had been killed at Natzweiler, correcting the record only when she discovered Inayat Khan’s fate at Dachau.

On 25 November 1943, Inayat Khan escaped from the SD Headquarters, along with fellow SOE Agents John Renshaw Starr and Leon Faye, but was captured in the vicinity. There was an air raid alert as they escaped across the roof. Regulations required a count of prisoners at such times and their escape was discovered before they could get away. After refusing to sign a declaration renouncing future escape attempts, Inayat Khan was taken to Germany on 27 November 1943 “for safe custody” and imprisoned at Pforzheim in solitary confinement as a “Nacht und Nebel” (“Night and Fog”: condemned to “Disappearance without Trace”) prisoner, in complete secrecy. For ten months, she was kept there shackled at hands and feet.

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She was classified as “highly dangerous” and shackled in chains most of the time. As the prison director testified after the war, Inayat Khan remained uncooperative and continued to refuse to give any information on her work or her fellow operatives, although in her despair at the appalling nature of her confinement, other prisoners could hear her crying at night. However, by the ingenious method of scratching messages on the base of her mess cup, she was able to inform another inmate of her identity, giving the name of Nora Baker and the London address of her mother’s house

On 11 September 1944, Inayat Khan and three other SOE agents from Karlsruhe prison,Yolande Beekman, Eliane Plewman, and Madeleine Damerment, were moved to the Dachau Concentration Camp. In the early morning hours of 13 September 1944, the four women were executed by a shot to the back of the head. Their bodies were immediately burned in the crematorium. An anonymous Dutch prisoner, who emerged in 1958, contended that Inayat Khan was cruelly beaten by a high-ranking SS officer named Wilhelm Ruppert before being shot from behind; the beating may have been the actual cause of her death. She may also have been sexually assaulted while in custody. Her last word has been recorded as, “Liberté”.

Inayat Khan was posthumously awarded the George Cross in 1949, and a French Croix de Guerre with silver star

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As she was still considered “missing” in 1946, she could not be recommended for a Member of the Order of the British Empire,but was Mentioned in Despatches instead in October 1946 Inayat Khan was the third of three Second World War FANY members to be awarded the George Cross, Britain’s highest award for gallantry not in the face of the enemy.

At the beginning of 2011, a campaign was launched to raise £100,000 for a bronze bust of her in central London close to her former home. It was claimed that this would be the first memorial in Britain to either a Muslim or an Asian woman,but Inayat Khan had already been commemorated on the FANY memorial in St Paul’s Church, Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London,which lists the 52 members of the Corps who gave their lives on active service.

The unveiling of the bronze bust by HRH The Princess Royal took place on 8 November 2012 in Gordon Square Gardens, London.

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Inayat Khan is commemorated on a stamp issued by the Royal Mail on 25 March 2014 in a set of stamps about “Remarkable Lives”

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Although Noor Khan as been remembered a lot it appears that she still has been forgotten.

In 2014 a TV movie was made in her memory called “the Enemy of the Reich”

 

Forgotten History-The Jehovah Witnesses Holocaust

I am not a Jehovah Witness myself and I don’t really agree with some of their doctrines but I do admire and respect their commitment to their religion.

Jehovah’s Witnesses suffered religious persecution in Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1945 after refusing to perform military service, join Nazi organizations or give allegiance to the Hitler regime. An estimated 10,000 Witnesses—half of the number of members in Germany during that period—were imprisoned, including 2000 who were sent to Nazi concentration camps. An estimated 1200 died in custody, including 250 who were executed. They were the first Christian denomination banned by the Nazi government and the most extensively and intensively persecuted. Unlike Jews and Romani who were persecuted on the basis of their ethnicity, Jehovah’s Witnesses could escape persecution and personal harm by renouncing their religious beliefs by signing a document indicating renouncement of their faith, submission to state authority, and support of the German military.Historian Sybil Milton concludes that “their courage and defiance in the face of torture and death punctures the myth of a monolithic Nazi state ruling over docile and submissive subjects.

The group came under increasing public and governmental persecution from 1933, with many expelled from jobs and schools, deprived of income and suffering beatings and imprisonment, despite early attempts to demonstrate shared goals with the National Socialist regime. Historians are divided over whether the Nazis intended to exterminate them, but several authors have claimed the Witnesses’ outspoken condemnation of the Nazis contributed to their level of suffering.

Even before 1933, despite their small numbers, door-to-door preaching and the identification of Jehovah’s Witnesses as heretics by the mainstream Protestant and Catholic churches made them few friends. Individual German states and local authorities periodically sought to limit the group’s proselytizing activities with charges of illegal peddling. There were also outright bans on Jehovah’s Witnesses’ religious literature, which included the booklets The Watch Tower and The Golden Age. The courts, by contrast, often ruled in favor of the religious minority. Meanwhile, in the early 1930s, Nazi brownshirted storm troopers, acting outside the law, broke up Bible study meetings and beat up, individual Witnesses.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses were denounced for their international and American ties, the apparent revolutionary tone of their millennialism (belief in the peaceful 1,000 year heavenly rule over the earth by Christ, preceded by the battle of Armageddon), and their supposed connections to Judaism, including a reliance on parts of the Bible embodying Jewish scripture (the Christian “Old Testament”). Many of these charges were brought against more than 40 other banned religious groups, but none of these were persecuted to the same degree. The crucial difference was, the intensity Witnesses demonstrated in refusing to give ultimate loyalty or obedience to the state.

In April 1933, four months after Hitler became chancellor, Jehovah’s Witnesses were banned in Bavaria and by the summer in most of Germany. Twice during 1933, police occupied the Witnesses’ offices and their printing site in Magdeburg and confiscated religious literature. Witnesses defied Nazi prohibitions by continuing to meet and distribute their literature, often covertly. Copies were made from booklets smuggled in mainly from Switzerland.

Initially, Jehovah’s Witnesses attempted to fend off Nazi attacks by issuing a letter to the government in October 1934, explaining their religious beliefs and political neutrality. This declaration failed to convince the Nazi regime of the group’s harmlessness. For defying the ban on their activities, many Witnesses were arrested and sent to prisons and concentration camps. They lost their jobs as civil servants or employees in private industry and their unemployment, social welfare, and pension benefits.

From 1935 onward, Jehovah’s Witnesses faced a Nazi campaign of nearly total persecution. On April 1, 1935, the group was banned nationally by law. The same year, Germany reintroduced compulsory military service. For refusing to be drafted or perform war–related work, and for continuing to meet, Jehovah’s Witnesses were arrested and incarcerated in prisons and concentration camps. In 1936 some 400 Jehovah’s Witnesses were imprisoned at Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

In 1936 a special unit of the Gestapo began compiling a registry of all persons believed to be Jehovah’s Witnesses, and agents infiltrated Bible study meetings. By 1939, an estimated 6,000 Witnesses (including those from incorporated Austria and Czechoslovakia) were detained in prisons or camps. Some Witnesses were tortured by police in attempts to make them sign a declaration renouncing their faith, but few capitulated.

In response to Nazi efforts to destroy them, the worldwide Jehovah’s Witness organization became a center of spiritual resistance against the Nazis. An international convention of Witnesses, held in Lucerne,Switzerland, in September 1936, issued a resolution condemning the entire Nazi regime. In this text and other literature brought into Germany, writers broadly indicted the Third Reich. Articles strongly denounced the persecution of German Jews, Nazi “savagery” toward Communists, the re-militarization of Germany, the Nazification of schools and universities, Nazi propaganda, and the regime’s assault on mainstream churches.

On June 25, 1933 about 7000 Witnesses assembled at the Wilmersdorfer Tennishallen in Berlin where a 3800-word “Declaration of Facts” was issued.

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The document, written by Watch Tower Society president J.F. Rutherford, asserted the religion’s political neutrality, appealed for the right to publicly preach and claimed it was the victim of a misinformation campaign by other religions.

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 Some 2.1 million copies of the declaration, reproduced as a four-page pamphlet, were distributed publicly throughout Germany, with a copy also sent to Hitler accompanied by a seven-page cover letter assuring the Chancellor that the IBSA(International Bible Study Association) “was not in opposition to the national government of the German Reich”, but that, to the contrary, “the entirely religious, nonpolitical objectives and efforts of the Bible Students” were “completely in agreement with the corresponding goals of the national government.

From 1933 Witnesses working in post offices, railway stations or other civil service jobs began to be dismissed for refusing to give the compulsory Hitler salute. From August 1934 they could also lose their jobs for refusing to take an official oath swearing loyalty and obedience to Hitler. Teachers were required to sign a statement confirming they were not members of the International Bible Students Association and were fired if they refused. Jehovah’s Witnesses were dismissed in the private sector as well, often at the insistence of the German Labor Front (DAF) or Nazi Party members. In 1936 the Nazi press urged that Bible Students be removed from all German companies, while self-employed members of the religion were denied professional or business licences to carry out their work on the basis that their refusal to join Nazi organizations marked them as “politically unreliable”.

The state confiscated motor vehicles and bicycles used by Witnesses for their business, withdrew driver’s licences, withdrew pensions and evicted Witnesses from their homes. Schoolchildren were required to sing the Horst Wessel song and Deutschlandlied at a flag salute roll call, give the Hitler salute and take part in ceremonies honoring Hitler; those who refused were beaten by teachers and sometimes by classmates, while many were also expelled. From March 1936 authorities began removing Witness children from their parents, forcing some of them to undergo “corrective training”.

The children of Jehovah’s Witnesses also suffered. In classrooms, teachers ridiculed children who refused to give the “Heil, Hitler!” salute or sing patriotic songs. Classmates shunned and beat up young Witnesses. Principals expelled them from schools. Families were broken up as authorities took children away from their parents and sent them to reform schools, orphanages, or private homes, to be brought up as Nazis.

From early 1935, Gestapo officers began widening their use of “protective detention”, usually when judges failed to convict Witnesses on charges of defying the Bible Student ban. Bible Students deemed to “present an imminent danger to the National Socialist state because of their activities” were from that point not handed to courts for punishment but sent directly to concentration camps for incarceration for several months, but even those who completed their prison terms were routinely arrested by the Gestapo upon release and taken into protective custody.

More brutal methods of punishment began to be applied from 1936, including horsewhipping, prolonged daily beatings, the torture of family members and the threat of shooting. Some Witnesses were placed in mental institutions and subjected to psychiatric treatment; sterilization was ordered for some deemed to be “stubborn” in their refusal to denounce their religion.

Following an assembly in Lucerne, Switzerland in early September 1936 up to 3000 copies of a resolution of protest were sent to government, public and clerical leaders, stepping up the Watch Tower Society’s anti-Catholic polemic. Several German Witnesses who attended the convention were arrested by waiting police as they returned to their homes and between August and September the Gestapo arrested more than 1000 members. The society responded with a pamphlet campaign on December 12, dropping up to 200,000 copies of the Lucerne resolution in mailboxes and also leaving them at phone booths, park benches and parked cars. Those arrested in subsequent police raids were sentenced to up to two years in prison. The number of arrests increased; in Dresden alone as many as 1500 Witnesses had been arrested by mid-1937. Another letterbox campaign was carried out in June 1937, a year in which the Watch Tower Society announced German Witnesses had distributed more than 450,000 books and booklets in 12 months.

Compulsory military service for all men aged between 18 and 45 was introduced by Hitler in March 1935. No exemptions were provided for religious or conscientious reasons and Witnesses who refused to serve or take the oath of allegiance to Hitler were sent to prison or concentration camp, generally for terms of one or two years. At the outbreak of war in August 1939, more serious punishments were applied. A decree was enacted that greatly increased penal regulations during periods of war and states of emergency and included in the decree was an offense of “demoralization of the armed forces”; any refusal to perform military service or public inducement to this effect would be punishable by death. Between August 1939 and September 1940, 152 Bible Students appeared before the highest military court of the Wehrmacht charged with demoralization of the armed forces and 112 were executed, usually by beheading. Garbe estimates about 250 German and Austrian Jehovah’s Witnesses were executed during World War II as a result of military court decisions. In November 1939 another regulation was issued providing for the jailing of anyone who supported or belonged to an “anti-military association” or displayed an “anti-military attitude”, which allowed authorities to impose prison sentences on the charge of IBSA membership. Death penalties were applied frequently after 1943.

After 1939 most active Jehovah’s Witnesses were incarcerated in prisons or concentration camps. Some had fled Germany. In the camps, all prisoners wore markings of various shapes and colors so that guards and camp officers could identify them by category. Witnesses were marked by purple triangular patches.

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Even in the camps, they continued to meet, pray, and make converts. In Buchenwald concentration camp, they set up an underground printing press and distributed religious tracts.

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Conditions in Nazi camps were generally harsh for all inmates, many of whom died from hunger, disease, exhaustion, exposure to the cold, and brutal treatment. But, as psychoanalyst Bruno Bettelheim and others have noted, Witnesses were uniquely sustained in the camps by the support they gave each other and by their belief that their suffering was part of their work for God. Individual Witnesses astounded their guards with their refusal to conform to military-type routines like roll call or to roll bandages for soldiers at the front. At the same time, Witnesses were considered unusually trustworthy because they refused to escape from camps or physically resist their guards. For this reason, Witnesses were often used as domestic servants by Nazi camp officers and guards.

According to Rudolf Höss, Commandant of Auschwitz, SS Chief Heinrich Himmer often used the “fanatical faith” of Jehovah’s Witnesses as an example to his own SS troops.

In his view, SS men had to have the same “unshakable faith” in the National Socialist ideal and in Adolf Hitler that the Witnesses had in Jehovah. Only when all SS men believed as fanatically in their own philosophy would Adolf Hitler’s state be permanently secure.

In the Nazi years, about 10,000 Witnesses, most of them of German nationality, were imprisoned in concentration camps. After 1939, small numbers of Witnesses from Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands, Norway, and Poland (some of them refugees from Germany) were arrested and deported to Dachau, Bergen-Belsen,Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, Ravensbrück, Auschwitz, Mauthausen, and other concentration camps. An estimated 2,500 to 5,000 Witnesses died in the camps or prisons. More than 200 men were tried by the German War Court and executed for refusing military service.

(below Mug shots of Else Woieziek, a Jehovah’s Witness sentenced to death and executed in 1944. Düsseldorf)

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During the liberation of the camps, Jehovah’s Witnesses continued their work, moving among the survivors, making converts.

 

Forgotten History-Ho Feng-Shan

Ho Feng-Shan sometimes referred to as the Chinese Oskar Schindler.

Ho Feng-Shan born September 10, 1901 in Yiyang, Hunan; died September 28, 1997 in San Francisco) was a Chinese diplomat in Vienna who risked his own life and career duringWorld War II to save thousands of Jews. Ho’s actions were recognized posthumously when the Israeli organization Yad Vashem in 2000 decided to award him the title “Righteous among the Nations”

Feng-Shan Ho, the Chinese Consul-General in Vienna, was given the title of Righteous Among the Nations for his humanitarian courage in issuing Chinese visas to Jews in Vienna in spite of orders from his superior to the contrary.

After Austria’s annexation to Nazi Germany in March 1938, the 185,000 Jews there were subjected to a severe reign of terror, which resulted in intense pressure to leave the country. In order to do so, the Nazis required that Jews have entry visas or boat tickets to another country. However, the majority of the world’s nations refused to budge from their restrictive immigration policies, a stance reaffirmed at the Evian Conference, in July 1938.

The Évian Conference was convened from 6–15 July, 1938, at Évian-les-Bains, France, to discuss the Jewish refugee problem and the plight of the increasing numbers of Jewish refugees fleeing persecution by Nazi Germany. It was convened at the initiative of United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt who perhaps hoped to obtain commitments from some of the invited nations to accept more refugees, although he took pains to avoid stating that objective expressly. It was true that Roosevelt desired to deflect attention and criticism from American policy that severely limited the quota of Jewish refugees admitted to the United States.

The conference was attended by representatives from 32 countries, and 24 voluntary organizations also attended as observers, presenting plans either orally or in writing.Golda Meir, the attendee from British Mandate Palestine, was the only representative of a landed Jewish constituency, but she was not permitted to speak or to participate in the proceedings except as an observer. Some 200 international journalists gathered at Évian to observe and report on the meeting.

The dispossessed and displaced Jews of Austria and Germany were hopeful that this international conference would lead to acceptance of more refugees and safe haven. “The United States had always been viewed in Europe as champion of freedom and under her powerful influence and following her example, certainly many countries would provide the chance to get out of the German trap. The rescue, a new life seemed in reach.

Hitler responded to the news of the conference by saying essentially that if the other nations would agree to take the Jews, he would help them leave:

I can only hope and expect that the other world, which has such deep sympathy for these criminals [Jews], will at least be generous enough to convert this sympathy into practical aid. We, on our part, are ready to put all these criminals at the disposal of these countries, for all I care, even on luxury ships.

The conference proved a failure because both the United States and Britain refused to accept any (substantially) more refugees, and most of the countries at the conference followed suit. The conference was seen by some as “an exercise in Anglo-American collaborative hypocrisy.”

In 1935, Ho started his diplomatic career within the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of China. His first posting was in Turkey. He was appointed First Secretary at the Chinese legation in Vienna in 1937. When Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938, and the legation was turned into a consulate, Ho was assigned the post of Consul-General.

After the Kristallnacht in 1938, the situation became rapidly more difficult for the almost 200,000 Austrian Jews.

The only way for Jews to escape from Nazism was to leave Europe. In order to leave, they had to provide proof of emigration, usually a visa from a foreign nation, or a valid boat ticket. This was difficult, however, because at the 1938 Évian Conference 31 countries (out of a total of 32, which included Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) refused to accept Jewish immigrants. The only country willing to accept Jews was the Dominican Republic, which offered to accept up to 100,000 refugees.Acting against the orders of his superior Chen Jie, the Chinese ambassador to Berlin, Ho started to issue visas to Shanghai, part of which during this time was still under the control of the Republic of China, for humanitarian reasons. 1,200 visas were issued by Ho in the first three months of holding office as Consul-General.

At the time it was not necessary to have a visa to enter Shanghai, but the visas allowed the Jews to leave Austria. Many Jewish families left for Shanghai, whence most of them would later leave for Hong Kong and Australia. Ho continued to issue these visas until he was ordered to return to China in May 1940. The exact number of visas given by Ho to Jewish refugees is unknown. It is known that Ho issued the 200th visa in June 1938, and signed 1906th on October 27, 1938. How many Jews were saved through his actions is unknown, but given that Ho issued nearly 2,000 visas only during his first half year at his post, the number may be in the thousands.

Unlike his fellow-diplomats, Ho issued visas to Shanghai to all requesting them, even to those wishing to travel elsewhere but needing a visa to leave Nazi Germany

Many of those helped by Ho did indeed reach Shanghai, either by boat from Italy or overland via the Soviet Union. Many others made use of their visas to reach alternate destinations, including Palestine, the Philippines, and elsewhere, such as the parents of Secretary-General of the World Jewish Congress and Vice Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, Dr. Israel Singer, who traveled to Cuba.

Ho was posthumously awarded the President’s Citation Award from Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, on September 12, 2015. Ho’s daughter, Manli, accepted the award on his behalf. President Ma Ying-jeou stated that this honor was “long-delayed,” and spoke of Ho’s bravery at a dedication ceremony.

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Forgotten History-Pierre Schunck Resistance Fighter

Most people think of the Netherlands as a flat country, the name does indicate that, However at the very south eastern corner of the country there are actually hills and even some caves.and believe it or not in the small town Valkenburg there are even cable cars.

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This brings me to Pierre Schunck.

Peter Joseph Arnold (Pierre) Schunck (24 March 1906 in Heerlen – 2 February 1993 in Kerkrade), also known as Paul Simons, was a member of the prosperous Schunck family who owned a department store at Heerlen in the Netherlands, often I have been in this store not realizing the story of this courageous man.

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Pierre initially studied to become a priest but soon joined the family business, initially running a laundry in Valkenburg near Maastricht. From the beginning of the German occupation, he decided to stand up against the Germans and became a member of the LO or Landelijke Organisatie voor hulp aan Onderduikers, a resistance group whose mandate was to assist persons in hiding. Under the pseudonym of Paul Simons, he headed the Valkenburg chapter.

The Valkenburg Resistance was the resistance movement in Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands, during World War II. Most of the activities were related to helping people who had gone into hiding for various reasons. Going into hiding was dangerous, but so was keeping people in hiding. Especially hiding United States soldiers was risky because they had no sense of the danger and had a reputation of making too much noise. Hiding Jews was even punishable by death and one third of the people who hid Jews did not survive the war.

When World War II broke out the Netherlands intended to remain neutral, as they had been in World War I. But when Nazi Germany nevertheless invaded the Netherlands in 1940, at first little changed and life went on pretty much as normal. There had always been Germans in this region so close to the German border and the Germans expected that the Aryan Dutch would ‘fall in line’. But then the Germans started imposing their ideology on the people, limiting people’s rights, forcing people to work for them (Arbeitseinsatz) and deporting Jews and others. These and other factors caused a growing group of people who wanted to resist to the occupation. At first through individual acts like non-cooperation.

But activities like helping people who had gone into hiding (e.g. to escape the Arbeitseinsatz), shot down pilots and escaped POW’s needed more organisation. Small groups united into the LO (Landelijke Organisatie voor hulp aan onderduikers – National Organisation for help to people in hiding), which divided the province of Limburg in ten districts under Jacques Crasborn. Another organisation was the Knokploeg (assaultgroup) or KP. The KP would obtain goods needed for the people in hiding and the LO would then distribute them. In spite of the name the KP was not necessarily violent, but violence was sometimes needed in (mostly nocturnal) activities like obtaining identification carnets and ration cards and sometimes even German uniforms, which were used for raids.

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The LO in Limburg started in Venlo in February 1943 under teacher Jan Hendricx (pseudonym Ambrosius). Another important figure was L. Moonen (pseudonym Ome Leo – Uncle Leo), secretary to the bishopric, who used his episcopal contacts to make the Limburg resistance an ordered organisation.

Head of the Valkenburg LO was Pierre Schunck (pseudonym Paul Simons). Notable members were Harry van Ogtrop and Gerrit van der Gronden. But many more people helped, more or less frequently, such as civil servants Hein Cremers and Guus Laeven, who, at the end of the war, ‘lost’ the population records when the Germans wanted to put all men between 16 and 60 at work digging trenches.

Pierre Schunck came into contact with the resistance because he lived across the street from a cave where people hid. When chapelain Berix Schunck visited there, he asked Pierre if he could get some clothes for the people in hiding. Which he did. But he went further by improving the living conditions (electricity and food). And in the end he decided to get more people involved and set up a resistance organisation, which hid a total of 150 people. At one point there even arrived a group of 100 people from the district of Maas en Waal , where there had been problems. Most of these could be hidden at several farms. Pierre Schunck’s pseudonym ‘Paul Simons’ was a result of the at the time rather common custom to stitch one’s initials into clothing and handkerchiefs, so the initials had to match. The fact that he chose a Jewish name is rather peculiar, though.

Apart from helping people in hiding, other activities took place, like raiding a store of radio equipment in Klimmen, a train full of eggs, and a dairy plant in Reijmerstok for a ton of butter. And hiding valuables from the Jesuit cloister in Valkenberg. One of the people who did this was Pierre Schunck, who owned a laundrette and simply hid the goblets and such under the laundry and put his children on top. At a hospital in Heerlen a whole floor was ‘hidden’ from the Germans to hide (and treat) crashed pilots and other people in hiding.

The many marl mines in South Limburg were also ideal hiding places because they needed a guide to navigate them (especially the ones in Maastricht have a very extensive system of corridors than has been used throughout history for this purpose). When Pierre’s father Peter Schunck, who owned some land with entries to mines, where he knew people were hiding (which he chose to ignore), was asked by the Germans to lead them into the caves, he took them to a section he knew was dangerous and poked his walking stick in the ceiling, causing part of it to come down. Upon which he said he would not enter there. To which the Germans agreed. The caves were also used to hide guns (provided they weren’t too damp) and as shooting ranges. And to imprison (possible) traitors.

There were also various other hiding places, such as the hide-out Pierre Schunck had created beneath his bath tub (the old type on legs), which he, however, never had to use.

At one point Pierre Schunck also had some rifles hidden in his laundrette. When one of his employees told the Germans about this and he was taken to The Hague for questioning, he played dumb and his good reputation saved him. The police sent a message to The Hague saying he was a respected citizen and because the rifles weren’t found (they had been quickly moved) he was released

The ration cards were a means for the Germans to make it difficult for people to go into hiding, because they couldn’t get any food. Young men who were to be sent to Germany for the ‘Arbeitseinsatz’ had to hand in their ration cards. But one way around this was to either fake the cards or steal them .

Some civil servants of the distribution office in Valkenburg managed to embezzle between 500 and 1000 complete sheets of ration cards per month, to be distributed among people in hiding. They even built up a surplus they gave to other districts. The manager of the distribution office had chosen to ignore this (another example of passive resistance), but when he was replaced in 1944, the scheme was found out and the ration cards were changed. An alternative solution was to have them printed in Amsterdam, but the printer’s in Amsterdam was raided by the Germans. So a more ‘aggressive’ approach was devised, also to wipe out traces of the embezzlement.

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Every night, an envelop with the keys to the vault (among other things) was handed over to the police for safekeeping. This envelop was sealed with stamps. Over time, enough stamps were collected (from the waste basket) to make a fake envelop with fake signature and keys. The KP had already stolen a car of the Wehrmacht from a garage in Sittard (plus some barrels of petrol), repaired it and hidden it in Valkenburg. So one night, when the fake envelop was handed to the police, this car, some German uniforms and the real keys were used to empty the vault at the distribution office. By chance, a new 2 month supply had just been sent in and the loot was enormous , filling twelve burlap bags. At first, these were hidden in a farm in Kunrade , but when the Germans started to search through farms, they were brought back to Valkenburg. The officer of the guard, who had participated in the scheme, went into hiding, thus drawing the attention to himself, giving the others freedom to go on with their work.

When the allies approached Valkenburg in September 1944 there were several days of shooting, with the result that when the allies entered the town on 14 September it was deserted; everyone had fled into the caves. But two men stepped out onto the street, one of them Pierre Schunck, the other a youngster from The Hague who was in hiding with him. They had made contact the day before and now told the 19th US army corps where the Germans were to be found – in a hotel near the only remaining bridge over the river Geul, at the Wilhelminalaan, which the Germans kept intact as long as possible to let their troops retreat. A column of jeeps approached and Pierre was put on the hood of the first one. Later he found out that the soldier behind him had orders to shoot him if anything went wrong because they still didn’t trust him. They were going to conquer the bridge, so Pierre sent off a few locals to tell people to stay indoors and not to start cheering. But the Germans were informed by a collaborating local and blew up the bridge just before the liberating soldiers had reached the bridge (creeping from tree to tree), by igniting the explosive charge that was already in place. So now Valkenburg became a front line and the troops were delayed for three days. The army division got orders to wait until Maastricht was conquered, which happened two days later. So on 17 September Valkenburg was finally on the right side of the front and fully liberated. The people could finally leave the caves, which was needed because during these few days food had run out and the hygienic conditions had become difficult due to the overcrowding of the caves. In those days in the caves three children had been born and an old man had died (of natural causes).

Members of the Valkenburg resistance agreed to keep their activities a secret after the war, so as not to brag. This posed a problem for historian Loe de Jong when he wrote his famous Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog, because he couldn’t get any information. So he concluded there had been no resistance there. Ironically, the only person who was willing to talk was someone who had been on a death list of the resistance, but ultimately not executed. But the personal archive of Pierre Schunck proves the contrary, with photos, real and fake ‘Ausweise’ (identifications) and ration cards, illegal stencils, a file on Jewish victims and the like.

Pierre Schunck was awarded the Resistance Cross for his bravery during the occupation.

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After the war, he returned to the family business and ultimately took up weaving for which he was considered to be an expert.

Years later, during a wake at the Margraten cemetery, a US soldier started asking around for someone named Paul Simons, but almost everyone had forgotten that name. When he finally found him it turned out he was the soldier who sat behind him with a rifle pointed at his head. He had had sleepless nights because of this and was happy to find Pierre Schunck in good health. This soldier was Bob Hilleque from Chicago, the only member of the A platoon of the 119th regiment who was still alive at the time. Pierre and Bob subsequently became good friends.

 

Forgotten History-Roma Holocaust Victims

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A group of holocaust victims that are often forgotten are the Roma  Gypsies. Til this day people are still prejudice against them and I am not denying that I also am slightly prejudice towards them without any real reason because I really don’t know that many of them. Maybe it’s because a lot of European citizens dislike the Gypsies and have done so for decades, and I believe we really should start thinking twice about this otherwise we will not have learned from the past.

It is extremely difficult to locate sources about the Roma people in the Holocaust like those widely available about Jewish victims, which may reflect the difference between a literate culture and a largely illiterate one. It is known that perhaps 250,000 to 500,000 Roma were killed and that, proportionately, they suffered greater losses than any other group of victims except Jews.

Romani (commonly but incorrectly called Gypsies) were considered by the Nazis to be social outcasts. Under the Weimar Republic–the German government from 1918 to 1933–anti-Romani laws became widespread. These laws required them to register with officials, prohibited them from traveling freely, and sent them to forced-labor camps. When the Nazis came to power, those laws remained in effect–and were expanded. Under the July 1933 sterilization law, many Romani were sterilized against their will.

In November 1933, the “Law Against Dangerous Habitual Criminals” was passed. Under this law, the police began arresting Romani along with others labeled “asocial.” Beggars, vagrants, the homeless, and alcoholics were arrested and sent to concentration camps.

The Nuremberg racial laws of September 15, 1935, did not specifically mention Romani, but they were included along with Jews and “Negroes” as “racially distinctive” minorities with “alien blood.” As such, their marriage to “Aryans” was prohibited. They were also deprived of their civil rights.

By the summer of 1938, large numbers of German and Austrian Romani were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. There they wore black triangular patches (the symbol for “asocials”) or green patches (the symbol for professional criminals) and sometimes the letter “Z.”

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Between 1933 and 1945, Roma  suffered greatly as victims of Nazi persecution. Building on long-held prejudices, the Nazi regime viewed Gypsies both as “asocials” (outside “normal” society) and as racial “inferiors” believed to threaten the biological purity and strength of the “superior Aryan” race. During World War II, the Nazis and their collaborators killed tens of thousands of Sinti and Roma men, women, and children across German-occupied Europe.

SS chief Himmler’s circular reveals the Nazis’ animosity to Gypsies and, in the final paragraph, their rationale for seeking “a final solution of the Gypsy question.” The document also demonstrates the Nazis’ muddled thinking about “pure” versus “part” and “settled” versus “unsettled” Gypsies. The regime never produced the general “Gypsy Law” of the sort which Himmler envisioned near the end of this circular.

“Experience gained in combating the Gypsy nuisance, and knowledge derived from race-biological research, have shown that the proper method of attacking the Gypsy problem seems to be to treat it as a matter of race. Experience shows that part-Gypsies play the greatest role in Gypsy criminality. On the other hand, it has been shown that efforts to make the Gypsies settle have been unsuccessful, especially in the case of pure Gypsies, on account of their strong compulsion to wander. It has therefore become necessary to distinguish between pure and part-Gypsies in the final solution of the Gypsy question.

To this end, it is necessary to establish the racial affinity of every Gypsy living in Germany and of every vagrant living a Gypsy-like existence.

I therefore decree that all settled and non-settled Gypsies, and also all vagrants living a Gypsy-like existence, are to be registered with the Reich Criminal Police Office-Reich Central Office for Combating the Gypsy Nuisance.

The police authorities will report (via the responsible Criminal Police offices and local offices) to the Reich Criminal Police Office-Reich Central Office for Combating the Gypsy Nuisance all persons who by virtue of their looks and appearance, customs or habits, are to be regarded as Gypsies or part-Gypsies.

Because a person considered to be a Gypsy or part-Gypsy, or a person living like a Gypsy, as a rule confirms the suspicion that marriage (in accordance with clause 6 of the first decree on the implementation of the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor… or on the basis of stipulations in the law on Fitness to Marry) must not be contracted, in all cases the public registry officials must demand a testimony of fitness to marry from those who make such an application [to be married].

Treatment of the Gypsy question is part of the National Socialist task of national regeneration. A solution can only be achieved if the philosophical perspectives of National Socialism are observed. Although the principle that the German nation respects the national identity of alien peoples is also assumed in combating the Gypsy nuisance, nonetheless the aim of measures taken by the State to defend the homogeneity of the German nation must be the physical separation of Gypsydom from the German nation, the prevention of miscegenation, and finally, the regulation of the way of life of pure and part-Gypsies. The necessary legal foundation can only be created through a Gypsy Law which prevents further intermingling of blood, and which regulates all the most pressing questions which go together with the existence of Gypsies in the living space of the German nation.”

Nazi police round up Romani  families from Vienna for deportation to Poland. Austria, September-December 1939.

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Deportation of Romani  families from Vienna to Poland. Austria, between September and December 1939.

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For Nazi Germany, the Roma became a racist dilemma. The Roma were Aryans, but in the Nazi mind there were contradictions between what they regarded as the superiority of the Aryan race and their image of the Roma people.

At a conference held in Berlin on January 30, 1940, a decision was taken to expel 30,000 Roma from Germany to the territories of occupied Poland.

The reports of the SS Einsatzgruppen which operated in the occupied territories of the Soviet Union mention the murder of thousands of Romas along with the massive extermination of the Jews in these areas.

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The deportations and executions of the Roma came under Himmler’s authority. On December 16, 1942, Himmler issued an order to send all “Gypsies” to the concentration camps, with a few exceptions…

The deported Romas were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where a special Gypsy camp was erected. Over 20,000 Romas from Germany and some other parts of Europe were sent to this camp, and most of them were gassed there.

Wiernik described the arrival of the largest Roma group brought to Treblinka, in the spring of 1943:

One day, while I was working near the gate, I noticed the Germans and Ukrainians making special preparations…meanwhile the gate opened, and about 1,000 Gypsies were brought in (this was the third transport of Gypsies). About 200 of them were men, and the rest women and children…all the Gypsies were taken to the gas chambers and then burned…

Roma from the General Government [Poland] who were not sent to Auschwitz and to the operation Reinhard camps were shot on spot by the local police or gendarmes. In the eastern region of the Cracow district, in the counties of Sanok, Jaslo, and Rzeszow, close to 1,000 Roma were shot.

According to The Institut Fuer Zeitgeschicthe in Munich, at least 4,000 Roma people were murdered by gas at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

One of the survivors was Karl Stojka Born: April 20, 1931 Wampersdorf Austria, died 10 April 2003 in Vienna.

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Karl was the fourth of six children born to Roman Catholic Gypsy parents in the village of Wampersdorf in eastern Austria. The Stojkas belonged to a tribe of Gypsies called the Lowara Roma, who made their living as itinerant horse traders. They lived in a traveling family wagon, and spent winters in Austria’s capital of Vienna. Karl’s ancestors had lived in Austria for more than 200 years.

1933-39: I grew up used to freedom, travel and hard work. In March 1938 our wagon was parked for the winter in a Vienna campground, when Germany annexed Austria just before my seventh birthday. The Germans ordered us to stay put. My parents converted our wagon into a wooden house, but I wasn’t used to having permanent walls around me. My father and oldest sister began working in a factory, and I started grade school.

1940-44: By 1943 my family had been deported to a Nazi camp in Birkenau for thousands of Gypsies. Now we were enclosed by barbed wire. By August 1944 only 2,000 Gypsies were left alive; 918 of us were put on a transport to Buchenwald to do forced labor. There the Germans decided that 200 of us were incapable of working and were to be sent back to Birkenau. I was one of them; they thought I was too young. But my brother and uncle insisted that I was 14 but a dwarf. I got to stay. The rest were returned to be gassed.Karl was later deported to the Flossenbürg concentration camp. He was freed near Roetz, Germany, by American troops on April 24, 1945. After the war, he returned to Vienna.

A group of Romani prisoners, awaiting instructions from their German captors, sit in an open area near the fence in the Belzec concentration camp.

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I don’t know if this boy survived the war but the sadness in his eyes is heartbreaking.

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Romani  survivors in a barracks of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp during liberation. Germany, after April 15, 1945

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German military and SS-police units also shot possibly at least 30,000 Roma in the Baltic States and elsewhere in the occupied Soviet Union, where Einsatzgruppen and other mobile killing units killed Roma at the same time that they killed Jews and Communists. In occupied Serbia, the German authorities killed male Roma in shooting operations during 1941 and early 1942; then murdered the women and children in gas vans in 1942. The total number of Roma killed in Serbia will never be known. Estimates range between 1,000 and 12,000.

In France, Vichy French authorities intensified restrictive measures against and harassment of Roma after the establishment of the collaborationist regime in 1940. In 1941 and 1942, French police interned at least 3,000 and possibly as many as 6,000 Roma, residents of both occupied France and unoccupied France. French authorities shipped relatively few of them to camps in Germany, such as Buchenwald, Dachau, and Ravensbrück.

While the authorities in Romania, one of Germany’s Axis partners, did not systematically annihilate the Roma population living on Romanian territory, Romanian military and police officials deported around 26,000 Roma, primarily from Bukovina and Bessarabia, but also from Moldavia and Bucharest, the capital, to Transnistria, a section of south western Ukraine placed under Romanian administration, in 1941 and 1942. Thousands of those deported died from disease, starvation, and brutal treatment.

The authorities of the so-called Independent State of Croatia, another Axis partner of Germany and run by the militant separatist and terrorist Ustasa organization, physically annihilated virtually the entire Roma population of the country, around 25,000 people. The concentration camp system of Jasenovac, run by the Ustasa militia and the Croat political police, claimed the lives of between 15,000 and 20,000 Roma.

 

Eighties Music-Censorship

The word Censorship is perhaps a bit misleading since it was really a failed attempt to Censorship because it actually achieved the opposite effect.

This whole idea came from  the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) which was headed by no other then the wife of former vice President Al Gore,Tipper Gore(no that is really her name).

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Tipper Gore, left, wife of Sen. Albert Gore Jr., D-Tenn., testifies before the Senate Commerce Committee as Susan Baker, wife of Treasury Secretary James Baker III awaits her turn on Sept. 19, 1985 in Washington. The committee was holding hearings on record labeling. (AP Photo/Lana Harris)

The Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) was an American committee formed in 1985 with the stated goal of increasing parental control over the access of children to music deemed to be violent, have drug use or be sexual via labeling albums with Parental Advisory stickers. The committee was founded by four women: Tipper Gore, wife of Senator and later Vice President Al Gore; Susan Baker, wife of Treasury Secretary James Baker; Pam Howar, wife of Washington realtor Raymond Howar; and Sally Nevius, wife of former Washington City Council Chairman John Nevius. They were known as the “Washington wives” – a reference to their husbands’ connections with government in the Washington, D.C. area. The term was also a play on the title of Ira Levin’s book, The Stepford Wives. The Center eventually grew to include 22 participants.

The committee wanted certain songs banned but failed to do so, therefore they came up with a rating system, basically a sticker on every album with ‘explicit’ lyrics.

These are the 15 songs they found most objectionable, they called them the filthy fifteen.

# Artist Song title Lyrical content
1 Prince Darling Nikki Sex/Masturbation
2 Sheena Easton Sugar Walls Sex
3 Judas Priest Eat Me Alive Sex
4 Vanity Strap On ‘Robbie Baby’ Sex
5 Mötley Crüe Bastard Violence/Language
6 AC/DC Let Me Put My Love Into You Sex
7 Twisted Sister We’re Not Gonna Take It Violence
8 Madonna Dress You Up Sex
9 W.A.S.P. Animal (Fuck Like a Beast) Sex/Language
10 Def Leppard High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night) Drug and alcohol use
11 Mercyful Fate Into the Coven Occult
12 Black Sabbath Trashed Drug and alcohol use
13 Mary Jane Girls In My House Sex
14 Venom Possessed Occult
15 Cyndi Lauper She Bop Sex/Masturbation

Especially Sheena Easton and Cindy Lauper were known for their explicit behavior and filthy language throughout their career(NOT)

The movement got some traction after a few high profile court cases, one against Judas Priest.

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The band got into some serious trouble after their alleged backwards messages tragically inspired two young men to commit suicide. In 1985, Raymond Belknap and James Vance were hanging out drinking beer and smoking a joint while listening to Judas Priest, when they went to a church playground and shot themselves with a .12 guage shotgun. Belknap was killed outright, but Vance survived before eventually dying three-years later from complications. “We had been programmed. I knew I was going to do it. I was afraid. I didn’t want to die. It’s just as if I had no choice,” he reported later. The men’s parents filed a lawsuit which claimed the song “Better By You, Better Than Me” encouraged suicide with a series of backwards messages saying, “Do it”.

Of course the fact that they were drinking,smoking dope and listening to heavy metal being played backwards wasn’t an indication of mental issues.Below is a clip of the song, it is the backward version so please don’t drink,smoke joints and put any guns away.

In August 1985, 19 record companies agreed to put “Parental Guidance: Explicit Lyrics” labels on albums to warn of explicit lyrical content. Before the labels could be put into place, the Senate agreed to hold a hearing on so-called “porn rock”. This began on September 19, 1985, when representatives from the PMRC, three musicians — Dee Snider, Frank Zappa, John Denver(Yes that filthy Rocker John Denver)—and Senators Paula Hawkins and Al Gore testified before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on “the subject of the content of certain sound recordings and suggestions that recording packages be labeled to provide a warning to prospective purchasers of sexually explicit or other potentially offensive content.

Supporting witnesses

Paula Hawkins presented three record covers (Pyromania by Def Leppard, W.O.W. by Wendy O. Williams and W.A.S.P. by W.A.S.P.) and the music videos for “Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen, and “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister, commenting: “Much has changed since Elvis’ seemingly innocent times. Subtleties, suggestions, and innuendo have given way to overt expressions and descriptions of often violent sexual acts, drug taking, and flirtations with the occult. The record album covers to me are self-explanatory.”

 

Susan Baker testified that “There certainly are many causes for these ills in our society, but it is our contention that the pervasive messages aimed at children which promote and glorify suicide, rape, sadomasochism, and so on, have to be numbered among the contributing factors.” Tipper Gore asked record companies to voluntarily “plac[e] a warning label on music products inappropriate for younger children due to explicit sexual or violent lyrics.”

National PTA Vice President for Legislative Activity Millie Waterman related the PTA’s role in the debate, and proposed printing the symbol “R” on the cover of recordings containing “explicit sexual language, violence, profanity, the occult and glorification of drugs and alcohol,” and providing lyrics for “R”-labeled albums.

In addition, Dr. Joe Stuessy, a music professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, spoke regarding the power of music to influence behavior. He argued that heavy metal was different from earlier forms of music such as jazz and rock and roll because it was “church music” and “had as one of its central elements the element of hatred.” Dr. Paul King, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, testified on the deification of heavy metal musicians, and to the presentation of heavy metal as a religion. He also stated that “many” adolescents read deeply into song lyrics.

Opposing witnesses

During his statement, musician and producer Frank Zappa asserted that “the PMRC proposal is an ill-conceived piece of nonsense which fails to deliver any real benefits to children, infringes the civil liberties of people who are not children, and promises to keep the courts busy for years dealing with the interpretation and enforcement problems inherent in the proposal’s design.” He went on to state his suspicion that the hearings were a front for H.R. 2911, a proposed blank tape tax: “The major record labels need to have H.R. 2911 whiz through a few committees before anybody smells a rat. One of them is chaired by Senator Thurmond. Is it a coincidence that Mrs. Thurmond is affiliated with the PMRC?” Zappa had earlier stated about the Senate’s agreement to hold a hearing on the matter that “A couple of blowjobs here and there and Bingo! — you get a hearing.

Folk rock musician John Denver stated he was “strongly opposed to censorship of any kind in our society or anywhere else in the world”, and that in his experience censors often misinterpret music, as was the case with his song “Rocky Mountain High”. In addition, Denver expressed his belief that censorship is counterproductive: “That which is denied becomes that which is most desired, and that which is hidden becomes that which is most interesting. Consequently, a great deal of time and energy is spent trying to get at what is being kept from you.” When Denver came up to give his speech, many on the PMRC board expected him to side with them, thinking he would be offended by the lyrics as well.

Dee Snider, frontman and lead singer of the heavy metal band Twisted Sister, testified that he “[did] not support  [RIAA president] Gortikov’s unnecessary and unfortunate decision to agree to a so-called generic label on some selected records”. Like John Denver, Snider felt that his music had been misinterpreted. He defended the Twisted Sister songs “Under the Blade”, which had been interpreted as referring to sadomasochism, bondage, and rape, and “We’re Not Gonna Take It”, which had been accused of promoting violence. Snider said about “Under the Blade”, a song Snider claimed was written about an impending surgery, that “the only sadomasochism, bondage, and rape in this song is in the mind of Ms. Gore.” He stated, “Ms. Gore was looking for sadomasochism and bondage, and she found it. Someone looking for surgical references would have found it as well.” Snider concluded that “The full responsibility for defending my children falls on the shoulders of my wife and I, because there is no one else capable of making these judgments for us.”

Notable snippets of audio from the hearing found their way into Zappa’s audiocollage “Porn Wars”, released on the Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention album. Senators Gore,Hollings, Gorton, Hawkins, and others appeared. The album cover featured a parody of the RIAA warning label. The LP included a note to listeners to send to Zappa’s Barking Pumpkin Recordsfor a free Z-PAC, a printed information package that included transcripts of the committee hearing, and a letter from Zappa encouraging young people to register to vote. Zappa’s full testimonial was released on a posthumous 2010 compilation called Congress Shall Make No Law…

The sticker actually worked as an incentive to buy albums, no matter how bad an album was if it had the Parental Guidance sticker it had to be cool.

Here are 2 video’s which were also deemed to be offensive but please don’t listen to them backwards

Funny enough none of the Stock Aitken and Waterman music were never subjected to censorship.

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Forgotten History-William Patrick Hitler

 

Yes that is right, Adolf Hitler wasn’t the only one fighting in WWII. There was also Heinz Hitler and William Patrick Hitler, Adolf’s Nephews

 

 

Adolf Hitler referred to William Patrick as^ my loathsome nephew”.

William Patrick “Willy” Stuart-Houston (name at birth Hitler; 12 March 1911 – 14 July 1987) was a nephew of Adolf Hitler. Born to Adolf’s brother, Alois Hitler, Jr. and his first wife, Bridget Dowling, in Liverpool, Lancashire.

MI-bridget-hitler

William Patrick Hitler was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, the son of Alois Hitler, Jr. and his Irish-born wife Bridget Dowling. They met in Dublin when Alois was living there in 1909; they married in Marylebone in London and moved back north to Liverpool, where William was born in 1911.

The family lived in a flat at 102 Upper Stanhope Street, which was destroyed in the last German air raid of the Liverpool Blitz on 10 January 1942. Dowling wrote a manuscript called My Brother-in-Law Adolf, in which she says Hitler moved to Liverpool with her and Alois, remaining from November 1912 to April 1913, in order to dodge conscription in Austria.

In 1914, Alois left Bridget and their son for a gambling tour of Europe. Alois later returned to Germany. Unable to reconnect due to the outbreak of World War I, Alois abandoned the family, leaving William to be brought up by his mother. He remarried bigamously, but re-established contact in the mid-1920s when he wrote to Bridget asking her to send William to Germany’s Weimar Republic for a visit. She finally agreed in 1929, when William was 18. Alois had since by his German wife had another son, Heinz Hitler, who, in contrast to William, became a committed Nazi and in 1942 died in Soviet captivity

In 1933, William Patrick Hitler returned to Germany in an attempt to benefit from his uncle’s rise to power. His uncle found him a job at the Reich Credit Bank in Berlin. Later, William worked at an Opel automobile factory, and later still as a car salesman. Dissatisfied with these jobs, William persisted in asking his uncle for a better job, writing to him with blackmail threats that he would sell embarrassing stories about the family to the newspapers unless his “personal circumstances” improved.

In 1938, Adolf asked William to relinquish his British citizenship in exchange for a high-ranking job. Expecting a trap, William fled Nazi Germany; he again tried to blackmail his uncle with threats. This time, William threatened to tell the press that Hitler’s alleged paternal grandfather was actually a Jewish merchant. Returning to London he wrote an article for Look magazine titled “Why I Hate my Uncle”.

 

However William did return, briefly, to Germany in 1938. William’s role in Germany in the late 1930s is unsubstantiated.

William left Germany in January 1939 and visited the United States with his mother on a lecture tour at the invitation of the publisher William Randolph Hearst. William and his mother were stranded there when World War II broke out. After making a special request to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, William was cleared to join the U.S. Navy in 1944, and moved to Sunnyside, Queens in New York.

Once the war broke out, William tried to join the British forces, but was denied.  When the U.S. eventually entered the war, William appealed to President Roosevelt to be allowed to join the U.S. forces, stating why he felt he wasn’t being allowed to serve in the British forces: “The British are an insular people and while they are kind and courteous, it is my impression, rightly or wrongly, that they could not in the long term feel overly cordial or sympathetic towards an individual bearing the name I do.”

Roosevelt turned the matter over to the F.B.I. who eventually decided to allow William to join the U.S. navy, despite being a British citizen and the nephew of Hitler.    He served in the navy as a Hospital Corpsman and was discharged in 1947 after three years of service

According to a story circulating after his enlistment, when he went to the draft office and introduced himself, the recruiting officer supposedly replied, “Glad to see you, Hitler. My name’s Hess.”

William Patrick Hitler served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as a Pharmacist’s Mate (a designation later changed to Hospital Corpsman) until he was discharged in 1947. He had been wounded in action during the war and was awarded a Purple Heart medal.[2]

After leaving the Navy, William Hitler changed his surname to Stuart-Houston; some have commented on its similarity with the name of the British anti-semitic writer Houston Stewart Chamberlain.Stuart-Houston married, moved toPatchogue, Long Island and used his medical training to establish a business that analyzed blood samples for hospitals. His laboratory, which he called Brookhaven Laboratories, was located in his home, a two-story clapboard house at 71 Silver Street, Patchogue.

Stuart-Houston married Phyllis Jean-Jacques, who was born in Germany in the mid-1920s (she died in 2004).After their relationship began, William, Phyllis, and Bridget tried for some anonymity in the United States. They married in 1947 and had four sons; Alexander Adolf (b. 1949), Louis (b. 1951), Howard Ronald (1957–1989), and Brian William (b. 1965).

William Stuart-Houston died on July 14, 1987 in Patchogue, New York, His remains were buried next to his mother’s, at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram, New York.Phyllis died on November 2, 2004.

Howard Ronald Stuart-Houston, a Special Agent with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service, died in an automobile accident on September 14, 1989 leaving behind no children. He is buried in the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram, New York.

Though none of Stuart-Houston’s sons have had children, his son Alexander, who became a social worker, said that contrary to speculation, there was no pact to intentionally end the Hitler bloodline.

Of the 3 remaining sons only Alexander Adolf Stuart-Houston has ever spoken to the media.He revealed that one of the three great-nephews was supposed to marry a Jewish woman, who cancelled the wedding after she learned of his family’s history.

One neighbor admitted to knowing his neighbors’ family history, but said that “they are lovely people and cannot be blamed for things their relatives did.” I tend to agree with that.

 

 

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