Zegota- WWII Heroes

Would you risk your own life 

and your family’s to save another human being?

tree-honor-zegota02

That is the question anyone aiding Jews would have asked themselves each day.

Would you risk your own life
and your family’s to save another human being?

I am not sure if I would.

Zegota is a story of thousands of those who did. It happened during World War II under the brutal Nazi Germany occupation of Poland. The risk takers were Polish Christians who saved Polish Jews destined for Shoah. They came from all areas of life, educated or not, religious or not, from large cities or small villages, as members of Polish resistance or as unorganized individuals. They all knew the possible price to be paid, nevertheless they acted.

 

“Żegota” (also known as the “Konrad Żegota Committee”, was a codename for the Polish Council to Aid Jews , an underground organization of Polish resistance in German-occupied Poland active from 1942 to 1945.

The Council to Aid Jews operated under the auspices of the Polish Government in Exile through the Government Delegation for Poland, in Warsaw. Żegota aided the country’s Jews and found places of safety for them in occupied Poland. Poland was the only country in Nazi-occupied Europe where there existed such an organization.

The Council to Aid Jews, Żegota, was the continuation of an earlier secret organization set up for this purpose, called the Provisional Committee to Aid Jews (Tymczasowy Komitet Pomocy Żydom), founded in September 1942 by Zofia Kossak-Szczucka and Wanda Krahelska-Filipowicz (“Alinka”) and made up of democratic as well as Catholic activists. Its members included Władysław Bartoszewski, later Polish Foreign Minister (1995, 2000).

Władysław Bartoszewski

Within a short time, the Provisional Committee had 180 persons under its care, but was dissolved for political and financial reasons.

Founded soon after in October 1942, Żegota was the brainchild of Henryk Woliński of the Home Army (AK).

Henryk_Wolinski

From its inception, the elected General Secretary of Żegota was Julian Grobelny, an activist in prewar Polish Socialist Party. Its Treasurer, Ferdynand Arczyński, was a member of the Polish Democratic Party. They were also the two of its most active workers. Żegota was the only Polish organization in World War II run jointly by Jews and non-Jews from a wide range of political movements. Politically, the organization was formed by Polish and Jewish underground political parties.

MTAyNHg3Njg,zegota

Jewish organizations were represented on the central committee by Adolf Bermann and Leon Feiner. The member organizations were the Jewish National Committee (an umbrella group representing the Zionist parties) and the socialist General Jewish Labor Union. Both Jewish parties operated independently also, using money from Jewish organizations abroad channelled to them by the Polish underground. They helped to subsidize the Polish branch of the organization, whose funding from the Polish Government-in-Exile reached significant proportions only in the spring of 1944. On the Polish side, political participation included the Polish Socialist Party as well as Democratic Party (Stronnictwo Demokratyczne) and a small rightist Front Odrodzenia Polski. Notably, the main right-wing party, the National Party (Stronnictwo Narodowe) refused to participate.

Kossack-Szczucka withdrew from participation from the onset. She had wanted Żegota to become an example of pure Christian charity and argued that the Jews had their own international charity organizations. She went on to act in the Social Self-Help Organization (Społeczna Organizacja Samopomocy – SOS) as a liaison between Żegota and Catholic convents and orphanages, where Catholic clergy hid many Jews.

It is estimated that about half of the Jews who survived the Holocaust in Poland (thus over 50,000) were aided in some shape or form by Żegota founded in 1942. Żegota had around one hundred (100) cells, operating mostly in Warsaw where it distributed relief funds to about 3,000 Jews. The second-largest branch was in Kraków, and there were smaller branches in Wilno (Vilnius) and Lwów (L’viv). In all, 4,000 Jews received funds from Żegota directly, 5,600 from the Jewish National Committee and 2,000 from the Bund (because of overlaps, the total number of Jews helped by all three organizations in Warsaw was about 8,500). This aid reached about one-third of the Jews in hiding in Warsaw, but mostly not until late 1943 or 1944. The systematic killing of Jews began to take place, so it was hard to save Jews already in the ghetto. That is why they only protected Jews located in hiding in Poland.

Concealing Jews was punishable in Poland by death for all the persons living in the house where they were discovered. A difficult problem therefore was to find hiding places for persons who looked Jewish. Zegota was on a constant lookout for suitable accommodations. No estimate can be given of the magnitude of this form of aid by Zegota, but it appears to have been great. Children were put in the care of foster families, into public orphanages or similar institutions maintained by convents. The foster families were told that the children were relatives, distant or close, and they were paid by Zegota for the children’s maintenance. In Warsaw, Zegota had 20-500 children registered whom it looked after in this way.

children

The head of the children section was Polish Nurse and Social worker called Irena Sendler.

Irena_Sendlerowa_1942

Assisted by some two dozen other Żegota members, Sendler smuggled approximately 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto and then provided them with false identity documents and shelter outside the Ghetto, saving those children from the Holocaust.

Żegota helped save some 4,000 Polish Jews by providing food, medical care, relief money and false identity documents for those hiding on the so-called “Aryan” side of German-occupied Poland. Most of its activity took place in Warsaw. The Jewish National Committee had some 5,600 Jews under its care, and the Bund an additional 1,500, but the activities of the three organizations overlapped to a considerable degree. Between them, they were able to reach some 8,500 of the 28,000 Jews hiding in Warsaw, as well as perhaps 1,000 elsewhere in Poland.

Help in the form of money, food and medicines was organised by Żegota for the Jews in several forced labour camps in Poland as well. Forged identity documents were procured for those hiding on the ‘Aryan side’ including financial aid. The escape of Jews from ghettos, camps and deportation trains occurred mostly spontaneously through personal contacts, and most of the help that was extended to Jews in the country was similarly personal in nature. Since Jews in hiding preferred to remain well-concealed, Żegota had trouble finding them. Its activities therefore did not develop on a larger scale until late in 1943.

Medical attention for the Jews in hiding was also made available. Zegota had ties with many ghettos and camps. It also made numerous efforts to induce the Polish government – in – exile and the Delegatura to appeal to the Polish population to help the persecuted Jews.Below is a letter they sent to the exiled government,asking for funding.

letter

“The Mass Extermination of Jews in German Occupied Poland”, by the Polish government-in-exile addressed to the wartime allies of the then-United Nations, 1942″

The_Mass_Extermination_of_Jews_in_German_Occupied.pdf

Over 700 Polish heroes, murdered by Germans as a result of helping and sheltering their Jewish neighbors, were posthumously awarded the title Righteous Among the Nations[6] They were only a small percentage of thousands of Poles reportedly executed by the Nazis for aiding Jews. According to differing research “the number of Poles who perished at the hands of the Germans for aiding Jews” was as high as fifty thousand. Nonetheless, “Władysław Bartoszewski,

Wladyslaw_Bartoszewski_01

who worked for Żegota during the war estimates that ‘at least several hundred thousand Poles, participated in various ways and forms in the rescue action [for Jews].’ Recent research suggests that a million Poles were involved” in giving aid, “but some estimates go as high as three million” of those passively protective.More specific estimates indicate that some 100,000 of those who meet Yad Vashem’s criteria, to 300,000 Poles were directly engaged in rescuing Jews even though the threat of death did act as a deterrent.

Many members of Żegota were memorialised in Israel in 1963 with a planting of a tree in the Avenue of the Righteous at Yad Vashem. Władysław Bartoszewski was present at the event.

The third anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising with members of Żegota,Warsaw, April 1946. Seated, from right to left: Piotr Gajewski, Ferdynand Marek Arczyński, Władysław Bartoszewski, Adolf Berman and Tadeusz Rek.

300px-Zegota(Rada_Pomocy_Zydom)1946

I think all these brave men and women have taught us one vital lesson that there is always a choice. You can choose to just look away or act like they did and I know it is not alwaysan easy choice but a choice nonetheless.

Attack on Sydney Harbour

sydney

Not to sound too much like the beginning line of a Sting song, but in Europe and America I don’t think much is known about Australia during WWII.

I was actually doing research on a different story when I stumbled upon the story of the attack on Sydney Harbour.

I had the pleasure to visit this beautiful city once(may I add after a 17 hr delay thanks to Quantas Airlines) a few years ago, and I had not seen anything  to indicate that the Japanese navy had ever attacked its beautiful harbour,but then again I wasn’t looking for it either.

 

In May and June 1942 the war was brought home to Australians on the east coast when the Japanese attacked Sydney Harbour from the sea.

The Japanese planned to launch the midgets one after the other between 17:20 and 17:40, from points 5–7 nmi (5.8–8.1 mi; 9.3–13.0 km) outside Sydney Harbour.The first midget was to pass through the Heads just after 18:30, but heavy seas delayed her by over an hour.The other two midgets followed at twenty-minute intervals and were similarly delayed.

The choice of targets was left up to the midget commanders, with advice that they should primarily target aircraft carriers or battleships, with cruisers as secondary targets. The midgets were to operate to the east of the Harbour Bridge, although if no suitable targets were to be found in this area they were to move under the Bridge and attack a battleship and large cruiser believed to be in the inner harbour. When the second reconnaissance flyover revealed that the expected British battleship—HMS Warspite—was nowhere to be found,

 

HMS_Warspite,_Indian_Ocean_1942

USS Chicago became the priority target.

USS_Chicago_(P00279-004)

 

After completing their mission, the midgets were to depart Sydney Harbour and head south for 20 nmi (23 mi; 37 km) to the recovery point off Port Hacking. Four of the mother submarines would be waiting in an east–west line 16 km (8.6 nmi; 9.9 mi) long, with the fifth waiting 6 km (3.2 nmi; 3.7 mi) further south.
 

In the late afternoon of 31 May 1942 three Japanese submarines, I-22, I-24 and I-27, sitting about seven nautical miles (13 kilometres) out from Sydney Harbour, each launched a Type A midget submarine for an attack on shipping in Sydney Harbour.

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The night before, I-24 had launched a small floatplane that flew over the harbour, its crew spotting a prize target – an American heavy cruiser, the USS Chicago. The Japanese hoped to sink this warship and perhaps others anchored in the harbour.

Fujita&Glen

After launching the three two-man midget submarines, the three mother submarines moved to a new position off Port Hacking to await the return of the six submariners sent into the harbour. They would wait there until 3 June.

All three midget submarines made it into the harbour. Electronic detection equipment picked up the signature of the first (from I-24) late that evening but it was thought to be either a ferry or another vessel on the surface passing by. Later, a Maritime Services Board watchman spotted an object caught in an anti-submarine net. After investigation, naval patrol boats reported it was a submarine and the general alarm was raised just before 10.30 pm. Soon afterwards, the midget submarine’s crew, Lieutenant Kenshi Chuma and Petty Officer Takeshi Ohmori, realising they were trapped, blew up their craft and themselves.

Before midnight, alert sailors on the deck of USS Chicago spotted another midget submarine. They turned a searchlight on it and opened fire but it escaped. Later, gunners on the corvette HMAS Geelong also fired on a suspicious object believed to be the submarine.

 

The response to the attack was marred by confusion. Vision was limited and ferries continued to run as the midget submarines were hunted. At about 12.30 am there was an explosion on the naval depot ship HMAS Kuttabul, a converted harbour ferry, which was moored at Garden Island as an accommodation vessel. The crew of the midget submarine from I-24 had fired at the USS Chicago but missed, the torpedo striking the Kuttabul instead. Nineteen Australian and two British sailors on the Kuttabul died, the only Allied deaths resulting from the attack, and survivors were pulled from the sinking vessel.

Kuttabul_(AWM_042975)

A second torpedo fired by the same midget submarine ran aground on rocks on the eastern side of Garden Island, failing to explode.

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Having fired both their torpedoes, the crew made for the harbour entrance but they disappeared, their midget submarine perhaps running out of fuel before reaching the submarines’ rendezvous point.

The third midget submarine from I-22 failed to make it far into the harbour. Spotted in Taylors Bay and attacked with depth charges by naval harbour patrol vessels, Lieutenant Keiu Matsuo and Petty Officer Masao Tsuzuku, shot themselves.

matsuotsuzuku

The mother submarines departed the area after it became obvious that their midget submarines would not be returning. The submarine I-24 is believed to have been responsible for a number of attacks on merchant ships as well as shelling Sydney Harbour a week later.

I-26_Japanese_submarine

(the picture is from an I-26 submarine which was similar to the i-24)

The bodies of the four Japanese crewmen from the midget submarines launched by I-22 and I-27 were recovered when these two midget submarines were raised. They were cremated at Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs Crematorium with full naval honours. Rear Admiral Muirhead-Gould, in charge of Sydney Harbour defences, along with the Swiss Consul-General and members of the press, attended the service.

Muirhead-Gould

The admiral’s decision to accord the enemy a military funeral was criticised by many Australians but he defended his decision to honour the submariners’ bravery. He also hoped that showing respect for the dead men might help to improve the conditions of the many Australians in Japanese prisoner of war camps.

 

After the recovery of the two midget submarines a composite was constructed using the bow section of one and the stern of the other. It was decided to use this composite midget submarine to raise money for the Royal Australian Navy Relief Fund and the King George Fund for Merchant Sailors. The composite submarine was first put on display at Bennelong Point, now the site of the Sydney Opera House, and people paid a small fee to see it. It was then transported by truck on a 4000-kilometre journey through south-eastern Australia raising further funds. Eleven months after the submarine raid, the composite submarine was installed at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

In 1968, Lieutenant Matsuo’s mother travelled to Australia to visit the spot where her son had died. During her visit she scattered cherry blossoms in the water where her son’s midget submarine had been located and later she presented a number of gifts to the Australian War Memorial.

In November 2006, part of the mystery of the midget submarine from I-24 was solved when divers discovered the wreck of the submarine off Sydney’s northern beaches. We will probably never know if Lieutenant Ban and his navigator, Petty Officer Ashibe Mamoru intended to rejoin their ‘mother’ submarine or whether they had no intention of returning and simply scuttled their vessel.

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The Bombing of Cologne-90 minutes that changed the city.

Mass_bomber_raid_on_Cologne

One of my favourite cities in Germany is Cologne. known for Eaux de Cologne and for its many landmarks like the Cathedral.

The Cologne of the 21st Century is a vibrant and multicultural metropolitan city only about 80 km away from Belgium and about 95 Km from the Netherlands.

1000px-Cologne_-_Panoramic_Image_of_the_old_town_at_dusk

This location and the fact that the Rhine flows through it add the industrial hinterland made it a prime target for the allies.

Cologne had been bombed throughout the war the first time on the 17th of May 1940. In total there had been 262 separate air raids. However one of the most devastating raids happened on the 30th of May 1942.

On the 30th of May 1942 , a thousand-plane raid on the German city of Cologne was launched by Great Britain. Almost 1,500 tons of bombs rain down in 90 minutes, delivering a devastating blow to the Germans’ medieval city as well as its morale.

Codenamed Operation Millennium, the massive raid was launched for two primary reasons:

  • It was expected that the devastation from such raids might be enough to knock Germany out of the war or at least severely damage German morale.
  • The raids were useful propaganda for the Allies and particularly for RAF Bomber Command head Sir Arthur Harris, 1st Baronet’s concept of a Strategic Bombing Offensive.

Air_Chief_Marshal_Sir_Arthur_Harris

Bomber Command’s poor performance in bombing accuracy during 1941 had led to calls for the force to be split up and diverted to other urgent theatres i.e. Battle of the Atlantic. A headline-grabbing heavy raid on Germany was a way for Harris to demonstrate to the War Cabinet that given the investment in numbers and technology Bomber Command could make a vital contribution to victory.

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At this stage of the war Bomber Command only had a regular front line strength of around 400 aircraft, and were in the process of transitioning from the twin engined medium bombers of the pre-war years to the newer more effective four-engined heavy bombers such as the Handley Page Halifax and Avro Lancaster.

By using bombers and men from Operational Training Units (OTUs), 250 from RAF Coastal Command and from Flying Training Command, Harris could easily make up the 1,000 aircraft. However, just before the raid took place, the Royal Navy refused to allow the Coastal Command aircraft to take part in the raid.The Admiralty perceived the propaganda justifications too weak an argument against the real and pressing threat of the U-boats in the Battle of the Atlantic. Harris scrambled around and, by crewing 49 more aircraft with pupil pilots and instructors, 1,047 bombers eventually took part in the raid, two and a half times more than any previous raid by the RAF.

In addition to the bombers attacking Cologne, 113 other aircraft on “Intruder” raids harassed German night-fighter airfields.

Cologne was not Harris’s first choice; he wanted to bomb Hamburg. Poor weather made Hamburg a poor choice; in addition, Harris was advised by Dr. Basil Dickins, a scientist who was section head of RAF’s Bomber Command’s Operations research, to choose Cologne, which was within GEE range.

This was the first time that the “bomber stream” tactic was used and most of the tactics used in this raid remained the basis for standard Bomber Command operations for the next two years and some elements remained in use until the end of the war. It was expected that such a large number of bombers flying in a bomber stream through the Kammhuber line would overwhelm the German night fighters’ control system, keeping the number of bombers shot down to an acceptable proportion. The recent introduction of GEE allowed the bombers to fly a given route at a given time and height. The British night bombing campaign had been in operation for some months, and a statistical estimate could be made of the number of bombers likely to be lost to enemy night fighters and flak, and how many would be lost through collisions. Minimising the former demanded a densely packed stream, as the controllers of a night fighter flying a defensive ‘box’ could only direct a maximum of six potential interceptions per hour, and the flak gunners could not concentrate on all the available targets at once. Earlier in the war four hours had been considered acceptable for a mission; for this raid all the bombers passed over Cologne and bombed in a window of 90 minutes, with the first having arrived at 00:47 of 31 May. It was anticipated that the concentration of bombing over such a short period would overwhelm the Cologne fire brigades and cause conflagrations similar to those inflicted on London by the Luftwaffe during the Blitz.

 

In the raid, 868 aircraft bombed the main target with 15 aircraft bombing other targets. The total tonnage of bombs dropped was 1,455 tons with two-thirds of that being incendiaries. Two and a half thousand separate fires were started with 1,700 classed by the German fire brigades as “large”. The action of fire fighters and the width of the streets stopped the fires combining into a firestorm, but nonetheless most of the damage was done by fire and not directly by the explosive blasts. 3,330 non-residential buildings were destroyed, 2,090 seriously damaged and 7,420 lightly damaged, making a total of 12,840 buildings of which 2,560 were industrial or commercial buildings. Among the buildings classed as totally destroyed were: 7 official administration buildings, 14 public buildings, 7 banks, 9 hospitals, 17 churches, 16 schools, 4 university buildings, 10 postal and railway buildings, 10 buildings of historic interest, 2 newspaper offices, 4 hotels, 2 cinemas and 6 department stores. The only military installation damaged was the flak barracks. The damage to civilian homes, most of them apartments in larger buildings, was considerable: 13,010 destroyed, 6,360 seriously damaged, 22,270 lightly damaged.Amazingly the Cathedral survived.

1,047 aircraft were dispatched, this number being made up as follows:

    • 1 Group – 156 Wellingtons
    • 3 Group – 134 Wellingtons, 88 Stirlings
    • 4 Group – 131 Halifaxes, 9 Wellingtons, 7 Whitleys =

147 aircraft

    • 5 Group – 73 Lancasters, 46 Manchesters, 34 Hampdens =

153 aircraft

    • 91 (O. T. U.) Group – 236 Wellingtons, 21 Whitleys =

257 aircraft 92 (O. T. U.) Group – 63 Wellingtons, 45 Hampdens = 108 aircraft Flying Training Command – 4 Wellingtons

The number reported killed was between 469 and 486, of whom 411 were civilians and 58 combatants. 5,027 people were listed as injured and 45,132 as “bombed out”.It was estimated that from 135,000 to 150,000 of Cologne’s population of nearly 700,000 fled the city after the raid. The RAF lost 43 aircraft (German propaganda claimed 44) 3.9% of the 1,103 bombers sent on the raid. 22 aircraft were lost over or near Cologne, 16 shot down by flak, 4 by night fighters, 2 in a collision, and 2 Bristol Blenheim light bombers lost in attacks on night fighter airfields. A posthumous Victoria Cross was awarded to Flying Officer Leslie Thomas Manser who sacrificed himself so his crew could abandon the aircraft.

Leslie_Manser

 

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William Joyce-AKA Lord Haw Haw

haw haw

Regardless what you think of the Nazi’s, one thing can’t be denied. They had an extremely effective  and well oiled propaganda machine.

Not only German Nazi members and citizens were involved it had also foreign Nazi sympathizers working for them and none so infamous and notorious as William Joyce AKA Lord Haw Haw.

William Joyce was born on Herkimer Street in Brooklyn, New York, to an Anglican mother and an Irish Catholic father, Michael, who had taken United States citizenship on 25 October 1894. A few years after his birth, the family returned to Galway, Ireland.

Joyce attended the Jesuit St Ignatius College in Galway (1915–21).

Colaiste-Iognaid-Press

It was here that during a fist fight with another boy that Joyce had his nose broken. He kept quiet about the injury and his nose never properly set – giving him the nasal broken drawl so familiar in his later broadcasts from Germany

Unusually for Irish Roman Catholics, both Joyce and his father were strongly Unionist. Joyce later claimed he had aided the Black and Tans during the Irish War for Independence

and had become a target of the Irish Republican Army.

Hogan's_Flying_Column

The Joyce family were in Ireland at the time of the Sinn Fein insurrections and because they were Conservative and pro-Union they were very unpopular with the rebels. Joyce’s early life was marked by violence, including an attack on his father’s business and attacks on the family home by Sinn Feiners. When the British Prime Minister Lloyd George announced the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 and the creation of the Irish State the Joyce family left for England. Joyce was then 15 years old.

Far from being the puny figure described by the press during World War II, William Joyce was of average height and strongly built. During his youth he excelled at boxing, swimming and fencing. This was to hold him in good stead later when he was involved in many street battles.

On 22 October 1924, while stewarding a meeting in support of Jack Lazarus (the Conservative Party candidate for Lambeth North in the general election), Joyce was attacked by Communists and received a deep razor slash that ran across his right cheek. It left a permanent scar which ran from the earlobe to the corner of the mouth.He claimed his attackers were Jews.

SCAR

In 1932, Joyce joined the British Union of Fascists (BUF) under Sir Oswald Mosley, and swiftly became a leading speaker, praised for his power of oratory.

The journalist and novelist Cecil Roberts described a speech given by Joyce:

“Thin, pale, intense, he had not been speaking many minutes before we were electrified by this man … so terrifying in its dynamic force, so vituperative, so vitriolic”

William Joyce gained the reputation of a savage fighter and was always the first to dive into a fracas with knuckle-duster at the ready. The image of “Jewish Communists” who scarred his face was always in the back of his mind and he wanted revenge. Standing on his soapbox in Blackshirt battledress – a buttoned black suit with a high-necked pullover – his left hand in his pocket and his right clutching the microphone – he fed on the tension and heckling like a drug. The June 1934 Olympia conference which turned into a bloody fight and the violent rhetoric of Joyce destroyed the image of respectability that Mosley and the BUF were striving for. But this did not prevent Joyce from being appointed Deputy Leader of the BUF.

His violent rhetoric and willingness to physically confront anti-fascist elements head-on played no small part in further marginalizing the BUF. After the bloody debacle of Olympia, Joyce spearheaded the BUF’s policy shift from campaigning for economic revival through corporatism to a focus on antisemitism. He was instrumental in changing the name of the BUF to “British Union of Fascists and National Socialists” in 1936, and stood as a party candidate in the 1937 elections to the London County Council. In 1936 Joyce lived for a year in Whitstable, where he owned a radio and electrical shop.

One particular concern for Joyce was the Government of India Bill (passed in 1935), designed to give a measure of autonomy to India, allowing freedom and the development of limited self-government. Joyce harboured a desire to become Viceroy of India should Mosley ever head a BUF government, and is recorded as describing the backers of the bill as “feeble” and “one loathsome, fetid, purulent, tumid mass of hypocrisy, hiding behind Jewish Dictators

Mosley and Joyce were completely different in character. Mosley was relaxed, humorous and charming whereas Joyce was impatient, intense and bad-tempered. Joyce’s departure from the BUF in April 1937 came as a result of Joyce being dismissed from the salaried staff of the BUF. Bad election results, falling support and lack of money led to a BUF staff reduction of 143 to approximately 30. This and Joyce’s personal differences with Mosley led Joyce to form the British National Socialist League.

book

Despite Joyce having been Deputy Leader of the BUF between 1933 and 1937 and a brave fighter and powerful orator, Mosley snubbed him in his autobiography and denounced him as a traitor because of his wartime activities.

On 26 August 1939, approximately a week before the outbreak of war, Joyce and his family fled to Berlin after a tip-off that, under the soon to be introduced emergency powers, he would be interned for the duration of the war. It was an act that would lead eventually to his death and denouncement by many, including Mosley, as a traitor. Rightly or wrongly Joyce was adamant that Britain was being led into another pointless war and Neville Chamberlain’s, and subsequently Winston Churchill’s, governments were betraying their people.

In Berlin, Joyce could not find employment until a chance meeting with fellow Mosleyite Dorothy Eckersley got him an audition at the Rundfunkhaus (“broadcasting house“).Eckersley was the former wife  of the Chief Engineer of the British Broadcasting Corporation, Peter Eckersley. Despite having a heavy cold and almost losing his voice, he was recruited immediately for radio announcements and script writing at German radio’s English service. William Joyce replaced Wolf Mittler.

wolf

The name “Lord Haw-Haw of Zeesen” was coined in 1939 by the pseudonymous Daily Express radio critic Jonah Barrington,but this referred initially to Wolf Mittler (or possibly Norman Baillie-Stewart). When Joyce became the best-known propaganda broadcaster, the nickname was transferred to him. Joyce’s broadcasts initially came from studios in Berlin, later transferring (because of heavy Allied bombing) to Luxembourg and finally to Apen near Hamburg, and were relayed over a network of German-controlled radio stations that included Hamburg, Bremen,Luxembourg, Hilversum, Calais, Oslo and Zeesen. Joyce also broadcast on, and wrote scripts for, the German Büro Concordia organisation, which ran several black propaganda stations, many of which pretended to broadcast illegally from within Britain.His role in writing the scripts increased as time passed, and the German radio capitalized on his public persona. Initially an anonymous broadcaster, Joyce eventually revealed his real name to his listeners; and he would occasionally be announced as “William Joyce, otherwise known as Lord Haw-Haw”.Urban legends soon circulated about Lord Haw-Haw, alleging that the broadcaster was well-informed about political and military events to the point of near-omniscience.

Although it was illegal to listen to his broadcasts in Britain they became very popular with British listeners. They always began with the words “Germany calling Germany calling,” which because of Joyce’s broken nose sounded like: “Jarmany calling, Jarmany calling.” During his heyday Joyce had almost as many listeners as the BBC – and he caused alarm with his tales of a Fifth Column in Britain and his talks on how to treat bombing wounds. He caused panic with his apparently accurate descriptions of Town Hall clocks that had stopped and how many steps there were in a particular church steeple.

After the Battle of Britain and the invasion of Russia, Joyce’s broadcasts lost more and more listeners in Britain – but he still remained the number one broadcaster in Berlin and his anti-semitism never faded in its virulence – continuing to blame the war on “Jewish International Finance.” For his efforts Joyce continued to live a comfortable life in Berlin and in September 1944 was awarded the Cross of War Merit 1st Class with a certificate signed by Adolf Hitler. As the war worsened he began to drink heavily and his marriage became a joke with both his wife and he having numerous affairs.

During the final stages of the war, with the Red Army approaching Berlin, Joyce moved to Hamburg. He made a final broadcast on 30 April 1945 – warning that the war would leave Britain poor and barren now that she had lost all her wealth and power in 6 years of war, leaving the Russians in control of most of Europe. He signed off with a final defiant “Heil Hitler.”

Joyce was captured while going through a wood near Flensburg after the war; he received a bullet wound to the leg in the process. Joyce’s fate at the gallows was then merely a formality and the British press whipped up all the hysteria they could – reminding people that he was a snarling traitor. The British Government passed the Treason Act 1945 the day before Joyce was flown back to Britain.

Although Joyce was born in the USA, brought up in Ireland and took German nationality on 26 September 1939, he was charged with treason from 3 September 1939 to 2 July 1940, the date his British passport ran out, and sentenced to death. Joyce was confined in a death cell at London’s Wandsworth Prison. In the cell next door was John Amery, the son of a British lord and the man who had tried to form British expatriates and sympathetic British POW’s into a Freicorp to fight on the German side. Joyce was executed five days after Amery on 3 January 1946. He was adamant and defiant to the end. He showed no emotion when confronted by news and scenes from the concentration camps, blaming the deaths on starvation and disease caused by Allied bombing of communication lines. He also scratched a swastika on the wall of his cell whilst awaiting sentence. His last public message reported by the BBC was “In death as in life, I defy the Jews who caused this last war, and I defy the powers of darkness they represent.” He was not yet 40 years old when executed. He was buried in an unmarked grave in the grounds of the prison.

 

How weird was Hitler?

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No one will in his or her right mind will argue that Adolf Hitler was pure evil and without making less of the things he has done, it is interesting to pick out a few particular weird traits der Führer displayed.

The picture above is a still from the Walt Disney movie Ducktators by Walt Disney which was released in 1942. Donald Duck plays Hitler in the movie.Hitler was very angry about this portrayal of him especially because he was a huge Walt Disney fan. In 1937 he was given 18 Mickey Mouse movies by Joseph Goebbels as a Christmas present. Joseph Goebbels had said that Hitler was delighted with the present, a treasure of sorts, which would give hours of entertainment.

King Kong from 1933 and Snow White from 1937 were apparently his 2 favourite movies.

Besides his surprising taste in movies he also had several odd behaviours and often were contradicting his antisemite and racist policies.

Hitler never allowed anyone to see him while he is naked or bathing. He refused to use cologne or scents of any sort on his body. This may not seem weird in a non German context but in the 1920’s the FKK Freie Körper Kultur (Free Body Culture) was encouraged.

No matter how warm he felt, Hitler would never take off his coat in public.

In 1923, Nazi press secretary Dr. Sedgwick tried to convince Hitler to get rid of his trademark mustache or grow it normally. Hitler answered: “Do not worry about my mustache. If it is not the fashion now, it will be later because I wear it!”

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When coming to power in January 1933, the Nazi Party passed a comprehensive set of animal protection laws, with Hitler saying “In the new Reich, no more animal cruelty will be allowed”

We all know about his book “Mein Kampf” but not many people know he wrote a 2nd book called “Zweites Buch” or in English “Second Book” not a very creative title if you ask me.The Zweites Buch published in English as unofficially Hitler’s Secret Book and then officially Hitler’s Second Book,is an unedited transcript of Adolf Hitler’s thoughts on foreign policy written in 1928; it was written after Mein Kampf and was not published in his lifetime. The Zweites Buch was not published in 1928 because Mein Kampf did not sell well at that time and Hitler’s publisher, Franz-Eher-Verlag, told Hitler that a second book would hinder sales even more.

Hitler's_Zweites_Buch_(1928),_1961_edition

Although there have been lots of rumors about his sexuality, many historians think that he was homosexual. I simply don’t know, it would be my opinion that he was a-sexual. However as a teenager growing up in Vienna Hitler fell under the spell of Jewish Stefanie Isak.

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In typical teenage infatuation fashion, the young Hitler never said a word to Isak, instead preferring to pencil down his feelings in no doubt crude poetry. According to Hitler’s close friend August Kubizek, the young Hitler planned to kidnap Isak and kill them both by jumping into the Danube with her, but he eventually relented and let her be. Isak has said in interviews that she had no idea of Hitler’s feelings for her. Murder–suicide, while extreme, seems tame for the man he would go on to become.

The infamous “Nazi salute,” a stiff-armed gesture, accompanied by the phrase “Heil Hitler” or “Sieg Heil,” was made mandatory for all civilians in 1933. The gesture was adapted from an Ancient Roman salute, but the “Sieg Heil,” translated as “Hail Victory,” came from somewhere far less martial.

According to documents created by the Office of Strategic Services (a wartime CIA) Hitler was besotted with American Football cheerleaders and marching bands. The documents include the observations of Hitler’s close friend Ernst Hanfstaengl, known to Hitler as “Putzi.” Putzi states that in the year of 1923, Hitler was a massive fan of football college games and their accompanying marches, and the “Sieg Heil!” shout was based on the cheerleaders’ techniques.
He also deployed college-style music to inject some excitement into his political rallies. Give us an H! Give us an I! Actually, on that topic . .

Hitler had a Jewish-Austrian doctor who didn’t charge Hitler’s family during his childhood due to their economic hardship. Because of this Hitler showed his “Everlasting Gratitude” by never sentencing him to a concentration camp, had him protected, by the Gestapo, and referred to him as “Noble Jew”Eduard Bloch (30 January 1872 – 1 June 1945) was an Austrian doctor practicing in Linz (Austria). Until 1907 Bloch was the physician of Adolf Hitler’s family. Hitler later awarded Bloch special protection after the Nazi union of Austria and Germany.

Dr. Eduard Bloch in Arztpraxis

The arguments that Hitler was a homosexual have been raging for years. Some point to incidents in his youth in Vienna, others the numerous homosexuals in the early Nazi party. Whether or not the Gestapo destroyed evidence of Hitler’s early homosexual behaviour is something we’ll never know. But one thing we do know is that Hitler was by many accounts a very feminine man. American war correspondent and journalist William L. Shirer comically called Hitler’s walk “very lady-like” with “dainty little steps.”

But it was eminent psychologist Carl Jung who really put the high-heeled boot in. When Jung was asked to comment on an example of Hitler’s handwriting he announced it was “typically feminine.”

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Hitler orchestrated what was the most powerful anti-smoking movement in the world during the 1930s and early 1940s.

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After Jesse Owens won 4 gold medals in the 1936 Olympics held in Berlin, Adolf Hitler sent Owens a commemorative inscribed cabinet photograph of himself. Honors were not bestowed upon Jesse Owens by either President Franklin D. Roosevelt or his successor Harry S. Truman during their terms.

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Hitler often praised the “efficiency” of the American Genocide of Native Americans.

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He was very interested in the way the Indian population had rapidly declined due to epidemics and starvation when the United States government forced them to live on the reservations. He thought the American government’s forced migrations of the Indians over great distances to barren reservation land was a deliberate policy of extermination. Just how much Hitler took from the American example of the destruction of the Indian nations is hard to say; however, frightening parallels can be drawn. For some time Hitler considered deporting the Jews to a large ‘reservation’ in the Lubin area where their numbers would be reduced through starvation and disease.

Many books and reports have been written on the psyche of Adolf Hitler and no one really knows what made him the man he became to be. Some blame the physical abuse by his Father, but he was not unique in that and others in the same situation didn’t become monsters.

Ending with one more still from that Disney classic Ducktators, this time with Hitler,Mussolini and Hirohito.

ducktators

Dietrich Bonhoeffer- The Good German

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Protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer stands out among the Christian leaders during the Nazi era, for he was one of the few to actively resist the racist actions of the Nazi regime. In addition to his legacy of courageous opposition to Nazism, Bonhoeffer’s theological writings are still widely read in Christian communities throughout the world.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was the sixth child of Karl and Paula Bonhoeffer, born in Breslau,Germany, on February 4, 1906. He completed his studies in Tübingen and Berlin. In 1928, he served as vicar in the German parish in Barcelona; and in 1930, he completed his theological examinations at Union Seminary in New York. During this period, he became active in the ecumenical movement and accumulated international contacts that would later aid his efforts in the resistance.

In 1931, Bonhoeffer took a teaching position with the theological faculty in Berlin. There he produced many of his theological writings, in which he took a traditional viewpoint in Jewish-Christian relations, believing that the Jewish people must ultimately accept Jesus as the Messiah. This theological work greatly increased his prominence in the Christian German community.His writings on Christianity’s role in the secular world have become widely influential, and his book The Cost of Discipleship became a modern classic.

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After years of political instability under the Weimar republic, most Christian institutions were relieved with the ascent of the nationalistic Nazi dictatorship. The German Evangelical Church, the foremost Protestant church in Germany, welcomed Hitler’s government in 1933. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, however, although a member of the German Evangelical Church, was not complacent. In his April 1933 essay, The Church and the Jewish Question, he assailed Nazi state persecution.

Bonhoeffer was born on 4 February 1906 in Breslau (now Wrocław, Poland), into a large family. In addition to his other siblings, Dietrich had a twin sister, Sabine Bonhoeffer Leibholz: he and Sabine were the sixth and seventh children out of eight. His father was psychiatrist and neurologist Karl Bonhoeffer. His mother Paula Bonhoeffer, née von Hase, was a teacher and the granddaughter of Protestant theologian Karl von Hase and painter Stanislaus Kalckreuth. His oldest brother Karl Friedrich Bonhoeffer became a chemist, and, along with Paul Harteck, discovered the spin isomers of hydrogen in 1929. Walter Bonhoeffer, the second born of the Bonhoeffer family, was killed in action during World War I, when the twins were 12. The third Bonhoeffer child, Klaus, was involved in the 20 July plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, along with Dietrich; he, too, was executed by the Nazis.

Bonhoeffer completed his Staatsexamen, the equivalent of both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, at the Protestant Faculty of Theology of the University. He went on to complete his Doctor of Theology degree (Dr. theol.) from [Berlin University] in 1927, graduating ‘summa cum laude’

Still too young to be ordained, the 24-year-old Bonhoeffer went to the United States in 1930 for postgraduate study and a teaching fellowship at New York City’s Union Theological Seminary. Although Bonhoeffer found the American seminary not up to his exacting German standards (“There is no theology here.”),he had life-changing experiences and friendships. He studied under Reinhold Niebuhr and met Frank Fisher, a black fellow seminarian who introduced him to Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, where Bonhoeffer taught Sunday school and formed a lifelong love for African-American spirituals, a collection of which he took back to Germany. He heard Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., preach the Gospel of Social Justice and became sensitive to not only social injustices experienced by minorities but also the ineptitude of the church to bring about integration.Bonhoeffer began to see things “from below”—from the perspective of those who suffer oppression. He observed, “Here one can truly speak and hear about sin and grace and the love of God…the Black Christ is preached with rapturous passion and vision.” Later Bonhoeffer referred to his impressions abroad as the point at which he “turned from phraseology to reality.”He also learned to drive an automobile, although he failed the driving test three times.He traveled by car through the United States to Mexico, where he had been invited to speak on the subject of peace. His early visits to Italy, Libya, Spain, the United States, Mexico, and Cuba opened Bonhoeffer to ecumenism.

After returning to Germany in 1931, Bonhoeffer became a lecturer in systematic theology at the University of Berlin. Deeply interested in ecumenism, he was appointed by the World Alliance for Promoting International Friendship through the Churches (a forerunner of the World Council of Churches) as one of its three European youth secretaries.

At this time he seems to have undergone something of a personal conversion from being a theologian primarily attracted to the intellectual side of Christianity to being a dedicated man of faith, resolved to carry out the teaching of Christ as he found it revealed in the Gospels.On 15 November 1931—at the age of 25—he was ordained at the Old-Prussian United St. Matthew’s Church (German: St. Matthäuskirche) in Berlin.

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 In The Church and the Jewish Question (1933), Bonhoeffer pledged to fight political injustice. The Nazi injustice must not go unquestioned, and the victims of this injustice must not go unaided, regardless of their religion, Bonhoeffer wrote.

Two days after Hitler was installed as Chancellor, Bonhoeffer delivered a radio address in which he attacked Hitler and warned Germany against slipping into an idolatrous cult of the Führer (leader), who could very well turn out to beVerführer (mis-leader, or seducer). He was cut off the air in the middle of a sentence, though it is unclear whether the newly elected Nazi regime was responsible.

With Hitler’s ascent, non-Aryans were prohibited from taking parish posts, and when Bonhoeffer was offered such a post in the fall of 1933, he refused it in protest of the racist policy. Disheartened by the German Church’s complacency with the Nazi regime, he decided to accept a position at a German-speaking congregation in London.

The opponents of Nazi interference in Church affairs formed the “Confessing Church,” and some members, including Bonhoeffer, advocated open resistance against Nazism. The more moderate Protestants made what they saw as necessary compromises to retain their clerical authority despite expanding Nazi control. But under increasing Gestapo scrutiny, the Confessing Church was soon immobilized.

Bonhoeffer returned to Germany to teach at Finkenwalde, a Confessing Church seminary, where he continued to train clergy for the Confessing Church. But the official church barred his students from taking its clerical posts. In August 1937, the regime announced the Himmler Decree, which declared the training and examination of Confessing ministry candidates illegal. Finkenwalde was closed in September 1937; some of Bonhoeffer’s students were arrested.

Bonhoeffer went into hiding for the next two years; he traveled secretly from one eastern German village to another to help his students in their small illegal parishes. In January 1938, he was banned from Berlin, and in September 1940, he was forbidden to speak in public.

In the midst of political turmoil, Bonhoeffer continued to question the proper role of a Christian in Nazi Germany. When German synagogues and Jewish businesses were burned and demolished on Kristallnacht, November 9, 1938, Bonhoeffer immediately left for Berlin, despite having been banned by the Gestapo, to investigate the destruction.

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After his return, when his students were discussing the theological significance of Kristallnacht, Bonhoeffer rejected the theory that Kristallnacht had resulted from “the curse which had haunted the Jews since Jesus’ death on the cross.” Instead, Bonhoeffer called the pogrom an example of the “sheer violence” of Nazism’s “godless face.”

The Confessing Church resistance expanded its efforts to help “non-Aryan” refugees leave the country. One member of the resistance movement was the passionate anti-Nazi, Hans von Dohnanyi, a lawyer married to Bonhoeffer’s sister.

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In early 1939, Dohnanyi was transferred from the Justice Department to the Armed Forces High Command Office of Military Intelligence, and used his new post to inform Bonhoeffer that war was imminent. Bonhoeffer, knowing that he would never fight in Hitler’s army, left the country in June 1939 for a teaching position at Union Seminary in New York.

But upon arrival in the United States, Bonhoeffer realized that he had been mistaken, that if he did not lead his people during the difficult years of war and turmoil, then he could not partake in the postwar revival of German Christan life. His place, he decided, was in Germany; he returned only a month after his departure, in July 1939. He undertook a more active effort to undermine the regime. With international contacts in the ecumenical movement, he became a crucial leader in the German underground movement.

In October 1940, despite previous Gestapo tracking, Bonhoeffer gained employment as an agent for Hans von Dohnanyi’s Office of Military Intelligence, supposedly working for the expansion of Nazism. In reality, he worked for the expansion of the anti-Nazi resistance. During his 1941 and 1942 visits to Italy, Switzerland, and the Scandinavian countries, he attempted to gain foreign support for the resistance movement.

While plans to topple Hitler progressed only slowly, the need to evacuate more Jewish refugees became increasingly urgent. In early 1943, however, the Gestapo, which had traced Bonhoeffer and Dohnanyi’s large monetary sums intended for Jewish immigrants, foiled plans for a new refugee rescue mission. Bonhoeffer and Dohnanyi were arrested in April 1943.

Initially, the Gestapo believed that Bonhoeffer and Dohnanyi were embezzling money for their own interests. Then the truth began to leak out, and Bonhoeffer was subsequently charged with conspiring to rescue Jews, using official travel for other interests, and abusing his intelligence position to keep Confessing Church pastors out of the military. But the extent of Bonhoeffer’s resistance activities was not fully realized for months.

In October 1944, Bonhoeffer was moved to the Gestapo prison Tegel in Berlin.

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In February 1945, he was taken to the Buchenwald concentration camp, and then to the Flossenbürg concentration camp.

Bonhoeffer was condemned to death on 8 April 1945 by SS judge Otto Thorbeck at a drumhead court-martial without witnesses, records of proceedings or a defense in Flossenbürg concentration camp.He was executed there by hanging at dawn on 9 April 1945.

Bonhoeffer was stripped of his clothing and led naked into the execution yard, where he was hanged, along with fellow conspirators Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, Canaris’s deputy General Hans Oster, military jurist General Karl Sack, GeneralFriedrich von Rabenau,businessman Theodor Strünck, and German resistance fighter Ludwig Gehre. Bonhoeffer’s brother, Klaus Bonhoeffer, and his brother-in-law Rüdiger Schleicher were executed in Berlin on the night of 22–23 April as Soviet troops were already fighting in the capital.

 

His brother-in-law Hans von Dohnányi had been executed concentration camp  on 8 or 9 April.

Eberhard Bethge, a student and friend of Bonhoeffer’s, writes of a man who saw the execution:

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“I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer… kneeling on the floor praying fervently to God. I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer. At the place of execution, he again said a short prayer and then climbed the few steps to the gallows, brave and composed. His death ensued after a few seconds. In the almost fifty years that I worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God.”

Flossenbürg concentration camp, Arrestblock-Hof: Memorial to members of German resistance executed on 9 April 1945

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Memorial of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in front of St. Peter’s Church, Hamburg

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The metaphor of the “wrong train” is commonly taken to refer to his country under the Third Reich. How was one ever to turn the train around and make it go the opposite way?

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Hunger Winter- the Dutch famine

Ondervoed_kindje_hongerwinter

The above picture is not a picture of a child in  Sub Saharan Africa but it is in fact a picture of a child in the Netherlands in 1944/45.

The Netherlands is a country divided by rivers and in the winter 44/45 ,what side of the river you were would determine whether you would have food or not.

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The Dutch famine of 1944, known as the Hongerwinter (“Hunger winter”) in Dutch, was a famine that took place in the German-occupied part of the Netherlands, especially in the densely populated western provinces north of the great rivers, during the winter of 1944–45, near the end of World War II. A German blockade cut off food and fuel shipments from farm areas. Some 4.5 million were affected and survived because of soup kitchens. As many as 22,000 may have died because of the famine. Most of the victims were reported to be elderly men.

Towards the end of World War II, food supplies became increasingly scarce in the Netherlands. After the landing of the Allied Forces on D-Day, conditions grew increasingly worse in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. The Allies were able to liberate the southern part of the country, but their liberation efforts came to an abrupt halt when Operation Market Garden, their attempt to gain control of the bridge across the Rhine at Arnhem, failed. The seizure of the approaches to the port of Antwerp (the Battle of the Scheldt) was delayed due to Montgomery’s preoccupation with Market Garden(a Bridge too far).

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The southern provinces had already been liberated in September 1944.

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After the national railways complied with the exiled Dutch government’s appeal for a railway strike starting September 1944 to further the Allied liberation efforts, the German administration (under Wehrmachtbefehlshaber Friedrich Christiansen) retaliated by placing an embargo on all food transports to the western Netherlands.

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In response to the railway strike, food transports to the western Netherlands were banned. After six weeks the ban was withdrawn, but the supply remained frozen because of the dismantled railway network and the German requisitioning of goods. During the harsh winter of 1944/45, the socalled hungerwinter, there were severe food shortages in the cities.

The transport of coal from the liberated south also ceased. Gas and electricity were shut off. People chopped down trees and dismantled empty houses to get fuel. The amount of food available on ration dropped steadily.The unusually early and harsh winter had already set in. The canals froze over and became impassable for barges.

City dwellers went on hunger expeditions to the countryside. They traded their valuables with the farmers for food.

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Food stocks in the cities in the western Netherlands rapidly ran out. The adult rations in cities such as Amsterdam dropped to below 1000 kilocalories (4,200 kilojoules) a day by the end of November 1944 and to 580 kilocalories in the west by the end of February 1945.Over this Hongerwinter (“Hunger winter”), a number of factors combined to cause starvation of the Dutch people: the winter itself was unusually harsh and the retreating German army destroyed docks and bridges to flood the country and impede the Allied advance. As the Netherlands became one of the main western battlefields, the widespread dislocation and destruction of the war ruined much of its agricultural land and made the transport of existing food stocks difficult.

As an alternative to onions , tulip bulbs would be used as a source of food.

tulip-bulb

Various initiatives were taken to deal with the severe food shortages. The churches of the northern and eastern Netherlands together found lodgings for 50,000 malnourished children from the cities.

At the end of January 1945, the Red Cross imported flour by ship from Sweden. It would be another month before the legendary Swedish white bread could be distributed.

A letter of commemoration given to a grocer whose shop served as a Red Cross point giving out the “Swedish bread”

OORKONDE

In April, Allied planes dropped food parcels over the Netherlands with the permission of the Germans.

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On May 2nd, Allied lorries carrying food were also allowed in. But organising a fair distribution was not easy. Most of the food could not be distributed until after the liberation.

An Amsterdam resident wrote:
‘… today again the engines of the heavy bombers could be heard over a jubilant Amsterdam, When will this food be distributed? A start has already been made on handing out the items from parcels damaged after they were dropped. For the moment, 7,000 parcels have been distributed among those suffering from hunger oedema.”

The German occupiers allowed coordinated air drops of food over German-occupied Dutch territory by the Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force from 29 April to 7 May, and by the U.S. Army Air Force from 1 to 8 May. This was Operation Manna (RAF/RCAF) and Operation Chowhound (USAF).

https://dirkdeklein.wordpress.com/2016/04/29/operation-manna-and-operationchowhoundending-the-dutch-famine/

The Germans agreed to not shoot at the planes flying the mercy missions, and the Allies agreed not to bomb German positions. Operation Faust also trucked in food to Rhenen beginning on 2 May, utilizing 200 vehicles. Rhenen was also occupied by the Germans.

The Dutch famine of 1944 was a rare case of a famine which took place in a modern, developed and literate country, albeit one suffering under the privations of occupation and war. The well-documented experience has helped scientists to measure the effects of famine on human health.

My family had move from the northern Province Friesland to the south eastern Province Limburg a few years before the war, so they escaped the hunger winter.

The sad thing is that this famine could have been avoided. Although there were many aspects and parameters that caused the famine, the real trigger was the failed Operation Market Garden.Not only did it cause the death of 20,000 citizens it also caused the death of a great number of allied troops.

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Mengele -Evil personnified

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I don’t know what I find more disturbing,the evil acts he committed or the fact he got away with it, and who knows how many more experiments he conducted in Germany and South America after the war.

It was on this day 73 years ago this evil man became the medical officer in Auschwitz.

First do no harm or Primum nil nocere is an ethical term Physicians generally sign up to. Although it is officially not a part of the Hippocratic Oath it still indicates how physicians should conduct them selves. The Oath itself had been in use for centuries.

HippocraticOath

Below is the 1964 translation of the oath but it roughly would have been the same in 1938 when Mengele earned his Doctorate in Medicines.

“I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:…

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help”

In Germany during the Third Reich, medical students did not take the Hippocratic Oath, although they knew the ethic of “nil nocere” – do no harm.

I have stopped analysing why Mengele did the things he did. I came to the conclusion that it is a fact some people are just born evil, as I think was the case in Dr. Mengele.

Born on March 16, 1911, in Günzburg, near Ulm, he was the eldest son of Karl Mengele, a prosperous manufacturer of farming implements. In 1935, Mengele earned a Ph.D. in physical anthropology from the University of Munich. In January 1937, at the Institute for Hereditary Biology and Racial Hygiene in Frankfurt, he became the assistant of Dr. Otmar von Verschuer, a leading scientific figure widely known for his research with twins.

In 1937 Mengele joined the Nazi Party. The following year, the same year in which he received his medical degree, he joined the SS. In June 1940, Mengele was drafted into the army, and thereafter volunteered into the medical service of the Waffen-SS (Armed SS). Although documentation is scant and often contradictory regarding Mengele’s activities between this time and early 1943, it is clear that he first functioned as a medical expert for the Race and Settlement Main Office [Rasse- und Siedlungshauptamt, or RuSHA] in summer 1940 at the Central Immigration Office [Einwandererstelle] North-East in Posen (today Poznan) and thereafter served as a medical officer with the SS Division “Wiking” (SS Pioneer Battalion V), with which he saw action on the Eastern Front.

Wounded while on campaign, Mengele returned to Germany in January 1943, and began work at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (KWI) for Anthropology, Human Genetics, and Eugenics, directed by his former mentor von Verschuer. In April of 1943, he received a promotion to the rank of SS captain; this advancement shortly preceded Mengele’s transfer to Auschwitz, on May 30, 1943.

During his infamous tenure at the concentration camp, Josef Mengele was not the only physician at Auschwitz, nor was he, as common wisdom often maintains, the highest-ranking physician at the camp; this “distinction” belonged to SS captain Dr. Eduard Wirths, whose position as garrison physician made him responsible in all medical matters for the entire camp complex.

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Mengele began his career at Auschwitz in the spring of 1943 as the medical officer responsible for Birkenau’s “Gypsy camp”; several weeks after its liquidation, Mengele undertook a new position as Chief Camp Physician of Auschwitz II (i.e., Birkenau), in November 1943, still under Wirths’ jurisdiction.

Mengele and other SS doctors did not treat inmates, but supervised the activities of inmate doctors forced to work in the camp medical service. Mengele made weekly visits to the hospital barracks and sent to the gas chambers any prisoners who had not recovered after two weeks in bed.He was also a member of the team of doctors responsible for supervising the administration of Zyklon B, the cyanide-based pesticide that was used to kill people in the gas chambers at Birkenau. He served in this capacity at the gas chambers located in crematoria IV and V.

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When an outbreak of noma (a gangrenous bacterial disease of the mouth and face) broke out in the Romani camp in 1943, Mengele initiated a study to determine the cause of the disease and develop a treatment. He enlisted the aid of prisoner Dr. Berthold Epstein, a Jewish pediatrician and professor at Prague University. Mengele isolated the patients in a separate barrack and had several afflicted children killed so that their preserved heads and organs could be sent to the SS Medical Academy in Graz and other facilities for study. The research was still ongoing when the Romani camp was liquidated and its remaining occupants killed in 1944.

In response to a typhus epidemic in the women’s camp, Mengele cleared one block of 600 Jewish women and sent them to the gas chamber. The building was then cleaned and disinfected, and the occupants of a neighboring block were bathed, de-loused, and given new clothing before being moved into the clean block. The process was repeated until all the barracks were disinfected. Similar disinfections were used for later epidemics of scarlet fever and other diseases, but with all the sick prisoners being sent to the gas chambers. For his efforts, Mengele was awarded the War Merit Cross (Second Class with Swords) and was promoted in 1944 to First Physician of the Birkenau subcamp.

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Mengele had become interested in utilizing twins for medical research through Verschuer, famous for experimenting with identical and fraternal twins in order to trace the genetic origins of various diseases. During the 1930s, twin research was seen as an ideal tool in weighing the variant factors of human heredity and environment. Mengele, with his mentor, had performed a number of legitimate research protocols using twins as test subjects throughout the 1930s. Now, at Auschwitz, with full license to maim or kill his subjects, Mengele performed a broad range of agonizing and often lethal experiments with Jewish and Roma (“Gypsy”) twins, most of them children.

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Mengele used Auschwitz as an opportunity to continue his anthropological studies and research on heredity, using inmates for human experimentation. The experiments had no regard for the health or safety of the victims.He was particularly interested in identical twins, people with heterochromia iridum (eyes of two different colours), dwarfs, and people with physical abnormalities.A grant was provided by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, applied for by von Verschuer, who received regular reports and shipments of specimens from Mengele. The grant was used to build a pathology laboratory attached to Crematorium II at Auschwitz II-Birkenau.Dr. Miklós Nyiszli, a Hungarian Jewish pathologist who arrived in Auschwitz on 29 May 1944, performed dissections and prepared specimens for shipment in this laboratory. Mengele’s twin research was in part intended to prove the supremacy of heredity over environment and thus bolster the Nazi premise of the superiority of the Aryan race.[Nyiszli and others report that the twins studies may also have been motivated by a desire to improve the reproduction rate of the German race by improving the chances of racially desirable people having twins.

Mengele’s research subjects were better fed and housed than other prisoners and temporarily safe from the gas chambers. He established a kindergarten for children that were the subjects of experiments, along with all Romani children under the age of six. The facility provided better food and living conditions than other areas of the camp, and even included a playground.When visiting his child subjects, he introduced himself as “Uncle Mengele” and offered them sweets. But he was also personally responsible for the deaths of an unknown number of victims that he killed via lethal injection, shootings, beatings, and through selections and deadly experiments. Lifton describes Mengele as sadistic, lacking empathy, and extremely antisemitic, believing the Jews should be eliminated entirely as an inferior and dangerous race.Mengele’s son Rolf said his father later showed no remorse for his wartime activities.

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Mengele firmly endorsed the doctrine of National Socialist racial theory and engaged in a wide spectrum of experiments which aimed to illustrate the lack of resistance among Jews or Roma to various diseases. He also attempted to demonstrate the “degeneration” of Jewish and “Gypsy” blood through the documentation of physical oddities and the collection and harvesting of tissue samples and body parts. Many of his “test subjects” died as a result of the experimentation or were murdered in order to facilitate post-mortem examination.

Like most “scientists” at work in the concentration camp environment, Mengele enlisted the aid of trained medical professionals among the prisoner population to perform the more grisly, or mundane, tasks and to carry out autopsies upon his dead victims. We owe much of our early knowledge of Mengele’s activities at Auschwitz to Dr. Miklos Nyiszli, a prisoner-physician who assisted Mengele under duress, and then published his experiences, initially in his native Hungarian, in 1946. (His Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account appeared in English in 1960.)

Josef Mengele had hoped to use the “research” he had garnered in Auschwitz in order to produce his Habilitation, a second, post-doctoral, dissertation required for admission to a university faculty as a professor in German-speaking lands. He never accomplished this objective. Instead, in January 1945, as the Soviet Army advanced through western Poland, Mengele fled Auschwitz. He spent the next few weeks at the Gross-Rosen concentration camp, until its evacuation, and then made his way west, to evade capture by Soviet forces.

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In the immediate postwar, Mengele found himself in US custody. Unaware that Mengele’s name already stood on a list of wanted war criminals, however, US officials quickly released him. From the summer of 1945 until spring 1949, the physician, under false papers, worked as a farmhand near Rosenheim, Bavaria. At that time, his prosperous family aided his emigration to South America. Mengele settled in Argentina.

As his crimes had been well documented before the International Military Tribunal (IMT) and other postwar courts, West German authorities issued a warrant for Mengele’s arrest in 1959, and a request for extradition in 1960. Alarmed by the capture of Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires in that same year, Mengele moved to Paraguay and then to Brazil, spending the last years of his life near Sao Pãolo. In declining health, Mengele suffered a stroke while swimming at a vacation resort near Bertioga, Brazil, on February 7, 1979, and drowned. He was buried in a suburb of Sao Pãolo under the fictive name “Wolfgang Gerhard.”

In 1985, German police, working on evidence they had recently confiscated from a Mengele family friend in Günzburg, located Mengele’s grave and exhumed his corpse. Brazilian forensic experts thereafter positively identified the remains as Josef Mengele. In 1992, DNA evidence confirmed this conclusion. Mengele had eluded his captors for 34 years.

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, Mengele worked as a carpenter while residing in a boarding house in the suburb of Vicente Lopez.After a few weeks he moved to the house of a Nazi sympathiser in the more affluent neighborhood of Florida, Buenos Aires. He next worked as a salesman for his family’s farm equipment company, and beginning in 1951 he made frequent trips to Paraguay as sales representative for that region.An apartment in the center of Buenos Aires became his residence in 1953, the same year he used family funds to buy a part interest in a carpentry concern. In 1954 he rented a house in the suburb of Olivos.Files released by the Argentine government in 1992 indicate that Mengele may have practiced medicine without a license, including performing abortions, while living in Buenos Aires.

After obtaining a copy of his birth certificate through the West German embassy in 1956, Mengele was issued an Argentine foreign residence permit under his real name. He used this document to obtain a West German passport, also under his real name, and embarked for a visit to Europe.He met up in Switzerland for a ski holiday with his son Rolf (who was told Mengele was his “Uncle Fritz”and his widowed sister-in-law Martha, and spent a week in his home town of Günzburg. Upon his return to Argentina in September, Mengele began living under his real name. Martha and her son Karl Heinz followed about a month later, and the three took up residence together. The couple married while on holiday in Uruguay in 1958 and bought a house in Buenos Aires.Business interests now included part ownership of Fadro Farm, a pharmaceutical company.Along with several other doctors, Mengele was questioned and released in 1958 under suspicion of practicing medicine without a license after a teenage girl died following an abortion. Worried that the publicity would lead to his Nazi background and wartime activities being discovered, he took an extended business trip to Paraguay and was granted citizenship under the name José Mengele in 1959.He returned to Buenos Aires several times to wrap up his business affairs and visit his family. Martha and Karl Heinz lived in a boarding house in the city until December 1960, when they returned to Germany.

Mengele’s name was mentioned several times during the Nuremberg trials, but Allied forces were convinced that he was dead.Irene and the family in Günzburg also said that he was dead. Working in West Germany, Nazi hunters Simon Wiesenthal and Hermann Langbein collected information from witnesses as to Mengele’s wartime activities.

In a search of the public records, Langbein found Mengele’s divorce papers listing an address in Buenos Aires. He and Wiesenthal pressured West German authorities into drawing up an arrest warrant on 5 June 1959, and starting extradition proceedings.Initially Argentina turned down the request, because the fugitive was no longer living at the address given on the documents. By the time extradition was approved on 30 June 1960, Mengele had already fled to Paraguay, where he was living on a farm near the Argentine border.

I am not someone who tends to entertain conspiracy theories but in this case it strikes me as very odd that Mengele could not be found, giving the fact he hid in plain sight, using his own name.

Then there is Candido Godoi in Brazil. a small town with an unusual high number of twins being born there. a lot of them being blonde and blue eyed.. The people of the town claim that Mengele visited to town a lot in the 1960’s and they didn’t really know what he did there. It appears he must have continued with his experiments in Brazil, and who knows where else.

There is testimony that he attended women, followed their pregnancies, treated them with new types of drugs and preparations, that he talked of artificial insemination in human beings, and that he continued working with animals, proclaiming that he was capable of getting cows to produce male twins.

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The consequences of his experiments are still being felt to date.

It is not often that someone deserved the nick name given to day, but in the case of Dr Mengele the name ‘Angel of Death’ is an appropriate one.

Mengele

 

The Flensburg Government.

Alfred Jodl, Albert Speer And Karl Dönitz Submit To Capture By The British

Although VE day was on the 8th of May 1945 and the German troops had surrendered, Admiral Doenitz was still the President of the German Reich or at least what was left of it.

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The government was known as the Flensburg Government sometimes also referred to as  the Cabinet of Schwerin von Krosigk after Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk who had been appointed Prime Minister by Doenitz.

The administration was referred to as the “Flensburg Government” because Dönitz’s headquarters had been relocated in the port of Flensburg in northern Germany on 3 May 1945.

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Due to the rapid Allied advance, its nominal jurisdiction at the outset was limited to a narrow wedge of territory running from the Austrian border through Berlin to the Danish border; which, since 25 April 1945, had been cut in two by the American advance to join with Soviet forces at Torgau on the Elbe. Following the capitulation of all German armed forces on 8 May, the Flensburg government lost all direct territorial, military or civil jurisdiction, and all diplomatic relations were withdrawn. The western Allies allowed it to continue to meet and conduct what business it could until 23 May.

Once it became apparent that Hitler intended to stay and die in the besieged city of Berlin, effective overall command of German armed forces was exercised by the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (German High Command), who had relocated to Rheinsburg. On 28 April Wilhelm Keitel and Alfred Jodl, of the Army High Command, met at Rheinsburg with Karl Dönitz and Heinrich Himmler to discuss the war situation now that the fall of Berlin could not be averted. Himmler took the chair as the acknowledged deputy Führer; and, since the disgrace and dismissal of Hermann Göring, Hitler’s expected successor. That day however, the British and Americans published Himmler’s secret proposals for a separate peace in the West (which they had rejected). On 29 April Dönitz received a telegram from Martin Bormann announcing Himmler’s dismissal from all posts, and ordering his arrest for treason. Dönitz confronted Himmler with the accusations on 30 April, but he denied them as fabricated propaganda. When a further telegram confirmed both the dismissal and Dönitz’s appointment as Hitler’s successor, Himmler’s position became untenable.

With Himmler and Göring standing accused of treasonable negotiation with the enemy, Hitler in his political testament had named Grand Admiral Dönitz his successor as Reich President and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and designated Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels head of government as Reich Chancellor Goebbels committed suicide in the Berlin Führerbunker on 1 May.

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The same day Dönitz accepted the offices of Supreme Commander and Head of State in separate broadcast addresses to the German armed forces, and German people.Residual ministers of the Hitler cabinet, who had fled from the fall of Berlin to join Dönitz at the Wehrmacht barracks near Plön in Holstein, resigned the next day. Suspecting that Bormann might also have escaped from Berlin and be intending to seize power, Dönitz met with Hitler’s former Finance Minister Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk and asked him to constitute a new Reich government.

In a melodramatic series of events, Martin Bormann was killed in Berlin

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en route to Admiral Dönitz, other ranking officials failed to arrive, and no copies of the pertinent documents ever reached Dönitz. Apparently it never occurred to the officials in the beleaguered chancellery that the entire texts of the pertinent documents could have been radioed to Dönitz. At this point, he did not even know of the subsequent suicide of Goebbels on 1 May. Dönitz correctly felt that he must make his own govern mental appointments in order to function at all. He could not logically appoint officials whose whereabouts he did not know (he did not in fact know whether they were alive or dead), or whose prominence in the Hitler government might prejudice negotiations with the Allies. Of this fateful date, 1 May 1945, Dönitz summarized the situation in his Memoirs: “… while out at sea transports filled with wounded, with refugees and with troops hurried westward, the columns of refugees fleeing overland pressed on towards their salvation and the armies in Pomerania, in Brandenburg and in Silesia continued to retire in the direction of the Anglo-American demarcation line

Von Krosigk’s cabinet first met in Eutin, to which he and his ministerial staff had been evacuated, on 2 May. Later on 2 May, and in view of the rapidly advancing British Second Army forces which were approaching Lübeck, Dönitz met with von Krosigk, Paul Wegener, Himmler and Keitel to discuss the urgent necessity of a further relocation. Himmler argued for a move to Prague then the last major central European capital city in German hands, and closer to advancing American forces with whom he hoped to negotiate personally; but Dönitz refused to sanction any move outside the borders of Germany. Moreover, the political situation of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was highly unstable. Dönitz decided instead to proceed to the Mürwik naval academy in Flensburg near the Danish border.

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The German High Command, which had moved from Rheinsburg to Neustadt in Holstein two days before, then also relocated to Flensburg; while the SS leadership had been gathering at Flensburg since 28 April.

etaining some members from the previous Hitler cabinet, Schwerin von Krosigk’s government consisted of the following people:

Cabinet of Schwerin von Krosigk
2 May 1945 – 23 May 1945
Office Incumbent Party
Leading Minister Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk None
Minister for Foreign Affairs Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk None
Minister of the Interior Wilhelm Stuckart NSDAP
Minister of Justice Otto Georg Thierack NSDAP
Minister of Finance Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk None
Minister for Economics Albert Speer NSDAP
Minister for Food and Agriculture Herbert Backe NSDAP
Minister for Labour Franz Seldte NSDAP
Minister of War President Karl Dönitz (as OKW Chief from 1 May 1945) NSDAP
Minister of Transport Julius Heinrich Dorpmüller NSDAP
Minister for Postal Affairs Julius Heinrich Dorpmüller NSDAP
Minister for Armaments and War Production Albert Speer NSDAP

The Dönitz government took form, then, to prevent famine; to restore communications, business and industry; to rebuild housing and obtain temporary quarters for the homeless; to try to hold the value of the currency and re-establish banking systems, and to aid the refugees and absorb the additional millions of Germans and non-Germans fleeing the Russian-occupied areas. Some held secondary posts in the Hitler government but all were essentially non-political men with bureaucratic experience and technical knowledge in their fields. The choice of Speer was an unfortunate one as the man was a self-seeking chameleon and opportunist, although able in his technical fields. Speer at once initiated an internal campaign to convince the Dönitz government to resign. As Dönitz put it: “Speer was emphatic in his opinion that we [the government] should resign. But he thought that, as far as he himself was concerned, the Americans would continue to cooperate with him.”Schwerin-Krosigk took a sounder view-that only the Armed Forces had surrendered, the German state continuing to exist with Dönitz as its legal head. As Dönitz remarks: “.The enemy themselves had recognized the fact when they insisted on my conferring plenipotentiary powers on the Chiefs of the three services, who were to sign the instrument of surrender … I and my provisional government could not voluntarily resign. If we did, the victors could say with justification: since the properly constituted Government … had run away, we have no option but to set up independent German governments in the individual zones and to allow our military government to exercise authority over all. of them … I should stay until I was removed by force. Had I not done so, then … I should have supplied the political pretext for the division of Germany that exists today”

Some acknowledgement of Nazi war crimes became unavoidable. The departure of the SS leadership from Flensburg opened the way for the Dönitz government to offer its own version of how the murder squads, concentration camps and killing facilities had come into being. Their response was that all these atrocities had been undertaken in secret, and entirely by Himmler and the SS. Dönitz and Jodl issued a joint public statement “that neither the German Wehrmacht not the German people had knowledge of these things.” While this statement was wholly untrue, the consequent myth of the “good Wehrmacht” as having been deceived and betrayed by the “evil SS” was to achieve wide currency for decades in post-war Germany.

On 12 May, American Major General Lowell W. Rooks and his British deputy, Brigadier E. J. Foord, arrived in Flensburg and established their quarters in the passenger ship Patria, docked in Flensburg harbour.

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Their mission was to liaise with the Dönitz “acting government” (as it was then referred to by the SHAEF) and to impose the will of the victorious Allied Powers on the German High Command. Although the liaison mission arranged meetings with members of the Flensburg government, these only confirmed that neither Dönitz nor his ministers had been able to establish any degree of civil authority. Churchill withdrew his protection once it became clear that the Soviet High Command would have to be represented in the liaison mission. On 21 May the SHAEF acceded to Soviet proposals that the Flensburg Government be dissolved and its members arrested as POWs. The dissolution was carried out on 23 May. On that day, a British officer went to Dönitz’s headquarters and asked to speak to the members of the government. Dönitz, von Friedeburg and Jodl were then taken aboard the Patria, where Maj. Gen. Rooks informed them of the dissolution of the government; placing them under arrest, and ordering that they be stripped and searched for concealed phials of poison.

The communication regarding the dissolution of the acting government and the arrest of its members was made in a formal manner, around a table on Patria’s deck: Dönitz, Jodl and Von Friedeburg sat on one side, with Major General Rooks, British Navy Captain Mund and Soviet General Trusov on the other. Brigadier Foord remained standing, next to Maj. Gen. Rooks, and an official interpreter was also present at the proceedings, that were photographed. By the time Dönitz emerged from the ship, the town’s main street was filled with British tanks and troops rounding up the Germans. Faced with the prospect of being strip-searched von Friedeburg committed suicide, while Dönitz, Speer, Jodl and other members of the dissolved Flensburg Government were taken prisoner,under the responsibility of a RAF Regiment task force commanded by Squadron Leader Mark Hobden.

The prisoners were later handed over to the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. Some Flensburg Government POW’s such as Albert Speer were subsequently moved to the British POW camp Dustbin in Castle Kransberg, while others, including Dönitz, were transferred to the American-led Camp Ashcan. Later, all Camp Ashcan prisoners were moved to Nuremberg to stand trial.

With the arrest of the Flensburg Government on 23 May 1945, the German High Command also ceased to exist, and no central authority was kept in place to govern Germany, or even to assume responsibility for complying with the demands and instructions of the victorious nations. The power vacuum that ensued following the arrest of the Flensburg Government continued for almost two weeks until 5 June 1945, when the representatives of the Allies signed the Declaration Regarding the Defeat of Germany and the Assumption of Supreme Authority by Allied Powers, also known as the Berlin Declaration. By means of that unilateral declaration the Four Powers assumed direct control of the administration of Germany, with absolute powers.

The declaration, issued in Berlin at 18:00 on 5 June 1945, and signed by General Eisenhower on behalf of the United States, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery on behalf of the United Kingdom, Marshal Georgiy Zhukov on behalf of the Soviet Union, and by General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny on behalf of the French Provisional Government, contained the following statement:

“The Governments of the United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United Kingdom, and the Provisional Government of the French Republic, hereby assume supreme authority with respect to Germany, including all the powers possessed by the German Government, the High Command and any state, municipal, or local government or authority. The assumption, for the purposes stated above, of the said authority and powers does not effect the annexation of Germany”

Therefore, from 5 June 1945, Germany did not possess a native government; complete authority and sovereignty being thereafter assumed by the Allied Military Occupation Government. The contention of the Allied Powers that the former German Reich had then ceased to exist as a state was then generally accepted, but came subsequently to be challenged in legal and political debate. In any event, the Berlin Declaration maintained the continued existence of Germany as a national territory, implying the continuation of a German nation.

During the initial stage of the occupation of Germany, supreme authority was discharged by the Four Powers jointly for all occupation zones via the Allied Control Council, so that this council was the immediate successor of the Dönitz Administration in the Government of Germany.

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Forgotten History- Boy Ecury: Dutch Aruban resistance fighter

Segundo Jorge Adelberto Ecury, better known as Boy, was born in Oranjestad, Aruba on April 23, 1922. He was an Aruban-Dutch resistance fighter in the Netherlands during the Second World War.

Ecury Boy Herman Morssink

He was born in Oranjestad, Aruba, an island of the Dutch Antilles.

His given name was Segundo Jorge Adelberto Ecury. But he went by the nickname Boy and it is by that name that he is remembered.

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Ecury, was born the seventh of thirteen children from a Catholic family as the son of a wealthy businessman Dundun Ecury. He went from high school here to the Netherlands in 1937, where he graduated in trade education at the boarding school St. Louis Institute in Oudenbosch.

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Being confronted early with violence, misery, domination and discrimination it led him on to be active in the resistance at the beginning of the war. Initially with his best friend, Luis de Lannoy, a fellow student from Curaçao and later Delfincio Navarro joined them. Luis was a part of a student resistance group, and was the one to introduce Boy into the fight for freedom. They communicated through letters written in Papiamento planning out several acts of sabotage.

The group carried out sabotage operations, planting bombs on German trucks and roads. Members of the underground movements also went out of their way to help injured allied troops and civilians who needed help.

Ecury sometimes went along and helped out on covert operations and later became a member of the Resistance Council in Oisterwijk. Like his resistance colleagues, Ecury had to live a life in hiding, and lived in various places around The Netherlands, working on a number of dangerous missions.

Some members betrayed their colleagues, and many of them were captured by the Nazis, including Luis, who was arrested, imprisoned and tortured in Utrecht. Ecury tried, but was unsuccessful in his attempts to free his friend. Luis later managed to escape

 

In 1942 Tilburg started to be unsafe for someone as dark-skinned as Boy, and hiding was the only option. Boy had traveled to different addresses for instance to Oisterwijk, Delft and Rotterdam and joined a resistance group in Oisterwijk. He kept contact with Luis by sending letters whenever he was able. Along with his fellow rebels, Boy continued to sabotage the Axis army in any way they could. They would rip up railroad tracks, and make bombs to blow up the German vehicles and equipment. The men of the resistance council would also aid and protect any allied pilots and soldiers they encountered, along with victims of the Nazi’s

After Boy returned to Oisterwijk, it was clear that his dark skin was drawing too much attention, so he returned to Tilburg in October of 1944 as the allied army approached. Later that month the allied forces fought their way into Oisterwijk regaining control of the city. Boy could have joined his friends in liberation, but decided he would rather stay in the occupied territories to aid the struggle for freedom.

On 5 November 1944,after visiting the H. Elizabeth Parochie in Rotterdam,Boy  was arrested and taken to the Scheveningen prison.He had been betrayed by his ‘friend’ Kees Bitter.

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Bitter had also betrayed Frits Ruys and Marijke Zwagerman 2 other fellow resistance fighters. He had been working undercover for the SD  probably since August 1942 after he had been arrested by the SD. He was executed by the resistance on the 5th of January 1945. Initially they used chloroform and a cyanide injection but these didn’t work so they decided to shoot him twice in the head.

 

On 5 November 1944, Ecury, was arrested and taken to the Scheveningen prison. was interrogated and tortured but refused to betray his friends. On the following day he was executed by a German firing squad at Waalsdorp a field next to the prison.

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He was 22 years old.

In 1947 his remains was reburied with military honors in Aruba

His father brought his son’s body back from the Netherlands and in 1947 he was given a funeral with military honors. Two years later a statue of the local hero was erected in the town and still stands today.

He is also the subject of an exhibition in the town’s war museum and his former family home houses the Archaeological Museum.

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The Dutch government also awarded Boy with a Resistance Commemorative Cross in 1984 for the way he aided the war effort. (below a picture of such a cross, although there are several other versions I am confident this would the version he received)

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Boy Ecury and his father’s quest for the truth about his son’s last years were subject of the 2003 movie Boy Ecury by Dutch film director Frans Weisz. Who made the movie with help from Ted Schouten one of Boy Ercury’s nephews.

In 2002 a stamp with an image of Boy Ecury was printed in Aruba

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RIP Roy Ecury, a true Hero.