The first musical members of the 27 Club

The 27 club is a group of artists who have all died in a variety of way, drugs overdose , alcoholism ,suicide, plane crash, traffic accident, natural causes or murder. The one thing they had in common was their age, the all died aged 27.

It all started off when Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison all died at the age of 27 between 1969 and 1971. At the time, the coincidence gave rise to some comment, but it was not until Kurt Cobain’s 1994 death, at age 27, that the idea of a “27 Club” began to catch on in public perception.[Blues musician Robert Johnson, who died in 1938, is the earliest popular musician who has been included in the members of the 27 Club, although there were two other musicians before him who died age 27.

Alexandre Levy ,a Brazilian composer, Levy died prematurely at 27 and is considered to be the first musical artist to die at the age. His hometown, Sao Paulo , grants a prestigious award in his name.

Louis Chauvin (March 13, 1881 – March 26, 1908) was an American ragtime musician.

His death certificate lists causes of death as “multiple sclerosis, probably syphilitic”, and starvation due to coma, but a modern diagnosis probably would conclude he had a neurosyphilitic sclerosis and not link it to multiple sclerosis.

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Sources

https://www.history.com/news/music-legends-who-lived-fast-and-died-at-27-slideshow

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/27_Club

Brazil at War

Brazilian troops in Torre di Nerone, near Monte Castello

We all know about the allied troops which consisted out of the US, British, Soviet, Australian , Indian and South African forces and there were others of course.

However one country that is always over looked as a supplier for troops during WWII is Brazil.

Roosevelt knew it was important to get the whole continent of America(North and South) involved in the efforts to fight the axis powers. He held several conferences . Although President Getúlio Vargas of Brazil did feel sympathetic to the idea of a totalitarian state, he himself was a dictator, he did eventually agree to join forces with the US against the axis powers.

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Brazilian President Getúlio Vargas aboard USS Humboldt.

The Germans themselves has done quite a bit pushing Brazil to war, by attacking Brazil’s coast with U-Boats and sinking several ships killing over 600 of its citizens, including women and children.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Vargas decided to honor his nation’s commitments to the United States and, in January 1942, broke diplomatic relations with Germany, Japan, and Italy. Although it would take up to January 28,1943 before Brazil would commit to sending troops.

The Brazilian Expeditionary Force, or in Portuguese: Força Expedicionária Brasileira, FEB consisted of about 25,900 men from both the army and air force fighting alongside the Allied forces in the Mediterranean Theatre of World War II. This air–land force consisted of a complete infantry division, a liaison flight, and a fighter squadron.

The Brazilian Navy was not directly connected to the FEB it had already been engaging in battle with the Germany navy in the Atlantic since mid As a result of the Axis attacks, Brazil suffered nearly 1,600 dead, including almost 600 civilians and more than 1,000 of Brazil’s 7,000 sailors involved in the conflict. Brazil had assigned three destroyer escorts to protection of merchant traffic in the Atlantic, escorting 2,981 merchant ships in 251 convoys carrying over 14 million tons of supplies to the fighting forces. No ship escorted by the Brazilian Navy was lost to enemy action during the war. Its own merchant marine suffered the loss of 31 ships sunk and 969 crew members killed.

Brazilian Destroyer Marcílio Dias

The Brazilian FEB troops took 20,573 Axis prisoners, including two generals, 892 officers, and 19,679 others. Brazil was also the only South American independent state that would send ground troops to Europe

Brazilian soldiers greet Italian civilians in the city of Massarosa, September 1944.

The Battle of Monte Castello would mark the the Brazilian Expeditionary Force’s first contribution into the land war in Europe. The battle took place between November 24,1944 to February 21 ,1945.

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

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Sources

https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Monte_Castello

https://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=109

The death of Mengele

It is said to you speak not ill of the dead, but in this case I am willing to make an exception. Jospeh Mengele was beyond the shadow of doubt one of the most evil men who ever lived.

Although as a Doctor he was supposed to look after people and first do no harm. The Hippocratic Oath is the oath the Medical Students take, although the actual quote “First do no harm” actually isn’t a part of the Hippocratic Oath at all by the Greek physician Hippocrates . It is actually from another of his works called Of the Epidemics. One line of the Hippocratic Oath states “The physician must be able to tell the antecedents, know the present, and foretell the future — must mediate these things, and have two special objects in view with regard to disease, namely, to do good or to do no harm.”

Either way Mengele’s duty as a physician was to after the well being of those he treated. However he used his position in Auschwitz to fulfill his own twisted ideology and for his own sick gratification.

But as the title states this blog is about the death of Mengele. He had evaded prosecution . He had actually been in US custody. Unaware that Mengele’s name already stood on a list of wanted war criminals, US officials quickly released him. From the summer of 1945 until spring 1949, using false papers, Mengele worked as a farmhand near Rosenheim, Bavaria. His prosperous family then aided his emigration to South America. He settled in Argentina. He became a citizen of Paraguay in 1959. He later moved to Brazil, where he met up with another former Nazi party member, Wolfgang Gerhard.

After Wolfgang Gerhard moved back to hi native Austria it is believed the Mengele assumed his identity. The pair had sent several letters to each other. Some of the letters reveal Mengele’s lack of any remorse and how he felt sorry for himself , he complained how ‘bad’ his life was in Brazil, ironically I do agree with his notion of his ‘bad’ life in Brazil. He really should not have fled but should have faced the consequences of his actions and crimes, rather then fleeing like a cowardly dog with his tail between his legs. He should have been executed.

On February 7th, 1979 Mengele went for a swim in near a holiday resort near Bertioga, Brazil, during the swim he had a stroke and drowned. He died age 66 which is a lot older then many of his victims.

In 1985, a multinational team of forensic experts went to Brazil searching for Mengele. The experts established d that a man named Gerhard had died of a stroke while swimming in 1979. Dental records and a DNA test conducted in 1992, revealed that Mengele was the man who had drowned.

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Sources

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Josef-Mengele

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/nov/23/secondworldwar

https://www.dw.com/en/a-german-town-and-josef-mengele-auschwitz-angel-of-death/a-52114089

How Curious George nearly didn’t make it.

george

I don’t think there is anyone on the planet who hasn’t heard of Curious George, you may not have read the books or watched the cartoons or movies, but you will recognize the iconic Chimpanzee when you see him.

Although it is an iconic children’s book character and has a strong brand recognition, it could have easily been a different story, His origin tells a story of luck but indirectly also a tale of a false sense of security.

Curious George was written by H.A Rey and his wife Margret.

Rey

Hans Augusto Reyersbach was born in September 1898 in Hamburg , Germany,near the world-famous Hagenbeck Zoo, which gave him a lifelong love for animals and drawing.  His wife Margret was born on May  16 1906 also in Hamburg, her father Felix Waldstein had been a member of the Reichstag. the German parliament from 1871 to 1918. Hans and Margret both Jewish. The two first met in Hamburg at the 16th birthday party of Margret’s sister. They met again in Brazil, where Hans had a job as a bathtubs salesman Margret had moved to Brazil to escape the rise of Nazism in Germany. On August 16, 1935 they got married and went to Paris on their honeymoon, they fell in love with the place and decided to stay there.

Although Hitler had come to power in Germany it is apparent that the Rey’s felt safe in their new home, as most of the Parisians and the rest of France felt. Although the French were anxious of the developments in Germany, they did not envisage any danger to come from their eastern neighbour.

While in Paris, Hans’s animal drawings were noticed by a French publisher, who commissioned Hans  to write a children’s book. The book was to be” Rafi. and the Nine Monkeys” or “Rafi et les neuf singes” in French. It was published in 1939.

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One of the characters in the book was George, although he was called Fifi in the French version. Hans Rey thought that George deserved a book of his own.

But alas, war broke out.

On June 10, 1940, German troops were a few days away from Paris. People were trying to flee by  every way possible, cars,bicycles or whatever they could find. The Rey’s had left it a bit late but they managed to get 2 bikes.In fact Ray built the bikes himself, he had bought enough spare parts for 2 bicycles.

They left Paris only a few hours before it fell. Among the few possessions they were able to bring was the illustrated manuscript of Curious George.

Their journey  took them to Bayonne, France.On June 20, 1940.They crossed the Spanish border, where they purchased train tickets to Lisbon. Because they still had Brazilian passport  they returned to Brazil, they journeyed on from Brazil to New York.

The couple soon went to Houghton Mifflin publishers , they bought the manuscript for $1,000 and an additional three stories. The only demand  was that they change the name of Fifi to George.

The rest is history.

So next time you read a Curious George story yourself or to your children or other youngsters, remember that George nearly didn’t make it.

george fifi

 

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The Battle of Berne

Berne

This is one of those forgotten battles you don’t hear about in history classes. It was a battle between Hungary and Brazil. But as you can guess from the picture above it wasn’t a battle during any war but fought on a football pitch during the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland.

The score was 43-3 well in free kicks and red cards that was, 3 red cards and 43 free kicks.

The FIFA World Cup quarter-final tie that Hungary and Brazil contested at the Wankdorf Stadium in Berne, Switzerland, on 27 June 1954 did become that battle.

Hungary Brazil

 

Hungary could not avail of their star player ,Puskas, due to injury, but it only took them a few minutes to show they were well able to perform without him.Hungary took the lead in the third minute, with Nándor Hidegkuti scoring. Four minutes later, Sándor Kocsis made it 2–0 to Hungary. Brazil scored via a penalty by  Djalma Santos making it 2-1 at half time.

The Hungarians restored their two-goal advantage on the hour mark when Mihaly Lantos gave Castilho no chance from the spot after Pinheiro handled inside the box. Five minutes later and Brazil were back in the game, right winger Julinho capping a fine solo move with a cross-shot into the back of the net.making it 3-2.Up to that point the match had been feisty and a bit rough but entertaining. The problems began when Nilton Santos and Josef Bozsik came to blows and were sent off.

 

The match then turned into a series of increasingly violent fouls and cynical tactics.With 11 minutes remaining Humberto committed a shocking foul on Gyula Lorant and received his marching orders from English referee Arthur Ellis.

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Hungary scored a fourth goal via Sándor Kocsis to make the final score 4–2 to Hungary. The last 11 minutes of the game were little more than a war zone or a battleground  between the two teams.

The match ended in utter chaos as players, team and tournament officials, photographers and bystanders became embroiled in a fight that began on the pitch and rumbled on in the dressing rooms and even outside the stadium.

Batt;e

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Gustav Wagner-Sadistic Murderer

It is just unfathomable how many of the most evil and vile war criminals escaped justice. It is something the German government and other European and American governments should be deeply,deeply ashamed off because they escaped under their watch.

Gustav Franz Wagner (18 July 1911 – 3 October 1980) was am Austrian member of the SS with the rank of Staff sergeant (Oberscharführer). Wagner was a deputy commander of the Sobibór extermination camp in German-occupied Poland, where more than 200,000 Jews were gassed during Operation Reinhard. Due to his brutality, he was known as “The Beast” and “Wolf

Born in Vienna, Wagner joined the Nazi Party in 1931 as member number 443,217. After being arrested for proscribed National Socialist agitation, he fled to Germany, where he joined the SA and later the SS in the late 1930s.

In May 1940, Wagner was part of the Action T4 euthanasia program at Hartheim with administrative functions .

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/04/08/forgotten-history-the-t-4-holocaust-victimsthe-killing-of-the-disabled/

Due to his experience in T4, Wagner was assigned to help establish the Sobibór extermination camp in March 1942.

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Once the gassing installations were completed, Wagner became deputy commandant of the camp under Commandant Franz Stangl. His official title was quartermaster-sergeant of the camp.

stangl_franz

 

Wagner was in charge of selecting which prisoners from the newly arrived transports would be used as slave laborers in and outside the camp, and which would be sent to their deaths in the gas chambers. When Wagner was on vacation or attending to duties elsewhere, Karl Frenzel assumed his role within the camp.

frenzel_karl_august

Together with Frenzel he selected the prisoners who had to work in or outside the camp from the incoming transports. Although absent during the uprising, he did help dismantle the camp, among other things by executing the Arbeitsjuden from Treblinka who tore down the barracks.

 

More than any other officer at Sobibór, Wagner was responsible for the daily interactions with prisoners. Wagner supervised the routine and daily life at Sobibór, and he was one of the most brutal SS officers. Survivors of the camp described him as a cold-blooded sadist.Wagner was known to beat and thrash camp inmates on a regular basis, and to kill Jews without reason or restraint. Inmate Moshe Bahir described him:

moshe-bahir-center-one-of-the-participants-in-the-uprising-in-the-sobibor-extermination-camp

“He was a handsome man, tall and blond — a pure Aryan. In civilian life he was, no doubt, a well-mannered man; at Sobibor he was a wild beast. His lust to kill knew no bounds… He would snatch babies from their mothers’ arms and tear them to pieces in his hands. I saw him beat two men to death with a rifle, because they did not carry out his instructions properly, since they did not understand German. I remember that one night a group of youths aged fifteen or sixteen arrived in the camp. The head of this group was one Abraham. After a long and arduous work day, this young man collapsed on his pallet and fell asleep. Suddenly Wagner came into our barrack, and Abraham did not hear him call to stand up at once before him. Furious, he pulled Abraham naked off his bed and began to beat him all over his body. When Wagner grew weary of the blows, he took out his revolver and killed him on the spot. This atrocious spectacle was carried out before all of us, including Abraham’s younger brother.”

Inmate Eda Lichtman wrote that on the Jewish fast day of Yom Kippur, downloadWagner appeared at roll call, selected some prisoners, gave them bread and forced them to eat it. As the prisoners ate the bread, Wagner laughed loudly, enjoying his joke because he knew that these Jews were pious.

One of the Sobibór prisoners improvised a song which ironically described camp life (original text with English translation):

  • Wie lustig ist da unser Leben
  • Man tut uns zu essen geben
  • Wie lustig ist im grünen Wald
  • Wo ich mir aufhalt
  • How fun is our life there,
  • They give us food to eat that’s fair,
  • What fun it is in the green wood,
  • Where I am stood.

Wagner enjoyed this song and he forced the prisoners to sing it frequently.

After two Jews escaped from Sobibór in the spring of 1943, Wagner was put in charge of a squad of soldiers from the Wehrmacht, who laid minefields around the camp so as to prevent further escapes. However, these efforts did not prevent another escape, which took form in the Sobibór revolt. Wagner was not present at the camp on the day of the Sobibór revolt (14 October 1943). The inmates knew of Wagner’s absence and believed that it would improve their chances of success.

Heinrich Himmler considered Wagner to be “one of the most deserving men of Operation Reinhard”

After Sobibór, Wagner was transferred to Italy, where he participated in the deportation of Jews

Gustav Wagner was sentenced to death in absentia, but escaped with Franz Stangl to Brazil. Clergy at the Collegio Teutonico di Santa Maria dell’Anima in Rome assisted Wagner in his flight from justice.

alois_hudal

Wagner was admitted as a permanent resident on 12 April 1950 and on 4 December 1950 a Brazilian passport was issued in the name of “Günther Mendel”, his new identity. He lived in Brazil undisturbed until he was exposed by Simon Wiesenthal and arrested on 30 May 1978.

It was only because Franz Stangl had mentioned ,that Wagner lived in Brazil, during an interview with Gitta Sereny for a study of him published as Into that Darkness.

gitta_sereny

Stangl died of heart failure nineteen hours after the conclusion of that interview, in Düsseldorf prison on 28 June 1971.

Simon Wiesenthal investigated the whereabouts of Wagner after that interview.

simon_wiesenthal_1982

The trail went dead for years but it was only when an article appeared in a Brazilian Newspaper which was also picked up by the New York times, the article was about Nazi’s in Sao Paulo ,Brazil celebrating Hitler’s Birthday.

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The invite to the  secret celebration in was coded.It was out of pure luck that the reporters had found the location of the party.

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Because they had become hungry and thirsty they stopped at a hotel.When they arrived reporter/photographer,Cynthia Brito noticed Nazi porcelain in a display unit in the lobby. They then looked around in the  and noticed the. party going on in a function room at the back of the hotel.She then secretly took pictures of the guests.

None of the pictures showed Wagner but Wiesenthal asked Cynthia Brito, if she could publish a picture of one of the men and say that this was Gustav Wagner,SS Officer and War Criminal, he sent her Wagner’s SS rank number.Just to lure Wagner out of hiding.

download-1

Brito agreed and published the picture. A day after publishing the ‘mock’ Wagner was killed and afraid that he would be indicted for the murder the real Wagner reported to the police.

Wagner was arrested after Wiesenthal contacted the police.Also a Sobibor survivot who also lived in Brazil gave evidence to Wagner’s crimes.

Extradition requests from Israel, Austria and Poland were rejected by Brazil’s Attorney General. On 22 June 1979 the Brazilian Supreme Court also rejected a West German extradition request.

beastmedia_2-02-2

 

Wagner, in a 1979 BBC interview, showed no remorse for his activities in running the camp, remarking:

I had no feelings. … It just became another job. In the evening we never discussed our work, but just drank and played cards.

In October 1980, Wagner was found with a knife in his chest in São Paulo. According to his attorney, Wagner committed suicide. His date of death was determined to be 3 October 1980. However it is widely believed that is more likely he was killed rather then suicide.