1018;518 not just numbers but all individual stories.

Auschwitz

The most disturbing aspect of the Holocaust is the numbers of people being killed. No one of us can even begin to imagine the horror.

Many knew their fate before they got killed. They were put on transports on journeys that sometimes would take days. Journeys under unfathomable inhumane conditions, many would already die during the journeys. The ones who survived the journey only survived to be killed immediately after they arrived at any of the death camps. Or otherwise to be slowly worked to death or killed as part of experiments. Eventually some of those who survived to be liberated, still died because of the weakened state their bodies were in, and even getting proper food would cause such a shock to the system that it killed them.

On June 23 1943 1018 Jews were transported from Drancy, near Paris. to Auschwitz. Of those 1018,518 were killed immediately in the gas chambers. Each one of them an innocent human being. All individual stories, stories like the one of Arthur Goldstein who had been German Jewish journalist and socialist politician. In 1933 when the Nazis took power he fled to Paris. 10 years later the state he had served before as a politician condemned him to death. He was one of those 518 of the Drancy transport who was murdered in the gas chambers on June 25,1943.

I would love to tell the individual story of all the 6 million Jews, 312,000 Serb civilians, 250,000 people with disability, 1.8 Million non Jewish Poles, and all those other victims like homo-sexuals, Gypsies, Soviet POW’s, Soviet civilians and so many others. But it would be impossible for only one man to tell these individual tales of bravery and sacrifice.

One task that lays on all of our shoulders is to make sure we never ever forget and we do not allow for some individuals to rewrite history to accommodate their own political narrative.

gas chambers

 

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USHMM

 

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Profiling the Criminal mind of Hitler.

OSS REPORT

How do you profile the mind of one of the most evil men whoever roamed the Earth?

The Office of Strategic Services(now CIA) tasked psychoanalyst Walter C. Langer and psychologist Henry Murray to come up with an extensive analysis of Hitler’s mind in 1943. The reports used many sources to profile Hitler, including a number of informants, including Hitler’s nephew, William Patrick Hitler but also Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf”

Langer’s report was titled ” Adolf Hitler: Psychological Analysis of Hitler’s Life & Legend”  It was published in 1972 as “The Mind of Adolf Hitler: The Secret Wartime Report” by Basic Books. . Murray’s report was titled “Analysis of the Personality of Adolph Hitler”

In order to keep this blog readable I will put the links of both reports at the end of this blog. Rather then putting the whole text in the blog. It would become an article  of close to 300 pages. I will however pick a few interesting points of the reports.

Dr Walter Langer divided his report into six sections.

  • Hitler As He Believes Himself To Be
  • Hitler As the German People Know Him
  • Hitler As His Associates Know Him
  • Hitler As He Knows Himself
  • Psychological Analysis and Reconstruction
  • Hitler’s Probable Behavior in the Future

The report is notable for making several correct predictions about Hitler’s future:

++As the war turns against him, his emotions will intensify and will have outbursts more frequently. His public appearances will become much rarer, because he’s unable to face a critical audience.
++There might be an assassination attempt on him by the German aristocracy, the Wehrmacht officers or Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, because of his superhuman self-confidence in his military judgment.
++There will be no surrender, capitulation, or peace negotiations. The course he will follow will almost certainly be the road to ideological immortality, resulting in the greatest vengeance on a world he despises.
++From what we know of his psychology, the most likely possibility is that he will commit suicide in the event of defeat. It’s probably true he has an inordinate fear of death, but possibly being a psychopath he would undoubtedly weigh his options and perform the deed.

Additionally  to the prediction that Hitler would most likely choose suicide, if Germany was defeated Langer’s report claimed that Hitler was “probably impotent”as far as heterosexual relations were concerned and that there was a possibility that Hitler had participated in a homosexual relationship. The report stated that:

“The belief that Hitler is homosexual has probably developed A. from the fact that he does show so many feminine characteristics, and B.from the fact that there were so many homosexuals in the Party during the early days and many continue to occupy important positions. It is probably true that Hitler calls Foerster “Bubi”, which is a common nickname employed by homosexuals in addressing their partners. This alone, however, is not adequate proof that he has actually indulged in homosexual practices with Foerster, who is known to be a homosexual.”(Albert Maria Forster was a Nazi German politician and war criminal and a close associate to Hitler)

fOERSTER

Henry A. Murray’s report was divided in 4 parts.

  • Part A , Brief Analysis of Hitler’s Personality
  • Part B , Predictions of Hitler’s Behavior
  • Part C , Suggestions for the Treatment of Hitler
  • Part D , Suggestions for the Treatment of the German People

There is some overlap between the two wartime reports.

More recently ,Handwriting analyst Sheila Lowe analysed the handwriting of Adolf Hitler, she concluded.

  • He had a cruel and angry nature.
  • He had the hallmarks of an inharmonious personality with an authoritarian attitude and lack of tolerance.
  • There was a sign of depression and lack of optimism and little or no sense of humor to relieve the irritability .
  • There were indications of shyness and inhibition but by contrast there were also signs of his pride in his achievements.
  • There were also suggestions of an explosive temper.
  • He was also very impulsive and was rigidly confirmed in his personal beliefs and indifferent of differing opinions.

handwritin

All of these findings are quite obvious to us now, but it is interesting to see that especially Dr. Langer had already figured out Hitler in 1943.

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Sources

CIA

Profile of a Criminal Mind

https://archive.org/details/APsychologicalAnalysisofAdolfHitler

https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP78-02646R000100030002-2.pdf

Sex- The hidden enemy during WWII.

+++Contains some sexual references++++++

STD

Don’t worry I haven’t suddenly gone pornographic in my blogs, but in this Political Correct era I thought it better to warn people upfront that this blog may contain some sexual references, because God forbid imagine if I offended anyone.

During World War II venereal disease(or STD’S/STI’s) was a serious problem for the US Army and Navy. In some hospitals one out of eight service men had been infected with  some form of venereal disease. Two of the worst venereal diseases known to the Medical Department during the Second World War were gonorrhea and syphilis. As a consequence  the majority of treatment and awareness programs had great emphasis on these two infections in particular.

VDHowever it wasn’t only in the awareness programs, there was also a preemptive element to this. Many American women,mainly those involved in prostitution but also other women, were detained and subjected to invasive examinations.

On June 13, 1942 a woman by the name of Billie Smith was arrested in a hotel room in Little Rock, Arkansas, and was charged with prostitution and violation of the state’s immorality laws. Smith pleaded  guilty and paid the fine of $10—equivalent to $150 toda, but her problems didn’t stop there.

Little Rock’s health officer advised Smith that he was going to have to undergo a medical examination. He suspected she had a sexually transmitted infection. The health officer took vials of Smith’s blood for a syphilis test, and  examined her vagina for signs of gonorrhea. While awaiting the results of the blood test, Smith waited behind bars, in the Pulaski County jail.

After a day, the test results were back: Smith had syphilis; what’s more, the health officer said she had gonorrhea, too. He ordered that she be quarantined in a detention hospital in Hot Springs, Ark.

Three days after her arrest, she petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus(a court order demanding that a public official (such as a warden) deliver an imprisoned individual to the court and show a valid reason for that person’s detention) arguing that the quarantine amounted to unlawful imprisonment.However Smith’s condition posed too much of a threat, the court argued, for it to do anything but let the quarantine stand. Billie Smith escaped but was captured in a Memphis hotel, a month after she fled and fined $127 for several crimes, including prostitution.

She  was sent to d an “isolation unit” for STI treatment. It wasn’t until the end of 1942 that she was returned to the Pulaski County jail, and then eventually to the detention center in Hot Springs.

But that  still wasn’t the end of her woes. After just a few days in the Hot Springs facility, Smith and another woman attempted to escape, and, after this, the Hot Springs authorities refused to take them back. Smith remained behind bars for a few more weeks, but she successfully avoided spending her sentence in Hot Springs.

AD WWI VD

But Sexual transmitted infections or VD’s weren’t the only problem. In a publication on December 11, 1944 the UK based Pathfinder Magazine it was reported :

“A new problem of the war is the fact that children are born to married women whose husbands have been long overseas… Department of Labor figures show that more than twice as many illegitimate children were born this year than in 1942.”

We may judge these women harshly now, and maybe to an extend understandably, but it is natural to have sexual urges, and it doesn’t take much to be comforted when your partner is gone for a prolonged time, additionally some of these women didn’t know in what state their husbands would return or if they would return at all.

baby's

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Sources

Time

Pathfinder

National Archives

 

 

The first WWII casualty on British soil.

bomb

The first Luftwaffe bombing on British soil took place on November 13,1939 northeast of the mainland of Scotland. at Sullom, Northmavine, Shetland . Of the 8 bombs which were dropped only 4 were dropped on land, the other 4 landed in sea.

Eye witness Laurence Shuardson said the following of the air raid.

I was going to school and I had two miles to walk. I was on top of a hill at a place called Bobby Ratter Loch, when this black pencil like aircraft came from behind me. I could see the people in the aircraft, it was that low. I later found out it was a Dornier 17.

Dornier

As it passed over the guns started firing from Sullum Voe, the shells were dropping in the sea and exploding in the air. I took fright, ran down the hill to see my friends and told them that I wasn’t going to school that day, and then I ran all the way home and hid in a haystack.

The bombs and shells were dropping in the sea and making big splashes. One hit near a village school. My uncle, who was a haulage contractor helping to build the airfield at Sullum Voe, went and picked up a fragment of this bomb. It lay around the house for years as a doorstop.

Apparently the only casualty was a rabbit; and there were pictures in the national press about this rabbit. I was led to believe that the ‘Crazy Gang’ wrote a song called “Run Rabbit, Run” – what truth there is in that I don’t know!! That was the very first bomb dropped in the Second World War.”

Now the song ‘Run Rabbit, Run’ was actually not inspired by the event because it had been around long before the air raid.

The intended target had been  RAF Sullom Voe which was was a Flying boat base and was closely associated with the adjacent airfield of RAF Scatsta. But the base was not hit.

The only fatal casualty was a rabbit, although there may have been 2 dead rabbits. Some people have suggested that these rabbits were planted to underline the complete  incompetence of the Luftwaffe. And to be honest the rabbits did look in good shape especially after being pulled out of a crater.

But against my better judgement I will not be cynical today and will contribute the rabbits as casualties of war.

crater

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Sources

BBC

Shetland museum archives

 

Reichsbahn-‘Weapon’ of mass destruction.

Reichsbahn

If it hadn’t been for the Reichsbahn-the Nazi contolled railways ,the Holocaust would not have been possible to the extend it was.The irony, for lack of a better word, the hate for the Jews by  Hitler ,Himmler and the other Nazi leaders quite possibly caused them to lose the war. So many trains had been allocated to transport Jews and others to the death camps and concentration camps, that there was a lack of trains for transport of troops,supplies and equipment especially to the Eastern front.

Julius Heinrichtrein Dorpmueller was  general manager of Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft and the Reich Minister for Transport from 1937 to 1945.After the Nazi seizure of power Dorpmüller replaced nearly all “non-Aryan” workers with National Socialists. Dorpmüller became Reich Transport Minister on 2 February 1937

Dorpmüller had doubts about the capacity of the Reichsbahn and had confessed to Albert Speer  at one stage that the  Reichsbahn had not enough  cars and locomotives available for the German area that it was no longer possible  to meet the most urgent transportation needs.

Speer then convinced Hitler to appoint Albert Ganzenmüller state secretary under Dorpmüller. Ganzenmüller immediately goy  involved in the organisation of trains for deportation.Albert He collaborated in the transportation scheme for elderly German Jews to Theresienstadt and made sure  the  transport to the extermination camps as set up under Operation Reinhardt  ran as smoothly as possible. However there were some complaints about the management of the transports by Ganzemüller. On July 16 Himmler’s personal adjutant Karl Wolff, , complained to the newly appointed under-secretary about irregularities on  transport and track repairs on the line to the extermination camp at Sobibor. Ganzenmüller replied in writing on 28 July 1942 as follows:

“A train carrying 5,000 Jews has run daily since 22 July from Warsaw to Treblinka via Malkinia; furthermore, another train has run twice a week with 5,000 Jews from Przemysl to Belzec. The senior management of the eastern division of the railways, ‘Gedob’ (Generaldirektion der Ostbahnen), is in constant touch with the security service  in Krakau. The latter is in agreement that transport from Warsaw to Sobibor via Lublin should continue while the reconstruction work on this stretch renders such movements impossible ([until] approximately October 1942).”

Karl Wolff thanked him on 13 August 1942 in a personal letter:

“I note with particular pleasure from your communication that a train with 5,000 members of the chosen race has been running daily for 14 days and that we are accordingly in a position to continue with this population movement at an accelerated pace.”

Not only was the Reichsbahn used as a sort of weapon of mass destruction , it was also used as a money making tool.Most of the Jews were forced to pay for their own deportations, particularly wherever passenger carriages were used.According to an expert report established on behalf of the German “Train of Commemoration” project, the receipts taken in by the state-owned Deutsche Reichsbahn for mass deportations in the period between 1938 and 1945 reached a sum of  an equivalent of close to 450 Million Euro or 505 Million USD.

It must be said that it wasn’t only the German railways who were involved, most of the other European railways also transported Jews and other so called’undesirables’ to the camps. Although they were controlled by the Reichsbahn, they still had some level of autonomy.

slovak train

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Archive.org

Bundesarchiv

 

First man-made object in space.

V2

One could be forgiven for thinking that the space race was between the USSR and the USA, and that the USSR were the first to initiate the race.

But it was in fact the Germans who on this day 75 years ago ,sent  the first man-made object to reach outer space.

The test launch of the MW 18014 ,a German  A-4/V-2 rocket  took place on 20 June 1944. It attained an apoapsis(The point of a body’s elliptical orbit about the system’s center of mass where the distance between the body and the center of mass is at its maximum) of 176 kilometers

MW 18014 was part of a series of vertical test launches conducted in June 1944, in Peenemunde, designed to gauge the rocket’s behavior in vacuum. MW 18014 broke the altitude record set by one of its predecessors to attain an apoapsis of 176 km.

It was the first man-made object to cross  the 100 km Kármán Line, which is the currently accepted boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. About 20 months later on October 24,1946 the US Air force took the first photo taken of Earth from outer space. with a camera mounted on an adapted V2 rocket.

earth

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Getting married in Nazi Germany

The Nazi regime controlled every aspects of life in Germany, even who you married. In 1935 the Reich Committee for Public Health Service issued the guidelines for getting married.

It was published as ‘die zehn Gebote für die Gattenwahl’ the 10 commandments for choosing a spouse.

  1. Always remember that you are a German.

2. Be sure to marry if you are genetically healthy.

3. Ensure that you keep your body clean.

4. Keep your soul and spirit clean.

5. As a German, you should only take a spouse of German or Nordic blood.

6. When deciding on a spouse, investigate his or her ancestry.

7. Physical health is the prerequisite for outward beauty.

8. Marry only for love.

9. In relationships, do not seek a temporary plaything, look for a partner for marriage.

10. You should want as many children as possible.

These 10 commandments were published in women’s magazines like “NS-Frauen-Warte” but also in pamphlets distributed to all students graduating from a trade school under the Nazi regime.

So many got married because their “Führer” wished so, yet he only got married a few hours before he killed himself.

10

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Sources

Süddeutscher Zeitung

Bundesarciv

 

I don’t hate you..

gIDEON

I don’t hate you. I don’t even understand what that word means.

There are things I don’t like, like Spinach. I’d rather have an ice cream or a lolly pop.

Hate is a concept made by grown ups, not by children like me.

I only see the good in people.

Why should I hate you? I don’t even know you.

Yet you hate me and you don’t know me either.

Your hate for me is so strong that your desire is to kill me.

Granting me one more sunrise is too much for you to bear< why?

I don’t hate you, but you hate me.

I am Gideon Prager born 4 June 1942 in the Hague. Murdered 6 March 1944, in Auschwitz.

Anne Frank 90

anne frank 0

Today would have been Anne Frank’s 90th birthday.

I have already done several blogs about Anne and her Family but today I just want to remember her birthday with some moments of her life.

To put in Anne’s own words.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

If we all try to improve the world her death will not have been in vain.

In Memory of the Valor and the Sacrifices which Hallow this soil.

thank you

Only a few days ago we celebrated the 75th anniversary of D-Day. People often forget that D-Day did not mark the end of WWII, it merely marked the beginning of the end.

So many sacrifices were still made in the days and months following D-Day. Thousands and thousands of mainly young men, some the same age as my own 2 sons, gave their lives for the freedom of strangers. Most of them did not know the people they were fighting for, all they knew is that an evil regime had to be beaten.

The title of this blog is a quote which engraved in the Marble reception hall of the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial  in Margraten in the Netherlands.

The cemetery was created in October 1944 under the leadership of Joseph Shomon of the 611th Graves Registration Company, as the Ninth United States Army pushed into the Netherlands from France and Belgium. American casualties from the area, and also those that fell in Germany were buried here (as Americans could not be buried permanently in enemy territory)

Margraten 1940s

Currently 8,301 souls are buried here.Stretching along the sides of the court are Tablets of the Missing on which are recorded 1,722 names. Totaling 10,023 souls remembered here. I could write pages and pages on honouting these men but there is only one word that really describes each single one of them-Heroes-.

Below are just some impression of this most hallow of places. Let us never forget.

US FLAG

Flag

FLOWERS

ROSENKRANTZ

In this world where the greatest generation often gets disrespected, I am proud to see that there is still so much respect for the men and remembered here. The sight of 8301 pure white marble graves, is awesome,saddening and eerie at the same time, but these hallow soils are treated with the utmost respect.

white crosses

 

Sources

Own archive

Beeldbank WO2