The First Thanksgiving

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Us Europeans often get confused about this whole Thanksgiving business,for in Europe Thanksgiving is on the 1st Sunday in October. That’s when we say thanks for the harvest.

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Although the US Thanksgivin has also an element of harvest in it, it is not the same as the European one.

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November.

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The 1621 Thanksgiving celebration marked the Pilgrims’ first autumn harvest, so it is likely that the colonists feasted on the bounty they had reaped with the help of their Native American neighbors. Local vegetables that likely appeared on the table include onions, beans, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, carrots and perhaps peas. Corn, which records show was plentiful at the first harvest, might also have been served, but not in the way most people enjoy it now. In those days, the corn would have been removed from the cob and turned into cornmeal, which was then boiled and pounded into a thick corn mush or porridge that was occasionally sweetened with molasses.

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The history of the Thanksgiving turkey is a bit of a mystery. Nobody knows exactly how this particular bird earned a place of honor at the table each November, but historians have a few different theories.

Thanks to letters and records kept by early American settlers, we know that when the colonists sat down to dine with the Wampanoag Indians, beef and fowl were on the menu. Although historians cannot say for sure which types of fowl were served up that day, a letter written by pilgrim Edward Winslow mentions a turkey hunting trip before the meal.

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Anyway have a great one this year.

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The last words

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This may sound strange but is often easier to look at  graphic images of the Holocaust, because throughout the years I have seen so many that nothing actually shocks me anymore.

But seeing the last words of the victims has such a profound effect. With images you close your eyes or look away and although there is a memory of that picture, the impact gets lesser when you look away.

However the words are forever etched in your soul, they are the cries from eternity.

“Blanche, if it’s a boy, name him Jacob Ben Meier. If it’s a girl, name her Rachel.”

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Meier Vieijra was born on 26 December 1918 in Amsterdam.

In 1939, Meier married Blanche Nabarro

Meier’s parents lived in central Amsterdam, near the Portuguese Synagogue on the Jonas Daniel Meijerplein, the square that became the scene of the first large round-up of Jews in Amsterdam, on 22-23 February 1941. On 22 February, Meier was on his way to visit his mother when he was brutally arrested on the stairs of her apartment building.  Together with some 400 young Dutch Jewish men, he was taken to the Jonas Daniel Meijer Square and then deported, initially to Buchenwald and from there to Mauthausen. Most of the deportees were murdered within a few months.

On 31 August, Blanche received what turned out to be the last letter from her husband, in which he said: Blanche, if it’s a boy, name him Jacob Ben Meier. If it’s a girl, name her Rachel.

Blanche gave birth to a baby daughter on 2 October 1941 and called her Rachel.

A letter written by Blanche to Meier in Mauthausen on 14 October 1941 was returned to sender. Meier was murdered on 17 September 1941.

“Dear Blanche,

Thank you for your letters and money orders. Today I have the opportunity to write to you. Blanche, please thank Aunt Aggelen for the money order. You ask in your letter if you can send me 15 RM weekly.  It is probably allowed. Blanche, if it will be a boy, name him Jacob Ben Meier. If it is a girl, name her Rachel.”

“Dear Mummy and Daddy… I also kiss and hug both of you very tight
Yours, Edik”

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Edik, who had just started learning to write, wrote these words to his parents, Klara and Lazer. That was the last they heard from their seven-year-old son.

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“Dear Mummy and Daddy,
Today it has been raining all day.
I am playing with Vitya and Grisha.
I kiss and hug both of you very tight,
Yours, Edik”

Letter sent to Edik’s dad Lazer Tonkonogi on 22 April 1944, in which he is informed that his family members have been murdered.

Tashkent, Maxim Gorky St. […]6
For Mr. Tonkonogi c/o Czelirovksi

Dear Mr. Tonkonogi,
We received your letters, and we have the answers to your questions.  Only six people remain out of the residents of Satanov.  The rest of the Jewish population, amongst them your family members, were murdered by the fascist barbarians. Boris Kuperstein, Walodia Liptzan, Leida Ichilov and Motya Eizkov survived. You don’t know the other survivors.
Your neighbors
22 April 1944

Tashkent, Maxim Gorky St. […]6
For Mr. Tonkonogi c/o Czelirovks

Do you still remember the songs? I also sing them.”

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Leah Jurgrau wrote these words to her 8-year-old daughter Ruth in her last letter from Westerbork. Ruth was in hiding in Groningen, in the north of the Netherlands.

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When the war broke out, the Jurgraus tried unsuccessfully to flee the Netherlands. In the summer of 1942, Dov found a hiding place in an apartment in Groningen, where he was joined by his daughter, Ruth.  Meanwhile, Leah hid in the home of Dutch friends, the Buursma family, in Amsterdam.  Tragically, Leah was caught and sent to the Westerbork transit camp, and deported from there to her death in Sobibor in 1943.

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22 November 1942

“Darling!
The letter and the drawing were wonderful.  Everyone loves the drawing.  Did you draw it with your left or right hand?
I’m glad that you are in a good place with the two little ones.  Are you sure that you are happy? I hope you are behaving like a big girl, and playing nicely with the children.
Lots of kisses to the three of you.
L [Leah]
Do you still remember the songs? I also sing them.”

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The Manchester Martyrsire

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On the 11th September, 1867, two prominent Fenians Colonel Thomas Kelly and Captain Timothy Deasy were arrested in the centre of Manchester on a vagrancy charge. News of their arrest was immediately sent to Mr. Disraeli, the Prime Minister, and it was considered quite a capture. Seven days later, the two prisoners were conveyed from the Court House in Manchester to the County Jail on Hyde Road, West Gorton. The Kelly and Deasy were handcuffed and locked in two separate compartments inside the Police van, with twelve mounted policemen to escorting the van.

On 18 September 1867 about 50 Irish Fenians, led by William Allen, attacked a prison van guarded by a large number of unarmed police at Hyde Road in Manchester, England.

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Their aim was to release two important Fenian prisoners, Thomas J. Kelly and Timothy Deasy. In the course of freeing the men, an unarmed police sergeant, Charles Brett, was shot dead, and 26 men were eventually tried for their part in the attack. Three, William Allen, Michael O’Brien and Michael Larkin, who became known as the ‘Manchester Martyrs’, were hanged in front of an estimated 10,000 people on 23 November 1867 for their part in the raid, and the events surrounding the attack became part of Irish nationalist folklore.

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All three executed men were born in Ireland: William Allen came from Bandon, Co. Cork, and was only eighteen years of age when he died. In a defiant address from the dock he declared, ‘I will die proudly and triumphantly in defence of republican principles and the liberty of an oppressed and enslaved people’. Michael Larkin, 32, came from near Banagher, Co. Offaly, and was a tailor who lived with his wife and family in Manchester. He was ill at the time of the raid and struggled to escape from the scene, and his comrades Larkin and O’Brien were captured while helping to carry him across a nearby railway embankment.

Michael O’Brien, 31, from Ballymacoda, Co. Cork, had previously lived in the United States and gained the rank of lieutenant in the US army. An accomplished revolutionary, he lived under the pseudonym William Gould while in England, and contemporary accounts refer to him by his false identity.

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Their deaths made them martyrs but the courage and eloquence of their speeches from the dock after being condemned to death established them as heroes, their cry of “God save Ireland” inspiring TD Sullivan to write a rebel song of that name which became for more than 50 years Ireland’s unofficial national anthem.
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James S Jameson-Heir to the Whiskey empire and full time Psycho.

CaptureJames S. Jameson was the great-great-grandson of John Jameson, the founder of the famed Irish Whiskey company, and as such was heir to the family fortune.

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Like many rich heirs of the era, Jameson considered himself something of an adventurer, and would tag along on the expeditions of more accomplished explorers.

The end of the 19th century was a time of unimaginable cruelty in Africa as the nations of Europe sought to divide it into imperialist states. Millions of Africans were killed by the conquering forces from the north as white men pillaged the land for its vast natural resources, gold, and diamonds. Expeditions were sent to the heart of the “dark continent” hoping to uncover treasures.

One such excursion featured the wealthy James Jameson, heir to the whiskey empire.

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According to an affidavit by Assad Farran, a Syrian translator on the expedition to the Congo, Jameson expressed an interest in witnessing cannibalism in 1888. He was advised to purchase a slave girl, which he picked up for the bargain price of six handkerchiefs. Jameson gave the 10-year-old girl as a gift to cannibals. She was lashed to a tree and stabbed to death, then hacked apart and devoured. Meanwhile, Jameson stood by, making a series of rough sketches of the incident.

The girl was tied to a tree,” said Farran,

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“the natives sharpened their knives the while. One of them then stabbed her twice in the belly.”

In Jameson’s own diary he then wrote, “Three men then ran forward, and began to cut up the body of the girl; finally her head was cut off, and not a particle remained, each man taking his piece away down the river to wash it.”

Later, he would render a series of illustrations and display them to others in the group. In describing them, Farran said “There were six of them, all neatly done. The first sketch was of the girl as she was led to the tree. The second showed her stabbed, with the blood gushing from the wounds. The third showed her dissected. The fourth, fifth, and sixth showed men carrying off various parts of her body.”

Jameson died shortly thereafter, but not before writing a rebuttal of the incident. Although he claimed that he was present for an incident of cannibalism, he claimed he was averse to it. He even corroborated the point about the handkerchiefs, although instead of payment, he claimed that they were given to prove the cannibals would actually go through with it. The rebuttal seems rather flimsy in retrospect, and as other members of the group would testify to Jameson’s rather execrable character, he likely operated with sinister intent.

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Just ‘regular’ guys-The faces of evil.

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Recently a list was released with the names of nearly 10,000 SS guards who worked in Auschwitz.Many of the men who appear in the list of 9,686 names worked as farmers, teachers and decorators before the war.

Benjamin Wengel. DOB: 14/09/1905. Place of Birth: Lydowen. Nationality: Lithuanian. Occupation: Barrel maker

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Franz Wunsch. DOB: 21/03/1922. Place of Birth: Drasenhofen. Occupation: Student

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Heinz Wimmer. DOB: 03/05/1905. Place of Birth: Aachen. Nationality: German. Occupation: Painter

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Johann Weishaupel. DOB: 05/03/1907. Place of Birth: Konigliche Weinberge. Nationality: Austrian. Occupation: Shoemaker

4

Robert Wagner. DOB: 05/06/1908. Place of Birth: Kimpolung. Nationality: Romanian. Occupation: Butcher

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Waldemar Alszewski. DOB: 09/09/1905. Place of Birth: Kibarten. Nationality: Lithuanian. Occupation: Butcher

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Walter Weber. DOB: 11/10/1906. Place of Birth: Hagen. Nationality: German. Occupation. Machinist

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November 22 Dallas- The aftermath

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I can’t think of any other political family who had to endure the amount of tragedies as the Kennedys did.I will not go into the details of the assassination of President KennedyLyndon B. Johnson because so much is already written about it, I will focus more on some of the events which happened in the aftermath.

But before I do that I will touch a small bit on the Kennedy history prior to November 22 1963.

JFK was not the first Kennedy who had his live cut short .On August 12, 1944 Joe Kennedy Jr was killed in action during WWII.

https://dirkdeklein.net/2017/11/07/joe-kennedy-jr-one-last-mission/

Another Kennedy who is often forgotten is Patrick Bouvier Kennedy , the last child of United States President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. Patrick died only a few months before his dad, on August 9 1963.

He was born on August 7  the 20th anniversary of the day the Navy had rescued his Father in World War II.

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/08/02/john-f-kennedy-and-pt-109/

Patrick Bouvier Kennedy only lived for 36 hours.

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The swearing in and the inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson

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In the hospital, Johnson was surrounded by Secret Service agents, who encouraged him to return to Washington in case he too was targeted for assassination. Johnson wished to wait until he knew of Kennedy’s condition; at 1:20 pm he was told Kennedy was dead and left the hospital almost twenty minutes later.

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At this point arrangements were made to provide Secret Service protection of the two Johnson daughters (Lynda Bird Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson), and it was decided that the new president would leave on the presidential aircraft because it had better communications equipment. Johnson was driven by an unmarked police car to Love Field, and kept below the car’s window level throughout the journey.

Johnson waited for Jacqueline Kennedy, who in turn would not leave Dallas without her husband’s body, to arrive aboard Air Force One. Kennedy’s casket was finally brought to the aircraft, but takeoff was delayed until Johnson took the oath of office.

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Spare a thought here, Jackie Kennedy who 3 months earlier lost a child and who still had the blood of her husband on her suit had to attend the inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson on Air Force One. What an amazing woman.

I have heard people say “why couldn’t they wait until they were back at the White House” but legally in order to keep the office of the President of the United States of America in continuation, the vice president most be sworn in as soon as possible.

The Kennedy children.

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People often forget that the Children were victims too, as their mother had to deal with the grief of losing a child and husband, they had to deal with the loss of a sibling and father.

On the day of JFK’s assassination on November 22, 1963, nanny Maud Shaw took Caroline and John Jr. away from the White House to the home of their maternal grandmother, Janet Lee Auchincloss , who insisted that Shaw be the one to tell Caroline about her father’s death. That evening, Caroline and John Jr. were brought back to the White House, and while Caroline was in her bed, Shaw broke the news to her.

John Jr had his 3rd Birthday 3 days after his Father’s assassination. The state funeral was held , on John Jr.’s third birthday. In a moment that became an iconic image of the 1960s, John Jr. stepped forward and rendered a final salute as his father’s flag-draped casket was carried out from St. Matthew’s Cathedral.

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John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr died  On July 16, 1999,when the airplane he was piloting crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The two passengers on board, Kennedy’s wife Carolyn Bessette and her sister Lauren, were also killed. The Piper Saratoga light aircraft had departed from Essex County Airport in Fairfield, New Jersey, and its intended route was along the coastline of Connecticut and across Rhode Island Sound to Martha’s Vineyard Airport.

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J.D. Tippit

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At 12:45 p.m., 15 minutes after Kennedy was shot, Tippit received a radio order to drive to the central Oak Cliff area as part of a concentration of police around the center of the city. At 12:54, Tippit radioed that he had moved as directed. By then several messages had been broadcast describing a suspect in the killing of Kennedy as a slender white male, in his early thirties, 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) tall, and weighing about 165 pounds (75 kg). Oswald was a slender white male, 24 years old, 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m) tall, and an estimated weight of 150 pounds (68 kg) at autopsy.

At approximately 1:11–1:14 p.m.,Tippit was driving slowly eastward on East 10th Street — about 100 feet (30 m) past the intersection of 10th Street and Patton Avenue — when he pulled alongside a man who resembled the police description.Oswald walked over to Tippit’s car and apparently exchanged words with him through an open vent window.

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Tippit opened his car door and as he walked toward the front of the car, Oswald drew his handgun and fired four shots in rapid succession. One bullet hit Tippit in the chest, one in the stomach, another in his right temple (one bullet hit a button and did not penetrate his skin). Tippit’s body was transported from the scene of the shooting by ambulance to Methodist Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:25 p.m. by Dr. Richard A. Liguori.

I know there are gazillions of conspiracy theories and every one is free to believe them. I however tend to stick with the facts.

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Who shot JR?

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This question will trigger 2 new questions.

The 1st one by younger generations who never experienced the anxiety that Dallas fans had, their question will be “Who is Jr?”dallas 15

The second group who belong to my generation and older, when they realize that the question in the title was answered today 37 years ago, they will ask themselves”37 year!,am I really that old?

On this day in 1980, 350 million people around the world tune in to television’s popular primetime drama “Dallas” to find out who shot J.R. Ewing, the character fans loved to hate. J.R. had been shot on the season-ending episode the previous March 21, which now stands as one of television’s most famous cliffhangers.

Not that it really mattered whodunit. What mattered was, the issue was settled. The mystery solved. Dallas fans could finally move on.

The November 21 episode solved the mystery, identifying Kristin Shepard, J.R.’s wife’s sister and his former mistress, as the culprit.

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Who thought that Bing Crosby’s daughter could so such a thing.

As J.R. had many enemies, audiences were hard-pressed to guess who was responsible for his attempted murder. That summer, the question “Who Shot J.R.?” entered the national lexicon, becoming a popular t-shirt slogan, and heightening anticipation of the soap’s third season, which was to air in the fall. After a much-talked-about contract dispute with Hagman was finally settled, the season was delayed because of a Screen Actors Guild strike, much to the dismay of “Dallas” fans. When it finally aired, the episode revealing J.R.’s shooter became one of television’s most watched shows, with an audience of 83 million people in the U.S. alone—a full 76 percent of all U.S. televisions on that night were tuned in—and helped put “Dallas” into greater worldwide circulation. It also popularized the use of the cliffhanger by television writers.

J.R.’s poor wife Sue Ellen, unsurprisingly drunk at the time, got the blame first, and was jailed, with father-in-law Jock (the sorely missed Jim Davis) turning on her with a vengeance.

But in the end, it was Kristin Shepard, Sue Ellen’s sister and J.R.’s mistress, who did the deed, stealing J.R.’s gun from Sue Ellen by tempting the onetime beauty queen with liquor and later sneaking the weapon back into Sue Ellen’s closet.

When she finally confessed to J.R. and Sue Ellen, the “Dallas” writers had another twist up their sleeves. You can’t jail me, Kristin taunted, “Not unless you want YOUR CHILD born in prison.”

Cue the DUH-DUH-DUH swelling music. Yes, pregnancy, the convenient wrench thrown into all soap-opera stories.

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Kristin Shepard then went on to kill JR’s brother Bobby. Or did she?

Well yes and no, she did kill him by car but in a twist that didn’t actually happen, Because after Bobby was dead for a season he suddenly appeared in a shower again.

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But that would warrant a complete separate blog.

Although Tom(Pat Shortt) a character in the sitcom “Father Ted” claims he shot JR we can safely assume it was in fact Sue Ellen’s sister who did it.

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The Trent Park recordings- Documenting evil.

 

Bsecret-listener-001-1024x579elow is a rare picture of Hitler briefing his top brass. For years they claimed to know nothing about the Holocaust. But  extraordinary secret recordings – made by the British – explode that myth.

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Between 1942 and 1945, MI-19, a division of the British Directorate of Military Intelligence, created a number of Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centres in and around London. The most important of these centers was at Trent Park, in North London. Sophisticated tapping equipment was installed, and secret gramophone recordings were made of conversations between German general staff officers. They were treated hospitably, provided with special rations of whisky and allowed regular walks on the grounds. The hidden microphones and listening devices allowed the British military (MI19) to gather important information and an intimate insight into the minds of the German military elite.

Trent Park Camp, gefangene deutsche Offiziere

Following are some excerpts if the transcripts.

In one cell conversation, army General Edwin Graf von Rothkirch und Trach talks about his time in the Polish town of Kutno.

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I knew an SS leader pretty well, and we talked about this and that, and one day he said: ‘Listen, if you ever want to film one of these shootings? …I mean, it doesn’t really matter. These people are always shot in the morning. If you’re interested, we still have a few left over, and we could also shoot them in the afternoon if you like.”

In December 1944, Generalleutnant Heinrich Kittel, commander of 462 Volksgrenadier division, told General-major Paul von Felbert, commandant of Feldkommandantur 560: “The things I’ve experienced! In Latvia, near Dvinsk, there were mass executions of Jews carried out by the SS.”

“I got up and went outside and said: “What the hell’s all this shooting about?” The orderly said to me: “You ought to go over there, sir, you’ll see something.” 300 Men had been driven in from the town, they dug a communal grave then marched home again. The next day along they came again, men women and children – the executioners first laid all the clothes out in a big pile. And then twenty women were made to take up their positions – naked – on the edge of the trench. Someone gave the command and the twenty women dropped like ninepins down into the trench. I went away and I thought: “I’m going to do something about this. So I went over to the Security Service man and I said: “once and for all, I forbid these outside executions, where people can look on. If you kill people in the woods or somewhere where no-one can see, that’s your business. But I absolutely forbid another day’s shooting here. We draw our drinking water from deep springs; we’ll get nothing but corpse water!

“There were about 15 SS men and perhaps 60 Latvians, known to be the most brutal people in the world.

Libau, Zusammengetriebene Juden

Men, women and children – they were counted off and stripped naked. The executioners first laid all the clothes in one pile. Then 20 women had to take up their position – naked – on the edge of the trench. They were shot and fell down into it.”

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“What did they do to the children?” asked Felbert. Kittel – who sounded “very excited” at this point, according to the transcriber – answered: “They seized three-year-old children by the hair, held them up and shot them with a pistol and then threw them in. I saw that for myself. One could watch it.”

Lance Corporal Muller told Sergeant Faust about his experiences as his unit moved into Russia.

MULLER
Everywhere we saw women working. Extraordinarily lovely girls. We drove past; we would simply pull them into the armoured car, rape them and throw them out again.
And did they curse!

Horst Minnieur was one of a new group of POWs, who saw action on the Eastern Front.

MINNIEUR
“We were actually there when a pretty girl was shot.

But she knew she was going to be shot.
We were going past on motorcycles and we saw a procession and suddenly she called to us. She said they were going to be shot. And at first we thought that she was making some sort of joke.”

Yes. You couldn’t tell that she was a Jewess; she was quite a nice type, too. It was just her bad luck that she had to die with the others. 75,000 Jews were shot there.”

Luftwaffe pilot Fried described what happened after a routine transport flight…

FRIED

2I was at Radom once and had my midday meal with the Waffen S.S. battalion there. An S.S. captain or whatever he was said: “Would you like to come along for half-an-hour? Get a machinegun and let’s go.” So I went along. I had an hour to spare and we went to some barracks and there we slaughtered 1,500 Jews. There were some twenty men with machine-guns. It was over in a couple of seconds, and nobody thought anything of it.”

Polish_farmers_killed_by_German_forces,_German-occupied_Poland,_1943

INTERROGATOR BENTZ

“You fired, too?”

FRIED
“Yes, I did. There were women and children there, too!”

BENTZ
“They were inside as well?”

FRIED
“Whole families, some were screaming terribly others were just apathetic.”

None of the men imprisoned at Trent Park were ever prosecuted for war crimes.

Trent Park Camp, gefangene deutsche Offiziere

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The 4 year old enemies of the state.

In this blog I will only show pictures of 4 year old children who were murdered by the Nazi regime. You can make up your own mind what you think about that. But before you do look at your own 4 year old child, or the child of a relative,neighbor or friend and try to determine how big an enemy this child would be.

4 YEARS OLD.

Micha Kalichowski was only 4 when he was sadly murdered in a town Bronogura, Poland in 1941 during the Holocaust.

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Abram Minkin was only 4 years old when he was sadly sadly murdered in his hometown at Riga, Latvia in 1941.

 

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Levi Spier was only 4 years when he was sadly murdered at Sobibor death camp on Jul 9, 1943

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Mara Gofman was only 4 years old when she was sadly murdered in her hometown at Mariupol, Ukraine in 1941.

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The pictures of these 4 children is disturbing enough, what is more disturbing is that I could have posted thousands of pictures of 4 year old children who suffered the same fate.

Thanksgiving WWII style

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During World War II, the Office of Price Administration (OPA) instituted rationing, limiting the amount of goods, including food items, that civilians could purchase, affecting daily life and traditions on the homefront.

Despite the difficulties, dangers, and deprivations of the World War II era, Americans still gave thanks.

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World War II presented a hugely intricate logistics challenge in supplying our troops with food. During this time, soldiers subsisted largely on canned goods, dried fruit, and powdered eggs. But for Thanksgiving the supply chain went to extraordinary lengths by transporting over 1.6 tons of turkey to ensure the troops ate a traditional hot dinner.

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Officers of the 77Th Bomb Group and the 54Th Fighter Group celebrating. Thanksgiving with a dinner.

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Thanksgiving WWII 102nd Infantry Division.

 

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After receiving permission from the farm owner, these men, attached to an airbase at Norfolk, England, invade a turkey pen to choose their annual turkey day repast. The turkeys were given to the men for their Thanksgiving dinners”, November 6, 1943.

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Italy Nov 1944, probably the unit is the 805th Tank Destroyer Battalion.

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No matter where they were or what hardships they faced, Americans still gathered together to celebrate and to give thank.

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