World War 2 Fashion

Before you ask, I know absolutely nothing about fashion. Then why do a piece on fashion in WW2? I hear you say.

There is no particular reason, but after all the heavy subjects I usually explore, I decided to go with a more lighthearted one for a change, while still staying on the subject o World War 2.

Picture above: Bath and beach fashion. Swimwear from Germany. One-piece swimsuit in a fabric with a herringbone pattern. The low back is closed with a cord. Apr 28, 1942.

Shoe fashion. Women’s high-heeled shoes in black patent leather and side closure with buckle. Black suede trim. The shiny stockings are made of fil d’écosse (shiny cotton yarn). Netherlands March 14, 1941.

A Japanese department store where every sort of Japanese designed goods were sold.

France. Hair fashion 1940. The blond hair is undulated with strokes on the sides. Coiffure Jean Pierre.

Germany. Hair fashion 1941. The blond hair is undulated and fastened at the back with a decorative pin. Nov 28, 1941.

Shop window clothing repair Hollandia. With examples of how broken you can bring the underwear and how you can get it back repaired. The Maastricht skyline is visible in the shop window, including the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk from the apse to the westwork. From this it can be concluded that this shop was located on the east bank, in Wyck. Location possible at Cortenplein.

Girls of the fashion studio Gomperts en Lezer at the Oudezijds Voorburgwal 127-129 in Amsterdam, 1942-1943. I believe this was a Jewish fashion studio.

This photo is part of the collection of Emmy Andriesse (1914-1953), one of the most renowned photographers in the Netherlands. After completing her studies, she moved to Amsterdam, where she started working as a photographer. Andriesse supplied many photos to newspapers and magazines that were characterized by the use of surprising camera angles and a preference for diagonal image construction. The subjects were crafts, landscapes and the lives of adults and children in towns and villages. She was able to do this until the so-called ‘Journalists’ Decree’ of the German occupier in 1941. As a Jewish woman she could not work or publish and had to go into hiding. At the end of 1944, an anthropologist friend Arie de Froe arranged a forged Aryan declaration for her and she was able to participate in public life again. She joined the illegal photographers collective ‘De Ondergedoken Camera’. The photos Andriesse made of the Hunger Winter in Amsterdam under difficult circumstances are among the most disturbing in her portfolio. Ending this piece with one of those pictures by Emmy.

sources

Manna From Heaven-Ending the Dutch famine

The title of this blog does not refer to the verse in the bible in the book of Exodus chapter 16 verse 15:”And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.”

But I do think it must have been the inspiration for the allied forces in April 1945.

In September 1944, trains in the Netherlands ground to a halt. Dutch railway workers were hoping that a strike could stop the transport of Nazi troops, helping the advancing Allied forces.

But the Allied campaign named ‘Market Garden’ had failed, and the Nazis punished the Netherlands by blocking food supplies, plunging the northern part of the country into famine. By the time the Netherlands was liberated in May 1945, more than 20,000 people had died of starvation.

77 years ago, on April 29.1945, one of the first major humanitarian operations carried out by air forces took place over the Netherlands. Following the failed attempt to secure the vital bridge over the River Rhine at Arnhem in September 1944, the portion of the Netherlands north of the river remained firmly in German hands. With resources stripped by the occupying forces and one of the harshest winters on record, Dutch civilians faced starvation as 1945 dawned. The Dutch Government in exile pleaded with the Allies to help and by April 1945, a plan was in place.

Air Commodore Andrew Geddes, whose job was Operations and Plans at 2nd Tactical Air Force, was summoned to Eisenhower’s Headquarters on 17th April to be told that he must plan for feeding 3,500,000 Dutch souls from the air, commencing in 10 days’ time. There were no parachutes available for dropping supplies, therefore Geddes should plan for low-level free drops and assume that the German troops on the ground would grant safe conduct for the flights. The operation was to be called ‘Operation Manna’

The RAF carried out over 3,000 sorties, dropping the supplies at low level without parachutes.The Americans carried out around 2,000. In all around 11,000 tonnes of food were dropped by the Allies over Holland, for the loss of three aircraft (two in a collision, one with engine trouble). While some German soldiers fired on them, fortunately none were shot down.

The first of the two RAF Avro Lancasters chosen for the test flight, the morning of 29 April 1945, was nicknamed Bad Penny, as in the expression: “a bad penny always turns up”. This bomber, with a crew of seven young men (five from Ontario, Canada, including pilot Robert Upcott of Windsor, Ontario), took off in bad weather despite the fact that the Germans had not yet agreed to a ceasefire. (Seyss-Inquart would do so the next day.) Bad Penny had to fly low, down to 50 feet (15 m), over German guns, but succeeded in dropping her cargo and returning to her airfield.

Pathfinder Lancaster pilot Richard Bolt later recalled in an interview:

“Like other pathfinders I led a heap of Lancasters into Holland to drop food in Operation ‘Manna’. The Dutch were starving and the war hadn’t quite finished. The Germans weren’t fussed about us feeding the Dutch so there was no opposition. I had a simple task – I just had to put a big red marker in the middle of Valkenburg airfield outside The Hague and 100 Lancasters came in and dropped potatoes and food of all kinds to the starving Dutch. So that was satisfying. There were lots of us doing the same thing.”

Food packs included tinned items, dried food, tea and coffee and chocolate. After much testing of different packaging, hessian sacks were used, some of which were sourced from the US Army.

The ceasefire was signed on the 30th April. Operation Chowhound, the US Army Air Forces aid drop, started on the 1st May and delivered a further 4,000 tons of food. This was followed, on the 2nd May, with a ground based relief mission, Operation Faust. It is estimated that these drops saved nearly a million Dutch people from starvation.

Although it saved many from starvation, the Dutch famine had effects long after the war.

The Dutch Hunger Winter has proved unique in unexpected ways. Due to its sudden start and abrupt end , it became an unplanned experiment in human health. Pregnant women, it was discovered, were uniquely vulnerable, and the children they gave birth to have been influenced by famine throughout their lives.

When they became adults, they ended up a few pounds heavier than average. In middle age, they had higher levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. They also experienced higher rates of such conditions as obesity, diabetes and schizophrenia.

By the time they reached old age, those risks had taken a measurable toll, according to the research of L.H. Lumey, an epidemiologist at Columbia University. In 2013, he and his colleagues reviewed death records of hundreds of thousands of Dutch people born in the mid-1940s.

They found that the people who had been in utero during the famine — known as the Dutch Hunger Winter cohort, died at a higher rate than people born before or afterward.

sources

Manna from heaven

https://www.airforcemuseum.co.nz/blog/remembering-operation-manna-1945/

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know 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. Thank you. 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.

$2.00

Edda van Heemstra aka Audrey Hepburn

Audrey

There is one myth about Audrey Hepburn I have to dispel, she was not British-Belgian. In Belgium as in many other European countries you don’t automatically obtain citizenship just because you’re born there. You get the nationality of your parents, usually the nationality of the Father or sometimes the Mother.

Audrey was born on May 4,1929 in Brussels to a British father and Dutch mother.Therefore she was half British and half Dutch.

She was born  Audrey Kathleen Ruston or Edda Kathleen Hepburn-Ruston.Her father, Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston , was a British subject born in Auschitz, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary. Her Mother was Baroness Ella van Heemstra, a Dutch noblewoman. Her parents got married in Indonesia which was a Dutch colony at the time.Shortly after they married they moved to Europe, initially London but then later to Brussels.

Audrey’s grandfather Aarnoud van Heemstra, was the governor of the Dutch colony of Suriname.

audrey's gran

She had 2 half siblings from an earlier marriage of her Mother.

The WWII years of Audrey Hepburn do proof that it didn’t matter how well connected you were, survival was not a certainty for anyone.

In the mid-1930s, Hepburn’s parents recruited and collected donations for the British Union of Fascists, and allegedly were great admirers of Adolf Hitler. In 1935 Audrey’s Father abandoned the family. Following that mother moved with Hepburn to her family’s estate in Arnhem. Audrey and her mother did briefly live in Kent in 1937 but moved back to the Netherlands after Britain had declared war to Germany, The Netherlands were a neutral country and had remained neutral during WWI. Audrey’ mother hoped this would be the case again this time.

After the Germans invaded the Netherlands in 1940, Audrey changed her name to Edda van Heemstra, because an “English-sounding” name could be potentially dangerous.

invasion

Her mother  had already introduced Audrey to ballet lessons while they were still in England. The German occupation took a hard toll on the young Audrey Hepburn, who used ballet as a form of  escapism from the harsh reality of war. She trained at the Arnhem conservatory with ballet professor Winja Marova and became her star pupil.

The reality of war hit even harder when her uncle, Otto van Limburg Stirum(the husband of her Mother’s sister Miesje) was killed by the Nazis as reprisal for an act of sabotage by the resistance movement;on August 15 1942, while he had not been involved in the act, he was targeted due to his family’s prominence in Dutch society.

otto

Stirum’s murder turned Audrey’s Mother away from Nazi ideology, to become an avid member of the Dutch Resistance.

Audrey once said in an interview after the war.

“We saw young men put against the wall and shot, and they’d close the street and then open it and you could pass by again… Don’t discount anything awful you hear or read about the Nazis. It’s worse than you could ever imagine”

In 1944, Hepburn met with Dr. Hendrik Visser ’t Hooft, a local physician, and Dutch Resistance leader. She became a volunteer for the Dutch Resistance, using her passion for dancing and talents for ballet by having secret shows to fund resistance groups.

She also worked as a courier.Many Dutch children were couriers because they were less likely to raise the suspicions of the Nazis.

Hepburn also witnessed the transportation of Dutch Jews to concentration camps, of which she later said:

“More than once I was at the station seeing trainloads of Jews being transported, seeing all these faces over the top of the wagon. I remember, very sharply, one little boy standing with his parents on the platform, very pale, very blond, wearing a coat that was much too big for him, and he stepped on the train. I was a child observing a child”

TRANSPORT

The situation turned dire for Audrey Hepburn. Living conditions grew very bad and Arnhem was subsequently heavily damaged during Operation Market Garden. During the Dutch famine that followed in the winter of 1944, the Germans blocked the resupply routes of the Dutch people’s already-limited food and fuel supplies as retaliation for railway strikes that were held to hinder.

Hepburn’s family had to do with flour out of tulip bulbs to bake cakes and biscuit as food. Audrey developed acute anæmia, respiratory problems and œdema due to malnutrition.This would affect her for the remainder of her life.

After the war, she read Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and felt greatly impacted by the book. Luca Dotti, Audrey Hepburn’s son, talked about his memories of her in an interview with People Magazine.

“My mother never accepted the simple fact that she got luckier than Anne, She possibly hated herself for that twist of fate.”

Maybe that’s why she turned down the chance to play the part of Anne Frank.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know 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. Thank you. 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.

$2.00

 

 

Sources

Vintage News

IMDb

http://resources.huygens.knaw.nl/bwn1880-2000/lemmata/bwn5/heemstra

 

 

 

Hongerwinter-Hunger winter.

honger 1

In September 1944 most of the southern part of the Netherlands had been liberated, Unfortunately the rest of the country faced a very harsh  winter. Extreme cold combined with lack of food resulted in a famine, causing the death of about 20,000 citizens.

Dutch railway workers had gone on strike hoping to help the allied forces to advance. Alas the British led allied campaign called Operation Market Garden failed.The Nazis retaliated by blocking food supplies.

The effects of the famine is still felt more then 7 decades after it ended. One famous example of someone who suffered with the effects of the hunger winter for the rest of her life is Audrey Hepburn.She spent her childhood in the Netherlands during the hunger winter and although she would become a very successful actress who accumulated quite some wealth in her later years,  she had lifelong negative medical conditions as a result of the famine . She suffered from anemia, respiratory illnesses, and edema.

hepburn

Babied born from women who were pregnant during the famine would often be a few pounds heavier then the average.Their death rate would also be be higher then those who had been been in utero before or after the famine.

Below are some impression of the hunger winter 1944/45.

hunger 2

hunger 3

hunger 4

hunger 5

hunger 6

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know 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. Thank you. 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.

$2.00

Sources

Beeldbankwo2.nl

New York Times

 

World War 2 in the Netherlands

paratroopers

As the saying goes “A picture tells a thousand words” therefor rather then writing at length about  WWII in the Netherlands, I have decided that this time I will let the pictures do the talking.

The photograph on the top is a picture of American troops from the 82nd Airborne Division parachute into The Netherlands on Sept. 17, 1944.

Following are just a few pictures in no particular order

German SS soldiers advancing towards the Allies on stolen  bicycles during Operation Market Garden.

german-bikes

In 1941 the German occupiers turned the Jewish district in Amsterdam into a ghetto.

opnamedatum: 27-10-2006

Jews are being arrested during a raid in Amsterdam in February 1941

raid

The city of Rotterdam after the German bombing during the German invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940.

1024px-Rotterdam,_Laurenskerk,_na_bombardement_van_mei_1940

Dutch soldiers guard the border with Germany shortly after mobilization, 1939

Mobilisatie_1939_Dutch_soldiers_on_guard

Diplomat being evacuated from occupied Holland. German special visa issued for the travel on a diplomatic train for the evacuation in July of 1940.

800px-Passport_being_used_by_a_diplomat_being_evacuated_from_occupied_Holland_in_1940

Members of the Dutch Resistance, identified by their cloth armbands, with American paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division in Eindhoven, September 1944

101st_with_members_of_dutch_resistance

A case of ‘friendly’ fire on October 5 1942 RAF bombers mistakenly bomb the town of Geleen, thinking it was Aachen in Germany.

geleen-bombardem-42

Canadian troops pass a windmill in Rijssen-Holten, April 1945.

Holten-Rijssen_April_1945

Dutch civilians pictured during the Hongerwinter of 1944–45

Twee_deelnemers_aan_de_hongertochten_tijdens_de_hongerwinter

The town of Nijmegen in ruins on Sept. 28, 1944. The bridge in the background was one key element to Operation Market Garden.

nijmegan-ruins

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know 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. Thank you. 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.

$2.00