Lee Miller not Just a lady in a bathtub.

One of the most iconic pictures of women during WWII is the picture of Lee Miller sitting in Adolf Hitler’s bathtub, in his Munich apartment in 1945.

“I was living in Hitler’s private apartment in Munich when his death was announced.” she said afterwards.

Lee Miller however wasn’t just a lady in a bathtub.

Elizabeth “Lee” Miller, Lady Penrose was an American photographer and photojournalist. She was a fashion model in New York City in the 1920s before going to Paris, where she became a fashion and fine art photographer. She was unapologetically sexual.

During the Second World War, she was a war correspondent for Vogue, covering events such as the London Blitz, the liberation of Paris, and the concentration camps at Buchenwald and Dachau, despite having no military training

It is this part I want to focus on.

The magazine Vogue is a well known Fashion magazine. You would not associate it with hard hitting journalism , yet in June 1945 it published pictures taken by Lee Miller of the Buchenwald concentration camp.

I don’t usually take pictures of horrors. But don’t think that every town and every area isn’t rich with them. I hope Vogue will feel that it can publish there pictures.’ Wrote Lee Miller to her editor in the cover letter that was sent with her manuscripts and photographs of the liberation of Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps.
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and Vogue did publish it. ‘BELIEVE IT’ was the title of the article published in American Vogue. British Vogue also published images.
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In her manuscripts she writes ‘The overcrowded blocks of prisoners were re-crowded by incoming evacuated prisoners from other camps. The triple decker bunks without blankets, or even straw, held two and three men per bunk who lay in bed too weak to circulate the camp in victory and liberation marches or songs, although they mostly grinned and cheered, peering over the edge. In the few minutes it took me to take my pictures two men were found dead, and were unceremoniously dragged out and thrown on the heap outside the block. Nobody seemed to mind except me. The doctor said it was too late for more than half the others in the building anyway.’


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sources

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20140903-in-hitlers-bathtub

https://www.instagram.com/leemillerarchives/?hl=en

https://www.leemiller.co.uk/component/Main/17ToA3p1yfaBss9G2InA3w..a

https://archive.vogue.com/article/1945/6/germans-are-like-this

Crazy Little Thing Called Love- The story behind it.

This is a deviation from my usual heavier historic history blogs. Just a bit of lightheartedness at the start of a hopefully better 2021.

This is the story behind ” Crazy little thing called love”

Although ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ is a simple song it does actually demonstrate how genius Freddie Mercury was. He wrote the song while Queen were recording The Game in Germany. He wrote it while taking a bubble bath in his room at the Munich Hilton.

’Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ took me five or 10 minutes. I did that on the guitar, which I can’t play for nuts, and in one way it was quite a good thing, because I was restricted, knowing only a few chords,” Mercury shared in a 1981 interview with Melody Maker. He wrote it as a tribute to Elvis.

Freddie did know though that Brian May probably would not like the song, because of it’s rockabilly style, he once said in an interview So he took the song to the studio shortly after writing it and presented it to Roger Taylor and John Deacon. The three of them,their then new producer Reinhold Mack, recorded it at Musicland Studios in Munich. Later on Brian May added his part.

The song was released on 5 October 1979 in the UK and on December 7th in the US. It would become Queen’s first number 1 hit in the USA.

sources

YouTube

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/queen/crazy-little-thing-called-love

Munich 1972

Ap_munich905_t

In the early morning hours of September 5 1972, six members of the Arab terrorist group known as Black September dressed in the Olympic sweat suits of Arab nations and jumped the fence surrounding the Olympic village in Munich, Germany, carrying bags filled with guns. Although guards spotted them, they paid little attention because athletes often jumped the fence during the competition to return to their living quarters.

black september

After changing into disguises, the terrorists, toting machine guns, burst into the apartments of 21 Israeli athletes and officials. Yossef Gutfreund, a wrestling referee who valiantly tried to keep the terrorists out, saved Tuvia Sokolovsky, who was able to climb out a window and escape. In another apartment, Moshe Weinberg was shot 12 times but still managed to wound one of the terrorists and save the life of one of his teammates.

Israeli-olympic-team

Created in 1970 by a few survivors of the “ten terrible September days” of fighting against Jordan for a Palestinian homeland, Black September succeeded in taking nine hostages before demanding the release of 234 prisoners-most of whom were Arab terrorists. The demands were categorically refused, but it was eventually agreed that the terrorists and the hostages would be taken to the Furstenfeldbruck airport by helicopter and given a plane.

60 Jahre Bundesrepublik - Olympia-Attentat

The German government planned an ambush at the airport, stationing sharpshooters around the runway and officers in the airplane. However, the plan quickly disintegrated when the officers in the plane, worried about their lack of preparation, deserted. There weren’t nearly enough sharpshooters to effectively take down all of the terrorists either, partly because the Germans didn’t realize that two other terrorists had joined the Black September attack.

Still, the ambush was carried out. Three terrorists were taken out in the first wave of shots, but the others were able to hide out of range. One threw a grenade into a helicopter where five hostages were still tied up, instantly killing them all. Another terrorist fired his machine gun into another helicopter, killing the remaining hostages.

Twenty hours after Black September had begun their attack, a German police official, 5 Palestinian terrorists, and 11 Israeli athletes lay dead.

munichathletes

Three of the terrorists who survived were imprisoned but were set free a month later when Arabs hijacked a Lufthansa 727 and demanded their release.

A few days after the tragic event at the Olympics, Israel retaliated with air strikes against Syria and Lebanon, killing 66 people and wounding dozens. In addition, Israel sent out assassination squads to hunt down members of Black September while Israeli troops broke through the Lebanese border, igniting the heaviest fighting since the Six-Day War of 1967.

Initially some newspapers had reported 9 athletes killed.

Sun Newspaper headline

ny times

Of those believed to have planned the massacre, only Abu Daoud, the man who claims that the attack was his idea, is known to have died of natural causes. Historical documents released to Der Spiegel by the German secret service show willipohlthat Dortmund police had been aware of collaboration between Abu Daoud and neo-Nazi Willi Pohl (de) (aka E. W. Pless and, since 1979, officially named Willi Voss) seven weeks before the attack.