“I could be somebody”-The killing of John Lennon.

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It is hard to believe that it has already been 40 years since John Lennon was killed.

Mark David Chapman(pictured above with John Lennon , a few hours before he killed him)  shot Lennon dead on December 9, 1980 – in the door of his home in the Dakota building, overlooking Central Park in New York.

Chapman confessed to the crime and is currently serving a life sentence without parole at the Wende Correctional Facility.

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This is what Mark David Chapman said about killing John Lennon.

“He came out, and this is a part that I really regret happening, he came out and as a ruse, I had his album and a pen and I asked him to sign the album,”

“He took his time. He asked me if I wanted anything else. His wife had come out with him and she was waiting in a limo and that’s something I often reflect on how decent he was to just a stranger.He signed the album and gave it back to me. He got in the limo.”

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Chapman walked away, but returned later that evening, around 10:50 p.m., with a .38-caliber revolver and a copy of J.D. Salinger’s book The Catcher In The Rye.

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Lennon soon returned home in the limo with Ono and walked past Chapman, entering the archway of the Dakota.

Chapman pulled out the gun and shot four bullets into Lennon’s back. The former Beatle was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

“That’s a true sociopathic mind,I will say this: Towards the end, I would say the last hour or so, I did talk to myself. I sent up a prayer and said please help me turn this around. I couldn’t do it.

Other than that, there was no feeling towards his son or his wife or himself. I was obsessed on one thing and that was shooting him so that I could be somebody.”

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Life in the Big Apple

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New York city has such a rich history. Although I have never been there (but I will someday) I find it one of the most fascinating cities in the world.

For me to write a whole essay on the city would do it injustice, therefore below some pictures of its rich history.

A woman dressed in only heels and a barrel that reads “I Did My Bit, Did You?” stands in Times Square.

The promotion, organized by the United National Clothing Collection was part of drive to collect clothing and bedding for overseas war relief. April 1945..

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Police attempt to enter the residence of the Collyer Brothers, a pair of legendary New York hoarders and recluses, after receiving reports of a foul smell coming from the house. They later found the bodies of the two brothers dead under a mountain of rubbish. 1947.

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A window washer at work on the Empire State Building poses during a brief break from his duties. March 24, 1936.

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French aerialist Philippe Petit walks a tightrope strung between the tops of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. 1974.

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From a board stuck out from the 54th floor of the Chanin Building, daredevil pole sitter Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly balances on his head while dunking doughnuts to celebrate Friday the 13. 1939.

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The Brooklyn Bridge during construction in 1882.

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Waiters serve lunch to two steel workers on a girder high above the city on November 14, 1930, during construction of the famed Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

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The German airship Hindenburg, swastikas and all, flies over New York City on the afternoon of May 6, 1937, a few hours before its historic, fiery crash in Manchester Township, New Jersey.

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9/10 :the day before-The forgotten date.

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September 10,2001. A day like any other, people go about their daily lives, A young mother brings her kid to school. A sister is visiting her brother, an IT manager is on the phone to a help desk in a call centre,discussing data and telephony issues.

Not knowing that less then 24 hours later their world is turned up side town and even ended.

Following are just some impression from 9/10 the day before.

Picture above Australian David Officer took this photo from the Empire State Building on September 10, 2001, and was planning to visit the World Trade Centre with his family the next day.

Evan Kuz took this photo of downtown New York on the afternoon of September 10, 2001.

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Artist Monika Bravo was filming out the window from her studio on the 92nd floor of the World Trade Centre’s Tower One as a storm rolled across the city. One of her fellow resident artists was killed in the attacks the next day.

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World Trade Center. 9/10/2001

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September 10, 2001 at night

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Some headlines of the 10th of September.

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Donald Rumsfeld held a press conference to say that the Pentagon was missing more than $2.3 trillion.

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Gunmen Open Fire in Mosque; 11 Killed

Assailants wielding automatic weapons opened fire in a mosque in northern Algeria, killing 11 people and wounding eight others, security forces said. The attackers were believed to be Islamic militants, according to a statement issued by the security forces.

The massacre took place during Saturday evening prayers in Arzew, east of the port city of Oran.

The country’s Islamic insurgency broke out in 1992, when the military canceled elections that an Islamic fundamentalist party was set to win.

Bermuda Skirted by Storm

HAMILTON, Bermuda — Hurricane Erin strengthened Sunday, stranding tourists on Bermuda but sparing the wealthy island its lashing winds as it veered to the northeast.

Hard rain pelted the island, but the storm’s center stayed 110 miles northeast of the British territory. There were no reports of flooding, wind damage or injuries.

Erin’s sustained winds reached 120 mph, up from 105 mph earlier Sunday, making it a Category 3 hurricane, which can cause extensive damage.

The storm was not expected to grow stronger but could affect Canada within three days, said Richard Pasch, a specialist with the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.

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On “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Love interest Riley is behaving oddly and, when it’s discovered he has an abnormally fast pulse, Buffy becomes concerned.

The Scooby gang must get him to the Initiative doctor for help, but why is he so reluctant to go?

Meanwhile, Spike is also less than happy. He’s feeling confused and thinks Buffy is at the root of it. Is it time to tell her how he feels?

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One more picture of the World Trade center September 10.2001.

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When New Amsterdam became New York

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One of my favourite songs is from a band called Extreme it is called “When I first kissed you” The opening line goes as follows.”New York city can be so pretty from a bird’s eye view” If history had gone a slightly different direction the lyrics to that song would not have  been the same.

On this day in 1664 Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant surrenders New Amsterdam, the capital of New Netherland, to an English naval squadron under Colonel Richard Nicolls. Stuyvesant had hoped to resist the English, but he was an unpopular ruler, and his Dutch subjects refused to rally around him.

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Following its capture, New Amsterdam’s name was changed to New York, in honor of the Duke of York, who organized the mission.

The colony of New Netherland was established by the Dutch West India Company220px-Flag_of_the_Dutch_West_India_Company.svg in 1624 and grew to encompass all of present-day New York City and parts of Long Island, Connecticut, and New Jersey. A successful Dutch settlement in the colony grew up on the southern tip of Manhattan Island and was christened New Amsterdam.

 

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To legitimatize Dutch claims to New Amsterdam, Dutch governor Peter Minuit formally purchased Manhattan from the local tribe from which it derives it name in 1626. According to legend, the Manhattans–Indians of Algonquian linguistic stock–agreed to give up the island in exchange for trinkets valued at only $24.

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However, as they were ignorant of European customs of property and contracts, it was not long before the Manhattans came into armed conflict with the expanding Dutch settlement at New Amsterdam. Beginning in 1641, a protracted war was fought between the colonists and the Manhattans, which resulted in the death of more than 1,000 Indians and settlers.

In 1664, New Amsterdam passed to English control, and English and Dutch settlers lived together peacefully. In 1673, there was a short interruption of English rule when the Netherlands temporary regained the settlement. In 1674, New York was returned to the English, and in 1686 it became the first city in the colonies to receive a royal charter. After the American Revolution, it became the first capital of the United States.

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Ironically nowadays the name Peter Stuyvesant is more associated to a brand of cigarettes.

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William Kemmler-First execution by electric chair.

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At Auburn Prison in New York, the first execution by electrocution in history was carried out against William Kemmler, who had been convicted of murdering his lover, Matilda Ziegler, with an axe.

William Kemmler was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Both of his parents were immigrants from Germany and both of them were alcoholics.After dropping out of school at age 10, having learned neither how to read nor write, Kemmler worked in his father’s butcher shop. His father died from an infection that he received after a drunken brawl and his mother died from complications of alcoholism. After his parents died, he went into the peddling business and earned enough money to buy a horse and cart, although at this point he was becoming a heavy drinker.

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In one episode involving him and his friends after a series of drunken binges, he said he could jump his horse and cart over an eight-foot fence with the cart attached to the horse. The attempt was a failure, and his cart and goods destroyed in the incident. He was known to friends as “Philadelphia Billy” due to his drinking binges that were very well known around the saloons in his Buffalo neighborhood. Kemmler was reportedly slender, with dark brown hair. He spoke both English and German.

Electrocution as a humane means of execution was first suggested in 1881 by Dr. Albert Southwick, a dentist.

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Southwick had witnessed an elderly drunkard “painlessly” killed after touching the terminals of an electrical generator in Buffalo, New York. In the prevalent form of execution at the time–death by hanging–the condemned were known to hang by their broken necks for up to 30 minutes before succumbing to asphyxiation.

In 1889, New York’s Electrical Execution Law, the first of its kind in the world, went into effect, and Edwin R. Davis, the Auburn Prison electrician, was commissioned to design an electric chair. Closely resembling the modern device, Davis’ chair was fitted with two electrodes, which were composed of metal disks held together with rubber and covered with a damp sponge. The electrodes were to be applied to the criminal’s head and back.

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On August 6, 1890, William Kemmler became the first person to be sent to the chair. After he was strapped in, a charge of approximately 700 volts was delivered for only 17 seconds before the current failed. Although witnesses reported smelling burnt clothing and charred flesh, Kemmler was far from dead, and a second shock was prepared. The second charge was 1,030 volts and applied for about two minutes, whereupon smoke was observed coming from the head of Kemmler, who was clearly deceased. An autopsy showed that the electrode attached to his back had burned through to the spine.

Dr. Southwick applauded Kemmler’s execution with the declaration, “We live in a higher civilization from this day on,” while American inventor George Westinghouse, an innovator of the use of electricity, remarked, “They would have done better with an axe.”

 

Anthony and William Esposito-Mad Dog killers

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It was the New York police commissioner who would nickname brothers Anthony and William Esposito ‘the mad dog killers,’ a description that would catch on in the press. On Jan. 14, 1941, the Esposito brothers held up office manager Alfred Klausman for the $649 payroll he was carrying, shooting and killing him in the elevator of an office building in Manhattan. What followed was a spectacular mid-day gun chase along Fifth Avenue, with the pair running and shooting in and out of department stores and taxis — William, shot in the leg, fell to the ground, and while pretending to be dead surprised, shot and killed the policeman who chased him.

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The Police man was Police Officer Edward Maher. Bizarrely enough on the 14th of January 1921 Officer Maher had lost his wife, leaving leaving the young cop to raise the couple’s infant son alone.

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Fifth Avenue shoppers and pedestrians overtook William, beating him unconscious, and police arrested Anthony in a convenience store nearby.

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(Anthony Esposito on Jan. 16, 1941, as he was brought before a police identification line-up)

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During their trial, the brothers made an effort to convince the court they were insane; they barked, howled and made other animal noises, drooled and banged their heads on the table. But the barking and drooling wasn’t compelling evidence to the jury, and the brothers were both found guilty of first-degree murder. The two continued their behaviors, including speaking in gibberish and undertaking a hunger strike, while incarcerated at Sing Sing until both were put to death by electrocution in 1942.

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They were executed  on March 12 1942 by electric chair five minutes apart at Sing Sing for the January 14, 1941 slaying of Officer  Maher and Alfred Klausman.

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Both brothers were in such fragile health that they had to be brought into the death chamber in wheelchairs because they had refused all food for the past 10 months that was not fed them forcibly

1993 World Trade Center bombing

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On February 26, 1993, terrorists parked a rental van in a garage underneath the World Trade Center’s twin towers and lit the fuses on a massive homemade bomb stuffed inside. Six people died and more than 1,000 were injured in the subsequent explosion, which carved out a crater several stories deep and propelled smoke into the upper reaches of the quarter-mile-high skyscrapers.

 

Completed in 1973, the World Trade Center’s twin towers loomed over lower Manhattan at 110 stories each. Although these iconic buildings, which were the tallest in the world before being overtaken by Chicago’s Sears Tower, struggled at first to attract tenants, some 50,000 office workers eventually filled them to near capacity. Tens of thousands of additional visitors came daily to check out the view from an observation deck or a 107th-floor restaurant.

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Safety concerns became apparent as early as 1975, when a disgruntled custodian set a fire in the north tower that caused millions of dollars in damages and prompted calls for the installation of a sprinkler system. A decade or so later, the government agency that owned the World Trade Center began examining possible terrorism threats. But it ended up ignoring many of its security team’s recommendations, including that public parking be eliminated or that cars at least be randomly inspected.

In September 1992 explosives expert Ramzi Ahmed Yousef arrived in New York City on a flight from Pakistan and began planning an attack on the World Trade Center, with the alleged goal of toppling the north tower into the south tower.

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He received help from followers of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind, Egyptian-born Muslim cleric who spoke in sermons of destroying the “edifices of capitalism.”

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The plotters rented a storage locker in New Jersey, where they stockpiled urea, nitric acid, sulfuric acid and other ingredients for making bombs. They simultaneously concocted a nitroglycerin trigger at a nearby apartment and scouted out the World Trade Center’s underground floors.

On February 26, 1993, the plotters loaded their homemade bomb, which weighed about 1,200 pounds, into a yellow Ford Econoline van they had rented from a Ryder dealership in New Jersey.

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Two of them then drove it across the Hudson River into Manhattan, made their way south to the World Trade Center, entered the basement parking garage between the north tower and a hotel, parked in an illegal spot on a ramp, lit four 20-foot fuses, got into a car that had trailed them and sped off.

At 12:17 p.m. the bomb exploded, knocking out the World Trade Center’s sprinklers, generators, elevators, public address system, emergency command center and more than half of the high-voltage lines that fed electricity to the complex. The FBI later called it the “largest by weight and by damage of any improvised explosive device that we’ve seen since the inception of forensic explosive identification.” Six people died, including a pregnant woman. More than 1,000 others were injured, mostly from smoke that snaked its way up the stairwells and elevator shafts. Yet both towers remained standing.

 

 

As rescue workers dug for victims, survivors began making their way out by any means possible. A woman in a wheelchair was carried down 66 flights of stairs by two friends. A class of singing kindergartners descended from the 107th floor. A group of engineers stuck in an elevator pried open the doors and then used car keys to cut a hole in the sheetrock walls leading out to a 58th-floor women’s bathroom. Nearly 30 people with medical conditions were taken to the roof and whisked away by police helicopter. By late that night, the buildings had been completely cleared. They would not reopen for nearly a month.

Investigators sifting through the rubble soon came across the vehicle identification number for the rental van, which had been reported stolen the day before the attack. FBI agents then arrested Mohammad Salameh, who had rented the van under his own name, when he returned to the Ryder dealership to ask for his $400 deposit back.

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Subsequent arrests were made of Ahmad Ajaj, Nidal Ayyad and Mahmoud Abouhalima. In March 1994 a federal jury convicted the four of them for their role in the bombing, and they were each sentenced to life behind bars.

Meanwhile, authorities uncovered a related plot in which followers of Sheikh Abdel Rahman planned to blow up the George Washington Bridge, the United Nations headquarters and other New York City landmarks. In that case, the sheikh and nine co-defendants were found guilty of seditious conspiracy and other terrorism-related charges. A third case led to life sentences for Yousef, who was captured in Pakistan in 1995, and the driver of the rental van, who was captured in Jordan that same year. Only one suspect, who fled to Iraq after being questioned and released by the FBI, remains at large.

In the aftermath of the World Trade Center bombing, the buildings’ owner repaired the damage, upgraded elevators and electrical systems, put battery-operated emergency lights and luminescent paint in the stairwells, and set up emergency command centers. By 2000 the complex had reached its highest occupancy rate of all time. But terrorism struck again on September 11, 2001, when militants associated with the Islamic extremist group Al Qaeda flew hijacked planes into the towers, killing nearly 3,000 people. More than 11 years later, reconstruction at the site, which includes a 9/11 memorial and the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere, is nearing completion.

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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. 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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Eddy Hamel- Player of AFC AJAX,killed in Auschwitz.

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AFC Ajax is one of the most well known football clubs in Europe if not the world.Aside from dozens of national trophies it also won 12 international trophies, a feat repeated by only a few other clubs.

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Historically, Ajax was popularly seen as having “Jewish roots”. Although not an official Jewish club like the city’s WV-HEDW, Ajax has had a Jewish image since the 1930s when the home stadium was located next to a Jewish neighbourhood of Amsterdam-Oost and opponents saw many supporters walking through the Nieuwmarkt/Waterloopleinbuurt (de Jodenhoek—the “Jews’ corner”) to get to the stadium.

Die-hard Ajax supporters call themselves “Joden” — Dutch for “Jews” — a nickname that reflects both the team’s and the city’s Jewish heritage. This nickname for Ajax fans dates back to before World War II, when Amsterdam was home to most of the Netherlands’ 140,000 Jews.

The club  has an academy where it draws most of its players from but it has also always attracted foreign players. Eddy Hamel was no exception.

Hamel was the first Jewish player for Ajax. Born in New York City, New York, he moved to Amsterdam in his teenage years. As a right winger, Hamel became a first team regular for Ajax. He was the first player with a Jewish background who made it to the first team, and to date only three others have followed in his footsteps – Johnny Roeg, Bennie Muller and Daniël de Ridder. Hamel was a fan favourite and was cited by pre-World War II club legend Wim Anderiesen as part of the strongest line-up he ever played with.He was Ajax’ right winger from 1922 to 1930.  He scored eight goals in 125 league games.

After his retirement as a player, he managed RKV Volendam, in 1935 they became champion and he also managed  Alcmaria Victrix for three years and continued to play in an Ajax veteran squad.

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Hamel was also to become the club’s only war victim who played for the first team of Ajax. In 1941 all Jewish players were dishonorably discharged from their clubs as decreed by the Nazi’s.He possessed a United States passport, which he could not produce when Nazi Germany invaded.

In October 1942 Eddy Hamel and his family were arrested and deported to Westerbork to the “English Baracks” where he meets and befriends Leon Greenman.

He was murdered in the Auschwitz concentration camp on 30 April 1943. In the TV document Auschwitz: The Forgotten Evidence, fellow inmate and friend  Leon Greenman said he was in front of Eddy when he told him he had an abscess in his mouth, while in a regular medical selection queue, while Leon passed that selection Eddy was sent to the gas chambers because of his abscess.

 

Eddy Hamel was the first Jewish player, and the first American, to play for Ajax Amsterdam, but that meant very little to the Nazi regime.

 

sources

https://www.si.com/soccer/2019/02/12/eddy-hamel-ajax-american-holocaust-victim-auschwitz

https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/topic/eddy-hamel/

https://www.afc-ajax.info/en/soccer-player/Eddy-Hamel

U123-the U-Boat that could have attacked New York.

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On January 14,1942  U123 surfaced so close to New York Harbor that the rides at Coney Island could be seen silhouetted against the evening sky. Captain Reinhard Hardegen expected the U.S. east coast to be blacked out after more than a month at war and was surprised to see the glow in the sky from Manhattan’s millions of lights.

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U-123 took part in the opening of Unternehmen Paukenschlag (“Operation Drumbeat”), also called the “Second Happy Time” in January 1942. She began by sinking the cargo ship Cyclops about 125 nmi (232 km; 144 mi) southeast of Cape Sable, Nova Scotia on the 12th.

Moving down the coast, she sank Norness, Coimbra, Norvana, City of Atlanta and the Latvian Ciltvaira.

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She was also credited with sinking San Jose on 17 January, although this ship was actually lost in a collision.The Malay was only damaged because Hardegen had under-estimated her size and chose to use the deck gun rather than a torpedo.

U-123 was attacked by an aircraft off New York City, but withdrew without any damage being sustained.

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She also had a lucky escape on 19 January when Kosmos II tried to ram the boat off Oregon Inlet.

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At 12.50 hours on 19 Jan 1942, the Kosmos II . spotted U-123  from a distance of about 400 metres about 17 miles northeast off Cape Hatteras. The U-boat had troubles with one of the engines and steered a course out to the sea on the surface. The unarmed whale factory ship steered at full speed (about 17 knots) towards the U-boat and tried to ram it, while they send radio messages to notifiy the maritime authorities. The U-boat was out of torpedoes and the draught of the whale factory did not allow the U-boat to submerge. As the U-boat was only 75 metres from the ship, they managed to start the second engine and evaded the ship at full speed. The big ship followed the U-boat for over one hour, but it was making 18 knots and slowly got some distance to her. Hardegen thought about firing the machine guns at the ship to irritate the crew, but decided to fire two flares with the signal pistol at the bridge of the vessel.

Dr Ruth-Holocaust survivor, Sex Therapist and Sniper.

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Ruth Westheimer (born June 4, 1928), better known as Dr. Ruth, is an American sex therapist, media personality, and author. The New York Times described her as a “Sorbonne-trained psychologist who became a kind of cultural icon in the 1980s.… She ushered in the new age of freer, franker talk about sex on radio and television—and was endlessly parodied for her limitless enthusiasm and for having an accent only a psychologist could have.

Westheimer was born Karola Ruth Siegel in Wiesenfeld (near Karlstadt am Main), Germany, the only child of Orthodox Jews Irma (née Hanauer) and Julius Siegel. In January 1939, she was sent to Switzerland by her mother and grandmother as part of the Kindertransport after her father had been taken by the Nazis.

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https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/03/14/forgotten-history-nicholas-winton-an-unsung-hero/

Her safe haven, along with that of some 100 other German-Jewish children, was made possible by Swiss activist Franzisca Goldschmidt (see 2014 event below).In Switzerland, young Karola came of age in an orphanage, and stopped receiving her parents’ letters in September 1941. In 1945, Westheimer learned that her parents had been killed in the Holocaust, possibly at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Westheimer decided to emigrate to British-controlled Mandatory Palestine. There, at 17, she “first had sexual intercourse on a starry night, in a haystack without contraception.” She later told The New York Times that “I am not happy about that, but I know much better now and so does everyone who listens to my radio program.”Westheimer joined the Haganah in Jerusalem.

Because of her diminutive height of 4 ft 7 in (1.40 m),she was trained as a scout and sniper.

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Westheimer was seriously wounded in action by an exploding shell during the Israeli War of Independence in 1948, and it was several months before she was able to walk again.

In 1950, Westheimer moved to France, where she studied and then taught psychology at the University of Paris. In 1956, she immigrated to the United States, settling in Washington Heights, Manhattan.

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She still lives in the “cluttered three-bedroom apartment in Washington Heights where she raised her two children and became famous, in that order.” Because of the two synagogues she belongs to, the YMHA she was president of for three years, and a “still sizable community of German Jewish World War II refugees”, she remains in the neighborhood. She speaks English, German, French, and Hebrew.

Westheimer earned an M.A. degree in sociology from The New School in 1959 and an Ed.D. degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1970. She completed post-doctoral work in human sexuality at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, training with pioneer sex therapist Helen Singer Kaplan. She has written several books on human sexuality, including Dr. Ruth’s Encyclopedia of Sex and Sex for Dummies. The full version of Dr. Ruth’s Encyclopedia of Sex is currently available online.

Westheimer has given commencement speeches at the Hebrew Union College seminary, Lehman College of the City University of New York, and, in 2004, at Trinity College.

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In 2008, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Westfield State College. In 2002, she received the Leo Baeck Medal for her humanitarian work promoting tolerance and social justice.

Westheimer has been married three times. Her third marriage, to Manfred Westheimer, lasted until his death in 1997. She has two children, Miriam and Joel, and several grandchildren.

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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. 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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