SS and Nazis in the Dutch Coalmines

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The most southern province of the Netherlands, Limburg, in the south east of the country used to be a rural area with mainly farming as employment opportunities, However in the late 19th and early 20th century something nicknamed “black gold” was discovered in the southern part of the province, this ‘black gold’ was coal.

The Dutch government exploited the discovery of coal by building 4 coal mines.

-Staatsmijn Wilhelmina in Terwinselen
-Staatsmijn Emma in Treebeek/Hoensbroek (1911 – 1973)
-Staatsmijn Hendrik in Brunssum (1915 – 1963)
-Staatsmijn Maurits in Lutterade-Geleen (1926 -1967)

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Although the mines brought jobs and prosperity it didn’t come without costs.The mine workers would receive a relatively high wage , the work was very physical and sometimes emotionally draining .A great number of mine workers  would not retire because of Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis(aka black lung disease)or Silicosis, they would die at a young age.

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During WWII the mines were exploited by the German occupiers, and the coal would be used for the German war effort.

Some dutch men had signed up to the SS and were also members of the NSB, The Dutch Nazi party. After the war some several hundreds of these men were imprisoned in Prisoner of War camps.

43743591_1034093993434756_2737810057973465088_nThey were sentenced  to work in the coal mines by the Dutch government and the Allied forces , mainly in the Maurits and the Emma.

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After their shifts they were made to walk back to the camp from the mine. Those working in the Maurits had to walk back to prisoner camp ‘Graetheide’ which was a 12-15 km march.

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Some records indicate that some men were sentenced to 25 years labor in the mines, but since the last mine closed in 1969 it is a clear indications that those sentences were reduced. Despite the hard labor in the mines they were let off easy.

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Sources

Demijnen.nl

Nostal Gia

 

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The abdication of a Queen.

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On this day 70 years ago, the Netherlands’ war time Queen,Wilhelmina, handed over the reign to her oldest daughter Juliana.

On 4 September 1948, after a reign of 58 years, Wilhelmina abdicated in favour of her daughter Juliana, because of advancing age and declining health. The abdication meant that she would henceforth be known as addressed as “Her Royal Highness Princess Wilhelmina of the Netherlands”

She had been inaugurated as Queen aged 18 on September 6 1898.Technically she had been Queen since 1890, after the death of her Father ,King William III. But since she was only 10 at the time her mother,Queen Emma served as regent until Wilhelimina turned 18. Therefore technically her reign was for 58 years even though the first 8 years her Mother reigned in her stead.

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During World War II she took charge of the Dutch government in exile,in the UK. On  August 5, 1942 She addressed the U.S. Congress and was the first queen to do so.

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In the night of 20/21 February 1944 she was nearly killed during Operation Steinbock, sometimes referred to as Baby Blitz, by a bomb that took the lives of two  of her staff and severely damaged her country home near South Mimms in England.

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She was not a great fan of  politicians, instead stating a love for the people. When the Netherlands was liberated in 1945 she was disappointed to see the same political factions taking power as before the war.

Following the end of World War II, she made the decision not to return to her palace but to move into a mansion in The Hague, where she stayed for eight months. She traveled throughout the Netherlands to motivate people, sometimes using a bicycle instead of a car. But in 1947, as  the country was still recovering from  the woes of World War II, the revolt in the oil-rich Dutch East Indies saw sharp criticism of the Queen by the Dutch economic elite.

Around the same time, her  health started failing , forcing her to  temporarily cede her monarchial duties to Juliana at the end of 1947 (14 October tto 1 December). At that stage she already contemplated abdication, but Juliana convinced  her to stay on for the stability of the nation, urging her to stay on the throne until 1950 so she could celebrate her diamond jubilee. Wilhelmina had the intention of doing just that , but unfortunately exhaustion forced her to relinquish  duties as a monarch  to Juliana again on 12 May 1948. The timing wasn’t great  as it left Juliana to deal with the early elections caused by the demand for  independence by the Indonesian colonies.

Dismayed by the return to pre-war politics and the pending loss of Indonesia, Wilhelmina abdicated on 4 September 1948.

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During the last years of her life  she wrote her autobiography entitled Eenzaam, maar niet alleen (Lonely but Not Alone), in which she gave account of the events in her life, and revealed her strong religious feelings and motivations.

Wilhelmina died in Het Loo Palace at the age of 82 on 28 November 1962.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a 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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When did WWII really end-Was the cold war really cold?

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It can be argued that WWII never really ended or that the cold war wasn’t really all that cold. Immediately after WWII, in fact technically still during the War in the Pacific,Indonesia declared it’s independence triggering an armed conflict with the Dutch and British.

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Under pressure from radical and politicised pemuda (‘youth’) groups, Sukarno and Hatta proclaimed Indonesian independence, on 17 August 1945, two days after the Japanese Emperor’s surrender in the Pacific. The following day, the Central Indonesian National Committee (KNIP) elected Sukarno as President, and Hatta as Vice-President. It lasted until 1949.

War in Vietnam (September 13, 1945 – March 30, 1946)

The War in Vietnam, codenamed Operation Masterdomb, was a post–World War II armed conflict involving a largely British-Indian and French task force and Japanese troops from the Southern Expeditionary Army Group, versus the Vietnamese communist movement, the Viet Minh, for control of the country, after the unconditional Japanese surrender.

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The Korean War

On June 25, 1950, the Korean War began when some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south. This invasion was the first military action of the Cold War. By July, American troops had entered the war on South Korea’s behalf. As far as American officials were concerned, it was a war against the forces of international communism itself.

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In July 1951, President Truman and his new military commanders started peace talks at Panmunjom. Still, the fighting continued along the 38th parallel as negotiations stalled. Both sides were willing to accept a ceasefire that maintained the 38th parallel boundary, but they could not agree on whether prisoners of war should be forcibly “repatriated.” (The Chinese and the North Koreans said yes; the United States said no.) Finally, after more than two years of negotiations, the adversaries signed an armistice on July 27, 1953. The agreement allowed the POWs to stay where they liked; drew a new boundary near the 38th parallel that gave South Korea an extra 1,500 square miles of territory; and created a 2-mile-wide “demilitarized zone” that still exists today.

The Indochina war.(19 December 1946 – 1 August 1954.)

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The  Indochina War (also  known as the First Indochina War in) began in French Indochina(Vietnam) on 19 December, 1946, and lasted until 1 August, 1954. Fighting between French forces and their Viet Minh opponents in the south dated from September 1945. The conflict pitted a range of forces, including the French Union’s French Far East Expeditionary Corps, led by France and supported by Emperor Bảo Đại’s Vietnamese National Army against the Viet Minh, led by Ho Chi Minh and the People’s Army of Vietnam led by Vo Nguyen Giap. Most of the fighting took place in Tonkin in northern Vietnam, although the conflict engulfed the entire country and also extended to  French Indochina protectorates of Laos and Cambodia.

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Greek Civil War(30 March 1946 – 16 October 1949)

The first major military conflict of the Cold War. Communist rebels supported by Yugoslavia and other Communist nations fought against the pro-Western government of Greece, which was given significant support by the United States and Great Britain. The war ended with a government victory.

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The Vietnam War (1 November 1955 – 30 April 1975)

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The Vietnam War was a long, costly and divisive conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. The conflict was intensified by the ongoing Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. More than 3 million people (including over 58,000 Americans) were killed in the Vietnam War, and more than half of the dead were Vietnamese civilians. Opposition to the war in the United States bitterly divided Americans, even after President Richard Nixon ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces in 1973. Communist forces ended the war by seizing control of South Vietnam in 1975, and the country was unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam the following year.

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Suez Crisis (29 October 1956 – 7 November 1956)

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On 29 October, Israel invaded the Egyptian Sinai. Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to cease fire, which was ignored. On 5 November, Britain and France landed paratroopers along the Suez Canal. The Egyptian forces were defeated, but they did block the canal to all shipping. It later became clear that the Israeli invasion and the subsequent Anglo-French attack had been planned beforehand by the three countries.

Congo Crisis (5 July 1960 – 25 November 1965)

The Congo Crisis was a period of political upheaval and conflict in the Republic of the Congo (today the Democratic Republic of the Congo) between 1960 and 1965. It began almost immediately after the Congo became independent from Belgium and ended, unofficially, with the entire country under the rule of Joseph-Désiré Mobutu. Constituting a series of civil wars, the Congo Crisis was also a proxy conflict in the Cold War, in which the Soviet Union and United States supported opposing factions. Around 100,000 people are believed to have been killed during the crisis.

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Yom Kippur War (October 6–25, 1973)

The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War,also known as the 1973 Arab–Israeli War, was a war fought by a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria against Israel from October 6 to 25, 1973. The fighting mostly took place in the Sinai and the Golan Heights, territories that had been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War of 1967. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat wanted also to reopen the Suez Canal. Neither specifically planned to destroy Israel, although the Israeli leaders could not be sure of that.

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Soviet–Afghan War (December 24, 1979 – February 15, 1989)

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The Soviet–Afghan War lasted over nine years, from December 1979 to February 1989. Insurgent groups known as the mujahideen fought against the Soviet Army and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. Between 562,000 and 2,000,000 civilians were killed and millions of Afghans fled the country as refugees,mostly to Pakistan and Iran.

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The USSR entered neighboring Afghanistan in 1979, attempting to shore up the newly-established pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. In short order, nearly 100,000 Soviet soldiers took control of major cities and highways.

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Foreign support propped up the diverse group of rebels, pouring in from Iran, Pakistan, China, and the United States.

Falklands War (Apr 2, 1982 – Jun 14, 1982)

Falkland Islands Waralso called Falklands War, Malvinas War, or South Atlantic War, a brief undeclared war fought between Argentina and Great Britain in 1982 over control of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and associated island dependencies.

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 It began on Friday, 2 April 1982, when Argentina invaded and occupied the Falkland Islands  in an attempt to establish the sovereignty it had claimed over them. On 5 April, the British government dispatched a naval task force to engage the Argentine Navy and Air Force before making an amphibious assault on the islands. The conflict lasted 74 days and ended with the Argentine surrender on 14 June 1982.

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The Yugoslav Wars/Balkan Wars (31 March 1991 – 11 June 1999)

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The Yugoslav Wars were a series of ethnically-based wars and insurgencies fought from 1991 to 1999 in the former Yugoslavia. These wars accompanied and facilitated the breakup of the Yugoslav state, when its constituent republics declared independence, but the issues of ethnic minorities in the new countries (chiefly Serbs, Croats and Albanians) were still unresolved at the time the republics were recognized internationally. The wars are generally considered to be a series of separate but related military conflicts which occurred in, and affected, most of the former Yugoslav republics.

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The conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia claimed more than 120,000 lives. In Bosnia alone more than half of those in the pre-war population were forced out of their homes, either in campaigns of ethnic cleansing or bids to find safety.

Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo was under siege for 44 months, during which its 350,000 residents struggled to get basic necessities. At least 10,000 were killed by sniping and shelling from Serbs in the surrounding mountains.

Thousands of people were held in camps on all three sides, where many were tortured, starved or executed. It is estimated that more than 20,000 women, mostly Muslims, were systematically raped.

The worst atrocity occurred in July 1995 when Bosnian Serb forces overran the eastern town of Srebrenica, slaughtering almost 8,000 Muslim men and boys in a massacre described by two international courts as genocide.

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I am limiting the wars to the last decades of the 20th century, although the Cold War ended with the fall of communism in the East bloc, the tensions that caused that conflicts never really ended and are currently flaring up again.

I left out the 1st Gulf war because that is basically still an unresolved issue and is still ongoing.

The 21st century has seen a great number of wars, some of them which are still ongoing. The current “World war” is the Global war on terror.

 

Kurt Meyer-Excusing the unforgiveable

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The case of Kurt Meyer is somewhat disturbing for it may well have been the 1st case of “Political Correctness” and it also puts question marks on how sorry the Germans really were after WWII.

Kurt Meyer (23 December 1910 – 23 December 1961) was a high-ranking member in the Waffen-SS of Nazi Germany who commanded SS Division Hitlerjugend during World War II. He participated in the Battle of France, Operation Barbarossa, and the Battle of Normandy, among others, and was a recipient of the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords.

Russland, Charkow, Fritz Witt

Meyer was convicted of war crimes for his role in the Ardenne Abbey massacre, the killing of Canadian prisoners of war in Normandy.

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In the early days of the Normandy campaign 20 Canadian soldiers, members of the North Nova Scotia Highlanders and  27th Armoured Regiment (part of the Sherbrooke Fusilier Regiment), were captured and executed by Waffen SS forces in a monastery, near Caen, France. The incident was a direct violation of the Geneva Convention, which was signed by Germany before the war.

The executioner was the infamous SS Standartenfuhrer, Kurt Meyer. Meyer was in charge of the 25th Panzer Grenadier Regiment and under its wing, the fanatical 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend. The Hitlerjugend Division was comprised of ex-members of the Hitler Youth, who were sent to Caen to participate in combat against the invading Allies.

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The captured Canadians were all young men, barely out of school, with no combat experience. They were outmanoeuvred and captured in June 1944. The headquarters of the 25th Panzer Grenadier Regiment was located in the Ardenne Abbey, so the soldiers were taken there.Their bodies were discovered on July 8, 1944 after the Abbey had finally been liberated by the Canadian Army. First, they found the body of Lieutenant Thomas Windsor

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Meyer was held as a prisoner of war until December 1945, when in the town of Aurich in Germany he was put on trial for war crimes, charged with the murder of unarmed Allied prisoners of war in Normandy.

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He was sentenced to death, he appealed the sentence but the appeal was denied by General Christopher Vokes.

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However, due to a technicality discovered by a prosecutor the death sentence was commuted to one of life imprisonment.Meyer was transported to Canada to begin his sentence.Meyer served five years in Dorchester Penitentiary, in New Brunswick, Canada where he worked in the library and learned English.

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Meyer petitioned for clemency in late 1950 – somewhat surprisingly including an offer to serve in a Canadian or United Nations military force if released; the government was willing to let him return to a German prison but not to release him outright. He was transferred to a British military prison in Werl, West Germany in 1951.

He was released from prison on 7 September 1954 after the German government reduced his sentence to fourteen years and for good behavior, was determined to be eligible for release. Upon his return to Germany in 1951, Meyer told a reporter that nationalism was past and that “a United Europe is now the only answer”

Upon his release from prison, Meyer became active in HIAG, the Waffen-SS lobby group, formed in 1951 by former high-ranking Waffen-SS men, including Paul Hausser, Felix Steiner and Herbert Gille.

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Meyer became the organization’s spokesperson in 1959. He was considered one of the leading Waffen-SS apologists. At a HIAG rally in 1957, he announced that while he stood behind his old commanders, Hitler had made many mistakes and it was now time to look to the future, not to the past. Speaking before some 8000 SS men at the HIAG convention in Karlsberg, Bavaria, in 1957, he proclaimed that “SS troops committed no crimes, except the massacre at Oradour, and that was the action of a single man”. He insisted that the Waffen-SS was “as much a regular army outfit as any other in the Wehrmacht.”

His memoirs, Grenadiere (1957), were published as part of this campaign and were a glorification of the SS’s part in the war as well as of his role in it. The book detailed his exploits at the front and served as an element of the Waffen-SS rehabilitation efforts. Meyer condemned the “inhuman suffering” that the Waffen-SS personnel had been subjected to “for crimes which they neither committed, nor were able to prevent”. Historian Charles W. Sydnor referred to Grenadiere as “perhaps the boldest and most truculent of the apologist works”.  The book was part of HIAG’s propaganda campaign to promote the perceptions of the Waffen-SS in popular culture as apolitical, recklessly brave fighters who were not involved in the war crimes of the Nazi regime.

These notions have since been refuted by historians.

In his later years he was afflicted with poor health, needing a stick to walk, and suffering from heart and kidney disease.After a series of mild strokes, he died of a heart attack in Hagen, Westphalia, on  his 51st Birthday 23 December 1961. Fifteen thousand people attended his funeral in Hagen, a cushion-bearer carrying his medals in the cortege.

 

 

 

Miyuki Ishikawa-the Demon midwife

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On January 12, 1948, two police officers from the Waseda precinct in Tokyo accidentally came upon the remains of five infants. While that shocking find was clearly suspect, it was affirmed by an autopsy that showed the infants’ deaths were not natural. An investigation led to the arrest of one Miyuki Ishikawa, two conspirators, and the reveal of a morbid practice that included the death of over one hundred infants.

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Miyuki Ishikawa, born 1897, date of death unknown) was a Japanese midwife and serial killer who is believed to have murdered many infants with the aid of several accomplices throughout the 1940s. It is estimated that her victims numbered between 85 to 169, however the general estimate is 103. When she was finally apprehended, the Tokyo High Court’s four-year sentence she received was remarkably light considering that Miyuki’s actions resulted in a death toll so high that it remains unrivaled by any other serial killer in Japan. According to a report of Children’s Rainbow Center, writer Kenji Yamamoto referred to the incident as “unbelievable and unbearable.”

Much of Miyuki’s early life is unknown. Born in 1897 in the southern Japanese town of Kunitomi, she attended and graduated the University of Tokyo, later marrying Takeshi Ishikawa.

Miyuki’s career led to her being a midwife at the Kotobuki maternity hospital and then becoming its director.

Through neglect, Miyuki killed somewhere between 103 and 169 infants. While the other midwives in the hospital knew of the practice, the local government ignored the deaths. This resulted in multiple midwives leaving the hospital.

If the act of killing the defenseless wasn’t repulsive enough, Miyuki then enlisted her husband and a doctor to take advantage of the situation. Dr. Shiro Nakayama drew up false death certificates for the infants that were killed,

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and Miyuki’s husband went around asking the parents for large sums of money, telling them that it would be cheaper to pay them instead of raising the child.

After the Waseda police found the five corpses, an investigation led to the arrest of Miyuki, her husband, and the doctor. A citywide search also led to the discovery of forty infant corpses in a mortician’s house, and thirty more under a temple.

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During trial, Miyuki argued that the parents who deserted the children were responsible for their deaths. This defense received support from a large section of the public- a fact that was reflected in Japanese law, which gave infants almost no rights. Consequently, Miyuki was sentenced to eight years of prison. For their part, Miyuki’s husband and Dr. Nakayama received only four years imprisonment. Miyuki and her husband even managed to halve their sentences through an appeal.

This incident is regarded as the principal reason the Japanese Government began to consider the legalisation of abortion in Japan.One of the reasons this incident was thought to have occurred was as the result of an increase in the number of unwanted infants born in Japan. On July 13, 1948, the Eugenic Protection Law (now the Mother’s Body Protection Law) and a national examination system for midwives was established. On June 24, 1949, abortion for economic reasons was legalised under the Eugenic Protection Law in Japan.