The killing wasn’t enough

A Jewish woman who is concealing her face sits on a park bench marked Only for Jews, Austria, 1938

The Holocaust didn’t start with killing, it started with dehumanizing Jews and other “undesirables”. Convince the population that those deemed by the Nazi regime as inferior, were just that,inferior.

Throughout the war they humiliated Jews, just killing wasn’t good enough they had to be mocked and ridiculed also, for they were considered to be sub human so basically the SS and others could do as they pleased.

The picture above is of a Jewish woman sitting on a bench in Vienna, designated as a “For Jews Only” bench.

It wasn’t only the Germans it was every one who had bought in to this Nazi ideology that mistreated Jews.

Slovak soldiers humiliating Lipa Baum, during the deportation of the Jews of Stropkov.

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SS officers and camp guards humiliating a Jewish man

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Vienna Jews being forced to scrub the sidewalks here are being overseen by Hitler Youth boys, including some very young boys.

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The picture below is of a German woman and a Jewish man surrounded by Nazis. The woman is holding a sign saying. “I am locally the biggest pig and I only get involved with Jews”

The Jewish man is holding a sign saying “As a Jewish Boy I only take German girls into my room”

This was a German-Jewish couple the picture was taken in Hamburg 1935

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Three Jewish businessmen are forced to march down a crowded Leipzig street while carrying signs reading: “Don’t buy from Jews. Shop in German businesses!

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Sources

Yad Vashem

United States Holocaust Museum

 

Adolf Hitler-My Fair Lady

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I know that may of you will be scratching your head thinking”Where is he going with this?” when you look at the title.

But please bear with me.

Last night I was watching a documentary about the early days of the Nazi party and mainly about the relationship between Dietrich Eckart and Adolf Hitler.

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Eckart who had been a play writer prior to WWI and had far right political views and was a fervent anti-Semite.After World War I, Eckart edited the antisemitic periodical Auf gut Deutsch (“In plain German”).

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In 1919 he founded with Hermann Esser, Gottfried Feder and Karl Harrer,  the German Workers Party.

Harrer was appointed Chairman but Eckart knew they needed a front man to lead the party.A worker who knew how to talk,who did’t need much brains and was preferably a bachelor so they also could attract women to the party. In fact the term Eckart used was ‘Messiah’ he stated that Germany needed a new ‘Messiah’.

He met this man on September 12 1919, Adolf Hitler, Hitler who had been part of a team of agents and informants hired Karl Mayr,00mayr head of the Education and Propaganda Department.Mayr worked closely with Ernst Röhm, the Chief of Staff of Colonel Franz Epp, the leader of the Freikorps in Munich. Ernst Röhm, suggested that Adolf Hitler should be recruited as an informer.

Hitler  was sent  to spy on the German Workers Party who were meeting in a Munich Beer Hall.

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Rather then spying on Eckart and his friends,Hitler liked what he heard and got up on a table and started a speech.

When Eckart heard the speech he  was convinced he found the man they needed. He took Hitler to meetings and fund raising events. He bought a suit for Hitler and a trench coat. Hitler wasn’t very sophisticated, He would sometimes ramble on about his own ideas during fund raising events, his eating habits were appalling and he would often talk with his mouth full. Eckart decided to become his mentor.

This where my idea of the comparison to “My Fair Lady” arose from, The musical is based on a play by the Dublin born George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion. The plot line of the play and musical is.

“Professor Henry Higgins is so sure of his abilities that he takes it upon himself to transform a Cockney working-class girl into someone who can pass for a cultured member of high society”

Hitler eventually became the leader of the party with the new name NSDAP (The National Socialist German Workers’ Party -German: Nationa lsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei).

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I know this blog is probably a bit unusual but I do think it is important to show frauds and charlatans for what they really are. There was nothing original about Adolf Hitler.

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D.O.O.D- De Olympiade Onder Dictatuur- The Olympics under dictatorship

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As part of the Nazis’ plan to make the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin a showcase of their ideological and racial superiority, Josef Goebbels, the regime’s propaganda chief, excluded Jews, leftists and purveyors of “degenerate” art from an Art Olympiad organized to coincide with the games.

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In response, a group of Dutch artists and intellectuals challenged the Nazis by calling for a boycott of the event, which had accompanied the summer Olympic games since 1912 and in which painters, architects, writers and musicians were also awarded medals for excellence.

The Dutch group organized a counter exhibition in Amsterdam, “The Olympics Under Dictatorship,”  or D.O.O.D (Dood is Dutch for Death or Dead)which brought together 300 works by 150 artists from half a dozen countries. The show also included documentation, cartoons, photographs and drawings illustrating Nazi repression and manipulation of education, science, theater, literature, film and music.

The organizers of the exhibition invited artists from the Netherlands and neigkboring countries as well as many German artists who had already fled the Nazi regime to contribute works. Among foreign exhibitors were Max Ernst, Jacques Lipchitz, Marcel Gromaire, Georges Vantongerloo, Fernand Legep, Ossip Zadkine and Lucien Pissarro, although many artists were less well known.

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With the notable exception of drawings and cartoons in the documentation section of the show, many works were not explicitly political, like Robert Capa’s photographs of Holy Week celebrations in Seville and a landscape by Pissarro, although the artists were making a political statement simply by participating in the 1936 exhibition.

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Among  the works , some directly attack the Nazis or denounce police repression and torture, while a good many mirror the anxiety felt by artists about Europe’s deepening nightmare. “The Hordes,” by Ernst, for instance, shows frightened brown figures against a pale blue background. “The 20th Century,” a painting by Christopher Nevinson, a British artist, portrays Rodin’s “Thinker” surrounded by bayonets, warplanes, cannons and burning buildings.

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Nola Hatterman’s “Friends,” a drawing of two men, one white, one black, looks uncontroversial today, but in 1936 it was a clear protest against racism.

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Similarly, Peter Alma’s two oils, “Leftist Front” and “Solidarity Between Workers and Peasants,” underline the ideological dimension of the social struggle in prewar Europe

The German Consul to the Netherlands. Herr A.E. Jung went to visit the exhibition in the Geelvinck 530. in disguise0

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The day after his visit he wrote a letter to the Mayor of Amsterdam, complaining about the undignified manner Germany was portrayed and that some of the images were very insulting to Adolf Hitler.

He urged the Mayor to take the necessary actions to stop the exhibition. However the city lawyers concluded that no laws were broken.

Herr Jung also complained to the minister of Justice,Josef van Schaik. 01184gThe minister then contacted the Mayor of Amsterdam to conduct further investigations. It was suggested that applying some pressure on the organizers of the event could possibly limit the diplomatic damage.

The Dutch authorities insisted on the removal of 19 works of art from the 1936 show on the ground that they were insulting to Hitler. Further, when the show later traveled to Rotterdam, it was closed by the Dutch police after only a few days.

 

Thanks to Julie Blaugher for mentioning the event to me.

 

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Killing Humans is okay, but don’t boil a lobster-Nazi animal welfare.

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Although I am for animal laws but comparisons by organisations like PETA of the slaughter of chickens to the Holocaust are absolutely disgusting , and should be in my opinion be treated the same as Holocaust denial.

Animal rights laws also illustrated how warped the Nazi ideology truly was. The life of a lobster was more valuable then the life of a Jew, Roma,Sinti, Homosexual.Jehovah Witness  or a person with a disability.

In 1931, the Nazi Party (then a minority in the Reichstag) proposed a ban on vivisection, but the ban failed to attract bipartisan support. By 1933, after Hitler had ascended to the Chancellery and the Nazis had consolidated control of the Reichstag, the Nazis immediately held a meeting to enact the ban on vivisection. On April 21, 1933, almost immediately after the Nazis came to power, the parliament began to pass laws for the regulation of animal slaughter.On April 21, a law was passed concerning the slaughter of animals; no animals were to be slaughtered without anesthetic.

On April 24, Order of the Prussian Ministry of the Interior was enacted regarding the slaughter of poikilotherms.

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Germany was the first nation to ban vivisection. A law imposing total ban on vivisection was enacted on August 16, 1933, by Hermann Göring as the prime minister of Prussia.He announced an end to the “unbearable torture and suffering in animal experiments” and said that those who “still think they can continue to treat animals as inanimate property” will be sent to concentration camps.On August 28, 1933, Göring announced in a radio broadcast:

An absolute and permanent ban on vivisection is not only a necessary law to protect animals and to show sympathy with their pain, but it is also a law for humanity itself…. I have therefore announced the immediate prohibition of vivisection and have made the practice a punishable offense in Prussia. Until such time as punishment is pronounced the culprit shall be lodged in a concentration camp.

Göring also banned commercial animal trapping and imposed severe restrictions on hunting. He prohibited boiling of lobsters and crabs. In one incident, he sent a fisherman to a concentration camp for cutting up a bait frog.

On November 24, 1933, Nazi Germany enacted another law called Reichstierschutzgesetz (Reich Animal Protection Act), for protection of animals.This law listed many prohibitions against the use of animals, including their use for filmmaking and other public events causing pain or damage to health, feeding fowls forcefully and tearing out the thighs of living frogs. The two principals (Ministerialräte) of the German Ministry of the Interior, Clemens Giese and Waldemar Kahler, who were responsible for drafting the legislative text,wrote in their juridical comment from 1939, that by the law the animal was to be “protected for itself” (“um seiner selbst willen geschützt”), and made “an object of protection going far beyond the hitherto existing law”

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On February 23, 1934, a decree was enacted by the Prussian Ministry of Commerce and Employment which introduced education on animal protection laws at primary, secondary and college levels.On 3 July 1934, a law Das Reichsjagdgesetz (The Reich Hunting Law) was enacted which limited hunting. The act also created the German Hunting Society with a mission educate the hunting community in ethical hunting. On July 1, 1935, another law Reichsnaturschutzgesetz (Reich Nature Conservation Act) was passed to protect nature.According to an article published in Kaltio, one of the main Finnish cultural magazines, Nazi Germany was the first in the world to place the wolf under protection.

In 1934, Nazi Germany hosted an international conference on animal welfare in Berlin.On March 27, 1936, an order on the slaughter of living fish and other poikilotherms was enacted. On March 18 the same year, an order was passed on afforestation and on protection of animals in the wild. On September 9, 1937, a decree was published by the Ministry of the Interior which specified guidelines for the transportation of animals. In 1938, the Nazis introduced animal protection as a subject to be taught in public schools and universities in Germany.

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Kaiser Wilhelm II- Political asylum in the Netherlands

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On 23 January 1920, the government of the Netherlands refused to extradite the former Kaiser of Germany, Wilhelm II. His aggressive foreign policy and support for Austro-Hungary in 1914 led to the first world war. After the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, he was charged with “a supreme offence against international morality and the sanctity of treaties” and the allies demanded his extradition. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands refused and granted him political asylum.

A request to the Dutch government for Wilhelms’ surrender had been made necessary by his flight; on 10 November 1918 the – soon former– Kaiser had crossed the Dutch borders.

By early November 1918, things were looking dismal for the Central Powers on all fronts of the Great War. The kaiser was at German army headquarters in the Belgian resort town of Spa when news reached him, in quick succession, of labor unrest in Berlin, a mutiny within the Imperial Navy and what looked like the beginnings of full-fledged revolution in Germany.

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From every direction, it seemed, came calls for peace, reform and the removal of the kaiser. Wilhelm II was told that the German General Staff would make a unified, orderly march home to Germany when the war ended, but it would not defend him against his internal opponents.

Faced with this lack of support, the kaiser agreed to abdicate his throne on November 9, 1918. Shortly after that, Wilhelm, the last of the powerful Hohenzollern monarchs, traveled from Spa to the Netherlands , never to return to German soil.

In January 1920, Wilhelm headed the list of so-called war criminals put together by the Allies and made public after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

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In the Versailles Treaty, the Allied Powers stated that the Kaiser should be prosecuted for a supreme offence against international morality and the sanctity of treaties. What did they mean, and where did this formula come from?
The Preliminary Peace Conference decided at its plenary session of 25 January 1919 to create, for the purpose of inquiring into the responsibilities relating to the war, a Commission on the Responsibility of the Authors of the War and on Enforcement of Penalties (hereafter Commission on Responsibility), composed of fifteen members.6 It was charged to inquire into and report upon the following points:

  1. the responsibility of the authors of the war;
  2. the facts as to breaches of the laws and customs of war committed by the forces of the German Empire and their Allies, on land, on sea, and in the air during the present war;
  3. the degree of responsibility for these offences attaching to particular members of the enemy forces, including members of the General Staffs and other individuals, however highly placed;
  4. the constitution and procedure of a tribunal appropriate for the trial of these offences;
  5. any other matters cognate or ancillary to the above which may arise in the course of the enquiry, and which the Commission finds useful and relevant to take into consideration.

The Netherlands,which had remained neutral during WWI, under the young, strong-willed Queen Wilhelmina, refused to extradite him for prosecution and Wilhelm remained in the Netherlands, where he settled in the municipality of Doorn.

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Personal tragedy struck when his son, Joachim, committed suicide later in 1920. Augusta, his wife and the mother of his seven children, died barely a year later. In 1922, Wilhelm remarried and published his memoirs, proclaiming his innocence in the promotion of the Great War.

Unlike Wilhelmina and the rest of the Dutch royal family, Wilhelm turned down Winston Churchill’s offer of asylum in Britain in 1940, as Hitler’s armies pushed through Holland, choosing instead to live under German occupation. He died the following year.

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The 4 inaugurations of Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Franklin D. Roosevelt had to be considered as the greatest US president.He steered the country in the most difficult of times. He was the only President to be elected 4 times.

Assuming the Presidency at the depth of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt helped the American people regain faith in themselves. He brought hope as he promised prompt, vigorous action, and asserted in his Inaugural Address, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

On March 3, 1933, the newly elected president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, promises a country battered by the Great Depression a renewed prosperity, setting forth plans to put the government to work.

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In contrast to the grim economic landscape in 1933 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt took office, his second term begins with a brighter outlook. In his January 20, 1937, inaugural address, Roosevelt commends Americans for their hard work over the past four years, but cautions that they must continue their efforts.

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Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt riding in an open car, returning to the White House from FDR’s third inauguration. January 20, 1941.

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Cover of the official 1941 inaugural program.

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The fourth inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt as President of the United States was held on Saturday, January 20, 1945. The inauguration marked the commencement of the fourth term of Franklin D. Roosevelt as President and the only term of Harry S. Truman as Vice President. This was the first and only time a president has been inaugurated for a fourth term. (The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1951, limits the number of times a person can be elected President to two.) Roosevelt died 82 days into this term, and Truman succeeded to the presidency.

Due to austerity measures in effect during World War II, the inauguration was held on the South Portico of the White House, rather than the Capitol. The parade and other festivities were canceled as well. The oath was administered by Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone and the subsequent address was one of the shortest on record.This was also the last time that the outgoing Vice President swore in his successor, which had previously been the practice.

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“Give me 4 year time”- The Power of the Nazi propaganda machine

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The buzzwords nowadays are ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ this is rubbish of course because news is news and facts are facts, however the interpretation and manipulation of the news and facts can be fake,

Basically another word for that is propaganda,defined as “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.”

The Nazis were masters in propaganda. The above picture is basically an election poster it is promoting a convention of the 1st ‘comprehensive’ performance overview of the National Socialism, in 1937. The heading of the poster says “Give me 4 years time”

As if the Germans had a choice.During the 1936 election and referendum the Germans had already voted for the single rule of the Nazi party and Hitler as supreme leader.

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When you look at the data of the election 99% of the population voted and 98.8% voted for the Nazis.clearly these figures were manipulated.

Ever since Hitler came to power the population was blinded by him. This wasn’t difficult to do for him because he delivered on his promises of employment and building a great Germany again. In 1933 unemployment was 6 million by January 1937 it had decreased to 1.8 million, we know now that was accomplished for all the wrong reasons.The 1933 election poster says “Hitler builds”

 

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This new found prosperity instilled a sense of loyalty towards the Führer, so very few questions were asked in relation what happened inside newly built concentration camps like Dachau or what happened in Euthanasia centers like Hartheim, things were going well and people didn’t want to rock the boat.

Combine all this with an extremely powerful and extremely well oiled propaganda machine it is no wonder the Nazis got away with what they did.

The propaganda was aimed at all age groups. In this Nazi fundraising poster, a member of the Hitler youth asks for money to build youth hostels and homes.

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A German family salutes the German Imperial Railroad.

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Even when the war broke out very few questions were asked,because people believed all the lies spun to them. The fake attack by Polish soldiers like in The Gleiwitz incident.

On the night of 31 August 1939, a small group of German operatives dressed in Polish uniforms and led by Alfred NaujocksAlfred_Naujocks seized the Gleiwitz station and broadcast a short anti-German message in Polish. The whole operation was named “Grossmutter gestorben” (“Grandmother died”).The Germans’ goal was to make the attack and the broadcast look like the work of anti-German Polish saboteurs.

The Gleiwitz incident was a part of a larger operation carried out by Abwehr and SS forces.There were other incidents orchestrated by Germany along the Polish-German border at the same time as the Gleiwitz attack, such as a house torching in the Polish Corridor and spurious propaganda output. The entire project was dubbed Operation Himmler and comprised a number of incidents intended to give the appearance of Polish aggression against Germany.

German newspapers and politicians, including Adolf Hitler, accused Polish authorities for months before the 1939 invasion of organizing or tolerating violent ethnic cleansing of ethnic Germans living in Poland.

The Nazis always blamed the Jews for the misfortune of the German people and they directed their propaganda in such a way to ensure the majority of the population would take the bait.

Nazi Party anti-Semitic poster for the German parliament, the Reichstag, 1928, saying “Make the punch count”

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1943 poster claiming that the Jews were to blame for the war

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Jews were seen as very prosperous and wealthy and that they had profited from the economic woes, and yes there were some who had but so had many other Germans. If any one would have just stood back an analyse the situation they would have seen that the Jews were just as badly affected as any one else.

The German propaganda aided in the extermination of millions without too many questions being asked.

Next time some tells you “this is fake news” stand back and analyse it before you make up your mind.

Family in Front of Eagle, Nazi Party (NSDAP) Political Poster, Germany, 1936

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The Leica Freedom Train

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When the Nazis came to power in Germany there were plenty of business men and women who saw opportunities.

Some of them saw opportunities in exploiting the environment created by the NSDAP, especially in relation to the ‘Jewish Question’ they would actively help the Nazis for their own betterment.

On the other hand there were those who saw opportunities to do good and help those most affected by the Nazi regime. Ernst Leitz II and his family  were among those who used their influence and contacts to do good.

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Ernst Leitz’s optics company, founded in Wetzlar in 1869, had a tradition of enlightened behavior toward its workers. Pensions, sick leave, health insurance — all were instituted early on at Leitz, which depended for its work force upon generations of skilled employees, many of whom were Jewish.

Ernst Leitz GmbH, is now three companies: Leica Camera AG, Leica Geosystems AG, and Leica Microsystems GmbH. known for the Leica cameras.

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When Ernst Leitz sr. died in 1920, his son, Ernst Leitz II, took over, leading the company through the war years, as well as the introduction of the Leica 35mm camera in 1925. When Adolf Hitler became the German Chancellor in 1933, the younger Leitz almost immediately started receiving frantic calls and letters from Jewish associates, asking for the nearly impossible– help getting them and their families out of Germany. Since the Leitz family was not Jewish, they were not subject to Nazi Germany’s Nuremberg Laws, which– among other things– greatly restricted where Jews could and could not live, as well as limiting and scrutinizing their professional and civic activities.

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In order to help, Leitz quietly embarked on what history would later dub the Leica Freedom Train. The plan seemed simple enough, but could yield dire consequences for all concerned if ever discovered. The plan helped Jews leave the country covertly, under the pretense of Leitz employees being transferred to work overseas.

Employees, retailers, family members, and sometimes even friends of family members were “assigned” to Leitz sales offices, primarily in the United States, but also in France, England, and even Hong Kong. Efforts intensified after Kristallnacht— Crystal Night– in November of 1938, during which Jews were beaten and killed while their buildings, shops, and synagogues were vandalized and burned all across Germany.

Employees arriving in New York were met at the pier and taken to the Leitz Manhattan offices and showroom on 5th Avenue, where they received help finding jobs, homes, and anything else they needed to embark on their new lives.

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The refugees were given a living allowance if finding work proved to be difficult. Each was also given a Leica camera– not because they needed new cameras, but because they were easily exchangeable for cash if necessary. Many among this wave of employees became product designers, repair technicians, sales people, marketers, and even writers in the photography industry.

The Leica Freedom Train was operating at its height in 1938, and into early 1939, dropping off groups of refugees around the world every few weeks. It was not until the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939 that the country’s borders were officially closed and Leitz’s rescue operation came to an unfortunate end.

Leitz’s daughter, Elsie Kuhn-Leitz, elsie-3_480was imprisoned by the Gestapo after she was caught at the border, helping Jewish women cross into Switzerland. She eventually was freed but endured rough treatment in the course of questioning. She also fell under suspicion when she attempted to improve the living conditions of 700 to 800 Ukrainian slave laborers, all of them women, who had been assigned to work in the plant during the 1940s

The company did produce rangefinders and other optics for the German military. Other Nazi officials especially propaganda experts believed strongly in the Leica cameras as a propaganda tool. That;s why it is believed that some local Nazi officials turned a blind eye to the exploits of the Leitz family.

This entire affair may have never come to light, had it not been for the dedicated research of a California-born rabbi living in England. Written by Frank Dabba Smith and published in 2002 by the American Photographic Historical Society, “The Greatest Invention of the Leitz Family: The Leica Freedom Train” details the family’s efforts to quietly intervene in one of history’s greatest injustices. When Ernst Leitz II was posthumously honored by the Anti-Defamation League with the Courage to Care Award in 2007.The rabbi of the Harrow and Wembley Progressive Synagogue in northwest London and a Leica enthusiast, has reconstructed their stories through photographs, documents and letters of thanks from survivors and their families

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“Under considerable risk and in defiance of Nazi policy, Ernst Leitz took valiant steps to transport his Jewish employees and others out of harm’s way,” said Abraham Foxman, director of ADL. “If only there had been more Oskar Schindlers, more Ernst Leitzs, then less Jews would have perished.”

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Many thanks to Norman Stone for drawing my attention to the Leica Freedom train story.

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Matthias Sindelar-Protest through football.

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It is often believed that the Austrians accepted the annexation lying down. For a big part that was true however not every one was so enthusiastic about the ‘Anschluss’

Of Czech descent, Sindelar was born Matěj Šindelář in Kozlov, Moravia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the son of Jan Šindelář, a blacksmith, and his wife Marie (née Švengrová). Sindelar-autDespite occasional claims that Sindelar was of Jewish origin, the family was Catholic.They moved to Vienna in 1905 and settled in the district of Favoriten, which had a large Czech-speaking community. Young Matěj/Matthias began playing football in the streets of Vienna.

Sindelar was spotted playing in the street with a ball made from rags and joined the local Hertha club at the age of 15, a year after his father was killed on the Italian front during World War I. Before long he moved to the Vienna Amateurs, later to be renamed FK Austria Vienna, and soon broke into the first team despite a persistent knee injury. Many put his elusive style of play down to the fear of receiving a career-ending knock to his permanently bandaged knee

He played as a centre-forward for the celebrated Austria national team of the early 1930s known as the Wunderteam, which he captained at the 1934 World Cup.

Known as “The Mozart of football” or Der Papierene – ‘The Paper Man” for his slight build, he was renowned as one of the finest pre-war footballers, known for his fantastic dribbling ability and creativity.

Matthias Sindelar

Copyright Votavafoto Vienna

VOTAVA

Sindelar, an awkward, edgy character, had made clear that he was fundamentally opposed to the Anschluss, but, despite the fact that, at 35, he had begun to wind down his international career, he insisted on playing.

Sport was of course a key element in the Nazi propaganda machine, The 1936 Summer Olympic games gad all been about the Nazi image.

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April 3, 1938, the Prater Stadium in Vienna. For 69 minutes Matthias Sindelar, playing for his national side, does as he’s told. He passes up chance after chance during a ‘friendly’ match against Germany ,who just a few weeks earlier annexed his beloved Austria. This game – designed as a celebration of this ‘connection’ – was an official welcoming back of Austria into the Reich. Having been advised not to score, Sindelar keeps missing the easiest of chances.

Then, in the 70th minute, he tucks home a rebound and scores , much to the surprise of the 60,000 crowd, who are fully expecting the game to fizzle out into a diplomatic 0-0 draw.

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Then his team-mate and friend Schasti Sesta blasts home a free-kick to make it 2-0, and the pair dance a jig of delight in front of a box full of Nazi dignitaries.

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In the months that followed, Sindelar, who never made any secret of his Social Democratic leanings, repeatedly refused to play for Germany. In August 1938, he bought a café from Leopold Drill, a Jew forced to give it up under new legislation. paying DM 20,000  and was censured by the authorities for his reluctance to put up Nazi posters.

On the morning of January 23, 1939, Matthias Sindelar was found dead in his apartment, above the coffee house he had acquired the previous year, lying next to Camilla Castagnola, his new girlfriend. The official verdict was accidental death caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. However, the break-up of the team and city he loved had gradually forced Sindelar into depression and many felt he took his own life in a suicide pact with his girlfriend. There is a third theory, though: foul play. The police investigation was forcibly cancelled by the Nazis after a few months, and the files pertaining to the case disappeared soon afterwards.

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USS Panay incident-Act of war before the war.

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A bright Sunday in December Japanese planes blazed out of the sky to strafe and bomb an American warship while it lay at anchor.

You’d be forgiven to think this was the Pearl Harbor attack, but you’d be wrong.

The sinking of the USS Panay is pretty much forgotten now. But it was one of the biggest news stories of 1937.

 

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In the 1930s, the United States had something that would be unthinkable today — a treaty with China allowing American gunboats to travel deep up the Yangtze River. It was a major trade route for U.S. commerce in China, and it was notorious for pirate attacks.

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The crews of these ships were small.  Panay for example carried four officers and forty-nine enlisted men, along with a Chinese crew of porters.  The vessel only drew about five feet of water, and resembled more of a Mississippi riverboat than a destroyer.  Yet it had a definite role to play, one summed up on a bronze plaque located in the wardroom: “Mission: For the protection of American life and property in the Yangtze River Valley and its tributaries, and the furtherance of American goodwill in China.”

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By 1937, the Yangtze faced a much bigger threat than pirates: The Japanese army had launched an invasion of China, and by December, the Japanese were fighting for the city of Nanking. The fight became known as the Rape of Nanking.

The USS Panay, with 55 men aboard, was sent to rescue any Americans left, including embassy staff and journalists — most notably War correspondent Norman Alley a newsreel photographer who recorded what was to come.

 

The Panay, with its civilians aboard, escorted the oil tankers 20 miles upstream to wait out the Battle for Nanking. They anchored in the middle of the river and waited. Then, on Dec. 12, a quiet Sunday afternoon, Japanese planes appeared suddenly and bombed the American vessel.

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After the Panay was sunk, the Japanese fighters machine-gunned lifeboats and survivors huddling on the shore of the Yangtze. Two U.S. sailors and a civilian passenger were killed and 11 personnel seriously wounded, setting off a major crisis in U.S.-Japanese relations.

Although the Panay‘s position had been reported to the Japanese as required, the neutral vessel was clearly marked, and the day was sunny and clear, the Japanese maintained that the attack was unintentional, and they agreed to pay $2 million in reparations. Two neutral British vessels were also attacked by the Japanese in the final days of the battle for Nanking.

 

The aftermath of the Panay sinking was a nervous time for the American ambassador to Japan, Joseph C. Grew.

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Grew, whose experience in the foreign service spanned over 30 years, “remembered the Maine,” the US Navy ship that blew up in Havana Harbor in 1898. The sinking of Maine had propelled the US into the Spanish–American War, and Grew hoped the sinking of Panay would not be a similar catalyst for the severance of diplomatic ties and war with Japan.

The Japanese government took full responsibility for sinking Panay but continued to maintain that the attack had been unintentional. Chief of Staff of Japanese naval forces in northern China, Vice Admiral Rokuzo Sugiyama, was assigned to make an apology.

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The formal apology reached Washington, D.C. on Christmas Eve.

Although Japanese officials maintained that their pilots never saw any American flags on Panay, a US Navy court of inquiry determined that several US flags were clearly visible on the vessel during the attacks.At the meeting held at the American embassy in Tokyo on 23 December, Japanese officials maintained that one navy airplane had attacked a boat by machine gun for a short period of time and that Japanese army motor boats or launches attack the Chinese steamers escaping upstream on the opposite bank. However, the Japanese navy insisted that the attack had been unintentional. The Japanese government paid an indemnity of $2,214,007.36 to the US on 22 April 1938, officially settling the Panay incident.

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