The tragic death of Ola Brunkert.

The name Ola Brunkert will mean very little to most, in fact I only found out about him today. I get these history notification on my phone, today I got a notification telling me it was Ola’s birthday today.

I hear you asking” Who is this Ola Brunkert?” As I stated most of you will not have heard of him before, yet you will have heard him before.

Ola Brunkert was a Swedish drummer who was one of the main session drummers for the pop group ABBA. Brunkert and bassist Rutger Gunnarsson are the only two side musicians to appear on every ABBA album. Ola’s first known ABBA-related session was also the group’s very first single, “People Need Love”.

He was born in Örebro, Sweden on 15 September 1946. Before working with ABBA, he worked often as a jazz drummer but also with acts like Slim’s Blues Gang and Science Poption. Aside from ABBA he recorded with Janne Schaffer, Opus III, Ted Gardestad, Björn J:son Lindh, Jerry Williams, Ingemar Olsson, and others.

He appeared on stage with ABBA at the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 and played with them on their concert tours of Europe and Australia in 1977, North America and Europe in 1979 and Japan in 1980.

He bought a property in the Betlem housing complex in Artà, Majorca, Spain, in the 1980s and lived there for the remainder of his life. It was at his home that he died, less than a year after the death of his wife, Inger, in 2007.

On March 16 2008, he crashed head first through the door in his kitchen at his home on Majorca, wounding his neck on a shard of glass. He managed to wrap a towel around his neck and left the house to seek help, but collapsed in the garden and bled to death.

Police said an autopsy confirmed that Mr Brunkert’s death had been an accident. Mr Brunkert lived alone and there was no sign of a break in, police said.

sources

http://abbalatestreleases.blogspot.com/2010/05/frida-and-genesis.html

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Journalists who were killed.

Social Media could be such a great tool to unite the world, instead it has divided it. There are now people who only believe the ‘news’ they see on Social Media and take it as gospel, no matter how manipulated it is. Then there are those who solely trust other news outlets, often referred as the Mainstream Media. Luckily there are still some who have the ability to do some critical thinking.

Regardless what you think of this so called Mainstream Media, there is one point that can not be disputed. Between 1992 and 2021,1411 reporters from the ‘Mainstream Media’ were killed. Where as no keyboard warrior Social Media reporter has ever been killed.

I am not going through all the reporters that were killed. I just focus on a few of them. However I will have the list of all killed reporters and journalists at the end of the blog.

Ulf Strömberg

Strömberg, a cameraman for the Swedish channel TV4, was murdered in the early morning during a robbery at the house in Taloqan, Afghanistan where he and several other journalists were staying.

At around 2 a.m., armed gunmen broke into the house and entered the room where two journalists from the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet were sleeping. The intruders demanded money, which they were given, and also stole equipment including cameras, computers, and a satellite phone, according to Aftonbladet.

The robbers threatened to kill the two journalists-Martin Adler, a photographer, and Bo Liden, a correspondent-but left the room after an Afghan translator intervened on their behalf, according to a Reuters report. The gunmen then proceeded to the room Strömberg was sharing with his TV4 colleague Rolf Porseryd, a correspondent. Porseryd told reporters that Strömberg went to the door and slammed it shut when he saw the gunmen, who fired several shots before fleeing.

Strömberg, 42, was apparently hit in the chest by a bullet fired through the door. Though colleagues rushed him to a local hospital, his wounds were fatal.

If you ever needed evidence that history repeats itself. Strömberg was killed in Taloqan, Afghanistan on November 26, 2001.

Veronica Guerin

Guerin, a crime reporter for the Sunday Independent, was shot dead by assailants on a motorcycle as she was stopped in her car at a traffic light in Dublin. She had been repeatedly targeted for physical attacks, a shooting, and death threats because of her incisive, continuing investigation into Ireland’s criminal underworld that had garnered her CPJ’s 1995 International Press Freedom Award.

Two men, Brian Meehan and Paul Ward, were convicted for her murder in 1999 and 1998. Ward’s conviction was overturned in 2002, but he remains in prison, where he is serving a 12-year sentence for taking part in a prison riot. John Gilligan, a known Dublin drug trafficker, was also charged but was acquitted because of lack of evidence on March 16, 2001, despite the judge’s assertion that there were “grave suspicions” of Gilligan’s complicity in the killing.

On October 23, 2020 Spanish police arrested Gilligan at his villa in Alicante in southeastern Spain as part of an investigation into suspected trafficking of marijuana and prescription drugs from Spain to Ireland and the U.K., the BBC reported. During the raid, police recovered a Colt Python revolver which was buried in the garden of the villa — the same model that was used in the journalist’s murder, The Guardian reported. According to that report, Spanish and Irish police were examining the weapon to determine whether it was used in the assassination.

Veronica Guerin worked for the Sunday Independent. She was killed in Dublin, Ireland June 26, 1996.

Daniel Pearl

U.S. government officials confirmed on February 21, 2002, that Pearl, kidnapped South Asia correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, had been killed by his captors.

The exact date of his murder was uncertain, but authorities announced his death after receiving a graphic, three-and-a-half minute digital videotape containing scenes in which one of the killers slits Pearl’s throat, and then someone holds his severed head. The faces of the assailants are not visible on the video. This, and other details below, are documented in an extensive report on Pearl’s murder, entitled The Truth Left Behind: Inside the Kidnapping and Murder of Daniel Pearl, published in 2011 by The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and The Center for Public Integrity.

Pearl, 38, went missing on January 23, 2002, in the port city of Karachi, Pakistan, and was last seen on his way to an interview at the Village Restaurant, downtown near the Metropole Hotel. According to The Wall Street Journal, Pearl had been reporting on Richard Reid, a suspected terrorist who allegedly tried to blow up an airplane during a transatlantic flight with a bomb in his shoe.

Four days after his disappearance, a group calling itself “The National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty” sent an e-mail to several U.S.- and Pakistan-based news organizations claiming responsibility for kidnapping Pearl and accusing him of being an American spy. The e-mail also contained four photographs of the journalist, including one in which he is held at gunpoint and another in which he is holding a copy of the January 24 issue of Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper.

The e-mail contained a series of demands, including the repatriation of Pakistani detainees held by the U.S. Army in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The sender or senders, who used a Hotmail e-mail account under the name “Kidnapper guy,” said Pearl was “at present being kept in very inhuman circumstances quite similar in fact to the way that Pakistanis and nationals of other sovereign countries are being kept in Cuba by the American Army.”

Another e-mail was sent on January 30, also including photographs of Pearl held captive. This e-mail accused him of being an agent of Mossad, Israel’s spy agency, and said he would be killed within 24 hours unless the group’s demands were met.

After scrutinizing the videotape that officials received weeks later, authorities believe that Pearl may have been murdered before the second e-mail was sent. During that footage, Pearl is forced to identify himself as Jewish and to deliver scripted lines reiterating some of the demands made in the e-mails, according to an FBI analysis of the tape that was provided to the Journal.

On February 12, 2002, before Pearl’s murder was discovered, Pakistani police announced the arrest of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, whom they identified as the prime suspect behind the journalist’s kidnapping.

On March 14, a U.S. grand jury indicted Saeed, charging him with hostage-taking and conspiracy to commit hostage-taking resulting in Pearl’s murder. U.S. prosecutors also unsealed a secret indictment filed against Saeed in November 2001 accusing him of participating in the 1994 kidnapping of U.S. tourist Bela Nuss in India. Pakistan refused to extradite Saeed, possibly to avoid damaging disclosures of links between the country’s intelligence agencies and militant Islamist groups that the United States wants to see eliminated.

In April, Saeed and three accomplices–Salman Saqib, Fahad Naseem, and Shaikh Adil–were charged with Pearl’s kidnapping and murder before Pakistan’s special anti-terrorism court. The trial, initially convened at Karachi’s Central Jail and later moved to a heavily guarded prison in Hyderabad due to security concerns, was closed to journalists and the public.

In mid-May, as the trial was under way, police found a dismembered body believed to be Pearl’s buried in the outskirts of Karachi on property owned by the Al-Rashid Trust, an Islamic charity that the United States has accused of funneling money to al-Qaeda. Police were reportedly led to the shallow grave by Fazal Karim, a member of the banned militant Sunni Muslim group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. At year’s end, Karim had not been charged, and though it has been widely reported that he was detained, authorities have never officially acknowledged his arrest.

On July 15, 2002, the anti-terrorism court announced that Saeed and his accomplices were guilty of Pearl’s kidnapping and murder. Saeed, who was accused of masterminding the crime, was sentenced to death by hanging; Saqib, Naseem, and Adil each received 25-year prison sentences. They appealed the ruling.

Shortly after the ruling, U.S. officials announced DNA test results confirming that the body found in May was indeed Pearl’s.

In mid-August, 2002, The Associated Press published a detailed account of Pearl’s kidnapping, citing two investigators who spoke on condition of anonymity. The officials said that, according to Karim (who had led police to the journalist’s body in May) and two others held in unofficial custody, Pearl was shot and wounded on the sixth day of his capture when he tried to escape and was murdered on the ninth day. The AP identified the two other detainees as Zubair Chishti and Naeem Bukhari, who is also known as Attaur Rehman and is a leader of the sectarian group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. The men also said that three Arabs, possibly from Yemen, were brought to the hideout on the ninth day, and that they were involved in filming and carrying out the execution.

Karim later identified one of the Yemenis among those arrested in a September 11, 2002, raid in Karachi, during which U.S. and Pakistani authorities detained several suspected al-Qaeda members, including Ramzi Binalshibh, allegedly a senior al-Qaeda leader who has claimed a central role in coordinating the September 11 attacks.

In 2007, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, suspected of masterminding the 9/11 attacks in the U.S., was reported to have confessed to a U.S. military tribunal in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to personally having slit Pearl’s throat, according to news reports. A trial date for Mohammed’s role in the 9/11 attack has been set for January 11, 2021, although it’s not certain if the trial will proceed, according to news reports.

A former U.S. intelligence officer, Robert Baer, told the United Press International (UPI) news agency in 2002 that he had given Pearl information about Mohammed, and that he believes it was the journalist’s investigations of Mohammed that may have cost him his life. Baer, who worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for more than 20 years in Asia and the Middle East and wrote the book See No Evil, which criticizes the CIA, told UPI, “I have heard from [intelligence] people who follow this closely that it was people close to Mohammed that killed him, if it wasn’t Mohammed himself.”

UPI quoted a Wall Street Journal spokesperson as saying that, “Everything we know from before and after Danny’s murder indicates his reporting effort focused on [alleged shoe bomber] Richard Reid.”

On April 2, 2020, the Sindh High Court overturned the murder convictions of the four men accused in Pearl’s killing, according to news reports. The decision found Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who had previously been sentenced to death, guilty only of kidnapping Pearl and reduced his sentence to seven years, which he has already served. The Pearl family and the Sindh provincial government appealed, and the four men remained imprisoned as of October 2020, awaiting further action by the Supreme Court, according to news reports.

Daniel Pearl worked for The Wall Street Journal. He was killed in Karachi, Pakistan, between January 23 and February 21, 2002.

Ahmad Omaid Khpalwak

Khpalwak, 25, a BBC and Pajhwok Afghan News reporter, was
among at least 22 people killed after gunmen and suicide bombers launched a combined attack on government buildings including the governor’s office and police headquarters in Tarin Kot, capital of Uruzgan province, local and international news reports said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the series of explosions and subsequent gun battle with Afghan and NATO security forces, the reports said. News reports said Khpalwak was killed in crossfire after the
initial bomb blasts.

Khpalwak was in the local branch office of state broadcaster Radio and Television of Afghanistan when the attack began, according to Danish Karokhel, the director of Pajhwok. Khpalwak, who had office space in the building, was filing his morning report at the time.

In a statement released on September 8, 2011, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan said one of its
soldiers had shot Khpalwak because he thought he was an armed insurgent
reaching for a bomb under his vest. “He was unarmed; no weapon was found nearby. It appears all the rounds perceived as coming from him were instead fired by U.S. soldiers,” the ISAF statement said. Investigators concluded troops may have mistaken a press card Khpalwak was holding up as identification for a bomb trigger.

The BBC reported that Khpalwak sent his brother two text
messages shortly before his death. The first read: “I am hiding. Death has
come.” In the second, he wrote: “Pray for me if I die.”

Ahmad Omaid Khpalwak worked for Pajhwok Afghan News, BBC .He was killed in Tarin Kot, Afghanistan on July 28, 2011

Danish Siddiqui

Danish Siddiqui was killed on July 16, 2021, while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters in the town of Spin Boldak, near the border with Pakistan, according to news reports and Reuters, citing Afghan military officials.

Siddiqui, 38, was embedded with Afghan special forces at the time of his death, according to those reports. He told his employer that he had been wounded in the arm by shrapnel earlier that day while reporting and had resumed work after receiving medical treatment.

Siddiqui was talking to shopkeepers when the Taliban attacked, and was killed in a subsequent crossfire, an Afghan commander told Reuters.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters that the militant group had not been aware there was a journalist on the scene, and said it was unclear how Siddiqui was killed.

Siddiqui was a member of the Reuters photography team that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography for “shocking photographs that exposed the world to violence Rohingya refugees faced in fleeing Myanmar.”

A Reuters spokesperson told CPJ via email that the outlet is working to verify the facts surrounding Siddiqui’s death and has engaged outside experts to conduct an independent review of the circumstances leading up to, around, and after his death. Reuters is also conducting an internal review, the spokesperson said.

CPJ emailed Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior for comment, but did not receive any response.

Danish Siddiqui worked for Reuter. He was killed in Spin Boldak, Afghanistan on July 16, 2021.

So the next time you complain about or even ridicule the so called ‘Mainstream Media’ just remember the sacrifices they have made. Sacrifices which will never be made by these ‘experts’ on social media.

source

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The Librarian of Auschwitz

I finished reading the Librarian of Auschwitz yesterday. I will not do a book review, although it is a very good and well written book, but I will go into some aspects of the book which brought the Holocaust quite near to me in a way I did not expect.

However before I do that I have to mention Dita Kraus.

Dita served as librarian in the block set up for children in Birkenau, at the time she was still a child herself, with only a handful of books. Fredy Hirsch also ran the children’s block, creating a network of Zionist instructors who filled their young guests’ time with educational and cultural activities. One of these young educators was Otto (Ota) Kraus, Dita’s future husband.

Aside from the few physical books they also had some ‘living books’ these were the teachers who would tell the stories from books they had read, and had memorized. One of the teachers was Mrs Magda. the living book she would convey to the children was “The Wonderful Adventures of Nils” The story is basically a fairy tale about a Swedish boy , Nils Holgersson, whose “chief delight was to eat and sleep, and after that he liked best to make mischief”. He takes great delight in hurting the animals in his family farm. Nils captures a goblin in a net while his family are at church and have left him home to memorize chapters from the Bible. The goblin proposes to Nils that if Nils frees him, the goblin will give him a huge gold coin. Nils rejects the offer and the goblin turns Nils into a goblin, which leaves him shrunken and able to talk with animals, who are thrilled to see the boy reduced to their size and are angry and hungry for revenge. While this is happening, wild geese are flying over the farm on one of their migrations, and Martin, the farm’s white goose attempts to join the wild ones. In an attempt to salvage something before his family returns, Nils holds on to Martin’s neck as he successfully takes off and joins the wild birds.

The book was also adapted as an animated TV Show in 1980. As a 12 year old boy, I would be hooked to the show, and glued to the TV when it was one . When I saw the name.Nils Holgerson, mentioned in the Librarian of Auschwitz it gave me goosebumps. It amazed me that those children in Block 31 in Auschwitz were in awe by the same character as I was as a child.

The author of ‘The Wonderful Adventures of Nils’ was Selma Lagerlöf.

She was a Swedish author and teacher. She published her first novel, ‘Gösta Berling’s Saga’, at the age of 33. She was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, which she was awarded in 1909. Additionally, she was the first woman to be granted a membership in the Swedish Academy in 1914.

Gösta Berling’s Saga was made into a 1924 silent film directed by the Finnish Jewish director Mauritz Stiller starring Greta Garbo.

The book ‘The Librarian of Auschwitz’ also makes reference to the German author Karl May. Dita had read a Karl May book once. She really liked Karl May’s stories of the Wild West about Old Shatterhand and his Apache friend Winnetou. I too, as a young boy like those stories. They were made into TV movies starring Pierre Brice and Lex Barker, who also portrayed Tarzan a few times.

What both Dita and I didn’t know , at the time we would read Karl May’s books or watch the adaptations on TV , is that Karl May was also one of the favourite authors of Adolf Hitler.

During the war Hitler reportedly admonished his generals for their lack of imagination and recommended that they all read Karl May. Albert Speer recounted in his Spandau diaries.

One other thing that touched me and brought the story into the 21st century, is a passage on page 394. I am not going to say too much about that part because I don’t want to ruin the book for those who haven’t read it yet. But I think it will resonate with many people.

“They make sure she eats her food ration and periodically gets out of the Hospital, that she doesn’t stay with her mother for too many hours at a time and that she wears a mask”

I would recommend everyone to read the book. Although it is about Auschwitz and the Holocaust, and although some parts are harrowing and very sad and gut wrenching, it does also manage to give a positive message. A message of resilience, perseverance , courage and hope.

sources

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057380/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_51

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/05/hitlers-forgotten-library/302727/

https://www.yadvashem.org/remembrance/archive/torchlighters/kraus.html

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Denmark at the UEFA Euro championships

Regardless if you are a fan of the man or not, anyone who watched that match last night must have had an awful shock.

Shortly before half time during the UEFA Euro 2020, group stage match between Denmark and Finland, the Danish midfielder and star player, Christian Eriksen collapsed. He was taken of the pitch and rushed to the Hospital after he received treatment on the pitch, He is awake and stable again, after a reportedly cardiac arrest. We all wish him a speedy recovery but it appears he may not play professional football again.

Not only was this an awful shock but it was also a surprise that the match resumed after some delay. Apparently Christian Eriksen said he wanted the match to be played. The match ended up in a 0-1 win to Finland.

This was not the first time that Denmark surprised sporting fans by playing matches during an UEFA Euro championship.

In 1992, most of the Danish team had been on a beach holiday because they failed to qualify for the tournament.

They had been in group 4 of the qualifying rounds together with Austria, the Faroe Islands, Northern Ireland and Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia won the group. Denmark ended up as the runner up and failed to qualify.

However just before the tournament started, Yugoslavia was disqualified as a result of the breakup of the country and the ensuing warfare there. As the runner up of group Denmark was called up to take Yugoslavia’s place.

To make the surprise even bigger ,Denmark reached a place in the semi finals after beating France and drawing with England. In the semis the met the Dutch team, who were the reigning champion and also the favourites to win it again, the match ended up in a draw and had to be decided by a penalty shoot out. To everyone’s surprise it was won by Denmark, securing them a spot in the final against Germany.

The finals were set to be played in the Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg Sweden, on June 26.

After having beaten the other giants in European football, the Danes also managed to beat the Germans by two goals.

So Denmark went from not qualifying in the first place ,to be crowned UEFU Euro champions 1992, defying all the odds. Hopefully Christian Eriksen will also defy all the odds and make a full recovery.

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April 6,1974 the battle of Waterloo

I remember during music lessons at school we would discuss the 2 super groups that emerged from the 1970’s. The first one was Queen and the other one was ABBA.

Both band of course did not start out with those names. Queen was called Smile first and ABBA’s origin was in the pop, folk and jazz scene of Sweden. Benny Andersson was a member of a popular Swedish pop-rock group, the Hep Stars.

Björn Ulvaeus began his musical career at the age of 18 ,as a singer and guitarist, as the frontman of the Hootenanny Singers, a popular Swedish folk–skiffle group. He started writing English-language songs for his group, and even had a brief solo career alongside. The Hootenanny Singers and the Hep Stars sometimes crossed paths while touring.

Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad sang from the age of 13 with various dance bands, and worked mainly in a jazz-oriented cabaret style. She also formed her own band, the Anni-Frid Four. In the middle of 1967, she won a national talent competition with “En ledig dag” (“A Day Off”) a Swedish version of the bossa nova song “A Day in Portofino”.

Agnetha Fältskog was the singer with a local dance band headed by Bernt Enghardt who sent a demo recording of the band to Karl Gerhard Lundkvist. The demo tape featured a song written and sung by Agnetha: “Jag var så kär” (“I Was So in Love”). In 1972, Fältskog starred as Mary Magdalene in the original Swedish production of Jesus Christ Superstar and attracted some very good reviews.

On June 1972 the four released their debut single called “People Need Love” but the single was released with the band name ‘Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid’ not the catchiest of named to be honest, so in 1973 the band and their manager Stig Anderson changed the name to ABBA.

In 1975 the band had their international break through with “Waterloo” at the 1974 Eurovision song contest, which was held in Brighton on the south coast of the United Kingdom, on April 6. However Waterloo was not the first choice of the band to be used at the Song contest, They initially planned to enter the song “Hasta Mañana”for the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest.

I think things would have turned out very different for the band. I reckon very few people would have remembered the name ABBA.

But as we all know they entered “Waterloo” for the contest making musical history and a legacy that still lives on to this day. Even young kids will know the song Waterloo and ABBA , mostly because of teh musical Mamma Mia and its sequel though.

The musical did spark a revival for ABBA music although their music has always been popular. In a May 2013 interview, Fältskog, aged 63 at the time, stated that an ABBA reunion would never occur: “I think we have to accept that it will not happen, because we are too old and each one of us has their own life. Too many years have gone by since we stopped, and there’s really no meaning in putting us together again” It has been rumoured that they were offered a billion US Dollars to tour again, but I believe that was all though, rumours.

The two men were and still are successful as song writers and composes. In 1983 they began collaborating with Tim Rice in writing songs for the musical project Chess. Which had 2 massive hits with “I know him so well” and “One night in Bangkok”

All of this though started off with the song Waterloo ,inspired by the 18 June 1815 battle of Waterloo.

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Be on your guard- It is April 1, don’t be fooled

How did become the first day of the 4th month, aka April 1, the day of trying to fool people or to play pranks on them. Since I come from a long line of pranksters and it appears it has transferred into the newest generations of the family, I always have a slight sense of paranoia on this day. They are all out to get me.

The origin of April Fools’ day seems to be a bit vague. Some say that it started in 1582, when France changed from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. The switch took place because France has decided to commence their New Year with the Spring Equinox, which takes place around April 1, not all of France’s citizens accepted this change and were therefore called April Fools.

Another theory is that April 1st became the fool’s holiday due to Geoffrey Chaucer’s 14th century collection, The Canterbury Tales, wherein Chaucer includes a playful reference to “32 March,” or April 1st. However, most scholars consider it to have been a mere copying error.

In my native ,the Netherlands, the origin of April Fools’ Day is often attributed to the Dutch victory in 1572 at Brielle, where the Spanish Duke Álvarez de Toledo was defeated.”Op 1 april verloor Alva zijn bril is a Dutch proverb, which can be translated as: “On the first of April, Alva lost his glasses.” In this case, “bril” (“glasses” in Dutch) serves as a homonym for Brielle. This theory, however, provides no explanation for the international celebration of April Fools’ Day.

Some even suggested that the tradition goes back to biblical times. Some scholars say it goes back as far as to the flood in Noah’s time as described in Genesis chapters 6–9.

The London Public Advertiser of March 13, 1769, printed: “The mistake of Noah sending the dove out of the ark before the water had abated, on the first day of April, and to perpetuate the memory of this deliverance it was thought proper, whoever forgot so remarkable a circumstance, to punish them by sending them upon some sleeveless errand similar to that ineffectual message upon which the bird was sent by the patriarch”

Over the centuries people have come up with some many different ways to fool their fellow men.

On April Fools’ Day 1957 by the BBC current-affairs program Panorama, purportedly showing a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from the family “spaghetti tree”. At the time spaghetti was relatively unknown in the UK, so many British people were unaware that it is made from wheat flour and water; a number of viewers afterwards contacted the BBC for advice on growing their own spaghetti trees.

In 1962, Swedish national television broadcast a 5-minute special on how one could get color TV by placing a nylon stocking in front of the TV. A rather in-depth description on the physics behind the phenomenon was included. Thousands of people tried it.

In 2016, one of the biggest pornography sharing sites Pornhub changed its name to Cornhub and displayed suggestive videos featuring corn. The site used a similar prank for 2018’s April Fools Day – this time changing its name to Hornhub and displaying videos about women blowing horns instead of pornography.

I wish you all a good April Fools’ day and I hope that you will have lots of laughs.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. 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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sources

https://english.jagran.com/lifestyle/april-fools-day-2021-why-april-1-is-celebrated-as-fools-day-know-history-and-significance-of-years-funniest-day-10025082

https://www.dictionary.com/e/fool/

http://hoaxes.org/archive/permalink/instant_color_tv

https://www.complex.com/life/2016/04/pornhub-april-fools-prank-corn-hub

https://www.ladbible.com/community/viral-awesome-pornhub-offering-very-different-videos-after-changing-name-to-hornhub-20180401

Max von Sydow

MAX

Max von Sydow has always been one of my favourite actors, we also happen to share the same birthday.(well obviously I am a bit younger). Unfortunately we had to say farewell to this legend of the silver screen last Sunday March 8,.

He was one of the most versatile actors in the movie industry, although he was Swedish he had an excellent command of the English language and also spoke several other languages.

His roles varied from comedies, science fiction and drama. He played in a number of WWII related movies where he played German officers like in ‘Escape to Victory and’ in the ‘Voyage of the Damned in which ge   he played Captain Gustav Schröder who in 1939 tried  to save 937 German Jews, who were passengers on his ship, MS St. Louis, from Nazi persecution.

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Max von Sydow also played several movies in where he played Holocaust survivors like ” Emotional Arithmetic” ; “Intacto”and “Echoes of the Past” He also played Otto Frank in “The Diary of Anne Frank”

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What probably is a lesser know fact is that Max von Sydow as a teenager entertained Jewish refugees in Sweden. The refugees were allowed to go to Sweden via the  “White Buses” operation  The  operation undertaken by the Swedish Red Cross and the Danish government in the spring of 1945 to rescue concentration camp inmates in areas under Nazi control and transport them to Neutral Sweden,

In a 2012 interview von Sydow recalled when his was a 16 year old boy in his hometown of Lund in Sweden.

There were some refugee camps in Lund where these Jewish refugees were housed. The local would provide them with food and clothes. Max von Sydow was a member of a  folk dance troupe, and they would provide entertainment for the refugees.

Of that time he said to the Jewish Journal “Some were carried in on stretchers to watch the shows; for many, it was their first entertainment after the hell of the camps. These were people, many of whom were gravely ill, who came and spent perhaps a couple of weeks in our town before they died. We were just trying to do as much as was possible for them at the time. Many of them are still in Lund, in a huge graveyard with foreign names.”

I wonder if he knew then about the fate of the passengers of the MS St. Louis. They were refused entry in Cuba, the US and Canada, only 29 were allowed the disembark in Havana. After sailing for several weeks, 288 were allowed to enter the UK, The remaining passengers were eventually allowed to enter Belgium, France and the Netherlands, but only a few months later war broke out and in May and June 1940, most of the passengers of the MS St Louis, were yet again persecuted by the Nazis, only about half of those who returned to continental Europe survived the war.

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One of Max’s last movies was “Star Wars: The Force Awakens ” a bit of trivia on that Max and Daisy Ridley(who plays the main character Rey in the movie) share the same birthday too. This means I share my birthday with 2 Star Wars actors.

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Sources

https://forward.com/culture/441221/when-max-von-sydow-entertained-holocaust-survivors/

IMDb

 

 

 

 

 

The Look- Roxette’s accidental break through.

the look

The sad news reached us this week that Roxette singer Gun-Marie Fredriksson had died after a 17-year long battle with cancer.

Roxette were very successful in the late 80s and early 90s , in fact at some stage they were the biggest band in the world. But this success may never have been if it wasn’t for a young American exchange student Dean Cushman.

Roxette had already been quite successful in their native Sweden. The Look was the 4th single from their second album. It was actually their Christmas song “It Must Have Been Love (Christmas for the Broken Hearted)”  released in December 1987,which had not been included on any of their albums. that had been their biggest selling single to date

The song  became a top five hit in Sweden. In 1990 it was re-released for the movie “Pretty Woman” leaving out the Christmas for the Broken Hearted bit of the original title.

“The Look” was released as the  fourth single of their 2nd album “Look Sharp” in January 1989,=reaching the top 10 in Sweden. American exchange student from Minneapolis, Dean Cushman, had been an exchange student in Sweden where he bought the album and brought it home to the US., giving a copy of it to his local Top 40 radio station, KDWB 101.3 FM. “The Look” soon became very popular, and the station began distributing the track to their sister radio operations. EMI America had previously rejected the duo as unsuitable for the American market, and Roxette didn’t have a recording contract in the US.

“The Look” had already entered the top fifty of the Billboard Hot 100 before the duo began official promotion. It would go on to peak at number one eight weeks later. It gradually became a global hit over the next year, topping the charts in 25 countries.

To put things in perspective,their debut album Pearls of Passion which was only released in Scandinavia and Canada sold 800,000 copies(this number includes the sales of th remastered version released in 1997) Where “Look Sharp” sold 9,000,000 copies worldwide.

 

RIP Marie- You always had the look.

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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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Sources

EMI

YouTube

The Nobel price and the Third Reich.

nobel

Adolf Hitler often displayed toddler like behaviour. If he didn’t get his way or if someone did something he didn’t like, he would throw a tantrum.

In 1935 the Nobel peace prize was awarded to Carl von Ossietzky(pictured above). He was a German pacifist He was awarded the prize for something which happened before Hitler came to power.In 1931 Carl von Ossietzky was arrested because he  published details of Germany’s violation of the Treaty of Versailles by rebuilding an air force, which was the predecessor of the Luftwaffe, and training pilots in the Soviet Union.

He was also a very vocal anti Nazi and was openly critical about Hitler and the Nazi regime.On 28 February 1933 he was sent to Spandau  prison for “protective custody” and later on he was transferred to the Esterwegen concentration camp.

esterwegen

When the Nobel foundation awarded the 1935 Nobel Peace Prize to Carl von Ossietzky, (although it was the 1935 Nobel peace prize it actually was awarded in 1936), Hitler was offended. His reaction was to issue a decree on 31 January 1937 which forbade German nationals to accept any Nobel Prize.

This resulted in Gerhard Domagk not getting the 1939 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Richard Kuhn not being able to get the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1938 and Adolf Butenandt not allowed to accept for the the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1939.

In 1939 the Swedish Social Democrat and Anti Fascist Erik Gottfrid Christian Brandt nominated Hitler for the Nobel Peace Prize , in a ironic and sarcastic manner. The nomination was accepted.

Below is the text of his nomination.

“To the Norwegian Nobel Committee

I hereby humbly suggest that the Peace Prize for 1939 is awarded the German Chancellor and Führer Adolf Hitler, a man, who in the opinion of millions of people, is a man who more than anyone in the world has deserved this highly respected reward.

Authentic documents reveal that in September 1938 world peace was in great danger; it was only a matter of hours before a new European war could break out. The man who during this dangerous time saved our part of the world from this terrible catastrophe was without no doubt the great leader of the German people. In the critical moment he voluntarily did not let weapons speak although he had the power to start a world war.

By his glowing love for peace, earlier documented in his famous book Mein Kampf – next to the Bible perhaps the best and most popular piece of literature in the world – together with his peaceful achievement – the annexation of Austria – Adolf Hitler has avoided the use of force by freeing his countrymen in Sudetenland and making his fatherland big and powerful. Probably Hitler will, if unmolested and left in peace by war mongers, pacify Europe and possibly the whole world.

Sadly there still are a great number of people who fail to see the greatness in Adolf Hitler’s struggle for peace. Based on this fact I would not have found the time right to nominate Hitler as a candidate to the Nobel Peace Prize had it not been for a number of Swedish parliamentarians who have nominated another candidate, namely the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. This nomination seems to be poorly thought. Although it is true that Chamberlain through his generous understanding of Hitler’s struggle for pacification has contributed to the saving of world peace, the last decision was Hitler´s and not Chamberlains! Hitler and no one else is first and foremost to be thanked for the peace which still prevails in the greater part of Europe; and this man is also the hope for peace in the future. As Chamberlain obviously can claim his share of the peace making, he could possibly have a smaller part of the Peace Prize. But the most correct thing to do is not to put another name beside the name of Adolf Hitler and thereby throwing a shadow on him. Adolf Hitler is by all means the authentic God-given fighter for peace, and millions of people all over the world put their hopes in him as the Prince of Peace on earth.

Stockholm, January 27 1939”

Brandt withdrew his nomination in February 1939 because he hadn’t expected his nomination to be taken serious.

Imagine if he hadn’t withdrawn the nomination and Hitler had won(stranger things have happened), Then Hitler would have to break his own rule to accept his prize.

peace

Eventually no Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in 1939.

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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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Source

Nobelprize.org

Quartz

 

 

 

 

The white Buses- A positive Holocaust story

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A while ago I read a comment of someone saying that she could no longer read stories about the Holocaust, not because she didn’t want to but because she couldn’t because the stories were so sad, they were heartbreaking. I can fully appreciate that, because it is heartbreaking and unless you are a complete psychopath and soulless the stories will have a deep,profound effect. However it is important these stories need to be told

Coming from the angle of someone who does a lot of research on the Holocaust,every story is hard but sometimes in a different way. Positive stories are very hard to find but there are some, as this blog will illustrate. But positive in the context of the Holocaust.

The “White Buses”  was an operation undertaken by the Swedish Red Cross and the Danish government in the spring of 1945 to rescue concentration camp inmates in areas under Nazi control and transport them to Sweden, a neutral country. Although the operation was initially targeted at saving citizens of Scandinavian countries, it rapidly expanded to include citizens of other countries.

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After a series of negotioations, the Danish Jews were released from Theresienstadt in the spring of 1945 and brought to Sweden by the so-called White Buses. A dangerous journey that took the caravan of White Busses through war-torn Europe.

All in all , an operational staff of about 300 persons removed 15,345 prisoners from mortal peril in concentration camps; of these 7,795 were Scandinavian and 7,550 were non-Scandinavian (Polish, French, etc.).In particular, 423 Danish Jews were saved from the Theresienstadt concentration camp inside German-occupied territory of Czechoslovakia, contributing significantly to the fact that casualties among Danish Jews during the Holocaust were among the lowest of the occupied European countries.

 

The term “white buses” originates from the buses having been painted white with red crosses, to avoid confusion with military vehicles.

In December 1944, the Danish Foreign Ministry received permission to bring sick police officers home from the concentration camp in Buchenwald, Germany.

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This marked the beginning of a humanitarian operation best known as the Bernadotte Operation or The White Buses. In February 1945, the Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte negotiated with Heinrich Himmler for the release of Scandinavian prisoners from the concentration camps, while the Danish Aid Corps arranged for cars and buses to transport the prisoners. The Swedish and Danish initiative was coordinated, and in March 1945, the operation began. The process of bringing the Scandinavian prisoners back home was carried out until the end of April.

The Baltic German Felix Kersten was Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler’s personal masseur.

felixkerston

He lived in Stockholm and acted as an intermediary between the Swedish foreign department and Himmler. Walter Schellenberg, a trusted subordinate of Himmler, had long held the view that Germany would lose the war and encouraged Himmler to explore the possibility of a separate peace treaty with the Western powers; in this Sweden could be a useful intermediary.

With Kersten’s assistance the Swedish foreign department was able to free 50 Norwegian students, 50 Danish policemen and 3 Swedes in December 1944. An absolute condition for the release of the prisoners was that it should be hidden from the press; if Hitler got to know about it further repatriations would be impossible.

On 13 April 1945, the Danish Jewish prisoners in Theresienstadt received the message that they were going home.

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This applied to everyone who had been deported from Denmark, regardless of whether they were Danish citizens. The Danish prisoners were first gathered in the Jäger Barracks, where they had to wait for the buses to arrive in Theresienstadt. A former prisoner described the waiting time:

“Then, all the Danes were gathered in the Jäger Barracks, where we should spend the last days. There was a high fence around the barracks to keep the other prisoners out, while we Danes could go freely in and out. People gathered together outside, partly to ask for the bits of food remaining after we left, and partly to give us the addresses of their families, so we could write and tell them that they were in Theresienstadt.”

After waiting for a day and a half, the prisoners were finally allowed to board the buses that were to drive them to Sweden – Denmark was still occupied. 423 people were released from the camp that day. Not all of them were originally deported from Denmark: A few children were born in the camp; a Danish boy had been deported from Berlin; and a few Czech women had married Danish men in the camp and were therefore allowed to accompany them. 041_diis_3432_10_danske_joeder_befriet_fra_theresienstadt_c_yad_vashem

The expedition had German liaison officers; the most prominent of them being Himmler’s communications officer, SS-Obersturmbannführer Karl Rennau, while Franz Göring was a liaison officer with the Gestapo. The expedition had around 40 German communication, SS and Gestapo officers. The Germans demanded that every second vehicle should have a German officer on board. The “White Buses” expedition was totally dependent on cooperation with the Germans as the country under Nazi rule was a police state. Only with liaison personnel from the Gestapo and SS could the expedition move without restrictions.

Gestapomen_following_the_white_buses

Neuengamme concentration camp was overcrowded, and to have space for the Scandinavian prisoners, the SS insisted that prisoners of other nationalities be moved to other camps. The SS commander had no transport of his own and required that the white buses accept the transports, so the newly arrived Scandinavians could solely occupy the Schonungsblock, a barrack building for prisoners not fit to work. Around 2,000 French, Belgian, Dutch, Russian and Polish Jews were transported to other camps. Most of the transports of prisoners for the SS took place between 27 and 29 March, from Neuengamme to subcamps in Hannover and Salzgitter and to Bergen-Belsen. During the evacuations some 50 to 100 prisoners died, and many more died in the worse conditions in the new camps to which they were transported, having been moved to avoid the advancing Allied armies.

The Swedish sub-lieutenant Åke Svenson wrote:

“We could now see how the Germans treated their prisoners in general, French, Belgians, Dutch, Poles, and Russians. It was terrible. This time the Germans had to allow us into the camp as most of the passengers could not walk the minor distance from the barracks to the road. From these barracks a group of creatures were forced, that hardly anymore seemed to be human beings.”

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On the way to Sweden the buses drove through bombed-out Germany, and sometimes they came very close to the actual bombing attacks. On 17 April, the buses reached the Danish border, where the former prisoners were received with food, cakes and flags.

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The buses continued to Odense, where the passengers rested for the night. The next morning, the buses drove to Copenhagen, and the group was sailed to Sweden. In Sweden, they were housed in two quarantine camps: Tylösand and Strangnæs. After Denmark’s liberation on 5 May 1945, the former prisoners could finally return to Denmark. Some could immediately move into their homes, which had been cared for by friends, acquaintances or the Social Service in the Municipality of Copenhagen. For others, the homecoming was difficult, since they had lost both their apartments and their belongings while they were in Theresienstadt. They were also emotionally scarred, and many suffered from physical injuries from their stay in Theresienstadt.

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Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. 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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Sources

Folkedrab.dk

Wikipedia