Eleanor Roosevelt and the Soviet Sniper "Lyudmila Pavlichenko was a Soviet sniper credited with 309 kills—and an advocate for women's rights. On a U.S. tour in 1942, she found a friend in the first lady." [more inside]
Days after Hitler’s suicide a group of American soldiers, French prisoners, and, yes, German soldiers defended an Austrian castle against an SS division—the only time Germans and Allies fought together in World War II. Andrew Roberts on a story so wild that it has to be made into a movie.
The creators of Italian Spiderman were hired by Australia's multicultural TV network, SBS, to produce Danger 5: "Set in a bizarre, 1960s inspired version of World War II, action comedy series DANGER 5 follows a team of five spies on a mission to kill Adolf Hitler." The six-part TV series will air in February 2012, but the trailer and the first instalment of a promotional web-series are now playing.
A new book claims that recently declassified French intelligence material indicates that Coco Chanel was a Nazi agent during World War II. The House of Chanel suggests that people read other, "more serious" books about Gabrielle Chanel. However, this is not the first time that Chanel's wartime activities have been questioned.
Nancy Wake AC GM, nicknamed "the White Mouse", was an heroic resistance fighter in Occupied France in the period 1940 - 1944 and reportedly the Gestapo's most wanted person. She died yesterday. [more inside]
Nazi's propaganda. My Granddad once told me that I didn't understand Nazi's, because the black and white film always made it look unreal. He said if the films were color, I'd see.
Winner of the 1999 Nobel Prize for Literature, a peace activist who opposed reunification for fear Germany might once again war against its neighbors, ghost-writer of Willy Brandt's speeches, author of the great fabulist history of World War II and postwar Germany, The Tin Drum, and of My Century, a novel of one hundred chapters, one for each year of the last century, a man considered part of the artistic movement known in German as "Vergangenheitsbewaeltigung" or "coming to terms with the past", Günter Grass belatedly admits the history he expunged from his personal narrative: his service as a member of the 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg of the Waffen-SS. In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Grass explained his service would stain him forever, but that only after the war did he feel ashamed of having been in the Waffen-SS:
for me, because I am sure of my recollection, the Waffen SS was nothing frightful, but rather an elite unit that they sent where things were hot, and which, as people said about it, had the heaviest losses.
Rochus Misch is the last man alive from Hitler's underground bunker. His most recent interview is in light of Der Untergang ["Downfall"], the new German film which portrays Hitler as a man, not a monster. Misch asserts that while factually accurate, the movie fails to capture the atmosphere in the bunker... as if anything ever could. The movie has recieved much critical acclaim and has been nominated for best foreign language film at this year's Academy Awards.
"Fear presides over these memories, a perpetual fear." He is one of America's great novelists, but you don't expect Philip Roth to be barreling up the best-seller list with a book that hasn't even been published yet. And yet "The Plot Against America" is in the top 3 at amazon.com. It spins a what-if scenario in which the isolationist and anti-Semitic hero Charles Lindbergh runs for president as a Republican in 1940 and defeats F.D.R. "Keep America Out of the Jewish War", reads a button worn by Lindbergh supporters rallying at Madison Square Garden. And so he does: he signs nonaggression pacts with Germany and Japan that will keep America at peace while the rest of the world burns. The Lindbergh administration hatches a nice plan to prod assimilation of the Jews. Innocuously called Just Folks, it's a relocation program for urban Jews, administered by an Office of American Absorption fronted by an obliging and pompous rabbi of radio celebrity. The teenage Roth character is shipped off to a Kentucky tobacco farm, to finally live among Christians. The book is about American Fascism, but while Roth is no fan of President Bush ("a man unfit to run a hardware store let alone a nation like this one"), he points out that he conceived this book (LATimes registration: sparklebottom/sparklebottom) in December 2000, and that it would be "a mistake" to read it "as a roman à clef to the present moment in America." (more inside)
Leni Riefenstahl, dead at 101 In response to her film making for the Nazi regime, she said "It reflects the truth as it was then, in 1934. It is a documentary, not propaganda." (more inside)
The virtuous image of the Bertelsmann media empire has been destroyed by a devastating historical study into the company's Nazi links that exposes its post-war success as built on a lie. The report, published this week, not only details the company's role in the Nazi propaganda machinery, but provides evidence of the company's use of forced labour during the war.