Free Speech Doesn't Mean Careless Talk! World War II posters from the US Merchant Marine at War. More posters (Rivets are Bayonets, Drive them Home). There's lots of other cool stuff, like this brief history of privateers during the Revolutionary War.
How many men does it take it recreate the massive 1944 allied assault on Omaha Beach? Three. [YouTube] [more inside]
Upon the Nazi invasion of Poland, pediatrician Eugeniusz Łazowski and his friend Stanisław Matulewicz fabricated a fake typhus epidemic to save Polish Jews from the Nazis. Knowing that typhus-infected Jews would be summarily executed, non-Jews were injected with the harmless Proteus OX19, which would generate false positives for typhus. [more inside]
Today's post of tenuously related audio brings you ten historic radio broadcasts, 529 eternal questions in popular music, and one mildly amusing black metal band prank call.
Hand drawn Tarot Cards created by a Boris Kobe, a prisoner at Allach Concentration Camp, a sub-camp of Dachau. Each card depcits an aspect of life in the camp - click each image for high-res versions.
"Before you kill me, can you give me a bit of bread?" How a Jew, orphaned by Nazi atrocity, became a mascot -- to the Schutzstaffel.
Dutch East Indies. "After a wonderful youth in the Dutch East Indies, today Indonesia, my family and I went through three and a half years Japanese occupation. I lost my father, I lost the country I loved, I lost everything, but I kept my memories. ... So here I am, 79 years old, sitting behind my computer, going back to the Dutch East Indies."
“All patriots, men and women, young and old, have a part to play in the achievement of final victory.”
Operation Dynamo, aka The Miracle of Dunkirk, began on this day in 1940. Before it ended, nearly 340,000 British and Allied troops would make it to safety and fight another day. Why would the Germans allow them to escape? Was it fear? Hubris? Or was it, as historian B.H. Liddell Hart wrote after the war, Hitler's appreciation for the British Empire?
LA6NCA's WW2 German Radio Collection Pictures and a little history on many WW2 German radios including a cute as a button spy radio and the Lichtsprechgerät 80, an incoherent light audio transceiver. Also featured are a few photo essays of the equipment in use (Enigma, Luftwaffe Signals unit redeploying). [dorian
One man: one plan, one stove, hundreds of accomplices, 200 tonnes of sand, 4,000 bed boards, 600 feet of rope.
76 men: 50 murdered, 23 recaptured, only three got away.
The real story behind the Great Escape.
76 men: 50 murdered, 23 recaptured, only three got away.
The real story behind the Great Escape.
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.
Secret agent Huub Lauwers was parachuted into occupied Holland in 1941 to relay intelligence back to London. His capture by the Germans marked the beginning of the Englandspiel, a deadly game of cat-and-mouse intelligence that cost the lives of over fifty agents. Lauwers frantically tried to inform the SOE that he had been caught, but the Baker Street Irregulars just didn't get it. Or did they? [more inside]
The Punch Below The Belt is a WWII U.S. Government propaganda pamphlet scanned & hosted by our own fake & jonson. [Via Projects]
How to Spot a Jap... scan of a 1942 US military educational comic strip, illustrated by Milton Canniff.
Please, do mention the war. Really, it's hard not to. After all, in a sense football is war, as the General famously joked. Sometimes it's peace. Same goes for that other football, by the way.
Fantastic photographs taken and developed on the island of Tinian during WW2, now scanned and restored. There are some bodies and nudity/nude art, so it's potentially NSFW.
Cruiser Scout WW2 veteran's account of fighting in the Guadalcanal campaign.
Risen from the ashes. For nearly half a century, the ruins of the Dresden Frauenkirche lay untouched, as a memorial to the Allied bombardment in February 1945 that devastated the city. Over the past decade, the church has been painstakingly rebuilt, with assistance from former enemies. Today it was reconsecrated.
Concrete Ships Toward the end of the First World War, and during the Second World War, the United States commisioned the construction of experimental concrete ships.
Remember.org is a huge archive of the Shoah. It contains sections on the accounts of survivors and liberators (here is an account by Helen L. of her childhood in Auschwitz, here is Harry Herder's account of liberating Buchenwald, here is Jacques Lipetz account of WWII in Manila, here is part of a history of life in the Warsaw Ghetto), images from the camps and pictures of artwork produced by survivors (here is Mauthausen then and now, here is a picture of a prisoner at Dachau from this extensive archive of historical images, here are some drawings by Jan Komski, an Auschwitz survivor), and an extensive sections of excerpts of books written by survivors. Many of the images and accounts on this website are quite disturbing.
Japanese Propaganda from WWII I've seen & been fascinated by a fair amount of Allied propaganda from the second World War, including an exhibit at the Smithsonian a decade back, but this is the first bit of "enemy" propaganda I can remember running across. It's a pamphlet detailing Japan's plans for a better future. Another piece, "Farewell American Soldiers" piece which was leafleted to the troops is in English and is particularly chilling.
The Maunsell Sea Forts: During the Second World War, three anti-aircraft forts were built in 1941-42 to protect the Thames Estuary, designed by Mr. G. A. Maunsell.
tru_m4n: NUKES! HOLY **** I GOT NUKES -- If World War II were a multiplayer real-time strategy game.
Our Victory, Day by Day. Russian news agency RIA Novosti counts down to the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, with songs, posters, photos, and stories. Be sure not to miss the first-person accounts in English (under "Frontline Album").
Analysis of the Personality of Adolf Hitler by Cornell University in 1943 has been released online. The analysis was comissioned by the predecessor to the CIA and declassified several years ago, according to The New York Times. This official analysis should be of interest to those who have been doing amateur analyses for years.
Anti-fascist researcher Dave Emory: George Seldes was inspiration to Mae Brussell,whose first computer was donated by conservative Frank Zappa. Dave Emory continues the tradition of investigative muckraker in his weekly program on the great WFMU. Key to the for the record material:Paul Manning. annotated program descriptions here Dave's 500th show real&mp3
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.
"because once you found a relic you can't stop digging, you know, it is real, it was there in time of a great event and you know that next item can be this special one that worth you efforts..."
The Serpeant's Wall - a new photo essay about the tragic history of Kiev during The War. From the same motorcycle-riding woman whose Chernobyl photos we've discussed before.
"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)
"The camp is in northern California, almost at the Oregon border. It has an almost mockingly poetic name, Camp Tule Lake. It as there in a barbed wire camp built on a wind-swept dry lake bed that I spent two and a half years of my boyhood after a year and a half in another internment camp in Arkansas...These pilgrimages back to a little remembered time in our history help enlarge my appreciation of the preciousness of our American liberty and my awareness of its fragility. They also deepen my understanding of the painful human price paid by such failures of our democracy." Star Trek's George Takei (the unflappable Mr. Sulu) revisits the internment camp of his racially-profiled boyhood.
The Online Reference Guide to World War II German Helmets 1933-1945.
Trading with the Enemy (Prescott Bush was a bad man) - The mainstream press decides to bring up the Bush/Nazi connection - Newly declassified documents shed new light on the shady beginnings of the Bush family's dynastic wealth: through GW Bush's grandfather Prescott Bush's work as a director of a US bank which was both controlled by the German industrialist Thyssen (who played a key role in bankrolling Hitler's rise to power) and which continued to launder Thyssen Group profits after the US declaration of war against Germany. But if you've been reading Metafilter closely, you would have known the facts almost a year ago. ( * executes clannish, self/Metafilter congratulatory victory jig * ). Will the mainstream press pick up the trail of the story, to the US government secret importation of Nazi scientists immediately after WW2? (don't hold yr. breath)
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 Nazi-Era Provenance Internet Portal "...to provide a searchable registry of objects in U.S. museum collections that were created before 1946, and changed hands in Continental Europe during the Nazi era (1933-1945)." Families who had art confiscated by the Nazis can search US collections for it here.
The last World War Two Japanese soldier surrendered in the Philippines in 1980, ending a stream of holdouts. This is their story.
Dr. Seuss, politcal cartoonist. Before the Cat strode in wearing a Hat, and before Horton heard a Who, Dr. Seuss drew for a liberal New York newspaper called PM. Through most of 1941 he drew images that criticized isolationists who thought we could sit out the war. He already had developed his idiosyncratic style, and the University of California at San Diego has all 400 of his PM cartoons on its site. Here's what he drew Dec. 5, 1941, and this is his cartoon of Dec. 8. Later in the war, he wrote scripts for 28 "Private Snafu" animated cartoons, which taught servicemen what not to do. Some were directed by Chuck Jones.
The day the sky exploded. Ever wondered exactly what happened when the H-bomb hit Hiroshima? So did lots of scientists.. It's not pointless curiosity - these discoveries should help us all in the future. Of course, those in charge had other things in mind at the time. Hiroshima previously well examined here.
"V" -- a science-fiction allegory for World War II -- may return to television. NBC has commissioned a three-hour movie script from writer-director Kenneth Johnson (who was responsible for the excellent first miniseries, but not the second miniseries or the dreadful series) that promises "a metaphor for the new millennium." Will Johnson might tackle unilateralism and WMD? And might a letter-writing campaign be in order to encourage production?
"Hemp for Victory!" A USDA educational film from 1942 extolling the patriotic virtues of growing the crop that, a half-century later, over 600,000 people would be arrested for possessing. (Gotta love the official "Producer of Marihuana" license.) How times have changed.
Battlefield 1942 Propaganda Posters are very handy for the times when you need to call someone a smacktard.
What do you do with an eyesore built by a madman? [Geocities site, caress lovingly before clicking] During WWII, Hitler built several Flakbunkers around the city of Hamburg, to act as self-contained civilian shelters and defensive posts. After the war, the British tried to blow them up. And failed, on two accounts. The buildings still stand today, squat and romanesque remnants of a horrible period in the city's history. So, in a show of Hanseatic League moxie, the citizens of Hamburg have converted one of them into a disco. [warning: Flash, and starts with music]. There are better pictures of the truly hideous exterior here and here. A timely reminder, this Tuesday morning, that poor decisions can have long-reaching and unintended consequences. What will your grandchildren have to turn into a disco?
Almost sixty years after the end of the Second World War, the battlefields of Western Europe, Scandanavia, Russia and the Pacific continue to reveal poignant relics of the men who fought and died. These links may be of interest to anyone with even a passing interest in military history.
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.