497 posts tagged with wwii.
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Digging and living below Naples: buried history of Bourbon Tunnel

An aqueduct, an escape route, an air raid shelter, and an impound lot. Naples Bourbon Tunnel descends 30 meters into the bowels of Monte Echia and travels through 500 years of Neapolitan history. But since the 1970s, these tunnels were forgotten, until local geologists Gianluca Minin and Enzo De Luzio were told about them by a man who had sheltered in them during World War II. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 18, 2016 - 6 comments

"The Fact No Sabotage Has Happened Is Proof It Will"

Pictures of Japanese-Americans, 120,000 of whom lost property and were placed in camps for the duration of the war. "The people who lived across from us came to our house and took everything." - George Takei [more inside]
posted by blankdawn on Oct 10, 2016 - 45 comments

High Hitler

German novelist Norman Ohler has written his first non-fiction work, Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany. Drug abuse permeated all levels of the Third Reich, with Hitler himself, enabled by his personal physician Theodor Morell, being one of the most addicted, primarily to Eukadol (Oxycodone) and cocaine. Ohler also argues methamphetamines made the western Blitzkrieg through the Ardennes possible.
posted by Rumple on Sep 28, 2016 - 50 comments

Detained German physicists hear about atomic bomb (transcript)

Transcript of Surreptitiously Taped Conversations among German Nuclear Physicists at Farm Hall (August 6-7, 1945) (.pdf) (via @timhwang) [more inside]
posted by hawthorne on Sep 24, 2016 - 67 comments

Our differences are in arbitrary boundary lines only.

Even before Pearl Harbor Day, thousands of young American men had taken to the skies, resolved to thwart Hitler’s goals. But to the United States, these men weren’t yet heroes — they were, arguably, dissidents. To join the war, they first chose to defect — to Canada.
posted by Chrysostom on Sep 22, 2016 - 11 comments

Greta Friedman

Greta Zimmer Friedman, 92, has died. According to the New York Daily News, Mrs. Friedman led a long, eventful life. As a girl, she fled from the Nazis in Europe, and settled in New York, where she later studied theater and costuming at the New School. But her place in history is marked by a single snapshot. She was ambivalent, at times, about that place in history, which can well be characterized as sexual assault. Nonetheless, many years later, she became friendly with the man in the photograph, who had been, at the time, a stranger. (Previously, if incorrectly)
posted by Countess Elena on Sep 10, 2016 - 15 comments

A trip to the mythical Isle of Tiki, Polynesian Pop and A/C Eden

The bizarre rise and fall and resurgence of tiki bars and cocktails is an interesting history that starts with two men, Donn Beach and Victor Bergeron, who traveled to the South Pacific and brought back some "island culture" to the United States with them in the 1930s, continuing on with the craze really booming after WWII vets returned from tours overseas. With the ebbs and flows of popularity, the cultural appropriation in "Tiki culture" has often been overlooked, as to the Māori mythology and meaning behind Tiki carvings and imagery and Hawiian culture of leis and luaus. Let's talk Tiki bars: harmless fun or exploitation. [Soundtrack: Les Baxter's Ritual Of The Savage ( 1951) and Martin Denny's Exotica (1957)] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 9, 2016 - 60 comments

“It looks like a war zone,” he said. Because it is.

Bill McKibben asks us for a WWII-scale climate change mobilization. Maybe it's time to think of climate change as a war, argues Bill McKibben (founder of 350.org).
posted by doctornemo on Aug 16, 2016 - 42 comments

Porta Polonica: culture and history of Poles in Germany

Porta Polonica is a site (courtesy of the Westphalian State Museum of Industrial Heritage) devoted to the culture and history of Poles in Germany. Some examples of the dozens of articles therein: an account of the novelist Witold Gombrowicz’s year in Berlin; a biography of the pioneering harpsichordist, pianist and composer Wanda Landowska; a piece about Jan Łukasiewicz, who devised what was once known as ‘Reverse Polish Notation’; a brief account of Rosa Luxemburg’s career; an article about star of stage & (silent) screen Pola Negri; and a piece about the letter ‘P’ worn by the millions of Polish forced labourers in wartime Germany.
posted by misteraitch on Aug 2, 2016 - 1 comment

She's been working on the railroad

World War II Railroad Women In April 1943, Office of War Information photographer Jack Delano photographed the women of the Chicago & North Western Railroad roundhouse in Clinton, Iowa.
posted by pjern on Jul 18, 2016 - 9 comments

You can’t be sure where any search will lead.

It all started with a question, one my parents had been unable to answer for 70 years. What happened to the French doctor they had taken in during the Russian siege of Budapest? He was an escaped prisoner of war. They were just trying to hang on. Together, they hid in a cellar, beneath the feet of German soldiers who had made the home their headquarters.
San Francisco Journalist John Temple follows the threads of World War II into the present.
posted by Rumple on Jul 16, 2016 - 20 comments

Uncovering Forgotten Stories of Hiroshima

Keiko Horikawa is a Japanese freelance journalist whose work, unknown in English translation until now, deals with the value of life and the weight of death. Her two subjects are the death penalty and the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, which has gained new urgency as bomb survivors, the hibakusha, die out after 70 years. Here is a translation of an event promoting her book about the Genbaku Kuyoto, the mound containing the unclaimed remains of approximately 70,000 bomb victims, and her effort to reunite the 815 identified remains with their families.
posted by Small Dollar on Jun 14, 2016 - 3 comments

Hiroshima: The New Yorker, 1946

A year after the bomb was dropped, Miss Sasaki was a crippIe; Mrs. Nakamura was destitute; Father Kleinsorge was back in the hospital; Dr. Sasaki was not capable of the work he once could do; Dr. Fujii had lost the thirty-room hospital it took him many years to acquire, and had no prospects of rebuilding it; Mr. Tanimoto’s church had been ruined and he no longer had his exceptional vitality. The lives of these six people, who were among the luckiest in Hiroshima, would never be the same.--originally published in The New Yorker, August 31, 1946.
posted by MoonOrb on May 21, 2016 - 29 comments

Delmer Berg, Last U.S. Survivor of the Spanish Civil War, Dead at 100

The Death of the Last Veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. "Delmer Berg, 100, was one of the Americans who volunteered to fight Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War, and he never stopped fighting for leftist causes." Berg died on February 28, 2016. The war ended 77 years ago today. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Apr 1, 2016 - 26 comments

You go to war with the app you have, not the app that you might want.

Have you ever wished there was a way to play solitaire while still viewing inspirational wartime content of Winston Churchill? Do you have an iPhone? Well, has Donald Rumsfeld (best known for such previous non-mobile hits as the admittedly buggy Iraq War) got the game for you! [more inside]
posted by corb on Jan 23, 2016 - 19 comments

"...thou shalt not be a bystander" ― Yehuda Bauer

Hollywood's Last Survivors [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 17, 2015 - 3 comments

It’s easy to look back now and say that defeating fascism was worth it.

"Capra knew that the only way to earn an ending this happy would be to send the audience through utter, bleak horror, so everything before George gets to live again is shot to maximize the sense of his confinement, before breaking loose into rapture. It’s the story arc the country itself had just lived through for the four years prior." It’s A Wonderful Life shows the unending cost of being good - Todd VanDerWerff, The A.V. Club
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 2, 2015 - 97 comments

Korespondent Julien Bryan

A Polish student of mine tells me they all see this documentary about photographer Julien Bryan in high school. He was an American who was in Warsaw at the beginning of the war. The four-part documentary (which includes his film Siege) is available on YouTube, dubbed into English. [more inside]
posted by Rash on Nov 14, 2015 - 1 comment

One of the stranger events in aviation history

What do you do when the Japanese bomb your airfield and smash the right wing of your only airplane? The strange tale of the DC-2 ½
posted by pjern on Nov 8, 2015 - 19 comments

Hell—Nothing Less—And Without End

“The uprising,” we told each other immediately, like everyone else in Warsaw. [more inside]
posted by hat_eater on Nov 3, 2015 - 3 comments

The Hateful Life & Spiteful Death Of The Man Who Was Vigo The Carpathian

You’ve seen a painting of Norbert Grupe. A heavy, creased brow and shoulder-length hair framing a frightening scowl, the massive work hung in the fictional Manhattan Museum of Art in Ghostbusters II. [...] Most people will only ever know Norbert Grupe as Vigo the Carpathian. But Norbert Grupe—a Nazi soldier's son, boxer, professional wrestler, failed actor, criminal, and miserable human being who was never so happy as when he could make someone hate him—was once a man so beautiful that other men wanted to paint him.
posted by Faint of Butt on Oct 27, 2015 - 16 comments

You’ll Never Know

A video has emerged of a man serenading his wife of 73 years on her deathbed with a song she sang to him as he went to fight in the Second World War.
posted by gman on Sep 21, 2015 - 26 comments

Hitler at Home

In the years preceding World War II, news outlets from home magazines to the New York Times ran profiles of the Nazi leader that portrayed him as a country gentleman — a man who ate vegetarian, played catch with his dogs and took post-meal strolls outside his mountain estate. These articles were often admiring — even after the horrors of the Nazi regime had begun to reveal themselves, says Despina Stratigakos, an architectural historian at the University at Buffalo. Her new book, “Hitler at Home,” will be published Sept. 29 by Yale University Press... She notes that while many historians have dismissed Hitler’s personal life as irrelevant, his private persona was in fact painstakingly constructed to further his political ends.
How media ‘fluff’ helped Hitler rise to power [more inside]
posted by spinda on Sep 6, 2015 - 71 comments

Last survivors of the Indianapolis

Warship's Last Survivors Recall Sinking in Shark-Infested Waters
posted by Artw on Jul 28, 2015 - 19 comments

Heavy Barn Find

A WWII Panzer tank and other military equipment has been found in the basement of a German pensioner.
posted by chrchr on Jul 3, 2015 - 60 comments

No other WWII training accident took so many American lives.

DISASTER AT SLAPTON SANDS Scimitar was holed when she was rammed by another vessel and was ordered to return to port. Incredibly, no one bothered to inform the operation commander of this! This left tiny Azalea to act as the sole escort. As events showed, this might have been enough except for one unspotted typographical error in the orders. The American ships were tuned to the wrong radio frequency and could not transmit to or receive from the British ship or coastal stations. [more inside]
posted by Michele in California on Jun 30, 2015 - 12 comments

Chamber of horrors

The man who sleeps in Hitler’s bed Wheatcroft is now 55, and according to the Sunday Times Rich List, worth £120m... The ruling passion of his life, though, is what he calls the Wheatcroft Collection – widely regarded as the world’s largest accumulation of German military vehicles and Nazi memorabilia.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jun 24, 2015 - 42 comments

A Message of Peace From a Survivor of Hell: A Hiroshima Survivors Story

Hiroshima bombing survivor Tomiko Matsumoto tells her tale. [more inside]
posted by Admira on Jun 16, 2015 - 72 comments

"their intimate, closely guarded songs from home, camp and ghetto"

The Stonehill Jewish Song Collection is a website by the Center for Traditional Music and Dance containing songs sung by Jewish refugees in Hotel Marseilles in New York in 1948. All songs include the original lyrics and translations into English. Not all the songs have been digitized and translated already, but there is a variety of themes already, with more on the way soon. The songs were collected and recorded by Ben Stonehill who went to the refugees and asked them to sing anything they like.
posted by Kattullus on May 17, 2015 - 5 comments

Putting artists to work in World War II

The crazy idea was this: The United States Army would design a “deception unit”: a unit that would appear to the enemy as a large armored division with tanks, trucks, artillery, and thousands of soldiers. But this unit would actually be equipped only with fake tanks, fake trucks, fake artillery and manned by just a handful of soldiers.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 13, 2015 - 32 comments

"Almost too tasteless for words"

The signature image in Little Boy, a colossal miscalculation in audience uplift, is of the title character stretching out his arms, scrunching up his face, and groaning with intense concentration. Small for his age, hence the nickname, 7-year-old Pepper Flint Busbee (Jakob Salvati) performs this ritual several times throughout the film, always when attempting to move an object with the sheer power of his belief. More often than not, it actually works: Onstage, during a magic show, he appears to slide a glass bottle across a table, Jedi-style. Later, in a far grander display of his apparent gifts, he wows a crowd of skeptics by seemingly creating an earthquake while trying to nudge a mountain. What Pepper really wants, though, is to bring his father back from the war. And so he stands on a dock and points his hands in the direction of the Pacific Ocean, defying the setting sun, focusing all his desire on one point in the distance, until…
Little Boy: The Film That Goes There [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Apr 23, 2015 - 198 comments

RIP Rosie the Riveter

Norman Rockwell's image of "Rosie the Riveter" — not to be confused with the J. Howard Miller poster — received mass distribution on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on Memorial Day, May 29, 1943. Rockwell's illustration features a brawny woman taking her lunch break with a rivet gun on her lap and beneath her penny loafer a copy of Hitler's manifesto, Mein Kampf. Mary Doyle, a 19-year-old telephone operator who lived in Arlington, Vermont, and made $10 for posing for Rockwell's iconic image, was no where near as brawny in real life. Mary Doyle Keefe passed away on 21 April at the age of 92.
posted by terrapin on Apr 23, 2015 - 19 comments

Fashion Shouldn't Take Your Breath Away

Vintage Gas Mask Carrier & Handbag Patterns
posted by bswinburn on Apr 19, 2015 - 10 comments

Just in time for the baseball season...

Baseball behind barbed wire The year was 1944. A playoff series between two all-star baseball teams generated ample excitement. Gila River fought Heart Mountain in thirteen games to win the series. The players described it as exhilarating. But the players taking part in this all-American pastime did so in dire circumstances. Gila River and Heart Mountain were both Japanese incarceration camps (previously known as internment camps), and these athletes were among the tens of thousands of Japanese Americans imprisoned there.
posted by dfm500 on Mar 21, 2015 - 6 comments

"I asked him a very old Jewish question: Do you have a bag packed?"

Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 17, 2015 - 181 comments

Hell on earth.

Today marks the 70th anniversary of what is considered the single most deadly bombing raid in history, the 1945 US napalm firebombing of Tokyo. Today, there are still victims seeking redress and recognition from the Japanese government for the ‘unparalleled massacre’ of that horrific night.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 9, 2015 - 58 comments

The largest battleship in naval history

A research team led by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen claims to have finally found the wreckage of the Japanese Yamato-class Battleship Musashi, sunk at the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea October 23-24, 1944, part of the largest naval battle of World War II. [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange on Mar 4, 2015 - 11 comments

The second flag was so much more photogenic

The Story Behind the Most Famous Picture from World War II A story told with lots of photos and a little writing.
posted by Michele in California on Feb 23, 2015 - 29 comments

Fool the Axis—use Prophylaxis!

How the Military Waged a Graphic-Design War on Venereal Disease In many ways, such a coordinated public effort to alter sexual behavior was unprecedented. At a time when discussion of sexual activity was anything but frank, the VD posters of World War II addressed the topic directly using clinical language, ominous symbolic imagery, and jingoistic slogans to help enlisted men steer clear of sexually transmitted infections. While American sex-ed programs have taken many forms over the last hundred years, the military’s VD campaign left a unique trail of ephemera in its wake, featuring imagery that’s both gorgeous and deeply unsettling.
posted by Michele in California on Feb 13, 2015 - 30 comments

"Ida": Film nominated for two Oscars draws praise & controversy

"Ida" (trailer: YouTube & Apple) is a black & white (and a Polish language) film from Poland by director Pavel Pawlikowski (this link contains spoilers). Hailed a film "masterpiece" by more than one critic, the film has now been recognized in America by not just one Oscar nomination (Foreign Language Film) but a 2nd in the broader category of Cinematography. For those interested in filmmaking, cinematography, and lighting, here is a look at three scenes from Ida. More? Here are another four scenes. The film is not without controversy, including Poles who are upset at the portrayal of their countrymen (and women) during the Nazi occupation and the Stalinism that followed WWII. Does 'Ida' misrepresent Poland's treatment of Jews?
posted by spock on Feb 6, 2015 - 51 comments

“German Concentration Camps Factual Survey”

In 1945, as Allied troops liberated concentration camps across what had been German-occupied Europe, the British Ministry of Information commissioned a documentary that would provide incontrovertible evidence of the Nazis’ crimes. Producer Sidney Bernstein's cameramen accompanied US, UK and Soviet troops into Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau and other camps. Six reels of film, known as the German Concentration Camps Factual Survey, were assembled and edited in part by Alfred Hitchcock (supervising director) and Billy Wilder.

The final product "was meant to be a historical document and a teaching tool; among the stated goals of the filmmakers was that it be shown to Germans to prove to them that the horrors of the camps were real." But the project was deemed too politically sensitive and abandoned before it was completed. The finished reels, storyboards and scripts sat in British archives for years. In 1985, PBS Frontline took some of the footage and created a documentary special: "Memory of the Camps." On January 27, 2015, the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, HBO aired "Night Will Fall,” (trailer) directed by André Singer, which tells the story of the making of Factual Survey "...through the eyes of people who either filmed it, or through the eyes of the soldiers who first went in, to see what happened in the camps - or through the eyes of surviving victims who were in the camps." Film footage at links is disturbing and possibly NSFW [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 5, 2015 - 28 comments

The Rescued Film Project

The Rescued Film Project found 31 rolls of undeveloped film shot by a soldier during WWII. The WWII photos
posted by COD on Jan 27, 2015 - 21 comments

SS Pieter Schelte

The "world's largest ship" is named after a Nazi war criminal. Unsurprisingly a few people have a problem with that.
posted by Artw on Jan 25, 2015 - 80 comments

With fewer voices, Auschwitz survivors speak

The voices of Auschwitz. "The 70th anniversary of the liberation of the notorious Nazi concentration camp could mark the last major commemoration for many Holocaust survivors." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jan 24, 2015 - 16 comments

"The Solution to Pollution is Dilution"

Chemical Weapons Munitions Dumped at Sea: An Interactive Map [via]
posted by indubitable on Jan 21, 2015 - 27 comments

The Tragedy at Kufra

A grim and forbidding land, devoid of human habitation, intolerant of the inexperienced, and merciless when it judges the foolhardy. On May 4, 1942, twelve men of the South African Air Force boarded three Bristol Blenheim Mark IVs and took off from the oasis of Kufra in the Libyan Desert. Only one made it back alive. [more inside]
posted by gottabefunky on Jan 12, 2015 - 10 comments

Save that dance

Who Is Agent Carter? A brief history of the starring character of Marvel's latest TV show - and now also a comic.
posted by Artw on Jan 6, 2015 - 76 comments

D-Day to Germany, 1944 color home movies

D-Day to Germany, 1944. Color home movies by Allied pool reporter Jack Lieb. There is little to no combat, it's all behind the lines offering a different perspective from total war. Some famous actors and writers appear. The best part is the narrator, Jack, who is giving a viewing in 1976. His spontaneous narration and smooth style is enchanting.
posted by stbalbach on Dec 21, 2014 - 9 comments

Can Capitalism and Democracy Coexist?

In a wide-ranging discussion about democracy, capitalism, and the American body politic; Chris Hedges interviews political theorist Sheldon Wolin in eight parts. (via) (previously) [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar on Nov 11, 2014 - 38 comments

Code Name: The White Mouse

Blisteringly sexy, she killed Nazis with her bare hands and had a 5 million-franc bounty on her head. That was one of her obituary articles in 2011 and it also called her "the real Charlotte Gray." [more inside]
posted by Michele in California on Oct 10, 2014 - 31 comments

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