490 posts tagged with wwii.
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The other Göring brother

In downtown Vienna under the Nazis, two members of the SA had decided to humiliate an old woman. A crowd gathered and jeered as the stormtroopers hung a sign bearing the words "I'm a dirty Jew" around the woman's neck. Suddenly, a tall man with a high forehead and thick mustache pushed his way angrily through the mob and freed the woman. "There was a scuffle with two stormtroopers, I hit them and was arrested immediately," the man later said in a matter-of-fact statement. Despite this open act of rebellion, the man was released immediately. He only had to say his name: Albert Göring, brother of Hermann Göring, the commander of the German air force and Hitler's closest confidant.
[more inside] posted by daisyk on Jul 22, 2012 - 31 comments

Aurochs

Heavy Breeding. "In 1920, the brothers Lutz and Heinz Heck, directors of the Berlin and Munich zoos, respectively, began a two-decade breeding experiment. Working with domestic cattle sought out for their 'primitive' characteristics, they attempted to recreate 'in appearance and behavior' the living likeness of the animals’ extinct wild ancestor: the aurochs. 'Once found everywhere in Germany,' according to Lutz Heck, by the end of the Middle Ages the aurochs had largely succumbed to climate change, overhunting, and competition from domestic breeds." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jul 21, 2012 - 31 comments

Franco-Italian Alps cleared of barbed wire

Barbed Wire no longer lines the Franco-Italian Alps. On the 11th of July this year, after working since 2002, mainly in the Mercantour National Park, the last of 134 tonnes of steel was finally removed for recycling by teams of volunteers. [more inside]
posted by fraula on Jul 20, 2012 - 24 comments

The sinking of the USS Indianapolis

Over 350 US Navy ships were lost in combat during World War II. Only one of them resulted in the captain being court martialed. [more inside]
posted by rmd1023 on Jul 5, 2012 - 64 comments

The all-taking, all-singing, all-dancing, all-action-packed extravaganza

All This and World War II is a 1976 musical documentary that juxtaposes Beatles songs, performed by a number of musicians, with World War II newsreel footage and 20th Century Fox films from the 1940s. It lasted two weeks in cinemas and was quickly sent into storage. "In this installment of Rock 'N Roll Case Study we talk about All This and World War II, which is perhaps one of the most bizarre movies in rock 'n roll." [via]
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates on Jul 4, 2012 - 24 comments

“Don’t try to lock him up. He escapes, you know."

Born in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, member of the French resistance and the SOE, multiple escapee from Nazi execution, RIP Count Robert de La Rochefoucauld.
posted by Artw on Jun 30, 2012 - 20 comments

"Citizenship is a tough occupation which obliges the citizen to make his own informed opinion and stand by it."

'The Hubris and Despair of War Journalism: What Martha Gellhorn teaches us about the morality of contemporary war reportage.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 22, 2012 - 10 comments

Road to Valor

Gino Bartali achieved fame by winning the 1938 Tour de France, but what he did on his bike during the war is what made him a real hero. [more inside]
posted by IanMorr on Jun 15, 2012 - 15 comments

Honor and Error

In a high profile gaffe President Barack Obama has recently caused anger in Poland by referring to a Nazi death camp as a "Polish death camp" during a ceremony honoring World War II hero Jan Karski with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. “The White House will apologize for this outrageous error,Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski tweeted. Sikorski said that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk “will make a statement in the morning. It’s a pity that this important ceremony was upstaged by ignorance and incompetence.” [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge on May 31, 2012 - 160 comments

Goodbye to all That

Paul Fussell, author of The Great War and Modern Memory and winner of the first National Critics Award for Criticism, but who is probably best known for writing Class: A Guide Through the American Status System, is dead. [more inside]
posted by postcommunism on May 23, 2012 - 48 comments

Spitfires unearthed in Burma

Once more into the breach! Shades of Neal Stephenson: a squadron of RAF Spifires has been unearthed in Burma and is on its way back to Old Blighty. One hopes they can be properly restored so the populace can witness the aircraft that saved England's bacon. At the very least, perhaps they'll appear in a Dr Who episode.
posted by Johnny Wallflower on May 22, 2012 - 67 comments

Godwin meets Glenn Miller

So-called jazz compositions may contain at most 10% syncopation; the remainder must consist of a natural legato movement devoid of the hysterical rhythmic reverses characteristic of the barbarian races and conductive to dark instincts alien to the German people (so-called riffs)
The story of Nazi jazz. [Previously.] [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim on May 19, 2012 - 42 comments

What Grandma Did In The War

During WWII, nearly 6 million women joined the workforce. Metafilter's talked about "Rosie the Riveters" previously, but we've never heard from these women in their own words.
posted by ChuraChura on May 14, 2012 - 9 comments

1920s Gaming and the 1939 World's Fair

"A maverick theater and industrial designer, Norman Bel Geddes is best remembered for creating the undisputed hit of the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Mounted in the midst of the Great Depression, the Fair focused on America’s promise of a utopian tomorrow. Geddes’s Futurama, a piece of “immersion theater,” took six hundred visitors at a time on a swooping, simulated airplane ride across America circa 1960." "The City of Tomorrow, a model of Manhattan that Geddes created, in 1937, to promote Shell Oil Company’s new “motor-digestible” gasoline, is often cited as [Futurama's inspiration.] But Futurama’s beginnings actually harken back much further, to the meticulous, insanely detailed private games he created in the 1920s and early ’30s for the amusement of his friends." [more inside]
posted by zamboni on May 6, 2012 - 15 comments

Never forget, never again

We Japanese Americans must not forget our wartime internment - George Takei on the the treatment of Japanese-Americans during WWII and Allegiance, his new musical. Previously.
posted by Artw on Apr 29, 2012 - 45 comments

Practice Makes Perfect

"[It's] all the more staggering when you realize that more people were killed in the rehearsal for the landing at Utah beach than were killed in the actual landing at Utah beach." Operation Tiger, the disastrous secret rehearsal for D-Day, marks its 68th anniversary today.
posted by Spike on Apr 28, 2012 - 21 comments

Claude Lanzmann

Those Americans who are familiar with the name Claude Lanzmann most likely know him as the director of “Shoah,” his monumental 1985 documentary about the extermination of the European Jews in the Nazi gas chambers. As it turns out, though, the story of Lanzmann’s eventful life would have been well worth telling even if he had never come to direct “Shoah.” In addition to film director, Lanzmann’s roles have included those of journalist, editor, public intellectual, member of the French Resistance, long-term lover of Simone de Beauvoir and close friend of Jean-Paul Sartre, world traveler, political activist, ghostwriter for Jacques Cousteau — I could go on, but it’s a good deal more entertaining to hear Lanzmann himself go on, and thanks to the publication in English of his memoir, “The Patagonian Hare,” we now have the opportunity to do so. (previously)
posted by Trurl on Apr 16, 2012 - 6 comments

Timeless Message

The story behind the iconic poster Keep Calm and Carry On rediscovered in 1991 at Barter Books, has been covered here before, but not in this lovely short video. And not with the new iPhone app.
posted by Miko on Apr 3, 2012 - 36 comments

That German that sent Americans to the Moon

Remembering Wernher von Braun on his 100th Birthday.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 24, 2012 - 85 comments

"Where's Adolf?"

4x5 Kodachromes from the American war effort in 1942.
posted by Sticherbeast on Mar 20, 2012 - 33 comments

"Two years before Hannah Arendt declared evil banal, Vonnegut was staking it out for stand-up treatment."

In the spring of 1945, three weeks after VE Day, Private First Class Kurt Vonnegut, Jr wrote a letter home to inform his family that he was alive. His infantry unit had been smashed by Panzer divisions in the Ardennes; his unmarked POW train attacked by the RAF; miraculously, he and a handful of fellow prisoners escaped incineration by American and British bombers. "Their combined labors killed 250,000 people in twenty-four hours and destroyed all of Dresden – possibly the world’s most beautiful city", Vonnegut wrote. "But not me."
- Survivor: How Kurt Vonnegut created a novel, a cult following and one of the most loyal readerships in American Fiction by Thomas Meaney in The Times Literary Supplement.
posted by Kattullus on Mar 11, 2012 - 85 comments

Home on the Range

Los Alamos National Laboratory has posted 10 minutes of newly discovered color home movie footage of the scientists of the Manhattan Project, at work and at play, shot by physicist Hugh Bradner. Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrets Blog notes some highlights and adds context.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 7, 2012 - 17 comments

1930s-40s in Colour

The Library of Congress has posted a series of colour photos from the 1930s and 1940s online. [more inside]
posted by gman on Mar 5, 2012 - 17 comments

Fritz Ritz Reconstructed

Deep in the heart of Texas, a decrepit German POW camp is reconstructed. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Feb 25, 2012 - 22 comments

Hitler's French son.

Hitler's French son.
posted by Meatbomb on Feb 17, 2012 - 79 comments

"Those are not cats or kneeling cats on the bank note"

Cartoon images of "worshiping cats" on the Chinese 100 yuan RMB banknotes, "the equivalent of the 'Eye of Providence' on the US dollar," probably weren't designed as cartoon cats. A coin expert noted that there were no cat's whiskers on the bank note, as shown on the "clarified" image. But if you're looking for hidden images in Chinese currency, World War II era Chinese currency has many cases of hidden messages and over-printed propaganda (part 2 of a series on WWII Allied banknote propaganda).
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 9, 2012 - 13 comments

flower power

One of the last surviving members of the Edelweiss Pirates, a group of rebellious teenagers from western Germany who formed a resistance network against the Nazis, has died aged 82: Jean Jülich [more inside]
posted by Mister Bijou on Feb 7, 2012 - 19 comments

Best single-volume histories of WWII

Best single-volume histories of WWII, a survey by Edward Kosner [more inside]
posted by stbalbach on Jan 7, 2012 - 47 comments

Bomber Jackets

A gallery of personalized bomber jackets from WWII with descriptions.
posted by gman on Jan 6, 2012 - 22 comments

History on a delayed live feed

RealTimeWWII live tweets hourly events from the Second World War, delayed by 70 years. Charles Darwin writes entries in his diary as he travels the world a century earlier onboard The Beagle. The 1940 Chronicle covers events of the Battle of Britain as they happened day by day. For those more inclined to peripateticism, HistoryPin (previously) overlays historical imagery on modern scenes in Google Street View. If you'd like a perspective on your own activities in much shorter timeframe, TimeHop shows you what you were doing a year ago.
Semi-Related: 100 best blogs for your liberal arts education.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Jan 4, 2012 - 5 comments

A Reluctant Enemy

"What a strange position I find myself in," [Yamamoto] wrote a friend, "having been assigned the mission diametrically opposed to my own personal opinion, with no choice but to push full speed in pursuance of that mission. Alas, is that fate?"

A brief account of how one of the biggest critics of Japan's war policy became the mastermind of the Pearl Harbor attacks. (SLNYT)
posted by swift on Dec 7, 2011 - 44 comments

“I miss the crowd.”

"One thing about life in New York: wherever you are, the neighborhood is always changing. An Italian enclave becomes Senegalese; a historically African-American corridor becomes a magnet for white professionals. The accents and rhythms shift; the aromas become spicy or vegetal. The transition is sometimes smooth, sometimes bumpy. But there is a sense of loss among the people left behind, wondering what happened to the neighborhood they once thought of as their own." For Sophia Goldberg (98), Holocaust survivor, change has meant the end of a way of life.
posted by zarq on Dec 1, 2011 - 34 comments

This Moment in Movember History Brought to you by the Letter J

In 1941, the Special Operations Executive forged documents, including passports, in order to help the resistance. Here's the one they made for Adolf Hitler, with a better view of the photos available on this site.
posted by gman on Nov 9, 2011 - 16 comments

Norman Corwin, 1910-2011, poet laureate of radio of the 1930s and 1940s

"In radio there was never a term equivalent to boob tube or couch potato." — Norman Corwin, writer, director and producer in the golden age of radio, has died at the age of 101. [more inside]
posted by exphysicist345 on Oct 20, 2011 - 21 comments

The literature of the Siege of Leningrad

I am not going to try now to open the eyes of the world to the Leningrad Blockade. What I will write about here is less ambitious and somewhat more promising: the literature of the siege. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 12, 2011 - 7 comments

Dissolve my Nobel Prize! Fast!

Dissolve my Nobel Prize! Fast! It's 1940. The Nazis have taken Copenhagen. They are literally marching through the streets, and physicist Niels Bohr has just hours, maybe minutes, to make two Nobel Prize medals disappear.
posted by sweetkid on Oct 3, 2011 - 70 comments

Mickey Mouse Job

The Ropes at Disney's - 1943 Employee Handbook. The good old days when women got twice as much sick leave, the Penthouse club was accessible by "men only! - sorry gals...", and a violation of the U.S. Espionage Act could get you fired.
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 26, 2011 - 52 comments

Chrysler Blue from World War II

"Tanks Are Mighty Fine Things!" And Other Tales Of Truthiness... At the end of World War II, Chrysler sent small hardbound books to shareholders chronicling ways the company had contributed to the war effort. Two have now been placed online at the Chrysler Imperial Club's website: "Tanks are Mighty Fine Things" and "A War Job 'Thought Impossible' (The story of the Chrysler-Sperry Gyro-Compass)" (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 6, 2011 - 15 comments

Democracy: Victory at Home, Victory Abroad

"World War II has immesurably magnified the Negro's awareness of the disparity between the American profession and practice of democracy." During WWII, the armed forces were still marked by segregation of troops, with black troops often led solely by white officers, there were many instances of violence against African-American troops as well as general discrimination. While many African-American troops were serving with honor and some with particular levels of distinction, a stateside newspaper - the Pittsburgh Courier - began the "Double V" campaign: "Democracy: Victory at Home, Victory Abroad" after printing a letter from a reader asking "Should I Sacrifice To Live ‘Half American?’". The response from the community was overwhelming. Many people, not just activists, latched onto the campaign and made it a huge success for the community, helping to lay the ground work for the beginnings of the post-war Civil Rights movement.
posted by rmd1023 on Aug 31, 2011 - 23 comments

No more "Shikata ga nai."

Nearly seventy years ago, 10,000 Japanse Americans were forcibly relocated to Heart Mountain, just outside Cody, Wyoming; they were part of a larger group of more than 120,000 men, women, and children incarcerated in War Relocation Authority (WRA) camps due solely to their ancestry. This past weekend, about 100 survivors of the camp -- led by the delightfully named Bacon Sakatini -- returned to this remote corner of Wyoming to celebrate the grand opening of the Heart Mountain Interpretive Learning Center. Of the ten WRA camps, Heart Mountain had the only organized resisters movement, which was started in 1944 by seven men who formed the Fair Play Committee to protest the drafting of Japanse American men while their families remained imprisoned -- leading to the largest draft resistance trial in U.S. history.
posted by scody on Aug 25, 2011 - 43 comments

March of Time

From 1935 to 1951, Time Magazine bridged the gap between print & radio news reporting and the new visual medium of film, with March of Time: award-winning newsreel reports that were a combination of objective documentary, dramatized fiction and pro-American, anti-totalitarian propaganda. They “often tackled subjects and themes that audiences weren’t used to seeingforeign affairs, social trends, public-health issues — and did so with a combination of panache and subterfuge that today seems either absurd or visionary.” (Previous two links have autoplaying video.) By 1937, the short films were being seen by as many as 26 million people every month and may have helped steer public opinion on numerous issues, including (eventually) America’s entry to WWII. Video samples are available at Time.com, the March of Time Facebook page and the entire collection is available online, (free registration required) at HBO Archives. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 22, 2011 - 8 comments

"I don't care what you think about me. I don't think about you at all."

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.
posted by catlet on Aug 18, 2011 - 25 comments

If they didn’t surrender after Tokyo, they weren’t going to after Hiroshima.

Q: What ended WWII? A: Not the atomic bomb. [more inside]
posted by swift on Aug 8, 2011 - 171 comments

Remember Me? Child survivors of the Holocaust

Remember Me? Between 1933 and 1945, millions of children were displaced as a result of persecution by the Nazis and their collaborators. After World War II, relief agencies photographed some of the children who survived to help find their families. Now, more than 65 years later, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is working to discover what became of these young survivors. Will you help us find them? Lots of moving stories. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Aug 8, 2011 - 9 comments

She was Jewish, but to live she needed a Christian name.

A Holocaust survivor raised a fist to death. 'Leon Weinstein survived the Warsaw Ghetto. But it is the story of the little girl that he wants to tell.' 'He lay Natalie on their front step. Tears ran down his cheeks. You will make it, he thought. She had blond locks and blue eyes. They will think you are a Gentile, not one of us. Walking away, he could hear her whimper, but forced himself not to look back until he crossed the street. Then he turned and saw a man step out of the apartment. The man read Weinstein's note. He puzzled over the baby. Cradling Natalie in his arms, the man walked half a block to a police station and disappeared inside.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Aug 5, 2011 - 29 comments

Minter's Ring

Smithsonian Magazine's new blog Past Imperfect has already told some interesting stories in its first weeks, but none more compelling than that of Lt. Commander Minter Dial's Annapolis class ring.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Aug 2, 2011 - 10 comments

You know who else owned things with swastikas on them?

At first, Collectors Weekly deleted virtually anything listed on their site bearing a Nazi swastika. Now they are explaining what changed their mind and why some people collect this particular paraphernalia.
posted by gman on Jun 24, 2011 - 32 comments

To create or not to create

Do Artists Have a Moral Responsibility in War? is a thoughtful, question raising 40 min video and podcast by NYT journalist Alan Riding.
Should Artists Speak Out Against War? Goes at some depth into the nuances of this complex question by describing the Cultural Life In Nazi-Occupied Paris
posted by adamvasco on Jun 15, 2011 - 32 comments

Unit 731 - A Lesser Known Piece of WW2 History

While most Westerners are familiar with the Holocaust and Nazi war crimes, fewer Westerners know much about the war crimes committed by the Japanese military throughout Asia, particularly the human medical experiments conducted by Unit 731. [more inside]
posted by The ____ of Justice on Jun 7, 2011 - 95 comments

Fading to yellow in a brown leather frame.

67 years ago today, 150, 000 allied troops landed on 5 beaches on the coast of France that were defended by Rommel and about 60,000 troops of the Nazi Wermacht. Today is the D-Day landings anniversary. Lest we forget.
posted by dazed_one on Jun 6, 2011 - 62 comments

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