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Old 07-05-13, 03:27   #1
 
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Movies NAZIS -£300k Painting Looted by Nazis Returned to British Family

BBC, 6 May 2013

Germany Arrests 'Gormer Auschwitz Guard' -Hans Lipschis




Hans Lipschis says he was only a cook in Auschwitz

A 93-year-old alleged former guard at the Auschwitz extermination camp has been arrested in southern Germany.

Hans Lipschis was taken into custody in Aalen after prosecutors concluded there was "compelling evidence" that he had been complicit in murder.
Mr Lipschis acknowledges he served with the Waffen SS at the camp in occupied Poland, but claims he was only a cook.

Last month, the Simon Wiesenthal Center named him as number four on its list of most-wanted Nazis.

The organisation accused him of participating in the mass murder and persecution of innocent civilians, primarily Jews, at Auschwitz between October 1941 and 1945.

"This is a very positive step, we welcome the arrest, I hope this will only be the first of many arrests, trials and convictions of death camp guards," the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Efraim Zuroff told AFP news agency.

Mr Lipschis is the first person arrested as a result of a series of new investigations launched by the German authorities into some 50 former Auschwitz guards who are still alive.

His house was searched by police and he was then brought before a judge and remanded in custody.

An indictment against him is currently being prepared, according to the Stuttgart prosecutor's office.


Demjanjuk Precedent

Auschwitz was the biggest Nazi extermination camp, where more than 1.1 million people, most of them Jews, were murdered.

Prosecutors have pointed to a re-interpretation of criminal law after the conviction of John Demjanjuk in May 2011.

Demjanjuk was found guilty of being an accessory to the murder of 28,060 Jews while he was a guard at the Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland.

His case means that potential defendants might no longer be able to hide behind the argument, in court, that they were simply following orders.

Mr Lipschis' wartime identification papers prove he belonged to an SS company deployed as guards in Auschwitz. He was reportedly granted "ethnic German" status by the Nazis.

He has told neighbours and reporters he worked only as a cook and saw nothing of the gas chambers and crematoria.

One German newspaper has previously reported that Mr Lipschis, who was born in what is now Lithuania in 1919, finished World War II fighting for Germany on the eastern front.

He moved to Chicago in the US in 1956, where he lived until 1983, when he was expelled for having concealed his Nazi past.

At the time it could not be proved that he was personally responsible for any killings.

He returned to Germany and his whereabouts, in Aalen, have apparently always been known to the authorities.


PREVIOUS REPORTS

'Auschwitz camp guard': Germany investigates ex-SS man

BBC, 22 August 2012



Auschwitz was the biggest Nazi death camp

German prosecutors are examining the case of an 87-year-old Nazi suspect accused of involvement in mass murder at the Auschwitz death camp.
The former SS man is not German, nor is he living in Germany.
He was allegedly a camp guard in 1944, when about 344,000 Jews from Hungary were murdered in the Auschwitz-Birkenau gas chambers in occupied Poland.
Prosecutors in Weiden, Bavaria, are to decide whether to charge him and try to bring him to Germany to face trial.
The man is believed to have lived in the Weiden area before going abroad after World War II.
German officials have not named him, but the Sueddeutsche Zeitung news website says the suspect is believed to be a Slovak now living in Philadelphia, in the US.
The chief prosecutor at Germany's office investigating Nazi war crimes, Kurt Schrimm, said details on the suspect came to light during the high-profile Demjanjuk investigation.
In March this year Ukrainian-born John Demjanjuk, found guilty for his role as a Nazi guard at the Sobibor death camp, died aged 91. He had been sentenced to five years in prison by a German court in May 2011.
Auschwitz was the biggest Nazi death camp where more than 1.1 million people, most of them Jews, were murdered.


Former Auschwitz Nazi guard Hans Lipschis found in Germany

BBC, 25 April, 2013



Hans Lipschis


Prosecutors in the German city of Stuttgart have confirmed they are investigating a former Nazi SS man for crimes at the Auschwitz death camp.
Hans Lipschis, 93, worked at the camp in German-occupied Poland from 1941 - he says as a cook, German media report.
His name appears as number four on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of most-wanted Nazis.
German media have identified him as living in Aalen in southern Germany. He has not yet been charged.


Demjanjuk Precedent

Lipschis is among 50 former Auschwitz staff, still alive, who are being newly investigated by the German authorities.

“Start Quote
We owe it to the survivors”
Kurt Schrimm Chief Official Investigator


Auschwitz was the biggest Nazi death camp, where more than 1.1 million people, most of them Jews, were murdered.

Prosecutors point to a re-interpretation of criminal law after the conviction of John Demjanjuk, in May 2011.
Demjanjuk was found guilty of being an accessory to the murder of 28,060 Jews while he was a guard at the Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland.
His case means that potential defendants such as Hans Lipschis might no longer be able to hide behind the argument, in court, that they were simply following orders.

Sense of Justice

"Simply being where the killing took place would be enough for a conviction," according to Kurt Schrimm, head of Germany's Central Judicial Office for the Investigation of Nazi crimes.
He says the purpose of pursuing suspects now is to create a sense that justice is being done and to shed light on historical events.
"We owe it to the survivors not simply to say that a certain time has passed and that it should be swept under the carpet," he says.

Hans Lipschis' wartime identification papers prove he belonged to an SS-company deployed as guards in Auschwitz.
It is not clear what role, if any, he had in the mass murder of inmates. He has told neighbours and reporters he worked only as a cook and saw nothing of the gas chambers and crematoria.
One German newspaper says Lipschis, who was born in what is now Lithuania in 1919, finished World War II fighting for Germany on the eastern front.

He moved to Chicago in the US in 1956, where he lived until 1983, when he was expelled for having concealed his Nazi past.

Accessory to murder At the time it could not be proved that he was personally responsible for any killings.
He returned to Germany and his whereabouts, in Aalen, has apparently always been known to the authorities.
He may now be charged with being an accessory to murder.
It is not yet clear if and when his case will come to trial.


PHOTOS/VIDEO of Auschwitz Death Camp


The former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where more than a million people were killed in World War II, faces an uncertain future.


Pawel Sawicki of the Auschwitz Museum explains the problems of preserving the ageing and crumbling 191-hectare site, with limited funds.



Watch the Disturbing Video, Click Here:

Remains of Auschwitz & its' Evidence


& 5 Documentary Videos
Auschwitz: The Nazi and the Final Solution (1/5)













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Old 15-06-13, 01:14   #2
 
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Update NAZIS- $375Mill of Stolen Art Found by Top Detective

Karkoc, Minnesota Man, Was Top Commander Of Nazi SS-Led Unit: AP Report

By DAVID RISING, RANDY HERSCHAFT and MONIKA SCISLOWSKA, 14 June 2013





Lauderdale, MN, USA — In this May 22, 1990 photo, Michael Karkoc, photographed in Lauderdale, Minn. prior to a visit to Minnesota from Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in early June of 1990. Karkoc, a top commander whose Nazi SS-led unit, is blamed for burning villages filled with women and children lied to American immigration officials to get into the United States and has been living in Minnesota since shortly after World War II, according to evidence uncovered by The Associated Press. (Chris Polydoroff/ASSOCIATED PRESS)


BERLIN — A top commander of a Nazi SS-led unit accused of burning villages filled with women and children lied to American immigration officials to get into the United States and has been living in Minnesota since shortly after World War II, according to evidence uncovered by The Associated Press.


Michael Karkoc, 94, told American authorities in 1949 that he had performed no military service during World War II, concealing his work as an officer and founding member of the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defense Legion and later as an officer in the SS Galician Division, according to records obtained by the AP through a Freedom of Information Act request. The Galician Division and a Ukrainian nationalist organization he served in were both on a secret American government blacklist of organizations whose members were forbidden from entering the United States at the time.
Though records do not show that Karkoc had a direct hand in war crimes, statements from men in his unit and other documentation confirm the Ukrainian company he commanded massacred civilians, and suggest that Karkoc was at the scene of these atrocities as the company leader. Nazi SS files say he and his unit were also involved in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, in which the Nazis brutally suppressed a Polish rebellion against German occupation.

Polish prosecutors announced Friday after the release of the AP investigation that they will investigate Karkoc and provide "every possible assistance" to the U.S. Department of Justice, which has used lies in immigration papers to deport dozens of suspected Nazi war criminals.

The AP evidence of Karkoc's wartime activities has also prompted German authorities to express interest in exploring whether there is enough to prosecute.

Karkoc refused to discuss his wartime past at his home in Minneapolis, and repeated efforts to set up an interview, using his son as an intermediary, were unsuccessful.

Efraim Zuroff, the lead Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, said that based on his decades of experience pursuing Nazi war criminals, he expects that the evidence showing Karkoc lied to American officials and that his unit carried out atrocities is strong enough for deportation and war-crimes prosecution in Germany or Poland.

The deputy head of the German office that investigates Nazi war crimes, Thomas Will, said that based on the AP's evidence, he is interested in gathering information that could possibly result in prosecution.

Karkoc now lives comfortably in a modest house in northeast Minneapolis in an area with a significant Ukrainian population. Even at his advanced age, he came to the door without help of a cane or a walker. He would not comment on his wartime service for Nazi Germany.

"I don't think I can explain," he said.

Members of his unit and other witnesses have told stories of brutal attacks on civilians.


One of Karkoc's men, Vasyl Malazhenski, told Soviet investigators that in 1944 the unit was directed to "liquidate all the residents" of the village of Chlaniow, Poland, in a reprisal attack for the killing of a German SS officer, though he did not say who gave the order.

In a background check by U.S. officials on April 14, 1949, Karkoc said he had never performed any military service, telling investigators that he "worked for father until 1944. Worked in labor camp from 1944 until 1945."
However, in a Ukrainian-language memoir published in 1995, Karkoc states that he helped found the Ukrainian Self Defense Legion in 1943 in collaboration with the Nazis' feared SS intelligence agency, the SD, to fight on the side of Germany – and served as a company commander in the unit, which received orders directly from the SS, through the end of the war.

The AP located a copy online in an electronic Ukrainian library.

Karkoc's name surfaced when a retired British clinical pharmacologist who took up Nazi war crimes research in his free time came across it while looking into members of the SS Galician Division who emigrated to Britain. Stephen Ankier, who is based in London, tipped off AP when an Internet search showed an address for Karkoc in Minnesota.


The AP located Karkoc's U.S. Army intelligence file, and got it declassified by the National Archives in Maryland through a FOIA request.
The file said standard background checks found no red flags that would disqualify him from entering the United States but noted that key information from the Soviet side was missing.

Wartime documents located by the AP also confirm Karkoc's membership in the Self Defense Legion.
They include a Nazi payroll sheet found in Polish archives, signed by an SS officer on Jan. 8, 1945 – only four months before the war's end – confirming that Karkoc was present in Krakow, Poland, to collect his salary as a member of the Self Defense Legion. Karkoc signed the document.


Karkoc, an ethnic Ukrainian, was born in the city of Lutsk in 1919, according to details he provided American officials. At the time, the area was being fought over by Ukraine, Poland and others; it ended up part of Poland until World War II. Several wartime Nazi documents note the same birth date, but say he was born in Horodok, a town in the same region.

He joined the regular German army after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 and fought on the Eastern Front in Ukraine and Russia.
He was also a member of the Ukrainian nationalist organization OUN; in 1943, he helped negotiate with the Nazis to have men drawn from its membership form the Self Defense Legion, according to his account. The legion eventually numbered some 600 soldiers and was folded into the SS Galician Division in 1945.

Policy at the time of Karkoc's immigration application – according to a declassified secret U.S. government document obtained by the AP from the National Archives – was to deny a visa to anyone who had served in either the SS Galician Division or the OUN.

In Washington, Justice Department spokesman Michael Passman said the agency was aware of the AP story but could neither confirm nor deny details of specific investigations as a matter of policy.

Though Karkoc talks in his memoirs about fighting anti-Nazi Polish resistance fighters, he makes no mention of attacks on civilians. He does indicate he was with his company in the summer of 1944 when the Self Defense Legion's commander, Siegfried Assmuss, was killed by a partisan attack near Chlaniow.

He did not mention the retaliatory massacre that followed, which was described in detail by Malazhenski in his 1967 statement.
An SS administrative list obtained by AP shows that Karkoc was Malazhenski's commander.

Malazhenski said the Ukrainian unit was ordered to liquidate Chlaniow in reprisal for Assmuss' death, and moved in the next day, machine-gunning people and torching homes. More than 40 people died.

"The Ukrainians were setting fire to the buildings," Chlaniow villager Stanislawa Lipska told a communist-era commission in 1948. "You could hear machine-gun shots and grenade explosions. Shots could be heard inside the village and on the outskirts. They were making sure no one escaped."

Witness statements and other documentation also link the unit circumstantially to a 1943 massacre in Pidhaitsi, on the outskirts of Lutsk _today part of Ukraine – where the Self Defense Legion was once based.
A total of 21 villagers, mostly women and children, were slaughtered.

Heorhiy Syvyi was a 9-year-old boy when troops swarmed into Pidhaitsi on Dec. 3 but managed to flee with his father and hide.

"When we came out we saw the smoldering ashes of the burned house and our neighbors searching for the dead. My mother had my brother clasped to her chest. This is how she was found – black and burned," said Syvyi, now 78.

There is evidence that the unit took part in the brutal suppression of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising, fighting the nationalist Polish Home Army as it sought to rid the city of its Nazi occupiers.

The uprising was put down by the Nazis in a house-to-house fight characterized by its ferocity.

The Self Defense Legion's exact role is not known, but Nazi documents indicate that Karkoc and his unit were there.

An SS payroll document, dated Oct. 12, 1944, says 10 members of the Self Defense Legion "fell while deployed to Warsaw." Karkoc is listed as the highest-ranking commander of 2 Company – a lieutenant – on a pay sheet.

Following the war, Karkoc ended up in a camp for displaced people in Neu Ulm, Germany, according to documents obtained from the International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen, Germany. The documents indicate that his wife died in 1948, a year before he and their two young boys – born in 1945 and 1946 – emigrated to the U.S.

After he arrived in Minneapolis, he remarried and had four more children, the last born in 1966.

Karkoc told American officials he was a carpenter, and records indicate he worked for a nationwide construction company that has an office in Minneapolis.
A longtime member of the Ukrainian National Association, Karkoc has been closely involved in community affairs over the past decades and was identified in a 2002 article in a Ukrainian-American publication as a "longtime UNA activist."
___
Herschaft reported from New York and Scislowska from Warsaw; Doug Glass, Patrick Condon and Amy Forliti in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Maria Danilova in Kiev, Ukraine; Efrem Lukatsky in Pidhaitsi, and Svetlana Fedas in Lviv, Ukraine, contributed to this story.


PHOTOs/Falsified Documents

SOURCE: Minnesota Public Radio




Chicago, IL, USA — The photo taken June 3, 2013 in Chicago shows the header of Michael Karkoc's petition for naturalization obtained from the U.S. National Archives in Illinois. The petition was granted. Karkoc a top commander whose Nazi SS-led unit is blamed for burning villages filled with women and children lied to American immigration officials to get into the United States and has been living in Minnesota since shortly after World War II, according to evidence uncovered by The Associated Press.



Pidhaitsi, UKR — In this picture taken May 10, 2013, Heorhiy Syvyi, 78, left, and Ivan Hrushka share their war memories in their home village of Pidhaitsi close to Ukraine's western city of Lutsk. Nearly two dozen civilians, primarily women and children, were slaughtered in Pidhaitsi. Evidence uncovered by AP indicates that Ukrainian Self Defense Legion commander Michael Karkoc's unit was in the area at the time of the massacre. There is no indication any other units were in the area at the time. Heorhiy Syvyi was a 9-year-old boy when troops swarmed into town on Dec. 3 and managed to flee with his father and hide in a shelter covered with branches. His mother and 4-year-old brother were killed. (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)



The June 3, 1944 photo provided by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum shows Heinrich Himmler, centre, SS Reichsfuehrer-SS, head of the Gestapo and the Waffen-SS, and Minister of the Interior of Nazi Germany from 1943 to 1945, as he reviews troops of the Galician SS-Volunteer Infantry Division Michael Karkoc a top commander whose Nazi SS-led unit is blamed for burning villages filled with women and children lied to American immigration officials to get into the United States and has been living in Minnesota since shortly after World War II, according to evidence uncovered by The Associated Press. Michael Karkoc became a member of the Galician division after the Ukrainian Self Defense Legion was incorporated into it near the end of the war. (AP photo/ U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Atlantic Foto Verlag Berlin) (Uncredited/AP)




ZZZ — This undated reproduction shows a page of Michael Karkoc's 1949 U.S. Army intelligence file that AP had declassified by the U.S. National Archives in Maryland through a Freedom of Information Act request. Officials note in the document that Karkoc told them he performed no military service during the war; working for his father until 1944 and in a labor camp from 1944 to 45. Karkoc a top commander whose Nazi SS-led unit is blamed for burning villages filled with women and children lied to American immigration officials to get into the United States and has been living in Minnesota since shortly after World War II, according to evidence uncovered by The Associated Press. (AP Photo) (AP)




Pidhaitsi, UKR — In this picture taken May 10, 2013, a monument pays tribute to civilians who were burned alive during WWII in Pidhaitsi close to Ukraine's western city of Lutsk. The monument reads: 'To our parents, wives, children, who were murdered by the German occupants on December 3, 1943 in Pidhaitsi. 21 people, including 9 children.' Evidence uncovered by AP indicates that Ukrainian Self Defense Legion commander Michael Karkoc's unit was in the area at the time of the massacre. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)




Chicago, IL, USA — The photo taken June 3, 2013 in Chicago shows the oath of allegiance on Michael Karkoc's petition for naturalization obtained from the U.S. National Archives in Illinois. The petition was granted. Karkoc a top commander whose Nazi SS-led unit is blamed for burning villages filled with women and children lied to American immigration officials to get into the United States and has been living in Minnesota since shortly after World War II, according to evidence uncovered by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green) (M. Spencer Green/AP)
END

""

*** 21 villagers, mostly women and children, were slaughtered. . *** ...




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Old 07-09-13, 13:15   #3
 
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Smile WW2 'Nazi' Bunker For Sale=£275,000/$412,500

The Home Front! Former WWII Bunker Used to Guard Britain's Cliffs Against the Nazis Converted into Three-Bedroom Bungalow...

Now it Could be Yours for £275,000 (US$412,500)


Former listening post in St Leven, Cornwall, was manned 24 hours a day

Built in 1942 to navigate pilots, monitor the skies and protect nearby cable

Now a fully-functioning home after £100,000 renovation

By Daily Mail UK, 7 September 2013



Elizabeth Strutton, 42, (right) lives in a World War II bunker in Land's End, Cornwall. It was used as a listening post to connect pilots and men on the ground.

From the outside the property, has barely changed at all. But inside it has undergone a complete transformation (top left) and looks just like any other three-bedroom bungalow. Ms Strutton renovated it and planned to move out - then the property market crashed. She is now selling it for £275,000.

t was a conversion that would make even the hardiest property developers shudder.Made to resist a bomb - let alone a drill - this was nothing like your average makeover.
But once Elizabeth Strutton set eyes on the former World War II bunker, she was itching to give it a go.



Fortress: Liz Strutton outside the front of her home in St Leven, Cornwall, a converted WW2 bunker



World War II listening post: From the outside the bunker looks like it has barely changed - but the interior has undergone a complete transformation



After the war the shelter lay derelict for decades - only used by a farmer for his potatoes - until Ms Strutton saw it in a Penzance estate agent's window


Set on the cliffs of Land's End in Cornwall, the secluded tunnel, built in 1942, was used to find out about enemy activity.
This included discovering information about enemy patrols, wiring parties, or sniper positions and relaying them to pilots and commanders.
It was a notoriously dangerous place to be as Germans would target any 'sap-heads', as they called these dugouts, to stop them interfering.

In this particular dugout, workers are said to have been protecting the nearby cable tower - though many facts are still classified until 100 years after they were filed.

After the war the shelter lay derelict for decades - only used by a farmer for his potatoes - until Ms Strutton saw it in a Penzance estate agent's window.



Liz Strutton on the roof of her home in St Leven, Cornwall, with her sun vent and her satellite



Transformed: Liz Strutton spent years working on the heavy duty concrete to turn it into her ideal home



Ms Strutton describes the bunker as 'paradise' saying the property which has no windows is 'a magical fortress'




A room with a view: There is a panoramic view of the surrounding fields and cliffs standing on top of the roof
Having bought it for £143,000, Ms Strutton needed to spend five years and £100,000 making the necessary changes. Now it is a fully functioning family home.

The three-bed bungalow has two bathrooms and a wet room.

A 23ft open plan living area, with a kitchen and lounge, is lit by purpose-built sun tubes that poke through the sturdy ceiling.

Beyond her private drive and large garden, with a garage and shed, Ms Strutton can peer over the open countryside.



Secluded: the dugout used to spy on the skies and protect our vital cable tower was purposely difficult to find


Buried: The bunker under grass and shrubs before work began. The builders had never seen anything like it


The bedroom was once an air circulation unit ventilating the hideout, which was manned 24 hours a day



The bunker had been untouched for years when Ms Strutton, 42, began construction on it
It is secluded, with no windows, but Ms Strutton, 42, calls it paradise.

'It is a magical fortress,' said Ms Strutton, who lives in the sentinel with her two Basset Hounds and a German Shepherd.

'You are at the end of the world and living history.

'You don't know what you're letting yourself in for when you take this kind of thing on, but I know I live in the best place in the world now.



Still the same: Despite the orange walls, modern lights, and carpeting, a veteran recognised the exact lay out




You can hardly imagine the scenes in 1942 as men and women sat here frantically protecting Britain's borders



Former property developer Ms Strutton was planning to renovate and move on but the market crashed

'We get a lot of family and friends visiting. Because of where it is and what it is, it's quite a novelty. Kids love it and blokes love it because they never grow up really.
'Sometimes it's worth going over the top for something.'
A former property developer, Ms Strutton, 42, had been planning to renovate and move on when she bought the dugout in 2007.
But when the market crashed, she was forced to sell up her normal, more marketable home and settle in the 1942-built war den.

It took more than a month to get through the concrete roof to fit an emergency fire sprinkler - needed to make up for the lack of windows and fire escapes.
And hidden under a three-foot mound of soil, the whole place had to be insulated to curb any damp.



Modern: Despite the change of plan it is now a perfect home - clean, clear and stylish, with no trace of dust



Thanks to the nearby Porthcurno BT tower, Liz Strutton has perfect wireless connection in her secluded paradise

What is now the bedroom was once filled with an air circulation unit.
The hallway was a tunnel to another bunker.
Ms Strutton, now a jewellery maker, said: 'Really it was a blessing in disguise. But it has taken years to make it right.



A mammoth project: It has taken five years and £100,000 to shape this den into perfection


'It was always just a holiday home and always on the market.
'At first it was just an unmissable opportunity - this is like the highlight of someone's career. I was always going to move on and continue with the business.
'Then the crash happened and I was stuck. It was very poor timing.
'I had other properties - three-bed semis - that I would have lived in. But in an economic crisis those are far more sellable.
'The building process was very difficult.

'It hasn't been done before so the builders weren't used to this kind of space. It took much longer and much more money than expected.'
Despite the changes - orange walls, cable TV - it still looks exactly the same as the bunker intelligence officials used to protect Britain's essential cable station in nearby Porthcurno.

And there is no shortage of interest from scholars and veterans wanting a peek around.
'We have had a lot of interest,' Ms Strutton explained, 'a man studying bunkers of that era came round and I learned a lot about my home that I never knew.
'Amazingly, the family of a veteran came down the other week. They said their mum now has dementia but told them she worked here during the war.



Sleek: One of the two bathrooms. They are now colourful, sleek and stylish despite being built in 1942


Colourful: The house has more style to it than veterans will remember of their 1940's sentinel

'They didn't believe her but once they were in, it was exactly as she had described it.
'Their mother was very happy about it apparently, and it was so interesting for me to hear.

'Living in here you do really appreciate the way people fought - you feel a sort of connection with what they were doing. It is something I don't want to take for granted and one of the best things about the place.'
Reluctantly selling up to be closer to work, Ms Strutton's historical abode is on the market for £275,000 with Miller&Son.

Ms Strutton added: 'Sometimes you do have to move on, but really I could live here forever. It is beautiful and special.'


WWII Bunker Turned into Beautiful House


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Red Arrow PhOtOs-Nazis History & Continuing Cruelty in Modern Times

Operation Munchkin: Bizarre Nazi Plan to Breed Giant Angora Rabbits in Concentration Camps for Fur-Lined Clothes for Hitler's Men

  • Starving inmates of concentration camps were forced to grow fresh vegetables to feed the animals
  • Some were even executed by the SS for not showing the animals the proper respect
  • The brain child of Heinrich Himmler rabbit breeding programmes existed at 31 death camps
  • He wanted their fur for lined coats for the Luftwaffe pilots, cosy socks for U-Boat personnel and warm underwear for the infantry
  • Animals given heated hutches and 'plenty of space' often just yards from where prisoners lived in squalid, over-crowded and freezing blocks
By Daily Mail UK


Details of a bizarre Nazi plan to breed giant Angora rabbits in concentration camps to provide fur-lined clothing for Hitler's armed forces has been unearthed in a German archive.

'Operation Munchkin', as it was known, was the brainchild of sinister S.S. chief Heinrich Himmler who was had a career as a trained chicken farmer before he became the architect of the Holocaust.
He ordered a breeding programme for the rabbits and specified that they were to be raised in luxury just yards away from the where the most terrible crime against humanity was taking place.




Bleak: French prisoners at Nazi concentration camp Dachau, near Munich,
which was the first camp to have a rabbit breeding station


While prisoners were starved, beaten and tortured to death in Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen and Dachau, the rabbit hutches in these and 27 other camps camps were spacious and heated.

The furry residents were also given a daily supply of fresh vegetables -probably more than the human inmates who were forced to tend them saw in a month.

The idea was for the rabbits to produce enough fur to make lined coats for Luftwaffe pilots, cosy socks for U-Boat personnel and warm undergarments for the infantry in winter according to a German newspaper

The plans were detailed the 'Angora book' which was discovered hidden at his home on the fringes of the Tegernsee lake in Bavaria in 1945.




Keeping cosy: Himmler's dream was to collect the rabbit fur in order to provide warm coats
for Luftwaffe pilots and even socks for U-boat personnel




Valuable: The Nazis treated their Angora rabbits very humanely and considered them a
valuable resource in their plan to protect their troops from the harsh cold of winter


Apparently he deliberately hid it there for fear that it would fall into enemy hands.

It contains 150 photos of fluffy rabbits, some being cared for by concentration camp prisoners in their trademark striped 'pyjama' uniforms.
Some of these inmates were even executed if their S.S. overseers believed they were not treating their rabbit charges with enough respect.




Partners in crime: Himmler, notorious head of the Gestapo, stands with Hitler to observe a Nazi parade in 1940


The breeding programme began in 1941 shortly after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.

Himmler got the idea for utilising rabbits for wool production after reading of a small-scale scheme that was started during the First World War.

He wrote at the time: 'Throughout Europe it is my intention to establish breeding stations in concentration camps' and even decreed that they should be kept in pens where they had 'plenty of space.'
Often their hutches were just yards away from barrack huts designed for 200 where upwards of 800 prisoners lived.
In Dachau, the first such camp and the one which became a model for all that followed, he ordered the cultivation of peppers which were intended to feed the rabbits.

Himmler, who was also obsessed with creating the perfect blonde, blue-eyed 'Aryan' master race of Germans, immersed himself in every aspect of the plan.
But like many other Nazi ideologies Himmlers plans failed to match up to reality.
A chart in his book counted 6,500 rabbits by the end of 1941 and 25,000 by 1943.

But by that year, when the project finally stopped as the war began to turn disastrously against Germany, the total amount of wool collected amounted to less than five tons.

When the camps were liberated many empty hutches were found but the rabbits were long gone.

Jack DeWitt, one of the liberators of Dachau near Munich himself 'liberated' a fur-lined jacked which he found on a pile in a storeroom at the camp where 36,000 people were murdered between 1933 and 1945.

He called it his 'bunny coat.'

continued......
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Default Re: PhOtOs-Nazis History & Continuing Cruelty in Modern Times

The Nazi Women Who were Every Bit as Evil as the Men: From the Mother who shot Jewish Children in Cold Blood to the Nurses who gave Lethal Injections in Death Camps


  • Chilling new book has unearthered thousands of complicit German women
  • At least half a million witnessed and contributed to Hitler's terror
  • Have been dubbed the ‘primary witnesses of the Holocaust’
  • Secretaries typed the orders to kill and filed the details of massacres
  • Only a small number of women were called to account for their crimes



At the heart of Nazi killings: Irma Grese was a concentration camp guard
and one of the few women to be called to account for her crimes


Blonde German housewife Erna Petri was returning home after a shopping trip in town when something caught her eye: six small, nearly naked boys huddled in terror by the side of the country road.

Married to a senior SS officer, the 23-year-old knew instantly who they were.

They must be the Jews she’d heard about — the ones who’d escaped from a train taking them to an extermination camp.
But she was a mother herself, with two children of her own. So she humanely took the starving, whimpering youngsters home, calmed them down and gave them food to eat.
Then she led the six of them — the youngest aged six, the oldest 12 — into the woods, lined them up on the edge of a pit and shot them methodically one by one with a pistol in the back of the neck.
This schizophrenic combination of warm-hearted mother one minute and cold-blooded killer the next is an enigma and one that — now revealed in a new book based on years of trawling through remote archives — puts a crueller than ever spin on the Third Reich.

Because Erna was by no means an aberration. In a book she tellingly calls ‘Hitler’s Furies’, Holocaust historian Professor Wendy Lower has unearthed the complicity of tens of thousands of German women — many more than previously imagined — in the sort of mass, monstrous, murderous activities that we would like to think the so-called gentler sex were incapable of.
The Holocaust has generally been seen as a crime perpetrated by men. The vast majority of those accused at Nuremberg and other war crimes trials were men.

The few women ever called to account were notorious concentration camp guards — the likes of Irma Grese and Ilse Koch — whose evil was so extreme they could be explained away as freaks and beasts, not really ‘women’ at all.
Ultra-macho Nazi Germany was a man’s world. The vast majority of women had, on Hitler’s orders, confined their activities to Kinder, Küche, Kirche — children, kitchen and church. Thus, when it came to responsibility for the Holocaust and other evils of the Third Reich, they were off the hook.

But that, argues Lower, is simplistic nonsense. Women were drawn into the morally bankrupt conspiracy that was Hitler’s Germany as thoroughly as men were — at a lower level, in most cases, when it came to direct action but guilty just the same.

Ironically, it was the professional carers who were the first to be caught in this evil web. From the moment the Nazis came to power and imposed policies of Aryan racial purity, countless nurses, their aprons filled with morphine vials and needles, routinely slaughtered the physically disabled and mentally defective.

Pauline Kneissler worked at Grafeneck Castle, a euthanasia ‘hospital’ in southern Germany, and toured mental institutions selecting 70 ‘patients’ a day. At the castle they were gassed, which she decided was not that bad because ‘death by gas doesn’t hurt’.






Complicit: Johanner Altvater and Lisolotte Meirer killed Jews for sport during the Third Reich


Meanwhile, midwives were betraying a whole generation of German women by reporting defects in unborns and newborns and recommending abortions and euthanasia, as well as sterilisation of mothers.
From the outset, Lower concludes, ‘women made cruel life-and-death decisions, eroding moral sensibilities’. A line had been crossed. It was no big step when the racial purification process turned to the Final Solution of exterminating millions of Jews.
That Jews were the enemy and their annihilation the answer was taken for granted by millions of women who would later deny knowing what was going on under their noses.

Lower, though, dubs them ‘primary witnesses of the Holocaust’.
The worst outrages took place in the ‘Wild East’, Hitler’s newly acquired (by military conquest) territories in Poland, Ukraine and other parts of overrun Russia. At least half a million young women joined in this colonisation process, and became accomplices to genocide on an unprecedented scale.

A mass of secretaries, for example, typed the orders to kill and filed the details of massacres. This placed them at the very centre of the Nazi murder machinery, but they, like so many others, chose to shut their eyes and benefit from their proximity to power.
But, picnicking in the country on their days off, how did they miss the mounds that hid mass graves, the gagging smell of rotting corpses? Whose clothes and possessions — plundered from ghettos or confiscated at camps and killing fields — did they think they were cataloguing for redistribution back home?

Trainloads of booty went back to Germany in what Lower calls ‘the biggest campaign of organised robbery in history’. And German women, she charges, were among its prime agents and beneficiaries.
Even more caught up in the criminal madness were administrators such as Liselotte Meier, who worked so closely with her strutting boss, an SS officer, that they were almost indistinguishable. She joined him on shooting parties in the snow, hunting and killing Jews for sport.




Guilty: Irma Grese, nicknamed 'The Beautiful Beast' pictured with Joseph Kramer who was commandant of Auschwitz
and later Belsen concentration camps. She was hanged aged 22 in 1945 and him in 1946


In the early phases of the Holocaust, massacres were generally by shooting. In her area of Belarus, she coordinated the arrangements with the executioners and even decided who lived and who died.
She spared the life of the Jewish woman who did her hair, while another secretary removed from a woman from the death line who hadn’t yet finished the sweater she was knitting for her.

Secretaries had another important role, too. After each operation, it was usual for the SS killers, many of them drunk on schnapps, to seek solace in the women’s quarters, whether for sexual release or a shoulder to cry on after the exertions of mass execution. In support of the men, women even manned refreshment tables during executions so the killers could take a break.

But much worse than these active accomplices were the women who killed — often the wives of SS officers. Erna Petri — callous dispatcher of those six Jewish boys — was one such Frau. She had followed her husband to Poland and lived in a mansion overseeing a vast estate for the Race and Resettlement Office of the SS, with ‘sub-human’ Slavs as slaves.




The book reveals thousands of women were complicit in the mass murder of Jews and
have been dubbed the 'primary witnesses' of The Holocaust


Another SS wife, Lisel Willhaus, wife of a camp commandant, used to sit on the balcony of their house and take pot shots at Jewish prisoners with her rifle.
Also in Poland was Vera Wohlauf, whose husband Julius commanded a police battalion ordered in 1942 to round up 11,000 Jewish inhabitants of a small town for transportation to Treblinka for liquidation.
She sat by her husband in the front seat of the lorry that led a convoy of killers to the town, and stood in the market square brandishing a whip as nearly a thousand who resisted the round-up or collapsed in the summer heat were beaten to death or shot.
She was pregnant at the time, a further incongruity.
In the Ukraine, 22-year-old secretary Johanna Altvater played an even more prominent role in a massacre while working for regional commissar Wilhelm Westerheide.
During the liquidation of a Jewish ghetto, Fräulein Hanna, as she was known, was seen in her riding breeches prodding men, women and children into a truck ‘like a cattle herder’.




The Holocaust has often been depicted as a crime perpetrated by men,
but women also submitted themselves to the bankrupt morals championed by Adolf Hitler


She marched into a building being used as a makeshift hospital and through the children’s ward, eyeing each bed-ridden child. Then she stopped, picked one up, took it to the balcony and threw the child to the pavement three floors below. She did the same with other children. Some died, and even those who survived were seriously injured.
Her speciality — or, as one survivor put it, her ‘nasty habit’ — was killing children. One observer noted that Altvater often lured children with sweets. When they came to her and opened their mouths, she shot them in the mouth with the small pistol that she kept at her side.





The new book involves information from archives which revealed some women were as guilty as the men


On another occasion, she beckoned a toddler over, then grabbed him tightly by the legs and slammed his head against a wall as if she were banging the dust out of a mat.
She threw the lifeless child at the feet of his father, who later testified: ‘Such sadism from a woman I have never seen. I will never forget this.’

Close to the mass-shooting site where the ghetto inhabitants were herded to await their deaths, Westerheide and his deputies partied with some German women. Altvater was among the revellers, drinking and eating at a banqueting table amid the bloodshed.
Music playing in the background mixed with the sound of gunfire. From time to time, one of the Germans would get up, walk to the shooting site, kill a few people and then return to the party.

Violence to children was also the trademark of Gestapo wife and mother Josefine Block, who liked to carry a riding crop and lash out at prisoners waiting to be deported.

A little girl approached her, crying and begging for her life. ‘I will help you!’ Block declared, grabbed the girl by the hair, smashed her with her fists, then pushed her to the ground and stamped on her head until she was dead.

Desperate Jewish parents often approached Block to ask for help, assuming that, as a young woman and mother, she’d be sympathetic.
But she would use her pram to ram Jews whom she encountered on the streets and was said to have actually killed a small Jewish child with it. Such treatment is an affront to any sense of humanity, let alone womanhood — all the more so because most of these crimes went unpunished.

Erna Petri was the exception and spent more than 30 years in prison. But all the others mentioned here were either tried and acquitted or released after questioning.
Their defence was often to play the helpless woman card and blame the men. ‘I was just a secretary,’ pleaded Johanna Altvater.

Meanwhile, the millions of other women who were complicit in these odious events got on with their lives after the war as best they could, as if the whole Hitler era had been a nightmare to be put aside and forgotten once everyone had woken up.
Yet the deep stain remains. Thirteen million women were actively engaged in the Nazi Party. Not all of these could have been innocent bystanders.




Family life: The main role of women in the Third Reich was to promote the philosophy of Kinder, Kuche, Kirche
- children, kitchen and church


Lower says: ‘To assume that violence is not a feminine characteristic and that women are not capable of mass murder has obvious appeal: it allows for hope that at least half the human race will not devour the other, that it will protect children and so safeguard the future.
‘But minimising the violent behaviour of women creates a false shield.’

At least half a million women, she says, witnessed and contributed to the operations and terror of Hitler’s genocidal war. ‘The Nazi regime mobilised a generation of young women who were conditioned to accept violence, to incite it, and to commit it.
‘This fact has been suppressed and denied by the very women who were swept up in the regime and by those who perpetrated the violence with impunity.
‘But genocide is also women’s business. When given the “opportunity”, women too will engage in it, even its bloodiest aspects.’

For those tempted to think that things are different now, consider those shocking photographs earlier this month of a beheading in the Syrian bloodbath.
What was even more gut-wrenching than the gore was to see children looking on, unperturbed, drawn into a terrifying topsy-turvy morality, just as German mothers and children were 80 years ago.

Perhaps, too, the executioner wielding the sword went home to a wife who mopped his brow, in the same way as Hitler’s firing squads did. The lesson of the atrocities of the Holocaust is that they are not something of the past to be filed away and forgotten, but still very much with us.


continued......Nazi Cruelty Continues Today
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Default Re: PhOtOs-Nazis History & Continuing Cruelty in Modern Times

Ex-Golden Dawn Members Reveal how Greek Neo-Nazi Party Organised 'Assault Militias' to Hunt Down Immigrants in the Street

  • Golden Dawn members would ride in convoys of 50-60 motorbikes
  • Brandishing sticks and flags they would attack immigrants in the street
  • Greek neo-nazi party's violent culture revealed as leaders are arrested
  • Leader Nikos Michaloliakos and five Golden Dawn MPs in custody

Greece's neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party regularly organised violent street raids where members on motorbikes would hunt immigrants with sticks, ex-members have revealed.
The party practice of 'assault militias' would see Golden Dawn supporters ride in pairs on motorcycles, brandishing sticks, and striking 'all the Pakistanis they could see', according to a report.

The evidence of the extreme right-wing party's culture of racial violence came to light mere days after the leader of Golden Dawn was arrested on charges of forming a criminal organisation.




Extreme violence: Former members of Greek extreme-right ultra nationalist party
Golden Dawn have revealed party's systematic violent attacks on immigrants (file photo)


In a court testimony published yesterday, one former Golden Dawn supporter spoke of 'military style' training of party members and of the 'assault militias' as a regular occurrence.
‘I took part several times in activities involving 50 or 60 motorbikes, with two people on each.

'The one who was sitting behind held a stick with the Greek flag and hit all the Pakistanis he could see,’ the ex-member said in court testimony.

Testimonies from two former members, along with a report by an examining magistrate revealed a series of ‘criminal acts’ by the party, including voluntary homicide and attempted homicide.
The report revealed party members are trained in military style and had allegedly committed dozens of criminal acts, including voluntary homicide and attempted homicide.




Facing Dawn: Party leader Nikos Michaloliakos, centre, is escorted by anti-terror police
following his arrest on charges of forming a criminal organisation




Under arrest: Golden Dawn MP Ilias Panagiotaros, who famously promised to throw 'immigrants and
their children' out of hospitals if his party won the election, is taken into custody




Silenced: Golden Dawn party spokesman Ilias Kassidiaris, centre, shouts as he leaves
the Greek police headquarters in Athens on Saturday



Last week, police arrested the controversial party's leader Nikos Michaloliakos and five other Golden Dawn MPs, including party spokesman Ilias Kassidiaris, amid high tensions following the murder of a left-wing rapper by a Golden Dawn supporter.
Described as ‘a neo-Nazi party with a history of violence which makes Nick Griffin look like Julie Andrews,’ by New Statesman writer Alex Andreou, Golden Dawn began systemised attacks as early as 1987.

They initially targeted immigrants, before turning against Greek-born nationals who disagreed with the party's extreme-right opinions, the report said.
Golden Dawn, Chrissi Avgi in Greek, has a ‘strictly hierarchical structure, the leader is all-powerful following the principle used by Hitler,’ deputy prosecutor of the Supreme Court, Charalambos Vourliotis, said in the report.




Riot response: Protesters run in the street as they clash with police in Thessaloniki,
following the stabbing of rapper Pavlos Fissas by a Golden Dawn member


Police on Monday continued their raids on Golden Dawn premises, searching for hidden arms supplies.
Last week's arrests were the result of some of the about 35 arrest warrants for Golden Dawn members have been issued, Greek police said.

Police said the counterterrorism unit was investigating the party in connection with the murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fissas, 34, by a 45-year-old Golden Dawn member.
Mr Fissas, who appeared under stage name Killah P, was stabbed to death in the Athens district of Keratsini on September 17, sparking violent anti-fascist protests across Greece.

continued......The Hunt for Nazi Criminals Continues Today
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Default Re: PhOtOs-Nazis History & Continuing Cruelty in Modern Times

'Former Auschwitz Guard', 93, Charged with Being Accessory to Murder as German Prosecutors Continue Attempts to Bring Low-Level Nazis to Justice Before They Die

  • Hans Lipschis is accused of working at the death camp from 1941 to 1943
  • Fourth on the most wanted list of Nazi-hunters
  • Lipschis, who lived in the US for 26 years, claims he was a cook
  • Prosecution part of 'last chance' hunt for ageing former SS men

A 93-year-old alleged to have been a guard at the infamous Auschwitz death camp has been charged by German prosecutors as an accessory to murder.
The action against the man, named as Hans Lipschis by the German media, is part of a renewed drive to bring lower-level Nazi collaborators to justice before they die.
The prosecution service in the city of Stuttgart said the accused worked as a guard at Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied Poland from 1941 to 1943, a period in which 12 prisoner convoys arrived at the death camp.




The 'Arbeit Mact Frei' sign hangs above Auschwitz concentration camp, where prosecutors allege Lipschis
worked as a guard from 1941 to 1943, a period in which 12 prisoner convoys arrived at the death camp




Hans Lipschis was born in Lithuania in 1919 and was granted 'ethnic German'
status in 1943. This is his ID Card from Auschwitz


More than 10,000 of those prisoners were determined unfit for work and sent to the gas chamber immediately upon arrival.
Lipschis, who was not named by prosecutors, was arrested by German police in May, and ranks fourth on the Nazi-hunting group Simon Wiesenthal's list of most wanted Nazi criminals.

Lipschis's arrest was made possible by the 2011 conviction in Munich of Ivan Demjanjuk, who was found to have been an accessory to the murder of almost 28,000 Jews in Sobibor by virtue of having served as a guard at a death camp.
He was the first ex-Nazi convicted in Germany without evidence of a specific crime or a specific victim.
Lipschis told the German newspaper Die Welt this year that he had been a cook at Auschwitz and had later left the camp to fight on the Eastern Front, although he could not remember which unit he had been in.




The main guard house at Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied Poland, where Lipschis claimed he worked as a cook




A haunting image of children wearing concentration camp uniforms, taken during the liberation
of Auschwitz, where some 1.5 million people perished between 1940 and 1945


The head of the German agency that probes Nazi war crimes, Kurt Schrimm, said the accused was on a list of 30 former Auschwitz guards it wants to prosecute for their role in facilitating mass murder.
'The investigation was short but intensive. We looked for documents that showed that (the accused) was on duty on particular days when the transports came in,' said Claudia Krauth, state prosecutor for the Stuttgart court.
'If we have proof that someone has committed a crime, we are required to prosecute that person.'

The Stuttgart prosecutors said the accused had lived in the United States for 26 years after WW2, but had had his US citizenship revoked after his involvement with the Nazis came to light.

He moved back to Germany in 1982.




Lipschis's arrest was made possible by the 2011 conviction in Munich of Ivan Demjanjuk, pictured, which set a new precedent
whereby it was enough for people to have served at a site of mass extermination without specific acts being proved


German officials are trying to track down other low-level collaborators in a 'last chance' hunt for ageing perpetrators of the Holocaust, in which some 6 million Jews were murdered.
Some 1.5 million people perished at Auschwitz, mostly Jews but also Roma, Poles and others, between 1940 and 1945.
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Unhappy VIDEO-Nazi Massacre-Former Torturer/Murderer Charged

Prosecutors charge 88-year-old man over 1944 Nazi massacre at Oradour-Sur-Glane – where 642 villagers were shot and burnt

  • Cologne man, 88, charged over murders in French village during WWII
  • 642 men, women and children killed in Oradour-sur-Glane massacre
  • Hitler's SS Panzer Division committed the atrocity on June 10, 1944
  • It was to avenge death of German officer at hands of French Resistance
  • Village left untouched since fateful day to serve as reminder of Nazi evil
By Daily Mail UK, 11 January 2014

An 88-year-old former member of an SS armored division has been charged with murder and accessory to murder for allegedly taking part in the massacre of 642 French villagers by Nazi soldiers during World War Two.
The man, named only as Werner C, from Cologne, has been charged with 25 counts of murder and hundreds of counts of accessory to murder in connection with the slaughter in Oradour-sur-Glane.

The investigation into the massacre where almost the entire population of the village, including more than 400 women and children, was gunned down or burned alive on June 10, 1944, was re-opened by German prosecutors last year




Germany's investigators walk in front of the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane, central France, last year as the investigation into the 1944 massacre was reopened




The team of investigators from Berlin (pictured) spoke to the only two living survivors of the bloodbath, carried out in revenge for the capture of a German officer by French resistance fighters in a nearby village




The village has purposely been left untouched since the massacre, to serve both as a shrine to those who died and as a constant reminder of the unremitting evil of the Nazis


On Wednesday, the regional court in Cologne said: 'The prosecutor's office in Dortmund has charged an 88-year-old from Cologne over the murder of 25 people committed by a group, and with aiding and abetting the murder of several hundred people.'

The man was named in documents as Werner C, his last name withheld in accordance with German privacy laws.

More...


His lawyer, Rainer Pohlen, said his client was at the village but had nothing to do with the massacre.

More than 68 years later, a German prosecutor and senior police officers visited the abandoned village in central France, which Hitlers troops burned to the ground before they fled.

Last year, German authorities said they believe there may still be six men still at large, all now in their late 80s, who were members of SS Panzer Division that committed the atrocity.








Dortmund prosecutor Andreas Brendel told French reporters in Oradour: 'We hope the survivors may be able to help us identify any culprits who are still alive'




Remains of a burnt out vehicle. A new village of Oradour-sur-Glane was built nearby which is now home to more than 2,000 people, while the abandoned village is popular with tourists curious about the war







Rows of burnt out cars reveal the extent to which the Nazis obliterated the town in 1944



The remains of the church in which 247 women and 205 children were trapped and killed by the Nazis. The middle window behind the altar is the one through which the only survivor Marguerite Rouffanche escaped


The village has been left untouched since the massacre to serve both as a shrine to those who died and as a constant reminder of the unremitting evil of the Nazis.

On June 10, in 1944, SS Panzer Division member entered the village to avenge a German soldier kidnapped by the French Resistance

More than 400 women and children were herded into the village church where SS troops soaked the church pews with petrol and barred all exits before setting it on fire.
Only one woman managed to escape the flames.


More than 200 men were herded into a barn where machine gunners opened fire, shooting at their legs so they could not move then dousing them with petrol and setting them alight.


A new village of Oradour-sur-Glane was built nearby which is now home to more than 2,000 people.
Dortmund prosecutor Andreas Brendel told French reporters in Oradour last year: 'We hope the survivors may be able to help us identify any culprits who are still alive.'



Oradour-sur-Glane in a picture taken not long after the troops left and survivors were left to pick up the pieces




Robert Hebras, 87 - was one of only six villagers who escaped the carnage - said: 'It is a very strange moment to see German officials here 68 years later'




French historian Guy Perlier told Le Figaro newspaper, 'This illustrates German thinking which insists on shedding light on all acts committed by the German army during this period'


THE HORROR OF JUNE 10 1944: HOW MARGUERITE ROUFFANCHE ESCAPED NAZIS MURDERERS AND LIVED TO TELL THE TALE




Bodies of the victims lined up following the village massacre in 1944



Early on the morning of 10 June 1944, the 2nd SS Panzer Division entered the village of Oradour-sur-Glane to avenge the death of a German officer who had been kidnapped by the French Resistance.
They marched into the town and separated the men from the women and children.
The men were taken to six barns and shed while the women and children were locked in the church while the village was looted.
The men were said to be shot in the legs before being doused in petrol and set alight.

Six men escaped although one was later found nearby and shot dead. In total 190 men perished.

The soldiers proceeded to the church and tried to set it alight. Women and children tried to escape through the doors and windows of the church, but were met with machine-gun fire.

A total of 247 women and 205 children died. Two women and one child survived; one was 47-year-old Marguerite Rouffanche. She hauled herself out of a window behind the altar, followed by a young woman and child. German soldiers shot all three of them, killing the woman and child by wounding Rouffanche who escaped into nearby foliage where she stayed until she was rescued the following day.


The following is part of her testimony read out to the 1953 Bordeaux military tribunal:


Quote:
'Firing burst out in the church then straw, ***gots and chairs were thrown pele-mele onto bodies lying on the stone slabs. I had escaped from the killing and was without injury so I made use of a smoke cloud to slip behind the altar. In this part of the church there are three windows. I made for the widest one in the middle and with the help of a stool used to light the candles, I tried to reach it. I don't know how but my strength was multiplied. I heaved myself up to it as best I could and threw myself out of the opening that was offered to me through the already shattered window. I jumped about nine feet down.
'When I looked up I saw I had been followed in my climb by a woman holding out her baby to me. She fell down next to me but the Germans, alerted by the cries of the baby, machine-gunned us. The woman and the mite were killed and I too was injured as I made it to a neighbouring garden and hid among some rows of peas and waited anxiously for someone to come to help me. That wasn't until the following day at 5 p.m.'
Although several probes have previously been opened into the massacre, they had to be shut down due to a lack of evidence, and many of the Germans involved in the atrocity, including senior officers, were soon killed in the Battle of Normandy.

But when a historian in 2010 discovered documents implicating all six suspects, still alive and now aged between 85 and 86, the case had enough evidence to be re-opened.

Dortmund prosecutor Andreas Brendel said that the aim of last year's visit, the first by German investigators since World War Two was to identify the exact locations where the SS unit was deployed and interview witnesses to the massacre.

Camille Senon, one of the survivors who witnessed the aftermath of the massacre in which her family members died, said: ‘It is considered a positive gesture by the Germans to send investigators for the first time, 68 years after, even though I would have liked to have seen it happen sooner’.

In September, Joachim Gauck became the first German leader to visit the French 'ghost' village.
The highly symbolic visit was as much a part of France's willingness to face up to its wartime past as Germany's.

Thousands of French including police and railwaymen participated in the Nazi Holocaust, while collaboration with military units like the SS was also rife.

French President Francois Hollande and Mr Gauck were accompanied by two of only three living survivors of the Oradour massacre, including Robert Hebras, 88.
Mr Hebras, who was 19 at the time, hid under the corpses of others who were machine-gunned.

'I was consumed by hatred and vengeance for a long time,' said Mr Hebras, adding: 'We must reconcile with the Germans.'




Camille Senon, one of the survivors who witnessed the aftermath of the massacre in which her family members died, said: ‘It is considered a positive gesture by the Germans to send investigators'




The remains of the village bakery destroyed by SS troops





Wide shot of the village showing the complete destruction of every single building





Survivors sift through the remains in the immediate aftermath of the 1944 raid by Hitler's troops




Oradour-sur-Glane located on a map of France


VIDEO Tour of Oradour-sur-Glane in
pictures
...






Thread Stickied......so we never forget,,, just how cruel/evil some of mankind can be

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Inside Britain's only Nuclear and Chemical Weapons Factory NOT Discovered by Nazi Intelligence in World War Two

  • Workers at Rhydymwyn Valley manufactured mustard gas and worked on ways to develop uranium
  • It escaped detection from Luftwaffe thanks to cover from nearby woodland and its location in a valley
  • It was manufacturing 40,000 deadly mustard gas shells a week by November 1942
  • Some scientists based there went on to work on Manhattan Project - the first nuclear weapon
By Daily Mail UK, 12 January 2014


These eerie images were taken inside an abandoned arms factory used in World War Two to make mustard gas and help develop the atomic bomb.
Hidden away in rural North Wales, Rhydymwyn Valley is the only site of its type that was not discovered by Nazi intelligence. It is thought that the site was almost impossible to see from the air because of its proximity to woodland, so it escaped the wrath of Hitler's bombers.
In the 1950s Britain relinquished its chemical weapons capability and the site was used by various governmental departments for storage until it closed in 1994. But the site still has many items from when it was in operation, such as a worker's jacket - with a pack of cigarettes still inside the pocket - found hanging among the ancient machines.





Hidden history: This site in the Rhydymwyn Valley, North Wales, was used to manufacture deadly chemical weapons and help develop enriched uranium





Sinister: The interior of the building. Workers were churning out 40,000 mustard gas shells - a deadly chemical weapon - every week in November 1942


Photographer Mathew Growcoot, from Birmingham, uncovered numerous artefacts as he explored the abandoned site, including a cabinet of old documents detailing the site's layout and specific building requirements.
'It was an incredible place to be. You could feel the history surrounding you, especially when you see documents and old items of clothing,' said Mr Growcoot, 24.

'I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the jacket hanging up, I took it outside so I could photograph it in the light and that's when I felt the pack of cigarettes in the pocket.
'It really brought the place to life, I think all history students should get up close and personal with their subject like I did.'


Rhydymwyn Valley abandoned arms factory used in World War 2








Echoes of history: An old pack of cigarettes in a jacket pocket at the abandoned chemical weapons factory. The buildings are strewn with relics from the site's heyday









An old jacket hangs among the machinery. The plant was built in 1939, the outset of the Second World War, by the British Government at the cost of £546,000




Clandestine: The well-hidden site was the only facility if its type to escape detection by the German military machine. Cover from surrounding woodland and its valley location helped keep it safe




The building used for the A-bomb and some of other buildings are now Grade-II listed. The valley itself is in a U-shape and extremely narrow so easily missed from the sky



THE HORROR OF MUSTARD GAS

Mustard gas is a chemical weapon that causes large blisters wherever it contacts the skin.
It was especially deadly as it can penetrate clothing, so it is not only the exposed skin of victims that gets burned.
If the victim's eyes were exposed it can result in temporary blindness and if inhaled, it causes bleeding and blistering within the lungs.
It was fired at troops using artillery shells and bombs.
A British nurse treating soldiers with mustard gas burns during the First World War described the horrific effects.
She said: 'They cannot be bandaged or touched. We cover them with a tent of propped-up sheets. Gas burns must be agonising because usually the other cases do not complain, even with the worst wounds, but gas cases are invariably beyond endurance and they cannot help crying out.'

On August 27th 1939, the UK Treasury approved the £546,000 development of the top secret chemical weapons plant and by November 1942 workers were manufacturing 40,000 25lb mustard gas shells every week.
And between 1942 and 1944 scientists there worked on ways of producing the enriched uranium necessary for the atomic bomb.
Some went on to be involved with the Manhattan Project; the American Government's race to build an atomic bomb before Germany and Japan.

Workers who handled mustard gas, a chemical weapon that causes large blisters to exposed skin and lungs, had to strip completely on arrival to work.
One worker recalled: 'Once we'd stripped off, we were given a bath towel to walk into the department, where you put the work's clothing on.'

The last known person alive to have worked on the site is Rosina Parry, who in March 2010 gave a television interview in which she described her role as a weapons inspector.
She told the BBC: 'The bombs were laid out for us to inspect. We had to pass them, to make sure they weren't damaged in any way. We checked they weren't leaking before they were sent through to be packed.
'We knew you couldn't have any leaks. You only needed a little spot and you'd be burned.
'People in the air force were going to handle them after us so we had to be sure there was nothing wrong with them when they went out.'

The site was an excellent location because of the River Alyn, which was extensively canalised along with a rail network that was established using the mainlines of Chester and Denbigh.




Sinister purpose: The rusting and forgotten machines. From 1942 the plant worked on ways of enriching uranium - a key component of the atomic bomb




Warning: A sign at the entrance to one of the large hanger-like buildings on the site. Workers handled mustard gas, a chemical weapon that causes large blisters to exposed skin and lungs




Horror: Mustard gas is a debilitating and potentially fatal gas weapon, used to infamous effect extensively in the First World war




A worker who handled the mustard gas weapons and checked them for leaks was interviewed about her vital role. She said: 'We knew you couldn't have any leaks. You only needed a little spot and you'd be burned'





Derelict: A cabinet with documents surrounding it inside Building 45, a Grade-II listed building where early development on the atomic bomb took place







A document discovered by Birmingham photographer Mathew Growcoot, who chronicled the site in a series of haunting pictures





Technical documents at the site. 'It was an incredible place to be. You could feel the history surrounding you, especially when you see documents and old items of clothing,' said Mr Growcoot, 24




'That (A-bomb) building was enormous inside and pitch-black. It was terrifying, because it was bat-infested and whilst moving around in the dark all I could hear were the loud echoes of scurrying feet,' said Mr Growcoot





An old picture showing the site when it was operational. A tunnel labyrinth was built beneath the site with the aim of being able to store 1,500 tonnes of charged weapons and have complete safety from enemy bombing.









A staff member wearing protective clothing (top), including goggles, as he worked. Mustard gas could cause temporary blindness.



A tunnel labyrinth was built beneath the site with the aim of being able to store 1,500 tonnes of charged weapons safe from enemy bombing.

The valley itself is in a U-shape and extremely narrow so easily missed from the sky.

The building used for the A-bomb and some of other buildings are now Grade II listed.

'That (A-bomb) building was enormous inside and pitch-black. It was terrifying, because it was bat-infested and whilst moving around in the dark all I could hear were the loud echoes of scurrying feet,' said Mr Growcoot.
'There were also creepy scarecrows and faces in the bushes at the side of the paths, I don't mind saying I jumped out of my skin a few times.'








The photographer said: 'There were also creepy scarecrows and faces in the bushes at the side of the paths, I don't mind saying I jumped out of my skin a few times'

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Arrow Right PhOtOs-DDay 70th Anniversary Thanks 'Freedom' Heros

World Leaders Gathered in Normandy to Mark the 70th Anniversary of D-Day - June 6 1944



Sorrow and Rememberance....

D-Day 70th anniversary celebrations end in spectacular style with huge daytime fireworks display as Duke and Duchess of Cambridge meet British veterans for tea party




Marching Tall: History & People Remember Landing Zone of Juno Beach
  • Veterans saluted on the beaches at dawn and downed Calvados at 6.30am - the moment the landings started
  • Day of remembrance and celebration started at 12.16am at Pegasus Bridge, where the first troops landed
  • Queen meets veterans and salutes the 'immense and heroic' endeavour of them and their comrades 70 years ago
  • Barack Obama speaks at U.S. war cemetery and speaks of how 150,000 fought at time of 'maximum peril for the world'
  • For many veterans, now in their 80s and 90s, this could be their annual pilgrimage to honour the 156,000 Allied troops
By Daily Mail UK, 6 June 2014


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Normandy to meet British veterans who risked their lives on D-Day.
They joined a tea party with former soldiers after events commemorating the invasion's 70th anniversary ended in style with a firework display in front of world leaders at Sword Beach in Ouistreham.
The Duke of Cambridge made a speech during an memorial event in Arromanches-les-Bains - paying tribute to those who gave their lives 70 years ago today.
He said: 'They gave up everything for our freedom. They lie now together in the beautifully kept cemeteries that lie on the coast.'
'However, today is also about the young. It is vital for them that they remember the sacrifice made by so many.'




The Duchess of Cambridge smiled as she listened to stories from Second World War veterans during a tea party held as part of D-Day anniversary celebrations








Ceremony: Meanwhile, President Obama shared a laugh with Queen Maxima of Holland during an event on Sword Beach





The Queen shares a smile next to Danish Queen Margrethe (wearing blue) as Francois Hollande prepares to give a speech before a reenactment of the landings




President Obama stands next to The Queen during one of numerous ceremonies held in the region this afternoon


Earlier in the day, the Queen led tributes to the 'immense and heroic endeavour' of the 150,000 Allied troops who attacked Nazi-occupied Franceon June 6 1944.

Surrounded by thousands of war graves Her Majesty bowed as she laid a wreath during a poignant service of remembrance in Bayeux, the first town in Normandy to be freed from Hitler's grip.
The Queen thanked the gathered veterans at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery and said it was 'an opportunity to reflect on their experiences and the incredible sacrifices that were made'.

Ten miles away U.S. President Barack Obama spoke at the American War Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer where almost 10,000 U.S troops who died in the Second World War are buried.'




The royal couple talk to a serviceman as they arrive for their meeting with veterans





The Duke and Duchess stopped before attending the tea party to look across the historic Gold Beach in Arromanches





The Duchess animatedly chatted to attendees at the event this afternoon - held metres away from Gold Beach






After the tea party, the royal couple attended a ceremony at Gold Beach - where the Duke of Cambridge made an emotional speech in tribute to those who fell 70 years ago





Respect: The Duke of Cambridge lays a wreath during the anniversary event. In an earlier speech, he said the fallen 'gave everything for our freedom'





Wreath: Hundreds of veterans attended the ceremony along with the royal couple as part of numerous events held today


Flanked by war heroes, President Obama said they and their comrades 'turned the tide in that common struggle for freedom' on D-Day.'
We come to remember why America and our allies gave so much for the survival of liberty at this moment of maximum peril', Obama said.
'More than 150,000 soldiers set off towards this tiny sliver of sand on which not just the direction of the war hung, rather the course the human history'.
He added that the American commitment to liberty that is 'written in blood' on the beaches of Normandy and would 'endure' and continue.




Putting on a show: Artists perform in front of fireworks during the international D-Day commemoration ceremony in Ouistreham, in Normandy





World leaders rise: Barack Obama and The Queen stand to face Sword Beach, the entry point for thousands of British troops 70 years ago








Moment of joy: Prince Charles breaks out in laughter as he greets Barack Obama during the international ceremony. The US President scratches his head in response





Unity: The Queen walks alongside her husband The Duke of Edinburgh and Francois Hollande. Around 29,000 Allied troops landed on Sword Beach on June 6 1944


President Obama described D-Day's violent scene in vivid terms, recalling that 'by daybreak, blood soaked the water' and 'thousands of rounds bit into flesh and sand.'

'And we come to tell the story of the men and women who did it, so that it remains seared into the memory of the future world.
'These men waged war so that we might know peace.

'They sacrificed so that we might be free. They fought in hopes of a day when we'd no longer need to fight. We are grateful to them.'

French President Francois Hollande issued a rallying cry to the world calling on nations to fight against threats to peace just as the D-Day troops did 70 years ago.








United in grief: D-Day veteran Douglas Turtle, 91, wipes away a tear during the service of commemoration in Portsmouth today while across the Channel Gordon Drabble, 89, from Sheffield, recently awarded the Legion D'Honeur, visits the grave of a fallen comrade in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery, Bayeux





'Heroes, every one': A Norwegian Second World War veteran is cheered at joint French-Norwegian D-Day commemoration ceremony in Hermanville-sur-Mer in Normandy





International pose: President Barack Obama (front left) and French President Francois Hollande (middle) stand with
The Queen (second left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (front right) and David Cameron (back left) for a photo outside the Chateau Benouville








Troupe: Alpha jets, part of the Patrouille Acrobatique de France, leave trails of smoke in the colors of the French flag during the ceremony








Reenactment: Actors run in front of a big screen showing Winston Churchill (right), Franklin Roosevelt (centre) and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin (left). Other actors lay on the canvas, pretending to be dead, as part of the show






Respect: On the 70th anniversary of D-Day the Queen takes a moment to bow her head in front of a memorial at the British War Cemetery of Bayeux in Normandy today


In a moving address delivered on the very Normandy beach stormed by British troops 70 years ago, Mr Hollande said people needed the same courage as the Allied forces who fought and died to end Nazi tyranny.

To loud applause from an audience of veterans and heads of state Mr Hollande also said he wanted to see the beaches of Normandy become a UNESCO World Heritage site.


THE QUEEN'S MESSAGE TO THE WORLD AS WE REMEMBER D-DAY





Quote:
'I am very pleased to be able to join veterans here in Normandy to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

'On June 6 1944 after months of planning and training, the largest amphibious assault in history was launched to secure freedom in Europe.

'Hundreds of thousands of servicemen made the journey across the Channel by sea and air, and through their brave actions and dogged determination, established a vital foothold in occupied Europe.

'This immense and heroic endeavour brought the end of the Second World War within reach.

'I am sure that these commemorations will provide veterans of the conflict and their families gathered here in France, along with their hosts, the people of Normandy, with an opportunity to reflect on their experiences and the incredible sacrifices that were made.'
Mr Hollande said it was the world’s duty to fight extremism and fundamentalism adding: 'It’s up to us to have the same vision, the same courage, to be just as bright and have the same determination as those who came to these beaches 70 years ago.'

He said the threats to cohesion today ranged from terrorism to global warming and mass unemployment and that they could cause conflict.

Archive black and white movie footage and performers were used to tell the the story of the atrocities of the Nazi regime and the exploits of the Allied troops whose invasion of mainland Europe would eventually lead to the downfall of Hitler’s regime.

At daybreak veterans who stormed the beaches of Normandy exactly 70 years agotoday saluted towards the English Channel at dawn to mark the moment they and their friends started the D-Day assault.
Beaches that in 1944 were being pulverised by shells and gunfire and strewn with the brave wounded and dying were silent this morning as men who fought and survived remembered those who lost their lives in Nazi-occupied France.
They stared out to sea and the empty horizon, which 70 years ago would have been swamped by landing crafts and ships filled with brave men.
A day of international commemorations of history's biggest amphibious invasion was started at just after midnight with a vigil at the Pegasus Bridge, marking the first assault of the D-Day invasion when Allied soldiers landed in the dead of night exactly 70 years ago.
At 12.16am a team of six Horsa gliders carrying 181 men from the Glider Pilot Regiment and the 2nd Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, landed silently to capture the strategically-vital bridge and another nearby, paving the way for soldiers landing on the Normandy beaches to move inland and reinforce their airborne colleagues.
To mark that moment fireworks burst into the night sky as hundreds watched on.

Attending the midnight vigil at Pegasus Bridge, Prime Minister David Cameron said: 'People of my generation just find it hard to believe what people of my grandfather's generation did to ensure we can all live in freedom.
'When you hear the stories of the people coming back again in their nineties of what they did and how brave they were, how many people they lost, it just is incredibly humbling.'







World leaders photo: The Queen (centre wearing green hat) stands next to Barack Obama (to her left) and Francois Hollande (right) after a lunch at the Chateau De Benoville. They were also joined by the King of Norway (front row in military uniform), Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot (far right), Angela Merkel (to his left) and David Cameron (back middle)





Gathering: The French President called on nations to fight against threats to peace just as the D-Day troops during a luncheon for Heads of State. (from left to right) Barack Obama, The Queen, Queen Margrethe and Vladimir Putin are sat at the top table









Regal: The Queen approaches the memorial at Bayeux with a wreath commemorating the soldiers who died on the beaches of northern France 70 years ago






Royal salute: (Left to right) The Duke of Edinburgh, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls, The Queen, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla stand together as the ceremony at Bayeux begins





Windy: Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, holds on to her hat in a gust of wind during the Bayeux Cemetery commemorations





Reaction: Prince Philip appeared emotional as he listened to speeches at the cemetery where nearly 4,000 former British soldiers are buried





Mother and son: Prince Charles and The Queen share a moment together in the midst of the commemoration ceremony in Bayeux





Leaders: (from left to right) Governor-General of New Zealand Jerry Mateparae, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott lay wreaths during a bi-national France-UK D-Day commemoration ceremony





Greeting: The Queen raises a smile as she talks to a veteran while walking through the grounds of the British War Cemetery





Royal guest: Holding a brochure, she continues talking to a group of former soldiers who risked their lives on June 6 1944





Front row: David Cameron sits alongside his wife Samantha during the bi-national ceremony at the British War Ceremony in Bayeux






Message: Prince Charles delivers a speech from a podium alongside the tall memorial to Britain's fallen troops





Flypast: Four planes soar over the British War Cemetery in Bayeux where The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall paid respects to fallen soldiers





Magic moment: Prime Minister David Cameron meets a veteran at Bayeux Cemetery where thousands of British soldiers are buried


British veterans of the D-Day landings honoured their fallen comrades during a poignant service of remembrance in Normandy attended by the Queen.

Surrounded by war graves, old soldiers, sailors and airmen gathered with senior members of the Royal Family and Prime Minister David Cameron in the town of Bayeux to pay their respects.


Quote:

'We come to remember why America and our allies gave so much for the survival of liberty at its moment of maximum peril.
'And we come to tell the story of the men and women who did it, so that it remains seared into the memory of the future world.
'These men waged war so that we might know peace. They sacrificed so that we might be free. They fought in hopes of a day when we'd no longer need to fight. We are grateful to them'
- U.S. President Barack Obama
Bayeux, a quiet French town close to the coast, was the first to be freed from Nazi control during the campaign.

The town's military graveyard was a fitting place to stage the open-air service as it is the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery of the Second World War in France, with more than 4,000 burials.

In bright summer sunshine the service of hymns and prayers was staged with military clergy conducting proceedings.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, on a three-day state visit to France, were joined by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

Mr Cameron was accompanied by his wife Samantha and the couple had attended an earlier Royal British Legion service of remembrance at Bayeux Cathedral with Charles and Camilla and veterans.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband were among the congregation for the open-air service at the cemetery as was Foreign Secretary William Hague and Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Moments after the Queen arrived a fly-past of historic aircraft - two Spitfires, a Dakota and a Lancaster bomber - roared overhead as they flew in formation.

At the start of the service the Reverend Patrick Irwin, the Royal British Legion Chaplain to Normandy, told the congregation: 'Here in this cemetery we are reminded of the true cost of D-Day whose 70th anniversary we mark today.

'We pay tribute to the dead and welcome enthusiastically the veterans for whose courage and devotion we are most grateful.

'This is a British cemetery and most of the graves in this place are British but D-Day involved many nations and many nations are represented here.'








Escort: The Queen is taken to the stage after arriving at the British War Cemetery (left). Prince Charles looks on as the Royal party arrives for the ceremony (right)





Gaze: Prince Charles, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Queen and Minister Manuel Valls look up at the memorial as they step out of their car






Pleased to meet you: The Queen shakes the hand of a veteran who invaded the beaches of Normandy




Awning: Under the shade of a tent, The Duke of Edinburgh, Manuel Valls, The Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla look out over the grass to the memorial





Reading: The Royal guests bow their heads to look at the ceremony's programme while Manuel Valls looks into the crowds


During the service, the Ode of Remembrance, which begins with the memorable line 'They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old', was read by veteran Eddie Slater.

He is national chairman of the Normandy Veterans Association, whose numbers have fallen to around 600 from some 15,000.

The organisation will disband in November and its national standard will be laid up at a service in London.

The Last Post was played and the gathered veterans, their families and the dignitaries paused for a minute's silence.

Charles gave the lesson, reading from the Bible's book of Romans and later joined the leading figures in laying a wreath at a monument in the cemetery.

The Queen and France's prime pinister Manuel Valls laid floral tributes and were followed by the Prince, and Mr Cameron and his Australian counterpart Mr Abbott.

Charles wore his no 5 uniform as admiral of the fleet as did Philip, who is the same rank. Camilla was dressed in an ivory crepe coat dress made specially for the occasion by French designer Christian Dior and a Philip Treacy hat.

She also wore a brooch from her father's cavalry regiment, the Lancers.

Her father, Major Bruce Shand, a cavalry officer, won the Military Cross twice before being shot and captured shortly after the decisive Second World War battle of El Alamein in North Africa.

At the end of the service, the Queen met some of the veterans who are likely to be making their last visit to the beaches of Normandy.

Among the congregation was Roy Harding, 91, who was a private with No 6 Commando, when he stormed 'Sword Beach', the codename for the easternmost of the five beaches targeted on D-Day, and assaulted by the 3rd British Infantry Division.

The retired barrister, originally from London but now living in Australia, said: 'When I hit the beach there was a man in front of me and a shell landed in the water, he keeled over.

'He'd lost an eye and his shoulder was smashed. I wasn't touched, just splashed with water - and I took him to the medics.

'The East Yorkshire Regiment had the job of holding the beach and the commandos came through - they had a terrible time, there were bodies on the beach.'

He fought his way across Europe with his unit in the months following D-Day and reached Germany.

Mr Harding added: 'I shan't be coming over ever again, this is my last trip. I was here for the 65th anniversary and I've been here 12 times.'





Blue: President Hollande and Barack Obama look out over beach and out towards the Channel as it glistens in the sun




Conversation: Barack Obama turns his head to talk to the French President as they gaze at the spots where Allied forces would have landed in 1944




View: After looking out over Omaha Beach, the pair return inland and head to a commemorative lunch with the heads of state who have attended the day's commemorations





US President Barack Obama (R) and French President Francois Hollande (L) stand during a joint French-US D-Day commemoration ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-mer




Pledge: Obama said that America's commitment to liberty and freedom is written in blood in the beaches of Normandy and would 'endure and return'





Personal moment: President Obama closes his eyes as he remembers soldiers killed on the beaches. Veterans behind him salute their fallen colleagues





Formation: President Obama and President Hollande look up as three fighter jets speed over the American cemetery in Normandy where 9,5000 US troops are buried





Bow: The two presidents bow their heads in front of a wreath which has been set up in front of the memorial. Soldiers line a path to their right





Deep in thought: President Obama listens to Francois Hollande's speech through headphones as it is translated





Cheers: Barack Obama asked the assembled crowds to clap and cheer the veterans as he spoke of how they had fought at a time of 'maximum peril' for the world




Salute: French President Francois Hollande and Barack Obama are flanked by serving soldiers as they arrive at the Normandy American Cemetery at Omaha Beach




Together in arms: Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande smile next to veteran Kenneth 'Rock' Merritt as they arrive for the official lunch at Benouville Castle





Military escort: An Osprey accompanies Marine One carrying President Barack Obama over the beaches of Normandy


As the sun rose on the beaches serving soldiers stood at attention at exactly 6.30am - the moment on June 6, 1944 when Allied troops first waded ashore.
The silence was broken as some shouted 'let's go!' and downed shots of Calvados, Normandy's world famous brandy, in a salute to their comrades.

Hundreds of Normandy residents and other onlookers applauded the veterans, then began forming a human chain on the beach.

Up to 19 heads of state, including the Queen and US president Barack Obama, will be on Sword Beach near Ouistreham, one of the five battle zones on Normandy's coastline on June 6, 1944.

The ceremony is expected to mark the high point of the anniversary events, which has seen thousands flock to beaches, cemeteries and villages linked to the momentous landings.

At the Bayeux services guests including French prime minister Manuel Valls and Australian prime minister Tony Abbott packed into the Norman-Romanesque cathedral - the original home of the Bayeux Tapestry - on a day which is expected to mark the high point of the D-Day anniversary events.
Brigadier David Baines, the national president of the Normandy Veterans’ Association, read the lesson - Ecclesiasticus Chapter 44 1 - 14.It included the lines: ;Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth evermore. The people will tell of their wisdom, and the congregation will shew forth their praise.”

The choir of St John’s College Cambridge, directed by Andrew Nethsingha, sung Psalm 121, followed by an address by the Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch, the national chaplain of the RBL.

He told the congregation: 'We come to remember those who from the air, in the water and on the beaches made the supreme sacrifice.'


D-Day as it happened, footage of the troops landing in Normandy....







Read More, about the 'Fallen' Heros, Click...

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Cool PhOtOs-Hitler & Wife Braun Had Sex Without Touching

Hitler and Eva Braun ‘Had Sex Without Touching Each Other or Taking Their Clothes Off’ -Because He was So Fanatical About Hygiene, Claims Author Martin Amis

  • Novelist believes German dictator was an asexual and may have been insane
  • He made the claims in talk at Cheltenham Festival of Literature yesterday
  • Amis also claimed Hitler may have had sexual relationship with half niece
  • Had been doing research for his second Nazi-era novel 'Zone of Interest'
Daily Mail UK, 15 October 2014


Hitler and Eva Braun ‘had sex without touching each other or taking their clothes off’ because he was so fanatical about hygiene, says author Martin Amis.
Speaking at the Cheltenham Festival of Literature, the novelist claimed he believes the German dictator kept Eva at arm’s length and would achieve orgasm just by watching her lift her skirt.
He also claimed that Hitler was an asexual and may have had a similar kind of sexual relationship with his half niece, Angela ‘Geli’ Raubal.

Scroll down for video



Adolf Hitler pictured with long-term lover and wife Eva Braun who 'had sex without taking their clothes off'


Amis told visitors he imagined the leader of the Nazi Party ‘would fortify his underpants with clean serviettes and then would go into some form of excitation with Eva Braun at a safe distance’.
He said: ‘I imagine Eva would stand a good distance away and lift her skirt and then there would be some sort of soggy climax on Hitler’s part and that would be that.’


The award-winning writer was speaking about his second Nazi-era novel, ‘Zone of Interest’ which is being released 23 years after his first, ‘Time’s Arrow’, was published.
And although he feels he has come to know Hitler well, he maintains the truth about his sexuality remains a ‘black hole’.




Author Martin Amis made the claims while speaking at the Cheltenham Festival of Literature yesterday


‘Sexuality is one of the ways we recognise each other,’ he said
‘Knowing whether someone is married or gay or whatever it might be, you recognise that.
‘I don’t want to be reductive, simplistic or frivolous but I am convinced one of the reasons why Hitler is an unrecognisable figure is that sexually he is a void.
‘With Stalin or Mao there is clear pattern seigniorial behaviour - of having a big appetite – but with Hitler there is absolutely nothing.’

His explanation is that Hitler was ‘not quite the full quid’ and may simply have been insane.

‘In Hitler studies there are three schools of thought about Hitler’s sexuality.
‘One is normality but I think you can boot out that consideration immediately. Can you see Eva Braun relishing a post coital cigarette? Can you consider Hitler’s tender foreplay, a considerate and energetic lover? No you can’t begin to imagine that.
‘So I’d say normality is out. Asexuality is the other one - and the third one is perversion.
‘Historians and psycho-historians who adduce perversion all come up with the filthiest stuff you could possible imagine - coprophilia, coprophagia, all things to do with excretion.”
‘But there are no real clues about his sexuality - except that he wouldn’t take his clothes off, even for his physician and he was almost fanatical about cleanliness, which suggests to me asexuality plus.’

In his latest book he explores the horrors faced by thousands of Jews when they were sent to concentration camp Auschwitz.
The author said one thing which had shocked him during research for the book is that the Nazis had their wives and children living with them in the death camps.


Rare photos of Hitler and Eva Braun in their private residence:










Amis claims that Hitler kept Eva at arm’s length and would achieve orgasm just by watching her lift her skirt




Hitler asleep in an armchair next to Eva Braun in the teahouse on the Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden




Hitler kisses the hand of Eva Braun, in 1941. Author Martin Amis claims Hitler was an 'asexual' and insane


He also discovered how Jews had to pay for their own train fares to the camps - one-way tickets and with children under-12 going free.





Martin Amis was speaking about his second Nazi-era book 'The Zone of Interest' at festival yesterday



But even though he was gaining in knowledge, Amis said he had still not discovered the reason for Hitler’s policies, particularly the hatred of the Jews.

‘One can’t understand the Nazi hatred because it’s anti-human, it’s counter-human.
‘It is a hatred that is not in us, it is outside man.’

Amis dubbed Hitler ‘a bourgeois anti-Christ’ and also spoke of his concern for the high percentages of people in many countries who remain anti-Semitic to this day.
A survey of Greeks showed 69 per cent were anti-Jew, possibly proving that a country in economic crisis was more likely to feel hostility towards Jews, who are seen to be clever, successful and better off.

He also said 93 per cent of Iraqi and Saudi Arabian people are anti-Semitic while Iran is the most benevolent country in the Middle East with ‘only’ 56 percent disliking Jews.
In England the figure is eight percent and in Sweden just four percent, he added.
Amis believes that for some reason Jews inspire either love or hatred in people - his own first love was a Jewish girl - and that few remain neutral on the issue.

He is planning on writing a third novel set against the same grim backdrop.


Quote:
WHAT WAS HITLER'S SEXUALITY?







Hitler was rumoured to have had sexual relations with his niece Angela 'Geli' Raubal who later killed herself



Historian's have spent years debating the sexual preferences of the Nazi dictator - with some claiming he may have been homosexual.
Despite sending around 100,000 gay men to concentration camps, scholar Lothar Machtan claims Hitler was gay or bisexual and his party's opposition to homosexuality was likely to be a defence mechanism oh his 'internalised homophobia'.

But most historians reject this idea and say he was heterosexual with a number of female lovers.
There were also speculation that he had sexual relations with his young half-niece Angela 'Geli' Raubal, who worked for him in his Munich apartment.
Nineteen years his junior, she would attend meetings, restaurants and visit the theatre with the man she called 'Uncle Alf'.

One of Hitler's opponents of the Nazi Party, Otto Strasser, claimed he forced her to urinate and defecate on him.
Following an argument between the pair on September 18, 1931, Geli was found dead in her room with a gunshot wound to her lung.
Police ruled out foul play and put it down to suicide - although an inquest was never carried out.
After her death, Hitler was said to be devastated and went into an 'intense depression'.

Of his supposed six female lovers, two committed suicide, one died from injuries eight years after attempting suicide and another made a failed suicide attempt.
He was engaged to two women in his lifetime before he went on to marry Eva Braun, and subsequently the pair killed themselves a day later.

Rare Footage of Hitler and Eva Braun in Their Private Residence:




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Default Re: PhOtOs-Hitler & Wife Braun Had Sex Without Touching

RELATED:

Hitler’s Secret Addiction to Crystal Meth: The Fuhrer took ‘Breaking Bad’ Drug Before Ranting at Mussolini... and in His Last Days in the Bunker

  • The Second World War ditty was wrong - Hitler was not monorchid
  • He was not a pervert nor homosexual and his sexual organs showed no indication of abnormality.
  • A 47-page dossier compiled by American Military Intelligence claims Hitler took 74 different medications including crystal meth-amphetamines



The Fuhrer is believed to have taken crystal meth before a meeting with Mussolini in the summer of 1943, when he ranted non-stop for two hours


Adolf Hitler was a regular user of crystal meth – one of the most feared and addictive illegal substances on today’s black market and the drug at the heart of the hit TV series Breaking Bad – research has shown.

A 47-page wartime dossier compiled by American Military Intelligence reveals that Hitler, a notorious hypochondriac, took an astonishing 74 different medications including crystal methamphetamines.

Manufactured by the fictional teacher-turned-drug dealer Walter White in Breaking Bad, the drug is prized by addicts for the feelings of euphoria it produces. But it was also valued by the military during the war as a drug which could help combat the effects of fatigue.

The Fuhrer is believed to have taken crystal meth before a meeting with Mussolini in the summer of 1943, when he ranted non-stop for two hours. And he had nine injections of a drug called Vitamultin, which contained meth-amphetamine, during his final days in his bunker.

The dossier also debunks one of the most enduring legends about the Fuhrer – the claim that he lost a testicle when he was injured at the Battle of the Somme. Morale-boosting ditty ‘Hitler has only got one ball’ was popular during the Second World War and his admirer Unity Mitford suggested he ‘lacked something in the manly department’.

But the American records, which feature in a UK Channel 4 documentary, show the dictator was not monorchid (the medical term for being born with one testicle). They also shoot down claims that Hitler was a predatory homosexual who massacred 150 supporters to hide his secret.

An entry written in November 1945, based on the Fuhrer’s medical records and interviews with doctors who treated him, including his physician Dr Theodor Morell, states: ‘He was neither a pervert nor a homosexual. His sexual organs showed no indication of abnormality.’

Hitler fell under the spell of Dr Morell, who ran a clinic in Berlin, in 1936. He gave him medication called Mutaflor to cure stomach cramps, and Hitler became a devotee. Morell then prescribed the barbiturate Brom-Nervacit, the morphine-based drug Eukodal, bulls’ semen, to give him a testosterone boost, and Pervitin, a pill containing crystal meth.







The Fuhrer (right) is believed to have taken crystal meth before a meeting with Mussolini (left) in the summer of 1943


Morell also gave him two artificial stimulants, Coramine and Cardiazol. To counteract the effect of the stimulants, Morell gave Hitler more sedatives. By the end of 1943, the Fuhrer was dependent on a destructive mix of uppers and downers.

Bill Panagopoulos, an American collector who discovered the dossier, said: ‘Morell was a quack and a fraud and a snake oil salesman.
‘He should not have been practising medicine anywhere outside a veterinary clinic.’
He added: ‘Some [of the drugs] were innocuous, some not so innocuous, some poisonous. Did he develop a dependence on any of these drugs? Which of these drugs, if any, were addictive? And did he become addicted to them? I’d be interested to know what the combination of these medications would do to someone who’s otherwise in good health.’
  • Hitler’s Hidden Drug Habit is on Channel 4 at 8pm UK time, on October 19.
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Old 09-11-14, 12:44   #13
 
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European Union Remembrance Day-Fallen Heros + The Berlin Wall

A Poignant Remembrance Day For All Generations

-'LEST WE FORGET'

UK, Sunday 09 November 2014





Britain Honours All War Dead On Remembrance Day


Unprecedented Applause for Courageous Queen: Monarch Honoured as She Leads Britain in Remembrance Sunday Service Despite Heightened Security after Terror Arrests
  • Queen led commemorations by laying wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall after two-minute silence at 11am
  • She was joined by servicemen, senior royals, party leaders including David Cameron and former PM Tony Blair
  • Armed officers stood guard and checked area with trained dogs days after Scotland Yard made four terror arrests
  • Service 100 years after First World War and 70 years after D-Day came as Tower of London poppy artwork extended
The Queen is leading tributes to fallen servicemen and women as special services are held across the country.

David Cameron, who was at the London service, said this year's events were "particularly poignant" because 2014 marked a century since the start of the Great War, the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the end of UK involvement in Afghanistan.

A shot from a World War One gun, fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, marked the beginning and end of the two-minute silence at 11am.

The ceremony at the Cenotaph on Whitehall features a procession of current and former servicemen and women.

The Queen is joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cambridge and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Philip, Charles and William laid wreaths after the Queen, watched by Kate and Camilla from a balcony above.

The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband also laid wreaths.
Meanwhile "appropriate and proportionate" policing is in place in London amid heightened fears of a terror attack, Scotland Yard said.





The Queen (centre) led the nation in commemorations by laying a wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall after a two-minute silence at 11am, joined by servicemen, veterans (left), the Duchesses of Cambridge and Cornwall and Countess of Wessex (bottom right) and party leaders including David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg (top right).



Armed officers stood guard and checked the area with trained dogs as crowds gathered a dozen deep, just three days after Scotland Yard made four terror arrests of alleged plotters in west London and High Wycombe. The service 100 years after the First World War and 70 years after D-Day came as it was revealed part of the beloved Tower of London poppy artwork (inset), with one ceramic flower for each British and colonial soldier killed in the First World War, will be briefly extended. Military Cross recipient Paul Baines, 39, from Torquay, said Britain had 'really rallied behind the military' as the service approached. Inset: The London Eye lit red early this morning in tribute.


Officers have also been granted seven more days to hold four men arrested in west London and High Wycombe on
Thursday They were detained over an alleged Islamist terror plot, but it has not been confirmed whether Remembrance Day was a potential target.

In Afghanistan, British armed forces personnel took part in remembrance ceremonies at the Kandahar airbase and in Kabul.

A service is also being held at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, with wreaths laid at the stone memorial.

Later, as night falls, falling poppies will be projected onto Big Ben.

Meanwhile public calls for the Tower of London's ceramic poppies to stay in place for longer have also been heeded.

Scroll down for video








Paying her respects: The Queen, dressed all in black except for a red poppy, was laid a wreath on the Cenotaph on behalf of the nation





Anniversary: This year's service comes 100 years after the outbreak of the First World War and 70 years after the D-Day landings





Giving thanks: The three main party leaders Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and David Cameron were among those at the ceremony today




Procession: The Queen was followed by Princes Charles and William before a service led by the the Bishop of London Richard Chartres





Memorial: Prince Charles lays a wreath on the Cenotaph, where remembrance services have been held for almost a century




Watching: The Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall and Countess of Wessex on the Foreign Office balcony at the service






Paying tribute: Former Prime Minister Tony Blair joined party leaders and George Osborne (left) as thousands stood on Whitehall (right)


The Queen laid wreaths alongside Prince Charles, Prince William and party leaders including David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg.
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair was also at the service to pay his respects. Under his leadership, the government began the protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which led to the deaths of more than 630 British servicemen.

Today's ceremony also marked the first time an Irish representative was invited to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in almost 70 years.
Irish ambassador to Britain Dan Mulhall accepted the invitation as part of a symbolic gesture to repair old wounds. Some 200,000 Irish-born soldiers from north and south of the island served in the First World War, with around 50,000 losing their lives.
But those who returned from the war found a country riven by its own conflict with Britain. The Irish war of independence would follow and by 1921 the island was partitioned, with the southern 26 counties becoming independent.
For decades the newly-formed state struggled with its people's role fighting for Britain in the war. Returning soldiers were effectively ostracised and became scared to admit they had participated in the conflict.





Procession: Veterans assemble on Whitehall this morning for the national Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph




Service: Onlookers filmed the procession with their camera phones as they prepared to mark the two-minute silence at 11am

Service: Troops gathered in Whitehall this morning as they prepared to observe two minutes' silence in a remembrance service at 11am





Royals: The national remembrance service included the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall





Wounded in service: An amputee war veteran leaves from Horse Guards Parade this morning en route to the Cenotaph ceremony




A moment of reflection: Veterans and their families walk through St James' Park as they gather this morning for the Cenotaph ceremony



In London, crowds gathered a dozen deep in a welcome respite from downpours which had swept across the south east, bringing with them ten days' rain in six hours, as thousands of servicemen gathered to remember the fallen.
The national remembrance service including wreaths laid by the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall and Earl and Countess of Wessex took place in Whitehall amid a heightened police presence.
Armed officers stood guard against the grey civil service buildings early in the morning as trained dogs sniffed under manhole covers to check for any signs of a terror plot
.
Scotland Yard said it had an 'appropriate and proportionate' policing plan in place for the event amid heightened fears of a terror attack.
The thorough checks came after four men were arrested in west London and High Wycombe in connection with alleged Islamist terror plans on British soil on Thursday.





Turnout: Armed police gather as a precaution in Whitehall this morning as the Queen prepared to lead a national Remembrance Sunday service in honour of all those who have lost their lives in war. It came three days after Scotland Yard made fresh terror arrests





Paying their respects: Crowds lined the streets of central London a dozen deep in a respite from rain which had lashed the capital





On guard: Mourners and those paying tribute gathered along Whitehall for the service with a heavy police presence out in force




Crowds: A police patrol with sniffer dogs outside the Houses of Parliament this morning, near where the wreaths will be laid












Checks: Officers wore poppies as they arrived at Whitehall in what Scotland Yard called an 'appropriate and proportionate' response


A two-minute silence at 11am was due to be marked at the beginning and end by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery firing one round from one of their 13-pounder First World War guns from nearby Horse Guards Parade.
A young choirboy collapsed as the national anthem was sung just yards from where the royal family were standing. Medics rushed to treat the boy who was helped up and led away through the crowd, which included senior royals and 46 high commissioners from Commonwealth nations, each of whom laid a wreath.
Speaking before the Cenotaph service, Company Sergeant Major Paul Baines, 39, from Torquay, who was awarded the military cross for gallantry after serving in Afghanistan, said: 'The country has really rallied behind the military and not just because of the centenary year.
'When I was younger I tried to imagine the faces of those who had lost their lives. When you experience it for yourself as part of your job, it becomes more personal.'
Asked about the police presence amid heightened fears of a terror attack, he said: 'It's better to be safe than sorry. There's always a strong presence.'
Afghanistan veteran Lance Corporal Andrew Davison, 24, from Newcastle, added: 'It's good to see the end of any conflict. Of course it's going to be emotional today, it always is.'








Paying tribute: The London Eye lit up in comemmoration this morning (left) as a photograph of a soldier was left at the Tower of London






Red sea: The sun glints this morning on the 888,246 ceramic poppies at the Tower of London, one for each British soldier killed in WW1





Beloved: It has been revealed part of the artwork, pictured last night, will be briefly extended. It was due to be removed after Tuesday








Grand: A service at Durham Cathedral (left) was attended by Abbie Moore, 17 (right), this year's face of the Poppy Appeal for the Royal British Leigion. Her father was a bombardier with 101 Northumbria Regiment and 203 Elswick Battery Royal Artillery but died this year



Quote:
ORDER OF EVENTS IN WHITEHALL

9am Royal British Legion detachments form up on Horse Guards Parade and in Whitehall
10am All detachments march out from Wellington Barracks
11am Two-minute silence marked by the firing of guns from Kings Troop, on Horse Guards Parade, and the first stroke of Big Ben. Cenotaph Service commences
11:25am Cenotaph Service concludes and RBL detachments disperse past the Cenotaph

Party leaders including David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Alex Salmond were due to join the wreath-laying - but there was a political row after Ukip leader Nigel Farage demanded to be allowed to join them.
He claimed millions of Ukip voters had been snubbed while leaders of smaller parties were allowed to attend. But a senior government source told MailOnline Mr Farage was wrong to make the sombre wreath laying ceremony 'all about him'.

'Today we stand united to remember the courageous men and women who have served our country, defended our freedoms and kept us safe,' he said. 'We remember all those who have fallen and those who have risked their lives to protect us.

'We owe each and every member of our armed forces and the families who support them a tremendous debt - one that can never be repaid - and I pay huge tribute to their bravery and resolve.'

It was announced yesterday that part of the ceramic poppy field at the Tower of London - which will have 888,246 poppies installed by Armistice Day, one for each British and colonial death during the First World War - will remain on show until the end of the month.
The news was welcomed by the Prime Minister, who said the artwork was an 'incredibly moving, yet stark reminder' of British losses in the conflict.

As dusk falls tonight, images of falling poppies are due to be projected onto the tower containing Big Ben and a service will be held at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, before wreaths are laid at the stone armed forces memorial.
Since last year's Remembrance Sunday, seven members of the British armed forces have died on operations.

LCpl Oliver Thomas, Cpl James Walters, Warrant Officer Spencer Faulkner, Flt Lt Rakesh Chauhan, Capt Thomas Clarke, Sapper Adam Moralee and Capt Richard Holloway all died in Afghanistan - five of them in a single helicopter crash in April.
The youngest, 32 Engineers Regiment Sapper Moralee, from Newcastle, was just 23.





Marking time: George Henderson, 90, waits at a commemorative bus stop in Prudhoe, Northumberland, on his way to a service in Newcastle. He was a gunner on a D-Day landing craft nicknamed 'The Fallen Leaves' taking Canadian troops onto Juno Beach





Then and now: The 90-year-old veteran was joined in his journey to the service this morning by Sergeant Terry Moffatt, 37 (left)





Powerful: A 1.2-tonne statue of 'Tommy' (pictured this morning) is now a permanent fixture on the seafront Seaham, County Durham, after locals campaigned successfully to raise the £85,000 fundraising target needed to keep the sculpture in the town





Dawn: The statue cut a lonely figure on the seafront this morning as the sun rose on the national day of remembrance for the fallen



Quote:
BRITAIN REMEMBERS: ORDER OF SERVICE AT CENOTAPH TO HONOUR THE FALLEN 100 YEARS AFTER WWI

At 11 o’clock, Silence will be kept for two minutes, beginning at the first stroke of Big Ben.
For all present, suggested subjects for thought and prayer during the Silence are:

We remember those who made the great sacrifice during the two World Wars;
We remember those who have given their lives in the service of their country in other conflicts;
We pray for those who suffer at this time;
We pray for those who have been bereaved;
We pray for peace;
We pray that we may be worthy of the sacrifice made on our behalf.
The end of the Silence will be marked by The Last Post.
Wreaths will then be laid on the Cenotaph.

The Lord Bishop of London will offer the following prayer:

O Almighty God, grant, we beseech thee, that we who here do honour to the memory of those who have died in the service of their country and of the Crown, may be so inspired by the spirit of their love and fortitude that, forgetting all selfish and unworthy motives, we may live only to thy glory and to the service of mankind through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN

The following hymn will be sung, accompanied by the Bands of the Guards Division.

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.
Beneath the shadow of thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is thine arm alone,
And our defence is sure.
Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting thou art God,
To endless years the same.
A thousand ages in thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.
O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.

The Lord Bishop of London will offer the following prayer:

Teach us, good Lord, to serve thee as thou deservest;
to give and not to count the cost;
to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to seek for rest;
to labour and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN

All present are requested to say The Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father
Which art in heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
In earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive them that trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For thine is the kingdom
The power and the glory
For ever and ever. AMEN

The Lord Bishop of London will then give The Blessing:

Unto God’s gracious mercy and protection we commit you
The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord make his face to shine upon you
And be gracious unto you
The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you
And give you his peace this day and always. AMEN
The Rouse
God Save The Queen



Prince Harry Lays a Cross of Remembrance on Thursday



The Queen And Prince Philip Open WW1 Memorial Garden


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Old 09-11-14, 13:16   #14
 
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Default Re: Remembrance Day-Fallen Heros + The Berlin Wall

Germany Marks 25 Years Since Fall of Berlin Wall

AP, 9 November 2014


BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel led celebrations Sunday marking the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, calling it an example of the human yearning for freedom and honoring those who helped bring down the barrier that for 28 years symbolized the Cold War.
On the night of Nov. 9, 1989, thousands of East Berliners streamed through the once-closed border crossings after communist authorities caved in to mounting pressure and relaxed travel restrictions that had prevented their citizens from going to the west for decades.

"The fall of the Wall has shown us that dreams can come true," Merkel said at the main memorial site for the Wall on Bernauer Strasse. "Nothing has to stay the way it is, however big the hurdles are."





Three years old Hulda puts flowers in a crack of the former Berlin Wall to commemorate the victims of the wall at the Berlin Wall memorial site at Bernauer Strasse in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014. 25 years ago - on Nov. 9, 1989 - the East-German government lifted travel restrictions and thousands of East Berliners had pushed their way past perplexed border guards to celebrate freedom with their brethren in the West. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)


The fall of the Wall was the climax of weeks of popular protests, spurred by changes that had already taken place elsewhere in Eastern Europe.
Merkel noted the important examples set by the democracy movements in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, and praised those East Germans who were inspired by them to stand up to the dictatorship.
She also honored the many who suffered under the communist regime, including the 138 people who died at the Wall.

Merkel noted that Nov. 9 is a significant date in Germany history also for being the day when, in 1938, Nazi paramilitaries launched a pogrom against the country's Jewish population in what became known as Reichskristallnacht — the "Night of Broken Glass."

"That was the opening note for the murder of millions," said Merkel, adding that on Nov. 9 each year "I feel not just joy, but the responsibility that German history burdens us with."





Germany\ Chancellor Angela Merkel greets spectators at the Berlin Wall memorial site at Bernauer Strasse in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014.











A man puts a flower in a crack of the former Berlin Wall to commemorate the victims of the wall at the Berlin Wall memorial site at Bernauer Strasse in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014.





German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and the Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit, 3rd from left, place candles to commemorate the victims of the wall at the Berlin Wall memorial site at Bernauer Strasse in Berlin, Germany, Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014.




People hug each other after they put flowers in a crack of the former Berlin Wall to commemorate the victims of the wall at the Berlin Wall memorial site at Bernauer Strasse in Berlin, Germany
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European Union German Court Rules -No Trial Over SS NAZI Massacre

German Court Throws out Nazi Massacre Case

By AP, 9 December 2014


BERLIN (AP) — A German court on Tuesday threw out the case against a former SS man accused of involvement in the largest civilian massacre in Nazi-occupied France, saying there was not enough evidence to bring the 89-year-old to trial.
Cologne resident Werner C., whose last name has not been revealed in accordance with German privacy laws, was charged with murder and accessory to murder in connection with the 1944 slaughter in Oradour-sur-Glane in southwestern France.


Dortmund prosecutors had alleged that the suspect shot 25 men as part of a firing squad and then helped as troops blockaded and set fire to a church, in which dozens of women and children were burned alive.

Werner C. denied the charges, saying that he was at the village but never fired a shot and wasn't otherwise involved in the slaughter of the 642 civilians.

In its ruling, the Cologne state court said no witness statements disprove the suspect's contention, nor is there any reliable documentary evidence that he was involved in the massacre.

"In a trial it could probably only be proved the suspect was in the area during the massacre in Oradour-sur-Glane as he has consistently maintained," the court said. "This mere presence is not enough to prove accessory to murder without the proof of other circumstances."

Dortmund prosecutor Andreas Brendel, who led the investigation, said he was surprised by the court's decision but that it was too early to say whether he would appeal.

"I brought charges because I believed that the evidence was sufficient," he said. "The court came to a different conclusion."

Werner C. was part of the 3rd Company of the 1st Battalion of the "Der Fuehrer" regiment of the fanatical SS's "Das Reich" division. Four days after the June 6, 1944, D-Day landings in Normandy the company attacked Oradour-sur-Glane in reprisal for the French Resistance's kidnapping of a German soldier.

The troops herded the civilians into barns and into the church, blocked the doors and then set fire to the entire town. Those not killed in the blazes were shot as they tried to flee, though a handful managed to escape.

In a gesture of reconciliation last year, German President Joachim Gauck and French President Francois Hollande together visited the phantom village — whose burned-out cars and abandoned buildings were left as a memorial to the massacre. Gauck said he shared the bitterness of those in France "over the fact that the murderers have not been brought to justice."

Brendel is currently investigating five other members of the unit involved in the massacre, but said given the lack of witnesses and other evidence, charges are unlikely.
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Update re: NAZI-Family of Hitler's Chief>Goebbels SUE Publisher>Secrets From His Diary

Family of Hitler's Propaganda Chief Joseph Goebbels SUE Publisher for Royalties for Quoting from his Diary

  • Cordula Schacht is representing the case against Random House Germany
  • Her own father Hjalmar Schacht was Hitler's minister of economics
  • Dispute over historian Peter Longerich's book Goebbels released in 2010
  • Paying money would be 'immoral', Rainer Dresen of Random House said
Daily Mail UK, 18 April 2015





The family of Adolf Hitler's minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels, pictured (above) in September 1934,
-is suing a publisher for royalties over a biography that used extracts from his diaries



Cordula Schacht - whose own father Hjalmar Schacht was Hitler's minister of economics - is representing Joseph Goebbels' estate in the case against Random House Germany and its imprint Sidler.

The dispute comes after Peter Longerich, a leading authority on the Holocaust and Nazi Germany, drew on the diaries for a biography called Goebbels, which was published in Germany in 2010.

Now the English edition of the biography, which includes the same entries, is due to be published by Penguin Random House UK and its imprint The Bodley Head on May 7.

Rainer Dresen, general counsel of Random House Germany, believes this case carries an important principal and that paying such money would be immoral.

'We are convinced that no money should go to a war criminal,' he said.
'This war criminal didn't really commit acts by his hands, but by his words.
'These words prolonged the war… [and] should not bring any money… to [his] heirs.'

Mr Dresen was astonished when Schacht first demanded money after contacting the publisher as a representative of Goebbels' heirs.

'I did not want to believe that anyone can claim royalties for Goebbels' words,' he added.

Scroll down for video

Last September the district court of Munich ordered the publisher to disclose its earnings. It appealed on legal, copyright and moral grounds, and the case is due to be heard in Munich on April 23.
Mr Dresen has suggested to Schacht in court that royalties could be paid if she were to donate them subsequently to a Holocaust charity.








Cordula Schacht, pictured (top) with her father and Hitler’s economist Hjalmar Schacht, is representing Goebbels' estate
-in the case against Random House Germany and its imprint Sidler over Peter Longerich's book


She rejected the idea on the grounds that money should go to Goebbels' family, who are thought to include descendants of his siblings.

Goebbels poisoned his six children before he and his wife took their own lives. His diaries – spanning the years 1924 to 1945 - remain in copyright until the end of 2015. Copies are held in public libraries.

Responsibility for the literary part of Goebbels' estate was transferred to Schacht by François Genoud, a Swiss businessman with Nazi sympathies and a friend of Schacht's father.





Dr Goebbels with his wife. He poisoned their six children before he and his wife took their own lives


Mr Schacht was minister of economics in Hitler's National Socialist government from 1934 to 1937 and was president of Germany's leading financial institution, the Reichsbank.
He was responsible for the unemployment and rearmament programmes. Mr Dresen said: '[He] helped Hitler finance his preparation of war.'

Captured by the Allies he stood trial at the postwar International Military Tribunal at Nürnberg but was eventually acquitted. He died in 1970.

Mr Dresen believes that other publishers have paid for the use of Goebbels's diaries in the past. He said: 'We're the first publishing house who avoided that - and have been sued.'

Mr Longerich spoke of the censorship implications of this case: 'If you accept that Schacht controls the rights to Goebbels' diaries, then – theoretically - you give this person the right to control research.'
He added: 'She could have asked to see the manuscript or [told me] that I should leave out certain passages. We cannot allow such control from a private person, whatever their interests.
'This is an absolutely unacceptable situation. It's a question not only of morality, but of professionalism for an historian.'

Part of Random House's legal argument centres on the copyright ownership because the diaries were going to be published posthumously by Hitler's own publisher.

Although no publisher's contract has survived, Mr Dresen points to evidence within one of diary entries of 1936 which confirms the publication plans. He believes that the Bavarian government should in fact own the copyright.

Schacht declined to comment.

Nazi Joseph Goebbels' Lakeside Love Nest:




Nazi Goebbels' Lakeside Love Nest


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Update re: NAZIS- $375Mill of Stolen Art Found by Top Detective

The World's Top Detective for Nazi Looted Art:
Sleuth has Tracked Down £250million ($375million,US), Worth of Stolen Art Including Priceless Works by Picasso, Renoir and Matisse


  • Christopher Marinello has tracked down £250million worth of stolen art
  • He was central to recovery of £1billion Nazi-looted hoard found in attic
  • Detective set up sting to return nine artworks stolen from LA mansion
  • Art theft is third highest-grossing criminal trade, behind guns and drugs

Daily Mail UK, 26 April 2015


'This is Darko. I think I know the location of $20million worth of stolen art - I hope you have WhatsApp.'


It's a line that wouldn't sound out of place in a heist movie.
But that was the anonymous call that helped art sleuth Christopher Marinello, 53, track down nine paintings including works by Chagall and Rivera stolen from an LA mansion.
'I got this tip-off from a shadowy figure in Slovenia called Darko,' said the London-based founder of Art Recovery International.

Scroll down for video






Art detective Christopher Marinello has tracked down £250million worth of stolen art including this 1920 Henri Matisse painting Le Jardin



'He sent me images of the paintings via WhatsApp and we set up a sting operation with the LAPD and recovered nine of paintings which were stolen in broad daylight six years ago.'

The art detective is no stranger to high profile cases – having been central to the recovery of a £1billion Nazi-looted hoard found in a squalid Munich flat in 2012.

He currently represents the heirs of renowned art dealer Paul Rosenberg in their bid to recover Henri Matisse's 1921 Femme Assise.
It was discovered amongst other priceless works in a flat owned by Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of Nazi art dealer Hildebrand, and has been valued at around £60million.








He is representing the heirs of art dealer Paul Rosenberg in their bid to recover Henri Matisse's 1921 Femme Assise (top) which was found in a squalid Munich apartment along with this Marc Chagall painting



'The painting was found covered by a layer of grime. There was a milky white film on it as it had been sitting flat, unstretched amongst rotting food,' said Mr Marinello.
'It didn't even have a frame, but there is no doubt that it is the original Matisse. It has been tested by a number of experts and the Rosenberg family has an incredibly detailed archive.
'It should clean up nicely and we were able to determine it has not been directly touched since Matisse completed it.'

The reclusive eccentric died in May last year and left the collection dubbed the 'greatest find of the post-war era' to Kunstmuseum Bern.

The museum announced that it would accept the immense trove of art amassed by a Nazi-era art dealer, but would ensure any looted art was returned to the rightful owners.

And just yesterday it emerged that Germany has signed an agreement to return Matisse's Femme Assise to the Rosenberg heirs.

In the past two decades, Mr Marinello has tracked down £250million worth of stolen art including priceless works by Picasso, Renoir and Matisse.





The founder of Art Recovery International examines evidence relating to Matisse's Le Jardin with head curator Lars Bystrom






He tracked down nine paintings including Les Paysans by Marc Chagall (pictured) stolen from an LA mansion



One of his most recent cases saw him recover El Greco's 1944 'Portrait of a Gentleman', which was seized from Julius Priester's collection by the Gestapo in Vienna.

Mr Priester, a prominent art collector, had fled to Paris with his wife Camilla six years before, when Austria was annexed into Germany as part of the Anschluss in 1938.

Last month Mr Marinello also tracked down two sculptures which were stolen with weeks of each other from Hirschl and Adler Gallery in New York 32 years ago.

Paul Manship's 'Central Figure of Day' was taken during an exhibition in December 1983 and just three weeks later 'Figure of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney' by Prince Paul Troubetzkoy disappeared from the same show.
Another of his most high-profile successes was the recovery of Matisse's Le Jardin after it was stolen from the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm by a burglar armed with a sledgehammer.





More than 1,400 artworks were found in a squalid Munich flat owned by Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of Nazi art dealer Hildebrand


Criminals are both nemeses and friends to the detective and if you spot him sitting in a Starbucks, the chances are he's about to sit down with an art thief.

'I've met with a criminal who's been holding onto some very valuable artwork for over 30 years several times at a cafe in Paris,' said Mr Marinello.
'I often receive and exchange stolen works in pubs and cafes. In fact if you see me sitting alone in a Starbucks, there is a high likelihood I'm not just having a cup of coffee. I prefer meeting in public places, as it can get interesting.
'I deal with criminals if I have the permission of the authorities. If the theft happened 25 years ago, the police aren't as interested and in those cases I'm given permission to handle the case myself.'

Before he became the public face of the company, he used to work undercover and once set up a sting operation to catch a man trying to illegally obtain a Van Gogh picture worth £2million.
He has also recovered a multi-million pound Devo painting from the middle of the street in Manhattan from a celebrity who unwittingly came into possession of the stolen artwork.

'I was meeting a well-known celebrity at the corner of a street in New York and suddenly a beige Mercedes Benz pulled up and the window rolled down. Out came a Devo painting rolled up in a tube inside a black plastic bag.
'That is definitely one of the more unusual places I have exchanged artwork.'

Finding the missing art in the first place is a major undertaking as Mr Marinello and his team often locate stolen works before law enforcement.
To do this, they have developed Art Claim, the world's most technologically advanced database for stolen, looted and missing works of art, antiquity and cultural property.

Once a missing artwork is entered into the database, they use image recognition software to scour catalogues at Sotheby's, Bonham's, eBay and other auction sites until they find a match.

'It all starts with Art Claim. Anyone who has a theft whether it's a museum or holocaust victim should report the theft, then we search art fairs, online sellers, and auction catalogues.
'There is a huge risk in buying a stolen work as the legal fees can be back breaking. The publicity alone can be hugely damaging to a high net-worth collector.
'People spend hundreds of thousands and do absolutely nothing to check the provenance. You need to know in advance what you're buying.'

Mr Marinello believes art theft is on the rise and said it is now the third highest-grossing criminal trade, behind guns and drugs.









Cornelius Gurlitt's father Hildebrand, was commissioned to obtain artworks on behalf of Adolf Hitler (top) and bought works confiscated from Jewish families


'It is worse than ever. The economic downturn over the past few years, security cuts at museums and wars have all contributed to the fact that cultural property theft is on the rise.'

But Hollywood-style art heists with James Bond-style equipment and elaborate getaways are not the only way that priceless works disappear.
'Art is stolen in every way imaginable, but it is not always a well thought-out endeavor.
'Some thieves just see a work and think 'I can just put this in my bag and get out of here'.

'What they don't realise is that these works are not at all easy to sell on. Once an artwork is on our database - as this one is - we will be searching art markets all over the world for it.
'Art can also be lost in transport and there is also insider theft. Of course there are also movie-style elaborate break-ins. Methods are getting creative, but we are trying to stay one step ahead.'

'Thieves are always going to be thieves. Art thieves are common thugs. There's no romance there. The same people who'd steal your wallet would steal artwork.
'The Internet has made it easier track but it's easier for the criminals as well.'






Swiss Museum Accepts Priceless Nazi Loot Art Trove (related)


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Update PhOtOs--NAZIs Hijack Festival for WW2 Heroes Who Saved us From Hitler

The World Remembers the Heroes Who Saved us From Hitler:
-US and Europe Mark the 70th Anniversary of VE Day


  • Sombre ceremonies held across Europe today to mark the anniversary as officials remembered fallen soldiers
  • World leaders took opportunity to warn of modern day threats such as Islamic extremism and the war in Ukraine
Daily Mail UK, 8 May 2015


Sombre ceremonies have been held across Europe today to mark the anniversary of VE Day.

World leaders came together to mark 70 years since victory over Nazi Germany, laying beautiful wreaths in memory of those who were lost - believed to be up to 60million people.

Over the next three days officials will continue to honour and thank entire wartime generations with a spectacular series of events.

It comes as French President Francois Hollande took the opportunity to warn of modern day threats such as the war in Ukraine and Islamic extremism.

Scroll down for videos





Sombre ceremonies have been held across Europe today to mark the anniversary of VE Day. French President Francois Hollande looks on after placing a wreath at the statue of French General and former President Charles de Gaulle in Paris, France


In France, Mr Hollande urged citizens not to grow complacent about war as he laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at a solemn ceremony under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

He said: 'We didn't experience the war, we see it as a far-off reality, sometimes abstract, even though it is not so far from us, in Ukraine, further still in the Middle East.'

He also referred to the hundreds of French citizens who have gone to fight alongside jihadists in Syria and Iraq.

'There is also terrorism which can strike us, racism, anti-Semitism. There are still causes which should spur us on', he said.

Jean Ruiz, witnessing the ceremony on the Champs Elysees avenue, said: 'I think in the wake of what happened in January we must come together, find common ground.'
'There are memories which must not be forgotten,' his wife Mireille added.






U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry lays a wreath made of purple, red and white flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Paris




'We didn't experience the war, we see it as a far-off reality, sometimes abstract, even though it is not so far from us, in Ukraine, further still in the Middle East,' Hollande said before laying a wreath




The tomb of the unknown soldier, where Mr Hollande laid his wreath, marks the sacrifice of an unknown French soldier who gave his life during World War I





Dozens of wreaths made of red, blue and white flowers - to match the French flag - were laid with ribbons by officials earlier this morning



US President Barack Obama also marked the anniversary, expressing solidarity with Europe and hailing the victorious Allied troops as a 'generation that literally saved the world'.

'For over five years, brutal fighting laid waste to an entire continent. Mothers, fathers, children were murdered in concentration camps. By the time the guns fell silent in Europe, some 40 million people on the continent had lost their lives,' Obama said in a radio address.

In Washington DC, 56 restored American 'warbirds' that helped the Allies achieve victory in the war, will roar over the city later Friday as up to 10,000 people look on.
Mr Kerry, whose mother was born in France, also laid a wreath under the Arc de Triomphe as the anniversary coincided with a visit to Paris.
Kerry expressed his country's support to Europe in the face of the new threats it is facing, commending its 'leadership in the fight' against the Islamic State.
'Together we stand firm with the people of Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression,' he said.





The eternal flame at the tomb is rekindled by Mr Hollande as ex-Army soldiers look on and huge bunches of flowers are laid





Angela Merkel talks to a gentleman before the hour of remembrance at the Bundestag to commemorate the end of the Second World War in Berlin


Other countries in Europe also joined the commemorations. Poland opened Victory Day celebrations with a midnight ceremony in northern Westerplatte, where the first shots of the war were fired on September 1, 1939 as Nazi forces swept across the border.

Russia and former Soviet states will mark the anniversary tomorrow due to a time difference during which the surrender became effective.

The war in the Pacific would end on September 2 when Japan surrendered to the United States after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Ukraine, locked in a brutal conflict with pro-Moscow rebels, will for the first time break with Russia and mark May 8 as a 'Day of Memory and Reconciliation'.

Kiev has chosen a new symbol for the event - a poppy - and changed the way it refers to the conflict from the 'Great Patriotic War' introduced by Soviet authorities to the Second World War.

Germany marked its 'liberation' from the Nazis in a joint session of parliament where speaker Norbert Lammert hailed the willingness of the country's neighbours to forgive.





Members of the Worcester Branch of The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regimental Association in the UK, take part in a remembrance and wreath laying ceremony at the Regimental Stone in Gheluvelt Park, Worcester






A worker installs a wreath of poppies as a red peak and ribbon on top of the 102-metre Motherland Monument in Kiev, Ukraine, to mark the anniversary



'Today we remember the millions of victims of an unprecedented annihilation campaign against other nations and peoples, against Slavs, against the Jews of Europe,' he said.

German newspaper Die Welt hailed the changes in the country: 'In a few decades a free society has been established. Children and grandchildren endeavour to understand this dark past.'

Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Thursday laid a wreath at the site of the Battle of Stalingrad in Russia as part of commemorations to mark the defeat of Nazi forces in WWII.



We Shall Remember Them: 70 Years After VE Day Marked The End of World War Two,
-Veterans Lead Silent Tribute to Their Fallen Comrades

  • Today marks the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day when Germany surrendered to the Allies
  • Service of remembrance at Cenotaph in Whitehall starts three days of commemorations the historic victory
  • More than 100 veterans joined the Duke of York, politicians and military leaders to lay wreaths during service
  • Two minute silence marked moment Winston Churchill broadcast the news of the German surrender to nation

Veterans led the nation in a silent tribute remembering the sacrifices made to win the Second World War on the 70th anniversary of VE Day.

Seven decades after the country broke out in jubilant celebration at the end of the Second World War, more than 100 former servicemen and women watched as the Duke of York, representing the Queen, joined politicians and military leaders to lay wreaths in Whitehall.

The tribute at the Cenotaph started three days of festivities to mark the anniversary of the announcement that Germany had offered the unconditional surrender to the Allies bringing about the end of the war in Europe.

Artillery guns were fired from the Tower of London and Wellington Barracks Parade Square starting a national two-minute silence at 3pm, to mark the moment Prime Minister Winston Churchill broadcast the news of the German surrender to the nation.




The Duke of York, representing the Queen, with veterans led the nation in remembering victory over Nazi Germany today at the Cenotaph





The Whitehall tribute marked the start of three days of commemorations to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe





Remembering the sacrifice: Standard bearers from the Royal British Legion at the ceremony of thanksgiving and remembrance





Paying their respects: Politicians from the main political parties attended the ceremony to remember the victory over Nazi Germany





The Band of the Grenadier Guards marched to the cenotaph for the service this afternoon that was led by the Bishop to the Armed Forces the Right Reverend Nigel Stock





Remembering the sacrifice: Chelsea pensioners were joined by hundreds of veterans at the Cenotaph in Whitehall for the moving tribute



David Cameron laid a wreath at the foot of the Cenotaph with Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg in their last major roles as party leaders following their post-election resignations.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon also laid a wreath, and defence secretary Philip Hammond and newly elected MP Boris Johnson also attended.

Among the veterans, who sat huddled with their families under umbrellas as rain pattered gently down, were six Chelsea Pensioners, their bright red overcoats providing a splash of colour under the grey sky.
An excerpt from Churchill's famous speech was also be read by his great-grandson, Randolph Churchill.

The service, which included readings, hymns and a blessing, was led by the Bishop to the Armed Forces the Right Reverend Nigel Stock, and featured music from the Choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

The Trumpeters of the Royal Air Force sounded The Rouse before the national anthem ended the service.

As the veterans and standard bearers from the Royal British Legion left to make their way up Whitehall for a reception at the Foreign Office, the flag-waving crowds - six deep in some places - broke out into a chorus of three cheers and applause, thanking them for their service so many years ago.

This evening, a chain of up to 250 beacons will be lit across the UK as 'flames of peace', the chain of light stretching from the Tower of London to Blackpool Tower and the community of Unst, the most northerly populated island in the British Isles, as well as to Britain's Overseas Territories
Seventy years after she sneaked out of Buckingham Palace to dance through London's Ritz Hotel with people celebrating the end of the war, the Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, will light the first beacon at the top of the Long Walk at Windsor Castle at 9.30pm, before others are lit across the land minutes later.

The celebrations will continue over the weekend, starting with a 'thunderclap' of noise at 11am tomorrow, when church and cathedral bells throughout the country ring out in celebration.
The coastguard and the Port of London Authority are also being asked to make their own noise to replicate the thunderous sounds of celebration 70 years ago.


Quote:
THIS IS YOUR VICTORY: WINSTON CHURCHILL'S RADIO BROADCAST ANNOUNCING THE SURRENDER OF GERMANY




'Yesterday morning at 2.41am at General Eisenhower's headquarters, General Jodl, the representative of the German High Command, and Grand Admiral Doenitz, the designated head of the German State, signed the act of unconditional surrender of all German land, sea, and air forces in Europe to the Allied Expeditionary Force, and simultaneously to the Soviet High Command.

'General Bedell Smith, Chief of Staff of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and General Francois Sevez signed the document on behalf of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and General Susloparov signed on behalf of the Russian High Command.

'Today this agreement will be ratified and confirmed at Berlin, where Air Chief Marshal Tedder, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, and General de Lattre de Tassigny will sign on behalf of General Eisenhower. Marshal Zhukov will sign on behalf of the Soviet High Command.

The German representatives will be Field Marshal Keitel, Chief of the High Command, and the commanders-in-chief of the German army, navy, and air forces.

'Hostilities will end officially at one minute after midnight tonight (Tuesday, May 8), but in the interests of saving lives the 'ceasefire' began yesterday to be sounded all along the front, and our dear Channel Islands are also to be freed today.

'The Germans are still in places resisting the Russian troops, but should they continue to do so after midnight they will, of course, deprive themselves of the protection of the laws of war, and will be attacked from all quarters by the Allied troops. It is not surprising that on such long fronts and in the existing disorder of the enemy the orders of the German High Command should not in every case be obeyed immediately.

'This does not, in our opinion, with the best military advice at our disposal, constitute any reason for withholding from the nation the facts communicated to us by General Eisenhower of the unconditional surrender already signed at Rheims, nor should it prevent us from celebrating today and tomorrow (Wednesday) as Victory in Europe days.

'Today, perhaps, we shall think mostly of ourselves. Tomorrow we shall pay a particular tribute to our Russian comrades, whose prowess in the field has been one of the grand contributions to the general victory.

'The German war is therefore at an end. After years of intense preparation, Germany hurled herself on Poland at the beginning of September, 1939; and, in pursuance of our guarantee to Poland and in agreement with the French Republic, Great Britain, the British Empire and Commonwealth of Nations, declared war upon this foul aggression.

'After gallant France had been struck down we, from this island and from our united empire, maintained the struggle single-handed for a whole year until we were joined by the military might of Soviet Russia, and later by the resources of the United States of America.

'Finally almost the whole world was combined against the evil-doers, who are now prostrate before us. Our gratitude to our splendid Allies goes forth from all our hearts in this island and throughout the British Empire.

'We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead. Japan, with all her treachery and greed, remains unsubdued. The injury she has inflicted on Great Britain, the United States, and other countries, and her detestable cruelties, call for justice and retribution.

'We must now devote all our strength and resources to the completion of our task, both at home and abroad. Advance, Britannia! Long live the cause of freedom! God save the King!'




Winston Churchill pictured leaving the Houses of Parliament after hearing that Germany had surrendered to the Allies

In the evening, DJ Chris Evans will host a Royal British Legion concert at Horse Guards Parade in London.
Broadcast on BBC 1 and Radio 2, the 1940s-themed 'Party to Remember' will see performances from stars including Alfie Boe, Pixie Lott, Staus Quo, Katherine Jenkins and Dad's Army star Ian Lavender.

On Sunday, around 1,000 veterans and their families will join members of the Royal Family, politicians, members of the Armed Forces and representatives of the Allied nations and Commonwealth countries that fought alongside Britain for a service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey.

A parade of bands, veterans and current servicemen and women will then make their way from the abbey along Whitehall - past the balcony where Churchill made a historic speech before vast crowds - before a reception for veterans in St James's Park hosted by the Legion, where there will also be vehicles from the 1940s.
The public can watch the ceremony at the abbey from Horse Guard Parade, where they will also be able to see the veterans parade and the changing of The Queen's Life Guard by the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.





During the ceremony an excerpt from Churchill's famous speech was also be read by his great-grandson, Randolph Churchill






Emotional: These Second World War veterans, proudly wearing their medals, remembered their comrades who did not come home





A decorated veteran prepares to take his spot at the Cenotaph ahead of three days of festivities to commemorate Victory in Europe





This group of Chelsea Pensioners wearing their bright red overcoats sat huddled together as the rain came down




Quote:
BELL RINGER WHO SOUNDED THE END OF WWII IN EUROPE WILL DO IT AGAIN - FOR VE DAY ANNIVERSARY




Mavis Whitehead, now 81, will sound the bells to mark VE Day tomorrow



A bell ringer who sounded the news of the end of the Second World War in Europe when she was 11 has been asked to do it again - to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day.

Mavis Whitehead, 81, was encouraged to ring the bells of Leicester Cathedral to mark victory in Europe by her father 70 years ago.
Ms Whitehead, who has been a bell ringer for more than seven decades, will be ringing in the anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day tomorrow.

Ms Whitehead, of Old Portsmouth, Hants, will be joining fellow members of the Portsmouth Cathedral band to ring Portsmouth Cathedral's bells, which will be rung simultaneously with other towers across Hampshire tomorrow.

She said: "I don't remember much about VE Day but I'm really happy to be here 70 years on to do it again.
"I really enjoy bell-ringing. The people are what make it so enjoyable and everyone is so friendly.
"My father got me into it and in those days you always did what your father told you. I didn't want to at the time but once I got a feel for the bells I loved it."

Mr Whitehead also rang for the royal wedding of Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh in November 1947.





Members of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regimental Association take part in a remembrance and wreath laying ceremony at the Regimental Stone in Gheluvelt Park, Worcester, on the 70th anniversary of VE Day


In the afternoon, there will be a fly-past over central London by the Red Arrows, following a fly-by of aircraft that helped Britain and her Allies win the war - the Lancaster bomber and Spitfire and Hurricane fighters.

Trafalgar Square will also be decked out with bunting and the ensigns of each of the Armed Forces on Sunday, and the Band of the Grenadier Guards will perform music from the era opposite Nelson's Column.

Throughout the weekend, the square will host an exhibition of historic photos taken on VE Day, including pictures of ecstatic crowds at Piccadilly Circus and servicemen and their girlfriends in Trafalgar Square's fountains.
The images will also be displayed at City Hall until June 5.

Announcing the celebrations earlier this year, First Secretary of State William Hague said they would pay 'fitting tribute' to those who did so much to defend the country and ensure victory in Europe.
Across the US and Europe ceremonies were also held to remember the anniversary and the 60 million people who were killed.


Quote:
VICTORY IN EUROPE: HOW EVENTS UNFOLDED SEVENTY YEARS AGO ON MAY 8, 1945



Winston Churchill waves to the crowds in Whitehall after making his famous broadcast announcing the unconditional surrender of the German's to the Allies.



German General Jodl signed the unconditional surrender document in Reims, France, at 2.41am on May 7, 1945, which formally ended the Second World War in Europe.
He signed the document on the orders of Admiral Karl Donitz, who had only assumed the leadership of the Third Reich a week earlier after Adolf Hitler killed himself on April 30.

Winston Churchill was made aware that the agreement had been signed at 7am and excitement started to grow.
Just before 8pm that evening, the Ministry of Information announced that May 8 would be 'treated as Victory in Europe Day and will be regarded as a holiday.'



Crowds of celebrating Britains danced through the night after taking to the streets to mark the end of the Second World War in Europe




The royal family were greeted by around 20,000 cheering people when they ventured onto the balcony at Buckingham Palace on May 8,1945




The celebrations in London's Trafalgar Square after Prime Minister Winston Churchill told the public 'we may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing'




Revellers waving flags and wearing rosettes took to the streets of London, safe in the knowledge that the bombs had ceased falling




Across Britain thousands of street parties took place to celebrate the victory over the Nazis, ending almost six years of war



Following the news crowds started to gather in central London and street parties were hastily organised for the following day.
At midnight scores of ships in Southampton Docks sounded their horns, and a searchlight flashed 'V for Victory' in Morse code.

On May 8, Winston Churchill travelled to Buckingham Palace where he met with King George VI and the royal family.
At 3pm, he made his famous radio announcement officially announcing the end of hostilities in Europe.

He said: 'We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing. Today is Victory in Europe Day.'

At the same time President Truman addressed the American people from the White House.

He said: 'We must work to bind up the wounds of a suffering world, to build an abiding peace.'
Then he warns, 'Our blows will not cease until the Japanese military and naval forces lay down their arms in unconditional surrender.'

A crowd of around 20,000 had packed outside Buckingham Palace to see the Royal family take to the balcony.
Speaking to the nation from Buckingham Palace the King George VI said: 'Much hard work awaits us in the restoration of our country after the ravages of war . . .'

Even though the World War II was officially declared over in Europe, in the Far East it continued.



King George VI and Queen Elizabeth with Princess Elizabeth and Margaret were joined by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace






Remembered: How the Daily Mail marked the end of the Second World War in Europe after Germany surrendered


Quote:
HOW THE COUNTRY WILL MARK THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF VE DAY




Today: 3pm: A service of Remembrance will be held at The Centopath






Opera singer Katherine Jenkins will perform during the VE Day concert


A national two minute silence on the stroke of 3pm will mark the moment Winston Churchill formally announced the end of the War in Europe.

The Honorable Artillery Company will fire a gun from the Tower of London and the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery will fire a gun from Wellington Barracks to mark the start of a two-minute silence, and again at the end.
Schools across the UK Will hold special classes events and parties.

9.30pm: Windsor Great Park. The Queen, with Prince Philip, lights the first of a chain of 200 beacons across the UK.

9.30pm - 11.30pm: (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) The Houses of Parliament, St Paul's Cathedral and Trafalgar Square will be lit up with V shaped lights to coincide with the beacons.

Saturday:

11am: Cathedrals, churches and places of worship across the UK will ring their bells in a 'moment of noise' celebration.
Street parties, concerts and events across Britain.

7.30pm: Horse Guards in London is the setting for a Forties themed 'VE Day 70: A Party to Remember' featuring stars including Chris Evans, Dad's Army Ian Lavender, Katherine Jenkins, Pixie Lott, Alfie Boe, Rebecca Ferguson, Status Quo, the team from Strictly Come Dancing and the RAF Squadronaires.

Sunday:

9.30am: Free grandstands open on Horse Guards. Public welcome along parade route

11-11.50am: National Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey, attended by the Queen the Royal Family, party leaders, veterans, and their families and representatives of the Commonwealth and Allied nations. The Archbishop of Canterbury will give the address.

12.30-1pm (approx): Veterans and Forces Parade from Abbey, via Whitehall, to Horse Guards for the Royal Salute and on to St Jame's Park.

1pm: Flypast of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Red Arrows.

1.30pm: Royal British Legion veterans' reception at St Jame's Park.
All day public display of military vehicles in St Jame's Park.


VE Day London 1945



VE Day 50th Anniversary 1995



French President Francois Hollande Commemorates VE day



Vintage Planes Take Flight for V-E Day

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Angry re: PhOtOs--NAZIs Hijack Festival for WW2 Heroes Who Saved us From Hitler

Just a Week after Britain Celebrated the Liberation of Europe,
-These War Re-enactors Dress as NAZIS for World War Two Festival


  • Men turned up to WWII festival in full Nazi uniforms, including swastikas
  • Haworth's 1940s Weekend, in Yorkshire, was held to commemorate VE Day
  • Visitors to the annual event said they should 'hang their heads in shame'
  • Organisers had appealed for people not to wear the costumes after last year's festival was also hijacked by people in Nazi outfits
Daily Mail UK, 17 May 2015


A festival to remember the sacrifices made by millions of Britons during the Second World War has been tarnished by Nazi re-enactors turning up in German uniforms.


Just days after Britain celebrated the 70th anniversary of VE Day, a handful of visitors to Haworth 1940s Weekend turned up wearing the distasteful outfits as veterans gathered at the charity event.

Men wearing Nazi costumes sporting swastikas and SS emblems were seen casually sipping on beer as they walked through the Yorkshire village.








Visitors to a Second World War festival in Yorkshire caused outrage by turning up wearing Nazi uniforms





One man wore a replica Nazi uniform to that of German General Sepp Dietrich, who was in charge of the Panzer division





Men wearing Nazi costumes sporting swastikas and Nazi emblems were seen casually walking through Haworth village (pictured) during the celebrations



As many as 40,000 people were at the event over the weekend, which highlights the heroics of those who fought in WWII while also raising money for armed forces charities.



This year's festival is not the first to be hijacked by Nazi re-enactors, with local traders last year forced to put up signs warning people wearing German costumes that they would not be allowed into shops.

Organisers appealed for people not to wear the disrespectful uniforms, but once again people flouted the ban.

One man at the event, who was born during the war and did not wish to be named, said:

‘How is dressing as a Nazi a celebration of the 70th anniversary of VE Day – these people should hang their heads in shame.
‘I cannot comprehend how grown men might think it’s a good idea to parade around the streets of Yorkshire looking like Nazis. Will they have a Hitler lookalike along next year?

‘I am not alone in thinking this is very wrong. My father fought the Nazis and many people in Yorkshire lost family in the Second World War to people dressed just like that

‘It’s not supposed to be a fancy dress party. For the sake of all those who lost their lives in the war this should not be allowed to happen on the streets of Britain - it is outlawed in Germany and rightly so.’






Haworth's 1940s weekend highlights the heroics of those who fought in WWII while also raising money for armed forces charities





Aside from the Nazi uniforms, hundreds of people dressed in traditional 1940s costume, as well as RAF and Army uniforms from WWII






Organisers appealed for people not to wear Nazi uniforms after similar costumes were worn last year, as shown in this 2014 picture



Haworth's WWII weekend is set to raise more than £20,000 for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA).
A spokeswoman for the charity said:

'Whilst we cannot stop people from wearing these outfits, visitors are actively discouraged from wearing such uniforms to the event.
'Many people lost their lives in the Second World War and the last thing we'd want is for those people to be mocked or disrespected in any way.

'We seek guidance from the local police to make sure it is discouraged but unfortunately it is not something we have control over. All we can do is urge people not to but some feel the need to wear these costumes.
'This year's Haworth 1940s weekend was dedicated to the 70th anniversary of VE Day and in aid of SSAFA who provides support for all those who served, young and old alike and has done for 130 years.'

Pat Bailey, from the Royal British Legion, said:

‘It is in such poor taste. A lot of people will be appalled by the timing of this.’





Local traders were last year forced to put up signs warning people wearing German costumes they would not be allowed into shops





Last year's festival (pictured) was also hijacked by Nazi re-enactors who wore distasteful uniforms



Some visitors to the village, near Bradford, were seen wearing garments from SS uniforms - the Third Reich paramilitary organisation responsible for many of the atrocities against humanity in WWII.


Nikki Carroll, who organises the event, said:

'We don't welcome people who turn up in these uniforms and we have had issues in the past.
'It's a free country and people can wear what they want but we do not welcome them.
'It's been a very special occasion what with it being the 70th anniversary of VE Day and it being the 20th time we've hosted the event.
'One of the most fantastic moments was the remembrance service which was attended by veterans, as well as the whole community.'

Aside from the Nazi uniforms, hundreds of people dressed in traditional 1940s costume, as well as RAF and Army uniforms from WWII.
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Breaking News VIDEOs-UK's Schindler>Saved Hundreds of Children From Nazis >Died Today

BREAKING NEWS: Sir Nicholas Winton - 'Britain's Schindler' Who Saved Hundreds of Jewish Children From Nazi Concentration Camps - Dies aged 106

  • Sir Nicholas saved more than 650 children from death at hands of Nazis
  • He arranged trains to carry children from Nazi-occupied Prague to Britain
  • His exploits just before the outbreak of total war in Europe made him a hero to the Czechs and have earned him the nickname 'Britain's Schindler'
Daily Mail UK, 1 July 2015


Sir Nicholas Winton who saved hundreds of Jewish children from the Holocaust in 1939 has died aged 106, his family have confirmed.



Dubbed 'Britain's Schindler' for his heroic efforts, he almost single-handedly saved more than 650 children from death in Nazi concentration camps.
Battling bureaucracy at both ends, Winton arranged trains to carry the children from Nazi-occupied Prague to Britain.





Sir Nicholas Winton who saved hundreds of Jewish children from the Holocaust in 1939 has died aged 106, his family have confirmed






Dubbed 'Britain's Schindler' for his heroic efforts, Sir Nicholas almost single-handedly save more than 650 children from death in Nazi concentration camps




Nicholas Winton with one of the children he rescued from Czechoslovakia before the Second World War


He then kept quiet about his exploits for a half-century - the secret of his selfless efforts undiscovered until 1988 when wife Grete found an old briefcase in the attic containing a scrapbook and in it lists of the children, their parents' names and the families who gave them a home.

His son-in-law Stephen Watson said Sir Nicholas died peacefully in his sleep at Wexham Hospital in Slough, with his daughter Barbara and two grandchildren at his side.

His exploits just before the outbreak of total war in Europe made him a hero to the Czechs and he was honoured by the Czech Republic for his work only last year.
Taking into the account the children of those he saved, there are estimated to be around 6,000 people in the world today who owe him their lives.

To this day they call themselves 'Nicky's children'.



Born in London in 1909 to parents of German Jewish descent, Winton himself was raised as a Christian.
He was a 29-year-old clerk at the London Stock Exchange when a friend contacted him and told him to cancel the skiing holiday they had planned in late 1938 and travel instead to Czechoslovakia.

Horrified by the treatment of the Jews under the Nazi occupation, he set about organising eight evacuations of the threatened children on the Czech Kindertransport train.

He advertised in newspapers for foster homes, organised residency permits from the immigration office in the UK, and persuaded the Germans to let the children go.


Tearful Sir Nicholas Winton is reunited with Holocaust evacuees;








Children saved by Nicholas Winton. Taking into the account the children of those he saved, there are estimated to be around 6,000 people in the world today who owe him their lives






Sir Nicholas Winton meeting some of the (now grown up) children he helped save at Liverpool Street Station, in 2009



Through the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia (BCRC) he worked around the clock to find British families willing to put up the then large sum of £50 and agree to look after the children until they were 17.

In the months before the outbreak of World War II, eight trains carried children through Germany to Britain.
In all, Winton got 669 children out.

It was Sir Nicholas's greatest regret that a final train of 250 children, due to depart at the start of September 1939, was prevented from leaving when Poland was invaded. All are believed to have died along with 1.1 million of the Czech Jews at Auschwitz.


Although many more children were saved from Berlin and Vienna, Winton worked almost alone.
He later said:

'Maybe a lot more could have been done. But much more time would have been needed, much more help would have been needed from other countries, much more money would have been needed, much more organisation.
'I wouldn't claim that it was 100 percent successful. But I would claim that everybody who came over was alive at the end of the war,' he was quoted as saying in the book 'Into the Arms of Strangers.'


Winton served in the Royal Air Force during the war and continued to support refugee organisations.

But for almost 50 years, Winton said nothing about what he had done before the war.



'There are all kinds of things you don't talk about, even with your family,' Winton said in 1999.
'Everything that happened before the war actually didn't feel important in the light of the war itself.'

Winton's wife persuaded him to have his story documented, and it became better-known after the BBC tracked down dozens of 'Nicky's Children' and arranged an emotional reunion.


Quote:
THE UNASSUMING HERO TO WHOM THOUSANDS OWE THEIR LIVES

Born in London in 1909 to parents of German Jewish descent, Nicholas Winton himself was raised as a Christian.

He was a 29-year-old clerk at the London Stock Exchange when a friend contacted him and told him to cancel the skiing holiday they had planned in late 1938 and travel instead to Czechoslovakia.

Horrified by the treatment of the Jews under the Nazi occupation, he set about organising eight evacuations of the threatened children on the Czech Kindertransport train.

Through the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia (BCRC) he saw what was going on and decided that he had to help get the children to safety before the stormtroopers annexed the whole country.

Returning to London he organised eight trains from Prague to London known as the Czech Kindertransport operation and helped to find foster families for the children when they arrived in England.

He worked around the clock to find British families willing to put up the then huge sum of £50 and agree to look after the children until they were 17.

It was Sir Nicholas's greatest regret that a final train of 250 children, due to depart at the start of September 1939, was prevented from leaving when Poland was invaded. All are believed to have died along with 1.1 million of the Czech Jews at Auschwitz.

The secret of his selfless humanitarian efforts was not discovered until wife Grete found an old briefcase in the attic with lists of children and letters from their parents.
In February 1988 his family took the scrapbook to Esther Rantzen's That's Life to make a programme about what he had done.
He was invited along to the studio for the programme's broadcast, ostensibly to check it for accuracy.

Unbeknownst to them both he had been sitting in the audience next to Vera Gissing, one of the women his Kindertransport had brought to safety and their tearful on-screen reunion was the first of many.

He was finally reunited with hundreds of the children - including Labour peer Lord 'Alf'' Dubbs and film director Karel Reisz - in an emotional gathering for 5,000 descendants of the 'Winton children'.

Honours then followed. Having already been made an MBE in 1983 for his services to learning disability charity Mencap, he was knighted by the Queen in 2003 'for services to humanity', with the monarch telling him: 'It's wonderful that you were able to save so many children.'



In 2010 he was awarded a Hero of the Holocaust medal at 10 Downing Street.

The Czech government has repeatedly nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize in recent years, most recently 2013.

In October 2014 he returned to Prague to be admitted to the Czech Order Of The White Lion.

A statement from the Rotary Club of Maidenhead, of which Sir Nicholas was a member, said:

'It is with much sadness I have to report that Sir Nicky Winton died peacefully early this morning.





His son-in-law Stephen Watson said Sir Nicholas died peacefully in his sleep at Wexham Hospital in Slough, with his daughter Barbara and two grandchildren at his side






Sir Nicholas Winton, with his Knighthood in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, after he received the honour from Queen Elizabeth II for services to humanity


'Nicky's daughter Barbara and two grandchildren were with him when he died and Barbara said that he was aware of their presence.'
It added that he was 'probably the oldest active Rotarian in the world'.

Home Secretary Theresa May, Maidenhead's MP, said Sir Nicholas was a 'hero of the 20th century'.
She said: 'Against the odds, he almost single-handedly rescued hundreds of children, mostly Jewish, from the Nazis - an enduring example of the difference that good people can make even in the darkest of times.

'Because of his modesty, this astonishing contribution only came to light many years later. So many people owe their lives to Nicholas and it was fitting that, in his later years, he finally received the recognition he deserved.

'Maidenhead is rightly proud of all that he did, and we must ensure that his legacy lives on by continuing to tackle anti-Semitism and discrimination wherever it arises.'

Prime Minister David Cameron said: 'The world has lost a great man. We must never forget Sir Nicholas Winton's humanity in saving so many children from the Holocaust.'

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, who was Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013, called Sir Nicholas a 'giant of moral courage' and 'one of the heroes of our time'.

He said: 'He was 'the British Schindler', all the more impressive for thinking that there was nothing special about what he did, seeking neither honour nor recognition.

'Our sages said that saving a life is like saving a universe. Sir Nicholas saved hundreds of universes. He was a giant of moral courage and determination, and he will be mourned by Jewish people around the world.'

World Jewish Relief, a UK-based international Jewish charity, paid its own tribute, saying: 'Wishing long life to the family of Sir Nicholas Winton who has passed away at 106. His legacy, saving 669 children from the Nazis, lives on.'

Daniel Hannan, MEP for South East England, added: 'Of the six-and-a-half million people in my constituency, Nicholas Winton's achievements were the most humbling.'
END

Sir Nicholas Winton;





Reunited with Holocaust Evacuees





RIP Nicholas




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Breaking News re: VIDEOs-NAZI>Stolen Gold Found in Hidden Train +UK Schindler Hero Dies

The Moment Woman Who was Born at Nazi Death Camp Came Face to Face With the 'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' Oskar Groening 70 Years Later and Asked Him: 'How can I Forgive?'

  • Angela Orosz, now 70, spoke at war crimes trial in Lueneburg, Germany
  • Described experiments performed on her mother by evil camp doctor
  • Ms Orosz weighed just 2lbs when she was born - two months prematurely
  • Groening was tasked with sorting through Jews' possessions when they arrived to death camp on train
Daily Mail UK, 15 July 2015


One of only two surviving babies born at Auschwitz appeared at a war crimes trial in Germany today to confront a guard accused of being complicit in the mass murders of 300,000 Hungarian Jews.



Angela Orosz, now 70, looked into the eyes of 93-year-old former S.S. man Oskar Groening and said: 'We cry still over the ones that you have taken from us, Mr. Groening. How can I ever forgive?'

Groening, who admitted his moral but not legal guilt at the start of his trial in the city of Luneburg a month ago, did not look directly at his accuser.








No redemption: Angela Orosz, now 70, said she was unwilling to forgive 93-year-old former S.S. man Oskar Groening (right) for his complicity in the mass murders of 300,000 Hungarian Jews



She began by saying: 'I would like to stand here and direct the accusing finger against those who were responsible for the inhuman conditions in which I born was - like you, Mr. Groening.'

As one of only two babies known to have survived the slaughterhouse in occupied Poland where the Nazis murdered at least 1.2 million people, she added: 'I survived for a reason, because I have a mission to speak for those who cannot speak.'

In harrowing detail the small, black-clad woman reported sterilization experiments by evil camp doctor Josef Mengele - known as the 'Angel of death' among inmates - on her mother, in the seventh months of pregnancy.

Again and again, burning substances had been injected inside her mother.



'Directly behind the foetus...that was me. These experiments are the reason that I have no brothers or sisters.' She was born in the campon December 21 1944.

Because her mother got so little to eat she was so small that her pregnancy was not noticed. At the secret birth - if the S.S. had known she was born she would have been immediately killed - she weighed only one kilogramme.





Described mother's torment: Speaking at the war crimes trial in Germany, Ms Orosz said her mother got so little to eat she was so small that her pregnancy was not noticed









Didn't look at her: Groening (pictured in his SS uniform, top), who admitted his moral but not legal guilt at the start of his trial in the city of Luneburg a month ago, did not look directly at his accuser



'I was so malnourished, I could not scream. That's the only reason that I survived,' she said to a hushed courtroom which has already heard a litany of horrors from previous Auschwitz survivors.

Three hours after her birth, and wearing 'only shreds,' her mother ran barefoot to the parade ground Appell where inmates were counted: not to have appeared would have meant her execution.

Five weeks after Angela's birth the premier extermination camp of the Third Reich was liberated by soldiers of the Red Army.

Repeatedly during her testimony Mrs. Orosz turned directly to address Groening who was accompanied by two paramedics as his health grows increasingly fragile.

'Maybe my pretty mother was met by you on the ramp,' she said, referring to the notorious train siding where the doomed Jews of Europe arrived to be sorted into slave labourers and those earmarked for immediate gassing.


Frail Auschwitz bookkeeper arrives at German court in April;







Former Nazi death camp officer Oskar Groening is helped in for his trial next to his lawyer Hans Holtermann in the court in Lueneburg, northern Germany this week








On trial: Known as the 'Bookeeper of Auschwitz,' Groening was responsible for sorting the possessions of those who arrived and shipping them back to his S.S. superiors in Berlin to fuel the Nazi war effort


'Mr. Groening, did you know what happened?' She did not receive a response as Groening looked at a wall and then looked down.

She said that for the rest of her life her mother 'could not shower, but only bathe. Until her death she had a fear of barking dogs' - the S.S. greeted every train with snarling Alsatians that menaced the new arrivals.

She added that her mother died of cancer and during her illness had nightmares about Dr. Mengele. 'He stood in the door,' she said, 'and no morphine could rid her of these visions. I tremble in love for her.'

Known as the 'Bookeeper of Auschwitz,' Groening was responsible for sorting the possessions of those who arrived and shipping them back to his S.S. superiors in Berlin to fuel the Nazi war effort.

'We cry still over the ones that you have taken from us, Mr. Groening. How can I ever forgive?' she added.

Telling the former SS guard that today was the birthday of her father, she said. 'Mr. Groening, I cannot go to my father's grave and say a prayer, because he has none.
'Somewhere, his ashes are scattered in Auschwitz. Auschwitz is the grave of my father.'


Auschwitz survivors' relief over former Nazi guard's trial
;







Survivors: A photo taken of prisoners after Auschwitz was liberated in 1945. Some 7,000 prisoners, including more than 600 below the age of 18, were still alive when the camp was reached by Red Army soldiers





Unimaginable loss: Angela Orosz's whole family died in Auschwitz, with the exception of her mother



Now resident in Montreal, she is expected to be the last co-plaintiff in the case to give evidence against Groening on behalf of the German state.

She said afterwards: 'I brought my grandson so, if he has a family one day, he can tell them about the horrors of the Holocaust. This is needed now more than ever.
'Now we have openly have anti-Semitism again everywhere and the world is still watching.'

She lost her whole family barring her mother in Auschwitz. 'It was a mass grave for our family,' she added.



UPDATE:


Bookkeeper of Auschwitz was Made to Pay for Deaths of 300,000 Jews: Oskar Groening, 94, Grimaces as German Court Jails Ex-Nazi Guard for Four Years


  • 94-year-old former Nazi officer was sentenced to four years behind bars
  • He was guilty of being accessory to murder of 300,000 Jews in Auschwitz
  • Groening had accepted moral responsibility but denied any crime
  • His lawyers say they will be appealing, so he may never serve jail time
Daily Mail UK, 15 July 2015


Oskar Groening, the former SS officer who has become known as the Bookkeeper of Auschwitz, has been sentenced to four years in jail for facilitating mass murder, a German court has ruled.
The sentence concludes a three-month trial which has heard harrowing testimony from the victims of the Nazis' largest and most infamous death camp.



While none of the victims were able to recall seeing Groening at the camp, he was charged with being accessory to the killings because he was essential to the running of Auschwitz.
Groening never denied he had served at the camp, and accepted moral guilt for his crimes, but had denied criminal responsibility on the basis that he was not directly involved in the killings.

However the judge today swept that argument aside, handing Groening a sentence that means the frail 94-year-old will likely die behind bars.





Oskar Groening, 94, has been sentenced to four years in jail this morning after being found guilty of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews in Auschwitz between May and June 1944






Groening has never denied serving at the Nazis' most infamous death camp, and had admitted moral guilt for his crimes, but denied criminal responsibility, saying he wasn't directly involved in the killings








However, the judge today swept Groening's argument aside, accepting the prosecution's case that because Groening was essential to the running of the camp, he was partially responsible for the acts committed there


Judge Franz Kompisch told Groening he was 'guilty of accessory to murder in 300,000 legally connected cases' of Jews sent to the gas chambers from May to July 1944.

He said Groening had willingly taken a 'safe desk job' in 'a machinery designed entirely for the killing of humans', a system that was 'inhumane and all but unbearable for the human psyche'.

The court has been forced to sit for just three hours a day after Groening had to be taken to hospital midway through his trial, and has been carried into the courtroom at the start of each day.

However his lawyers have announced they intend to appeal the verdict, raising the prospect that Groening may never see the inside of a cell.

Reacting to the verdict, Dr Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress, said:

'We welcome today's verdict and the historic significance of the trial of Oskar Groening, and the opportunity it provides for to educate a generation that is all too distant from the horrors of the Holocaust.

'Although more than 70 years have passed since the liberation of the Nazi death camps, this trial reminds us that there is no statute of limitations for those responsible for Nazi horrors and of the real and present danger of intolerance and demonstrates the constant need to guard against anti-Semitism, racism and hate.'

Holocaust survivors and victims' relatives who were co-plaintiffs welcomed the verdict, calling it a 'very late step toward justice'.





The four year sentence, which is slightly longer than the three and a half years recommended by the prosecution, will likely mean that frail Groening will die behind bars


In a joint statement, they said: 'SS members such as Groening who took part in the murder of our families have created lifelong and unbearable suffering for us.'
'Neither the criminal proceedings nor the words of the accused can alleviate this suffering. But it gives us satisfaction that now the perpetrators cannot evade prosecution as long as they live.'

Meanwhile Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust added:

'The conviction of Oskar Groening for his actions sends an unequivocal message that, although he may not have led or directly participated in the atrocities at Auschwitz, he was clearly an accessory to the crimes perpetrated by the Nazis.

'By being the “bookkeeper” of Auschwitz, he assisted in and facilitated the murder of 300,000 Jewish men, women and children and it is right that he has now been held legally accountable for this.'


As the proceedings concluded yesterday with the defence calling for an acquittal, Groening seized a last opportunity to address the judges.

Begging for mercy, he stated he was 'very sorry' for his time stationed at the Nazi death camp, adding: 'No one should have taken part in Auschwitz.'
'I know that. I sincerely regret not having lived up to this realisation earlier and more consistently. I am very sorry,' he said, his voice wavering.

Groening was accused of 300,000 counts of accessory to murder in the cases of deported Hungarian Jews sent to the gas chambers between May and July 1944.

Groening served as a bookkeeper at Auschwitz, sorting and counting the money taken from those killed or used as slave labour, collecting cash in different European currencies, and shipping it back to his Nazi bosses in Berlin.



He testified in April and again this month that he was so horrified by the crimes he witnessed at the camp after his arrival in 1942 that he appealed three times to his superiors for a transfer to the front, which was not granted until Autumn 1944.





Medics arrive to escort Groening out of court after the former SS guard known as the Bookkeeper of Auschwitz was sentenced to four years in jail today






Unlike most Auschwitz camp guards, Groening had never tried to conceal the fact that he served there, and talked openly about his experiences, but denied legal responsibility for what had happened






In a bizarre twist, Groening became an outspoken opponent of neo-Nazi holocaust deniers in his later life, reaffirming what he had seen despite attacks on him by the far-right



Last week public prosecutors said they were seeking three and a half years' jail for Groening based on the 'nearly incomprehensible number of victims', but mitigated by 'the limited contribution of the accused' to their deaths.

They argued that on at least three occasions, Groening performed 'ramp duty', processing deportees as they arrived in cattle cars at the extermination and forced labour camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.


In previous interviews, he has told how he witnessed an SS officer picking up a baby left on the station platform by the foot, before beating it to death on the side of a nearby truck.



However, he maintained that he was only on the platform to safeguard people's valuables, and was not involved in choosing who was sent to the gas chambers.

By keeping the confiscated belongings of the previous arrivals out of the sight of the new prisoners, state attorneys argued, he averted panic breaking out and facilitated the smoother operation of Auschwitz's killing machine.





Groening became known as the bookkeeper of Auschwitz for his role in sorting through the valuables of victims before sending them back to his Nazi commanders






In previous interviews, Groening has told how he was largely insulated from the killing at Auschwitz, instead spending his time getting drunk on alcohol taken from victims



However one of Groening's two defence attorneys, Hans Holtermann, argued Tuesday that the state had failed to prove that he 'aided and abetted a crime'.

'Mr Groening was never an accessory to the Holocaust, neither with his presence at the ramp nor by transferring and counting money nor with any other actions, at least not in any legal sense,' he said.

Groening's defence team asked the judges to take into account his deteriorating health but also his willingness to testify in detail about his time in Auschwitz, which many defendants in similar cases had refused to do.

The court heard harrowing testimony by more than a dozen Holocaust survivors, who are also co-plaintiffs in the case.

While some of the elderly witnesses expressed disappointment that Groening failed to formally apologise to them, others have spoken of a kind of catharsis from having their day in court.





Demonstrators wait outside court in Lunenburg with a banner reading 'Justice for the victims of Auschwitz'





Today's verdict brings to a close a three and a half month trial which heard harrowing testimony from the survivors of the Nazi's biggest and most infamous death camp (picutred, reporters outside court)



'When I leave Lueneburg, I will have made my peace with any outcome,' Toronto-based survivor Hedy Bohm, 87, said last week.


Groening had previously been cleared by German authorities after lengthy criminal probes dating back to the 1970s.
But the legal foundation for prosecuting ex-Nazis changed in 2011 with the German trial of former death camp guard John Demjanjuk.



While previously courts had punished defendants for individual atrocities, Demjanjuk was convicted solely on the basis of having worked at the Sobibor camp in occupied Poland.

The head of the federal office investigating Nazi era crimes, Kurt Schrimm, told the Bild newspaper this month that other probes of former concentration camp guards were still ongoing, although 'many had to be terminated because the accused had died or were no longer capable of standing trial'.


Some 1.1 million people, most of them European Jews, perished between 1940 and 1945 in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp before it was liberated by Soviet forces.


Quote:
'EVERY GENERATION MUST LEARN WHAT HAPPENED': WHY GROENING HAD TO STAND TRIAL, BY A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR




Holocaust survivor Susan Pollack said the length of Oskar Groening’s sentence was ‘not important’ but putting him on trial had been ‘vital’ to condemn anti-Semitism.


Mrs Pollack, 84, told MailOnline: ‘Really I don’t care if he [Groening] got one year or ten years in jail, or even a life-sentence, it’s not important. What difference does it make now?

‘But putting him on trial was very important. It was vital because every generation has to learn about what happened, about the Holocaust.
‘And they have to ask themselves; “What would I have done if I had lived then, lived in Germany under the Nazi regime?”

‘That’s what’s important – to understand that anti-Semitism has to stop. It [anti-Semitism] has been going on for centuries. And it is not acceptable.
‘Every [anti-Semitic] joke brings it all back to me – the unimaginable terror that I witnessed.’

She added; ‘He [Groening] knew what was going on there [at Auschwitz]. He knew where the possessions that he had to categorise came from.

‘There were 2,000 of them – [Nazi] guards, administrators – there, responsible for killing my people, Jews.

‘If he had have confessed earlier that would have made it easier for survivors.

‘All of this brings back to the pain to me, but I live with those terrible memories [of what happened at Auschwitz and Belsen concentration camps] every day.’

How Groening Became the Bookkeeper of Auschwitz: Scroll Down for Full biography:



Quote:
Bookkeeper of Auschwitz Who Spent the War Getting Drunk on Vodka Pilfered From His Victims:
- How Oskar Groening Went From the Son of a Textile Worker to a Nazi Death Camp Officer





Oskar Groening, the so-called Bookkeeper of Auschwitz, will today been sentenced for his role at the Nazi death camp



Withered and grey haired, his clouded eyes filled with an a mixture of fear and confusion, 94-year-old Oskar Groening has cut a pathetic figure during his time in court.

On trial as an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews in Auschwtiz, it is difficult to connect the frail man who has appeared in Lunenberg with the SS Officer who served as the camp's bookkeeper.


But Groening not only worked in the Nazi's largest death camp, he thrived there, enjoying an easy life behind a desk, filling himself with extra rations and alcohol pilfered from those sent there to die.



And while he kept his hands clean of the actual business of mass murder, twice telling his superiors he found it distasteful, he was in no doubt at the time that the killing was justified.

Born in 1921 in Lower Saxony, Groening was the son of a textile worker father and housekeeper mother who died when he was four years old.

The family also had a military history, as Groening's grandfather had served in an elite regiment of troops from the Duchy of Brunswick.

According to an interview with historian Laurence Rees, Groening had a picture of his grandfather sitting astride a horse playing a trumpet that he would stare at for hours as a young boy, saying he was 'fascinated' by it.

Raised in a conservative household, radical politics entered Groening's life at a young age as his father joined far-right group Stahlhelm - meaning Steel Helmet - in the wake of Germany's defeat in the First World War.

Groening himself joined Stahlhelm's youth wing only a few years later, in the early 1930s, before swapping to the Hitler Youth after the Nazi's seized power in 1933.

In his book, Auschwitz: A New History, Rees explains how Groening eagerly took part burning books 'written by Jews or other degenerates'.






In charge of catalouging victims' possessions, Groening spent the war insulating himself from the brutal reality of Auschwitz, though he once witnessed Jews arriving at the camp and being selected to be killed



Groening finished school with top marks aged 17, and began working as a bank clerk before the outbreak of war just months later.

With the image of his grandfather mounted on a horse burned into his memory, Groening resolved to join an elite unit of the new German military, and settled on the Waffen SS.


Accepted into the unit, Groening spent a year there before being ordered to report to Berlin for a special duty before being taken to Auschwitz.


Quote:
We'd go to bed drunk, and if someone was too lazy to turn off the light they'd shoot at it
Oskar Groening
Groening, then just 21, had never heard of the place, though the name would come to consume the rest of his life.

According to Rees, Groening's first night in the camp was pleasant. Blissfully unaware of its true purpose, he was welcomed by his fellow SS officers, who introduced him to the stockpile of extra rations given to those stationed there, and even offered him rum and vodka.

The following day, Groening was assigned to the administrative branch of the camp, the position that would earn him his nickname, the Bookkeeper of Auschwitz.

Despite his role in keeping the camp organised, it was some time before he learned that its true purpose was to execute, and not just detain, prisoners.

Speaking to Der Spiegel back in 2005 of the first time he saw prisoners brought to the camp, Groening recalled:

'A new shipment had arrived. I had been assigned to ramp duty, and it was my job to guard the luggage.
'The Jews had already been taken away. The ground in front of me was littered with junk, left-over belongings. Suddenly I heard a baby crying. The child was lying on the ramp, wrapped in rags.

'I saw another SS soldier grab the baby by the legs. The crying had bothered him. He smashed the baby's head against the iron side of a truck until it was silent.'









While hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed around him (children in the camp pictured top, and piles of victims' shoes) Groening said he got drunk on alcohol taken from those killed



The sight of such barbarity was enough to motivate Groening to complain to his superior, an act he repeated several months later after witnessing the horror of the gas chambers for the first time.

But despite his revulsion, Groening never opposed killing the Jews - only protesting that more humane methods should be used.

However, he was told to forget what he had seen, and his requests for a transfer away from the camp to a combat role were turned down.
Faced with the reality of having to stay in the camp, Groening instead focused on making his life as comfortable as possible.

Speaking to Rees, Groening recalled:

'We didn't get drunk every day - but it did happen. We'd go to bed drunk, and if someone was too lazy to turn off the light they'd shoot at it - nobody said anything.

'Auschwitz main camp was like a small town. There was a canteen, a cinema, a theatre with regular performances. There was a sports club of which I was a member. There were dances.
The special situation at Auschwitz led to friendships which I think back on with joy


Quote:
'Apart from the fact that there were pigs who fulfil their personal drives the special situation at Auschwitz led to friendships which, I still say today, I think back on with joy.'
Groening
Having cocooned himself away from the worst aspects of the camp, Groening carried out his 'routine' job there until 1944, when his transfer request was accepted.
He was sent to fight in the Ardennes, otherwise known as the Battle of the Bulge, Hitler's failed last-ditch offensive aimed at driving the Allies out of Europe.

Groening was first wounded during the fighting, then eventually captured by the British after his unit surrendered to them on June 10, 1945.

From there he was imprisoned for a time in a concentration camp, a bitter irony for a man who helped run the most infamous camp of all, before being sent to the UK.

He worked here for many years as a forced labourer before returning to his home country to work in a glass factory, eventually becoming a manager.

While he never spoke of his time at the camp, once flying into a rage at his family after they mentioned it in passing, he also never sought to hide it - refusing to change his name or looks, unlike some who had worked there.





Recalling his time at the Nazi's largest and most brutal execution camp, Groening once said the 'special situation' there allowed him to make friendships 'I think back on with joy'


As he had not participated directly in the killings, he was confident he would never be prosecuted for what happened there, and once more went about making his life as comfortable as possible.

However, all that changed in 2009 with the prosecution of Ukranian-born Nazi guard John Demjanjuk, who had served at a camp in Treblinka where he was known as 'Ivan the Terrible'.

In that case prosecutors argued that, while there was no evidence Demjanjuk had actively participated in killing people, he could be charged with accessory to murder because he had helped to run the base.

The judges's decision in that case ultimately led to Groening being charged with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder, more than 70 years after his crimes took place.

Frail Auschwitz Bookkeeper Arrives at German Court in April;



Auschwitz Survivors' Relief over Former Nazi Guard's Trial




German Court Finds 'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' Groening Guilty

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Default re: VIDEOs-NAZIS Stolen Gold Found in Hidden Train +UK Schindler Hero Dies

Nazi Gold Train Found in Poland
Is This Hill in Poland the Location of the Nazi 'Gold Train'?
>Treasure Hunters Claim This is The Spot Where Hitler's Loot was Buried

BBC/Daily News UK, 29 August 2015


  • Two treasure hunters claim to have found Nazi gold train buried in a hill in Poland
  • Train thought to be packed with gold, gems and money from 1945
  • Nazis wanted to hide fortune from advancing Soviet Red Army, wanted loot as insurance policy for fleeing war criminals
  • The men lodged a claim to it and will claim 10 per cent of the fortune
  • Another group claim they identified the site two years ago with sonar equipment - but maps and data were stolen

Beneath these hills lies the fortune in Nazi gold estimated in the billions that has captured the imagination of a continent.

As Klondike-style treasure hunters swoop on a small Polish town this weekend - lured there by reports of a fabulous treasure looted by Germans in the dying days of WW2 - the story of the 'gold train' took more unexpected twists on Friday as MailOnline travelled to the scene.

A group calling itself The Silesian Research Group insists that it in fact found the legendary train here over two years ago.
And it says a duo who filed a claim with local authorities for the treasure two weeks ago somehow pilfered their information.





Buried treasure: The train - which legend says disappeared in 1945 as the Nazis tried to get their stolen treasure to safety - is said to be buried underneath this hill in Poland



Those two men, a Pole and a German, have told local officials they will divulge the exact location of the lost train for 10 per cent of the value of its cargo.
If they are right in having discovered Third Reich plunder, such a reward could make them billionaires overnight.


But they are not the ones who found it first, according to the research team. One group member, who asked not to be identified after receiving threatening phone calls from a 'mysterious man,' told MailOnline:



'About two or three years ago we carried out extensive research of the area using geo-radar and magnetic readings.
'We came across an anomaly about 70 metres below the surface and further investigation revealed this was most likely a train.
'It is well-known that the Nazis built a network of railway lines under the mountains.

'And we know that in May 1945 gold and other valuables from the city of Wroclaw were being transported to Walbrzych when they disappeared between the towns of Lubiechow and Swiebodzice.'


Resting at the foot of the Sowa - Owl - mountains in woods three miles outside of the town of Walbrzeg in western Poland, is the alleged train, filled with gold, possibly diamonds and maybe even masterpieces stolen from Polish noble families and museums.

According to legend, the Nazis loaded all the valuables they had looted in Wroclaw - then called Breslau and part of Greater Germany - to escape the advancing Red Army.
The researcher went on:


'During the war, there used to be an SS barracks here which was heavily guarded. And just behind the railway bridge was the entrance to the tunnel.




Network: It is thought the train went into one of a series of tunnels the Nazis built in the mountain, like this one





Loot: An American soldier pictured with a box full of rings discovered after the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp. Huge hauls like this one were found by the Allies when the Nazis fled


'We recorded our findings and marked the location on a map as well as storing the information on computer records.
'We were and are convinced that this is where the gold train is. But, soon after our discovery, the map and data for the area went missing. At first we thought it had been mislaid, but then we heard about the findings of these two people and we realised they must have got hold of our information.'

He then added that he had been 'warned off' talking about the subject or investigating it further.
He said: 'Last night I received a phone call from a mysterious man who warned me to stay away from the story and to not get involved.

'A lot of dangerous people are interested in finding this train, this could have been a warning from one of them.
'This man who called me knows that I know something.'


Local historian and expert on the mysteries of the Sowa mountains, Joanna Lamparska, said:

'There are two main theories about the gold train.
'One is that is hidden under the mountain itself. The second is that it is somewhere around Wałbrzych.
'Until now, no-one has ever seen documents that confirm the existence of this train.'





Fairytale: Local legend has it the train disappeared not far from Ksiaz Castle, which was the Nazi's headquarters in the area, which was under their control during the Second World War


What gives credence the possibility that the story is true is the mammoth subterranean project called RIESE - German for giant - which was the construction of a honeycomb of tunnels, bunkers and underground stations begun in 1941.

Stretching from the gothic castle of Ksiaz overlooking the town of Walbrzeg they built the labyrinth deep into the surrounding mountains. The idea was to move supplies, factories and workers underground in the event of Allied bombing.

Local explorer and treasure hunter Andrzej Boczek, who is also a member of the Silesian Research Group, guided MailOnline to the site where he says the train is buried.
He said:

'We think it is here because first of all it is between the two places were we know it disappeared. And it is just 2.37km from Ksiaz castle which was the German headquarters during the war. That's where all treasures were taken.'

The 55-year-old, who has been searching the region for 25 years and has already found numerous artefacts, said: 'Also, this path used to be where the path ran down to the tunnel,' he says pointing at a dirt track leading towards the woods.
'We don't know where the entrance is as we need permission to dig. But we have carried out tests and we know something is there.

'During the war this place was open to the public and then it suddenly was closed by the Germans, they clearly had a secret to hide.
'A man who lived nearby told me he used to see strange activity at night with trains rolling in and disappearing into the tunnel.'


Two other locations identified by local media in Poland have since been rubbished by experts.
One is close to the town of Walbrzych the other in the town of Walim, 17km away.





Legend: The trains existence has always be source of debate, but now two people claim to have found it. Pictured: Train tracks leading to the tunnel under the mountain


Historian Mrs. Lamparska added: 'These two areas are very well known and have been well-researched. The chances of the train being there are zero.'It is likely that they found something, however, whether this is the gold train is a different matter.'


Polish media are now reporting that the Polish Ministry of Defence have known about the existence of the findings for two weeks and that the country's Internal Security Service has also got involved in the search.

Nazi treasure has always caught the imagination of people. The prospect of finding the Amber Room of the Czars, or the lost Rembrandts pilfered by regime magpie Hermann Goering, fuels a weekend treasure hunting obsession deep in the soul of many Germans.

The news of a heavily armoured freight train parked in the yet-to-be-disclosed tunnel has sent people from across Germany and Poland to the area with metal detectors.

Germans piling on to trains the spoils of their carpetbagging in foreign lands towards the end of the war was not a rare occurrence. And the Reichsbank in Berlin, many of its buildings and vaults shattered by intense American and British air raids, used precious Deutsche Bahn rolling stock to hide treasure in regional towns, often in the cellars of fortified post offices.

The loot was destined for a number of purposes: getaway money for high-ranking war criminals, the basis for a German resistance movement called 'Werewolf' intended to fight the occupiers; and to become the pension funds for generals whose vast estates bequeathed to them by a grateful Fuhrer in the east which fell into the hands of new, unforgiving owners.


That is why the story of the 590-foot long train which steamed into the tunnel long ago has fired the imagination of many. But it also comes with many caveats, as expressed by Focus magazine in Germany, which asked: 'Is there really a train and is it mined?





Controversy: There is a second group of treasure hunters who claim to have found the train, however. Andzrej Boczek, one of the members, even showed MailOnline where he believes it to be hidden




Logical: Boczek says the spot - 1.4 miles from Ksiaz castle - is the most likely location for the train


This has stoked treasure fever in Lower Silesia. Two men have supposedly discovered a hidden underground train from the second World War. The media speculate on gold and diamonds. Others warn: it is all just a beautiful legend.'For some it is indeed the latter.

'This is an ongoing issue,' added Lamparska. 'A search has been going on for years for a legendary train that was supposed to be hidden in an underground tunnel.
'It would be an incredible discovery if true. But no-one could ever prove the existence of this train.'


It is the circumstantial evidence giving cohesion to this high summer tale: the reluctance of officials to dismiss out of hand the claim and the fact that there indeed was the giant underground complex with an extensive tunnel system located near Wałbrzych during the war.


The treasure hunters claim they found the train 210 feet below ground using radar. They provided another detail - the train is allegedly armoured, looking not dissimilar to that used by the Nazis on several fronts during the war.
But while hope remains eternal, there are fears that this latest gold rush may turn out to be the triumph of hope over reality.

Andrzej Gaik, who gives guided tours to tourists through the old Castle of the Princes of Walbrzych, believed for many years in the legend of the 'Golden train' and even went on a treasure hunt for it himself some years ago - in vain.

He told a Polish TV station: 'In my opinion no one is on the trail of the train. Because it doesn't exist.'
Given the news that has been coming out of Europe of late, however, this is one ripping yarn that has some way to go before it hits the buffers.



UPDATES:
Poland confirms existence of underground nazi gold train


Nazi gold train could contain ornate £250m 'Amber Room' given to Tsar Peter the Great by the King of Prussia - and missing since it was looted during WWII
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Old 30-01-16, 20:02   #23
 
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Breaking News PhOtOs-Neo-Nazis Daub Swastikas in BLOOD on Immigrant Coaches

'Neo-Nazi Gangs Daub Swastikas in BLOOD' as Protest Descends Into Violent Clashes with Police and Anti-Fascists

  • Far right and anti-fascist groups clashed at an anti-immigration rally which saw bricks and smoke bombs thrown
  • Demonstrators from National Front and far-right South East Alliance among those who marched against immigration
  • Clashed with anti-racism activists, who had organised a counter-demonstration and rally quickly turned into chaos
  • Prior to demonstration in Dover UK, two groups clashed at Maidstone service station where coaches were vandalised
  • Nine people arrested and weapons seized included a lock-knife, knuckle duster, pieces of wood, glass and hammers
Daily Mail UK, 30 January 2016


Dover UK was turned into a bloody battleground today as Neo-Nazi gangs clashed with anti-fascist protesters at an anti-immigration rally in the coastal town.


Flag waving demonstrators from far-right groups such as the National Front, neo-Nazi organisation Combat 18, Scottish Defence league and South East Alliance marched through the town to protest against the arrival of immigrants.


They clashed with anti-racism activists who had organised a counter-demonstration and the peaceful rally quickly descended into chaos as bricks, glass and pieces of wood were thrown.

Police in riot gear tried to control the scuffles in the streets as the violent protests left the seaside town resembling a 'war zone'.

Nine people have been arrested and more than 20 weapons seized, including a lock-knife, knuckle duster, pieces of wood, glass, hammers and bricks.





A far-right protester with a bald head and covered in blood bellows at the anti-fascist demonstrators, as the protests turned ugly in Dover





A swastika was daubed in blood on a coach at Maidstone services, as the two groups came to blows just before 11am today





A coach travelling from Goldsmith University in London to Dover had its windscreen smashed in by the far-right protesters





Police wearing helmets attempt to control the crowds following the demonstration at 1pm today (pictured are the far-right protesters)





A man launches a punch at a counter protester as scenes turned violent in Dover - which is the gateway to the UK





Far-right groups clashed with anti-fascist demonstrators - pictured is a man with an English Defence League tattoo with the words 'never f****** surrender ever'


The city has been the scene of an ongoing standoff between anti-fascists and right-wing groups led by a resurgent National Front.
Prior to the protests in Dover's Market Square, there were reports of an altercation at Maidstone service station just before 11am, where coaches carrying pro-immigration protesters from London came under attack.
Several coaches had their windows smashed and one man was arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon.

Two coaches had swastikas inked on them in blood following the clash between the rival groups.

Anindya Bhattacharyya, 44, from Whitechapel in east London, who was travelling with the anti-fascist group, said he was away from the coaches and inside the service station when violence erupted.

He said: 'The service station staff bolted the doors and through the windows we could see a large group of fascists. They were wearing Combat 18 T-shirts and one had an Enoch Powell T-shirt.

'They attacked one of our coaches and smashed up the windows and one of them came and daubed a swastika in blood on the side of one of the coaches.'





Police in riot gear and dog handlers stemmed the violence as the protests turned ugly in the Kent town





A girl from South East Alliance holds a placard accusing left-wing activists of not taking in refugees from war-torn regions





A skinhead with blood pouring from both his eyes was among the protesters in Dover today for an anti-immigration rally





A man holds a St George's flag with the words 'Refugees not welcome' scrawled on it as a group of men converge in the background






Demonstrators, one wearing a scarf around his face, wave the St George's flag during today's march as the two groups clashed





Police officers escort right wing protesters, carrying flags with one saying 'secure our borders', on the march to the Port of Dover





One demonstrator, dressed in all black and carrying a rucksack, holds a purple smoke bomb during the march





The South East Alliance and other far-right groups protest against immigration whilst the Kent Anti-Racism Network (KARN) staged a counter protest





Police hold back demonstrators in Dover as the peaceful rally quickly descended into chaos and left the town resembling a 'war zone'





The Scottish Defence League were also out in force in Dover today - as far-right gropus came together to protest against immigration





A blood-soaked bald man with blood streaming down his face and with 'EDL' tattooed on his fingers glares at the medics on the scene





The same man roars at the left-wing activists, along with other far-right protesters, as Dover was turned into a battle ground today





A man with blood gushing from his head grins - in total, nine people were arrested and more than 20 weapons seized


Far-right groups made a speech about 'third world scum', with one speaker claiming Jeremy Corbyn 'hates everything British...and is destroying Britain'.

Before the demonstration the South East Alliance, which describes itself as an 'angry, white and proud' street movement, advertised the protest on its Facebook page, saying: 'Remember we are there for a purpose. To highlight certain issues we face. We are not there to have a kick-off with the red scum but we do know they will attack us and we shall defend ourselves without hesitation.'

And following the march the National Front posted on its own Facebook site, saying: 'A big well done and thank you to all white nationalists who attended Dover today to save our country from invasion. Respect to all in attendance.'

Shadow secretary of state for international development Diane Abbott is among those who travelled to Dover to join the anti-fascist protest and she addressed the crowd.

She told the cheering audience: 'It's 2016, Time for those racist rocks to go. Mr Cameron, tear down those cliffs.'

Counter-demonstrations included members from Dover Stand Up to Racism (DSUR) and the Kent Anti Racism Network (KARN).
Bridget Chapman, chairman of Kent Anti Racism Network, said: 'We're here today because there's been a big demonstration called by fascists. It's about the fourth time in a year they've had a far-right demonstration.

'The people of Dover are sick and tired of their town being used to spread a message of hate. We're here to firmly reject that message of hate.
'We want to very peacefully and responsibly say to the fascists that they are not welcome in our town.'

Duncan Cahill of Hope Not Hate, an anti-racist organisation, added: 'What we have today and for the past few months [in Dover] is massive call-outs by just about every Nazi group in the country and everyone involved in anti-fascism has gone down there today for what looks like a massive punch-up.'





Anti-fascist demonstrators were addressed by shadow secretary of state for international development Diane Abbott





Diane Abbott, Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, addressed anti-racism demonstrators as protest groups gathered





Two activists supporting immigration hold a banner which reads: 'London 2 Calais' as groups met in Dover's Market Square





Anti-fascist protesters dressed in all black, some with their faces covered, break through police lines as they clash with right wing protesters


Kent Police described the protest as a 'fast-moving and ongoing incident' and said nine people had been arrested and more than 20 weapons seized.
Weapons included a lock-knife, knuckle duster, pieces of wood, glass, hammers and bricks.

A spokeswoman told MailOnline: 'Extra officers were on duty in the town to allow a march to the Eastern Docks and a separate protest in the town centre to go ahead as planned, while minimising disorder and disruption to the community.

'One person suffered a broken arm and five others sustained minor injuries.'

Three people were arrested during the demonstration itself, while six were arrested following the incident at the service station.





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Old 21-09-17, 12:53   #24
 
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Movies YouTube Failing to Remove Neo-NAZI & Terrorist Videos

YouTube Under Fire After Neo-Nazi and Taliban Videos Found on Site > Despite Being Flagged

Yvette Cooper says delays removing reported content are ‘unacceptable’

Independent UK, 21 Sept 2017.




The video sharing company said it is continually increasing its efforts
PA...


Extremist footage posted by Islamists and neo-Nazis remains online despite pledges from the world’s largest internet companies to remove it, a study has found.

Research carried out by the Henry Jackson Society think-tank found hundreds of extremist videos are available on YouTube, including many that have already been flagged to monitors.

One was entitled “Adolf Hitler was right”, another showed a Muslim man being attacked and Taliban propaganda was also found on the world’s second most-viewed website.

Yvette Cooper, who commissioned the report, said it was “unacceptable” that footage glorifying extremist violence remained online.

The Labour MP, who is chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, accused YouTube of taking too long to remove the material, adding: “Whether that’s Islamic extremism or far Right extremism, the reality is that this material is far too easy to access.

“We know social media can play a role in the radicalisation of young people, drawing them in with twisted and warped ideology.

“YouTube have promised to do more, but they just aren't moving fast enough.”

The Henry Jackson Society found that 61 reported far-right videos and 60 Islamist videos were still online on YouTube, although dozens of videos that had been flagged were removed.

Those remaining included a video entitled “Adolf Hitler was right”, which showed praise of the Nazi leader alongside images of Jewish families being taken to concentration camps.

Another video showed a child singing over footage glorifying terrorism, and Taliban propaganda was also found on the site.

Another video showed a suspected hate crime seeing a man slapping a Muslim teenager with bacon and calling him “Isis scum”.

All four videos were flagged in July and August, but remained online this week.

Dr Alan Mendoza, executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, said his group’s research showed that in more than a third of Islamist terror cases between 1998 and 2015, the internet had a major impact on the offender’s engagement with extremism and terrorism.

“These ideologies can be freely disseminated and amplified online and there is room for improvement by technology firms to provide spaces to expose and debate their inconsistencies,” he added.

Ms Cooper called on the Government to introduce “proper penalties and fines for social media companies who do not act swiftly enough to remove dangerous and illegal content”.

Her comments came after separate research by the Policy Exchange think-tank found that almost three quarters of the British public want large internet companies to do more to find and delete content that could radicalise people.

Its report warned that Isis is winning an ongoing “netwar” against authorities trying to stop the spread of extremist material online and remains able to distribute propaganda and instructions on carrying out terror attacks.

The Policy Exchange found that jihadi content was accessed more frequently in the UK than anywhere else in Europe, with the country in fifth place globally behind Turkey, the US, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

General David Petraeus, the former director of the CIA, said current situation was “clearly unacceptable”, adding: “It is clear that that our counter-extremism efforts and other initiatives to combat extremism on line have, until now, been inadequate.”

The retired general, who commanded Nato forces in Afghanistan, said the attempted bombing in Parsons Green underscored the threat generated by instructions and other materials available online.

He cautioned that while few doubt Isis’ physical “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq will be eradicated along with most of its militants, the group will continue to inspire atrocities around the world by targeting the most vulnerable sections of society with its “poisonous ideology”.

Analysts have warned that the role of the internet in radicalisation has been overplayed, with research showing that personal relationships and real-world networks play a defining role, but online propaganda has been targeted in intensifying crackdowns after being linked to a series of terror attacks.

In May 2016, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube signed up to an EU-sponsored code of conduct that pledged to establish improved ways to take down illegal hate speech and other extremist material.

Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, said she had already made it “crystal clear” to internet firms that “they need to go further and faster to remove terrorist content from their websites and prevent it being uploaded in the first place”.

She added: ”This Government has been instrumental in the creation of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, which is being led by the major companies and will develop technical solutions to automatically detect and remove terrorist propaganda.

“The internet cannot be used as a safe space for terrorists and criminals, and industry need to ensure that the services they provide are not being exploited by those who wish to do us harm.”

Theresa May is due to co-host a meeting on terrorist groups’ use of the internet alongside Emmanuel Macron and Paolo Gentiloni on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for YouTube said the site was “determined to be part of the solution” to extremism.

He added: “We’ve put our best talent and technology to the task and we’re making progress through new machine learning technology, partnerships with experts and collaborations with other companies through the Global Internet Forum.

“Through new uses of technology, the majority of videos we removed for violent extremism over the past month were taken down before receiving a single human flag. We’re doing more every day to tackle these complex issues.”

There have been concerns that YouTube's new algorithms intended to identify extremist content have been resulting in the removal of footage documenting war crimes in Syria.

Other mainstream platforms including Google, Twitter and Facebook have recently been found to contain extremist links and posts, with analysts comparing the continuing battle to stop removed content re-appearing elsewhere to a game of “whack-a-mole”.
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Old 06-03-19, 05:05   #25
 
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Default re: NAZIS -£300k Painting Looted by Nazis Returned to British Family

Ravensbrück Concentration Camp

Ravensbrück was a women's concentration camp during World War II, located in northern Germany, 90 km north of Berlin at a site near the village of Ravensbrück (part of Fürstenberg/Havel). Construction of the camp began in November 1938 by SS leader Heinrich Himmler and was unusual in that it was a camp primarily for women and children.

The camp opened in May 1939. In the spring of 1941, the SS authorities established a small men's camp adjacent to the main camp. Between 1939 and 1945, over 130,000 female prisoners passed through the Ravensbrück camp system; around 40,000 were Polish and 26,000 were Jewish. Between 15,000 and 32,000 of the total survived.

Although the inmates came from every country in German-occupied Europe, the largest single national group incarcerated in the camp consisted of Polish women. Siemens & Halske employed many of the slave labor prisoners. The first prisoners at Ravensbrück were approximately 900 women. The SS had transferred these prisoners from the Lichtenburg women's concentration camp in Saxony in May 1939. By the end of 1942, the inmate population of Ravensbrück had grown to about 10,000.

There were children in the camp as well. At first, they arrived with mothers who were Gypsies or Jews incarcerated in the camp or were born to imprisoned women. There were few of them at the time. There were a few Czech children from Lidice in July 1942. Later the children in the camp represented almost all nations of Europe occupied by Germany. Between April and October 1944 their number increased considerably, consisting of two groups. One group was composed of Roma children with their mothers or sisters brought into the camp after the Roma camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau was closed. The other group included mostly children who were brought with Polish mothers sent to Ravensbrück after the collapse of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.
With a few exceptions all these children died of starvation.

Ravensbrück had 70 sub-camps used for slave labour that were spread across an area from the Baltic Sea to Bavaria. Among the thousands executed by the Germans at Ravensbrück were four female members of the British World War II organization Special Operations Executive: Denise Bloch, Cecily Lefort, Lilian Rolfe and Violette Szabo. Other victims included the Roman Catholic nun Élise Rivet, Elisabeth de Rothschild (the only member of the Rothschild family to die in the Holocaust), Russian Orthodox nun St. Maria Skobtsova, the 25-year-old French Princess Anne de Bauffremont-Courtenay and Olga Benário, wife of the Brazilian Communist leader Luís Carlos Prestes.

The largest group of executed women at the Ravensbrück camp was composed of 200 young Polish patriots who were members of the Home Army. Among the survivors of the Ravensbrück camp was Christian author and speaker Corrie ten Boom. Corrie ten Boom and her family were arrested by the Nazis for harbouring Jews in their home in Haarlem, the Netherlands. The ordeal of Corrie and her sister Betsie ten Boom in the camp is documented in her book The Hiding Place which was eventually produced as a motion picture. Countess Karolina Lanckoronska, a Polish art historian and author of Michelangelo in Ravensbruck also was imprisoned in the camp from 1943--1945.


Eileen Nearne, a member of the Special Operations Executive was a prisoner in 1944 before being transferred to another work camp and escaping. Additional Ravensbruck survivors include Gemma LaGuardia Gluck - who wrote a memoir about her experiences at the camp and afterward - her daughter Yolande, and Yolande's baby son.

During her imprisonment in Ravensbrück, the anthropologist and member of the French resistance Germaine Tillion secretly wrote a comic operetta about camp life titled Le Verfügbar aux Enfers. In 1975, she published a comprehensive study of the camp, Ravensbruck: An eyewitness account of a women's concentration camp. In 1945, just prior to liberation, the poet, playwright and author of The Green Goos, Konstanty Ildefons Galczynski, managed to save one of the Ravensbruck inmates from certain death. Her name was Lucyna Wolanowska. They began living together, and in January 1946 their son was born, also named Konstanty Ildefons Gałczyński. Later that same year Lucyana Wolanowska and her son emigrated to Australia.



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Old 19-03-19, 19:07   #26
 
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Update re: NAZIS -£300k Painting Looted by Nazis Returned to British Family

British Pensioner Awarded Star of Italy for Saving Village From Destruction by Nazis 74 Years Ago

The extraordinary story of a fearless teenage girl who saved an entire village from being executed by the Nazis has come to light after she received a gallantry award 74 years later.

The Telegraph UK, 19 MAR 2019.





Gabriella Ezra, 91, with her Star of Italy medal.
Credit: BNPS


Gabriella Ezra, 91, who lives in Brighton, East Sussex, intervened to stop her father Luigi and 37 other inhabitants of a village in her native Italy from being massacred by a Nazi firing squad.

She has now been awarded a prestigious Star of Italy medal after her son Mark wrote to the Italian embassy to make them aware of his mother's heroic actions on the morning April 28, 1945.

Gabriella, who was 17 at the time, chased after a German officer and pleaded with him to show mercy to the villagers of Capella di Scorze, near Venice, who had been rounded up and locked in a cowshed.

The Germans were after retribution following an attack on their men by Italian partisans which had left several of them wounded.

They had previously executed 31 men in a neighbouring town following partisan action, with these prisoners set to suffer the same fate.


Gabriella, who spoke immaculate German as her family had lived in Austria, was taken by the officer to speak to his commander.

She lied about the villagers having no knowledge of the ambush and was told that she would also be shot if the Germans discovered the men were not innocent.

Luckily, the villagers had buried their partisan armbands and all the prisoners were released, with the German commander telling them they owed their lives to Gabriella.

The next day the Germans fled the village, just hours before it was liberated by the Allies.





Gabriella in her native Venice just after the war. Credit: BNPS


After the war Gabriella met and married British army officer Captain Peter Ezra and moved to Britain with him.

Her son Mark, 65, a film director, recently wrote a letter to the Italian embassy to tell his mother's extraordinary tale.

The ambassador subsequently presented her with the Star of Italy, awarded to British and Commonwealth forces who served in the Italian Campaign from 1943 to 1945.


"If my mother had not intervened they would all have been killed," Mark said. "She showed such remarkable courage.
"I wrote to the embassy and my mother was invited to receive the Star of Italy. She was understandably delighted.
"The whole family was at the ceremony and we had a fabulous time."


The local partisans had forewarned the people of Capella di Scorze about the attack on the Germans and advised them to close their shutters in case their windows shattered.

Afterwards the Germans arrived and rounded up 38 men, prompting Gabriella's brave intervention.

The retired language school teacher remembered that after a partisan attack, the Germans took the men from the village, including her father, and locked them in a cowshed.

"I told my mother I had to do something so I ran after the officer and pleaded with him that these men were just farmers who cared about their fields and cows,” she said.

"He took me to the commandant and I begged him not to kill them, telling him again and again these men were innocent.

"They took me outside and lined up the men with a firing squad and said ‘this woman tells me you are innocent. If she's lying I'll kill you all, her first’.

The men were searched, but had hidden their partisan armbands in the cowshed. As they were led away Gabriella’s father passed her his watch and a note for her mother, thinking he was about to be killed.

"But the commandant then ordered for them to be set free saying if there were any more attacks he would destroy the village.

The next morning, British soldiers arrived to liberate the village.

"When the British came we cried tears of joy and embraced them. It was such a relief."


Gabriella met Captain Peter Ezra, of the Middlesex Regiment, while working as a translator in the Mayor's office in Mestre, outside Venice, in 1946.
They married in Venice in 1949 and moved to Hove, where she worked as a language coach.

Capt Ezra died in 2005.

She was greeted as a hero when she first returned to the village 25 years ago, with a meal laid out on the square in her honour.

She said:
"I was showing my daughter around the village when a man spotted me and said 'oh my goodness it's Gabriella'.

"They made a meal for me in the square. They said they were very pleased to see me because I had saved the village."
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Old 28-04-19, 02:16   #27
 
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Movies re: NAZIS -£300k Painting Looted by Nazis Returned to British Family

The EVIL Accountant of Auschwitz

In 2015, a 94-year-old former German SS officer went on trial, charged with complicity in the murder of 300,000 Jews at Auschwitz in 1944.


Oskar Gröning (10 June 1921 – 9 March 2018) was a German SS Unterscharführer who was stationed at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

His responsibilities included counting and sorting the money taken from prisoners, and he was in charge of the personal property of arriving prisoners. On a few occasions he witnessed the procedures of mass killing in the camp.

After being transferred from Auschwitz to a combat unit in October 1944, Gröning was captured by the British on 10 June 1945 when his unit surrendered, although his role in the SS was not discovered.

He was eventually transferred to Britain as a prisoner of war and worked as a farm labourer alongside his fellow Germans (which he enjoyed and found civilised, even joining a choir with some of them, which toured Britain).

Upon his return to Germany he led a normal life, reluctant to talk about his time in Auschwitz. However, more than 40 years later, he decided to make his activities at Auschwitz public after learning about Holocaust denial.

He openly criticised those who denied the events that he had witnessed, and the ideology to which he had subscribed. Gröning was notable as a German willing to make public statements about his experience as an SS soldier, which were self-incriminating and which exposed his life to public scrutiny.

In particular he confessed to stealing jewellery and currencies from gas chamber victims for his personal benefit.


In September 2014, Gröning was charged by German prosecutors as an accessory to murder, in 300,000 cases, for his role at the Auschwitz concentration camp. His trial began in April 2015, after the court had ruled that, at the age of 94, he was still fit to stand trial. The trial was held in Lüneburg, Germany.

On 15 July 2015, he was found guilty of facilitating mass murder and sentenced to four years' imprisonment.

Following a number of unsuccessful appeals against the prison sentence, Gröning died on 9 March 2018 while hospitalized before he had begun his sentence



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Old 06-07-19, 16:38   #28
 
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Default Re: NAZIS -£300k Painting Looted by Nazis Returned to British Family

British Family Reunited with £300k Painting Looted by Nazis From Their Ancestors

The Telegraph UK, 6 JULY 2019.




The Lowi family reunited with the 17th century oil painting Credit: Julian Andrews/Eye R8 Production



Fleeing for his life as the Nazis overan Prague in April 1939 Erwin Langweil was forced to leave behind some of his most treasured possessions, including a rare and valuable painting.


Like so many Jewish families running from the Gestapo the Langweils left Czechoslovakia with the bare minimum, fleeing to Kenya, where Erwin had business in the sugar plantation industry and tried to rebuild his life. His daughter moved to the UK and his son went to Canada.


The 17th century oil painting by the Dutch artist Jan van Goyen that Langweil was forced to abandon was feared lost forever, one of innumerable works of art looted by the Nazis as they rampaged across Europe.


But it can now be revealed that 80 years on the painting, worth an estimated £300,000, has been returned to Langweil’s British descendants.


In a story that has echoes of the film The Woman in Gold, in which Helen Mirren’s character, an elderly Jewish refugee, fights for the return of a looted painting, it would have remained lost - had it not been for the intervention of a Canadian firm specialising in reclaiming looted art.


James Palmer, the founder of Mondex Corp, noticed Van Goyen’s painting, The Ferry, hanging in a Prague museum in 2015, when he was checking the provenance of suspected looted works.

“We found some information about the painting in the Czech Republic,” said Mr Palmer. “We were led to believe that the painting was looted and so started putting together all the evidence.”

Eventually Mr Palmer was able to contact Langweil’s grandson Peter Lowi, whose mother had also fled Prague along with her brother.

News of the painting’s discovery came, in the words of the family, “like a bolt out of the blue”.






80 years on the painting has been returned to Langweil’s British descendants Credit: Julian Andrews/Eye R8 Production



Peter's brother George Lowri, a retired recruitment consultant, said: "We didn’t know a thing about it. The problem is that my parents never spoke about the past. Mr Lowi explained that the fact so many of his relatives had perished in the Holocaust had cast a long shadow over the family’s history.

“We tried to talk about what happened but he didn’t want to know. Tears would come into his eyes and that would be it. I think he was so traumatised by what happened that they just wanted to blank it out and forget about it.”

Langweil’s great grandson Andy Lowi, who lives in Bedfordshire, said: “My initial reaction was it has got to be a hoax, or there would be a catch, but we soon realised it wasn’t.”

Palmer was given authorisation by the Lowi family to pursue restitution, which, despite the co-operation of the Czech authorities, was a long and complicated procedure.

The process only came to an end in June, when the Lowis were finally reunited with the painting that had once been a prized family possession.




Erwin Langweil's family home in Prague



Mondex provenance experts have described Van Goyen as a “unique talent” in Dutch landscape art, whose paintings are now “recognized for their vast cultural and historical value, because they have truly captured daily Dutch rural life in the 17th century”.

But while Andy Lowi described it as being an “honour” to have it back he also says the restitution means far more than simply owning a valuable work of art.

“For me it is really about the family and the history, and what they lost: not just a work of art and property but the family members who perished. This painting is one piece of the puzzle,” he told the Telegraph.





The Ferry by the Dutch artist Jan van Goyen Credit: Julian Andrews/Eye R8 Production



Andy Lowi and his sister Carolyn and his uncle George - the two other owners of the painting - have decided to sell the Van Goyen because they lack the facilities to house such a valuable work of art.

But they stress that any money made from the sale will not be spent on anything frivolous.

“We can’t split a painting in three, so I think it is really important that we buy with the proceeds something that we can hand down to our children or grandchildren,” said Andy, who works in aircraft engineering sales and marketing.

“Something special, something that they can hand down to their children which reminds them of the history. Something that has resonance.”
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