World War I & II topic

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Forostar, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    A new topic about WWII. Since we sometimes speak about WWI as well, it's better to collect them in one topic.

    On TV I just saw an interview with a Dutch author, Gustaaf Peek, who went to Hearne, Texas where he tried to find more information about a POW camp, because he was surprised he had never heard of such camps out there.
    It all started with a picture of man who had been a prisoner there, between 1943 and 1945.

    So Peek wanted to find out what happened there to get inspiration for a book. While walking around, seaching for remnants of the camp, he got a lot of help from locals who were glad to help him with his research.

    One Hearne resident told him that they treated SS members better than Afro-Americans. And in Europe Peek had heard from someone who was a prisoner in that camp that SS members treated Afro-Americans better than the US citizens did. Quite a shocking perspective.

    Anyway, Peek has written a novel. Dutch title “Ik was Amerika” (I was America) inspired by the stories he heard.

    The story is about Dirk, a Dutch man fighting for the nazi’s, captured by the allied forces in North Africa. Together with thousands of German POW’s he was brought to one of many camps in the US.
    Camplife in Texas is very confronting. The men eat well, learn English, act in plays, but they also have to work with the black workers on the cotton fields …

    I'd say, this is a great subject for a film as well. Who knows what will happen with it in the future.
  2. LooseCannon

    LooseCannon Yorktown-class aircraft carrier Staff Member

    I'd agree. Interestingly enough, a lot of the Germans who were in POW camps later emigrated back to the US or Canada, as they were favourably impressed by what they saw. Not all or most, but quite a lot.
  3. Onhell

    Onhell Infinite Dreamer

    I thought there already was a WW topic started by either LC or Duke...

    At any rate... They could've emigrated back since it was easier to hide as well...
  4. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    Started by me. I deleted it, in one of my bitter moods. Won't happen again.
  5. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    Some very bad and ugly news and some good news (ironically in the week), showing how different organizations tend to think when it comes to sharing vital information. US officials/Justice Department vs organizations, research institutions, libraries, archives, museums and memorial sites, from thirteen European countries.

    The following news is quite revealing. What an outrage.
    Secret papers detail US aid for ex-Nazis
    Washington:  A secret history of the United States government's Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a "safe haven" in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II, and it details decades of clashes, often hidden, with other nations over war criminals here and abroad. .... Read on

    This following info comes from a PDF on the NIOD website. NIOD (Nederlands Instituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie) stands for the Dutch Institute for War Documentation, and this organization will coordinate the following interesting project:


    EHRI: European Holocaust Research Infrastructure

    This year the world commemorates the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. At the same time, a European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI) project sets out to bring research into the Holocaust to a new level. EHRI’s main objective is to support the European Holocaust research community by giving them integrated online access to dispersed (archival) resources relating to the Holocaust all over Europe and Israel, and by encouraging collaborative research in multi-national research teams. To this end, twenty organizations, research institutions, libraries, archives, museums and memorial sites, from thirteen European countries will work together.

    Truly European Research
    According to the British historian Tony Judt the Second World War has finally become history in Europe. In order to keep remembering why it was judged so important to build a new Europe ‘out of the crematoria of Auschwitz’, Judt argues, we can only resort to history. The ‘vital link’ between Europe´s past and Europe´s present must be taught over and over again. To be able to teach Europe´s past, the historical research needs to become truly European and transcend national borders. But even now, it is still difficult to conduct truly international research into the Holocaust.

    Fragmentation of sources
    Holocaust studies rely more than most other fields of research on a huge variety of archives. Holocaust archives are fragmented and scattered all over the world, making access complicated, if not impossible, and very time-consuming. The fragmentation of sources does not only result from the fact that the Holocaust was not restricted to one place or country, but also from the Nazi attempts to destroy the evidence, and the migration after the Second World War of Holocaust survivors. After the war many different projects have been set up to document what happened. In recent decades even more specific collections have been established, especially in regional centres. Eastern European archives have opened up. Unfortunately there is no uniformity in cataloguing and describing. Many different languages are used in the original documents as well as in the cataloguing systems, necessitating translation and making comparison difficult. Finally, one of the major challenges for every scholar of the Holocaust is to avoid the domination of the perpetrators’ sources over the voices of persecuted Jews. The documents of Jews and their organizations often followed the fate of their owners: they were in many cases destroyed or dispersed.

    Collaboration and integration
    Although many organizations throughout Europe and Israel have already done excellent work in collecting and saving documents, objects, photo’s, film and art related to the Holocaust, it is now possible to bring all these sources together and take the research into this area further. To this end, EHRI will design and implement a Virtual Research Environment (VRE) offering online access to a wide variety of dispersed Holocaust archives and to a number of tools to work with them. Building on integration programmes undertaken over the past decades by the twenty partners in the consortium and a large network of associate partners, EHRI sets out to transform the data available for Holocaust research around Europe and elsewhere into a cohesive body of resources. An important condition for making EHRI a success, is an interdisciplinary structure. The scholars involved in EHRI are not only trained historians and political and social scientists but also archivists and digital research infrastructure specialists. The collaboration between historians, archivists and ICT specialists is crucial to EHRI's ambition.

    The general public
    Although EHRI is primarily geared to the needs of scholarly communities, the online availability and open access to reliable Holocaust material set in the proper context, is relevant to and important for the general public as well. A European approach is essential to achieve a better understanding of the Holocaust as a European phenomenon, so that the vital link between Europe’s past and present can be taught over and over again.


    From a PDF-factsheet:


    About the Holocaust:
    - The Holocaust is probably the most important event in Twentieth Century European History.
    - The Holocaust was an era of chaos, destruction and death. Across Europe the Third Reich annihilated millions and ravaged the lives of many more people. Millions of Jews were murdered and many others were displaced. They fought, fled, were deported and incarcerated. Families were torn apart, whole areas became depopulated.
    - But in spite of the Nazi’s relentless effort to report and document the Holocaust, we have not yet grasped the extent of disruption it caused. Not only people, but also their belongings and personal documents went missing or got scattered all over the world.
    - In Eastern Europe Holocaust awareness is lagging behind, while Eastern Europe was a prime place of crime.

    About Holocaust research:
    - Every day thousands of researchers - scholars and amateurs - seek to secure the collective memory of the Holocaust.
    - Holocaust documentation is often digitized but not organized.
    - Holocaust studies rely more than most other fields of research on a huge variety of archives. These archives are fragmented and dispersed, making access complicated, if not impossible.

    About EHRI:
    - EHRI is about access to archives and connecting collections.
    - EHRI’s infrastructure will be ‘the cloud’ for Holocaust research, its users are ‘the crowd’.
    - EHRI will democratize Holocaust research: getting the public engaged is getting research results!
    - EHRI wants to give the entire Holocaust a face, by making local history available all over Europe.
    - EHRI shows people how to find their way in Holocaust collections, it is not another digital library!
    - Special attention will be paid to education and outreach by stimulating open access to Holocaust material for the public. As such, the project will make an essential contribution to the ability of (non-governmental) organizations, teachers and individual citizens to make new generations aware of what happened.
    - EHRI will give access to the dispersed archives. EHRI develops online tools to integrate data and information. In this way, EHRI will attain unprecedented levels of collaborative research in the humanities and digital history. EHRI will develop and test new methodologies, address new research topics, and reach new, more precise conclusions, covering significantly more historical data and locations.
    - The EHRI-project will also stimulate and facilitate research into relatively unknown aspects of the Holocaust. This entails special attention to Eastern Europe, since the vast majority of Holocaust victims lived in Eastern Europe.
    - The EHRI consortium consists of 20 partners from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and the United Kingdom.
    - EU Financial contribution: € 7 million
    - Funding scheme (FP7): Combination of Collaborative Projects and Coordination and Support Actions (CP-CSA) - Duration: 48 months.
    - Coordinator: NIOD. Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Amsterdam, Dr. Conny Kristel.

    About the Launch of EHRI:
    The launch of EHRI, November 16 in Brussels, is an official event on the agenda of the Belgium Presidency. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy gave his ‘patronage’ to the start of EHRI. Mrs. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, will make an opening statement. Holocaust survivors and researchers will elaborate on the importance of continuing Holocaust research. Also Mr. Gideon Saar, Minister of Education of Israel and Mr. Halbe Zijlstra, State Secretary of Education, Culture and Science of The Netherlands, will speak on the importance of international Holocaust research.

    The EHRI consortium
    - NIOD-KNAW. Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (Netherlands, coordinator)
    - CEGES-SOMA (Belgium)
    - Zidovske Muzeum v Praze (Czech Republic)
    - Institut für Zeitgeschichte (Germany)
    - Yad Vashem. The Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority (Israel)
    - The Wiener Library Institute of Contemporary History (UK)
    - Holocaust Dokumentacios Kozpont Es Emlekgyujtemeny Kozalapitvany (Hungary)
    - Senter for studier av Holocaust og livssynsminoriteter (Norway)
    - Kansallisarkisto (Finland)
    - Zydowski Instytut Historyczny Im. Emanuela Ringelbluma (Poland)
    - King’s College London (UK)
    - Georg August Universitaet Goettingen Stiftung Oeffentlichen Rechts (Germany)
    - Athena Research and Innovation Center in Information Communication & Knowledge Technologies (Greece)
    - DANS-KNAW. Data Archiving and Networked Services (Netherlands)
    - Memorial de la Shoah (France)
    - Internationaler Suchdienst (Germany)
    - Stiftung Denkmal für die Ermordeten Juden Europas (Germany)
    - Památnik Terezin (Czech Republic) Beit Theresienstadt (Israel)
    - Wiener Wiesenthal Institut für Holocaust Studien (Austria)
  6. Onhell

    Onhell Infinite Dreamer

    Great links as always Foro. I'm still looking through the U.S/Nazi link... good god.
  7. Perun

    Perun Stepping out bravely Staff Member

    In a similar vein, there has recently been a revelation about the German ministry's role in the Third Reich. Until recently, it has always been maintained that members of the ministry were diplomats and men of good spirit locked in an ivory tower, ultimately unable to positively influence the nazi regime. Now it has been revealed that they were, well, nazis. Not shocking to me or to most Germans, but certainly to those who were interested in keeping the myth. Here's a link (though to comment on that title, our so-called foreign minister should be 'shamed' by a lot of other things).

    He He He... (God, I'm immature)
  8. LooseCannon

    LooseCannon Yorktown-class aircraft carrier Staff Member

    Well, of course everyone who was in the ministry was a Nazi. Wasn't it a requirement to work in government to be a member of the Nazi party? And of course, where everyone is a Nazi, at least some of 'em will have meant it.
  9. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    Onhell, that was shocking indeed. I wonder why not a single American forum member doesn't contribute to this subject. Sensitive topic, eh? I know one who works at a/the justice department, or at least he deals with legal matters, so I am curious what his point of view would be. I saw that cornfedhick read this topic, but he didn't react.

    This was on the Dutch news as well. By the way, are you interested in visiting the Hitler museum? I have seen an item on TV, where German visitors had various opinions, but one thing was sure: A lot of people were curious, so I believe it is quite popular, not?
  10. Perun

    Perun Stepping out bravely Staff Member

    To be honest, I haven't even heard about it.  :blush: Thing is, there is always something about Hitler in some museum, so I might have simply not noticed. I mean, there's even mention of Hitler in the exhibition I'm currently taking part in, and that's about medieval Persia!
  11. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

  12. Perun

    Perun Stepping out bravely Staff Member

    Ah, now I remember. There was indeed a discussion, but I didn't pay very much attention to it. I should check out the exhibition, I've never even been to the museum that is hosting it. And what is a bit embarassing is that I just found out that pass by it every day.
  13. snake plissken

    snake plissken Ancient Mariner

    "Nazis...I hate these guys" - Indiana Jones  ;)
  14. Perun

    Perun Stepping out bravely Staff Member

    I watched that film the other week. I'd forgotten how great it was. I could tell you a lot about the locations in Berlin, but I had a mate who spent a month in Jordan recently (the country, not the guy). He told me when he visited Petra (the town, not the girl- oh dear, what a country), they had an old VHS copy of that film in every place he'd been to- bars, hotels, restaurants, convenience stores. In case you're wondering, the Grail Temple was actually one of the ancient rock tombs Petra is famous for.

    /off topic
  15. bearfan

    bearfan Ancient Mariner

    I hate Illinois Nazis .. Blues Brothers
  16. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner

    It's the 5th of May again, in the whole country (Netherlands) that's a holiday with celebration festivals, because our country was liberated (5-5-1945).

    A good moment to give this topic a kick again:

    Claude Choules, the last WWI combat veteran is no more.
    He lied about his age, joined the Royal Navy at 15 and went on to serve on HMS Revenge.
    End of an era (Obituary: Claude Choules)
    Check out the video as well. The end could serve as an alternative intro to The Final Frontier.  :)

    It should be noted that there's still someone else alive who served in WWI, but not in combat. Another Briton, Florence Green - who turned 110 in February and was a waitress in the Women's Royal Air Force - is now thought to be the world's last known surviving service member of WWI.

    Other news, WWII related:
    WWII aerial reconnaissance photos online (link features meeting with a RAF photographer who visits Dutch grounds)

    Thousands of aerial photographs taken by the British RAF during World War II and currently in possession of the University of Wageningen and the land registry office have been put online.

    The more than 110,000 photographs show what the Netherlands looked like 65 years ago. The photos include aerial photographs of Rotterdam after the city had been bombed by the Germans in an attempt to break Dutch resistance during the invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940.

    Wouter Brox of Dotka Data, the company which digitalised the photographs and made them available online, says: These aerial photographs were intended to map the location of bridges, buildings, mines and anti-aircraft artillery.” Dotka Data has announced it will publish even more aerial photographs in the coming three years.
  17. bearfan

    bearfan Ancient Mariner

  18. bearfan

    bearfan Ancient Mariner

    That'll teach me to search for "world war" :)
  19. Wästed The Great

    Wästed The Great Minister Of Chicks, Metal&Beer; Cool & Froody Dude Staff Member

    No worries. I was pretty sure there was a topic like this-- it was buried 8 pages deep. ;)
  20. Forostar

    Forostar Ancient Mariner


    Remember this lady? I didn't either.

    Irena Sendler

    Died: May 12, 2008 (aged 98)
    Warsaw, Poland

    During WWII, Irena, got permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto, as a Plumbing/Sewer specialist. She had an ulterior motive.

    Irena smuggled Jewish infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried. She also carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck, for larger kids.

    Irena kept a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto.

    The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.

    During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants.

    Ultimately, she was caught, however, and the Nazi's broke both of her legs and arms and beat her severely.

    Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she had smuggled out, In a glass jar that she buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and tried to reunite the family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.

    In 2007 Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize.
    She was not selected.
    Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming.

    -- -- --
    There is a film about her. The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler. Main role: Anna Paquin.

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