Tagged: WW2

After the atomic blast — the Wider Image


The Atomic Bomb Dome preserves one of the only structures left standing in Hiroshima after the world’s first nuclear attack 70 years ago. It’s now a World Heritage Site.

Reuters offers one of their great visual galleries – of the atomic blasts, then – and what lives there, now. From the Wider Image.

Pigeons wearing bras go to war

The pigeon vest was a vest that was created to protect carrier pigeons as they parachuted through the air strapped to the chest of paratroopers during World War II. Once the paratroopers hit the ground behind enemy lines, they would release the pigeons so they could fly off to deliver important messages.

And what does this have to do with brassieres? The pigeon vest was designed and manufactured by the brassiere company, Maidenform. On December 22, 1944, Maidenform agreed to make 28,500 pigeon vests for the U.S. government, switching, as many companies did, from peacetime production to producing necessary supplies for the war. In addition to the pigeon vest, Maidenform also made parachutes.

RTFA. It all makes sense.

Thousands of Nazis were rewarded with life in the U.S. to aid the Cold war

In the early ’70s, New York Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman received a confidential tip that American immigration authorities knew of dozens of former Nazis — some implicated in serious war crimes — who were living in the U.S.

Holtzman looked into it and discovered that it was true, and that the formerly named Immigration and Naturalization Service wasn’t doing much about it.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg, according to investigative reporter Eric Lichtblau.

In his new book, The Nazis Next Door, Lichtblau reports that thousands of Nazis managed to settle in the United States after World War II, often with the direct assistance of American intelligence officials who saw them as potential spies and informants in the Cold War against the Soviet Union.

Lichtblau says there were whole networks of spy groups around the world made up of Nazis — and they entered the U.S., one by one…

Most Americans knew little about the Nazis among them. And then in 1979, media reports and congressional interest finally spurred the creation of a Nazi-hunting unit with the Justice Department.

That prompted the first wave of Nazi-hunting, Lichtblau says.

There are still documents that remain classified today about the CIA’s relationship with Nazi figures in the ’40s and ’50s and into the ’60s. A lot of these documents have become declassified just in the last 10 or 15 years. … There are documents that may open up whole new chapters that still remain classified…

RTFA for all the delightful topics in Lichtblau’s book: Generals who wanted Nazis in charge of DP camps; the ease of Nazi collaborators to slide through the DP camps vs the roadblocks faced by Jews.

Our transparent government continues to be see-through in name only. We have a new generation of politicians raised on the model of the Cold War. They are no less inclined to hide who they’re spying on and why. And the political hacks who set the standards were the creeps who brought Nazis into the US by the boatload – figuring they did their job “thoroughly” — why not do the same for us?

Or something like that.

Remembering absent friends — all wars


I presume these Canadian troops are marching away from a memorial to those who fell during the liberation of Belgium during World War 2. Yes, I remember all of those days. I can’t forget those days.

My best friend died ten years back. He was the most decorated soldier from our home state in WW2. He had 16 months in hospital to reflect upon how he got there – not just the German soldier who threw a hand grenade at him at the liberation of a death camp; but, the corporate and political creeps who helped scum like Hitler into power. Both sides of the pond.

We learned a lot together over the years. Both of our fathers’ families came to the US from Canada, btw. His from Montreal and mine from PEI.

This weekend watching football from England the silent tributes pre-match – and more – have started. Tens of thousands of sports fans of all ages in complete silence remembering all they have to remember. I thought I’d repost this tribute.

I salute you, too, Clyde.

Thanks, Mister Justin

Remembering absent friends

I presume these Canadian troops are marching away from a memorial to those who fell during the liberation of Belgium during World War 2. Yes, I remember all of those days.

My best friend died a few years back. He was the most decorated soldier from our home state in WW2. He had 16 months in hospital to reflect upon how he got there – not just the German soldier who threw a hand grenade at him at the liberation of a death camp; but, the corporate and political creeps who helped scum like Hitler into power.

We learned a lot together over the years. Both of our families came to the US from Canada, btw. His family from Montreal and mine from PEI.

I salute you, too, Clyde.

Thanks, Mister Justin

The Holocaust just became more shocking – to some

Thirteen years ago, researchers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum began the grim task of documenting all the ghettos, slave labor sites, concentration camps and killing factories that the Nazis set up throughout Europe.

What they have found so far has shocked even scholars steeped in the history of the Holocaust.

The researchers have cataloged some 42,500 Nazi ghettos and camps throughout Europe, spanning German-controlled areas from France to Russia and Germany itself, during Hitler’s reign of brutality from 1933 to 1945.

The figure is so staggering that even fellow Holocaust scholars had to make sure they had heard it correctly when the lead researchers previewed their findings at an academic forum in late January at the German Historical Institute in Washington.

“The numbers are so much higher than what we originally thought,” Hartmut Berghoff, director of the institute, said in an interview after learning of the new data.

“We knew before how horrible life in the camps and ghettos was,” he said, “but the numbers are unbelievable.”

The documented camps include not only “killing centers” but also thousands of forced labor camps, where prisoners manufactured war supplies; prisoner-of-war camps; sites euphemistically named “care” centers, where pregnant women were forced to have abortions or their babies were killed after birth; and brothels, where women were coerced into having sex with German military personnel.

Auschwitz and a handful of other concentration camps have come to symbolize the Nazi killing machine in the public consciousness. Likewise, the Nazi system for imprisoning Jewish families in hometown ghettos has become associated with a single site — the Warsaw Ghetto, famous for the 1943 uprising. But these sites, infamous though they are, represent only a minuscule fraction of the entire German network, the new research makes painfully clear.

Continue reading

Glass Farm echoes traditional local architecture


Click to enlarge

…Glass Farm is MVRDV’s seventh proposal for a new building at the market square in Schijndel in the Netherlands. During World War II the square was badly damaged in the unsuccessful Allied counter-offensive, Operation Market Garden. Since that time the square has undergone redevelopment and refurbished, though the idea of a centerpiece to the square’s rejuvenation – a new building between the church and town hall – proved controversial.

Schijndel happens to the home town of MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas. He first proposed a new building at the location in 1980. Twenty years later, the town council bought into the idea, and the conversation could move onto the issue of what should be built: no less prickly an issue, it turned out, and one which invigorated local residents.

Having had six of its ideas rejected, including one for a theater, MVRDV conceived the Glass Farm. Looking at the maximum “envelope” (the shell formed by its outer walls) allowed by the planning authority, MVRDV noticed that, though bigger, it matched the shape of the traditional farm buildings of the region.

MVRDV reasoned that if the building was to adopt the shape of a farm house, it should adopts their look too. Unfortunately, an actual farmhouse wouldn’t best serve what had become the purpose of the building: a multifunctional public facility housing restaurants, shops and the like. Instead, MVRDV decided that the building should be a glass shell which somehow took on the appearance of a farm.

The answer MVRDV came up with was fritted glass. Artist Frank van der Salm photographed the surviving traditional farm buildings in the region, and from his photographs a theoretical representation of the average or ideal farm building was composed. By fritting the glass, the image of the farm building was effectively printed onto it.

Being glass, the building lets in and out a certain amount of light. Cleverly, the translucence of the glass can be altered where desired so that certain parts of the building’s facade can behave more like conventional windows where extra light or a clear view out are beneficial. And because the building is glass, when lit up at night, the whole farm building appears to glow. Whether viewing from inside during the day or from outside at night, the effect is conceived to be reminiscent of stained glass.

Delightful, inventive, and it carries the village past into the town present.

We remember absent friends


REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

I remember my dearest friend – gone, now, a number of years – who was the most decorated soldier from our home state in World War 2.

Returning home, he had sixteen months or so in hospital to reflect on war. And when both political parties asked him to run for office after he got back on his feet – he told them he only required one plank in his platform. Corporations would be limited to no profits from their support of any war.

They withdrew the request.