WW2 stories

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ro
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WW2 stories

Post by ro » Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:28 pm

Been wanting to post this for awhile.
Anyone have family stories they'd care to share?
the generation that remembers is heading out...
It's a subject which draws me in over and over. I read an awful lot about it, all different facets of the effing thing.
Heavy, I know... Sorry. Just very curious to hear any oral histories handed down...
Thanks.

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Re: WW2 stories

Post by semisynthetic » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:58 am

Watch the "Military Channel"; they have veterans who who THERE and decided to tell what happened while they still were able to do so.
It has been my experience that those who fight in battles that are like Hell On Earth are reticent to discuss what they saw. Even after many decades; they remember friends who vanished in front of them; but those men (and women) had something that I hope we could still muster if another meglomaniacal, genocidal son of a ***** attempts to repeat History.
Perhaps we are now too weak and dependent on others to think and fight for a cause, or a belief in Freedom, and the Individuals right to live as they see fulfills "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness". (Gulp). I hope not.

It is likely that History will repeat itself; when we are weakest; that is when an enemy bent on our destruction, strikes.
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Re: WW2 stories

Post by ro » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:30 am

thank you.

i don't have tv, but a very well-stocked local library which will maybe have some programs from that channel.

you're right, about that understandable reticence.
i've known a handful of people who never spoke of it, or hardly ever.
my friend's dad, a medic in 3rd army and was at buchenwald just after liberation. he only discussed it very late in life, and then in whispers.
my parents had friends who'd been in the camps, i recall seeing their tattoos but that's all. i don't think they wanted to share their experiences with us kids.

i wrote out a whole response to your response, semi, then realized it's just too complex a subject for me to approach. i just like listening, watching, the big picture, the small details, and the extraordinary number of perspectives to consider.

if anyone else has stories to post or send via pm (many thanks to the person who did, am working on reply), that'd be great. i can never stop learning more.

i've lost track of what i've read/viewed at this point, but will share this latest, if anyone's interested:

julian eugene kulski 'dying, we live'
his diaries (some from the time, some from memory) of warsaw occupation, uprising, and polish home army which he began training for at age 14.

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Re: WW2 stories

Post by ro » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:25 pm

thanks to those who have been sending me stories via pm.

just thought i'd share some more books/films which stand out for me.
there are so many it's hard to make a list, but here are a few which are at the top of my memory just at the moment.
some quite well-known but some less so and just as fascinating.
in learning about the war, i try to stick to documented facts, but there's also a lot of great fiction out there.


per hansson's 'the greatest gamble'
about gunvald tomstad, norwegian resistance/double agent extraordinaire.

studs terkel's 'the good war'
interviews from all perspectives. fabulous.

otto friedrich's 'before the deluge'
lots of things i didn't know about the weimar republic and the rise of national socialism

robert kotlowitz's 'before their time'
boot camp and combat memoir american soldier. frank, crass, v. memorable account of front line foxhole night battle and what we now call PTSD

'roi ottley's world war II- the lost diary of an african-american journalist'
includes contrast of severe racism in us army and relative lack of in the uk (at least not as outright)

can't remember title or author, but a great collection of stories re: the influx of american troops into the british isles, as told by the residents who welcomed them/just barely tolerated them, and by the soldiers themselves. lots of carousing.
(town of rugby may have been mentioned in this book, can't recall)


die brücke, dir. bernhard wicki 1959

a walk in the sun, dir. lewis milestone 1945

to be or not to be, dir. ernst lubitsch 1942

anything by andrzej wajda

closely watched trains, dir. jiri menzel 1966

korokoro, dir. tony gatlif 2009

and naturally, this short film is indispensable :wink:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHHgdQIZPuw

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Re: WW2 stories

Post by spzretent » Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:59 pm

Ro:
I started a business with my brother and sister. We move seniors from their homes to independent or assisted living and do everything from helping them edit ther belongings, packing, moving, designing their new place and unpacking.
In the past year I have moved several WW2 vets. Some have passed on and we were moving their widows. I have moved so many flags, Purple Hearts and other medals its incredible.
Recently we moved a couple. He is a holocaust survior and a rare one that will talk about it. His stories were fascinating. One story he told us is that he went back to Vienna where he grew up in the mid 80's. He turned the corner and saw all these soldiers walking around in Nazi uniforms and Nazi flags were hanging off all the buildings and he was obviously really puzzled, scared. He asked someone just what the hell was going on and they told him they were shooting a movie.
Can you imagine the thoughts that must come flooding back?
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Re: WW2 stories

Post by redcloud » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:14 am

Ro, I think Winston Churchill's book entitled "The Second World War" is essential reading.

I will also give a shout out to the incredibly haunting and deeply moving "Night" by Elie Wiesel.

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Re: WW2 stories

Post by ro » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:31 pm

thanks, guys.

recloud, i've read the Wiesel, but not the Churchill, which has been staring me down from the library shelf but i haven't picked it up yet. nor have i approached Atkinson. will work on that.

of all the accounts i've looked at or read, from the ineffable nightmares of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to p.o.w. camps on Java (where one of my distant relatives died), to all sorts of brutality by all nationalities, oddly the only book i've ever had to put down out of total despair was a wonderfully written witness account of camp Dora-Mittelbrau (where they built the V-2s in cave-tunnels under the Hartz moutnains) by a French political prisoner. i don't know why that in particular. i just had to stop.

spzretent, sounds like a job i would like to do. not only b/c of the artifacts ! , but b/c how nice to provide a friendly escort during that transition, when often folks end up with certain members of staff who don't like their jobs.

and no, i can't imagine... must have been a visceral panic-type feeling, dread, or what-all, i dunno.
very strange for that gentleman.

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Re: WW2 stories

Post by semisynthetic » Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:31 pm

This is a ID made for Herr T. Becker in 1944. It says he NOW has "Dark-blonde" hair, and "Blue-grey" eyes. I have an older, (and much larger) ID Sheet which describes Mr. Becker, a farmer on the edge of NDSAP (NAZI) [National (German) Socialist Workers Party) territory (encroaching) near upon area occupied by the Nazis, of the "UdSSR".

Strangely, Mr. Becker, just 2 years before had "Brown Hair" and "Brown Eyes"; but governments, (ESPECIALLY the more Totalitarian ones), lie a LOT. So, they made Mr. Becker more "Aryan-germanic", in a subtle "NUDGE" to gain "living space" by The IIIrd Reich. Even though the Soviets killed more of their own people than the Nazis, the Nazis were much better at rewriting History whenever it suited their purposes. Radio Moscow TRIED, but it was more humorous than convincing.

An interest in History leads into interesting tangents.
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"New and Improved" ID for a farmer living near territory of the CCCP in WWII
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Re: WW2 stories

Post by semisynthetic » Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:38 pm

redcloud wrote:Ro, I think Winston Churchill's book entitled "The Second World War" is essential reading.

I will also give a shout out to the incredibly haunting and deeply moving "Night" by Elie Wiesel.

"The Rise and Fall of The IIIrd Reich" by William L. Shirer is an interesting book filled with "I was there" information.
"Everything is a Poison; it is the amount or degree that separates one Poison from another"
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Re: WW2 stories

Post by ro » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:11 am

amazing! i thought eye color tended to grow darker with age...
something in the soil?

all kidding aside, thanks again semi.
what an interesting example of truth-bending, or rather: lyin' cheatin'...

will also check into some Radio Moscow transcripts, if i can find them.

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Re: WW2 stories

Post by semisynthetic » Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:46 am

ro wrote:amazing! i thought eye color tended to grow darker with age...
something in the soil?

will also check into some Radio Moscow transcripts, if i can find them.
When the CCCP was still in big business, I used a Hallicrafters M38 Short-wave to listen to all manner of things, including "Radio Moscow"; a vote in the UN would condemn the Soviets, they would report that the "world had sided with them"; clumsy, but amusing. I have HUNDREDS of hours of tape of insomniac filled evenings til dawn recording what went on in the radiowaves around me. I even observed and recorded "Zelby Waves!" AHA! (See if THAT is in the back of your physics books! It really SHOULD be by now).
My apartment was very drafty, and the Hallicrafters gave off a lot of heat; sometimes, especially during the winter, it WAS NOT insomnia that drove me to listen, I was JUST COLD!
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Re: WW2 stories

Post by ro » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:04 pm

semisynthetic wrote:My apartment was very drafty, and the Hallicrafters gave off a lot of heat; sometimes, especially during the winter, it WAS NOT insomnia that drove me to listen, I was JUST COLD! [/b]
there's a short story in there.

I found a dentist called Zelby, and a realtor in Oklahoma, but only one or two articles about electromagnetic waves.

as always, thanks for your posts, semi... lots of interesting stuff to track down!

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Re: WW2 stories

Post by semisynthetic » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:39 am

If you read German (and want to add a Historical piece of Exceptionally well done Propaganda), you could always obtain a copy of "Deutschland Erwacht" (Germany Awakes), from 1933. This Beautifully done "Lies for Pros" is as scary as it gets, if you read BETWEEN the lines. Published by the "National (German) Socialist Workers Party". At least you would get "many more opinions and points of view". :shock:
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Re: WW2 stories

Post by ro » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:16 pm

I don't read German, i just gaze at it in wonder... :)
actually i can pick up a few words but certainly not nearly enough to make sense.
i think i may have heard of this book.. not sure.
i imagine there is a good translation somewhere.

thanks!

i must say, as a book-as-object fan, that is a beautiful cover (notwithstanding the swastika, etc)
i love the wheat incorporated into the font, and the oak leaves and acorns behind it all.
"Plenty" is implied. propaganda in itself, right there in those lovely embossed designs.

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Re: WW2 stories

Post by semisynthetic » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:11 pm

Judging only the Detail and quality, it IS an excellent book. About 202 photos, I believe it is, were had placed by hand into well, where they go, and adhesive applied to keep them there. In "reality" the Oak leaves, Wheat and Acorns, (und das Hakenkreuz) are in much GREATER RELIEF or embossed than they appear here; (too much light was used when I made this image).

Judging the content as a WARNING also makes this an excellent book. Ironically, most were burned! Just as the Evil before burned what it wished to wipe from the face of the Earth and the minds and hearts of mankind. I don't hold with that notion at all. That is simply too "Fahrenheit 451" for me. HISTORY SHOULD BE TOTAL, or no one will ever really learn anything; and so it is no wonder at all that the "winners" (or the "winners" at a given time) rewrite History, use catchy phrases and distort what happened to better fit an agenda. The outline was herein, and combined with Mein Kampf, all one had to do was read it and accept the fact that Evil does exist in the hearts of certain men and women; perhaps ALL OF US have a point at which we meekly submit, or "join the bandwagon".

Judging the capacity for "Group Think", overwhelming Ideological binding to vested "truths", and just how LOW mankind will go is right here. Mein Kampf is even a better example; but I thought this "better constructed" and somewhat "aesthetically pleasing" book, (in spite of the HATE it conveys), was a better choice to put here. The "Neu Arte" of the IIIrd REICH is also a very interesting topic; as is the manner we know the Socialist Workers Party spied on all of its citizenry is also topical.


Don't dismiss or destroy evidence of the actions of the Past, for they are Prelude, is that not the essence of the idiom? And the POINT?
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Re: WW2 stories

Post by is » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:39 am

This was on Radio 4 on Saturday:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b039lmkg

Fascinating programme.

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Re: WW2 stories

Post by ro » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:11 pm

wow, thanks, will look into that.

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Re: WW2 stories

Post by is » Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:57 pm

I may be wrong - but most BBC programmes are only up for a week, so don't miss it.

(just checked... this one has a year before it falls off the edge!)

I only listened to the first half myself, so I'll have to make time to finish it - but the technology they had to use to get the recording was fascinating in its own right - and I missed the climax.

I'm not sure if I'm happy that I think Max Hastings is a decent commentator on this, either... perhaps I'm getting old.

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Re: WW2 stories

Post by ro » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:56 pm

:(
I'm old too, and confused.. and so is my laptop.
my OS is too outdated to update and so I can't even hear the program(me)!
and I see stephen fry down there too.. sigh.

well, thank you anyway, is.
just my sort of thing.
will research this at library and see what they have on it.

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Re: WW2 stories

Post by semisynthetic » Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:48 am

Just a bitter Reminder.
This is, believe it or not, the NAZI "Government Accepted Marriage" version of "Mein Kampf". Eugenics. You may be amazed at where and how the NAZIs learned of this mock pseudo-science that was the philosophy that killed millions. (See racists like George Bernard Shaw et al). "My Fair Lady" indeed! The loving, or at least "chosen" couple were given this madman's manifesto as their vows to The State and to A.H.
Shaw and his ilk were destructive, self righteous Ideologues that put the State above the Individual. I have some very old video that is shocking indeed; discussions of the "original" death Panels; "you made NEED to prove to a committee that your existence is warranted". What type of twisted mind sorts people for death? Well, maybe Himmler. Definitely the minions, and the mindset of those like G. B. Shaw!
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Re: WW2 stories

Post by semisynthetic » Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:55 am

On a little, but not much of a "lighter note", is a document I have and like for the Engineer's name "Genius". I once knew a physician, last name "Emde", which I thought was great! (Dr. Emde, M.D.!) I have always enjoyed the origins of names, a kind of "hobby". So "interesting" names catch my eye, and a "Genius" is placed below. :D TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT THE DATE!

Rough Translastion:
"I set up in joint venture, for the duration of the war, with the company Bawart, Waschefabriken, Vienna 19, Zumbuschgasse, that also works from holding stock (this company is managed by the Rustungsinpektion and has by order of the SS) in Weitra, (branch operations), where Nahamaschinen is mentioned with electric drives being a "must".
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Re: WW2 stories

Post by ro » Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:54 pm

Here's an interesting story
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24159975
semisynthetic wrote:I once knew a physician, last name "Emde", which I thought was great! (Dr. Emde, M.D.!)
heh heh..

semi, thank you for these artifacts.
am I right in there were two first editions of Mein Kampf?
one was "cleaned up" and set in English, and the other had all its eugenics crapola intact?

btw, the book I couldn't remember (in my last msg to you) was "They Thought They Were Free" by Milton Mayer

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Re: WW2 stories

Post by semisynthetic » Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:00 am

There was a "special" English Edition; even an German Edition "for the masses" that was easier to take than the Madness Exceptionale of the ORIGINAL printing. That original printing however remained as the "Guidebook" for the true Ideologues of National Socialism. (EVEN in ENGLISH!) The "divide and conquer", the inciting of jealousy between "classes", all were classic propoganda techniques to forge ahead with an ill conceived Agenda.
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Re: WW2 stories

Post by is » Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:50 pm

ro wrote::(
I'm old too, and confused.. and so is my laptop.
my OS is too outdated to update and so I can't even hear the program(me)!
That's a shame - but at least it's up there for a while - you may get upgraded in the meantime!
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Re: WW2 stories

Post by is » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:22 pm

semisynthetic wrote:See racists like George Bernard Shaw et al).
Now... I'm not going to defend eugenics here, or George Bernard Shaw particularly, and I certainly don't want an argument, but - are you sure? You don't think you may be applying today's values and hindsight to the points of view and innocence of another age?

I mean - I can't say for certain, but eugenics was a theory which sprang directly from the (at the time) quite new ideas of Darwin, and in Shaw's actual statements on the subject (rather than the out-of-context reductio ad absurdum statement you've no doubt seen on youtube) advocates the theory that (if you like) 'good people should breed', rather than 'bad people should be gassed'.

On the other hand, he supported de Valera (who, memorably, signed the book of condolence at the German Embassy in Dublin marking Hitler's death) and Irish neutrality in WW2, and Stalin (but so did lots of people - and some still do).

I don't know... I just think it's probably a bit more complicated than that. Good playwright, right?

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Re: WW2 stories

Post by semisynthetic » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:21 am

Subject: WW2 stories

is wrote:
semisynthetic wrote:
See racists like George Bernard Shaw et al).

Now... I'm not going to defend eugenics here, or George Bernard Shaw particularly, and I certainly don't want an argument, but - are you sure? You don't think you may be applying today's values and hindsight to the points of view and innocence of another age?

I mean - I can't say for certain, but eugenics was a theory which sprang directly from the (at the time) quite new ideas of Darwin, and in Shaw's actual statements on the subject (rather than the out-of-context reductio ad absurdum statement you've no doubt seen on youtube) advocates the theory that (if you like) 'good people should breed', rather than 'bad people should be gassed'. WHO DECIDES? AND THEN WHO DECIDES AFTER THAT? No, I cannot rationalize the viewpoints; they are too crystallized, too "well written" for any wiggle room.

On the other hand, he supported de Valera (who, memorably, signed the book of condolence at the German Embassy in Dublin marking Hitler's death) and Irish neutrality in WW2, and Stalin (but so did lots of people - and some still do).

I don't know... I just think it's probably a bit more complicated than that. Good playwright, right?

My Opinion:
Almost anything involving the human psyche is "complicated".


I will take the far spectrum "devil's advocate" view here, and say that because of the times, slavery was right by your "timely innocence argument". Sure, it was accepted and acceptable for millinea all over the world, and in some locales still IS; but never has it been right for one person to own and control absolutely another. (But) That opinion would have been nearly blasphemous or so radical that I would not have been accepted in some of the finest homes in THE NORTH, either, because of it, but I do understand your point. WHAT IF these views of Shaw had been implemented; do you believe greatness would now be the result? Not I. It would not be a better world. It would be different, but that is certainly NOT the same thing.

Very Good playwright indeed. With that in mind, why not refer to the opening of Hamlet, wherein "a single corruption......." Perhaps we are ALL subject to a loss of humanity and any sense of morality, if the time and situation is right. I would not minimize the YouTube videos, they are a bit of sand on the same beach. When you see or read a bucket of this sand, perhaps I will not seem QUITE so elitist or know-it-all. I am NOT and I don't.

No, I did not rely on YouTube; I relied on HIS OWN WRITINGS, and Uber extreme positions contained in them. I own several of his own letters defining the extent to which THE STATE should have such absolute control over every aspect of the life of the individual. The paper the letters are on is very brittle, a surprisingly low quality paper, and remain in the vault; I wish I could share THOSE with you! I really should buy a really nice camera, if for no other reason than to "save" the images of so many documents. History SHOULD be complete, lest it be used as mere propoganda, and "scrubbed" and "cleansed" and "sterilized" from Facts at odds with the desired perception.


I know he is looked upon favorably for what he did that people like; but maybe we will learn Himmler was a wonderful poet; does that change much? Which tips the scale? Maybe I AM BEING too "judgemental"; but if the TOTALITY of his beliefs were laid out for you, and the "bad things" not excluded, I suggest you just may rethink this man's bestowed "greatness".

He was a GREAT writer; he had an inciteful mind; but his views are so at odds with how I personally see the role of the "Alphas", that his Brave New World would be a Hell on Earth in my perceptions.

As for Darwin, refer there to his cousin for THESE theories, but not Charles Darwin, not for this monstrous thinking.

There is a HUGE difference between Academic discussion and abstractions of Philosophy and the INSTITUTIONALIZATION and IMPLEMENTATION of those ramblings, regardless of cold rationale or a perceived good.


I have been a great advocate for the Sciences for a VERY long time; but also of the simple belief that just because you can do something, it does not always follow that you should.

Of course, I could be absolutely wrong on every point.
"Everything is a Poison; it is the amount or degree that separates one Poison from another"
Paracelsus

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Re: WW2 stories

Post by semisynthetic » Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:36 am

A few more documents; this is a letter from someone from within Himmler's SS Group; an SS member needed to simply WRITE "SS" and no postage was necessary throughout the IIIrd Reich. An "SS" NSDAP Stamp was also "free". This letter is mainly chit-chat between two friends in the Panzer Corps; no translation; just the Idea of the Power of Himmler and the inhumanity and power the SS. Look at the date. September 28th, 1944.
I had too many photos; and they were simply TOO much to illustrate on this forum such absolute Power of the State; so I just chose "write your free Aryan stamp here" instead. It was just to convey what I did not feel comfortable showing with anything more heinous. I have collected Documents and Books from just about everywhere from WWI and WWII. What a terrible waste of life and Possibilities.
The Inhumanity to man begins with an ABSOLUTE POWER over the INDIVIDUAL.
(Why I chose THIS letter).
September 26th, 2013
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LETTER1R 002aa.jpg
SS Letter 1944; September 28th
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letter1R aSS001.jpg
Envelope simply written "SS" free
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"Everything is a Poison; it is the amount or degree that separates one Poison from another"
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