Category Archives: World War II

Japan still clearing World War II bombs from Okinawa

Matthew M. Burke and Chiyomi Sumida report for Stars & Stripes:

280714OKINAWA_BOMBphoto04‘World War II ended 69 years ago, but shells are still exploding off the coast of Okinawa. Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force explosive ordnance disposal technicians detonated two dozen U.S.-made munitions Wednesday morning about 800 yards from shore in Kadena town’s Mizugama district, an area known as the “sea wall,” close to Kadena Air Base.

Nineteen of the 24 rounds were 5-inch shells found near the mouth of Hija River in Kadena town along with an 81 mm mortar shell, according to Kadena Town official Nobukazu Kobashigawa. They were accompanied by four 5-inch shells found on the Yomitan Village side. “It is not surprising to find those shells because the beach is where the allied forces first landed during the Battle of Okinawa,” Kobashigawa said. “I am sure there are lots more.”’


Adolf Hitler: Billionaire tax-dodger?

Robb Quinn reports for Newser:

AP Travel Trip Hitlers Munich‘Amid Adolf Hitler’s staggeringly horrific crimes against humanity, some pretty heavy-duty tax evasion appears to have been overlooked, a new British documentary set to air Friday finds. The Hunt for Hitler’s Missing Millions argues that the Fuhrer had plenty of money-making schemes, the Mirror reports: He copyrighted his own image, allowing him to rake in royalties from stamps sold bearing his image; was paid for public speeches; and made at least $1 million a year in royalties from Mein Kampf, thanks in part to the fact that a copy was given to all German couples on their wedding day. The documentary makers believe that Hitler owed at least $3 million in back taxes (in today’s dollars) by 1938—though tax authorities were presumably a little reluctant to launch an investigation.’


D-Day Set the Stage for the Rebirth and Reorganization of Global Capitalism: Interview with Leo Panitch

Editor’s Note: If you would like to learn more about the formation of the Atlantic capitalist elite after World War Two I would highly recommend two books. The first by Leo Panitch himself is “The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire“, and the other is by Kees van der Pijl, “The Making of an Atlantic Ruling Class“. You can also download another of van der Pijl’s books for free here.

Hidden horrors of the “good war” that won’t be commemorated on the D-Day anniversary

Matt Carr writes for Stop War:

‘Today is the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings, an event that is rightly celebrated as a key moment in the defeat of Nazism and the liberation of Europe from fascist tyranny.  Last year I visited the beaches at Omaha and Arromanches for the first time, and went to the American and British and Commonweath cemeteries. It was a moving and impressive sight, and anyone who has read accounts of the landings and the vicious hedgerow fighting that preceded the Bocage ‘breakout’ cannot but be impressed by the courage and resilience shown by the soldiers who waded ashore on 6 June, 1945.

D-Day belongs firmly to the ‘good war’ narrative of World War II, partly because the battles that followed are remembered as clashes between armies.   In fact the landings had a catastrophic impact on French civilians, as a result of Allied bombing raids and artillery bombardments of German positions that made no distinction between civilians and soldiers, whether in the bombing of Caen that followed the landings,or the firebombing of the seaside town of Royan with napalm by the US Eighth Air Force on 15 April 1945 that preceded them. Events like these should not be forgotten.   And the ‘good war’ historical remembrance of military heroism should never be allowed to obscure the fact that the Allied victory in World War II was not merely due to the heroism and self-sacrifice of soldiers, but was also the result of a new form of ‘total war’ that was directed not only at armies and military targets, but against the enemy society.’


Nazi concentration camp inmates forced to work for Audi during Second World War

From The Local:

Dark history: Car giant Audi, then called Auto Union, employed thousands of concentration camp inmates during the Second World War, an investigation has found‘Audi has been forced to re-think everything it knew about one of its founding heroes, Dr Richard Bruhn, after the study it commissioned into the company’s past revealed he had close ties with leading Nazis.

Bruhn, long celebrated as the “Father of the Auto Union”, which in the 1980s evolved into the modern Audi brand, exploited slave labour under the Nazi dictatorship on a massive scale, a newly-released historical investigation revealed on Monday.

Although the firm told Spiegel it would be changing online profiles of Bruhn, he is still credited on a number of Audi’s English-language websites worldwide as having “guided the company with great competence” before the war and securing a “high reputation” post-war which “made it possible to obtain the credit needed to re-establish the Auto Union”.’


91-year-old Greek WWII hero wins big in Euro-elections

Jerome Roos writes for Roar Mag:

Post image for 91-year-old Greek WWII hero wins big in Euro-elections‘In Europe, dark clouds are gathering on the horizon once more. Yesterday marked the conclusion of the European Parliamentary elections, and the extreme-right had a number of terrifyingly strong showings in France, Austria, Denmark, Hungary and Greece, among other countries. But as disillusioned citizens across the continent send their ultra-nationalist, proto-fascist and even openly neo-Nazi deputies to Brussels and Strasbourg, the one candidate who actually managed to secure an overwhelming victory here in Greece is Manolis Glezos, the legendary 91-year-old WWII resistance hero, who, on May 30, 1941 — at the age of 19, just weeks after the Nazi invasion and occupation of his country — scaled the Acropolis in the dead of night and, together with his friend Apostolos Santas, tore down the Swastika.’


Beach hunt by British Navy for WW2 explosives

From BBC News:

Unexploded shells‘A beach shut by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) two weeks ago after World War Two explosives and ammunition were found will now not reopen until June. Disposal teams cleared ordnance from sections of East and West beaches in Shoeburyness, Essex, but the Royal Navy is carrying out a further survey.

The MoD said it recognised the concerns of visitors, residents and businesses. It would take two weeks to analyse the survey before the council could decide to reopen the beach, the MoD said. The beach area is owned by the MoD but has public access and is popular with visitors and residents.’

Files Uncovered: Nazi Veterans Created Illegal Army After World War II

Klaus Wiegrefe reports for Spiegel:

The information was uncovered by an Independent Historical Commission hired by...‘For nearly six decades, the 321-page file lay unnoticed in the archives of the BND, Germany’s foreign intelligence agency — but now its contents have revealed a new chapter of German postwar history that is as spectacular as it is mysterious.

The previously secret documents reveal the existence of a coalition of approximately 2,000 former officers — veterans of the Nazi-era Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS — who decided to put together an army in postwar Germany in 1949. They made their preparations without a mandate from the German government, without the knowledge of the parliament and, the documents show, by circumventing Allied occupation forces.

The goal of the retired officers: to defend nascent West Germany against Eastern aggression in the early stages of the Cold War and, on the domestic front, deploy against the Communists in the event of a civil war.’


Christian radio host: Nazi ‘race of super gay male soldiers’ is coming to ‘hunt you down’

David Ferguson reports for Raw Story:

Rick Wiles via TruNews dot comDuring an interview on Monday with anti-LGBT Indiana pastor Jeff Allen, TruNews host Rick Wiles said that LGBT activists are literal Nazis and their true objective was not world domination by the Aryan race, but a global homosexual society.

Right Wing Watch reported that Wiles said, “Hitler was trying to create a race of super gay male soldiers.”

“It’s not an exaggeration to say ‘homofascist,’” Wiles insisted, “because the German Nazi Party was homosexual. Hitler was a homosexual. The top Nazi leadership, all of them were homosexuals.”


Hitler might have married a woman of Jewish descent, according to DNA analysis

From The Huffington Post:

Undated photo of Adolf Hitler, with his dog Blondi.Nazi leader Adolf Hitler might have married a woman of Jewish descent, according to DNA analysis. A new TV documentary will claim that Eva Braun, the lover whom the anti-Semitic fuhrer married shortly before they both killed themselves in 1945, was possibly of Jewish ancestry.

The Dead Famous DNA film – to be screened on Channel 4 Wednesday – tested hair samples which are said to have come from a hairbrush used by Braun and discovered at Hitler’s mountain retreat.

The German leader, behind the mass extermination of Jews during the Second World War, was 23 years older than his lover – who fell in love with him when she was a teenager – and worried the relationship would affect his image, he kept her largely hidden away at his Alpine residence, the Berghof.


John Glaser: The Myths Behind the Allied Bombing Campaigns of WWII

John Glaser writes for Antiwar:

Lancaster_I_NG128_Dropping_Blockbuster_-_Duisburg_-_Oct_14,_1944In the New York Times, Ben Macintyre reviews the new book by Richard Overy The Bombers and the Bombed. Macintyre gives a summary of Overy’s myth-busting about the Allied bombing of Germany. Indiscriminate bombing of civilians, instead of sticking to military targets, is usually defended as (1) a response to similarly indiscriminate bombing campaigns by the Germans, like in the Blitz, and (2) the only way to completely bring down the Nazi regime.

“Overy demonstrates, however, that the tactic of bombing urban areas had been put into action by the British before the Blitz,” Macintyre reports. And as for the second justification…


Top 5 Craziest Ways Animals Have Been Weaponized

‘Abby Martin speaks with Breaking the Set producer Manuel Rapalo about the top five strangest ways human beings have turned animals into weapons, going over everything from strapping napalm on bats to having sea lions handcuff people.’ (Breaking the Set)

Hillary Clinton: Playing a Dog-Eared ‘Hitler’ Card

Norman Solomon writes for the Huffington Post:

The frontrunner to become the next president of the United States is playing an old and dangerous political game — comparing a foreign leader to Adolf Hitler. At a private charity event on Tuesday, in comments preserved on audio, Hillary Clinton talked about actions by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in the Crimea. “Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the ’30s,” she said.

The next day, Clinton gave the inflammatory story more oxygen when speaking at UCLA. She “largely stood by the remarks,” the Washington Post reported. Clinton “said she was merely noting parallels between Putin’s claim that he was protecting Russian-speaking minorities in Crimea and Hitler’s moves into Poland, Czechoslovakia and other parts of Europe to protect German minorities.”

Clinton denied that she was comparing Putin with Hitler even while she persisted in comparing Putin with Hitler. “I just want people to have a little historic perspective,” she said. “I’m not making a comparison certainly, but I am recommending that we perhaps can learn from this tactic that has been used before.” Yes indeed. Let’s learn from this tactic that has been used before — the tactic of comparing overseas adversaries to Hitler. Such comparisons by U.S. political leaders have a long history of fueling momentum for war.


George Takei on Life Inside a Japanese Internment Camp During WWII

‘Legendary actor, author and activist, George Takei, best known for playing Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek, appears on Democracy Now! for an extended interview. In this excerpt, he talks about his role as World War II veteran Sam Kimura in “Allegiance: A New American Musical.” The musical tells the story of a Japanese-American family who is relocated from their farm after the attack on Pearl Harbor and placed in an internment camp in Wyoming. This parallels part of Takei’s own family history. At the age of five, his family was shipped to a Japanese-American internment camp in Rohwer, Arkansas.’ (Democracy Now!)

US scientists were “accomplices after the fact” in Japanese doctors’ war crimes

Michael Cook writes for BioEdge:

All of contemporary bioethics springs from the Nuremberg Doctors Trial in 1947. Seven Nazi doctors and officials were hanged and nine received severe prison sentences for performing experiments on an estimated 25,000 prisoners in concentration camps without their consent. Only about 1,200 died but many were maimed and psychologically scarred.

So did the US do to the hundreds of Japanese medical personnel who experimented on Chinese civilians and prisoners of war of many nationalities, including Chinese, Koreans, Russians, Australians, and Americans? They killed an estimated 3,000 people in the infamous Unit 731 in Harbin, in northeastern China before and during World War II – plus tens of thousands of civilians when they field-tested germ warfare. Many of the doctors were academics from Japan’s leading medical schools.


Well, almost nothing. Twelve doctors were tried and found guilty by the Soviets in the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials in 1949, but they were all repatriated in 1956. American authorities dismissed the trials as Soviet propaganda. Many of the doctors in Unit 731 went on to successful careers in Japan after the War. The commander of the unit, Shirō Ishii, lived in relative obscurity but his successor late in the war, Kitano Masaji, became head of one of Japan’s leading pharmaceutical companies.

How did the Japanese doctors escape justice?

A fascinating answer appears in the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. The broad outline of the story has been well documented, even if it is not widely known. To cut a long story short, the Americans struck a deal with the doctors. They traded immunity from prosecution for access to scientific information from the ghastly Japanese experiments – many of which are too grim to detail here. (If you have the stomach for it, a remorseful doctor describes, at the age of 90, some of his vivisection experiments in an article in the Japan Times.)


These 5 Corporations Helped Carry Out the Holocaust

Abby Martin highlights the top five companies that aided Nazi Germany during the height of WWII, calling out companies such as Hugo Boss, IBM and Ford. (Breaking the Set)

Decades after internment, Japanese-Americans warn of what’s still possible

Japanese-American Internment Remembrance DayMassoud Hayoun writes for Al Jazeera:

Japanese-Americans are holding a Day of Remembrance this week for community elders who were unlawfully locked in internment camps during World War II. But for many people — including U.S. judicial authorities — the specter of the camps is hardly a thing of the past. “You are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again,” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told University of Hawaii law students earlier this month. “In times of war, the laws fall silent.”

For many former detainees who will tell their stories during remembrance events Wednesday [Feb 19th], Scalia’s words are a sobering reminder that national security at times trumps constitutional rights. They think of the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance of private communications or the indefinite detentions of alleged terrorism suspects — mostly Arab and Muslim men — under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The Day of Remembrance marks not only the day in 1942 when President Franklin Roosevelt signed an executive order allowing the internment of 120,000 people of Japanese origin after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor; it also serves as “a reminder to our communities — our civil rights are still not protected,” said Karen Korematsu, whose father, Fred Korematsu, famously challenged his detention in the landmark Supreme Court case Korematsu v. United States in 1944.

Karen Korematsu cited the NDAA’s indefinite detentions as one attack on civil rights now faced primarily by American Muslims. Among the other issues they say they face are the mass infiltration of mosque communities by law enforcement and harassment by Transportation Security Administration staff at U.S. borders. “Even (Scalia) said this could happen again. That’s why education (on Japanese-American internment and civil rights) is so important,” Korematsu said.


Gar Alperovitz: Nuclear Attack on Japan was Opposed by American Military Leadership

London Turns World War II Shelters into Underground Farms

From Mashable:

One hundred feet beneath the bustling city of London, in air raid shelters used during World War II, a company is growing leafy greens. Welcome to Growing Underground. Using a hydroponics system — a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water — and LED lighting, the company grows nine kinds of veggie and three herbs year long in the 2.5 acres underneath the London Underground’s Northern line.

As a part of the larger company Zero Carbon Food, cofounded by Richard Ballard and Steven Dring, Growing Underground prides itself on being a carbon neutral operation. The underground farm estimates that its hydroponics system uses 70 percent less water than the traditional open-field farming. Besides providing eco-friendly food, Growing Underground’s system seeks to reduce “food miles” — or the distance it takes for produce to reach your plate. Because the company grows in, around and under London for London residents, the time between harvest and sale could be as little as four hours.


Stone and Kuznick: Japan tilts right

stoneOliver Stone and Peter Kuznick write for USA Today:

At the end of World War II, the world understood the viciousness of Japanese militarism. Japan had left a bloody trail from Korea to China to Southeast Asia and well beyond. Under the guidance of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, postwar occupation authorities drafted a constitution for Japan, which includedArticle 9 renouncing warfare and offensive military capabilities.

Tribunals across Asia led to thousands of war criminals being jailed and as many as 900 executed. But U.S. authorities pardoned some war prisoners, believing they would be useful to fight against communism. Among those pardoned was Nobusuke Kishi, who became prime minister. A defense pact Kishi struck with the U.S. was so unpopular, he was driven from office.

Today, Kishi’s grandsonShinzo Abe, is prime minister and is doing to Japan what Attorney General John Mitchell predicted Richard Nixon would do to the U.S. — drive the country “so far to the right you’re not even going to recognize it.”


Seumas Milne: 70 years of foreign troops? We should close the bases

Protests at RAF Menwith Hill near Harrogate, North YorkshireSeumas Milne writes for The Guardian:

It’s almost never discussed in the political mainstream. But thousands of foreign troops have now been stationed in Britain for more than 70 years. There’s been nothing like it since the Norman invasion. With the 15-month Dutch occupation of London in 1688-9 a distant competitor, there has been no precedent since 1066 for the presence of American forces in a string of military bases for the better part of a century. They arrived in 1942 to fight Nazi Germany. But they didn’t head home in 1945; instead, they stayed on for the 40-odd years of the cold war, supposedly to repel invasion from the Soviet Union. Nor did they leave when the cold war ended and the Soviet Union collapsed, but were invited to remain as the pivot of the anti-Soviet Nato alliance.

A generation later, there are still nearly 10,000 US military personnel stationed in Britain, based in dozens of secretive facilities. Most of them are in half a dozen major military bases – misleadingly named RAF this or that, but effectively under full American control: Lakenheath, Croughton, Mildenhall and Molesworth among others – along with the National Security Agency and missile defence bases such as Menwith Hill in Yorkshire. British troops are now finally being pulled out of Germany. There is not the slightest suggestion, however, that US forces will be withdrawn from Britain in the forseeable future. But what are they doing here? Who are they supposed to be defending us from?


Internments can happen again, Justice Scalia warns

From AP:

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told law students at the University of Hawaii law school Monday that the nation’s highest court was wrong to uphold the internment of Japa­nese-Americans during World War II but that he wouldn’t be surprised if the court issued a similar ruling during a future conflict. Scalia was responding to a question about the court’s 1944 decision in Kore­ma­tsu v. United States, which upheld the convictions of Gordon Hira­ba­ya­shi and Fred Kore­ma­tsu for violating an order to report to an internment camp.

“Well, of course, Kore­ma­tsu was wrong. And I think we have repudiated in a later case. But you are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again,” Scalia told students and faculty during a lunchtime question-and-answer session. Scalia cited a Latin expression meaning “In times of war, the laws fall silent.” “That’s what was going on — the panic about the war and the invasion of the Pacific and whatnot. That’s what happens. It was wrong, but I would not be surprised to see it happen again, in time of war. It’s no justification but it is the reality,” he said.


The Minnesota starvation experiment

Participants of the experimentFrom BBC News:

During World War Two, conscientious objectors in the US and the UK were asked to volunteer for medical research. In one project in the US, young men were starved for six months to help experts decide how to treat victims of mass starvation in Europe.

In 1944, 26-year-old Marshall Sutton was a young idealist who wanted to change the world for the better. As a conscientious objector and Quaker, he refused to fight in the war but he still craved the chance to help his country.

“I wanted to identify with the suffering in the world at that time,” he says. “I wanted to do something for society. I wanted to put myself in a little danger.”

That danger came, unexpectedly, in the shape of a small brochure with a picture of children on the front.

“Will you starve that they be better fed?” it asked. It was a call for volunteers to act as human guinea pigs in a medical experiment at the University of Minnesota.


Japan WW2 Soldier Who Refused to Surrender Until 1974 Dies

From BBC News:

A Japanese soldier who refused to surrender after World War Two ended and spent 29 years in the jungle has died aged 91 in Tokyo.

Hiroo Onoda remained in the jungle on Lubang Island near Luzon, in the Philippines, until 1974 because he did not believe that the war had ended.

He was finally persuaded to emerge after his ageing former commanding officer was flown in to see him.

Correspondents say he was greeted as a hero on his return to Japan.


George Orwell Explains in a Revealing 1944 Letter Why He’d Write 1984

ORWELLFrom Open Culture:

Most of the twentieth century’s notable men of letters — i.e., writers of books, of essays, of reportage — seem also to have, literally, written a great deal of letters. Sometimes their correspondence reflects and shapes their “real” written work; sometimes it appears collected in book form itself. Both hold true in the case of George Orwell, a volume of whose letters, edited by Peter Davison, came out last year. In it we find this missive, also published in full at The Daily Beast, sent in 1944 to one Noel Willmett, who had asked “whether totalitarianism, leader-worship etc. are really on the up-grade” given “that they are not apparently growing in [England] and the USA”:

I must say I believe, or fear, that taking the world as a whole these things are on the increase. Hitler, no doubt, will soon disappear, but only at the expense of strengthening (a) Stalin, (b) the Anglo-American millionaires and (c) all sorts of petty fuhrers of the type of de Gaulle. All the national movements everywhere, even those that originate in resistance to German domination, seem to take non-democratic forms, to group themselves round some superhuman fuhrer (Hitler, Stalin, Salazar, Franco, Gandhi, De Valera are all varying examples) and to adopt the theory that the end justifies the means. Everywhere the world movement seems to be in the direction of centralised economies which can be made to ‘work’ in an economic sense but which are not democratically organised and which tend to establish a caste system. With this go the horrors of emotional nationalism and a tendency to disbelieve in the existence of objective truth because all the facts have to fit in with the words and prophecies of some infallible fuhrer. Already history has in a sense ceased to exist, ie. there is no such thing as a history of our own times which could be universally accepted, and the exact sciences are endangered as soon as military necessity ceases to keep people up to the mark. Hitler can say that the Jews started the war, and if he survives that will become official history. He can’t say that two and two are five, because for the purposes of, say, ballistics they have to make four. But if the sort of world that I am afraid of arrives, a world of two or three great superstates which are unable to conquer one another, two and two could become five if the fuhrer wished it. That, so far as I can see, is the direction in which we are actually moving, though, of course, the process is reversible.

As to the comparative immunity of Britain and the USA. Whatever the pacifists etc. may say, we have not gone totalitarian yet and this is a very hopeful symptom. I believe very deeply, as I explained in my book The Lion and the Unicorn, in the English people and in their capacity to centralise their economy without destroying freedom in doing so. But one must remember that Britain and the USA haven’t been really tried, they haven’t known defeat or severe suffering, and there are some bad symptoms to balance the good ones. To begin with there is the general indifference to the decay of democracy. Do you realise, for instance, that no one in England under 26 now has a vote and that so far as one can see the great mass of people of that age don’t give a damn for this? Secondly there is the fact that the intellectuals are more totalitarian in outlook than the common people. On the whole the English intelligentsia have opposed Hitler, but only at the price of accepting Stalin. Most of them are perfectly ready for dictatorial methods, secret police, systematic falsification of history etc. so long as they feel that it is on ‘our’ side. Indeed the statement that we haven’t a Fascist movement in England largely means that the young, at this moment, look for their fuhrer elsewhere. One can’t be sure that that won’t change, nor can one be sure that the common people won’t think ten years hence as the intellectuals do now. I hope they won’t, I even trust they won’t, but if so it will be at the cost of a struggle. If one simply proclaims that all is for the best and doesn’t point to the sinister symptoms, one is merely helping to bring totalitarianism nearer.

You also ask, if I think the world tendency is towards Fascism, why do I support the war. It is a choice of evils—I fancy nearly every war is that. I know enough of British imperialism not to like it, but I would support it against Nazism or Japanese imperialism, as the lesser evil. Similarly I would support the USSR against Germany because I think the USSR cannot altogether escape its past and retains enough of the original ideas of the Revolution to make it a more hopeful phenomenon than Nazi Germany. I think, and have thought ever since the war began, in 1936 or thereabouts, that our cause is the better, but we have to keep on making it the better, which involves constant criticism.

Yours sincerely,
Geo. Orwell


The year’s unlikeliest bestselling author: Hitler

Credit: APFrom Salon:

The nonfiction bestseller list is traditionally peppered with controversial figures and provocative subject matter. But among the current crop of hot authors, you still might not to expect to find the most notorious figure of the 20th century. Meet Adolf Hitler, Nazi mastermind and unlikely e-book champion.

As Chris Faraone first noted earlier this week on, “Mein Kampf,” Hitler’s 1925 quasi memoir and manifesto on the “the Jewish peril,” has become a full-fledged e-book chart-topper. Across platforms like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes, the book, whose English translation copyright holder Houghton Mifflin hasn’t even released in paperback in 16 years, is wiping up the floor with more contemporary political authors. Farone writes, “All seven of [Glenn] Beck’s books trail Herr Hitler’s nearly century-old tell-all, which consistently holds its own against new e-blockbusters like ‘Game Change’ by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, ‘This Town’ by Mark Leibovich and Nate Silver’s ‘The Signal and the Noise.’”


Rare Photos From a Nazi Christmas Party

From Wall Breakiers:

Rare Photos From a Nazi Christmas Party


Disposal of big bomb will force 45,000 from northern Italy homes

From Stars & Stripes:

A 4,000-pound British bomb is to be defused, hauled away and blown up in the springtime, officials say.

According to Italian news accounts, the bomb, discovered in October, was dropped in November 1944 on what was then Dal Molin Airport. Defusing and removing it will require moving some 45,000 people from the area at a cost of about 1.5 million euros, Italian media have reported.

The all-Italian effort, called “Operation Old Lady,” apparently because the bomb has been in the ground for 69 years,is to be carried out by the 2nd Regiment of the Julia Alpine Engineers.

Operation Old Lady is expected to last for several hours. The plan is for citizens within 3 kilometers of the site, and soldiers from Del Din, home of the 173rd Infantry Combat Brigade Team (Airborne), which is adjacent to the site, to leave their abodes starting at 6 a.m. on a yet to be determined Sunday morning. Everyone is expected to be able to return to the area by the afternoon.


The Last Dead Nazi

American soldiers with captured Nazi flag, WWII. (Photo: <a href="" target="_blank"> Za Rodinu / Flickr</a>)

American soldiers with captured Nazi flag, WWII. (Photo: Za Rodinu / Flickr)

From Truthout:

[...] Certainly, the planet is improved by the fact that Heinrich Boere no longer resides on the skin of this Earth, but is buried beneath it. He was not the last living Nazi of Hitler’s Reich, but he is among the last. Very soon now – certainly within the next ten years – the sun will rise upon a world without a single living soul who saw what happened, who participated either directly or by way of tacit approval in the formation and defense of the so-called “Thousand Year Reich.”

In my own way, I mourn the passing of Heinrich Boere. Not because of what he believed or what he did; were I able, I would spit on his grave…and then light a candle, and stand a vigil, because Heinrich Boere is important to us all. When men like Heinrich Boere die, we are one step closer to forgetting that men like him lived at all, one step closer to forgetting that party-sponsored murder gangs like the Waffen SS ever existed, one step closer to forgetting that hate-fueled thuggery thrives in economic chaos, can take over, and can wreak bloody havoc.

When men like Heinrich Boere die, we are one step closer to having men like Heinrich Boere among us again, because we forget what they did when they are gone, and by forgetting, we allow them to live again. Sooner or later, inevitably, they rise when we forget.


Japanese Newsreel Footage on Effects of A-Bomb Seized by U.S. 68 Years Ago

From Pressing Issues:

In the weeks following the atomic attacks on Japan 68 years ago, and then for decades afterward, the United States engaged in airtight suppression of all film shot in Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the bombings. This included footage shot by U.S. military crews and Japanese newsreel teams. In addition, for many years, all but a handful of newspaper photographs were seized or prohibited not only in the United States, but also in occupied Japan.

Meanwhile, the American public only got to see the same black and white images: a mushroom cloud, battered buildings, a devastated landscape. The true human costs–a full airing of the bomb’s effects on people –were kept hidden. The writer Mary McCarthy declared that Hiroshima had already fallen into “a hole in history.”  The public did not see any of the newsreel footage for 25 years, and the U.S. military film remained hidden for more than three decades. (The story is told in full in my bookAtomic Cover-up.)

In fact, the Japanese footage might have disappeared forever if the newsreel team had not hidden one print from the Americans in a ceiling. The color U.S. military footage was not shown anywhere until the early 1980s, and has never been fully aired. It rests today at the National Archives in College Park, Md. When that footage finally emerged, I spoke with and corresponded with the man at the center of this drama: Lt. Col. (Ret.) Daniel A. McGovern, who directed the U.S. military film-makers in 1945-1946, managed the Japanese footage, and then kept watch on all of the top-secret material for decades.

McGovern observed that, “The main reason it was classified was…because of the horror, the devastation.” I also met and interviewed one top member of his military crew, who had fought for years to get the footage aired widely in America, and interviewed some of the hibakusha who appear in the footage.  Those accounts form the center of Atomic Cover-Up.   You can read about that a view some of the color footage here.  But let’s focus on tjhe Japanese newsreel footage for the moment.