Scrapbookpages Blog

July 19, 2017

July 20, 1944 Valkyrie — the bomb plot against Hitler

Filed under: Germany, movies, Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:38 am

On July 20th, 1944 there was a famous assignation attempt against Adolf Hitler.

The five minute video clip above, which is from a Tom Cruz movie, is a fairly accurate reenactment of the incident.  Many people have objected to the casting of Tom Cruz, in the role of the much taller Claus Schenk, Graf von Stauffenberg, but Tom Cruz looks remarkably like Claus Schenk.

There is virtually nothing in Valkyrie, the movie, which shows what ordinary life was like in Germany in July 1944. There are no extras playing the part of a German Fräulein wearing a dirndl; no Germans drinking beer and singing in a beer garden. There is nothing to indicate that the action is taking place in Germany.

Another movie, Revolutionary Road, which was released around the same time, is authentic 1950s America, right down to the smallest detail.

The only scene in Valkyrie that comes close to showing Germany, as it was in 1943, is when Stauffenberg goes to Hitler’s home called the Berghof to get his signature on a document.

We see the famous picture window that looks out on the Bavarian Alps. Hitler’s henchmen are gathered around him at the Berghof and Albert Speer can be identified: there is a bit player who bears a resemblance to him.

BerghofWindow.jpg

The Berghof and surroundings were bombed by the RAF right before the end of the war on April 25, 1945 — it was done out of spite: the area was of no strategic importance at that point.

The famous picture window before it was destroyed 

Hitler is accurately shown in the movie as a broken man, petting his dog, an Alsatian Sheppard. One bit of information that I didn’t know until I saw this movie, many years ago, is that Stauffenberg put in his glass eye whenever he was in the presence of Hitler. He obviously wanted Hitler to have a good opinion of him; in the scene at the Berghof, Hitler says that he wishes that all his Army officers were like Stauffenberg.

In the trailers for the movie, that were shown for weeks before the movie opened, there is a brief scene where someone kills a mosquito with the lit end of a cigarette. Undoubtedly, there were many people who thought that this was a cruel act committed by Hitler, but there was a German guard at Hitler’s Wolf’s Lair headquarters in East Prussia, who actually killed a mosquito on his arm with a lit cigarette.

The Wolf’s Lair was located on swampy ground and that’s why there were mosquitoes. This scene may have been included by the film makers before they learned that Hitler didn’t smoke. In any case, the scene is totally out of context and has no relevance to the movie plot.

On July 20, 1944, an attempt to assassinate Hitler, which had been planned for years by groups which included former political prisoners who had been released from Sachsenhausen, was made by Colonel Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, an insider on Hitler’s staff. One of those involved in the planning was a former Sachsenhausen political prisoner, Julius Leber, a Social Democrat.

The plan was for the political prisoners at Sachsenhausen, including Schuschnigg and the trade union leader, Carl Vollmerhaus, to take over important positions in the German government after Hitler was dead.

According to Information Leaflet Number 20, which I obtained from the Sachsenhausen Memorial Site:

As one of the first measures for the “restoration of the supreme majesty of the law,” the conspirators wanted the concentration camps closed down. For this reason, the “immediate measures” of the July 20, 1944 plan included the occupation of the concentration camps, the arrest of the commandants and the disarming of the guards by the military. But this never happened.

The assassination attempt failed when someone moved the briefcase containing a bomb, which Col. von Stauffenberg had planted near Hitler’s feet. Von Stauffenberg had left the room before the time bomb went off, and had returned to Berlin where a group of high-ranking German army officers were planning to proclaim martial law, after the announcement of the death of Hitler, and take control of the government. The bomb went off, but Hitler survived the blast with only minor injuries.

According to the Information Leaflet, some of the conspirators arrested immediately after the assassination attempt are believed to have been taken to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, including Field Marshall Erwin von Witzleben.

Some of the conspirators who were seriously injured or sick, or who had tried to escape arrest by suicide or had become ill while imprisoned, were sent to the well-equipped infirmary barracks at Sachsenhausen where they were kept alive for further interrogations or until they could be put on trial in the People’s Court.

One of the conspirators who was brought to the Sachsenhausen infirmary with severe injuries was Colonel Siegfried Wagner, who had jumped out the window of his apartment in Potsdam on July 22, 1944 in an attempt to escape arrest; he died in the infirmary four days later.

Colonel Carl-Hans von Hardenberg, who was slated to become the head of the state of Berlin-Brandenberg after the takeover by the conspirators, was also taken to Sachsenhausen with severe injuries after he attempted suicide to escape arrest. He was one of the survivors of Sachsenhausen, thanks to a Communist fellow-prisoner, Flor Peeters, who took care of him.

Another conspirator, Lieutenant Colonel Hasso von Boehmer, was brought to the infirmary at Sachsenhausen, so that he could be kept alive long enough for the People’s Court in Potsdam to sentence him to death and execute him.

Only a few of the many conspirators, who were involved in the July 20th plot, were tried in the People’s Court; the others were sent directly to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp without a trial. Only a few of the many conspirators, who were involved in the July 20th plot, were tried in the People’s Court; the others were sent directly to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp without a trial.

Randolph von Breidbach, a resistance fighter against the Nazis, was arrested in 1943 and tried by the Reich War Court; although he was found not guilty by the court, he was held in prison until February 1945 when he was transferred to the Sachsenhausen infirmary, where he stayed behind when the camp was evacuated two months later. He died on June 13, 1945 in Sachsenhausen and was buried in a mass grave behind the infirmary barracks.

On July 30, 1944, ten days after the assassination attempt by von Stauffenberg, Hitler ordered that the family members of von Stauffenberg be arrested as “kinship prisoners.” A total of 180 relatives, mostly wives and children, were arrested in August 1944 and imprisoned at Sachsenhausen in the special section of brick buildings located outside the prison enclosure, called the “Schuschnigg barracks.” This was where former Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg was held, along with his wife and child, until he was transferred to Dachau in 1945.

 

Auf der Heide blüht ein kleines Blümelein

Filed under: Germany, Language, Music, Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: — furtherglory @ 11:19 am

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erika_(song)

Auf der Heide blüht ein kleines Blümelein
und das heißt: Erika.
Heiß von hunderttausend kleinen Bienelein
wird umschwärmt Erika
denn ihr Herz ist voller Süßigkeit,
zarter Duft entströmt dem Blütenkleid.
Auf der Heide blüht ein kleines Blümelein
und das heißt: Erika.

On the heath, there blooms a little flower
and it’s called Erika.
Eagerly a hundred thousand little bees,
swarm around Erika.
For her heart is full of sweetness,
a tender scent escapes her blossom-gown.
On the heath, there blooms a little flower
and it’s called Erika.

In der Heimat wohnt ein kleines Mägdelein
und das heißt: Erika.
Dieses Mädel ist mein treues Schätzelein
und mein Glück, Erika.
Wenn das Heidekraut rot-lila blüht,
singe ich zum Gruß ihr dieses Lied.
Auf der Heide blüht ein kleines Blümelein
und das heißt: Erika.

Back at home, there lives a little maiden
and she’s called Erika.
That girl is my faithful little darling
and my joy, Erika!
When the heather blooms in a reddish purple,
I sing her this song in greeting.
On the heath, there blooms a little flower
and it’s called Erika.

In mein’m Kämmerlein blüht auch ein Blümelein
und das heißt: Erika.
Schon beim Morgengrau’n sowie beim Dämmerschein
schaut’s mich an, Erika.
Und dann ist es mir, als spräch’ es laut:
“Denkst du auch an deine kleine Braut?”
In der Heimat weint um dich ein Mägdelein
und das heißt: Erika.

In my room, there also blooms a little flower
and it’s called Erika.
Already In the grey of dawn, as it does at dusk,
It looks at me, Erika!
And it is as if it spoke aloud:
“Are you thinking of your fiancée?”
Back at home, a maiden weeps for you
and she’s called Erika.

July 17, 2017

Dachau experiments are back in the news

After all these many years, the medical experiments done at the Dachau concentration camp, are back in the news.

You can read about it at http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/dachau-georg-tauber-artwork-nazi-germany

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

When Dr. Sigmund Rascher of the Schutzstaffel (SS), a paramilitary organization of Nazi Germany, started conducting his merciless medical experiments at the Dachau concentration camp using prisoners as guinea pigs, he sent for a prisoner, an artist, to document his work. His assistant Walter Neff, a former camp inmate himself, approached Georg Tauber, a Bavarian advertising illustrator. Lured by the prospect of a reduced prison term, Tauber took the offer in 1942. However, unable to stomach the barbarity on display, he showed up at these sessions not more than three times.

One day, he told Neff that he had had enough. As Tauber recalled later in a 1946 letter to the Munich Public Prosecution Office, “Neff said to me, ‘Don’t be so stupid, he can get you released in a few months and you’re free.’ ‘Walter,’ I said, ‘even if I have to stay here for another ten years, it’s alright. I can’t watch that again, I just can’t.’”

End quote

I have a section on my scrapbookpages.com website about the medical experiments done at Dachau. These experiments were done to SAVE lives.

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/experiments.html

The following quote is from my kosher website:

Begin quote

Among the worst atrocities committed at the infamous Dachau concentration camp were the cruel and inhumane medical experiments, using prisoners as guinea pigs, conducted by Dr. Sigmund Rascher for the benefit of the Luftwaffe, the German Air Force.

From March 1942 until August 1942, Dr. Rascher performed high altitude experiments under the authority of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler. The Nazi justification for these experiments was that this was done in an effort to save the lives of German pilots.

In 1942, the American government did similar high altitude experiments for the US Air Force. According to a book entitled “Lindbergh” by A. Scott Berg, these experiments began on September 22, 1942 when Charles Lindbergh and six of his colleagues flew to Rochester, Minnesota where they met Dr. Walter M. Boothby, a pioneer in aviation medicine, who was the chairman of the Aeromedical Unit for Research in Aviation Medicine at the Mayo Clinic.

Their mission was to study the medical problems associated with high altitude flying. For the next ten days, Lindbergh himself became a human guinea pig, according to Berg’s book.

After the conquest of Germany, the American government confiscated the results of Dr. Rascher’s tests and made use of his experiments for the US Air Force.

End quote

Read more on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/experiments.html

 

 

 

 

July 16, 2017

Girls und Panzer — Panzerlied

Filed under: Germany, Music, Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: — furtherglory @ 2:18 pm

July 11, 2017

What does Nazi mean in German?

Filed under: Germany, Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 12:10 pm

Herbert Stolpmann, a heck of a nice guy, and also an outstanding commentator on my blog, gave the best answer to this question, in my opinion. He gave an answer in these three comments, which I have taken the liberty of re-ordering and combining into a single statement.

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/german-vocabulary-word-of-the-day-scheishaufen/#comment-81041

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/german-vocabulary-word-of-the-day-scheishaufen/#comment-81005

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/german-vocabulary-word-of-the-day-scheishaufen/#comment-80991

Herbert Stolpmann wrote on June 30th, 2017:

Begin quote

Under the Hitler regime if you called me a Nazi, you would finish up in Dachau as a communist. I doubt that you would ever come out alive…

Americans in general seem to have little perception of the meaning; ‘Nazis’

The expression ‘Nazi’ was originally coined as the battle cry of communist elements in the post-war period of WW I.

Myself and the majority of German people followed the emergence of National Socialism under Hitler and had their support until the outbreak of war, but were never a member of the NSDAP or any sister organization thereof, whom you claim to be a Nazis in your option, although in most professions unless you persued a career, you had no choice but loin [to join] the NSDAP.

Myself and the many millions like me considered themselves Germans first and [willing to] die if necessary for your [our] country but never as Nazis or being abused nor described as such.

Those I sent at the end of the war to their deaths, their spirits haunt me in the early morning waking hours to this day…

Something I personally dislike by any commentator [is] to bring up the subject of those mean old Nazis, to me.

I am sure it is offensive to say the least to other native speaking Germans that took part in combat action especially towards the end of the war.

You will find that at present, no German politician will ever utter or use the expression ‘Nazis’. Even the Russians use the expression Hitlerites To me and those others that went through the last stages of the war I mentioned before it is hurtful.
My main-function as a so called ‘Hilfsausbilder’ (Assistant Instructor) at the age seventeen, was to train Volkssturm -men that were my grandfather’s age in the use of a Panzerfaust in an effort to stop American Armour.
I did deploy them as good as I could, but they had only one chance: A direct hit at an oncoming tank or Half Track vehicle.

It was very rarely that I ever saw any that I had deployed and an entire Brigade was decimated south of Remagen.

There was hardly a single NAZI among them, they just obeyed a seventeen old youngster for the glory of the Reich and the final victory!
I am now 89 years old till [still] living a comfortable life, yet I have a guilty conscience that haunts me.

To see comments you and others publish are of interest to me and many others of the same background, but [to refer to a German Wehrmacht soldier] as a Nazi [is] a gross insult.

End outstanding comments by Stolpmann

Quora has seven answers to this question, but essentially there is a lot of agreement with Stolpmann.

https://www.quora.com/What-does-Nazi-mean-in-German

Here are a few quotes from the seven answers given on that site [Quora].

Begin quote from top answer:

The word “Nazi” is an abbreviation for the word “Nationalsozialist”.

The full name of the political party was the “Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei” – the National Socialist German Worker’s Party.

It’s worth noting that, within Germany at the time, the word “Nazi” was a homnym for “Naczi” which was an insulting term for a “foolish clumsy person”, so the term wasn’t actually used by the Nazi’s to describe themselves…..

Indeed, after 1932, the term “national socialist” was banned in the USSR, and Russian texts had to refer to them as “fascists”, because the Kremlin didn’t like the taint on the word “socialist” that had come about as a result of that party’s use of the word in their name.

End quote from top Quora answer

Begin Quora quote from John Gordon who taught English in Germany:

In German the term Nazi is a noun only (not as adjective) and originated as a mildly hostile nickname for members and supporters of the NSDAP. It seems to have been coined by analogy with Sozi which was a mildly hostile nickname for a socialist. In German, both terms refer to people only, not to ideologies or to the Party.

The Nazis themselves didn’t like the word Nazi. Originally, the Nazis were a Bavarian party and in some dialects in Southern Bavaria Nazi is a familiar version of Ignaz. At the same time – again only in some Bavarian dialects, it was a colloquial term for buffoon, clumsy fellow.

End quote from John Gordon

Begin quote from Quora

Nazi was an insult — meaning fool.

It has been used as an insult too for Hitler’s NSDAP. With time, people forgot it was an insult and thought that it meant National Socialist.

The 24th edition of Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache (2002) says the word Nazi was favored in southern Germany (supposedly from c. 1924) among opponents of National Socialism because the nickname Nazi, Naczi (from the masc. proper name Ignatz, German form of Ignatius) was used colloquially to mean “a foolish person, clumsy or awkward person.” Ignatz was a popular name in Catholic Austria, and according to one source in World War I Nazi was a generic name in the German Empire for the soldiers of Austria-Hungary.

End quote from Quora

July 10, 2017

Auferstanden aus Ruinen

Filed under: Germany, Language, Music, World War II — Tags: — furtherglory @ 4:27 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auferstanden_aus_Ruinen

https://www.quora.com/Should-Auferstanden-Aus-Ruinen-be-the-song-of-the-President-of-Germany

I like this rendition of the song.  Unfortunately, I have not been able find a version with both English and German subtitles.  This version has no subtitles at all, but I really liked the black and white historical video that accompanies the song.

July 9, 2017

SS marschiert in Freindesland

This version above has both English and German subtitles! It also features modern CGI graphics clips from Girls und Panzer.

The version below has German subtitles plus subtitles in some other language. I believe it is Spanish.  Some may prefer the more classic WW2 black and white footage that accompanies the music.  Both videos have the exact same sound track.

 

You can read more about this song on Wikipedia, including a translation of the words into English.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil%27s_song

Or you can vote in the comments on which rendition you like?

 

July 5, 2017

Ich hatt’ einen Kameraden

Filed under: Germany, Language, Music, World War II — furtherglory @ 2:29 pm

July 4, 2017

1,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors want compensation from Germany

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, Uncategorized, World War II — furtherglory @ 12:05 pm

Bodies of Jews murdered by Germans

Will Germany keep on paying the survivors of the Holocaust until the end of time? Yes, I think that this is what is happening. The Germans don’t mind. They love Jews now. Millions of Jews are now back in Germany, which they think is their home country.

In this recent news article, you can read about current claims being made by Romanian Jews: http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/death-train-will-germany-finally-pay-holocaust-survivors-iasi-n778336

The following quote is from the news article:

Begin quote

IASI, Romania – Over the past 65 years, the German government has paid more than $70 billion in reparations to Jewish survivors of the Holocaust.

The Germans, however, have refused to pay one small group of Jews who survived a massacre in this city near Romania’s eastern border.

Holocaust survivor who looks a lot like me

The woman in the photo could be me. That’s what I look like now, although I am not that fat. Maybe I could claim to be a Holocaust survivor and get some money from Germany.

This quote is also from the news article:

Begin quote

Jewish residents of Iasi, Romania were murdered in the streets in June 1941 after the start of the German-Soviet war. Survivors of the initial massacre were loaded onto trains, where most died of heat and overcrowding. Radu Ioanid / via The Iasi Pogrom

Next week German officials will meet with representatives from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which represents about 1,000 Jewish Iasi survivors in Berlin to negotiate potential compensation.

The German government told NBC News that, in general, it plans to help Holocaust victims “even more effectively with funding … that will increase next year.”

End quote

George Herscu survived the Iasi massacre by hiding in a cornfield. His father Joseph died aboard a train. NBC News

Jewish residents of Iasi, Romania were murdered in the streets in June 1941 after the start of the German-Soviet war. Survivors of the initial massacre were loaded onto trains, where most died of heat and overcrowding. Radu Ioanid / via The Iasi Pogrom

 

July 3, 2017

Das Panzerlied [German song]

Filed under: Germany, Music, Uncategorized, World War II — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 12:46 pm

I love the rendition above because it has both English and German subtitles and uses footage from a number of American movies, including the classic 1965 Battle of the Bulge and Saving Private Ryan.

A few days back, I had a “Name That Tune” contest with another version of this song. I am announcing the winner of the last Name that Tune contest!  It is Hermie!  He is one of the best commenters on my blog.

Here is the winning comment in the Name that Tune contest:

https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2017/06/30/name-that-tune/#comment-81103

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