Inside the Paris apartment untouched for 70 years: Treasure trove finally revealed after owner locked up and fled at outbreak of WWII | Daily Mail Online

Laying untouched for seven decades the abandoned home was discovered three years ago after its owner died aged 91.

Source: Inside the Paris apartment untouched for 70 years: Treasure trove finally revealed after owner locked up and fled at outbreak of WWII | Daily Mail Online

3rd September, 1939: ‘Ev’rybody’s mucking in and doing their job’

Bunker 139/140 of Siegfried Line at the Buhlert in the northern Eifel [Wikimedia]

Bunker 139/140 of Siegfried Line at the Buhlert in the northern Eifel [Wikimedia]

Ev’rybody’s mucking in and doing their job
Wearing a great big smile
Ev’rybody’s got to keep their spirits up today
If you want to keep in swing,
Here’s the song to sing

We’re gonna hang out the washing on the Siegfried Line,
Have you any dirty washing mother dear?
We’re gonna hang out the washing on the Siegfried Line
‘Cos the washing day is here

Whether the weather may be wet or fine
We’ll just rub along without a care
We’re gonna hang out the washing on the Siegfried Line
If the Siegfried Line’s still there!

Whether the weather may be wet or fine
We’ll just rub along without a care
We’re gonna hang out the washing on the Siegfried Line
If the Siegfried Line’s still there!

The Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain makes a broadcast speech prior to his departure from Arras, France, after visiting the British Expeditionary Force on 15 December 1939. [Wikimedia]

The Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain makes a broadcast speech prior to his departure from Arras, France, after visiting the British Expeditionary Force on 15 December 1939. [Wikimedia]

“This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final Note stating that unless he heard from them by eleven o’clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you know that no such undertaking has been received and that consequently this country is at war with Germany.” Neville Chamberlain on the wireless, 3rd September, 1939

Truetone radio [Wikimedia]

Truetone radio [Wikimedia]

“This war really isn’t at all bad. We make the best of things, putting our trust in God and Arthur Askey. Did you hear this week’s ‘Bandwagon’? It was the best ever. Big sang the ‘Bee’ song and ‘Run Adolf Run’, and did the sketch where they blacked out the skylight with one of Nausea Bagwash’s lumbago plasters. We all felt so cheered after it. We have the wireless on all the time, news bulletins mostly – our expeditionary army is going to France – and we listen to a lot of music too. For those of us at home some of the songs were comforting.” Unknown housewife

© Sarah Vernon

Seven-meter Torpedo Found At Scapa Flow Linked To Sinking Of HMS Royal Oak

A seven-meter torpedo was discovered last month in Scapa Flow, a shallow-bottomed bay sheltered by Scotland’s northern islands. Experts believe that the torpedo was fired by a German U-boat at the HMS Royal Oak at the beginning of World War II.

It was found during a routine sonar survey by Sula Diving for Orkney Islands Council.Royal Navy divers from a nearby base arrived to see…

Source: Seven-meter Torpedo Found At Scapa Flow Linked To Sinking Of HMS Royal Oak

The anti-Nazi gangster: ‘Bugsy’ Siegel and the plot to assassinate Göring | History Today

Originally posted on History Today.

Göring and Mussolini in September 1937. bpk-images

Göring and Mussolini in September 1937.

In the 1991 film Bugsy, Warren Beatty portrayed Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel as a man with an obsession, not only to build a fabulous resort casino in Las Vegas, but also to murder the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. In one scene a swaggering Siegel tells his paramour, Virginia Hill, that he must do so because ‘the whole world is being destroyed by Hitler and Mussolini’. In a later exchange with his life-long friend, Meyer Lansky, Siegel explains, with stunning hubris: ‘Mussolini and Hitler have to be stopped. They’re trying to knock off every Jew on earth. If I don’t do something about it, who will?’ Siegel is frustrated when, later in the film, the Italian people have eliminated their dictator and deprived him of the opportunity.

The juxtaposition of Siegel plotting the deaths of the leaders of the Axis powers, while also imagining and constructing the Flamingo Hotel would, in reality, have been impossible, since his involvement with the hotel project did not begin until 1946 when both dictators were already dead. Nonetheless, Bugsy offered a variation on this oft-told tale about Siegel going to Italy with the Countess Dorothy di Frasso, seeking to persuade Mussolini to purchase a new explosive, the development of which Siegel and di Frasso were financing. According to the seemingly improbable narrative, Siegel and di Frasso encountered Hermann Göring and Joseph Goebbels at di Frasso’s spectacular Roman home, Villa Madama. Hating Nazis and their treatment of Jews and angered that Mussolini had removed him and di Frasso from the villa so the German leaders could stay there, Siegel wanted to kill them both. Di Frasso, however, persuaded him not to do anything so rash, fearing the repercussions for her husband, the Count Carlo Dentice di Frasso. Remarkably, there is a good deal of evidence in support of much of this seemingly…

via The anti-Nazi gangster: ‘Bugsy’ Siegel and the plot to assassinate Göring | History Today.

World War II Erupts: Color Photos From the Invasion of Poland, 1939 | TIME

Captured Polish soldiers, 1939.

Captured Polish soldiers, 1939.

On Sept. 1, 1939, one week after Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact, more than a million German troops—along with 50,000 Slovakian soldiers—invaded Poland. Two weeks later, a half-million Russian troops attacked Poland from the east. After years of vague rumblings, explicit threats and open conjecture about the likelihood of a global conflict—in Europe, the Pacific and beyond—the Second World War had begun.

The ostensible aim of Germany’s unprovoked assault, as publicly stated by Hitler and other prominent Nazi officials, was the pursuit of lebensraum—that is, territory deemed necessary for the expansion and survival of the Reich. But, of course, Hitler had no intention of ending his aggression at Poland’s borders, and instead was launching a…

Source: World War II Erupts: Color Photos From the Invasion of Poland, 1939 | TIME

The Great Evacuation | Youtube

A small black boy carrying his luggage as he left London for the country with a party of other evacuees on 5 July 1940.

A small black boy carrying his luggage as he left London for the country with a party of other evacuees on 5 July 1940. [Wikimedia]

At the outbreak of the Second World War, a massive civilian evacuation programme in the UK was set in motion to transport children out of the cities to the safety of the countryside.

Making Do …

Bite Size Canada

In the tough Depression years, a newly hired 16-year-old working at Dare’s Kitchener factory was paid 17 cents an hour. Ontario’s minimum wage for adults was 22 cents an hour!

Photo of a food line in Toronto during the Great Depression Food line at the Yonge Street Mission, 381 Yonge Street, Toronto, Canada, during the Great Depression in the 1930s.

The worldwide Great Depression that started in the United States in late 1929 quickly reached Canada, and was hit hard. Between 1929 and 1939, the gross national product dropped 40% (compared to 37% in the US). Unemployment reached 27% at the depth of the Depression in 1933. Many businesses closed, as corporate profits of $398 million in 1929 turned into losses of $98 million as prices fell. Farmers in the Prairies were especially hard hit by the collapse of wheat prices.  The Depression ended in 1939 as World War II began.

Denyse Baillargeon, historian and author, uses oral histories from 30…

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WWII 75th Anniversary: Britain’s Declaration of War on Germany

Neville Chamberlain’s address to the nation on 3rd September, 1939.

“This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final Note stating that, unless we heard from them by 11 o’clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us.

I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country is at war with Germany.

You can imagine what a bitter blow it is to me that all my long struggle to win peace has failed. Yet I cannot believe that there is anything more or anything different that I could have done and that would have been more successful.

Up to the very last it would have been quite possible to have arranged a peaceful and honourable settlement between Germany and Poland, but Hitler would not have it. He had evidently made up his mind to attack Poland whatever happened, and although he now says he put forward reasonable proposals which were rejected by the Poles, that is not a true statement. The proposals were never shown to the Poles, nor to us, and, although they were announced in a German broadcast on Thursday night, Hitler did not wait to hear comments on them, but ordered his troops to cross the Polish frontier. His action shows convincingly that there is no chance of expecting that this man will ever give up his practice of using force to gain his will. He can only be stopped by force.

We and France are today, in fulfilment of our obligations, going to the aid of Poland, who is so bravely resisting this wicked and unprovoked attack on her people. We have a clear conscience. We have done all that any country could do to establish peace. The situation in which no word given by Germany’s ruler could be trusted and no people or country could feel themselves safe has become intolerable.

And now that we have resolved to finish it, I know that you will all play your part with calmness and courage.

At such a moment as this the assurances of support that we have received from the Empire are a source of profound encouragement to us.

The Government have made plans under which it will be possible to carry on the work of the nation in the days of stress and strain that may be ahead. But these plans need your help. You may be taking your part in the fighting services or as a volunteer in one of the branches of Civil Defence. If so you will report for duty in accordance with the instructions you have received. You may be engaged in work essential to the prosecution of war for the maintenance of the life of the people – in factories, in transport, in public utility concerns, or in the supply of other necessaries of life. If so, it is of vital importance that you should carry on with your jobs.

Now may God bless you all. May He defend the right. It is the evil things that we shall be fighting against – brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution – and against them I am certain that the right will prevail.”

via WWII 75th Anniversary: Read Britain’s Declaration of War on Germany.