Long-Lost 1924 Film That Anticipated the Holocaust Is Rediscovered and Restored

Title card from the recently discovered and newly-restored Die Stadt Ohne Juden, or The City Without Jews (all images courtesy Austrian Film Archive)

Title card from the recently discovered and newly-restored Die Stadt Ohne Juden, or The City Without Jews (all images courtesy Austrian Film Archive)

In the black and white footage of a silent film, Austrian Jews are harassed in the public market, physically menaced by thugs in the street, and forced en masse from the country, on foot or by train. Orthodox men, distinguished by their prayer shawls, payot, and traditional dress, carry Torah scrolls. The expulsion of Jews rips mixed-faith families in two.

Familiar though this story may seem, these scenes are not taken from history. They come from a long-lost film that predates the Nazi period by a decade, Die Stadt Ohne Juden (The City Without Jews). Released in 1924, it was adapted…

via Long-Lost 1924 Film That Anticipated the Holocaust Is Rediscovered and Restored

The Good German of Nanking | toritto

So you’re a middle-aged German business man, working for Siemens A.G. in Nanking, China in 1938.  You’re a member in good standing of the Nazi Party (though you haven’t lived in Germany for almost 30 years) and you begin to see war crimes and atrocities with your own eyes.

What do you do – especially taking into consideration that the war crimes are being perpetrated by the military of a country on friendly terms with your own?

This was the situation of John Rabe, born in Hamburg in 1887 and living in China since 1908.

“Many Westerners were living in the Chinese capital city of the time, as Nanking was until December 1937, conducting trade or on missionary trips. As the Japanese army approached Nanking and initiated bombing raids on the city, all but 22 foreigners fled the city, with 15 American and European missionaries and businessmen forming part of the remaining group.  On November 22, 1937, as the Japanese Army advanced on Nanking, Rabe, along with other foreign nationals, organized the International Committee for the Nanking Safety Zone and created the…

Source: The Good German of Nanking | toritto

This Week in #WW2 – Death of a Nazi and a Collaborator



The Death of a Nazi and a Collaborator

A year apart on October 15th, a Nazi and a Nazi collaborator both met their death. One by firing squad and one by his own hand.

On October 15, 1945, Pierre Laval, the puppet leader of Nazi-occupied Vichy France, is executed by firing squad for treason against France.

Pierre Laval, 1931 Pierre Laval, 1931

Originally he had pacifist tendencies but he shifted to the right in the 1930s.  He had been the minister of foreign affairs and twice as the French premier.  With his anti-communist ideologies, he delayed the Soviet-Franco pact of 1935 and sought to align France with Fascist Italy.  He had no desire to declare war on Germany so he encouraged the antiwar faction in the French government.  With the German invasion of France in 1940, he used his political influence to force an armistice with Germany.  When…

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Operation Mincemeat: The Biggest Bluff of WWII

History Wench

The Second World War is the setting for some of history’s greatest espionage tales. Public imagination is frequently captured by the image of a suave and intelligent agent undertaking covert missions for Queen and country. This post will detail one of the more unusual of these espionage stories – ‘Operation Mincemeat. A plan which was masterminded by Ewen Montagu and targeted the German intelligence orginisation, Abwehr.

The agent used in Operation Mincemeat was worlds away from the charming and sophisticated agent popular culture often likes to depict – he was a semi-literate tramp from Aberbargoed, Wales. This agent’s name was Glyndwr Michael. Whats more is that Michael was already dead when he successfully carried out his mission.

Michael’s personal history is one of sadness and tragedy. His father committed suicide when he was just fifteen years old and his mother died sixteen years later. He was left penniless, homeless, and depressed. Shortly after the death…

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How Many People Did Hitler Personally Kill?

History Wench

When it comes to the total number of deaths one person is responsible for Hitler is hard to top (beaten only by Stalin and Mao). The number of non-combatants killed under the Nazi regime is in the region of 11,000,000 according to Timothy Snyder, professor of history at Yale. I find this to be a reasonable and accurate estimate based on my own research. The true devastation and trauma of murder is easily forgotten when simply tallying death tolls as statistics – even more so when we are discussing an amount as colossal as 11,000,000. As Snyder eloquently puts it himself:

“Discussion of numbers can blunt our sense of the horrific personal character of each killing and the irreducible tragedy of each death. As anyone who has lost a loved one knows, the difference between zero and one is an infinity. (1)

But how many deaths was Hitler personally responsible for? We discuss the answer below, looking at all…

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On this day: the Hindenburg in New Jersey in 1936

In Times Gone By...

The German zeppelin Hindenburg trundles into the U.S. Navy’s hangar at Lakehurst, New Jersey, on the 9th of May, 1936. The rigid airship had just set a record for its first north Atlantic crossing, the first leg of ten scheduled round trips between Germany and America.

The disaster that saw the destruction of the airship happened just short of a year later, on the 6th of May, 1937.


The German-built zeppelin Hindenburg trundles into the U.S. Navy hangar, its nose hooked to the mobile mooring tower, at Lakehurst, New Jersey, on May 9, 1936.

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The Brits Who Fought For Hitler.


Insignia of the ‘British Free Corps’, former prisoners-of-war who enlisted in the infamous Waffen SS.

The SS motto – ‘My honour is loyalty.’

As a freelance scribbler and long-time student of military history I love finding the more overlooked or forgotten aspects of the subject. For instance, the popular narrative of the Second World War holds that the British people pulled together, fighting as one for a common cause.

Erm, not exactly.

While British troops and the vast majority of the British public did rally round, a tiny handful didn’t. Some turned traitor for money. The notorious ‘£18 traitor’ Duncan Scott-Ford (not one of Plymouth’s favourite sons), was hanged at Wandsworth Prison in November, 1942 for selling convoy information to German Intelligence at a bargain discount. For others the shift was ideological. They were in it for the cause, such as Wiliam Joyce (AKA ‘Lord HAW Haw’ and star of…

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Another wartime anniversary; Oradour


After the rightfully diplomatic D Day commemoration, another event to remember is the war crime at Oradour. If you are reading this today, June 10, it is that exactly 70 years ago that German troops heading north to repel the landings took time out to gather up all the villagers of innocent little French village of Oradour-sur-Glane. They put the women and kids in the church and the men in barns, there to grenade and machine gun to death 642 of them, loot the village and leave it in flames.

The village remains and will forever as the SS left it…

I recommend http://www.oradour.info/general/introd01.htm from whence this photograph is one of many


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