In May 2008 when I discovered that over 17,000 Guernsey evacuees had arrived in England in June 1940, just before the Nazis invaded their island, I was astounded! I knew that the Channel Islands had been occupied but had no idea that almost half the population had come to mainland Britain. I was equally amazed that the majority had been sent to industrial towns in northern England from which local children had been evacuated 9 months earlier.
As I began to interview Guernsey evacuees, most said they had never been asked to share their story before. I now realised that their experiences in England during the Second World War had not been fully captured. I discovered that the evacuees had integrated into their local communities, but also set up around 100 Channel Island societies. In addition, they had contributed to the British war effort by joining the forces, working in ammunition factories and building aircraft. Others had joined the Home Guard, the ATS and the Fire Service. Hundreds of young Guernsey mothers had arrived with their infants, whilst their husbands joined the forces or remained in Guernsey to protect their property. These mothers had arrived in England with practically nothing, and although some adults, as well as children, had unhappy experiences, the majority described the kindness of their English neighbours. Eva Le Page told me “I left Guernsey with my baby, and a bag containing feeding bottles and nappies. I will never forget the kindness of my neighbours when I moved into an empty house in Bolton. When they helped you, they did it with good hearts.” One Lancashire resident, John Fletcher, collected money throughout the war so that the Guernsey children in his area could receive a Christmas gift. They received nothing from their own parents as there was no postal service between Guernsey and England during the war except for the occasional 25 word Red Cross letter.
A New Jersey lawyer who privately financed a group to search for a German U-Boat off the coast of Nantucket Island finally saw his dream come true. On July 23, 2012 the crew, using a side-scan sonar ship, spotted the 252 foot German submarine U-550, 70 miles south of the island. After scanning 100 square miles of ocean floor the actual wreck site turned out to be further offshore than what they expected.
Like many U-Boats during World War II, U-550 was used to harass and shut down the convoys that were essential to keep the Allied powers strong in Europe. This particular U-Boat was sunk while it was on its first combat patrol. It had spotted convoy CU-21 from New York to Great Britain. The Allied convoy was protecting the SS Pan Pennsylvania, which held 140,000 barrels of 80-octane aviation fuel. U-550 torpedoed the tanker which obviously caught fire, and killed 25 of the 81 men on board.
While the Pennsylvania was settling, getting ready to capsize, U-550 tried to hide underneath the sinking ship. Three of the convoy’s destroyer escorts went to rescue the surviving tanker’s crew.
When one of the destroyers, the Joyce, was leaving, its sonar picked up U-550 which was leaving its hiding spot. The Joyce then dropped 13 depth charges which bracketed the U-boat, and forced them to surface.
When Hitler gave the ok to slaughter an estimated 6 million Jews during the Holocaust, it was one of, if not the worst atrocity any man has ever committed against humankind. Which is why a new report coming out of the Jewish Voice newspaper in Germany is utterly shocking.
A recently found note signed by the infamous SS leader Heinrich Himmler stated that one Ernst Hess should be saved and protected, “as per the Fuhrer’s wishes.” If you’re as shocked as me, I understand. Even with this amnesty supplied by Hitler, the fervor that had taken over Germany at the time won out, and eventually Hess was forced into years of hard labor at a concentration camp. Even a years worth or protection for a German Jew is surprising, especially granted by Hitler himself. So why did Hitler do it?
Hitler and Hess were in the same infantry unit while serving in World War I, and Hess was even Hitler’s superior at one point. Just because they served together doesn’t mean they were friends. Many of the men who served with Hitler described him as “quiet, with no friends.” But Hess had stayed close to others he served with and Fritz Wiedemann, who eventually became on of Hitler’s most trusted aides helped Hess get in touch with Heinrich Lammers, the Head of the Reich Chancellery.
Two albums documenting works of art and furniture stolen by the Nazis during World War II were unveiled Tuesday after being discovered by a Dallas-based foundation that was contacted by relatives of two soldiers who had taken them from Adolf Hitler’s home.
Robert M. Edsel, founder and president of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, said at a Dallas news conference that the albums are “key pieces of evidence taken from a crime scene that were prized possessions of Adolf Hitler.”
Read the rest of the article at Hitler kept listings of art stolen in Europe – Washington Times.
Story by Jamie Stengle – Washington Times