Category: wwii

Amazing photos of African American women at work during World…

Amazing photos of African American women at work during World War II.

S’Nice

 

Good Morning by the Daily Mirror, England, May 1, 1943

The idea behind this newspaper/magazine was really sweet. Beginning in 1943 the Daily Mirror published Good Morning, a four page paper with photos (mostly of cute animals and pretty ladies), puzzles, comics, short stories, bits of news (lots of human interest stories) and sometimes even notes or interviews with pictures from family members at home, specifically for the Royal Navy Submarine Corps. They’d be bundled monthly before a trip and were numbered (instead of dated) so the men received them in order every day. It was one way to give the men, who were gone for weeks at a time, a sense of normality. Over 900 editions were published.

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Meet the 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team…

The United States’ government interned ethnic Japanese who lived in the western United States in camps, at the outbreak of World War II. In addition, all Japanese-American men of draft age, except those already in the armed forces, were classified as 4-C, enemy aliens, forbidden to serve their country. The Japanese government used the internment camps, and military prohibition, as propaganda in Asia. Look, they said – this is a racial conflict! All Asians might fight against the anti-Asian Americans!

In response, the United States government decided to allow some Japanese to join the military. In 1943, the Army started recruiting in the internment camps for a special, segregated unit. This would be the 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team. Many military leaders were reluctant to have Japanese Americans fighting under them. General Eisenhower’s staff had initially rejected the idea of Japanese-American troops, but General Mark Clark, commander of the Fifth Army in Italy, had said that he would “take anybody that will fight”.

The 442nd became one of the most decorated units in World War II. And after 25 years, twenty surviving members of the 442nd would be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor – the United States’ highest award for valor. Sadly, it took 25 years for the US government to look past the skin of men who died to protect it.

40 fascinating color photographs that capture everyday life on…

40 fascinating color photographs that capture everyday life on the banks of the Seine River, Paris in 1941.

The Pediatrician Who Discovered The Gluten-Fre…

Dutch pediatrician Willem K. Dicke treated children with celiac symptoms in the 1930s and 1940s. Celiac disease was already a known problem which retarded children’s growth before slowly killing them. What was causing the illness was not clear, though, and the diagnosis was usually a death sentance.

Dicke noticed that his sickest young patients improved when World War II made flour and bread scarce. Everyone else was dying of starvation. But his sickest children were doing better than ever. When bread became available again, the first precious supplies of bread being given specifically to the (no longer) sick children, and they immediately relapsed. This realization led Dicke to develop the first gluten-free diet, and saving thousands of children’s lives.

Yesterday's Print 2018-09-29 22:40:30

Rolling Back the Asphalt, Place Saint-Michel, photographed by

Robert Doisneau, 1944

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The Story of the First Concentration Camp to B…

The first concentration camp to be liberated was Ohrdruf, in April of 1945. It was a “work camp.” Or so the locals in the town of Ohrdruf told themselves. An American company discovered the horrifying reality.

The first thing the company saw inside the camp’s gates were thirty bodies, still wet: prisoners that the German soldiers had shot before driving off in trucks. As the GIs crept forward, the surviving prisoners who could still walk (about half of the 500 who were there) “cautiously” came out of the barracks. They told how the German soldiers had made a hasty attempt to cover up the almost 2000 slave laborers that Ohrdruf had killed. Half had been exhumed from a mass grave, and half had been stacked in several buildings awaiting incineration.

No one had seen anything like this before. While spies and even escapees had been telling of the concentration camps, their reports were not widely known or believed. The American GIs left all the bodies where they were, and notified the division commanders. They shared their rations with the survivors and waited. At noon the division commanders arrived, and Patton himself came at 3:30 pm. General Eisenhower flew in from Belgium early the next morning. The highest commander of the Allied forces had to see this, and decide what was to be done.

When Eisenhower left, Patton brought the mayor of Ohrdruf and his wife to the camp to see for themselves what they had been telling themselves they did not know. German guards came to Ohrdruf off-duty, spending their pay on drinks and women, and undoubtedly telling stories of what the place they worked. Then Patton ordered the mayor, his wife and all the other able-bodied townsfolk to come back the next day and dig individual graves for the dead prisoners. They completed 80% of the graves, and promised to come back the next day and finish the burials.

The mayor and his wife were found dead of suicide the next morning. Their suicide note said simply, “We didn’t know! – but we knew.”

Yesterday's Print 2018-09-14 22:40:27

Rickshaw Taxi,

Avenue de l’Opéra, 2nd

arrondissement, photographed by Robert Doisneau, 1942  

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The Woman Who Wanted To Die

This snapshot captures a dynamic moment. The lady, ready to swing. The policeman, ready to duck. The year in 1942 and Mrs. Edna Egbert wants to die. 

In the past, year her son, Fred, had gotten married, joined the army, and had not written to his mother in New York City since. As a mother she was distraught. If you’re thinking that jumping from the second floor of her apartment building doesn’t look particularly lethal, to either side of Ms. Egbert was a spiky iron fence that could have easily impaled her.

While a crowd gathered on the street, one patrolman talked to Mrs. Egbert from the street while others rigged a net. As officers Ed Murphy and George Munday tried to persuade her to come back in to the building, she brandished a mirror and started swinging it at them. The police grabbed her arms and she proceeded to sit on the ledge. That is when they quickly pushed her into the net. The estimated 600 onlookers quickly dispersed and Mrs. Egbert was taken to Bellevue for observation.

What became of Ms. Egbert, and her unfilial son, is unknown.

In 1945, Only 2 African Nations Were Self-Gove…

When people tell you European colonialism and imperialism were a long time ago, and that people need to move on, remember this map.

All my grandparents were over age 10 in 1945. They remember when World War II ended – and that it did not mean freedom for the world, just for Europe.