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Polish and Ukrainian scientists unearth 1,000 victims of Stalin in castle once used as secret police prison

Polish and Ukrainian scientists unearth 1,000 victims of Stalin in castle once used as secret police prison | World War II News | Scoop.it
The Polish press has already called the find a 'new Katyn' in reference to a massacre of thousands of Poles by Stalin in 1940 (Polish and Ukrainian scientists unearth 1,000 victims of Stalin in castle once used as secret police prison
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100-year-old Soviet soldier fought Nazis in World War II; now lives in Pinehurst - Fayetteville Observer

100-year-old Soviet soldier fought Nazis in World War II; now lives in Pinehurst - Fayetteville Observer | World War II News | Scoop.it

100-year-old Soviet soldier fought Nazis in World War II; now lives in Pinehurst Fayetteville Observer Ilia Starodubsky, recently turned 100 years old. He was a decorated soldier with the Soviet army during World War II.


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Another German company reveals its Nazi past - Deutsche Welle

Another German company reveals its Nazi past - Deutsche Welle | World War II News | Scoop.it

Another German company reveals its Nazi past Deutsche Welle Now, almost seven decades after the end of World War II, the company has published a book that looks into its history during the Nazi era. Dr.


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Dipping into the past - Variety

Dipping into the past - Variety | World War II News | Scoop.it
VarietyDipping into the pastVarietyHofmann is likewise working with writer-director Niki Stein ("Rommel") on a three-part series tracing Hitler's rise to power and descent into madness.

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British WWII Spying in US Shown in Secret Files - Histomil.com

British WWII Spying in US Shown in Secret Files - Histomil.com | World War II News | Scoop.it
Britain's World War II spying on U.S. isolationist groups and its propaganda efforts against them were revealed in secret archives published for the first time today. The declassified documents at the National Archives in ...
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Body of German tank ace discovered 70 years after his death

Body of German tank ace discovered 70 years after his death | World War II News | Scoop.it
HOT shot Kurt Knispel, who recorded 168 tank kills during WWII, found in unmarked grave in the Czech Republic (RT @ww2detectives: Body of German WWII tank ace discovered 70 years after his death http://t.co/bF2pU9OAAi...

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Germany's Band of Brothers - Huffington Post

Germany's Band of Brothers - Huffington Post | World War II News | Scoop.it
Germany's Band of Brothers Huffington Post In the last few years, I conducted dozens of interviews in various parts of Austria with veterans of the German Wehrmacht, the Waffen-SS and civilians who lived through the war when they were in their...

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Luftwaffe air ace Oberst Hans Ulrich-Rudel -The greatest!:

Oberst Hans Ulrich-Rudel the most highly decorated German serviceman of the war. Rudel was one of only 27 military men to be awarded the Knight's Cross with ...

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The White Rose

The White Rose | World War II News | Scoop.it
Seventy years ago, young German siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl were caught by the Nazis in an act of resistance.

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Watery secret of three lost WW2 airmen? Divers plan return to lake ...

Watery secret of three lost WW2 airmen? Divers plan return to lake ... | World War II News | Scoop.it
The engine block of the plane as found in WastwaterDIVERS are planning to plumb the depths of England's deepest lake in their 'obsessive' search to find.

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The women who stole downed German airman's silk parachute to make knickerbockers - Telegraph

The women who stole downed German airman's silk parachute to make knickerbockers - Telegraph | World War II News | Scoop.it
The story of how a band of women confronted a downed German airman with pitchforks to steal his silk parachute to make knickers from has emerged after 71 years.

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Global Research's curator insight, January 10, 2013 8:00 AM

My cousins parachute was never found in the forrest near Zwickau Germany in 1944.  I wonder how many pairs of knickers it provided the ladies of the town?  :-)

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The Nazis, fighting to the end 2/3

The Nazis , A Warning From History -- volume 6 of 6 -- The Nazis: A Warning from History is a 1997 BBC documentary film series that examines Adolf Hitler and the Nazis' rise to power, their zenith, their decline and fall, and the consequences of...
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50 Famous Faces in Uniform during World War 2 | Abroad in the Yard

50 Famous Faces in Uniform during World War 2 | Abroad in the Yard | World War II News | Scoop.it
He reached the rank of Captain and served in both the European and Pacific theatres, mainly as an intelligence officer interpreting aerial photo-reconnaissance information. The war left him with a deep-seated hostility towards ...
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Werner Franz, last of Hindenburg crew, dies at 92 - Tico Times

Werner Franz, last of Hindenburg crew, dies at 92 - Tico Times | World War II News | Scoop.it
SFGate Werner Franz, last of Hindenburg crew, dies at 92 Tico Times During World War II, Franz was a radio operator for the German Luftwaffe and later repaired precision machines for the German post office.
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B-17 crewman to speak at Veterans History Project - Allentown Morning Call

B-17 crewman to speak at Veterans History Project - Allentown Morning Call | World War II News | Scoop.it

Allentown Morning Call B-17 crewman to speak at Veterans History Project Allentown Morning Call An 88-year-old Salisbury Township man who flew 34 missions in a B-17 bomber during World War II will be the speaker Thursday at the Lehigh Valley...


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1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, Berlin 1938. | Army photos, military photos, soldiers images, military images gallery

1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, Berlin 1938. | Army photos, military photos, soldiers images, military images gallery | World War II News | Scoop.it

1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, Berlin 1938. | Military | Online gallery updated daily! Army photos, military photos, soldiers images, military images gallery. (1st SS Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, Berlin 1938.


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The Soviet military 1936-1945: devastation to victory | diffusion

The factors highlighted include the impact of Stalin's purges, Soviet military strategy and policy, any failure made by the Germans themselves and Western aid to the USSR.
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Digging up the past in Halbe | Germany | DW.DE | 24.04.2013

Digging up the past in Halbe | Germany | DW.DE | 24.04.2013 | World War II News | Scoop.it
In the forests around Berlin lie perhaps tens of thousands of bodies, victims of the fierce battles of WWII and the vagaries of history. One man is digging up this past, determined to give the dead a proper burial.

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Memories of WWII: A German Family's Tangled Wartime History - Spiegel Online

Memories of WWII: A German Family's Tangled Wartime History - Spiegel Online | World War II News | Scoop.it
Spiegel Online
Memories of WWII: A German Family's Tangled Wartime History
Spiegel Online
World War II made its presence known again during the summer vacation of 1969.

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From the Heart’s Close A Young Girl’s World War II Stor By Anneliese “Lee” Krauter

The most emotional book i have ever read

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Published: The Schatzi Press, 2005;

Reviewed by Douglas Brough 2012

 

“An atlantic story of war and peace rooted in the honour of the soul”

 

“Time is not the great teacher. Experience is. A man may live a whole life, but if he never leaves his home to experience that life, he dies knowing nothing. A mere child who has suffered and lived can be the wiser of the two.” Lynsay Sands, Love Bites

 

T

he story is from the heart, the words from the closet, the heart of a young girl who experienced it all before,  during, and after World War II: The deciding factor was  simple – she was German, or at least ethnically-German and, despite living in the  “Land of the Free” it made Anneliese and her hardworking immigrant family enemies not only of the state but of former friends and colleagues; businesses were to suffer, their livelihood was to grind to a halt and their lives were to be destroyed from end to end. But the experience was to make Anneliese who she is now. She was a native born American whose parents had experienced the dream that the Statue of Liberty had promised but the promise wasn’t kept as she was to experience a life of scorn and violence from those whom compassion commanded protection.

 

Her parents were hardworking German immigrants prior to the outbreak of World War II. She was seven years old when war broke out and was swept up in the vacuum of anti-German hysteria which swept through the American nation. By mere association with German-American cultural organisations her father was labelled as a spy: This hard-working, religiously astute and loving German family were labelled collectively as “dangerous enemy aliens.” Arrests by the FBI, false allegations, personal vendettas, separation, internment and forced repatriation to Germany during the course of the war soon followed. It was the legacy of pain and isolation coupled with the fear and distrust of the FBI which forced Anneliese to succumb to her mother’s wishes and not write anything in her lifetime.

 

“I was suddenly overwhelmed with a sense of urgency to tell our story only to be stopped in my tracks by my mother who wished to not have anything published while she was still alive.” Anneliese Lee Krauter

 

Her family was one of over 11,000 ethnic-German so-called enemy aliens and German-American citizens, either naturalised or native-born along with their families whom in many cases were allowed to remain together in family camps whilst others were separated from their loved ones, separated by many years and in some cases many miles across the ocean. The laws of the United States were denied in many cases whilst in others they were “manipulated,” despite laws such as “due process” being embodied within the fifth and fourteenth amendments to the unalterable United States Constitution.

 

Her mother, despite being allowed back into America to resume their lives, remained fearful of the far-reaching chains of the FBI for all of her life. This fear, given the persistent refusal of the Federal Government to acknowledge the kidnapping, arrest, internment and in some cases forced repatriation as barter for Americans caught in Germany, in the same scope as  has been undertaken with the Japanese and Italian Americans, is perhaps not unfounded. Indeed it can be observed that recent events following the terrorist attacks in 2001 offer some form of justification for her feeling of uneasy distrust of those elected to govern.

 

“I guess she felt the FBI was still going to come after us.”Alma Weigand

 

But let us journey to the beginning of her story, a story so incredible that it has no script, a story with no cameras and no mass media infusion of the story: It is a story spoken from the heart of a child loved by her family and loved by her friends yet it is a story spoken from the heart of a child loved by her family but hated by her friends, it is a story of survival yet betrayal from those whom she was to trust the most.

 

Demonstrating the typically German respect for one’s elders, Anneliese begins her story before she was born with an account of her parent’s younger years. Her father, she called him Pappi, was a wanderer and ended up  in the United States having jumped ship. He was many years ahead of his time, having previously met the girl who was to become his wife and Anneliese’s mother, Alma Wiedrich, he,

 

“Believed in equality and that the girl of his dreams should have a career of her own.”

 

Crossing the Atlantic between Europe and America several times, their story of survival spanned a period in time from one end of the 20th century to the other. They were victims of circumstance as “world events seemed to dictate her family’s destiny” having befallen their sense of individuality. Having been told to book a passage to New York by her husband to be, Alma, Anneliese’s mother, arrived in New York on May 30th 1927; the very next day they were married. Anneliese was raised by traditionally minded parents in a loving yet disciplined atmosphere.

 

But no amount of love and affection can prohibit a racially hysterical government from interfering, illegally, with the traditional family unit. Times were tough but they always found the means to the end. To earn extra income her mother innocently rented out two rooms in their apartment in Queens, New York.

 

Anneliese states that;

 

“Not in a million years would my parents dream that those two rented rooms would be a major contributing factor to the turmoil our family experienced after World War II broke out and the FBI turned up at our front door.”

 

From 1939-1940 ethnic-Germans and German-Americans began to be seen with some hysterically fearful caution. As a result, her father’s business failed, their Pastors anti-Germanism drove them from the church and Anneliese and her brother Freddy began to feel themselves being frozen out of previously welcome circles of friendship. These were some of the less obvious effects of the war in Europe.

 

“It was a new reality. Germans were just not welcome any more.”

 

Her father had previously filed his Declaration of Intention to become a naturalised citizen and had already received his Alien Registration Number when he had re-entered the country following his visit to Germany in 1937 and so, legally, was above reproach. But, subsequent to Congress passing the Alien Registration Act, this wasn’t to stop the FBI arresting her father in 1942 on a presidential warrant, because he had unknowingly rented the two rooms in his apartment to alleged Nazis. Protesting his innocence he soon found himself framed by the FBI, as somebody stamped his passport with the Nazi Party stamp allegedly indicating his membership of the Bund, the American arm of the Nazi Party. Family bonds are always strong within “German” families and the Krauter family were no exception. Demonstrating the love of her husband and family, Anneliese’s mother offered to renounce her American citizenship if it meant they could be interned as a family; a demonstration of family loyalty to prove so costly in later years.

 

Moving on from these accusations, in 1944, the family were extradited to Germany as undesirable enemy aliens. It was from there that they did manage to mould something resembling normality, albeit briefly, as they promptly realised that they would have to flee the advancing plaque of Communism. Russia, the “Big Three”[1] had decided was to obtain the area around them as part of their “war booty sphere of influence.” They escaped along with another family in American trucks with the assistance of an American Master Sergeant and a few other GI’s. The story of their escape is quite dramatic and I won’t spoil the reader’s drama by referring to it, save to say the American Master Sergeant didn’t do it for nothing: His compassion and humanity came at a price, a terrible, terrible price: Pops, the American Master Sergeant, had made it very clear that her silence was the price she had to pay for her Pappi’s freedom, thus she kept quiet not telling her parents of the traumatic experience.

 

“The post-war continent seemed to signal open season for every sexual predator” p. 125

 

A few years into their new life in Attenkirchen, Anneliese and her mother returned to New York, leaving Pappi in Germany for the duration of their trip because of his albeit falsified, FBI record. Upon returning to Germany an unpleasant episode with a male friend and a motorbike led to Anneliese telling her parents of her ordeal who are horrified at the thought of somebody who they thought was a friend, behaving in this way and putting their young daughter in such a heinous position.

 

Sometime later they began to create their links of loyalty towards the United States of America when Freddy, her beloved brother, joined the air force and returned to Germany with his handsome friend Joe Krauter. Joe and Anneliese meet and fall head over heels in love. They marry, honeymoon and live in a US Air Force base in occupied Germany. Having served his tour of duty they returned to America with her brother Freddy soon following. Having been honourably discharged from the USAAF they visited Joe’s parents and soon decided that farming wasn’t for them, but what were they to do? Hard decision had to be made about their future career prospects.

 

With the racial hysteria cooling and all former Presidential Arrest Warrants cancelled the Weigand family were finally able to settle in their adopted country. Subsequently the two families, Weigand and Krauter, were finally united in the wonder of marriage and loyally committed to their adopted home nation. When arrested years previous and asked about his loyalty to America, her Pappi (father) had said to the FBI agents,

 

“I look upon Germany as my mother and feel about the United States of America as my wife.”

 

Returning to the post-war years this left the question of whether he was able to tear himself away from his mothers’ apron strings: In the form of his daughter Anneliese and his new son-in-law Joe he was able to and devoted his life to his wife, Lady USA Liberty.

 

“From the Hearts Closet” is an important and necessary memoir in that it embodies the full spectrum of the hysterical racism embodied not only within American, but European culture, and the survivalist instincts large numbers of civilians had to endure in their hourly fight for survival. The text of this most remarkable story is accompanied at the end of each chapter by a selection of various documents and family pictures: Relative to the preceding chapter, they offer the reader a certain sense of realist manifestation in an otherwise unbelievable story where in parallel to Anneliese’s memory, the pictures speak a thousand words. Bridging the gaps of geography this very personal memoir is deserving of a place in any serious historical library

 

This is literally where “War and Peace” meets “The Dark Side of Democracy”: This is where two families survived the horror of peace in Europe whereas many thousands of other, innocent, families didn’t. But this is also where Anneliese and Joe Krauter became the “happy ever after” of this story, bringing history to life, having lived its past, its present and its future. Because, from the very first word, that is what “From the Heart’s Closet” charges the reader to believe; the conviction that they could have a future, that they did have a future and that despite the horrors of war and peace, that it was to be a future grown of faith, love and strength of mind.

 

“From the Hearts Closet” by Anneliese “Lee” Krauter transcends time and race: It is where the then meets now, and the now meets then; the then is history, the rest is now.

 

Copyright 2012 Douglas Brough. No reproduction permitted without permission of the author.

 

[1] The Big Three referred to the Allied leaders; Joseph Stalin of Russia, Franklin D. Roosevelt of USA and Winston Churchill of Great Britain.

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Twitter / 1infanteriediv: #WW2 #Luftwaffe "Zerstörer" ...

#WW2 #Luftwaffe "Zerstörer" (Destroyer) Messerschmitt Bf-110 in Russia,1942. My favoured WW2 aircraft for some reason http://t.co/iZiIuv30ui

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Posted in honour of friend Willi Kreisman who recently passed away

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'Hitler': The Lasting Effect Of An Infamous Figure - NPR

'Hitler': The Lasting Effect Of An Infamous FigureNPRWilson argues that many of our attitudes towards racism, homophobia and political correctness are a direct response to who Hitler was and what he represented.

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Photographic exhibit, “African Americans in World War II,” opens Jan. 12 at ... - Mlive Kalamazoo

Photographic exhibit, “African Americans in World War II,” opens Jan. 12 at ... - Mlive Kalamazoo | World War II News | Scoop.it
Photographic exhibit, “African Americans in World War II,” opens Jan. 12 at ...
Mlive Kalamazoo
A new exhibit, “African Americans in World War II,” opens on Jan. 12 in the first floor gallery at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum.

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The Nazis, fighting to the end 3/3

The Nazis , A Warning From History -- volume 6 of 6 -- The Nazis: A Warning from History is a 1997 BBC documentary film series that examines Adolf Hitler and the Nazis' rise to power, their zenith, their decline and fall, and the consequences of...
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The Nazis, fighting to the end 1/3

The Nazis , A Warning From History -- volume 6 of 6 -- The Nazis: A Warning from History is a 1997 BBC documentary film series that examines Adolf Hitler and the Nazis' rise to power, their zenith, their decline and fall, and the consequences of...
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