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Illegal murders in Auschwitz

20Oct

Illegal murders in Auschwitz

WWII specialist Kevin Prenger wrote: 'A Judge in Auschwitz' about SS judge Konrad Morgen. In 1943, this judge paid a visit to concentration camp Auschwitz in order to investigate malpractices in the camp – as strange as it may sound. The occasion was a parcel, sent from the camp and containing chunks of gold and which was intercepted by customs. In the camp, Morgen discovered this smuggling affair was the tip of an iceberg: camp guards in their masses were guilty of theft and corruption. Whereas in the gas chambers of Nazi-Germany millions of Jews are being killed, Morgen is engaged in gathering evidence of 'illegal' murders. The Dutch History website Historiek.net questioned author Kevin Prenger about his remarkable book.

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WWII was above all won by the blood and sacrifice of the Soviet people

10Oct

WWII was above all won by the blood and sacrifice of the Soviet people

Russia’s losses during the Second World War were beyond imagination and touched the lives of an entire population caught between a brutal and murderous invader and a ruthless leadership at home. Soviet victory over the Nazis, which effectively won the war, according to the author, was the end result of effort and sacrifice by the ordinary millions who were totally committed to saving their motherland'. The humanity of the ordinary Soviet citizen in uniform is often forgotten because of later Cold War narratives propagated East and West for differing ideological reasons. With Red Star at War Colin Turbett seeks to redress these imbalances. We asked him some questions about his book by e-mail.

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The Netherlands Carillon will finally sound harmoniously after May 5

25Apr

The Netherlands Carillon will finally sound harmoniously after May 5

In 1951, the Dutch government decided to donate a carillon to the United States as a gesture of gratitude for the liberation and the Marshall aid. The instrument initially consisted of 49 bells and ended up in a modernist bell tower right next to Arlington National Cemetery with a view on the American capital of Washington D.C. In Bells for America, Diederik Oostdijk describes the arduous history of the Netherlands Carillon. The author is professor of English and American literature at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. We asked him several questions by e-mail about his book and the restoration of the instrument. The text was translated by Arnold Palthe.

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The strong faith of RAF veteran John Henry Meller

Sep2020

The strong faith of RAF veteran John Henry Meller

TracesOfWar employee Wijnand de Gelder recently reviewed the book The Boy With Only One Shoe by RAF veteran John Henry Meller (1924). In his early youth, at the age of three, the writer was severely burned with third-degree burns by boiling water. Here, according to his own words, he had a near-death experience: he saw a glowing light and a staircase far into the clouds. As he climbed and climbed he saw a kind of angel in a gate. He didn't want to let him enter heaven: You can't come in - because you only have one shoe!

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How the story of Horsa 166 and the 13 Platoon travels through time

Sep2020

How the story of Horsa 166 and the 13 Platoon travels through time

[TRANSLATED BY: FRANCOIS DUMAS] 'No Return Flight' tells about author Haks Walburgh Schmidt's search for the occupants of the Horsa glider 166 that landed near Arnhem on September 18, 1944. The men who set foot on Dutch soil belonged to the British 13 Platoon of the 1st Airborne Border Regiment. A quest that lasted almost 20 years, which eventually led to a poignant image of the Battle of Arnhem. In the fascinating stories from before, during, and after the battle, the human aspect and the personal experience of the soldiers are central. With the 76th anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem, we asked Haks Walburgh Schmidt some questions about his book via email.

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Apr2020

"Deep in the core there is something not right in the way we commemorate"

[TRANSLATED BY: THIJS DE VEEN] During the Bachelor and Master American Studies at the University of Groningen, Sebastiaan Vonk specialized in how wars and other events are commemorated. That resulted in the (English) graduation thesis “War is Hell, but Damned Exciting”. Based on “battlefield tourism” the thesis asks whether the way history is dealt with can indeed prevent the repetition of history. The thesis was nominated for the Theodore Roosevelt American History Award and in the meantime has been published. We asked Sebastiaan a number of questions through e-mail about his thesis.

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Roger Moorhouse wanted to bring Polish voices back into the narrative of the 1939 campaign

Apr2020

Roger Moorhouse wanted to bring Polish voices back into the narrative of the 1939 campaign

Roger Moorhouse is a historian and author specialising in modern German and Central European history, with particular interest in Nazi Germany, the Holocaust and World War Two in Europe. A visiting professor at the College of Europe in Warsaw, he is also the author of a number of books on modern German history, including Killing Hitler, Berlin at War, The Third Reich in 100 Objects and The Devils' Alliance. His latest book First to Fight: The Polish War 1939 - on the September Campaign that opened World War Two in Europe - was published in September 2019. We asked him some questions by e-mail about this book.

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Crashed in the hostile nature of Netherlands New Guinea

Apr2020

Crashed in the hostile nature of Netherlands New Guinea

[TRANSLATED BY: THIJS DE VEEN] In the summer of 1944 not only Normandy was the stage of war against a ruthless occupier. In the East too the allied forces were fighting a battle. In Netherlands New Guinea the Americans, Australians and Dutch fought side by side against the Japanese. In his new book KAIS Bas Kreuger tells the story of a lesser known, nonetheless very interesting history that took place at this war front.

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War from the perspective of the man who did the actual fighting

Nov2019

War from the perspective of the man who did the actual fighting

Volker Griesser is the writer of The Lions of Carentan, a book about he Fallschirmjäger-Regiment 6 during the period 1943-1945. We asked the author some questions by e-mail.

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Rough Guides follows in the footsteps of the liberators

Jun2019

Rough Guides follows in the footsteps of the liberators

On 1 July 2019 Liberation Route Europe Foundation and Rough Guides present a travel book about the liberation of Europe during World War II, titled Travel the Liberation Route Europe. The book covers hundreds of locations through regions in nine different countries, focusing on the liberation routes of the Allied advance. TracesOfWar.com asked the authors, Nick Inman and Joe Staines some questions by e-mail.

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Polish airmen fought for the freedom of others

Mar2019

Polish airmen fought for the freedom of others

On TracesOfWar.com we recently reviewed the book The Polish 'Few', which was published by Pen & Sword. It's about Polish airmen in the Battle of Britain. We asked the author Peter Sikora some questions by e-mail.

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Mar2019

"The role of the Dutch Resistance in the war is totally under-estimated"

Recently the book The Dutch Reistance Revealed was published by the Britisch publisher Pen & Sword. TracesOfWar-contributor Wijand de Gelder reviewed the book and asked the writer, Jos Scharrer, some questions by e-mail.

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The story of the 'Nazi Titanic' Robert P. Watson had to tell

Oct2017

The story of the 'Nazi Titanic' Robert P. Watson had to tell

Below a Q&A with Robert Watson, author of The Nazi Titanic. The following interview with the author can help the reader to understand more of the authors research, his motivations and about the book itself.

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