World War II in the News
is an edited review of WWII articles providing thought-provoking collection of hand-picked WW2 information.


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Forced Labor in the Third Reich

Forced labor force enabled the Third Reich to function after the Wehrmacht enlisted the German men.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.

Mitsubishi to apologize for American POWs` forced labor in second world war
A major Japanese corporation planned to offer a landmark apology on Sunday for using US prisoners of war for forced labor during the second world war. A senior Mitsubishi Materials executive was to offer the apology to POWs during a ceremony at the Simon Wiesenthal Center`s Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. Japan`s government issued a formal apology to American POWs in 2009 and again in 2010. But the dwindling ranks of POWs who were used as slaves at mines and industrial plants have so far had little luck in getting apologies from the corporations who used them, sometimes in brutal conditions.
(theguardian.com)

Conflict-Series: A highly rated strategy game series for Android
If you love classic PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, Invasion of Poland 1939, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, the Battle of Bulge, and the Battle of Berlin 1945. In addition there are American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War scenarios available.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store)

Family dynasty behind BMW admits to using 50,000 slave labourers during Nazi era
The dynasty behind the BMW luxury car marker has finally admitted using slave labour, seizing Jewish firms (`Aryanisation`) and doing business with the highest echelons of the Nazi party. Gabriele Quandt, whose grandfather Guenther employed 50,000 forced labourers in his arms factories, producing rifles, artillery and U-boat batteries, said it was `wrong` for the family to ignore its Nazi past. He spoke out after an in-depth study by historian Joachim Scholtyseck, commissioned by the family, that concluded Guenther Quandt and his son Herbert were responsible for numerous Nazi injustices.
(dailymail.co.uk)

No compensation for Germans forced to work in nearby countries following the defeat of the Nazis
Erika Steinbach, the president of the Bund der Vertriebenen (BdV), which represents Germans who were displaced after the war, wants the government to compensate people who were required to labour in nearby countries following the end of the Third Reich. But German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told Steinbach in a letter that what happened after the war was simply fate and cannot be compensated.
(thelocal.de)

Remembering Survival: Inside a Nazi Slave-Labor Camp by Christopher R. Browning (book review)
This very specialized Holocaust book focuses on the 1,600 Jews enslaved at factory camps near the towns of Starachowice and Wierzbnik, Poland. Nearly 300 survivor accounts from interviews and memoirs depict the daily struggle to survive, the typhus epidemic that broke out in 1942 and the resulting Nazi massacres to contain the epidemic, and the post-war trials that the survivors participated in.
(deseretnews.com)

WWII-era forced labor victims who worked in ghettos receive monthly stipend from German government
8,400 persons who were part of the forced labor force in the Nazi ghettos have received compensation from the German government based on the 2002 "Ghetto Pension Law" - and 22,000 will be paid similar payments. The German Labor and Social Affairs Ministry will pay the survivors - of if they have passed away, their descendants - a total sum of half a billion dollars. Additional survivors should file a claim, even if they were kids while working under forced labor laws. The compensation covers only those who labored in ghettos under the sovereignty of the Third Reich, and not its Axis allies.
(ynetnews.com)

Germany: Only 19% fully aware of the scale of forced labour used by the Nazis
Only 19% of Germans are aware of the full scale of the use of forced labour by the Third Reich. Just 13% of Germans over 65 correctly estimated the number of people forced to work in atrocious conditions for the Nazi war machine at over 13 million, a poll by Infratest-Dimap revealed. Those aged 19-49 knew better, with 23% answering correctly. 80% of 14-18 year-olds were interested or very interested by the topic, but only 28% said it was taught enough in history classes.
(expatica.com)

The Remembrance, Responsibility and Future Foundation gives voice to Nazi-era forced laborers
The Remembrance, Responsibility and Future Foundation no longer pays out compensation to victims of Nazi forced labor, but it hasn`t stopped working to get attention to the their suffering. When payments ended in 2007 the group faced the challenge of redefining itself. Special importance to the foundation are projects that support forced laborers through local initiatives. Under Stalin returning forced laborers were seen as traitors - and many of them lived as outcasts within their societies. --- Berlin`s Jewish Museum will host a large exhibition on Nazi-era forced labor in September 2010.
(dw-world.de)

WWII Ghetto laborers still waiting for German compensation, 90% of applicants rejected
Germany approved the Ghetto restitution legislation in 2002, but many of those who worked in World War II ghettos are still waiting for their pensions. Up to 90% of applicants have been turned down. Now, though, a new reading of the law could break the breakdown, and cost Berlin 2 billion euros. Germany`s Ghetto Pension Law (ZRBG) was designed as a swift measure to seal a gap in the country`s Nazi-era compensation -- at least that`s what proponents intended. But the opposite has happened: State pension agencies have denied 90% of the 70,000 applications, while every day 30-35 survivors perish.
(spiegel.de)

Women in Third Reich were persecuted for (mostly made up) affairs with foreign forced laborers
Gestapo arrested thousands of women for admitting they had affairs with foreign forced laborers in Nazi Germany. Historian Gisela Schwarze has looked into many cases: Some affairs did exist, but most confessions were false - and women beat into signing them. Men were usually executed and women sent to concentration camps. In 1940 SS leader Heinrich Himmler ordered: "Germans who engage in sexual relations with male or female civil workers of the Polish nationality... shall be arrested." At first the crime (racial defilement) only applied to relationships between Jews and non-Jews - later including Slavs.
(spiegel.de)

Ghetto survivors who did forced labour without payment win German pensions
3 Holocaust survivors won approval from a German social-welfare tribunal to claim old-age pensions on account of forced labour they did in Nazi Germany. All 3 were confined in ghettos, the starvation-ravaged zones where Jews were enclosed by the Nazis in eastern European cities before they were sent to death camps during World War Two. Their claims for labor-related pensions had previously failed, because they did not get any wages from the Nazi occupiers. But the tribunal in Kassel ruled that getting food and other gratuities for their work was also salary and qualified them for the pension.
(haaretz.com)

Almost 600 video testimonials of Nazi forced labourers online
Video testimony of 600 survivors of Nazi forced labour programmes was posted online for historians and history buffs. The project is an offshoot of a compensation fund set up by the German government and companies in 2001. The programme saw 12 million people rounded up to work during World War II. The 341 men and 249 women featured in the videos tell of working in Nazi camps or munitions plants under harsh conditions for little or no pay. "Their suffering should not be forgotten," said Guenther Saathoff, of the "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" foundation handling the 4.4-billion-euro fund. Project site.
(afp)

The Reich Underground - One of the most massive construction projects by humankind
It was one of the most massive construction projects ever attempted. Late in World War II, the Nazis set up a plan to shelter armaments factories from the allied bombs - by relocating them in underground labyrinths. Many of the half-built nazi-tunnels have been long-forgotten. With unreleased film material and exclusive interviews, the story of the Underground Reich is reconstructed when the Nazis leaders still hoped that the miracle weapons would bring Third Reich final victory. The film shows the horrors faced by forced laborers, and how a team explores the awesome underground worlds.
(spiegeltvdistribution)

German Fund Ends Payments to Nazi-Era Forced Laborers
A fund set up by the Germany to compensate Nazi-era forced laborers has finished its last payments. The remaining money - which came from both the German government and companies such as Volkswagen, DaimlerChrysler, Bayer and Deutsche Bank - will be used for reconciliation projects. The Remembrance, Responsibility and Future foundation paid 1.7 million people more than 4.4 billion euros. Many companies had refused for years to help the forced laborers, saying they were compelled to use slave labor. Though the Nazi regime lost the war, German companies continued to profit: German industrial wealth was 17 times larger after the war than in 1939.
(dw-world)