Secret files reveal successful MI5 plot to identify Nazi sympathisers in Britain
A MI5 plot to set up a "fifth column" of rightwing extremists succeeded in attracting "probably hundreds" of Nazi and fascist sympathisers in Britain, according to secret files. The plan was prompted by MI5's concern that the British branch of the German firm Siemens ran what it described as a "vast espionage organisation" before the outbreak of the second world war. MI5 first attempted to infiltrate the company through a "correspondents' club" to attract single female employees. But it proved too successful – one employee became too emotionally attached to the undercover MI5 agent.
The Battle of Nauru - Nazi Germany`s Forgotten Foray into the Pacific
In late 1940, the tiny tropical island of Nauru seemed about as far from the bloody battlefields of the Second World War as one could get. Also known as Pleasant Island, the 21 sq. km paradise sits 3,000 km due east of New Guinea and 5,000 km southwest of Hawaii – a long way from Europe and North Africa indeed. Yet by December of that year, German warships would carry to the fight against the Allies to the very shores of Nauru. The ensuing battle would represent the only Nazi military action of World War Two to take place in the South Pacific.
Who's Who' book of 30,000 SS members expected to fetch £2,000 at auction
A chilling `Who`s who` book which names 30,000 members of SS is to go up for auction next month. The 425-page `seniority list` – which includes some of the most feared men in the Nazi regime – was stolen by a British spy during World War II. Listed at number one is Heinrich Himmler. The book, which is expected to fetch £2,000, lists the name of each member, their decorations and awards, their division, party number, SS number, date of birth and promotion details. It came to light when the son of the spy, who has not been identified, was sorting through his estate after his death.
Signed copies of Adolf Hitler`s ‘Mein Kampf` up for auction in Los Angeles
Copies of Hitler`s manifesto `Mein Kampf` signed by the German Nazi leader will go under the hammer in Los Angeles, auction house Nate D. Sanders said. The autographed copies of the two-volume work steeped in anti-Semitism are inscribed as Christmas gifts to Josef Bauer, an officer in the German SS during World War Two and a participant in Hitler`s failed Munich coup in 1923. Bidding in the online auction for the signed books starts at $20,000 and is expected to sell for around $25,000 when the auction concludes at 10 p.m. EST on Thursday (0300 GMT on Friday), the auctioneers said.
World War II Medal of Honor recipient Walter Ehlers dies
During the historic D-Day invasion of World War II, Walter D. Ehlers accomplished some of the most awe-inspiring acts of bravery imaginable, earning a Medal of Honor for knocking out two German machine-gun nests and saving countless Allied soldiers` lives. The 23-year-old staff sergeant charged through enemy gunfire to kill seven enemy soldiers, chase away several others, put a halt to mortar fire and carry a wounded comrade to safety, even after he been shot in the back.
Pacific Fleet's war diaries now available online
"The war opened with the attack of Japanese aircraft on Oahu." So reads the first entry of the war diaries of Adm. Chester Nimitz, commander in chief of the US WWII Pacific Fleet (CINCPAC). The original documents, starting on Dec. 7, 1941, chronicle the activities of the fleet from then until Aug. 31, 1945, the close of the war with Japan and of the Second World War. Contained in the collection`s 4,000 pages are thousands of admiral-to-admiral reports, descriptions of combat actions, enemy movements, the status of ground, air and sea forces, damage reports, situation estimates, strategic discussions, notes from staff meetings. Together, the documents are known as `The Gray Book.` The collection was declassified in 1972. Now, through the efforts of the Naval War College Foundation, the entire CINCPAC war diaries have been made available online, broken into eight parts and available for download by anyone with a computer connection.
The Decent One - A Heinrich Himmler Documentary, In His Own Words
Vanessa Lapa, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, has made a documentary called The Decent One, based on Himmler's letters to his wife and other personal documents. Lapa bases her fillm, called The Decent One, solely on these documents. There are no eyewitness accounts, no interviews with historians — nothing to create the often obligatory balanced view. Just archive footage, family photos and two main voices, those of Himmler and his wife as read by actors.
Portrait of Hitler`s mistress Eva Braun by top Nazi artist emerges after being lost for 70 years
An original portrait of Hitler`s mistress Eva Braun that was owned by the woman herself has been discovered. The oil painting that shows her wearing a red hat and a knowing smile is believed to be the official Nazi state portrait. It was created by the artist Hans Lehmkuhl in 1941 and was kept by Eva Braun until 1943 when she gave it to her friend, Countess Antonia Isabelle Clementine, Grafin von Westphalen zu Furstenberg. Now the 54x49 inch picture is expected to fetch £6,000 when it goes under the hammer at Mullock`s auction rooms in Ludlow, Shropshire.
X-Ray of Hitler's skull sold at Auction for $1500
An x-ray of Adolf Hitler`s skull was put up for auction, starting at just $100. The maximum bid was expected to be $200-300. However, after 41 bids, the winner walked away from the auction having paid almost triple the estimate, $1500.
Germany arrests three suspected Auschwitz guards
Three men aged 88, 92 and 94 have been detained by German authorities on suspicion of being guards at the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. The homes of a number of men were raided in three German states, months after prosecutors investigating Nazi-era war crimes announced they were recommending charges against 30 people. The three men taken into custody have been sent to a prison hospital.
WWII log tells of German sub's 2-day hunt for ships off Charleston
It was mid-September 1942 when German U-boat Captain Hans-Heinrich Giessler first spied Charleston. Surprisingly, Giessler noted, the city was lit up and easy to find as U-455 approached from the Atlantic. Over the next two days, Giessler would spread a dozen underwater mines around the harbor approaches amid hopes of blasting a merchant ship sky-high. Now a U-boat historian has recently translated Giessler's war-time ship's diary and put it online to be viewed by local residents, hoping it will expand the story of their crews, their missions and the threat they presented here.
Incredible secret footage from inside a WWII prison camp
It is a tale of extraordinary ingenuity and cunning. Having been defeated in the Battle of France, 5,000 French officers were marched to Oflag 17a, a prisoner-of-war camp in Austria, in 1940. Once in the camp, a group of the officers started to make a secret documentary about their time in prison. Risking death, they recorded the 30-minute film on a secret camera built from parts that were smuggled into the camp in sausages. The prisoners had discovered that German soldiers would only check food sent in by cutting it down the middle. The parts were hidden in the ends.
Rare pictures of Hitler's henchmen being taken in chains by British officers emerge
The shots show Hitler's henchmen Albert Speer and Rudolf Hess stepping off a plane in Berlin in 1946 after the end of the Nuremberg War Trials. Brigadier Geoffrey Ingham was in charge of prisons in post-war Germany and took the photographs of Speer and Hess as they were handcuffed to guards. The British army officer also took pictures of other key Nazi members Admiral Karl Von Doernitz who succeeded Hitler after his death. The black and white photos were compiled by Mr Ingham and have been revealed for the first time after they were put up for sale at auction in Devon.
High-level Nazi scientists helped U.S. test LSD on Soviet spies, new book shows
Nazi scientists who produced chemical weapons for Hitler were hired by the United States to fight the Cold War, and helped U.S. intelligence test LSD and other interrogation techniques on captured Soviet spies, according to a book by U.S. journalist Annie Jacobsen. "Under Operation Paperclip, which began in May of 1945, the scientists who helped the Third Reich wage war continued their weapons-related work for the U.S. government, developing rockets, chemical and biological weapons, aviation and space medicine (for enhancing military pilot and astronaut performance), and many other armaments at a feverish and paranoid pace that came to define the Cold War," writes Jacobsen in "Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America."
Dutch resistance fighter recalls German occupation during World War II
The story that led Jules Weyers to emigrate to the United States is one painted by a world at war. After being involuntarily made to work at a German arms factory, he escaped to the Dutch Underground, then became a member of the fighting arm of the Dutch resistance against German occupation and later became part of the Stoottroepen, or `shock troops,` tied to the 9th American Army. Although it has been nearly 69 years since the end of World War II, for Weyers it was just like yesterday when the Germans rolled into his country with tanks, soldiers and false promises.
Abandoned Nazi bunker reopened as a clean energy plant in Hamburg
The last time Hamburg`s hulking air raid bunker saw use, it was 1945 - and locals were taking cover from Allied bombs inside its 1.8m thick concrete walls. That was 70 years ago. Now the bunker is supplying the city with renewable energy. After the war — only two years after the bunker was built — British forces occupying Hamburg attempted to tear it down. After blasting their way through a few of the massively thick floors, they gave up, fearing a catastrophic structural collapse. The structure sat abandoned for 65 years, a bleak reminder of the war years, until, in 2006, Hamburg`s city government commissioned Hegger Hegger Schleiff Architekten to turn it into a power plant.
Nazi project to infest mosquitos with malaria and drop them on allied territory
Evidence for the secret World War II biological weapons research program has been uncovered by Tubingen University researcher Dr Klaus Reinhardt. While studying documents from the notorious Waffen SS, Dr Reinhardt discovered several suggesting they had been operating a covert biological weapons testing program. The objective: To find ways to infest the enemy with malaria-carrying mosquitos. The problem: Which breed of mosquito was up to the task. Reinhardt`s noticed documents relating to the formation of a Waffen SS Entomological Institute at the Dachau concentration camp.
Camouflage profile guide: Waffen SS Colors
This is another new title from Mig Jimenez and his new Ammo brand, and very much a book for German armour modellers. There is a brief text to introduce it all which includes the considerations of colour and the interpretation of that from old Black and White photos. Bearing in mind their paint sets as well, they also include colour samples showing base shades of the various camouflage colours, along with shadow and highlight shades associated with them. The book is organised into sections by unit, with examples taken from original photos where patterns and units have been identified.
Nazis made a booklet of Britain for senior Nazi officers detailing key utilities and landmarks
The dossier, described as a ‘Nazi A to Z of Great Britain`, reveals the postcards and maps German troops collected to plot their attack. The booklet gives an insight into what could have happened if Hitler had successfully invaded the UK. From cities earmarked for destruction to top public schools – the book identifies landmarks such as Blackpool Tower and the Mersey Tunnel so troops could identify their targets in preparation for a blitz of the British Isles.
Rare 1940 Humber Snipe Heavy Utility vehicle found in Bodden
A rare military vehicle from WWII - with only five thought to be left in the world - has resurfaced into the 21st century. The post-war years have been brutal on a 1940 Humber Snipe Heavy Utility vehicle left rusting in the shed of Andy Stevens. An interest in military vehicles led to him picking the vehicle up in 1983 when he heard a shed had fallen on it in Croscombe. But he's never found the time to do it up over the past 30 years. But a use for the Humber may yet be found with its new owner, military enthusiast and roofer Alec Small.
Video: Anita Lasker Wallfisch: A surviving member of the Women's Orchestra in Auschwitz
Anita Lasker Wallfisch, a surviving member of the Women's Orchestra in Auschwitz, told BBC Newsnight that her ability to play the cello saved her life.
Nuremberg Trial Nazi documents, found at flea market, fetch $10,000
Documents from the Nuremberg Trials found in a flea market in Israel were sold at auction. The trove of 500 pages, including documents used to convict top Nazis at the Nuremberg Trials, sold for $10,000, told a spokesman for the Kedem Auction House in Jerusalem. The papers reportedly are part of a collection that belonged to Isaac Stone, who headed the Berlin Document Center and the U.S. Foreign Service Office in the 1940s.
Himmler's love letters to wife to be revealed for the first time, 70 years on
SS leader Heinrich Himmler's love letters to his wife are to be revealed for the first time. Hundreds of the notorious SS commander`s private letters, notes and photographs dating from 1927 to 1945 will be published on Sunday by Germany`s Die Welt newspaper. Heinrich met his future wife Marga, who ran a Berlin nursing home, in 1927. The trove of letters give an insight into the early days of their relationship and also document the breakdown of the marriage from 1938 onwards when Himmler had an affair with his private secretary.
The Allies at Anzio: Rare photos from WWII's Italian campaign
On January 22 American and British troops swarmed ashore at Anzio, 30 miles south of Rome. The brainchild of Winston Churchill and dubbed Operation Shingle, the attack caught German troops stationed along the Italian coast largely by surprise; but after the initial onslaught, the Germans dug in. The next four months saw some of the fiercest, most prolonged fighting in World War II`s European Theater, as the Allies battled German troops for control of the region. LIFE photographer George Silk spent months with the Allies after they landed at Anzio, chronicling what LIFE magazine at one point characterized as a `slow, maddening, fruitless battle.`