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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Recent hand-picked WWII news and articles

Leni Riefenstahl`s Impossible Dream: Tiefland, Fantasy and the Fuhrer`s Shadow
April 20th, 1938 marked Adolf Hitler`s 49th birthday. In the past five years, he`d rebuilt Germany from destitute anarchy into a burgeoning war machine, repudiated the Versailles Treaty and, that March, incorporated Austria into his Thousand-Year Reich. In Nazi Germany, fantasy co-mingled with ideology, expressing an obsession with Germany`s mythical past through propaganda and art. Hitler celebrated at the Ufa-Palast am Zoo in Berlin, Germany`s most prestigious cinema. There, Nazi officials and foreign diplomats joined dignitaries of German kultur. The evening`s star, however, wasn`t Goebbels or even Hitler, but a filmmaker premiering her documentary about the 1936 Berlin Olympics. She found the Palast adorned in swastikas and Olympic rings, with Germany`s Olympic team greeting her. Most gratifyingly, her name glowed from the marquee: LENI RIEFENSTAHL.

Teens arrested for pocketing Auschwitz artifacts
Polish police have arrested two British teenagers on suspicion of stealing artifacts from the Auschwitz concentration camp. The teens were part of a school group visiting from Cambridge.

WWII Panther tank and anti-aircraft gun found hidden in basement of villa in Germany
German soldiers grappled for 9 hours with an unusual task: trying to remove a WWII tank found in the cellar of a villa. 20 soldiers struggled to remove the tank from a villa in a wealthy suburb of Kiel in Germany, after police searching the property discovered the tank, a torpedo, an anti-aircraft gun and other weapons in the cellar. Authorities raided the home in the town of Heikendorf under instructions from prosecutors, who suspected that the villa`s 78-year-old owner held the weaponry illegally. The army was called in to try to remove the 1943-vintage Panther tank, and struggled for 9 hours to tow it out using two modern recovery tanks designed to haul damaged battle tanks off the field. The soldiers ended up having to build their own wooden ramp in order to free to tank.

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)

The tragic story behind the lone German who refused to give Hitler the Nazi salute
Adopted by the Nazi Party in the 1930s, Hitler`s infamous `sieg heil` salute was mandatory for all German citizens as a demonstration of loyalty to the Führer, his party, and his nation. August Landmesser, the lone German refusing to raise a stiff right arm amid Hitler`s presence at a 1936 rally, had been a loyal Nazi. Landmesser joined the Nazi Party in 1931 and began to work his way up the ranks. Two years later, Landmesser fell in love with Irma Eckler, a Jewish woman, and proposed marriage to her in 1935. After his engagement to a Jewish woman was discovered, Landmesser was expelled from the Nazi Party.

WWII through Famed German military leader Erwin Rommel`s Private Photo Collection
Witness the Panzers of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel`s famed "Ghost Division" sweeping into France and see raging African sandstorms in a never-before-seen collection of Rommel`s personal photos confiscated by the U.S. military in WWII. Published together for the first time in "Erwin Rommel: Photographer--Volume 1: A Survey," this collection features hundreds of photos Rommel took amid the heat of battle and in quiet times. Author/illustrator Zita Steele digitally restored and enhanced 340+ photos, bringing out details such as faces of ordinary German soldiers placing wreaths around makeshift graves of fallen comrades.

Catching one Nazi became his life
As a lawyer in the Justice Department`s National Security Division, McKay Smith oversees many of America`s most-highly classified intelligence programs. In the debate over government surveillance, people often ask, `Who`s watching the watchers?` Smith is. That`s his job. But on his own time, Smith has been hunting for ex-Nazis who may have taken part in some of the most heinous war crimes in World War II.

Auschwitz guard Oskar Groening admits role at camp
The SS guard being tried for accessory to murder has admitted that he helped Auschwitz function by sorting cash and valuables seized from Jews. But Oskar Groening, known as the bookkeeper of Auschwitz, denied helping to facilitate the murders of 300,000 people at the death camp. The court heard of his "indoctrinated obedience" which he said prevented him from "registering the atrocities". He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. The charges against the former guard relate to a period between May and July 1944, when 425,000 Jews from Hungary were taken to the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Video: Restored Spitfire to be auctioned in London for an expected £2.5m
An Mk1 Spitfire that was shot down during the air battle of Dunkirk in 1940 and later restored, is to go under the hammer next week when it is expected to sell for up to £2.5m. The Vickers Supermarine Spitfire Mk.1A - P9374/G-MK1A aircraft went on display outside the Churchill War Rooms in central London on Friday before its sale by Christie`s auction house on 9 July

Nicholas Winton, Holocaust hero who saved hundreds of Jewish children, dies
Nicholas Winton, a hero of WWII often called the "British Schindler" for his role in rescuing hundreds of Jewish children from the Holocaust, died at the age of 106. Winton organized the transport of 669 Jewish children out of Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to Britain in 1939, saving them from being sent to concentration camps. At 29 years old, Winton travelled to Prague and organized 8 trains to London for hundreds of Jewish children fleeing the occupied city as part of Britain`s Kindertransport initiative. Winton worked to convince British officials to accept the children, as long as foster homes were found and a £50 guarantee was paid for each one to ensure they had enough money to return home later. At the time, their stays were only expected to be temporary.

America Experimented on Conscientious Objectors During World War II
The vast majority of Americans supported involvement in World War II, but a small minority refused to serve in combat because of their beliefs. The Selective Service and Training Act of 1940 gave them the option of serving in non-combat military roles or joining the Civilian Public Service for non-military `work of national importance under civilian direction.` Those who refused either option went to prison. The PBS documentary The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It points out that roughly 43,000 Americans refused to fight and filed for conscientious objector status. Of those, 25,000 served as noncombatants in the military, 6,000 went to prison and 12,000 served in CPS. But 500 conscientious objectors `competed to volunteer` to be `human guinea pigs` for `dangerous and life-threatening medical experiments seeking cures for malaria, infections hepatitis, atypical pneumonia and typhus,` according to the PBS Website for The Good War.

Japan`s secret underground navy headquarters gives glimpse of WWII`s final days
On a hillside overlooking a field where students play volleyball, an entrance leads down a dusty, slippery slope to Japan`s secret Imperial Navy headquarters in the final months of World War II. Here, Japan`s navy leaders made plans for the fiercest battles, including those of Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima and Okinawa from late 1944 to the war`s end in August 1945. They knew when kamikaze pilots crashed to their deaths when signals from their planes stopped. They cried when they monitored cables from officers aboard the famed battleship Yamato as it came under heavy U.S. fire and sank off southern Japan. Today, the barren, concrete tunnels sit quietly underneath a campus, largely untouched and unknown, occasionally visited by guided tours for the students.

Watercolours and drawings by Hitler have fetched 400,000 euros at a German auction
A painting of Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria fetched the highest price at Saturday`s sale, selling to a Chinese buyer for 100,000 euros. A still-life of carnations, signed A Hitler, fetched 72,000 euros at the Nuremberg event. Last year the same auction house sold a watercolour painted by Hitler in 1914 for 129,000 euros. The auction was organised by Weidler Auctioneers of Nuremberg, which said bidders included private investors from Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, France and Germany. Hitler paintings can be sold under German law provided they do not display any Nazi symbols.

10 Things About the Mistreatment of Black Soldiers During World War II You May Not Know
(!) Black Newspapers` Coverage of Black Soldiers` Mistreatment Considered War Crime. During World War II, the Black media was unable to publicly speak about the horrendous acts that were being inflicted upon Black soldiers at the time. --- (3) German POWs Treated Better Than Black Soldiers. In 1944, Corp. Rupert Trimmingham, a Black soldier of the United States armed forces, wrote to Yank Magazine, to expound upon the racial discrimination that he and his fellow men had experienced during the war. In his letter, he upheld the notion that most Black soldiers had realized at the time: German prisoners of war were treated much better than the Black soldiers of the United States.

Study: Nazi propaganda left life-long mark on German kids
Nazi propaganda had a life-long effect on German children schooled in the Third Reich, leaving them far more likely to harbor negative views of Jews than those born earlier and later, according to a study published Monday. The researchers found that those born in the 1930s held the most extreme anti-Semitic opinions — even fifty years after the end of Nazi rule. `It`s not just that Nazi schooling worked, that if you subject people to a totalitarian regime during their formative years it will influence the way their mind works,` said Hans-Joachim Voth of the University of Zurich, one of the study`s authors. `The striking thing is that it doesn`t go away afterward.`

Rare photographs of the women who joined the Indian army in World War II
In May 1942, the British formed the Women`s Auxiliary Corps (India) for female volunteers to contribute to the war cause. This was the first time Indian women entered the army, and until 1992, it also was the only time they were allowed to serve in non-medical roles. As with their counterparts in the United States and Europe, women were not allowed to serve in combat roles. Instead, they worked behind the front lines as typists, switchboard operators and drivers, and could be posted anywhere the Indian Army went. The corps was disbanded in 1947 with Independence.

Hitler wearing a Japanese Kimono in a rare photo
In this rare picture, at first glance, the evil tyrant looks like a bad pantomime dame, but is actually sporting a Japanese kimono. The Fuhrer is seen donning the swastika-emblazoned traditional dress in the 1930s. Bizarrely, before the start of WWII, from when he was sworn in as chancellor in 1933, it was quite common for Germans to buy novelty nick nacks bearing an image of the Fuhrer, such as this. Its exact origin is not known, but it is speculated it was taken to commemorate the signing of the international pact between Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan on November 25 1936.

Revolver owned by legendary WW2 General George S. Patton fetches $75,000 at auction
A Colt .45 revolver once owned by General George S. Patton sold for $75,000 at auction in Los Angeles. Profiles in History, which conducted the auction, had expected the working firearm to fetch over $60,000. The Colt .45 Model 1873 single-action revolver with distinctive stag horn grip was acquired by the famous WWII general in 1928. The gun, owned by Patton until his death in 1945, is considered to be a version of his famous ivory-handled Colt. 45, which is on display at The General George Patton Museum and Center of Leadership in Fort Knox, Kentucky.

In `Stalingrad,` Jochen Hellbeck uses forgotten interviews to take us inside the battle
In "Stalingrad: The City That Defeated the Third Reich" (PublicAffairs, 512 pp., $29.99), Jochen Hellbeck assembles what amounts to an histoire totale, or all-encompassing chronicle, of this pivotal contest. The book, previously published to great acclaim in Germany, focuses on a collection of oral histories gathered by Soviet researchers during, and in the aftermath of, the battle in 1942-43. This documentary trove languished in the basement of a Moscow archive until Hellbeck came upon it in 2008. Comprising 215 eyewitness accounts from generals to privates, as well as civilians, these interviews paint a "multifaceted picture" of incredible bravery and fortitude. Due to their "candor and complexity," they were censored during the war.

13 of the Most Vicious & Deadly Women in Nazi Camps
(1) Elisabeth Volkenrath: After training under Dorothea Binz she was to serve at Ravensbruck and Auschwitz-Birkenau before being appointed senior supervisor at Bergen-Belsen. Well known to have participated in the execution of prisoners, at her trial she was convicted and, like her teacher, executed for her crimes. --- (2) Irma Grese aka The Beautiful Beast: After the war, survivors provided details of murders, tortures, and cruelties by Irma Grese. They testified to her acts of pure sadism, beatings and arbitrary shooting of prisoners, savaging of prisoners by her trained and half starved dogs, to her selecting prisoners for the gas chambers. She wore heavy boots and carried a whip and a pistol.

Himmler`s Copy of Hitler`s Mein Kampf
The Ransom Center holds one unique war trophy `liberated` by an American G.I. that weighs in at 23 pounds of evil: a giant vellum-bound copy in heavy boards of Adolf Hitler`s Mein Kampf. Emblazoned on the front with a golden eagle atop a swastika, this large-format edition of Hitler`s manifesto is likely one of fewer than a hundred such lavish presentation copies produced in München for Nazi leaders. The book is now kept in a large box, along with two typed letters from the Red Cross nurse-turned-army-wife, Carmel White Eitt, who donated it in 1988. She writes of its being `liberated by a lad named Willie, a cook in the headquarters company of the 143 regiment`, during the search of Heinrich Himmler`s residence in Tegernsee, Bavaria, by the 36th division after the signing that ended the war. Once Stateside, this G.I. showed up at her doorstep to give her his war trophy as a thank-you.

Battle of France - The World War II soldiers France has forgotten
The fall of France 75 years ago is seen as a moment of abject national disgrace. But some insist the French military has been wronged - and that the hundreds of thousands of French troops who fought in the Battle of France deserve to be honoured, rather than forgotten. It all took less than a month. Faced by the onslaught of Hitler`s Panzer divisions the French army collapsed and PM Philippe Petain capitulated. "After the war, as we all know, de Gaulle wanted to wipe out the memory of the debacle," says historian Dominique Lormier. "So the focus was on the Resistance and on the Army of Africa, which fought the Germans from 1944. The sacrifice of the soldiers who fought in 1940 was forgotten."

M18 Hellcat Tank destroyer for sale
Manufactured by Buick of General Motors from 1943 to 1944, the M18 Hellcat is one of the most famous tanks used in World War II. Officially designated a tank destroyer, one example of the 2,507-unit production run is now for sale for $244,000. Northeast Military Vehicle Services LLC is informing that this Buick M18 Hellcat SN1240 is in excellent condition. That comes courtesy of a restoration that "cost over $300,000," making this blast from the past "totally turn-key." Though the turret is fully functional, the 76 mm AT M1A2 gun isn`t live, and the breech-loading weapon has been demilled.

The sad, strange life of Svetlana Alliluyeva -- Joseph Stalin`s daughter
The first sentence of Svetlana Alliluyeva`s obituary was set from her birth in 1926, for she was the only daughter of Joseph Stalin, the notorious Soviet dictator, and one of the worst mass murderers in history. `Wherever I go, whether to Australia or some island, I will always be the political prisoner of my father`s name,` she said. Indeed, it`s by reading those obituaries that biographer Rosemary Sullivan decided there was a story that needed to be told. `Can you imagine living under the shadow of your father`s name—that name—for a lifetime?` Sullivan says. She spent 3 1/2 years researching and writing Stalin`s Daughter.

Has a pair of Eva Braun`s monogrammed underwear wound up in an Ohio antiques shop?
An antiques shop in a tiny Ohio town is boasting a big item: a pair of Eva Braun`s French silk panties complete with monogrammed `EB.` The question of the underwear`s authenticity remains, but the `firm` $7,500 price tage certainly suggests they are the real thing. And that`s the line being toed by not only the owner of Mantiques in Elmore, but also the 84-year-old retired Air Force major who sold it to him -- a man who gives a tale of the Nazi knickers` provenance so enthralling, everyone seems to want it to be true.