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

Auschwitz guard Ernst Tremmel dies a week before trial
A 93-year-old guard at Auschwitz has died a week before he was due to stand trial in Germany. Ernst Tremmel was accused of 1,075 counts of accessory to murder for his time working at the death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. Tremmel worked at the camp from November 1942 to June 1943. The trial was to have started in Hanau, where Auschwitz survivors were expected to give testimony. Tremmel served with an SS Totenkopf unit processing the arrival of prisoners at the camp and was allegedly directly involved in three transports, from Berlin, the French city of Drancy, and Westerbork in the Netherlands.

Hitler: The Ascent (1889-1939) by Volker Ullrich, review
"Education is irrelevant,` gushed Martin Heidegger in 1933, when the philosopher Karl Jaspers asked him whether a man as uneducated as Hitler could rule Germany. `Just look at those lovely hands!` It is Volker Ullrich`s eye for quotation that makes his biography of Hitler, so readable and compelling. Heidegger sounds as foolishly bewitched as Unity Mitford. In this first of two planned volumes, ending in March 1939 with the taking of Prague, we learn that Hitler`s hands were actually not `lovely`, but eerily languid. `I am the greatest actor in Europe,` Hitler once bragged. We`ve become familiar with the actor`s masks. What – if anything – lay behind them? What did Hitler care about, beyond power? Was he capable of love? What were the origins of his irrational and unappeasable hatreds?

Hitler`s SS commando Lt-Col Otto Skorzeny worked as an assassin for Israeli intelligence Mossad
An SS officer known as `Hitler`s commando` reportedly worked as an assassin for Israeli intelligence. Lt-Col Otto Skorzeny, once described by British and US intelligence as `the most dangerous man in Europe`, was secretly recruited by Mossad after WWII. In 1962 he assassinated a former Nazi rocket scientist, the newspaper claimed. Heinz Krug, who worked under Wernher von Braun on the programme to develop the V2 rockets, disappeared without trace from Munich. He was working on a missile programme for the Egyptian government at the time. It has long been suspected he was targeted by Israel, nervous of Egypt`s intentions. Ha`aretz claims he was murdered by Skorzeny on Mossad`s orders.

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)

German historian shows how AP news agency retained access in 1930s by promising not to undermine strength of Hitler regime
The AP news agency entered a formal cooperation with the Hitler regime in the 1930s, supplying American newspapers with material produced by the Nazi propaganda ministry, material unearthed by a German historian has revealed. When the Nazi party seized power in Germany in 1933 the Guardian was banned within a year, and by 1935 even bigger British-American agencies such as Keystone and Wide World Photos were forced to close their bureaus. AP was the only western news agency able to stay open in Hitler`s Germany, continuing to operate until the US entered the war in 1941. It thus found itself in the presumably profitable situation of being the prime channel for news reports and pictures out of the Third Reich. In an article published in academic journal Studies in Contemporary History , historian Harriet Scharnberg shows that AP was only able to retain its access by entering into a mutually beneficial two-way cooperation with the Nazi regime.

Bill Donovan, America`s Titanic Spy Who Helped Destroy The Nazis
`Wild Bill` Donovan earned his nickname leading successful charges against the Germans in WW1. For that he became the most-decorated American soldier, receiving the Medal of Honor, two Distinguished Service Crosses, the Distinguished Service Medal and two Purple Hearts, among his many medals. But that was nothing compared with his WWII service, when he created the Office of Strategic Services and pioneered spying and sabotage techniques that laid the foundation for the CIA and Navy SEALs. His visit to assess Britain`s war needs in July 1940 was `one of the most momentous missions ever undertaken by any agent in the history of Western civilization,` wrote William Stephenson, the British security coordinator, in the foreword to `Donovan: America`s Master Spy` by Richard Dunlop. `He was one of the most significant men of our century.`

Albert Speer: Hitler`s Architect by Martin Kitchen
Albert Speer was one of the strangest, most elusive politicians of modern times, a flimflam man so charming that he conned everyone from Hitler to whole generations of historians and journalists. He emerged from the darkest corner of Nazi Germany with a pile of money and a reputation as an almost decent human being. It was said that Speer was the one gentleman among the gangsters who populated the upper reaches of the Third Reich. As a young architect in his 20s he heard Hitler speak and was so impressed that he signed on with the Nazi Party in 1931. He designed the spotlight-strewn Nuremberg rallies, where flags the size of sails fluttered in the air as Hitler ranted. Speer`s showmanship looked so good in Leni Riefenstahl`s film that Hitler appointed Speer his Commissioner for Artistic and Technical Presentation. That led to the most profitable relationship of his career, friendship with Hitler.

Black Earth: The Holocaust as history and warning by Timothy Snyder
History professor Timothy Snyder has written not just another book on the Holocaust, he has instead, delved into the warped mind of Adolf Hitler and concluded that Hitler was not just an `Uber` anti-Semite who hated Jews but a `racial anarchist` who considered Jews a `pestilence` infecting the entire planet and distorting its natural order. According to Snyder, Hitler admired Darwin`s `survival of the fittest` theory, and to him the German `race` was the fittest and thus most likely to be the winner in any contest to inherit the largest portion of the earth and be its `natural` rulers. To Hitler`s ecological view, the universe was a brutal place designed by nature where the strongest species took by force what they wanted or needed and where the weak, were destroyed.

Russian State Archive Head Removed from Post After Debunking Soviet WWII Legend
Sergei Mironenko, who had held the post of director of the Russian State Archive since 1992, was removed from his post less than a year after exposing the popular Soviet WW2 Panfilov legend as `fiction` and pointing out Soviet `myths` in front of government bigwigs. The communications undermined the legend of Panfilov`s 28 Guardsmen, that a group of Soviet soldiers led by died battling German tanks on the outskirts of Moscow in the winter of 1941-1942. The soldiers were decorated posthumously. According to the document released by the Archive, Soviet officials recognized the legend as being untrue when some of the supposedly deceased soldiers turned up alive.

How the diary of the man who convinced Hitler that Jews were a threat was found in N.Y.
For almost six decades, it was missing, all 400-plus revealing, handwritten pages. The diary of Alfred Rosenberg, a Nazi theorist whose views on race are thought to have helped incite Hitler`s persecution of Jews, vanished. It would take two men a dozen years to track down the elusive artifact, one of few known diaries by a member of Hitler`s inner circle. Working with federal investigators, they found it in 2013, in the offices of a publishing house in upstate New York, a place far more modest than the Bavarian castle atop a hill, Kloster Banz, where the diary had been first discovered in a vault after the war.

Japanese Balloon Attack Almost Interrupted Building First Atomic Bombs
On March 10, 1945, five months before World War II ended in mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese accidentally came close to ending production of the radioactive materials needed for the atomic bombs -- using paper balloons. One of the thousands of bomb-carrying balloons they launched into the jet stream toward North America knocked out electricity for a moment to the plutonium processing plant in Hanford, Washington. Had it not been for conservative engineering, the attack might have succeeded in stopping production.

A haunting look back at the Nazis` most famous architecture
Albert Speer`s work has come to define fascist architecture. Though many of his plans never made it past the drafting table, those that reached completion influenced everyone from Italy`s Benito Mussolini to North Korea`s Kim Il-Sung. The style is instantly recognizable: big, imposing, concrete. Here are some of his most iconic, if ill-fated, works.

D-Day plans revealed in extraordinary dossier found in French flea market
A Top Secret `how to` guide to the Normandy invasion that was found at a French flea market has emerged for sale after 72 years. The fascinating archive of black and white reconnaissance photos and detailed intelligence documents show the extensive research that went into ensuring D-Day was a success. There are not only aerial snaps of the installations but also images taken at wave-height from the view of the invasion fleet and detailed plans of each target. For example, for a strategic German semaphore station at Cap D`Antifer on the eastern end of the invasion beaches there is an overhead photo, a side-on image and the plans for it.

Alfred Rosenberg, the evil mastermind who more than anyone shaped Hitler`s thinking
In this prologue to The Devil`s Diary, we meet Alfred Rosenberg, the evil mastermind who shaped Hitler`s thinking. Rosenberg`s fingerprints would be found on more than a few of Nazi Germany`s most notorious crimes. He orchestrated the theft of artwork, archives, and libraries from Paris to Krakow to Kiev — the loot that the Allies` Monuments Men would track down in Germany`s castles and salt mines. In 1920, he planted the idea in Hitler`s mind that a global Jewish conspiracy was behind the communist revolution in the Soviet Union, and he repeated the claim over and over.

Hawker Hurricane Mk XII 5708 for sale
Fully restored Hawker Hurricane Mk XII 5708 for sale.

More than Half Russians Call Stalin Wise Leader
More than half of Russians believe the Soviet dictator Stalin was a wise leader, a new poll by Levada independent polling center showed. 57 percent of Russians said they entirely or generally agreed that Stalin was a "wise leader who made the USSR powerful and prosperous." Levada said the figure was at a "maximum level" for its polls, up 10 percent on four years ago. The pollsters also found that 71 percent of Russians agreed that "whatever mistakes or sins are attributed to Stalin, the most important thing is that he led our people to victory in World War II." That figure was up 11 percent on 2012.

Heinrich Himmler`s stash of books on witchcraft discovered after being hidden for 50 years
A rare library of books on witches and the occult that was assembled by Nazi SS chief Heinrich Himmler in the war has been discovered in the Czech Republic. The books - part of a 13,000-strong collection - were found in a depot of the National Library of Czech Republic near Prague which has not been accessed since the 1950s. In 1935 Himmler founded the `H Sonderkommando` - H standing for Hexe, the German word for witch - to collate as much material as possible on sorcery, the occult. The bulk of the collection was called the `Witches Library` and concentrated on witches and their persecution in medieval Germany.

Animation shows Allied bombing campaign that defeated Nazis
This animation shows the Allied bombing campaign that helped crush the Nazis in the Second World War. It may just look like a few blue and red dots flashing on the screen but once you realise the devastation caused it soon becomes much more ominous. The map, released by the Imperial War Museum (IWM), showed where each of the bombs amounting to 1.6million tonnes fell.

French archives contain Nazi and resistance war files on celebrities
French historians have unveiled secret services` archives from the second world war that offer a unique insight into underground operations led by both the Nazis and the French resistance along with the individual paths taken by thousands of agents, including celebrities such as French designer Coco Chanel. Most of the letters, reports, cables and photos from the rival intelligence agencies of the French resistance, the collaborationist Vichy regime and the German authorities remain unpublished. The documents, stored for years in the archives at the medieval castle of Vincennes, east of Paris, have not been explored by historians until recently.

Germany`s top Nazi hunter to keep up chase for another decade
Undeterred by dwindling numbers of living suspects, Germany`s top Nazi hunter Jens Rommel is determined to keep tracking down criminals involved in Hitler`s murder machine for another decade.

Letter reveals Bletchley Park code breakers secretly thanked by General Eisenhower for priceless work
A secret letter from US President Dwight D Eisenhower praising the `priceless` work of the Bletchley Park code breakers in helping to win the war went on public display for the first time. The letter was sent at the end of the WWII by General Eisenhower, who had been Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, to Sir Stewart Menzies, wartime chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, and had previously hung on the wall of the office of the Chief of MI6. It has now been put on public view, illustrating they importance the US Government placed on the work of the Bletchley Park code breakers in helping to defeat the Nazis.

Tonnes of Second World War explosives removed from Italian seabed
An operation to remove tonnes of Second World War-era explosives from the seabed off the coast of Liguria got underway, after an amateur diver discovered two sunken gunboats. The torpedoes and shells on the boats had since spilled out onto the seabed, 45 meters below a busy mooring site near the port of Vado Ligure. The explosives are estimated to have power equivalent to 50 kilogrammes of TNT. Following the discovery, the area within a 500 meter radius was closed off to all maritime traffic as one heavy anchor thrown on top of an explosive risked setting off a powerful underwater blast - creating a shockwave powerful enough to destroy any ship above.

Mein Kampf Personally Owned By Hitler Up For Auction
Hitler`s very own copy of "Mein Kampf," his political manifesto, will be up for bids as one of thousands of historical items from WWII that will be hitting the auction block on March 17 and 18. The copy is a rare edition of the work and was not made available to the public. Given its exclusivity, it was likely kept by Hitler to give as a potential gift to an admirer or for his own use, according to Alexander Historical Auctions. Bound in fine-grade red leather, the "Mein Kampf" to be auctioned was discovered at Hitler`s apartment in Munich after the Americans came to liberate the city after it fell. The discovery is attributed to 11 officers from the 45th Infantry Division`s field artillery battalion who were the first to enter the property. Their signatures appear on the front flyleaf of the copy.

The Death of Del Berg, the Last Veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade
Del Berg, 100, was one of the Americans who volunteered to fight Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War, and he never stopped fighting for leftist causes. The 23-year-old American was staying at a monastery outside Valencia, Spain, when Italian bombers flew over and dropped their payload. The bombs were aimed for a rail depot, but they hit the monastery instead. Berg, who was on the second floor, and the men he was with climbed downstairs on a pipe. Berg was last, and it was only when he`d gotten down he realized his shirt was soaked in blood. Shrapnel had struck his liver. That piece of shrapnel was still in Berg`s liver when he died.

In pictures: American airmen in England during World War Two
More than two million American servicemen and women passed through Britain during World War Two. Many were based here with the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), most of them living in eastern England. To mark the reopening of the American Air Museum at Imperial War Museum (IWM) Duxford, photographs of some of those men and women are to be shown alongside some of the aircraft that flew at the time. The pictures are drawn from the Roger Freeman Collection, which IWM acquired for the nation in 2012. Here we present a selection of the stories of those who found themselves on the other side of the Atlantic fighting against Nazi Germany.