Photo of the Day

Sophie Schol was convicted of high treason after having been found distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich with her brother Hans. They were both executed by guillotine in 1943. Her last words were “Die Sonne scheint noch”?”The sun still shines.”

“The Sun Still Shines”

The?White Rose Story

The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing

– Edmund Burke

Bravery. Poise. Safety. These are three words that Sophie Scholl stood for. While evolving into a courageous young woman, Sophie used passive resistance to stand up for the Jews during the latter years of the Holocaust. She did this by joining the White Rose Movement, which is most famous for its leaflets that it distributed during the early 1940s. They also used graffiti to get their message out to the general public.

A young woman named Sophie Scholl become the face of resistance to Nazism.

Scholl, her brother Hans, and Christoph Probst, members of the White Rose (die Wei?e Rose) non-violent resistance movement, were arrested for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets at the University of Munich in February of 1943. The protest was small, but deeply threatening to the Nazis?the Germans had just been decisively defeated at Stalingrad, the beginning of the end of the Nazi expansion.

Students Hans and Sophie Scholl were arrested and executed 74 years ago. The students and their friends had distributed leaflets calling on people to resist the Nazi regime. Today, they remain symbols of moral courage.

The siblings were executed after they distributed literature alerting people to the evil of Nazism

This is the story of a brother and sister, Hans and Sophie Scholl, both students who, encouraged by a small group of like-minded friends tried to make their fellow Germans aware of their Government?s barbarous activities on the Eastern front. They distributed leaflets around Munich University on 18th February 1943 criticising the government and urging their fellow-countrymen to passive resistance, ?to forestall the spread of this atheistic war machine.?

Hans and Sophie were swiftly rounded up by the Gestapo, along with their friend Christoph Probst, who was married with three young children. The Scholls and Probst were given a perfunctory trial under the notorious Nazi judge, Roland Freisler, sentenced to death and beheaded at Stadelheim Prison on 22 February 1943.

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Photo of the Day

Brave: Eileen ?Didi Nearne operated as an undercover agent called ?Rose? in Occupied France and was caught and tortured by the Nazis.

Eileen Mary “Didi” Nearne

The Spy Who Took Her Secret With Her To The Grave?Almost

Eileen Nearne ? known as Didi ? was, in fact, one of the bravest secret agents of World War II. When caught, she showed exceptional courage, withstanding torture and incarceration in concentration camps. Didi was a modest woman who seldom spoke about her wartime exploits. Her latter years were solitary and reclusive.?Keeping quiet was one of Nearne?s great strengths, and she saved many lives (including her own) through silence, bluff and determination in the face of what must have seemed a hopeless situation.?Buried deep in Eileen Nearne’s secret World War II file, released by the National Archives, is the secrecy agreement she signed on Sept. 4, 1942. It was a commitment she honoured until her death.

The death of an eccentric recluse is rarely an event to be given more than a few lines in a local newspaper. But when, in September 2010, police were called to a tiny, cluttered flat in Torquay and discovered the body of local ?cat lady? Eileen Nearne, they also found a small bundle of possessions that told an amazing story.

It transpired that the eccentric old lady who fed stray cats had once been one of the most successful agents of Special Operations Executive (SOE), as had her sister, Jacqueline, who had died many years before.

After Eileen Mary “Didi” Nearne died in 2 September?2010 (date body found) a frail 89-year-old alone in a flat in the British seaside town of Torquay, Eileen Nearne, her body undiscovered for several days, was listed by local officials as a candidate for what is known in?Britain?as a council burial, or what in the past was called a pauper?s grave.

But after the police looked through her possessions, including a Croix de Guerre medal awarded to her by the French government after World War II, the obscurity Ms. Nearne had cultivated for decades began to slip away.

Known to her neighbours as an insistently private woman who loved cats and revealed almost nothing about her past, she has emerged as a heroine in the tortured story of Nazi-occupied France, one of the secret agents who helped prepare the French resistance for the D-Day landings in June 1944.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo of Nancy Wake's Forged Identity Card, photographer unknown.

Photo of Nancy Wake’s Forged Identity Card, photographer unknown.

?The White Mouse?

Nancy Grace Augusta Wake

Hel?ne (SOE)
Andr?e (French Resistance/SOE Identity)
White Mouse (Gestapo in France)
Witch (Operation:)

‘Freedom is the only thing worth living for. While I was doing that work I used to think that it didn’t mater if I died, because without freedom there was no point in living’.
Nancy Wake

Nancy Wake was born in Wellington, New Zealand on 30 August 1912. She lived and was educated in Sydney. In 1932 Wake married a French businessman, Henri Fiocca. In 1940, she joined the French resistance movement. Between 1940 and 1942 she worked manning the dangerous escape routes through France and helped save the lives of hundreds of Allied Troops.

Code-named the “White Mouse” by the Gestapo, Nancy Wake is one of the most decorated women of the Second World War. She received the George Medal, 1939?45 Star, France and Germany Star, Defence Medal, British War Medal 1939?45, French Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, French Croix de Guerre with Star and two Palms, US Medal for Freedom with Palm and French Medaille de la Resistance for her courageous endeavours. Wakes’ medals are on display in the Second World War gallery at the Australian War Memorial.

The Gestapo called her ?The White Mouse? for the way she deftly avoided their traps. Nancy Wake, 98, died of an infection Aug. 7. 2011, in London, and was one of the most effective and cunning British agents working in German-occupied France during World War II.

A sultry glamour girl before the war, she married a French playboy industrialist whose tastes, like hers, ran to caviar and champagne midmorning and love in the afternoon. They were living in southern France when the war ignited.

She hid downed Allied servicemen at her home and led them over the Pyrenees to the safety of neutral Spain. She later helped organize thousands of French resistance fighters known as the Maquis, by meeting Allied arms drops, distributing weapons and training 7,000 partisans in preparation for the Normandy invasion.

She earned decorations from the British, French and American governments; she was belatedly honored in Australia, where she had grown up. Exact figures are hard to establish, but she was reported to have helped save many hundreds of lives.

Nancy was an ardent warrior, possessed of an endless appetite for sensation.

As her involvement in the war deepened, Ms. Wake was trained by the British to kill with her bare hands (she delivered a fatal karate chop to a sentry at an arms factory), parachute into enemy-held territory and work a machine gun.

She chomped on cigars and bested guerrilla fighters in drinking bouts. She travelled nowhere without her Chanel lipstick, face cream and a favorite red satin cushion.

?She is the most feminine woman I know until the fighting starts ? then she is like five men,? a colleague in the French resistance once said.

With her highly motivated force, Ms. Wake planned and executed a successful raid on a Gestapo garrison and an arms factory in central France in 1944.

The Gestapo placed a large bounty on her head. That she evaded capture and death added to her mystique; one-third of the 39 women serving in the British Special Operations Executive in France did not come home.

She was dauntless. When a German counterattack against the Maquis disrupted lines of communication, Ms. Wake covered 200 kilometers by bike over hostile ground to get and receive crucial messages. She slept in haystacks or in the open during her 72-hour journey, which resulted in reestablishing radio contact with London.

The nature of her work made Ms. Wake cautious. Three French women came to her attention for possibly being spies. Under her interrogation, she became satisfied two were telling the truth. She sentenced the third to death by firing squad.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo: CIA People Virginia Hall of Special Operations Branch receiving the Distinguished Service Cross from General Donovan, September 1945.

Photo: CIA People
Virginia Hall of Special Operations Branch receiving the Distinguished Service Cross from General Donovan, September 1945.


The Limping Lady

The Nazi secret police were hunting her. They had distributed “wanted” posters throughout Vichy France, posters with a sketch of a sharp-featured woman with shoulder-length hair and wide-set eyes, details provided by French double agents.

They were determined to stop her, an unknown “woman with a limp” who had established resistance networks, located drop zones for money and weapons and helped downed airmen and escaped POWs travel to safety. The Gestapo’s orders were clear and merciless: “She is the most dangerous of all Allied spies. We must find and destroy her.

Virginia Hall?s origins began in Baltimore where it soon became evident that she had no intention of heading down the road of life to housewifedom. After a year at Barnard and another at Radcliffe, she was off to Europe in 1926 to finish her education at the Sorborne in Paris and the Konsularakademie in Vienna.

Then came a series of frustrating attempts to join the Foreign Service. She did not do well in her first examination, so she decided to gain experience and try again while working for the State Department as a clerk overseas. It was while in Turkey, in December 1933, that she lost her lower leg in a hunting accident. After recovering at home, she was fitted with a wooden prosthesis that had rubber under the foot.?She then returned to her clerk duties, this time in Venice, Italy, where her Foreign Service dreams ended: She was told that Department regulations prohibited hiring anyone without the necessary number of appendages.

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Photo Of The Day

Matej Divizna/Getty Images News/Getty Images. Sir Nicholas George Winton MBE.

Matej Divizna/Getty Images News/Getty Images.
Sir Nicholas George Winton MBE.

Sir Nicholas Winton

Saved Hundreds of Children from Holocaust

Sir Nicholas Winton, organized the transport of 669 Czech children destined for Nazi concentration camps. As the threat of World War II loomed on the horizon and Germany’s growing anti-semitism became more apparent, Winton helped transport hundreds of Jewish children from Czechoslovakia to safety in England, but his heroic efforts went largely unknown for decades.

In October 1939, Nazi Germany annexed a large portion of western Czechoslovakia. News had reached the world of Germany’s violent campaigns against Jews, and many feared that their growing presence in Czechoslovakia meant that Czech Jews were no longer safe.

Winton, who was 29-years-old at the time, was working as a stockbroker in London. When he learned about the situation in Czechoslovakia he became concerned about the Nazi threat and decided to act. Setting up an office for his new organization in the dining room of a Prague hotel, Winton utilized a 1938 Act of Parliament that allowed refugee children under the age of 17 to enter the U.K. as long as money was deposited and a family was found to look after them.

Despite his incredible humanitarian work, Winton never sought or received recognition for many years after the end of the war. Many of the children he rescued were simply so young that they could not remember how they had been saved.

The world found out about his work over 50 years later.

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Photo Of The Day

Picture from the USHMM Photo Archives, courtesy of the Israel Government Press Office. Defendant Adolf Eichmann takes notes during his trial in Jerusalem. The glass booth in which Eichmann sat was erected to protect him from assassination. (May 29, 1961).

Picture from the USHMM Photo Archives, courtesy of the Israel Government Press Office. Defendant Adolf Eichmann takes notes during his trial in Jerusalem. The glass booth in which Eichmann sat was erected to protect him from assassination. (May 29, 1961).

Eichmann Trial

The Trial That Taught the World About the Horrors of the Holocaust

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Face of the day

Pippa Doyle

Pippa Doyle

One of New Zealand’s most secretive military organisations has opened its high-security doors for a 93-year-old woman.

Tonight, it was a meeting of war heroes when New Zealand’s Victoria Cross winner Willie Apiata kissed 93-year-old Pippa Doyle, one of the great if unknown secret agents of World War II.

Apiata was in the audience as Pippa ? otherwise known as Phyllis Latour Doyle ? received France’s highest decoration: the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur, the Legion of Honour (knight class).

 DAVID WHITE/Fairfax NZ TOP HONOUR: The Legion of Honour medal which was presented to Pippa Doyle.

TOP HONOUR: The Legion of Honour medal which was presented to Pippa Doyle.

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Eleven things a 16 year old learned about World War 2 and The Holocaust

Jews in The Grove at Auschwitz awaiting their turn to walk into the gas chambers

Jews in The Grove at Auschwitz awaiting their turn to walk into the gas chambers

Miss 16 is studying history and after a week or so looking into the Second World War and the Holocaust these are the 11 things she came up with as lessons we can all learn from.

Why 11? Because.

The question she was asked was: What did studying the history of WWII teach you?

1. Hitler was a dictator
2. Appeasement doesn?t work
3. When someone says don?t invade or there will be war you should listen to them.
4. When the Americans get involved serious stuff goes down
5. Backstabbing is a bad strategy
6. Media can influence people even if it?s false information
7. If you don?t know who is good or bad you can?t really do anything to stop the bad
8. It?s easier to lie and trick people than it is to force them to do things
9. Give people hope and they will follow you even if you?re an asshole
10. Most soldiers will follow orders even if they are against their beliefs
11. War is expensive? Read more »

One big long sledge of Russell Brand

Russell Brand gets a shellacking from Michael Moynihan at The Daily Beast:

Most of us have the benefit of growing up politically in private. Not too many people remember the naive and silly views we held; the late night college bull sessions (during which we discover that utopia is possible, if only they would listen to us kids) are forgotten in the haze of pot smoke and advancing age. But Brand, as he always reminds us, was doing a mess of drugs when all the other kids his age were at university doing a mess of drugs. So Che and Chomsky had to wait.

But now, two decades later, Brand is now doing the rounds promoting Revolution, a meandering and pretentious m?lange of student politics, junk history, and goofy mysticism. Now he will just proselytize and wait. He?s Lenin in Switzerland, Mao on the Long March, Castro in the Sierra Maestra.

Many of Brand?s critics have noted that Revolution is full of vacuous nonsense, like his argument?if that?s the right word?that the economy ?is just a metaphorical device. It?s not real, that?s why it?s got the word ?con? in it.?

And there is always the easy-but-true charge of Hollywood hypocrisy. Sure, it?s amusing that Brand rages about corporations and an economic system that has allowed him to loaf around a mansion muttering about the rich. More low hanging fruit: the $37 Russ-as-Che-Guevara t-shirts available on his website. Or how about when he was ejected from a Hugo Boss event for a spittle-flecked rant about Hugo Boss?s complicity with the Nazi regime, never recognizing the irony of his triumphant escape in a black Mercedes?

The main hallmark of a celebrity socialist is astonishing hypocrisy.

It seems that Russell Brand is a somewhat more eloquent version of Wrongly Wrongson, the blogger formerly known as Martyn Martin Bradbury.

In Revolution, Brand bemoans our ?uninformed populace,? while repeatedly proving his point with fantastically wrong information. It?s unsurprising that he compares Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump to Nazis, but if you have a habit of comparing your enemies to German fascists, it?s probably best to know a little something about German fascism?like ?everyone?s favorite founder of the Gestapo, Hermann G?ring,? who was actually everyone?s favorite founder of theLuftwaffe (the Nazi Air Force).*

* It has been pointed to me that Hermann Goering was, on paper, indeed the “creator” of the Gestapo. But as historian?Edward Crankshaw points out in his book Gestapo, “those who think of the Gestapo as the creation of Heinrich Himmler are closer to the mark than the pedants,” despite Goering technically running the organization?which was then a regional force, limited only to “police work” in Prussia?in the chaotic year of 1933. Indeed, it’s rare to see Goering identified as the founder of the Gestapo (and not the Reichsminister of the Luftwaffe or the president of the Reichstag), and I think it’s safe to assume the Brand is unfamiliar with these distinctions.

Brand writes that after ?the United States said there was an ?increased threat from Third-World nations who were developing technology? that could disrupt U.S. domestic serenity?really, they mean economic hegemony.? The?United States?said that? When I attempted to source the quote, it?existed?nowhere but in Russell Brand?s book.

On the following page he offers this baffling recapitulation of the Cold War?s end, when Mikhail Gorbachev ?allowed a unified Germany to enter NATO, a hostile military alliance, on the condition that, ?NATO would not expand one inch to the East,? the United States agreed. Then they expanded right into East Germany, likely giggling as they went.? Wait, so a defeated Gorbachev ?allowed? a unified Germany into NATO and then, like assholes, a unified Germany joined NATO?

We are told of ?Black Elk, the Native American chief who wrote a now-famous letter to President Franklin Pierce in 1854,? an ?utterly ignored? proto-environmentalist tract. It was ignored at the time because the now-famous letter is also famously a fake. And Brand is confused: the phony letter is attributed toChief Seattle; Black Elk would have a hard time writing to President Pierce, considering he was born more than a decade after he took office.

Many of the quotes are mysteriously sourced, apocryphal, or misattributed. Brand claims that, ?Since Friedrich Nietzsche (deceased) declared, ?God is dead,? we?ve been exploring the observation of British writer G. K. Chesterton, who said, ?The death of God doesn?t mean man will believe in nothing but that he will believe in anything.?? Brand rewrites the quote (the original: ?When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing. They then become capable of believing in anything?), which is from the pen of Belgian writer ?mile Cammaerts, something he could have discovered in a few seconds of Googling.

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Government to start school snitch program

Like a modern day Stasi operation the Government looks set to start creating a “snitching” programme.

CHILDREN’S AGGRESSIVE behaviour will be monitored and measured in all of the nation’s 2370 schools, if a new government proposal to curb the growing incidence of bullying goes ahead.

The plan is still in the early stages, but it is understood that the Ministry of Education, police and the Children’s Commissioner will seek tenders for a system to monitor aggression and bullying in every school.

The suggestion comes after Children’s Commissioner Dr John Angus last week issued a new guide ? called “Responsive Schools” ? on how to combat increasing levels of physical, verbal, emotional and technological bullying. Among the recommended techniques is a system that recruits students to secretly work “undercover” in their school, alongside a teacher, to fight bullying.

Smash the Bully backThis is the very, very, thin end of the wedge that finishes up in a place we don’t want to be.

This is the result of the ongoing socialisation of the school system where everyone needs to be understood, where they have bullshit mumbo-jumbo “programs to address bullying” and “non-violent techniques to resolve conflict”. Even the police have stupid anti-bullying mumbo-jumbo like this;

“Find ways for those who bully to experience pro-social behaviour.”

Newsflash Pinkos, there has always been bullies, there always will be. The answer to fixing bullies isn’t hiring little snitches and turning kid against kid. The answer is to smack down the bully.

Group hugs and meetings will not stop bullying. Bullies learn their behaviour, bringing in their parents won’t work either, where do you think they learned their behaviour.

The best known solution to bullying is still a bunch of fives administered to the bully’s nose, very hard.

What we don’t need is indoctrinating kids to snitch. First it will be bullies, then those that piss on the floor, then enter classrooms through the wrong door, then kids with pies for lunch, then kids with meat in their lunch box, then kids with new clothes, then kids with parent/s that don’t recycle, kids with parents that call teachers pinko bastards, kids from non-union households………