Tag: World War Two

Sonderkommando Arājs: Latvia’s Nazi Collaborators and Their Role in the Holocaust

Sonderkommando Arājs: Latvia’s Nazi Collaborators and Their Role in the Holocaust

On 1 July 1941, during Operation Barbarossa, German troops entered the Latvian capital city of Riga. In their wake followed a unit of the notorious Einsatzgruppen, Himmler’s infamous mobile killing squads tasked with the mass murder of Jews and others in eastern Europe. From the outset, these masters of death sought to enlist the help…

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Kraków-Płaszów: The Real Story of Amon Göth’s Notorious Death Camp

Kraków-Płaszów: The Real Story of Amon Göth’s Notorious Death Camp

Before the publication of Thomas Keneally’s 1982 historical novel, Schindler’s Ark, and Spielberg’s subsequent 1993 movie, relatively few had heard of the infamous Płaszów concentration camp. Yet despite these high-profile productions, the actual history of the camp, including its murderous SS staff and their thousands of Jewish victims, continues to remain unknown to many. Construction…

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Book Review | Hitler’s Scapegoat: The Boy Assassin and the Holocaust by Stephen Koch

Book Review | Hitler’s Scapegoat: The Boy Assassin and the Holocaust by Stephen Koch

Most historians of Third Reich Germany will know the story of the killing of Ernst vom Rath, a German diplomat in Paris who died of an assassination attempt in November 1938. His death is said to have provided the pretext for the infamous Kristallnacht, or ‘The Night of Broken Glass’, a violent pogrom against Jews…

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Mass Murder at Kamianets-Podilskyi

Mass Murder at Kamianets-Podilskyi

Overshadowed by the massacres at Babi Yar near Kiev and Rumbula near Riga, the mass murder of Jews at Kamianets-Podilskyi is less well-known in Holocaust history. Yet, it remains one of the largest single actions carried out by the infamous Einsatzgruppen during their murderous operations in eastern Europe. In just two days, the Nazi killing…

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Arthur Dodd: A British Soldier in Auschwitz

Arthur Dodd: A British Soldier in Auschwitz

Few today will not have heard of Auschwitz. A mere mention of its name conjures up horrific images of evil, suffering and death. It is estimated that 1.1 million people were murdered in the camp, around 90% of who were Jews. Others included Poles, Romani and Sinti, Soviet prisoners of war, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals and…

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Hearts of Steel: The Sword of Stalingrad

Hearts of Steel: The Sword of Stalingrad

On 29th November 1943 during the Tehran Conference, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill presented Soviet leader Joseph Stalin with a ceremonial longsword. King George VI had asked for the sword to be commissioned in recognition of the defenders of Stalingrad, who had courageously fought for their city between August 1942 and February 1943. Apart from…

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The Rafwaffe: No.1426 (Enemy Aircraft) Flight, Royal Air Force

The Rafwaffe: No.1426 (Enemy Aircraft) Flight, Royal Air Force

No.1426 (Enemy Aircraft) Flight of the Royal Air Force was formed on 21st November 1941 to test and evaluate captured enemy aircraft of the German Luftwaffe. The idea was to gain intelligence on the capabilities and characteristics of these aircraft. As a result, the Flight gained the nickname ‘the Rafwaffe’, although it also evaluated an…

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Operation Catapult: A Most Disagreeable Task

Operation Catapult: A Most Disagreeable Task

It was midnight on 25 June 1940 when the armistice, signed three days earlier by French and German representatives at Compiègne, came into force and ended the Battle of France. In a mere six weeks the Germans had conquered much of western Europe, including France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. These unfortunate countries would remain…

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