Go to: Did You Know 1 – Did You Know 2 – Did You Know 3
* Hitler’s 1923 Putz in Munich and the 16 victims are after 89 years apperently not forgotten, which proves the photo of Bill Sanstrom, visiting Munich that day, 16 candle lights..
The soldieron the famous photo in Berlin, who in May 1945 imitated Adolf Hitler on the balcony of the Reich Chancellery was the Australian soldier Bob Russel.
* Austria and Vienna survived the war undamaged and Austrian people after the war “decided” not to talk about the war anymore, no guild and only Germany was blamed. But on an individual level, however, some 800.000 Austrians were drafted into the army (the German Wehrmacht), and another 150.000 served in the Waffen SS, an elite Nazi military unit, even more fanatic and aggresive as their German colleques. Austrians who rose to high rank in the German Army in WW2 include: Generalfeldmarschal Eduard von Böhm-Ermolli (honorary), SS–Obergruppenführer Ernst Kaltenbrunner, General der Panzertruppe Alfred Ritter von Hubicki, SS-Obergruppenführer Odilo Globocnik, SS Obergruppenführer Hanns Rauter, Generaloberst Alexander Löhr (Luftwaffe), General der Gebirgstruppe Franz Böhme and Generaloberst Dr. Lothar Rendulic. Austrian people, in 1938 Austria had 7 million inhabitants, voted 99.9% for Hitler as the Great Führer, and many were real war criminals.
Number One, Adolf Hitler was an Austrian son and a dictator who started a crazy war, in which would die a number of 55 million people.
August Eigruber Nazi Gauleiter of Reichsgau Oberdonau Landeshauptmann of Upper Austria,right after Germany’s unconditional was surrender in May 1945, Eigruber was arrested in the Salzkammergut by the United States Army, and he was questioned as a witness at the Nuremberg Trials. In the Mauthausen-Gusen camp trials, Eigruber was sentenced in March 1946 by the Dachau International Military Tribunal to death by hanging for his responsibility for crimes at Mauthausen concentration camp. The sentence was carried out in the prison yard at Landsberg Prison, Landsberg am Lech on 28-05-1947, age 39.
Lothar Rendulic was one of three Austrians who rose to the rank of Generaloberst in the Wehrmacht. He was tried at Nuremberg in 1948 and, though acquitted of deliberate scorched earth tactics in the Lapland war, was convicted of killing hostages in Yugoslavia and imprisoned. This sentence of twenty year was later reduced to ten years, and on 01-02-1951 Rendulic was released from the military prison in Landsberg am Lech in Bavaria. He died at Eferding, Austria, on 18-01-1971, age 83.
Johann Baptist Albin Rauter was a high-ranking Austrian-born Nazi war criminal. He was the highest SS and Police Leader in the occupied Netherlands and therefore the leading security and police officer there during the period of 1940-1945. He reported directly to the Nazi SS-chief, Heinrich Himmler, and in the second instance to the Nazi governor of the Netherlands, Arthur Seyss-Inquart. After World War II he was convicted in the Netherlands of crimes against humanity and executed by firing squad near Scheveningen on 24-03-1949, age 54. The location of his grave remains a state secret. Arthur Seyss-Inquart was an Austrian National Socialist official who served as Chancellor of Austria for two days – 11–13 March 1938 – before the Anschluss that merged Austria with Nazi Germany. During World War II, he served the Third Reich in the General Government of occupied Poland and as Reichskommissar in the Netherlands. At the Nuremberg Trials, he was found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging at 16-10-1946, age 54.
Ernst Kaltenbrunner was an Austrian-born senior official of Nazi Germany during World War II. An Obergruppenführer in the Schutzstaffel (SS), between January 1943 and May 1945 he held the offices of Chief of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt, RSHA, Reich Main Security Office and President of Interpol. He was the highest-ranking member of the SS to face trial at the first Nuremberg Trials. He was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging on 01-10-1946, age 43.
Franz Stangl was an Austrian-born SS commandant of the Sobibor and Treblinka extermination camps during the Operation Reinhard phase of the Holocaust. He was arrested in Brazil in 1967, extradited and tried in West Germany for the mass murder of 900.000 people, and in 1970 was found guilty and sentenced to the maximum penalty, life imprisonment. He died of heart failure six months later on 28-06-1971, age 63.
Franz Kutschera was an SS General and Gauleiter of Carinthia. As SS and Police Leader of the Poland’s Warsaw district, he was sentenced to death by Armia Krajowa ((AK) Polish Home Army) in agreement with the Polish government in exile and assassinated. The assassination, on 01-02-1944, code named Operation Kutschera a part of Operation Heads, was carried out in front of Kutschera’s Warsaw residency and near the Warsaw SS headquarters, Kutschera was 39 years old.
Gustav Wagner was an SS-Oberscharführer from Vienna, Austria. Wagner was a starter deputy commander of the Sobibor extermination camp in German-occupied Poland, where more than 200.000 Jews were gassed during Operation Reinhard. Due to his brutality, he was known as “The Beast” and “Wolf”. He lived in Brazil under the pseudonym Günther Mendel until he was exposed by Simon Wiesenthal () and arrested on 30-05-1978. Extradition requests from Israel, Austria and Poland were rejected by Brazil’s Attorney General. On 22-06-1979, the Brazilian Supreme Court also rejected a West German extradition request. In October 1980, Wagner was found with a knife in his chest in São Paulo. According to his attorney, Wagner committed suicide. His date of death was determined to be 03-10-1980, age 69.
Franz Konrad was an Austrian SS-Hauptsturmführer and an administrative officer responsible for the Werteerfassung or “valued acquisitions” in the Warsaw Ghetto. He earned the nickname “the King of the Warsaw Ghetto”. After the war, Konrad was arrested and convicted in the trial of SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Waffen SS und Polizei Jürgen Stroop for participating in the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto. On 06-03-1952 Konrad was executed, age 46, by hanging in Warsaw together with Stroop, age 56.
* Winston Churchill was a long sleeper and prefered a whisky as breakfast.
* Louis Merlano, my 101 paratrooper friend, was very lucky as he, a very tall man, exchanged seats with his comrade Louis Perko, a small guy, in the glider on their way to Normandy for D-Day. The day before he talked to Eisenhower, before boarding. Near the beach the glider crashed and the first paratrooper and Lou, second in row now, jumped and luckely reached the beach. His fellow was killed then as he ran into a German flame thrower. Lou saw the first friendly soldiers only three days later. He survived Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge and with his special wife Jane he got nine children in Florida. During a visit he gave me a piece of his original D-Day Normandy parachute which was great. He was one of the few who talked to an inspriting Ike” Eisenhower.
* Two days before D-Day, all (11,550 in all) aircraft participating in the invasion were painted with “Invasion Strips” to be better identified and not shot down by their own side. The painting consumed ALL of the white paint in Britain.
* Goering testified at Nuremberg that neither he nor Hitler knew anything about the mass murder in the concentration camps
* Paul Tibbets the pilot of the Enola Gay, atomic bomb on Hiroshima, asked to be cremated and have his ashes dispersed into the waters of the English Channel.
* The Japanese Kamikaze (“Divine Wind”) tactic was suggested on October 19, 1944, by Vice-Admiral Onishi in an attempt to balance the technological advantage of invading American forces. Though the numbers are disputed, approximately 2,800 kamikaze pilots died. They sunk 34 U.S. ships, damaged 368, killed 4,900 sailors, and wounded 4,800.
* The Great Dictator was a comedy film by Charlie Chaplin released in 1940. It was the first major feature film to bitterly satirize the Nazism and Adolf Hitler.
* The Führerreserve (“Officers Reserve”) was set up in 1939 as a pool of temporarily unoccupied high military officers waiting for new assignments in the German Armed Forces during World War II. The various military branches and army groups each had their own pool which they could use as they saw fit. The officers were required to remain at their assigned stations and be available to their superiors, but could not exercise any command function, which was equivalent to a temporary retirement while retaining their previous income. Especially in the second half of the war, more and more politically problematic, troublesome, or militarily incompetent officers were assigned to the Führerreserve. Examples: Major Karl August Meinel, 01-08-1942, was shifted into the Führerreserve, because on 13-01-1942 he wrote a critical report to General Hermann Reinecke on the segregation and execution of Russian prisoners of war in prison camp Stalag VII-A by the Gestapo and the Sicherheitsdienst SD (security Service) of the Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler Stalag VII-A was north of Moosberg, a Bavarian town close to Munich. Hermann Reinecke died old age 85, on 10-10-1973.
Georg Thomas , head of the Military Economics and Armament Office of the Armed Forces Supreme Command, played an essential role in drawing up the starvation policy for the occupied Eastern territories. He was transferred to the Officers Reserve on 20-11-1942 and arrested after the 20 July 1944 assassination attempt on Hitler because of his contacts with the resistance. Georg Thomas died in Allied custody, age 56, on 29-12-1946
Franz Halder, head of the Army General Staff, planned army operations from 1939 to 1941. He was dismissed in 1942 and transferred to the Officers Reserve. After the assassination attempt on Hitler of 20 July 1944, his involvement in a conspiracy in 1938 came to light, which led to his arrest and imprisonment in Flossenbürg concentration camp.
He was freed by U.S. troops in May 1945. In camp Flossenburg, Wilhelm Canaris and Hans Paul Oster were killed only days before the end of the war.
Walther von Brauchitsch became Supreme Commander of the Army in 1938 and was decisively involved in planning Operation Barbarossa. He was dismissed on 19-12-1941 because of the military defeat at Moscow and transferred to the Officers Reserve.\
* Many snipers in the ruines of Stalingrad were sixteen-seventeen year old selected schoolgirls, some shoot more then 250 German soldiers.
Vasily Zaytsev, was the best Russian sniper
* Inaccurate bombing.
December 6, 1942. Operation ‘Oyster’ The RAF daylight bombing raid on the Philips Radio Works at Eindoven, Holland, now under Nazi control. Fourteen planes were lost but sadly 148 Dutch civilians lost their lives.
March 13, 1944. In a raid onLe Mans, France, by RAF Bomber Command, some of the bombs were dropped short of the mark, killing some 100 civilians. Fifteen locomotives and around 800 railway freight cars were destroyed. The killing of innocent civilians during raids on specific targets became an increasingly severe problem for bomber crews.
April 9/10, 1944. The attack by 186 RAF bombers on the rail yards at Lille-Deliverance, France, killed 456 civilians and destroyed over a thousand homes. At the rail yards around 2,000 freight cars were destroyed.
April 10/11, 1944. One hundred and twenty-two Royal Canadian Air force Halifax’s dropped 600 tons of bombs on the Merelbeke-Melle rail yards atGhent, Belgium. Unfortunately, the rail yards being located in a built-up area, 438 Belgian civilians were killed.
April 19/20, 1944. Around 200 bombers, mostly Canadian Halifaxes from 46 Group, attacked the rail yards at Noisy-le-sec near Paris. Many bombs fell on a built-up area of the town destroying over 700 houses and killing 464 civilians. Some 370 were injured.
March 3, 1945. Over 500 inhabitants of the suburb of Bezuidenhout, a suburb of The Hague, Holland, were killed when Allied bombers missed their intended target, the V-2 launching sites in the Hague Forest and dropped their bombs on Bezuidenhout.* Albert Speer was shaving himself as he was arrested by the British in his castle/headquarters in Bückeburg.
* General Kurt Student was shot through the head during the invasion of Holland, in Rotterdam, by a German soldier, but survived after operations by the Dutch doctor, Cornelis van Staveren.
* Million to one. Around midnight on June 5, 1944, Private C. Hillman, of Manchester, Connecticut, serving with the US 101st Airborne Division, was winging his way to Normandy in a C-47 transport plane. Just before the jump, Private Hillman carried out a final inspection of his parachute. He was surprised to see that the chute had been packed by the Pioneer Parachute Company of Connecticut where his mother worked part time as an inspector. He was further surprised when he saw on the inspection tag, the initials of his own mother!
* Moshe Dayan was wounded in battle in Lebanon and lost his left eye. He began to wear the black eye patch that later became his trademark.
* Leningrad was surrended by the German Army more then a year and the hunger so biting that there was often talken about cannibalism .
* Hitler’s first driver and the founder of the SS, Emil Maurice, was a half Jew.
* Reinhard Heydrich the SS mass murder had a laugable high ladies voice.
*D-DAY LANDINGS (June 6, 1944)
- Utah Beach – 23,50 American troops were landed. US 1st Army and 5th and 7th US Corps.
- Omaha Beach – 34.250 American troops were landed. 29th and 1st US Div.
- Gold Beach – 24.970 British troops were landed. 50th Division, British 2nd Army.
- Juno Beach – 21.400 Canadian troops were landed. 3rd Canadian Div.
- Sword Beach – 28.845 British troops were landed. 3rd British Div.
By June 12. 326.000 troops were on the beaches, plus 54.000 vehicles. By July 2, another 929.000 men and 177.000 vehicles were put ashore. The ship armada at Normandy totalled 6.939 vessels of all kinds. In the 10 days after D-day (June 6 to June 16) a total of 5.287 Allied soldiers were killed. The number of French civilians killed during the landings has never been established but must number in the hundreds. From D-Day till the end of the war,British casualties were 30.280 dead and 96.670 wounded.
The only American General to land with the initial seaborne assault at Utah Beach was Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr, assistant commander of the US 4th Division. At age 57 he was also the oldest soldier to come ashore. Sadly he died in France a month later of a heart attack.
The German surrender was signed 337 days after the D-Day landings.* The Allied contries were Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, India, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States, USSR and Yugoslavia.
* The only US citizens killed by enemy bombs were a woman and five children. They died in Lake view, Oregon, when they picked up a bomb that was carried across the Pacific by balloon from Japan. The Rev. Archie Mitchell, minister of the Christian Alliance church in Bly, his wife and five children, aged between eleven and thirteen, were hiking through the Fremont National Forest looking for a picnic spot when one of the children picked up something that looked like a large balloon.
They started dragging it from the wood when the attached bomb exploded. When Rev Mitchell caught up with them he found his wife and the five children all dead. Hundreds of these balloons, 25 feet in diameter, were launched against the USA and Canada but only 290 actually landed.
* Building on their success at Guadalcanal, Allied leaders began advancing from island to island as they sought to close on Japan. This strategy of island hopping allowed them to bypass Japanese strong points, while securing bases across the Pacific. Moving from the Gilberts and Marshalls to the Marianas, US forces acquired airbases from which they could bomb Japan. In late 1944, Allied troops under General Douglas MacArthur returned to the Philippines and Japanese naval forces were decisively defeated at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Following the capture of Iwo Jima and Okinama the Allies opted to drop the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki rather than attempt an invasion of Japan.
There were 2,402 American men killed and 1,280 injured. Three hundred and fifty aircraft were destroyed or damaged.
* OPERATION ‘JERICO’ (February 18, 1944)
Code name for the bombing of Amiens prison in northern France. Attacked by thirteen Mosquito aircraft the bombs blasted a hole 3.5 metres wide in the high wall of the prison. Of the 717 inmates a total of 258 escaped. Sadly, 87 prisoners were killed and 182 were recaptured. Many were due to be executed next day, mostly members of the French resistance.
REPAIRS TO THE WALL CAN STILL BE SEEN TODAY.
* German U-boats sunk 2,000 Allied ships at a cost of 781 U-boats destroyed.* The motherhood cross was presented each year on the 12th of August (the birthday of Hitler’s mother) to all German mothers of large families.
- The Motherhood Cross of Iron was given to mothers with four children.
- The Silver Cross to mothers of six.
- The Gold Cross to a mother of eight.
- The Cross in Gold and Diamonds for ten, plus Hitler always acted as honorary godfather.
This was a continuation of the practice initiated by President Hindenburg. Hitler Youth organizations were expected to salute mothers wearing the Cross. By 1939 around three million German mothers had been so decorated by what the ordinary man in the street called the ‘Order of the Rabbit’ (Kaninchenorden).
The Bronze Honour Cross of the German Mother.
* On July 8, 1940, a brand new Mercedes-Benz convertible was driven from the Daimler-Benz AG factory in Stuttgart and delivered to the Reichs Chancellery car pool in Berlin. On July 19, Hitler used the car, a 7.7 litre straight eight engine with the registration number 1A 148697, for the first time when he was driven from the Kroll Opera House where he had addressed the Reichstag. On May 5th or 6th, 1945, Technical Sergeant Joe Azara of the 20th US Armoured Division, which was fighting its way towards Salzburg, noticed a large car secured by wire ropes on a flat-bed railway wagon standing on a siding near the town of Laufen. With the help from his buddies he soon had the car on the ground and drove away. In July, 1945, the car was transported to the USA on the liberty ship George Shiras. From then on the car criss-crossed the US and Canada and exhibited as Hermann Göring’s Personal Car. It was not until 1982 that the car was proved not to be Görings but actually one of Hitler’s staff cars. In 1956, the car was sold to a car dealer in Toronto and after a time and a couple of more owners, it finally ended up in the Canadian War Museum on exhibit to the public since 1971. Another of Hitler’s Mercedes Benz cars (1A 148461)is on permanent display in the Imperial Palace Casino and Museum in Las Vegas. Many other ‘Hitler cars’ are in the hands of private collectors around the world including the one he rode in (License plate WH-32288) when he crossed the frontier into the Czech Sudetenland on October 3, 1938. The car he rode in when he visited his hometown Braunau after the Anschluss on March, 14, 1938, had a number plate WN 32290.*
On April 28, 1940, the 2,400 ton French destroyer Maillé Brézé, became a victim of its own weaponry when one of its own torpedoes accidentally fired and slithered along the main deck exploding under the bridge structure and completely wrecking the forepart of the ship. The British destroyer HMS Firedrake, rushed to the scene and rescued fifteen men who had slid down the hawse pipe. Other mangled bodies were recovered but those on the mess deck were doomed as the ship slowly sank taking with her 38 of her crew still trapped below.* On August 15-16, 1943, a force of 35.000 American troops invaded the island of Kiska in the Aleutians. Most of these troops had not seen combat before but expected fanatical enemy resistance. Heavy fog had descended on the island and by nightfall 28 soldiers were dead and around 50 wounded, shot by their own comrades who were shooting at anything that moved in the fog. (Only four Canadians were killed and four wounded) The irony was that not a single Japanese soldier was on the island, all having been evacuated before the invasion began. Four of the American dead were killed by stepping on land mines left behind by the Japanese.* MONASTERY BLUNDER.On February 15, 1944, US bombers dropped 427 tons of bombs on the mountain top monastery of Monte Cassino in Italy. The operation was planned by the US General Ira Eaker at the request of the Allied ground forces, believing the monastery to be a German stronghold. Very few enemy troops were there at the time but over 300 women and children from the town of Cassino, who had fled the fighting and taken refuge in the monastery, were killed. By the time that the Polish 12th Podolski Lancers, under General Anders, raised their regimental flag on the ruins of Monte Cassino at 9.30am their casualty rates were 3,779 killed or wounded. The flag was hastily sewn together from pieces of a Red Cross flag and soldiers’ handkerchiefs. The Monastery was rebuilt after the war and reconsecrated by Pope Paul V1 in 1964. (General Wladyslaw Anders (see Anders)lies buried in the Polish Cemetery at Monte Cassino).
The ruins of St Benedict Monastery on Monte Cassino.
* Eight women, all the same types, that are thought, possibly, to have been intimate with Hitler, attempted suicide: Mimi Reiter (see Reiter) tried to hang herself 1928, Geli Raubal (see Raubal) died of a gun-shot with Hitler’s gun, 1931, Eva Braun (see Braun) tried suicide in 1932 and 1935 before succeeding in 1945, Frau Inge Ley,
Renaté Müller, and Suzi Liptauer were all successful suicides, and Unity Mitford attempted suicide in 1939. Renate Müller was cremated in Wilmersdorf Krematorium and buried on the Parkfriedhof Lichterfelde, Berlin, Steglitz.
* Even after the Allies arrived, many concentration camp prisoners were beyond help. In Bergen-Belsen, for example, 13,000 prisoners died after liberation. Nearly 2,500 of the 33,000 survivors of Dachau died within six weeks of liberation.
* Dr. Josef Mengele (the “Angel of Death”) used about 3,000 twins, mostly Romany and Jewish children, for his painful genetic experiments. Only about 200 survived. His experiments included taking one twin’s eyeball and attaching it on the back of the other twin’s head or changing the eye color of children by injecting dye. In one instance, two Romany twins were sewn together in an attempt to create conjoined twins
* The most powerful artillery gun created by any nation and used in WWII was named Karl by its designer General Karl Becker . Used mostly against the Russians, the huge gun could shoot a 2.5 ton shell over three miles. The shells were 24 inches wide and could go through eight to nine feet of concrete.
*Several famous actors were decorated during WWII. For example, Henry Fonda won a Bronze Star in the Pacific, Walter Matthau was awarded six battle stars while serving on a B-17, and David Niven was awarded the U.S. Legion of Merit. Christopher Lee was a pilot in the Royal Air Force and also won a number of awards.
* Dogs at war.
Dogs have been used in war since ancient times. There are many categories for which they were trained, Guard dogs, Messenger dogs, (collies only) Scout Dogs, Mine Detection Dogs, Mascots, and Parachute Dogs. The first British dog training school was set up by the military at the Greyhound Racing Kennels at Potters Bar near London. By May, 1944, some 76,000 dogs had graduated. During the war, 18 of these dogs were presented with the Dickin Medal (Animal’s VC). British SAS forces were the first to use parachute dogs in their operations in North Africa and France. Dogs mostly used were German Shepherds, Dobermans, Boxers, Bull Terriers and Labradors. Owners of dogs killed in action were presented with a Certificate of Merit. Anti-tank dogs were dogs trained to attack tanks with an explosive device strapped to their backs. The animals of course were killed in the process. This method was used intensively by the Russians in 1941 and 1942. Unfortunately many of the dogs were scared off by gunfire and ran back to their trenches where the jumped in and in the process detonated the charges killing their handlers and other soldiers in the trench.
* On October 04-10-1944, the US War Department discloses that a total of around 11.000 men of the US Air Force have been killed in 5.600 fatal air accidents since the attack on Pearl Harbor.