Approximately 11 million people were killed because of Nazi genocidal policy. It was the explicit aim of Hitler's regime to create a European world both dominated and populated by the "Aryan" race. The Nazi machinery was dedicated to eradicating millions of people it deemed undesirable.

Some people were undesirable by Nazi standards because of who they were, their genetic or cultural origins, or health conditions. These included Jews, Gypsies, Poles and other Slavs, and people with physical or mental disabilities. Others were Nazi victims because of what they did. These victims of the Nazi regime included Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, the dissenting clergy, Communists, Socialists, asocials, and other political enemies.

The genocide of European Jews – which many scholars and others call simply “the Holocaust”is perhaps the one genocide of which every educated person has heard.”2 Between 1941 and 1945, five to six million Jews were systematically murdered by the Nazi regime, its allies, and its surrogates in the Nazi-occupied territories.3 Yet despite the extraordinary scale and intensity of the genocide, its prominence in recent decades was far from preordained. The Second World War killed upwards of fifty million people in all, and attitudes following the Nazi defeat tended to mirror those during the war, when Western leaders and the publics generally refused to ascribe special urgency to the Jewish catastrophe. Only with the Israeli capture of Adolf Eichmann, the epitome of the “banality of evil” in Hannah Arendt’s famous phrase, and his trial in Jerusalem in 1961, did the Jewish Shoah (catastrophe) begin to entrench itself as the paradigmatic genocide of human history. Even today, in the evaluation of genocide scholar Yehuda Bauer, “the impact of the Holocaust is growing, not diminishing.”

Welcome to Pastreunited, here you will find hundreds of videos, images, and over 80 pages about all aspects of the 20th century. A great deal of the content has been sent in, other content is the work of numerous writers who have a passion for this era, please feel free to send in your memories or that of your family members, photos and videos are all welcome to help expand pastreunited's data base.

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The events of World War II  have shaped the world as we know it today.  The war officially started in 1939 and ended in late 1945.  With over 60 million total fatalities, and over 50 nations taking part,  it is the single most catastrophic experience in the history of mankind.  Many of the causes of World War II can be traced back to World War I.

Little poppy ever red
Remind us of our glorious dead
For every bloom in each lapel
Heroic story you could tell
Though seemingly a humble flower
Pay homage to our 'finest hour'.
Little poppy worn with pride
Heroes standing side by side
These mighty men we praise today
As silently in peace they lay
We hail these men we never knew
God bless the many and 'the few'
Little poppy through the land
Let heart and soul go hand in hand
As silently we stand in awe
Remembering those who went before.

The war years

During World War I, a grandmother in Belgium knitted at her window, watching the passing trains. As one train chugged by, she made a bumpy stitch in the fabric with her two needles. Another passed, and she dropped a stitch from the fabric, making an intentional hole. Later, she would risk her life by handing the fabric to a soldier—a fellow spy in the Belgian resistance, working to defeat the occupying German force.

Whether women knitted codes into fabric or used stereotypes of knitting women as a cover, there’s a history between knitting and espionage. “Spies have been known to work code messages into knitting, embroidery, hooked rugs, etc,” according to the 1942 book A Guide to Codes and Signals. During wartime, where there were knitters, there were often spies; a pair of eyes, watching between the click of two needles.

When knitters used knitting to encode messages, the message was a form of steganography, a way to hide a message physically (which includes, for example, hiding morse code somewhere on a postcard, or digitally disguising one image within another). If the message must be low-tech, knitting is great for this; every knitted garment is made of different combinations of just two stitches: a knit stitch, which is smooth and looks like a “v”, and a purl stitch, which looks like a horizontal line or a little bump. By making a specific combination of knits and purls in a predetermined pattern, spies could pass on a custom piece of fabric and read the secret message, buried in the innocent warmth of a scarf or hat.

Phyllis Latour Doyle, secret agent for Britain during World War II, spent the war years sneaking information to the British using knitting as a cover. She parachuted into occupied Normandy in 1944 and rode stashed bicycles to troops, chatting with German soldiers under the pretense of being helpful—then, she would return to her knitting kit, in which she hid a silk yarn ready to be filled with secret knotted messages, which she would translate using Morse Code equipment. “I always carried knitting because my codes were on a piece of silk—I had about 2000 I could use. When I used a code I would just pinprick it to indicate it had gone. I wrapped the piece of silk around a knitting needle and put it in a flat shoe lace which I used to tie my hair up,” she told New Zealand Army News in 2009.

A knitting pattern, to non-knitters, may look undecipherable, and not unlike a secret code to begin with. This could cause paranoia around what knitting patterns might mean. Lucy Adlington, in her book Stitches in Time, writes about one article that appeared in UK Pearson’s Magazine in October 1918, which reported that Germans were knitting whole sweaters to send messages—perhaps an exaggeration.

“When the German authorities carefully unraveled such a sweater, the story went, they found the wool thread dotted with many knots. By marking a vertical door frame with the letters of the alphabet, spaced an inch apart, the knots could be deciphered as words by measuring the yarn along this alphabet and marking which letters the knots touched.” Adlington writes, adding that the magazine described this as “safer, and not apt to be detected.” As with many things spy-related, getting the proof and exact details on code knitting can be tricky; much of the time, knitters used needles and yarn as a cover to spy on their enemies without attracting suspicion. Knitting hidden codes was less common.

In many cases, just being a knitter—even if you weren’t making coded fabric—was enough of a cover to gather information, and this tradition continued decades later during World War II. Again in Belgium, the resistance hired older women near train yards to add code into their knitting, to track the travel of enemy forces. “This enactment led to the Office of Censorship’s ban on posted knitting patterns in the Second World War, in case they contained coded messages,” Witkowski writes. Knitting used by the Belgian Resistance during World War II included dropping a stitch, which forms a hole, for one sort of passing train, and purling a stitch, which forms a bump in the fabric, for another, which helped the resistance track the logistics of their enemies. Elizabeth Bently, an American who spied for the Soviet Union during World War II and later became a US informant, used her knitting bag to sneak early plans for the B-29 bombs and information on aircraft creation.

Female spies during the American Revolutionary War also used the “old women are always knitting” stereotype to their advantage. Molly “Old Mom” Rinker, a spy for George Washington during the Revolutionary War, sat on a hilltop and pretended to knit while spying on the British, according to An Encyclopedia of American Women at War. She then hid scraps of paper with sensitive information in balls of yarn, which she tossed over a cliff to hidden soldiers right below, under the noses of the enemy.

Knitting, spying and secret messages so often go hand-in-hand that knitters around the world have figured out ways you, or the knitter in your life, can make your own secret knitting codes. Non-spying knitters make gloves and scarves from the Dewey Decimal system, Morse code, and binary programming language for computers, treating knits and purls like zeros and ones. The possibilities are so apparently endless, it might even be worth learning to knit to give it a try. Plus, if you do pass on knitted code, you’ll be joining a longstanding tradition of textile-making spies.

Goodbye to my England, so long my old friend
Your days are numbered, being brought to an end
To be Scottish, Irish or Welsh that's fine
But don't say you're English, that's way out of line.

The French and the Germans may call themselves such
So may Norwegians, the Swedes and the Dutch
You can say you are Russian or maybe a Dane
But don't say you're English ever again.

At Broadcasting House the word is taboo
In Brussels it's scrapped, in Parliament too
Even schools are affected; staff do as they're told
They must not teach children about England of old.

Writers like Shakespeare, Milton and Shaw
The pupils don't learn about them anymore
How about Agincourt, Hastings, Arnhem or Mons?
When England lost hosts of her very brave sons.

We are not Europeans, how can we be?
Europe is miles away over the sea
We're the English from England, let's all be proud
Stand up and be counted - Shout it out loud!

Let's tell our Government and Brussels too
We're proud of our heritage and the Red, White and Blue
Fly the flag of Saint George or the Union Jack this is England we are back.



After initially going around Tobruk and pushing into Egypt, Rommel returns and lays siege to the city. After two failed British assaults to try and break the hold on Tobruk, Churchill replaces Wavell with General Claude Auchinleck who launches a third assault on Rommel’s forces around Tobruk. This assault was finally successful and pushed Rommel back to El Agheila, Libya.

 In January 1942 Rommel launches another strike against the British after being resupplied by his shorter supply lines, taking Benghazi.  In a great showing of military tactics, Rommel then overran several British strongholds and captured Tobruk which housed a great store of British supplies.

After the loss of Tobruk, Churchill again changes commanders in the African theater, this time to General Bernard Montgomery. Montgomery reinforced the British 8th Army and made changed to improve its operations. In August 1942, Rommel attacks the British southern line, but is repelled by strong resistance, his target having been guessed correctly by Montgomery. This was the beginning of the end for the German-Italian Army in Africa. 

Rommel continued to push against El Alamein, but suffered serious losses, especially to his supply lines, by Royal Air Force bombers and fighters. The British on the other hand were receiving copious supplies from the United Stated including Sherman tanks and artillery units. Shortly after Rommel’s failed push against El Alamein, the British began a strong counter offensive which resulted in over 30,000 Germans becoming prisoners of war.

Beginning on November 8, 1942, US and British forces were landed in French North Africa, specifically Morocco and Algeria. The British forces on the Egyptian side of Libya continued the push against Rommel forcing him back through Libya and eventually taking Tripoli in January 1943. The two Allied forces eventually combined and set their sights on Tunisia where Rommel had managed to unite two main Panzer groups into a strong force which he moves toward the Allied army.

 In Rommel’s favor was the new tanks he obtained. These tanks were armed with 88mm anti tank guns which would result in the loss of many Allied armor units. This time Rommel, with his new weapons, goes up against the Americans at Kasserine Pass, splitting their lines and finally overwhelming them. He continued the drive to near the border of Algeria. Here Rommel was stung by the Allied air power who had taken control of the skies over the battlefield. This Allied airpower would turn the tide against Rommel forcing him into a retreat.

Rommel retreated to the French built Mareth line, a series of fortifications spanning 22 miles, where he consolidated his forces preparing to meet the ever strengthening Allied armies. With his forces being battered for over a month, between February and March 1943 along the Mareth line, the Axis forces had little chance to withstand the onslaught that would be coming. In another stroke to the German campaign, Rommel became ill and was forced to be flown out of Africa and back to Germany to recover.

With the loss of their intrepid leader, the Germans finally capitulated on 13 May 1943. This complete surrender of Axis forces in North Africa totalled more than 240,000 men.  On 15th May the last of the Axis soldiers laid down their arms. British General Alexander signaled the Prime Minister: "Sir it is my duty to report that the Tunisian Campaign is over. All enemy resistance has ceased. We are masters of the North African shores."

The loss of North Africa marked one of several important fronts that were taken on by Hitler and were defeated by the Allies (Western, Eastern, and African fronts). It would come down to the inability of Germany to supply the forces sufficiently. With so many fronts being fought at the same time, the German war machine was stretched too thin to support the increasing needs of the German armed forces.

Italy took the first steps by expanding their sphere of influence into Africa and their weakness in being able to hold the expansion against the Allied forces forced Hitler to step in and thin his own military by spreading them out amongst many fronts.  With the might of the United States resources behind them, the Allies were able to overwhelm the German limited resources and push back even the most experienced units of the German army and one of the greatest generals of the Reich, Erwin Rommel.

Adolf Hitler

Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889 in Braunau, Austria, a small town across the Inn River from Germany. Soon after Hitler's birth, his father, Alois Hitler, moved the family to Linz, Austria. Hitler attended school in Linz and at first was a good student, but in high school he was a very poor student. Hitler's academic abilities angered his father because his father hoped that Hitler would study to become a government worker as he had been.

Hitler, however, wanted to become an artist. In 1907, Hitler went to Vienna Austria in an attempt to fulfill his dream of becoming an artist. This attempt ended when he failed the entrance exam to the Academy of Fine Arts. When Hitler's mother died in 1907, he decided to remain in Vienna.

He took the entrance exam a year later and failed again. He did not have steady work in Vienna, but, instead, took a variety of odd jobs. He lived in cheap room-ing houses or slept on park benches and he often had to get meals from charity kitchens. During his time in Vienna Hitler learned to hate non-Germans.

Hitler was a German-speaking Austrian and considered himself German. He ridiculed the Austrian government for recognizing eight languages as official and believed that no government could last if it treated ethnic groups equally.

In 1913, Hitler went to Munich, Germany and when the First World War began in 1914, he volunteered for service in the German army. Hitler was given the job of despatch-runner. It was a dangerous job as it involved carrying messages from regimental headquarters to the front-line. Hitler won five medals including the prestigious Iron Cross during the First World War but only rose to the rank of corporal.

When the First World War ended Hitler was in a hospital recovering from temporary blindness caused by a poison gas attack. Hitler went into a state of deep depression when he heard of the German surrender. The Versailles Treaty that ended the war stripped Germany of much of its territory, forced the country to disarm, and ordered Germany to pay huge reparations.

The country was bankrupt and millions of people were unemployed. In 1919, Hitler joined the German Workers Party. In 1920 the party was renamed the National Socialist German Workers Party (the Nazis) and published its first programme which became known as the "25 Points". In the programme the Nazis called for all Germans to unite into one nation, a strong central government and the cancellation of the Versailles Treaty. In 1921 Hitler became leader of the Nazi party and built up membership quickly, mostly because of his oratory skills and powerful speeches.

Hitler organized an army for the Nazi party called the Storm Troopers ("Brown Shirts") who were called upon to fight groups seeking to disrupt the Nazi rallies. On November 9, 1923, Hitler led more than 2,000 Storm Troopers on a march to seize the Bavarian government - the Munich Putsch. The putsch failed and Hitler was arrested and sentenced to prison for five years for treason.

While in prison, Hitler wrote Mein Kampf (My Struggle). In this book he stated his beliefs and plans for Germany's future. Hitler only served nine months in prison and when he was released, he began to rebuild the party again. He realized that to gain power he needed to use legal means rather than violence. He also set up a private elite bodyguard known as the "Schutzstaffel" (SS). By 1929, the Nazis were only a minor political party.

The Wall Street Crash in 1929 and subsequent depression gave Hitler and the Nazis their chance to achieve power. Hitler protested that the Jews and Communists were the cause of Germany's problems. He promised to rid Germany of Jews and Communists and to reunite the German speaking part of Europe. In July 1932, the Nazis received about 40% of the vote and became the strongest party in Germany. On January 30 1933, President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Hitler Chancellor of Germany.

Once in this position, Hitler moved quickly toward attaining a dictatorship. When von Hindenburg died in 1934, Hitler already had control of Germany and he gave himself the title "Fuhrer" (leader). Under Hitler's government, called the Third Reich, there was no place for freedom. The government controlled every part of one's life. Hitler used extensive propaganda to brainwash the nation into believing his theory about creating the perfect Aryan race.

Therefore, it was Hitler's plan to rid the nation and eventually the world of Jews, Gypsies, Negroes, handicapped, and mentally ill persons. This plan was called the "Final Solution." The Second World War began in 1939 when Hitler invaded Poland to begin his unification of all German-speaking peoples. By this time extermination camps were being established throughout Germany, Poland, and Russia. Many people tried to assassinate Hitler.

The most dramatic of these attempts was the July Plot. On July 20, 1944, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg, who was attending one of Hitler's military conferences, placed a bomb in a briefcase under the table. When the bomb exploded it killed four people and seriously injured ten others, but Hitler only suffered minor cuts and burns. In January 1945, the Soviet troops entered Nazi Germany.

It was suggested that Hitler should try to escape. Hitler rejected the idea as he feared the possibility of being captured. He had heard stories of how the Soviet troops planned to parade him through the streets of Germany in a cage.

To prevent this humiliation Hitler decided to commit suicide. Two days before his death Hitler married Eva Braun. Braun agreed to commit suicide with him. On April 30 1945 the Soviet troops were only 300 yards away from Hitler's underground bunker.

Defeat was inevitable. Hitler made a will leaving all his property to the Nazi Party. After saying their farewells Hitler and Eva Braun went into a private room and took cyanide tablets. Hitler also shot himself in the head. His body was then cremated and his ashes were hidden in the Chancellery grounds. Seven days later, Germany surrendered.

Dig for victory

In the War years a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows. How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out?

How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle? Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it.

 This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few -- the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill. And what is this bill? This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out. Again they are choosing sides. France and Russia met and agreed to stand side by side. Italy and Austria hurried to make a similar agreement. Poland and Germany cast sheep’s eyes at each other, forgetting for the nonce [one unique occasion], their dispute over the Polish Corridor.

The assassination of King Alexander of Jugoslavia [Yugoslavia] complicated matters. Jugoslavia and Hungary, long bitter enemies, were almost at each other’s throats. Italy was ready to jump in. But France was waiting. So was Czechoslovakia.

All of them are looking ahead to war. Not the people -- not those who fight and pay and die -- only those who foment wars and remain safely at home to profit. There are 40,000,000 men under arms in the world today, and our statesmen and diplomats have the temerity to say that war is not in the making. Hell’s bells! Are these 40,000,000 men being trained to be dancers? Not in Italy, to be sure. Premier Mussolini knows what they are being trained for. He, at least, was frank enough to speak out.

What 'Fascism' employs is prioritizing the benefit of the state above anything else. The State will incorporate all values relevant to making it the superior power, be it nationalism or militarism. This means using all the people within the State, regardless of their race. The thought that seeds is, 'if you're in this state, then you're better than anyone outside it and therefore have a right to rule them'.

In a way, Fascism is considered as the more aggressive form of nationalism. Even so, it is not considered as brutal or savage as Nazism. While the militaristic laws of Fascism that were enforced ended a lot of liberties for most people, they rarely used brute force to get what they wanted. Literally, Fascism means 'a bundle' in Italian.

'Nazism', on the other hand, emphasizes on race. More specifically, the Aryan race. Nazism still was about the state, but they would not accept anyone from other races to exist with their own. While pure Fascism would accept people from other religions as long as they were useful for the state, Nazism vehemently declined any such steps.

They conditioned the Aryan race as the banner under which they would unite. The word Nazi is actually an abbreviation of the word 'Nationalsozialistische' from 'Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei', which means National Social German Workers' Party in English. Historically, Nazism was considered very extreme. The way they enforced Aryan superiority was cruel and destructive. Yes, the primary element of control was still fear, just like regular Fascism. But the degree to which they went to affirm absolute authority as the Masters was inexplicable.

All in all, Fascism was inclined towards nationality, while Nazism did the same, but stressed the topic of racism and the extermination of 'lowly' races.

The other point is the way we, in our current age, look at the two words and relate them to the two most well-known faces in all of history.

When you hear 'Fascism', you will instantly recollect Benito Mussolini and whatever he did under the right-winged dictatorship. The Italian was, after all, the leader of the National Fascist Party and considered the founder of Fascism. His ideology was consistent with the idea of Fascism itself, promoting the State all the way to the end.

Similarly, 'Nazism' would refer to Adolf Hitler, a key figure in World War II and the man responsible for the Holocaust. He bound the Germans together with his oratory skills and envisioned the creation of the New Order, a world under the control of the true superior race. While Hitler's ideology started off promoting the Aryan race, it eventually became the center of all anti-Jew sentiments and the entire Holocaust.

The reason for this strong relation to form is the time periods over which both dictators and their reigns came into being. Fascism was more popular before Nazism, around 1920 to 1945, because of Mussolini. Nazism, however, was brought to the global stage by Hitler between 1930 to 1945.

What's also observed is the coexistence of Hitler and Mussolini, creating a passage of communication between them. The words they said in public for or against each other were of historical importance. The words defined the two men and the difference in their rule.

So there you have it. Two men, with ideals similar to each other in many ways, yet poles apart in other ways. The ways of Hitler are why it is necessary to separate Nazism from Fascism, which leads to the final words - all Nazis are Fascists, but all Fascists can't be Nazis.

Sir Nicholas George Winton, MBE

Sir Nicholas George Winton, MBE (born 19 May 1909) is a Briton who organised the rescue of 669 Jewish children from German-occupied Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II in an operation later known as the Czech Kindertransport. Winton found homes for them and arranged for their safe passage to Britain.

before Christmas 1938, Winton was planning to travel to Switzerland for a skiing holiday. He decided instead to visit Prague and help Martin Blake, who was in Prague as an associate of the British Committee for Refugees from Czechoslovakia, and had called Winton to ask him to assist in Jewish welfare work.

 Winton single-handedly established an organisation to aid children from Jewish families at risk from the Nazis. He set up his office at a dining room table in his hotel in Wenceslas Square. In November 1938, following the Kristallnacht in Nazi-ruled Germany, the House of Commons approved a measure to allow the entry into Britain of refugees younger than 17, provided they had a place to stay and a warranty of £50 was deposited for their eventual return to their own country.

An important obstacle was getting official permission to cross into the Netherlands, as the children were destined to embark on the ferry at Hook of Holland. After the Kristallnacht in November 1938, the Dutch government officially closed its borders to any Jewish refugees. The border guards, marechaussee, searched for them and returned any found to Germany, despite the horrors of Kristallnacht being well known: from the border, the synagogue in Aachen could be seen burning just 3 miles away.

Winton succeeded, thanks to the guarantees he had obtained from Britain. After the first train, crossing the Netherlands went smoothly. A Dutch woman, Geertruida Wijsmuller-Meijer saved another 1000 Jewish children, mostly from Vienna and Berlin via the Hook, though it is not known whether she and Winton ever met. In 2012, a statue was erected on the quay at the Hook to commemorate all who had saved Jewish children.

Winton found homes in Britain for 669 children, many of whose parents would perish in the Auschwitz concentration camp. Winton's mother worked with him to place the children in homes and later hostels. Throughout the summer, Winton placed advertisements seeking families to accept them. The last group of 250, scheduled to leave Prague on 1 September 1939, did not reach safety. Hitler had invaded Poland and the Second World War had begun.

The Winton Train is a private passenger train being steam hauled from the Czech Republic to England over four days, departing Prague Main railway station on 1 September 2009 and to arriving at London Liverpool Street station on 4 September. The train is being run as a tribute to the efforts of Sir Nicholas Winton, described as the 'English Schindler' for his part in the saving of 669 children in 1939 from Nazi concentration camps after their occupation of Czechoslovakia in the build up to World War II. The train is carrying some of those original children and their families.

The train is the centrepiece of a wider cultural awareness project known as 'Inspiration through Goodness', organised by the Czech government. Between March and September 1939, Winton organized eight trains to transport children to pre-arranged places with families in Britain. His efforts remained largely unrecognied until 1988 when he came to public attention.

As the majority of 'Winton's Children' as they came to be known were Jewish, it is believed this saved them from certain death had they stayed in Czechoslovakia. As of 2009, the direct descendants of Winton's Children numbered over 5,000. The Winton trains were part of a wider British rescue effort from various other countries across Europe, known as the Kindertransport.

Enlist poster ww2

The seemingly endless struggle of the US and UK soldiers in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to achieve peace in those regions have, sadly, not gone without incurring heavy tolls upon those who have risked their lives for the cause. Over more than 100,000 men and women who have volunteered to serve and protect their country come home from Afghanistan and Iraq sustaining wounds that completely alter their lives forever. Such is perhaps the saddest reality that the only way US troops get to come home even when the on going struggle in the Middle East ensues is when they become too disabled to function even in times of peace.

Even after they have been relieved of the burdens of war when they get home, these disabled veterans are forced to struggle in a new fight within themselves in claiming the disabled veteran benefits that the government has promised them and their families. The current system possesses more than enough flaws to make it hard for these already disabled and aged veterans to get benefits such as hospital treatment.

Dresden bombing

A "spectacular" collection of 3,000 Nazi photos reveal the extent to which the Allied bombing campaign devastated Germany's cultural heritage.

The aerial photos, which show Germany before and during the bombing campaign, have been described as the most comprehensive record yet of the damage caused to the country's pre-war cultural splendour. The pictures, which have only recently come to light, were commissioned by the Nazis to help with plans to reconstruct cities after the war.

Pictures of Dresden show the spectacular baroque Church of Our Lady before it was destroyed by controversial allied fire bombing, which killed up to 40,000 people. The church was recently reconstructed as a symbol of reconciliation between former warring enemies.

It is a matter of history that when Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Dwight Eisenhower, found the victims of the death camps, he ordered all possible photographs to be taken, and for the German people from surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps and even made to bury the dead.
He did this because he said in words to this effect: 'Get it all on record now - get the films - get the witnesses - because somewhere down the track of history some b*stard will get up and say that this never happened'  'All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing'  Edmund Burke.

The UK removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it 'offended' the Muslim population which claims it never occurred. This is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving in to it. These photos were taken in Germany by James Emison Chanslor, an Army Master Sergeant who served in World War II from 1942 until 1945.

concentration camp

It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended. In memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated with the German and Russian peoples looking the other way! Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to be 'a myth,' it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.

World War I, also known as the First World War and the Great War, was a global war which took place primarily in Europe from 1914 to 1918. Over 40 million casualties resulted, including approximately 20 million military and civilian deaths.

Over 60 million European soldiers were mobilized from 1914 to 1918. The immediate cause of the war was the June 28, 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb citizen of Austria-Hungary and member of the Black Hand. The retaliation by Austria-Hungary against the Kingdom of Serbia activated a series of alliances that set off a chain reaction of war declarations. Within a month, much of Europe was in a state of open warfare.

World War II, or the Second World War, was a global military conflict, the joining of what had initially been two separate conflicts. The first began in Asia in 1937 as the Second Sino-Japanese War; the other began in Europe in 1939 with the German invasion of Poland.

This global conflict split the majority of the world's nations into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis powers. It involved the mobilization of over 100 million military personnel, making it the most widespread war in history, and placed the participants in a state of "total war", erasing the distinction between civil and military resources.

This resulted in the complete activation of a nation's economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities for the purposes of the war effort.

Over 60 million people, the majority of them civilians, were killed, making it the deadliest conflict in human history. The financial cost of the war is estimated at about a trillion 1944 U.S. dollars worldwide, making it the most costly war in capital as well as lives.

Land Army

The Board of Agriculture organised the Land Army during the Great War, starting activities in 1915. Towards the end of 1917 there were over 260,000 women working as farm labourers.  With 5 million men away to fight in the First World War Britain was struggling for labour. The government wanted women to get more involved in the production of food and do their part to support the war effort.

This was the beginning of the Womens Land Army Many traditional farmers were against this so the board of trade sent agricultural organizers to speak with farmers to encourage them to accept women's work on the farms. This was a successful campaign and by 1917 there were around 260,000 women working as farm labourers.

In the United Kingdom, women were essential to the war effort, in both civilian and military roles. The contribution by women to the civilian war effort in the United Kingdom was acknowledged with the use of the words "Home Front" to describe the battles that were being fought on a domestic level with rationing, recycling, and war work, such as in munitions factories and farms.

Men were thus released into the military. Women were also recruited into non-combat military units such as the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS or "Wrens") and the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) thus further releasing men into the frontline. Auxiliary services such as the Air Transport Auxiliary also recruited women. In Britain, women were not recruited into regular combat units, but the Special Operations Executive (SOE) did. They were used as agents and radio operators in Nazi occupied Europe.

The Korean War

The National Archives has made 99,000 RAF officers' service records available online for the first time. These records are easily searchable by first name, last name and date of birth, and were previously only accessible to visitors at the Kew site. The courageous aviators of the early Royal Air Force (RAF) played a crucial role in Britain's victory in the First World War. Among the service records available are some of the country's most celebrated and famous pilots - known as 'Aces' for having shot down five or more enemy aircraft.

Cecil Lewis' personal account of flying in the war, Sagittarius Rising, inspired the 1976 film Aces High. A pioneer of the skies, he was also one of the original management team that set up the BBC. According to his service record, Lewis joined the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) on 7 October 1915, after allegedly lying about his age and was awarded the Military Cross for his bravery during the Battle of the Somme (1-13 November 1916).
Sidney Reilly volunteered for the RFC in 1917 before transferring to MI1(c) (British Secret Service) in March 1918. Famously known as the 'Ace of Spies', his exploits have been dramatised in a television series, as well as providing inspiration for Ian Fleming's character, James Bond. The final entry in his service records notes that he was 'killed on 28 September 1925 near the village of Allekul, Russia by OGPU troops' – the Russian secret police.

William Spencer, Principal Military Records Specialist at The National Archives, said, 'The digitisation of AIR 76 finally makes the officers' records of service in the fledgling Royal Air Forces available worldwide. Not only is it possible to view records of the early "knights of the air" ... but also find those of officers from all over the empire who served in the flying service in its infancy. This collection contains the biographical records of some of the earliest architects and practitioners of the new art of aerial warfare, many of whom died perfecting their art.'

The service records were created with the inception of the RAF in April 1918, however many records include the retrospective details of earlier service in either the Royal Flying Corp or Royal Naval Air Service. These records and many others can be viewed on The National Archives' website on a pay-per-download basis for the fee of £3.50.

The Korean War was an escalation of border clashes between two rival Korean regimes, each of which was supported by external powers, with each trying to topple the other through political and conventional tactics. In a very narrow sense, some may refer to it as a civil war, though many other factors were at play. After failing to strengthen their cause in the free elections held in South Korea during May 1950 and the refusal of South Korea to hold new elections per North Korean demands, the communist North Korean Army assaulted the South on June 25, 1950.

The conflict was then expanded by the United States and the Soviet Union's involvement as part of the larger Cold War. The main hostilities were during the period from June 25, 1950 until the armistice (ceasefire agreement) was signed on July 27, 1953.

The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, and in Vietnam as the American War, occurred from 1959 to April 30, 1975. The term Vietnam Conflict is often used to refer to events which took place between 1959 and April 30, 1975.

The war was fought between the communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam and its communist allies and the US supported Republic of Vietnam. It concluded with the defeat and dissolution of South Vietnam. For the United States, the war ended with the withdrawal of American troops and failure of its foreign policy in Vietnam.

Over 1.4 million military personnel were killed in the war (only 6% were members of the United States armed forces), while estimates of civilian fatalities range up to 2 million. On April 30, 1975, the capital of South Vietnam, Saigon fell to the communist forces of North Vietnam, effectively ending the Vietnam War.

war enlistment poster

By 1914 nearly 5.9 million were working out of the 23.8 million females in Britain.
In World War I, for example, thousands of women worked ina amunitions factories, offices and large hangars used to build aircraft. Women were also involved in knitting socks and preparing hampers for the soldiers on the front, as well as other voluntary work, but as a matter of survival women had to work for paid employment for the sake of their families.

Nursing became the one and only area of female contribution that involved being at the front and experiencing the horror of war. Not only did they have to keep the home fires burning but they took on voluntary and paid employment that was diverse in scope and showed that women were highly capable in diverse fields of endeavor. There is little doubt that this expanded view of the role of women in society did change the outlook of what women could do and their place in the workforce. However the extent of this change is open to historical debate.

The role of women tended to differ in scope and importance between World War I and World War II.
Many women worked as volunteers serving at Red Cross and encouraging the sale of bonds and the planting of "victory gardens".
In part because of female participation in the war effort Canada, the United States, Great Britain, and a number of European countries extended suffrage to women in the years after the First World War.

With this expanded horizon of opportunity and confidence, and with the extended skill base that many women could now give to paid and voluntary employment, women's roles in world war ii were even more extensive than in the first world war.

 By 1945, more than 2.3 million women were working in the war industries in the u.s., building ships, aircraft, vehicles, and weaponry. Women also worked in factories, munitions plants and farms, and also drove trucks, provided logistic support for soldiers and entered professional areas of work that were previously the preserve of men. In the allied countries thousands of women enlisted as nurses serving on the front lines.

Thousands of others joined defensive militias at home and there was a great increase in the number of women serving in the military itself, particularly in the red army This necessity to use the skills and the time of women was heightened by the nature of the war itself. While world war I was mainly fought in France and was a war arguably without clear aggressor or villain, world war ii was truly a global conflict where countries were invaded or under the threat of invasion from leaders in Germany (adolf Hitler) and Japan that had ambitions of world domination.

 In these circumstances the absolute urgency of mobilizing the entire population made the expansion of the role of women inevitable. The hard skilled labour of women was symbolized in the united states by the figure of Rosie the riveter. Many women served in the resistances of France, Italy, and Poland, and in the British SOE which aided these.

World War II poster

American women also saw combat during World War II, firstly as nurses in the Army Nurses Corps and United States Navy Nurse Corps during the Pearl Harbor attacks on 7 December 1941. The Womans Naval Reserve and United States Marine Corps Women's Reserve were also created for women performing auxiliary roles. In July 1943 a bill was signed making the Women's Army Corps an official part of the regular army, but not in combat units. In 1944 WACs arrived in the Pacific and were landing in Normandy on D-Day. During the war, 67 Army nurses and 16 Navy nurses were captured and spent three years as Japanese prisoners of war.

350,000 American women served during World War Two and 16 were killed in action. American women also performed many varieties of non-combat military service in special units such as the WAVES, Women's Army Corps, and Women's Auxiliary Air Force. Indeed World War II also marked milestones for women in the US military, Carmen Contreras-Bozak, who became the first Hispanic to join the WAC's, serving in Algiers under General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Minnie Spotted-Wolf the first female Native American woman to enlist in the United States Marines.

 In 1943, the first female officer of the United States Marine Corps was commissioned, and the first detachment of female marines was sent to Hawaii for duty in 1945. Women also joined the federal government in massive numbers during World War II. Nearly a million "government girls" were recruited for war work.
The surrender of Japan in August 1945 brought World War II to a close.

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