"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?" -Albert Einstein
"...Jewish American Leo Frank is lynched for the alleged murder of a 13-year-old girl in Marietta, Georgia: The crowd on the grounds of the state capital in Atlanta numbered in the thousands. There were bib-overalled gaunt farmers with their wives and children, state employees with stiff celluloid collars and straw hats, shopkeepers with aprons and arm-banded sleeves. They shifted restlessly, milled around in a slow rumbling anger, yet, in a strange way, they were a festive gathering, as if anticipating a parade or a picnic. They were waiting for the Baptist minister to rouse them, to fuel their smoldering anger. When the preacher had finished, proclaiming the man on trial, Leo Frank, to be a despoiler of innocence, the devil who had killed the little girl, Mary Phagan, the crowd cried, "Hang him, hang him, hang the Jew..." August 17
"...Carlson's 'Raiders' land quietly, unobserved, coming ashore on inflatable rafts powered by outboard motors. Suddenly, one of the Marines' rifles goes off, alerting the Japanese, who unleash enormous firepower: grenades, flamethrowers, and machine guns. The subs give some cover by firing their deck guns, but by night the Marines have to begin withdrawing from the island. Some Marines drown when their rafts overturn; about 100 make it back to the subs..." August 17
"...But most of them understand what is happening; the smell reveals their fate! Then they climb up a little staircase and see the truth. Nursing mothers with an infant at the breast, naked; many children of all ages, naked. They hesitate, but they enter the death chambers, most of them silent, forced on by those behind them, who are driven by the whip lashes of the SS men. A Jewish woman of about 40, with flaming eyes, calls down [revenge] for the blood of her children on the head of the murderers. Police Captain Wirth in person strikes her in the face 5 times with his whip, and she disappears into the gas chamber..." August 17
"...For many nights in the past, the C-in-C of Bomber Command, Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris, had been sending a few fast high-flying bombers to raid Berlin. Each night the bombersMosquitoes . . . flew the same northerly track to the capital, dropped a few bombs, and then departed. The track took the Mosquitoes near Peenemuende and air-raid sirens there always sent the scientists and their work forces to the shelters, but after a time the Peenemuende defenses became more relaxed. The Reich air defense commander also considered Peenemuende an unlikely target; he thought these pinprick raids were the prologue to some devastating main raid on the capital. But Bomber Command had other plans...The raid was one of the most decisive air operations of the war . . . . The effect of the [Peenemuende] raid on Hitler and Goering was such that the full brunt of their rage fell upon General Hans Jeschonnek, the Chief of the Air Staff. Jeschonnek shot himself in his office the morning after the raid..." August 17
"...Rudolf Hess, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's former deputy, is found strangled to death in Spandau Prison in Berlin at the age of 93, apparently the victim of suicide. Hess was the last surviving member of Hitler's inner circle and the sole prisoner at Spandau since 1966 . . . . he was found strangled to death in a cabin in the exercise yard at Spandau Prison. Apparently, he choked himself to death with an electrical cord he found there. Some suspected foul play [but no evidence to support their conspiracy theory has ever been found]..." August 17
Cynthia Southern’s Holocaust Daily (@cmsouthern) Auschwitz 08/16/1944: 270 men are admitted to the camp after selection from an RSHA transport from the Lodz Ghetto. Young and healthy prisoners are probably kept in Birkenau as "depot prisoners." The remaining prisoners are gassed to death. Image of a Lodz Ghetto deportation train to Auschwitz in August 1944. Image courtesy of Yad Vashem.
Today’s Tweet: Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) Trip to Former Mauthausen Concentration Camp - Emotional Experience for Holocaust Survivor and His Family http://abcn.ws/1rcR8r8
Today's Insult: “This week a town in Minnesota elected a dog named Duke as its mayor. Yeah, they elected a mayor that pees on the street, sleeps on the floor, and eats out of the garbage. Then Toronto said, ‘Been there!’ ” –Jimmy Fallon
Today's Comic: Seth Meyers: “An Oregon man called Portland police Monday to report that traffic was being held up by a chicken attempting to cross a road. Then on Tuesday, he called back to report a priest and a rabbi walking into a bar.”
Sam walks into his boss’s office. “Sir, I’ll be straight with you, I know the economy isn’t great, but I have over three companies after me, and I would like to respectfully ask for a raise.” After a few minutes of haggling the boss finally agrees to a 5% raise, and Sam happily gets up to leave. “By the way”, asks the boss as Sam is getting up, “which three companies are after you?” “The electric company, the water company, and the phone company,” Sam replied.
Twitter 1918-Sending a message from a tank by Pigeon
Note: Images may or may not accurately represent the item adjacent to them. Also, please note that there is much, much, MUCH more detail available-and many, many, MANY more items as well-every day on the linked What Happened Today page. For the full story behind the events of this day, click the August 17 link. Really, August 17. Seriously, the August 17 link is the one to click. That's right, this one: August 17
Disclaimer: The selected Quotes, Jokes and Cartoons may or may not represent the views of the compiler of these daily posts. If they give you something to think about, they will have accomplished their task. Levi Bookin, Copy Editor, in particular bears no responsibility for any of them. He does, however, do a truly admirable job on the linked Daily pages, which everyone should peruse on a daily basis. It is WELL worth the small effort required. The Trick is to Click-> August 17
Holocaust survivor Henry Golde
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From Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives, by Alan Bullock: Himmler required the members of each SS team selected for "special duties" in the Polish Government-General to swear personally an oath of silence, telling them: " I have to expect of you superhuman acts of inhumanity. But it is the Fuehrer's will." The first part of the preparation consisted of concentrating all Jews in ghettos. In Warsaw, 150,000 additional Jews had been crowded into an area already occupied by 280,000, and a wall was built round it to isolate them from the rest of the world. Other ghettos were situated in Lodz and around Lublin. The second part consisted in deporting their inhabitants to the extermination camps as these became available under the plan for the Final Solution. When the deportation (always disguised as resettlement) had reduced the numbers in the Warsaw ghetto to 70,000, those who remained banded together to resist. Two thousand Waffen SS troops, equipped with tanks, flame-throwers, and dynamite were sent in to burn down and blow up the ghetto. To the astonishment of SS General Jiirgen Stroop, their commanding officer (who later had a special photograph album prepared to celebrate his "victory"), the Jews, women as well as men, fought with such determination that it took four weeks for the much better-armed Germans, advancing block by block, to wipe them out. Of the 56,000 finally rounded up, 7,000 were shot, 22,000 were sent to death camps, the remainder to labor camps.
In the course of 1942 all the main extermination facilities had come into operation, the most important of them being Chelmno (the first to be completed), Belzec, Maidanek, Treblinka, and the most notorious, Ausehwitz-Birkenau. At the height of its operations several trains each day would arrive at Auschwitz and the average "output" of its four gas chambers and ovens rose to 20,000 bodies a day. This level of "productivity" could be maintained only by the careful timing appropriate to an industrial operation.
That this was the SS view is supported by the equal care they took in costing their operations. Pohl's WVHA, which was responsible for organizing the labor of those who were assigned to work themselves to death rather than to the gas chambers, made an estimate of their operating costs:
The hiring of concentration-camp inmates to industrial enterprises yields an average return of 6 to 8 R M [Reichsmarks], from which 70 pfenning must be deducted for food and clothing. Assuming an inmate's life expectancy to be nine months, we must multiply this sum by 270. The total is 1,431 RM. This profit can be increased by rational utilization of the corpse, i.e. by means of gold teeth fillings, hair, clothing, valuables, etc., but on the other hand every corpse represents a loss of 2 RM, which is the cost of cremation.
Those who were immediately condemned to death were allowed eight to ten minutes to undress and walk into the gas chambers. The women were allowed fifteen minutes because they had to have their heads shaved first. The hair was then sold for the manufacture of mattresses. It is this "routinization" of extermination (the precise time-tabling of the trains is another example) that adds a unique touch of horror to the already sickening record of cruelty and dehumanization that became "normal" behavior throughout the camps.
Of the total of eighteen million victims of Nazi brutality in the whole of Europe (including Russia), eleven million met their deaths in occupied territories that had belonged to the former Polish Republic.
Of that eleven million, over five million were Jews (including those deported from other countries).
Others besides Jews included in the total of eleven million were non-Jewish Poles, Russian prisoners of war, and Gypsies, the last named a group whose extermination the SS pursued with almost the same determination as that of the Jews.
It is important to place these figures on record. But because they can have the effect of numbing the imagination, which cannot conceive of human suffering on such a scale, it is equally important to underline that every single figure in these millions represents acts of cruelty, terror, and degradation inflicted on an individual human being like ourselvesa man, a woman, a child, or even a baby.
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