Category Archives: World War II

Footsteps across Continents: Hedi Simon and the Stadlens of Austria and Britain

Matthew Stadlen, in The Telegraph, 11 November 2013, where the title is “Family history: retracing the steps of a romance disrupted by war”

In 1938 my grandfather, the pianist Peter Stadlen, was returning to his native Austria from a concert tour of Ireland when he happened to meet a girl on the ferry home. As a result he caught a cold from chatting to her on deck, and had to stop over in Amsterdam. The fates were with him, because the following day – 75 years ago – the Nazis marched into Austria; Peter was a secular Jew. He was able to communicate with his mother and sister, who were still in Vienna, and urge them to leave by the next train to Holland. From there, all three made it to London as refugees, and that is where my family has been based ever since. They were lucky.

 Hedi Simon … also known as Heidi Keuneman before her second marriage to Peter Stadlen

My great-great-uncle, known as Onkl Friedl, did not escape. He was one of the very first to die at the hands of the Gestapo when they moved into Vienna. He had been chief economic adviser to pre-Nazi Chancellors of Austria, and was immediately put under house arrest. A paraplegic, he always kept cyanide in his ring in case he should ever be caught in a fire, unable to escape. He tricked the Nazi guards into leaving his room and took the poison. I have red hair but neither of my parents do: Onkl Friedl was a redhead and I’ve always believed it comes from him.

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Filed under asylum-seekers, British colonialism, cultural transmission, economic processes, heritage, human rights, immigration, landscape wondrous, life stories, meditations, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes, World War II

USA’s Military Build-Up in Europe: Frightening Precursors

Christopher Black, courtesy of New Eastern Outlook, 17 February 2016, with the title  “Operation Barbarossa 2: American Occupation of Europe Intensifies”

34534534544On February 1 the New York Times ran a front page story by two of their journalists confirming the intentions of the United States to increase its occupation of and military presence in Europe particularly the east. Under the title “U.S. Fortifying Europe’s East to Deter Putin” the story sets out just one in a continuing series of acts of aggression against Russia. At the same time as the Americans announced this action they pretended to negotiate with Russia in Geneva about a solution to the American and allied aggression against Syria.

 

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Filed under american imperialism, historical interpretation, law of armed conflict, military expenditure, military strategy, politIcal discourse, power politics, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, world events & processes, World War II

The Burghers in Britain hit the Internet ‘Streets’

Gayle Bartholomeuszburghers WWW Burghher fam 1917

SEE http://www.burghersuk.com/index.html ..… And thank you for visiting ‘Burghers In The UK‘, the website which celebrates and plays tribute to the lives, contributions and adventures of Ceylonese Burghers in the United Kingdom. Ceylonese Burghers were once a thriving and vibrant community in Ceylon (renamed Sri Lanka in 1972) for over 500 years. They are now scattered around the globe mainly in English Speaking countries and on the brink of extinction.

Burghers who came to the UK since Ceylon achieved Dominion Status in 1948 have, up to now, been an invisible group of people unrecorded by data recording agencies and their lives and contributions undocumented. The Heritage Lottery Fund and ‘Burghers In The UK ‘ are changing this beginning in 2014 initially, by conducting interviews with 20 older Burghers and capturing visual and written information which demonstrates the uniqueness of the Ceylonese Burgher. Materials will be archived at the Harrow Museum. Continue reading

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Filed under British colonialism, cultural transmission, island economy, landscape wondrous, life stories, literary achievements, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world events & processes, World War II

The Japanese Raid on Colombo in April 1942, Leonard Birchall and the Catalina Squadron at Koggala

Rob Stuart, courtesy of http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca/vo7/no4/stuart-eng.asp where the title is “Leonard Birchall and the Japanese Raid on Colombo”

Introduction

Air Commodore Leonard Joseph Birchall, Member of the Order of Canada, Member of the Order of Ontario, Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Distinguished Flying Cross, Canadian Forces Decoration, Officer of the United States Legion of Merit, passed away in September 2004 at the age of 89. His passing was reported in most Canadian newspapers, and all of them noted that he had been nicknamed ‘the Saviour of Ceylon’ for having spotted a Japanese fleet approaching Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) on 4 April 1942 while on patrol in a 413 (RCAF) Squadron Consolidated Catalina flying boat. Unfortunately, few accounts of Birchall’s actions that day paint a full picture of the combat operations in which his sighting report played an important factor. The aim of this article is to put Birchall’s discovery of the Japanese fleet into the full context of the operations conducted off and over Ceylon between 26 March and 9 April 1942. Stuart 1-BIRCHALL Leonard Joseph Birchall in the cockpit of his Catalina– CMJ Collection

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Filed under Indian Ocean politics, power politics, security, unusual people, war reportage, world events & processes, World War II, Zen at war