Category Archives: World War II

Diego Garcia and the Fate of Its Its Indigenized Chagossian People

 

ONE = A Summary Report

Diego Garcia is part of the Chagos Atoll, a “group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean” (Jayaweera 2018). Though discovered in 1512 by the Portuguese explorer Pedro Mascarenhas, it was uninhabited till the French moved in and took over in 1783. The atoll passed to the British after the Napoleonic wars in 1814/15. Thereafter the atoll was administered from Mauritius and was considered part of its domain. Over the years the overseers and workers imported to work the plantations and settlements on the islands became indigenized as “Chagossians” and by the 1960s are said to have been around 1500 in number (note the imprecision).

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Filed under accountability, american imperialism, atrocities, British colonialism, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, colonisation schemes, discrimination, economic processes, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, legal issues, life stories, Middle Eastern Politics, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, Responsibility to Protect or R2P, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, transport and communications, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes, World War II

The Kandy Äsala Perahära by Lorna Dewaraja

Tissa Devendra, in The Island, 3 October 2018, with this title “Mirror of Civilisation” being a book review of  The Kandy Asala Maha Perahera – by Dr.Lorna Dewaraja (Vijitha Yapa Publications 2018)

 

In publishing this fine book, Vijitha Yapa has faithfully fulfilled the last wish that Dr. Dewaraja expressed to her family – to hand over to Vijitha Yapa the manuscript of her book on the Kandy Perahera. I now have the privilege of reviewing this publication.

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Filed under art & allure bewitching, British colonialism, cultural transmission, education, elephant tales, heritage, historical interpretation, landscape wondrous, life stories, religiosity, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, the imaginary and the real, travelogue, unusual people, working class conditions, World War II

A Place to Savour: Coron Island, Philippines

Coron Island

Coron is the third-largest island in the Calamian Islands in northern Palawan in the Philippines. The island is part of the larger municipality of the same name. It is about 170 nautical miles southwest of Manila and is known for several Japanese shipwrecks of World War II vintage. Because of its unique ecological features, the entire area is protected by several legal proclamations.
  • Max length: 20 km
  • Max width: 9,000 m
  • Population: 2,649 (2010)

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Gregory Peck in “Purple Plain” in Sri Lanka …. and Elsewhere

ITEM in Thinkworth  = https://thinkworth.wordpress.com/2015/05/10/when-gregory-peck-had-flu-in-sri-lanka-during-purple-rain/

Gregory Peck’s flu was cured by ginger-coriander tea when filming in Ceylon (Original Title)

TW has embedded a 7+minute Utube clip of the film “Purple Rain” shot in Sri Lanka …. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjOmbJK_4-k

http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-the-purple-plain-1954-gfdtwo-cities-film-with-gregory-peck-19484850.html from 

The ‘Spotlight’ column returns after a lengthy interval. The focus this time is on American actor Gregory Peck. There is no particular reason other than nostalgia for writing about this former Hollywood idol at this time. Born in 1916, Peck passed away in 2003. So this year 2015 does not mark any significant anniversary in his life or of his death. Continue reading

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Profound Testimonies: Aged Holocaust Survivors and Their Last Testaments

Fiona Harari, in the Weekend Australian Magazine 27/28 Jan 2018, where the title reads “Last Testament”

Survivors of Nazism who have adult memories of the ­Holocaust are a fading group. Born in 1926 or earlier, they were at least 18 when the war ended. The war consumed a small fraction of their lives, percentage-wise. But its legacy endures in their memories, their outlooks and, increasingly, in their dreams. They are the last living voices of a generation that was not meant to be, men and women now in their 10th and 11th decades who have defied not just the law of a nation that sought to annihilate them, but the law of nature that not so long ago would have dictated a much shorter lifespan.

Mala Sonnabend. Picture: Fiona Harari

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Philip Maisel’s Oral History of Jewish Holocaust Experiences

Jewish Holocaust Centre, Melbourne ….  http://www.jhc.org.au/museum/collections/survivor-testimonies.html

The JHC has over 1300 video testimonies as well as over 200 audio testimonies in its collection. These provide eyewitness accounts of the horrors of the Holocaust, as well as glimpses into the vibrancy of pre-war Jewish life in Europe. The collection is widely used by researchers and students of oral history, the Holocaust and a variety of other disciplines. The testimonies’ project began in the 1980s as the Melbourne Oral History Project, established by Sandra Cowan and Jenny Wajsenberg and later co-ordinated by the late Anne Bernhaut. They conducted over 200 audio recordings of Holocaust survivors.

 Phillip Maisel has been recording a testimony of Holocaust survivors for 25 years. (ABC News: Peter Drought)

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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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