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First of September 1939

 
 
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2012 07:00 pm
First of September 1939 - WW II started
..................................................................
it happened seventy-three years ago - but it seems that it just happened yesterday !
it was ( and is ) is a sad day that i remember only too well !
what has mankind learned about the unhumaness and cruelty of war in the meantime ?
not much in my opinion - the stupidities keep continuing !

from wiki : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II

Quote:
World War II, or the Second World War (often abbreviated as WWII or WW2), was a global war that was under way by 1939 and ended in 1945. It involved a vast majority of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million people serving in military units. In a state of "total war", the major participants placed their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by significant events involving the mass death of civilians, including the Holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare, it resulted in 50 million to over 70 million fatalities. These deaths make World War II by far the deadliest conflict in all of human history.[1]


 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2012 07:22 pm
@hamburgboy,
hamburgboy wrote:
what has mankind learned about the unhumaness and cruelty of war in the meantime ?
not much in my opinion - the stupidities keep continuing !

Yes, the same mistake are being repeated, aren't they? Only thing different is the scenarios!
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 07:23 am
@hamburgboy,
How old were you and what do you remember?
hamburgboy
 
  6  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 08:16 am
@panzade,
i was nine years old in 1939 .

i grew up in hamburg and remember WW II well - sometimes too well -
particularly the british air raids in 1943 are etched into my memory .

another experience i'll never forget , was seeing soviet prisoners and concentration camp inmates who were marched to new camps in early '45 .
they were " relocated " to southern germany because the advancing soviet army was close to their old camps in poland and eastern germany - what folly !
many had no shoes or boots , and had to wrap old clothes around their feet for some protection .
their food usually consisted of half a slice of bread and soma boiled potatoes or cabbage - if they were lucky .
it was a sight ill never forget !!!

on may 6th , 1945 - my birthday - the advance units of the u.s. army arrived in eastern bavaria .
the first question we had for them : " you have chewing gum , mister ? "
they sure were not stingy - they threw it at us sitting on top of the tanks as the rattled through the villagge .

i'd say thet the vast mojority of germans was happy to see the british and american soldiers .
they were not quite as happy to see the french and soviet soldiers .

" you have chewing gum , mister ? "
hamburgboy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 08:16 am
@panzade,
i was nine years old in 1939 .

i grew up in hamburg and remember WW II well - sometimes too well -
particularly the british air raids in 1943 are etched into my memory .

another experience i'll never forget , was seeing soviet prisoners and concentration camp inmates who were marched to new camps in early '45 .
they were " relocated " to southern germany because the advancing soviet army was close to their old camps in poland and eastern germany - what folly !
many had no shoes or boots , and had to wrap old clothes around their feet for some protection .
their food usually consisted of half a slice of bread and soma boiled potatoes or cabbage - if they were lucky .
it was a sight ill never forget !!!

on may 6th , 1945 - my birthday - the advance units of the u.s. army arrived in eastern bavaria .
the first question we had for them : " you have chewing gum , mister ? "
they sure were not stingy - they threw it at us sitting on top of the tanks as the rattled through the villagge .

i'd say thet the vast mojority of germans was happy to see the british and american soldiers .
they were not quite as happy to see the french and soviet soldiers .

" you have chewing gum , mister ? "
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 10:30 am
@hamburgboy,
hbg, I come from a military family. Father in WWI, brother, oldest sister, brother in law WWII.

Hard for me to recall what I got from oral history or what I taught. I do recall being told that my brother saved me from being hit by a train when I was three years old.

Just read about the China, Burma, India part of the war.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 10:45 am
It was a whole different world then. And they had opportunity to make lasting peace, but failed to drum up statesmanship equal to the task.
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 11:38 am
@edgarblythe,
I was 2 and 1/2 months old. Born July 13, 1929. My young father died February 1930. My young mother died July 1930.

BBB
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 12:34 pm
First of September 1939 was a sunny warm day in Sweden. We were still in our summercabin by the ocean and I remember we had pancakes for lunch that day. My father came home just before lunch and my mother and I thought he had taken the day off. No everything had to be packed and we had to leave for town.
I and the dog were eating all the pancakes by ourselves while the grown ups were packing.
This I do not remember but I have been told that every available car had to be parked on the airport where the planes land to prevent any German planes to land just in case they planned to do so.
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  2  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 06:55 pm
Thank you for reminiscing. It means a lot to hear it from those that lived it.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Sep, 2012 07:02 pm
I was too young to know about the war. In fact, Pearl Harbor was ten months before my birth. I had to learn it the same way kids do now.
0 Replies
 
IRFRANK
 
  2  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 02:48 pm
Thanks for sharing to all of you.

In some places it's still the same. Syria - what atrocities!

Our ability to kill ourselves far exceeds our ability to get along.

Such violent and greedy beings we are.

0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Thu 6 Sep, 2012 02:58 pm
I was born long after 1939.

I do remember however, and will aways remember the flag-draped coffins of our soldiers that arived via cross- country train to be unloaded at 12 th street station in Chicago during the Vietnam war.
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Sep, 2012 12:17 pm
What a surprise to find this, yawl.

http://digitaljournal.com/article/325219
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 9 Sep, 2012 12:41 pm
I give Murray credit for even trying that role.
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  2  
Reply Sun 9 Sep, 2012 01:56 pm
@hamburgboy,
You're about eight years older than I am, hbb. But my memories of the war are quite clear. We became refugees aus Lettland (from Latvia) in the fall of 1944 when the Soviet troops started driving the Germans back into the West. I clearly recall allied bombing raids on Berlin, especially the night-time bombing by the RAF. You came out of the U-Bahn (subway, underground) shelter when the all-clear was sounded never knowing whether the house you'd been staying in would still be standing. I saw plenty of those Russian POWs you mentioned in Czechoslovakia, doing road repair work for the Nazis. My mother, thankfully, was quite fluent in both German and Russian and we could easily communicate with everyone. One of the Russians that we saw daily while walking into the town center to see if any food was available for sale that day took a shine to me (actually, in retrospect, he probably took a shine to my mother Smile) and gave me a present one day. It was a little wooden toy pistol that he had carved himself from a piece of scrap wood. I learned my first word in Russian that day. "say spasiba," my mother whispered to me.

Thpathiba. Thank you. I was six years old.
JTT
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 9 Sep, 2012 06:17 pm
@Miller,
Quote:
the flag-draped coffins of our soldiers


'soldiers' are those that fight in legitimate, real wars. Those that support and fight in illegal invasions hardly qualify as 'soldiers'.

Mark Twain accurately described them as 'hired assassins' in the brutal illegal invasion of the Philippines. Come to think of it, that pretty much describes what the US has always done.

I think Twain was trying to be kind.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Sep, 2012 09:19 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Andy, that post, so good.

I am two or three years younger than you, as I think you know.
We lived then near the air base in Dayton, Ohio, me a toddler. I could go on about that, but not now.

A friend fled early, his mother (far as I know) working it out - they fled Vienna and landed in Amsterdam.. And my friend from Estonia, a dp, as they were called back then, in Sweden, survived.

Obviously I know nothing.

I am hoping you will - if you want - post more about all this.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Mon 10 Sep, 2012 11:33 am
There's a man i knew years ago, a good man, and i wish he were here to tell his story. I'll tell it to the best of my recollection. He was born about 1941 or 1942, and in 1945, his parents fled with him to the west as the Russians approached. He was separated from them, and wandered on west with refugees, with older children caring for him. He was finally picked up by a couple, he believes they were Seventh Day Adventists, and they were driving around behind the American lines picking up children who were "unclaimed" DPs. They took him to an orphanage in Franconia, and he took the name Frank, because he no longer remembered what his name had been. Sometime around 1949 or 1950 he was adopted by a GI and his German bride, and they raised him in a loving home.

At the orphanzge, every Saturday morning, they would make a treat for the children. They took all of their bread crusts left over from the previous week, cut them into cubes and toasted them in the oven. Then they put them in bowls, and poured strong black coffee and milk in, and sprinkled some sugar on the mess. As a grown man, he was delighted that he could make that for himself for his breakfast every day--he would buy three day old bread just for the purpose. He was one of the nicest men i've ver met.
Lustig Andrei
 
  3  
Reply Mon 10 Sep, 2012 02:23 pm
@Setanta,
I was lucky in that I never got separated from my parents. But we had to struggle to even become DPs (which stands for Displaced Persons; for some reason the newly-founded UN didn't want to call us simply 'refugees'). When the war ended in May of 1945 we were living in temporary workers' homes (Behelfsheim) in a town in Czechoslovakia which today is named Most but which I remember the Germans calling Brux (mit an umlaut over the 'u'). The Allies to come in and take over were Russians. I remember my mother trying to be friendly and charming to the Russian soldiers without being ingratiating and, certainly, without showing any resentment. Some of our neighbors were actually shot if they were suspected of feeling hostility to the Russians. My father knew -- don't ask me how -- - that the city of Pilsen and environs had been occupied by the Americans. That's where we wanted to get to, out of the hands of the Russians. My father and a friend of his who was also a neighbor took a train ride from Brux ti Pilsen just to see whether, with the ID papers and passports they had, it could be done. At that early stage of the war's end it turned out to be a snap. They came back, loaded up their families on a passenger train pulled by a wood- or coal-burning steam engine (I can still smell it and see it in my mind's eye), and, voila!, we arrived at a US Army- administered DP camp and were immediately admitted just on the strength of our Latvian passports. Nobody from the Soviet-occupied Baltic states was being sent back into Russian hands. The Cold War had already begun.

A week in the camp at Pilsen and we were moved to a more permanent DP camp in Wurtzburg-am-Main, Bavaria. Spent five years there before being able to emigrate to the USA.
 

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