Interesting Facts and Stories

Gunner

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That was interesting Louis. Thanks.
I went looking for more information and found a link from ibm.com with information on the history of various translations machines.

“Installed and first used at the League of Nations (a precursor of the United Nations) in 1931, the system allowed listeners to dial in to their native language and hear pre-translated speeches read simultaneously with the proceedings. The IBM ® Filene-Finlay Translator was later modified and used for simultaneous translations at the Nuremberg war crimes trials following World War II, and at the United Nations.”


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Louis

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BMW was significant in supplying arms, airplanes, engines, and motorcycle parts to the Nazi Regime. One example includes the engine for the Focke Wulf FW190 fighter plane, leading to BMW replacing Mercedes as the leading engine and industrial producer for the German military.

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By 1945, 90% of BMW’s Munich-Allach plant (by then the largest aircraft engine factory in German) was operated by foreign workers, concentration camp detainees, and POWs. Starting from only 1,000 in 1939, estimates have shown that over 17,000 individuals worked at the plant by the end of the war.

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BMW Plant Allach: As well as being located on the edge of the forest, the production halls were also painted for camouflage.

Beginning in 1983, the company took steps in formal apologies and memorialization. It was the first industrial corporation to initiate and encourage public debates as well as publish a novel on the corporation's involvement with slave labor from concentration camps. In 1999, the company founded the “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” foundation whose goal is to issue compensation to former POWs and forced laborers.

During the company's 100th year anniversary (in 2016), representatives also apologized and admitted regrets, for the company’s past actions.

From:
pacificatrocities.org
bmwgroup.com
 

Louis

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Admiral Karl Dönitz lost two sons in the war. Both -also- served in the Kriegsmarine.

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Klaus & Peter

Peter Dönitz (20 Mar 1922 - 19 May 1943) was perished in U 954 in the Atlantic.
Klaus Dönitz (13 May 1920 - 13 May 1944) was killed aboard the German TKA S 141 in the English Channel. His death was ridiculous. According to the rules in force in the German navy, if a senior officer had several sons and lost one of them at the front, then his other sons could leave service after that. After the death of Peter, Klaus left the fleet and entered the University of Tübingen at the Faculty of Medicine. But he did not cease to keep in touch with his former colleagues and on the day of his 24th birthday he met with his officers in Cherbourg. For entertainment, he decided to go on the boat S 141 as a guest on a combat campaign. The boat was discovered and sunk by the French ship La Combatant. The frigate "Steiner" and the EM "La Combatant" managed to raise only 6 German sailors from the water. The body of Klaus Dönitz was found only some time later, he was washed up on the coast of France.
 

Bulletpoint

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It sounds very frivolous, but I think the truth is more complex than just going on a U-boat combat campaign "for entertainment". As the son of an admiral, he probably felt uncomfortable that he had left service, and could hardly to refuse an offer from his officers to go out again. If you want a man to throw away his life, call him a coward. It also worked in WW1...
 

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The organisation contracted to build the Atlantic wall (1942/1944) was Organisation Todt, which was notorious for its use of forced labour.

During the period in which the Atlantic Wall was built, the organisation had approximately 1.4 million labourers. 1% of these had been rejected from military service, 1.5% were imprisoned in concentration camps. Others were prisoners of war, or of occupation – compulsory labourers from occupied countries. This included 600,000 workers from the unoccupied ‘free zone’ of France under the Vichy regime.

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Of the 260,000 involved in the building of the Atlantic Wall, only 10% were German.
 

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Ida Siekmann (23 Aug 1902 – 22 Aug 1961) was the first person to die at the Berlin Wall, only 9 days after the beginning of its construction. And was accidental.

Resident in Bernauer Straße 48, the street and the sidewalk of the Bernauer Straße lay in the French sector of West Berlin but the frontage of the buildings on the southern side lay in the Soviet sector of East Berlin. In his eagerness to flee to the western side, Ida, who living on the fourth floor, threw eiderdowns and some possessions down onto the street and jumped out of the window of her apartment before the firefighters were able to open the jumping-sheet. She fell on the pavement and was severely injured. Siekmann died shortly after on her way to the Lazarus Hospital, thus becoming the first casualty at the Berlin Wall.

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Fanta, the popular orange flavoured drink, is a direct product of the Second World War.

In 1941, obviously, the Second World War breaks out in it's entirety when the Americans finally decide to join the war. About 4000 miles away, in Berlin, the Coca Cola factory workers are panicking. Probably because they're subconsciously aware that they're about to lose the war and their homes to bombing raids, and the fact that they won't receive any more of the precious ingredients needed to make and sell Coca Cola in Germany and the occupied territories.

They look South, and find that Spain, Italy and North Africa has an abundance of oranges.

'Oh jahoul' They said, probably. 'Ve can use zees oranges to make ein delicious replacement ja!'

So they set to work, and finally in the Spring of 1942, their yet-unnamed orange drink is ready to be shipped. The foreman of the factory, the designers and the bigwigs at Berlin Cola HQ are all gathered in a room, where they are furiously discussing the name for their drink. The foreman picks up a bottle and takes a sip.

'Sehr fantastisch' He utters (probably).

Everyone stops talking and an uncomfortable and scrutinous silence settles in the room. All eyes are on the foreman.

The biggest of wigs, Herr Cola, glares at the foreman. 'Vat did you say?'

'Sehr fantastisch! It's very tasty' the foreman states matter-of-factly.

A few design meetings later, and the name 'Fanta' sticks. Shortening of the words of the foreman.

Now that's probably not exactly what happened, but the general gist is true. Fanta was a product of necessity from the Coca Cola factory in Berlin after the Coca Cola supplies ran out from all the blockades and trade embargoes. Italy, Spain and the North African countries did have a supply of oranges that was in abundance, and thus the cheapest and easiest way for the German Coca Cola company to make more for less was with oranges. When the war was over and Berlin was split into it's quarters, the American Coca Cola company came and surveyed the factory and found the Fanta recipe. It was kept and sold throughout the world. I still drink it. But just remember every time you buy a Fanta, there's a really cool piece of history attached to it.
 

Bulletpoint

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Here's the Wikipedia version of events. Appleparently, the original recipe used apples, and the name came from 'fantasie'...

"During the Second World War, the US established a trade embargo against Nazi Germany, making the export of Coca-Cola syrup difficult.[2] To circumvent this, Max Keith, the head of Coca-Cola Deutschland (Coca-Cola GmbH), decided to create a new product for the German market, using only ingredients available in Germany at the time, including beet sugar, whey, and apple pomace—the "leftovers of leftovers", as Keith later recalled.[2][3] The name was the result of a brainstorming session, which started with Keith's exhorting his team to "use their imagination" (Fantasie in German), to which one of his salesmen, Joe Knipp, retorted "Fanta!"."

I think they should have just called it ERSATZCOLA.
 

ScottishMedic

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Here's the Wikipedia version of events. Appleparently, the original recipe used apples, and the name came from 'fantasie'...

"During the Second World War, the US established a trade embargo against Nazi Germany, making the export of Coca-Cola syrup difficult.[2] To circumvent this, Max Keith, the head of Coca-Cola Deutschland (Coca-Cola GmbH), decided to create a new product for the German market, using only ingredients available in Germany at the time, including beet sugar, whey, and apple pomace—the "leftovers of leftovers", as Keith later recalled.[2][3] The name was the result of a brainstorming session, which started with Keith's exhorting his team to "use their imagination" (Fantasie in German), to which one of his salesmen, Joe Knipp, retorted "Fanta!"."

I think they should have just called it ERSATZCOLA.
* Some facts may be changed for dramatic/comedic effect


Thanks for clearing it up! I've always told students/partners/whoever will listen my version of events but now I have to change it to apples somehow
 

Bulletpoint

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* Some facts may be changed for dramatic/comedic effect


Thanks for clearing it up! I've always told students/partners/whoever will listen my version of events but now I have to change it to apples somehow

No problem, I'm sure you're more fun at parties than I am :)
 

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A luxury bomb shelter in Las Vegas

Originally built in the 1960s, the shelter was designed to be a luxurious home for Avon cosmetics executive Girard Brown Henderson (1905/1983). The business man had a particular fear that the Cold War would end the country. The underground home includes a pool, lawn, terrace with waterfall and five bedrooms.

It may be located 26 feet below the surface of Spencer Street, but this former bomb shelter-turned-underground home has all the trappings of a party pad that befits the bright and bizarre city of Las Vegas.

Henderson lived in his underground house until his death in 1983. His widow no longer wanted to live underground so she built the above ground townhouse where she lived until she died in 1989.

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I think I'd rather be vapourized than to live the rest of my life in a place like that.
 

Louis

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Eldred Tidbury, a South African actor who took part in D Day and the Normandy landings - losing his arm in action at Caen and after the war carried on with a very successful acting career.

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Eldred Owermann Tidbury - artistic name Donald Gray - (1914/1978) was a highly successful south african actor who would land up disabled in the combat fighting in what was Operation Overlord (D-Day), losing an arm he would come back and re-ignite his acting career – becoming very famous in landmark Movies and Television. Tidbury (or Gray) acted in repertory theatre and appeared in several films.

When war broke out in 1939, Eldred decided to join the Army and volunteer, but he was initially turned down for military service due to a duodenal ulcer. Still determined to join up Donald Gray later managed to enlist in Aberdeen.

He was with the Kings Own Scottish Borderers when they entered the strategic city of Caen and here he was severely wounded during the intense street to street, house to house fighting that was Caen in July 1944. His left arm was shattered by an anti-tank shell, the limb having to be amputated a few days later at an emergency hospital near the front line.

After the war, Gray toured South Africa with his own repertory company, appeared in other films and British TV series. He died of a coronary in Eastern Cape, South Africa in 1978.
 

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Singer Tony Bennett (really Anthony Dominick Benedetto - born Aug 3, 1926), was drafted into the US Army in Nov 1944. As a replacement infantryman, he served across France and into Germany, and in March 1945, he joined the front line.

During active combat, Bennett narrowly escaped death several times and he participated in the liberation of a Nazi concentration camp, where American prisoners of war from the 63rd Division were also freed.

During his service, he also sang with the Army military band under the stage name Joe Bari, and played with many musicians who went on to have post-war music careers.

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Also during his trip Bennett rose within the ranks to corporal, a title he was later stripped of after his demotion back to private. The reason? Bennett used some “salty language” when defending a black friend in his unit from a bigot in the group. As punishment, he was briefly assigned to disinterring mass graves to prepare the bodies of Allied soldiers for shipment back home. It was not an enviable task.

After this run-in with racism, and his assistance in liberating a Jewish concentration camp, Bennett became a lifelong pacifist.
 
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