Alex Kurzem (believed to have been born Ilya Galperin in Belarus, either in 1935 or 1936) is a retired Australian television repairman, whose experiences in World War II have been the subject of a book and film. On May 19, 2011 Melbourne reporter, Keith Moor published an article that questions the veracity of Kurzem's story and reports of simultaneous investigations by the German and U.S. governments as well as the Jewish Claims Conference into Mr. Kurzem's claims of actually being Jewish and a victim of Nazi persecution.
He had three children with wife Patricia (died 2003), and immigrated to Australia from a Displaced Person's camp in Hamburg, Germany, in 1949.
Kurzem's parents (Believed to be Solomon Galperin and Chana Gildenberg) were Jewish and on October 21, 1941, his mother and younger brother and sister were exterminated along with approximately 1,600 other Russian Jews in Koidanov (now Dzyarzhynsk, Belarus). After weeks or months of living in the forests and begging for food (the precise date of his rescue is unknown), he was saved from probable death by Latvian Sergeant Jekabs Kulis. While being lined up for execution, Kulis took an interest in him and adopted him as the battalion's mascot, having secretly warned him never to reveal his Jewish identity.
Latvian and German soldiers knew him as a Russian orphan who had lost his parents in the forest, and even when he grew up, Kurzem never told his wife or sons that he was Jewish.
Throughout his childhood, Kurzem appeared in Nazi propaganda media as an Aryan mascot, including at least one newsreel. On one occasion Kurzem remembered being ordered by his commanding officer, Karlis Lobe, to hand out chocolates to other Jews to calm them as they boarded trucks that took them to be exterminated. Unbeknown to Kurzem, his probable father, Solomon Galperin, had joined a group of Russian partisans; he was later caught and sent to Auschwitz. Galperin returned to Dzyarzhynsk after the war, remarried, and died in 1975 without ever knowing, according to Kurzem, that his eldest son had survived.
In 2002, Kurzem's son Mark (died November 2009 of complications following diabetes) wrote and produced a documentary (with Lina Caneva) entitled The Mascot, which detailed his father's childhood among the Latvian Nazi SS. Mark later wrote a book, also called The Mascot (2007), which tells the same story, although it conflicts in many details with the earlier documentary.
The beer is best kept in cans.-
The cans do not allow oxygen to affect the quality of beer and also cool faster.
The transport of canned beer is cheaper and more ecological transport of bottles, but for some reason people think that the cans are lower than the bottles. It's just a perception.
The following is an interview with Adolf Galland, made years before his death in 1996 .-
Was taken from my book "La segunda guerra mundial" (The WW2) of editorial Sarpe, page 254 .-
Translation by Google (there may be an error in interpretation) .-
-General, what was the most dangerous enemy aircraft with which he had to fight?
-In the early years of war, the "Spitfire" English, especially because the RAF pilots were well trained and know the fullest.
Then in the second half of the conflict, the greatest danger was represented by the "Mustang", which were used as escort, and then the "Tempest" and "Typhoon."
- And what was the best German equipment?
-Undoubtedly, "Messerschmitt 262", which Hitler wanted to use as a bomber instead of hunting. And you had to argue strenuously, without great results, to try to make him understand that was not used in the most logical.
- What were the main differences between German and Allied aircraft?
'They were many and outstanding. The devices of the RAF were more manageable and docile than ours. The Germans, on the English, were faster and had greater acceleration power. Then, Americans were even more powerful engines than ours, and were made of better materials.
-During the air battles, was it possible to identify enemy aircraft between the pilot of another famous?
No, impossible. Although many in the cockpit was painted a sort of badge, a symbol, a drawing in short, the speed that prevented flying apart. Recognized the silhouette of the plane adversary, identified the type, but you could see the whole and not the details.
- How many times was wounded in combat?
'Three or four times in total. In the last near the end of the war in April 1945, was hit twice in the same action.
But long I was less exposed than others, because in 1941 I was appointed inspector general of the hunt, and I was not allowed to fly.
I continued despite orders against, but rarely. But among the fighter pilots the average was seven or eight wounded during the war, and I know one who was hit eleven times, but those are already many.
- Did you ever throw a parachute?
- Oh, yes, of course. And I always feared he would not get out of the cockpit, and then the umbrella of the parachutes did not open it.
- What is it for the action or thought as he prepared to meet?
She knew she was the boss, I had to keep order in the training and that my decisions were important. I think no one was flying a better position than mine, tactically. But the command does not feel particularly strong or brave, are known to be decisive own orders, which must choose the angle of attack, or why some escape the attack, and so forth.
Sometimes, before boarding, I had such nerves quivering, and other times I really wanted to vomit.
But I felt better only when training was in flight.
- Did you know Italian planes? What did you think of them?
- Italian aircraft flew in and that was before the war, in Grottaglie, a pilot training course in Germany. Then I saw the Italian air force operations in Africa, the only time I was inspected by the desert. I had me some of his fighters during the Battle of Britain. I think they were somewhat inferior to the Germans and the Allies, of course.
And today, if I had to fly a fighter plane, How do you choose?
'Perhaps a "Phantom" or "Mirage". But no, it is true, perhaps the most interesting is the "F-15" or one of the Russians, such as "Mig 23". Because you have to admit that the Soviet aircraft made very, very good.
- Does it seem possible that in a modern war can repeat the dogfights of World War II, with results due to the skill of the pilot?
- Not at all! Or should I say the "dog fights", duels, only be possible if the opposing forces, exhausted missiles and other telearmas, had to turn the aircraft to decide the fate of the conflict, could use still dueling artillery. But in reality, the devices are used today and flying to speed two or three times that of sound, would be impossible to intercept.
Remember this image in the movie "Saving Private Ryan"?
This is the moment that Lieutenant DeWindt (Leland Orser) tells him to Cap Miller (T. Hanks) from the craziness of having steel plates placed at the base to a Waco glider Glider, which caused it to fall to earth showing the body of a "General Amend" (up photo) who died for it .-
Precisely this fictitious "General Amend" is based on a true incident that occurred on D-Day -
It is related to Brig. General Don Forrester Pratt (July 12, 1892 - June 6, 1944).
Pratt died on June 6, 1944 at 4:08 am when he was carrying the glider crashed on landing near the town of Hiesville. General Pratt was in the glider "The Fighting Falcon", as part of Mission Chicago (101st Airborne Division), whose destination was the LZ (landing zone) "E".
The strong side wind of 18 to 20 knots, and the morning dew on the grass cause the glider to slide and crash into a tree that moved toward a batter.
Pratt, who was sitting in a Jeep carrying the glider ends up dead with two broken cervical vertebrae.
Breakfast in America is the sixth album by the band Supertramp, released in 1979.
Breakfast in America marked the most successful album of Supertramp, selling 4 million copies in the U.S. so far and 18 million worldwide.
The album reached # 1 on the Billboard charts, as well as in Norway, Europe, Canada and Australia.
Won the 1980 Grammy Award for Best Recording Package, beating out albums by Talking Heads and Led Zeppelin, among others.
Of the six men in the famous picture, three (Franklin Sousley, Harlon Block and Michael Strank) fell in battle, while the three survivors (John Bradley, Rene Gagnon and Ira Hayes) became celebrities because of the use of war propaganda held with her appearance in the picture.
The image was later used by Felix de Weldon to sculpt the War Memorial Marine Corps United States, next to Arlington National Cemetery .-
Muirhead Bone (23 March 1876 – 21 October 1953) was a Scottish etcher, drypoint and watercolour artist.
Muirhead Bone was a well-established draughtsman and etcher when he became the first official war artist in July 1916. Bone was intended as a one-off appointment to provide further illustrations for publications like the War Pictorial.
Captain David Bone, Joseph Conrad & Muirhead Bone on the Tuscania
Bone arrived in France on 16 August 1916 at the height of the Somme offensive. He was made an honorary Second Lieutenant and provided with a car, giving him easier access to the battlefields. He toured the Somme battlefields in the south – Maricourt, Fricourt, Montauban, Mametz Wood, Contalmaison, TrÃ´nes Wood, High Wood, Delville Wood and PoziÃ¨res. He worked quickly in pencil, pen, charcoal and chalk and by 6 October had sent home approximately 150 finished drawings. He recorded mostly life behind the lines illustrating the settings for war rather than battle scenes – the work of the medical services, encampments, soldiers of duty, soldiers marching, landscapes and ruined towns.
'I did not like to imagine war scenes & so only drew what I saw & then only when I had a chance to draw it … I am afraid [this] resulted in rather prosaic work.'
The detail and accuracy of Bone’s drawings provided an authentic, eyewitness record of the immense logistic efforts of the Somme, one that proved immensely popular and resulted in more artists being commissioned. Bone returned to England in December 1916.
[h=2][FONT=Arial, Helvetica]Life in the 1500's[/FONT][/h]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Life in the 1500's, something interesting to ponder. Those were not "the good old days"! [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a "wake."
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]England is old and small, and they started running out of places to bury people. So, they would dig up coffins and would take their bones to a house and reuse the grave. In reopening these coffins, one out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on their wrist and lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night to listen for the bell. Hence on the "graveyard shift" they would know that someone was "saved by the bell" or he was a "dead ringer."
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and were still smelling pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the b.o.
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]Baths equaled a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]Houses had thatched roofs. Thick straw, piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the pets... dogs, cats and other small animals, mice, rats, bugs lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs."
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. So, they found if they made beds with big posts and hung a sheet over the top, it addressed that problem. Hence those beautiful big 4 poster beds with canopies. I wonder if this is where we get the saying "Good night and don't let the bed bugs bite"...
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying "dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors which would get slippery in the winter when wet. So they spread thresh on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed at the entry way, hence a "thresh hold."
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]They cooked in the kitchen in a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They mostly ate vegetables and didn't get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been in there for a month. Hence the rhyme: peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]Sometimes they could obtain pork and would feel really special when that happened. When company came over, they would bring out some bacon and hang it to show it off. It was a sign of wealth and that a man "could really bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with a high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food. This happened most often with tomatoes, so they stopped eating tomatoes...for 400 years.
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]Most people didn't have pewter plates, but had trenchers - a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Trenchers were never washed and a lot of times worms got into the wood. After eating off wormy trenchers, they would get "trench mouth.
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica]Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the "upper crust".[/FONT]
Mike Landsburgh was 19; fresh out of a Miami, Florida high school where he was a star quarterback with a Mustang convertible and an endless array of friends, many of the opposite sex. Here, he was just another soldier who should have listened to his mom, gone to college and stayed far away from this God-forsaken country. The nearest friendly girls were miles away in Saigon. Although enticing, Mike knew to stay away from them. They weren't the kind of girls you'd take home for Sunday dinner.
These were the thoughts going through his mind as he stood his two hour turn at night watch. His platoon was asleep. As he stood there with rain dripping off his helmet, his thoughts were of home, parents, girlfriends, even his pesky younger sister and brother. He thought about life, as he wiped the water off his M-16 for the twentieth time in almost as many minutes. His life, mostly: the past, present, and the future. Was there going to be a future for him, he wondered? War seemed so senseless; old men in business suits who were country leaders thought them up and started them. Then they want their sons and daughters to fight them.
Suddenly something broke his thoughts - a noise. A broken twig, maybe? He stood erect. "Who goes there?" he called out into the pitch black night. No answer came from the bushes he had his M-16 trained on. He softly gave his platoon the danger whistle, fell into a prone position, and opened fire on the bush. Two North Vietnamese soldiers fell out screaming, riddled with machine gun fire. A third stood and threw a grenade at Mike. The M-16 barked again and he joined the other two. The whole platoon was in position now and firing. Charlie had quite a force over there in the rain.
The grenade had landed between Mike and his sergeant. As Mike reached to get it, a bullet caught Sgt. Nichols in the chest. Mike threw the hand grenade back towards the bushes, but the shrapnel from it hit him in the left arm. Mike still managed to field dress his superior's wound and carry him back behind the line of fire. The platoon was able to drive the enemy back into the jungle but the cost was high. There was blood everywhere. Bodies lay scattered, some still alive, some dead, some dismembered.
Dawn was breaking - the rescue choppers were coming in pairs with a third gunship spraying the jungle with gunfire to hold the enemy back. The paramedic who treated Sgt. Nichols credited Mike with saving his life. Mike was put on a stretcher also and sent to a field hospital. They thought for a while that he would lose his arm but he didn't. However, he had only limited use of it. He was sent home with an honorable discharge. He later was given a Purple Heart, and also the Medal of Valor for saving his friend's life.
The victims, the guys who died in the skirmish, were sent home and given proper military funerals. Mike went to the funeral of one of his buddies from Jacksonville, Florida. As he stood there and listened to the taps and then witnessed the twenty-one gun salute, he bitterly wished that the seven guys performing it had been there. Those twenty-one shells were a nice tribute but wouldn't hit Charlie this far from Vietnam. Mike's war was over and he was glad.
The automated teller machine (ATM), also known as a Cash Point.
The first of these that was put into use was by Barclays Bank in Enfield Town in North London, United Kingdom, on 27 June 1967. This machine was the first in the UK and was used by English comedy actor Reg Varney (photo).-
The Capt Alexander Stewart was commissioned by the Scottish regiment, the Cameronians, in 1915 at the age of 39 and was sent to France to command C Company after his training.
In one entry of your diary, the officer describes his irritation at having to put his pipe in his pocket during a gun battle because the smoke was drifting into his line of fire.
He wrote: "After my third or fourth shot, I found that the bowl of my pipe and the smoke from it was obscuring my line of vision as I was firing slightly downwards all the time.
"Just as I got my rifle working I saw a man in the trench calmly kneeling down and taking an aim at me.
"At the moment I saw him he fired. But in a miraculous way he missed."
Capt Stewart was sent home to Richmond, Surrey, after two years on the front line.
Describing the event with surprising humour, he wrote: "I started to cough and brought up some blood and a bit of the shell which must have stuck in my wind pipe.
"My servant very kindly retrieved the bit of iron out of the mud and handing it to me, remarked that I might like to keep it. This I did and my wife has it now."
Capt Stewart was due to return to the front line when the war ended a year later, and instead turned his attention to typing his memoir. However, he suffered from severe post-traumatic stress disorder following the war and spoke little of his experiences before his death from old age in 1964, at the age of 88.
As World War Two loomed on the horizon, the Poles needed a way to rapidly move their elite troops, ideally faster than using their railway system. Dombrowski-Sedlitz built a secret helicopter-autogiro machine powerful enough to lift a mounted cavalry battalion of five 85mm artillery pieces and caissons. However, its 6000-hp diesel locomotive engine and the iron construction made it weigh over 56 tons, which is a bit too much for something supposed to fly.-
It was barely able to lift itself, let alone whatever it was supposed to carry and the only remaining space was consumed by the pilot and the three mechanics it took to operate it while in flight. After two flights and some accidents, it was abandoned and was never used in the war.
The soldiers who were bearing the heat and burden of the war always held a near place in Mr. Abraham Lincoln's heart and sympathy. Upon one occasion, when he had just written a pardon for a young soldier who had been condemned by court martial to be shot for sleeping at the post as a sentinel, Mr. Lincoln remarked:
"I could not think of going into eternity with the blood of that poor young man on my skirts. It is not to be wondered at that a boy raised on a farm, probably in the habit of going to bed at dark, should, when required to watch, fall asleep; and I cannot consent to shoot him for such an act." The Rev. Newman Hall, in his funeral sermon upon Mr. Lincoln, said that this young soldier was found dead on the field of Fredericksburg with photograph next tho his heart on which he had inscribed, "God bless President Lincoln."
At another time there were twenty-four deserters sentenced to be shot, and the warrants for their execution were sent to the President to be signed. He refused, and the general of the division went to Washington to see Mr. Lincoln. At the interview he said to the President that unless these men were made an example of, the army itself would be in danger. Mercy to the few is cruelty to the many. But Mr. Lincoln replied: "There are already too many weeping widows in the United States. For God's sake don't ask me to add to the number, for I won't do it."