Second World War

Royal honour for Israeli WW2 veterans

By Jennifer Lipman, June 16, 2010

Israeli war veterans who were injured fighting for Britain during the Second World War are to be royally honoured.

The 32 disabled soldiers will receive British Ministry of Defence medals on behalf of the Queen at a ceremony in Tel Aviv. The newly knighted Sir Tom Phillips, the outgoing British ambassador, will make the awards.

Some of the soldiers, who served in the Jewish Brigade, went on to fight for Israel during the war of independence in 1948.

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The children who swapped the death camps for the Lake District

By Anthea Gerrie, April 1, 2010

To ordinary Britons from the city, the Lake District is a place of tranquil beauty. To the hundreds of Jewish orphans who arrived there from the death camps in 1945 to start a new life, it was nothing less than paradise.

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Nun who hid Jewish family honoured

By Robyn Rosen, March 25, 2010

An Italian nun who hid a Jewish family in her convent during the Second World War has been awarded posthumously with the title of Righteous Among the Nations.

Madre Maria Agnes Tribbioli was nominated for the Yad Vashem honour by Cesare Sacerdoti, of Brondesbury, who was rescued by her when he was five years old.

Florence-born Mr Sacerdoti, 72, went into hiding with his mother and younger brother, Vittorio, on November 6 1943, after the Florence synagogue was raided and vandalised by German SS and Jews were rounded up.

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Mussolini iPhone withdrawn

By Ruth Ellen Gruber, February 4, 2010

Italy’s best-selling iPhone app is a collection of speeches by the country’s Second World War dictator Benito Mussolini, now withdrawn from sale.

The success of the “iMussolini” app sparked media debate and protests from Holocaust survivors.

“iMussolini” was launched on Italy’s iTunes store on January 21, less than a week before Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is widely marked in Italy. Three days later, it topped the Italian iPhone app sales list.

The app contained audio, video and text of more than 100 speeches of Mussolini dating back to 1914.

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Revealed: the British troops imprisoned at Auschwitz

By Simon Round, January 14, 2010

Amid all the testimonies about Auschwitz and the Final Solution which have been published since the end of the Second World War, one small group has remained silent.

Alongside the main Auschwitz complex was a prisoner-of-war camp known as Auschwitz E715, where the inmates included several hundred British soldiers.

They have not talked about their experience until now, partly because they were traumatised by what happened to them in the camp, partly because they thought that no-one would be interested, but mainly because few people were aware of their existence.

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Chamberlain's Hitler plane ticket discovered

By Robyn Rosen, January 7, 2010

The plane ticket used by Neville Chamberlain to fly to Munich to meet Adolf Hitler in 1938 is being auctioned for an estimated £7,000.

A faded ticket, dated September 29 1938, has been discovered among the possessions of the late George William Denny, one of the founders of British Airways, and reveals that Chamberlain flew to Munich at 8.30am on ticket 18249 on private airline company, British Airways Ltd.

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Ashes in the Wind: The Destruction of Dutch Jewry

By Ben Barkow, January 7, 2010

By Jacob Presser
Souvenir Press, £15

Ashes in the Wind is Dr Jacob Presser’s classic account of the Holocaust in the Netherlands. First published in 1965, it is a product of what one might term the heroic generation of Holocaust writings, predating the tidal wave of scholarship and memoirs that began in the 1970s and which today shows little sign of receding. Its re-publication, in Arnold Pomerans’s translation, is to be welcomed.

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War veterans kept silent for 30 years over code-breaking role

By Robyn Rosen, October 8, 2009

It took Sidney Goldberg more than 30 years to tell his wife, family and friends what he did during the war.

It was only in 1974, when Frederick Winterbotham wrote The Ultra Secret, the first account of decryption operations during the war, that Mr Goldberg and the other 25,000 code-breakers began to reveal their experiences.

Mr Goldberg, now 86 and living in Kenton, north London, is one of 35 veterans to attend a special ceremony at Bletchley Park today to receive a new award for services to the Government Codes and Cipher School (GC&CS).

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Imprisoned by MI5 for writing a letter home to mum

By Leon Symons, September 10, 2009

Henry Wuga was just 15 when he was interned early in the Second World War for writing a letter to his parents in Germany.

Almost 70 years later, Mr Wuga confirmed his long-held suspicion that it was only a declaration of his innocence by MI5 that got him released from prison.

Mr Wuga, now 85, with two married daughters and four grandsons, told his story as part of the BBC’s The Week We Went to War series, shown this week to commemorate the outbreak of the Second World War.

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Sir Nicholas Winton meets survivors at Liverpool St

By Jessica Elgot, September 7, 2009

Sir Nicholas Winton, the 100-year-old philanthropist who saved more than 600 Jewish children from Nazi Germany, welcomed passengers at Liverpool Street station in London, who had recreated their journey as refugees.

The journey, which was from Prague by steam train, marked the 70th anniversary of Sir Nicholas' mission to bring 669 mostly Jewish children to the UK during the war.

Twenty-two of the original evacuees saved by Sir Nicholas, known as the "British Oscar Schindler", took part in the anniversary journey.

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