Tuesday, December 1, 2020

The Tale of Two Pilots - An Axis Pilot Who Rescued A B-17 Over the Skies of Germany, Conclusion


"The Guardian" by Nick Trudgian
Valor Studios
Our story ended last month when American Captain Charlie Brown and his crew safely landed their fatally wounded B-17 "Ye Olde Pub" in England. German fighter pilot Franz Stigler had safely escorted them out of Germany, but he didn't expect the B-17 to make it home. If you missed the previous episodes of this astounding account of WWII enemies meeting over the skies of Germany, you can find them here: 
Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Read More . . . 

Sunday, November 1, 2020

The Tale of Two Pilots - An Axis Pilot Who Rescued A B-17 Over the Skies of Germany, Part 3

Kimbolton Airfield at Sunset
American Air Museum in Britain

Our story ended last month when German fighter pilot Franz Stigler encountered American pilot Charlie Brown's wounded B-17 over the skies of Germany. Brown and hundreds of other Allied pilots had completed a bombing run over Bremen, Germany, but "Ye Olde Pub" was so damaged, she couldn't keep up with the other B-17's and was left to be picked off by an eager German pilot. Stigler would have enough points to earn the coveted Knight's Cross if he shot down one more B-17. 

If you missed Parts 1 and 2 of this fascinating story, you can find them here and here.

Read More . . .

Thursday, October 1, 2020

The Tale of Two Pilots - An Axis Pilot Who Rescued A B-17 Over the Skies of Germany, Part 2

Messerschmitt. Wikipedia.

Last month I shared Part 1 of the story of two WWII pilots, one German, one American, who were destined to meet as enemies over the skies of Germany. If you missed that post, you can find it here. Today we will pick up with the American pilot, Charlie Brown flying from England to bomb Bremen, Germany. 

On the morning of December 20, 1943, twenty-year-old Lieutenant Charlie Brown piloted his B-17 crew into combat for the first time. "Ye Olde Pub" flew in a twenty-one-plane battle formation and led most of the 8th Air Force's bomb groups to Germany (475 B-17s and B24s). They were told to expect five hundred or more bandits (German fighters) to intercept them.

Read More . . .

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

The Tale of Two Pilots - An Axis Pilot Who Rescued a B-17 Over the Skies of Germany, Part 1

Restored B-17 Bomber
Creative Commons via 
Author Airwolfhound
World War II is full of many miraculous acts of bravery and survival, but the encounter of Franz Stigler and Charlie Brown over the skies of Germany in 1943 is one of the most profound. This is their story.

The German Pilot:

Franz Stigler was born and raised in Bavaria, southern Germany. His father, a former WWI pilot, instilled a love of flying in his sons. At the age of twelve, Franz soloed in a home-built glider. Because he didn't weigh enough, the plane crashed, and Franz sustained minor injuries. Several months later, with a sandbag tied around his waist, he successfully launched and landed the rebuilt glider. By the time Franz was seventeen, he knew he wanted to fly every day for the rest of his life. The German government provided his training, and Lufthansa, Europe's largest airline, hired him when he was only eighteen years old.

Read More . . . 

Saturday, August 1, 2020

A Miraculous Escape from Auschwitz - A WWII Story

Walter Rosenberg, who later changed his name to Rudolf Vrba, and fellow prisoner Alfred Wetzler escaped from the infamous Auschwitz Death Camp on April 7, 1944. Their method of escape was rather unique, and the comprehensive report they wrote about the mass executions taking place at Auschwitz helped to save the lives of thousands of Hungarian Jews.

Read More . . . 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Miracle Escape from the Soviet Union: A WWII Story

Danuta's Route Map 
Courtesy of Kressy Family
In April, I shared about the Soviet invasion of Poland on the seventeen day of WWII and the subsequent ruthless treatment of the captured Polish officers. If you missed the post and would like to read it, you can find it at this link: Massacres and Miracles.

In late September, 1939, the Soviets and Germans divided Poland - the Soviets occupied the eastern section of the country. Before WWI, this area belonged to Russia but was awarded to Poland following the war. In 1939, Polish settlers, Ukrainians, and Russians occupied this territory. Starting in February of 1940, the Soviets exiled the Polish settlers to Northern Russia, Siberia and other far flung locations to work in labor camps.

Read More . . . 

Monday, June 1, 2020

Escape from Auschwitz: A WWII Story

Inside the Gate of Auschwitz II-Birkenau
Public Domain. 
Courtesy of Wikipedia.
The 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp occurred this past January. Many stories have been written about the atrocities that occurred at this notorious camp during the German occupation of Poland in WWII. Many who survived Auschwitz and the death march west in the dead of winter have shared their heartbreaking stories, and each one holds a valuable lesson for readers. Today's post is about a prisoner at Auschwitz who was chosen for execution but escaped. 

                                          Read More . . .

Friday, May 1, 2020

The Miracle Behind Dunkirk: A World War II Story

Dunkirk Beach in 2012. User: Eporte 
Wikimedia Commons
The end of May and early days of June mark the 80th anniversary of the "Miracle of Dunkirk." Many have seen the 2017 war drama Dunkirk and learned about the facts that shaped this extraordinary event, but few know what was behind this miracle. 

In May 1940, the British Expeditionary Force, approximately 400,000 strong, was stationed in Europe in anticipation of German hostilities. On May 10th, the Germans invaded Holland and Belgium, and the bulk of the Allied forces moved into Belgium to meet the attack. What the Allies didn't expect was that the main thrust of the German forces would come through the Ardennes Forest to the south of their position. The Allied military leaders didn't believe it was possible to move a large amount of soldiers and equipment through this area, but the Germans proved them wrong.

Read More . . . 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Massacres & Miracles: A WWII Story

Courtesy of urdumovies.net
When: Beginning of WWII (1939-1941)

Where: Eastern Poland / Western USSR

What: In a surprise move on the 17th day of the German invasion of Poland, the Soviet Union invaded from the east. The Nazis and Soviets had secretly agreed the month before to divide the country. Because the Polish military leadership had ordered the Polish forces not to engage the Soviets, the Red Army advanced rapidly with little opposition.

Problem: Stalin and the NKVD (the secret police and forerunner of the KGB) planned to quickly transform the eastern portion of Poland into a communist society and incorporate it into the USSR, but the educated classes stood in the way. 

Read more . . .

Sunday, March 1, 2020

A German Scientist Who Leaked Secrets to the Allies: A WWII Story

Oslo, Norway Today. Photo by Sean
Hayford O'Leary via Flikr & 
Two months after WWII beganGerman mathematician and scientist Hans Ferdinand Mayer checked into the Hotel Bristol in Oslo, Norway. Dr. Mayer was an anti-Nazi from Germany, and he purposely planned a trip to Scandinavia to leak information about the Nazis’ weapons systems and latest technological development projects. Mr. Mayer was employed by Siemens & Halske AG, an electrical engineering company which specialized in communications engineering that was headquartered in Berlin, Germany. He was director of the communications research laboratory.

                                        Read More . . .

Saturday, February 1, 2020

A WWII German Soldier Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice

Vilnius, Lithuania Old Town Skyline
Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC BY-SA 3.0. Courtesy of Wikipedia
During the early years of WWII, the Soviets occupied Lithuania in the Baltics. In June of 1941, the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, including the Baltics and captured Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Vilnius was twenty-five percent Jewish and was an "important center of Jewish cultural life in Eastern Europe." 

By late summer of 1941, the SS Einsatzgruppen, Hitler's elite killing squads, began taking Jewish men, women, and children to large pits in the Ponary Forest outside the city to shoot them. Tens of thousands of Jews as well as Poles and Russians were murdered there. 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Miraculous Refuge in France: A WWII Story

Author Pensées de Pascal
 Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
During WWII, many Nazi victims found refuge in the mountainous region of southern France. This region was located in the unoccupied zone, and it was controlled by the French collaborative government of Vichy France. In the summer of 1942, the Nazis arrested more than 13,000 Jews in Paris, including 6000 children, and demanded that the Vichy government do the same in its territory. So the Vichy police began arresting thousands of Jews. They were sent to internment camps to await transport to concentration camps in Poland and elsewhere. 

Read more . . .

Friday, November 1, 2019

Miracle Escape from a Holocaust Transport: A WWII Story

Author Jessica Dommicent 
Wikimedia Commons

In April of 1944, Nazi soldiers herded eleven-year-old Simon Gronowski and his mother onto a waiting train, along with more than sixteen hundred other Jewish prisoners who lived in Belgium. The train's destination - the notorious Auschwitz death camp in Poland, more than 700 miles away. The Gronowskis crowded into a wooden boxcar with one single, small, wired-over window with no food, water, or seats.

The train started on its way, but less than ten miles later, around 9:30 PM, it slowed and then stopped.

Read More . . .

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Miracle Children: A World War II Story

Milíč House in 1937
Wikimedia Commons & Milidu (Author)
Přemysl Pitter served in the Austro-Hungarian Army during WWI. After returning home to Prague, he became a Christian and helped establish a children’s home in the city’s poorest neighborhood. The local children, many of them Jewish, stopped by Milíč House after school "where they would be fed and could safely play, read, listen to music, learn crafts, or participate in gymnastics."

After German troops occupied the western half of Czechoslovakia in the spring of 1939, Nazi laws prevented Jewish children from attending public school, and Milič House became a place for them to study in addition to the regular afternoon activities. Later it became a place to hide. Pitter rescued children whose parents were arrested, and parents also took their children to Milíč House to protect them from deportation. 

Read More . . .

Sunday, September 1, 2019

80th Anniversary of WWII & Hitler's Big Mistake

Professor John L Heineman, Boston College
Today is the 80th anniversary of WWII - the day Germany invaded Poland. Six months prior to the invasion, Hitler had encouraged an event which he later came to regret. An event which saved tens of thousands of lives and aided the Allies in their future victory.

What big mistake did Hitler make in 1939 that contributed to his eventual defeat?

   Read More . . .

Thursday, August 1, 2019

How Evil Flourishes When Good Men Do Nothing

 U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Last month, I shared how Hitler came to power and took dictatorial control of Germany in 1933, and I described the state of the Jews in Germany during the interwar period (WWI - WWII). Here's the link to the post if you missed it: "How Did Evil Men Take Power in Germany?" Today we will examine how Hitler and the Nazis gradually subjugated their opponents and the Jewish people prior to WWII.

In April of 1933, the German government sponsored a two-day boycott of Jewish businesses. Political opponents of the Nazis and all Jews who hadn’t fought in WWI were dismissed from civil service. New laws pushed Jews out of other government jobs, including Jewish doctors who worked in government-financed healthcare programs.

Read More . . .

Monday, July 1, 2019

How Did Evil Men Take Power in Germany?

Bundesarchiv, picture 102-00344 /
 Heinrich Hoffmann / CC-BY-SA 3.0
What were the conditions in Germany which led to another world war only twenty years after the War to End All Wars? How did a “civilized” nation allow its leaders to annihilate so many of its own citizens? And how did such evil leaders gain power in the first place?

Post WWI Turmoil

The Treaty of Versailles – as one of the conditions of surrender, Germany was forced to pay huge reparation payments to the countries she fought during WWI.

                                        Read More . . .

Saturday, June 1, 2019

German Officers Who Dared to Take a Stand Against the SS: A WWII Story

Przemysl, Poland. Author Ferdziu
Wikimedia Commons
Poland became a killing ground for both Jewish and non-Jewish citizens during WWII, but the Germans especially targeted Poland’s three million Jews. Those who weren’t immediately shot during the German invasion in 1939 were relocated from the countryside and placed in dozens of ghettos in cities all over Poland. Gradually the SS death squads emptied the ghettos by deporting the residents to death camps or by shooting them on the spot.

On July 26, 1942, an unusual confrontation took place between German Wehrmacht officers and SS troops in the city of Przemysl in southern Poland. 

                                        Read More . . .

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

A Miracle in Denmark: A WWII Story

Modern-Day Gilleleje, Denmark. 
Early on the morning of April 9, 1940, Germany attacked Denmark. The invasion was executed so swiftly that the Danish military surrendered after only four hours. Many Danish citizens were furious that their government gave up without a fight. Because Hitler wanted to make a good impression on the many foreign correspondents in Denmark at the time, and he wanted the country to be "a model of Nazi occupation rule," he allowed the people more freedom than in other occupied countries. The elected government continued functioning, but under Nazi supervision, and the Nazis didn’t persecute the Jews.

                                          Read More . . .

Monday, April 1, 2019

Escape from Norway: A WWII Story

Reine Fishing village in Lofoten, Norway
Petr Šmerkl, Wikipedia
In a surprise attack, the Germans invaded Norway on April 9, 1940, and quickly secured the capital of Oslo as well as other major cities along the east and west coasts of the country. The underequipped and underprepared Norwegian military fought the Germans in the interior and in the far north but even with the assistance of British troops and ships was unable to withstand the German onslaught. After running from the enemy for two months, the Government, King and Crown Prince of Norway fled to Britain, and the Germans took complete control of the country.

                                           Read More . . .

Friday, March 1, 2019

Rescuing Norway's Gold: A WWII Story, Part 3

Molde Under Attack in 1940
Painting by Rolf Groven
How did the Norwegian government manage to remove all their gold from the country while the Germans attacked them relentlessly? If you missed the first two installments of this miraculous story you can read them here and here. If the Nazis had taken possession of Norway's treasure, the Germans would have greatly enhanced their ability to purchase more war materials.

At the conclusion of last month's story, 23 tons of Norway's gold had been loaded on the British cruiser HMS Glasgow at the Norwegian coastal town of Molde. 

Read More . . .

Friday, February 1, 2019

The Rescue of Norway's Gold: A WWII Story, Part 2

 Åndalsnes, top left
Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.
Last month I shared the beginning of the story about the dramatic rescue of Norway's gold during the Nazi invasion of 1940. If you missed the post, you can read it here. We left the gold train sitting undetected on a railroad siding in Otta, Norway on its way to the west coast. The train didn't run during the day because the German bombers loved to target anything moving. After a twenty-four-hour wait at Otta, the gold train left at 10:00 PM and arrived at the port town of Åndalsnes at 4:30 AM on April 20th. 

Read More . . .

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

The Rescue of Norway's Gold: A WWII Story, Part 1

Wikimedia Commons - Public Domain
For the past two months, I’ve shared the experiences of two prominent figures who lived through the German invasion of Norway in April 1940. If you missed those posts, you can read them here and here. Among the miraculous accounts from this event is the story of how every bit of Norway’s gold reserves was saved from the Nazis and spirited out of the country right under the enemy’s noses. If the Germans had obtained it, they would have gained more wealth to supply their war machine.

                                        Read more . . .

Saturday, December 1, 2018

More Miracles in Norway: A WWII Story

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
Last month I shared about the early days of Nazi Germany’s invasion of Norway in 1940 as told by Mrs. Florence Harriman, U.S. Minister (Ambassador) to Norway. You can read it here. Today I will continue the story based upon the book I Saw It Happen in Norway by C.J. Hambro, President of the Norwegian Parliament.

The Germans attacked Norway on April 9, 1940 and took the country by surprise. Norway had maintained a strict neutral status in World War II and was on excellent terms with both Germany and the Allies.

Read More . . .

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Miracles in Norway: A World War II Story

King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav
 Hiding in the Woods During Bombing

Public Domain. Courtesy of Wikipedia
Many miraculous stories took place in Norway during World War II. Over the next several months, I'll be sharing some of these stories, starting with those from the initial German invasion in 1940.

Norway didn't expect to be drawn into World War II. Just as in World War I, the Norwegian government had declared its neutrality and worked hard to maintain this status. But early on during WWII, two major factors made this position untenable.

Read More . . .

Monday, October 1, 2018

An Epic Submarine Escape

The Orzel in 1940 - Public DomainWikimedia Commons
With the outbreak of WWII, submarine warfare took on new dimensions, and many heroic battles occurred “under the sea.” In today’s story, I’m sharing the adventures of a Polish submarine that received international attention and provided inspiration to many.

Read more . . .

Saturday, September 1, 2018

What Happened to the Doolittle Raiders After China? Part 3

 Official Website of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders
Former Plane 5 pilot Davey Jones participated in the invasion of North Africa. Leading a dozen P-38 fighters in a B-26, he landed at the airfield in Oran, Algeria, during fighting. They had to land from every direction, straddling bomb craters and avoiding wrecked airplanes. Two or three hundred planes parked there, and the men lived by their airplanes and built fires for cooking. After a few days they all moved to Algiers. From there they ran bombing raids without ground crews. They refueled with five-gallon tins and loaded their 250-pound bombs by sheer muscle.

                                               Read More . . . 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

What Happened to the Doolittle Raiders after China? Part 2

Doolittle Before WWII
Public Domain
Plane #1 - Piloted by Jimmy Doolittle

After spending the summer of 1942 traveling the U.S. on war bond drives, Jimmy Doolittle was appointed commanding general over the 12th Air Force in North Africa under General Eisenhower. In March 1943, Doolittle became commanding general of the North African Strategic Air Forces. On the one-year anniversary of the Tokyo Raid, Doolittle and the other Raiders also serving in North Africa held the first Doolittle Raider reunion.

Read More . . .

Sunday, July 1, 2018

What Happened to the Doolittle Raiders after Their Escape from China? Part 1

The Official Site of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders
Eighty Army Airmen formed the sixteen crews known as the Doolittle Raiders who bombed the Japanese homeland in April of 1942. Many consider this operation to be a turning point in WWII because it boosted the morale of the allies and humbled the Japanese at a time when they had seemed invincible.

After bombing Japan, three of the Raiders died during crash landings and bailouts in China, eight were captured by the Japanese (three were put to death and one died of starvation), five landed in the Soviet Union and were interned until they escaped through the Middle East one year later, and the rest were assisted inland by the Chinese. 

So what happened to these airmen after their infamous raid and escape from China?      

Read More . . .

Friday, June 1, 2018

Japanese Revenge for the Doolittle Raid

Doolittle Raiders Bombing Japan
Used by Permission

Just four months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, eighty U.S. Airmen, known as the Doolittle Raiders, pulled off a daring attack on Japan. Caught by surprise, the Japanese were unprepared for enemy bombers to strike their homeland, especially in broad daylight. Greater than the damage inflicted, the raid had a psychological impact on the Japanese and their leaders. The military pulled troops and equipment back from the war zones to protect Japan. The raid boosted the morale of the Allies and instilled hope that the enemy was not invincible. 

Read More . . .

For the past seven months I’ve shared the escapades of the Doolittle Raiders’ bombing of Japan and subsequent flight to China where the crews of fifteen of the sixteen planes crash landed or bailed out. By way of a centuries-old communication system, news of the bombing in Japan spread quickly across the Chinese countryside. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

What Happened to the Doolittle Raiders? The Story Continues

Used by Permission

For the past several months, I’ve shared stories about the experiences of the Doolittle Raiders who risked their lives launching land-based bombers off an aircraft carrier in the Pacific during WWII. They successfully bombed Japan and fled to China, knowing full well they might not have enough fuel to land safely outside of Japanese controlled territory. Here are the links to past Doolittle stories if you missed them and want to catch up: November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018. In addition, fellow blogger Linda Thompson has written a wonderful post about the extraordinary experiences of the Plane 16 crew. 

Plane 3, the Whiskey Pete, successfully launched from the deck of the USS Hornet during a squall but arrived over Tokyo on a clear, sunny day. The Whiskey Pete encountered strong anti-aircraft fire, forcing pilot Bob Gray and co-pilot Shorty Manch to pull up to 1450 feet. 

Read More . . .

Sunday, April 1, 2018

More Exciting Doolittle Raid Adventures

During World War II, the Doolittle Raiders launched sixteen fully loaded B-25's off an aircraft carrier, the first to do the impossible, and bombed Japan by total surprise. The pilots were ordered to fly from Japan to airfields in free China. Each crew member knew that if the Japanese didn't shoot them down they faced the likelihood of running out of fuel before reaching China. 

Due to a faulty setting on its stabilizer, Plane #2 launched too sharply from the Enterprise “lost its air and seemed to collapse in flight.” A strong gust of wind came to the rescue and the plane avoided a collision with the ship’s hull which would have sliced it in two.

Read More . . .

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Doolittle Raiders Who Disobeyed Orders

Congressional Gold Medal
What would you do if you were the pilot of a plane that would probably run out of fuel over the ocean or over enemy territory but you could land safely in a place where you were ordered not to go?

During World War II, the Doolittle Raiders launched their fully loaded B-25's off an aircraft carrier, the first to do the impossible, and bombed Japan by total surprise. The pilots were ordered to fly from Japan to airfields in free China. All the men knew that if the Japanese didn't shoot them down they faced the likelihood of running out of fuel before reaching China.

Pilot Ski York and copilot Robert Emmens of Plane #8 had both missed out on the training the other pilots had participated in at Eglin Air Force Base. Yet their plane safely leaped into the air as the deck of the USS Enterprise disappeared beneath them. The crew breathed a sigh of relief.

Read More . . .

Thursday, February 1, 2018

What Happened to the Doolittle Raiders? The Story Continues

If you missed the background story of the Doolittle Raiders shared in November, you can access it at "What Happened to the Doolittle Raiders?" Last month, I blogged about the crash landing of the Ruptured Duck (Plane #7) and the safe landing of Plane #15 in the ocean off the coast of China in "A Doolittle Raid Adventure." The Ruptured Duck was cruising at 110 miles an hour when it ran out of fuel and dipped into high waves which brought the plane to an abrupt halt. Four of the crew members ejected through the windshield and nose cone of the plane. The fifth crew member escaped from the upside down aircraft with minor injuries. Both planes landed in territory controlled by the Japanese, and both planes had successfully bombed the Japanese mainland several hours earlier.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Blessings for the New Year & A Doolittle Raid Adventure

U.S.A.F. via Wikimedia Commons

If you missed my previous posts on the Doolittle Raiders and would like to read them, here are the links: What Happened to the Doolittle Raiders? and What Happened to the Doolittle Raiders? The Continuing Story. Today we will follow the stories of Plane #7, the Ruptured Duck, and Plane #15, which had no nickname.

The eighty Doolittle Raiders, named after their commanding officer, pilot Jimmy Doolittle, volunteered for a dangerous mission early in 1942. The U.S. had recently joined WWII, and the country was in an uproar over the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor. At the time, the Japanese military seemed invincible, and the Allies desperately needed a victory. 

Read More . . .

Friday, December 1, 2017

What Happened to the Doolittle Raiders? The Continuing Story

U.S. Army Air Forces via Wikimedia Commons
Jimmy Doolittle, commander of the Raiders, piloted the first B-25 to take off from the deck of the USS Hornet. A terrible storm bucked the ship with tremendous waves, but all eyes focused on the lead plane. If the “Old Man” didn’t succeed, none of them would. Plane #1 lifted off with yards to spare, and the sailors across the whole convoy cheered. Each of the sixteen planes lifted off four minutes apart, and they headed to Japan spread out over a field fifty miles wide and one hundred fifty miles long.

Read More . . .

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

What Happened to the Doolittle Raiders?

Nat'l Museum of the U.S. Air Force
via English Wikipedia
In January 1942, top commanders in the American military began planning a sneak air attack on Japan, targeting military sites and industrial facilities supporting the war effort. Dubbed "Special Aviation Project #1," the planned bombing was kept so secret that the volunteer army pilots selected to participate didn’t know their target until after they'd sailed out of San Francisco aboard the USS Hornet aircraft carrier.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Saving Kurt: A Kindertransport Story With A Special Ending

Kindertransport from Vienna, AustriaCourtesy of USHMM
The Germans marched into Austria in 1938 and immediately instituted the same Nazi racial policies they had gradually established in Germany during the previous five years. Kurt Fuchel was seven years old, and his idyllic life in Vienna changed rapidly. Kurt’s father was dismissed from his position as a mid-level bank manager, Kurt was dismissed from his school, and tensions mounted in the Fuchel home. Kurt’s parents spent many hours visiting consulates, making phone calls, and studying maps as they endeavored to escape their homeland. Kurt, accustomed to being the center of attention, coped by pulling the tablecloth off the table, dishes and all.

    Read More . . .

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Lory Gruenberger Cahn: Almost Saved by the Kindertransport, Part 2

Theresienstadt. Courtesy of
Last month I shared the first half of Lory's story—Lori Gruenberger Cahn: Almost Saved by the Kindertransport. After Lory boarded the Kindertransport for England, her father couldn't part with her and pulled her out the window of the train while it was leaving the station. As a result, Lory didn't escape the holocaust with the nearly 10,000 other children who fled German-occupied territories on the Kindertransports

Last month's story ended in March of 1942 with the SS loading Lori and her mother into a cattle car with thirty-five to forty frightened people. The SS had removed a very ill Mr. Gruenberger from their home on a stretcher, and Lori and her mother didn't know his whereabouts.

                                Read More . . . 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Lory Gruenberger Cahn: Almost Saved by the Kindertransport

German Kindertransport Refugees
 in Great Britain. USHMM.
For the past two months, I’ve posted individual stories about children who fled the Nazis and survived the Holocaust by taking the Kindertransport to England. An earlier post explains how the Kindertransport program was created. If you missed that post and would like to read it, here’s the link:  The Kindertransports: Nearly 10,000  Children Rescued from Nazi Territory

Lory Gruenberger lived a happy childhood with her brother and parents in Breslau, Germany, close to the Polish border. To her doting father, Lory could do no wrong. Mr. Gruenberger, a partially paralyzed WWI veteran, had a flourishing law practice and refused his government disability pension. After the Nazis took power in 1933, they didn’t harass Mr. Gruenberger due to his veteran status.

Read More . . .