Categories
Audiobooks History

Nuremberg War Crimes Trial Re-enacted

“Report from Nuremberg: The International War Crimes Trial” is a collection of reenacted radio broadcasts providing news covering the Nuremberg War Crimes trials. Given all that has been written about the trial, it is interesting to hear the contemporary radio reports. It is almost like CNN updates on the trials. The descriptions of the defendants and their dress, mannerisms and personalities were of great interest.

I commend Audible for creating these reenactments and making them available. I enjoyed listening to them. The narrators were all excellent. The sound of the mechanical typewriter at the start of each broadcast helped me imagine what it must have been like to hear these broadcasts live.

Between October 18, 1945, and October 1, 1946, the International Military Tribunal, as it was known, tried 22 people on charges of crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, and conspiracy to commit such crimes. Twelve of those convicted were sentenced to death. Three defendants were acquitted.

Categories
Audiobooks History

‘An Officer and a Spy’

Before listening to An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris, I knew only the broad outline of the Dreyfus Affair, a political scandal that divided France from from 1894 until 1906. The twists and turns during this 12-year period are amazing and exciting. It is sometimes hard to believe this all really happened. Émile Zola’s 1898 open letter to the President of France accusing the French government of antisemitism was bold and courageous.

This is historical fiction but Robert Harris’s writing is based upon through research. The book has a lot of detail which added to my enjoyment. As a result of this detail, I felt as though I was actually in France.

I enjoyed learning about an important chapter of French history filled with intrigue. The ending is amazing and left me wanting more, despite the length of the audiobook — a little over 16 hours.

The audiobook is narrated by David Rintoul, an accomplished Scottish actor. His intonation and pronunciation are exceptional and added greatly to my enjoyment of the audiobook.

Categories
History Statistics

World War II Deaths

The National WWII Museum in New Orleans estimates that 15 million people died in battle in World War II. The estimate of civilian deaths is 45 million.

This is a partial list of total civilian and military deaths by country, in millions:

CountryTotal Civilian and Military Deaths
in millions
Soviet Union24
China20
Germany6.6 to 8.8
Poland5.6
Japan2.6 to 3.1
India1.5 to 2.5
Hungary0.6
France0.6
UK0.5
US0.4
Source: The National WWII Museum

Categories
History

Switzerland’s Relationship With Dachau

Germany’s National Socialist (Nazi) government and Switzerland had substantial ties. Switzerland’s contribution to the construction of the Dachau concentration camp near Munich is not well known.

Before WWII, Extroc, SA, a Swiss state-subsidized timber company built the Dachau concentration camp, under a contract for 13 million Swiss francs. The contract was negotiated by Colonel Henri Guisan, the son of the later Swiss Commander-in-Chief Henri Guisan (1874–1960) and a Swiss national hero.The Swiss Colonel was in turn connected to Hans Wilhelm Eggen, an SS captain who bought timber in Switzerland for the Waffen SS. This was the wood used to construct Dachau. Dachau was the first regular concentration camp established by the Nazi government.

According to a now declassified CIA report, Eggen often went to “Switzerland under cover of a delivery agent for wooden barracks.” Eggen was a friend of Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer of the SS. In Nazi Germany, the SS controlled the German police forces and the concentration camp system.

See, Roberts, Andrew, The Storm of War (p. 113). HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition; Goñi, Uki, The Real Odessa: How Perón Brought the Nazi War Criminals to Argentina (p. 170). Granta Books. Kindle Edition.

Categories
History

Remembering Lindy’s

I was born and raised in Pittsburgh. I attended the University of Pittsburgh, which is an urban campus. After moving to Washington, I always liked the George Washington University (GW) campus. I could relate to it as an urban campus in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington.

Lindy’s Red Lion, George Washington University Campus, April 28, 2004 © David H. Enzel, 2004

For years, I enjoyed the burgers and fries at Lindy’s Red Lion (“The Best Little Carry-Out in Washington”). It was an institution on the GW campus. It was rumored that President Gerald Ford liked Lindy’s burgers and as President would send Secret Service agents to pick up burgers for him from Lindy’s. In 2008, The GW Hatchet confirmed this rumor with the owner of Lindy’s. I sure hope it’s true. I have fond memories of Lindy’s and the friendly people who worked there.

Lindy’s is now a barber shop. © David H. Enzel, 2020

Lindy’s closed in June of 2018 and was then vacant and is now a barber shop. The barber shop looks nice but I sure miss Lindy’s.