Chiune Sugihara. This man saved 6000 Jews. He was a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania. When the Nazis began rounding up Jews, Sugihara risked his life to start issuing unlawful travel visas to Jews. He hand-wrote them 18 hrs a day. The day his consulate closed and he had to evacuate, witnesses claim he was STILL writing visas and throwing from the train as he pulled away. He saved 6000 lives. The world didn’t know what he’d done until Israel honored him in 1985, the year before he died.
Generalleutnant Otto Elfeldt, calmly smoking a cigarette before his interrogation at Saint-Lambert-sur-Dive. Elfeldt was captured with 29 officers of his staff on August 20th by the 1st Polish Armoured Division. After his capture by the Polish, he was quickly returned to the Americans; he appears here with an American soldier of the 701st Tank Destroyer Battalion. (via)
An ancient Buddhist statue that a Nazi expedition brought back from Tibet shortly before World War II was carved from a meteorite that crashed on Earth thousands of years ago.
What sounds like an Indiana Jones movie plot appears to have actually taken place, according to European researchers publishing in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science this month.
Elmar Buchner of the University of Stuttgart said Thursday the statue was brought to Germany by the Schaefer expedition. The Nazi-backed venture set out for Tibet in 1938 in part to trace the origins of the Aryan race — a cornerstone of the Nazis’ racist ideology.
The existence of the 10.6-kilogram (23.4-pound) statue, known as ‘‘iron man,’’ was only revealed in 2007 when its owner died and it came up for auction, Buchner told The Associated Press.
German and Austrian scientists were able to get permission from its new owner, who wasn’t disclosed, to conduct a chemical analysis that shows the statue came from the Chinga meteorite, which crashed in the area of what is now the Russian and Mongolian border around 15,000 years ago.
The meteorite was officially discovered in 1913, but Buchner said the statue could be 1,000 years old and represent a Buddhist god called Vaisravana.
The Nazis were probably attracted to it by a left-facing swastika symbol on its front. The swastika has been used by various cultures throughout the ages, but the Nazis tried to appropriate it as the symbol of their ideology, going so far as to put a right-facing version of it on their red and white flag.
Scientists not involved in the study told the AP that the research linking the statue to the meteorite was credible.
‘‘Looks like a solid piece of geochemical ‘forensic’ work,’’ said Qing-Zhu Yin, a researcher in geology at the University of California, Davis. ‘‘No terrestrial artifact would generally contain that much nickel content. Chemical elements don’t lie.’’
Rhian Jones, an associate professor at the University of New Mexico who specializes in meteorites, said the claim appeared conclusive.
‘‘There is a clear and convincing argument that the meteorite the statue is made from is the Chinga iron meteorite,’’ she said.
Yin added, ‘‘I am not a historian. But the ‘iron man’ does not look like a Buddha to me from my cultural background. It looks more like a warrior with a sword … (a) resemblance of Genghis Khan. … I have never seen a Buddha with a sword or knife.’’
During WWII, She and her helpers created over 3,000 false documents to help Jewish families, prior to joining the organized Żegota resistance and the children’s division.Irena worked in the Warsaw Ghetto as a plumbing/sewer specialist. She used this job to help smuggl Jewish children out of the ghetto, infants in the bottom of the tool box she carried and older children in a burlap sack she carried in the back of her truck. She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers wanted nothing to do with the dog, and the barking covered the children and infants’ noises. Irena managed to smuggle out and save 2500 children.
The Nazis eventually discovered her activities, tortured her, and sentenced her to death; but she managed to evade execution and survive the war. Irena kept a record of the names of all the children she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar buried under a tree in her backyard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and reunited some of the families. Most had been killed. She and others helped those children get placement into foster family homes.