Ardennes ForestIn the early hours of December 16, 1944, beneath pines laden with snow, Sergeant Vinz Kuhlbach, a blond-haired twenty-five-year-old German soldier and veteran of Normandy and Monte Cassino, turned on his torchlight. In its bright stare, he could make out the frightened, sallow faces of some eighty men from the 1st Company, 9th Regiment, 3rd Fallschirmjaeger (Paratrooper) Division. Many of the young German paratroops shivered; others stamped their feet to fend off frostbite
Bomber PlansTheGerman Luftwaffe forces ranged against Poland on 1 September 1939 were divided into two air fleets. Aircraft strength was about 850 bombers and dive-bombers and 400 fighters. In the first two days of the campaign these forces completely destroyed thePolish Air Force. It had been a striking demonstration of air power. Aircrafts played alsoa vitale role in the invasion of Norway and Denmark. For the campaign in the West the Luftwaffe deployed 3,902 aircraft. So far, the air force had been used as a tactical weapon, creating air supremacy and providing support for the ground forces with bombers.
ParisThe capital region of France had been governed by Nazi Germany since the signing of the Second Compiègne Armistice in June 1940, when the German Army occupied northern and westmost France, and when the puppet regime of Vichy France was established in the town of Vichy in central France.
Kinder transport There were very large Jewish communities in Central Europe and indeed in Galiciabetween 1867 and 1914. Poverty was extreme. In that area 5,000 Jews died each year through starvation (Gilbert M. 1981, p77). Many people emigrated to the US but also to Germany with whom they shared a common language and where Jews flourished. After WW1 Abraham left his native town for Berlin. It is possible that Abraham andErna had met before they emigrated to Germany since Abrahams older brother Simon was already married to Ernas sister Rosa
Concentration camps The number of camps quadrupled between 1939 and 1942 to 300+, as slave-laborers from across Europe, Jews, political prisoners, criminals, homosexuals, gypsies, the mentally ill and others were incarcerated, generally without judicial process. Holocaust scholars draw a distinction between concentration camps (described in this article) and extermination camps, which were established by the Nazis for the industrial-scale mass murder of the predominantly Jewish ghetto and concentration camp populations.
Children TransportMiss Edith Rosenthal, the Matron of the Orphanage, had seen us off. She had arranged my place on the transport. Most of our children were boarders at the orphanage, including myself, enabling us to attend Jewish schools in Hamburg. They had been excluded from the schools oftheir hometown or because of some unpleasantness of sorts. I had attended the Jewish Fashion College in Hamburg
World War II, or the Second World War (often abbreviated as WWII or WW2), was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the worlds nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances:the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million military personnel mobilised. In a state of "total war", the major participantsplaced their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by significant events involving the mass death of civilians, including the Holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare, it is the deadliest conflict in human history, resulting in 50 million to over 70 million fatalities.
The Axis advance was stopped in 1942 after the defeat of Japan in a series of naval battles and after defeats of European Axis troops in North Africa and, decisively, at Stalingrad. In 1943, with a series of German defeats in Eastern Europe, the Alliedinvasion of Fascist Italy, and American victories in the Pacific, the Axis lost the initiative and undertook strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invadedFrance, while the Soviet Union regained all territorial losses and invaded Germany and its allies. The war in Europe ended with the capture of Berlin by Soviet and Polish troops and the subsequent German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945. The Japanese Navy was defeated by the United States, and invasion of the Japanese Archipelago ("Home Islands") became imminent. The war in Asia ended on 15 August 1945 when Japan agreed to surrender. The war ended with the total victory of the Allies over Germany
World War II altered the political alignment and social structure of the world. The United Nations (UN) organisation was established to foster international cooperation and prevent futureconflicts. The Soviet Union and the United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stagefor the Cold War, which lasted for the next 46 years. Meanwhile, the influence of European great powers started to decline, while the decolonisation of Asia and Africa began. Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic recovery. Political integration, especially in Europe, emerged as an effort to stabilise postwar relations.