Look at any history book written for Polish schools. Usually, we can read that World War 2 is considered to have begun at the dawn of September 1, 1939, when Nazi Germany invaded Poland. But what about the Gleiwitz Incident, recognized by some sources as the actual beginning of the bloodiest conflict in the history of mankind?
While depicting a typical Nazi in your mind, you will – most likely – think about a well-built young male. However, we must not forget that women became aware members of the NSDAP and, of course, of the SS. SS women underwent strict training during which they learned how to become an efficient cog in the killing machine. Make no mistake – they committed unbelievable atrocities just like their male counterparts.
What is the most iconic image of a working woman? Many of us will point at the poster shown below, with a fierce young woman raising her fist and the phrase “We can do it!” on top. Although the woman from this particular poster was never officially called “Rosie the Riveter”, this very artwork is heavily associated with the social campaign encouraging female workers to start a job in the defense industries.
Most of us, when asked about the substance used for murdering people on an industrial scale, will mention Zyklon B as the chemical agent behind the death of masses. In fact, there is one more simple chemical responsible for mass extermination – carbon monoxide from exhaust fumes.
The Germans lost the 1941 campaign due to frosts, becoming another victim of the Russian winter which they had not prepared for, just like Napoleon's Great Army. Truth as old as the hills. However, it's not true.
The Germans understood the seasons. Although they hoped that the campaign would end before winter, they had to prepare equipment for the occupation forces. The first instructions regarding preparations for winter were issued as early as in August. When Operation Typhoon, aimed at conquering Moscow, gets bogged down after the first successes (in mud rather than snow), uniforms and equipment will be prepared in warehouses for at least several dozen divisions. However, only a small part will reach the front.
When on August 15 and 16, 1943, American-Canadian troops were landing on the island of Kiska in the Aleutian Islands in the North Pacific, people still remembered the fights from over two months before for the nearby island of Attu. Fortunately, Kiski's conquest was much less bloody. Only 313 people were wounded or killed. The result could have been much worse if only... there were Japanese on the island at all.
People often wonder what life was like in the 30s in terms of observing totalitarian parties rise to power. Were societies misinformed, or maybe unaware of the impending doom? Of course not. In response to abuse and harassment against Jews committed by the Nazis, an international boycott of German products was organized starting from March 24th, 1933, pursuant to Hitler being appointed the Chancellor of Germany on January 30th of the same year. What is interesting, some Jewish organizations supported the boycott, while some opposed it.
This popular propaganda song was sung in various versions in Great Britain, at the very beginning of World War II, on the melody of the march "Colonel Bogey", more widely known from the movie "Bridge on the River Kwai". This is the best cultural evidence that the story of Hitler without one testicle has a long tradition. Did the leader of the Third Reich really have only one testicle and did he lose it during World War I?