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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

3 unknown and unbelievable stories from WW2

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The Holocaust in Germany may be considered a major, if not the most important, event in recent history. In its totality, it was a lengthy and drawn-out affair. It may have been brutal in its heart, but the enormous time saw several significant tales that are extremely interesting to learn about. It’s clear now that many of these occurrences may have gone unnoticed.

1. When a Jewish family arrived in Buchenwald Concentration Camp in 1943, a two-and-a-half-year-old jewish child called Josef was hidden in a big bag by his father. He was ultimately discovered by the guards, who loved him and adopted him as a “camp mascot.” The youngster also made it through the conflict.

Josef, Photo Credits: Wikimedia

When Schleifstein was 58, he watched the Italian film Life Is Beautiful and realized it was based on his own life experience. He was able to make connections between what occurred to him during the Holocaust and the storyline of the Academy Award-winning film. Once he was certain it was him, he went public and recounted his hazy memories of surviving the Holocaust as a two-and-a-half-year-old.

In 1943, Schleifstein and his parents arrived to Buchenwald as children. Because his father concealed him beneath his clothes bag, the guards missed him.

The remaining children and adults were kidnapped and murdered.

When the guards found out about the young kid’s existence, they didn’t feel compelled to kill him. During every formal inspection by Nazi authorities, the local guards used to conceal him.

Schleifstein remained at Buchenwald with his father until the camp was liberated by US forces on April 12, 1945. His whole family survived the war, rejoined at Dachau, and eventually emigrated to the United States in 1948. [Source]

2. More than 8,000 works of music, including symphonies and operas, were composed in secret in Nazi concentration camps. The artists scrawled the raw compositions on everything they could get their hands on, from food wrappers to potato sacks. All of this is due to Francesco Lotoro, an Italian composer and pianist who devoted 30 years of his life to recovering, playing, and sometimes completing pieces of music written by camp victims.

Jon Wertheim with Francesco Lotoro, Photo Credits: CBSNEWS

The Holocaust represented a generational shift in deep music and artists. Lotoro’s expedition was resurrected.

The camps attracted composers of all levels, from hobbyists to world-class musicians. The majority of these dedicated artists were murdered, but their music was not. We are lucky that those composers who lived to tell the tale bequeathed their treasure to their sons.

It wasn’t simple to piece together the missing musical pieces and make sense of them. Lotoro and his wife discovered compositions in such bad shape that they had to scrub them before they could understand them.

Using charcoal provided to him as dysentery medication, one of the inmates scribbled a whole symphony on toilet paper. Not only did music provide a relaxing respite from the tension of awaiting their execution, but being a member of the symphony also increased their chances of surviving.

Although not all musicians did it for the sake of survival, it was out of respect for the holy faculty of music. It gave them a feeling of purpose and the will to persevere to the finish, no matter how brief it was. [Source]

3. The Edelweiss Pirates were a German proto-hippie youth mob who opposed Nazis by playing guitars and singing anti-Nazi folk songs around a campfire in the countryside. These working-class youths hid Allied soldiers and Jews, fed the imprisoned, and used violent resistance to disseminate anti-Nazi messages.

Photo Credits: Museenkoeln.de

Teenagers who worked in factories and mills made up the majority of the Edelweiss Pirates. The youngbloods worked all day and then went to the hills with their friends in the evening to continue their frolicking.

Since the late 1930s, these youngsters have been forming bands with the same goals. Although it was prohibited for young people to go outside of designated areas, this did not appear to stop them from singing songs around campfires to convey their emotions against the Nazis.

The growth of the Nazi dictatorship was directly proportionate to the adolescent pirates’ rebellious inclinations. The next step would be to paint anti-Nazi slogans, jokes, and messages on outbuildings.

The rebels used firearms to attack and plunder Nazi strongholds, replenishing food and assistance supplies. They also intended to assault Gestapo sites and destroy Nazi weaponry. [Sources: 1, 2]

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