Forgotten History

McAvennie

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#1
Inspired by something I mentioned on another thread...

http://www2.forteantimes.com/forum/view ... 888#866888

...regarding the Paris Massacre of 1961.

It struck me that I knew nothing of this incident, something that happened less than 20 years before my birth, but feel it is something that we should know about - regardless of whose version of events you believe.

I then remembered something else I only learned of recently which is similarly 'unremembered'. Maybe these things have just slipped through my personal radar, but I'm fairly confident that, unless you are from Wearside, you will never have heard of the Victoria Hall Disaster of 1883.

http://wearsideonline.com/the_victoria_ ... aster.html

I only heard about this a few years ago. I know it is over 100 years ago, but considering the scale of death (183) and that they were near all children I am surprised that this isn't an event wider known in the UK. We all know about Aberfan, obviously more recent, and in 100 years I'm sure people will know of Hillsborough but this - to my knowledge - is a forgotten chapter of Britain's, relatively, recent past.

See also the Tay Rail Bridge...
http://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/centlib/ta ... bridge.htm

This one I did know about, mainly due to annual holidays to Aberdeen involving a trip over the Forth and Tay bridges which I always was afraid would collapse while the Intercity train was crossing!

Maybe these incidents have been forgotten for a reason, but there are other historical events - recent and long past - that seem to be well remembered.

I'd be interested to hear of other historic incidents - maybe well known locally but not wider - or things that have for one reason or another slipped from our national conciousness.
 

Ringo

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#2
I'm from Wearside and I've never heard of The Victoria Hall disaster. Now it may just be because I'm a relatively new father but that story actually brought tears to my eyes.
 
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#3
Ah... A good excuse to whip out my McGanagall


The Tay Bridge Disaster
McGonagall



Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

'Twas about seven o'clock at night,
And the wind it blew with all its might,
And the rain came pouring down,
And the dark clouds seem'd to frown,
And the Demon of the air seem'd to say-
"I'll blow down the Bridge of Tay."

When the train left Edinburgh
The passengers' hearts were light and felt no sorrow,
But Boreas blew a terrific gale,
Which made their hearts for to quail,
And many of the passengers with fear did say-
"I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay."

But when the train came near to Wormit Bay,
Boreas he did loud and angry bray,
And shook the central girders of the Bridge of Tay
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

So the train sped on with all its might,
And Bonnie Dundee soon hove in sight,
And the passengers' hearts felt light,
Thinking they would enjoy themselves on the New Year,
With their friends at home they lov'd most dear,
And wish them all a happy New Year.

So the train mov'd slowly along the Bridge of Tay,
Until it was about midway,
Then the central girders with a crash gave way,
And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!
The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,
Because ninety lives had been taken away,
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

As soon as the catastrophe came to be known
The alarm from mouth to mouth was blown,
And the cry rang out all o'er the town,
Good Heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down,
And a passenger train from Edinburgh,
Which fill'd all the peoples hearts with sorrow,
And made them for to turn pale,
Because none of the passengers were sav'd to tell the tale
How the disaster happen'd on the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.
 

McAvennie

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#4
Ringo_ said:
I'm from Wearside and I've never heard of The Victoria Hall disaster. Now it may just be because I'm a relatively new father but that story actually brought tears to my eyes.
It's tragic.

I think there are actually houses now on the east side of Mowbray Park where the hall would have been and I always wonder if the people living there are aware of what they are living on top of. I'd be out of there like a shot if my house was built on somewhere with a history like that!
 

rynner2

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#5
Very long article here, so I'll just give the top and tail:

Stalin's British heroes: The discovery of a forgotten medal reveals the extraordinary courage of the RAF aces who fought for the Soviet Union
By Douglas Morrison
Last updated at 12:55 AM on 14th May 2009

The Messerschmitt was screaming towards him on a head-to-head collision course, but it was Flight-Lieutenant Micky Rook who got his shot in first. He held his nerve, pressed the firing button of his Hurricane fighter plane and the German Me109 exploded in mid-air, disintegrating before his eyes. Another hard-won 'kill' for the RAF in the early years of World War II.
Yet this was no part of the famous Few's dogfight over Kent. The waters beneath Rook's plane were not the English Channel but the icy Barents Sea off Murmansk on the northern edge of the Soviet Union, deep inside the Arctic Circle.
Rook was part of 151 Wing, a little-known RAF group who fought against the Germans alongside the pilots of the Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin, for four vital months in the winter of 1941. Code-named Force Benedict, its mission has been largely forgotten for nearly seven decades - until the chance discovery earlier this year of a medal awarded to the splendidly named Wing Commander Henry Neville Gynes Ramsbottom-Isherwood, who led 151 Wing.

The red and gold Order of Lenin, resplendent with hammer and sickle and a platinum portrait of the Russian revolutionary leader, is one of the rarest ever won by a British serviceman. It had lain untouched at the back of a cupboard in Sussex for years.
At a Sotheby's auction next month it is expected to attract bids as high as £30,000.

The story behind the medal is an extraordinary one. Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany had a non-aggression pact - until Hitler tore it up and huge numbers of German forces invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941.
The Russians had been caught on the hop, largely because Stalin himself had ignored many warnings about such an invasion, and now they desperately needed weapons and supplies to stem the Nazi advance.

Stalin urged Winston Churchill, Britain's wartime leader, to send him Spitfires, the RAF's latest and fastest fighter planes. Churchill refused.
Britain was still struggling to keep the Germans at bay across the Channel and needed its best aircraft for that fight. But to show willing to his new ally, he dispatched Hurricanes - 40 of them to begin with, hundreds later.

As trainers and technicians went the men of 151 Wing, made up of two squadrons, Nos 81 and 134. They were officially under the command of Admiral Nikolai Kuznetsov, head of the Soviet Navy and Naval Air Service, and their orders were to undertake 'the defence of the naval base of Murmansk and co-operation with the Soviet Forces in the Murmansk areas'.

In practice, their job was to get the Hurricanes flying, train the Russians in their use, hand them over and return to Britain. But since they were within easy range of air bases in Germany's ally Finland, they would also go into action, escorting Russian bombers to these targets and shooting down as many German aircraft as they could.

etc...

Ramsbottom-Isherwood was also awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross for his Russian exploits. He later flew in the Far East and survived the war, rising to the rank of group captain. Afterwards, he became commanding officer at Martlesham Heath RAF base in Suffolk.

On April 24, 1950, he took off in a Meteor jet fighter, then just coming into service, for a test flight. Over Kent, he ran into blinding snowstorms and icy conditions.
He flew over West Malling at 200ft and headed for RAF Manston. At 10.45 the aircraft dived into the ground four miles east of Tonbridge and disintegrated, killing him outright.

Extreme icing was the likeliest cause of the accident. At only 44, the man who had led Force Benedict through the wintry skies of Northern Russia had died in conditions similar to those he and his men had encountered and overcome in distant Murmansk.

His medal, along with his other awards, stayed with his family. His wife remarried and went to America. She is now dead. His only child, India, just 10 when her father died, had little interest in medals. Eventually she settled in Rottingdean, on the East Sussex coast. She is now frail and in her late 60s.

In February she moved to Somerset to be looked after by friends.
While her house was being cleared, a plastic bag containing her father's long-forgotten medals was found at the back of a cupboard.
In it were his AFC and DFC 37 - and that rare and elusive Order of Lenin. From that find has emerged a rarely remembered story of World War II bravery and the odd, forgotten campaign fought by the men of 151 Wing in a remote, cold corner of the Soviet Union.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... Union.html
 

rynner2

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#6
Another long but fascinating story:

Exclusive: The unseen photographs that throw new light on the First World War
A treasure trove of First World War photographs was discovered recently in France. Published here for the first time, they show British soldiers on their way to the Somme. But who took them? And who were these Tommies marching off to die?
By John Lichfield
Friday, 22 May 2009

The place, according to a jokingly chalked board, is "somewhere in France". The time is the winter of 1915 and the spring and summer of 1916. Hundreds of thousands of British and Empire soldiers, are preparing for The Big Push, the biggest British offensive of the 1914-18 war to date.


A local French photographer, almost certainly an amateur, possibly a farmer, has offered to take pictures for a few francs. Soldiers have queued to have a photograph taken to send back to their anxious but proud families in Britain or Australia or New Zealand.

Sometimes, the Tommies are snapped individually in front of the same battered door or in a pear and apple orchard. Sometimes they are photographed on horseback or in groups of comrades. A pretty six-year-old girl – the photographer's daughter? – occasionally stands with the soldiers or sits on their knees: a reminder of their families, of human tenderness and of a time when there was no war.

etc....

Identical copies of these images must have been sent home to mothers and wives and sweethearts in late 1915 and the first half of 1916. Will someone out there recognise their Great Grandad or their Great Uncle Bill?

Although some research has been conducted into the photographs, much hard work is yet to be done. Such compelling images must have a story attached; and with your help we hope to uncover as much of their fascinating history as possible. Click here to see how you can help.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 88443.html
 

JamesWhitehead

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#7
Researching some 1930s newreel footage I had acquired on DVD, I learned of a major disaster involving children which I had never heard of:

"1937/03/20 - Special Release - 425 Children Die As Gas Explosion Shatters School (1) "New London, Texas tragedy - 425 Children Die As Gas Explosion Shatters School in center of rich East Texas oil field, caused by gas pockets in school basement." (2) "Thousands Weep As School Blast Victims Are Buried" SOURCE: 200 Universal 9-547, National Archives, College Park MD"

425! The narration on the newsreel is astonishingly crass and insensitive, referring to children literally blown apart and how most would have escaped, if only the blast had happened ten minutes later. So is the footage, come to think of it, which features bodies in the rubble. :(
 

tilly50

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#9
I have wondered how many "small news items",(although to those concerned major life events), have been swallowed up and forgotten by them happening in or around the same time a "world event" of international importance?
 

eburacum

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#15
Here's one;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Dasher_(D37)
Her death toll, 379 out of 528 crewmen, the largest loss of life not in the face of the enemy of WWII.
The government of the time, eager to avoid damage to morale and anxious to avoid any suggestion of faulty US construction, tried to cover up the sinking. The local media were ordered to make no reference to the tragedy, and the authorities ordered the dead to be buried in a mass unmarked grave.
 

eburacum

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#16
And do they mention this one in schools nowadays? (that is a real question, not a rhetorical one, as I honestly don't know). They didn't when I was at school, forty years ago, that's for sure.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_genocide

It was characterised by the use of massacres, and the use of deportations involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of Armenian deaths generally held to have been between one and one-and-a-half million.
 

Layla

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#17
Re: The Princess Alice disaster. If I remember rightly one of the Rippers victims Liz Stride used to cadge a few pennies off sympathic people by claiming that her husband has been killed in it. According to something I read recently it's unlikely he did but people know enough and felt bad enough abut it to help out his 'widow'.

Upstairs in my attic I have a paper from the 1870s whose front page documents some train crash in the north (I'm sketchy on details becasue I've not seen it for years) but almost the entire broadsheet front page is a list of the victims and their ages. It's strange how all that misery is forgotten and becomes part of the ether.
 

GNC

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#18
eburacum said:
And do they mention this one in schools nowadays? (that is a real question, not a rhetorical one, as I honestly don't know). They didn't when I was at school, forty years ago, that's for sure.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_genocide

It was characterised by the use of massacres, and the use of deportations involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of Armenian deaths generally held to have been between one and one-and-a-half million.
I didn't hear about it in school, but the Canadian-Armenian filmmaker Atom Egoyan alludes to the genocide in his 1993 film Calendar. I'm guessing they teach it in Armenian schools.
 

Timble2

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#19
There were plenty of rail accidents to choose from in the 1870s, the worst was the Tay Bridge Diaster 28 December 1879, where 75 were killed. This one is remembered in part because like the Titanic, it's due to a massive failure of technology, and partly because of William McGonagall's poem.

The worst rail disaster in the UK was at Quintinshill, near Gretna, in 1915, where a troop train ran into a local passenger train, and a third train ran into these There were 226 deaths. This one is probably forgotten by anyone but railway historians, as it's rather overshadowed by WWI.
 

McAvennie

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#20
We're all, at least vaguely aware, of the scuttling of German war ships at Scapa Flow I suspect.

Read an interesting piece in the Sunday Post today though giving an account of some schoolkids from Orkney who happened to be on a boat trip out to see the fleet when 'ship went down', so to speak.

All the kids are dead now, the piece was recycling a report from 1989 I think, but they gave vivid accounts of the ships slipping under the sea water - and rather distressing reports of British troops shooting helpless German sailors.

Sure beats for excitement the school trips to Whipsnade Zoo and Wycombe Chair Museum that I got lumbered with!

Doesn't appear to be a direct link to the story but - for the next seven days I guess - you should be able to navigate to the tale...

http://www.sundaypost.com/postindex.htm

And in case you can't...


Scapa Flow shootings
horrified schoolkids

By Craig Robertson

NINETY years ago today a party of Scottish youngsters woke excitedly on a beautiful sunny morning, looking forward to the school trip of a lifetime.

It was June 21, 1919 and the pupils from Orkney were about to go on a cruise in a small wooden boat to see the surrendered German fleet at Scapa Flow.

Little did they know that they were to have a front-row seat at one of the most astonishing moments in military history — and, in its aftermath, arguably one of the most shameful.

The German High Seas Fleet had been interned at Scapa Flow after the Armistice. In the intervening months it had become a tourist attraction with people taking boat trips out to see the warships.

By June 1919, Rear Admiral Ludwig von Reuter, the German officer in command at Scapa Flow, knew that Germany would have to accept surrender terms.

When the main part of the British fleet left the Flow for exercises he gave the order for the German fleet to be scuttled.

The boatload of children from Stromness unexpectedly became witnesses not only to the scuttling, but to a much less publicised event — the shooting of unarmed sailors in the sea and in rescue boats.

Posterity

The reactions of the horrified school pupils were recorded for posterity by Orcadian journalist Kath Gourlay who accompanied “the children”, who are now all dead, on a remarkable return voyage to Scapa Flow in June 1989.

“I was working as a trainee radio reporter for BBC Scotland when I went out in a boat with a party of divers,” remembers Kath. “In the boat with us were some of the ‘children’ — 10 to 12 years old at the time and by then in their early 80s.

“My main interviewees were Peggy Gibson, Kitty Tait and J.R.T. Robertson, a retired Stromness provost. They sailed out into Scapa Flow to recall what they’d seen at the time.”

Peggy told Kath that the sights of that fateful day were “etched in my memory”.

“I was 10 and I was already beside myself with excitement that morning,” she’d said. “We’d been told we’d be able to see the British fleet guarding the German fleet but just after we left the harbour, a message came that the Royal navy were out and we’d only see HMS Victorious, a hospital ship.

“We were a bit put out but once we went down the Flow and began to see the German destroyers looming up we forgot about all that. They were absolutely massive alongside us.

Sinking

“The German ships were minutes away from sinking,” says Kath. “I remember Peggy Gibson cupping her hands megaphone-style and really getting into the action as she described a navy supply boat steaming towards them and a man shouting at them to get out of the area.

“But the skipper of their boat, the Flying Kestrel, thought he’d be safer heading back the way he’d come, which afforded his charges a sight they’d never forget.

“It was unbelievable,” Peggy told Kath. “I was too awestruck to be terrified, which I should have been as we could have been pulled into the undertow.

“I counted 12 capital ships going down. Some stood on their bows and turned over, some went over by their side, and some just sank. There was water boiling everywhere and horrible sucking and gurgling sounds.

“There were men in the water, on rafts and boats, hundreds of them.”

Those men, unarmed and posing no threat, ought to have been hauled to safety but not all were. Peggy didn’t recall gunshots but the other two children certainly did — sights and sounds that stayed with them their entire lives.

Crying

“One of my friends started crying because she’d seen British sailors shooting at men in the water,” Kitty had said. “She said she saw a man being shot and he fell out of the boat into the sea.”

Her memories were corroborated in what a British officer later described as “pandemonium with a strong dash of panic” among the British guard boats when it dawned on them what was happening.

“The officer commanding the Markgraf was shot as he walked on to the deck of the sinking warship carrying a white flag for all to see,” explains Kath. “What possible threat the hundreds of unarmed struggling sailors in the water could have been is a complete mystery.”

J.R.T. Robertson, the boy who was to become Provost, admitted being haunted by what he heard.

“As we got further away,” he said, “we heard machine guns rattling and stopping, rattling and stopping, over and over again — I never forgot that sound.”

Even when the surviving Germans were taken on to British boats they were still not safe. “At least one local boat was seen by one of the schoolkids with a sniper taking pot shots at the prisoners as they were taken ashore,” says Kath.

Last to die

In all, eight German sailors were shot dead and 16 wounded. However, that wasn’t the end of the killing.

Two days later, a rescued German named Kuno Eversberg became the last sailor to die as a direct result of a war that had ended nine months before.

He was a prisoner on HMS Resolution when a drunken able seaman named James Woolley marched in with a rifle and shot him in cold blood “to get his own back” — according to a witness, able seaman John Copeland — for the loss of family members during the war.

The Admiralty had no choice but to comply with the law and Woolley stood trial in Edinburgh. After just 20 minutes, the jury came back with a unanimous “not proven” verdict.

The court is said to have erupted in cheers and Woolley was dismissed from custody, justice apparently having been served. He was seen being heartily congratulated by his naval friends.

Admiral von Reuter accused his counterpart, Vice-Admiral Sir Sydney Freemantle, of atrocities. However Freemantle’s denials were — like those of James Woolley — upheld by the British military.

Brutal

“Historically speaking the events of that time are well documented and it would hardly be appropriate to comment 90 years later,” a naval spokesman said last week. “It was a totally different era.

“It was a brutal time and scars from the Great War led to other brutal things.

“You can’t compare it with today’s circumstances.”

“So much has been written about the scuttling of the fleet at Scapa Flow,” concludes Kath, “but what has never been featured is the ‘human rights’ side of the affair — the cold-blooded murder of unarmed men and the abuse and killing of prisoners in military detention.

“There was nothing officially acknowledged. The Woolley killing was just so blatant the Admiralty had no option but to go public — not that the public seemed bothered.

“Back in 1919, the hard-nosed attitude of civilians, members of the press, lawmakers and magistrates equally matched those of the military men — from naval ratings through to high-ranking officials — that this sort of treatment was par for the course.”
 
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#21
When I was little, we lived for 3 years near Hildburghausen, which has the legend of die Dunkelgräfin: http://www.madame-royale.de/en/index.htm

(I don't know if this is really forgotten history, because it's quite famous in Germany and France, but I don't think there is too much information about it in English. That website is the only one I know exept for wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunkelgrafen)

The short version of the legend is that in 1807, a strange man and woman came to Hildburghausen, and the woman always wore a dark veil to hide her face. They were obviously foreign, they never talked to the people in the town, and they were very rich. So people started to wonder if the woman was really Marie-Therese, the daughter of Louis XVI, in disguise. For 30 years they lived there, and when the woman died, she was buried quickly and at night, and the man said she was not his wife, that she had no relatives, and he had a fake name put on her gravestone. So, to this day, no one knows who this strange woman really was.

Now I live in the USA, near Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. Not too much history is forgotten here, because a lot of it is about the American Revolution and kids learn all about that in school. But one thing not many people remember now is a big railway accident in 1856, when more than 60 people were killed. This is the Camp Hill Disaster: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_ ... ck_of_1856

Also in Philadelphia, most people forget the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793: http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/yellowfever.htm I always think this is strange, because many victims are buried underneath Washington Square with unknown soldiers from the Revolution, but then, Washington Square is a popular park and there are a lot of apartments near it, so who wants to remember that they live on a plague pit? :eek!!!!:
 

rynner2

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#22
Remember the Cold War...?

USSR plotted invasion of Manchester
The USSR plotted to invade Manchester during the height of the Cold War, it has emerged.
Published: 6:40AM BST 26 Aug 2009

A map drawn up by Soviet generals shows that the military had charted an armoured invasion of the city, for distribution to frontline commanders. The plans would be put into action if relations between the UK and the USSR deteriorated further.

The maps ignored one-way streets and rush hour jams, marking the lines of an assault in bold orange, the Guardian reports. According to the documents, troops would sweep into the centre past Old Trafford and the current site of the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry.

"There wasn't much they missed," said Chris Perkins, a lecturer in geography at Manchester University, and the organiser of an exhibition opening tomorrow which reveals the map to its potential victims for the first time.

"They clearly took information from road atlases – some of them not quite up to date – but they also had details on nuclear sites and Strangeways prison, which the Ordnance Survey of the day had deliberately left out."

The chart, with its Cyrillic transliterations of place names such as Salford, Irmston and Hulme, was part of a worldwide programme drawn up by Soviet bureaucrats.

Mr Perkins told the paper: "They had maps of everywhere from here to the Congo, but this is an 'A-list' effort – a place which they really thought they might need to know one day."

Researched fewer than 40 years ago, the map used road widths and load-bearing statistics to plot advance routes for tanks, ruling out older, crooked lanes where armour might be trapped by urban guerrilla warfare. The Soviet planners also used a colour code for local objectives: industrial sites in black, administrative buildings purple, and military installations green.

The map came to light after the collapse of the Communist system. Along with similar charts of other western and US strategic centres, it was sold by military mapmakers in the chaotic aftermath of perestroika and glasnost.

"The managers of individual printing factories basically went native," said Mr Perkins, whose exhibition of 80 Manchester-related maps is on display until 17 January. "They sold as much stock as they could on the western market, where there was no shortage of customers. I know for a fact that the Ministry of Defence sent a van over there in 1991, to pick up as much as they could."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... ester.html
 

Quake42

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#23
I didn't hear about it in school, but the Canadian-Armenian filmmaker Atom Egoyan alludes to the genocide in his 1993 film Calendar. I'm guessing they teach it in Armenian schools.
It's a hugely political issue and one of the stumbling blocks to Turkey joining the EU. It may still be a criminal offence to talk about the genocide in those terms in Turkey - it certainly was until recently. France also passed a law making it a crime to deny the Armenian genocide.

It is said that, when discussing plans for the "Final Solution", Hitler mused "who remembers the Armenians now?"
 
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#24
If I recall correctly the lawyer who created the word 'genocide' was a Polish Jew, but the term was originally created specifically in response to the Armenian massacres rather than the Holocaust. So someone did remember the Armenians, and in doing so created a word that will always be inextricably linked with the man who cast doubt on that memory.
 

rynner2

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#25
An unsung heroine of the home front
When Simon Garfield used a photograph of an unnamed young woman helping out in the wake of a wartime bombing, it sparked a fascinating correspondence into the mystery of her identity

Simon Garfield The Observer, Sunday 30 August

Let no one say that all the Second World War stories have been told. Thursday is the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the war, and with that comes the usual outbreak of documentaries and books. One of these will be mine: Ebury Press is publishing a new edition of We Are At War, a collection of edited diaries from the Mass Observation archive - five people writing incisively about what it was really like to live through the first year of the conflict.

The book has a new jacket, with a photo of two women picking their way through the rubble of a London bombsite, selected from the website of the picture library Getty Images.

I knew nothing about the women, but I found the picture appealing, and I thought that would be the end of the story.

But six months ago I received an email from a woman in the United States called Susan Burton. She had seen the new jacket on Amazon. She wrote: "The photo depicts my mother Jean Grover who was the ambulance driver next to the nurse. Her day job then was a secretary to the Governor of the Bank of England."

The following day another email arrived, from Susan's brother Tim Winder. "I don't know how much you know about the original photograph," he wrote, "but I believe it to be the first V2 to fall on London. It was Farringdon market in London."

Two days later, the third of Jean Grover's children got in touch. "The picture was taken on 8 March 1945," Jane Kay wrote. "In October of 1945 [my mother] was made assistant commandant for the City of London/82. Unfortunately she died at a relatively young age in 1972."

Fortunately, all three children were excited by the prospect of their mother appearing on a book jacket, and their enthusiasm prompted me to find out more about it.

On the Getty Images website it is clear that the photo was intended for Picture Post, but it wasn't published in the magazine until October 1948, in the 10th anniversary issue. It occupied a full page in a spread entitled: "One Story We Couldn't Tell". The reason for the delay was wartime censorship: Picture Post reported that the bomb had exploded a few hundred yards from its offices in Shoe Lane, and that 380 people had died in the attack. Other reports had the figure at 110; it wasn't the first V2 to fall on London, but it was one of the most devastating.

The caption to the photograph of Jean Grover and the nurse read: "Most people who went to the market that day no longer needed their help; but some who did will never forget it. We do not know who they are, or what they are doing now." But now we know a little bit more.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/ ... -world-war
 

wembley9

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#28
Spookdaddy said:
If I recall correctly the lawyer who created the word 'genocide' was a Polish Jew, but the term was originally created specifically in response to the Armenian massacres rather than the Holocaust. So someone did remember the Armenians, and in doing so created a word that will always be inextricably linked with the man who cast doubt on that memory.
According to my Chambers dictionary of Etymology it was coined by one Raphael Lemkin in 1944 "in referrence to the extermination of Jews" by the Nazis.
 
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#29
wembley9 said:
According to my Chambers dictionary of Etymology it was coined by one Raphael Lemkin in 1944 "in referrence to the extermination of Jews" by the Nazis.
Yes, on rereading a couple of sources I think you're right. Lemkin had studied the Armenian massacres in the 30's and then WW2 came along and made the subject more immediate. However, there appears to be no question that it was the earlier issue that originally set him on his course, so I think the relevance to Hitler's disparaging remark about the Armenians probably still holds water.
 
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#30
I've always found that the most fascinating way to read history, and possibly the best way to work towards an understanding of events, is to look for apparent contradictions, or apparent departures from the generalised view, and then work out from there.

Here's something from Geert Mak's excellent book, In Europe. He's writing about the treatment of Jews in Vichy France.

French cooperation in the deportation stood in stark contrast to the growing resistance in the country's Italian zone. In spring 1943, the Italian authorities in Valence, Chambéry and Annecy forbade the rounding up of Jews, both refugees and non-refugees, by French prefects. In Megève, the Fascist police chief blocked the arrests of 7, 000 Jews. (In Nice)...refugees were issued with their own identity cards, and the commander of the carabinieri announced that any French policeman who dared touch a hair on their head would be arrested himself. In addition, on 21 March, 1943, the Italian occupation forces in france received an urgent personal missive from Mussolini: 'The first priority is to bring to safety those Jews living in that part of French territory occupied by our troops, whether they be Italian, French or any other nationality.'
I knew that the Italians were, at least generally speaking, not terribly enthusiastic anti-semites, and that many in the Fascist hierarchy considered their German counterparts obsession bizarre, but I had no idea that they had been quite as robust in their views as the above indicates.
 
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