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Dorothee

Dorothee

I delete comments only if they contain bad language or if someone claims to be offended for reasons other than that. Depending on the context I sometimes delete the replies, too. I don't hold any responsibility for links mentioned on my profile. They - as most of these photos - are not mine after all! All of the photos here are either mine or I was granted permission to use them. - Doris Schlapansky

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March 5, 2014
Viewed 3510 times.

About three years ago – in the middle of March - my friend Barbara who already had many journeys to English-speaking countries like Scotland, Ireland and Australia since she's from a wealthy family told me the following story when she returned from her trip to Ireland. She told me that there the newspapers reported back then about a retired taxi-driver from Dublin who protested against the unfair treatment of 4983 Irish soldiers from World War II and in favor of a recompensation for the few still remaining ex-members of the Irish military.

Anyway she told me that after the protest of this taxi-driver on 5th of March of that year – and I remember this date as 6th of March was the birthday of my bunny Hanno that already passed away about eight years ago, but whose birthday I still remember for some bizarre reasons – the story of the 4983 soldiers he fought for also got mentioned in some newspapers: After hearing about the horrible deeds the Germans did in World War II these men were fed up with the rather passive role Ireland played in this war and they decided to desert their army to fight the Germans – in which they succeeded as we all know from history lessons. Not only did they succeed, but they also freed and thus saved the lives of 21.000 survivors of the concentration camp Buchenwald. Furthermore - contrary to many other members of the Allied Forces and contrary to the Germans along with their allied nations – they didn't commit any act of violence towards female citizens of the nations they fought as it seems. To keep a long letter short you could say that they were true heroes. Yet, when they returned home to Ireland people didn't even want to hear their stories. They lost their jobs in the military, weren't allowed to get any high-ranking position in whatever job they got next for the following few years and even now they neither receive any memorial nor any form of recompensation. Considering the fact that without their help the war probably would have taken longer and thus would have claimed a higher death toll, the little number of Germans who knows about them of course is grateful, but that is all. So all they ever received for saving the lives of thousands was the subjective gratefulness of a rather low number of people, while as a comparison even some breeding horses and dogs already received a memorial simply for looking pretty.

I checked the story Barbara told me by doing some online researches and – except for the date which I did not find anything about – I found the whole story to be true. It's just that that year I saw no need in posting subjects like these here and during the last two years there always was something keeping me from posting this on memorial day - and for sure I wanted to post this just on a commemoration day as anything else would have seemed out of place from my point of view.

Considering that we all know the name of the head of state of Ireland – namely President Michael D. Higgins - we could either send him complaint letters to make him change something about this situation or we could start a petition – each of us in the region where he or she lives – in order to receive as many signatures as possible from people who are in favor of giving the remaining few of these 4983 brave soldiers either a recompensation or the memorial they would deserve - or both. Then we could still send the results of this petition to this particular head of state.

03:04 PM May 04 2015

Dorothee

Dorothee
Germany

Maybe it is because this year so many people from our village have died due to old age or because they were very sick - although not even May is over yet - or maybe it's because 8th of May already is the day when World War II ended in Europe.

Whatever the reason the priest mentioned last Sunday what a shame it was from his point of view that the number of people who regularly visited military cemeteries seemed to decrease rapidly. He thinks that the soldiers and forced laborers who rest there deserve all respect for their bravery during war - even though said war ended seven decades ago. Also he finds it shameful that donations to organisations that take care of these graves - like "Volksbund Deutscher Kriegsgräberfürsorge" - seem to decrease as well. Already the Bible says after all that a decent, religious person even has the duty to show some respect for the dead.He briefly mentioned that some of the people who were burried on these special cemeteries were unidentified to this day.

Who knows? Maybe even one of these brave Irish soldiers who didn't outlive the war lies there only to - even in death - be shunned by his compatriots and neglected by the Germans.

However that subject swas just a brief part of his Sunday-preach.

01:51 PM Jan 27 2015

Dorothee

Dorothee
Germany

Considering that today on January 27th was the Sept-decennial of the liberation of the German concentration camp “Auschwitz-Birkenau” newspapers and news-shows already started reporting about the camp itself and about tragic individual fates of some of these former inmates on Sunday. I so would love to post them all, but that would take like forever and still wouldn't be enough to describe the horrors these people went through. Filip Müller's “Eyewitness-Auschwitz” is a book I highly recommend if you want to read a more detailed report. Also to tell you at least something there indeed were some eyewitnesses who used to be in the concentration camp "Buchenwald" and until this day haven't forgotten the kindness and gentleness with which they were treated by the English and Irish soldiers who liberated this camp. You would say that after the horrors of this war they should have been at least a little short-tempered or should have shown other signs of being traumatized, but in fact they weren't while dealing with these weakened and sick inmates.

I for my part however just want to talk about an article written by the German newspaper “Jüdische Allgemeine”. They say – and judging by what I heard some people say with my very ears I have no reason to think they are exaggerating – that many people born after 1945 don't see why we still pay “recompensation” to survivors of the concentration camps as by now most of them are already dead anyway, are going to die within the next few years or never managed to prove that they used to be concentration camp inmates and thus don't receive anything anyway. By the way this also is pretty much the reason why more and more people stop seeing any sense in money being used to find and sentence former national socialists – as the main-antagonists now are dead or too old to do any harm anyway.

Now this article says that while many former inmates and victims of persecution managed to make a new start – I even know famous authors, professors of history, musicians and natural scientists who before that were in "Auschwitz" – others never overcame the psychological or physical hardships they went through in there. These people either committed suicide or now are old and among the poorest of the countries they live in. Now you know that many non-Jewish elderly people also are very poor, but in most cases at least children and grandchildren are there to take care of them. Surviving Sinti, Roma and Jews however often outlived their relatives who were murdered by Germans and Austrians during or before World War II. After this loss they just had trouble bonding with anybody else and now are left alone without a family to take care of them.

Now that they are old they experience that even though they seemed to be healthy in their younger years, malnourishment, exposure, exhaustion and mistreatment in fact took their toll on the body – only it didn't show that much until now. They now face diseases that most elders don't have to go through.

 

To keep a long letter short: Yes, I think Germany still owes them. Hopefully Germany won't stop repaying these former concentration camp inmates until the last one has died – which as I hope won't be too soon. Some articles made it clear that the number of former inmates who come back on commemorate day has been decreasing rapidly for the past ten years as more and more people now are too weakened by old age to do this stressful journey. Thus maybe Germany should even think about increasing the amount of money these people are to receive. Just to help them make it through these hard last decades!

12:43 PM Jan 19 2015

Dorothee

Dorothee
Germany

Actually I intended this blog to be about military stuff only, but...well, it's not like I ever swore to never post something like the following as a comment and after all you already got warned that by reading this blog you expose yourself to historical subjects - note the fact that I used the plural of "subject" already in the title.

So again I may be getting a little off the topic, but: 

>On Sunday “Tagesschau” said that even though according to the German BEG-Law §1 the relatives of someone who was persecuted and killed by the NS-regime actually have the right to receive some “recompensation” - and I just find it hard to speak of recompensation in a case that involves the murder of millions of innocents and the destruction of whole families - by Germany, for some reasons the relatives of people who were murdered due to being physically or mentally challenged are excluded from this. Germany does not recognize those who fell victim to the so-called “euthanasia” as persecuted by the NS-regime – which is nonsense as you can't say that someone who was killed for being physically disabled was not persecuted. However historians say that if they indeed finally did pay this “recompensation” to relatives of these poor men, women and children they would have to pay money to at least one eight of Germany's population. No, I seriously don't know why they wouldn't do so. The only idea I could come up with is that the national socialists usually cremated the bodies of these people immediately after their death and called a doctor to make a fake death certificate. For example I've heard of a case in which they murdered a mentally challenged girl and stated in her death certificate that she died due to having refused to eat or drink. Thus it should be very hard to decide who in fact was killed on purpose and who died due to an accident.

By the way during this report “Tagesschau” also showed national socialist propaganda videos and added an annotation into one corner that said that the allegedly mentally challenged people seen in these videos actually were played by healthy actors who were just told to act like completely repulsive and scary retards. Thus these videos don't really show that the people murdered by this regime really were like. In fact “Tagesschau” even interviewed the surviving relative of someone who most likely was murdered back then and she said that despite his mental disability he was a good musician and his social interaction was good enough to earn him a wife. Not that his murder would have been justified if he indeed had been like propaganda movies depicted mentally challenged people back then! I'm merely saying that the people murdered by this regime never were as disturbing as some may think who got influenced by certain propaganda film clips.

>On 1stof January the priest reminded us in church that January 27th- which is in exactly one week and just a couple of hours - will be the 70thanniversary of the liberation of the concentration- and extermination-camp Auschwitz-Birkenau by the Allied Forces which probably would have taken a bit more time and claimed a few more lives if it hadn't been for the support of the brave, but unrewarded Irish soldiers mentioned in this blog. He asked us to use this day to pray for the poor souls who did not make it. In fact coincidentally at about the same time “GEA” reported that special German units who were trained to find the last few remaining German war-criminals from World War II claim that Russia indeed has some files that could help clearing up at least a few of these cases, but Russia refuses to let anybody have an insight into them. As these files are about Germans who used to be considered as war-criminals, but who later were proven innocent by the Soviet Union, the Russians responsible for not handing out these papers state that there is no need to show these files to anyone. Obviously they ignore the fact that these so-called innocent men were “proven” innocent by a totalitarian regime decades before the technology we now have to find culprits was even invented. Thus there still is at least a chance that the gentlemen these files talk about are in fact criminals who deserve a sentence.

03:19 PM Apr 19 2014

Dorothee

Dorothee
Germany

Last Sunday the news show “Tagesschau” did a live broadcast of the induction of a memorial for the brave US-American and Canadian military pilots who were shot down by German soldiers, got seriously wounded in the process and then were brought to the concentration camp Buchenwald were many of them died before Buchenwald finally was freed by the US-American army.

Anyway this memorial was inducted just one week ago, but according to "Tagesschau" already had hundreds of visitors including politicians from all over the world - also from Germany -, former prisoners of this camp and even some elder gentleman and former soldiers came all the way from North America to honor their fallen former comrades. Alas this report didn't mention these honorable Irish soldiers either.

02:14 AM Mar 14 2014

Dorothee

Dorothee
Germany

 

Dear Sir,

First of all, please let me tell you, that I do appreciate your kind words regarding my blog and thus I also feel the need to apologize for not replying to your comment until now, but there were other affairs pressing.

I'm relieved to hear that you also liked the remark about my bunny, since I worried that this could look a bit out of place to some users, but I just had in mind that otherwise people could accuse me of not knowing the exact date and thus just choosing any random day.

In school and in the many history books I've got at home – one of which even dealing with Irish history – I never heard of this story either and my guess is that many historians just consider them as less important as Great Britain and the USA – two of the Allied Forces – already were very strong nations that even without the support of these Irish gentleman would have been good enough to beat Nazi-Germany. However I still stick to my thought that without these over 4.000 man the war probably would have taken longer and thus claimed a higher death toll. Thus you could say that many people alive today maybe owe them their lives and that's the reason why I find it shameful that these soldiers never really got the respect they deserved.

At last I should say that recent events proved that people just need a little imagination and courage to peacefully protest for what they think is right – in this case for a memorial in honor of these brave gentlemen. In my blog I encouraged people to write complaint- and petition-letters, because I think that this is the most effective way to give them their memorial, but as it seems there are multiple methods people could use for their protest. For example to urge our politicians to do more against the pollution of the sea a German animal-aid organization once started a competition in which people had to upload pictures, music-videos and even photos of self-made carvings that dealt with the subject “How important is the protection of wild dolphins to me?” on the organization's homepage. The famous human rights organisation “Amnesty International” reacted to the discrimination of Copts in Egypt by sending a huge number of self-made Cardboard-Nofretetes to remind the Egyptian government that under Queen Nofretete Egypt was a multicultural state where people got along even though not all of them worshipped the same god. As a reaction to the increasing violence against women in India a group of ladies once spontaneously started a pantomimic show that dealt with this subject in a public place. To get Morgan the orca out of the tank where she currently isn't treated too well as it seems a teacher once told his class to draw a huge picture that dealt with the question why they should release this poor young whale and when it was done, the teacher published this. Last but not least people from (almost) all over Europe recently started to protest against their countries neglecting asylum-seekers. In Zurich for example – or at least that's what I've heard – an increasing number of placards, stickers and graffiti-paintings that state solidarity with refugees appear in more and more public places and in some German cities it has become popular to hang out flags of those countries where most refugees come from as if to say “You want to get rid of these poor African refugees? Then you have to send me away as well!”

All these examples prove that there are many ways to realize your dreams be it political wishes or not.

I thank everyone who follows this pledge of mine and I wish you all the best, good luck, God's blessings and have a nice day.

Yours faithfully,

Doris Schlapansky (alias “Dorothee”)

P.S. Please, Sir, you must tell me when you finally created your own blog. Your English seems to be perfect and I'm sure that the topic you choose for your blog will be very interesting.

04:25 AM Mar 07 2014

roman.lotarewicz
Poland

This is really interesting post and topic. I've never heard before about those Ireland soldiers and those protests. Thanks for improving my knowlegde about it. I'm very interested in history just in human aspects like these. I think there are many stories like that especially when it comes to our recent history. Your post is really inspirational for me and I think I should consider to start with my own English blog. Your remark about your lovely bunny and then how you remember the date is wonderfull.

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26

Female


Location

Germany

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College

English Study

Germany

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Interests

are reading, chatting, writing stories and poems, learning foreign languages, playing the guitar, singing and painting. I know it may sound strange, but one of my hobbies is to discuss any subject whatsoever, since I like finding arguments to support my points of view. In addition I like watching musicals and plays. I don't know if you really can call this a hobby, but I like showing that I'm an ambitious girl.

In my opinion, becoming acquainted with other people is a lot of fun and exciting. I try to help people and animals from my surrounding as well (and if you are interested in it I can give you some websites of organizations that also help them, e.g. "http://www.streetchildafrica.org.uk/"). I'm happy when I can do anything for them. Betimes I support different organizations that help poor people or animals too. Of course I also like my family and my friends. In my opinion the tropical rainforest is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It's the habitat of many endangered, beautiful and important animals. So it's such a shame that more and more of it gets destroyed. Here you can find more information and ideas to help "http://www.saveourearth.co.uk/soe_article.php?id=59" and "http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/935075622". However you can also visit "http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/orangutan.html". I like people who don't mind that I mind;) when people misuse the name of God-by saying "Oh my G...d!" or "G...d... it!" for example-and even take me serious when I tell them that I don't like them using expressions like this or swear words. The only sports I enjoy practising is a special form of gymnastics that involves the training of the legs as well as the abdominals.

I try to avoid argues with the people from my surroundings since I just want peace. Also I hate things like blasphemy or people who make fun of religious subjects. ( I mean...Geez! You accuse religious people of being intolerant towards atheists and yet you are not willing to show respect and tolerance towards them. ) Nor do I tolerate racial prejudices, drugs, alcohol, violence, recklessness, bullying, undemocratic countries, parties or just undemocratic people etc. ... and depending on the situation I usually don't like lies (I'm not talking about the song "Lies" ;) ). Since it is rude and also dull, I despise people who curse just because they want to get attention or because they try to be cool...By the way there isn't a reason to curse when you're angry either: I know a few cases in which people were able to train themselves to use alternatives to cursing words, like saying funk instead of ... or ship instead of *** :D. In my opinion this is far cooler than ordinary cursing words and it also helps at least as much in letting out one's anger. Some people even allow free play to their anger by only imitating the beeping sound you can sometimes hear when they curse on TV. :D On the other hand I think the latter only helps when your anger isn't that strong. Though there still are people who claim it to be healthy to curse, there are scientists who say this is wrong and also according to my personal experience I agree on the latter, so I just don't see any sense in using rude words like that.

I like dark blue, yellow and orange!

I like all sorts of noodle casseroles.

of mine is orange juice!

I often listen to the CD "Artists united for Haiti-Are you listening". However at the moment my favorite CD is "Helping Haiti/Everybody Hurts", not only because I like the song and most of the singers involved, but also because it's good that they do a project like this to help Haiti. Other CD's I like are "Hope for Haiti Now"-which is sung by various artists aswell-and "We Are the World 25 for Haiti", since I like the song and the new performance of the artists. By the way I prefer happy songs to sad ones. Apart from that I'm rather open-minded and I listen to songs from every musical genre.

My favorite movies are documentations like "National Geographic: Really Wild Animals - Totally Tropical Rain Forest" and "The End of the Line" (not only because of the amazing shoots used there) but to be honest I prefer books to movies: I love reading them in every language I know. My favorite book is "Traitor" by Gudrun Pausewang which I read in my native language and in English. After reading this you may guess that most of the books I read are based on true stories. "The Traitor" for example is based on World War 2. Especially eye-witness accounts are interesting for me, e.g. "Eyewitness Auschwitz: Three Years in the Gas Chambers" written by Filip Muller. These books are useful for everyone who wants to learn about history and read exciting novels at the same time. I also like stories I can translate into my own life: Such as when a person (no matter whether it's a villain or any other person) makes a mistake, regretts it and tries to recompense everything (also called dynamic character): Such as me! I think a lot about my past-the things I said and did-and I try to make everything (as far as it's possible) better in the future. So reading these books also helped me in my development.

: "http://www.thaichildrenstrust.org.uk/donate" (they help disadvantaged children from Thailand), "http://www.nanhikali.org/home/index.aspx" (they help disadvantaged Indian children, just as "http://www.childlineindia.org.in/"), "https://www.chailifeline.org/" (belongs to an organisation that tries to support ill children), "http://www.compassion.com/about/aboutus.htm" (a Christian organisation that helps children in need), "http://www.freethekids.org/" (they help children in greatest need, so we should help them), "http://www.unicef.org/" (the well-known aid organisation that helps children from developing countries), "http://www.kaicombeyfoundation.org/child-rescue-mission.htm" (they help poor children in some African countries), "http://www.panamainfo.com/en/donate-and-volunteer-panama039s-three-top-childrens039s-charities" (they help poor children from Panama), "http://www.africaguide.com/charity.htm" (they inform you about how to help disadvantaged children), "http://www.casa-alianza.org.uk/" (they help street children), "http://www.amchaghar.org/who-we-help.html" (they help disadvantaged children in India), "http://www.childrescue.net/" (they help them, too-just as the following organisation: "http://www.childrenwalkingtall.com/index.htm"), "http://www.save-streetchildren-uganda.com/" (they help Ugandan street children), "http://www.globalservicecorps.org/site/donate/" (they help people from extremely poor countries like Tanzania), "http://www.practicalaction.org.uk/?id=children_biolatrines" (they give children from developing countries the chance of education and they give YOU the chance to help), "http://www.iucn.org/" (they don't just protect nature, but they also inform you about it and even offer jobs in this occupational field), "http://www.bigsurlandtrust.org/get_involved/donate" (they conserve beautiful natural habitats), "http://savetheorangutan.org/splash.html" (the rainforest of Borneo is so beautiful and so are the orangutans living there), "http://www.worldwildlife.org/what/wherewework/amazon/index.html" (I'm sure you know this organisation that helps nature (in this case the Amazon)), "http://www.rainforestfoundationuk.org/index" (they help to protect rainforests and even show you how to get involved), "http://www.arf.net.au/", "http://www.rhinos-irf.org/srs/" (yes we can (save one of the most rare species in the world)), "http://www.philippineeagle.org/index?pageval=help" (they help the philippine eagle, a critically endangered species), "http://www.snowleopardconservancy.org/" (snow leopards are so beautiful and due to this fact they are so endangered), "http://www.seashepherd.org/sponsors.html" (you may know this organisation, which is against whaling), "http://www.wspa-international.org/wspaswork/bears/bearbaiting/default.aspx"(especially bear cubs are so cute, so it's good that they get help) and "http://www.pugrescue.com" (the organizations added there help pugs, my favorite dogs (by the way there are similar organisations, that help other pets, like other dog breeds, cats, horses or even ferrets, parrots etc., too-if you're interested in it you can find their websites easily via google))

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