Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!






March 5, 2014

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



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



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



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



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




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


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.

July 3, 2013

My Israeli friend who is studying in Germany right now recently told me that he liked dogs. He said that he would like to take one from a German pet shelter and take it to his home in Israel when he would leave. When he asked me if I would mind asking some pet shelters whether or not they would give their dogs away to foreigners like him, I accepted. His German actually is very well, but since I am a native speaker he just thought it would be a better idea if I asked them in his place.

When I did that I immediately remembered the newspaper article "Berlin's Forgotten Fighting Dogs" that appeared in the newspaper "Spiegel" just three months ago. The author of this article said that Germany's pet shelters are overcrowded with all kinds of dogs - not only fighting dogs. The sad thing is that actually most of these dogs maybe would have a home if it wasn't for the German law. In every federal state you have to pay taxes if you own a dog and depending on the breed and on where you live this can become more or less expensive after a while. Also landlords have the right to forbid their lodgers to own a dog, meaning that some dogs end up in shelters after their owner has to move. Also some dogs end up in shelters, because they are hybrids. If you buy a hybrid-puppy it is unpredictable how big this animal will grow and in some cases you are going to have a nasty surprise if the owner of this puppy's mother lied to you and it later turns out that some of this puppy's ancestors were aggressive - and aggressivity is inheritable. Also the state would take away a fighting dog if you don't pay the higher taxes that every federal state requires for fighting dogs, if your fighting dog becomes pregnant - even if it isn't your fault -, if your fighting dog hasn't been through an expensive character test and still doesn't wear a muzzle, etc. I heard rumours that in Lower Saxony things are more relaxed, but the rest of Germany is very strict. One of the dogs the author told about was a female pitbull terrier that was taken away from its owner when a male stray dog attacked them. She became pregnant and the owner didn't prevent the birth of her puppies, Another case was a very kind and peaceful stiffordshire terrier whose owner refused to pay the taxes and didn't make that dog wear a muzzle. However I think that the staff from an animal shelter knows what it's talking about and if they say that this or that dog is friendly, I think I should believe them instead of being afraid of this dog just because of its breed.

To keep a long letter short: I feel sorry for all these homeless dogs and I want to limit the stress the staff of these shelters has at the moment. The following animal shelters said they would give their dogs away to anybody who knows how to deal with dogs. Of course back then we were talking about my Israeli friend, but in this context this doesn't really matter:

If you bring along your pass, your certificate of residency and - in case you live in a rented apartment - also the written permission of your landlord, you should be allowed to take a dog from a German shelter as well. They care a great deal about the animals they give away, so be sure to have enough time for long open assembly times and a detailed talk with someone from the animal shelter.

For further questions please contact:

info@tierheim-gunzenhausen.de (pet shelter Gunzenhausen)

Tierheim.Worms@gmx.de (pet shelter Worms)

Matthias.Zauche@stadtweimar.de (pet shelter Weimar)

info@tsv-frankfurt.de (pet shelter Frankfurt)

heike.iben@tierschutz-berlin.de (pet shelter Berlin)

Judith.Brettmeister@tierschutzverein-muenchen.de (pet shelter Munich)

tierheim@tierheim-hd.de (pet shelter Heidelberg)

"What I am doing here is only a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less without this drop." (Mother Theresa)

I'm well aware that this blog won't inspire too many people to buy a dog from a shelter.

11:34 PM Aug 10 2017



Speaking of getting a pet from a pet-shelter:

"Tierschutz Euskirchen" says that in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany) there isn't a single pet shelter that could take in any more cats. Reason is that they've got so many kittens at the moment. Some of them were the result of people not wanting any pet-kittens, but at the same time not spaying their cats, while others were meant as gifts to someone who actually did not want to have a pet-kitten.

April 10, 2013

After taking the permission from this fund-raising project called "Reutlinger Bücher Börse" (Book Market of Reutlingen) I was allowed to create some placards as a form of advertisement for this project and to spread them on blackboards all over my universitty, since at "my" university students are allowed to use these blackboards. Anyway I also told them about some friends of mine who live too far away from Reutlingen to get there personally to donate their books and according to the gentleman I spoke to it would also be okay to send them by post.

Well, I think that if I just translate the message I wrote on these placards which I created, that should explain everything, but since Englishbaby is an international website, I should add that they only take books in English, French and German...

The original German text, since I know some users here who just like reading things in German:

Title: Reutlinger Bücher Börse

Text: Das ehrenamtliche Bücher-Börsen-Team fördert mit dem Erlös seines Kaufstandes soziale Caritas-Projekte.

Neue Annahmestelle für Ihre Bücher:

Kolpinghaus Reutlingen

Liststrasse 26


Jeden ersten Freitag im Monat: von 14:30 - 16:30 Uhr.


Translation - with information I thought I should add for foreigners:

Title: Book Market of Reutlingen

Text: The voluntary Book Market of Reutlingen-team supports social Caritas-Projects (Caritas is an aid-organisation) with the sales revenue of its sales booth.

New receiving office of your books, ladies and gentlemen:

Kolpinghaus Reutlingen

Liststrasse 26


(If you my friends from Englishbaby send them some books by post, you may add "Stichwort: Bücherspende" which means "Keyword: Book Donation" to the address.)

Every first Friday of the month between: half past 2 PM and half past 4 PM.

05:39 AM Jun 26 2013



Also I'm allowed to tell you the following; The ZSE is a German community of doctors from Tübingen /Baden-Wuerttemberg who try to find ways to heal all kinds of more or less unexplored diseases. Today the local newspaper of Tübingen published an article about what this organisation does. The author of this article also stated that the ZSE urgently needs more donations.

If you want to help - and also are able to help -, please donate to:

Volksbank Tübingen eG (BLZ 641 901 10)
Account Number 30 604 001
Verwendungszweck: Anlass (your name, dear Sir or Madam)

Thank you, dear Sir or Madam!


02:18 PM Jun 25 2013



Of course NABU permitted me to post all the information you read in my first comment.

02:05 PM Jun 25 2013



I'm sorry if my first comment looks kind of uncoordinated. It really isn't my fault. I tried hard, but englishbaby.com doesn't always allow you to leave gaps wherever you want. In the end I gave up and left it at that. My apologies!

01:56 PM Jun 25 2013



The German animal-aid organization NABU has been cooperating with E-Plus for more than two years now, but as it seems the news just stopped spreading after the first few months. Thus the number of people who even just knew about this project started to decrease rapidly as time passed by. At last NABU decided to advertise their project once more. It wasn't until two or three days ago that I even just read about this in a magazine.

About the project: E-Plus also uses parts from old mobile phones to recycle them and use them for new products. That actually already is a good thing, but the true project actually is that NABU provided some addresses where they would collect these mobile phones and then send them to E-Plus while the latter promised that they would donate three Euro per donated mobile phone to the NABU. My brother used to be a voluntary worker there and he told me that NABU really needs some more money now. Donations are rare and some of the plans they had needed to be dropped, because they couldn't effort them. However they are doing such an amazing job...They inform people about all kinds of plans and animals, treat sick and wounded animals, they have huge cages where they keep animals that were illegally raised and kept as pets by German citizens and thus can't be released into the wild etc. They even build nesting boxes for birds, bats and butterflies while I didn't even know until recently that butterflies sometimes use these boxes. With the ongoing destruction of nature these animals of course loose more and more of their natural habitat and thus depend on this form of aid. Thus I think they deserve more support than they already got.

If you've got an old mobile phone, you want to throw away anyway – and if you have the money to send something abroad - please send it to:

Umweltforum Mannheimer Agenda 21 e.V.

Aufstellungsort: NABU-Gruppe

Käfertalerstr. 162

68167 Mannheim



P.S. I apologize for all the errors I made in this e-mail, but here it's getting rather late now. I just wanted to post this today, because you never know what will be tomorrow. Also I already felt kind of lazy for pushing this aside for three whole days.