Posts tagged with 'History'


  • Posted on January 19, 2013 at 11:01 pm

If you like to write with ink on paper, then you might be interested in pens. They don’t use electrical power, so no charging is necessary. The paper needs some big storage though. In case you are looking for a unique pen, check out the Wiener Füllfeder Werkstätte. They have old vintage pens (mostly European) and do not touch, repair or even talk about pens produced later than 1960.

Sick of History Lessons yet? Don’t be!

  • Posted on April 30, 2012 at 11:22 pm

Occasionally you will hear the statement „Haven’t we heard enough of World War II?“ or „Why do we still need to study the Nazi regime and its crimes against humanity?“. Phrases like this are not only popular with right-wing politicians and their flock. „Ordinary“ people say this, too. Are you also sick of history lessons? Well, you shouldn’t, and here’s why.

It is completely normal to shun bad news if you get an overdose of it. Even for a news addict like me it’s hard to digest the daily dose of absurdity and articles describing things preposterous to common sense. This is where you usually change the channel, so to speak. However this does not mean that you should stop educating yourself. The claim of the phrase „history repeats itself“ is fuelled by the statement „people stop to repeatedly educate themselves“. Once you stop, the historical memory effect sets in and the crimes done by nations, individuals and fanatics seem less and less cruel than they really were. We keep forgetting. You don’t even have to go back 70 years, there’s a lot of history in the past 60, 50, 30 or even 10 years.

So refresh your memory, compare the past with the present, and never stop this process! Otherwise history will most certainly repeat itself – since it is a completely new experience for you.

HMS Lancastria

  • Posted on November 21, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Most people know of the sinking of the SS Lusitania or the RMS Titanic. Few know of RMS Lancastria and her fate. I was among this group until yesterday. Janet Dempsey tells about the sinking of the ship while it served as a troop transport evacuating the 2nd British Expeditionary Force from France in June 1940.The abstract of her podcast explains the impact of the disaster.

„…HMT Lancastria was sunk by a German bomber while evacuating troops from St Nazaire; over 9,000 troops were packed on board. The exact number of soldiers who died that day will never be known, though even the lowest estimates rank this as the worst British maritime disaster in history, with losses exceeding those of the Titanic and Lusitania combined. This talk attempts to explain why so many who were lost will never be accounted for.”

The British governenment imposed a ban on reporting about the sinking. This was due to the flow of bad news from the continent following the German invasion of France. The troop ship was bombed by a German Junkers Ju 88 bomber. Three of four bombs hit the RMS Lancastria, exploding below deck, and causing her to sink within 20 minutes. Only 2 of the 32 lifeboats could be launched. Nearby ships rescued thousands of troops, but many more perished in the sea.

The Lancastria Association of Scotland continues the tradition of a parade and remembrance service every year.

Dive Safari – Day #3

  • Posted on September 24, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Welcome to our second day at sea (the first was 0)!

We visited the wreck of the SS Thistlegorm, a British freighter sunk by two German He111 bombers on 6 October 1941. I’ve been here before, but it’s always very special. You can still explore the two layers of cargo holds containing Morris jeeps, trucks, Lee Enfield MK III rifles, boots, crates, cables and boxes. The wreck is a relic of the Second World War. Sadly many divers forget that. Even worse, thieves raid the wreck and take souvenirs with them. The site is a grave and should be treated with respect.

Shutdown now. Diving down almost 30 metres and negotiating currents fosters tiredness.