Odd Facts About World War 2, 1939 (2)

The Caption in War Illustrated for these articles reads: “Worth Noting Today, and Re-reading in Years to Come”

Life Among the Nazis
An Englishwoman, until recently resident in Berlin says: “At first it was rather fun to join the rush of Berlin haufraus every morning in the quest for butter and coffee. If you wanted something realy tasty you had to get up earlier than anyone else and storm the big market halls with your shopping basket and a powerful line in persuasive language. For years we have been rationed to seven ounces of butter a week for each person. Since the beginning of this year we have had four and a half ounces of coffee a week, unless you were absent when the coffee registration forms were sent out. In that case you just did without, or relied on friends bringing a packet from London, Prague and Denmark. Now that the food tickets have been issued, the German housewife can expect even less.

Air-Minded Youth
In the five months April to August, 1939, the total number of pilots, observers, airmen and boys recruited by the RAF was 17,755, compared with 9,714 for the corresponding period of last year.

Feeling the Pinch Already
Travellers arriving in Copenhagen stated that in Berlin police had been posted in provision shops in order to prevent customers from being served with the full amount of food to which the rationing scheme entitled them.

Dictators Become Governors
It is reported from Philadelphia that heads of the lodges of the Loyal Order of the Moose are to relinquish their title of ‘Dictator’ in favour of that of ‘Governor’ because political events in Europe have brought the former into such disrepute.

Bombs That Failed to Burst
It has been reported that two our three of the bombs used in the first air raids on Warsaw did not explode. On examination they were found to contain, instead of high explosive slips of paper bearing the words “We are with you in spirit” and signed “workers of the Skoda Arms Factory, Czecho-Slovakia
(Sunday Express, September 1939)

United Against Aggression
Men of every nationality are enrolling under the French colours. An American division may be formed, and it is claimed that 10,000 Americans have already applied to join.

No Repairs Undertaken
By a German ARP order, all windows are to be kept open in the event of an air raid, since window panes might be smashed by the blast of exploding bombs, and it would be impossible in wartime, because of the lack of materials, to repair them.

Straws in the Wind?
According to the Copenhagen newspaper ‘Berlingske Tidende’, the yellow benches in the Berlin parks labelled ‘For Jews Only’ have had these notices removed, and have been repainted green. Moreover, the signs ‘Jews Not Wanted’ has been removed from a number of shops.

The Eater Eaten
“Everything includes itself in power,
Power into will, will into appetite.
And appetite, a universal wolf,
So doubly seconded with will and power,
Must make itself a universal prey,
And last eat up itself”
(Shakespeare – Troilus and Cressida)

Hitler Speaks
“I will not wage war against women and children; I have ordered my air-force to attack only military objectives…If necessary I will sacrifice all. I do not desire that any German shall do other than I do. I do not want to be anything but a front soldier of the Reich”
(From his speech in Reichstag, September 1st 1939)

Class-Conscious Germany
“Mr Chamberlain dares to say in these leaflets that Britain is fighting for right against might, but when a million and a half Germans are tormented by a common nation like the Poles, we shall not be deterred from our duty by the British Government”
(Goering in speech broadcast September 9th 1939)

German Artists Thank Britain
The Executive Committee of the Free German League of Culture in England issued a statement in which they thanked the British people for the hospitality and help given to them and to their cultural activities in this country. The statement added: “the German artists, scientists and all those who stood up for cultural freedom were among the first victims of Nazi barbarism.”

War Prisoners
The International Committee of the Red Cross at Geneva have informed the Governments of belligerent States, and of several neutral States, that they are preparing to open a central agency in Geneva for information regarding prisoners of war.

Czech Legion
It was stated by the Ministry of Information that a Czech Legion is being formed in London. Circulars in connexion with the movement bear the signature of Dr Benes.

Through the Sandbags
Workmen piling up sandbags inside the entrance to Wandsworth Town Hall have had part of their time taken up in ushering couples through a labyrinth of sandbagged walls to the register office. “We’ve been leading them to matrimony since 7 o’clock this morning,” said a sturdy Cockney one day (Star)

Love Me, Love My Dog
More than 500 animals – mostly dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs – have been evacuated from 69 schools in the Metropolitan area by the RSPCA, who will maintain them, all separately labelled, as two animal care centres in the country.

Where Does The Sand Come From?
One of the chief sources of supply for London sandbags is Kensington Gardens, for here, under the turf, lie quantities of sand dumped after the Great Exhibition of 1851. Hampstead Heath and the Royal Parks furnish further supplies, and the sane deposits on the east Coast are also being drawn up.

ARP in the Vatican
For the first time in history gas masks have been distributed to the Swiss Guards, the Papal Gendarmes, and other employees of the Vatican State. Dim blue lights have been installed.

Crisis Film for Posterity
Among the 2,000,000 feet of films removed a cave “somewhere in Sussex” from London National Film Library were news reel shots of the Crisis. They will go down in history to show future generations how Britain stood up calmly to the war threat in August 1939.

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