Category: Nazis

Categories

Namibia

I’ve finally finished processing the many photos I took in August in Namibia. Most were taken in RAW format so required a lot of developing/processing (white balance, exposure, etc.) so that was quite a bit of work, but that’s now done. In this new post I’ll give a general overview and a few taster photos (15 in total) – naturally with an emphasis on dark-tourism-relevant aspects.

One of the very darkest chapters in Namibian history was what is widely regarded as the 20th century’s first genocide, namely against the Herero and Nama peoples at the hands of the German colonial military, the so-called “Schutztruppe” (‘protection force’). This took place (mostly) between 1904 and 1907. One particular place

Very Dark Times for Ukraine

I’ve been struggling for words over these past three days. But slowly they are coming back.

And I thought I just have to speak out in some way rather than just staying silent. So I decided to throw my otherwise self-prescribed political neutrality on this blog overboard and make a statement.

In a way that’s partly because now it’s personal. Putin’s

Another revelation: Warth Mill & Hutchinson Camp

this same week I also came across another revelation of yet another dark chapter of British history that I had not been aware of in this form before: the mass internment of Germans and Austrian as “enemy aliens” in 1940 and the horrendous conditions the early places of internment came with.

Most of the internees were refugees from the Third Reich who had found a safe haven in a welcoming Britain, including many Jews who had fled the

9 November

9 November 1938 was a day of infamy, when throughout the Third Reich (by then including Austria) Nazi mobs attacked and humiliated Jews openly, destroyed Jewish businesses and desecrated and burned down numerous synagogues. This is now officially referred to as the November Pogrom(s), but is still commonly also known as “Kristallnacht”, typically rendered in English as “Night of Broken Glass”. The older term, and especially its longer form “Reichskristallnacht”, are now avoided as they

Dark Tourism & Furniture

And here comes the second of the themed posts (after last week’s “DT & hands”) that featured in our most recent poll, which didn’t have a clear result. So for this time I’ve picked furniture.

The photo below was taken at the DDR-Museum (‘GDR museum’) in Berlin and shows a reconstruction of the furnishings of a typical East German 1970s/early 80s living room – note in particular the

31 Years of German Reunification

Today is the 31st anniversary of the official reunification of Germany on 3 October 1990. I already marked this last year on the 30th anniversary with a special post that recycled four posts from my purged Facebook DT page taken from my archived version. Today I won’t repeat that. Instead I’ll give you a few photos from different corners of Germany that illustrate the diversity of the country and its dark-tourism portfolio.

I’ll begin with

Sobibór

A week ago I came back from my two-week trip to Poland and Germany. One key element of this trip was to revisit Sobibór. Of the three sites of the Operation Reinhard (and “Final Solution”) death camps in eastern Poland, Sobibór had long been the most neglected, despite the famous revolt there in October 1943, which has twice been turned into a movie. In recent years, however, the Sobibór site has been totally transformed. First it

Majdanek

On (or around) this day, 77 years ago, on 23 July 1944, the concentration camp of Majdanek was liberated by the Soviet Red Army. They found only a few hundred weak and ill prisoners left. The rest had already been “evacuated”. The SS retreated with such haste that they didn’t destroy much evidence of their deeds here, so the

Spanish Civil War

On this day, 85 years ago, on 17 July 1936, the Spanish Civil War started with the rebellion, led by right-winger Nationalist Francisco Franco, within the military against the left-wing Republican government, first in Morocco, but soon also in the Spanish homeland.

In 2015, just before the 79th anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict, my

A medical theme

To make up for last week’s absence of a new blog post (and the likelihood of there not being one next week), I give you an extra-elaborate one today – on a medical theme, not decided on by a readers’ poll, but just by myself. The reason being that early tomorrow morning I’ll have my left hand operated on. Hence I picked the above photo as the lead image.

I took that in

Dark Tourism and Bars

The topic of this blog post was decided by the most recent theme poll, where it sailed to a clear victory over all the other options by a huge margin (as reported in last Sunday’s newsletter). So here we go.

As a couple of commentators noted, the word ‘bars’ is of course lexically ambiguous, and exploiting that double meaning had been my intention all along. So let’s begin with the darker side of bars – those you sit behind in prisons and similar institutions.

The first

Another Nine Eleven

In 1989 it was on this date that the Berlin Wall “fell”. In actual fact it was just that the border crossing points between East and West Berlin were opened, but soon after people began hacking at the Berlin Wall. A bit later the Wall was actually dismantled systematically. And so the most iconic symbol of the Cold War, the most fortified and secured stretch of the Iron Curtain, disappeared. Almost all of it, that

30th Anniversary of German Reunification

On this day, thirty years ago, on 3 October 1990, Germany was officially reunified and the GDR (the old communist East German state) ceased to exist, just eleven months after the so-called Fall of the Berlin Wall (or, more precisely, the opening of the border crossing points, which is generally seen as the beginning of the end for the GDR). The physical Wall too was soon after mostly demolished. So it has now actually been gone longer than it had been in existence! How time flies.

30 years is of course a big anniversary and the German media are predictably full of

New Flak Tower Photos – and a New Poll

Flaktürme, or ‘flak towers’, in Vienna’s Augarten park. In case you don’t know, “Flak” is short for “Flugabwehrkanone”, or ‘anti-aircraft gun’, and these towers were constructed to house batteries of big guns of that type during WWII. They were each complemented by another tower for radar/aiming technology. Hence the main towers were called “Gefechstturm” (‘combat tower’), while the smaller secondary tower was called “Leitturm” (‘directing tower’ or ‘lead tower’). Thus these installations always came in pairs. On the lower floors they additionally provided much needed air-raid-shelter space for civilians. But in their main military purpose,

Light at the End of Dark Tunnels

The idiomatic phrase ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ is probably being used a lot in these weird times– as something that is hoped for, the end of a crisis. Alas, with regard to the current pandemic, that light remains very faint at best, if it’s discernible at all. There’s still no cure, no vaccine, no clear outlook of what’s yet to come.
These thoughts inspired me to look through my photo archives searching for images of tunnels with lights at their ends, and indeed there have been some on my extensive travels. Here we go, the first one is

Dark Tourism & Villas

As decided in our recent poll, this blog post’s theme will be villas. You’ve probably been wondering how something as nice as a villa can be dark – but just read on …

Let’s start on a grand scale. The photo below shows Villa Grande.
This grand pile, more a stately mansion than a mere villa, really, was the oversized home of Vidkun Quisling, the right-winger who assumed power in Norway during World War Two as Germany’s Nazis invaded, with whom he happily collaborated. That’s what’s given the English language the expression “a quisling regime”!

Today the building houses