12.1 C
Spain
Thursday, October 29, 2020

Adding a personal touch to the Battle of Dunkirk

Must read

In memoriam Lee Teng-hui, first native President of Taiwan

Lee Teng-hui, one of Asia’s most relevant leaders of the 20th century, passed away on July 30th, aged 97.

About the very different drinking culture in Taiwan

In Mandarin, days and months don’t have proper names like in Western languages, but are just numbered. So the 9th of September...

Gender indoctrination of the youngest reaches Taiwan

Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s biggest port and third largest city, has a population of almost 2.8 million. Huang Jie (born 1993) is a local...

Former “Free China” developing a distinct Taiwanese identity

Taiwan, according to the current Constitution still called the "Republic of China", was baptized "Formosa" by some Portuguese sailors which never went...
Flying Dutchman
Flying Dutchman
For detailed biographical information, please check the very first article of this blog. Thanks!

The Battle of Dunkirk was somehow part of my childhood, because my father had taken part in it as a 20 year old German soldier with a good knowledge of the French language. He therefore also helped out as an interpreter. Drafted into the Wehrmacht in summer 1939, he participated in the Polish Campaign as a wireless operator before ending up on the Western Front.

He seldom talked about the war, though Dunkirk was a location that he mentioned occasionally. There he captured two young unarmed English soldiers, which were hiding in a ditch and scared out of their minds. At the time he didn‘t speak much English yet (as he went to London roughly ten years later to do so), but somehow calmed them down. They came out with their hands up and he accompanied them to a nearby gathering place for prisoners of war.

My father never saw them again, and they probably both went home happily in 1945, or maybe earlier during a POW exchange. However, for the rest of his life he remembered the huge amounts of corned beef tins and fine RAF pilot jackets that fell into German hands during those turbulent weeks. As he was never interested in fashionable clothing, he probably even didn’t try to get one of those…

99 British soldiers from the Royal Norfolk Regiment weren’t so fortunate. After they had surrendered near the village of Le Paradise to the 4th Company of the Waffen-SS Division Totenkopf, under the command of Hauptsturmführer (the equivalency of a captain in foreign armies) Fritz Knöchlein, they became victims of a summary execution. The two survivors managed to achieve justice for their comrades after the war. Knöchlein was hanged as a war criminal on January 21st, 1949 in Hamburg.

I didn’t bother to see the 2017 action movie named after the battle, as I barely pay attention to Hollywood productions anymore. Most offer little more than the usual propaganda. British-American filmmaker Christopher Nolan openly admitted that he had embraced German director Werner Herzog’s idea of “ecstatic truth” in fiction…

- Advertisement -

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest article

Singapore and Taiwan: No diplomatic relations, but military ties

Though an exchange of trade missions between both countries occurred in 1969, Singapore never had diplomatic relations with the Republic of China...

Vidkun Quisling, a name that became a synonym for collaboration

Norwegian military office and politician Vidkun Quisling was executed at Akershus Fortress, a medieval castle in the Norwegian capital Oslo, on October...

The controversy about Retrocession Day on October 25th, 1945

After the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894/95, by signing the Treaty of Shimonoseki on April 17th, 1895, China was originally forced to...

Some facts and thoughts about the UN on its 75th birthday

On October 24th, 1945, shortly after the end of World War II, the United Nations (UN) were founded in San Francisco as...

VOX motion of no-confidence against Pedro Sánchez fails

As expected, on October 22nd, 2020 the motion of no-confidence filed by the conservative party VOX failed after a heated two-day debate...