World War II

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Microsoft Co-Founder Makes Big Find in Coral Sea

Billionaire Paul Allen found the wreckage of WWII's USS Lexington, one of the first US aircraft carriers

(Newser) - Badly damaged after four days of battle with the Japanese, "Lady Lex" was deliberately sent to the depths of the Coral Sea with a reported 216 bodies on board. It's there that one of the first US aircraft carriers slumbered undisturbed for 76 years, until a crew led... More »

Polish Official Says Germany Owes Poland $850B for WWII

'We are talking about very large, but justified amounts of compensation'

(Newser) - A Polish official said Friday that Germany could owe his country $850 billion for the damage it inflicted during World War II, the AP reports. Arkadiusz Mularczyk is leading a team in the parliament that is assessing potential reparations to Poland. Germany killed 6 million Polish citizens and caused great... More »

As WWII Ships Were Cut Up, Human Remains Were Tossed in Sea

Bones found based on information from port workers

(Newser) - Indonesian authorities have started to recover the bones of World War II sailors whose metal coffins were reportedly ripped apart by salvagers hoping to make a buck. Following reports that the bones of sailors were dumped in a shallow mass grave in Indonesia, officials have begun excavating three sites, including... More »

They Sold Painting to Escape Nazis. Now, Heirs Get It Back

Jewish couple parted with Joachim Patinir artwork under duress

(Newser) - A 16th-century oil painting that fell into Nazi hands during World War II was returned by France's government to a Jewish couple's heirs Monday. The Flemish painting Triptych of the Crucifixion is attributed to Joachim Patinir and it had sat unclaimed in a French museum for seven decades,... More »

I Asked the Nazis to Kill Me. Then My Ordeal Began

Holocaust survivor Edith Fox finally tells her story

(Newser) - Edith Fox says she's "afraid people are forgetting," which spurred the 90-year-old to do something she hasn't done in more than 70 years: recount her Holocaust story of survival. First appearing in the Arizona Daily Star in November, her account was on Saturday shared by the... More »

Report: Ripped From Ships, WWII Sailors Dumped in Mass Grave

Bones believed buried in shallow grave near Brondong

(Newser) - Their metal coffins ripped apart in the ocean, World War II sailors have reportedly found a new home: a shallow mass grave. Months after reporting that metal scavengers had destroyed some 40 British, American, Australian, Dutch, and Japanese warships in the Java Sea, the Guardian now describes what happened to... More »

Inspiration for 'Rosie the Riveter' Dies at 96

Naomi Parker Fraley worked in wartime machine shop

(Newser) - Former wartime factory worker Naomi Parker Fraley has died at age 96, years after a discovery that brought her great joy: She's believed to have been the real-life inspiration for the iconic "Rosie the Riveter" poster. Michigan factory worker Geraldine Doyle, who died in 2010 , was long thought... More »

Queen Learns Where Crown Jewels Were Hidden in War

Inside a cookie tin

(Newser) - A BBC documentary that aired last weekend about Queen Elizabeth had all kinds of interesting royal nuggets, but one revelation in particular was news to the queen herself. The makers of The Coronation were able to tell Elizabeth where her father hid the most precious of the crown jewels during... More »

'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' Must Go to Prison

Appeal of 96-year-old Oskar Groening is denied

(Newser) - German authorities have rejected a former Auschwitz death camp guard's bid for clemency, removing the final barrier to the 96-year-old serving his sentence for accessory to murder. Prosecutors rejected former SS sergeant Oskar Groening's clemency request filed earlier this week, per the AP . Groening had been known as... More »

Wichita Hangman Gained Renown for Nazi Executions

New book will chronicle controversial role of John C. Woods

(Newser) - The name John C. Woods may not be familiar to most Americans, but it turns out the Wichita native played a unique role in history in the aftermath of World War II. As the Wichita Eagle explains, Woods was a US Army executioner who hanged 10 prominent Nazi war criminals... More »

Auction House Asks That You Not Judge This Car Too Harshly

Hitler rode in it, but 'it did not choose its user or its use'

(Newser) - It's being called "the most historically significant automobile ever offered for public sale": the 1939 "Super Mercedes" once occupied by a standing Adolf Hitler. The AFP reports just four of the Mercedes-Benz 770K Grosser models were built, and the one being put up for sale in Arizona... More »

Man Who Doubts Auschwitz's Gas Buys Emperor's WWII Memoir

Dr. Katsuya Takasu paid $275K for Japanese Emperor Hirohito's recollections

(Newser) - Japanese Emperor Hirohito's WWII memoir was expected to fetch as much as $150,000 at auction in New York Wednesday. It instead sold for $275,000, but the sale price is potentially less interesting than the buyer: Dr. Katsuya Takasu, a man the BBC describes as an accused Holocaust... More »

He Spent His Life Assuming His Brother Died in WWII. He Didn't

Eliahu Pietruszka, 102, met the nephew he never knew he had on Thursday

(Newser) - Eliahu Pietruszka shuffled his 102-year-old body through the lobby of his retirement home Thursday toward a stranger he had never met and collapsed into him in a teary embrace. Only days earlier, the Holocaust survivor who thought his entire family had perished in WWII learned that a younger brother had... More »

'Impromptu Spy' of WWII Dead at 96

Irv Refkin carried out daring missions for Britain, then America

(Newser) - Irv Refkin enlisted in the Army in 1940, at age 19, and was sent to Canada after basic training to learn about explosives. But once there, a senior officer with whom he clashed sent him to Britain without notice. Shortly after arriving—the British military still thought he was Canadian,... More »

Man Who Famously Fought Off the Nazis Has Died

Easy Company's Donald Malarkey was 96

(Newser) - Donald Malarkey, a World War II paratrooper who was awarded the Bronze Star after parachuting behind enemy lines at Normandy to destroy German artillery on D-Day, has died. He was 96. Malarkey was one of several members of "Easy Company" portrayed in the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers. He... More »

Wreck of One of WWII's 'More Horrible' Tales Found

Paul Allen's expedition finds the wreckage of the USS Indianapolis

(Newser) - On July 30, 1945, having just helped deal what would prove to be a death knell to World War II, the USS Indianapolis was fatally torpedoed by the Japanese. She sank fast—in 12 minutes, giving no time for a distress call—and only 316 of the 1,196 Americans... More »

Tunnel Used in Biggest Nazi Prison Break of WWII Found

83 German prisoners of war escaped Welsh prison camp in 1945

(Newser) - In March 1945, 83 German prisoners of war escaped a prison camp in South Wales. It was the biggest escape of German prisoners during World War II, and now—thanks to a report published earlier this month in the Journal of Conflict Archaeology —we know how they did it.... More »

On Hiroshima's Anniversary, Specter of N. Korea

72 years since US dropped first atomic bomb

(Newser) - Hiroshima's appeal of "never again" on the anniversary Sunday of the world's first atomic bomb attack has gained urgency as North Korea moves ever closer to nuclear weapons, reports the AP . "Nuclear weapons just are unacceptable for mankind," says Toshiki Fujimori, who was just a... More »

96-Year-Old Ex-Auschwitz Guard Ruled Fit for Prison

Oskar Groening was convicted of being an accessory to murder

(Newser) - German prosecutors say they consider a 96-year-old former Auschwitz death camp guard who was convicted as an accessory to murder fit to go to prison, the AP reports. Oskar Groening was convicted in July 2015 of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews and sentenced to four... More »

Poland May Demand Germany 'Pay Terrible Debt They Owe'

Analysis of whether to make reparations claim due by Aug. 11

(Newser) - Poland is looking into demanding reparations from Germany for the massive losses inflicted on Poland during World War II. Arkadiusz Mularczyk, a lawmaker with the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), said Wednesday the Polish Parliament's research office is preparing an analysis of whether to make the claim and... More »

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