World War II

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Widow: I Planned on Feeding Husband to Birds

Ila Solomon wanted to grant dead husband's wish

(Newser) - The widow of a an 88-year-old Indiana man whose body remained in his home for as long as nine months after death has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges, and admitted that she wanted his body to be eaten by birds. Fifty-six-year-old Ila Solomon of Lafayette pleaded guilty to failure... More »

Family Finally Learns Fate of Man Who Punched Nazi

He was deported from Nazi-occupied Britain

(Newser) - A University of Cambridge archaeologist has discovered the sad end to a tale of resistance on the only British territory to be occupied by the Nazis during World War II—the Channel Islands. Sidney Ashcroft was 20 years old and living on the island of Guernsey in 1942 when, as... More »

Rarest Nazi Enigma Machine Sells for Record $365K

It was bought by an anonymous private collector at auction

(Newser) - The M4 is the rarest of the already rare Nazi Enigma machines, which could help explain why a working model just sold for a record $365,000 at an auction Wednesday in New York. The Guardian reports the 70-year-old encryption machine was purchased by an anonymous private collector. “The... More »

Nazis Turned Candy Bars Into Secret Weapon

WWII-era drawings reveal German booby-traps

(Newser) - First, force the British to endure food shortages—then make them eat exploding candy bars. That was at least part of the Nazi plan to destroy Britain during World War II, according to drawings of German weapons recently seen for the first time, the Smithsonian reports. Among the drawings: a... More »

Painting Looted by Nazis Turns Up in Ohio Home

Portrait of a Young Man was returned to Poland last week

(Newser) - A nearly 300-year-old painting stolen from Poland's National Museum by the Nazis during WWII was found in July hanging in an Ohio family's home, the Columbus Dispatch reports. Krzysztof Lubieniecki's Portrait of a Young Man is believed to have been looted by Nazi troops—like 70% of... More »

Thief Targets Hitler's Infamous Wolf's Lair

A plaque commemorating an assassination attempt on Hitler is missing

(Newser) - Someone has stolen a plaque commemorating the man who tried to blow up Adolf Hitler from its spot of honor at Hitler's infamous Wolf's Lair in Poland, AFP reports. According to the AP , a guide at what is now a popular tourist attraction noticed the plaque was missing... More »

Author: Nazi Soldiers Were High on Crystal Meth

Norman Ohler's new book also describes Hitler's drug use

(Newser) - You can add drug abuse to the long list of Nazi exploits, according to author Norman Ohler, who claims Adolf Hitler's soldiers were as high as a kite during World War II. When a friend mentioned Nazi soldiers used drugs, Ohler began scouring US and German archives and uncovered... More »

Why China Is Cutting 300K Troops

Beijing celebrates Communist's WWII 'victory over Japan'

(Newser) - Tanks, missiles, and troops in lock-step filed past Beijing's iconic Tiananmen Square in a massive parade today commemorating Japan's World War II defeat 70 years ago and underlining President Xi Jinping's determination to make China the pre-eminent Asian power. The spectacle involved more than 12,000 troops,... More »

How a Lost US Airman Might Come Home, 71 Years Later

Tom McCaslin's plane crashed in France in 1944

(Newser) - Tom McCaslin's family still hopes he'll come home, 71 years after his B-26 bomber crashed in a field in France. "I think everybody in the family would feel better," says his brother, Joseph McCaslin, one of four surviving siblings who've longed for his return. Now... More »

'Important Part' of WWII History Found 80 Feet Below

'It's a really very, very exciting discovery,' says dive team leader

(Newser) - The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are a chain of almost entirely uninhabited islands, atolls, and shoals that stretch across some 1,250 miles of the Pacific. Amid that large expanse has slumbered what's considered the largest shipwreck to have occurred in the islands: the Mission San Miguel, a naval tanker... More »

WWII Nurse Who Saved Hundreds of US Soldiers Dies

Augusta Chiwy: 'I would have done it for anyone'

(Newser) - Augusta Chiwy was an American heroine, though she hailed from abroad. Chiwy, a wartime nurse who saved the lives of hundreds of American soldiers injured in the bloodiest battle of World War II, the Battle of the Bulge, died Sunday near Brussels at age 94. Born in what is now... More »

WWII Bomber, Crew Emerge From Polish River

Soviet plane went down in tributary of Bzura River in 1945

(Newser) - The remains of a Soviet fighter-bomber plane and two crew members shot down by Germans in 1945 have been found in a river in central Poland amid extremely low water levels associated with a drought. Explorers made the find in the muddy tributary of the Bzura River, near the village... More »

WWII Tank Crushes Man at Jelly Belly Chief's Home

Herman Rowland's son-in-law had permission to drive tank

(Newser) - A 54-year-old man was killed after being run over by a World War II-era tank over the weekend, but he wasn't on any kind of battlefield. Kevin Wright was attending a family reunion at the Fairfield, Calif., home of Jelly Belly Chairman Herman Rowland Sr. on Saturday when he... More »

Cities Scarred by WWII Mark 70th Anniversary of Its End

Fireworks in Honolulu, Nagoaka note Japanese surrender, end of the bloody conflict

(Newser) - The mayors of Honolulu and Nagoaka, Japan—two cities linked by World War II—joined hundreds of people last night to mark the 70th anniversary of the conflict's end by watching a spectacular 20-minute fireworks show. Part of Pearl Harbor, which is still an active naval base, opened to... More »

Japan Is Done Apologizing for World War II

Prime minister makes a notable break with tradition

(Newser) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today made a speech to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and he's making headlines for what he didn't say: We're sorry. Abe expressed "deepest remorse" for Japan's actions and "sincerest condolences" to its... More »

Child Taken From Mother by Nazis Finally Finds Her

Margot Bachmann was placed in a children's home shortly after her birth

(Newser) - One of the countless millions of family bonds severed by the chaos and horror of World War II has been made whole again after 71 years. Margot Bachmann's Italian mother was living in a forced-labor camp in Germany in 1944 when she was impregnated by a German soldier she... More »

Man, 80, Sets Self on Fire Over WWII Brothels

He had joined protesters demanding apology from Japan for 'comfort women'

(Newser) - For more than 20 years, South Korean activists have organized weekly protests in front of Seoul's Japanese Embassy to demand an apology for its women and girls who were used as sex slaves by the Japanese military during World War II, reports the AP . But while those demonstrations have... More »

70 Years Ago Today, 70K People Died in Nagasaki

Somber Mass marks devastating bomb that helped end WWII

(Newser) - Just after dawn today, the faithful filed into Urakami Cathedral in the Japanese city of Nagasaki for a Mass tinged with sadness. Seventy years ago, a US-dropped atomic bomb detonated about 550 yards from the church, killing two priests who were hearing confessions and about 30 other people inside—three... More »

70 Years Ago Today, Hiroshima Happened

Mayor renews call to rid the world of nuclear weapons

(Newser) - Japan marked the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima today, with Mayor Kazumi Matsui renewing calls for President Obama and other world leaders to step up efforts toward ridding the world of nuclear weapons. Tens of thousands of people stood for a minute of silence at 8:15am... More »

Archaeologists Find Historic Synagogue Ruined by Nazis

Remnants found beneath a school in Lithuania

(Newser) - The Great Synagogue of Vilna dated all the way back to the 1600s and was what the Jerusalem Post calls one of "the most historic and treasured landmarks of European Jewry." But that synagogue, in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, was all but destroyed by the Nazis during... More »

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