World War II

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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 »

Japan Releases Digital Version of Hirohito's Surrender Speech

He laments 'cruel' atomic bombs

(Newser) - The short speech that has reverberated throughout Japan's modern history since it was delivered by Emperor Hirohito at the end of World War II has come back to life in digital form. Hirohito's "jewel voice"—muffled and nearly inaudible due to poor sound quality—was broadcast... More »

Mitsubishi to US POW: Sorry for Enslaving You

Firm makes historic apology to 94-year-old

(Newser) - With the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II looming, Mitsubishi has finally apologized for using captured American troops as slave labor. At a ceremony at the Museum of Tolerance at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles yesterday, 94-year-old former POW James Murphy shook hands with Mitsubishi... More »

German Man Uncovers Nazi-Era Treasure

217 gold coins were found in a field

(Newser) - For anyone with a metal detector collecting dust in the closet, this story should keep the dream alive. A man in northern Germany turned up a gold coin in October while searching near a pine tree at a field's edge. Further searching yielded nine coins, at which point Florian... More »

New Mexico Residents: US Covered Up Atomic Test

Tularosa residents want government to acknowledge what happened in 1945

(Newser) - An unknown blast shook the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945, unsettling the historic Hispanic village of Tularosa. Residents there didn't learn that scientists from the then-secret city of Los Alamos had successfully detonated the first atomic bomb at the nearby Trinity Site until after the US announced... More »

WWII Tank Was Stashed in 78-Year-Old's Cellar

Prosecutors previously found stolen Nazi art in the pensioner's villa

(Newser) - It took 20 soldiers almost nine hours to remove a World War II "Panther" tank from a pensioner's cellar in a wealthy community in northern Germany—and that's in spite of the fact that the German army sent in modern recovery tanks to help confiscate the vintage... More »

WWII Vet 'Buried at Sea' Finally Coming Home

Remains of Tennessee Medal of Honor recipient are found on Pacific Island

(Newser) - The remains of a World War II Marine will finally be laid to rest after a 70-year search for his body. First Lt. Alexander "Sandy" Bonnyman Jr. was killed on Nov. 22, 1943, in the Battle of Tarawa, according to the Boulder Daily Camera . The Medal of Honor recipient... More »

Japan's Secret WWII Tunnels Finally Open

Site served as Imperial Navy headquarters in war's final days

(Newser) - On a hillside overlooking a field where students play volleyball, an inconspicuous entrance leads down a slope—and seemingly back in time—to Japan's secret Imperial Navy headquarters in the final months of World War II. Here, Japan's navy leaders made plans for the fiercest battles from late... More »

America's WWII Experiment: Gas Own Soldiers by Race

NPR speaks to survivors of the race-based experiments

(Newser) - Since 1993 we've known about a formerly classified government program that saw chemical weapons tested on our own troops during World War II. Today NPR peels back another layer of the onion, reporting that some of the experiments were performed on subjects grouped according to race. NPR says it'... More »

Violinist Finishes What the Nazis Interrupted

Nazis forced dad Ernest Drucker offstage in '33

(Newser) - In 1933, promising young Jewish-German violinist Ernest Drucker left the stage midway through a Brahms concerto in Cologne at the behest of Nazi officials, in one of the first anti-Semitic acts of the regime. More than 80 years later, his son, Grammy-winning American violinist Eugene Drucker, has completed his father'... More »

In a Small Dutch Village, Our Dead Soldiers Are Loved

How our fallen are cared for at a cemetery on the outskirts of Margraten

(Newser) - As many lay wreaths and place flowers at the graves of fallen soldiers this Memorial Day weekend, the Washington Post takes readers to a cemetery far beyond our borders: one in the Dutch village of Margraten, the only American military cemetery in the Netherlands, per the American Battle Monuments Commission... More »

Lithuanian Building Holds Secret of Nazi, Soviet Past

Local discovers it was made from tombstones pilfered from Jewish cemetery

(Newser) - Giedrius Sakalauskas always thought there was something strange about the graffiti-sprayed, bunker-like structure in a leafy area outside Vilnius, Lithuania. Why build an electrical substation with granite blocks instead of regular bricks? When he examined the building more carefully this month, he made a chilling discovery: Dozens of stones had... More »

Under Armour Yanks T-Shirt That Looked Like This

Company under fire for basketball tee inspired by Iwo Jima Memorial

(Newser) - What may have started out as a well-intentioned tribute to one of the most iconic images of WWII turned into a PR nightmare for Under Armour. The sports clothing company has pulled its "Band of Ballers" T-shirt (which showed a group erecting a basketball hoop) after complaints started pouring... More »

Japan City Wants Recognition for Kamikaze Past

But it's unclear whether UN group will grant formal approval

(Newser) - A Japanese city's plan to seek UNESCO recognition for its collection of documents related to its role as a launching base for "kamikaze" suicide attacks during World War II is raising questions over how such memories should be preserved. Kampei Shimoide, mayor of Minamikyushu, and others associated with... More »

Poland Outraged by FBI Chief's Holocaust Remarks

He listed Poles alongside Germans as 'murderers and accomplices'

(Newser) - Angry Polish leaders have demanded an apology from the US ambassador after some ill-judged remarks on the Holocaust from FBI Director James Comey. "In their minds, the murderers and accomplices of Germany, and Poland, and Hungary, and so many, many other places didn't do something evil," Comey... More »

World War II Ship Found Off California Coast

USS Independence, a nuclear relic, was scuttled by the Navy

(Newser) - A fascinating piece of World War II history has been found 30 miles off the coast of northern California. Researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Boeing teamed up to locate the USS Independence, an aircraft carrier that saw action in the war and then became a nuclear... More »

Pearl Harbor's 'Unknowns' May Finally Go Home

Military to exhume, try to identify USS Oklahoma's dead

(Newser) - Tom Gray's family has waited for more than 70 years to bring home the remains of his cousin who was killed in the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Yesterday, they got a step closer when the military announced it will exhume and attempt to identify the remains... More »

WWII Codebreaker's Notebook Sells for $1M

Turing notes show steps toward modern computing

(Newser) - A notebook that sheds light on how British mathematician Alan Turing helped invent modern computing—and win World War II—was sold for just over $1 million at an auction in New York yesterday. The 56-page handwritten notebook dates from 1942, when Turing was helping crack Nazi Germany's Enigma... More »

Exhibit Details Japanese Experiments on US POWs

American prisoners had organs removed, were injected with seawater

(Newser) - The crew of an American B-29 bomber brought down in May 1945 by Japanese fighters were able to bail out, but the 11 men who survived met with only horror on the ground. Now their fate is being documented as part of a new exhibit at a museum on the... More »

Bodies of WWII Soldiers Found in Sealed Cave

Searches underway in Palau to locate more Japanese soldiers' remains

(Newser) - The island nation of Palau is preparing for a visit from Japan's Emperor Akihito next week with an unusual and grim task: It's investigating long-sealed caves on the island of Peleliu to look for the remains of Japanese soldiers from World War II. The remains of six soldiers... More »

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