History Nuggets: #2 September 2018

“Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Kierkegaard

Film Review: Operation Finale

OperationFinale

Figure 1 By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58401347

Operation Finale. Directed by Chris Weitz. Produced by Automatik Entertainment, 2018.

It is a rare occasion when I truly enjoy a movie. Considering the cost associated with having a complete movie experience (buying a ticket, popcorn, and a drink), the reward generally falls short of the investment. Even more so for films based on historical events. Frequently, historically based films require a creative license to produce a story that can understood in a limited time frame and that is commercially viable. However. creative license often challenges historical accuracy. Operation Finale proved to be a movie I enjoyed. Creative license was taken, and the film is not accurate to history, but I enjoyed it because it delivered a few things I rarely experience with modern movies.

Biography: Mátyás Rákosi

Rakosi

Figure 1: Foto: Hungarian Government

One of the “Little Stalins” installed to power in the wake of the Red Army’s march toward Germany during the closing months of World War II, Mátyás Rákosi certainly shared his sponsor’s brutality. Crude in his behavior, a trait he nurtured as a badge of his lower-class status, Rákosi helped fashion Hungary’s Socialist catastrophe. Employing identity politics and “salami tactics” Rákosi slowly sliced away all those opposed to collectivism. Fear, intimidation, and death were considered necessary tools in his effort to build a classless society. From his rise to leadership in 1945 to his forced exile in 1956 hundreds of thousands of Hungarians were either imprisoned or executed.         

History Nuggets: #1 September 2018

“Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of  preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who ever have been, and ever shall be, animated by the same passions, and thus they necessarily have the same results.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Machiavelli

                                                                                  

Disrespect at the Winged Lion Monument!

I have re-blogged articles from this site before. It concerns a very important chapter in modern history. Unfortunately, it is chapter many choose to dismiss.

Free Czechoslovak Air Force

Neúcta k pomníku okřídleného lva!

In June 2014, the Winged Lion monument was unveiled at Klárov, Prague; a gesture from the British ex-pat community in the Czech and Slovak Republics to thank Czechoslovakia for its men and women who served in the RAF during WW2.

V červnu 2014 byl v Praze na Klárově odhalen „Okřídlený lev“, gesto díků komunity britských migrantů v České republice a na Slovensku určené československým mužům a ženám, kteří sloužili v řadách RAF v průběhu druhé světové války.

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In November 2017, phase II of this project was completed with the inclusion of panels listing the names of those 2507 Czechoslovak men and women who had served in the RAF.

V listopadu 2017 byla dokončena druhá fáze projektu zahrnující panely se seznamem jmen všech 2507 československých mužů a žen, kteří za druhé světové války sloužili v RAF.

Both these events received high media coverage –…

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Air Cafe Brno

This is a great blog. So many stories. Please, check it out.

 

Free Czechoslovak Air Force

For Czechoslovak RAF airmen relatives and enthusiasts, a key location to visit when in Brno is the Air Café.

Pro všechny příbuzné letců RAF a také jejich sympatizanty, kteří navštíví město Brno, je nemyslitelné, že by nenavštívili jejich kultovní místo – kavárnu Air Café.

Air Café origins go back to 1999 when brothers Albert and Adam Kronek began to develop their seemingly simple idea of combining the atmospheric environments of gastronomy and honouring the Czechoslovak airmen, who fought in the RAF during WW 2 in Great Britain in one establishment. The walls are decorated with numerous photographs of the airmen, posters, aviation artifacts and the glass display cabinets show many of their personal belongings which all have various connections to the four Czechoslovak RAF squadrons.

Vznik Air Café se váže k roku 1999, kdy bratři Albert a Adam Kronkovi spolu začali realizovat svoji zdánlivě prostou myšlenku – vytvořit gastronomický stánek…

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Book Review: History

History A Very

John H Arnold, History: A Very Short Introduction. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2000).

As one of the “A Very Short Introduction” series of books, John H Arnold’s installment on History is very short indeed, just 123 pages. It is also, very informative. History does more than define history as those things belonging to the past. It describes the act of creating history, a work of history. Much attention is given to the importance of research. Searching for, collecting, and organizing small bits of evidence. Allowing the evidence to prove both insights to, and questions about, a given topic. History also discusses sources, primary and secondary. Most of all, History explores historiography, the way in which each of us view history.

Book Review: 1453

1453 Cover

Roger Crowley, 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and The Clash of Islam and The West. (New York, NY: Hyperion, 2005).

There are events, history’s thunderclaps, that peal across time. Christian Europe’s resistance to Islam’s long campaign of expansion is punctuated by many significant events. Beginning with the Battle of Yarmouk in 636 to the Siege of Vienna in 1683, the forces of Islam proved nearly unstoppable as they wrested ever more territory, and people, from Christian realms. Perhaps the most significant event in this thousand-year drama, the Fall of Constantinople, occurred on May 29, 1453.

Trip to Europe: St. Vitus Cathedral Prague

On the occasion of our Thirtieth Anniversary, Mrs. Present and I traveled to Europe. We visited Budapest, Vienna, and Prague. It was remarkable. I will be posting highlights from the trip. Most posts will consist of short histories and a lot of photos. I will go in depth on others.

First up: St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague, CZ.

St Vitus West Doorway

West Face St. Vitus Cathedral

King Charles IV of Bohemia (later Holy Roman Emperor) began construction of St. Vitus Cathedral in 1344 AD. Two previous churches had existed on the site, the first being built in 925 AD. Construction of St. Vitus was lead by Matthias of Arras until he died in 1352. Peter Parler then assumed the role of head architect. Construction and restoration efforts continued until 1929, when the Cathedral was consecrated.

Veteran’s Day 2017

IMG_1112 (2)

Remembering a veteran, I did not have the honor of meeting.

My Father-In-Law

T/SGT Thomas Wayne Kelley Jr., USAF

BIRTH 12/09/1941

DEATH 08/30/1973

Pleasantville, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA