Thursday, May 14, 2009



It is amazing to think that November 11 2008 represents the 90th anniversary of the end of ‘the war to end all wars’. Britain lost almost a million men during this war. A million sons. Think about that for a second when you are having a bad day because the fax machine is jammed.
Sixty-four years after the end of the Second World War, still secrets and incidents are making headlines and news.

A few years ago, a man in Australia, weighed down by some harrowing psychological and emotional baggage finally divulged fragments of his life that he kept hidden for decades.

Revealing to friends and family, how he, at the age of five, he had been adopted by the SS and became a Nazi mascot.

In April this year another secret was discovered, when builders found a bottle had been left in the cement of a bunker near the Auschwitz camp. The message, written in pencil and dated 9 September 1944, bears names, camp numbers and home towns of seven young inmates from Poland and France. When it investigated it was found that not only did three of the names on the paper live through the holocaust, one is still alive today and living in the south of France.

On April the 21st a wail of sirens brought Israel to a standstill on Tuesday morning for a two-minute silence to remember the victims of the Holocaust. Six million Jews were murdered in the Nazi Holocaust during WWII. Yet there are an estimated 250,000 Holocaust survivors still alive and living in Israel, many however below the poverty line.

Now this month, Pope Benedict XVI has condemned those that deny the holocaust actually happened. He said the suffering of Holocaust victims must never be denied as he visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.

I well remember back in 1973 when the British television (ITV) aired what was to be the first of 26 episodes of “THE WORLD AT WAR”. And how my parents wanted us to see the programs that did not glorify the war but showed it all as it happened, including the terrible scenes as the troops first entered the concentration camps and what they found.

World at War is actually rated in the top twenty British television programs of all time.

So I for one am glad that from time to time, news filters through from the past to keep us remembering about all that went on all those years ago.

As Laurence Binyon wrote in his poem “For the Fallen”

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.


  1. Amen, brother. Great blog post, Barry!

  2. My step-mother's grandparents were both Auschwitz survivors who lived past 100.

    I had heard about the bottle incident. Hopefully we'll never forget this time in history.