Dutch nazis’ mass murder of Soviet Jews

This video is an Alfred Hitchcock documentary on the Nazi Holocaust.

Translated from the Dutch historical magazine Historisch Nieuwsblad:

Dutch Waffen-SS men took part in the Holocaust

Dutch who during the Second World War fought in the German Waffen-SS were involved in the murder of Jews in the Soviet Union. Historian Evertjan van Roekel has found evidence for this in their diaries. In Historisch Nieuwsblad (3 /2010),

Later in this article, number 2/2010 is mentioned, which very probably is the correct number.

Van Roekel demolishes the claims of Dutch eastern front veterans that they were just ordinary soldiers.

In the Dutch Institute for War Documentation (NIOD), Van Roekel studied diaries of Dutch people who fought in the SS-DivisionWiking“. In three of them he found shocking descriptions of massacres of Jews in the Soviet republic Ukraine. In and around the city of Tarnopol, Dutch soldiers participated on 4 and July 5, 1941, in torturing, shooting and burying Jews.

The Dutch SS men took the killings for granted. One of them wrote in his diary: “It will be obvious to everyone that we SS men act ruthlessly against the Jews.” Another one recalled: “How beautiful it was to see in Tarnopol a chief rabbi hanging from the tower of his synagogue, and then set fire to the synagogue. ” Also in Mariupol city, the SS went into a murderous frenzy. “Mariupol fell into our hands and the finest booty we had dreamed of was to get the 13,000 Jews who were living there into our fingers alive, but of course they did not come out of them alive.”

According to Van Roekel, the diaries shed new light on the Dutch eastern front soldiers’ share of the Holocaust. The claims of veterans, who say that they had heard only after the Second World War about the German crimes against the Jews and that those crimes then supposedly scared them, is invalidated by the diaries.

That historians are new to this evidence against Dutch SS soldiers is blamed by Van Roekel on the poor legibility of the diaries. “They were extremely difficult to decipher,” he says. “I’ve worked at that for months. This will probably be the reason why everyone, including renowned researchers, has not mentioned the passages about the gruesome murder of the Jews previously.”

For the complete article by Evertjan van Roekel, see Historisch Nieuwsblad No. 2, 2010, which appears on Thursday, February 25.

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Australian freshwater fish endangered

This video says about itself:

10 April 2010

Critically endangered around the world, Australia is the last bastion for the Freshwater Sawfish (Pristis microdon). The team from Cairns Marine venture into the remote and inhospitable regions of the southern Gulf of Carpentaria, home to an abundance of crocodiles, in order to collect a small number of juvenile specimens for conservation and display in public aquaria.

From Murdoch University in Australia:

Freshwater fish under pressure

Friday, 26 February 2010

Sources of groundwater such as springs are helping keep threatened species alive, by providing a supply of good water.

Habitat change, decline in water quality and introduction of exotic fishes has had a major impact on the freshwater fish of the South-West, according to Murdoch freshwater fish experts Drs David Morgan and Stephen Beatty.

The Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research researchers say extensive surveys in every river system in Western Australia’s South-West have shown major range reductions and loss of populations of the region’s unique freshwater fishes, a number being listed as endangered. …

“These areas of fresh groundwater intrusions in systems such as the Blackwood River effectively dilute the main channel and maintain permanent tributary habitats for threatened species, such as the Balston’s Pygmy Perch, and therefore it is very important to maintain this input – particularly in light of the predicted reduction in rainfall due to climatic change in the South-West,” Dr Beatty said.

“The surveys have mapped the introduction and colonisation of feral fishes such as goldfish [see also here] and mosquitofish that are also having a massive impact on these fishes.

“In fact, our research has shown that there are now more species of exotic fishes than natives in these waterways, with a number of new species having being recently recorded.”

The Freshwater Sawfish (also known as the Largetooth Sawfish or Leichhardt’s Sawfish) is a critically endangered species that can be found between latitudes 11 N and 39 S in the Indo-West Pacific oceans. It grows up to 23 ft (approx. 7 m) in length: here.

New species of stingray discovered off Western Australia: here.

Talking about fish in Australia; from the University of Queensland:

Poisonous friends help mimic

Friday, 26 February 2010

UQ research has found being a copycat works out pretty well for a certain reef fish.

Dr Karen Cheney, from the School of Biological Sciences, has revealed the secrets of an underwater imposter – the bicolour fangblenny.

“This fish resembles another poisonous reef fish – the yellowtail fangblenny – to avoid predator attack and to also avoid detection from passing reef fish, which they approach and attack to gain a meal of skin and fins,” Dr Cheney said.

“This is the first example of a mimicry system in which the mimic gains multiple benefits from its resemblance to another species.”

The research, conducted at Hoga Island, Indonesia, and at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef, involved observing the number of attacks made by the mimic and how close it stayed to the fish it resembled.

Mimics who stayed in close proximity to models were more likely to be successful in securing food, Dr Cheney found.

To investigate whether the mimics also benefited from a reduction in predator attacks, Dr Cheney placed replicas – photographs glued to Perspex – of the bicolour fangblenny among potential predators.

“Significantly fewer predators approached the true replica compared with the other replicas,” she said.

Dr Cheney said it was possible that the mimic used its colour as a signal to warn potential predators not to attack.

A previous study conducted by Dr Cheney confirmed cleaner fish – which remove parasites from passing reef fish – used colour to advertise their services.

The study will be published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B on February 24.

In a remarkable new finding, scientists have reported that certain coral reef fish use ultraviolet (UV) vision to tell the difference between their own and other similar species: here.

Top 10 Most Endangered Fish Species: here.

Britain: Teenage angler reels in 5lb goldfish: here.

March 2011. A biologist from the University of Toronto has discovered a new kind of tropical freshwater stingray. Dr Nathan Lovejoy’s 10 years of research with his collaborator, Marcelo Rodrigues de Carvalho of the University of Sao Paolo, confirmed the first new genus of stingrays from the Amazon region in more than two decades: here.

Object Recognition in Fish: Scientist trains goldfish to touch objects for food rewards: here.

Bullying turtle named after Gordon Brown

This video from the USA says about itself:

The common snapping turtle often inhabits water with muddy bottoms that are better for hiding. Discover facts about common snapping turtles with information from a published biologist in this free video on turtles and reptiles.

From the Daily Telegraph in Britain:

Bullying turtle named after Gordon Brown

A bad tempered turtle has been named Grumpy Gordy and moved into solitary confinement, after bullying other aquatic lifeforms at Scotland’s largest sanctuary for marine animals.

Published: 7:30AM GMT 24 Feb 2010

Staff at the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary near Oban had to isolate their new Snapper Turtle for bullying behaviour almost as soon as he arrived there on Monday. They immediately named him after Gordon Brown, according to centre spokeswoman Ellie Cowley.

Ms Cowley said: “Bullies are said to have a hard outer shell, and the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary’s newest resident is no exception.

“Grumpy Gordy was immediately confined to the ‘naughty’ tank after his snapping tantrums shocked Sea Life staff into deciding he would be a danger to the other turtles.”

Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary Manager Alex Blackman said: “We had to confine Gordy to his own tank. Snapper Turtles have a razor sharp beak which could easily take off a finger, so he could really have done his tank-mates some damage.

“Staff helping to move him had to go and get extra thick gloves to move him into his tank, and started calling him Grumpy Gordy after Gordon Brown as a joke and the name has stuck.

“I don’t think it helps that, as a more mature Snapper Turtle, Gordy has quite a jowly chin and a grumpy face.”

Gordy was moved to the Oban sanctuary to ease an overcrowding problem at a turtle sanctuary in Scarborough.

Mr Blackman added: “With a shell spanning 17 inches square Gordy is a hefty size for a Common Snapper Turtle. He weighs more than 30lbs so is a force to be reckoned with.”

Living up to 40 years and growing up to 40lbs, the Snapper Turtle is the largest species of Freshwater Turtle to be found in the United States.

Whereas the Snapper Turtle’s gentler cousins retreat into their shells when in danger, the ‘dinosauresque’ Snapper is an aggressive fighter with exceptionally sharp claws and beak, and will strike out at animals that threaten it in a similar fashion to snakes.

USA: Snapping Turtle Mating in Full Swing on South Coast: here.

New Van Gogh discovered

Vincent van Gogh, The Blute-Fin windmill

From DutchNews.nl:

New Van Gogh identified

Wednesday 24 February 2010

A painting of the Blute-Fin windmill in Monmartre, Paris which hangs in a Zwolle museum is the work of Vincent van Gogh, art experts have decided.

The painting was bought by museum director and collector Dirk Hannema from a Paris art dealer in 1975 for 6,500 francs (less than €1,000).

But, says the Volkskrant, he was reluctant to say the painting was a Van Gogh because he had earlier misidentified a forged Vermeer in what became one of the country´s biggest art scandals.

Hannema left the painting, dating from 1886, to the Museum de Fundatie he founded in Zwolle in his will.

See also here.

A Chronology of Vincent van Gogh’s Life: here.

This is a Dutch TV video about a Van Gogh exhibition in Rome.

A major showing of works by Cézanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh, and Matisse, premiering November 5 1910—Guy Fawkes Day—shocked British art critics and stirred up a long-lasting debate about what quickly came to be called “post-impressionist” art: here.

Ugandan women demonstrate for fair elections

This video from Uganda says about itself:

Women from the Inter party cooperation calling themselves Women for Peace, launch a campaign they say is to save women from election rigging.

By Gerald Bareebe & Katherine Haywood, in The Monitor daily in Uganda:

Uganda: Women Stage Electoral Commission Demo at Parliament

25 February 2010

Kampala — At least 30 female opposition supporters yesterday caught security off-guard and staged a sit-down demonstration at Parliament, demanding an overhaul of the Electoral Commission.

The women used the swearing-in ceremony of the newly-elected Mbale Municipality member of Parliament, Mr Jack Wamanga Wamai, to sneak into Parliament to reiterate their demand for electoral reforms.

The demonstrators, mainly from the Inter-Party Cooperation (an umbrella organisation for the leading opposition parties), first wore blue FDC T-shirts in the Parliament chamber during the ceremony, which they then removed as they relocated to the foyer of the House to reveal the black ‘women for peace’ tops that gained popularity during their previous demonstration outside the EC last month.

The police were more restrained on this occasion, but they were present in force, with female officers matching the number of demonstrators. The women were at first silent, holding placards with slogans which read, “President Museveni, remember the reasons which took you to the bush,” and, “this is a peaceful proposal: overhaul the EC.”

A few metres away, several hundred supporters led by Budadiri West MP Nandala Mafabi and Mr Wamai taunted the government as they cheered the women’s action. This was the second time the women had mobilised against the Eng. Badru Kiggundu-led electoral team that President Museveni reappointed last year despite allegations, separately confirmed by the Supreme Court, that the 2006 election that the team oversaw was rife with irregularities.

Ms Ingrid Turinawe, the leader of the group, said similar protests will continue throughout the country until the Electoral Commission is re-constituted. “Dr Kigunddu and other commissioners must leave because the Supreme Court ruled that they are very incompetent to organise a presidential election,” Ms Turinawe said.

She also demanded the restoration of presidential term limits and the abolition of army MPs. “If we do not fight for reforms now, it will be our children who will suffer,” she said. Ms Jennifer Karungi, who travelled from Hoima District to participate in the demonstration, said; “We are tired of bloodshed in Uganda. We want peace, democracy and change. Let them [Police] come and beat us; we are here.”

The women were later surrounded by female police officers who snatched placards from their hands. The head of Parliament Police, Mr Elias Kasirabo, and Kampala Metropolitan Police Commander Andrew Sorowen seemed overwhelmed by the women’s determination to resist their orders to vacate Parliament.

Mr Sorowen could not explain, when asked, how the women managed to stage a demonstration within the precinct of Parliament. After 30 minutes, it took the intervention of Mr Mafabi and Kitgumu District Woman MP Beatrice Anywar to convince the women to relocate to Kyambogo University playground, which Police designated as an alternative location for the demonstration.

Shouting and chanting, they joined six busloads of FDC supporters and others colleagues in 10 taxis as well as several private cars ostensibly to celebrate Mr Wamai’s victory.