these are the posts tagged ‘history’:


walking on history, X: operation mincemeat

on a quaint cemetery in the outskirts of huelva, there’s a perfectly normal stone grave, with an interesting story hidden behind. we did a pit stop there on our way back from córdoba to learn about major william martin…

… a man who actually did not “exist”, and yet changed the course of the second world war. tom does a better job at explaining the story than i ever could:

sometimes, history happens in unexpected places.


more from this series.

walking on history, VIII: maulbronn’s monastery

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hesse and kepler stepped on these same stones on their way to class on maulbronn’s monastery (which used to be home to a seminary). it’s a striking place — from the vaulted ceilings to the tombstones that lay on the cloister’s floors.

previously on this series.

walking on history, VII: escape tunnels


thirty nine tunnels were dug under the berlin wall, through which over 250 people escaped to the west – and almost as many were arrested by the stasi. many tunnels ended up never being used.

this one on bernauer straße was dug by hasso herschel, who helped smuggle over 1000 people to the west through tunnels, modified cars or airport exchanges.

more on this series.

walking on history, VI: the wall

on july 1963, herr günter climbed over the wall near a construction site, when a truck was blocking the view from the guards. bernauer straße is filled with these small memorials to the people who fled from east to west – or died trying.

more on this series.

walking on history, V: buchenwald


buchenwald was the largest nazi concentration camp in germany: over 50,000 people died here, from all over europe. it’s a place of unspeakable horrors perched on an idyllic hilltop, in the middle of the forest. today, the area is filled with commemorative sites and this in particular is part of the jewish memorial. the sentence, translated in english, german and hebrew rises in carved stone above the gravel and reads:

“so that the generation to come might know, the children, yet to be born, that they too may rise and declare to their children.”

stark and sobering.

more from this series.