Posting this blog on or near the fifth of each May has been a tradition for me.
Liberation Day (also known as Freedom Day) for Holland was 5 May 1945. Canadian forces along with other Allied forces were able to obtain the surrender of German forces in the small Dutch town of Wageningen. This led to the complete surrender and liberation of the country.
NETHERLANDS AMERICAN CEMETERY (MARGRATEN)
There is a cemetery near Maastricht. It is the final resting spot for 8,301 American soldiers and a memorial for the 1,722 men missing in action. They were the casualties of Operation Market Garden (17–25 September 1944) and other battles aimed at liberating Holland. Operation Market Garden was a failed Allied attempt to liberate Holland on their path to Berlin. Other military cemeteries are located nearby for the British and Canadian men who did not survive the battle.
Why did the French government collaborate with the Germans during the four years of occupation? Why did the politicians carry out and many times exceed the German directives and expectations (especially for the deportations of Jews)? Why did French organizations form to terrorize their own citizens? Finally, why did individual French citizens denounce their fellow countrymen and women knowing full well the victims would likely not survive?
These are very complicated questions with no simple answers.
Two of the most feared collabo (collaborationist) French organizations were La Carlingue and the Milice.
The Bonny-Lafont Gang
93 rue Lauriston, Paris
Formally known as La Carlingue or the French Gestapo, this group of criminals was better known to the Parisians as the Bonny-Lafont Gang. The Nazis called them Active Group Hesse (after the Gestapo SD officer placed in the gang), Lauristondienst (Lauriston Service), the Gestapo française, or Bande de la Rue Lauriston.
After the Gestapo established itself in Paris, they formed two special units: the Intervention-Referat (teams of killers to do the jobs the Gestapo didn’t want to be identified with) and a unit of Frenchmen for training auxiliary agents. Members of these units were primarily convicted criminals purposely released from prison. One of the principal recruiters was a career criminal who could not read or write: Henri Chamberlin aka Henri Lafont (1902–1944). Read More The French Gestapo
Stew takes you on a walking tour of buildings, places, and sites significant to the theme of each of his books. But most importantly, you will learn the intricate stories of the people and places that many other tours do not.
Mr. Ross brings the streets of Paris to life, making it possible for you to stand on the very spots where the grand and tragic events of the French Revolution took place. If you are looking for more than just the typical tourist experience in Paris, then this book is must reading!
Dan Carpenter | Historian & Author
Stewart Ross’ book is full of interesting documents and research, it put you well on the tracks of Marie Antoinette, Danton, Robespierre and many more, whether in Paris or in Versailles, extremely interesting and easy to read!
Raphaelle Crevet | Certified Tour Guide, Paris, France