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Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Waiting for Sunday Night Football to come on, Sandy and I turned the channel to watch the beginning of the 1961 movie, Breakfast at Tiffanys, starring Audrey Hepburn. Ms. Hepburn is one of my all-time favorite actresses and as I watched the opening scene with her standing in front of Tiffanys, I was reminded about her childhood growing up in Holland during World War II.

Audrey Hepburn—trailer for the film Roman Holiday (1953). PD-No copyright notice. Wikimedia Commons.
Audrey Hepburn—trailer for the film Roman Holiday (1953). PD-No copyright notice. Wikimedia Commons.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Opening Scene – HQ

I’ve been lucky. I’ve never had to personally experience war. I’ve never felt hunger or had to worry where my or my children’s next meal was going to come from. I’ve never lived in a country occupied by a foreign enemy. I’ve never had to show documentation to move about in my own country. I’ve never had to worry about the possibility of being deported each time someone knocked on my door in the evening.

Audrey Hepburn (1929–1993) wasn’t so lucky. Unfortunately, the story of her life during World War II is not unique.
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Night and Fog

The body of Wilhelm Keitel after being hanged, 16 October 1946. Photo by U.S. Army. P.D.-U.S. Government. Wikimedia Commons.
The body of Wilhelm Keitel after being hanged, 16 October 1946. Photo by U.S. Army. P.D.-U.S. Government. Wikimedia Commons.

Early on the morning of 16 October 1946, Wilhelm Keitel walked up 13 steps of the scaffold, had the rope adjusted around his neck, and dropped 6 feet through the trap door. The Nuremburg Court’s verdict of death by hanging was carried out on one of the major architects and perpetrators of the Nazi war machine.

Today, we tend to see World War II through the lens of the History Channel framed by the events of Pearl Harbor, D-Day, and the Holocaust. Rarely do we dig below the surface and become exposed to the sheer brutality, horrors, and inhuman behavior of the Nazi regime and its criminals (yes, these were criminals, thugs, lowlife, misfits, and degenerates). Researching my new book (Where Did They Put the Gestapo Headquarters? A Walking Tour of Nazi Occupied Paris) has brought many of these barbaric events and behaviors to my attention. I have trouble comprehending so many horrific stories as I scratch the surface. One of these stories is Nacht und Nebel. Read More Night and Fog