click links in text for more info
SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Sonderkommando

Sonderkommandos were work units made up of German Nazi death camp prisoners. They were composed of prisoners Jews, who were forced, on threat of their own deaths, to aid with the disposal of gas chamber victims during the Holocaust; the death-camp Sonderkommandos, who were always inmates, were unrelated to the SS-Sonderkommandos which were ad hoc units formed from various SS offices between 1938 and 1945. The German term itself was part of the vague and euphemistic language which the Nazis used to refer to aspects of the Final Solution. Sonderkommando members did not participate directly in killing. In most cases, they were inducted upon arrival at the camp and forced into the position under threat of death, they were not given any advance notice of the tasks. To their horror, sometimes the Sonderkommando inductees would discover members of their own family amid the bodies, they had no way to resign other than by committing suicide. In some places and environments, the Sonderkommandos might be euphemistically connoted as Arbeitsjuden.

Other times, Sonderkommandos were called Hilflinge. At Birkenau the Sonderkommandos reached up to 400 people by 1943, when Hungarian Jews were deported there in 1944, their number swelled to over 900 persons to accommodate the increased rounds of murder and extermination; because the Germans needed the Sonderkommandos to remain physically able, they were granted much less squalid living conditions than other inmates: they slept in their own barracks and were allowed to keep and use various goods such as food and cigarettes brought into camp by those who were sent to the gas chambers. Unlike ordinary inmates, they were not subject to arbitrary, random killing by guards, their livelihood and utility was determined by how efficiently they could keep the Nazi death factory running. As a result, Sonderkommando members survived marginally longer in the death camps than other prisoners — but few survived the war; as they had intimate knowledge of the Nazis' policy of mass murder, the Sonderkommando were considered Geheimnisträger — bearers of secrets — and as such, were held in isolation away from prisoners being used as slave labor.

Every three months, according to SS policy all the Sonderkommandos working in the death camps' killing areas would be gassed themselves and replaced with new arrivals to ensure secrecy. However, some inmates survived for up to a year or more; the task of a new Sonderkommando unit would be to dispose of the bodies of their predecessors. Research has calculated that from the creation of a death camp's first Sonderkommando to the liquidation of the camp, there were 14 generations of Sonderkommando. Between 1943 and 1944, some members of the Sonderkommando were able to obtain writing equipment and record some of their experiences and what they had witnessed in Birkenau; these documents were recovered after the war. Five men have been identified as the authors of these manuscripts: Zalman Gradowski, Zalman Lewental, Leib Langfus, Chaim Herman and Marcel Nadjary; the first three wrote in Herman in French and Nadjary in Greek. The manuscripts are kept in the archive of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Memorial Museum, apart from Herman's letter and Gradowski's texts, one of, held in the Medical Military Museum in St Petersburg, another in Yad Vashem.

Some of the manuscripts were published as The Scrolls of Auschwitz, edited by Ber Mark. The Auschwitz Museum published some others as Amidst a Nightmare of Crime; the Scrolls of Auschwitz have been recognised as some of the most important testimony to be written about the Holocaust, as they include contemporaneous eyewitness accounts of the workings of the gas chambers in Birkenau. The following note, found buried in an Auschwitz crematorium, was written by Zalman Gradowski, a member of the Sonderkommando, killed in the revolt at Crematoria IV on 7 October 1944:"Dear finder of these notes, I have one request of you, which is, in fact, the practical objective for my writing... that my days of Hell, that my hopeless tomorrow will find a purpose in the future. I am transmitting only a part of. You will realize what reality looked like... From all this you will have a picture of how our people perished." Fewer than 20 out of several thousand members of the Sonderkommandos – who were forced to work in the Nazi death camps – are documented to have survived until liberation and were able to testify to the events, among them: Henryk Fuchsbrunner, Filip Müller, Daniel Behnnamias, Dario Gabbai, Morris Venezia, Shlomo Venezia, Antonio Boldrin, Alter Fajnzylberg, Samuel Willenberg, Abram Dragon, David Olère, Henryk Mandelbaum and Martin Gray.

There have been at most another six or seven confirmed to have survived, but who have not given witness. Buried and hidden accounts by members of the Sonderkommando were later found at some camps. There were two known Sonderkommando uprisings at the extermination camps built during Operation Reinhard. TreblinkaThe first revolt occurred at Treblinka on 2 August 1943 when 100 prisoners succeeded in breaking out of the camp, they stole 20–25 rifles, 20 hand grenades, several pistols from the camp arsenal using a duplicate key. At 3:45 p.m. 70

Andrea Matteo Acquaviva

Andrea Matteo Acquaviva, 8th Duke of Atri was an Italian nobleman and condottiero from the Kingdom of Naples. Born in Conversano, Puglia, he was the second son of Duke Giulio Antonio Acquaviva and his wife Caterina Orsini del Balzo, she was a first cousin of the wife of King Ferrante of Naples. He and his brothers were educated in Naples by the humanist scholar Giovanni Pontano. In 1464 he became Marquis of Bitonto. In September 1477, Andrea Matteo married Isabella Piccolomini of Aragon, the daughter of King Ferrante's natural daughter, Maria of Aragon. Maria's husband, Antonio Todeschini Piccolomini, Duke of Amalfi, was a nephew of Pope Pius II and brother of Pope Pius III. In 1478, he purchased from the royal state property the fief of Sternatia in Terra di Otranto, he was prepared by his father for the life of arms, fighting with him in Tuscany and in Otranto against the Turks in 1481. His elder brother Giovanni Antonio died in Pisa in 1479. Upon the death of his father in Otranto, Andrea Matteo, as the elder surviving son, inherited the title of Duke of Atri and Count of S. Flaviano, which made him feudal lord of much of Abruzzo.

He received the maternal fiefdoms with the title of Count of Conversano. In 1482, during the War of Ferrara, he fought for Ferdinand I of Naples on behalf of the king's son-in-law, Ercole I d'Este, Duke of Ferrara against Pope Sixtus IV and his Venetian allies. In 1485, he joined the Conspiracy of the Barons because the Aragonese did not want to return Teramo to Acquaviva. Defeated, he was one of the few barons spared, due to the intervention of his father-in-law, Antonio Piccolomini, who happened to be the King's son-in-law. Andrea Matteo distinguished himself as a partisan of the French, he was carried into Spain. He was kept away from political life, due to suspicious of his past as an advocate of the French cause. In 1510, Andrea Matteo and other barons assemble in Naples Cathedral to protest the introduction of the Spanish Inquisition into the territory; the following year, he returns the collar of the French Order of Saint Michael. He died in Puglia in 1529. To literary men he was indeed a benefactor—hence the encomia which have been lavished upon him, which, more than any merit of his own, obtained him distinction.

Yet he wrote a commentary on the Latin translation of Plutarch's Moralia. A member of the Accademia Pontaniana, he was one of the most important humanist princes in southern Italy

Iullus Antonius

Iullus Antonius known as Iulus, Julus or Jullus, was a magnate and poet in Ancient Rome. He was the second son of Antony's third wife Fulvia, he is best known for being the famous lover of Julia the Elder. He was the full brother of Marcus Antonius Antyllus, half-brother of Clodia Pulchra through his mother's first marriage, half-brother of Antonia Major and Antonia Minor through his father's marriage to Octavia Minor, half-brother of Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene II and Ptolemy Philadelphus through his father's marriage to Cleopatra VII, his stepsiblings were Marcellus, Claudia Marcella Major and Claudia Marcella Minor. He was stepson to Octavia Minor and Cleopatra VII. Born in Rome and his elder brother had a disruptive childhood, his mother Fulvia gained many enemies including Octavian. His half-sister, Clodia Pulchra, had been Octavian's first wife. Fulvia saw this as an insult on her family and, together with Iullus' uncle Lucius Antonius, they raised eight legions in Italy to fight for Antonius' rights against Octavian.

The army occupied Rome for a short time, but retreated to Perusia. Octavian besieged Lucius in the winter of 41-40 BC, starving them into surrender. Fulvia was exiled to Sicyon. In the same year of Fulvia's death, Antonius' father Mark Antony married Octavian's full sister, Octavia Minor; the marriage had to be approved by the Senate as Octavia was pregnant with her first husband's child, Claudia Marcella Minor, at the time. The marriage was for political purposes to cement an alliance between Mark Antony. Octavia appears to have been a loyal and faithful wife, good and treated her husband's children with the same kindness as her own. Between 40 BC–36 BC, Octavia lived with him in his Athenian mansion, she raised both of Mark Antony's sons and her children by her first husband together for the years of her marriage to their father. They all traveled with him to various provinces. During the marriage Octavia produced two daughters, who became Iullus' half-sisters, Antonia Major and Antonia Minor.

Antonia Major was the paternal grandmother of the Emperor Nero and maternal grandmother of the Empress Valeria Messalina. Antonia Minor was the sister-in-law of the Emperor Tiberius, paternal grandmother of the Emperor Caligula and Empress Agrippina the Younger, mother of the Emperor Claudius, maternal great-grandmother/paternal great-aunt of the Emperor Nero. In 36 BC Mark Antony abandoned Octavia and her children in Rome and sailed to Alexandria to rejoin his former lover Cleopatra VII. Mark Antony divorced Octavia circa 32 BC. Iullus and his half-sisters returned to Rome with Octavia while Antyllus remained with his father in Egypt. Antyllus was raised by Cleopatra beside his father's children by her, Ptolemy Philadelphus, Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene II, their stepbrother Caesarion. In the Battle of Actium the fleets of Antony and Cleopatra were destroyed, they fled to Egypt. In August 30 BC Octavian, assisted by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, invaded Egypt. With no other refuge to escape to, Mark Antony committed suicide by falling on his sword, having been tricked into thinking that Cleopatra had done so.

A few days Cleopatra did commit suicide. Octavian and his army claimed it as part of the Roman Empire. While Iullus' elder brother Marcus Antonius Antyllus and his stepbrother Caesarion were murdered by Octavian, he showed some mercy to the half siblings Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene II and Ptolemy Philadelphus, they were given to Iullus' first stepmother Octavia to be raised as Roman citizens. In 27 BC they returned to Rome, Octavian was given the title of Augustus. Following the civil wars, Iullus was granted high favours from Augustus, through Octavia's influence. In 21 BC Augustus wanted his daughter Julia the Elder to marry Agrippa, who at the time was married to Iullus' stepsister Claudia Marcella Major. Agrippa agreed to so divorced Marcella. Octavia obliged Iullus to marry her. Iullus and Marcella's sons were Gaius Antonius and a daughter Iulla Antonia. Iullus became praetor in 13 BC, consul in 10 BC, Asian proconsul in 7 BC, was regarded by Augustus. Horace refers to him in a poem, speaking of an occasion when Iullus intended to write a higher kind of poetry praising Augustus for his success in Gaul.

Iullus was a poet and is credited with having written twelve volumes of poetry on Diomedia some time before 13 BC, which has not survived. Although when their relationship began is uncertain, Iullus Antonius became a lover of Julia the Elder. Agrippa died in 12 Julia had been forced to marry her stepbrother, Tiberius. Julia's marriage to her stepbrother had become a disaster and she was desperate to divorce him if not satisfy her desires, Iullus was open to do so. Tiberius had left Rome in 8 BC leaving Julia and her five children by Agrippa, Gaius Caesar, Lucius Caesar, Julia the Younger, Agrippina the Elder, Agrippa Postumus, in Rome. Julia felt that her children were unprotected and may have approached Iullus to be a protector for her children her two elder sons, Gaius Caesar and Lucius Caesar, who were Augustus' joint heirs. Both contemporary and modern historians have suggested Iullus had designs upon the monarchy and wanted to marry Julia before her children Gaius and Lucius came of a

Demography of the Empire of Japan

This article deals with the population of the Empire of Japan. See demographics of Japan and demographics of Japan before Meiji Restoration; the population of Japan at the time of the Meiji Restoration was estimated to be 34,985,000 on January 1, 1873, while the official original family registries and de facto populations on the same day were 33,300,644 and 33,416,939, respectively. These were comparable to the population of the United Kingdom and Austria-Hungary. Meiji government established the uniformed registered system of koseki in 1872, called Jinshin koseki; the first national census based on a full sampling of inhabitants was conducted in Japan in 1920 and was conducted every five years thereafter. Per the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the population distribution of Japan proper from 1920 to 1945 is as follows The above figures include Hokkaidō, the northernmost island, sparsely populated, with area similar to the state of Maine; the total fertility rate is the number of children born per woman.

It is based on good data for the entire period. Sources: Our World In Data and Gapminder Foundation; the above figures include Hokkaidō, the northernmost island, sparsely populated, with area similar to the state of Maine. In Japan proper, the population of major cities was as follows: In 1937 Japanese demographers projected the Japanese population in 1980 to reach 100,000,000, in accordance with observed growth rates. Japan annexed Taiwan after the First Sino-Japanese War, while victory in the Russo-Japanese War gained Japan the Kwantung Leased Territory and Korea; these acquisitions increased the area controlled by Japanese to 262,912 square miles. The total population of the Empire of Japan, including Taiwan and Karafuto was 64,940,034 on Dec 31, 1908, which could be broken down as follows: Japan proper: 51,742,486 Korea: 9,918,566 Taiwan: 3,252,589 Karafuto: 26,393And the population of concessions as of Dec 31, 1908, was as follows: Kwantung: 427,117 Railway Zone: 28,307The census population in 1940 was: Japan proper: 73,114,308 Korea: 24,327,326 Formosa: 5,746,959 Karafuto: 339,357 Kwantung: 1,889,123 South Seas Mandate: 161,792 Total: 105,226,202 In terms of cities, the population of major cities: The population of Manchuria in early 1934 was estimated at 30,880,000.

These numbers included 30,190,000 Chinese, 590,760 Japanese, 98,431 other nationalities. The Chinese numbers included 680,000 ethnic Koreans. In 1937, shortly after the foundation of Manchukuo, the government launched a twenty-year colonization program, with the goal of increasing the population through the immigration of 1,000,000 Japanese families between 1936 and 1956; this was in addition to the Japanese military garrison of 300,000 men in 1937. Between 1938 and 1942 a contingent of young farmers of 200,000 arrived in Manchukuo. In Shinkyō Japanese made up 25% of the population. By 1940, the total population of Manchukuo was estimated at 36,933,000, which included 1 million Japanese civilian and 500,000 Japanese military personnel; these figures exclude that of the Kwantung Leased Territory and Dalian, which were included within that of the Japanese overseas territories. Taeuber Irene B. and Beal, Edwin G. The Demographic Heritage of the Japanese Empire, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 237, World Population in Transition, pp. 64–71 Population of Japan, Statistics Bureau Kindai Digital Library at the National Diet Library of Japan Imperial Japan Static Population Statistics as of December 31, 1908 Japan Registered Population Tables as of January 1, 1874 DSpace at Waseda University Kokudaka and population Table Boys, Anthony FF, World Population, 2000 Wendell Cox Consultancy New York Times, Mar 2, 1921 Asian Population Statistics

Barrington Griffiths Watch Company

The Barrington Griffiths Watch Company, based in Calgary, Canada, is a designer and manufacturer of limited edition wristwatches using recycled Swiss movements. The design of their Modern Classic watch was inspired by the 1940s mechanical movement used in its construction; the Barrington Griffiths Watch Company is one of only a few companies making wristwatches in Canada. Although they use movements of Swiss origin, the components of the case are made in Canada, the watch itself is assembled in Canada, satisfying the Canadian Competition Bureau's requirements for a "Made in Canada" product. Barrington Griffiths was founded in 2010 by Industrial Designer Mark Griffiths to create a Canadian watch line; the name "Barrington Griffiths" is the full family name of the founder. The company logo is the abbreviation "BG"; the Modern Classic watch uses a refurbished mechanical movement made by Swiss manufacturer ETA, for Bulova pocket watches of the 1940s and 50s. The idea to convert a pocket watch to a wristwatch is not new.

As far back as the 19th century soldiers requiring precision watches during battle made the first conversions in order to free up their hands. These early conversions came to be known as "trench watches" because of their extensive use among soldiers in the trenches during World War I. Today few companies do such conversions because of the cost and effort required. Official Website

Romeo Is Bleeding (2015 film)

Romeo Is Bleeding is a 2015 documentary film directed by Jason Zeldes focusing on poets and students of Richmond, California as they prepare an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet based on the decades-long violent conflict between the neighborhoods of North and Central Richmond. The film explores the sources of this conflict and includes voices from citizens, city government, the Richmond police department; the primary focus of the film is poet Donté Clark. It premiered April 29, 2015 as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival at the El Cerrito High School theater where the play, Té's Harmony, was staged; the Mercury News, in an article about the festival, called Romeo Is Bleeding "one of the best in the bunch." Official website