In the years that followed 1940 most of mainland Europe was occupying by German forces. Many of the German soldiers forming part of this occupying force stayed for years. On the battlefields of the old Western Front, German serviceman whose fathers had no doubt been veterans of the Great War often toured sites and with a pocket camera recorded their journeys in the same pilgrims past and present did.
This photograph was taken by a German soldier in 1943 and shows Caterpillar Valley Cemetery near Longueval on the Somme. Many wonder what the cemeteries looked like during the occupation and it is clear from this image that this was a site being well maintained; many Imperial War Graves Commission gardeners had stayed behind in 1940 and were still doing their pre-war work. In some cases local French people were carrying on with the task. The Germans appear to have let the work…
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The topic of the day was easily found, thanks to the last Obama-Romney debate. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have a pic of Doughboys on horses with a bayonet. But I got this nice studio portrait of two US soldiers with full equipment, .30-06 P17 Enfield rifles and their M1917 bayonets! The other kind of bayonet used by US Army during WW1 was the M1905 one, used for the M1903 Springfield rifle.
Today I am interviewing the artist behind Idis Örlög. An Idis is a spirit of a Nordic Ancestor – a guide and protector of destiny. Idis Örlög is a musical journey to roots, a medium through which ancestral spirits communicate, sharing their wisdom through the spontaneity of song.
So let’s start at the beginning, How did Idis Örlög start?
(Source: Idis Örlög Facebook)
So Idis Örlög began with a strike of inspiration. I realized our pagan ancestors have a lot to tell us, a lot we can learn from and this remains unknown due to Christianity’s hold over Europe, and following “re-writing” of history. The idises are female guardian spirits who watch over their kin, their descendants. It is said they can intervene in the lives of their descendants in a positive way, to defend or guide them. I felt like there was this feminine spirit of the north guiding this music…
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She first came to Paris in 1905 and found fame as a performer of exotic Asian-inspired dances.
She soon began touring all over Europe, telling the story of how she was born in a sacred Indian temple and taught ancient dances by a priestess who gave her the name Mata Hari, meaning “eye of the day” in Malay.
In reality, Mata Hari was born in a small town in northern Holland in 1876, and her real name was Margaretha Geertruida Zelle.
She acquired her superficial knowledge of Indian and Javanese dances when she lived for several years in Malaysia with her former husband, who was a Scot in the Dutch colonial army.
Regardless of her authenticity, she packed dance…
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The Eastern Front in the Great War is something few are aware of; the Eastern Front of a generation later in Hitler’s war has eclipsed it and the fact that at any given time more than a million German soldiers faced potentially millions of Russian troops, both deadlocked in the East in the same way there was deadlock in the West. The Eastern Front became a mirror of France and Flanders in some ways; trenches, No Man’s Land, barbed wire, shelling and attrition. Joined by troops of the Austro-Hungarian Empire more than 800,000 Germans died in the East along with 1.15 million Austro-Hungarians; opposite them more than 2.2 million Russians died before the Russian Revolution changed everything.
This photograph comes from a collection of a young German gunner who served on the Eastern Front between 1914 and 1917, before he moved to France where he died in 1918. Here two…
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One of the things we did while on vacation was attend a festival in Groton (why does spell check not have Groton in it by default?). This was a rambling affair with medieval knights fighting and kids painting pumpkins. Here are a few images from that day.
When someone close to you dies, it’s a very personal decision how to deal with their remains, and different people approach it in different ways.