Interest in WWII Victims Still High

Annual report of International Tracing Services, Bad Arolsen, Germany, says inquiries remain undiminished as relatives seek contact or other information for family members thought lost.

Perhaps one of the requests is from the stocky, older man who came to my first Lebensborn book talk to ask for help in locating his “true” parents in Germany.

The humanitarian department at ITS last year received over ten thousand inquiries concerning over sixteen thousand people in sixty-nine countries in the most part by the children and grandchildren of Nazi persecution.

The new fifty-page report written in both German and English
says that ITS has now opened its archives and is transferring information to partner organizations and increasing its presence on the Internet to encourage more to make use of the over thirty million items of information. ITS now has a Russian website and has conducted discussion groups in Russia, the Ukraine, Bulgaria and Poland.

The average search by a staff of three hundred persons takes up to eight weeks to clarify individual fates. Each letter reveals a “particularly haunting picture of the past, the complexity of the suffering, and shows the brutality of the Nazi regime, yet also the courage of the survivors.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross is removing itself from active management of ITS but continues its affiliation with this humanitarian organization. This allows ITS be a continuing active center for documentation, information and research.

In January 2013, the German Federal Archives will be the new institution partner of ITS. A German staff member in the foreign office said, “I don’t need to emphasize how important it is for the Federal Republic of Germany to keep alive the memory of the victims fate.”

Microwave Tips

Cheer up by reading directions for your microwave.

Really? Yes, here’s how I learned this important
fact, that viewing directions for an appliance can be downright knee-slapping funny.

It began when the Staples driver came three hours up from Spokane to deliver a new microwave oven. The planets were running amok and nothing was going well this day. Cocktail hour arrived. With a rum and coke, I began reading out loud these incredible directions:

Do not use if there are any dents or holes in the door window. (Did someone actually do this?)

Do not under any circumstances cut or remove the third (ground) prong from the power cord. (They didn’t explain what tool you should not to use to do this.)

Do not attempt to operate this oven with the door open since open-door operation can result in harmful exposure to microwave energy. (How can I write this one without laughing?)

Do not operate the oven empty. The microwave energy will reflect continuously throughout the oven if no food or water is present to absorb energy. (Now there’s a science lesson for you.)

Never use the oven for HOME CANNING. Improperly canned food may spoil and be dangerous to consume. (The manufacturer did put HOME CANNING in capitol letters to insure safety for the consumer.)

Do not boil eggs in their shell. Pressure may build up and the eggs will explode. (Can’t wait to try this one.)

Do not attempt to deep fat fry in your oven. (Would you do this?)

Do not attempt to dry clothes, newspapers or other materials in oven. They may catch on fire. (Wow!)

Saved the best for last:

This may explain how you’ll realize a person is having a bad day: Do not hit or strike the control panel.

These directions actually sound best when read aloud.

Camping: Boutique or Park-like?

Where do you camp? Oh, horrors, maybe you don’t. Maybe you prefer spiffed-up resorts or hotels for a get-away. Just keep reading because there really can be special benefits from surrounding yourself with nature instead of humans by heading off with a tent and sleeping bag.

Food, of course, is important and one of the foremost camping ingredients. Eating outdoors brings the exquisite flavor of the simple eloquence of colors, the sky above, the earth beneath, the stately trees, the sounds of air moving, the whispers of moving animals in the distance, the breath of changing temperatures.

It’s all so lovely, even in the rain; a little messy, but that’s to be expected when you backpack or camp. If you can make it three days without a shower, then grunge becomes acceptable, and
the feeling of being clean becomes so enjoyable in a whole new way.

The Edgewater campground in Washington State is boutique. One double site is linked together in the woods with a cleared area hidden in the woods, with picnic table and camp fire ring between the parallel parking places which are sheltered by the forest. See, there you have unique. And, inexpensive.

The federal campground is across a bridge from the little town of Ione. Hanging on a bluff over the river are the twenty some campsites. The wide river flows by. We liked the sound of the streaming creek nearby rushing below our site. It was boutique camping, meaning that the campground serves a specialized clientele. Others like Alice and Judy would choose hookups and citified amenities. Their choice.

If you want to change your prospective on life, and savor how good it is to be alive, give boutique camping a try.

I’d post a photo but I have to learn how.

Huge Stain on American History: Native Americans Sterilized

Apologies in recent years by North Carolina and a few states such as Virginia, Oregon, South Carolina and California are a start for past sterilization programs of states. The real healing can come only after an apology at the national level, say victim advocates in order to combat the racism that led to these programs and which they say is still evident today.

North Carolina has a Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation and last week gave the okay in their House to compensate victims, then politically blocked compensation by their Senate. The youngest was ten years old.

The director of Native Women’s Health Education Center reports, “Total number of women, including natives, is shocking. The list of abuses are: Native women going in for C-sections and coming out with tubal ligations; Native girls having tonsillitis and coming out with tubal ligations; young Native women being given hysterectomies and told they were reversible, etc.”

Apologies and reparation are good but many say the federal government should make similar amends. “This is a huge stain on the pages of American history. These were atrocities committed in our communities, and there has been no apology or acknowledgment. Why isn’t the federal government apologizing to our (Native) women? States are making restitution, the Federal government should too.”

The wound continues to fester.

Say How Much You Care

The poignancy of the German movie, Cherry Blossoms, lingers long after the screen disappears. It is a simple story but strikes close to home and reminds us that we are just dust in the wind.

Lebensborn is a just a sliver of WWII history; this blog follows a variety of things of topics so discussing a German movie of this significance seems of value.

In the movie, a woman is told by doctors that although her middle-aged husband shows no symptoms, his life expectancy is short and that she should consider taking him on a trip. The couple go to visit two of their three children who have such busy lives that they are reluctant hosts.

They couple leave after a few days and go to the seashore. It is chilly. He wears only a short-sleeve shirt so she takes off her blue sweater and wraps it around him, too.

The woman dies unexpectedly at the seashore. The distraught man keeps asking, “Where are you?” He tries to recreate her love and touch by wearing her sweater.

Cherry Blossoms, a symbol of fragile beauty, reminds us to focus each day with a loved one as if it were the last. Life is fragile. We are like dust in the wind.

News Notes on Protests & U.S. Eugenics

The Russian upper house Wednesday adopted a controversial bill that will greatly increase fines for opposition protesters, hours after the lower house approved the measure in a stormy midnight vote.
The bill hikes the maximum penalty for organizers of illegal protests (just what constitutes an ‘illegal’ protest) to one million rubles ($32,100) and participants could be fined up to 300,000 rubles ($9,000).

That’s a disturbing decision. Will there be more countries doing the same?

Because eugenics is part of Himmler’s Lebensborn program, this blog follows the topic as it pertains to these activities in the U.S.

This blog has watched the process take place in North Carolina where it first apologized to victims, to then collect information about living victims, and now to decide how and if to compensate those who were sterilized.

Speaker Tom Tillis took the unusual step of leaving the Speaker’s chair this week to argue in support of the bill. He said, “Every once in a while I think you have a chance to make history, and this is one of those chances.” He went on to explain how he, as a conservative politician, came to be a chief proponent of compensation for eugenics victims.

“As somebody who has sat in this chamber and heard people talk about the wrongness of annexations, the wrongness of other government takings, the wrongness of imminent domain and how bad that is and how we need to correct it and how sometimes we even need to go back and reverse decisions of other elected officials – I look at this and I think it’s probably the most egregious example of that,” Tillis said.

Now N.C. State senators have their chance to consider the bill. If they pass it, their state will be the first of more than two dozen that had eugenics laws, to actually compensate victims.

Keep reading: More information next week on eugenics in the U.S. as it pertains to American Indians.

Germany learned, once the eugenics can is opened, it can lead to other nasty brews.

Can you copyright a recipe?

This topic came up during a cooking internet conversation.

One person felt that recipes can be protected by copyright or patent laws.

As my new Story Cookbook contains an essay on each page, which, incidentally I’ve written, and one that I’ve collected and used at my Lazy Bee B&B, this topic needed research.

According to Yahoo: “You can’t copyright a recipe. You can copyright the form in which they are presented.”

According to Abusive.Ne.rve: “I don’t think you can copyright recipes. Recipes have been freely traded for ages.”

So, there you have it. A basic recipe is a procedure for producing food. Recipes are not protected by copyright law unless they contained in a poem or other such form.

Don’t you think that the best recipes are those which are used over and over, as the many basic and simple recipes I write about in
Story Cookbook? I write comments on a new recipe: like/worked/didn’t
work/try if . . .

How do you keep track of your recipes?