Most people who travel to the Netherlands go to its lively capital Amsterdam. And this is undoubtedly a place worth visiting for its history, charm and many sights to see. However, if you ever get a chance to visit the area around Eindhoven, in the southern part of this charming country, you will find a … Continue reading The Many Sights of Southern Holland
A visit to Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland is a difficult emotional experience but it is one way we can honor the victims of unspeakable crimes against humanity. It's important to see what happened there so that nothing so heinous can ever occur again anywhere in the world. The death of millions of innocent men, … Continue reading Bearing Witness to Unspeakable Crimes
Most of Warsaw was destroyed by the Nazis during World War II. In response, the Poles rebuilt the city as it was before it was destroyed. They did this over many years with the help of photographs taken and paintings done before the devastation. Talk about a resilient people! Isn't that something? Hitler wanted all … Continue reading What’s Special About Warsaw
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." --Edmund Burke, Irish philosopher and statesman Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy SnyderMy rating: 4 of 5 starsBetween 1933 and 1945, 14 million people were killed by the Soviet and Nazi regimes. Most of these people were … Continue reading Book Review of Bloodlands
My cousin, Donald Edward Van der Schans, enlisted in the Navy as a medic during the Vietnam War. He could have remained stateside as a medic (corpsman in Navy terminology) but he chose to go to Vietnam, to serve his country. He was shipped over there in 1968, where the war was in full swing … Continue reading Is my cousin a sucker and a loser?
This is another take on Berlin, this time exclusively from an historical perspective. In addition to seeing beautiful paintings and ancient artifacts in Berlin, as I blogged about last week, I also visited important historial sites. For example, here are two photographs of the Oranienburger Strasse Synagogue in Berlin that was attacked on Kristallnacht or … Continue reading This, too, is Berlin
“Behind every appearance of diversity there is an interdependent unity of all things.” —George de Benneville. Are you interested in genealogy? If so, dear reader, I have an amazing story to tell you that might seem unbelievable. But it’s true and it affirms the adage that we are all connected. Once there were two sisters, … Continue reading Lesson Nine: Explore your roots to understand who you are