Tag: jewelry

WWII art thefts documented in recently recovered diary of Alfred Rosenberg.

WWII art thefts documented in recently recovered diary of Alfred Rosenberg.

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WWII art thefts
The nazi military and culture resulted in a great many WWII art thefts.

A lingering mystery from the second world war is where are the artworks missing as a result of the WWII art thefts?

One of my earliest memories is from when I was about five years old, shuffling through a small stack of black and white postcards my parents had collected of Hitler’s compound and bunker, and some of the concentration camps.

I was fascinated because my parents had told me what I could understand about the second world war, most likely fostering my ongoing fascination with war, history and genealogy.

I was born in July of 1959, just fourteen years after the end of WWII, and the war was still very fresh in everyone’s mind – including my parents’. Mom had travelled to Germany in 1958 to marry my Dad, who was posted with the Canadian military, and live with him in a tiny apartment in Baden Soellingen – where I was born just a year later. My Dad was quite an amateur photographer and they spent most of their free time travelling around Europe, including visiting the most memorable and disturbing landmarks of Hitler’s regime up to and including the second world war.

The stories my Mom and Dad told of their landlords and others they got to know while living on the German economy painted a picture of lovely, warm, welcoming people, as described in a post on my personal blog, Feathering the Empty Nest, “Did my birth break a curse?” There was no way I could reconcile these stories with the ones I was hearing about the Hitler regime (the military and politicians) of the time. How could there be such a dichotomy?

Among the numerous unspeakable acts against the Jews was the systematic theft of valuables including cash, jewelry, and works of art. Alfred Rosenberg managed the thefts and documented the entire endeavor in his diary.

This morning I read an article in Prologue: Pieces of History on the National Archives site called “Nazi Art Looter’s Diary, Long Missing, Found and Online for the First Time” about the availability online of this German language diary, which was recovered recently and moved to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

I only hope that Mark’s and my interest in the events of WWII has made enough of an impact on our kids that they will do their part to ensure the tragic consequences of the madness of one man and his regime will never be forgotten in their generation and that of their children to come.

Source:

Hilary, “Nazi Art Looter’s Diary, Long Missing, Found and Online for the First Time,” National Archives, http://blogs.archives.gov/prologue/.

Photo credit:

photo credit: x-ray delta one via photopin cc


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Vintage watches and vintage photographs make a wonderful combination.

Vintage watches and vintage photographs make a wonderful combination.

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The old, hackneyed saying of “a picture’s worth a thousand words” couldn’t be more true than with this image I stumbled across on Pinterest this morning of vintage watches repurposed as portrait frame bracelets.

Luckily, that’s all that’s needed in this case as this blog seems to be in Swedish – which I totally don’t understand at all. I could use Google Translate or some other translation service to read the post, but why bother? The picture truly is self-explanatory.

Then I started thinking of other time pieces that could be converted this way, especially if they’re broken.

Here are the possibilities brought to mind:

  • Grandfather clock.

  • Pocket watch.

  • Mantle clock.

  • Watch pendant.

  • Wall clock.

While rummaging through garage sales and thrift stores in the past, I never would have thought to look at old clocks, watches, etc. Seeing this post (oops! I should say image as I couldn’t read the post) has changed that completely – and I’m going to start looking out for such items to use as frames for family photos and vintage images from my family tree research.

Sometimes the best ideas are other people’s ideas!

photo credit: practicalowl via photopin cc


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Tugs at the heartstrings – foundling swatches tell a story.

Tugs at the heartstrings – foundling swatches tell a story.

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Foundling swatches are ‘bits and pieces’ such as cloth scraps, mementos, jewelry or any other identifying objects that were left with abandoned children upon admittance to the foundling hospital. These swatches were sometimes helpful in reuniting the child and mother at a future time.

Foundling swatches tell a story.
Foundling swatches tell a story.

Numerous such foundling swatches were rediscovered approximately 250 years after they had been left with the children. They were long forgotten as they were wrapped in paper that was folded numerous times and filed away in books at the Foundling Hospital opened by Captain Thomas Coram in 1741 by charter from King George II.

Among these sad ‘scraps’ were a needlework sampler found with a boy later named William Porter in December of 1759, who sadly died on May 27, 1760; a patchwork scrap with an embroidered heart that had been cut in half (presumably the mother kept the other half) left with a boy later named Benjamin Twirl by those at the hospital and who was later reclaimed by his mother Sara Bender on June 10, 1775; a swatch of linen painted with an array of playing cards left with a boy named Joseph Floyd and apprenticed in 1769; a red wool heart cut from a garment and left with a girl named Isabel Crane on November 22, 1758, who died on December 16, 1758 .

The opening of this foundling hospital was an innovative idea at the time and provided some hope for the children who might otherwise have been abandoned, neglected, or have died of disease and/or malnutrition..

Periodically, these foundling swatches helped to achieve a happy ending, as in the case of Benjamin Twirl and Sara Bender.

photo credit: limaoscarjuliet

 


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The best gifts for genealogists during a cash-strapped holiday season.

The best gifts for genealogists during a cash-strapped holiday season.

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For my recommended Christmas gifts for genealogists list for 2013, I thought I’d concentrate on more obscure, lower cost gifts. Some could even be used as stocking stuffers. Last year’s list was for higher end, higher priced, technically focused gifts for genealogists. So, for this year, I’ve come up with a list of lower priced gifts suitable for anyone interested in genealogy in any way, even if they’re tentative amateurs or are just exploring the possibilities without wanting to make a large financial investment in the beginning.

 

HumorMug - My family tree is  full of nuts.

  • First of all, when in doubt, inject a little humor in your gift giving. It’s well appreciated, especially by those of us who chase dead people, frequent graveyards, and dig through musty libraries and archives. One example is the Mug Full of Nuts on the cafepress.com website.
  • The Book of Bad Baby NamesThe book of Bad Baby Names would be a wonderfully funny, almost unbelievable gift for the genealogist. The authors have scoured old records, censuses, etc. to find the most unusual, unfortunate and just plain funny names given in the past.

 

ToolsStone Rubbing Kit gift

  • An ideal gift for those of us who are fascinated with graveyards, this Stone Rubbing Kit would be a wonderful and fascinating gift. There are certain important gravestones that I would love to get rubbings of.
  • Magnimark magnifier and bookmarkThis MagniMark 7-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ magnifier and bookmark is ideal because of its portability, ease of use, and the ability to use it as a bookmark within the pages of the old books or documents one might need it for.

 

Gift CardsGoogle ebooks gift card

  • I am always searching historical books and publications on the Google eBooks site. Where the books are free, I download them and use them as I need to. For paid titles, however, I do think twice and a gift card to invest toward the books in my online library would be a welcome gift. It’s important to note, however, that the gift card is a new venture for Google eBooks and may not be available at all outlets yet.
  • Although my entire collection of genealogy research is digital and available within my genealogy software, there are occasions when I like to put something to pen, paper, scissors and glue – such as scrapbooking. Two years ago I created a scrapbook for my in-laws about their ancestors for the previous five generations and the scrapbooking supplies were handy. A gift card for scrapbooking supplies from any store would be welcomed.

 

Magazine Gift SubscriptionsCanada's History Magazine

  • The one thing I always look forward to is my Canada’s History magazine subscription. I’ve been a subscriber since it’s original title was ‘The Beaver’ (Canada’s national animal). I was saddened when I learned that certain racy connotations of the word beaver were influencing and negatively impacting its performance on search engines and a name change was in order. A gift subscription to a history or genealogy magazine would make a great stocking stuffer.

 

Miscellaneous GiftsThe Book of Myself Project

  • I can certainly speak for myself and I’m sure most other genealogists would agree with me that once we start working on our genealogy, our focus is all to the past. “The Book of Myself, A Do-It-Yourself Autobiography in 201 Questions,” by Carl Marshall and David Marshall would be a great exercise in exploring one’s own personal history and documenting it. After all, our present will soon become the past.
  • The “Our Family Tree Tapestry Afghan” would be a wonderful way of honoring history and genealogy through textile and thread. This is one gift that would one day become a family heirloom.

 

Gifts that Only Take a Little Imagination and Effort

  • Heritage Recipes – Either purchase or create a cookbook featuring the recipes of childhood and cultural history. In my case, Acadian and French Canadian recipes would matter the most.
  • Historical Treasure Chest – Create a treasure chest containing copies of everything you can and would like to include that would help the recipient with their genealogy research, including photos, documents, newspaper clippings, publications, etc.

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