Fascinating

Condoleezza Rice takes on all the major issues of our day. It’s a fascinating interview which takes a long view.

Today in History

On this date in 1940, Polish soldier Witold Pilecki allowed himself to be captured by the Nazis. He was a captain in the Polish resistance, and he wanted to find out what was going on near the town of Auschwitz. His superior officers believed it was just a German camp for prisoners of war, but Pilecki suspected that something else was happening there. He hounded his commanders until they finally gave him the go-ahead to join a crowd of Polish citizens who were being rounded up by Nazi soldiers. Pilecki, who left behind a wife and two young children, was taken to Auschwitz along with the others, just as he’d planned. He was given a number — 4859 — and soon realized the true purpose of the camp.

“Pilecki remained there for nearly three years, during which time he smuggled out detailed reports of the atrocities with the camp’s dirty laundry. His reports of gas chambers and ovens to dispose of human remains were so horrific that no one in the Polish underground believed him. And even though his reports made their way to the British and the Americans, suggesting ways to liberate the camp, still nothing was done. Meanwhile, he did what he could to arrange escapes for his fellow inmates.

“Finally, in 1943, frustrated with the lack of action, Pilecki faked a case of typhus and escaped from the hospital. After the war, the Polish underground recruited him to spy on the country’s new occupiers, the Soviets. But he was captured by the Polish Communist regime and executed for espionage, in 1948. His story was suppressed until after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989.”

From the Writer’s Almanac, Retrieved from http://www.garrisonkeillor.com/radio/twa-the-writers-almanac-for-september-19-2020/ on September 19, 2020.


I didn’t know about Pilecki.

Sepia Saturday

Each week Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers with a visual prompt from way back when. This week we’re challenged to share photos of people cooking outdoors. Well, you can interpret the image above however you like, but I’ve gone with outdoor cooking.

Here’s what I found.

Wolcott, M. P., photographer. (1940) Camp Livingston construction worker cooking outdoors in front of shacks which they have built themselves out of lumber they purchased or found nearby. These are along the main highway on government property so they do not have to pay rent. Water is hauled from a nearby church faucet. There are no satisfactory facilities.There were all from Monroe, Louisiana. Their names were: S.A. Trichel, John H. Poole Jr., R. Jones, D.C. Lovelady, Charles B. Griggs. Most of them have been here about three weeks, a couple only one week. Louisiana Rapides Parish Rapides Parish. United States, 1940. Dec. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2017805919/.

Robinson, H. R. (1834) The Political Barbecue
. , 1834. New York: Published by H.R. Robinson. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2008661772/.

Andrew Jackson is roasted over the fires of “Public Opinion” by the figure of Justice in a cartoon relating to the controversy surrounding Jackson’s removal of federal deposits from the Bank of the United States. Jackson, with the body of a pig, is prone on a gridiron over a stone barbecue oven. The fire is stoked by former Secretary of the Treasury William Duane, at lower right, while Jack Downing, lower left, splits kindling. Jack Downing: “I jest split a little kindleying wood, so Amos can jest make Broth for all hands &c.” Duane: “I am opposed to Removing the Deposits, as I was when I was Secretary, but prefer gently Stirring them up.” Five men, opponents of Jackson’s bank program, stand behind the barbecue. They are (from left to right) Senators Henry Clay, Daniel Webster (holding a knife), William B. Preston, Bank president Nicholas Biddle, and an unidentified fifth man. Vice-President Martin Van Buren, as an imp, flies off to the right with a sack of Treasury Notes over his shoulder. Clay: “Dan this is what they call in Kentuc our High Game to their Low Jack.” Webster: “In Massachusetts they call it Roasting.” Preston: “In South Carolina t’is called Barbecue only he wants a little more Basteing.” Biddle: “In Pennsylvania we find it difficult to find a home for the animal but have concluded to call him Nondescript pertaking of the General, Hog, Man and Devil.” Fifth man: “We think he pertakes strongly of the Rooter, for he has rooted our treasures all over the country and was squeeling for the Pension-fund when Clay caught him and put a ring in his nose, and we’ve all given it a twist.” Van Buren: “T’is my business to get folks in trouble and their business to get themselves out.”

Ibid
Kilburn, B. W., photographer. (1904) Thanksgiving barbecue, Moscow, Wash
. Washington, 1904. [Littleton, N.H.: Photographed and published by B.W. Kilburn] [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2018653443/.

If you want to see more Sepia Saturday posts, click here.

Sculpture Saturday

St. Paul’s in Pilson, St. Theresa of Avila

Saturday Sculpture was hosted by the  Mind over Memory blogger.

1. Share a photo of a sculpture

2. Link or ping back to Ruined for Life because Mind over Memory‘s has had to stop hosting. Between a new graduate program and work, she’s super busy.

To find out more about St. Theresa of Avila, click here.

It’s a fun challenge. Give it a try.