History themed and non-history themed thoughts a year into The Nerdstorian thing

So, according to WordPress, today is my anniversary. Yes, today is the first anniversary of when I created my blog, the Nerdstorian. I am proud of my little niche of the nerd-verse, and I hope that it goes farther. So what does a year bring. Over a thousand page views, which I am very proud of. A podcast, which has taken over the blog. Renewing my love of history even more than it was. Did I know that because of this little venture I would meet some cool people like the former hosts of Stuff You Missed in History Class, episode 5, Jackie Kaishain, who interviewed Will and me for her very popular podcast, or the guys over a CastBender, who we are working on some cool stuff with? No. It has opened my small world, and I feel proud of this “baby” that I created. So there is that.

Some history thoughts:

I just finished the book, Mary Coin, which is loosely based on those involved with the Migrant Mother photo from the Great Depression. I did enjoy this book because even though the names are changed and the story is just an outline of the lives of the real people, it had me doing my own research into the history of that famous photo. I recommend this book, and I may dedicated a future podcast or blog entry to this photo.

I am working on different blog/podcast topics for the summer. Topics include The Hatch Show Print Shop in Nashville, Tennessee, Crazy Bet van Lew, Disney and the Good Neighbor program (which is also part of a work thing), the dwindling of traditions in Jewish communities in Argentina, possibly another “culture” episode like our zombie one, only about social studies connections in the Avatar: The Last Air Bender and Korra series. It will be a lot of fun. 


Now if only I can make money off of this thing. Haha. One can dream…


Nerdstorian the Sixth: The Hemingways Go to France

Hello, podcast listeners. In this edition of the Nerdstorian, we visit Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson. We talk about her early years, her marriage to Ernest, the affair that ended it, and life after Ernest. So bob your hair and do the Charleston like Al Capone on top of a flagpole, cuz we are heading to 1920’s Paris in this episode of the Nerdstorian!

Nerdstorian the Sixth

Nerdstorian the Fifth: “Stuff You Missed” Edition

What up, nerds? Welcome back. In this just as special as other special episodes episode, Sarah and Will visit the How Stuff Works offices in Atlanta to talk with “Stuff You Missed in History Class” hosts Sarah and Deblina about history faves, podcasting, cat poodling, and the Norman invasion of 2066 (not a typo). Meanwhile, Will’s passion for gratuitous reverb is challenged by natural acoustics and poor mic placement.



“Theme for Nerdstorian”, Will Winchester

“Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)”, Boney James


Stuff You Missed in History Cast

Zombie Nerdstorian

MWAHAHAHA!! It’s Halloween, and we are in the holiday spirit! Will and I talk about zombie lore, films, comic books, and all kinds of other tangential bull. Join us for a journey through zombies’ pop culture emergence and re-emergence, and what they have to say about our society. It’s freakin’ awesome, I swear. And why would I lie? Brains!!! (Does contain mild cursing)

Zombie Nerdstorian

Will Winchester- “Theme for Nerdstorian”
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins- “I Put a Spell on You”
The Damned- “Born to Kill”
The Flaming Lips- “Convinced of the Hex”
Donovan-“Season of the Witch”
Wye Oak-“Civilian”
Sparklehorse- “Weird Sisters”

Note: If you like it, go buy it!

Nerdstorian Whocast

Welcome to our third episode of the Nerdstorian podcast. On this episode, we have a special guest, Diane Martin, of the DiHard podcast. We discuss Doctor Who, his connection to historical figures, especially Madame de Pompadour from the episode “The Girl in the Fireplace”, and general history/Whovian nerdiness. You can follow Diane on Twitter at @dihard11, her blog at http://dihard.info, and as a contributor to the Nerdist site. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to hit us up at nerdstorian@gmail.com. Also remember to follow us on Twitter: Sarah @nerdstorian, Will @wwimchester, and the podcast @nerdstoriancast.


Nerdstorian Whocast

Madame de Pompadour

So. I am about to record a fantastic episode with some amazing guest hosts this coming weekend about Madame de Pompadour aka Reinette, her place in the Doctor Whoverse, and a bit of nerding out with the history and all. I thought I would visually prepare you, loyal readers, with some pictures of a visual nature because they are best consumed visually….visual. Enjoy.




Now the Doctor and Reinette in “The Girl in the Fireplace” written by Stephen Moffit- I love this episode!


I hope you look forward to the upcoming podcast. I will.




A serious aside from the Nerdstorian

Today I thought I would be serious since it is such an important day.

11 years ago today, I was a freshman at the University of West Georgia, living at Strozier Hall. I remember it was a beautiful day, cool and sunny, like today. I was late to class and sitting at the bus stop next to my building. One of my friends leaned out of the window, yelling to get back in the building. What I saw on the television has changed my world. I will never forget this day.

I do remember that all the girls in my dorm forgot all the pettiness and group building that is so prevalent in teenage girls. For the whole day, we sat in different rooms because we all kept our doors open not caring if we were friends or not. I remember that so many people at UWG forgot the social norms and became a family as we cried together at the lives lost and/or affected, screamed at the live images that will never leave our minds, and tried frantically to call our loved ones because we needed to hear their voices because we were in fact still children. I remember missing my friends from high school and my family because I was in a new place doing new things and wanted the familiar during this tragedy. I remember worriying about my baby sister, Maggie, and how she would understand all of the horror since she was a six-year-old little girl. I remember worrying about my younger sister, Amanda, and how she,even though she was a junior in high school, was handling all of the horror without her big sister to immediately talk to. I worried about my parents, a former Navy man and Navy wife (if you are a military brat, you understand), and all they understood about this tragedy and the people they knew who would be affected because they were still in active service.

I now teach children who were born in 2000 and 2001 and that blows my mind. They don’t remember the day and have asked me what I remember and what it felt like. I try to help my students understand the importance of the event, and how they can make the world a better place.

I also know that I will not let hate for others be the emotion that rules this anniversary. I believe that today should be a reminder that people can be good and people can be bad, but that we, as humans, can do many great things that can try to change the world and make it better. Remember that my friends, especially during this election season where so many hurtful things can be said on both sides. I love you all, even if we disagree on so many things. You are all amazing and special.

Alternate History on a Rainy Day- Spoilers!

Hello, readers. It’s raining here in northwestern Georgia, and I am recovering from my wisdom teeth being removed. So since I am just sitting around, I started flipping through cable. Well, one of my favorite movies, Inglorious Basterds, just happened to be on TNT. Now some of you who know TNT would probably be wary of trying to watch a movie on that station. We all know the jokes about the amount of commercials making a two-hour movie more like 5 hours, but I love this movie so why not.

Anyway, this movie is a great example of how alternate history can be so much fun to watch. For those of you who need a refresher, Inglorious Basterds was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, came out in 2009, and offers an alternate look on how World War II could have ended. There are two storylines in this movie. One storyline follows Shosanna, a young French Jew who escapes the massacre of her family at the hands of Hans Landa, a Nazi “Jew Hunter,” who lives in Paris under a new identity as a cinema owner. She crosses paths with a German war hero, Frederick Zoller, the subject of Joseph Goebbels’ newest propaganda feature. The Nazis have chosen her cinema as the site for the big premier of the film where only the German/Nazi elite can attend. Zoller has a crush on Shosanna, who is being watched by Hans Landa, who has been put in charge of security for the event. Shosanna and her protectionist/ lover, Marcel, decided to exact revenge on the Nazis by trapping them inside during the premier and burning down the cinema. Storyline two follows a group of American Jewish soldiers called the Basterds who are led by Tennessean Aldo Raine. Their mission is to systematically hunt down and kill Nazi soldiers in France, collecting scalps along the way. Survivors of their ambushes are left with a swastika carved into their forehead so that everyone knows they were Nazis. The Basterds, mostly the German-speaking ones, join up with a German actress/ British double agent, Bridget von Hammersmark and a British solider to blow up this important film premier. They meet in a basement bar, where all hell breaks loose, as the German Basterds and the British solider are killed when their cover is blown. Aldo and the remaining Basterds are now responsible for carrying out the mission of killing the Nazi higher-ups because it is now revealed that Hitler will also be attending the premier! The two storylines intersect as Hans Landa investigates the bar shootings and the night of the premier arrives. Shosanna does not know the Basterds exist, The Basterds do not know Shosanna exists. The movie reaches its climax as both plans go into effect at the same time killing Hitler, other Nazis, and many of our heroes. Hans Landa switches sides in order to end his part in the war and Aldo Raine is ordered to bring Landa over to the Allied forces. Hans does not escape his fate with the Basterds though as they carve a swastika into his forehead. A lot happens in this movie so excuse me if it all sounds a little jumbled.

Anyway, the reason this movie is so much fun to me is it makes me wish it was real history. When I first watched this movie, I left the theater wanting the war to end earlier, for Hitler to suffer the way he did in the film, and for a group like the Basterds to really exist. Alternate history does that. It sometimes draws on what people wished had really happened in history instead of the truth. Tarantino does a great job with that. I have to say he seems to know his World War II history because the events in the movie are very believable. Hans Landa could have very well have been a  real Nazi that students read about when studying that time period. Also Tarantino’s use of real historical figures is great. They are either speaking characters or just pointed out with what looks like handwritten titles. I love this movie. Oh, and the tension at the beginning of the movie!! Geez!!!

Tarantino has another alternate history film coming out this winter, Django Unchained, which I am sure will hold up an uncomfortable mirror to the Southern U.S. as it looks at the 1860’s in a spaghetti western type flick. Cannot wait. I will definitely be talking about it on here.

Just some small thoughts:

I love Doctor Who. I am a definite Whovian. So as a Whovian and history nerd, I, of course, love episodes showing and/or dealing with historical figures. My favorite episode is where Amy and the 11th Doctor meet Vincent van Gough. It is such a wonderful episode that make me smile and cry every time I watch it. Below are the historical figures that have appeared in the show since the 1st Doctor in 1963. It shows which Doctor, the actor, and the episode. I am planning on getting more detailed on some specifics on here and maybe, just maybe the podcast.

Historical figure Actor(s) Doctor Episode/Serial(s)
Tigellinus Brian Proudfoot 1st The Romans
Lucius Caecilius Iucundus Peter Capaldi 10th The Fires of Pompeii
Poppaea Sabina Kay Patrick 1st The Romans
Nero Derek Francis 1st The Romans
Saladin Bernard Kay 1st The Crusade
Al-Adil I Roger Avon 1st The Crusade
Richard I of England Julian Glover 1st The Crusade
Joan of England, Queen of Sicily Jean Marsh 1st The Crusade
John, King of England Gerald Flood 5th The King’s Demons
Robert de Beaumont, 4th Earl of Leicester John Bay 1st The Crusade
Kublai Khan Martin Miller 1st Marco Polo
Marco Polo Mark Eden 1st Marco Polo
Gaspard de Coligny Leonard Sachs 1st The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve
Catherine de’ Medici Joan Young 1st The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve
Elizabeth I of England Vivienne Bennett 1st The Chase
Angela Pleasence 10th The Shakespeare Code
Charles IX of France Barry Justice 1st The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve
William Shakespeare[1] Hugh Walters 1st The Chase
Dean Lennox Kelly 10th The Shakespeare Code
William Kempe David Westhead 10th The Shakespeare Code
Cyrano de Bergerac David Cannon 2nd The Mind Robber
Charles II of England Paul Critoph 11th The Impossible Astronaut
Blackbeard Gerry Wain 2nd The Mind Robber
Henry Avery Hugh Bonneville 11th The Curse of the Black Spot
A Good Man Goes to War
Louis XV of France Ben Turner 10th The Girl in the Fireplace
Madame de Pompadour Jessica Atkins 10th The Girl in the Fireplace
Sophia Myles
Paul François Jean Nicolas, vicomte de Barras John Law 1st The Reign of Terror
Maximilien Robespierre Keith Anderson 1st The Reign of Terror
Napoleon I[2] Tony Wall 1st The Reign of Terror
George Stephenson Gawn Grainger 6th The Mark of the Rani
Abraham Lincoln Robert Marsden 1st The Chase
Charles Dickens Simon Callow 9th The Unquiet Dead
11th The Wedding of River Song
Queen Victoria[3] Pauline Collins 10th Tooth and Claw
Louis Pasteur unknown 7th Time and the Rani
Paul Gachet Howard Lee 11th The Pandorica Opens
Benjamin Briggs David Blake Kelly 1st The Chase
Albert Richardson Dennis Chinnery 1st The Chase
Virgil Earp Victor Carin 1st The Gunfighters
Ike Clanton William Hurndall 1st The Gunfighters
Wyatt Earp John Alderson 1st The Gunfighters
Johnny Ringo Laurence Payne 1st The Gunfighters
Big Nose Kate Sheena Marshe 1st The Gunfighters
Doc Holliday Anthony Jacobs 1st The Gunfighters
Vincent van Gogh Tony Curran 11th Vincent and the Doctor
The Pandorica Opens
Bat Masterson Richard Beale 1st The Gunfighters
Warren Earp Martyn Huntley 1st The Gunfighters
Billy Clanton David Cole 1st The Gunfighters
H. G. Wells David Chandler 6th Timelash
Winston Churchill[4] Ian McNeice 11th The Beast Below
Victory of the Daleks
The Pandorica Opens
The Wedding of River Song
Albert Einstein Tom O’Leary 7th Time and the Rani
Nickolas Grace 11th Death Is the Only Answer
Charlie Chaplin M. J. Matthews 1st The Daleks’ Master Plan
Adolf Hitler[5] Albert Welling 11th Let’s Kill Hitler
Agatha Christie Fenella Woolgar 10th The Unicorn and the Wasp
Bing Crosby Robert Jewell 1st The Daleks’ Master Plan
Richard Nixon Stuart Milligan 11th The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon
Elizabeth II Mary Reynolds 7th Silver Nemesis
Jessica Martin 10th Voyage of the Damned
Barack Obama Unknown 10th The End of Time

Some more side notes: There won’t be a new podcast for a couple of weeks due to some health things. But I have some great things planned so I am excited!

Nerdstorian the Second: The Aleppo Codex

Hello, listeners!! Here is episode two of our lovely, little podcast. In this episode, we have mystery, intrigue, murder, mysticism, and some corrections. Come join us as we take a look at the mysterious Aleppo Codex.

Podcast music credits: Will Winchester, “Nerdstorian Theme”, Beirut, “Bratislava”, Gulag Orkestar, Ba Da Bing! (2006), Gogol Bordello, “Underdog World Strike”, Gypsy Punks: Underground World Strike, Side One Dummy Records (2007), Neutral Milk Hotel, “The Fool”, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Merge Records (1998)

Nerdstorian the Second

Podcast Corrections

Hi! So in the podcast found below, I made a mistake about blister plastering. What I was thinking of was a form of cupping, which when overdone can cause horrible blisters. I do apologize. According to the following website Medicine-in-Jacksonian America (http://tinyurl.com/983uqhc) blister plastering is:

“The application of blister plasters was another way of cleansing the system. These were usually made of mustard or Spanish flies (cantharides) which were powdered and mixed with liquids to make a plaster. The compound caused great irritation to the skin; when blisters discharged the pus, much of the harmful matter supposedly was expelled. Once cleansed of its irritants, the body could be restored to health by the use of tonics. Arsenic, mercury, lime, copper, iron, and nitric acid frequently were used as components of the various restorative solutions and compounds.”

Always something to learn here at the Nerdstorian!



So I am re-watching an episode from season 1 of the Tudors from Showtime. I’ll admit it is trashy, over-sexed, too many things glossed over, etc. I still love it. Makes me wonder though. Which is sexier the real Henry VIII or Jonathan Rhys-Myers? Both are still kinda scary! Anyone else notice how those Howard/ Boylen guys are so sleezy when it comes to their daughters. I know in real life they basically pimped out their daughters, but it is still a little disturbing.

Dangerous, kinda crazy

Not too bad if you don’t know the history.

A Duchess, A Movie, A Book, and A Podcast?

Hello, internet! It’s a cloudy, kind of rainy Saturday here at my apartment, but I like it that way. My husband, Will, has been helping me prepare for my first podcast!! I am excited. I thought I would preview a little of what we will be talking about in my first episode.

In college, I took several classes with a professor named Dr. Michael de Nie. These classes were about British and Irish History, which is an area of history I adore. While in one of these classes, I read Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman. It is now published as The Duchess. (See below)

Image  Image

Anyway, this book is a great biography about Georgiana, who was born in 1757, married William, the Duke of Devonshire in 1774, and lead an interesting, albeit sometimes tragic, life as one of the most influential women in Britain. She grew up much loved by her parents and younger siblings, but she was constantly striving to please everyone she met. This was how she remained for the rest of her life. Her husband was the de facto leader of the Whig Party, which advocated personal freedom and that sovereignty ultimately rested with the people. She founded Salons that had the important literary and political figures meeting to discuss ideas of the day. In a world where women had little or no rights, she held rallies, fundraisers, and drives to get the vote for Whig and Devonshire candidates.

Georgiana’s marriage was a fairly loveless one. Her husband, the Duke, was a powerful man, who had many affairs, including with Georgiana’s best friend, Elizabeth Foster. He fathered child by a mistress before his marriage to Georgiana, several children with Georgiana, and two children with Elizabeth. Georgiana was involved with other men, but she was specifically involved with Lord Charles Gray, the future Prime Minister. She had a child with him, Eliza, who she was forced to give up and  was raised by his family. Georgiana is the great-great-great-great-aunt of Princess Diana (Spencer) through her brother, George Spencer, and the great-great-great-great grandmother of Sarah Ferguson, the former Duchess of York, through her daughter, Eliza, with Gray. She was also a friend and pen pal with Marie Antoinette. She had to end her affair with Gray when the Duke made her choose between her lover and her Devonshire children. She ultimately choose her children by the Duke.

Georgiana was also fashion icon in late 18th century England. She was known for her hair styles as being BIG, outrageous, and daring. I have included one example.Image

In 2008, a movie version called The Duchess was released with Kiera Knightley as Georgiana and Ralph Fiennes as the Duke. They were good in their roles, but I did have an issue with the ages (Georgiana and the Duke were 7 years apart. They were married when she was 17, and he was 24.) I also had an issue with the fact they glossed over her influence in politics, her childhood, and even her status in fashion. It was mostly about love, affairs, freedom, etc. That part is interesting. Heck, I even mention it. Read the book. It’s great. The movie is good, but the book is better. Below are some photos from the movie.

Look at that hair!!!! ^


The Duke^


Close up on the hair^

Anyway, get ready for the upcoming podcast. I will really get into the above subject matter and have some fun with it. Just one more picture to make us smile.


Who doesn’t love corgis?

Sorry for being gone

Well, it has been pretty busy over here in the land of the Nerdstorian. I am back to work as a teacher and have been made a department chair so that is exciting. I am hoping to get this blog updated more often then not, but it has not been easy. Too much work to be done. I will try.

So what have I been doing on the nerdy, history-minded front? I have read and re-read some books, watched some movies, planned some curriculum, been bugged by my husband to get my podcast going, and just bummed around on the internet. I love books. Well, really I am obsessed with books. I try to read as many as possible. I recently re-read some historical fiction like books like The Other Boylen Girl, Shanghai Girls, Dreams of Joy, and The Paris Wife. I don’t know a lot about the some of the histories these books are based on, but I do know a lot about Tudor England. I am not an expert, but I can tell people a lot of really “boring”, but awesome (at least to me) facts about this era. I was watching men’s rowing yesterday during day one of the Olympics and was making my husband and I late for dinner with his family because I was geeking out over the event taking place on the Thames. 

The Olympics!!! I always love the Olympics. I loved the Opening Ceremonies. They were great. I still need to watch the first part before the children’s lit portion (which was SWEET!!!!) and the part before the Parade of Nations. Freaking NBC cut out the final act before the parade on the encore broadcast. WHY?!?!? I don’t care if Ryan Seacrest has to interview someone. Give me my dang history making, history based Opening Ceremonies. UGH!!! 

Enough for now. I have places to be. I will check in later (I hope) with more specific nerding out.

No sleep

Hello, readers.  Hope all is well. Long time no see. Things got a little busy here in the land of the nerdstorian. Also has a case of the writer’s block. I am back now.


So what upcoming thoughts can you expect from me in the near future? Historical fiction, stuff about Atlanta since I am returning there as a teacher, maybe zombies. I am becoming obsessed with zombies. Probably, start looking at weird history or just completely going full on nerd on some stuff. If you gave any suggestions, let me know. That’s all for now. Must try and get some sleep. Laters!

More on Helga…

I found some examples and information to go with examples of Helga’s amazing work.

1. Image

From the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (ushmm.org): 

Bread on the Hearses” by Helga Weissova, a child imprisoned in Theresienstadt. Drawing with brush and watercolors. Caption with the artwork reads: “Everything was transported on old hearses—luggage, bread and elderly persons. ‘Jugendfürsorge‘ (Welfare for the Young) is written on this hearse. But coffins were transported flatbed carts.” December 1941.


Listening to a concert in the Terezin ghetto.


One of two places- Being deported from  to Terezin/ Theresienstadt or On the platform at Auschwitz: Need I say more. Most people from this ghetto died in Auschwitz, especially after the infamous/famous Red Cross visit. The old, the young, the women with children… They were sent to the gas chambers. So sad. 

Terezin was the site of the Nazi propaganda film, Terezin: A Documentary Film from the Jewish Settlement Area, that showed how “well” the Jews of Europe were doing under Hitler. The Nazis cleared out a section of the population for a Red Cross visit, gave the “prisoners” more food and clothes, put on plays, concerts, and musicals (see Brundiabar and the children of Terezin), and put on other events. After the Red Cross left and the film was made, most of the population was deported where many died at Auschwitz. 

Catching Up Part 1: Art of the Holocaust

Hello to all you readers out there. I am sorry that I have not posted in the last couple of days, but after the last week, I needed to let my brain rest and churn all that new information that I recieved. I knew some basics about the Holocaust, but wow. That is all I can say about it. I did say that I would post some of the information that I learned so let’s get started. I hope that it will enlighten some of you to the stories of the Holocaust.

Art of the Holocaust:

When I heard the lecture over the art of the Holocaust, a couple of artists stuck out to me. One was Helga Hoskova-Weissova. The other was Felix Nussbaum (I will discuss him tomorrow). Both created amazing pieces of art that captured the hope, despair, horrors, and dreams associated with living during the Holocaust.

Helga Hoskova-Weissova was born in 1929. As a young girl, she and her family were forced into the Czech ghetto of Terezin. While there, she began creating artwork capturing what she saw in the ghettos. In 1944, she and her mother were sent to Auschwitz were she continued to do her work while suffering the horrible conditions of forced labor. She survived this and a forced labor march to become one of the most celebrated artists of the Czech Republic. She was one of the 10 percent of children to survive Terezin. She did this by lying to Josef Mengele about about old she and her mother was when arriving at Auschwitz. She was recently in Atlanta, talking about her art and her story. In January of 2013, a published version of her diary will come out.  Below is some examples of her artwork. 


This was a birthday present to a friend of Helga. In it, Helga talks of their lives and their dreams of the future. It starts with the year she and her friend were both born, 1929. In 1943, they are both stuck in Terezin as prisoners of the Nazis, but they both dream of the future. They dream of walking the streets of their home, Prauge, as adults with their children in a post-war world. Sadly, Helga’s friend did not survive the war. This drawing, done by a young teenage girl is powerful in its hopes for the future, but yet heartbreaking because most of Helga’s friends and contemporaries did not make it from Terezin. Helga was an amazing artist at such a young age, and it is a great thing that she and her artwork survived to be witness to the Holocaust.

Tonight, I will post more examples of her artwork so that we can all see what she captured. I do suggest that you look up stories about the art of the victims and surviviors of the Holocaust because they are moving.

Die Moorsoldaten or The Peat Bog Soldiers

These are the English translation of a German language protest song dating from the yearly years of Nazi rule in Germany. This is song was written and performed in 1933 by political prisoners (Socialist and Communist) in Emslandlager, a concentration camp for political opponents of the Nazis, who were not allowed to sing songs associated with their political beliefs. This song became their anthem in a way and was used by Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War. It is considered to be one of the best known protest songs from Europe. It is a very powerful song. Enjoy.

Lyrics to Die Moorsoldaten (English):

Any directions you might see,
Bog and heath is everywhere.

Here are no birds to sing for me
The oaks, they stand twisted and bare.
We are the bog battalion,
On spade instead of stallion,
In bog.

In such a deserted landscape
Just for us, this compound dire.
Far from friends and with no escape
We are cached behind barb-ed wire.

Columns long, we head for the bog
To dig the early morning.
We sweat in sun, work like a dog,
And think of loved ones mourning.

Thought to home and hearth do return,
To parents, wife and children.
Many a breast may sigh and yearn
To leave this prison, when, oh when?

The patrols guard us day and night,
Escape is a losing sport.
Your life’s not worth attempted flight,
Four rings of wire fence the fort.

Complaining will not set us free;
Winter can’t last forever.
The time will come when we will see,
Our homeland ours, together.

Then no more bog battalion
No spade instead of stallion
In Bog.

Art of the Holocaust

I am here in my training/ institute, and we are talking about the art of the Holocaust. These pieces are an example of how these targets of hatred used art to add to their resilience and their resisitance to the crimes being committed to them. One person hid his artwork in a copy of Mien Kampf that was in the Dachau library. He tore the pages out and hid his work in it. When Dachau was liberated, an American doctor found the book and art. In 1970, the doctor and art reunited with the artist. How amazing.

I will add more about this lecture later in the evening. I will try to include examples.

Teaching the Holocaust

Hello. As many of you are aware of, teachers are not off during the summer. We are either working on lessons, units, curriculum for the next year and/or are taking workshops, going to institutes, or taking classes. This week, I am participating in an institute about teaching the Holocaust at the Breman Center in Atlanta. I am starting on Day 3 of 6 of the institute, and it is changing my life. If you are a teacher in Georgia, please consider this institute. It is moving, sad, depressing, uplifting, and more words than I can say. I will post more as the week goes on.