أرشيف الوسم: Nazism

US wants to return codebreaker’s seized items to UK school

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The U.S. government is trying to return memorabilia from World War II codebreaker and computing pioneer Alan Turing that were allegedly stolen more than 30 years ago

DENVER —
A U.S. woman who said she was visiting England to do a study of the late World War II codebreaker and computing pioneer Alan Turing walked into the prestigious boys’ boarding school he attended and asked to see a collection of his memorabilia.

She was given a wooden box with items that once belonged to Turing, who helped crack Nazi Germany’s secret codes and whose story inspired 2014’s Oscar-winning film “The Imitation Game.” Inside the box was his Ph.D. from Princeton University, his Order of the British Empire medal and other mementos.

When she left that day in 1984, the box was empty. The only thing left inside was a note asking for forgiveness and promising to return the items someday, according to a recent court filing by government lawyers.

More than 30 years later, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Denver has the items that were seized from the Colorado home of the woman, who later changed her name to Julia Turing.

The Princeton degree was found behind a dresser in 2018. The medal, given for contributions to a field, and a letter from King George VI awarding the honor to Alan Turing was found in a briefcase behind a wall in a bathroom.

Her offer to donate the items to the University of Colorado had launched a lengthy international investigation to sort out the rightful owner of the items, according to a forfeiture action filed Jan. 17 and first reported by BizWest. The action is the first of two legal steps to return the memorabilia to the Sherborne School in England.

Julia Turing had letters from Sherborne’s treasurer, Col. A.W. Gallon, thanking her for previously returning most of the memorabilia and saying she could keep the diploma, according to court documents. They suggested she could show the correspondence to police if she was questioned.

But school officials told investigators that giving away any school property would require the permission of its board of governors, which did not consider the matter, according to Sherborne documents.

The school said some items that Julia Turing previously returned were not the original items that were taken. It noted that the Order of the British Empire medal she sent back was tarnished and did not include its miniature version and the king’s letter.

According to court documents, Julia Turing told investigators that she had bought OBE medals online, and several were found during the search of her home, along with the original discovered behind the bathroom wall.

In diaries and letters seized by investigators, she wrote of her “tremendous love and devotion” to Alan Turing and how she wished she did not have to hide his things. In one diary entry, addressed to Alan Turing, she worried about a museum forcing her to give up the items by claiming they are stolen, court documents show.

The U.S. government is asking a judge to give it permanent custody of the items so it can begin another legal process to return them to the school.

Julia Turing has until March to file an objection to the forfeiture. Her attorney, Katryna Spearman, did not return messages seeking comment. She has not been charged with a crime.

Sherborne School headmaster Dominic Luckett declined to comment Friday on the items removed from the school’s archives because authorities are still dealing with the matter.

Sherborne officials are proud of their distinguished alumnus and seek to preserve and promote his legacy, Luckett said in a statement to The Associated Press.

“As part of that, we take very seriously our responsibility to look after those items in our archives which relate to his time at Sherborne School and his subsequent life and work,” he added.

During World War II, Alan Turing helped crack Nazi secret codes by creating the “Turing bombe,” a forerunner of modern computers. After the war, he was prosecuted for homosexuality, then illegal in England, and forcibly treated with female hormones. He died in 1954 at age 41 after eating an apple laced with cyanide in what was ruled a suicide.

He received a posthumous apology from the British government in 2009 and a royal pardon in 2013.

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Associated Press researcher Jennifer Farrar contributed to this report.

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Public to get entry to Nuremberg trials digital recordings

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Audio recordings from the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders might be made obtainable to the general public for the primary time in digital kind after practically two years of labor performed in secret.

The Memorial of the Shoah in Paris will formally settle for the recordings at a ceremony Thursday night.

The information seize a number of hundred hours of the primary, high-profile trial of prime Nazi leaders in Nuremberg, Germany, after World Struggle II. Since 1950, they’ve existed solely on 2,000 massive discs housed in picket bins within the Worldwide Court docket of Justice library within the Hague, Netherlands.

Now, curious listeners will have the ability to take heed to the whole lot of the judicial proceedings in studying rooms on the Hague, the Shoah Memorial in Paris, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Shoah Memorial head archivist Karen Taieb mentioned she hopes the newly digitized audio information will permit researchers and college students to higher perceive a robust and emotionally fraught second in historical past. Researchers beforehand had entry to trial transcripts.

“You’ll be able to learn the trial, however if you hear the trial, it is totally different,” Taieb informed The Related Press. “For the victims, for instance, it is totally different to listen to their voices. The voices are essential, and the hesitation in them.”

The trials, which passed off from 1945 to 1949, marked a watershed second in worldwide legislation. They make clear the extent of Nazi atrocities throughout the Holocaust and set new worldwide precedents for outlining and prosecuting struggle crimes.

Through the first and most well-known trial, held between November 1945 and October 1946, a world panel of judges discovered 18 high-ranking Nazi leaders responsible on not less than one rely and sentenced 12 of them to loss of life. Solely 28 hours of the proceedings had been filmed.

Fabien Theofilakis, a professor on the Sorbonne College who researchers the Holocaust, mentioned the recordings will show invaluable to historians.

“Now we would wish these archives to have an actual existence not just for researchers, but in addition for a broader public,” he mentioned.

A day after the assault on a synagogue within the German metropolis of Halle on Judaism’s holiest day, Theofilakis pressured that this digital entry will assist make sure that the reminiscence of the Holocaust might be sustained from one technology to the subsequent.

“We did lots in Europe, in Germany, in France, to struggle towards antisemitism, to teach … But antisemitism elevated lately,” he pressured.

French sound restoration agency Gecko was commissioned to digitize the audio. Mission head Emiliano Flores mentioned they stored the challenge secret to guard the delicate Nuremberg discs from neo-Nazis or zealous collectors.

“We’re extraordinarily proud but in addition a bit relieved it’s completed,” he mentioned.

Along with the audio recordings, movie clips introduced as proof of Nazi atrocities throughout the trial —in addition to 250,000 pages of paperwork and a few pictures —might be obtainable on the Shoah Memorial for public viewing, Taieb mentioned.

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Painting, stolen by Nazi soldier, is back in Florence museum

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A Dutch still-life painting, stolen by retreating Nazis and sent by a German soldier as a present to his wife, came back to a Florence museum on Friday, thanks largely to a relentless campaign by the Uffizi Galleries’ director, a German.

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The foreign ministers of German and Italy were on hand Friday at Palazzo Pitti, a Renaissance palace that is part of the Uffizi Galleries, for the unveiling of “Flower Vase,” a masterpiece by Jan van Huysum, an early 18th-century artist whose exquisitely detailed still-life works were highly sought in his day.

Uffizi director Eike Schmidt earlier this year urged his native country to return the work. He had posted on a gallery wall three labels where the painting had hung before being taken during World War II: “stolen,” the labels read in Italian, English and German.

His homeland, Schmidt said at the time, had a “moral duty” to return the work.

Italian Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero hailed the “civic and moral courage of a German director of an Italian museum” in pursuing the painting’s return. As did his German counterpart, Moavero hailed the happy ending, saying it was achieved through “real Europeanism, of concrete facts” and not just words.

He revealed to reporters that the painting’s return was discussed, among other matters, during bilateral talks between Italy and Germany.

“Flower Vase” is so realistic it has been likened to a photograph. Van Huysum used a magnifying glass to study his subjects. Ripples are visible in insects’ transparent wings, to name just one striking detail on the returned painting.

The painting was acquired in 1824 by a grand duke of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty, which followed the Medicis in residing in the palace in Florence.

Shortly after the outbreak of World War II, the palace’s artworks were packed for safekeeping into wooden crates and moved from villa to villa. When the Germany army was retreating, the crates were added to other war booty and eventually ended up in Bolzano, an Alpine city near Austria. There the crate containing “Flower Vase” was opened, and in July 1944, a German soldier sent the painting to his wife in Germany.

Minister Moavero quoted the soldier as writing instructions to his wife to “put it in a gilded frame.”

The painting’s whereabouts appeared to be a mystery until a few weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Starting in 1991, the German family repeatedly tried to sell the painting to Italy via intermediaries, “threatening to give it to a third party or even destroy it if a ransom wasn’t paid,” the Italian culture ministry said. The latest approach for money was made to the Uffizi in 2016, it said.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass thanked Schmidt for campaigning so passionately for the painting’s return. “Here is its place, here is where it belongs,” he said.

At a time of tensions among many European Union allies over migrant issues, Maas saw inspiration in the successful artwork diplomacy. He likened an EU “without “diversity, without solidarity” to a “museum without paintings on display, a vase without flowers.”

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D’Emilio reported from Rome.

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Frances D’Emilio is on twitter at www.twitter.com/fdemilio



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