Sunday, October 7, 2018

Historical movies dealing with both fiction and reality about events reported in books and papers have paid my attentions for some years. Recently I bought an interesting book about movies made in Hollywood.  The aim of the book is to reveal what was the facts about the events described in the movies and what was fiction only. The title of the book is: “ Hollywood historier. Virkelighetens Hollywood. De sanne historiene bak storfilmene.”  (Eng.title: The stories of Hollywood. The true story of Hollywood and the true story of the great movies).

The research work to be done was to view the film again and again making notes of different actors, events, use of aircrafts and making a description of the content. The story of the film is the story of the famous battle of Sutjeska in Yugoslavia during the Second World War. The Yugoslav Partisans are chaired by Marshal Josip Broz Tito. The Axis are chaired by General Alexander Løhr (1885-1947) and General Rudolf Luters.
The role of General Alexander Løhr is played by Anton Diffring and General Rudolf Luters is played  by Gunter Meisner. Josip Broz Titio is played by Richard Burton.
In 1941 Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis. King Peter II went in exile to England where he sat up a government. In Yugoslavia the resistance against the Axis was organized by the royalist Draza Mihailovic and also by groups supported by the communist party of Yugoslavia. Josip Broz Tito was the commander of the communist resistance movement. He was a professional communist revolutionary who had taken part in the Spanish Civil War. Winston S. Churchill was an anti communist all his life but he evaluated the standard of the military forces with reference to the fighting ability of the soldiers. Therefore he decided to support Marshal Tito in his fight in Yugoslavia.
Special Operative Executive(SOE)
The movie is dealing with the British military operation called “ Operation Typical “. The operation was launched in may 1943. The British General Headquarters in the Middle East was responsible for the support to the Partisans. The movie does not give you a correct description of the British military support to Tito. In the movie only four British soldiers are parachuted. The names of the soldiers are not correct either. The official report of the mission makes it clear that six soldiers are parachuted- not only four. The mission is important because it is the first British assigned to Yugoslav Partisans HQ and to Marshal Tito. The British soldiers were departed on May 27, 1943 from Derna in Libya and arrived at Crno Jezero in Montenegro . The names of the soldiers were: Col. William Deakin, Capt. William F. Stuart, Sgt. Walter Wroughton , Sgt. Peretz ‘ Rose’ Rosenberg, Canadian- Yugoslav Ivan (John) Starcevic and Sgt. John Campbell.
The names of the British soldiers in the movie are:
-Captain Stewart, Captain Dicken, Sgt. Throten and Sgt. Roys.
What happened to the British soldiers? Captain William F. Stuart was killed and Captain William Deakin was wounded after a German air attack. Marshal Tito was also wounded the same day when German aircrafts attacked the Partisans.

The SOE launched about 22 military missions to Yugoslavia during the war. Even Randolph Churchill -the son of Winston S. Churchill- took part in the fighting in Yugoslavia. Apart from three missions most of the missions were launched by airborne. Submarines were used only three times.

The content of the movie is the dramatic fighting between the Partisans and the Axis. The German generals wanted to destroy the Partisans once and for all. The fighting is described in a very realist way. We believe in the story. The policy of the German generals was the killing of Partisans, all people who supported the resistance movement- children, men, women – all should be killed.The Axis rallied about 127.000 troops for the offensive including German, Italian, Independent  State of Croatia  and Bulgarian soldiers. About 300 airplanes were used. The Yugoslav National Libration Army had about 22.148 soldiers in 16 brigades. The offensive lasted from May 15 to June 16, 1943.
The German offensive was a failure. The Axis did not an end to the fight of the Partisans. The guerrilla fighting went on till the end of the war.

The Partisans are attacked by German aircrafts many times. The aircrafts which are dropping bombs on the camps of the Partisans are not correct German aircrafts.The aircraft used is named, SOKO 522. The aircraft was made in Yugoslavia in 1955. A military trainer and light attack aircraft which has been used in different movies .The aircrafts used for observation and to transport of officers are correct German aircrafts. The name of the aircraft is FIESELER Fi 156 STORCH. A German liason aircraft.

Richard Burton is playing the role of Marshal Tito. We do not get much information about Tito during the battle. No information of his political background, education, family, or his private life. No.
The film gives you a description of the fighting in a true way. We believe in the story. A closer picture of Tito is missing and also a closer picture of the German generals who chaired the battle is missing. About 2537 pro-Partisan civilians were executed by the Axis. The Partisans lost about 7543 soldiers in the battle. The total casualities of Axis were about 913 killed, 2467 wounded and 2132 missing .The Serbian National Library in Belgrade was also destroyed during the fight against the Partisans.

Photo from the movie: Actor Gunter Meisner(1926 - 1994) as General Rudolf Luters.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018


My  colleague from Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation(NRK), Odd Karsten Tveit, has written a provocative book about the famous Norwegian politician and former Secretary-General of United Nations, Trygve Lie. The Norwegian title of the book is: “ Gudfaderen. Trygve Lie- Generalsekretæren som sviktet FN “  (English title: The Godfather. Trygve Lie – The Secretary-General who deserted UN).

Trygve Lie was a Norwegian politician, diplomat, lawyer and  a former foreign minister of the Norwegian government-in – exile in London during the Second World War. He was born in 1896 and died in 1968. Trygve Lie was a leading member of the Norwegian Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet).
The author has not written a biography of Trygve Lie. No. The aim of the book is to highlight the official establishment of the state of Israel and the personal contribution of Trygve Lie in support of the new state of Israel. The Secretary- General of United Nations is appointed to work with political conflicts worldwide besides the administrative work of the organization. Trygve Lie was the first appointed Secretary-General of United Nations ( 1946-1952). The author is an expert in issues about the military and political situation in the Middle East. The main goal of the author is to document the the desert or betrayal of Trygve Lie in connections with the work to set up the new state Israel. The Secretary- General is not in the position to favor any country who is in conflict with other countries. He has to act in a diplomatic way to settle the conflicts to avoid military actions and wars. The facts presented in the book by the author are facts collected and are not representing any personal opinion of the author himself.
Odd Karsten Tveit  made an official presentation of his book at the restaurant, LORRY, in Oslo. Journalists from the main newspapers of Norway, old colleagues from NRK ,journalists from  radio – and television departments from both TV2 and NRK  and his Facebook friends were invited. Critical questions were asked about the main aim of the book and about the content of the book. Odd Kartsen Tveit made a statement that he had no intention of writing a biography of Trygve Lie. He said also that the content of the book is a result of the collections of archival footage from TV, radio , state archives and information given him from private persons while he was writing the book. But he made it quite clear that the content of the book is limited to UN, Trygve Lie the making of the new state of Israel. The conclusion of his studies is that Trygve Lie betrayed UN in favor of one nation only: Israel. He regarded himself as “The Godfather” of Israel.

The official information about the fight between the Arabic countries and Israel are based on lies according to the author.The most aggressive country was Israel- not the Arabic countries. The political aim of the Zionists was to get hold of as much land as possible without any respect of UN statements and critics from different foreign countries. I recall that an old friend of mine while we were in high school disagreed with me when I defended the rights of Israel to attack countries that were preparing war against Israel. We heard very little about the Palestine refugees who had been forced to move from their homes to make a place for people in Israel. Take a look at some of the book I studies from time to time. Trygve Lie is hardly mentioned in the books.

The killing of the Swedish Count Folke Bernadotte was done by a militant Zionist group Lehi -  not by the Arab countries. He was chosen to be the Unites Nations Security Council mediator in the Arab-Israel conflict of 1947 -1948.To make peace between the Arab countries and Israel was a dangerous work. The Zionist group ,Lehi, did not like the opinions of the duke in the conflicts between the Arab countries and those who worked  for a new state Israel.
 But who was Folke Bernadotte? He was not an ordinary Swedish bureaucrat.No. He was a diplomat, a nobleman, former director of the Swedish Boy Scout Association (Sveriges scoutførbund), former chairman of the Swedish Red Cross and above all: He negotiated the release of about 31.000 prisoners from German concentration camps during the second World War. He had saved about 450 Danish Jews from Theresienstadt camp. He was not an officer or count only.

By reading the book about “The Godfather” you get an impression that the state of Israel is made by active military force, terror and a wish to dominate sites and places supported by USA and countries in Europe like Norway. The former Secretary- General of United Nations, Trygve Lie, was a good man for Israel as long as they needed him. Then another Norwegian was contacted for support of Israel: Haakon Lie. He did a good job for Israel too but he told them to make a change of the official policy of the occupied countries. No change was made.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

By Erik W. Koritzinsky

The author has studied the family history of Koritzinsky: A Polish Jewish family who emigrated to Sweden and later to Norway. Photos, documents and personal experience have been evaluated related to the story of family Koritzinsky. Besides, the author has made a personal report about the conditions of living for Jews after the Second World War in Norway. What was the main Jewish reason for not escaping to Sweden? Why did not his father escaped with his family when he knew how Germans treated Jews in Germany? An answer is given in the book, but his father died before he was moved to the concentration camp in Germany. Few believed that the Germans would imprison non Jewish members of a Jewish family. But in 1944 Vidkun Quisling made an official statement that members of any Jewish family were persons with bad qualifications. All the members of the family Koritzinsky could be moved to a concentration camp somewhere in Europe. But the family was lucky. The ships in the harbor of Oslo bound for Germany with unwanted Norwegians and Jews, were sunk by a Norwegian resistance group called: “ Pelle- Group”. The date for the sinking of the ships was November 23, 1944. Six ships were sunk. The leader of the saboteurs was Ragnar Solli. He was a communist and an active member of the communist resistance group called:” Osvald-Group”. The famous saboteur Asbjørn Sunde was the leader of the group. One of the members of the “ Pelle-Group” was Sverre Kokkin. Many years after the war, the author met Sverre Kokkin in France.

The family of Koritzinsky was not a poor family but rather wealthy. Even before the war the family had paid visits to France to see a relative who lived in “ Chateau Simone”. The contact and visit to the wine castle were popular after the war too. The author is debating about issues relating to being Jewish ,about anti-Semitism and the state of Israel. He is no dealing with different political issues relating to the present government of Israel . He is an advocate for the right of the existence of the state of Israel. But I think his brother Theo Koritzinsky and other members of the family might have a different point of view? The members of the family have a close and friendly attitude to each other even if they all differ in political matters.
I recommend reading the book because the author gives you an honest picture about his private life and a report about how to live in Norway after the war.

Erik W. Koritzinsky:
KORITZINSKY-Jewish-Norwegian Family History in War and Peace.

Thursday, August 16, 2018


Even if many bookshops  have been closed in the City of Nice, France, during the last years you still find a splendid bookshop in 55, rue Gloffredo in the City of Nice. The name of the bookshop is: LIBRAIRE MASSENA NICE. I always spend some hours in the shop during my annual summer visit to Nice. To my surprise I noticed that my favorite French novelist, Andre Malraux, had published a new book ! He was born in 1901. He died in 1976. In 2016 he published a new book. The book is a small one: Only about 101 pages. The contents of the book are divided into four parts: A foreword written by Michel Crepu: Discuter avec Malraux. Next part of the book is a collections of interviews with French students dealing with subjects related to the books written by Andre Malraux and questions that have been on the agenda of the public life of Andre Malraux for years. As French Minister of Cultural Affairs an interview with him from 1968 is also published: Conference de presse a la radio allemande. The last part of the book is written by Nicolas Mouton: Pour un Musee Imaginaire de la parole.
Let me turn back to the collection of interviews made by young students in 1967. I have written down the names of the students, the age in 1967 and the name of the universities or schools where they studied.

-          Didier Cornille. Age 16 and half. 1re A, de La Madeleine –sur- Lille.
-          Jean –Pierre Marchand.Age 19. De Carvin.
-          Jean-Michel Boucheron. Age 19. De Rennes
-          Philippe Delafond.Age 20. De Viroflay
-          Michel Thote.Age 17. De Versailles.
-          Christian Mosset.Age 18 and half. De Paris.
-          Fanchon Bourgesse.Age 19. De Fontainebleau.
-          Laurene Maury.Age 19. De Paris.
-          Jeannette Fluchaire.Age 18. De C.A.P., de Bonneville.
-          Thierry Besnard Bernadac. Age 18 and half.De Bois-Colombes.
-          Sylviane Boissard.Age 18 and half. De Monthey en Suisse.
-          Marie-Christine Jarry.Age 18. De Sevres.
Andre Malraux was a French novelist, publisher, filmmaker, explorer, aviator, guerilla leader during the Second World War, philosopher,art theorist, Minster of Information and later on: Minister of Cultural Affairs during Charles de Gaulle’s presidency (1958-1969).

My interest for Andre Malraux made me buy books about him and books which he wrote.

Andre Malraux: Malraux face aux jeunes. Mai 68, avant, après. Entretiens inedits. Editions Gallimand , 2016.


Wednesday, August 8, 2018


I appreciate viewing historical movies and reading books about the content dealt with in the books and the movies: A thrilling past time activity of mine. When I notice that aircrafts and military equipments are used in historical movies in a wrong context, I get a feeling that the movies are of less importance as sources for further research and studies .Sorry. When I viewed an old movie about the Battle of Sutjeska  located in the former Yugoslavia, I noticed that German fighters  were attacking the partisans led by  Marshal Josip Broz Tito. The German fighters were not German fighters, I noticed. After having done some research about military aircrafts used by the Yugoslav Air Force, I found the correct name of the used aircraft: Soko 522 Ikaros. The movie I viewed was not a good one, I think. The famous British actor, Richard Burton, was portraying the Yugoslav partisan commandor Marshal Tito.

The title of the film is: “ Battle of Sutjeska”. The original title is: “ Sutjeska”. The film was released in 1973. The story is about the Axis attempt to capture Marshal Tito and to destroy the partisan groups fighting for Marshal Tito. The fighting scenes are made in a realistic way. But we do not get to know the famous partisan commandor Tito whose name was Josip Broz Tito. He was an active communist before the Second World War. The German fighters which were used during the battle of Sutjeska were portrayed as Focke-Wolf Fw 190t.

But the correct aircrafts used in the movie are Soko 522 Ikaros. The aircraft was a Yugoslav military trainer and light attack aircraft which was built in 1955. From 1958 to 1961 110 aircrafts were produced. Sokos served with the Yugoslav Air Force until 1977.

Many flying clubs in Yugoslavia and abroad bought the aircraft for private use. Some aircrafts were sold to civilian foreign customers in United States and France.

Sunday, August 5, 2018


The One That Got  Away

Some years ago you could find old movies released from all over the world in a big shop in the City of Nice, France. Not any more. Sorry. The shop is closed. No more DVDs for sale. Anyway I do appreciate searching for old books and movies in places where you might find some books or films of interest. Last week I went to a strange shop in Nice. You could find old photos, postcards, books, papers and a lot of old items and above all: Old DVDs.
 I bought one film only: “ L’Evade du Camp 1”. The English title is: “ The One That Got Away”. The film was viewed by me at home today. The actors are all speaking French- no English. The film was released in 1957.The plot is about the story of the German pilot, Luftwaffe fighter,Oberleutnant Franz von Werra, who was shot down over Britain during the Battle of Britain in 1940. He was captured by British soldiers but he had decided to escape within six months. He was sent to a prison camp in the Furness area in Lancashire. During a walk with the other prisoners he managed to escape. An intense manhunt was organized to find him. He was recaptured. Then he was sent to a camp near Swanwick, Derbyshire. A tunnel was made. Five of the German prisoners managed to escape through a tunnel. All were captured including Franz von Werra. But he nearly made it making an attempt to steal a Hawker Hurricane. But he was caught again. He was sent to Canada. Again he managed to escape close to Smith’s Falls, Ontario. He crossed the frozen St Lawrence River in as stolen rowboat and reached Ogdensburg, New York. He crossed the border into Mexico, went to Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Spain- and reached Berlin on April 18, 1941.
The film is a dramatic story of a man who has made up his mind not to spend time in prison camps. The film is a good one and thrilling.
On October 25 1941 his plane was seen diving into the sea. He was not found.
The German actor Hardy Kruger is featuring Franz von Werra. The film was directed by Roy Ward Baker. The screenplay is based on a book written by Kendal Burt and James Leasor.

Saturday, August 4, 2018


I have paid the City of Nice a holiday visit for at least ten years because I love the city. At midday I have heard the shot of a cannon telling me that the time is 12.00. But I did not know the story of the event until some days ago when I found an outdoor presentation of the history of the City of Nice set up close to the beach. A splendid presentation of the history!
I had believed that a real cannon was fired at the Chateau de Nice. No. But the reason for making a loud bang at midday was an interesting story. The Scottish Lord Thomas Coventry-More was spending the winter in Nice with wife. He did not want to have lunch by himself without his wife. The problem was that his wife forgot to come home for lunch at the time decided. She loved to talk to her friends and to walk along the beach of the city. Lord Thomas Coventry-More was a former British officer. He was a punctual man too. The lunch should be eaten at a specified hour every day. His wife forgot about the time for the lunch. The Nice city council was contacted by the Scottish lord about a plan he wanted to put in action. A firing of a cannon every day at 12.00 –a loud bang- was the aim of his plan.
He should pay all costs- even the cost of the cannon. The Nice city council accepted his plan: A bang at 12.00 precisely. The cannon was placed on the lower terrace of the Chateau de Nice. The year was 1861.When Thomas and his wife stopped coming to Nice, the council put an end to the firing of the cannon. But people of Nice had got used the sound of the cannon at 12.00. In 1876 the Nice city council decided the reinstate the midday signal.
You do not hear the firing of a cannon today, but the sound of a large firework from the Chateau de Nice.