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Tags » ‘country’

Kazimierz Piechowski, a member of the Polish Boy Scouts, and one of the first prisoners at Auschwitz went on to lead a daring escape, helping to steal the commandant’s car by impersonating an irate SS officer

December 18th, 2017 by admin

Mr. Piechowski was 19 when German forces swept through Poland and began killing priests, intellectuals and members of the country’s Scouting organization in September 1939, fearing — correctly — that the Scouts would help form the seeds of the country’s underground resistance.

He soon struck out on a circuitous route for France, aiming to join the displaced Polish army. But he was captured near the Hungarian border, imprisoned and sent on June 20, 1940, to Auschwitz, which had been opened a month earlier by the SS as a concentration camp for criminals and political prisoners.

Mr. Piechowski enacted his own unlikely escape plan in 1942, two years to the day after he arrived at Auschwitz. He had seen plenty of escapes halted by the electrified barbed wire and watchtowers surrounding the camp, and knew that 10 people were forced to starve in reprisal for each person who escaped.

But the calculus changed abruptly when a friend of Mr. Piechowski’s, Eugeniusz Bendera, learned that he was scheduled to be killed and suggested they flee the camp in an SS car. Bendera, a mechanic, had access to the vehicle. Mr. Piechowski, who was working in the warehouse, knew where to find a stash of uniforms and weapons that would allow them to disguise themselves as SS officers.

In an effort to spare his cellmates from retribution, Mr. Piechowski devised a plan in which he, Bendera and two others — Stanislaw Gustaw Jaster, a former Scout, and Jozef Lempart, a priest — would leave the main camp area by pretending to be part of a four-person work unit. If the entire unit disappeared, Mr. Piechowski figured, their block supervisor would likely be held wholly responsible.

On a quiet Saturday morning, they pushed a garbage cart through the first camp gate, under a sign reading “Arbeit Macht Frei” (”Work Sets You Free”). Three of the men scurried through a coal hatch inside the warehouse, and Mr. Piechowski led them to a room where they nabbed SS uniforms, four machine guns and eight grenades, according to historian Laurence Rees’s 2005 book “Auschwitz: A New History.”

The mechanic had picked the Steyr 220 – the fastest car in Auschwitz, there for the sole use of the commandant. “It had to be fast, because he had to be able to get to Berlin in a few hours. We took it because if we were chased we had to be able to get away.”

They jumped into the Steyr 220 and drove toward the camp’s main gate, greeting SS officers with a “Heil Hitler!” along the way, Mr. Piechowski later said. They had good luck pushing their garbage cart and taking the uniforms out of the warehouse, where SS officers failed to identify them, but at the camp’s outermost gate they were met with a closed barrier.

“Wake up, you buggers!” Mr. Piechowski yelled in German to the men manning the gate, he later told the Guardian. “Open up or I’ll open you up!”

The gate opened, and the escapees drove to freedom. The Nazis were incensed, says Piechowski. “When the commandant heard in Berlin that four prisoners had escaped he asked: ‘How the bloody hell could they escape in my own car, in our own uniforms, and with our ammunition?’ They could not believe that people they did not think had any intelligence took them [for a ride].”

Keeping away from the main roads to evade capture, they drove on forest roads for two hours, heading for the town of Wadowice. There they abandoned the Steyr and continued on foot, sleeping in the forest and taking turns to keep watch.

In revenge, Jaster’s parents were arrested and died in Auschwitz, and there were serious consequences for the remaining prisoners. “A month after we escaped, an order went out that every person must be tattooed [with their prison number]. The Nazis knew that an escapee’s hair would grow back, and that the partisans would make new documents for them. But when people saw the number, they would know that they were from Auschwitz. No other camp used numbering – it was our escape that led to it.”

When the communists consolidated power in Poland after the war, Mr. Piechowski was sentenced to 10 years in prison as an enemy of the state, according to the London-based Mail on Sunday newspaper. He was released after seven years. He later worked as an engineer in the Gdansk shipyard.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/local/obituaries/kazimierz-piechowski-early-auschwitz-prisoner-who-led-a-risky-escape-by-car-dies-at-98/2017/12/17/e77ded92-e33e-11e7-a65d-1ac0fd7f097e_story.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/11/i-escaped-from-auschwitz

This short documentary follows the songwriter Katy Carr’s visit to Poland in August 2009 to meet Kazik, now 90, and have a direct window into his memory and experience of the last 80 metres of his escape, where he and the other prisoners have driven to the outside checkpoint of Auschwitz, and all their lives depend upon five seconds of daring and inspiration.

Kazik and the Kommander’s Car from Kazik and the Kommander’s Car on Vimeo.

Thanks Steve!

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Kazimierz Piechowski, a member of the Polish Boy Scouts, and one of the first prisoners at Auschwitz went on to lead a daring escape, helping to steal the commandant’s car by impersonating an irate SS officer

If you have to ask "what the hell is that" then I’m happy to say, it’s a Argentinian Torino, and ain’t it cool that we still have cars to appreciate that we’ve never seen or heard of before? Not just another Chevy!

December 13th, 2017 by admin

The Torino is an Argentinian car that was born in 1966, as a licensed redesign of the AMC Rambler by Pininfarina, produced originally by IKA ( Argentinian Kaiser industries), a partner with the Renault company that would eventually buy them out.

Mario Suárez and his son Francisco are responsible for restoring the original #1 and #2 Torinos from the three built to challenge the Europeans on their home turf in one of the most grueling races in the world. 84 hours of the 1969 Nurburgring endurance racing Marathon de la Route.

the #3 Torino resides in the Fangio museum

Fangio oversaw the IKA-Renault Torino effort at the Nürburgring and his son was among the team of of Argentinian drivers assigned to the three cars.

Fangio traveled with the team to the ‘Ring to guide the cars around both the Nord and Südschleife, and though the team would complete the most laps with their #3 car (the other two, #1 and #2, retired early), an assortment of time penalties would see the Torino finish in fourth place officially.

At the end of 84 hours, only one of the three Torinos finished, and though it completed the most distance, it was penalized because of the high decibels of the exhaust, and so a Lancia Fulvia HF finished as the winner officially.

That race represented a remarkable milestone in the Argentinian motoring history, and it proved the country could build cars that could compete with the likes of Porsche, Lancia, Ford, etc.

the #2 car, with the yellow nose, has an astonishing rebuild story:

Mario or his son decided to search in old magazines in order to find information about what really happened. In one from 1971 a driver called Juan Carlos Palma was said to have bought a Torino to compete in the TC series, and that the vehicle was the #2 car ran at the Nürburgring.

When searching for Palma they figured they could find his phone number by his mechanic that was also mentioned in the article. So, the number was got from him and then they called Palma.

With the license plate number that Palma had they went to the Registry to look for the report and

a mangled pile of bicycles in China, from the south-eastern city of Xiamen, with thousands of bikes from each of the top three bike sharing companies, Mobike, Ofo and the now-defunct Bluegogo.

December 6th, 2017 by admin

The large number of cycles on Chinese streets have led to scenes of clogged sidewalks no longer fit for pedestrians and piles of mangled bikes that have been illegally parked.

But the scene in Xiamen appears to be one of the largest amalgamations of discarded bicycles, with trucks unloading bikes from around the city.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/nov/25/chinas-bike-share-graveyard-a-monument-to-industrys-arrogance

China’s third largest bike sharing company, Bluegogo, has reportedly run into financial trouble, amid a wave of busts and consolidations in an industry that took the country by storm this year.

Bluegogo burned through 600m yuan (£68m) in investor funding in the year since it was founded by its youthful CEO Li Gang, deploying 700,000 bikes across cities in China.

At least three other bike sharing companies have also gone bust in recent months, although Bluegogo is by far the largest.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/17/anger-as-chinese-bike-sharing-firm-shuts-up-office-with-riders-deposits

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a mangled pile of bicycles in China, from the south-eastern city of Xiamen, with thousands of bikes from each of the top three bike sharing companies, Mobike, Ofo and the now-defunct Bluegogo.

French illustrator Christian Lacroix better known as Christian Lax

October 25th, 2017 by admin

His father encouraged him from early childhood to copy the images of Tintin and got him his first little illustrating jobs: he had always dreamed of a successful career in comic strips for his son.

He made his comics debut in the magazine l’Automobile in 1975. His first album, ‘Ennui Mortel’, was published in 1982.

In 2005 Christian published under his artist name LAX ‘L’Aigle Sans Orteils’. A wonderful historical story in which he combines his love for the French countryside, its people and his personal passion for cycling and in particular the Tour of France. In 2009 he published the sequel, named ‘Pain d’alouette-Premier époque’.

He teaches comic strips at the École d’Art Graphique Emile-Cohl in Lyon and lives in the country with his family, in an old farmhouse he has done up and which serves as a base camp when he goes cycling.

http://mcverhoog.blogspot.com/2012_02_01_archive.html

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French illustrator Christian Lacroix better known as Christian Lax

Old horse wagon exposed after Detroit lake had a record low water level in Oregon in 2015 and ‘16

September 18th, 2017 by admin

Back in 1953, the 200 residents of the tiny town of Old Detroit deserted their homes after Congress approved a nearby dam, which, when finished, would flood the area to create the reservoir now known as the Detroit Lake.

But water levels at Detroit Lake were 45 feet lower than normal in 2015, approximately 143 feet below capacity, so low that people had to pull their boats out of the local marina.

In 2015, a historic drought brought the reservoir to its lowest summertime level in history, 1,511 feet in early summer and as low as 1,425 feet by autumn.

But Marion County Deputy Dave Zahn spotted old fashion wagon wheels that had been buried in the silt and mud.

“In late October when the lake was at its lowest I took the opportunity to walk the river line to see what’s out there, more of a treasure hunt,” Zahn says.

That is when he spotted the classic timepiece.

“We noticed it was a wagon, a horse drawn wagon. It had a plate on it out of Ohio.”

“That wagon was built for the country that you’re in,” said David Sneed, owner of the Wheels that Won the West collection. “With those extra spokes, the metal encased hubs, and the ‘Oregon brake,’ it’s built to engage rough terrain.”

The wagon was made by the Milburn Wagon Company in Toledo, Ohio, sometime around the turn of the last century. Milburn was one of the nation’s biggest manufacturers: in 1882, it was producing 600 wagons per week, the majority farm wagons, Sneed said.

This one could’ve been built as late as the early 1900s, but certainly not before the 1890s, he said. Becuase the hubs on the 16-spoke wheels – themselves much ballyhooed by Milburn for “having 12 more spokes than any on the market” – were patented by James Sarven in 1857 but not used on Milburn wagons until the 1890s, Sneed said

The surprisingly well-preserved wagon was seen by a handful of people in October, lying in the exposed mud of the old townsite when the lake drained to its lowest level in 46 years. Dave Zahn, a marine deputy for Marion County, photographed it right before rainstorms came and raised the reservoir’s level.

In a matter of days, the wagon was gone again, buried under many feet of water. Its appearance had been so brief that U.S. Forest Service archaeologist Cara Kelly barely had time to document its existence and no time to plan for preserving or removing it.

“Removing it would be very costly, and it would be almost impossible without ruining it,” Kelly said. “It was challenging just trying to get to it because it’s so buried. The mud around it was like soup; I couldn’t get to within 20 feet of it.”

While Zahn first spotted the wagon on October 29, he and Kelly decided to keep its location a secret, so as not to attract potential looters and vandals. According to a metal plate attached to the wagon as seen in some of Zahn’s photographs, the wagon was made in 1875 by the Milburn Wagon Company of Toledo, Ohio, which was one of the country’s largest manufacturers of wagons at the time. As Brooks reports, the lake bottom’s low oxygen levels almost perfectly preserved the wagon – ironically, its brief stint on land probably damaged it more than all the decades it spent underwater.

http://koin.com/2016/01/06/dry-detroit-lake-reveals-bits-of-oregon-history/
http://winkster2005.tumblr.com/post/139196420029/beautyofabandonedplaces-old-horse-wagon-exposed
http://breakfastonbikes.blogspot.com/2016/03/transportation-history-on-front-page-detroit-lake-wagon.html
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/04/30/detroit-lake-hits-highest-water-level-since-2009/101028980/
http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/local/silverton/2016/03/01/detroit-lake-artifacts-give-glimpse-past/81012452/
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/west-coast-drought-uncovers-remnants-long-sunken-oregon-town-180957691/
https://swarfs.tumblr.com/

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Old horse wagon exposed after Detroit lake had a record low water level in Oregon in 2015 and ‘16

Country roads, take me home

September 3rd, 2017 by admin

Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains
Shenandoah River

Life is old there
Older than the trees
Younger than the mountains
Blowin’ like the breeze

Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, mountain momma
Take me home, country roads

All my memories gathered ’round her
Miner’s lady, stranger to blue water

Dark and dusty, painted on the sky
Misty taste of moonshine
Teardrops in my eye

[Chorus]

I hear her voice
In the mornin’ hour she calls me
The radio reminds me of my home far away

And drivin’ down the road I get a feelin’
That I should have been home
yesterday, yesterday

[Chorus:Repeat x2]
Take me home, now country roads

the Prosperity Special

May 17th, 2017 by admin

the Prosperity Special was a train made up entirely 24 Baldwin locomotives, part of an order of 50, left on May 27, 1922. They “headed west out of the Baldwin Locomotive Plant to East St. Louis, took the Cotton Belt Line across Texas and was switched to SP tracks in El Paso.

Thousands of spectators lined the tracks to see an almost half mile long train made up entirely of new locomotives cross the country bound for California. A large sign was erected on the lead locomotive that read, ‘The Prosperity Special’.

The special arrived at Taylor Yard in Los Angeles in early June. Half of the locomotives would stay here and run heavy freights over Beaumont Hill and Tehachapi Pass. The rest of the locos went to Sacramento for duty over the Sierra Nevadas, the train stopped to take on water before the descent into Bakersfield and the trip up the valley to their new home in Sacramento.

A couple of years ago I posted this pic of the completed 50 at Eddystone, Pennsylvania:http://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2015/02/baldwin-locomotive-works-1922.html

Earle C. Anthony and Lee Miles with his airplane, Los Angeles, 1935

May 14th, 2017 by admin

The Miles and Atwood Special is on the trailer, and in front of it, are Anthony and Miles.

Miles was a living legend during the Golden Age of Flight. At the time this photo was taken he was the number one air racer in the National Aeronautics Association standings.

Earl C. Anthony is perhaps best known as the Packard distributor for the state California from 1915 to 1958.

Good song, damn fine sentiment… "Old Mustang" – Johnny Rowlett

April 10th, 2017 by admin

I’m not religious, so that ending of the song is not my thing exactly, but the whole thing is pretty damn cool, or I wouldn’t post and share it

Further, he has an incredibly cool charity thing he does… here is his description of it

Everywhere we went, we saw homeless. Once in Montana on a cold night we met a man laying on the ground outside of a flying J truck stop. We went to multiple homeless shelters all over the country and learned about how we could help.

How often have the Presidents of countries met with business execs to learn about the problems of international businesses? I’m not sure, but, it happened today, and POTUS was pissed to learn how lopsided tariffs are. Harley Davidsons might just get cheaper overseas in the near future if the pres hammers out some international tariff reform

March 1st, 2017 by admin

I’m surprised to hear in the speech to congress today that other countries double the cost of HDs for no reason other than to get their citizens to buy fewer of them, and more of the native bikes that need extreme helping measures to sell in their own countries.

“We want to make it easier for business to create more jobs and more factories to be made in the U.S. and you’re a great example of that,” Trump told the executives.

Trump is seeking to uphold campaign promises to return lost manufacturing jobs to the U.S. The president has met with the CEOs of the traditional domestic automakers as well as the heads of Dow Chemical Co., Whirlpool Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp. and U.S. Steel Corp. all in his first two weeks in office, indicating he’ll take a hands-on role in U.S. corporate decision-making, especially if it’ll lead to job creation for middle-class Americans.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-02-02/trump-welcomes-harley-davidson-ceo-in-latest-white-house-session

Believe it or not, as I find it really odd, but the threat of extensive protests made it unlikely that a visit to the HD factory could be anything productive and it was found to be far cheaper and more effective to have the HD executives fly to Washington DC and meet the pres at the White House and bring some Harleys.

http://www.wisn.com/article/harley-davidson-executives-to-travel-to-dc-meet-with-president-trump/8663879
https://qz.com/921722/the-country-trump-mentioned-with-a-100-tariff-on-harley-davidson-motorcycles-india/

During his speech the president mentioned that the Harley-Davidson motorcycle company faces a 100% tariff in in at least one country.

Fact check: True. The tariff, applied by India on motorcycles with engines larger than 800cc, is a full 100%, according to the International Trade Centre. Other notable countries with high tariffs on large motorcycles are Thailand, China, and Malaysia.

The US’s tariff on large motorcycles from India is 0% and can range up to 10% for other countries.

Clearly, that isn’t good for business to be an importer of inexpensive items, and exporting the same type item at double the cost. How pharmaceuticals get cheaper when exported from the USA is a complete mystery, but it’s true.

President Trump used Harley-Davidson motorcycles as a metaphor for the obstacles faced by American companies on the global market.

“I just met with officials and workers from a great American company, Harley-Davidson. In fact, they proudly displayed five of their magnificent motorcycles, made in the USA, on the front lawn of the White House,” Trump said, and he related what he said the company’s executives had told him about global tax rates.

“At our meeting, I asked them, how are you doing, how is business? They said that it’s good,” he continued. “I asked them further how they are doing with other countries, mainly international sales. They told me – without even complaining because they have been mistreated for so long that they have become used to it – that it is very hard to do business with other countries because they tax our goods at such a high rate. They said that in one case another country taxed their motorcycles at 100 percent.”

“They weren’t even asking for change. But I am.”

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-harley-davidson-joint-session

More here: 
How often have the Presidents of countries met with business execs to learn about the problems of international businesses? I’m not sure, but, it happened today, and POTUS was pissed to learn how lopsided tariffs are. Harley Davidsons might just get cheaper overseas in the near future if the pres hammers out some international tariff reform