Ten Tribes Tribal Report
22 June 2010 10 Tammuz 5770
Orjan Svensson: Royal Wedding, Yesterday in Sweden
2. The UK. Slavery and pain: the Nazis on the Channel Islands
3. Swiss Churches Show Solidarity with Kidnapped Israeli Soldier


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1. Orjan Svensson: Royal Wedding, Yesterday in Sweden
From: 'jan Svensson <>
Subject: royal wedding, yesterday in Sweden
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2010 00:32:21 -0700 (PDT)

2. The UK. Slavery and pain: the Nazis on the Channel Islands

By Olly Grant
If you want to understand the scale of Hitler's ambitions for the Channel Islands, says Nettles, just hop across the water to Guernsey. Walk the corridors of the Nazi-made Underground Hospital, as he did recently. 'You can still see the bitumen where they put the explosives, the great galleries where they housed the dead and dying,' he says. 'It goes on forever. Just your echoing footsteps and the drip of the water. If you want an idea of how big and horrible the whole Nazi episode was, that's the place to go.'

It's 70 years since Germany conquered the Channel Islands, the only slice of the British Isles to fall into Nazi hands.
The account begins in 1940, when the islands were demilitarised to await their inevitable conquest. As Churchill's troops fled France, the island authorities were told to expect no rescue force. This was a pragmatic necessity, says Nettles, since the islands had little military value and were impossible to defend.But Hitler felt differently. 'He was convinced that they had tremendous strategic importance,' Nettles says. 'In fact, they had very little. The phrase used is Inselwahn, which means 'island madness'. And Hitler had it. He was so driven by the thrill of getting British soil that he fortified the whole lot.'

Nettles's island interviews reveal surprisingly mixed memories of the invaders. Some recall how the Germans went out of their way to befriend the locals. They appeared to be determined 'not to treat [us] the way they had treated the Belgians, the Dutch and the French,' says one contributor. 'They seemed to have a higher regard for us; they wanted to be friends.'

But brutality was never far from the surface. Along the coast in St Helier, Geoffrey Messervie Norman, 74, explains how he witnessed Nazi savagery at first hand. He was a child during the Occupation. One day, he stopped to eat lunch with a group of slave workers, noting how one of them had 'dipped his feet in tar to protect them from the rough stones,' he says. 'Lunch was over and the guard turned on the guy next to me, and beat him with a club. I had never seen a man cry before. But I never forgot it.'

Slave workers were one of the dirty secrets of Hitler's island campaign. Some 6,000 foreign prisoners were imported to build the fortifications, and an estimated four in 10 died. Another group singled out by the Nazis, inevitably, were the Jews. Nettles follows the moving story of three Guernsey women who were identified and deported, eventually to die in Auschwitz.

For the rest of the population, the greatest suffering came towards the war's end, when food shortages threatened starvation. 'I remember seeing a German officer collecting acorns,' recalls Bob Le Sueur, 89, a Jersey resident who helped run a network of safe houses for escaped slaves. 'I asked him if it was to flavour his coffee. And he said, 'No. It's for eating.' And this was an officer! By the end of the war, they were collecting limpets from the rocks and gnawing them raw, they were so hungry.'

Just how much the islanders actively helped the resident Germans remains a prickly subject. Nettles thinks the collaboration question is largely semantic. 'At one time on Guernsey there was one German for every two islanders, and you don't call obeying them "collaboration", you call it 'enforced co-operation'. I've not the slightest doubt that reprisals would have been taken against the populations of these islands if they hadn't toed the line.'

Liberation came late for the islanders. Allied ships arrived on Guernsey on May 9, 1945, the day after VE Day ' making it the last territory in Western Europe to be freed from German rule. As in all conflicts, Nettles says, the period produced both the worst examples of humanity, and the best. 'When you break it down, the Occupation isn't one story but many. And it threw up all kinds of wonderful people, too. People like Louise Gould, who managed to hide a Russian man for two years until she was betrayed. Brilliant people who did their best for those in their care. And I think they deserve a great deal of praise.'

3. Swiss Churches Show Solidarity with Kidnapped Israeli Soldier
From: Guysen International News <>
Subject: Mailinfo - Guysen International News - 22/06/2010

16:14 Churches in Switzerland to turn off lights Wednesday evening for ten minutes in solidarity with Shalit (Guysen.International.News)
At least two large churches in the Swiss city of Zurich will turn off their lights for five to 10 minutes this Wednesday at 11 pm (local time) in solidarity with kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, marking the beginning of his fifth year in Hamas captivity. The move was initiated by several Jewish organizations in Switzerland.

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