Tag Archives: World War II


On the Trail of Winston Churchill

England’s Churchill Trail Illuminates the Life of The World Leader who Inspired Darkest Hour

“History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it,” Winston Churchill predicted.

As one of World War II’s most revered victors, Sir Winston’s droll prophesy proved only partially true, for his story is still being written. The cherub-cheeked Churchill is currently enjoying a bit of a Renaissance as screenwriters add their two cents, scoring millions at the box office with two recently released biopics: Churchill, starring Brian Cox, and Darkest Hour, for which Gary Oldman won a Best Actor Oscar statuette at the 2018 Academy Awards.

Winston Churchill, courtesy Blenheim Palace

Winston Churchill, courtesy Blenheim Palace

If these silver screen insights have sparked a desire to do a deep dive on the iconic UK statesman, there’s no better place to begin than England. Key sites around the country form what might be dubbed “the Churchill trail.” From his labyrinthine War Rooms to the baroque palace where he was born, visitors can take a closer look at his legacy—and perhaps still catch an ethereal whiff of Sir Winston’s cigar.

Read on for the scoop on must-see Winston Churchill attractions around the UK.  (more…)

Auschwitz-Birkenhau: 70 Years after the Liberation

It’s the suitcases that finally reduce me to tears. A pile of suitcases behind a glass wall in one of the endless cell blocks at Auschwitz. Each is carefully labeled in bold letters with a name—the names of men, women and children who probably thought that they had already experienced the worst that life could deal them, being forcibly relocated from their home.

suitcases_3507“Jews were told they were going for resettlement in the East,” explains my guide, Dagmara Wiercinska. They couldn’t have imagined the horrors that awaited them here, about 40 miles west of Krakow, Poland.

Auschwitz skull sign_3557I’ve already seen too much. Touring block upon block, Dagmara has explained how Holocaust prisoners here were treated like commodities. Whatever few possessions they brought with them—things they thought they would need to build a new life—were taken from them upon their arrival and stored in warehouses which guards called “Canada,” because that was viewed as a place of enormous wealth. What remains here now are those items that the Nazis had not yet sold when Auschwitz was finally liberated on January 27, 1945. (more…)