In 1999, I drove down to Normandy with my wife Anyta for a weekend to visit my parents who were enjoying a two week holiday there. A visit to the local museum there changed my life forever. Sure a lot has been written about D-Day and the war itself. But I do not have thing for war. A lot of people can tell you, in great detail, what guns and ammo where used or what paths every Division and Unit took on their way to Germany. But back then not as much was known what it was for someone in their early 18, 19, 20’s to literally step into hell. And that was something that I wanted to know. The human side of WW2. What did it do to people. How did they survive this? So that stuck with me for about a year. I started gathering emails addresses (back then the guestbooks of WWII related sites were coming up) and I stopped when I reached 2000!
I sent them all an email about what my intention was. To build a website where they could share their stories. Sometimes it helps writing down your memories. I got 1980 replies... all from emails addresses that did not exist anymore. But then Ray Aebisher replied. An American Paratrooper F Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. He wrote me: "But of course Frank I would be willing to share my story". And that was the first story on my website back in 2000. A big and warm thank you Ray for getting this project off the ground. Ray passed away 11/9/2003, I still have alls his emails and letters. May he rest in peace.
After story number 200 I became more and more involved with the side of WW2, the Holocaust. I started visiting concentration camps. Buchenwald (twice) Dora-Mittlebau (twice), Dachau, Bergen-Belsen, Auschwitz, Westerbork, Vught, Amersfoort and more. I wanted to visit them as I wanted to be there and see it for myself. How else can you make a website about it? Then I saw a documentary in tv with Robert Cohen an Auschwitz and Dora-Mittelbau survivor. I had to speak with him so I found him and drove down to see him. A moment I will never forget. Robert passed away in 2018.
So my website had to grow, but it was built in 2000 with HTML page. Oh well it had to be done. My website has just been complete redesigned and the new framework is now done. Remember this is a one man project and a big labor of love that demands time almost everyday. But I will keep on expanding my website as I see fit. It nows holds overviews of Concentration camps, Aktion T4, Holocaust, cemeteries overview, most decisive battles, photographs of WW2 to name but a few items.
The website became an important place of historic information. Every story holds valuable information about WWII. Every story has so much to offer to historians, teachers, history scholars and to everybody who wants to learn what WWII was like foe those who lived through it. As they are not edited and kept in the words of the holder of the story, it gives a fresh and new look than those in the history books. The stories will remain as they were given to me as it is in the words of the veterans and victims of the Holocaust. I am grateful to each and every story that I have ever gotten. I have about 250 in total. All of whom will be featured on this new website in the coming time. I hope you like it. A salute to all the people who suffered under te Nazi regime and the veterans and the people who lived, fought, suffered and died in WWII. We owe them our future and so much respect.
I would like to thank the people at the Arolsen Archives, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, The Holocaust Centre , Dora-Mittelbau, Bergen-Belsen, Vught, Sachsenhausen, Flossenbürg, Ravensbrück and all the other I forgot to mention for their help and support with my website. It only adds dramatically to the historical accuracy and correctness of the texts featured on my website. Thank you all!
And above all I have to thank my two children (I could not be more proud that I can get to see them grow up) and my family who support me by just being them. But the most thanks (of course) and my heart goes to my wife, Anyta. Who supports me in everything I try to do and who backs me up when I want to visit Normandy again or go to a concentration camp because I just want to be there for myself. Love you always!
I hope you visit my website and I am looking forward in hearing from you all. Thank you.
This website is made out of respect for the victims, the civilians and the veterans of WWII. It generates no financial gain what so ever and it is merely a platform to educate the visitor about WWII.
A big THANK YOU to the United States Army Center of Military History for their help in providing the input for these pages. All pages on this website are constantly being refitted with acurate data and texts and it is an ongoing process.