Wednesday, 31 March 2010

UNICEF "Put It Right" Campaign - Aklima's Story

Children around the world are having their rights denied every day. UNICEF is working in 193 countries to protect these rights, making sure children's voices are heard and listened to.

Aklima's Story
Aklima, aged 12, lives in Dhaka in Bangladesh with her parents, four sisters and two brothers. Her family is very poor.
Aklima doesn’t spend her days in a classroom like other children her age.
Instead, she makes a living by scavenging for bits of plastic and scraps of paper at a rubbish dump.

Dangerous work
Every morning, Aklima makes the hour-long walk to the dump with her friends. They chat and laugh together throughout the day, but the work can be dangerous.
“Sometimes I cut my hands and legs on broken glass or tins.”
It’s wrong that Aklima has to work. Because she works, she has not been able to go to a normal primary school.

Denied an education
Around the world, approximately 100 million children - the majority of them girls - are still denied their right to go to school.
Without an education, it is almost impossible for children like Aklima to get out of the poverty that forces them to work in dangerous, unpleasant conditions.
“I don’t want to do this work.”

Poverty and other barriers
Poverty and pressure to work are not the only things keeping children out of the classroom.
Lack of facilities, war, and discrimination against girls and minority groups deny other children the chance to learn.
Yet every child, wherever they are, has the right to free primary education.

UNICEF works to put it right
A few months ago, a social worker introduced Aklima to an informal, open-air school near the rubbish dump. The school is run by a local organisation in partnership with UNICEF.
Although Aklima still has to work in the morning, she can now go to school in the afternoon.
“It’s good to go to school.”

A love of learning
Aklima is thrilled to have the opportunity to learn. She enjoys being with all the other children and her favourite subject is maths.
“We study. Everyone sits together. We draw pictures and write Bangla.”
UNICEF recognises that even basic, part-time education can make a world of difference for children like Aklima – and their children in turn.

Essential supplies
UNICEF works to ensure that all children have the chance to go to school.
We help to put essential supplies such as books in place wherever children need them. We work with families, communities and governments to tackle child labour.
We partner with local organisations to reach out to children like Aklima.

You can help
Aklima now has the chance to go to school, but millions of children around the world still can’t get any education.
UNICEF is funded entirely by voluntary contributions. We need your help to ensure that every child has the chance to learn - and so develop to their full potential.
Denying a child’s right to education is wrong. Help us put it right for children like Aklima.

With grateful thanks to UNICEF for their permission to reproduce this material from their official site.
If you wish to learn more about the work carried out by UNICEF click on the following link:


Eva Braun

Eva Anna Paula Braun, died Eva Anna Paula Hitler (6 February 1912 – 30 April 1945) was the longtime companion and, for a brief time, wife, of Adolph Hitler. Braun met Hitler in Munich when she was 17 years old while working as an assistant and model for his personal photographer and began seeing him often about two years later. She attempted suicide twice during their early relationship. By 1936 she was a part of his household at the Berghof near Berchtesgaden and by all accounts lived a materially luxurious and sheltered life throughout World war II. Her political sway on Hitler is unknown, but the consensus among historians is that this was likely little to none Braun kept up habits which met Hitler's disapproval, such as smoking, wearing makeup and nude sunbathing. Braun enjoyed photography and many of the surviving colour photographs of Hitler were taken by her. She was a key figure within Hitler's inner social circle, but did not attend public events with him until the summer of 1944, when her sister married an officer on his personal staff.
As the Third Reich collapsed towards the end of the war, Braun swore her loyalty to Hitler and went to Berlin to be by his side in the heavily reinforced Fuhrerbunker deep beneath the Reich
chancellery. As Red Army troops fought their way into the neighbourhood on 29 April 1945, she married Hitler during a brief civil ceremony: she was 33 and he 56. Less than 40 hours later they comitted suicide together in a sitting room of the bunker, she by biting into a capsule of cyanide. The German public was wholly unaware of Braun until after her death.

Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler with Blondi at the Berghof in either 1940 or 1942.

Born in Munich, Eva Braun was the second daughter of school teacher Friedrich "Fritz" Braun and Franziska "Fanny" Kronberger, who both came from respectable Bavarian Catholic families. Her elder sister Ilse was born in 1909 and her younger sister Margarete "Gretl" was born in 1915. Braun was educated at a lyceum, then for one year at a business school in a convent where she had average grades and a talent for athletics. She worked for several months as a receptionist at a medical office, then at age 17 took a job as an office and lab assistant and photographer's model for Heinrich Hoffmann, the official photographer for the Nazi Party. She met Hitler, 23 years her senior, at Hoffmann's studio of Munich in October 1929. He had been introduced to her as "Herr Wolff" (a childhood nickname he used during the 1920s for security purposes). She described him to friends as a "gentleman of a certain age with a funny moustache, a light-coloured English overcoat, and carrying a big felt hat." He appreciated her eye colour, which was said to be close to his mother's. Her family was strongly against the relationship and little is known about it during the first two years.

Relationship and turmoil
Hitler saw more of Braun after the apparent 1931 suicide of his half sister Angela's daughter Geli
Raubal with whom, it was rumoured, he had been intimate. The circumstances of Raubal's death in Munich have never been confirmed. Some historians suggest she killed herself because she was distraught over her relationship with Hitler or his relationship with Braun, while others have speculated Hitler played a more direct role in the death of his niece. Braun was unaware that Raubal was a rival for Hitler's affections until after Raubal's death. Meanwhile, Hitler was seeing other women, such as actress Renate Muller, whose early death may also have been suicide.
Eva Braun first attempted suicide on 1 November 1932 at the age of 20 by shooting herself in the chest with her father's pistol. She attempted suicide a second time on 28 May 1935 by taking an overdose of Phanodorm (sleeping pills). After Braun's recovery, Hitler became more committed to her and arranged for the substantial royalties from widely published and popular photographs of him taken by Hoffmann's photo studio to pay for a villa in Munich. This income also provided her with a Mercedes, a chauffeur and a maid. Braun's sister Gretl moved in with her. Hoffmann later asserted Braun became a fixture in Hitler's life by attempting suicide less than a year after Geli Raubal's death, as Hitler wished to avoid any further scandal.
When Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, Braun sat on the stage in the area reserved for VIPs as a secretary, to which Hitler's sister Angela strongly objected, along with the wives of other ministers. She was banned from living anywhere near Braun as a result. By 1936 Braun was at Hitler's household at the Berghof near Berchtesgaden whenever he was in residence there and her parents were also invited for dinner several times. In 1938 Hitler named Braun his primary heir, to receive about 600 pounds yearly after his death. Nonetheless, Braun's political influence on Hitler was apparently minimal. She was never allowed to stay in the room when business or political conversations took place. However, some historians have inferred she was aware of at least some sordid details concerning the Third Reich's inner workings. It is not certain whether Braun was a member of the Nazi party. According to biographer Angela
Lambert Braun was neither a member nor ever pressured to join. By all accounts she led a sheltered and privileged existence and seemed uninterested in politics. The only known instance in which she took any interest in policy and politics was in 1943, shortly after Germany had fully transitioned to a total war economy. Among other things, the transition meant a potential ban on women's cosmetics and luxuries (as was already the case in the Allied countries). According to Albert Speer's memoir, Inside the Third Reich, Braun immediately approached Hitler in "high indignation", to which an "uncertain" Hitler instructed Speer to simply and quietly cease production of women's cosmetics and luxuries rather than an outright ban.
Hitler and Braun never appeared as a couple in public and there is some indication that this, along with their not having married early in their relationship, was due to Hitler's fear that he would lose popularity among female supporters. The German people were wholly unaware of Braun's relationship with Hitler until after the war. According to Speer's memoirs, Braun never slept in the same room as Hitler and had her own rooms at the Berghof, in Hitler's Berlin residence and in the Berlin bunker. Speer also wrote:
"Eva Braun was allowed to be present during visits from old party associates. She was banished as soon as other dignitaries of the Reich, such as cabinet ministers, appeared at the table ... Hitler obviously regarded her as socially acceptable only within strict limits. Sometimes I kept her company in her exile, a room next to Hitler's bedroom. She was so intimidated that she did not dare leave the house for a walk. Out of sympathy for her predicament I soon began to feel a liking for this unhappy woman, who was so deeply attached to Hitler."
Speer later said, "Eva Braun will prove a great disappointment to historians."

Even during World War II Braun apparently lived a life of leisure, spending her time exercising, reading romance novels, watching films and early German television (at least until around 1943) along with later helping to host gatherings of Hitler's inner circle. She reportedly accepted gifts which were stolen property belonging to deposed European royal families.
Traudl Junge, Hitler's youngest secretary, wrote in her memoirs Until The Final Hour:
"She was very well dressed and groomed, and I noticed her natural unaffected manner. She wasn't the kind of ideal German girl you saw on recruiting posters for the BDM or in woman's magazines. Her carefully done hair was bleached, and her pretty face was made up - quite heavily but in very good taste. Eva Braun wasn't tall but she had a very pretty figure and a distinguished appearance. She knew just how to dress in a style that suited her and never looked as if she had overdone it — she always seemed appropriately and tastefully dressed, although she wore valuable jewelry. ...Eva wasn't allowed to change her hair style. Once she appeared with her hair tinted slightly darker and on one occasion she piled it up on the top of her head. Hitler was horrified: 'you look totally strange, quite changed. You are an entirely different woman!' ...and Eva Braun made haste to revert to the way she looked before."
Unlike most other Germans she was reportedly free to read European and American magazines and watch foreign films. Her affection for nude sunbathing (and being photographed at it) is known to have infuriated Hitler. Braun had a lifelong interest in photography and their closest friends called her the Rolleiflex Girl (after the well-known camera model). She did her own darkroom processing of silver (black and white) stills and most of the extant colour stills and movies of Hitler are her work.
Otto Gunsche and Heinz Linge, during extensive debriefings by Soviet intelligence officials after the war, said Braun was at the centre of Hitler's life for most of his 12 years in power. It was said that in 1936,
"He was always accompanied by her. As soon as he heard the voice of his lover he became jollier. He would make jokes about her new hats. He would take her for hours on end into his study where there would be champagne cooling in ice, chocolates, cognac, and fruit."
The interrogation report adds that when Hitler was too busy for her, "Eva would often be in tears." Speer remarked that she had told him, in the middle of 1943, that Hitler was often too busy, immersed, or tired to have sex with her.
Linge said that before the war, Hitler ordered an increase of the police guard at Braun's house in Munich after she reported to the Gestapo that a woman had said to her face she was the "Fuhrer-whore". He also stated in his memoirs that Hitler and Eva had two bedrooms and two bathrooms with interconnecting doors at the Berghof and Hitler would end most evenings alone with her in his study drinking tea.
Hitler is known to have been opposed to women wearing cosmetics (in part because they were made from animal by-products and he was a vegetarian and sometimes brought the subject up at mealtime. Linge (who was his valet) said Hitler once laughed at traces of Braun's lipstick on a napkin and to tease her, joked, "Soon we will have replacement lipstick made from dead bodies of soldiers".
Braun was very fond of her two Scottish Terrier dogs named Negus and Stasi (this dog is labeled "Katuschka" in Eva Braun's photo albums and they feature in her home movies. She usually kept them away from Hitler's German Shepherd "Blondie".
In 1944, Braun invited her cousin Gertraud Weisker to visit her at the Berghof near Berchtasgaden. Decades later, Weisker recalled that although women in the Third Reich were expected not to wear make-up, drink, or smoke, Braun did all of these things. "She was the unhappiest woman I have ever met," said Weisker, who informed Braun about how poorly the war was going for Germany, having illegally listened to BBC news broadcasts in German.
On 3 June 1944 Eva Braun's younger sister Gretl married Hermann Fegelein, who served as Heinrich
Himmler's liaison on Hitler's staff. Hitler used the marriage as an excuse to allow Braun to appear at official functions. When Fegelein was caught in the closing days of the war trying to escape to Sweden with another woman, Hitler personally ordered his execution. Gretl was nine months pregnant with a daughter at this time and after the war named the child Eva Barbara Fegelein in remembrance of her sister (Eva Fegelein committed suicide in 1975]
After learning about the failed 20 July plot to kill Hitler, Braun wrote to him, "From our first meeting I swore to follow you anywhere even unto death. I live only for your love."
Marriage and suicide
In early April 1945 Braun travelled by car from Munich to Berlin to be with Hitler at the Fuhrerbunker. She refused to leave as the Red Army closed in, insisting she was one of the few people loyal to him left in the world. Hitler and Braun were married on 29 April 1945 around 00.30hrs during a brief civil ceremony which was witnessed by Joseph Goebbels and Martin
Bormann. The bride wore a black (some accounts say dark blue) silk dress.
With Braun's marriage her legal name changed to Eva Hitler. When she signed her marriage certificate she wrote the letter B for her family name, then lined this out and replaced it with Hitler. Although bunker personnel were instructed to call her Frau Hitler, her new husband continued to call his wife Fraulein Braun.
There was gossip among the Führerbunker staff that she was carrying Hitler's child, but there is no evidence she was ever pregnant.
Braun and Hitler committed suicide together on 30 April 1945 at around 3:30 p.m. The occupants of the bunker heard a gunshot and the bodies were soon discovered. She had bitten onto a cyanide capsule (most historians have concluded that Hitler used a combination method, shooting himself in the right temple immediately after biting a cyanide capsule). Braun was 33 years old when she died. Their corpses were burned in the Reich Chancellery garden just outside the bunker's emergency exit.
The charred remains were found by the Russians and secretly buried at the SMERCH compound in Magdeburd, East Germany along with the bodies of Joseph and Magda Goebbels and their six children. All of these remains were exhumed in April 1970, completely cremated and dispersed in the Elbe river.
The rest of Braun's family survived the war, including her father, who worked in a hospital and to whom Braun sent several trunks of her belongings in April 1945. Her mother, Franziska, died at age 91 in January 1976, having lived out her days in an old farmhouse in Ruhpolding, Bavaria.

Attractive Beer Coolers

Keeping abreast of refrigeration techniques!

Crimes That Led To The Guillotine (Marcel Petiot)

Marcel André Henri Félix Petiot (17 January 1897 – 25 May 1946) was a French doctor and serial killer convicted of multiple murders after the discovery of the remains of 26 people in his home in Paris after World War II. He is suspected of killing more than 60 victims during his life.
Early life
Petiot was born 17 January 1897 at Auxerre, France. Later accounts make various claims of his delinquency and criminal acts during childhood and adolescence, but it is unclear whether they were invented afterwards for public consumption. It should be noted, however, that a psychiatrist diagnosed him as mentally ill on 26 March 1914, and he was expelled from school many times. He finished his education in a special academy in Paris in July 1915.
During World War I, Petiot was drafted into the French infantry in January 1916. In Aisne, he was wounded and gassed and exhibited more symptoms of mental breakdown. He was sent to various rest homes, where he was arrested for stealing army blankets and jailed in Orleans. In a psychiatric hospital at Fleury-les-Aubrais, he was again diagnosed with various mental ailments but was returned to the front in June 1918. He was transferred three weeks later after he shot himself in the foot, but was attached to a new regiment in September. A new diagnosis was enough to get him discharged with a disability pension.
Medical training
After the war, Petiot entered the accelerated education program intended for war veterans, completed medical school in eight months and went to become an intern in Evreux mental hospital. He received his medical degree in December 1921 and moved to Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, where he received payment for his services both from the patients and from government medical assistance funds. At this point, he was already using addictive narcotics. While working at Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, he gained a reputation for dubious medical practices, such as supplying narcotics, and performing then-illegal abortions. Petiot's first victim might have been Louise Delaveau, the daughter of an elderly patient, with whom he had an affair in 1926. Delaveau disappeared in May and neighbours later said that they had seen Petiot load a trunk into his car. Police investigated, but eventually dismissed her as a runaway. That same year, Petiot ran for mayor of the town, hired an accomplice to disrupt a political debate with his opponent, and won. Once in office, he embezzled from the town funds. In 1927, he married Georgette Lablais. Their son Gerhardt was born the next year.
The local prefect received numerous complaints about Petiot's theft and shady financial deals. Petiot was eventually suspended as a mayor in August 1931 and resigned. The village council also resigned in sympathy. Five weeks later, on 18 October, he was elected as a councilor for the Yonne district. In 1932, he was accused of stealing electric power from the village of Villeneuve-sur-Yonne and he lost his seat in a council. Meanwhile, he had already moved to Paris.
In Paris, Petiot attracted patients with his imaginary credentials, and built an impressive reputation for his practice at 66 rue de Caumartin. However, there were rumors of illegal abortions and overt prescriptions of addictive remedies. In 1936, he was appointed médecin d'état-civil, with authority to write death certifcates. The same year, he was briefly institutionalized for kleptomania, but was released the following year. He still persisted in tax
After the outbreak of World War II and the Fall of france, Petiot begun to provide false medical certificates to French citizens who were drafted for forced labour in Germany, and treated sick workers that had returned. He was also convicted, in July 1942, of over-prescribing narcotics, despite the fact that two addicts who would have testified against him had disappeared. He was fined 2400 francs.
According to his own tall tales, Petiot also developed secret weapons that supposedly killed Germans without leaving forensic evidence, had high-level meetings with Allied commanders, engaged in resistance activities (planting booby traps all over Paris), and worked with a (nonexistent) group of anti-fascist Spaniards.
Fraudulent escape network
Petiot's most lucrative activity, however, was his own false escape route. He adopted a "code-name" "Dr. Eugène". He accepted anyone who could afford his price of 25,000 francs per person, regardless of whether they were Jews, resistance fighters, or ordinary criminals. His aides, Raoul Fourrier, Edmond Pintard, and René-Gustave Nézondet, directed victims to him. Petiot claimed that he could arrange a safe passage to Argentina or elsewhere in South America through Portugal. He also claimed that Argentine officials demanded inoculations and injected his victims with cyanide. Then he took all their valuables and disposed of the bodies. People who trusted him to deliver them to safety were never seen alive again.
At first, Petiot dumped the bodies in the Seine, but he later destroyed the bodies by submerging them in quicklime or by incinerating them. In 1941, Petiot bought a house at 21 rue le Sueur.
What Petiot failed to do was to keep a low profile. The Gestapo eventually found out about him and, by April 1943, they had heard all about his "route". Gestapo agent Robert Jodkum forced prisoner Yvan Dreyfus to approach the supposed network, but he simply vanished. A later informer successfully infiltrated the operation and the Gestapo arrested Fourrier, Pintard, and Nézondet. Under torture, they confessed that "Dr Eugène" was Marcel Petiot. Nezondet was later released but three others spent eight months in prison suspected of helping Jews to escape. Even under torture, they did not identify any other members of the resistance - because they actually knew of none. The Gestapo released the three men in January 1944.
Evasion and capture
During the intervening seven months, Petiot hid with friends, claiming that the Gestapo wanted him because he had killed Germans and informers. He eventually moved in with a patient, Georges Redouté, let his beard grow and adopted various aliases.
When the Resistance and the Paris police rose against German troops in Paris, Petiot adopted the name "Henri Valeri" and joined the French Forces of the Interior (FFI). He became a captain in charge of counterespionage and prisoner interrogations.
When the newspaper Resistance published an article about Petiot, his defense attorney from the 1942 narcotics case received a letter in which his fugitive client claimed that the published allegations were mere lies. This gave police a hint that Petiot was still in Paris. The search began anew - with "Henri Valeri" among those who were drafted to find him. Finally, on 31 October, Petiot was recognized at a Paris metro station, and arrested. Among his possessions were a pistol, 31,700 francs, and 50 sets of identity documents.
Trial and sentence
Petiot was placed on death row at La Sante prison. He continued to claim that he was innocent and that he had only killed enemies of France. He claimed that he had discovered the pile of bodies in 21 Rue le Sueur in February 1944, and assumed that they were collaborators that members of his "network" had killed.
Police noticed that Petiot had no friends in any of the major resistance groups. Some of the groups he had mentioned had never existed, and there was no proof of any of his claimed exploits. Prosecutors eventually charged him with at least 27 murders for profit. Their estimate of his loot ran to 200 million francs.
Petiot went on trial on 19 March 1946, facing 135 criminal charges. Rene Floriot acted for the defense, against a team consisting of state prosecutors and twelve civil lawyers hired by relatives of Petiot's victims. Petiot taunted the prosecuting lawyers, and claimed that various victims had been collaborators or double agents, or that vanished people were alive and well in South America under new names. He admitted to killing just nineteen of the twenty-seven victims found in his house, and claimed that they were Germans and collaborators - part of a total of 63 "enemies" killed. Floriot attempted to portray Petiot as a resistance hero, but the judges and jurors were unimpressed. Petiot was convicted of 26 counts of murder, and sentenced to death.
On 25 May, Petiot was beheaded, after a stay of a few days due to a problem in the release mechanism of the guillotine.