In December 1945 the French government invited Porsche to Paris, ostensibly to discuss licensing manufacture of a French Volkswagen. Ferdinand, Ferry and Anton Piech traveled to Paris but quickly found themselves in a political pressure cooker. The French government intended seizing the Volkswagen factory and moving it to France as reparations and they wanted Porsche’s patents. When Porsche stonewalled, the trio were arrested as war criminals. After four months imprisonment Ferry was released and hurried back to Stuttgart. To raise funds to secure his father’s release, Ferry began to promote a custom sportster that he’d been developing in Gmund. The first cars were entirely hand built from assorted VW parts in barn. Now Ferry moved the operation to Porsche’s Stuttgart workshop and started taking orders – with payment up front. Continue reading
The Price of Gold
The Legacy of Doping in the GDR
Reunited Germany inherited many East German champions who had not only broken records in track and field, but also in the forced consumption of steroids. Twenty years later, German sports are only now beginning to recover.
Ukraine has always been invaluable to Russia as a ready source of gain. For centuries, the fertile black earth of the Eastern European plains was cultivated by peasant farmers who led a traditional way of life attached to their patches of land. When Stalin came to power in 1924, he instigated a reign of terror in the Ukraine that ranks among the foremost of his crimes against humanity. Over the next few years, he imposed a ruthless policy of collectivization. The kulaks’ land was sized for state farms and they were forced to work their own land as state employees. Many rebelled and were shot. In 1928, Stalin piled on the pressure by increasing the kulaks’ taxes at the same time as requisitioning ever-larger quotas of grain. Continue reading
The early days of the Berlin Wall.
By John Bainbridge
The wall that divides Berlin is hard to visualize, because it defies comparison. Other things in the city are easy enough to imagine, because they can be Iikened to something familiar—the Kurfürstendamm to Fifth Avenue, Potsdamer Platz (in an earlier period) to Times Square, the Spree River to the East River, and so on. But there has been never been anything quite like die Mauer—or, as Mayor Willy Brandt has called it, die Schandmauer (the wall of shame). Its purpose alone would make it unique. Countries have built walls to keep their enemies out; die Mauer is probably the only wall ever built to keep a people in.
Bobby Sands once wrote: “Of course I can be murdered. But I remain what I am, a political POW, and no one, not even the British, can change that.”
In 1981 the Iranian government officially changed the name of Winston Churchill Street where the British Embassy is based to Bobby Sands Street. According to one press agency at the time, “the British nationals employed at the embassy don’t want to be located in a street named after a man whose organisation brought terror to the UK.”
The response of the British was to seal the entrance to their embassy on Bobby Sands Street and knock through the wall into Ferdowsi Avenue, which is now their new address.
The Night We Named Bobby Sands Street
There are five pyramids which have been named the Pyramid of the Sun, the Pyramid of the Moon, the Pyramid of the Dragon, the Pyramid of the Earth, and the Pyramid of Love.
Here is an overview of the Visoko valley with the location of the pyramids.
The pyramid of the Sun is the talest one and it is estimated 722 feet (220 m) high, which would make it a lot taller than the Cheops pyramid in Egypt (147 meters).
One of the biggest civilian development project that Libya’s ex-president Muammar Gaddafi undertook during his forty-two-year rule was the Great Man-Made River. Gaddafi’s dream was to provide fresh water for everyone, and to turn the desert green, making Libya self-sufficient in food production. To make this dream a reality, Gaddafi commissioned a massive engineering project consisting of a network of underground pipes that would bring fresh water from ancient underground aquifers deep in the Sahara to the drought suffering Libyan cities. Gaddafi called it the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. The western media rarely mentioned it, and whenever it did, it was dismissed as a “vanity project” calling it “Gaddafi’s Pet Project” and “the pipe dream of a mad dog”. But truth is, the Great Man-Made River Project is a fantastic water delivery system that has changed lives of Libyans all across the country.
Photo credit Nenad Markovic
Libya is one of the sunniest and driest countries in the world. There are places where decades may pass without seeing any rainfall at all, and even in the highlands rainfall seldom happens, like once every 5 to 10 years. Less than 5% of the country receives enough rainfall for settled agriculture. Much of Libya’s water supply used to come from desalination plants on the coast, which were expensive and therefore used only for domestic purposes. Little was left for irrigating the land. Continue reading