Friday, December 23, 2011

Just the Facts?: The Ovitz Family Ordeal -- Philip Coppens Interview -- Search for the Javan Tiger

The Ovitz Family Ordeal

Of all the trials and tribulations endured by those born unique, few equal the horrors chronicled by Elizabeth Ovitz as she and her siblings were tortured and experimented upon by the infamous Nazi “Angel of Death” Josef Mengele.

The Ovitz family were Transylvanian Jews. Their patriarch, Shimshon Isaac Ovitz, was a respected Rabbi and dwarf. The majority of his children, Elizabeth included, inherited his pseudoachondroplasia dwarfism and upon his sudden death his widow reasoned that the seven stunted Ovitz siblings could secure a financially sound career as a traveling music troupe. In relatively short order, the siblings formed the ‘Jazz Band of Lilliput’ and began touring Central Europe.

By 1942, despite the unstable status of Central Europe of the march of the Nazi army, the Ovitz family managed to continue touring by concealing their Jewish identities. Elizabeth was able to marry in May of that same year to a young theatre manager named Yoshko Moskovitz. The couple was forced to split just ten days after their marriage when Yoshko was drafted into a labour battalion. For another two years, the Ovitz family continued to tour, unfortunately they were in Hungary in March of 1944 when German troops occupied the country. On May 17 the Ovitz family was captured, loaded into a boxcar and sent off to Auschwitz.

Elizabeth recalled the first time she set eyes on Dr. Mengele as he stood on the platform dividing the new arrivals into those to be executed immediately and those who were to suffer the camp incarceration. Mengele was a deceptively handsome man and his eyes lit up when he saw the tiny Ovitz family. Mengele had previously tortured, experimented upon and dissected dozens of twin siblings for no reason other than to document the similarities of their internal organs and in the Ovitz family Mengele saw the ultimate test subjects. In fact, Elizabeth quoted Mengele as enthusiastically declaring: ‘Now I will have work for the next twenty years; now science will have an interesting subject to consider.’

At Auschwitz Elizabeth and her family were segregated and subjected to all manner of frenetic experimentation. As Elizabeth would write:

‘The most frightful experiments of all were the gynaecological experiments. They tied us to the table and the systematic torture began. They injected things into our uterus, extracted blood, dug into us, pierced us and removed samples. It is impossible to put into words the intolerable pain that we suffered, which continued for many days after the experiments ceased.’

The gynaecological experimentation was so severe that even the doctors assisting the procedures eventually refused to continue out of pity, whilst citing the very real possibility that the family would not be able to survive further invasive procedure. Mengele relented as he did not want to risk the lives of his favourite lab rats. Instead, he concocted and implemented new sadistic experiments.

‘They extracted fluid from our spinal. The hair extraction began again and when we were ready to collapse, they began painful tests on the brain, nose, mouth, and hand region. All stages were fully documented with illustrations. It may be noted, ironically, that we were among the only ones in the world whose torture was premeditated and ‘scientifically’ documented for the sake of future generations.”

In addition, Mengele’s physicians also painfully extracted bone marrow and pulled out teeth to find signs of hereditary disease and blinded members of the family with chemical drops.

Not content to keep his prized subject hidden within the confines of his laboratory, Mengele displayed the Ovitz family, striped nude, to groups of senior Nazis while lecturing on their inferior genetics. He also created a film for Adolf Hitler’s amusement staring the Ovitz family. The Ovitz family sang German songs when ordered to do so out of terror. Shortly before the request they had witnessed two newcomer dwarfs being killed and boiled so their bones could be exhibited in a Nazi museum.

All told, the Ovitz family endured seven month under the torturous hand of Mengele.

Auschwitz was liberated on January 27, 1945. Elizabeth and her family were rescued by Soviet troops from what was likely certain death. Just two days previous to the liberation, Mengele approached Elizabeth with a collection of glass eyes and attempted to match her shade.

During the following four years the family toured the wreckage of Eastern and Central Europe. They choreographed and performed a new routine in remembrance of their experience. Each night Elizabeth, partnered by one of her brothers, would dance the part of Life to his Death in what they called the Totentanz.

In 1949 the family emigrated to Israel and Elizabeth died in Haifa in 1992.

Josef Mengele was never captured or tried for his crimes. He died on a beach in Brazil in 1979.

In Our Hearts We Were Giants: The Remarkable Story of the Lilliput Troupe: A Dwarf Family's Survival of the Holocaust


For our final show of 2011, author and journalist Philip Coppens joins us to ask ‘The Ancient Alien Question‘.

With substantial proof in hand that our ancestors were far more technologically advanced than currently accepted, Coppens lays out the best evidence that some ancient cultures had interactions with non-human intelligences.

Go to Episode 624 – Mysterious Universe - Philip Coppens Interview

The Ancient Alien Question: A New Inquiry Into the Existence, Evidence, and Influence of Ancient Visitors


Search for the Javan Tiger

The Meru Betiri National Park in East Java, Indonesia – the last known habitat for the tiger, which has not been definitively sighted since 1976 – is setting up five camera traps after new signs of possible tiger activity were found.

In recent years, camera traps – which take photos when an infrared sensor is activated – have rediscovered several rare animals, including the first wolverine seen in California since 1922 and the Amur leopard in China, not seen in more than 60 years.

The Javan tiger died off due to deforestation and hunting, as well as military groups which killed it after they took cover in its habitat during the 1960s. It is believed to have disappeared from the rest of the island by the 1940s and was officially declared extinct in 1994 after camera traps failed to sight any evidence of the animal or its tracks.

But there have since been regular reports of cat tracks and paw prints by local villagers. An 11-inch print recorded in 1997 is presumed to be the tiger's, while an Indonesian environmental group believes some fur and faeces found in 2004 are also evidence of its existence.

"I am optimistic that the Javan tiger still lives in Meru Betiri," said the head of the park, Bambang Darmadja.

"We're going to set up those camera traps to finally resolve the question of the Javan tiger being extinct, because the evidence that we have so far, from droppings and paw prints to claw marks, suggests that it may still exist in Meru Betiri." A local environmentalist, Wahyu Giri Prasetyo, said he believed a handful of tigers may still be in the wild. He said the tiger was "rare" rather than extinct but would not be located without adequate research and equipment. - telegraph


Kim Jong-Il fun facts

1. His official biography claimed his birth was foretold by a swallow and led to the appearance of a double rainbow along with the emergence of a new star in space. He went on to spread the myth among his subjects that his mood could control the weather.

2. You may not be aware of this, but Kim Jong-Il was the world's greatest golfer... According to an official government handout marking his 62nd birthday, Kim celebrated by demolishing a par 72 course in just 34 strokes, managing a world record five holes-in-one on the way. To top it all, the superhuman round was apparently the first time he had actually played the sport.

3. In 2006, German giant rabbit breeder Karl Szmolinsky was contacted by Pyongyang, asking if they could buy 12 of the bumper bunnies. Having seen the massive rabbits in a newspaper, Kim planned to set up a breeding programme to boost meat production in the famine-hit country. Despite Szmolinsky warning the rabbits would make the situation worse - they only yield about 15 pounds of meat and have a huge appetite for carrots and potatoes - Kim insisted the animals should still be sent. Szmolinsky claims once the animals arrived Kim ate them himself as part of his birthday celebrations.

4. In 2004, a former chef for Kim revealed the North Korean leader employed staff to make sure the grains of rice served to him were absolutely uniform in size and colour.

5. In 2010 Kim Jong-Il banned the World Cup from being broadcast in North Korea unless the national team won. The communist country's state-run TV stations were ordered not to broadcast live matches or games involving other nations, with only heavily edited highlights of North Korean victories permitted to be screened.

6. Hacked off by the lack of film-makers in his native land, in 1978 Kim arranged for two South Korean directors to be kidnapped from Hong Kong and brought to him. They tried to escape but eventually relented, making a string of movies for him including the cult Godzilla rip-off Pulgasari.

7. After being told by doctor's to give up smoking in 2007, Kim quit then decided he needed to go one step further to protect his health and so outlawed fags for the rest of his compatriots with a nationwide ban.

8. According to Russian emissary Konstantin Pulikovsky, who travelled with Mr Kim by train across Eastern Europe, Kim had live lobsters air-lifted to the train every day which he ate with silver chopsticks. Where did all his food go? An official biography on the North Korean state website declared Kim Jong Il did not defecate. The biography has since been removed.

9. After suffering a back injury following a horse riding accident, Kim was prescribed painkillers. Fearful of becoming addicted, he ordered a half-dozen of his closest staff to receive the same injection under the logic that if he became dependent, he wouldn't be the only one.

10. As well as being something of a foodie, Kim knew his booze. According to Hennessy, Kim was one of their single biggest customers, importing £350,000 worth of the cognac every year.

11. In 2004 he claimed to have invented the hamburger.

12. One of his unofficial titles was The Central Brain.

13. He once wrote six operas in two years.

14. He has collected more than 20,000 foreign films - with his favourites including Rambo and Friday 13th.

15. He was a keen roller-blader.

16. During a 2001 visit to Moscow by rail he had roast donkey flown to his train every day.

17. In the 1950s he built an entire city called Kijong-Dong that was designed only for propaganda. To this day it has no residents. - mirror

AND....Kim Jong-Un fun facts

1) He is a Daejang in the Korean People's Army, a military rank equivalent to that of a General.

2) Kim is said to have studied computer science privately in North Korea, obtaining two degrees - one in physics at Kim Il Sung University and another at the Kim Il Sung Military Academy.

3) Reports have also suggested that he is a diabetic and suffers from hypertension.

4) Named vice chairman of the Central Military Commission on 28 September 2010, Kim was also appointed to the Central Committee of the Workers' Party, in an apparent nod to becoming his father’s successor.

5) During his time at the Liebefeld-Steinholzi school, staff had not idea who his father was – being continually fobbed off with various excuses by the teenage pupil’s shadowy chaperones about why his parents could not attend end of term meetings.

6) Going under the name of ‘Pak Un’, Swiss authorities were told that Kim was the son of an employee at North Korea’s embassy when he enrolled in August 1998.

7) ‘Pak’ arrived in Europe with a “fantastic” collection of Nike trainers worth thousands of pounds. Each pair of his trainers was worth more than four times the average monthly salary in North Korea.

8) Amazingly, ‘Pak’ only revealed his identity to his closest school friend, Portuguese teenager Joao Micaelo.

9) He lived in a large flat at No 10 Kirchstrasse, a sedate suburban street with two pizza cafes, a bank and a Co-op supermarket.

10) Friends say he was “obsessed” with basketball and showed “absolutely no interest” in politics.

11) Noted as the “fiercely competitive” star of his school basketball team, one of his heroes was LA Lakers ace Kobe Bryant

12) One friend, Marco Imhof, remembers seeing two North Korean women videotaping Jong-un when he played basketball. Imhof said: “I thought it strange, but put it down to being a Korean thing. He hated to lose. Winning was very important.”

13) After enrolling at the posh Swiss school, Jong-un had to attend a special language course for students with poor German. He went on to speak it fluently, along with basic English and French.

14) He once got in trouble when a teacher, checking pupils’ bags for cheat notes before an exam, caught him with a bondage porn mag.

15) His favourite film star during his time at school was kung fu king Jackie Chan and he spent hours watching his action movies.

16) His former sushi chef has claimed Jong-Un was favoured for succession by his father over his brother Kim Jong-chul on the basis that Jong-chul is ‘too common' while Jong-un is "exactly like his father". - mirror