Betty MacDonald fan club fans,
it's International Women's day today.
Let's praise outstanding women, writers and artists.
I was rereading Monica Sone's very important book 'Nisei Daughter'.
I agree with Milion S. Eisenhower who asked:
"How could such a tragedy have occurred in a democratic society that prides itself on individual rights and freedoms?"
I didn't know that some 10,905 enemy aliens from Germany were interned - along with 16,849 Japanese, 3,278 Italians, 53 Hungarians, 25 Rumanians, five Bulgarians and 161 others.
In the camps, internees were seen more as prisoners of war than as civilians.
John Heitmann's research paints a picture of shared huts, inadequate washing and toilet facilities, green uniforms, military work details and snapping to attention at an officer's approach.
The most important question is: Do we really learn from our past?
The mentioned websites are really very important and we learned a lot.
May Monica Sone's and Betty MacDonald's spirit live forever.
Our world needs personalities like these outstanding two ladies.
Anita and Eartha Kitt II
MEMOIRS AND MORE.
Courtesy of History San Jose
Nisei Daughter by Monica Sone
Monica Sone spent her childhood in pre-World War II Seattle, in a part Japanese, part American world. Dinner might be steak and pumpkin pie or pickled daikon, rice, and soy sauce; there was American public school during the day and the strict formality of Japanese school in the late afternoons. "I found myself switching my personality back and forth daily like a chameleon. At Bailey Gatzert School I was a jumping, screaming, roustabout Yankee, but at the stroke of three...I suddenly became a modest, faltering, earnest little Japanese girl with a small timid voice." Her memories of growing up are vivid and full of marvelous stories, showing the confusion, frustration, and enrichment of living within two cultures. These elements come together when Japan bombs Pearl Harbor and Monica and her family are sent to an internment camp in Topaz, Idaho. Nisei Daughter describes the loss of property and the personal insults, the barbed wire and armed guards, the dust storms, horrible food, unfinished barracks, and barren land - and the efforts of the Japanese-Americans to maintain their ethics, family life, and belief in the United States. Monica Sone is furious at the blatant disregard of her civil rights, and yet ironically, it is during her time in the camps and afterwards in the Midwest that she finally brings together the various aspects of her heritage. Straightforward, searching, often funny, this is a highly readable account of one woman's experience living in many worlds.
Years of silence: The untold story of German-American internment
by Deborah McCarty Smith
More than fifty years have passed since the beginnings of the arrest and internment of European Americans in the United States during World War II. For the most part, the history of internment has been either quieted or distorted. For example, the majority of the best-selling collegiate and secondary school history texts in the United States claim that, unlike Japanese Americans, the German and Italian Americans were not arrested and interned; and both the print and electronic news media have propagated this myth.
56% of all internees (14,426 of 25,655) were Europeans and European Americans--Germans, Italians, Hungarians, Romanians, Bulgarians, even several Czechs and Poles.
The arrest of Germans, German Americans, Italians and Italian Americans began on December 7, 1941--four days before the U.S. was at war with Germany and Italy. [Source: ibid.]European and European Americans were kept interned until July 1948--more than three years after the war in Europe had ended.
Europeans and European-Americans accounted for 56 percent of all internees during World War II, according to Arthur Jacobs, co-editor of World War Two Experience: The Internment of German-Americans. In all, some 10,905 enemy aliens from Germany were interned - along with 16,849 Japanese, 3,278 Italians, 53 Hungarians, 25 Rumanians, five Bulgarians and 161 others.
In the camps, internees were seen more as prisoners of war than as civilians. Heitmann's research paints a picture of shared huts, inadequate washing and toilet facilities, green uniforms, military work details and snapping to attention at an officer's approach.
"Do we really learn from our past?" John Heitmann wonders, tracing parallels between the internment of German- Americans in the '40s and government plans to intern suspected communists in the '50s, Iranians in the '70s and Iraqis in the '90s. In the FBI Filegate flap of the Clinton administration, in current anti-immigrant sentiment, in anti-terrorist legislation that circumvents due process, historians hear ominous echoes of earlier times.
"There are some intrinsic flaws in human nature that reappear and are reflected in our institutions. It's a story of how institutions end up biting people," Heitmann said. "In a world where there are lots of smoke screens and J. Edgar Hoovers, an individual can really be hurt," he said, acknowledging a professional curiosity that is fueled by a personal quest to discover a part of his family history that is buried under years of silence.
"Self-identity is an important purpose of history. It's a handle or fulcrum of how you understand yourself better. We're all a product of a complicated past. I see this as an example of what anyone can do: history as a process of self-discovery."
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Betty MacDonald fan club fans,
let's talk about great writers and poets Letizia Mancino, Hilde Domin and Betty MacDonald.
Betty MacDonald fan Club honor member, artist and writer Letizia Mancino shares her delightful story THE SECOND PARADISE.
Betty MacDonald fan club honor member Mary Holmes did such a great job in translating THE SECOND PARADISE.
Thanks a million dearest Mary.
We are really very grateful.
I'm one of Letizia Maninco's many devoted fans.
Letizia Mancino sent this connecting piece to " The Second Paradise".
DEFIANT AS A COCK
Copyright 2011/2015 by Letizia Mancino
translated by Mary Holmes
All rights reserved
That was how my friend Hilde Domin was, dear Betty! You would have liked her so much. She had also been in America. At that time you were a famous author but she was still unknown.
-Did she love cats like you do?
-Yes Betty, she sure did!! Otherwise how do you think she could have been a friend of mine?
-Oh Letizia, don’t boast! Hilde was famous!
-It’s all the same to me, Betty, whether a person is famous or not but that person must love animals
-Why was she as defiant as a cock?
-Well Betty, she was simply so!
-Like a pregnant woman in my “Egg and I”?
-No not so! Betty, Hilde was a whole farm!
- A farm, how was that?
- No Betty, Hilde was more! Almost a zoo! Even more. She was all the animals in the world!
-You loved her very much.
-As I love all animals.
You Betty, if I had known you, I would have loved you exactly so because you loved animals.
-But as defiant as a cock from my Bob-farm!
-Yes and no! (Hilde really loved this double form of answer). Listen Betty , I’ll tell you a story about how Hilde was. You would certainly have loved her.
I’ll call my story “The Second Paradise”.
THE SECOND PARADISE
Copyright 2011/2015 by Letizia Mancino
translated by Mary Holmes
All rights reserved
The Lord God, one day, met Adam in Paradise and saw him lying under a palm.
And God spoke to him: Adam, my son, are you happy, are you content with Paradise ?
Adam answered: Oh Lord, it is wonderful!
And God said: But I will create a second Paradise and give you a wife.
Adam answered: Oh Lord, that is wonderful!
And God said: I will create the wife according to your wishes.
And Adam stood under the palm and thought hard.
And God said: Adam, are you ready?
Adam answered: My wife should be as lively as a bird but she should not fly. She should swim like a goldfish but not be a fish….. She should be as playful as a cat but not catch mice….. She should be as busy as an ant but not so small.
And God said: So shall she be: Like a bird, a goldfish, a cat, an ant…
Adam answered: Oh Lord, that is wonderful, but she should be as faithful as a dog.
And God asked: Adam, have you finished?
Oh Lord, cried Adam. She should also be as delightful and gentle as a lamb and as defiant as a cock!
….She should be as curious as a monkey and as pampered as a lapdog.
And God said: So shall she be.
And Adam said: My wife should be as courageous as a lion and as headstrong as a goat…
And God said: So, like a bird, a goldfish, a cat, an ant, a dog, a lamb, a cock, a monkey, a lapdog, a lion, a goat… and slowly and surely he wished to begin creating…
But Adam stretched himself under the palm and called:
Lord, Lord, she should be as adaptable as a chameleon but not creep on four feet.
She should have sparkling eyes like, like… real diamonds. She should be as fiery as a volcano
But … she should have crystal-clear thoughts like a mountain spring.
God, the Almighty, was speechless…
And Adam spoke: Also she should be as quick as lightening…
And God said: Man, have you finished????
No, said Adam! She should be as strong as a horse, as long living as an elephant but as light as a butterfly!
God found Adam’s thoughts were good and said: So, bird, goldfish, cat, ant, dog, lamb, cock, monkey, lapdog, lion, goat, chameleon, genuine diamonds, volcano, mountain spring, lightening, horse, elephant…. butterfly…
God wished at last to begin creating her…
Lord, called Adam… she should be as stable as steel, but as sweet as three graceful women in one…
And God asked: Should she also be a poet?
Yes, called Adam from under the palm…
And God said: Adam have you finished?
Lord, I wish that, in the second Paradise I shall be one and doubled:
So God according to Adams last words created:
HILDE PALM DOMIN
Very best wishes
Letizia Mancino is an outstanding writer and artist.
I know you will enjoy this very charming and witty story the same way I did!
Thanks a Million, dear Letiza Mancino! You made my day!
As you know I'm very interested in pets and excellent literature.
Betty MacDonald Fan Club founder Wolfgang Hampel is working on a Eva Vargas biography. I'd love to know: Did Eva Vargas like pets and cats?
Letizia Mancino is part of Wolfgang Hampel's new project 'Vita Magica'.
We got so many requests from fans from all over the world and have great info for you.
Wolfgang Hampel's stories and satirical poems will be published in several languages for his many fans from all over the world.
I have to guess because they left nothing behind but their bloodline. There are no books or songs or poems or works of art in their name; their culture and their contribution to it – their voice – is a big blank.
Were they artistic? I don’t know. And maybe they didn’t know either. If they were, their creativity probably didn’t stand a chance.
Between poverty and the Catholic church, multiple births, child rearing, farming and famine, there wasn’t a lot of room back then to create beautiful things of your own. Imagination – that hinterland where ideas are born – needs acres of time, not just snatched minutes between cooking and cleaning.
And even if there was time to create, they wouldn’t have been able to publish or display what they had made. They had no wealth or power. Everything stood in their way: literacy, time, a room in which to write; people to accept, value and nurture their creative gifts; the class system, their Irishness, their religion. The fact that they were born women. A hundred years ago in Ireland – a drop in the ocean of history; a whisker away from where we are today – there was Beckett and there was Yeats. But the women? Where were the women?
In A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf wondered what would have happened if Shakespeare had an equally talented and spirited sister. She called her Judith and imagined that while William was away in London – treading the boards, drinking in taverns, soaking up the life that would appear in his art – “his extraordinarily gifted sister, let us suppose, remained at home.”
Say Shakespeare’s sister, not yet 17, did run away to London, escaping a hateful arranged marriage and desperate for a life in the theatre. If she did, she was mocked and cast out, and soon made pregnant.She was as adventurous, as imaginative, as agog to see the world as he was. But she was not sent to school. She had no chance of learning grammar and logic, let alone of reading Horace and Virgil. She picked up a book now and then, one of her brother’s perhaps, and read a few pages. But then her parents came in and told her to mend the stockings or mind the stew and not moon about with books and papers.
Woolf writes, “Who shall measure the heat and violence of the poet’s heart when caught and tangled in a woman’s body? – [she] killed herself one winter’s night and lies buried at some cross-roads where the omnibuses now stop outside the Elephant and Castle. That, more or less, is how the story would run.”
Woolf concludes that, because of the conditions for women in Elizabethan times: “It would have been impossible, completely and entirely, for any woman to have written the plays of Shakespeare in the age of Shakespeare.”
We forget how recently it was that women – at least privileged women of the west – were freed of all this and able to create. It makes me want to bow down and thank whatever god or deity let me be born now, not 100, 200 or 500 years ago. As Drake would say: What a time to be alive.
In her brilliant book How To Be a Woman, Caitlin Moran says: “Most sexism is down to men being accustomed to us being the losers. That’s what the problem is. We just have bad status. Men are accustomed to us being runners-up or being disqualified entirely.”
In the age before feminism, most women were like Shakespeare’s imagined sister: second-class citizens denied the education and the opportunities to create. Women are only now beginning to more fully contribute in the culture.
But we have a bit of catching up to do. Writes Moran:
Women are just getting started and we are all – men and women – the better for it.Let’s stop exhaustingly pretending that there is a parallel history of women being victorious and creative, on an equal with men, that’s just been comprehensively covered up by The Man. There isn’t. Our empires, armies, cities, artworks, philosophers, philanthropists, inventors, scientists, astronauts, explorers, politicians and icons could all fit, comfortably, into one of the private karaoke booths in Singstar. We have no Mozart; no Einstein; no Galileo; no Gandhi. No Beatles, no Churchill, no Hawking, no Columbus. It just didn’t happen. Nearly everything so far has been the creation of men – and a liberal, right-on denial of it makes everything more awkward and difficult in the long run.
The creative impulse coalescing with the political and social movement of feminism is a glorious thing to behold. It exists in the work of PJ Harvey, Beyoncé, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Tracey Emin, Christina Stead, Cate Blanchett and Jane Campion. It brings so many more stories into the world and it brings more of life flowing into art. It’s as if the world was a piece of music played for so long only in major chords. Now we have discovered we can play in the minor key and the music is so much better. The texture is different and the sound is richer; there are more songs.