This Week In History, June 18 – 24

Everything You Thought You Knew About Pocahontas Is Wrong, New Documentary Says

Pocahontas John Smith Myth

Library of Congress

We all think we know the basic gist of the Pocahontas plot line. Boy meets girl, girl’s family and friends try to kill boy, girl saves boy by throwing herself in front of warrior’s club.

Classic.

But a new documentary from the Smithsonian blows that entire legend to smithereens. Everything from the story’s heartwarming climax to the main character’s name is, apparently, only the stuff of myths.

That’s right. According to “Pocahontas: Beyond the Myth,” her name wasn’t even Pocahontas!

Read more here.

Giant Trove Of Hidden Nazi Artifacts Found In Argentina

Nazi Artifacts Argentina Photos

Twitter/APSome of the items uncovered in the recent raid of Argentina’s largest-ever stash of Nazi artifacts.

The largest collection of Nazi objects in Argentina’s history was discovered outside of Buenos Aires this month.

Around 75 artifacts — including some that were likely used by Hitler himself — were found in a hidden room inside a collector’s home.

Among the disturbing items were magnifying glasses engraved with swastikas, a bust of Hitler, a box of harmonicas, and a scary-looking medical device used to measure heads (an ethnocentric technique used by Nazis to distinguish “Aryans” from Jews).

Dig deeper in this report.

Newly-Uncovered Diaries Reveal Horrors Of Cannibalism During Nazi Siege Of Leningrad

Diary Leningrad

Wikimedia CommonsThe diary of Tanya Savicheva, a girl of 11, her notes about starvation and deaths of her sister, then grandmother, then brother, then uncle, then another uncle, then mother. The last three notes say “Savichevs died”, “Everyone died” and “Only Tanya is left.” She died of progressive dystrophy shortly after the siege.

It’s always been known that the 872-day Nazi blockade of Leningrad caused famine, widespread suffering and millions of deaths.

But recently uncovered diaries shed a disturbing new light on this horrific chapter of history — describing in wrenchingly personal detail the desperate lengths people would go to keep from starving.

Alexis Peri, a professor at Boston University who compiled the diaries for her upcoming book, The War Within: Diaries From the Siege of Leningrad, came across them while interviewing WWII survivors who had been children during the war.

Find out what Peri learned here.

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