He’s known in Alpine countries variously as Krampus, Klaubauf, Bartl, and Wubartl, a beast-like, half-goat, half-demon creature that takes over where Santa left off (think of Krampus as the anti-Santa). While Saint Nicholas rewards well-behaved boys and girls with gifts, Krampus captures naughty kids, places them in his oversized-sack, and carries them away to his lair or worse, hell. Traditionally, each year during the Christmas season, men in Austria, Bavaria, Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Croatia dress up in frightening elaborate Krampus costumes and roam the streets looking for small kids to chase, scare, and beat with sticks.
Mad Jack Churchill – the eccentric military hero who fought World War II with a sword, bow, and arrows
In a war that featured formidable weapons such as grenades, machine guns, and armored tanks, one eccentric young soldier decided early on to buck traditional convention and stick what he was most comfortable with. Thus, John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill, who came to be known as “Mad Jack,” fought in World War II using a sword, bow, and a quiver of arrows, an arsenal that proved quite effective and earned Mad Jack two Distinguished Service Orders, a Military Cross, and a promotion to commanding officer.
A Polish court this week sentenced three men for up to four years in prison after the men accidentally stole a van full of dead bodies . A coroner assistant was driving the Mercedes Sprinter van from Berlin to a crematorium in the town of Meissen, Germany. The driver stopped at a “car park” to wash his hands and when he returned, the van was gone. The three men who stole the van were unaware that it contained 12 German corpses that were on their way to be cremated. When the thieves discovered the bodies in the back of the van, they promptly dumped the coffins in a nearby forest where they were later discovered, “strewn around the forest” but intact and still in their coffins.
Say it isn’t so! An entire troupe of circus performing fleas has fallen victim to the freezing temperatures holding Germany in its frosty grip. Flea circus director Robert Birk says he was shocked to find all of his 300 fleas dead inside their transport box Wednesday morning. Leaving him unable to fulfill his performance engagements, Birk scrambled to find and train a new batch. Luckily, an insect expert at a nearby university was able to provide 50 new fleas in time for the first show on Sunday.
On May 26, 1828, a boy wondered into the town square of Nuremberg. Although it was a Monday, there weren’t very many people around since it was a holiday. George Weichmann, a local cobbler, discovered the boy. He took note of the fact that the boy was poorly dressed, well built, and walked in a strange manner – with legs stiff and straight.
He’s a Bavarian born brilliant con man named who managed to convince Boston’s elite that he was a rich heir. He hosted lavish parties, drove expensive cars, and even owned a yacht yet despite the apparent riches, he had no job and no apparent source of income. He is a person of interest in a double homicide who has changed his persona multiple times, all the while avoiding the proving eyes of the police. He even married a high profile attorney, convincing her he was a member of the Rockefeller family. After kidnapping his own daughter, police finally discovered the true identity of Clark Rockefeller – Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, a German immigrant.
ODESSA, (for German Organisation der ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen, “Organization of Former SS Members”) is believed to have been an international Nazi network set up toward the end of World War II by a group of SS officers in order to avoid their capture and prosecution for war crimes. A fictional account of the organization was manifest in Frederick Forsyth’s 1972 best-seller thriller The Odessa File. Forsyth’s ODESSA smuggled war criminals to Latin America. However, several authoritative books by professionals involved in the U.S. War Crimes Commission (including T.H. Tetens and Joseph Wechsberg) have verified the organization’s existence and given details of its operations. Wechsberg studied Simon Wiesenthal’s memoirs on ODESSA and verified them with his own experiences in the book The Murderers Among Us.
Armin Meiwes, a computer technician living in the German town of Rotenburg, was born December 1, 1961. He was described by neighbors as being “very childlike”, friendly, and a sensitive person. He was also called The Master Butcher and the Rotenburg Cannibal after he achieved international notoriety for killing and eating a voluntary victim whom he had found via an Internet forum dedicated to people who fantasized about cannibalism.