184. Luke’s D-Day Diary (Part 2)

Here is the second part of my D-Day podcast. For information about D-Day, my grandfather’s letter and a video of Eddie Izzard you can click here to open the page for Luke’s D-Day Diary Part 1.


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  • Deniz

    Hey Luke,
    This was an intense episode, wasn’t it? I can understand what you feel about your grandpa. I listened this episode recently, and came here to check if any commentator mentions anything about World War, which is related with their family. As a remainder: you asked for it in the podcast.

    As you probably know Turkey kept its neutral status during the WW2. So as a Turkish, my family do not have any WW2 memory (except how hard was those state of emergency years) on the other hand WW1 was really intense chain of events in Turkish history, since so many Turkish people had been killed during the battles and even infants had to fight for the very reason after a while it had became “defending the mainland” for Turks.

    So here is the memory from father of my grandfather: Caucasus Campaign had gone really disaster for Turks, since fighting with Russians during winter conditions always is a bad idea and “sick man of Europe” Ottoman army lacked equipment for such a formidable campaign. In a nutshell, so many Turks died because of the winter condition and situation became piece of cake for Tsardom of Russia.

    Father of my grandfather was really lucky to stay alive and became POW after Russians surrounded them. As a POW he had to do whatever Russians decided for him, in the end he was sold to an aristocratic Russian family and became stableman for them. After a while that Russian family let him to marry since they thought there was no turning back for him anymore. So he married low-class serf woman, and they even got two babies!

    But then… Tsardom of Russia had also collapsed and October Revolution stormed through all Russia. This incident had serious effects on aristocratic families, which is not a surprise. So during all that mess, father of my grandpa found his way to escape with a boat and came back to Turkey again… Of course he had to leave his Russian wife and those 2 children there, because he had no any other choice.

    After he came to Turkey, he fought Turkish War of Independence and after that finally married Turkish women, which led to me in the long run. So Luke, isn’t it weird? There are some people in Russia, who are my distant relatives in a way, and there is almost no way for us to find each other. I just wanted to share that story here, since I know many Russians listens your podcast and who knows… It’s a small world with weird coincidences :)

    Thank you for all the podcasts!

    • Fantastic comment Deniz – this one deserves to be read out on the podcast at some point. Thank you for sharing it.

      • Deniz

        Thank you very much Luke! By the way I want to correct a typo of mine. Father of my grandpa married a Turkish woman after he came back, not Turkish “women” :) Although it wasn’t uncommon for Turkish people back then, it wasn’t the case for father of my grandpa :)

      • Ha!
        OK, I’ll correct it?
        ~
        BTW, if you’re registered with Disqus you should be able to edit your comments.

      • Deniz

        Oh, thank you! It is a nice feature :)

  • nurollah

    Hello, Luke, this is the first time I comment on your podcasts. I hold a PhD on language teaching. I found your website really interesting and insightful.

  • Hey Luke, you are in my head (said with a normal voice, of course):)

  • Excellent as usual!!!…but…can´t download them!…

    • You should be able to download. Put your mouse over the round ‘play’ button on the audio player, then right-click. You can choose an option to ‘save file as’ or ‘download file’. If this isn’t clear, let me know.

  • Elisa

    Wow, first you were looking for a light switch and because you were and of course you are clever, you finally got over the problem…
    and then a bit later you were in the dark bathroom…. all in all you were resting in your bed … and then the lightning lighted up the whole room so well that saw it your eyes closed… OMG :)

    Hilarious part of the podcast, you have to use it for your comedy gig!

    • Haha! Yes it could work as a bit of stand-up!

  • Andrzej

    Luke, I find both D-Day episodes outstanding. Why? It would take too long to explain I think. There’s so much vivid and natural emotion in them and they elicit emotions and make me think as well. I’ve listened to them a few times already and I can’t still get enough. I have never envied anybody anything but you’re lucky to have met Eddie in person. I wish I saw Eddie’s performance one time in my life. Thank you and all the best.

    • Thanks a lot Andzrej. I still can’t believe it myself!

  • GS

    Please do not use term Nazis. There is no such nationality.
    German National Socialists never called them self Nazis either.

    Term Nazi, although not invented, was propagated by Stalin just to hide the word *Socialists*. Leaving word socialist would lead to question among people and historians if ruling party of USSR was also National Socialist party, which it was indeed.

    Please do not repeat his lies. I can understand hollywood film where privates could swear “damn nazis” but this is not a historical term. The proper term is National Socialist, which leads to conclusion that left-wing ideology was behind two big totalitarian states during XX century. There is no confusion between Nationalism and left-wing parties because in XIX and in first half of XX all the left-wing parties were very nationalistic and they supported every possible national or ethnic based revolution/movement.

    • OK point taken. I’ll remember to use National Socialists in future.
      In the episode I tried to avoid using the term ‘German’ (although I did say that a few times) as I realise it wasn’t just German people fighting, but people from other countries too (whether by choice or not). I guess ‘Nazi’ isn’t quite the right word either. I always try to be mindful of using the correct terminology, and I’m always willing to learn the best way to talk about these sensitive yet important topics. Thank you for your comment and correction. I will remember what you wrote.

      • Finn Oddvar Stensrud

        Dear teacher Luke!

        It´s quite alright using the term “nazis”; in UK it´s common using the the word “nazis”, I think.

        (No one in Norway calls the “nazis”: “national socialists”. We call them “nazister”)

        And you have told us that words that have been used for a long time…they become a “natural” part of the language….

        Macmillandictionary.com says:

        “Nazi – definition
        Someone who belonged to the Nazi Party, which was established and led by Adolf Hitler between1933 and 1945. The Nazi Party governed Germany before andduring the Second World War.”

        And one thing more: Your excellent podcasts have listernes with (certainly) a wide range of political views; so I don´t think we shall talk politics in the forum for comments.; but I have to say one thing:

        GS wrote: “The proper term is National Socialist, which leads to conclusion that left-wing ideology was behind two big totalitarian states during XX century.”

        It´s a fallacy (I´ve borrowed the word from Sherlock Holmes), I think…

        If the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) was a left-wing party; it seems strange that only the ordinary right-wing parties lost votes to the Nazis in the election in 1933: The left-wing parties 45%, the Nazis 44%…..the “old” right-wing parties….only 10%! I don´t think 90% of the Germans were left-wing voters!

        You see my point, Luke?

        No more politics from me, I promise! :)