Friday(Not So) Fun Facts- Berga

December 9, 2016

Jenn’s post on Pearl Harbor earlier this week got me to thinking about World War II. It was a terrible time with terrible atrocities. Did you know Jewish American GIs  and other GIs were sent to a special camp where they were worked to death?

Me either!bberga

  1. 1945- More than 4000 soldiers were at Stalag IX. It was notorious for having the worst conditions out of all the Stalags.
  2. One day they were all ordered out on to the field. The commandant decreed all Jewish soldiers to step forward and identify themselves. Others whispered for them not to do this. He then stated they had until 6am to declare themselves. After that, all Jews found in camp would be shot as would anyone who tried to help.
  3. About 130 stepped forward. They were put in segregated quarters. 50 other non-commissioned officers were also taken. Any others that were deemed trouble makers were also taken. They left camp never to return.
  4. Berga was a special camp for the creation of underground tunnels leading to a munitions dump located deep in a mountain.
  5. They were placed in train cars like so many others going to concentration camps.
  6. After 5 days, they arrived at Berga, a quaint little town on the Elster River. There is almost no mention of these concentration camps in the history books.
  7. Stalag IX seemed like a hotel when they discovered life in Berga.
  8. Each day they walked nearly two miles each way to these shafts cut deep into the earth. Cruel overseers forced them to work until they literally dropped dead.berga-hitlers-gi-death-camp2
  9. The tunnels were made by explosions. They wouldn’t even let the air clear before they sent them back in. Sometimes they couldn’t see more than a few inches in front of their face.
  10. They huddled together to survive the cold at night. Their meager food rations were sometimes mixed with saw dust or ground glass.
  11. On April 4, 1945, the commandant received orders to evacuate the camp because the allies were closing in.
  12. He gathered the survivors and forced them on a death march. If they stumbled, they were shot.
  13. When they were rescued, most men only weighed 85 lbs or so.
  14. The American government has never publicly acknowledged they were mistreated. In fact, one survivor was told he should go to a psychiatrist. Officials at the VA told him he had made up the whole story.
  15. 2 of the men responsible for these atrocities were tried and found guilty of war crimes- even though there was no witnesses there. The case was reviewed later and the verdict was upheld. Even so, a few years later, it was reviewed again and decided there was insufficient evidence and they were released with time served. Many believe it was a trade made for intelligence that they may have had.
  16. Only 63 of the original 350 US GIs returned home after Berga. 23% were Jewish.





Talk Back: Are writing conferences necessary?

August 5, 2013

On my Kindle: Manhunting by Jennifer Crusie

Talk Back – Tell us how you write!

What do you think? Now that Jenn has made us all totally jealous with her RWA photos, I feel like I am totally missing out.

Yet, unlike her, I have no real reasons to justify the price of going to a writing conference right now. I don’t have any book to sign, no agent or editor to meet and while I would love to learn more about the craft by attending the many workshops offered, the benefits would not outset the costs for me at this time. If I’d go, it would be a total splurge just for a little time out and to meet all my writer friends.

And I’m afraid that right now I don’t think attending writing conferences are necessary for me to reach my current goal (make a sale).

That said, this is only my own opinion and I may totally be wrong. So I turn to you for input. Do you think writers need to go to writer conferences to meet their goals? Is it different for writers at different stages of their careers? Are some conferences more useful than others?

What is your experience and thoughts on this?

Much love,
Marie-Claude xoxox


Hump Day Kick Start – Smoldering Edition

May 22, 2013

Song of the Day: Addicted by Saving Abel (I just love this song.)

Hump Day Kick Start – for your muse, a writing picture prompt, or just a visual treat.


Hello? Are you with me? *waves hand in front of glassy eyes*

Great. Now I have your attention. Week #2 of taking on a challenge of posting a white-hot picture. Let’s hope I have won a few favors with this one.

Who is our gentleman. *snort* Tell me about him. Where is the hunk du jour from? Does the dragon tattoo have significance? Is he waiting for someone, and if so, who? Is he a skilled mercenary? The leader of a biker gang? The drummer of a rock band? A male stripper? A member of the Village People revival movement? My masseuse?

You tell me. What’s his story?

Hump Day Kick Start – Angst Edition

April 3, 2013

Song of the Day: Them Bones by Alice in Chains

Hump Day Kick Start – for your muse, a writing picture prompt, or just a visual treat.


This week’s prompt is in the details. And I don’t mean the fine lines of our subject’s abs. Necessarily.

The broken sink,  rosary, tight pants, heavy duty biker boots, unidentifiable streaks on the walls…

Who is he? Mercenary? Zombie exterminator? Burned out rocker star? Fallen angel?

Aside from a restroom, where is he? Bus station? Insane asylum? Abandoned hotel?

Is he hiding? Hunting? Praying? Plotting? Escaping? Looking for the Extreme Bathroom Makeover crew to show up?

Tell me a story. And as always, I’d love to hear your take.

Hump Day Kick Start – Ax Man Edition

February 20, 2013

Song of the Day: Circles by Cavo

Hump Day Kick Start – for your muse, a writing picture prompt, or just a visual treat.


A sexy man with an ax. Look at that expression on his face. This could be very good or very bad.

Who is he? The new ranch hand helping out the beautiful widow? The able-bodied leader of a band of Zombie exterminators? Is he a loner running from his past, from her, building himself a log cabin hideaway? Is he an ex-Marine with anger issues? Is he an alligator hunter? What do you suppose he’s going to, ahem, cleave? Maybe he’s looking for a rope to chop so he can make himself a belt – not that he needs one.

What’s your take on the ax man? Let me hear from you.

Hump Day Kick Start

April 4, 2012

Hump Day Kick Start for your muse, a writing picture prompt or just a visual treat.

Song of the day:  What Lies Beneath by Breaking Benjamin

While I was pimping my latest release last month (you have bought your copy of A KISS IN THE WIND, haven’t you?), I’ve been amassing more awesome pix for Hump Day Kick Start. While trying to choose today’s rather tame selection, I began to realize many of the photos I couldn’t share for the sole reason they were way too risque. Not that most of you would mind. I’m sure a few sizzlers will leak into MuseTracks soon. And good grief, there were quite a few involving ropes. Hmm…what does that say about me? Oh wait, I know. I’m a control freak. LOL!

So to ease you back into the Hump Day scene, I thought I’d start with a threesome.

Who are these guys? Where are they? What are they staring at on the ground?

Maybe they are about to they remove their jeans in the middle of the street. Are they the survivors of a post-apocalyptic solar storm and it’s so hot they need to strip down? Are they auditioning to be the next Naked Cowboy?

Love to hear your take on this photo.

Hump Day Kick Start

February 1, 2012

Song of the Day: Heart in my Hands by Trust Company

Seems today’s writing prompt features chains. And who doesn’t like chains? Don’t ya just love the light and shadows?

What genre would you place him in? Paranormal? Romantic Suspense? Erotica? Thriller? Spicy contemporary?

Who is he? A shape shifter? Demon? Kidnapper? Motorcycle builder? Man of steel? Prisoner?

Who or what is he directing his heated stare and what is he thinking/scheming?

Why does he have a chain around his neck? To ensnare and subdue a sexy demon? Rough and tumble with the leader of a rival gang? Maybe he has a wild beast collared at the other end of the chain.

Love to hear your take.