Weekendish: The best of the week's reads
A collection of some of the best reads from the BBC News website this week, with an injection of your comments.
Freddie Knoller was offered a job as an interpreter for the Nazis. It was a surprise - he thought he was in the Gestapo office about to be exposed as a Jew. Instead of taking the job, Knoller, now 93, joined the French Resistance to fight his enemy rather than work for them. What followed is a story of dogged determination to survive - he endured interrogation, Auschwitz and a death march in sub-zero temperatures. It was 30 years before he was able to talk about his experiences but now says, "I'm proud to have fought for my life, and proud to be able to tell the world what has happened." CH wrote: "Freddie Knoller has made it his life's work to stop the world from forgetting about the #Holocaust."
And on to another hero of World War Two. Winston Churchill is regarded by many as the greatest Briton ever, but in a career spanning some 70 years, he had more than a few moments of controversy. As the UK marks the 50th anniversary of his death, the Magazine looked at some of the most common debates that have raged about Churchill's legacy. They range from his stance on race, his treatment of the Tonypandy Riots and the use of poison gas. "There's a danger in Churchill gaining a purely iconic status because that actually takes away from his humanity," says Allen Packwood, director of the Churchill Archives Centre. "He is this incredibly complex, contradictory and larger-than-life human being and he wrestled with these contradictions during his lifetime." Aidan White tweeted: "How journalist, war leader and political warrior Winston Churchill comes up short on the ethical front." Others felt it was wrong to denigrate a great leader. "On the fiftieth anniversary of Churchill dying, the Beeb decide to highlight the bad, instead of the good? Amazing..." wrote Tony Schumacher.
The closure of Brazil's Gramacho rubbish dump in 2012 was widely applauded, but little more than two years on, many of the rubbish-pickers who worked there are sorry it's gone. It was a dangerous job - serious accidents, illnesses and even deaths were common. But there were also rich pickings and strong friendships forged. Rubbish-picker, or catadora, Cleonice Bento found a gold necklace at the dump, sold it and built a two-storey house with the proceeds. Fellow catadora Gloria Cristina dos Santos spent years curating a small library of salvaged books. She credits a passage in Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov for teaching her how to love her daughter. The closure of the dump was welcomed by environmentalists, politicians and many catadores. The pickers received compensation and some were given new jobs with better conditions at a new recycling facility. But they earn only a fraction of what many earned on the dump, and feel that the sense of family has been lost. "No-one will tell you that he misses working there," says Gloria, "but everyone says they miss the companionship." On Twitter Sarah Manvel was moved by the impact of the Dostoyevsky find: "For the rest of my life, if anyone argues with me about the importance of literacy and books, I will give them this".
And onto something that everyone thought had been scrapped but hadn't... The Sun newspaper stopped showing topless women on Page Three - for a few days, then they were back. But while readers had a brief break from bare breasts the Magazine asked how Page Three went from being the best-known feature in the nation's most popular tabloid to something that was apparently (and then apparently not) on its death bed. Page Three girls were superstars in the 1980s. Teenager Samantha Fox famously earned more than Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Many have become household names, among them Melinda Messenger in the mid-1990s, who went on to a career as a TV presenter, and of course Jordan - real name Katie Price. But since German Stephanie Rahn posed for the first Page Three in November 1970, attitudes have changed. In an age when pornography became more readily available on the internet, Page Three came to be regarded as old fashioned. The status of women in society had changed, too. "To a new generation, it was rather surreal to open a newspaper and see a pair of bare breasts amid stories about Westminster and the weather," writes Justin Parkinson. Alison Hicks was delighted: "The petition worked! #NoMorePage3 #proudsigner." But Louise Burke wrote: "Musing P3. Bandaid? Modesty does not = equality. More women in control of media would address the root problem."
Children's scooters have soared in popularity. According to a survey of 75,000 children by the transport charity Sustrans, the proportion of UK pupils regularly scooting or skating to school went up by more than half between 2013 and 2014, from 9.3% to 14.3%. Amazon UK lists almost 3,800 children's scooters and related products, with scooters ranging from about £30 to £300 in price. And it's not just children who are riding them. David Cameron was photographed trying his children's scooter in London's Regents Park in 2013 and Hollywood star Hugh Jackman is a frequent user. But it's younger riders who are increasingly noticeable. While parents may find them a handy way of making the school run go faster, not everyone agrees. "There are a few sore-ankled naysayers who cite them as dangerous to life and limb and one of their biggest bug-bears, but clearly their popularity speaks for itself," says Justine Roberts, chief executive of Mumsnet. A fan, Jennifer Jain, commented: "Our school run is much easier with scooters!" But there were haters. "I hate damn scooters and the middle class parents who permit them," tweeted Julia Harris.
Here are some things we've enjoyed this week from elsewhere around the web:
The terrifying rise of the all girl gang - The Daily Telegraph
Are we all suffering from a Wellness Syndrome? - the Times
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