Archive for February, 2017

Tuesday 28th February 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 28, 2017 by bishshat

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Sunday 26th February 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 26, 2017 by bishshat

Spurs 4 Stoke 0

Harry Kane scored his third hat-trick in his last nine games as we over-powered Stoke City at the Lane on Sunday afternoon and recorded our third straight 4-0 win against the Potters. All four goals were scored in the first half, with Dele Alli adding a stoppage-time fourth as we responded in perfect fashion to Thursday’s Europa League disappointment to climb back to second in the Premier League table.

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It took just 14 minutes to open the scoring, Kane clinically latching onto a loose ball in the area and driving past City goalkeeper Lee Grant. That was the 100th goal of his club career. Number 101 arrived in the 32nd minute, but not before Hugo Lloris had denied former Spur Peter Crouch with an excellent close-range save and Jan Vertonghen had smashed an effort against the crossbar. Then it was Kane’s turn to shine again, connecting well with a half-volley from a cleared corner to make it 2-0.

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We were well in control at that stage and Kane’s treble was completed on 37 minutes when Christian Eriksen rolled a free-kick into his path 30 yards out and the England striker’s on-target effort flicked off Crouch in the Stoke wall and wrong-footed Grant on its way into the net. There was still time before the interval for another goal though, Kane this time turning provider as he broke away down the right and centred for Dele to stretch out a leg and smash the ball home for 4-0.

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Friday 24th February 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 24, 2017 by bishshat

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Thursday 23rd February 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 23, 2017 by bishshat

The Field Storm Doris  

A return to homage of Goya.

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Strangers or Cowherds one with a Red Nose.

Fight with Cudgels called The Strangers or Cowherds in the inventories, is the name given to a painting by Spanish artist Francisco Goya, now in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. One of the series of Black Paintings Goya painted directly onto the walls of his house sometime between 1820 and 1823, it depicts two men fighting one another with cudgels, as they seem to be trapped knee-deep in a quagmire of mud or sand.
According to Francisco-Xavier de Salas Bosch, Goya may have been referencing an allegory (number 75) that appears in the work by Diego de Saavedra Fajardo, the emblem book Empresas Políticos [Political Maxims], Idea de un príncipe político cristiano, which contained a hundred short essays on the education of a prince.
The allegory referred to the Greek myth of Cadmus and the dragon’s teeth. By the instructions of Athena, Cadmus sowed the dragon’s teeth in the ground, from which there sprang a race of fierce armed men, called Spartoi (“sown”). By throwing a stone among them, Cadmus caused them to fall upon one another until only five survived, who assisted him to build the Cadmea or citadel of Thebes.

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Saavedra used this imagery to discuss how some rulers stir up discord in order to ultimately establish peace in their kingdoms. Goya’s use of this allegory may have referred to the policies and politics of Ferdinand VII.
In 1819, Goya purchased a house on the banks of the Manzanares near Madrid named Quinta del Sordo (“Villa of the Deaf Man”). It was a small two-story house which was named after a previous occupant who had been deaf, although Goya had also been left deaf after contracting a fever in 1792. Between 1819 and 1823, when he moved to Bordeaux, Goya produced a series of 14 works, which he painted with oils directly onto the walls of the house. Fight with Cudgels had been situated in the upper room of Quinta del Sordo.
The Black Paintings

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Goya

These paintings could be read as the outpouring of a madman or a bitter artist unhinged by illness and the compounded tragedies of his life were it not for the Duel to the Death with Cudgels the most disheartening and startlingly seductive of all the black paintings. This painting is different. It seems to have been painted in the cool, rational light of day. Goya some how managed to transcend his bitterness to prove to himself that reason and discipline were still in command of his brutal deluge. In the next post we’ll try to figure out why this tragic painting is still alive and kicking — still relevant in our time.

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What is all this naming of our storms and winds? Doris…Abigail are they trying to make them user friendly? ‘Name our storms’ is a pilot project between the Met Office and Met Éireann which aims to increase awareness of severe weather and ensure greater safety of the public.

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Spurs 2 Gent 2

Spurs shot themselves in he foot again and were turfed out of the Europa League by Gent on a miserable night at Wembley for Mauricio Pochettino’s side in a game that will be remembered for Dele Alli’s horror challenge. Spurs drew 2-2 on the night, exiting 3-2 on aggregate, but their cause was not helping when Alli saw red in the 39th minute for a studs-up challenge on Brecht Dejaegere.

Needing a two-goal win to reach the next round after last week’s 1-0 reverse in Belgium, we made the perfect start with the opener on 10 minutes, Christian Eriksen streaking down the right channel and beating goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic.

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But Gent hit back 10 minutes later, Harry Kane putting through his own net from a corner to give the advantage back to the visitors. And when Dele Alli was dismissed six minutes before the interval for a dangerous challenge on Brecht Dejaegere, the momentum was very much with the visitors. We gave it a real go in the second half though, scoring a deserved second through Victor Wanyama just after the hour mark and having a number of opportunities to get the all-important third goal.

However, it was the visitors who scored next through substitute Jeremy Perbet, scorer of Gent’s goal in the first leg, as they hit us on the counter. As an aside, the attendance of 80,465 at Wembley was the biggest ever crowd for a Europa League match as our fans turned out in fantastic numbers once more.

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I am not sure how we didn’t win this game..Always the same for a Spurs and England fan.. Gent seemed to have the rub of every ball going for corner when it should be goal kick and many throw ins given the wrong way..Also they fell over many times to gain free kicks..Frustrating again..Poor Spurs.

Wednesday 22nd February 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 22, 2017 by bishshat

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Shelly and Egypt

It’s less well-known that Shelley’s most famous short poem, Ozymandias, was the result of a competition between himself and his friend Horace Smith, a financier, verse-parodist and author of historical novels. Smith’s rival sonnet is called, less memorably, In Egypt’s Sandy Silence and disadvantages itself early on by the gauche reference to “a gigantic leg”. Somehow, Shelley’s “two vast and trunkless legs” are more impressive. But both poems, first Shelley’s and then Smith’s, were published by Leigh Hunt early in 1818 in consecutive issues of his monthly journal The Examiner.

Shelley’s interest in Egyptology was already established, as revealed by some of the imagery of an earlier poem, Alastor, but perhaps it had been rekindled in part by the news of the excavation of the colossal head of Rameses II. This head would later be shipped to the British Museum. Shelley could not have seen it at the time of writing, and he had never been to Egypt, but he would have certainly seen illustrations of ruined cities and statues. The various literary sources of the poem are fascinatingly explored in this essay which suggests that Volney’s The Ruins of Empires (a French work appearing in English translation in 1792) was of major significance, and not only to Ozymandias. “The book was central to the evolution of Romanticism from a specifically English and insular aesthetic to a universal political and philosophical force,” writes the anonymous author. As potently as the wilderness symbolised spiritual freedom for the Romantic writers, ancient ruins declared the triumph of time and nature over human tyranny.

A competition, light-heartedly undertaken, may have been the sonnet’s immediate occasion, but Shelley’s passion for the politics of his theme is evident in the poem and integral to its solidity. Whether a writer is drawing on personal experience or literary research, imagination is crucial, and Shelley approaches the task with great imaginative flair. First, he sets a fictional scene, introducing a second character, a kind of Ancient Mariner, though one with the gift of brevity, to give his “personal account” of the ruined sculpture. Virtually all the sonnet is spoken by the traveller. His tale is strongly pictorial, and moves with the fluency and drive of recollection. Shelley’s free, “romantic” way with the sonnet-form – the unusual pattern of the rhymes, and the presence of half-rhymes – is wholly appropriate.

Another character in the poem is Ozymandias himself, his whole personality summed up in a few strokes. He seems to have had little facial resemblance to the benign, serenely smiling pharaoh familiar to visitors to the British Museum. Shelley has created a monster, it seems, out of his own revulsion from tyranny. The “wrinkled lip” is a particularly brilliant detail that suggests an age of sneering and sensuality in its possessor.

There is a third character, of course: the sculptor who, it seems, has revealed his master’s true nature, and, moreover, must be responsible for the telling second half of the inscription: “Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”

The full irony of this is brought home by the final image of the boundless sands, stretching as far as the eye can see. If there is little left of the sculptor’s work, there is enough, so far, to bear witness to tyranny. Of the tyrant’s works, nothing remains. Russian poets used to have a saying that the poet outlives the tsar. Here, the sculptor outlives the pharaoh, at least until nature reclaims the last vestiges of masonry, and these, too, are dissolved to sand.

Ozymandias

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said – ‘Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half-sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive (stamped on these lifeless things)
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.’

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Tuesday 21st February 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 21, 2017 by bishshat

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Professor Walther Bauersfeld

Professor Walther Bauersfeld, was one of the foremost German scientists and technologists.
Born in Berlin on January 23, 1879, he received his technical education at the Technical University of Berlin-Charlottenburg, and subsequently remained there for several years as assistant of Professor E. Reichel who held the chair of mechanical engineering and water turbines.
On August 1, 1905, Bauersfeld joined the firm of Carl Zeiss, Jena, as design engineer and became a member of the board in 1908.
From 1927 until 1945, Professor Dr. Bauersfeld occupied a chair for special fields of technical physics at Jena University; after 1945, he taught precision mechanics at the Technical University of Stuttgart. His chief contributions, however, consist of his many inventions – his name is found on over 120 patents – and in his achievements as an industrialist.

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Of his scientific and design work, some of the most outstanding examples may be mentioned here. He was the inventor of the auxiliary lens system for the stereo-planigraph; in kinematography he developed means for optical image correction. His paper “The foundation of the calculation of high-speed gyroscopes” formed the basis of the further development of Kaplan turbines. A method for producing high-precision circular scales has found an important application to theodolites.
Other mechanical inventions were in connection with gearing, and with highly accurate roller bearings. An important aid to surgeons is the “Pantophot” theatre lamp which does not cast any shadows. His epidiascope “Belshazzar” permits the projection of words written on a small surface and so avoids the necessity for lecturers having to write on large blackboards. Especially numerous were his improvements and developments of the microscope; one recalls the ingenious re-arrangement of the layout of the instrument, incorporating a fixed stage and an adjustable tube.
An invention which has become very widely known among the general public was the projection planetarium. A request had been made in 1913 by the German Museum in Munich, an institution corresponding to the Science Museum in South Kensington, for such an equipment which, following traditional ideas, was to represent the fixed stars on the inside of a large sphere, and the planetary systems by means of mechanically moved illuminated bodies. An arrangement somewhat along these lines was eventually supplied by Zeiss to the Museum, but in the meantime Bauersfeld had hit upon the much more compact and adaptable solution of optically projecting the stars and planets upon the interior of a large hemispherical dome.

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The comparatively small instrument comprised a number of rotating and fixed projectors, for projecting respectively the planets and stars, while the apparent motion of the sky was realised by the rotation of the instrument as a whole. Faced with the problem of designing a suitable dome, Professor Bauersfeld took a leading part, together with Dr. Dischinger and others, in originating the important Zeiss-Dywidag method of shell construction.
As an industrialist, Professor Bauersfeld was active in the management and expansion of the Carl Zeiss Foundation which he continued to lead in the spirit of its originator, Ernst Abbe. When, after 1945, the Foundation was transferred to the German Federal Republic, 1t was in a great measure his experience and initiative which enabled the Foundation to resume its work at Oberkochen and, starting from nothing, to achieve within a few years again a position of eminence among optical manufacturers. Besides many other honours, Professor Bauersfeld in 1952 received the Grashof Medal, the highest award bestowed by the Association of German Engineers. In 1957, he became the first German citizen to be awarded the James Watt International Medal by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Carl Zeiss Planetarium

The World’s First Planetarium Was Erected on the Roof of the ZEISS Factory. The first artificial night sky was shown in Jena in the summer of 1923. 10 years earlier, Heidelberg astronomer Max Wolf had suggested the planetarium idea to Oskar von Miller, founder of the Deutsches Museum in Munich. He, in turn, approached Carl Zeiss Jena. After an interruption caused by World War I and a whole host of design issues, Walther Bauersfeld, Chief Engineer at ZEISS, developed Model I, which was tested in a specially built, 16-meter dome on the roof of the factory in Jena. Beginning in August 1924, presentations were also offered to the public. The very first projector was in service at the Deutsches Museum from 1925 to 1960, and it continues to be on display to this day.

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Buckminster Fuller

Fuller was most famous for his lattice shell structures – geodesic domes, which have been used as parts of military radar stations, civic buildings, environmental protest camps and exhibition attractions. An examination of the geodesic design by Walther Bauersfeld for the Zeiss-Planetarium, built some 20 years prior to Fuller’s work, reveals that Fuller’s Geodesic Dome patent, follows the same design as Bauersfeld’s20170221_15304920170221_15292120170221_15293520170221_15293320170221_15295720170221_15295620170221_15294820170221_15303220170221_15311820170221_15300920170221_15310220170221_15313520170221_153247

Sunday 19th February 2017

Posted in Life the Universe and Other Things on February 19, 2017 by bishshat

Fulham 0 Spurs 3

Harry Kane’s hat-trick sent Tottenham through to the FA Cup quarter-finals after a comfortable 3-0 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage.

There had been doubts over Kane’s fitness after he sustained a knock in the midweek defeat by Gent, but the England international started and gave Tottenham the lead early on, finishing from close range after Christian Eriksen’s fine centre

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The duo combined again just five minutes into the second half as Kane converted the Dane’s cross from six yards for his 18th goal of the season.
Spurs were dominant throughout at Craven Cottage against the EFL Championship side, and Kane got his 19th and secured the match ball with 17 minutes remaining, finishing from inside the area from Dele Alli’s through ball.

The win means Spurs have reached the FA Cup last eight for the first time in four seasons, and will find out who they face in the draw at 6.30pm on Sunday, which you can follow here.

Spurs made just four changes from the side that lost 2-0 at Liverpool last weekend, fielding a strong team in comparison to their Premier League counterparts Manchester City (eight changes) and Burnley (six) as they stumbled on Saturday.

The first chance of the game fell to the visitors when Alli’s header fell into the path of Eriksen, who forced Marcus Bettinelli into a fine low save under pressure from Fulham centre-backs Tim Ream and Tomas Kalas.

Alli then hit a shot half-a-yard wide from 20 yards after finding space, before Spurs took the lead on 16 minutes.

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Racing onto Kieran Trippier’s quick throw-in down the right channel, Eriksen’s first-time cross found Kane on the gallop eight yards out, and the England striker slid in with his left foot to finish past Bettinelli.

Stand-in goalkeeper Michel Vorm nearly handed Fulham an equaliser when his stray clearance fell straight into the path of Tom Cairney, but his effort was gratefully gathered by the Dutch ‘keeper as he scampered back to goal.

Cairney then returned the favour to Kane at the other end, but Eriksen blazed over the bar from an angle as Spurs looked to pounce on the Fulham skipper’s error.

Spurs found it easy at both ends in the first 45 minutes, but Fulham’s dangerously high line was punished on only one occasion.
However, the visitors picked up where they left off in the second half, and gained that all-important two-goal cushion on 51 minutes through Kane again, poking past Bettinelli from six yards after Eriksen curled in a beauty from the right.

Fulham’s appeals for offside fell on deaf ears, but replays showed Kane’s head and shoulder were in fact goal-side of the last defender.

It was nearly 3-0 moments later, but Alli prodded over the bar at the far post after Eriksen’s deft ball.

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Kane should have had his and Tottenham’s third with 20 minutes remaining as the striker poked the ball inches over Bettinelli’s bar after Alli had helped the ball behind the Fulham back line, but he did duly get his hat-trick three minutes later.

Latching onto Alli’s through ball with Fulham’s defence stretched, Kane slotted low past Bettinelli for his second hat-trick in 2017, and his fifth overall in a Tottenham shirt.

That’s how it stayed, as Mauricio Pochettino’s side continue to fight on three fronts heading into the final few months of the campaign.

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Riphagen

World War II remains a rich source of inspiration for movies, even seventy years after its end. The clear moral lines between good and evil that the Nazi era puts into relief allow for little wiggle room for postmodern movie makers to blur them. The masterful script and ace directing nevertheless manage to stretch these lines to the uttermost, resulting in a great deal of suspense where the viewer is at times unsure of who is who and who is good or evil.

Based on a good deal of historical truth, Riphagen is presented as a combination suspense and mystery. Andries Riphagen, sometimes called the Dutch Al Capone, was an influential member of the Dutch underworld who collaborated with the German occupiers for his own personal gain. Only the most gullible of viewers will be fooled by the smooth stories he tells desperate Jews as he tries to “help” them park their assets until after the war. Nevertheless, exactly how Riphagen is scamming people and how particular situations turn out remain unclear until the last moment, as he often has to improvise and adjust his plans based on changing circumstances. This keeps the movie suspenseful till the very last minute. Don’t be fooled by what seems to be a slowing down of the story in the last third.

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Bernardus Andreas (Dries) Riphagen (7 September 1909 – 13 May 1973) was a Dutch criminal who collaborated with the Germans during World War II.

Dries Riphagen was born as the 8th child of an Amsterdam family. Riphagen’s father worked for the Navy, while his mother died when he was six years old. His father married a second time but did not take care of the children because he was an alcoholic. At the age of 14 Dries Riphagen was sent to the notorious merchant-navy training center “Pollux”, and from 1923 to 1924 went to sea as an ordinary seaman. Subsequently, he stayed in the United States for two years working for Standard Oil, during which time he came into contact with local criminal circles and learned their methods. His subsequent nickname Al Capone came from this time in the USA.

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After his return from the United States, Riphagen joined the National Socialist Dutch Workers’ Party (NSNAP), an extremely anti-Semitic minor party whose aim was that the Netherlands should become a province of the German Reich. He became one of the foremost figures of the Amsterdam underworld, known among the pimps on the Rembrandtplein, and developed a taste for jewellery, precious stones and gambling, also dealing in used — sometimes stolen — cars.

During the Second World War, Riphagen not only continued his criminal activities but expanded them in profitable co-operation with the German occupiers as a trustworthy ally of the German security service, SD, and later as a member of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration in Amsterdam. It was his task, together with his “colleagues” from the Amsterdam underworld, to uncover the black market as well as to track down Jewish property, which was being bypassed beyond the German foreign exchange regulations at the time. As a bonus, the men received five to ten percent of the confiscated goods, but they also slipped many valuables into their own pockets.

Dries Riphagen soon took part in the hunt for Jews (“Judenjagd”) together with members of the Olij family, who were feared “Jodenkloppers” (Jew beaters). From 1943 he was part of the Henneicke Column, a group of investigators who searched out Jews who had gone underground. This approximately fifty-strong group was founded in 1942 by Wim Henneicke, the stateless son of a German immigrant. From March 4 to March 31, 1943, the Column, which consisted mainly of professional criminals, handed over 3190 Jews to the German authorities, who deported them to the extermination camps. A reward of between 7.50 to 40 florins per person was paid. The Column also coerced Jewish people with the threat of deportation to betray other Jews who had gone into hiding. By the end of 1943, Riphagen had collected a small fortune, which he deposited in various accounts in Belgium and Switzerland. Finally the Henneicke Column was dissolved on the grounds of corruption. Riphagen was employed in the last year of the war by the Hoffmann Group of the SD in Assen, which specialized in the detection of shot-down Allied airmen and weapons that had been dropped to the resistance.

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Riphagen played an important role in 1944 in partially rolling-up the underground resistance organisation Identity Cards Centre (Persoonbewijzencentrale), in the course of which the German-Jewish resistance fighter Gerhard Badrian was shot.

After the war Dries Riphagen was wanted by the police for the betrayal of Jews, and the public prosecutor considered him responsible for the death of at least 200 people. Riphagen contacted the former resistance fighter and head of police in Enschede, Willem Evert Sanders, who wanted to do a deal with him. Riphagen was not handed over to the official authorities, but was placed under house-arrest as a “private” prisoner in exchange of information on collaborators and German-friendly networks. In February 1946 he escaped; according to rumours, he was helped across the border by his underworld friends in a casket inside a hearse, but according to more recent findings, the escape was organized by two staff members of the Dutch secret service Bureau voor Nationale Veiligheid, Frits and Piet Kerkhoven. From Belgium he spent three months travelling to Spain by bicycle, according to his son Rob.

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In May 1946, Riphagen was held in Huesca, Spain, because he lacked the necessary personal papers. He was imprisoned, but on the intervention of a Jesuit priest he was released on bail, under the order to get his papers rectified. Thereupon he obtained a Nansen passport, and Frits Kerkhoven provided him with clothes and shoes in which diamonds that he had previously deposited with Kerkhoven were hidden. When he was about to be extradited to the Netherlands — he was now living in Madrid — he flew to Argentina on 21 March 1948 with a friend. His contact address there was also that of a Jesuit priest, but nothing is known of any connection with the so-called “ratlines”. The Dutch Ambassador in Buenos Aires, Floris Carcilius Anne Baron van Pallandt, made a request for extradition, which was however only based on lesser offences such as vehicle theft and robbery and which, according to the Argentine judiciary, were already time-barred and for which the submitted evidence was inadequate.

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The fact that Riphagen was not handed over to the Netherlands was most likely due to his good connections. He was friends with a member of the Supreme Court of Argentina, Rodolfo Valenzuela, who also served as secretary to President Juan Perón. As a result, he became acquainted with the Presidential couple and remained in contact with Perón until his death. He settled in Belgrano, a district of Buenos Aires, where he ran a photography press office and worked for Perón’s secret service. He also organized boxing competitions at the Luna Park for Jan Olij, his old friend from Amsterdam.

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After the Revolucion Libertadora, where Perón was overthrown, Riphagen returned to Europe and travelled around, mainly in Spain, Germany and Switzerland. He preferred to surround himself with wealthy women, who also maintained him. His last known address was in Madrid. In 1973, Dries Riphagen, the “worst war criminal in Amsterdam”, died of cancer in Montreux. In 2010 two Dutch journalists and employees of the newspaper Het Parool, Bart Middelburg and René ter Steege published the book ‘Riphagen, ‘Al Capone’, één van Nederlands grootste oorlogsmisdadigers’ (Riphagen, ‘Al Capone’, one of the Netherlands’ greatest war criminals). The book is based on interviews with Dries Riphagen’s son, Rob, and Betje Wery, who had collaborated with the Germans.