Cruising Authority THE BOOK is now Available!

Available for immediate release

NewBookcover6x9Bloomington, Minnesota, March 15th 2018 –  The book title is: Cruising Authority – Cruise Ship Reviews & Cruising Adventures, Forecasts and Tips for getting the best cruise deals – written by cruise industry journalist Barry Vaudrin, contains many cruise reviews and a unique glimpse into what it’s like to work on a cruise ship.  Readers will enjoy the cruise adventures, and insights of the Author, Barry Vaudrin, as he reveals uncommon cruise experiences worth considering when navigating the plethora of cruise & tour options. For over thirty years, Author, Barry Vaudrin, has been engaged in many areas of the cruise industry including working on six different cruise ships with four different cruise lines, and from 1993 through 2006 operated a cruise-only travel business.  From 2007 to present Barry has traveled the world as a cruise & travel journalist, writing articles for magazines like Porthole and online media sites with over one hundred podcasts and over one hundred and seventy custom-made Youtube videos.

Highlights from Cruising Authority THE BOOK

  • For the first time read about the 1992 grounding of the most famous passenger ship in her day, the QE2, as she was departing Martha’s Vineyard. This chapter is an eye-witness account of the grounding through the eyes and ears of the Author, Barry Vaudrin, who was working as Stage Manager aboard QE2 during the incident.
  • Nine cruise secrets and many cruise tips revealed for first-time cruisers as well as seasoned cruisers.
  • How Men see cruises and how Women see cruises.
  • Trends the Cruise Lines might follow.
  • Choosing the right cruise line, itinerary and ship.
  • An examination of the differences between a Cruise Vs. Resort vacation.
  • The Author’s forecast for the Cruise Industry.
  • Much more content, including 20 detailed Cruise reviews.

Additional services offered by Author Barry Vaudrin include: public speaking on the history of ocean liners and cruise ships, cruise ship mystery shopper evaluations, professional and custom video reviews of ships, ports, and cruise lines.  Barry’s services are offered to the upscale luxury cruise industry segments as well as mass market and medium market cruise lines.  With the publication of Cruising Authority, Barry is also available for book signings and public appearances to speak about the cruise industry and the history of ocean liners.  Contact Barry Vaudrin at to inquire about book sales, speaking engagements, media productions, and public appearances.  What makes Barry Vaudrin a compelling personality?  Barry has been on over 300 cruises, he was an illusionist on cruise ships, he owned a cruise-only agency, and has created a very popular cruise podcast that reaches millions of listeners, the guest-list of which was a who’s who of the cruise industry, including presidents of cruise lines, famous actors, entertainers and authors.  Barry’s book, Cruising Authority, will soon be seen in major bookstores around the world and across America.

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Introducing the Victory I with Victory Cruise Lines

In July of 2016, a new cruise line was launched by veteran cruise industry executive, Bruce Nierenberg.  Introducing, Victory Cruise Lines and the small luxury cruise ship, Victory I.  Summers are spent exploring the Great Lakes and Winters the ship cruises from Miami to Cuba, capturing the imagination of seasoned travelers seeking a new adventure.  The following video is an excellent introduction to the Victory I Great Lakes cruising!

With such a unique cruise product, it’s important to plan your journey with the Victory Cruise Lines Experts at VANTAGE ADVENTURES.  At Vantage Travel you’ll be in-touch with a luxury travel expert that will be able to assist you in planning the perfect Great Lakes cruise.  You can also visit for more information and reviews of cruise ships and cruise-related content.

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FATHOM Launches Impact Travel

Impact Travel and Deep Travel are new terms to describe a brand new cruise line that begins operation in April and May of 2016 out of Miami to the Dominican Republic and Cuba.  A start-up cruise brand that stems from Carnival Corporation, will have a fascinating, relatively new concept in cruising, called Impact Travel, where passengers can participate in unique excursions developed by Fathom, to reach out a helping hand in the local ports the ship visits.  Fathom begins with the P&O vessel Adonis which carries 700 passengers in an elegant environment onboard with comfortable staterooms and suites, many with private verandas.  The Adonis will visit the newly constructed $85 Million port of Amber Cove, just outside of Puerto Plata, which is a convenient location for passengers to explore the Dominican Republic.   A first for the cruise industry, a dedicated ship, the Adonis, has a specific mission to provide a luxurious experience for passengers, and also provide Impact Travel excursions for passengers to connect with local people and help with unique projects like; jumping into the process of making chocolate, or constructing and distributing much needed water filters to local families, and even helping elementary school children to speak conversational English.  The details of the excursions in Cuba have not been entirely released as of yet, but the plan is to have similar Travel Immersion activities there too.   The following video shows some of the excursions and unique elements to a Fathom Cruise Experience.

Please use the following link to visit TravelSafe Insurance and explore the unique cruise-specific policies that are highly recommended when traveling to the Dominican Republic or Cuba.


Visit the website to book your own Fathom cruise experience.


#deeptravel #traveldeep  #impacttravel  #fathom

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Paul Gauguin Cruises

vanessa_410x515In our latest podcast at Cruising Authority we interviewed Vanessa Bloy, who is the Public Relations Director at Paul Gauguin Cruises.  Some of the highlights to this interview are a description of the Tahitian Islands the Paul Gauguin vessel explores each week, what the lifestyle is like aboard the ship and the fact that this upscale cruise line is a great fit with families with children.  Nearly everything is covered in the cruise fare when passengers embark on a Paul Gauguin cruise, particularly the dining, entertainment, port visits and so much more.  Please take twenty minutes to listen to this podcast and learn for yourself all of the exciting things you can expect on a Paul Gauguin cruise vacation.

Click HERE to listen to this Podcast

This program was sponsored by the following companies:

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Three Unique Cruises

Having cruised all over the world on many different cruise ships and cruise lines with fascinating itineraries, I get asked often what my move UNIQUE cruise experiences have been over the years.  My answer is in this video which captures three very Unique cruise itineraries #1 is across Sweden #2 is out  of Dubai and #3  is on the Yangtze River in China.  To see the full videos featuring these Unique Cruises, check out the “Play Lists” at

Our Sponsors for this project are as follows:  TravelSafe insurance is an absolute MUST Click on the TravelSafe logo below to get rates:


To book your next Cruise Adventure, contact The Cruise Brothers or click on the link below to get the best rates, upgrades, discounts and amenities:



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America’s Superliner May once again go to Sea!

America’s superliner SS Untied States has been in mothballs since 1969 and has seen multiple owners come and go.  Richard Hadley, in Seattle, in the late 70’s, had aspirations of transforming the SS United States into a cruise ship / time share vessel that would cruise the Hawaiian islands.  Unfortunately those plans fell through.  Then the ship was towed across the Atlantic to have her interior fittings, including tons of asbestos, removed, leaving the ship an empty gutted hulk.  The Big U, as she was affectionately called, eventually made her way to Philadelphia where she remains today, towering over an IKEA in a backwater pier.  Norwegian Cruise Lines also had dibs on restoring the ship to service, but that plan too was scrubbed.  Finally, February 4th at a press conference at Pier 88 in New York City, Crystal Cruises, a luxury cruise brand, announced they would take on the $60,000 per month tab on the ship’s docking fees, and conduct a feasibility study to be certain the ship can be sound-enough to go to sea again.

Chief Executive at Crystal Cruises, Edie Rodriguez, standing with Susan Gibbs, who is the Grand Daughter of William Francis Gibbs, the designer of the great American-built ocean liner, announced the plans to restore the SS United States to sea again.  Artist renderings show a modified superstructure to offer verandas, her massive iconic red, white and blue funnels will remain in-place.  Recently, Crystal Cruises has surprised the cruise industry by purchasing a 787 luxury jet, a yacht-like vessel for luxury adventure cruises and Crystal will also enter the river boat market with their own brand of luxury river boats.  The estimated costs to restore the SS United States to sea again may cost up to $800,000 million dollars, which sounds about right considering the ship has been idle for 47 years.  In the past few years divers and investigators have determined that her hull is still very much in excellent condition.  You wouldn’t think she is seaworthy by looking at her in her current condition because her black hull paint is falling off, there’s rust everywhere, and she simply looks terrible, however; the paint chipping and rust is only a minimal layer to her otherwise steel and aluminum hull which is battleship strong.  Once in drydock, and after a good sand-blasting and hull-cleaning, she is in great shape for an extensive refit.  Every little inch of her interior, her hull plating, and in the bowels of the ship, will be scrapped, repainted, and power-cleaned in order to make sure she is ready for the sea again.

According to Crystal Cruises, when the SS United States emerges once again as a luxury cruise vessel, she will only carry up to 800 passengers as opposed to the nearly 2,000 passengers she use to carry in her life as America’s great ocean liner in the 50’s and 60’s.  With a passenger complement of only 800 passengers, the SS United States will have more space per passenger offering more lounges, restaurants and offer a more upscale, luxury experience.  In the old days as a superliner, crossing the Atlantic, the SS United States carried famous people such as Bob Hope, President Kennedy, Sean Connery, Walt Disney, Cary Grant and Marilyn Monroe, to name a few.  Elizabeth Taylor was also a regular passenger and she would usually request the Duck Suite.  Gone are the days of the trans-Atlantic era, but today, the SS United States by Crystal Cruises, may once again wow her passengers with grace, poise and luxury.

Some interesting nuggets of information that many people may not know include the fact that when the SS United States was launched in 1952, she had more aluminum built into her superstructure than any other single structure built at that time.  William Francis Gibbs, the ship’s designer, was fanatical about creating a ship that was nearly fireproof, with very limited use of wood onboard, in fact, the only wood found onboard were the pianos, the butcher’s block, and in her bilge keel.  Gibbs even went as far as to remove the music director’s wooden baton with a replica made from aluminum.  The SS United States could carry up to 15,000 troops in wartime and could steam up to 10,000 miles on one tank of fuel.  The battleship-ready luxury liner was built for speed, which was a U.S. military secret, until she was removed from service in 1969.  Her engines could generate up to 240,000 horse power and her top speed was arguably in excess of 40 knots which is nearly 50 land miles per hour.  That’s incredibly fast considering she was such a large vessel, and she proved her speed by winning the Blue Ribband for the fasted trans-Atlantic record of three days, ten hours, and forty minutes.

Time will tell if this plan of Crystal Cruises will result in America’s superliner returning to sea.  If a company can do it, Crystal Cruises can, as they establish their brand as the leading luxury cruise line.  Now we await the results of a feasibility study, and remain optimistic that America’s great superliner will return to sea.  The following video was filmed in 1979 in Norfolk Virginia while the SS United States still contained her interior fittings.  Some pictures are also used from another visit to the ship in 1986, after much of her interior furniture and fittings were removed.  The video is a Vaudrin production with all rights reserved through Cruising Authority.

Look at the excellent photos of the SS United States in mothballs in Norfolk Virginia:

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My Two Favorite Cruises

I’ve been on nearly 300 cruises over the years as a passenger, a member of the crew and as a Cruise Journalist.  So the most asked question I hear is, “What’s your favorite cruise?”  As a Cruise Journalist, I started a multi-media business called Cruising Authority which offers written articles and reviews, audio podcasts and original videos.  I recently launched a new brand called: “Cruising With Barry”, that exclusively offers video reviews and commentary about the cruise industry, cruise ships and cruise itineraries.  Please enjoy this video where I talk about my two favorite cruise experiences.


Please subscribe to our new YouTube Channel or visit and if you would like to be kept informed, you can also subscribe to this website.

This content is sponsored by the following companies:

Carilohoa    This is a very interesting company that offers a fascinating fabric made from Bamboo.  I would’ve never thought that bamboo fabric would be so soft and luxurious, but overnight I sleep on bamboo sheets and I have a shirt made from this bamboo fabric from Cariloha.  Check out the website from the link provided and explore the products they offer.

TravelSafe  Having traveled the world, I always purchase travel insurance because you truly never know what could happen…so I gain a peace of mind knowing that I’m covered should there be an unplanned incident.  Click on the link just above and see for yourself the protection you can get from TravelSafe.  There are many policies there to consider.  Remember that particularly on a cruise, chances are your own life insurance or credit card insurance or even insurance offered by the cruise lines do not offer the comprehensive insurance policies that are specific to a cruise vacation.

The Cruise Brothers   I have now booked several cruises with The Cruise Brothers and I often refer my closest family and friends to this cruise agency because I know they will be taken care of and get the best rates, amenities, upgrades and discounts.  I even booked a large group of 80 passengers, and The Cruise Brothers handled every booking with great care and precision.

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Carnival Unexpectedly Launches a Tenth Cruise Brand

AdonistouchedupCarnival Corporation is a massive company with numerous cruise brands under their wing including: Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises, and a few others. The tenth brand will be called simply, Fathom, and the ship to start-off this new cruise venture, Adonia, was taken from another one of Carnival’s brands, P&O Cruises, which caters mostly to passengers from the UK. The Adonia is a 30,000 ton vessel built at Chantiers de L’Atlantique in St. Nazaire, France in 2001, originally for Renaissance Cruises. The Adonia was one of eight ships built for Renaissance Cruises and she was originally named “R Eight”, because she was the last of eight ships built for the line, which filFathomLogo6ed bankruptcy in late 2001. The vessel has had several names with different cruise lines including: Minerva II and Royal Princess. In 2011 the Royal Princess was transferred out of the Princess Cruises’ fleet to operate with a sister company P&O Cruises and renamed Adonia.

AdoniastairsIt’s not unexpected for Carnival Corporation to launch a new cruise brand, however; it is unexpected for Carnival to have launched a unique cruise company like Fathom, which will engage in humanitarian efforts.   Fathom will engage in “social impact travel”, offering to passengers the exclusive opportunities to reach out a helping hand in the cruise ports to help the less fortunate, and offer ongoing assistance with educational programs in third-world communities. Another way to explain what Fathom does is Volunteer Tourism.  Many companies, tour operators and faith-based ministries have been conducting “volunteer tourism” for many years, in fact as the author of this article, I can say that since 1997 we have conducted several projects which we called a Cruise With A Purpose. I even wrote a book about the details of a Cruise With A Purpose and included several case studies as examples of what we did and how we did it. You can order my book Cruise With A Purpose at the following link:

Adonisinterior4The Social Impact travel company Fathom, will begin it’s impact cruise series partnering with well-established organizations like Entrena and IDDI, or Instituto Dominicano De Desarrollo Integral, Inc.   Fathom’s first mission will be to the Dominican Republic, where the Adonia will dock in Amber Cove, Puerto Plata for three days. Carnival Corporation spent 85 Million Dollars on Amber Cove, so that various cruise lines under the Carnival Corporation banner will be able to dock there. This area is fascinating because it is where parts of the first Jurassic Park movie was filmed. This is a very exciting project because now cruise passengers have an entirely new port to visit and explore.   Amber Cove in Puerto Plata is also the perfect region for Fathom to reach out to the local people, and make a long-lasting and positive impact in the various nearby communities. For Carnival Corporation to develop the concept of Fathom, it shows that even a mega company like Carnival has a heart. Launching in April of 2016, Fathom’s first ship the Adonis, departs from Miami to the Dominican Republic with roughly 700 passengers eager to make a difference in the lives of people in the Puerto AdonislibraryPlata area. Reservations can be made by visiting the Fathom website at

Cruise pricing aboard the Adonis with Fathom will start at $1,540 per person, and a portion of the cruise cost will go to the non-profit organizations that Fathom is working directly with in the Dominican Republic. Onboard the Adonis, passengers will enjoy a very traditional, upscale, luxurious environment with a fabulous grand staircase, fine wood paneling, and wonderful dining. It will be interesting to mix social impact immersion activities with a luxurious onboard experience. Passengers will go from a luxuriously appointed ship, to immersing themselves in a third-world country environment where some people may struggle daily with what to eat.   It’s that contrast that will be a fascinating social experiment.   Typically those who enjoy an upscale lifestyle tend to avoid placing themselves in an environment where they may see extreme poverty. Passengers onboard the Adonis will attend lectures and classes to prepare them for their outreach experience in the port. Some passengers may assist students in how to speak conversational English, while other passengers may help out in a factory that manufactures chocolate. Fresh water is a desperate need in the Dominican Republic, so Fathom passengers will be instrumental in the construction of water filters to be adonisloungedistributed to families and individuals throughout the community.

Fathom is truly making a long-term investment with this project to make a difference and make a positive impact in the communities in Puerto Plata and the surrounding areas. A long-lasting impact is the only way to have a successful outreach in areas like Puerto Plata, so that the efforts to stand along-side the local people will be an ongoing, purposeful activity for many years to come.


This article was sponsored by these fine companies:

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When ever you travel, either to a resort or on a cruise, it’s important you have travel insurance.  Click on the TravelSafe link below and find out why TravelSafe is the best possible travel insurance company to consider the next time you are planning a cruise vacation.


I have recently discovered a fantastic product made by Cariloha that I’m sure will amaze you.  Carolina has somehow produced incredibly soft and luxurious fabric out of Bamboo.  I never imagined you could make something so soft with Bamboo, but Cariloha has found a way.  I have bed sheets that are vastly more comfortable than the highest count of Egyptian fabrics.  It’s such a pleasure to sleep at night with this unbelievably comfortable fabric made from Bamboo!  The fabric becomes even softer over time.  The more you wash and use the more soft it gets!  Check out the Cariloha website and browse through their clothing and bed sheets.


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Cruise Vacation Myths

Cruises are for old people

DocWhen the cruise vacation industry was in its infancy, the majority of passengers were the elderly demographic. It was once said that cruising is for old people and their parents. The reason cruise ships carried most older passengers was because they had more time, often being retired, and they had more money to spend in their retirement. Back in the late 60’s and early 70’s, it was true that cruise ships carried mostly retired vacationers, but then a new cruise line came on the scene that changed that perception. Carnival Cruise Lines was the first cruise line to reach out to middle America, young couples who wanted to have fun and families with children. Other cruise lines began to market specifically to young couples and families by offering shorter cruises, more competitive pricing, exciting ports, and a host of great entertainment onboard for all ages. The median age use to be 65 years, and by the late 70’s early 80’s that median age started to drop down to 45-50 years. Today, the median age is about 35 – 48 years.

I’ll be confined onboard 

FreedomMany people who have never set foot on a cruise ship may have an image of being confined to a “boat” and therefore choose land-based vacations like trips to Cancun, Las Vegas, or Florida. These people who share this image of cruising would be blown away by how large today’s average cruise ships are. The average cruise ship carries 3,000 passengers and has a mass of around 90,000 tons. To put it into perspective, the size of today’s cruise ship, imagine a giant skyscraper like New York’s Empire State Building, flip it on it’s side and shove it down the freeway at 20 miles per hour. Or perhaps consider this, the average cruise ship is often larger than most buildings in your town…even the big ones. A cruise ship today is larger than most land-based resorts or hotels. The Allure of the Seas, for example, is the largest cruise ship today at over 240,000 tons, and even has seven unique neighborhoods, so she is virtually a city at sea. When you go to the movies in your hometown, and as you’re sitting there waiting for your movie to begin, the show lounges on most cruise ships are often more than twice the size of the average movie theater, and have the latest in stage equipment and technology that rivals even Broadway production shows. Most of today’s cruise ships now have from 5-25 different restaurants onboard. Additionally, passengers are not entirely “confined” to a boat, rather, the average seven-night cruise stops in 3-4 different ports where passengers can explore exotic beaches, embark on fascinating tours, and enjoy unique cultures.

I will get bored

SkyBarMaybe in the old days when cruise ships were 18,000 tons and had only one dining room and a small lounge for music and entertainment for 500 passengers. Today, cruise lines have mastered the art of entertaining passengers with more activities, entertainment venues, numerous dining options, and interesting activities and amenities that will mesmerize even the most HDHD passenger. Cruise lines are tapping into amazing technologies that allow passengers to experience simulated sky diving, incredible water parks and slides, simulated surfing, ice skating rinks, rock-climbing walls, zip lines, rope courses, even robotic bar tenders. A new cruise ship coming out in 2016, the Carnival Vista, will have a device never before seen on land or at sea called a SkyRide, where a passenger can sit in a pod and peddle around an 800 foot long track suspended over the top of the ship. As far as entertainment, today’s cruise ships have started to offer “branded” entertainment like Blue Man Group, Second City, Nickelodeon, Dr. Suess, Dreamworks, Disney, Legends In Concert, and Cirque Dreams to name a few. The Quantum of the Seas has an interesting glass capsule that about 15 passengers can get in and with a giant hydraulic boom, raise that pod 300 feet above the sea for those lucky passengers to enjoy the view. Not only does the modern cruise ship offer more entertainment options than most land-based resorts, but these ships are mobile and carry passengers to fascinating new ports of call nearly every day.

I will get seasick

getawayThe one thing that is true is that even the largest cruise ships float on the ocean, and sometimes the ocean makes these ships sway from side to side or front to back. The ships are also cruising across the ocean at 15-25 miles per hour producing a relative feel of movement. That being said, most passengers find the often gentle movement of the ship to be soothing, especially at night when the movement of the ship lulls passengers to sleep like being in a baby cradle. Today’s cruise ships are also much larger than the cruise ships in the past and have the latest in high-tech hydrodynamics making the ship’s movement more subtle and controlled. I tell people, that if they do not get sick riding in a car, then most likely they will be fine with the movement of the ship. Sometimes it may take a few hours to a day or so to get your sea legs, and there are a few ways to prevent from getting seasick. One popular old sailor’s trick is to eat an apple and salt crackers to relieve a queasy stomach. If the motion upsets your sense of balance, then I recommend SeaBands that you put around your wrists that presses down on pressure points that can help with inner ear motion sensitivity. Ginger gum is also an excellent option to relieve stomach issues. I recommend these options before using medications that can make you sleepy, therefore hindering your cruise enjoyment. It’s also wise to refrain from too much alcohol consumption until you get your sea legs.

Where’s the Midnight Buffet?

BuffetIn the early days of cruising, passengers could expect nearly every night, a midnight buffet, with an extraordinary amount of food and desserts. For the most part, the “Midnight Buffet” is extinct, however; there is usually late-night snacks and foods up in the Lido Deck area so no one goes to bed hungry. Today’s cruise ships have a designated Lido Buffet area that the ships in the past did not have. These Lido Buffets are great alternatives to eating in the dining room, for those who want to grab a quick bite or snack, rather than the sit-down restaurant experience with a waiter etc.

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The First Purpose-Built Cruise Ship Might Surprise You

WilheimThe cruise vacation industry has exploded into a multi-billion dollar industry with massive 240,000 ton cruise ships with amenities and features like rock-climbing walls, water parks, ice skating rinks, and even a glass module that raises passengers 300 feet into the air just for the view.   It is commonly known that the birth of the cruise industry started in the late 60’s and early 70’s, but a piece of nearly forgotten history shows that the first purpose-built cruise ship was actually launched in 1938. A grand scheme called Kraft durch Freude (KdF) or in English, “Strength Through Joy” was developed by Hitler’s propaganda experts to offer cruise vacations for the average German workers. The Wilheim Gustloff was built for this Strength Through Joy cruise program and launched in 1938. This ship was painted white, had beautifully appointed public rooms and dining areas, and all of her staterooms were equal so no one had a larger or more luxurious cabin. She looked like a cruise ship, rather than the typical ocean liner. Most of the ocean liners in that time period had dark or black hulls. Additionally, the Wilheim Gustloff had only one funnel, when most of the ships in that day had at least two funnels. Designed very specifically for pleasure, games, fun and fine dining, the Wilheim Gustloff was perhaps before her time, but clearly is the first passenger ship to be designed exclusively for leisure cruises. The ship took cruise passengers to Spain, Norway and Italy.

Unfortunately, during World War II, in January 1945, working as a hospital ship, the Nazi regimes Wilheim Gustloff, was sunk with a massive loss of life, where around 9,340 people perished. It was truly one of the worst maritime disasters in history that was far more devastating than the Titanic accident in 1912. The story of the Wilheim Gustloff is not as well known because of the dark Nazi regime, and was buried in the chaos of World War II.




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