POLISH GREATNESS TRAFFIC

August 21, 2018

AUGUST 21 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

AUGUST 21

1941

French Resistance Assassinated a German Soldier:   At a secret meeting from August 15 to 17, members of the French resistance movement called, Jeunesse Communistes (JC), agreed to obtain weapons and begin training for armed underground attacks against the Germans. The recent news of the execution of Gautherot and Tyszelman, compelled the members of the group to take action.  (Previously, the JC  dealt only with propaganda.)   Of the JC leaders, Pierre Georges became primarily involved in military operations in the Paris region, while Albert Ouzoulias was more concerned with recruitment and liaison between the regions.   On August 21, Pierre Georges and three companions carried out a revenge killing of a German soldier named Alfons Moser when he was boarding a train at the Barbès metro station at eight in the morning. When Adolf Hitler heard of Moser's execution, he ordered the immediate execution of one hundred hostages. Contrary to Hitlers order, Otto von Stulpnagel, the German military commander in France, ordered the number to be reduced to 10 hostages On August 27, August 1941 three Communists were sentenced to death by guillotine, and were executed the following day. Over the next few days five more communists more shot.  Over the next several months, a series of assassinations and reprisals were conducted which resulted in the execution of five hundred French hostages.


1968

Invasion of Czechoslovakia: The Prague Spring  was a period  in which attempts were made to introduce political liberalization  in Czechoslovakia during a period of draconian political and military domination under the Soviet Union.  On January 5, 1968, reformist Alexander Dubcek was elected First Secretary of the Communist Party, and attempted to usher in economic decentralization, democratization and basic human rights. On August 21, 1968, the Soviet Union sent half a million troops with tanks in the invasion of Czechoslovakia, to quash attempts at reforms.



August 20, 2018

AUGUST 20 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

AUGUST 20

1794

Greater Poland Uprising began:  (Powstanie Wielkopolskie) It was a military insurrection by Polish troops against the Kingdom of Prussia, which had seized the territory of Greater Poland after the 1793 Second Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Kościuszko Uprising in central Poland broke out in March 1794 and provided the catalyst for the formation of Polish military units. Initially Tadeusz Kościuszko hoped to avoid a two front war, as he had already initiated the fight against Russians in central Poland. But in June 1794, the situation changed when the Prussians (originally allied with Poland) switched alliances to support Tsarist Russia in suppressing Kosciuszko. The Supreme National Council issued a proclamation to the Citizens of Greater Poland calling them to arms. (Note:  The Supreme National Council was the central civil government of Poland loyal to the Kościuszko Insurrection.)


1939

In Katowice, funeral of Wojciech Korfanty took place.  Korfanty was a Polish activist, journalist and politician, who served as a member of the German parliaments, the Reichstag and the Prussian Landtag. But later, he became a member in the Polish Sejm.  He organized the Polish Silesian Uprisings, and hoped to join Silesia to Poland after Poland regained its independence.  He fought to protect Poles from discrimination and from the policies of Germanisation in Upper Silesia before the war. (during the interbellum period).  In 1930 he was arrested and imprisoned for his opposition to the May Coup of Jozef Pilsudski, and in 1935 forced to leave Poland.  While in Czechoslovakia, he joined Ignacy Paderewski and Wladylsaw Sikorski in forming the center-right movement of Morges Front.  He returned to Poland in April 1939 and was arrested upon arrival and imprisoned.  He died in prison on August 17, 1939, though the circumstances of his death could not be determined. Rumours of conspiracy allude to the possibility that he was poisoned by arsenic vapors soaked in the walls of his cell. Wojciech Korfanty was a member of the Polish Senate (1930-35), Member of the Sejm (1922-1930), and Deputy Prime Minister from October 1923 to December 1923).


1940

"The Few":  Winston Churchill spoke in the House of Common in which he praised the pilots of the RAF, of which Polish pilots were an integral part.  In his speech, Church included these words, "......Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. All hearts go out to the fighter pilots, whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day; but we must never forget that all the time, night after night, month after month, our bomber squadrons travel far into Germany, find their targets in the darkness by the highest navigational skill, aim their attacks, often under the heaviest fire, often with serious loss, with deliberate careful discrimination, and inflict shattering blows upon the whole of the technical and war-making structure of the Nazi power. On no part of the Royal Air Force does the weight of the war fall more heavily than on the daylight bombers, who will play an invaluable part in the case of invasion and whose unflinching zeal it has been necessary in the meanwhile on numerous occasions to restrain......"


1943

Operation Belt was a large-scale anti-Nazi operation conducted by the Polish Underground to attack German border guarding stations between the General Gouvernment and territories annexed by the Third Reich. In two nights the Polish underground destroyed 7 of these stations.  Though the Polish side had few losses, they lost a beloved member of their unit, Tadeusz Zawadzki, who was killed during the Operation. Zawadzki was second lieutenant of the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa, or AK), and a scouting resistance fighter. He was only 22.  Soon after his death,  the Home Army created a battalion in his memory, after his code-name, Battalion Zoska.


1944

Polish fighters captured 115 German prisoners:  Polish troops under the command of Cavalry Captain Henryk Roycewicz "Leliwa" launched an attack on Warsaw's tallest structure, a nine-story building of the Polish Telephone Company, named PAST (Polska Akcyuna Spolka Telefoniczna) located at 37-39 Zielna Street. Among the troops of Captain "Leliwa" were a shock platoon of "Koszta" Company, two engineer patrols, a women's sapper patrol, two flamethrower patrols, and a special fire brigade. Previous attempts to take the PAST building had failed resulting in very heavy losses to Polish troops. Despite the superior firepower of the Germans and their fortified positions, the Polish insurgents fought on for over 12 hours. The Poles succeeded in capturing the PAST building killing 38 enemy soldiers and taking over 115 German prisoners. The Poles also succeeded in capturing a considerable cache of weapons and ammunition.


URGENT AND MOST SECRET MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT AND Mr CHURCHILL TO MARSHAL STALIN  (no.322)  "We are thinking of world opinion if anti-Nazis in Warsaw are in effect abandoned. We believe that all three of us should do the utmost to save as many of the patriots there as possible. We hope that you will drop immediate supplies and munitions to the patriot Poles of Warsaw, or will you agree to help our planes in doing it very quickly? We hope you will approve. The time element is of extreme importance."  ROOSEVELT    CHURCHILL   (August 20th, 1944 )



August 19, 2018

AUGUST 19 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

AUGUST 19

1587

Sigismund III was elected ruler of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, backed by strong supporters, and with the blessings of the primate of Poland Stanisław Karnkowski.  His new official name and title became, " By the Grace of God, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Ruthenia, Prussia, Masovia, Samogitia, Livonia and also Hereditary King of the Swedes, Goths and Wends"  The latter part was reference to the fact that he was Crown Prince of Sweden and would succeed to the Throne of Sweden upon the death of his father.


1920

Second Silesian Uprising began.  Pro-German activists organized a march to celebrate what they thought was the end of independent Poland. A German newspaper in Upper Silesia published a fake announcement that Warsaw was defeated in the Polish-Soviet war. When it became apparent that Warsaw had not fallen, the demonstration escalated into violence and looting of Polish stores. Consequently,  a Polish uprising took control of government offices in the districts of Kattowitz (Katowice), Pless (Pszczyna), Beuthen (Bytom). Between August 20 and 25, the rebellion spread to Königshütte (Chorzów), Tarnowitz (Tarnowskie Góry), Rybnik, Lublinitz (Lubliniec) and Gross Strehlitz (Strzelce Opolskie).


1934

Hitler received 88.1%  'Yes' vote in the referendum. The vast majority of Germans approved of his new powers, while 9.9% were against and 2.0% not valid or blank votes. Over 38 million Germans agreed to the merging of the titles "Fuhrer" and "Reichskanzler" (Chancellor) making Hitler the de facto dictator of the Third Reich. The referendum was fraught with voter tampering, intimidation, and electoral fraud. In many places, voting booths were removed entirely, and signs placed, "only traitors enter here" to discourage those who wanted secret ballot.  In many instances, the ballot was already marked "Yes", whereas  the"No" ballots, or spoiled ballots were counted as a "yes". Hitler had already assumed power, but used the referendum to legitimize his role in the eyes of the world.


1939

Stalin addressed the Politburo about upcoming war. He discussed Soviet policy and strategies that would empower the Soviet Union.  "….On the other hand if we accept Germany's proposal,  that you know and conclude a non-aggression pact with her, she will certainly invade Poland, and the intervention of France and England is then unavoidable. Western Europe would be subjected to serious upheavals and disorder. In this case we will have a great opportunity to stay out of the conflict, and we could plan the opportune time for us to enter the war....."


1941

Execution of French Resistance Fighter:   Samuel Tyszelman, a Polish-born Jewish Communist, was an active member of the French Resistance movement in Paris. On August 19, 1941, Tyszelman was among a crowd of  100 young men and women who emerged from the Strasbourg – Saint-Denis metro station waving the tri-color flag of France, singing La Marseillaise and shouting "Down with Hitler! Vive La France!" French and German police intervened.   Germans soldiers opened fire and Tyzelman was hit in the leg.  Henri Gautherot fled but a German civilian pursued him and caught him in a porter's lodge at 37 Boulevard Saint-Martin. Tyszelman took refuge in the cellar of 29 Boulevard Magenta (19th arrondissement), but German soldiers arrested him with the assistance of the Emergency Police. Following a German military tribunal, Syszelman and Gautherot were sentenced to death by firing squad at the Vallée-aux-Loups in Châtenay-Malabry, Hauts-de-Seine.  On the same day the Germans posted notices in black lettering on red paper, announcing the sentence and execution. He was 20 years old.


1942

The Battle of Dieppe (or Dieppe Raid), on August 19, 1942, was an Allied attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe.  The raid took place on the northern coast of France at 5:00 am and  involved 5,000 Canadian troops, 1,000 British troops and 50 United States Army Rangers. By 10:50 a.m.  Allied commanders were forced to call a retreat.  They failed in all their objectives, and worse still was being trapped on the beach between obstacles and heavy German fire power. Less than ten hours since the beginning of the raid, the last Allied troops had all been either killed, evacuated, or left behind to be captured by the Germans.  Captain Romuald Nalecz-Tyminski of the Polish Destroyer,  ORP Slazak was honored for saving the lives of 85 Canadians during the Dieppe Raid. "With guns blazing he led the rescue..." He was hailed as a hero in both Canada and Poland.


1944

Soviets Massacred Polish Soldiers. On August 19, 1944, in a report to the Polish Government-in-Exile, the Lublin District of the Home Army (AK) wrote: "Mass arrests of the AK soldiers are being carried out by the NKVD all over the region. These arrests are tolerated by the Polish Committee of National Liberation, and AK soldiers are incarcerated in the Majdanek Camp. Losses of our nation and the Home Army are equal to the losses which we suffered during the German occupation. We are paying with our blood."  (Editors note:  Stalin commissioned the NKVD to kill members of the Polish Home Army, because they were seen as threats to Soviet supremacy. The Soviet intention had always been to conquer and occupy Poland and destroy any opposition.  After the end of the war, many Polish soldiers who returned to Poland were arrested and murdered.)