March 17, 2018




Adoption of the March Constitution : The Constitution was adopted by the Second Polish Republic, and was based on democratic ideals. It ruled out discrimination on racial or religious grounds, and abolished all royal titles  state privileges, and the use of blazons.  The preamble of the Constitution read as follows:  "In the Name of Almighty God! We, the people of Poland, thanking Providence for freeing us from one and a half centuries of servitude, remembering with gratitude the bravery, endurance, and selfless struggles of past generations, which unceasingly devoted all their best energies to the cause of Independence, adhering to the glorious tradition of the immortal Constitution of 3 May, striving for the welfare of the whole, united, and independent mother country, and for her sovereign existence, might, security, and social order, and desiring to ensure the development of all moral and material powers for the good of the whole of regenerated mankind and to ensure the equality of all citizens, respect for labor, all due rights, and particularly the security of State protection, we hereby proclaim and vote this Constitutional Statute in the Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Poland."


Poland issued an ultimatum to Lithuania demanding that it re-establish diplomatic relations with Poland within 48 hours. The Lithuanian government had adamantly refused diplomatic relations with Poland since 1920 after Poland annexed the Vilnius region. In the midst of increasing militarization in pre-World War II Europe, and the necessity to secure its borders, Poland, feeling buoyed by the international support of the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany, decided a similar ultimatum to Lithuania.  It resulted in the resumption of diplomatic relations, and a de facto renunciation of Lithuanian claims to the region containing its historic capital, Vilnius. Lithuania, preferring peace to war, accepted the ultimatum on March 19.


In Berlin, Józef Lipski met Hermann Göring to discuss the establishment of Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.(Note: The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was a protectorate of Nazi Germany established on March 16, 1939 following the German occupation of Czechoslovakia on March 15, 1939. Nazi Germany had incorporated the Czech Sudetenland territory as a Reichsgau, according to the Munich Agreement of September 1938). The protectorate's population was majority ethnic Czech, while the Sudetenland was majority ethnic German.


Jews of Lublin were deported to Belzec for extermination.  Karl Alfred Schluch, an SS-man Karl and former "Euthanasia" worker,  spent about sixteen months in Belzec and described what happened to the Jewish prisoners. The following are his words:  ".....The unloading of the freight cars was carried out by a Jewish work commando, headed by a Capo. Two to three members of the German camp personnel supervised it. It was one of my duties to supervise here. After the unloading, those Jews able to walk had to make their way to the assembly site. During the unloading the Jews were told that they had come for resettlement but that first they had to be bathed and disinfected. The address was given by Wirth, and also by his interpreter, a Jewish Capo. Immediately after this, the Jews were led to the undressing huts. In one hut the men had to undress and in the other the women and children. After they had stripped, the Jews, the men having been separated from the women and children, were led through the tube. I cannot recall with certainty who supervised the undressing huts... Since I was never on duty there I am unable to provide precise details about the stripping process. I just seem to remember that in the undressing hut some articles of clothing had to be left in one place, others in a different one, and in a third place valuables had to be handed over... My location in the tube was in the immediate vicinity of the undressing hut. Wirth had stationed me there because he thought me capable of having a calming effect on the Jews. After the Jews left the undressing hut I had to direct them to the gas chamber. I believe that I eased the way there for the Jews because they must have been convinced by my words or gestures that they really were going to be bathed. After the Jews had entered the gas chambers the doors were securely locked by Hackenholt himself or by the Ukrainians assigned to him. Thereupon Hackenholt started the engine with which the gassing was carried out. After 5 - 7 minutes -- and I merely estimate this interval of time -- someone looked through a peephole into the gas chamber to ascertain whether death had overtaken them all. Only then were the outside gates opened and the gas chambers aired. Who did the checking, that is to say, who looked through the peephole? I can no longer say with any certainty... In my view, probably everyone had occasion to look through the peephole. After the gas chambers had been aired, a Jewish work commando headed by a Capo, arrived and removed the corpses. Occasionally, I also had to supervise in this place. I can therefore give an exact description of what happened, because I myself witnessed and experienced it all. The Jews had been very tightly squeezed into the gas chambers. For this reason the corpses did not lie on the floor but were caught this way and that, one bent forward, another one backward, one lay on his side another kneelled, all depending on the space. At least some of the corpses were soiled with feces and urine, others partly with saliva. I could see that the lips and tips of the noses of some of the corpses had taken on a bluish tint. Some had their eyes closed, with others the eyes were turned up. The corpses were pulled out of the chambers and immediately examined by a dentist. The dentist removed rings and extracted gold teeth when there were any. He threw the objects of value obtained in this manner into a cardboard box which stood there. After this procedure the corpses were thrown into the large graves there....."

Secret Operation Reinhard at Belzec: Operation Reinhard or Operation Reinhardt was the code-name given to the secretive German Nazi plan to exterminate the majority of Polish Jews in the General Government district of German-occupied Poland during World War II. The operation marked the deadliest phase of the Holocaust by the introduction of extermination camps. As many as two million Jews were sent to Bełżec, Sobibór, and Treblinka, to be put to death in gas chambers built for that purpose. In addition, mass killing facilities using Zyklon B were developed at about the same time within the Majdanek concentration camp, and at Auschwitz II-Birkenau near the existing Auschwitz I camp for Polish prisoners.

Until June 1942 , between 430,000 and 500,000 Jews were believed to have been murdered by the SS at Bełżec during  World War Two. Belzec was the 3rd most notorious extermination camp, after Auschwitz and Treblinka.


Bulgaria stated opposition to deportation of its Jews.  During the first half of March 1943, Bulgarian military and police authorities carried out the deportation of 13,341 Jews residing in the Bulgarian-occupied territories. Once the Jews were in German custody, German authorities transported them to Treblinka, where virtually all were killed in the gas chambers or shot.  The news of the deportations and killings of Jews provoked an uproar among opposition politicians, Bulgarian intellectuals and members of the Bulgarian clergy who protested openly against the deportations and extermination. Tsar Boris intended to continue with the deportations until Dimitur Pešev, the deputy speaker of the Parliament, and a prominent member of Boris's own Government Ruling Party, personally intervened and persuaded the Tsar to delay the planned deportation.Two days later Pešev introduced a resolution in parliament criticizing the deportations and calling a halt to them. But the majority in the Government Ruling Party, undoubtedly with Boris's tacit approval, voted down Pešev's resolution and forced his resignation in late March.


Poland's Wedding to the Sea in Mrzeżyno, The ceremony was meant to symbolize the restoration of Polish access to the Baltic Sea that was lost in 1793 by the Partitions of Poland. It was previously performed on February 10, 1920, by General Józef Haller at Puck (Putzig). Following the Polish-Soviet advance into Pomerania in early spring 1945, a few such ceremonies took place in several locations. The most famous 1945 Weddings to the Sea was performed by the soldiers of the Polish Army in Mrzeżyno (Regamünde) and on March 18 at the newly captured port of Kołobrzeg (Kolberg).

March 16, 2018




Hitler announced the rearmament of Germany and the reintroduction of conscription. His move was a direct violation of the Treaty of Versailles.  Germanys plans for rearmament began as soon as the Treaty was signed in 1919. Although it began secretively, it expanded to great proportions after the Nazi Party came to power in 1933.  Historians have argued that Hitlers rise to power was condoned by the West in order to allow a rearmed Germany to act as a bulwark against the emergence of a powerful USSR. This mindset was evident when Nazi Germany launched Operation Barbarossa to invade Soviet territory, and the West observed with anticipation the hope that Germans and Russians would fight themselves to a bloody standstill.  Before the war, allied governments, in particular  British Prime Minister Chamberlain, failed to intercede earlier because he believed that his appeasement policies would be effective to avert war.  There was the speculation that anything that might have caused Hitler not to overreach as quickly and as far as he did, would only have condemned Europe to living behind a Nazi Iron Curtain, in which Germany would still be able to commit the atrocities against the Jews in the "Final Solution", and develop its nuclear weapons program.  According to respected historian George Kennan,  "Unquestionably, such a policy might have enforced a greater circumspection on the Nazi regime and caused it to proceed more slowly with the actualization of its timetable. From this standpoint, firmness at the time of the reoccupation of the Rhineland (March 7, 1936) would probably have yielded even better results than firmness at the time of Munich."


Germans bombed Scapa Flow naval base in the Orkney Islands, Scotland.  In the Naval Situation General review submitted to the British War Cabinet  the event was described as follows;  " At dusk on 16 March an attack was made on Scapa by 15 enemy bombers operating in small groups, and continued from 7:45pm until 9pm...It is reported that only the first wave of five aircraft attacked ships in the harbour, dropping about 20 bombs. This attack came in low and climbed on reaching Scapa Flow to make dive bombing attacks on the fleet. H.M.S. Norfolk was hit in the quarter deck and holed by a near miss aft, 4 officers being killed, and 4 officers and 3 ratings wounded. The damage to the ship necessitates docking, but she was capable of steaming at 10 knots, and has since arrived at the Clyde. H.M.S. Iron Duke (depot ship) was also damaged by two near misses, and one other capital ship was attacked but not hit."  (Britain had chosen Scapa Flow to be their main naval base, primarily due to its great distance from German airfields.  British defenses from WWI had fallen into disrepair consequently the defences were inadequate. Upon Churchill's order, construction began for a series of causeways to block the eastern approaches to Scapa Flow, as well as placing booms and mines over the main entrances, installing coastal defence and anti-aircraft batteries at crucial points, and sinking new blockships.)

March 15, 2018




The question of Vilnius was confirmed by a conference of ambassadors of the Allied powers. (Note: Poland had captured Vilnius in April 1919 which precipitated territorial disputes and armed conflict with Lithuania.  Vilnius briefly fell into Soviet hands during the Polish Soviet war of 1920.  But after Poland's victory in the Battle of Warsaw, Soviets regained control of the city. On October 8, 1920, Polish troops under the command of General Lucjan Żeligowski, marched on Vilnius to "defend the right of self-determination of local Poles." Żeligowski's forces captured Vilnius and proclaimed the creation of the Republic of Central Lithuania with capital in Vilnius. A ceasefire was signed on November 29 which was followed by a prolonged mediation by the League of Nations. Despite their deliberations, the situation did not change, and in 1923, the League accepted the status quo.  Lithuania refused to recognize these developments and broke diplomatic relations with Poland, until the Polish ultimatum of 1938.


Nazi troops invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia despite Hitlers promise to respect the terms of the Munich Agreement.  The Agreement was a form of appeasement by the allies and was signed on September 30, 1938 by Hitler, Chamberlain, Daladier, and Mussolini. It gave Nazi Germany permission to annex only the Sudetenland, since Hitler felt Germany had to safeguard the ethnic German minority located in that region of Czechoslovakia.


Himmler stated: "All Polish specialists will be exploited in our military-industrial complex. Later, all Poles will disappear from this world. It is imperative that the great German nation considers the elimination of all Polish people as its chief task." (Editor's note: Himmler's declaration was in line with Hitlers' plans to destroy the Polish nation.)

British RAF bombers dropped propaganda leaflets over Warsaw, Poland over the course of two nights. The leaflets contained messages for the Polish citizens reassuring them that they were "not alone in this war"  and that the British understood how they were suffering and urged them "to be strong, the day of liberation will come!" Following the mission, the Polish Government in Exile protested the action, though General Sikorski approved of it. (source: "Black Propaganda in the Second World War" by Stanley Newcourt-Nowodworski)

March 14, 2018




German submarine U-714 was depth charged and sunk off Eyemouth, Berwickshire by South African frigate Natal and British destroyer Wivern.

German submarine U-1021 struck a mine and sank in the Bristol Channel.


Following the student rally of March 8,  Edward Gierek led a mass gathering of 100,000 party members from the entire province. He was the first Politburo member to speak publicly on the issue of the protests then taking place and later claimed that his motivation was to demonstrate support for Gomułka's rule, threatened by Mieczysław Moczar's intra-party conspiring. Gierek used strong language to condemn the purported "enemies of People's Poland" who were "disturbing the peaceful Silesian water". He showered them with propaganda epithets and alluded to their bones being crushed if they persevered in their attempts to turn the "nation" away from its "chosen course." Gierek was supposedly embarrassed when participants of the party conference in Warsaw on March 19 shouted his name along with that of Gomułka, as an expression of support. The 1968 events strengthened Gierek's position, also in the eyes of his sponsors in Moscow.

March 13, 2018




Krakow Ghetto Liquidated: For two days the Nazi Germans under the command of SS Amon Goeth, carried out the final 'liquidation' of the Krakow ghetto. Jews who were deemed able to work were transported to the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp for forced labor. About 2,000 Jews who were unable to move or who attempted to escape were either killed in their homes or in the streets. Other Jews were sent to Auschwitz.  According to historians Ernst Klee, Willi Dressen and Volker Riess, the German police from the office of Grenz Polizeikommissariat were eager to participate in the slaughter of Jews in around Krakow, in anticipation of obtaining considerable material gains. The following is an excerpt from their book "The Good Old Days: The Holocaust as Seen by its Perpetrators and Bystanders" (There is a declaration from a Kripo official from the Kraków district as follows: ".... Members of the Grenzpolizeikommissariat were, with a few exceptions, quite happy to take part in shootings of Jews. They had a ball! Obviously they can't say that today! Nobody failed to turn up... I want to repeat that people today give a false impression when they say that the actions against the Jews were carried out unwillingly. There was great hatred against the Jews; it was revenge, and they wanted money and gold. Don't let's kid ourselves, there was always something up for grabs during the Jewish actions. Everywhere you went there was always something for the taking. The poor Jews were brought in, the rich Jews were fetched and their homes were scoured...."

Assassination attempt on Hitler:  Hermann von Tresckow, an officer in the German Army participated in the plot to assassinate Hitler on March 13, 1943. Tresckow drafted the Valkyrie plan for a coup against the German government.  The plan, code-named Operation Spark was based on the premise that a coup could only be possible after the assassination of Hitler, and represented the "spark" that would signal the launch of an internal coup d'etat to overthrow the Nazi regime, and ultimately end the war.  As long as Hitler was alive, his cult of personality would continue ensure his power, and the obedience of many of his officers.  Hitler had flown to one of his headquarters at Werwolf, near Vinnitsa (Ukraine)  on February 19 and would stay until March 13. Tresckow plan had prepared three options:  to form a cavalry "honor guard" unit comprised of covert anti-Nazi officers who could ambush Hitler in the forest between the airfield and headquarters (the idea was flatly rejected to avoid the prospect of German soldiers killing one another);  the second option was shooting Hitler during dinner (which was also rejected because they felt that shooting an unarmed man was abhorrent; Tresckow went with the third option:  smuggling a time bomb on Hitler's plane.  The device was an adaptation of a British Plastic-C silent time bomb, but was seized by the Abwehr from captured SOE agents. Schlabrendorff (Tresckow's aide) had carried the bomb (concealed in a parcel) to the plane and secretly activated the detonator, then resealed the parcel and handed it to Colonel Brandt (an officer on Hitlers staff) as he boarded the plane.  The bomb was expected to explode within thirty minutes of the flight, but did not go off.  Apparently,  the parcel was kept in the unheated cargo bay, and the cold at that altitude impeded the functioning of the mechanism. Schlabrendorff took the very next flight out to retrieve the package, and defuse it.


The KGB was named as the main police security agency in the Soviet Union.  Its predecessors were agencies such as Cheka, NKGB, NKVD and MGB. Its activity centered on foreign intelligence, counterintelligence, operative-investigatory activities, guarding the State Border of the USSR, guarding the leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the Soviet Government, organization and ensuring of government communications as well as combating nationalism, dissent, and anti-Soviet activities or the perception of it.  The KGB was an successor of the previously mentioned agencies. (Vladimir Putin was a veteran of the KGB, and was appointed by Yeltsin in 1998 to be its director.)

March 12, 2018




The Kościuszko Uprising was fought against Imperial Russia and the Kingdom of Prussia. It was led by Tadeusz Kosciuszko,  in the Commonwealth of Poland and the Prussian Partition, however, the uprising failed to liberate the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from Russian and Prussian occupation.  (after the Second Partition of Poland in 1793)  Russia seized 250,000 square kilometres (97,000 sq mi), while Prussia took 58,000 square kilometres (22,000 sq mi) of the Commonwealth's territory. It reduced Poland's population to only one-third of what it was before the partitions began in 1772. The rump state was garrisoned by Russian troops and its independence was strongly curtailed.


Nazi Germany annexed (Anschluss) Austria. Many Germans from both Austria and Germany saw the anschluss as completing the destiny of German unification of all German peoples into one state. However, Vienna was not in favor, due it having the largest population of Austrian Jews in the country.  The next day the Anchluss was officially declared. This was followed by the creation of Nazi laws and bureaucratic protocols to justify the aryanisation of Austria, and to systemically strip Austrian Jews of their assets and wealth.


German submarine U-260 struck a mine and was scuttled south of Ireland.


Boleslaw Bierut died.  He was a Polish Communist leader, notorious NKVD agent, and treacherous Stalinist who became President of Poland after the Soviet takeover of the country in the aftermath of World War II . Bierut signed death warrants on many members of the Polish underground, including, Witold Pilecki, General Emil August Fieldorf,  General Stanislaw Tatar and countless others. Bierut died on this day under what was described as mysterious circumstances (during a visit to the Soviet Union, 20th Congress of the Communist Party).


Former Warsaw Pact members the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland joined NATO. (Note: On July  8,1997,  they were invited to join by NATO.)

March 11, 2018




Edward Rydz-Śmigły (dob) was a Polish politician, statesman, Marshal of Poland and Commander-in-Chief of Poland's armed forces. During the interwar period, Smigly was greatly admired and regarded as a hero for his exemplary record as an army commander in the Polish Legions of World War I, followed by his strong leadership during the Polish-Soviet War of 1920.  Following the death of Marshal Jozef Pilsudski in 1935, Smigly was appointed Commander-in-Chief and Inspector General of the Polish Armed Forces and saw his popularity rise even higher. He served in this capacity during the invasion of Poland by Germany and Russia in September 1939. But his legacy has been discredited - by Soviet denunciations for his participation in the Polish-Soviet War in 1920,  and by Western countries which blamed Smigly for Poland's defeat in 1939 by Germans and Soviets.


Herbert Hoover was the 31st President of the United States of America. (March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933) President Hoover visited the Jagiellonian University in Kraków on this day. In fact he visited Poland several times - in 1913, 1919, and 1946.  He understood Poland and sympathized with Poland more than any other President before or since. He organized American relief efforts in Poland following the two world wars, which saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Polish children. He was a personal friend and admirer of the brilliant pianist Ignace Jan Padarewski, and of the distinguished statesman and military leader Jozef Pilsudski.   Even after WWII, he kept in touch with his Polish friends, but was very critical of Roosevelt and Churchill’s concessions to Stalin at the expense of Poland.  At the height of Stalinist terror in Poland, Hoover made a public statement, recalling the tragedies of the past and the hopes for a lasting and just peace. Here is a part of his speech, "The Polish Nation was betrayed not only by the Germans but by the Russians, and also by the Western Allies, who defaulted on the Atlantic Charter which had been held out as the faith and hope for all peoples. The Polish Nation has fought for its independence and the freedom of its people for over 1,000 years. It has often succeeded, only to be eclipsed by the aggression of its neighbors for long periods. That spirit in the Polish race cannot be submerged forever. There lie in this Nation those inspirations for freedom and independence that will carry it to independence and freedom."


Adolf Hitler paid his final visit to the front when he traveled to Bad Freienwalde on the Oder. In a meeting at the Schloss Freienwalde with 9th Army commander Theodor Busse, Hitler implored his officers to hold back the Russians long enough until his new weapons were ready, but he did not disclose what the new weapon was.

German submarine U-682 was destroyed at Hamburg in an American air raid.


Rudolph Hoss was captured and arrested in Gottrupel by a British force. When Hoss was found he called himself Franz Lang and insisted that he was a humble pig farmer. He was able to evade capture for almost a year, until his wife informed the authorities of his whereabouts.  Apparently she was trying to protect her son Klaus, who was being badly beaten by British soldiers. The British forces were able to confirm Hoss' identity by the engraving of his name in his wedding ring. Hoss stood trial at Nuremberg, was later tried in and found guilty in Warsaw,  and hanged at Auschwitz on April 16, 1947, near Crematory I.


March Political Crisis: The Polish 1968 political crisis, also known in Poland as March 1968 or March events,  pertained to a major student and intellectual protest action against the government of the Polish People's Republic. The crisis resulted in the suppression of student strikes by security forces in all major academic centres across the country and the subsequent repression of the Polish dissident movement. It was also accompanied by a mass emigration following an antisemitic (internally branded "anti-Zionist" at the time) campaign waged by the minister of internal affairs, General Mieczysław Moczar, with the approval of First Secretary Władysław Gomułka of the Polish United Workers' Party. The protests coincided with the events of the Prague Spring in neighboring Czechoslovakia, which raised new hopes among the Polish intelligentsia of democratic reforms.  The unrest culminated in the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia on August 20,1968.

March 10, 2018




Red Army under Marshal Tukhachevsky began a western offensive. He was a leading Soviet military leader and theoretician from 1918 to 1937 and commanded the Soviet Western Front in the Soviet-Polish War of 1920–1921.  In the lead-up to hostilities, Tukhachevsky concentrated his troops near Vitebsk, which he theatrically dubbed, "The Gates of Smolensk". When he issued his troops orders to cross the border, Tukhachevsky said, "The fate of world revolution is being decided in the west: the way leads over the corpse of Poland to a universal conflagration.... On to Wilno, Minsk, and Warsaw -- Forward!


The USS Leopold was sunk by enemy action. On 9 March, while south of Iceland, the Leopold  reported a radar contact at 19:50 at 8,000 yd (7,300 m), which placed it 7 mi (11 km) south of the convoy at 57°37′0″N 26°30′0″W. Assisted by the destroyer escort Joyce, Leopold was ordered to intercept. General Quarters was sounded and orders were issued to "fire on sight." A flare was released and gun crew strained to sight the submarine in the lighted area. The U-boat was almost submerged when spotted and the gun crews had to work blind. "Leopold" was struck by an acoustic torpedo fired from the German submarine U-255. Shortly after the torpedo strike the crew of "Leopold" began to abandon ship as the Leopold broke in half. "Joyce" rescued 28 survivors at the close of the action; 171 others were lost through the explosion on board, drowning, and - most of all - cold water emersion." Leopold"'s bow still remained afloat early the next morning, and was sunk as a hazard to navigation by gunfire from "Joyce" 400 miles south of Iceland.


German submarine U-275 struck a mine and sank off Newhaven, East Sussex.

U-681 was grounded off Scilly, damaging the pressure hull and propellers. Unable to dive, the commander of the U-boat, headed towards the Irish coast seeking internment by Irish authorities. But the next morning PB4Y-1 Liberator N of VPB-103 spotted the sub on the surface and went in for the kill.  Eight depth charges further damaged the U-boat.  With sea cocks opened and demolition charges set, U-681 submerged followed by a massive explosion. Of the crew of 47, a British escort picked up 38 survivors.

March 9, 2018




The government of the German state of Bavaria was overthrown by Nazi troops, on the grounds that Minister-President Heinrich Held was unable to maintain order. Initially Held resisted the attempts by the SA to overthrow his government, but he received no support from the German army, who had orders from Berlin to stay out of domestic politics. Ultimately he could not hold off the Nazis. Governance of the former "free state" was assumed by Nazi MP Franz Ritter von Epp, whom Hitler appointed as Reichsstatthalter. Held retired from politics, fled to Lugano Switzerland where his son Josef lived, later withdrawing to Regensburg. His government pension as a former prime minister was revoked by the Nazis. In 1933 Held's son Philip became one of the first inmates at the Dachau concentration camp. On August 4, 1938, Heinrich Held died in Regensburg.


Heinrich Himmler ordered the arrest of "professional criminals" who had committed two or more crimes but were now free after serving their sentences. Over the next few days some 2,000 people were arrested without charges and sent to concentration camps

President Roosevelt gave a fireside chat about the US Judicial Reform Bill.  (note:  In November 1936, Roosevelt won a sweeping reelection victory. In the months following, he boldly proposed to reorganize the Federal judiciary by adding a new justice each time a justice reached age seventy and failed to retire. The legislation was unveiled on February 5, 1937, and was the subject of Roosevelt's 9th Fireside chat of March 9, 1937  Public support for the Bill quickly declined. Roosevelt's own Vice President John Nance Garner expressed disapproval of the bill  by holding his nose and giving thumbs down while seated at the rear of the Senate chamber. The editorialist William Allen White wrote a column on February  6, 1937, in which he criticized Roosevelt's actions in playing an "... elaborate stage play to flatter the people by a simulation of frankness while denying Americans their democratic rights and discussions by suave avoidance - these are not the traits of a democratic leader."


Vannevar Bush delivered a report to President Roosevelt expressing optimism on the possibility of producing an atomic bomb. Bush outlined the work done by Robert Oppenheimer on the nuclear cross section of uranium-235. Oppenheimer's calculations, which Bush had George Kistiakowsky check, estimated that the critical mass of a sphere of uranium-235 was in the range of 2.5 to 5 kilograms, with a destructive power of around 2,000 tons of TNT. Moreover, it appeared that plutonium might be even more fissile.  Bush was an American engineer, inventor and science administrator, who during World War II headed the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD), through which almost all wartime military R&D was carried out, including initiation and early administration of the Manhattan Project.


On March 9, 1944 Generalfeldmarschall Ernst Busch and his aides were summoned to brief Hitler at the Berghof in Bavaria on March 11. Following a secret meeting with Tresckow,  Breitenbuch agreed to attempt to assassinate Hitler. He declined resorting to a suicide attempt using a bomb, but agreed to shoot Hitler in the head using a 7.65mm Browning pistol concealed in his trouser pocket. A Condor aircraft was sent to pick up Busch and Breitenbuch and they arrived at the Berghof, but they could not carry out the plan.  Earlier that day, SS guards had been ordered not to permit aides into the conference room with Hitler. Breitenbuch and several others also took part in the July 20 plot to try to assassinate Hitler.

March 8, 2018




The February Revolution:  The main events of the revolution took place in Petrograd, (now St. Petersburg) where longstanding discontent with the Russian monarchy erupted into mass protests against food rationing on March 8 (NS). Revolutionary activity lasted about eight days in armed clashes with police and gendarmes. On February 27 O.S. (12 March N.S.) members of the Russian Army mutinied and sided with the revolutionaries.Three days later it resulted in the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, marking the end of the Romanov dynasty, and the end of the Russian Empire. The Russian Council of Ministers was replaced by a Russian Provisional Government under Prince Georgy Lvov.


Georges Charpak  (dob) was a Polish-born French physicist from a Jewish family. His family moved from Poland to Paris when he was seven years old, and in 1941 he began his study of mathematics at the Lycee St Louis.  During World War II Charpak served in the French resistance and was imprisoned by Vichy regime in 1943.  A year later he was deported to the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau, where he remained until the camp was liberated in 1945. In 1992 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics.


Bloody Thursday - Lodz Ghetto:  The German Orpo Police launched an assault known as "Bloody Thursday" against the Jews of the ghetto and murdered about 350 Jews while they were inside their homes, or outside on the street. The Nazi German action continued until March 7, 1940.  Over the next two months the Nazis erected wooden and wire fences around the perimeter of the Ghetto, sealing it off from the rest of the city. By the 1st of may, the Jews were completely sealed within the ghetto walls.

Nazi Decrees Against Polish civilians. The Nazi German regime issued a decree on March 8, 1940 requiring all Zivilarbeiter (Polish workers in Germany) to wear a mandatory badge identifying them a slave workers of the Reich.  The badge was a diamond shape with a border about half a centimetre wide,  the letter "P" in the color violet, over a yellow background.  Polish workers were required to wear it on the right breast of every garment. They were also required to carry a work permit with a photo. Those who disobeyed were fined up to 150 Reichsmarks and arrested with a possible penalty of six weeks' detention. The badge was meant to humiliate the Polish people, and just like the similar Jewish symbol, was regarded as a badge of shame. Moreover, the Decree segregated the Polish population from mainstream German society. Polish people were forbidden to go to restaurants, or cultural centers, and were forbidden to use public transit.  They were segregated and kept in barracks behind barbed wire. Acts of disobedience were punishable by deportation to concentration camp, or execution, in the event of sexual relations between a Pole and a German.


Operation Sunrise was a series of secret negotiations which began in March 1945 in Switzerland between representatives of Nazi Germany and Western Allies to arrange a local surrender of German forces in northern Italy.  The negotiations took place in Lucerne between Waffen-SS General Karl Wolff and Allen Dulles and organized by Max Waibel. Wolff offered the following plan: Army Group C goes into Germany, while Allied Forces Commander Harold Alexander advances in the direction of the Southern Alps. Subsequently, on March 15 an 19, Wolff conducted further secret negotiations on the surrender with American General Lyman Lemnitzer and British General Terence Airey. On March 22, Molotov, in his letter to the American ambassador, wrote that "for two weeks, in Bern, behind the back of the Soviet Union, negotiations between representatives of the German Military Command on one side and representatives of American and British Command on the other side are conducted. The Soviet government considers this absolutely inadmissible." This led to Roosevelt's letter to Stalin on March 25, and Stalin's reply on March 29. The actual surrender in Italy was signed on April 29, 1945 agreeing to a cessation of hostilities on May 2. Victory in Europe Day occurred five days later.

114 Allied aircraft bombed the Emil coking plant, and 109 bombed the marshalling yards in Essen, Germany.

March 7, 2018




Germany Remilitarization:  Hitler sent German military troops into the Rhineland, violating the terms of the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Pact. The Rhineland was designated by the Treaty as a demilitarized zone along the Rhine River in western Germany. Two years later, Nazi Germany invaded its territories and annexed Austria and portions of Czechoslovakia. Then on September 1, 1939 Hitler invaded Poland, starting World War Two.


Emanuel Ringelblum, 43, was executed on this day by the Gestapo.  He was a Polish-Jewish historian and social worker.  Ringelblum and his family had been arrested and confined in the Warsaw Ghetto. But unbeknownst to the other inmates, he led a secret operation, code-named Oyneg Shabbos (Yiddish for "Sabbath delight"). In his association with many other inmates, comprising Jewish writers, scientists and ordinary people, he devoted his days to collecting information such as diaries, documents, commissioned papers, and even preserved the posters and decrees that comprised the memory of the doomed Ghetto. And at night he wrote notes. Among approximately 25,000 sheets preserved there are also detailed descriptions of destruction of ghettos in other parts of occupied Poland, the Treblinka extermination camp, Chełmno extermination camp and a number of reports made by scientists conducting research on the effects of famine in the ghettos. Ringelblum was also one of the most active members of Żydowska Samopomoc Społeczna (Polish for Jewish Social Aid), an organization established to help the starving people of the Warsaw Ghetto. On the eve of the Ghetto's destruction in the spring of 1943, when all seemed lost, the archive was placed in three milk cans and metal boxes. Parts were buried in the cellars of Warsaw buildings.  On the night before the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Ringelblum and his family escaped from the Ghetto and found refuge on the "Aryan" side of Warsaw, but their whereabouts were quickly discovered by the Gestapo. (they had been hiding at the pre-war address of 81 Grójecka Street)  Ringelblum and his family were arrested and executed in Pawiak Prison, along with the Polish people who had provided them with shelter.


German submarine U-1302 was depth charged and sunk in St. George's Channel ( position 52°19′N 05°23′W ) by depth charges from the Canadian frigates HMCS La Hulloise, Strathadam, and Thetford Mines.

March 6, 2018




Thirteen Years' War: Delegates of the Prussian Confederation pledge allegiance to Casimir IV of Poland, and the Polish king agreed to help in their struggle for independence from the Teutonic Knights.  The war began as an uprising by Prussian cities and local nobility. In 1454 Casimir IV married Elisabeth of Hapsburg and the Prussian Confederation asked Casimir IV for help and offered to accept the king as protector instead of the Teutonic Order. When the King assented, war broke out supporters of the Prussian Confederation, backed by Poland and backers of government by the Teutonic Knights. The Thirteen Years' War ended in the victory of the Prussian Confederation and Poland and in the Second Peace of Thorn (1466).


Kazimierz Casimir Pulaski (dob) was a revolutionary and war cavalry officer.. He is praised for his contributions to the U.S. military in the American Revolution and known as "the Father of the American cavalry".  Pulaski was one of the leading military commanders for the Bar Confederation and also fought against Russian domination of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. When the Uprising failed, Pulaski was forced into exile. Pulaski emigrated to North America, on the recommendation of Benjamin Franklin, to help in the cause of the American Revolutionary War. Pulaski distinguished himself throughout the revolution, most notably when he saved the life of George Washington. Pulaski became a General in the Continental Army, formed the Pulaski Cavalry Legion and reformed the American cavalry. He was one of only eight people to be awarded honorary United States citizenship. While leading a charge against the British at the Battle of Savannah, Pulaski was mortally wounded and died shortly after.


German forces on the Eastern Front launched Operation Spring Awakening, the last major German offensive of the war. The attack began near Lake Balaton, whose area contained some of the last oil reserves still accessible to the Axis. German command had to withdraw many troops from the failed Ardennes Offensive. Regardless, this operation was also a failure for Germany.

March 5, 2018




Kazimierz Stanislaus Gzowski (dob) was an engineer best known for his work on a wide variety of Canadian railways as well as work on the Welland Canal. He also served as acting Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Ontario from 1896 to 1897. Gzowski was born in Saint Petersburg to a noble Polish father, Count Stanislaw Gzowski, who was Captain in the Russian Imperial Guard. During the Polish November Uprising Kazimierz served as combat engineer in rank of podporuchik in Polish army under the command Józef Dwernicki against Russians. He emigrated to Canada in 1841.


The Katyn Massacre was perpetrated by Soviet NKVD chief Lavrentiy Beria to execute all members of the Polish Officer Corps. His official document was approved and signed by Stalin. Of the total number of victims, about 8,000 were Polish officers arrested and during the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland;  about 6,000 were Polish police, and the remainder were Polish intelligentsia whom the Soviets referred to as "intelligence agents, gendarmes, landowners, saboteurs, factory owners, lawyers, officials, and priests" The Nazi Germans announced that they discovered mass graves in the Katyn Forest in 1943 and blamed the Soviets for the crime. Stalin denied it and blamed the Nazi Germans for the killings. When the Polish Government-in-exile asked for an investigation by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Stalin immediately severed diplomatic relations with Poland. It wasn't until 1990 that the Soviet government officially admitted and condemned the NKVD as the perpetrator,  whose crimes were covered up by the Soviet government for decades.


The 19th Army of the Soviet 2nd Belorussian Front captured Köslin. This battle was fought against the German Wehrmacht on the eastern front as part of the East Pomeranian Strategic Offensive.  It was followed by the Danzig Offensive Operation from March 7 to 31; the Arnswalde-Kolberg Offensive Operation from March 1 to 18; and the Altdamm Offensive Operation  from March 18 to April 4, 1945. The fighting in Danzig was the most savage. According to Soviet claim,  39,000 German soldiers were killed, and 10,000 captured.


Churchill's famous Iron Curtain speech was delivered at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri. It sent shock waves throughout the world. Here is an excerpt of the speech:  ".... From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in some cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow. Athens alone -- Greece with its immortal glories -- is free to decide its future at an election under British, American and French observation. The Russian-dominated Polish Government has been encouraged to make enormous and wrongful inroads upon Germany, and mass expulsions of millions of Germans on a scale grievous and undreamed-of are now taking place. The Communist parties, which were very small in all these Eastern States of Europe, have been raised to pre-eminence and power far beyond their numbers and are seeking everywhere to obtain totalitarian control. Police governments are prevailing in nearly every case, and so far, except in Czechoslovakia, there is no true democracy......"  Churchill was not surprised by this outcome as he and Roosevelt were well informed of Stalin's intentions at the Yalta Conference, and other conferences of the Big Three. Their impetus for bowing to Stalin's wishes is that they needed Russia to support the war effort,  and the west disseminated a flood of propaganda to persuade the world that Stalin was just a good ole boy, and even nicknamed him "Uncle Joe".  The reality was quite different. Stalin was a dictator and a ruthless killer. Stalin instigated the Cold War and threatened the world with communist expansion that was continued for more than three decades after his death.


The Judge's Trial was the third of 12 trials of the United States Military Tribunal at Nuremberg (not to be confused with the Nuremberg Trials). It was also called the "Subsequent Nuremberg Trials". The trial was held from March 5 to December 4, 1947 at which the accused were 16 Nazi German jurists and lawyers. They were charged with crimes against humanity in the implementation of Nazi German "racial purity" programs through the eugenic and racial laws. Among the defendants, 10 were found guilty, 4 received sentences for lifetime imprisonment,  6 received prison sentences of varying lengths and 4 persons were acquitted of all charges.

March 4, 2018




Władysław II Jagiełło (Jogaila) was crowned King of Poland.  Jagiello was the Grand Duke of Lithuania (1377–1434) and became King of Poland (1386–1434), first alongside his wife Jadwiga until 1399, and then sole King of Poland. He ruled in Lithuania from 1377. He was born a pagan but converted to Catholicism in 1386 and was baptized as Władysław in Kraków.  When he married the young Queen Jadwiga, he was crowned King of Poland as Władysław II Jagiełło. A year later, he converted Lithuania to Christianity. Upon the death of Queen Jadwiga, his reign lasted a further thirty-five years and laid the foundation for the centuries-long Polish–Lithuanian union. He was a member of the Jagiellonian dynasty in Poland that bears his name and was previously also known as the Gediminid dynasty in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The dynasty ruled both states until 1572, and became one of the most influential dynasties in late medieval and early modern Central and Eastern Europe. During his reign, the Polish-Lithuanian state was the largest state in the Christian world.


Kazimierz Żegleń (Casimir Zeglen) (dob)  was a Catholic priest and a Polish engineer who invented the first bulletproof vest. During his research he came upon the work of Dr. George E. Goodfellow who had written about the bullet resistant properties of silk. Zeglen discovered a way to weave the silk that would create the necessary density to capture the bullet.  He produced a 4 ply bulletproof vest measuring  1⁄8 in (3.175 mm) thick, that would protect the wearer from  lower velocity pistol bullets of that era.  He even tested it on himself in Chicago. He put on a vest of the material and an expert revolver shot fired at the vest at eight paces. Not one of the bullets penetrated the vest.. The weight of the fabric was 1⁄2 lb (0.23 kg) per sq ft (0.093 m²).


Polish Legislative election.  The Nonpartisan Bloc for Cooperation with the Government, a coalition of the Sanation faction - won the highest number of seats in the Sejm (125 out of 444) and 48 out of 111 in the Senate. Unlike latter elections during the Sanation era, opposition parties were allowed to campaign with only a few hindrances, and also gained a significant number of seats. The 1928 election is generally considered the last free election in Poland until 1989 or 1991. (sources vary)


The Battle of Kolberg began:   The Soviet and Polish forces fought against Nazi Germany for control of the city of Kolobrzeg (Kolberg) in the East Pomeranian Offensive.  In November 1944 Kolberg, the Germans established Festung Kolberg, their stronghold in the large Baltic seaport in the Province of Pomerania. It was one of the key German positions in the Pomeranian Wall, a vital link between Pomerania and Prussia. The German High Command planned to use the seaport to supply nearby German forces, and hoped that the stronghold would draw off Soviet forces from the main thrust towards Berlin. The Soviet East Pomeranian Offensive, begun on February 24, 1945 managed to cut off and surround the city and its defenders (mostly from the German Army Group Vistula). Over 80% of the city was destroyed in the heavy fighting. The battle was among the most intense city fights in which the Polish army took part. Polish casualties were estimated at 1,200 dead and missing, and 3,000 wounded.  German casualties were 8,000 captured (KIA, data unknown). On March 18, on the day the city fell, the Polish People's Army re-enacted Poland's Wedding to the Sea ceremony, which had been celebrated for the first time in 1920 by General Józef Haller (there was also a lesser known ceremony on March 17)

German submarine U-3508 was bombed and sunk at Wilhelmshaven in an Allied air raid. She would be raised and sunk again on March 30.

March 3, 2018




The Polish–Romanian Alliance was signed in Bucharest. It committed both parties to providing armed assistance to one another "in case one of the sides is attacked at its present Eastern frontiers". It was aimed at containing Russia (from, 1922, the Soviet Union), which had just lost the Polish-Soviet War. Among the diplomats engaged in negotiations were Polish General Tadeusz Rozwadowski and Romanian General Ion Antonescu.


Joseph Stalin rejected British proposals to negotiate over the Polish-Soviet border. (No. 249,  SECRET AND PERSONAL FROM PREMIER J. V. STALIN TO THE PRIME MINISTER, Mr W. CHURCHILL  Both messages of February 20 on the Polish question reached me through Mr Kerr on February 27.  Now that I have read the detailed record of your conversations with the leaders of the Polish émigré Government, I am more convinced than ever that men of their type are incapable of establishing normal relations with the U.S.S.R. Suffice it to point out that they, far from being ready to recognize the Curzon Line, claim both Lvov and Vilna. As regards the desire to place certain Soviet territories under foreign control, we cannot agree to discuss such encroachments, for, as we see it, the mere posing of the question is an affront to the Soviet Union.  I have already written to the President that the time is not yet ripe for a solution of the problem of Soviet-Polish relations. I am compelled to reaffirm the soundness of this conclusion. March 3, 1944  (source: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/correspondence/01/44.htm#72


The Germans began Operation Gisela:   The operation was planned as an aerial intruder, to support the German air defence system in its night battles with RAF Bomber Command during the Defence of the Reich campaign. It was the last major operation launched by the Luftwaffe Nachtjagdgeschwader (Night Fighter Wings) during the conflict.   By March 1945 the Luftwaffe had lost air superiority over all fronts. Western Allied Air Forces held air supremacy over the German Reich and the remaining German-occupied territory. German industrial cities were now subjected to intensive bombardment which inflicted enormous damage on the German war effort. The United States Army Air Forces attacked by day, while RAF Bomber Command operated by night. Nearly 5,000 RAF airmen prepared to take part in 817 heavy bombers which were fueled and armed in the evening. The German operation failed in its objective and did not deliver the mass casualties that were expected, nor did they disrupt British bombing operations.

Pawłokoma Massacre took place when a detachment of Polish anti-Nazi guerrillas from the Home Army (AK) subordinated to the Polish emigre government in London shot to death hundreds of Ukrainian inhabitants of Pawlokoma. The Ukrainians were herded in a local Greek Catholic church, interrogated and likely tortured, and then taken to a local cemetery where they were executed. But Polish historian Polish historians, including Zdzislaw Konieczny argues that the massacre was in retaliation for the killings of Poles from Pawlokoma and neighboring villages carried out by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), in Nazi-occupied Ukraine.


A show trial took place against Witold Pilecki at which he was charged by Josef Cyrankiewicz who was also an Auschwitz survivor. (Incidentally, Cyrankiewicz would later become the Prime Minister of Poland - under the Soviet communist regime). Cyrankiewicz charged Pilecki with illegal border crossing, use of forged documents, not enlisting with the military, carrying illegal arms, espionage for General Władysław Anders, espionage for "foreign imperialism" (thought to be British intelligence) and planning to assassinate several officials of the Ministry of Public Security of Poland. Pilecki denied the assassination charges, as well as espionage, although he admitted to passing information to the 2nd Polish Corps, of which he considered himself an officer and thus claimed that he was not breaking any laws. He pleaded guilty to the other charges.

March 2, 2018




Serfdom was abolished in Poland, though it persisted for a period of time. Serfdom was finally abolished in Prussia in 1807, in Austria in 1848, in Russia in 1861, and in Congress Kingdom of Poland, in 1864. The occupying powers instituted reforms at various degrees at different times and places. The peasant situation was improved on Polish territories by Austria and Russia, to ensure that the peasants supported them, rather than the Polish activists.  It was an attempt to deny the Polish activists any support from the simmering peasant unrest.


First battles waged in Wolyn and Vilnius Region by Home Army units as part of Operation Tempest.   The Operation was a series of anti-Nazi uprisings conducted during World War II by the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa, AK), the dominant force in the Polish resistance.  It planned at seizing control of cities and areas occupied by the Germans while they were preparing their defenses against the advancing Soviet Red Army. Polish underground civil authorities aimed at taking power before the arrival of the Soviets.


German submarine U-3519 struck a mine and sank in the Baltic Sea.  The Royal Air Force dropped thousands of sea mines into German territorial waters, in the hope that submarines entering or leaving harbour or training in shallow waters would be lost on them. The sub ran afoul of an air-dropped mine near Warnemünde, in position 54°11′N 12°05′E and sank to the bottom taking all 65 of her crew with her.

March 1, 2018




Frederick Chopin (dob) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era who wrote primarily for the solo piano though he also wrote two piano concertos, a few chamber pieces, and some songs to Polish lyrics. Among his major piano works were mazurkas, waltzes, nocturnes, polonaises, études, and sonatas.  He gained worldwide fame and admiration for being a leading musician of his era. Chopin's "poetic genius was based on a professional technique that was without equal in his generation." A child prodigy, he completed his musical education and composed his earlier works in Warsaw before leaving Poland at the age of 20, less than a month before the outbreak of the November 1830 Uprising.  Chopin was credited with introducing to music a new sense of nationalism. In a 1836 review of the piano concertos, Schumann highlighted the composer's patriotic feelings for his native Poland, writing that "Now that the Poles are in deep mourning (following the defeat of the November Uprising of 1830), their appeal to us artists is even stronger ... If the mighty autocrat in the north ( Nicholas I of Russia) could know that in Chopin's works, in the simple strains of his mazurkas, there lurks a dangerous enemy, he would place a ban on his music. Chopin's works are cannon buried in flowers!" Chopin's music remains very popular and is regularly performed, recorded and broadcast around the world. The International Chopin Piano Competition, founded in 1927, is held every five years in Warsaw. The Frederyk Chopin Institute of Poland lists on its website over eighty societies worldwide devoted to the composer and his music. The Institute site also lists nearly 1,500 performances of Chopin works on YouTube as of January 2014.


Heinrich Himmler paid his first visit to Auschwitz Concentration Camp.  He was accompanied by Gauleiter, and the head of the Upper Silesia SS-Brigadeführer Fritz Brach, the high commander of the SS and the Police in Wrocław SS-Obergruppenführer Ernst Schmauser, SS-Oberführer Glücks, the head of the districts, and the highest representatives of the IG Farbenindustrie complex.  During the visit he ordered Commandant Rudolf Höss to expand the current camp to hold a total of 30,000 prisoners, expand the camp to Birkenau with capacity for 100,000 prisoners, supply 10,000 prisoners to work for the nearby I.G. Farben factory, and to expand the camp's agricultural and industrial output. Rudolf Höss and his family hosted Heinrich Himmler for dinner during Himmler's inspection of Auschwitz Concentration Camp in occupied Poland.


In New York, American Jews held a mass rally at Madison Square Garden to pressure the U.S. government into helping the Jews of Europe. It drew a crowd of 70,000. Subsequently, similar rallies were held in a several cities throughout the United States. The "Rally of Hope” expressed the sympathy of Americans for the Jewish children persecuted in Nazi Europe. The focal point of the rally was a pageant in which 1,000 children and adult actors participated. The meeting was addressed by Senator William Langer of South Dakota, Eddie Cantor and Rep. Joseph Clark Baldwin of New York.


Mokotow Prison Massacres:  On March 1, 1951, the Soviet-controlled Communist Polish secret police, Urząd Bezpieczeństwa (UB), carried out the execution of seven members of the 4th Headquarters of the anti-Communist organization Wolność i Niezawisłość (WiN) in the Mokotów Prison in Warsaw. They were accused of actively participating in anti-Nazi resistance during World War Two.  The executed men were: Łukasz Ciepliński, Karol Chmiel, Adam Lazarowicz, Józef Rzepka, Józef Batory, Mieczysław Kawalec and Franciszek Błażej. The accused were not given an opportunity to refute charges brought against them, despite the fact that on several occasions Ciepliński had stated that he was tortured and that his confessions were extracted with the use of torture. The Communist judges disregarded his testimony. The courtroom was filled with UB functionaries. All seven men were shot on March 1, 1951, at five- to ten-minute intervals. They were executed with a single shot to the back of the head, the standard Communist execution method, and consistent with the executions of Polish officers at Katyn Forest. The executions began at approximately 8 p.m., with Ciepliński being shot first, followed by Batory at 8:05, Chmiel at 8:15, Kawalec at 8:20, Lazarowicz at 8:25, Blazej at 8:35, and Rzepka at 8:45. Two of the executed men, that is, Ciepliński and Rzepka, were previously awarded Poland's highest military decoration for valor, the Cross of the Virtuti Militari. The firing squad consisted of a single man, the notorious Piotr Śmietański, nicknamed by the prisoners the "Butcher of the Mokotow Prison."  Smietanski was believed to have emigrated to Israel in 1968. The burial place of the seven WiN soldiers executed by the Communist regime remains unknown to this day. The 1950 court ruling rendered by the Communist court was overturned in 1992 by the Warsaw Military Court and the seven convicted and executed men were acquitted retrospectively on all counts. In the 1992 court ruling, it is stated that the executed WiN soldiers "Fought and Died for a Free and Sovereign Poland."

February 28, 2018




Reichstag Fire Decree, also known as the "Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State" was issued by German President Paul von Hindenburg on the advice of Chancellor Adolf Hitler on February 28, 1933, immediately following the Reichstag fire. The Decree nullified many of the key civil liberties of German citizens, and the Nazi regime used it as a legal basis to arrest and imprison anyone suspected of opposing Nazi rule.  Article 48 translated to English as follows:  "Articles 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. It is therefore permissible to restrict the rights of personal freedom [habeas corpus], freedom of (opinion) expression, including the freedom of the press, the freedom to organize and assemble, the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications. Warrants for House searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed."  The Decree was issued as a result of the Reichstag Fire, which occurred the previous day (See February 27, 1933)


The German Army ordered the dismissal of all  "non-Aryans", that is, Jews, from military service. (Note: After the Nazis rose to power in 1933, Jewish veterans were briefly protected from dismissal due to the  intervention of German President Paul von Hindenburg, but this changed in 1935 after his death. Following the upheaval of Kristallnacht in 1938,  German Jewish veterans were  forced to emigrate, or were deported to concentration camps and murdered along with other German Jews.  During World War I, there were about 100,000 German Jewish military personnel serving n the German Army, 12,000 of whom were killed in action.  Weimar Germany awarded the Iron Cross to 18,000 German Jews during the World War I.. Even in WW2, there were many German Jewish soldiers, and some Generals. Regardless, Hitler tried to erase the Jewish contribution and blame them for Germany's defeat in WW1, perpetrating the myth of them stabbing Germany in the back.  But today there is renewed interest in and recognition of the German Jews who served in the German Army.)


Huta Pieniacka massacre:  According to the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, the massacre was committed by the 14th subunit of the '1st Ukrainian' Grenadier Division of the Waffen-SS. Testimonies had been given by Polish witnesses that orders were given by German officers. Ukrainian sources, claim it was ordered by the German police battalions.  According to other accounts, the  SS Galizien were accompanied by a paramilitary unit of Ukrainian nationalists under Włodzimierz (Vladimir) Czerniawski's command. The unit included members of the UPA and local villagers who sought to seize the property of Polish people they murdered. Casualties amounted to 500 to 1,200 people killed.

February 27, 2018




Reichstag Fire:  On the evening of February 27, 1933, fire broke out in the Reichstag chamber, just six days before the parliamentary election. To this day, the cause of the fire is still unclear. But it was evident that Hitler and his supporters immediately capitalized on the occasion to consolidate their absolute power. Hitler blamed the Communist Party of Germany for setting the fire, and believed that it would gain the trust and support of Germans.  According to Rudolf Diels, head of the Gestapo, Hitler was heard shouting through the fire "these sub-humans do not understand how the people stand at our side. In their mouse-holes, out of which they now want to come, of course they hear nothing of the cheering of the masses." Hitler was able to instill fear in the minds of millions of Germans that a communist terror threat was imminent.


Jewish prisoners were sent to Auschwitz concentration camp, and forced to work in the Berlin armaments industry.  There were numerous sub-camps attached to Auschwitz based on Nazi German industrial enterprises. German companies such as Krupp and Siemens-Schuckert built factories with their own sub-camps. There were 45 such satellite camps, 28 of which served corporations involved in the armaments industry, using concentration camp prisoners as forced labor, from several dozens inmates to several thousand.  Sub-camps were built at Blechhammer, Jawiszowice, Jaworzno, Lagisze, Mysłowice, Trzebinia, and also as far as the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Industries included coal mines, foundries and other metal works, chemical plants, as well as forestry and mining.

The Rosenstrasse protest was a collective street protest on Rosenstraße ("Rose street") in Berlin during February and March 1943. It was initiated and sustained by the non-Jewish ("Aryan") wives and relatives of Jewish men who had been arrested for deportation. The protests by these intermarried German women continued until the men were released. It was the only continuous street demonstration by Germans against the deportation of the Jews. Several hundred German women gathered outside of Rosenstrasse 2-4 had announced that they would not leave until their husbands had been released.  They refused to obey orders by the SS to disperse.


German submarines U-327 and U-1018 were both depth charged and sunk in the Western Approaches by British warships.

February 26, 2018




The Luftwaffe was established on February 26, 1935 in Weimar Germany,  in violation of the terms of the Versailles Treaty. With the rise in power of the Nazi Party, German servicemen were secretly trained at the Lipetsk Air Base, in Russia. The Condor Legion, a division of the Luftwaffe fleet was dispatched to aid Nationalist forces in the Spanish Civil War which served as a valuable testing ground for German aircraft. By the summer of 1939, the Luftwaffe had ready for combat nine Jagdgeschwader ("fighter wings") mostly equipped with the Messerschmitt Bf 109E, four 'Zerstörergeschwader ("destroyer wings") equipped with the Messerschmitt Bf 110 heavy fighter, 11 Kampfgeschwader (bomber wings) equipped mainly with the Heinkel He 111 and the Dornier Do 17Z, and four Sturzkampfgeschwader ("dive bomber wings") primarily armed with the iconic Junkers Ju 87B Stuka. The Luftwaffe had just started to accept the Junkers Ju 88A for service, when it encountered design problems, consequently only a dozen aircraft was combat-ready. The Luftwaffe's strength at this time stood at 373,000 personnel (208,000 flying troops, 107,000 in the Flak Corps and 58,000 in the Signals Corps). Aircraft strength was 4,201 operational aircraft: 1,191 bombers, 361 dive bombers, 788 fighters, 431 heavy fighters, and 488 transports.


Galeazzo Ciano, Foreign Minister of Fascist Italy, unveiled a monument to Francesco Nullo in Warsaw. Nullo died on May 5, 1863. He was an Italian patriot, military officer, merchant, and close friend and confidant of Giuseppe Garibaldi. Nullo supported independence movements in Italy and Poland and participated in various revolutions, including the Polish Uprising in 1863. At the end of his career Nullo was appointed the rank of General in Poland, in the Battle of Krzykawka.


The Polish Government-in-Exile defied the British government's wishes and rejected the recognition of the Curzon Line as Poland's eastern frontier.  When the Soviet forces recaptured eastern Poland from the Germans, Stalin unilaterally declared a new frontier between the Soviet Union and Poland (roughlyfollowing the Curzon line). The Polish Government-in-Exile in London bitterly opposed this and at the Tehran and Yalta conferences, Roosevelt and Churchill asked Stalin to reconsider, particularly over Lwów, but he refused. During the negotiations at Yalta, Stalin posed the question "Do you want me to tell the Russian people that I am less Russian than Lord Curzon?" The altered Curzon Line thus became the permanent eastern border of Poland and was recognized by the western Allies in July 1945. (Since then the border was adjusted several times, the biggest revision in 1951. (read February 11, 1945)

February 25, 2018




Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev gave a speech that was vehemently critical of the dictatorship of the late Premier Joseph Stalin. Entitled "On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences" Khrushchev spoke at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and railed against the legacy of Stalin, in particular the great purges he decreed, and his cultivation of a leadership based on personality cult, despite supporting communist ideals. It created an uproar and shock among the audience, ending with thunderous applause.  Here are excerpts of his speech: " .......After Stalin’s death, the Central Committee began to implement a policy of explaining concisely and consistently that it is impermissible and foreign to the spirit of Marxism-Leninism to elevate one person, to transform him into a superman possessing supernatural characteristics, akin to those of a god. Such a man supposedly knows everything, sees everything, thinks for everyone, can do anything, is infallible in his behavior.........Because not all as yet realize fully the practical consequences resulting from the cult of the individual, [or] the great harm caused by violation of the principle of collective Party direction and by the accumulation of immense and limitless power in the hands of one person, the Central Committee considers it absolutely necessary to make material pertaining to this matter available to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union......the classics of Marxism-Leninism denounced every manifestation of the cult of the individual.......Facts prove that many abuses were made on Stalin’s orders without reckoning with any norms of Party and Soviet legality. Stalin was a very distrustful man, sickly suspicious. We know this from our work with him. He could look at a man and say: “Why are your eyes so shifty today?” or “Why are you turning so much today and avoiding to look me directly in the eyes?” The sickly suspicion created in him a general distrust even toward eminent Party workers whom he had known for years. Everywhere and in everything he saw “enemies,” “two-facers” and “spies.” Possessing unlimited power, he indulged in great willfulness and stifled people morally as well as physically. A situation was created where one could not express one’s own volition........When Stalin said that one or another should be arrested, it was necessary to accept on faith that he was an “enemy of the people.” Meanwhile, Beria’s gang, which ran the organs of state security, outdid itself in proving the guilt of the arrested and the truth of materials which it falsified. And what proofs were offered? The confessions of the arrested, and the investigative judges accepted these “confessions.” And how is it possible that a person confesses to crimes which he has not committed? Only in one way –because of the application of physical methods of pressuring him, tortures, bringing him to a state of unconsciousness, deprivation of his judgment, taking away of his human dignity. In this manner were “confessions” acquired......"
(Source:  Speech to 20th Congress of the C.P.S.U. February 24, 1956  https://www.marxists.org/archive/khrushchev/1956/02/24.htm


A meeting of defence and foreign ministers of the Warsaw Pact met in Hungary, and declared that the Warsaw Pact would be disbanded after 36 years of military alliance between the USSR and its satellite states. Its formal dissolution was declared by President Vaclav Havel, the Czechoslovak President, on July 1st, 1991, in Prague. Five months later, in December,  the USSR disestablished itself.

February 24, 2018




The National Socialist German Workers' Party  (NSDAP) known as the Nazi party, was founded on this day. Its precursor was the German Workers' Party (DAP), which existed from 1919 to 1920.  The NSDAP grew from several small political groups which were strongly nationalistic, and which formed in the last years of World War I.  In 1918, a league called the Free Workers' Committee for a good Peace was founded in Bremen Germany.  Anton Drexler, a fervent German nationalist created a branch of the league in Munich on March 7, 1918.  Drexler was a local locksmith who was a member of the militarist Fatherland Party during World War I,  and was bitterly opposed to the armistice of November 1918 and its aftermath. He followed the views of militant nationalists who opposed the Treaty of Versailles and disseminated antisemitic,  anti-monarchist and anti-Marxist views. He believed in the superiority of Germans, who claimed to be so-called Aryan master race.  He denounced international capitalism as a Jewish-dominated movement, and denounced capitalists for war profiteering in World War I. Drexler saw the political violence and instability in Germany the result of the Weimar Republic being out-of-touch with the masses, especially the lower classes. and emphasized the need for a form of economic socialism, in order to create a popular nationalist-oriented workers' movement that could challenge the rise of Communism and internationalist politics. He received attention and support from influential people who convinced him to form a political party.  In January 5, 1919, he founded the German Workers Party (DAP) and shortly thereafter Hitler (stationed in the Munich army) began its seventh member.  The party gained public attention very quickly and on February 24, 1920 had its largest gathering of 2,000 people, at which Hitler enunciated the twenty-five points of the German Workers' Party manifesto that he drew up with Drexler and Feder. Hitler presented a bolder strategy calling for the abrogation of the Treaty of Versailles, expanding German borders, exclusion of Jews from German citizenship, confiscation of war profits, among other objectives.  The manifesto was antisemetic, anti-capitalist, anti-Marxist, and anti-liberal.  The party name changed to  Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei ("National Socialist German Workers' ). The word socialist was added to appeal to a larger segment of the population, that is,  left-wing workers.


The British Labour Party issued a manifesto demanding that Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain call a new general election to assess whether the public supported his appeasement policy.  The manifesto was read in the British House of Commons. Here is an excerpt: "The British Labour movement reaffirms its uncompromising opposition to any agreement with either Fascist Italy or Nazi Germany on the basis indicated by the Prime Minister in his statement to Parliament. This is not the time for concessions to the dictators. We need a clear declaration that Britain stands for the enforcement of treaties against lawless force and against aggressive interference in the internal affairs of independent States. Czechoslovakia in particular should be assured at once that Great Britain and the other League Powers will fulfill their obligations to maintain her integrity and independence." Chamberlain served as Prime Minister from May 1937 to May 1940. Chamberlain is best known for his appeasement foreign policy, and in particular for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938, which conceded Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Germany. Chamberlain was sure that the Agreement brought in a new era of peace, but then as now, was severely criticized for not preparing Britain for an inevitable war with Germany. On March 15, 1939, Hitler invaded the rest of Czechoslovakia, and on September 1, 1939 invaded Poland.  Three days later, Chamberlain declared war on Germany,  and the ensuing eight months consisted of minimal fighting, aptly termed the Phoney War.   Chamberlain died on November 9, 1940 at the age of 71. A few days before his death, Chamberlain wrote, " So far as my personal reputation is concerned, I am not in the least disturbed about it. The letters which I am still receiving in such vast quantities so unanimously dwell on the same point, namely without Munich the war would have been lost and the Empire destroyed in 1938 ... I do not feel the opposite view ... has a chance of survival. Even if nothing further were to be published giving the true inside story of the past two years I should not fear the historian's verdict."


The Lower Silesian Offensive ended in Soviet victory. Faced with heavy German reinforcement, Konev closed the offensive phase of operations, having secured a small bridgehead across the Neisse near Forst. This effectively defined the start lines in that sector for the Battle of Berlin, or Berlin Offensive, two months later.


Soviets Executed Polish General:  Emil August Fieldorf, code-named"Nil" was a Polish Brigadier General,  and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Armia Krajowa (AK or "Home Army"), after the failure of the Warsaw Uprising. The Soviet NKVD executed Fieldorf on February 24, 1953. (Note: In 1948 the Soviet regime was arresting and persecuting former resistance fighters loyal to the Polish Government in Exile in London and offering them "amnesty".  General Fieldor refused to collaborate with the Communist security services, even under torture.  Fieldorf was accused by prosecutor Helena Wolińska-Brus of being a "fascist-Hitlerite criminal" and for having ordered an execution of Soviet partisans while serving in the Armia Krajowa, AK (Polish Home Army).  Following a kangaroo court trial, he was sentenced to death on April 16, 1952 by the presiding judge Maria Gurowska.  An appeal to a higher court failed, and the family's plea for a pardon was denied by then the communist leader Bolesław Bierut who refused to grant clemency. The sentence was carried out, by hanging, on February 24, 1953 at 3:00 pm in the infamous Mokotów Prison in Warsaw.  General Fieldorf's body was never returned to his family. His remains are buried in a location, still unknown to this day.

February 23, 2018




The Battle of Poznań ended in Soviet victory.  It was a massive assault by the Soviet Union's Red Army against the Nazi stronghold in the city of Poznan, in occupied Poland. The battle ensued for almost an entire month as the Soviets painstakingly reduced the German fortified positions, using intense urban combat, leading to a final attack on the city's citadel by the Red Army. The city of Poznań (called Posen in German) lay in the western part of Poland which had been annexed by Nazi Germany following their invasion of Poland in 1939, and was the chief city of Reichsgau Wartheland. The Nazi defenders made use of some of the surviving Festung Posen (strongholds) 19-th century fortifications built during Prussian rule. The Fort Winiary citadel stood on a hill to the north of the city centre. Around the city perimeter were 18 massively-built forts, spaced at intervals of about 2 kilometres in a ring with a radius of about 5 kilometres. General Chuikov described the forts as follows: "....underground structures each with several stories, the whole projecting above the surrounding terrain. Only a mound was visible above ground -- the layer of earth covering the rest. Each fort was ringed by a ditch ten metres wide and eight metres deep, with walls revetted with brickwork. Across the ditch was a bridge, leading to one of the upper stories. Among the forts, to the rear, there were one-storey brick bunkers. These were clad in concrete almost a full metre thick, and were used as stores. The upper works of the forts were sufficiently strong to provide reliable protection against heavy artillery fire. . . . the enemy would be able to direct fire of all kinds against us both on the approaches to the forts and within them, on the rampart. The embrasures were such that flanking fire from rifles and machine-guns could be directed from them."

German Town Annihilated by British Bombers:  The largest attack during World War II was the bombing of the German city of Pforzheim. On the evening of February 23, 1945, RAF bombers carried out a raid with devastating consequences. About 17,600 people perished, almost a third of the towns population and about 83% of the buildings were completely destroyed. The Allies believed that the town was producing  precision instruments for use in the Wehrmacht, and that the town was a central hub of German transports. (In 1944  many of the towns factories had been converted to manufacturing weapons such as anti-aircraft shells, bomb fuses, and suspected to have made parts for the V1 and V2 rockets.)

February 22, 2018




Nazi Germany:  40,000 SS and SA men were sworn in as auxiliary police.  The SS or Schutzstaffel was originally known as Saal-Schutz ("Hall Security") and was made up of NSDAP volunteers to provide security for party meetings in Munich. After Himmler joined the unit in 1925, the SS, under his direction, became one of the most powerful organizations in Nazi Germany and it grew from a small paramilitary formation to one of the most powerful police units.  It consisted of two divisions; the Allgemeine SS (General SS) which was responsible for enforcing the racial policy of Nazi Germany and general policing;  and Waffen-SS (Armed SS) consisted of combat units of troops within Nazi Germany's military. Other units of the SS were the SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV) which ran the concentration camps and extermination camps, and additional subdivisions that included the Gestapo and the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) organizations. They were assigned to detect actual (or potential) enemies of the Nazi state, to destroy all opposition, police the German people in their allegiance to the Nazi ideology and engage in domestic and foreign intelligence.  The Sturmabteilung (SA) called the "brownshirts" were the original paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party (NSDAP). They played an integral role in Adolf Hitler's rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s.  Among their tasks were providing protection for Nazi rallies, disrupting meetings of opposition parties, and opposing paramilitary units, in particular, the Red Front Fighters League of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). They also intimidated Slavic and Romani people, unionists, and especially the Jews (for example, during the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.)  In the event called the Night of the Long Knives, the SA became disempowered after Adolf Hitler ordered the "blood purge" of 1934.)

Nazi plans were made for a detention camp in Oranienburg, the first site in Germany. It opened the following March 12.  It was  originally set up as the first detention facilities in the state of Prussia, when the Nazis gained power in 1933.  The camp imprisoned political opponents of the Nazi party from the Berlin region, which consisted primarily of members of the Communist Party of Germany and social-democrats, as well as a number of homosexual men and masses of the so-called undesirables.  The SS took over the prison on July 4, 1034, when they suppressed the SA brownshirts.  The prison was closed and replaced by the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in 1936.  When it closed,  the prison had held over 3,000 inmates, of whom 16 had died.


First flights of the Famous Polish PZL.50 Jastrząb. The PZL was Polish pre-war fighter aircraft designed by Wsiewołod Jakimiuk of the PZL works. The single-seat low-wing monoplane was to serve as a multi-purpose fighter and escort to replace all other fighters in the Polish Air Force. Designed after 1936, its prototype first flew in February 1939. A further two prototypes were under construction but never entered mass production because Poland was invaded by Germany on September 1, 1939. Wsiewołod Jakimiuk evacuated to Romania, and then to France, where he became the head of the team of Polish engineers at SNCA-SE (Société Nationale des Constructions Aéronautiques - Sud Est ) in Argentueil near Paris .  Work began on modifying the SE-100 fighter and the Leo-45 bomber. But in 1940, Nazi Germany invaded France, and  Jakimiuk evacuated to England where he contacted the British De Havilland.  He was offered a position in the Canadian branch of De Havilland, and in March 1941, he gathered a team of outstanding Polish engineers to work in the aviation industry in Canada. In Toronto, Jakimiuk became a member of the prestigious Granite Club.  He launched the production of a licensed two-engined training plane Avro Anson (352 units built) then constructed with wooden wings for training NA-66 Harvard II and the development of the Menasco engine for the DH school airplane .82 Tiger Moth. In 1942, he launched the production of the DH.98 Mosquito fighter-bomber plane in Canada. Six years later, Jakimiuk moved to England to continue work at the de Havilland factory in Hatfield , where he developed the on-board jet fighter plane DH-112 Sea Venom.   In 1951 he again worked in France at the SNCA-SE label (Sud Est), where he designed the SE-5000 Baroudeur jet fighter aircraft.  Jakimiuk became one of the five commercial directors in the construction of supersonic Franco-British Concorde aircraft (flown on November 2, 1969, 16 were built)


Churchill gave a speech in the House of Commons aimed at dispelling Soviet distrust. Churchill said he supported the Soviet border demands in Poland as reasonable and stated that Britain had never guaranteed any Polish border. ".... the Foreign Secretary and I together have laboured with the Polish Government in London with the object of establishing a working arrangement upon which the Fighting Forces can act, and upon which, I trust, an increasing structure of good will and comradeship may be built between Russians and Poles. I have an intense sympathy with the Poles, that heroic race whose national spirit centuries of misfortune cannot quench, but I also have sympathy with the Russian stand-point. Twice in our lifetime Russia has been violently assaulted by Germany. Many millions of Russians have been slain and vast tracts of Russian soil devastated as a result of repeated German aggression. Russia has the right of reassurance against future attacks from the West, and we are going all the way with her to see that she gets it, not only by the might of her arms but by the approval and assent of the United Nations. The liberation of Poland may presently be achieved by the Russian Armies after these Armies have suffered millions of casualties in breaking the German military machine. I cannot feel that the Russian demand for a reassurance about her Western frontiers goes beyond limits of what is reasonable or just. Marshal Stalin and I also spoke and agreed upon the need for Poland to obtain compensation at the expense of Germany both in the north and in the west."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 22nd February, 1944; Vol. 397, c. 698.] Hansard, British Parliamentary Debates.


German submarine U-300 was depth charged and sunk west of Cádiz, Spain by British warships:  The U-boat was in position 36°29′N 08°20′W when it was hit by gunfire from the British  HMS Recruit and HMS Pincher, after being badly damaged by depth charges from the British armed yacht HMS Evadne on February 19th. Nine of the crew were lost, there were 41 survivors.


February 21, 2018




Szmul Zygielbojm (dob) was a Jewish-Polish socialist politician, leader of the Bund, and a member of the National Council of the Polish Government in Exile. He committed suicide to protest the indifference of the Allied governments in the face of the Holocaust.  He submitted a long, detailed "suicide letter", addressed to Polish president Władysław Raczkiewicz and Prime Minister Władysław Sikorski,  Zygielbojm stated that while the Nazis were responsible for the murder of the Polish Jews, the Allies were also culpable (for their inaction).  Here is an excerpt of his letter: "The responsibility for the crime of the murder of the whole Jewish nationality in Poland rests first of all on those who are carrying it out, but indirectly it falls also upon the whole of humanity, on the peoples of the Allied nations and on their governments, who up to this day have not taken any real steps to halt this crime. By looking on passively upon this murder of defenseless millions tortured children, women and men they have become partners to the responsibility.  I am obliged to state that although the Polish Government contributed largely to the arousing of public opinion in the world, it still did not do enough. It did not do anything that was not routine, that might have been appropriate to the dimensions of the tragedy taking place in Poland....  I cannot continue to live and to be silent while the remnants of Polish Jewry, whose representative I am, are being murdered. My comrades in the Warsaw Ghetto fell with arms in their hands in the last heroic battle. I was not permitted to fall like them, together with them, but I belong with them, to their mass grave. By my death, I wish to give expression to my most profound protest against the inaction in which the world watches and permits the destruction of the Jewish people........"


Camp of National Unity (OZN)  was founded by the leadership in the Sanacja movement after the death of Pilsudski. The aim of OZN was to improve Poland's national defense and to safeguard the April 1935 Constitution. OZN was strongly pro-military, and its politicians sought to portray Marshal Rydz-Śmigły as successor to Marshal Józef Piłsudski. The OZN adopted 13 theses on the Jewish question. Modeled after the Nuremberg laws, they labelled Jews as a foreign element that should be deprived of all civil rights and ultimately expelled altogether.


Nazi Germany enacted a barrage of anti-semitic legislation, and  forced Jews to hand over any personal valuable items. Jewish businesses and bank accounts were expropriated. It was Nazi-legalized robbery on a massive scale.  After the Nuremberg Legislation and during 1938  "worse than total expropriation was to follow - economic harassment quickly escalated to violence forcing the Jews to flee the Reich or the newly annexed Austria. Within the second phase 1938 was the fateful turning point." Among the decrees was the decertification of all Jewish physicians, who were no longer allowed to treat German patients; Jewish children were forbidden to attend public school;  Jews were forbidden to attend concerts, theatre or opera, or even have a garden.


Churchill advised Stalin that the Polish Government-in-Exile was ready to accept the Curzon Line as a basis for talks and assured him that by the time they resumed diplomatic relations with the Soviets, their government would only consist of members willing to co-operate with Moscow. Stalin remained unconvinced.  (Note: The Polish Government in Exile never accepted the Curzon Line, and were not willing to "co-operate' with Moscow.)