POLISH GREATNESS TRAFFIC

July 20, 2018

JULY 20 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 20

1933

Nuremberg Jews Assaulted by SS:   In Nuremberg, SA storm-troopers broke into four hundred Jewish houses and confiscated cash and savings accounts. About 300 Jews, most of them members of the fraternal order B’Nai B’rith were arrested by the SA, herded into empty lots in the suburbs, and beaten up.


1944

Assassination Plot Against Hitler:  Hitler escaped death when a bomb placed in a briefcase exploded, but failed to kill him. Colonel Stauffenberg, chief of the army reserve, was given the task of planting the bomb during a conference at Berchtesgaden, but the meeting was later moved to Hitler’s “Wolf’s Lair, a command post at Rastenburg, Prussia. Stauffenberg placed the loaded briefcase under a table, then left quickly. Hitler was studying a map of the Eastern front and, Colonel Heinz Brandt, trying to get a better look at the map, moved the briefcase out of the way.  At 12:42 p.m. the bomb exploded. When the smoke cleared, Hitler was wounded, charred, and even suffered the temporary paralysis of one arm, but he was still alive. Hitler believed that Providence had spared his life so that he could continue his 'great cause'. Once Hitler figured out the extent of the conspiracy he ordered the systematic liquidation of his enemies. More than 7,000 Germans were arrested and up to 5,000 would be executed. Hitler, Himmler, and Goering established an ever tighter grip on Nazi Germany and its war machine. (Editors note:  There were numerous attempts by high level German officers who wanted to assassinate Hitler. None of their plans succeeded.)



July 19, 2018

JULY 19 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 19

1939

General Sir Edmund Ironside, Inspector-General of Overseas Forces, arrived in Warsaw on a four-day visit. He met with Marshal Smigly-Ridz, the Inspector-General of the Polish Forces, as well as Polish Foreign Minister Colonel Beck, and General Stachiewicz, the Chief of General Staff.  The visit was considered highly important on both sides. The British wanted to ascertain the Polish military's strategic plans for the imminent war, as well as co-ordinate British, French and Polish military efforts. The visit was seen as symbolic of Anglo-Polish solidarity, and was met with great interest in the Polish capital. This morning,  Ironside placed a  laurel wreath on the tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Pilsudski Square, and declared in Polish, "Czolem Panie Generali – Heil General".  As a result, Ironside's popularity surged, and Poland felt assured that Britain, and French were reliable allies.  The “Kurjer Poranny”, an official Government periodical commented on Ironside thusly "... Thanks to the constant progress in Britain’s military preparations and to the continuous increase in the strength of the Allies, London, Paris and Warsaw are making ready an armed might which will be capable of offering victorious resistance to every aggression”...." (In his 2012 book, " Pact Ribbentrop-Beck",  Mr. Piotr Zychowicz, wrote that during the July 1939 visit, Ironside told the Polish officers and politicians absurd promises that the RAF would be sent to Poland, and a British aircraft carrier would anchor at Gdynia, among other falsehoods.)


Friction between Danzig and Polish authorities increased tonight following the arrest of 20 persons charged with a “Marxist" dynamite plot against Nazis and the arrival of a Polish navy motor boat in Danzig harbor.


1940

Battle of Britain: Flying Officer Antoni Ostowicz scored the first Polish kill in the Battle by sharing a He 111 over Brighton. Tragically, Ostowicz was also the first Polish pilot to die in the Battle. He was shot down by Messerschmitt Bf 109s south of Swanage. The day also marked the moment that the British RAF finally acknowledged that the Polish pilots were hard-driven aces, and capable of fighting the Germans on equal terms. (Previously, British command did not believe that Polish pilots were experienced, and wasted a lot of time training them on bicycles.)



1989

Wojciech Jaruzelski was President of the Peoples Republic of Poland from 1989 to 1990.  He was notorious for the imposition of martial law against Solidarity. It had always been his intention to crack down on pro-democracy movement.  In 1981, when he became  the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers' Party, he met with the leader of Solidarity, and Jozef Glemp, the Catholic primate,  to discuss the possibility of forming a "coalition" with the Soviet-backed government, which was nonsense, because his objective was to politically crush them.  His subsequent actions spoke louder than words.  He censured, persecuted, arrested, and jailed thousands of Polish journalists, and pro-democracy protesters, without charge. Many Polish protesters were killed in the violence.  This resulted in a socio-economic crisis.  Median income fell by 40 %.  About 700,000 people fled the country.  Jaruzelski's legacy is that of a traitor to Poland.



July 18, 2018

JULY 18 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 18

1944

Polish Troops occupied Ancona: The Battle involving Polish forces serving as part of the British Army (June 16 to July 18, 1944) during the Italian Campaign in World War II. The Battle was the result of an Allied plan to capture the city of Ancona in Italy in order to gain possession of a seaport closer to the fighting so that they could shorten their lines of communication.  On June 16, 1944, the Polish 2nd Corps was given the mission to capture the city from German forces, and accomplished its objectives about a month later on July 18, 1944.


Lublin-Brest Offensive (part of Operation Bagration): Five armies of the 1st Belorussian Front (including one Polish army, the Polish First Army) deployed on the front’s left wing south of the Pinsk Marshes, struck and shattered the defenses of Army Group North Ukraine 4th Panzer Army west of Kovel. Within hours, the front’s 2nd Tank Army and several mobile corps began exploiting success to the west with the infantry following in their wake.  Lieutenant General Nikolai Gusev's 47th Army and Colonel General Vasily Chuikov's 8th Guards Army broke through the German defenses, and by July 21 they had reached the eastern banks of the Bug River.


2nd Bombing of Peenemunde:  Allied aircraft bombed the Nazi rocket test center at Peenemunde.  377 Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses bombed the Peenemünde experimental establishment, the scientific HQ at Zinnowitz, and the marshalling yards at Stralsund. Three B-17s were lost and 64 were damaged. Escort was provided by 297 P-38 Lightnings and P-51 Mustangs; they claimed 21-0-12 Luftwaffe aircraft; three P-51s were lost and one was damaged beyond repair.  A Peenemünde test launch planned that day was scrapped when Test Stand VII was heavily damaged. The P-11 production calibration firing stand near Werke Süd was a complete loss, and 50 enemy soldiers were killed, including anti-aircraft soldiers.



July 17, 2018

JULY 17 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 17

1399

Saint Queen Jadwiga of Poland Died:  Jadwiga, the first female monarch of the Kingdom of Poland reigned from October 16, 1384 until her death on July 17, 1399. She was the youngest daughter of Louis the Great, King of Hungary and Poland, and his wife Elizabeth of Bosnia. Jadwiga was a member of the Capetian House of Anjou, but she had more close forebears among the Polish Piasts. Jadwiga was crowned "King" October 16, 1384. Her coronation either signified that the Polish nobility's was opposed to her intended husband, William becoming king, or just emphasized her status as queen regnant. In 1997 she was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.  Numerous legends about miracles were recounted to justify her sainthood. One of them is about "Jadwiga's cross" Jadwiga often prayed before a large black crucifix hanging in the north aisle of Wawel Cathedral. During one of these prayers, the Christ on the cross is said to have spoken to her. The crucifix, "Saint Jadwiga's cross" is still there, with her relics beneath it. Because of this event, she is considered a medieval mystic.


1918

Execution of the Romanov family: By order of the Bolshevik Party and carried out by the Cheka, former emperor Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra Feodorovna, their children, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei, and retainers were shot at the Ipatiev House in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Their remains were found by an amateur sleuth in 1979 but their existence was kept secret until 1989 during the glasnost period. In 2008, after lengthy legal wrangling, the Russian Prosecutor General's office rehabilitated the Romanov family as "victims of political repressions".  A criminal case was opened by the post-Soviet government in 1993, but nobody was prosecuted on the basis that the perpetrators were dead.


1941

Nazi racial 'philosopher' Alfred Rosenberg was appointed Reich Minister for the Eastern Occupied Territories following the German invasion of Russia. Rosenberg was charged with the duty to administer territories seized from the Soviet Union and to replace the previously Soviet-controlled territories with new Reichskommissariats. He was one of the main authors of key National Socialist ideological creeds, including its racial theory, persecution of the Jews, Lebensraum, abrogation of the Treaty of Versailles, and opposition to degenerate modern art. He is known for his rejection of and hatred for Christianity and played an important role in the development of German Nationalist Positive Christianity. After the end of the war he was tried at Nuremberg, and sentenced to death by hanging for war crimes and crimes against humanity.


1942

Himmler watched the gassing of Jews:  On July 17 and 18 Himmler visited Auschwitz-Birkenau to inspect construction and expansion of the crematories. He then observed the extermination process from start to finish of Jews who had arrived on two trainloads from Holland. Kommandant Höss was then promoted.  (After the end of World War II,  on March 11, 1946, British Intelligence captured and arrested Hoss near a farm in Flensburg, Germany. He confessed to his role in the mass killings at Auschwitz in his memoirs and in his trial before the Supreme National Tribunal in Warsaw, Poland.  He was convicted of murder, returned to Auschwitz and hanged on April 16, 1947 at the site of his crimes. Himmler went into hiding after the war, but was captured and interrogated. In May 1945, he committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide pill. He was dead in 15 minutes.)


1945

The Potsdam Conference, was held from July 17 to August 2, 1945 among the three great powers, USSR, U.S.A. and the UK, represented by Stalin, Harry Truman, and Britain's new Prime Minister, Clement Atlee.  The conference was convened to discuss the administration of the defeated Nazi Germany, (which had agreed to an unconditional surrender just nine weeks earlier) as well as to establish post-war order, make peace treaties, and counter the effects of the war. Unlike the late President Franklin Roosevelt, U.S. President Harry Truman was suspicious of Stalin's intentions, and recognized that Stalin was pursuing communist expansion throughout eastern Europe, which was in contradiction to the terms of the Yalta Agreement. Among the decisions made  at Potsdam, were first and foremost the demilitarization, denazification, democratization, decentralization, dismantling and decartelization of Nazi Germany;  that Germany and Austria would have to be divided into four occupation zones (as per the Yalta Agreement), and that the capital cities, Berlin and Vienna, would likewise be divided into four zones; all Nazi criminals would be put on trial (i.e. Nuremberg Trials);  all Nazi German annexations to be reversed;  that Germany's eastern border would be shifted westwards to the Oder–Neisse line, thereby reducing the territorial area of Germany by approximately 25% compared to its 1937 borders. Consequently, the provisional western border for Poland would be the Oder–Neisse line (delineated by the Oder and Neisse rivers), and that Silesia, Pomerania, the southern part of East Prussia and the former Free City of Danzig should be under Polish administration.   It was decided to place severe restrictions on Germany's manufacturing and industrial capacity, among other issues.  Since the fate of Poland had already been agreed to by the Big Three at Yalta, the three representatives at Potsdam agreed to recognize the Soviet-controlled Provisional Government of National Unity (known as the Lublin Poles) and at the same time, it signified the end of allied recognition to the legitimate Polish Government in Exile in London.   Polish nationals and military were permitted to return to Poland, but "without guarantee" for their safety. (Editors note: many Polish military who returned to Poland after the end of the war were arrested and imprisoned by the Soviet NKVD, and many were murdered.)


1947

Raoul Wallenberg died (date unknown):   Raoul Wallenberg  was a Swedish diplomat and humanitarian.  During World War II, he rescued tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary from the German Nazis and Hungarian Fascists.  Wallenberg issued protective passports and sheltered Jews in buildings which were designated as Swedish territory - thus providing diplomatic immunity to them.  In one of his missions he raised enough money to rent  32 buildings in Budapest,declared them protected by diplomatic immunity and put up signs such as "The Swedish Library" and "The Swedish Research Institute"and hung huge Swedish flags on the front of the buildings to complete the facade. Wallenberg succeeded in housing almost 10,000 people.  The last time Wallenberg was seen alive was on January 17, 1945, during the Siege of Budapest by the Red Army. He was arrested by SMERSH and charged with espionage and taken away.  According to a Soviet document of February 6, 1957, officials claim that Wallenberg died on July 17, 1947. Here is an excerpt of the report:  "...I report that the prisoner Wallenberg who is well-known to you, died suddenly in his cell this night, probably as a result of a heart attack or heart failure. Pursuant to the instructions given by you that I personally have Wallenberg under my care, I request approval to make an autopsy with a view to establishing cause of death.... I have personally notified the minister and it has been ordered that the body be cremated without autopsy."   Questions surrounding the circumstances of his death remain a mystery and the basis of numerous theories. Raoul Wallenberg has received countless international awards and monuments erected in his memory, such as Honorary Citizen of the United States, of Canada, of Hungary, of Australia, and of Israel. Yad Vashem has designated Wallenberg as Righteous Among Nations.


July 16, 2018

JULY 16 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 16

1942

Jews of Paris were rounded up:  Following the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup on July 16 and 17, 1942, more than 4,900 of the 13,152 victims, including more than 4,000 children, were arrested and sent directly to the camp at Drancy, from where they were deported in rail cattle cars to Auschwitz for exterminated. The raid was directed by Nazis and French police to eradicate the Jewish population in France, both in the occupied zone and in the free zone.  ( In 1995, French President Jacques Chirac apologized for the complicit role that French policemen and civil servants served in the raid.  And in 2017, President Emmanuel Macron admitted the responsibility of the French State in the roundup and hence, in the Holocaust.)


1945

Three components of the atom bomb, code-named "Little Boy" left Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, California, aboard the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis.  Specifications for building each component was given to three different plants, to ensure that no one had the complete design.  The Naval Gun Factory in Washington, D.C made the gun and breech.;  the Naval Ordnance Plant in Center Line, Michigan, made the target case and other components;  the Expert Tool and Die Company in Detroit, Michigan, made the tail fairing and mounting brackets ( without the fissile components.). There was the concern that an accidental detonation during transport might occur, despite the safety-mechanisms incorporated into the design of the "Little Boy".  Tests were conducted to determine, in the event of a crash, if the hollow "bullet" would be driven onto the "target" cylinder, which would result in a massive release of radiation, or possibly nuclear detonation. But neither possibility was likely since the impact would require 500 times the force of gravity.  In the event of a crash and fire, there was concern that it could trigger the explosives. Or, if it immersed in water, there would be a neutron moderator effect (which would result in massive radioactive contamination of the water.)  Therefore, pilots were instructed on the emergency procedure, that is, to crash on land, rather than at sea.  The "Little Boy" was dropped on Hiroshima, on August 6, 1945.



July 15, 2018

JULY 15 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 15

1410

Battle of Grunwald (2nd Battle of Tannenburg) was fought on July 15, 1410 led by Polish King Władysław Jagiełło and Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytautas who defeated the Teutonic Ulrich von Jungingen. The Teutonics were virtually decimated, either killed or taken prisoner. Despite their defeat, the Teutonic Knights withstood the siege of their fortress in Marienburg (Malbork) and suffered minimal territorial losses at the Peace of Thorn (1411) (Toruń), with other territorial disputes continuing until the Peace of Melno in 1422. However, they would never recover their former power. War reparations became a financial burden, and inflamed internal conflicts, precipitating an economic downturn in the lands under their control. The Battle of Grunwald shifted the balance of power in Central and Eastern Europe and marked the rise of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth as the dominant political and military force in the region. The battle was one of the largest in Medieval Europe and is regarded as the most important victory in the histories of Poland and Lithuania.


1871

Henryk Arctowski, born Henryk Artzt, was a Polish scientist and explorer. Living in exile for a large part of his life, he was one of the first persons to spend the winter in Antarctica and became an internationally renowned meteorologist. He was instrumental in restoring Polish independence after the First World War. Several geographical features, the Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station and a medal of the National Academy of Sciences are named in his honor.


1908

Henryk Zygalski (dob) was a Polish mathematician and cryptologist who worked at breaking German Enigma ciphers before and during World War II.  He worked with Marian Rejewski and Jerzy Rozycki to develop methods and equipment for decrypting Enigma messages.  In late 1938 he designed the "perforated sheets," also known as "Zygalski sheets," a manual device for finding Enigma settings. These Polish mathematicians were the first to break the Enigma Code and passed on their information to the French and British governments before the outbreak of World War Two.



July 14, 2018

JULY 14 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 14

1920

Soviets refused to transfer Vilnius back to Lithuania:  In the aftermath of the Polish-Lithuanian conflict as Polish troops were retreating from Western Russia, the Bolsheviks had already entered Vilnius before the Lithuanian troops. Despite the Soviet-Lithuanian Peace Treaty, Russia did not hand back Vilnius to Lithuania. The Soviets intended to establish a puppet government with the purpose of fomenting a socialist revolution, and to overthrow the Lithuanian government. However, their plans did not come to fruition, because Poland defeated Soviet forces in the Battle of Warsaw. However, as the Polish Army was approaching the southern boarders of Lithuania, the Soviets transferred Vilnius back to Lithuanian control, and the Red Army retreated.


1933

Nazi Party declared itself the only legal party: Nazis passed the  "Law against the establishment of political parties" in which it declared the Nazi Party to be the country's only legal party, and allowed itself to make numerous laws banning civil liberties of the Jews. On this day Hitler decreed the Denaturalization Law that revoked citizenship of naturalized Jews and “undesirables.”


Nazi Party passed the the Law for the Prevention of Hereditary Diseased Offspring which called for the compulsory sterilization of people with a range of hereditary, physical, and mental illnesses.


1938

Manifesto della razza (Manifesto of Race) was a manifesto prepared on July 14, 1938 were antisemitic laws which stripped the Jews of Italian citizenship and governmental and professional positions. The manifesto formed the basis of the the enactment of the laws in October 1938, and demonstrated the enormous influence Adolf Hitler had over Benito Mussolini since Italy had become allied with Nazi Germany.



July 13, 2018

JULY 13 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 13

1942

Rovno Pogrom:  The majority of the Jews of western Ukraine town of Rovno, around 23,000 people, were murdered shortly after the Germans invaded in June 1941.  About 5,000  to 7,000 Jews were left in the ghetto.  On the night of  July 13, 1942 the Nazis liquidated the Rovno Ghetto. All 5,355 Jews were forced into cattle carriages to Kostopil and shot.


1944

Operation Foxley was a British SOE plan to assassinate Hitler planned for July 13 or 14. The scheme called for the SOE to parachute a German-speaking Pole and a British sniper into Austria. They would be guided to the Berghof residence disguised as German mountain troops.  The basic plan was to assassinate Hitler during his morning exercise, as he was known to take unprotected walks to the Teehaus on the Mooslahnerkopf Hill from the Berghof residence. The sniper practiced by firing at moving dummy targets with an accurized Kar 98k with a Mauser telescopic sight, the standard rifle of the Wehrmacht. Though plans were made for the assassination of Hitler, it was never carried out, either due to inadequate preparation, or a reconsideration of whether the plan was prudent.


1990

GROM, Poland's special elite forces was officially activated on July 13, 1990.  GROM stands for "Grupa Reagowania Operacyjno-Manewrowego" which in English translates to "Group Operational Maneuvering Response" and is part of five special operation forces in the Polish Armed Forces.  The unit was named after the Cichociemni ("The Silent and Unseen") special underground forces that operated with Allied forces during World War Two. After two Polish diplomats were shot in Beirut in March 1990,  Lt. Col. Sławomir Petelicki was sent to Lebanon to secure the transfer of civilians and the Polish diplomatic outposts. When Petelicki returned to Poland, he presented his plan for the creation of a special military unit to the Ministry of Interior, to counter any terrorist actions. (in 1982 General Edwin Rozłubirski made a similar proposal but the Peoples Army of Poland rejected the idea).  Petelicki's ideas were well received, and GROM was established, with Petelicki as its first Commander on June 13, 1990.  Those wishing to serve in JW GROM must pass a grueling gauntlet of psychological and durability tests, along with what is called "the truth test". Many apply, but few are chosen. GROM recruits train with the best special forces units in the world, including the U.S. Navy Seals.


2000

Jan Karski died on July 13, 2000. He was a Polish resistance fighter with the Armia Krajowa (Home Army). Karski was an underground courier who took on the mission of secretly infiltrating a concentration camp. Disguised as an Estonian guard he entered the Belzec death camp on a fact finding mission. What he saw had haunted him for the rest of his life. In 1942 and 1943 Karski reported his findings to the Polish Government in Exile and to Western Allies on the situation in German-occupied Poland - the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, and what he learned about the secret German-Nazi extermination camps. Karski also personally met with numerous politicians; Polish politicians in exile, members of political parties, and the British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden. Then he traveled to the US and on July 28, 1943 met with Franklin Roosevelt telling him about the situation in Poland, and the Holocaust of the Jews.  In 1944, he published "Courier from Poland: The Story of a Secret State". Karski was a professor at Georgetown University where he taught for forty years, in the areas of East European affairs, comparative government and international affairs. In March 2013, the university republished his book, titled, "My Report to the World: The Story of a Secret State".




July 12, 2018

JULY 12 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 12

1704

Stanislaw Leszcynski was King of part of Poland:  When Augustus died in 1733, Stanisław sought to regain the Polish throne with the help of French support for his candidacy. After traveling to Warsaw in disguise, he was elected King of Poland by an overwhelming majority of the Diet. However, before his coronation, Russia and Austria, fearing Stanisław would unite Poland in the Swedish-French alliance, invaded the country to annul his election. Stanisław was once more deposed, and, under Russian pressure, a small minority in the Diet elected the Saxon elector Frederick Augustus II to the Polish throne as Augustus III. Stanisław retreated to the city of Danzig (Gdańsk) to wait for French assistance, which did not come. Fleeing before the city fell to its Russian besiegers, he then journeyed to Königsberg in Prussia, where he directed guerrilla warfare against the new king and his Russian supporters. The Peace of Vienna in 1738 recognized Augustus III as king of Poland but allowed Stanisław to keep his royal titles while granting him the provinces of Lorraine and Bar for life.


1945

The British Army honored the Soviet military in a ceremony under the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Acting as a representative of King George VI, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery awarded Georgy Zhukov with the Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. Konstantin Rokossovsky was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath while Vasily Sokolovsky and Mikhail Malinin were made Knight Commanders of the Order of the British Empire.


1993

Polish Spy Michael Goleniewski died on July 12, 1993 having spent the last years of his life in Queens, New York. Goleniewski was an officer at the notorious Ministry of Public Security in the People's Republic of Poland as well as the head of military counterintelligence GZI WP, later head of the technical and scientific section of the Polish intelligence.  In 1959, Goleniewski became a triple-agent, giving Polish and Soviet secrets to the Central Intelligence Agency. His intel resulted in the exposure of George Blake and Harry Houghton.  Goleniewski defected to the United States in 1961.  (Note: Blake was also a former British spy who worked as a double agent for the Soviet Union. He became a Communist and decided to work for the KGB while a prisoner during the Korean War. Discovered in 1961 and sentenced to 42 years in prison, he escaped from Wormwood Scrubs prison in 1966 and fled to the USSR.  Note:  Houghton was a spy for the People's Republic of Poland and the USSR during the Cold War. He was a member of the Portland Spy Ring. He and his accomplice Gee were discovered and on March 22, 1961 they were both sentenced to fifteen years in prison.



July 11, 2018

JULY 11 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 11

1920

East and West Prussia voted in a plebiscite to become part of Germany, though a section of West Prussia would be handed to Poland to provide a 'Polish Corridor':  The East Prussian plebiscite dealt with the issue of self-determination of the regions southern Warmia (Ermland), Masuria (Mazury, Masuren) and Powiśle, which had been in parts of the East Prussian Government Region of Allenstein and of West Prussian Government Region of Marienwerder, and was to be held in accordance with Articles 94 to 97 of the Treaty of Versailles. The German side engaged in mass persecution of Polish activists, their Masurian supporters, hunted them down and murdered them to influence the vote. Poles boycotted the preparations for the plebiscite, which was tampered with by the Germans in an effort to manipulate the results.. The German conducted plebiscite reported a majority of voters selected East Prussia over Poland (over 97% in the Allenstein Plebiscite Area (de) and 92% in the Marienwerder Plebiscite Area (de); most of the territories in question remained in the Free State of Prussia, ie, in Germany.


1939

In Jazłowiec, the 14th Regiment of Jazłowiec Uhlans celebrated its Day.  The Regiment was a cavalry unit of the Polish Army in the Second Polish Republic, and named after the village of Jazlowiec where in July 1919, they fought one of the battles of the Polish-Ukrainian War. They were stationed in Lwow in the interbellum period, and were a unit in the Polish Armed Forces in the West, and the Home Army during WW2.


1943

Bloody Sunday, the beginning of Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia: OUN-UPA death squads aided by the local Ukrainian peasants simultaneously attacked at least 99 Polish settlements within the Wołyń Voivodeship of the prewar Second Polish Republic under the German occupation. It was an orchestrated attack on people gathered for a Sunday mass at Catholic churches.The towns affected included Kisielin (Kisielin massacre), Poryck (Poryck Massacre), Chrynów (Chrynów massacre), Zabłoćce, Krymn, with dozens of other towns attacked at different dates with tens of churches and chapels burned to the ground. The Volhynian massacres spread over four prewar voivodeships including Wołyń with 60,000 victims, as well as Lwów, Stanisławów and Tarnopol in Lesser Poland with 70,000 Poles murdered for the total of 130,000 Polish victims of UPA terror. The Bloody Sunday of July 11, 1943, is not to be confused with the Stanisławów Ghetto Bloody Sunday massacre of 10,000 to 12,000 Polish Jews on October 12, 1941, before the Stanisławów Ghetto announcement.


Zagaje massacre:   Troops of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army group "Piwnicz", aided by Ukrainian peasants, massacred ethnic Poles - about 260 to 350 men, women, and children.  The village Zagaje was leveled out and does not exist anymore. It was located in the gmina Podberezie of the Horochów County in the Wołyń Voivodeship of the Second Polish Republic (now, Horokhiv Raion, Ukraine)


Gurów massacre:  The Ukrainian Insurgent Army death squad from Group "Piwnicz"and Ukrainian peasants launched a massacre of the Polish citizens in the town of Gurow. It took place during the Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia.  Gurów was located in Gmina Grzybowica, Powiat Włodzimierz in the Wołyń Voivodeship of the Second Polish Republic. The town no longer exists. Of the 480 Polish citizens of Gurów about 70 people managed to escape death by hiding from the attackers. Historians Władysław and Ewa Siemaszko have confirmed by name the 200 Poles and 2 Jews murdered in Gurow. The killing spread to other nearby towns -  Wygranka, Zdżary, Zabłoćce, Sądowa, Nowiny, Zagaje (see Zagaje massacre), Poryck (see: Poryck massacre), Oleń, Orzeszyn, Romanówka, Lachów, and Gucin.


1944

Wilhelm Koppe, an SS-Obergruppenführer and head of the Höhere SS und Polizei Führer,  was wounded on July 11, 1944 in Kraków in a plot code-named Operation Heads (Glowki). The Operation consisted of several Nazi officers targeted for assassination, and was carried out by members of the Polish Resistance.  Nazi German officers were sentenced to death by the Special Courts of the Polish Underground for crimes against Polish citizens during the World War II occupation of Poland. The name of the operation, "Operation Heads" was a sarcastic reference to the Totenkopf (Gr. 'skull') 'Death's Head' symbol of SS Nazi German uniforms and headgear.




July 10, 2018

JULY 10 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 10

1940

The Battle of Britain began. It was the first major military campaign fought entirely by the air forces of Britain and its Allies against the German Luftwaffe. The Luftwaffe launched their offensive in conjunction with an air and sea blockade.Their targets were centered on British coastal shipping convoys, ports, and shipping centres such as Portsmouth. By mid-August the Luftwaffe began attacking RAF airfields and infrastructure, as well as factories producing aircraft, and strategic infrastructure.  Eventually the Luftwaffe turned their guns on the British civilians and began a massive bombing campaign (The Blitz) on coastal towns and cities. By early September, the city of London became the target. A great part of the city was bombed and left in a mass of smoldering rubble. The Blitz resulted in 43,000 civilians dead and up to 139,000 injured.  The RAF suffered heavy casualties, a situation which was exacerbated by their inexperienced pilots. To offset these losses, the RAF called in reinforcements from their allies, comprising of 145 Poles, 127 New Zealanders, 112 Canadians, 88 Czechoslovaks, 10 Irish, 32 Australians, 28 Belgians, 25 South Africans, 13 French, 9 Americans, 3 Southern Rhodesians.  Despite being outnumbered, the Royal Air Force and its Allies demonstrated their air superiority over the German air force and won the Battle on October 31, 1940. Victory in the Battle was assured largely due to the participation of the Polish Air Forces, in particular the famous No. 303 Polish Fighter Squadron, also called the Kosciuszko Squadron, which contained the largest number of ace pilots in the RAF.  The 303 had the highest RAF kill score in the Battle of Britain.   Commanders Witold Urbanowicz, Jan Zumbach, and Zdzisław Henneberg (just to name a few) were among the many heroic Polish commanders and pilots who fought for Britain.  (Read about the Kosciuszko Squadron)


1941

Jedwabne Pogrom was a massacre of 340 Jews from the village of Jedwabne, Poland.  On this day, a group of at least 40 Polish males were involved, after being summoned in Jedwabne by the order of Mayor Marian Karolak, and German paramilitaries, called Ordnungspolizei. The SS, Gestapo and Einsatzgruppe forces were also complicit. They then rounded up the local Jews as well Jews who sought refuge from the nearby towns of Wizna and Kolno, and took the them to the town square where they were humiliated and beaten. Ultimately, the Jews were forced into a barn, killed and the barn set on fire with them in it. (These are the official findings of the Institute of National Remembrance, which "confirmed by the number of victims in the two graves, according to the estimate of the archeological and anthropological team participating in the exhumation," wrote prosecutor Radosław J. Ignatiew, who headed an investigation in 2000–2003 ordered by the Polish government..)


1942

Himmler gave the order for sterilization experiments at Ravensbrueck:  In a letter from SS-Obersturmbannführer Brandt to Prof. Clauberg, July 10, 1942, read as follows: " Today the Reich Leader SS  (Himmler) charged me with transmitting to you his wish that you go to Ravensbrueck after you have had another talk with SS-Obergruppenführer Pohl and the camp physician of the women's concentration camp Ravensbrueck, in order to perform the sterilization of Jewesses according to your method... (source: Trials of War Criminals Before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals - Washington, U.S Govt. Print. Off., 1949-1953, Vol. I, p. 729)


1945

Augustow Roundup:  The Augustów roundup was a military operation against the Polish anti-communist partisans which occurred following the Soviet takeover of Poland. Soviet forces with the assistance of Polish communist units,  conducted the roundup from July 10 to July 25, 1945 in Suwałki and Augustów region (Podlasie) of northern People's Republic of Poland. Out of 2,000 arrested by the Soviet forces, about 600 disappeared.  They were  presumed to have been executed and buried in an unknown location in Russia or Belarus. The Polish Institute of National Remembrance has declared the 1945 Augustów roundup "the largest crime committed by the Soviets on Polish lands after World War II".  The crime has been called "second Katyn", in reference to the Katyn massacre in 1940, when the Soviet NKVD executed over 16,000 Polish officers, soldiers, and intelligentsia.



July 9, 2018

JULY 9 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 9

1937

Construction of Piłsudski's Mound was completed in Kraków:   In 1934 the Polish Legionists, and their associations, proposed to build a monument commemorating the re-establishment of Poland's independence. The Committee to oversee construction was created in Warsaw, and was chaired by Walery Sławek. Construction began on August 6, 1934, the 20th anniversary of the departure of First Cadre Company from Kraków at the beginning of World War I. After the death of Marshal Józef Piłsudski on May 12, 1935, the Legionists - former subordinates of Piłsudski, the creator of the Legions - decided to change the name of the mound after their leader. The mound was completed on July 9, 1937. Soil from every World War I battlefield in which Poles fought was placed into the mound.


1943

Allies invaded Sicily:  The invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, began with a large amphibious and airborne operation, to capture the island of Sicily from German forces.  Just after midnight on July 9 to 10, 1943,  two American and two British airborne troops were dispatched, but due to strong winds of 45 miles per hour (72 km/h) the aircraft was blown off course and the American parachutists landed over a large area in south-east Sicily.  Four days later, only half the US troops reached their rallying points. The British however, experienced a better landing. The seaborne invasion was successful as German troops were not expecting this line of attack under difficult conditions. The key to the successful incursion was to capture the ports in order to facilitate the buildup of Allied forces and capture German airfields.   General Montgomery's British Eighth Army was, therefore, to capture the Pachino airfield on Cape Passero and the port of Syracuse before moving northwards to take the ports of Augusta and Catania. Their objectives also included the landing fields around Gerbini, on the Catania plain. The objectives of Lieutenant General Patton's U.S. Seventh Army included capturing the port of Licata and the airfields of Ponte Olivo, Biscari and Comiso. It was then to prevent the enemy reserves from moving eastward against the Eighth Army's left flank. In the ensuing weeks, the Allied push inland was met with fierce Axis resistance, as the inclusion of Italian armour posed a veritable threat to Allied advances.  But by July 27, the German commanders realized that the campaign had swung in favor of the Allies, and the Germans began planning for evacuation of Messina.  Two days later Kesselring reported to Hitler that an evacuation could be accomplished in three days and presented initial written plans, dated August 1st. Over the next several days, the Germans commenced evacuation without approval, and transferred 12,000 men, 4,500 vehicles and 5,000 tons of equipment. Casualties were high on all sides.  Operation Husky was concluded on August 17.  Mussolini was toppled from power, and the way was opened for the Allied invasion of Italy, the beginning of the Italian Campaign, and the most ferocious battle of all - the Battle of Monte Cassino.



July 8, 2018

JULY 8 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 8

1947

The Hostages Trial was the seventh 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 July 8, 1947 to February 19, 1948. This case was also referred to as the "Southeast Case" because the defendants were Nazi German generals who commanded their troops in south-eastern Europe during the Balkans Campaign ( in Greece, Albania and Yugoslavia). The accused were charged for taking civilians as hostages, the murder of hundreds of thousands of civilians and "partisans", the plundering and destruction of villages, torture of prisoners and their deportation to concentration camps. Of the 12 defendants indicted, Franz Böhme committed suicide before the arraignment, Maximilian von Weichs was excused from the trial due to alleged medical reasons. Of the remainder two were acquitted and the rest of them received sentences ranging from seven years to lifetime imprisonment. 

1980

The first strike in Poland started on July 8, 1980 in the State Aviation Works in Świdnik. Though they lacked any coordinating center, the workers were still able to spread their news through an information network.  The Workers Defence Committee, (a dissident group set up in 1976 to provide aid to victimized workers) attracted the support of many small groups of workers from industrial centers.  At the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk, the firing of Anna Walentynowicz, a popular crane operator and activist, galvanized the enraged workers to take action.


1997

NATO invited Poland, Hungary, and Czech Republic to join. NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana extended the official invitation following a three-hour meeting where NATO chiefs debated how far and how fast to expand the organization..  "The day when Poland is invited to negotiations on NATO membership has a chance of going down in history as the end of the Yalta order in Europe," PAP news agency quoted Prime Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz as saying.



July 7, 2018

JULY 7 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 7

1943

The Polish Underground State imposed severe punishment to anyone found guilty of  collaborating with the Nazis,blackmailing Jews, or handing Jews over to the Germans.  The Polish Directorate for Civil Action printed these warnings and distributed them throughout Poland in their underground newspapers.  On this day, the underground Polish Court handed down sentence to a Polish man guilty of the crime of treason.  The Court Sentence read as follow: " By sentence of the special court in Warsaw, on July 7, 1943, Borys, alias Boguslaw, alias Boguslaw Jan Pilnik, born on May 5, 1912, son of Aleksander and Felicjy Szolkowska, domiciled in Warsaw, ulica Pierackiego 17, was sentenced to death and the loss of civic and public rights for collaborating with Nazi authorities to the detriment of the Polish community and for denouncing to German authorities, Polish citizens of Jewish nationality who were hiding from the Germans;  also for extorting from his victims large sums of money under pretext of needing this money to protect the persons hiding;  subsequently, after betraying them to the Germans, they extorted from the families of his victims various possessions - allegedly to supply them to the arrested person but which he appropriated to himself.  (Directorate for Civil Action)  The sentence was carried out August 25, 1943.


 1944

The Polish Home Army began Operation Ostra Brama, an armed uprising against Nazi occupiers in Wilno as part of Operation Tempest. Although the the Polish army were able to defeat the Germans, the following day the Soviet Red Army entered the city and the Soviet NKVD proceeded to intern and arrest Polish soldiers and their officers. Several days later, the Soviets took control of Wilno, while the remaining Polish troops retreated into the surrounding forests.  Gradually, the Soviets encircled the area and captured them.  The West did not know about this situation. The British media was censored, by decree of the Minister of Information, Brendan Bracken, so that news about Soviet actions would not leak to the West.  Britain, and the US did not want to sully the image of the Soviet Union as the "liberator" of Europe from Nazi evil.  And Poland had already lost its eastern territories to Stalin at the Tehran Conference, but none of the Polish soldiers fighting in the Battle of Wilno knew about it at the time.




July 6, 2018

JULY 6 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 6

1938

Evian Conference:  Representatives from 33 nations convened at Évian-les-Bains, France, to discuss the Jewish refugee problem and the plight of the increasing numbers of Jewish refugees fleeing persecution by Nazi Germany. The conference was organized and led by President Franklin Roosevelt who anticipated that other nations would accept more Jewish refugees . Roosevelt used the conference as a way to deflect attention and criticism away from American policy for its severe quota restrictions of Jewish refugees admitted to the US.  The conference was attended by representatives from 32 countries, and 24 voluntary organizations also attended as observers, presenting plans either orally or in writing. Golda Meir, the attendee from British Mandate Palestine, was not permitted to speak or to participate in the proceedings except as an observer. Some 200 international journalists gathered at Évian to observe and report on the meeting. The conference was ultimately doomed, as delegations from the 32 participating nations refused to come to any agreement about accepting the Jewish refugees fleeing the Third Reich. Only two countries, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, increased their quotas. The result of the failure of the conference was that many of the Jews had no escape and were ultimately the target of Hitler's "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" - the Holocaust.  Two months after Évian, in September 1938, Britain and France granted Hitler the right to occupy the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia and as a result 120,000 Jews became stateless. In November 1938, on Kristallnacht, a massive pogrom across the Third Reich was accompanied by the destruction of over 1,000 synagogues, massacres and the arbitrary arrest of tens of thousands of Jews. In March 1939, Hitler occupied the remainder of Czechoslovakia, which now took in a further 180,000 Jews. In May 1939 the British issued the White Paper which barred Jews from entering Palestine or buying land there.  Following their occupation of Poland in late 1939 and invasion of Soviet Union in 1941, the Germans embarked on a program of systematic deportation, and murder of millions of Jews from throughout Europe.  The only way that Nazis could have accomplished this treachery was with the assistance of local authorities, military and police, who organized the identification and removal of the Jews.


1942

Anne Frank and her family went into hiding. They intentionally left their apartment in disarray to give the impression that they "left in a hurry" and Otto, her father, left a note that they were going to Switzerland. The Frank family had to walk to the their shelter,  a building which housed the Opekta office on Prinsengracht, where they hid inside a three storey space (a few of the employees in the building knew about it) A week later the van Pels family joined them, which created some friction in an already confined space, something that Anne Frank wrote about in her diary. This hiding place became known as the Achterhuis (translated as "Secret Annex" in English editions of the diary). On August 4, 1944, their Achterhuis was stormed by the SS, arrested them and interrogated them at the police headquarters where they were kept overnight. The SS treated them as if they were criminals and they were sent to a work camp to do hard labour.


1950

German Democratic Republic agreed to accept the Oder-Niesse boundary with Poland. (The Treaty of Zgorzelec (Full title The Agreement Concerning the Demarcation of the Established and the Existing Polish-German State Frontier, also known as the Treaty of Görlitz and Treaty of Zgorzelic) The agreement was signed under Soviet pressure by Otto Grotewohl, prime minister of the provisional government of the GDR (East Germany) and Polish premier Józef Cyrankiewicz. It recognized the Oder-Neisse line implemented by the 1945 Potsdam Agreement as the border between the two states. The treaty was worded as a declaration and was not initially recognized by West Germany as a legitimate international treaty.  It wasn't until 1990 when a reunified Germany recognized the Oder-Niesse boundary, in the German-Polish Border Treaty.



July 5, 2018

JULY 5 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 5

1920

Spa Conference in Belgium: The conference convened between the Supreme War Council and the government of the Weimar Republic in Spa, Belgium from July 5 to 16, 1920.  The discussions included disarmament of Germany and war reparations required by the Treaty of Versailles, trial of German war criminals, status of Gdansk, territorial dispute over Cieszyn Silesia (between the Second Polish Republic and Czechoslovakia). Following the conclusion of the conference on July 28, 1920,  the territory was divided between the states leaving Zaolzie with a sizable Polish minority on the Czech side of the border, a decision  which created more conflicts between the two nations.


1944

Karl Freudenthal, a Kreishauptmann, was responsible for the murder of Jews and Poles in Garwolin and for the deportation of Jews to the ghettos. Freudenthal was assassinated in a plot called Operation Heads (Glowki). It  was the code name used by the Polish Resistance for their plan to conduct a series of assassinations of Nazi officers.  Those targeted for assassination had been sentenced to death by the Special Courts of the Polish Underground for crimes against Polish citizens during the World War II occupation of Poland. The name of the operation, "Operation Heads" was a sarcastic reference to the Totenkopf (Gr. 'skull') 'Death's Head' symbol of SS Nazi German uniforms and headgear.


1945

The British and American governments withdrew recognition of the legitimate Polish Government In Exile, and officially recognized Stalin's Provisional Government of National Unity (ie the TRJN). France had already withdrawn its recognition on June 29, 1945, though the Vatican did not recognize the TRJN.  The TRJN was the puppet government Stalin established in Poland, which had been decided at the Yalta Conference between Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin (February 4 to 11, 1945) to establish post-war "spheres of influence."  Despite subsequent discussions between the Soviets and Polish Prime Minister Stanislaw Mikolajczyk, the decision was already fait accompli, and Poland had been betrayed into the hands of Stalin by Britain and the United States.   (see January 5, 1945)



July 4, 2018

JULY 4 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 4

1610

The Battle of Klushino, also called the Battle of Kłuszyn, was fought on July 4, 1610, between forces of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, and the Tsardom of Russia during the Polish–Muscovite War, part of Russia's Time of Troubles. It took place near the village of Klushino, near Smolensk. In the battle the outnumbered Polish force secured a decisive victory over Russia, due to the tactical competence of hetman Stanisław Żółkiewski and the military prowess of Polish Winged Hussars,the elite of the army of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland. This battle was among the greatest victories of the Polish cavalry and demonstrated the excellence and supremacy of the Polish military at the time.


1940

Churchill's Speech on Taking French Fleet:  Winston Churchill addressed the House of Commons regarding the British attack on French ships the previous day. "It is with sincere sorrow that I must now announce to the House the measures which we have felt bound to take in order to prevent the French fleet from falling into German hands.....after all preparation had been made we took the greater part of the French fleet under our control or else called upon them with an adequate force to comply with our requirements.  Two battleships, two light cruisers, some submarines, including a very large one, including the Surcouf - eight destroyers and approximately 200 smaller but extremely useful mine sweeping, and anti-submarine craft which lay for the most part in Portsmouth and Plymouth, were boarded by superior forces after a brief notice had been given......We must of course expect to be attacked, or even invaded....in our own island home before very long.....We are making every preparation in our power to repel the assaults of the enemy....In the fullest harmony with our Dominions we are moving through a period of extreme danger and splendid hope when every virtue in our race will be tested and all that we have and are will be freely staked. This is not a time for doubts or weaknesses. This is the supreme hour to which we are called....."  Churchill was readying the nation for an attack by Germany as France had just fallen to the Germans on June 10, 1940, and signed an armistice with Hitler.  Churchill thus declared that, "The Battle of France is over...the Battle of Britain is about to begin."


1941

25 Polish Professors massacred in Lwow:   The German Gestapo (aided by soldiers of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) systematically executed 25 Polish professors in the town of Lwow (now Lviv, Ukraine).  The names of the professors had been reported to the authorities by the university students affiliated with the OUN.  Among those arrested was Roman Rencki, a director of the Clinic for Internal Diseases at Lwów University, who was kept in NKVD prison and whose name was also on the list of Soviet prisoners sentenced to death. The professors were transported to the Abrahamowicz's dormitory where they were tortured and interrogated. The head of the department in the Jewish hospital, Adam Ruff, was shot during an epileptic attack. On the morning of July 4, 1941,   the professors were shot to death (either in the Wulka hills or in the courtyard of the Bursa Abrahamowiczów building). Many of the people killed were prominent leaders of Polish (and  Polish-Jewish) society: politicians, artists, aristocrats, sportsmen, scientists, priests, rabbis and other members of the intelligentsia.  The massacre and many others like it were attempts by the Nazis to eliminate Polish resistance, and essentially destroy the very fabric of Polish culture and society.


1943

Polish General Died in Suspicious Plane Crash  A plane carrying  General Wladyslaw Sikorski plunged into the sea immediately after takeoff from Gibraltar, killing all on board except the pilot. The exact circumstances of Sikorski's death have been disputed and have given rise to a number of different theories surrounding the crash and his death. Sikorski  had been the most prestigious leader of the Polish exiles, and his death was a severe setback for the Polish cause.  A British Court of Inquiry convened days later to investigate the crash of Sikorski's Liberator II serial AL 523, but was unable to establish  the cause. They concluded that it was "due to jamming of elevator controls",  noting that "it has not been possible to determine how the jamming occurred but it has been established that there was no sabotage." The Polish Government in Exile in London refused to accept this report, due to the contradiction in the Soviet argument - that is, that the cause was "not determined" but sabotage was being ruled out. The controversy exists to this day.


1946

Kielce pogrom broke out on the morning of July 4, 1946 and lasted until mid-afternoon.  Polish soldiers, police officers, and civilians participated in attacking and killing 42 Jews, wounding 40 others. A riot broke out when a young Polish boy, who had disappeared for a couple of days, returned home and claimed that he had been kidnapped by a Jewish man. The police searched the man's home and found nothing, and the kidnapping accusation was quickly retracted. But the police began to spread rumours that the Jews of the house were killing Polish children, it instigated a riot and blood lust that continued from morning until mid-afternoon. None of the authorities would, or could stop it. Mobs of police, army and civilians attacked and killed Jewish men, women and children, at random, wounding many others.  The Kielce pogrom was the deadliest attack against Polish Jews. It took place shortly after the end of World War Two and the Holocaust. The massacre shocked Jews and Poles in Poland, and the international community.  But the violence did not end there. Wounded Jews who were transported to hospital were beaten and robbed by soldiers, while injured Jews were assaulted in the hospital by other patients.   Professor Bozena Szaynok, a famous and respected Polish historian has analyzed the details of the Kielce pogrom based on new information recently released (though the most important documents had been destroyed 1989 concerning the involvement of certain army units).  In an article she posted on the web, entitled, "The Jewish Pogrom in Kielce, July 1946 - New Evidence" she shed more light on the events, asserting that there were underlying political conspiracies committed by the communist Polish Ministry of Public Security.  The Soviet objective was to deflect attention away from the upcoming parliamentary election in Poland, which was preceded by a rigged (Soviet-led) referendum.  Professor Szaynok has written several books about Polish Jewish history and Polish Jewish relations. In 2016, the President of the Republic of Poland honored her with the Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta for her "merit in investigating and commemorating the truth about tragic events in Kielce on July 4, 1946".


2010

Bronisław Komorowski was elected President. He was the fifth President of Poland. He had served as Minister of Defence from 2000 to 2001 and as Marshal of the Sejm (Speaker of the lower house of Parliament).  Komorowski exercised the powers and duties of Head of State following the tragic death of President Lech Kaczyński in a plane crash on April 10, 2010.  Komorowski was then the governing Civic Platform party's candidate in the resulting presidential election, which he won in the second round of voting on July 4, 2010. He was sworn in as President on August 6, 2010. Komorowski thus became the second person to serve on two occasions as Polish Head of State since 1918, after Maciej Rataj. On May 25, 2015, Komorowski conceded the Presidency of Poland to the rival candidate Andrzej Duda, after the latter gained a 51.5% majority in the second round of the presidential election, the closest election in Polish history.



July 3, 2018

JULY 3 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 3

1935

MS Batory was a Polish luxury passenger ship, launched on July 3, 1935 in the port of Gdynia. The vessel was named after Stefan Batory, the famous sixteenth-century king of Poland.  The MS Batory was mobilized at the outbreak of World War II, surviving countless dangers, through waters where German U-boats stalked allied vessels, and she had an active role in many military missions  including the evacuation of the French-Polish-British corps from Narvik (1940), evacuation of allied troops from St. Nazaire and St. Jean de Luz (1940), invasion of Algier and Sicily (1942), military voyages to India (1943), served for  six months services as a troop carrier from Egypt to Italy (1943), and the invasion of southern France. She earned the nickname, "Lucky Ship". She sailed for 36 years, the longest service of any vessel.  After the war, transported asylum seekers to the free world. The Batory was later turned into a hotel and restaurant. Then by the orders of the communist regime in Poland, she was sent to Hong Kong on March 30, 1971 to be scrapped.


1940

British Royal Navy Bombed French destroyers:   On July 3, 1940 the British battlecruiser HMS Hood, battleships HMS Valiant and Resolution, the aircraft carrier Ark Royal and an escort of cruisers and destroyers converged on a planned attack against the French fleet anchored in the harbor at Mers El Kébir on the coast of French Algeria.  British Fairey Swordfish planes escorted by Blackburn Skuas from Ark Royal dropped magnetic mines in the harbour exit. French Curtiss H-75 fighters intercepted and shot down a Skua, resulting in the loss of two crew members, the only British casualties in the action. Shortly thereafter, Churchill gave the order and British ships commenced  fire from 17,500 yd (9.9 mi; 16.0 km). The third salvo hit its target and resulted in a massive explosion aboard the Bretagne. It sank in minutes with 977 of her crew.  Provence, Dunkerque and the destroyer Mogador were damaged and run aground by their crews.  Strasbourg and four destroyers evaded the magnetic mines and escaped to the open sea pursed by a fleet of Swordfish from Ark Royal. The French ships responded with anti-aircraft fire and shot down two Swordfish. (The British crew were rescued by the destroyer HMS Wrestler.) The British War Cabinet feared the consequences had the French ships been confiscated by the Kriegsmarine (German Navy), thus giving the Germans a greater advantage in the Battle of the Atlantic. Churchill knew that the French fleet was powerful, and was second largest in Europe after that of the British Navy.


1944

Soviet Operation Bagration:   The Red Army broke through German defence lines and recaptured Minsk on July 3, 1944.  The Soviet 5th Guards Tank Army attacked from the north-east while the 2nd Guards Tank Corps advanced from the east, and the 65th Army advanced from the north, thus tightening an encirclement of the German Fourth Army.  In the meantime,  four German divisions of XXXIX Panzer Corps commenced a rapid retreat and headed for the crossings at Berezino, south of Borisov, in an effort to escape the trap. A column of German vehicles stretched back for many kilometres, under constant air attack, as the bridge was repeatedly damaged by bombing.  Lieutenant-General Otto Schünemann, replacement corps commander had been killed on June 29, after which the entire corp began to disintegrate. Over 100,000 German soldiers were trapped in a Soviet vice-grip. The Operation was a complete victory of the Red Army which liberated Minsk and destroyed much of the German Army Group Centre.  Germans casualties were 40,000 killed, and the rest captured.



July 2, 2018

JULY 2 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 2

1941

The Ponary Massacre was committed by German SD, SS, and Lithuanian Nazi collaborators, such as the Ypatingasis bury units. From July 1941 to August 1944 over 100,000 people were slaughtered near the railway station in Ponary (now Paneriai, Vilnius, Lithuania). Among the dead were 70,000 Jews, between 2,000 and 20,000 Poles, 8,000 Russian POWs, and many others from nearby Vilnius. Lithuania and the Baltic States became the first places outside occupied Poland where the Nazis mass murdered Jews as part of the Final Solution. Of a total of 70,000 Jewish inhabitants of Vilnius, only 7,000 (10%) survived the war.  On October 22, 2000  in Lithuania, several Polish organizations worked together to raise a monument to the fallen Polish citizens. An official memorial ceremony has held at which representatives from both Polish and Lithuanian governments, were present (Bronisław Komorowski, Polish Minister of Defence, and his Lithuanian counterpart).


1947

Soviet Minister Molotov Rejected the Marshall Plan:   When the Marshall Plan had been drafted on June 5, 1947 offering aid to the Soviet Union and its allies, the Russians flatly rejected it, as it appeared to them a Western incursion to take control of Soviet satellite states. Moreover, Stalin did not want to support any plan that would restore the economic health of Europe.  Molotov expressed worry that,  "... If American capital was given a free hand in the small states ruined and enfeebled by the war [it] would buy up the local industries, appropriate the more attractive Rumanian, Yugoslav […] enterprises and would become the master in these small states....".  On April 3, 1958, President Harry Truman signed the Marshall Plan and granted $5 billion in financial aid to 16 European nations. In the ensuing four years, the US had donated a total of $ 17 billion in economic and technical assistance (in 2016 it would have been the equivalent of $ 189 billion) to assist European countries who joined the  Organization for European Economic Co-operation (OECD). The largest recipients of Marshall Plan was the UK (circa 26% of the total), France (18%) and West Germany (11%).  Funding was offered to Eastern bloc countries, but they refused, having been under pressure from Stalin.. A second, and larger meeting was convened in Paris on July 12, 1947, at which every European country (except Spain, and small states) were invited. The Soviet Union accepted the invitation, though they clarified that they might still refuse the Plan. Czechoslovakia and Poland agreed to attend as well.  However, the foreign minister of Czechoslovakia, Jan Masaryk, was summoned to Moscow and threatened by Stalin if he considered joining the Marshall Plan.  Conversely,  Józef Cyrankiewicz, the Prime Minister of Poland was rewarded by Stalin for having refused the Plan, and in return for his cooperation, the Soviet Union granted Poland a long-term credit and loan deal valued at $450 million, as well as 200,000 tonnes of grain, heavy and manufacturing machinery and factories and heavy industries.



July 1, 2018

JULY 1 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JULY 1

1942

The Battle of El Alamein, part of the Western Desert Campaign, began between Germany and Italy (Panzer Army Africa) and Allied Commonwealth forces of UK, British India, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand of the Eighth Army.  Axis positions near El Alamein were only 66 mi (106 km) from Alexandria and dangerously in close proximity to the ports and cities of Egypt, the base facilities of the Commonwealth forces and the Suez Canal.  At the same time Axis forces were too far from their base at Tripoli in Libya to remain at El Alamein indefinitely, which led both sides in the struggle to accumulate materiel supplies for more offensives, despite the limitations of time and distance.  On July 1, 1942, at 03:00 Rommel's 90th Light Infantry Division was advancing east but veered too far northward, and as a result found itself pinned down by the 1st South African Division's defences. The 15th and 21st Panzer Divisions of the Afrika Korps were delayed by a sandstorm and then a heavy air attack.  By the time they circled round the back of Deir el Abyad, they encountered the 18th Indian Infantry Brigade which had occupied the exposed region west of Ruweisat Ridge and east of Deir el Abyad.   At about 10:00 the German 21st Panzer Division attacked Deir el Shein. The 18th Indian Infantry Brigade,supported by 23 25-pounder gun-howitzers, 16 of the new 6-pounder anti-tank guns and nine Matilda tanks,launched a fierce defence. Though they managed to hold out for the entire day, by evening the Germans succeeded in over-running their position.


1991

Dissolution of Warsaw Pact:  The Warsaw Pact, formally called the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, was a collective defence treaty signed in Warsaw by the Soviet Union and seven Soviet satellite states of Central and Eastern Europe during the Cold War.  Its principle objective was to maintain control over military forces in Central and Eastern Europe.  Throughout the Cold War,  NATO and the Warsaw Pact never directly engaged in war against each other, however the U.S. and the Soviet Union, and their respective allies implemented strategic policies aimed at the containment of each other's spheres of influence in Europe, while at the same time trying to expand those spheres on an international scale. (the Korean War, Vietnam War, Bay of Pigs invasion, Dirty War, Cambodian–Vietnamese War and the others) From 1989 communist governments of many satellite states began to topple, in Albania, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. The Warsaw Pact was officially terminated on February 25, 1991 at a meeting of defence and foreign ministers from the six remaining member states in Hungary. The USSR was dissolved in December of the same year, though many of the former satellites joined the newly formed Collective Security Treaty Organization.  In the ensuing 20 years, seven former Warsaw Pact countries joined NATO.



June 30, 2018

JUNE 30 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 30

1934

Night of the Long Knives:  From June 30 to July 2 Hitler conducted a purge of political leaders in a series of extrajudicial executions intended to consolidate his absolute on power in Germany.  Over 85 people were killed, and more than 1,000 arrested. Most of the killing was carried out by the SS and Gestapo. In the aftermath, Hitler ordered his cabinet to approve a measure that would  present the massacre as legally sanctioned and on July 3 he declared: "The measures taken on June 30, July 1 and 2 to suppress treasonous assaults are legal as acts of self-defence by the State."


1941

Lwow Pogroms:  Ukrainian troops loyal to Nazi Germany conducted consecutive pogroms against the Jews of Lwow (now Lviv, Ukraine) that lasted from June 30 to July 2, 1941, and again from July 25 to 29, 1941, during the Wehrmacht's attack on Soviet-occupied eastern Poland. The German historian Peter Longerich and the Holocaust Encyclopedia estimate that the first pogrom cost at least 4,000 lives. It was followed by the additional 2,500 to 3,000 arrests and executions in subsequent Einsatzgruppe killings,and culminated in the so-called "Petlura Days" massacre of more than 2,000 Jews, all killed in a one-month span. During the inter-war years, before the invasion of Poland in 1939 by Germany and the Soviet Union, the city of Lwow, had the third-largest Jewish population in Poland.  As the Nazis advanced into Poland, the Lwow's Jewish population swelled to over 200,000 as a result of Jewish refugees escaping eastward.  Government documents released in 2008 by the Ukrainian Security Services make the claim that the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists may have been involved to a lesser degree than originally thought. But among respected historians (John Paul Himka,  Per Anders Rudling, and Marco Carynnyk among others) this claim amounts to nothing more than revisionism, the attempt to change or manipulate World War II history.


1943

Leader of the Polish Home Army Was Arrested:  Stefan Rowecki, General of the Polish Armia Krajowa (Home Army) was arrested on June 30, 1943, by the Gestapo in Warsaw and imprisoned at Oranienburg in Berlin.  He was betrayed by Ludwik "Hanka" Kalkstein,  Eugeniusz "Genes" Swierczewski and Blanka "Sroka" Kaczorowska who were all Gestapo agents posing as members of the Armia Krajowa (Polish Home Army). Prominent Nazi officials including Himmler interrogated Rowecki, and offered him an anti-bolshevik alliance, but he refused. He was executed in August 1944 in Sachsenhausen, by the command of Himmler.  The arrest and death of Rowecki was part of a major intelligence operation by the Germans and Soviets to destroy the Polish Underground State, by eliminating top Polish commanders and political leaders. In the same period, the Gestapo arrested Colonel Ignacy Oziewicz, commander of the National Armed Forces (NSZ) on June 9, 1943 . Then General Wladyslaw Sikorski, died in a plane crash on July 4, 1943, under suspicious circumstances.  Three top commanders were killed in a period of two months.


1946

The Polish People's Referendum, also known as 3xTAK, (Three Times Yes) was held on this day in 1946.  On authority of the State National Council, the referendum was presented as an opportunity for all political groups to test their popularity among the general population. However, the outcome of the vote was falsified, and the referendum did not follow democratic standards and procedures. Three questions were asked: 1. Are you in favour of abolishing the Senate? 2.  Do you want consolidation, in the future constitution of the economic system founded on agricultural reform and the nationalization of basic national industries, including the preservation of the statutory rights of private enterprise? 3. Do you want consolidation of the western border of the Polish State on the Baltic, Oder river and Lusatian Neisse? Parties Reactions:   Parties of the pro-communist Democratic Bloc were strongly in favor of "Three Times Yes", while non-communist parties advocated various other combinations. (Essentially the referendum would decide whether the people supported or opposed communism and people would be deciding the future of Polish independence.)  The majority of support for the Polish People's Party (PSL) was in rural areas, among people who supported agricultural reform, so the party could not vote "no" on the second question.  The PSL and Labor Party voted "no" on the first question, and it was used by the communists to declare them as "traitors".  Catholic groups supported "no" on the first question, "yes" on the third, and left the second to voters individual preferences. The Wolność i Niezawisłość party argued against the first two questions only, while the National Armed Forces advocated a "no" for all three questions, as a sign of protest against the annexation of the eastern territories of Poland (known as the Kresy) by the Soviet Union. The Results:  Question 1:   68%  Yes, 32% No;  Question 2:   77.2% Yes,  22.8 No;  Question 3:  91.4% Yes,  8.6% No. (P.S. In 1989 official documents show that only the third question received a majority of votes.)



June 29, 2018

JUNE 29 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 29

1941

Operation Barbarossa: In the midst of the German invasion, a Soviet directive was issued among civilians and armed forces personnel in a desperate attempt to subdue the mass panic and hysteria that was unfolding. The order stipulated that anybody who participated in inciting panic, or displaying cowardice in the face of the enemy, would be dealt with swiftly and severely. The NKVD worked with commissars and military commanders to scout out possible escape routes used by Russian soldiers retreating without military authorization. Field expedient general courts were established to deal with civilians spreading rumours and military deserters.  On July 1, Stalin dismissed Dmitry Pavlov of his command, because of the disastrous defeat in the Battle of Białystok-Minsk during the first days of the German invasion. On July 22, Pavlov was tried and executed him along with many members of his staff on charges of "cowardice" and  "criminal incompetence" and "failure to perform their duties".  Many other commanders were arrested and executed by the Soviet NKVD:  Chief of Staff, Major General B. E. Klimovskikh;  Chief of communications corps, Major General AT Grigoriev;  Chief of Artillery, Lieutenant General of Artillery A. Klich; and Air Force Deputy Chief of the Western Front, Major General Aviation A. I. Tayursky; Commander of the 14th Mechanized Corps, Major General Stepan Oborin;  Commander of the 4th Army, Major General A. A. Korobkov.


Jassy Pogrom:  On June 29, 1941, Romanian troops allied to Nazi Germany conducted a pogrom against Jewish civilians in the town of Jassy, murdering over 13,000 people.  The pogrom was ordered by the Romanian government, headed by the Iasi police, and backed by the Bessarabia police and gendarmerie units.  Romanian army soldiers participated along with SSI agents, and mobs who robbed and killed in a frenzied blood-lust. The Romanian authorities also arrested more than 5,000 Jews, forcing them to the train station (the death train) shooting anyone who did not move quickly enough, and then robbing them of all of their possessions. Over 100 Jews were stuffed into each train car. Many of them died of thirst, starvation, and suffocation aboard two trains that traveled back and forth across the countryside for eight days.


Polish Hero Ignacy Jan Paderewski Died on June 29, 1941.  Ignacy Paderewski was a politician, statesman, and spokesman for Polish independence. He had met with President Woodrow Wilson and was influential in obtaining explicit inclusion of Poland's independence (point 13 of the Fourteen Points, in Wilson's 1918 peace terms). Paderewski was the 3rd Prime Minister of Poland in 1919,  Foreign Minister, and represented Poland at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. He was also an accomplished concert pianist and highly acclaimed around the world. His musical fame opened access to diplomatic circles and the media. After the invasion of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union, Paderewski returned to public life. In 1940 he became the head of the National Council of Poland, a Polish parliament in exile in London. He turned to America for help as well. He spoke to the American people directly over the radio, the most popular media at the time; the broadcast carried by over a hundred radio stations in the United States and Canada. Ignacy Paderewski was bestowed with numerous medals and honours. Streets and schools have been named after him, as well as music festivals, the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles, California, and Paderewski Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina. Paderewski died in New York City after a sudden illness. He was 80 years old when he died.



June 28, 2018

JUNE 28 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 28

1651

Battle of Beresteczko between Poles and Ukrainians began:  After a two-year truce, the Battle of Beresteczko was fought between the Ukrainian Cossacks, under the command of Khmelnytsky, aided by their Crimean Tatar allies, and a Polish army under King John II Casimir.  A total of 33,313 Cossacks, supported by Ukrainian peasants, went into battle against the Polish army.  By mid June 1651, the Polish army numbered 14,844 Polish cavalry, 2,250 German-style cavalry, 11,900 German-style infantry and dragoons, 2,950 Hungarian-style infantry (haiduks), 1,550 Lithuanian volunteers, and 960 Lipka Tatars. In addition, there were also 16,000 German mercenaries, and a few Cossacks who were loyal to and remained within the ranks of the Polish army.  The Polish commanders planned to break the Cossack ranks with a charge of the Polish Winged Hussars - an effective, and deadly tactic that had been used in many previous battles, such as at the Battle of Kircholm and Kłuszyn. (It would later prove victorious in the famous 1683 Battle of Vienna against the Turks.) The Cossack army was already well acquainted with this Polish style of war and chose to avoid an open battlefield by fighting from a huge fortified camp. During the first day of fighting, the Polish Winged Hussars emerged victorious,"since their army sustained that first attack cheerfully and in high spirits". The Polish Winged Hussars were victorious on June 30, 1651.


1919

The Treaty of Versailles was signed bringing World War I to an end.  (It was signed exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.   Article 231 of the Treaty, later became known as the War Guilt clause, forced Germany to disarm, to make substantial territorial concessions, and to pay reparations to certain countries that had formed the Entente powers. Among the terms and conditions of the Treaty was that Germany recognize the independence of Poland and renounce "all rights and title over the territory".  Territories to be ceded to Poland were parts of Upper Silesia (with the future of the rest of the province to be decided by plebiscite); the province of Posen (now Poznan);  Pomerelia (Eastern Pomerania), on historical and ethnic grounds, so that Poland would have access to the sea, ie the Polish Corridor; the East Prussian Soldau area; (while the sovereignty of southern part of East Prussia would be decided by plebiscite); and the city of Danzig ( became the Free City of Danzig, established by the League of Nations.)  An area of 51,800 square kilometres (20,000 square miles) was granted to Poland. Memel was to be ceded to the Allied and Associated powers.


1943

Four Crematories at Auschwitz:  SS Major Karl Bischoff, chief of construction of Auschwitz II-Birkenau, had implemented the construction of the four crematories by the end of June 1943. Crematory I was a brick cottage with windows sealed, and converted into a gassing facility. Crematory II was converted a few weeks later. Crematory III used an existing mortuary with morgues in the basement and ground-level incinerators, and converted it into a killing factory by installing gas-tight doors, vents for the Zyklon B (a highly lethal cyanide-based pesticide) to be dropped into the chamber, and ventilation equipment to remove the fumes afterward. Crematoria IV & V were designed as gassing centers, were also constructed that spring. By June 1943, all four crematoria were operational. Most of the prisoners were killed using these four structures.


1944

The Heuaktion (or hay operation) was a Nazi German operation in which they kidnapped 40,000 to 50,000 Polish children from the ages of 10 to 14 and transported them to Germany as slave labourers. Upon their arrival in Germany, the children were handed over to Organisation Todt and the Junkers aircraft works. The Nazis expected that the mass kidnapping would pressure the adults of the occupied territories to register as workers in the Reich, as well as to weaken the “biological strength” of the areas of the Soviet republics which Germany had invaded. (After the end of World War II, the  Nuremberg Trials classified the kidnapping of children as part of the Nazi program of systemic genocide.)


1945

Under the terms of the Yalta agreement, the Provisional Government of National Unity (Polish: Tymczasowy Rząd Jedności Narodowej or TRJN) was formed to govern Poland until free elections could be held and a permanent constitutional system established.  Former Prime Minister of Poland Stanisław Mikołajczyk trusted the Soviets and entered into negotiations with them, but would later be betrayed.  The Polish Government-In-Exile did not recognize the TRJN.


1956

Riots broke out in Poznan Poland, 38 died:  Workers demonstrated to demand better working conditions at Poznań's Cegielski Factories and were met with violence.  Over 100,000 workers gathered in the city centre near the local Ministry of Public Security building.  About 400 tanks and 10,000 soldiers of the People's Army of Poland and the Internal Security Corps under communist officers were ordered to suppress the demonstration and during the pacification fired shots killing many of the protesters. Casualties were estimated between 57 and 100 people or more (including a thirteen-year-old boy, Romek Strzałkowski.) Hundreds of other demonstrators sustained injuries. The Poznań protests were a milestone in the Polish struggle leading towards the installation of a less Soviet-controlled government in Poland in October. 



June 27, 2018

JUNE 27 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 27

1941

Bialystok was invaded and occupied by the Nazis, and the city was made the capital of Bezirk Bialystok, a separate region in Nazi-occupied Poland until 1944. On the same day Nazi troops from Order Police Battalion 309 surrounded the town square by the Great Synagogue, and forced residents from their homes out into the street. Some people were shoved up against building walls and shot dead.  Others - men, women an children were forced into the synagogue and locked inside. The synagogue was set on fire and they burned to death. The flames of the fire spread to adjacent buildings, and together with grenade fires, soon engulfed the entire square in an inferno. A total of about 3,000 Jews lost their lives.  Today the site is identified with a reconstruction of the destroyed dome and a memorial plaque (dedicated in August 1995)  The plaque reads: "Our splendid sanctuary fell victim to the flames on June 27, 1941. 2000 Jews were burnt alive in it by the German Nazi murderers."


1942

White Rose German Resistance:   The White Rose was a pacifist, secret resistance group led by a small group of German students and a professor from the Ludwig-Maximillians University in Munich. The group conducted clandestine meetings, and produced and distributed several pamphlets appealing to the German public to adopt a pacifist resistance against the Hitler regime.  Initially they made about 100 pamphlets in the Munich area, but with additional supporters they made over 15,000 copies which were sent or mailed to places in Saarbrucken, Stuttgart, Cologne, Vienna, Freiburg, Chemnitz, Hamburg, Innsbruck and Berlin.  They carried out these activities from June 27, 1942 until February 18, 1943, when members of their group were arrested by the Gestapo. The Gestapo used this as an opportunity to ply their propaganda, denouncing the White Rose members as "traitors and defeatists" and easily intimidated the rest of the student body.  On February 22 1943, the students of Munich were assembled and denounced the White Rose group,  officially protesting against the "traitors" who were their fellow class-mates. Nazi prosecutions began, and Nazi-controlled newspapers published an all-points bulletin for the capture and arrest of the other members. Three members stood before a Nazi trial, in which they were interrogated, and sentenced to death on the same day for treason.  On the same day, Christoph Probst, Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie Scholl, were executed by guillotine at Stadelheim Prison.  Just before Hans was executed he cried out, "Es lebe die Freiheit! - Long live freedom!" as the blade fell. The third pamphlet, translated to English, stated this:  " Why do you allow these men who are in power to rob you step by step, openly and in secret, of one domain of your rights after another, until one day nothing, nothing at all will be left but a mechanised state system presided over by criminals and drunks? Is your spirit already so crushed by abuse that you forget it is your right - or rather, your moral duty - to eliminate this system?" And from the university website: "Since 1945 – immediately after the war ended – LMU has been committed to keeping the legacy of the White Rose alive. An annual White Rose Memorial Lecture was instituted, which is delivered by an invited speaker at a commemorative ceremony every February, while the permanent exhibition in the DenkStätte Weiße Rose tells the story of the courage and sacrifice of the group’s members."


1978

Soyuz 30 carried 2 cosmonauts (1 Polish) to Salyut 6 space station:  It was the sixth mission to and fifth successful docking at the orbiting facility. The Soyuz 30 crew were the first to visit the long-duration Soyuz 29 resident crew. Mirosław Hermaszewski  was the first Polish national in space. He participated in medical experiments which measured lung capacity and the heart during exercise and in a pressure suit. One experiment, which all four on board the station participated in, was Smak, a taste experiment which sought answers to why some food was less palatable in weightlessness.


1991

Mława riot after Romani youth kills pedestrian in a hit-and-run.  A series of violent outbreaks and looting resulted over a period of two days, as a mob of 200 youths including young females invaded the homes of more affluent Roma residents in Polish town of Mlawa.  There were no reports of any injury to the Roma people as they had fled from the area. Material losses were substantial and affected about 40% of the residences. A total of 17 Roma houses were seriously damaged and another 4 houses and 9 apartments were vandalized. The police arrested many of the attackers on the scene;  21 persons were brought to court, and 17 were sentenced for up to 30 months in prison.




June 26, 2018

JUNE 26 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 26

1943

Czestochowa Ghetto Uprising:   When the Nazi Germans began the process of liquidation of the small ghetto, an uprising broke out in a desperate attempt by the Jews to save themselves.  About 1,500 Jews died in the fighting.  When the Germans stormed his bunker, Mordechaj Zylberberg committed suicide.  By June 30, another 500 Jews were killed by being burned alive or buried beneath the rubble. 3,900 Jews were captured and forced to work in labor camps, 400 were selected and executed. By the end of the year 1,200 were deported to camps in Germany. All perished.  In 1944, Germans brought in another 10,000 new workers, from Lodz, Kielce, Radomsk and Skarzysko-Kamienna, so that work continue in the foundry camps. In mid-January 1945, as the Soviets advanced, the Germans deported 3,000 Jewish prisoners to the Third Reich. All perished. When the Red Army liberated the camp, there were only 5,200 Jews left.


1948

The Berlin Air Lift:  The West responded to the Soviet blockade of Berlin, by organizing the Berlin airlift (June 26, 1948 to September 30, 1949) carrying supplies to the people of West Berlin. Aircrews from the United States Air Force, the British Royal Air Force, the French Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal New Zealand Air Force, and the South African Air Force, flew a total of more than 200,000 flights in one year. West Berliners were provided with up to 8,893 tons of necessities each day, such as fuel and food, sustaining a population of two million people. The Soviets did not disrupt the airlift for fear this might lead to open conflict. On May 12, 1949, the USSR finally lifted the blockade of West Berlin. (see June 24, 1948)


June 25, 2018

JUNE 25 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 25

1941

Kaunas Pogrom was a massacre planned by Nazi-organized units of Lithuanian activists in the city of Kaunas and its surrounding areas. On the morning of the massacre,  Nazi SS Brigadeführer Franz Walter Stahlecker arrived in Kaunas and gave a long, virulent speech at the headquarters of the Lithuanian Security Police, instigating the Lithuanians to solve the "Jewish problem".  During the next five days mobs of Lithuanians tortured and killed Jews at random.  In the aftermath of the blood bath, some  3,800 Jews had been slaughtered in Kaunas and a further 1,200 in other towns in the immediate region.


1943

The last recorded Jews were liquidated from Stanislawow Ghetto:  Just before the liquidation of the Ghetto, a group of Jewish insurgents managed to escape. They formed a partisan unit called "Pantelaria" active on the outskirts of Stanisławów. The two commanders were young Anda Luft pregnant with her daughter Pantelaria (born in the forest) and Oskar Friedlender. Their greatest accomplishment was the ambush and execution of the German chief of police named Tausch. The group was attacked and destroyed by the Nazis in mid winter 1943–44. Anda and her new baby girl were killed.


1944

The Battle of Osuchy began near Osuchy, Poland between Nazi German and Polish resistance forces. It was one of the largest battles between the Polish resistance and Nazi Germany in occupied Poland, a part of the Zamość Uprising. It took place near the village of Osuchy in the Solska Wilderness on June 25-26, 1944 during the German anti-partisan Operation Hurricane II. The battle ended with the defeat of the local resistance forces which suffered heavy casualties.  It is estimated that about 400 out of the 1,200-strong partisan forces that engaged the Germans on 24–25 June were killed (approximately half of the Polish losses during the Sturmwind II). Of the remainder, survivors were sent to Nazi concentration camps,  many surrendered and were tortured for information about the resistance; and others were executed on the spot.   However, the Nazi Germans could still not eliminate all the Polish resistance.  In July the Polish resistance launched Operation Tempest, which freed the towns of Szczebrzeszyn and Zamosc.  Soon afterward, the Soviet Lublin-Brest Offensive cleared out the Germans from much of the region.