January 18, 2018




Ignacy Jan Paderewski was the Prime Minister of Poland as well as Foreign Minister from January 18 to November 27, 1919 and represented Poland at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. He played an important role in meeting with President Woodrow Wilson and obtained the explicit inclusion of establishing an independent Poland as point 13 in Wilson's peace terms in 1918 (the Fourteen Points). Paderewski was also a renown Polish pianist and composer and fervent spokesman for Polish independence. He was a favorite of concert audiences around the world.


Palmiry Massacre: 255 Jews in Warsaw were arrested at random by the Nazi Germans. Over the next week they would be taken to the Palmiry Forest outside the city and shot dead. (Note: Between December 1939 and July 1941 more than 1700 Poles and Jews – mostly the inmates of Pawiak prison – were executed by the SS and the Ordnungspolizei in the forest glade near Palmiry. The best documented of these massacres took place on 20–21 of June 1940, wherein 358 members of the Polish political, cultural and social elite were murdered in a single operation.)


Warsaw Ghetto Uprising:  The Nazi Germans began their second deportation of the Jews, which set off a violent armed uprising by the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto.  Jewish fighters of the ŻZW, joined by elements of the ŻOB, put up an armed resistance, engaging the Germans in direct exchanges of gunfire. Though the ŻZW and ŻOB suffered heavy losses (including some of their leaders), the Germans also took casualties, and within a few days the Germans halted the deportation. Only 5,000 Jews were removed, instead of the 8,000 planned by SS Globocnik. Hundreds of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto were ready to fight, adults and children, though sparsely armed with handguns, homemade molotov cocktails, and a few weapons that were smuggled into the Ghetto by the Polish underground. Many of the Jewish insurgents knew that their actions was a futile effort to save themselves, but that they fought the battle for the honour of the Jewish people, and a protest against the silence and apathy of its allies. The ZZW and ZOB were Jewish resistance organizations. The former had close ties to Armia Krajowa.


The Germans ordered the evacuation of the remaining 60,000 inmates of Auschwitz concentration camp ahead of the advancing Soviets. Some were deported by rail while others were forced to march in freezing temperatures.

The Soviet-controlled Polish Committee of National Liberation moved from Lublin to Warsaw.

Soviet troops captured Krakow, Poland

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