February 27, 2018




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


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

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


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

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