POLISH GREATNESS TRAFFIC

March 11, 2018

MARCH 11 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

MARCH 11

1886

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


1938

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


1945

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


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


1946

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


1968

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



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