POLISH GREATNESS TRAFFIC

March 13, 2018

MARCH 13 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

MARCH 13

1943

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


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


1954

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



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