POLISH GREATNESS TRAFFIC

March 17, 2018

MARCH 17 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

MARCH 17

1921

Adoption of the March Constitution : The Constitution was adopted by the Second Polish Republic, and was based on democratic ideals. It ruled out discrimination on racial or religious grounds, and abolished all royal titles  state privileges, and the use of blazons.  The preamble of the Constitution read as follows:  "In the Name of Almighty God! We, the people of Poland, thanking Providence for freeing us from one and a half centuries of servitude, remembering with gratitude the bravery, endurance, and selfless struggles of past generations, which unceasingly devoted all their best energies to the cause of Independence, adhering to the glorious tradition of the immortal Constitution of 3 May, striving for the welfare of the whole, united, and independent mother country, and for her sovereign existence, might, security, and social order, and desiring to ensure the development of all moral and material powers for the good of the whole of regenerated mankind and to ensure the equality of all citizens, respect for labor, all due rights, and particularly the security of State protection, we hereby proclaim and vote this Constitutional Statute in the Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Poland."


1938

Poland issued an ultimatum to Lithuania demanding that it re-establish diplomatic relations with Poland within 48 hours. The Lithuanian government had adamantly refused diplomatic relations with Poland since 1920 after Poland annexed the Vilnius region. In the midst of increasing militarization in pre-World War II Europe, and the necessity to secure its borders, Poland, feeling buoyed by the international support of the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany, decided a similar ultimatum to Lithuania.  It resulted in the resumption of diplomatic relations, and a de facto renunciation of Lithuanian claims to the region containing its historic capital, Vilnius. Lithuania, preferring peace to war, accepted the ultimatum on March 19.


1939

In Berlin, Józef Lipski met Hermann Göring to discuss the establishment of Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.(Note: The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia was a protectorate of Nazi Germany established on March 16, 1939 following the German occupation of Czechoslovakia on March 15, 1939. Nazi Germany had incorporated the Czech Sudetenland territory as a Reichsgau, according to the Munich Agreement of September 1938). The protectorate's population was majority ethnic Czech, while the Sudetenland was majority ethnic German.


1942

Jews of Lublin were deported to Belzec for extermination.  Karl Alfred Schluch, an SS-man Karl and former "Euthanasia" worker,  spent about sixteen months in Belzec and described what happened to the Jewish prisoners. The following are his words:  ".....The unloading of the freight cars was carried out by a Jewish work commando, headed by a Capo. Two to three members of the German camp personnel supervised it. It was one of my duties to supervise here. After the unloading, those Jews able to walk had to make their way to the assembly site. During the unloading the Jews were told that they had come for resettlement but that first they had to be bathed and disinfected. The address was given by Wirth, and also by his interpreter, a Jewish Capo. Immediately after this, the Jews were led to the undressing huts. In one hut the men had to undress and in the other the women and children. After they had stripped, the Jews, the men having been separated from the women and children, were led through the tube. I cannot recall with certainty who supervised the undressing huts... Since I was never on duty there I am unable to provide precise details about the stripping process. I just seem to remember that in the undressing hut some articles of clothing had to be left in one place, others in a different one, and in a third place valuables had to be handed over... My location in the tube was in the immediate vicinity of the undressing hut. Wirth had stationed me there because he thought me capable of having a calming effect on the Jews. After the Jews left the undressing hut I had to direct them to the gas chamber. I believe that I eased the way there for the Jews because they must have been convinced by my words or gestures that they really were going to be bathed. After the Jews had entered the gas chambers the doors were securely locked by Hackenholt himself or by the Ukrainians assigned to him. Thereupon Hackenholt started the engine with which the gassing was carried out. After 5 - 7 minutes -- and I merely estimate this interval of time -- someone looked through a peephole into the gas chamber to ascertain whether death had overtaken them all. Only then were the outside gates opened and the gas chambers aired. Who did the checking, that is to say, who looked through the peephole? I can no longer say with any certainty... In my view, probably everyone had occasion to look through the peephole. After the gas chambers had been aired, a Jewish work commando headed by a Capo, arrived and removed the corpses. Occasionally, I also had to supervise in this place. I can therefore give an exact description of what happened, because I myself witnessed and experienced it all. The Jews had been very tightly squeezed into the gas chambers. For this reason the corpses did not lie on the floor but were caught this way and that, one bent forward, another one backward, one lay on his side another kneelled, all depending on the space. At least some of the corpses were soiled with feces and urine, others partly with saliva. I could see that the lips and tips of the noses of some of the corpses had taken on a bluish tint. Some had their eyes closed, with others the eyes were turned up. The corpses were pulled out of the chambers and immediately examined by a dentist. The dentist removed rings and extracted gold teeth when there were any. He threw the objects of value obtained in this manner into a cardboard box which stood there. After this procedure the corpses were thrown into the large graves there....."


Secret Operation Reinhard at Belzec: Operation Reinhard or Operation Reinhardt was the code-name given to the secretive German Nazi plan to exterminate the majority of Polish Jews in the General Government district of German-occupied Poland during World War II. The operation marked the deadliest phase of the Holocaust by the introduction of extermination camps. As many as two million Jews were sent to Bełżec, Sobibór, and Treblinka, to be put to death in gas chambers built for that purpose. In addition, mass killing facilities using Zyklon B were developed at about the same time within the Majdanek concentration camp, and at Auschwitz II-Birkenau near the existing Auschwitz I camp for Polish prisoners.


Until June 1942 , between 430,000 and 500,000 Jews were believed to have been murdered by the SS at Bełżec during  World War Two. Belzec was the 3rd most notorious extermination camp, after Auschwitz and Treblinka.


1943

Bulgaria stated opposition to deportation of its Jews.  During the first half of March 1943, Bulgarian military and police authorities carried out the deportation of 13,341 Jews residing in the Bulgarian-occupied territories. Once the Jews were in German custody, German authorities transported them to Treblinka, where virtually all were killed in the gas chambers or shot.  The news of the deportations and killings of Jews provoked an uproar among opposition politicians, Bulgarian intellectuals and members of the Bulgarian clergy who protested openly against the deportations and extermination. Tsar Boris intended to continue with the deportations until Dimitur Pešev, the deputy speaker of the Parliament, and a prominent member of Boris's own Government Ruling Party, personally intervened and persuaded the Tsar to delay the planned deportation.Two days later Pešev introduced a resolution in parliament criticizing the deportations and calling a halt to them. But the majority in the Government Ruling Party, undoubtedly with Boris's tacit approval, voted down Pešev's resolution and forced his resignation in late March.


1945

Poland's Wedding to the Sea in Mrzeżyno, The ceremony was meant to symbolize the restoration of Polish access to the Baltic Sea that was lost in 1793 by the Partitions of Poland. It was previously performed on February 10, 1920, by General Józef Haller at Puck (Putzig). Following the Polish-Soviet advance into Pomerania in early spring 1945, a few such ceremonies took place in several locations. The most famous 1945 Weddings to the Sea was performed by the soldiers of the Polish Army in Mrzeżyno (Regamünde) and on March 18 at the newly captured port of Kołobrzeg (Kolberg).




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