March 25, 2018




Winston Churchill, accompanied by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, briefly crossed the Rhine near Wesel in an Allied landing craft.  It was symbolic act on their part because no foreign military leaders had crossed the traditional frontier of Germany since the age of Napoleon.  The excursion, which ventured as far as a bridge still under enemy fire, was quite dangerous and General Eisenhower later noted that if he had been there he never would have allowed Churchill to cross the river at that time.  This was Operation Varsity  ( part of Operation Plunder) a UK-US-Canadian assault to cross the Northern Rhine River and enter Northern Germany. (read March 24, 1945)

The first rail transport of Polish soldiers left Rembertów for Siberia. It consisted of more than a thousand men, of whom one-quarter did not survive the journey. The dead were carried to a special rail car attached to the last one. It was forbidden to bury the bodies - according to Soviet regulations, the number of people at the destination had to be the same as the number of people at the starting point.  On March 7, the Soviet NKVD had arrested Polish General Emil Fieldorf code-named "Nil'.  Fieldorf was able to remain unrecognized, and used the alias "Walenty Gdanicki", but was soon discovered. Soon after his imprisonment at Rembertow, the Polish resistance found out but could not mount an operation to free him, as he had already been transported to Siberia.  Fieldorf was Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Armia Krajowa, the Polish Home Army (AK) after the failure of the Warsaw Uprising (August 1944 – October 1944). He was released in 1947 and returned to Poland.  On April 16, 1952,  he was sentenced at a show trial to be executed by hanging. He was accused by the prosecutor of being a "fascist-Hitlerite criminal" for having ordered the execution of Soviet partisans while he was in the Polish Home Army. He was executed on February 24, 1953.

No comments:

Post a Comment