March 9, 2018




The government of the German state of Bavaria was overthrown by Nazi troops, on the grounds that Minister-President Heinrich Held was unable to maintain order. Initially Held resisted the attempts by the SA to overthrow his government, but he received no support from the German army, who had orders from Berlin to stay out of domestic politics. Ultimately he could not hold off the Nazis. Governance of the former "free state" was assumed by Nazi MP Franz Ritter von Epp, whom Hitler appointed as Reichsstatthalter. Held retired from politics, fled to Lugano Switzerland where his son Josef lived, later withdrawing to Regensburg. His government pension as a former prime minister was revoked by the Nazis. In 1933 Held's son Philip became one of the first inmates at the Dachau concentration camp. On August 4, 1938, Heinrich Held died in Regensburg.


Heinrich Himmler ordered the arrest of "professional criminals" who had committed two or more crimes but were now free after serving their sentences. Over the next few days some 2,000 people were arrested without charges and sent to concentration camps

President Roosevelt gave a fireside chat about the US Judicial Reform Bill.  (note:  In November 1936, Roosevelt won a sweeping reelection victory. In the months following, he boldly proposed to reorganize the Federal judiciary by adding a new justice each time a justice reached age seventy and failed to retire. The legislation was unveiled on February 5, 1937, and was the subject of Roosevelt's 9th Fireside chat of March 9, 1937  Public support for the Bill quickly declined. Roosevelt's own Vice President John Nance Garner expressed disapproval of the bill  by holding his nose and giving thumbs down while seated at the rear of the Senate chamber. The editorialist William Allen White wrote a column on February  6, 1937, in which he criticized Roosevelt's actions in playing an "... elaborate stage play to flatter the people by a simulation of frankness while denying Americans their democratic rights and discussions by suave avoidance - these are not the traits of a democratic leader."


Vannevar Bush delivered a report to President Roosevelt expressing optimism on the possibility of producing an atomic bomb. Bush outlined the work done by Robert Oppenheimer on the nuclear cross section of uranium-235. Oppenheimer's calculations, which Bush had George Kistiakowsky check, estimated that the critical mass of a sphere of uranium-235 was in the range of 2.5 to 5 kilograms, with a destructive power of around 2,000 tons of TNT. Moreover, it appeared that plutonium might be even more fissile.  Bush was an American engineer, inventor and science administrator, who during World War II headed the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD), through which almost all wartime military R&D was carried out, including initiation and early administration of the Manhattan Project.


On March 9, 1944 Generalfeldmarschall Ernst Busch and his aides were summoned to brief Hitler at the Berghof in Bavaria on March 11. Following a secret meeting with Tresckow,  Breitenbuch agreed to attempt to assassinate Hitler. He declined resorting to a suicide attempt using a bomb, but agreed to shoot Hitler in the head using a 7.65mm Browning pistol concealed in his trouser pocket. A Condor aircraft was sent to pick up Busch and Breitenbuch and they arrived at the Berghof, but they could not carry out the plan.  Earlier that day, SS guards had been ordered not to permit aides into the conference room with Hitler. Breitenbuch and several others also took part in the July 20 plot to try to assassinate Hitler.

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