April 25, 2018




Immediately after Hitler came to power in Germany he began to issue edicts to strip the freedom of Jewish citizens. On this day he declared the Law against Overcrowding in Schools and Universities which limited the number of Jewish students in public schools. During his dictatorship, he issued over 400 edicts.


Minister Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski visited Polish Upper Silesia. Kwiatkowski was a famous Polish economist, deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Treasury. He was credited with great accomplishments such as the construction of Gdynia seaport, the development of the Polish Merchant Navy and sea trade, and the creation of Centralny Okręg Przemysłowy (The Central Industrial Region).  The goal of his 5-year project  was to create a heavy industrial center in the middle of the country, as far as possible from any borders, strengthen the Polish economy and reduce unemployment.  But the COP was interrupted by the outbreak of the WW2 when Germany and Russia invaded Poland in September 1939. At the end of the war in 1945, the COP project was rebuilt by the Soviet-controlled People's Republic of Poland.


Nazi Germans deported Jews from Würzburg to Krasniczyn Ghetto, in Eastern Poland, There were no survivors.  On April 25, 1942,  "852 Jews were marched  from the Platz's garden in Wurzburg to Aumühle station. The transport train DA 49 was ready for transport there. At 13:00 o'clock the delivery driver "properly handed over", the train passed the Würzburg main station in the direction of Bamberg at 15:20 o'clock; here were added another 103 Jews. Via Lichtenfels , Kronach and Saalfeld , through northern Silesia , the transport arrived in Lublin on April 28, 1942 at 2:00. There he reached the destination station Krasnystaw at 5:45 am at 5:45 am. The Würzburg Gestapo recorded the transport, "The transport was handed over completely; Incidents did not happen. A police intervention was not required. "The deportees were transferred on foot to Kraśniczyn. Almost certainly all the survivors were taken to the Sobibor extermination camp June 6th. ( Editors note:  This account is based on Nazi documentation of the deportation of Jews. The remaining documents were probably destroyed by Nazi officials.)  The other transport was dated on April 30, 1942.


Soviet Union broke diplomatic relations with Polish Government In Exile in London;  Earlier in April 1943, Nazi Germans discovered mass graves of over 15,000 Polish officers near Smolensk, Russia (Katyn Massacre) who were massacred by the Soviet NKVD at the start of the war. The Soviet government denied all culpability, and claimed that the Germans did it.  The Allied governments believed the Soviets and formally accepted their explanation, however, the Polish Government in Exile refused to accept it and demanded an investigation. Stalin then severed all diplomatic ties with the Polish Government in Exile.


German Nazi agents secretly approached Western allies to propose a trade deal: Adolph Eichmann approached Joel Brand to broker a deal between the SS and the United States or Britain, in which the Nazis would exchange one million Jews for 10,000 trucks for the Eastern front and large quantities of tea and other goods. It was the most ambitious of a series of such deals between Nazi and Jewish leaders. Eichmann called it "Blut gegen Waren" ("blood for goods"). Nothing came of the proposal, which The Times of London called one of the most loathsome stories of the war. Historians believe that Heinrich Himmler and the SS, intended the negotiations as cover for peace talks with the Western Allies that would exclude the Soviet Union and perhaps even Hitler. Whatever its purpose, the proposal was thwarted by the British government. They arrested Brand in Aleppo. (Note: Joel Brand was a leading member of Budapest's Aid and Rescue Committee, which smuggled Jews out of German-occupied Europe. After Germany invaded Hungary in March 1944, Brand became known for his efforts to save the country's Jews from deportation to the Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland.)


The RAAF conducted its last significant mission of the war with a raid against Hitler's retreat at Berchtesgaden.  At 5:00 am, 20 Lancasters from squadron 460 began readying for take-off. In the air they would join a force totaling more than 300 Lancasters and 16 Mosquitos of Bomber Command, as well as over 270 B-24 Liberator bombers from the US 8th Air Force, which targeted the railway infrastructure leading to Berchtesgaden. Escorting them were 88 P-51D Mustang fighters from the US 8th Army Air Force. Once the target was found, over 1,400 tons of bombs were dropped, including four 12,000 pound Tallboy bombs. The heavy payload was designed to destroy bunker networks that were believed to exist below the Obersalzberg complex. The SS barracks – the key target – were severely damaged. Houses belonging to Göring (who survived the raid in his bomb shelter) and Bormann were destroyed. The RAF official historian, Hilary Saunders, boasted that a thousand-pounder had made the deep end of Göring’s swimming pool a little bit deeper.)

The East Prussian Offensive and the Samland Offensive ended in Soviet victory. Even after this time, German forces continued to resist on the Vistula Spit, the long sandbar enclosing the Vistula Lagoon, until the end of the war.

Via telephone hookup, President Truman addressed the delegates at the opening session of the United Nations Conference on International Organization (UNCIO) in San Francisco. "You members of this Conference are to be the architects of the better world," Truman said. "In your hands rests our future. By your labors at this Conference, we shall know if suffering humanity is to achieve a just and lasting peace. Let us labor to achieve a peace which is really worthy of their great sacrifice. We must make certain, by your work here, that another war will be impossible."


Then Bishop Karol Wojtyła (the future Pope John Paul II) had petitioned the communist regime for permission to build a Catholic Church in Kraków's new industrial suburb of Nowa Huta. (Nowa Huta was built by the Soviets as a model socialist workers' community which Soviets intended to be secular.)  Having been denied a church, the citizens erected a large wooden cross without a permit, resulting in violent clashes between the police and citizens.  Bishop Karol Wojtyla supported the local citizens by hosting outdoor Christmas Eve Midnight Masses in 1959, regardless of weather. And every time the regime removed the cross, he would see to it that it was replaced with another cross.

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