April 30, 2018




Casimir III the Great (Kazimierz)  reigned as the King of Poland from 1333 to 1370. He was the son of King Władysław I ("the Elbow-high") and Duchess Hedwig of Kalisz, and the last Polish king from the Piast dynasty.  Kazimierz inherited a kingdom weakened by war and made it prosperous and wealthy. He reformed the Polish army and doubled the size of the kingdom. He reformed the judicial system and introduced a legal code, gaining the title "the Polish Justinian". Kazimierz built extensively and founded the University of Kraków, the oldest Polish university. He also confirmed privileges and protections previously granted to Jews and encouraged them to settle in Poland in great numbers.


In Nazi Germany, a new Rent Law from the government excluded Jews from rent protection and authorized landlords to evict Jewish renters.  (Law concerning Jewish tenants, document number: 1419-PS, Reichsgesetzblatt-Page: I.864, signed by: Hitler, Guertner, Krohn, Hess, Frick) 939 REICHSGESETZBLATT, PART I, PAGE 864


Henryk "Hubal" Dobrzański, was a Polish soldier, sportsman and partisan. He fought in the Polish-Ukrainian War of 1918, in the Siege of Lwow, and Polish-Bolshevik War of 1919-1921.  After the Peace of Riga, he remained a Polish soldier but also became a member of the Polish equestrian team, winning many international competitions. He was an Olympic athlete, and took part in the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. He finished fourth at the prestigious Aldershot competition. In his sports career he won numerous medals: 22 gold, three silver and four bronze. Hubal was the first guerrilla commander during the Invasion of Poland in September 1939.  In March 1940 Hubals unit ambushed numerous Nazi German units and inflicted heavy casualties.  In reprisals, they burned several Polish villages killing about 700 Poles.  Consequently, the locals sentiment turned against Hubal's unit. On April 30, 1940  the Germans ambushed his staff quarters, in a ravine near the village of Anielin (powiat of Opoczno).Major Henryk "Hubal" Dobrzański and most of his men were killed. The Germans then desecrated his body and put it on public display in the local villages before they transported his body to Tomaszów Mazowiecki (they either burnt his remains or buried him in an unknown location.)

The Lodz Ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland was sealed off from the outside world with 230,000 Jews locked inside. (see March 4, 1940)


The Kingdom of Yugoslavia published the Aryan race laws. A key part of the legislation was the religious conversion laws, the implications of which were not understood by the majority of the population when they were published on May 3, 1941.  However, the implications become clear following the July speech of Mile Budak, the minister of education, in which he declared: "We will kill one third of all Serbs. We will deport another third, and the rest of them will be forced to convert to Catholicism".  Racial laws were enforced until May 3, 1945.  (see also April 18, 1941)


Deportations from Krasniczyn Ghetto:  A second transport from the administrative district Koblenz was compiled on April 30, 1942.  770 people were deported from Kraśniczyn in the district of Lublin of the General Government. Among the 658 deportees from Koblenz were 104 inmates of the "Israelitische Heil- und Pflegeanstalten" Bendorf - Sayn and 8 persons from the administrative district of Aachen . Another 330 people from the institutions in which Jewish mental patients were concentrated in the Reich were deported in a transport on 15 June 1942 in the east - most likely to the Sobibór extermination camp. (see April 25, 1942)


Battle in Berlin:  Polish units had fought in the Battle of Berlin. This was now the Battle in Berlin, the fight to breakthrough the suburbs and capture the city.  The Soviets were supported by Polish units, of the 1st Polish Motorized Mortar Brigade, the 6th Polish Motorised Pontoon Battalion, and the 2nd Polish Howitzer Brigade).  At the peak of Allied assault,  Soviet forces were suffering heavy casualties and needed immediate reinforcements in infantry support, and armored units and called in more Polish troops.  On April 30, 1945, the Polish 1st Tadeusz Kościuszko Infantry Division joined the Soviets in battle. Initially, one infantry regiment was to support the 1st Mechanised Corps, and two, the 12th Guards Tank Corps. Instead, two regiments (1st and 2nd) ended up supporting the 1st Corps, and only one (3rd) the 12th Corps. The 3rd Polish Infantry Regiment was operating with the 66th Guards Tank Brigade of the 12th Guards Tank Corps. The 1st Polish Infantry Regiment was split up into "combat teams" supporting the 19th and 35th Mechanized Brigades, with the 2nd Polish Infantry Regiment supporting the 219th Tank Brigade; all units of the Soviet 1st Mechanized Corps. When Polish forces arrived on the scene, they found that Soviets had suffered heavy losses - the 19th and 35th Mechanized Brigades sustained over 90% casualties.  The Polish 1st Infantry Regiment originally assigned to support them had to take over their positions. The 66th Guards Tank Brigade of the 12th Corps that jointed with the 3rd Polish Infantry Regiment for support had also suffered heavy losses. In total the Soviets lost 82 tanks because of insufficient infantry cover.

Suicide of Adolf Hitler:   As the Soviet Red Army was less than 500 metres (1,600 ft) from the bunker, Hitler had a meeting with General Helmuth Weidling, the commander of the Berlin Defence Area. He told Hitler that the garrison would probably run out of ammunition that night and that the fighting in Berlin would inevitably come to an end within the next 24 hours.  Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide as the Red Army approached the Führerbunker. Admiral Karl Dönitz became President of Germany. Hitler had shot himself in the head, and Braun was lying next to him, dead from cyanide poisoning.  Their bodies were burned, and ashes dumped into the river.

German submarines U-879 and U-1107 were sunk by Allies. On April 29 a U-boat was detected by escorts of convoy KN 382. USS Natchez attempted to ram her but missed.  Natchez, joined by the USS Coffmann, USS Thomas, and USS Bostwick, chased the sub for several hours launching depth charges and hedgehogs. Early on April 30, a powerful explosion was heard. It wasn't until 1968, that the wreck was discovered  and it was assumed to be U-879, though indicators suggest it might have been U-857.  U-1107 was depth charged and sunk in the Bay of Biscay, by US Catalina in position 48°00′N 06°30′W, 37 crew were killed with an unknown number of survivors.


Witold Pilecki's 1945 report on Auschwitz was published in English for the first time, "THE AUSCHWITZ VOLUNTEER: BEYOND BRAVERY" by Aquila Polonica Publishing. It includes a Forward by Rabbi Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland.  During WW2, the Polish Underground wanted to investigate what was happening inside Auschwitz concentration camp. Witold Pilecki, a Polish army officer had volunteered to allow himself to be rounded up and arrested by the Germans.  Pilecki was sent to Auschwitz, and began to gather detailed information regarding the atrocities he witnessed - the starvation, sickness, and the extermination of Jews, Soviets, and Polish political prisoners.  His intelligence reports were smuggled out of the camp in 1941 and were transported by the Polish underground to the London Government in Exile in London.  The British could not believe that such atrocities were occurring - yet Pilecki  had provided the evidence.

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