May 15, 2018

MAY 15 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

MAY 15

1922

The German-Polish Accord on East Silesia, also referred to as the Geneva Accord, was signed on May 15, 1922. The Accord dealt with the details of the constitutional and legal framework for the region of Upper Silesia. (At the end of World War I, the territory was granted to Poland,  by a commission of the League of Nations, and confirmed after the plebiscite of  March 20, 1921.  Following the accord, the terms became effective on June 20, 1922. (see May 2, and 3, 1921)



1939

The Nazi Germans opened Ravensbrück concentration camp, located in northern Germany, 90 km (56 mi) north of Berlin at a site near the village of Ravensbrück.  The concentration camp interred the largest single national group of prisoners consisting of 40,000 Polish women. Others included 26,000 Jews from all countries - 18,800 Russian, 8,000 French, and 1,000 Dutch. More than 80% were political prisoners. Many slave labor prisoners were employed by Siemens & Halske. From 1942-1945, the Nazis conducted medical experiments on prisoners to test the effectiveness of sulfonamides.


1948

Witold Pilecki, with three of his comrades, was sentenced to death by the Soviet-controlled Ministry of Security of Poland. After the announcement of his death sentence, Pilecki uttered these words, "I've been trying to live my life so that in the hour of my death I would rather feel joy, than fear."  During Pilecki's last conversation with his wife he told her: "I cannot live. They killed me. Because Oświęcim (Auschwitz) compared with them was just a trifle." His final words before his execution were "Long Live Free Poland! ". Witold Pilecki was a member of the Home Army (Armia Krajowa) a Polish underground army.  On one of his most courageous missions, he allowed himself to be arrested and sent to Auschwitz, where he gathered evidence to prove to the Allies that  the Nazis were exterminating  the Jews.


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