May 23, 2018

MAY 23 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

MAY 23

1939

Hitler proclaimed his intention to invade Poland during a  military conference at the new Reich Chancellery in Berlin.  Hitler's objective of the conference was to inform the heads of the German armed forces and their staff of his views on the political situation and his future goals.  He professed that his dispute with Poland over Danzig (now Gdansk) was not the reason for the planned attack, but rather that it was a necessity for the German nation to expand its living space (lebensraum) and secure food supplies. He went further to say, "The solution of the problem demands courage. The principle by which one evades solving the problem by adapting oneself to circumstances is inadmissible. Circumstances must rather be adapted to. This is impossible without invasion of foreign states or attacks upon foreign property."


1945

SS-Reichsführer Himmler committed suicide while in British custody.  On May 21, Himmler and two aides tried to go into hiding but were detained at a checkpoint set up by former Soviet POWs. Over the next two days, he was transferred around to several camps and was finally brought to the British 31st Civilian Interrogation Camp near Lüneburg. During a routine interrogation Himmler admitted who he was, and the duty officer had the prisoner searched. Himmler was taken to the HQ of the Second British Army in Lüneburg where Doctor Wells conducted a medical exam on him. The doctor attempted to examine the inside of Himmler's mouth, but the Himmler refused to comply, jerked his head away and bit into a hidden cyanide pill. He collapsed onto the floor and was dead within 15 minutes.


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