POLISH GREATNESS TRAFFIC

May 9, 2018

MAY 9 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

MAY 9

1933

Helen Keller Wrote a Scorching Letter to the Nazis Condemning their Book Burning: Here is the full text; " To the student body of Germany:  History has taught you nothing if you think you can kill ideas. Tyrants have tried to do that often before, and the ideas have risen up in their might and destroyed them.  You can burn my books and the books of the best minds in Europe, but the ideas in them have seeped through a million channels and will continue to quicken other minds. I gave all the royalties of my books for all time to the German soldiers blinded in the World War with no thought in my heart but love and compassion for the German people.  I acknowledge the grievous complications that have led to your intolerance; all the more do I deplore the injustice and unwisdom of passing on to unborn generations the stigma of your deeds.  Do not imagine that your barbarities to the Jews are unknown here. God sleepeth not, and He will visit His judgment upon you. Better were it for you to have a mill-stone hung around your neck and sink into the sea than to be hated and despised of all men.    Helen Keller "


 1940

Four Polish battalions arrived May 9. They were first deployed north of the Ofotfjord, a fjord in Nordland county, Norway, but later redeployed to the area south of the fjord. In early June they were formed into the Polish Independent Highland Brigade, and under the command of  Zygmunt Bohusz-Szyszko, succeeded in capturing the Ankenes peninsula during the May 1940 Battle of Narvik.  Narvik provided an ice-free harbour in the North Atlantic that facilitated the transportation of iron ore by railway Kiruna in Sweden. The Allies and the Germans shared interest in securing this iron supply for themselves, and thus began one of the most ferocious battles since the invasion of Poland. The Allies began with sea and air superiority but could not maintain it throughout the operation. Even though the Germans lost the naval battle, they achieved their goal, to establish a strong foothold in Norway, making it very difficult for the Allies to counter-attack. The Germans lost 10 destroyers (50% loss), one submarine, and several supply ships. Allies lost 2 destroyers and several others were damaged.


1945

Joseph Stalin issued a V-E Order of the Day, congratulating the Red Army "....the Great Patriotic War waged by the Soviet people against the German-fascist invaders has been victoriously concluded; Germany is utterly routed....upon the victorious termination of the Great Patriotic War. To mark the complete victory over Germany, today, on May 9, the Day of Victory, at 10 P.M., the capital of our Motherland-Moscow-on behalf of the Motherland, will salute the gallant troops of the Red Army and the ships and units of the Navy which have won this brilliant victory, by firing thirty artillery salvos from 1,000 guns...."


Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov left the United Nations conference for Moscow with the Polish question still unresolved.  (Note: Even though Poland was one of the most important allies in the struggle against Nazi Germany and a victim of the German (and Soviet) invasion, Poland could not take part in the founding conference in San Francisco, due to Soviet occupation and repression.) This resulted from an increasingly divergent stance of the superpowers on whether to recognize the communist authorities in Poland, which were not legitimized in free elections. But this in no way suggested that Poland had been forgotten at the conference. The world-renown Polish-born piano virtuoso, Arthur Rubinstein, preceded his concert at the San Francisco opera hall by saying:  “This Hall, where the great nations have gathered to make this world a better place, I don’t see the flag of Poland, on behalf of which this cruel war was waged.” And added, “And so now I will play the Polish national anthem.” Despite the absence of representatives of the Polish government at the founding conference, in recognition of Poland’s input in the fight against fascism, Poland was counted as one of the UN’s founding members by amending the wording of Article 3 of the United Nations Charter. Poland signed the Charter on 15 October 1945 and ratified it on the following day. In its declaration, the Government of Poland expressed its readiness to cooperate with the UN, emphasizing the significance of the common security system, the principle of inviolability of frontiers and the foundation of national political systems on the principles of democracy.


1987

183 passengers and crew died aboard a Polish jetliner that crashed in the Kabaty Woods nature reserve in the outskirts of Warsaw. LOT Flight 5055 was an Ilyushin Il-62M of LOT Polish Airlines that crashed in the late morning hours. The flight prepared to leave from Warsaw to New York City's John F. Kennedy International airport when it encountered multiple catastrophic events with the numbers 1 and 2 engines as well as the elevator shortly after departure. The accident was the deadliest of any involving an Ilyushin Il-62, the deadliest to occur on Polish soil, and the deadliest aviation accident of 1987. It was determined to have been caused by the disintegration of an engine shaft due to faulty bearings. (read April 10, 2005 plane crash)



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