POLISH GREATNESS TRAFFIC

June 30, 2018

JUNE 30 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 30

1934

Night of the Long Knives:  From June 30 to July 2 Hitler conducted a purge of political leaders in a series of extrajudicial executions intended to consolidate his absolute on power in Germany.  Over 85 people were killed, and more than 1,000 arrested. Most of the killing was carried out by the SS and Gestapo. In the aftermath, Hitler ordered his cabinet to approve a measure that would  present the massacre as legally sanctioned and on July 3 he declared: "The measures taken on June 30, July 1 and 2 to suppress treasonous assaults are legal as acts of self-defence by the State."


1941

Lwow Pogroms:  Ukrainian troops loyal to Nazi Germany conducted consecutive pogroms against the Jews of Lwow (now Lviv, Ukraine) that lasted from June 30 to July 2, 1941, and again from July 25 to 29, 1941, during the Wehrmacht's attack on Soviet-occupied eastern Poland. The German historian Peter Longerich and the Holocaust Encyclopedia estimate that the first pogrom cost at least 4,000 lives. It was followed by the additional 2,500 to 3,000 arrests and executions in subsequent Einsatzgruppe killings,and culminated in the so-called "Petlura Days" massacre of more than 2,000 Jews, all killed in a one-month span. During the inter-war years, before the invasion of Poland in 1939 by Germany and the Soviet Union, the city of Lwow, had the third-largest Jewish population in Poland.  As the Nazis advanced into Poland, the Lwow's Jewish population swelled to over 200,000 as a result of Jewish refugees escaping eastward.  Government documents released in 2008 by the Ukrainian Security Services make the claim that the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists may have been involved to a lesser degree than originally thought. But among respected historians (John Paul Himka,  Per Anders Rudling, and Marco Carynnyk among others) this claim amounts to nothing more than revisionism, the attempt to change or manipulate World War II history.


1943

Leader of the Polish Home Army Was Arrested:  Stefan Rowecki, General of the Polish Armia Krajowa (Home Army) was arrested on June 30, 1943, by the Gestapo in Warsaw and imprisoned at Oranienburg in Berlin.  He was betrayed by Ludwik "Hanka" Kalkstein,  Eugeniusz "Genes" Swierczewski and Blanka "Sroka" Kaczorowska who were all Gestapo agents posing as members of the Armia Krajowa (Polish Home Army). Prominent Nazi officials including Himmler interrogated Rowecki, and offered him an anti-bolshevik alliance, but he refused. He was executed in August 1944 in Sachsenhausen, by the command of Himmler.  The arrest and death of Rowecki was part of a major intelligence operation by the Germans and Soviets to destroy the Polish Underground State, by eliminating top Polish commanders and political leaders. In the same period, the Gestapo arrested Colonel Ignacy Oziewicz, commander of the National Armed Forces (NSZ) on June 9, 1943 . Then General Wladyslaw Sikorski, died in a plane crash on July 4, 1943, under suspicious circumstances.  Three top commanders were killed in a period of two months.


1946

The Polish People's Referendum, also known as 3xTAK, (Three Times Yes) was held on this day in 1946.  On authority of the State National Council, the referendum was presented as an opportunity for all political groups to test their popularity among the general population. However, the outcome of the vote was falsified, and the referendum did not follow democratic standards and procedures. Three questions were asked: 1. Are you in favour of abolishing the Senate? 2.  Do you want consolidation, in the future constitution of the economic system founded on agricultural reform and the nationalization of basic national industries, including the preservation of the statutory rights of private enterprise? 3. Do you want consolidation of the western border of the Polish State on the Baltic, Oder river and Lusatian Neisse? Parties Reactions:   Parties of the pro-communist Democratic Bloc were strongly in favor of "Three Times Yes", while non-communist parties advocated various other combinations. (Essentially the referendum would decide whether the people supported or opposed communism and people would be deciding the future of Polish independence.)  The majority of support for the Polish People's Party (PSL) was in rural areas, among people who supported agricultural reform, so the party could not vote "no" on the second question.  The PSL and Labor Party voted "no" on the first question, and it was used by the communists to declare them as "traitors".  Catholic groups supported "no" on the first question, "yes" on the third, and left the second to voters individual preferences. The Wolność i Niezawisłość party argued against the first two questions only, while the National Armed Forces advocated a "no" for all three questions, as a sign of protest against the annexation of the eastern territories of Poland (known as the Kresy) by the Soviet Union. The Results:  Question 1:   68%  Yes, 32% No;  Question 2:   77.2% Yes,  22.8 No;  Question 3:  91.4% Yes,  8.6% No. (P.S. In 1989 official documents show that only the third question received a majority of votes.)



June 29, 2018

JUNE 29 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 29

1941

Operation Barbarossa: In the midst of the German invasion, a Soviet directive was issued among civilians and armed forces personnel in a desperate attempt to subdue the mass panic and hysteria that was unfolding. The order stipulated that anybody who participated in inciting panic, or displaying cowardice in the face of the enemy, would be dealt with swiftly and severely. The NKVD worked with commissars and military commanders to scout out possible escape routes used by Russian soldiers retreating without military authorization. Field expedient general courts were established to deal with civilians spreading rumours and military deserters.  On July 1, Stalin dismissed Dmitry Pavlov of his command, because of the disastrous defeat in the Battle of Białystok-Minsk during the first days of the German invasion. On July 22, Pavlov was tried and executed him along with many members of his staff on charges of "cowardice" and  "criminal incompetence" and "failure to perform their duties".  Many other commanders were arrested and executed by the Soviet NKVD:  Chief of Staff, Major General B. E. Klimovskikh;  Chief of communications corps, Major General AT Grigoriev;  Chief of Artillery, Lieutenant General of Artillery A. Klich; and Air Force Deputy Chief of the Western Front, Major General Aviation A. I. Tayursky; Commander of the 14th Mechanized Corps, Major General Stepan Oborin;  Commander of the 4th Army, Major General A. A. Korobkov.


Jassy Pogrom:  On June 29, 1941, Romanian troops allied to Nazi Germany conducted a pogrom against Jewish civilians in the town of Jassy, murdering over 13,000 people.  The pogrom was ordered by the Romanian government, headed by the Iasi police, and backed by the Bessarabia police and gendarmerie units.  Romanian army soldiers participated along with SSI agents, and mobs who robbed and killed in a frenzied blood-lust. The Romanian authorities also arrested more than 5,000 Jews, forcing them to the train station (the death train) shooting anyone who did not move quickly enough, and then robbing them of all of their possessions. Over 100 Jews were stuffed into each train car. Many of them died of thirst, starvation, and suffocation aboard two trains that traveled back and forth across the countryside for eight days.


Polish Hero Ignacy Jan Paderewski Died on June 29, 1941.  Ignacy Paderewski was a politician, statesman, and spokesman for Polish independence. He had met with President Woodrow Wilson and was influential in obtaining explicit inclusion of Poland's independence (point 13 of the Fourteen Points, in Wilson's 1918 peace terms). Paderewski was the 3rd Prime Minister of Poland in 1919,  Foreign Minister, and represented Poland at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. He was also an accomplished concert pianist and highly acclaimed around the world. His musical fame opened access to diplomatic circles and the media. After the invasion of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union, Paderewski returned to public life. In 1940 he became the head of the National Council of Poland, a Polish parliament in exile in London. He turned to America for help as well. He spoke to the American people directly over the radio, the most popular media at the time; the broadcast carried by over a hundred radio stations in the United States and Canada. Ignacy Paderewski was bestowed with numerous medals and honours. Streets and schools have been named after him, as well as music festivals, the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles, California, and Paderewski Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina. Paderewski died in New York City after a sudden illness. He was 80 years old when he died.



June 28, 2018

JUNE 28 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 28

1651

Battle of Beresteczko between Poles and Ukrainians began:  After a two-year truce, the Battle of Beresteczko was fought between the Ukrainian Cossacks, under the command of Khmelnytsky, aided by their Crimean Tatar allies, and a Polish army under King John II Casimir.  A total of 33,313 Cossacks, supported by Ukrainian peasants, went into battle against the Polish army.  By mid June 1651, the Polish army numbered 14,844 Polish cavalry, 2,250 German-style cavalry, 11,900 German-style infantry and dragoons, 2,950 Hungarian-style infantry (haiduks), 1,550 Lithuanian volunteers, and 960 Lipka Tatars. In addition, there were also 16,000 German mercenaries, and a few Cossacks who were loyal to and remained within the ranks of the Polish army.  The Polish commanders planned to break the Cossack ranks with a charge of the Polish Winged Hussars - an effective, and deadly tactic that had been used in many previous battles, such as at the Battle of Kircholm and Kłuszyn. (It would later prove victorious in the famous 1683 Battle of Vienna against the Turks.) The Cossack army was already well acquainted with this Polish style of war and chose to avoid an open battlefield by fighting from a huge fortified camp. During the first day of fighting, the Polish Winged Hussars emerged victorious,"since their army sustained that first attack cheerfully and in high spirits". The Polish Winged Hussars were victorious on June 30, 1651.


1919

The Treaty of Versailles was signed bringing World War I to an end.  (It was signed exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.   Article 231 of the Treaty, later became known as the War Guilt clause, forced Germany to disarm, to make substantial territorial concessions, and to pay reparations to certain countries that had formed the Entente powers. Among the terms and conditions of the Treaty was that Germany recognize the independence of Poland and renounce "all rights and title over the territory".  Territories to be ceded to Poland were parts of Upper Silesia (with the future of the rest of the province to be decided by plebiscite); the province of Posen (now Poznan);  Pomerelia (Eastern Pomerania), on historical and ethnic grounds, so that Poland would have access to the sea, ie the Polish Corridor; the East Prussian Soldau area; (while the sovereignty of southern part of East Prussia would be decided by plebiscite); and the city of Danzig ( became the Free City of Danzig, established by the League of Nations.)  An area of 51,800 square kilometres (20,000 square miles) was granted to Poland. Memel was to be ceded to the Allied and Associated powers.


1943

Four Crematories at Auschwitz:  SS Major Karl Bischoff, chief of construction of Auschwitz II-Birkenau, had implemented the construction of the four crematories by the end of June 1943. Crematory I was a brick cottage with windows sealed, and converted into a gassing facility. Crematory II was converted a few weeks later. Crematory III used an existing mortuary with morgues in the basement and ground-level incinerators, and converted it into a killing factory by installing gas-tight doors, vents for the Zyklon B (a highly lethal cyanide-based pesticide) to be dropped into the chamber, and ventilation equipment to remove the fumes afterward. Crematoria IV & V were designed as gassing centers, were also constructed that spring. By June 1943, all four crematoria were operational. Most of the prisoners were killed using these four structures.


1944

The Heuaktion (or hay operation) was a Nazi German operation in which they kidnapped 40,000 to 50,000 Polish children from the ages of 10 to 14 and transported them to Germany as slave labourers. Upon their arrival in Germany, the children were handed over to Organisation Todt and the Junkers aircraft works. The Nazis expected that the mass kidnapping would pressure the adults of the occupied territories to register as workers in the Reich, as well as to weaken the “biological strength” of the areas of the Soviet republics which Germany had invaded. (After the end of World War II, the  Nuremberg Trials classified the kidnapping of children as part of the Nazi program of systemic genocide.)


1945

Under the terms of the Yalta agreement, the Provisional Government of National Unity (Polish: Tymczasowy Rząd Jedności Narodowej or TRJN) was formed to govern Poland until free elections could be held and a permanent constitutional system established.  Former Prime Minister of Poland Stanisław Mikołajczyk trusted the Soviets and entered into negotiations with them, but would later be betrayed.  The Polish Government-In-Exile did not recognize the TRJN.


1956

Riots broke out in Poznan Poland, 38 died:  Workers demonstrated to demand better working conditions at Poznań's Cegielski Factories and were met with violence.  Over 100,000 workers gathered in the city centre near the local Ministry of Public Security building.  About 400 tanks and 10,000 soldiers of the People's Army of Poland and the Internal Security Corps under communist officers were ordered to suppress the demonstration and during the pacification fired shots killing many of the protesters. Casualties were estimated between 57 and 100 people or more (including a thirteen-year-old boy, Romek Strzałkowski.) Hundreds of other demonstrators sustained injuries. The Poznań protests were a milestone in the Polish struggle leading towards the installation of a less Soviet-controlled government in Poland in October. 



June 27, 2018

JUNE 27 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 27

1941

Bialystok was invaded and occupied by the Nazis, and the city was made the capital of Bezirk Bialystok, a separate region in Nazi-occupied Poland until 1944. On the same day Nazi troops from Order Police Battalion 309 surrounded the town square by the Great Synagogue, and forced residents from their homes out into the street. Some people were shoved up against building walls and shot dead.  Others - men, women an children were forced into the synagogue and locked inside. The synagogue was set on fire and they burned to death. The flames of the fire spread to adjacent buildings, and together with grenade fires, soon engulfed the entire square in an inferno. A total of about 3,000 Jews lost their lives.  Today the site is identified with a reconstruction of the destroyed dome and a memorial plaque (dedicated in August 1995)  The plaque reads: "Our splendid sanctuary fell victim to the flames on June 27, 1941. 2000 Jews were burnt alive in it by the German Nazi murderers."


1942

White Rose German Resistance:   The White Rose was a pacifist, secret resistance group led by a small group of German students and a professor from the Ludwig-Maximillians University in Munich. The group conducted clandestine meetings, and produced and distributed several pamphlets appealing to the German public to adopt a pacifist resistance against the Hitler regime.  Initially they made about 100 pamphlets in the Munich area, but with additional supporters they made over 15,000 copies which were sent or mailed to places in Saarbrucken, Stuttgart, Cologne, Vienna, Freiburg, Chemnitz, Hamburg, Innsbruck and Berlin.  They carried out these activities from June 27, 1942 until February 18, 1943, when members of their group were arrested by the Gestapo. The Gestapo used this as an opportunity to ply their propaganda, denouncing the White Rose members as "traitors and defeatists" and easily intimidated the rest of the student body.  On February 22 1943, the students of Munich were assembled and denounced the White Rose group,  officially protesting against the "traitors" who were their fellow class-mates. Nazi prosecutions began, and Nazi-controlled newspapers published an all-points bulletin for the capture and arrest of the other members. Three members stood before a Nazi trial, in which they were interrogated, and sentenced to death on the same day for treason.  On the same day, Christoph Probst, Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie Scholl, were executed by guillotine at Stadelheim Prison.  Just before Hans was executed he cried out, "Es lebe die Freiheit! - Long live freedom!" as the blade fell. The third pamphlet, translated to English, stated this:  " Why do you allow these men who are in power to rob you step by step, openly and in secret, of one domain of your rights after another, until one day nothing, nothing at all will be left but a mechanised state system presided over by criminals and drunks? Is your spirit already so crushed by abuse that you forget it is your right - or rather, your moral duty - to eliminate this system?" And from the university website: "Since 1945 – immediately after the war ended – LMU has been committed to keeping the legacy of the White Rose alive. An annual White Rose Memorial Lecture was instituted, which is delivered by an invited speaker at a commemorative ceremony every February, while the permanent exhibition in the DenkStätte Weiße Rose tells the story of the courage and sacrifice of the group’s members."


1978

Soyuz 30 carried 2 cosmonauts (1 Polish) to Salyut 6 space station:  It was the sixth mission to and fifth successful docking at the orbiting facility. The Soyuz 30 crew were the first to visit the long-duration Soyuz 29 resident crew. Mirosław Hermaszewski  was the first Polish national in space. He participated in medical experiments which measured lung capacity and the heart during exercise and in a pressure suit. One experiment, which all four on board the station participated in, was Smak, a taste experiment which sought answers to why some food was less palatable in weightlessness.


1991

Mława riot after Romani youth kills pedestrian in a hit-and-run.  A series of violent outbreaks and looting resulted over a period of two days, as a mob of 200 youths including young females invaded the homes of more affluent Roma residents in Polish town of Mlawa.  There were no reports of any injury to the Roma people as they had fled from the area. Material losses were substantial and affected about 40% of the residences. A total of 17 Roma houses were seriously damaged and another 4 houses and 9 apartments were vandalized. The police arrested many of the attackers on the scene;  21 persons were brought to court, and 17 were sentenced for up to 30 months in prison.




June 26, 2018

JUNE 26 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 26

1943

Czestochowa Ghetto Uprising:   When the Nazi Germans began the process of liquidation of the small ghetto, an uprising broke out in a desperate attempt by the Jews to save themselves.  About 1,500 Jews died in the fighting.  When the Germans stormed his bunker, Mordechaj Zylberberg committed suicide.  By June 30, another 500 Jews were killed by being burned alive or buried beneath the rubble. 3,900 Jews were captured and forced to work in labor camps, 400 were selected and executed. By the end of the year 1,200 were deported to camps in Germany. All perished.  In 1944, Germans brought in another 10,000 new workers, from Lodz, Kielce, Radomsk and Skarzysko-Kamienna, so that work continue in the foundry camps. In mid-January 1945, as the Soviets advanced, the Germans deported 3,000 Jewish prisoners to the Third Reich. All perished. When the Red Army liberated the camp, there were only 5,200 Jews left.


1948

The Berlin Air Lift:  The West responded to the Soviet blockade of Berlin, by organizing the Berlin airlift (June 26, 1948 to September 30, 1949) carrying supplies to the people of West Berlin. Aircrews from the United States Air Force, the British Royal Air Force, the French Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal New Zealand Air Force, and the South African Air Force, flew a total of more than 200,000 flights in one year. West Berliners were provided with up to 8,893 tons of necessities each day, such as fuel and food, sustaining a population of two million people. The Soviets did not disrupt the airlift for fear this might lead to open conflict. On May 12, 1949, the USSR finally lifted the blockade of West Berlin. (see June 24, 1948)


June 25, 2018

JUNE 25 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 25

1941

Kaunas Pogrom was a massacre planned by Nazi-organized units of Lithuanian activists in the city of Kaunas and its surrounding areas. On the morning of the massacre,  Nazi SS Brigadeführer Franz Walter Stahlecker arrived in Kaunas and gave a long, virulent speech at the headquarters of the Lithuanian Security Police, instigating the Lithuanians to solve the "Jewish problem".  During the next five days mobs of Lithuanians tortured and killed Jews at random.  In the aftermath of the blood bath, some  3,800 Jews had been slaughtered in Kaunas and a further 1,200 in other towns in the immediate region.


1943

The last recorded Jews were liquidated from Stanislawow Ghetto:  Just before the liquidation of the Ghetto, a group of Jewish insurgents managed to escape. They formed a partisan unit called "Pantelaria" active on the outskirts of Stanisławów. The two commanders were young Anda Luft pregnant with her daughter Pantelaria (born in the forest) and Oskar Friedlender. Their greatest accomplishment was the ambush and execution of the German chief of police named Tausch. The group was attacked and destroyed by the Nazis in mid winter 1943–44. Anda and her new baby girl were killed.


1944

The Battle of Osuchy began near Osuchy, Poland between Nazi German and Polish resistance forces. It was one of the largest battles between the Polish resistance and Nazi Germany in occupied Poland, a part of the Zamość Uprising. It took place near the village of Osuchy in the Solska Wilderness on June 25-26, 1944 during the German anti-partisan Operation Hurricane II. The battle ended with the defeat of the local resistance forces which suffered heavy casualties.  It is estimated that about 400 out of the 1,200-strong partisan forces that engaged the Germans on 24–25 June were killed (approximately half of the Polish losses during the Sturmwind II). Of the remainder, survivors were sent to Nazi concentration camps,  many surrendered and were tortured for information about the resistance; and others were executed on the spot.   However, the Nazi Germans could still not eliminate all the Polish resistance.  In July the Polish resistance launched Operation Tempest, which freed the towns of Szczebrzeszyn and Zamosc.  Soon afterward, the Soviet Lublin-Brest Offensive cleared out the Germans from much of the region.



June 24, 2018

JUNE 24 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 24

1648

Cossacks slaughtered Jews and Poles in the Ukraine:  In the summer of 1648 the detachment of Colonel Maksym Kryvonis engaged in several bloody battles with the Polish nobility's force, led by Prince Jeremi Wiśniowiecki. During this fighting the population suffered terrible losses. The Polish troops systematically killed all Cossacks and peasants, including women, children, and the old people who fell into their hands, while the rebels treated the nobles, Catholic clergy, and Jews, many of whom took the side of the Polish nobles, with similar ferocity.


1812

Napoleon Invaded Russia:   Napoleon ordered his Grande Armee (the largest European military force ever assembled) and numbering over 600,000 troops, to invade Russia.  Napoleon wanted to defeat the Russian army and force Tsar Alexander I of Russia to cease trading with British merchants through proxies, thus pressuring the UK to sue for peace.  Armies from many other European countries participated, including Polish troops.  A year after the Third Partition and total obliteration of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Jan Henryk Dąbrowski, a former high-ranking officer of the Commonwealth army, traveled to Paris to obtain support from Napoleon for the liberation of Poland.  Napoleon saw the Poles as a promising source of new recruits, and authorized Dąbrowski to create the Polish Legions, which would be part of the army of the newly created Republic of Lombardy.  Napoleon sought to gain favor with the Poles, thus his official political campaign, named the Second Polish War, included the liberation of Poland from the threat of Russia. (see January 9, 1797 and  June 22, 1941)


1914

Jan "Karski" Kozielewski (dob) was a Polish World War II resistance movement fighter and later professor at Georgetown University. In 1942 and 1943 Karski reported to the Polish Government in Exile in London and  the Western Allies, on the situation in German-occupied Poland, in particular  the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, and the extermination of the Jews. After the joint invasion of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union in September 1939.  Karski was arrested by the Soviet NKVD, and managed to escape the Katyn Massacre (he identified himself as a private, instead of revealing his true military rank, that is, 2nd Lieutenant (of 5th Regiment was a unit of the Kraków Cavalry Brigade). Subsequently, he was handed over to the Germans, and in November 1939 escaped from a POW camp in the General Government and went to Warsaw where he joined the SZP (Służba żwycięstwu Polski) – the first resistance movement in occupied Europe organized by General Michał Karaszewicz-Tokarzewski and a predecessor of ZWZ. Later he would join Armia Krajowa, the Home Army (AK). Beginning in 1942, Karski reported to the Polish Government in Exile, and British and U.S. governments on the situation in Poland, in particular the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto and the extermination of Polish Jews by the Nazi Germans. Karski also carried out of Poland a microfilm with further information from the underground movement on the extermination of European Jews in German-occupied Poland.  Karski traveled to the US and met with President Franklin D. Roosevelt on July 28, 1943 telling him of his eye-witness account of the atrocities in the German camps. Roosevelt did not ask one question about the Jews. He also met with  Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, Cordell Hull, William Joseph Donovan, and Rabbi Stephen Wise.


1940

Secret Intelligence Bureau PC Bruno evacuated France:  As the Germans were advancing closer to Paris, the PC Bruno unit, and the Bruno staff commenced evacuation procedures and on the 24th of June,  15 Poles, 50 Frenchmen, and 7 Spaniards boarded in three planes to escape to Algeria, where they continued to work clandestinely to decipher German Enigma messages. PC Bruno was a French-Polish signals intelligence station near Paris and operated from October 1939 until June 1940.  They worked closely with their British counterpart,  Bletchley Park.  Among the cryptologists there were three brilliant Polish mathematicians, Marian Rejewski,  Jerzy Różycki, and Henryk Zygalski, who had broken the Enigma Code before the start of World War II. (see August 16, 1905)


1945

Moscow Victory Parade of 1945: A victory parade was held in Moscow led by Marshal Georgy Zhukov riding a white horse, the traditional Russian mount of a conquering hero. Two hundred captured Nazi banners were ceremonially dragged through Red Square and thrown on the ground before Lenin's Tomb.


1948

Soviets Blockaded West Berlin:  The Berlin Blockade (June 24, 1948 - May 12, 1949) was one of the first major international crises during the Cold War. During the multinational occupation of post–World War II Germany, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway, road, and canal access to the sectors of Berlin under Western control.  In response the West launched a counter-blockade, halting all rail traffic into East Germany from the British and US zones, which had damaging results on East Germany over the next few months.  On June 25, the Soviets stopped supplying food to the civilian population in the non-Soviet sectors of Berlin and cut off electricity.  Motor traffic from Berlin to the western zones was permitted, however it required an extended detour of 23 km (14.3-mile) to a ferry crossing.  The Soviets offered to drop the blockade if the Western Allies withdrew the newly introduced Deutsche mark from West Berlin.



June 23, 2018

JUNE 23 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 23

1959

German spy released:   Klaus Fuchs, a German-born Los Alamos scientist was released from a British prison after having served only nine years. In 1943, Fuchs had been sent with other British scientists to the U.S. to work on the top secret U.S. atomic program. They gave him security clearance despite his communist past.  At Los Alamos, Fuchs met with a Soviet spy and gave him detailed information about the program as well as a blueprint of the "Fat Man" (atomic bomb) that was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.  After his release from prison he immediately left Britain for communist East Germany, where he resumed his scientific career.


1967

U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson met with Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin in Glassboro, New Jersey, for a three-day summit. The meeting ended inconclusively, however, as issues such as Vietnam and the Middle East continued to divide the two superpowers. The Johnson-Kosygin meeting was the first time a Soviet premier had met with an American president in the United States since Nikita Khrushchev visited with President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1959.  Johnson and Kosygin set a positive tone in their public statements. Johnson noted that the United States and Soviet Union had a responsibility to act “reasonably and constructively” in order to make it “possible for other countries to live in peace with each other, if this can be done.” Kosygin responded by declaring, “I want friendship with the American people and I can assure you we want nothing but peace with the American people.” However, relations between the two nations were tense.


1983

The Pope met Communist General:  Pope John Paul II met with the General Wojciech Jaruzelski on June 23, 1983. According to reports by unknown sources in the Polish government, the meeting had been requested by officials of the Roman Catholic Church and it was their second meeting during the Pope's eight day visit. The communist response to the Pope's visit was critical. The Trybuna Ludu, a communist newspaper reported that Stefan Olszowski, the Foreign Minister complained that the West and its media were trying to undermine the Polish government by turning the Pope's visit into an "anti-socialist demonstration."  Moments before the Pope's meeting with the General, thousands of demonstrators converged through the streets of Cracow, and in Nowa Huta to support the Solidarity movement.  The assembly was dispersed peacefully, though two demonstrators were arrested in Nowa Huta.  A Mass was held earlier in the day, amid the largest crowd yet, over two million worshippers attended.  The Pontiff also beatified two Polish monks, Rafal Kalinowski, and Albert Chmielowski, who were founders of a religious order, and who had fought in the 1863 Uprising about Russian rule. The Pope said that their courage and convictions were stronger ''than any situation, even the most difficult, not excluding the arrogant use of power."


Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa met Pope John Paul II during his second papal visit to Poland.  The Pope arrived by helicopter near a famous resort town of Zakopane, in the Chocholowska Valley. (When the Pope was a young priest, he used to go skiing in the area, near the Czech border.)  The meeting was highly secretive, and out of bounds for the public and the press.  The meeting occurred in the last hours of the Pope's eight day visit.  When the meeting concluded, the Pope departed to Cracow airport where he made his farewell remarks, but did not mention anything about his meeting with Lech Walesa. Soon after Mr. Walesa flew back to Gdansk. When he arrived he said his audience with the Pope had left him ''moved and enthusiastic'' but he refused to mention anything that was discussed.



June 22, 2018

JUNE 22 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 22

1938

Colonel Walery Slawek was elected Marshall of the Sejm, that is, the speaker (chair) of the Sejm, in the lower house of the Polish parliament. The history of this Office has been traced to the 15th century. In modern Poland, the full title is Marshal of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland. In the Second Polish Republic (1918-1939), the deputies elected one of their number as Marshal of the Sejm for the duration of the Sejm's term. Until 1935 (when superseded by the Senate Marshal), the Marshal or Chairman of the Sejm substituted for the President of Poland in the latter's absence or disability (Acting President of the Republic of Poland).  During the 1930s Slawek served three times as Prime Minister of Poland. He was one of the closest aides of Polish leader, Józef Piłsudski. (see April 2, 1939)


1940

France signed an armistice with Hitler:   The Second Armistice at Compiègne was signed by France and Germany, which split French territory -  Germany occupied the north and western regions, while the remainder was the so-called unoccupied free zone, to be administered by the Vichy government led by Marshal Philippe Pétain, but with strict restrictions. Italy also held control albeit of a small occupation zone in the south-east.  All individuals who had been granted political asylum had to be surrendered to the Germans and occupation costs were imposed on France to the tune of 400 million French francs a day. The Germans however permitted a fledgling French Army, but disarmed the French Navy.  Moreover, more than one million French soldiers became POWs and spent the rest of the war in prison camps. Hitler chose Compiègne Forest for the signing of the armistice because of its symbolism. In a supreme act of revenge, Hitler not only used the same rail carriage, and placed in the exact spot where it had been in 1918, but sat in the same chair as Marshal Ferdinand Foch when he faced the military leaders of the defeated Germany.  The cease-fire went into effect at 00:35 on June  25, 1940.


1941

Nazis invaded Russia: Operation Barbarossa was the brain-child of Hitler and was two years in the planning. Hitler's objectives were to invade and conquer Russia, to seize the vast oil reserves in the Caucasus, use the Russians as slave labourers, and repopulate the area with German settlers.(Hitler envisaged himself conquering Russia as a latter-day "Napoleon".) The Soviet Union had suffered heavily from the battles, losing huge tracts of territory, and vast losses in men and material. Nevertheless, the Red Army proved capable of countering the German offensives, particularly as the Germans began experiencing irreplaceable shortages in manpower, armaments, provisions, and fuel. By 1943, Soviet arms production was fully operational and increasingly outproducing the German war machine.  Operation Zitadelle was the final major German offensive in the Eastern theater which took place during July to August 1943. Approximately one million German troops faced a Soviet force of over 2.5 million strong.  Following the victory of Operation Zitadelle,  the Soviet forces having amassed a total of 6 million men advanced along a 1,500 mile front towards the Dnepr River driving the Germans westward.  The Red Army destroyed Army Group Centre, and liberated much of the area that had been occupied by the Nazi Germans. With additional Soviet offensives against the German Army Groups North and South in the fall of 1944 the German war machine was beaten into a retreat and in January 1945, Berlin was the final conquest by the Red Army. World War Two ended with the defeat and capitulation of Nazi Germany in May 1945.


June 21, 2018

JUNE 21 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 21

1919

After the end of World War I,  the German fleet was scuttled at Scapa Flow, in Scotland. The High Seas Fleet was interned there under the terms of the Armistice during negotiations took place over the fate of the ships.  Ludwig won Reuter, the German commander, fearing that all the ships would be seized and divided among the Allied powers, decided to scuttle the fleet, which he carried out on June 21, 1919. Intervening British guard ships were able to beach a number of the ships, but 52 of the 74 interned vessels sank. Many of the wrecks were salvaged over the next two decades and were towed away for scrapping.


1940

Polish Government in Exile moved to London: After the invasion of Poland by Germany on September 1, 1939, the leaders of the Polish government evacuated Poland and made their way to France.  The Polish Government in Exile wielded considerable influence in Poland during World War Two, through the establishment of the Polish Underground State (Secret State) and an enormous network of the Home Army (Armia Krajowa). Polish army units took part in virtually every Allied military operation during the War, in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.  The Polish government-in-Exile was based in France during 1939 and 1940, first in Paris and then in Angers. From 1940, following the Fall of France, the Polish Government-in-Exile moved to London, and remained in the United Kingdom until its dissolution in 1990.  (see January 1, 1945 and July 6 1945)


Palmiry Massacre of Poles:  For two days, the German SS conducted mass executions of Polish citizens near the village of Palmiry in the Kampinos Forest, located northwest of Warsaw.  In a single operation, the Nazis executed 358 members of the Polish political, cultural and social elite. Among them were Janusz Kusociński, 33, Polish athlete, Mieczysław Niedziałkowski, Polish politician and writer,  Maciej Rataj, 56, Polish politician and writer, Tomasz Stankiewicz, 37, Polish track cyclist.  Between December 1939 and July 1941 more than 1,700 Poles and Jews – mostly the inmates of Pawiak prison – were executed by the SS.


1943

Himmler ordered the liquidation of remaining ghettos in the General Government, and removal of Jews capable of working to forced labor camps and those incapable of work to Nazi German death camps in Poland. After the joint invasion of Poland by Germany and the Soviet Union in September 1939, Poland was divided into three sectors - the center was called General Government, the west was annexed to Germany, and the east was occupied by the Soviet Union. The General government was a Nazi administrative and logistical center. Their ultimate objective was to eliminate the intelligentsia (Jews and Poles), reduce the Polish population to subservient slaves, and repopulate the area with Germans. Here is the order in a memo from Himmler, dated June 21, 1943, " To: The Higher SS and Police Leader (Hoherer SS- und Polizeifuehrer) Ostland;  Chief of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office (Chef des SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamtes)  1)  I order that all Jews still remaining in ghettos in the Ostland area be collected in concentration camps.   2)  I prohibit the withdrawal of Jews from concentration camps for [outside] work from August 1, 1943.  3)   A concentration camp is to be built near Riga to which will be transferred the entire manufacture of clothing and equipment now operated by the Wehrmacht outside. All private firms will be eliminated. The workshops are to be solely concentration camp workshops. The Chief of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office is requested to see to it that there will be no shortfall in the production required by the Wehrmacht as the result of this reorganization.  4)   Inmates of the Jewish ghettos who are not required are to be evacuated to the East.  5)   As many male Jews as possible are to be taken to the concentration camp in the oil-shale area for the mining of oil-shale.    6)  The date set for the reorganization of the concentration camps is August 1, 1943.    signed H. Himmler"



June 20, 2018

JUNE 20 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 20

1922

The division of borders of Upper Silesia between Poland and Germany were decided by a commission of the Paris Peace Conference. The German Reich was granted West Upper Silesia (which did not have economic value), and had to accept the fact that the coal-bearing territory was granted to Poland.  The Silesian coal was highly relevant to the German economy during that time. The major part of Silesia remaining in Germany, was reorganized into the two provinces of Upper Silesia and Lower Silesia.  The Polish Sejm decided that the eastern-most Upper Silesian areas would become an autonomous area within Poland, and categorized as the Silesian Voivodeship, possessing its own Silesian Parliament as a constituency and Silesian Voivodeship Council as the executive body. A central political figure was Wojciech Korfanty. The part of Silesia awarded to Poland was by far the best-developed and richest region of the newly formed state, producing most of Poland's industrial output. ( see May 2, 1921 )


1937

Bishop Adam Stefan Sapieha, who had opposed the Pilsudski Sanacja regime, made the controversial decision to move Piłsudski's body, within Wawel's Cathedral, from St. Leonard's Crypt to the crypt under the Silver Bells. The event was met with public outcry and calls for the removal of Saphieha.  During his regime, Marshal Piłsudski periodically changed his religious affiliation from that of Catholicism to Lutheranism and then back again.  After the May coup, Piłsudski considered himself a Roman Catholic, but he did not appear to be religious and often used religion as public tool. Piłsudski was quoted saying: "Religion is for idiots". After the May Coup and during his reign as authoritarian leader Piłsudski's often clashed with Catholic leaders but did enjoy a good working relationship with Cardinal Aleksander Kakowski, who subsequently led his funeral mass.  After the Germans invaded Poland, Sapieha was forced to operate the Polish seminary in secret because the Germans began executing seminarians whenever they found them. Sapieha moved his students (including the future Pope John Paul II, Karol Wojtyła) into the Bishop's Palace in Kraków to finish their training during the Nazi Occupation of Poland.


1944

The Glinciszki massacre:   Nazi units of the Lithuanian Auxiliary Police Battalion instigated a mass killing in the village of Glinciszki.  39 Polish villagers were murdered, which included 11 women (one who was in the final stage of pregnancy) and 11 children (some as young as 3 years old) and 6 elderly men.  The Nazis inflicted collective punishment on the Poles in reprisal for the death of four Lithuanian policemen the night before at the hands of Polish resistance units of the 5th brigade of Armia Krajowa (Polish Home Army) under the command of Lieutenant Wiktor Wiącki.  Two days later, Polish partisans retaliated against Lithuanian civilians in Dubingai.



June 19, 2018

JUNE 19 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 19

1669

Polish parliament elected Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki as King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Michael I was a native Pole and descendant of Korybut, brother of King Władysław II Jagiełło, Michael, chosen after the abdication of his predecessor, John II Casimir Vasa., won the election partly because of the merit of his father, Prince Jeremi Wiśniowiecki (a powerful border magnate who had helped suppress the Cossacks in eastern Poland during the Khmelnytsky Uprising). However, Michael proved to be a passive tool in the hands of the Habsburgs. In view of this, the French party rallied round John Sobieski, a rising military commander.


1917

British Royal Family Changed its Royal Name:  During the third year of World War I, Britain’s King George V ordered the British royal family to dispense with the use of German titles and surnames, changing the surname of his own family, from the Germanic Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, to the more acceptable name,  Windsor. His decision was based on strong anti-German feeling within Britain. It caused sensitivity among the royal family about its German roots -  Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, also a grandson of Queen Victoria, was the king’s cousin; the queen herself was German.



June 18, 2018

JUNE 18 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 18

1945

Trial of the 16:  Between June 18 and 21, 1945, sixteen Polish Officers of the Armia Krajowa, Polish Home Army, were subjected to a mock Soviet trial on falsified charges. They were accused of gathering intelligence and sabotage against the Soviet Union, propaganda against the Soviet Union, fighting against the Red Army, membership in an underground organization, and collaborating with Nazi Germany.(Note:  The vast majority of Poles, the Polish Government In Exile, and Polish military never collaborated with the Nazis, and fought against the Nazis throughout the war.) Immediately after the arrest of all the leaders, the Polish Government in Exile dispatched a letter of protest to Washington and London demanding their release. Stalin declared that the protest was a bluff by the “Fascist Polish government” but finally admitted that the leaders were arrested. Stalin then told American envoy Harry Hopkins that “there is no point in linking the case of the Trial of the Sixteen with the support for the Soviet-backed government of Poland because the sentences will not be high.”  Both British and American governments shared this view.


1949

Jarosław Kaczyński (dob) was the 13th Prime Minister of Poland from July 14, 2006 to November 16, 2007. He was the leader of the Law and Justice Party. The party was founded in 2001 by the Kaczyński twins, Lech and Jarosław, and was formed from part of the Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS), with the Christian democratic Centre Agreement forming the new party's core.   The party won the 2005 election, while Lech Kaczyński won the presidency. Jarosław served as Prime Minister. In the 2007 parliamentary elections, Law and Justice finished a distant second behind pro-European Christian-democratic and conservative liberal Civic Platform. Kaczyński was succeeded as prime minister by Donald Tusk (after which Kaczyński remained chairman of Law and Justice, becoming leader of the opposition).  On April 10, 2010, Lech Kaczynski and many leading members of government and military were killed in a plane crash near Smolensk, Russia. The delegation was on route to attend a commemoration of the victims of the Katyn Massacre who were massacred near Smolensk, Russia during World War II.  Following the death of his brother, Jaroslaw announced that he would run in the 2010 presidential elections, but was defeated by Bronisław Komorowski by a small margin.




June 17, 2018

JUNE 17 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 17

1649

Stanisław Lubomirski died on this day. He was a powerful nobleman of the aristocratic house of Lubomirski. He inherited a large estate from his father and by 1642 he owned 10 castles, 12 towns, 300 villages and many forests, lakes, mills and even private salt mines, making him one of the wealthiest magnates in Poland of his time. The family introduced several innovative facilities and processes to their estates and introduced enlightened social practices, such as granting equal rights for subjects, allowing Jews to buy properties in private towns and to build houses, and vesting them with judicial powers. He believed that the increase in economic rights of all his subjects would make him get richer, too.


1696

Polish King John III Sobieski died in his palace at Wilanów near Warsaw. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had to hold free elections to select a new monarch. Among the candidates was the Elector of Saxony Augustus II the Strong, backed by the powerful Emperor Leopold I. To ensure his place on the Polish throne, he converted from Lutheranism to Catholicism and thus won the support of Roman Catholics, conservative Poles, and the support of Pope Innocent XII.  Augustus II The Strong's lineage was the House of Wettin, a dynasty of German counts, dukes, prince-electors and kings that once ruled territories in the present-day German states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia.


1936

Heinrich Himmler, SS Chief, was appointed to head all German police.  Hitler decreed the unification of all police forces in the Reich, and named Himmler as Chief of German Police.  The police force, initially under the control of Interior Minister Frick, was now a division of the SS and untouchable.  Himmler had operational control over the detective force, as well as all of Germany's law enforcement agencies. They were amalgamated into the Ordnungspolizei, the "order police", which became a branch of the SS under Daluege.  Under Himmler's direction, the SS established its own military branch, the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT), which would later become the Waffen-SS.  It had its own order of command and operations, and was fully militarized growing to over 38 divisions during World War II. It served alongside the Heer (army), but never being formally part of it.


1945

After four days of negotiations from June 17 to 21, 1945 in Moscow between the Polish communists,  Soviet Union, and Stanislaw Mikolajczyk, the Soviet-backed Provisional Government of National Unity (TRJN) was established in Poland.  On July 5, 1945, the United States, Britain and France officially recognized the TRJN, and the next day withdrew their recognition of the legitimate Polish Government in Exile, but the Vatican did not follow suit. On August 16, a Soviet-Polish border agreement was signed in Moscow and before the end of August, Poland had agreed to cede the eastern provinces to the Soviet Union and officially recognized the eastern border based on a slightly modified version of the Curzon line.  (Note:  The TRJN had promised 'free and fair' elections, but they postponed it until the Communists were certain that they could manipulate the election process. In the meantime, they harassed  opposition members by threats, bribery, and resorted to murder.  In the words of Gomułka, the goal of the communists was to be the "hegemon of the nation" and nothing would stand in their way.  On June 30, 1946, they tested their power during the 3xTAK referendum, the results of which were falsified.


1981

Icchak Cukierman died on June 17, 1981. He was also known by his nom de guerre "Antek", or by the anglicised spelling Yitzhak Zuckerman. He was one of the leaders of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and fighter in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944—both heroic and epic struggles against Nazi German terror during World War II. In 1943, he was working on the "Aryan" side of Warsaw to procure guns and ammunition when the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising erupted. Unable to enter the ghetto to join his comrades in battle, he nonetheless proved a crucial link between resistance forces within the ghetto and the Home Army on the "Aryan" side.  Along with Simcha "Kazik" Rotem, he organized the escape of the surviving ZOB (Jewish Combat Organization) fighters through the sewers to safety. During the later Warsaw Uprising of 1944, he led a small troop of 322 survivors of the Ghetto Uprising as they fought the Germans within the ranks of the Polish Home Army.



June 16, 2018

JUNE 16 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 16

1932

The Lausanne Conference, held from June 16 to July 9, 1932, was a meeting of representatives from Great Britain, Germany, and France to discuss the reparations payments that were imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.  Apparently, Joseph Goebbels was in Lausanne during this conference to rally in favor of Germany's interests.  In the midst of the world financial crisis caused by the Great Depression, the conference concluded with an agreement to suspend all reparation payments since Germany could not afford its payments. Germany's rearming program had begun after the Treaty of Versailles. Chancellor of the Weimar Republic, Hermann Müller, had passed cabinet laws that permitted secret and illegal rearmament efforts, in violation of the terms of the Treaty. When the Nazi Party took over power in 1933, Hitler pursued a rapid, and massive increase in re-militarization.


1983

Pope John Paul II visited Poland for the second time to celebrate the 600th Anniversary of the arrival of Our Lady of Jasna Gora in Czestechowa. Beatification of Raphael Kalinowski, Albert Chmielowskiego in Krakow, and Ursula Ledóchowska in Poznan.  The places he visited: Warsaw, Częstochowa, Niepokalanów, Szczecin, Kamień Pomorski, Poznań, Katowice, Wrocław, Kraków. The Black Madonna is attributed with the miracle of saving the Jasna Gora monastery from a Swedish invasion during the Siege of Jasna Gora in the winter of 1655.   As the Swedish army  attempted to capture the monastery, 70 monks and 180 local volunteers held off 4,000 Swedes for 40 days, saving their sacred icon, and changed the course of the war.  This event led King John II Casimir Vasa to "crown" Our Lady of Częstochowa ("the Black Madonna") as Queen and Protector of Poland in the cathedral of Lwow on April 1, 1652.



2012

General Slawomir Petelicki, founder of GROM, found shot dead in the street: Petelicki was found dead Saturday afternoon lying in a pool of his blood, killed by a single gunshot wound to the head - the gun found at the scene. His body was discovered by his wife in the underground parking lot of their apartment building. Preliminary examinations indicated that there were no other injuries to the body and that the bullet had entered the side of the head. Police handled this as a suicide and did not consider foul play. General Petelicki was an iconic figure who was respected and admired by people the world over. He had a long and illustrious career during Poland's communist, and post-communist eras,  and was a specialist in intelligence services. He was the founder of the famous GROM (Grupa Reagowania Operacyjno-Manewrowego), the acronym meaning, Operational Mobile Reaction Group. GROM is the Polish equivalent of the U.S. Navy Seals, and British SAS, and ranks among the worlds top elite special forces. GROM served in special missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.




June 15, 2018

JUNE 15 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 15

1574

Polish King Henryk of Anjou abandoned Poland: Henry III was the first elected King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1573 to 1575 and King of France from 1574 until his death. At the age of 22  Henry abandoned Poland-Lithuania upon inheriting the French throne when his brother, Charles IX, died without issue. Henry's absence "provoked a constitutional crisis" that the Parliament attempted to resolve by notifying Henry that his throne would be lost if he did not return from France by May 12,  1575. His failure to return caused Parliament to declare his throne vacant.


1934

Colonel Bronislaw Pieracki, Minister of the Interior was assassinated by Ukrainian nationalists of the OUN.  Just two days later,the Polish Sanacja government created the Bereza Kartuska Detention Camp. Its first prisoners were almost the entire leadership of the Polish nationalist far-right National Radical Camp (ONR) arrested on July 6 and 7, 1934.  Stephan Bandera and Mykola Lebed were also sentenced to death for the assassination. Their sentences were commuted to life imprisonment but Lebed escaped when the Germans invaded Poland in 1939.


1940

The Soviet Union invaded and annexed Lithuania, according to the secret protocols of Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. The occupation was followed by mass arrests and deportations of over 34,000 citizens. According to a Lithuanian government official, this was the start of a planned removal of 700,000 from Lithuania.


1942

Deportation of Jews from the Netherlands to Poland and Germany began:  All non-Dutch Jews were also sent to Westerbork (deportations ending on September 13, 1944)  Ultimately about 101,000 Jews were deported in 98 transports from Westerbork to Auschwitz (57,800; 65 transports), Sobibor (34,313; 19 transports), Bergen-Belsen (3,724; 8 transports) and Theresienstadt (4,466; 6 transports), where most of them were murdered.


1952

Krystna Skarbek died on this day.  Also known as Christine Granville, she was a Polish secret agent working for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) during the Second World War. She became celebrated especially for her daring exploits in under-cover intelligence and irregular-warfare missions in Nazi-occupied Poland and France.  Ian Fleming, in his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale (1953), modeled the character Vesper Lynd on her. After the WW2 ended, Krystyna  had begun to work as a liner stewardess. On June 15, 1952, Skarbek was stabbed to death in the Shelbourne Hotel, Earls Court, in London by Dennis George Muldowney, an obsessed Reform Club porter and former merchant marine steward, whose advances she previously rejected. Muldowney was convicted of her murder and hanged at HMP Pentonville on September 30, 1952.



June 14, 2018

JUNE 14 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 14

1634

Russia and Poland signed Peace Treaty of Polianow:  The Treaty of Polyanovka (Polish: Polanów) was signed on June 14, 1634 between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Tsardom of Russia in the village of Semlevo located near the Polyanovka River. The accord was signed in the aftermath of the Smolensk War. The negotiations began on April 30 after the failure of the Polish siege of Belaya. Overall, the agreement confirmed the pre-war status quo, with Russia paying a large war indemnity (20,000 rubles in gold) for Władysław IV agreeing to surrender his claim to the Russian throne and return the royal insignia to Russia. Władysław, despite holding an upper hand, was trying to bring Russia into an anti-Sweden alliance; hence in a gesture of goodwill he agreed to give the Russians the border town of Serpeysk and nearby territories. However, the alliance never came through, as the Polish Sejm, unwilling to fight Sweden after the Treaty of Sztumska Wieś, subsequently objected, and Russians saw no benefit in such an alliance.


1906

Pogrom against Jews in Bialystok in Russian Empire: The pogrom occurred between from June 14–16, 1906 in then part of the Russian Empire. Between 81 and 88 people were murdered and about 80 people wounded.  Just as shots were fired, the violence suddenly erupted as mobs of thugs began looting Jewish stores and apartments. The police did nothing to stop it and even participated. By the next day, the attacks on Jewish people no longer appeared as a spontaneous outbreak of violence but rather systematic as in a coordinated military attack.  Russian authorities tried to blame the pogrom on the local Polish population in order to stir up hatred between the Jews and Poles (both of which were opposed to the Tsar).  However Jewish survivors of the violence reported that the local Polish population had in fact sheltered many Jews during the pogrom and did not participate in it. Apolinary Hartglas, a Polish Jewish leader and later a member of the Polish Sejm, together with Ze'ev Jabotinsky, managed to obtain secret documents issued by Szeremietiev which proved that the pogrom was planned in advance by Russian authorities and that the murderers were Russian railroad workers transported from Russia to instigate the violence.


1940

Auschwitz concentration camp began to operate in Nazi controlled Poland. The first transport, from the southern Polish city of Tarnów, consisted of 728 Poles, including 20 Jews. (eventually  3 million would die within its confines). The inmate population grew quickly as the camp absorbed Poland's intelligentsia and dissidents, including members of the Polish underground resistance. By March 1941, 10,900 were imprisoned there, most of them Poles. By the end of 1940, the Nazis had confiscated land in the surrounding area to create a 40-square-kilometre (15 sq mi) "zone of interest" surrounded by a double ring of electrified barbed wire fences and watchtowers.


German forces occupied Paris unopposed on June 14 after a chaotic period of flight of the French government that led to a collapse of the French army. The Battle of France was fought from May 10 to June 25, 1940.  French divisions made a determined resistance but were unable to overcome the German air superiority and armoured mobility. Though the French believed that the Maginot Line would be sufficient defence, German tanks charged through its defenses and deep into France. German commanders met with French officials on June 18 with the objective of forcing the new French government to accept an armistice that amounted to surrender. On June 22, the Second Armistice at Compiègne was signed by France and Germany, resulting in a division of France. The neutral Vichy government led by Marshal Philippe Pétain superseded the Third Republic and Germany occupied the north and west. Italy took control of a small occupation zone in the south-east, and the Vichy regime was left in control of unoccupied territory in the south known as the zone libre.


1944

The Battle of Porytowe Wzgórze began between Polish and Russian partisans and Nazi German forces:  Polish and Russian partisans, numbering around 3,000 found themselves overwhelmed and surrounded by 25,000 to 30,000 German soldiers backed by artillery, tanks, armored cars and air support.  The Germans managed to break through the partisans' line of defense and despite high casualties among the Poles and Russians, they managed to drive the Germans back. The Germans took cover in the woods nearby from which they could keep the partisans under constant fire, increasing the number of casualties, then capturing the western side of the Porytowe Hill, they succeeded in breaching the main line of defense. The Poles and Russians counterattacked, and were able to recover their lost positions and break out of the trap. After fierce fighting, and heavy losses, the main columns of partisans, managed to reach the safety of the Solska Wilderness after a march of 40 kilometers.



June 13, 2018

JUNE 13 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 13

1872

Jan Szczepanik (dob) was a Polish inventor, with several hundred patents and over 50 discoveries to his name, many of which are still applied today, especially in the motion picture industry, as well as in photography and television. Some of his concepts helped the future evolution of TV broadcasting, such as the telectroscope (an apparatus for distant reproduction of images and sound using electricity) or the wireless telegraph, which greatly affected the development of telecommunications.


1930

Ryszard Jerzy Kukliński (dob) was a Polish colonel and Cold War spy for NATO.  Between 1972 and 1981 he passed 35,000 pages of mostly Soviet secret documents to the CIA. The documents described Moscow's strategic plans regarding the use of nuclear weapons, technical data about the T-72 tank and 9K31 Strela-1 missiles, the whereabouts of Soviet anti-aircraft bases in Poland and East Germany, the methods used by the Soviets to avoid spy satellite detection of their military hardware, plans for the imposition of martial law in Poland, and many other matters. Before martial law in December 1981, Kuklinski and his family defected to the USA with the help of the CIA.  Both his sons died in tragic accidents within a few months of each other, but Kuklinski did not discount the possibility that the KGB was behind it. On May 23, 1984 Kukliński was sentenced to death in absentia, by a Soviet military court in Warsaw. After the fall of communism, the sentence was changed to 25 years, but was eventually dropped. The Polish newspaper Trybuna lamented that  "Colonel Ryszard Kukliński—a spy, deserter, and traitor—has been turned into a model of virtue and a national hero of the rightists." In a 1997 survey conducted by the CBOS, 27 percent of Poles considered Kukliński a hero and 24 percent a traitor (compared to 12 and 24 percent, respectively, in 1992.



June 12, 2018

JUNE 12 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 12

1942

Anne Frank started her diary:  For her thirteenth birthday on June 12, 1942, Frank received a book she had shown her father in a shop window a few days earlier. Although it was an autograph book, bound with red-and-white checkered cloth and with a small lock on the front,  Anne decided she would use it as a diary, and she began writing in it almost immediately. In her entry dated 20 June 1942, she listed many of the restrictions that were placed upon the lives of the Dutch Jewish population. On July 5, the  the Zentralstelle für jüdische Auswanderung (Central Office for Jewish Emigration) ordered the family to report for relocation to a work camp. The next day the Frank family went into hiding. She continued writing regularly until August 1, 1944.  The following is an entry dated April 5, 1944:  ".....I finally realized that I must do my schoolwork to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that's what I want! I know I can write ..., but it remains to be seen whether I really have talent ... And if I don't have the talent to write books or newspaper articles, I can always write for myself. But I want to achieve more than that. I can't imagine living like Mother, Mrs. van Daan and all the women who go about their work and are then forgotten. I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to! ...I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that's why I'm so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that's inside me!  When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that's a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?........"



1944

John F. Kennedy awarded with medals.  On June 12,  Kennedy was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, the highest noncombat decoration for heroism, and the Purple Heart Medal.  On the night of August 1–2, PT-109 was performing night patrols near New Georgia in the Solomon Islands accompanied by PT-162 and PT-169.  Kennedy spotted a Japanese destroyer, the Amagiri nearby and commenced procedures to attack, but the PT-109 was suddenly rammed and the impact cut the destroyer in half, resulting in the deaths of two of his crew members.  Kennedy and the ten remaining men swam to a small island three miles away rather than surrender. Despite an injury that Kennedy sustained in the collision, he towed a badly burned crewman through the water, and later to a second island, where they were eventually rescued.  After the war, Kennedy felt that the medal he had received for heroism was not a combat award and asked that he be reconsidered for the Silver Star Medal for which he had been recommended initially.


1980

On this day in 1980, Yad Vashem recognized Stefan Korboński, as Righteous Among the Nations. Korbonski  was a founding member of the Polish underground  (Union of Armed Struggle, the ZWZ), and then the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa, AK). He was also part of the extensive network of the underground Polish Secret State, and leader of the Delegatura.  The duties of his government included the coordination and organization of civilian resistance, information and propaganda. During his term at the office, Korboński expanded the responsibilities of the Directorate by including maintaining law and order, organizing underground civil courts, and coordinating and carrying out their verdicts by the National Security Corps. (The court passed death sentences against specific Nazi German officers, which were carried out by the Polish Underground in "Operation Heads") In September 1942  Korbonski became head of Directorate of Civil Resistance, and he informed the Polish Government in Exile, in London, that the Nazi Germans had began to liquidate the Warsaw Ghetto of the Jewish prisoners for extermination. Stefan Korbonski authored several books about the history of the Polish underground (in Polish) and a book in English entitled, "The Jews and the Poles in World War II"  New York : Hippocrene Books, 1989.

 


June 11, 2018

JUNE 11 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 11

1938

A train with remains of Saint Andrzej Bobola arrived at the border station of Zebrzydowice, greeted and celebrated by enormous crowds of the faithful.  The holy religious icon was also brought to Katowice, Krakow, and Poznan and ultimately arrived in Warsaw on June 17. Following three days of veneration, the remains of Saint Bobola were laid to rest at the Jesuit chapel on Rakowiecka Street. Andrzej Bobola was declared Blessed by Pope Pius IX in October 1853, and was canonized by Pope Pius XI on April 17, 1938. Pope John Paul II declared Bobola a patron saint of Poland and of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Warsaw. Saint Bobola was a Polish missionary and martyr of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Apostle of Lithuania and the "hunter of souls". On May 16, 1657, he was captured by the Cossacks during the Khmelnytsky Uprising, and subjected to a variety of tortures and murdered.

1940

Britain struck back at Italy.  Mussolini declared war on England and France on June 10, 1940, bombing targets in the British-controlled Suez Canal territory, as well as British-controlled island of Malta. At precisely 5 am on the morning of June 11, ten Italian aircraft bombed the dockyard and Hal Far airfield.  It was followed by another attack in late afternoon, this time by 25 aircraft. By the end of the month, attacks were occurring night and day in varying intensity, the heaviest from 60 bombers, escorted by fighters.  On June 14,  French cruisers from Toulon , accompanied by No. 767 Fleet Air Arm Squadron from Hyeres, bombed military installations at Genoa. Meanwhile French aircraft bombed the oil tanks at Venice. On the 17th the French sunk an Italian submarine in the Western Mediterranean. On the 21st British cruisers and a French battleship bombed military targets at Bardia. It was just the beginning, with many more operations to come.  All available British vessels from Alexandria to Malta were dispatched. Of the four British submarines operating near Malta,  the Grampus, Odin and Orpheus failed to return. They had been sunk by Italian anti-submarine vessels.  Allied reaction to the declaration of war was swift. The British immediately interned all Italians who had lived in Britain less than 20 years, and who were between the ages of 16 and 70.  In the U.S. President Roosevelt  broadcast on radio his promise to supply Britain and France with “the material resources of this nation.”


1943

Operation Corkscrew:  It was the code name for the Allied invasion of the Italian island of Pantelleria, (between Sicily and Tunisia) which was launched prior to the Allied invasion of Sicily.  The Allies had planned Operation Workshop in 1940 to invade the island, but had to cancel it as the German strongholds were impervious to attack at the time.  The bombing started in late May and by June the allies had dropped 14,203 bombs amounting to 4,119 tons, destroying 16 Italian batteries.   By June 8, the British Royal Navy task force dispatched five cruisers, eight destroyers and three torpedo boats on a bombing raid of the main port.  The intense ten-day air bombardment succeeded in drastically reducing enemy defences. Out of a total of 80 guns bombed, 43 were damaged as well as communications, ammunition stores and air-raid shelters. Italian garrisons on nearby islands (Lampedusa and Linosa) quickly fell. This opened the way for the invasion of Sicily a month later.



June 10, 2018

JUNE 10 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 10

1942

Lidice Massacre:  Hitler and Himmler ordered the complete destruction of an entire village, Lidice in the Kladno district  (then Czechoslovakia) in reprisal for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich on June 6, 1942. All 173 men over 15 years of age from the village were executed;   184 women and 88 children were deported to concentration camps; a few children considered racially suitable for Germanisation were handed over to SS families and the remainder were sent to the Chełmno extermination camp where they were gassed to death. After the end of the war only only 153 women and 17 children survived.


1981

Mieczysław Jagielski tendered his resignation as a member of the Politburo of the Polish United Workers' Party, stating,  "I submit my resignation as a member of the PB (Politburo), especially since I had a certain incident in my life. I also submit my resignation as vice premier (Deputy Prime Minister)"  His offer was rebuffed, and the incident he spoke of was a heart attack he suffered recently. On July 31, 1981,  Jagielski was fired from his position as Deputy Prime Minister, apparently because he failed to produce a recovery program for the economic crisis Poland was experiencing at the time. (see April 1, 1981) The Politburo stripped him of his memberships in the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers Party, the Politburo of the Polish United Workers and the Economic Committee. He remained a deputy to the Sejm until 1985. He died on the night of February 27, 1997, from a heart attack in his home.  Lech Wałęsa described him as a "sensitive man who always listened to arguments", and said that Jagielski differed in that respect from other Polish politicians in 1980s.




June 9, 2018

JUNE 9 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 9

1815

Congress of Vienna concluded:  In the wake of Napoleonic France's defeat and surrender in May 1814,  after 25 years warfare, the Congress convened to devise a long-term peace plan for Europe by settling critical issues arising from the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars. The objective was not merely to restore old boundaries but to create a balance among the the main powers that would ensure future peace. France lost its recent conquests while Prussia, Austria and Russia enjoyed major territorial gains. Prussia added smaller German states in the west, Swedish Pomerania and 60% of the Kingdom of Saxony; Austria won Venice and much of northern Italy and Russia gained parts of Poland.


1922

Joseph Tykociński Tykociner was a Polish engineer and a pioneer of sound-on-film technology.  On June 9, 1922, Tykociner publicly demonstrated for the first time a motion picture with a soundtrack optically recorded directly onto the film. When Tykociner demonstrated the first sound-on-film motion picture recordings the projector had a photoelectric cell made by his Illinois colleague Jakob Kunz at its heart. In the first sounds ever publicly heard from a composite image-and-audio film, Helena Tykociner, the inventor's wife, spoke the words, "I will ring," and then rang a bell. Next, Ellery Paine, head of the university's Department of Electrical Engineering, recited the Gettysburg Address. The demonstration was written up in the New York World on July 30, 1922. A dispute between Tykociner and university president David Kinley over patent rights to the process thwarted its commercial application.



June 8, 2018

JUNE 8 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 8

1946

After the defeat of Germany and Japan, Britain held the London Victory Celebrations  in London. Many of the Allies were invited to join the parade - except the Polish forces. The Poles were vital to the allied war effort and fought in every major battle of World War II, including the Battle of Britain,  the Battle of Monte Casino, the Falaise Gap,  Battle at Arnhem, and D-Day, among many other battles.  After V-E Day, the Polish servicemen were forgotten and were not invited to represent Poland in the Victory Parade.


1987

Pope John Paul II made his third pilgrimage to  Poland and took part in a National Eucharistic Congress.  Beatification of Karolina Kozka and Michal Kozal. The places he visited: Warsaw, Lublin, Tarnów, Kraków, Szczecin, Gdynia, Gdańsk, Częstochowa, and Łódź.


2002

Polish Census:  A census was taken in Poland from May 21, to June 8, 2002. The results indicated 96% of Polish ethnicity; 1,23% Other and 2,03% no answer. Of the ethnic groups, there were 173,153 Silesians,  152,897 Germans, 48,737 Belorusians,  30,957 Ukrainians, 12, 855 Roma,  6,103 Russians,  5,863 Lemkos,  5,846 Lithuanians,  5,062 Kashubians, 2,001 Slovakians, 1,808 Vietnamese,  1,633 French,  1,541 American, 1,,404 Greek,  1,367 Italian, 1,133 Jews, 1,112 Bulgarians, 1,082 Armenians,  831 Czechs,  800 British, and 495 Tatars. (In the 2011 census the number of Jews has increased to 7,353 (residing mainly in large cities) Before World War II there were slightly over 3 million Jews throughout Poland.  The Nazi Germans conducted the "Final Solution" which destroyed 6 million Jews (the 3 million Jews of Poland and 3 million deported from other European countries).



June 7, 2018

JUNE 7 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 7

1945

Oskar Dirlewanger Found Dead:  Dirlewanger was a German military officer who was the founder and commander of the infamous Nazi SS penal unit "Dirlewanger" during World War II.  Dirlewanger was a psychopathic killer and child molester and "an expert in extermination and a devotee of sadism and necrophilia"  According to Timothy Snyder, "in all the theaters of the Second World War, few could compete in cruelty"  Dirlewanger's Gang was a "storm brigade" which was sent to suppress the Polish resistance during the Warsaw Uprising.  During the the Wola Massacre, the Direlewanger Gang looted, butchered, raped and murdered with unspeakable ferocity.  On June 1st, 1945, Dirlewanger was captured and arrested near the town of Altshausen in a remote hunting lodge, wearing civilian clothes.. He was reportedly recognized by a former Jewish concentration camp inmate and brought to a detention centre. He died around June 5 to 7, 1945 in a prison camp at Altshausen, probably as a result of ill-treatment. The causes of death were never established, but speculation suggested that he was beaten to death by guards.


2003

A referendum on joining the European Union was held in Poland on June 7 and 8, 2003. The proposal was approved by 77.6% of voters. Poland subsequently joined the European Union that year following the ratification of the Treaty of Accession 2003. The country's first European Parliament elections were held in 2004.



June 6, 2018

JUNE 6 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 6

1944

D Day Landings:  Code named Operation Neptune (or Operation Overlord), it was massive Allied invasion of Normandy with the goal of liberating north-western Europe from Nazi occupation.  It was the largest seaborne invasion in history with over 5,000 Allied landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers joining the battle. Almost 160,000 Allied troops crossed the English Channel on D-Day, with 875,000 men disembarking by the end of June. Bombing of Normandy began around midnight with more than 2,200 British, Canadian, and American bombers attacking targets along the coast and further inland. The Germans had 570 aircraft stationed in Normandy and the Low Countries on D-Day.  Allied casualties on the first day were at least 10,000, with 4,414 confirmed dead. The Germans lost 1,000 men. The Operation ended in an Allied victory on August 30, 1944, as German forces retreated across the Seine.


1949

George Orwell's book, "1984" was published.  "1984"  is a dystopian novel set in  "Airstrip One", formerly Great Britain, a province of the superstate Oceania. Oceania is a totalitarian state which is in a constant state of war, whose government exerts control over every aspect of society, and uses propaganda to manipulate public opinion. The citizens of Oceania are dictated to by a political regime that Orwell named, "English Socialism" which he shorted to "Ingsoc" in "Newspeak" the new language invented by the Government. Oceania is no longer a democracy but is under the control of the elite Inner Party. The Inner Party does not tolerate free-thinking people, and actively persecutes citizens who are independent thinkers, and non-conformists. The people are charged with "thought crimes", which are enforced by the "Thought Police." One of the catch phrases of the book, "Big Brother Is Watching You" was coined by Orwell, to refer to the supreme leader of Oceania, who has decreed that every citizen be under constant surveillance (mainly by Telescreens).  The concept of "Big Brother" has become ubiquitous throughout the world, as citizens' civil liberties have steadily been eroded away.



June 5, 2018

JUNE 5 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 5

1257

Krakow granted city rights:  During the Mongol invasion of 1241, Krakow was almost completely destroyed, but it was rebuilt to look practically identical.  In 1257 the High Duke Boleslaw V The Chaste introduced city rights based on Magdeburg Law, which allowed tax benefits and new trade privileges for citizens. (The Magdeburg Laws regulated the degree of internal autonomy within cities and villages, granted by the local ruler and prompted the urban development of the towns and cities.)


1942

A letter was sent by Willy Just to Walter Rauff which described in great detail the operation of the Nazi's  "Spezialwagen" ( special vans) and the gassing of thousands upon thousands of Jews and Roma. Excerpts from the letter reads as follows:  "As of December 1941, ninety-seven thousand have been processed..." --- "... In order to facilitate the rapid distribution of CO, as well as to avoid a buildup of pressure, two slots, ten by one centimeters, will be bored at the top of the rear wall. The excess pressure would be controlled by an easily adjustable hinged metal valve on the outside of the vents...."  --- the observation windows that have been installed up to now could be eliminated, as they are hardly ever used. Considerable time will be saved in the production of the new vans by avoiding the difficult fitting of the window and its airtight lock.....".  The letter used euphemisms, nevertheless it is clear what "processed" means.


1944

Jozef Beck died at the age of 49. He was Polish Foreign Minister from November 2, 1932 to September 30 1939.  During the interwar period, Beck attempted to maintain a semblance of accommodation, but without ceding to the demands of either.  In July 1932, he brokered a nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union and in January 1934, a German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact.  Since neither proved to be successful, Beck established Mutual Defence Agreements with Great Britain and France. When Poland was invaded by Germany and the Soviet Union in September 1939, neither Britain nor France upheld their Agreements.  Jozef Beck, and other leaders of the Polish Government evacuated to Romania.  Jozef Beck played a decisive role early in 1939,  by adamantly refusing Hitler's demands to subordinate Poland into a German puppet-state.  Beck rejected Hitler's demands for annexation of Polish Pomorze (Pomerania), which would have blocked Polish access to the sea and its main trade route. He also rejected demands for an extraterritorial rail and highway corridor to East Prussia and Free City of Danzig in exchange for vague promises. (In 1937 Hitler had assured Beck that he had no claims on Danzig.  But at 4.45 a.m. on September 1, 1939 the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened fire on the Polish garrison of the Westerplatte Fort, Danzig (modern-day Gdansk), in what was to the beginning of World War Two.) (see May 4, 1939)


1945

The Berlin Declaration was signed by the United States, USSR, Britain and France, confirming the complete legal extinction of Nazi Germany.  The preamble of the Declaration confirmed that  Nazi Germany had ceased to exist on April 30, 1945, following the suicide of Adolph Hitler. And that the existing German national territory would be subject to the four signatory powers, and by whose authority, the future boundaries of Germany would be decided.  The preamble also confirmed  that representatives from the signatory governments would exert supreme civil and military authority within German territory as well as over German forces.


1999

Pope John Paul II eighth visit to Poland and what was his longest (until June 17) pilgrimage to  Poland for the closing of the 2nd National Plenary Synod, and Beatification of 108 Martyrs of World War II in Warsaw.  The places he visited: Gdańsk, Pelplin, Elbląg, Lichen, Bydgoszcz, Toruń, Ełk, Wigry, Siedlce, Drohiczyn, Warsaw, Sandomierz, Zamość, Łowicz, Sosnowiec, Kraków, Stary Sącz, Wadowice, Gliwice, Częstochowa.



June 4, 2018

JUNE 4 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

JUNE 4

1926

Ignacy Mościcki took Office. By recommendation of Pilsudski, Ignacy Moscicki was elected President of the Second Republic of Poland on June 1, 1926 but remained subservient to Pilsudski, and never openly showing dissent on any issue.  After Pilsudski's death in 1935, Moscicki's influence on the state affairs increased substantially. This was due in large part to Pilsudski's revision of the Constitution which increased the powers of the Presidential office. Moscicki was the longest serving President in Polish history (from June 4, 1926 – September 30, 1939)


1942

Nazi German officer Reinhard Heydrich died of his wounds:  On May 27, 1942, Heydrich was ambushed in Prague by Czech soldiers Jozef Gabcik and Jan Kubis in Operation Anthropoid.  When Heydrich's vehicle slowed down around a curved road, Gabcik stepped in front of Heydrich's vehicle, and attempted to open fire but his Sten gun jammed. Heydrich ordered his driver to stop the car and stood up to take aim against Gabcik. At that moment, Kubis threw a grenade at the vehicle, which ripped through the right rear fender, and embedded shrapnel into Heydrich's body. Kubis was also injured by the shrapnel.  Heydrich got out of the car, and despite his injuries began to return fire while giving chase, but soon collapsed. His driver returned from his abortive attempt to chase Kubis, and Heydrich ordered him to chase Gabcik. The driver was shot twice and was wounded by Gabcik (who was now using his revolver)  It seemed that the assassination attempt failed. Heydrich was rushed to hospital and was diagnosed with sepsis. He went into shock and died on June 4, 1942.  Operation Anthropoid was the code name for the assassination of Heydrich and was planned by the British Special Operations Executive with the approval of the Czechoslovak government-in-exile.  (Note: The Polish Underground has also assassinated several German officers, including high level Nazi German Officers - see Operation Kutschera (Feb 1, 1944) and Operation Burkl (Sept 7, 1943). The Polish Home Army assassinated many other German officers and commandants.)


1989

The Polish legislative election of 1989 was the tenth election to the Sejm, the parliament of the Polish People's Republic, and the first election to the recreated Senate of Poland. The first round took place on June 4, right after the 1989 June 4th Beijing Tiananmen Square massacre in China, with a second round on June 18.  It was the closest thing to a free election in the country since 1928, and the first since the communist Polish United Workers Party abandoned its monopoly of power in April.  It resulted in a phenomenal victory of the Solidarity opposition and paved the way for the fall of communism in Poland.


2011

Dr. Felix Zandman, Ph.D. died on this day in 2011. He was the founder and chief technology officer of Vishay Inter technology – one of the world's largest providers of electronic components. From 1946 to 1949 he studied physics and engineering in France at the University of Nancy.  He was also enrolled at the Grande École of engineering E.N.S.E.M (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Electricité et de Mécanique). He received a Ph.D. at the Sorbonne as a physicist on a subject of photo elasticity.and was awarded the Edward Longstreth Medal from the Franklin Institute in 1962



June 3, 2018

JUNE 3 - DAILY CHRONCILES OF HISTORY

JUNE 3

1937

The Duke of Windsor married Wallis Warfield Simpson in Monts, France. As King Edward VIII, he had abdicated the British throne in December of 1936 amid tumultuous uproar, to marry Simpson, an American who had been divorced. (Note: Despite the advice of the British government, the Duke and Duchess visited Hitler at his Berghof retreat in Bavaria, Germany. The German media had a heyday with this event and photographed the Duke giving Nazi salutes. According to the Duke of Windsor, he claimed to support appeasement, in the wake of the horrors of World War I.  Hitler considered Edward to be friendly towards Nazi Germany and anticipated that Anglo-German relations could have been improved were it not for Edward's abdication. Albert Speer quoted Hitler directly: "I am certain through him (Edward) permanent friendly relations could have been achieved. If he had stayed, everything would have been different. His abdication was a severe loss for us." (Note:  Nazi Germany made overtures to Britain, because the British royal family's blood line came from the German descent and was originally House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, until it was changed to House of Windsor in 1917 because of anti-German sentiment in the British Empire during World War I.)


1940

Germans bombed Paris:  The Nazi Germans bombed a suburb of Paris, targeting the Citroën automobile factory. 254 persons were killed, including 195 civilians. Many other suburbs of Paris were bombed resulting in countless civilian deaths and injuries. French Prime Minister Reynaud dismissed his commander, Maurice Gamelin, and appointed Maxime Weygand to take his place. He also named the 84-year-old Philippe Pétain as deputy prime minister. Both Weygand and Petain knew that they could not defeat the Germans and began to look for ways out of the war. By June 8,  Parisians could hear the sound of artillery in the distance. Refugees fled in droves, and within a few days the more affluent arrondissements were nearly vacant. Meanwhile the working class 14th arrondissement decreased from 178,000 to 49,000. The British General Staff urged the French to defend Paris street-by-street, but Pétain dismissed the suggestion: "To make Paris into a city of ruins will not affect the issue." By June 12, the French government declared Paris to be an open city and that there would be no resistance. On June 14, the German armies marched in and occupied the city, raising the swastika flag atop the Arc de Triomphe.


Battle of Dunkirk ended with German victory.   The Battle of Dunkirk was part of the Battle of France, as well as that of Operation Dynamo - the emergency evacuation of British and French soldiers from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, who were cut off and surrounded by German troops.  In Churchill's speech to the House of Commons, he referred to this as "a colossal military disaster....(that)...the whole root and core and brain of the British Army" was stranded at Dunkirk and in danger of annihilation.  The evacuation began on May 27, and by June 3rd,  338,226 soldiers had been rescued by a fleet of over 800 boats. Subsequently, Churchill referred to the successful evacuation as a "miracle", and the British press reported it as a "disaster turned to triumph". However, Churchill gave another speech on June 4, to remind the country that "we must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations."   From May 10 until the armistice with France on June 22, BEF suffered casualties of 68,000 soldiers (dead, wounded, missing, or captured). All the heavy equipment had to be abandoned; 2,472 guns, 20,000 motorcycles, about 65,000 other vehicles; 416,000 short tons (377,000 t) of stores, more than 75,000 short tons (68,000 t) of ammunition and 162,000 short tons (147,000 t) of fuel and almost all of the 445 British tanks sent to France.  Six British and three French destroyers were sunk, as well as nine major vessels, 19 destroyers damaged; over 200 British and Allied sea craft  sunk, with a similar number damaged;  145 aircraft lost   ( of which at least 42 were Spitfires)  while the Luftwaffe lost 156 aircraft in operations in the nine days of Operation Dynamo, including 35 destroyed by Royal Navy ships (plus 21 damaged) during the six days from May 27 to 1 June 1.