June 17, 2018




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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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