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.



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