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.




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