June 5, 2018




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.)


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.


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)


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.


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.

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