July 13, 2018




Rovno Pogrom:  The majority of the Jews of western Ukraine town of Rovno, around 23,000 people, were murdered shortly after the Germans invaded in June 1941.  About 5,000  to 7,000 Jews were left in the ghetto.  On the night of  July 13, 1942 the Nazis liquidated the Rovno Ghetto. All 5,355 Jews were forced into cattle carriages to Kostopil and shot.


Operation Foxley was a British SOE plan to assassinate Hitler planned for July 13 or 14. The scheme called for the SOE to parachute a German-speaking Pole and a British sniper into Austria. They would be guided to the Berghof residence disguised as German mountain troops.  The basic plan was to assassinate Hitler during his morning exercise, as he was known to take unprotected walks to the Teehaus on the Mooslahnerkopf Hill from the Berghof residence. The sniper practiced by firing at moving dummy targets with an accurized Kar 98k with a Mauser telescopic sight, the standard rifle of the Wehrmacht. Though plans were made for the assassination of Hitler, it was never carried out, either due to inadequate preparation, or a reconsideration of whether the plan was prudent.


GROM, Poland's special elite forces was officially activated on July 13, 1990.  GROM stands for "Grupa Reagowania Operacyjno-Manewrowego" which in English translates to "Group Operational Maneuvering Response" and is part of five special operation forces in the Polish Armed Forces.  The unit was named after the Cichociemni ("The Silent and Unseen") special underground forces that operated with Allied forces during World War Two. After two Polish diplomats were shot in Beirut in March 1990,  Lt. Col. Sławomir Petelicki was sent to Lebanon to secure the transfer of civilians and the Polish diplomatic outposts. When Petelicki returned to Poland, he presented his plan for the creation of a special military unit to the Ministry of Interior, to counter any terrorist actions. (in 1982 General Edwin Rozłubirski made a similar proposal but the Peoples Army of Poland rejected the idea).  Petelicki's ideas were well received, and GROM was established, with Petelicki as its first Commander on June 13, 1990.  Those wishing to serve in JW GROM must pass a grueling gauntlet of psychological and durability tests, along with what is called "the truth test". Many apply, but few are chosen. GROM recruits train with the best special forces units in the world, including the U.S. Navy Seals.


Jan Karski died on July 13, 2000. He was a Polish resistance fighter with the Armia Krajowa (Home Army). Karski was an underground courier who took on the mission of secretly infiltrating a concentration camp. Disguised as an Estonian guard he entered the Belzec death camp on a fact finding mission. What he saw had haunted him for the rest of his life. In 1942 and 1943 Karski reported his findings to the Polish Government in Exile and to Western Allies on the situation in German-occupied Poland - the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, and what he learned about the secret German-Nazi extermination camps. Karski also personally met with numerous politicians; Polish politicians in exile, members of political parties, and the British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden. Then he traveled to the US and on July 28, 1943 met with Franklin Roosevelt telling him about the situation in Poland, and the Holocaust of the Jews.  In 1944, he published "Courier from Poland: The Story of a Secret State". Karski was a professor at Georgetown University where he taught for forty years, in the areas of East European affairs, comparative government and international affairs. In March 2013, the university republished his book, titled, "My Report to the World: The Story of a Secret State".

No comments:

Post a Comment