August 21, 2018




French Resistance Assassinated a German Soldier:   At a secret meeting from August 15 to 17, members of the French resistance movement called, Jeunesse Communistes (JC), agreed to obtain weapons and begin training for armed underground attacks against the Germans. The recent news of the execution of Gautherot and Tyszelman, compelled the members of the group to take action.  (Previously, the JC  dealt only with propaganda.)   Of the JC leaders, Pierre Georges became primarily involved in military operations in the Paris region, while Albert Ouzoulias was more concerned with recruitment and liaison between the regions.   On August 21, Pierre Georges and three companions carried out a revenge killing of a German soldier named Alfons Moser when he was boarding a train at the Barbès metro station at eight in the morning. When Adolf Hitler heard of Moser's execution, he ordered the immediate execution of one hundred hostages. Contrary to Hitlers order, Otto von Stulpnagel, the German military commander in France, ordered the number to be reduced to 10 hostages On August 27, August 1941 three Communists were sentenced to death by guillotine, and were executed the following day. Over the next few days five more communists more shot.  Over the next several months, a series of assassinations and reprisals were conducted which resulted in the execution of five hundred French hostages.


Invasion of Czechoslovakia: The Prague Spring  was a period  in which attempts were made to introduce political liberalization  in Czechoslovakia during a period of draconian political and military domination under the Soviet Union.  On January 5, 1968, reformist Alexander Dubcek was elected First Secretary of the Communist Party, and attempted to usher in economic decentralization, democratization and basic human rights. On August 21, 1968, the Soviet Union sent half a million troops with tanks in the invasion of Czechoslovakia, to quash attempts at reforms.

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