POLISH GREATNESS TRAFFIC

August 6, 2018

AUGUST 6 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

AUGUST 6

1939

Nazi officers murdered 36 villagers in the town of Żywocice, in the  Zaolzie area of Czechoslovakia. In the early hours of August 6, 1939, the town was surrounded by the German Army and the Landwache. The townspeople were ordered to register as ethnic Germans and be documented on the "Volkslite".  Those who refused to comply were singled out and were hunted down by the Landwache and Gestapo. They were dragged out of their homes and executed with one gun shot in the nape of the neck. Some tried to flee but were shot on sight. The prelude to the massacre occurred two days earlier when members of a local Polish resistance unit (Armia Krajowa) under the command of J. Kamiński killed two officers of the Teschen command of the Gestapo and their driver.  The Gestapo retaliated against the village residents when a search for the Polish fighters turned up fruitless. The liquidation operation was under the command of Q. Magwitz,  head of the Teschen headquarters of Gestapo. He targeted innocent victims who had no involvement in the guerilla operation and whose only demand was the preservation of their Polish or Czech identity.


1942

Fifteen thousand Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto were deported to Treblinka in a single day as a result of the German food giveaway.  The Jews lined up for several days for the chance to get some bread. But they were deceived by the Nazis, as there was no bread, but only deportation to the death camp. By August 27, there were a total of 53,750 Jews deported. This was called the Gross-Aktion Warsaw, the secret Nazi plan of mass extermination of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto. It began on July 22,  1942 during which the Nazis made daily patrols rounding up Jews, marched them through the streets of the Ghetto to Umschlagplatz station square, from where they were "resettled". Unbeknownst to the Jews, the trains were destined for Treblinka death camp.


1944

Polish Ambassador called on the Lt. General McNarney to present an urgent request from the President of Poland for supplies to be furnished to the Polish Underground Army fighting the Germans in Warsaw. The Polish requested that either General Eisenhower be authorized to send in supplies by air or that German munitions captured by Soviet forces be sent to Warsaw from the United States bases in the Soviet Union. The Ambassador's memorandum also stated that arms and ammunition which Churchill had promised to parachute to Warsaw had not been sent because of technical difficulties.


In response to the Warsaw Uprising that broke out on August 1st, the Nazi Germans attempted to prevent a similar uprising in Krakow, by rounding  up all young Polish men.  Karol Wojtyla (who later became Pope John Paul II) narrowly escaped capture. He and other seminarians took refuge in the Bishops Palace in Krakow at the invitation of Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha.  On August 1st, 1944, the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa, or AK) launched the Warsaw Uprising, Operation Ostra Brama, and Operation Tempest had previously been launched in July 1944 by the AK, as part of a Polish national uprising to take back control of Nazi-occupied cities and regions, ahead of the arrival of Soviet troops. The Lwow Uprising started on July 23, 1944 against the German occupation of the city of Lwow (now Lviv, in Ukraine). Although the Krakow Uprising was planned, it was never carried out. Archbishop Sapieha opposed the idea of an uprising and asked German General Harpe to proclaim Krakow an "open city", in the hopes that it would save the civilians and historic buildings.  The next day Harpe agreed to safeguard the city and the buildings, but warned that if there were an uprising, Krakow would then be destroyed.  The Nazis had chosen Krakow as the capital of the General Gouvernment, where there were about 10,000 German troops stationed. Krakow dates back to the 7th century and has been the center of Polish academia, literature, culture, and artistic life. Jagiellonian University, situated in Krakow, is one of the oldest universities in the world and among the most distinguished institution of higher learning.


1945

U.S. atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima: At precisely 08:15 on August 6, 1945, the "Little Boy" atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.  It fell for 44.4 seconds, at which time the barometric triggers set off the firing mechanism.  The bomb detonated at an altitude of 1,968 ± 50 feet (600 ± 15 m) with an explosive energy of about 15 kilotons of TNT (63 TJ).  Civilian casualties were about 66,000 people killed and 69,000 injured in varying degrees.   The bomb was dropped by a Boeing B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay, piloted by Colonel Paul W. Tibbets Jr.  commander of the 509th Composite Group of the USAAF.  Sixteen hours later,  President Harry Truman warned Japan to "expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth" unless they submitted to an unconditional surrender. The Japanese remained defiant publicly, though secretly were making entreaties to the Soviet Union to mediate more favorable terms on behalf of Japan.


2015

Polish President Vetoed Constitution: Andrzej Duda became President of The Republic of Poland:  Duda is the sixth and current President of Poland, holding the office since August 6,  2015.  Before his tenure as President, Duda was a member of Polish Lower House (Sejm) from 2011 to 2014 and the European Parliament from 2014 to 2015. His presidency has not been without controversy: On November 16, 2015, based on Art. 139 of the Constitution of Poland, Duda pardoned former Central Anticorruption Bureau (CBA) head Mariusz Kamiński and three CBA officers convicted by a court of 1st instance in the so-called Land Affair, making this the first pardon granted by a president before reaching a final verdict.  According to some lawyers (including Professors Jan Zimmermann. Andrzej Duda's doctorate promoter, Leszek Kubicki, former Minister of Justice, and Andrzej Zoll,  former president of the Constitutional Tribunal) Duda has breached the Constitution of Poland. In other instances, President Duda has refused to swear in the five Constitutional Tribunal judge candidates selected by the Sejm of the VII cadence, and the three of those mentioned that were selected since November  7, 2015 whose election was declared constitutional.  In July 2017, about 50,000 people demonstrated in Warsaw against changes in the justice system. On July 24, Duda informed the public he had decided to veto two controversial judicial bills backed by the government and passed by both houses of the Polish parliament.
 

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