September 15, 2018




Legislative Elections:   On September 8, 1935, Poland held parliamentary elections, and Senate elections on September 15 in the same year. Both were held under the April Constitution which had previously been drawn up by the Sanation movement, so the election rules would be in their favor. The opposition boycotted the election in protest, and voter turnout was only 45.9%,  the lowest in the history of the Second Polish Republic  The Nonpartisan Bloc for Cooperation with the Government, the political power behind the Sanation movement, won 181 of the 206 seats in the Sejm and all 96 seats in the Senate.  The Bloc was affiliated with Jozef Pilsudski and his movement, which included major members such as Walery Slawek, Kazimierz Bartel, Jozef Beck, Adam Koc,  Leon Kozłowski, and others. (NB.  In 1993 then President Lech Wałęsa, founded a Nonpartisan Bloc for Support of Reforms, in Polish Bezpartyjny Blok Wspierania Reform, (which was also abbreviated "BBWR") Walesa intended to revive some of the traditions of the prewar "BBWR" and organize a parliamentary grouping explicitly supportive of his Presidency. This new "BBWR" did not prove to be successful.  In the 1993 elections it won only 5.41% of the vote.)

At the annual Nuremberg Rally of the Nazi Party (NSDAP), the Reichstag held a special meeting to decree the Nuremberg Race Laws against the Jewish people.  They instituted the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour, which made it a criminal offense for Jews and Germans to marry or engage in extramarital intercourse. It also forbade the employment of German women under the age of 45 in Jewish households. The Reich also passed the Citizenship Law which declared only those of German or related blood to be recognized as Reich citizens. The remainder were classed as subjects of the state without rights of citizenship. German Jews were forbidden to practice many professions such as law or medicine, and were excluded from vocations such as journalism, teaching, radio, film, and even farming. Signs were placed in store windows, and public arenas and even pharmacists, "Jews not welcome". International reaction to these events was somewhat indifferent perhaps because people thought it was "just a phase". At the time, British Prime Minister Lloyd George publicly referred to Hitler as "a great man", and believed that Hitler was only rearming for defence and not for invasions. The British Prime Minister called Hitler, "the George Washington of Germany".

Rassenschande (translated: "Shame") was one of the Nazi laws that forbade sexual intercourse and marriage between non-Aryans and Germans, (the ban was directed not only to Jews, but Polish as well).   Despite this law, Polish women who were forced into slave labor were subjected to rampant sexual assault, rape, and abuse by their handlers, and by German farmers and workers, resulting in an exorbitant spike in the rate of unwanted births. The Nazis dealt with the situation by founding hundreds of  so-called "special homes" (in German: Ausländerkinder-Pflegestätte) in order to secretly exterminate these babies. 


The Blitz Extinguished.  The Luftwaffe launched two major daylight attacks along the river Thames, targeting the docks and railway communications, causing extensive damage. The German strategy for air superiority was hinged on their expectation that by targeting the London docks, the RAF would be lured to defend the area, and be destroyed by German fighter planes. But the tide of war changed - RAF fighter planes succeeded in shooting down 56 German fighters, representing about 18 per cent of enemy bombers. The Germans attempted to switch to night-time bombing, but could not gain air superiority.  By September 19, 1940, Hitler realized his defeat, and cancelled his plans for Operation Sea Lion, the amphibious invasion of Britain. Despite this defeat, German planes continued sporadic attacks on London and other British cities until 1941.  However, the allies won the Battle of Britain.


Warsaw Uprising:  Polish units from the eastern shore of the Vistula river attempted several more landings. From September 15 to 23, 1944, Polish insurgents suffered very heavy casualties in this operation, during which all their landing boats and military equipment were destroyed under German machine gun fire.  The promised assistance of the Red Army support was minimal to non-existent.  When the 1st Polish Army failed to link up with the Polish resistance, the Soviets responded with a marked reduction in artillery and air support.  At this juncture, Soviet supreme command relieved Polish General Berling from his duties, a decision which impeded an already beleagured Polish army. Moreover, Soviet plans were to postpone further landings "for at least 4 months".  Of about 900 Polish fighters who reached the other side of the shore only a handful made it back to the eastern shore of the Vistula.  Polish casualties were 5,660 (killed, missing or wounded)

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