September 26, 2018




Bezdany raid by Polish revolutionaries:  The Bezdany raid was a train robbery on a Russian Empire passenger train near Bezdany near Vilna, and was considered the most daring and successful train robberies in Eastern Europe. The robbery was led Jozef Pilsudski, Poland's future national hero and dictator. The robbery garnered about 200,000 Russian rubles, which under the gold standard would be equivalent to 5,000 ounces of gold  ( in 1908 it would have been valued at $100,000; or , in 2012, would be valued at 8 million dollars, a veritable fortune in contemporary times.)  Pilsudski intended to use those funds to finance his secret military organization, though originally it was earmarked for the construction of a tram system in Vilnius. 


In the midst of the Sudetenland crisis, Hitler made the speech in Berlin announcing that he had assured the British Prime Minister that when the Czechoslovakian problem had been settled, that there would be no more territorial demands by Germany in Europe.  (However, an OKW directive had later been issued to German forces (on November 24, 1938 ) ordering them to prepare for an attack on the Free City of Danzig. The directive read as follows: " The fuehrer has ordered (that) preparations are also to be made to enable the Free State of Danzig to be occupied by German troops by surprise"


The French Communist Party was banned.  After its declaration of war on Germany, the French Government denounced the French Communist Party (PCF). Initially, the PCF confirmed its commitment to national defense, but changed its position after Comintern announced that the declaration of war was considered "imperialist".  Subsequently officials of the PCF signed a petition calling for peace, and expounded favorably of Hitler's peace proposals. The French government issued a decree that the manifestation of any communist propaganda would be punishable by the death penalty.  The Comintern ordered the PCF leadership to evacuate to Belgium,  while Maurice Thorez (leader of PCF) escaped to Moscow to evade prosecution.  All Communist-led local parties and organizations were dissolved,  communist trade unionists were suppressed, as well as communist newspapers. The PCF continued to exist albeit as an underground organization.


Nazi Memorandum:  The August Frank memorandum was issued on September 26, 1942 by August Frank, SS Lieutenant General of the SS concentration camp administrative department  (SS-WVHA). It outlined detailed plans to carry out the "Final Solution", that is the extermination of the Jewish people, and the systematic confiscation of every item in their possession, including cash, jewelry,furs, gold teeth, watches, fountain pens, razors, scissors, flashlights, wallets, purses, clothing, underwear, footwear (of men, women and children), blankets, umbrellas, walking sticks, glasses, mirrors, belts, forks, knives, spoons, suitcases, combs, bed sheets, towels, and lastly - hair, which was shaved off the Jewish victims before they were gassed to death. The August Frank Memorandum, translated to English, was used as evidence during the Nuremberg Military Tribunal in the Trials of War Criminals.  Despite the evidence, Frank claimed that he had no knowledge that the Jews were being mass murdered.  He was tried and convicted of crimes against humanity. On November  3,1947 he was sentenced to life in prison by the tribunal which made the following declaration:  "...August Frank: this Tribunal has adjudged you guilty under counts two, three, and four of the indictment filed in this case. For the crimes of which you have thus been convicted, this Tribunal sentences you to imprisonment for the remainder of your natural life, at such place of confinement as shall be determined by competent authority...."  But in 1951 his sentence was commuted to 15 years.  The tribunal decided that Frank was criminally responsible for the slave labor program and the looting of Jewish property, but not liable for the murders of the Jews.  He died in Germany in 1984.


Germans recaptured Mokotow district.  In the early morning, the Germans continued a massive assault on all fronts throughout Warsaw. (The previous day was the heaviest bombardment by the Germans backed with artillery and 1,200 aircraft. The Poles referred to it as Black Monday. ) On this day western parts of the city were attacked by five German divisions of the 10th, 18th, 19th, 31st and 46th while four German divisions of the 11th, 32nd, 61st and 217th attacked the eastern parts of the city. There were 70 batteries of field artillery, 80 batteries of heavy artillery and two entire air fleets (1st and 4th). Warsaw was bombarded relentlessly resulting in very high civilian casualties.  On September 26, 1944, the Germans captured the Forts of Mokotów, Dąbrowski and Czerniaków.  On the same day, Juliusz Rommel, Polish Army General, began capitulation talks with the German commander. On September 28, at 12:00 they signed an agreement for a cease-fire. Warsaw officially capitulated. Despite this outcome, some Polish units refused to lay down their arms and cease fire, though they were personally commanded to do so by Polish Generals Czuma and Rommel.

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