September 5, 2018




The Battle of Tuchola Forest ended in German victory.  The Polish Army of Pomerania was ordered to defend the Polish Corridor, against the better judgement of its commander General Wladyslaw Bortnowski,  who requested permission several times to withdraw his units from the area.  Due to the numerical and tactical superiority of the German war machine, and lack of coordination of Polish forces, the Germans succeeded in breaking through the Polish Corridor and connected with East Prussia. Polish casualties were horrendous, virtually wiped out: 10,000 were killed, wounded or captured. German casualties were about 150 killed and 700 wounded.


Mad Tuesday in The Netherlands:  The Dutch Prime Minister in Exile gave a radio broadcast asserting that Breda had been liberated by Allied forces, it sparked a wave of rumours that spread throughout the occupied territory of the Netherlands.  The citizens were ecstatic that liberation was near at hand, and poured out into the streets in spontaneous celebration. (on September 4, 1944 the allies had indeed conquered Antwerp, but it was assumed that they had advanced well into the Netherlands.) The northern part of the Netherlands were constrained to wait for liberation until May 5, 1945.


Downfall of Edward Gierek:   In early September 1980, Gierek was removed from power by the Central Committee's VI Plenum and replaced by Stanislaw Kania as the party first secretary.  During the 1970s Edward Gierek was held in high regard because of promised reforms for improving the economy and modernization of industries, though his reforms were largely based on large scale foreign loans.  He was called a "miracle worker" when the standard of living increased substantially.  But the 1973 oil crisis contributed to the de-stabilization of the Polish economy, and his plan to increase consumer prices was scrapped due to widespread protests. In the meantime, Poland's foreign debt continued rising.  Gierek left his post in disgrace and was subjected to party ridicule. In December 1980 the VII Plenum accused Gierek (and Jaroszewicz) as personally liable for Poland's situation and the were removed from the Central Committee;  in July 1981, the IX Congress of PZR voted to expel Gierek and his associates from the party for their failure to stop Solidarnosc. After the imposition of martial law by General Jaruzelsk on December 13, 1981, Gierek was arrested and interned for a period of a year.  Gierek's career was utterly destroyed and he was made a pariah.


Siemens, German engineering company caused international outrage:  In the previous year,  Bosch Siemens Hausgeraete (BSH) filed two applications with the United States Patent & Trademark Office for the name of Zyklon to be used on its range of home products, including gas ovens. Zyklon is the same name as the Zyklon B poison gas used in Nazi extermination camps. Jewish groups have condemned the company for its flagrant actions. In August of 2002 the British sportswear manufacturer Umbro apologised after complaints that it named one of its sports shoes Zyklon.  "Siemens should know better because it was directly complicit in the use of slave labour," said Dr Shimon Samuels, head of the European arm of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organisation. This is a major, major scandal." (BBC News, World Edition,"Siemens retreats over Nazi name")

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