October 14, 2018




The Commission for National Education was formed in Poland:  On October 14, 1773, the Commission for National Education of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was established.  Its purpose was to combine the educational systems of both Poland and Lithuania under one national controlling body,  which would be wholly responsible for education.  The decision for such a commission was imperative, following the decision of Pope Clement IV to dissolve the Jesuit Order.  Previously, education in Poland and Lithuania was conducted mainly by the Jesuits, and without them the educational system would be in left in complete disarray. Lithuanian Vice-Chancellor Joachim Chreptowicz and Bishop of Vilnius, Ignacy Ksiaze Massalski proposed to the Polish - Lithuanian Sejm that such a commission be established not only to continue the work of the Jesuits, but to assume control of all educational matters, and be directly responsible to the Sejm.


German submarine U-47 under the command of Gunther Prien, penetrated the British naval base at Scapa Flow and sank the WWI era battleship HMS Royal Oak. After firing its first torpedo, the enemy submarine turned to make its escape; but, upon realizing that there was no immediate threat from surface vessels, it returned for another attack. The second torpedo blew a 30-foot (9.1 m) hole in the Royal Oak, which flooded and quickly capsized. Of the 1,400-man crew, 833 were lost including Rear Admiral Henry Blagrove. The wreck is now a protected war grave.


The Blitz Continued. The fiercest German attack during the Battle of Britain occurred on October 14, 1940 when 380 German bombers attacked London. British casualties were 200 killed and 2000 injured. British anti-aircraft defences responded with 8,326 rounds of fire power but shot down only two bombers.  When the German bombers returned the next day, they dropped 415 tons of high explosive bombs and 11 short tons of incendiary explosives on London, setting about 900 fires raging throughout the city, and damaging rolling stock, and five main railway lines. During the month of October the Germans dropped a total of  9,000 short tons during the day, and over 6,000 short tons at night. Birmingham and Coventry were hard hit and over the course of the last week of October were hit with  500 short tons of bombs between them.   Liverpool , Hull and Glasgow were also hit.  The Germans dropped about  800 short tons of bombs over Britain.


Mass killing of Jews from Mizocz Ghetto in the Ukraine.  On October 12, 1942,  the Mizocz Ghetto was surrounded by Ukrainian auxiliaries and German policemen in preparation for liquidation action and the pacification of its 1,700 Jewish occupants. The Jews launched an uprising and fought back for two days.  Half of the Jews were able to escape or hide before the uprising was put down.  On October 14, Nazis captured the escapees, and transported them by trunks to an isolated ravine, where they were executed one by one.  The executions were actually photographed. The images were owned by SS-Unterscharführer Schäfer and in 1945 were confiscated and became part of the Ludwigsburg investigation (ZSt. II 204 AR 1218/70). The images had been published, and have become well known.


300 Jews and Soviet POWs escaped from Sobibor:    On October 14, 1943, about 600 prisoners tried to escape Sobibor death camp.  Half of them succeeded in crossing the fence, and fifty managed to evade capture.  Several days after the uprising,  Heinrich Himmler ordered the camp closed, dismantled, and planted with trees. The gas chambers were demolished and their foundations were covered with asphalt and made to look like a road. The Nazis forced the last prisoners still in the camp, to dismantle the buildings, after which they were murdered.  Four of the chambers were uncovered by archaeologists in 2014, using modern technology. Today, the site is occupied by the Sobibór Museum, which displays a pyramid of ashes and crushed bones of the victims, collected from the cremation pits.   After the war, Karol Frenzel, the third-in-command at Sobibór,  was put on trial and convicted of war crimes in 1966. Though he was sentenced to life, he was released after serving sixteen years. He appealed the sentence due to the supposed state of his health.  He was interviewed on tape in 1983, in which he stated the following, "......Poles were not killed there (in Sobibor). Gypsies were not killed there. Russians were not killed there....only Jews, Russian Jews, Polish Jews, Dutch Jews, French Jews."


Riots in Warsaw:  Last week in the heart of Warsaw over a period of four nights, thousands of rioting Polish university students converged chanting taunting shouts of "Gestapo, Gestapo" amid the whomp and hiss of exploding tear-gas canisters. The riots broke out when 2,000 students assembled at the big student hostelry in downtown Narutowicza Square to protest the decision of Wladyslaw Gomulka in banning the student weekly paper, Po Prostu. The paper was Polands' boldest and best-known crusading student weekly.

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