October 17, 2018




Polish citizens who resided in territories annexed by the Third Reich were deported to General Gouvernment (GG) in Poland. The Nazis ordered each Polish household to evacuate their homes, allotting them each only one suitcase weighing not more than fifty kilograms, only one blanket, and enough food for a couple of days. They could not take their beds, and had to leave behind their money and valuables. Hitler regarded Polish Christians and Polish Jews as "untermenschen" (sub-human). His plan was to exterminate both the Poles and the Jews, but allow a small proportion of Poles to survive and serve the Third Reich as slaves.  Due to the shortage of food in the GG,  the Nazis rationed food supplies to sub-subsistence levels:  While the Nazi Germans were enjoying a daily intake of 2,310 calories, the Poles were receiving only 654 daily calories, and the Jews only 184 calories per day.  Many urban Poles tried to supplement their food by secretly buying from farmers, or from the black market.  Tragically, Jews could not pursue the same options. There were countless stories of Jewish children who would sneak out of the Jewish ghettos at night to search for, buy, or steal food from the outside.  And there were sympathetic Poles who would toss bread over the ghetto walls to try to help the Jews.  If the Nazis caught them doing so, they would have been shot on the spot.

Luftwaffe bombers raided Scapa Flow again and damaged the HMS Iron Duke, a decommissioned British battleship. In retaliation the RAF shot down one of the enemy bombers. The British naval base was protected by mines and boom, as well as anti-aircraft batteries. Churchill ordered a series of causeways to be built to block the eastern approach to Scapa Flow.  Though it was closed in 1956, the Churchill Barriers are still in place today, and have been preserved, allowing road access between the islands of Orkney while blocking any ship access. (Scapa Flow is one of the transfer and processing points for North Sea oil. A 30-inch(-diameter), 128-mile underwater pipeline brings oil from the Piper oilfield to the Flotta oil terminal. The Claymore and Tartan oil fields also feed into this line.)   Read October 14, 1939


Warsaw Uprising: Nazi German Plan to Erase Warsaw. Throughout October as the Nazi Germans were preparing to leave the city, they systematically razed Warsaw to the ground. "After 5 or 6 weeks, Warsaw will disappear; Warsaw the capital, the head of 16-17 million Poles, a people who blocked the East to us for 700 years, will be no more. Then, historically speaking, the Polish Question will no longer be a problem for us, for our children, and for all those who will succeed us." (October 17, 1944 quote by Heinrich Himmler, SS Chief)

TO MARSHAL STALIN (no. 336) "My dear Marshal Stalin, We have had further conversations with Mikolajczyk, and we have made progress. I am more than ever convinced of his desire to reach an understanding with you and with the National Committee, despite the very real difficulties that confront him.  Mikolajczyk is anxious to see you himself alone, in order to tell you what his plans now are and to seek your advice. The conversations which I have had with him since I saw you lead me to press this request most strongly upon you.  I am looking forward to our conversation tonight on the question of the partition of Germany. I feel, as I think you agreed yesterday, that we may clarify and focus our ideas with a precision which was certainly lacking at Tehran, when victory seemed so much more distant than now.  Finally let me tell you what a great pleasure it has been to me to find ourselves talking on the difficult and often unavoidably painful topics of State policy with so much ease and mutual understanding.  My daughter Sarah will be delighted with the charming token from Miss Stalin and will guard it among her most valued possessions.   I remain, with sincere respect and goodwill, Your friend and war comrade,  Winston S. CHURCHILL  (Moscow, October 17, 1944)


Adoption of Small Constitution:    The Polish Constitution of 1992 annulled many of the antiquated sections of the Stalinist Constitution of the People's Republic of Poland (1952), replacing statements of communism and socialism, and with that supporting a free liberal democracy and open market economy.  The 1992 Constitution also revised and regulated the relation between the executive and legislative branches of government, as well as local government.   It was voted on by the first freely-elected Sejm since 1928.  (The reformed 1952 constitution was fully repealed and completely replaced in 1997 by the current Constitution of the Republic of Poland.)

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