October 24, 2018




Third Partition of Poland:   On October 24, 1795 representatives of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Russian empire signed a treaty dividing the remaining territories of the Commonwealth among Prussia, the Austrian Empire, and the Russian Empire which thereby ended Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1918. Polish sovereignty ceased to exist for 123 years. The partitioning powers agreed to permanently erase Poland's name from existence in any historical context,  including from their respective encyclopedias, in an attempt to quash Polish dissidence and nationalistic fervor. Consequently, this period was fraught with numerous Polish uprisings. Tadeusz Kosciuzko was a Polish patriot and leader of the Polish Uprisings against Russia and Prussia.  He also fought on the American side in the American Revolution. He is revered as both hero of Poland and of the United States.


Joachim von Ribbentrop met with Polish ambassador Józef Lipski at Berchtesgaden in southern Germany. During the meeting, Ribbentrop presented Lipski with a proposal to settle issues between Poland and Germany that "would remove the causes of future strife."  Ribbentrop emphasized the importance of reuniting Danzig with the Reich, and assured Lipski that Poland would retain railway and economic facilities there. He asked that Poland agree to the building of an extraterritorial superhighway and railway line across Pomerania. Ribbontrop mentioned that in exchange for these agreements, there "might" be the possibility of extending the Polish-German non-aggression treaty for another 20 to 25 years as well as a guarantee of Polish-German frontier and requested that he communicate these suggestions to Polish Minister Josef Beck. (To read Minister Beck's reply, read blog post dated May 5, 1939,in Daily Chronicles of History)


October 24, 1939 Nazi Speech:  German Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop made a speech in Danzig blaming Britain for starting the war. He declared that fighting would begin on a large scale because British Prime Minister Chamberlain had "refused the hand of the Führer stretched out in a peace gesture."  The following is an excerpt of Ribbentrops speech: " .......The Fuehrer's historic offer of peace, made before the Reichstag, was not only not understood by Mr. Chamberlain, but following his previous mistaken policy towards Germany with rare consistency, he again made precisely that mistake which he should not have made, and against which the Fuehrer uttered an explicit warning in his speech. For Mr. Chamberlain actually interpreted the Fuehrer's offer as an indication of Germany's weakness. Completely misunderstanding its high ethical value, and the eminence from which the Fuehrer made his offer of peace to Great Britain, in order to prevent utterly senseless bloodshed for the nations, Mr. Chamberlain has now finally refused to grasp Germany's outstretched hand of peace. By so doing, the British Prime Minister has taken upon himself a grave responsibility in the eyes of the world, and at the same time has shown afresh that, whatever Germany were to do, Great Britain is determined to wage this war against Germany.....Germany has accepted this British challenge.........  ( London swiftly provided an official reply saying the speech "introduces no new element into the situation nor is it considered as having any particular importance.")


The People's Guard bombed the Café Club in the center of Warsaw.  The club, located at the corner of Aleje Jerozolimskie and Nowy Świat was a favorite recreation and entertainment center exclusive to soldiers of the Nazi German army.  The bombing was in retaliation for the public execution of 50 of its members. The commander of the district of Powiśle, Tadeusz Findziński, "Olek" and Jerzy Duracz "Jurek" took part in the attack.  Roman Bogucki tossed a bunch of grenades through the window of the cafe,  which exploded and wounded several Nazi Germans.


The United Nations was officially established on this day.  It's Preamble reads as follows:  " We the Peoples of The United Nations Determined;  to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,  AND FOR THESE ENDS, to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples,  HAVE RESOLVED TO COMBINE OUR EFFORTS TO ACCOMPLISH THESE AIMS,  Accordingly, our respective Governments, through representatives assembled in the city of San Francisco, who have exhibited their full powers found to be in good and due form, have agreed to the present Charter of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations.


President Truman declared the end of war with Germany on October 24, 1951 (ten years and two months after Congress declared war against Nazi Germany on December 11, 1941.) Most people believe that the war ended with the cessation of military hostilities in 1945, although no treaty had been signed with Germany to that effect.  The obstacle to this impasse was the Soviet occupation of both East and West Germany, despite the agreement among the major powers (US, UK, and France) of the division of Germany into Western and Soviet control.  Tensions heightened when Stalin ordered a blockade of the city of Berlin.  In response, Truman ordered airlifts to help the Germans in the Western Zone. (For more information about the Berlin Blockade, read  blog post dated June 24, 1948;  and to read about the Berlin Airlift read blog post of June 26, 1948)

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