October 25, 2018




The October Revolution of October 24, 1917 (Nov 7 NS)  also called Red October, the October Uprising, the Bolshevik Revolution, or Bolshevik Coup was led by the Bolsheviks and Vladimir Lenin.  It followed the February Revolution (which overthrew the Tsarist autocracy, and established a provisional government. During this time, urban workers began to organize into councils (Russian: Soviet) wherein revolutionaries criticized the provisional government and its actions. After the second session of the Congress of Soviets, now the governing body,  members of the Bolsheviks and other leftist groups were elected to important positions within the new state of affairs. This marked the establishment of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, the world's first self-proclaimed socialist state. (On July  17,  1918, the Tsar and his family were executed.)


On October 25, 1939, the U-16 German submarine was crossing the Dover Strait when it was attacked by HMS Puffin and HMS Cayton Wyke. The U-boat attempted to avoid the depth charges and ran aground on the Goodwin Sands. There were no survivors.  Subsequently, all U-boats took significantly longer routes (around the north of Scotland to the Western Approaches and the north Atlantic).  From September 2, 1939 to October 25, 1939, U-16 took part in the laying mines in open water in and around the English Channel, in an attempt to cripple an important Allied shipping route.


Heinrich Himmler ordered a crackdown on the Edelweiss Pirates (Edelweißpiraten) on October 24, 1944. The Edelweiss Pirates was an organized group of German youth who were opposed to Nazi Germany, and the strict regimentation of Hitler Youth. They assisted deserters from the Nazi German army, as well as other Germans trying to hide from the Third Reich  The group was originally founded as the German Youth Movement in the late 1930s. The young members of this group, aged 14 to 17,  attempted to evade the Hitler Youth by quitting school (which was permitted at the age of 14). They also managed to avoid military conscription, which became mandatory from the age of 17 onward.  By November of 1944,  the Gestapo tracked down and rounded up 13 leaders of the Ehrenfelder Gruppe and publicly hanged them in Cologne.  Some of them were former members of Edelweißpiraten.  Among the teenagers hanged were Bartholomäus Schink, called Barthel, former member of the local Navajos. Fritz Theilen survived. Many others were sentenced to prison for 25 years. Despite efforts of the Nazi German government to repress them, the young Edelweiss Pirates prevailed.  A plaque memorial was placed in Cologne to commemorate the German teenagers who were executed.  The following is an English translation of the plaque:  "This marks the site where, on October 25, 1944, eleven citizens of Poland and the USSR, kidnapped by the Nazi regime for forced labor in Germany and on November 10, 1944, thirteen Germans, including young Edelweiss Pirates from Ehrenfeld and other fighters against war and terror, were publicly hanged, without trial, by the Gestapo and SS."

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