November 1, 2018




Poland occupied some northern parts of Slovakia and received from Czechoslovakia Zaolzie, territories around Suchá Hora and Hladovka, around Javorina, and in addition the territory around Lesnica in the Pieniny Mountains, a small territory around Skalité and some other very small border regions which officially ceded November 1, 1938.  On September 30, Poland had given an ultimatum to the Czechoslovak government demanding the immediate evacuation of Czechoslovak troops and police. The next day the Czechoslovak foreign ministry called the Polish ambassador in Prague and told him that Poland could have what it wanted. The Polish Army, commanded by General Władysław Bortnowski, annexed an area of 801.5 km² with a population of 227,399 people.  (Though Poland was accused of being an accomplice of Germany, there was no collaboration or collusion.  It was a matter of geostrategy by the Poles in their attempt to forestall German occupation.)


Karol Wojtyła (later Pope John Paul II) was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Sapieha in his private chapel in the Bishop's Palace in Krakow.  The following day Karol Wojtyla celebrated his first mass at St Leonard's Crypt in Wawel Cathedral.  On September 28, 1958,  he was ordained in the Cathedral as Kraków's auxiliary bishop.  Between 1958 and 1978, the Bishops Palace was a residence of Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, who in October 1978 became the first Slavic Pope in history, adopting the name John Paul II.  During the Nazi occupation of Poland Wojtyła had resided in the Palace, when he was a student of the clandestine Kraków Archdiocese Seminary run by Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha.  On August 6, 1944 the Nazi Germans rounded up thousands of Polish men and boys in Kraków, and amid the chaos, Wojtyła managed to escape capture.


Marian Spychalski narrowly missed an assassin's bullet:   Spychalski was nearly assassinated at Karachi airport in Pakistan on November 1, 1970 during the welcoming ceremonies. The Gettysburg Times reported the story that an anti-communist Islamic fundamentalist Feroze Abdullah drove a truck at high speed into the Polish delegation, narrowly missing his intended target but killed the Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Zygfryd Wolniak, and three Pakistani representatives including the Deputy Director of the Intelligence Bureau, Chaudhri Mohammed Nazir, and two photographers.    Marian Spychalski was Chairman of the Council of State, and served as a Head of State. Previously he had served the military as Minister of Defence and Field Marshal.

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