November 10, 2018




German Nazi Governor for district of Warsaw Ludwig Fischer imposed the death penalty for Jews trying to leave the ghettos, as well as for Polish Christians who attempted to help the Jews "in any way: by taking them in for the night, giving them a lift in a vehicle of any kind" or providing them with food.  The Nazis distributed posters in all cities and towns in an effort to instill fear.  Among all the German-occupied countries, the imposition of the death penalty applied only to the Polish people who were trying to aid the Jews.  Many Poles risked their lives, and the lives of their own families to rescue Jews from the Nazi Germans.  When grouped by nationality, the Polish people represented the largest number among those who rescued Jews during the Holocaust.  So far, the State of Israel has awarded the title, "Righteous Among Nations, to 6,706 Polish Christians. (More than to any other nation).


Germans occupied Vichy France. On November 10, 1942, Germany invaded Vichy France in violation of the 1940 armistice with France.  It triggered the scuttling of the French fleet in Toulon. The Vichy regime, also referred to as the French State, was the nominal government of all of France except for Alsace-Lorraine from 1940 to 1942.  Since Paris remained the de jure capital of France, the government decided to relocate to the town of Vichy, 360 km (220 mi) in zone libre of southern France, which became the de facto capital of the French State.

Henri Giraud arrived in Algiers on November  10, 1942, and agreed to subordinate himself to Admiral Darlan as the French Africa army commander. Even though Darlan was now in the Allied camp, he maintained the repressive Vichy system in North Africa, including concentration camps in southern Algeria and racist laws. Detainees were also forced to work on the Transsaharien railroad. Jewish goods were "aryanized" , in other word, stolen, and a special Jewish Affairs service was created, directed by Pierre Gazagne.  Many Jewish children were prohibited from attending school, which not even Vichy had implemented in metropolitan France.  (Henri Honore Giraud was a French general who was captured in both world wars, but managed to escape each time. After his second escape in 1942,  some of the Vichy ministers plotted to send him back to Germany and most probable execution. But U.S. President Eisenhower secretly asked Giraud to assume command of the French troops in North Africa and join the Allies in Operation Torch.  He was able to take over Darlan's post only after Fran├žois Darlan's assassination, and thus, took part in the Casablanca Conference together with De Gaulle, Churchill and Roosevelt.  Darlan was a French admiral who took part in signing the armistice with Nazi Germany in 1940 and also served in the pro-Nazi Vichy regime.)


50,000 men rounded up by the Nazis.  The razzia, or roundup was preceded by Aktion Rosenstock on November 9th, in which the Germans spread propaganda leaflets with the heading, "BEFEHL" (translated: Warning) door to door, in the south of Rotterdam, north of the River Meuse. A day later the large scale assault was launched - about 50,000 men ranging in age from 17 to 40 years old were arrested, most of whom where immediately transported by train or ship to work as forced laborers in Eastern Netherlands or Germany.  The men were detained in large, unequipped barracks, suffering from the cold, unsanitary living conditions, and starvation. From 24,000 to 29,000 men perished during the war due to exposure, malnourishment, and bombardment.  Of the total of 100,000 men arrested, thousands never returned home again.   The Nazi Germans orchestrated this roundup mainly to remove the potential danger that these men represented - that they might join underground resistance groups to help the Allied war effort.

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