November 28, 2018




Greatest and Last Victory of Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth:  Battle of Oliwa.  On November 28, 1627, a newly formed, relatively small Polish navy took leave from Danzig, to engage the Swedish navy in battle.  The Swedish navy put a blockade on Poland's sea ports, specifically Danzig, with the objective of maintaining a stranglehold on Poland's trade routes. Poland had ten ships in operation, with a substantial number of crew, placing them in an advantageous postion over the Swedish fleet. The Polish ships flanked the Swedish flagship, the Tigern, overwhelming the Swedes and easily capturing the vessel.  At the same time, the Polish vice-admiral's ship, the small galleon Meerman (Wodnik) attacked the larger Solen ("The Sun"). The captain of the Solen blew his ship up rather than allow it to be captured by the Poles.  The four surviving Swedish ships retreated and headed towards the open sea and managed to escape.  In the aftermath of the battle, the Polish court capitalized on the propaganda, that is, " The Sun (that is the Solen) went down at noon."


The Eternal Jew was a 1940 Nazi German propaganda film which was presented as a so-called "documentary".   Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Germany's Minister of Propaganda, insisted that the film be directed by Fritz Hippler, who ran the film department for the Propaganda Ministry. Richard Barsam wrote that "essential contrast is between myths and stereotypes of Jews and the Nazi ideal of a 'master race,' between the alleged inferiority of the Jews and the superiority of the Germans."  He argued that Jews were considered "criminals", with no soul, and that "killing them is not a crime but a necessity—just as killing rats is a necessity to preserve health and cleanliness."  In 1946, Fritz Hippler was tried for directing Der Ewige Jude but was not found guilty.  He claimed that the true creator of the film was Joseph Goebbels, with the close supervision of Hitler.   Franz Hippler was interviewed by PBS for the award winning series, Walk Through the Twentieth Century (1983–1984).  During this interview Hippler claimed that he regretted being listed as the director of The Eternal Jew because after the end of the war, he was interrogated by the Allies. He felt that this was unfair, in his opinion because he had not taken part in the killing of the Jews.  In another interview for a German documentary series Holocaust (2000), the then 90 year old Hippler described the film as "the most disgraceful example of antisemitism."


The Big Three at Tehran Conference:   From November 28 to December 1, 1943, Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill met in the Soviet Union's embassy in Tehran, Iran for the Tehran Conference (codenamed Eureka).    It was the first of the conferences of the Big Three in which the leaders planned strategy for the outcome of the war.  It was followed by the Cairo Conference, held from November 22 to 26, 1943; the Yalta Conference from February 4 to 11, 1945, and the Potsdam Conferences from July 17 to August 2, 1945.  The Tehran Conference dealt with the allied relations with Turkey and Iran, operations in Yugoslavia, and against  Japan.  But the main concern was achieving a consensus on opening a second front against Nazi Germany and a post-war settlement. A separate protocol was signed at Tehran, in which the Big Three recognized Iran's independence. Stalin insisted that Poland's eastern border be revised according to the border configuration established by British Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon in 1920, ie the Curzon Line.  And in compensation for the loss of Polish territory, the Big Three agreed to move the German-Polish border to the Oder and Neisse rivers.  The decision was eventually ratified at the Potsdam Conference in 1945.

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