December 1, 2018




Polish King John II Casimir made alliance with Habsburgs.  On December 1, 1656, Casimir signed an alliance with Ferdinand III of Habsburg in Vienna, in an effort to break the deadlock of the war between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Kingdom of Sweden.  The declaration was really Ferdinand III's intention to mediate a peace rather than to  provide military assistance. However, the terms did not come into effect until after Ferdinand's death on April 2, 1657. At such time the treaty was renewed and amended on May 27 by Ferdinand's successor Leopold I of Habsburg, who provided John II Casimir with 12,000 troops, albeit, maintained at Polish expense.  In 1655, Charles X Gustav of Sweden invaded and occupied western Poland–Lithuania, the eastern half of which was already occupied by Russia.  The rapid Swedish advance became known in Poland as the Swedish Deluge.


Signing of the Locarno Treaties  The Locarno Treaties were the result of seven negotiations formally signed on December 1,  1925 by Western European Allied powers, and the new states of Central and Eastern Europe. They sought to secure the post-war territorial settlement, and restore normalizing relations with defeated Germany (the Weimar Republic) following World War I.  The Treaty established European borders to fall into two categories:   western, which were guaranteed by the Locarno treaties, and eastern borders of Germany with Poland, which were open for revision. In addition the  Treaty also stipulated that Germany would never go to war with the other countries.


Eyewitness report of Warsaw Ghetto liquidation. A war time news periodical reported "A Polish Policeman's Story & A Voice of Protest from Poland" (Polish Fort-Nightly Review, edition 57, Dec 1, 1942) reported eye-witness details of the nightmarish events and despair of the Jews trying to survive in the Warsaw Ghetto, and "the monstrous liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto"....  "In order to speed up the liquidation of the Jews “round-ups” in the streets are being largely resorted to, Gestapo men and “White Guards” (i.e. Soviet prisoners of war who have gone over to service with the Germans) drive around the streets, often using for this purpose rickshaws drawn by Jews and fire from their “tommy” guns wherever they see people in any numbers."...." The Jewish Community has to undertake the work of picking out Jews for deportation, but the Jewish police are responsible for seeing that the “contingents” are handed over to the Germans."....All the Polish groups working underground are condemning these monstrous crimes in the secret literature printed illegally. Among other leaflets now in the possession of the Polish Government is one published by the group known as the Front for the Restoration of Poland."...."Everybody is perishing, Rich and poor, old people and women, men, youngsters, infants. Catholics died with the names of Jesus and Mary on their lips, equally with the orthodox Jews. All guilty of having been born in the Jewish nation are condemned by Hitler to extermination."...."we can do nothing, we can save nobody. But from the bottom of our hearts, filled with compassion, loathing and horror, we protest."....."He who does not understand this, he who would dare to connect the proud and free future of Poland with a base rejoicing in the misfortunes of his fellows, is neither a Catholic nor a Pole.”


The Big Three inTehran.  From November 28 to December 1, 1943, the Big Three ( Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin) met at the Tehran Conference:  Among other issues on the agenda, the allies discussed Poland and agreed to Stalin's demand that Poland's eastern border be re-drawn according to the Curzon Line. (Stalin had pressured the allies to accept a revision of Poland’s eastern border with the Soviet Union to coincide with the line set by Lord Curzon in 1920. (Roosevelt excused himself from any discussion about Poland, over concerns on the effects on Polish voters in the USA in his upcoming 1944 election campaign.)  As compensation to Poland, the Big Three agreed to shift the German-Polish border to the Oder and Neisse rivers. This was ratified in the Potsdam Conference of 1945.


Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was received at the Vatican by Pope John Paul II. Among their discussions was the question of religious freedom in the USSR.  The following is an excerpt, translated from the minutes taken at this meeting: (Gorbachev) "....We welcome your mission on this high altar, we are sure that it will leave a great footprint in history. I am familiar with your addresses to the world, with your reflection upon its problems. I even noted that we often use similar expressions. This means that there is agreement at the source—in our thoughts. I do not know why, but I was sure that this meeting would take place. Not only because it is in the interest of humanity, although this is important as we are contemporaries. But first and foremost it is because we have a great deal of unifying thoughts and concerns...."  (John Paul II) "......I would like to speak about the elements related to the word “perestroika,” which has deeply touched all aspects of life for the Soviet people, and not only them. This process allows us together to look for a way to enter a new dimension of people’s common existence, which would reflect to a greater degree the requirements of the human spirit, of different nations, of the rights of individuals and nations. The efforts you are making are not only of a great interest to us. We share of the fundamental human rights is the freedom of conscience, from which stems religious freedom......"

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