December 15, 2018

DECEMBER 15 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

DECEMBER 15

1859

Creator of Esperanto:  Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof (dob) was a Polish-Jewish medical doctor, inventor, and writer. He is most widely known for creating Esperanto, the most successful constructed language in the world. He grew up fascinated by the idea of a world without war and believed that this could happen with the help of a new international auxiliary language, which he first developed in 1873 while still in school.  In 1905 Zamenhof received the Légion d'honneur for creating Esperanto, and in 1910 he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Unfortunately, he did not win, as the prize was granted to the International Peace Bureau.  Streets and buses in Warsaw have been named after Zemenhof, or "Esperanto".


1918

Hero of the Warsaw Uprising:  John Ward (dob) was a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force decorated twice for bravery. During World War II he was a member of a bomber crew shot down and taken prisoner but escaped. He was recruited by Stefan and Zofia Korbonski to prepare English reports for transmission to London via Morse Code. He prepared 64 eyewitness reports of the fighting as a war correspondent for London's The Times. Ward participated in the clandestine activities of Armia Krajowa and the Polish resistance movement's "Błyskawica" (Lighting) radio station during the Warsaw Uprising, airing the English-language broadcasts, in addition to contributing over 100 reports. He proudly wore the red and white armband of the Polish underground, and the Polish cap eagle of the Polish Home Army. He was wounded in action in the thigh by mortar shrapnel.  The Polish forces decorated him with the Cross of Valour for his bravery, awarded personally by General Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski.


1961

Eichmann Hanged.  On  December 15, 1961, Adolf Eichmann was sentenced to death by hanging.  He was a Nazi German SS officer and one of the major organizers of the Holocaust, managing the logistics of the mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and Nazi German extermination camps throughout Europe during WWII. Eichmann was captured by the Mossad in Argentina on May 11, 1960 and put on trial in a widely publicised trial in Jerusalem. He was convicted on 15 counts of crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes against the Jewish people, and membership in a criminal organisation.  He was deemed responsible for the inhumane conditions on board the deportation trains and for obtaining Jews to fill those trains. He was also found guilty of crimes against the Poles, Slovenes and Gypsies. He was found guilty of membership in three organisations that had been declared criminal at the Nuremberg trials: the Gestapo, the SD, and the SS.  When considering the sentence, the judges concluded that Eichmann had not merely been following orders, but believed in the Nazi cause wholeheartedly and had been a key perpetrator of the genocide. He was hanged a few minutes after midnight on June 1, 1962.



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