December 8, 2018

DECEMBER 8 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

DECEMBER 8

1919

The Curzon Line defined Poland's Eastern Border: The Curzon Line had its beginnings after the end of World War I, when the Supreme War Council  on December 8, 1919 formally established a temporary demarcation line between the eastern border of the re-emerged Second Republic of Poland and its neighbour Russia. The Allies made the decision at their discretion, as per Article 87 of the Versailles Treaty. The Line was later named after the British Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon of Kedleston, however no mention was made that it might become a permanent boundary. The ensuing Polish-Russian War was fought with neither side accepting the proposed Line. Stalin anticipated that the war would end in total Polish capitulation, however, Poland ultimately won the war.  The final Peace of Riga (or Treaty of Riga) provided Poland with almost 135,000 square kilometres (52,000 sq mi) of land that was, on average, about 250 kilometres (160 mi) east of the Curzon line. (When Poland was invaded by Germany and Russia in September 1939, Russia seized territory according to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, but it did not follow the Curzon Line, but farther beyond it, annexing it to Byelorussian SSR and Ukrainian SSR.


1939

Polish Pilots in the RAF. The first contingents of Polish pilots reached Great Britain on December 8, 1939.  More transports followed until by early June 1940 there were a total of 2,164 Polish air personnel in Britain where they were assigned to various squadrons of the RAF.  By the end of July 1940, an additional  6,220 Polish air personnel reached Britain,  bringing the total of Polish airmen in Britain to 8,384 men.   When Poland was invaded by the Nazi Germans on September 1, 1939 the Polish defences were severely strained under a powerful German assault. Polish armies collapsed shortly after September 17, 1939, when the Soviets launched a surprise invasion from the east. Polish forces fought with great courage , but were crushed in a matter of five weeks. The Polish government and armed forces evacuated en masse from Poland and made their way to France, through Hungary and Romania, in order to continue the fight against the Nazis and the Soviets. But when France fell on May 10, 1940, the Poles evacuated to Great Britain, which they perceived as the last Island of Hope.


1947

The Krupp Trial was the tenth of 12 trials of the United States Military Tribunal at Nuremberg (not to be confused with the Nuremberg Trials). It was also called the "Subsequent Nuremberg Trials". The trial was held from December 8, 1947 to July 31, 1948.  The accused were twelve former directors of the Krupp Group,who were responsible for arming the German military forces, and for using slave labor in their companies. The main defendant was Alfried Krupp, CEO of the Krupp Holding.  One defendant (Pfirsch) was acquitted, while the others received prison sentences between three and twelve years. The main defendant Alfried Krupp was ordered to sell all his possessions.  His company had used 100,000 people as slave labor, which included 23,000 POWs.


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