This Day in History (25-Feb- 1932) – Adolf Hitler obtains German citizenship by naturalization, which allows him to run in the 1932 election for Reichspräsident

Adolf Hitler was an Austrian German. He lost his father at the age of 13. Throughout his youth, Hitler dreamed of becoming an artist. He applied twice to the Vienna Academy of Art but was denied entrance both times. After his mother’s death in 1908, Hitler spent four years living on the streets of Vienna, selling postcards of his artwork to make a little money. it is just as likely that Hitler picked up a hatred for Jews while living on the streets of Vienna, a city known at the time for its antisemitism.

Hitler volunteered to serve in the German army once World War I began. Hitler endured and survived four years of war. During this time, he was awarded two Iron Crosses for bravery. He sustained two major injuries during the war. The first occurred in October 1916 when he was wounded by a grenade splinter. The other was in October 1918, when a gas attack caused Hitler to go temporarily blind. It was while Hitler was recovering from the gas attack that the war got over. Hitler was furious that Germany had surrendered and felt strongly that Germany had been “stabbed in the back” by its leaders. Furious at Germany’s surrender, Hitler returned to Munich after the end of World War I, determined to enter politics. In 1919, Hitler became the 55th member of a small antisemitic party called the German Worker’s Party and soon became a party leader. He designed the swastika logo and renamed party to Nazi party.

Hitler had formally renounced his Austrian citizenship in 1925, but at the time did not acquire German citizenship. For almost seven years he was stateless, unable to run for public office, and faced the risk of deportation from Germany.  On 25 February 1932, the interior minister of Brunswick, who was a member of the Nazi Party, appointed Hitler as administrator for the state’s delegation to the Reichsrat in Berlin, making Hitler a citizen of Brunswick, and thus of Germany.

In 1932, Hitler ran against von Hindenburg in the presidential elections. Hitler came in second in both rounds of the election, garnering more than 35 per cent of the vote in the final election. Although he lost to Hindenburg, this election established Hitler as a strong force in German politics.

 

Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_25

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler

http://history1900s.about.com/od/hitleradolf/a/Hitler-Facts.htm

This Day in History (8-Feb-1943) – Subhashchandra Bose started his journey to Japan from Germany in a submarine

Netaji Subhash Chadra Bose, once a colleague of Gandhi, was fighting against British in non Violent way. But when World War II broke out, Bose thought that it was the best opportunity for India to get freedom by armed revolution. His plan was to co-operate with Germany and attack British India. He was sure that Indian soldiers in British army will rebel against the British Government as soon as his army will attack India. British Government house arrested him, but he escaped and went to Afghanistan, and then to Germany in April 1941. In his 2 years stay in Germany, Bose realised that  Germany is not interested in India’s independence but only to rule the world. His meeting with Hitler was one sided affair where Hitler proudly reiterated his well known ugly racist chauvinism. Bose wanted Germany to withdraw from Russia while  Hitler boasted that for Germany, it is only possible to reach India over ‘the dead body of Russia’.

Meanwhile Japan had entered the world war and had advanced towards India against British. Bose realised that collaborating with Japan at this stage will yield the desired result than with Germany. He also wanted to be nearer home when Japan decided to invade India so that he could be physically available to offer leadership to the people and the prisoners of war of Indian origin in South East Asia. Bose planed to go to Japan. Hitler arranged a submarine for Bose. It was a U-180 German submarine.

On 8th February 1943, the submarine sailed from Keil, to travel towards Indian ocean. Abid Hassan, a personal assistant and a doctor of Subhash Chandra Bose was his fellow traveler in this journey. When it detoured south Africa and turned to east, a British tanker Corbis confronted. U-180 sank the British Tanker. Three days later, a Japanese submarine I-29 met with U-180 near Madagascar. Subhash Chandra boarded on Japanese submarine which successfully and safely reached to Japan. After reaching Japan, he met Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo and discussed about future strategy and plans. Later Subhash Chandra Bose attacked British India from Eastern front with Indian National Army.

 

Reference:

http://jainismus.hubpages.com/hub/The-Submarine-Adventure-of-Subhash-Chandra-Bose

http://www.indianage.com/show.php

http://www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/rdv7n1/Bose.htm

This Day in History (3-Jan-1925) – Benito Mussolini announces he will become dictator of Italy

Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini, son of Italian blacksmith, moved to Switzerland at the age of 19 due to poverty, where he became involved in socialist politics. He returned to Italy in couple of years, and worked as a journalist in the socialist press, but he abandoned his party to advocate Italian intervention in World War I. Following the war, in which he served as a rifleman, Mussolini decided his destiny was to rule Italy as a modern Caesar and re-create the Roman Empire.  In March 1919, Mussolini formed the Fascist Party, galvanising the support of many unemployed war veterans. He organised them into armed squads known as Black Shirts, who terrorised their political opponents.

By October 1922, Italy seemed to be slipping into political chaos. The Black Shirts marched on Rome and Mussolini presented himself as the only man capable of restoring order. King Victor Emmanuel invited Mussolini to form a government. Mussolini gradually dismantled the institutions of democratic government and in 1925 made himself dictator, taking the title ‘Il Duce’. He set about attempting to re-establish Italy as a great European power. The regime was held together by strong state control and Mussolini’s cult of personality. In 1935, Mussolini invaded Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) and incorporated it into his new Italian Empire. He provided military support to Franco in the Spanish Civil War. Increasing co-operation with Nazi Germany culminated in the 1939 Pact of Steel. Influenced by Hitler, Mussolini began to introduce anti-Jewish legislation in Italy. His declaration of war on Britain and France in June 1940 exposed Italian military weakness and was followed by a series of defeats in North and East Africa and the Balkans.

After the Allied victories of November 1942, Mussolini implored Hitler to make peace with Joseph Stalin and concentrate on defeating the British-American forces. Hitler’s refusal and the Sicilian invasion convinced the king and high command to overthrow Mussolini in July 1943. In September, Italy signed an armistice with the Allies. Mussolini was rescued by German commandos and was installed as the leader of a new government, but had little power. The April 1945 German surrender in Italy forced Mussolini to flee. Insurgents captured and shot him.

Reference:

http://www.mapsofworld.com/on-this-day/january-3-1431-joan-of-arc-is-turned-over-to-bishop-pierre-cauchon

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/mussolini_benito.shtml

http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/benito-mussolini

This Day in History (24-Dec-1914) – The “Christmas Truce” of World War I Begins

During World War I, a battle line was drawn at the Western Front – stretching from Lorraine in the south to the English Channel in the north. Soldiers dug trenches and erected barbed wire to hold their positions. In places, the trenches were just yards apart and, as the soldiers realised that neither side was going to make any rapid victories or progress, the trenches became more fortified. The opposing forces now had time to regroup and strengthen their lines with more men. The proximity of the enemies also allowed men to shout out to their opponents or stick up signs on wooden boards. After a particularly heavy barrage of missiles or bullets, the soldiers might shout out “Missed” or “Left a bit”.

For much of December it had been wet but on Christmas Eve the temperature dropped and a sharp frost enveloped the landscape. The shouting between troops turned into something more during Christmas Eve. Germans celebrate Christmas on December 24 more than they do on the day itself (in Britain and France, December 25 is the main day of celebration). So on the Western Front on Christmas Eve, German soldiers began to sing carols and place Christmas trees lit with lanterns above the trenches.

As written in one of the British soldier’s letter, “On Christmas Eve the Germans entrenched opposite us began calling out to us ‘Cigarettes’, ‘Pudding’, ‘A Happy Christmas’ and ‘English – means good’, so two of our fellows climbed over the parapet of the trench and went towards the German trenches. Half-way they were met by four Germans, who said they would not shoot on Christmas Day if we did not. They gave our fellows cigars and a bottle of wine and were given a cake and cigarettes. When they came back I went out with some more of our fellows and we were met by about 30 Germans, who seemed to be very nice fellows. I got one of them to write his name and address on a postcard as a souvenir. All through the night we sang carols to them and they sang to us and one played ‘God Save the King’ on a mouth organ.”

The enduring legacy of the informal ‘Christmas truce’ has been positive and it’s looked upon today as a wonderful example of humanity during an dreadfully dark hour of man’s history.

Reference:

http://www.mapsofworld.com/on-this-day/december-24-1914-the-christmas-truce-of-world-war-i-begins

http://www.christmastruce.co.uk/article.html

This Day in History (28-Nov-1943) – US President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Churchill and Soviet Chairman Stalin meet for the Tehran Conference

During World War II, in November 1943, Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt met together in Teheran, Iran, to discuss military strategy and post-war Europe, in a conference codenamed Eureka. Ever since the Soviet Union had entered the war, Stalin had been demanding that the Allies open-up a second front in Europe. Stalin, who always favoured in offensive strategy, believed that there were political, as well as military reasons for the Allies’ failure to open up a second front in Europe. Stalin was still highly suspicious of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt and was worried about them signing a peace agreement with Adolf Hitler. The foreign policies of the capitalist countries since the October Revolution had convinced Stalin that their main objective was the destruction of the communist system in the Soviet Union. Stalin was fully aware that if Britain and the USA withdrew from the war, the Red Army would have great difficulty in dealing with Germany on its own.

At Teheran, Joseph Stalin reminded Churchill and Roosevelt of a previous promise of landing troops in Western Europe in 1942. Later they postponed it to the spring of 1943. Stalin complained that it was now November and there was still no sign of an allied invasion of France. After lengthy discussions, it was agreed that the Allies would mount a major offensive in the spring of 1944. Roosevelt and Churchill also accepted Stalin’s demands regarding Poland’s post-war boundaries, which would give the Soviets Lwów, Wilno, and Poland’s eastern Kresy territory occupied by Stalin under his 1939 alliance with Nazi Germany. Churchill proposed that Poland, in return, be compensated with a corresponding slice of Germany. They all agreed that they would continue to make available to the Government of Iran economic assistance as may be possible, having regard to the heavy demands made upon them by their world-wide military operations.

The D-Day landings in June, 1944 took the pressure off the Red Army and from that date they made steady progress into territory held by Germany bringing World war II to end.

Reference:

http://www.mapsofworld.com/on-this-day/november-28-1660-the-royal-society-is-founded-at-gresham-college-in-london

http://spartacus-educational.com/2WWteheran.htm

This Day in History (11-Nov-1918) – World War I Ends at the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian empire, was shot to death with his wife by Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Austria-Hungary blamed the Serbian government for the attack and hoped to use the incident as justification for settling the problem of Slavic nationalism once and for all. As Russia supported Serbia, an Austro-Hungarian leaders received assurances from German leader Kaiser Wilhelm II that Germany would support their cause in the event of a Russian intervention.

On July 28, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, and the tenuous peace between Europe’s great powers collapsed. On July 29, Austro-Hungarian forces began to shell the Serbian capital, Belgrade, and Russia, Serbia’s ally, ordered a troop mobilization against Austria-Hungary. France, allied with Russia, began to mobilize on August 1. France and Germany declared war against each other on August 3. After crossing through neutral Luxembourg, the German army invaded Belgium on the night of August 3-4, prompting Great Britain, Belgium’s ally, to declare war against Germany.  Most patriotically assumed that their country would be victorious within months.

By summer of 1918, assaults by the British and French rolled back the German opposition. As September ended, it became clear to German officers that the time to sue for peace had come. On November 9th, Kaiser Wilhelm officially stepped down from the German throne as part of the conditions for the cease-fire. Orders were soon shipped through to commanders near the front lines on both sides: fighting would officially come to an end at November 11, 1918 at 11am. The end of combat operations was greeted with cheers from all angles.

World War I had resulted in an estimated 30 million deaths and injuries among the troops, with an additional 10 million civilian casualties. The advent of new technologies to deal death — tanks, airplanes equipped with bombs, mustard gas — wreaked destruction on unprecedented levels. Saddling the Germans with heavy responsibility and extensive financial obligations, the Treaty of Versailles announced on June 28, 1919, triggered the World War II.

 

Reference:

http://www.mapsofworld.com/on-this-day/november-11-1918-ce-world-war-i-ends-at-the-eleventh-hour-of-the-eleventh-day-of-the-eleventh-month

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/world-war-i-ends

This Day in History (9-Nov-1938) – Kristallnacht — “The Night of Broken Glass” — Occurs in Germany and Parts of Austria

When Adolf Hitler rose to power during the early 1930s, he moved quickly to isolate the Jewish community from the rest of German society. By early 1938, Nazi authorities announced that residence permits for all foreigners — including Jews — were revoked. In late October, as part of the subsequent “Polenaktion,” some 12,000 Polish Jews were ordered to fill a single suitcase with all the belongings they could and leave for their homeland. Only a third of them were granted entry into Poland, with the rest left to languish in a refugee camp. Herschel Grynszpan, a Polish Jew living in Paris whose family was among those trapped near Poland, received word of what had happened. Furious, he purchased a pistol and ammunition on the morning of November 7th, then gained entrance to the German embassy and shot dead Ernst vom Rath, a diplomat from the Foreign Office. He held a postcard in his pocket that read, “May God forgive me…I must protest so that the whole world hears my protest, and that I will do.”

When Hitler found out about the incident on the evening of November 9, 1938, he instructed Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels to utter the famous last words: “[Demonstrations] should not be prepared or organized by the party, but insofar as they erupt spontaneously, they are not to be hampered.” Within hours, regional party leaders were in the streets destroying property — joined by ordinary citizens riled up by years of anti-Jewish propaganda. While burning synagogues and destroying the windows of Jewish storefronts, authorities were ordered to capture as many Jews as possible for deportation to concentration camps. By the end of the night, glass was strewn about the streets and some 200 houses of worship were on fire in Germany alone, with perhaps another hundred or so in the capital of annexed Austria, Vienna.  At least 96 Jews were killed and hundreds more injured. According to official Nazi reports, approximately 100,000 Jews had been arrested and some 20 percent of all Jewish property was claimed by the government in the following days. Though Kristallnacht arrived some three-and-a-half years before the official declaration of Hitler’s Final Solution, the world clearly understood German intentions for the Jewish people in the build up to World War II.

 

Reference:

http://www.mapsofworld.com/on-this-day/november-9-1938-ce-kristallnacht-the-night-of-broken-glass-occurs-in-germany-and-parts-of-austria

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/kristallnacht.html