POLISH GREATNESS TRAFFIC

February 17, 2018

FEBRUARY 17 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

FEBRUARY 17

1945

German scientists evacuated the Peenemünde Army Research Center.  The first train departed from Peenemunde on February 17, 1945 with 525 people en route to Thuringia, Germany, (including Bleicherode, Sangerhausen (district), and Bad Sachsa) By mid-March the evacuation was complete.
The evacuation was called due to increased Allied bombing of the center.  During Operation Crossbow, the British aerial attacks on Peenemunde, began on the night of August 17-18, 1943,  followed a year later by bombing runs on July 18,  August 4, and August 25. They were carried out by the U.S. Eighth Air Force.  Operation Crossbow was possible only due to the work of the Polish underground.  In early 1943, two Polish inmates of Camp Trassenheide located adjacent to Peenemunde,  obtained maps, sketches and reports that they stole and smuggled to Polish Home Army Intelligence, and from there were sent to British intelligence. The Polish underground had provided two such reports which identified the "rocket assembly hall", "experimental pit", and "launching tower". The Allies gave the Polish men advance warning of the attack, but they could not leave due to tight SS security.



German submarine U-425 was depth charged and sunk by the British sloop HMS Lark and the corvette HMS Alnwick Castle near Murmansk. The U-boat had taken part in eight wolf packs throughout 1944.






February 16, 2018

FEBRUARY 16 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

FEBRUARY 16

1941

Special Polish forces were created in Britain. They were named the Cichociemni ("Silent Unseen", an elite special-operations paratroops of the Polish Army in exile, whose mission was to fight against the Nazis in occupied Poland. A total of 2,613 Polish Army soldiers volunteered for special training under Polish and British SOE operatives. But only 606 Polish men completed the rigorous training. Eventually 316 of them were secretly parachuted into Nazi-occupied Poland. They also operated in German territory covering intelligence, covert operations, partisan warfare, as well as radio operators and emissaries, airmen and airdrop coordinators, and forging documents.  Among the these Polish heroes,  91 operatives fought in the Warsaw Uprising.


1944

Stalin responded to Roosevelt's message of February 7 by saying the Polish government was made up of elements hostile to the Soviet Union and was incapable of friendly relations with the USSR. Stalin advised that "The basic improvement of the Polish government appears to be an urgent task."


1945

German submarine U-309 was depth charged and sunk in the North Sea by Canadian frigate HMCS Saint John. U-309 was shadowing Convoy WN-74 into the Moray Firth when she was detected by the Canadian River-class frigate Saint John with ASDIC (sonar). The first attack on the U-boat produced some oil on the surface. Two further attacks were carried out using the Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar, which produced more oil. The fourth attack using depth charges produced wreckage including charts, signal books and cork insulation material. U-309 sank in position 58°09′N 02°23′  All 47 aboard were lost.



February 15, 2018

FEBRUARY 15 - DAILY CHRONICLES OF HISTORY

FEBRUARY 15

1910

Irena Sendlerowa (Sendler) (dob) was a Polish nurse, humanitarian, and social worker who served in the Polish Underground during World War II in German-occupied Warsaw. She was head of the children's section of Żegota, the Polish Council to Aid Jews (Polish: Rada Pomocy Żydom), which was active from 1942 to 1945.  With the assistance of two dozen members of Zegota, Sendler saved the lives of 2,500 Jewish children by smuggling them out of the Warsaw Ghetto, providing them with shelter, and with false documents.  In 1965, Sendler was recognized by Yad Vashem as one of the Polish Righteous Among the Nations, and a tree was planted in her honor at the entrance to the Avenue of the Righteous in Jerusalem.  Following the collapse of the Russian regime, and independence of Poland, news about her heroic efforts were realized.  In 1991, Sendler was made an honorary citizen of Israel. On June 12, 1996, she was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, and the Commander's Cross with Star (even higher honor)  on November 7, 2001. In 2003, Pope John Paul II sent Sendler a personal letter praising her courage and sacrifices during the War.  On November10,  2003, she was awarded the Order of the White Eagle, Poland's highest civilian decoration, as well as the Polish-American award, the Jan Karski Award "For Courage and Heart", given by the American Center of Polish Culture in Washington, D.C and many, other awards.



1937

Senators blamed Jews in Polish University Riots. Several senators charged that Jewish students themselves were guilty in the university rioting. Senator Malinowsky alone defended the Jews, placing blame for the riots at the door of some university rectors, whose removal he demanded. Warsaw University announced the dismissal of Joseph Reichman, a lecturer, for having written an article in a Polish Progressive newspaper in which he condemned the anti-Jewish rioting at the university. The action was based on a new ordinance by the Ministry of Education, permitting disciplinary punishment against university lecturers, including reprimands and withdrawal of university titles.


2005

The Wildstein List is an index containing the names of approximately 162,000 individuals who are alleged to have worked for the Polish secret police (the Służba Bezpieczeństwa, or SB) or who were being recruited by, or under investigation.  The SB was a Soviet-backed secret police agency, which operated in Poland during the cold war. The Wildstein List was named after the Polish journalist, Bronislaw Wildstein, who uploaded the list of names to the internet. Apparently, he said that it was not intentional and was done in error.