Monday, November 23, 2015

August 23, 1939: Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact

August 23, 1939


Ribbentrop Molotov Stalin worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com
Molotov, Ribbentrop and Stalin (Federal Archive)

German/Soviet Relations: After an overnight flight from Germany in Hitler's personal Condor, German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop concludes an alliance in Moscow with with his counterpart Molotov and Soviet Premier Josef Stalin. The final question concerned the fate of Latvia, upon which Stalin insisted. Upon Hitler's acquiescence to this condition, the Ribbentrop/Molotov Pact is concluded and dated 23 August 1939, though actually signed at 2 a.m. on the 24th.

The pact provides in pertinent part that:
The question of whether the interests of both parties make the maintenance of an independent Polish state desireable and how the frontiers of the state should be drawn can be definitely determined only in the course of further political developments. In any case, both governments will resolve this question by means of friendly understanding.
Basically, the two parties had decided that what Poland's government wanted was irrelevant, and they would decide the country's fate. There also were secret protocols, not disclosed for many years, dividing up the Baltic states between the two powers.

Unbeknownst to the Germans, the pact had been in doubt until shortly before Ribbentrop's visit. The last straw for Stalin to throw in with Hitler was the Polish government's refusal to allow British and French troops on their territory in mid-August. It was this event that decided the timing of the pact and gave Ribbentrop the green light to fly to Moscow.

It is Ribbentrop's shining moment. He will never be in such favor as he is when he returns to Berlin. Hitler, however, gives a speech taking personal credit for the agreement. When Ribbentrop's repeated assurances that the British and French will not intervene to protect Poland are shown to be false only days later, he will quickly fall from grace.

Ribbentrop Molotov worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com
Molotov and Ribbentrop in Moscow.

Pre-War


8-9 November 1923: Beer Hall Putsch

December 20, 1924: Hitler Leaves Prison

September 18, 1931: Geli Raubal Commits Suicide

November 8, 1932: Roosevelt is Elected

30 January 1933: Hitler Takes Office
February 27, 1933: Reichstag Fire
March 23, 1933: The Enabling Act

June 20, 1934: Hitler Plans the Night of the Long Knives
June 30, 1934: Night of the Long Knives

August 1, 1936: Opening of the Berlin Olympics

September 30, 1938: The Munich Agreement
November 9, 1938: Kristallnacht

August 1, 1939: Flight Tests of B-17 Flying Fortress
August 2, 1939: Einstein and the Atom Bomb
August 7, 1939: Goering Tries to Broker Peace
August 14, 1939: Hitler Decides To Attack Poland
August 15, 1939: U-Boats Put To Sea
August 16, 1939: Incident at Danzig
August 20, 1939: Battle of Khalkhin Gol
August 22, 1939: Hitler Tips His Hand
August 23, 1939: Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact
August 25, 1939: Hitler Postpones Invasion of Poland
August 27, 1939: First Jet Flight
August 31, 1939: The Gleiwitz Operation


2015

August 14, 1939: Hitler Decides To Attack Poland

August 14, 1939


Berchtesgaden Berghof Hitler worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com


German Military Strategy: On this day, Adolf Hitler holds a meeting at the Berghof in Berchtesgaden with his ministers and military leaders. He declares that it is his unalterable will to invade Poland later that month. He sets a tentative date of 26 August. The code for the operation is Case White (code names were sometimes re-used).

On the same day, Hitler decides to send Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop to Moscow to see if he can arrange an alliance with the Soviets. Moscow had been signalling since the spring (such as by Stalin replacing a pro-Western foreign minister with his crony Molotov, seen as more pro-German) that it was interested in developing closer relations with Germany. The feeling in Berlin was that Soviet Premier Josef Stalin had felt betrayed by the Western Allies' 1938 Munich Agreement, and believed he could not trust them. In addition, Stalin felt that the western powers had snubbed him, most recently by sending two low-ranking officers to see him to discuss a military alliance rather than someone more senior.

Hitler, realizing that a deal might be obtainable against all the odds, instructed his Foreign Minister to go in person (rather than an underling as originally planned) in order to flatter Stalin. At this point, though, there is no indication that anything immediate would come of the talks, and nobody knows how Stalin would react to a German invasion of Poland. For Ribbentrop, it is a sweet chance to get back at the British, who he felt had mistreated him when he was ambassador to England in 1937.

Ribbentrop worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com
Joachim von Ribbentrop

Pre-War


8-9 November 1923: Beer Hall Putsch

December 20, 1924: Hitler Leaves Prison

September 18, 1931: Geli Raubal Commits Suicide

November 8, 1932: Roosevelt is Elected

30 January 1933: Hitler Takes Office
February 27, 1933: Reichstag Fire
March 23, 1933: The Enabling Act

June 20, 1934: Hitler Plans the Night of the Long Knives
June 30, 1934: Night of the Long Knives

August 1, 1936: Opening of the Berlin Olympics

September 30, 1938: The Munich Agreement
November 9, 1938: Kristallnacht

August 1, 1939: Flight Tests of B-17 Flying Fortress
August 2, 1939: Einstein and the Atom Bomb
August 7, 1939: Goering Tries to Broker Peace
August 14, 1939: Hitler Decides To Attack Poland
August 15, 1939: U-Boats Put To Sea
August 16, 1939: Incident at Danzig
August 20, 1939: Battle of Khalkhin Gol
August 22, 1939: Hitler Tips His Hand
August 23, 1939: Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact
August 25, 1939: Hitler Postpones Invasion of Poland
August 27, 1939: First Jet Flight
August 31, 1939: The Gleiwitz Operation


2015

November 9, 1938: Kristallnacht

November 9, 1938

Kristallnacht worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com


Germany, Holocaust: Kristallnacht is the name given to an organized outburst by Hitler's forces against indigenous Jews and Jewish-owned businesses throughout Germany and Austria. It took place on the night of 9-10 November 1938. It is sometimes described as the beginning of the Holocaust against Jews throughout Europe - though another significant date was 20 January 1942 and the Wannsee Conference..

The genesis of the incident was somewhat convoluted. Herschel Grynszpan was a Polish Jew living in Paris. On 27 October 1938, his family was suddenly expelled from Hanover, Germany, where they had been living since 1911. Some days later, Herschel received a postcard from his family that they had sent from the Polish border. This infuriated Herschel, who immediately bought a pistol and ammunition. In an agitated state, he went to the German embassy on 7 November 1938, asked to see any German official, and met minor functionary Ernst vom Rath. Grynszpan immediately shot vom Rath, hitting him twice and leading to Rath's death on 9 November - coincidentally, the anniversary of the failed 1923 coup that was celebrated widely in Hitler's Germany. Somewhat ironically, the randomly selected vom Rath was an anti-Third Reich conspirator himself under watch by the Gestapo.

The German state reacted instantly to the shooting. Jewish children were barred from elementary schools, Jewish publications were halted, and other harsh measures were adopted. Adolf Hitler, in Munich commemorating the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch, cancelled a speech. It instead was given by Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels. Goebbels used the speech to incite the events that followed, saying that any reprisals taken against Jews for the shooting were "not to be hampered."

Police forces throughout Greater Germany, primarily SA Brownshirts, immediately took the hint and began destroying Jewish businesses and institutions. Some 200 synagogues were destroyed, over 7,000 Jewish stores, and Jewish cemeteries were vandalized. In addition, many Jews were beaten to death or injured, and 30,000 men reportedly were sent to concentration camps. The Jewish community also was fined 1 billion reichsmarks. All of this greatly understates the damage to the Jewish community.

Not everyone in the German hierarchy was pleased. Some saw it as an example of Goebbels leveraging his friendship with Hitler to his own political advantage. Hermann Goering was in charge of economic policy, and he had to use scarce foreign currency to repair the damage. Plate glass, for instance, had to imported, and Goering complained loudly about the expense at the next cabinet meeting. Many of the Jewish businesses were actually renting from non-Jewish landlords, and much was insured by the non-Jewish German insurance industry. Heinrich Himmler also thought that Goebbels had been "stupid" for having incited the riots - he no doubt felt that the Jews could have been destroyed without the damage and diplomatic fall-out. Relations with other countries - which theretofore had been correct, if adversarial - were poisoned, and Germany became a pariah state except amongst its closest allies.

There is speculation that Goebbels was really only seeking to curry favor with Hitler due to clouds hanging over his own head regarding his infidelities, and also simply to enhance his standing within the party after some ineffective propaganda efforts. However, he was simply taking advantage of hatred and resentment that had been building throughout the German dominions. He lit the fuse, but the box of dynamite already was there.

Kristallnacht worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com
Josef Goebbels around the time of Kristallnacht, minding his children.

Pre-War


8-9 November 1923: Beer Hall Putsch

December 20, 1924: Hitler Leaves Prison

September 18, 1931: Geli Raubal Commits Suicide

November 8, 1932: Roosevelt is Elected

30 January 1933: Hitler Takes Office
February 27, 1933: Reichstag Fire
March 23, 1933: The Enabling Act

June 20, 1934: Hitler Plans the Night of the Long Knives
June 30, 1934: Night of the Long Knives

August 1, 1936: Opening of the Berlin Olympics

September 30, 1938: The Munich Agreement
November 9, 1938: Kristallnacht

August 1, 1939: Flight Tests of B-17 Flying Fortress
August 2, 1939: Einstein and the Atom Bomb
August 7, 1939: Goering Tries to Broker Peace
August 14, 1939: Hitler Decides To Attack Poland
August 15, 1939: U-Boats Put To Sea
August 16, 1939: Incident at Danzig
August 20, 1939: Battle of Khalkhin Gol
August 22, 1939: Hitler Tips His Hand
August 23, 1939: Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact
August 25, 1939: Hitler Postpones Invasion of Poland
August 27, 1939: First Jet Flight
August 31, 1939: The Gleiwitz Operation


2015


Sunday, November 22, 2015

February 27, 1933: Reichstag Fire

February 27, 1933

Reichstag Fire worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com


Politics, Germany: Having only recently been appointed Chancellor of Germany on 30 January 1933, Adolf Hitler was anxious to consolidate his power. Within a month, that hope became certainty with the Reichstag Fire of 27 February 1933.

Hitler's initial plan to achieve dominion was through the ballot box. Elections were planned for 5 March 1933. Despite the power of the Nazi Party, it never had achieved a majority of the vote. A week before the vote, though, a fire broke out in the Reichstag during the evening. Hermann Goering was on the site of the fire quickly to coordinate fire-fighting efforts, but the building was gutted.

Suspicion focused immediately on communist insurgents. Marinus van der Lubbe, a young communist, was captured at the scene and took credit for the fire. He alone was convicted of it, and he was beheaded in January 1934. There is reason to believe that van der Lubbe was insane, and in any event his conviction was overturned decades after the war based on a 1998 German law providing that all convictions under Nazi rule were null and void.

It is easy to assume that because Goering was on the scene that he had something to do with it and used the communist as a patsy. Given the Nazis' free use of false-flag incidents throughout their reign, this is quite possible.

The fire had many consequences aside from the death of van der Lubbe. It led directly to the Reichstag Fire Bill which was passed the day after the fire, and the Enabling Act which was passed on 23 March 1933. Together, those bills created a dictatorship under Adolf Hitler. In addition, the decision of the court not to convict other alleged perpetrators of the fire led Hitler to create a new People's Court which became infamous for handing out death sentences.

van der Lubbe on trial.

Pre-War


8-9 November 1923: Beer Hall Putsch

December 20, 1924: Hitler Leaves Prison

September 18, 1931: Geli Raubal Commits Suicide

November 8, 1932: Roosevelt is Elected

30 January 1933: Hitler Takes Office
February 27, 1933: Reichstag Fire
March 23, 1933: The Enabling Act

June 20, 1934: Hitler Plans the Night of the Long Knives
June 30, 1934: Night of the Long Knives

August 1, 1936: Opening of the Berlin Olympics

September 30, 1938: The Munich Agreement
November 9, 1938: Kristallnacht

August 1, 1939: Flight Tests of B-17 Flying Fortress
August 2, 1939: Einstein and the Atom Bomb
August 7, 1939: Goering Tries to Broker Peace
August 14, 1939: Hitler Decides To Attack Poland
August 15, 1939: U-Boats Put To Sea
August 16, 1939: Incident at Danzig
August 20, 1939: Battle of Khalkhin Gol
August 22, 1939: Hitler Tips His Hand
August 23, 1939: Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact
August 25, 1939: Hitler Postpones Invasion of Poland
August 27, 1939: First Jet Flight
August 31, 1939: The Gleiwitz Operation


2015

March 23, 1933: The Enabling Act

March 23, 1933



Adolf Hitler worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com
Adolf Hitler addresses the Reichstag at the Kroll Opera House after passage of the Enabling Act.

Politics, Germany: Having been appointed Chancellor of Germany on 30 January 1933, Adolf Hitler wasted no time consolidating his power. After the Reichstag fire of 27 February 1933, ostensibly the work of Communist terrorist, there was a sense of urgency for the protection of the state. This resulted in the Reichstag Fire Decree of 28 February 1933, which suspended civil liberties in Germany. This was quickly followed by the so-called Enabling Act of 23 March 1933. These two acts essentially imposed martial law on Germany.

The Reichstag and Reichsrat, under obvious coercion by SA members observing the proceedings, passed a bill called "Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich ( "Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich")," afterwards called the Enabling Act. In key part, it provided in Article 3:
Laws enacted by the Reich government shall be issued by the Chancellor and announced in the Reich Gazette.
In essence, the Enabling Act gave Chancellor Hitler absolute power, over and above the constitution, to issue whatever decrees he saw fit. President Paul von Hindenburg quickly signed it into law. The law by its terms lasted four years and was subject to renewal - which it was, twice. The law was entirely constitutional due to Article 48  of the Weimar Constitution then in effect, which specifically gave the legislature the ability to confer such power.

Due to the human death toll that resulted from Nazi consolidation of power, this bill was one of the most significant of the 20th Century.

Adolf Hitler worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com


Pre-War


8-9 November 1923: Beer Hall Putsch

December 20, 1924: Hitler Leaves Prison

September 18, 1931: Geli Raubal Commits Suicide

November 8, 1932: Roosevelt is Elected

30 January 1933: Hitler Takes Office
February 27, 1933: Reichstag Fire
March 23, 1933: The Enabling Act

June 20, 1934: Hitler Plans the Night of the Long Knives
June 30, 1934: Night of the Long Knives

August 1, 1936: Opening of the Berlin Olympics

September 30, 1938: The Munich Agreement
November 9, 1938: Kristallnacht

August 1, 1939: Flight Tests of B-17 Flying Fortress
August 2, 1939: Einstein and the Atom Bomb
August 7, 1939: Goering Tries to Broker Peace
August 14, 1939: Hitler Decides To Attack Poland
August 15, 1939: U-Boats Put To Sea
August 16, 1939: Incident at Danzig
August 20, 1939: Battle of Khalkhin Gol
August 22, 1939: Hitler Tips His Hand
August 23, 1939: Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact
August 25, 1939: Hitler Postpones Invasion of Poland
August 27, 1939: First Jet Flight
August 31, 1939: The Gleiwitz Operation


2015

June 30, 1934: Night of the Long Knives

June 30, 1934


Night of the Long Knives worldwartwodaily.filmiinspector.com



Politics, Germany: In an effort to consolidate his power, Adolf Hitler embarks on a mass killing spree of various rivals, enemies and occasional mistaken victims. The incident is given a long-standing German expression for a purge, "The Night of the Long Knives," and the expression comes to refer to this incident alone. The primary intended victims include Ernst Röhm, the head of the the Sturmabteilung (SA), the paramilitary Brownshirts, and Gustav Ritter von Kahr, who had opposed and terminated the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923. The purge is directed at enemies of the Nazi leaders.

The purge takes place in Nazi Germany from Saturday, June 30 to July 2, 1934. There is no known exact figure for the number of people killed. Most estimates are around 100 victims. The Gestapo and the SS under the command of Heinrich Himmler carry out the murders, with the background support of regular Heer and Luftwaffe troops. The code word for the operation is "Hummingbird."

Hitler flies to Munich the night before, with both local troops and the elite SS Leibstandarte "Adolf Hitler" honor guard at his disposal. Ernst Röhm and other SA leaders are vacationing at nearby Bad Wiessee. Local leaders tell Hitler that Röhm's men have been taking over the city, which is Hitler's original base, and Hitler tells Goebbels to telephone Goering in Berlin the code word "Kalibri" to begin the purge. Hitler has given Goering complete dictatorial powers to implement the plan using all of the resources of the state. Hitler himself drives out with his boys that morning to Röhm's resort hotel, where (accounts vary) Hitler walks in, finds Röhm with another man, confronts Röhm personally, and orders his arrest.

Ernst Röhm

Leading figures of the left-wing Strasserist faction of the Nazi Party, along with its figurehead, Gregor Strasser, are murdered, as well as prominent conservative anti-Nazis. It is not a political purge except as related to individuals' attitude towards Hitler. Many of those killed are in the SA. Goering personally leads an armed assault on the SA headquarters on Wilhelm Strasse.

Just to give a brief flavor of the victims:

  • Former Reich Chancellor General von Schleicher (and his wife);
  • Journalist Fritz Gerlicht, who had betrayed the 1923 Beer Hall Putsch and with whom Goering had a personal score to settle;
  • Former head of the Prussian Police Erich Klausener, whom Goering had sacked the year earlier;
  • Berlin SA commander Karl Ernst, pulled off a cruise ship on which he was about to set out on a honeymoon.

It is a highly erratic process. Teams of SS killers seek out people they don't know personally from lists that don't include any other details. A few people are killed by mistake simply because they have a similar name as an intended victim. Some victims get temporary reprieves on orders from the Nazi hierarchy, but are shot later anyway when the person "in the know" leaves. A few originally intended victims escape completely, such as Franz von Papen, who is on a hit list but then is spared on Goering's direct order after being arrested. Goering orders some killings completely without Hitler's knowledge, as in the case of a Röhm deputy whom Hitler goes to telephone but then has to be told has been executed. Hitler originally wants to spare Röhm for old time's sake, but Goering and the others convince him otherwise. Decisions are made on the fly, many at the very last moment, and many orders are either not carried out or are willfully disobeyed. If you were owed money by Goering or had once looked at him the wrong way, you might not survive the day. They even joked about offing a society lady who annoyed them with her pretensions.

Strangely enough, the entire affair is legal. The Enabling Act of 1933 empowers Hitler to take whatever actions he deems necessary for the good of the state. Hitler is congratulated on his "success" by many German politicians afterwards, sometimes as the killings are still taking place. President Hindenburg, near death from old age, is kept informed throughout and sends a telegram congratulating Hitler on his "energetic and victorious action." Only in 1945 and thereafter at the post-war tribunals do the facts come to light and some wholly inadequate justice dispensed.

Night of the Long Knives worldwartwodaily.filmiinspector.com

Kriegsmarine: Pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee is christened by Gräfin Huberta von Spee, daughter of Vizeadmiral Maximilian Graf von Spee, the ship's namesake, at the Marine Werft, Wilhelmshaven. It glides down the slipway next to its sister ship, the Scharnhorst, also under construction.


Admiral Graf Spee worldwartwo.filminspector.com


US Homefront: At the Amateur Athletic Union national championships at Marquette Stadium in Milwaukee on June 30, 1934, Ralph Metcalfe wins the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints, pulling out the former by a hair over Jesse Owens, his biggest rival and future Olympic teammate. Metcalfe becomes the first athlete since the 1890s to win two events in the AAU championships three years in a row. Owens, Metcalfe and Hitler will all meet in August 1936 at the Olympic Games.

Jesse Owens Ralph Metcalfe worldwartwo.filminspector.com

Pre-War


8-9 November 1923: Beer Hall Putsch

December 20, 1924: Hitler Leaves Prison

September 18, 1931: Geli Raubal Commits Suicide

November 8, 1932: Roosevelt is Elected

30 January 1933: Hitler Takes Office
February 27, 1933: Reichstag Fire
March 23, 1933: The Enabling Act

June 20, 1934: Hitler Plans the Night of the Long Knives
June 30, 1934: Night of the Long Knives

August 1, 1936: Opening of the Berlin Olympics

September 30, 1938: The Munich Agreement
November 9, 1938: Kristallnacht

August 1, 1939: Flight Tests of B-17 Flying Fortress
August 2, 1939: Einstein and the Atom Bomb
August 7, 1939: Goering Tries to Broker Peace
August 14, 1939: Hitler Decides To Attack Poland
August 15, 1939: U-Boats Put To Sea
August 16, 1939: Incident at Danzig
August 20, 1939: Battle of Khalkhin Gol
August 22, 1939: Hitler Tips His Hand
August 23, 1939: Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact
August 25, 1939: Hitler Postpones Invasion of Poland
August 27, 1939: First Jet Flight
August 31, 1939: The Gleiwitz Operation


2015

November 8, 1932: Roosevelt is Elected

November 8, 1932


Franklin D. Roosevelt FDR Hollwood Bowl Happy Days Are Here Again worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com
FDR campaigns at the Hollywood Bowl in 1932.

Politics, United States: Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt defeats Republican Herbert Hoover for the Presidency of the United States, getting 57% of the vote. He will remain in power until until shortly before the end of the war, predeceasing Adolf Hitler by barely two weeks.

Adolf Hitler also wins his decisive election in 1932. In a remarkable coincidence, both Roosevelt and Hitler use the identical campaign song. The German version is sung by Nick-Mick Verhaften, known as the Nazi Crooner. The English version, more popularly known as "Happy Days Are Here Again," is sung by the St. Louis Toodle-Oos, who joined Roosevelt in his Missouri campaign tour.

Franklin D. Roosevelt FDR Hollwood Bowl Happy Days Are Here Again worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com
Franklin Roosevelt and VP John Nance Gardner received heavy support from the "wet" vote.

Pre-War


8-9 November 1923: Beer Hall Putsch

December 20, 1924: Hitler Leaves Prison

September 18, 1931: Geli Raubal Commits Suicide

November 8, 1932: Roosevelt is Elected

30 January 1933: Hitler Takes Office
February 27, 1933: Reichstag Fire
March 23, 1933: The Enabling Act

June 20, 1934: Hitler Plans the Night of the Long Knives
June 30, 1934: Night of the Long Knives

August 1, 1936: Opening of the Berlin Olympics

September 30, 1938: The Munich Agreement
November 9, 1938: Kristallnacht

August 1, 1939: Flight Tests of B-17 Flying Fortress
August 2, 1939: Einstein and the Atom Bomb
August 7, 1939: Goering Tries to Broker Peace
August 14, 1939: Hitler Decides To Attack Poland
August 15, 1939: U-Boats Put To Sea
August 16, 1939: Incident at Danzig
August 20, 1939: Battle of Khalkhin Gol
August 22, 1939: Hitler Tips His Hand
August 23, 1939: Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact
August 25, 1939: Hitler Postpones Invasion of Poland
August 27, 1939: First Jet Flight
August 31, 1939: The Gleiwitz Operation




2015

September 18, 1931: Geli Raubal Commits Suicide

September 18, 1931


Adolf Hitler Geli Raubal worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com


Politics, Germany: Angela Maria "Geli" Raubal, Adolf Hitler's half-niece, commits suicide on 18 September 1931 by shooting herself in Hitler's apartment in Munich. Hitler was not present at the time. Witnesses reported that they had been arguing before Hitler left, with Hitler saying emphatically "No" to whatever Geli wanted. The case is quickly hushed up, but Hitler continues referring to it throughout the rest of his life. In the immediate aftermath, he is devastated and borderline suicidal.

The extent of their relationship is unknown, but many believe that Hitler and Geli had been dating for several years. Hitler had painted nude watercolors of Geli. They certainly went on hikes in the mountains, sea cruises, and attended the opera and so forth like normal boyfriends and girlfriends. She lived in rooms that Hitler personally rented in Munich.

Geli was the second child and eldest daughter of Leo Raubal Sr. and Hitler's half-sister, Angela Raubal, so she was his half-niece. Geli helped Hitler by presiding over party gatherings and helping to make him seem "cool" to the others. Baldur von Schirach, for instance, noted in his autobiography that, in Geli's presence, Hitler never launched into his endless monologues, did not begin vicious recriminations against anyone who had irked him recently, and basically remained the outwardly charming fellow familiar to the German public.

There is some evidence that Geli had fallen in love with Emil Maurice, Hitler's chauffeur, shortly before her suicide. Maurice was fired from being Hitler's driver as a result of the affair, but remained in the party. Despite Maurice having Jewish ancestry, Hitler even approved his entry into the SS, where he remained throughout the war. Whether the Maurice affair had any influence on Geli committing suicide is unknowable. Hitler never held the affair against Maurice, but the affair and its outcome haunted him for the rest of his life. Hitler allowed Angela, Geli's mother, to run his mountain retreat in Berchtesgaden, the Berghof, until they had a falling out (perhaps over Eva Braun) in 1939.

Adolf Hitler Geli Raubal worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com
Josef Goebbels, Geli Raubal, and Adolf Hitler.

Pre-War


8-9 November 1923: Beer Hall Putsch

December 20, 1924: Hitler Leaves Prison

September 18, 1931: Geli Raubal Commits Suicide

November 8, 1932: Roosevelt is Elected

30 January 1933: Hitler Takes Office
February 27, 1933: Reichstag Fire
March 23, 1933: The Enabling Act

June 20, 1934: Hitler Plans the Night of the Long Knives
June 30, 1934: Night of the Long Knives

August 1, 1936: Opening of the Berlin Olympics

September 30, 1938: The Munich Agreement
November 9, 1938: Kristallnacht

August 1, 1939: Flight Tests of B-17 Flying Fortress
August 2, 1939: Einstein and the Atom Bomb
August 7, 1939: Goering Tries to Broker Peace
August 14, 1939: Hitler Decides To Attack Poland
August 15, 1939: U-Boats Put To Sea
August 16, 1939: Incident at Danzig
August 20, 1939: Battle of Khalkhin Gol
August 22, 1939: Hitler Tips His Hand
August 23, 1939: Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact
August 25, 1939: Hitler Postpones Invasion of Poland
August 27, 1939: First Jet Flight
August 31, 1939: The Gleiwitz Operation


2015

December 20, 1924: Hitler Leaves Prison

December 20, 1924


Adolf Hitler Landsberg Prison worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com
Adolf Hitler leaves Landsberg prison, still as defiant as ever.

Politics, Germany: Adolf Hitler leaves Landsberg Prison after nine months in custody due to the Beer Hall Putsch. During his stay, he dictated his manifesto, "Mein Kampf" ("My Struggles"), to fellow inmate Rudolf Hess. The book becomes an international bestseller, one of the most widely distributed books in history.

Adolf Hitler Landsberg Prison worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com
Hitler (left) and Hess (second from right) in Landsberg prison. The others are, from left to right:  Emil Maurice (Hitler's chauffeur), Hermann Kriebel, and Friedrich Weber.

Pre-War


8-9 November 1923: Beer Hall Putsch

December 20, 1924: Hitler Leaves Prison

September 18, 1931: Geli Raubal Commits Suicide

November 8, 1932: Roosevelt is Elected

30 January 1933: Hitler Takes Office
February 27, 1933: Reichstag Fire
March 23, 1933: The Enabling Act

June 20, 1934: Hitler Plans the Night of the Long Knives
June 30, 1934: Night of the Long Knives

August 1, 1936: Opening of the Berlin Olympics

September 30, 1938: The Munich Agreement
November 9, 1938: Kristallnacht

August 1, 1939: Flight Tests of B-17 Flying Fortress
August 2, 1939: Einstein and the Atom Bomb
August 7, 1939: Goering Tries to Broker Peace
August 14, 1939: Hitler Decides To Attack Poland
August 15, 1939: U-Boats Put To Sea
August 16, 1939: Incident at Danzig
August 20, 1939: Battle of Khalkhin Gol
August 22, 1939: Hitler Tips His Hand
August 23, 1939: Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact
August 25, 1939: Hitler Postpones Invasion of Poland
August 27, 1939: First Jet Flight
August 31, 1939: The Gleiwitz Operation



2015

8-9 November 1923: Beer Hall Putsch

November 8-9, 1923


Beer Hall Putsch worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com
Heinrich Himmler carries the flag at the Beer Hall Putsch.

Politics, Germany: Adolf Hitler attempts a coup against the government in Munich, Bavaria. He is accompanied by estwhile Generalquartiermeister Erich Ludendorff, with whom he hoped to form a government. Others accompanying him included: Hermann Göring (Hermann Goering), Alfred Rosenberg, Rudolf Hess, Ernst Hanfstaengl, Ulrich Graf, Johann Aigner, Adolf Lenk, Max Amann, Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richter, Wilhelm Adam, Heinrich Himmler, and Rudolf Hess.

The coup is unsuccessful. Gustav Ritter von Kahr, a minor Bavarian functionary who had recently been appointed Staatskomissar (state commissioner) with plenary powers, is a presumed ally who turns out not to be. Sixteen people die during the march, which is resisted by government troops. Hitler is taken prisoner and winds up serving nine months in jail at Landsberg Prison. Goering is badly wounded in the "leg."

Ludendorff walks straight through the carnage and is unmolested by the troops. He leaves the party soon thereafter.

Beer Hall Putsch worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com
The defiant defendant, Adolf Hitler, with fellow defendants in the Putsch trial, including Gen. Ludendorff (left) and Ernst Röhm (right front).

Pre-War


8-9 November 1923: Beer Hall Putsch

December 20, 1924: Hitler Leaves Prison

September 18, 1931: Geli Raubal Commits Suicide

November 8, 1932: Roosevelt is Elected

30 January 1933: Hitler Takes Office
February 27, 1933: Reichstag Fire
March 23, 1933: The Enabling Act

June 20, 1934: Hitler Plans the Night of the Long Knives
June 30, 1934: Night of the Long Knives

August 1, 1936: Opening of the Berlin Olympics

September 30, 1938: The Munich Agreement
November 9, 1938: Kristallnacht

August 1, 1939: Flight Tests of B-17 Flying Fortress
August 2, 1939: Einstein and the Atom Bomb
August 7, 1939: Goering Tries to Broker Peace
August 14, 1939: Hitler Decides To Attack Poland
August 15, 1939: U-Boats Put To Sea
August 16, 1939: Incident at Danzig
August 20, 1939: Battle of Khalkhin Gol
August 22, 1939: Hitler Tips His Hand
August 23, 1939: Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact
August 25, 1939: Hitler Postpones Invasion of Poland
August 27, 1939: First Jet Flight
August 31, 1939: The Gleiwitz Operation


2015

30 January 1933: Hitler Takes Office

January 30, 1933

Hitler Hindendburg worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com


Politics, Germany: Paul von Hindenburg, President of Germany since his election in 1925, appoints Adolf Hitler to the position of Chancellor of Germany.

Hitler Hindendburg worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com


The day remains a major Nazi celebration straight through to 1945.

Hitler Hindendburg worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com
Hitler visits Hindenburg, accompanied by SA and SS.

Pre-War


8-9 November 1923: Beer Hall Putsch

December 20, 1924: Hitler Leaves Prison

September 18, 1931: Geli Raubal Commits Suicide

November 8, 1932: Roosevelt is Elected

30 January 1933: Hitler Takes Office
February 27, 1933: Reichstag Fire
March 23, 1933: The Enabling Act

June 20, 1934: Hitler Plans the Night of the Long Knives
June 30, 1934: Night of the Long Knives

August 1, 1936: Opening of the Berlin Olympics

September 30, 1938: The Munich Agreement
November 9, 1938: Kristallnacht

August 1, 1939: Flight Tests of B-17 Flying Fortress
August 2, 1939: Einstein and the Atom Bomb
August 7, 1939: Goering Tries to Broker Peace
August 14, 1939: Hitler Decides To Attack Poland
August 15, 1939: U-Boats Put To Sea
August 16, 1939: Incident at Danzig
August 20, 1939: Battle of Khalkhin Gol
August 22, 1939: Hitler Tips His Hand
August 23, 1939: Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact
August 25, 1939: Hitler Postpones Invasion of Poland
August 27, 1939: First Jet Flight
August 31, 1939: The Gleiwitz Operation




2015

Welcome!

worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com


Thank you for visiting my World War II Daily site.

This site is intended to provide a daily history of events during World War II. I use an expanded definition of World War II, so some events before 1 September 1939 and after 2 September 1945 shall be included from time to time. However, the primary focus shall be significant events between and including those two dates.

Others have done this. I always find those summaries lacking in one sense or another. They either only cover part of the war, or they get facts wrong because they are hurried jobs, or they get into too much minutiae (you could write a book about any particular day's events and implications), and so forth. Here, let's stick to the basic facts and perhaps a little reflection on the historical consequences. What was important? Who were some of the people involved? What were the minor events that might not have been life-changing or even particularly noticeable that day, but eventually led to something amazing? Those will guide the choices.

I have a separate site for in-depth analysis of discrete topics and themes relating to the war. While there shall be some overlap between the two sites, this site will stick to events that happened during a particular day. So, if you are interested on what happened throughout the, say, five months of the battle of Stalingrad, you might want to go there. Interested in the Me 262 jet fighter and its years of development? This page on my other site may be what you are looking for. I will provide links back and forth.

If, instead, you are interested in what happened on 27 August 1939 (an incredibly important day in the history of aviation), or on 27 September 1939 (which featured a decision that rocked the world), this site is the place to look. I am going to try very hard to just stick to the events of that particular day without doing all that foreshadowing and "and then this happened and that happened and three years later they surrendered" nonsense that you know eventually happened, and I know eventually happened, but did not happen on that particular day. With some isolated incidents, that is appropriate, but will be done sparingly. I also occasionally will add tidbits about unknown events at the time that blossom into something wonderful decades later in an area called "future history." Many of us are still directly affected by things that happened in 1939, 1940, and the later war years.

worldwartwodaily.filminspector.com


While I will use alternate date formats, I will endeavour always to provide labels in the form 22November2015 and 2015November22 (today's date). That should make it easy to find a particular date via a simple label search. Just plugging in the date normally should work, too, but I want one, consistent system, at least for my own use.

Sources are always a big deal for historians. At some point, I will provide a bibliography of sources that I have acquired over decades. Basically, I have shelves full of works relating to the war from a variety of perspectives, some comprehensive and some first-hand accounts, and these will serve as the primary sources of dates. What I find as I do this is that the dates don't always match up precisely between all sources on some of the, shall we say, less notorious events. This can be due to a variety of factors, as sometimes exact records were not kept or things happened over the course of several days and there was no precise starting or ending point. Where applicable, I will try to indicate that in the text. Sometimes, I will track down dates in places besides the main sources, too, so the bibliography is unlikely to be exhaustive. However, it will be a starting point for further research. The more focused a study - an article on, say, the first capture by the British of a Focke Wulf 190 fighter, as opposed to a general study of the Battle of Britain - the more reliability I place on its accuracy on that particular topic.

Anyone who sees any errors and/or has something to contribute, just leave a comment. The events of World War II are easier to pinpoint than the dates on which they occurred. Many think that the day something was reported in the media was when it occurred, and nothing could be further from the truth. Dates of second