Father Kolbe’s tragic death in the “death block” in the concentration camp Auschwitz on August 14th, 1941, became a symbol of sacrifice and selflessness. Maximilian Maria Kolbe decided to save his fellow inmate’s life by sacrificing his own.
We tend to think about the beginning of World War II in terms of September 1st, 4:45 am. However, as we have already explained in the article about the Gleiwitz incident, in border areas the war was already ongoing when Germany launched an invasion of Poland and SMS Schleswig-Holstein opened fire at the Polish positions on the Westerplatte. In the case of Upper Silesia, a region torn between Poland and Germany, the actual warfare was preceded by a series of diversionary activities, of which the Gleiwitz incident is the most known one. The actions were prepared by the military in cooperation with the Reich Main Security Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt).
Sometimes ordinary cogs in the war machine just… do not seem to move fast enough. Enhancement is needed to achieve the expected results. And the human body can be enhanced with chemistry - alas, never without consequences. But who thought of consequences when they had Blitzkrieg on their mind?
You probably know the Gliwice radio station for many reasons. First of all, it is a world record holder - the transmitting mast constructed by the Lorenz AG company from Berlin in the period from May 20 to October 9, 1935, is 111 m high, which makes it the tallest wooden structure in the world to this day. Secondly, you may have heard about the “Gleiwitz incident”, which is probably the largest German subversive action carried out in the border areas of Upper Silesia, aimed at blaming Poland for starting an armed conflict. It took place on August 31, 1939, and was one of several dozen actions that took place here at that time. First things first.
While depicting a typical Nazi in your mind, you will – most likely – think about a well-built young male. However, we must not forget that women became aware members of the NSDAP and, of course, of the SS. SS women underwent strict training during which they learned how to become an efficient cog in the killing machine. Make no mistake – they committed unbelievable atrocities just like their male counterparts.
What is the most iconic image of a working woman? Many of us will point at the poster shown below, with a fierce young woman raising her fist and the phrase “We can do it!” on top. Although the woman from this particular poster was never officially called “Rosie the Riveter”, this very artwork is heavily associated with the social campaign encouraging female workers to start a job in the defense industries.
Most of us, when asked about the substance used for murdering people on an industrial scale, will mention Zyklon B as the chemical agent behind the death of masses. In fact, there is one more simple chemical responsible for mass extermination – carbon monoxide from exhaust fumes.
The Germans lost the 1941 campaign due to frosts, becoming another victim of the Russian winter which they had not prepared for, just like Napoleon's Great Army. Truth as old as the hills. However, it's not true.
The Germans understood the seasons. Although they hoped that the campaign would end before winter, they had to prepare equipment for the occupation forces. The first instructions regarding preparations for winter were issued as early as in August. When Operation Typhoon, aimed at conquering Moscow, gets bogged down after the first successes (in mud rather than snow), uniforms and equipment will be prepared in warehouses for at least several dozen divisions. However, only a small part will reach the front.
When on August 15 and 16, 1943, American-Canadian troops were landing on the island of Kiska in the Aleutian Islands in the North Pacific, people still remembered the fights from over two months before for the nearby island of Attu. Fortunately, Kiski's conquest was much less bloody. Only 313 people were wounded or killed. The result could have been much worse if only... there were Japanese on the island at all.
People often wonder what life was like in the 30s in terms of observing totalitarian parties rise to power. Were societies misinformed, or maybe unaware of the impending doom? Of course not. In response to abuse and harassment against Jews committed by the Nazis, an international boycott of German products was organized starting from March 24th, 1933, pursuant to Hitler being appointed the Chancellor of Germany on January 30th of the same year. What is interesting, some Jewish organizations supported the boycott, while some opposed it.
This popular propaganda song was sung in various versions in Great Britain, at the very beginning of World War II, on the melody of the march "Colonel Bogey", more widely known from the movie "Bridge on the River Kwai". This is the best cultural evidence that the story of Hitler without one testicle has a long tradition. Did the leader of the Third Reich really have only one testicle and did he lose it during World War I?