May 3

1849 Birth: Bernhard von Buelow: Chancellor of Germany:

After first rising to the rank of State Secretary in 1897, von Bulow was appointed Chancellor by Kaiser Wilhelm II on 16-Oct-1900. He replaced the aging and ailing Prince Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe. A politician by nature, he often manipulated the Emperor to further his own position. He was made a Prince of the German Empire as a result of his involvement in the Morocco Crisis of 1905. His career was a casualty of his own ambition and he was forced to resign from office as a result of the Daily Telegraph affair . . . . The Kaiser replaced von Bulow with Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg.

1896 Birth: Karl Allmenroeder: German World War I ace:

Allmenroeder was only 18 when the war began but became an artilleryman and was commissioned in 1915. With his brother Willi, he transferred to the air service, and flew two-seaters before joining Jagdstaffel 11, in November 1916. After Manfred von Richthofen assumed command, Allmenroeder quickly rose in the pantheon of Jasta 11 stars. "Karlchen" achieved nine victories by the end of April 1917, then made his mark with 13 in May. He received the Pour le Merite and reached 30 victories before being shot down on June 27, undoubtedly the victim of anti-aircraft fire. It has been said that Allmenroeder was shot down by Canadian ace Raymond Collishaw but the time and place do not match. [For further details, Click here.]

1898 Birth: Golda Meir: Fourth prime minister of Israel:

Born in Kiev, Russia but raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she settled on a kibbutz in British Mandate Palestine with her American husband, Morris Meyerson, in 1921. As Golda Meir (her adopted name), she became active in Zionist politics, and after Israel gained independence in 1948 she served as ambassador to the Soviet Union (1948), was elected to the Knesset (1949) and was named the country's foreign minister (1956-65). Strong-willed and fiercely protective of Israel, she became an international symbol of Israeli resolve. After the death of Prime Minister Levi Eshkol in 1969, Meir came out of retirement to become, at age 71, prime minister. Her handling of the Arab-Israeli War of 1973 (the Yom Kippur War) was widely criticized, as were her attempts to garner peace for Israel after the war, and she resigned in 1974. She was succeeded by Yitzhak Rabin. Meir published an autobiography, My Life, in 1975.

1915 World War I: Various:

"In Flanders Fields": Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae writes one of the most notable poems written during the First World War. [For further information, click here.]

Austro-German forces drive Russians out of the Carpathians: During a 10-day-long stretch of fighting in the Carpathian Mountains on the Galician front in Austria-Hungary, a combined Austro-German force succeeds in defeating the Russian army near the Dunajec River (a tributary of the Vistula River that runs through modern-day northern Slovakia and southern Poland).

From the regimental diary of Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16th RIR [List Regiment]: "28 cm (railway guns) fire on our base at the estaminet 'Rouges Bancs' and on the common position 'Bavaria'." [For further details, Click here.]

1916 World War I: Gefreiter Adolf Hitler endures trench warfare in Flanders (Artois) with 3 Company, 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment [List Regiment]. [For further details, Click here.]

1917 World War I: Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment [List Regiment] , 3 Company, participate in the Arras action, being redeployed east of Vimy Ridge. [For further details, Click here.]

1918 World War I (May 3-15): The 16th RIR is sent back to hold a sector near an earlier position at Laon. Major Anton von Tubeuf:

The severely decimated regiment holds a five kilometer front. To meet every attack the valiant men have to be spaced five to six metres apart. In ten long days and despite a fifteen-hour barrage not one foothold is abandoned. We hang on jealously to each scrap of earth, wrestling with an implacable enemy. The German artillery is saving ammunition for the coming offensive on the Chemin des Dames. In the early morning of 15 May, the 6th BRD is relieved. Giddy and sick from the continued inhalation of deadly gasses we stagger back. Two dispatch runners [Hitler and Brandmayer] collapse into each others arms. [See: Was Adolf Hitler a 'War Hero' in WW1?]

1933 Nazi Germany: Sachsenburg concentration camp goes into operation: Sachsenburg was the first concentration camp in which SS used coloured triangles sewn onto clothing, as well as armbands, to identify categories of prisoners. The camp held approximately 2000 opponents of the Nazi regime. How many people died in KZ Sachsenburg is unknown.

1934 Prediction by author and futurist H.G. Wells, that there will be a major war by 1940.

1936 Holocaust: A fundraiser for Jewish refugees at Madison Square Garden draws 16,000 people.

1938 Nazi Germany: Various:

Flossenburg concentration camp is opened:

After Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen, Flossenburg was the fourth concentration camp established in Germany by the Nazis. It was in a small village located in a beautiful area, with many forests and mountains, not far from Weiden . . . . 

On September 1, 1939, while the German Army was invading Poland, the concentration camp of Dachau was partially evacuated in order to be used as a training center for the future SS extermination squads. 981 prisoners from Dachau were transferred to Flossenburg. Due to the increasing number of prisoners, the camp was constantly being transformed, and on April 5, 1940, the first convoy of foreign prisoners arrived in Flossenburg.

Living conditions in Flossenburg were extremely hard. The SS administration itself considered Flossenburg as a "Hard Regime" concentration camp. Most of the prisoners had to work in the stone quarries. The malnutrition, the total lack of hygiene and medical care, and the brutality of the SS guards were the main causes of the death of thousands of prisoners in Flossenburg as well as in its sub-camps . . . . 

The original camp was established in 1938 for 1,600 prisoners. Some months later, the camp was transformed in order to house 3,000 prisoners. Eventually, more than 111,000 prisoners were incarcerated in Flossenburg and its sub-camps - 95,400 men and 16,000 women. It is estimated that 73,000 prisoners died.

Genocide: Gypsies: The DFG places RM 15,000 at the disposal of Dr. Ritter "for the continuation of your research work on asocial individuals and on the biology of bastards." (THP)

Robert Ritter . . . was a German psychologist best known for his work that led to persecution and genocide of the Roma people in Nazi Germany (the Porajmos). Born in Aachen, Ritter received his doctorate in educational psychology at the University of Munich in 1927. Continuing his studies in child psychology, Ritter received his doctorate in medicine at University of Heidelberg in 1930. In 1936 Ritter was appointed to head the newly created Eugenic and Population Biological Research Station of the Reich Health Office. By 1941 his research about the Roma led to implementing practical measures against them. Ritter then became chief of the newly created Criminal Biological Institute of the Security Police . . . . 

After the war Ritter was employed as a psychologist for the Frankfurt Public Health Office . . . . 

In 1948 at the behest of Gypsy survivors of the Porajmos the Frankfurt prosecutor's office opened an inquiry into Ritter's Nazi era activities. The case was closed in 1950, on the grounds of insufficient evidence. Ritter died in 1951.

Church and Reich:

Hitler makes a state visit to Mussolini in Rome, but chooses not to make the customary 'courtesy call' on the pope. (THP)

1939 Various:

USSR: Maxim Litvinov--a Jew and Soviet Foreign Minister for eighteen years, is replaced by Stalin with Vyacheslav M. Molotov, a gentile. Hitler is greatly pleased that Stalin seems to be removing the last Bolshevik Jews from positions of power, and correctly interprets the move as a shift away from the West. Note: Molotov will serve as Foreign Minister from 1939-49 and again from 1953-56. Litvinov will become Soviet Ambassador to the US in 1941. (THP)

Holocaust: Hungary enacts anti-Semitic laws similar to the Nuremberg Laws. Hungarian Jews are forbidden to become judges, lawyers, schoolteachers, or members of Parliament. Those who converted to Christianity before 1919, and Jewish war veterans are exempted.

India: Subhas Chandra Bose forms the All India Forward Bloc of the Indian National Congress, in opposition to Gandhi's tactics of nonviolence.

At the outset of the war, he left India, travelling to the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, seeking an alliance with each of them to attack the British government in India. With Imperial Japanese assistance, he re-organised and later led the Azad Hind Fauj or Indian National Army (INA), formed with Indian prisoners-of-war and plantation workers from British Malaya, Singapore, and other parts of Southeast Asia, against British forces. With Japanese monetary, political, diplomatic and military assistance, he formed the Azad Hind Government in exile, and regrouped and led the Indian National Army in failed military campaigns against the allies at Imphal and in Burma.

1940 USA: FDR addresses thousands of Democratic women:

President Franklin D. Roosevelt welcomes approximately 4,000 women attending a women's division meeting of the Democratic National Committee to Washington D.C. He and his wife Eleanor's plans to host the event at the White House, however, had to be modified at the last minute, as they had originally expected only 100 guests . . . . after welcoming the women, he invited them for an informal tour of the mansion with a warm "Come on in!"

1942 World War II: Battle of the Coral Sea:

The United States, having broken Japan's secret war code and forewarned of an impending invasion of Tulagi and Port Moresby, attempts to intercept the Japanese armada. Four days of battles between Japanese and American aircraft carriers will result in 70 Japanese and 66 American warplanes destroyed. This confrontation marks the first air-naval battle in history, as none of the carriers fire at each other, allowing the planes that took off from their decks to do the fighting. Among the casualties is the American carrier Lexington, "the Blue Ghost" (so-called because it was not camouflaged like other carriers), which suffers such extensive aerial damage that it has to be scuttled by its own crew. Two hundred and sixteen Lexington crewmen perish as a result of the Japanese aerial bombardment. Although Japan will go on to occupy all of the Solomon Islands, the cost in experienced pilots and aircraft carriers is so great that Japan will have to cancel its expedition to other South Pacific targets.

1943 World War II: Katyn: In order to placate Stalin, who finds it difficult to believe that a government is unable to control its own press, the US government tries to discredit the findings of the commission at Katyn and tells Polish radio stations at home to 'pipe down' about Katyn and Soviet crimes.

1944 World War II: USA: Wartime rationing of most grades of meats ends. Note: Rationing will continue in Britain until well into the 1950's, for no good reason.

1945 World War II: Various:

Burma: The British 14th Army captures Rangoon.

Sinking of the floating-jails by the RAF in Luebeck Bay: Contrary to general belief the world's greatest ship disaster did not occur in the Atlantic Ocean and the ship was not the Titanic. The greatest ship disaster occurred on 3 May 1945 in Luebeck Bay in the Baltic Sea and the ship was the Cap Arcona. Three ships were involved: the Cap Arcona, the Thielbek and the Athen.

Karl Doenitz--Second (and last) Fuehrer of the Third Reich--invites all the civilian military commanders of the German occupied territories to Flensburg to coordinate a simultaneous surrender. [See: The Last Days of the Third Reich.]

Hamburg is occupied by the British XII Corps.

Austria: Innsbruck falls to the US Seventh Army, while other units advance on Salzburg. [See: Austria: The Other Germany.]

1946 Various:

Nuremberg Tribunal: Day 120, Hjalmar Schacht is cross-examined by Chief Prosecutor Justice Jackson:

Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, is it not a fact that your controversy with Goering was a controversy of a personal character, between you and him, for control and not a controversy as to the question of armament? You both wanted to rearm as rapidly as possible.

Schacht: I do not want to continue that play with words as to whether it was personal or anything else, Mr. Justice. I had differences with Goering on the subject; and if you ask whether it was on armament, speed, or extent, I reply that I was at greatest odds with Goering in regard to these points. I have never denied that I wanted to rearm in order to gain equality of position for Germany. I never wanted to rearm any further. Goering wanted to go further; and this is one difference which cannot be overlooked.

Mr. Justice Jackson: Now I do not want to play upon words; and if you say my reference to it as personal is a play upon words, you force me to go into what you told us about Goering. Is it not a fact that you told Major Tilley this? "Whereas I have called Hitler an amoral type of person, I can regard Goering only as immoral and criminal. Endowed by nature with a certain geniality which he managed to exploit for his own popularity, he was the most egocentric being imaginable. The assumption of political power was for him only a means to personal enrichment and personal good living. The success of others filled him with envy. His greed knew no bounds. His predilection for jewels, gold and finery, et cetera, was unimaginable. He knew no comradeship. Only as long as someone was useful to him did he profess friendship. Goering's knowledge in all fields in which a government member should be competent was nil, especially in the economic field. Of all the economic matters which Hitler entrusted to him in the autumn of 1936 he had not the faintest notion, though he created an immense official apparatus and misused his powers as lord of all economy most outrageously. In his personal appearance he was so theatrical that one could only compare him with Nero. A lady who had tea with his second wife reported that he appeared at this tea in a sort of Roman toga and sandals studded with jewels, his fingers bedecked with innumerable jeweled rings and generally covered with ornaments, his face painted and his lips rouged." Did you give that statement to Major Tilley?

Schacht: Yes.

Mr. Justice Jackson: Yes. And you say you had no personal differences with Goering.

[For the full text of Schacht's testimony, Click here.]

From Justice at Nuremberg by Robert E. Conot:

Walter Funk followed Schacht into the witness stand as he had succeeded him in the Hitler administration; and there could have been no starker example of the manner in which men of talent had been precipitated out of the regime in favor of sycophantic sybarites. Slumping down into his chair as if attempting to hide in it, the flabby, hypochondriac Funk mumbled and slurred his words so badly that the interpreters and stenographers had difficulty understanding him. Parker called him "a pitiful little man in bad health"--precisely the impression Funk wanted to create . . . .

Like Goering, Funk had been addicted to jewelry and high living, and carried a watch made out of a glittering dollar gold piece. He loved cigars, drinking, and all-night parties. A talking compendium of risque jokes, Funk had attempted to pass himself off as one of the world's great lechers. These sexual pretensions had caused considerable merriment in the higher Nazi echelons, where he had been well known as a homosexual. When, at the time of the Fritsch crisis, the Berlin police president, Helldorf, had informed Goebbels that he also had a dossier on Funk, Goebbels had shrugged. "The only thing that could be done," the propaganda minister had said, "was to arrange an automobile accident, and that would be no way to treat an 'alte Kaempfer' (old fighter) like Funk." . . . .

When, in mid-October, Funk had been brought to Nuremberg from the hospital where he had been treated for his bladder infection, he had complained interminably to his interrogator, Murray Gurfein: "I am stuck in a very cold cell, and if this continues for two or three days, we shall have the old trouble all over again. I must request you to deal with me softly, as I am very ill."

Nuremberg Tribunal: Walter Funk testifies on his own behalf:

I myself, for 10 or 12 years before that, had protested and fought publicly against the burden of the Versailles reparations, because I was convinced that those reparations were the chief cause of the economic bankruptcy of Germany. I, myself, have fought all my life for private enterprise, because I \vas convinced that the idea of private enterprise is indissolubly bound up with the idea of the efficiency and worth of individual human beings. I have fought for the free initiative of the entrepreneur, free competition, and, at that time in particular, for putting an end to the mad class struggle, and for the establishment of a social community on the basis of the industrial community. All those were ideas to which I found a ready response. [For Funk's full testimony, Click here.]

Japanese war crimes trial begins:

In Tokyo, Japan, the International Military Tribunals for the Far East begins hearing the case against 28 Japanese military and government officials accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity during World War II.

On November 4, 1948, the trial ended with 25 of 28 Japanese defendants being found guilty. Of the three other defendants, two had died during the lengthy trial, and one was declared insane. On November 12, the war crimes tribunal passed death sentences on seven of the men, including General Hideki Tojo, who served as Japanese premier during the war, and other principals, such as Iwane Matsui, who organized the Rape of Nanking, and Heitaro Kimura, who brutalized Allied prisoners of war. Sixteen others were sentenced to life imprisonment, and two were sentenced to lesser terms in prison. On December 23, 1948, Tojo and the six others were executed in Tokyo.

Unlike the Nuremberg trial of Nazi war criminals, where there were four chief prosecutors, to represent Great Britain, France, the United States, and the USSR, the Tokyo trial featured only one chief prosecutor--American Joseph B. Keenan, a former assistant to the U.S. attorney general. However, other nations, especially China, contributed to the proceedings, and Australian judge William Flood Webb presided. In addition to the central Tokyo trial, various tribunals sitting outside Japan judged some 5,000 Japanese guilty of war crimes, of whom more than 900 were executed. Some observers thought that Emperor Hirohito should have been tried for his tacit approval of Japanese policy during the war, but he was protected by U.S. authorities who saw him as a symbol of Japanese unity and conservatism, both favorable traits in the postwar U.S. view.

1947 Japan: New constitution goes into effect:

The progressive constitution granted universal suffrage, stripped Emperor Hirohito of all but symbolic power, stipulated a bill of rights, abolished peerage, and outlawed Japan's right to make war. The document was largely the work of Supreme Allied Commander Douglas MacArthur and his occupation staff, who had prepared the draft in February 1946 after a Japanese attempt was deemed unacceptable . . . . 

On September 2, 1945, aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, he presided over the official surrender of Japan. According to the terms of surrender, Emperor Hirohito and the Japanese government were subject to the authority of the Supreme Commander for Allied Powers in occupied Japan, a post filled by General MacArthur . . . . 

The occupation was to be a nominally Allied enterprise, but increasing Cold War division left Japan firmly in the American sphere of influence. From his General Headquarters, which overlooked the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo, MacArthur presided over an extremely productive reconstruction of Japanese government, industry, and society along American models. MacArthur was a gifted administrator, and his progressive reforms were for the most part welcomed by the Japanese people.

The most important reform carried out by the American occupation was the establishment of a new constitution to replace the 1889 Meiji Constitution. In early 1946, the Japanese government submitted a draft for a new constitution to the General Headquarters, but it was rejected for being too conservative. MacArthur ordered his young staff to draft their own version in one week. The document, submitted to the Japanese government on February 13, 1946, protected the civil liberties MacArthur had introduced and preserved the emperor, though he was stripped of power. Article 9 forbade the Japanese ever to wage war again.

Before Japan's defeat, Emperor Hirohito was officially regarded as Japan's absolute ruler and a quasi-divine figure. Although his authority was sharply limited in practice, he was consulted with by the Japanese government and approved of its expansionist policies from 1931 through World War II. Hirohito feared, with good reason, that he might be indicted as a war criminal and the Japanese imperial house abolished. MacArthur's constitution at least preserved the emperor as the "symbol of the state and of the unity of the people," so Hirohito offered his support. Many conservatives in the government were less enthusiastic, but on April 10, 1946, the new constitution was endorsed in popular elections that allowed Japanese women to vote for the first time. The final draft, slightly revised by the Japanese government, was made public one week later. On November 3, it was promulgated by the Diet--the Japanese parliament--and on May 3, 1947, it came into force.

In 1948, Yoshida Shigeru's election as prime minister ushered in the Yoshida era, marked by political stability and rapid economic growth in Japan. In 1949, MacArthur gave up much of his authority to the Japanese government, and in September 1951 the United States and 48 other nations signed a formal peace treaty with Japan. On April 28, 1952, the treaty went into effect, and Japan assumed full sovereignty as the Allied occupation came to an end.

1951 Cold War: Congressional hearings on General MacArthur: The Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, meeting in closed session, begin their hearings into the dismissal of Gen. Douglas MacArthur by President Harry S. Truman. The hearings served as a sounding board for MacArthur and his extremist views on how the Cold War should be fought.

1956 Wunderwaffen: From an NCS (National Security Council) Memorandum:

The President [Eisenhower] said that he had not been notably enthusiastic about the earth satellite program when it had first been considered by the National Security Council, but that we certainly could not back out of it now. The President could not imagine the United States having made an announcement that it proposed to launch an earth satellite, and then failing to deliver on its commitment. To this, Secretary Humphrey replied by proposing that we spend the sum of $20 million originally estimated to be the cost of launching an earth satellite, and see whether we could get one up into its orbit for this amount of money.

Secretary Wilson said that the successful launching of an earth satellite might one day provide information of very considerable value to the defense of the United States. He was presently engaged in trying hard to prevent the Soviets from having access to valuable secrets of the Defense Department. Accordingly, he was much interested to know whether, if the earth satellite were successful, all the information we obtained from its flight was going to be made known to all the nations of the world, as seemed to be proposed by the people responsible for the International Geophysical Year programs. If this proved to be the case, Secretary Wilson asked how we were expected to keep ahead of the Soviets.

Mr. Anderson pointed out to the President that there were two parts to the problem before the National Security Council. One was the recommendation to go ahead with the development of the six-satellite program. The other was the question of the need for additional satellites. The answer to this would come later... [For the full text of the Memorandum, Click here.]

[See: Wunderwaffen: Hitler's Deception and the History of Rocketry.]

1991 Death: Jerzy Kosinski: Polish-born writer: The name was bestowed upon him by his father, (original name: Josek Lewinkopf) while they were hiding from the Nazis. As a child during World War II, he survived under a false identity in a Roman Catholic Polish family in eastern Poland. A Roman Catholic priest issued him a forged baptismal certificate.

Edited by Levi Bookin (Copy editor)

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