June 1

1879 Louis Napoleon is killed in action during the Anglo-Zulu War, sending shock waves throughout Europe, as he was the last serious hope for the restoration of the Bonapartes to the French throne. [For further information, click here.]

1900 Future President Hoover caught in Boxer Rebellion: On this day in 1900, future President Herbert Hoover and his wife Lou are caught in the middle of the Boxer Rebellion in China. [For further details, Click here.]

1915 World War I: List Regiment:

Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment occupy a position at Fromelles—pictured above in a drawing by Hitler—which is on a level field with water channels, willow trees and willow stalks. In the distance towards the enemy lines lies an insignificant wood with barbed wire entanglements. Under the direction of their defense-minded commander, Lieutenant General Gustav Scanzoni von Lichtenfels, the regiment works ceaselessly day and night to further fortify their position at Fromelles while fighting off repeated assaults by the enemy. [For further details, Click here.]

1916 World War I: Various:

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

Mesopotamia: Turkish commander Halil Pasha repulses a Russian attack at Khanikin.

Ypres Salient: Germans launch attack on British lines:

On the first day of June 1916, as German and British naval forces clash in the North Sea during the Battle of Jutland, and the French resist the persistent German siege at Verdun, German army troops launch a major attack on British lines in the Ypres Salient on the Western Front.

[For further details, Click here]

1917 World War I: List Regiment: Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16th RIR redeploy east of Douai for a period of rest which will extend until June 24. [For further details, Click here.]

1918 World War I: Various:

Battle for Belleau Wood begins:

Comprising two related actions, firstly at Chateau-Thierry from 3-4 June and then at Belleau Wood itself from 6-26 June, the Battle of Belleau Wood saw the re-capture by U.S. forces of the wood on the Metz-Paris road taken at the end of May by German Seventh Army forces arriving at the Marne River around Chateau-Thierry and held by four divisions as part of the German Aisne offensive. [For further details, Click here]

List Regiment: Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16th RIR, while holding the Front at Aisne and the Marne, captures the village of La Port. [For further details, Click here.]

1932 Wunderwaffen: Eight months before Hitler takes power in Germany, Wernher von Braun is recruited by the German Army's Weapons Agency for its rocket research program located at Kummersdorf near Berlin. (Cornwell, Piszkiewicz, Braun) [For further details, Click here.]

1934 Nissan Motor Company founded:

The Tokyo-based Jidosha-Seizo Kabushiki-Kaisha (Automobile Manufacturing Co., Ltd. in English) takes on a new name: Nissan Motor Company.

Jidosha-Seizo Kabushiki-Kaisha had been established in December 1933. The company's new name, adopted in June 1934, was an abbreviation for Nippon Sangyo, a "zaibatsu" (or holding company) belonging to Tobata's founder, Yoshisuke Aikawa. Nissan produced its first Datsun (a descendant of the Dat Car, a small, boxy passenger vehicle designed by Japanese automotive pioneer Masujiro Hashimoto that was first produced in 1914) at its Yokohama plant in April 1935. The company began exporting cars to Australia that same year. Beginning in 1938 and lasting throughout World War II, Nissan converted entirely from producing small passenger cars to producing trucks and military vehicles. Allied occupation forces seized much of Nissan's production operations in 1945 and didn't return full control to Nissan until a decade later. [For further details, Click here]

1938 Holocaust:

German political prisoners and all German Jews with previous criminal records are sent to Buchenwald. They are soon followed by 2,200 Austrian Jews.

1939 Various:

Concentration Camps: Oswald Pohl is named chief administrator of the SS:

Oswald Pohl was a Nazi official and member of the SS (with a rank of SS-Obergruppenfuehrer), involved in the mass murders of Jews in concentration camps, the so-called Endloesung (Final Solution) . . . . 

Pohl became a member of the SA, then finally joined the re-founded NSDAP (the Nazi party) on February 22 1926, as member #30842. He met Heinrich Himmler in 1933 and became his protege. He was appointed chief of the administration department in the staff of the Reichsfuehrer-SS ("Reich leader SS", RFSS) and given the rank of SS-Standartenfuehrer on February 1, 1934, and began to influence the administration of the concentration camps. His career continued when he was made Verwaltungschef (chief of administration) and Reichskassenverwalter ("Reich treasurer") for the SS on June 1, 1935, then initiated the Inspektion der Konzentrationslager ("inspection of the concentration camps"), an organization to organize and oversee the administration of the concentration camps . . . . 

Pohl also left the church in 1935, and, in June 1939, became chief of both the "Hauptamt Verwaltung und Wirtschaft" ("main bureau [for] administration and economy", part of the SS) and the "Hauptamt Haushalt und Bauten" ("main bureau [for] budget and construction", part of the Reich's ministry for the interior). On February 1, 1942, both institutions were combined into the "SS-Wirtschafts-Verwaltungshauptamt" (SS-WVHA, "SS main bureau for economic administration") with Pohl in charge; among other things, the SS-WVHA was in charge of the organization of the concentration camps, deciding on the distribution of detainees to the various camps and the "rental" of detainees for forced labor until 1944. Pohl was made SS-Obergruppenfuehrer and general of the Waffen-SS on April 20, 1942 . . . .  In 1944, Pohl was put out of charge of the concentration camps, with the R├â┬╝stungsministerium (ministry of armament) overtaking; at the same time, the responsibility for construction was also taken away from the SS-WVHA. However, Pohl remained in charge of the administration of the Waffen-SS for the remainder of the war.

After the end of World War II, in 1945, Pohl first hid in Upper Bavaria, then near Bremen; nevertheless, he was captured by British troops on May 27, 1946. He was sentenced to death on November 3, 1947, by an American military tribunal after the Nuremberg trials for crimes against humanity, war crimes and membership in a criminal organization, as well as for mass murders and crimes committed in the concentration camps administered by the SS-WVHA he was in charge of. However, Pohl was not executed right away . . . . 

Holocaust: Italy: Jews are ordered to assume "Jewish" surnames. Collaboration between Jewish and non-Jewish professionals is prohibited. (THP)

The Hauptamt SS-Gericht: The SS Legal Head Office is established on Himmler's orders:

It was responsible for formulating the laws and codes that the SS and various other groups of the secret police and Wehrmacht were to adhere to, as well as administering the SS and police courts and penal systems . . . .  [For further details, Click here]

1941 World War II: Various:

Fall of Crete:

In late 1940, the Greek army, reinforced by the British air force, decisively repulsed an Italian invasion of their nation. In April 1941, these triumphs turned to defeat when Nazi leader Adolf Hitler turned his undefeated German Wehrmacht against the country. The German army advanced so quickly in Greece that the British were forced to cancel plans to send reinforcements to the country. On April 23, the Greek king and his government evacuated to Crete, an island south of the Greek mainland, and on April 24 a general Allied evacuation to the island began. For the next six days, the Germans bombarded the Allied ships streaming to Crete, killing some 15,000 Allied sailors and troops. By April 29, however, almost 50,000 British, Greek, Australian, and New Zealand troops had reached the safety of the heavily fortified island.

Three weeks later, the German invasion of Crete began, and more than 20,000 German parachute troops landed on the island within a few days. Under heavy resistance from the Allies, the Germans succeeded in gaining control of an airfield and were thus able to fly in a steady number of reinforcements. On May 26, the Allies began to move to the southern coast of Crete, where an evacuation to British-controlled Egypt began. By June 1, the last of some 20,000 surviving Allied troops had escaped, and Crete fell to the Axis. [See: The Mediterranean Strategy.]

Iraq: British forces enter Baghdad returning the regent, six year-old King Faisal, to power.

Iraq : Pogrom in Baghdad:

On April 25, 1939, the first Arabic-language Nazi radio station was established in the German town of Giessen. The station broadcast Nazi propaganda to the Middle East and North Africa, employed writers, translators, scholars and Orientalists, and featured Arab immigrants and Arab leaders in its broadcasts. . . . The station aired anti-British, anti-American, anti-Soviet and anti-Jewish propaganda, which was instrumental in introducing radical anti-Semitism to a Middle East already rife with Islamic anti-Jewish sentiments.

The propaganda sought to achieve various goals, including enlisting the support of the Arab population to the Fuhrer and the Nazi cause, promoting rampant anti-Jewish incitement by accusing Jews of stealing Arab funds and holding them responsible for all that was wrong in the Arab world, endorsing the Arabs' national aspirations, inciting violence against the British and the French mandates in the Middle East, and promising to grant all Arab countries independence following Germany's victory in the war.

On June 1, 1941, following the British victory in the Anglo-Iraqi War, Baghdad's Jewish community fell prey to the "Farhud," a pogrom that left 200 Jews dead and thousands of others wounded, and saw hundreds of Jewish businesses and homes looted and torched. . . . The Iraqi government formed a commission of inquiry to investigate the riots, and found that the Nazi propaganda broadcast from Berlin was a key factor, and that the prolonged incitement against the Jews had prompted their murders by Muslim rioters. The committee also found that actions by Grobba and then-Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, who fled to Iraq in 1939, had contributed greatly to the Farhud. [For further information, click here.]

1942 Various:

Czechoslovakia: Within days of the attack on Heydrich, more than 13,000 people are arrested, 232 are executed for expressing their approval, and 462 more are executed for possessing weapons or disobeying the police. (THP)

Holocaust: Chelmno: Public learn for the first time of death camp killings:

On this day in 1942, a Warsaw underground newspaper, the Liberty Brigade, makes public the news of the gassing of tens of thousands of Jews at Chelmno—a death camp in Poland—almost seven months after extermination of prisoners began.

A year earlier, the means of effecting what would become the "Final Solution," the mass extermination of European Jewry, was devised: 700 Jews were murdered by channeling gas fumes back into a van used to transport them to the village of Chelmno, in Poland. This "gas van" would become the death chamber for a total of 360,000 Jews from more than 200 communities in Poland. The advantage of this form of extermination was that it was silent and invisible.

One month before the infamous Wannsee Conference of January 1942, during which Nazi officials decided to address formally the "Jewish question," the gas vans in Chelmno were used to kill up to 1,000 Jews a day. The vans provided the "Final Solution" for Adolf Eichmann and other Wannsee attendees. The mass gassings were the most orderly and systematic means of eliminating European Jewry. Eventually, more such vans were employed in other parts of Poland. There was no thought of selecting out the "fit" from the "unfit" for slave labor, as in Auschwitz. There was only one goal: utter extermination.

On June 1, 1942, the story of a young Jew, Emanuel Ringelblum, (who escaped from the Chelmno death camp after being forced to bury bodies as they were thrown out of the gas vans), was published in the underground Polish Socialist newspaper Liberty Brigade. The West now knew the "bloodcurdling news . . . about the slaughter of Jews," and it had a name: Chelmno. (History.com)
[See: How Widespread Was Guilty Knowledge of the Holocaust?]

World War II: War with Japan: The crews of three Japanese Ko-hyoteki class submarines scuttled and committed suicide after entering Sydney Harbour and launching a failed attack. [For further details, Click here]

1943 Various:

World War II: A civilian flight from Lisbon to London is shot down by the Luftwaffe, killing all 16 aboard, including actor Leslie Howard. Note: Many have speculated that the plane was targeted by the Germans because they believed that the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, who had been in Algiers, was on board.

Holocaust:The cases against four men in SS 2nd Lieutenant Max Täubner's workshop platoon who were party to his unauthorized execution of Jews in Russia are dismissed on the grounds that they were following the orders of and under the responsibility of Täubner and "therefore their own culpability might be described as slight." (THP)

1944 World War II - Various:

New Standing Order of U-boat Command:

1. Statements of prisoners are the safest and best source of information regarding enemy tactics, weapons, location appliances and methods. Prisoners from planes and destroyers may be of the greatest importance to us; therefore, as far as possible and without endangering the boat, the utmost is to be done to take such prisoners.

2. As prisoners are extremely willing to talk when captured, interrogate them at once on board. It is of special interest to know the manner of locating U-boats by aircraft, whether by radar or by passive location methods; for instance, by ascertaining, through electricity or heat, the location of the boat. Report prisoners taken as soon as possible in order to hand them over to returning boats.

This day's Magic summary contains a May 27 dispatch from Baron Oshima in Berlin, informing his home office of recent conversations with Hitler. Oshima reminds Hitler that in their last meeting he had told his Japanese allies that if there were no invasion "you thought you might blast southern England with rocket guns and then find an opportunity to take the initiative again on the Eastern Front. Well, since then, the Anglo-Americans have been bombing the Channel area more heavily than ever; I wonder if those weapons you were going to use against England have not been destroyed." Hitler replies: "No. Those guns are in an arsenal made of impermeable concrete. They are in no danger." (Lee) [See: Wunderwaffen: Hitler's Deception and the History of Rocketry.]

1945 Wunderwaffen: A Soviet trophy brigade arrives at Peenemuende. They discover an extraordinary variety of weapons systems that the Americans had left behind, including ten partially assembled V-2s, and a few Wasserfall, Rheinbote, Rheintochter, and Taifun missiles. (Menaul)

1946 Various:

Death: Ion Antonescu: Romanian general and dictator:

On 23 August, in the afternoon, he was summoned to the Royal Palace, where King Mihai I asked him to immediately sign the armistice with the Allies. Following his refusal, the King ordered his arrest and that of Mihai Antonescu and his other close associates . . . .  He was later given to the Soviets, on 1 September, and transported somewhere in the vicinity of Moscow . . . .  In May 1946 they returned to Romania to be put on trial by the so-called People's Court. Following a mock trial, on 17 May 1946, he was convicted to six death penalties, two life in prison sentences, 80 years in jail and 140 years of civic degradation.

The execution took place on 1 June 1946 at 1803, in the Jilava penitentiary. Marshal Antonescu asked to be shot by the army, but was refused and the firing squad was made up of 12 prison guards. In the moment of the volley, he saluted and then fell down. He rose up on his right arm and said that he was not dead and that they should fire again. The chief of the guards shot him in the head with the revolver, but the doctor did not confirm the death, so another shot in the chest was necessary. But he and general Constantin Vasiliu were still alive. The chief of the guards then took a rifle and fired three bullets in several places of their bodies. Only then did the doctor confirm his death. For General Vasiliu another three shots in the head were necessary to kill him. [For further details, Click here]

1946 Nuremberg Tribunal Day 144: Fritz Sauckel's witness, Max Timm, undergoes cross-examination:

The Tribunal (Mr. Biddle): They were taking people out of industry also who were not needed for the Army, weren't they? I mean Jews. They were taking Jewish people out of industry, were they not? Sauckel said yesterday that Jewish people were being taken out of industry. You admit that, don't you?

Timm: Yes. Jews were eliminated from industry.

The Tribunal: All right; and I suppose the Central Planning Board was given the number of Jewish people that were taken out of industry, were they not?

Timm: I do not know that. In the conferences at which I was present...

The Tribunal: Do you not assume that that must have been the case, if they had to find the number of replacements. It must have been so, mustn't it?

Timm: I cannot judge as to that because I learned only the total number of men to be drafted, independently of the Jewish question. I will not venture an opinion; I do not know.

The Tribunal: Do you not know that Himmler and the SS told the Central Planning Board the number of Jews that were being taken out of industry for whom replacements were needed? You know that as a fact, don't you?

Timm: No.

The Tribunal: You do not?

Timm: No. I know only that we received certain statements from the Reichsfuehrer SS that people were being taken out of industry, and owing to the objections of the Plenipotentiary General, who had to supply the replacements - I remember that this measure was partly withdrawn.

The Tribunal: And you do know that one of the duties of the Reichsfuehrer SS was to withdraw Jews from industry? You know that?

Timm: I know from statements in reports that Jews were to be withdrawn from industry. [For the full testimony, Click here.]

Testimony of Hubert Hildebrandt: an underling in the Reich Ministry of Labor:

DR. SERVATIUS: What would be your estimate of the number of voluntary workers who came from France to Germany?

HILDEBRANDT: Something over 200,000. After the compulsory labor decree had been introduced in the course of 1942, there were still voluntary recruitments as well on a fairly large scale. The number of volunteers was, at times, considerably larger than the number of conscripts, so that altogether more than half of all the labor recruited in France consisted of volunteers. It is noticeable that women were only recruited if they volunteered. There was no compulsory service for them. With regard to the compulsory labor assignments moreover, it must be pointed out that a number of them were only formal. In reality these people had come voluntarily, but for economic reasons, or out of consideration for their relatives and friends in their home towns, they attached importance to being conscripted. We had compulsory labor assignments which were only put on an official basis afterwards. Such requests reached the German labor offices especially during the last months before the end of the war; and the Foreign Office requested the Plenipotentiary General to approve such demands, and that was done. [For the full testimony, Click here.]

Sauckel's defense calls Walter Stothfang: personal adviser to Sauckel as the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor, to the stand:

Dr Servatius: Was Sauckel accused by other offices of looking after the workmen too well? And was there not, in some cases, even envy of the situation of certain foreign workers?

Stothfang: Yes. Such accusations came from three places. First, from the two offices I mentioned before, which offered general objections and resistance to the far-reaching demands of the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor. Then Bormann's office, and Himmler's office. It went so far that the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor was even suspected of being pro-Bolshevik. [For the full testimony, Click here.]

1958 France: De Gaulle reassumes leadership:

During a French political crisis over the military and civilian revolt in Algeria, Charles de Gaulle is called out of retirement to head a new emergency government. Considered the only leader of sufficient strength and stature to deal with the perilous situation, the former war hero was made the virtual dictator of France, with power to rule by decree for six months.

A veteran of World War I, de Gaulle unsuccessfully petitioned his country to modernize its armed forces in the years before the outbreak of World War II. After French Premier Henri Petain signed an armistice with Nazi Germany in June 1940, de Gaulle fled to London, where he organized the Free French forces and rallied French colonies to the Allied cause. His forces fought successfully in North Africa, and in June 1944 he was named head of the French government in exile.

On August 26, following the Allied invasion of France, de Gaulle entered Paris in triumph and in November was unanimously elected provisional president of France. He resigned two months later, claiming he lacked sufficient governing power. He formed a new political party that had only moderate electoral success, and in 1953 he retired. However, five years later, in May 1958, the Algerian revolt created a political crisis in France, and he was called out of retirement to lead the nation. A new constitution was passed, and in late December he was elected president of the Fifth Republic. [For further details, Click here]

1960 Death: Paula Hitler: Adolf Hitler's only surviving full-sibling:

The younger sister of Adolf Hitler and the last child of Alois Hitler and his third wife, Klara Poelzl. Paula was born in Hartfeld, Austria, and was the only full sibling of Adolf Hitler to survive infancy. After their mother died, Hitler turned over his share of their orphans' pension to her. She lost contact with Adolf for many years during the First World War and its aftermath. She later said that when they met again in the 1920's, she was surprised and didn't even recognize him, but then was delighted when he took her shopping. From 1929 onwards she saw him once a year, typically at large Nazi functions and events. In 1936 he asked her to change her name to Paula Wolff (Hitler's childhood nickname, which he had also used incognito during the 1920's). Hitler provided her with steady financial support from the early 1930's until his death in 1945. Paula worked as a secretary in a military hospital until the end of the Second World War, was arrested by US Intelligence officers in May 1945, and debriefed beginning later that year. Hitler said she couldn't bring herself to believe her brother had been responsible for the Holocaust; agents ignored this as a sisterly expression of loyalty. Paula was released from US custody and returned to Vienna where she worked in an arts and crafts shop. In 1952 she moved to Berchtesgaden, Germany, reportedly living in seclusion in a two-room flat until her death on 1 June 1960. Paula never married nor had children. There is some evidence she shared her brother's strong German nationalist beliefs, but she was not politically active. She is buried in the Bergfriedhof in Berchtesgaden under the name Paula Hitler. [For further details, Click here]

1977 Soviets charge Shcharansky with treason:

The Soviet government charges Anatoly Shcharansky, a leader among Jewish dissidents and human rights activists in Russia, with the crime of treason. The action was viewed by many in the West as a direct challenge to President Jimmy Carter's new foreign policy emphasis on human rights and his criticism of Soviet repression. [For further details, Click here.]

1990 Superpowers to destroy chemical weapons:

At a superpowers summit meeting in Washington, D.C., U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sign a historic agreement to end production of chemical weapons and begin the destruction of both nations' sizable reserves of them. According to the agreement, on-site inspectors from both countries would observe the destruction process. [For further details, Click here.]

Edited by Levi Bookin (Copy editor)

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