1860 Gustav Mahler—in Kalist (Kalischt, Kaliste), Bohemia—died May 18, 1911, Vienna, Austro—Hungary (now Austria), best known in his own time as an Austrian conductor, but is now remembered as a composer . . . .
In 1897, Mahler converted from Judaism to Roman Catholicism in order to secure a post as artistic director of the prestigious Vienna Opera (Jews were virtually prohibited from holding the post at that time). For the next ten years he stayed at Vienna, where he was noted as a great perfectionist. He ran the Opera for nine months of the year, spending the other three composing, mainly at Maiernigg, where he had a small house on the Worthersee. There he composed the Symphony No. 2 to the Symphony No. 8.
He married Alma Schindler (1879-1964) in 1902. They had two daughters, the elder of whom died in 1907. In the same year he discovered he had a diseased heart, and lost his job at Vienna, hounded out by a largely anti-Semitic press after trying to publicise his own music, which was not well received on the whole. Indeed, not until the performance of his Symphony No. 8 in 1910 did Mahler have a true public success with his music. The pieces he wrote after that were not performed in his lifetime. After his expulsion from the Vienna Opera, Mahler found work at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He conducted a season there in 1908 and returned the next year to become conductor of the newly formed New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Around this time, he completed Das Lied von der Erde, and the Symphony No. 9, which turned out to be his last completed work. During his last visit to America in February 1911, he fell seriously ill and was taken back to Vienna at his request. He died there from blood poisoning in May 1911, leaving his tenth symphony incomplete.
Note: Adolf Hitler enjoyed many of Mahler's Wagner productions as a young man in Vienna. At one time, he had in his possession a letter of introduction to Mahler's brilliant set designer, [Alfred Roller] with the thought of working as a painter. According to his own testimony, every time he made the trip to introduce himself and ask for a job he ended up with cold feet, claiming to be intimidated by Roller's genius. He never did come around with the letter.
1898 Hawaii: The United States formally annexes the Hawaiian Islands. The Act provides that any person that was citizen of the Republic of Hawaii on or before August 12, 1898 would also be a citizen of the United States. (Niiya)
1914 Countdown to World War I: From the official minutes of the Austrian Ministerial Council Meeting which took place on 7 July 1914, some nine days following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914.
So decisive a blow could not be dealt without previous diplomatic preparation; consequently he had approached the German Government. The conversations at Berlin had led to a very satisfactory result, inasmuch as both the Emperor William and Herr von Bethmann Hollweg had most emphatically assured its of Germany's unconditional support in the case of hostilities with Serbia.
Meanwhile, we still had to reckon with Italy and with Rumania, and here he agreed with the Berlin Cabinet that it would be better to negotiate and be prepared for any claims to compensation which might arise. He was clear in his own mind that hostilities with Serbia would entail war with Russia. Russia, however, was now playing a far-seeing game, and was calculating on a policy of being able to unite the Balkan States, including Rumania, with the eventual objective of launching them at an appropriate moment against the Monarchy.
1915 World War I: List Regiment: Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment continue t occupy a position at Fromelles—pictured above in a drawing by Hitler—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: List Regiment: Gefreiter Adolf Hitler endures trench warfare in Flanders (Artois) with 3 Company, 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment. [For further details, Click here.]
1917 World War I: Various:
Russian Army Commander-in-Chief Alexei Brusilov's Official Announcement of the Kerenski Offensive:
In the direction of Zloczow [on the Lemberg-Tarnopol railway], in the region of Batkow-Manajow, after artillery preparation, our infantry attacked the strongly fortified positions of the enemy and occupied three lines of trenches, but towards evening the enemy succeeded, by a series of counter-attacks, in pressing back our detachments. On the sector of the heights north of Presowce, Lawrykowce, Trawotloki, Hodow [all near Zborow and north of Brzezany], and the wood to the west of Koniuchy, our detachments conducted an offensive and engaged in a stubborn battle throughout the day of July 6th. Fortified positions constantly changed hands. The enemy bringing up fresh reserves, executed a series of counter-attacks. The more formidable of these counter-attacks came from the direction of the village Urlow and the woods to the west of Koniuchy, where in certain places the enemy succeeded in pressing back our attacking detachments. Towards the evening there remained in our hands the heights to the northwest of Presowce, the villages of Lawrykowce and Trawotloki, and the heights to the east of Hodow. In the battle of July 6th we captured 17 officers and 672 Men. In the direction of Zloczow during the night of July 6th-7th the enemy launched energetic counter-attacks on the front of Hodow and in the wood to the west of Koniuchy, attempting to dislodge our troops from the positions which they captured in the battle on July 6th. All these attacks were repelled. Attacks by dense enemy columns supported by armoured motor-cars west of Byszki, were also repelled.
Russian Revolution: Provisional Government formed by Prince Georgy Yevgenyevich Lvov in Russia, after the deposing of the Tsar Nicholas II.
Women's Auxiliary Army Corps is officially established: British Army Council Instruction Number 1069 formally establishes the British Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC), authorizing female volunteers to serve alongside their male counterparts in France, during World War I.
List Regiment: Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16th RIR remain deployed for Phase 1 operations in Flanders, Belgium. [For further details, Click here.]
1933 Holocaust: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion: A prime example of an already recognized worldwide anti-Semitic forgery, becomes an official textbook in the Berlin school system: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the most notorious and most successful work of modern antisemitism, draws on popular antisemitic notions which have their roots in medieval Europe from the time of the Crusades. The libels that the Jews used blood of Christian children for the Feast of Passover, poisoned the wells, and spread the plague were pretexts for the wholesale destruction of Jewish communities throughout Europe. Tales were circulated among the masses of secret rabbinical conferences whose aim was to subjugate and exterminate the Christians, and motifs like these are found in early antisemitic literature.
1933 Holocaust: Various:
SA men force Jewish owned stores in Dortmund to close.
The Gestapo raids the Berlin offices of the Relief Organization of German Jews.
A number of universities throughout Germany announce that Jewish students who have already matriculated will not receive their degrees. (THP)
1934 Holocaust: Theodor Eicke takes command of all Death's Head formations of the SS and becomes director of the Central Camps Authority. (See July 2)
1935 Belgium: the Catholic daily newspaper, La Libre Belge, states that Catholics in Germany are treated worse than Jews.
The Second Sino-Japanese War: A conflict between troops of China and Japan outside Beijing begins. It will come to be known as the Marco Polo Bridge Incident.[See: Countdown to Infamy: Timeline to Pearl Harbor.]
Palestine July 7-8: Following the setting up of a commission to investigate the mandate in Palestine, the Peel Commission Report is published in Britain. It recommends that there should be separate Arab and Jewish states.
Holocaust: Germany: An editorial in the Volkischer Beobachter states that the Jewish problem in Germany will be solved only when Germany is cleansed of Jews.
France: The ban against Action Francaise is lifted just four months after the election of Pope Pius XII, who is even more convinced of the usefulness of anti-Communist right-wing movements than his predecessor. (THP)
1940 World War II: Various:
Vichy: A French naval squadron that has sought refuge at Alexandria is disarmed and interned by the British Navy, while the battleship Richelieu berthed at Dakar is attacked and disabled by British naval forces.
Romania: Horia Sima resigns from the Cabinet after realizing, he says, just how cowardly King Carol is in dealing with the Soviets. (THP)
1941 World War II: Various:
War Department Adjutant General to Hawaiian Department Commanding General:
For your information. Deduction from information from numerous sources is that the Japanese Government has determined upon its future policy which is supported by all principal Japanese political and military groups. This policy is at present one of watchful waiting involving possible aggressive action against the Maritime Provinces of Russia if and when the Siberian Garrison has been materially reduced in strength and it becomes evident that Germany will win a decisive victory in European Russia. Opinion is that Jap activity in the South will be for the present confined to seizure and development of Naval, Army, and Air Bases in Indo China although an advance against the British and Dutch cannot be entirely ruled out. The neutrality pact with Russia may be abrogated. They have ordered all Jap vessels in US Atlantic ports to be west of Panama Canal by first of August. Movement of Jap shipping from Japan has been suspended and additional merchant vessels are being requisitioned.
Holocaust: Einsatzkommandos begin the systematic slaughter of Lithuanian Jews. One of the tasks of these killing squads is the recruitment of local anti-Semites, whether Lithuanians, Ukrainians, or Latvians, who can help them to round up, terrorize and destroy each Jewish community, however small. (THP)
Weaponry: Soviet forces test an experimental artillery battery of seven BM-13 launchers in battle at Orsha in Belarus, with notable battlefield success. (Harford)[See: Wunderwaffen: Hitler's Deception and the History of Rocketry.]
The neutral United States moves closer to war with Germany when U.S. forces land on Iceland to take over its garrisoning from the British. From thereon, the U.S. Navy had the responsibility of protecting convoys in the nearby sea routes from attack by German submarines. With Iceland and its nearby sea routes under U.S. protection, the British Royal Navy was more free to defend its embattled Mediterranean positions.
The occupation of Iceland came less than a month after President Franklin D. Roosevelt froze all German and Italian assets in the United States and expelled the countries' diplomats in response to the German torpedoing of the American destroyer Robin Moor. Much of the North Atlantic was now in the American sphere, and U.S. warships patrolled the area for German submarines, notifying London of all enemy activity. The United States officially entered World War II after Japan attacked the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii in December 1941.
1942 World War II: Various:
The Polish National Council in England demands raids against the Germans by the Allies, and if they refuse, to withdraw the Polish Air Force from the RAF and order it to attack. The USA and Britain decline:
The Polish Air Force fought in the Battle of France as one fighter squadron GC 1/145, several small units detached to French squadrons, and numerous flights of industry defence (in total, 133 pilots, who achieved 53-57 victories at a loss of 8 men in combat, what was 7,93% of allied victories). Later, Polish pilots fought in the Battle of Britain, where the Polish 303 Fighter Squadron claimed the highest number of kills of any Allied squadron. From the very beginning of the war, the Royal Air Force (RAF) had welcomed foreign pilots to supplement the dwindling pool of British pilots. On 11 June 1940, the Polish Government in Exile signed an agreement with the British Government to form a Polish Army and Polish Air Force in the United Kingdom. The first two (of an eventual ten) Polish fighter squadrons went into action in August 1940. Four Polish squadrons eventually took part in the Battle of Britain (300 and 301 Bomber Squadrons; 302 and 303 Fighter Squadrons), with 89 Polish pilots.
Russian front: Units of 4 Panzerarmee (Hoth) capture Voronezh on the Don.
Heinrich Himmler, in league with three others, including a physician, decides to begin experimenting on women in the Auschwitz concentration camps and to investigate extending this experimentation on males. . . . . The other attendees were the head of the Concentration Camp Inspectorate, SS General Richard Glueks (hospital chief), SS Major-General Gebhardt and Professor Karl Clauberg (one of Germany's leading gynecologists). The result of the conference was that a major program of medical experimentation on Jewish women at Auschwitz was agreed upon. These experiments were to be carried out in such a way as to ensure that the prisoners were not aware of what was being done to them. (The experimentation would take the form of sterilization via massive doses of radiation or uterine injections.) It was also decided to consult with an X-ray specialist about the prospects of using X rays to [sterilize] men, and demonstrating this on male Jewish prisoners. Adolf Hitler endorsed this plan on the condition that it remained top secret.
Wunderwaffen: Hitler is enthusiastic when Wernher von Braun shows him a color movie of an A-4 blast off. Hitler, anxious for a way to retaliate against Allied air strikes in kind, puts the A-4 on the top-priority list. He will soon personally award the 31 year old scientist the title of honorary "Research Professor." (Cornwell, Piszkiewicz, Braun)
Battle of Kursk: the German forces engaged are still unable to achieve a major breakthrough in the face of stiffening Soviet resistance reinforced by the arrival of strong tank and infantry reserves. Lt. Hartmann, II/JG 52, downs 7 Soviet aircraft near Kursk, bringing his total to date to 22.
War at Sea: Off the coast of Brazil, U-185 sinks 3 merchant ships.
1944 World War II: Overlord: In the West, 450 heavy RAF bombers carry out a saturation raid (2,300 tons) on the German defenses in and around Caen. Attacks by the US Seventh Army (Bradley) in the Carentan area of the Cotentin peninsula are blunted by violent German counter-attacks.
1945 Nuremberg Trial: Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson visits Nuremberg, a city 91% destroyed by Allied bombs. He inspects the 'Palace of Justice' and decides to recommend it as a site for the upcoming trials. The Soviets prefer that the trials take place in Berlin, within their own zone of occupation. [But the will of the Western Allies prevailed] (Maser II)
1947 Spandau Prison: From Spandau: The Secret Diaries, by Albert Speer:
Schirach and Hess have recently been occupying themselves in the garden again, but only when they expect the Russian director to come by. Their gardening area in any case amounts to only a thirtieth of mine. At the moment they are leveling out a small lawn area there . . . . Soon afterwards they paused in their walk and stood beside me with condescending looks. "What's up? What have you two got to say?" Hess hesitated somewhat, but finally came out with it: "Schirach just commented that in mental hospitals they usually set the feeble-minded to gardening." (Speer II)
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