August 28

1812 Captain Isaac Hull to Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton:

Actions like these speak for themselves which makes it unnecessary for me to say any thing to Establish the Bravery and Gallant conduct of those that were engaged in it, Yet I cannot but make you acquainted with the very great assistance I received from that valuable officer Lieutenant Morris in bringing the Ship into action, and in working her whilst alongside the Enemy, and I am extremely sorry to state that he is badly wounded, being shot through the Body. we have yet hopes of his recovery, when I am sure, he will receive the thanks, and gratitude of his Country, for this and the many Gallant acts he has done in its Service. Were I to name any particular Officer as having been more useful than the rest, I should do them great Injustice, they all fought bravely. [For the full text, Click here.]

[See: Countdown to Infamy: Timeline to Pearl Harbor.]

1850 In Weimar, Germany, Wagner's opera, Lohengrin, is performed for the first time.

1914 World War I: Battle of Heligoland Bight: World War I spreads from land to sea when the first major naval battle of the conflict breaks out between British and German ships in the North Sea, near the northern coast of Germany. [For further details, Click here.]

1915 World War I: List Regiment:

Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment continue to 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: Various:

Hitler and his fellow dispatch runners

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

Declarations of War: Germany declares war on Romania. Italy declares war on Germany.

1917 World War I (July 22-September 8):

Dispatch Runner Gefreiter Adolf Hitler serves at the front with 3 Company, 16 Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment during Phase 2 operations in Flanders. Most of their time in the trenches gas masks are worn, while English bombers attack, and tanks attempt to advance over a long front through seas of mud. [For further details, Click here.]

1918 World War I: List Regiment (August 21-September 27): Gefreiter Adolf Hitler attends a signals training course in Nuremberg. [For further details, Click here.]

1928 Albert Speer weds Margarete 'Margret' Weber from Heidelberg. The couple will have six children; Albert (1934), Hilde (1936), Fritz (1937), Margarete Nissen (1938), Adolf, later renamed Arnold (1940) and Ernst (1942). (Speer, Sereny)

[For further details, Click here.]

1939 Various:

Karl Maria Weisthor (Wiligut) officially retires from the SS. Himmler requests the return of Weisthor's SS Totenkopfring, (Death's-head ring), SS dagger, and sword. Himmler personally keeps them under lock and key.

He was called "Himmler's Rasputin." He sent scores of Nazi agents around the world on a quest for magical artifacts. He literally wrote the book on Esoteric Nazism. And he claimed to be the last warlock or magician of an order dating back to the lost continent of Atlantis. Of all the strange personalities in Adolf Hitler's entourage, Karl Maria Wiligut was certainly the oddest . . . . 

[Another] disciple, Richard Anders, introduced the elderly sorcerer to his good friend, Heinrich Himmler, a rising star in the Nazi Party. Himmler, who was deeply interested in German prehistory, "was evidently impressed by Wiligut's ancestral-clairvoyant memory and decided to exploit as fully as possible this unique source of information on ancient Germanic religion and traditions."

Money was no obstacle. Himmler created the SS-Ahnenerbe in 1936, promoted his elderly mentor-in-magick [sic]to SS-Brigadefuehrer (General), and turned him loose on several dozen crackpot projects. First prize undoubtedly goes to "Wiligut's Tunnel." This was a vertical tunnel 16 kilometers (10 miles) deep begun in Hungary in 1941, designed to carry an elevator car that would lower Himmler and Wiligut into "the Inner World of Agharti" (Better known to readers of Edgar Rice Burroughs as Pellucidar--J.T.) Millions were spent on the tunnel, and work continued until November 1944, when the lack of supplies forced the SS project to close. (See The Occult Roots of Nazism by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, New York University Press, 1992, pages 177 to 191)

Countdown to war:

Mediation: Amateur peace envoy Birger Dahlerus continues his shuttle diplomacy. Dahlerus has an early morning meeting with Hermann Goering and Sir George Ogilvie-Forbes, Counselor of the British Embassy, before breakfasting again with Goering.

Goering: It must have been clear from the entire action that this was a nonofficial negotiation which only at one or two points touched the official negotiations, or overlapped them. For instance, the phase where Ambassador Henderson, instead of returning immediately to Berlin, remained 1 or 2 days in London in order, first of all, through the unofficial negotiator, Dahlerus, to explain to the British Government the basis of these intentions, or for the negotiations, or to explain the note, as I shall call it; and when that had been done, the preparation for entering into these conferences was thereby considerably improved. And that not I alone was of the honest conviction on that day that a considerable step had been taken in the direction of a peaceful solution at that time--I believe it was the 28th--is demonstrated by the fact that the same view was held at the British Embassy at that moment

Poland: Reply of the British Government to Hitler's August 23 and 25 messages:

A just settlement of these questions between Germany and Poland may open the way to world peace. Failure to reach it would ruin the hopes of better understanding between Germany and Great Britain, would bring the two countries into conflict, and might well plunge the whole world into war. Such an outcome would be a calamity without parallel in history.

Poland: From a telegram to Viscount Halifax in Berlin from Sir N. Henderson:

Herr Hitler replied that he would be willing to negotiate, if there was a Polish Government which was prepared to be reasonable and which really controlled the country. He expatiated on misdoings of the Poles, referred to his generous offer of March last, said that it could not be repeated and asserted that nothing else than the return of Danzig and the whole of the Corridor would satisfy him, together with a rectification in Silesia, where 90 per cent of the population had voted for Germany at the post-war plebiscite but where, as a result of Haller-Korfanti coup, what the Plebiscite Commission had allotted had nevertheless been grabbed by Poland. 6. I told Herr Hitler that he must choose between England and Poland. If he put forward immoderate demands there was no hope of a peaceful solution. Corridor was inhabited almost entirely by Poles. Herr Hitler interrupted me here by observing that this was only true because a million Germans had been driven out of that district since the war. I again said the choice lay with him

Polish Foreign Minister Beck refuses to go to Berlin: Beck says he accepts the principle of direct negotiations, but towards midnight tells British Ambassador Kennard that Polish mobilization is proceeding.

Chamberlain requests information concerning Hitler's intentions towards Poland.

Ambassador Henderson returns from London to Berlin.

Slovakia: Premier Father Josef Tiso invites the Germany army to occupy the puppet state of Slovakia. (THP)

The Netherlands: A general military mobilization is ordered.

1940 World War II: The Luftwaffe launches the first of a series of four air raids on Liverpool. About 160 aircraft are sent each night.

1941 World War II: Various:

War at Sea:The German U-boat U-570 is captured by the British and renamed Graph.

Church and Reich: The Bavarian order forbidding prayers in school and the gradual removal of all crucifixes is revoked. A number of public protests and a strong stand by Bishop Faulhaber prompts the revocation. (See April 23, 1941). (THP)

Over 600,000 Volga Germans are deported by Stalin to Siberia and Kazakhstan:

In 1762, Sophie Auguste Friederike von Anhalt-Zerbst, a German native of Stettin, Pomerania, [succeeded] her husband Peter III and took the vacant Russian imperial throne, assuming the name of Catherine II. "Catherine the Great" published manifestos in 1762 and 1763 inviting Europeans, (except Jews)[1] to immigrate and farm Russian lands while maintaining their language and culture. Although the first received little response, the second improved the benefits that were offered and was more successful. In addition to land developed in particularly large numbers due to poor conditions in their home regions . . . . 

Following the Russian Revolution, the Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Autonome Sozialistische Sowjet-Republik der Wolga-Deutschen in German . . . ) was established in 1924, and it lasted until 1942. Its capital was Engels, known as "Pokrovsk" (Kosakenstadt in German) before 1931. When Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, Stalin was worried that the Volga Germans might collaborate with the invaders. On August 28, 1941, he dissolved the Volga-German ASSR and ordered the immediate relocation of ethnic Germans, both from the Volga and from a number of other traditional areas of settlement. Approximately 400,000 Volga Germans were stripped of their land and houses, and moved eastwards to Kazakhstan in Soviet Central Asia, Altai Krai in Siberia, and other remote areas. Similar deportations happened for other ethnic groups, including North Caucasian Muslim ethnic groups, Kalmyks and Crimean Tatars. In 1942 nearly all the able-bodied German population was conscripted to the labour army. About one third did not survive the labour camps.

Holocaust: Mass slaughter in Ukraine:

On this day in 1941, more than 23,000 Hungarian Jews are murdered by the Gestapo in occupied Ukraine.

The German invasion of the Soviet Union had advanced to the point of mass air raids on Moscow and the occupation of parts of Ukraine. On August 26, Hitler displayed the joys of conquest by inviting Benito Mussolini to Brest-Litovsk, where the Germans had destroyed the city's citadel. The grand irony is that Ukrainians had originally viewed the Germans as liberators from their Soviet oppressors and an ally in the struggle for independence. But as early as July, the Germans were arresting Ukrainians agitating and organizing for a provisional state government with an eye toward autonomy, and throwing them into concentration camps.

The Germans also began carving the nation up, dispensing parts to Poland (already occupied by Germany) and Romania.

But true horrors were reserved for Jews in the territory. Tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews had been expelled from that country and migrated to Ukraine. The German authorities tried sending them back, but Hungary would not take them. SS General Franz Jaeckeln vowed to deal with the influx of refugees by the "complete liquidation of those Jews by September 1." He worked even faster than promised. On August 28, he marched more than 23,000 Hungarian Jews to bomb craters at Kamenets Podolsk, ordered them to undress, and riddled them with machine-gun fire. Those who didn't die from the spray of bullets were buried alive under the weight of corpses that piled atop them.

All told, more than 600,000 Jews had been murdered in Ukraine by war's end. (

1942 Vichy France: Abetz, Papal Nuncio to Vichy France, requests Laval to mitigate the severity of measures taken against the Jews during the mass deportations that had recently begun in France. (THP)

1943 Holocaust: Denmark: Resistance to the German occupation undermines continued German cooperation, and the Danish-German Agreement is abolished. Martial Law is declared. The SS hopes to use this opportunity to deport all 7,200 of Denmark's Jews.

Claims of the Reich Government: The Danish Government must immediately declare the entire country in a state of military emergency. The state of military emergency must include the following measures: 1. Prohibition of public gatherings of more than five persons. 2. Prohibition of all strikes and of any aid given to strikers. 3. Prohibition of all meetings in closed premises or in the open air; prohibition to be in the streets between 2030 hours and 0530 hours; closing of restaurants at 1930 hours. By I September 1943 all firearms and explosives to be handed over. 4. Prohibition to hamper in any way whatsoever Danish nationals because of their collaboration or the collaboration of their relatives with the German authorities, or because of their relations with the Germans. 5. Establishment of a press censorship with German collaboration. 6. Establishment of courts-martial to judge acts contravening the measures taken to maintain order and security. Infringement of the measures mentioned above will be punished by the most severe penalties which can be imposed in conformity with the law in force concerning the power of the Government to take measures to maintain calm, order, and security. The death penalty must be introduced without delay for acts of sabotage and for any aid given in committing these acts, for attacks against the German forces, for possession after 1 September 1943 of firearms and explosives. "The Reich Government expects to receive today before 1600 hours the acceptance by the Danish Government of the above-mentioned demands.

1944 World War II: Various:

Churchill to FDR:

General Alexander received a telegram from SHAEF asking for efforts to be made to prevent the withdrawal of more (German) divisions from the Italian front. This of course was the consequence of the great weakening of our armies in Italy...The plan is that the Eighth Army of ten divisions, very heavily weighted in depth, will endeavor to pierce the Gothic Line and turn the whole enemies position...if all goes well I hope that the advance will be much more rapid after that and that the continued fighting will prevent further harm being done to Eisenhower by the withdrawal of divisions from Italy . . . . 

Holocaust: Hundreds of Jews die when the Germans evacuate slave labor camps in Estonia by sea. (THP)

1945 Various:

Eduard Schulte—the man said to have first warned the West about the Holocaust—becomes an important official in the new German central government set up by the Allies. He is recommended for the position by Allen Dulles, head of the OSS in Switzerland. (THP)

American Action: The principal speaker of the evening at a meeting of American Action at the Clark Hotel in Los Angeles tells guests and members that Jews, international bankers and Jewish Communist immigrants from Russia had acquired almost complete control of American business, government and labor. (THP)

1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On the Two Hundred and Thirteenth Day, defense counsel for the indicted organizations present their final statements:

Dr. Egon Kubuschok (Counsel for the Reich Cabinet):

If the Prosecution work on the assumption that the Cabinet members as a group held the authoritative power in the conduct of the State and wilfully directed its whole policy towards a contemplated, unlawful war, then it can be said in rebuttal that the Cabinet had disintegrated and was no longer a cohesive whole; out of this there had evolved a single directing head in the person of Hitler. Other facts too, prove that there was no functional cohesion between the ministers. Between Hitler's directives and their execution by the departments of the individual ministers, high-level offices were inserted, which, in their turn, had authority to issue directives to the minister. The departmental minister was thereby even further removed from the headquarters of the decisive authority; he was now merely the executive agent of two superimposed directing offices. The "Delegate for the Four Year Plan," the "Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich," the "Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor," and similar offices were created by Hitler himself and provided with full legislative powers by him personally. Not only were these offices able to compel the departmental minister to issue specific administrative directives and ordinances, but, what is more, they could themselves issue these directives to the subordinate offices over the heads of the departmental ministers. This dismemberment was obviously brought about by Hitler intentionally.

Herr Georg Boehm (Counsel for the SA):

For German subjects, actions committed within the German power sphere can be criminal actions only if they are punishable by the German penal laws. According to hitherto recognized principles of international law, one nation is not bound to consider criminal what other nations consider criminal, but only what this nation has adopted as "criminal" in its own moral and legal consciousness. At any rate, after conscientious investigation of this question we find that the German people without exception -- that includes also the mass of the members of the SA indicted in Nuremberg -- has never differed in its basic moral and legal attitude from the fundamental laws of the rest of the civilized world. Millions of its members, too, consider a war of aggression a crime as defined in Article 6 of the Charter. Furthermore, no SA members, without exception, would ever argue the point that actions such as defined in Article 6 of the Charter as crimes against humanity have always been contradictory to their principles, too, and will, therefore, from their standpoint deserve to be judged criminal.

Sir David Maxwell Fyfe (British Deputy Chief Prosecutor):

When Mr. Justice Jackson addressed this Tribunal on 28 February he emphasized that it was not our purpose to convict the whole German people of crime. I say again that we do not seek to convict the people of Germany. Our purpose now is to protect them and to give them an opportunity to rehabilitate themselves in the esteem and friendship of the world. But how can this be done if we leave amongst them unpunished and uncondemned those elements of Nazidom which were most responsible for the Nazi tyranny and crimes and which, as this Tribunal may well believe, are beyond conversion to the ways of freedom and righteousness?

Nor is it only the German people that we seek to protect. All Europe needs protection. Consider the position of Europe today. Among the Germans who were Hitler's there are many thousands of men and women who with their own hands have done murder -- murder not perhaps of a single person, but of many. Hundreds of thousands, nay, millions more, became disciples of their Fuehrer's creed of hate and cruelty. Amongst them are those whose profession and training was to command and lead, militarily and politically, men who are still as fanatical and ruthless in their lust for power as at any time during the last 25 years.

[For the full text of today's proceedings, Click here.]

1954 Spandau Prison: From Spandau: The Secret Diaries, by Albert Speer:

Surprisingly, Doenitz has come out strongly for Adenauer. "Granted, he's a thickheaded martinet, but by his obstinacy he holds the government together. Always better to have someone like that, rather than one of these intellectuals whose cabinet ministers go running in all directions." All of us are struck by the fact that the newspaper from East Germany is constantly invoking such notions as "Fatherland" or "Germany." Today Schirach commented to Doenitz on Ulbricht's speech at a youth group meeting, a speech larded with quotations from Schiller: "You've got to read this! One of the best speeches I've seen. Simply tremendous!" And Raeder echoed him: "Simply tremendous!" (Speer II)

1968 Riots in Chicago fracture the Cold War consensus:

At the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, tens of thousands of protesters against the Vietnam War battle police in the streets while the Democratic Party tears itself to shreds concerning a platform statement on Vietnam. In one day and night, the Cold War consensus that had dominated American thinking since the late 1940s was shattered. [For further information, click here]

Edited by Levi Bookin (Copy editor)

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