January 1

1475 Hans Hytler—of the Waldviertel (the wooded quarter) region of Austria—pays his taxes:

From this point on, the historical record contains many Heitlers and Huedlers and Hiedlers and Huetlers and Hytlers and Hittlers, until, in 1702, the first fully fledged Hitler's name is recorded. Although it was once suspected that the name was of Czech derivation, it was probably not, and Hitler would no doubt turn in the grave he doesn't have, if the name were found to be so. However, it has been suggested that Nepomuk, the middle name of Hitler's great uncle (or perhaps father) Johann Nepomuk Huettler, is perhaps taken after the national saint of the Czech people, Johann von Nepomuk. The most often heard theory is that the surname Hitler is derived from an old 15th century Waldviertel dialect word, meaning "small cottager" or "smallholder." Ron Rosenbaum opines that the name was probably regularized to Hitler by a clerk and that the origin of the name is either "one who lives in a hut" (Standard German Huette), "shepherd" (Standard German hueten "to guard", English heed), or is from the Slavic word Hidlar and Hidlarcek. [For further details, Click here.]

1883 Birth: William J Donovan: American Director of the O.S.S. in WW2

1887 Birth: Wilhelm Canaris:

Wilhelm Canaris led a double life, and still today he is the number one mystery man of the Nazi regime. On the one hand he maintained close ties with the German resistance and highly protected and motivated the opponents of the regime in a dangerous plot to eliminate Hitler and make a separate peace with the Allies. At the same time he was responsible for running the Nazi secret service and hunting his associates as conspirators: one of the many contradictions. [For further details, Click here.]

1895 Birth: J.Edgar Hoover:

John Edgar Hoover was the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.). He began working in U.S. government service in 1913, first at the Library of Congress, then at the Justice Department. During World War I Hoover worked for the Bureau of Investigation, keeping statistical records of immigrants for the Alien Enemy Bureau. A vigorous anti-communist, Hoover quickly moved up the ranks in the postwar period, and by 1924 was appointed Director of the Bureau of Investigation (later called the Federal Bureau of Investigation). He held the post from 1924 to 1972, an administration that lasted from President Coolidge to President Nixon. Hoover had a reputation for hypervigilance in the face of crime and political subversion, and the F.B.I. grew to become known as incorruptible law officers who kept files on just about everybody, from gangsters and spies to pop culture figures. [For further details, Click here.]

1912 Birth: Kim Philby, British spy/Soviet mole:

Like many Catholics who, in the reign of Elizabeth, worked for the victory of Spain, Philby has a chilling certainty in the correctness of his judgement, the logical fanaticism of a man who, having once found a faith, is not going to lose it because of the injustices or cruelties inflicted by erring human instruments. How many a kindly Catholic must have endured the long bad days of the Inquisition with this hope of the future as a riding anchor. Mistakes of policy would have no effect on his faith, nor the evil done by some of his leaders. [For further details, Click here.]

1915 World War I: British ship Formidable is torpedoed:

In the early-morning hours of New Year's Day, 1915, the 15,000-ton British HMS class battleship Formidable is torpedoed by the German submarine U-24 and sinks in the English Channel, killing 547 men. The Formidable was part of the 5th Battle Squadron unit serving with the Channel Fleet. The Formidable and the seven other battleships of the 5th Battle Squadron were under the command of Admiral Lewis Bayly, and were in the channel for firing practice on New Year's Eve. [For further details, Click here.]

1916 World War I: Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 6th RIR [List Regiment] take up familiar positions at Fromelles and Fournes. [For further details, Click here.]

1918 Romania: Corneliu Codreanu and his followers in Romania resist attacks by bands of mutinous Russian soldiers looting and pillaging their countryside.

[There] are three principles in every organism: Form, Vital Energy, and Spirit. A movement for national rebirth could not develop if it placed its emphasis on one principle or another. If one follows Codreanu, in Fascism the Form-principle is the leading political idea that the State has priority. The heritage of Rome is here the organizing energy. In German National Socialism, on the other hand, special weight is given to the principle of Vital Energy. This is where the concern about race comes from. The myth of race, with its recognition of blood and the national racial community, stands at the center of National Socialism. For the Iron Guard, in contrast to these, the Spiritual element is of central significance. [For further details, Click here.] 1919 Various:

Edsel Ford succeeds father as president of Ford:

On this day in 1919, Edsel Ford, the son of Model T inventor and auto industry pioneer Henry Ford, succeeds his father as president of the Ford Motor Company. The younger Ford ascended to the top spot after his father resigned the position in December 1918, following a disagreement with stockholders However, father and son soon managed to purchase these dissenting investors' stock and regain control of the company. [For further information, click here]

Volkishness: Colonel Karl Maria Wiligut (Weisthor) is discharged from the Austrian army after 40 years service:

He emigrated to Germany with his family in 1932. Wiligut settled in Munich, where, through friends in the ONT and the Edda Society, he quickly became an occult celebrity. These were tumultuous days in Germany, and the comfort of irrational beliefs made ariosophy a profitable industry, with many among the poor and rich alike hungry for the latest in the occult, astrology, and homeopathic medicine. It was in this atmosphere that Wilgut found success. [For further details, Click here.]

1920 Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (German Workers Party): The first Headquarters is established in the Sterneckerbrau in Munich:

This party was the formal forerunner of the NSDAP, and became one of many volkisch movements that existed in Germany after its defeat in World War I. In order to investigate the DAP, German army intelligence sent a young corporal, Adolf Hitler, to monitor party activities. However, he was impressed by what he saw, and he joined as Member Number 555, although Hitler later claimed to be "Party Member number 7" to make it look like he was a founder. He was, in actual fact, only the 55th member of the DAP but the party began its membership totals from 500 in order to appear larger. He was in fact the 7th member of the DAP's central committee. At this early stage, Hitler brought up the idea of renaming the party, and he proposed the name "Social Revolutionary Party" (4). However, Rudolf Jung insisted that the party should follow the pattern of Austria's Deutsche Nationalsozialistische Arbeiterpartei. As a consequence, the DAP was shortly renamed the NSDAP.

1925 Italy: During the early months of this year, Benito Mussolini eliminates his most important political opponents and establishes a virtual dictatorship by force and intimidation. He soon begins the process of converting Italy into a one-party Corporate state.

1926 Romania: Prince Michael of Romania is proclaimed heir to the throne by the Romanian Parliament after his father, Prince Carol, is deprived of his inheritance.

1931 Various:

Nazi Party: The Brown House is officially opened in Munich:

By 1930, party headquarters at Schellingstrasse 50 were too small (with the number of workers increasing from four in 1925 to 50 that year). In April 1930, Mrs. Elizabeth Stefanie Barlow (widow of William Barlow, an English wholesale merchant) offered the Barlow Palace (built in 1828) for purchase to Franz Xaver Schwarz, party treasurer. A sales contract was signed on May 26, with the purchase price of 805,864 marks. Funds for renovation of party headquarters were provided by industrialist Fritz Thyssen. The house was converted from an urban villa to an office building by the architect Paul Troost. He and Adolf Hitler also re-decorated it in a heavy anti-modern style. [For further details, Click here.]

Prescott Bush: Father of future President George HW Bush, becomes the managing partner of the new firm: Brown Brothers Harriman, as W.A. Harriman & Co. merges with Brown Brothers. This firm will subsequently become the largest and most politically important private banking house in America. The London branch of the Brown family firm continues to operate under the name: Brown, Shipley.

Note: During the American Civil War (or, War of Southern Secession, as some in the unrepentant areas of the South insist), the Brown family with offices in the US and London shipped 75% of the South's slave cotton to British mills. [For further details, Click here.]

1933 Prediction: Jewish Hypnotist Erik Hanussen predicts Hitler will come to power Jan 30, 1933:

When Hanussen came to him that cold day in January, the Nazi leader was filled with dread anticipation, and kept the meeting secret should the results be negative. Hanussen placed Hitler on a seat in the middle of the room, examined his hands, counted the bumps on his head and sank into a mystical trance. The words he spoke filled the Fuehrer with elation, says Gordon. 'I see victory for you,' Hanussen said. 'It cannot be stopped.' By the end of the month, Hitler had cut a deal with his enemies and become titular head of a coalition government. Hanussen's vision had given him hope in his hour of uncertainty. One can only wonder the intensity of his rage, if the raving anti-Semite had known at the time that the man he had adopted as his personal soothsayer, the chap nicknamed 'the Prophet of the Third Reich,' the decadent mystic who had just run his hands through his Aryan locks, was in fact . . . a Jew. According to Gordon, a professor of theater arts at the University of California at Berkeley and author of such colorful tomes as 'The Grand Guignol: The Theater of Horror and Terror,' and 'Voluptuous Panic: the Erotic World of Weimar Berlin,' Hanussen started life as Hermann Steinschneider, with a birth certificate that read 'Hebrew male.' An unlikely beginning for one destined to become Hitler's favorite fortuneteller. [For further details, Click here.]

1934 Holocaust: All Jewish holidays are removed from official German calendars. (THP)

1935 The Soviet Union discontinues food rationing cards—a "Triumph of the Revolution."

1939 Holocaust: Yet another decree is published eliminating Jews from the German economy. (THP)

1940 Various:

Poland: A Soviet educational system is imposed on Soviet-occupied Poland. Polish subjects as well as Polish students and teachers are phased out. Before the war, Lwow University was 70% Polish, 15% Ukrainian and 15% Jewish. Under the Soviets it becomes 3% Polish, 12% Ukrainian and 85% Jewish.

Protocols: Generalissimo Franco, quoting directly from the famous forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, officially denounces the Jews and Freemasons.(THP)

1941 Various:

Holocaust: Another 439 old and sick Jews from the Old Peoples Home in Kalisz, Poland, are gassed with exhaust fumes in the nearby woods.

Eire: German bombers bomb four counties and Dublin, the capital of Eire, in Ireland. [See: Why Did Hitler Lose The Battle of Britain?]

1942 United Nations Declaration signed by twenty-six nations in Washington. The Atlantic Charter and its eight principles: (1) the renunciation of territorial aggression; (2) territorial changes only with consent of the peoples concerned; (3) restoration of sovereign rights and self-government; (4) access to raw materials for all nations; (5) world economic cooperation; (6) freedom from fear and want; (7) freedom of the seas; and (8) disarmament of aggressors are also endorsed by the signatories at the Arcadia Conference. (See August 9, 1941)

1944 World War II: Waffen-SS: Himmler reports there are now 25,000 Ukrainian soldiers serving.

1945 World War II: Various:

Poland: The Soviet-dominated Lublin Committee declares itself the legitimate government of Poland. It meets with little effective resistance from the local population still suffering severely under the hardships of war.

Stalin to FDR:

I have received your message of December 30. I greatly regret that I have not been able to convince you of the correctness of the Soviet Governments attitude towards the Polish question. I nevertheless hope that events will convince you that the Polish National Committee has always rendered and will continue to render to the Allies, and in particular to the Red Army, considerable assistance in the struggle against Hitlerite Germany, whereas the emigre Government in London assists the Germans by creating disorganization in this struggle. I naturally fully comprehend your suggestion that the Soviet Governments recognition of the Provisional Government of Poland should be postponed for a month. There is however a circumstance here which makes it impossible for me to fulfil your wish. The position is that as early as December 27 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR informed the Poles in reply to an inquiry on the subject that it proposed to recognize the Provisional Government of Poland as soon as the latter was formed. This circumstance makes it impossible for me to fulfil your wish. Permit me to send you my greetings for the New Year and to wish you health and success.

War in the Air: The Luftwaffe attacks airfields in Belgium, Holland and France; the last major Luftwaffe operation of the war.

[The] Luftwaffe destroyed many Allied aircraft on the ground but in return suffered crippling losses. The Germans lost 271 Bf 109 and FW 190s destroyed or captured, and a further 65 damaged as well as 9 Ju 88's destroyed and a further 4 damaged. Pilot losses stood at 143 pilots killed, 70 as prisoners of war, and 21 wounded. The losses represented 25% of the attacking force. An estimated 3 Kommodoren 5 Kommandeure and 14 Staffelkapitaen were lost. The operation had been so secret that the Luftwaffe failed to notify its front line anti-aircraft units resulting in many losses due to friendly fire. Of the remaining Luftwaffe pilots few had more than ten missions to their credit. The loss of twenty-two unit commanders were devastating, such men at this point were irreplacable. The loss of such outstanding pilots caused a drop in morale and the loss of the guidance they gave to younger pilots. In return for the crippling losses, it was first thought the Luftwaffe destroyed 232 Allied aircraft and damaged 156. Examination of Allied records shows that the figures were nearer 305 destroyed and 190 damaged. [For further details, Click here.]

World War II: Alsace: Eisenhower orders units of the US Seventh Army to retreat as German Army Group G in Alsace begins an offensive in the Sarreguemines area.

Death: Otto Komoly:

Zionist leader and one of the heads of the Relief and Rescue Committee of Budapest. In late 1941 Komoly joined the activities of Rezso (Rudolf) Kasztner, who was providing assistance for Jewish refugees in Hungary. In early 1943 Komoly and Kasztner officially established the Relief and Rescue Committee of Budapest. One of the committee's early achievements was the smuggling of over 1,000 Polish Jews into Hungary. In the spring of 1943 the committee began sending emissaries to Poland to search for any surviving Jews. Those that were found were smuggled into Hungary.

Germany invaded Hungary in March 1944. At that point, Komoly concentrated on trying to convince the more liberal Hungarian authorities to protect Hungary's Jews from the Nazis. He also participated in various negotiations with the Germans regarding the exchange of Jewish lives for money or goods.

In late summer 1944 Komoly became the head of an International Red Cross department in charge of helping Jewish children (see also red cross, international). He began organizing safe houses for children, accelerating his efforts after the brutal and anti-Semitic Arrow Cross Party took over the government in October. In retaliation for these rescue activities, Komoly was executed by the Arrow Cross.

1946 World War II: Hidden Japanese surrender after Pacific War has ended:

An American soldier accepts the surrender of about 20 Japanese soldiers who only discovered that the war was over by reading it in the newspaper.

On the island of Corregidor, located at the mouth of Manila Bay, a lone soldier on detail for the American Graves Registration was busy recording the makeshift graves of American soldiers who had lost their lives fighting the Japanese. He was interrupted when approximately 20 Japanese soldiers approached him—literally waving a white flag. They had been living in an underground tunnel built during the war and learned that their country had already surrendered when one of them ventured out in search of water and found a newspaper announcing Japan's defeat. (History.com)

1947 Spandau Prison: From Spandau: The Secret Diaries, by Albert Speer:

Began the New Year dispiritedly. Swept corridor, a walk, and then to church. [Karl] Doenitz and I sing louder than usual because [Erich] Raeder is sick and [Walter] Funk is due to go to the hospital. (Speer II)

1951 Spandau Prison: From Spandau: The Secret Diaries, by Albert Speer:

Eyes glittering, [Rudolf] Hess unfolds an idea for illuminating highways. He has read that highway lighting has been introduced in America, he says. But of course it is much too wasteful, like everything in America. In Germany, he thinks, the expenses can be paid for in a much simpler manner, for all cars would then not use their headlights. This would save current, he maintains, and the erection and maintenance of the floodlights could easily be financed out of the money thus saved. I object that the cars generators would be running anyhow, to supply current to the spark plugs. He dismisses that; the generator could shut off automatically as soon as the battery was charged. Thus energy would be stored, fuel saved, and this savings could be spent on financing the illumination of highways. Reckoned out for all the cars the people would soon have in Germany, that would easily amount to more than the highway lights could cost. We listen speechless, until at last Funk says ambiguously, "At any rate, Herr Hess, I am glad that you have recovered your health." Hess ponders for a moment, then looks sternly at me and orders me to work out the idea in detail. Whereupon he returns to his cell, pleased with himself. (Speer II) [See: Was Rudolf Hess 'Crazy'?]

1952 Spandau Prison: From Spandau: The Secret Diaries, by Albert Speer:

A New Years walk in the afternoon. Always the same: Doenitz walks with [Constantin von] Neurath, [Baldur von] Schirach with Raeder and Funk. Hess remains for me. (Speer II)

1957 The Saar becomes a part of the German Federal Republic:

The political evolution of the smallest German state (apart from the city-states) mirrors the vicissitudes of German history in the 20th century. After World War I, upon the entry into force of the Treaty of Versailles in 1920, this coal and steel region was detached from the German Reich and placed under the administration of the League of Nations. In 1935 the people of the Saar voted by a majority of more than 90 percent in favor of its political reintegration into Germany. The same thing happened after World War II. France, the occupying power, closed off the border between the Saarland and the rest of Germany. In a referendum held in 1955, the Saarlanders again voted by a large majority in favor of the return of the Saar to the Federal Republic. France's consent to this wish was a milestone in the process of Franco-German reconciliation. The reintegration of the Saarland on 1 January 1957 was effected in accordance with Article 23 of the Basic Law (the German constitution) - setting a precedent for the process of German unification in 1990.

1959 Cuba: Batista forced out by Castro-led revolution:

On this day in 1959, facing a popular revolution spearheaded by Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement, Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista flees the island nation. Amid celebration and chaos in the Cuban capitol of Havana, the U.S. debated how best to deal with the radical Castro and the ominous rumblings of anti-Americanism in Cuba. [For further information, click here]

1965 Wernher Von Braun, by Tom Lehrer, is released:

Gather round while I sing you of Wernher von Braun
A man whose allegiance is ruled by expedience
Call him a Nazi, he won't even frown
"Ha, Nazi schmazi," says Wernher von Braun

Don't say that he's hypocritical
Say rather that he's apolitical
"Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down
That's not my department," says Wernher von Braun

Some have harsh words for this man of renown
But some think our attitude should be one of gratitude
Like the widows and cripples in old London town
Who owe their large pensions to Wernher von Braun

You too may be a big hero
Once you've learned to count backwards to zero
"In German oder English I know how to count down
Und I'm learning Chinese," says Wernher von Braun

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

1970 Albert Speer writes to his friend and archivist, Rudolf 'Rudi' Wolters:

Now we are in the soup . . . . They found a copy of one year of the Chronik in London and, as the eager beaver writer David Irving tells me, they are now diligently searching for the rest. I got Irving to send me a photocopy in order to compare it with the text you gave me [in 1966]. Luckily, I note that the deviations, from the historian's point of view, are pretty inoffensive. Even so: don't you agree that it would be better if we now took the first step and I offer to replace the copy now at the Federal Archives with a photocopy of the original which (presumably) you have? If you share my view, I would propose to quickly ascertain exactly what the differences are and inform you of what I find . . . . I hope you will see your way to let me thus set to rights whatever 'drifts' the Chronik has suffered, not only in that one year's entries, but also the others." (Sereny)

Note: "The Chronik" is a daily record of Albert Speer's activities while a member of Hitler's government. The "drifts" are items that Wolter's, with Speer's permission, altered to spare Speer embarassment.

[With regard to David Irving, see: : Is It Revisionism or Denial, and Why Does it Matter?]

1972 Kurt Waldheim: One-time Nazi Kurt Waldheim of Austria formally takes office as the fourth Secretary General of the United Nations. [See: Austria: The Other Germany.]

1993 Czechoslovakia peacefully splits into two new countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

1999 Member nations of the European Union adopt the 'euro' as their common currency. It was a long road: Anti-Union propaganda in Britain used the German bogyman with the slogan, 'Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Euro.' Note: Eighty percent of the British history students specialize in Nazi Germany.
[He who laughs last . . . —Ed.]

Edited by Levi Bookin (Copy editor)

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