January 23

1847 (Exact Date Unknown) Maria Anna (Schicklgruber) Hiedler dies of a stroke: Her husband, Johann Georg Hiedler, is nowhere to be found, but his 40-year-old brother, Johann Nepomuk Huettler, had already taken 5-year-old Alois Schicklgruber into his family's medium sized farm in Spital shortly after Maria Anna and Johann Georg were married. Alois, after legally changing his name to Hitler will later become the father of Adolf Hitler, will be raised together with the three daughters of the family, one of whom, Johanna Huettler, will become the mother of Alois's third wife, Klara Poelzl. [For further details, Click here.]

1915 World War I:War at Sea: A German battle cruiser squadron under Vice Admiral Franz von Hipper moves out to raid the English coast and harass the British fishing fleet. See: January 24.

1918 World War I: Official Russian Announcement on Peace Negotiations at Brest-Litovsk:

Trotsky declared that he was glad now that the Central Powers were speaking frankly, stating that General Hoffmann's conditions proved that the real aims were built on a level quite different from that of the principles recognized on December 25th, and that real or lasting peace was only possible on the actual principle of self-definition. "It is clear," Trotsky declared, "that the decision could have been reached long ago regarding peace aims if the Central Powers had not stated their aims differently from those expressed by General Hoffmann." Dr. Richard von Kuhlman, German Secretary for Foreign Affairs, replied to Trotsky, declaring in principle that General Hoffmann's aims were the same as those advanced at Christmas. Throughout the negotiations, he said, the Germans had kept in view the ethnological boundaries, but also the actual boundaries of the old Russian Empire.

1920 Netherlands refuses to extradite Kaiser Wilhelm to the Allies:

On this day in 1920, the Dutch government refuses demands by the Allies for the extradition of Wilhelm II, the former Kaiser of Germany, who has been living in exile in the Netherlands since November 1918.

By early November 1918, things were looking dismal for the Central Powers on all fronts of the Great War. The Kaiser was at German army headquarters in the Belgian resort town of Spa when news reached him, in quick succession, of labor unrest in Berlin, a mutiny within the Imperial Navy and what looked like the beginnings of full-fledged revolution in Germany. From every direction, it seemed, came calls for peace, reform and the removal of the Kaiser. Wilhelm II was told that the German General Staff would make a unified, orderly march home to Germany when the war ended, but it would not defend him against his internal opponents.

Faced with this lack of support, the Kaiser agreed to abdicate his throne on November 9, 1918. Shortly after that, Wilhelm, the last of the powerful Hohenzollern monarchs, traveled from Spa to Holland, never to return to German soil.

In January 1920, Wilhelm headed the list of so-called war criminals put together by the Allies and made public after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The Netherlands, under the young, strong-willed Queen Wilhelmina, refused to extradite him for prosecution and Wilhelm remained in Holland, where he settled in the municipality of Doorn. Personal tragedy struck when his son, Joachim, committed suicide later in 1920. Augusta, his wife and the mother of his seven children, died barely a year later. In 1922, Wilhelm remarried and published his memoirs, proclaiming his innocence in the promotion of the Great War.

Unlike Wilhelmina and the rest of the Dutch royal family, Wilhelm turned down Winston Churchill's offer of asylum in Britain in 1940, as Hitler's armies pushed through Holland, choosing instead to live under German occupation. He died the following year. (History.com)

1933 USSR: Molotov makes a speech announcing ratification of non-aggression pacts with all of Russia's neighbors except Romania.

1936 Holocaust: Utah Senator William H. King urges the US to open its doors as a haven for Jews fleeing Germany. [See: Was America Complicit in the Holocaust?]

1937 USSR: Trial of 17 leading Communists begins in Moscow after they are accused of involvement in a plot led by Leon Trotsky to overthrow the regime and assassinate its leaders.

1938 Hitler addresses his Senior Officers concerning his future plans. Notes to speech

1939 World War II: United Kingdom: Chamberlain announces the introduction of National Service and says, "It is a project that must make us prepared for war."

1940 Church and Reich: Vatican Radio broadcasts excerpts from Cardinal Hlond's January 6 report to the Pope. (See January 6)

1941 World War II: Various:

Lindbergh to Congress: Negotiate with Hitler:

On this day, Charles A. Lindbergh, a national hero since his nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic, testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the Lend-Lease policy-and suggests that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Hitler.

Lindbergh was born in 1902 in Detroit. His father was a member of the House of Representatives. Lindbergh's interest in aviation led him to flying school in Lincoln, Nebraska, and later brought him work running stunt-flying tours and as an airmail pilot. While regularly flying a route from St. Louis to Chicago, he decided to try to become the first pilot to fly alone nonstop from New York to Paris. He obtained the necessary financial backing from a group of businessmen, and on May 21, 1927, after a flight that lasted slightly over 33 hours, Lindbergh landed his plane, the Spirit of St. Louis, in Paris. He won worldwide fame along with his $25,000 prize.

In March 1932, Lindbergh made headlines again, but this time because of the kidnapping of his two-year-old son. The baby was later found dead, and the man convicted of the crime, Bruno Hauptmann, was executed. To flee unwanted publicity, Lindbergh and his wife, Anne Morrow, daughter of U.S. ambassador Dwight Morrow, moved to Europe. During the mid-1930s, Lindbergh became familiar with German advances in aviation and warned his U.S. counterparts of Germany's growing air superiority. But Lindbergh also became enamored of much of the German national "revitalization" he encountered, and allowed himself to be decorated by Hitler's government, which drew tremendous criticism back home.

Upon Lindbergh's return to the States, he agitated for neutrality with Germany, and testified before Congress in opposition to the Lend-Lease policy, which offered cash and military aid to countries friendly to the United States in their war effort against the Axis powers. His public denunciation of "the British, the Jewish, and the Roosevelt Administration" as instigators of American intervention in the war, as well as comments that smacked of anti-Semitism, lost him the support of other isolationists. When, in 1941, President Roosevelt denounced Lindbergh publicly, the aviator resigned from the Air Corps Reserve. He eventually contributed to the war effort, though, flying 50 combat missions over the Pacific. His participation in the war, along with his promotion to brigadier general of the Air Force Reserve in 1954 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a popular Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Spirit of St. Louis, and a movie based on his exploits all worked to redeem him in the public's eyes. (History.com)

Romania: In Bucharest, Legionary resistance ends before 8AM, and in the provinces, prior to 11AM. Nevertheless, Antonescu's forces stage a massacre of peaceful crowds in Bucharest. At least 360 are killed including many women and children. No Legionaries are killed, they have already peacefully withdrawn on Sima's orders, as agreed. Trials and executions of other Legionaries are commonplace until June. (THP)

1942 World War II Hungarian Fascists at Novi Sad in occupied Yugoslavia drive 550 Jews and 292 Serbs to the river and onto the ice. After firing on the ice to break it up, they shoot all those who manage to stay afloat. A total of 2,550 Serbs and 700 Jews are killed by the Hungarians at Novi Sad (THP)

1943 World War II: Various:

Holocaust: Underground Broadsheet:

On January 22, 1943, six months will have passed since the deportations from Warsaw began. We all remember well the days of terror during which 300,000 of our brothers and sisters were cruelly put to death in the death camp of Treblinka. Six months have passed of life in constant fear of death, not knowing what the next day may bring. We have received information from all sides about the destruction of the Jews in the Government-General, in Germany, in the occupied territories. When we listen to this bitter news we wait for our own hour to come, every day and every moment. Today we must understand that the Nazi murderers have let us live only because they want to make use of our capacity to work to our last drop of blood and sweat, to our last breath. We are slaves. And when the slaves are no longer profitable, they are killed. Every one among us must understand that, and every one among us must remember it always. During the past few weeks certain people have spread stories about letters that were said to have been received from Jews deported from Warsaw, who were said to be in labor camps near Minsk or Bobruisk. Jews in your masses, do not believe these tales. They are spread by Jews who are working for the Gestapo. The bloodstained murderers have a particular aim in doing this: to reassure the Jewish population in order that later the next deportation can be carried out without difficulty, with a minimum of force and without losses to the Germans. They want the Jews not to prepare hiding-places and not to resist. Jews, do not repeat these lying tales. Do not help the [Nazi] agents. The Gestapo's dastardly people will get their just deserts. Jews in your masses, the hour is near. You must be prepared to resist, not to give yourselves up like sheep to slaughter. Not even one Jew must go to the train. People who cannot resist actively must offer passive resistance, that is, by hiding. We have now received information from Lvov that the Jewish Police there itself carried out the deportation of 3,000 Jews. Such things will not happen again in Warsaw. The killing of Lejkin proves it. Now our slogan must be: Let everyone be ready to die like a man! January 1943

Stalingrad: The last German aircraft flies out of the pocket: an He III carrying nineteen wounded and seven bags of mail. From now on, all supplies have to be air-dropped. [See: What Were Adolf Hitler's Major Blunders?]

North Africa: British forces under Field Marshal Montgomery capture Tripoli, Libya. [See: What Was The Mediterranean Strategy, And Could it Have Enabled Hitler to Win the War?]

Casablanca: After nine days of talks, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill agree to put an invasion of Italy ahead of opening a second front in northwestern Europe. [See: Why Was Churchill Against the D-Day Invasion?]

1944 World War II: FDR and Churchill to Stalin:

With regard to handing over to Soviet Russia of the Italian shipping asked for by the Soviet Government at the Moscow Conference and agreed to with you by us at Tehran . . . we think it would be dangerous to our triple interests actually to carry out any transfer or to say anything about it to the Italians until their cooperation is no longer of operational importance . . . . The British battleship Royal Sovereign has recently completed refitting in the United States. She is fitted with radar for all types of armament. The United States will make one light cruiser available at approximately the same time. His Majesty's Government and the United States Government are willing for their part these vessels should be taken over at British ports by Soviet crews and sailed to North Russian ports. You could then make such alterations as you find necessary for Arctic conditions. These vessels would be temporarily transferred on loan to Soviet Russia and would fly the Soviet flag until, without prejudice to the military operations, the Italian vessels can be made available.

1945 World War II: Various:

France: St. Vith is taken in an attack by armored units of the US XVIII corps. Allied air attacks inflict extremely heavy losses to the Germans falling back over the Our River. The French First Army makes several crossings over the Ill River in Alsace. [See: The Last Days of the Third Reich.]

From a memorandum from the US Joint Chiefs of Staff to President Roosevelt:

Russia's entry (into the war against Japan) at as early a date as possible consistent with her ability to engage in offensive operations is necessary to provide maximum assistance to our Pacific operations. The United States will provide maximum support possible without interfering with our main effort against Japan.

The objectives of Russia's military effort against Japan in the Far East should be the defeat of Japanese forces in Manchuria, air operations against Japan proper in collaboration with United States Air Forces based in Siberia, and maximum interference with Japanese sea traffic between Japan and the mainland of Asia. (Harriman)

1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:

Capt. Sprecher's Presentation of the case against Hans Fritzsche.

Major. J. Harcourt Barrington's Presentation of the case against Franz von Papen.

Beginning of Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe's Presentation of the case against Constantin von Neurath.

Captain Sprecher:

With the Tribunal's consent I will now pass to proof bearing on Fritzsche's incitement of atrocities and his encouragement of a ruthless occupation policy. The results of propaganda as a weapon of the Nazi conspirators reach into every aspect of this conspiracy, including the abnormal and inhuman conduct involved in the atrocities and the ruthless exploitation of occupied countries. Most of the ordinary members of the German nation would never have participated in or tolerated the atrocities committed throughout Europe if they had not been conditioned and goaded to barbarous convictions and misconceptions by the constant grinding of the Nazi propaganda machine. Indeed, the propagandists who lent themselves to this evil mission of instigation and incitement are more guilty than the credulous and callous minions who headed the firing squads or operated the gas chambers, of which we have heard so much in this proceeding. For the very credulity and callousness of those minions was in large part due to the constant and evil propaganda of Fritzsche and his official associates.

With respect to Jews, the Department of Propaganda within the Propaganda Ministry had a special branch for the "Enlightenment of the German people and of the world as to the Jewish question, fighting with propagandistic weapons against enemies of the State and hostile ideologies." [For the full text of today's proceedings, Click here.]

1968 Cold War: North Korea seizes U.S. ship Pueblo:

The U.S. intelligence-gathering ship Pueblo is seized by North Korean naval vessels and charged with spying and violating North Korean territorial waters. Negotiations to free the 83-man crew of the U.S. ship dragged on for nearly a year, damaging the credibility of and confidence in the foreign policy of President Lyndon B. Johnson's administration. [For further information, click here]

1973 Vietnam War: Nixon announces peace settlement reached in Paris: President Nixon announces that Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, the chief North Vietnamese negotiator, have initialled a peace agreement in Paris "to end the war and bring peace with honor in Vietnam and Southeast Asia." [For further information, click here]

1997 Switzerland: Nazi Gold: The Swiss government, three banks and some businesses agree to set up a private sector humanitarian fund for Nazi Holocaust victims and their heirs. Reportedly, the neutral Swiss profited from millions of dollars worth of gold deposited some fifty years earlier by victims of the Holocaust. It seems that the gold was also used to make deals with the Nazis.

Edited by Levi Bookin (Copy editor)

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