October 1

1878 Birth: Othmar Spann: Conservative Austrian philosopher, sociologist and economist whose radical anti-liberal and anti-Socialist views, based on early 19th century Romantic ideas expressed by Adam Mueller et al. and popularized in his books and lecture courses, helped antagonize political factions in Austria during the interwar years. Repeatedly, Spann tried to draw the ruling powers' attention to his authoritarian theory of a corporate state which, as he saw it, could, and should, be introduced immediately for the benefit of all. However, although to a large degree in tune with the zeitgeist, he repeatedly met with disapproval until, in 1938, right after the Anschluss, he was briefly imprisoned by the Nazis and eventually barred from his professorship at the University of Vienna, which he had held since 1919. Living as a recluse till the end of the war, Spann tried to get his university post back in 1945, aged 67. However, he was not allowed to resume his teaching and died in 1950, disappointed and embittered.

1890 Birth: Adolf Wagner: NSDAP member from 1923. Nazi party provincial chief of Munich and Upper Bavaria. Bavarian interior minister after 1933. [For further details, Click here.]

1893 Volkishness: Goetterdaemmerung by Guido von List appears in Karl Wolf's East German Review. Wolf is a Pan-German parliamentary deputy and close associate of Georg von Schoenerer. (THP)

1908 Ford Motor Company unveils the Model T:

On October 1, 1908, the first production Model T Ford is completed at the company's Piquette Avenue plant in Detroit. Between 1908 and 1927, Ford would build some 15 million Model T cars. It was the longest production run of any automobile model in history until the Volkswagen Beetle surpassed it in 1972. [For further information, click here]

1914 World War I: Various

Turkey closes the Dardanelles to the Allies:

In October 1914, the Ottomans closed the Dardanelles to Allied shipping. This followed an incident on September 27 when the British Dardanelles squadron had seized a Turkish torpedo boat. The actual decision to close the strait seems to have been taken by German military advisors stationed in the Dardanelles without reference to the Turkish government. [For further details, Click here.]

List Regiment (Sep 1-Oct 7):

Infantry recruit Adolf Hitler's regiment begins a short but intensive basic training program, which is held in the premises of a large public school on the Elizabeth Platz in Munich. Hitler receives the first uniform of his life; basic greenish-grey with an "RIR 16" sown in red unto the epaulettes and a red stripe down the side of the trousers. The trousers are tucked into new leather boots, topped by a thick leather belt around the waist of the uniform jacket. [For further details, Click here.]

1915 World War I: List Regiment:

Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment continues 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: List Regiment: Sep 27-Oct 2:

Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 16th RIR assist in building trenches and fortified works, just east of Bapaume in the Somme. [For further details, Click here.]

1917 World War I (Sep 30-Oct 17):

Hitler takes an eighteen-day furlough to accompany Schmidt [above] on a visit to his sister in Dresden with him. After sightseeing stops at Brussels and Cologne, they hit Leipzig, a city Hitler especially enjoys. He is impressed by the 300-foot tall monument, Battle of the Nations, honoring the war-dead of 1812. "This has nothing to do with art," he tells Schmidt (above), "but it is enormous and beautiful." After spending some time with Schmidt in Dresden, Hitler goes off by himself to Berlin to spend a few days with yet another front-line comrade. In a postcard to Schmidt, he writes: "The city is marvelous. A real world capital. Traffic is still tremendous. Am gone almost all day. Now finally have opportunity to study the museums a little better. In short: there is nothing lacking." [For further details, Click here.]

1918 World War I: Various:

List Regiment (Sep 28-Oct 15): Gefreiter Adolf Hitler participates in defensive operations in Flanders with 3 Company, 16 Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment. [For further details, Click here.]

Crisis in Germany:

At four o'clock on the morning of October 1, 1918, Max von Baden arrives in Berlin to take office as the new German chancellor, after conflict within the German military and government leadership causes his predecessor, Georg von Hertling, to resign.

Although the Allies had breached the mighty Hindenburg Line—the heavily fortified defensive zone envisioned as the last line of German defenses on the Western Front—in the last days of September 1918, German forces in general continued to hold. The news that German ally Bulgaria had sought and been granted an armistice, however, caused German Quartermaster General Erich Ludendorff to lose his once-steely nerve. At a crown council convened by Kaiser Wilhelm II at Spa on September 29, Ludendorff demanded that the German government seek an immediate armistice based on the Fourteen Points outlined by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson the previous January. This abrupt switch by Ludendorff-who until then had claimed the German forces were far from defeat-and his direct appeal to the kaiser angered government leaders like Hertling, who arrived too late to actively participate in the meeting and promptly resigned the chancellorship.

When von Baden arrived in Berlin the next morning, he made it clear that his policy was not to seek an armistice until the German army was able to reestablish its stability at the front. He argued that by suing for peace Germany would forfeit its post-war negotiating power, stating that "a request for an armistice makes any peace initiative impossible." Baden, an aristocrat appointed by the Kaiser, quickly implemented necessary constitutional reforms in Germany, undermining the power of the military's Third Supreme Command—and of Ludendorff in particular—in the hopes that a more moderate and democratic Germany could negotiate more favorable armistice terms with the Allies. Despite his initial resistance, von Baden himself contacted Wilson on October 4 to seek an immediate armistice. Over the next few weeks, pressured by the leftist Social Democrats, von Baden oversaw the creation of a German republic and Kaiser Wilhelm's abdication on November 9, and then announced his own retirement, handing control to the Social Democratic leader Friedrich Ebert. (History.com)

Middle East: A combined Arab and British force led by General Allenby and 'Lawrence of Arabia' capture Damascus (capital of today's Syria) from the Turks.

General Allenby's triumphant march northward into Syria early this morning drove the Turks completely out of possession of Damascus, and there is now not a Turkish soldier in the city nor a Turkish official doing duty.

The appearance of the Australian Mounted Division north-westward of the city at noon yesterday set the seal on the doom of the Turkish Government in the place on which Arabs centre their eyes. Today the city was enveloped by British, Australian, and Indian troops, and the King of the Hejaz's Arab army has marched in. The few Turks who got away are scattered and demoralized. Fully 12,000 Germans and Turks are prisoners. [For further details, Click here.]

1932 Sir Oswald Mosley founds the British Union of Fascists.

1932 Wunderwaffen:

Twenty-year-old Wernher von Braun begins employment with the German Army's Experimental Station, Kummersdorf West (Versuchstelle Kummersdorf West), near Berlin.

We needed money for our experiments and, since the [German] army was ready to give us help, we did not worry overmuch about the consequences in the distant future. Besides, in 1932, the idea of another war was absurd. The Nazis were not then in power. There was no reason for moral scruples over the use to which our researches might be put in the future. We were interested in only one thing: the exploration of space. Our main concern was how to get the most out of the Golden Calf. (Cornwell, Piszkiewicz, Braun)

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

1933 Nazi Germany: Various:

Dachau: Disciplinary Camp Regulations published: Later used as a guide for the expanding Nazi concentration camp system:

By virtue of the law on revolutionaries, the following offenders considered as agitators, will be hanged: Anyone who, for the purpose of agitating, does the following in the camp, at work in the quarters, in the kitchens and workshops, toilets and places of rest: holds political or inciting speeches and meetings, forms cliques, loiters around with others; who, for the purpose of supplying the propaganda of the opposition with atrocity stories, collects true or false information about the concentration camp and its institution, receives such information, buries it, talks about it to others, smuggles it out of the camp into the hands of foreign visitors or others by means of clandestine or other methods, passes it on in writing or orally to released prisoners or prisoners who are placed above them, conceals it in clothing or other articles, throws stones and other objects over the camp wall containing such information, or produces secret documents; who, for the purpose of agitating, climbs on barracks roofs and trees, seeks contact with the outside by giving light or other signals, or induces others to escape or commit a crime, gives them advice to that effect or supports such undertakings in any way whatsoever.

Army: Nine high-ranking Wehrmacht generals critical of Hitler are forced to retire.

1934 Various:

Germany begins building up its air force, the Luftwaffe, in violation of the Versailles Treaty:

Goering: I was aware from the beginning that protection in the air was necessary as one of the most essential conditions for the security of my nation. Originally it was my belief that a defensive air force, that is, a fighter force, might suffice; but upon reflection I realized...that one would be lost with merely a fighter force for defense purposes and that even a defensive force must contain bombers in order that it can be used offensively against the enemy air force on enemy territory. Therefore I had bomber aircraft developed from commercial airplanes. [For further details, Click here.]

The first course for SS doctors is given at the Kaiser Wilhem Institute of Anthropology under the direction of Professor Fritz Fischer (to August 1, 1935). (THP)

1935 Goebbels in a speech which appeared in Das Archiv:

The inner-political opponents did not disappear due to mysterious unknown reasons, but because the Movement possessed a strong arm within its organization; and the strongest arm of the movement is the SA. The Jewish question will not be solved separately but by laws which we enact, for we are an anti-Jewish government.

1936 Franco heads Spain:

During the Spanish Civil War, General Francisco Franco is named head of the rebel Nationalist government in Spain. It would take more than two years for Franco to defeat the Republicans in the civil war and become ruler of all of Spain. He subsequently served as dictator until his death in 1975. [For further information, click here]

1938 Various:

Munich Conference:

In view of the very short time for evacuation allowed to the Czechoslovak Army, it would undoubtedly leave behind heavy artillery or other materiel in certain places which, apart from its military value, also represented a considerable financial value; in some cases it might be a matter of milliards of crowns, which the Czechoslovak State should not injustice lose. The Czechoslovak Minister remarked that the Commission should also give sympathetic consideration to the psychological side of this problem and should consider the actual position in which the Czechoslovak Army found itself as a result of the evacuation of its [fortified] positions. The chairman stated emphatically that it was in no way the intention either of the International Commission or of the German delegation to make any decision which might be interpreted as an insult to an army which was doing its duty. [For further details, Click here.]

German troops occupy the Czechoslovakian Sudetenland: Almost all of the 20,000 Jews in the Sudetenland soon flee to the still independent provinces of Bohemia and Moravia.

1939 World War II: Various:

Siege of Warsaw: The Polish garrison on the Hel Peninsula surrenders to the Germans after repeated attacks. German troops enter devastated Wasaw. Hitler arrives and attends an impromptu victory parade.

Church and Reich: Cardinal Bertram informs all bishops that they should comply with Kerrl's suggestion of September 30, and the church bells in all dioceses in Germany ring out to celebrate Hitler's first military victory. (THP)

USSR: During a radio broadcast, Winston Churchill describes the Soviet Union as "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."

1941 Various:

Holocaust: All Jewish emigration from Germany is banned.

World War II: Conclusion of a conference at Moscow between Britain, the US and the Soviet Union with promises of enormous amounts of aid to the Soviet war effort, mostly from the United States.

Church and Reich: In the Archdiocese of Posen in Poland, 74 Catholic priests have been shot or have died in the concentration camps, and 451 are being held in prisons or camps. Of the 441 churches in this diocese only 30 are still open for Poles. (THP)

Holocaust: Another Croatian concentration camp is established at Jasenovac. (THP)

Hitler addresses his troops by radio:

In these three and a half months, my soldiers, the groundwork has been laid for the final devastating blow which will crush our enemy before the onset of winter. All the preparations humanly possible have been made. We have planned and prepared this time step by step in order to maneuver our enemy into the situation where we can now deal him a final lethal blow.

[See: Was Adolf Hitler a 'Great' Military Leader?]

1942 World War II: USS Grouper torpedoes Lisbon Maru (will sink on the 2nd) not knowing she is carrying British POWs from Hong Kong. Over 800 of these men died either directly as a result of the sinking, or were shot or otherwise killed by the Japanese while swimming away from the wreck. The ship should have carried appropriate markings to alert Allied forces to the nature of its cargo but did not do so.

1943 World War II: Various:

Italy: After a month-long battle, the Allies capture Naples: The Allies suffered approximately 12,500 casualties (2,000 killed, 7,000 wounded, and 3,500 missing). Foggia, captured intact, would soon be used by Allied bombers. [For further details, Click here.]

[See: How Did the Pact of Steel Effect Germany and Italy.]

Holocaust: The Germans begin rounding up Danish Jews and are able to find only 500 in the entire country. All are sent to Theresienstadt; 423 will survive the war.

The policy of cooperation between Germany and Denmark, and the German view of the Danes as being of the Aryan race, meant a comparatively peaceful Danish co-existence with the German occupation power. Germany had no desire to endanger this situation, and for long the Danish Jews went untouched by the terrible Nazi racial policy that was carried out in the rest of occupied Europe. The relatively small number of Jews in Denmark undoubtedly also influenced the Germans’ indifference to the Danish Jews. However, the peaceful co-existence between Denmark and the occupation power changed in the beginning of 1943. The Allied forces had won over the Germans in several battles, and many Danes no longer believed the Germans to be invincible. [For further details, Click here.]

1944 World War II:Various:

France: German army and naval units defending the fortress of Calais behind Allied lines surrender to British forces.

Holocaust: Oct 1-30: More than 18,000 Jews from Theresienstadt are sent to Auschwitz. (THP)

Experiments begin on homosexuals at Buchenwald:

On this day in 1944, the first of two sets of medical experiments involving castration are performed on homosexuals at the Buchenwald concentration camp, near Weimar, Germany. [For further details about Buchenwald, Click here]

1945 The US War Department announces in a Press Release: OUTSTANDING GERMAN SCIENTISTS BEING BROUGHT TO US.

The Secretary of War has approved a project whereby certain outstanding German scientists and technicians are being brought to this country, to ensure that we take full advantage of those significant developments [that] are deemed vital to our national security.

Interrogation, and examination of documents, equipment, and facilities--in the aggregate--are but one means of exploiting German progress in science and technology. In order that this country may benefit fully from this resource, a number of carefully selected scientists and technologists are being brought to the United States, on a voluntary basis. These individuals have been chosen from those fields, where German progress is of significant importance to us and, in which, these specialists have played a dominant role.

Through their temporary stay in the United States, these German scientists and technical experts will be under the supervision of the War Department, but will be used for appropriate military projects of the Army and Navy.

Wernher von Braun arrives at Fort Bliss--in El Paso, Texas--in the custody of Major James P. Hamill. Hamill's assignment is to head the first US guided-missile program; and von Braun and the other six German rocket scientists are his first seven workers. Fort Bliss is just 35 miles from the White Sands launch site, which is located 120 miles southeast of Robert H. Goddard's old launch site at Roswell. (Piszkiewicz)

1946 Nuremberg Tribunal:

On the 218th and last day of the Trial, the War Crimes Commission in Nuremberg concludes the reading of the Final Judgements, followed by sentencing:

Jodl is indicted on all four Counts. From 1935 to 1938 he was Chief of the National Defense Section in the High Command. After a year in command of troops, in August 1939 he returned to become Chief of the Operations Staff of the High Command of the Armed Forces. Although his immediate superior was Defendant Keitel, he reported directly to Hitler on operational matters. In the strict military sense, Jodl was the actual planner of the war and responsible in large measure for the strategy and conduct of operations. Jodl defends himself on the ground he was a soldier sworn to obedience, and not a politician; and that his staff and planning work left him no time for other matters. He said that when he signed or initialed orders, memoranda, and letters, he did so for Hitler and often in the absence of Keitel. Though he claims that as a soldier he had to obey Hitler, he says that he often tried to obstruct certain measures by delay, which occasionally proved successful. [For the full text of today's proceedings, Click here.]

Nazi war criminals sentenced at Nuremberg:

On October 1, 1946, 12 high-ranking Nazis are sentenced to death by the International War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremberg. Among those condemned to death by hanging were Joachim von Ribbentrop, Nazi minister of foreign affairs; Hermann Goering, founder of the Gestapo and chief of the German air force; and Wilhelm Frick, minister of the interior. Seven others, including Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler's former deputy, were given prison sentences ranging from 10 years to life. Three others were acquitted.

The trial, which had lasted nearly 10 months, was conducted by an international tribunal made up of representatives from the United States, the USSR, France, and Great Britain. It was the first trial of its kind in history, and the defendants faced charges ranging from crimes against peace to crimes of war and crimes against humanity. On October 16, 10 of the architects of Nazi policy were hanged one by one. Hermann Goering, who at sentencing was called the "leading war aggressor and creator of the oppressive program against the Jews," committed suicide by poison on the eve of his scheduled execution. Nazi Party leader Martin Bormann was condemned to death in absentia; he is now known to have died in Berlin at the end of the war. (History.com)

[See: Are There Any Lasting Effects From the Nuremberg Trials?]

1949 Mao Zedong proclaims People's Republic of China:

Naming himself head of state, communist revolutionary Mao Zedong officially proclaims the existence of the People's Republic of China; Zhou Enlai is named premier. The proclamation was the climax of years of battle between Mao's communist forces and the regime of Nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-Shek, who had been supported with money and arms from the American government. The loss of China, the largest nation in Asia, to communism was a severe blow to the United States, which was still reeling from the Soviet Union's detonation of a nuclear device one month earlier. (History.com)

1958: The National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics is dissolved. NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) replaces it.

1966 Spandau Prison:

Albert Speer and Baldur von Schirach are released from Spandau, leaving Hess as the sole remaining prisoner. Margarete Speer and Speer's Nuremberg counsel, Dr. Hans Flachsner are there to greet Speer on his release.

Note: While Speer was incarcerated, Dr. Flachsner had remained as his attorney. His major work during this time had been stalling the de-Nazification proceedings against Speer. While Speer could not have been subject to further incarceration, the property upon which his family survived during that time could have been confiscated. The proceedings were eventually ended by West Berlin Mayor Willy Brandt. Speer and his wife Marget, will reside at the Speer family estate on a hill overlooking Heidelberg Castle. (Sereny, Speer)

1988 Mikhail Gorbachev becomes head of Supreme Soviet:

Having forced the resignation of Soviet leader Andrei Gromyko, Mikhail Gorbachev names himself head of the Supreme Soviet. Within two years, he was named "Man of the Decade" by Time magazine for his role in bringing the Cold War to a close. Beginning in 1985, when he became general secretary of the Communist Party in the USSR, Gorbachev moved forward to both liberalize the Soviet economy (perestroika) and political life (glasnost), as well as decrease tensions with the United States. By late 1991, the Soviet Union was moving toward dissolution, and Gorbachev retired from office in December 1991. [For further information, click here.]

Edited by Levi Bookin (Copy editor)

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