October 13

1882 Death: Joseph-Arthur de Gobineau, in Turin, Italy:

Gobineau's most important work, Essay on the Inequality of Human Races (1853-1855), partly translated into English in 1856, was an expression of his basic understanding of the meaning of his own life and of the events of his times. He was a royalist who despised democracy. He believed he was a descendant of a noble race of men, and he saw the French Revolution as a direct result of the bastardization of the race to which he belonged.

Gobineau sought to create a science of history by explaining the rise and fall of civilizations in terms of race. There were three races - the blacks, who were stupid and frivolous, but in whom the senses were well developed; the yellows, who craved mediocrity; and the whites, who were strong, intelligent, and handsome. Of the whites, the Aryans were superior, with the Germans being the purest of the Aryans. "German" did not refer to the entire German nation, die Deutschen, but rather to a tribe of Aryans, die Germanen, or Teutons, who had invaded Europe and set themselves up as an aristocracy to rule over the indigenous Celts and Slavs, who were inferior.

Gobineau did not believe that there are any modern pure races, nor was he set against all race mixing. He believed that civilization arose as the result of conquest by a superior race, virtually always Aryan, over inferior races. While Aryans were brave, strong, and intelligent, nevertheless they were a bit unimaginative and weak in sense perception. A small amount of infusion of black blood would heighten the senses and improve the imagination. Such an infusion, by way of Semites, explains the flowering of art and philosophy in ancient Greece.

However, Gobineau held that while some race mixing is good, too much is very bad, as it leads to the stagnation of civilization. Because Aryans have an appetite for race mixing, which made civilization possible in the first place, race mixing will eventually go too far, leading to the eventual destruction of civilization.

His theory would influence Adolf Hitler. [For further details, Click here.]

1895 Birth: Robert Wagner: Reichswehr officer who will participate in Hitler's Munich putsch. One of Hitler's earliest supporters, he will serve as party provincial boss of Baden, 1925-1945. In 1940, he will become chief of the civilian administration in Alsace, a position he will hold until the end of the war. He will be executed at Strasbourg on August 14, 1946.

1904 Sigmund Freud: The Interpretation of Dreams is published.

1914 List Regiment Oct 11 - 20):

Infantry Recruit Adolf Hitler's 1st Company, 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry, train at Lechfeld, at the confluence of the Lech and the Danube, seventy miles west of Munich. [For further details, Click here.]

1915 World War I: Various:

The largest Zeppelin raid of the war kills 59 people in London:

As we flew over the land we checked our position from time to time by dropping light bombs. At about 2130 hours the Thames, with its characteristic windings, was clearly distinguishable below us. Suddenly, from all sides, searchlights leaped out towards us, and as we flew over Tottenham a wild barrage from the anti-aircraft positions began. The shells burst at a good height right in our course. I therefore rose, after dropping three explosive bombs.

We then steered over Hyde Park, in the direction of the City. The picture we saw was indescribably beautiful - shrapnel bursting all around, our own bombs bursting and the flashes from the anti-aircraft batteries below. We flew over the City at between 9,000 and 9,800 feet and dropped twenty 110-pound bombs, and all the incendiary bombs. We could see large explosions between Charing Cross Station and the Bank of England. [For further details, Click here.]

List Regiment (Oct 7 - 14):

Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's serves with 16 Reserve Infantry Regiment at Fromelles. [For further details, Click here.]

1916 List Regiment (Oct 9 - Dec 3):

Hitler, who had been fighting almost continuously for two years, finds himself on a hospital train headed for a Red Cross hospital in Beelitz, near Berlin. While his wound is serious, he will recover quickly, and will later write Balthaser Brandmayer: "Am suffering from hunger-induced typhus because I cannot eat bread; additionally I am adamantly denied any sort of jam." [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 (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.]

1921: USSR/Turkey: The Soviet republics of Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia sign the Treaty of Kars with the Grand National Assembly of Turkey to establish the contemporary borders between Turkey and the South Caucasus states. [For further information, click here.]

1933 The AFL votes to approve participation in the boycott of German products and services.

1934 From a speech delivered by Dr. Walter Gross, the head of the Nazi Party's Office of Racial Policy:

a good part of a people's history is determined by what it has inherited. If we ask what sorts of physical or intellectual traits these may be, or what groups there are, we will see that each people has three groups. The first is a large group of people with average gifts, the most of us who are able to deal with the normal problems life presents us with. Next there is a very small group. This group has received a better inheritance than most of us, not because of any particular virtue on its part, but simply because of fate. The leaders of humanity, those who build states, lead people, or touch the soul, come from this group. And there is a third small group with particular traits, also not their fault: those who are sick or genetically defective. They are not up to the challenges of life.

1936 Holocaust: Special courts are set up by the German Ministry of Justice to try cases covered by the Nuremberg Laws.

1937 WC Fields swears off hard liquor. Note: In a related item, Hitler's Germany guarantees Belgian independence.

[See: Was Adolf Hitler 'Forced' Into the War?]

1938 Various:

Italy: The government, under pressure from the Nazis, announces that no new business licenses of any kind will be issued to Jews.

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

Chamberlain declares to the House of Commons that "The Munich Agreement does not permit us to diminish our efforts towards the realization of our military program.

Volkishness: The Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire and the Holy Lance (Reichskleinodien and Helige Lanz) are transported by train under heavy armed guard from Vienna to Nuremberg. (THP)

1939: Guenther Prien's U-47 infiltrates the protected harbor of Scapa Flow.

1941 Various:

World War II :German forces capture Kalinin, 100 miles west of Moscow.

From the Duty Book of Captain Shigeshi Uchida:

A war game was held at Combined Fleet headquarters (aboard Nagato). (Here again it was discussed that the First Air Fleet wanted to use their total air strength to carry out the PH attack.) (Dillon)

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

1942 World War II: In the first of four attacks, two Japanese battleships sail down the slot and shell Henderson field on Guadalcanal, in an unsuccessful effort to destroy the American Cactus Air Force.

1943 Italy declares war on Germany:

On this day in 1943, the government of Italy declares war on its former Axis partner Germany and joins the battle on the side of the Allies.

With Mussolini deposed from power and the collapse of the fascist government in July, Gen. Pietro Badoglio, Mussolini's former chief of staff and the man who had assumed power in the Duce's stead by request of King Victor Emanuel, began negotiating with General Eisenhower regarding a conditional surrender of Italy to the Allies. It became a fact on September 8, with the new Italian government allowing the Allies to land in Salerno, in southern Italy, in its quest to beat the Germans back up the peninsula.

The Germans too snapped into action. Ever since Mussolini began to falter, Hitler had been making plans to invade Italy to keep the Allies from gaining a foothold that would situate them within easy reach of the German-occupied Balkans. On the day of Italy's surrender, Hitler launched Operation Axis, the occupation of Italy. As German troops entered Rome, General Badoglio and the royal family fled to Brindisi, in southeastern Italy, to set up a new antifascist government.

On October 13, Badoglio set into motion the next stage of his agreement with Eisenhower, the full cooperation of Italian troops in the Allied operation to capture Rome from the Germans. It was extremely slow going, described by one British general as "slogging up Italy." Bad weather, the miscalculation of starting the operation from so far south in the peninsula, and the practice of "consolidation," establishing a firm base of operations and conjoining divisions every time a new region was captured, made the race for Rome more of a crawl. But when it was over, and Rome was once again free, General Badoglio would take yet one more step in freeing Italy from its fascist past-he would step down from office. (History.com)

Note: In both World War I and World War II, Italy finished the war on the opposite side from which it began the war.

1944 World War II: Various:

Latvia: German troops evacuate Riga and form what was to become known as the Kurland pocket.

Greece: British forces occupy Athens and the island of Corfu in the Adriatic.

1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: In a foregone conclusion, the Allied Control Council—with the power to reduce or commute sentences—rejects all appeals in the Major War Criminals Trial. (Maser II)

1957 The German Democratic Republic recalls the East German Mark and issues new currency.

Edited by Levi Bookin (Copy editor)

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