October 25

1891 Birth: Charles Coughlin: American Roman Catholic priest and antisemite:

Charles E. Coughlin was an American Catholic priest and a popular radio figure of the 1930s. . . . In the first year of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration, Coughlin supported the Democratic president, but broke with him after a short time. Throughout the 1930s Coughlin used his popular weekly radio program--which averaged 3.5 million listeners every week--and his magazine, Social Justice, to spread his ideas and attack his enemies. From 1934 onward Coughlin's targets included Roosevelt, individual Jewish leaders, and Jewish institutions, all branded as Communists.

Coughlin, a right-wing populist, advocated a form of corporatism influenced by Italian Fascism. In 1934, Coughlin organized the National Union for Social Justice through which he argued that neither capitalism nor democracy had a future in America. In 1938 the National Union developed into the Christian Front which was even more ardent in its support of fascism and became a mouthpiece for Nazi propaganda. Subsequently, as war loomed in Europe, Coughlin supported isolationism, charging that Jewish financiers were secretly behind efforts to involve the United States in the war.

Coughlin believed in the existence of a secret world Jewish conspiracy. In 1938, his magazine Social Justice serialized the discredited Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which Coughlin believed to be accurate. . . .

Coughlin repeatedly used the “Judeo-Bolshevik threat” as a theme, asserting that the entire Soviet leadership, including both Lenin and Joseph Stalin, was Jewish. Coughlin also accused American Jewish financiers, primarily the Wall Street firm of Kuhn-Loeb, of collaboration with the Bolsheviks in their efforts to uproot Christianity in Russia. Publicly proclaiming that he was not an antisemite, Coughlin nevertheless argued that all the ills of modern society were caused by a Communist-Jewish conspiracy. . . . Coughlin continued to argue against American participation in World War II even after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. These arguments led to his undoing. When a sedition trial seemed possible, the Bishop of Detroit ordered Coughlin to cease broadcasting and leave politics altogether. At the height of his popularity, Coughlin received more mail than President Roosevelt. Indeed, a public opinion poll taken in 1938 showed that 25 percent of those polled supported all or most of Coughlin's ideas. Coughlin was thus the most visible of the American right-wing activists during the 1930s and his anti-Semitism deeply troubled American Jewry. [For further information, click here.]

1894 First Sino-Japanese War:

Having crossed the Yalu river undetected the day before, Japanese forces invade Chinese territory at Jiuliangcheng with the loss of only 4 killed and 140 wounded. The Japanese lay siege to the strategic port of Lushunkou (Port Arthur). (Sedwick)

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

1911 Winston Churchill is appointed First Lord of the Admiralty:

In 1911, Churchill became First Lord of the Admiralty, and now was truly in his element. Naturally, he quickly allied himself with the war party, and, during the crises that followed, fanned the flames of war. When the final crisis came, in the summer of 1914, Churchill was the only member of the cabinet who backed war from the start. [For further details, Click here.]

1914 World War I - Various:

Battle of Yser:

With Belgian resistance weakening and the King, Albert I, fearing a German breakthrough in the direction of Dunkirk and Calais, the Belgians took the drastic step of opening of the Canal locks at Nieuwpoort on 25 October. The result was a gradual flooding of the low country between the Canal and the railway. Consequently the German Fourth Army was obliged to retreat on 29 October, transferring its offensive effort to Ypres. [For further details, Click here.]

List Regiment (Oct 24 - 26):

Infantry Recruit Adolf Hitler's 1st Company, 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry, spends a few quiet days in Lille before being sent to the front. [For further details, Click here.]

1915 World War I (Oct 4, 1915 - Feb 29, 1916):

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

1916 World War I: Various:

French troops celebrate recapture of Fort Douaumont at Verdun:

On October 25, 1916, French troops rejoice after recapturing Fort Douaumont, the preeminent fortress guarding the city of Verdun, under siege by the German army since the previous February. [For further details, Click here]

World War I: German pilot Rudolf von Eschwege officially shoots down his first enemy plane (actually, his second), a Nieuport 12 of the Royal Naval Air Service over Bulgaria. [For further details, Click here.]

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 Various:

Russian Revolution: The Military Revolution Committee of the Petrograd Soviet launches a successful insurrection. Lenin's influence is decisive, but the actual organizer is Trotsky. Lazar Kaganovich, himself of Jewish descent, later relates that the percentage of Jews in the party at this time is 52%, rather high he noted, when compared to the percentage of Jews (1.8%) in the total population. For this reason, anti-Semites will label the resultant Communist regime a product of 'Jewish Bolshevism,' even after most Jews have been purged.


We deposed the Government of Kerenski, which rose against the revolution and the people. The change which resulted in the deposition of the Provisional Government was accomplished without bloodshed. The Petrograd Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates solemnly welcomes the accomplished change and proclaims the authority of the Military Revolutionary Committee until the creation of a Government by the Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates.

Announcing this to the army at the front, the Revolutionary Committee calls upon the revolutionary soldiers to watch closely the conduct of the men in command. Officers who do not join the accomplished revolution immediately and openly must be arrested at once as enemies. The Petrograd Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates considers this to be the program of the new authority:

First - The offer of an immediate democratic peace.

Second - The immediate handing over of large proprietarial lands to the peasants.

Third - The transmission of all authority to the Council of Workmen's and Soldiers' Delegates.

Fourth - The honest convocation of a Constitutional Assembly. The national revolutionary army must not permit uncertain military detachments to leave the front for Petrograd. They should use persuasion, but where this fails they must oppose any such action on the part of these detachments by force without mercy. The present order must be read immediately to all military detachments in all arms. The suppression of this order from the rank and file by army organizations is equivalent to a great crime against the revolution and will be punished by all the strength of the revolutionary law.

Soldiers! For peace, for bread, for land, and for the power of the people!

List Regiment (October 17-29):

Dispatch Runner Gefreiter Adolf Hitler rejoins his old regiment, now holding down a series of trenches in front of Laon near the Chemin des Dames. While there is "no danger of being taken by surprise, for the canal lay as a natural obstacle between the lines of trenches". But it is still necessary to "build a robust line [since] the highly desired town of Laon lay to our rear . . . . In the first few weeks, we often suffered strong enemy fire. This eased significantly however, in weight as in violence, in December so that one may speak of enjoying Christmas in a quiet sector. [For further details, Click here.]

1918 Various:

World War I - Middle East: Allenby's troops take Aleppo.

World War I (Oct 15 - Nov 10):

Gefreiter Adolf Hitler, blinded in a gas attack near Werwick on Oct 14, recovers in the Prussian Reserve Hospital at Pasewalk near Berlin. The doctors at this army hospital, on the cutting edge of medical treatments for gassed soldiers, provide Hitler with very good care, and his sight slowly and painfully begins to return to him over these few weeks. Hitler falls into a deep depression. After over four years on the front lines, his fighting days are over. In four years of war, the List Regiment has lost 3,754 dead, 8,795 wounded, with 678 taken prisoner. This is somewhat above the average for the German Armed Forces as a whole.

Throughout the length of the war, fifty-nine Jews served in the List Regiment, sixteen of these as officers. Thirty percent of the Jews in the List Regiment were honored for bravery, and seventeen percent were killed in action.[For further details, Click here.]

1939 Holocaust: Aktion Tannenberg officially comes to an end. SS special task forces (Einsatzgruppen) have murdered hundreds of Jews and members of the Polish intelligentsia, burned down dozens of synagogues, and waged an all-out campaign of terror against non-German, Polish civilians. (THP) (See Sep 3)

1941 World War II: Various:

German troops capture Kharkov and launch a new drive toward Moscow:

During World War II Kharkiv was the site of several military engagements. The city was captured by Nazi Germany and its military allies, recaptured by the Red Army, captured again twice by the Nazis and then finally liberated on August 23, 1943. Seventy percent of the city was destroyed and tens of thousands of the inhabitants were killed. It is mentioned that Kharkiv was the most populated city in the Soviet Union occupied by Nazis, since in the years preceding World War II Kiev was the smaller of the two by population. Between December of 1941 thru January of 1942, an estimated 30,000 people (mostly Jewish) were killed by the Nazis. [For further details, Click here]

Holocaust: Himmler and Heydrich meet with Hitler at his headquarters: In the course of the meeting, Hitler reminds them of his prewar prophecy that, unless war was avoided, the Jews would disappear from Europe. "This criminal race," Hitler tells them, "has the two million dead of the (First) World War on their conscience, and now hundreds of thousands more. Let no one say to me: we cannot send them into the mire. Who concerns themselves about our men? It is good if preceding us is terror that we are exterminating the Jews. The attempt to found a Jewish state will fail." (THP)

Holocaust: Despite the overwhelming odds against them, Jews at Tatarsk and Starodub, between Kiev and Moscow, rise up in revolt. German regular army units are brought in to crush their resistance. (THP)

Holocaust: Dr. Wetzel, a "race-expert" in the Ministry of the Occupied Eastern Territories, writes in a draft of a letter to Himmler marked 'Secret':

To the Reich Commissar for the East Re: Your report of October 4, 1941 in respect to the Solution of the Jewish Question. With reference to my letter of October 18, 1941, this is to inform you that Oberdienstleiter Brack of the Führer Chancellery has agreed to collaborate in the production of the required shelters and gassing devices. At this time, the envisaged devices are not available in sufficient quantity; they will first have to be manufactured. Since in Brack's opinion, the manufacture of the devices in the Reich will cause much greater difficulties than doing it on the spot, Brack considers it most expedient to send his people to Riga, especially his chemist Dr. Kallmeyer, who will effect all further steps there.

Oberdienstleiter Brack points out that the procedure in question is not without danger, so that special protective measures are necessary. In these circumstances, I request that you address yourself to Oberdienstleiter Brack in the Führer Chancellery through your Higher SS and Police Leader and request the dispatch of the chemist Kallmeyer and other assistants.

I should inform you that Sturmbannführer Eichmann, the expert for the Jewish Question in the RSHA is entirely in agreement with this process. According to information from Sturmbannführer Eichmann, camps for Jews are to be set up in Riga and Minsk, to which Jews from the Old Reich territory may also come. At this time, Jews are being evacuated out of the Old Reich to Litzmannstadt (Lodz), and also other camps, to then later be used for labor in the east insofar as they are capable of work. As things now are, there are no objections if the Jews who are not capable of work, are eliminated with the Brackian remedy.

In this way, events such as those that, according to a report in front of me, took place on the occasion of the shootings of the Jews in Vilna, and which, considering that the shootings were carried out in public, can hardly be excused, will no longer be possible. On the other hand, those capable of work will be transported for labor in the east. It goes without saying that the male and female Jews capable of work will be kept apart. I request a report on your further measures. (THP)

War Crimes: German mass executions of prisoners in France prompt Roosevelt and Churchill to make an unusual joint public condemnation of German atrocities, and within three months, nine European governments-in-exile in London establish the Inter-Allied Conference on the Punishment of War Crimes. (THP)

Barbarossa: Operation Typhoon: The Wehrmarcht's final drive on Moscow begins. The attack reaches to within 20 miles of Moscow before it is halted by stiff resistance and bitter cold. [For further details, Click here.]

1942 World War II: Various:

North Africa: Field Marshal Rommel breaks off his sick leave to take charge of the critical situation in which the Afrikakorps finds itself as a result of the British 8th Army's massive offensive at El Alamein.

Holocaust: In Oslo, Norway, 209 Jewish men and boys over the age of 16 are deported to Auschwitz. (THP)

1943 Church and Reich: Jesuit priest Alfred Delp, a member of the German resistance, tells a conference of priests at Munich that the silence of the Church on what is being done to the Poles and Jews and on the horrors committed in the concentration camps will threaten the acceptance of the Church by the new Germany that will arise after the downfall of the Nazi regime. (THP)

1944 World War II: Various:

Norway: German troops of 20th Gebirgsarmee evacuate Kirkenes, in the north.

Eastern Front: The Red Army completes its occupation of Transylvania in northwestern Rumania.

Resistance: Himmler orders a crackdown on the "Edelweiss Pirates," groups of youths who opposed Nazi rule. [For further information, click here]

War at Sea: USS Tang, the United States Navy submarine credited with sinking more ships than any other American submarine, sinks when struck by own torpedo. [For further information, click here]

First kamikaze attack of the war begins:

On this day in 1944, during the Battle of the Leyte Gulf, the Japanese deploy kamikaze ("divine wind") suicide bombers against American warships for the first time. It will prove costly--to both sides.

This decision to employ suicide bombers against the American fleet at Leyte, an island of the Philippines, was based on the failure of conventional naval and aerial engagements to stop the American offensive. Declared Japanese naval Capt. Motoharu Okamura: "I firmly believe that the only way to swing the war in our favor is to resort to crash-dive attacks with our planes.... There will be more than enough volunteers for this chance to save our country."

The first kamikaze force was in fact composed of 24 volunteer pilots from Japan's 201st Navy Air Group. The targets were U.S. escort carriers; one, the St. Lo, was struck by a A6M Zero fighter and sunk in less than an hour, killing 100 Americans. More than 5,000 kamikaze pilots died in the gulf battle-taking down 34 ships.

For their kamikaze raids, the Japanese employed both conventional aircraft and specially designed planes, called Ohka ("cherry blossom") by the Japanese, but Baka ("fool") by the Americans, who saw them as acts of desperation. The Baka was a rocket-powered plane that was carried toward its target attached to the belly of a bomber.

All told, more than 1,321 Japanese aircraft crash-dived their planes into Allied warships during the war, desperate efforts to reverse the growing Allied advantage in the Pacific. While approximately 3,000 Americans and Brits died because of these attacks, the damage done did not prevent the Allied capture of the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. [For further details, Click here]

1946 Nuremberg Tribunals:

The United States Military Government for Germany establishes Military Tribunal I, which will try twenty-three Nazi physicians in the first of eleven subsequent trials in Nuremberg. (Maser II)


A story in the Soviet newspaper Pravda (Russian for 'Truth') announces that Marshal Mitrofan Nedelin has perished in an unfortunate plane crash. (See: The Nedelin Disaster, October 24, 1960)

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

1965 Spandau Prison: From Spandau: The Secret Diaries, by Albert Speer:

Today I told Schirach that in preparation for release Doenitz had a suit made, which was brought to the prison for him; his tailor had kept the measurements all these years. "Good idea," Schirach said. "My children will have to find out whether Knize in Vienna still has mine. No doubt he has." "I'd be inclined to ask about prices first," I said. "I imagine it would come to four or six hundred marks nowadays." "I would expect eight hundred or a thousand," Schirach replied. "Assuming a thousand, and then five suits and a dinner jacket and three coats and some casual clothes as well, sports jackets, custom made shirts, of course . . . .

So, all together, maybe around twelve thousand. What am I saying! Tails, an evening coat, all sorts of other things have to be added in. And then the shoes, the underwear, only the best--let's say, reckoning roughly, twenty." I was thunderstruck. "But," I said, to do him a kindness, "with the million you'll have for the book you can easily afford that, after all." Schirach gave me a pitying look. "A million you say? That's ridiculous. It will be much more. You see, I'm going to write three books."

1971 The U.N. seats the People's Republic of China and expels Taiwan:

In a dramatic reversal of its long-standing commitment to the Nationalist Chinese government of Taiwan, and a policy of non-recognition of the communist People's Republic of China (PRC), America's U.N. representatives vote to seat the PRC as a permanent member. Over American objections, Taiwan was expelled. [For further details, Click here]

Edited by Levi Bookin (Copy editor)

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