November 4

1898 (Exact Date Uncertain): Alois Hitler purchases a respectable two and a half-story house in Leonding, 3 miles west of Linz. Adolf Hitler, who is nine years old, will hereafter consider Linz his home town and refer to it as the most "German" of Austrian cities. [For further details, Click here.]

1914 List Regiment: A regimental roll-call reveals that regimental strength has fallen to "no more than 725 non-commissioned officers and men." In a total of five days on the front, the regiment has lost two-thirds of its battle-strength. [For further details, Click here.]

1915 World War I (Oct 4, 1915 - Feb 29, 1916): 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, continues to recover at a Red Cross hospital in Beelitz, near Berlin. While his wound is serious, he will recover quickly. [For further details, Click here.]

1917 List Regiment: (November 3, 1917-March 25 1918) Dispatch Runner Gefreiter Adolf endures trench warfare north of Ailette with 3 Company, 16 Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment. [For further details, Click here.]

1918 World War I: Various:

Austria-Hungary surrenders and hostilities come to an end.

Address by Italian Chief of Staff Armando Diaz:

The War against Austria-Hungary which, under the high guidance of His Majesty the King, supreme Chief, the Italian Army, inferior in number and means, commenced on May 24, 1915, and with unshaken faith and tenacious valour conducted uninterruptedly and most strenuously for 41 months, is won. The gigantic battle engaged on the 24th of October ultimo, and in which there took part 51 Italian Pisions, three British, two French, one Czecho-Slovak, and one American regiment, against 73 Austro-Hungarian Pisions, is finished. A fulminating and highly daring advance by the Twenty-ninth Army Corps on Trent, by blocking the way of retreat of the enemy's armies in the Trentino, overthrown on the West by troops of the Seventh Army and on the East by those of the First, Sixth and Fourth Armies, yesterday determined the complete collapse of the adversary's front.

From the Brenta to the Torre the irresistible dash of the Twelfth and Tenth Armies and of the Cavalry Divisions, is driving back further and further the fleeing foe. In the plain H.R.H. the Duke of Aosta is advancing rapidly at the head of his invincible Third Army eager to return to the positions they already victoriously conquered and had never lost. The Austro-Hungarian Army is annihilated; it has suffered very heavy losses in the stubborn resistance on the first few days and during the pursuit; it has lost very considerable quantities of material of all sorts and almost entire its magazines and depots. The remains of what was one of the most powerful armies in the world are going back, in disorder and hopeless, up the valleys they had descended with proud surety.

The German Revolution continues as 40,000 sailors take over the port in Kiel.

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.]

Death: Poet Wilfred Owen killed in action:

On this day in 1918, just one week before the armistice was declared, ending World War I, the British poet Wilfred Owen is killed in action during a British assault on the German-held Sambre Canal on the Western Front. [For further details, Click here.]

1921 Weimar: Various:

The Sturmabteilung or SA is formally formed by Adolf Hitler.

Munich: Hundreds of Marxists attempt to disrupt a speech by Hitler at the Hofbrauhaus in Munich. Rudolf Hess takes a leading part in the brawl and suffers a skull injury. (THP)

Death: Hara Takasji, the premier of Japan; murdered by a radical nationalist railroad worker (Kon'ichi Nakaoka) at Tokyo Station. (Olson, Cullen)

1936 Death: Edgar André:

On this date in 1936, communist politician Edgar André was beheaded in Fuhlsbüttel Prison for treasonous complicity in the Reichstag Fire.

The Spanish Civil War, which erupted over the summer of 1936 between André's trial and execution, saw the service of a battalion in the International Brigades named for Edgar André.

Just days after André was beheaded, that battalion entered its first action — with German volunteers helping stave off fascist capture of Madrid. The unit's hymn commemorated their namesake. (Executed Today)

1938 Hitler Plays Godfather:

Adolf Hitler, inveterate bachelor, assumed the role of godfather at the christening this afternoon [Nov. 4] of the five-month-old daughter, Edda, of Marshal Hermann Wilhelm Goering. Reichsbishop Ludwig Mueller, whose primacy of the German Evangelical Church is still challenged by the Confessional opposition, officiated at the ceremony, which was held at the Goering estate of Karinhall, near Berlin. Baby Edda is the first child of the Marshal and Frau Goering, the former Emmy Sonnemann, a retired actress at the Prussian State Theater. For the christening, gifts of playthings, baby clothes and the like have been received at Karinhall from all parts of the Reich. The antics of Edda have by now replaced those of successive lion cubs as the center of attention in the Goering household. Until Edda was born, June 1, unusual house pets played a conspicuous role at Karinhall. The usual procedure was for a lion cub to be accepted into the household at the age of a few weeks. It remained as reigning house pet until at the age of about eight months—the dangerous stage—it was relegated to the Berlin Zoo. The birth there of cubs to a former house pet favorite was commonly heralded by the Nazi press. (International Herald Tribune)

1939 World War II: The American Neutrality Act is modified to allow the sale of arms to belligerents on a "Cash and Carry" basis. Only the British and French can benefit because of the terms and conditions imposed.

1940: Admiral Yamamoto to Mr. Mitsuari Takamura:

I thank you for your congratulatory telegram on the naval review. Owing to the preparation for war, only an element of the fleet participated in the naval review, so that it was not such a big one. Notwithstanding, the press wrote it up in headlines; this made me feel somewhat irritated. When I think of the situation the Empire is now facing, I have no time to be impressed by such an honor as the naval review. I feel now that there is no other way but to devote every effort for completion of the preparations for war.

This moment is the critical time upon which the fate of the country depends. This is not because I fear the military strength of the United States and Great Britain, but because there is no able man among the authorities and also I fear such a crisis as this might be an unprecedented one. How dangerous the future of the Empire would be! I can't help exclusively relying upon the Emperor's virtue and God's help. However, I feel that there is no other choice for me, who am taking the present position at this most critical moment, but to make every possible effort I can, while keeping in mind the following poem by the Emperor Meiji: "Even though too much for me the burden be—I won't care because it is for the sake of—the country and the people."

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

1941 World War II: Various:

Barbarossa: Advancing in the Crimea, units of 11th Armee capture Feodosia.

Finland: Finnish forces capture the Baltic naval base of Hangö that Finland was compelled to lease to the Soviets in 1940.

Stalin to FDR:

Your decision, Mr. President, to grant the Soviet Union an interest-free loan to the value of $1,000,000,000 to meet deliveries of munitions and raw materials to the Soviet Union is accepted by the Soviet Government with heartfelt gratitude as vital aid to the Soviet Union in its tremendous and onerous struggle against our common enemy - bloody Hitlerism. On instructions from the Government of the USSR I express complete agreement with the terms for granting the loan, repayment of which shall begin five years after the end of the war and continue over 10 years after expiration of the five-year period. The Soviet Government is ready to do everything to supply the United States of America with such commodities and raw materials as are available and as the United States may need. As regards your wish, Mr. President, that direct personal contact be established between you and me without delay if circumstances so require, I gladly join you in that wish and am ready, for my part, to do all in my power to bring it about.

1942 World War II: North Africa: In Libya, the Afrikakorps is forced from the Fuka line in the face of massive attacks by the British 8th Army.

[See: The Mediterranean Strategy.]

1943 World War II Various:

Hitler ceases issuing numbered war directives.

From a speech by Julius Streicher:

It is actually true that the Jews have so to speak disappeared from Europe and that the Jewish 'Reservoir of the East,' from which the Jewish pestilence has for centuries beset the peoples of Europe, has ceased to exist. But the Fuehrer of the German people at the beginning of the war prophesied what has now come to pass.

[See: Did Julius Streicher Deserve his Death Sentence?]

1943 Various:

Holocaust: The trouble at Treblinka and Sobibor has so alarmed Himmler that in early November he orders the elimination of another potential source of insurrections. Some 42,000 Jews being kept alive as slave laborers at other kinds of camps in eastern Poland are shot. Thus Operation Reinhard comes to an end. During a nineteen month period, approximately 1.7 million people have died in the three "Reinhard" camps (Belsen, Treblinka, Sobibor), most of them in 1942. The ghettos have been practically eliminated, and scarcely any Jews remain in the Government General. The "new, and improved" gas chambers at Auschwitz will now be used to eliminate Jews from the rest of occupied Europe. (THP)

Church and Reich: Dr. Gertrud Luckner, an official of Caritas (the large Catholic philanthropic organization) in Freiburg, is arrested while trying to smuggle a sum of money to the few remaining Jews in Berlin. She had been helping Jews escape across the border into Switzerland for several years, and will spend the rest of the war in a concentration camp. (THP)

1944 Death: Gen. Sir John Dill:

On this day in 1944, British Gen. John Dill dies in Washington, D.C., and is buried in Arlington Cemetery, the only foreigner to be so honored.

Born on Christmas Day, 1881, in County Armagh, Ireland, Dill was a military man from his earliest years, serving in the South African War at age 18, then in World War I. He was promoted to the office of director of military operations and intelligence of the British War Office in 1934 and knighted for service to the empire in 1937.

When the Second World War broke out he was already serving as chief of the imperial general staff and renowned for his gifts as a strategist. It was his decision to reinforce the British position in Egypt with 150 tanks in August 1940, despite a shortage of such armaments back home. And in March 1941, he championed Britain's defense of Greece against the Axis invasion.

But such early strategic successes were followed up by more cautious decision-making, which disturbed Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who favored more aggressive maneuvers against the enemy. Consequently, Churchill removed Dill from his post and transferred him to the United States, to become chief British military representative to Washington. It was there that Dill developed a close personal friendship with George C. Marshall, the U.S. chief of staff, which resulted in a closer U.S.-British alliance.

Upon Dill's death, it was Marshall who intervened to have Dill buried at Arlington National Cemetery, normally reserved only for Americans who had served their nation during wartime. Dill's plot is also marked by only one of two equestrian statues in the cemetery. (

1955 Austria: Having been totally destroyed in World War II, the rebuilt Vienna State Opera reopens with Ludwig van Beethoven's Fidelio.

1956 Soviets put brutal end to Hungarian revolution:

A spontaneous national uprising that began 12 days before in Hungary is viciously crushed by Soviet tanks and troops on this day in 1956. Thousands were killed and wounded and nearly a quarter-million Hungarians fled the country.

The problems in Hungary began in October 1956, when thousands of protesters took to the streets demanding a more democratic political system and freedom from Soviet oppression. In response, Communist Party officials appointed Imre Nagy, a former premier who had been dismissed from the party for his criticisms of Stalinist policies, as the new premier. Nagy tried to restore peace and asked the Soviets to withdraw their troops. The Soviets did so, but Nagy then tried to push the Hungarian revolt forward by abolishing one-party rule. He also announced that Hungary was withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact (the Soviet bloc's equivalent of NATO).

On November 4, 1956, Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest to crush, once and for all, the national uprising. Vicious street fighting broke out, but the Soviets' great power ensured victory. At 5:20 a.m., Hungarian Prime Minister Imre Nagy announced the invasion to the nation in a grim, 35-second broadcast, declaring: "Our troops are fighting. The Government is in place." Within hours, though, Nagy sought asylum at the Yugoslav Embassy in Budapest. He was captured shortly thereafter and executed two years later. Nagy's former colleague and imminent replacement, János Kádár, who had been flown secretly from Moscow to the city of Szolnok, 60 miles southeast of the capital, prepared to take power with Moscow's backing.

The Soviet action stunned many people in the West. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had pledged a retreat from the Stalinist policies and repression of the past, but the violent actions in Budapest suggested otherwise. An estimated 2,500 Hungarians died and 200,000 more fled as refugees. Sporadic armed resistance, strikes and mass arrests continued for months thereafter, causing substantial economic disruption. Inaction on the part of the United States angered and frustrated many Hungarians. Voice of America radio broadcasts and speeches by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had recently suggested that the United States supported the "liberation" of "captive peoples" in communist nations. Yet, as Soviet tanks bore down on the protesters, the United States did nothing beyond issuing public statements of sympathy for their plight. (

1970: The FBI interviews Werner von Braun in his office at NASA. Large sections of the subsequent report of the interview are classified 'secret' to this day, and it still unknown exactly what was being investigated. However, one intriguing passage in the report that was not redacted may give a hint: "In 1947, he was allowed to return to Germany and, while there, he married his present wife, who is also his cousin. They have been happily married for over twenty years, and since his marriage he has been a 'pretty good boy.' " The very next day, a report to the White House states that "he completely denied these allegations. He voluntarily furnished information concerning his activities, since coming to the United States, which would tend to discredit this allegation."

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

Edited by Levi Bookin (Copy editor)

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