November 7

1861 US Civil War: A British steamer homeward bound from Havana is stopped by a United States sloop. The British vessel is boarded and two representatives of the Confederate government of the rebellious South are arrested, bringing about the last crisis with any real chance of conflict between the US and Britain. Ultimately, the US will release its prisoners. (Roberts)

1878 Birth: Lise Meitner: Physicist, born in Vienna, Austria, who shared the Enrico Fermi Award (1966) with the chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann for their joint research beginning in 1934 that led to the discovery of uranium fission. She refused to work on the atom bomb. In 1917, she discovered with Hahn the new radioactive element protactinium. She was the first to describe the emission of Auger electrons. In 1935, she found evidence of four other radioactive elements corresponding to atomic numbers 93-96. In 1938, she was forced to leave Nazi Germany, and went to a post in Sweden. She has done much work on nuclear physics in general, including work on the three main disintegration series and on beta rays. In later work, she used the cyclotron as a tool.

1900 Birth: Heinrich Himmler. [For further information, click here]

1906 (Exact Date Unknown): 17-year-old Adolf 'Adi' Hitler, and his best friend, August 'Gustl' Kubizek, attend Wagner's opera Rienzi in Linz. The opera has an extraordinarily profound effect on the future Fuehrer. After the performance is over, Adi and Gustl climb to the prehistoric summit of Freinberg hill, where Hitler delivers an impassioned monologue detailing a vision of his future as a political leader.

When Kubizek is Hitler´┐Żs guest at the 1939 Bayreuth Festival, Hitler will overhear him repeating the Hitler/Rienzi story to Frau Winifred Wagner and will confirm his friends account with a solemn: "In that hour it began." Note: Rienzi is the story of a Roman politician who is greeted by his followers with cries of, "Heil, Rienzi! Heil, the tribune of the people." In the end these same people stone Rienzi to death. (Kubizek)

[For further details, Click here.]

1914 Various:

Countdown to Infamy: The Japanese capture Tsingtao, the only German base on the China coast. Japan also occupies Germany's Marshall, Marianas, Palau, and Caroline Island groups.

When World War I broke out in Europe, the British at first assumed that Japan would remain neutral. The Admiralty, parrying German cruiser depredations on British trade, convinced a reluctant Foreign Office to ask Japan for help. Diplomats feared complications in China, as the US and Australia both opposed Japanese expansion. Initially, all Japanese factions prepared to sit out the war. Nobody could be sure who would win. The actual British request for help changed everything.

List Regiment (Nov 1-8): Gefreiter Adolf Hitler's 1st Company, 16th Bavarian Reserve Infantry, after seeing their first action on the Yser (Oct 29-31), spend a few days behind the lines at Werwick. [For further details, Click here.]

1915 Various:

World War I: The Italian liner Ancona, carrying 27 Americans, is sunk without warning by an Austrian submarine off the coast of Sardinia. The ship had made regular runs between Naples and New York City, serving the needs of thousands of immigrants headed to America. Some dispute remains about whether the Ancona received and heeded an order to halt. The ship was struck twice by torpedoes that set off an internal explosion. She went down so rapidly that it was impossible to deploy lifeboats properly. New York newspapers issued heavy coverage of this event, which included lists of survivors and reports of passengers who claimed that as they struggled in the water, they were fired upon by the submariners. Unfortunately, the horror and outrage over the loss of passenger lives would soon dissipate as such events became more commonplace.

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 World War I: Various:

Cardinal Mercier on Germany's Policy of Deporting Belgians to Germany:

Every day the military authorities deport from Belgium into Germany thousands of inoffensive citizens to oblige them there to perform forced labour. As early as October 19th we sent to the Governor General a protest, a copy of which was handed to the representatives of the Holy See, of Spain, the United States, and Holland, in Brussels, but the Governor General replied to it that nothing could be done. At the time of our protest the orders of the occupying power threatened only the unemployed; today every able-bodied man is carried off, pell-mell, assembled in freight cars, and carried off to unknown parts, like a herd of slaves.

List Regiment: (Oct 9 - Dec 3) Hitler, who had been fighting almost continuously for two years, recovers at 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.]


President Wilson—who has repeatedly promised the American people that if re-elected he will keep them out of war—is re-elected.

Jeannette Rankin becomes first U.S. congresswoman. [For further information, click here]

1917 Various: Russian Revolution:

Just before daybreak, the Bolsheviks seize the railway station, state bank, the power stations, and telephone exchange. The Second All-Russia Congress of Soviets proclaims the establishment of Soviet power. In the evening they arrest the cabinet members meeting in the Winter Palace.

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 Various:

World War I: Countdown to Armistice:

Telegraph from Paul von Hindenburg to Ferdinand Foch: The German Government, having been informed through the President of the United States that Marshal Foch had received powers to receive accredited representatives of the German Government and communicate to them conditions of an armistice, the following plenipotentiaries have been named by it: Mathias Erzberger, General H. K. A. von Winterfeld, Count Alfred von Oberndorff, General von Gruennel, and Naval Captain von Salow. The plenipotentiaries request that they be informed by wireless of the place where they can meet Marshal Foch. They will proceed by automobile, with subordinates of the staff, to the place thus appointed.

Telegraph from Ferdinand Foch to Paul von Hindenburg: To the German Commander-in-Chief: If the German plenipotentiaries desire to meet Marshal Foch and ask him for an armistice, they will present themselves to the French outposts by the Chimay-Fourmies-La Capelle-Guise road. Orders have been given to receive them and conduct them to the spot fixed for the meeting.

Telegraph from Paul von Hindenburg to Ferdinand Foch: The German plenipotentiaries for an armistice lease Spa today. They will leave here at noon and reach at 5 o'clock this afternoon the French outposts by the Chimay-Fourmies-La Capelle-Guise road. They will be ten persons in all, headed by Secretary of State Erzberger.

Telegraph from Paul von Hindenburg to Ferdinand Foch: German General Headquarters to the Allied General Headquarters: The Supreme German Command to Marshal Foch: From the German outposts to the French outposts our delegation will be accompanied by a road-mending company to enable automobiles to pass the La Capelle road, which has been destroyed.

Telegraph from Paul von Hindenburg to Ferdinand Foch: The German Supreme Command to Marshal Foch: By reason of delay the German delegation will not be able to cross the outpost line until between 8 and 10 o'clock tonight at Haudroy, two kilometres northeast of La Capelle.

Weimar: Kurt Eisner proclaims a republic in Bavaria. Eisner, a Bohemian Jewish journalist and the leader of the Independent ('minority') Social Democrats in Munich has just been released from jail in October. Eisner:

Who in Germany exercises the decisive influence upon the course of foreign policy? For a quarter of a century none but the Pan-Germans. They have attained a greater influence on the direction of policy than even the powerful associations of landlords and capitalists. In the course of this time they have achieved more than all the political parties and all the parliamentary groups in Germany put together. From the first naval measure to the last army bill, all the armament plans originated in the circles of the Pan-Germans. They were the shock troops.

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.]

1933 Hitler has Hermann Goering deliver a letter to Mussolini in Rome, thanking him for his efforts on "a fair handling of international relations" and informing him of the Reich's position in respect of disarmament.

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

1933 The German-Christian movement publicly announces its total acceptance of National Socialist totalitarian dogma at a large rally in the Berlin Sportspalast.

1936 Spanish Civil War: The so-called International Brigade, composed primarily of Socialists and Communists, arrives in Madrid and a battle for the city begins.

1936: Wernher von Braun's team tests the first clustered liquid-fueled rocket with mixed results. (Braun, Piszkiewicz)

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

1938 Death: Ernst von Rath, Third Secretary of the German Embassy in Paris; shot by Herschel Grynszpan, a seventeen-year-old Jewish youth whose family had been expelled from Germany to Poland on October 28. Note: This was not the first assassination of a Nazi official by a Jew: Wilhelm Gustloff had previously been killed by a Jewish assassin in Switzerland.

Grynszpan was born to Polish-Jewish parents in Hanover in 1921. He studied at a Yeshiva in Frankfurt and eventually ended up in Paris in 1936, where he resided illegally. His family was among the 17,000 Jews whom the Gestapo deported to Poland in October 1938. Grynszpan received a postcard from his sister on November 3, describing the catastrophic conditions in which the refugees were being forced to live in no-man's-land between the two countries. [For further details, Click here.]

1939 World War II: Various: Countdown to War: Queen Wilhemina of the Netherlands and King Leopold of Belgium issue a plea for peace to England and France.

Hitler postpones his attack on the west, which was scheduled for November 12. This postponement will be repeated 15 times until May 10, 1940.

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

1940 Holocaust: From a document on the stationery of the Reich Governor of Vienna, the Reichsstatthalterin Vienna:

Subject: Compulsory labor of able-bodied Jews. 1. Notice: On 5 November 1940 telephone conversation with Colonel (Standartenfuehrer) Huber of the Gestapo. The Gestapo has received secret directions from the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) as to how able-bodied Jews should be drafted for compulsory labor service. Investigations are being made at present by the Gestapo to find out how many able-bodied Jews are still available, in order to make plans for the contemplated mass projects. It is assumed that there are not many more Jews available. If some should still be available, however, the Gestapo has no scruples to use the Jews even for clearing away the destroyed synagogues. SS Standartenfuehrer Huber will make a report personally to the Regierungspraesident in this matter. I have reported to the Regierungspraesident accordingly. The matter should be kept further in mind. -- Dr. Fischer

[See: Why Do They Hate the Jews? by Albert Einstein.]

1941 World War II: Various:

With the spearheads of the Wehrmacht less than 100 miles from the capital, Stalin speaks at a Red Army parade in Red Square, Moscow:

The enemy is not so strong as some frightened little intellectuals imagine. The devil is not so terrible as he is painted. Who can deny that our Red Army has time and again put the vaunted German troops to panic flight? If we judge, not by the boastful utterances of the German propagandists, but by the actual position of Germany, it will be easy to understand that the German fascist invaders are now on the brink of disaster. Hunger and poverty reign in Germany today; in the four months of war Germany has lost four and a half million men; Germany is losing blood, her reserves of man-power are giving out, the spirit of indignation is spreading not only among the peoples of Europe who have fallen under the yoke of the German robbers, but also among the German people themselves who can see no end to the war. The German robbers are straining their last efforts. There can be no doubt that Germany will be unable to stand the strain for long. Another few months, another half-year, perhaps another brief year, and Hitler Germany is bound to burst beneath the weight of its crimes.

[See: Worst Dictator of Modern Times: Hitler or Stalin?]

Hermann Goering, at a conference at the Air Ministry:

The Fuehrer's point of view as to employment of prisoners of war in war industries has changed basically. So far a total of 5 million prisoners of war-employed so far 2 million. In the interior and the Protectorate it would be ideal if entire factories could be manned by Russian prisoners of war except the employees necessary for directing. For employment in the interior and the Protectorate the following are to have priority:

(a) At the top, the coal mining industry. Order by the Fuehrer to investigate all mines as to suitability for employment of Russians, in some instances manning the entire plant with Russian laborers.

(b) Transportation (construction of locomotives and cars, repair shops,et cetera). Railroad-repair and factory workers are to be sought out from the prisoners of war. Rail is the most important means of transportation in the East.

(c) Armament industries. Preferably factories of armor and guns. Possibly also construction of parts for aircraft engines. Suitable complete sections of factories to be manned exclusively by Russians if possible.

For the remainder, employment in groups. Use in factories of tool machinery, production of farm tractors, generators, etc. In emergency, erect in some places barracks for casual workers who are used in unloading units and for similar purposes. (Reich Minister of the Interior through communal authorities.) OKW/AWA is competent for procuring Russian prisoners of war. Employment through Planning Board for employment of all prisoners of war. If necessary, offices of Reich commissariats. No employment where danger to men or supply exists, that is, factories exposed to explosives, waterworks, powerworks, etc. No contact with German population, especially no 'solidarity.' German worker as a rule is foreman of Russians. Food is a matter of the Four Year Plan.

Procurement of special food (cats,horses, etc. Clothes, billeting, messing somewhat better than at home where part of the people live in caves. Supply of shoes for Russians; as a rule wooden shoes, if necessary install Russian shoe repair shops. Examination of physical fitness in order to avoid importation of diseases. Clearing of mines as a rule by Russians; if possible by selected Russian engineer troops.

Barbarossa: German aircraft sank the Soviet hospital ship Armenia while she was evacuating civilians and wounded soldiers from Crimea, killing an estimated 5,000 people. [For further information, click here]

Air War: Sir Richard Peirse, head of RAF Bomber Command, sends over 160 bombers to raid Berlin. More than 20 are lost, and again little damage is done.

1942 World War II: North Africa: British forces enter Mersa Matruh, but most of Rommel's divisions have already slipped away.

[See: The Mediterranean Strategy.]

1943 World War II: General Alfred Jodl speaks before an audience of Gauleiter at Munich:

The dilemma of manpower shortage has led to the idea of making more thorough use of the manpower reserves in the territories occupied by us. Here right and wrong conceptions are mixed together. I believe that as far as labor is concerned, the utmost has been done, but where this is not yet the case, it would appear preferable from the political point of view to abstain from compulsory measures and instead to aim at order and economic effort. In my opinion, however, the time has now come to take steps with remorseless vigor and resolution in Denmark, Holland, France, and Belgium to compel thousands of idle persons to carry out fortification work, which takes precedence over all other tasks. The necessary orders for this have already been given.

1944 World War II: Various:

Free French: General de Gaulle, as leader of the Free French forces, summons the first session of the new French National Assembly.

President Roosevelt is re-elected for an unprecedented fourth term, with Harry S Truman as Vice President.

FDR, as he was commonly known, was facing a decision about seeking a fourth term in the 1944 election. A specialist allegedly told the president's personal physician, Adm. Ross T. McIntire, that FDR was too ill to run again and that he could not live out another term in office. [For further details, Click here.]

World War II: Churchill to Eden:

In my opinion, having paid the price we have to Russia for freedom of action in Greece, we should not hesitate to use British troops to support the Royal Hellenic Government under M. Papandreou.

2. This implies that British troops should certainly intervene to check acts of lawlessness. Surely M. Papandreou can close down E.A.M. newspapers if they call a newspaper strike.

3. I hope the Greek Brigade will soon arrive, and will not hesitate to shoot when necessary.

Soviet master spy is hanged by the Japanese:

Richard Sorge, a half-Russian, half-German Soviet spy, who had used the cover of a German journalist to report on Germany and Japan for the Soviet Union, is hanged by his Japanese captors.

Sorge fought in World War I in the German army, and then earned his doctorate in political science at the University of Hamburg. He joined Germany's Communist Party in 1919, traveling to the USSR in 1924. His first major assignment for Soviet intelligence was in the late 1920s, when he was sent to China to organize a spy ring. Returning to Germany, he joined the Nazi Party in 1933 to perfect his cover as a loyal German. He proceeded to develop a reputation as a respected journalist working for the Frankfurter Zeitung, finally convincing his editors to send him to Tokyo as a foreign correspondent in the mid-1930s. Once in Japan, Sorge proceeded once again to create a spy ring, which included an adviser to the Japanese cabinet and an American communist, who was also working for Soviet intelligence as Sorge's interpreter.

Sorge had so successfully ingratiated himself with the German diplomatic community in Japan that he was allowed to work out of the German embassy, giving him access to confidential files. At the same time, he also befriended Japanese government officials, attempting to convince them not to go to war with the Soviet Union.

In May 1941, Sorge reported back to Moscow that Hitler was planning an invasion of the Soviet Union, and that 170 divisions were preparing to invade on June 20, but Stalin ignored the warning. Sorge was also able to report, in August 1941, that Japan had plans to attack targets in the South Pacific, not in the Soviet Union. This enabled Stalin to remove troops from the Manchurian border, freeing them up for when the Germans finally invaded, as there would be no "eastern front."

But Sorge's brilliant spy career came to an end on October 18, 1941, when Japanese counterintelligence exposed his operation and he was arrested, along with 34 members of his ring. He was finally hanged in 1944. Twenty years later, he was officially declared a Hero of the Soviet Union.

1946: The 34-year old Wernher von Braun, Hitler's former chief rocket scientist who is now working for the US, announces his engagement to Maria Louise von Quistorp, his 18-year old first cousin, who is still in Germany. He will later reveal that, at the age of 17, he had held his infant cousin in his arms, at her Baptism in the Lutheran Church: "That was the moment when I looked into her eyes and decided to marry her." He requests that the Army transport her, as well as his parents, to Fort Bliss where he would like the marriage to take place. See: February 14, 1947. (Piszkiewicz)

[See: Where Would We Be Without Hitler's Scientists?]

1957 Cold War: Gaither Report calls for more U.S. missiles and fallout shelters. [For further information, click here]

1959 Spandau Prison: From Spandau: The Secret Diaries, by Albert Speer:

This morning I succeeded in visiting [Rudolf] Hess. He was lying on his bed, his wrist wrapped in bandages. When I entered, he looked up with waxen face. Nevertheless he gave the impression of a child who has carried off a prank.

With something like cheerfulness he at once began: "When you were in the garden yesterday and there was no guard in the vicinity, I quickly smashed my glasses and used a piece of glass to open up the veins in my wrist. For three hours nobody noticed a thing," he went on rather rapidly. "I lay in the cell and had plenty of time to bleed to death. Then I would have been free of my pain forever. I was already feeling very weak and pleasant. But then, from far away, I heard noise. It was that wretched Soviet medical colonel on his round. He saw me lying there and immediately sewed up the cut." Hess looked at me mournfully: "Don't I have hard luck! Admit it!"

But I congratulated him on his failure, which he took as a friendly gesture. At noon Hess devoured piles of food: milk, porridge, custard, bouillon, cheese, oranges. In the evening, too, he ate with the best of appetite. I have the impression that he has broken off an 'operation.' Through my friend I sent a telegram to Hilde asking her to call off any Red Cross intervention.

[See: Was Rudolf Hess 'Crazy'?]

1989 The East German government resigns after pro-democracy protests.

Edited by Levi Bookin (Copy editor)

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