November 13

1894 Birth: Arthur Nebe: SS General and head the criminal police (KRIPO) from 1933 to 1945. Nebe will be a professional policeman with the rank of Police Commissioner by 1924. Even before Hitler comes to power, he will have close connections to the SS group led by Kurt Daluege, and in April 1933, will be recommended by Daluege for the position of Chief Executive of the State Police. Nebe will quickly set about reorganizing the criminal police in the Third Reich and play a major role in establishing the totalitarian police system. In June 1941, he will be given command of Einsatzgruppe B, which is headquartered in Minsk, and during the next five months will be responsible for 46,000 executions in White Russia. Nebe will disappear in early 1945, but according to official records was executed in Berlin on March 21, 1945. Yet, several sightings and rumors of his activities will continue into the late 1960's. Shortly after the war an amateur film showing a gas chamber supplied with gas from the exhaust of a truck will allegedly be found in his former Berlin apartment.

1914 List Regiment (Nov 10-15): Gefreiter Adolf Hitler serves as a regimental orderly (Ordonnanz) and one of eight dispatch runners (Meldegaenger) in a line of trenches before Messines. [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 World War I: British statesman expresses criticism of war effort:

On November 13, 1916, the British statesman Henry Charles Keith Petty-Fitzmaurice, better known as the fifth Marquess of Lansdowne, writes a memorandum to the British cabinet questioning the direction of the Allied war effort in World War I. [For further details, Click here.]

1916 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.]

1917 World War I: General Allenby, closely pursuing the Turks, strikes again, driving them back to the north. Turning then toward Jerusalem, Allenby is detained by the appearance of Turkish reserves and the arrival of General von Falkenhayn, who reestablishes a front from the sea to Jerusalem.

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

1919 Weimar: Adolf Hitler after only a little over a month in the Party, becomes one of the DAP's principal speakers and its chief propagandist. (Maser)

1924 Italy: Mussolini introduces a bill to give women the vote in national elections. The Duce is not a feminist, however. His assumption is that once Italian woman are allowed to vote, his supremely masculine self will never lose an election.

1933 Poland: In a meeting with Josef Lipski, the Polish Ambassador in Berlin, Hitler tells him that "any war could bring Communism to Europe. Poland is at the forefront of the fight against Asia. Poland's destruction therefore would be a universal misfortune. The other European governments," Hitler says, "ought to recognize Poland's position."

1934 Mussolini meets with Nahum Goldman:

A long process which goes back to the time when the World Jewish Congress was led by Nahum Goldman. You had one predominant policy in terms of Israel, but you also had another element there which was very dangerous, and which Goldman had to fight. And that was the danger of Jabotinsky, and what Jabotinsky represented. So, as Jabotinsky took over, or his heirs took over, such as Netanyahu, Sharon, Shamir. As they took over, Israel became an instrument of a certain Anglo-American interest. Remember, Jabotinsky was both a Russian Okhrana agent and also a British agent. He was also a Mussolini agent. He also declared himself a fascist, not only for Mussolini, but he appealed twice to Hitler, when Hitler was in power, to say, give up your anti-Semitism and we'll work with you, form an alliance.

1936 Holocaust: The Research Department for the Jewish Question (Forschungsabteilung Judenfrage) opens in Munich. (THP)

The laws that, theoretically, apply to all German citizens, whether Gentile or Jew, in practice give the Gentile every possible advantage and the Jew every disadvantage. They protect the Gentile from the Jew, but not the Jew from the Gentile. Thus a Gentile may libel a Jew with impunity, but not a Jew a Gentile--at least, not if the Gentile is a Nazi. Brown shirts have committed innumerable thefts in Jewish shops--they have habitually asked for cigarettes and other articles at the counter and have received them without payment--while the shopkeeper has had no means of redress. It is easy for a Gentile to recover a debt from a Jew, but very difficult or even impossible for a Jew to recover a debt from a Gentile. In disputes between Jew and Gentile, the law tends very strongly to work against the Jew. [For further details, Click here.]

1939 World War II: Start of the ZWZ (Union for Armed Struggle): It had no equivalent in the Polish Army before the war, but it nevertheless played a very important role in raising morale and influencing attitudes among the soldiers of the underground movement as well as those of the Polish community. Through the introduction of propaganda the soldiers of the ZWZ-AK could be integrated into a single underground army.

1940 World War II: President Roosevelt announces the arming of American merchant vessels carrying Lend-Lease cargo to Britain:

The Kaiser's blank check to Austria-Hungary in the First World War was a piker compared to the Roosevelt blank check of World War II. It warranted my worst fears for the future of America, and it definitely stamps the President as war-minded. The lend-lease-give program is the New Deal's triple-A foreign policy; it will plow under every fourth American boy. Never before have the American people been asked or compelled to give so bounteously and so completely of their tax dollars to any foreign nation. Never before has the Congress of the United States been asked by any President to violate international law. Never before has this nation resorted to duplicity in the conduct of its foreign affairs. Never before has the United States given to one man the power to strip this nation of its defenses. [For further details, Click here.]

1941 World War II: Various:

The British aircraft carrier Ark Royal is hit by a torpedo from a German U-boat, the U-81, off Gibraltar:

At 15.41 hours, just after the penultimate, the 13th machine had landed, the ship, cutting through the water at 18 knots was struck by a torpedo on the starboard side and began to list heavily. The Captain realized he had no choice but to give the order to abandon ship and retain only the essential crew required to get her back to the safety of Gibraltar Harbour.

In a matter of hours, the sea water flooded into the boiler-room and with key crew members evacuated, when the water level reached the main switchboard all power was lost to the pumps, the lights went out and the engines stopped. In a vain attempt to salvage the ship, at 19.30 hours a line was cast and, at two knots, a tug began to tow the stricken ship towards the visible sanctuary of Gibraltar Harbour. The crew worked all though the night, but by 03.00 hours, after 14 hours, on 14th November the list had reached 35 degrees and the crew who remained were eventually evacuated, the operation futile.

There was nothing else for the survivors to do than to watch the final moments of this once fine ship. Majestically, she dipped another 10 degrees and, as water lapped over her flight deck, turned over and slowly sank.

Congress revises the Neutrality Act:

On this day in 1941, the United States Congress amends the Neutrality Act of 1935 to allow American merchant ships access to war zones, thereby putting U.S. vessels in the line of fire.

In anticipation of another European war, and in pursuit of an isolationist foreign policy, Congress passed the Neutrality Act in August 1935, forbidding the sale of munitions by U.S. firms to any and all belligerents in any future war. This was a not-so-subtle signal to all governments and private industries, domestic and foreign, that the United States would play no part in foreign wars. Less than two years later, a second Neutrality Act was passed, forbidding the export of arms to either side in the Spanish Civil War.

The original 1935 act was made even more restrictive in May 1937, forbidding not only arms and loans to warring nations, but giving the president of the United States the authority to forbid Americans from traveling on ships of any warring nation, to forbid any U.S. ship from carrying U.S. goods, even nonmilitary, to a belligerent, and to demand that a belligerent nation pay for U.S. nonmilitary goods before shipment—a "cash and carry" plan.

But such notions of strict neutrality changed quickly once World War II began. The first amendment to the act came as early as September 1939; President Roosevelt, never happy with the extreme nature of the act, fought with Congress to revise it, allowing for the sale of munitions to those nations under siege by Nazi Germany. After heated debate in a special session, Congress finally passed legislation permitting such sales. Addressing the prospect of direct U.S. intervention in the war, President Roosevelt proclaimed, also in September 1939, that U.S. territorial waters were a neutral zone, and any hostile power that used those waters for the prosecution of the war would be considered "unfriendly" and "offensive."

Finally, when the U.S. destroyer Reuben James was sunk by a German sub in October 1941, the Neutrality Act was destined for the dustbin of history. By November, not only would merchant ships be allowed to arm themselves for self-defense, but they would also be allowed to enter European territorial waters. America would no longer stand aloof from the hostilities. (

1942 World War II: Various:

War in the Pacific: The most furious sea battle of the Solomon Islands begins. Led by two battleships, a Japanese force steams down 'the Slot,' the passage between the adjacent islands of Rabaul and Guadalcanal, and deliver a heavy shelling attack on a much smaller American task force. The clash rages through the night, when smaller, more maneuverable American ships take advantage of the thick blanket of darkness. At times, the American ships draw so close to the enemy fleet that they have trouble depressing their guns. When the battle finally simmers down on the fifteenth, the Americans claim a moral victory. The Japanese battleship Hiei is heavily damaged and is scuttled by its crew; the first Japanese battleship lost in the war. However, the US loses two cruisers, including the torpedoed Juneau, the sinking of which takes the lives of five brothers from Waterloo, Iowa, the Sullivans. American journalists devour the Sullivan brothers story, and a destroyer being built at that time in a San Francisco shipyard is named The Sullivans in their honor. Also, after their deaths, US Navy regulations are changed so that close relatives cannot serve on board the same ship.

Lieutenant General Dwight D. Eisenhower flies to Algeria to conclude an agreement with French Admiral Jean Darlan, a French traitor and collaborator. He had been captured in Algiers while visiting his son.

Without seeking approval from higher authorities, Eisenhower flew to Algiers and met with Darlan. He struck a deal: Darlan became commander of all French military personnel and was given control of all civil authorities. In return, Darlan agreed to an immediate cease fire and unlimited permission for the allied forces to establish and operate air bases, supply depots, and troop facilities. The fighting between French and Allied forces stopped.

Newspapers in both the United States and Britain expressed outrage at Eisenhower for collaboration with the enemy. Banner headlines denounced his incompetence and political naivete. Ike ignored the press.

As became apparent later both Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, fully understood that large numbers of lives had been saved and the huge cost of occupation avoided. They backed Eisenhower's deal. Ike's head didn't roll, as he had half-expected. He had absorbed the heat that otherwise might have been directed at his political superiors, and he and his Allied command were able to get on with the job of defeating the Axis forces in Africa. [For further details, Click here.]

USA: The minimum draft age in the US is lowered from 21 to 18.

1943 World War II: Germans execute 1,360 prisoners in Rowne, including a hundred members of the AK.

1945 Various:

General Charles De Gaulle is elected president of the French provisional government with the vote of all 555 deputies.

As president de Gaulle fought every plan to involve France deeply in alliances. He opposed the formation of a United States of Europe and British entry into the Common Market. He stopped paying part of France's dues to the United Nations, forced the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) headquarters to leave France, and pulled French forces out of the Atlantic Alliance integrated armies. De Gaulle had an early success in stimulating (to make excitable) pride in Frenchmen and in increasing French gold reserves and strengthening the economy. By the end of his reign, however, France was almost friendless. [For further details, Click here.]

Truman announces inquiry into Jewish settlement in Palestine:

On this day in 1945, President Harry Truman announces the establishment of a panel of inquiry to look into the settlement of Jews in Palestine.

In the last weeks of World War II, the Allies liberated one death camp after another in which the German Nazi regime had held and slaughtered millions of Jews. Surviving Jews in the formerly Nazi-occupied territories were left without family, homes, jobs or savings.

In August 1945, Truman received the Harrison report, which detailed the plight of Jews in post-war Germany, and it became clear to him that something had to be done to speed up the process of finding Jewish refugees a safe place to live.

In late August, Truman contacted British Prime Minister Clement Attlee to propose that Jewish refugees be allowed to immigrate to Palestine, which at the time was occupied by Britain. Attlee responded that he would look into the matter and asked for a joint Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry to examine the complicated issue of integrating Jewish settlers into territory that was home to an Arab majority. Meanwhile, two U.S. senators introduced a resolution in Congress demanding the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.

In April 1946, the committee issued its report, which recommended the immigration of 100,000 Jewish refugees to Palestine. Truman wrote to Attlee for his help in moving the repatriation process forward. However, by mid-1946, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff had weighed in, bringing up the question of who would control the lucrative oil fields in a region that had the potential for unstable political and cultural relations between Jews and Arabs. Since the threat of communist expansion into politically unstable regions then dictated most of U.S. foreign policy, Truman and Attlee became convinced by their respective military advisors that Jewish communist sympathizers in a new Jewish state might jeopardize the west's access to Middle Eastern oil. The settlement plans were put on hold.

Truman was again inundated with requests for help from the Jewish community. The issue of the establishment of a Jewish state was debated and delayed for another two years even though the newly formed United Nations, which had no enforcement power without the participation of the United States and Great Britain, had decided in favor of a Jewish state by 1946. (

Yugoslavia: German troops evacuate Skopje.

1953 Red Scare: Indiana Textbook Commission member charges that Robin Hood is communistic:

In an example of the absurd lengths to which the "Red Scare" in America is going, Mrs. Thomas J. White of the Indiana Textbook Commission, calls for the removal of references to the book Robin Hood from textbooks used by the state's schools. Mrs. Young claimed that there was "a Communist directive in education now to stress the story of Robin Hood because he robbed the rich and gave it to the poor. That's the Communist line. It's just a smearing of law and order and anything that disrupts law and order is their meat." She went on to attack Quakers because they "don't believe in fighting wars." This philosophy, she argued, played into communist hands. Though she later stated that she never argued for the removal of texts mentioning the story from school textbooks, she continued to claim that the "take from the rich and give to the poor" theme was the "Communist's favorite policy." Reacting to criticisms of her stance, she countered that, "Because I'm trying to get Communist writers out of textbooks, my name is mud. Evidently I'm drawing blood or they wouldn't make such an issue out of it." The response to Mrs. White's charges was mixed.

Indiana Governor George Craig came to the defense of Quakers, but backed away from getting involved in the textbook issue. The state superintendent of education went so far as to reread the book before deciding that it should not be banned. However, he did feel that "Communists have gone to work twisting the meaning of the Robin Hood legend." The Indianapolis superintendent of schools also did not want the book banned, claiming that he could not find anything particularly subversive about the story. In the Soviet Union, commentators had a field day with the story. One joked that the "enrollment of Robin Hood in the Communist Party can only make sensible people laugh." The current sheriff of Nottingham was appalled, crying, "Robin Hood was no communist."

As silly as the episode seems in retrospect, the attacks on freedom of expression during the Red Scare in the United States resulted in a number of books being banned from public libraries and schools during the 1950s and 1960s because of their supposedly subversive content. Such well known books as John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath and Johnny Got His Gun, by Dalton Trumbo, were just some of the books often pulled from shelves. Hollywood films also felt the pressure to conform to more suitably "all-American" themes and stories, and rock and roll music was decried by some as communist-inspired. (

1956 USA: Racism: Supreme Court strikes down laws calling for racial segregation on public buses.

Edited by Levi Bookin (Copy editor)

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