November 26

1885 Birth: Heinrich Brüning:

Heinrich Brüning, the son of a wine merchant, was born in Münster, Germany, on 26th November, 1885. Brüning studied history and philosophy in Munich, Strasbourg and London where he carried out research into British railways.

After obtaining his doctorate in 1915 Brüning joined the German Army where he served in a machine-gun company during the First World War. In 1920 Brüning became an official of the German Trade Union Federation. A member of the Catholic Centre Party (BVP), Brüning was elected to the Reichstag in 1924. He became the party's spokesman on economic issues and in 1929 became leader of the BVP.

In 1928 Hermann Muller became chancellor in a coalition government that included the Social Democratic Party, the Catholic Centre Party and the Nationalist Party (DNVP). When Muller resigned in March 1930, Brüning was asked to become the new chancellor. . . .

Brüning attempted to halt the growth in German unemployed that followed the Wall Street Crash by increasing taxation and by imposing high tariffs on foreign imports. He also reduced government expenditure by lowering unemployment benefits. The policies were not successful and by 1930 unemployment reached 4 million. As Louis L. Snyder has pointed out that "Brüning was attacked bitterly by the Communists on the left and the National Socialists on the right."

In the General Election that took place in September 1930, the Catholic Centre Party won only 87 seats. The party was now much smaller than other parties such as the Social Democrat Party (143) and the Nazi Party (107). Brüning remained in power but now persuaded a more nationalistic foreign policy in an effort to please the growing shift to the right in German politics. Brüning's economic policies continued to be ineffective and with Germany's unemployment rate grow to six million.

In May 1932 General Hans von Seeckt joined up with Alfred Hugenberg, Hjalmar Schacht, Graf Kalkreuth, the president of Junkers' Land League and several industrialists, to call for the uniting of the parties of the right. They demanding the resignation of Heinrich Brüning. Germany's president, Paul von Hindenburg, agreed and forced him to resign and he was replaced as chancellor by Franz von Papen.

In July 1933 Bruening reliquished the chairmanship of the Catholic Centre Party. He became aware that he was in danger of being arrested and sent to a concentration camp after Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party gained power. In 1934 Brüning left Germany and emigrated to the United States.

Brüning was appointed as professor of political science at Harvard University (1937-1951). He also worked at the University of Cologne (1951-55) before returning to the United States.

Heinrich Brüning died in Norwich, Vermont, on 30th March, 1970. (

1899 Birth: Bruno Hauptmann: Kidnapper of the son of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh

1916 World War I: T.E. Lawrence reports on Arab affairs:

Thomas Edward Lawrence, a junior member of the British government's Arab Bureau during World War I, publishes a detailed report analyzing the revolt led by the Arab leader Sherif Hussein against the Ottoman Empire in the late spring of 1916.

As a scholar and archaeologist, the future "Lawrence of Arabia" traveled extensively in Syria, Palestine, Egypt and parts of Turkey before beginning working formally with the British government's bureau on Arab affairs in 1916. At the time, the Arab Bureau was working to encourage a revolt by the Muslim and Arabic-speaking population of the Ottoman Empire in order to aid the Allied war effort. The leader of the planned revolt would be Sherif Hussein ibn Ali, ruler of the Hejaz, the region in modern-day Saudi Arabia containing the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina. . . .

Hussein declared a revolt in the Hejaz sometime between June 5 and 10, seeking the protection of the British Royal Navy along the coast of the Hejaz. . . .

It soon became clear . . . that the British considered Hussein's revolt to be a dismal failure. In his report of November 26, 1916, Lawrence gave his analysis of the situation: "I think one company of Turks, properly entrenched in open country, would defeat the Sherif's armies. The value of the tribes is defensive only, and their real sphere is guerrilla warfare . . . [they are] too individualistic to endure commands, or fight in line, or help each other. It would, I think, be impossible to make an organized force out of them."

Despite his derisive view of Hussein's troops, Lawrence made clear his admiration for the sherif himself, as well as for his three elder sons, Ali, Feisal and Abdullah, praising them as "heroes." He became close to Feisal in particular, and by early December 1916 he had joined Arab troops in the field, where he spent the rest of the war attempting, with varying degrees of success, to organize the disparate tribesmen into fighting units that would pose a real threat to the Ottoman enemy.

At the post-war peace conference in Paris in 1919, the victorious Allies failed to grant full independence to the various Arab peoples, instead placing them under British and French control according to the mandate system imposed by the Treaty of Versailles. While his son, Feisal, was crowned king of the new state of Iraq, Hussein himself ended up losing control of Mecca and the Hejaz to the rival Saudi clan in the 1920s. Meanwhile, T.E. Lawrence–who had accompanied Feisal Hussein's Arab delegation to Versailles–resigned from his post in Britain's colonial office in the Middle East, disgusted by the Allies' failure to fulfill their promise of Arab independence. He lived much of the rest of his life in obscurity, dying in a motorcycle accident in 1935. [For further information, click here.]

1917 Russian Revolution: The Russian revolutionary government abandons the war effort after tens of thousands of Russian soldiers desert in droves, lured by promises of "land, peace, bread."

1934 The World Nonsectarian Anti-Nazi Boycott Association is founded.

1935 Clement Atlee becomes leader of the British Labour Party.

1935 Gypsies: The Nazi racial office rules that the prohibition of racially mixed marriages incorporated in the "Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor," applies equally to Gypsies.

1938 The Russian-Polish trade and non-aggression pact is renewed.

1940 World War II: Various:

The Belgian Congo declares war on Italy.

Romania: Jilava Massacre:

On the night of November 26-27, 1940, the Romanian Iron Guard massacred sixty-plus political prisoners of the pre-fascist regime at Jilava — the Jilava Massacre.

This incident marked the interregnum of the National Legionary State, and the friction between the fascist Legionaries under Horia Sima and Prime Minister Ion Antonescu.

An authoritarian right-wing dictatorship by any standard, but like any polity it had its own internal conflicts. Of moment for this date: the detention of people whom the Legions considered implicated in the execution of fascist martyr Corneliu Zelea Codreanu two years before, as well as miscellaneous other undesirables who had prospered under the abdicated King Carol II.

Antonescu, who had a thing about rectitude, proposed to ornament these men's inevitable deaths with the formalities of investigation and trial. Long story short, Sima and the Legionaries didn't trust Antonescu; when Antonescu ordered some of the prisoners transfered to a different prison, the Guard refused — and when replacement jailers were consequently slated for the Guard, the Guard took matters into its own hands by slaughtering its charges this night.

Antonescu was furious: "The handful of reprobates who have committed this crime will be punished in an exemplary manner. I will not allow that the country and the future of the nation be compromised by the action of a band of terrorists � I was reserving the punishment of those held at Jilava for the justice system of the country. But the street decreed otherwise, proceeding to implement justice itself."

By the following January, the conflict between the National Legionary State factions came to a head. With the support of the Third Reich, Antonescu mastered the Iron Guard, took control of the state, and sent Sima into exile.

And he did indeed punish — up to and including execution — several of the Guard members involved in this date's massacre.

On the other hand, as a prize for serving as wartime Prime Minister of an Axis-aligned state, Antonescu himself was shot for war crimes not far from Jilava Prison in 1946. Sima, on the other hand, had a few in absentia death sentences, but checked out comfortably in Madrid at the age of 85. (

1941 Countdown to Infamy: Various:

US Secretary of State Cordell Hull formally reiterates the US position, saying that Japan must withdraw from China and Indochina (Vietnam), recognize the regime of Chiang Kai-Shek in China, renounce all territorial expansion, and accept the Open Door policy of equal commercial access to Asia. Note: US cryptographers have already broken Japan's major diplomatic code and US authorities know full well that rejection of Japan's minimum demands will probably lead to war.

Washington to Tokyo:

As we have wired you several times, there is hardly any possibility of having them consider our "B" proposal in toto. On the other hand, if we let the situation remain tense as it is now, sorry as we are to say so, the negotiations will inevitably be ruptured, if indeed they may not already be called so. Our failure and humiliation are complete. We might suggest one thing for saving the situation. Although we have grave misgivings, we might propose, first, that President ROOSEVELT wire you that for the sake of posterity he hopes that Japan and the United States will cooperate for the maintenance of peace in the Pacific (just as soon as you wire us what you think of this, we will negotiate for this sort of arrangement with all we have in us), and that you in return reply with a cordial message thereby not only clearing the atmosphere, but also gaining a little time. Considering the possibility that England and the United States are scheming to bring the Netherlands Indies under their protection through military occupation, in order to forestall this, I think we should propose the establishment of neutral nations, including French Indo-China, Netherlands India and Thai. (As you know, last September President ROOSEVELT proposed the neutrality of French Indo-China and Thai.) We suppose that the rupture of the present negotiations does not necessarily mean war between Japan and the United States. Then we would attack them and a clash with them would be inevitable. Now, the question is whether or not Germany would feel duty bound by the third article of the treaty to help us. We doubt if she would. Again, you must remember that the Sino-Japanese incident would have to wait until the end of this world war before it could possibly be settled. In this telegram we are expressing the last personal opinions we will have to express, so will Your Excellency please be good enough at least to show it to the Ministry of the Navy, if only to him; then we hope that you will wire us back instantly.

Washington (Namura) to Tokyo:

The United States is using the excuse that she is at present negotiating with the various competent countries. In view of the fact that she will propagandize that we are continuing these negotiations only with the view of preparing for our expected moves, should we, during the course of these conversations, deliberately enter into our scheduled operations, there is a great danger that the responsibility for the rupture of negotiations will be cast upon us. There have been times in the past when she could have considered discontinuing conversations because of our invasion of French Indo-China. Now, should we, without clarifying our intentions, force a rupture in our negotiations and suddenly enter upon independent operations, there is great fear that she may use such a thing as that as counter-propaganda against us. They might consider doing the same thing insofar as our plans for Thai are concerned. Nevertheless, such a thing as the clarification of our intention is a strict military secret; consequently, I think that it might be the better plan, dependant of course on the opinions of the Government, that the current negotiations be clearly and irrevocably concluded either through an announcement to the American Embassy in Tokyo or by a declaration for internal and external cosumptions. I would like, if such a course is followed, to make representations here at the same time. Furthermore, in view of the fact that there are considerations of convenience having to do with my interview with the President, should there be anything that you would want me to say at that time, please wire me back at once.

Japanese task force leaves for Pearl Harbor:

On this day in 1941, Adm. Chuichi Nagumo leads the Japanese First Air Fleet, an aircraft carrier strike force, toward Pearl Harbor, with the understanding that should "negotiations with the United States reach a successful conclusion, the task force will immediately put about and return to the homeland."

Negotiations had been ongoing for months. Japan wanted an end to U.S. economic sanctions. The Americans wanted Japan out of China and Southeast Asia-and to repudiate the Tripartite "Axis" Pact with Germany and Italy as conditions to be met before those sanctions could be lifted. Neither side was budging. President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull were anticipating a Japanese strike as retaliation—they just didn't know where. The Philippines, Wake Island, Midway—all were possibilities. American intelligence reports had sighted the Japanese fleet movement out from Formosa (Taiwan), apparently headed for Indochina. As a result of this "bad faith" action, President Roosevelt ordered that a conciliatory gesture of resuming monthly oil supplies for Japanese civilian needs canceled. Hull also rejected Tokyo's "Plan B," a temporary relaxation of the crisis, and of sanctions, but without any concessions on Japan's part. Prime Minister Tojo considered this an ultimatum, and more or less gave up on diplomatic channels as the means of resolving the impasse.

Nagumo had no experience with naval aviation, having never commanded a fleet of aircraft carriers in his life. This role was a reward for a lifetime of faithful service. Nagumo, while a man of action, did not like taking unnecessary risks—which he considered an attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor to be. But Chief of Staff Rear Adm. Isoruku Yamamoto thought differently; while also opposing war with the United States, he believed the only hope for a Japanese victory was a swift surprise attack, via carrier warfare, against the U.S. fleet. And as far as the Roosevelt War Department was concerned, if war was inevitable, it desired "that Japan commit the first overt act." (

FDR establishes modern Thanksgiving holiday:

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a bill officially establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.

The tradition of celebrating the holiday on Thursday dates back to the early history of the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies, when post-harvest holidays were celebrated on the weekday regularly set aside as "Lecture Day," a midweek church meeting where topical sermons were presented. A famous Thanksgiving observance occurred in the autumn of 1621, when Plymouth governor William Bradford invited local Indians to join the Pilgrims in a three-day festival held in gratitude for the bounty of the season. [For further information, click here]

1942 Various:

Secret Diary of Anti-Hitler Conspirator Ulrich von Hassel: (Ebenhausen)

Further drop in the barometer. Stalingrad has begun to play a part like that of Verdun. The prospects of a new winter campaign with the enemy suffering heavy damages and battling against great difficulties are becoming more and more certain. However, the air raids are getting heavier, now also in Munich. There is absolutely no help to be expected from the alleged temper of the people (fury against Hitler). We are the oddest mixture of heroes and slaves. The latter applies particularly to the generals, who have succeeded absolutely brilliantly in reducing their own authority to nil, particularly towards Hitler. After the failures in the East he raged like a madman, for, of course, when things go wrong, it is not "the greatest strategic genius of all time" that is in command, but "the generals." Sauerbruch, who visited him recently, thought him old and wasted. He apparently interspersed the conversation with strange unconnected mutterings (as: "I must go to India", or, "For every dead German, ten of the enemy must die."). Sauerbruch was convinced that he is now undoubtedly insane.

Stalingrad: Hitler orders Sixth Army to stand fast.

FDR to Stalin:

I want you to know that we have hit the Japs very hard in the Solomons. There is a probability that we have broken the backbone of the strength of their fleet, although they still have too many aircraft carriers to suit me, but we may well get some more of them soon. We are in the South-west Pacific with very heavy forces by air, land and sea and do not intend to play a waiting game. We are going to press our advantages. I am sure we are sinking more Jap ships and destroying more airplanes than they can build. I am hopeful that we are going to drive the Germans out of Africa soon and then we will give the Italians a taste of some real bombing, and I am sure they will never stand up to the pressure. The news from the Stalingrad area is most encouraging and I send you my warmest congratulations.

USA: Full 'Gas' Rationing: President Roosevelt serves notice tonight that, Congressional upheavals and sectional objections notwithstanding, the government must and would begin the nationwide rationing of gasoline to conserve rubber on Dec. 1, as scheduled. [For further information, click here]

Indoctrination: An article in an SS periodical, the Schwarze Korps, states that in the Napola, SS preparatory schools "pupils learn how to kill and how to die." When inaugurating a new Napola, Himmler reduced the doctrine to its lowest common measure: "Believe, obey, fight; that is all." Later, if proven worthy, students were admitted to the Burgs (Ordenburgs) for further SS training and education.

Casablanca premieres in NYC:

On this day in 1942, Casablanca, a World War II-era drama starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, premieres in New York City; it will go on to become one of the most beloved Hollywood movies in history.

In the film, Bogart played Rick Blaine, a former freedom fighter and the owner of a swanky North African nightclub, who is reunited with the beautiful, enigmatic Ilsa Lund (Bergman), the woman who loved and left him. Directed by Michael Curtiz, Casablanca opened in theaters across America on January 23, 1943, and was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Bogart. It took home three Oscars, for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film featured a number of now-iconic quotes, including Rick's line to Ilsa: "Here's looking at you, kid," as well as "Round up the usual suspects," "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship" and "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine." . . . .

Casablanca was also the movie for which the Swedish-born actress Ingrid Bergman is perhaps best remembered. [For further details, Click here.]

1943 World War II: Tarawa is taken by the Marines. Only 17 Japanese and 129 Korean workers survive out of the original garrison of 5,000.

1944 Wunderwaffen: The port of Antwerp is reopened and the Germans begin attacking it with their new V-1 and V-2 rockets.

1945 Nuremberg Tribunal: Prosecution presents documents on the Fifth Day of the trial.

1950: Cold War: Chinese counterattacks in Korea change nature of war:

In some of the fiercest fighting of the Korean War, thousands of communist Chinese troops launch massive counterattacks against U.S. and Republic of Korea (ROK) troops, driving the Allied forces before them and putting an end to any thoughts for a quick or conclusive U.S. victory. When the counterattacks had been stemmed, U.S. and ROK forces had been driven from North Korea and the war settled into a grinding and frustrating stalemate for the next two-and-a-half years. [For further information, click here]

Edited by Levi Bookin (Copy editor)

Click to join 3rdReichStudies

Click to join 3rdReichStudies

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of historical, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, environmental, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Please note that the list-owner and the moderator are not responsible for, and do not necessarily approve of, the random ads placed on our pages by our web server. They are, unfortunately, the price one pays for a 'free' website.