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Some of the General’s who signed these sheets included their position and rank.  A few added the date.  Most of them did not.  The dates that were included were October 9, 1943, November 22, 1943  November 24, 1943, March 13, 1944, and July 14, 1946; they were written by Major General Basilio J. Valdes, General Henry S. Aurand, General Franklin Martain, Edward C. Belts and General Alexander Papagos, respectively.

 

 

My partner and I focused on these five men as they were the only ones to include the date with their signatures.  Using these dates we pinpointed the events nearest to the day these men signed the sheets, and listed them in the timeline that follows.

Unfortunately my partner and I were unable to find exactly where these four men were on the days they signed the papers, which would have told us where the papers were and if they stayed in one place, or were taken to the generals to be signed.

Our hope in creating these timelines was to put into context the grand but tragic times these men lived in.  They also allow the reader to understand the trials these men and their comrades faced while courageously and heroically serving their country.

**One of the more interesting signatures is that of General Papagos; he dates is signature as July 14, 1946.  World War Two ended in the year 1946; Papagos signed the papers more than a year after the war had ended.  This implies that not all of the generals signed these papers during the war.  Because Papagos included the date we can assume that some if not many of the men were tracked down sometime after the war ended, even years later.

October 4, 1943 – French troops take Corsica.  Corsica becomes the first French territory to be freed from Nazi control.

October 9, 1943 – Major General Basilio J. Valdes signs our papers.

October 19, 1943 – Conference of Moskow.

November 9, 1943 – 44 nations sign United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Association pact.

November 15, 1943 – Heinrich Himmler orders all Gypsies to concentration camps.  An estimated 500,000 will be killed before the end of the war.

November 20, 1943 – The Battle of Tarawa begins in the Pacific as American troops attack the Gilbert Islands.

November 22, 1943 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek meet at the Cairo Conference, to discuss the war in the Pacific against Japan.

-          General Henry S. Aurand signs our papers.

November 24, 1943 – General Franklin Martain signs our papers.

November 28, 1943 – The Teran Conference is Iran is attended by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin. Among the major topics discussed, a second front in Western Europe, resulting in D-day, the invasion of Normandy's beaches on June 6, 1944.

 

March 13, 1944 – Edward C. Belts signs our papers.

March 22, 1944 – Japan invades India

March 30, 1944 – Nuremburg Raid

            Raids on Berlin begin

1945 – War ends

July 4, 1946 - Mass Murder of Jews takes place Kielce Poland 1

 

July 14, 1946 – General Alexander Papagos signs our papers.

July 25, 1946 – an atomic bomb is tested underwater.  At 8:34 a.m. local time, Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands a underwater atomic bomb was detonated in “Operation Crossroads”, a test conducted by the United States Navy.

 

 

 

 

1Kielce was a small town in Poland that contained a large majority of successful Jewish people. Tension began to grow tremendously between the Jewish community of Kielce and other Polish inhibitors for many years. Through Poland gaining independence, all the way up until World War II, hatred towards to Jews began to escalade. Just days before our paper was signed on July 14, 1946, a devastated massacre was committed, killing off the Jewish population of Kielce.

Before the days of Polish independence, anti-Semitism was only expressed verbally but not acted upon. Jews were only publicly criticized in the local newspaper called the “Gazeta Kielecka”. Articles were published claiming the Jewish people were taking over the town. These articles also claimed that the Jews only lived off of others and were “parasites.” However, as Polish gained independence, the new government was greatly anti-Semitic.

As the idea of independence became popular in Poland, a man named Jeronski also became popular. Jeronski was a Lawyer who became known among the Jews as extremely anti-Semitic. When Poland’s independence was being debated at the Russian House of Representatives, Jeronski was the delegate from Kielce. Jeronski stated in a declaration that the Polish people would accept self-rule only in the Jews were forbidden the right to vote. He went on to say that the Jewish people were over populating and if they were allowed to vote then Polish character would be lost.

Unfortunately, after the First World War anti-Semitism grew from being just verbal to real action. Generals blamed the Jews for their defeat in the war. With Poland’s newfound independence, it was acceptable to beat and embarrassed Jews. This form of hatred and disrespect remained until World War II. As the Nazi’s invaded Poland, they found that a majority of Poles disliked the Jews as much as they did. The Holocaust had devastating affects on Poland and the Jewish people occupying it.

As World War II can to a conclusion, Holocaust survivors began moving back to their hometowns. However, Kielce was not widely accepting of them. Hatred towards the Jews was still very prominent in the town. Anti-Semitism had been thriving in Kielce for years and years. On July 4, 1946, rumors that Jews had stolen a Christian child spread throughout the town. The rumors caused a mob of Polish people who brutally killed 42 Holocaust survivors. This massacre was incredibly heart wrenching and devastating to people who had already gone through so much. Even though the Holocaust had come to an end Jews were still attacked his hatred.

Although 9 people were executed for this crime, the idea of these gruesome murders still linger. It greatly affected Polish and Jewish relations and ultimately sparked the emigration of about 100,000 Polish Holocaust survivors. Ceremonies are held every year on July 4 in Kielce, Poland.

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