Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Beginning of... (A "Theme Thursday" Post)

As I mentioned in my previous post, September 1st, 2009 marked the 70th anniversary of the start of the Second World War. World War II. "The Big One." Or, as I prefer to think of it, "The War to End All Wars: The Sequel."

(Hm. All things considered, that whole "the war to end all wars" concept didn't really take, did it? Never mind.)

Anyway, I'm going to tell you a little story about the very first casualty of that war. You may already know this story; I myself only learned of it a few days ago.

(The tone of today's post -- until the very end, at least -- is a tad different from Tuesday's playful little "gotcha" post about WWII's beginning, by the way.)

In the early evening of August 31, 1939, seven SS officers disguised as Polish citizens burst into a radio station in the town of Gliwice (Gleiwitz), a German town on the border of Poland. Ordering the station's guards and three engineers to offer no resistance, Sturmbannführer Alfred Naujocks and five of his six elite SS men watched as their seventh member, Polish-speaking Karl Hornack, spoke the following into the station's microphone: "Uwage! Tu Gliwice. Rozglosnia znajduje sie w rekach Polskich." (Attention! This is Gliwice. The broadcasting station is in Polish hands.)

The "news" that made its way across Europe was that the "Polish invaders" were eventually repelled by German police.

As "proof" that the attack on the station had been carried out by Poles, the SS had shot and killed a 43-year-old unmarried farmer named Franciszek (Franz) Honiok. A drugged Honiok had "accompanied" the seven SS men after having been arrested by the SS on the previous day, having been casually chosen for his fateful part in the Germans' ruse.

They left Honiok's body on the station steps, with a bullet in his forehead. He had been dressed in a Polish uniform which the Germans had stolen.

Franciszek (Franz) Honiok, the lamented,
seldom-mentioned
first casualty of World War II

Hitler used this "attack" -- and other ridiculous stories -- as his excuse to invade Poland on the very next day.

In 1958, nearly twenty years later, when confronted with the details of the raid on the radio station, Sturmbannführer Alfred Naujocks admitted his role: "Yes, I started it all. I don't think anyone will bother about me now."

Unfortunately, Naujocks was right. In a severe miscarriage of justice, Naujocks was never to stand trial for war crimes. He died in 1960 (although some claim he died as late as 1966).

Sturmbannführer Alfred Naujocks (or as I prefer to call him, "motherf***er")

(If you're interested in reading more about this incident, you can click here and/or here.)

So, in "honor" of Uncle Adolf, Alfred Naujocks, and all the rest of those Nazi bastards, let's have a little singalong, shall we (with Thanx and a Tippo to Skip Simpson, who did the same type of thing in last week's Theme Thursday post on his blog)?

(To the tune of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band")


It was sev'nty years ago today,
Hitler needed an excuse to prey.
Seems he wanted to attack the Poles,
An' justify it by reversing roles.
The attack by Poland was a lie,
And Honiak was 'Dolf's fall guy!
But Germany still overran the laaaaand!

Thanks for your time.

24 comments:

  1. I'm singing! Can you hear me? I'm getting some strange looks, though.

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  2. @willow - lol.

    ok, i'll sing, i'll sing...

    intriguing tale silver...

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  3. Now I have Sgt. Pepper stuck in my head.

    You'll pay for this, RantZ!

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  4. AAUUUUGGHH! EARWORM ALERT!! But great forgotten history snippet. Also one damn poor excuse for starting a war( which actually started in....China! ), but then again; ol' Adolf was a poor excuse himself, yes?

    And what's with all these early posts?

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  5. Yes, I've known about this for quite some time. The weird thing about the whole "attack" on the radio station was that it was so transparently a fake, even to the German people, that you have to wonder why they pulled it off in the first place. Sure, Hitler needed an "excuse", but nobody, not even his own people, believed the excuse. And he got the same reaction as if he'd just outright said "I want Poland" and marched right in. Weird minds!

    Speaking of weird minds... Did you know that certified wacko Pat Buchanan wrote an op-ed yesterday arguing that Hitler didn't really want war? Scout's honor; read it and weep. Talk about not being able to make these things up!

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  6. [after reading Roy's link] Uhhhhhhhh... Maybe Buchanan meant that Hitler didn't want to fight, but was expecting and/or hoping that all those countries that he wanted to take over would just say "Okey-dokey, Adolf!" and surrender without a shot being fired?

    No, huh?

    Okay. You were right. Buchanan's a loon.

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  7. Wow! I thought I knew a lot of trivia, but I never heard that story. Going to have to research that one a wee bit further. Oh... and great song!

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  8. nazis suck. Always did, always will. they and the klan are being munched on by double dealing multi-cloned duplicitous satans in the lowest level of hell, with a cherry on top.

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  9. @Tom (and anyone else, for that matter):

    Seriously...

    Whether someone is Muslim, gay, pagan, etc., I am known for being extremely tolerant of different types of people, even if some or all of those "certain types" bother "certain people." I judge people as individuals rather than whatever label one can give "their kind" (and I've often joked that "there are plenty of reasons to hate people as individuals").

    If you're a member of one or more of the above groups, more power to you.

    Spent time in jail? Chances are, it won't affect the way I think of you. Used to be a prostitute, or you're still one? I don't judge you. Drug addict? You have my sympathy, but not my condemnation.

    Having said that, I do draw the line at racists, child molesters, and -- most emphatically -- unrepentant Nazis (past or present). As a politically moderate Christian, I do believe that there's a Hell. And the thought that Adolf and his ilk are or will be there for eternity helps me sleep at night.

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  10. SF and Roy, wondering what "provoked" Buchanan to even think this, let alone air an opinion on it. And don't get me started on the Russian massacre of Japanese civilians, during that war( the a-bomb paled in comparison )...Pat boy should bring that up as his next topic!

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  11. How could anyone belive that. Only fools who want to be fooled, I guess. And Pat B apparently heads the list. What a world, what a world. Very interesting post.

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  12. Interesting post, and sadly, many this year seem to be taking up and making up some sort of history and putting obama in the middle of it.

    My brains going to explode every time I read/hear some crazy wingnut compare anything these days to hitler.

    And so it goes........Cheers!

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  13. Those eyes give the creeps!
    Those evil bastards sent my grandfather away to work,he came back in bad shapes,he lost one of his lung and lived with one for the rest of his life,till he had cancer and with a lung,he didn't last long.I don't want to think about those bastards!There is a dream I have made when I was a kid that I was chased by them and we had to hide.It felt so real,I could hear the sound of the boots,I could feel the fear.I don't want to think of that.

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  14. Thanks for the slice I did not know about. I find it in interesting... what was the first domino in a collapse.

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  15. @Candie... and others with such stories: We here in the USA were lucky in that the Nazis never made it to North America. Thanks to Blogger, I have several European readers, and I knew that many of them feel the effects of that war to this day, in all too many ways. That's why I tried to lighten the post a bit with the silliness at the end, although I hope I didn't appear too frivolous.

    @C.M.: Yeah, I too think it's ludicrous that the "like Hitler" comparison is used so readily. "My teacher took my cellphone from me. The guy's like Hitler!" Really? Unless your teacher took your cellphone and is also personally responsible for the deaths of millions... Dude, he's no freakin' Hitler, okay?

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  16. There was a commemoration of the German invasion of Poland this week and the Pole, quite rightly, accused the Ruskis of stabbing them in the back after the invasion because they just took over anyway. Things I believe got a little nasty during the commemoration. Big 'bird' up to the Russians who any Eastern block country will tell you were worse than the Nazis. Great story, I had no idea . . *humms off into the distance*

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  17. Wow! I read a lot of stuff about history from time to time, but had never come across this story. Fascinating. Thanks so much for sharing it.

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  18. Thanks for the history. I vaguely knew the story but your words brought it to life.

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  19. Interesting story. While it was the first casualty...it certainly wasn't the real beginning of the war; that had been brewing for awhile. Sort of shows us how relative the word "beginning" actually is...

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  20. Wow...interesting and sad tibit of information there. I never heard that.

    OK..I'll join in the singing! Nobody here but me, so I can see as loud as I want! tee-hee!

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  21. That's one hell of a 'beginning'. Think I'd rather sing, too.

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  22. I did not know this story. Yikes.

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