"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more champagne." -John Maynard Keynes
"...Franco-Prussian War: France declares war on Prussia. Note: This is a pivotal event in German history, as Prussia will emerge as the single strongest European state and the catalyst for German Unification under Bismarck..." July 19
"...the Cenotaph, a monument to those killed or wounded during the First World War, is unveiled in Whitehall, London, during the first Peace Day celebration. Designed and built by Edwin Lutyens, at the request of Prime Minister David Lloyd George, the Cenotaph (literally "empty tomb" in Greek) was initially a wood and plaster construction created in less than two weeks . . . . The current monument, cast in Portland Stone, was unveiled in 1920, with a simple inscription commemorating "The Glorious Dead." Each year, on the Sunday closest to November 11Armistice, or Remembrance Daya service is held at the Cenotaph in honor of British and Commonwealth servicemen and women who died during the two World Wars as well as later conflicts. Attended by the British royal family and political and religious leaders, as well as representatives from the armed forces, the service has not changed greatly since its introduction: it features the singing of hymns, an offering of prayers and the observation of two-minutes of silence, ending with a march of war veterans in a show of respect for their fallen countrymen...." July 19
"...Mussolini again meets with Hitler in the Northern Italian town of Feltre. By now, Mussolini was very influenced by the stronger Hitler, and it was much to his discontent that this was the case. Members of Mussolini's party urged him to speak to Hitler about a possible way for Italy to exit the war, but Mussolini only asks for more military assistance. Hitler agrees, only if it is run under German authority. The tide had finally turned, Italy was now under the control of the German forces..." July 19
Cynthia Southern’s Holocaust Daily: (@cmsouthern) Auschwitz 07/18/1942: With [SS-General] Schmauser, Himmler visits the kitchens, the women's camp (which then includes Blocks 1-10), the workshops, the stables, the personal effects camp (so-called Canada) and the DAW plant as well as the butcher shop and bakery, He sees the prisoners and makes precise inquiries about each prisoner category and the current occupancy level. In the women's camp, he is shown the effect of a whipping. Himmler must personally approve the flogging of women. He is also present at the roll call. There, SS Head Supervisor Langefeldt applies for the release of a few German political prisoners who have been imprisoned for a long time in the concentration camp. Himmler consents to the release. After the tour, a final discussion takes place in Hoess' office. In Schmauser's presence, Himmler says the Sipo operations he has ordered must not be stopped for any reason, least of all because of the lack of accommodations and so forth which was presented to him. He orders Hoess to proceed faster with the construction of the Birkenau camp, to kill the Jewish prisoners who are unfit for work, to prepare for the building of armaments plants and to pursue the agricultural experiments intensively. In recognition for his work and performance, Hoess is promoted to SS-Obersturmbannfuehrer. PIC: SS-Obersturmbannführer Rudolf Höss at Auschwitz.
Today's Tweet: RWBAHolocaust (@RWBAHolocaust) Auschwitz is fighting back against vandalism done by tourists - BBC World News http://bbc.in/1mn0LuP
Today's Comic: Seth Meyers: “According to a new report, 81 percent of people would cheat on their partner if there were no consequences, while 19 percent of people are pretty sure this is a test.”
Today's Insult: “Chris Christie warned against presidential candidates running too soon. Then earthquake experts warned Chris Christie against running at all. ‘Cities just aren't equipped to deal with it’." –Jimmy Fallon
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From Hitler and Mussolini, The Secret Meetings, by Santi Corvaja: Mussolini has left a biased and highly selective account of this meeting (writing about himself in the third person) in his book, Storia di un anno [FN: The book, Storia di un anno, was first published as a series of articles by an "anonymous" author, accounting for the references to Mussolini in the third person. The book was published in 1944 and translated as The Fall of Mussolini: His Own Story.] dedicating less than one page to such a crucial conference: "Since the Fuehrer had to return to Germany that afternoon, time was of the essence. Rather than at Feltre, which was located three hours away on a round trip, the talks could have easily taken place in the airport command building or at the municipal building at Treviso. But protocol had established its program, and no power in the world could change it. The Fuehrer, Mussolini, and their staff took a one-hour train ride followed by another hour's ride by car to Villa Gaggia.
"A beautiful, shaded park, and a labyrinthine building that made an eerie impression on one's mind. It resembled a crossword puzzle cast in stone. After a few minutes, the meetings began: the participants were the Fuehrer, the Duce, Undersecretary Bastianini, Ambassadors von Mackensen and Alfieri, the Italian Chief of Staff Ambrosio, Marshal Keitel, Generals Rintelen and Warlimont, Colonel Montezemolo, and a few other minor officials. The Fuehrer began speaking at 11:00 a.m. He opened his presentation with a clear and complete description of raw materials and the territories where they were located and the need to defend them. He then spoke of the air force, its current deployment, and its present and future capabilities. Regarding the battle unfolding in Sicily, he assured everyone that new reinforcements would be sent, especially artillery and troops.
"A private conversation between Mussolini and Hitler then took place, where Mussolini underlined the need to dispatch reinforcements to Italy. They continued talking during the return trip by car and on the train, and in parting, Mussolini said to Hitler: "We have a common cause, Fuehrer!"
If the meeting went just as the Duce described, it is difficult to understand why the two dictators did not simply talk over the phone. The proceedings were in fact very different, so much so that it can be considered among one of the most crucial conferences between the two Axis partners. On the one hand, the Fuehrer revealed his immediate strategy regarding Italy, while on the other hand, Mussolini simply confirmed by his silence that he was now passively expecting events to provide the solution to the problems that confronted the Fascist regime and Italy itself.
Before the string of cars reached San Fermo, General Keitel was able to confide to Rintelen that the real objective of the meeting was "to concentrate all power in the Duce's hands, to erase the influence of the House of Savoy, and to send Nazi reinforcements into Italy to place the country firmly under the control of the German high command." If what Rintelen reported was true, then the Duce displayed considerable courage, on July 19, 1943, in opposing, by his passive behavior, an absurd threat by Hitler, while keeping the entire matter completely secret. According to historian Ruggero Zangrandi, Mussolini's dignified behavior can be explained either by the Duce's devotion to the King or by his long-meditated on decision to quickly take Italy out of the Axis alliance. These motivations were certainly legitimate, especially the first one, if only because during those very hours the King himself was plotting with Acquarone and Ambrosio to remove Mussolini.