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16 August 1943
War in the Air
Eighth Air Force Heavy Bomber Mission No. 83: 246 aircraft sent to attack Luftwaffe depots at Le Bourget, Poix and Abbeville/ Drucat. Four aircraft lost.
16 August 1943 - History
by J. Burton, M. Farrell, F. Lord, and R. Lord
Chapter 16 (continued)
Santa Anita Assembly Center, California
Located at the world-famous Santa Anita Racetrack (Figures 16.46 and 16.47), the Santa Anita Assembly Center was the longest occupied assembly center, used for 215 days, from March 27 to October 27. It was also the largest assembly center, housing a total of 19,348 persons from Los Angeles, San Diego, and Santa Clara counties, with a maximum at one time of 18,719. Those interned lived in hastily constructed barracks and in existing stables, with 8,500 in converted horse stalls (Figures 16.48 and 16.49).
Figure 16.46. Santa Anita Assembly Center.
(National Archives photograph)
Figure 16.47. Construction underway at the Santa Anita Assembly Center.
(National Archives photograph)
The assembly center was divided into seven districts: District 1 had 21 stable buildings converted into barracks, District 2 had 20 stable building, District 3 had 19 stable buildings, District 4 had four stable buildings and 113 freshly-built military barracks, District 5 had 161 barracks, District 6 had 160 barracks, and District 7 had 155 barracks (Lehman 1970). Bachelors were housed in the grandstand building. There were six recreation buildings, six showers, six mess halls (referred to by color Blue, Red, Green, White, Orange, Yellow), a hospital, and a laundry (Figure 16.50 Santa Anita Pacemaker various issues 1942). There was a large warehouse and an automobile storage yard in the racetrack infield and the grandstand seating area was used for a camouflage net factory which employed the Japanese Americans.
Figure 16.50. 1942 aerial photograph of the Santa Anita Assembly Center A - automobile storage, G - grandstand (housing), H - hospital, L - laundry, M - mess hall, MP - military police and administration area, R - recreation building, S - showers, W - warehouse, 1-6 - barracks districts.
(adapted from DeWitt 1943)
There is no historical marker at the site. The areas where the assembly center barracks had been (Districts 4-7) are now paved parking lots, and the District 3 and 4 stables and the military police compound are now a large shopping mall (Santa Anita Fashion Park). However, the massive grandstand and other racetrack buildings present in the 1940s remain (Figures 16.51 and 16.52), as do the horse stalls of Districts 1 and 2. The stables, of wood, are the same as in aerial and historical photographs (Figures 16.53 and 16.54). Security personnel at the stables mentioned that Japanese Americans occasionally return to see their former homes. There are presently as many people (stable workers and their families) as horses living in the stall area.
16 August 1943 - History
CAMPAIGN SUMMARIES OF WORLD WAR 2
BRITISH and COMMONWEALTH NAVIES at the Beginning and End of World War 2
"King George V" battleship HMS Anson (CyberHeritage , click to enlarge ) in 1945. Laid down in 1937 and still the measure of naval power at the start of World War 2. By 1945, the battleship and its large gun had been superseded by the aircraft carrier and its aircraft.
Each Summary is complete in its own right. The same information may therefore be found in a number of related summaries
(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search)
. the heart of the Royal Navy was its centuries old traditions and 200,000 officers and men including the Royal Marines and Reserves. At the very top as professional head was the First Sea Lord, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Dudley Pound.
Royal Navy Warship Strength
The Royal Navy, still the largest in the world in September 1939, included:
15 Battleships & battlecruisers, of which only two were post-World War 1. Five 'King George V' class battleships were building.
7 Aircraft carriers. One was new and five of the planned six fleet carriers were under construction. There were no escort carriers.
66 Cruisers, mainly post-World War 1 with some older ships converted for AA duties. Including cruiser-minelayers, 23 new ones had been laid down.
184 Destroyers of all types. Over half were modern, with 15 of the old 'V' and 'W' classes modified as escorts. Under construction or on order were 32 fleet destroyers and 20 escort types of the 'Hunt' class.
60 Submarines, mainly modern with nine building.
45 escort and patrol vessels with nine building, and the first 56 'Flower' class corvettes on order to add to the converted 'V' and 'W's' and 'Hunts'. However, there were few fast, long-endurance convoy escorts.
Included in the Royal Navy totals were:
Royal Australian Navy - six cruisers, five destroyers and two sloops
Royal Canadian Navy - six destroyers
Royal Indian Navy - six escort and patrol vessels
Royal New Zealand Navy, until October 1941 the New Zealand Division of the Royal Navy - two cruisers and two sloops.
Strengths and Weaknesses
The Fleet was reasonably well-equipped to fight conventional surface actions with effective guns, torpedoes and fire control, but in a maritime war that would soon revolve around the battle with the U-boat, the exercise of air power, and eventually the ability to land large armies on hostile shores, the picture was far from good.
ASDIC, the RN's answer to the submarine, had limited range and was of little use against surfaced U-boats, and the stern-dropped or mortar-fired depth charge was t he only reasonably lethal anti-submarine weapon available. The Fleet Air Arm (FAA) recently returned to full control of the Navy, was equipped with obsolescent aircraft, and in the face of heavy air attack the Fleet had few, modern anti-aircraft guns. Co-operation with the RAF was l imited although three Area Combined Headquarters had been established in Britain. Coastal Command, the RAF's maritime wing, had only short range aircraft, mainly for reconnaissance. And there was little combined operations capability.
On the technical side, early air warning radars were fitted to a small number of ships. The introduction by the Germans of magnetic mines found the Royal Navy only equipped to sweep moored contact mines. Finally, the German Navy's B-Service could read the Navy's operational and convoy codes.
Primary Maritime Tasks
These were based on the assumption Britain and France were actively allied against the European Axis powers of Germany and Italy. The Royal Navy would be responsible for the North Sea and most of the Atlantic, although the French would contribute some forces. In the Mediterranean, defence would be shared between both Navies, but as it happened, Benito Mussolini's claimed ownership of the Mediterranean - his 'Mare Nostrum' - did not have to be disputed for another nine months.
Threats to and Responses by the Royal Navies - September 1939
OBJECTIVE 1 - Defence of trade routes, and convoy organisation and escort, especially to and from Britain.
- The first overseas convoys left Britain via the South Western Approaches. From the Thames they sailed through the English Channel (OA) and from Liverpool through the Irish Sea (OB). Later in September, convoys left Freetown, Sierra Leone (SL), Halifax, Nova Scotia (HX) and Gibraltar (HG) for the UK.
- In the North Atlantic anti-submarine escorts were provided from Britain out to 200 miles west of Ireland (15W) and to the middle of the Bay of Biscay. For a few hundred miles from Halifax, cover was given by Canadian warships. The same degree of protection was given to ships sailing from other overseas assembly ports.
- Cruisers and (shortly) armed merchant cruisers sometimes took over as ocean escorts. Particularly fast or slow ships from British, Canadian and other assembly ports sailed independently, as did the many hundreds of vessels scattered across the rest of the oceans. Almost throughout the war it was the independently-routed ships and the convoy stragglers that suffered most from the mainly German warships, raiders, aircraft and above all submarines that sought to break the Allied supply lines.
OBJECTIVE 2 - Detection and destruction of surface raiders and U-boats.
- Fleet aircraft carriers were employed on anti-U-boat sweeps in the Western Approaches.
OBJECTIVE 3 - Maritime blockade of Germany and contraband control.
- Closer to Germany the first mines were laid by Royal Navy destroyers in the approaches to Germany's North Sea bases.
OBJECTIVE 4 - Defence of own coasts.
- British East Coast convoys (FN/FS) commenced between the Thames Estuary and the Firth of Forth in Scotland. Southend-on-Sea, the Thames peacetime seaside resort, saw over 2,000 convoys arrive and depart in the course of the war.
- Defensive mine laying began with an anti-U-boat barrier in the English Channel across the Straits of Dover, followed by an East Coast barrier to protect coastal convoy routes.
OBJECTIVE 5 - Escort troops to France and between Britain, the Dominions and other areas under Allied control.
Belligerent Warship Strengths in European Waters & Atlantic Ocean
Most golf fans will have heard of Gene Sarazen's double eagle on the par-five 15th during the 1935 Masters. It has come to be known as "the shot heard 'round the world."
However, what many people don't know is that Walter Hagen played a big part in this memorable Masters moment.
Hagen was playing alongside Sarazen that afternoon and Sarazen could not decide on a club for his second shot while standing in the middle of the 15th fairway.
Finally, Hagen yelled over from the side of the fairway, "Hurry up, will ya? I've got a date tonight."
This caused Sarazen to finally decide on a 4-wood, which he then belted 235 yards and right into the hole for a double eagle.
What many don't know about the 1935 Masters is that Sarazen's double eagle on 15 only helped him come back and tie Craig Wood for the lead after 72 holes.
Wood and Sarazen would take part in a 36-hole playoff the following day, which Sarazen won by a score of 144-149.
ICSE Solutions for Class 10 History and Civics – Events Leading to the Quit India Movement (1935—1943)
APlusTopper.com provides ICSE Solutions for Class 10 History and Civics Chapter 15 Events Leading to the Quit India Movement (1935-1943) for ICSE Board Examinations. We provide step by step Solutions for ICSE History and Civics Class 10 Solutions Pdf. You can download the Class 10 History and Civics ICSE Textbook Solutions with Free PDF download option.
Very Short Questions
Question 1: Why was the Government of India Act, 1935 passed?
Answer: As the Indian failed to solve their constitutional problems, the British Government passed the Government of India Act of 1935 on the basis of the white paper.
Question 2: In what way did the outcome of the Second World War help India’s demand for self-Govemment?
Answer: The Second World War shattered the British power, the USA and Russia emerged as World powers. Both these nations supported India’s demand for self-government.
Question 3: Give any one proposal of Cripps Mission.
Answer: India would be given Dominion Status immediately after the end of Second World War.
Question 4: Name the ‘Mantra’, which was given by Gandhiji during Quit India Movement.
Answer: ‘Do or Die’.
Question 5: What was the Day of Deliverance?
Answer: The Day of Deliverance is December 22, 1939. It was the day that Muslim League President Muhammad Ali Jinnah decided, should be the day to celebrate the resignation of all members of the rival Congress party from provincial and central offices.
Question 6: When and by whom was the August offer made?
Answer: August offer was announced on August 8, 1940 by the Viceroy, Lord Linlithgow.
Question 7: Why was the August Offer rejected by the Congress? Give one reason.
Answer: Through the government proposed to set up a constitutional body, but no time limit was given within which the Constitution making body was to be set up.
Question 8: When did the individual Satyagraha campaign start?
Answer: The Satyagraha started on 17 October 1940.
Question 9: Who was selected as the first satyagrahi during the Individual Satyagraha of 1940?
Answer: Acharya Vinoba Bhave was selected as the first Satyagrahi.
Question 10: Why was the Cripps Mission rejected by the Mulsim League?
Answer: The proposal of the Cripps Mission was rejected by the Muslim League because it felt that the prospect of achieving Pakistan was bleak.
Question 11: What was the proposal of Cripps Mission regarding the Princely states?
Answer: The Princely states would be free to join the Indian Union or to stay out.
Question 12: Why was Sir Stafford Cripps sent to India in 1842?
Answer: Sir Stafford Cripps was sent to India to break the political deadlock between Indian leaders and the British Government.
Question 13: When and where was the Quit India Resolution passed?
Answer: Quit India Resolution was finally passed on 8 August 1942 in Mumbai.
Question 14: What was the major cause of the failure of the Quit India Movement?
Answer: Lack of co-ordination and lack of clear cut programme were the two major causes of the failure of the movement.
Short Questions – I
Question 1: What were the circumstances during the Second World War which forced the National leaders to launch the Quit India Movement?
Answer: During the Second World War, there was a growing threat of Japanese invasion on India. The Congress leaders were of the view that to save India from the Japanese attack it was necessary that the British withdrew from India.
Question 2: Why did the Congress Ministers resign in 1839?
Answer: (i) The British Government implicated India in the Second World War without the consent of the Indians.
(ii) The Congress wanted a definite assurance from the British Government regarding independence but that assurance never came. Consequently, the Congress Ministers resigned in November 1939.
Question 3: What was the reaction of British Government to the resignation.
Answer: The British Government felt relieved by the resignation of the Congress Ministers because they controlled eight out of the eleven provinces and had the power to impair the war efforts of the Government.
Question 4: How Muslim League reacted on the resignation of Congress Ministers.
Answer: The Muslim League was jubiliant over the resignation of the Congress Ministers. The Muslim league decided to celebrated the day as ‘Deliverance Day’. The Muslim League saw in it an opportunity to show its loyalty to the Government and promised all help in the War efforts on the condition that no constitutional scheme would be finalised without its approval.
Question 5: Who was Sir Stafford Cripps? Why was he sent to India in 1942?
Answer: Sir Stafford Cripps was the member of the British War Cabinet. He was sent to India in 1942 with a fresh proposal for giving dominion status to India, as a first step towards full independence.
Question 6: State any two important proposals of Crippse offer?
Answer: (i) After the conclusion of the war, steps would be taken to set up an elected body for framing a new constitution for India.
(ii) Provision will be made for the Native states to participate in the Constitution making body. Question
Question 7: How was the Constitution-making body to be constituted according to Cripps Proposal of 1842?
Answer: (i) The members from British India would be elected by the Provincial Legislative Assemblies.
(ii) Representatives of Princely States would be nominated by the rulers.
Question 8: What is meant by ‘Mass struggle on non-violent lines’? Which resolution was passed on the 8th of August, 1942 leading to a mass struggle on non-violent lines?
Answer: (i) The ‘Mass struggle on non-violent lines’ means participation of the common people peacefully in the National Movement for freedom struggle.
(ii) Quit India Movement was passed on the 8th of August, 1942 leading to a mass struggle on non-violent lines.
Question 9: Name the leaders who played an important role during the Quit India Movement?
Answer: Jayaprakash Nayaran, Achyut Patwardhan, Kartik prasad, Ram Manohar Lohia and Aruna Asaf Ali played a prominent role in the movement.
Question 10: What were the repressive policies adopted by the Government to suppress the Quit India Movement?
Answer: The Government took severe repressive measures to suppress the movement. Public processions, meetings and the Indian press were banned. Lathi charges and tear gas shells were used by the police to disperse the crowed. Collective fines were imposed on those who participated in the movement.
Question 11: State any two points to justify the impact of the movement.
Answer: (i) The movement revealed the depth of Nationalism among the people, instilled confidence among people to achieve independence, attracted the attention of the entire World.
(ii) This movement made the British realize that Indians would not be satisfied by anything less than complete independence or freedom of its motherland from British rule.
Short Questions – II
Question 1: In what way was the Quit India Movement different from earlier movements?
Answer: The Quit India Movement was directed at asking the British to leave the country. This movement, also known as August Revolution, not only took the freedom struggle to new heights but also brought the country to the doorstep of the ultimate goal of complete independence. It is also to be noted that while the Non-Cooperation and Civil Disobedience Movements were completely non-violent in nature, the Quit India Movement witnessed several instances of struggle associated with acts bordering on violence. It showed the impatience of the Indian people to attain independence from colonial yoke.
Question 2: In the political scenario of 1939, important developments took place in India and abroad. In this context, mention the circumstances which led to the passage of the Act of 1935?
Answer: The following circumstances led to the passage of the Act of 1935:
(i) The Third Round Table Conference held in November-December 1932 issued a white paper in March 1993 which gave details of the working of the new constitution promulgated under the Act.
(ii) The Poona Pact which had replaced the Communal Award had doubled the number of seats for backward classes which were to the filled by a common joint electorate. The Act of 1935 was its first testing ground.
(iii) In June 1933 Gandhiji suspended the Civil Disobedience Movement and it was finally withdrawn in May 1935. The British now wanted to appease the leader with some constitutional reforms.
Question 3: Why was the August offer made?
Answer: The August Offer was made by Lord Linlithgow in 1940 to end the political deadlock which had occurred during the Second World War. The Congress on 27th July, 1940 made an offer of co-operation in the War, provided its demand for independence was conceded and a provisional national Government responsible to the Central Assembly was formed at the Centre. In response to this, the Government made an offer known as August Offer.
Question 4: State any three salient proposals of the August offer.
Answer: August offer contained the following proposals:
(i) After the war a representative Indian body would be set up immediately to frame a Constitution for India.
(ii) The present Viceroy’s Executive Council would be expanded without delay to include Indian leaders.
(iii) The Government also reaffirmed its desire to give full weight to the opinion of the Indian Ministers.
Question 5: Japanese success in the East prompted the British Government to send the Cripps Mission to India. In this context, state the proposals of the Cripps Mission.
Answer: (i) India would be given Dominion Status immediately after the war.
(ii) A Constituent Assembly would be set up. The members from British India would be elected by the Provincial Legislative Assemblies, whereas representatives of Princely States would be nominated by their rulers.
(iii) The Provincess not consenting to the new constitution would be free to have their own constitution.
(iv) Provisions would also be made for the protection of the racial and religious minorities.
(v) The control and direction of the defence of India would be the responsibility of his Majesty’s Government.
Question 6: Mention the reasons why the proposals of the Cripps Mission were rejected.
Answer: The prosposals were rejected by the Congress because:
(i) It contained provision which could divide India into hundreds of independent provinces.
(ii) There was no time limit within which the Constitution making body was to be set up.
(iii) The Congress wanted that all subjects, including defence, should be handed over to the National Government.
Gandhiji was so upset at the proposals that he named it as “the post-dated cheque.”
Question 1: Which resolution was passed on 8th August, 1942 leading to a mass struggle on non-violent lines? State any two reasons behind the launching of this movement.
Answer: The Quit India Resolution was passed by the Congress Working Committee at Bombay on 8th Aug. 1942. This resolution led to the launching of Quit India Movement in 1942. While launching this mass movement, Gandhiji said, “We shall do or die. We shall either free India or die in the attempt.
Two reasons behind the lauching of Quit India Movement:
(i) Failure of Cripps mission: The Cripps mission came to India in March, 1942 to solve Indian problem. But its proposals gave nothing concrete to Indians. The feeling was that the Government was unwilling to concede to India the right of self-Govemment. The failure of Cripps mission created deep discontent in the country.
(ii) Threat of Japanese attack: During the World war II, the Allied forces including Britain suffered serious set-back in 1942. There was immediate danger of Japanese attack on India as Japanese forces reached up to North-Eastern borders of India. Gandhiji and other leaders were now convinced that the situation called for complete independence immediate- and unconditional.
According to Gandhiji, “India’s safety, and Britain too, lies in orderly and timely British withdrawl from India.” This feeling led to the launching of Quit India Movement in 1942.
Question 2: Explain the spread of the Quite India Movement.
Answer: Spread of the movement:
(i) Quit India resolution: Quit India Resolution was passed on 8th August, 1942. ‘Do or Die’ was the slogan of the movement.
(ii) Arrest of the leaders: In the early morning of 9th August, 1942 all the prominent leaders of the Congress including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Abdul Kalam Azad were arrested and the Congress was banned.
(iii) People’s reaction: The arrests of the leaders worked as a spark. There were hartals and demonstrations all over the country. The government had to face a revolt which was unarmed but most violent in character. Government property was attacked by the people. Communication and transportation systems were totally disrupted. The students took a leading role in the movement. Colleges, universities and schools were closed. The movement was very intense in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Bengal.
Question 3: What was the impact and significance of Quit India Movement.
Answer: (i) It demonstrated the depth of the national feelings: The movement showed the depth of the national will and convinced the British that their domination in India were numbered. People from all parts of India fought together against the Britishers.
(ii) Set back to Britishers: Now the British officials had realized that the British would not be able to retain their hold on India.
(iii) Parallel Government: A significant feature of the Quit India Movement was the emergence of parallel Governments in Ballia in U.P. Midnapur in Bengal and Satura in Maharashtra.
(iv) Strengthening of Congress Socialist Party: The Quit India Movement helped in strengthening the Congress Socialist Party because of its magnificent and heroic role in the movement. Its socialist ideas had an impact on the Indian National Congress.
Picture Based Questions
Question 1: Answer the following:
(i) Name the male personality in the picture with Gandhi given alongside.
(ii) Why Britain Prime Minister sent this gentleman to India?
Answer: (i) Sir Stafford Cripps.
(ii) Britain Prime Minister sent Sir Stafford Cripps to India to break the political deadlock between leaders and the British Government.
Warsaw, the capital of Poland, once had a Jewish population equivalent to the number of Jews living in all of France. It was the only city that rivaled New York&rsquos Jewish population. The city&rsquos Jewish population was decimated during the Holocaust. Today only fragments remain.
Jews settled in Warsaw during the 14 th century, after the reign of King Kasimierz. Even at this early stage, non-Jewish townsman felt hostility toward the Jews. In 1483, Jewish inhabitants were expelled from Warsaw. From 1527-1768, Jews were officially banned from the city consequently, Jewish settlers lived in jurydykas (privately owned settlements) on the outskirts of the city.
Some Jews were allowed to enter the city for short periods of time. After 1572, Jews were allowed to enter Warsaw during conventions of the National Sejm (parliament). Jewish representatives in the Council of Lands were also permitted to visit Warsaw. According to a census in 1765, 2,519 Jews lived in Warsaw. This number increased after Jews were officially allowed to live in the city in 1768. By 1792, the Jewish population nearly tripled to 6,750. A Jewish bourgeoisie began to form in Poland, consisting mainly of businessman, taverners, and artisans. Jewish entrepreneurs also emerged, acting as moneylenders and army suppliers.
Jews were not allowed to have an authorized Jewish community until the Prussian conquest however, those living in the city still ran prayer meetings, charitable associations and appointed Jewish leaders to take care of tax collection and other judicial services.
Following the first partition of Poland in 1772, a rise in organized street fights against the Jews took place. Three years later, there was a partial expulsion of Jews from Warsaw.
Many Jews in Warsaw participated in the Polish uprising against the Russians during the partition period and were killed when Russian troops massacred the Jewish civilian population.
In 1796, Warsaw became part of Prussia and Jews were subject to Juden Reglements, which only allowed Jews living in Warsaw prior to 1796 to remain in the city. By 1804, 11,630 Jews lived in Warsaw. Jews were subject to attacks by the Polish population in 1805.
In the late 18 th century, Hasidism spread to Warsaw. On the other hand, the Haskalah, Jewish enlightenment, was not as strong. The followers of the Enlightenment Movement (maskilim), led by Isaac Flatau, formed their own synagogue, called the German Synagogue, in 1802.
In 1809, a Jewish quarter was established in the city. Only Jewish bankers, merchants, manufacturers, army suppliers, and doctors were allowed to live there, if they agreed to wear European style clothing and send their children to general schools.
In 1826, a government-sponsored Rabbinical assembly opened it closed in 1863 during the Polish uprisings.
The population of Warsaw continued to grow in the19th and 20 th century. In 1816, Jews numbered 15, 600 and, by 1910, the population reached 337,000 (38% of the total population of Warsaw). This rise was due to mass migration in the 1860's and another set of migrations after the 1881 pogroms in Russia, after which 150,000 Jews moved to Warsaw. Many Jews came from Lithuania, Belorussia and the Ukraine.
In the early 1800&rsquos, life in the &ldquoJewish Quarter&rdquo was restricted, but improved in the 1860&rsquos. Jews participated in the Polish uprisings against the Russians in the 1860&rsquos. Also during this period, Jews continued to play an important role in banking. Jewish bankers also had monopolies in the sale of salt and alcoholic beverages. Jews consisted of more than half of all those involved in commerce in the city and were also involved in the crafts.
Religious, Social & Political Life
During the late 1800&rsquos, Hasidism further spread throughout Warsaw. Nearly two-thirds of Warsaw&rsquos 300 approved synagogues were Hasidic. On the other hand, the rise of the Mitnaggdim also grew with the arrival of the Litvaks. Warsaw&rsquos Jewish leadership, until the end of the 1860&rsquos, was mainly Orthodox. Four rabbis served all of Warsaw and they removed from office all the Mitnaggdim, whom did not find favor in the eyes of the Hasidic Jews.
Jewish education in this period was run by Orthodox groups in the form of the heder, small classes often located in the house of the rabbi. By the mid-19th century, nearly 90% of all Jewish children attended heder. In 1896, 433 authorized hederim existed in Warsaw, as well as a number of unauthorized ones.
In this period, assimilationist philosophy became popular among the youth. Many Jews converted to Christianity and Warsaw had the highest conversion rate in Eastern Europe.
From the late 18th century, the Jewish community in Praga was centered around Szeroka and Petersburska streets (now Jagiellonska and Klopotowska). A round, masonry synagogue was built in the neighborhood by architect Józef Lessel in 1836. It was one of only six circular buildings in all of Europe, and the most important meeting place for Jews in Praga before World War II.. The synagogue was used as a delousing center during the Nazi occupation. After the war, the building housed offices of the Central Jewish Committee in Poland. In 1961, the building was demolished over Jewish protest, though it was still in good condition. Since 1991, the site has been used for a public high school.
The largest and most beautiful synagogue in Warsaw was the Great Synagogue in Tlomackie Square. This was the only place offering a Reform service, and it was used by the wealthy and middle class, as well as the intelligentsia. Unlike the Nozyk Synagogue where Yiddish was spoken, Polish was used in the Great Synagogue. The synagogue, designed by Leandro Marconi (who came from a family of architects, one of whom had designed the Pawiak prison later used in the Warsaw Ghetto), held 2,400 people and had a large hall, meeting rooms, an archive, a library, and a school. It was completed in 1878. The Main Judaic library was erected next to the Great Synagogue in 1936. Construction was funded by donations of the Jewish population, and State and municipal subsidies. Its designer was the architect Edward Eber.
Most of Warsaw's synagogues were small, often private, prayer houses located in the courtyards or backyards of tenements. One such synagogue was discovered in one of the oldest houses in Praga-Warsaw. Built in 1811 at what is now 50/52 Targowa Street, the building was turned into a warehouse after World War II. Inside fragments of wall paintings depicting the Western Wall, Rachel&rsquos Tomb, and signs of the Zodiac remain. A Hebrew inscription says the paintings were financed by donations in 1934.
Zionist groups flourished in Warsaw in the late 1800's. Chapters of Hovevei Zion and the Society Menuha ve Nahalah opened. Hovevei Zion opened its own modern heder in Warsaw in 1885.
The Bund, Jewish socialists, also promoted their ideologies. The Bund was popular among Jewish workers and helped promote Yiddish culture. The Bund was ardently opposed to Zionism and the revival of Hebrew.
Yiddish and Polish weeklies emerged in the 1820's and the Hebrew Press began later in the 1880&rsquos. Warsaw became the center of Hebrew publishing in Poland and many famous writers either lived or worked in the city, including: Isaac Bashevis Singer, Shalom Asch, I.L. Peretz, David Frischman and Nachum Sokolow.
World War I & Inter-War Period
During World War I, thousands of refugees came to Warsaw. By 1917, there were 343,000 Jews living in Warsaw, about 41% of the total population. In this period, the Jewish population increased, while the percentage of Jews living in Warsaw, compared to non-Jews, decreased to about 30%. Many Jews &mdash about 34% in 1931 &mdash were unemployed.
The main political struggle in Warsaw and in Poland took place between the Zionists parties and the Orthodox -Hasidic groups, which had joined together and formed the Agudat Israel. By 1936, though, the Bund had received the majority of votes to serve on the communal leadership and represent the Jewish community in the Warsaw municipality. The Polish government annulled the election results, however, and appointed a different community (kahal) board, which was used until the beginning of the German occupation.
In the inter-war period, a Jewish school system existed, but most Jews attended state schools. During this period, many Hebrew writers immigrated to Israel nevertheless, the Yiddish and Polish Jewish press still thrived. By the start of World War II, more than 1,000 Jewish workers were involved in Hebrew printing works in Warsaw.
Warsaw&rsquos pre-war Jewish population in 1939 was 393,950 Jews, approximately one-third of the city total. From October 1939 to January 1940, Germans enacted anti-Jewish measures, including forced labor, the wearing of a Jewish star and a prohibition against riding on public transportation.
In April 1940, construction of the ghetto walls began. On Yom Kippur, October 12, 1940, the Nazis announced the building of Jewish residential quarters. Roughly 30% of the city&rsquos population was to be confined to an area that comprised just 2.4% of city lands. Jews from Warsaw and those deported from other places throughout Western Europe were ordered to move into the ghetto, while 113,000 Christians were moved out of the area. The ghetto was divided into two sections, a small ghetto at the south end and a larger one at the north end. German and Polish police guarded its outside entrance and a Jewish militia was formed to police the inside.
The population of the ghetto reached more than half a million people. Unemployment was a major problem in the ghetto. Illegal workshops were created to manufacture goods to be sold illegally on the outside and raw goods were smuggled in. Children became couriers and smugglers.
Hospitals, public soup kitchens, orphanages, refugee centers and recreation facilities were formed, as well as a school system. Some schools were illegal and operated under the guise of a soup kitchen. Still, many Jews died from mass epidemics (such as typhoid) and hunger. The streets were filled with corpses. Jews in the ghetto still had to pay for burial, and if they couldn't afford it, the bodies were left unburied.
Clandestine prayer groups and yeshivot were also started. Some religious Jews believed that their suffering was preordained and would bring about the Messiah. There were also many religious Jews involved in heroic acts. One famous leader was Janusz Korczak, the director of the Jewish orphanage, who chose to accompany the children he cared for when they were deported.
This first mass deportation of 300,000 Jews to Treblinka began in the summer of 1942. The number of deportees averaged about 5,000-7,000 people daily, and reached a high of 13,000. At first, ghetto factory workers, Jewish police, Judenrat members, hospital workers and their families were spared, but they were also periodically subject to deportation. Only 35,000 were allowed to remain in the ghetto at one time. Adam Czerniakow, the head of the Warsaw Judenrat committed suicide on July 23, 1942, to protest the killing of Jewish children.
A second wave of deportations to Treblinka began on January 18, 1943, during which many factory workers and hospital personnel were taken. Unexpected Jewish armed resistance, however, forced the Nazis to retreat from the ghetto after four days of deportations.
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Following the armed resistance in January 1943, all social institutions and the Judenrat ceased to function and even walking on the streets became illegal. Mordechai Anielewicz, at the age of 24, became the leader of the Jewish Fighting Organization (ZOB). He recruited more than 750 fighters, but amassed only 9 rifles, 59 pistols and a couple of grenades. A developed network of bunkers and fortifications were formed. The Jewish fighters also received support from the Polish Underground.
On April 19, 1943, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising began when German troops penetrated the ghetto to begin a third round of mass deportations. The ZOB faced a formidable force of 2,000 armed German soldiers, yet the Germans were unable to defeat the Jews in open street combat. After several days, the Germans switched tactics and began burning down houses. The ZOB headquarters on 18 Mila Street fell on May 8, 1943 at this time Mordechai Anielewicz died in battle.
On May 16, 1943, the ghetto was liquidated and the Germans blew up the Great Synagogue on Tomlacke Street in victory. Sixty thousand Jews died in the ghetto uprising.
A Polish partisan fighter from the Piesc Battalion of the Armia Krajowa, led by Stanislaw Jankowski Agaton, on a rooftop overlooking the Ewangelicki cemetery in the Wola district of Warsaw (August 2, 1944).
Not all Jews were found by the Nazis by May 16 and intermittent fighting lasted until June 1943. About 50 ghetto fighters were saved by the Polish &ldquoPeople&rsquos Guard&rdquo and formed their own partisan group, named after Anielewicz. The Warsaw Ghetto uprising empowered Jews throughout Poland and resulted in armed resistance in other ghettos. After the ghetto was liquidated, Jewish leaders continued to work underground on the &ldquoAryan&rdquo side by hiding Jews and issuing forged documents. Many Jews became active in the Polish underground of Greater Warsaw.
Following the liquidation of the ghetto, the Nazis established forced labor camps in Warsaw, including one on the ruins of the ghetto. In July 1943, Oswald Pohl, who headed the SS&rsquos Main Economic and Administrative Office, placed them all under the administration of the concentration camp system. The Warsaw concentration camp (Konzentrationslager Warschau) held a few thousand prisoners who came from Auschwitz to &ldquodisassemble and repurpose everything remaining in the decimated ghetto,&rdquo according to historian Daniel Blatman.
The Polish underground smuggled food and clothing to the prisoners. Many prisoners were murdered when the camp was evacuated in the summer of 1944 a small group of Jews were left behind and liberated by the Polish underground in August 1944.
In September 1944, Warsaw&rsquos eastern suburb, Praga, was liberated and, in January 1945, the main parts of the city on the left bank were liberated by the Soviets. About 6,000 Jews participated in the battle for the liberation of Warsaw. Two thousand Jewish survivors were found in underground hideouts, when the city was liberated. When the city stadium was built, the bones of approximately 100,000 people were found in a mass grave and reburied in the city cemetery.
The message reads: "Here was the walls of the Ghetto"
By the end of 1945, 5,000 Jews settled in Warsaw. The population doubled when Jews who survived the war in Russia returned to Warsaw. The city became the seat of the Central Committee of Polish Jews and a number of Jewish cultural institutions were opened in 1949.
Over the next two decades, waves of immigration were stimulated by anti-Semitism and communist persecution. The first large group left for Israel in 1946-47 following the Kielce pogrom. Others left in 1957-58 and 1967-68. By 1968, most Jewish institutions ceased to function.
Currently, most of Poland&rsquos Jewish population lives in Warsaw. The Union of Religious Congregations has its main office in Warsaw. There is both a Jewish primary school and a kindergarten. Warsaw also houses the offices of the Main Judaic Library and Museum of Jewish Martyrology. It is the home also of the E.R. Kaminska Jewish Theater, the only regularly functioning Yiddish theater in the world. Most of its actors today are not Jewish. While parts of Europe have seen an upsurge of anti-Semitism, this has not occurred in Poland.
While Jews living in Warsaw feel their situation today is good, few are in prominent positions. One of the major issues for the community remains the restitution of property taken from Jews during the war.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin joined Polish officials, Holocaust survivors, and media representatives on October 28, 2014, for the opening of Poland&rsquos new &ldquoPolin Museum of the History of Polish Jews.&rdquo The building was inaugurated last year and the museum cost in total over $100 million. The museum was built on the grounds where the Warsaw Ghetto stood during the Holocaust. The visit to the opening of the museum was Israeli President Rivlin&rsquos first foreign trip since his election in Summer 2014. The core exhibit tells the story of the 1,000 year history of Jews in Poland through 8 chronological gallery sections.
Jewish life in Warsaw is recovering and becoming stronger by the year. In 2010 three Synagogues existed in Warsaw today there are six. The Warsaw Jewish Community&rsquos first Jewish Community Center (JCC) was established in 2007.
According to Chabad, for the first time since the Warsaw ghetto was liquidated during World War II &ndash and all its residents killed or deported to death camps &ndash one hundred Diaspora Jewish families from Israel, Europe and the U.S. will celebrate a Passover Seder there on April 19, 2019, along with Chief Rabbi of Chabad-Poland Shalom Ber Stambler and his family. The Seder will be divided into three groups and led in three different languages &ndash Polish, Hebrew and English. Toward the end of the evening, they will merge and conclude the Seder as one.
Jewish Tourist Sites
Not one house in the Warsaw Ghetto survived. Everything was rebuilt after the war, and the area is now a residential neighborhood. Several monuments to the ghetto and uprising are scattered about the area.
The Bunker on 18 Mila Street
More than 100 people died on May 8, when the Nazis surrounded the bunker. Nothing remains from the bunker. It is marked by a commemorative stone engraved in Polish, Yiddish and Hebrew
The Musuem of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw
In April 2013, the Museum of the History of Polish Jewry in Warsaw - built on hallowed ground of the Warsaw Ghetto - opened to visitors interested in learning more about the Jewish community of the city. The museum itself is housed in a structure of green glass and stone, symbolic of transparency, and the main entrance faces a plaza dominated by the Nathan Rapoport memorial, which commemorates the heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The museum's design was completed by Finnish architects Rainer Mahlamäki and Ilmari Lahdelma who were chosen from among 200 submissions to Poland&rsquos first international architectural competition. The plot of land for the museum and an additional $13 million were donated by the city of Warsaw to the project.
Chief Curator of the Warsaw Museum and New York University Professor Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett said that the 1,000-year history of Polish Jews, 3 million of whom were killed during the Holocaust, was an &ldquointegral part&rdquo of the Poland&rsquos history in general. &ldquoJews are not a footnote to Polish history,&rdquo Kirshenblatt-Gimblett said.
Memorial of the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto
Between Karmelicka and Zamenhofa streets stands the Ghetto Heroes Monument. Designed by sculptor Nathan Rappaport. It commemorates all who lost their lives in the Ghetto Uprising led by Mordechai Anielewicz.
A commemorative Gateway Monument was built on the site of the ramp, known as Umschlagplatz (collection point), used for railroad transport to Treblinka. Names of 400 Jews are etched on it. The train station began its first actions in the summer of 1942.
Warsaw Ghetto Walls
Only a small piece remains of the ghetto walls, which were about 11 miles long.
The synagogue was founded in 1902, by Zalman Nozyk, a wealthy Jewish merchant. The synagogue was known for its singing and religious music and attracts visitors from around the world. Built by an unknown acrhitect in neo-Roman style with elements of Byzantine and Mauritian ornamentation, the Nozyk is Warsaw&rsquos only surviving synagogue from before the war. During WWII, it was was located in the ghetto. The Germans allowed public worship in autumn 1941, but it was later used as a stable.
The Warsaw "geniza," a collection of holy scripts from all over Poland was under the synagogue, but it was nearly useless for some time because all the people were gone. At one point, there were more Jewish books in Poland than Jews.
The synagogue was renovated and reconstructed between 1977-83. Today, services are held daily and on major Jewish holidays.
Jewish Historical Institute (ZIH)
In 1993, the Bank Tower was completed on the grounds where the Great Synagogue once stood. Superstitious residents believe the site to have been cursed by the last rabbi. Behind the tower is the Judaic Library building, which suffered major damage during the war, but was restored and handed over to the Jewish Historical Institute in Poland. The building presently houses offices and research rooms, and boasts a large collection of Jewish art, religious objects, and mementos. Its archives contain a large collection of materials and documents relating to Jewish history in Poland, including Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum&rsquos Underground Archives. The Institute's library has about 60,000 volumes. The Jewish Historical Institute in Poland is funded by the State and acts under the auspices of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The Institute&rsquos library has more than 60,000 volumes of literature and old manuscripts, from as early as the 10 th century.
The Brodno Jewish Cemetery
Founded in 1799, it is the oldest Jewish cemetery in Warsaw. It was almost completely destroyed in the war. In 1985, renovations took place. One can find a 26-foot sculpture to remember Jewish martyrs.
Okopower St. Jewish Cemetery (Gensha Cemetery)
Dated to the beginning of the 19 th century, it is Warsaw&rsquos largest Jewish cemetery with 250,000 people buried in 200,000 graves. Special gravestones exist for the Kohanim (priests). Mass graves for 300 victims of the Nazis can be found, as well as gravestones for those who perished in the Warsaw ghetto and Jewish officers and enlisted men in the Polish army who lost their lives defending Warsaw in 1939. Some of the more famous gravestones include, I.L. Peretz (writer), Meir Balaban (historian), Esther Kaminska (actress) and Dr. Zaminhoff (the creator of Esperanto). There is also a statue commemorating Janusz Korczak. Ordinarily, a Jew who commits suicide is not allowed to be buried in a cemetery, but the family of Adam Czerniakow, the head of the Warsaw Judenrat who killed himself during the war to protest the killing of Jewish children, was given special dispensation for burial in the cemetery.
Sources: Beyond the Pale: The History of Jews in Russia
Ruth Ellen Gruber, Jewish Heritage Travel: A Guide to East-Central Europe, (Jason Aronson, Inc. Northvale, New Jersey, 1999)
&ldquoNewly Opened Museum Aims to Show Jews Not a &lsquoFootnote to Polish History,&rsquo&rdquo E-Jewish Philanthropy (April 17, 2013)
Paul Johnson, A History of the Jews, (Harper & Row, Publishers. New York. 1987)
March of the Living - Canada
Poland. Encyclopedia Judaica. CD-ROM Edition. Judaica Multimedia. 1995
Poland. Virtual Jerusalem - Jewish Communities of the World
Daniel Blatman, &ldquoIsrael, It's Time to Call Off the anti-Polish Hunt,&rdquo Haaretz, (October 18, 2019).
Photo Credits: Holocaust photos courtesy of Andrew Kobos' Shoah - The Holocaust site. Cemetery photo courtesy of Pawel Brunon Dorman. Warsaw underground fighter photo from Wikimedia Commons. Peretz grave photo courtesy of Stephen Epstein/Big Dipper Communications. Warsaw tower, old city, memorials, ghetto wall photos courtesy of Scrap Book Pages.
Download our mobile app for on-the-go access to the Jewish Virtual Library
On the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation marking the end of the Second World War in Europe we, together with all mankind, mourn dozens of millions of victims of this global-scale violence. We pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for the future generations.
Ukraine belongs to the region where the Second World War was unleashed it found itself in the very epicenter of the War. The first of September 1939 was far from being the initial stage of the plan designed by Hitler. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed in Moscow on August 23 had delineated the spheres of interest between the two dictatorships and heralded further Europe’s division for decades.
Twice the front was rolled across Ukraine’s territory: first when the Red Army retreated in 1941 and then during its counter-offensive in 1943-1944.
The Pols and Ukrainians were among the first victims of a part of the plan when Nazi soldiers from the West and Soviet soldiers from the East marched in territory of Poland and today’s Western Ukraine and later invaded the Baltic states.
About 8 million Ukrainians perished in this war. This number amounts to 19% of all victims around the world. Over 2 million people were moved to labor camps. 714 towns and 28,000 villages were completely or partially destroyed. 7 million Ukrainians served in the Red Army during the war. Around half of them were killed in action, died of wounds or in captivity.
Regrettably, for years we observe a criminal synergy of Russia’s aggressive neo-fascist policy, illegal armed actions against its neighbors with manipulations and falsification of history, including that of WWII, along with glorification of Stalin’s totalitarian regime and those who perpetrated crimes against peoples.
Ukraine is doing its utmost to ensure “Never again”.Taking a look at the history we strongly condemn the crimes of Nazism, totalitarianism and aggression. Within the UN Ukraine spares no effort to make sure that those crimes against humanity never happen again.
Law against Dangerous Habitual Criminals already empowers the state to detain people with two criminal convictions for unlimited periods in 'protective custody'. On this date, the law is extended to cover beggars, 'vagabonds', prostitutes, pimps, and the 'workshy'. It will soon also entrap Roma and Sinti ('Gypsies').
This measure emerged from the dangerous blurring of racial-biological thinking and criminology. Certain German theorists claimed that the habit of committing crime was a hereditary trait.Such measures were popular with many Germans, who saw them as restoring law and order to a society losing its cohesion. The attack on marginal social groups also played to widespread prejudice.
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". The old man, Dr. Jose P. Laurel, who, according to Malacanang and the Comelec, lost in the 1949 presidential elections, had been prevailed upon by his party leaders to run for the Senate. He did not have to campaign as hard as before. As expected by many people, he copped first place in the 1951 elections. It was a magnificent vindication for both the nation and the man who richly deserved it.
In some places in Mindanao in the presidential elections of 1949, the birds and the bees voted and even the dead had apparently been resurrected so they could vote. In some places in the Visayas, the elections had been marred by incredible fraud and terrorism. But in the 1951 elections, thanks to the new Secretary of National Defense Ramon Magsaysay, who did not allow the agents of violence to rig the elections, the nation gave the highest honor to a man who might have been president.
But, in point of fact, Dr. Jose P. Laurel was the president of this country during the Japanese occupation. I vividly recall the antecedent circumstances.
I was arrested and tortured in Pasig during the first days of April 1942, due to my underground activities against the Japanese I was hauled to Fort Santiago, then transferred to the San Marcelino jail, and confined in the Old Bilibid Prisons on Azcarraga, now Claro M. Recto street. In June 1942, I was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in Muntinglupa. But on February 11, 1943, I was suddenly released from imprisonment on the occasion of the Foundation Day of Japan, known as Kigen Setsu. Home for me was no longer in Pasig. I found our family on Carriedo street in Manila and after a few days, I was able to visit my very sick mother in the Philippine General Hospital.
Almost four months later, in the afternoon of June 5, 1943, Jose P. Laurel, the Commissioner of Interior, was shot in Wack-Wack while playing golf. He was rushed to the Philippine General Hospital, and it was not known whether he would survive or not. A number of my friends and relatives rejoiced in silence, believing that Dr. Laurel was a Japanese collaborator.
Not knowing him personally at that time, I was torn between my deep admiration for him as a jurist and my revulsion over the abuses and the atrocities of the Japanese military. Laurel was probably the most respected member of the Supreme Court before the war, having been described by President Manuel L. Quezon as the Supreme Court justice with "the most powerful pen." In 1941, I was a senior law student in the U.P and in our review classes in Political Law, I was impressed again and again by the clarity of his thinking, the majesty and power of his language and the wisdom of his opinions. How, I had asked myself, how could such a man be a traitor to his people? As I said years later, the bullet wounds that he sustained could not have hurt him more than the sheer anguish of being cursed and misunderstood by the people he had loved so passionately and served so well—as the youngest Cabinet member, a graduate of U.P and Yale, who dared an American Governor General on a point of honor then as a professor of law who graced the halls of the Senate at a time when only those who had superior intellect, experience and a track record of genuine service to the people could qualify for the people's mandate—wala pang mga movie actors at basketball stars na naglakas-loob na pumasok sa Senado noon then as the shining light of the 1934 Constitutional Convention, where he drafted the Bill of Rights and as the justice of the Supreme Court whose opinions generations of lawyers and law students would love to memorize.
It was a miracle from heaven that despite his serious injuries, Dr. Laurel survived the assassination attempt. It must have led many people, including the Japanese, to believe that Laurel had been chosen by destiny to be the president of a nation under Japanese military occupation.
And so, the wounded Jose P. Laurel—not Benigno Aquino, Sr. the father of Ninoy and the head of Kalibapi, nor Jorge Vargas, the head of the Executive Commission—was fated to be the president of the Japanese-sponso red Republic. On September 25, 1943, the National Assembly made the decision: Laurel was elected president, and Benigno Aquino Sr., was elected Speaker. A week later, Laurel of Batangas, Aquino of Tarlac and Jorge Vargas of Manila—the three most prominent figures trusted by the Japanese—were flown to Tokyo to be decorated by the Emperor of Japan and to be informed by Premier Hideki Tojo on the "guidelines of Philippine Independence." But the Emperor's decoration was merely a softener. It turned out that Premier Tojo wanted the new Philippine Government, under Laurel, to declare war on the United States and Great Britain. Dr. Laurel said he was sorry he must say No—Filipinos back home would not approve of it, he was not the most popular leader in the Philippines and if he were to do it, he would be a leader without any following. The fearless leader from Batangas, the leader with a moral sense and the firmness of conviction made of the finest steel, got away with his refusal and the three returned to Manila.
On October 14, 1943, the Japanese-sponso red Republic was inaugurated. The Republic, which was supposed to be a farce became an instrument of defense and a mighty fortress, in the hands of President Laurel. He had all the Japanese guards and Japanese advisers ousted from Malacanang, after a showdown with the Japanese command, on the irrefutable argument that having given independence to the Philippines and liberated our people, the Japanese would do well to make good their claim. As President of the Republic, he asserted his right to the custody of Manuel Roxas, and told the Japanese that for as long as he was president, they must first dispose of him before they could lay hands on Roxas, the most popular Filipino leader Quezon had left behind, but who was supposed to be sick due to a heart problem.
In the meantime, guerilla organizations sprouted throughout the Philippines. We had them in Rizal, but when they were not fighting the Japanese, they often fought each other. In Pampanga, the Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon, otherwise known as the Hukbalahap, under Luis Taruc, was more united and disciplined—and they were feared throughout Central Luzon.
Around the end of 1943, I prepared for the bar examinations scheduled to be held in August 1944. Senior law students at the outbreak of the war were allowed to take this only bar examination during the Japanese occupation—a one-month ordeal. Our bar examiners were respected personalities before the war. After the bar exams, our family evacuated to Taytay, Rizal. In October 1944, the radio and the only English newspaper daily, the Tribune, announced the results. I rode a bicycle from Taytay to Penafrancia, Manila, the residence of Chief Justice Jose Yulo, and obtained my bar examination grades. But coming home was difficult. American planes raided military installations around Manila. In a few days, the Americans landed in Leyte. We knew that the day of reckoning had come.
In December 1944, pro-Japanese elements among Filipinos, led by Benigno Ramos, Pio Duran and General Artemio Ricarte, were given arms. Apparently, they resented President Laurel's refusal to draft even one Filipino soldier to fight on the side of Japan. Ramos had organized the Makapili (Makabayang Pilipino) so they could take over the helm of Government, preempt or liquidate President Laurel and deliver the youth of the nation to the Japanese. During its inauguration in front of the Legislative Building, which in pre-war days had been the arena of debates among such political giants as Manuel Quezon, Sergio Osmena, Claro M. Recto and Jose P. Laurel, the wartime president stood in the imperious presence of General Yamashita and delivered a stinging speech, first, to the Japanese high command who must have thought that every Filipino could be intimidated or terrorized, and second but more importantly, to the pro-Japanese Filipinos who must have been blinded by ignorance or tainted by sheer opportunism.
"There is only one Republic, of which I am the President," pointedly declared Dr. Laurel, "and as long as I am the head of government, I cannot consent or permit any political organization of Filipinos to exist unless that organization is subject to the authority and control of that Republic."
"Posterity," he continued by way of rebuke to the pro-Japanese Filipinos in his audience, "posterity will judge us not so much by what we say as by what we do. It is not enough for us to say that we love our country, that for it we will die to the bitter end. Not by words but by deeds must we show our determination, our readiness to defend to the last drop of our blood the honor and integrity of our land. Let us live both as a nation and as individuals in the way our foremost hero lived. To his country, Rizal devoted and consecrated everything, life included. As his countrymen and followers, we can do no less."
It is easy in these days of relative freedom to talk of love of country and heroism. But Dr. Laurel, the professor of law, taught his people, less by classroom instruction than by a lifetime of quiet example, the meaning of self-sacrifice and devotion to the public good—in the most critical, unforgettable period of our nation's history. He was president of a country that had been defeated in the battles of Bataan and Corregidor.
What distinguishes him from our present crop of leaders is that President Jose P. Laurel had (1) a sense of purpose and direction and (2) he had a moral ascendancy precisely because he had a moral foundation—the source of his inner strength and moral fortitude, in the face of all conceivable risks and adversities. Come to think of it, he was blessed with good friends, but he had no cronies he had his share of relatives, but he had no in-laws and outlaws. And he had no ill-gotten wealth.
In the second week of January 1945, American troops landed in Lingayen, Pangasinan and in the evening of February 3, a squadron of the U.S. First Cavalry, aided by Filipino guerrillas, crashed through the gates of the UST and freed 4,000 Americans and other aliens who had been interned there. Around midnight, they took possession of Malacanang Palace. The population north of Pasig welcomed the American GIs with great rejoicing until the next day.
How about the Laurels and his government? We learned, a little later, that from Northern Luzon, President Laurel, his wife and some of the members of his own family, were flown by the Japanese to Tokyo. The Japanese surrendered to the Americans in August 1945, and a month later, Dr. Laurel and his family were arrested by U.S. authorities and flown to Manila on July 23, 1946. Upon arrival here, he was immediately imprisoned like a common criminal in Muntinglupa, to face the charges of treasonable collaboration against the United States. Meantime, the man whose life he had saved, Manuel A. Roxas, was elected President of the Philippines in the elections of April 23, 1946.
On September 2, 1946, Dr. Laurel, appeared before the People's Court to plead not guilty and argue his motion for bail in a courtroom full of lawyers and judges, many of whom had sat at his feet as the great teacher of law. Dr. Laurel argued that it was the unpreparedness of the U.S. which caused the military occupation of the Philippines by Japan, and led to the creation of the Japanese-sponso red Philippine Republic. "If all Filipino officials, as stated in the MacArthur Proclamation of October 23, 1944, were acting under duress, how could they be held responsible for their acts?" It was impossible to dispute what he said so eloquently.
And in the most stirring part of his plea, Dr. Laurel said what could not be said by many Filipino public officials, then and now:
I am neither pro-Japanese nor pro-American, I am pro-Filipino. There is no law that can condemn me for having placed the welfare of my people over and above that of America.
I am not expecting a decoration. I do not claim to be a hero. Although human justice may err, what matters is that I am innocent before my conscience and my God. I shall face my Creator in full confidence that I had dedicated my powers, my talents and energies to the service of my country at a time when she needed me most.
For God and country—this is what President Laurel stood for, ever conscious of the role of Divine Providence in history and the meaning of unselfish service. Which is why we in Lyceum, whether student or faculty member, must seek the truth, for in the language of the Gospel , only the truth shall set us free. And only the truth can give us the inner strength and the fortitude to face every human being—whether friend or foe. Veritas et fortitudo, the motto of Lyceum, was not a mere slogan for Dr. Jose P. Laurel it was the guiding principle of his life.
On September 14, 1946, Dr. Laurel's petition for bail was granted and the trial was scheduled for July 1947.
Around February 1947, I arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to take graduate studies in law. I met for the first time, Dr. Jose P. Laurel's son, Sotero H. Laurel. He had finished his master's degree at Harvard in 1942, and was then pursuing his doctoral degree in law, after a very difficult time in Washington, D.C. where he had worked as a taxi driver during the early days of the war, after which he became Secretary to Vice President, later President Sergio Osmena, Sr. Teroy introduced me to his wife, Lorna, a lady of grace and beauty and refinement. In the meantime, the new Government under President Roxas realized that the charge of collaboration was a big mistake. It declared an amnesty and quickly withdrew the charge against Dr. Laurel and his co-accused.
After my return to the Philippines in February 1949, Dr. Sotero Laurel and I practised law together and taught law in the evenings. During the 1949 election campaign, I was drawn into the presidential campaign and had the chance to know Dr. Jose P. Laurel at close range. A little later, Teroy and I appeared with Senator Claro M. Recto in the famous Politburo case I began to know Senator Recto better. I recall that the old man Laurel had always wanted to build a University for the masses, believing that the only hope of the nation in the long run was the education of the youth of the land. I was asked to draft the Articles of Incorporation. I taught International Law and Corporation Law here in the Lyceum beginning 1952 and enjoyed teaching here chiefly because the old man Laurel was the president and Senator Claro M. Recto was the dean of the law school—two political rivals in the 1930s who had served and worked together in the Constitutional Convention of 1934 and in the Philippine Republic during the wartime years. They became close to each other. Looking back, Recto as Minister of Foreign Affrairs, and Laurel, as President during the Japanese occupation had outwitted the Japanese in the only battle where the two could hope to prevail—the battle of wits. But without any disrespect for Don Claro, it was the lot of Dr. Jose P. Laurel, more than Recto, to confront the Japanese with nothing but a clear mind and a pure heart and place himself as a shield between the might of their guns and the helplessness of his own people. The erudite and witty Recto once described Jose P. Laurel as "great and good", in the attempt to capture the virtues of the latter with the clumsy language of humanity.
Drawn apart since we dissolved our law partnership in 1954, Dr. Sotero H. Laurel and I were drawn together again when we were elected to the Senate in 1987—the first election after Edsa. He was chosen by our peers President pro tempore. In September 1991, we were confronted by a gut-wrenching choice: to follow the overwhelming desire of our people for us in the Senate to ratify the RP-US Bases Treaty by allowing the U.S. Military Bases to continue for at least ten more years in exchange for $203 million—or follow our own judgment by rejecting the Treaty. This, despite the sufferings of our people, particularly the many thousands who had become homeless and jobless, due to the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo which had turned most of Central Luzon into a wasteland.
Following the example of Dr. Jose Laurel, his equally distinguished son, Senator Sotero H. Laurel, established his own niche in our nation's history when he voted NO on September 16, 1991 and by the collective vote of the Magnificent Twelve, ended more than 400 years of foreign military presence in the Philippines.
Many do not know that your president had been approached by the Japanese ambassador and by many dear friends and close relatives to vote for the Bases Treaty. But when he stood on the floor of the Senate on that historic date when the whole country was literally watching and listening to our speeches, he declared: "Fairness, justice, independence, self-determinat ion, self-respect and equality are values that cannot be measured in terms of money. We are told that majority of our people want the Treaty to be ratified. But the times call for moral courage, the courage to differ. It is now time for inspired and well-informed leadership, and it is time for leaders to lead."
In this period of apparent chaos and darkness, you in Lyceum, whether professors or students, are expected to lead—not as masters but as servants. "For God and country"—these are the words of joyful service we honor here in this institution—not service to ourselves, first and foremost, but service to God and our people, above all. As one writer would have us know:
"Life is like a game of tennis. He who serves well seldom loses." And if you ask me how, my answer is for all of us, in every situation, to seek the truth according to our best lights, so we may have the courage to act, and the fortitude to face and surmount the problems and challenges of a nation now in deep crisis.
Allow me, then, to paraphrase the prayer of Rheinold Niebuhr, a great philosoper and theologian: Lord, give us the serenity of mind to accept the things we can no longer change, the courage to change the things we can and must change, and the wisdom to know the difference."
Copper Penny Counterfeits
Twelve of these pennies exist and a few of them are still in circulation, so it is worth keeping your eyes peeled for them. However, there are some fake versions of the 1943 copper penny out there. The counterfeit coins were originally introduced as a novelty item, but some have remained in circulation. The way to detect if your 1943 penny is made out of copper is by using a magnet. If the penny sticks to the magnet, it is made out of steel &mdash not copper.
Keep your eyes open for this rare penny &mdash and you could be up to $200,000 richer if you find it.