Monday, December 20, 2010

70 Years Ago Today 20/12/40

Bulgaria: The fascist government in Sofia introduce a series of laws to restrict the movement of Jews.

England: Liverpool is bombed.

Albania: The Greek army shell the Albanian town of Kilsura in the ongoing war between Athens and the Italian backed fascist government in Tirana.

Berlin: On this day 70 years ago today it is believed that Hitler informed his generals that he intended to invade the USSR. This decision was made in the wake of the failure of the Luftwaffe to defeat the RAF in the Battle of Britain. Hitler decided on this day that the USSR is the greater enemy and that he is prepared to attack the Soviets while Britain remains undefeated. This decision would cost Germany the war.

Unlike previous operations in France and the low countries, the German invasion of Russia would not be over quick.

4 comments:

thesystemworks said...

While Bulgaria passed anti-Jewish laws in common with other fascist-leaning regimes at the time, they refused to deport their own Jewish citizens to certain death. That makes them better than the progressive French and Dutch, to be sure. Nearly all of Bulgaria's Jews survived the war and many becam prominent citizens of Israel after the Communist era when the bulk of Jews left.

Even the Bulgarian Orthodox Church (Orthodox Christian authorities are not known for philo-Semitism) protested the anti-Jewish decrees and the Nazi extermination policy.

Ted Leddy said...

TSW

Excellent observation. In Europe, only Bulgaria, Britain and Denmark can be somewhat proud of their role in attempting to save Jews during WW2.

Gary said...

Ted,
I agree, this is an excellent point to remember. Many countries, including the United States, found it politically convenient to brush aside these atrocities. At first it was part of the overall appeasement effort and later because they did not want to commit resources needed to fight the war -although an ugly truth is that there was ethnic bigotry heavily influencing the decision process.
The lesson here is not so much what happened to the Jews, but what needs to be done when any government engages in any form of genocide. That government, regardless of who they are, will eventually have to be confronted and it should be done quickly and sternly.

Ted Leddy said...

Gary

Good point

As Churchill said, an appeaser is someone who feeds a crocodile in the hope that it will eat them last.