On this day in 2010, Miep Gies, the last survivor of a small group of people who helped hide a Jewish girl, Anne Frank, and her family from the Nazis during World War II, dies at age 100 in the Netherlands. After the Franks were discovered in 1944 and sent to concentration camps, Gies rescued […]
General Omar Bradley, commander of the 12th Army Group who ensured Allied victory over Germany, dies on this day in 1981. Born on February 12, 1893, Bradley was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (Dwight Eisenhower was a classmate). During the opening days of World War II, he commanded the Infantry […]
On this day in 1974, U.S. Army General Carl Spaatz, fighter pilot and the first chief of staff of an independent U.S. Air Force, dies in Washington, D.C., at age 83. Spaatz was born in 1891 in Boyertown, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the Military Academy at West Point in 1914. He was a combat pilot […]
On this day in 1951, General Henri-Philippe Petain, French national hero of World War I, who was convicted of collaboration with the German occupiers of his country during World War II and sentenced to life in prison, dies. He is 95. A graduate of Saint-Cyr Military Academy, Petain served as a second lieutenant in the […]
On this day, Ilse Koch, wife of the commandant of the Buchenwald concentration camp, is sentenced to life imprisonment in a court in West Germany. Ilse Koch was nicknamed the “Witch of Buchenwald” for her extraordinary sadism. Born in Dresden, Germany, Ilse, a librarian, married SS. Col. Karl Koch in 1936. Colonel Koch, a man […]
Also on this day in 1946, Tojo Hideki, wartime premier of Japan, is indicted by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East of war crimes. In September 1945, he tried to commit suicide by shooting himself but was saved by an American physician who gave him a transfusion of American blood. He was eventually […]
An American soldier accepts the surrender of about 20 Japanese soldiers who only discovered that the war was over by reading it in the newspaper.
On this day in 1921, Adolf Hitler (1934-1945) becomes the leader of the National Socialist German Workers’ (Nazi) Party. Under Hitler, the Nazi Party grew into a mass movement and ruled Germany as a totalitarian state from 1933 to 1945. Hitler’s early years did not seem to predict his rise as a political leader. Born […]