World War II As It Happened
A MaritimeQuest Daily Event Special Presentation
Friday, June 6, 1941
Day 645

June 6, 1941: Front page of the Nottingham Evening Post, Nottingham, England.
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[Historical note: On this day the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht issued the Kommissarbefehl (Commissar Order) which instructed field commanders to immediately execute all political commissars that are captured in the Soviet Union.

Guidelines for the Treatment of Political Commissars
In the battle against Bolshevism, the adherence of the enemy to the principles of humanity or international law is not to be counted upon. In particular it can be expected that those of us who are taken prisoner will be treated with hatred, cruelty and inhumanity by political commissars of every kind.

The troops must be aware that:

1. In this battle mercy or considerations of international law is false. They are a danger to our own safety and to the rapid pacification of the conquered territories.

2. The originators of barbaric, Asiatic methods of warfare are the political commissars. So immediate and unhesitatingly severe measures must be undertaken against them. They are therefore, when captured in battle, as a matter of routine to be dispatched by firearms.

The following provisions also apply:

3. ... Political commissars as agents of the enemy troops are recognizable from their special badge—a red star with a golden woven hammer and sickle on the sleeves.... They are to be separated from the prisoners of war immediately, i.e. already on the battlefield. This is necessary, in order to remove from them any possibility of influencing the captured soldiers. These commissars are not to be recognized as soldiers; the protection due to prisoners of war under international law does not apply to them. When they have been separated, they are to be finished off.

4. Political commissars who have not made themselves guilty of any enemy action nor are suspected of such should be left unmolested for the time being. It will only be possible after further penetration of the country to decide whether remaining functionaries may be left in place or are to be handed over to the Sonderkommando. The aim should be for the latter to carry out the assessment.

In judging the question "guilty or not guilty", the personal impression of the attitude and bearing of the commissar should as a matter of principle count for more than the facts of the case which it may not be possible to prove.


June 6, 1941: Front page of The Daily Mail, Hull, England.
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June 6, 1941: Front page of the Birmingham Gazette, Birmingham, England.
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June 6, 1941: Front page of the Western Mail and South Wales News, Cardiff, Wales.
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Note the report in column 7: "Lindbergh Loses Decoration"
(Congress approved the withdrawal of the decoration given to Charles Lindbergh following his solo Atlantic flight because of his position on the current war.)


June 6, 1941: Front page of the Press and Journal, Aberdeen, Scotland.
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June 6, 1941: Front page of The Mercury, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
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June 6, 1941: Front page of The Sydney Sun, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
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June 6, 1941: Front page of The News, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
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Note the report in column 2: "German Broadcast Charge Against British Submarine"
(The Germans claim that a British submarine sank the French schooner Notre Dame du Chatelet and machine-gunned the crew in the water. In fact, the ship was sunk on May 15 by U-43, Wolfgang Lüth. In his war diary, Lüth writes that the ship was fired on with the deck guns because the ship was not worth using a torpedo. He fired 45 rounds at the ship of which 15 hit. He saw the crew abandon the ship in two lifeboats, but made no attempt to contact them. It is not likely that Lüth would admit firing on the survivors, but he does admit firing on the ship without warning. Since there was no communication between the U-boat and the ship, it is completely understandable that the survivors believed that they had been fired on. I don't know if Lüth fired on survivors or not.)


June 6, 1941: Front page of The Lethbridge Herald, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
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June 6, 1941: Front page of The Winnipeg Tribune, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
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June 6, 1941: Front page of the Biddeford Daily Journal, Biddeford, Maine.
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June 6, 1941: Front page of The Evening Star, Washington, D.C.
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June 6, 1941: Front page of The Evening Gazette, Xenia, Ohio.
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June 6, 1941: Front page of The Port Arthur News, Port Arthur, Texas.
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Note the report in columns 2-3: "Man Who Gave His Name To Auto, Louis Chevrolet, Taken By Death"


June 6, 1941: Front page of The Nevada State Journal, Reno, Nevada.
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June 6, 1941: Front page of the San Mateo Times, San Mateo, California.
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June 6, 1941: Front page of the Briesetal-Bote, Kreis Niederbarnim, Brandenburg, Germany.
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1. Luftangriff auf Alexandrien.
(Air attack on Alexandria.)
2. Britischer Völkerrechtsbruch.
(British breach of international law.)


June 6, 1941: Front page of the Völkischer Beobachter, the official newspaper of the NSDAP.
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1. Wir lassen nicht locker!
(We won't give up!)
2. England verlor wieder über 30.000 BRT.
(England again lost over 30,000 GRT.)



   
Page published June 6, 2022