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1939: The War Against The Jews
 pg. 159 
In March 1939 the British government attempted to expel ten Jewish refugees from Czechoslovakia because their passports were not in order. In response to threats that they would leap from an airplane flight scheduled to land in Warsaw, Poland, the pilot refused to take off. The following day, all ten were forced aboard a ship leaving for the Continent.
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Fearing a possible German invasion, Polish cavalry train with lances that would be used to "joust" with tanks. While such tactics evidenced a great deal of bravery on the part of Polish soldiers, they were, of course, useless in the face of the Germans' modern machinery.
Photo: Archive Photos/Popperfoto
Hermann Göring

Hermann Göring, No. 2 in the Nazi Party, seemed the most accessible of all Nazi leaders. He was not a committed antisemite, and he claimed that he joined the Party as a "revolutionary--not because of any ideological nonsense."

A jovial, ebullient extrovert, able to laugh heartily at jokes about his rotund appearance, Göring seemed more human than Hitler or Joseph Goebbels. However, his jolly outward demeanor masked his inhumane traits. He was highly intelligent yet could be as brutal as any of his fellows, lacking conscience and moral compunctions when it came to treatment of prisoners at concentration camps. He thought himself a "Renaissance man," but vanity and greed proved him a Nazi sybarite, as he reveled in power and shamelessly acquired wealth.

An accomplished fighter pilot in World War I, Göring joined the Party in 1922 and rose rapidly in its cadre. He was elected to Parliament in 1928 and received a ministerial post in 1933. In 1934 he was appointed commander of the Air Force, and in 1936 he headed the Four-Year Plan that readied Germany's economy for war.

Failing to prevent Allied bombing of German cities, Göring fell into disfavor and retreated into drug use. After being sentenced to death at the Nuremberg Trials, he committed suicide by swallowing cyanide.

 March 2, 1939: Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli is elected as Pope Pius XII.
 March 11, 1939: Hungary enacts a law permitting the establishment of the Hungarian Labor Service System (Munkaszolgálat). Under the law, Jews of military age will be employed in construction, mining, and fortification work for the military.
 March 15, 1939: Nazi troops enter Czechoslovakia and occupy Prague. No nation takes forcible action against the move. Of roughly 50,000 Jews in the city, only 19,000 will escape from Europe. Tens of thousands of Jews are trapped when Nazi troops enter the Czech provinces of Bohemia and Moravia. Slovakia becomes a German satellite.
 March 20, 1939: About 5000 paintings, drawings, and sculptures deemed "degenerate" by the Nazis are burned on an enormous pyre in Berlin.
 March 21, 1939: Nazi troops enter Memel, Lithuania, forcing Jews there to flee.
 March 21, 1939: The French government passes legislation outlawing incitement to race hatred; See August 27, 1940.
1939: The War Against The Jews
 pg. 159 
The Holocaust Chronicle
© 2009 Publications International, Ltd.