On this day: a train to Auschwitz

This photograph, dated the 14th of June, 1940, is of mainly political prisoners, as well as both Catholics and Jews, being loaded onto a train in Tarnów, Poland. They were being sent to the Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz I.

The first extermination of prisoners at that camp took place in September of 1941.

First_transport_to_Auschwitz_(Tarnów_-_14th_June_1940) Prisoners from the first transport to KL Auschwitz at the train station in Tarnów. The transport was composed mostly of Polish po

On this day: Italy declares war.

Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini stands on the balcony of the Palazzo Venezia in Rome to declare war on France and Great Britain on the 10th of June, 1940.

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Mussolini_DOW_10_June_1940 Italian leader Benito Mussolini delivering his war declaration on France and Great britain from the Palazzo Venezia Balcony in Rome. Fscist dictator.

Meanwhile, in Turin in the north of the country, people gather in a piazza to listen to the declaration on the radio.

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Turin-10-6-1940 People in Charles Albert Square, Turin, listening to the radio message of Benito Mussolini from Rome, announcing the italian declaration of war, 10th June 1940.

D-Day

This image – from the 6th of June, 1944 – shows British troops taking part in the iconic Normandy landings of the Second World War.

Some 156 000 troops from more than a dozen nations took part in the invasion, which was a turning point in the war.

D-day_-_British_Forces_during_the_Invasion_of_Normandy,_6th_June_1944_B5085 D-day - British Forces during the Invasion of Normandy, 6th June 1944 .

On this day: the mysterious death of a king.

Ananda_Mahidol_portrait_photograph Portrait photograph of King Ananda Mahidol of Thailand 1930s

Ananda Mahidol, Thailand’s king Rama VIII, died on the 3rd of June, 1946. He was only twenty at the time.

A child when he was elected successor to the throne in 1935, he continued to be educated in Switzerland, not visiting Thailand as king until 1938 when he was thirteen.

Rama_8_in_stamp stamp used in Rama VIII's reign 17th April 1941 issue Thailand. Thia.

Stamp issued 17th April 1941

The Japanese invaded Thailand the same day in 1941 they bombed America’s Pearl Harbor. The young king was not in the country at the time and did not return home until the end of 1945.

Only six months later a single gunshot was heard, and Ananda Mahidol was found dead.

Ananda_Mahidol_and_Louis_Mountbatten_in_19_January_1946 King Ananda Mahidol and Louis Mountbatten on 19 January 1946. Thai History British

King Ananda Mahidol and Louis Mountbatten. 19th January 1946.

More than one theory has been put forward as to how this happened.

He was the older brother of Bhumibol Adulyadej, who inherited the title and achieved cult status in Thailand; during his long reign both locals and foreigners were imprisoned for insulting him in any way. Even “liking” a Facebook post was enough for some people to be arrested.

The circumstances around Rama VIII’s death are still debated.

On this day…

The C-47s group at the RAF base in Exeter, England on the 5th of June, 1944. This was the day before D-Day, and the planes are painted with identifying stripes. They are parked on the grass as there were too many planes to fit on the concrete.

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c-47s-exeter-ddayc-47s-of-the-440th-troop-carrier-group-at-raf-exeter-england-date-5-june-1944

The Japanese conquest of Burma.

The Japanese invasion and conquest of Burma concluded in May, 1942. The campaign marked the beginning of Japan’s years-long campaign in the South-East Asian region in the Second World War.

In the image below, Japanese troops can be seen lined up at the Burmese border in January, shortly before the invasion began.

IJA_15th_Army_on_border_of_Burma Troops of Japanese Fifteenth Army on the border of Burma The Invasion and Conquest of Burma January 1942

On this day: Magdeburg in Ruins

This image of the German city of Magdeburg was taken on the 29th of May, 1952, seven years after the end of the Second World War.

Trapped behind the Iron Curtain, as the city was occupied by the Soviets at the end of the war (and the region turned into East Germany), very few of the city’s pre-war buildings were ever restored. Many were left in their bombed state or simply abandoned for years before being pulled down.

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Magdeburg, Blick auf die zerstörte Altstadt