Trip to Poland, 1937 (An Ongoing Series): News on Ship

In my Aunt Helen's collection of materials from her trip to Poland I found several news releases from the M.S. Pilsudski. Apparently radio news stories were compiled and distributed to passengers to keep them up to date on the news topics of the day. The "M.S. Pilsudski Radio News" was published in English and in Polish. The Polish editions of the paper seemed to focus on topics mostly relating to Poland. The English version of the news seemed to cover world news.

On Tuesday, June 8 1937 news topics included updates from New York, Washington, London, Hollywood , and Madrid. A major steel strike, I believe the "Little Steel Strike," was taking place in the United States, involving some 70,000 steel workers. Catastrophic volcano explosions killed 507 people and destroyed the town of Rabaul, New Guinea. A typhoid epidemic ensued, a result of polluted water in the area. In Hollywood starlet Jean Harlow died of uremic poisoning on Monday. Ernest Aldrich Simpson, the divorced husband of the Duchess of Windsor was suing a Mrs. Joan Sutharland for slander and the case would "...probably be heard in court on Thursday." There are updates of the civil war in Spain. Ironically, given our current state of affairs with the banking crisis, a story from Washington, D.C. reports Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau closed the books on "...two federal note issues, totalling eight hundred millions dollars, after the nations investors had oversubscribed the offering by 2,831,000,000 dollars." Some things don't change.

On June 10th, 1937 the "M.S. Pilsudski - Radio News" continues to report on the Spanish Civil War. In Moscow, "Commisar Voroshiloff signed a decree removing all famous generals, serving on Russia's western frontier. Marshal Tuchatchevski disappeared from active service and his present whereabouts is unknown." I had a feeling this story didn't end well. As my knowledge of Russian and Soviet history is pretty limited I decided to do a little research. According to Wikipedia, Mikhail Tukhachevsky was executed on 12 Jun 1937, a victim of Stalin's Great Purge. Also, foreshadowing events to come, is news from the Pope. In Italy "With tears falling and voice shaken by emotion, Pope addressing pilgrims from Bavaria expressed deep sorrow for condition of the catholic church in Germany." The article continues that the "United States Federal Council of churches, representing 23 national denominations passed a resolution, confirming the opinion, that the German administration is hostile to life, teaching and influence on christian church."


Nolichucky Roots said...

I'm so enjoying the voyage, but must admit the foreshadowing makes me a little melancholy. Your aunt must have had an extraordinary trip, but I wonder if what followed had anything to do with her keeping this treasure trove of materials? Susan

Cynthia Shenette said...

Hi Susan. Thank you travelling back in time with me. I think the wartime stuggles and losses may have had something to do with my aunt saving all of this stuff. Poland and the people of Poland suffered greatly during WWII. I read my aunt's diary and look at this stuff and think how drastically people's live changed two short years later.