Poland To Request Paintings Looted By The USSR During WWII

By The Thornical Press Staff

September 15, 2022

WARSAW – It was announced that Poland will formally request Russia to return seven works of art now residing in a Moscow art museum.  Poland claims the seven paintings were looted by the Soviet military during the Second World War.

Polish Minister of Culture Piotr Glinski revealed that previous requests for the historic art treasures have been ignored by Russian officials.  Russian archives also hold Polish works of art, including the work Durer and Holbein.

“Until this day the Russian government has not reviewed any of the claims,” Glinski said in a press conference.

The seven paintings in question are currently being held at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.  These works includes the “Two Saints” by 14th century artist Spinello Aretino and the “Adoration of the Child” by 15th century artist Lorenzo de Credi.  It has been established that before the war, these paintings were owned by the Czartoryski family.

Glinski pointed out that hundreds of thousands of items are still in the former Soviet Union and retrieving them has been further hampered by the war in Ukraine.  Glinski also said that of all the Polish cultural items returned from other nations, Russia has returned nothing.  Yet, Glinski vowed that Poland will never give up the quest for the return of cultural items stolen by the Soviets.

On This Day: IBM Releases The Harvard Mark I

On Aug 7, 1944, IBM released the Harvard Mark I, also known as the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator, which was one of the first mechanical operating machines capable of executing complex computations automatically.

Developed by Dr. Howard Aiken of Harvard University and manufactured at IBM’s New York Endicott plant, the Mark I stood 8 feet tall, spanned 51 feet in length, and contained 500 miles of wires.  Upon completion, the Mark I supported the Allied cause during the Second World War and would later be replaced by the Mark II in 1947.

According to Harvard University’s School of Engineering:

. . . the Mark I — originally the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator — represented a key step forward in the global digital evolution. Before it began operation in 1944, computing machines (some of them faster than the Mark I) each had to be designed to solve a specific problem, The Mark I, however, could use punched cards and punched paper tape to store data and instructions that could address an array of problems.

The Mark I is currently on display at Harvard’s Science and Engineering Complex in Allston with other sections of the original being stored at the Smithsonian Institution and IBM.

Photo: The original uploader was Daderot at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 3.0

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On This Day: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Was Born

Born Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon on Aug 4, 1900, she would rise in the ranks of British notables as Queen of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 1936 to 1952 as consort to King George VI.

Descended from British noble stock, Elizabeth would marry the Duke of York, second son of King George V, and give birth to a daughter that would become Queen Elizabeth II.

In a stunning turn of events, Elizabeth’s husband, the Duke of York, unexpectedly ascended to the throne when his older brother Edward VIII abdicated after a scandalous affair with American divorcée Wallis Simpson.  Elizabeth, as queen consort to George VI, stood by her husband throughout the Second World War and into the early 50’s until his death in 1952. Her elder daughter Elizabeth would ascend to the throne as Queen at the age of 25.

Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, would remain a popular figure throughout her life and beyond.  Elizabeth would die at the age of 101 in 2002 and currently holds the record as the longest-lived member of the British royal family.

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On This Day: Einstein–Szilard Letter Gives Birth To The Manhattan Project

On Aug 2, 1939, a letter written by physicist Leo Szilard and signed by famed physicist Albert Einstein was sent to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in which they warned of possible German development of atomic weapons.  In the letter, Szilard and Einstein urged Roosevelt to initiate a nuclear program in the United States.  As the Second World War raged, the United States, along with the United Kingdom, and Canada, implemented the Manhattan Project, in which the first deployable nuclear weapons were developed from 1942 to 1946.

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