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1937 February 21, OZON (Poland)

The anti-Semitic Camp of National Unity (Oboz Zjednoczenia Narodowego)) was created by Colonel Adam Koc, and Minister of Defense Smigly-Rydz. Trying to stave of pressure from the extreme right they adopted 13 points (called the 13 theses) similar to the Nuremberg laws, depriving Jews of civil rights and advocating their expulsion from all of Poland. They organized boycotts and although officially condemning anti- Jewish violence, they turned a blind eye to it, under the guise of national defense.


The earliest referral (in the Justinian codes) to the Jewish Oath also known as Juramentum Judaeorum. It was originally established by Emperor Justinian 75 years earlier. The idea was based on the concept that no heretic could be believed in court against a Christian. Various methods were used to ensure that the Jew would tell the truth. These included swearing on an opened Torah scroll while standing on a pigskin or while wearing a belt of thorns, or even standing on a stool wearing a "Jews hat." In 1555 the oath became standardized throughout Europe and only was totally abolished in 1914 (Romania).

1102 OBADIAH (Italy-Byzantine Empire-Persia-Egypt)

(Originally Johannes son of Dreux), a Norman Priest from Oppido Lucano Italy, decided to convert to Judaism. Believing that his life would not be safe if he stayed in Italy, he fled to Constantinople, then to Baghdad, and eventually to Fostat. He compiled a mahzor prayer book with musical notations similar to that used in Gregorian chant. He wrote his autobiography known as the Obadiah Scroll.

C. 1470 - C. 1550 OBADIAH BEN JACOB SFORNO (Italy)

Biblical commentator and physician. He is mostly known for his commentary of the Pentateuch, as well as Song of Songs and ecclesiastics psalms etc. Sforno had a decidedly humanistic approach, which he combined with an understanding of the literal meaning of the text. He wrote a book on philosophy Ohr Amim (Light of the Nations) which he translated himself into Latin (Lumen Gentium,) . Other works included a translation on Euclid's eight books and Diḳduḳ Leshon 'Ivri, on Hebrew grammar.

1942 July 1, OBERTYN (Ukraine)

As the Russians withdrew in advance of the German offensive, the local party secretary urged the Jews to join them. The Jews decided to remain, believing the promises of the Ukrainian nationalists that Hitler only wanted them to work. The next day, Ukrainian mobs rounded up all the Jews from the neighboring towns, tied theirs hands with barbed wire and threw them off the ferry into the Dniester river. There were two survivors.

1941 October 22, ODESSA (Russia)

After a partisan explosion in the Romanian military building, Ion Antonescu ordered that 200 people be killed for each officer killed and one hundred for each soldier. Although only several dozen Romanian were killed, 19,000 Jews were doused with gasoline in the city square and burned alive. An additional 16,000 were massacred the next day by Romanian officers.

1941 October 16, ODESSA (Russia)

Was occupied by the fourth Romanian army. Romanian troops, with a little help from Einsatzgruppe D (Action Unit D), (see May 1941) killed 8,000 Jews, about ten percent of the Jews living there.

1248 May 15, ODO OF CHATEAUBROUX (France)

"Investigated" the Talmud and had it condemned. This was the second time the Talmud was condemned, despite the appeals of the Jewish community of France.

1946 March 2, OFFENBACH ARCHIVAL DEPOT (OAD) (Germany)

Was established by the American military. Its goal was to house and protect the collection of Judaica taken from various Nazi depots. Within less then a month, they processed over 1.8 million items which were contained in 2,351 crates. By August 1947, 2,000,000 books and "identifiable materials" were returned and distributed to the survivors.


Was abolished after seven centuries. The precipitating factor in its demise was dissention with the Moslems. David ben Zaccai is considered the last Exilarch of importance (c. 940), although he is mainly remembered for his struggle with Sa'adia Gaon.

634 - 644 OMAR IBN AL-KHATTAB (Arabia)

Second caliph. Omar is credited with laying the groundwork for the Islamic legal system and calendar. Omar, as part of his belief in spreading Islamic rule, conquered Egypt, Eretz Israel, Syria, and Mesopotamia. Despite this, and his later "pact", he was known for his tolerance and is viewed benevolently by Jewish tradition.

1941 October, ONA SIMAITE (1899-1970) (Lithuania)

A librarian at Vilna University, entered the ghetto, ostensibly to recover library books. During the next three years she managed to smuggle in food and other necessities, and take out important documents. She was arrested in 1944 and was sent to Dachau after being tortured. She survived the war.



1942 July 19, - October 6, OPERATION (AKTION) REINHARD (Poland)

Was ordered by Himmler and carried out by Odilo Globocnik. It included mass deportations of Jews within what was known as the General Government in Poland, from small towns to 7 major ghettos. All this was to make it easier for their eventual deportation in the "Final Solution."

1948 April 3 - 15, OPERATION NACHSHON (Eretz Israel)

Began with 1,500 men. Its goal was to open the road to Jerusalem. Shimon Avidan, the commander of the operation, had waited until the first shipment of arms had arrived before he could begin.

1948 April 14, OPERATION YIFTACH (Safed, Eretz Israel)

Was launched with the Palmach's infiltrating a platoon into Safed thus reinforcing the Jewish positions. Eventually the goal of the operation was to capture the northern Galilee. By May 17th, most of the Galilee from Rosh Pina to Acre were in Jewish hands.

1944 October 6, OPERATION ATLAS

A special commando unit of the Waffen SS parachuted near Jericho. The unit included three previous members of the Templers and two local Arabs. One of them was Ali Salameh, a major in the Wehrmacht, who later was a commander in the Mufti’s jihad army.

1941 June 22, OPERATION BARBARROSA (Russia)

Germany attacked Russia. Within a few weeks millions of Jews fell under Nazi rule. The official Soviet radios only reference to the German's successful incursion was to warn Jews to leave certain areas. Approximately 500,000 Jews fought under the Soviet flag and almost half of them were killed during the war. Many Jews served with valor and won 160,000 medals, including 145 "Heroes of the Soviet Union", the Soviet Union's highest award.

1943 November 3, OPERATION HARVEST FESTIVAL (Erntefest) (Poland)

Partly in response to Jewish resistance including the revolt on Sobibor. Himmler ordered Jakob Sporrenberg to eliminate all the Jews in the Lublin area where most of them were in forced labor camps. In one day, 10,000 Jews from the Trawniki labor camp and 8,000 Jews, from Maidanek were machine-gunned after digging their own graves. In the Poniatowa camp 15,000 were killed the next day. During the operation, the Germans killed almost 43,000 Jews.

1944 March 19, OPERATION MARGARET (Hungary)

Germany moved into Hungary. At the time of the occupation 63,000 Jews had already died or been killed. Eichmann, as the head of S.S. officers of the R.S.H.A. (Reich Security Main Office), arrived in Budapest along with SS Major Dieter Wisliceny and Edmund Veesenmayer who was to be in charge of "Jewish Affairs".

1946 October 6, OPERATION NEGEV, (Eretz –Israel)

In 24 hours, the Haganah succeeded in establishing 11 settlements in the Negev creating a fait accompli. This was complete with a pipeline designed and accomplished by Simcha Blass.


The Swedish red cross organized buses ( painted white) to transfer 7000 women from the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Originally they were only supposed to be Scandinavians but the Swedish government decided to include some 2000 Jewish women as well. The operation was negotiated by Count Folke Bernadotte and Heinrich Himmler

1484 November 29, OPPOSITION TO INQUISITION ( Saragossa)

After its initial implementation on May 10, a local delegation met with the king requesting that the inquisition be stopped, as it violated the laws of Aragon. The king rejected their petition, and the inquisition though temporarily postponed , returned by the end of 1485.


Vice-president of the Bulgarian Parliament, Dimitar Peshev protested to Minister of Interior Gabrovski, against planned deportations of Jews. Peshev and 42 fellow members of the National Assembly, presented a petition to the prime minister that successfully held off their deportation. Consequently, Peshev was dismissed as vice president. As a compromise, none of the (approximately 34,000) Jews from old Bulgaria were deported. Yet over 11,384 Jews from Macedonia and Thrace were sent to their death.

1903 - 1944 ORDE CHARLES WINGATE, (Hayedid "The Friend")

An officer in the British army was posted to Eretz Israel after the beginning of the 1936 riots as a captain in British intelligence. He quickly became enamored with the Zionist cause and often chided the "establishment" for not being militant enough. He worked with the Haganah, to train Special Night Squads (S.N.S.), a guerrilla unit he formed, that would specialize in counter terror attacks. Wingate earned the ire of the British after testifying before the Woodhead Commission. In 1939, he was transferred to Ethiopia and then India, probably due to his outspoken pro-Zionist beliefs. He died in March 1944 in a plane crash. The Wingate Institute and Yemin Orde (a children's village) are named after him.

925 July 4, ORIA (Italy)

Was raided by Moslems as part of their attacks on Italy. Ten rabbinical leaders were killed and many others were taken into captivity, including 12 year old Shabbetai Donnolo, later to achieve fame as a physician (see 913).

1942 October 6, OSLO NORWAY

All male Jews were detained. A month later ( November 25) the woman and children were arrested as well. Their citizenship taken away and all were deported. Around 900 succeeded in escaping to Sweden or England. Although the resistance had advanced knowledge given to them by Helmuth James von Moltke, a German military intelligence officer, they decided not to warn the Jews in advance. Von Moltke who opposed the Nazis was later killed by the Gestapo. Of the 767 Jews deported only 26 survived.

1792 (7 Tamuz 5552) OSTROG (Poland)

Russian troops attacked the synagogue, mistaking it for a fortress. No one was hurt. In celebration, a "Purim Ostrog" was declared. A megillah was read on its anniversary.

1942 February 1, OSWALD POHL (Germany)

A former naval paymaster, was placed in charge of the newly formed WVHA (The Economic and Administrative Head Office of the SS) . Its job was to oversee all the financial operations of the SS including the concentration camps and slave labor. He ruled the camps from this office with the aim of achieving Himmler's goal: to use the camps to provide funding for the SS. Pohl was in charge of the conditions in the camps and arranged for everything from use of the clothing to the depositing of gold fillings into the SS accounts. His office contracted agreements regarding slave labor with industrial firms e.g. Heinkel, IG Farben, Junkers, Krupp, Messerschmitt, and Siemens. He was hanged June 8, 1951.

1859 - 1938 OTTO WARBURG (Germany)

Botanist, and Zionist leader. Warburg was a strong supporter of mass settlement but only with the approval of a charter. His main contribution to the Zionist movement was in practical actions such as buying land and encouraging investment. He also served as the third president of the World Zionist Organization. During the 1920's, he directed the Botany Department of the Hebrew University but died in Germany.

965 July 9, OTTO (Germany)

Gave the Bishop of Magdeburg jurisdiction over all merchants and Jews for taxation purposes. In general, under Otto (912-973) the Jews were not expelled or forcibly converted. They were considered the personal property of the King. In the individual towns, the Jews were offered privileges or charters, usually through a contract whereby they would be protected by the crown, in return for financial fealty. The word privilege (privilegium) is found in many documents related to the position of the Jews under various rulers. The term denotes a "private law", or rule and refers to an individual, group or institution.

1933 May 16, OTTO KRAYER

A German pharmacologist, refused to accept the position as department head at the medical academy in Dusseldorf ,after its Jewish head was dismissed. He wrote, " I feel the exclusion of Jewish scientists to be an injustice." Krayer (1899-1982), soon left Germany and became a professor at Harvard.

1873 - 1961 OTTO LOEWI (Germany-USA)

Biochemist and pharmacologist. Lowie's discoveries of the chemical messengers in the transmission of nerve impulses earned him the Nobel Prize (1936). Imprisoned by the Nazis in 1938 he managed to get to the USA before the war, where he was appointed Professor of Pharmacology at the College of Medicine of New York University.

962 OTTO THE GREAT (936-973) (Germany)

Emperor of Germany. As in France under the Carolingian kings, German Jews were generally under the Emperor's protection. The burghers or feudal barons were hostile to them, but in Germany the Emperor, for the most part, controlled the situation. Although favorably treated, Jews were regarded as possessions of the Emperor. Since they were prohibited from owning land, commerce was the only occupation open to them.

1871 - 1890 OTTO VON BISMARCK (Germany)

Served as chancellor of Germany. Although liberal support brought him to power, he joined the reactionaries. He tried to suppress democracy and stood in the way of Jews who opposed him.


Under Selim I (1512-20), ("the Grim"), it conquered Syria and Eretz Israel from the Mamluks. The Ottoman reign was to last 400 years. Under it, Jerusalem and Safed became the two major centers of Jewish populations in Eretz Israel. The manufacturing of firearms, which had been brought to the empire by exiled Jews, played a major role in Selim's victory.

1914 August 1, (Av 9) OUTBREAK OF WWI

In all, out of the 65,000,000 men who fought in WW I, 1,500,000 were Jews. The USA had 250,000 Jewish troops, 10,000 of them officers. Britain 10,000 with 1,300 officers (with a Jewish pop. of less than 300,000). France 55,000 including 14 Jewish generals. Germany with a Jewish population of 600,000 had 100,000 Jewish soldiers with 2,000 officers. 35,000 German Jews won medals including 2,000 pilots, among them Jacob Wolf the oldest German pilot (48). Austria - Hungary had 320,000 including 8 generals. Russia had approximately 500,000 Jews serving. Jewish dead were estimated at 120,000.

1488 OVADIA DI BERTINORO (Italy-Eretz Israel)

Arrived in Eretz Israel. As a scholar in Italy he wrote a commentary on the Mishna. In Israel he started a yeshiva and other benevolent institutions and improved Moslem-Jewish relations. He thus helped pave the way for the integration of the Spanish refugees soon to arrive.

845 OVIEDO (Christian Northern Spain)

King Ramiro I had witches, sorcerers and "not a few Jews" put to death.

1222 OXFORD SYNOD (England)

Stephen Langton, archbishop of Canterbury, held a provincial church council at Oxford. It forbade Jews to build new synagogues, own slaves, or mix with Christians. He had been one of the prime movers of the Fourth Lateran Council and was motivated by its anti-Jewish spirit. In reality, the Oxford's synods canons were not widely enforced or even enforceable in practice.

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