16 Dec 44: The Battle of the Bulge begins, the last major German counter-offensive in the Ardennes Forest of Belgium and the largest and bloodiest battle fought on the western front in World War II. Germany's goal was to split the Allied line in half, capture Antwerp and encircle and destroy four Allied armies, forcing the Western Allies to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis Powers' favor. Once accomplished, Hitler could then fully concentrate on the Eastern theatre of war.
Never have three simple words - on their own so unevocative - become symbolic of such monstrous horror as was the Holocaust. Meaning, "Work Will Make You Free," they were devised by Himmler as an encouragement to camp inmates. At least, that's what the public was told. In reality, the words were a cruel hoax, a spark of false hope, a mocking of the captives passing beneath them. Today, most people under 30 or so don't recognize the words or where they stand. Sad. FYI, it's Auschwitz.