18th January 1914 (Sunday)


~ In Llubljana, in the Duchy of Carniola, Austria-Hungary (now the capital of Slovenia) – Vitomil Zupan, Slovenian writer and poet.

~ In Hamburg, Germany – Arno Schmidt, author and translator.

~ In Geitau bei Bayrischzell, Bavaria – Marianne Schech, operatic soprano.

~In Buenos Aires, Argentina  – Oscar Rubens, “prototypical lyricist of the 40s”.

“His family came from Ekaterinoslav, in Ukraine. His parents, the cobbler Motl and María Kaplán, a teacher at the Hebrew school, decided to emigrate because of the scourge of anti-Semitism, that had broken out again at times of the Russian-Japanese war. They arrived in Buenos Aires in the early 1906 with three daughters, Luisa, Aída and Eugenia. In Argentina they would have seven children more, the second of which was Luis, born in 1908 and with whom the tango dynasty began together with Mauri, Elías (who used the pseudonym Elías Randall) and Oscar. The Rubinsteins or Rubisteins (in the documents of some of them the “n” disappeared) were part of a massive Jewish emigration”. [Todotango.com].





28th August 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY: in Trst, Austria-Hungary (occupied by Italy after 1918, officially annexed to Italy as “Trieste” in 1920, occupied by Germany after the Italian Armistice in 1943, taken by Yugoslavia for forty days in 1945, a “United Nations Free Territory” from 1947-54, under Allied Military rule, and returned to Italy in 1954) – Boris Pahor – a man destined to spend his life with no country to call his own after the disappearance of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Emblematic of life on a twentieth century geo-political fault line.


He is finally – late in his 100th year – receiving some recognition from his native and adoptive lands… A few days ago, on 23rd August 2013 Italy conferred on him the title of “Honorary Citizen of Trieste”, the first ever minority Slovene to receive this recognition.


Trieste - the City in the Bay

Trieste – the City in the Bay

26th June 1913 (Thursday)

BORN TODAY – in Ljubljana, Austria-Hungary (later Yugoslavia, eventually Slovenia) – Vida Tomsic, lawyer, women’s rights activist and prominent Yugoslav politician. A member of the banned communist party in the late 1930s,  she was arrested – along with her husband – by the occupying force’s secret police in the early 1940s, tortured and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment. Her husband was shot. After the war, in the new socialist state, she rose to prominence in both domestic and international political circles and played a key role in the improvement of Yugoslav women’s rights and circumstances in the 1970s.

Also,in Brossen (Meuselwitz) in Germany – Rudolf Brazda, the gay son of Czech immigrants who partnered Werner from the age of 20 (1933) and was arrested by the nazis for “debauchery between men” and later (1942) deported to the Buchenwald concentration camp. He survived the horrors of Buchenwald and was liberated in April 1945, following which he settled in East Germany. He died in August 2011, aged 98, in Bantzenheim (Alsace, France – very near the Rhine).

Disasters and accidents: In Batavia, in Genesee County, New York State, a fire destroys the canning factory of the Batavia Preserving Company. Half a million cans of beans, spinach, salmon, mackeral, potted ham, chicken, brown bread and plum pudding are destroyed but fortunately no-one was killed.

Society and Culture: the City of Avalon (on Catalina Island) is incorporated – now part of Los Angeles County. Population in 1920 – 586. Population in 1960 – 1,536. Population in 2010 – 3,728.

14th April 1913 (Monday)

BORN TODAY, in Grgar, Gorizia, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Nova Gorica, Slovenia) – Vladimir Pavsic (pen name – Matej Bor), poet, translator, journalist, partisan and playwright. Writer of battlesongs, including “Hey, Brigades” which became the unofficial anthem of the Slovene partisans during WW2.

Women’s suffrage: In the UK Houses of Parliament, Mr Keir Hardie, for Her Majesty’s Opposition, questions  the Secretary of State for the Home Department why Miss Margaret Llewhellin, a young girl who broke a window in the house of a government official and caused 2 shillings and  sixpence worth of damage, was punished with costs and fines of over £4, or a seven day prison term, while a man who broke  a window at the headquarters of the Women’s Social & Political union offices, causing the same amount of damage was fined only 5 shillings. [Hansard].

Society and Culture: In Belgium 200,000  men strike in protest over the government’s failure to abolish the “plural vote” system.

V.I.Lenin  publishes “Civilized Europeans and Savage Asians” in Pravda.

Faik Pasha, Ottoman General and Grand Master of Freemasonry in the Ottoman Empire ends his reign as the Most Worshipful Grand Master. In a little over two years (August 1916) he will be killed by a bullet while commanding the II Corps in the Caucasus Campaign.

Exploration – the UK’s Royal Geographical Society opens the doors to its new Headquarters, Lowther Lodge,  in London’s Kensington Gore.