Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process; the official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire and the German Empire; the Nazi regime ended. Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic, Paul von Hindenburg, on 30 January 1933; the NSDAP began to eliminate all political opposition and consolidate its power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934 and Hitler became dictator of Germany by merging the offices and powers of the Chancellery and Presidency. A national referendum held 19 August 1934 confirmed Hitler as sole Führer of Germany.
All power was centralised in Hitler's person and his word became the highest law. The government was not a coordinated, co-operating body, but a collection of factions struggling for power and Hitler's favour. In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazis restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending and a mixed economy. Extensive public works were undertaken, including the construction of Autobahnen; the return to economic stability boosted the regime's popularity. Racism antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime; the Germanic peoples were considered by the Nazis to be the master race, the purest branch of the Aryan race. Discrimination and persecution against Jews and Romani people began in earnest after the seizure of power; the first concentration camps were established in March 1933. Jews and others deemed undesirable were imprisoned, liberals and communists were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. Christian churches and citizens that opposed Hitler's rule were oppressed, many leaders imprisoned.
Education focused on racial biology, population policy, fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed. Recreation and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, the 1936 Summer Olympics showcased Germany on the international stage. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, Hitler's hypnotic oratory to influence public opinion; the government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others. The Nazi regime dominated neighbours through military threats in the years leading up to war. Nazi Germany made aggressive territorial demands, threatening war if these were not met, it seized Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939. Germany signed a non-aggression pact with the USSR, invaded Poland on 1 September 1939, launching World War II in Europe. By early 1941, Germany controlled much of Europe. Reichskommissariats took control of conquered areas and a German administration was established in the remainder of Poland.
Germany exploited labour of both its occupied territories and its allies. In the Holocaust, millions of Jews and other peoples deemed undesirable by the state were imprisoned, murdered in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps, or shot. While the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 was successful, the Soviet resurgence and entry of the US into the war meant the Wehrmacht lost the initiative on the Eastern Front in 1943 and by late 1944 had been pushed back to the pre-1939 border. Large-scale aerial bombing of Germany escalated in 1944 and the Axis powers were driven back in Eastern and Southern Europe. After the Allied invasion of France, Germany was conquered by the Soviet Union from the east and the other Allies from the west, capitulated in May 1945. Hitler's refusal to admit defeat led to massive destruction of German infrastructure and additional war-related deaths in the closing months of the war; the victorious Allies initiated a policy of denazification and put many of the surviving Nazi leadership on trial for war crimes at the Nuremberg trials.
The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945, while common English terms are "Nazi Germany" and "Third Reich". The latter, adopted by Nazi propaganda as Drittes Reich, was first used in Das Dritte Reich, a 1923 book by Arthur Moeller van den Bruck; the book counted the Holy Roman Empire as the German Empire as the second. Germany was known as the Weimar Republic during the years 1919 to 1933, it was a republic with a semi-presidential system. The Weimar Republic faced numerous problems, including hyperinflation, political extremism, contentious relationships with the Allied victors of World War I, a series of failed attempts at coalition government by divided political parties. Severe setbacks to the German economy began after World War I ended because of reparations payments required under the 1919 Treaty of Versailles; the government printed money to make the payments and to repay the country's war debt, but the resulting hyperinflation led to inflated prices for consumer goods, economic chaos, food riots.
When the government defaulted on their reparations payments in January 1923, French troops occupied German industrial areas along the Ruhr and widespread civil unrest followed. The National Socialist German Workers' Party (National
Poland the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With a population of 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin. Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north and Ukraine to the east and Czech Republic, to the south, Germany to the west; the establishment of the Polish state can be traced back to AD 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of the realm coextensive with the territory of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, in 1569 it cemented its longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin; this union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of 3 May 1791.
More than a century after the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Poland regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. More than six million Polish citizens, including 90% of the country's Jews, perished in the war. In 1947, the Polish People's Republic was established as a satellite state under Soviet influence. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland reestablished itself as a presidential democratic republic. Poland is regional power, it has the fifth largest economy by GDP in the European Union and one of the most dynamic economies in the world achieving a high rank on the Human Development Index. Additionally, the Polish Stock Exchange in Warsaw is the largest and most important in Central Europe. Poland is a developed country, which maintains a high-income economy along with high standards of living, life quality, safety and economic freedom.
Having a developed school educational system, the country provides free university education, state-funded social security, a universal health care system for all citizens. Poland has 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Poland is a member state of the European Union, the Schengen Area, the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrád Group; the origin of the name "Poland" derives from the West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta river basin of the historic Greater Poland region starting in the 6th century. The origin of the name "Polanie" itself derives from the early Slavic word "pole". In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites, which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I. Early Bronze Age in Poland begun around 2400 BC, while the Iron Age commenced in 750 BC. During this time, the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became prominent; the most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, around 700 BC.
Throughout the Antiquity period, many distinct ancient ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland in an era that dates from about 400 BC to 500 AD. These groups are identified as Celtic, Slavic and Germanic tribes. Recent archeological findings in the Kujawy region, confirmed the presence of the Roman Legions on the territory of Poland; these were most expeditionary missions sent out to protect the amber trade. The exact time and routes of the original migration and settlement of Slavic peoples lacks written records and can only be defined as fragmented; the Slavic tribes who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD. Up until the creation of Mieszko's state and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in 966 AD, the main religion of Slavic tribes that inhabited the geographical area of present-day Poland was Slavic paganism. With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the religious authority of the Roman Church.
However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s. Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty. Poland's first documented ruler, Mieszko I, accepted Christianity with the Baptism of Poland in 966, as the new official religion of his subjects; the bulk of the population converted in the course of the next few centuries. In 1000, Boleslaw the Brave, continuing the policy of his father Mieszko, held a Congress of Gniezno and created the metropolis of Gniezno and the dioceses of Kraków, Kołobrzeg, Wrocław. However, the pagan unrest led to the transfer of the capital to Kraków in 1038 by Casimir I the Restorer. In 1109, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the Ge
Uman is a city located in Cherkasy Oblast in central Ukraine, to the east of Vinnytsia. Located in the historical region of the eastern Podolia, the city rests on the banks of the Umanka River at around 48°45′N 30°13′E. Uman serves as the administrative center of Uman Raion, but is designated as a city of oblast significance and does not belong to the raion. Population: 85,473 Among Ukrainians, Uman is known for its depiction of the Haidamak rebellions in Taras Shevchenko's longest of poems, Haidamaky; the city is a pilgrimage site for Breslov Hasidic Jews and a major center of gardening research containing the dendrological park Sofiyivka and the University of Gardening. Uman was a owned city of Poland and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Uman was first mentioned in historical documents in 1616, it was part of the Bracław Voivodeship of the Lesser Poland Province of the Polish Crown. Its role at this time was as a defensive fort to withstand Tatar raids, containing a prominent Cossack regiment, stationed within the town.
In 1648 it was taken from the Poles by Ivan Hanzha, colonel to Cossack leader Bohdan Khmelnytsky, Uman was converted to the administrative center of cossack regiment for the region. Poland retook Uman in 1667, after which the town was deserted by many of its residents who fled eastward to Left-bank Ukraine. From 1670–1674, Uman was a residence to the Hetman of right-bank Ukraine. Under the ownership of the Potocki family of Polish nobles Uman grew in economic and cultural importance. A Basilian monastery and school were established in this time; the Uman region was site of haidamaky uprisings in 1734, 1750, 1768. Notably during the latter, Cossack rebels Maksym Zalizniak and Ivan Gonta captured Uman during the Koliyivshchyna uprising against Polish rule. During this revolt, a massacre took place against Jews and Ukrainian Uniates. On the first day large numbers of Ukrainians deserted the ranks of Polish forces and joined the rebels when the city was surrounded. Thousands from the surrounding areas fled to the Cossack garrison in Uman for protection.
The military commander of Uman, betrayed the city's Jews and allowed the pursuing Cossacks in, in exchange for clemency towards the Polish population. In the span of three days an estimated 20,000 Poles and Jews were slain with extreme cruelty, according to numerous Polish sources, with one source giving an estimate of 2,000 casualties. Uman's modern coat-of-arms commemorates the event depicting a "Koliy" rebel armed with a spear. With the 1793 Second Partition of Poland, Uman became part of the Russian Empire and a number of aristocratic residences were built there. In 1795 Uman became a povit/uezd center in Voznesensk Governorate, in 1797, in Kiev Governorate. Into the 20th century, Uman was linked by rail to Kiev and Odessa, leading to rapid development of its industrial sector, its population grew from 10,100 in 1860 to 29,900 in 1900 and over 50,000 in 1914. According to the Russian census of 1897, Uman with a population of 31,016 was the second largest city of Podolia after Kamianets-Podilskyi.
In 1941, the Battle of Uman took place in the vicinity of the town, where the German army encircled Soviet positions. Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini visited Uman in 1941. Uman was occupied by German forces from August 1, 1941 to March 10, 1944. Today the city has optical and farm-machinery plants, a cannery, a brewery, a vitamin factory, a sewing factory, a footwear factory, other industrial enterprises, its highest educational institutions are the Uman National University of Horticulture and the Uman State Pedagogical University. The main architectural monuments are the catacombs of the old fortress, the Basilian monastery, the city hall, the Dormition Roman Catholic church in the Classicist style, 19th-century trading stalls. Uman's landmark is a famous park complex, founded in 1796 by Count Stanisław Szczęsny Potocki, a Polish noble, who named it for his wife Sofia; the park features a number of waterfalls and narrow, arching stone bridges crossing the streams and scenic ravines. A large Jewish community lived in Uman in the 19th centuries.
During the Second World War, in 1941, the Battle of Uman took place in the vicinity of the town, where the German army encircled Soviet positions. The Germans deported the entire Jewish community, murdering some 17,000 Jews, destroyed the Jewish cemetery, burial place of the victims of the 1768 uprising as well as Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. Since the 1990s there has been a small, but growing, Jewish population in Uman, concentrated around Rebbe Nachman of Breslov tomb in Pushkina street; the local Jews are involved in pilgrimage of Jewish tourists that arrive to the town. In 2018 the community saw large growth with about 10-20 families coming from Israel, accompanied by a small movement of young American couples. Newcomers to the city are concentrating with some toward Nova Uman area. In conjunction with this growth in the community, a new school of Yiddish was established. If current trends continue, there will continue to be improvement of the Jewish community in Uman; every Rosh Hashana, there is a major pilgrimage by tens of thousands of Hasidim and others from around the world to the burial site of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, located on the former site of the Jewish cemetery in a rebuilt synagogue.
Rebbe Nachman spent the last five months of his life in Uman, requested t
1st Ski Division (Wehrmacht)
The 1st Ski Division was an infantry unit of the German Army trained to use skis for movement during winter. It was created on the Eastern Front in the autumn of 1943 in preparation for upcoming winter operations, it was enlarged into a full division in the summer of 1944. The division fought on the Eastern Front as part of Army Group Centre, including an approach to the Vistula river and during the retreat into Slovakia, southern Poland and the Czech lands, where it surrendered to the Red Army in May 1945; the American writer and publisher George Nafziger states that the 1st Skijäger Division was formed on 2 June 1944 by expanding the 1st Skijäger Brigade, formed in September 1943. As was usual for German formations at this point in the war, the division was formed around existing units which were strengthened with new recruits. Elements of the 19th Panzergrenadier Brigade, the 65th Heavy Artillery Regiment, the 152nd Panzerjǎger Battalion and the 18th Werfer Battalion with the 615th Flak Battalion, used to expand the brigade into a division.
Structure of the division: Division Headquarters 1st Ski Jäger Regiment 2nd Ski Jäger Regiment 1st Heavy Ski Battalion 152nd Artillery Regiment 1st Ski Fusilier Battalion 152nd Ski Tank Destroyer Battalion 270th Assault Gun Battalion 85th Ski Engineer Battalion 152nd Ski Signal Battalion 152nd Ski Field Replacement Battalion 152nd Ski Division Supply Group Günther von Manteuffel, 1 April 1943 – September 1943 Martin Berg, 13 May 1944 – 2 August 1944 Gustav Hundt, 3 October 1944 – 15 November 1944 BibliographyAnderson, Skijäger: une "nouvelle race" de guerriers, Batailles & Blindés n°40, décembre 2010-janvier 2011, éditions Caraktère
The Panzergrenadier-Division "Großdeutschland" was an elite combat unit of the German Army that fought on the Eastern Front in World War II. Großdeutschland was one of the best-equipped units of the German Army; the unit started out as a ceremonial guard unit in the 1920s and by the late 1930s had grown into a regiment of the combined Wehrmacht German armed forces. The regiment would be expanded and renamed Infantry Division Großdeutschland in 1942, after significant reorganization was renamed Panzergrenadier Division Großdeutschland in May 1943. In November 1944, while the division retained its status as a panzergrenadier division, some of its subordinate units were expanded to divisional status, the whole group of divisions were reorganized as Panzerkorps Großdeutschland; the Infantry Regiment Grossdeutschland was activated on 14 June 1939. The regiment saw action in France in 1940, it was attached to Panzer Group 2 in the opening phases of Barbarossa, was nearly destroyed in the Battle of Moscow in late 1941.
On the last day of February 1942, Rifle Battalion Großdeutschland was disbanded and two battalions formed a new Großdeutschland Regiment out of reinforcements arriving from Neuruppin. The regiment moved to Orel after, on 1 Apr 1942 the former Infantry Regiment Großdeutschland was expanded to the Infantry Division Großdeutschland; the Infantry Regiment Großdeutschland reorganized and expanded to become Infanterie-Division Großdeutschland. The division was assigned to German XLVIII Panzer Corps during the opening phases of Fall Blau, Wehrmacht's 1942 strategic summer offensive in southern Russia. During the combined Soviet winter offensives Operation Uranus and Operation Mars, the division fought near Rzhev, where it was rendered combat ineffective. In January–February 1943, Großdeutschland and XLVIII. Panzerkorps, along with the II SS Panzer Corps took part in the Third Battle of Kharkov; the division fought alongside the 1. SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, 2. SS Division Das Reich and 3.
SS Division Totenkopf during these battles. After the fall of Kharkov, the Großdeutschland was again refitted. In 19 May 1943, with the addition of armoured personnel carriers and Tigers the division was redesignated Panzer Grenadier Division Großdeutschland, though in reality it now had more armoured vehicles than most full strength panzer divisions; the newly re-equipped division was subordinated to the XLVIII Panzer Corps, part of Fourth Panzer Army, took part in the Battle of Kursk. During the buildup period, a brigade of two battalions equipped with the new Panther tanks, which were plagued by technical problems, suffering from engine fires and mechanical breakdowns before reaching the battlefield. By 7 July, the division had only 80 of its 300 tanks still fit for combat. After the Kursk offensive was cancelled, the division was transferred back to Army Group Center, resumed its role as a mobile reserve; the Tiger I tank company was expanded to a battalion, becoming the III. Battalion of the Panzer Regiment.
Großdeutschland saw heavy fighting around Karachev before being transferred back to XLVIII Panzer Corps in late August. For the rest of 1943, Großdeutschland retreated across Ukraine, in 1944 into Romania, where it took part in the First Battle of Târgu Frumos. In early August, the division was transferred to East Prussia from Army Group South Ukraine. Over the next months, Großdeutschland was involved in heavy fighting in both East Prussia, including a counter-attack on Wilkowischken and the Baltic States, suffering large casualties in both men and materiel; the division was nearly destroyed during the battles in the Memel bridgehead. In November 1944, while the division and several attached units were redesignated as Panzerkorps Großdeutschland. By March 1945, the Panzer Grenadier Division Großdeutschland had been reduced to around 4,000 men after the Battle of Memel. By 25 April 1945, the division was engaged in heavy fighting in the battles around Pillau; the book German Army and Genocide mentions the following incident, from the invasion of Yugoslavia: When one German soldier was shot and one wounded in Pancevo, Wehrmacht soldiers and the Waffen SS rounded up about 100 civilians at random...the town commander, Lt. Col. Fritz Bandelow conducted the Courts Martial...
The presiding judge, SS-Sturmbannführer Rudolf Hoffmann sentenced 36 of those arrested to death. On April 21, 1941, four of the civilians were the first to be shot... On the following day eighteen victims were hanged in a cemetery and fourteen more were shot at the cemetery wall by an execution squad of the Wehrmacht's Großdeutschland regiment. Part of the photographic presentation for the book includes a photo where the Großdeutschland cuff title on the officer is visible; the official Großdeutschland history by Helmuth Spaeter mentions that only "draconian measures were required to halt looting by the civilian population" in Belgrade. The events of 21 April in Pancevo are not discussed directly, though many references are made to "security duties" in Yugoslavia; the subject of Grossdeutschland's complicity in war crimes was the subject of the book by Omer Bartov The Eastern Front, 1941–45, German Troops, the Barbarization of Warfare. Structure of the division: Headquarters Grossdeutschland Reconnaissance Battalion Grossdeutschland Panzer Regiment Grossdeutschland Panzergrenadier Regiment Grossdeutschland Fusilier Regiment Grossdeutschland Engineer Battalion Grossdeutschland Artillery Regiment Grossdeutschland Tank Destroyer Battalion Grossdeutschland Army Anti-Aircraft Battalion Grossdeutschland Assault Gun Battalion Grossdeutschland Signal Battalion
Rostov is a town in Yaroslavl Oblast, one of the oldest in the country and a tourist center of the Golden Ring. It is located on the shores of Lake Nero, 202 kilometers northeast of Moscow. Population: 31,792 . While the official name of the town is Rostov, it is popularly known to Russians as Rostov Veliky to distinguish it from the much larger city of Rostov-on-Don, the name of the town railway station is Rostov Yaroslavsky, due to its position in Yaroslavl Oblast. Rostov was preceded by Sarskoye Gorodishche, which some scholars interpret as the capital of the Finnic Merya tribe, while others believe it was an important Viking trade enclave and fortress guarding the Volga trade route. Scythians were setteled there, it seems that different ethnics like Vikings, Scyths and Finns are the ancestors of todays people in that region. First mentioned in the year 862 as an important settlement, by the 10th century Rostov became the capital city of one of the most prominent Russian principalities, it was incorporated into Muscovy in 1474.
After it lost its independence, Rostov was still an ecclesiastic center of utmost importance. In the 14th century, the bishops of Rostov became archbishops, late in the 16th century, metropolitans. One of those metropolitans, Iona Sysoyevich, commissioned the town's main landmark: the kremlin that many regard as the finest outside of Moscow. Ravaged by the Mongols in the 13th and 14th centuries and the Poles in 1608, Rostov became a medium-sized town; the metropolitan see. Apart from its history, Rostov is renowned for its enamels. Within the framework of administrative divisions, Rostov serves as the administrative center of Rostovsky District though it is not a part of it; as an administrative division, it is incorporated separately as the town of oblast significance of Rostov—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, the town of oblast significance of Rostov is incorporated within Rostovsky Municipal District as Rostov Urban Settlement; the central square of Rostov is occupied by the Assumption Cathedral.
It is unknown when the present building was erected, the mid-16th century being the most date. Lower parts of the cathedral walls are dated to the 12th century; the ponderous bell-tower was constructed in the 17th century. Its bells are among the largest and most famous in Russia - each has its own name; the largest bell, cast in 1688, weighs 32,000 kilograms. It is named Sysoy to honor the city's founding father. An area situated between the cathedral square and the lake was chosen by Iona Sysoevich as a place for his fairy-tale residence. All the construction works were carried out between 1667 and 1694. Major buildings include the ornate Savior Church-na-Senyakh, the sombre Church of St. Gregory, the barbican churches of St. John the Apostle and of the Resurrection of Christ; the residence erroneously called kremlin includes eleven ornate tower bells, numerous palaces, several small belfries, the diminutive baroque Church of Our Lady of Smolensk. All the churches are decorated; the cathedral and four tall kremlin churches with their silver "blind" domes were imitated throughout the city.
This is evident in the Savior-on-the-Market church and the cathedral church of the Nativity convent, both dating from the 17th century and situated near the kremlin walls. The oldest church within the town center was consecrated to St. Isidore the Blessed in 1565, they say that Ivan the Terrible had the architect executed, because his church was so much smaller than its predecessor. The kremlin is flanked by two monasteries. To the right from the kremlin stands the Abraham monastery, founded in the 11th century and one of the oldest in Russia, its cathedral, commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in 1553 to commemorate the conquest of Kazan, inspired numerous churches in the region in Yaroslavl. Spaso-Yakovlevsky Monastery, situated to the left from the Kremlin on the town's outskirts, has been venerated as the shrine of St. Dmitry of Rostov. Most of the monastery structures were built in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in the fine neoclassical style. There are two 17th-century churches: the Conception of St. Anna, the Transfiguration of Our Savior.
Unlike most other churches in the town, the monastery belongs to the Russian Orthodoxy and houses a theological seminary. The vicinity of Rostov is rich in old architecture. For example, an old wooden church may be seen in Ishnya. One of the best preserved monasteries in Russia, named after the saints Boris and Gleb, is situated in Borisoglebsky, about 20 kilometers west of the town; the monastery was favored by Ivan the Terrible, who supervised the construction of towered walls and bell-tower around an more ancient cathedral. The only addition made to the monastery after Ivan's death is a barbican church, commissioned by the metropolitan Iona Sysoyevich. Jämsä, Finland Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA Peter I, by Vladimir Petov Ivan Vasilievich: Back to the Future, by Leonid Gaidai Dmitry Borisovich, Russian nobleman Konstantin of Rostov, the eldest son of Vsevolod the Big Nest and Maria Shvarnovna Vasilko Konstantinovich, the first Prince of Rostov Lev
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona