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
Kingdom of Poland (1025–1385)
The Kingdom of Poland was the Polish state from the coronation of the first King Bolesław I the Brave in 1025 to the union with Lithuania and the rule of the Jagiellon dynasty in 1385. The basis for the development of a Polish state was laid by the Piast dynasty, preeminent since the 10th century; the conversion of Duke Mieszko I to Christianity paved the way for Poland to become a member of the family of Christian kingdoms. In 1000, during the Congress of Gniezno, Poland was recognized as a state by the Holy Roman Empire and the Pope. In 1025, Duke Boleslaus I the Brave was crowned King of Poland, marking the starting date for a Polish Kingdom, though for long years the Poles were ruled not by Kings but by Dukes; the King ruled the country in his own responsibility but was expected to respect traditional customs of the people. The succession to the rule was not restricted by primogeniture. All sons of the King or Duke had the same rights of inheritance, the one that in some way proved the strongest succeeded to the throne.
Duke Bolesław III the Wrymouth, who reigned from 1102 to 1138, tried to end the repeated struggles between various claimants by setting the government of Poland on a more formal footing. In his testament, he distributed them among his sons. To ensure unity, he established the senioral principle, which stated that the eldest member of the dynasty should be High Duke and have supreme power over the other Dukes; the High Duke ruled, in addition to the Duchy he inherited, over the indivisible senioral part, a vast strip of land running north-south down the middle of Poland, with Kraków as the chief city. The High Duke's prerogatives included control over Pomerania, a fief of the Holy Roman Empire. While the senorial part always fell to that member of the Dynasty that happened to be senior, the other four Duchies were inherited in the usual way among the descendants of Boleslaw's sons; these provisions were soon broken, with the various Dukes trying to gain the position of High Duke for themselves, regardless of actual seniority.
The provisions, meant to ensure unity fragmented the country further and resulted in a decline of monarchical power. Poland came under the influence of the Přemyslid kings of Bohemia, whose dynasty died out before they could gain a stable foothold in Poland; the accession of the Piast Duke Władysław I the Elbow-high ended the power struggle amongst the Polish nobility. He united the various principalities of the Kingdom of Poland, in 1320 he was crowned King, his son Casimir III the Great strengthened the Polish state in both foreign and domestic affairs. Casimir was the last male member of the Piast dynasty and was succeeded by his nephew, Louis I of Hungary of the Angevin dynasty; the upsurge of the monarchy continued during the union of Hungary and Poland. Since Louis had no son either, his daughter Jadwiga became the heir of the Polish monarchy. Under the terms of the Union of Krewo, she married Jogaila, Grand Duke of Lithuania, who converted to Christianity; this marriage created not only a dynastic union between Poland and Lithuania but bound the two countries together for the next four centuries.
History of Poland during the Piast dynasty Culture of medieval Poland Slavery in Poland List of Polish monarchs
Christian Democratic Union of Germany
The Christian Democratic Union of Germany is a Christian-democratic, liberal-conservative political party in Germany. It is the major catch-all party of the centre-right in German politics; the CDU forms the CDU/CSU grouping known as the Union, in the Bundestag with its Bavarian counterpart the Christian Social Union in Bavaria. The party is considered an effective successor of the Centre Party, although it has a broader base; the leader of the CDU is Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. She is the successor of the former party leader Angela Merkel, the current Chancellor of Germany; the CDU is a member of the Centrist Democrat International, International Democrat Union and European People's Party. Following the collapse of the Nazi dictatorship at the end of World War II, the need for a new political order in Germany was paramount. Simultaneous yet unrelated meetings began occurring throughout Germany, each with the intention of planning a Christian-democratic party; the CDU was established in Berlin on 26 June 1945 and in Rheinland and Westfalen in September of the same year.
The founding members of the CDU consisted of former members of the Centre Party, the German Democratic Party, the German National People's Party and the German People's Party. Many of these individuals, including CDU-Berlin founder Andreas Hermes, were imprisoned for the involvement in the German Resistance during the Nazi dictatorship. In the Cold War years after World War II up to the 1960s, the CDU attracted conservative, anti-communist former Nazis and Nazi collaborators into its higher ranks. A prominent anti-Nazi member was theologian Eugen Gerstenmaier, who became Acting Chairman of the Foreign Board. One of the lessons learned from the failure of the Weimar Republic was that disunity among the democratic parties allowed for the rise of the Nazi Party, it was therefore crucial to create a unified party of Christian democrats—a Christian Democratic Union. The result of these meetings was the establishment of an interconfessional party influenced by the political tradition of liberal conservatism.
The CDU experienced considerable success gaining support from the time of its creation in Berlin on 26 June 1945 until its first convention on 21 October 1950, at which Chancellor Konrad Adenauer was named the first Chairman of the party. In the beginning, it was not clear which party would be favored by the victors of World War II, but by the end of the 1940s the governments of the United States and of Britain began to lean toward the CDU and away from the Social Democratic Party of Germany; the latter was more nationalist and sought German reunification at the expense of concessions to the Soviet Union, depicting Adenauer as an instrument of both the Americans and the Vatican. The Western powers appreciated the CDU's moderation, its economic flexibility and its value as an oppositional force to the communists which appealed to European voters at the time. Adenauer was trusted by the British; the party was split over issues of rearmament within the Western alliance and German unification as a neutral state.
Adenauer staunchly outmanoeuvred some of his opponents. He refused to consider the SPD as a party of the coalition until he felt sure that they shared his anti-communist position; the principled rejection of a reunification that would alienate Germany from the Western alliance made it harder to attract Protestant voters to the party as most refugees from the former German territories east of the Oder were of that faith as were the majority of the inhabitants of East Germany. The CDU was the dominant party for the first two decades following the establishment of West Germany in 1949. Adenauer remained the party's leader until 1963, at which point the former minister of economics Ludwig Erhard replaced him; as the Free Democratic Party withdrew from the governing coalition in 1966 due to disagreements over fiscal and economic policy, Erhard was forced to resign. A grand coalition with the SPD took over government under CDU Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger; the SPD gained popularity and succeeded in forming a social-liberal coalition with the FDP following the 1969 federal election, forcing the CDU out of power for the first time in their history.
The CDU continued its role as opposition until 1982, when the FDP's withdrawal from the coalition with the SPD allowed the CDU to regain power. CDU Chairman Helmut Kohl became the new Chancellor of West Germany and his CDU–FDP coalition was confirmed in the 1983 federal election. Public support for the coalition's work in the process of German reunification was reiterated in the 1990 federal election in which the CDU–FDP governing coalition experienced a clear victory. After the collapse of the East German government in 1989, Kohl—supported by the governments of the United States and reluctantly by those of France and the United Kingdom—called for German reunification. On 3 October 1990, the government of East Germany was abolished and its territory acceded to the scope of the Basic Law in place in West Germany; the East German CDU merged with its West German counterpart and elections were held for the reunified country. Although Kohl was re-elected, the party began losing much of its popularity because of an economic recession in the former GDR and increased taxes in the west.
The CDU was nonetheless able to win the 1994 federal election by a narrow margin due to an economic recovery. Kohl served as chairman until the party's electoral defeat in 1998, when he was su
Brandenburg University of Technology
The Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus–Senftenberg was founded in 1991 and is a technical university in Brandenburg, Germany with campuses in Cottbus and Senftenberg. The university has 197 professors, 629 additional academic staff and more than 8,000 students, of which 1,860 are of foreign origin from 111 nations; the university has been a school for construction engineering in the former GDR starting from 1954. After the German reunification the school became a Technical University and was renamed into Brandenburg Technical University in 1994. In the following years the university has undergone major construction efforts and the number of students has continuously grown since. In February 2013 the Landtag of Brandenburg decided to fuse the BTU and the Hochschule Lausitz on July 1, 2013 to found the new university Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg; the university is separated into six faculties each of them having a focus on certain study and research areas.
Each faculty is further subdivided into institutes. The following faculties exist: Faculty 1: Mathematics, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Information Technology Faculty 2: Environment and Natural Sciences Faculty 3: Mechanical Engineering and Energy Systems Faculty 4: Social Work, Health Care and Music Faculty 5: Business and Social Sciences Faculty 6: Architecture, Civil Engineering and Urban Planning The new library was opened in the year 2004 and is called Informations-, Kommunikations- und Medienzentrum, it was designed by the famous architects de Meuron. Like for most universities in Germany, the academic year at BTU is divided into two semesters; the winter term is the official beginning of the academic year and lasts from October 1 to March 31. The summer term lasts from April 1 to September 30; the teaching takes place in only 15 weeks per semester and is followed by an examination period where no lectures are held. All students, regardless if German or non-German, need to pay a fee of 280,73 Euro per semester.
The fee includes a student transit pass which allows the students to travel with all public transportation services in the states Berlin and Brandenburg for free. Free use of regional express train to Dresden-Neustadt is included. There is no further fee collected as the parliament of the federal-state Brandenburg decided not to introduce further study fees The BTU has a worldwide network of partner universities and allows students to take part in European Erasmus Programme or overseas programmes such as STUDEXA or GE4. Students who want to participate in an exchange programme do not need to pay the tuition fee of the hosting university. Official website
German orthography reform of 1996
The German orthography reform of 1996 was a change to German spelling and punctuation, intended to simplify German orthography and thus to make it easier to learn, without changing the rules familiar to users of the language. The reform was based on an international agreement signed in Vienna in July 1996 by the governments of the German-speaking countries—Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Luxembourg did not participate despite having German as one of its three official languages: it regards itself "as a non-German-speaking country not to be a contributory determinant upon the German system of spelling", though it did adopt the reform; the reformed orthography became obligatory in public administration. However, there was a campaign against the reform, in the resulting public debate the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany was called upon to delineate the extent of reform. In 1998 the court stated that because there was no law governing orthography, outside the schools people could spell as they liked, including the use of traditional spelling.
In March 2006, the Council for German Orthography agreed unanimously to remove the most controversial changes from the reform. The rules of the new spelling concern the following areas: correspondence between sounds and written letters, capitalisation and separate words, hyphenated spellings and hyphenation at the end of a line. Place names and family names were excluded from the reform; the reform aimed to systematise the correspondence between sounds and letters, to strengthen the principle that derived forms should follow the spelling of the root form. SS and ss: In reformed orthography the grapheme ß is considered a separate letter, to appear only after long vowels and diphthongs. In general in German, long stressed vowels are followed by single consonants, short stressed vowels by double consonants. In the traditional orthography, ß was written instead of ss if the s phoneme belonged to only one syllable, thus in terminal position and before consonants ss was always written as ß, without regard to the length of the preceding vowel.
In the reformed orthography, a short stressed vowel is never followed by ß. This brings it into line with the two-letter spelling of other final consonants, thus Fass – Fässer, by analogy to Ball – Bälle. The new German spelling is not phonetic, it is still necessary to know the plural of a noun in order to spell its singular correctly: Los – Lose, Floß – Flöße. Exempted from change are certain common short-vowelled words which end in a single's', echoing other undoubled final consonants in German. So the frequent error of confusing the conjunction dass and the relative pronoun das has remained a trap: Ich hoffe, dass sie kommt. Das Haus, das dort steht. Both are pronounced /das/; the so-called s rule makes up over 90% of the words changed by the reform. Since a trailing -ss does not occur in the traditional orthography, the -ss at the end of reformed words like dass and muss is now the only quick and sure sign to indicate that the reformed spelling has been used if just in texts. All other changes are encountered less and not in every text.
Triple consonants preceding a vowel are no longer reduced: Schiffahrt became Schifffahrt from Schiff + Fahrt In particular, triple "s" now appears more than all the other triple consonants together, while in the traditional orthography they never appear. Flußschiffahrt → Flussschifffahrt, Mißstand → MissstandDoubled consonants appear after short vowels at the end of certain words, to conform with derived forms: As → Ass because of plural Asse Stop → Stopp because of the verb stoppenVowel changes ä for e, are made to conform with derived forms or related words. Stengel → Stängel because of Stange Additional minor changes aim to remove a number of special cases or to allow alternative spellings rauh → rau for consistency with blau, genauSeveral loan words now allow spellings that are closer to the "German norm". In particular, the affixes -phon, -phot, -graph can be spelled with f or ph. Capitalisation after a colon is now obligatory only if direct speech follows; the polite capitalisation of the formal second-person pronouns was retained.
The original 1996 reform provided that the familiar second-person pronouns should not be capitalised in letters, but this was amended in the 2006 revision to permit their optional capitalisation in letters. The reform aimed to clarify the criteria for this. In the original 1996 reform, this included the capitalisation of some nouns in compound verbs where the nouns had
Upon defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, the victorious Allies asserted joint authority and sovereignty over'Germany as a whole', defined as all territories of the former German Reich west of the Oder–Neisse line, having declared the destruction of Nazi Germany at the death of Adolf Hitler. The four powers divided'Germany as a whole' into four occupation zones for administrative purposes, under the United States, United Kingdom and the Soviet Union respectively; this division was ratified at the Potsdam Conference. The four zones were as agreed in February 1945 by the United States, United Kingdom and Soviet Union meeting at the Yalta Conference. At Potsdam, the United States, United Kingdom and the Soviet Union approved the detachment from'Germany as a whole' of the German eastern territories east of the Oder–Neisse line; this treaty was expected to confirm the "shifting westward" of Poland's borders, as the United Kingdom and the United States committed themselves to support in any future peace treaty the permanent incorporation of former eastern German territories into Poland and the Soviet Union.
From March 1945 to July 1945, these former eastern territories of Germany had been administered under Soviet military occupation authorities, but following the Potsdam Conference they were handed over to Soviet and Polish civilian administrations and ceased to constitute part of Allied-occupied Germany. In the closing weeks of fighting in Europe, United States forces had pushed beyond the agreed boundaries for the future zones of occupation, in some places by as much as 320 km; the so-called line of contact between Soviet and American forces at the end of hostilities lying eastward of the July 1945-established inner German border, was temporary. After two months in which they had held areas, assigned to the Soviet zone, U. S. forces withdrew in the first days of July 1945. Some have concluded that this was a crucial move that persuaded the Soviet Union to allow American and French forces into their designated sectors in Berlin, which occurred at the same time, although the need for intelligence gathering may have been a factor.
All territories annexed by Germany before the war from Austria and Czechoslovakia were returned to these countries. The Memel Territory, annexed by Germany from Lithuania before the war, was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1945 and transferred to the Lithuanian SSR. All territories annexed by Germany during the war from Belgium, Luxembourg and Yugoslavia were returned to their respective countries; the American zone in Southern Germany consisted of Bavaria with its traditional capital Munich and Hesse with a new capital in Wiesbaden, of parts of Württemberg and Baden. Those formed Württemberg-Baden and are the northern portions of the present-day German state of Baden-Württemberg; the ports of Bremen and Bremerhaven were placed under American control because of the American request to have certain toeholds in Northern Germany. At the end of October 1946, the American Zone had a population of: Bavaria 8.7 mio Hesse 3.97 mio Württemberg-Baden 3.6 mio Bremen 0.48 mioThe headquarters of the American military government was the former IG Farben Building in Frankfurt am Main.
Following the complete closure of all Nazi German media, the launch and operation of new newspaper titles began by licensing selected Germans as publishers. Licenses were granted to Germans not involved in Nazi propaganda to establish those newspaper, including Frankfurter Rundschau, Der Tagesspiegel, Süddeutsche Zeitung. Radio stations were run by the military government Radio Frankfurt, Radio München and Radio Stuttgart gave way for the Bayerischer Rundfunk, Hessischer Rundfunk and Süddeutscher Rundfunk; the RIAS in West-Berlin remained a radio station under American control. The Canadian Army was tied down in surrounding the Netherlands until the Germans there surrendered on 5 May 1945—just two days before the final surrender of the Wehrmacht in Western Europe to U. S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower. After the liberation of the Netherlands and the conquest of Northern Germany by the British Army, the bulk of the Canadian Army returned home, leaving Northern Germany to be occupied by the British Army.
In July 1945, the British Army withdrew from Mecklenburg's capital Schwerin which they had taken over from the Americans a few weeks before, as it had been agreed to be occupied by the Soviet Army. The Control Commission for Germany - British Element ceded more slices of its area of occupation to the Soviet Union – the Amt Neuhaus of Hanover and some exclaves and fringes of Brunswick, for example the County of Blankenburg, exchanged some villages between British Holstein and Soviet Mecklenburg under the Barber-Lyashchenko Agreement. Within the British Zone of Occupation, the CCG/BE re-established the German state of Hamburg, but with borders, drawn by Nazi Germany in 1937; the British created the new German states of: Schleswig-Holstein – emerging in 1946 from the Prussian Province of Schleswig-Holstein.
Electorate of Saxony
The Electorate of Saxony was a state of the Holy Roman Empire established when Emperor Charles IV raised the Ascanian duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg to the status of an Electorate by the Golden Bull of 1356. Upon the extinction of the House of Ascania, it was feoffed to the Margraves of Meissen from the Wettin dynasty in 1423, who moved the ducal residence up the river Elbe to Dresden. After the Empire's dissolution in 1806, the Wettin Electors raised Saxony to a territorially reduced kingdom. After the dissolution of the medieval Duchy of Saxony, the name Saxony was first applied to a small territory midway along the river Elbe, around the city of Wittenberg, which had belonged to the March of Lusatia. Around 1157 it was held by the first Margrave of Brandenburg; when Emperor Frederick Barbarossa deposed the Saxon duke, Henry the Lion in 1180, the Wittenberg lands belonged to Albert's youngest son, Count Bernhard of Anhalt, who assumed the Saxon ducal title. Bernard's eldest son, Albert I, ceded the territory known as, Anhalt to his younger brother, retaining the ducal title and attched to this territory the lordship of Lauenburg.
His sons divided the territory into the duchies of Saxe-Lauenburg. Both lines claimed the Saxon electoral dignity or privilege, which led to confusion during the 1314 election of the Wittelsbach duke, Louis of Bavaria as King of the Romans against his Habsburg rival, Duke Frederick the Fair of Austria, as both candidates received one vote each from each of the two rival Ascanian branches. Louis was succeeded by Charles of Bohemia. After his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor in 1355, Charles issued the Golden Bull of 1356, the fundamental law of the Empire settling the method of electing the German King by seven Prince-electors; the rival Wittelsbach and Habsburg dynasties got nothing, instead the Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg, Archmarshal of the Empire, received the right to elect the King of the Romans and the prospective Emperor, together with six other elector Princes of the Empire. Thus, the country, though small in area, gained influence far beyond its extent; the electoral privilege contained the obligation of male primogeniture.
That is, only the eldest son could succeed as ruler. It therefore forbade the division of the territory among several heirs, in order to prevent the disintegration of the country; the importance of this stipulation is shown by the history of most of the fragmented German principalities which were not constituted as electorates. The Ascanian line of Saxe-Wittenberg became extinct with the death of Elector Albert III in 1422, after which Emperor Sigismund granted the country and electoral privilege upon Margrave Frederick IV of Meissen, a loyal supporter in the Hussite Wars; the late Albert's Ascanian relative, Duke Eric V of Saxe-Lauenburg protested in vain. Frederick, one of the seven Prince-electors, was a member of the House of Wettin, which since 1089 had ruled over the adjacent Margravate of Meissen up the Elbe river - established under Emperor Otto I in 965 - and over the Landgravate of Thuringia since 1242. Thus, in 1423, Saxe-Wittenberg, the Margravate of Meissen and Thuringia were united under one ruler, as a unified territory became known as, Upper Saxony.
When Elector Frederick II died in 1464, his two surviving sons overrode the primogeniture principle and divided his territories by the Treaty of Leipzig on 26 August 1485. This resulted in the separated Wettin dynasty becoming the Ernestine and Albertine branches; the elder Ernest, founder of the Ernestine line, received large parts of the former Duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg with the electoral privilege attached to it, the southern Landgravate of Thuringia. While the younger Albert, founder of the Albertine line, received northern Thuringia and the lands of the former Margravate of Meissen. Thus, although the Ernestine line had had greater authority until the Battle of Mühlberg in 1547, the electoral privilege and territory fell to the Albertine line, which also became a royal house when Saxony was proclaimed a kingdom in the 19th century; this partition was to decisively enfeeble the Wettin dynasty in relation to the rising House of Hohenzollern. It had achieved its own electoral privilege as Margraves of Brandenburg since 1415.
The Protestant movement of the 16th century spread under the protection of the Saxon rulers. Ernest's son, Elector Frederick the Wise established in 1502 the University at Wittenberg, where the Augustinian monk, Martin Luther, was appointed professor of philosophy in 1508. At the same time he became one of the preachers at the castle church in Wittenberg. On 31 October 1517, he enclosed in a protest letter to Albert of Brandenburg the Archbishop of Mainz, The Ninety-Five Theses against the sale of indulgences and other Catholic practices, an action that marked the start of what came to be called the Reformation. Although the Elector did not at first share the new attitude, he granted his protection to Luther anyway. Owing to this intervention, Pope Leo X decided against summoning Luther to Rome in 1518, the Elector secured for Luther Imperial safe-conduct to the Diet of Worms in 1521; when Luther was declared banned in the entire empire by Emperor Charles V, the Elector had him brought to live in Wartburg Castle on his Thuringian estate.
Lutheran doctrines spread first in Ernestine Saxony. In 1525, Frederick died never having left the Catholic Church, unless on his deathbed in 1525, but he was sympathetic towards Lutheranism by the time of his death, he was succeeded by John the Constant. John was a zealous Lutheran, he exercised full authority over the new chu