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
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and Führer in 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939, he was involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust. Hitler was raised near Linz, he moved to Germany in 1913 and was decorated during his service in the German Army in World War I. In 1919, he joined the German Workers' Party, the precursor of the NSDAP, was appointed leader of the NSDAP in 1921. In 1923, he was imprisoned. In jail, he dictated the first volume of his autobiography and political manifesto Mein Kampf. After his release in 1924, Hitler gained popular support by attacking the Treaty of Versailles and promoting Pan-Germanism, anti-semitism and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and Nazi propaganda, he denounced international capitalism and communism as part of a Jewish conspiracy.
By July 1932 the Nazi Party was the largest elected party in the German Reichstag, but did not have a majority, no party was able to form a majority parliamentary coalition in support of a candidate for chancellor. Former chancellor Franz von Papen and other conservative leaders persuaded President Paul von Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as Chancellor on 30 January 1933. Shortly after, the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act of 1933, which began the process of transforming the Weimar Republic into Nazi Germany, a one-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideology of National Socialism. Hitler aimed to eliminate Jews from Germany and establish a New Order to counter what he saw as the injustice of the post-World War I international order dominated by Britain and France, his first six years in power resulted in rapid economic recovery from the Great Depression, the abrogation of restrictions imposed on Germany after World War I, the annexation of territories inhabited by millions of ethnic Germans, which gave him significant popular support.
Hitler sought Lebensraum for the German people in Eastern Europe, his aggressive foreign policy is considered the primary cause of World War II in Europe. He directed large-scale rearmament and, on 1 September 1939, invaded Poland, resulting in Britain and France declaring war on Germany. In June 1941, Hitler ordered an invasion of the Soviet Union. By the end of 1941, German forces and the European Axis powers occupied most of Europe and North Africa. In December 1941, shortly after Japan attacked Pearl Harbour, Hitler declared war on the United States, bringing it directly into the conflict. Failure to defeat the Soviets and the entry of the United States into the war forced Germany onto the defensive and it suffered a series of escalating defeats. In the final days of the war, during the Battle of Berlin in 1945, he married his longtime lover Eva Braun. Less than two days on 30 April 1945, the two committed suicide to avoid capture by the Soviet Red Army. Under Hitler's leadership and racially motivated ideology, the Nazi regime was responsible for the genocide of at least 5.5 million Jews and millions of other victims who he and his followers deemed Untermenschen or undesirable.
Hitler and the Nazi regime were responsible for the killing of an estimated 19.3 million civilians and prisoners of war. In addition, 28.7 million soldiers and civilians died as a result of military action in the European theatre. The number of civilians killed during World War II was unprecedented in warfare, the casualties constitute the deadliest conflict in history. Hitler's father Alois; the baptismal register did not show the name of his father, Alois bore his mother's surname Schicklgruber. In 1842, Johann Georg Hiedler married Alois's mother Maria Anna. Alois was brought up in the family of Johann Nepomuk Hiedler. In 1876, Alois was legitimated and the baptismal register changed by a priest to register Johann Georg Hiedler as Alois's father. Alois assumed the surname "Hitler" spelled Hiedler, Hüttler, or Huettler; the name is based on "one who lives in a hut". Nazi official Hans Frank suggested that Alois's mother had been employed as a housekeeper by a Jewish family in Graz, that the family's 19-year-old son Leopold Frankenberger had fathered Alois.
No Frankenberger was registered in Graz during that period, no record has been produced of Leopold Frankenberger's existence, so historians dismiss the claim that Alois's father was Jewish. Adolf Hitler was born on 20 April 1889 in Braunau am Inn, a town in Austria-Hungary, close to the border with the German Empire, he was christened as "Adolphus Hitler". He was the fourth of six children born to his third wife, Klara Pölzl. Three of Hitler's siblings—Gustav and Otto—died in infancy. Living in the household were Alois's children from his second marriage: Alois Jr. and Angela. When Hitler was three, the family moved to Germany. There he acquired the distinctive lower Bavarian dialect, rather than Austrian German, which marked his speech throughout his life; the family returned to Austria and settled in Leonding in 1894, in June 1895 Alois retired to Hafeld, near Lambach, where he farmed and kept bees. Hitler attended Volksschule (a state-owned primary schoo
National Socialism, more known as Nazism, is the ideology and practices associated with the Nazi Party – the National Socialist German Workers' Party – in Nazi Germany, of other far-right groups with similar aims. Nazism is a form of fascism and showed that ideology's disdain for liberal democracy and the parliamentary system, but incorporated fervent antisemitism, anti-communism, scientific racism, eugenics into its creed, its extreme nationalism came from Pan-Germanism and the Völkisch movement prominent in the German nationalism of the time, it was influenced by the Freikorps paramilitary groups that emerged after Germany's defeat in World War I, from which came the party's "cult of violence", "at the heart of the movement."Nazism subscribed to theories of racial hierarchy and Social Darwinism, identifying the Germans as a part of what the Nazis regarded as an Aryan or Nordic master race. It aimed to overcome social divisions and create a German homogeneous society based on racial purity which represented a people's community.
The Nazis aimed to unite all Germans living in German territory, as well as gain additional lands for German expansion under the doctrine of Lebensraum and exclude those who they deemed either community aliens or "inferior" races. The term "National Socialism" arose out of attempts to create a nationalist redefinition of "socialism", as an alternative to both Marxist international socialism and free market capitalism. Nazism rejected the Marxist concepts of class conflict and universal equality, opposed cosmopolitan internationalism, sought to convince all parts of the new German society to subordinate their personal interests to the "common good", accepting political interests as the main priority of economic organization; the Nazi Party's precursor, the Pan-German nationalist and antisemitic German Workers' Party, was founded on 5 January 1919. By the early 1920s the party was renamed the National Socialist German Workers' Party – to attract workers away from left-wing parties such as the Social Democrats and the Communists – and Adolf Hitler assumed control of the organization.
The National Socialist Program or "25 Points" was adopted in 1920 and called for a united Greater Germany that would deny citizenship to Jews or those of Jewish descent, while supporting land reform and the nationalization of some industries. In Mein Kampf, Hitler outlined the anti-Semitism and anti-Communism at the heart of his political philosophy, as well as his disdain for representative democracy and his belief in Germany's right to territorial expansion; the Nazi Party won the greatest share of the popular vote in the two Reichstag general elections of 1932, making them the largest party in the legislature by far, but still short of an outright majority. Because none of the parties were willing or able to put together a coalition government, in 1933 Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Paul Von Hindenburg, through the support and connivance of traditional conservative nationalists who believed that they could control him and his party. Through the use of emergency presidential decrees by Hindenburg, a change in the Weimar Constitution which allowed the Cabinet to rule by direct decree, bypassing both Hindenburg and the Reichstag, the Nazis had soon established a one-party state.
The Sturmabteilung and the Schutzstaffel functioned as the paramilitary organizations of the Nazi Party. Using the SS for the task, Hitler purged the party's more and economically radical factions in the mid-1934 Night of the Long Knives, including the leadership of the SA. After the death of President Hindenburg, political power was concentrated in Hitler's hands and he became Germany's head of state as well as the head of the government, with the title of Führer, meaning "leader". From that point, Hitler was the dictator of Nazi Germany, known as the "Third Reich", under which Jews, political opponents and other "undesirable" elements were marginalized, imprisoned or murdered. Many millions of people were exterminated in a genocide which became known as the Holocaust during World War II, including around two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe. Following Germany's defeat in World War II and the discovery of the full extent of the Holocaust, Nazi ideology became universally disgraced.
It is regarded as immoral and evil, with only a few fringe racist groups referred to as neo-Nazis, describing themselves as followers of National Socialism. The full name of the party was Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei for which they used the acronym NSDAP; the term "Nazi" was in use before the rise of the NSDAP as a colloquial and derogatory word for a backwards farmer or peasant, characterizing an awkward and clumsy person. In this sense, the word Nazi was a hypocorism of the German male name Ignatz – Ignatz being a common name at the time in Bavaria, the area from which the NSDAP emerged. In the 1920s, political opponents of the NSDAP in the German labour movement seized on this and – using the earlier abbreviated term "Sozi" for Sozialist as an example – shortened NSDAP's name, Nationalsozialistische, to the dismissive "Nazi", in order to associate them with the derogatory use of the term mentioned above; the first use of the term "Nazi" by the National Socialists occurred in 1926 in a publication by Joseph Goebbels called Der Nazi-Sozi.
In Goebbels' pamphlet, the word "Nazi" only appears when linked with the word "Sozi" as an abbreviation of
Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonssøn Quisling was a Norwegian military officer and politician who nominally headed the government of Norway during the occupation of the country by Nazi Germany during World War II. He first came to international prominence as a close collaborator of explorer Fridtjof Nansen, organizing humanitarian relief during the Russian famine of 1921 in Povolzhye, he was posted as a Norwegian diplomat to the Soviet Union, for some time managed British diplomatic affairs there. He returned to Norway in 1929, served as Minister of Defence in the governments of Peder Kolstad and Jens Hundseid, representing the Farmers' Party. In 1933, Quisling founded the fascist party Nasjonal Samling. Although he achieved some popularity after his attacks on the political left, his party failed to win any seats in the Storting and by 1940 it was still little more than peripheral. On 9 April 1940, with the German invasion of Norway in progress, he attempted to seize power in the world's first radio-broadcast coup d'état, but failed after the Germans refused to support his government.
From 1942 to 1945 he served as Prime Minister of Norway, heading the Norwegian state administration jointly with the German civilian administrator Josef Terboven. His pro-Nazi puppet government, known as the Quisling regime, was dominated by ministers from Nasjonal Samling; the collaborationist government participated in Germany's genocidal Final Solution. Quisling was put on trial during the legal purge in Norway after World War II, he was found guilty of charges including embezzlement and high treason against the Norwegian state, was sentenced to death. He was executed by firing squad at Akershus Fortress, Oslo, on 24 October 1945; the word "quisling" became a byword for "collaborator" or "traitor" in several languages, reflecting the contempt with which Quisling's conduct has been regarded, both at the time and since his death. Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonssøn Quisling was born on 18 July 1887 in Fyresdal, in the Norwegian county of Telemark, he was the son of Church of Norway pastor and genealogist Jon Lauritz Qvisling and his wife Anna Caroline Bang, the daughter of Jørgen Bang, ship-owner and at the time the richest man in the town of Grimstad in South Norway.
The elder Quisling had lectured in Grimstad in the 1870s. The newly-wed couple promptly moved to Fyresdal, where his younger siblings were born; the family name derives from Quislinus, a Latinised name invented by Quisling's ancestor Lauritz Ibsen Quislin, based on the village of Kvislemark near Slagelse, whence he had emigrated. Having two brothers and a sister, the young Quisling was "shy and quiet but loyal and helpful, always friendly breaking into a warm smile." Private letters found by historians indicate a warm and affectionate relationship between the family members. From 1893 to 1900, his father was a chaplain for the Strømsø borough in Drammen. Here, Vidkun went to school for the first time, he was bullied by other students at the school for his Telemark dialect, but proved a successful student. In 1900, the family moved to Skien. Academically Quisling proved talented in humanities history, natural sciences. At this point, his life had no clear direction. In 1905, Quisling enrolled at the Norwegian Military Academy, having received the highest entrance examination score of the 250 applicants that year.
Transferring in 1906 to the Norwegian Military College, he graduated with the highest score since the college's inception in 1817, was rewarded by an audience with the King. On 1 November 1911, he joined the army General Staff. Norway was neutral in the First World War. In March 1918, he was sent to Russia as an attaché at the Norwegian legation in Petrograd, to take advantage of the five years he had spent studying the country. Though dismayed at the living conditions he experienced, Quisling nonetheless concluded that "the Bolsheviks have got an extraordinarily strong hold on Russian society" and marvelled at how Leon Trotsky had managed to mobilise the Red Army forces so well; when the legation was recalled in December 1918, Quisling became the Norwegian military's expert on Russian affairs. In September 1919, Quisling departed Norway to become an intelligence officer with the Norwegian delegation in Helsinki, a post that combined diplomacy and politics. In the autumn of 1921, Quisling left Norway once again, this time at the request of explorer and humanitarian Fridtjof Nansen, in January 1922 arrived in the Ukrainian capital Kharkov to help with the League of Nations humanitarian relief effort there.
Highlighting the massive mismanagement of the area and the death toll of ten thousand a day, Quisling produced a report that attracted aid and demonstrated his administrative skills, as well as his dogged determination to get what he wanted. On 21 August, he married the daughter of a peddler. Alexandra wrote in her memoirs that Quisling declared his love for her, but based on his letters home and investigations undertaken by his cousins, it appears that there was never any question of romantic involvement between the two. Quisling seemed to ha