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
Joachim von Ribbentrop
Ulrich Friedrich Wilhelm Joachim von Ribbentrop, more known as Joachim von Ribbentrop, was Foreign Minister of Nazi Germany from 1938 until 1945. Ribbentrop first came to Adolf Hitler's notice as a well-travelled businessman with more knowledge of the outside world than most senior Nazis and as an authority on world affairs, he offered his house for the secret meetings in January 1933 that resulted in Hitler's appointment as Chancellor of Germany. He became a close confidant of Hitler, to the disgust of some party members, who thought him superficial and lacking in talent, he was appointed Ambassador to the Court of St James's in 1936 and Foreign Minister of Germany in February 1938. Before World War II, he played a key role in brokering the Pact of Steel and the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, he favoured retaining good relations with the Soviets, opposed the invasion of the Soviet Union. In the autumn of 1941, due to American aid to Britain and the frequent "incidents" in the North Atlantic between U-boats and American warships guarding convoys to Britain, Ribbentrop worked for the failure of the Japanese-American talks in Washington and for Japan to attack the United States.
He did his utmost to support a declaration of war on the United States after the attack on Pearl Harbor. From 1941 onwards, Ribbentrop's influence declined. Arrested in June 1945, Ribbentrop was tried at the Nuremberg trials and convicted for his role in starting World War II in Europe and enabling the Holocaust. On 16 October 1946, he became the first of those sentenced to death by hanging to be executed. Joachim von Ribbentrop was born in Wesel, Rhenish Prussia, to Richard Ulrich Friedrich Joachim Ribbentrop, a career army officer, his wife Johanne Sophie Hertwig. From 1904 to 1908, Ribbentrop took French courses at Lycée Fabert in Metz, the German Empire's most powerful fortress. A former teacher recalled Ribbentrop "was the most stupid in his class, full of vanity and pushy", his father was cashiered from the German Imperial Army in 1908 – after disparaging Kaiser Wilhelm II for his alleged homosexuality – and the Ribbentrop family was short of money. For the next 18 months, the family moved to Arosa, where the children continued to be taught by French and English private tutors, Ribbentrop spent his free time skiing and mountaineering.
Following the stay in Arosa, Ribbentrop was sent to Britain for a year to improve his knowledge of the English language. Fluent in both French and English, young Ribbentrop lived at various times in Grenoble and London, before travelling to Canada in 1910, he worked for the Molsons Bank on Stanley Street in Montreal, for the engineering firm M. P. and J. T. Davis on the Quebec Bridge reconstruction, he was employed by the National Transcontinental Railway, which constructed a line from Moncton to Winnipeg. He worked as a journalist in New York City and Boston, but returned to Germany to recover from tuberculosis, he set up a small business in Ottawa importing German wine and champagne. In 1914, he competed for Ottawa's famous Minto ice-skating team and participated in the Ellis Memorial Trophy tournament in Boston in February; when the First World War began in 1914, Ribbentrop left Canada, which as part of the British Empire was at war with Germany, moved to the neutral United States. On 15 August 1914 he sailed from Hoboken, New Jersey, on the Holland-America ship The Potsdam, bound for Rotterdam, on his return to Germany enlisted in the 12th Hussar Regiment.
Ribbentrop served first on the Eastern Front was transferred to the Western Front. He was awarded the Iron Cross. In 1918, 1st Lieutenant Ribbentrop was stationed in Istanbul as a staff officer. During his time in Turkey, he became a friend of Franz von Papen. In 1919, Ribbentrop met the daughter of a wealthy Wiesbaden wine-producer, they were married on 5 July 1920, Ribbentrop began to travel throughout Europe as a wine salesman. He and Annelies had five children together. In 1925 his aunt, Gertrud von Ribbentrop, adopted him, which allowed him to add the nobiliary particle von to his name. In 1928, Ribbentrop was introduced to Adolf Hitler as a businessman with foreign connections who "gets the same price for German champagne as others get for French champagne". Wolf-Heinrich Graf von Helldorf, with whom Ribbentrop had served in the 12th Torgau Hussars in the First World War, arranged the introduction. Ribbentrop and his wife joined the National Socialist German Workers' Party on 1 May 1932. Ribbentrop began his political career that summer by offering to be a secret emissary between Chancellor of Germany Franz von Papen, his old wartime friend, Hitler.
His offer was refused. Six months however and Papen accepted his help, their change of heart occurred after General Kurt von Schleicher ousted Papen in December 1932. This led to a complex set of intrigues in which Papen and various friends of president Paul von Hindenburg negotiated with Hitler to oust Schleicher. On 22 January 1933, State Secretary Otto Meissner and Hindenburg's son Oskar met Hitler, Hermann Göring, Wilhelm Frick at Ribbentrop's home in Berlin's exclusive Dahlem district. Over dinner, Papen made the fateful concession that if Schleicher's government were to fall, he would abandon his demand for the Chancellorship and instead use his influence with President Hindenburg to ensure Hitler got the Chancellorship. Ribbentrop was not popular with the Nazi Party's Alte Kämpfer. Bri
Reich Main Security Office
The Reich Main Security Office was an organization subordinate to Heinrich Himmler in his dual capacities as Chef der Deutschen Polizei and Reichsführer-SS, the head of the Nazi Party's Schutzstaffel. The organization's stated duty was to fight all "enemies of the Reich" inside and outside the borders of Nazi Germany; the RSHA was created by Himmler on 27 September 1939. Himmler's assumption of total control over all security and police forces in Germany was the "crucial precondition" for the establishment and growth of the SS state, he combined the Nazi Party's Sicherheitsdienst with the Sicherheitspolizei, nominally under the Interior Ministry. The SiPo was composed of the Geheime Staatspolizei and the Kriminalpolizei; the RSHA was abbreviated to RSi-H in correspondence to avoid confusion with the SS-Rasse- und Siedlungshauptamt. The creation of the RSHA represented the formalization, at the top level, of the relationship under which the SD served as the intelligence agency for the security police.
A similar coordination existed in the local offices. Within Germany and areas which were incorporated within the Reich for the purpose of civil administration, local offices of the Gestapo, criminal police, SD were formally separate, they were subject to coordination by inspectors of the security police and SD on the staffs of the local higher SS and police leaders and one of the principal functions of the local SD units was to serve as the intelligence agency for the local Gestapo units. In the occupied territories, the formal relationship between local units of the Gestapo, criminal police, SD was closer. Throughout the course of wartime expansion, the RSHA continued to grow at an enormous rate and was "repeatedly reorganized". Routine reorganization did not change the tendency for centralization within the Third Reich nor did it change the general trend for organizations like the RSHA to develop direct relationships to Hitler, adhering to a familiar National Socialist pattern of the leader-follower construct.
For the RSHA, its centrality within Nazi Germany was pronounced since departments like the Gestapo were controlled by Himmler and his immediate subordinate SS-Obergruppenführer and General of Police Reinhard Heydrich. Heydrich remained the RSHA chief until he was assassinated in 1942. In January 1943, Himmler delegated the office to SS-Obergruppenführer and General of Police Ernst Kaltenbrunner, who headed the RSHA until the end of World War II in Europe; the head of the RSHA was known as the CSSD or Chef der Sicherheitspolizei und des SD. According to British author Gerald Reitlinger, the RSHA "became a typical overblown bureaucracy... The complexity of RSHA was unequalled... with at least a hundred... sub-sub-sections, a modest camouflage of the fact that it handled the progressive extermination which Hitler planned for the ten million Jews of Europe". The organization at its simplest was divided into seven offices: Amt I, "Administration and Legal" headed by SS-Gruppenführer Dr. Werner Best.
In 1940, he was succeeded by SS-Brigadeführer Bruno Streckenbach. In April 1944, Erich Ehrlinger took over as department chief. Amt II, "Ideological Investigation", headed by SS-Brigadeführer Professor Franz Six. Amt III, "Spheres of German Life" or the Inland-SD, headed by SS-Gruppenführer Otto Ohlendorf, was the SS information gathering service for inside Germany, it dealt with ethnic Germans outside of Germany's prewar borders, matters of culture. Amt IV, "Suppression of Opposition", formed from Abteilung II and III of the Gestapa, headed by SS-Gruppenführer Heinrich Müller. SS-Obersturmbannführer Adolf Eichmann, one of the main architects of the Holocaust, was head of the Amt IV sub-department called Referat IV B4. Amt V, "Suppression of Crime" Kriminalpolizei led by SS-Gruppenführer Arthur Nebe and by SS-Oberführer Friedrich Panzinger; this was the Criminal Police, which dealt with non-political serious crimes, such as rape and arson. Amt V was known as the Reichskriminalpolizeiamt. Amt VI, "Foreign Intelligence Service" or Ausland-SD led by SS-Brigadeführer Heinz Jost and by SS-Brigadeführer Walter Schellenberg.
Amt VII, "Ideological Research and Evaluation" was a reconstitution of Amt II overseen by SS-Brigadeführer Professor Dr. Franz Six, it was headed by SS-Obersturmbannführer Paul Dittel. It was responsible for "ideological" tasks; these included the creation of anti-semitic, anti-masonic propaganda, the sounding of public opinion and monitoring of Nazi indoctrination by the public. The RSHA controlled the security services of the Nazi Party, its activities included intelligence-gathering, criminal investigation, overseeing foreigners, monitoring public opinion, Nazi indoctrination. The RSHA was "the central office for the extra-judicial NS measures of terror and repression from the beginning of the war until 1945"; the list of "enemies" included Jews, Freemasons and Christian activists. In addition to dealing with identified enemies, the RSHA advocated expansionist policies for the Reich and the Germanization of additional territory through settlement. Generalplan Ost, the secret Nazi plan to colonize Central and Eastern Europe exclus
Embassy of Germany, London
The Embassy of Germany in London is the diplomatic mission of Germany in the United Kingdom. The embassy is located in Belgravia, it occupies three of the original terraced houses in Belgrave Square and a late 20th-century extension. The Prussian Consul-General was housed at 9 Carlton House Terrace in the so-called Prussia House. After World War II Prussia House was requisitioned as enemy property and the Federal Republic of Germany moved its consulate and diplomatic operations to Belgrave Square, still operating as a Consulate General; the Consulate became a functional Embassy in June 1951, the FRG leasing the building for 99 years in 1953. In the 1970s, office space in the embassy was tight so an extension was erected at Chesham Place, inaugurated in 1978, it won the Westminster City Council prize for architecture. In 1990, after German reunification, the East German embassy building at 34 Belgrave Square became part of the German embassy. 1701–1703 Balthasar Heinrich von Nischwitz 1714–1718 Georg Sigismund Nostitz Karl Georg Friedrich von Flemming 1702 Ernst August von Platen-Hallermund 1713–1714 Gerhard Nath 1714–1719 Hermann von Petkum 1715–1716 Franz Ludwig Viktor Effern 1715 Hermann Beveren 1692: Opening of diplomatic mission 17??–1739: Johann Franz von Haslang 1739–1783: Joseph Franz Xaver von Haslang 1783–1803: Siegmund von Haslang 1800–1801: Franz Gabriel von Bray 1804–1814: Interruption of diplomatic relations, due to alliance with France during Napoleonic Wars 1814–1822: Christian Hubert Pfeffel von Kriegelstein 1822–1833: August Baron de Cetto 1833–1835: Franz Oliver von Jenison-Walworth 1835–1867: August Baron de Cetto 1868–1871: Ferdinand von Hompesch-Bollheim 1871: Closure of Legation 1604 Hans von Bodeck 1651–1655: 1655–16??: Johann Friedrich Schlezer 1671–1675: Lorenz Georg von Krockow 1675–1678: Otto von Schwerin 1678–1682: 1682–1685: Pierre de Falaiseau 1685–1686: Johann von Besser 16??–16??: Wolfgang von Schmettau 16??–1688: Samuel von Schmettau 1688–1697: Thomas Ernst von Danckelmann 1697–1698: Friedrich Bogislaw Dobrženský von Dobrženitz 1698–1699: Christoph I. zu Dohna-Schlodien 1700–1700: David Ancillon the Younger 1707–1710: Ezechiel von Spanheim 1711–1712: Johann August Marschall von Bieberstein 1712–1719: Ludwig-Friedrich Bonnet de Saint-Germain 1719–1726: Johann Christoph Julius Ernst von Wallenrodt 1726–1730: Benjamin Friedrich von Reichenbach 1730–1733: Christoph Martin von Degenfeld-Schonburg 1733–1737: Caspar Wilhelm von Borcke 1737–1742: 1742–1744: Count Karl-Wilhelm Finck von Finckenstein 1744–1748: 1748–1750: Joachim Wilhelm von Klinggräff 1750–1758: Abraham Louis Michell, Geschäftsträger 1758–1760: Dodo Heinrich zu Innhausen und Knyphausen 1760–1764: Abraham Louis Michell 1764-1766: 1766–1780: Joachim Carl von Maltzan 1780–1788: Spiridion von Lusi 1788–1790: Philipp Karl von Alvensleben 1790–1792: Sigismund Ehrenreich Johann von Redern 1792–1807: Constans Philipp Wilhelm von Jacobi-Klöst 1807–1815: 1815–1817: Constans Philipp Wilhelm von Jacobi-Klöst 1817–1818: Wilhelm von Humboldt 1818–1821: vacant 1821–1824: Heinrich von Werther 1824–1827: Bogislaw von Maltzan 1827–1841: Heinrich von Bülow 1841–1854: Christian Charles Josias Bunsen 1854–1861: Albrecht von Bernstorff 1861–1862: vacant 1862–1873: Albrecht von Bernstorff Albrecht von Bernstorff Albrecht von Bernstorff Georg Herbert zu Münster Paul von Hatzfeldt Paul Wolff Metternich Adolf Marschall von Bieberstein Karl Max, Prince Lichnowsky diplomatic relations disrupted due to World War I Friedrich Sthamer Konstantin von Neurath Leopold von Hoesch Leopold von Hoesch Joachim von Ribbentrop Herbert von Dirksen diplomatic relations disrupted due to World War II 1959 Kurt Wolf 1963 1963 Jost Prescher 1965 Representative at the Chamber of Commerce 1965 Erich Rennstein 1967 1967 Dieter Butters 1971 1971 Erich Albrecht 1971 Karl Heinz Kern 1980 1984 Gerhard Lindner 1989 Joachim Mitdank 1990 Hans Schlange-Schöningen Hans Heinrich Herwarth von Bittenfeld Hasso von Etzdorf Herbert Blankenhorn Karl-Günther von Hase Hans Helmut Ruethe Jürgen Ruhfus Rüdiger von Wechmar Hermann von Richthofen Peter Hartmann Jürgen Oesterhelt Gebhardt von Moltke Hans-Friedrich von Ploetz Thomas Matussek Wolfgang Ischinger Georg Boomgaarden Peter Ammon Peter Wittig Official site German Foreign Office
Würzburg is a city in the region of Franconia, northern Bavaria, Germany. Located on the Main River, it is the capital of the Regierungsbezirk of Lower Franconia; the regional dialect is East Franconian. Würzburg lies about equidistant from Frankfurt am Nuremberg. Although the city of Würzburg is not part of the Landkreis Würzburg, it is the seat of the district's administration; the city has a population of around 130,000 people. A Bronze Age refuge castle stood on the site of the present Fortress Marienberg; the former Celtic territory was settled by the Alamanni in the 4th or 5th century, by the Franks in the 6th to 7th. Würzburg was the seat of a Merovingian duke from about 650, it was Christianized in 686 by Irish missionaries Kilian and Totnan. The city is mentioned in a donation by Duke Hedan II to bishop Willibrord, dated 1 May 704, in castellum Virteburch; the Ravenna Cosmography lists the city as Uburzis at about the same time. The name is of Celtic origin, but based on a folk etymological connection to the German word Würze "herb, spice", the name was Latinized as Herbipolis in the medieval period.
Beginning in 1237, the city seal depicted the cathedral and a portrait of Saint Kilian, with the inscription SIGILLVM CIVITATIS HERBIPOLENSIS. It shows a banner on a tilted lance in a blue field, with the banner quarterly argent and gules or and gules; this coat of arms replaced the older seal of the city, showing Saint Kilian, from 1570. The first diocese was founded by Saint Boniface in 742 when he appointed the first bishop of Würzburg, Saint Burkhard; the bishops created a secular fiefdom, which extended in the 12th century to Eastern Franconia. The city was the site of several Imperial Diets, including the one of 1180, at which Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony and Bavaria, was banned for three years from the Empire and his duchy Bavaria was handed over to Otto of Wittelsbach. Massacres of Jews took place in 1147 and 1298; the first church on the site of the present Würzburg Cathedral was built as early as 788 and consecrated that same year by Charlemagne. The University of Würzburg was founded in 1402 and re-founded in 1582.
The citizens of the city revolted several times against the prince-bishop. In 1397, King Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia had visited the city and promised its people the status of a free Imperial City. However, the German ruling princes forced him to withdraw these promises. In 1400, the citizenry was decisively defeated by the troops of the bishop in the Schlacht von Bergtheim, the city fell under his control permanently until the dissolution of the fiefdom; the Würzburg witch trials, which occurred between 1626 and 1631, are one of the largest peace-time mass trials. In Würzburg, under Bishop Philip Adolf an estimated number between 600 and 900 alleged witches were burnt. In 1631, Swedish King Gustaf Adolf plundered the castle. In 1720, the foundations of the Würzburg Residence were laid. In 1796, the Battle of Würzburg between Habsburg Austria and the First French Republic took place; the city passed to the Electorate of Bavaria in 1803, but two years in the course of the Napoleonic Wars, it became the seat of the Electorate of Würzburg, the Grand Duchy of Würzburg.
In 1814, the town became part of the Kingdom of Bavaria and a new bishopric was created seven years as the former one had been secularized in 1803. In 1817, Friedrich Koenig and Andreas Bauer founded Schnellpressenfabrik Bauer. In the early 1930s, around 2,000 Jews had lived in Würzburg, a rabbinic center. Between November 1941 and June 1943 Jews from the city were sent to the Nazi concentration camps in Eastern Europe. On 16 March 1945, about 90% of the city was destroyed in 17 minutes by fire bombing from 225 British Lancaster bombers during a World War II air raid. Würzburg became a target for its role as a traffic hub. All of the city's churches and other monuments were damaged or destroyed; the city center, which dated from medieval times, was destroyed in a firestorm in which 5,000 people perished. Over the next 20 years, the buildings of historical importance were painstakingly and reconstructed; the citizens who rebuilt the city after the end of the war were women – Trümmerfrauen – because the men were either dead or still prisoners of war.
On a relative scale, Würzburg was destroyed to a larger extent than was Dresden in a firebombing the previous month. On 3 April 1945, Würzburg was occupied by the U. S. 12th Armored Division and U. S. 42nd Infantry Division in a series of frontal assaults masked by smokescreens. The battle continued until the final Wehrmacht resistance was defeated on 5 April 1945; the 2016 Würzburg train attack took place at the Würzburg-Heidingsfeld railway station on 18 July. Würzburg is located on both banks of the river Main in the region of Lower Franconia in Bavaria, Germany; the main body of the town is on the eastern bank of the river. The town is enclosed by the Landkreis Würzburg, but is not a part of it. Würzburg lies at an altitude of around 177 metres. Of the total municipal area, in 2007, building area accounted for 30%, followed by agricultural land, forestry/wood, green spaces, traffic and others; the centre of Würzburg is surrou
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