Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally ending a life to relieve pain and suffering. There are different euthanasia laws in each country; the British House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics defines euthanasia as "a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering". In the Netherlands and Belgium, euthanasia is understood as "termination of life by a doctor at the request of a patient"; the Dutch law however, does not use the term'euthanasia' but includes it under the broader definition of "assisted suicide and termination of life on request". Euthanasia is categorized in different ways, which include non-voluntary, or involuntary. Voluntary euthanasia is legal in some countries. Non-voluntary euthanasia is illegal in all countries. Involuntary euthanasia is illegal in all countries and is considered murder; as of 2006, euthanasia is the most active area of research in contemporary bioethics. In some countries there is a divisive public controversy over the moral and legal issues of euthanasia.
Passive euthanasia is legal under some circumstances in many countries. Active euthanasia however is legal or de facto legal in only a handful of countries and is limited to specific circumstances and the approval of councilors and doctors or other specialists. In some countries such as Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, support for active euthanasia is non-existent. Like other terms borrowed from history, "euthanasia" has had different meanings depending on usage; the first apparent usage of the term "euthanasia" belongs to the historian Suetonius, who described how the Emperor Augustus, "dying and without suffering in the arms of his wife, experienced the'euthanasia' he had wished for." The word "euthanasia" was first used in a medical context by Francis Bacon in the 17th century, to refer to an easy, happy death, during which it was a "physician's responsibility to alleviate the'physical sufferings' of the body." Bacon referred to an "outward euthanasia"—the term "outward" he used to distinguish from a spiritual concept—the euthanasia "which regards the preparation of the soul."In current usage, euthanasia has been defined as the "painless inducement of a quick death".
However, it is argued that this approach fails to properly define euthanasia, as it leaves open a number of possible actions which would meet the requirements of the definition, but would not be seen as euthanasia. In particular, these include situations where a person kills another, but for no reason beyond that of personal gain. Another approach incorporates the notion of suffering into the definition; the definition offered by the Oxford English Dictionary incorporates suffering as a necessary condition, with "the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma", This approach is included in Marvin Khol and Paul Kurtz's definition of it as "a mode or act of inducing or permitting death painlessly as a relief from suffering". Counterexamples can be given: such definitions may encompass killing a person suffering from an incurable disease for personal gain, commentators such as Tom Beauchamp and Arnold Davidson have argued that doing so would constitute "murder simpliciter" rather than euthanasia.
The third element incorporated into many definitions is that of intentionality – the death must be intended, rather than being accidental, the intent of the action must be a "merciful death". Michael Wreen argued that "the principal thing that distinguishes euthanasia from intentional killing simpliciter is the agent's motive: it must be a good motive insofar as the good of the person killed is concerned." Heather Draper speaks to the importance of motive, arguing that "the motive forms a crucial part of arguments for euthanasia, because it must be in the best interests of the person on the receiving end." Definitions such as that offered by the House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics take this path, where euthanasia is defined as "a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering." Beauchamp and Davidson highlight Baruch Brody's "an act of euthanasia is one in which one person... kills another person for the benefit of the second person, who does benefit from being killed".
Draper argued that any definition of euthanasia must incorporate four elements: an agent and a subject. Based on this, she offered a definition incorporating those elements, stating that euthanasia "must be defined as death that results from the intention of one person to kill another person, using the most gentle and painless means possible, motivated by the best interests of the person who dies." Prior to Draper and Davidson had offered a definition that includes these elements. Their definition discounts fetuses to distinguish between abortions and euthanasia: In summary, we have argued... that the death of a human being, A, is an instance of euthanasia if and only if A's death is intended by at least one other human being, B, where B is either the cause of death or a causally relevant feature of the event resulting in death.
Office of Racial Policy (Nazi Party)
The Office of Racial Policy was a department of the Nazi Party, founded for "unifying and supervising all indoctrination and propaganda work in the field of population and racial politics". It began in 1933 as the NSDAP Office for Enlightenment on Racial Welfare. By 1935, it had been renamed NSDAP Office of Racial Policy. Dr. Walter Gross remained the RPA's leader until his suicide at the end of the Second World War in April 1945; the main role of the RPA was to oversee the production and maintenance of propaganda regarding the ethnic consciousness of the Nordic Aryan master race. This was termed "enlightenment" rather than "propaganda" by the Nazi authorities, because it was "not a call for immediate action but a long-term change in attitude". Dr. Gross did not want people thinking of themselves as individuals but rather as "single links in the great chain of life". All NSDAP racial information required the approval of Gross' office before publication; the department dealt with all measures concerning the field of population and racial policies in cooperation with other Nazi and SS agencies, such as the RKFDV.
The RPA passed all Nazi Party press releases on issues of race. It provided input for drafting Nazi legislation regarding racial issue; the RPA produced Neues Volk, a monthly magazine aimed at a general readership rather than towards a specialist audience. But while containing articles on topics such as travel tips, its central theme was the promotion of eugenics and ethnic consciousness. Other publications created by the office included a ten-point plan to marriage; the guidelines, rather than focusing on love, stressed the ideal criteria for marriage in the Nazi state was the consideration of race and health. The pamphlet urged investigation of the ancestry of potential mates, that the hereditary fit should not remain single, concluding with the injunction to hope for many children. Other works included "Can You Think Racially?" and "Peasantry between Yesterday and Today". The RPA created traveling exhibitions that presented the ideal Aryan type as unchanging in contrast to subhuman types. In its first year, the office had published 14 pamphlets for racial education.
This led to the establishment of intensive training courses to create ethnic educators. More than a thousand Sturmabteilung personnel and recent medical school graduates were indoctrinated each year on Nazi racial topics until 1945. Hauptamt Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle Racial policy of Nazi Germany NSDAP on cine-holocaust
Psychiatric hospitals known as mental hospitals, mental health units, mental asylums or asylums, are hospitals or wards specializing in the treatment of serious mental disorders, such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. Psychiatric hospitals vary in their size and grading; some hospitals may specialize only in short outpatient therapy for low-risk patients. Others may specialize in the temporary or permanent care of residents who, as a result of a psychological disorder, require routine assistance, treatment, or a specialized and controlled environment. Patients are admitted on a voluntary basis, but people whom psychiatrists believe may pose a significant danger to themselves or others may be subject to involuntary commitment. Psychiatric hospitals may be referred to as psychiatric wards or units when they are a subunit of a regular hospital. Modern psychiatric hospitals evolved from, replaced the older lunatic asylums; the treatment of inmates in early lunatic asylums was sometimes brutal and focused on containment and restraint.
With successive waves of reform, the introduction of effective evidence-based treatments, most modern psychiatric hospitals provide a primary emphasis on treatment, attempt where possible to help patients control their own lives in the outside world, with the use of a combination of psychiatric drugs and psychotherapy. An exception is in Japan, where many psychiatric hospitals still use physical restraints on patients, tying them to their beds for days or months at a time. A crisis stabilization unit is in effect an emergency department for psychiatry dealing with suicidal, violent, or otherwise critical individuals. Open units are psychiatric units. Another type of psychiatric hospital is medium term. In the United Kingdom, both crisis admissions and medium term care are provided on acute admissions wards. Juvenile or adolescent wards are sections of psychiatric hospitals or psychiatric wards set aside for children or adolescents with mental illness. Long-term care facilities have the goal of treatment and rehabilitation back into society within a short time-frame.
Another institution for the mentally ill is a community-based halfway house. Modern psychiatric hospitals evolved from, replaced the older lunatic asylums; the development of the modern psychiatric hospital is the story of the rise of organized, institutional psychiatry. Hospitals known as bimaristans were built in Persia beginning around the early 9th century, with the first in Baghdad under the leadership of the Abbasid Caliph Harun al-Rashid. While not devoted to patients with psychiatric disorders, they contained wards for patients exhibiting mania or other psychological distress; because of cultural taboos against refusing to care for one's family members, mentally ill patients would be surrendered to a bimaristan only if the patient demonstrated violence, incurable chronic illness, or some other debilitating ailment. Psychological wards were enclosed by iron bars owing to the aggression of some of the patients. Western Europe would adopt these views on with the advances of physicians like Philippe Pinel at the Bicêtre Hospital in France and William Tuke at the York Retreat in England.
They advocated the viewing of mental illness as a disorder that required compassionate treatment that would aid in the rehabilitation of the victim. The arrival in the Western world of institutionalisation as a solution to the problem of madness was much an advent of the nineteenth century; the first public mental asylums were established in Britain. Nine counties first applied. In 1828, the newly appointed Commissioners in Lunacy were empowered to license and supervise private asylums; the Lunacy Act 1845 made the construction of asylums in every country compulsory with regular inspections on behalf of the Home Secretary. The Act required asylums to have a resident physician. At the beginning of the nineteenth century there were a few thousand "sick people" housed in a variety of disparate institutions throughout England, but by 1900 that figure had grown to about 100,000; this growth coincided with the growth of alienism known as psychiatry, as a medical specialism. The treatment of inmates in early lunatic asylums was sometimes brutal and focused on containment and restraint.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, terms such as "madness," "lunacy" or "insanity"—all of which assumed a unitary psychosis—were split into numerous "mental diseases," of which catatonia and dementia praecox were the most common in psychiatric institutions. In 1961 sociologist Erving Goffman described a theory of the "total institution" and the process by which it takes efforts to maintain predictable and regular behavior on the part of both "guard" and "captor," suggesting that many of the features of such institutions serve the ritual function of ensuring that both classes of people know their function and social role, in other words of "institutionalizing" them. Asylums was a key text in the development of deinstitutionalization. With successive waves of reform and the introduction of effective evidence-based treatments, modern psychiatric hospitals provide a primary emphasis on treatment.
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
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
Aktion T4 was a postwar name for mass murder through involuntary euthanasia in Nazi Germany. The name T4 is an abbreviation of Tiergartenstraße 4, a street address of the Chancellery department set up in the spring of 1940, in the Berlin borough of Tiergarten, which recruited and paid personnel associated with T4. Certain German physicians were authorized to select patients "deemed incurably sick, after most critical medical examination" and administer to them a "mercy death". In October 1939, Adolf Hitler signed a "euthanasia note", backdated to 1 September 1939, which authorized his physician Karl Brandt and Reichsleiter Philipp Bouhler to implement the programme; the killings took place from September 1939 until the end of the war in 1945. The number of victims was recorded as 70,273 but this number has been increased by the discovery of victims listed in the archives of the former East Germany. About half of those killed were taken from church-run asylums with the approval of the Protestant or Catholic authorities of the institutions.
The Holy See announced on 2 December 1940 that the policy was contrary to the natural and positive Divine law and that "the direct killing of an innocent person because of mental or physical defects is not allowed" but the declaration was not upheld by some Catholic authorities in Germany. In the summer of 1941, protests were led in Germany by the Bishop of Münster, Clemens von Galen, whose intervention led to "the strongest, most explicit and most widespread protest movement against any policy since the beginning of the Third Reich", according to Richard J. Evans. Several reasons have been suggested for the killings, including eugenics, reducing suffering, racial hygiene and saving money. Physicians in German and Austrian asylums continued many of the practices of Aktion T4 until the defeat of Germany in 1945, in spite of its official cessation in August 1941; the informal continuation of the policy led to 93,521 "beds emptied" by the end of 1941. Technology developed under Aktion T4 was taken over by the medical division of the Reich Interior Ministry the use of lethal gas to kill large numbers of people, along with the personnel of Aktion T4, who participated in Operation Reinhard.
The programme was authorised by Hitler but the killings have since come to be viewed as murders in Germany. The number of people killed was about 200,000 in Germany and Austria, with about 100,000 victims in other European countries. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the sterilisation of people carrying what were considered to be hereditary defects and in some cases those exhibiting what was thought to be hereditary "antisocial" behaviour, was a respectable field of medicine. Canada, Denmark and the US had passed laws enabling coerced sterilisation. Studies conducted in the 1920s ranked Germany as a country, unusually reluctant to introduce sterilisation legislation. In his book Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote that one day racial hygiene "will appear as a deed greater than the most victorious wars of our present bourgeois era". In July 1933, the "Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring" prescribed compulsory sterilisation for people with conditions thought to be hereditary, such as schizophrenia, Huntington's chorea and "imbecility".
Sterilisation was legalised for chronic alcoholism and other forms of social deviance. The law was administered by the Interior Ministry under Wilhelm Frick through special Hereditary Health Courts, which examined the inmates of nursing homes, prisons, aged-care homes and special schools, to select those to be sterilised, it is estimated that 360,000 people were sterilised under this law between 1933 and 1939. The policy and research agenda of racial hygiene and eugenics were promoted by Emil Kraepelin; the eugenic sterilization of persons diagnosed with schizophrenia was advocated by Eugen Bleuler, who presumed racial deterioration because of “mental and physical cripples” in his Textbook of Psychiatry, The more burdened should not propagate themselves… If we do nothing but make mental and physical cripples capable of propagating themselves, the healthy stocks have to limit the number of their children because so much has to be done for the maintenance of others, if natural selection is suppressed unless we will get new measures our race must deteriorate.
Within the Nazi administration, the idea of including in the program people with physical disabilities had to be expressed because the Reich Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, had a deformed right leg. After 1937, the acute shortage of labour in Germany arising from rearmament, meant that anyone capable of work was deemed to be "useful", exempted from the law and the rate of sterilisation declined; the term "Aktion T4" is a post-war coining. The T4 programme stemmed from the Nazi Party policy of "racial hygiene", a belief that the German people needed to be cleansed of racial enemies, which included anyone confined to a mental health facility and people with simple physical disabilities. Karl Brandt, doctor to Hitler and Hans Lammers, the head of the Reich Chancellery, testified after the war that Hitler had told them as early as 1933—when the sterilisation law was passed—that he favoured the killing of the incurably ill but recognised that public opinion would not accept this. In 1935, Hitler told the Leader of Reich Doctors, Gerhard Wagner, that th
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