Belgium the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, the North Sea to the northwest, it has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; the sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds, it is divided into three autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that included parts of northern France and western Germany, its name is derived after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars; the country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, WTO, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has high standards of living, quality of life, education, is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index, it ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world. The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings. A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire; the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 15th centuries.
Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The Eighty Years' War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands; the latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region; the reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napo
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
Mercedes-Benz is a German global automobile marque and a division of Daimler AG. The brand is known for luxury vehicles, buses and trucks; the headquarters is in Baden-Württemberg. The name first appeared in 1926 under Daimler-Benz. In 2018, Mercedes-Benz was the biggest selling premium vehicle brand in the world, having sold 2.31 million passenger cars. Mercedes-Benz traces its origins to Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft's 1901 Mercedes and Karl Benz's 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen, regarded as the first gasoline-powered automobile; the slogan for the brand is "the best or nothing". Mercedes-Benz traces its origins to Karl Benz's creation of the first petrol-powered car, the Benz Patent Motorwagen, financed by Bertha Benz and patented in January 1886, Gottlieb Daimler and engineer Wilhelm Maybach's conversion of a stagecoach by the addition of a petrol engine that year; the Mercedes automobile was first marketed in 1901 by Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft. Emil Jellinek, an Austrian automobile entrepreneur who worked with DMG, created the trademark in 1902, naming the 1901 Mercedes 35 hp after his daughter Mercedes Jellinek.
Jellinek was a businessman and marketing strategist who promoted "horseless" Daimler automobiles among the highest circles of society in his adopted home, which, at that time, was a meeting place for the "Haute Volée" of France and Europe in winter. His customers included other well-known personalities, but Jellinek's plans went further: as early as 1901, he was selling Mercedes cars in the New World as well, including US billionaires Rockefeller, Astor and Taylor. At a race in Nice in 1899, Jellinek drove under the pseudonym "Monsieur Mercédès", a way of concealing the competitor's real name as was normal and regularly done in those days; the race ranks as the hour of birth of the Mercedes-Benz brand. In 1901, the name "Mercedes" was registered by Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft worldwide as a protected trademark; the first Mercedes-Benz brand name vehicles were produced in 1926, following the merger of Karl Benz's and Gottlieb Daimler's companies into the Daimler-Benz company on 28 June of the same year.
Gottlieb Daimler was born on 17 March 1834 in Schorndorf. After training as a gunsmith and working in France, he attended the Polytechnic School in Stuttgart from 1857 to 1859. After completing various technical activities in France and England, he started working as a draftsman in Geislingen in 1862. At the end of 1863, he was appointed workshop inspector in a machine tool factory in Reutlingen, where he met Wilhelm Maybach in 1865. Throughout the 1930s, Mercedes-Benz produced the 770 model, a car, popular during Germany's Nazi period. Adolf Hitler was known to have driven these cars during his time in power, with bulletproof windshields. Most of the surviving models have been sold at auctions to private buyers. One of them is on display at the War Museum in Ottawa, Ontario; the pontiff's Popemobile has been sourced from Mercedes-Benz. In 1944, 46,000 forced laborers were used in Daimler-Benz's factories to bolster Nazi war efforts; the company paid $12 million in reparations to the laborers' families.
Mercedes-Benz has introduced many technological and safety innovations that became common in other vehicles. Mercedes-Benz is one of the best-known and established automotive brands in the world. For information relating to the famous three-pointed star, see under the title Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft, including the merger into Daimler-Benz; as part of the Daimler AG company, the Mercedes-Benz Cars division includes Mercedes-Benz and Smart car production. Mercedes-AMG became a majority owned division of Mercedes-Benz in 1999; the company was integrated into DaimlerChrysler in 1999, became Mercedes-Benz AMG beginning on 1 January 1999. Daimler's ultra-luxury brand Maybach was under Mercedes-Benz cars division until 2013, when the production stopped due to poor sales volumes, it now exists under the Mercedes-Maybach name, with the models being ultra-luxury versions of Mercedes cars, such as the 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600. Daimler cooperates with BYD Auto to sell a battery-electric car called Denza in China.
In 2016, Daimler announced plans to sell. Beside its native Germany, Mercedes-Benz vehicles are manufactured or assembled in: Since its inception, Mercedes-Benz has maintained a reputation for its quality and durability. Objective measures looking at passenger vehicles, such as J. D. Power surveys, demonstrated a downturn in reputation in these criteria in the late 1990s and early 2000s. By mid-2005, Mercedes temporarily returned to the industry average for initial quality, a measure of problems after the first 90 days of ownership, according to J. D. Power. In J. D. Power's Initial Quality Study for the first quarter of 2007, Mercedes showed dramatic improvement by climbing from 25th to 5th place and earning several awards for its models. For 2008, Mercedes-Benz's initial quality rating improved to fourth place. On top of this accolade, it received the Platinum Plant Quality Award for its Mercedes’ Sindelfingen, Germany assembly plant. J. D. Power's 2011 US Initial Quality and Vehicle Dependability Studies both ranked Mercedes-Benz vehicles above average in build quality and reliability.
In the 2011 UK J. D. Power Survey, Mercedes cars were rated above average. A 2014 iSeeCars.com study for Reuters found Mercedes to have the lowest vehicle recall rate. Mercedes-Benz offers a full range of light commercial and heavy commercial equipment. Vehicles are manufactured in multiple countries worldwide; the Smart marque of city cars are produced by Daimler AG
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
Belgian Grand Prix
The Belgian Grand Prix is an automobile race, part of the Formula One World Championship. The first national race of Belgium was held in 1925 at the Spa region's race course, an area of the country, associated with motor sport since the early years of racing. To accommodate Grand Prix motor racing, the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps race course was built in 1921 but it was only used for motorcycle racing until 1924. After the 1923 success of the new 24 hours of Le Mans in France, the Spa 24 Hours, a similar 24-hour endurance race, was run at the Spa track. Since inception, Spa-Francorchamps has been known for its unpredictable weather. At one stage in its history it had rained at the Belgian Grand Prix for twenty years in a row. Drivers confront a part of the course, clear and bright while another stretch is rainy and slippery; the Belgian Grand Prix was designated the European Grand Prix six times between 1925 and 1973, when this title was an honorary designation given each year to one Grand Prix race in Europe.
It is one of the most popular races on the Formula One calendar, due to the scenic and historical Spa-Francorchamps circuit being a favourite of drivers and fans. In 1925, the first Belgian Grand Prix was held at the fast, 9-mile Spa-Francorchamps circuit located in the Ardennes region of eastern Belgium, about half an hour from Liege; this race was won by the Italian works Alfa driver Antonio Ascari, whose son Alberto would win the race in 1952 and 1953. Sadly, after winning the Belgian race, Antonio Ascari was killed in his next race at the 1925 French Grand Prix; the Grand Prix did not come back until 1930, the circuit had been modified, bypassing the Malmedy chicane. The race was won by Louis Chiron, in 1931, the Grand Prix had become something of an endurance race, with Briton William Grover-Williams and Caberto Conelli winning. 1933 was won by Tazio Nuvolari, 1935 was won by Rudolf Caracciola in a Mercedes, by which time the circuit had re-installed the Malmedy Chicane. The 1939 race saw the birth of the Raidillon corner.
In contrast to popular belief, only the small kink to the left at the bottom of the drop is named Eau Rouge, which directly leads into Raidillon, a long right uphill corner. The conditions were dreadful, the race was marred by the death of British driver Richard "Dick" Seaman while leading the race. Going into Clubhouse corner, Seaman was pushing hard. Seaman received life-threatening burns, he succumbed to his injuries in hospital; the race was won by Seaman's teammate Hermann Lang. World War II broke out, the Belgian Grand Prix did not return until June 1946, when the 2 to 4.5 litres race at the Bois de la Cambre public park in the Belgian capital of Brussels was won by Frenchman Eugène Chaboud in a Delage. Spa was modified to make it faster, shortening it to 8.7 miles. All of the slow corners were taken out – the Stavelot hairpin was bypassed and made into a fast banked corner and the Malmedy chicane was bypassed. At this time, every corner except La Source was ultra-high speed. Spa over this time became known as one of the most extreme and fearsome circuits in motorsports history.
1950 saw the introduction of the Formula One World Championship. Their closest challenger, Alberto Ascari, fell back; the race was won by Fangio, Farina won the next year's race in his works Alfa after Fangio dropped back with hub problems. 1953 saw. Fangio crashed and José Froilán González had a steering failure and stopped out near the banked Stavelot corner. 1955 saw Mercedes dominate and his British teammate Stirling Moss led the race distance. Moss followed Fangio for most of the race, the Argentine took victory as he had the year before in a Maserati. 1956 saw a wet race, with Moss in a Maserati lead, Fangio, now driving for Ferrari, made a bad start and dropped to fifth at the start, although he got up to second behind Moss. The track was drying, Moss lost a wheel at Raidillon corner, he didn't hit anything and went back to take over his teammate Cesare Perdisa's car and was able to finish 3rd. The gearbox in Fangio's car broke, his teammate Peter Collins won the race; the 1957 race was cancelled because there was no money for the race to be held, thanks to the extreme prices of fuel in Belgium and the Netherlands caused by the Suez crisis.
1958 saw Spa upgraded with new facilities, a resurfaced track and the pit straight was made wider. But Spa had gained a reputation as a unforgiving, frightening and a mentally challenging circuit in those safety-absent days, most racing events there – the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa – had smaller-than-average fields because a number of drivers feared the circuit and did not like racing there; the layout was still the same as before, the small non-existent margin for error as described before had been realised quickly. The circuit was challenging because each corner on the circuit was so fast, because of the circuit's long length in addition to the fact that it was only made up of fast corners and straights; the circuit was so fast that it wasn't all that much slower than most American ovals, such as Indianapolis. This made Spa a considerable mental challenge, each corner was as important as the other.
The Mercedes-Benz W154 was a Grand Prix racing car designed by Rudolf Uhlenhaut. The W154 competed in the 1938 and 1939 Grand Prix seasons and was used by Rudolf Caracciola to win the 1938 European Championship; the W154 was created as a result of a rule change by the sports governing body AIACR, which limited supercharged engine capacities to 3000cc. Mercedes' previous car, the supercharged 5700cc W125, was therefore ineligible; the company decided that a new car based on the chassis of the W125 and designed to comply with the new regulations would be preferable to modifying the existing car. Although using the same chassis design as the 1938 car, a different body was used for the 1939 season and the M154 engine used during 1938 was replaced by the M163; as a result of the new engine, the 1939 car is mistakenly referred to as a Mercedes-Benz W163. For the 1938 season, Grand Prix racing's governing body AIACR moved from a formula limited by weight to one by engine capacity; the new regulations allowed a maximum capacity of 3000cc with 4500cc without.
This meant the supercharged 5700cc W125, was ineligible to continue. Its new car was based on the W125 chassis, with a supercharged 3000cc engine determined after both types had been tested; the chassis was based on that of the preceding W125. The frame was constructed using oval tubes made of nickel-chrome molybdenum to provide stiffness; the suspension was near identical to the W125. The rear consisted of a De Dion tube, designed to keep the rear wheels parallel using a solid tubular beam, it had hydraulic rear dampers, adjustable from within the cockpit during a race. The bodywork of the W125 was aluminium, left unpainted like its predecessors, making it another of Mercedes' famed Silver Arrows; the new M154 engine was a 3000cc supercharged V12. In 1939, the 2-stage supercharged version recorded a test bed power of 476 BHP at 7,800 rpm. To compensate for the smaller engine compared to the W125, the W154 had an extra gear with a 5-speed manual transmission; the first gear was protected by a latch to avoid being engaged accidentally.
The W154 made its debut in the opening race of the 1938 season, the non-championship Pau Grand Prix in April. Cars were entered for both Lang. Lang crashed during practice and the team withdrew his car. René Dreyfus took pole position in a Delahaye, but Caracciola was second and managed to beat Dreyfus away from the line at the start of the race. Despite leading, Caracciola was suffering from an old leg injury, when he pitted for fuel he handed the car over to Lang. Dreyfus took the lead and would not need to pit as his car's lower fuel consumption meant he could complete the race non-stop. Lang's car developed a spark plug problem and finished the race in second place, nearly two minutes behind; the car's next outing at Tripoli, again a non-championship race, was much more successful. The three cars that were entered for Lang, von Brauchitsch and Caracciola qualified first and third respectively; the gap from Caracciola to fourth placed Clemente Biondetti was over three seconds. The cars retained these positions at the end of the race and although von Brauchitsch and Caracciola had both suffered engine problems, Caracciola still finished over eight minutes ahead of fourth placed Raymond Sommer.
The first race of the European Championship was the French Grand Prix, held at the Reims-Gueux circuit. Three cars were entered, for von Brauchitsch and Lang. A poor turnout meant. Team manager Alfred Neubauer offered to enter a fourth W154 for Richard Seaman, but the organisers insisted on a maximum of three cars per team. Lang took pole position, with von Brauchitsch second and Caracciola third, ahead of the two Auto Unions of Christian Kautz and Rudolf Hasse; the Mercedes-Benz cars led from the start. After two laps, four cars had retired, leaving only the Mercedes-Benz and Talbot cars in the race, the Talbots a minute behind. Lang had difficulties in a pit-stop and Caracciola's engine started firing on only eleven of its twelve cylinders; this left von Brauchitsch to claim victory ahead of Lang. The only other finisher was René Carrièrè in a Talbot, ten laps behind. Three weeks after the French Grand Prix came the second race of the European Championship, the German Grand Prix. Four W154s were entered and they took the first four positions on the starting grid.
At the start, Lang took the lead but on lap three his car's spark plugs oiled up and he had to make an emergency pit stop. Shortly afterwards, team manager Alfred Neubauer brought Lang into the pits so that Walter Bäumer, a reserve driver for Mercedes-Benz, could take over. Lang's mechanical problems allowed von Brauchitsch to take the lead. Meanwhile, Caracciola had been struggling with abdominal pain and stopped on lap ten to allow Lang to take over his car. Von Brauchitsch came in for his second pit stop on lap sixteen, followed by Seaman in second position. During von Brauchitsch's pit stop, a mechanic spilt fuel over the car, ignited by a spark from the car's exhaust pipe; this allowed Seaman to exit the pits in the lead of the race. When his car's fire had been extinguished, von Brauchitsch left the pits, only to crash his car during the lap. Seaman continued on to win the race, followed by Lang in Caracciola's car. Lang's car, being driven by Bäumer, retired from the race with engine problems.
Following the French Grand Prix, Mercedes-Benz travelled to Italy to contest two non-championship races - the Coppa Ciano at Montenero and the Coppa Acerbo at Pescara. For the Coppa Ciano, Caracciola was entered in an
The National Socialist German Workers' Party referred to in English as the Nazi Party, was a far-right political party in Germany, active between 1920 and 1945, that created and supported the ideology of National Socialism. Its precursor, the German Workers' Party, existed from 1919 to 1920; the Nazi Party emerged from the German nationalist and populist Freikorps paramilitary culture, which fought against the communist uprisings in post-World War I Germany. The party was created to draw workers away into völkisch nationalism. Nazi political strategy focused on anti-big business, anti-bourgeois, anti-capitalist rhetoric, although this was downplayed to gain the support of business leaders, in the 1930s the party's main focus shifted to anti-Semitic and anti-Marxist themes. Pseudo-scientific racist theories were central to Nazism, expressed in the idea of a "people's community"; the party aimed to unite "racially desirable" Germans as national comrades, while excluding those deemed either to be political dissidents, physically or intellectually inferior, or of a foreign race.
The Nazis sought to strengthen the Germanic people, the "Aryan master race", through racial purity and eugenics, broad social welfare programs, a collective subordination of individual rights, which could be sacrificed for the good of the state on behalf of the people. To protect the supposed purity and strength of the Aryan race, the Nazis sought to exterminate Jews, Romani and most other Slavs, along with the physically and mentally handicapped, they disenfranchised and segregated homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses and political opponents. The persecution reached its climax when the party-controlled German state set in motion the Final Solution–an industrial system of genocide which achieved the murder of an estimated 5.5 to 6 million Jews and millions of other targeted victims, in what has become known as the Holocaust. Adolf Hitler, the party's leader since 1921, was appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933. Hitler established a totalitarian regime known as the Third Reich.
Following the defeat of the Third Reich at the conclusion of World War II in Europe, the party was "declared to be illegal" by the Allied powers, who carried out denazification in the years after the war. Nazi, the informal and derogatory term for a party member, abbreviates the party's name, was coined in analogy with Sozi, an abbreviation of Sozialdemokrat. Members of the party referred to themselves as Nationalsozialisten as Nazis; the term Parteigenosse was used among Nazis, with its corresponding feminine form Parteigenossin. The term was in use before the rise of the party as a colloquial and derogatory word for a backward peasant, an awkward and clumsy person, it derived from Ignaz, a shortened version of Ignatius, a common name in the Nazis' home region of Bavaria. Opponents seized on this, the long-existing Sozi, to attach a dismissive nickname to the National Socialists. In 1933, when Adolf Hitler assumed power in the German government, the usage of "Nazi" diminished in Germany, although Austrian anti-Nazis continued to use the term, the use of "Nazi Germany" and "Nazi regime" was popularised by anti-Nazis and German exiles abroad.
Thereafter, the term spread into other languages and was brought back to Germany after World War II. In English, the term is not considered slang, has such derivatives as Nazism and denazification; the party grew out of smaller political groups with a nationalist orientation that formed in the last years of World War I. In 1918, a league called the Freier Arbeiterausschuss für einen guten Frieden was created in Bremen, Germany. On 7 March 1918, Anton Drexler, an avid German nationalist, formed a branch of this league in Munich. Drexler was a local locksmith, a member of the militarist Fatherland Party during World War I and was bitterly opposed to the armistice of November 1918 and the revolutionary upheavals that followed. Drexler followed the views of militant nationalists of the day, such as opposing the Treaty of Versailles, having antisemitic, anti-monarchist and anti-Marxist views, as well as believing in the superiority of Germans whom they claimed to be part of the Aryan "master race".
However, he accused international capitalism of being a Jewish-dominated movement and denounced capitalists for war profiteering in World War I. Drexler saw the political violence and instability in Germany as the result of the Weimar Republic being out-of-touch with the masses the lower classes. Drexler emphasised the need for a synthesis of völkisch nationalism with a form of economic socialism, in order to create a popular nationalist-oriented workers' movement that could challenge the rise of Communism and internationalist politics; these were all well-known themes popular with various Weimar paramilitary groups such as the Freikorps. Drexler's movement received support from some influential figures. Supporter Dietrich Eckart, a well-to-do journalist, brought military figure Felix Graf von Bothmer, a prominent supporter of the concept of "national socialism", to address the movement. In 1918, Karl Harrer convinced Drexler and several others to form the Politischer Arbeiterzirkel; the members met perio