Plötzensee Prison is a men's prison in the Charlottenburg-Nord locality of Berlin with a capacity for 577 prisoners, operated by the State of Berlin judicial administration. The detention centre established in 1868 has a long history. Famous inmates include East Germany's last communist leader Egon Krenz; the prison was founded by resolution of the Prussian government under King William I and built until 1879 on the estates of the Plötzensee manor, named after nearby Plötzensee Lake. The area divided by the Berlin-Spandau Ship Canal opened in 1859 was located at the outskirts of the Tegel forest northwest of the Berlin city limits in the Province of Brandenburg; the theologian Johann Hinrich Wichern had established the Evangelical Johannesstift borstal nearby, which in 1905 moved to Spandau–Hakenfelde. In 1915, the lands east of the canal with Plötzensee Lake were incorporated into Berlin, the remaining area around the prison walls became part of the Berlin Charlottenburg borough upon the 1920 Greater Berlin Act.
Since 2004, it belongs to the Charlottenburg-Nord locality. The original name of what is today Haus 1 was Strafgefängnis Plötzensee, which translates to Plötzensee Prison. Up to 1,400 inmates lived on premises of 25.7 ha including a church and a Jewish prayer area the largest prison of the German Empire. After World War II, the buildings demolished by the bombing of Berlin were rebuilt and housed a youth detention center for offenders between the ages of 14 and 21; when it in 1987 moved to a newly built annex on Friedrich-Olbricht-Damm in the west, Haus 1 of Plötzensee Prison again became a men's prison with capacity for 577 inmates. Upon the end of the Cold War and German reunification, the last communist East German leader Egon Krenz, convicted for manslaughter by Schießbefehl order at the Berlin Wall, from 2000 until 2003 served his sentence there. Today about one third of the inmates are incarcerated for repeated fare evasion. In 1983, a modern women's prison was built south of Friedrich-Olbricht-Damm on the Bundesautobahn 100 highway, since 1998 it houses the JVA Charlottenburg for about 300 adult male prisoners drug addicts.
During Imperial and Weimar Republic eras until 1933 there were 36 executions carried out in Plötzensee, all for murder and all by beheading with an axe according to the old German Strafgesetzbuch penal code. After the Nazi Machtergreifung, the prison housed political prisoners. Plötzensee was one of eleven selected central execution sites established in 1936 throughout Germany by the order of Adolf Hitler and Reich Minister of Justice Franz Gürtner; each was operated by a full-time executioner carrying out the rising numbers of death sentences after the penal law was again tightened in World War II. By a 1943 agreement with the OKW they became responsible for the execution of Wehrmacht members according to German military law; the convicts were beheaded by a stationary guillotine, from 1942 by hanging. During the Nazi regime, an official record of 2,891 people convicted by the Berlin Kammergericht, the notorious "People's Court" under Roland Freisler and several Sondergerichte were executed in Plötzensee with an axe in the prison's courtyard.
From 1937 the convicts were beheaded with a guillotine brought from Bruchsal Prison and installed in a backyard work shed, a ground-level brick building near the prison walls, to where the victims had to walk from a nearby cell block. In 1942, a beam was assembled in the same room, serving as gallows for up to eight victims at one time; the bereaved were obliged to pay a fee of 1.5 Reichsmarks for each day the detainee had spent in prison plus an extra execution charge of 300 Reichsmarks. About half of those executed were Germans, most of whom were sentenced to death for acts of resistance against the Nazi regime, among them members of the Red Orchestra, the 20 July plot and the Kreisau Circle. 677 executed prisoners were from Czechoslovakia, among them many members of the Czech resistance to Nazi occupation from 1938-39 onwards. 253 death sentences were carried out against Poles, 245 against French citizens. These people included both the members of resistance organizations and people who were deported to Germany for forced labour.
About 300 were women. After execution, their bodies were released to Hermann Stieve, an anatomist at the medical college of what is now Humboldt University of Berlin, he and his students or assistants dissected them for research purposes. Stieve was interested in the effects of stress on the menstrual cycle, wrote 230 papers based on this research, among them one that demonstrated that the rhythm method was not an effective method of preventing conception. After an RAF air raid in the night of 3 September 1943 irreparably damaged the guillotine and destroyed large parts of the prison buildings, State Secretary Curt Rothenberger in the Reich Ministry of Justice via telephone ordered the immediate execution of the Plötzensee condemned. About 250 people—six of them "erroneously"— waiting in rows of eight were hanged during the so-called Plötzensee Bloody Nights from 7 to 12 September; the last execution was carried out on 20 April 1945. The remaining inmates were liberated by the Red Army in the course of the Battle of Berlin five days later.
Today the execution shed is a memorial site operated by the Memorial to the German Resistance institution to commemorate those executed by the Nazis. Separated from the prison area, it was dedicated
Szczecin is the capital and largest city of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship in Poland. Located near the Baltic Sea and the German border, it is a major seaport and Poland's seventh-largest city; as of June 2018, the population was 403,274. Szczecin is located on the Bay of Pomerania; the city is situated along the southwestern shore of Dąbie Lake, on both sides of the Oder and on several large islands between the western and eastern branches of the river. Szczecin is adjacent to the town of Police and is the urban centre of the Szczecin agglomeration, an extended metropolitan area that includes communities in the German states of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern; the city's recorded history began in the 8th century as a Slavic Pomeranian stronghold, built at the site of the Ducal castle. In the 12th century, when Szczecin had become one of Pomerania's main urban centres, it lost its independence to Piast Poland, the Duchy of Saxony, the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark. At the same time, the House of Griffins established themselves as local rulers and the population was Christianized.
After the Treaty of Stettin in 1630, the town came under the control of the Swedish Empire and became in 1648 the Capital of Swedish Pomerania until 1720, when it was acquired by the Kingdom of Prussia and the German Empire. Following World War II Stettin became part of Poland in accordance with the Potsdam Agreement, resulting in expulsion of the pre-war German population. Szczecin is the administrative and industrial centre of West Pomeranian Voivodeship and is the site of the University of Szczecin, Pomeranian Medical University, Maritime University, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin Art Academy, the see of the Szczecin-Kamień Catholic Archdiocese. From 1999 onwards, Szczecin has served as the site of the headquarters of NATO's Multinational Corps Northeast. Szczecin was a candidate for the European Capital of Culture in 2016; the names "Szczecin" and "Stettin" are of Slavic origin, though the exact etymology is the subject of ongoing research. In Etymological dictionary of geographical names of Poland, Maria Malec lists eleven theories regarding the origin of the name, including derivations from either: a Slavic word for hill peak, or the plant fuller's teasel, or the personal name Szczota.
Other medieval names for the town are Burstenburgh. These names, which mean "brush burgh", are derived from the translation of the city's Slavic name; the recorded history of Szczecin began in the eighth century, as Vikings and West Slavs settled Pomerania. The Slavs erected a new stronghold on the site of the modern castle. Since the 9th century, the stronghold was expanded toward the Oder bank. Mieszko I of Poland took control of Pomerania during the Early Middle Ages and the region became part of Poland in the 10th century. Subsequent Polish rulers, the Holy Roman Empire, the Liutician federation all aimed to control the territory. After the decline of the neighbouring regional centre Wolin in the 12th century, the city became one of the more important and powerful seaports of the Baltic Sea. In a campaign in the winter of 1121–1122, Bolesław III Wrymouth, the Duke of Poland, gained control of the region, including the city of Szczecin and its stronghold; the inhabitants were Christianized by two missions of Bishop Otto of Bamberg in 1124 and 1128.
At this time, the first Christian church of Saints Peter and Paul was erected. Polish minted coins were used in trade in this period; the population of the city at that time is estimated to be at around 5,000–9,000 people. Polish rule ended with Boleslaw's death in 1138. During the Wendish Crusade in 1147, a contingent led by the German margrave Albert the Bear, an enemy of Slavic presence in the region, papal legate, bishop Anselm of Havelberg and Konrad of Meissen besieged the town. There, a Polish contingent supplied by Mieszko III the Old joined the crusaders. However, the citizens had placed crosses around the fortifications, indicating they had been Christianised. Duke Ratibor I of Pomerania, negotiated the disbanding of the crusading forces. After the Battle of Verchen in 1164, Szczecin duke Bogusław I, Duke of Pomerania became a vassal of the Duchy of Saxony's Henry the Lion. In 1173 Szczecin castellan Wartislaw II, could not resist a Danish attack and became vassal of Denmark. In 1181, Bogusław became a vassal of the Holy Roman Empire.
In 1185 Bogusław again became a Danish vassal. Following a conflict between his heirs and Canute VI of Denmark, the settlement was destroyed in 1189, but the fortress was reconstructed and manned with a Danish force in 1190. While the empire restored its superiority over the Duchy of Pomerania in the Battle of Bornhöved in 1227, Szczecin was one of two bridgeheads remaining under Danish control. In the second half of the 12th century, a group of German tradesmen settled in the city around St. Jacob's Church, donated in 1180 by Beringer, a trader from Bamberg, consecrated in 1187. Hohenkrug was the first village in the Duchy of Pomerania, recorded as German in 1173. Ostsiedlung accelerated in Pomerania during the 13th century. Duke Barnim I of Pomerania granted Szczecin a local government charter in 1237, separating the German settlement from the Slavic community settled around the St. Nicholas Church in the neighbourhood of Kessin. In the charte
Almanach de Gotha
The Almanach de Gotha is a directory of Europe's royalty and higher nobility including the major governmental and diplomatic corps, as well as statistical data by country. First published in 1763 by C. W. Ettinger in Gotha in Thuringia, Germany, at the ducal court of Frederick III, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, it came to be regarded as an authority in the classification of monarchies and their courts and former dynasties and ducal families, the genealogical and titulary details of Europe's highest level of aristocracy, it was published from 1785 annually by Justus Perthes Publishing House in Gotha, until 1944. The Soviets destroyed the Almanach de Gotha's archives in 1945. In 1989, the family of Justus Perthes re-established its right to use the name Almanach de Gotha. In 1998, a London-based publisher, John Kennedy, acquired the rights for use of the title of Almanach de Gotha from Justus Perthes Verlag Gotha GmbH; the last edition produced by Justus Perthes was the 181st, produced in 1944.
After a gap of 54 years the first of the new editions was published in 1998 with English, the new diplomatic language, used as the lingua franca in the place of French or German. Perthes regards the resultant volumes as new works, not as a continuation of the editions which Perthes had published from 1785 to 1944. Two volumes have been printed since 1998, with Volume I containing lists of the sovereign sovereign and mediatised houses of Europe, a diplomatic and statistical directory; the original Almanach de Gotha provided detailed facts and statistics on nations of the world, including their reigning and reigning houses, those of Europe being more complete than those of other continents. It named the highest incumbent officers of state, members of the diplomatic corps, Europe's upper nobility with their families. Although at its most extensive the Almanach numbered more than 1200 pages, fewer than half of which were dedicated to monarchical or aristocratic data, it acquired a reputation for the breadth and precision of its information on royalty and nobility compared to other almanacs.
The Almanach's publication by Justus Perthes began at the ducal court of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in Germany and, its reigning dynasty was listed first therein well into the 19th century followed by kindred sovereigns of the House of Wettin and in alphabetical order, other families of princely rank and non-ruling. Although always published in French, other almanacs in French and English were more sold internationally; the almanac's structure changed and its scope expanded over the years. The second portion, called the Annuaire diplomatique et statistique, provided demographic and governmental information by nation, similar to other almanacs, its first portion, called the Annuaire généalogique, came to consist of three sections: reigning and reigning families, mediatized families and non-sovereign families at least one of whose members bore the title of prince or duke. The first section always listed Europe's sovereign houses, whether they ruled as emperor, grand duke, prince; until 1810 these sovereign houses were listed alongside such families and entities as Barbiano-Belgiojoso, Colloredo, the Emperor, Gonzaga, Jablonowski, Ligne, Radziwill, Starhemberg and Taxis, Venice, the Order of Malta and the Teutonic Knights.
In 1812, these entries began to be listed in groups: First were German sovereigns who held the rank of grand duke or prince elector and above. Listed next were Germany's reigning ducal and princely dynasties under the heading "College of Princes", e.g. Hohenzollern, Leyen and the other Saxon duchies, they were followed by heads of non-German monarchies, i.e. Austria, Great Britain, etc. Fourthly were listed non-reigning dukes and princes, whether mediatized or not, including Arenberg, Furstenberg alongside Batthyany, Sulkowski and Benevento. In 1841 a third section was added to those of the sovereign dynasties and the non-reigning princely and ducal families, it was composed of the mediatized families of comital rank recognized by the various states of the German Confederation as belonging, since 1825, to the same historical category and sharing some of the same privileges as reigning dynasties. The 1815 treaty of the Congress of Vienna had authorized — and Article 14 of the German Confederation's Bundesakt recognized — retention from the German Imperial regime of equality of birth for marital purposes of mediatized families to reigning dynasties.
In 1877, the mediatized comital families were moved from section III to section II A, where they joined the princely mediatized families. In the third section were members of such non-reigning but notable families as Rohan, Ursel, Czartoryski, Galitzine, La Rochefoucauld, Radziwill, Merode and Alba. Other deposed European dynasties did not benefit vis-a-vis the almanac from a similar interpretation of their historical status. Many princely or ducal families were listed only in its third, non-dynastic section or were excluded altogether, evoking criticism in the 20th century fr
Robert Vansittart, 1st Baron Vansittart
Robert Gilbert Vansittart, 1st Baron Vansittart, known as Sir Robert Vansittart between 1929 and 1941, was a senior British diplomat in the period before and during the Second World War. He was Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister from 1928 to 1930 and Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office from 1930 to 1938 and served as Chief Diplomatic Adviser to the British Government, he is best remembered for his opposition to appeasement and his strong stance against Germany during and after the Second World War. Vansittart was a published poet and playwright. Vansittart was born at Wilton House, Surrey, the eldest of the three sons of Robert Arnold Vansittart, of Foots Cray Place, Kent, a Captain in the 7th Dragoon Guards, by his wife Susan Alice Blane, third daughter of Gilbert James Blane, landowner, of Foliejon Park, Berkshire, his younger brother Guy Nicholas Vansittart had a successful career with General Motors before and after the war. He was recruited into “Z” Network during the 1930s and served in Special Operations Executive during World War II.
The Vansittart family was of Dutch descent: ancestors included Arthur Vansittart, Member of Parliament for Windsor, Colonel Arthur Vansittart, Member of Parliament for Berkshire. Henry Vansittart, Robert Vansittart and Lord Bexley were members of other branches of the family. A female-line ancestor was Lord Auckland. Vansittart was a second cousin of T. E. Lawrence. Known as Van, he was educated at St Neot's Preparatory School and Eton College, where he was a member of the Eton Society and Captain of the Oppidans, he travelled in Europe for two years to improve his French and German, where his experiences may have influenced his Germanophobia and Francophilia. Vansittart entered the Foreign Office in 1902, starting as a clerk in the Eastern Department, where he was a specialist on Aegean Islands affairs, he was an attaché at the British Embassy in Paris between 1903 and 1905, when he became Third Secretary. He served at the embassies in Tehran between 1907 and 1909 and Cairo between 1909 and 1911.
From 1911, he was attached to the Foreign Office. During the First World War, he was joint head of the contraband department and head of the Prisoner of War Department under Lord Newton, he took part in the Paris Peace Conference and became an Assistant Secretary at the Foreign Office in 1920. From that year to 1924, he was private secretary to the Foreign Lord Curzon. From 1928 to 1930, he was Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin and Ramsay MacDonald. In January 1930 he was appointed Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, where he supervised the work of Britain's diplomatic service. Vansittart was suspicious of Adolf Hitler from the start and claimed that what Hitler said was "for foreign consumption", he thought Hitler would start another European war as soon as he "felt strong enough". Vansittart supported revising the Versailles Treaty in Germany's favour but only after Hitler was no longer in power. Vansittart believed that Britain should be firm with Germany, with an alliance between France and the Soviet Union against Germany essential.
Vansittart urgently advocated rearmament. In the summer of 1936, Vansittart visited Germany and claimed that he found a climate that "the ghost of Barthou would hardly have recognised" and that Britain should negotiate with Germany, he thought that satisfying Hitler's "land hunger" at Soviet expense would be immoral and regarded the Franco-Soviet Treaty of Mutual Assistance as non-negotiable. It was because he believed that Germany had gained equality in Europe that Vansittart favoured facilitating German expansion in Africa, he thought that Hitler was exploiting fears of a "Bolshevist menace" as a cover for "expansion in Central and South-Eastern Europe". Like Sir Maurice Hankey, Vansittart thought in power politics terms, he thought Hitler could not decide whether to follow Joseph Goebbels and Alfred von Tirpitz in viewing Britain as "the ultimate enemy" or on the other hand adopting the Joachim von Ribbentrop policy of appeasing Britain in order to engage in military expansion in the East.
Vansittart thought that in either case time should be "bought for rearmament" by an economic agreement with Germany and by appeasing every "genuine grievance" about colonies. Vansittart wanted to detach Benito Mussolini from Hitler and thought that the British Empire was an "Incubus" and that Continental Europe was the central British national interest, but he doubted whether agreement could be had there; that was because he feared that German attention, if turned eastwards, would result in a military empire between the Baltic Sea, the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea. At the Foreign Office in the 1930s, Vansittart was a major figure in the loose group of officials and politicians opposed to appeasement of Germany. In spite of his harsh opposition to appeasement with Germany, Vansittart had been on "very friendly terms with Herr Henlein". Henlein was the Nazi leader of the "separatist" Sudeten German Party, which secretly wanted annexation of the Sudetenland by Germany, he was plotting with Hitler the partition of Czechoslovakia, which would be agreed at the Munich Agreement.
Vansittart told Henlein that "no serious intervention in favour of the Czechs was to be feared from Great Britain and also from France." That reached Hitler in the second half of 1937, when he was deciding about his plan to overthrow Austria and Czechoslovakia.
Kleist is a Pomeranian Prussian noble family. Notable members of this family include: Henning Alexander von Kleist. Prussian field marshal. Ewald Jürgen Georg von Kleist; the Kleist Prize, a prestigious prize for German literature, is named after him Karl Wilhelm Heinrich von Kleist, General of the Cavalry Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist.
Assassination is the act of killing a prominent person for either political, religious or monetary reasons. An assassination may be prompted by political or military motives, it is an act that may be done for financial gain, to avenge a grievance, from a desire to acquire fame or notoriety, or because of a military, insurgent or secret police group's command to carry out the homicide. Acts of assassination have been performed since ancient times; the word assassin is believed to derive from the word Hashshashin, shares its etymological roots with hashish. It referred to a group of Nizari Shia Muslims. Founded by Hassan-i Sabbah, the Assassins were active in the fortress of Alamut in Persia from the 8th to the 14th centuries, expanded by capturing forts in Syria; the group killed members of the Abbasid, Seljuq and Christian Crusader elite for political and religious reasons. Although it is believed that Assassins were under the influence of hashish during their killings or during their indoctrination, there is debate as to whether these claims have merit, with many Eastern writers and an increasing number of Western academics coming to believe that drug-taking was not the key feature behind the name.
The earliest known use of the verb "to assassinate" in printed English was by Matthew Sutcliffe in A Briefe Replie to a Certaine Odious and Slanderous Libel, Lately Published by a Seditious Jesuite, a pamphlet printed in 1600, five years before it was used in Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Assassination is one of the oldest tools of power politics, it dates back at least as far as recorded history. In the Old Testament, King Joash of Judah was recorded as being assassinated by his own servants. Chanakya wrote about assassinations in detail in his political treatise Arthashastra, his student Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Maurya Empire made use of assassinations against some of his enemies, including two of Alexander the Great's generals and Philip. Other famous victims are Philip II of Macedon, the father of Alexander the Great, Roman consul Julius Caesar. Emperors of Rome met their end in this way, as did many of the Muslim Shia Imams hundreds of years later; the practice was well known in ancient China, as in Jing Ke's failed assassination of Qin king Ying Zheng in 227 BC.
Whilst many assassinations were performed by individuals or small groups, there were specialized units who used a collective group of people to perform more than one assassination. The earliest were the sicarii in 6 A. D. who predated the Middle Eastern assassins and Japanese ninjas by centuries. In the Middle Ages, regicide was rare in Western Europe, but it was a recurring theme in the Eastern Roman Empire. Blinding and strangling in the bathtub were the most used procedures. With the Renaissance, tyrannicide—or assassination for personal or political reasons—became more common again in Western Europe. High medieval sources mention the assassination of King Demetrius Zvonimir, dying at the hands of his own people, who objected to a proposition by the Pope to go on a campaign to aid the Byzantines against the Seljuk Turks; this account is, contentious among historians, it being most asserted that he died of natural causes. The myth of the "Curse of King Zvonimir" is based on the legend of his assassination.
In 1192, Conrad of Montferrat, the de facto King of Jerusalem, was killed by an assassin. The reigns of King Przemysł II of Poland, William the Silent of the Netherlands, the French kings Henry III and Henry IV were all ended by assassins. In the modern world, the killing of important people began to become more than a tool in power struggles between rulers themselves and was used for political symbolism, such as in the propaganda of the deed. In Russia alone, two emperors, Paul I and his grandson Alexander II, were assassinated within 80 years. In the United Kingdom, only one Prime Minister has been assassinated—Spencer Perceval on May 11, 1812. In Japan, a group of assassins called the Four Hitokiri of the Bakumatsu killed a number of people, including Ii Naosuke, the head of administration for the Tokugawa shogunate, during the Boshin War. Most of the assassinations in Japan were committed with bladed weaponry, a trait, carried on into modern history. A video-record exists of the assassination of Inejiro Asanuma.
In the United States, within 100 years, four presidents—Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy—died at the hands of assassins. There have been at least 20 known attempts on U. S. presidents' lives. Huey Long, a Senator, was assassinated on September 10, 1935. Robert F. Kennedy, a Senator and a presidential candidate, was assassinated on June 6, 1968 in the United States. In Austria, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, carried out by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian national and a member of the Serbian nationalist insurgents, is blamed for igniting World War I after a succession of minor conflicts, while belligerents on both sides in World War II used operatives trained for assassination. Reinhard Heydrich died after an attack by British-trained Czechoslovak soldiers on behalf of the Czechoslovak government in exile in Operation Anthropoid, knowledge from decoded transmissions allowed the United States to carry out a targeted attack, killing Japanese Admiral