The Schutzstaffel was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in Nazi Germany, throughout German-occupied Europe during World War II. It began with a small guard unit known as the Saal-Schutz made up of NSDAP volunteers to provide security for party meetings in Munich. In 1925, Heinrich Himmler joined the unit, which had by been reformed and given its final name. Under his direction it grew from a small paramilitary formation to one of the most powerful organizations in Nazi Germany. From 1929 until the regime's collapse in 1945, the SS was the foremost agency of security and terror within Germany and German-occupied Europe; the two main constituent groups were the Allgemeine SS and Waffen-SS. The Allgemeine SS was responsible for enforcing the racial policy of Nazi Germany and general policing, whereas the Waffen-SS consisted of combat units within Nazi Germany's military. A third component of the SS, the SS-Totenkopfverbände, ran the concentration camps and extermination camps.
Additional subdivisions of the SS included the Sicherheitsdienst organizations. They were tasked with the detection of actual or potential enemies of the Nazi state, the neutralization of any opposition, policing the German people for their commitment to Nazi ideology, providing domestic and foreign intelligence; the SS was the organization most responsible for the genocidal killing of an estimated 5.5 to 6 million Jews and millions of other victims in the Holocaust. Members of all of its branches committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during World War II; the SS was involved in commercial enterprises and exploited concentration camp inmates as slave labor. After Nazi Germany's defeat, the SS and the NSDAP were judged by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg to be criminal organizations. Ernst Kaltenbrunner, the highest-ranking surviving SS main department chief, was found guilty of crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials and hanged in 1946. By 1923, the Nazi Party led by Adolf Hitler had created a small volunteer guard unit known as the Saal-Schutz to provide security at their meetings in Munich.
The same year, Hitler ordered the formation of a small bodyguard unit dedicated to his personal service. He wished it to be separate from the "suspect mass" of the party, including the paramilitary Sturmabteilung, which he did not trust; the new formation was designated the Stabswache. The unit was composed of eight men, commanded by Julius Schreck and Joseph Berchtold, was modeled after the Erhardt Naval Brigade, a Freikorps of the time; the unit was renamed Stoßtrupp in May 1923. The Stoßtrupp was abolished after the failed 1923 Beer Hall Putsch, an attempt by the NSDAP to seize power in Munich. In 1925, Hitler ordered Schreck to organize the Schutzkommando, it was tasked with providing personal protection for Hitler at NSDAP events. That same year, the Schutzkommando was expanded to a national organization and renamed successively the Sturmstaffel, the Schutzstaffel; the SS marked its foundation on 9 November 1925. The new SS was to provide protection for NSDAP leaders throughout Germany. Hitler's personal SS protection unit was enlarged to include combat units.
Schreck, a founding member of the SA and a close confidant of Hitler, became the first SS chief in March 1925. On 15 April 1926, Joseph Berchtold succeeded him as chief of the SS. Berchtold changed the title of the office to Reichsführer-SS. Berchtold was considered more dynamic than his predecessor, but became frustrated by the authority the SA had over the SS; this led to him transferring leadership of the SS to his deputy, Erhard Heiden, on 1 March 1927. Under Heiden's leadership, a stricter code of discipline was enforced than would have been tolerated in the SA. Between 1925 and 1929, the SS was considered to be a small Gruppe of the SA. Except in the Munich area, the SS was unable to maintain any momentum in its membership numbers, which declined from 1,000 to 280 as the SA continued its rapid growth; as Heiden attempted to keep the SS from dissolving, Heinrich Himmler became his deputy in September 1927. Himmler displayed good organizational abilities compared to Heiden; the SS established a number of Gaus.
The SS-Gaus consisted of SS-Gau Berlin, SS-Gau Berlin Brandenburg, SS-Gau Franken, SS-Gau Niederbayern, SS-Gau Rheinland-Süd, SS-Gau Sachsen. With Hitler's approval, Himmler assumed the position of Reichsführer-SS in January 1929. There are differing accounts of the reason for Heiden's dismissal from his position as head of the SS; the party announced that it was for "family reasons." Under Himmler, the SS gained a larger foothold. He considered the SS an elite, ideologically driven National Socialist organization, a "conflation of Teutonic knights, the Jesuits, Japanese Samurai", his ultimate aim was to turn the SS into the most powerful organization in Germany and most influential branch of the party. He expanded the SS to 3,000 members in his first year as its leader. In 1929, the SS-Hauptamt was expanded and reorganized into five main offices dealing with general administration, finance and race matters. At the same time, the SS-Gaus were expanded into three SS-Oberführerbereiche areas, namely the SS-Oberführerbereich Ost, SS-Oberführerbereich
Martin Ludwig Bormann was a prominent official in Nazi Germany as head of the Nazi Party Chancellery. He gained immense power by using his position as Adolf Hitler's private secretary to control the flow of information and access to Hitler. After Hitler's suicide on 30 April 1945, he was Party Minister of the National Socialist German Workers' Party. Bormann joined a paramilitary Freikorps organisation in 1922 while working as manager of a large estate, he served nearly a year in prison as an accomplice to his friend Rudolf Höss in the murder of Walther Kadow. Bormann joined the Nazi Party in 1927 and the Schutzstaffel in 1937, he worked in the party's insurance service, transferred in July 1933 to the office of Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess, where he served as chief of staff. Bormann used his position to create an extensive bureaucracy and involve himself as much as possible in the decision making, he gained acceptance into Hitler's inner circle, accompanied him everywhere, providing briefings and summaries of events and requests.
He began acting as Hitler's personal secretary on 12 August 1935. Bormann assumed Hess' former duties, with the title of Head of the Parteikanzlei, after Hess' solo flight to Britain on 10 May 1941 to seek peace negotiations with the British government, he had final approval over civil service appointments and approved legislation, by 1943 had de facto control over all domestic matters. Bormann was one of the leading proponents of the ongoing persecution of the Christian churches and favoured harsh treatment of Jews and Slavs in the areas conquered by Germany during World War II. Bormann returned with Hitler to the Führerbunker in Berlin on 16 January 1945 as the Red Army approached the city. After Hitler committed suicide and others attempted to flee Berlin on 2 May to avoid capture by the Soviets. Bormann committed suicide on a bridge near Lehrter station, his body was buried nearby on 8 May 1945, but was not found and confirmed as Bormann's until 1972. Bormann was tried in absentia by the International Military Tribunal in the Nuremberg trials of 1945 and 1946.
He was sentenced to death by hanging. Born in Wegeleben in the Kingdom of Prussia in the German Empire, Bormann was the son of Theodor Bormann, a post office employee, his second wife, Antonie Bernhardine Mennong; the family was Lutheran. He had two half-siblings from his father's earlier marriage to Louise Grobler, who died in 1898. Antonie Bormann gave birth to three sons. Martin and Albert survived to adulthood. Theodor died when Bormann was three, his mother soon remarried. Bormann's studies at an agricultural trade high school were interrupted when he joined the 55th Field Artillery Regiment as a gunner in June 1918, in the last days of World War I, he never saw action, but served garrison duty until February 1919. After working a short time in a cattle feed mill, Bormann became estate manager of a large farm in Mecklenburg. Shortly after starting work at the estate, Bormann joined an antisemitic landowners association. While hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic meant that money was worthless, foodstuffs stored on farms and estates became more valuable.
Many estates, including Bormann's, had Freikorps units stationed on site to guard the crops from pillaging. Bormann joined the Freikorps organisation headed by Gerhard Roßbach in 1922, acting as section leader and treasurer. On 17 March 1924 Bormann was sentenced to a year in Elisabethstrasse Prison as an accomplice to his friend Rudolf Höss in the murder of Walther Kadow; the perpetrators believed Kadow had tipped off the French occupation authorities in the Ruhr District that fellow Freikorps member Albert Leo Schlageter was carrying out sabotage operations against French industries. Schlageter was arrested and was executed on 23 May 1923. On the night of 31 May, Höss, Bormann and several others took Kadow into a meadow out of town, where he was beaten and his throat cut. After one of the perpetrators confessed, police laid charges in July. Bormann was released from prison in February 1925, he joined the Frontbann, a short-lived Nazi Party paramilitary organisation created to replace the Sturmabteilung, banned in the aftermath of the failed Munich Putsch.
Bormann returned to his job at Mecklenburg and remained there until May 1926, when he moved in with his mother in Oberweimar. In 1927, Bormann joined the National Socialist German Workers Party, his membership number was 60,508. He joined the Schutzstaffel on 1 January 1937 with number 278,267. By special order of Heinrich Himmler in 1938, Bormann was granted SS number 555 to reflect his Alter Kämpfer status. Bormann took a job with Der Nationalsozialist, a weekly paper edited by NSDAP member Hans Severus Ziegler, deputy Gauleiter for Thuringia. After joining the NSDAP in 1927, Bormann began duties as regional press officer, but his lack of public-speaking skills made him ill-suited to this position, he soon put his organisational skills to use as business manager for the Gau. He moved to Munich in October 1928; the NSDAP provided coverage through insurance companies for members who were hurt or killed in the frequent violent skirmishes with members of other political parties. As insurance companies were unwilling to pay out claims for such activities, in 1930 Bormann set up the Hilfskasse der NSDAP, a be
Albert Speer was the Minister of Armaments and War Production in Nazi Germany during most of World War II. A close ally of Adolf Hitler, he was convicted at the Nuremberg trials and sentenced to 20 years in prison. An architect by training, Speer joined the Nazi Party in 1931, launching himself on a political and governmental career which lasted fourteen years, his architectural skills made him prominent within the Party and he became a member of Hitler's inner circle. Hitler instructed him to design and construct structures including the Reich Chancellery and the Nazi party rally grounds in Nuremberg. In 1937, Hitler appointed Speer as General Building Inspector for Berlin, in which capacity Speer was responsible for the Central Department for Resettlement that evicted Jewish tenants from their homes in Berlin. In February 1942, Speer was appointed as Reich Minister of War Production. Using doctored statistics, Speer promoted himself as having performed an "armaments miracle", credited with keeping Germany in the war.
In 1944, Speer established a task force to increase production of fighter aircraft that became instrumental in the exploitation of slave labour for the benefit of the German war effort. After the war, Speer was arrested and charged with the crimes of the Nazi regime among the 24 "major war criminals" at the Nuremberg trials, he was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, principally for the use of slave labor, narrowly avoiding a death sentence. Having served his full term, Speer was released in 1966, he used his writings from the time of imprisonment as the basis for two autobiographical books, Inside the Third Reich and Spandau: The Secret Diaries. Speer's books were a success, the general public was fascinated by an inside view of the Third Reich. Speer died of a stroke in 1981. Little remains of Speer's personal architectural work. Through his autobiographies and interviews, Speer constructed an image of himself as a man who regretted having failed to discover the monstrous crimes of the Third Reich.
However, he continued to deny explicit knowledge of, responsibility for, the Holocaust. This image dominated his historiography in the decades following the war, giving rise to the "Speer Myth"; the first theme of the myth posits that after his appointment as Minister of Armaments he revolutionized the German war machine. The second theme is. Beginning in the 1980s, the myth began to fall apart; the armaments miracle was attributed to Nazi propaganda. Adam Tooze wrote in The Wages of Destruction that the idea that Speer was an apolitical technocrat was "absurd". Martin Kitchen, writing in Speer: Hitler's Architect, stated that Speer was intimately involved in the "Final Solution". Speer was born into an upper-middle-class family, he was the second of three sons of Albert Friedrich Speer. In 1918, the family moved to a home they had in Heidelberg. According to Henry T. King, deputy prosecutor at Nuremberg who wrote a book about Speer, "Love and warmth were lacking in the household of Speer's youth."
His two brothers Ernst and Hermann bullied him throughout his childhood. Speer was active in sports, mountaineering. Speer studied architecture. Speer began his architectural studies at the University of Karlsruhe instead of a more acclaimed institution because the hyperinflation crisis of 1923 limited his parents' income. In 1924 when the crisis had abated, he transferred to the "much more reputable" Technical University of Munich. In 1925 he transferred again, this time to the Technical University of Berlin where he studied under Heinrich Tessenow, whom Speer admired. After passing his exams in 1927, Speer became Tessenow's assistant, a high honor for a man of 22; as such, Speer taught some of Tessenow's classes while continuing his own postgraduate studies. In Munich, continuing in Berlin, Speer began a close friendship spanning over 50 years, with Rudolf Wolters, who studied under Tessenow. In mid-1922, Speer began courting Margarete Weber, the daughter of a successful craftsman who employed 50 workers.
The relationship was frowned upon by Speer's class-conscious mother, who felt that the Webers were inferior. Despite this opposition, the two married in Berlin on August 28, 1928; the couple would have six children together, but Albert Speer grew apart from his family after 1933, he remained distant after his release from imprisonment in 1966, despite efforts to forge closer bonds. In January 1931, Speer applied for Nazi Party membership, on March 1, 1931 became member number 474,481. In 1931, with stipends shrinking amid the Depression, Speer surrendered his position as Tessenow's assistant and moved to Mannheim, hoping to make a living as an architect. Unsuccessful, his father gave him a part-time job as manager of the elder Speer's properties. In July 1932, the Speers visited Berlin to help out the Party prior to the Reichstag elections. While they were there, his friend, Nazi Party official Karl Hanke, recommended the young architect to Joseph Goebbels to help renovate the Party's Berlin headquarters.
When the commission was completed, Speer returned to Mannheim and remained there as Hitler took office in January 1933. The organizers of the 1933 Nuremberg Rally asked Speer to submit designs for the rally, bringing him into contact with Hitler for the first time. Neither the organizers nor Rudolf Hess were willing to decide whether to approve the p
A cyclotron is a type of particle accelerator invented by Ernest O. Lawrence in 1929-1930 at the University of California and patented in 1932. A cyclotron accelerates charged particles outwards from the center along a spiral path; the particles are held to a spiral trajectory by a static magnetic field and accelerated by a varying electric field. Lawrence was awarded the 1939 Nobel prize in physics for this invention. Cyclotrons were the most powerful particle accelerator technology until the 1950s when they were superseded by the synchrotron, are still used to produce particle beams in physics and nuclear medicine; the largest single-magnet cyclotron was the 4.67 m synchrocyclotron built between 1940 and 1946 by Lawrence at the University of California at Berkeley, which could accelerate protons to 730 million electron volts. The largest cyclotron is the 17.1 m multimagnet TRIUMF accelerator at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia which can produce 500 MeV protons.
Over 1200 cyclotrons are used in nuclear medicine worldwide for the production of radionuclides. The first cyclotron was developed and patented by Ernest Lawrence in 1932 at the University of California, Berkeley, he used large electromagnets recycled from obsolete Poulsen arc radio transmitters provided by the Federal Telegraph Company. A graduate student, M. Stanley Livingston, did much of the work of translating the idea into working hardware. Lawrence read an article about the concept of a drift tube linac by Rolf Widerøe, working along similar lines with the betatron concept. At the Radiation Laboratory of the University of California at Berkeley Lawrence constructed a series of cyclotrons which were the most powerful accelerators in the world at the time, he developed a 467 cm synchrocyclotron. Lawrence received the 1939 Nobel prize in physics for this work; the first European cyclotron was constructed in Leningrad in the physics department of the Radium Institute, headed by Vitaly Khlopin.
This Leningrad instrument was first proposed in 1932 by George Gamow and Lev Mysovskii and was installed and became operative by 1937. In Nazi Germany a cyclotron was built in Heidelberg under supervision of Walther Bothe and Wolfgang Gentner, with support from the Heereswaffenamt, became operative in 1943. A cyclotron accelerates a charged particle beam using a high frequency alternating voltage, applied between two hollow "D"-shaped sheet metal electrodes called "dees" inside a vacuum chamber; the dees are placed face to face with a narrow gap between them, creating a cylindrical space within them for the particles to move. The particles are injected into the center of this space; the dees are located between the poles of a large electromagnet which applies a static magnetic field B perpendicular to the electrode plane. The magnetic field causes the particles' path to bend in a circle due to the Lorentz force perpendicular to their direction of motion. If the particles' speeds were constant, they would travel in a circular path within the dees under the influence of the magnetic field.
However a radio frequency alternating voltage of several thousand volts is applied between the dees. The voltage creates an oscillating electric field in the gap between the dees that accelerates the particles; the frequency is set. To achieve this, the frequency must match the particle's cyclotron resonance frequency f = q B 2 π m,where B is the magnetic field strength, q is the electric charge of the particle and m is the relativistic mass of the charged particle; each time after the particles pass to the other dee electrode the polarity of the RF voltage reverses. Therefore, each time the particles cross the gap from one dee electrode to the other, the electric field is in the correct direction to accelerate them; the particles' increasing speed due to these pushes causes them to move in a larger radius circle with each rotation, so the particles move in a spiral path outward from the center to the rim of the dees. When they reach the rim a small voltage on a metal plate deflects the beam so it exits the dees through a small gap between them, hits a target located at the exit point at the rim of the chamber, or leaves the cyclotron through an evacuated beam tube to hit a remote target.
Various materials may be used for the target, the nuclear reactions due to the collisions will create secondary particles which may be guided outside of the cyclotron and into instruments for analysis. The cyclotron was the first "cyclical" accelerator; the advantage of the cyclotron design over the existing "electrostatic" accelerators of the time such as the Cockcroft-Walton accelerator and Van de Graaff generator, was that in these machines the particles were only accelerated once by the voltage, so the particles' energy was equal to the accelerating voltage on the machine, limited by air breakdown to a few million volts. In the cyclotron, in contrast, the particles encounter the accelerating voltage many times during their spiral path, so are accelerated many times, so the output energy can be many times the accelerating voltage. Since the particles are accelerated by the voltage many times, the final energy of the particles is not dependent on the accelerating voltage but on the strength of the magnetic field and the diameter of the accelerating chamber, the dees.
Cyclotrons can only accelerate particles to speeds much slower than the speed of light, nonrelativistic sp
Humboldt University of Berlin
Humboldt University of Berlin is a university in the central borough of Mitte in Berlin, Germany. It was established by Frederick William III on the initiative of Wilhelm von Humboldt, Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Ernst Daniel Schleiermacher as the University of Berlin in 1809, opened in 1810, making it the oldest of Berlin's four universities. From 1810 until its closure in 1945, it was named Friedrich Wilhelm University. During the Cold War the university found itself in East Berlin and was de facto split in two when the Free University of Berlin opened in West Berlin; the university received its current name in honour of Alexander and Wilhelm von Humboldt in 1949. The university is divided into nine faculties, including its medical school shared with the Free University of Berlin, has a student enrollment of around 32,000 students, offers degree programmes in some 189 disciplines from undergraduate to postdoctorate level, its main campus is located on the Unter den Linden boulevard in central Berlin.
The university is known worldwide for pioneering the Humboldtian model of higher education, which has influenced other European and Western universities, the university has been called "the mother of all modern universities."As of 2017, the university has been associated with 55 Nobel Prize winners, is considered one of the best universities in Europe as well as one of the most prestigious universities in the world for arts and humanities. It was regarded as the world's preeminent university for the natural sciences during the 19th and early 20th century, is linked to major breakthroughs in physics and other sciences by its professors such as Albert Einstein. Former faculty and notable alumni include eminent philosophers, artists, politicians, mathematicians and Heads of State; the University of Berlin was established on 16 August 1809, on the initiative of the liberal Prussian educational politician Wilhelm von Humboldt by King Friedrich Wilhelm III, during the period of the Prussian Reform Movement.
The university was located in a palace constructed from 1748-1766 for the late Prince Henry, the younger brother of Frederick the Great. After his widow and her ninety-member staff moved out, the first unofficial lectures were given in the building in the winter of 1809. Humboldt faced great resistance to his ideas, he submitted his resignation to the King in April 1810, was not present when the school opened that fall. The first students were admitted on 6 October 1810, the first semester started on 10 October 1810, with 256 students and 52 lecturers in faculties of law, medicine and philosophy under rector Theodor Schmalz; the university celebrates 15 October 1810 as the date of its opening. From 1828 to 1945, the school was named the Friedrich Wilhelm University, in honor of its founder. Ludwig Feuerbach one of the students, made a comment on the university in 1826: "There is no question here of drinking and plesant communal outings. Compared to this temple of work, the other universities appear like public houses."The university has been home to many of Germany's greatest thinkers of the past two centuries, among them the subjective idealist philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte, the theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher, the absolute idealist philosopher G.
W. F. Hegel, the Romantic legal theorist Friedrich Carl von Savigny, the pessimist philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, the objective idealist philosopher Friedrich Schelling, cultural critic Walter Benjamin, famous physicists Albert Einstein and Max Planck; the founders of Marxist theory Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels attended the university, as did poet Heinrich Heine, novelist Alfred Döblin, founder of structuralism Ferdinand de Saussure, German unifier Otto von Bismarck, Communist Party of Germany founder Karl Liebknecht, African American Pan Africanist W. E. B. Du Bois and European unifier Robert Schuman, as well as the influential surgeon Johann Friedrich Dieffenbach in the early half of the 1800s; the structure of German research-intensive universities served as a model for institutions like Johns Hopkins University. Further, it has been claimed that "the'Humboldtian' university became a model for the rest of Europe with its central principle being the union of teaching and research in the work of the individual scholar or scientist."
In addition to the strong anchoring of traditional subjects, such as science, philosophy, history and medicine, the university developed to encompass numerous new scientific disciplines. Alexander von Humboldt, brother of the founder William, promoted the new learning. With the construction of modern research facilities in the second half of the 19th Century teaching of the natural sciences began. Famous researchers, such as the chemist August Wilhelm Hofmann, the physicist Hermann von Helmholtz, the mathematicians Ernst Eduard Kummer, Leopold Kronecker, Karl Weierstrass, the physicians Johannes Peter Müller, Albrecht von Graefe, Rudolf Virchow and Robert Koch, contributed to Berlin University's scientific fame. During this period of enlargement, the university expanded to incorporate other separate colleges in Berlin. An example would be the Pépinière and the Collegium Medico-chirurgicum. In 1717, King Friedrich I had built a quarantine house for Plague at the city gates, which in 1727 was rechristened by the "soldier king" Friedrich
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
Infrared homing is a passive weapon guidance system which uses the infrared light emission from a target to track and follow it. Missiles which use infrared seeking are referred to as "heat-seekers", since infrared is radiated by hot bodies. Many objects such as people, vehicle engines and aircraft generate and emit heat, as such, are visible in the infrared wavelengths of light compared to objects in the background. Infrared seekers are passive devices, unlike radar, provide no indication that they are tracking a target; this makes them suitable for sneak attacks during visual encounters, or over longer ranges when used with a forward looking infrared system or similar cuing system. Heat-seekers are effective: 90% of all United States air combat losses over the past 25 years have been caused by infrared-homing missiles, they are, subject to a number of simple countermeasures, most notably dropping flares behind the target to provide false heat sources. This only works if the pilot is aware of the missile and deploys the countermeasures, the sophistication of modern seekers has rendered them ineffective.
The first IR devices were experimented with in the pre-World War II era. During the war, German engineers were working on heat seeking missiles and proximity fuses, but did not have time to complete development before the war ended. Practical designs did not become possible until the introduction of conical scanning and miniaturized vacuum tubes during the war. Anti-aircraft IR systems began in earnest in the late 1940s, but both the electronics and entire field of rocketry was so new that it required considerable development before the first examples entered service in the mid-1950s; these early examples had significant limitations and achieved low success rates in combat during the 1960s. A new generation developed in the 1970s and 80s made great strides and improved their lethality; the latest examples from the 1990s and on have the ability to attack targets out of their field of view, behind them, pick out vehicles on the ground. The infrared sensor package on the tip or head of a heat-seeking missile is known as the seeker head.
The NATO brevity code for an air-to-air infrared-guided missile launch is Fox Two. The ability of certain substances to give off electrons when struck by infrared light had been discovered by the famous Indian polymath Jagadish Chandra Bose in 1901, who saw the effect in galena, known today as lead sulfide, PbS. There was little application at the time, he allowed his 1904 patent to lapse. In 1917, Theodore Case, as part of his work on what became the Movietone sound system, discovered that a mix of thallium and sulfur was much more sensitive, but was unstable electrically and proved to be little use as a practical detector, it was used for some time by the US Navy as a secure communications system. In 1930 the introduction of the Ag-O-Cs photomultiplier provided the first practical solution to the detection of IR, combining it with a layer of galena as the photocathode. Amplifying the signal emitted by the galena, the photomultiplier produced a useful output that could be used for detection of hot objects at long ranges.
This sparked developments in a number of nations, notably the UK and Germany where it was seen as a potential solution to the problem of detecting night bombers. In the UK, research was plodding, with the main research team at Cavendish Labs expressing their desire to work on other projects after it became clear that radar was going to be a better solution. Frederick Lindemann, Winston Churchill's favorite on the Tizard Committee, remained committed to IR and became increasing obstructionist to the work of the Committee, otherwise pressing for radar development, they dissolved the Committee and reformed, leaving Lindemann off the roster, filling his position with well known radio expert Edward Victor Appleton. In Germany, radar research was not given nearly the same level of support as in the UK, competed with IR development throughout the 1930s. IR research was led by Edgar Kutzscher at the University of Berlin working in concert with AEG. By 1940 they had developed one solution; this provided enough light to see the target at short range, Spanner Anlage was fit to a small number of Messerschmitt Bf 110 and Dornier Do 17 night fighters.
These proved useless in practice and the pilots complained that the target only became visible at 200 metres, at which point they would have seen it anyway. Only 15 were built and were removed as German airborne radar systems improved though 1942. AEG had been working with the same systems for use on tanks, deployed a number of models through the war, with limited production of the FG 1250 beginning in 1943; this work culminated in the Zielgerät 1229 Vampir riflescope, used with the StG 44 assault rifle for night use. The devices mentioned were all detectors, not seekers, they produce either a signal indicating the general direction of the target, or in the case of devices, an image. Guidance was manual by an operator looking at the image. There were a number of efforts in Germany during the war to produce a true automatic seeker system, both for anti-aircraft use as well as against ships; these devices were still in development.