Stutthof concentration camp
Stutthof was a Nazi German concentration camp established in a secluded and wooded area near the small town of Sztutowo 34 km east of the city of Danzig in the former territory of the Free City of Danzig. The camp was set up around existing structures after the invasion of Poland in World War II, used for the imprisonment of Polish leaders and intelligentsia; the actual barracks were built the following year by hundreds of prisoners. Stutthof was the first Nazi concentration camp set up outside German borders in World War II, in operation from 2 September 1939, it was the last camp liberated by the Allies on 9 May 1945. It is estimated that between 63,000 and 65,000 prisoners of Stutthof concentration camp and its subcamps died as a result of murder, extreme labour conditions and lack of medical help; some 28,000 of them were Jews. In total, as many as 110,000 people were deported there in the course of the camp's existence. About 24,600 were transferred from Stutthof to other locations; the camp was established in connection with the ethnic cleansing project that included the liquidation of Polish elites in the Danzig area and Western Prussia.
Before the war began, the German Selbstschutz in Pomerania created lists of people to be arrested, the Nazi authorities were secretly reviewing suitable places to set up concentration camps in their area. Stutthof was a civilian internment camp under the Danzig police chief, before its subsequent massive expansion. In November 1941, it became a "labor education" camp, administered by the German Security Police. In January 1942, Stutthof became a regular concentration camp; the original camp was surrounded by the barbed-wire fence. It comprised eight barracks for the inmates and a "Kommandantur" for the SS guards, totaling 120,000 m². In 1943, the camp was enlarged and a new camp was constructed alongside the earlier one, it was surrounded by electrified barbed-wire fence and contained thirty new barracks, raising the total area to 1.2 km². A crematorium and gas chamber were added in 1943, just in time to start mass executions when Stutthof was included in the "Final Solution" in June 1944. Mobile gas wagons were used to complement the maximum capacity of the gas chamber when needed.
The camp staff consisted of German SS guards and after 1943, the Ukrainian auxiliaries brought in by SS-Gruppenführer Fritz Katzmann. In 1942 the first German female SS Aufseherinnen guards arrived at Stutthof along with female prisoners. A total of 295 women guards worked as staff in the Stutthof complex of camps. Among the notable female guard personnel were: Elisabeth Becker, Erna Beilhardt, Ella Bergmann, Ella Blank, Gerda Bork, Herta Bothe, Erna Boettcher, Hermine Boettcher-Brueckner, Steffi Brillowski, Charlotte Graf, Charlotte Gregor, Charlotte Klein, Gerda Steinhoff, Ewa Paradies, Jenny-Wanda Barkmann. Thirty-four female guards including Becker, Steinhoff and Barkmann were identified as having committed crimes against humanity; the SS in Stutthof began conscripting women from Danzig and the surrounding cities in June 1944, to train as camp guards because of their severe shortage after the women's subcamp of Stutthof called Bromberg-Ost was set up in the city of Bydgoszcz. Several Norwegian Waffen SS volunteers worked as guards or as instructors for prisoners from Nordic countries, according to senior researcher at the Norwegian Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities, Terje Emberland.
The first 150 inmates, imprisoned on 2 September 1939, were selected among Poles and Jews arrested in Danzig right after the outbreak of war. The inmate population rose to 6,000 in the following two weeks, on 15 September 1939; until 1942, nearly all of the prisoners were Polish. The number of inmates increased in 1944, with Jews being a prominent group among the newcomers; the first contingent of 2,500 Jewish prisoners arrived from Auschwitz in July 1944. In total, 23,566 Jews were transferred to Stutthof from Auschwitz, 25,053 from camps in the Baltic states; when the Soviet army began its advance through German-occupied Estonia in July and August 1944, the camp staff of Klooga concentration camp evacuated the majority of the inmates by sea and sent them to Stutthof. Stutthof's registered inmates included citizens of 28 countries, besides Jews and Poles - Germans, Dutch, French, Finns, Lithuanians, Belarusians and others. Among 110,000 prisoners were Jews from all of Europe, members of the Polish underground, Polish civilians deported from Warsaw during the Warsaw Uprising and Latvian intelligentsia, Latvian resistance fighters, psychiatric patients, Soviet prisoners of war, communists.
It is believed. Conditions in the camp were harsh; the first executions were carried out on 11 January and 22 March 1940 - 89 Polish activists and government officials were shot. Many prisoners died in typhus epidemics that swept the camp in the winter of 1942 and again in 1944; those whom the SS guards judged too weak or sick to work were gassed in the camp's small gas chamber. Gassing with Zyklon B began in June 1944. 4,000 prisoners, including Jewish women and children, were killed in a gas chamber before the evacuation of the camp. Another method of execution practiced in Stutthof was lethal injection of phenol into the heart. Between 63,000 and 65,000 people died in the camp. Germans
Polish People's Republic
The Polish People's Republic was a state in Central Europe that existed from 1947 to 1989, the predecessor of the modern democratic Republic of Poland. With a population of 37.9 million inhabitants near the end of its existence, it was the most populous state of the Eastern Bloc after the Soviet Union. Having a unitary Marxist–Leninist communist government, it was one of the main signatories of the Warsaw Pact; the official capital since 1947 and largest city was Warsaw, followed by industrial Łódź and cultural Kraków. The former country covers the history of contemporary Poland between 1952 and 1989 under the Soviet-backed communist government established after the Red Army's release of its territory from German occupation in World War II; the name People's Republic was introduced and defined by the Constitution of 1952, based on the 1936 Soviet Constitution. The state's name was the Republic of Poland between 1947 and 1952 in accordance with the temporary Constitution of 1947. From 1952, the Sejm exercised no real power, Poland was regarded as a puppet entity set up and controlled by the Soviet Union.
With time, Poland developed into a satellite state in the Soviet sphere of influence. The Polish People's Republic was a one-party state characterized by constant internal struggles for democracy and better living conditions; the Polish United Workers' Party became the dominant political faction making Poland a socialist country, but with more liberal policies than other states of the Eastern Bloc. Throughout its existence, economic hardships and social unrest were common in every decade; the nation was split between those who supported the party, those who were opposed to it and those who refused to engage in political activity. Despite this, some groundbreaking achievements have been established during the People's Republic such as rapid industrialization, urbanization of smaller or larger cities and access to free healthcare and education was made available; the birth rate was high and the population doubled between 1947 and 1989. The party's most successful accomplishment, was the rebuilding of ruined Warsaw after World War II and the complete riddance of illiteracy, which stood at 30% in 1931 and at 2% in 1988.
The Soviet Union, an exemplar state, had some influence over both internal and external affairs, the Red Army was stationed in Poland as in all other Warsaw Pact countries. The Polish People's Army was the main branch of the Armed Forces; the official police organization, responsible for supposed peacekeeping and violent throttling of protests, was renamed Citizens' Militia. Under the command of the Ministry of Public Security of Poland "UB", the Militia committed serious crimes to maintain the Communists in power, including the harsh treatment of protesters, arrest of opposition leaders and in extreme cases murder, with at least 22,000 people killed by the regime during its rule; as a result, Poland had a high-imprisonment rate but one of the lowest crime rates in the world. This was fictitiously glorified by the ruling Polish Worker's Party, which described Poland as a safe and educated near-Utopian society. At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, Stalin was able to present his western allies, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, with a fait accompli in Poland.
His armed forces were in occupation of the country, his agents, the communists, were in control of its administration. The USSR was in the process of incorporating the lands in eastern Poland which it had invaded and occupied between 1939 and 1941. In compensation, the USSR gave Poland former German populated territories in Pomerania and Brandenburg east of the Oder–Neisse line, plus the southern half of East Prussia; these awards were confirmed at the Tripartite Conference of Berlin, otherwise known as the Potsdam Conference in August 1945 after the end of the war in Europe. Stalin was determined that Poland's new government would become his tool towards making Poland a Soviet puppet state controlled by the communists, he had severed relations with the Polish government-in-exile in London in 1943, but to appease Roosevelt and Churchill he agreed at Yalta that a coalition government would be formed. The communists held a majority of key posts in this new government, with Soviet support they soon gained total control of the country, rigging all elections.
In June 1946 the "Three Times Yes" referendum was held on a number of issues—abolition of the Senate of Poland, land reform, making the Oder–Neisse line Poland's western border. The communist-controlled Interior Ministry issued results showing that all three questions passed overwhelmingly. Years however, evidence was uncovered showing that the referendum had been tainted by massive fraud, only the third question passed. Władysław Gomułka took advantage of a split in the Polish Socialist Party. One faction, which included Prime Minister Edward Osóbka-Morawski, wanted to join forces with the Peasant Party and form a united front against the Communists. Another faction, led by Józef Cyrankiewicz, argued that the Socialists should support the Communists in carrying through a socialist program, while opposing the imposition of one-party rule. Pre-war political hostilities continued to influence events, Stanisław Mikołajczyk would not agree to form a united front with the Socialists; the Communists played on these divisions by dismissing Osóbka-Morawski and making Cyrankiewicz Prime Minister.
Between the referendum and the January 1947 general elections, the opposition was subjected to persecution. Only the candidates of the pro-government "Democratic Bloc" were allowed to campaign completel
A gas chamber is an apparatus for killing humans or other animals with gas, consisting of a sealed chamber into which a poisonous or asphyxiant gas is introduced. The most used poisonous agent is hydrogen cyanide. Gas chambers were used as a method of execution for condemned prisoners in the United States beginning in the 1920s and continue to be a legal execution method in three states. During the Holocaust, large-scale gas chambers designed for mass killing were used by Nazi Germany as part of their genocide program; the use of gas chambers in North Korea has been reported. Nazi Germany made extensive use of various types of gas chamber for mass killing. Beginning in 1939, gas chambers were used as part of the Nazi euthanasia program aimed at eliminating physically and intellectually disabled people. Experiments in the gassing of patients were conducted in October 1939 in occupied Posen in Poland. Hundreds of prisoners were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning in an improvised gas chamber. In 1940 gas chambers using bottled pure carbon monoxide were established at six euthanasia centres in Germany.
In addition to persons with disabilities, these centres were used to kill prisoners transferred from concentration camps in Germany and Poland. Killings of concentration camp inmates continued after the euthanasia program was shut down in 1941. During the invasion of Russia, mass executions by exhaust gas were performed by Einsatzgruppen using gas vans, trucks modified to divert engine exhaust into a sealed interior gas chamber. Starting in 1941, gas chambers were used at extermination camps in Poland for the mass killing of Jews and other victims of the Holocaust. Gas vans were used at the Chełmno extermination camp; the Operation Reinhard extermination camps at Bełżec, Sobibór, Treblinka used exhaust fumes from stationary diesel engines. In search of more efficient killing methods, the Nazis experimented with using the hydrogen cyanide-based fumigant Zyklon B at the Auschwitz concentration camp; this method was adopted for mass killings at the Majdanek camps. Up to 6000 victims were gassed with Zyklon-B each day at Auschwitz.
Most extermination camp gas chambers were dismantled or destroyed in the last months of the World War II as Soviet troops approached, except for those at Dachau and Majdanek. One destroyed. In 1937–1940, Lithuania operated a gas chamber in Aleksotas within the First Fort of the Kaunas Fortress. Before, the executions were carried out by shooting. However, these methods were viewed as brutal and in January 1937, the criminal code was amended to provide execution by gas which at the time was viewed as more civilized and humane. Lithuania rejected execution by poison; the first execution was carried on July 27, 1937: Bronius Pogužinskas, age 37, convicted of murder of five people from a Jewish family. Historian Sigita Černevičiūtė counted at least nine executions in the gas chamber, though records are incomplete and fragmentary. Of the nine, eight were convicted of murder. One, Aleksandras Maurušaitis, was in addition convicted of anti-government actions during the 1935 Suvalkija strike; the last known execution took place on May 1940 for robbery.
The fate of the gas chamber after the occupation by the Soviet Union in June 1940 is unclear. Kwon Hyok, a former head of security at Camp 22, described laboratories equipped with gas chambers for suffocation gas experiments, in which three or four people a family, are the experimental subjects. After undergoing medical checks, the chambers are sealed and poison is injected through a tube, while scientists observe from above through glass. In a report reminiscent of an earlier account of a family of seven, Kwon claims to have watched one family of two parents, a son and a daughter die from suffocating gas, with the parents trying to save the children using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for as long as they had the strength. Kwon's testimony was supported by documents from Camp 22 describing the transfer of prisoners designated for the experiments; the documents were identified as genuine by Kim Sang Hun, a London-based expert on Korea and human rights activist. A press conference in Pyongyang, organized by North Korean authorities, denounced this.
The original invention of mobile gas chambers based on adapted vans with the storage compartment sealed and exhaust redirected inside are attributed to Soviet NKVD commander Isay Berg. These vans were used by NKVD from 1936 under disguise of bread vans. Gas chambers have been used for capital punishment in the United States to execute death row inmates; the first person to be executed in the United States by lethal gas was Gee Jon, on February 8, 1924. An unsuccessful attempt to pump poison gas directly into his cell at Nevada State Prison led to the development of the first makeshift gas chamber to carry out Gee's death sentence. On December 3, 1948, Miran Thompson and Sam Shockley were executed in the gas chamber at San Quentin State Prison for their role in the Battle of Alcatraz. In 1957, Burton Abbott was executed as the governor of California, Goodwin J. Knight, was on the telephone to stay the execution. Since the restoration of the death penalty in the United States in 1976, eleven executions by gas chamber have been conducted.
By the 1980s, reports of suffering during gas chamber executions had led to controversy over the use of this method. At the September 2, 1983 execution of Jimmy Lee Gray in Mississippi, officials cleared the viewing room after eight minutes while Gray was still alive and gasping for air; the decision to clear the room while he was still alive was criticized by his attorney. David Bruc
Capital punishment known as the death penalty, is a government-sanctioned practice whereby a person is killed by the state as a punishment for a crime. The sentence that someone be punished in such a manner is referred to as a death sentence, whereas the act of carrying out the sentence is known as an execution. Crimes that are punishable by death are known as capital crimes or capital offences, they include offences such as murder, mass murder, treason, offenses against the State, such as attempting to overthrow government, drug trafficking, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, but may include a wide range of offences depending on a country. Etymologically, the term capital in this context alluded to execution by beheading. Fifty-six countries retain capital punishment, 106 countries have abolished it de jure for all crimes, eight have abolished it for ordinary crimes, 28 are abolitionist in practice. Capital punishment is a matter of active controversy in several countries and states, positions can vary within a single political ideology or cultural region.
In the European Union, Article 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union prohibits the use of capital punishment. The Council of Europe, which has 47 member states, has sought to abolish the use of the death penalty by its members through Protocol 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights. However, this only affects those member states which have signed and ratified it, they do not include Armenia and Azerbaijan; the United Nations General Assembly has adopted, in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014, non-binding resolutions calling for a global moratorium on executions, with a view to eventual abolition. Although most nations have abolished capital punishment, over 60% of the world's population live in countries where the death penalty is retained, such as China, the United States, Pakistan, Nigeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, among all Islamic countries, as is maintained in Japan, South Korea and Sri Lanka. China is believed to execute more people than all other countries combined.
Execution of criminals and dissidents has been used by nearly all societies since the beginning of civilizations on Earth. Until the nineteenth century, without developed prison systems, there was no workable alternative to insure deterrence and incapacitation of criminals. In pre-modern times the executions themselves involved torture with cruel and painful methods, such as the breaking wheel, sawing, hanging and quartering, brazen bull, burning at the stake, slow slicing, boiling alive, schwedentrunk, blood eagle, scaphism; the use of formal execution extends to the beginning of recorded history. Most historical records and various primitive tribal practices indicate that the death penalty was a part of their justice system. Communal punishment for wrongdoing included compensation by the wrongdoer, corporal punishment, shunning and execution. Compensation and shunning were enough as a form of justice; the response to crimes committed by neighbouring tribes, clans or communities included a formal apology, blood feuds, tribal warfare.
A blood feud or vendetta occurs when arbitration between families or tribes fails or an arbitration system is non-existent. This form of justice was common before the emergence of an arbitration system based on state or organized religion, it may result from land disputes or a code of honour. "Acts of retaliation underscore the ability of the social collective to defend itself and demonstrate to enemies that injury to property, rights, or the person will not go unpunished." However, in practice, it is difficult to distinguish between a war of vendetta and one of conquest. In most countries that practise capital punishment, it is now reserved for murder, war crimes, treason, or as part of military justice. In some countries sexual crimes, such as rape, adultery, incest and bestiality carry the death penalty, as do religious crimes such as Hudud and Qisas crimes, such as apostasy, moharebeh, Fasad, Mofsed-e-filarz and witchcraft. In many countries that use the death penalty, drug trafficking is a capital offence.
In China, human trafficking and serious cases of corruption and financial crimes are punished by the death penalty. In militaries around the world courts-martial have imposed death sentences for offences such as cowardice, desertion and mutiny. Elaborations of tribal arbitration of feuds included peace settlements done in a religious context and compensation system. Compensation was based on the principle of substitution which might include material compensation, exchange of brides or grooms, or payment of the blood debt. Settlement rules could allow for animal blood to replace human blood, or transfers of property or blood money or in some case an offer of a person for execution; the person offered for execution did not have to be an original perpetrator of the crime because the social system was based on tribes and clans, not individuals. Blood feuds could be regulated at meetings, such as the Norsemen things. Systems deriving from blood feuds may survive alongside more advanced legal systems or be given recognition by courts.
One of the more modern refinements of the blood feud is the duel. In certain parts of the world, n
Women's history is the study of the role that women have played in history and the methods required to do so. It includes the study of the history of the growth of woman's rights throughout recorded history, personal achievement over a period of time, the examination of individual and groups of women of historical significance, the effect that historical events have had on women. Inherent in the study of women's history is the belief that more traditional recordings of history have minimized or ignored the contributions of women to different fields and the effect that historical events had on women as a whole; the main centers of scholarship have been the United States and Britain, where second-wave feminist historians, influenced by the new approaches promoted by social history, led the way. As activists in women's liberation and analyzing the oppression and inequalities they experienced as women, they believed it imperative to learn about the lives of their fore mothers—and found little scholarship in print.
History was written by men and about men's activities in the public sphere in Africa—war, politics and administration. Women are excluded and, when mentioned, are portrayed in sex-stereotypical roles such as wives, mothers and mistresses; the study of history is value-laden in regard to what is considered "worthy." Other aspects of this area of study is the differences in women's lives caused by race, economic status, social status, various other aspects of society. Changes came in the 20th centuries. Women traditionally ran the household and reared the children, were nurses, wives, neighbours and teachers. During periods of war, women were drafted into the labor market to undertake work, traditionally restricted to men. Following the wars, they invariably lost their jobs in industry and had to return to domestic and service roles; the history of Scottish women in the late 19th century and early 20th century was not developed as a field of study until the 1980s. In addition, most work on women before 1700 has been published since 1980.
Several studies have taken a biographical approach, but other work has drawn on the insights from research elsewhere to examine such issues as work, religion and images of women. Scholars are uncovering women's voices in their letters, memoirs and court records; because of the late development of the field, much recent work has been recuperative, but the insights of gender history, both in other countries and in Scottish history after 1700, are being used to frame the questions that are asked. Future work should contribute both to a reinterpretation of the current narratives of Scottish history and to a deepening of the complexity of the history of women in late medieval and early modern Britain and Europe. In Ireland studies of women, gender relationships more had been rare before 1990. French historians have taken a unique approach: there has been an extensive scholarship in women's and gender history despite the lack of women's and gender study programs or departments at the university level.
But approaches used by other academics in the research of broadly based social histories have been applied to the field of women's history as well. The high level of research and publication in women's and gender history is due to the high interest within French society; the structural discrimination in academia against the subject of gender history in France is changing due to the increase in international studies following the formation of the European Union, more French scholars seeking appointments outside Europe. Before the 19th century, young women lived under the economic and disciplinary authority of their fathers until they married and passed under the control of their husbands. In order to secure a satisfactory marriage, a woman needed to bring a substantial dowry. In the wealthier families, daughters received their dowry from their families, whereas the poorer women needed to work in order to save their wages so as to improve their chances to wed. Under the German laws, women had property rights over their dowries and inheritances, a valuable benefit as high mortality rates resulted in successive marriages.
Before 1789, the majority of women lived confined to the home. The Age of Reason did not bring much more for women: men, including Enlightenment aficionados, believed that women were destined to be principally wives and mothers. Within the educated classes, there was the belief that women needed to be sufficiently educated to be intelligent and agreeable interlocutors to their husbands. However, the lower-class women were expected to be economically productive in order to help their husbands make ends meet. In the newly founded German State, women of all social classes were politically and disenfranchised; the code of social respectability confined upper class and bourgeois women to their homes. They were considered and economically inferior to their husbands; the unmarried women were ridiculed, the ones who wanted to avoid social descent could work as unpaid housekeepers living with relatives. A significant number of middle-class families became impoverished between 1871 and 1890 as the pace of industrial growth was uncertain, women had to earn money in secret by sewing or embroidery to contribute to the family income.
Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany with a population of over 1.8 million. One of Germany's 16 federal states, it is surrounded by Schleswig-Holstein to the north and Lower Saxony to the south; the city's metropolitan region is home to more than five million people. Hamburg lies on two of its tributaries, the River Alster and the River Bille; the official name reflects Hamburg's history as a member of the medieval Hanseatic League and a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire. Before the 1871 Unification of Germany, it was a sovereign city state, before 1919 formed a civic republic headed constitutionally by a class of hereditary grand burghers or Hanseaten. Beset by disasters such as the Great Fire of Hamburg, north Sea flood of 1962 and military conflicts including World War II bombing raids, the city has managed to recover and emerge wealthier after each catastrophe. Hamburg is Europe's third-largest port. Major regional broadcasting firm NDR, the printing and publishing firm Gruner + Jahr and the newspapers Der Spiegel and Die Zeit are based in the city.
Hamburg is the seat of Germany's oldest stock exchange and the world's oldest merchant bank, Berenberg Bank. Media, commercial and industrial firms with significant locations in the city include multinationals Airbus, Blohm + Voss, Aurubis and Unilever; the city hosts specialists in world economics and international law, including consular and diplomatic missions as the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the EU-LAC Foundation, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, multipartite international political conferences and summits such as Europe and China and the G20. Both the former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and Angela Merkel, German chancellor since 2005, come from Hamburg; the city is a major domestic tourist destination. It ranked 18th in the world for livability in 2016; the Speicherstadt and Kontorhausviertel were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 2015. Hamburg is a major European science and education hub, with several universities and institutions. Among its most notable cultural venues are the Laeiszhalle concert halls.
It paved the way for bands including The Beatles. Hamburg is known for several theatres and a variety of musical shows. St. Pauli's Reeperbahn is among the best-known European entertainment districts. Hamburg is at a sheltered natural harbour on the southern fanning-out of the Jutland Peninsula, between Continental Europe to the south and Scandinavia to the north, with the North Sea to the west and the Baltic Sea to the northeast, it is on the River Elbe at its confluence with the Bille. The city centre is around the Binnenalster and Außenalster, both formed by damming the River Alster to create lakes; the islands of Neuwerk, Scharhörn, Nigehörn, 100 kilometres away in the Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park, are part of the city of Hamburg. The neighborhoods of Neuenfelde, Cranz and Finkenwerder are part of the Altes Land region, the largest contiguous fruit-producing region in Central Europe. Neugraben-Fischbek has Hamburg's highest elevation, the Hasselbrack at 116.2 metres AMSL. Hamburg borders the states of Lower Saxony.
Hamburg has an oceanic climate, influenced by its proximity to the coast and marine air masses that originate over the Atlantic Ocean. The location north of Germany provides extremes greater than marine climates, but in the category due to the mastery of the western standards. Nearby wetlands enjoy a maritime temperate climate; the amount of snowfall has differed a lot during the past decades: while in the late 1970s and early 1980s, at times heavy snowfall occurred, the winters of recent years have been less cold, with snowfall only on a few days per year. The warmest months are June and August, with high temperatures of 20.1 to 22.5 °C. The coldest are December and February, with low temperatures of −0.3 to 1.0 °C. Claudius Ptolemy reported the first name for the vicinity as Treva; the name Hamburg comes from the first permanent building on the site, a castle which the Emperor Charlemagne ordered constructed in AD 808. It rose on rocky terrain in a marsh between the River Alster and the River Elbe as a defence against Slavic incursion, acquired the name Hammaburg, burg meaning castle or fort.
The origin of the Hamma term remains uncertain. In 834, Hamburg was designated as the seat of a bishopric; the first bishop, became known as the Apostle of the North. Two years Hamburg was united with Bremen as the Bishopric of Hamburg-Bremen. Hamburg occupied several times. In 845, 600 Viking ships sailed up the River Elbe and destroyed Hamburg, at that time a town of around 500 inhabitants. In 1030, King Mieszko II Lambert of Poland burned down the city. Valdemar II of Denmark raided and occupied Hamburg in 1201 and in 1214; the Black Death killed at least 60% of the population in 1350. Hamburg experienced several great fires in the medieval period. In 1189, by imperial charter, Frederick I "Barbarossa" granted Hamburg the status of a Free Imperial City and tax-free access up the Lower Elbe into the North Sea. In 1265, an forged letter was presented to or by the Rath of Hamburg; this charter, along with Hamburg's proximity to the main trade routes of the North Sea and Baltic Sea made it a
Gerda Steinhoff born in Danzig-Langfuhr, was a Nazi SS concentration camp overseer following the 1939 German invasion of Poland. As teenager Steinhoff worked as house maid on a farm at Tygenhagen near Danzig. From 1939 she worked as a cook in Danzig, became a tramway conductor, she had a child. In the same year, because of the Nazi call for new guards, she joined the camp staff at Stutthof. On October 1, 1944, she became a Blockleiterin in Stutthof women's camp SK-III. There, she took part in selections of prisoners to be sent to the gas chambers. On October 31, 1944, she was promoted to SS-Oberaufseherin and was assigned to the Danzig-Holm subcamp. On December 1, 1944 she was reassigned to Bromberg-Ost female subcamp of Stutthof located in Bydgoszcz, some 170 km south of Danzig. There on January 25, 1945, she received a medal for her service to the Third Reich, she was devoted to her job in the camps and was known as a ruthless overseer. Soon before the end of World War II, she went back home. On May 25, 1945, she was sent to prison.
She stood trial with the other SS women and kapos and was convicted and condemned to death for her involvement in the selections and what was called her sadistic abuse of prisoners. She was publicly hanged on July 4, 1946, near Gdańsk. Female guards in Nazi concentration camps Death on the Gallows