Division of Korea
The Division of Korea began at the end of World War II in 1945. With the defeat of Japan, the Soviet Union occupied the north of Korea, the United States occupied the south, with the boundary between their zones being the 38th parallel. With the onset of the Cold War, negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union failed to lead to an independent and unified Korea. In 1948, UN-supervised elections were held in the US-occupied south only. Syngman Rhee won the election; this led to the establishment of the Republic of Korea in South Korea, promptly followed by the establishment of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in North Korea. The United States supported the South, the Soviet Union supported the North, each government claimed sovereignty over the whole Korean peninsula. In 1950, North Korea invaded the South to try to reunify the peninsula under its communist rule; the subsequent Korean War, which lasted from 1950 to 1953, ended with a stalemate and has left the two Koreas separated by the Korean Demilitarized Zone up to the present day.
Diplomatic initiatives have so far failed to end the division. When the Russo-Japanese War ended in 1905 Korea became a nominal protectorate of Japan, was annexed by Japan in 1910; the Korean Emperor Gojong was removed. In the following decades and radical groups emerged in exile, to struggle for independence. Divergent in their outlooks and approaches, these groups failed to unite in one national movement; the Korean Provisional Government in China failed to obtain widespread recognition. At the Cairo Conference in November 1943, in the middle of World War Two, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek agreed that Japan should lose all the territories it had conquered by force. At the end of the conference, the three powers declared that they were, "mindful of the enslavement of the people of Korea... determined that in due course Korea shall become free and independent." Roosevelt floated the idea of a trusteeship over Korea, but did not obtain agreement from the other powers.
Roosevelt raised the idea with Joseph Stalin at the Tehran Conference in November 1943 and the Yalta Conference in February 1945. Stalin advocated that the period of trusteeship be short. At the Tehran and Yalta Conferences, Stalin promised to join his allies in the Pacific War in two to three months after victory in Europe. On August 8, 1945, three months to the day after the end of hostilities in Europe, two days after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan; as war began, the Commander-in-Chief of Soviet Forces in the Far East, Marshal Aleksandr Vasilevsky, called on Koreans to rise up against Japan, saying "a banner of liberty and independence is rising in Seoul". Soviet troops advanced and the US government became anxious that they would occupy the whole of Korea. On August 10, 1945 two young officers – Dean Rusk and Charles Bonesteel – were assigned to define an American occupation zone. Working on short notice and unprepared, they used a National Geographic map to decide on the 38th parallel.
They chose it because it divided the country in half but would place the capital Seoul under American control. No experts on Korea were consulted; the two men were unaware that forty years before and pre-revolutionary Russia had discussed sharing Korea along the same parallel. Rusk said that had he known, he "almost surely" would have chosen a different line; the division placed sixteen million Koreans in the American zone and nine million in the Soviet zone. To the surprise of the Americans, the Soviet Union accepted the division; the agreement was incorporated into General Order No. 1 for the surrender of Japan. Soviet forces began amphibious landings in Korea by August 14 and took over the north-east of the country, on August 16 they landed at Wonsan. On August 24, the Red Army reached Pyongyang. General Nobuyuki Abe, the last Japanese Governor-General of Korea, had established contact with a number of influential Koreans since the beginning of August 1945 to prepare the hand-over of power. Throughout August, Koreans organized people's committee branches for the "Committee for the Preparation of Korean Independence", led by Lyuh Woon-hyung, a left-wing politician.
On September 6, 1945, a congress of representatives was convened in Seoul and founded the short-lived People's Republic of Korea. In the spirit of consensus, conservative elder statesman Syngman Rhee, living in exile in the US, was nominated as President; when Soviet troops entered Pyongyang, they found a local branch of the Committee for the Preparation of Korean Independence operating under the leadership of veteran nationalist Cho Man-sik. The Soviet Army allowed these "People's Committees" to function. In September 1945, the Soviet administration issued its own currency, the "Red Army won". In 1946, Colonel-General Terentii Shtykov took charge of the administration and began to lobby the Soviet government for funds to support the ailing economy. In February 1946 a provisional government called the Provisional People's Committee was formed under Kim Il-sung, who had spent the last years of the war training with Soviet troops in Manchuria. Conflicts and power struggles ensued at the top levels of government in Pyongyang as different aspirants maneuvered to gain positions of power in the new government.
In March 1946 the provisional government instituted a sweeping land-reform program: land belonging to Japanese and collaborator landowners was divided and redistributed to poor farmers. Organizing the many poor civilians and agricultura
William Lewis Safir, better known as William Safire, was an American author, columnist and presidential speechwriter. He was a long-time syndicated political columnist for The New York Times and wrote the "On Language" column in The New York Times Magazine about popular etymology, new or unusual usages, other language-related topics. Safire was born William Lewis Safir in New York City, New York the son of Ida and Oliver Craus Safir, his family was Jewish, originated in Romania on his father's side. Safire added the "e" to his surname for pronunciation reasons, though some of his relatives continue to use the original spelling. Safire graduated from the Bronx High School of Science, a specialized public high school in New York City, he dropped out after two years. He delivered the commencement address at Syracuse in 1978 and 1990, became a trustee of the university, he was a public relations executive from 1955 to 1960. He had been a radio and television producer and an Army correspondent, he worked as a publicist for a homebuilder who exhibited a model home at an American trade fair at Sokolniki Park in Moscow in 1959—the one in which Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev had their famous Kitchen Debate.
A circulated black-and-white photograph of the event was taken by Safire. Safire joined Nixon's campaign for the 1960 Presidential race, again in 1968. After Nixon's 1968 victory, Safire served as a speechwriter for Spiro Agnew. Safire prepared a speech called In Event of Moon Disaster for President Nixon to read on television if the Apollo 11 astronauts were stranded on the Moon. According to the plans, Mission Control would "close down communications" with the LEM and a clergyman would have commended their souls to "the deepest of the deep" in a public ritual likened to burial at sea. Presidential telephone calls to the astronauts' wives were planned; the speech originated in a memo from Safire to Nixon's chief of staff H. R. Haldeman in which Safire suggested a protocol the administration might follow in reaction to such a disaster; the last line of the prepared text contained an allusion to Rupert Brooke's First World War poem "The Soldier". In a 2013 piece for Foreign Policy magazine, Joshua Keating included the speech as one of six entries in a list of "The Greatest Doomsday Speeches Never Made."He joined The New York Times as a political columnist in 1973.
Soon after joining the Times, Safire learned that he had been the target of "national security" wiretaps authorized by Nixon, after noting that he had worked only on domestic matters, wrote with what he characterized as "restrained fury" that he had not worked for Nixon through a difficult decade "to have him—or some lizard-lidded paranoid acting without his approval—eavesdropping on my conversations."In 1978, Safire won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary on Bert Lance's alleged budgetary irregularities. Safire's column on October 27, 1980, entitled "The Ayatollah Votes", was quoted in a campaign ad for Ronald Reagan in that year's presidential election. Safire frequently appeared on the NBC's Meet the Press. Upon announcing the retirement of Safire's political column in 2005, Arthur Sulzberger Jr. publisher of The New York Times, said:The New York Times without Bill Safire is all but unimaginable, Bill's provocative and insightful commentary has held our readers captive since he first graced our Op-Ed Page in 1973.
Reaching for his column became a critical and enjoyable part of the day for our readers across the country and around the world. Whether you agreed with him or not was never the point, his writing is delightful and engaging. Safire served as a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board from 1995 to 2004. After ending his op-ed column, he became the full-time chief executive of the Dana Foundation, where he was chairman from 2000. In 2006, Safire was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush. Portions of Safire's FBI file were released in 2010; the documents "detail wiretapping ordered by the Nixon administration, including the tapping of Safire's phone." In addition to his political columns, Safire wrote a column, "On Language", in the weekly The New York Times Magazine from 1979 until the month of his death. Many of the columns were collected in books. According to the linguist Geoffrey Pullum, over the years Safire became less of a "grammar-nitpicker," and Benjamin Zimmer cited Safire's willingness to learn from descriptive linguists.
Another book on language was The New Language of Politics, which developed into what Zimmer called Safire's "magnum opus," Safire's Political Dictionary. Safire described himself as a "libertarian conservative." A Washington Post story on the ending of his op-ed column quotes him on the subject:I'm willing to zap conservatives when they do things that are not libertarian. I was the first to go after George W. on his treatment of prisoners. After voting for Bill Clinton in 1992, Safire became one of the leading critics of Clinton's administration. Hillary Clinton in particular was the target of his ire, he caused controversy in a January 8, 1996, essay when, after reviewing her record, he concluded she was a "congenital liar". She did not respond to the specific instances cited, but said that she didn't feel offended for herself, but for her mother's sake. According to the president's press secretary at the time, Mike McCurry, "the President, if he were not the President, would have delivered a more forceful response to that on the bridge of Mr. Safire's nose".
Safire was one of severa
First Indochina War
The First Indochina War began in French Indochina on December 19, 1946, lasted until July 20, 1954. Fighting between French forces and their Việt Minh opponents in the south dated from September 1945; the conflict pitted a range of forces, including the French Union's French Far East Expeditionary Corps, led by France and supported by Bảo Đại's Vietnamese National Army against the Việt Minh, led by Ho Chi Minh and the People's Army of Vietnam led by Võ Nguyên Giáp. Most of the fighting took place in Tonkin in northern Vietnam, although the conflict engulfed the entire country and extended into the neighboring French Indochina protectorates of Laos and Cambodia. At the Potsdam Conference in July 1945, the Combined Chiefs of Staff decided that Indochina south of latitude 16° north was to be included in the Southeast Asia Command under British Admiral Mountbatten. Japanese forces located south of that line surrendered to him and those to the north surrendered to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. In September 1945, Chinese forces entered Tonkin, a small British task force landed at Saigon.
The Chinese accepted the Vietnamese government under Ho Chi Minh in power in Hanoi. The British refused to do in Saigon, deferred to the French there from the outset, against the ostensible support of the Việt Minh authorities by American OSS representatives. On V-J Day, September 2, Ho Chi Minh had proclaimed in Hanoi the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam; the DRV ruled as the only civil government in all of Vietnam for a period of about 20 days, after the abdication of Emperor Bảo Đại, who had governed under Japanese rule. On 23 September 1945, with the knowledge of the British commander in Saigon, French forces overthrew the local DRV government, declared French authority restored in Cochinchina. Guerrilla warfare began around Saigon but the French retook control of the South and North of Indochina. Hô Chi Minh agreed to negotiate the future status of Vietnam, but the talks, held in France, failed to produce a solution. After over one year of latent conflict, all-out war broke out in December 1946 between French and Việt Minh forces as Hô and his government went underground.
The French tried to stabilize Indochina by reorganizing it as a Federation of Associated States. In 1949, they put former Emperor Bảo Đại back in power, as the ruler of a newly established State of Vietnam; the first few years of the war involved a low-level rural insurgency against the French. In 1949 the conflict turned into a conventional war between two armies equipped with modern weapons supplied by the United States and the Soviet Union. French Union forces included colonial troops from the whole former empire, French professional troops and units of the French Foreign Legion; the use of metropolitan recruits was forbidden by the government to prevent the war from becoming more unpopular at home. It was called the "dirty war" by leftists in France; the strategy of pushing the Việt Minh into attacking well-defended bases in remote parts of the country at the end of their logistical trails was validated at the Battle of Nà Sản. However, this base was weak because of a lack of concrete and steel.
French efforts were made more difficult due to the limited usefulness of armored tanks in a jungle environment, lack of strong air forces for air cover and carpet bombing, use of foreign recruits from other French colonies. Võ Nguyên Giáp, used efficient and novel tactics of direct fire artillery, convoy ambushes and massed anti-aircraft guns to impede land and air supply deliveries together with a strategy based on recruiting a sizable regular army facilitated by wide popular support, a guerrilla warfare doctrine and instruction developed in China, the use of simple and reliable war material provided by the Soviet Union; this combination proved fatal for the bases' defenses, culminating in a decisive French defeat at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. At the International Geneva Conference on July 21, 1954, the new socialist French government and the Việt Minh made an agreement which gave the Việt Minh control of North Vietnam above the 17th parallel; the south continued under Bảo Đại. The agreement was denounced by the United States.
A year Bảo Đại would be deposed by his prime minister, Ngô Đình Diệm, creating the Republic of Vietnam. Soon an insurgency, backed by the north, developed against Diệm's government; the conflict escalated into the Vietnam War. Vietnam was absorbed into French Indochina in stages between 1858 and 1887. Nationalism grew. Early Vietnamese resistance centered on the intellectual Phan Bội Châu. Châu looked to Japan, which had modernized and was one of the few Asian nations to resist European colonization. With Prince Cường Để, Châu started two organizations in Japan, the Duy Tân hội and Vietnam Cong Hien Hoi. Due to French pressure, Japan deported Phan Bội Châu to China. Witnessing Sun Yat-sen's Xinhai Revolution, Châu was inspired to commence the Viet Nam Quang Phục Hội movement in Guangzhou. From 1914 to 1917, he was imprisoned by Yuan Shikai's counterrevolutionary government. In 1925, he was captured by French agents in spirited to Vietnam. Due to his popularity, Châu was spared from execution and placed under house arrest until his death in 1940.
In September 1940, shortly after Phan Bội Châu's death, Japan launched its invasion of French Indochina, mirroring its ally Germany's co
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty, signed on 4 April 1949. NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO's Headquarters are located in Haren, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium. Since its founding, the admission of new member states has increased the alliance from the original 12 countries to 29; the most recent member state to be added to NATO is Montenegro on 5 June 2017. NATO recognizes Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia and Ukraine as aspiring members. An additional 21 countries participate in NATO's Partnership for Peace program, with 15 other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programs; the combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the global total.
Members have committed to reach or maintain defense spending of at least 2% of GDP by 2024. On 4 March 1947 the Treaty of Dunkirk was signed by France and the United Kingdom as a Treaty of Alliance and Mutual Assistance in the event of a possible attack by Germany or the Soviet Union in the aftermath of World War II. In 1948, this alliance was expanded to include the Benelux countries, in the form of the Western Union referred to as the Brussels Treaty Organization, established by the Treaty of Brussels. Talks for a new military alliance which could include North America resulted in the signature of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949 by the member states of the Western Union plus the United States, Portugal, Norway and Iceland; the North Atlantic Treaty was dormant until the Korean War initiated the establishment of NATO to implement it, by means of an integrated military structure: This included the formation of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in 1951, which adopted the Western Union's military structures and plans.
In 1952 the post of Secretary General of NATO was established as the organization's chief civilian. That year saw the first major NATO maritime exercises, Exercise Mainbrace and the accession of Greece and Turkey to the organization. Following the London and Paris Conferences, West Germany was permitted to rearm militarily, as they joined NATO in May 1955, in turn a major factor in the creation of the Soviet-dominated Warsaw Pact, delineating the two opposing sides of the Cold War. Doubts over the strength of the relationship between the European states and the United States ebbed and flowed, along with doubts over the credibility of the NATO defense against a prospective Soviet invasion – doubts that led to the development of the independent French nuclear deterrent and the withdrawal of France from NATO's military structure in 1966. In 1982 the newly democratic Spain joined the alliance; the collapse of the Warsaw Pact in 1989–1991 removed the de facto main adversary of NATO and caused a strategic re-evaluation of NATO's purpose, nature and focus on the continent of Europe.
This shift started with the 1990 signing in Paris of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe between NATO and the Soviet Union, which mandated specific military reductions across the continent that continued after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991. At that time, European countries accounted for 34 percent of NATO's military spending. NATO began a gradual expansion to include newly autonomous Central and Eastern European nations, extended its activities into political and humanitarian situations that had not been NATO concerns. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany in 1989, the organization conducted its first military interventions in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995 and Yugoslavia in 1999 during the breakup of Yugoslavia. Politically, the organization sought better relations with former Warsaw Pact countries, most of which joined the alliance in 1999 and 2004. Article 5 of the North Atlantic treaty, requiring member states to come to the aid of any member state subject to an armed attack, was invoked for the first and only time after the September 11 attacks, after which troops were deployed to Afghanistan under the NATO-led ISAF.
The organization has operated a range of additional roles since including sending trainers to Iraq, assisting in counter-piracy operations and in 2011 enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1973. The less potent Article 4, which invokes consultation among NATO members, has been invoked five times following incidents in the Iraq War, Syrian Civil War, annexation of Crimea; the first post-Cold War expansion of NATO came with German reunification on 3 October 1990, when the former East Germany became part of the Federal Republic of Germany and the alliance. As part of post-Cold War restructuring, NATO's military structure was cut back and reorganized, with new forces such as the Headquarters Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps established; the changes brought about by the collapse of the Soviet Union on the military balance in Europe were recognized in the Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, signed in 1999. The policies of French President Nicolas Sarkozy resulted in a major reform of France's military position, culminating with the return to full membership on 4 April 2009, which included France rejoining the NATO Military Command Structure, while maintaining an independent nuclear deterrent.
Between 1994 and 1997, wider forums for regional co
A geodesic dome is a hemispherical thin-shell structure based on a geodesic polyhedron. The triangular elements of the dome are structurally rigid and distribute the structural stress throughout the structure, making geodesic domes able to withstand heavy loads for their size; the first dome that could be called "geodesic" in every respect was designed after World War I by Walther Bauersfeld, chief engineer of the Carl Zeiss optical company, for a planetarium to house his planetarium projector. A first, small dome was patented, constructed by the firm of Dykerhoff and Wydmann on the roof of the Zeiss plant in Jena, Germany. A larger dome, called "The Wonder of Jena", opened to the public in July 1926; some 20 years R. Buckminster Fuller named the dome "geodesic" from field experiments with artist Kenneth Snelson at Black Mountain College in 1948 and 1949. Although Fuller was not the original inventor, he is credited with the U. S. popularization of the idea for which he received U. S. patent 2,682,235 29 June 1954.
The geodesic dome appealed to Fuller because it was strong for its weight, its "omnitriangulated" surface provided an inherently stable structure, because a sphere encloses the greatest volume for the least surface area. The dome was adopted for specialized uses, such as the 21 Distant Early Warning Line domes built in Canada in 1956, the 1958 Union Tank Car Company dome near Baton Rouge, designed by Thomas C. Howard of Synergetics, Inc. and specialty buildings such as the Kaiser Aluminum domes, weather observatories, storage facilities. The dome was soon breaking records for covered surface, enclosed volume, construction speed. Beginning in 1954, the U. S. Marines experimented with helicopter-deliverable geodesic domes. A 30-foot wood and plastic geodesic dome was lifted and carried by helicopter at 50 knots without damage, leading to the manufacture of a standard magnesium dome by Magnesium Products of Milwaukee. Tests included assembly practices in which untrained Marines were able to assemble a 30-foot magnesium dome in 135 minutes, helicopter lifts off aircraft carriers, a durability test in which an anchored dome withstood without damage, a day-long 120 mph propeller blast from the twin 3,000 horsepower engines of an anchored airplane.
The dome was introduced to a wider audience as a pavilion for the 1964 World's Fair in New York City designed by Thomas C. Howard of Synergetics, Inc; this dome is now used as an aviary by the Queens Zoo in Flushing Meadows Corona Park after it was redesigned by TC Howard of Synergetics, Inc. Another dome is from Expo 67 at the Montreal World's Fair, where it was part of the American Pavilion; the structure's covering burned, but the structure itself still stands and, under the name Biosphère houses an interpretive museum about the Saint Lawrence River. In the 1970s, Zomeworks licensed plans for structures based on other geometric solids, such as the Johnson solids, Archimedean solids, Catalan solids; these structures may have some faces that are not triangular, being other polygons. In 1975, a dome was constructed at the South Pole, where its resistance to snow and wind loads is important. On October 1, 1982, one of the most famous geodesic domes, Spaceship Earth at Epcot in Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, just outside of Orlando, opened.
The building and the ride inside of it are named with one of Buckminster Fuller's famous terms, Spaceship Earth, a world view expressing concern over the use of limited resources available on Earth and encouraging everyone on it to act as a harmonious crew working toward the greater good. The building is Epcot's icon, is included in the park's logo. In 2000, the world's first sustainable geodesic dome hotel, EcoCamp Patagonia, was built in Chilean Patagonia, opening the following year in 2001; the hotel's dome design is key to resisting the region's strong winds and is based on the dwellings of the indigenous Kaweskar people. Geodomes are becoming popular as a glamping unit; the first site in the UK to use them was Ekopod in North Cornwall in 2009. Wooden domes have a hole drilled in the width of a strut. A stainless steel band locks the strut's hole to a steel pipe. With this method, the struts may be cut to the exact length needed. Triangles of exterior plywood are nailed to the struts; the dome is wrapped from the bottom to the top with several stapled layers of tar paper, to shed water, finished with shingles.
This type of dome is called a hub-and-strut dome because of the use of steel hubs to tie the struts together. Panelized domes are constructed of separately framed timbers covered in plywood; the three members comprising the triangular frame are cut at compound angles to provide for a flat fitting of the various triangles. Holes are drilled through the members at precise locations and steel bolts connect the triangles to form the dome; these members are 2x4s or 2x6s, which allow for more insulation to fit within the triangle. The panelized technique allows the builder to attach the plywood skin to the triangles while safely working on the ground or in a comfortable shop out of the weather; this method does not require expensive steel hubs. Temporary greenhouse domes have been constructed by stapling plastic sheeting onto a dome constructed from one-inch square beams; the result is warm, movable by hand in sizes less than 20 feet, cheap. It should be staked to the ground to prevent it being moved by wind.
Steel framework can be constructed of electrical conduit. One flattens the end of a strut and drills bolt holes at the needed length. A single bolt sec
Sokolniki Park, named for the falcon hunt of the Grand Dukes of Muscovy conducted there, is located in the eponymous Sokolniki District of Moscow. Sokolniki Park is not far from the center near Sokolnicheskaya Gate; the park gained its name from the Sokolnichya Quarter, the 17th-century home of the sovereign's falconers. It was created by a keen hunter who loved to go falconing in the area; the park's current layout of clearings and alleys began under Tsar Peter the Great. In 1900 a "labyrinth", or network of alleys, was laid out. Today Sokolniki is a typical Russian park, with an aging funfair and other amusements for children, numerous fast food stalls all clustered near the main entrance. In summer the central alleyways are a mass of brightly colored formal flowerbeds, while the depths of the park are a wilderness home to pines and spruces and oaks, limes and maples - all trees native to the Moscow region - as well as a number of non-indigenous trees, such as larches, walnut, red oaks, etc.
The park's wildlife includes hares and weasels, as well as 76 types of bird. It was established as a public municipal park in 1878. From 1931 onwards Sokolniki has been developed as an official "park of culture and leisure"; the park, with an area of six square kilometers, is the most Western extension of a larger Losiny Ostrov natural reserve that spans from the Eastern edge of Sokolniki to MKAD ring road and beyond. The park territory contains an amusement park, a winter outdoor ice skating rink and an exposition centre, the site of the Kitchen Debate at the American National Exhibition in 1959, it contains the Sokolniki Sports Palace, home to the ice hockey team HC Spartak Moscow. The soccer club in Sokolniki was the site of the 2006 murder of Central Bank executive Andrey Kozlov. Contemporary museum of calligraphy Sokolniki Park is famous for its chess club, located on the rotunda of the far end of the park's circle; the chess club produced some of the finest grandmasters of history. During the 1959 US-USSR expo, exhibition matches were held for the eyes of the US delegation, headed by then-Vice President Richard Nixon.
In the 1970s, the then-little known engineer Natan Sharansky coached locals at the chess club. He would go on to be a renowned refusenik activist and Israeli politician. Hayden, Peter. Russian Parks and Gardens. Frances Lincoln. ISBN 978-0-7112-2430-8. Cite Sokolniki Park
The Forest Brothers were Estonian and Lithuanian partisans who waged a guerrilla war against Soviet rule during the Soviet invasion and occupation of the three Baltic states during, after, World War II. Similar anti-Soviet Eastern European resistance groups fought against Soviet and communist rule in Bulgaria, Poland and western Ukraine; the Red Army occupied the independent Baltic states in 1940–1941 and, after a period of German occupation, again in 1944–1945. As Stalinist repression intensified over the following years, 50,000 residents of these countries used the forested countryside as a natural refuge and base for armed anti-Soviet resistance. Resistance units varied in size and composition, ranging from individually operating guerrillas, armed for self-defense, to large and well-organized groups able to engage significant Soviet forces in battle; the term Forest Brothers first came into use in the Baltic region during the chaotic Russian Revolution of 1905. Varying sources refer to forest brothers of this era either as peasants revolting or as schoolteachers seeking refuge in the forest.
Estonia and Lithuania gained their independence in 1918 after the collapse of the Russian Empire. The ideals of nationalism and self-determination had taken hold with many people as a result of having the independent states of Estonia and Latvia for the first time since the 13th century. At the same time, Lithuanians re-established a sovereign state, which had a rich former history, having been the largest country in Europe during the 14th century, but, occupied by the Russian Empire since 1795. Allied declarations such as the Atlantic Charter had offered promise of a post-war world in which the three Baltic nations could re-establish themselves. Having experienced occupation by the Soviet regime followed by the Nazi regime, many people were unwilling to accept another occupation. Unlike Estonia and Latvia where the Germans conscripted the local population into military formations within the Waffen-SS, Lithuania never had its own Waffen-SS division. In 1944 the Nazi authorities had created an ill-equipped but 20,000-strong "Lithuanian Territorial Defense Force" under General Povilas Plechavičius to combat Soviet partisans led by Antanas Sniečkus.
The Germans, however came to see this force as a nationalist threat to their occupation regime. The senior staff were arrested on May 15, 1944, with General Plechavičius being deported to the concentration camp in Salaspils, Latvia; however half of the remaining forces formed guerrilla units and dissolved into the countryside in preparation for partisan operations against the Red Army as the Eastern Front approached. The guerrilla operations in Estonia and Latvia had some basis in Adolf Hitler's authorization of a full withdrawal from Estonia in mid-September 1944 — he allowed any soldiers of his Estonian forces the 20th Waffen-SS Division, who wished to stay and defend their homes to do so — and in the fate of Army Group Courland, among the last of Hitler's forces to surrender after it became trapped in the Courland Pocket on the Courland Peninsula in 1945. Many Estonian and Latvian soldiers, a few Germans, evaded capture and fought as Forest Brothers in the countryside for years after the war.
Others, such as Alfons Rebane and Alfrēds Riekstiņš escaped to the United Kingdom and Sweden and participated in Allied intelligence operations in aid of the Forest Brothers. While the Waffen-SS was found guilty of war crimes and other atrocities and declared a criminal organization after the war, the Nuremberg Trials explicitly excluded conscripts in the following terms: The Tribunal declares to be criminal within the meaning of the Charter the group composed of those persons, accepted as members of the SS as enumerated in the preceding paragraph, who became or remained members of the organization with knowledge that it was being used for the commission of acts declared criminal by Article 6 of the Charter, or who were implicated as members of the organization in the commission of such crimes, however, those who were drafted into membership by the State in such a way as to give them no choice in the matter, who had committed no such crimes. In 1949–1950 the United States Displaced Persons Commission investigated the Estonian and Latvian divisions and on September 1, 1950, adopted the following policy: The Baltic Waffen SS Units are to be considered as separate and distinct in purpose, ideology and qualifications for membership from the German SS, therefore the Commission holds them not to be a movement hostile to the Government of the United States under Section 13 of the Displaced Persons Act, as amended.
The Latvian government has asserted that the Latvian Legion composed of the 15th and 19th Latvian Waffen-SS divisions, was neither a criminal nor collaborationist organization. The ranks of the resistance swelled with the Red Army's attempts at conscription in the Baltic states after the war, with fewer than half the registered conscripts reporting in some districts; the widespread harassment of disappearing conscripts' families pushed more people to evade authorities in the forests. Many enlisted men deserted. With the German invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, Joseph Stalin made a public statement on the radio calling for a scorched earth policy in the areas to be abandoned on July 3. About 10,000 Forest Brothers, which had organized themselves into countrywide Omakaitse organizations, attacked the forces of the NKVD, destruction battalions and the 8th Army (Major General Lj