Supreme Audit Office (Poland)
The Supreme Audit Office is the supreme audit institution and one of the oldest state institutions in Poland, created under the Second Republic on February 7, 1919 3 months after the restoration of Poland's independence. It was created on the initiative of the Head of Józef Piłsudski, its organisation and functioning are set out in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland and the NIK Act of 23 December 1994. The NIK is subordinate to the Sejm and it acts in accordance with the principle of collegiate responsibility; the NIK is headed by the President, appointed by the Sejm for a six-year term of office. The NIK performs audits related to the execution of the state budget as well as public finance spending and management of public property by state and local governmental bodies and economic entities; every year, the NIK submits three key documents to the Sejm: the analysis of the state budget execution and monetary policy guidelines, the opinion on the vote of discharge for the Council of Ministers and the annual report on the NIK’s activity.
From its first day, NIK has been the country's supreme audit institution, empowered to exercise wide-ranging audit of the revenue and expenditure of the state and all institutions and corporations that make use of public funds. NIK is entitled to audit all state institutions and local government administrative units, together with those corporate bodies and non-governmental organisations which perform public contracts or receive government grants and guarantees; the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, the statute relating to the NIK, determine that the Polish SAI functions on the principle of collegiate responsibility. The Speaker of the Parliament appoints members of the College for a three-year tenure; the tasks of the College include the approval of the analysis of the state budget execution and the principles of fiscal policy, the audit of the NIK’s performance, formulating an opinion concerning certification of performance of duties part of discharge procedure of the government, the work plan and the draft budget for the NIK.
The College assesses audit programmes and the outcomes of important audits. It considers post audit objections. Under the current regulations, NIK is answerable to the Sejm, which appoints its President for a 6-year term, with the approval of the Senate. Terms of office of the President of the NIK do not coincide with those of the Parliament, which in practice prevents this office from being dependent on any political party. Like members of the Sejm, the President of NIK enjoys immunity: he cannot be arrested or indicted without the consent of the Sejm; the post of the President of the NIK is held by Krzysztof Kwiatkowski, appointed on August 27, 2013. The Supreme Audit Office operates through its Regional Branches; the division into Departments reflects the scope of the matters it audits, thus NIK includes the following Departments: Public Administration Budget and Finance Economy, Public Assets and Privatisation Infrastructure Audit Methodology and Professional Development Science and National Heritage National Defence Public Order and Internal Security Labour, Social Affairs and Family Legal Affairs Agriculture and Rural Development Strategy Environment HealthOther Departments of the NIK: Facilities and Logistics IT Corporate Services AccountsThe division into Regional Branches is connected with the territorial division of Poland.
The number of NIK Regional Branches, 16, equals that of the voivodeships. NIK institutes audit proceedings on its own initiative, at the request of Sejm or its bodies or representatives, the President of the Republic, or the Prime Minister. Special types of NIK activities include audits of the state budget execution and of the principles of monetary policy, as well as the NIK opinion in votes of confidence for the Council of Ministers; the NIK fulfils its tasks based on periodic work plans. In the first instance, the audit of the state budget execution is completed, as the NIK is bound to conduct this activity. NIK undertakes other audits according to prioritised directions established by the NIK College for a period of three years; the NIK establishes whether the state fulfils its obligations towards its citizens, as well as indicates areas in which there are concerns, in particular ones that could be hindering proper development. Each year new audit areas are selected according to which specific themes for planned audits are programmed.
NIK can undertake ad hoc audits. The Supreme Audit Office cooperates with similar bodies in the European Union countries, with the European Court of Auditors, International Board of Auditors for NATO, as well as the auditing authorities in other countries of Central and Eastern Europe such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary; the Supreme Audit Office cooperates with its European partners within the framework of EUROSAI - the European Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions, one of seven regional groups of INTOSAI - the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions. Jacek Jezierski, President of the NIK was the Chair of EUROSAI Governing Board in 2008-2011. Official English homepage
The Home Army was the dominant Polish resistance movement in Poland, occupied by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, during World War II. The Home Army was formed in February 1942 from the Związek Walki Zbrojnej; some authors stress the continuity using acronym ZWZ/AK. Over the next two years, it absorbed most other Polish underground forces, its allegiance was to the Polish government-in-exile, it constituted the armed wing of what became known as the "Polish Underground State". Estimates of the Home Army's 1944 strength range between 200,000 and 600,000, the most cited number being 400,000; this last number would make the Home Army not only the largest Polish underground resistance movement but one of the three largest in Europe during World War II. The Home Army was disbanded on 19 January 1945, after the Soviet Red Army had cleared Polish territory of German forces; the Home Army sabotaged German operations such as transports headed for the Eastern Front in the Soviet Union. It fought several full-scale battles against the Germans in 1943 and in Operation Tempest in 1944.
The Home Army, destroyed much-needed German supplies. The most known Home Army operation was the 1944 Warsaw Uprising; the partisans defended Polish civilians against atrocities perpetrated by other military formations. Because the Home Army was loyal to the Polish Government-in-Exile, the Soviet Union saw it as an obstacle to Communism in Poland. Over the course of the war, conflict grew between the Home Army and Soviet forces. During the Soviet occupation of Poland thousands of former Home Army soldiers were arrested and deported to Soviet Gulags and prisons, while some were executed, including notable military leaders Leopold Okulicki and Emil August Fieldorf; the Home Army originated in the Service for Poland's Victory, which General Michał Karaszewicz-Tokarzewski set up on 27 September 1939, just as the coordinated German and Soviet invasions of Poland neared completion. Seven weeks on 17 November 1939, on the orders of General Władysław Sikorski, the Service for Poland's Victory was superseded by the Armed Resistance, which in turn, a little over two years on 14 February 1942, became the "Home Army".
All the while, many other resistance organizations remained active in Poland. Most of them merged with the Armed Resistance or with its successor, the Home Army, between 1939 and 1944 augmenting the Home Army's numbers; the Polish government-in-exile envisioned the Home Army as an apolitical, nationwide resistance organization. The supreme command defined the Home Army's chief tasks as partisan warfare against the German occupiers, re-creation of armed forces underground and, near the end of the German occupation, a general armed rising to be prosecuted until victory. Home Army plans envisioned, at war's end, the seizure of power in Poland by the Government Delegation for Poland and by the Government in Exile itself, which expected to return to Poland. In addition to the Polish government in London, a political organization operated in Poland itself - a deliberative body of the resistance and of the Polish Underground State; the Political Consultative Committee formed in 1940 pursuant to an agreement between several major political parties: the Socialist Party, People's Party, National Party and Labor Party.
In 1943 it was renamed to Home Political Representation and in 1944 to Council of National Unity.:235-236The Home Army, though in theory subordinate to the civil authorities and to the Government in Exile acted somewhat independently, with neither the Home Army's commanders in Poland nor the "London government" aware of the others' situation.:235-236After Germany started its invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, the Soviet Union joined the Allies and signed an Anglo-Soviet Agreement on 12 July 1941. This put the Polish Government in a difficult position, since it had pursued a policy of "two enemies". Though a Polish-Soviet agreement was signed in August 1941, cooperation continued to be difficult and deteriorated further after 1943 when Nazi Germany publicized the Katyn massacre of 1940; until the major rising in 1944, the Home Army concentrated on self-defense and on attacks against German forces. Home Army units carried out thousands of armed raids and intelligence operations, sabotaged hundreds of railway shipments, participated in many partisan clashes and battles with German police and Wehrmacht units.
The Home Army assassinated prominent Nazi collaborators and Gestapo officials in retaliation against Nazi terror inflicted on Poland's civilian population. The Home Army supplied valuable intelligence to the Allies; until 1942 most British intelligence on Germany came from Home Army reports. Until the end of the war, the Home Army remained Britain's main source of news from Central and Eastern Europe. Home Army intelligence provided the Allies with information on German concentration camps and on the V-1 flying bomb and V-2 rocket. In one Project Big Ben mission, a stripped-for-lightness RAF twin-engine Dakota flew from Brindisi in Italy to an aband
Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French army officer and statesman who led the French Resistance against Nazi Germany in World War II and chaired the Provisional Government of the French Republic from 1944 to 1946 in order to establish democracy in France. In 1958, he came out of retirement when appointed President of the Council of Ministers by President René Coty, he was asked to rewrite the Constitution of France and founded the Fifth Republic after approval by referendum. He was elected President of France that year, a position he was reelected to in 1965 and held until his resignation in 1969, he was the dominant figure of France during the Cold War era, his memory continues to influence French politics. Born in Lille, he graduated from Saint-Cyr in 1912, he was a decorated officer of the First World War, wounded several times, taken prisoner at Verdun. During the interwar period, he advocated mobile armoured divisions. During the German invasion of May 1940, he led an armoured division which counterattacked the invaders.
Refusing to accept his government's armistice with Germany, De Gaulle exhorted the French population to resist occupation and to continue the fight in his Appeal of 18 June. He led a government in the Free French Forces against the Axis. Despite frosty relations with the United Kingdom and the United States, he emerged as the undisputed leader of the French Resistance, he became head of the Provisional Government of the French Republic in June 1944, the interim government of France following its Liberation. As early as 1944, De Gaulle introduced a dirigiste economic policy, which included substantial state-directed control over a capitalist economy, followed by 30 years of unprecedented growth, known as the Trente Glorieuses. Frustrated by the return of petty partisanship in the new Fourth Republic, he resigned in early 1946 but continued to be politically active as founder of the Rassemblement du Peuple Français, he retired in the early 1950s and wrote a book about his experience in the war titled War Memoirs, which became a staple of modern French literature.
When the Algerian War was ripping apart the unstable Fourth Republic, the National Assembly brought him back to power during the May 1958 crisis. He founded the Fifth Republic with a strong presidency, he was elected to continue in that role, he managed to keep France together while taking steps to end the war, much to the anger of the Pieds-Noirs and the military. He granted independence to progressively to other French colonies. In the context of the Cold War, De Gaulle initiated his "politics of grandeur" asserting that France as a major power should not rely on other countries, such as the United States, for its national security and prosperity. To this end, he pursued a policy of "national independence" which led him to withdraw from NATO's military integrated command and to launch an independent nuclear development program that made France the fourth nuclear power, he restored cordial Franco-German relations to create a European counterweight between the Anglo-American and Soviet spheres of influence through the signing of the Élysée Treaty on 22 January 1963.
However, he opposed any development of a supranational Europe, favouring a Europe of sovereign nations. De Gaulle criticised the United States intervention in Vietnam and the "exorbitant privilege" of the United States dollar. In his years, his support for the slogan "Vive le Québec libre" and his two vetoes of Britain's entry into the European Economic Community generated considerable controversy. Although reelected President in 1965, he appeared to lose power amid widespread protests by students and workers in May 1968, but survived the crisis and won an election with an increased majority in the National Assembly. De Gaulle resigned in 1969 after losing a referendum, he died a year at his residence in Colombey-les-Deux-Églises, leaving his presidential memoirs unfinished. Many French political parties and figures claim a Gaullist legacy. De Gaulle was born in the industrial region of Lille in the Nord department, the third of five children, he was raised in a devoutly traditional family. His father, Henri de Gaulle, was a professor of history and literature at a Jesuit college who founded his own school.
Henri de Gaulle came from a long line of parliamentary gentry from Burgundy. The name is thought to be Flemish in origin, may well have derived from van der Waulle. De Gaulle's mother, descended from a family of wealthy entrepreneurs from Lille, she had French, Scottish and German ancestry. As part of the French nobility, the de Gaulle family had lost most of its land in the French Revolution, which it opposed. De Gaulle's father encouraged historical and philosophical debate between his children at mealtimes, through his encouragement, de Gaulle grew familiar with French history from an early age. Struck by his mother's tale of how she cried as a child when she heard of the French capitulation to the Germans at Sedan in 1870, he developed a keen interest in military strategy, he was influenced by his uncle named Charles de Gaulle, a historian and passionate Celticist who wrote books and pamphlets advocating the union of the Welsh, Scots and Bretons into one people. His grandfather Julien-Philippe was a histo
Integrated Authority File
The Integrated Authority File or GND is an international authority file for the organisation of personal names, subject headings and corporate bodies from catalogues. It is used for documentation in libraries and also by archives and museums; the GND is managed by the German National Library in cooperation with various regional library networks in German-speaking Europe and other partners. The GND falls under the Creative Commons Zero licence; the GND specification provides a hierarchy of high-level entities and sub-classes, useful in library classification, an approach to unambiguous identification of single elements. It comprises an ontology intended for knowledge representation in the semantic web, available in the RDF format; the Integrated Authority File became operational in April 2012 and integrates the content of the following authority files, which have since been discontinued: Name Authority File Corporate Bodies Authority File Subject Headings Authority File Uniform Title File of the Deutsches Musikarchiv At the time of its introduction on 5 April 2012, the GND held 9,493,860 files, including 2,650,000 personalised names.
There are seven main types of GND entities: LIBRIS Virtual International Authority File Information pages about the GND from the German National Library Search via OGND Bereitstellung des ersten GND-Grundbestandes DNB, 19 April 2012 From Authority Control to Linked Authority Data Presentation given by Reinhold Heuvelmann to the ALA MARC Formats Interest Group, June 2012
A politburo or political bureau is the executive committee for communist parties. The term "politburo" in English comes from the Russian Politbyuro, itself a contraction of Politicheskoye Byuro; the Spanish term Politburó is directly loaned from Russian. Chinese uses a calque, from which the Vietnamese, Korean terms derive; the first politburo was created in Russia by the Bolshevik Party in 1917 to provide strong and continuous leadership during the Russian Revolution occurring during the same year. The first Politburo had seven members: Lenin, Kamenev, Stalin and Bubnov. During the 20th century, nations that had a politburo included the USSR, East Germany, Afghanistan and China, amongst others. Today, there are five countries. In Marxist-Leninist states, the party is seen as the vanguard of the people and from that legitimizes itself to lead the state. In that way, the party officials in the Politburo informally lead the state; the Party Congress elects a Central Committee which, in turn, elects the Politburo and General Secretary in a process termed democratic centralism.
The Politburo was theoretically answerable to the Central Committee. Under Stalin this model was reversed, it was the General Secretary who determined the composition of the Politburo and Central Committee; this tendency decreased to some extent after Stalin's death, though in practice the Politburo remained a self-perpetuating body whose decisions de facto had the force of law. In Trotskyist parties, the Politburo is a bureau of the Central Committee tasked with making day-to-day political decisions, which must be ratified by the Central Committee, it is appointed by the Central Committee from among its members. The post of General Secretary carries far less weight in this model. See, for example, the Lanka Sama Samaja Party. Central Committee Eastern Bloc politics Executive Committee Orgburo Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Politburo of the Communist Party of China Politburo of the Communist Party of Cuba Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam Politburo of the Communist Party of India Politburo of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party Politburo of the Party of Labour of Albania Politburo of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan Politburo of the Polish United Workers' Party Politburo of the Workers' Party of Korea Political Bureau of the Central Committee of FRELIMO Politburo of the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front Presidium
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo