The Berghof was Adolf Hitler's home in the Obersalzberg of the Bavarian Alps near Berchtesgaden, Germany. Other than the Wolfsschanze, his headquarters in East Prussia for the invasion of the Soviet Union, Hitler spent more time at the Berghof than anywhere else during World War II, it was one of the most known of his headquarters, which were located throughout Europe. Rebuilt, much expanded, renamed in 1935, the Berghof was Hitler's vacation residence for ten years. In late April 1945, the house was damaged by British aerial bombs, it was again in early May by retreating SS troops, looted after Allied troops reached the area. In 1952, the Bavarian government demolished the burnt shell; the Berghof began as a much smaller chalet called Haus Wachenfeld, a holiday home built in 1916 by Kommerzienrat Otto Winter, a businessman from Buxtehude. This was located near the Platterhof, the former Pension Moritz where Hitler had stayed in 1922–23. By 1926, the family running the pension had left, Hitler did not like the new owner.
He moved first to the Marineheim and to a hotel in Berchtesgaden, the Deutsches Haus, where he dictated the second volume of Mein Kampf in the summer of 1926. Hitler met his girlfriend at that time, Maria Reiter, who worked in a shop on the ground floor of the hotel, during another visit in autumn 1926. In 1928, Winter's widow rented Haus Wachenfeld to Hitler, his half-sister Angela came to live there as housekeeper, although she left soon after her daughter Geli's 1931 death in Hitler's Munich apartment. By 1933, Hitler had purchased Haus Wachenfeld with funds he received from the sale of his political manifesto Mein Kampf; the small chalet-style building was refurbished and much expanded by architect Alois Degano during 1935–36, when it was renamed The Berghof. A large terrace was built and featured big, resort-style canvas umbrellas; the entrance hall "was filled with a curious display of cactus plants in majolica pots." A dining room was panelled with costly cembra pine. Hitler's large study had a telephone switchboard room.
The library contained books "on history, painting and music." A great hall was furnished with expensive Teutonic furniture, a large globe, an expansive red marble fireplace mantel. Behind one wall was a projection booth for evening screenings of films. A sprawling picture window could be lowered into the wall to give a sweeping, open air view of the snow-capped mountains in Hitler's native Austria; the house was maintained much like a small resort hotel by several housekeepers, gardeners and other domestic workers. "This place is mine," Hitler was quoted as saying to a writer for Homes & Gardens magazine in 1938. "I built it with money that I earned." The British Homes & Gardens magazine described him as "his own decorator and furnisher, as well as architect", the chalet as "bright and airy" with "a light jade green colour scheme". Old engravings hung in the guest bedrooms, along with some of Hitler's small watercolour sketches, his personal valet Heinz Linge stated that Hitler and his longtime companion Eva Braun had two bedrooms and two bathrooms with interconnecting doors, Hitler would end most evenings alone with her in his study drinking tea.
Though Hitler did not smoke, smoking was allowed on the terrace. His vegetarian diet was supplied by nearby kitchen gardens and a greenhouse. A large complex of mountain homes for the Nazi leadership, with a landing strip and many buildings for their security and support staff, were constructed nearby. To acquire the land for these projects, many neighbours were compelled to sell their properties and leave. A Kehlsteinhaus, nicknamed Eagle's Nest by André François-Poncet, a French diplomat, was built in 1937–38 on the mountaintop above the Berghof, but Hitler went there; the area became something of a German tourist attraction during the mid-1930s. Visitors gathered at the end of the driveway or on nearby public paths in the hope of catching a glimpse of Hitler; this led to the introduction of severe restrictions on access to the area and other security measures. A large contingent of the SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler was housed in barracks adjacent to the Berghof. Under the command of Obersturmbannführer Bernhard Frank, they patrolled an extensive cordoned security zone that encompassed the nearby homes of the other Nazi leaders.
With the outbreak of war extensive anti-aircraft defences were installed, including smoke generating machines to conceal the Berghof complex from hostile aircraft. The nearby former hotel "Türken" was turned into quarters to house the Reichssicherheitsdienst SS security men who patrolled the grounds of the Berghof, it was occupied by the Generalmajor of the Police. Whenever Hitler was in residence, members of the RSD and Führerbegleitkommando were present. While the RSD men patrolled the grounds, the FBK men provided close security protection for Hitler. Several Wehrmacht mountain troop units were housed nearby. Hence, the British never planned a direct attack on the compound. Guests at the Berghof included political figures, heads of state, diplomats along with painters and musicians; the important visitors greeted on the steps of the Berghof by Hitler included David Lloyd George, the Aga K
Berchtesgaden is a municipality in the Bavarian Alps of southeastern Germany. It is located in the south district of Berchtesgadener Land in Bavaria, near the border with Austria, some 30 km south of Salzburg and 180 km southeast of Munich. To the south of the city, Berchtesgaden National Park stretches along three parallel valleys. Berchtesgaden is associated with the Watzmann, at 2,713 m the third-highest mountain in Germany, renowned in the rock climbing community for its Ostwand, a deep glacial lake by the name of Königssee. Another notable peak is the Kehlstein mountain, with its Kehlsteinhaus. Berchtesgaden's neighbouring towns are Bischofswiesen, Marktschellenberg and Schönau am Königssee; the municipality counts the following villages which are: Am Etzerschlößl, Hintergern, Mitterbach, Obergern, Resten, Untersalzberg I, Untersalzberg II, Vordergern. Berchtesgaden, Upper Bavaria, earlier Perchterscadmen, Berchirchsgadem, Berchtoldesgadem. After the basic meaning was forgotten, they added a variant word of Old High German gadem ‘room, one-room hut’, implying the same meaning: ‘hay shed’.
Cf. Old High German muosgadem ‘spice room’. There was a folk etymology that supported a derivation based on the legendary figure of Frau Perchta, a woman with good and bad changing features, venerated on Perchtertag and at Shrovetide was sworn to during the Perchta procession. First historical note dates back to 1102 and it mentions the area because of its rich salt deposits. Much of Berchtesgaden's wealth has been derived from its salt mines, the first of which started operations in 1517; the town served as independent Fürstpropstei until the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss in 1803. During the Napoleonic wars, Berchtesgaden changed hands a few times, such as in 1805 under the Treaty of Pressburg, when the area was ceded to Austria. Salzburg was always interested in Berchtesgaden, French troops occupied the area a short time. Berchtesgaden came under Bavarian rule in 1810 and became popular with the Bavarian royal family, the House of Wittelsbach, who visited Königssee and maintained a royal hunting residence in the former Augustine monastery.
Nascent tourism started to evolve and a number of artists came to the area, which gave rise to Malereck on the shore of Königssee in nearby Ramsau bei Berchtesgaden. The most famous author who lived in Berchtesgaden was Ludwig Ganghofer. Adolf Hitler had been vacationing in the Berchtesgaden area since the 1920s, he purchased a home in the Obersalzberg above the town on the flank of the Hoher Goll and began extensive renovations on his Berghof in the following years. As other top Third Reich figures such as Hermann Göring, Joseph Goebbels, Martin Bormann, Heinrich Himmler and Albert Speer began to frequent the area the Party began to purchase and requisition land in the Obersalzberg. In order to serve as an outpost of the German Reichskanzlei and its environs saw substantial expansion of offices and support services on the Obersalzberg. Included in the town were a new railway station, with a reception area for Hitler and his guests, an adjacent post office; the Berchtesgadener Hof Hotel, where famous visitors such as Neville Chamberlain and David Lloyd George stayed, was upgraded.
The Kehlsteinhaus atop the Kehlstein subpeak of the Hoher Goll was built as a present for Hitler's 50th birthday in 1939. Though a feared "national redoubt" last stand of the Nazi Regime in the Alps failed to materialize late in World War II, the Allies launched a devastating air raid on the Berchtesgaden area in the spring of 1945. Concentrated on the Obersalzberg, the April 25 bombing did little damage to the town. On May 4, forward elements of the 7th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division arrived and received the town's surrender. After the war, Obersalzberg became a military zone and most of its buildings were requisitioned by the U. S. Army. Hotel Platterhof was rebuilt and renamed the General Walker Hotel in 1952, it served as an integral part of the U. S. Armed Forces Recreation Centers for the duration of the Cold War and beyond; the remnants of homes of former Nazi leaders were all demolished in the early postwar years, though traces of some remained. In 1995, fifty years after the end of World War II and five years after German reunification, the AFRC Berchtesgaden was turned over to Bavarian authorities to facilitate military spending reductions mandated within the Base Realignment and Closure program by the Congress and the Pentagon during the administration of President Bill Clinton.
The General Walker Hotel was demolished in 2000-01. In 1986, Berchtesgaden was a first round candidate city to host the XVI Olympic Winter Games to be held in 1992; the vote went to Albertville, France, in October of that year. The Hotel Türken, near the Nazi buildings and was used by the SS and by the Generalmajor of the Police, was badly damaged in 1945, it was reopened as a hotel before Christmas. Visitors can still explore the historic underground hallways and tunnels, used by the Nazis. In 1972, local government reform united the independent municipalities of Salzberg, Maria Gern and Au (consisting of Oberau and Unt
Bavaria the Free State of Bavaria, is a landlocked federal state of Germany, occupying its southeastern corner. With an area of 70,550.19 square kilometres, Bavaria is the largest German state by land area comprising a fifth of the total land area of Germany. With 13 million inhabitants, it is Germany's second-most-populous state after North Rhine-Westphalia. Bavaria's main cities are Nuremberg; the history of Bavaria includes its earliest settlement by Iron Age Celtic tribes, followed by the conquests of the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC, when the territory was incorporated into the provinces of Raetia and Noricum. It became a stem duchy in the 6th century AD following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, it was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire, became an independent kingdom, joined the Prussian-led German Empire while retaining its title of kingdom, became a state of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Duchy of Bavaria dates back to the year 555. In the 17th century AD, the Duke of Bavaria became a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Kingdom of Bavaria existed from 1806 to 1918. In 1946, the Free State of Bavaria re-organised itself on democratic lines after the Second World War. Bavaria has a unique culture because of the state's Catholic majority and conservative traditions. Bavarians have traditionally been proud of their culture, which includes a language, architecture, festivals such as Oktoberfest and elements of Alpine symbolism; the state has the second largest economy among the German states by GDP figures, giving it a status as a rather wealthy German region. Modern Bavaria includes parts of the historical regions of Franconia and Swabia; the Bavarians emerged in a region north of the Alps inhabited by Celts, part of the Roman provinces of Raetia and Noricum. The Bavarians spoke Old High German, unlike other Germanic groups, they did not migrate from elsewhere. Rather, they seem to have coalesced out of other groups left behind by the Roman withdrawal late in the 5th century; these peoples may have included the Celtic Boii, some remaining Romans, Allemanni, Thuringians, Scirians, Heruli.
The name "Bavarian" means "Men of Baia" which may indicate Bohemia, the homeland of the Celtic Boii and of the Marcomanni. They first appear in written sources circa 520. A 17th century Jewish chronicler David Solomon Ganz, citing Cyriacus Spangenberg, claimed that the diocese was named after an ancient Bohemian king, Boiia, in the 14th century BC. From about 554 to 788, the house of Agilolfing ruled the Duchy of Bavaria, ending with Tassilo III, deposed by Charlemagne. Three early dukes are named in Frankish sources: Garibald I may have been appointed to the office by the Merovingian kings and married the Lombard princess Walderada when the church forbade her to King Chlothar I in 555, their daughter, became Queen of the Lombards in northern Italy and Garibald was forced to flee to her when he fell out with his Frankish overlords. Garibald's successor, Tassilo I, tried unsuccessfully to hold the eastern frontier against the expansion of Slavs and Avars around 600. Tassilo's son Garibald II seems to have achieved a balance of power between 610 and 616.
After Garibald II little is known of the Bavarians until Duke Theodo I, whose reign may have begun as early as 680. From 696 onwards he invited churchmen from the west to organize churches and strengthen Christianity in his duchy, his son, led a decisive Bavarian campaign to intervene in a succession dispute in the Lombard Kingdom in 714, married his sister Guntrud to the Lombard King Liutprand. At Theodo's death the duchy was reunited under his grandson Hugbert. At Hugbert's death the duchy passed from neighboring Alemannia. Odilo issued a law code for Bavaria, completed the process of church organization in partnership with St. Boniface, tried to intervene in Frankish succession disputes by fighting for the claims of the Carolingian Grifo, he was defeated near Augsburg in 743 but continued to rule until his death in 748. Saint Boniface completed the people's conversion to Christianity in the early 8th century. Tassilo III succeeded his father at the age of eight after an unsuccessful attempt by Grifo to rule Bavaria.
He ruled under Frankish oversight but began to function independently from 763 onwards. He was noted for founding new monasteries and for expanding eastwards, fighting Slavs in the eastern Alps and along the River Danube and colonising these lands. After 781, his cousin Charlemagne began to pressure Tassilo to submit and deposed him in 788; the deposition was not legitimate. Dissenters attempted a coup against Charlemagne at Tassilo's old capital of Regensburg in 792, led by his own son Pépin the Hunchback; the king had to drag Tassilo out of imprisonment to formally renounce his rights and titles at the Assembly of Frankfurt in 794. This is the last appearance of Tassilo in the sources, he died a monk; as all of his family were forced into monasteries, this was the end of the Agilolfing dynasty. For the next 400 years numerous families held the duchy for more than three generations. With the revolt of duke Henry the Quarrelsome in 976, Bavaria lost large territories in the south and
Buxtehude the Hanseatic City of Buxtehude, is a town on the Este River in Northern Germany, belonging to the district of Stade in Lower Saxony. It is part of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region and attached to the city's S-Bahn rapid transit network. Buxtehude is the second largest municipality in the Stade district, it lies on the southern border of the Altes Land in close proximity to the city-state of Hamburg. To the west lie the towns of Horneburg and Stade and to the south there are a number of incorporated villages featuring upscale housing, e.g. Ottensen and Apensen. Early signs of settlements are the Daensen folding chair from a Bronze Age tumulus near Daensen and the Ovelgönne bread roll from the Pre-Roman Iron Age of Northern Europe, found in a loam mine in Ovelgönne. In 959 a settlement by the Este river is first recorded; the manor of "Buochstadon" is given to the Abbey of Magdeburg. Soon a wharf, "Hude", is established. In 1135 the settlement is mentioned as "Buchstadihude" in a reference to the success of trade from the quay.
In 1180 the Duchy of Saxony, to which "Buchstadihude" belonged, is dissolved. Buxtehude becomes part of the Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen, newly upgraded to imperial immediacy it became one of the many successor states of the Duchy of Saxony. Ecclesiastically Buxtehude remained a part of the Diocese of Verden until Catholicism was overthrown in the Reformation with that diocese remaining vacant since 1644. In 1197 two royal settlers found a Benedictine Monastery near the village. Owing to the fertile soil and a partial participation in the saline of Lüneburg wealth and population increase. In 1280 the prince-archbishop Giselbert of Bremen orders the settlement to be protected by defensive walls and fortifications including 5 zwingers, 7 peels and 3 town gates. In 1328 the town hall is mentioned for the first time and the settlement is granted full town privileges, based on the law of Hamburg. By now "Buxtehude" is self-governing and growing into a centre of trade. In 1485 the immensely wealthy "Master Halepaghen", cousin and tutor of the burgomaster of Hamburg and donates his assets to the town for scholarships and charitable purposes.
In 1542 the town council of Buxtehude adopted Lutheranism within its domain. In 1600s Hanseatic trade declines and the most important area of trade is in cattle. Apart from Stade, Buxtehude is the only crossing point on the Elbe river. In 1645 Buxtehude loses its independence. Trade and population decrease dramatically. In 1648 the Prince-Archbishopric of Bremen was converted to the Duchy of Bremen, first ruled in personal union by the Swedes and from 1715 on by the Hanoverian Crown. 1769 the monastery is demolished owing to secularization. In 1823 the Duchy was abolished and its territory became part of the Stade Region. In 1837 the link road through the town reanimates trade. 1845 is dominated by industrial boom with a paper factory being installed on the former cloister ground. In 1945 the population grows to 14,000. Much living space in Hamburg was in ruins and people fled to the suburbs and surrounding towns and villages such as Buxtehude. In 1958 Buxtehude became part of the plan for the reconstruction of Hamburg after the war and thus was funded by the government.
Lower Saxony incorporates 9 neighbouring villages into the town in 1972 changing the structure of Buxtehude and creating a cluster of more than 30,000 inhabitants. In 1983 the old part of town is pedestrianized. In 1985 town twinning with Blagnac is undertaken. In 1990 Ribnitz-Damgarten in the former German Democratic Republic becomes the second twin town. Since 1881 Buxtehude has had its own railroad station on the R50 line between Cuxhaven. In late 2007 this line was added to the rapid transit system of the Hamburg S-Bahn by the HVV. Since 1928 there has been a second railroad line crossing Buxtehude, the EVB, between Hamburg's outermost district and Bremerhaven on the coast of the North Sea; the Este river connects the town to the important Elbe river 6 miles north. Earlier in history this connection was used to ship goods into the small harbour, which still exists but has become less accessible due to town developments and aggradation. A major highway, scheduled for completion in 2012, is to connect the town to Hamburg.
In April 2019 the unemployment rate in Buxtehude was 3,8% Several major companies are located in Buxtehude: Airbus S. A. S, the commercial aircraft manufacturer Unilever, an Anglo-Dutch company in the personal care and food sector. KID-Systeme GmbH, a Buxtehude-based supplier for aeroplane cabin electronics INTERPANE, a German manufacturer of insulation glass Harros Krämerladen, a large German supermarket corporation Pioneer Hi-Bred, a subdivision of the US-based chemical producer DuPont and exporter of seeds Nord Kalksandsteinwerke, a German producer of lime sand bricks and other building material Niederelbe Schifffahrtsgesselleschaft, German container shipping companies Implantcast GmbH, German manufacturer of orthopaedic implants, such as artificial hips and knees Buxtehude is sometimes called the "Fairytale Capital of the World," an epithet that it shares with e.g. Kassel; the tale of "The Hare and the Hedgehog" by the Brothers Grimm is set in this town. Furthermore, the name is used in numerous German tales.
And thus some people claim that the town of Buxtehude does not exist. The German saying "...nach Buxtehude jagen" (literally: "to chase somebody off to Buxtehud
Munich is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria, the second most populous German federal state. With a population of around 1.5 million, it is the third-largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, as well as the 12th-largest city in the European Union. The city's metropolitan region is home to 6 million people. Straddling the banks of the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps, it is the seat of the Bavarian administrative region of Upper Bavaria, while being the most densely populated municipality in Germany. Munich is the second-largest city in the Bavarian dialect area, after the Austrian capital of Vienna; the city is a global centre of art, technology, publishing, innovation, education and tourism and enjoys a high standard and quality of living, reaching first in Germany and third worldwide according to the 2018 Mercer survey, being rated the world's most liveable city by the Monocle's Quality of Life Survey 2018. According to the Globalization and World Rankings Research Institute Munich is considered an alpha-world city, as of 2015.
Munich is a major international center of engineering, science and research, exemplified by the presence of two research universities, a multitude of scientific institutions in the city and its surroundings, world class technology and science museums like the Deutsches Museum and BMW Museum.. Munich houses many multinational companies and its economy is based on high tech, the service sector and creative industries, as well as IT, biotechnology and electronics among many others; the name of the city is derived from the Old/Middle High German term Munichen, meaning "by the monks". It derives from the monks of the Benedictine order, who ran a monastery at the place, to become the Old Town of Munich. Munich was first mentioned in 1158. Catholic Munich resisted the Reformation and was a political point of divergence during the resulting Thirty Years' War, but remained physically untouched despite an occupation by the Protestant Swedes. Once Bavaria was established as a sovereign kingdom in 1806, it became a major European centre of arts, architecture and science.
In 1918, during the German Revolution, the ruling house of Wittelsbach, which had governed Bavaria since 1180, was forced to abdicate in Munich and a short-lived socialist republic was declared. In the 1920s, Munich became home to several political factions, among them the NSDAP; the first attempt of the Nazi movement to take over the German government in 1923 with the Beer Hall Putsch was stopped by the Bavarian police in Munich with gunfire. After the Nazis' rise to power, Munich was declared their "Capital of the Movement". During World War II, Munich was bombed and more than 50% of the entire city and up to 90% of the historic centre were destroyed. After the end of postwar American occupation in 1949, there was a great increase in population and economic power during the years of Wirtschaftswunder, or "economic miracle". Unlike many other German cities which were bombed, Munich restored most of its traditional cityscape and hosted the 1972 Summer Olympics; the 1980s brought strong economic growth, high-tech industries and scientific institutions, population growth.
The city is home to major corporations like BMW, Siemens, MAN, Linde and MunichRE. Munich is home to many universities and theatres, its numerous architectural attractions, sports events and its annual Oktoberfest attract considerable tourism. Munich is one of the fastest growing cities in Germany, it is a top-ranked destination for expatriate location. Munich hosts more than 530,000 people of foreign background; the first known settlement in the area was of Benedictine monks on the Salt road. The foundation date is not considered the year 1158, the date the city was first mentioned in a document; the document was signed in Augsburg. By the Guelph Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria, had built a toll bridge over the river Isar next to the monk settlement and on the salt route, but as part of the archaeological excavations at Marienhof in advance of the expansion of the S-Bahn from 2012 shards of vessels from the eleventh century were found, which prove again that the settlement Munich must be older than their first documentary mention from 1158.
In 1175 Munich received city fortification. In 1180 with the trial of Henry the Lion, Otto I Wittelsbach became Duke of Bavaria, Munich was handed to the Bishop of Freising. In 1240, Munich was transferred to Otto II Wittelsbach and in 1255, when the Duchy of Bavaria was split in two, Munich became the ducal residence of Upper Bavaria. Duke Louis IV, a native of Munich, was elected German king in 1314 and crowned as Holy Roman Emperor in 1328, he strengthened the city's position by granting it the salt monopoly, thus assuring it of additional income. In the late 15th century, Munich underwent a revival of gothic arts: the Old Town Hall was enlarged, Munich's largest gothic church – the Frauenkirche – now a cathedral, was constructed in only 20 years, starting in 1468; when Bavaria was reunited in 1506, Munich became its capital. The arts and politics became influenced by the court. During the 16th century, Munich was a centre of the German counter reformation, of renaissance arts. Duke Wilhelm V commissioned the Jesuit Michaelskirche, which became a centre for the counter-reform
Strategic bombing during World War II
Strategic bombing during World War II was the sustained aerial attack on railways, cities, workers' and civilian housing, industrial districts in enemy territory during World War II. Strategic bombing is a military strategy, distinct from both close air support of ground forces and tactical air power. During World War II, it was believed by many military strategists of air power that major victories could be won by attacking industrial and political infrastructure, rather than purely military targets. Strategic bombing involved bombing areas inhabited by civilians and some campaigns were deliberately designed to target civilian populations in order to terrorize and disrupt their usual activities. International law at the outset of World War II did not forbid aerial bombardment of cities despite the prior occurrence of such bombing during World War I, the Spanish Civil War, the Second Sino-Japanese War. Strategic bombing during World War II began on 1 September 1939 when Germany invaded Poland and the Luftwaffe began bombing cities and the civilian population in Poland in an indiscriminate aerial bombardment campaign.
As the war continued to expand, bombing by both the Axis and the Allies increased significantly. The Royal Air Force began bombing Germany in March 1940. In September 1940, the Luftwaffe began targeting British cities in'The Blitz'. After the beginning of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, the Luftwaffe attacked Soviet cities and infrastructure. From 1942 onward, the British bombing campaign against Germany became less restrictive and targeted industrial sites and civilian areas; when the United States began flying bombing missions against Germany, it reinforced these efforts and controversial firebombings were carried out against Hamburg and other German cities. In the Pacific War, the Japanese bombed civilian populations throughout the war; the US air raids on Japan began in earnest in October 1944 and by March 1945 had started their escalation into widespread firebombing, which culminated in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August 1945, respectively. The effect of strategic bombing was debated during and after the war.
Both the Luftwaffe and RAF failed to deliver a knockout blow by destroying enemy morale. However some argued that strategic bombing of non-military targets could reduce enemy industrial capacity and production and in the opinion of its interwar period proponents, the surrender of Japan vindicated strategic bombing; the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, which address the codes of wartime conduct on land and at sea, were adopted before the rise of air power. Despite repeated diplomatic attempts to update international humanitarian law to include aerial warfare, it was not updated before the outbreak of World War II; the absence of specific international humanitarian law did not mean aerial warfare was not covered under the laws of war, but rather that there was no general agreement of how to interpret those laws. This means that aerial bombardment of civilian areas in enemy territory by all major belligerents during World War II was not prohibited by positive or specific customary international humanitarian law.
Many reasons exist for the absence of international law regarding aerial bombing in World War II. Most nations had refused to ratify such laws or agreements because of the vague or impractical wording in treaties such as the 1923 Hague Rules of Air Warfare; the major powers' possession of newly developed advanced bombers was a great military advantage. In the absence of specific laws relating to aerial warfare, the belligerents' aerial forces at the start of World War II used the 1907 Hague Conventions — signed and ratified by most major powers — as the customary standard to govern their conduct in warfare, these conventions were interpreted by both sides to allow the indiscriminate bombing of enemy cities throughout the war. General Telford Taylor, Chief Counsel for War Crimes at the Nuremberg Trials, wrote that: If the first badly bombed cities — Warsaw, Rotterdam and London — suffered at the hands of the Germans and not the Allies, nonetheless the ruins of German and Japanese cities were the results not of reprisal but of deliberate policy, bore witness that aerial bombardment of cities and factories has become a recognized part of modern warfare as carried out by all nations.
Article 25 of the 1899 and 1907 Hague Conventions on Land Warfare did not provide a clear guideline on the extent to which civilians may be spared. Cyclical arguments, such as those advanced by Italian general and air power theorist Giulio Douhet, do not appear to violate any of the Convention's provisions. Due to these reasons, the Allies at the Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials never criminalized aerial bombardment of non-combatant targets and Axis leaders who ordered a similar type of practice were not prosecuted. Chris Jochnick and Roger Normand in their article The Legitimation of Violence 1: A Critical History of the Laws of War explains that: "By leaving out morale bombing and other attacks on civilians unchallenged, the Tribunal conferred legal legitimacy on such practices." Before World War II began, the rapid pace of aviation technology created a belief that groups of bombers would be capable of devastating cities. For example, British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin warned in 1932, "The bomber will always get through".
When the war began on 1 September 1939 with Germany's invasion of Poland, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the neutral United States, issued an appeal to the major belligerents to confin
Switzerland the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities; the sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2. While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of 8.5 million people is concentrated on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648; the country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation.
It pursues an active foreign policy and is involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz. On coins and stamps, the Latin name – shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.
Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness and human development. Zürich and Basel have all three been ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the first ranked second globally, according to Mercer in 2018; the English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, an obsolete term for the Swiss, in use during the 16th to 19th centuries. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse in use since the 16th century; the name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, one of the Waldstätten cantons which formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy. The Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of 1499, used alongside the term for "Confederates", used since the 14th century.
The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes perhaps related to swedan ‘to burn’, referring to the area of forest, burned and cleared to build; the name was extended to the area dominated by the canton, after the Swabian War of 1499 came to be used for the entire Confederation. The Swiss German name of the country, Schwiiz, is homophonous to that of the canton and the settlement, but distinguished by the use of the definite article; the Latin name Confoederatio Helvetica was neologized and introduced after the formation of the federal state in 1848, harking back to the Napoleonic Helvetic Republic, appearing on coins from 1879, inscribed on the Federal Palace in 1902 and after 1948 used in the official seal.. Helvetica is derived from the Helvetii, a Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era. Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a 1672 play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach.
Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The precursors of Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century, forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries; the oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about 150,000 years. The oldest known farming settlements in Switzerland, which were found at Gächlingen, have been dated to around 5300 BC; the earliest known cultural tribes of the area were members of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel. La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age from around 450 BC under some influence from the Gree