A birthday is an occasion when a person or institution celebrates the anniversary of their birth. Birthdays are celebrated in numerous cultures, often with a gift, many religions celebrate the birth of their founders with special holidays. There is a distinction between birthday and birthdate, The former, other than February 29, occurs each year, in most legal systems, one becomes designated as an adult on a particular birthday, and reaching age-specific milestones confers particular rights and responsibilities. Most countries set the age of majority between 18 and 21, in some Hispanic countries, as well as in Portuguese-speaking Brazil, the quinceañera or festa de quinze anos celebration traditionally marks a girls 15th birthday. In Nepal and India, on a childs first birthday, their head is shaved while being held by a special fire, removal of the hair is believed to cleanse the child of any evil in past lives, and symbolizes a renewal of the soul. Hindu male children of some castes, like Brahmins, have the 12th or 13th birthday replaced with a grand thread ceremony, the child takes a blessed thread and wears it, symbolizing his coming of age.
In the Philippines, a party called a debut is held for girls on their 18th birthday. In some Asian countries that follow the calendar, there is a tradition of celebrating the 60th birthday. In Korea, many celebrate a traditional ceremony of Baek-il and Doljanchi, in Japan there is a Coming of Age Day, for all of those who have turned 20 years of age. In British Commonwealth nations cards from the Royal Family are sent to those celebrating their 100th and 105th birthday, in Ghana, on their birthday, children wake up to a special treat called oto which is a patty made from mashed sweet potato and eggs fried in palm oil. Later they have a party where they usually eat stew and rice and a dish known as kelewele. Jewish boys have a bar mitzvah on their 13th birthday, jewish girls have a bat mitzvah on their 12th birthday, or sometimes on their 13th birthday in Reform and Conservative Judaism. This marks the transition where they become obligated in commandments of which they were exempted and are counted as part of the community.
The birthdays of historically significant people, such as heroes or founders, are often commemorated by an official holiday marking the anniversary of their birth. Catholic saints are remembered by a liturgical feast on the anniversary of their birth into heaven a. k. a. their day of death. The ancient Romans marked the anniversary of a dedication or other founding event as a dies natalis. A persons golden or grand birthday, referred to as their birthday, champagne birthday, or star birthday. An individuals Beddian birthday, named in tribute to firefighter Bobby Beddia, in many cultures and jurisdictions, if a persons real birthday is not known, their birthday may be considered to be January 1
Order of Leopold II
The Order of Leopold II is an order of Belgium and is named in honor of King Léopold II. The decoration was established on 24 August 1900 by Leopold II as king of the Congo Free State and was in 1908, upon Congo being handed over to Belgium, incorporated into the Belgian awards system. The order is awarded for service to the sovereign of Belgium. It can be awarded to both Belgians and foreigners, the order has become a long service order for people in the civil service and is awarded alternatively with the Order of the Crown, as the Order of Leopold is awarded under rarer circumstances. The order currently stands third after the Order of Leopold and the Order of the Crown in the Belgian honors hierarchy, the Order of Leopold II is awarded by royal decree. The badge of the Order is a metal Maltese Cross, in silver for the Knight class and in gold for the higher classes, with a wreath of laurel leaves of the same metal between the arms of the cross. The obverse central disc features a lion on a black enamel background surrounded by a blue ring with the motto Unity Is Strength in French.
The badge is topped by a crown of the same metal, the plaque for Grand Cross is a faceted silver five-pointed star with golden rays between the branches of the star. The centre shows the obverse of a commanders cross, the plaque for Grand Officer is a faceted five-armed Maltese Asterisk, with golden rays between the arms. The centre shows the obverse of an officers cross, the medal shows the shape of the Order badge imprinted in a metal shape that is vaguely octagonal and looks like a closed florian cross. The metal of the Medal is gold for the Gold Medal, Silver for the Silver Medal, the ribbon of the Order is blue with a central black stripe. Stars and borders or stripes can be awarded together, but these deviations are currently only rarely awarded, the central stripe of the ribbon was white, as blue and white were the colours of the Congo Free State. A number of different regulations rule the award of National Order for the various ministries, in addition, the National Orders may be awarded by the King for especially meritorious deeds.
The Royal Decrees are published in the Belgian Official Journal, the Minister responsible for Foreign Affairs, currently the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, administers the national orders and has a role of advisor in cases not fitting within a regulation. For the award of National Orders for persons to which no regulation apply or has been adopted, except in some specific cases, one cannot be awarded a National Order at a level below the highest that the recipient has already received. People who are the subject of criminal proceedings will usually not be awarded a National Order until they are declared not guilty, for awards to military personnel, there is no minimum age requirement. In its early days, the Order of Leopold II awarded to pilots was adorned with a bar for one hundred hours flown. This is in particular the case for commissioned officers who have been adjutant to the King or Crown Prince, who are usually awarded the Order at the rank of commander
Leopold II of Belgium
Leopold II was the second King of the Belgians, known for the founding and exploitation of the Congo Free State as a private venture. Born in Brussels as the son of Leopold I and Louise of Orléans, he succeeded his father to the Belgian throne in 1865. His was the longest reign of any Belgian monarch and he died without surviving male issue, the current Belgian king descends from his nephew and successor, Albert I. Leopold was the founder and sole owner of the Congo Free State and he used explorer Henry Morton Stanley to help him lay claim to the Congo, an area now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the Berlin Conference of 1884–1885, the nations of Europe authorized his claim by committing the Congo Free State to improving the lives of the native inhabitants. From the beginning, Leopold essentially ignored these conditions and he ran the Congo using the mercenary Force Publique for his personal enrichment. He used great sums of the money from this exploitation for public and he donated the private buildings to the state before his death, to preserve them for Belgium.
Under his regime millions of the Congolese people died, modern estimates range from 1 to 15 million, human rights abuses under his regime contributed significantly to these deaths. Leopold was born in Brussels on 9 April 1835 and he was the second child of the reigning Belgian monarch, Leopold I, and his second wife, the daughter of King Louis Philippe of France. The French Revolution of 1848, which spared Belgium, had forced Louis Philippe to flee to the United Kingdom, the royal families of Belgium and the United Kingdom were linked by numerous marriages, and were additionally both descended from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Louis Philippe died two years later, in 1850, Leopolds fragile mother was deeply affected by the death of her father, and her health deteriorated. She died that year, when Leopold was 15 years old. Three years later, in 1853 at the age of 18, Marie Henriette was a cousin of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, and granddaughter of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor through her father, Austrian archduke Joseph.
Marie Henriette was lively and energetic, and endeared herself to the people by her character and benevolence and she was an accomplished artist and musician. She was passionate about horseback riding to the point that she would care for her horses personally, some joked about this marriage of a stableman and a nun, the shy and withdrawn Leopold referred to as the nun. Four children were born of marriage, three daughters and one son, named Leopold. The younger Leopold died in 1869 at the age of nine from pneumonia after falling into a pond and his death was a source of great sorrow for King Leopold, who lost his only heir. The marriage had become unhappy, and the couple separated completely after a last attempt to have another son, in 1895 Marie Henriette retreated to Spa
World War II
World War II, known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the worlds countries—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing alliances, the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. Marked by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust and the bombing of industrial and population centres. These made World War II the deadliest conflict in human history, from late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, and 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. In December 1941, Japan attacked the United States and European colonies in the Pacific Ocean, and quickly conquered much of the Western Pacific.
The Axis advance halted in 1942 when Japan lost the critical Battle of Midway, near Hawaii, in 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained all of its territorial losses and invaded Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in South Central China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy, thus ended the war in Asia, cementing the total victory of the Allies. World War II altered the political alignment and social structure of the world, the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The victorious great powers—the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 46 years. Meanwhile, the influence of European great powers waned, while the decolonisation of Asia, most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic recovery.
Political integration, especially in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities, the start of the war in Europe is generally held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland and France declared war on Germany two days later. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or even 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 simultaneously and 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 forces of Mongolia and the Soviet Union from May to September 1939, the exact date of the wars end is not universally agreed upon.
It was generally accepted at the time that the war ended with the armistice of 14 August 1945, rather than the formal surrender of Japan
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany and the North Sea. It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres and has a population of about 11 million people. Additionally, there is a group of German-speakers who live in the East Cantons located around the High Fens area. Historically, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, the region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three regions and three communities, that exist next to each other and its two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region is a bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia, Belgiums linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments.
Upon its independence, declared in 1830, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Belgium is a member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO. Its capital, hosts several of the EUs official seats as well as the headquarters of major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium is a part of the Schengen Area, Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy and is categorized as very high in the Human Development Index. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings, a gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 14th and 15th centuries, the Eighty Years War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands.
The latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and this was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, although the franchise was initially restricted, universal suffrage for men was introduced after the general strike of 1893 and for women in 1949. The main political parties of the 19th century were the Catholic Party, French was originally the single official language adopted by the nobility and the bourgeoisie
Albert I of Belgium
Albert I reigned as King of the Belgians from 1909 to 1934. This was a period in the History of Belgium, which included the period of World War I, when 90 percent of Belgium was overrun, occupied. King Albert died in a accident in eastern Belgium in 1934, at the age of 58. Born Albert Léopold Clément Marie Meinrad in Brussels, he was the child and second son of Prince Philippe, Count of Flanders. Prince Philippe was the son of Leopold I, the first King of the Belgians, and his wife, Marie-Louise of France. Princess Marie was a relative of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, Albert grew up in the Palace of Flanders, initially as third in the line of succession to the Belgian throne as his reigning Uncle Leopold IIs son had already died. Retiring and studious, Albert prepared himself strenuously for the task of kingship, shortly before his accession to the throne in 1909, Albert undertook an extensive tour of the Belgian Congo, which had been annexed by Belgium in 1908, finding the country in poor condition.
Upon his return to Belgium, he recommended reforms to protect the native population and he was the 1, 152nd Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece in Austria and the 851st Knight of the Order of the Garter in 1914. Albert was married in Munich on 2 October 1900 to Duchess Elisabeth Gabrielle Valérie Marie in Bavaria, a Wittelsbach princess whom he had met at a family funeral. A daughter of Karl-Theodor, Duke in Bavaria, and his wife, the Infanta Maria Josepha of Portugal, she was born at Possenhofen Castle, Germany, on 25 July 1876, and died on 23 November 1965. Based on the letters written during their engagement and marriage the couple appear to have been deeply in love. The letters express a mutual affection based on a rare affinity of spirit. They make clear that Albert and Elisabeth continually supported and encouraged each other in their roles as king. The spouses shared a commitment to their country and family. Together, they cultivated the friendship of prominent scientists, mathematicians, charles-Théodore Henri Antoine Meinrad, Count of Flanders, Prince of Belgium, Regent of Belgium.
Marie José Charlotte Sophie Amélie Henriette Gabrielle, Princess of Belgium and she was married at Rome, Italy on 8 January 1930 to Prince Umberto Nicola Tommaso Giovanni Maria, Prince of Piemonte. He became King Umberto II of Italy, following the death of his uncle, Leopold II, Albert succeeded to the Belgian throne in December 1909, since Alberts own father had already died in 1905. Previous Belgian kings had taken the royal accession oath only in French, an important aspect of the early years of Alberts reign was his institution of many reforms in the administration of the Belgian Congo, Belgiums only colonial possession
Philippe of Belgium
Philippe is the seventh king of the Belgians, having ascended the throne on 21 July 2013, following his fathers abdication. He is the eldest child of King Albert II, whom he succeeded upon Alberts abdication for health reasons and he married Countess Mathilde dUdekem dAcoz, with whom he has four children. King Philippes elder daughter, Princess Elisabeth, is next in the line of succession, Philippe was born on 15 April 1960 during the reign of his uncle, King Baudouin of Belgium. His father, Prince Albert, Prince of Liège was the son of King Leopold III of Belgium. His mother, Princess of Liège, is a daughter of Italian aristocrat Fulco VIII, Prince Ruffo di Calabria, 6th Duke of Guardia Lombarda. His mother descends from the French House of La Fayette, and he was born at the Belvédère Castle in Laeken north of Brussels. He was baptised one month at the church of Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg in Brussels on 17 May and his godparents were his paternal grandfather, King Leopold III, and his maternal grandmother, Donna Luisa, Princess Ruffo di Calabria.
From 1978 to 1981, Philippe was educated at the Belgian Royal Military Academy in the 118th Promotion Toutes Armes, on 26 September 1980, he was appointed second lieutenant and took the officers oath. He continued his education at Trinity College, Oxford and he attended school at Stanford University, California. He obtained his pilots wings and his certificates as a parachutist. In 1989, he attended a series of sessions at the Royal Higher Defence Institute. The same year, he was promoted to Colonel, on 25 March 2001, the Prince was appointed to the rank of Major-General in the Land Component and the Air Component and to the rank of Rear-Admiral in the Naval Component. He succeeded his father, who had been Honorary Chairman of the BFTB since 1962, on 3 May 2003, Philippe was appointed Honorary chairman of the board of the Foreign Trade Agency, replacing the BFTB. In this capacity, Philippe has headed more than 60 economic missions, upon his accession as seventh King of the Belgians, this role was taken over by his sister Princess Astrid.
King Albert II announced on 3 July 2013 that he would abdicate in favour of Philippe on 21 July 2013, approximately one hour after King Albert IIs abdication, Prince Philippe was sworn in as King of the Belgians. His eldest child, Princess Elisabeth became his heir apparent and is expected to become Belgiums first queen regnant,26 September 1980 –21 March 1983, Belgian Air Force, Second lieutenant. January – end March 1983, Platoon leader, 15th Comp, 3rd Parachutists Battalion of the Paracommando Regt 21 March 1983 –1 December 1989, Belgian Air Force, Captain. 1 December 1989 –5 April 2001, Belgian Air Force, Colonel Belgian Army, since 21 July 2013, Belgian Air Component, General Belgian Land Component, General Belgian Marine Component, Admiral
The Korean War began when North Korea invaded South Korea. The United Nations, with the United States as the principal force, China came to the aid of North Korea, and the Soviet Union gave some assistance. Korea was ruled by Japan from 1910 until the days of World War II. In August 1945, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, as a result of an agreement with the United States, U. S. forces subsequently moved into the south. By 1948, as a product of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, Korea was split into two regions, with separate governments, both governments claimed to be the legitimate government of all of Korea, and neither side accepted the border as permanent. The conflict escalated into open warfare when North Korean forces—supported by the Soviet Union, on that day, the United Nations Security Council recognized this North Korean act as invasion and called for an immediate ceasefire. On 27 June, the Security Council adopted S/RES/83, Complaint of aggression upon the Republic of Korea and decided the formation, twenty-one countries of the United Nations eventually contributed to the UN force, with the United States providing 88% of the UNs military personnel.
After the first two months of war, South Korean forces were on the point of defeat, forced back to the Pusan Perimeter, in September 1950, an amphibious UN counter-offensive was launched at Inchon, and cut off many North Korean troops. Those who escaped envelopment and capture were rapidly forced back north all the way to the border with China at the Yalu River, at this point, in October 1950, Chinese forces crossed the Yalu and entered the war. Chinese intervention triggered a retreat of UN forces which continued until mid-1951, after these reversals of fortune, which saw Seoul change hands four times, the last two years of fighting became a war of attrition, with the front line close to the 38th parallel. The war in the air, was never a stalemate, North Korea was subject to a massive bombing campaign. Jet fighters confronted each other in combat for the first time in history. The fighting ended on 27 July 1953, when an armistice was signed, the agreement created the Korean Demilitarized Zone to separate North and South Korea, and allowed the return of prisoners.
However, no treaty has been signed, and the two Koreas are technically still at war. Periodic clashes, many of which are deadly, continue to the present, in the U. S. the war was initially described by President Harry S. Truman as a police action as it was an undeclared military action, conducted under the auspices of the United Nations. In South Korea, the war is referred to as 625 or the 6–2–5 Upheaval. In North Korea, the war is referred to as the Fatherland Liberation War or alternatively the Chosǒn War. In China, the war is called the War to Resist U. S
The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with employers. The most common purpose of these associations or unions is maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment and this may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring and promotion of workers, workplace safety and policies. Unions may organize a section of skilled workers, a cross-section of workers from various trades. The agreements negotiated by a union are binding on the rank and file members, originating in Great Britain, trade unions became popular in many countries during the Industrial Revolution. Trade unions may be composed of workers, past workers, students. Trade union density, or the percentage of workers belonging to a union, is highest in the Nordic countries. The trade unions aim at nothing less than to prevent the reduction of wages below the level that is maintained in the various branches of industry.
That is to say, they wish to prevent the price of labour-power from falling below its value, yet historian R. A. the other the aggressive-expansionist drive to unite all labouring men and women for a different order of things. The 18th century economist Adam Smith noted the imbalance in the rights of workers in regards to owners. In The Wealth of Nations, Book I, chapter 8, Smith wrote, We rarely hear, it has said, of the combination of masters. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labor above their actual rate When workers combine, masters. As Smith noted, unions were illegal for many years in most countries, there were severe penalties for attempting to organize unions, up to and including execution. This pool of unskilled and semi-skilled labour spontaneously organized in fits and starts throughout its beginnings, Trade unions and collective bargaining were outlawed from no than the middle of the 14th century when the Ordinance of Labourers was enacted in the Kingdom of England.
In 1799, the Combination Act was passed, which banned trade unions, although the unions were subject to often severe repression until 1824, they were already widespread in cities such as London. Sympathy for the plight of the workers brought repeal of the acts in 1824, by the 1810s, the first labour organizations to bring together workers of divergent occupations were formed. Possibly the first such union was the General Union of Trades, known as the Philanthropic Society, the latter name was to hide the organizations real purpose in a time when trade unions were still illegal. The Association quickly enrolled approximately 150 unions, consisting mostly of textile related unions, but including mechanics and various others
The cross is a white eight-pointed cross having the form of four V-shaped elements, each joining the others at its vertex, leaving the other two tips spread outward symmetrically. This is placed on a red background or worn on a black mantle, the term is often wrongly applied to all forms of eight-pointed crosses irrespective of colour or background. The geometric shape of a cross is found in antiquity. The association with Amalfi may go back to the 11th century, claims by Amalfi that it first appears on their coins in the 11th century is only a reference to a common style of the 8-point cross pattee. Therefore, Amalfis claim to the Maltese Cross is through extension from the founder of the order, the term Amalfi Cross only developed after the 8-point cross was introduced on Malta in 1567. The Knights Hospitaller during the Crusades used a plain Latin cross, these 8-points do not signify that the shape required was that of the four-arrowhead form of 1567, or anything near it, as there are many variants of an 8-point cross.
The association with Malta arose after the Knights Hospitaller moved from Rhodes to Malta in 1530, the first evidence for use of the Maltese Cross on Malta appears on the 2 Tarì and 4 Tarì Copper coins of the Grand Master Jean Parisot de Valette. The 2 and 4 Tarì Copper coins are dated 1567 and this provides a date for the introduction of the Maltese Cross. The Maltese cross was depicted on the two mils coin in the old Maltese currency and is now shown on the back of the one and two Euro coins, introduced in January 2008. John remains the symbol of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, of the Order of Saint John and its orders, of the Venerable Order of Saint John. In past centuries, numerous other orders have adopted the cross as part of their insignia. In Australia, the cross is part of the state emblem of Queensland. In 1967, flight tests were conducted at Fort Rucker, Alabama, to determine the most highly visible, however, in the late 1970s, the FAA administrator repealed this standard when it was charged that the Maltese Cross was anti-semitic.
In the United States today, there are still some helipads that remain bearing their original Maltese Cross emblem, the Maltese cross is displayed as part of the Maltese civil ensign. The Maltese euro coins of one and two euro denomination carry the Maltese cross and it is the trademark of Air Malta, Maltas national airline. Austrias two highest decorations, the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria and the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art, have the eight-pointed Cross as their basis. In Belgium, the cross is the basis of two of the countrys royal orders of merit, the Order of Leopold and the Order of Leopold II. The Order of Bravery is the highest military decoration of the Kingdom of Bulgaria and of the Republic of Bulgaria, the Pour le Mérite, Imperial Germanys highest award for military valor, was a blue-enameled Eight-pointed Cross with golden eagles between the arms
Nazi Germany is the common English name for the period in German history from 1933 to 1945, when Germany was governed by a dictatorship under the control of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Under Hitlers rule, Germany was transformed into a fascist state in which the Nazi Party took totalitarian control over all aspects of life. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich from 1933 to 1943, the period is known under the names the Third Reich and the National Socialist Period. The Nazi regime came to an end after the Allied Powers defeated Germany in May 1945, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933. The Nazi Party began to eliminate all opposition and consolidate its power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934, and Hitler became dictator of Germany by merging the powers and offices of the Chancellery, a national referendum held 19 August 1934 confirmed Hitler as sole Führer of Germany. All power was centralised in Hitlers person, and his word became above all laws, the government was not a coordinated, co-operating body, but a collection of factions struggling for power and Hitlers favour.
In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazis restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending, extensive public works were undertaken, including the construction of Autobahnen. The return to economic stability boosted the regimes popularity, especially antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime. The Germanic peoples were considered by the Nazis to be the purest branch of the Aryan race, millions of Jews and other peoples deemed undesirable by the state were murdered in the Holocaust. Opposition to Hitlers rule was ruthlessly suppressed, members of the liberal and communist opposition were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. The Christian churches were oppressed, with many leaders imprisoned, education focused on racial biology, population policy, and fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, and the 1936 Summer Olympics showcased the Third Reich on the international stage.
Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, the government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others. Beginning in the late 1930s, Nazi Germany made increasingly aggressive territorial demands and it seized Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939. Hitler made a pact with Joseph Stalin and invaded Poland in September 1939. In alliance with Italy and smaller Axis powers, Germany conquered most of Europe by 1940, reichskommissariats took control of conquered areas, and a German administration was established in what was left of Poland. Jews and others deemed undesirable were imprisoned, murdered in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps, following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the tide gradually turned against the Nazis, who suffered major military defeats in 1943