Erich Honecker was a German politician who, as the General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party, led the German Democratic Republic from 1971 until the weeks preceding the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. From 1976 onward he was the country's official head of state as chairman of the State Council following Willi Stoph's relinquishment of the post. Honecker's political career began in the 1930s when he became an official of the Communist Party of Germany, a position for which he was imprisoned during the Nazi era. Following World War II, he was freed and soon relaunched his political activities, founding the youth organisation the Free German Youth in 1946 and serving as the group's chairman until 1955; as the Security Secretary of the Party’s Central Committee in the new East Germany, he was the prime organiser of the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961 and, in this function, bore responsibility for the "order to fire" along the Inner German border. In 1970, he initiated a political power struggle that led, with Leonid Brezhnev's support, to his replacing Walter Ulbricht as First Secretary of the Central Committee and as chairman of the state's National Defense Council.
Under his command, the country adopted a programme of "consumer socialism" and moved toward the international community by normalising relations with West Germany and becoming a full member of the UN, in what is considered one of his greatest political successes. As Cold War tensions eased in the late 1980s under perestroika and glasnost, the liberal reforms of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Honecker refused all but cosmetic changes to the East German political system, citing the continual hardliner attitudes of Kim Il-sung and Fidel Castro, whose respective regimes of North Korea and Cuba had been critical of reforms; as anticommunist protests grew, Honecker begged the USSR to intervene and suppress the protests to maintain communist rule in East Germany like the Prague Spring of 1968 and the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Honecker was forced to resign by his party in October 1989 in a bid to improve the government's image before the public. Honecker's eighteen years at the helm of the soon-to-collapse German Democratic Republic came to an end.
Following German reunification, he sought asylum in the Chilean embassy in Moscow in 1991 but was extradited back to Germany a year to stand trial for his role in the human rights abuses committed by the East German government. However, the proceedings were abandoned due to illness and he was freed from custody to travel to join his family in exile in Chile, where he died in May 1994 from liver cancer. Honecker was born in Neunkirchen, in what is now Saarland, as the son of Wilhelm Honecker, a coal miner and political activist, who had married Caroline Catharina Weidenhof in 1905; the couple had six children together: Katharina, Frieda, Erich and Karl-Robert. Erich, their fourth child, was born on 25 August 1912 during the period in which the family resided on Max-Braun-Straße, before moving to Kuchenbergstraße 88 in the present-day Neunkirchen city district of Wiebelskirchen. After World War I, the Territory of the Saar Basin was occupied by France; this change from the strict rule of Baron von Stumm to French military occupation provided the backdrop for what Wilhelm Honecker understood as proletarian exploitation, introduced young Erich to communism.
After his tenth birthday in 1922, Erich Honecker became a member of the Spartacus League's children's group in Wiebelskirchen. Aged 14 he entered the KJVD, the Young Communist League of Germany, for whom he served the organisation's leader of Saarland from 1931. Honecker did not find an apprenticeship after leaving school, but instead worked for a farmer in Pomerania for two years. In 1928 he returned to Wiebelskirchen and began a traineeship as a roofer with his uncle, but quit to attend the International Lenin School in Moscow and Magnitogorsk after the KJVD hand-picked him for a course of study there. There, sharing a room with Anton Ackermann, he studied under the cover name "Fritz Malter". In 1930, aged 18, Honecker entered the Communist Party of Germany, his political mentor was Otto Niebergall, who represented the KPD in the Reichstag. After returning from Moscow in 1931 following his studies at the International Lenin School, he became the leader of the KJVD in the Saar region. After the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, Communist activities were only possible within Germany undercover.
Honecker was soon released. Following this he fled to the Netherlands and from there oversaw KJVD's activities in Pfalz and Baden-Württemberg, he returned to the Saar in 1934 and worked alongside Johannes Hoffmann on the campaign against the region’s re-incorporation into Germany. A referendum on the area’s future in January 1935 however saw 90.73% vote in favour of reunifying with Germany. Like 4,000 to 8,000 others, Honecker fled the region relocating to Paris. On 28 August 1935 he illegally travelled to Berlin under the alias "Marten Tjaden", with a printing press in his luggage. From there he worked together with then-KPD official Herbert Wehner in opposition/resistance to the Nazi state. On 4 December 1935 Honecker was detained by the Gestapo and until 1937 remanded in Berlin’s Moabit detention centre. On 3 July 1937 he was sentenced to ten years imprisonment for the "preparation of high treason alongside the severe falsification of documents". Honecker spent the majority of his incarceration in the Brandenburg-Gö
NATO Double-Track Decision
The NATO Double-Track Decision is the decision of NATO from December 12, 1979, to offer the Warsaw Pact a mutual limitation of medium-range ballistic missiles and intermediate-range ballistic missiles combined with the threat that in case of disagreement NATO would deploy more middle-range nuclear weapons in Western Europe, following the so-called "Euromissile Crisis". The détente between the United States and the Soviet Union culminated in the signing of the SALT I and SALT II agreements, which placed constraints on further developments in nuclear capacities; the SALT agreements were not intended to be considered a form of mutual arms control but referred to strategic carrier systems and their warheads, which did not include any tactical nuclear weapons, such as nuclear bombs delivered by bombers or midrange missiles. The decision was prompted by the continuing military build-up of Warsaw Pact countries the Warsaw Pact's growing capability in nuclear systems threatening Western Europe. Of special concern was the growth of long-range theatre nuclear forces, with the SS-20 missile and the'Backfire' bomber singled out for particular concern.
The European NATO members saw in the mobile launching platform-mounted SS-20 missiles no less a threat than the strategic intercontinental missiles, on December 12, 1979, took on the so-called NATO Double-Track Decision. This decision intended the deployment of 572 mobile American middle-range missiles to rebuild the state of Mutual Assured Destruction. NATO offered immediate negotiations with the goal to ban nuclear armed middle-range missiles from Europe with the provision that the same missiles could be installed four years if negotiations failed; the Soviets were critical that neither French nor British nuclear weapons were considered in this treaty. The disarmament negotiations which started on November 30, 1981, remained without conclusion; the German Bundestag agreed to the deployment in 1983, whereupon the Soviet Union aborted the negotiations. On December 8, 1987, the United States and the Soviet Union signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, it ended this episode of the Cold War.
Special Meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers at nato.int The Euromissile Crisis
Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1954 until his assassination in 1968. Born in Atlanta, King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, tactics his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi helped inspire. King led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and in 1957 became the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. With the SCLC, he led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany and helped organize the nonviolent 1963 protests in Birmingham, Alabama, he helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. On October 14, 1964, King won the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. In 1965, he helped organize the Selma to Montgomery marches; the following year, he and the SCLC took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing.
In his final years, he expanded his focus to include opposition towards the Vietnam War. He alienated many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled "Beyond Vietnam". J. Edgar Hoover considered him a radical and made him an object of the FBI's COINTELPRO from 1963 on. FBI agents investigated him for possible communist ties, recorded his extramarital liaisons and reported on them to government officials, on one occasion mailed King a threatening anonymous letter, which he interpreted as an attempt to make him commit suicide. In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D. C. to be called the Poor People's Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. His death was followed by riots in many U. S. cities. Allegations that James Earl Ray, the man convicted of killing King, had been framed or acted in concert with government agents persisted for decades after the shooting. Sentenced to 99 years in prison for King's murder a life sentence as Ray was 41 at the time of conviction, Ray served 29 years of his sentence and died from hepatitis in 1998 while in prison.
King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of the Congressional Gold Medal. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states beginning in 1971. Hundreds of streets in the U. S. have been renamed in his honor, a county in Washington State was rededicated for him. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D. C. was dedicated in 2011. King was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, to the Reverend Martin Luther King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. King's given name at birth was Michael King, his father was born Michael King, after a period of gradual transition on the elder King's part, he changed both his and his son's names in 1934; the senior King was inspired during a trip to Germany for that year's meeting of the Baptist World Alliance. While visiting sites associated with reformation leader, Martin Luther, attendees witnessed the rise of Nazism; the BWA conference issued a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, the senior King gained deepened appreciation for the power of Luther's protest.
The elder King would state that "Michael" was a mistake by the attending physician to his son's birth, the younger King's birth certificate was altered to read "Martin Luther King Jr." in 1957. King's parents were both African-American, he had Irish ancestry through his paternal great-grandfather. King was a middle child, between older sister Christine King Farris and younger brother A. D. King. King sang with his church choir at the 1939 Atlanta premiere of the movie Gone with the Wind, he enjoyed singing and music, his mother was an accomplished organist and choir leader who took him to various churches to sing, he received attention for singing "I Want to Be More and More Like Jesus". King became a member of the junior choir in his church. King said that his father whipped him until he was 15. King saw his father's proud and fearless protests against segregation, such as King Sr. refusing to listen to a traffic policeman after being referred to as "boy," or stalking out of a store with his son when being told by a shoe clerk that they would have to "move to the rear" of the store to be served.
When King was a child, he befriended a white boy whose father owned a business near his family's home. When the boys were six, they started school: King had to attend a school for African Americans, the other boy went to one for whites. King lost his friend. King suffered from depression through much of his life. In his adolescent years, he felt resentment against whites due to the "racial humiliation" that he, his family, his neighbors had to endure in the segregated South. At the age of 12, shortly after his maternal grandmother died, King blamed himself and jumped out of a second-story window, but survived. King was skeptical of many of Christianity's claims. At the age of 13, he denied the bodily resurrection of Jesus during Sunday school. From this point, he stated, "doubts began to spring forth unrelentingly." However, he concluded that the Bible has "many profound truths which one cannot escape" and decided to enter the seminary. Growing up in Atlanta, King attended Booker T. Washington High School.
He became k
The American University is a private research university in Washington, D. C, its main campus spans 90 acres near Ward Circle, a residential area in the northwest of the District. AU was chartered by the U. S. Congress in 1893 at the urging of Methodist bishop John Fletcher Hurst, who sought to create an institution that would promote public service and pragmatic idealism. AU broke ground in 1902, opened in 1914, admitted its first undergraduates in 1925. Although affiliated with the United Methodist Church, religious affiliation is not a criterion for admission. American University has eight schools and colleges: the School of International Service, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Communication, School of Professional and Extended Studies, School of Public Affairs, School of Education, the Washington College of Law, it has over 160 programs, including 71 bachelor's degrees, 87 master's degrees, 10 doctoral degrees, plus J. D. LL. M. and S. J. D programs. AU's student body numbers over 13,000 and represents all 50 U.
S. states and 141 countries. The university is recognized as a second tier research institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education and is ranked 69th nationally by U. S. News & World Report. According to Foreign Policy, the School of International Service is globally ranked eighth for graduate programs and ninth for undergraduate programs, the School of Public Affairs is ranked 19th in the nation according to USNWR; the Washington College of Law placed 80th overall in USNWR rankings, 13th in its LL. M. program, 47th in the 2012 "Top 70 Law Faculties in Scholarly Impact" index, fourth in public interest. AU is a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, was one of only seven institutions in 2017 with more than one Truman Scholar, with two recipients; as of 2017, AU ranked first in Boren Scholars and Fellows, second in Udall Scholars, fourth in Presidential Management Fellows. Reflecting the school's founding emphasis on public and international service, 95 percent undergraduates participate in at least one internship, while 71 percent of students participate in study abroad, the ninth highest rate in the nation.
Among medium-sized schools, AU ranks second in the number of students serving in the Peace Corps and tenth for the most Teach for America volunteers. According to the Princeton Review, AU students rank first for most politically active and run the seventh most active student government in the country; the American University was established in the District of Columbia by an Act of Congress on December 5, 1892 due to the efforts of Methodist bishop John Fletcher Hurst, who aimed to create an institution that could train future public servants. Hurst chose the site of the university, which at the time was the rural periphery of the District. After more than three decades devoted principally to securing financial support, the university was dedicated on May 15, 1914, with its first instructions beginning October of that year, when 28 students were enrolled, 19 of whom were graduates and the remainder special students not candidates for a degree; the First Commencement, at which no degrees were awarded, was held on June 2, 1915.
The Second Annual Commencement was held the following year and saw the awarding of the first degrees: one master's degree and two doctor's degrees. AU was notable in admitting women and African Americans, uncommon in higher education at the time. Shortly after these early commencement ceremonies, classes were interrupted by war. During World War I, the university allowed the U. S. military to use some of its grounds for testing. In 1917, the U. S. military divided American University into Camp American University and Camp Leach. Camp American University became the birthplace of the United States' chemical weapons program and the site of chemical weapons testing. Camp Leach was home to advanced research and testing of modern camouflage techniques; as of 2014, the Army Corps of Engineers is still removing ordnance including mustard gas and mortar shells. Instruction was offered only at the graduate level, in accordance with the original plan of the founders; this changed in 1925 with the establishment of the College of Liberal Arts, which offered the first undergraduate degrees and programs.
What is now the School of Public Affairs was founded in 1934 to educate future federal employees in new approaches to public administration introduced by the New Deal. AU's relationship to the U. S. government continued during World War II, when the campus hosted the U. S. Navy Bomb Disposal School and a WAVE barracks. For AU's role in these wartime efforts, the Victory ship SS American Victory was named in its honor; the post-war period saw considerable growth and restructuring of AU. In 1947, the Washington Semester Program was established, pioneering the concept of semester-long internships in the nation's capital. In 1949, the university merged with the Washington College of Law, which had begun in 1896 as the first law school founded by women and the first coeducational institution for the professional study of law in the District. Shortly thereafter, three departments were reorganized as schools: the School of Busines
The European Commission is an institution of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU. Commissioners swear an oath at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg City, pledging to respect the treaties and to be independent in carrying out their duties during their mandate. Unlike in the Council of the European Union, where members are directly and indirectly elected, the European Parliament, where members are directly elected, the Commissioners are proposed by the Council of the European Union, on the basis of suggestions made by the national governments, appointed by the European Council after the approval of the European Parliament; the Commission operates with 28 members of the Commission. There is one member per member state, but members are bound by their oath of office to represent the general interest of the EU as a whole rather than their home state. One of the 28 is the Commission President proposed by the European Council and elected by the European Parliament.
The Council of the European Union nominates the other 27 members of the Commission in agreement with the nominated President, the 28 members as a single body are subject to a vote of approval by the European Parliament. The current Commission is the Juncker Commission, which took office in late 2014, following the European Parliament elections in May of the same year; the term Commission is variously used, either in the narrow sense of the 28-member College of Commissioners or to include the administrative body of about 32,000 European civil servants who are split into departments called directorates-general and services. The procedural languages of the Commission are English and German; the Members of the Commission and their "cabinets" are based in the Berlaymont building in Brussels. The European Commission derives from one of the five key institutions created in the supranational European Community system, following the proposal of Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, on 9 May 1950.
Originating in 1951 as the High Authority in the European Coal and Steel Community, the Commission has undergone numerous changes in power and composition under various presidents, involving three Communities. The first Commission originated in 1951 as the nine-member "High Authority" under President Jean Monnet; the High Authority was the supranational administrative executive of the new European Coal and Steel Community. It took office first on 10 August 1952 in Luxembourg City. In 1958, the Treaties of Rome had established two new communities alongside the ECSC: the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community; however their executives were called "Commissions" rather than "High Authorities". The reason for the change in name was the new relationship between the Council; some states, such as France, expressed reservations over the power of the High Authority, wished to limit it by giving more power to the Council rather than the new executives. Louis Armand led the first Commission of Euratom.
Walter Hallstein led the first Commission of the EEC, holding the first formal meeting on 16 January 1958 at the Château of Val-Duchesse. It achieved agreement on a contentious cereal price accord, as well as making a positive impression upon third countries when it made its international debut at the Kennedy Round of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade negotiations. Hallstein notably began the consolidation of European law and started to have a notable impact on national legislation. Little heed was taken of his administration at first but, with help from the European Court of Justice, his Commission stamped its authority solidly enough to allow future Commissions to be taken more seriously. In 1965, accumulating differences between the French government of Charles de Gaulle and the other member states on various subjects triggered the "empty chair" crisis, ostensibly over proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy. Although the institutional crisis was solved the following year, it cost Etienne Hirsch his presidency of Euratom and Walter Hallstein the EEC presidency, despite his otherwise being viewed as the most'dynamic' leader until Jacques Delors.
The three bodies, collectively named the European Executives, co-existed until 1 July 1967 when, under the Merger Treaty, they were combined into a single administration under President Jean Rey. Owing to the merger, the Rey Commission saw a temporary increase to 14 members—although subsequent Commissions were reduced back to nine, following the formula of one member for small states and two for larger states; the Rey Commission completed the Community's customs union in 1968, campaigned for a more powerful, European Parliament. Despite Rey being the first President of the combined communities, Hallstein is seen as the first President of the modern Commission; the Malfatti and Mansholt Commissions followed with work on monetary co-operation and the first enlargement to the north in 1973. With that enlargement, the Commission's membership increased to thirteen under the Ortoli Commission, which dealt with the enlarged community during economic and international instability at that time; the external representation of the Community took a step forward when President Roy Jenkins, recruited to the presidency in January 1977 from his role as Home Secretary of the United Kingdom's Labour government, became the first President to att
The Bundestag is the German federal parliament. It can be compared to the chamber of deputies along the lines of the United States House of Representatives or the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. Through the Bundesrat, a separate institution, the individual states of Germany participate in legislation similar to a second house in a bicameral parliament; the Bundestag was established by article III of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949 as one of the legislative bodies of Germany and thus the historical successor to the earlier Reichstag. Since 1999 it has met in the Reichstag Building in Berlin. Wolfgang Schäuble is the current President of the Bundestag. Members of the Bundestag are elected every four years by all adult German citizens in a mixed system of constituency voting and list voting; the constitutional minimum number of seats is 598. The Election Day can be called earlier than four years after the last if the Federal Chancellor loses a vote of confidence and asks the Federal President to dissolve the Bundestag in order to hold new general elections.
In the 19th century, the name Bundestag was the unofficial designation for the assembly of the sovereigns and mayors of the Monarchies and Free Cities which formed the German Confederation. Its seat was in the Free City of Frankfurt on the Main. With the dissolution of the German Confederation in 1866 and the founding of the German Empire in 1871, the Reichstag was established as the German parliament in Berlin, the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia. Two decades the current parliament building was erected; the Reichstag delegates were elected by equal male suffrage. The Reichstag did not participate in the appointment of the Chancellor until the parliamentary reforms of October 1918. After the Revolution of November 1918 and the establishment of the Weimar Constitution, women were given the right to vote for the Reichstag, the parliament could use the no-confidence vote to force the chancellor or any cabinet member to resign. In March 1933, one month after the Reichstag fire, the President of the Weimar Republic, Paul von Hindenburg, a retired war hero, gave Adolf Hitler ultimate power through the Decree for the Protection of People and State and the Enabling Act of 1933, although Hitler remained at the post of Federal Government Chancellor.
After this, the Reichstag met only usually at the Krolloper to unanimously rubber-stamp the decisions of the government. It last convened on 26 April 1942. With the new Constitution of 1949, the Bundestag was established as the new West German parliament; because West Berlin was not under the jurisdiction of the Constitution, a legacy of the Cold War, the Bundestag met in Bonn in several different buildings, including a former waterworks facility. In addition, owing to the city's legal status, citizens of West Berlin were unable to vote in elections to the Bundestag, were instead represented by 22 non-voting delegates chosen by the House of Representatives, the city's legislature; the Bundeshaus in Bonn is the former parliament building of Germany. The sessions of the German Bundestag were held there from 1949 until its move to Berlin in 1999. Today it houses the International Congress Centre Bundeshaus Bonn and in the northern areas the branch office of the Bundesrat, which represents the Länder – the federated states).
The southern areas became part of German offices for the United Nations in 2008. The former Reichstag building housed a history exhibition and served as a conference center; the Reichstag building was occasionally used as a venue for sittings of the Bundestag and its committees and the Bundesversammlung, the body which elects the German Federal President. However, the Soviets harshly protested against the use of the Reichstag building by institutions of the Federal Republic of Germany and tried to disturb the sittings by flying supersonic jets close to the building. Since April 19, 1999, the German parliament has again assembled in Berlin in its original Reichstag building, built in 1888 based on the plans of German architect Paul Wallot and underwent a significant renovation under the lead of British architect Lord Norman Foster. Parliamentary committees and subcommittees, public hearings and parliamentary group meetings take place in three auxiliary buildings, which surround the Reichstag building: the Jakob-Kaiser-Haus, Paul-Löbe-Haus and Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus.
In 2005, a small aircraft crashed close to the German Parliament. It was decided to ban private air traffic over Central Berlin. Together with the Bundesrat, the Bundestag is the legislative branch of the German political system. Although most legislation is initiated by the executive branch, the Bundestag considers the legislative function its most important responsibility, concentrating much of its energy on assessing and amending the government's legislative program; the committees play a prominent role in this process. Plenary sessions provide a forum for members to engage in public debate on legislative issues before them, but they tend to be well attended only when significant legislation is being considered; the Bundestag members are the only federal officials directly elected by the public.
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well