The German reunification was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic became part of the Federal Republic of Germany to form the reunited nation of Germany, when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its Grundgesetz Article 23. The end of the unification process is referred to as German unity, celebrated on 3 October. Following German reunification, Berlin was once again designated as the capital of united Germany; the East German government started to falter in May 1989, when the removal of Hungary's border fence with Austria opened a hole in the Iron Curtain. It caused an exodus of thousands of East Germans fleeing to West Austria via Hungary; the Peaceful Revolution, a series of protests by East Germans, led to the GDR's first free elections on 18 March 1990, to the negotiations between the GDR and FRG that culminated in a Unification Treaty. Other negotiations between the GDR and FRG and the four occupying powers produced the so-called "Two Plus Four Treaty" granting full sovereignty to a unified German state, whose two parts were bound by a number of limitations stemming from their post-World War II status as occupied regions.
The 1945 Potsdam Agreement had specified that a full peace treaty concluding World War II, including the exact delimitation of Germany's postwar boundaries, required to be "accepted by the Government of Germany when a government adequate for the purpose is established." The Federal Republic had always maintained that no such government could be said to have been established until East and West Germany had been united within a free democratic state. The key question was whether a Germany that remained bounded to the east by the Oder–Neisse line could act as a "united Germany" in signing the peace treaty without qualification. Under the "Two Plus Four Treaty" both the Federal Republic and the Democratic Republic committed themselves and their unified continuation to the principle that their joint pre-1990 boundaries constituted the entire territory that could be claimed by a Government of Germany, hence that there were no further lands outside those boundaries that were parts of Germany as a whole.
The united Germany is not a successor state, but an enlarged continuation of the former West Germany. As such, the enlarged Federal Republic of Germany retained the West German seats in international organizations including the European Community and NATO, while relinquishing membership in the Warsaw Pact and other international organizations to which only East Germany belonged, it maintains the United Nations membership of the old West Germany. For political and diplomatic reasons, West German politicians avoided the term "reunification" during the run-up to what Germans refer to as die Wende; the official and most common term in German is "Deutsche Einheit". After 1990, the term "die Wende" became more common; the term refers to the events that led up to the actual reunification. When referring to the events surrounding reunification, however, it carries the cultural connotation of the time and the events in the GDR that brought about this "turnaround" in German history. However, anti-communist activists from Eastern Germany rejected the term Wende as it was introduced by SED's Secretary General Egon Krenz.
In 1945, the Third Reich ended in defeat and Germany was divided into four occupation zones, under the Soviet Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, France. The capital city of Berlin was divided into four sectors. Between 1947 and 1949, the three zones of the western allies were merged, forming the Federal Republic of Germany and West Berlin, aligned with capitalist Europe; the Soviet zone became the German Democratic Republic with its capital in East Berlin, part of the communist Soviet Bloc. The FRG was a member of the western military alliance, NATO and the GDR was a member of the Warsaw Pact. Germans lived under such imposed divisions throughout the ensuing Cold War. Into the 1980s, the Soviet Union experienced a period of economic and political stagnation, correspondingly decreased intervention in Eastern Bloc politics. In 1987, US President Ronald Reagan gave a speech at the Brandenburg Gate, challenging Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down the wall" which divided Berlin.
The wall had stood as an icon for the political and economic division between East and West, a division that Churchill had referred to as the "Iron Curtain". Gorbachev announced in 1988 that the Soviet Union would abandon the Brezhnev Doctrine and allow the Eastern bloc nations to determine their own internal affairs. In early 1989, under a new era of Soviet policies of glasnost and taken further by Gorbachev, the Solidarity movement took hold in Poland. Further inspired by other images of brave defiance, a wave
The German Empire known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918. It was founded in 1871 when the south German states, except for Austria, joined the North German Confederation. On 1 January 1871, the new constitution came into force that changed the name of the federal state and introduced the title of emperor for Wilhelm I, King of Prussia from the House of Hohenzollern. Berlin remained its capital, Otto von Bismarck remained Chancellor, the head of government; as these events occurred, the Prussian-led North German Confederation and its southern German allies were still engaged in the Franco-Prussian War. The German Empire consisted of 26 states, most of them ruled by royal families, they included four kingdoms, six grand duchies, five duchies, seven principalities, three free Hanseatic cities, one imperial territory. Although Prussia was one of several kingdoms in the realm, it contained about two thirds of Germany's population and territory.
Prussian dominance was established constitutionally. After 1850, the states of Germany had become industrialized, with particular strengths in coal, iron and railways. In 1871, Germany had a population of 41 million people. A rural collection of states in 1815, the now united Germany became predominantly urban. During its 47 years of existence, the German Empire was an industrial and scientific giant, gaining more Nobel Prizes in science than any other country. By 1900, Germany was the largest economy in Europe, surpassing the United Kingdom, as well as the second-largest in the world, behind only the United States. From 1867 to 1878/9, Otto von Bismarck's tenure as the first and to this day longest reigning Chancellor was marked by relative liberalism, but it became more conservative afterwards. Broad reforms and the Kulturkampf marked his period in the office. Late in Bismarck's chancellorship and in spite of his personal opposition, Germany became involved in colonialism. Claiming much of the leftover territory, yet unclaimed in the Scramble for Africa, it managed to build the third-largest colonial empire after the British and the French ones.
As a colonial state, it sometimes clashed with other European powers the British Empire. Germany became a great power, boasting a developing rail network, the world's strongest army, a fast-growing industrial base. In less than a decade, its navy became second only to Britain's Royal Navy. After the removal of Otto von Bismarck by Wilhelm II in 1890, the Empire embarked on Weltpolitik – a bellicose new course that contributed to the outbreak of World War I. In addition, Bismarck's successors were incapable of maintaining their predecessor's complex and overlapping alliances which had kept Germany from being diplomatically isolated; this period was marked by various factors influencing the Emperor's decisions, which were perceived as contradictory or unpredictable by the public. In 1879, the German Empire consolidated the Dual Alliance with Austria-Hungary, followed by the Triple Alliance with Italy in 1882, it retained strong diplomatic ties to the Ottoman Empire. When the great crisis of 1914 arrived, Italy left the alliance and the Ottoman Empire formally allied with Germany.
In the First World War, German plans to capture Paris in the autumn of 1914 failed. The war on the Western Front became a stalemate; the Allied naval blockade caused severe shortages of food. However, Imperial Germany had success on the Eastern Front; the German declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917, contributed to bringing the United States into the war. The high command under Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff controlled the country, but in October after the failed offensive in spring 1918, the German armies were in retreat, allies Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire had collapsed, Bulgaria had surrendered; the Empire collapsed in the November 1918 Revolution with the abdications of its monarchs. This left a postwar federal republic and a devastated and unsatisfied populace, which led to the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazism; the German Confederation had been created by an act of the Congress of Vienna on 8 June 1815 as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, after being alluded to in Article 6 of the 1814 Treaty of Paris.
German nationalism shifted from its liberal and democratic character in 1848, called Pan-Germanism, to Prussian prime minister Otto von Bismarck's pragmatic Realpolitik. Bismarck sought to extend Hohenzollern hegemony throughout the German states, he envisioned a Prussian-dominated Germany. Three wars led to military successes and helped to persuade German people to do this: the Second Schleswig War against Denmark in 1864, the Austro-Prussian War in 1866, the Franco-Prussian War against France in 1870–71; the German Confederation ended as a result of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 between the constituent Confederation entities of the Austrian Empire and its allies on one side and the Kingdom of Prussia and its allies on the other. The war resulted in the partial replacement of the Confederation in 1867 by a North German Confederation, comprising the 22 states north of the Main; the patriotic fervour generated by the Franco-Prussian War overwhelmed the remaining opposition to a unified Germany in the four stat
Bombing of Berlin in World War II
Berlin, the capital of Nazi Germany, was subject to 363 air raids during the Second World War. It was bombed by the RAF Bomber Command between 1940 and 1945, by the USAAF Eighth Air Force between 1943 and 1945, the French Air Force between 1944 and 1945 as part of the Allied campaign of strategic bombing of Germany, it was attacked by aircraft of the Red Air Force in 1945 as Soviet forces closed on the city. British bombers dropped 45,517 tons of bombs; as the bombings continued more and more people moved out. By May 1945, 1.7 million people had fled. When the Second World War began in 1939, the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, issued a request to the major belligerents to confine their air raids to military targets; the French and the British agreed to abide by the request, with the provision that this was "upon the understanding that these same rules of warfare will be scrupulously observed by all of their opponents". The United Kingdom had a policy of using aerial bombing only against military targets and against infrastructure such as ports and railways of direct military importance.
While it was acknowledged that the aerial bombing of Germany would cause civilian casualties, the British government renounced the deliberate bombing of civilian property, outside combat zones, as a military tactic. This policy was abandoned on 15 May 1940, two days after the German air attack on Rotterdam, when the RAF was given permission to attack targets in the Ruhr, including oil plants and other civilian industrial targets that aided the German war effort, such as blast furnaces that at night were self illuminating; the first RAF raid on the interior of Germany took place on the night of 10 – 11 May. The Jules Verne, a variant of the Farman F.220 of the French Naval Aviation, was the first Allied bomber to raid Berlin: on the night of 7 June 1940 it dropped eight bombs of 250 kg and 80 of 10 kg weight on the German capital. Between 1939 and 1942, the policy of bombing only targets of direct military significance was abandoned in favour of "area bombing" — large-scale bombing of German cities to destroy housing and civilian infrastructure.
Although killing German civilians was never an explicit policy, it was obvious that area bombing must lead to large-scale civilian casualties. Following the fall of France in 1940, Britain had no other means of carrying the war to Germany on the European continent and after the entry of the Soviet Union into the war in 1941, bombing Germany was the only contribution Britain was prepared to make to meet Stalin's demands for action to open up a second European front. With the technology available at the time, the precision bombing of military targets was possible only by daylight. Daylight bombing raids conducted by Bomber Command involved unacceptably high losses of British aircraft, bombing by night led to far lower British losses, but was of necessity indiscriminate due to the difficulties of nocturnal navigation and bomb aiming. Before 1941, Berlin, at 950 kilometres from London, was at the extreme range attainable by the British bombers available to the Allied forces, it could be bombed only at night in summer when the days were longer and skies clear—which increased the risk to Allied bombers.
The first RAF raid on Berlin took place on the night of 25 August 1940. The bombing raids on Berlin prompted Hitler to order the shift of the Luftwaffe's target from British airfields and air defenses to British cities, at a time during the Battle of Britain when the British air defenses were becoming exhausted and overstretched. In the following two weeks there were a further five raids of a similar size, all nominally precision raids at specific targets, but with the difficulties of navigating at night the bombs that were dropped were dispersed. During 1940 there were more raids on Berlin; the raids were ineffective in hitting important targets. The head of the Air Staff of the RAF, Sir Charles Portal, justified these raids by saying that to "get four million people out of bed and into the shelters" was worth the losses involved; the Soviet Union started a bombing campaign on Berlin on 8 August 1941 that extended into early September. Navy bombers, operating from the Moonzund Archipelago conducted 8 raids to Berlin with 3-12 aircraft in each raid.
Army bombers, operating from near Leningrad, executed several small raids to Berlin. In total in 1941, 33 Soviet aircraft dropped 36,000 kilograms of bombs on Berlin. Combat and operational losses for the Soviets tallied 70 crewmen killed. On 7 November 1941, Sir Richard Peirse, head of RAF Bomber Command, launched a large raid on Berlin, sending over 160 bombers to the capital. 21 were shot down or crashed, again little damage was done due to bad weather. This failure led to the dismissal of Peirse and his replacement by Sir Arthur Travers Harris, who believed in both the efficacy and necessity of area bombing. Harris said: "The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naïve theory into operation, they sowed the wind, now they are going to reap the whirlwind." At the same time, new bombers with longer ranges were coming into service the Avro Lancaster, which became ava
Tegel is a locality in the Berlin borough of Reinickendorf on the shore of Lake Tegel. The Tegel locality, the second largest in area of the 96 Berlin districts includes the neighbourhood of Saatwinkel; the Tegel Palace a Renaissance manor house from 1558 and a hunting lodge of Elector Frederick William of Brandenburg, was bequeathed to the Humboldt family in 1797. Alexander von Humboldt and Wilhelm von Humboldt lived here for several years. In 1824 Wilhelm had the palace rebuilt in a Neoclassical style by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. In the park is a tomb, where Alexander and other members of the Humboldt family are buried. From 1927 until 1931 Tegel Palace was the site of a sanatorium, founded by the psychoanalyst Ernst Simmel. From 1898 on Tegel was the seat of the Borsig-Werke steam locomotive manufacturing company until it moved to Hennigsdorf in Brandenburg in 1931. Between 1930 and 1934 an artillery firing range in the district was used by the Verein für Raumschiffahrt for experiments with liquid-fueled rockets.
The principal names involved were its leader Rudolf Nebel and other staff members Hermann Oberth and Wernher von Braun. Tegel was the site of a medium wave broadcasting station from 1933 to 1948. A wire hung in a wooden tower served as an antenna; this tower was demolished as part of the construction of Tegel International Airport at the end of 1948. Tegel is chiefly known for being the location of Berlin-Tegel Otto Lilienthal, Berlin's main airport, it houses the Tegel Penitentiary, Germany's largest prison with about 1,700 inmates as of 2007, known from Alfred Döblin's 1929 novel Berlin Alexanderplatz. One of Berlin's largest shopping malls Borsighallen is located in the former locomotive manufacturing halls of the Borsigwerke. There is the Villa Borsig at the shore of Lake Tegel, the former residence of the Borsig family. Today it is a school for future diplomats. Beside this Tegel is an extensive residential district with some industry. With the large Lake Tegel, set in woodlands, the locality is a popular destination for daytrippers.
It boasts Berlin's oldest tree, an oak called Dicke Marie. Tegel is served by the Berlin S-Bahn line S25 at the station Berlin-Tegel. U-Bahn connection to the inner city is provided by the U6 line with the stations Otisstraße, Holzhauser Straße, Borsigwerke and Alt-Tegel. Lake Tegel Media related to Tegel at Wikimedia Commons Tegel page of Reinickendorfer site Launch site of the Verein für Raumschiffahrt at Berlin-Tegel
Capital punishment known as the death penalty, is a government-sanctioned practice whereby a person is killed by the state as a punishment for a crime. The sentence that someone be punished in such a manner is referred to as a death sentence, whereas the act of carrying out the sentence is known as an execution. Crimes that are punishable by death are known as capital crimes or capital offences, they include offences such as murder, mass murder, treason, offenses against the State, such as attempting to overthrow government, drug trafficking, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, but may include a wide range of offences depending on a country. Etymologically, the term capital in this context alluded to execution by beheading. Fifty-six countries retain capital punishment, 106 countries have abolished it de jure for all crimes, eight have abolished it for ordinary crimes, 28 are abolitionist in practice. Capital punishment is a matter of active controversy in several countries and states, positions can vary within a single political ideology or cultural region.
In the European Union, Article 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union prohibits the use of capital punishment. The Council of Europe, which has 47 member states, has sought to abolish the use of the death penalty by its members through Protocol 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights. However, this only affects those member states which have signed and ratified it, they do not include Armenia and Azerbaijan; the United Nations General Assembly has adopted, in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014, non-binding resolutions calling for a global moratorium on executions, with a view to eventual abolition. Although most nations have abolished capital punishment, over 60% of the world's population live in countries where the death penalty is retained, such as China, the United States, Pakistan, Nigeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, among all Islamic countries, as is maintained in Japan, South Korea and Sri Lanka. China is believed to execute more people than all other countries combined.
Execution of criminals and dissidents has been used by nearly all societies since the beginning of civilizations on Earth. Until the nineteenth century, without developed prison systems, there was no workable alternative to insure deterrence and incapacitation of criminals. In pre-modern times the executions themselves involved torture with cruel and painful methods, such as the breaking wheel, sawing, hanging and quartering, brazen bull, burning at the stake, slow slicing, boiling alive, schwedentrunk, blood eagle, scaphism; the use of formal execution extends to the beginning of recorded history. Most historical records and various primitive tribal practices indicate that the death penalty was a part of their justice system. Communal punishment for wrongdoing included compensation by the wrongdoer, corporal punishment, shunning and execution. Compensation and shunning were enough as a form of justice; the response to crimes committed by neighbouring tribes, clans or communities included a formal apology, blood feuds, tribal warfare.
A blood feud or vendetta occurs when arbitration between families or tribes fails or an arbitration system is non-existent. This form of justice was common before the emergence of an arbitration system based on state or organized religion, it may result from land disputes or a code of honour. "Acts of retaliation underscore the ability of the social collective to defend itself and demonstrate to enemies that injury to property, rights, or the person will not go unpunished." However, in practice, it is difficult to distinguish between a war of vendetta and one of conquest. In most countries that practise capital punishment, it is now reserved for murder, war crimes, treason, or as part of military justice. In some countries sexual crimes, such as rape, adultery, incest and bestiality carry the death penalty, as do religious crimes such as Hudud and Qisas crimes, such as apostasy, moharebeh, Fasad, Mofsed-e-filarz and witchcraft. In many countries that use the death penalty, drug trafficking is a capital offence.
In China, human trafficking and serious cases of corruption and financial crimes are punished by the death penalty. In militaries around the world courts-martial have imposed death sentences for offences such as cowardice, desertion and mutiny. Elaborations of tribal arbitration of feuds included peace settlements done in a religious context and compensation system. Compensation was based on the principle of substitution which might include material compensation, exchange of brides or grooms, or payment of the blood debt. Settlement rules could allow for animal blood to replace human blood, or transfers of property or blood money or in some case an offer of a person for execution; the person offered for execution did not have to be an original perpetrator of the crime because the social system was based on tribes and clans, not individuals. Blood feuds could be regulated at meetings, such as the Norsemen things. Systems deriving from blood feuds may survive alongside more advanced legal systems or be given recognition by courts.
One of the more modern refinements of the blood feud is the duel. In certain parts of the world, n
Wedding is a locality in the borough of Mitte, Berlin and was a separate borough in the north-western inner city until it was fused with Tiergarten and Mitte in Berlin's 2001 administrative reform. At the same time the eastern half of the former borough of Wedding—on the other side of Reinickendorfer Straße—was separated as the new locality of Gesundbrunnen. In the 12th century, the manor of the nobleman Rudolf de Weddinge was located on the small Panke River in the immediate vicinity of today's Nettelbeckplatz; the farmstead, which burned down more than once, remained abandoned in the forest until the 18th century. In the mid-18th century, while Gesundbrunnen was being built up as a health resort and spa town and prostitution moved into Wedding, transforming it into a pleasure district. In 1864, Ernst Christian Friedrich Schering established the Schering pharmaceutical company on Müllerstraße. A large hospital at the western rim of the locality was built between 1898 and 1906 on the initiative of Rudolf Virchow.
The Rotaprint plant was initiated in Wedding in 1904 and became one of the largest employers locally with about 1,000 staff at its height. The constant migration of country-dwellers into the city at the end of the 19th century converted Wedding into a working-class district; the labourers lived in cramped tenement blocks, many in the Wilhelmine Ring. After World War I, Wedding was known as "Red Wedding" as it was renowned for its militant Communist working class. After World War II, Wedding and Reinickendorf together made up the French sector of Berlin; the buildings on the north side of Wedding's Bernauer Straße and the street, including sidewalks, were in the French sector, while the buildings along the southern side were in Soviet territory. When the Berlin Wall was being built in August 1961, many who lived in these buildings frantically jumped from their windows before the buildings could be evacuated and their windows bricked up. Wedding was the western terminus of one of the first refugee tunnels dug underneath the Berlin wall.
It extended from the basement of an abandoned factory on Schönholzer Straße in the Soviet sector underneath Bernauer Straße to another building in the west. Though marvellously well constructed and kept secret, the tunnel was plagued by water from leaking pipes, had to be shut down after only a few days of operation. A section of the wall has been reconstructed near the spot on Bernauer Straße where the tunnel ended. Two sections of wall run parallel to one another down the street with a "death strip" in the middle. A nearby museum documents the history of the wall. Today, Wedding is one of the poorest areas of Berlin, with a high unemployment rate. 17% of the population live on social welfare. Foreigners make up 30% of the population. Low rental costs accompany the poverty in Wedding. Therefore, like many inexpensive areas in large cities, it is home to a vibrant artists' community. Many galleries have been founded by artists to provide a space for themselves and their peers to showcase their works.
Wedding has so far not experienced the development of the 1990s in Berlin. Unlike many other 19th-century working class districts like Prenzlauer Berg, the original character of Wedding has been preserved; however and more students and artists have moved to Wedding due to lower rental costs and a high level of quality of life. As a result, many new Bohemian cafés, restaurants and clubs, organic food stores and markets have been established, an art-house cinema and an urban gardening project has started and high-brow galleries have discovered that area, it is still said though to be a place to find the Schnauze mit Herz of the Berlin working class. Along with Kreuzberg, Wedding is one of the most ethnically diverse localities of Berlin; the multicultural atmosphere is visible in the bilingual shop signs. In recent years Wedding has seen a significant influx of Africans, many of whom have settled in the Afrikanisches Viertel, or African Quarter. Wedding is home to an East Asian community from China, reflected in many Asian and African stores and restaurants.
As of 2011, the ethnic make-up of Wedding was 52% of German origin, 18% Turks, 6% Sub-Saharan African, 6% Arabs, 6% Polish, 5% former Yugoslavia, 4.5% Asian. Many buildings are relics of European post-war Modernism; the Schillerpark estate in northern Wedding is part of the Modernist Housing Estates World Heritage Site. Beside monolithic housing blocks, several old buildings survived the war and urban renewal and still have coal-fired heating. A green oasis marks the west borders of the "old red" district, with Volkspark Rehberge and the idyllic Plötzensee, a lake in the southwest, it is a popular summer hang-out offering long lawns. A section of the beach is reserved for a German nudist movement. At Scharnweberstraße 158/159 is Germany's last inner-city dune dating back to Ice Age. Kevin-Prince Boateng, footballer for the Ghana national football team and Schalke 04, grew up in the area. Thomas Dörflein, best known for raising Knut the polar bear. Otto and Elise Hampel, a working-class couple who created a simple method of protest while living in Wedding, Berlin during the early years of World War II.
They were caught and executed. Hardy Krüger, actor Erich Mielke, convicted copkiller and longtime head of the East German Secre
A guillotine is an apparatus designed for efficiently carrying out executions by beheading. The device consists of a tall, upright frame in which a weighted and angled blade is raised to the top and suspended; the condemned person is secured with stocks at the bottom of the frame, positioning the neck directly below the blade. The blade is released, to fall and forcefully decapitate the victim with a single, clean pass so that the head falls into a basket below; the device is best known for its use in France, in particular during the French Revolution, where it was celebrated as the people's avenger by supporters of the revolution and vilified as the pre-eminent symbol of the Reign of Terror by opponents. The name dates from this period, but similar devices had been used elsewhere in Europe over several centuries; the display of severed heads had long been one of the most common ways a European sovereign displayed their power to their subjects. The guillotine remained France's standard method of judicial execution until the abolition of capital punishment in 1981.
The last person to be executed in France was Hamida Djandoubi, guillotined on 10 September 1977. This was the last time that the government of a Western nation executed an individual by beheading; the use of beheading machines in Europe long predates such use during the French revolution in 1792. An early example of the principle is found in the High History of the Holy Grail, dated to about 1210. Although the device is imaginary, its function is clear; the text says: Within these three openings are the hallows set for them. And behold what I would do to them if their three heads were therein... She setteth her hand toward the openings and draweth forth a pin, fastened into the wall, a cutting blade of steel droppeth down, of steel sharper than any razor, closeth up the three openings. "Even thus will I cut off their heads when they shall set them into those three openings thinking to adore the hallows that are beyond." The Halifax Gibbet was a wooden structure consisting of two wooden uprights, capped by a horizontal beam, of a total height of 4.5 metres.
The blade was an axe head weighing 3.5 kg, attached to the bottom of a massive wooden block that slid up and down in grooves in the uprights. This device was mounted on a large square platform 1.25 metres high. It is not known; the machine remained in use. It was used for the last time, for the execution of two criminals on a single day, on 30 April 1650. Holinshed's Chronicles of 1577 included a picture of "The execution of Murcod Ballagh near Merton in Ireland in 1307" showing a similar execution machine, suggesting its early use in Ireland; the Maiden was constructed in 1564 for the Provost and Magistrates of Edinburgh, it was in use from April 1565 to 1710. One of those executed was James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, in 1581, a 1644 publication began circulating the legend that Morton himself had commissioned the Maiden after he had seen the Halifax Gibbet; the Maiden was dismantled for storage and transport, it is now on display in the National Museum of Scotland. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, together with German engineer Tobias Schmidt, built a prototype for the guillotine.
Schmidt recommended using an angled blade as opposed to a round one. On 10 October 1789, physician Joseph-Ignace Guillotin proposed to the National Assembly that capital punishment should always take the form of decapitation "by means of a simple mechanism."Sensing the growing discontent, Louis XVI banned the use of the breaking wheel. In 1791, as the French Revolution progressed, the National Assembly researched a new method to be used on all condemned people regardless of class, consistent with the idea that the purpose of capital punishment was to end life rather than to inflict pain. A committee was formed under Antoine Louis, physician to the King and Secretary to the Academy of Surgery. Guillotin was on the committee; the group was influenced by the Italian Mannaia, the Scottish Maiden and the Halifax Gibbet, fitted with an axe head weighing 7 pounds 12 ounces. While these prior instruments crushed the neck or used blunt force to take off a head, devices usually used a crescent blade and a lunette.
Laquiante, an officer of the Strasbourg criminal court, designed a beheading machine and employed Tobias Schmidt, a German engineer and harpsichord maker, to construct a prototype. Antoine Louis is credited with the design of the prototype; the memoirs of the official executioner claim that King Louis XVI recommended that an oblique blade be used instead of a crescent blade, lest the blade not fit all necks. The first execution by guillotine was performed on highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier on 25 April 1792, he was executed in front of. All citizens deemed guilty of a crime punishable by death were from on executed there, until the scaffold was moved on 21 August to the Place du Carrousel; the machine was successful because it was considered a humane form of execution, contrasting with the methods used in the pre-revolutionary Ancien Régime. In France, before the invention of the guillotine, members of the nobility were beheaded with a sword or an axe, which took two or more blows to kill the condemned.
(The condemned or their families would sometimes pa