Bukovina is a historical region, variously described as in Central or Eastern Europe. The region is located on the northern slopes of the central Eastern Carpathians and the adjoining plains, today divided between Romania and Ukraine. A region of Moldavia during the Middle Ages, the territory of what became known as Bukovina was, from 1774 to 1918, an administrative division of the Habsburg Monarchy, the Austrian Empire, Austria-Hungary. After World War I, Romania established its control over Bukovina. In 1940, the northern half of Bukovina was annexed by the Soviet Union in violation of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, is part of Ukraine; the name Bukovina came into official use in 1775 with the region's annexation from the Principality of Moldavia to the possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy, which became the Austrian Empire in 1804, Austria-Hungary in 1867. The official German name of the province under Austrian rule, die Bukowina, was derived from the Polish form Bukowina, which in turn was derived from the common Slavic form of buk, meaning beech tree.
Another German name for the region, das Buchenland, is used in poetry, means "beech land", or "the land of beech trees". In Romanian, in literary or poetic contexts, the name Țara Fagilor is sometimes used. In English, an alternative form is The Bukovina an archaism, however, is found in older literature. In modern Ukraine, the name "Bukovina" is unofficial, but is common when referring to the Chernivtsi Oblast, as over two thirds of the oblast is the northern part of Bukovina. In Romania the term Northern Bukovina is sometimes synonymous with the entire Chernivtsi Oblast of Ukraine, while Bukovina refers to the Suceava County of Romania; the territory of Bukovina had been part of Moldavia since the 14th century. It was first delineated as a separate district in 1775, was made a nominal duchy within the Austrian Empire in 1849; the Moldavian state had appeared by the mid-14th century expanding its territory all the way to the Black Sea. Bukovina and neighboring regions were the nucleus of the Moldavian Principality, with the city of Suceava as its capital from 1388.
The name of Moldavia is derived from a river flowing in Bukovina. In the 15th century, the region to the north, became the subject of disputes between the Principality of Moldavia and the Polish Kingdom. Pokuttya was inhabited by Hutsuls. In 1497 a battle took place at the Cosmin Forest, at which Stephen III of Moldavia, managed to defeat the much-stronger but demoralized army of King John I Albert of Poland; the battle is known in Polish popular culture as "the battle when the Knights have perished". In this period, the patronage of Stephen the Great and his successors on the throne of Moldavia saw the construction of the famous painted monasteries of Moldoviţa, Suceviţa, Humor, Voroneţ, Dragomirna and others. With their renowned exterior frescoes, these monasteries remain some of the greatest cultural treasures of Romania. Stephen settled the first Ruthenians in Bukovina with the hope of having a loyal and more numerous population that would contribute with taxes. In Suceava, in the 16th century, two percent of the population was Ruthenian.
In 1513, Moldavia started to pay annual tribute to the Ottoman Empire, but remained autonomous and was governed as before by a native Voivod / Prince. In May, 1600 Mihai Viteazul, united the two Romanian principalities and Transylvania under his leadership. For short periods of time, the Polish Kingdom occupied parts of northern Moldavia. However, the old border was re-established each time, as for example on 14 October 1703 the Polish delegate Martin Chometowski acknowledged "Between us and Wallachia God himself set Dniester as the border". In the course of the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774, the Ottoman armies were defeated by the Russian Empire, which occupied the region during 15 December 1769 – September 1774, during 14 September–October 1769. Bukovina was the reward. Prince Grigore III Ghica of Moldavia protested and was prepared to take action to recover the territory, but was assassinated, a Greek-Phanariot foreigner was put on the throne of Moldavia by the Ottomans; the Austrian Empire occupied Bukovina in October 1774.
Following the First Partition of Poland in 1772, the Austrians claimed that they needed it for a road between Galicia and Transylvania. Bukovina was formally annexed in January 1775. On 2 July 1776, at Palamutka and Ottomans signed a border convention, Austria giving back 59 of the occupied villages, retaining 278 villages. Bukovina was a closed military district the largest district, Kreis Czernowitz of the Austrian constituent Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria. On 4 March 1849, Bukovina became a separate Austrian Kronland'crown land' under a Landespräsident and was declared the Herzogtum Bukowina (a
Nazi plunder refers to art theft and other items stolen as a result of the organized looting of European countries during the time of the Third Reich by agents acting on behalf of the ruling Nazi Party of Germany. Plundering occurred from 1933 until the end of World War II by military units known as the Kunstschutz, although most plunder was acquired during the war. In addition to gold and currency, cultural items of great significance were stolen, including paintings, ceramics and religious treasures. Although most of these items were recovered by agents of the Monuments, Fine Arts, Archives program, on behalf of the Allies following the war, many are still missing. There is an international effort underway to identify Nazi plunder that still remains unaccounted for, with the aim of returning the items to the rightful owners, their families or their respective countries. Adolf Hitler was an unsuccessful artist, denied admission to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. Nonetheless, he thought of himself as a connoisseur of the arts, in Mein Kampf he ferociously attacked modern art as degenerate, including Cubism and Dadaism, all of which he considered the product of a decadent twentieth century society.
In 1933 when Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, he enforced his aesthetic ideal on the nation. The types of art that were favored amongst the Nazi party were classical portraits and landscapes by Old Masters those of Germanic origin. Modern art that did not match this was dubbed degenerate art by the Third Reich, all, found in Germany's state museums was to be sold or destroyed. With the sums raised, the Führer's objective was to establish the European Art Museum in Linz. Other Nazi dignitaries, like Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring and Foreign Affairs minister von Ribbentrop, were intent on taking advantage of German military conquests to increase their private art collections. Art dealers Hildebrand Gurlitt, Karl Buchholz, Ferdinand Moeller and Bernhard Boehmer set up shop in Schloss Niederschonhausen, just outside Berlin, to sell a cache of near-16,000 paintings and sculptures which Hitler and Göring removed from the walls of German museums in 1937-38, they were first put on display in the Haus der Kunst in Munich on 19 July 1937, with the Nazi leaders inviting public mockery by two million visitors who came to view the condemned modern art in the Degenerate Art Exhibition.
Propagandist Joseph Goebbels in a radio broadcast called Germany's degenerate artists "garbage". Hitler opened the Haus der Kunst exhibition with a speech. In it he described German art as suffering "a great and fatal illness". Hildebrand Gurlitt and his colleagues did not have much success with their sales because art labelled "rubbish" had small appeal. So on 20 March 1939 they set fire to 1,004 paintings and sculptures and 3,825 watercolours and prints in the courtyard of the Berlin Fire Department, an act of infamy similar to their earlier well-known book burnings; the propaganda act raised the attention. The Basel Museum in Switzerland arrived with 50,000 Swiss francs to spend. Shocked art lovers came to buy. What is unknown after these sales is how many paintings were kept by Gurlitt, Buchholz and Boehmer and sold by them to Switzerland and America - ships crossed the Atlantic from Lisbon - for personal gain; the most infamous auction of Nazi looted art was the "degenerate art' auction organized by Theodor Fischer in Lucerne, Switzerland, 30 June 1939 at the Grand Hotel National.
The artworks on offer had been "de-accessioned" from German museums by the Nazis, yet many well known art dealers participated as well as proxies for major collectors and museums. Public auctions were only the visible tip of the iceberg, as many sales operated by art dealers were private; the Commission for Art Recovery has characterized Switzerland as "a magnet" for assets from the rise of Hitler until the end of World War II. Researching and documenting Switzerland's role "as an art-dealing centre and conduit for cultural assets in the Nazi period and in the immediate post-war period" was one of the missions of the Bergier Commission, under the directorship of Professor Georg Kreis. While the Nazis were in power, they plundered cultural property from every territory; this was conducted in a systematic manner with organizations created to determine which public and private collections were most valuable to the Nazi Regime. Some of the objects were earmarked for Hitler's never realized Führermuseum, some objects went to other high-ranking officials such as Hermann Göring, while other objects were traded to fund Nazi activities.
In 1940, an organization known as the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg für die Besetzten Gebiete, or ERR, was formed, headed for Alfred Rosenberg by Gerhard Utikal. The first operating unit, the western branch for France and the Netherlands, called the Dienststelle Westen, was located in Paris; the chief of this Dienststelle was Kurt von Behr. Its original purpose was to collect Jewish and Freemasonic books and documents, either for destruction, or for removal to Germany for further "study". However, late in 1940, Hermann Göring, who in fact controlled the ERR, issued an order that changed the mission of the ERR, mandating it to seize "Jewish" art collections and other objects; the war loot had to be collected in a central place in the Museum Jeu de Paume. At this collection point worked art historians and other personnel who inventoried the loot before sending it to Germany. Göring commanded that the loot would first be divided between Hitler and himself. Hitler ord
Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina
The Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina from June 28 – July 4, 1940, of the Romanian regions of northern Bukovina and Hertza, of Bessarabia, a region under Romanian administration since Russian Civil War times. These regions, with a total area of 50,762 km2 and a population of 3,776,309 inhabitants, were subsequently incorporated into the Soviet Union; the Soviet Union had planned to accomplish the annexation with a full-scale invasion, but the Romanian government, responding to a Soviet ultimatum delivered on June 26, agreed to withdraw from the territories in order to avoid a military conflict. Nazi Germany, which had acknowledged the Soviet interest in Bessarabia in a secret protocol to the 1939 Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, had been made aware prior to the planned ultimatum on June 24, but had not informed the Romanian authorities, nor were they willing to provide support; the Fall of France, a guarantor of Romania's borders, on 22 June, is considered an important factor in the Soviet decision to issue the ultimatum.
On August 2, 1940, the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic was proclaimed as a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, encompassing most of Bessarabia, as well as a portion of the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, an autonomous republic of the Ukrainian SSR located on the left bank of the Dniester. The Hertza region, the regions inhabited by Slavic majorities were included in the Ukrainian SSR. A period of political persecution, including executions, deportations to labour camps and arrests, occurred during the Soviet administration. In July 1941, Romanian and German troops recaptured Bessarabia during the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union. A military administration was established and the region's Jewish population was either executed on the spot or deported to Transnistria, where further numbers were killed. In August 1944, during the Soviet Jassy–Kishinev Offensive, the Axis war effort on the Eastern Front collapsed. A coup d'état in Romania on 23 August 1944 caused the Romanian army to cease resisting the Soviet advance and join the fight against Germany.
Soviet forces advanced from Bessarabia into Romania, capturing much of its standing army as POWs and occupying the country. On September 12, 1944, Romania signed the Moscow Armistice with the Allies; the Armistice, as well as the subsequent peace treaty of 1947, confirmed the Soviet-Romanian border as it was on January 1, 1941. Bessarabia, northern Bukovina, Hertza remained part of the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991, when they became part of the newly independent states of Moldova and Ukraine. In its declaration of independence of August 27, 1991, the government of Moldova condemned the creation of the Moldavian SSR, declaring that it had no legal basis; as a historical region, Bessarabia was the eastern part of the Principality of Moldavia. In 1812, under the terms of the Treaty of Bucharest, the region was ceded by the Ottoman Empire to the Russian Empire; the Bessarabian question was both national in nature. According to the 1897 census, Bessarabia, at the time a guberniya of the Russian Empire, had a population, 47.6% Moldovans, 19.6% Ukrainians, 8% Russians, 11.8% Jews, 5.3% Bulgarians, 3.1% Germans, 2.9% Gagauz.
These figures showed a strong decrease in the proportion of Moldovans/Romanians in comparison to the census of 1817, conducted shortly after the Russian Empire annexed Bessarabia in 1812. According to the data of this census, Moldovans/Romanians represented 86% of the population; the decrease seen in the census of 1897 was due to the Russian policy of settling of other nationalities and Russification in the territory of Bessarabia. During the 1917 Russian Revolution, a National Council was formed in Bessarabia to manage the province; the council, known locally as Sfatul Țării, initiated several national and social reforms, on December 2/15 1917 declared the Moldavian Democratic Republic an autonomous republic within the Russian Federative Democratic Republic. The Rumcherod, a rival council loyal to the Petrograd Soviet, was formed and by late December had gained control over the capital, Chișinău, proclaimed itself the sole authority over Bessarabia. With the consent of the Entente, according to the Romanian historiography, on the request of Sfatul Țării, Romanian troops entered Bessarabia in early January, by February had pushed the Soviets over the Dniester.
Despite declarations by the Romanian prime minister that the military occupation was made with the consent of the Bessarabian government, the intervention was met with protest by the locals, notably by Ion Inculeț, president of Sfatul Țării, Pantelimon Erhan, head of the provisional Moldavian executive. The executive authorised the badly organised Moldavian militia to resist the Romanian advance, although with little success. In the wake of the intervention, Soviet Russia broke off diplomatic relations with Romania and confiscated the Romanian Treasure, at the time stored in Moscow for safekeeping. To calm the situation, the Entente representatives in Iași issued a guarantee that the presence of the Romanian Army was only a temporary military measure for the stabilisation of the front, without further effects on the political life of the region. In January 1918, Ukraine declared its independence from Russia, leaving Bessarabia physically isolated from the Petrograd government, leading to the declaration of independence of the Moldavian Republic on January 24/February 5.
Some historians consider. Following several Soviet protests, on February 20/March 5, the Romanian prime minister, General Alexandru Averescu, signed a treaty with the
World War II casualties
World War II was the deadliest military conflict in history. An estimated total 70-85 million people perished, about 3% of the 1940 world population; the tables below give a detailed country-by-country count of human losses. World War II fatality statistics vary, with estimates of total deaths ranging from 70 million to 85 million. Deaths directly caused by the war military and civilians killed are estimated at 50-56 million people, there were an additional estimated 19 to 28 million deaths from war-related disease and famine. Civilians deaths totaled 50 to 55 million. Military deaths from all causes totaled 21 to 25 million, including deaths in captivity of about 5 million prisoners of war. Statistics on the number of military wounded are included. More than half of the total number of casualties are accounted for by the dead of the Republic of China and of the Soviet Union; the government of the Russian Federation in the 1990s published an estimate of USSR losses at 26.6 million, including 8 to 9 million due to famine and disease.
These losses are for the territory of the USSR in the borders of 1946–1991, including territories annexed in 1939–40. The People's Republic of China as of 2005 estimated the number of Chinese casualties in the Second Sino-Japanese War from 1937 to 1945 are 20 million dead and 15 million wounded. In 2000, the total number of German military dead was estimated at 5.3 million by Rüdiger Overmans of the Military History Research Office. Civilian deaths are not included. However, in 2005 the German government put the war dead at 7,395,000 persons from Germany and men conscripted from outside of Germany's 1937 borders; the number of Polish dead are estimated to number between 5.6 and 5.8 million according to the Institute of National Remembrance. Documentation remains fragmentary, but today scholars of independent Poland believe that 1.8 to 1.9 million Polish civilians and 3 million Jews were victims of German Occupation policies and the war for a total of just under 5 million dead."The Japanese government as of 2005 put the number of Japanese deaths at 3.1 million.
Compiling or estimating the numbers of deaths and wounded caused during wars and other violent conflicts is a controversial subject. Historians put forward many different estimates of the numbers killed and wounded during World War II; the authors of the Oxford Companion to World War II maintain that "casualty statistics are notoriously unreliable." The table below gives data on the number of dead and military wounded for each country, along with population information to show the relative impact of losses. When scholarly sources differ on the number of deaths in a country, a range of war losses is given, in order to inform readers that the death toll is disputed. Since casualty statistics are sometimes disputed the footnotes to this article present the different estimates by official governmental sources as well as historians. Military figures include battle deaths and personnel missing in action, as well as fatalities due to accidents and deaths of prisoners of war in captivity. Civilian casualties include deaths caused by strategic bombing, Holocaust victims, German war crimes, Japanese war crimes, population transfers in the Soviet Union, Allied war crimes, deaths due to war related famine and disease.
The sources for the casualties of the individual nations do not use the same methods, civilian deaths due to starvation and disease make up a large proportion of the civilian deaths in China and the Soviet Union. The losses listed here are actual deaths; the distinction between military and civilian casualties caused directly by warfare and collateral damage is not always clear-cut. For nations that suffered huge losses such as the Soviet Union, Poland and Yugoslavia, sources can give only the total estimated population loss caused by the war and a rough estimate of the breakdown of deaths caused by military activity, crimes against humanity and war-related famine; the casualties listed here include 19 to 25 million war-related famine deaths in the USSR, Indonesia, the Philippines, India that are omitted from other compilations of World War II casualties. The footnotes give a detailed breakdown of the casualties and their sources, including data on the number of wounded where reliable sources are available.
Figures are rounded to the nearest hundredth place. Military casualties include deaths of regular military forces from combat as well as non-combat causes. Partisan and resistance fighter deaths are included with military losses; the deaths of prisoners of war in captivity and personnel missing in action are included with military deaths. Whenever possible the details are given in the footnotes; the armed forces of the various nations are treated as single entities, for example the deaths of Austrians and foreign nationals of German ancestry in eastern Europe in the Wehrmacht are included with German military losses. For example, Michael Strank is included with American not Czechoslovak war dead. Civilian war dead are included with the nations. For example, German Jewish refugees in France who were deported to the death camps are included with French casualties in the published sources on the Holocaust; the official casualty statistics published by the governments of the United States and the UK do not give the details of the national origin and religion of the losses.
Civilian casualties include deaths caused by strategic bombing, Holocaus
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
The Manhattan Project was a research and development undertaking during World War II that produced the first nuclear weapons. It was led by the United States with the support of Canada. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. Nuclear physicist Robert Oppenheimer was the director of the Los Alamos Laboratory that designed the actual bombs; the Army component of the project was designated the Manhattan District. Along the way, the project absorbed Tube Alloys; the Manhattan Project began modestly in 1939, but grew to employ more than 130,000 people and cost nearly US$2 billion. Over 90% of the cost was for building factories and to produce fissile material, with less than 10% for development and production of the weapons. Research and production took place at more than 30 sites across the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada. Two types of atomic bombs were developed concurrently during the war: a simple gun-type fission weapon and a more complex implosion-type nuclear weapon.
The Thin Man gun-type design proved impractical to use with plutonium, therefore a simpler gun-type called Little Boy was developed that used uranium-235, an isotope that makes up only 0.7 percent of natural uranium. Chemically identical to the most common isotope, uranium-238, with the same mass, it proved difficult to separate the two. Three methods were employed for uranium enrichment: electromagnetic and thermal. Most of this work was performed at the Clinton Engineer Works at Tennessee. In parallel with the work on uranium was an effort to produce plutonium. After the feasibility of the world's first artificial nuclear reactor was demonstrated in Chicago at the Metallurgical Laboratory, it designed the X-10 Graphite Reactor at Oak Ridge and the production reactors in Hanford, Washington, in which uranium was irradiated and transmuted into plutonium; the plutonium was chemically separated from the uranium, using the bismuth phosphate process. The Fat Man plutonium implosion-type weapon was developed in a concerted design and development effort by the Los Alamos Laboratory.
The project was charged with gathering intelligence on the German nuclear weapon project. Through Operation Alsos, Manhattan Project personnel served in Europe, sometimes behind enemy lines, where they gathered nuclear materials and documents, rounded up German scientists. Despite the Manhattan Project's tight security, Soviet atomic spies penetrated the program; the first nuclear device detonated was an implosion-type bomb at the Trinity test, conducted at New Mexico's Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range on 16 July 1945. Little Boy and Fat Man bombs were used a month in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively. In the immediate postwar years, the Manhattan Project conducted weapons testing at Bikini Atoll as part of Operation Crossroads, developed new weapons, promoted the development of the network of national laboratories, supported medical research into radiology and laid the foundations for the nuclear navy, it maintained control over American atomic weapons research and production until the formation of the United States Atomic Energy Commission in January 1947.
The discovery of nuclear fission by German chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann in 1938, its theoretical explanation by Lise Meitner and Otto Frisch, made the development of an atomic bomb a theoretical possibility. There were fears that a German atomic bomb project would develop one first among scientists who were refugees from Nazi Germany and other fascist countries. In August 1939, Hungarian-born physicists Leó Szilárd and Eugene Wigner drafted the Einstein–Szilárd letter, which warned of the potential development of "extremely powerful bombs of a new type", it urged the United States to take steps to acquire stockpiles of uranium ore and accelerate the research of Enrico Fermi and others into nuclear chain reactions. They had it delivered to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Roosevelt called on Lyman Briggs of the National Bureau of Standards to head the Advisory Committee on Uranium to investigate the issues raised by the letter. Briggs held a meeting on 21 October 1939, attended by Szilárd, Wigner and Edward Teller.
The committee reported back to Roosevelt in November that uranium "would provide a possible source of bombs with a destructiveness vastly greater than anything now known."The Advisory Committee on Uranium became the National Defense Research Committee Committee on Uranium when that organization was formed on 27 June 1940. Briggs proposed spending $167,000 on research into uranium the uranium-235 isotope, the discovered plutonium. On 28 June 1941, Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8807, which created the Office of Scientific Research and Development, with Vannevar Bush as its director; the office was empowered to engage in large engineering projects in addition to research. The NDRC Committee on Uranium became the S-1 Section of the OSRD. In Britain and Rudolf Peierls at the University of Birmingham had made a breakthrough investigating the critical mass of uranium-235 in June 1939, their calculations indicated that it was within an order of magnitude of 10 kilograms, small enough to be carried by a bomber of the day.
Their March 1940 Frisch–Peierls memorandum initiated the British atomic bomb project and its Maud Committee, which unanimously recommended pursuing the development of an atomic bomb
Socialist Republic of Romania
The Socialist Republic of Romania refers to Romania under Marxist-Leninist one-party communist rule that existed from 1947 to 1989. From 1947 to 1965, the state was known as the Romanian People's Republic; the country was a Soviet-aligned Eastern Bloc state with a dominant role for the Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its constitutions. As World War II ended, Romania, a former Axis member, was occupied by the Soviet Union, the sole representative of the Allies. On 6 March 1945, after mass demonstrations by communist sympathizers and political pressure from the Soviet representative of the Allied Control Commission, a new pro-Soviet government that included members of the outlawed Romanian Workers' Party was installed. More members of the Workers' Party and communist-aligned parties gained control of the administration and pre-war political leaders were eliminated from political life. In December 1947, King Michael was coerced to abdicate and the People's Republic of Romania was declared.
At first, Romania's scarce post-war resources were drained by the "SovRoms", new tax-exempt Soviet-Romanian companies that allowed the Soviet Union to control Romania's major sources of income. Another drain was the war reparations paid to the Soviet Union. In the 1950s, Romania's communist government began to assert more independence, for example, the withdrawal of all Soviet troops from Romania by 1958. In the 1960s and 1970s, Nicolae Ceaușescu became General Secretary of the Communist Party, Chairman of the State Council and assumed the newly established role of President in 1974. Ceaușescu's denunciation of the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and a brief relaxation in internal repression helped give him a positive image both at home and in the West. However, rapid economic growth fueled in part by foreign credits gave way to an austerity and political repression that led to the fall of his totalitarian government in December 1989. A large number of people were executed or died in custody during communist Romania's existence, most during the Stalinist era of the 1950s.
While judicial executions between 1945 and 1964 numbered 137, deaths in custody are estimated in the tens or hundreds of thousands. Many more were imprisoned for political, economical or other reasons and suffered abuse, torture and/or death. Geographically, Romania bordered the Black Sea to the east; when King Michael, supported by the main political parties, overthrew Ion Antonescu in August 1944, breaking Romania away from the Axis and bringing it over to the Allied side, Michael could do nothing to erase the memory of his country's recent active participation in the German invasion of the Soviet Union. Romanian forces fought under Soviet command, driving through Northern Transylvania into Hungary proper, on into Czechoslovakia and Austria. However, the Soviets treated Romania as conquered territory, Soviet troops remained in the country as occupying forces under the pretext that Romanian authorities could not guarantee the security and stability of Northern Transylvania; the Yalta Conference had granted the Soviet Union a predominant interest in Romania, the Paris Peace Treaties failed to acknowledge Romania as a co-belligerent, the Red Army was sitting on Romanian soil.
The Communists, as all political parties, played only a minor role in the first Michael's wartime governments, headed by General Constantin Sănătescu, though their presence increased in the one led by Nicolae Rădescu. This changed in March 1945, when Dr. Petru Groza of the Ploughmen's Front, a party associated with the Communists, became prime minister, his government was broad-based on paper, including members of most major prewar parties except the Iron Guard. However, the Communists held the key ministries, most of the ministers nominally representing non-Communist parties were, like Groza himself, fellow travelers; the King was not happy with the direction of this government, but when he attempted to force Groza's resignation by refusing to sign any legislation, Groza chose to enact laws without bothering to obtain Michael's signature. On 8 November 1945, King Michael's name day, a pro-monarchy demonstration in front of the Royal Palace in Bucharest escalated into street fights between opposition supporters and soldiers and pro-government workers, resulting in dozens of killed and wounded.
Despite the King's disapproval, the first Groza government brought women's suffrage. However, it brought the beginnings of Soviet domination of Romania. In the elections of 19 November 1946, the Communist-led Bloc of Democratic Parties claimed 84% of the votes; these elections were characterized by widespread irregularities, including intimidation, electoral fraud, assassinations Archives confirm suspicions at the time that the election results were, in fact, falsified. After forming a government, the Communists moved to eliminate the role of the centrist parties. A show trial of their leadership was arranged, they were put in jail. Other parties were forced to "merge" with the Communists. In 1946 and 1947, several high-ranking members in the pro-Axis government were executed as war criminals for their involvement in the Holocaust and for attacking the Soviet Union. Ant