Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Jews or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and a nation, originating from the Israelites and Hebrews of historical Israel and Judah. Jewish ethnicity and religion are interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish people, while its observance varies from strict observance to complete nonobservance. Jews originated as an ethnic and religious group in the Middle East during the second millennium BCE, in the part of the Levant known as the Land of Israel; the Merneptah Stele appears to confirm the existence of a people of Israel somewhere in Canaan as far back as the 13th century BCE. The Israelites, as an outgrowth of the Canaanite population, consolidated their hold with the emergence of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah; some consider that these Canaanite sedentary Israelites melded with incoming nomadic groups known as'Hebrews'. Though few sources mention the exilic periods in detail, the experience of diaspora life, from the Ancient Egyptian rule over the Levant, to Assyrian captivity and exile, to Babylonian captivity and exile, to Seleucid Imperial rule, to the Roman occupation and exile, the historical relations between Jews and their homeland thereafter, became a major feature of Jewish history and memory.
Prior to World War II, the worldwide Jewish population reached a peak of 16.7 million, representing around 0.7% of the world population at that time. 6 million Jews were systematically murdered during the Holocaust. Since the population has risen again, as of 2016 was estimated at 14.4 million by the Berman Jewish DataBank, less than 0.2% of the total world population. The modern State of Israel is the only country, it defines itself as a Jewish and democratic state in the Basic Laws, Human Dignity and Liberty in particular, based on the Declaration of Independence. Israel's Law of Return grants the right of citizenship to Jews who have expressed their desire to settle in Israel. Despite their small percentage of the world's population, Jews have influenced and contributed to human progress in many fields, both and in modern times, including philosophy, literature, business, fine arts and architecture, music and cinema, science and technology, as well as religion. Jews have played a significant role in the development of Western Civilization.
The English word "Jew" continues Iewe. These terms derive from Old French giu, earlier juieu, which through elision had dropped the letter "d" from the Medieval Latin Iudaeus, like the New Testament Greek term Ioudaios, meant both "Jew" and "Judean" / "of Judea"; the Greek term was a loan from Aramaic Y'hūdāi, corresponding to Hebrew יְהוּדִי Yehudi the term for a member of the tribe of Judah or the people of the kingdom of Judah. According to the Hebrew Bible, the name of both the tribe and kingdom derive from Judah, the fourth son of Jacob. Genesis 29:35 and 49:8 connect the name "Judah" with the verb yada, meaning "praise", but scholars agree that the name of both the patriarch and the kingdom instead have a geographic origin—possibly referring to the gorges and ravines of the region; the Hebrew word for "Jew" is יְהוּדִי Yehudi, with the plural יְהוּדִים Yehudim. Endonyms in other Jewish languages include the Yiddish ייִד Yid; the etymological equivalent is in use in other languages, e.g. يَهُودِيّ yahūdī, al-yahūd, in Arabic, "Jude" in German, "judeu" in Portuguese, "Juif" /"Juive" in French, "jøde" in Danish and Norwegian, "judío/a" in Spanish, "jood" in Dutch, "żyd" in Polish etc. but derivations of the word "Hebrew" are in use to describe a Jew, e.g. in Italian, in Persian and Russian.
The German word "Jude" is pronounced, the corresponding adjective "jüdisch" is the origin of the word "Yiddish". According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, fourth edition, It is recognized that the attributive use of the noun Jew, in phrases such as Jew lawyer or Jew ethics, is both vulgar and offensive. In such contexts Jewish is the only acceptable possibility; some people, have become so wary of this construction that they have extended the stigma to any use of Jew as a noun, a practice that carries risks of its own. In a sentence such as There are now several Jews on the council, unobjectionable, the substitution of a circumlocution like Jewish people or persons of Jewish background may in itself cause offense for seeming to imply that Jew has a negative connotation when used as a noun. Judaism shares some of the characteristics of a nation, an ethnicity, a religion, a culture, making the definition of, a Jew vary depending on whether a religious or national approach to identity is used.
In modern secular usage Jews include three groups: people who were born to a Jewish family regardless of whether or not they follow the religion, those who have some Jewish ancestral background or lineage, people without any Jewish ancestral background or lineage who have formally converted to Judaism and therefore are followers of the religion. Historical definitions of Jewish identity have traditionally been based on halakhic definitions of matrilineal descent, halakhic conversions; these definitions of, a Jew date back to the codification of the Oral
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta
Physical education known as Phys Ed. PE, gym, or gym class, known in many Commonwealth countries as physical training or PT, is an educational course related of maintaining the human body through physical exercises, it is taken during primary and secondary education and encourages psychomotor learning in a play or movement exploration setting to promote health. Whether the class produces positive effects on students' health and academic performance depends upon the kind of program, taught. Physical education trends have developed to incorporate a greater variety of activities besides the skills necessary to play typical team sports such as football or basketball. Introducing students to activities like bowling, walking/hiking, or frisbee at an early age can help them develop good activity habits that will continue into adulthood; some teachers have begun to incorporate stress-reduction techniques such as yoga, deep breathing and tai chi. Tai chi, an ancient martial arts form focused on slow meditative movements, is a relaxation activity with many benefits.
Studies have shown that it enhances muscular strength and endurance, as well as cardiovascular endurance. It provides psychological benefits such as improving general mental health, concentration and positive mood, it can be taught to any age student with little or no equipment, making it ideal for mixed ability and age classes. Tai chi can be incorporated into a holistic learning body and mind unit. Teaching non-traditional sports may provide motivation for students to increase their activity, can help them learn about different cultures. For example, while learning about lacrosse in the Southwestern United States, students might learn about the Native American cultures of the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada, where the sport originated. Teaching non-traditional sports provides an opportunity to integrate academic concepts from other subjects as well, which may now be required of many PE teachers. PE is important to students' health and overall well-being; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that over the past three years obesity in children and adolescents has doubled because of diet and lack of activity.
Since the 1970s the number of children who are obese has tripled. SHAPE America's National Standards & Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education define what a student should know and be able to do as result of an effective physical education program. Another trend is the incorporation of nutrition into the physical education curriculum; the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 required that all school districts with a federally-funded school meal program develop wellness policies that address nutrition and physical activity. While teaching students sports and movement skills, PE teachers are now incorporating short health and nutrition lessons into the curriculum; this is more prevalent at the elementary school level, where students do not have a specific Health class. Most elementary schools have specific health classes for students as well as physical education class. Due to the recent outbreaks of diseases such as swine flu, school districts are making it mandatory for students to learn about practicing good hygiene along with other health topics.
Today, many states require Physical Education teachers to be certified to teach Health courses. Many colleges and universities offer both Physical Health as one certification; this push towards health education is beginning at the intermediate level, including lessons on bullying, self-esteem and stress and anger management. Research has shown that there is a positive correlation between exercising. Incorporating local indigenous knowledge into physical education can lead to many meaningful experiences and a way of learning about other cultures. For example, by incorporating traditional knowledge from varying indigenous groups from across Canada, students can be exposed to many concepts such as holistic learning and the medicine wheel. A unit could be focused on connecting to a place or feeling while outdoors, participating in traditional games, or outdoor environmental education; these types of lesson can be integrated into other parts of the curriculum and give Aboriginal students a chance to incorporate their culture in the local school community.
Studies have been done in. In a 2007 article, researchers found a profound gain in English Arts standardized testing test scores among students who had 56 hours of physical education in a year, compared to those who had 28 hours of physical education a year. In Brazil, the physical education curriculum is designed to allow school pupils a full range of modern opportunities, including sports. Martial arts classes, like wrestling in the United States, Pencak Silat in France and Malaysia, teach children self-defense and to feel good about themselves; the physical education curriculum is designed to allow students to experience at least a minimum exposure to the following categories of activities: aquatics, conditioning activities, individual/dual sports, team sports and dance. In these areas, a planned sequence of learning experiences is designed to support a progression of student development; this allows kids through 6th grade to be introduced to sports and teamwork in order to be better prepared for the middle and high school age.
In 1975, the United States House of Representatives voted to require school physical education classes include both genders. Some high school and some middle school PE. New technology in education is playing a big role in classes. One of
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, which started on Sunday, 22 June 1941, during World War II. The operation stemmed from Nazi Germany's ideological aims to conquer the western Soviet Union so that it could be repopulated by Germans, to use Slavs as a slave labour force for the Axis war effort, to murder the rest, to acquire the oil reserves of the Caucasus and the agricultural resources of Soviet territories. In the two years leading up to the invasion and the Soviet Union signed political and economic pacts for strategic purposes; the German High Command began planning an invasion of the Soviet Union in July 1940, which Adolf Hitler authorized on 18 December 1940. Over the course of the operation, about three million personnel of the Axis powers – the largest invasion force in the history of warfare – invaded the western Soviet Union along a 2,900-kilometer front. In addition to troops, the Wehrmacht deployed some 600,000 motor vehicles, between 600,000 and 700,000 horses for non-combat operations.
The offensive marked an escalation of World War II, both geographically and in the formation of the Allied coalition. Operationally, German forces achieved major victories and occupied some of the most important economic areas of the Soviet Union and inflicted, as well as sustained, heavy casualties. Despite these Axis successes, the German offensive stalled in the Battle of Moscow at the end of 1941, the subsequent Soviet winter counteroffensive pushed German troops back; the Red Army absorbed the Wehrmacht's strongest blows and forced the Germans into a war of attrition that they were unprepared for. The Wehrmacht never again mounted a simultaneous offensive along the entire Eastern front; the failure of the operation drove Hitler to demand further operations of limited scope inside the Soviet Union, such as Case Blue in 1942 and Operation Citadel in 1943 – all of which failed. The failure of Operation Barbarossa proved a turning point in the fortunes of the Third Reich. Most the operation opened up the Eastern Front, in which more forces were committed than in any other theater of war in world history.
The Eastern Front became the site of some of the largest battles, most horrific atrocities, highest World War II casualties, all of which influenced the course of both World War II and the subsequent history of the 20th century. The German armies captured 5,000,000 Red Army troops, who were denied the protection guaranteed by the Hague Conventions and the 1929 Geneva Convention. A majority of Red Army POWs never returned alive; the Nazis deliberately starved to death, or otherwise killed, 3.3 million prisoners of war, as well as a huge number of civilians. Einsatzgruppen death-squads and gassing operations murdered over a million Soviet Jews as part of the Holocaust; as early as 1925, Adolf Hitler vaguely declared in his political manifesto and autobiography Mein Kampf that he would invade the Soviet Union, asserting that the German people needed to secure Lebensraum to ensure the survival of Germany for generations to come. On 10 February 1939, Hitler told his army commanders that the next war would be "purely a war of Weltanschauungen... a people's war, a racial war".
On 23 November, once World War II had started, Hitler declared that "racial war has broken out and this war shall determine who shall govern Europe, with it, the world". The racial policy of Nazi Germany portrayed the Soviet Union as populated by non-Aryan Untermenschen, ruled by Jewish Bolshevik conspirators. Hitler claimed in Mein Kampf that Germany's destiny was to "turn to the East" as it did "six hundred years ago". Accordingly, it was stated Nazi policy to kill, deport, or enslave the majority of Russian and other Slavic populations and repopulate the land with Germanic peoples, under the Generalplan Ost; the Germans' belief in their ethnic superiority is evident in official German records and discernible in pseudoscientific articles in German periodicals at the time, which covered topics such as "how to deal with alien populations". While older histories tended to emphasize the notion of a "Clean Wehrmacht", the historian Jürgen Förster notes that "In fact, the military commanders were caught up in the ideological character of the conflict, involved in its implementation as willing participants."
Before and during the invasion of the Soviet Union, German troops were indoctrinated with anti-Bolshevik, anti-Semitic, anti-Slavic ideology via movies, lectures and leaflets. Likening the Soviets to the forces of Genghis Khan, Hitler told Croatian military leader Slavko Kvaternik that the "Mongolian race" threatened Europe. Following the invasion, Wehrmacht officers told their soldiers to target people who were described as "Jewish Bolshevik subhumans", the "Mongol hordes", the "Asiatic flood", the "Red beast". Nazi propaganda portrayed the war against the Soviet Union as both an ideological war between German National Socialism and Jewish Bolshevism and a racial war between the Germans and the Jewish and Slavic Untermenschen. An'order from the Führer' stated that the Einsatzgruppen were to execute all Soviet functionaries who were "less valuable Asiatics and Jews". Six months into the invasion of the Soviet Union, the Einsatzgruppen had murdered in excess of 500,000 Soviet Jews, a figure greater than the number of Red Army soldiers killed in combat during that same time frame.
German army command
1968 Polish political crisis
The Polish 1968 political crisis known in Poland as March 1968 or March events, pertains to a series of major student and other protests against the government of the Polish People's Republic. The crisis resulted in the suppression of student strikes by security forces in all major academic centres across the country and the subsequent repression of the Polish dissident movement, it was accompanied by mass emigration following an antisemitic campaign waged by the minister of internal affairs, General Mieczysław Moczar, with the approval of First Secretary Władysław Gomułka of the Polish United Workers' Party. The protests coincided with the events of the Prague Spring in neighboring Czechoslovakia – raising new hopes of democratic reforms among the intelligentsia; the unrest culminated in the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia on 20 August 1968. The anti-Jewish campaign had begun in 1967; the policy was carried out in conjunction with the Soviet withdrawal of all diplomatic relations with Israel after the Six-Day War, but involved a power struggle within the Polish communist party itself.
The subsequent purges within the ruling party, led by Mieczysław Moczar and his faction, failed to topple Gomułka's government, but resulted in an exile from Poland of thousands of individuals of Jewish ancestry, including professionals, party officials and secret police functionaries. In staged public displays of support, factory workers across Poland were assembled to publicly denounce Zionism. At least 13,000 Poles of Jewish origin emigrated in 1968–72 as a result of being fired from their positions and various other forms of harassment. Political turmoil of the late 1960s was exemplified in the West by the violent protests against the Vietnam War and included numerous instances of protest and revolt among students, that reverberated across Europe in 1968; the movement was reflected in the Eastern Bloc by the events of the Prague Spring, which began on 5 January 1968. A wave of protests in Czechoslovakia marked the high point of a broader series of dissident social mobilization. According to Ivan Krastev, the 1968 movement in Western Europe, with its emphasis on individual sovereignty, was fundamentally different from that in the Eastern Bloc, concerned with national sovereignty, this dichotomy is reflected in the different societal models that have since evolved in the respective parts of the continent.
In Poland, a growing crisis having to do with communist party control over universities, the literary community, intellectuals in general, marked the mid-1960s. Those persecuted for political activism on campus included Jacek Kuroń, Karol Modzelewski, Adam Michnik, Barbara Toruńczyk and a number of others. A decade earlier, Poland was a scene of the Polish October events; the events of 1967 and Polish communist leaders' necessity to follow the Soviet lead altered the correct relations between People's Poland and Israel. The combination of international and domestic factors gave rise in Poland to a campaign of hate against purported internal enemies, among whom the Jews would become the most salient target; as the Israeli–Arab Six-Day War started on 5 June 1967, the Polish Politburo met the following day and made policy determinations, declaring condemnation of "Israel's aggression" and full support for the "just struggle of the Arab countries". First Secretary Władysław Gomułka and Prime Minister Józef Cyrankiewicz went to Moscow on 9 June for a Middle East conference of communist leaders.
The participants deliberated in a depressed atmosphere. The decisions made included the Warsaw Pact's continuation of military and financial support for the Arab states and the breaking of diplomatic relations with Israel, in which only Romania refused to participate. A media campaign commenced in Poland and was soon followed by "anti-Israeli imperialism" rallies held in various towns and places of employment. After the government delegation's return to Warsaw, Gomułka, pessimistic and fearful of a possible nuclear confrontation and irritated by the reports of support for Israel among many Polish Jews, on 19 June proclaimed at the Trade Union Congress that Israel's aggression had been "met with applause in Zionist circles of Jews – Polish citizens." Gomułka invited "those who feel that these words are addressed to them" to emigrate, but Edward Ochab and some other Politburo members objected and the statement was deleted before the speech's publication. Gomułka did not issue a call for anti-Jewish personnel purges, but the so-called "anti-Zionist" campaign got underway anyway, supported by his close associates Zenon Kliszko and Ignacy Loga-Sowiński.
It was eagerly amplified by General Mieczysław Moczar, minister of internal affairs, by some military leaders who had long been waiting for an opportunity to "settle with the Jews", by other officials. A list of 382 "Zionists" was presented at the ministry on 28 June and the purge developed, beginning with Jewish generals and other high-ranking officers of the Polish armed forces. About 150 Jewish military officers were fired in 1967–68, including Czesław Mankiewicz, national air defense chief. Minister of Defense Marian Spychalski tried to defend Mankiewicz and by doing so compromised his own position; the Ministry of Internal Affairs renewed its proposal to ban the Jewish organizations from receiving foreign contributions from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. This time, unlike on previous occasions, the request was granted by the Secretariat of the PZPR's Central Committee and the well-developed Jewish social and cultural organized activities in Poland faced stiff reductions or practical liquidation.
The Holocaust in Poland
The Holocaust in German-occupied Poland was marked by the construction of death camps by Nazi Germany in Poland. The Third Reich's World War II genocide, known as the Holocaust, took the lives of three million Polish Jews, half of all Jews killed during the Holocaust. Scholars disagree on whether to classify up to three million ethnic-Polish victims of German genocide as Holocaust victims; the extermination camps played a central role in Germany's systematic murder of over 90% of Poland's Jewish population. Every branch of the sophisticated German bureaucracy was involved in the killing process, from the Interior and Finance Ministries to German firms and state-run railroads. German companies bid for contracts to build crematoria in concentration camps run by Germany in the General Government and in other areas of occupied Poland and beyond. During the German occupation, many ethnic Poles, at the greatest risk to themselves and their families, succeeded in saving Jews from the Germans. Polish rescuers represent the greatest number of persons, of any nationality, who saved Jews during the Holocaust..
The State of Israel has recognized 6,863 individuals as Polish Righteous among the Nations. A small percentage of Polish Jews survived World War II within German-occupied Poland or escaped east, beyond reach of the Germans, into the territories of Poland, annexed by the Soviet Union in 1939, only to be deported to forced labor in Siberia along with up to 1 million of Poland's non-Jewish citizens. Following the 1939 invasion of Poland, in accordance with the secret protocol of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned Poland into occupation zones. Large areas of western Poland were annexed by Germany; the Soviets had attempted to deceive the Poles into believing that they had invaded eastern Poland to help Poland fight Germany and took over some 52% of Poland's territory. The entire Kresy macroregion – inhabited by between 13.2 and 13.7 million people, including majority-Ukrainian and -Belarusin populations and 1,300,000 Jews – was annexed by the Soviet Union in an atmosphere of terror surrounding a mock referendum staged by the NKVD and the Red Army.
Within months, Polish Jews in the Soviet zone who refused to swear allegiance were deported deep into the Soviet interior along with ethnic Poles. The number of deported Polish Jews is estimated at 200,000–230,000 men and children. Both occupying powers were hostile to the existence of a sovereign Polish state and endorsed policies of genocide. However, Soviet possession was short-lived because the terms of the Nazi–Soviet Pact, signed earlier in Moscow, were broken when the German army invaded the Soviet occupation zone on 22 June 1941. From 1941 to 1943, all of Poland was under Germany's control; the semi-colonial General Government, set up in central and southeastern Poland, comprised 39 percent of occupied Polish territory. Prior to World War II, there were 3,500,000 Jews in Poland, living predominantly in cities. Database of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews provides information on 1,926 Jewish communities across the country. Following the conquest of Poland, the 1939 murder of intelligentsia, the first German anti-Jewish measures involved the policy of expulsion of Jews from the territories annexed by the Third Reich.
The westernmost provinces of Greater Poland and Pomerelia were turned into brand new German Reichsgaue named Danzig-West Prussia and the Wartheland, with the intention of their complete Germanization through settler colonialism. Annexed directly to the new Warthegau district, the city of Łódź absorbed the influx of some 40,000 Polish Jews forced out from the surrounding areas. A total of 204,000 Jewish people passed through the ghetto in Łódź, they were to be expelled to the Generalgouvernement. However, the ultimate destination of the massive removal of Jews was left open until the Final Solution was set in motion two years later. Persecution of Polish Jews by the German occupation authority began after the invasion in major urban areas. In the first year and a half, the Nazis confined themselves to stripping the Jews of their valuables and property for profit, herding them into makeshift ghettos, forcing them into slave labor for public works and the war economy. During this period, the Germans ordered Jewish communities to appoint Jewish Councils to administer the ghettos and to be "responsible in the strictest sense" for carrying out orders.
Most ghettos were set up in towns where Jewish life was well organized. For logistical reasons, the Jewish communities in settlements without railway connections in occupied Poland were dissolved. In a massive deportation action involving the use of freight trains, all Polish Jews had been segregated from the rest of society in dilapidated neighborhoods adjacent to the existing rail corridors; the food aid was dependent on the SS. The Jews were banned from baking bread; the Warsaw ghetto contained more Jews than all of France. More Jews lived in the city of Kraków than in all of Italy, any medium-sized town in Poland had a larger Jewish population than all of Scandinavia. All of southeast Europe – Hungary, Bulgaria and Greece – had fewer Jews than the original four districts of the General Government; the plight of Jews in war-torn Poland could be divided into stages defined by the existence of the ghettos. Before their formation, the escape from persecution did not involve extrajudicial punishment by death.
Once the ghettos were sealed off from t