Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
A gymnasium is a type of school with a strong emphasis on academic learning, providing advanced secondary education in some parts of Europe comparable to British grammar schools, sixth form colleges and US preparatory high schools. In its current meaning, it refers to secondary schools focused on preparing students to enter a university for advanced academic study. Before the 20th century, the system of gymnasiums was a widespread feature of educational system throughout many countries of central, north and south Europe; the word "γυμνάσιον" was first used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual education of young men. The latter meaning of a place of intellectual education persisted in many European languages, whereas in English the meaning of a place for physical education was retained instead, more familiarly in the shortened form gym; the gymnasium is a secondary school. They are thus meant for the more academically minded students, who are sifted out at about the age of 10–13.
In addition to the usual curriculum, students of a gymnasium study Latin and Ancient Greek. Some gymnasiums provide general education; the four traditional branches are: humanities education modern languages mathematical-scientific education economical and social-scientific education Curricula differ from school to school but include language, informatics, chemistry, geography, music, philosophy, civics/citizenship, social sciences, several foreign languages. Schools concentrate not only on academic subjects, but on producing well-rounded individuals, so physical education and religion or ethics are compulsory in non-denominational schools which are prevalent. For example, the German constitution guarantees the separation of church and state, so although religion or ethics classes are compulsory, students may choose to study a specific religion or none at all. Today, a number of other areas of specialization exist, such as gymnasiums specializing in economics, technology or domestic sciences.
In some countries, there is a notion of progymnasium, equivalent to beginning classes of the full gymnasium, with the rights to continue education in a gymnasium. Here, the prefix pro- is equivalent to pre-, indicating that this curriculum precedes normal gymnasium studies. In the German-speaking, the Central-European, the Nordic, the Benelux and the Baltic countries, this meaning for "gymnasium", a secondary school preparing the student for higher education at a university, has been the same at least since the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century; the term was derived from the classical Greek word "gymnasion", applied to an exercising ground in ancient Athens. Here teachers gathered and gave instruction between the hours devoted to physical exercises and sports, thus the term became associated with and came to mean an institution of learning; this use of the term did not prevail among the Romans, but was revived during the Renaissance in Italy, from there passed into the Netherlands and Germany during the 15th century.
In 1538, Johannes Sturm founded at Strasbourg the school which became the model of the modern German gymnasium. In 1812, a Prussian regulation ordered that all schools which had the right to send their students to the university should bear the name of gymnasia. By the 20th century, this practice was followed in the entire Austrian-Hungarian and Russian Empires. In the modern era, many countries which have gymnasiums were once part of these three empires. In Albania a gymnasium education takes three years following a compulsory nine-year elementary education and ending with a final aptitude test called Albanian: Matura Shtetërore; the final test is standardized at the state level and serves as an entrance qualification for universities. These can be either private; the subjects taught are mathematics, Albanian language, one to three foreign languages, geography, computer science, the natural sciences, history of art, philosophy, physical education and the social sciences. The gymnasium is viewed as a destination for the best performing students and as the type of school that serves to prepare students for university, while other students go to technical/vocational schools.
Therefore, gymnasiums base their admittance criteria on an entrance exam, elementary school grades or some combination of the two. In Austria the Gymnasium has two stages, from the age of 11 to 14, from 15 to 18, concluding with Matura. Three types existed; the Humanistisches Gymnasium focuses on Latin. The Neusprachliches Gymnasium puts its focus on spoken languages; the usual combination is English and Latin. The Realgymnasium puts its focus on science. In the last couple of decades more autonomy was granted to schools and various types were developed, focusing on sports, music or economics, for example. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, gymnázium is a typ
Fraternization is "turning people into brothers" by conducting social relations with people who are unrelated and/or of a different class as if they were siblings, family members, personal friends, or lovers. To fraternize means to become allies with someone the enemy. In many institutional contexts fraternization transgresses legal, moral, or professional norms forbidding certain categories of social contact across or defined classes; the term tends to connote impropriety, unprofessionalism or a lack of ethics. For example, "fraternization with the enemy" refers to associations with members of enemy groups and suggests a serious conflict of strong and close romantic interest and attraction, if not the possibility of treason, "fraternization with civilians" suggests transgression of norms forbidding non-civilians and civilians from forming close nonprofessional relationships, "fraternization of officers with enlisted personnel" or "seniors with their juniors" describes associations that are implied to be irregular, improper, or imprudent in ways that negatively affect the members and goals of the organization.
Many institutions worldwide implement policies forbidding forms of fraternization for many specific reasons. Fraternization may be forbidden to maintain image and morale, to protect and ensure fair and uniform treatment of subordinates, to maintain organizational integrity and the ability to achieve operational goals, to prevent unauthorized transfers of information. Relations and activities forbidden under anti-fraternization policies may be romantic and sexual liaisons and ongoing business relationships, insubordination, or excessive familiarity and disrespect of rank. Views on fraternization may depend on the relations and classes under discussion. Organizations may relax, change, or reinforce restrictions to reflect changes in the prevailing organizational view or doctrine regarding fraternization. Within militaries and members of enlisted ranks are prohibited from associating outside their professional duties and orders. Excessively-familiar relationships between officers of different ranks may be considered fraternization between officers in the same chain of command.
The reasons for anti-fraternization policies within modern militaries include the maintenance of discipline and the chain of command and the prevention of the spreading of military secrets to enemies, which may amount to treason or sedition under military law. If a fighting force has officers unwilling to put certain enlisted personnel at risk or if enlisted soldiers believe that their selection for a perceived suicide mission is not motivated by a coldly-impartial assessment of military strategy, the enlisted soldiers may fail to provide the unhesitating obedience necessary to the realization of that strategy or may attack their superiors. If a senior officer passes secrets to a junior officer, the latter could allow them to be compromised by a romantic interest and end up in the hands of the enemy; the Christmas Truce was a notable instance of fraternization in World War I. To impress the German people with the Allied opinion of them, a strict non-fraternization policy was adhered to by General Dwight Eisenhower and the Department of War during World War II.
However, because of pressure from the US State Department and Congress, the policy was lifted in stages. In June 1945, the prohibition against speaking with German children was made less strict. In July, it became possible to speak to German adults in certain circumstances. In September, the policy was abandoned in Germany. In the earliest stages of the occupation, US soldiers were not allowed to pay maintenance for a child they admitted having fathered since to do so was considered as "aiding the enemy". Marriages between US soldiers and Austrian women were not permitted until January 1946 and with German women until December 1946; the British military had a similar ban in place for their troops during the Allied occupation. The War Office notably published that German women "will be willing, if they can get the chance, to make themselves cheap for what they can get out of you" in its handbook distributed to soldiers stationed in Germany. In spite of the ban, soldiers still knowingly had contact with local women civilian employees.
Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, Eisenhower's counterpart, was against the ban, it was lifted in July 1945. Many schools and universities prohibit certain relationships between teachers/lecturers and students to avoid favoritism, sexual harassment, and/or sex crimes enabled by the teacher's position of authority; the prohibitions are controversial, however, as they may come into conflict with rules on tenure, for example if unethical conduct is suspected but not confirmed. Court decisions in some US states have allowed employers a limited legal right to enforce non-fraternization policies among employees, forbidding them to maintain certain kinds of relationships with one another. Since the 1990s, such corporate policies have been adopted in the United States in the pursuit of objectives such as protecting professionalism and workplace productivity, promoting gender equality and women's rights, or avoiding and mitigating the impact of sexual harassment lawsuits; the decisions and the policies they protect have, been criticized on various grou
Roland Freisler was a jurist and judge of Nazi Germany. He was State Secretary of the Reich Ministry of Justice, President of the People's Court, he was an attendee at the Wannsee Conference in 1942, which set in motion the Holocaust. Roland Freisler was born in Celle, Lower Saxony, on 30 October 1893, he was the son of Julius Freisler, an engineer and teacher, Charlotte Auguste Florentine Schwerdtfeger. He was baptised as a Protestant on 13 December 1893, he had Oswald. In 1914 he was at law school. Freisler saw active service during World War I, he enlisted as an officer cadet in 1914 with the Ober-Elsässisches Infanterie-Regiment Nr.167 in Kassel, by 1915 he was a lieutenant. Whilst in the front-line with the German Imperial Army's 22nd Division he was awarded the Iron Cross both 2nd and 1st Class for heroism in action. In October 1915 he was wounded in action on the Eastern Front and taken prisoner of war by Russian forces. Whilst a prisoner Freisler learned to speak Russian, developed an interest in Marxism after the Russian Revolution had commenced.
The Bolshevik provisional authority which took over responsibility for Freisler's prisoner of war camp made use of him as a'Commissar' administratively organising the camp's food supplies in 1917-1918. It is possible that after the Russian prisoner of war camps were emptying in 1918, with their internees being repatriated to Germany after the Armistice between Russia and the Central Powers had been signed, Freisler for a brief period became attached in some way to the Red Guards, though this is not supported by any known documentary evidence. Another possibility is that after the Russian Revolution the description "Commissar" was an administrative title given by the Bolshevik authority for anyone employed in an administrative post in the prison camps without the political connotations that the title acquired. However, in the early days of his National Socialist German Workers' Party career in the 1920s, Freisler was a part of the movement's left wing, in the late 1930s he attended the Soviet Moscow Trials to watch the proceedings.
Freisler rejected any insinuation that he had co-operated with the Nazi regime's ideological enemy, but his subsequent career as a political official in Germany was overshadowed by rumours about his time as a "Commissar" with the "Reds". Freisler returned to Germany in 1919 to complete his law studies at the University of Jena, qualified as a Doctor of Law in 1922. From 1924 he worked as a solicitor in Kassel, he was elected a city councillor as a member of the Völkisch-Sozialer Block, an extreme nationalist splinter party. Freisler joined the National Socialist German Workers' Party in July 1925 as Member #9679, gained authority within the organisation by using his legal training to defend members of it who were facing prosecutions for acts of political violence; as the Party transitioned from a fringe political beer-hall and street fighting movement into a political one, Freisler was elected for it to the Prussian Landtag, he became a Member of the Reichstag. In 1927 Karl Weinrich, a Nazi member of the Prussian Landtag along with Freisler, characterised his reputation in the expanding Nazi movement in the late 1920s: "Rhetorically Freisler is equal to our best speakers, if not superior.
Party Comrade Freisler is only usable as a speaker though and is unsuitable for any position of authority because of his unreliablity and moodiness." In February 1933, after Adolf Hitler had seized power over the German state, Freisler was appointed Director of the Prussian Ministry of Justice. He was Secretary of State in the Prussian Ministry of Justice in 1933–1934, in the Reich Ministry of Justice from 1934 to 1942. Freisler's mastery of legal texts, mental agility, dramatic courtroom verbal dexterity and verbal force, in combination with his zealous conversion to National Socialist ideology, made him the most feared judge in Germany during the Third Reich, the personification of Nazism in domestic law. However, despite his talents and loyalty, Adolf Hitler never appointed him to any post beyond the legal system; that might have been because he was a lone figure, lacking support within the senior echelons of the Nazi hierarchy, but he had been politically compromised by his brother, Oswald Freisler a lawyer.
Oswald had acted as a defence counsel against the regime's authority several times during the politically-driven trials by which the Nazis sought to enforce their tyrannical control of German society, he had the habit of wearing his Nazi Party membership badge in court whilst doing so. Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels reproached Oswald Freisler and reported his actions to Adolf Hitler who, in response, ordered Freisler's expulsion from the Party. In 1941 in a discussion at the "Führer Headquarters" about whom to appoint to replace Franz Gürtner, the Reich Justice Minister, who had died, Goebbels suggested Roland Freisler as an option. No!" Freisler was a committed National Socialist ideologist, used his legal skills to adapt its theories into practical law-making and judicature. He published a paper entitled "Die rassebiologische Aufgabe bei der Neugestaltung des Jugendstrafrechts ("The racial-biological task involved
Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London; the city is one of Germany's 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, contiguous with its capital, Potsdam; the two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km², Germany's third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions. Berlin straddles the banks of the River Spree, which flows into the River Havel in the western borough of Spandau. Among the city's main topographical features are the many lakes in the western and southeastern boroughs formed by the Spree and Dahme rivers. Due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. About one-third of the city's area is composed of forests, gardens, rivers and lakes; the city lies in the Central German dialect area, the Berlin dialect being a variant of the Lusatian-New Marchian dialects.
First documented in the 13th century and situated at the crossing of two important historic trade routes, Berlin became the capital of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich. Berlin in the 1920s was the third largest municipality in the world. After World War II and its subsequent occupation by the victorious countries, the city was divided. East Berlin was declared capital of East Germany. Following German reunification in 1990, Berlin once again became the capital of all of Germany. Berlin is a world city of culture, politics and science, its economy is based on high-tech firms and the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, research facilities, media corporations and convention venues. Berlin serves as a continental hub for air and rail traffic and has a complex public transportation network; the metropolis is a popular tourist destination. Significant industries include IT, biomedical engineering, clean tech, biotechnology and electronics.
Berlin is home to world-renowned universities, orchestras and entertainment venues, is host to many sporting events. Its Zoological Garden is one of the most popular worldwide. With the world's oldest large-scale movie studio complex, Berlin is an popular location for international film productions; the city is well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, contemporary arts and a high quality of living. Since the 2000s Berlin has seen the emergence of a cosmopolitan entrepreneurial scene. Berlin lies in northeastern Germany, east of the River Saale, that once constituted, together with the River Elbe, the eastern border of the Frankish Realm. While the Frankish Realm was inhabited by Germanic tribes like the Franks and the Saxons, the regions east of the border rivers were inhabited by Slavic tribes; this is why most of the villages in northeastern Germany bear Slavic-derived names. Typical Germanised place name suffixes of Slavic origin are -ow, -itz, -vitz, -witz, -itzsch and -in, prefixes are Windisch and Wendisch.
The name Berlin has its roots in the language of West Slavic inhabitants of the area of today's Berlin, may be related to the Old Polabian stem berl-/birl-. Since the Ber- at the beginning sounds like the German word Bär, a bear appears in the coat of arms of the city, it is therefore a canting arm. Of Berlin's twelve boroughs, five bear a Slavic-derived name: Pankow, Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Marzahn-Hellersdorf, Treptow-Köpenick and Spandau. Of its ninety-six neighborhoods, twenty-two bear a Slavic-derived name: Altglienicke, Alt-Treptow, Buch, Gatow, Kladow, Köpenick, Lankwitz, Lübars, Marzahn, Prenzlauer Berg, Schmöckwitz, Stadtrandsiedlung Malchow, Steglitz and Zehlendorf; the neighborhood of Moabit bears a French-derived name, Französisch Buchholz is named after the Huguenots. The earliest evidence of settlements in the area of today's Berlin are a wooden beam dated from 1192, remnants of a house foundation dated to 1174, found in excavations in Berlin Mitte; the first written records of towns in the area of present-day Berlin date from the late 12th century.
Spandau is first mentioned in 1197 and Köpenick in 1209, although these areas did not join Berlin until 1920. The central part of Berlin can be traced back to two towns. Cölln on the Fischerinsel is first mentioned in a 1237 document, Berlin, across the Spree in what is now called the Nikolaiviertel, is referenced in a document from 1244. 1237 is considered the founding date of the city. The two towns over time formed close economic and social ties, profited from the staple right on the two important trade routes Via Imperii and from Bruges to Novgorod. In 1307, they formed an alliance with a common external policy, their internal administrations still being separated. In 1415, Frederick I became the elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, which he ruled until 1440. During the 15th century, his successors established Berlin-Cölln as capital of the margraviate, subsequent members of the Hohenzol
People's Court (Germany)
The People's Court was a Sondergericht of Nazi Germany, set up outside the operations of the constitutional frame of law. Its headquarters were located in the former Prussian House of Lords in Berlin moved to the former Königsberg Wilhelmsgymnasium at Bellevuestrasse 15 in Potsdamer Platz; the court was established in 1934 by order of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, in response to his dissatisfaction at the outcome of the Reichstag fire trial, in which all but one of the defendants was acquitted. The court had jurisdiction over a rather broad array of "political offenses", which included crimes like black marketeering, work slowdowns and treason against the Third Reich; these crimes were accordingly punished severely. The Court handed down an enormous number of death sentences under Judge-President Roland Freisler, including those that followed the plot to kill Hitler on 20 July 1944. Many of those found guilty by the Court were executed in Plötzensee Prison in Berlin; the proceedings of the court were even less than show trials in that some cases, such as that of Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans Scholl and fellow White Rose activists, trials were concluded in less than an hour without evidence being presented or arguments made by either side.
The president of the court acted as prosecutor, denouncing defendants pronouncing his verdict and sentence without objection from defense counsel, who remained silent throughout. It always sided with the prosecution, to the point that being hauled before it was tantamount to a death sentence. While Nazi Germany was not a rule of law state, the People's Court dispensed with the nominal laws and procedures of regular German trials, was thus characterized as a kangaroo court. With no exceptions, cases in the People's Court had predetermined guilty verdicts. There was no presumption of innocence nor could the defendants adequately represent themselves or consult counsel. A proceeding at the People's Court would follow an initial indictment in which a state or city prosecutor would forward the names of the accused to the Volksgerichtshof for charges of a political nature. Defendants were hardly allowed to speak to their attorneys beforehand and when they did the defense lawyer would simply answer questions about how the trial would proceed and refrain from any legal advice.
In at least one documented case, the defense lawyer assigned to Sophie Scholl chastised her the day before the trial, stating that she would pay for her crimes. The People's Court proceedings began when the accused were led to a prisoner's dock under armed police escort; the presiding judge would read the charges and call the accused forward for "examination". Although the court had a prosecutor, it was the judge who asked the questions. Defendants were berated during the examination and never allowed to respond with any sort of lengthy reply. After a barrage of insults and condemnation, the accused would be ordered back to the dock with the order "examination concluded". After examination, the defense attorney would be asked if they had any questions. Defense lawyers were present as a formality and hardly any rose to speak; the judge would ask the defendants for a statement during which time more insults and berating comments would be shouted at the accused. The verdict, always "guilty", would be announced and the sentence handed down at the same time.
In all, an appearance before the People's Court could take as little as fifteen minutes. Prior to the Battle of Stalingrad, there was a higher percentage of cases in which not guilty verdicts were handed down on indictments. In some cases, this was due to defense lawyers presenting the accused as naive or the defendant adequately explaining the nature of the political charges against them. However, in nearly two-thirds of such cases, the defendants would be re-arrested by the Gestapo following the trial and sent to a concentration camp. After the defeat at Stalingrad, with a growing fear in the German government regarding defeatism amongst the population, the People's Court became far more ruthless and hardly anyone brought before the tribunal escaped a guilty verdict; the best-known trials in the People's Court began on 7 August 1944, in the aftermath of the 20 July plot that year. The first eight men accused were Erwin von Witzleben, Erich Hoepner, Paul von Hase, Peter Yorck von Wartenburg, Helmuth Stieff, Robert Bernardis, Friedrich Klausing, Albrecht von Hagen.
The trials were held in the imposing Great Hall of the Berlin Chamber Court on Elßholzstrasse, bedecked with swastikas for the occasion. There were around 300 spectators, including Ernst Kaltenbrunner and selected civil servants, party functionaries, military officers and journalists. A film camera ran behind the red-robed Roland Freisler so that Hitler could view the proceedings, to provide footage for newsreels and a documentary entitled Traitors Before the People's Court. Intended to be a part of Die Deutsche Wochenschau, it was not shown at the time, turned out to be the last documentary made for the newsreel; the accused were forced to wear shabby clothes, denied neck ties and belts or suspenders for their pants, were marched into the courtroom handcuffed to policemen. The proceedings began with Freisler announcing he would rule on "...the most horrific charges brought in the history of the German people." Freisler was an admirer of Andrey V