West Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, referred to by historians as the Bonn Republic, was a country in Central Europe that existed from 1949 to 1990, when the western portion of Germany was part of the Western bloc during the Cold War. It was created during the Allied occupation of Germany in 1949 after World War II, established from eleven states formed in the three Allied zones of occupation held by the United States, the United Kingdom and France, its capital was the city of Bonn. At the onset of the Cold War, Europe was divided among the Eastern blocs. Germany was de facto divided into two countries and two special territories, the Saarland and divided Berlin; the Federal Republic of Germany claimed an exclusive mandate for all of Germany, considering itself to be the democratically reorganised continuation of the 1871–1945 German Empire. It took the line. Though the GDR did hold regular elections, these were not fair. From the West German perspective, the GDR was therefore illegitimate.
Three southwestern states of West Germany merged to form Baden-Württemberg in 1952, the Saarland joined the Federal Republic of Germany in 1957. In addition to the resulting ten states, West Berlin was considered an unofficial de facto 11th state. While not part of the Federal Republic of Germany, as Berlin was under the control of the Allied Control Council, West Berlin politically-aligned itself with West Germany and was represented in its federal institutions; the foundation for the influential position held by Germany today was laid during the Wirtschaftswunder of the 1950s when West Germany rose from the enormous destruction wrought by World War II to become the world's third-largest economy. The first chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who remained in office until 1963, had worked for a full alignment with NATO rather than neutrality, he not only secured a membership in NATO but was a proponent of agreements that developed into the present-day European Union. When the G6 was established in 1975, there was no question whether the Federal Republic of Germany would be a member as well.
Following the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, symbolised by the opening of the Berlin Wall, there was a rapid move towards German reunification. East Germany voted to dissolve itself and accede to the Federal Republic in 1990, its five post-war states were reconstituted along with the reunited Berlin, which ended its special status and formed an additional Land. They formally joined the Federal Republic on 3 October 1990, raising the number of states from 10 to 16, ending the division of Germany; the reunion did not result in a brand-new country. The expanded Federal Republic retained West Germany's political culture and continued its existing memberships in international organisations, as well as its Western foreign policy alignment and affiliation to Western alliances like UN, NATO, OECD and the European Union; the official name of West Germany, adopted in 1949 and unchanged since is Bundesrepublik Deutschland. In East Germany, the terms Westdeutschland or westdeutsche Bundesrepublik were preferred during the 1950s and 1960s.
This changed once under its 1968 constitution, when the idea of a single German nation was abandoned by East Germany, as a result West Germans and West Berliners were considered foreigners. In the early 1970s, starting in the East German Neues Deutschland, the initialism "BRD" for the "Federal Republic of Germany" began to prevail in East German usage. In 1973, official East German sources adopted it as a standard expression and other Eastern Bloc nations soon followed suit. In reaction to this move, in 1965 the West German Federal Minister of All-German Affairs Erich Mende issued the Directives for the appellation of Germany, recommending avoiding the initialism. On 31 May 1974, the heads of West German federal and state governments recommended always using the full name in official publications. From on West German sources avoided the abbreviated form, with the exception of left-leaning organizations which embraced it. In November 1979 the federal government informed the Bundestag that the West German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF had agreed to refuse to use the initialism.
The ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code of West Germany was "DE", which has remained the country code of Germany after reunification. ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 are the most used country codes, the "DE" code is notably used as country identifier extending the postal code and as the Internet's country code top-level domain.de. Accordingly the less used ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 country code of West Germany was "DEU", which has remained the country code of reunified Germany; the now deleted codes for East Germany, on the other hand, was "DD" in ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 and "DDR" in ISO 3166-1 alpha-3. The colloquial term "West Germany" or its equivalent was used in many languages. "Westdeutschland" was a widespread colloquial form used in German-speaking countries without political overtones. On 4–11 February 1945 leaders from the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union held the Yalta Conference where future arrangements as regards post-war Europe and strategy against Japan in the Pacific were negotiated.
The conference agreed that post-war Germany would be divided into four occupation zones: a French Zone in the far west.
Yugoslavia was a country in Southeastern and Central Europe for most of the 20th century. It came into existence after World War I in 1918 under the name of the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes by the merger of the provisional State of Slovenes and Serbs with the Kingdom of Serbia, constituted the first union of the South Slavic people as a sovereign state, following centuries in which the region had been part of the Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary. Peter I of Serbia was its first sovereign; the kingdom gained international recognition on 13 July 1922 at the Conference of Ambassadors in Paris. The official name of the state was changed to Kingdom of Yugoslavia on 3 October 1929. Yugoslavia was invaded by the Axis powers on 6 April 1941. In 1943, a Democratic Federal Yugoslavia was proclaimed by the Partisan resistance. In 1944 King Peter II living in exile, recognised it as the legitimate government; the monarchy was subsequently abolished in November 1945. Yugoslavia was renamed the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia in 1946, when a communist government was established.
It acquired the territories of Istria and Zadar from Italy. Partisan leader Josip Broz Tito ruled the country as president until his death in 1980. In 1963, the country was renamed again, as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; the six constituent republics that made up the SFRY were the SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SR Croatia, SR Macedonia, SR Montenegro, SR Serbia, SR Slovenia. Serbia contained two Socialist Autonomous Provinces and Kosovo, which after 1974 were equal to the other members of the federation. After an economic and political crisis in the 1980s and the rise of nationalism, Yugoslavia broke up along its republics' borders, at first into five countries, leading to the Yugoslav Wars. From 1993 to 2017, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia tried political and military leaders from the former Yugoslavia for war crimes and other crimes. After the breakup, the republics of Serbia and Montenegro formed a reduced federation, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which aspired to the status of sole legal successor to the SFRY, but those claims were opposed by the other former republics.
Serbia and Montenegro accepted the opinion of the Badinter Arbitration Committee about shared succession. In 2003 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was renamed to State Union of Montenegro; the union peacefully broke up when Serbia and Montenegro became independent states in 2006, while Kosovo proclaimed its independence from Serbia in 2008. The concept of Yugoslavia, as a single state for all South Slavic peoples, emerged in the late 17th century and gained prominence through the Illyrian Movement of the 19th century; the name was created by the combination of the Slavic words "jug" and "slaveni". Yugoslavia was the result of the Corfu Declaration, as a project of the Serbian Parliament in exile and the Serbian royal Karađorđević dynasty, who became the Yugoslav royal dynasty; the country was formed in 1918 after World War I as the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes by union of the State of Slovenes and Serbs and the Kingdom of Serbia. It was referred to at the time as the "Versailles state"; the government renamed the country leading to the first official use of Yugoslavia in 1929.
On 20 June 1928, Serb deputy Puniša Račić shot at five members of the opposition Croatian Peasant Party in the National Assembly resulting in the death of two deputies on the spot and that of leader Stjepan Radić a few weeks later. On 6 January 1929 King Alexander I suspended the constitution, banned national political parties, assumed executive power and renamed the country Yugoslavia, he hoped to mitigate nationalist passions. He imposed a new constitution and relinquished his dictatorship in 1931. However, Alexander's policies encountered opposition from other European powers stemming from developments in Italy and Germany, where Fascists and Nazis rose to power, the Soviet Union, where Joseph Stalin became absolute ruler. None of these three regimes favored the policy pursued by Alexander I. In fact and Germany wanted to revise the international treaties signed after World War I, the Soviets were determined to regain their positions in Europe and pursue a more active international policy.
Alexander attempted to create a centralised Yugoslavia. He decided to abolish Yugoslavia's historic regions, new internal boundaries were drawn for provinces or banovinas; the banovinas were named after rivers. Many politicians were kept under police surveillance; the effect of Alexander's dictatorship was to further alienate the non-Serbs from the idea of unity. During his reign the flags of Yugoslav nations were banned. Communist ideas were banned also; the king was assassinated in Marseille during an official visit to France in 1934 by Vlado Chernozemski, an experienced marksman from Ivan Mihailov's Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization with the cooperation of the Ustaše, a Croatian fascist revolutionary organisation. Alexander was succeeded by his eleven-year-old son Peter II and a regency council headed by his cousin, Prince Paul; the international political scene in the late 1930s was marked by growing intolerance between the principal figures, by the aggressive attitude of the totalitarian regimes and by the certainty that the order set up after World War I was losing its strongholds and its sponsors were
Brest Brest-Litowsk, is a city in Belarus at the border with Poland opposite the Polish city of Terespol, where the Bug and Mukhavets rivers meet. It is the capital city of the Brest Region; the city of Brest is a historic site of many cultures. It was the location of important historical events such as the Union of Brest and Treaty of Brest-Litovsk; the Brest Fortress was recognized by the Soviet Union as the Hero Fortress in honor of the defense of Brest Fortress in June 1941. During medieval times, the city was part of the Kingdom of Poland from 1020 until 1319 when it was taken by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, it became part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569. As a result of the Partitions of Poland, it was incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1795. After World War I, the city returned to Second Polish Republic. During the Invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939 the city was first captured by the Wehrmacht and soon passed on to the USSR in accordance with German–Soviet Frontier Treaty.
In 1941 it was taken again by the Nazis during Operation Barbarossa. After the war, once the new boundaries between the USSR and Poland were ratified, the city became part of the Belarusian SSR and as such was part of the Soviet Union until the breakup of the USSR in 1991. Brest is now a part of an independent Belarus. Several theories attempt to explain the origin of the city's name, it may have come from the Slavic root beresta meaning "birch", or "bark". The name could originate from the Slavic root berest meaning "elm". Or it could have come from the Lithuanian word brasta meaning "ford". Once a center of Jewish scholarship, the city has the Yiddish name בריסק, hence the term "Brisker" used to describe followers of the influential Soloveitchik family of rabbis. Traditionally, Belarusian-speakers called the city Берасце. Brest became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1319. In the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth formed in 1569 the town became known in Polish as Brześć Brześć Litewski. Brześć became part of the Russian Empire under the name Brest-Litovsk or Brest-Litovskii in the course of the Third Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795.
After World War I, the rebirth of Poland in 1918, the government of the Second Polish Republic renamed the city as Brześć nad Bugiem on March 20, 1923. After World War II the city became part of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic with the name simplified as Brest. Brest's coat of arms, adopted on January 26, 1991, features an arrow pointed upwards and a bow on a sky-blue shield. An alternative coat of arms has a red shield. Sigismund II Augustus, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, first granted Brest a coat of arms in 1554; the city was founded by the Slavs. As a town, Brest – Berestye in Kievan Rus – was first mentioned in the Primary Chronicle in 1019 when the Kievan Rus took the stronghold from the Poles, it is one of the oldest cities in Belarus. It was hotly contested between the Polish rulers and Kievan Rus princes, laid waste by the Mongols in 1241, was not rebuilt until 1275, it was part of the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1390 Brest became the first city in the lands that now comprise Belarus to receive Magdeburg rights.
Its suburbs were burned by the Teutonic Knights in 1379. In 1409 it was a meeting place of King Władysław II Jagiełło, duke Vytautas and Tatar khan under the archbishop Mikołaj Trąba initiative, to prepare for war with the Teutonic Knights. In 1410 the town mustered a cavalry company that participated in the Polish-Lithuanian victory at the battle of Grunwald. In 1419 it become a seat of the starost in the newly created Trakai Voivodeship. In 1500 it was burned again by Crimean Tatars. In 1566, following king Sigismund II Augustus decree, a new voivodeship was created - Brest Litovsk Voivodeship. After it became part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569, it was renamed Brest-Litovsk. During the period of the union of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Sweden under king Sigismund III Vasa, diets were held there. In 1594 and 1596 it was the meeting-place of two remarkable councils of regional bishops of the Roman-Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church; the 1596 council established the Uniate Church.
In 1657, again in 1706, the town and castle were captured by the Swedes during their invasions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In an attack from the other direction, on January 13, 1660 the invading Muscovite Russian army under Ivan Andreyevich Khovansky took the Brest Castle in a surprise early morning attack, the town having been captured earlier, massacred the 1,700 defenders and their families. On July 23, 1792 a battle was fought between the regiments of the Duchy of Lithuania defending the town and the invading Russian Imperial Army. On September 19, 1794 the area between Brest and Terespol was the scene of a victorious battle won by the invading Russian Imperial army under Suvorov over the Kościuszko Uprising army division under general Karol Sierakowski (known in Russian sourc
Battle of Greece
The Battle of Greece is the common name for the invasion of Allied Greece by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany in April 1941 during World War II. The Italian invasion in October 1940, known as the Greco-Italian War, was followed by the German invasion in April 1941. German landings on the island of Crete came after Allied forces had been defeated in mainland Greece; these battles were part of the greater Balkan Campaign of Germany. Following the Italian invasion on 28 October 1940, Greece repulsed the initial Italian attack and a counter-attack in March 1941; when the German invasion, known as Operation Marita, began on 6 April, the bulk of the Greek Army was on the Greek border with Albania a protectorate of Italy, from which the Italian troops had attacked. German troops invaded from Bulgaria. Greece received a small reinforcement from British and New Zealand forces in anticipation of the German attack; the Greek army found itself outnumbered in its effort to defend against both Italian and German troops.
As a result, the Metaxas defensive line did not receive adequate troop reinforcements and was overrun by the Germans, who outflanked the Greek forces at the Albanian border, forcing their surrender. British and New Zealand forces were overwhelmed and forced to retreat, with the ultimate goal of evacuation. For several days, Allied troops played an important part in containing the German advance on the Thermopylae position, allowing ships to be prepared to evacuate the units defending Greece; the German Army reached the capital, Athens, on 27 April and Greece's southern shore on 30 April, capturing 7,000 British and New Zealand personnel and ending the battle with a decisive victory. The conquest of Greece was completed with the capture of Crete a month later. Following its fall, Greece was occupied by the military forces of Germany and Bulgaria. Hitler blamed the failure of his invasion of the Soviet Union, which had to be delayed, on Mussolini's failed conquest of Greece; the theory that the Battle of Greece delayed the invasion of the Soviet Union has been either refuted or downplayed by the majority of historians, who have accused Hitler of trying to deflect blame from himself to his ally, Italy.
It had serious consequences for the Axis war effort in the North African theatre. Enno von Rintelen, the military attaché in Rome, emphasises from the German point of view, the strategic mistake of not taking Malta. At the outbreak of World War II, Ioannis Metaxas—the fascist-style dictator of Greece and former general—sought to maintain a position of neutrality. Greece was subject to increasing pressure from Italy, culminating in the Italian submarine Delfino sinking the cruiser Elli on 15 August 1940. Italian leader Benito Mussolini was irritated that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had not consulted him on his war policy and wished to establish his independence, he hoped to match German military success by taking Greece. On 15 October 1940, his closest advisers finalised their decision. In the early hours of 28 October, Italian Ambassador Emanuele Grazzi presented Metaxas with a three-hour ultimatum, demanding free passage for troops to occupy unspecified "strategic sites" within Greek territory.
Metaxas rejected the ultimatum but before it expired, Italian troops had invaded Greece through Albania. The principal Italian thrust was directed toward Epirus. Hostilities with the Greek army began at the Battle of Elaia–Kalamas, where they failed to break the defensive line and were forced to halt. Within three weeks, the Greek army launched a counter-offensive, during which it marched into Albanian territory, capturing significant cities such as Korça and Sarandë. Neither a change in Italian command nor the arrival of substantial reinforcements improved the position of the Italian army. On 13 February, General Papagos, the Commander-in-Chief of the Greek army, opened a new offensive, aiming to take Tepelenë and the port of Vlorë with British air support but the Greek divisions encountered stiff resistance, stalling the offensive that destroyed the Cretan 5th Division. After weeks of inconclusive winter warfare, the Italians launched a counter-offensive on the centre of the front on 9 March 1941, which failed, despite the Italians' superior forces.
After one week and 12,000 casualties, Mussolini called off the counter-offensive and left Albania twelve days later. Modern analysts believe that the Italian campaign failed because Mussolini and his generals allocated insufficient resources to the campaign, failed to reckon with the autumn weather, attacked without the advantage of surprise and without Bulgarian support. Elementary precautions such as issuing winter clothing had not been taken. Mussolini had not considered the warnings of the Italian Commission of War Production, that Italy would not be able to sustain a full year of continuous warfare until 1949. During the six-month fight against Italy, the Hellenic army made territorial gains by eliminating Italian salients. Greece did not have a substantial armaments industry and its equipment and ammunition supplies relied on stocks captured by British forces from defeated Italian armies in North Africa. To man the Albanian battlefront, the Greek command was forced to withdraw forces from Eastern Macedonia and Western Thrace, because Greek forces could not protect Greece's entire border.
The Greek command decided to support its success in Albania, regardless of the risk of a German attack from the Bulgarian border. Hitler intervened on 4 November 1940, four days a
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
The Tripartite Pact known as the Berlin Pact, was an agreement between Germany and Japan signed in Berlin on 27 September 1940 by Joachim von Ribbentrop, Galeazzo Ciano and Saburō Kurusu. It was a defensive military alliance, joined by Hungary, Romania and Yugoslavia, as well as by the German client state of Slovakia. Yugoslavia's accession provoked a coup d'état in Belgrade two days and Germany and Hungary responded by invading Yugoslavia and partitioning the country; the resulting Italo-German client state known as the Independent State of Croatia joined the pact on 15 June 1941. The Tripartite Pact was directed at the United States, its practical effects were limited, since the Italo-German and Japanese operational theatres were on opposite sides of the world and the high contracting powers had disparate strategic interests. Some technical cooperation was carried out, the Japanese declaration of war on the United States propelled, although it did not require, a similar declaration of war from all the other signatories of the Tripartite Pact.
The Governments of Japan and Italy consider it as the condition precedent of any lasting peace that all nations in the world be given each its own proper place, have decided to stand by and co-operate with one another in their efforts in Greater East Asia and the regions of Europe wherein it is their prime purpose to establish and maintain a new order of things, calculated to promote the mutual prosperity and welfare of the peoples concerned. It is, the desire of the three Governments to extend cooperation to nations in other spheres of the world that are inclined to direct their efforts along lines similar to their own for the purpose of realizing their ultimate object, world peace. Accordingly, the Governments of Japan and Italy have agreed as follows:ARTICLE 1. Japan recognizes and respects the leadership of Germany and Italy in the establishment of a new order in Europe. ARTICLE 2. Germany and Italy recognize and respect the leadership of Japan in the establishment of a new order in Greater East Asia.
ARTICLE 3. Japan and Italy agree to cooperate in their efforts on aforesaid lines, they further undertake to assist one another with all political and military means if one of the Contracting Powers is attacked by a Power at present not involved in the European War or in the Japanese-Chinese conflict. ARTICLE 4. With a view to implementing the present pact, joint technical commissions, to be appointed by the respective Governments of Japan and Italy, will meet without delay. ARTICLE 5. Japan and Italy affirm that the above agreement affects in no way the political status existing at present between each of the three Contracting Powers and Soviet Russia. ARTICLE 6; the present pact shall become valid upon signature and shall remain in force ten years from the date on which it becomes effective. In due time, before the expiration of said term, the High Contracting Parties shall, at the request of any one of them, enter into negotiations for its renewal. In faith whereof, the undersigned duly authorized by their respective governments have signed this pact and have affixed hereto their signatures.
Done in triplicate at Berlin, the 27th day of September, 1940, in the 19th year of the fascist era, corresponding to the 27th day of the ninth month of the 15th year of Showa. Although Germany and Japan technically became allies with the signing of Anti-Comintern Pact of 1936, the 1939 Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union came as a surprise to Japan. In November 1939, Germany and Japan signed the "Agreement for Cultural Cooperation between Japan and Germany", which restored the "reluctant alliance" between them. In a ceremonial speech following the signing of the pact on 27 September, Ribbentrop may have suggested that the signatories were open to accepting new signatories in the future; the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitung reported his words as follows: The purpose of the Pact is, above all things, to help restore peace to the world as as possible. Therefore any other State which wishes to accede to this bloc, with the intention of contributing to the restoration of peaceful conditions, will be sincerely and gratefully made welcome and will participate in the economic and political reorganisation.
The official Deutsches Nachrichtenbüro, however, as well as most of the press, reported a different version, in which the words "having good will towards the pact" instead of "accede to" were used. It is that it was not envisaged that other nations would join the treaty, that Ribbentrop misspoke; the official record in the DNB therefore corrected his words to remove any reference to "accession" by other states, but produced an awkward wording in the process. The Italian foreign minister, was resolutely opposed to the idea of adding smaller states to the pact as late as 20 November 1940, arguing in his diary that they weakened the pact and were useless bits of diplomacy; the Kingdom of Hungary was the fourth state to sign the pact and the first to join it after 27 September 1940. The Hungarian ambassador in Berlin, Döme Sztójay, telegraphed his foreign minister, István Csáky after news of the signing and of Ribbentrop's speech had reached him, he urged Csáky to join the pact claiming that it was the expectation of Germany and Italy that he would do so.
He considered it important that Hungary sign the pact before Romania did. In response, Csák