Confession, in many religions, is the acknowledgment of one's sins or wrongs. Buddhism has been from its inception a tradition of renunciation and monasticism. Within the monastic framework of the sangha regular confession of wrongdoing to other monks is mandatory. In the suttas of the Pali Canon Bhikkhus sometimes confessed their wrongdoing to the Buddha himself; that part of the Pali Canon called the Vinaya requires that monks confess their individual sins before the bi-weekly convening for the recitation of the Patimokkha. In Catholic teaching, the Sacrament of Penance is the method of the Church by which individual men and women confess sins committed after baptism and have them absolved by God through the administration of a Priest; the Catholic rite, obligatory at least once a year for serious sin, is conducted within a confessional box, booth or reconciliation room. This sacrament is known by many names, including penance and confession. While official Church publications refer to the sacrament as "Penance", "Reconciliation" or "Penance and Reconciliation", many laypeople continue to use the term "Confession" in reference to the Sacrament.
For the Catholic Church, the intent of this sacrament is to provide healing for the soul as well as to regain the grace of God, lost by sin. A perfect act of contrition, wherein the penitent expresses sorrow for having offended God and not out of fear of eternal punishment outside of confession removes the eternal punishment associated with mortal sin but a Catholic is obliged to confess his or her mortal sins at the earliest opportunity. In theological terms, the priest acts in persona Christi and receives from the Church the power of jurisdiction over the penitent; the Council of Trent quoted John 20:22-23 as the primary Scriptural proof for the doctrine concerning this sacrament, but Catholics consider Matthew 9:2-8, 1 Corinthians 11:27, Matthew 16:17-20 to be among the Scriptural bases for the sacrament. The Catholic Church teaches that sacramental confession requires three "acts" on the part of the penitent: contrition, disclosure of the sins, satisfaction; the basic form of confession has not changed for centuries, although at one time confessions were made publicly.
The penitent begins sacramental confession by saying, "Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been since my last confession." The penitent must confess what he/she believes to be grave and mortal sins, in both kind and number, in order to be reconciled with God and the Church. The sinner may confess venial sins. According to the Catechism, "without being necessary, confession of everyday faults is strongly recommended by the Church. Indeed the regular confession of our venial sins helps us form our conscience, fight against evil tendencies, let ourselves be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the Spirit. By receiving more through this sacrament the gift of the Father's Mercy, we are spurred to be merciful as He is merciful". "When Christ's faithful strive to confess all the sins that they can remember, they undoubtedly place all of them before the divine mercy for pardon." As a result, if the confession was good, "the sacrament was valid" the penitent inadvertently forgot some mortal sins, which are forgiven as well.
As a safeguard not to become something like "subconsciously inadvertent" to avoid saying some sins, these must be confessed in the next confession. It is allowed, however allowed, except for certain devotional purposes sensible to concentrate in one's examination of conscience on the time since the last Confession. In general, Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Christians choose an individual to trust as his or her spiritual guide. In most cases this may be a starets; this person is referred to as one's "spiritual father". Once chosen, the individual turns to their spiritual guide for advice on their spiritual development, confessing sins, asking advice. Orthodox Christians tend to confess only to this individual and the closeness created by this bond makes the spiritual guide the most qualified in dealing with the person, so much so that no one can override what a spiritual guide tells his charges. What is confessed to one's spiritual guide is protected by the same seal as would be any priest hearing a confession.
Only an ordained priest may pronounce the absolution. Confession does not take place in a confessional, but in the main part of the church itself before an analogion set up near the iconostasion. On the analogion is placed a Gospel Book and a blessing cross; the confession takes place before an icon of Jesus Christ. Orthodox understand that the confession is not made to the priest, but to Christ, the priest stands only as witness and guide. Before confessing, the penitent venerates the Gospel Book and cross, places the thumb and first two fingers of his right hand on the feet of Christ as he is depicted on the cross; the confessor will read an admonition warning the penitent to make a full confession, holding nothing back. As with administration of other sacraments, in cases of emergency confession may be heard anywhere. For this reason in the Russian Orthodox Churc
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
World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It
The National Socialist German Workers' Party referred to in English as the Nazi Party, was a far-right political party in Germany, active between 1920 and 1945, that created and supported the ideology of National Socialism. Its precursor, the German Workers' Party, existed from 1919 to 1920; the Nazi Party emerged from the German nationalist and populist Freikorps paramilitary culture, which fought against the communist uprisings in post-World War I Germany. The party was created to draw workers away into völkisch nationalism. Nazi political strategy focused on anti-big business, anti-bourgeois, anti-capitalist rhetoric, although this was downplayed to gain the support of business leaders, in the 1930s the party's main focus shifted to anti-Semitic and anti-Marxist themes. Pseudo-scientific racist theories were central to Nazism, expressed in the idea of a "people's community"; the party aimed to unite "racially desirable" Germans as national comrades, while excluding those deemed either to be political dissidents, physically or intellectually inferior, or of a foreign race.
The Nazis sought to strengthen the Germanic people, the "Aryan master race", through racial purity and eugenics, broad social welfare programs, a collective subordination of individual rights, which could be sacrificed for the good of the state on behalf of the people. To protect the supposed purity and strength of the Aryan race, the Nazis sought to exterminate Jews, Romani and most other Slavs, along with the physically and mentally handicapped, they disenfranchised and segregated homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses and political opponents. The persecution reached its climax when the party-controlled German state set in motion the Final Solution–an industrial system of genocide which achieved the murder of an estimated 5.5 to 6 million Jews and millions of other targeted victims, in what has become known as the Holocaust. Adolf Hitler, the party's leader since 1921, was appointed Chancellor of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933. Hitler established a totalitarian regime known as the Third Reich.
Following the defeat of the Third Reich at the conclusion of World War II in Europe, the party was "declared to be illegal" by the Allied powers, who carried out denazification in the years after the war. Nazi, the informal and derogatory term for a party member, abbreviates the party's name, was coined in analogy with Sozi, an abbreviation of Sozialdemokrat. Members of the party referred to themselves as Nationalsozialisten as Nazis; the term Parteigenosse was used among Nazis, with its corresponding feminine form Parteigenossin. The term was in use before the rise of the party as a colloquial and derogatory word for a backward peasant, an awkward and clumsy person, it derived from Ignaz, a shortened version of Ignatius, a common name in the Nazis' home region of Bavaria. Opponents seized on this, the long-existing Sozi, to attach a dismissive nickname to the National Socialists. In 1933, when Adolf Hitler assumed power in the German government, the usage of "Nazi" diminished in Germany, although Austrian anti-Nazis continued to use the term, the use of "Nazi Germany" and "Nazi regime" was popularised by anti-Nazis and German exiles abroad.
Thereafter, the term spread into other languages and was brought back to Germany after World War II. In English, the term is not considered slang, has such derivatives as Nazism and denazification; the party grew out of smaller political groups with a nationalist orientation that formed in the last years of World War I. In 1918, a league called the Freier Arbeiterausschuss für einen guten Frieden was created in Bremen, Germany. On 7 March 1918, Anton Drexler, an avid German nationalist, formed a branch of this league in Munich. Drexler was a local locksmith, a member of the militarist Fatherland Party during World War I and was bitterly opposed to the armistice of November 1918 and the revolutionary upheavals that followed. Drexler followed the views of militant nationalists of the day, such as opposing the Treaty of Versailles, having antisemitic, anti-monarchist and anti-Marxist views, as well as believing in the superiority of Germans whom they claimed to be part of the Aryan "master race".
However, he accused international capitalism of being a Jewish-dominated movement and denounced capitalists for war profiteering in World War I. Drexler saw the political violence and instability in Germany as the result of the Weimar Republic being out-of-touch with the masses the lower classes. Drexler emphasised the need for a synthesis of völkisch nationalism with a form of economic socialism, in order to create a popular nationalist-oriented workers' movement that could challenge the rise of Communism and internationalist politics; these were all well-known themes popular with various Weimar paramilitary groups such as the Freikorps. Drexler's movement received support from some influential figures. Supporter Dietrich Eckart, a well-to-do journalist, brought military figure Felix Graf von Bothmer, a prominent supporter of the concept of "national socialism", to address the movement. In 1918, Karl Harrer convinced Drexler and several others to form the Politischer Arbeiterzirkel; the members met perio
A war crime is an act that constitutes a serious violation of the laws of war that gives rise to individual criminal responsibility. Examples of war crimes include intentionally killing civilians or prisoners, destroying civilian property, taking hostages, performing a perfidy, using child soldiers, declaring that no quarter will be given, violating the principles of distinction and proportionality, such as strategic bombing of civilian populations; the concept of war crimes emerged at the turn of the twentieth century when the body of customary international law applicable to warfare between sovereign states was codified. Such codification occurred at the national level, such as with the publication of the Lieber Code in the United States, at the international level with the adoption of the treaties during the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907. Moreover, trials in national courts during this period further helped clarify the law. Following the end of World War II, major developments in the law occurred.
Numerous trials of Axis war criminals established the Nuremberg principles, such as notion that war crimes constituted crimes defined by international law. Additionally, the Geneva Conventions in 1949 defined new war crimes and established that states could exercise universal jurisdiction over such crimes. In the late 20th century and early 21st century, following the creation of several international courts, additional categories of war crimes applicable to armed conflicts other than those between states, such as civil wars, were defined; the trial of Peter von Hagenbach by an ad hoc tribunal of the Holy Roman Empire in 1474 was the first "international" war crimes trial, of command responsibility. He was convicted and beheaded for crimes that "he as a knight was deemed to have a duty to prevent", although he had argued that he was "just following orders". In 1865, Henry Wirz, a Confederate States Army officer, was held accountable by a military tribunal and hanged for the appalling conditions at Andersonville Prison, where many Union prisoners of war died during the American Civil War.
The Hague Conventions were international treaties negotiated at the First and Second Peace Conferences at The Hague, Netherlands, in 1899 and 1907 and were, along with the Geneva Conventions, among the first formal statements of the laws of war and war crimes in the nascent body of secular international law. The Geneva Conventions are four related treaties adopted and continuously expanded from 1864 to 1949 that represent a legal basis and framework for the conduct of war under international law; every single member state of the United Nations has ratified the conventions, which are universally accepted as customary international law, applicable to every situation of armed conflict in the world. However, the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions adopted in 1977 containing the most pertinent and virulent protections of international humanitarian law for persons and objects in modern warfare are still not ratified by a number of States continuously engaged in armed conflicts, namely the United States, India, Iraq and others.
Accordingly, states retain different values with regard to wartime conduct. Some signatories have violated the Geneva Conventions in a way which either uses the ambiguities of law or political maneuvering to sidestep the laws' formalities and principles. Three conventions were revised and expanded with the fourth one added in 1949: First Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field. Second Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea. Third Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Two Additional Protocols were adopted in 1977 with the third one added in 2005, completing and updating the Geneva Conventions: Protocol I relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts. Protocol II relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts.
Protocol III relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem. A small number of German military personnel of the First World War were tried in 1921 by the German Supreme Court for alleged war crimes; the modern concept of war crime was further developed under the auspices of the Nuremberg Trials based on the definition in the London Charter, published on August 8, 1945. Along with war crimes the charter defined crimes against peace and crimes against humanity, which are committed during wars and in concert with war crimes. Known as the Tokyo Trial, the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal or as the Tribunal, it was convened on May 3, 1946 to try the leaders of the Empire of Japan for three types of crimes: "Class A", "Class B", "Class C", committed during World War II. On July 1, 2002, the International Crimi
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
Occupation of Poland (1939–1945)
The occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during World War II began with the German-Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, it was formally concluded with the defeat of Germany by the Allies in May 1945. Throughout the entire course of the foreign occupation, the territory of Poland was divided between Germany and the Soviet Union with the intention of eradicating Polish culture and subjugating its people by occupying German and Soviet powers. In summer-autumn of 1941 the lands annexed by the Soviets were overrun by Germany in the course of the successful German attack on the USSR. After a few years of fighting, the Red Army drove the German forces out of the USSR and across Poland from the rest of Central and Eastern Europe. Both occupying powers were hostile to the existence of sovereign Poland, Polish people, the Polish culture aiming at their destruction. Before Operation Barbarossa and the Soviet Union coordinated their Poland-related policies, most visibly in the four Gestapo–NKVD conferences, where the occupants discussed plans for dealing with the Polish resistance movement and future destruction of Poland.
About 6 million Polish citizens—nearly 21.4% of Poland's population—died between 1939 and 1945 as a result of the occupation, half of whom were Polish Jews. Over 90% of the death toll came through non-military losses, as most of the civilians were targeted by various deliberate actions by Germans and the Soviets. Overall, during German occupation of pre-war Polish territory, 1939–1945, the Germans murdered 5,470,000–5,670,000 Poles, including nearly 3,000,000 Jews. In September 1939 Poland was invaded and occupied by two powers: Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, acting in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Germany acquired 48.4% of the former Polish territory. Under the terms of two decrees by Hitler, with Stalin's agreement, large areas of western Poland were annexed by Germany; the size of these annexed territories was 92,500 square kilometres with 10.5 million inhabitants. The remaining block of territory was placed under a German administration, of about the same size and inhabited by about 11.5 millions, were called the General Government, with its capital at Kraków.
A German lawyer and prominent Nazi, Hans Frank, was appointed Governor-General of this occupied area on 12 October 1939. Most of the administration outside local level was replaced by German officials. Non-German population on the occupied lands were subject to forced resettlement, economic exploitation, slow but progressive extermination. A small strip of land, about 700 square kilometres with 200,000 inhabitants, part of Czechoslovakia before 1938 was returned by Germany to its ally, Slovakia. After Germany and the Soviet Union had partitioned Poland in 1939, most of the ethnically Polish territory ended up under the control of Germany, while the areas annexed by the Soviet Union contained ethnically diverse peoples, with the territory split into bilingual provinces, some of which had large ethnic Ukrainian and Belarusian minorities. Many of them welcomed the Soviets due in part to communist agitation by Soviet emissaries. Nonetheless Poles comprised the largest single ethnic group in all territories annexed by the Soviet Union.
By the end of the invasion the Soviet Union had taken over 51.6% of the territory of Poland, with over 13,200,000 people. The ethnic composition of these areas were as follows: 38% Poles, 37% Ukrainians, 14.5% Belarusians, 8.4% Jews, 0.9% Russians and 0.6% Germans. There were 336,000 refugees who fled from areas occupied by Germany, most of them Jews. All territory invaded by the Red Army was annexed to the Soviet Union, split between the Belarusian SSR and the Ukrainian SSR, with the exception of the Wilno area taken from Poland, transferred to sovereign Lithuania for several months and subsequently annexed by the Soviet Union in the form of the Lithuanian SSR on August 3, 1940. Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, most of the Polish territories annexed by the Soviets were attached to the enlarged General Government. Following the end of the war, the borders of Poland were shifted westwards. For months prior to the beginning of World War II in 1939, German newspapers and leaders had carried out a national and international propaganda campaign accusing Polish authorities of organizing or tolerating violent ethnic cleansing of ethnic Germans living in Poland.
British ambassador Sir H. Kennard sent four statements in August 1939 to Viscount Halifax regarding Hitler's claims about the treatment Germans were receiving in Poland. From the beginning, the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany was intended as fulfilment of the future plan of the German Reich described by Adolf Hitler in his book Mein Kampf as Lebensraum for the Germans in Central and Eastern Europe; the occupation goal was to turn former Poland into ethnically German "living space", by deporting and exterminating the non-German populace, or relegating it to the position of slave labour. The goal of the German state under Nazi leadership during the war was to destroy the Polish peoples and nation and their fate, as well as many other Slavs, was outlined in genocidal Generalplan Ost and a related Generalsiedlungsplan. Over 30 years 12.5 million Germans were to be resettled into the Slavic are