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Wittenberg

Wittenberg Lutherstadt Wittenberg, is a town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Wittenberg is situated on the River Elbe, 60 kilometers north of Leipzig and 90 kilometers south-west of Berlin, has a population of 48,501. Wittenberg is famous for its close connection with Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation, for which it received the honorific Lutherstadt. Several of Wittenberg's buildings associated with the events, including a preserved part of the Augustinian monastery in which Luther lived, first as a monk and as owner with his wife Katharina von Bora and family, considered to be the world's premier museum dedicated to Luther. Wittenberg was the seat of the Elector of Saxony, a dignity held by the dukes of Saxe-Wittenberg, making it one of the most powerful cities in the Holy Roman Empire. Today, Wittenberg is an industrial center and popular tourist destination, best known for its intact historic center and various memorial sites dedicated to Martin Luther and Philip Melanchthon added to the UNESCO world heritage list in 1996.

Historical documents first mention the settlement in 1180 as a small village founded by Flemish colonists under the rule of the House of Ascania. In 1260 this village became the residence of the dukes of Saxe-Wittenberg, in 1293 the settlement was granted its town charter as a free-standing town. Wittenberg developed into an important trade centre during the following several centuries, because of its central location; when the local branch of the Ascanians died out in 1422, control of Saxe-Wittenberg passed to the House of Wettin. This town became an important regional political and cultural centre at the end of the 15th Century, when Frederick III "the Wise", the Elector of Saxony from 1486 to 1525, made his residence in Wittenberg. Several parts of boundaries of the town were extended soon afterward; the second bridge over the Elbe River was built from 1486 through 1490 and the castle church was erected from 1496 through 1506. The Elector's palace was rebuilt at the same time. In 1502 Elector Frederick founded the University of Wittenberg, which attracted some important thinkers, such as Martin Luther—a professor of theology beginning in 1508—and Philipp Melanchthon—a professor of Greek starting in 1518.

On 31 October 1517, according to legend, Luther nailed his 95 theses against the selling of indulgences at the door of the All Saints', the Castle Church – an event taken as marking the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. The Anabaptist movement had one of its earliest homes in Wittenberg, when the Zwickau prophets moved there in late 1521, only to be suppressed by Luther when he returned from the Wartburg in spring 1522; the Capitulation of Wittenberg is the name given to the treaty by which John Frederick the Magnanimous was compelled to resign the electoral dignity and most of his territory to the Albertine branch of the House of Wettin. In 1760, during the Seven Years' War, the Austrians bombarded the Prussian-occupied town; the French took control in 1806, Napoleon commanded the refortification of the town in 1813. In 1814 the Prussian Army under Tauentzien stormed Wittenberg. In 1815 Wittenberg became part of Prussia, administered within the Province of Saxony. Wittenberg continued to be a fortress of the third class until the reorganisation of German defences after the foundation of the new German Empire led to its dismantling in 1873.

It contained a prisoner of war camp from 1914 to 1918. A camp 10 1/2 acres in area was set up 2 miles from the city. Eight compounds held 13,000 men. During the typhus epidemic of 1914-1915, conditions were harsh; the camp medical officer, Dr. Aschenbach, was awarded the Iron Cross for his part in the epidemic; the award was questioned by the Allies. The use of dogs to attack POW’s was criticised by American Ambassador James W. Gerard in his book “Four Years in Germany”. Unlike many other historic German cities during World War II, Wittenberg's town centre was spared destruction during the conflict; the Allies agreed not to bomb Wittenberg, though fighting took place in the town, with bullet pock-marks visible on the statues of Luther and Melanchthon at the market square – or so the popular version of the town's history goes. In actuality, the Luther statue was not present in the town square during much of the war, but in storage at Luther Brunnen, a roadhouse a few kilometres north of the town.

Wittenberg's reputation as a town protected from Allied bombing is accurate. However, just outside Wittenberg the government had built the Arado Flugzeugwerke, which produced components of airplanes for the Luftwaffe; this war factory was worked by Jews, Poles, political prisoners and a few Americans—all prisoners engaging in forced labour, including POW’s who were supposed to be exempt from this sort of labor. American and British planes bombed the factory near the end of the war, in destroying it killed over one thousand of the prisoners and POW’s placed by the Germans in this war plant; the 1995 publication of "...und morgen war Krieg!" by Renate Gruber-Lieblich attempts to document this tragic bombing outside Wittenberg. At the end of the war, Soviet forces occupied Wittenberg. During the East German period, it formed part of Halle District. By means of the peaceful revolution in 1989, the communist régime dissolved and the town has been governed democratically since 1990; the figures are given for the metropolitan district at the point in time.

Up to 1791 the figures are estimated figures are from census or local authorities. From 2012 census. Abtsdorf Boßdorf Griebo Kropstädt Mochau, Saxony-

Knights of Lithuania

The Knights of Lithuania is a Lithuanian cultural organization in the United States, established in 1913 as the Lithuanian Falcons in an effort to develop conservative and patriotic values in Lithuanian-American youth. Changing its name to the current form after just one year, the Knights of Lithuania organization grew to peak in size and influence in the mid-1920s, when its membership approached 5,000 and its local councils exceeded 100. Decline soon followed, due to declining use of the Lithuanian language and loss of national consciousness among the American-born youth. Organization size was further impacted by the emergence of the Catholic Youth Organization in 1932. Open to both women and men from its first years, as immigration from Lithuania halted and its membership grew older, the age requirements of the group's early days were dropped. Despite its numerical decline and evolution into an English-speaking organization, the Knights of Lithuania has managed to survive into the 21st century, with a continued focus upon educational and religious activities for Lithuanian-American young people.

The 1912 annual convention of the Lithuanian Catholic Alliance, held in Boston, received a report by Mykolas Norkūnas calling for establishment of a new patriotic youth organization in an effort to combat a decline in national feeling, rise in ethnically-mixed marriages, growing tendency towards political radicalism among Lithuanian-American youth. This call was subsequently echoed in the pages of the conservative Lithuanian-language press, gaining the support of a number of prominent Catholic leaders and further inspiring Norkūnas in his efforts. A two-day convention was called at a church hall in Lawrence, Massachusetts for April 27–28, 1913, to launch a new Catholic organization along the lines advocated by Norkūnas. Ten delegates gathered and a new group was born, called the Lithuanian Falcons. A report on the new group was delivered to the 1913 congress of the Lithuanian Roman Catholic Federation, which approved the new group while recommending a name change to a more historically-oriented moniker, the Knights of Lithuania.

This change followed. The Knights of Lithuania grew during its first year of existence, so that by the time of its 1914 convention there were a total of 12 local councils. A periodical was launched for distribution to the group's members, called Vytis, with a pair of Lithuanian-American students handling the editorial duties; the bulk of original members of the organization were individuals in their 20s. The Knights of Lithuania were established as an alternative social and cultural organization to the popular youth activities organized by the anti-religious Lithuanian Socialist Federation and were from its inception directed towards working class and lower-middle class Lithuanian-American youth. Comparatively few intellectuals were attracted to the organization during its early years. While professing Catholicism as a fundamental aspect of organizational identity, the group was a product of the Catholic laity rather than the formal church apparatus and periodically local councils came into conflict with local parish priests, culminating with a short-lived effort in the 1920s for the organization of a new youth movement by the Lithuanian Priests' League.

The organization was open to both women and men and advanced a program of Lithuanian cultural identity, including the collection of funds for the Lithuanian national independence movement. Membership in the Knights of Lithuania was never large, peaking in the 1920s at 4,500. American restrictions upon European immigration and the inevitable assimilation of American-born children of immigrants took their toll, as early as 1923 the magazine of the organization, began to publish a column in English. Membership fell during the 1930s, with Lithuanian troops of the Boy Scouts of America and Lithuanian branches of the American Catholic Youth Organization competing with the Knights of Lithuania for members. Meetings of local councils began to be conducted in English as the proportion of Lithuanian-speaking members fell; as many as 800 members of the organization entered the United States Armed Forces during World War II and the organization responded to the dwindling pool of available members in 1944 by expanding its age range, allowing the participation of older members.

From the youth organization of its early years, the Knights of Lithuania transformed itself into a family organization as its membership aged, thereby helping it to retain critical mass for its survival. The Knights of Lithuania considered cultural assimilation regrettable at best and advocated for ethnically pure marriages up to about 1950, it was only in 1959 that the organization's bias against inter-ethnic marriage appears to have been laid to rest through the introduction of associate memberships to the non-Lithuanian spouses of Knights of Lithuania members. While these demographic changes negatively impacted the size of the organization and watered down its nationalistic orientation, it survived as an educational and cultural entity, through the promotion of language training and dramatic performances, craft displays, ethnic dinners; the Knights of Lithuania today provides college scholarships for many of its members and conducts periodic cultural events. From July 25–28, 2013, the 100th Annual Convention of the Knights of Lithuania was held in Boston, celebrating a century of continuous existence.

The gathering was attended by Deputy Chief of the Lithuanian Mission to the United States Simonas Šatūnas and by the Lithuanian General Consul in New York, Valdemaras Sarapinas. Wolkovich-Valkavici

Romford Rural District

Romford Rural District was a local government district in southwest Essex, England from 1894 to 1934. It did not include, Romford which formed a separate urban district. During the life of the district the area changed in use from rural farm land to sprawling London suburb and in 1926 much of it was removed to form new urban districts; the setting up of rural local government districts had its origins in the union of parishes following the Poor Law Amendment Act 1834. Romford Poor Law Union was created in 1836, it consisted of the parishes of Barking, Dagenham, Great Warley, Havering atte Bower, Rainham, Romford and Wennington. In 1837 an identical area became Romford Registration District for the purposes of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1836; the Poor Law union area was used again for the purposes of the Public Health Act 1875 and Romford Rural Sanitary District was created in 1875. For the purposes of the rural sanitary district areas that formed local boards were removed from the area.

This occurred for Barking Town and Romford. It was created a rural district in 1894 by the Local Government Act 1894, based on the Romford rural sanitary district. Before 1894 the part of Romford parish corresponding to the town was covered a local board of health. Under the 1894 legislation the parish was split with the former board of health district becoming the Romford Urban parish the remainder formed the Romford Rural parish; the former constituted the Romford Urban District and the latter was a component parish within the larger rural district. The arrangement did not last, in 1900 the two parishes were abolished and their former area used to create a Romford parish which constituted the enlarged Romford Urban District. In 1911 the rural district had a combined area of 29,720 acres and consisted of the following parishes: In 1926 the parish of Hornchurch was removed to form Hornchurch Urban District and the parish of Dagenham, which included much of the vast Becontree estate, was removed to form Dagenham Urban District.

In 1934 the district was abolished and the remaining parishes transferred to neighbouring districts: The area today forms parts of the London Borough of Havering and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham in Greater London. A boundary change in 1993 transferred the remaining parts of Great Warley to the Brentwood Borough of Essex