Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania, is a country in Northern Europe. One of the three Baltic states, it is situated along the shore of the Baltic Sea, to the east of Sweden. It is bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, Lithuania has an estimated population of 2.9 million people as of 2015, and its capital and largest city is Vilnius. The official language, along with Latvian, is one of two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family. For centuries, the shores of the Baltic Sea were inhabited by various Baltic tribes. In the 1230s, the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, the King of Lithuania, and the first unified Lithuanian state, with the Lublin Union of 1569, Lithuania and Poland formed a voluntary two-state union, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until neighboring countries systematically dismantled it from 1772–95, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuanias territory.
As World War I neared its end, Lithuanias Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, in the midst of the Second World War, Lithuania was first occupied by the Soviet Union and by Nazi Germany. As World War II neared its end and the Germans retreated, Lithuania is a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, a full member of the Eurozone, Schengen Agreement and NATO. It is a member of the Nordic Investment Bank, the United Nations Human Development Index lists Lithuania as a very high human development country. Lithuania has been among the fastest growing economies in the European Union and is ranked 21st in the world in the Ease of Doing Business Index, the first people settled in the territory of Lithuania after the last glacial period in the 10th millennium BC. Over a millennium, the Indo-Europeans, who arrived in the 3rd – 2nd millennium BC, mixed with the local population, the first written mention of Lithuania is found in a medieval German manuscript, the Annals of Quedlinburg, in an entry dated 9 March 1009.
Initially inhabited by fragmented Baltic tribes, in the 1230s the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, after his assassination in 1263, pagan Lithuania was a target of the Christian crusades of the Teutonic Knights and the Livonian Order. Despite the devastating century-long struggle with the Orders, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania expanded rapidly, by the end of the 14th century, Lithuania was one of the largest countries in Europe and included present-day Belarus and parts of Poland and Russia. The geopolitical situation between the west and the east determined the multicultural and multi-confessional character of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the ruling elite practised religious tolerance and Chancery Slavonic language was used as an auxiliary language to the Latin for official documents. In 1385, the Grand Duke Jogaila accepted Polands offer to become its king, Jogaila embarked on gradual Christianization of Lithuania and established a personal union between Poland and Lithuania. It implied that Lithuania, the fiercely independent land, was one of the last pagan areas of Europe to adopt Christianity, after two civil wars, Vytautas the Great became the Grand Duke of Lithuania in 1392.
During his reign, Lithuania reached the peak of its expansion, centralization of the state began
Only several hundred people managed to survive, mostly by hiding in the forests surrounding the town, joining the Soviet partisans, or finding shelter among sympathetic locals. Before the Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, Wilno was the capital of the Wilno Voivodship in the Second Polish Republic, the predominant languages of the city were Polish and to a lesser extent, Yiddish. The Lithuanian-speaking population at the time was a minority, at about 6% of the citys population according to contemporary Lithuanian sources. By 1931, the city had 195,000 inhabitants, making it the fifth largest city in Poland with varied industries and new factories, as well as a well respected university. Wilno was a predominantly Polish and Jewish city since the Polish-Lithuanian borders were accepted in 1922 by the League of Nations in the aftermath of the Great War. After the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, Joseph Stalin transferred Wilno to Lithuania in October, two years later, the German Army entered Vilna on 26 June 1941, followed by Einsatzkommando death squads of Einsatzgruppe B.
Over the course of the summer, German troops and their Lithuanian collaborators killed more than 21,000 Jews living in Vilnius, the Provisional Government of Lithuania had claimed Vilna as its capital along the lines of former dispute with Poland. The Republic of Lithuania, operating out of the provisional capital Kaunas, sent in the Lithuanian Army to reclaim the city, the Lithuanian kidnappers were known in Yiddish as hapunes, meaning grabbers or snatchers. The Lithuanians fled the apartment, returned with awaiting German soldiers, stiklių and Mėsinių streets were ransacked by the local militia, and Jews were beaten up. Men at workplaces were seized, Jews were taken to Lukiškės Prison, to Paneriai, known as Ponary, where they were murdered between 1 September and 3 September. Five to ten people were murdered, including ten members of the Judenrat. The objective was to clear a territory for the establishment of a ghetto to imprison all the Jews of Vilnius and suburbs. On 6 September and 7 September 1941, the Nazis herded the remaining 20,000 Jews into the parameters of two ghettos by evicting them from their homes, during which 3,700 were killed, half-Jews and spouses of Jews were forced into the ghetto.
The move to the ghetto was extremely hurried and difficult, and they could take only what they were physically able to carry. The area designated for the ghetto was the old Jewish quarter in the centre of the city, the Nazis split the area into two Jewish quarters, with a non-ghetto corridor running down Deutschegasse. This made it easier for the Nazis to control what the victims knew of their fate beforehand, like the other Jewish ghettos Nazi Germany set up during World War II, the Vilnius Ghetto was created both to dehumanize the people and to exploit its inmates as slave labour. Conditions were intended to be poor and crowded, subjecting victims to unsanitary conditions, disease. Jewish Vilna was known for its distinguished medical tradition, which inmates of the Ghetto managed to maintain to some degree during the Holocaust, as in front of most Ghettos established by the Germans, a sign was put right outside the Ghetto stating, Achtung
Kaunas is the second-largest city in Lithuania and has historically been a leading centre of Lithuanian economic and cultural life. Kaunas was the biggest city and the centre of a county in Trakai Municipality of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania since 1413, in the Russian Empire it was the capital of the Kaunas Governorate from 1843 to 1915. It became the temporary capital city in Europe during the interwar period. Now it is the capital of Kaunas County, the seat of the Kaunas city municipality and it is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kaunas. Kaunas is located at the confluence of the two largest Lithuanian rivers, the Nemunas and the Neris, and near the Kaunas Reservoir, the citys name is of Lithuanian origins and most likely derives from a personal name. Before Lithuania regained independence, the city was known in English as Kovno, the traditional Slavicized form of its name, the Polish name is Kowno. An earlier Russian name was Ковно Kovno, although Каунас Kaunas has been used since 1940, the Yiddish name is Kovne, while its names in German include Kaunas and Kauen.
The city and its elderates have names in other languages, an old legend claims that Kaunas was established by the Romans in ancient times. These Romans were supposedly led by a patrician named Palemon, who had three sons, Barcus and Sperus, Palemon fled from Rome because he feared the mad Emperor Nero. Palemon, his sons and other relatives travelled all the way to Lithuania, after Palemons death, his sons divided his land. Kunas got the land where Kaunas now stands and he built a fortress near the confluence of the Nemunas and Neris rivers, and the city that grew up there was named after him. There is a region in the vicinity named Palemonas. On 30 June 1993, the coat of arms of Kaunas city was established by a special presidential decree. The coat of arms features a white aurochs with a cross between his horns, set against a deep red background. The aurochs is the heraldic symbol of the city since 1400. The heraldic seal of Kaunas, introduced in the early 15th century during the reign of Grand Duke Vytautas, is the oldest city heraldic seal known in the territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
The current emblem was the result of study and discussion on the part of the Lithuanian Heraldry Commission. An aurochs has replaced a wisent, depicted in the Soviet era emblem, Gules, an aurochs passant guardant argent ensigned with a cross Or between his horns
German occupation of Lithuania during World War II
The occupation of Lithuania by Nazi Germany lasted from the German invasion of Soviet Union on June 22,1941 to the end of the Battle of Memel on January 28,1945. At first the Germans were welcomed as liberators from the repressive Soviet regime which occupied Lithuania prior to the German arrival, in hopes of re-establishing independence or regaining some autonomy, Lithuanians organized their Provisional Government. Soon the Lithuanian attitudes towards the Germans changed into passive resistance, in August 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed the German–Soviet Nonaggression Pact and its Secret Additional Protocol, dividing Central and Eastern Europe into spheres of influence. Lithuania was initially assigned to the German sphere, likely due to its dependence on German trade. After the March 1939 ultimatum regarding the Klaipėda Region, Germany accounted for 75% of Lithuanian exports, to solidify its influence, Germany suggested a German–Lithuanian military alliance against Poland and promised to return the Vilnius Region, but Lithuania held to its policy of strict neutrality.
When Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, the Wehrmacht took control of the Lublin Voivodeship and eastern Warsaw Voivodeship, almost immediately after the German–Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty, Soviets pressured Lithuanians into signing the Soviet–Lithuanian Mutual Assistance Treaty. According to this treaty, Lithuania gained about 6,880 square kilometres of territory in the Vilnius Region in return for five Soviet military bases in Lithuania, the Soviet–Lithuanian Treaty was described by The New York Times as virtual sacrifice of independence. Similar pacts were proposed to Latvia and Finland, Finland was the only state to refuse such a treaty and that sparked the Winter War. This war delayed the occupation of Lithuania, the Soviets did not interfere with Lithuanias domestic affairs, despite Lithuanian attempts to negotiate and resolve the issues, Soviet Union issued an ultimatum on June 14,1940. Lithuanians accepted the ultimatum and Soviet military took control of cities by June 15.
The following day identical ultimatums were issued to Latvia and Estonia, to legitimize the occupation, the Soviets staged elections to the so-called Peoples Seimas, which proclaimed establishment of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. This allowed Soviet propaganda to claim that Lithuania voluntarily joined the Soviet Union, soon after the occupation started, Sovietization policies were implemented. On July 1, all political and religious organizations were closed, with only the Communist Party of Lithuania and its youth branch allowed to exist. All banks, real estate larger than 170 square metres, private enterprises with more than 20 workers or more than 150,000 litas of gross receipts were nationalized and this disruption in management and operations created a sharp drop in production. Russian soldiers and officials were eager to spend their appreciated rubles, to turn small peasants against large landowners, collectivization was not introduced in Lithuania. All land was nationalized, farms were reduced to 30 hectares, in preparation for eventual collectivization, new taxes between 30% and 50% of farm production were enacted.
The Lithuanian litas was artificially depreciated 3–4 times its actual value, before the elections to the Peoples Parliament, Soviets arrested some 2,000 of most prominent political activists. These arrests paralyzed any attempts to create anti-Soviet groups, an estimated 12,000 were imprisoned as enemies of the people
Righteous Among the Nations
Righteous Among the Nations is an honorific used by the State of Israel to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis. The term originates with the concept of righteous gentiles, a used in rabbinic Judaism to refer to non-Jews, called ger toshav. When Yad Vashem, the Shoah Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority, was established in 1953 by the Knesset, the Righteous were defined as non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. Since 1963, a commission headed by a justice of the Supreme Court of Israel has been charged with the duty of awarding the honorary title Righteous among the Nations, the award has been given without regard to the social rank of the helper. The awards are distributed to the rescuers or their next-of-kin during ceremonies in Israel and these ceremonies are attended by local government representatives and are given wide media coverage. Anyone who has recognized as Righteous is entitled to apply to Yad Vashem for the certificate.
If the person is no longer alive, their next of kin is entitled to request that commemorative citizenship be conferred on the Righteous who has died. In total,26,513 men and women from 51 countries have been recognized, Yad Vashems policy is to pursue the program for as long as petitions for this title are received and are supported by evidence that meets the criteria. Recipients who choose to live in the state of Israel are entitled to an equal to the average national wage and free health care. At least 130 Righteous Gentiles have settled in Israel and they were welcomed by Israeli authorities, and were granted citizenship. In the mid-1980s, they entitled to special pensions. Some of them settled in British Mandatory Palestine before Israels establishment shortly after World War II, or in the years of the new state of Israel. Those who came earlier often spoke fluent Hebrew and have now integrated into Israeli society, the Righteous are honored with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church in the US on 16 July.
A Righteous from Italy, Edward Focherini, was beatified by the Catholic Church on 15 June 2013, in 2015, Lithuanias first street sign honoring a Righteous Among the Nations was unveiled in Vilnius. The street is named Simaites Street, after Ona Šimaitė, she was a Vilnius University librarian who helped and rescued Jewish people in the Vilna Ghetto, as of January 1,2016, the award has been made to 26,120 people. Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust and Moral Obligation, David P. Gushee, ISBN 1-55778-821-9, the Lexicon of the Righteous Among the Nations, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem. To Save a Life, Stories of Holocaust Rescue, Land-Weber, Ellen, ISBN 0-252-02515-6, the Seven Laws of Noah, Aaron, New York, The Rabbi Jacob Joseph School Press,1981, ASIN B00071QH6S. The Image of the Non-Jew in Judaism, David, ISBN 0-88946-975-X, New York and Toronto, the Path of the Righteous, Gentile Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust, Mordecai, ISBN 0-88125-376-6, KTAV Publishing House, Inc
Abba Kovner was a Jewish Hebrew poet and partisan leader. He became one of the poets of modern Israel. He was a cousin of the Israeli Communist Party leader Meir Vilner, Abba Kovner was born on March 14,1918, in the Crimean Black Sea port city of Sevastopol. His parents were Rachel Taubman and Israel Kovner, at a young age he moved with his family to Vilnius, which at this time was part of Poland, where he grew up and was educated at the secondary Hebrew academy and the school of the arts. While pursuing his studies, he joined and became a member in the socialist Zionist youth movement HaShomer HaTzair. After occupation established the Vilna Ghetto, Kovner managed to escape with several friends to a Dominican convent headed by Anna Borkowska in the citys suburbs, but he soon returned to the ghetto. He concluded that in order for any revolt to be successful, at the start of 1942, Kovner released a manifesto in the Vilnius ghetto, twice repeating the phrase Let us not go like lambs to the slaughter.
The manifesto declared that Hitler had decided to all the Jews of Europe. The idea of resistance was disseminated from Vilnius by youth movement couriers, mainly women, to the ghettos of occupied Poland, occupied Belarus and of Lithuania. Kovner, Yitzhak Wittenberg, and others formed the United Partisan Organization, Kovner became its leader in July 1943, after Wittenberg was named by a tortured comrade and turned himself in to prevent an attack on the ghetto. The FPO planned to fight the Germans when the end of the ghetto came, but circumstances, the Avengers were one of four predominantly Jewish groups that operated under the command of the Soviet-led partisans. After the occupation of Vilnius by the Soviet Red Army in July 1944, Kovner became one of the founders of the Berihah movement, helping Jews escape Eastern Europe after the war. At the end of the war, Kovner was one of the founders of a secret organization Nakam, known as Dam Yisrael Noter whose purpose was to seek revenge for the Holocaust.
Plan A was to kill a number of German citizens by poisoning the water supplies of Hamburg, Munich. Plan B was to kill SS prisoners held in Allied POW camps, in pursuit of Plan A, members of the group were infiltrated into water and sewage plants in several cities, while Kovner went to Palestine in search of a suitable poison. Kovner discussed Nakam with Yishuv leaders, though it is not clear how much he told them, historians have expressed doubt over Weizmanns involvement, since he was overseas at the time Kovner specified. The Katzir brothers confirmed that they gave poison to Kovner, but said that he only mentioned Plan B, as Kovner and an accomplice were returning to Europe on a British ship, they threw the poison overboard when Kovner was arrested. He was imprisoned for a few months in Cairo and Plan A was abandoned, in April 1946, members of Nakam broke into a bakery used to supply bread for the Langwasser internment camp near Nuremberg, where many German POWs were being held
Nazi Germany is the common English name for the period in German history from 1933 to 1945, when Germany was governed by a dictatorship under the control of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Under Hitlers rule, Germany was transformed into a fascist state in which the Nazi Party took totalitarian control over all aspects of life. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich from 1933 to 1943, the period is known under the names the Third Reich and the National Socialist Period. The Nazi regime came to an end after the Allied Powers defeated Germany in May 1945, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933. The Nazi Party began to eliminate all opposition and consolidate its power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934, and Hitler became dictator of Germany by merging the powers and offices of the Chancellery, a national referendum held 19 August 1934 confirmed Hitler as sole Führer of Germany. All power was centralised in Hitlers person, and his word became above all laws, the government was not a coordinated, co-operating body, but a collection of factions struggling for power and Hitlers favour.
In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazis restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending, extensive public works were undertaken, including the construction of Autobahnen. The return to economic stability boosted the regimes popularity, especially antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime. The Germanic peoples were considered by the Nazis to be the purest branch of the Aryan race, millions of Jews and other peoples deemed undesirable by the state were murdered in the Holocaust. Opposition to Hitlers rule was ruthlessly suppressed, members of the liberal and communist opposition were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. The Christian churches were oppressed, with many leaders imprisoned, education focused on racial biology, population policy, and fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, and the 1936 Summer Olympics showcased the Third Reich on the international stage.
Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, the government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others. Beginning in the late 1930s, Nazi Germany made increasingly aggressive territorial demands and it seized Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939. Hitler made a pact with Joseph Stalin and invaded Poland in September 1939. In alliance with Italy and smaller Axis powers, Germany conquered most of Europe by 1940, reichskommissariats took control of conquered areas, and a German administration was established in what was left of Poland. Jews and others deemed undesirable were imprisoned, murdered in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps, following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the tide gradually turned against the Nazis, who suffered major military defeats in 1943
This type of action highlights the desires of an individual or group that feels that something needs to change to improve the current condition of the resisting person or group. It is largely but wrongly taken as synonymous with civil resistance, each of these terms has its distinct merits and quite different connotations and commitments. The modern form of non-violent resistance was popularised and proven to be effective by the Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi in his efforts to gain independence from the British Empire, there are hundreds of books and papers on the subject — see Further reading below. From 1966 to 1999, nonviolent civic resistance played a role in 50 of 67 transitions from authoritarianism. Recently, nonviolent resistance has led to the Rose Revolution in Georgia, current nonviolent resistance includes the Jeans Revolution in Belarus, the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia, and the fight of the Cuban dissidents. Many movements which promote philosophies of nonviolence or pacifism have pragmatically adopted the methods of nonviolent action as a way to achieve social or political goals.
Nonviolent action differs from pacifism by potentially being proactive and interventionist, clayborne Carson, In Struggle, SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press,1981, mineola, NY, Dover Publications,2001, orig. Gene Sharp, Making Europe Unconquerable, The Potential of Civilian-Based Deterrence and Defence, united Kingdom, Taylor & Francis,1985. ISBN 978-0-85066-336-5/ Gene Sharp, The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Michael Bröning, The Politics of Change in Palestine. London, Pluto Press,2011, Part 5, judith Hand, A Future Without War, The Strategy of a Warfare Transition. San Diego, CA, Questpath Publishing,2006, Michael King, The Penguin History of New Zealand. London, Penguin Books,2003, pp 219–20,222, 247–8, mark Kurlansky, The History of a Dangerous Idea. New York, Modern Library / Random House,2006, david McReynolds, A Philosophy of Nonviolence. Adam Roberts and Timothy Garton Ash, civil Resistance and Power Politics, The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present.
Oxford, Oxford University Press,2009, adam Roberts, Michael J. Willis, Rory McCarthy and Timothy Garton Ash, eds. Civil Resistance in the Arab Spring and Disasters, England, Oxford University Press,2016. Jonathan Schell, The Unconquerable World, Nonviolence, New York, Metropolitan Books / Henry Holt and Company,2003
The Western world or the West is a term usually referring to different nations, depending on the context, most often including at least part of Europe. There are many accepted definitions about what they all have in common, the Western world is known as the Occident. The concept of the Western part of the earth has its roots in Greco-Roman civilization in Europe, before the Cold War era, the traditional Western viewpoint identified Western Civilization with the Western Christian countries and culture. Its political usage was changed by the antagonism during the Cold War in the mid-to-late 20th Century. The term originally had a literal geographic meaning, Western culture was influenced by many older great civilizations of the ancient Near East, such as Phoenicia, Minoan Crete, Sumer and Ancient Egypt. It originated in the Mediterranean basin and its vicinity, over time, their associated empires grew first to the east and west to include the rest of Mediterranean and Black Sea coastal areas and absorbing.
Later, they expanded to the north of the Mediterranean Sea to include Western, numerous times, this expansion was accompanied by Christian missionaries, who attempted to proselytize Christianity. There is debate among some as to whether Latin America is in a category of its own, Western culture may imply, a Biblical Christian cultural influence in spiritual thinking and either ethic or moral traditions, around the Post-Classical Era and after. European cultural influences concerning artistic, folkloric and oral traditions, the concept of Western culture is generally linked to the classical definition of the Western world. In this definition, Western culture is the set of literary, political, much of this set of traditions and knowledge is collected in the Western canon. The term has come to apply to countries whose history is marked by European immigration or settlement, such as the Americas, and Oceania. The geopolitical divisions in Europe that created a concept of East and West originated in the Roman Empire, Roman Catholic Western and Central Europe, as such, maintained a distinct identity particularly as it began to redevelop during the Renaissance.
Even following the Protestant Reformation, Protestant Europe continued to see itself as more tied to Roman Catholic Europe than other parts of the civilized world. Use of the term West as a cultural and geopolitical term developed over the course of the Age of Exploration as Europe spread its culture to other parts of the world. Additionally, closer contacts between the West and Asia and other parts of the world in recent times have continued to cloud the use, herodotus considered the Persian Wars of the early 5th century BC a conflict of Europa versus Asia. The terms West and East were not used by any Greek author to describe that conflict, the Great Schism and the Fourth Crusade confirmed this deviation. The Renaissance in the West emerged partly from currents within the Roman Empire, Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a city-state founded on the Italian Peninsula about the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. In its 12-century existence, Roman civilization shifted from a monarchy, to a republic, despite its great legacy, a number of factors led to the eventual decline of the Roman Empire
The Waffen-SS was the armed wing of the Nazi Partys SS organisation. Its formations included men from Nazi Germany, along with volunteers, the Waffen-SS grew from three regiments to over 38 divisions during World War II, and served alongside the Heer and other security units. Prior to the war, it was under the control of the SS Führungshauptamt beneath Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, initially, in keeping with the racial policy of Nazi Germany, membership was only open to people of Germanic origin. The rules were relaxed in 1940, and the formation of units composed largely or solely of foreign volunteers. These SS units were made up of men mainly from among the nationals of Nazi-occupied Europe, despite relaxation of the rules, the Waffen-SS was still based on the racist ideology of Nazism, and ethnic Poles were barred specifically from the formations. At the post-war Nuremberg trials the Waffen-SS was judged to be a criminal organisation due to its connection to the Nazi Party, former Waffen-SS members were denied many of the rights afforded to the military veterans.
An exception was made for Waffen-SS conscripts, who were exempted because they were not volunteers, about a third of the total membership were conscripts. The origins of the Waffen-SS can be traced back to the selection of a group of 120 SS men in March 1933 by Sepp Dietrich to form the Sonderkommando Berlin. By November 1933 the formation had 800 men, and at a ceremony in Munich for the tenth anniversary of the failed Munich Putsch the regiment swore allegiance to Adolf Hitler. The oaths pledged were Pledging loyalty to him alone and Obedience unto death, the formation was given the title Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler. On 13 April 1934, by order of Himmler, the regiment became known as the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler, led by one of Hitlers oldest comrades, Ernst Röhm, the SA was seen as a threat by Hitler to his newly gained political power. Hitler wanted to conciliate leaders of the Reichswehr and conservatives of the country, when Hitler decided to act against the SA, the SS was put in charge of eliminating Röhm and the other high-ranking SA officers.
The Night of the Long Knives occurred between 30 June and 2 July 1934 and saw the killing of up to 200 people and this included almost the entire SA leadership, effectively ending its power. This action was carried out by SS personnel, and the Gestapo. In September 1934, Hitler authorized the formation of the wing of the Nazi Party and approved the formation of the SS-Verfügungstruppe. The SS was given the lowest priority for recruits, at the same time Himmler established the SS-Junkerschule Bad Tölz and SS-Junkerschule Braunschweig for military training of SS officers. Both schools used regular army training methods and mainly used former army officers as instructors, Himmler initially in 1934 set stringent requirements for recruits. They were to be German nationals who could prove their Aryan ancestry back to 1800, unmarried, a four-year commitment was required for the SS-VT and LSSAH
Japan is a sovereign island nation in Eastern Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asia Mainland and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea, the kanji that make up Japans name mean sun origin. 日 can be read as ni and means sun while 本 can be read as hon, or pon, Japan is often referred to by the famous epithet Land of the Rising Sun in reference to its Japanese name. Japan is an archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands. The four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, the country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions. Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one, the population of 127 million is the worlds tenth largest. Japanese people make up 98. 5% of Japans total population, approximately 9.1 million people live in the city of Tokyo, the capital of Japan. Archaeological research indicates that Japan was inhabited as early as the Upper Paleolithic period, the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions, mainly China, followed by periods of isolation, from the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shoguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a period of isolation in the early 17th century. The Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan is a member of the UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the country has the worlds third-largest economy by nominal GDP and the worlds fourth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It is the worlds fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer, although Japan has officially renounced its right to declare war, it maintains a modern military with the worlds eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a country with a very high standard of living. Its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and the third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, in ancient China, Japan was called Wo 倭.
It was mentioned in the third century Chinese historical text Records of the Three Kingdoms in the section for the Wei kingdom, Wa became disliked because it has the connotation of the character 矮, meaning dwarf. The 倭 kanji has been replaced with the homophone Wa, meaning harmony, the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, which is pronounced Nippon or Nihon and literally means the origin of the sun. The earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, at the start of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan introduced their country as Nihon
Russia, officially the Russian Federation, is a country in Eurasia. The European western part of the country is more populated and urbanised than the eastern. Russias capital Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world, other urban centers include Saint Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a range of environments. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk, the East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, in 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus ultimately disintegrated into a number of states, most of the Rus lands were overrun by the Mongol invasion. The Soviet Union played a role in the Allied victory in World War II.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the worlds first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the second largest economy, largest standing military in the world. It is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic, the Russian economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2015. Russias extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the producers of oil. The country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. The name Russia is derived from Rus, a state populated mostly by the East Slavs. However, this name became more prominent in the history, and the country typically was called by its inhabitants Русская Земля.
In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus by modern historiography, an old Latin version of the name Rus was Ruthenia, mostly applied to the western and southern regions of Rus that were adjacent to Catholic Europe. The current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Kievan Rus, the standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is Russians in English and rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are translated into English as Russians