1.3: The very short history of the S and R

R is the statistical environment. The idea was to make independent realization of S language concept which would differ from S-Plus in some details (for example, in the way it works with local and global variables).

Practically, R is not an imitation of S-Plus but the new “branch” in the family of S software. In 1990s, R was developing slowly, but when users finally realized its truly amazing opportunities (like the system of R extensions—packages, or libraries) and started to migrate from other statistical systems, R started to grow exponentially. Now, there are thousands of R packages, and R is used almost everywhere! Without any exaggeration, R is now the most important software tool for data analysis.

Short History of the Middle Ages, third edition

Welcome to the website for A Short History of the Middle Ages, third edition, by Barbara H. Rosenwein. This site provides additional content for the text published by UTP Higher Education. It is designed to be an aid to both students and enthusiasts of medieval history. Take some time and roam around. Test your knowledge of medieval history, explore maps of medieval times, or the lineages of rulers past.

This site includes study questions for each chapter as well as reproductions of the maps and genealogies found in the text.

Nearly two hundred study questions available here were developed over several years by the author. They provide rigorous tests of students’ knowledge through chapter by chapter questions regarding maps, plates, and key terms, while also challenging students with short and long answer questions. The study questions will be an invaluable resource for students reviewing for their medieval history exams or simply testing their knowledge as they work through the text.

Printed in colour for the first time in this edition and available here are all of the text’s maps. They can be easily downloaded for papers, electronic presentations, or to markup for study purposes.

A short history of RubisCO: the rise and fall (?) of Nature's predominant CO2 fixing enzyme

RubisCO evolved into Nature's predominant CO2-fixing enzyme in three distinct steps.

RubisCO evolved from a non-CO2-fixing ancestral enzyme into a true carboxylase.

RubisCO emerged in a non-autotrophic context before the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle evolved.

RubisCO evolved from a stand-alone enzyme into an enzyme complex, the ‘RubisCOsome’.

Synthetic Biology attempts to overcome RubisCO and its catalytic imperfections.

Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO) is arguably one of the most abundant proteins in the biosphere and a key enzyme in the global carbon cycle. Although RubisCO has been intensively studied, its evolutionary origins and rise as Nature's most dominant carbon dioxide (CO2)-fixing enzyme still remain in the dark. In this review we will bring together biochemical, structural, physiological, microbiological, as well as phylogenetic data to speculate on the evolutionary roots of the CO2-fixation reaction of RubisCO, the emergence of RubisCO-based autotrophic CO2-fixation in the context of the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle, and the further evolution of RubisCO into the ‘RubisCOsome’, a complex of various proteins assembling and interacting with the enzyme to improve its operational capacity (functionality) under different biological and environmental conditions.

1.3: The very short history of the S and R

Diagnostic Criteria
The current diagnostic criteria for POTS is a heart rate increase of 30 beats per minute (bpm) or more, or over 120 bpm, within the first 10 minutes of standing, in the absence of orthostatic hypotension. 1,2,3,4 In children and adolescents, a revised standard of a 40 bpm or more increase has recently been adopted. 4,5 POTS is often diagnosed by a Tilt Table Test, but if such testing is not available, POTS can be diagnosed with bedside measurements of heart rate and blood pressure taken in the supine (laying down) and standing up position at 2, 5 and 10 minute intervals. Doctors may perform more detailed tests to evaluate the autonomic nervous system in POTS patients, such as Quantitative Sudomotor Axon Reflex Test (QSART, sometimes called Q-Sweat), Thermoregulatory Sweat Test (TST), skin biopsies looking at the small fiber nerves, gastric motility studies and more.

Signs and Symptoms
While the diagnostic criteria focus on the abnormal heart rate increase upon standing, POTS usually presents with symptoms much more complex than a simple increase in heart rate. It is fairly common for POTS patients to have a drop in blood pressure upon standing, but some POTS patients have no change or even an increase in blood pressure upon standing. 1 POTS patients often have hypovolemia (low blood volume) and high levels of plasma norepinephrine while standing, reflecting increased sympathetic nervous system activation. 3 Approxiamtely 50% of POTS patients have a small fiber neuropathy that impacts their sudomotor nerves. Many POTS patients also experience fatigue, headaches, lightheadedness, heart palpitations, exercise intolerance, nausea, diminished concentration, tremulousness (shaking), syncope (fainting), coldness or pain in the extremities, chest pain and shortness of breath. 1,3,4 Patients can develop a reddish purple color in the legs upon standing, believed to be caused by blood pooling or poor circulation. The color change subsides upon returning to a reclined position.

Quality-of-Life and Disability
Some patients have fairly mild symptoms and can continue with normal work, school, social and recreational activities. For others, symptoms may be so severe that normal life activities, such as bathing, housework, eating, sitting upright, walking or standing can be significantly limited. 1,3 Physicians with expertise in treating POTS have compared the functional impairment seen in POTS patients to the impairment seen in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or congestive heart failure. 1 Approximately 25% of POTS patients are disabled and unable to work. 1 Researchers found that quality-of-life in POTS patients is comparable to patients on dialysis for kidney failure. 21, 22

History of POTS
The term "POTS" was coined in 1993 by a team of researchers from Mayo Clinic, led by neurologist Dr. Philip Low. 8 However, POTS is not a new illness it has been known by other names throughout history, such as DaCosta's Syndrome, Soldier's Heart, Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome, Neurocirculatory Asthenia, Chronic Orthostatic Intolerance, Orthostatic Tachycardia and Postural Tachycardia Syndrome. 3 In the past, it was mistakenly believed to be caused by anxiety. However, modern researchers have determined that POTS is not caused by anxiety. 2,6,7 It is caused by a malfunction of the patient's autonomic nervous system. Thankfully, in the last 20 years, researchers have gained much more insight into imbalances of the autonomic nervous system. 1

POTS Classifications
POTS researchers have classified POTS in various ways. Dr. Blair Grubb has described POTS as "primary" or "secondary." "Primary" refers to POTS with no other identifiable medical condition (also known as "idiopathic" POTS). "Secondary" refers to POTS with the presence of another medical condition known to cause or contribute towards POTS symptoms. 1 Dr. Julian Stewart has described "high flow" and "low flow" POTS, based upon the flow of blood in the patients lower limbs. 9

Other researchers have described POTS based on some of its more prominent characteristics: hypovolemic POTS, which is associated with low blood volume partial dysautonomic or neuropathic POTS which is associated with a partial autonomic neuropathy and hyperandrenergic POTS which is associated with elevated levels of norepinephrine. 1,3,4 These are not distinct medical conditions and many POTS patients have two or three of the different characteristics present. For example, one patient can have neuropathy, low blood volume and elevated norepineprhine.

Who Develops POTS?
POTS can strike any age, gender or race, but it is most often seen in women of child bearing age (between the ages of 15 and 50). 2 Men and boys can develop it as well, but approximately 80% of patients are female. 2

Is POTS Caused by Anxiety?
While some of the physical symptoms of POTS overlap with the symptoms of anxiety, such as tachycardia and palpitations, POTS is not caused by anxiety. POTS patients are often misdiagnosed as having anxiety or panic disorder, but their symptoms are real and can severely limit a person's ability to function. 1,3 Research has shown that POTS patients are similarly or even less likely to suffer from anxiety or panic disorder than the general public. 3,5,6,7 Research surveys that evaluate mental health show similar results between POTS patients and national norms. 20

What Causes POTS?
POTS is a heterogeneous (meaning it has many causes) group of disorders with similar clinical manifestations. 1,4 POTS itself is not a disease it is simply a cluster of symptoms that are frequently seen together. This is why the 'S' in POTS stands for "Syndrome." Since POTS is not a disease, it is fair to say that POTS is caused by something else. However, figuring out what is causing the symptoms of POTS in each patient can be very difficult, and in many cases, patients and their doctors will not be able to determine the precise underlying cause. When doctors cannot pinpoint the underlying cause of a patient's POTS, it may be called Primary or Idiopathic POTS. 1 Idiopathic simply means "of an unknown origin."

While researchers are still working to identify the root causes and pathology of POTS, there are several underlying diseases and conditions that are known to cause or be associated with POTS or POTS like symptoms in some patients. This is a partial list:

-Amyloidosis 1
-Autoimmune Diseases such as Autoimmune Autonomic Ganglionopathy, Sjogren's Syndrome, Lupus, Sarcoidosis, Antiphospholipid Syndrome 1,3, 22
-Chiari Malformation 19
-Deconditioning 4
-Delta Storage Pool Deficiency 13
-Diabetes and pre-diabetes
-Ehlers Danlos Syndrome - a collagen protein disorder than can lead to joint hypermobility and "stretchy" veins 3,12
-Genetic Disorders/Abnormalities 3
-Infections such as Mononucleosis, Epstein Barr Virus, Lyme Disease, extra-pulmonary Mycoplasma pneumonia and Hepatitis C 1,2,3,4,10,11
-Multiple Sclerosis 14
-Mitochondrial Diseases 15
-Mast Cell Activation Disorders 3
-Paraneoplastic Syndrome - rare small tumors of the lung, ovary, breast and pancreas that produce antibodies 1
-Toxicity from alcoholism, chemotherapy and heavy metal poisoning. 1
-Traumas, pregnancy or surgery 1,2,3
-Vaccinations 18
-Vitamin Deficiencies/Anemia 16,17

Each patient is different, thus consulting with a physician who has experience in treating autonomic disorders is important. The most common treatments for POTS include increasing fluid intake to 2-3 liters per day increasing salt consumption to 3,000 mg to 10,000 mg per day wearing compression stockings raising the head of the bed (to conserve blood volume) reclined exercises such as rowing, recumbent bicycling and swimming a healthy diet avoiding substances and situations that worsen orthostatic symptoms and finally, the addition of medications meant to improve symptoms. 1,3 Many different medications are used to treat POTS, such as Fludrocortisone, Beta Blockers, Midodrine, Clonidine, Pyridostigmine, Benzodiazepines, SSRIs, SNRIs, Erythropoietin and Octreotide. 1,3 If an underlying cause of the POTS symptoms can be identified, treating the underlying cause is very important as well.

Currently, there is no cure for POTS, however researchers believe that some patients will see an improvement in symptoms over time. Detailed long term follow up studies on the course of POTS are sparse, but Dysautonomia International is working with researchers to begin to collect long term follow up data. With proper lifestyle adjustments, exercise, diet and medical treatments, many patients see an improvement in their quality of life. 1 If an underlying cause can be identified, and if that cause is treatable, the POTS symptoms may subside. While the prognosis is good for most patients, researchers have noted that some patients will not improve and may actually worsen over time. 1

The longest follow-up study done to date comes from Mayo Clinic. 20 Mayo Clinic did a survey of their pediatric POTS patients seen between 2003 and 2010. Of those who responded to the survey, 18.2% reported a complete resolution of their POTS symptoms, while 52.8% reported persistent but improved symptoms. Male patients were twice as likely to report recovery. The average survey respondent had been diagnosed for about 5 years. Both patients who fully recovered and those who did not had mental health scores similar to the national norm.

POTS Educational Video

1. Postural Tachycardia Syndrome. Blair P. Grubb, Circulation. 2008 117: 2814-2817.

2. National Institute of Health, Neurological Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Postural Tachycardia Syndrome Information Page.

5. Postural tachycardia in children and adolescents: what is abnormal? Singer W, Sletten DM, Opfer-Gehrking TL, Brands CK, Fischer PR, Low PA, J Pediatr. 2012 Feb160(2):222-6. Epub 2011 Oct 11.

6. Excessive heart rate response to orthostatic stress in postural tachycardia syndrome is not caused by anxiety Masuki S, Eisenach JH, Johnson C et al. Journal of Applied Physiology 2006 102: 1134-42.

7. Experimental induction of panic-like symptoms in patients with postural tachycardia syndrome Khurana RK, Clinical Autonomic Research 2006 16: 371-7.

11. Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome Associated With Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Kasmani, Rahil MD, MRCP Elkambergy, Hossam MD Okoli, Kelechi MD, MRCP Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice: September 2009 - Volume 17 - Issue 5 - pp 342-343.

12. Dysautonomia in the joint hypermobility syndrome. Gazit Y, Nahir AM, Grahame R, Jacob G. Am J Med. 2003 Jul115(1):33-40.

17. Autonomic function tests in cases of chronic severe anaemia. Nand N, Mohan R, Khosla SN, Kumar P. J Assoc Physicians India. 1989 Aug37(8):508-10.

18. Postural tachycardia syndrome after vaccination with Gardasil. Blitshteyn, Svetlana. European Journal of Neurology 2010 Letter to the Editor

20. Long-term outcomes of adolescent-onset postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. S.J. Kizilbash, S.P. Ahrens, R. Bhatia, J.M. Killian, S. A. Kimmes, E.E. Knoebel, P. Muppa, A.L. Weaver, P.R. Fischer. Clin. Auton. Res. October 2013. Abstract presented at the 24th International Symposium on the Autonomic Nervous System.

21. Estimation of sleep disturbances using wrist actigraphy in patients with postural tachycardia syndrome. Bagai K1, Wakwe CI, Malow B, Black BK, Biaggioni I, Paranjape SY, Orozco C, Raj SR. Auton Neurosci. Oct 2013 177(2): 260?265.

22. POTS - A World Tour, lecture presented by Dr. Satish Raj during the 2013 Dysautonomia International Conference.

The Holocaust: An Introductory History

The Holocaust (also called Ha-Shoah in Hebrew) refers to the period from January 30, 1933 - when Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany - to May 8, 1945, when the war in Europe officially ended. During this time, Jews in Europe were subjected to progressively harsher persecution that ultimately led to the murder of 6,000,000 Jews (1.5 million of these being children) and the destruction of 5,000 Jewish communities. These deaths represented two-thirds of European Jewry and one-third of all world Jewry.

The Jews who died were not casualties of the fighting that ravaged Europe during World War II. Rather, they were the victims of Germany&rsquos deliberate and systematic attempt to annihilate the entire Jewish population of Europe, a plan Hitler called the &ldquoFinal Solution&rdquo (Endlosung).


After its defeat in World War I, Germany was humiliated by the Versailles Treaty, which reduced its prewar territory, drastically reduced its armed forces, demanded the recognition of its guilt for the war, and stipulated it pay reparations to the allied powers. With the German Empire destroyed, a new parliamentary government called the Weimar Republic was formed. The republic suffered from economic instability, which grew worse during the worldwide depression after the New York stock market crash in 1929. Massive inflation followed by very high unemployment heightened existing class and political differences and began to undermine the government.

On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler, leader of the National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) Party, was named chancellor of Germany by President Paul von Hindenburg after the Nazi party won a significant percentage of the vote in the elections of 1932. The Nazi Party had taken advantage of the political unrest in Germany to gain an electoral foothold. The Nazis incited clashes with the communists and conducted a vicious propaganda campaign against its political opponents &ndash the weak Weimar government and the Jews whom the Nazis blamed for Germany&rsquos ills.

Propaganda: &ldquoThe Jews Are Our Misfortune&rdquo

A major tool of the Nazis&rsquo propaganda assault was the weekly Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer (The Attacker). At the bottom of the front page of each issue, in bold letters, the paper proclaimed, &ldquoThe Jews are our misfortune!&rdquo Der Stürmer also regularly featured cartoons of Jews in which they were caricatured as hooked-nosed and ape-like. The influence of the newspaper was far-reaching: by 1938 about a half million copies were distributed weekly.

Soon after he became chancellor, Hitler called for new elections in an effort to get full control of the Reichstag, the German parliament, for the Nazis. The Nazis used the government apparatus to terrorize the other parties. They arrested their leaders and banned their political meetings. Then, in the midst of the election campaign, on February 27, 1933, the Reichstag building burned. A Dutchman named Marinus van der Lubbe was arrested for the crime, and he swore he had acted alone. Although many suspected the Nazis were ultimately responsible for the act, the Nazis managed to blame the Communists, thus turning more votes their way.

The fire signaled the demise of German democracy. On the next day, the government, under the pretense of controlling the Communists, abolished individual rights and protections: freedom of the press, assembly, and expression were nullified, as well as the right to privacy. When the elections were held on March 5, the Nazis received nearly 44 percent of the vote, and with 8 percent offered by the Conservatives, won a majority in the government.

The Nazis moved swiftly to consolidate their power into a dictatorship. On March 23, the Enabling Act was passed. It sanctioned Hitler&rsquos dictatorial efforts and legally enabled him to pursue them further. The Nazis marshaled their formidable propaganda machine to silence their critics. They also developed a sophisticated police and military force.

The Sturmabteilung (S.A., Storm Troopers), a grassroots organization, helped Hitler undermine the German democracy. The Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei, Secret State Police), a force recruited from professional police officers, was given complete freedom to arrest anyone after February 28. The Schutzstaffel (SS, Protection Squad) served as Hitler&rsquos personal bodyguard and eventually controlled the concentration camps and the Gestapo. The Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS (S.D., Security Service of the SS) functioned as the Nazis&rsquo intelligence service, uncovering enemies and keeping them under surveillance.

With this police infrastructure in place, opponents of the Nazis were terrorized, beaten, or sent to one of the concentration camps the Germans built to incarcerate them. Dachau, just outside of Munich, was the first such camp built for political prisoners. Dachau&rsquos purpose changed over time and eventually became another brutal concentration camp for Jews.

By the end of 1934 Hitler was in absolute control of Germany, and his campaign against the Jews in full swing. The Nazis claimed the Jews corrupted pure German culture with their &ldquoforeign&rdquo and &ldquomongrel&rdquo influence. They portrayed the Jews as evil and cowardly, and Germans as hardworking, courageous, and honest. The Jews, the Nazis claimed, who were heavily represented in finance, commerce, the press, literature, theater, and the arts, had weakened Germany&rsquos economy and culture. The massive government-supported propaganda machine created a racial anti-Semitism, which was different from the long­standing anti-Semitic tradition of the Christian churches.

The superior race was the &ldquoAryans,&rdquo the Germans. The word Aryan, &ldquoderived from the study of linguistics, which started in the eighteenth century and at some point determined that the Indo-Germanic (also known as Aryan) languages were superior in their structures, variety, and vocabulary to the Semitic languages that had evolved in the Near East. This judgment led to a certain conjecture about the character of the peoples who spoke these languages the conclusion was that the &lsquoAryan&rsquo peoples were likewise superior to the &lsquoSemitic&rsquo ones&rdquo

The Jews Are Isolated from Society

The Nazis then combined their racial theories with the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin to justify their treatment of the Jews. The Germans, as the strongest and fittest, were destined to rule, while the weak and racially adulterated Jews were doomed to extinction. Hitler began to restrict the Jews with legislation and terror, which entailed burning books written by Jews, removing Jews from their professions and public schools, confiscating their businesses and property and excluding them from public events. The most infamous of the anti-Jewish legislation were the Nuremberg Laws, enacted on September 15, 1935. They formed the legal basis for the Jews&rsquo exclusion from German society and the progressively restrictive Jewish policies of the Germans.

Many Jews attempted to flee Germany, and thousands succeeded by immigrating to such countries as Belgium, Czechoslovakia, England, France and Holland. It was much more difficult to get out of Europe. Jews encountered stiff immigration quotas in most of the world&rsquos countries. Even if they obtained the necessary documents, they often had to wait months or years before leaving. Many families out of desperation sent their children first.

In July 1938, representatives of 32 countries met in the French town of Evian to discuss the refugee and immigration problems created by the Nazis in Germany. Nothing substantial was done or decided at the Evian Conference, and it became apparent to Hitler that no one wanted the Jews and that he would not meet resistance in instituting his Jewish policies. By the autumn of 1941, Europe was in effect sealed to most legal emigration. The Jews were trapped.

On November 9-10, 1938, the attacks on the Jews became violent. Hershel Grynszpan, a 17-year-old Jewish boy distraught at the deportation of his family, shot Ernst vom Rath, the third secretary in the German Embassy in Paris, who died on November 9. Nazi hooligans used this assassination as the pretext for instigating a night of destruction that is now known as Kristallnacht (the night of broken glass). They looted and destroyed Jewish homes and businesses and burned synagogues. Many Jews were beaten and killed 30,000 Jews were arrested and sent to concentration camps.

The Jews Are Confined to Ghettos

Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, beginning World War II. Soon after, in 1940, the Nazis began establishing ghettos for the Jews of Poland. More than 10 percent of the Polish population was Jewish, numbering about three million. Jews were forcibly deported from their homes to live in crowded ghettos, isolated from the rest of society.

This concentration of the Jewish population later aided the Nazis in their deportation of the Jews to the death camps. The ghettos lacked the necessary food, water, space, and sanitary facilities required by so many people living within their constricted boundaries. Many died of deprivation and starvation.

The &ldquoFinal Solution&rdquo

In June 1941 Germany attacked the Soviet Union and began the &ldquoFinal Solution.&rdquo Four mobile killing groups were formed called Einsatzgruppen A, B, C and D. Each group contained several commando units. The Einsatzgruppen gathered Jews town by town, marched them to huge pits dug earlier, stripped them, lined them up, and shot them with automatic weapons. The dead and dying would fall into the pits to be buried in mass graves. In the infamous Babi Yar massacre, near Kiev, 30,000-35,000 Jews were killed in two days. In addition to their operations in the Soviet Union, the Einsatzgruppen conducted mass murder in eastern Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. It is estimated that by the end of 1942, the Einsatzgruppen had murdered more than 1.3 million Jews.

On January 20, 1942, several top officials of the German government met to officially coordinate the military and civilian administrative branches of the Nazi system to organize a system of mass murder of the Jews. This meeting, called the Wannsee Conference, &ldquomarked the beginning of the full-scale, comprehensive extermination operation [of the Jews] and laid the foundations for its organization, which started immediately after the conference ended.&rdquo

While the Nazis murdered other national and ethnic groups, such as a number of Soviet prisoners of war, Polish intellectuals, and gypsies, only the Jews were marked for systematic and total annihilation. Jews were singled out for &ldquoSpecial Treatment&rdquo (Sonderbehandlung), which meant that Jewish men, women and children were to be methodically killed with poisonous gas. In the exacting records kept at the Auschwitz death camp, the cause of death of Jews who had been gassed was indicated by &ldquoSB,&rdquo the first letters of the two words that form the German term for &ldquoSpecial Treatment.&rdquo

By the spring of 1942, the Nazis had established six killing centers (death camps) in Poland: Chelmno (Kulmhof), Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Maidanek and Auschwitz. All were located near railway lines so that Jews could be easily transported daily. A vast system of camps (called Lagersystem) supported the death camps. The purpose of these camps varied: some were slave labor camps, some transit camps, others concentration camps and their subcamps, and still others the notorious death camps. Some camps combined all of these functions or a few of them. All the camps were intolerably brutal.

In nearly every country overrun by the Nazis, the Jews were forced to wear badges marking them as Jews, they were rounded up into ghettos or concentration camps and then gradually transported to the killing centers. The death camps were essentially factories for murdering Jews. The Germans shipped thousands of Jews to them each day. Within a few hours of their arrival, the Jews had been stripped of their possessions and valuables, gassed to death, and their bodies burned in specially designed crematoriums. Approximately 3.5 million Jews were murdered in these death camps.

Many healthy, young strong Jews were not killed immediately. The Germans&rsquo war effort and the &ldquoFinal Solution&rdquo required a great deal of manpower, so the Germans reserved large pools of Jews for slave labor. These people, imprisoned in concentration and labor camps, were forced to work in German munitions and other factories, such as I.G. Farben and Krupps, and wherever the Nazis needed laborers. They were worked from dawn until dark without adequate food and shelter. Thousands perished, literally worked to death by the Germans and their collaborators.

In the last months of Hitler&rsquos Reich, as the German armies retreated, the Nazis began marching the prisoners still alive in the concentration camps to the territory they still controlled. The Germans forced the starving and sick Jews to walk hundreds of miles. Most died or were shot along the way. About a quarter of a million Jews died on the death marches.

Jewish Resistance

The Germans&rsquo overwhelming repression and the presence of many collaborators in the various local populations severely limited the ability of the Jews to resist. Jewish resistance did occur, however, in several forms. Staying alive, clean, and observing Jewish religious traditions constituted resistance under the dehumanizing conditions imposed by the Nazis. Other forms of resistance involved escape attempts from the ghettos and camps. Many who succeeded in escaping the ghettos lived in the forests and mountains in family camps and in fighting partisan units. Once free, though, the Jews had to contend with local residents and partisan groups who were often openly hostile. Jews also staged armed revolts in the ghettos of Vilna, Bialystok, Bedzin-Sosnowiec, Krakow, and Warsaw.

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was the largest ghetto revolt. Massive deportations (or Aktions) had been held in the ghetto from July to September 1942, emptying the ghetto of the majority of Jews imprisoned there. When the Germans entered the ghetto again in January 1943 to remove several thousand more, small unorganized groups of Jews attacked them. After four days, the Germans withdrew from the ghetto, having deported far fewer people than they had intended. The Nazis reentered the ghetto on April 19, 1943, the eve of Passover, to evacuate the remaining Jews and close the ghetto. The Jews, using homemade bombs and stolen or bartered weapons, resisted and withstood the Germans for 27 days. They fought from bunkers and sewers and evaded capture until the Germans burned the ghetto building by building. By May 16, the ghetto was in ruins and the uprising crushed.

Jews also revolted in the death camps of Sobibor, Treblinka and Auschwitz. All of these acts of resistance were largely unsuccessful in the face of the superior German forces, but they were very important spiritually, giving the Jews hope that one day the Nazis would be defeated.


The camps were liberated gradually, as the Allies advanced on the German army. For example, Maidanek (near Lublin, Poland) was liberated by Soviet forces in July 1944, Auschwitz in January 1945 by the Soviets, Bergen-Belsen (near Hanover, Germany) by the British in April 1945, and Dachau by the Americans in April 1945.

At the end of the war, between 50,000 and 100,000 Jewish survivors were living in three zones of occupation: American, British and Soviet. Within a year, that figure grew to about 200,000. The American zone of occupation contained more than 90 percent of the Jewish displaced persons (DPs). The Jewish DPs would not and could not return to their homes, which brought back such horrible memories and still held the threat of danger from anti-Semitic neighbors. Thus, they languished in DP camps until emigration could be arranged to Palestine, and later Israel, the United States, South America and other countries. The last DP camp closed in 1957

Below are figures for the number of Jews murdered in each country that came under German domination. They are estimates, as are all figures relating to Holocaust victims. The numbers given here for Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Romania are based on their territorial borders before the 1938 Munich agreement. The total number of six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, which emerged from the Nuremberg trials, is also an estimate. Numbers have ranged between five and seven million killed. The exact number will never be known because of the many people whose murders were not recorded and whose bodies have still not be found.


Globalization, the ever-increasing interconnectedness of the world, is not a new phenomenon, but it accelerated when western Europeans discovered the riches of the East. During the Crusades (1095–1291), Europeans developed an appetite for spices, silk, porcelain, sugar, and other luxury items from the East, for which they traded fur, timber, and Slavic people they captured and sold (hence the word slave). But when the Silk Road, the long overland trading route from China to the Mediterranean, became costlier and more dangerous to travel, Europeans searched for a more efficient and inexpensive trade route over water, initiating the development of what we now call the Atlantic World.

In pursuit of commerce in Asia, fifteenth-century traders unexpectedly encountered a “New World” populated by millions and home to sophisticated and numerous peoples. Mistakenly believing they had reached the East Indies, these early explorers called its inhabitants “Indians.” West Africa, a diverse and culturally rich area, soon entered the stage as other nations exploited its slave trade and brought its peoples to the New World in chains. Although Europeans would come to dominate the New World, they could not have done so without Africans and native peoples (Figure 1.1).

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    • Book title: U.S. History
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    Immigration in the Mid-19th Century

    Another major wave of immigration occurred from around 1815 to 1865. The majority of these newcomers hailed from Northern and Western Europe. Approximately one-third came from Ireland, which experienced a massive famine in the mid-19th century. In the 1840s, almost half of America’s immigrants were from Ireland alone. Typically impoverished, these Irish immigrants settled near their point of arrival in cities along the East Coast. Between 1820 and 1930, some 4.5 million Irish migrated to the United States.

    Also in the 19th century, the United States received some 5 million German immigrants. Many of them journeyed to the present-day Midwest to buy farms or congregated in such cities as Milwaukee, St. Louis and Cincinnati. In the national census of 2000, more Americans claimed German ancestry than any other group.

    During the mid-1800s, a significant number of Asian immigrants settled in the United States. Lured by news of the California gold rush, some 25,000 Chinese had migrated there by the early 1850s.

    The influx of newcomers resulted in anti-immigrant sentiment among certain factions of America’s native-born, predominantly Anglo-Saxon Protestant population. The new arrivals were often seen as unwanted competition for jobs, while many Catholics𠄾specially the Irish𠄾xperienced discrimination for their religious beliefs. In the 1850s, the anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic American Party (also called the Know-Nothings) tried to severely curb immigration, and even ran a candidate, former U.S. president Millard Fillmore (1800-1874), in the presidential election of 1856.

    Following the Civil War, the United States experienced a depression in the 1870s that contributed to a slowdown in immigration.

    The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Very Short Introduction

    The Palestinian–Israeli Conflict: A Very Short Introduction explains the history of this conflict, reducing it to its very essence — a modern territorial contest between two nations and one geographical territory. It is one of the most highly publicized and bitter struggles in history. Over the last 120 years the conflict has had many facets, most tangibly the sharing of land. It is historically very complex involving changes in relationships among people and events. What significance have the 1897 Basle Congress, the 1917 Balfour Declaration and British occupation of Palestine, and the 1947 UN Partition Plan and the war for Palestine had on the conflict as a whole? How and why has partition been so difficult? How do efforts to restore peace continue today?

    Bibliographic Information


    Martin Bunton, author Associate Professor, University of Victoria
    Author Webpage

    The Autopsy

    Matters are confused by the autopsy, which was carried out by Napoleon’s doctor (he had numerous doctors), Frenchman François Carlo Antommarchi (1780–1838), who gave 5 foot 2 as his height.   But was the autopsy, which was signed off by a number of British doctors and in a British owned area, in British or French measures? We don’t know for sure, with some people adamant the height was in British units and others French. When other sources are factored in, including another measurement after the autopsy in British measurements, people generally conclude with the height of 5 foot 5–7 inches British, or 5 foot 2 in French, but there is still some doubt.  

    G.I.s’ Drug Use in Vietnam Soared—With Their Commanders’ Help

    Armed servicemen of the Vietnam War used drugs more heavily than any previous generation of enlisted U.S. troops. From heroin to amphetamines to marijuana, drugs were so commonplace among the troops that, in 1970, liaison to the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Egil Krogh told President Richard Nixon “you don’t have a drug problem in Vietnam you have a condition. Problems are things we can get right on and solve.”

    What drugs did soldiers use in the Vietnam War?

    According to a 1971 report by the Department of Defense, 51 percent of the armed forces had smoked marijuana, 31 percent had used psychedelics, such as LSD, mescaline and psilocybin mushrooms, and an additional 28 percent had taken hard drugs, such as cocaine and heroin. But drug usage wasn’t just limited by what enlistees could illicitly buy on the black market. Their military command also heavily prescribed pills to the troops under the auspices of improving performance.

    According to a report by the House Select Committee on Crime, the armed forces used 225 million tablets of stimulants between 1966 and 1969. In addition to those amphetamines, which were used to boost endurance on long missions, sedatives were prescribed to help relieve anxiety and prevent mental breakdowns. It seemingly worked. In Vietnam, the rate of mental breakdowns in soldiers was 1 percent, a massive reduction from the Second World War (10 percent).

    In his book Shooting Up: A Short History of Drugs and War, Lukasz Kamienski argues that amphetamine withdrawal may be partly to blame for some of the atrocities committed against Vietnam’s civilian population, with strung-out young servicemen overreacting to the already stressful conditions of war.

    Still, it was the use of illegal drugs—notably heroin and marijuana—that commanded the most media attention during the conflict.

    In this photo taken from video, soldiers in fire-support base Aries, a small clearing in the jungles 50 miles from Saigon, smoke marijuana using the barrel of a shotgun they nicknamed “Ralph.” 1970. (Credit: Jim Wells/AP Photo)

    Why were marijuana and heroin so common in Vietnam?

    According to Jeremy Kuzmarov, author of The Myth of the Addicted Army: Vietnam and the Modern War on Drugs and an American history professor at the University of Tulsa, there were multiple reasons for widespread drug use in Vietnam: It was “in part because we had the counterculture [stateside], in part because of the ready supply of the drugs, and in part because of the breakdown in morale in the Army, where a rebellion took root.”

    Marijuana’s widespread usage came first, with soldiers easily securing the psychotropic substance in villages, where a carton’s worth might sell for five dollars, or else be bartered for with packs of cigarettes. At first marijuana was tolerated by military command. That changed when John Steinbeck IV, a Vietnam soldier and son of the Nobel-prize winning author, wrote an article for Washingtonian magazine in January 1968 about the common use of marijuana among the troops, setting off a media firestorm. In response to the scrutiny, the Army began clamping down on marijuana usage, arresting roughly 1000 G.I.s per week for marijuana possession, while also searching out and destroying marijuana-growing fields with the help of South Vietnamese troops.

    The unintended consequence: many G.I.s shifted their drug use to heroin, which was odorless and thus harder to detect. Heroin started flowing more freely into Vietnam from Cambodia in 1970, a consequence of that nation’s civil war. According to a Pentagon study, by 1973 up to 20 percent of soldiers were habitual heroin users. Noting the negative consequences of stifling marijuana use, one army commanding officer was quoted saying, “If it would get them to give up the hard stuff, I would buy all the marijuana and hashish in the Delta as a present.”

    VIDEO: VIETNAM BY THE NUMBERS Who went, how much they fought, how many died𠅊nd more.

    Was drug use by soldiers an important factor in America losing the Vietnam War?

    By the time Richard Nixon became president, public opinion around the war in Vietnam was deeply divided. In contrast, President Nixon’s war on drugs enjoyed broad bipartisan appeal, and public officials from both the left and the right were quick to blame marijuana and heroin for American failures abroad. Democratic Senator Thomas J. Dodd claimed illegal drug use directly contributed to the My Lai massacre and other American atrocities of war, stating that, “tens of thousands of troops have gone into battle high on marijuana, opium or other drugs, with horrifying results.”

    Despite the rhetoric, military high command found scant evidence that drugs had adversely impacted the fighting. A 1968 survey of unit commanders unanimously concluded that neither marijuana nor any other hard drug had �graded the military’s combat effectiveness.” General William C. Westmoreland’s headquarters came to a similar conclusion after interviewing several high-ranking officers: “The total scope of the problem is best described as minor.”

    Kuzmarov argues that’s because, while drug use was indeed rampant, fears about addiction were largely overblown, with most soldiers only using drugs casually, when they deemed a situation sufficiently low-risk—such as when they were on rest and recuperation leave and during lulls in combat.

    “It was just a mechanism of escape from the social conditions of the war,” Kuzmarov says.

    GIs lighting up a homemade hookah, made from a wine bottle and a .45 caliber shell. (Credit: Bettmann Archive/Getty Images)

    Did Vietnam veterans struggle with drug addiction after returning?

    There was some public concern that habitually using soldiers would return from Vietnam and abuse drugs at home. In response to that anxiety, the White House implemented “Operation Golden Flow” in 1971, which mandated that all servicemen subject themselves to urinalysis before boarding planes back to the United States. Should a serviceman fail to pass his drug test, he was required to stay in the country for detoxification, only to be released back to the United States upon successfully testing clean.

    Anxiety about mass addiction returning to America’s shores proved misplaced. Whether a result of Operation Golden Flow or a sign of the more casual usage than initially reported, an interview survey commissioned by the White House’s Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention found that usage and addiction rates 𠇎ssentially decreased to pre-war levels” following the soldiers’ return.

    FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate.

    A short history of the English language

    Ever wondered how English with approximately 750,000 words came to be the wonderfully expressive and multifaceted language it is today?

    Unlike languages that developed within the boundaries of one country (or one distinct geographical region), English, since its beginnings 1,600 or so years ago, evolved by crossing boundaries and through invasions, picking up bits and pieces of other languages along the way and changing with the spread of the language across the globe.

    Old English (450-1.100)

    The history of the English language really started with the arrival of three Germanic tribes who invaded Britain during the 5th century AD. These tribes, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, crossed the North Sea from what today is Denmark and northern Germany. At that time the inhabitants of Britain spoke a Celtic language. But most of the Celtic speakers were pushed west and north by the invaders – mainly into what is now Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The Angles came from “Englaland” [sic] and their language was called “Englisc” – from which the words “England” and “English” are derived. Their language, now known as “Old English“, was soon adopted as the common language of this relatively remote corner of Europe. Although you and I would find it hard to understand Old English, it provided a solid foundation for the language we speak today and gave us many essential words like “be”, “strong” and “water”.

    Middle English (1.100 – 1.500)

    The Viking invasion: With the Viking invasions (Vikings were a tribe of Nordic people that ransacked their way through Northern and Northwestern Europe 1,000-1,200 years ago), Old English got mixed up with Old Norse, the language of the Viking tribes. Old Norse ended up giving English more than 2,000 new words, including “give” and “take”, “egg”, “knife”, “husband”, “run” and “viking”.

    The French are coming: Although English was spoken widely on the British Isles by 1,000 AD, the Norman invasion established French as the language of royals and of power. Old English was left to the peasants, and despite its less glamorous status, it continued to develop and grow by adopting a whole host of Latin and French words, including everyday words such as “beer”,”city”, “fruit” and “people”, as well as half of the months of the year. By adopting and adapting French words, the English language also became more sophisticated through the inclusion of concepts and words like “liberty” and “justice”.

    Modern English

    Early Modern English (1500 – 1800) – the tempest ends in a storm: In the 14th-15th century, following the Hundred Years War with France that ended French rule of the British Isles, English became the language of power and influence once again. It got a further boost through the development of English literature and English culture, spearheaded by William Shakespeare.

    Shakespeare’s influence on the development of the English language and its unique and rich culture is hard to grasp the man is said to have invented at least 1,700 words, including “alligator”, “puppy dog”, and “fashionable”, in addition to penning classics like Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet!

    Towards the end of Middle English, a sudden and distinct change in pronunciation (the Great Vowel Shift) started, with vowels being pronounced shorter and shorter. From the 16th century the British had contact with many peoples from around the world. This, and the Renaissance of Classical learning, meant that many new words and phrases entered the language. The invention of printing also meant that there was now a common language in print. Books became cheaper and more people learned to read. Printing also brought standardization to English. Spelling and grammar became fixed, and the dialect of London, where most publishing houses were, became the standard. In 1604 the first English dictionary was published.

    Last Modern English (1800 – Present): The main difference between Early Modern English and Late Modern English is vocabulary. Late Modern English has many more words, arising from two principal factors: firstly, the Industrial Revolution and technology created a need for new words secondly, the English-speaking world was at the center of a lot of scientific progress, scientific advances went hand-in-hand with the evolution of the language.

    English goes global

    From around 1600, the English colonization of North America resulted in the creation of a distinct American variety of English. Some English pronunciations and words “froze” when they reached America. In some ways, American English is more like the English of Shakespeare than modern British English is. Some expressions that the British call “Americanisms” are in fact original British expressions that were preserved in the colonies while lost for a time in Britain (for example trash for rubbish, loan as a verb instead of lend, and fall for autumn another example, frame-up, was re-imported into Britain through Hollywood gangster movies). Spanish also had an influence on American English (and subsequently British English), with words like canyon, ranch,stampede and vigilante being examples of Spanish words that entered English through the settlement of the American West. French words (through Louisiana) and West African words (through the slave trade) also influenced American English (and so, to an extent, British English).

    Today, American English is particularly influential, due to the USA’s dominance of cinema, television, popular music, trade and technology (including the Internet). But there are many other varieties of English around the world, including for example Australian English, New Zealand English, Canadian English, South African English, Indian English and Caribbean English.

    English of the 21st century

    And on that note: the most amazing thing about English is that it’s still evolving. From the development of local dialects and slang in countries as far apart as the US, South Africa and New Zealand, and in cities as different as New York, Oxford and Singapore, to the incorporation of tech vocabulary into everyday English. English is in a constant state of flux.

    Vocabulary alone is increasing at a pace of approximately 1,000 new and approved words per year and these are just the words that are considered important enough to get added to the online version of the English Dictionary! This dramatic increase in new words is largely due to technology, and how people spontaneously coin new words in their email and text transmissions that spread quickly and efficiently via social media. A large percentage of new words are portmanteau words, also called blended words — a word that combines the meaning of two discrete words for example, cineplex is formed from cinema and complex, bromance is formed from brother and romance, staycation is formed from stay and vacation. You get the idea.

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