70 years Luxembourg Agreement

10 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  16 minutes

Luxembourg City Hall © Cayambe/cc-by-sa-3.0

Luxembourg City Hall © Cayambe/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Reparations Agreement between Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany (“Luxembourg Agreement”, “Wiedergutmachungsabkommen” or “Reparations Agreement”) was signed on September 10, 1952, and entered in force on March 27, 1953. According to the Agreement, West Germany was to pay Israel for the costs of “resettling so great a number of uprooted and destitute Jewish refugees” after the war, and to compensate individual Jews, via the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, for losses in Jewish livelihood and property resulting from Nazi persecution.   read more…

Theme Week Belarus – Minsk

30 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  21 minutes

Babrujskaja street © Viktar Palstsiuk/cc-by-sa-4.0

Babrujskaja street © Viktar Palstsiuk/cc-by-sa-4.0

Minsk is the capital and the largest city of Belarus, located on the Svislach and the now subterranean Niamiha rivers. As the capital, Minsk has a special administrative status in Belarus and is the administrative centre of Minsk Region (voblasć) and Minsk District (rajon). As of January 2021, its population was 2 million, making Minsk the 11th most populous city in Europe. Minsk is one of the administrative capitals of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). First documented in 1067, Minsk became the capital of the Principality of Minsk before being annexed by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1242. It received town privileges in 1499. From 1569, it was the capital of the Minsk Voivodeship, an administrative division of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was part of a region annexed by the Russian Empire in 1793, as a consequence of the Second Partition of Poland. From 1919 to 1991, after the Russian Revolution, Minsk was the capital of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, in the Soviet Union. In June 2019, Minsk hosted the 2019 European Games.   read more…

Theme Week Belarus – Grodno

29 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  14 minutes

© flickr.com - Alexej Mazurkiewicz/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – Alexej Mazurkiewicz/cc-by-sa-2.0

Grodno is a city in western Belarus. The city is located at the Neman river, 300 km (186 mi) from Minsk, about 15 km (9 mi) from the Polish border and 30 km (19 mi) away from Lithuania. In 2019 the city had 373,547 inhabitants. Grodno is the capital of Grodno Region and Grodno District. Since 1945, the city has been a centre of one of the provinces of the Byelorussian SSR, now of the independent Republic of Belarus. Most of the Polish inhabitants were expelled or fled to Poland in 1944–1946 and 1955–1959. However nowadays Poles are still the second-most numerous nationality in the city (25%), after Belarusians (60%).   read more…

Theme Week Belarus – Mogilev

28 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  2 minutes

City Hall © Kazimier Lachnovic/cc-by-sa-3.0

City Hall © Kazimier Lachnovic/cc-by-sa-3.0

Mogilev is a city in eastern Belarus, on the Dnieper River, about 76 kilometres (47 miles) from the border with Russia‘s Smolensk Oblast and 105 km (65 miles) from the border with Russia’s Bryansk Oblast. As of 2011, its population was 360,918, up from an estimated 106,000 in 1956. It is the administrative centre of the Mogilev Region and the third largest city in Belarus.   read more…

Theme Week Belarus – Vitebsk

27 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

Vitsebsk © panoramio.com - Svetlov Artem/cc-by-3.0

Vitsebsk © panoramio.com – Svetlov Artem/cc-by-3.0

Vitebsk or Viciebsk is a city in Belarus. The capital of the Vitebsk Region, it has 366,299 inhabitants, making it the country’s fourth-largest city. It is served by Vitebsk Vostochny Airport and Vitebsk Air Base. Vitebsk developed from a river harbor where the Vićba River, from which it derives its name, flows into the larger Western Dvina, which is spanned in the city by the Kirov Bridge.   read more…

Theme Week Belarus – Homiel

26 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

Regional Drama Theater © Alexander Sokolov/cc-by-sa-3.0

Regional Drama Theater © Alexander Sokolov/cc-by-sa-3.0

Homiel or Gomel is the administrative centre of Gomel Region and the second-most populous city of Belarus with 526,872 inhabitants (2015 census). Homiel is situated in the southeastern part of the country, on the right bank of the river Sozh, 302 km (188 mi) south-east of Minsk, 534 km (332 mi) east of Brest, 171 km (106 mi) south of Mogilev, 237 km (147 mi) west of Bryansk and 111 km (69 mi) north of Chernihiv. The terrain on which the city as a whole is built, is flat. On the right bank of the river, it is a gradually decreasing plain water-glacial and fluvial terrace of the Sozh river. The left bank is a low-lying alluvial plain. The highest elevation of 144 meters above sea level is found at the northern outskirts of Homiel, the lowest elevation of 115 m at the water boundary Sozh river. Novobelitskiy district, which is located on the left bank of the river (i.e., towards the south), has elevations averaging of 10–15 meters lower than the northern and central parts of the city. On the left bank of the Sozh many kilometers of beaches can be found.   read more…

Brest in Belarus

18 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

Monument of Courage in Brest Fortress © Alexxx Malev/cc-by-sa-4.0

Monument of Courage in Brest Fortress © Alexxx Malev/cc-by-sa-4.0

Brest, formerly Brest-Litovsk, is a city (population 350,600 in 2019) in Belarus at the border with Poland opposite the Polish city of Terespol, where the Bug and Mukhavets rivers meet, making it a border town. It is the capital city of the Brest Region.   read more…

Theme Week Lithuania – Kėdainiai

25 June 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

City Hall and Monument of Radziwiłł © Algirdas/cc-by-sa-3.0

City Hall and Monument of Radziwiłł © Algirdas/cc-by-sa-3.0

Kėdainiai is one of the oldest cities in Lithuania. It is located 51 km (32 mi) north of Kaunas on the banks of the Nevėžis River. First mentioned in the 1372 Livonian Chronicle of Hermann de Wartberge, its population as of 2020 is 23,667. Its old town dates to the 17th century. The city is the administrative centre of the Kėdainiai District Municipality. The geographical centre of the Lithuanian Republic is in the nearby village of Ruoščiai, located in the eldership of Dotnuva.   read more…

Theme Week Lithuania – Šiauliai

23 June 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  13 minutes

Hill of Crosses © Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hill of Crosses © Diego Delso/cc-by-sa-3.0

Šiauliai is the fourth largest city in Lithuania, with a population of 99,462. From 1994 to 2010 it was the capital of Šiauliai County. Šiauliai located in eastern part of the northern plateau, Mūša, Dubysa and Venta River divide. Distance of 210 kilometres (130 miles) to Vilnius, Kaunas – 142 km (88 mi), Klaipėda – 161 km (100 mi), Riga – 128 km (80 mi), Kaliningrad – 250 km (155 mi).   read more…

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