Blog

Bavaria, Southern Germany

The Bavarian Coat of Arms is a combination of medieval symbols

There is a lot of symbolism on the Bavarian Coat of Arms...have you ever wondered what it all means? It is a combination of medieval symbols held by the two lions that have been used since the 14th century. On the top left is a Golden Lion representing the Upper Palatinate. That golden lion was… Continue reading The Bavarian Coat of Arms is a combination of medieval symbols

History Highlights, Old Germany...lost territory, Prussia...Northern Germany, Teutonic Knights..Deutscher Orden

Marienburg Castle is the largest fortress ever built in Europe

...with walls 27 ft high and 7 feet thick...and with outermost castle walls that enclose 52 acres. For perspective, that is four times the enclosed area of Windsor Castle. Amazingly, this huge German medieval structure still exists... it has survived the ages and is now 743 years old, although it is no longer located within… Continue reading Marienburg Castle is the largest fortress ever built in Europe

Notes on German Culture

Precious family photos that survived WWII

Königsberg, 1937 The photo above was taken in 1937 in Königsberg, the beautiful 700 year old medieval city that was once the capital of East Prussia. In that peaceful and optimistic year, none of the residents could foresee the terror that would befall them only seven years later. Summer 1940. My parents lived in Königsberg… Continue reading Precious family photos that survived WWII

History Highlights, Notes on German Culture, Old Germany...lost territory, Prussia...Northern Germany

This map shows German-speaking areas outside of the Reich borders, giving a good picture of where Germans in previous centuries created settlements

This Map of German Language Areas was produced after a 1910 census. It shows German-speaking areas outside of the Reich borders, giving a good picture of where Germans in previous centuries created settlements, either by self-motivation or in many cases by invitation of foreign rulers who valued their skills and industriousness. This is an unusual… Continue reading This map shows German-speaking areas outside of the Reich borders, giving a good picture of where Germans in previous centuries created settlements

First Reich...800 to 1806, History Highlights

The First Reich, or first German Empire, lasted 1000 years. It was established in 800 AD, was reconfirmed in 962 AD and dissolved in 1806. Officially it was known as the Holy Roman Empire.

This image shown here is the double headed Eagle of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, adopted in 1440 to replace the original single headed eagle used since 800 AD. The hand-colored woodcut, showing the states of the Holy Roman Empire in 1510, was produced in Augsburg by Hans Burgkmair and Jost de… Continue reading The First Reich, or first German Empire, lasted 1000 years. It was established in 800 AD, was reconfirmed in 962 AD and dissolved in 1806. Officially it was known as the Holy Roman Empire.

Famous Artists, History Highlights, Old Germany...lost territory, Prussia...Northern Germany, Teutonic Knights..Deutscher Orden

Pomp and ceremony in the 600 year old Königsberg Castle

This finely detailed painting by Adolph von Menzel depicts the 1861 Coronation of King Wilhelm I of Prussia in the 600 year old Königsberg Castle. Only a short 10 years later, this King of Prussia will successfully re-unite most of the states of the former German Holy Roman Empire... an Empire that lasted a thousand… Continue reading Pomp and ceremony in the 600 year old Königsberg Castle

German American, Notes on German Culture

People with German Heritage…where did 100 million Germans live in 1930?

This vintage world map shows the wide dispersion of 100 million Germans around the world. Of course most, 83 million, lived in Germany...at that time a much larger country than the Germany of today... but the remaining 17 million were widely spread out all over the globe... in the U.S. (9 million), Brazil (620,000), Canada… Continue reading People with German Heritage…where did 100 million Germans live in 1930?

History Highlights, Old Germany...lost territory, Prussia...Northern Germany, Teutonic Knights..Deutscher Orden

Much of German history is not well known …for example, there were successful Crusades conducted in northern Europe for hundreds of years

Much of German history is not well known ...for example, there were successful Crusades conducted in northern Europe for hundreds of years and the largest castle ever built in Europe was a German crusader castle, the Marienburg. There once existed a German state, governed by Warrior Monks, that ruled over all the lands along the… Continue reading Much of German history is not well known …for example, there were successful Crusades conducted in northern Europe for hundreds of years

German American, Notes on German Culture

Some interesting facts pertaining to German-Americans.

The first thing to know is that German Americans comprise about 50 million people, making them the largest self-reported ancestry group in the US…more than English Americans (26 million), more than Irish Americans (33 million), and more than African Americans (42 million). Distribution of German Americans according to the 2000 Census… California, Texas and Pennsylvania… Continue reading Some interesting facts pertaining to German-Americans.

History Highlights, Prussia...Northern Germany, Second Reich...1871 to 1918

For everyone with German heritage, the Kaiserzeit of 1871 to 1918 is a another good reason to be proud.

Germany launched an era of prosperity in 1871 when almost all German states merged into one new nation. The synergy that was unleashed... plus 47 years of peace in Europe...lead to a German Empire that was an industrial, technological, and scientific giant. For example, Germany received more Nobel Prizes in science than any other country… Continue reading For everyone with German heritage, the Kaiserzeit of 1871 to 1918 is a another good reason to be proud.

Notes on German Culture

Frederick the Great Quotes

After the end of the Seven Year War in 1763, Prussia was a great power whose importance could no longer be challenged. Frederick the Great’s personal reputation was enormously enhanced. A number of nations sent officers to Prussia to learn the secrets of Prussia’s military power. Prussia became one of the most imitated powers in Europe.… Continue reading Frederick the Great Quotes

History Highlights

There is a German-American link to US independence…The crucial victory at Yorktown

American Flag 1776...13 stars and 13 stripes representing the original 13 colonies that declared independence from Great Britain on July 4th 1776....also known as the USA Flag, Us Flag, 1776 Flag, Bennington flag , Betsy Ross flag and as Old Glory. No one knows for certain who designed it. As a side note: There is… Continue reading There is a German-American link to US independence…The crucial victory at Yorktown

History Highlights

Ludwig Erhard crafted West Germany’s post-World War II economic recovery, the German “economic miracle.”

Erhard shepherded the new West German economy through a recovery that outpaced the growth of all the European countries that had won the war. Some credit for European recovery is due to the Marshall Plan, which provided assistance of $12 billion (equivalent to $120 billion today) but it was spread among 18 countries...for example, Britain… Continue reading Ludwig Erhard crafted West Germany’s post-World War II economic recovery, the German “economic miracle.”

History Highlights

The West’s premier work on the philosophy of war, was written in Germany by Clausewitz in his spare time as a Prussian officer.

“On War”, the West's premier work on the philosophy of war, was written by Clausewitz in his spare time as a Prussian officer. It was not even published until after his death, yet his ideas have been widely influential in military theory and have had a strong influence on German military thought specifically. Prussian German… Continue reading The West’s premier work on the philosophy of war, was written in Germany by Clausewitz in his spare time as a Prussian officer.

Notes on German Culture

Lübeck is one of the five “Glories of the Empire”… a title shared with Venice, Rome, Pisa and Florence… Kaiser Karl IV, 1537

Lübeck is a World Heritage Site, mainly because of its extensive medieval Brick architecture and its restored city center. But you should also know that this medieval city has experienced 872 years of fascinating history since its founding in 1143 as a German settlement on the river island Bucu.  The old town center is famous… Continue reading Lübeck is one of the five “Glories of the Empire”… a title shared with Venice, Rome, Pisa and Florence… Kaiser Karl IV, 1537

Notes on German Culture

They trekked through innumerable northern German towns and cities wearing their unfamiliar Austrian style clothing

Imagine a long stream of people walking day after day from Saltzburg to Berlin, creating a sensation as they trekked through innumerable northern German towns and cities wearing their unfamiliar Austrian style clothing. In 1982 a German postage stamp celebrated this event on the 250th anniversary of the arrival of Salzburg Emigrants in Prussia in… Continue reading They trekked through innumerable northern German towns and cities wearing their unfamiliar Austrian style clothing

Notes on German Culture

Cranach’s Portrait of a Beardless Man in 1500 was widely used on German currency in 1960s

Lucas Cranach the Elder ...1472 to 1553... was a German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving. He was court painter to the Electors of Saxony for most of his career, and is known for his portraits, both of German princes and those of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation. He embraced the Protestant… Continue reading Cranach’s Portrait of a Beardless Man in 1500 was widely used on German currency in 1960s

History Highlights

Triumphs of Maximilian, 1519…one of the largest prints ever produced

This image is an excerpt from a magnificent piece of art that is 177 feet long…commissioned in 1512 and still unfinished by 1519, when its benefactor died. The project was entitled: Triumphs of Maximilian, also referred to as the Triumphal Procession of Maximilian I. The composite image was printed from over 130 separate wood blocks… Continue reading Triumphs of Maximilian, 1519…one of the largest prints ever produced

History Highlights, prussia

Frederick the Great was a commander who repeatedly, even joyfully, risked everything on a single day’s battle

Frederick the Great was a commander who repeatedly, even joyfully, risked everything on a single day's battle - his army, his kingdom, often his very life. At a battle near Berlin in 1759, he probably came closest to losing his life. The image shown here depicts that moment…it is an excerpt from an old tapestry… Continue reading Frederick the Great was a commander who repeatedly, even joyfully, risked everything on a single day’s battle

History Highlights, Notes on German Culture, Old Germany...lost territory

The German area of Alsace Lorraine was once again given to France

Alsace-Lorraine was territory west of the Rhine River that was part of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.. For over 700 years It was known as Elsass-Lothringen... from the 10th to the 17th century... populated with people who for the most part spoke Alemannic German dialects. However, France long desired their eastern border… Continue reading The German area of Alsace Lorraine was once again given to France