...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
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
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
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.
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
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?
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
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.
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.
This vintage 1928 advertising poster for Aachen, Germany was created by Jupp Wiertz, one of Germany's foremost graphic artists... an image of his hometown. Text on this poster translates to: Aachen...The memorable forest encircled city of Charlemagne, famous for its healthful natural hot springs. Aachen 1928 Travel poster Interior of the Aachen Cathedral, the Kaiserdom… Continue reading Aachen…The memorable forest encircled city of Charlemagne
Imagine yourself in an airship anchored to a pole at the top of the tallest building in New York ...getting ready to disembark onto the rooftop. That was the plan when the Empire State Building was finished in 1929. In 1936, this German advertising poster was produced, showing the Zeppelin "Hindenburg" approaching the Empire State… Continue reading German airship approaching the top of the tallest building in New York
This advertisement is from the first year of Germany's national airline. The airline name at the time was made up of two words... Luft and Hansa... meaning air and merchants...and the poster shows city connections that were available in this first year of the airline. The 1926 airplane depicted is the Junkers F 13, a… Continue reading Lufthansa Art Deco 1926 Travel Poster
In the 1300’s, the northern German city of Lübeck was the "Queen of the Hanseatic League", by far the largest and most powerful member of this medieval trade organization, with offices in many countries. Lübeck was the "Queen of the Hanseatic League" Trade routes and office locations of the German Hansa League As testimony to… Continue reading Lübeck’s German offices in London were the largest medieval trading complex in Britain, from 1282 until 1853
Frederick and August Duesenberg were two German-Americans whose last name was quite famous in the 20's and 30's......."It's a Duesy" was once a common expression in the previous century, meaning "it's really something special", something great and wonderful like a well engineered work of art...in other words like a 1920's or 30's Duesenberg automobile. Gary… Continue reading “It’s a Duesy” was once a common expression
Otto von Bismarck, presented in heroic fashion in this 19th century image celebrating the architect of German unification and the creation of the Second Reich in 1871. Portrait of Otto von Bismarck flanked by symbolic German warriors of north and south who fought the serpents and are presenting the ancient First Reich crown to Germania.… Continue reading As a result of his efforts, the quality of life in the new German Empire compared favorably to America.
When I recently saw the name Dr. Eisenbarth, I immediately recalled a melodious tune from my childhood: “Ich bin der Doktor Eisenbarth, Ja, Ja, Ja..” …that song still sits in my memory and suddenly spilled out. It is fascinating to learn that there actually was a real person named Johann Eisenbarth in the late 1600’s… Continue reading Ich bin der Doktor Eisenbarth, Ja, Ja, Ja..
Here are some of my thoughts regarding genealogy and family names in northeast East Prussia (Ostpreussen) and Memel. Many people there had German ancestors who emigrated from Saltzburg and a variety of other German cities and states. But many of these families had a common denominator... the “eit” at the end of their Surnames. How… Continue reading My thoughts regarding genealogy and family names in East Prussia
Right now... when most of us are staying safe indoors... is when we can appreciate the beautiful outdoors. In this painting we see a very blue sky filled with puffs of white cumulus clouds...a warm sun brightening golden fields of wheat...and a nostalgic view of 19th century people working the fields the old fashioned way.… Continue reading Nostalgic view of 19th century people working the fields
Kaiser Friedrich Barbarossa is the subject of many legends, including that of a sleeping hero. Legend says he is not dead, but asleep with his knights in a cave in the Kyffhäuser Mountain in Thuringia, and that when the ravens cease to fly around the mountain he will awake and restore Germany to its ancient… Continue reading When the ravens cease to fly around the mountain he will awake and restore Germany to its ancient greatness