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

This photo was taken in 1934, at a portrait studio 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 ten years later. Summer 1940...Ellen Tschutter just before her… 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.

The German Second Reich prospered from the synergy of almost all German states merged into one new nation in 1871 and from the 47 years of peace that followed in Europe...leading to a German Empire that was an industrial, technological, and scientific giant. Germany gained more Nobel Prizes in science than Britain, France, Russia, and… Continue reading For everyone with German heritage, the Kaiserzeit of 1871 to 1918 is a another good reason to be proud.

History Highlights, prussia

Pundits began to describe Prussia not as country with a great army, but a great army with a country.

Twenty year old Frederick William Hohenzollern became Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia in 1640 and reigned for 48 years until his death in 1688. Historians refer to him as "the Great Elector" (der Große Kurfürst) because of his military and political prowess which set the groundwork for Brandenburg and Prussia to merge and… Continue reading Pundits began to describe Prussia not as country with a great army, but a great army with a country.

Notes on German Culture, prussia

The motto engraved upon the Breast Star encapsulates how Prussia was ruled

The Order of the Black Eagle Breast Star was an award granted by the Kings of Prussia and its design contains a tantalizing clue as to how the small Kingdom came to grow so powerful. The motto that is engraved upon the Breast Star was taken seriously and one that the Prussian kings lived by… Continue reading The motto engraved upon the Breast Star encapsulates how Prussia was ruled

History Highlights, Notes on German Culture

Interesting German historical and cultural facts

See my short and concise articles in a Blog format...a menu format with links to each topic plus a keyword search option...try it out by clicking on the menu bar at top... I have published a wide range of topics...here are just a few examples but there are many more for you to browse and… Continue reading Interesting German historical and cultural facts

History Highlights, Prussia...Northern Germany

The new German Empire was born on French soil in 1871

In 1870 France declared war on Prussia but soon lost the war in 1871. The Prussian victory was the final test of leadership for Prussian King Wilhelm. In the afterglow of victory, he announced the formation of the Second German Empire at the Versailles Palace in occupied France… the new German Empire was born on… Continue reading The new German Empire was born on French soil in 1871

Notes on German Culture, WWI...First World War

Large wooden Nail Man statues were set up in cities all over Germany and Austria in WWI.

The image here is of a 1915 poster from Königsberg, the capital city of East Prussia. The poster shows a large dark knight against a colorful German Imperial Eagle banner with text announcing the dedication of an Iron Warrior, known as Der Eiserne Wehrmann. The text explains that the event will be held to collect… Continue reading Large wooden Nail Man statues were set up in cities all over Germany and Austria in WWI.

History Highlights, Notes on German Culture

Olympic Games 1936…a lot of things are discussed but the fact that Germany won the most medals of every color is never mentioned

The summer Olympics of 1936 were held in Berlin, Germany. Berlin had previously been chosen to host the 1916 Summer Olympics, but they were cancelled due to the First World War. I have seen documentaries over the years, but I always was left with the impression that the United States was the winner over an… Continue reading Olympic Games 1936…a lot of things are discussed but the fact that Germany won the most medals of every color is never mentioned

First Reich...800 to 1806, Notes on German Culture, Teutonic Knights..Deutscher Orden

For 300 years two men were included in the daily prayers of the Teutonic Knights

The Teutonic Knights were warrior monks who fought to convert pagans to Christianity and also built and governed their Monastic State of the Teutonic Order all along the Baltic coast in northern Europe. At the core of their organization was a group of 3000 highly trained and well equipped warrior monks...men who also gave up… Continue reading For 300 years two men were included in the daily prayers of the Teutonic Knights

Bavaria, Notes on German Culture

Eppelein von Gailingen was a robber baron in the Middle Ages, immortalized by folk song

This image features Eppelein von Gailingen (1310 to 1381), who was a famous German robber baron in the Middle Ages. Gailingen belonged to the class of original robber barons, who supplemented their income with unauthorized tolls and, sometimes, flat-out theft.  The term "robber barons" is derived from a medieval term, in German “Raubritter”, describing men… Continue reading Eppelein von Gailingen was a robber baron in the Middle Ages, immortalized by folk song

Notes on German Culture

An 1844 German postal coach encounters its evolution just 100 years later

A time warp image exemplifying how time flies faster than we can comprehend....From a Lufthansa poster celebrating 25 years of airmail service in 1944. "Tempus Fugit"... already in ancient times the Romans felt that time flies. Today it seems that time flies even faster. Think about our own lives flitting along with incredible changes in… Continue reading An 1844 German postal coach encounters its evolution just 100 years later

Notes on German Culture, Prussia...Northern Germany, Second Reich...1871 to 1918

Inauguration of the 1873 Berlin Siegessäule (Victory Column)

The inauguration of the Berlin Siegessäule (Victory Column) is depicted here in an 1873 artist's rendering of the ceremony conducted by Kaiser Wilhelm I...the image in gold is a close up of the Victoria statue atop the column, as it appears today.  Originally, the Victory Column was designed by Heinrich Strack in 1864 to commemorate… Continue reading Inauguration of the 1873 Berlin Siegessäule (Victory Column)