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History Highlights, Notes on German Culture

Interesting German historical and cultural facts

Below are just a few examples of topics covered in this Blog… images are linked, just click to see the blog article. To find other subjects that interest you, click on the menu bar to browse historical or cultural topics or type a keyword into the search box. German Americans Teutonic Knights and the Northern… Continue reading Interesting German historical and cultural facts

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

There were successful Crusades conducted in northern Europe for hundreds of years

Prussia circa 1250, Teutonic Knights Charge during winter, their favorite season in the Northern Crusades. 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… Continue reading 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

Cowboys und Indianer

This vintage photo from post war Lübeck in northern Germany is not the best quality but it shows that even in those hard times, little German kids loved to dress up like Cowboys und Indianer. Looking at this now I have to laugh at my brother's Indian outfit...that white holster just did not look right.… Continue reading Cowboys und Indianer

Notes on German Culture

The Biedermeier Era is sometimes referred to as the Romantic era

The Biedermeier style, which originated in Germany and Austria, flourished in the prosperous middle-class homes of Europe from about 1815 to 1848. A "Zimmerbild", which is a chamber painting, of a room in Berlin, circa 1825, representing the Biedermeier era: fitted carpets, unified window and pier-mirror draperies, and framed engravings in a restrained classical style…… Continue reading The Biedermeier Era is sometimes referred to as the Romantic era

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

Travel routes to the popular German seaside resort at Cranz in East Prussia in 1930

"Ostpreussen...Reisewege Nach Cranz an die Ostsee"....Vintage travel advertising for routes to the popular German Baltic Sea resort at Cranz This 1930's advertising poster shows the various routes to the seaside resort at Cranz... by train, car, sea or by air... with emphasis on routes from Berlin and Breslau. Of particular interest to historians is how… Continue reading Travel routes to the popular German seaside resort at Cranz in East Prussia in 1930

History Highlights

Four great Dynasties originated in the German region of Swabia

A great many historical leaders came from a small region in southwestern Germany. They include the Hohenstaufen dynasty, the Hapsburg dynasty, the Hohenzollern dynasty, and the Welf dynasty. All of these important families originated in Swabia, or Schwaben, a region in Germany that was located in what is now part of the states of Baden-Württemberg and part of Bavaria. Swabia was the home of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, which included Germany’s most celebrated medieval… Continue reading Four great Dynasties originated in the German region of Swabia

Notes on German Culture

Grimm brothers German folk tales were not originally intended for children

Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, 1855 painting by Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann We all know the fairy tales that made the Grimm brothers famous. The two brothers collected, edited, modified and popularized stories such as "Cinderella" "(Aschenputtel)", "The Frog Prince" ("Der Froschkönig"), "Hansel and Gretel" ("Hänsel und Gretel"), "Rapunzel", "Rumpelstiltskin" ("Rumpelstilzchen"), and "Snow White" ("Schneewittchen"). Their 1812 book is commonly… Continue reading Grimm brothers German folk tales were not originally intended for children

Notes on German Culture

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert continued the German heritage of British monarchs

This portrait of Queen Victoria and family was painted by Franz Winterhalter in 1846. Winterhalter was a German artist who first visited Britain in 1842 and became one of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's favorite painters, creating about 120 works for them. Queen Victoria was the last British monarch of the German House of Hanover.… Continue reading Queen Victoria and Prince Albert continued the German heritage of British monarchs

Notes on German Culture

Aachen…The memorable forest encircled city of Charlemagne

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

Notes on German Culture

German airship approaching the top of the tallest building in New York

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

Notes on German Culture

Lufthansa Art Deco 1926 Travel Poster

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

History Highlights, Notes on German Culture

Lübeck’s German offices in London were the largest medieval trading complex in Britain, from 1282 until 1853

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