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
...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
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
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.
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.
This map of Germany during the Second Reich, 1871 to 1918, shows Prussia at the height of its power. Prussian states are shown in green, all other German states are shown in yellow. It is interesting to see the map in this simple two color presentation because you don't lose the forest for the trees...Prussia… Continue reading This map of Germany shows Prussia at the height of its power
General Yorck and his Prussian troops had been compelled to augment Napoleon’s Grande Armée during the ill-fated invasion of Russia in 1812. This kind of cooperation was mandated by the Treaty of Tilsit, signed five years earlier after Napoleon defeated Prussia and all of Germany was under French control. General Yorck and German patriots everywhere… Continue reading Prussian General Ludwig Yorck was a very brave man who seized a moment in time
The double-headed eagle symbol of the Holy Roman Empire starting in 1440, while the name change “of the German Nation” was added in 1512. The double headed eagle was introduced in 1440 to emphasize the religious and secular nature of the empire, and it replaced the single headed eagle that was used by the Empire… Continue reading German Eagles…single head 640 years, double-headed 366 years, then single head ever since 1871.
The question of who should lead a future united Germany, Prussia or Austria, was answered in 1866. In this first image, Prussian King Wilhelm is congratulating his son, Crown Prince Friedrich III, on the battlefield after their victory over the Austrian Empire. Prussia’s leadership was now assured but would mean the hoped for “Greater Germany”… Continue reading Should Austria or Prussia be the leader of Germany?
Herbst in Wiesbaden (Autumn in Wiesbaden) Travel Poster, vintage Germany 1930's. The image portrays a fashionable lady of the era, holding a bunch of flowers with seagulls flying overhead, painted in watercolor by the master of advertising art, Ludwig Hohlwein. Wiesbaden is one of the oldest spa towns in Europe. Its name translates to "meadow… Continue reading Wiesbaden is one of the oldest spa towns in Europe
My parents lived in Königsberg and were married there in 1940. The city was the capital of East Prussia in Germany. I remember a photo of them in 1937 in a rowboat on this large castle lagoon, the one pictured here. And stories of how they had dinner in the somewhat spooky Königsberg Castle’s Blutgericht… Continue reading This photo brings back memories of my parents who lived in Königsberg
In Treue Fest…German WWI patriotic farewell card, with the lady professing that she is Firm in Loyalty to her man....a German Flag is prominent on a diagonal...The motto, In Treue Fest, was also used to describe the alliance of Germany and Austria.....It was also the motto of the Bavarians in WWI, whose army proudly wore… Continue reading Firm in Loyalty…WWI motto for men and women
It seems out of character for a German patriot like Wagner to stage such a Germanic Opera in France....even more out of character is that he reworked the opera and added a ballet to suit his Parisian audience. Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg Upon researching this event, I learned that Wagner was in Paris… Continue reading Does it seem odd to you that Richard Wagner premiered his 1861 reworked Tannhäuser Opera in Paris?
This is another painting that needs to be viewed large to be appreciated... Its the year 1875 and the "The Iron Rolling Mill" by Adolph Menzel was a sensation. Shortly after its introduction the painting became known as the " Modern Cyclops", as in the Greek sagas of Vulcans helpers who forged the gods' weapons. … Continue reading The first painting of a factory and working life in German art
A moment in time...one of many that the Marienburg Castle witnessed during its 742 years of existence in northern Europe, from 1274 to 2016. On this occasion in 1902, Kaiser Wilhelm II made the trip to West Prussia to participate in the consecration of Virgin Mary's Church in the Marienburg Castle. His visit also coincided… Continue reading In 1902, Kaiser Wilhelm II made a trip to the Marienburg in West Prussia