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.
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
The Proclamation of the German Empire in 1871 was depicted by Anton von Werner. This excerpt from his famous painting exemplifies the detailed portraits of the celebrating soldiers and officials that were present to cheer the new Kaiser. Here the artist portrays General von Blumenthal wearing a red sash, next to Bismarck, shaking hands with… Continue reading This excerpt exemplifies the detailed portraits depicted in the painting, Proclamation of the German Empire 1871
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
Swabia, or Schwaben, was a region in SW Germany, now part of the states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. Starting in the 9th century, Swabia was the birthplace of Charlemagne's family... Charlemagne, or Karl der Grosse, was the first Kaiser of the Holy Roman Empire in 800. Swabia was also home of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, which included Germany's… Continue reading The German land of Swabia was the birthplace of five royal dynasties
Prussian King Friedrich II (Frederick the Great) instituted the blue enameled cross “Pour le Merite” in June 1740 as a token of appreciation for those leaders in his army who distinguished themselves in the first Silesian War. The medal continued to be awarded for the next 180 years, gaining its greatest renown with Germany’s air aces… Continue reading This German medal, nicknamed the “Blue Max”, has an interesting story to tell, including why it has a French name.
From the early 1930’s until 1945, the German movie industry rivaled Hollywood in terms of quality, distribution and popularity. It was the golden era of Europe's film industry…with the high point in 1942 when 1.067 billion people were in paid attendance throughout Europe. The movie poster shown here features Zarah Leander and Viktor Staal in… Continue reading Once upon a time the German movie industry rivaled Hollywood
This image of King George III …in coronation robes… was painted by Allan Ramsay in 1762. The reason that I am writing about him is that people forget that he was the third German King of England. In fact, he was concurrently also the Duke of Hanover in Germany and a Prince-Elector of the Holy… Continue reading King George III…people forget that he was the third German King of England
In Germany the year 1888 is remembered as the year of 3 Kaisers. Friedrich Wilhelm succeeded his father as Emperor in 1888, but ruled for only 98 days, before succumbing to throat cancer. Although still young at age 57, he was Emperor of Germany for only 3 months. Upon Friedrich's death, his son Wilhelm II… Continue reading If Friedrich had lived longer, he might have been able to change European alliances, preventing the outbreak of WWI and thus WWII
Being mostly landlocked, Germany was never really known as a sea power, but in some of its northern cities it was different. In particular, the cities of Lübeck and Hamburg were famous for their flourishing maritime trade…already since the Middle Ages…and for using their merchant ships as armed warships during times of conflict. As an… Continue reading Hamburg’s Bunte Kuh warship was built to protect merchant ships from the scourge of pirates