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)

History Highlights, Prussia...Northern Germany, Second Reich...1871 to 1918

If Friedrich had lived longer, he might have been able to change European alliances, preventing the outbreak of WWI and thus WWII

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

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

Most of Menzel’s paintings were quickly gathered up by museums and patrons in Germany

"Dinner at the Ball" captures a moment in time during the high point of peace and prosperity in the German Empire. It was 7 years after the German unification of 1871 and was the era of Kaiser Wilhelm I and his Chancellor Bismarck, who created a booming economy and a foreign policy that produced 43… Continue reading Most of Menzel’s paintings were quickly gathered up by museums and patrons in Germany

Notes on German Culture, Second Reich...1871 to 1918, WWI...First World War

When circumstances were difficult, as in 1917, then even a tiny tree would make Christmas special

Herzlichen Weihnachstgruss (heartfelt Christmas greeting) ...an older German style wording for Frohe Weihnachten (Merry Christmas). This image is from a vintage 1917 WWI German Christmas card, depicting a lady joyfully reading a Weihnachstgruss from her soldier away at war. It also reflects the tradition that a Christmas tree always had to be there and when… Continue reading When circumstances were difficult, as in 1917, then even a tiny tree would make Christmas special

History Highlights, Second Reich...1871 to 1918, WWI...First World War

On Christmas Eve in 1914, something unusual happened

On Christmas Eve one hundred four years ago, in 1914, the first Christmas during WWI, something unusual happened…and it happened spontaneously... triggered by the men themselves who were in the front line trenches. The Illustrated London News described the event in its headline: "British and German Soldiers Arm-in-Arm Exchanging Headgear: A Christmas Truce between Opposing… Continue reading On Christmas Eve in 1914, something unusual happened

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

A cavalry of trumpeters led the royal carriage thru Berlin where a 72 gun salute started the dual wedding ceremony

In February 1906, the Silver Wedding Anniversary of the German Emperor and Empress was turned into a double wedding celebration when they gave their second son, Prince Eitel, permission to be married on the same day. Their son’s bride, the Duchess Sophie-Charlotte, was the daughter of the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Oldenburg. Only… Continue reading A cavalry of trumpeters led the royal carriage thru Berlin where a 72 gun salute started the dual wedding ceremony

History Highlights, Second Reich...1871 to 1918, WWI...First World War

In July 1917…after 3 years at war… Germany was winning

In July 1917...after 3 years at war... Germany was winning the war. On the Western Front, German territorial gains were being held and the French and British home fronts were weakening. The French also had to deal with a demoralized army with large numbers of soldiers going so far as to mutiny. The possibility of… Continue reading In July 1917…after 3 years at war… Germany was winning

Famous Artists, History Highlights, Prussia...Northern Germany, Second Reich...1871 to 1918

Departure of King Wilhelm I. of Prussia to join the Army on July 13, 1870

An excerpt from "Departure of King Wilhelm I. of Prussia to join the Army on July 13, 1870" at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, by Adolph von Menzel. The King would return to Berlin 11 months later, in June 1871, not only victorious but also as the new Kaiser of the German Empire, already… Continue reading Departure of King Wilhelm I. of Prussia to join the Army on July 13, 1870

History Highlights, Prussia...Northern Germany, Second Reich...1871 to 1918, WWI...First World War

The Tannenberg Victory made Hindenburg a national hero

The Heroes of Tannenberg, Hindenburg and Ludendorff, saved East Prussia in August 1914 with a decisive victory against overwhelming odds. Paul von Hindenburg, 66, a retired Prussian General , was called into service to take over command of the relatively small force, one army, that was having trouble holding back the Russian invasion of East… Continue reading The Tannenberg Victory made Hindenburg a national hero

Famous Artists, History Highlights, Prussia...Northern Germany, Second Reich...1871 to 1918

When the French declared war on Prussia in 1870, they were overconfident.

This painting by Anton von Werner shows German Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm contemplating the corpse of French General Abel Douay, on the first day of the Franco-Prussian War in August 1870. When the French declared war on Prussia in 1870, they were overconfident. They assumed an easy victory and seriously underestimated the strength and experience… Continue reading When the French declared war on Prussia in 1870, they were overconfident.