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.

Old Germany...lost territory, Prussia...Northern Germany

Königsberg Castle with the Kaiser Wilhelm Statue is pictured here in sharp detail, along with the routine comings and goings around the castle in 1895.

Königsberg Castle with the Kaiser Wilhelm Statue is pictured here in sharp detail, along with the routine comings and goings around the castle in 1895. This stone castle was constructed in 1257 as the fortress residence of the Grandmasters of the Teutonic Order and later became a residence for Prussian rulers. The people captured in… Continue reading Königsberg Castle with the Kaiser Wilhelm Statue is pictured here in sharp detail, along with the routine comings and goings around the castle in 1895.

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

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. My parents lived in Königsberg and were married there… Continue reading Precious family photos that survived WWII

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

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

Notes on German Culture, Prussia...Northern Germany

Whereas the US has Uncle Sam and England has John Bull, Germany has Michael, known as Der Deutsche Michel

Whereas the US has Uncle Sam and England has John Bull, Germany has Michael, known as Der Deutsche Michel (The German Michael).His popularity peaked in the 1840s, so perhaps this is why most people never heard of Michel. Even the name, Michel or Michael, is quite rare in today’s Germany. The German Michel figure is… Continue reading Whereas the US has Uncle Sam and England has John Bull, Germany has Michael, known as Der Deutsche Michel

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

First Reich...800 to 1806, History Highlights, Prussia...Northern Germany, Teutonic Knights..Deutscher Orden

German Emperor Heinrich VI arrested Richard the Lionheart, King of England and held him for ransom

In March 1193, Richard the Lionheart was captured on his way back from the Third Crusade. The English King was arrested by Leopold V, Duke of Austria, and soon imprisoned by Kaiser Heinrich VI at Trifels Castle in the Palatinate region of southwestern Germany. The arrest was revenge for Richard’s support of a massive conspiracy against the German… Continue reading German Emperor Heinrich VI arrested Richard the Lionheart, King of England and held him for ransom

Notes on German Culture

“Dinner at the Ball” captures a moment in time during the high point of peace and prosperity in the German Empire

“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 “Dinner at the Ball” captures a moment in time during the high point of peace and prosperity in the German Empire

Famous Artists, History Highlights

Frederick the Great playing the flute, accompanied by C. P. E. Bach

This candlelit scene depicts an 18th century “Flute Concert at Sanssouci”. It’s a painting by Adolph von Menzel, showing Frederick II of Prussia, known to history as Frederick the Great, playing the flute in his music room at Sanssouci, accompanied by C. P. E. Bach on the harpsichord.  As a musician, Frederick wrote 4 symphonies… Continue reading Frederick the Great playing the flute, accompanied by C. P. E. Bach