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

The Schlieffen Plan was put into action in 1914, but trouble in East Prussia changed the course of history.

Germany's war contingency plans...drawn up in 1905...were a creative strategy to achieve a rapid victory in a two front war. The goal of rapid engagement was seen as a way to win and also save lives and minimize economic damage to all belligerents. So the plan, dubbed the "Schlieffen Plan" after its designer Count Alfred… Continue reading The Schlieffen Plan was put into action in 1914, but trouble in East Prussia changed the course of history.

History Highlights, Notes on German Culture

If the East Prussian moose antler symbol could speak it would say: Germany, forget me not!

My message with this image is that today's Germans should remember and honor the history of East Prussia. This relatively small part of old Germany, the easternmost part of Germany once mentioned in the national anthem, played an oversized role in history. But the descendants of these East Prussians are now dispersed all over the… Continue reading If the East Prussian moose antler symbol could speak it would say: Germany, forget me not!

Notes on German Culture

They trekked through innumerable northern German towns and cities wearing their unfamiliar Austrian style clothing

Imagine a long stream of people walking day after day from Saltzburg to Berlin, creating a sensation as they trekked through innumerable northern German towns and cities wearing their unfamiliar Austrian style clothing. In 1982 a German postage stamp celebrated this event on the 250th anniversary of the arrival of Salzburg Emigrants in Prussia in… Continue reading They trekked through innumerable northern German towns and cities wearing their unfamiliar Austrian style clothing

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

Pictorial map of East and West Prussia

This pictorial map of East and West Prussia was produced in 1937. All of the major towns are pictorially represented on the map, notably with images of signature buildings, while the coat of arms of the towns line the edges of the printwork.  The body of water on top of map is named Ostsee which… Continue reading Pictorial map of East and West Prussia

Notes on German Culture

Images from the past…10 traditional women’s folk costumes of old Germany

These Trachten, or folk costumes, represent 10 areas of old Germany... these images were used on a series of postage stamps issued early in the 20th century. East Prussia...or Ostpreussen...was the easternmost part of northern Germany, founded by Teutonic Knights in the 13th century. It was removed from Germany after WWII and is now part… Continue reading Images from the past…10 traditional women’s folk costumes of old Germany

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

This photo brings back memories of my parents who lived in Königsberg

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

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

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