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
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?
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
... the reason for this dates back to 1685 and the Great Elector and his successors. The Great Elector followed a policy of religious freedom and after French King Louis XIV's revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Frederick William encouraged skilled French and Walloon Huguenots to emigrate to Brandenburg-Prussia. His Edict of Potsdam welcomed the… Continue reading If you have ever wondered why some of Germany’s war heroes in WWI and WWII have French names…
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.
The Order of the Black Eagle Breast Star was an award granted by the Kings of Prussia and its design contains a tantalizing clue as to how the small Kingdom came to grow so powerful. The motto that is engraved upon the Breast Star was taken seriously and one that the Prussian kings lived by… Continue reading The motto engraved upon the Breast Star encapsulates how Prussia was ruled
In 1870 France declared war on Prussia but soon lost the war in 1871. The Prussian victory was the final test of leadership for Prussian King Wilhelm. In the afterglow of victory, he announced the formation of the Second German Empire at the Versailles Palace in occupied France… the new German Empire was born on… Continue reading The new German Empire was born on French soil in 1871
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)
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.