For questions on German Empire, Weimar Republic, German Democratic Republic and the modern Federal Republic of Germany. Questions regarding the Third Reich should be tagged with Nazi-Germany.

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34
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3answers
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Why are Germans referred to so differently in different languages?

I was inspired by the other question "Why are French and German so different?". But while, for me, the answer was obvious (the Romans did not conquer most parts of today's Germany and so on), another ...
37
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3answers
7k views

Why are the German and French languages so different?

My understanding (which could be wrong) is the following: During and before the period of the fall of western Rome (roughly 400 AD), the Franks and the Alemanni were tribal people who moved around a ...
25
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7answers
8k views

Why did Great Britain switch its alliance to France?

England (and its succeeding states) were at war with France for close to 1000 years. First it was over land, then they competed over religion, then they competed over colonies. For much of that time, ...
7
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1answer
196 views

What land did Polish nationalists claim in 1914?

In the early 20th century, Poland was separated between Russia, Austria-Hungary and Germany. However clear border of the "country" did not exist. When the country was finally re-created after the ...
124
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29answers
72k views

Why did Hitler attack the Soviet Union when he was still busy fighting the United Kingdom?

During world war 2 Hitler was fighting a war with Great Britain but while fighting that war attacked Russia. Everyone knows that having to fight on two opposite fronts at once is bad... and it's also ...
1
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4answers
252 views

What is the evidence to repudiate this version of the “stab in the back” myth?

The Stab in the Back Myth Among claims that need context and checking: The Jewish Lord Rothschild used his connections with American Jewry to get America into the war. This was, of course, very ...
0
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2answers
120 views

How did the written Polish language survive in eastern Germany during partition (if it survived at all)?

After the partition of poland in the late 18th century, Prussia aquired a large part of Polish territory. Those areas suffered heavy Germanization process through assimilation and suppression of ...
8
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2answers
340 views

Why were the ship names “Scharnhorst” and “Gneisenau” used together?

In the German Navy (both the Kaiserliche Marine and Kriegsmarine), the two ship names of Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were used together for sister ships; for example the SMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau ...
4
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2answers
346 views

How did the German royal families lose power so quickly in 1918? What happened to them afterwards?

Before 1918, Germany was a federal empire. According to this Wikipedia article, The German Empire consisted of 27 constituent territories, with most being ruled by royal families. This included ...
12
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2answers
1k views

How did the Germans get homes again after WWII?

After a large number of homes were destroyed in the war, how did the average German become a homeowner again? I know about the Marshall Plan, but this question does not refer to how the economy in ...
2
votes
1answer
270 views

What was the rationale behind restrictions on Camera ownership in post-war Germany?

According to the accepted answer to this question: There are very few photographs from occupied Germany because it was illegal for >Germans to own cameras and similar regulations were enforced to ...
6
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1answer
293 views

Why did the Swabian Hohenzollern princes give away their power to the Prussian king in 1850?

The small independent country of Hohenzollern in southwestern Germany was run by two princes until 1850, when it was given away to the king of Prussia, who was a distant cousin to the princes (also ...
6
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3answers
205 views

Who considered themselves as “Prussian”?

This is very confusing to me. The word "Prussian" means a lot of different things and has a lot of connotations (such as imperialism, militarism, ...), while simultaneously describing a geographical ...
19
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3answers
3k views

Why was the shape of German states pre-WWII (especially Prussia) so complicated?

The shapes of the Länder territories in Germany were very complicated. There was hundreds exclaves and enclaves all over the place to the point it became ridiculous. Notably the shape of Prussia, ...
0
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0answers
74 views

Why aren't the Silesian Uprisings, especially the 3rd, refered to as a “war”?

Three Silesian Uprising happened in 1919, 1920 and 1921. While the first is definitely an "ordinary" uprising, the second is closer to be a civil war. The third uprising is definitely a civil war. ...
12
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3answers
344 views

Conditions of Polish minority in Weimar Republic?

It's a well known fact that the border between Germany and the re-created Poland in 1918 was decided by the allies. It was drawn semi-arbitrarily, following the places where the majority of people ...
4
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1answer
648 views

Why are most monarchies in Europe of German descent?

When we look at existing monarchies in Europe, following are of German descent: Royal Family of Belgium Royal Family of United Kingdom Royal Family of Denmark Royal Family of Liechtenstein Royal ...
8
votes
5answers
6k views

Where was the pre-war (ww2) border between Poland and Germany?

I am interested in mapping the pre-war (WWII) border between Poland and Germany. Is there any data available in a public resource? Can anyone describe waypoints along the border in terms of modern ...
4
votes
2answers
374 views

Did Gustavus Adolphus ever speak of making himself Emperor?

Such an assertion is made on p. 91 of Richelieu and the French Monarchy by C.V.Wedgwood. There are no footnotes, this being a book for the general reader, so I would like to have a corroboration for ...
28
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3answers
7k views

Why did Germany not join the United Nations until 1973?

I am bit shocked to see that Germany joined United Nations - UN in 1973, what was political reason for postponing membership in that important organisation, if we see that for example Italy joined UN ...
4
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0answers
80 views

Housing Materials, Structure and Style in the late Middle Ages in Germany

So my friend and I are coming to develop an Age of Empires-esque game set in the late Middle Ages. Like any good developers we're doing our research first and we've come up with some issues. When ...
7
votes
2answers
575 views

Compulsion for Germany to accept the Treaty of Versailles?

At first it is difficult to understand why Germany would have accepted the Treaty of Versailles. The armistice had been agreed upon 11 November 1918 and was explicitly based on the terms of Wilson's ...
1
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2answers
178 views

Japan allying with Germany in WWII [duplicate]

So I've been studying imperialism. Focusing on Japan, Japan's imperialism is a result of its modernization which is a result of Matthew Perry's siege (not a good word). After the treaty of Kanagawa, ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Did Russia declare war on Germany before its invasion of that country on August 7, 1914?

I was looking through some lists of war declarations from the first World War and I did not see any declaration of war by Russia on Germany or Prussia. The Russian army did invade Prussia on August 7, ...
5
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1answer
126 views

German private property and homes returned after founding of republic?

During the occupation of defeated Germany in 1945 the allied forces, including those of the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union, seized and occupied thousands of private homes and other ...
6
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1answer
173 views

What East German laws and regulations were extended to the West after unification?

Legally speaking, the reunification of Germany in 1990 was not a merger of two equal states resulting in a new country. Rather, it is better characterized as the absorption of the German Democratic ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

When did Frankfurt am Main adopt the Gregorian Calendar?

The Gregorian Calendar was adopted in Habsburg lands in 1583. As Frankfurt am Main was a Free City within the Holy Roman Empire, it fell under direct control of the [Habsburg] Emperor. However, if I ...
12
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9answers
2k views

Given Hitler's Austrian ancestry, why did he develop German nationalism rather than Austrian nationalism?

Hitler's parents were Austrians, and Hitler had spent his childhood in Austria. However, Hitler expressed loyalty only to Germany but not Austria. This seems strange to me. Why did Hitler develop ...
37
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3answers
22k views

Why were the Romans unable to conquer Germania?

Emperor Augustus ordered his army to subdue the Germanic tribes in what is modern Germany. This was promptly achieved and by 6 AD the Romans controlled Germany up to the river Elba. The Romans were ...
-1
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1answer
176 views

How much is one 1945 German Mark to one 2016 Euro? [closed]

Is there a way to figure out the exchange rate of one 1945 German mark to a 2016 Euro and/or U.S. dollar? (edited)
7
votes
1answer
179 views

What were the requirements in order for a man to become a burgher (or citizen) in German cities in the middle ages?

I really need some help answering this question. Could a man who lived in another town or part of Germany, for example East Frisia, about 1500 AD, go to Bremen for example and become a burgher there? ...
7
votes
2answers
550 views

Was there a reason Hitler saluted differently to everyone else?

When people think of the nazi salute, the hand is generally out in front, around 45° palm down. Sometimes it would be lower, which I think reinforces that it's a "palm open and down" gesture: ...
4
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4answers
3k views

What was the fate of most SS members after World War II?

What happened to most of the members of the SS after the war? Were they punished?
8
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4answers
2k views

Why and how were east Brandenburg, Pomerania and Silesia taken away from Germany after WW2?

These areas have always been German, in fact Pomerania and Brandenburg were both part of Prussia since the 1700's. Why did the Soviet Union do this, and how did the victorious powers justify taking ...
5
votes
2answers
136 views

Where can I find more information about former German internal enclaves and exclaves?

This question is related to the question I asked previously: Why was the shape of German states pre-WWII (especially Prussia) so complicated? Most maps of pre-WWII are not detailed enough to see an ...
9
votes
1answer
244 views

What does D·G·R·IMP·S·A·G·H·B·REX·A·A·B·L·D stand for?

I came across a medal commemorating the coronation of Leopold II as Holy Roman Emperor in 1790. The inscription on the obverse of the medal is: LEOPOLDUS II D·G·R·IMP·S·A·G·H·B·REX·A·A·B·L·D· With ...
9
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4answers
21k views

Why was Germany held accountable for WW1?

The Treaty of Versailles forced Germany to accept all responsibility for the war. If the war was initially due to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand by Serbian assassins, why did the Treaty of ...
16
votes
2answers
7k views

Why did the Soviet Union lift the Berlin Blockade?

Between 24th June 1948 and 12th May 1949 land routes into West Berlin were blocked by Soviet forces and West Berliners were supplied entirely by air (the famous Berlin Airlift). No one connected with ...
-3
votes
1answer
216 views

Is Germany to blame for WW1? [closed]

Germany turned a local conflict between Austria-Hungary and Russia into a world war. Isn't Germany the responsible party here? I know this is an opinion but teachers told me that I make a good point. ...
9
votes
4answers
569 views

Why did the Germans wait until it was too late to reinstate their unrestricted submarine warfare in WWI?

Before the US Navy eclipsed the Royal Navy one of the closest threats to the Royal Navy's dominance of the high seas was the German U-boats of WWI. The German Naval program started in 1898 by Alfred ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Why did Empress Elizabeth and Catherine the Great of Russia have such different policies toward Frederick the Great?

Elizabeth of Russia seemed to consider Frederick the Great Russia's worst enemy. She waged the Seven Years' War in order to conquer East Prussia (which she planned to exchange to Poland for territory ...
5
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3answers
3k views

Why did Germany not colonise much? [closed]

Why did Germany not become a major colonizer of overseas countries, like England and France, and even Belgium?
2
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0answers
48 views

Did Brahms really leave Germany because he was dissatisfied with the political realities of that time?

I read in a body of text introducing musician Johannes Brahms that one main reason he left Germany for Austria in 1862 was his dissatisfaction with the political reality ("repressive regime") at that ...
4
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2answers
175 views

Effects of the Berlin Wall on modern-day Germany [closed]

The Berlin Wall had pretty strong effects on the German states at the time it was built, and right after it fell, but what are its continuing economic effects on contemporary Germany? I know there are ...
3
votes
2answers
982 views

Why did the welfare state succeed in Bismarck's Germany but lagged in 20th-century Britain?

Otto von Bismarck pioneered the welfare state in Germany and Bismarck was/is greatly respected by Germans. Pre-World War I British Liberal Party made welfare reforms after the 1906 general election. ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

Were there communes in Imperial Germany?

I wonder about the territorial division of Imperial Germany. The empire was divided among 26 states (in German Bundesstaaten). Each of them had an internal division system which of course differers ...
9
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6answers
4k views

Why do some countries call Germany “Alman” too?

In Persia, Germany is called "Alaman". In Portugal it's called "Alemanha". I know some other countries in the world call it 'Alman' too Why the name changed?
7
votes
1answer
111 views

During/After the Napoleonic occupation of the Germanic Rhinelands, what happened to the currency in the area?

Did Napoleon bring the French Francs over, or did the (many) local currencies remain in use? I understood that the area's tolls on the river were unified, but have a hard time imagining how exactly ...
9
votes
4answers
226 views

What are some examples of clauses against unifications in peace treaties?

I have learned in school that the Treaty of Versailles (after World War I in 1919) contained a clause that forbade unification of Germany and Austria. Presumably it is Article 80: Germany ...