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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What effect did awareness of devastating bombing at home have on the fighting spirit of German troops on the Eastern front?

German troops fighting in Russia must have been aware of the destruction of their cities back home by American and British bombing. Knowing that their loved ones were in danger and that their ...
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731 views

Conscientious objectors in Germany during WWI

Was there a special treatment for conscientious objectors in Germany during WWI? I know that Britain had a process of exemptions, which was however rather harshly and sparingly administered (see ...
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286 views

How did communist authorities decide who is “German” and who is “Polish” when expelling Germans from recovered territories?

It is a well known fact that Poland won a lot of territory over Germany after WWII, and that German people were expelled, and the place was re-settled with ethnically Poles. What is less known is how ...
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Impact of the Berlin Wall to GDR

"No one has the intention of erecting a wall!" - Walter Ulbricht, June 15,1961. The Wall was erected anyway, because more than 2.6 million East Germans escaped to West Berlin or West Germany from ...
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693 views

What goods did Germany trade during the Weimar Republic, and with whom?

What countries were trading with Germany during its pre-Nazi Weimar Republic era (1919-1930), and what goods did they trade? I've read a few references that just broadly state that Germany had no ...
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237 views

Did the German authorities respell Polish names to be more German during the time of the Empire?

How were Polish names handled by Prussian and German authorities during the times of the German empire? It is well known there was intense Germanisation throughout the area, for example all location ...
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180 views

Legal grounds of functioning of Third Reich concentration camps

I know for sure that repressions in the USSR at thirties had been en masse illegal in the sense that the laws existed at that period of time there's no word about, say, executing people without any ...
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324 views

Cost of education in Germany in 1900

I am curious how much did the German universities charge their students in late 19th early 20th century. I am specifically interested in the math/science education at University of Göttingen, one of ...
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209 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 ...
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401 views

Ethnic Germans in Russian service in Poland

General Brusilov wrote in his memoirs that a few years before the war he was serving in a high military position in Russian-controlled Poland and that he was appalled by the fact that all Russian high ...
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How was Germany's border decided?

What is the timeline of events that led to Germany's current geographic shape? For example: 1871: German Empire formed 1919: Weimar Republic formed
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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 ...
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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 ...
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What exactly is this 1795 German “Berichte” Document?

I came across this document on Google Books and I am trying to interpret exactly what it is. Title: Berichte Published 1795 from the Bavarian State Library 24 pages My root question is "What is ...
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3answers
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Was the Zimmerman Telegram a ruse on the US or a way of Germany to incite Mexico to declare war on the US?

Prior to America's entry into WWI the Zimmerman Telegram was one incident that helped push America to declare war against Germany and join the Allies, while Mexico never fought against the US was this ...
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440 views

Why did Germany take so long to consolidate into a single nation?

To the casual observer, the Holy Roman Empire seems locked in time, continuing its almost feudal tradition even while every other part of Europe was consolidating into nations and empires. By the ...
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452 views

Why did antique guns and swords from the Franco-Prussian War make part of the demilitarization program to which Germany was subjected?

As is well known, after the WW2 ended, the U.S. imposed a strong program of demilitarization to Germany. Can anybody explain the reason why the "antique guns and swords from the Franco-Prussian ...
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564 views

Popularity of knight-robbery in the 15th century in Germany, Poland and Silesia

I've found the term Raubritter (German), which is translated to Robber-knight, and I was wondering - was it a popular thing in the 15th century? Were there many such knights? If they were tolerated by ...
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Why was the 1944 surrender of 20,000 Germans on the Western Front remarkable?

I remember very well those days last September when we first heard the rumor that General Elster would surrender to the 99th Division, no one would believe it. "20,000 German troops and their ...
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257 views

What was the purpose for Kaiser Wilhelm's visit to Jerusalem?

What was Kaiser Wilhelm's (and it seems his forebearers) stated reason or purpose for their custom of visiting Jerusalem? Also, why where the anarchists trying to kill him?
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391 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: ...
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219 views

German submarine force ceasefire on May 4 1945

Many sources say that a general ceasefire order was issued by Doenitz to German submarines on patrol on May 4, 1945. We know that the German instrument of surrender was signed in the early morning ...
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478 views

What was Poland's posture during the Seven Years' War?

Poland seems like the "invisible" party during the Seven Years' War Ostensibly, it was fought between France, Austria, and Russia on one side, and Prussia, plus Great Britain-Hannover on the other. ...
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107 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 ...
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165 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? ...
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Did the division between East and West Germany coincide with cultural boundaries?

I understand that at the conclusion of World War II, Germany was divided into East Germany (under the Soviet Union) and West Germany (under the Western powers). Prior to the division, was there any ...
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Did Russia declare war on Prussia 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, ...
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Did Germany have treaties imposed upon it after WWII that mirrored the weight of the Treaty of Versailles?

After WWI, the treaty of Versailles became the rallying cry for more extreme political forces in Germany, as it's terms were blamed for the countries hardships, and as an insult to the country itself. ...
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243 views

What do citizens of countries that partition do about new anthems? [closed]

I am fascinated with creation and adoption of national anthems. I find it especially intriguing with such countries that were once a union and then broke apart. My interest/question deals with two ...
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470 views

When did Australia declare war on Germany in WWII

In 1939, Australia had not ratified the 1931 Westminster Statute, and so lacked independent foreign policy. Menzies recognised this by saying in 1939, that as Britian was at war with Germany, so ...
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1answer
188 views

Where and when did Nietzsche's sister meet Hitler?

It is well-known that Nietzsche’s sister, Elisabeth Foerster-Nietzsche, was a nationalist and anti-semite who took control of her brother’s papers on his death and propagated a distorted version of ...
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Why did Germany attack Neutral Belgium in the first world war?

I have a basic idea about the Schieffen plan and I know that Germany attacked Belgium in the First world war. But I am slightly confused about this topic, as despite the fact that the schieffen plan ...
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296 views

How high the death rate on the Berlin Wall compared to other borders?

I read today on the Wikipedia's main page: There were numerous deaths at the Berlin Wall, which stood as a barrier between West Berlin and East Germany from 13 August 1961 until 9 November ...
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2answers
126 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 ...
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516 views

Were the heavy war reparations on Germany after World War I the main cause of its hyperinflation in 1923?

World War I victors imposed severe war reparations on Germany. When Germany defaulted, France invaded the Ruhr which was the most heavily industrialized area in Germany to force reparations ...
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236 views

Why would Cavour ally with France instead of any enemy of Austria that wasn't looking to grab Nice and Savoy?

In 1858 during Italian unification, the Prime Minister of Sardinia-Piedmont, Cavour, entered into an alliance with France. In return for French aid against Austria, Cavour ceded Savoy and Nice to ...
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201 views

German WWI Retreat

I am wondering if there was any standardized signal for a retreat that the Germans used during WWI. I know that flares and sirens were used for various things, but haven't read anything regarding ...
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407 views

Is there evidence that communists did supply drugs to West Berlin?

I've read an interview with Nick Cave, who lived in West Berlin in the 1980s and was a drug addict. He said that the "stuff" was very cheap and good - by that probably he meant very pure. And he said ...
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230 views

Why was the movement for Austro-German unity less successful than that of Italian unity? [closed]

Primarily, I am looking at the differences between say, the movements for German unity and that of Italian nationalists. The record shows that the people of Austria had accepted without much ...
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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?
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5answers
624 views

Were East Germans more acquiescent to Soviet domination than the rest of Eastern Europe and if so, why?

Most Eastern European states had some form of revolt or another against the Soviet regime, e.g. 1956 Hungary, 1968 Czech Republic and 1980 Polish strikes. However, there was no major uprising in East ...
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1answer
295 views

Did Charlemagne's Christian conquest of Germany cause the Vikings to hit back at Britain?

A documentary on the dark ages says that Vikings invaded the British isles after Charlemagne of France conquered some of Germany and forced the Germans to convert or die in the years 783-804. The ...
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2answers
531 views

Why wasn't the Free City of Lübeck ever restored?

There is a long history of free imperial cities having extra privileges within the Holy Roman Empire. Many cities in contemporary Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy were former free imperial ...
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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?
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199 views

In the late 18th century, would any of the southwestern area of Germany used Franks instead of their own currency?

While looking up family history I found an old German marriage document which specified a dowry of "1000 Franks." With that, the families in question were from the Suggental/Waldkirch area in what is ...
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1answer
326 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 ...
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128 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 ...
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1answer
952 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 ...
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106 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 ...
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What is the status of Weber's protestant ethic thesis?

Max Weber in his famous book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism elaborates a thesis that relates the development of the capitalistic system is a result of the work ethic that emerged ...