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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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?
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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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Has this newspaper printed the wrong picture (as well as a baffling caption)?

Yesterday's Daily Express decorated its WW1 piece with a picture and caption. Link to the story here. It was picked up on Twitter by @philipoltermann: Missed this at the time: Express invents ...
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647 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 ...
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1answer
263 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 ...
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242 views

What is a “Schwedenschanze” on an 1830's map of Eastern Bavaria?

The modern translation by BING is Swedish ski jump or Swedish hill, depending on whether or not I insert a space, but this seems very unlikely in that time period. The structure is clearly man-made, ...
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361 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 ...
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437 views

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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827 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 wiki)....
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945 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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1answer
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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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199 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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365 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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231 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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428 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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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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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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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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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, ...
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619 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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502 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 War"&...
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606 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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347 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 ...
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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 general ...
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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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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 ...
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690 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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246 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 ...
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248 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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542 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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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 ...
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180 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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6answers
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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 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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256 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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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
298 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 ...
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218 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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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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680 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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431 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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417 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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314 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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138 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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605 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 themselves....
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301 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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458 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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242 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 ...