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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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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373 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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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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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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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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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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498 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 ...
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372 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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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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392 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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156 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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502 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 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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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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244 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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199 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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1answer
404 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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264 views

Why was Germany unified in Versailles not Berlin?

Why did Wilhelm I (or Bismarck) decide to perform official Germany unification in France? In my opinion, if the ceremonial was to honour the Prussian king and be a tribute or allegiance to him, it ...
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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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4answers
225 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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410 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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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
158 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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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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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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2answers
269 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
93 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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1answer
389 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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1answer
164 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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1answer
342 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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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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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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561 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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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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281 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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413 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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159 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
718 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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1answer
175 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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How did Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof end up on the list of prisoners to be released, by Black September?

After seeing the movie The Baader-Meinhof Komplex, I was confused by one part, which was how Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof ended up on the list of prisoners to be released at the 1972 Olympics. ...
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1answer
213 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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1answer
719 views

Why did the welfare state succeed in Bismarck 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. ...
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2answers
317 views

Was the Soviet Union in 1945 seeking to capture German soldiers and civilians, or drive them west?

The latter part of Prit Buttar's Battleground Prussia deals with the desperate attempts by German soldiers and civilians to escape from the ports and peninsulas of East and West Prussia in early 1945. ...
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1answer
698 views

German influence if the Nazis had won [closed]

By German influence I am referring to the German language. I hear all the time that if Germany won the war we would be speaking German right now. Clearly there is a lot of exaggeration there and the ...
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1answer
135 views

When did Germany begin to store it's gold deposits abroad? [closed]

I just learned from this question that Germany is storing it's gold reserves around the globe. When did this practice start? What was occurring at that time that drove the decision? And an ...
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1answer
852 views

Missing link in the German tank development?

As you know, the Leopard 1 was not the first tank of postwar Germany. Germany work on different new tanks. There are prototypes as medium tank Indienpanzer (later developed into a Swiss KW30 and its ...
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1answer
78 views

Duchy and Electorate of Saxony during the Schmalkaldic War

The Wikipedia page for the Schmalkaldic War list the Duchy of Saxony and the Electorate of Saxony as opposing sides of the war, each with their own monarch (Maurice is the Duke of Saxony, John ...
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What is the status of Weber's protestant ethic thesis? [closed]

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 ...