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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12
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9answers
1k 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 ...
35
votes
3answers
19k 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 ...
-2
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1answer
153 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
167 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
397 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
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
201 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 ...
117
votes
28answers
60k views

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

This has always bothered me. Everyone knows that having to fight on two opposite fronts at once is bad... and it's also a well known fact that every European country which tried to invade Russia has ...
9
votes
1answer
213 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
16k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
276 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 ...
15
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2answers
6k 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
139 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
452 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 ...
24
votes
6answers
7k 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
953 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 ...
4
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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
votes
0answers
44 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
votes
2answers
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
881 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
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 ...
9
votes
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
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 ...
9
votes
4answers
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 ...
4
votes
0answers
97 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
160 views

What did Thomas Mann yield in negotiations with Nazis in 1933?

The following is from the article on Golo Mann (1909 – 1994) in the German Wikipedia (translation courtesy of Google Translate). Golo Mann was the son of German novelist and 1929 Nobel Prize in ...
8
votes
4answers
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 ...
19
votes
4answers
10k views

What did Germany do after World War II to recover so successfully that it became more prosperous than its WW2 victors?

Germany lost in World War II. Being the loser, its economy started at a disadvantage compared to her World War II victors in the aftermath of WW2. However, Germany managed to recover more ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Was there a constitutional mechanism to overturn the election of Adolf Hitler?

In March 1933 Hitler received 44 % of the votes during the elections and became relatively fast a dictator. Were there any constitutional or other legal mechanisms in place through which this ...
4
votes
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 ...
15
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3answers
3k views

Why did the United States enter World War I?

The topic of World War I came up last night with a few strangers, at a bar, of course. One seemingly knowledgeable gentleman, who happened to have Howard Zinn's A Peoples' History of the United States ...
6
votes
6answers
5k views

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
200 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

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, ...
7
votes
2answers
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?
4
votes
1answer
296 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Did Goebbels realize that his wife used to know Arlozorov?

One of the versions for Arlozorov's 1933 murder (not solved to this day!) is that it had something to do with his early friendship with Magda Goebbels. This is what wikipedia says, soberly hedging its ...
10
votes
2answers
350 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
99 views

What exactly were the ties between Germany and the Holy Roman empire? [closed]

I'm wondering what kind of texts could be found that could explain their legislature and laws in that specific era as Otto II is placed under rule of both nations during his life. Holy Roman Emperor ...
2
votes
1answer
155 views

Why were terminal train stations built in Germany?

I talked to a friend who mentioned reading a theory about the placement of terminal vs passthrough train stations in Germany. In this theory, the Prussians were responsible for this decision during ...
0
votes
1answer
115 views

Was smoking allowed aboard hydrogen-filled zeppelins?

The question is self explanatory: Were passengers aboard rigid airships filled with hydrogen, like the Hindenburg, allowed to smoke?
-1
votes
1answer
78 views

What was the reason behind the Reinheitsgebot (beer purity law)? [closed]

Was it some health concern, a matter of tradition being enforced via law? It doesn't make a lot of sense in today's world, but I imagine in context there had to be a reason.
9
votes
2answers
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
272 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
11k views

How did Germany rebuild so quickly after World War I?

After World War I, Germany suffered severe economic damage. Germany was asked to make horrendous war reparations, suffered hyperinflation, social chaos .... In addition, world economic conditions were ...
9
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2answers
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 ...
11
votes
5answers
624 views

What are the safeguards in the German constitution of 1949 against dictatorship?

In the constitution of 1949 Germany ensured that chancellors could not endow themselves with additional powers, eliminating the chance of a repeat of Hitler's 1933 episode. What were these steps?