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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: History of Prussia   History of Prussia EmptySun 16 Feb 2020, 21:54

Sparked by LiR on the "Places" subforum about the Teutonic Knights and the history of Prussia, I want here to start comments on that history.
I studied during the years, especially the period from 1700 "Friedrich I" till 1918 the last Hohenzollern moving to the Netherlands.

Some history in a nutshell, although perhaps from a freelance historian, quite accurate in my humble opinion.



As LiR mentioned the Teutonic Knights.

They tried to convert the Baltic pagans and came so in conflict with among others Novgorod.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teutonic_Order
with the battle on the ice:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_on_the_Ice

I mentioned it already on this forum as I think in the topic of Alexander Nevsky 

Those Russians really know to make a good film as
 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Nevsky_(film)
of course perhaps because of an Eisenstein and music from Prokofiev...



And again a defeat in 1410 against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
https://www.britannica.com/event/Battle-of-Grunwald-1410

As you see from the Britannica it feeds also Polish national jingoism (as the same in other countries. In France they call it "le roman national" I would call it rather the "national myth") And it was the same in Nazi Germany the commemoration of Tannenberg with all the myth and revenge included. (excuses LiR I mentioned the "Masurian Lakes" but that seems to be from 1914 Tannenberg)

And as you see that modern Polish film of 1960 seems in my opinion quite inferior to the Russian one of 1938?



LiR tomorrow more.

Kind regards, Paul.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: History of Prussia   History of Prussia EmptyTue 18 Feb 2020, 12:27

I found this video - which is more about the German diaspora in times past in general than specifically concentrating on Prussia.  It's informative.  Of course, it wasn't just the East Prussians who were expelled from their lifelong homes.  Of course, the changing of borders is a complex matter and some of the areas that were taken by Poland after World War II had been Polish before Poland was partitioned.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: History of Prussia   History of Prussia EmptyTue 18 Feb 2020, 13:07

Because there are a few of these videos I will l ink then by an ordinary link rather than a YouTube link.

Some pictures of old Konigsberg before the Red Army did its worst:- https://youtu.be/x_JJVSnI3pY  To be fair, the RAF bombed Konigsberg although it had already been bombed by the Soviet Air Force in 1941.  It seems to have been an attractive city.

A lady with East Prussian ancestry visits Kaliningrad (video posted in 2018) https://youtu.be/PByNTk_AsqU

A DW (German so possibly slightly biased) video posted in 2012 where Silesians in Poland defend their Silesian heritage.  https://youtu.be/twEAdPjZtIE  One person does say he considers himself Silesians and that in the days of Prussia many Silesians thought of themselves as Silesians before they considered themselves to be Prussian.

Baltic Prussian (not East Prussian German dialect) https://youtu.be/6wimT7odgp4

From DW again (posted in 2016) some Silesians are worried about losing a German speaking kindergarten.  Some of the comments beneath the video dispute the fact that the people are in fact ethnic Germans.  https://youtu.be/rRp-dVzBGtg

From 2010 a DW clip reports that people from north-eastern Germany are crossing the border to Poland to look for work (at least they were 10 years ago).  https://youtu.be/IbNaEdHdk8Q


Last edited by LadyinRetirement on Tue 18 Feb 2020, 20:50; edited 1 time in total
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: History of Prussia   History of Prussia EmptyTue 18 Feb 2020, 19:38

LiR, about the video "Grossdeutschland".

First it can be a term for the choice at Frankfurt in 1848 where under influence of Prussia the Kleindeutsche option was taken.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Question
Second it can be the Hitler Nazi Grossdeutschland of Germany and Austria after the annexion of Austria
https://schoolshistory.org.uk/topics/world-history/interwar-period-c1918-1945/hitlers-aims-lebensraum-grossdeutschland/

That said looking to the video up to the end it came in my opinion obvious that it was perhaps made by an American ex-pat or his family to emphasize the fate of the Germans, who were pushed to the West by the Russians. The tragedy of the Gustloff (9000 dead) and all that (I saw a documentary about it with the Russian submarine captain, who torpedoed the Gustloff)

LiR, we discussed it already in depth I seem to recall. Perhaps was the American author family from the "Bund der Vertriebenen"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federation_of_Expellees

From the wiki:
"The Federation has been accused by the GDR and Poland to have Nazi roots. A recent study confirmed that 13 members of the first council of the Federation had a Nazi past.[11]The Polish daily newspaper Rzeczpospolita reported that during BdV meetings in 2003, publications using hate-language to describe Poles butchering Germans were available for sale, as were recordings of Waffen SS marches on compact discs, including those glorifying the Invasion of Poland. Also, far right groups openly distributed their materials at BdV meetings. While the BdV officially denied responsibility for this, no steps were taken to address the concerns raised.[12]
In February 2009, the Polish newspaper Polska wrote that over one third of the Federation top officials were former Nazi activists, and based this on an article published by the German magazine Der Spiegel in 2006.[13] The German paper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote that Der Spiegel said this not in respect to the Federation of Expellees, but in respect to a predecessor organization that was dissolved in 1957.[13][14]


See also Erika Steinbach.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erika_Steinbach

From one side "centre against expulsions" (as I understand it "Germans only" a bit) and from the other side against the Merkel's refugee politics
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centre_Against_Expulsions

Conclusion. I have the impression that to the end of the video it is no history anymore but politics.

Kind regards, Paul.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: History of Prussia   History of Prussia EmptyTue 18 Feb 2020, 20:08

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
Because there are a few of these videos I will l ink then by an ordinary link rather than a YouTube link.

Some pictures of old Konigsberg before the Red Army did its worst:- https://youtu.be/x_JJVSnI3pY  To be fair, the RAF bombed Konigsberg although it had already been bombed by the Soviet Air Force in 1941.  It seems to have been an attractive city.

A lady with East Prussian ancestry visits Kaliningrad (video posted in 2018) https://youtu.be/PByNTk_AsqU

A DW (German so possibly slightly biased) video posted in 2012 where Silesians in Poland defend their Silesian heritage.  https://youtu.be/twEAdPjZtIE  One person does say he considers himself Silesians and that in the days of Prussia many Silesians thought of themselves as Silesians before they considered themselves to be Prussian.

Baltic Prussian (not East Prussian German dialect https://youtu.be/6wimT7odgp4

From DW again (posted in 2016) some Silesians are worried about losing a German speaking kindergarten.  Some of the comments beneath the video dispute the fact that the people are in fact ethnic Germans.  https://youtu.be/rRp-dVzBGtg

From 2010 a DW clip reports that people from north-eastern Germany are crossing the border to Poland to look for work (at least they were 10 years ago).  https://youtu.be/IbNaEdHdk8Q
 
Lir,

in my humble opinion it "ruikt" (reeks? we say also "riekt" with the same pronunciation as "reeks",but I see now that the English "reeks" is the Dutch "stinkt", which is much stronger the the English "smells"...I start again:

in my humble opinion it smells all to a "Bund der Vertriebenen" trend.
I watched years on the German channel ZDF
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZDF
And there too I had the impression that in their documentaries about German history, especially about Ost Preussen, they followed also the lamenting BdV trend...

Die deutsche welle DW is a cultural worldwide web to propagate the German culture and Deutschtum (Germanness), but also about nowadays problems and in my humble opinion many times political too...
https://www.dw.com/en/top-stories/s-9097
I am not sure if the "Goethe institut" is in the same trend?

But perhaps they are not that bad as the Chinese Confucius institute spread allover the world as the former
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confucius_Institute

Kind regards, Paul.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: History of Prussia   History of Prussia EmptyTue 18 Feb 2020, 21:09

Paul, I did say that one of the DW videos might be biased.  In English when something is thought to be suspicious it can be described as "it smells a bit fishy" or even just "it seems fishy" or "it's fishy"  https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/smell+fishy  I suppose the origin of the expression comes from the smell of stale fish.

Yes, I did mention something about this subject on another thread a year or so ago.  I know it isn't a simple subject because, for instance, some of the lands which were taken from Germany after World War II had been taken over from other peoples, say, the Baltic people who originally inhabited Baltic Prussia (I linked a video of someone speaking in Baltic Prussian which is supposed to be closer to Lithuanian and Latvian than German) or territories taken in the various partitions of Poland.  Of course for a long time there wasn't a "Germany" in the sense of a nation but a number of German speaking states of which Prussia was but one.  I had to google Galicia to remind myself where the (German speaking) Galicia was - I tend to think of the Spanish one.  Of course it was one of many German speaking micro-states back in the day.


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PostSubject: Re: History of Prussia   History of Prussia EmptyThu 23 Apr 2020, 12:28

The topic of this thread is one I am intermittently thinking about during lock-down.  Now I apologise if this has been mentioned elsewhere but I noticed that this 'unofficial' anthem of East Prussia has some parts that are very similar to God Save the Queen.  I hate to be unpatriotic but in the UK we must have one of the most boring national anthems in existence.  https://youtu.be/E6UQXKRhu4w  There seem to be two or three East Prussian anthems.  I like the 'Land of Dark Forests one best.

I see that a few years ago FrederickLouis posted about one of Frederick William's compositions.  FrederickLouis doesn't seem to have posted in quite a while.  Hope he's okay.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: History of Prussia   History of Prussia EmptyThu 23 Apr 2020, 13:17

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
... I noticed that this 'unofficial' anthem of East Prussia has some parts that are very similar to God Save the Queen. 

That tune, although obviously not the words, has been widely adopted throughout Europe. As the anthem 'Heil dir im Siegerkranz' written by Heinrich Harries in honour of King Christian VII of Denmark, it became the imperial anthem of the German Empire, with the reference to König "king" after 1871 being replaced by Kaiser "emperor".



Influenced by this imperial anthem, several other states of the German Empire also used the tune, including Bavaria (as 'Heil unserm König, Heil! - Hail to our King, Hail!') and Saxony ('Gott segne Sachsenland - God bless Saxony'). As 'Oben am jungen Rhein', it is still the national anthem of Liechstenstein,



The same melody is used for Norway's royal anthem 'Kongesangen',



... And of course as 'My Country 'tis of thee' the tune is still an anthem for the USA,



The melody itself seems to have originally been a mid-16th century French tune for the dance known as the gaillard - or even its slightly risqué variant, la Volta. The tune in England, with rather different words, became widely known as a popular drinking song, before the words were further modified to make it a patriotic song, before finally being adopted as the national anthem.


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PostSubject: Re: History of Prussia   History of Prussia EmptyThu 23 Apr 2020, 14:17

The Norwegian one is a bit of a cheat. Like the bunad and much else "traditional" that had to be hurriedly invented in the early 20th century once independence became a reality, the monarchy and all the paraphernalia around it was basically thrown up from scratch as something of a rushed job.

To give it an air of solidity and tradition that it obviously hadn't earned the Stortinget-appointed committee designing this new institution of state shamelessly "borrowed" elements from around Europe to hurriedly slap together and create the desired illusion. The above song was "composed" with equal haste as they needed something that sounded old, honourable, and peculiarly royal to play for the Danish lad Carl when he ceremoniously set foot on the quayside in Oslo in 1906 and miraculously (and not a little arbitrarily) became King Håkon. But the choice of Carl and the choice of this particular tune were by no means unrelated either.

He had been selected because he was married to Maud of Wales, Edward VII's daughter, and the Norwegians were openly soliciting support from Britain for their fledgling impoverished country. One aspect to the same aspiration was that much of the rigmarole surrounding the British monarchy was also commandeered at the same time to reinforce this hoped for "respect by association" for their own freshly elevated inbred, including this ditty.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: History of Prussia   History of Prussia EmptyThu 23 Apr 2020, 17:43

Was it Sweden or Denmark that Norway gained independence from?  I could use google but feeling a bit lazy.  I don't know the geography (or history) of Norway.  I remember when I was at the Natural History Museum and typing something from the Alfred Merle Norman collection I wondered where East Finnmark was and it turned out to be a Norwegian county.  I just had a look on Wikipedia which informed me Finnmark joined with the county of Troms to form Troms og Finnmark.  Next time I visit this thread I will mention something about Prussia rather than Scandinavia.
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PostSubject: Re: History of Prussia   History of Prussia EmptyThu 23 Apr 2020, 19:50

'God Save the King' has certainly been around a bit ... Jean-Baptsite Lully even arranged a version of it as a royal anthem for Louis XIV of France - written specicifcally in praise of the king when he was recovering from surgery on an anal fistula (ouch!) in 1686, about fifty years before it became popular as a patriotic tune in England.



At that time the French national anthem was effectively 'Vive le Roi' (Henri IV). The tune to that is completely unrelated to 'God save the King' - other than it too started out as a popular dance tune (a branle) - but it does give me another excuse to post a musical youtube ... because I like the tune and especially this arrangement accompanied by a consort of crumhorns, or maybe they're racketts aka sausage-bassoons, or even possibly another similar type of renaissance wind-cap instrument. But whatever they are, I like them, and I like the song (I just hope the neighbours do too as I've been singing it au jardin et somewhat fortissimo of late).




But I'm sorry Paul, I have been leading the thread way off your OP with my wittering about national anthems. 

So to partially make amends here's 'Preußens Gloria' to help get us back on topic:



Composed by Johann Gottfried Piefke the 'Preußens Gloria' march was written in 1871 after Prussia's victory in the Franco-Prussian War, which led to the unification of the German states into the new Prussian-led German Empire. It was first performed as part of the victory parade of the returning troops in Frankfurt-an-der-Oder, where Piefke's garrison was based. It is now one of the best known German army marches, often played by the Bundeswehr at official ceremonies and state visits.

Germans do write some cracking good marches, don't they?


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PostSubject: Re: History of Prussia   History of Prussia EmptyThu 23 Apr 2020, 22:19

@LadyinRetirement wrote:
The topic of this thread is one I am intermittently thinking about during lock-down.  
 
LiR, I too was thinking and doing research, but perhaps for another reason than you. Coincidentally on the French Passion Histoire an old "comrade?" (kameraad) from a former French forum has started a thread about my old hobby horse: Was there a German "Sonderweg"? And preparing for this question is not an easy matter.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonderweg
And again a PDF that don't work...type in Google: Jürgen Kocka German History before Hitler/ The debate about the German Sonderweg.

But back LiR to Prussia:
Was Prussia's army really the best?



It is correct with what I described on other fora, but it is no proof in my opinion of a German special way in History.

But in the new German Empire of Bismarck, the Prussian Kingdom had a preponderant role, with its industrialisation of the Rheinland Ruhrgebiet and having in 1905 circa 37 million of population more than 60% of the population of the "German empire". It was only Bavaria that had a counterweight and had also another cultural base than Prussia.

History of Prussia Prussiamap

And perhaps a good survey of Prussia within the German empire is overhere:
https://www.thegreatcoursesdaily.com/the-great-powers-german/
And the author:
https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/vejas-gabriel-liulevicius?utm_source=US_TGCDaily&utm_medium=TGCDaily&utm_campaign=145245

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: History of Prussia   History of Prussia EmptyFri 24 Apr 2020, 11:01

This map shows the expansion of Brandenburg-Prussia during the rule of Fredrick William I, Prince- Elector of Brandenburg from 1640 to 1688. FW was nicknamed der Grosser Kurfurst, the Great Elector.
Red as it existed in 1640. Green added by 1688.

History of Prussia Map_of_Brandenburg-Preussen
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PostSubject: Re: History of Prussia   History of Prussia EmptyTue 28 Apr 2020, 11:27

The changing of borders is interesting and confusing - it seems there was part of geographical East Prussia [Klaipeda] that was in Lithuania in 1927 (the time of this archive footage)
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PostSubject: Re: History of Prussia   History of Prussia EmptyTue 28 Apr 2020, 17:11

Dear lady in retirement, thanks for this beautiful song. And yes changing borders is in my opinion a difficult subject and yes confusing.
We had it here in Belgium too with our Germanophone Kantons of Eupen and Malmedy, back to Germany and in WWI and again during WWII with the Nazi backed campaign "Heim ins Reich" in Belgium.
As in the even more tragic history of Alsace-Lorraine...
In Luxemburg too but that hasn't that well succeeded.

But back to that area of the Prussian Lithuanians now in Lithuania or is it in the Russian Kalingrad area?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_Lithuanians

And the language seems to be Prussian Lithuanian...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbhlhjzKGcQ
From the link:
"That is Prussian German?."
"Prussian Lithuanian - the language of local population of Preußisch-Litauen/ Kleinlitauen - current Russian Kaliningrad Oblast."

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: History of Prussia   History of Prussia EmptyMon 11 May 2020, 14:28

I haven't found any sensible online book or text about the rise and fall of Prussia yet to study about the various Fredericks and Frederick-Williams.  Of course not all of Prussia fell at the end of World War II because West Prussia I believe lies within the boundaries of today's Germany.  Here are some attractive pictures of what used to be Lyck, East Prussia and is now Elk in Poland.  I know that Wikipedia can't be relied on 100% but at present I can't go to the library to try and find a book for reference so online is all I have.  Wikipedia mentions there being a Polish national movement before World War II.  Of course the town hasn't been fossilised since the 1940s and it seems there was some anti-Muslim unrest in the town as recently as 2017. 
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PostSubject: Re: History of Prussia   History of Prussia EmptyMon 11 May 2020, 16:27

LiR, thanks for this new footage of Ost-Preussen.

I was recently busy on a French forum about Wilhelminian Germany and Prussia within it. Further trying to prove with maps that there was a dividing in Prussia during the Weimar Republik first after 1918 between the new acquired area of Prussia in 1815 of Nordrhein-Westfalen/Rheinland-Pfalz, the Bavarian area and the original Prussia and secondly after the crisis of Wall street nearly the same dividing as before with the emergence in the parliament of the Nazi party.

https://www.wahlen-in-deutschland.de/awrtw.htm

History of Prussia ReichstagswahlenNSDAP


History of Prussia ReichstagswahlenZBVP


History of Prussia ReichstagswahlenStaerkste

History of Prussia Ac.prussiamap3

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: History of Prussia   History of Prussia EmptySat 23 May 2020, 14:42

I know I didn't acknowledge them before but thanks for the maps of former East Prussia.  I found something online about a German holiday programme DWR Reisen about holiday activities available in part of former East Prussia.  The region concerned is Masuria 'land der 1000 seen'.  I had thought when I watched it before that there were some people of German descent living there now who the hostess interviewed but the video is 43 minutes long and I couldn't find it (I didn't - this time - watch it all the way through but paused and then put the video on fast forward).  It isn't a political video.  There are activities like horse riding and bird watching and going along canals to name but three.  They showed a peasant wedding but said the spectacle of the peasant wedding is really aimed at tourists. The hostess, Tamina, seemed congenial and managed to keep a smile on her face
  It's more enjoyable at least than some of the DW videos I linked which did have a political bias.
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PostSubject: Re: History of Prussia   History of Prussia EmptySat 23 May 2020, 20:05

LiR, I saw some documentaries about the Masurian Lakes in the time that I watched the German ZDF TV channel. And it is a magnificent nature area. In the time they visited also remnants of German famiies in the now Polish territory. If you now search in English: "The Masurian Lakes" you come invariably on Polish sites of "Polish" tourism and they speak only about Poland.

Kind regards, Paul.
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