History of Germany
The concept of Germany as a distinct region in central Europe can be traced to Roman commander Julius Caesar, who referred to the unconquered area east of the Rhine as Germania, thus distinguishing it from Gaul, which he had conquered. The victory of the Germanic tribes in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest prevented annexation by the Roman Empire, although the Roman provinces of Germania Superior and Germania Inferior were established along the Rhine. Following the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Franks conquered the other West Germanic tribes; when the Frankish Empire was divided among Charles the Great's heirs in 843, the eastern part became East Francia. In 962, Otto I became the first Holy Roman Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, the medieval German state. In the Late Middle Ages, the regional dukes and bishops gained power at the expense of the emperors. Martin Luther led the Protestant Reformation against the Catholic Church after 1517, as the northern states became Protestant, while the southern states remained Catholic.
The two parts of the Holy Roman Empire clashed in the Thirty Years' War, ruinous to the twenty million civilians living in both parts. The Thirty Years' War brought tremendous destruction to Germany. 1648 marked the effective end of the Holy Roman Empire and the beginning of the modern nation-state system, with Germany divided into numerous independent states, such as Prussia, Saxony and other states, which controlled land outside of the area considered as "Germany". After the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars from 1803–1815, feudalism fell away and liberalism and nationalism clashed with reaction; the German revolutions of 1848–49 failed. The Industrial Revolution modernized the German economy, led to the rapid growth of cities and to the emergence of the socialist movement in Germany. Prussia, with its capital Berlin, grew in power. German universities became world-class centers for science and humanities, while music and art flourished; the unification of Germany was achieved under the leadership of the Chancellor Otto von Bismarck with the formation of the German Empire in 1871 which solved the Kleindeutsche Lösung, the small Germany solution, or Großdeutsche Lösung, the greater Germany solution, the former prevailing.
The new Reichstag, an elected parliament, had only a limited role in the imperial government. Germany joined the other powers in colonial expansion in the Pacific. By 1900, Germany was the dominant power on the European continent and its expanding industry had surpassed Britain's, while provoking it in a naval arms race. Germany led the Central Powers in World War I against France, Great Britain and the United States. Defeated and occupied, Germany was forced to pay war reparations by the Treaty of Versailles and was stripped of its colonies as well as of home territory to be ceded to Czechoslovakia, Belgium and Poland; the German Revolution of 1918–19 put an end to the federal constitutional monarchy, which resulted in the establishment of the Weimar Republic, an unstable parliamentary democracy. In the early 1930s, the worldwide Great Depression hit Germany hard, as unemployment soared and people lost confidence in the government. In January 1933, Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany.
The Nazi Party began to eliminate all political opposition and consolidate its power. Hitler established a totalitarian regime. Beginning in the late 1930s, Nazi Germany made aggressive territorial demands, threatening war if they were not met. First came the remilitarization of the Rhineland in 1936, the annexing of Austria in the Anschluss and parts of Czechoslovakia with the Munich Agreement in 1938. On 1 September 1939, Germany initiated World War II in Europe with the invasion of Poland. After forming a pact with the Soviet Union in 1939, Hitler and Stalin divided Eastern Europe. After a "Phoney War" in spring 1940, the Germans swept Denmark and Norway, the Low Countries and France, giving Germany control of nearly all of Western Europe. Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941. Racism antisemitism, was a central feature of the Nazi regime. In Germany, but predominantly in the German-occupied areas, the systematic genocide program known as The Holocaust killed 11 million including Jews, German dissidents, disabled people, Romanies and others.
In 1942, the German invasion of the Soviet Union faltered, after the United States had entered the war, Britain became the base for massive Anglo-American bombings of German cities. Germany fought the war on multiple fronts through 1942–1944, however following the Allied invasion of Normandy, the German Army was pushed back on all fronts until the final collapse in May 1945. Under occupation by the Allies, German territories were split up, Austria was again made a separate country, denazification took place, the Cold War resulted in the division of the country into democratic West Germany and communist East Germany. Millions of ethnic Germans were deported or fled from Communist areas into West Germany, which experienced rapid economic expansion, became the dominant economy in Western Europe. West Germany was rearmed in the 1950s under the auspices of NATO, but without access to nuclear weapons; the Franco-German friendship became the basis for the political integration of Western Europe in the European Union.
In 1989, the Berlin Wall was destroye
Sayn-Wittgenstein was a county of medieval Germany, located in the Sauerland of eastern North Rhine-Westphalia. Sayn-Wittgenstein was created when Count Salentin of Sayn-Homburg, a member of the House of Sponheim, married the heiress Countess Adelaide of Wittgenstein in 1345; the united counties became known as Sayn-Wittgenstein, although it only became known as such during the reign of Salentin's successor Count John. The territory of Sayn-Wittgenstein was divided between northern and southern divisions, although the border between the two shifted. Sayn-Wittgenstein was partitioned in 1607 into: Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, Sayn-Wittgenstein-Wittgenstein; the area of both former counties is known today as "Wittgenstein", is part of the district Siegen-Wittgenstein in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Four dynastic branches of the House of Sayn were extant at the beginning of the 20th century, each possessing its own secundogeniture. In order of seniority of legitimate descent from their progenitor, Ludwig I, Count of Sayn-Wittgenstein, they were the: Princes zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, descended from Count Georg Princes zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, descended from Count Christian Ludwig Counts zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, descended from Count Georg Ernst Princes zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein, descended from Count Ludwig Some of these lines had junior branches, both dynastic and non-dynastic, the latter including families whose right to the princely title was recognized by the Russian, Bavarian or Austrian monarchies, whereas other morganatic branches used lesser titles accorded by German sovereigns.
The last male of the comital line was Count zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. On the death of Ludwig, 3rd Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein in 1912, the eldest of his three sons, Hereditary Prince August, became 4th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein and head of the third branch of the House of Sayn. Being a childless bachelor, the elder of whose two younger brothers, had married morganatically, while the younger, was 49 and yet unmarried, August preserved the name and heritage of his branch of the House of Sayn by adopting Christian Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, he was the second son of the late head of the entire House of Sayn, Richard, 4th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, whose eldest son, Gustav Albrecht had inherited the senior line's fortune and position. In November 1960, Christian Heinrich, being the divorced father of two daughters by his dynastic marriage to Beatrix Grafin von Bismarck-Schönhausen, married Dagmar Prinzessin zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein, elder daughter of his adopted father's younger brother, who died seven months before the wedding.
As Georg's children by his morganatic wife, Marie Rühm, had been de-morganatized by declaration of their uncle August on 11 February 1947, her marriage to Christian Heinrich was deemed a dynastic match, ensuring that their son Bernhart would be born in compliance with the house laws of his adoptive ancestors, the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohensteins, as well as being a grandson of the last dynastic male of that family, Prince Georg. Salentin, Count of Sayn-Homburg John George Eberhard William I Louis I Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hachenburg Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein Sayn-Wittgenstein-Karlsburg Sayn-Wittgenstein-Ludwigsburg Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn-Altenkirchen Sayn-Wittgenstein-Vallendar Sayn Sponheim-Sayn Sayn-Homburg Sayn-Wittgenstein v Landeshauptmann von Wien, a landmark case in front of the European Court of Justice concerning the attribution of nobility names in the case of adoption
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late
Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein was a county between Hesse-Darmstadt and Westphalia. The county with imperial immediacy was formed by the 1657 partition of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Wittgenstein and raised from a county to a principality of the Holy Roman Empire in 1801, it belonged from 1806 to 1815 after 1816 to Prussia. The capital was Laasphe; the family line belongs to the house of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg. The current head of this branch of the House of Sayn is Bernhart, 6th Prince zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein, he is the son of Christian Heinrich, 5th Prince zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein and of Princess Dagmar zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein Four dynastic branches of the House of Sayn were extant at the beginning of the 20th century, each possessing its own secundogeniture. In order of seniority of legitimate descent from their progenitor, Ludwig I, Count of Sayn-Wittgenstein, they were the: Princes zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, descended from Count Georg Princes zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, descended from Count Christian Ludwig Counts zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, descended from Count Georg Ernst Princes zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein, descended from Count Ludwig Some of these lines had junior branches, both dynastic and non-dynastic, the latter including families whose right to the princely title was recognized by the Russian and Bavarian monarchies, whereas other morganatic branches used lesser titles in Germany.
On the death of Ludwig, 3rd Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein in 1912, the eldest of his three sons, Hereditary Prince August, became 4th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein and head of the third branch of the House of Sayn. Being a childless bachelor, the elder of whose two younger brothers, had married morganatically, while the younger, was 49 and yet unmarried, August preserved the name and heritage of his branch of the House of Sayn by adopting Christian Heinrich Prinz zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, he was the second son of the late head of the entire House of Sayn, Richard, 4th Prince of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, whose eldest son, Gustav Albrecht had inherited the senior line's fortune and position. In November 1960, Christian Heinrich, being the divorced father of three daughters by his dynastic marriage to Beatrix Grafin von Bismarck-Schönhausen, married Dagmar Prinzessin zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein, elder daughter of his adopted father's younger brother, who died seven months before the wedding.
As Georg's children by his morganatic wife, Marie Rühm, had been de-morganatized by declaration of their uncle August on 11 February 1947, her marriage to Christian Heinrich was deemed a dynastic match, ensuring that their son Bernhart would be born in compliance with the house laws of his adoptive ancestors, the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohensteins, as well as being a grandson of the last dynastic male of that family, Prince Georg. Gustav Heinrich Albert Augustus Friedrich I Johann Ludwig Friedrich II Friedrich II
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, numerous other territories. On 25 December 800, Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish king Charlemagne as Emperor, reviving the title in Western Europe, more than three centuries after the fall of the earlier ancient Western Roman Empire in 476; the title continued in the Carolingian family until 888 and from 896 to 899, after which it was contested by the rulers of Italy in a series of civil wars until the death of the last Italian claimant, Berengar I, in 924. The title was revived again in 962 when Otto I was crowned emperor, fashioning himself as the successor of Charlemagne and beginning a continuous existence of the empire for over eight centuries.
Some historians refer to the coronation of Charlemagne as the origin of the empire, while others prefer the coronation of Otto I as its beginning. Scholars concur, however, in relating an evolution of the institutions and principles constituting the empire, describing a gradual assumption of the imperial title and role; the exact term "Holy Roman Empire" was not used until the 13th century, but the concept of translatio imperii, the notion that he—the sovereign ruler—held supreme power inherited from the ancient emperors of Rome, was fundamental to the prestige of the emperor. The office of Holy Roman Emperor was traditionally elective, although controlled by dynasties; the German prince-electors, the highest-ranking noblemen of the empire elected one of their peers as "King of the Romans", he would be crowned emperor by the Pope. The empire never achieved the extent of political unification as was formed to the west in France, evolving instead into a decentralized, limited elective monarchy composed of hundreds of sub-units: kingdoms, duchies, prince-bishoprics, Free Imperial Cities, other domains.
The power of the emperor was limited, while the various princes, lords and cities of the empire were vassals who owed the emperor their allegiance, they possessed an extent of privileges that gave them de facto independence within their territories. Emperor Francis II dissolved the empire on 6 August 1806 following the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine by emperor Napoleon I the month before. In various languages the Holy Roman Empire was known as: Latin: Sacrum Imperium Romanum, German: Heiliges Römisches Reich, Italian: Sacro Romano Impero, Czech: Svatá říše římská, Polish: Święte imperium rzymskie, Slovene: Sveto rimsko cesarstvo, Dutch: Heilige Roomse Rijk, French: Saint-Empire romain. Before 1157, the realm was referred to as the Roman Empire; the term sacrum in connection with the medieval Roman Empire was used beginning in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa: the term was added to reflect Frederick's ambition to dominate Italy and the Papacy. The form "Holy Roman Empire" is attested from 1254 onward.
In a decree following the 1512 Diet of Cologne, the name was changed to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, a form first used in a document in 1474. The new title was adopted because the Empire had lost most of its Italian and Burgundian territories to the south and west by the late 15th century, but to emphasize the new importance of the German Imperial Estates in ruling the Empire due to the Imperial Reform. By the end of the 18th century, the term "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" had fallen out of official use. Besides, contradicting the traditional view concerning that designation, Hermann Weisert has stated in a study on imperial titulature that, despite the claim of many textbooks, the name "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" never had an official status and points out that documents were thirty times as to omit the national suffix as include it. This, or the shortened "Roman Empire of the German Nation", is used in Germany to refer to the Holy Roman Empire. In a famous assessment of the name, the political philosopher Voltaire remarked sardonically: "This body, called and which still calls itself the Holy Roman Empire was in no way holy, nor Roman, nor an empire."
As Roman power in Gaul declined during the 5th century, local Germanic tribes assumed control. In the late 5th and early 6th centuries, the Merovingians, under Clovis I and his successors, consolidated Frankish tribes and extended hegemony over others to gain control of northern Gaul and the middle Rhine river valley region. By the middle of the 8th century, the Merovingians had been reduced to figureheads, the Carolingians, led by Charles Martel, had become the de facto rulers. In 751, Martel's son Pepin became King of the Franks, gained the sanction of the Pope; the Carolingians would maintain a close alliance with the Papacy. In 768, Pepin's son Charlemagne became King of the Franks and began an extensive expansion of the realm, he incorporated the territories of present-day France, northern Italy, beyond, linking the Frankish kingdom with Papal lands. In 797, the Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine VI was removed from the throne by his mother Irene who declared herself Empress; as the Church regarded a male Roman Emperor as the head of Christendom, Pope
Bad Laasphe is a town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, in the Siegen-Wittgenstein district. The town of Bad Laasphe lies in the upper Lahn Valley, near the stately home of Wittgenstein Castle in the former Wittgenstein district; the municipal area is located south of the main crest of the Rothaargebirge, borders in the north on the towns of Bad Berleburg and Erndtebrück, in the east on the town of Biedenkopf in Hessen, in the southeast on Breidenbach, in the south on Dietzhölztal and in the west on the town of Netphen. Bad Laasphe lies 25 km northwest of Marburg; the highest elevation in the municipal area rises to 694 m. It lies southwest of the main town at the outlying centre of Heiligenborn; each one of the following centres is part of the town of Bad Laasphe: In 1888, the town of Laasphe lay in the Prussian administrative region of Arnsberg in Wittgenstein district and was connected to the Kreuzthal-Marburg line of the Prussian State Railway. In 1888 Laasphe had a local court and knitwear and hosiery factories.
In 1885, Laasphe had 2225 Evangelical inhabitants. Schloss Wittgenstein owned two ironworks. Since 1960, Laasphe has been a Kneipp spa. On 1 January 1984 the town became a Kneipp curative spa for its mild climate, since has been called Bad Laasphe; the results of the local council elections in May 2014 were: Bad Laasphe's civic coat of arms might heraldically be described thus: In sable a town wall with open gate tower argent flanked by two crenellated towers argent, between which an inescutcheon in argent two pallets sable. A stamping of the town's seal from the 14th century has been preserved, which shows the same composition as the arms shown here; the inescutcheon bears the same arms as the town's former overlords, the Counts of Wittgenstein. When the arms were revised in 1908, the town came up with another composition which looked the same, but the inescutcheon, owing to a misunderstanding, was rather different, being quartered with two opposite quarters showing in gules a castle argent, in the two other quarters the Wittgenstein pallets.
The castle charge was a modern addition and related to the Wittgensteins' overlordship in Homburg. The town archive suggested then that the inescutcheon bear the old Wittgenstein arms as seen in the town's oldest known seal, but no decision was made about it at that time. Only in 1936 did the town decide to revert to the composition shown in the old seal; this was confirmed as the town's arms on 10 March 1937. Tamworth, England, United Kingdom, since 10 October 1980 Châteauneuf-sur-Loire, since 28 September 1991 Ludwig Crocius, professor at Bremen School Illustre Friedrich Kiel, composer Wilhelm Pauck, Protestant church historian Rudolf Jung and translator Fritz Heinrich, German politician, Member of the Bundestag Otto Piene and artist Fritz Roth, born 1955, actor and musician Official site Bad Laasphe in the Kulturatlas Westfalen Old and new town arms at International Civic Heraldry