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"Relatively young"[edit]

I feel this statement is very wrong. It depends somewhat on what "counrty" means. But regardless of whether you mean "nation" or "state" with it, the notion is not quite correct. The German nation goes back centuries. Personally, I would in fact say both Germany and France go back to the Treaty of Verdun in 843, as the East and West Frankish Realm, respectively. Which is, uh, old. But even if you mean the state - the 1990 reunification was no true reunification in the sense of two halves forming a new whole. Rather, the GDR joined the FRG. Hence, the FRG exists since 1949, not 1990. So, if you call that young, France (that is, the French Fifth Republic, which would be the equivalent to the Federal Republic) is actually younger ;) Octo8 (talk) 16:56, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

I would guess that the article would be reffering to German unificationWikipedia. Yes, unofficial alliances and mergers happened far earlier, but "Germany" in the concept as a single contiguous country is a fairly new concept when one considers that unification was in 1871. In that sense, Italy is another fairly "young" country, as is, for example, Canada. - Grant (Talk) 17:17, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
The concept of "Germany" existed well before 1871. Luther talks about it, for example, as do many of his contemporaries (in fact there was quite some nationalism among some followers who wished for a national church, something Luther was always opposed to). And even on the political level, there always had been a German political entity until 1806. The East Frankish Realm did call itself itself German Kingdom since the 10th century, and later on the identities of the Holy Roman Empire and the German Kingdom more or less merged - so that in the 15th century it was also called "Holy Roman Empire of German Nation" (Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation). I know it's a fairly common myth that there was no real "Germany" before 1871, and there is a lot of ideology involved, but this claim simply does not hold up to historical scrutiny. If we say there was no Germany before 1871 because the HRE was so disunited, then we would also have to say there was no France before the rise of absolutism, because the Kingdom of France was just as disunited before that. Octo8 (talk) 17:25, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't think there's any myth involved. Canada also existed before 1867, but is "defined" as a country starting with Confederation in 1867. The WP article on the unification of Germany does specify that the nation of Germany de facto existed before that point, but de jure, 1871 is when this was formalized and the German Empire became a real thing. By this standard, Germany is indeed young, and I don't think that the article's referencing of this standard is confusing or misleading in any way. - Grant (Talk) 17:36, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
In what way did Canada exist before 1867? The territory that later would be called Canada existed, yes, but the concept? The nation? Well, maybe, as British North America as opposed to the rebellious colonies to the south... But the thing is, the concept and nation of Germany had existed for centuries before 1871, and moreover, Germany as a political entity had also existed for centuries before 1871... just not between 1806 and 1871, which is why there had to be a(n incomplete) (re)unification in 1871. On matters of nationality and history, Wikipedia is... not always neutral, let's say. I think in this at least you have it easier in your fields there, as a physicist ;) There had been a German kingdom, and the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation. If this doesn't count, then the Kingdom of France or the Kingdom of England or the Kingdom of Denmark (etc etc) of the time would also have to be discounted. Octo8 (talk) 17:43, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the concept, and to some extent the nation as well. The two provinces of Canada (Upper and Lower Canada) had their own Parliaments prior to 1841, and the united Province of Canada (containing both) had one unified Parliament from 1841 until 1867. The government was headed by an appointed Governor General, but Canada largely had control of its internal affairs. As well, the "idea", "identity", and "concept" that made up Canada existed well before. Some would argue that Canada's identity was solidified after the American Revolution, when there came to be a separation between British North America and the United States. I don't think the neutrality of WP really comes into it here. I think the Canadian identity stretches back farther than Confederation (look up the War of 1812 if you want a concrete example of Canadian nationalism at play before Canada even became a country), but I doubt you would find many Canadians offended at the idea that we're a "young" country. - Grant (Talk) 17:56, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
I also think you're making a mountain out of a molehill. If you're offended that I think Germany is relatively young (which I do), and that this seems to be a common idea, I'm not sure what to say. I don't think nationalism serves any good purpose for the most part, myself. Canada is young too, despite the fact that it has been settled for quite a few centuries (far longer if you count the First Nations populations), and yet I'm not offended to hear Canada called young. - Grant (Talk) 18:00, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
(EC) Well, I could say the same about you and the defence of the description! ;) After all, while this wiki accepts snark, it does seem to try to avoid factually wrong statements, and Germany being "relatively" young simply is by all accounts (state or nation) wrong. Okay, I grant you that 1812 is an example of pro-Confederation Canadian identity. But my point is equivalent German national identity goes back centuries, and so does Germany as a political entity, in the form of the Kingdom of Germany and the HREGN. You haven't answered those points. Why exactly should those entities be dismissed, while few people have problems with a continuity between the medieval Kingdom of France and modern France? Now for the sake of clarity, I do admit, I am annoyed by this historical myth, because it is often associated with delegitimizing Germany in a way - seeing the reunification of 1871 as a synthetic process instead of the end point of decades of nationalist agitation (which themselves had their source in the German national identity before the end of the HREGN), and seeing Germany as a whole, at least in the 19th century, as synthetical and, well, kinda illegitimate. Germany is one of the really, really old, classical European nations besides France, Poland, England, Denmark etc. But beyond my sentiments on that, Germany being "relatively" young is also simply factually wrong wrong wrong ;) Octo8 (talk) 18:14, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
If it makes you feel better (about the exactness of the article), then you could write that "While Germany as a country is relatively young, it had existed for some time before that as a political entity and national idea.", or some reformulated variant thereof. This problem is relatively trivial to solve, imo. Nullahnung (talk) 18:10, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
I appreciate your sentiment, but what definition of "country" do we use here then? Because, as I've said, if it's the state (the Federal Republic in this case), then France (that is, the Fifth Republic) is even younger (1949 vs 1958)... Octo8 (talk) 18:14, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
Hm, I suppose - would striking "relatively young" and instead saying something along the lines "In its current form, Germany only exists as reunited country since 1990" be okay? Octo8 (talk) 18:17, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
I didn't address your points because I don't think they're relevant. I'm defending the status quo because it's the status quo, not because I devoutly believe that Germany is young and anyone saying otherwise should be flogged. Germany being "relatively" young can't by all accounts be wrong because I just gave you an account by which it is correct. I don't think any of the preceding German entities should be dismissed, but I believe you're reading far too much into the statement. By your words, it sounds as though you think the article meant it to be a jab at Germany in some way, and I just don't think that's the case at all. It's a fun little factoid that is interesting (how many people know that the modern state we call Germany actually only reunified in the late 19th century), and nothing more. - Grant (Talk) 18:30, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────By the way, I feel like I need to point out that the original formulation in the article was in fact: "The Federal Republic of Germany is a (relatively young) country in Europe." Which is referring to the Federal Republic of Germany, not to any other type of Germany. Nullahnung (talk) 20:32, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

While this is not what the discussion ended up focusing on, I did address the point at the beginning. Octo8 (talk) 20:37, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
I suppose I should have posted this under User:Godspeed's post, since that's when this discussion really derailed. Nullahnung (talk) 20:46, 7 February 2014 (UTC)
You know, I did notice that. If the point of the article is to describe the current constitutional arrangement, I agree that "relatively young" makes little sense when applied to the FRG. I'm sure octo8 and I can hive off our conversation somewhere if it continues. Godspeed (talk) 21:53, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

All nations are relatively young[edit]

Neither England nor France were anything close to nation states prior to the early 19th century. They were just a motley assortment of whatever territories the monarch could grab. There was little that a person in Brittany had in common with a person in the French Basque country in 1750. They probably would not even have understood each other. If there was any sense of commonality beyond a shared religion, it would have been based on the person or institution of the monarch. But that would also apply to somebody in French "colonies" at the time. Similarly England only really became a thing (you know, as opposed to Cornish, and Yorkshire people just speaking their own weird languages) with widespread literacy and public education. The very idea of the nation state isn't much older than 200 years. Germany only perceived itself as a latecomer, with all the tragey that caused in the 20th century, because the nation state myth requires nations to "always have existed". But if that were true, what about the "nations" of Burgundy or Aragon then? Where is the "Republic of the two Sicilies"? What about the three quadrillion unions between Nordic countries (often including the decidedly not Germanic Finland as well as the (than Nordic) Orkney islands). Nation states are a myth. A powerful myth, but a myth nonetheless. Even in 1871 when Germany became a thing, Bavaria had to be bought out with huge sums of money (Ludwig II had bankrupted the state with his extravagant palaces) and still retained its own army mail service and railroads until 1918... That does not sound like a nation state to me. Also if the treaty of Verdun really does have any importance past the symbolic: What about the middle realm of the three? After all, it was to carry on the Imperial crown and whatnot... (talk) 21:14, 26 July 2015 (UTC)


Why did German helmets in the past have the spike on top? Was it so they could 'put their heads down and charge' as someone said? (talk) 18:06, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Weil solche Helme echt "spitze" aussehen?--Arisboch (talk) 19:11, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Mein Deutsch ist nicht so gut das I kann dass verstehe.

Ich war als diese [1] schreiben. (talk) 17:53, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Cause they look sharp? (since German and English are closely related languages, the pun does work in both languages)--Arisboch (talk) 18:02, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
But what 'use' are they? Bearskins and other 'tall military headgear' make one look taller/misdirect the brain as to where the head is and feathers can distract or misdirect the eye. (and helmets mainly protect one) (talk) 18:01, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Because it looked cool?--Arisboch (talk) 18:10, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
Arisboch got it in one. These were from the age when a uniform had to look snazzy, not be some clever jedi mind trick device. The main psychological effect was likely on the wearer (and his ability to look good to the ladies). ScepticWombat (talk) 18:14, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
What about [2], [3], [4] and [5]? Slightly more impressive than 'a jumped up spike for sticking your letters on.'

The 'bend down and charge' is probably of an urban legend nature. (talk) 18:23, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

While these examples are more spectacular, there was also the practical concern that the German Empire had to equip at least half a million men, which put a limit to how extravagant the design could be. ScepticWombat (talk) 18:30, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

(reset) Would they have served to deflect a downward blow from a 'sword or other edged weapon' or was the spike 'primarily decorative in nature'? What led to its abandonment (apart from the obvious problems faced by 'persons in tanks and submarines')? (talk) 14:41, 5 June 2015 (UTC)

The BoN immediately above me is spot on. It was in fact useful in late 19th century warfare in deflecting most saber blows away from the head. Interestingly enough Germany did not in fact fight in World War I with Pickelhauben (German plural that applies to this type of helmet), whereas the French kept equipping their soldiers with skyblue uniforms well into 1916. Germany was probably the best equipped for World War I when it started. Unfortunately for them, their leadership overestimated this benefit and they had no idea how to fight a trench style war. Furthermore, Germany had no "major" allies and Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman empire both had more problems keeping their government afloat than ability to fight the war at all... So yeah, the Pickelhaube is clearly a outdated (even in 1914) symbol of Prussia and by extension Germany... (talk) 21:05, 26 July 2015 (UTC)


Yeah, I have no idea what the titles are. I don't think many people here speak German, so I suggest we change the section and subsection titles to English. 𝔊𝔬𝔞𝔱-𝔈𝔪𝔭𝔢𝔯𝔬𝔯 𝔅𝔦𝔤𝔰 (𝔴𝔬𝔯𝔡𝔰 𝔬𝔣 𝔴𝔦𝔰𝔡𝔬𝔪/𝔞𝔠𝔥𝔦𝔢𝔳𝔢𝔪𝔢𝔫𝔱𝔰) 02:23, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

January 2021 mark II[edit]

Does this chap warrant a mention here/his own article? Anna Livia (talk) 19:09, 7 December 2022 (UTC)

this is covered here Provisional_Imperial_Government#Coup_plot Roll.christian (talk) 13:32, 23 February 2023 (UTC)

Surrender in First World War and handover of power to Hitler[edit]

The article on Germany is up to the usual standards of RW in my eyes. However, I think the above mentioned parts require some overhaul.

The description of the surrender does currently not include

  • The de-facto establishment of a military rule under Ludendorff and Hindenburg (3. OHL/Third Military High Command)
  • The willingness of said 3. OHL to continue war efforts even though it was clear that the war was lost, at least after the defeat at Verdun
  • After the needless slaughter of further millions of young soldiers finally the internal declaration of Hindenburg and Ludendorff to the Kaiser that the war is lost
  • The fact that the mentioned last effort of the marine was set into motion by fleet command AFTER this declaration with the intent to go down in flames, oc taking the seamen with them
  • The fact that the German inhabitants as such were NEVER informed by the 3. OHL that and why the war was lost.
  • a reference to the Dolchstosslegende which instead laid blame on the democratic politicians and their followers

Thus providing the groundwork for the negative reception of the Versailles Treaty in Germany and the continuous rise of Hitler and his cronies.

The part of the handover of power and the Enabling Act misses

  • The fact that the mentioned Reichstag Fire Decree gave the Nazis the power to remove Communist Reichstag members from legislation.
  • The fact that Hitler and the NSDAP used dubious rule of procedure tricks to declare the empty seats of the Communists void to secure the necessary 2/3 quorum
  • The fact that the conservative Centre Party and the liberal Deutsche Staatspartei (German State Party) supported both the rule of procedure votes and later the vote for the Enabling Act, thus helping to finally establish Nazi power on a seemingly legit basis. The only votes against were from the Social Democratic Party (SPD)

I have to openly admit that I am strongly biased in this topics. Because of that I do not want to do an edit myself, but would like to work with someone who has a more neutral view on the topic and also has a better grasp of the English language than me. I would try to prepare suggestions for changes which then can be integrated in an iterative manner. I will also try to review the article on the stab-in-the-back legend as suggested in the article page in a similar fashion. Roll.christian (talk) 13:29, 23 February 2023 (UTC)


As far as I understand, we're not saying that Germany is a "Nazi-communist" country". I think they should stay because the article covers the history of these ideologies in Germany. GeeJayKWhere all evil dwells Where every lie is true 20:43, 19 May 2023 (UTC)

Agreed. You can’t have a complete discussion of either ideology without talking about Germany. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 22:21, 19 May 2023 (UTC)