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A Brief History of Germany

A Brief History of Germany

You can find many English or German articles on the Internet about the history of Germany but many of them tend to be long and rambling and very few actually give you the heart of the matter. Or some English and German articles on German history tend to be boring. In any case, here in one single post here on my blog, is the brief history of Germany simplified for your understanding. Either you already know the history of Germany and just need a brief reminder, or you don't know the history of Germany but you would love to read about it, and a bit of German history will let you know about the interesting and chequered history of this beautiful but rather unique country with its dark history. 

The German language is interesting, and just as interesting is Germany herself.

Germany was born in 1871 after the Franco-Prussian War, when Bismarck's troops attacked France. Under Bismarck, military modernisation had taken place and Prussia became a very powerful state, attacking Denmark in 1864, and then Austria in 1866, and then finally defeating France in 1870-1871. Prior to 1871 there was never any Germany, because what we know Germany as today was merely a collection of little little principalities and states that were all separated and disunited.

After the unification of Germany, Germany became powerful and then eventually started an arms race with the other European powers. They feared a powerful upstart, and here, Germany was richer and more powerful than them. The First World War was its result. We know today that it was not entirely the Germans' fault, but in those days, with the War Guilt Clause at the Treaty of Versailles, everyone thought that Germany was responsible for the War. That is a rather controversial issue, although the von Schlieffen Plan was a rather damning piece of evidence that showed that Germany wanted to invade France through Belgium. One day we shall know the entire truth about Germany and the War.

The Interwar period of 1919-1939 was rather interesting as well because there were many communist uprisings throughout Germany, but eventually the communists did not take power - the fascists did. This was the Nazi party and it came to power basically in 1933, due to the Great Depression, a lot of cheating, and some good luck. But come to power they did.

Under Adolf Hitler, the leader of the Nazis, Germany was plunged into totalitarianism and darkness - starting a war again in September 1939. His Thousand Year Reich paved the way for the massacre and murder of 6 millions Jews in the Holocaust, or what Hitler termed very euphemistically the Final Solution. Germany's past seems very dark and evil given this knowledge, but that is not the end of the story.

Eventually Hitler was defeated and Germany was split into 4 parts. The eastern part under the Soviet Union eventually became the DDR (the German Democratic Republic- which was not democratic at all) and the 3 other parts under Britain, France and the USA became West Germany.

An economic miracle took place under good leadership in the West and Germany finally became an important member in the world's international community. In 1989 communism started falling throughout Eastern Europe and eventually East Germany rejoined West Germany. After a long time, the two Germanies were once again reunited and today Germany is a powerful and rich country once again, but unlike the past, does not have the urge to dominate and destroy the world in order to pursue some lofty ambitions. Germany has apparently found her rightful place given her strength.

Here on my How to Learn German Fast blog, I will also be giving additional posts (apart from a Brief History of Germany) on German language tips, German culture, some travel tips on Germany and the like. The most important thing to remember is to have fun while learning German and enjoy every part of it! And even Germany's dark history can be taken to be a good learning point for all of us.

[This is my simplified and summarised version of German history :) ]

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