Because I am a student of the German language at Texas State University, for my blog topic I have chosen to report on Germany and the German life. I would like to begin with a brief introductory lesson. The land known as Germany (officially The Federal Republic of Germany) is an ancient land that began as a group of Germanic tribes as early as 750 BCE. A historical constant associated with the German peoples has always been that of a loud, overzealous mob. During the reign of the Holy Roman Empire, there was only one culture that the Romans feared. You got it. The term “barbarian” was specifically coined by the Romans to describe these war-hungry, bearded neighbors-to-the-North.
Fast forward to 1914 – The Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated by a Serbian, resulting in several chains of hastily formed alliances. Austria, Germany’s Mexico, sought aid from Germany. In the Battle of Liège, the first battle of the war, Germany invaded Belgium. Armed with 17-inch howitzers, Germany made progress at laying siege to the Belgium forts. However, due to the slow nature of siege tactics, France and Britain had time to organize themselves to prepare for the oncoming war. Britain declared war on Germany and open warfare broke out between the two. Because of the isolated nature of the British aisles, much of the fighting between Britain and Germany took place in the air and the sea, mostly through biplanes and U-boats, respectively. However, due to strides in zeppelin technology, Germany gained the first upper hand. The German Luftwaffe had the technological advantage and laid waste to England – setting much of London aflame with bombs. 1917 marked the changing of the flow of war. The Russian Bolsheviks dropped out of the war, leaving the Central Powers to focus their power on the Western front, but (coerced by the torpedoing of the Lusitania) the Americans brought a swift end to any thoughts of Central European victory.
The end of this supposed “war to end all wars” left Germany in shambles. Although the Great War left most of Germany untouched by war, hyperinflation took place and the Reichsmark was left worthless. The contents of the prodigal wheelbarrows of money were worth less than the wheelbarrows themselves. The German Volk were angered and blamed the war on the German aristocracy. A revolt broke out and the Weimar Republic was formed almost overnight – leaving a clear path for new leadership to arise under der Drittes Reich.