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Are the Prussians gone for good?


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Showing 1-25 of 224 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 28, 2009 11:38:00 AM PST
briefcandle says:
You'd think so, killed, driven off dispossessed and despised, no state, province or department bears the name anymore. But hold on a moment, newspapers are still circulated by the inhabitants and their descendants of these places, wikipedia recently rejected prussian as a wiki language (so someone must have asked!) , and more tellingly a german who had abandoned his properties in poland, confiscated in communist times, has had them restored to him.
Is this the thin edge of the wedge?
Who will rule the russian enclave of kaliningrad/konigsberg in 50/100 years?
I'm interested in discussions people want to have surrounding this and other unresolved national/border issues of europe.
Will spain get back gibraltar?etc etc, views please.
Luke

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2009 6:57:57 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Dec 7, 2009 8:14:08 AM PST]

Posted on Nov 28, 2009 7:02:05 PM PST
The Prussian language was a member of the Baltic family, related to Lithuanian and Latvian, and it died out about the same time as Cornish did. Just as some people have, in recent decades, started to revive Cornish, I suppose that the same has happened with Prussian. The problem for Prussian nationalists is that "Prussian nationalism", for the rest of the world, evokes Frederick the Great, Bismarck, von Moltke and Kaiser Wilhelm II, rather than a quaint attachment to an obsolete language.

In one hundred years' time, Kaliningrad will be big enough to accommodate everybody who's left in Russia by then.

As for Gibraltar, Spain signed over the Rock three hundred years ago. The Gibraltarians show no desire to be Spanish. Since Franco's death, the Spanish government has allowed autonomy to numerous regions of Spain, so it's curious that this addiction to self-determination suddenly ceases to apply, where Gibraltar is concerned.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2009 10:02:46 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 16, 2010 3:39:11 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2009 10:25:43 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 30, 2009 2:38:54 PM PST
John M. Lane says:
In reply to the original post, I believe O.G.M. Morgan to be correct about the distinction between original, indigenous "Prussians" a tribal people who were assimilated centuries ago, and the "Prussians" of Frederick the Great, Bismarck, and many of my own ancestors. I'm a US citizen and have no plans to return to East Prussia even if it becomes possible to do so.

I note that Isabella posts that "Many Germans have had their properties , that were confiscated by the communists, restored to them."

That is new information to me. The last time my kinsmen looked into that, they were informed that all of the old German records had been destroyed and that there was no point in pursuing the matter. The same was true in the Russian Oblast of Kaliningrad (Koenigsberg). They didn't to want us back.

Posted on Nov 30, 2009 10:34:38 AM PST
Boomy says:
When Poland is fully incorporated in the EU, Prussia will be "back". Kalliningrad/Koenigsberg will not be long after...a prediction.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2009 5:58:53 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 16, 2010 3:38:18 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2009 11:20:03 AM PST
John M. Lane says:
Hello Bella,

Thanks for the information about the statute of limitations running out. For my clan, that would be a good thing.

One thing I've noticed about the term "Prussian" is that some neo-Nazis seem to be trying to appropriate it for their own use. A few years ago I bought a tape online from a vocal group called "Prussian Blue."

It wasn't at all what I expected. It's songs were white supremacist and comparatively violent. Caveat emptor!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2009 1:17:33 PM PST
briefcandle says:
re Prussian language,
OGM is quite right in what he says, but the prussian language which might get a run on wikipedia is that plattdeutsch dialect spoken beyond the C17th. I don't know much about it, and it's probably not the language Frederick ii used at sans souci (actually, I think he spoke french!) but it might be the language spoken in the village market, or by a minor junker to a farmer, or by a feldwebel to a musketeer. Apparently there are lots of baltic ie old prussian loan words.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2009 1:53:23 PM PST
Mark bennett says:
The whole thing was quite deliberate. There were all sorts of naive theories in circulation in europe as to the evil of prussia and its responsibility for everything wrong in Germany. Churchill was a particularly strong believer. It never crossed these people's minds that what they were fighting was a south german movement led by an Austrian.

"Is this the thin edge of the wedge?"

Probably not. The best that can be hoped for is the restoration of placenames and historic landmarks in the area. But even that is rather unlikely.

"Who will rule the russian enclave of kaliningrad/konigsberg in 50/100 years?"

I see no chance of anyone but russia ruling there. Even if the russian presence is three old men and a dog.

"Will spain get back gibraltar?"

Very unlikely. With the rise of the EU, the whole question doesn't really matter much.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2009 6:19:03 PM PST
For a German viewpoint on the Prussians' responsibility for the evils of nazism, see "Diary of a Man in Despair", by Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen, himself a Prussian, with Polish ancestry, who lived in Bavaria and was murdered by the nazis in Dachau in 1945.

The fact that Hitler was originally an Austrian is hardly relevant; it wasn't the Austrian army that he joined, after all, and the militaristic ideology to which Hitler enthusiastically signed up was not a Bavarian phenomenon, but a Prussian one.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 3, 2009 7:05:00 PM PST
Suet says:
< a south german movement led by an Austrian. >

Yes, but without the Prussian military tradition it would have gotten nowhere. That may be what Churchill had in mind.

Posted on Dec 4, 2009 9:53:07 AM PST
John M. Lane says:
I always believed that the indigenous "Prussians" were Baltic tribes who were dispersed, or assimilated, by the Teutonic Knights during the Northern Crusade. In other words, the people who were subjects of Frederick the Great were linguistically German, except in Court where the language was French. By then, the indigenous tribal Prussians were a distant memory.

I was taught to believe that the Kingdom of Prussia grew out of the Teutonic Kingdom, not out of a pagan tribe of Balts.

Posted on Dec 4, 2009 10:05:48 AM PST
briefcandle says:
It's very hard to replace a settled agrarian population. The hungarians think they are magyars, but when you do the genes they are little different from their slavic neighbours, similarly the brits are still largely the neolithic settlers who came after the last ice age with only very weak influence of angle/jute/saxon genes. I'll bet the prussians are prussians despite a change of language to that of the conquerors, but it's a long time since they thought of themselves as balts.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2009 10:22:01 AM PST
Mark bennett says:
Its difficult to take anything that Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen says about Prussia very seriously. His diary is far less about the evils of nazism than it is the ravings of a useless monarchist snob who the world has passed by. He talks down almost everything in the book except the world of hierarchy and privilege he was born into. He often seems more concerned about class barriers, manners and dress than he does about evil.

"The fact that Hitler was originally an Austrian is hardly relevant; it wasn't the Austrian army that he joined, after all, and the militaristic ideology to which Hitler enthusiastically signed up was not a Bavarian phenomenon, but a Prussian one."

The idealogy that Hitler signed up was very much a *Barvarian* phenomenon. The roots of the party were not in Prussia, they were in places like Munich. Prussia, under Otto Braun, was among the most politically stable parts of Germany. Its democracy was only finally undone by Franz von Papen in the Preussenschlag. An event which helped the nazis to seize power in the country as a whole no end, but which is almost never mentioned in histories. And even after, the nazi's level of insecurity was such that its government was kept under close, personal control from the very top.

The destruction of prussia after the war was a useless gesture driven more by misunderstanding, ignorance and wartime propaganda than fact or reason. Wiping a name off the map in the end doesn't change anything.

Posted on Dec 4, 2009 10:49:18 AM PST
Boomy says:
When I visited Germany, I visited a castle Hohenzoller it was in south-west Gemany (Baden-Wurrtemburg I believe), it was the castle of the Hohenzollerns, Fredrick the Greats tomb was there and if thats where the "prussian" Fredrich came from, it cant be farther from Prussia and still be in Germany.

Posted on Dec 4, 2009 10:49:25 AM PST
briefcandle says:
We'd still have prussia today, if it had been geographically western, but stalin wanted to keep his 1939 gains in the east, and he wanted germany made smaller, so poland and it's borders shifted west. end of prussia as geo entity.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2009 1:49:07 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 16, 2010 3:37:17 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2009 6:22:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 4, 2009 6:22:53 PM PST
Boomy says:
Isabella says,
Plattdeutsch is still spoken today in the Northern parts of Germany....
---------------------------------------

I didn't learn much in German class, but I learned this, Plattdeutsch is German of the flatlands dialect, Hochdeutsch is german of the highlands, hills mountains dialect. But, its like opposite of the states, where hillbilly dialect is derided and made fun of. Hochdeutsch was the dialect of the nobles (cause they lived on hills in castles) and considered more refined while Plattdeutsch was more common and courser, since ports were in lowlands sailors spoke it. English came from Plattdeutsch I believe.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2009 8:17:14 PM PST
"Its difficult to take anything that Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen says about Prussia very seriously. His diary is far less about the evils of nazism than it is the ravings of a useless monarchist snob who the world has passed by. He talks down almost everything in the book except the world of hierarchy and privilege he was born into. He often seems more concerned about class barriers, manners and dress than he does about evil."

That seems to say more about your fixations than about Reck-Malleczewen's.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2009 5:38:04 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 16, 2010 3:37:14 PM PST]

Posted on Dec 5, 2009 5:58:35 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 5, 2009 6:15:25 PM PST
Suet says:
Plattdeutsch (Low German) - which simply means the historical dialects of northern Germany - was the official administrative and legal language of Prussia until the 16th century. It has more similarities to English than High German does because 'Anglo-Saxon' also came from northern Germany.

In particular, the 'Low' dialects - including English - missed the so-called High German sound shift which affected certain consonants. Example: High German 'wasser'; English, Dutch and Low German 'water'. This High German sound shift took place in the early centuries AD.

Seaports and sailors don't come into it, neither do class distinctions. Sorry.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2009 7:17:25 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 16, 2010 3:37:12 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2009 7:34:00 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 5, 2009 7:36:12 PM PST
Suet says:
Izzie, what I posted is correct. Of course some people in north Germany speak Plattdeutsch, because Plattdeutsch was the group of north German dialects some of which survive today.

I was describing the linguistic split between northern (Low) and southern (High) dialects, which took place in the early centuries AD. The southern dialects underwent certain consonantal changes known as the High German sound shift or Grimm's Law. The northern dialects (including more broadly English, Dutch and Frisian as well as Plattdeutsch) did not.

Any philologist will tell you. Ask one, or google it, whatever you wish.

Yes, I know that nouns are capitalized in modern standard German. But they were not always. Have you read the German sections of Carmina Burana?

Posted on Dec 5, 2009 7:44:20 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 6, 2009 7:49:31 AM PST
Suet says:
The growth of Prussia is interesting. East Prussia was the 'Ordensland', the state of the Deutschritter Orden (in English, the Teutonic Knights), which was secularized after the Reformation. Brandenburg-Prussia became an Electorate of the Holy Roman Empire. At this stage the state religion was Calvinism, which is one reason why many Scots and Huguenots went to live there (there was a Prussian general in WWI called von Mackensen, and more than one von Francois.)

Later, the Elector became King IN Prussia (i.e. east of the Oder) with a capital at Koenigsberg, while remaining an Imperial Elector. Later still, he became King OF Prussia - the whole shooting match - and it was this militarized state which brought about the unification of Germany, excluding Austria.
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Discussion in:  History forum
Participants:  30
Total posts:  224
Initial post:  Nov 28, 2009
Latest post:  Nov 18, 2012

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