The Night of the Long Knives (German: Nacht der langen Messer), or the Röhm purge (German: Röhm-Putsch), also called Operation Hummingbird (German: Unternehmen Kolibri), was a purge that took place in Nazi Germany from 30 June to 2 July 1934. Chancellor Adolf Hitler, urged on by Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler, ordered a series of political extrajudicial executions intended to consolidate his power and alleviate the concerns of the German military about the role of Ernst Röhm and the Sturmabteilung (SA), the Nazis' paramilitary organization, known colloquially as "Brownshirts". Nazi propaganda presented the murders as a preventive measure against an alleged imminent coup by the SA under Röhm – the so-called Röhm Putsch.
The interior of the Neue Wache, the central memorial of Germany for victims of war and tyranny. Located in Berlin, the building was originally built as a guardhouse, and has been used as a war memorial since 1931. The statue, Mother with her Dead Son is directly under the oculus, and so is exposed to the rain, snow and cold, symbolising the suffering of civilians during World War II.
A one Deutsche Mark banknote issued by Allied-occupied Germany and circulated by the United States Army Command in 1948. This was the first of three issues of West German currency introduced that year. The Mark remained the official currency of West Germany until German reunification in 1990, then the official currency of Germany until the adoption of the euro in 2002.
Banknote design credit: Danzig Central Finance Department; photographed by Andrew Shiva
The Papiermark is the name given to the German currency from 4August1914, when the link between the Goldmark and gold was abandoned. In particular, the name is used for the banknotes issued during the period of hyperinflation in Germany in 1922 and especially 1923. During this period, the Papiermark was also issued by the Free City of Danzig. The last of five series of the Danzig mark was the 1923 inflation issue, which consisted of denominations of 1million to 10billion issued from August to October1923. The Danzig mark was replaced on 22October1923 by the Danzig gulden.
Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791–1864) was a German opera composer. Born to a wealthy Berlin family, he began his musical career as a pianist but soon decided to devote himself to opera. Meyerbeer spent several years in Italy studying and composing, before moving to Paris, where he became a dominant figure in the world of opera. This poster advertised the premiere of Meyerbeer's opera Le pardon de Ploërmel, which opened at the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 4April 1859.
This photograph shows Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel signing the German Instrument of Surrender in Berlin. The first surrender document was signed on 7May1945 in Reims by General Alfred Jodl, but this version was not recognized by the Soviet High Command and a revised version was required. Prepared in three languages on 8May, it was not ready for signing in Berlin until after midnight; consequently, the physical signing was delayed until nearly 1:00a.m. on 9May, and backdated to 8May to be consistent with the Reims agreement and public announcements of the surrender already made by Western leaders.
Schloss Neuschwanstein ("new swan stone castle") in southwest Bavaria is one of Germany's most popular tourist destinations. Construction was started by King Ludwig II and took 17 years. After his death in 1886, the castle was opened to the public. During World War II, many valuable items (all stolen) were stored at the castle, destined for Adolf Hitler's personal collection.
German wine is primarily produced in the west of Germany, along the river Rhine and its tributaries, with the oldest plantations going back to the Roman era. Approximately 60 percent of German wine is produced in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where 6 of the 13 regions (Anbaugebiete) for quality wine are situated. Germany has about 103,000 hectares (252,000 acres or 1,030 square kilometers) of vineyard, which is around one tenth of the vineyard surface in Spain, France or Italy. The total wine production is usually around 10 million hectoliters annually, corresponding to 1.3 billion bottles, which places Germany as the eighth-largest wine-producing country in the world. White wine accounts for almost two thirds of the total production.
As a wine country, Germany has a mixed reputation internationally, with some consumers on the export markets associating Germany with the world's most elegant and aromatically pure white wines while other see the country mainly as the source of cheap, mass-market semi-sweet wines such as Liebfraumilch. Among enthusiasts, Germany's reputation is primarily based on wines made from the Riesling grape variety, which at its best is used for aromatic, fruity and elegant white wines that range from very crisp and dry to well-balanced, sweet and of enormous aromatic concentration. While primarily a white wine country, red wine production surged in the 1990s and early 2000s, primarily fuelled by domestic demand, and the proportion of the German vineyards devoted to the cultivation of dark-skinned grape varieties has now stabilized at slightly more than a third of the total surface. For the red wines, Spätburgunder, the domestic name for Pinot noir, is in the lead. (Full article...)
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