A German history starting in the Middle Ages when the emperors fought an epic struggle with the papacy to the Reformation, the great 18th century of Kant, Goethe, Gauss, the rise of Prussia and the horrors of the Nazi regime. We will end with the post-war period of moral and physical rebuilding. As Gregory of Tours (539-594) said: “A great many things keep happening, some good, some bad” .
Hello and welcome to a new season of the History of the Germans, the Teutonic Knights or to give them their full title, the knights of the hospital of St. Mary of the House of the Germans in Jerusalem.
Even though the state they had created in Prussia has been wiped off the map with all its cultural markers, the Teutonic Knights are not forgotten. Less shrouded in nonsense than the Templars, less devoted to social causes than the Knights of St. John they still loom large not just in German history but even more so in Polish and Russian history. Both of these nations have placed victories over the Teutonic Knights at key junctions of their national narrative.
But were the Teutonic knights these near invincible, cruel faceless war machines that Sergei Eisenstein had charging over the ice to the sound of Prokofiev brilliant score? That is what we will try to find out over the next few episodes. Expect your fair share of heroic battles, chivalric entertainment all intermingled with twisted theology and astute commercial activity. I hope you will enjoy it.
The music for the show is Flute Sonata in E-flat major, H.545 by Carl Phillip Emmanuel Bach (or some claim it as BWV 1031 Johann Sebastian Bach) performed and arranged by Michel Rondeau under Common Creative Licence 3.0.
Homepage with maps, photos, transcripts and blog: www.historyofthegermans.com
Here is the link to the article by Cory Doctorow: https://www.wired.com/story/tiktok-platforms-cory-doctorow/
Steven Runciman: A history of the Crusades
Eric Christiansen: The Northern Crusades
William Urban: The Teutonic Knights – A mlitary History
Jurgen Sarnowsky: Der Deutsche orden
Most episodes now have an episode webpage or post that contains the transcript. If you look at the menu above you should find the respective episode, ordered by seasons. I will update as and when I can so that all episodes will eventually be available here.