German medal

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Today's cross of the Teutonic Order
coat of arms
Coat of arms of the Teutonic Order
Basic data
Official language German
Legal status Clerical Order
Seat of the order Vienna
Grand Master Frank Bayard (since 2018)
Patron saint Saint George ,
Virgin Mary ,
Elisabeth of Thuringia
Members 1,100

The German Order , also German Teutonic Order , German military orders or German Orden called, is a Roman Catholic religious order . With the Order of St. John and the Order of Malta he is the (legal) successor to the orders of knights from the time of the Crusades . The members of the order have been regulated canons since the reform of the order rule in 1929 . The order currently has 1,100 members, including 100 priests and 200 nuns, who mainly dedicate themselves to charitable tasks. Today the head office is in Vienna .

The full name is Order of the Brothers of the German Hospital of Saint Mary in Jerusalem, Latin Ordo fratrum domus hospitalis Sanctae Mariae Teutonicorum Ierosolimitanorum. From the Latin abbreviation Ordo Teutonicus the conducts religious symbol OT from.

The origins of the order lie in a field hospital of Bremen and Lübeck merchants during the Third Crusade around 1190 in the Holy Land during the siege of the city of Acre . Pope Innocent III on February 19, 1199 confirmed the conversion of the hospital community into an order of knights and the award of the St. John and Templar Rule for the brothers from the German House of St. Mary in Jerusalem. After the hospital community was elevated to a spiritual knightly order , the members of the originally charitable community got involved in the Holy Roman Empire , the Holy Land, the Mediterranean region and Transylvania during the 13th century and participated in the colonization of Germany in the east . This led to a number of branches that were more or less long in existence. From the end of the 13th century, the Teutonic Order, founded in the Baltic States , played a central role . At the end of the 14th century it covered an area of ​​around 200,000 square kilometers.

Due to the heavy military defeat at Tannenberg in the summer of 1410 against the Polish-Lithuanian Union and a protracted conflict with the Prussian estates in the middle of the 15th century, the decline of both the order and its state that began around 1400 accelerated. As a result of the secularization of the remaining monastic state in the course of the Reformation in 1525 and its conversion into a secular duchy, the order no longer exerted any significant influence in Prussia and, after 1561, in Livonia . However, he continued to exist in the Holy Roman Empire with substantial property holdings, especially in southern Germany , Austria and Switzerland .

After the loss of territory on the left bank of the Rhine in the late 18th century as a result of the coalition wars and after secularization in the Confederation of the Rhine at the beginning of the 19th century, only the possessions in the Austrian Empire remained . With the collapse of the Habsburg Danube Monarchy and the Austrian Nobility Repeal Act of April 1919 after the First World War , the knightly component of the order structure was also lost in addition to the loss of considerable property. Since 1929, the order has been headed by religious priests and thus run in the form of a clerical order according to canon law .

The historical reception in the 19th and first half of the 20th century mostly dealt only with the presence of the Knightly Order of that time in the Baltic States - the Teutonic Order state was equated with the order itself. Research into and interpretation of the history of the order was extremely different in Germany , Poland and Russia , strongly national or even nationalistic. A methodical appraisal of the history and structures of the order began internationally only after 1945.


Foundation and beginnings in the Holy Land and Europe


King Philip II of France besieging Acre (miniature 14th century)

After the First Crusade led to the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099, the first knightly religious orders established themselves in the four Crusader states (collectively called Outremer ) . Originally, they were used to provide medical, nursing and logistical support for Christian pilgrims who visited the biblical sites. In addition to these tasks, protection and escort of the faithful in the militarily repeatedly contested country were soon added. 1099 was formed of the French dominated Johanniterorden, by 1119 more aligned as military Templerorden .

As a result of the crushing defeat of the Crusaders in 1187 in the Battle of Hattin , the capital of the Kingdom of Jerusalem was lost to Saladin , the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty. Then the Third Crusade began in 1189 . From remaining bases on the coast, the crusaders tried to retake Jerusalem . The first destination was the port city of Acre .

Foundation before Acre

During the siege of Acre (1189–1191) , the crusader camp on the Toron plateau, which was largely blocked by Muslim troops (not to be confused with the later order castle of the same name) was in disastrous hygienic conditions. Crusaders from Bremen and Lübeck who traveled by sea therefore founded a field hospital there . According to legend, the sail of a cog stretched over the sick is said to have been the Germans' first hospital .

The established hospital continued to exist after the conquest of Acon. The brothers serving there accepted the charitable rules of the Johanniter and named the institution “St. Marien Hospital of the Germans in Jerusalem ”- in memory of a hospital that is said to have existed in Jerusalem until 1187. After the expected victory over the Muslims, the main house of the order was to be built in the Holy City.

The hospital gained economic importance through donations, especially from Heinrich von Champagne . In addition, the order received new military tasks. Emperor Heinrich VI. finally obtained the official recognition of the hospital from Pope Clement III on February 6, 1191 .

During the German Crusade in March 1198 the community of former nurses was raised to the status of an order of knights at the instigation of Wolfger von Erla and Konrad von Querfurt, following the example of the Templars and Johanniter. The recognition as a knightly order was made by Pope Innocent III. on February 19, 1199. The first Grand Master was Heinrich Walpot von Bassenheim . After the death of Henry VI. (1197) and the unsuccessful end of the crusade, which was primarily borne by the German feudal nobility, a knightly order shaped by the German nobility was supposed to serve as a political ally of the future ruler in the empire through family relationships and fiefdoms . Until then, the power groups of the Staufer and Welfs in Outremer, fighting for the vacant imperial throne, had no clerical institution that represented their interests. German interests in the national sense were unknown in the Holy Roman Empire.

Membership structures and spread of the order of knights in the high Middle Ages

Hermann von Salza , the fourth Grand Master in the years 1210–1239; Later historicizing representation from a chronicle of the 16th century; Armor and headgear of the Grand Master do not correspond to the depicted time.
The Tannhauser in the white coat of the Teutonic Knights;
Miniature from the Codex Manesse around 1300

The members of the Order were committed to the vows of poverty , celibate chastity, and obedience . Voting rights in the General Chapter , however, were only granted to brothers knights and priests. Like all orders of knights of the Middle Ages, the German Order initially consisted of:

  • Knight Brothers: The military strength of the order; Every man knighted was able to advance to a religious knight in the beginning with the profession with the assistance of a credible guarantor . From the late 15th century the dignity of a knight was reserved for native nobles. Before that, nobles, townspeople and mostly ministerials were to be found. Although the Knight Brothers were often associated with knightly monks , they were in fact considered to be lay people . The Institute of Professed Knights existed until 1929.
  • Friars priests: The religious priests were responsible for observing the liturgy and performing sacred acts. Furthermore, in the course of the Middle Ages, the priestly brothers were used as chroniclers or clerks of the order's rulers due to their literacy education. Their spectrum of activity remained limited to these fields of activity, but the bishops of the order also came from their ranks .
  • Sariant Brothers: They were proven non-aristocratic lay people who served as lightly armed fighters, couriers or subordinate administrative officials. Sariant brothers only existed until the end of the Middle Ages.
  • Serving half-brothers (so-called half - crossers ): This group did subordinate work in court and housekeeping, but also provided security services. The branch of serving half-brothers existed until the end of the Middle Ages.

In addition to military tasks, nursing and poor relief initially remained important focuses of the order's activities. Through donations and inheritances , the Knights of the Order acquired considerable land holdings and numerous hospitals . The latter were continued by religious priests and half-brothers. The widespread willingness to donate of the feudal nobility is explained by the worldview of the early 13th century, which helped to shape the “fear of salvation” and a spiritual “end times mood”. Through the foundations in favor of the order one tried to secure one's own soul salvation.

In 1221 the order was able to obtain full exemption from the diocesan power of the bishops through a papal general privilege. The income increased through the granting of the right to extensive collections even in parishes that were not assigned to the order. In return for appropriate remuneration (legacy) , people who had been banned or interdict could be buried in "consecrated earth" in the cemeteries of the religious churches, which would otherwise have been denied them. The order was directly ecclesiastical to the Pope and was therefore on an equal footing with the Knights of St. On the part of these communities, the Teutonic Order was viewed with increasing skepticism, not least because of its acquisitions. The Templars claimed the white cloak for themselves and even made an official protest to Pope Innocent III in 1210 . a. It was not until 1220 that the Knights of the Teutonic Order were allowed to wear the disputed coat by Pope Honorius III. finally confirmed. The Templars remained bitter rivals of the Teutonic Order. A formal war broke out in Palestine. In 1241 the Templars chased the German gentlemen out of almost all possessions and even no longer tolerated their clergy in the churches.

At the end of the 12th century the order received its first possessions in Europe. In 1197 a hospital of the order was first mentioned in Barletta in southern Italy. The first establishment in the area of ​​the Holy Roman Empire north of the Alps was a hospital in Halle around 1200 . On a donated property west of the city, friars St. Kunigunden founded. The hospital was named after the canonized Empress Kunigunde , the wife of Henry II. The scattered territorial possessions soon became so extensive that as early as 1218 a land commander had to be appointed for Germany . In the decades to come, the order spread throughout the entire Reich, benefiting from numerous foundations and the accession of prominent and wealthy nobles.

The Teutonic Order unreservedly supported the cruise of Emperor Friedrich II in 1228/1229 , in which Grand Master Hermann von Salza played a key role. This brought the order the feudal exodus . This important privilege did not release him from the feudal union of the Kingdom of Jerusalem , but released him from all obligations to it. This renunciation of all royal rights by the Kingdom of Jerusalem is unprecedented. Emperor Frederick II, who was also King of Jerusalem as a result of his marriage to Isabella von Brienne , wished to integrate the order in a prominent place in his imperial policy. The extensive privilege is due to the work of Hermann von Salza, one of the emperor's most important advisers and diplomats. Frederick granted the order a number of other privileges, such as the gold bull of Rimini as early as 1226 .

In 1241, contingents of the knights of the order supported the Central European territories affected by the attack by the Mongol armies under Batu Khan . In the lost battle of Liegnitz , for example, the order's entire contingent deployed to defend Silesia was wiped out.

Development in Europe and Palestine until the end of the 13th century

The Order in the Holy Land

Settlements of the knightly orders in Outremer until 1291

In the Holy Land, the order not only managed to acquire a share of the port toll in Acre, but also to the former rule of Joscelin III by donating Otto von Botenlauben . of Edessa in the outskirts of the city (1220). In addition, the castle of Montfort (1220), the lordships of Toron (1229) and Schuf (1257) and the castle Toron in the lordship of Banyas (1261) were acquired.

Nevertheless, an end to the Crusader rule in the Holy Land was looming. Jerusalem, which was peacefully acquired by Emperor Friedrich II in 1229, fell for good in 1244. After the victory of the Egyptian Mamelukes over the Mongol armies of the Ilchanate, which had previously been considered invincible, in the battle of ʿAin Jālūt in 1260, Mameluke forces brought the crusaders' bastions more and more into distress. The remaining fortresses of the knightly orders were systematically conquered in the following decades. With the fall of Acre in 1291, the end of the "armed trains to the grave (Christ)" finally emerged. A significant contingent of Teutonic Knights took part in the final battle at Acre. It was managed by Grand Master Burchard von Schwanden until his abrupt resignation , and then by the War Comturate Heinrich von Bouland.

With the final loss of Akkon in 1291, the military engagement of the Teutonic Order in the Holy Land ended. In contrast to the multinational Johannitern and Templern, the presence of the Teutonic Order subsequently concentrated within the borders of the Reich and in the newly acquired bases in Prussia . Due to the temporary hope of a reconquest of the Holy Land, the Grand Master's headquarters were in Venice , an important port for the crossing to the Holy Land , until 1309 .

The branches of the Teutonic Order in Europe around 1300

Kingdom of Sicily and Levant

In the Kingdom of Sicily and in the Levant , some religious settlements were established in the first quarter of the 13th century. In the Kingdom of Sicily in particular, a large number of smaller religious houses were founded after 1222 as part of the preparations for the crusade of Frederick II, the most important of which were the older ones in Barletta and the houses in Palermo and Brindisi . There were also isolated branches in Greece, on the west coast of the Peloponnese , which primarily served to supply the pilgrims on the way to the Holy Land and on the way back.

Failed state formation in Transylvania

View of Malbork Castle over Feldioara in Romania , before the renovation and reconstruction 2013–2017

Grand Master Hermann von Salza seems to have sought the establishment of a coherent territory dominated by the Teutonic Order at an early stage in view of the fragmented possessions. Against this background, it is to be understood that he willingly accepted a request for help from the Kingdom of Hungary in 1211, at a time when the available religious forces were actually tied up for the purpose of the liberation of the tomb in Outremer . Andreas II of Hungary offered the order to acquire a right of home in Burzenland in Transylvania through military service against the Cumans . The king also granted the order important church duties, including the right to tithe . He was also allowed to mint coins and to fortify his castles with stones. The latter was considered a special privilege of the king in Hungary.

However, Hungary's relations with the Teutonic Order soon deteriorated for a long time. Anti-German resentment grew in the country, which also led to the death of Gertrud von Andechs in 1213 . The queen was the wife of Andreas II of German descent. In 1223 Pope Honorius III granted it. the order was granted an exemption privilege in the form of a bull , which expressly referred to Burzenland. Its implementation would de facto have broken Hungary's last legislative ties to the territory it claimed. The Hungarian nobility therefore strongly urged the king to resist the order.

On the advice of Hermann von Salza, the Pope tried in 1224 to administratively enforce the privilege documented in the previous year. For this purpose, he unceremoniously placed Burzenland under the protection of the Apostolic See. This was intended to provide legal support to the Teutonic Order, directly subordinate to the Pope, in the conquest of land and the flaring up hostilities with the Hungarians. Andrew II now intervened militarily. The numerically superior Hungarian army besieged and conquered the few castles of the order.

The attempt of the Teutonic Order to build up an autonomous territory outside the Hungarian kingdom by invoking the granted homeland law and with the active support of the Pope, ended in 1225 with the expulsion of the order and the destruction of its castles.

The possessions north of the Alps

The medals in the empire

One of the most important charitable institutions taken over by the order was the hospital founded by Landgravine Elisabeth of Thuringia in Marburg . It was continued and expanded by the order after her death in 1231. With the canonization of Elisabeth in 1235, this hospital and its operators acquired a special spiritual significance. The resulting reputation for the order increased even more when the saint was reburied in the spring of 1236 with the personal participation of Emperor Friedrich II.

In the first half of the 13th century, the individual comings were grouped into regionally structured balles . The Ballei Sachsen was established around 1214 , the Ballei Thuringia before 1221 , the Chamber Ballei Bohemia and Moravia in 1222 , the Deutschordensballei Alden Biesen before 1228 and the Marburg Ballei in 1237 . Lothringen (1246), Koblenz (1256), Franconia (1268), Westphalia (1287) followed later . Like the Balleien Austria and Swabia-Alsace-Burgundy, these possessions were subject to the German Master . In northern Germany, too, there were isolated comedians near the Baltic ports of Lübeck and Wismar , who were directly subordinate to the landmaster in Livonia . These primarily served the logistical handling of armed pilgrimages to the Baltic States . There the order developed its own state.

The state of the Teutonic Order

Concentration on the Baltic States and eastern colonization

Acquisitions of the Teutonic Order in Prussia and the Order of the Brothers of the Sword, united with it in 1237, in Courland and Livonia until 1260; the hatched areas are the contested territories in Prussia and Shamaites

The history of the order between 1230 and 1525 is closely linked to the fate of the Teutonic Order , from which the Duchy of Prussia , Latvia and Estonia later emerged.

A second attempt to acquire land was successful in a region that offered the chartered order's missionary mandate a far-reaching perspective, the Baltic States. Already in 1224 Emperor Frederick II. Had in Catania the pagan inhabitants of Prussia country of the east Vistula and the neighboring areas as Empire Free Church and the Empire reports directly. As a papal legate for Livonia and Prussia, Wilhelm von Modena confirmed this step in the same year.

In 1226 the Polish duke of the Piast family , Konrad I of Masovia , called on the Teutonic Order to help in his fight against the Prussians for the Kulmerland . After the unfortunate experience with Hungary, the Teutonic Order secured itself legally this time. He received the Golden Bull of Rimini from Emperor Friedrich II and from Pope Gregory IX. with the Bull of Rieti guarantee that after the subjugation and proselytizing of the Baltic States, i.e. the Prussians, the conquered land should fall to the order. At his insistence, the order also received the assurance that as sovereign of this area it would only be subject to the Pope, but not to any secular liege lord. After a long hesitation, Konrad I of Masovia left the Kulmerland to the order in the Treaty of Kruschwitz in 1230 "for ever". The Teutonic Order viewed this treaty as an instrument to create an independent domain in Prussia. Its wording and authenticity have been questioned by some historians.

In 1231, Landmeister Hermann von Balk crossed the Vistula with seven knights and around 700 men. In the same year he built his first castle in Kulmerland, Thorn . From here the Teutonic Order began to gradually conquer the territory north of the Vistula. The conquest went hand in hand with targeted settlement, whereby the settlements established by the order were mostly granted the right documented in the Kulmer hand festivals . In the first few years the order was supported by the troops of Konrad of Mazovia and the other Polish princes and by crusader armies from the empire and many countries in Western Europe. Pope Gregory IX granted the participants in the campaign against the Prussians the extensive forgiveness of sins and other promises of salvation customary for a crusade to the Holy Land .

The remaining knights of the Order of the Brothers of Dobrin (fratribus militiae Christi in Prussia) were incorporated into the Teutonic Order in 1234. The order was founded in 1228 on the initiative of Konrad to protect the Mazovian heartland, but could not assert itself militarily against the Prussians.

The Order of the Brothers of the Sword (regalia: white coat with red cross), founded in Riga in 1202 , suffered a devastating defeat against Shamaite Lithuanians and Semgallians in the Battle of Schaulen in 1236 . Thereupon Hermann von Salza negotiated personally with the Curia the Union of Viterbo , as a result of which German orders and orders of the Brothers of the Sword were united. With the Livonian comers, a second heartland was acquired, the so-called Meistertum Livonia , where the already existing system of castles (so-called permanent houses ) was expanded on the model of Prussia .

The sustained expansion of the Livonian Union eastward ended at the Narva River . After Pskov was temporarily occupied in 1240 , there were constant skirmishes between knights of the Livonian branch and followers of the Livonian bishops and Russian departments. This culminated in April 1242 in the battle on the frozen Lake Peipus (also: Battle on the Ice), the exact course and extent of which is disputed among historians. A Russian contingent under Alexander Newski , Prince of Novgorod , struck a larger army division under Hermann I von Buxthoeven , the Bishop of Dorpat . In the summer of 1242 a peace treaty was signed. In fact, he fixed the respective spheres of influence for more than 150 years.

The subjugation of the Prussian settlement area went hand in hand with Christianization and German colonization of the country. This undertaking occupied the order for more than 50 years and was not completed until 1285 after severe setbacks such as various uprisings by the Prussians . The originally legitimizing goal of the so-called Heidenmission was retained even after Prussia's missionary work.

Structural and economic rationality

The order created a domain whose organizational structures and modernity in economic thinking in the empire were at best achieved by Nuremberg and which in many ways reminded one of the most advanced states in Northern Italy. Already in his nominal capacity as sovereign he was an important economic factor and, in addition, drew greater profit from the country through his efficient structures determined by economic planning and rationality. He became the only non-urban member of the Hanseatic League and had a branch in Lübeck with the court of the Teutonic Order . As a resource-rich neighbors of the Baltic economic area, which was flourishing thanks to the Hanseatic League of Towns, this opened up new trading opportunities and expanded scope for action.

From an economic and administrative point of view, the monastic state was one of the most modern and prosperous communities, if you compare it with the territorial states of the greater area. Far-reaching innovations in agriculture as well as pragmatic innovations in the field of artisanal production in connection with efficient administration and a highly developed monetary economy characterize an organizational structure that is superior to the traditional feudal system. The expansion of the traffic infrastructure and the perfection of the communications system, which was accelerated after 1282, had a positive effect.

Lithuanian Wars and Heyday (1303 to 1410)

The possessions, headquarters and acquisitions of the Teutonic Order in Prussia and the Livonian Union up to 1410

The Grand Master had his headquarters in Acre until this last crusader base was lost in 1291. Konrad von Feuchtwangen therefore resided in Venice , traditionally an important port for embarkation to Outremer . In 1309 Grand Master Siegfried von Feuchtwangen moved his seat to the Marienburg on the Nogat . Prussia had thus become the center of the order. During this time, which was Templars by King Philip IV. Of France pursued by the compliant Pope Clement V supported. The orders of knights were the focus of general criticism in the first decade of the 14th century due to the loss of the Holy Land . So it seemed advisable to move the Grand Master's seat to the center of one's own territorial power base.

The occupation of Danzig and Pomerania in 1308 took place through military action against Polish duchies and on the basis of the contract of Soldin with the Margraviate of Brandenburg . In Poland, not least because of these events, resentment grew against the order and against Germans residing in Poland. In 1312 the rebellion of Bailiff Albert was suppressed in Cracow and the Germans were expelled. The Poland of the Piast period, which was split up by territorial rule, was re- consolidated as the Kingdom of Poland in the following years by Władysław I. Ellenlang . Archbishop Jakub Świnka von Gnesen in particular advocated a policy of demarcation from the Germans. As a result of the loss of Pomerania and Danzig, the conflicts between the order and local Polish rulers as well as an initially politically weak kingdom expanded into a permanent feud. The peace treaty of Kalisz , in which Poland officially renounced Pomerania and Danzig in 1343 , did not result in any détente between the order and Poland in the long term.

Treaty of the Teutonic Order with the Danish Queen Margaret I on the return of Gotland

With Lithuania in the southeast, a grand duchy gradually rose against which the order was embroiled in a constant war for ideological and territorial reasons. The Teutonic Order's Lithuanian Wars lasted from 1303 to 1410 for over a century. Since this Eastern Grand Duchy vehemently rejected baptism , the Lithuanians were officially considered pagans . The constant emphasis on missioning to the Gentiles only insufficiently concealed the territorial interests of the order, particularly in Shamaites (Lower Lithuania). With the constant support of noble Prussian drivers , the war was carried through many smaller campaigns to Lithuania. The Grand Dukes of Lithuania, for their part, proceeded in the same way and repeatedly advanced into Prussian and Livonian territory. A high point of the wars was the Battle of Rudau in 1370. To the north of Koenigsberg an army of the order defeated a Lithuanian armed force under the orders of Grand Master Winrich von Kniprode and the order marshal . Regardless of this, Lithuania, which stretched far to the east, could never be permanently conquered. The reason for this successful resistance is the numerical strength of the Lithuanians in comparison with other ethnic groups such as the Prussians, Kurds and Estonians, as well as their effective political organization.

Grand Master Winrich von Kniprode led the state and thus the order to its greatest bloom. A consolidated economy and sustained military successes against Lithuania proved to be keys to success. The number of knight brothers remained low, around 1410 this group belonged to around 1400, around the middle of the 15th century only 780 religious. Under Konrad von Jungingen , with the conquest of Gotland , the peaceful acquisition of the Neumark and Samaitens, the greatest expansion of the order was achieved. The conquest of Gotland in 1398 was aimed at breaking up the vitality brothers camped there . This meant liberation from piracy, which had become a plague, within the main Hanseatic routes on the eastern Baltic Sea . The Order subsequently held Gotland militarily as a bargaining chip. It was not until 1408 that a balance was achieved with the Kingdom of Denmark, which was also interested in owning the island . Margaret I of Denmark paid 9,000 Nobels , i.e. about 63 kilograms of gold. However, the agreement came about under the aspect of the emerging escalation of the conflict with the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania .

Depiction of the Battle of Tannenberg in the Bern Chronicle by Diebold Schilling the Elder around 1483

In 1386 the two main opponents of the order had united through the marriage of Grand Duke Jogaila with Queen Hedwig of Poland . At the beginning of August 1409 the Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen sent his opponents the "feud letters", with which he declared war.

On July 15, 1410, a united Polish-Lithuanian armed force defeated the order's army, which had been supplemented by Prussian provinces , guest knights from many parts of Western Europe and mercenary detachments, in the battle of Tannenberg . The Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen also died, along with almost all of the order's rulers and many knights.

The order was able to preserve the core of its Prussian territories including the Marienburg through the commitment of the Commander and later Grand Master Heinrich von Plauen and assert it in the First Peace of Thorn of 1411. With this peace treaty and its amendment in the Peace of Melno Sea in 1422, the war campaigns of the order's armed forces, which had been permanently weakened near Tannenberg against Lithuania and the later personal union of Poland-Lithuania, ended over a hundred years . However, in the Peace of Thorn, high contributions of 100,000 shock Bohemian groschen had to be made , among other things for the release of prisoners. The contributions led to the introduction of a special tax, the so-called lap , which contributed to a previously unusually high tax burden on the Prussian estates .

Prussia (1410 to 1525)

The Order of Prussia, which remained after the Second Peace of Thorn in 1466, and the championship of Livonia; Warmia , shown in pink, had become part of the Royal (Polish) Prussia, but had a special status with extensive autonomy

Towards the end of the 14th century, a development that was destructive for the order and its state became apparent. While European chivalry declined in the late Middle Ages, the "fight for the cross" was increasingly transfigured and stood for an ideal that hardly existed in the reality of that time.

The nobility increasingly reduced the knightly orders to provide a secure supply base for descendants who were not entitled to inherit. Accordingly, the motivation of the knighthood decreased. Everyday tasks in administration or administration of the Teutonic Order were now perceived as annoying duties. The conservative liturgy of the order contributed to this view. The daily routine in peacetime was meticulously regulated. In contrast, the contents of a religious knightly order with missionary character had largely outlived itself. In addition, at the instigation of the King of Poland at the Council of Constance (1414–1418) , the order was formally prohibited from further missionary activity in now officially Christian Lithuania.

In the crisis following the heavy defeat of 1410, the grievances widened. Internal disputes weakened both the Order itself and, as a result, the Order State. Country teams fought over influence in the order, the German master strived for independence from the grand master. The cities of Prussia and the Kulm landed aristocracy, united in the Lizard League, demanded co-determination due to the greatly increased taxation to pay the war costs and contributions to be paid to Poland-Lithuania , which they were not granted. Thus they joined together in 1440 in the Prussian League . Grand Master Ludwig von Erlichshausen exacerbated the conflict with his demands on the estates. Emperor Friedrich III. sided with the order at the end of 1453. On the occasion of the wedding of King Casimir IV of Poland to Elisabeth von Habsburg , the Prussian Confederation entered into a protective alliance with Poland in early 1454 and openly rebelled against the rule of the order.

Thereupon the Thirteen Years War broke out, which was characterized by sieges and raids, but hardly by open field battles. As early as September 1454, the Polish troops were defeated in the Battle of Konitz and subsequently only marginally supported the Prussian uprising. Eventually, due to general exhaustion, there was a stalemate. The order could no longer reward its mercenaries and for this reason even had to give up its main house , the Marienburg. The castle was mortgaged to the unpaid mercenaries who immediately sold it to the King of Poland. Ultimately, the greater financial strength of the rebellious cities, which paid all war costs themselves, including in particular Danzig , made the difference.

In the Second Peace of Thorn in 1466, the order now also lost Pomerania, Kulmerland, Warmia and Marienburg. This treaty was not recognized by either the emperor or the pope. But the order as a whole had to recognize the Polish feudal sovereignty, which from then on every newly appointed Grand Master tried to avoid this by delaying or even not taking the feudal oath. A large part of the Prussian cities and areas in the west was able to break away from the rule of the order as a result of the Second Thorner Treaty.

To obtain the territorial shrunken Order state subsidies were now out of the bailiwicks needed the Holy Roman Empire, which many of the local coming in a difficult financial situation. German Master Ulrich von Lentersheim be tried these duties to give birth, asked for subsequently arbitrarily support of the emperor and imputed to this end in 1494 the suzerainty Maximilian I. This approach contradicted, however, by the Treaties of Kujawy Brest and Thorn with Poland, which protests on the part of the Prussian Branch of the order and especially of the Kingdom of Poland.

The Grand Master Albrecht I of Brandenburg-Ansbach tried unsuccessfully in the so-called equestrian war (1519-1521) to gain independence from the Polish crown. In the hope of receiving support from the Holy Roman Empire, in 1524 he made the Prussian order area subject to the feudal sovereignty of the empire and undertook a trip to the empire himself.

Since these efforts were also unsuccessful, he made a fundamental political turnaround: on the advice of Martin Luther , he decided to secularize the religious state, give up the office of Grand Master and convert Prussia into a secular duchy. He thus distanced himself from the empire and gained support for his plan to secularize the religious state with the King of Poland, whom he had previously fought as Grand Master. In addition, through his mother Sofia, a nephew of the Polish king, Albrecht made the feudal oath to King Sigismund I of Poland and was enfeoffed by him with the hereditary ducal dignity in Prussia (“in” and not “from” Prussia, because the western part of Prussia yes it was directly under the protectorate of the King of Poland). The former Grand Master resided from May 9, 1525 as Duke Albrecht I in Königsberg .

The institutions of the Holy Roman Empire did not recognize the secular Duchy of Prussia, but formally appointed administrators for Prussia until the end of the 17th century .

The branch of the order in the empire did not accept the conversion of "its" order state Prussia into a secular duchy. A hastily convened general chapter installed the previous German master, Walther von Cronberg , as the new Grand Master on December 16, 1526. In 1527 he received from the emperor the enfeoffment with the regalia and the authorization to call himself administrator of the high mastery and thus to maintain the claim to ownership of Prussia.

It was not until 1530 that an imperial decree allowed Cronberg to call himself Grand Master . The short title Hoch- und Deutschmeister emerged from this name . Cronberg was proclaimed at the same time the administrator of Prussia and the Imperial Diet of Augsburg in 1530 by Emperor Charles V invested with the Prussian country.

Then Cronberg sued his former Grand Master, Duke Albrecht, before the Reich Chamber of Commerce . The process ended in 1531 with the imposition of the imperial ban on Duke Albrecht and instructions to Albrecht and the Prussian Federation to restore the order's traditional rights in Prussia. In Prussia, outside the Reich, the steps had no effect. It received a Lutheran regional church. On the other hand, Warmia , withdrawn from the sovereignty of the order since 1466, remained as a prince-bishopric a spiritual territory and became the starting point of the Counter Reformation in Poland.

Livonia until 1629

In 1561 the estates of the Livonian order branch, i.e. Courland and Semgallia, were converted to a secular duchy under the former landmaster, Duke Gotthard von Kettler . The actual Livonia came directly to Lithuania and in the later state of Poland-Lithuania formed a kind of condominium between the two parts of the state. The duchies of Prussia, Livonia, Courland and Zemgale were now under Polish suzerainty.

Northern Estonia with Reval and the island of Ösel ( Saaremaa ) submitted to the Russian threat and represented by their knights to Danish and Swedish suzerainty. In 1629 most of Livonia came to Sweden through the conquests of Gustav II Adolf ; only the southeastern Livonia ( Latgale ) to Daugavpils (Daugavpils) remained Polish and became the province of Livonia , also called "Polish Livonia".

After the end of the Great Northern War , Livonia with Riga and Estonia was incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1721 in the form of the so-called Baltic Sea Governments . Latgale came to the Russian Empire in 1772, Courland and Semigallia only in 1795 in the course of the partition of Poland .

The order in the empire

Silver medal for the German Order from the Partin-Bank Bad Mergentheim, which has since been dissolved . The obverse is a facsimile of the medal by Franz Andreas Schega . It shows Clemens August von Bayern , Grand Master of the Teutonic Order 1732–1761. The back shows the order church in Mergentheim Castle .

After 1525, the Teutonic Order's sphere of activity was limited to its holdings in the Holy Roman Empire, apart from its free float in Livonia. Since the Reformation the order has been triconfessional; Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed churches existed.

After losing its Prussian possessions, the order managed to consolidate both internally and externally under Walther von Cronberg. At the Frankfurt General Chapter in 1529, the Cronberg Constitution was enacted, the future constitutional law of the aristocratic corporation. Residence of the Order of the head and at the same time the seat of the central authorities of the Hochmeister directly under areas (the Meistertum Mergentheim ) was Mergentheim .

Outside of this territorial rule, which was adapting to the new conditions, the Balleien led by the Landkomturen developed into largely independent entities. Some of them had the rank of imperial estates and ranked within the imperial registers in the group of prelates . They often became dependent on neighboring noble families who sent their sons to the order. In Thuringia, Saxony, Hesse and Utrecht , where the new doctrines of faith were firmly established, there were also Lutheran and Reformed friars who - following the corporative thinking of the nobility - were loyal to the Grand Master, also lived in celibacy and only followed the formula of the vows replaced by an oath.

After 1590 the high and German masters were elected from leading families of Catholic territorial states, especially from the House of Habsburg . This created new family and political links to the German nobility, but also made the order more and more an instrument of Habsburg power politics.

Bell tower of the castle church of the baroque residence of the Land Commander of Franconia in Ellingen

Against this background, an inner change in the order began in the 16th century. A Catholic reform led to a return to its original orientation, the rules of the order were adapted to the new circumstances. In the course of the sixteenth century, the nobility's tendency towards exclusivity pushed back the importance of the mostly non-aristocratic priestly brothers. In modern times they had neither a seat nor a vote in the General Chapter. The pastoral care in the future was often in the hands of members of other religious orders. Since lay people with legal training started working in the offices of the Order, this activity also ceased for priestly brothers. As a result, their number fell sharply.

The leadership of the order followed the demands of the Council of Trent and decided to found new seminaries. This happened in Cologne in 1574 and in Mergentheim in 1606. The founder of the latter seminar was Grand Master Archduke Maximilian of Austria , on whose initiative Tyrol also remained Catholic. In general, it can be noted that properties belonging to the Teutonic Order also remained Catholic in predominantly Reformed areas, which has continued to the present day. External religious branches in Protestant areas played an important role in pastoral care for Catholics who were traveling through or for the few Old Believers who remained there . In some of the coming ones, the idea of ​​the hospital brotherhood came up again. Among other things, the order established a hospital in Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen in 1568 .

Castle of the Coming Ramersdorf near Bonn

The order, which is still shaped by the nobility and their values, considered the most important task to be the military engagement of the knight brothers, who since the 17th century also called themselves cavaliers based on the Italian model . The Turkish wars , which escalated since the 16th century, offered an extensive field of activity to defend the Christian faith in accordance with the statutes . In this way, despite financial hardship, the order made considerable contributions to the defense of the West against the Ottoman Empire - what was called in the parlance of the time . Professed knights mostly served as officers in regiments of Catholic imperial princes and in the imperial army . In particular, the Imperial Infantry Regiment No. 3 and the kuk infantry regiment "Hoch- und Deutschmeister" No. 4 received their recruits from the German order areas. All capable knight brothers had to perform a so-called exercitium militare . They served for a period of three years with officer rank in the border fortresses, which were particularly endangered by military campaigns, before they were allowed to take on further religious offices.

After the Thirty Years' War there was a lot of building activity among those coming to the order. Castles, often associated with remarkable castle churches, and representative commons were built. Such buildings were built in Ellingen , Nuremberg , Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen, Altshausen , Beuggen , Altenbiesen and in many other places. In addition, numerous new, richly furnished village and town churches as well as profane functional buildings were built.

Territorial losses and restructuring in the 19th and 20th centuries

South portal of the Gothic Leech Church in Graz

The coalition wars following the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century caused another major crisis for the Order. With the cession of the left bank of the Rhine to France, the Alsace and Lorraine regions were completely lost, while Koblenz and Biesen were largely lost. The peace of Pressburg with France after the severe defeat of the Austro-Russian coalition at Austerlitz against Napoléon in 1805 decreed that the possessions of the Teutonic Order and the office of high and German master should be inherited by the House of Austria, i.e. Habsburg. The office of Grand Master and with him the medal were integrated into the sovereignty of the Austrian Empire. Emperor Franz I of Austria allowed the nominal status of the order to continue. At that time the Grand Master was his brother Anton Viktor of Austria .

The next blow came with the outbreak of a new armed conflict in the spring of 1809. On April 24th, after the Austrian invasion of the Kingdom of Bavaria as a result of the Fifth Coalition War , Napoléon declared the order dissolved in the states of the Rhine Confederation . The ownership of the order was ceded to the princes of the Rhine Confederation. In this way Napoléon aimed to materially compensate his allies' war effort in the war against the coalition and thus to bind the princes more closely to the French Empire. The order now only had the possessions in Silesia and Bohemia, as well as the Austria ballot, with the exception of those around Carniola, who were ceded to the Illyrian provinces . The Ballei An der Etsch in Tyrol fell to the French vassal kingdoms of Bavaria and the kingdom in northeast Italy that emerged from the Cisalpine Republic of Napoléon in 1805 .

In the course of secularization in the early 19th century, the order lost most of its territories, although it was still recognized as sovereign in the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss . But as early as 1805 it was stipulated in Article XII of the Peace of Pressburg that “ the dignity of a grand master of the German order, the rights, domains and income ... the prince of the imperial house, which Se. Majesty will appoint the Emperor of Germany and Austria, in the person and in the straight male line according to the birthright should be inherited “ . The order had thus become a part of Austria and the Habsburg Monarchy .

As a result of the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Carniola and Tyrol fell under the auspices of the Order; a restoration of the full sovereignty of the order was no longer possible in view of the now inadequate assets.

In 1834 Franz I renounced all rights from the Bratislava Peace and reinstated the order in its old rights and duties: by cabinet order of March 8, 1843, the order became legally an independent spiritual-military institute under the bond of one imperial immediate fiefdom . There was only the Austrian ballot, the championship in Bohemia and Moravia and a small ballot in Bolzano .

After the fall of the Danube Monarchy in the wake of the First World War , the order was initially regarded as an Imperial Habsburg Order of Honor in the successor states of the multi-ethnic monarchy . The responsible authorities therefore considered confiscating the order's property as nominal property of the Habsburg imperial family. For this reason Grand Master Archduke Eugen von Österreich-Teschen resigned his office in 1923. He had the religious priest and bishop of Brno Norbert Johann Klein elected as coadjutor and abdicated at the same time. This turning point proved to be successful: by the end of 1927, the successor states of the Danube Monarchy recognized the Teutonic Order as a spiritual order. The order also included the four ballei (later called provinces) in the Kingdom of Italy , the Czechoslovak Republic , the Republic of Austria and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia .

On September 6, 1938, the National Socialist German Reich government issued a decree to dissolve the Teutonic Order. In the same year, as a result of this decree, the Teutonic Order was dissolved in Austria , which was annexed to the German Empire as Ostmark . In 1939 the same edict came into effect in what is known as the rest of the Czech Republic , the Reich Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia , annexed by the German Reich . In South Tyrol , Italy , there were ideologically based attacks by locally based fascists on institutions and members until 1945 .

In the "Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes" or the "Kingdom of Yugoslavia" (1918–1941) , the order was tolerated in the twenties and thirties. During the Second World War , his possessions, which were mostly located in the Slovenian area, served as a hospital . After 1945, members of the Teutonic Order in the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia were persecuted, not least because of the name due to the war and post-war events. In the course of the abolition of all religious orders here in 1947, the Yugoslav state organs secularized the property of the Teutonic Order and expelled its members from the country.

After the Second World War, the annulment decree of 1938 in Austria was legally annulled in 1947 and the remaining assets were returned to the Order.

The members of the order were also expelled from Czechoslovakia . In Darmstadt these order members founded a convent in 1949, which was abandoned in 2014. In 1953 a mother house was created for religious sisters in Passau, in the former Augustinian canons of St. Nikola. In 1957 the Order acquired a house in Rome as the seat of the Procurator General, which also serves as a pilgrims' house. In 1970 and 1988 the rules of the order were modified - also with a view to better participation of the female members.

The German Order in the Present

Today the German Order with the official title "Order of the Brothers of the German House of St. Mary in Jerusalem" is a spiritual order. It currently has around 1,000 members: around 100 priests, 200 sisters and 700  families .

The spatial districts of the order are called provinces . They have their own provincial offices, which can be understood as regional administrations of the order. These are in Weyarn for Germany , Vienna for Austria , Lana for South Tyrol / Italy , Ljubljana for Slovenia and Troppau for the Czech Republic and Slovakia .

In accordance with its original ideal, “to serve people in need in selfless love for Christ's sake”, the order is active today in charitable and educational activities. The focus is on the areas of assistance for the elderly and the disabled as well as addiction assistance. He also runs guest houses in Vienna, Rome and Gumpoldskirchen . In addition, religious priests are used as pastors in various parishes . Another focus is the research of the order's own history. Since 1966 the order has published the now 60-volume book series Sources and Studies on the History of the Teutonic Order - with the cooperation of authors from across the states and confessions .

In 1999 the Teutonic Order Province of Germany experienced glaring financial bottlenecks as a result of mismanagement, as a result of which the province had to declare its insolvency in November 2000 . The establishment of a new management averted the liquidation of the public corporation in agreement with the creditors in the last instance.

Order leadership

Grand Master
Teuton flag.svg
General Council
General Procurator
Secretary General
General economist
General assistant
Commission for liturgy of the Teutonic Order
Commission for Proprietary Law in the Teutonic Order


  • General Council: In addition to the Grand Master, members are the General Procurator, four General Councilors elected from the provinces, the General Secretary, the General Economist, in addition to the General Assistant, a further representative of the nuns and an expert from the Family Institute. All matters important to the management of the order are discussed and decided by the Grand Master with his council at regular general council meetings.
  • The General Procurator in Rome represents the affairs of the Teutonic Order at the Holy See.
  • Secretary General: Administrative representative of the Grand Master in day-to-day business and deputy of the Grand Master in the event of indisposition.
  • General Economist: Responsible for finances and logistics.
  • The general assistant represents the sisters of all provinces in the general council. As the representative of the Grand Master, she also takes part in the conferences and meetings of the Superiors General and discusses the resolutions passed with the Grand Master, who informs the individual Provincial Superiors thereof. The general assistant does not take the place of a general superior in terms of religious law.

Religious priests and lay brothers

The first branch of the order are the priests (abbreviation after the name: "OT" for "Ordo Teutonicus"). They take a solemn perpetual vow ( profession ), are the successors of the knights and are solely entitled to lead the order and primarily work in pastoral care. This branch also includes lay brothers who take simple perpetual vows.

The conventions are organized in five provinces:

At the top there is always a provincial superior who has the title "Prior" or "Landkomtur".

Religious sisters

The second branch is the Congregation of Religious Sisters. They take simple perpetual vows. Within the order they regulate their affairs independently and devote themselves to the care of the sick and the elderly. They are also organized in five provinces

  • Germany based in Passau
  • Austria based in Friesach
  • Italy based in Lana
  • Czech Republic (Milosrdné sestry Panny Marie Jeruzalémské Province sester) and Slovakia (Milosrdné sestry Panny Márie Jeruzalemskej Provincia sestier) based in Opava
  • Slovenia (Sestre Križniškega Reda (SKR)) based in Luttenberg .

Familiar and Knights of Honor

The third branch is the Institut der Familiaren (abbreviation after the name "FamOT"). They make a promise (not a vow) on the order and also regulate their affairs independently within the order. On festive occasions they wear a black cape with the coat of arms of the Teutonic Order on the left side. They are divided into the ballei

  • Germany based in Frankfurt am Main and the commanderies "An Isar, Lech and Donau", "An der Donau", "Franken", "Am Oberrhein", "An Tauber, Neckar and Bodensee", "An Rhein und Main", "On the Rhine and Ruhr", "On the Weser and Ems" and "On the Elbe and the Baltic Sea",
  • Austria with the commanderies "An der Drau", "An Enns und Salzach" and "An Mur und Mürz". The commandery "Am Inn und Hohen Rhein" has belonged to the Ballei An der Etsch und im Gebirge since February 2009
  • Ad Tiberim (Italy),
  • On the Adige and in the mountains ( South Tyrol ),
  • Ballivia in Bohemia, Moravia et Silesia ( Czech Republic )
  • and the independent Deutschordensballei Alden Biesen in Belgium .

Well-known families are or were, for example, Franz Josef Strauss or Edmund Stoiber .

A special category within the family is the class of knights of honor , which is limited to twelve members. They wear a white coat with the order's coat of arms and the knight's cross on the collar. Well-known knights of honor are or were, for example, Konrad Adenauer , Otto von Habsburg , Cardinal Joachim Meisner (Cologne), Cardinal Christoph Schönborn (Vienna), Peter Kohlgraf (Mainz), Archbishop Stefan Heße (Hamburg), Udo Arnold or Carl Herzog von Württemberg .

Organizational structures of the order

Sign and regalia

Medieval coat of
arms of the Teutonic Order
Seal of the Teutonic Order from the 14th century

The shape of the medal changed over the centuries from a simple bar cross to a black paw cross on a white background.

The clothing of the members of the order corresponded to the respective time, but since the foundation of the order the white coat with the black cross on the right side (seen from the viewer) has always been a symbol of the order. In addition to the cloak, which is obligatory for festive occasions, the typical religious clothing for clergy today includes the cassock , neck cross and pectoral cross .

The motto of the order is "Help, fight back, heal".

Inner constitution

Originally, the order had adopted the Templars' rules for its military activities and those of the Johanniter for its charitable activities. From the 13th century onwards, the order established rules confirmed by Pope Innocent IV in 1244 , which were recorded in a so-called "order book". The oldest surviving copy of an order book dates from 1264. The Teutonic Order originally maintained its own form of the rite of the liturgy . At the time of its creation, the brothers celebrated the service according to the rite of the canons of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. With a license from Pope Innocent IV , the liturgy of the Dominicans was introduced into the order. Although the Council of Trent allowed this old form of liturgy to be retained, the form of the Tridentine Mass slowly gained acceptance in the Order and was finally adopted in 1624. Since then, the Roman rite of the Catholic Church has also applied in the Teutonic Order . In addition to the Virgin Mary , Elisabeth of Thuringia, who was canonized in 1235, is the patroness of the order .

The constitution of the order, also called statutes , was and is decided by the general chapter / grand chapter and previously approved by the emperor, today by the pope. Important decisions were made

  • the "Cronberg Constitution", issued at the Frankfurt General Chapter in 1529;
  • the "Statutes of the Teutonic Knight Order" ( confirmed by Emperor Ferdinand I in 1840 )
  • the "Rule of the Convent Brothers of the German House and Hospital of Our Lady of Jerusalem for the priestly convents directly subordinate to the Grand Master of 1865 for the new priestly convents" (recognized by the emperor in 1866 and confirmed by Pope Pius IX in 1871 );

In 1929 the major chapter of the Teutonic Order approved the two revised rules of the order of the brothers and sisters, both of which were published on November 27, 1929 by Pope Pius XI. have been confirmed.

The Sisters of the Teutonic Order are attached to the Order of Brothers as a congregation under papal law. The general direction lies with the Grand Master; Representatives of the sisters attend the general chapter and the general council. This form of religious life is solitary in the Roman Catholic Church. After provisional approvals, the rules of the brothers from the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem and the rules of life of the sisters from the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem were confirmed by the Apostolic See on October 11, 1993 . Both had already been approved in accordance with the instructions of the Second Vatican Council and finally also adapted to the norms of the ecclesiastical code of 1983. All statutes of the order are in the rules and statutes of the Teutonic Order “The Order Book. Vienna 2001 ”published.

Offices and institutions

General Chapter

The general chapter originally formed the decision-making assembly of all full members of the order (knights, priests, gray cloaks ). Since this was not logistically possible, one limited oneself to deputations of the individual comers and balles under the chairmanship of the respective Landmeister . Originally intended as an annual meeting, in practice a general chapter met almost exclusively in the High and Late Middle Ages to elect the respective Grand Masters . The resolutions were formally binding for the rulers of the order.

Grand Master

Today's coat of arms of the Grand Masters of the Teutonic Order

The Grand Master is the highest office in the Teutonic Order and is only subordinate to the Pope in Rome. To 1525 elected by the General Chapter , he had the Holy Roman Empire to the rank of a minister empire state . In Prussia the Grand Master was also a sovereign sovereign prince until 1466. Nevertheless, from a hierarchical point of view, he must be considered first among equals . This meant that he had to take into account the intentions and demands of the individual groups in the order. The extent to which this happened was closely related to the personality of the respective Grand Master. From 1530 to 1929 the office was called colloquially "Hoch- und Deutschmeister". Last high and German master was from 1894 to 1923 the kuk Field Marshal Archduke Eugen of Austria from the House of Habsburg . On August 25, 2000, Bruno Platter was elected as the 65th Grand Master of the Order. On October 29, 2000 , he received the abbot's benediction from the Bishop of Bozen-Brixen, Wilhelm Egger . Frank Bayard was elected the current 66th Grand Master of the Order on August 22, 2018 .


Grand Master
Teuton flag.svg
General Chapter
Grand Commander
(Magnus Commendator)
Order Marshal
(Summus Marescalcus)
(Summus Hospitalarius)
Order stressler
(Summus Thesaurarius)
(Summus Trappearius)


Until 1525, the so-called "Großgebietiger" appointed by the Grand Master himself were responsible for the area of ​​the entire order . Their respective official seats were in Prussia. In addition to administrative tasks, the Greater Area also performed representative duties in the state administration and often performed important diplomatic missions in the service of the Grand Master. There were five office-specific large areas by 1525:

  • Grand Commander (Deputy Grand Master) to Marienburg: Supervised the treasury and all supplies. In particular, the Firmarie (retirement home) and the war system of the Marienburg were under them. In addition, he checked the accounts of the Tressler and kept the debt register of the order. He also represented the Grand Master in the event of a lengthy illness or absence.
  • Marshal of the Order (since 1330 also Komtur von Königsberg ): Was responsible for the war system (castles, military equipment, weapons production, horses and chariots) and led the army in the event of war.
  • Großspittler zu Elbing : Head of nursing - and the entire hospital system under the control of the order. In the late Middle Ages it became a representative honorary office.
  • Ordenstressler zu Marienburg: Managed the financial system.
  • Ordenstrappier zu Christburg : His area of ​​responsibility for the procurement and distribution of all clothing (very important under the conditions of the Middle Ages). Later the meaning was reduced to a mere honorary position.

The German-language names for the offices of the Greater Area originally come from the organizational form of the Templar Order .


Landmeister was a high office and title in the Teutonic Order. The land master was a position between the grand master and the land commander of the Balleien . In the empire the Balleien were subordinate to a landmaster, in Prussia and Livonia those who were to come . So the landmaster was in fact considered to be the Grand Master's deputy. The land masters were soon able to expand this autonomous function, so that even the grand master could no longer decide against their intentions. They were chosen by the regional chapters and only confirmed by the Grand Master. In the middle of the 15th century, at the time of the decline of the order's rule in Prussia, there was even talk of the three branches of the order, with the Grand Master only having the equal role of Landmaster of Prussia.

Within the order there were initially three, later only two land masters. For Germany and Italy was acting German champion and a country champion in Livonia . The office of Landmeister of Prussia was dissolved in 1309 as a result of the Grand Master's relocation of the headquarters to Prussia . The last Landmeister of Prussia to reside in Elbing was Heinrich von Plötzke . After the Reformation and the dissolution of the Hochmeisteramt in Prussia, the Deutschmeister was also the administrator of the Hochmeistertum and his competencies were extended to Prussia, which in practice only turned out to be a formal act.

The most important landmaster in Livonia was Wolter von Plettenberg . Like his successors, he remained Catholic until 1561. But under him the Reformation prevailed in Livonia among Baltic Germans , Estonians and Latvians . The Evangelical faith has been preserved in the states of Estonia and Latvia to this day . Livonia was also lost in the middle of the 16th century.

So the office of a Landmeister came to an end, as the remaining Landmeister, as a high and German master, fulfilled the functions of the high master's office.

Grand Master
Teuton flag.svg
General Chapter
German master

(Magister Germaniae)

Landmaster in Livonia

(Magister Livoniae)

Landmaster of Prussia

(Magister Prusciae until 1309)


Land Commander

The land commander was the head of a ballroom . Various comers were gathered in a ball. Some of the German balles had the rank of imperial estates and ranked in the register of the empire in the group of prelates . With the transformation of the order into a clerical order, the balles of the order in the provinces / priories of today's clerical Teutonic Order, whose provincial is called Prior .

In his administration the Landkomtur was supported by a councilor . That was a brother knight who was elected from among the brothers knights of a ball. The councilor had a say in the acceptance of orders, transfers and the awarding of those coming.


The commander was the leader of a branch of the Order of Coming . He exercised all administrative powers and supervised the bailiwicks and tithe courts that were subordinate to his Teutonic Order . A control was given by so-called change of office , during which a general inventory was carried out when the office was regularly relinquished , as well as by visitations . Until well into the 19th century, the convents of the Order were called Coming. Both knights and priests lived in these administrative units. Under the direction of the Komtur, a monastic life with choir prayer was formed in the coming . It was only after the Reformation that communal life in the Teutonic Order was dissolved and those who were to come became pure sources of income for the Knight Brothers of the Order, who were usually in the military service of a sovereign.

The size of those who came was very different. In contrast to those who came in Prussia, those in the German Empire were smaller and, as early as the 13th century, consisted of only one commander, two to six conventuals and one priest. With the conversion of the order into a clerical order, the coming ones were changed into convents, the head of which is now called superior, 'the Latin form of superior , and no longer commander.

Other offices

Imitation of a coin of the Teutonic Order
( Moneta Dominorum Prussiae )
  • Chancellor of the Grand Master and Chancellor of the German Master. The chancellor kept keys and seals and was the recorder of chapters of the order .
  • Mint master in Thorn. In 1246 Emperor Friedrich II granted the order the right to mint its own coins, the so-called Moneta Dominorum Prussiae  - Schillingen .
  • Poundmaster in Danzig. The pound money was a tariff introduced by the Hanseatic League .
  • General Procurator as representative of the Order at the Vatican .
  • Großschäffer . Trade representatives of the order in Prussia with special powers with headquarters in Marienburg and Königsberg
  • Order Marshal who was responsible for the Order's warfare.

There could be further offices within a coming party, but these did not exist at all times or in all coming:

  • House Commander
  • male nurse
  • Councilor
  • There were builders in the Alsace-Burgundy and Franconia regions.
  • Caravan lord
  • Schäffer
  • Kitchen master
  • Cellar master
  • Überreiter , "so ordered about the income of the estates"
  • Trappers

Administrative structure in the middle of the 14th century


General Chapter

Coat of arms of the Teutonic Order, svg Zakon Kawalerów Mieczowych COA.svg Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806) .svg
Councilor (Council of the Grand Master)
Grand Master
Teuton flag.svg
Grand Master's Office
Grand Commander (Magnus Commendator)
Order Marshal (Summus Marescalcus)
Großspittler (Summus Hospitalarius)
Order stressler (Summus Thesaurarius)
(Summus Trappearius)
Großschäffer (Marienburg)
Großschäffer (Koenigsberg)
Commander (Prussia)
Commander (Prussia)
German Master (Magister Germaniae)
Landmaster in Livonia (Magister Livoniae)
Commander (Livonia)
Commander (Livonia)
Land Commander
Land Commander
Commander (in the empire)
Commander (in the empire)
House Commander
male nurse
Caravan lord Trappers Cellar master Kitchen master Guard captain Servant master Fish master


Headquarters and Archives of the Order

The original seat of the Grand Master and thus also of the order was his hospital in Acre . In 1220 the order acquired Montfort Castle , which after its reconstruction became the seat of the Grand Master. In 1271 the castle was conquered by the Mamluks and the Grand Master returned to Acre. After the fall of Acon in 1291, the head office in Venice was initially under Grand Master Konrad von Feuchtwangen , and then from 1309 the Marienburg under Grand Master Siegfried von Feuchtwangen .

After its loss in 1457, Königsberg became the headquarters of the order. From 1525/27 Mergentheim was mostly the official residence of the high and German masters. After the order had lost its sovereignty due to the provisions of the Peace of Pressburg , the central residence of the order was from 1805 to 1923 in Vienna .

The then coadjutor and later Grand Master Norbert Johann Klein moved the headquarters to Freudenthal in 1923 . The Grand Master's seat has been in Vienna again since 1948. The Teutonic Order House in Vienna, located behind St. Stephen's Cathedral , is also the seat of the Central Archives of the Teutonic Order and the treasury of the Teutonic Order, which is open to the public .

The completely preserved documents of the Prussian State Archives in Königsberg from the time of the Order are in the Secret State Archives of Prussian Cultural Heritage . The documents from Mergentheim are in the Ludwigsburg State Archives . Further files are in the North Rhine-Westphalia State Archives . and in the Nuremberg State Archives . The state of Baden-Württemberg and the city of Bad Mergentheim are the sponsors of the Teutonic Order Museum in Bad Mergentheim.

On July 4, 2014, the German Order Research Center was set up in Würzburg .

Sources and early historiography

The sources of the order and the history of the affected regions can be described as good due to two facts:

  • Since the areas of the order were less affected by devastation than many other German regions, z. B. in the course of the Thirty Years 'War , the Seven Years' War or the Napoleonic Wars , most of the archives survived the centuries relatively unscathed.
  • The modern, advanced written form of the administrative practice of the Order has produced extensive, systematically compiled document stocks, inventory lists , invoices and other sources that cannot be found in any other German country in medieval times. The correspondence of the respective Grand Masters is also very detailed. In addition, the records of cities, monasteries and cathedral monasteries also partly relate to the history of the order.

From the early days of the order to the beginning of the 14th century there are almost no chronic sources. The documentary tradition z. B. donations or the granting of privileges by the Pope. Nevertheless, the conquest of the country can hardly be described with the help of contemporary evidence.

From 1324 to 1331 the priest brother Peter von Duisburg wrote the Chronicon Prussiae. He reported about the beginnings of the order in Prussia, the fight against the Prussians, their beliefs and their customs. Most of what is known of the early days of the order is based on his work, which in turn drew as a source from a lost version of the Narratio de primordiis Ordinis Theutonici found in the 19th century . Nikolaus von Jeroschin later translated this Latin Chronicon Prussiae into German in verse on behalf of Luther of Braunschweig .

Towards the end of the 15th century, the first signs of a stronger interest in historical studies emerged with humanism . Since 1517 the Dominican Simon Grunau wrote his extensive Prussian Chronicle. Since the source-critical method was still unknown, Grunau quickly invented documents and speculated where he didn't know anything more precise. His writings are shaped from a negative point of view towards the order. Grunau gave detailed information about his sources and their accessibility. It was later used as a source by other historians - who, however, also criticized it for writing too much in the Polish sense. In 1592 Caspar Schütz wrote the multi-volume Rerum Prussicarum on behalf of Albrecht von Brandenburg . In 1679, Christoph Hartknoch described in his historical work Old and New Prussia both the pagan and the time shaped by the order. The nine-volume history of the Prussian lands by Gottfried Lengnich was published between 1722 and 1725 .

Between 1827 and 1829 Johannes Voigt wrote a nine-volume history of Prussia. For the first time, its presentation was based on a systematic evaluation of original sources, especially documents and files. Voigt's work on the history of Prussia was groundbreaking and is still considered standard literature today.

Modern reception

The last crusader , romantic reception of the Teutonic Knighthood in the 19th century, painting by Carl Friedrich Lessing

The historical reception of the Teutonic Order in the 19th and first half of the 20th century mostly only dealt with the presence of the Knightly Order of that time in the Baltic States - the Teutonic Order state was equated with the order itself. The peculiarities of the order as the bearer of administration were only given little consideration. As a whole, the order that still existed in the empire received little attention. A processing of its history and structures began in Germany and internationally only after 1945. Research into and interpretation of the history of the order in Germany, Poland and Russia - depending on the respective governments / regimes - were extremely different, strongly national or even nationalistic and often little related to the real history of the order.

German-Polish controversy

A controversial evaluation of the Teutonic Order began in the first decades of the 19th century with the rediscovery and romanticization of the Middle Ages on the one hand, and the occupation and ongoing division of Poland on the other. From 1850 onwards, this resulted in a “substitute culture war”. The dispute began between Polish intellectuals and Prussian-German historians. After 1860, Polish history scholars also officially got involved.

While Polish publications accused the order of a genocide against the Prussians and an unrestrained policy of conquest, German historians stylized the order as a Germanic cultural bearer.

This dispute continued on the German side until 1945, on the Polish side in a weaker form until 1989. The Polish historian Tomasz Torbus characterizes the controversy as follows: “The use of the Teutonic Order in humanities subjects, in propaganda and as a symbol in current politics can be seen in Germany with interruptions from the founding of the Empire to the collapse of the Nazi state, in Poland to to the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. "

The first phase of the conflict between Polish intellectuals and the occupiers took place in the literary field. Adam Mickiewicz published his verse epic Konrad Wallenrod as early as 1826 . The author used a historical parable here to disguise criticism of the restrictive Russian policy towards Poland and in this way to circumvent Russian censorship . Mickiewicz relocated the Polish-Russian conflict to the Middle Ages and painted a gloomy picture of the German knights instead of the Russian occupiers. In the middle of the 19th century, the Lviv historian Karol Szajnocha wrote the story Jagiełło und Jadwiga , which brought generations of readers closer to the Polish view of the conflict with the Teutonic Order. Finally, in Krzyżacy (Crusader) by Henryk Sienkiewicz , published in 1874, the knights were demonized throughout. Wojciech Kętrzyński (actually Adalbert von Winkler), co-founder of an independent Polish historical science, took the view from 1865 that German rule had brought nothing but “misery and lack of freedom” to the subjugated Slavs. This view of a “ Teutonism driven by criminal energy and forcibly or taking advantage of the naivety of local Slavic rulers tossing eastwards ” later led to an interpretation of the wars of the Order as genocide or extermination in nationalist Polish journalism ( wytępienie; but often also in Polish left untranslated).

In 19th century Polish depictions, the knights were portrayed as murderous and cruel. History painting by Wojciech Gerson (1875)
Polish experimental group depicting a Teutonic Knight at a re-enactment event, Sanok - Mrzygłód , 2010

In particular, the Germanization policy in the Prussian areas after the establishment of the Empire in 1871 met resistance from the Polish population. The increasing national pride was also oriented towards history and, above all, transfigured the victorious battle of Tannenberg into a myth, which was evident in the large number of commemorative rallies on the anniversary of the battle. At the same time began the rise of Polish history painting , which was the glorious episodes of Polish history, especially the Polish victory over the Teutonic Order. The oversized painting by the most important representative of this genre, Jan Matejko , stylized the battle of Tannenberg into a triumph over the Teutonic Order and the overbearing Germanness. The novel Krzyżacy (English title: Die Kreuzritter ) by Henryk Sienkiewicz , which has been translated into many languages ​​and described the Teutonic Order negatively through the morally repulsive demeanor of its representatives, is also historicizing .

After the establishment of the Second Polish Republic in 1918, Polish historians focused more and more on the history of the Teutonic Order. Publications questioned the authenticity of the Kruschwitz Treaty and the legitimation of the Knights of the Order in the Baltic States. The approach of the knights in the missionary work of the Prussians was, with reference to the Prussian historian Heinrich von Treitschke, regarded as genocide and the occupation of Pomerania in 1308 was equated with the occupation of traditional Polish soil.

Isolated attempts, mostly made in popular science and in the context of the German-Polish tensions of the 20th century, to subsume the disappearance of the Prussians under the modern term genocide , are now mostly rejected by research as ahistorical, not factually justifiable and not verifiable in terms of sources. Exact figures about the proportion of Prussians who died in combat or who only migrated later, as well as the reasons for giving up language and identity, are not available. Also, no conscious and planned extermination on the part of the Order can be established.

After almost six years of occupation of Poland and the end of the Second World War, Polish propaganda equated the defeat of National Socialist Germany with the victory of Tannenberg: "Grunwald 1410 / Berlin 1945" it said on a poster.

During the Cold War , the Teutonic Order was officially a symbol of fear of a border revision by the Federal Republic of Germany, which was integrated into NATO . As early as the 1950s, the Polish communists compared the supposedly expansive Knights of the Order with the Federal Republic of Germany, which was classified as revanchist. The connection of the communist People's Republic of Poland to the Soviet Union was placed in the tradition of a Pan-Slavic alliance against the so-called German drive to the east and the Polish national history was used to legitimize their own rule. The Polish historian Janusz A. Majcherek writes about this:

“This is one of the most mystified and propagandistically exploited periods in Polish iconography. The film 'The Crusaders' and the painting 'The Battle of Tannenberg' are not only familiar to all Poles, they are also among the most strongly imprinted patterns of their collective historical self-image. One must therefore finally admit that Sienkiewicz's novel and Matejko's paintings are purely propagandistic [sic] works and that Alexander Ford's film is an example of a nationalist cinema in a heroic-martyrological tone, which was propagated in all countries of this system during communist times [ ...]. "

- Janusz A. Majcherek

After 1972, as part of Willy Brandt's and his successors' Ostpolitik aimed at detente, there were increased contacts between the German and Polish sides, which resulted in a joint UNESCO textbook commission in 1977 . With the relativizations made by this committee in the mutual assessment of history, the presence of the Teutonic Order was also increasingly assessed in a more objective context by the Polish side.

The memory of the victory over the Order in 1410 is still alive today in Poland. The Polish tabloid press tried repeatedly to serve subliminal anti-German resentments with brief allusions to the Battle of Grunwald . During the European football championship in 2008, before a preliminary round match between the German and Polish national teams, the Polish tabloid fact , which belongs to the German Springer publishing group, portrayed the defeated captain of the German national football team Michael Ballack in a medal and a spiked hat. Such provocative methods of representing history belong to the today's Poland an exception.

Every year on Saturday around the historical date of the Battle of Tannenberg in July 1410, a re-enactment event takes place on the historical battlefield to commemorate the events of that time. There are also German groups represented who use this event for international understanding and for amicable exchange with the Polish and Lithuanian former "enemies". In 2010, Grand Master Bruno Platter was also present as part of the 600th anniversary celebration of the battle , who gave a speech and laid a wreath.

The Russian look

Russian warrior defeats a Teutonic Knight; Copper relief from Leningrad , around 1980

In Russia the confrontation with the common history took place under special auspices. The starting point was the direct confrontation with the Knights of the Order in the northern Baltic States, which culminated in the battle on Lake Peipus in 1242 . As early as the Middle Ages, Russian chronicles stylized this - in the assessment of modern historians - larger skirmishes for the decisive battle between the Roman Catholic Church and Russian Orthodoxy . Through this interpretation of history, the defeats of the Russian principalities against the Mongols of the Golden Horde could be concealed. However, the bitter resistance of the Russians against the Germans in comparison to the Mongols can be explained by the fact that the Mongols did not interfere with the Russian way of life and religious questions and only demanded tribute payments. The Teutonic Order, on the other hand, was ideologically and religiously motivated to convert or destroy the orthodox “heretics” and was supported by the papacy.

The Russian victory at Wesenberg in 1268 was no less important than the battle on Lake Peipus. The Battle of Tannenberg in 1410 also attracted attention from Russian chroniclers, as Belarusian regiments were involved. Russian historiography has always attached decisive importance to these troops.

In the 1930s, reception gained a new dimension as a result of the ideological disputes between the Soviet Union and the National Socialist German Reich. The Teutonic Order was viewed as a ruthless aggressor on Russian territory and an early forerunner of National Socialism. A well-known example of an artistic processing of this interpretation is the film Alexander Newski by director Sergej Eisenstein , which served as anti-German propaganda in the Great Patriotic War from 1941 to 1945 .

Until the end of the Soviet Union, the view of the Teutonic Order remained shaped by this view of history. Even today, national Russian circles insist on the interpretation that the order was an aggressive instrument of the Roman Catholic Church and the German feudal lords to conquer Russian soil and destroy the Russian Orthodox Church.

Reception in Austria

Under Emperor Leopold I , a reference to the traditions of the Teutonic Order was cultivated in 1696 by naming a regiment of the Imperial Habsburg forces, which was later continued by the Kuk Infantry Regiment Hoch- und Deutschmeister No. 4 , among others . In today's armed forces , the Vienna 1 Jäger Battalion , nicknamed Hoch- und Deutschmeister , continues this historical line.

Prussian and German perspectives

Heinrich von Treitschke

In Protestant Prussia, the Teutonic Order was viewed from a distant or negative view, not least because of the Thirteen Years' War with the Prussian estates in the middle of the 15th century.

National collection after 1815

It was only as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, with the historian Heinrich von Treitschke playing a decisive role, that a change began. From then on, the order embodied the “German mission in the East” and took on the role of “cultural bearer against Slavicism” in historiography. Treitschke interpreted the state of the order as a “solid dike, daringly built out from the German shore into the wild sea of ​​the eastern peoples” and the defeat of the order at Tannenberg as the defeat of the West against the “barbaric” East. The order itself embodied "traits of the German character, the aggressive strength and the imperious, uncaring hardness".

Under the impression of the identity-creating evaluation of the Battle of Tannenberg in 1410 on the Polish side, at the end of the 19th century a move was made to counter the Polish commemorations with a “German component”. The result was a glorification of the order as the "colonizer of the German East" by nationalist circles in Wilhelmine Prussia. This view is reflected in the novels Heinrich von Plauen and The Mayor of Thorn by Ernst Wichert . The historian Adolf Koch claimed in 1894: "The kings of Prussia rise on the shoulders of the Grand Masters of the Teutonic Order."

Weimar Republic

Election poster (1920)

Due to the territorial assignments, especially in West Prussia, to the newly created Polish state, a non-partisan propaganda developed, which was linked to the tradition of the Teutonic Order in these areas. The situation of East Prussia , which was now isolated from the Reich, gave rise to associations with the Teutonic Order as a “German bulwark in the Slavic flood” and parallels to the foreign policy situation of the Order state in 1466. In the referendum in East Prussia in the Allenstein district on July 11, 1920, due to border disputes with Poland, a vote was taken on the national affiliation of southern East Prussia. In the context of these votes, the German side intensively reminded of the "Ostland tradition" of the Teutonic Order. Entire streets were decorated with crosses on pennants and flags. In the Weimar Republic, a number of Freikorps in the east used the symbol of the order in their badges. Examples of this are the Eastern Border Guard or the Baltic State Army . The most important national association besides the steel helmet - the Young German Order  - was based directly on the model of the Teutonic Order in terms of naming, organizational form and official designations .

time of the nationalsocialism

The design of the mother's cross in gold was based heavily on the order cross

In the time of National Socialism , the attitude towards the Teutonic Order and its past was ambivalent, even within the leadership. The general awareness, especially Heinrich Himmler and Alfred Rosenberg , fostered the image of the order from the 19th century, which from a Prussian-German point of view was positive.

As early as 1924, Adolf Hitler glorified the German East Settlement in his book Mein Kampf and developed far-reaching plans for conquests “on the road of the former knights of the order”. On the occasion of the funeral of President Paul von Hindenburg, who died in 1934, in the Tannenberg memorial , the deceased was honored as an imperial general in the Second Battle of Tannenberg in 1914, which was declared as revenge for the defeat of 1410 as early as the First World War .

On the other hand, Himmler had other ideas in the context of his race theories . He wanted to found his own "Teutonic Order" as a gene donor for a new German world empire, for which the newly created order castles also served. Therefore the rightful sacred name bearer had to disappear. In 1938 the order was dissolved by a revocation decree. In the realm succeeded the propaganda machine of Joseph Goebbels , to displace the current consciousness of tradition and space for a new religious ideas to create. In East Prussia, the former heartland of the order state, this propaganda was not very successful. For example, association of the Reich Labor Service in his badge for the Gau 25 swastika and religious cross. During the Second World War , despite these efforts, a tank division of the SS Panzer Grenadier Division "Nordland" bore the name of Grand Master Hermann von Salza .

After 1945

After 1945, the review of the religious order in the Federal Republic of Germany decreased due to the loss of the eastern territories. In contrast to the previous decades, the Teutonic Order was no longer glorified. The topic was rather taboo in society. Revanchist associations made an exception .

The links between the displaced persons' associations and the historical commissions - such as B. the Herder Council  - were not very pronounced from the start. However, until the early 1960s, the number of researchers who programmatically wanted to see traditional nationalism and "historical defensive struggle in the East" - cleansed of folkish derailments and tinged with European color - outweighed the number of researchers in Eastern research . This changed in the early 1960s, also due to a generation change among researchers.

In 1985 the “International Historical Commission for Research on the Teutonic Order” was founded in Vienna, which examines the order from the history of ideas, regional and European questions.

In the GDR , the image of the order remained as a “haven of aggression and revision”. A military encyclopedia from 1985 gives the official reading: “… The blood-stained order continued to exist and was finally transformed into a mainly charitable church organization in the 20th century. It currently plays a role as a clerical-militarist traditional association in Austria and the FRG. "

On September 4, 1991, on the occasion of the anniversary, the Federal Republic of Germany issued a commemorative coin “800 Years of the German Order” with a face value of 10 Deutsche Mark . Postage stamps with motifs of the Teutonic Order have also appeared.

Also on the occasion of the anniversary, an exhibition of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg was opened in 1990 in cooperation with the International Historical Commission for Research on the Teutonic Order under the title: 800 Years of the German Order .

Via the colors of Prussia , the colors of the Teutonic Order found their way into the jersey colors of the German national football team .

Use of the order's coat of arms

The Black Cross on a white background , featured in the coat of arms of the Teutonic Order , was later used by the Prussian and imperial armed forces as a sovereign badge and military award . While the German Wehrmacht used the cross in the form of bars with a simple white frame, the Bundeswehr still uses the traditional symbol in a modified manner, as a stylized paw cross framed in white . The coat of arms is also used, for example, as the squadron coat of arms of the 7th Schnellbootgeschwader of the German Navy . The German naval officers continue to be trained at the Naval School Mürwik , whose building in Flensburg - Mürwik, built from 1907 onwards, is modeled on the Marienburg. The school coat of arms shows the red castle building with the black cross on a white background in the background.

See also


Contemporary chronicles

  • Peter von Dusburg : Chronicon Terrae Prussiae , (around 1326).
  • Nikolaus von Jeroschin : Di Kronike von Pruzinlant , (transfer of the Chronicon Terrae Prussae into Low German with additions, around 1340).
  • Hermann von Wartenberg : Chronicon Livoniae , (around 1378).
  • Peter suchtwirt : From Duke Albrecht's knighthood , around 1377, renamed in 1395 after the Duke's death to: From Duke Albrecht's procession -blissful- .
  • Wigand von Marburg : Chronica nova Prutenica , (survived in fragments, around 1400).
  • Johann von Posilge : Chronicle of the State of Prussia , around 1420.
  • Matthaeus Waissel : Chronica Alter Preusscher / Eifflendischer / vnd Curlendischer Historien. From the land of Prussia / and its opportunity: ... Item: From the beginning of the order of the Knight Brothers of the Hispital S. Marien / Deudtsches Haus zu Jerusalem: vnd / How they first came to Prussia: ... - From old written histories / properly composed / and given only for use in the print , (description of the individual grand masters), printed in Königsberg in Preussen / by Georgen Osterbergern / Anno: 1599 . ( limited preview in Google Book search)
  • Overview of the chronicle of the order by Marcus Wüst: Studies on the self-image of the Teutonic Order in the Middle Ages. (Sources and studies on the history of the Teutonic Order, vol. 73) Weimar 2013, ISBN 978-3-89739-771-2 .

Source editions

  • Theodor Hirsch , Max Toeppen , Ernst Strehlke : Scriptores rerum Prussicarum . The historical sources of the Prussian prehistoric times up to the fall of the order. Volume 1-5. Hirzel, Leipzig 1861–1874.
  • Klaus Scholz, Dieter Wojtecki: Peter von Dusburg. Chronicle of the Prussia. Translation and explanation. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1984, ISBN 3-534-00604-6 ( Selected sources on the German history of the Middle Ages. 25).
  • Ēvalds Mugurēvičs: Vartberges Hermaņa Livonijas Hronika. = Hermanni de Wartberge Chronicon Livoniae. = The Livonian Chronicle of Hermann von Wartberge. Latvijas Vēstures Institūta Apgāds, Rīga 2005, ISBN 9984-601-44-7 , annotated translation of Chronicon Livoniae .
  • Henrikas Latvis, Hermanas Vartbergė: Livonijos kronikos. Iš lotynų kalbos vertė, įvadą ir paaiškinimus parašė Juozas Jurginis. Mokslas, Vilnius 1991, ISBN 5-420-00466-6 , annotated translation of Chronicon Livoniae .
  • P. Pakarklis, E. Gudavičius, A. Nikžentaitis (eds.): Popiežių bulės dėl Kryžiaus žygių prieš prūsus ir lietuvius XIII a. [Papal bulls regarding the crusades against Pruzzen and Lithuanians in the 13th century]. Mintis, Vilnius 1987.
  • Alois Primisser : Peter suchtwirt's works from the fourteenth centuries. A contribution to contemporary and moral history. Wallishausser, Vienna, 1827 (reprint: Wissenschaftliches Antiquariat Geyer, Vienna 1961), digitized online .

Scientific literature

  • Udo Arnold : German Order 1190–2000. A guide through the Teutonic Order Museum in Bad Mergentheim. Edited by Maike Trentin-Meyer for the Teutonic Order Museum. Spurbuchverlag, Baunach 2004, ISBN 3-88778-212-7 .
  • Werner Bergmann, Otto Dickau, Heinz-Jürgen Kamp: History and sources of the German Order Coming in the Ruhr area using the example of the Coming Welheim. From the beginning to the eve of the Reformation. Henselowsky Boschmann, Bottrop 2017, ISBN 978-3-942094-74-0 .
  • Series: Sources and studies on the history of the Teutonic Order. So far 70 volumes. Publisher Elwert u. a., Marburg u. a. 1967 ff. ISSN  0481-3626 .
  • Hartmut Boockmann : The German Order. 12 chapters from its history. Beck, Munich 1981, ISBN 3-406-08415-X ( Beck's special editions ), (20th – 23rd thousand of the total edition. Ibid 1999 ( Beck's historical library )).
  • Hartmut Boockmann: German History in Eastern Europe. East Prussia and West Prussia. Siedler, Berlin 1992, ISBN 3-88680-212-4 (reviewed and updated special edition. Siedler, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-88680-772-X ).
  • Alain Demurger: The Knights of the Lord. History of the spiritual orders of knights. Translated from the French by Wolfgang Kaiser. Beck, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-406-50282-2 .
  • Bernhard Demel: The Teutonic Order as reflected in its possessions and relationships in Europe. European university publications Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-631-51017-9 .
  • German Order (Ed.): The Order Book. The rules and statutes of the Teutonic Order. Verlag des Deutschen Ordens, Vienna 1996, ISBN 88-7073-211-8 (2nd edition under the title: The rules and statutes of the Order of Brothers and Sisters of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem - German Order. The Order Book. Ibid 2001 , ISBN 88-7073-313-0 ).
  • Albert Ludwig Ewald : The conquest of Prussia by the Germans. Volume 3, 1884 (reprint, limited preview )
  • Rolf Fuhrmann: The German Order. From Acre to the Baltic States. The army 1198 to 1420. Zeughaus-Verlag, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-938447-30-7 ( Heere & Waffen 6).
  • Bruno Gloger: Emperor, God and the Devil. Friedrich II. Von Hohenstaufen in history and legend. Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1970 (8th edition, ibid 1982).
  • Karl Heinl : Prince Witold of Lithuania in his relationship to the Teutonic Order in Prussia during the time of his struggle for Lithuanian inheritance: 1382-1401, (= historical studies , booklet 165 DNB ), E. Ebering, Berlin 1925, DNB 570693268 , OCLC 72094584 (Philosophical dissertation University of Berlin 1925, 200 pages).
  • Axel Herrmann: The German order under Walter von Cronberg 1525–1543 . Sources and studies on the history of the Teutonic Order, Volume 35, Verlag Wissenschaftliches Archiv Bonn-Godesberg 1974.
  • Siegfried Hildebrandt: The German Order of Knights in Central Germany from the 16th to 18th centuries Century: Topoi and People. in: Central German yearbook for culture and history. Vol. 9, 2002.
  • Bernhart Jähnig : Lectures and research on the history of Prussia and the Teutonic Order in the Middle Ages (with a directory of scientific publications 2001–2011) , Copernicus Association for History and Regional Studies West Prussia e. V., Münster 2011, ISBN 978-3-924238-42-1 .
  • Bernhard Klebes: The Teutonic Order in the Mergentheim region in the Middle Ages (= sources and studies on the history of the Teutonic Order , Volume 58). Elwert, Marburg 2002, ISBN 3-7708-1219-0 (Dissertation University of Bonn 2001, 828 pages).
  • Wolfgang Kleinknecht, Herbert Krieger: The Middle Ages. Materials for history class. Diesterweg, Frankfurt am Main u. a. 1960 ( Handbuch des Geschichtsunterrichts. Volume 3), (4th revised edition. Ibid 1972, ISBN 3-425-07332-X ).
  • Stanislaus J. Klimek: In the sign of the cross. The recognized religious orders of knights. Diethelm Lütze Verlag, Stuttgart 1986.
  • Wolfgang Korall, Gunnar Strunz: The castles of the German order of knights. Verlagshaus Würzburg GmbH & Co.KG, Leipzig, 2010, ISBN 978-3-8003-1963-3 .
  • Erich Maschke : The German Order State. Shape his great masters. Hanseatische Verlags-Anstalt, Hamburg-Wandsbek 1935 (11th thousand ibid. 1942).
  • Klaus Militzer: The History of the Teutonic Order. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-17-018069-X . Digitized Google Book
  • AM Pankratowa (Red.): History of the USSR. Volume 1. Publishing house for foreign language literature, Moscow 1947.
  • Hans Prutz : The orders of knights. Weltbild, Augsburg 1998, ISBN 3-8289-0287-1 (reprint of the original edition: The spiritual orders of knights. Their position on the ecclesiastical, political, social and economic development of the Middle Ages. Bechtermünz, Berlin 1908).
  • Jürgen Sarnowsky : The German Order. Beck, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-406-53628-1 ( Beck'sche series. 2428 CH Beck Wissen ).
  • Hermann Schreiber : Prussia and the Baltic States under the crusaders. The history of the Teutonic Order. Katz, Gernsbach 2003, ISBN 3-925825-83-5 .
  • Bruno Schumacher : History of East and West Prussia. 3. Edition. Holzner, Würzburg 1958 ( The Göttingen Working Group. Publication 187).
  • Wolfgang Sonthofen: The German Order. 800 years of history. Rombach, Freiburg (Breisgau) 1990, ISBN 3-7930-0588-7 (also: Weltbild, Augsburg 1995, ISBN 3-89350-713-2 ).
  • Friedrich Täubl: The German order in the age of Napoleon , Volume 4 of the sources and studies on the history of the German order. Verlag Wissenschaftliches Archiv Bonn, Bonn 1966.
  • Maike Trentin-Meyer (Ed.): Treasures of the Teutonic Order. Catalog of the special exhibition 2016. Deutschordensmuseum Bad Mergentheim, Bad Mergentheim 2016, ISBN 978-3-00-037755-6 .
  • Marian Tumler : The German Order in the process of becoming, growing and working until 1400. With an outline of the history of the Order from 1400 to the most recent times. Panorama-Verlag, Vienna 1954.
  • Johannes Voigt : About the half-brothers of the German order. In: Contributions to the customer of Prussia. Volume 7. Königsberg 1825, pp. 52-71 and pp. 150-176.
  • Johannes Voigt: The time from the subjugation of Prussia in 1283 to Dieterich von Altenburg's death in 1341. Bornträger, Königsberg 1880 (= history of Prussia, from the oldest time to the fall of the rule of the Teutonic Order. Volume 4), (PDF; 25, 9 MB ).
  • Johannes Voigt: History of the Teutonic Knight Order in its twelve balles in Germany. 2 volumes. Berlin 1857-1859.
  • Ewald Volgger (Hrsg.): The rules of the Teutonic Order in the past and present. Deutschordens-Verlag, Lana 1985.
  • Friedrich August Vossberg : History of the Prussian coins and seals from the earliest times to the end of the rule of the Teutonic Order . Berlin 1843 ( e-copy ).
  • Friedrich August Vossberg Banderia Prutenorum or flags of the Teutonic Order and its allies, which were prey of the Poles in battles and skirmishes of the 15th century. Edited from Dingoss's handwriting. With many pictures . Berlin 1849 ( e-copy ).
  • Matthias Weber (ed.): Prussia in East Central Europe. History of events and history of understanding. Oldenbourg-Verlag, Munich 2003 (= publications of the Federal Institute for Culture and History of the Germans in Eastern Europe. Volume 21), ISBN 3-486-56718-7 .
  • Klemens Wieser (Ed.): Eight centuries of German orders. Godesberg 1967.
  • Marcus Wüst: Studies on the self-image of the Teutonic Order in the Middle Ages. (Sources and studies on the history of the Teutonic Order, vol. 73) Weimar 2013, ISBN 978-3-89739-771-2 .
  • Walther Ziesemer (Ed.): The large office book of the Teutonic Order. Kafemann, Danzig 1921 (reprint. Sendet, Wiesbaden 1968).
  • Walther Ziesemer: The literature of the Teutonic Order in Prussia. F. Hirt, Breslau 1928.
  • Dieter Zimmerling: The German order of knights. Econ, Düsseldorf a. a. 1988, ISBN 3-430-19959-X .


  • Gustav Freytag : The brothers from the German house . S. Hirzel, Leipzig 1874.
  • Heinrich Rudolf Genée : Marienburg. Historical novel. Deubner, Berlin 1884.
  • Henryk Sienkiewicz : The Crusaders . Historical novel ("Krzyżacy"). Area-Verlag, Erftstadt 2004, ISBN 3-89996-056-4 (reprint of the Berlin 1900 edition).
  • Ernst Wichert : Heinrich von Plauen . Historical novel from the German East. Schild-Verlag, Munich 1959 (2 volumes, reprint of the edition of the German Book Association Berlin, 1881)
  • Ernst Wichert : The mayor of Thorn. Historical novel from the German East. Verlag "Der Büchermarkt", Berlin 1938 (reprint of the edition of the German Book Association Berlin, 1886)

Web links

Commons : Deutscher Orden  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Picture gallery of the grand masters up to 1732  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Links to the history of the order:

Links to today's Teutonic Order:

Links to the reception:


  1. German Order - German Brethren Province. (No longer available online.) In: Archived from the original on April 2, 2016 ; accessed on April 21, 2016 .
  2. ^ Wolfgang Sonthofen: The German Order; Weltbild, Augsburg 1995, p. 134.
  3. ^ Franz Kurowski : The German Order - 800 years of knightly community, Nikol Verlagsgesellschaft, Hamburg 1997, p. 340.
  4. ^ Dieter Zimmerling: The German order of knights. P. 28.
  5. ^ Dieter Zimmerling: The German order of knights. P. 27.
  6. Hans Prutz: The orders of knights. Chapter Two: Origins and Beginnings of the Spiritual Orders of Knights, p. 63.
  7. Wolfgang Kleinknecht, Herbert Krieger: p. 216 f.
  8. ^ Dieter Zimmerling: The German order of knights. P. 30.
  9. Hans Prutz: The orders of knights. Fourth chapter: The German Order - The German Order and the Staufers, p. 101.
  10. ^ Hartmut Boockmann: German history in Eastern Europe - East Prussia and West Prussia. Siedler Verlag, 2002, p. 91.
  11. a b c d Development of the Teutonic Order - essay by Jürgen Sarnowsky .
  12. ^ Bernhard Dietrich Haage: Medical Literature of the Teutonic Order in the Middle Ages. In: Würzburg medical history reports. Volume 9, 1991, pp. 217-231.
  13. The provision for the salvation of the soul in the form of an indulgence could be secured through donations to the order for the "defense of the cross" even without personal participation in the "battle of the heathen"; in: The Origin of Europe Chapter: Advance to the East; Verlag Das Beste, Stuttgart / Zurich / Vienna, p. 298.
  14. “Because we have sinned in many ways in the vicissitudes of life, we need many atonements, so that our Creator, through the mediation of many intercessors, may give us the fullness of his grace ..."; From a document from 1207 in: The emergence of Europe, chapter: Advance to the East, Verlag Das Beste, Stuttgart / Zurich / Vienna, p. 298.
  15. Wolfgang Sonthofen: Der Deutsche Ritterorden, p. 25.
  16. Bruno Gloger: Emperor God and the Devil. Chapter I: The Holy Roman Empire on the Threshold of the 13th Century, p. 25.
  17. Hans Prutz: The orders of knights. Fourth chapter: The German Order - The German Order and the Prelates, p. 112 ff.
  18. Hans Prutz: The orders of knights. Fourth chapter: The Teutonic Order - His position as church patron, p. 118.
  19. Hans Prutz: The orders of knights. Fourth chapter: The German Order - The German Order and the Hohenstaufen, p. 103.
  20. "This is evidenced by the repeated dispute over the white coat granted to the German rulers, which they [the Templars] claimed as being exclusively due to them." In: Hans Prutz: Die Ritterorden. Fourth chapter: The German Order - The German Order and the Hohenstaufen, p. 102.
  21. a b Wolfgang Sonthofen: Der Deutsche Ritterorden, p. 26.
  22. Hans Prutz: The orders of knights. Fourth chapter: The German Order - The German Order and the Staufers, pp. 102-103.
  23. Marian Tumler: The German Order in Becoming, Growing and Working until 1400, p. 27.
  24. Hans Prutz: The orders of knights. Fourth Chapter: The Teutonic Order - Its twelve German balles. P. 135.
  25. Specification of the advisory and mediating role of Hermann von Salza
  26. Specification of Hermann von Salza's diplomatic role
  27. WELT ONLINE Knowledge: The Mongol Storm . July 8, 2007 (link to the online version)
  28. ^ Dieter Zimmerling: The German order of knights. P. 59.
  29. ^ Wolfgang Sonthofen: The German Knight Order; P. 54.
  30. a b Dieter Zimmerling: The German Knight Order. P. 60.
  31. Among other things, considerations on the military importance of the Kreuzburg in Burzenland
  32. “The crusaders from St. Marien Hospital, which was once in Jerusalem, but soon, as the newspaper gossip demanded, was in Acre, certainly left the so-called Burzenland, beyond the mountains towards the Cumans, out of consideration for charity and uninhabited, transferred to inhabit it in peace and to own it forever. ”in: Dieter Zimmerling: The German Knight Order. P. 61.
  33. ^ Dieter Zimmerling: The German order of knights. P. 61.
  34. H. Zimmermann: The German order of knights in Transylvania. In: J. Fleckenstein, M. Hellmann (Ed.): The spiritual orders of knights of Europe. Sigmaringen 1980, p. 89.
  35. a b Dieter Zimmerling: The German Knight Order. P. 62.
  36. a b Hartmut Boockmann: The beginnings of the Teutonic Order in Marburg, in Philipps University of Marburg (ed.): Sankt Elisabeth: Fürstin - Dienerin - Heilige, Jan Thorbecke Verlag, Sigmaringen 1981, ISBN 3-7995-4035-0 , p 137-151.
  37. Hans Prutz: The orders of knights. Fourth Chapter: The Teutonic Order - Its twelve German balles. P. 135.
  38. While German researchers have regarded the contract as undoubtedly genuine since August Seraphim's investigation , Polish researchers, following the historian Max Perlbach , considered it to be a forgery until the 1970s. (According to Hans-Jürgen Karp: Borders in East Central Europe during the Middle Ages - A Contribution to the History of the Origin of the Border Line from the Border Hemline. Böhlau Verlag, 1972, p. 31.) This thesis has been disproved since the 1980s. (According to Arno Mentzel-Reuters : Max Perlbach als Geschichtsforscher. Jahrbuch Preußenland , Volume 45 (2007), p. 47).
  39. Named after the Chronicle of Nicolaus von Jeroschin in: Theodor Hirsch , Max Toeppen , Ernst Strehlke: Scriptores rerum Prussicarum. The historical sources of the Prussian prehistoric times up to the fall of the order. Volume 1, p. 342.
  40. Wolfgang Sonthofen: The German order of knights. P. 68.
  41. Wolfgang Sonthofen: Der Deutsche Ritterorden, p. 65.
  42. ^ Description of the situation in Livonia
  43. ^ Hermann von Salza negotiations in Viterbo
  44. ^ Theodor Hirsch, Max Toeppen, Ernst Strehlke: Scriptores rerum Prussicarum. The historical sources of the Prussian prehistoric times up to the fall of the order. Volume 1, p. 395.
  45. AM Pankratowa (editor): History of the USSR. Volume I, Chapter 7: "The struggle of Novgorod and Pskov against the Swedish and German feudal lords" § 23, p. 117.
  46. ^ John France: Western Warfare in the Age of the Crusades 1000-1300. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY 1999.
  47. H. Patze refers to the modernity of the order, especially using the example of the centralization of finance / financial administration: Der Deutschordensstaat 1226–1466. in: Handbook of European History. Volume 2, Ed. T. Schieder, Stuttgart 1987, pp. 483-485.
  48. “The religious state of the 14th century seems strangely modern: in the midst of feudal monarchies, a spiritual republic at the head of an elected Grand Master, surrounded by his chapter like a current head of state and government by his ministry; the country is divided into twenty districts,… […] Prussia becomes rich in the 14th century, much richer than the other German colonies… “In: Sebastian Haffner : Prussia without legend. Goldmann, 5th edition, 1992, p. 55.
  49. ^ "Only the Teutonic Order and the city-state of Nuremberg represented 'modern' structures comparable with the Italian states." In: Karl Heinz Quirin and Hermann Heimpel: Introduction to the Study of Medieval History. Westermann, 1964, p. 101.
  50. Hartmut Boockmann: The German Order - Twelve chapters from its history. Beck, 1981, p. 190.
  51. Jürgen Sarnowsky: The German Order. Beck, Munich 2007, p. 77.
  52. Hartmut Boockmann: German History in Eastern Europe - East Prussia and West Prussia, Siedler Verlag, 2002, p. 173.
  53. Jürgen Sarnowsky: Der Deutsche Orden, Beck, Munich 2007, p. 54.
  54. ^ Wolfgang Sonthofen: The German Order. P. 133.
  55. A Bohemian groschen corresponds to 3.7 grams of silver; since one shock is equivalent to 60 pieces, the order had to raise 22.2 tons of silver; in: Dieter Zimmerling: The German Knight Order. P. 260.
  56. ^ Wolfgang Sonthofen: The German Order; P. 125.
  57. Dieter Zimmerling: The German Order. P. 269.
  58. In the years of the decline of the order, the German master Eberhard von Saunheim , referring to the more than 100 year old statutes of the grand master Werner von Orsel, raised the claim of the grand master's autonomy and even a judicial increase of the office of the German master over the grand master. The dispute dragged on for ten years from 1439 to 1449. These statutes of Werner von Orselen turned out to be forgeries. In: Dieter Zimmerling: The German Knight Order. P. 281.
  59. ^ Wolfgang Sonthofen: The German Order; P. 172.
  60. Marian Biskup: The secularization of the German Order State in Prussia in 1525. Genesis and meaning . In: Studia maritima , Vol. 2 (1980), pp. 7-27.
  61. The first King of Prussia, Friedrich I , also called himself King in Prussia.
  62. Bernhart Jähnig : Escape from the Reformation. On the fate of the friars who did not remain with the Teutonic Order in Prussia in 1525 . In: Joachim Bahlcke (ed.): Religious refugees. Causes, forms and effects of early modern denominational migration in Europe . Lit Verlag, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-8258-6668-6 , pp. 61-69.
  63. a b c d e f Wolfgang Sonthofen: The German Order. P. 193.
  64. Memorandum of the State Archives Ludwigsburg JL 425 Bd 6 Qu. 1
  65. Memorandum of the State Archives Ludwigsburg JL 425 Bd 6 Qu. 3
  66. Memorandum of the State Archives Ludwigsburg JL 425 Bd 6 Qu. 12
  67. Memorandum of the State Archives Ludwigsburg No. JL 425 Vol. 6 Qu. 29 .
  68. Memorandum of the State Archives Ludwigsburg No. JL 425 Vol. 6 Qu. 1.
  69. Memorandum of the State Archives Ludwigsburg No. JL 425 Vol. 6 Qu. 29.
  70. Memorandum of the State Archives Ludwigsburg No. JL 425 Vol. 38 Qu. 126.
  71. Memorandum of the State Archives Ludwigsburg No. JL 425 Vol. 6 Qu. 31.
  72. Memorandum of the State Archives Ludwigsburg No. JL 425 Vol. 38 Qu. 127, JL 425 Vol. 38 Qu. 128 and JL 425 Vol. 38 Qu. 129
  73. ^ Wolfgang Sonthofen: The German order. P. 192.
  74. = Memorandum of the State Archives Ludwigsburg No. JL 425 Bd. 6 Qu. 25.
  75. a b Wolfgang Sonthofen: The German Order. P. 194.
  76. ^ Wolfgang Sonthofen: The German order. P. 197.
  77. ^ Wording of the Peace of Pressburg; The German Order is dealt with under Article XII
  78. § 26 Reichsdeputationshauptschluss
  79. ^ Johannes Neumann : The Reichsdeputationshauptschluss of 1803 requirements and consequences
  80. This formulation is erroneous, since the Supreme Master of the Order has always been called the Grand Master .
  81. Roman von Procházka : Austrian Order Handbook , Graf Klenau OHG, Munich 1974, p. 72.
  82. Wolfgang Sonthofen: Der Deutsche Orden, p. 208.
  83. a b c Wolfgang Sonthofen: Der Deutsche Orden, p. 209.
  84. a b Wolfgang Sonthofen: The German Order. P. 210.
  85. Maike Trentin – Meyer for the German Order Museum - text by Udo Arnold: German Order 1190–2000 - A guide through the German Order Museum in Bad Mergentheim. Spurbuchverlag, 2004, p. 95.
  86. ^ The Order of the Order on its website.
  87. ^ Guest house in Vienna.
  88. ^ Guest house in Rome.
  89. Gumpoldskirchen Castle Guest House.
  90. ^ Wolfgang Sonthofen: The German Order; Weltbild, Augsburg 1995, p. 212.
  91. Maike Trentin-Meyer for the German Order Museum - text by Udo Arnold: German Order 1190–2000 - A guide through the German Order Museum in Bad Mergentheim. Spurbuchverlag, 2004, p. 96.
  92. Comment in the Tagesspiegel: "German Order: Crusaders with megalomania".
  93. Scandal about the Teutonic Order.
  94. The German Order Financial Scandal.
  95. ^ Website of the Teutonic Order
  96. Oblates who live according to their own statute are also accepted into the provinces of the brothers . These statutes were approved by the Holy See in 1985.
  97. Oblates live according to their own statute, which was approved by the Holy See in 2001.
  98. Link to St. Nicola Monastery, the motherhouse of the German nuns. ( Memento from June 11, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  100. There are also families scattered in other countries. The families of Germany form the registered association “Deutschherrenbund e. V. ".
  101. Adenauer in the regalia of the Teutonic Order. In: Germans and Poles. RBB, accessed October 29, 2011 .
  102. German Order | Family community of the Ballei Germany. Retrieved July 17, 2017 .
  103. Mainz Bishop is Knight of Honor of the Teutonic Order. Domradio , January 20, 2020, accessed on January 20, 2020 .
  104. ^ Homepage of the Teutonic Order: Knight of Honor Investiture HRH Carl Duke of Württemberg in Altshausen
  105. ^ Text of the statutes in M. Perlbach (Hrsg.): The statutes of the Teutonic Order based on the oldest manuscripts. Halle 1890, ND Hildesheim-New York 1975.
  106. Image: Teutonic Order Rules
  107. ^ Franz Kurowski: The German Order - 800 years of knightly community, Nikol Verlagsgesellschaft, Hamburg 1997, p. 340.
  108. “The Last Knights of Vienna” , Der Standard , August 17, 2009
  109. German Order: German Order: Brothers and Sisters of the German House of St. Mary in Jerusalem. In: Retrieved April 21, 2016 .
  110. ^ Teutonic Order: Brothers and Sisters of the German House of St. Mary in Jerusalem: Fr. Frank Bayard OT elected 66th Grand Master of the Teutonic Order. Retrieved August 24, 2018 .
  111. a b c Dieter Zimmerling: The German Order. P. 166 ff.
  112. a b c The Teutonic Order State
  113. Order online
  114. Grimm's dictionary: "In the case of comthureien: whoever is first accepted into the order is called novitius and is given a horse and a servant, later he becomes a conventualis, furthermore a chef, as a builder, then overridden".
  115. a b c d e f g According to Marian Biskup : The civil status of the Teutonic Order in Franconia in 1513. In the journal for Württemberg regional history. W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1986, p. 14 f.
  116. The Karwan Lord has the Karwan, d. H. the buildings below, in which in peacetime the field guns or rifles, rifle tools, rifle wagons, various types of travel equipment, etc. Like. Were kept; he was the overseer of the crockery; Timber yard and wood supply of the house, mostly also everything that belonged to the farming and the anchoring, so an official indispensable for every religious house, under whom a chamberlain, caravan servant, dish maker and many other servants stood.
  117. Quoted from Johannes Voigt: History of Prussia, from the oldest times to the fall of the rule of the Teutonic Order VI. Koenigsberg 1834.
  118. Quoted from Grimm's dictionary.
  119. “The Last Knights of Vienna” , Der Standard , August 17, 2009.
  120. Holdings May 9, 2001 Prussia until 1525.
  121. Holdings B 231 - B 351a in the Ludwigsburg State Archives.
  122. Holdings of the Ballei Altenbiesen in the State Archive of North Rhine-Westphalia
  123. ^ Hartmut Boockmann: German history in Eastern Europe - East Prussia and West Prussia. Siedler Verlag, 2002, pp. 21, 26 and 27.
  124. ^ Hartmut Boockmann: German history in Eastern Europe - East Prussia and West Prussia. Siedler Verlag, 2002, pp. 21 and 23.
  125. Author's Lexicon . Volume VI, Col. 857 f.
  126. ^ Hartmut Boockmann: German history in Eastern Europe - East Prussia and West Prussia. Siedler Verlag, 2002, pp. 23 and 24.
  127. ^ Max Toeppen : History of Prussian Historiography. Hertz, Berlin 1853, pp. 148 and 173.
  128. ^ Jürgen Sarnowsky: Der Deutsche Orden, Beck, Munich 2007, p. 115.
  129. ^ Gotthold Rhode: The image of German in the Polish novel of the 19th and early 20th centuries and the Polish national feeling. In: Ostdeutsche Wissenschaft 8, 1961, p. 349.
  130. Kasimirz Zimowski, citing a statement by Heinrich von Treitschke in: Echa Grunwaldzkie. P. 24.
  131. Kasimirz Zimowski: Echa Grunwaldzkie. P. 24.
  132. Tomasz Torbus: German Order of ideology in the Polish and German art of the 19th and 20th centuries in Matthias Weber (ed.): Prussia in Central Europe; Oldenburg 2002, p. 208.
  133. ^ Adam Mickiewicz: Konrad Wallenrod; Powieść poetycka z dziejów litewskich i pruskich, St. Petersburg 1828.
  134. ^ Karol Szajnocha: Jadwiga i Jagiełło 1374-1412. Opowiadanie historyczne, Vol. 1–2, 2nd edition, Lwów 1861.
  135. ^ Henryk Sienkiewicz: Krzyżacy. 2 volumes, Warszawa 1874; Comments on the novel influenced by National Socialism: K. Lück: The myth of the German in Polish folk tradition and literature. Leipzig 1943, p. 368 ff.
  136. ^ Roland Gehrke: The Polish idea of ​​the west until the re-establishment of the Polish state after the end of the First World War - genesis and justification of Polish territorial claims against Germany in the age of nationalism. ( Memento of October 21, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 2.5 MB, p. 144 ff).
  137. “It was genocide, that cannot be denied; but after the annihilation was completed, it became a blessing. What could the Prussians [meaning the Pruzzen] have achieved in history? The superiority over the Prussians was so great that it was a stroke of luck for them as well as for the Wends when they were Germanized. ”Heinrich von Treitschke's statement quoted by Wolfgang Wippermann: The 'German urge to the east'. Ideology and reality of a political catchphrase . Darmstadt 1981, p. 93.
  138. Note: Mark Levene speaks of genocide in The Rise of the west and the coming of genocide - Volume II - Genocide in the Age of the Nation State. IB Tauris, 2005, p. 32: “Of course, all medieval wars were almost by the very nature of the technology employed vicious and brutal. […] Yet there is arguably something qualitatively different about the thirteen-century struggle against the Prus which places it much more closely in the category of genocide. Certainly, the Wends or, for that matter, peoples such as the Saxons, caught up earlier on in the path of the rankish Christian advance, suffered unremitting massacre until they submitted, while later on, the Lithunians, in their own struggle with the Teutonic order, avoided total destruction through their own terms. By contrast, for the Prus - as a people - these options never seem to have arisen. "Michael Strmiska: Modern Paganism in World Cultures - Comparative Perspectives . ABC-Clio, 2005, p. 242: “Their society (note: meaning the Prussians) was overrun by Germanic Christian conquest in the thirteenth century, and their distinctive language, culture, and religion would eventually disappear completely. This kind of colonial conquest [...] might be termed cultural genocide [...]. "
  139. “First of all it must be emphasized that the order neither exterminated nor systematically Germanized the native population of its country”, or “how the Prussian indigenous population actually disappeared over the centuries - through the merging with the Germans - is by no means Follow a policy of extermination ”in: Bruno Schumacher: History of East and West Prussia. P. 68 ff.
  140. Note: Sebastian Haffner , on the other hand, speaks of an “almost extermination” without explicitly designating it as “planned” in: Prussia without legend. Goldmann, 5th edition, 1992, p. 48: “At the beginning of the colonization of Prussia there is a decade-long slaughter, almost an extermination, comparable to the later almost extermination of the North American Indians by the European immigrants. There is nothing to gloss over here. The horror of this story can be explained by two things: the crusading spirit of the conquerors and the enormous civilization gap between them and their victims. "
  141. ^ Walter Schlesinger: The German East Settlement of the Middle Ages as a problem of European history. Reichenau lectures 1970–1972, Konstanzer Arbeitskreis für Mittelalterliche Geschichte, J. Thorbecke, 1975, p. 418. Cf. Peter Erlen: European regional development and medieval German eastern settlement: a structural comparison between southwest France, the Netherlands and the Order of Prussia. JG Herder Institute, 1992, p. 76. Heinz Thomas: German History of the Late Middle Ages 1250–1500 , Kohlhammer, 1983, p. 25. Hartmut Boockmann writes: “What really happened, how many Prussians perished in the fight against the order, how many left the country, how many returned, who gave up the language and identity and when - for this there is mostly only indirect evidence, only individual documents, but not the statistical sources that one would need to be able to adequately describe such a process. […] Today, the word genocide is easy to speak of. From today's standards of value, but also from today's events, the assumption is reasonable that the end of a people in earlier times was identical with its extermination. However, it cannot be overlooked that such an assumption carries over the industrialized killing of human beings, as our century knows it, to earlier centuries. [...] But even the atrocities of the medieval pagan war, which increased the atrocities of war, which were common under certain conditions, were not genocide - any more than the order in Prussia would have acted as glottophage. […] The intended annihilation of the language of the subject is also an objective that only existed in the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition, genocide would not have been in the interests of the Teutonic Order and those who sponsored this order. [...] A policy aimed at extermination, to which the Prussians would have fallen victim, cannot be inferred from the sources. […] The predominance of this documentary tradition for the early period of the order in Prussia shows that the conquest of the country is almost impossible to describe with the help of contemporary evidence […]. ”Quoted from: Hartmut Boockmann: German History in Eastern Europe - East Prussia and West Prussia. Siedler Verlag, 2002, p. 23, 139 f., 146, The following facts also speak against genocide: Order members cared for injured or sick Prussians in their hospitals regardless of the person. After the Peace of Christburg, the Order invited the sons of Prussian leaders to Magdeburg for instruction in modern cultural techniques and Christian moral teaching. The Grand Master Albrecht von Brandenburg had three translations of the catechism made in Prussian between 1543 and 1561. According to: Karl Baumann: The Prussians - A sympathetic people between the Vistula and Memel. Verlag Gerhard Rautenberg, Leer 1991, pp. 113, 132, and 167.
  142. ^ Polish propaganda poster from 1945. ( Memento from June 21, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  143. Wladyslaw Ogrodziński: Grunwald 1410-1960. Olsztyn 1959, p. 58 f.
  144. Sven Ekdahl: Tannenberg 1410. P. 289 ff.
  145. Janusz A. Majcherek: Review in History (on the 16th Polish Historians' Day) - Article from the Rzeczpospolita from 25./26. September 1999.
  146. ^ Udo Kühn: German-Polish textbook recommendations. Cf. Maike Trentin-Meyer (Ed.) For the German Order Museum - text by Udo Arnold: German Order 1190–2000 - A guide through the German Order Museum in Bad Mergentheim, Spurbuchverlag, 2004, p. 86.
  147. The German title is: "Leo, repeat Grunwald!"
  148. ^ Annette Langer : Beenhakker beheads Ballack: Polish newspaper opens soccer media battle. Spiegel-Online, June 4, 2008.
  149. Another example is the following Polish propaganda poster from the 1980s , which draws a line from the Knights of the Order via Konrad Adenauer , who incidentally was appointed Knight of Honor by the Teutonic Order, to Ronald Reagan .
  151. Basil Dmytryshyn: Medieval Russia 900–1700. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York 1973, pp. 143-152.
  152. See David Nicolle : Lake Piepus 1242. Osprey Publishing, London 1996, p. 115.
  153. John France, Western Warfare in the Age of the Crusades 1000-1300; Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999. See AM Pankratowa (editor): History of the USSR. Volume I; Chapter 7: "The struggle of Novgorod and Pskov against the Swedish and German feudal lords" § 23, p. 117.
  154. David Nicolle : Lake Piepus 1242. Osprey Publishing, London 1996, pp. 110-115.
  155. AM Pankratowa (editor): History of the USSR. Volume I, Chapter 8: “The Destruction of the Teutonic Knights” § 24, p. 120.
  156. AM Pankratowa (editor): History of the USSR. Volume I, Chapter 7: "The struggle of Novgorod and Pskov against the Swedish and German feudal lords" § 23, p. 116.
  157. ^ Scene from Eisenstein's film Alexander Newski . Note the swastikas on the bishop's miter.
  158. Maike Sach: Hochmeister und Grossfürst, sources and studies on the history of Eastern Europe 62. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, p. 15.
  159. Note: See the history of Prussia by Ludwig von Baczko and August von Kotzebues Prussia's older history
  160. ^ Jürgen Sarnowsky: Der Deutsche Orden, Beck, Munich 2007, p. 115.
  161. Hartmut Boockmann: German History in Eastern Europe - East Prussia and West Prussia, Siedler Verlag, 2002, p. 36 ff.
  162. Wolfgang Wippermann: The Order State as Ideology. The image of the Teutonic Order in German historiography and journalism. Volker Spieß, Berlin 1979, pp. 155-174.
  163. ^ Heinrich von Treitschke: The German order country Prussia. With an introduction by Walter Bußmann, Göttingen 1955, p. 43.
  164. Adolf Koch: The German Order and its calling to Prussia; in Wilhelm Frommel, Friedrich Pfaff (ed.): Collection of lectures for the German people. Heidelberg 1894, p. 333.
  165. The knight of the order is a symbol of the supposedly defenseless German eastern territories; empty scabbard!
  166. ^ Matthias Weber (ed.): Prussia in East Central Europe , Oldenbourg-Verlag, Koblenz 2003, p. 237.
  167. ^ Election poster of the German National People's Party for the referendum in 1920, depicting a chained knight
  168. Ed .: Maike Trentin-Meyer for the German Order Museum - text by Udo Arnold: German Order 1190–2000 - A guide through the German Order Museum in Bad Mergentheim. Spurbuchverlag, 2004, pp. 84–85.
  169. Ed .: Maike Trentin-Meyer for the German Order Museum - text by Udo Arnold: German Order 1190–2000 - A guide through the German Order Museum in Bad Mergentheim, Spurbuchverlag, 2004, p. 86.
  170. Adolf Hitler: Mein Kampf. Volume I, Verlag Franz Eher Nachf. G. mb H., Munich 1927, p. 154.
  171. The then commander-in-chief von Hindenburg expressed before Kaiser Wilhelm II the wish to name the battle after Tannenberg, which was actually 15 kilometers away, in order to eradicate the "disgrace of 1410". in: Holger Afflerbach (edit.): Kaiser Wilhelm II as supreme warlord in the First World War. Sources from the military environment of the emperor 1914–1918. Verlag Oldenbourg, Munich 2005, p. 148.
  172. Ed .: Maike Trentin-Meyer for the German Order Museum - text by Udo Arnold: German Order 1190–2000 - A guide through the German Order Museum in Bad Mergentheim, Spurbuchverlag, 2004, pp. 86 and 93.
  173. Ed .: Maike Trentin-Meyer for the Teutonic Order Museum - text by Udo Arnold: German Order 1190–2000 - A guide through the Teutonic Order Museum in Bad Mergentheim. Spurbuchverlag, 2004, p. 86.
  174. Note: One example is a speech given by the first President of the Herder Institute, Hermann Aubin  , who was previously active in the National Socialist sense , in which he spoke of the "melted together crowd of the unbroken who are now reuniting" and "in a new sense “Get active, spoke. According to the journal for Ostforschung. I, 1952, p. 1; quoted from Hartmut Boockmann: German history in Eastern Europe - East Prussia and West Prussia. Siedler Verlag, 2002, p. 71.
  175. ^ Hartmut Boockmann: German history in Eastern Europe - East Prussia and West Prussia. Siedler Verlag, 2002, pp. 70–72.
  176. Order of Knights . In: Dictionary of German military history. Military Publishing House of the GDR, Volume II, 1985, p. 835.
  177. German commemorative coin "800 Years of the German Order"
  178. Gabriela Weilkes: 800 Years of the German Order. Exhibition by the Germanic National Museum in Nuremberg in cooperation with the International Historical Commission for Research on the Teutonic Order. Bertelsmann Lexikon Verlag, Gütersloh 1990.
  179. ^ Federal Ministry of Defense The Iron Cross January 1, 2014.
  180. ^ Ernst Wichert : Heinrich von Plauen in the Gutenberg-DE project
  181. ^ Ernst Wichert : The mayor of Thorn in the Gutenberg-DE project
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on March 21, 2009 in this version .