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A short story of German census

13. September 2019, Ann-Christin Dimon - General, Germany, Historical Documents, Knowledge

First page of the 1987 census questionnaire, Ramessos [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Volkszaehlung.JPG).

The first census of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) was conducted on 13 September 1950. However, this was not the first census on German territory. As early as during the 18th century, kingdoms and principalities occasionally took censuses of their population. From 1816 onwards, censuses became a periodical habit throughout today’s German territory. Until now, this data is an interesting source for genealogists, although civil and church registers are better accessible and preserved.

A short story of German census

The beginning of the Second World War

01. September 2019, Ann-Christin Dimon - General, Germany, Historical Events, Knowledge, WWII

Soldiers of the Wehrmacht simulate the demolition of a Polish tollgate close to Sopot on 01 September 1939. Source: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-51909-0003 / Hans Sönnke / CC-BY-SA 3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 de], via Wikimedia Commons(https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-51909-0003,_Polen,_Schlagbaum,_deutsche_Soldaten.jpg).

With the invasion of Poland on 01 September 1939 the Second World War broke out. 80 years later, we remember its up to 80 million victims. Many of our clients‘ family histories are directly linked to WW II, the German National Socialism and their aftermath.

The beginning of the Second World War

Election of the first German Bundestag

14. August 2019, Ann-Christin Dimon - General, Germany, Historical Events, History, Knowledge

Election poster of the CDU with a portrait of Konrad Adenauer, artist/graphic designer: SI Klischees Entwürfe, source: Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, Archiv für Christlich-Demokratische Politik (ACDP), License: KAS/ACDP 10-001: 104 [CC-BY-SA 3.0 DE (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CDU_Wahlkampfplakat_-_kaspl001.JPG).

Free elections are considered something normal in Germany. Every four years the public votes for our parliament – the Bundestag. Today, 70 years ago the first federal elections were held.

On 14 August 1949, the first free federal elections were held after the last ones happened on 06 November 1932. Before that, the public could only elect the regional and local parliaments where elections were already held in 1946. The first federal elections were only conducted on the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), not on the territory of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), which was founded on 07 October 1949.

Election of the first German Bundestag

The myth of German Autobahn

06. August 2019, Ann-Christin Dimon - General, Germany, Historical Events, Knowledge

German Autobahn 1964, Photograph by Harry Pot/Anefo, source: Nationaal Archief Nederland, Fotocollectie Anefo [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:De_autobaan_(Autobahn)_in_Duitsland,_Bestanddeelnr_916-9687.jpg)

Germany and its famous Autobahn (highway) - for almost 100 years it has been part of German infrastructure and is known all around the globe for its lack of speed limits. There are even tourists who visit Germany just for the sake of experiencing this "joy". But when exactly was the first Autobahn opened in Germany?

The myth of German Autobahn