German Reich

GermanyReichDeutsches ReichGermanDeutschen ReichDeutsche ReichGerman ''ReichGerman EmpireGerman stateDeutschen Reiches
Deutsches Reich was the constitutional name in the German language for the German nation state that existed from 1871 to 1945.wikipedia
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German Empire

GermanyGermanImperial Germany
The word Kaiserreich is applied to denote an empire with an emperor; hence the German Empire of 1871–1918 is termed Deutsches Kaiserreich in standard works of reference.
The German Empire (Deutsches Kaiserreich, officially Deutsches Reich), also known the "Second Reich" or Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Emperor Wilhelm II in 1918.

Weimar Republic

GermanyWeimar GermanyWeimar
The 1918–1933 republic, which was also called German Reich, was ignored and denounced by the Nazis as a historical aberration.
The official name of the republic remained Deutsches Reich ("German Reich") unchanged from 1871, because of the German tradition of substates.

Nazi Germany

Third ReichGermanGermany
The declaration asserted the complete legal extinction of the Third Reich following death of Adolf Hitler on 30 April 1945, but the continued subsequent existence of a German people and a German national territory; although subject to the four signatory powers also asserting their authority to determine the future boundaries of Germany.
The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich (German Reich) until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich (Greater German Reich) from 1943 to 1945.

Allied-occupied Germany

GermanyBritish occupation zoneoccupied Germany
After World War II, the denotation "German Reich" quickly fell into disuse in Allied-occupied Germany, however, and the state's continued existence remained a matter of debate; the post-war Bonn Republic maintained the continued existence of the German Reich as an 'overall state", but dormant while East and West Germany continued to be divided. Nevertheless, when Germany was reunited in 1990 the term "German Reich" was not revived as a title for the Berlin Republic. At the Potsdam Conference, Allied-occupied Germany was defined as comprising "Germany as a whole"; and was divided into British, French, American and Soviet occupation zones; while the Allied Powers exercised the state authority assumed by the Berlin Declaration in transferring the former eastern territories of the German Reich east of the Oder–Neisse line to the Republic of Poland and the Soviet Union.
Upon defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, the victorious Allies asserted joint authority and sovereignty over 'Germany as a whole', defined as all territories of the former German Reich west of the Oder–Neisse line, having declared the destruction of Nazi Germany at the death of Adolf Hitler (see 1945 Berlin Declaration).

West Germany

West GermanFederal Republic of GermanyGermany
After World War II, the denotation "German Reich" quickly fell into disuse in Allied-occupied Germany, however, and the state's continued existence remained a matter of debate; the post-war Bonn Republic maintained the continued existence of the German Reich as an 'overall state", but dormant while East and West Germany continued to be divided. Nevertheless, when Germany was reunited in 1990 the term "German Reich" was not revived as a title for the Berlin Republic. In 1973, in a review of the previous year's Basic Treaty between East and West Germany, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) ruled that according to the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany the German Reich had outlasted the collapse in 1945, and hence had continued to exist as an “overall state”, albeit one not itself capable of action. Instead the states of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany, FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany, GDR) agreed to be bound by certain conditions which they had to ratify, one of which was the recognising the reunification of East Germany, West Germany and Berlin as constituting the full achievement of a united Germany.
Initially, the Federal Republic of Germany claimed an exclusive mandate for all of Germany, considering itself to be the sole democratically reorganised continuation of the 1871–1945 German Reich.

Unification of Germany

German unificationunificationunified Germany
After the Unification of Germany, under the reign of the Prussian king Wilhelm I and his Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the historic German states (e.g. Bavaria and Saxony) were united with Prussia under imperial rule, by the Hohenzollern dynasty.

Kingdom of Bavaria

BavariaBavarianKing of Bavaria
After the Unification of Germany, under the reign of the Prussian king Wilhelm I and his Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the historic German states (e.g. Bavaria and Saxony) were united with Prussia under imperial rule, by the Hohenzollern dynasty.
With France's defeat and humiliation against the combined German forces, it was Ludwig II who proposed that Prussian King Wilhelm I be proclaimed German Emperor or "Kaiser" of the German Empire ("Deutsches Reich"), which occurred in 1871 in German-occupied Versailles, France.

Prussia

PrussianPrussian statePrussian army
After the Unification of Germany, under the reign of the Prussian king Wilhelm I and his Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the historic German states (e.g. Bavaria and Saxony) were united with Prussia under imperial rule, by the Hohenzollern dynasty.
Bismarck knew that his new German Reich was now a colossus out of all proportion to the rest of the continent.

The System (Nazism)

the SystemSystemDas System
The Nazis also contemptuously referred to it as "the System".
"The System" (German: Das System) was a derogatory term used by the National Socialists to denote contemptuously the Weimar Republic, whose official name was German Reich (Deutsches Reich), and its institutions.

Exclusive mandate

claims sovereignty of the islandsconstitutional mandateelectoral victory
The court further elaborated that the 'partial identity' of the FRG was limited to apply only within its current de facto territory; and hence the Federal Republic could not claim an exclusive mandate for the territory of the Reich then under the de facto government of the German Democratic Republic; "identity does not require exclusivity".
For nearly all of the 41 years that Germany was split into two countries, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) claimed to be the sole legitimate successor to the German Reich that existed from 1871 to 1945.

Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany

Basic LawGerman constitutionGrundgesetz
In 1973, in a review of the previous year's Basic Treaty between East and West Germany, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) ruled that according to the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany the German Reich had outlasted the collapse in 1945, and hence had continued to exist as an “overall state”, albeit one not itself capable of action.
With effect from 1 January 1957 the Federal Republic regarded itself as including almost all of Western Germany such that the only "other parts of Germany" to which Article 23 might be extended were now to the east; hence relinquishing all claims to those western parts of the former German Reich that had been surrendered to France and Denmark.

Greater Germanic Reich

Greater GermanyNazi EmpireGreater German Reich
Territorially speaking, this encompassed the already-enlarged German Reich itself (consisting of pre-1938 Germany proper, Austria, Bohemia, Moravia, Alsace-Lorraine, Eupen-Malmedy, Memel, Lower Styria, Upper Carniola, Southern Carinthia and German-occupied Poland), the Netherlands, the Flemish part of Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, at least the German-speaking parts of Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Wehrmacht

German ArmyGermanGerman forces
On 8 May 1945, with the capitulation of the German armed forces, the supreme command of the Wehrmacht was handed over to the Allies.
The Wehrmacht directed combat operations during World War II (from 1 September 1939 – 8 May 1945) as the German Reich's Armed Forces umbrella command-organization.

Bundestag

German BundestagGerman Parliamentparliament
This treaty was then voted into effect by both the Volkskammer and the Bundestag by the constitutionally required two-thirds majorities; effecting on the one hand, the extinction of the GDR, and on the other, the agreed amendments to the Basic Law of the Federal Republic.
With the dissolution of the German Confederation in 1866 and the founding of the German Empire (Deutsches Reich) in 1871, the Reichstag was established as the German parliament in Berlin, which was the capital of the then Kingdom of Prussia (the largest and most influential state in both the Confederation and the empire).

East Germany

East GermanGerman Democratic RepublicGDR
Instead the states of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany, FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany, GDR) agreed to be bound by certain conditions which they had to ratify, one of which was the recognising the reunification of East Germany, West Germany and Berlin as constituting the full achievement of a united Germany.
However, from the 1960s onward, East Germany began recognizing itself as a separate country from West Germany, and shared the legacy of the united German state of 1871–1945.

Karl Dönitz

Admiral DönitzDönitzKarl Donitz
The Allies refused to recognise Karl Dönitz as Reichspräsident or to recognise the legitimacy of his Flensburg Government (so-called because it was based at Flensburg and controlled only a small area around the town) and, on 5 June 1945, the four powers signed the Berlin Declaration and assumed de jure supreme authority with respect to Germany.
Dönitz thus became the sole representative of the crumbling German Reich.

Berlin Declaration (1945)

Berlin DeclarationDeclaration Regarding the Defeat of Germany1945 Berlin Declaration
The Allies refused to recognise Karl Dönitz as Reichspräsident or to recognise the legitimacy of his Flensburg Government (so-called because it was based at Flensburg and controlled only a small area around the town) and, on 5 June 1945, the four powers signed the Berlin Declaration and assumed de jure supreme authority with respect to Germany.
At the time, the Allies maintained that with this declaration the former German state was recognised as having ceased to exist, its historic institutions and organisation having been expunged under the criminal assault of Nazi power; such that any continuing sovereign identity for Germany as a whole was now being represented solely by the Allied Control Council.

States of Germany

stateGerman statefederal state
Instead the states of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany, FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany, GDR) agreed to be bound by certain conditions which they had to ratify, one of which was the recognising the reunification of East Germany, West Germany and Berlin as constituting the full achievement of a united Germany.
Hugo Preuss, the father of the Weimar Constitution, drafted a plan to divide the German Reich into 14 roughly equal-sized states.

Former eastern territories of Germany

eastern Germanyformer eastern territorieseastern territories
At the Potsdam Conference, Allied-occupied Germany was defined as comprising "Germany as a whole"; and was divided into British, French, American and Soviet occupation zones; while the Allied Powers exercised the state authority assumed by the Berlin Declaration in transferring the former eastern territories of the German Reich east of the Oder–Neisse line to the Republic of Poland and the Soviet Union.
In so far as the former German Reich may be claimed to continue in existence within 'Germany as a whole', former eastern German territories in Poland and Russia are now definitively and permanently excluded from ever again being united with Germany.

German language

GermanGerman-languageGerman-speaking
Deutsches Reich was the constitutional name in the German language for the German nation state that existed from 1871 to 1945.

Nation state

nation-statecountrynation-states
Deutsches Reich was the constitutional name in the German language for the German nation state that existed from 1871 to 1945.

Germans

Germanethnic Germanethnic Germans
The Reich became understood as deriving its authority and sovereignty entirely from a continuing unitary German "national people"; with that authority and sovereignty being exercised at any one time over a unitary German "state territory" with variable boundaries and extent.

Germany

GermanGERFederal Republic of Germany
The Reich became understood as deriving its authority and sovereignty entirely from a continuing unitary German "national people"; with that authority and sovereignty being exercised at any one time over a unitary German "state territory" with variable boundaries and extent.

Emperor

empressemperorsSamraat
The word Kaiserreich is applied to denote an empire with an emperor; hence the German Empire of 1871–1918 is termed Deutsches Kaiserreich in standard works of reference.

Holy Roman Empire

ImperialHoly Roman EmperorGermany
The Nazi regime was sometimes contemporaneously called the "Third Reich" in common language, counting the Holy Roman Empire as the first and the 1871 German Empire as the second, and ignoring the Weimar Republic, but the use of this term is mostly retrospective.