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Thread: Countries with a Germanic Influence?

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    Senior Member SwordOfTheVistula's Avatar
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    Budapest had a lot of German immigrants throughout its history

    Is Siebenburgen (Transylvania) 'Germanic Influence' or a 'Germanic Enclave?"

    Also what about remains of castles of the Teutonic order in the eastern Mediterranean?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boche View Post
    The Majority of the USA is Germanic but still it's culture is not like it is in germanic european countries, that's why i rather call it Influenced than pure-germanic in culture.
    I believe Germanic culture in the colonies doesn't have to be like in the Germanic European countries. We are colonials so we have a different culture. Germanic is not = European. Pure-Germanic culture? There is no pure culture, all cultures are influenced by another culture at one point and if America is not a Germanic country than neither are those European countries.
    Quote Originally Posted by MockTurtle View Post
    South Tyrol would be a good example...
    I believe it is a very bad example. It is an occupied German/Austrian territory. The Germans in South Tyrol aren't any "influence", they are ethnic Germans so 100 % Germanic.
    Quote Originally Posted by SwordOfTheVistula View Post
    Budapest had a lot of German immigrants throughout its history

    Is Siebenburgen (Transylvania) 'Germanic Influence' or a 'Germanic Enclave?"
    The Romanians and Hungarians are not Germanic but they have Germanic influence because they were parts of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.
    I believe in Transylvania and Budapest there are Germanic enclaves because there are Germans there. Germanic influence would be somewhere where there are no authentic Germanics. The French do not have a single meta-ethnicity, they are Gallic, Romanic and Germanic so they have Germanic influence. Alsatian Germans are not French though, they are ethnic Germans so Alsace is a Germanic enclave.
    Also what about remains of castles of the Teutonic order in the eastern Mediterranean?
    Yes, I believe those would be good examples of Germanic influence. Finally someone who understands what my thread is about.


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    Senior Member MockTurtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagna View Post
    I believe it is a very bad example. It is an occupied German/Austrian territory. The Germans in South Tyrol aren't any "influence", they are ethnic Germans so 100 % Germanic.
    Hmmm...Actually I wasn't claiming anything different. That's evident if you read my post in proper context. Boche mentioned that certain parts of Northern Italy are clearly German. I pointed out a specific example...

    Okay, how about the Russian ruling class throughout various periods of history. It's occasionally been claimed that ethnic Germans were the true 'state-forming' elements of the older aristocracy, and were responsible for a substantial amount of Russian imperial success. Can anyone verify?

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    One of the most germanically influenced countries is Finland. Apart from a substantial genetic input and a minority group of finlandswedes almost all of finlands national institutions are of a germanic origin, mostly swedish.

    The first written law in Finland was the Hälsingelagen, brought by the Swedes who colonized Finland. http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%A4lsingelagen After that the finnish legislation naturally was the same as swedish since Finland was under swedish administration. Even when Finland was annexed by Russia we kept the late 18th and early 19th century laws from sweden as our own legislation and they were the basis of the constitution when Finland became independent. Nowadays the legal cooperation among all the nordic countries is very active and many modern laws are similar and have been created as a joint project between some nordic countries.

    The bourgeoisie was mostly of swedish and german origin and the city council had to have a quota of german merchants. Also the language has a large number of loanwords from early germanics and from swedes. Naturally as a bilingual country everything official has to be in swedish as well including every streetsign and official paper.

    The finnish defence forces are based on the teachings of the jägers who were trained by the german armyand who gained a dominant position in the army after the civil war. German tactics and military principles were adopted by the newly founded military.

    Basically, and since there is a swedishspeaking minority and the country is bilingual, one could argue that Finland is indeed a germanic state which has an ungermanic majority of citizens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MockTurtle View Post
    Okay, how about the Russian ruling class throughout various periods of history. It's occasionally been claimed that ethnic Germans were the true 'state-forming' elements of the older aristocracy, and were responsible for a substantial amount of Russian imperial success. Can anyone verify?
    An interesting example. This has been true, in different ways and at different times.

    S nachalom, or from the beginning, Russian history starts with the following phrase:
    "Поищемъ собе князя, иже бы володелъ нами и судил по праву". И идоша за море къ варягомъ, к руси. Сице бо ся зваху тьи варязи русь, яко се друзии зъвутся свие, друзии же урмане, aнъгляне, друзии гьте, тако и си. {въ лето 6370}
    "We will find ourselves a King, who will rule over us and judge by the law." And they went off over the sea, to the Varyagi (Varangians), to the Rus. Some of the Varangians were known as Rus, and others had other names, including Svie [Swedes], Urmane [Normans], An''glyane [English!!! ], G'te [Geats, or maybe Jutes]. (6370 A.M.)

    From 862 onwards, the vast majority of rulers in Rus were of male line Germanic ancestry.

    Look at prominent rulers in chronological order:
    Askold and Dir, Ryurik (how's it spelt? Hraeric???), Rogvolod (Rognvald), Oleg (H-l-gu/Helgi), Igor (Ingvar, Ivar), Svyatoslav, Vladimir, Yaroslav, Vsevolod, Vladimir, Yuriy Dolgorukiy, Vsevolod, Yaroslav, Aleksandr Nevskiy, Daniil, Ivan, Ivan, Dmitriy Donskoy, Vasiliy, Vasiliy, Ivan the Great, Vasiliy, Ivan the Terrible.
    Red for Germanic names, Blue for Slavonic, Dark red for Biblical/Greek Christian names.
    It seems that the Slavonic influence from maternal lines and environment won out after an early period where the Rus kept their ethnic consciousness. The first Yaroslav, the Wise, went off to Scandinavia for a while, recruiting an army to win his throne back, so must have had some Germanicness to fall back for this. The second Vladimir, Monomakh - half Greek through his mother, wed the daughter of Harold II Godwinson of England, producing a minor line of Smolensk princes.

    I don't think much institutional or cultural came from this first influence, apart from order of a sort, but it was more on a personal and military level that Germanics contributed to the history of early Rus.

    Later on, the late Mediaeval period saw much contact with German traders of the Hanse, mercenaries and artisans, which had a more than negligible influence, but once the megalomaniac westernophile Peter came to power this went into a greatly accelerated phase, where Deutschers of all classes were imported en masse. The capital city was consciously given a Dutch name (later switching to German) and advisers and academics of all stripes (the famous ethnographer of Siberia and general polymath Miller for instance)were brought over to westernise the elite. The accession of Germanised Livonia and Kurland further accelerated it, till Russian nobles were complaining of total German government under Empress Anna Ioannovna and her chancellor von Bueren. Not long afterwards, Peter's last surviving heir was the son of his daughter Anna, who had married a German Duke of Holstein Gottorp. The resultant Pyotr III was a Prussophile and ought better be known as Karl Peter Ulrich von S H G, rather than Pyotr Fyodorovich Romanov! He wed a certain Sophia Dorothea von Anhalt Zerbst, who was to become the country's first completely German ruler, Ekaterina II the Great.

    Catherine embraced her adopted country, as many of the noble immigrants did, and adopted Russian identity and language. All the way to 1917, many prominent cultural and political figures were of such a background, a strong force for German influence in a round about almost sub-conscious instinctive way. One of Pushkin's muses when he was at his estate near Pskov was a lady of the local gentry with the surname Osipov-Wolf, otherwise Russian in character.

    This German influence was largely an elite phenomenon (disregarding the farmer colonists, who kept themselves more to themselves), but had some trickle down effect to the upwardly mobile of the lower classes. Eventually you got the likes of 1/8 German (Granny Grosshopf) Vladimir Ilych Ulyanov...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagna View Post
    This new forum piqued my curiosity. Which countries do you believe have been influenced by Germanics and in what respects?

    I believe Ireland is a very good example. It is a Celtic country influenced by Germanics. The most dominant sector of Germanic influence is in the language (English). Irish literature is mainly in the English language
    Irish literature is mainly in the English language, and most of it's famous writers have been of English descent. Johnatahn Swift, George Bernard Shaw, William Yeats, etc, are all descended from English settlers in Ireland.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oswiu View Post
    This German influence was largely an elite phenomenon (disregarding the farmer colonists, who kept themselves more to themselves), but had some trickle down effect to the upwardly mobile of the lower classes.
    A millennium of Germanic elite influence and talent... and yet, the country remains to this day deeply anti-Germanic in its instincts and mental/cultural orientation. I wonder what Russia would have been without all those altruistic Germanic benefactors...?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boche View Post
    Yes, and again after World War 2. And before it was just italian, and not german. But that would lead nowhere to discuss who was first there and who has the most Influence in this Part.
    South Tirol was not re-annexed after World War 2, since it remained under Italian control with no interruption as from the end of World War 1. Indeed, Germany and Italy became allies during World War 2, and AH, although Austrian, never claimed Mussolini it turning back to Germany.

    Nevertheless, I would not designate South Tirol as German influenced, since, actually, the native population is historically German and since German has a status of recognized local language. This is the same with Elsass-Lothringen in France.

    Another interesting contribution would be trying to trace back German influences among countries that do not speak German anymore. In Europe, Hungary, but also parts of Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states could be considered as sharing a strong German heritage, since between 10 and 15 % of the inhabitants have German surnames. Former Czech presidents Clement Gottwald and Vaclav Havel wear German Surnames, the same with Hungarian musicians Franz Liszt or Georg Szell, as well as the first Lithuanian president Vytautas Landsbergis. Strangely, it seams that many Germans living in these countries during the time of the "central empires" assimilated themselves among the native population. This movement of acculturation may have occurred during the nineteenth century, where German liberals settled outside pure German areas may have converted themselves to Slavic or Hungarian nationalism as an alternative way to express their opposition to the imperial monarchy, be it Prussian, Austrian or Russian. Of course one must be cautious with surnames (Hence, Israel, with 50% of Ashkenazim Jews such as Chaim Weizmann may also be considered as being German influenced), but according to some geneticists surnames are strongly correlated with genes.

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    Indeed excessive, but anyway an interesting opinion:
    From the cultural point of view, we are more closely linked with the Italians than with any other people. The art of Northern Italy is something we have in common with them: nothing but pure Germans.
    Adolf Hitler, January 31, 1942.

    Throughout the Imperial period, it's not possible to discern any sign that the Reich was interested in the East, or that it followed any coherent policy concerning the colonisation of the Eastern territories for example. The racial policy of the Empire was firmly fixed, it aimed only towards the South. The East—with its population totally different in respect of race, scarcely marked by a Germanic contribution to the higher strata—remained foreign to them. The South, on the other hand, and Lombardy, in particular, had all the special characteristics necessary to make it part of the Roman-Germanic Holy Empire. Thus it was always one of the essential preoccupations of Imperial policy. To what an extent the political ideas of the time were governed by the notion of race is shown by the fact that as late as the fourteenth century an Imperial German party continued to exist in Florence. Who knows whether Lombardy would not still be in our hands today if prince-vassals like Heinrich the Lion had not broken their oaths of fealty, counteracted the policy of the Reich and compelled the Emperor suddenly to interrupt his campaigns in the South in order to extinguish the blaze that had broken out in his own house. The policy of the Reich can be successful only if it is characterised by unity of action.
    Adolf Hitler, March 31, 1942.

    Both quotations are from: H. Trevor-Roper, Hitler's Table Talk 1941-1944 (link).

    In order to prevent any misunderstanding, it is advisable to keep in mind that the continental heartland of Europe has revolved around the imperial formation which comprised Germany, France, and Northern Italy - whose history is thus consequently interwoven.

    Carolingian Europe in 843
    Holy Roman Empire (13th century)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferryman View Post
    One of the most germanically influenced countries is Finland. Apart from a substantial genetic input and a minority group of finlandswedes almost all of finlands national institutions are of a germanic origin, mostly swedish.

    The first written law in Finland was the Hälsingelagen, brought by the Swedes who colonized Finland. http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%A4lsingelagen After that the finnish legislation naturally was the same as swedish since Finland was under swedish administration. Even when Finland was annexed by Russia we kept the late 18th and early 19th century laws from sweden as our own legislation and they were the basis of the constitution when Finland became independent. Nowadays the legal cooperation among all the nordic countries is very active and many modern laws are similar and have been created as a joint project between some nordic countries.

    The bourgeoisie was mostly of swedish and german origin and the city council had to have a quota of german merchants. Also the language has a large number of loanwords from early germanics and from swedes. Naturally as a bilingual country everything official has to be in swedish as well including every streetsign and official paper.

    The finnish defence forces are based on the teachings of the jägers who were trained by the german armyand who gained a dominant position in the army after the civil war. German tactics and military principles were adopted by the newly founded military.

    Basically, and since there is a swedishspeaking minority and the country is bilingual, one could argue that Finland is indeed a germanic state which has an ungermanic majority of citizens.
    Agreed, Finland arguably is one of the most Germanic influenced non-germanic countries together with Ireland. As you said the legistlation and institutions are directly based on Swedish tradition. However, one thing worth mentioning, time after time I encounter remarks about Finland and it's Swedish influence during the middle-ages. It's actually pretty damn frustrating, middle-ages played relatively minor role in shaping etnic-Finnish genepool. During the Bronze age and Iron age (1500-100BC) the whole western parts of the country was settled by Scandinavian raiders, these folk just became finnicized and eventually had to adopt to the Fenno-Ugrian language. These population movements had significant impact on Finnish population. Middle-age together with 800 years of Eastern part of Sweden (Österland) and Fennoswedish minority does not come even close to Iron-and Bronze age in terms of shaping etnic-Finnish etnogenesis, culturally however, the middle-ages obviously shaped the contemporary Finland entirely.

    (See study, http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=930)


    Anyway, the only correct answers to this question of Germanic influence on a non-Germanic country (not only to some specific regions) is

    1. Finland & Ireland (Both countries even have Germanic language as official language)

    2. Estonia (Iron age Scandinavians together with middle age Teutonic knights and minor Danish input)

    countries such as Poland & France and regions such as Tyrol have received Germanic input to their genepool in varying degree, however this not yielded any fundamental changes in their respective cultures.

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