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Thread: The Three Reichs

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    :) Member Monarch's Avatar
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    Default The Three Reichs

    Okay, mainly I my knowledge of history is limited to modern history. So as such the term the Third Reich often pops up, of course. However this begs an obvious question which for some reasons I've just never known, if Nazi Germany is the third reich, what are the 1st and 2nd?

    My guesses where that the first was the Holy Roman Empire, and the second was the Kaisers Germany that ended when Germany lost WW1. Is that at all correct? That's just me guessing.

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    MediŠval Auctoriso Member Member TheSilverKnight's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    You are correct in your assumptions that the HRE was the 1st reich, and Imperial Germany was the 2nd.
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    :) Member Monarch's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    Wow, i'm better at guessing than I thought. Thanks for that The Silver Knight.

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    A very, very Senior Member Adrian II's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    The nazis also called their regime the Thousand-Year Empire ("Tausendjńhriges Reich") in a shameless reference to God's thousand year kingdom on earth according to the Bible (Revelation 20 and elsewhere).

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    has to return some videotapes Member TIE Fighter Shooter Champion, Bugz Champion, Reactor Champion, Starcastle Champion, Turkey Shoot Champion, Juggler Champion Kralizec's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    Actually, the 1000 year reference comes from the first Reich. The Holy "Roman" Empire lasted roughly 1000 years from the coronation of Charlemagne in 800 till it was disbanded by Franz II in 1806, and Hitler wanted to emulate this.

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    Member Member Leonin Khan's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    many people believe that they refer to the greek "empire" and roman empire,. it always takes me alot of time to convince them that thats wrong.

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    Member Member Knight Templar's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    Quote Originally Posted by Kralizec
    Actually, the 1000 year reference comes from the first Reich. The Holy "Roman" Empire lasted roughly 1000 years from the coronation of Charlemagne in 800 till it was disbanded by Franz II in 1806, and Hitler wanted to emulate this.
    IIRC, Holy Roman Empire was not founded by Charlemagne (he was emperor), but by Otto I in the year 962 when pope (John XII, IIRC) crowned him for Holy Roman emperor of German nation

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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    Quote Originally Posted by Leonin Khan
    many people believe that they refer to the greek "empire" and roman empire,. it always takes me alot of time to convince them that thats wrong.
    Well, I did always think it referred to the two Roman ones (ie. the original and Byzantium - although the Russians used to claim descent from those), but when I think about it that sounds more like Mussolini's turf.
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    Robber Baron Member Brutus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    Quote Originally Posted by Knight Templar
    IIRC, Holy Roman Empire was not founded by Charlemagne (he was emperor), but by Otto I in the year 962 when pope (John XII, IIRC) crowned him for Holy Roman emperor of German nation
    Well, that goes for the 'German nation' part. However, I believe the title Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation did not get really popular until the 19th century (after the disbanding of the Empire) when the rising of (German) nationalism needed a great historic nation to claim it's own. When one percieves the second 'Reich' as the so-called renewed Western Roman Empire, then there is a (imagined) contnuity from Charlemagne to Otto the Great all the way to the disbanding of the ('Holy Roman') Empire in 1806. Don't know about the Tausendjähriges Reich-claim being based on the longevity of the Holy Roman Empire though.

    By the way, I have a question too. Why is it that in English, the German word 'Reich' when used in context with the Nazi-Empire, is always just rendered 'Reich' instead of the perfectly good translation 'Empire'? Frankly, it just sounds ridiculous in an English sentence. (However, maybe it's meant to sound ridiculous...?)
    Last edited by Brutus; 02-06-2006 at 16:59.

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    Da Bishop! Senior Member Mount Suribachi's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    Why? There are a whole host of German words - specifically as they apply to WW2 - that are not translated into English. untermenchen is another one, as is ersatz - indeed the latter has pretty much made its way into common English usage. And its not as if words like Reich or untermenschen have no applicable words in English, like say Dignitas and Imperium in Latin. Empire and sub-human are perfectly acceptable.

    As someone who makes model aircraft for a hobby, its very noticable amongst those who are particularly fond of WW2 nazi subjects. Take camo colours for example. Its never "Dark Green", always dunkelgrun. Military ranks are another. Its never Colonel or Sergeant, always Oberst and Feldwebel. I always put this down to a slightly disturbing, repressed love of nazi militaria, but thats probly just my anti-nazi predjudice speaking (I refuse to model WW2 German subjects on principle).
    "I request permanent reassignment to the Gallic frontier. Nay, I demand reassignment. Perhaps it is improper to say so, but I refuse to fight against the Greeks or Macedonians any more. Give my command to another, for I cannot, I will not, lead an army into battle against a civilized nation so long as the Gauls survive. I am not the young man I once was, but I swear before Jupiter Optimus Maximus that I shall see a world without Gauls before I take my final breath."

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    A very, very Senior Member Adrian II's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    Quote Originally Posted by Kralizec
    Actually, the 1000 year reference comes from the first Reich. The Holy "Roman" Empire lasted roughly 1000 years from the coronation of Charlemagne in 800 till it was disbanded by Franz II in 1806, and Hitler wanted to emulate this.
    Could be, but only if they antedated the First Reich. The Heiliges R÷misches Reich Theutscher Nation originated in the East-Frankish Empire only with Otto I (Xth century) and it was first called Sacrum Romanum Imperium in 1254. I will see what I can find on the issue one of these days.

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    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Re : The Three Reichs

    On top of my head, Charlemagne was crowned 'Imperator Romanorum', Roman Emperor.
    His empire was divided into three parts in 843. The eastern, mostly Germanic, part only a century later became the 'Holy Roman Empire' starting with Otto I.

    Of course, in the words of Voltaire, it was 'neither Holy, nor Roman nor an Empire'.
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    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    I don't think scholarly pedantism was ever a very high priority for the Nazis. Heck, they were more or less hostile to it...
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

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  14. #14
    has to return some videotapes Member TIE Fighter Shooter Champion, Bugz Champion, Reactor Champion, Starcastle Champion, Turkey Shoot Champion, Juggler Champion Kralizec's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    The term Holy Roman Empire was coined by Barbarossa, not by Otto.

    Charlemagne was Frankish, and therefore a "german". The eastern succesor kingdom of his empire (initially called East Francia) indeed became the basis of the HRE, after conquering the middle kingdom wich contained the capitals of Charlemagne's empire, Aken and Rome.
    It was my understanding that Hitler wanted to emulate the succes of the HRE, wich can trace itself back to Charlemagne's coronation in 800. Adrian's explanation sounds credible too.
    It wouldn't surprise me if Hitler used both references.

    Edit: Charlemagne was crowned as carolus augustus. Later on the term imperator et augustus would become the official title.
    Last edited by Kralizec; 02-07-2006 at 01:30.

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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    Quote Originally Posted by Kralizec
    It was my understanding that Hitler wanted to emulate the succes of the HRE, wich can trace itself back to Charlemagne's coronation in 800. Adrian's explanation sounds credible too..
    The Nazionalsozialismus was a very radical change in German history and the raise to power was a fundamental revolution. Hitler always tried to clowd this. He had to calm the conservatives, who rather had the Kaiser back than a Gefreiter from WW1. He had to give them continuity. That is also the reason why he curried favour with Hindenburg.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kralizec
    Edit: Charlemagne was crowned as carolus augustus. Later on the term imperator et augustus would become the official title.
    The notion 'Kaiser' is derived from the title Caesar. Like Czar, too. So all souvereigns tried to build continuity even to Julius

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    !! Achtung Panzer !! Senior Member PanzerJaeger's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mount Suribachi
    (I refuse to model WW2 German subjects on principle).
    Do you model Japanese planes or ships? You're shelves must look pretty boring with only allied peices... to each his own however.

    I dont care if the Bismarck was the spawn of satan itself, it was still an awesome ship, and fun to model. ;)

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    Da Bishop! Senior Member Mount Suribachi's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    Quote Originally Posted by PanzerJager
    Do you model Japanese planes or ships?
    Not WW2 ones

    There's actually a lot of people in the modelling community who won't do nazi stuff. When I became a christian I questioned the whole ethics of whether it was right to make models of machines used to spread death and destruction. But thats a whole other backroom debate
    "I request permanent reassignment to the Gallic frontier. Nay, I demand reassignment. Perhaps it is improper to say so, but I refuse to fight against the Greeks or Macedonians any more. Give my command to another, for I cannot, I will not, lead an army into battle against a civilized nation so long as the Gauls survive. I am not the young man I once was, but I swear before Jupiter Optimus Maximus that I shall see a world without Gauls before I take my final breath."

    Senator Augustus Verginius

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    Humanist Senior Member Franconicus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    So you are not doing war models at all?

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    Da Bishop! Senior Member Mount Suribachi's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    No I am. But like I said, I had a whole internal debate on the thing. Still do occasionally.
    "I request permanent reassignment to the Gallic frontier. Nay, I demand reassignment. Perhaps it is improper to say so, but I refuse to fight against the Greeks or Macedonians any more. Give my command to another, for I cannot, I will not, lead an army into battle against a civilized nation so long as the Gauls survive. I am not the young man I once was, but I swear before Jupiter Optimus Maximus that I shall see a world without Gauls before I take my final breath."

    Senator Augustus Verginius

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    Dux Nova Scotia Member lars573's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    Quote Originally Posted by Brutus
    By the way, I have a question too. Why is it that in English, the German word 'Reich' when used in context with the Nazi-Empire, is always just rendered 'Reich' instead of the perfectly good translation 'Empire'? Frankly, it just sounds ridiculous in an English sentence. (However, maybe it's meant to sound ridiculous...?)
    That's because Reich doesn't mean empire. It's meaning is the same as the English word realm. In German empire is Kaiserreich (just as kingdom is konigsreich or France is Frankreich), or rather it was most people use empire and reich to mean the same but it doesn't. So when the Nazi's say Gross Deutches Reich. It means Greater German realm, not greater empire.
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    Magister Vitae Senior Member Kraxis's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    lars is right, in Danish 'reich' is 'rige' (in Swedish 'rike'). The Kingdom of Denmark is in Danish KongeRIGET Danmark.

    So 'reich' is certainly not equateable with empire. Or else Denmark is indeed not a kingdom but a kingempire.
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    has to return some videotapes Member TIE Fighter Shooter Champion, Bugz Champion, Reactor Champion, Starcastle Champion, Turkey Shoot Champion, Juggler Champion Kralizec's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    Brutus would know that, it's no different in the Netherlands. We are the Koninkrijk of the Netherlands.

    But the term "empire" has become so erroded I don't see why we can't call Nazi Germany one. Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an evil empire and nowadays people accuse America of being an emire. Does either of them have an absolute monarch that rules all of the state? Not last time I checked...

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    Bringing down the vulgaroisie Member King Henry V's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mount Suribachi
    Not WW2 ones

    There's actually a lot of people in the modelling community who won't do nazi stuff. When I became a christian I questioned the whole ethics of whether it was right to make models of machines used to spread death and destruction. But thats a whole other backroom debate
    Come on, don't tell me you don't feel the joy when you ride down a broken enemy army in RTW!
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    Magister Vitae Senior Member Kraxis's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    Quote Originally Posted by Kralizec
    Brutus would know that, it's no different in the Netherlands. We are the Koninkrijk of the Netherlands.

    But the term "empire" has become so erroded I don't see why we can't call Nazi Germany one. Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an evil empire and nowadays people accuse America of being an emire. Does either of them have an absolute monarch that rules all of the state? Not last time I checked...
    Empire, unless perfectly used, is a troublesome word.

    In the two cases you mention it is meant to imply the imperialistic behaviour of the two nations. But what does that imply itself? Well, imperialistic behaviour is not the same as all-conquering, of course it might include that, but it more about creating spheres of influence and sattelite-/puppetstates. That has less to do with the Third Reich than either of the two.
    So we end up with feeling uncertain as to what is meant, and thus fall back on the 'positive' Empire rather than the name for imperialistic behaviour...
    So calling it Empire would give it a sort of positive glint. I do not approve of that.

    Also if it should be Nazi Empire why not Danish Empire (Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland) or better Italian Empire? No, let's stay with the set convictions to not get too confused.

    Lastly in both previous cases the word Empire has been twisted to fit a certain view of them, rather than stay within the confines of the language. That is a very slippery slope...
    You may not care about war, but war cares about you!


  25. #25
    Da Bishop! Senior Member Mount Suribachi's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    Quote Originally Posted by King Henry V
    Come on, don't tell me you don't feel the joy when you ride down a broken enemy army in RTW!
    Thats different But I don't like executing prisoners in MTW and I don't like exterminating settlements in RTW. I have done both, but only when I have good reason (revenge or a some strategic reason).

    But thats enough thread hijacking by me.
    "I request permanent reassignment to the Gallic frontier. Nay, I demand reassignment. Perhaps it is improper to say so, but I refuse to fight against the Greeks or Macedonians any more. Give my command to another, for I cannot, I will not, lead an army into battle against a civilized nation so long as the Gauls survive. I am not the young man I once was, but I swear before Jupiter Optimus Maximus that I shall see a world without Gauls before I take my final breath."

    Senator Augustus Verginius

  26. #26
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    Isn't "empire" usually used to describe any fairly large and powerful political entity, usually with widespread landholdings (think the now defunct colonial empires) and/or influence (think present-day USA, and the USSR during the Cold War) ?

    Anyway, the Nazis were so sui generis I think reserving the term Reich (in non-German languages, anyway) to their state is entirely appropriate.
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

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    Magister Vitae Senior Member Kraxis's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman
    Anyway, the Nazis were so sui generis I think reserving the term Reich (in non-German languages, anyway) to their state is entirely appropriate.
    Exactly... To name it Nazi Empire would make it one of many rather than the quite unpleasant single case.
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  28. #28
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    "In Depression-era Germany, civilization went wrong" as GURPS WW2: Iron Cross puts it.
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

    -Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

  29. #29
    Robber Baron Member Brutus's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    Quote Originally Posted by Kraxis
    Exactly... To name it Nazi Empire would make it one of many rather than the quite unpleasant single case.
    Ah well, if it's simply used as a distinctive from all other empires, I understand. (though I still think something like "the Third Reich" just sounds silly). Point is, in Dutch we do translate the word: "het Derde Rijk", so I didn't see why English didn't do the same. However, it's probably because Dutch and German are so closely related that something like "het Derde Reich" would sound even more ridiculous (especially as most would pronounce it as "Derde Reichggr"...)
    Last edited by Brutus; 02-08-2006 at 22:46.

  30. #30
    Ming the Merciless is my idol Senior Member Watchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Three Reichs

    Around here it actually tends to get called our translation of Nazi Germany ("Natsi-Saksa" for the curious). Probably because overly direct Germanic loan-words would sound a little silly in a language that doesn't even count among the Indo-European family or something.

    PS: Brutus, even the Caesar likes your sig.
    Last edited by Watchman; 02-08-2006 at 23:02.
    "Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. --- Proof of the existence of the FSM, if needed, can be found in the recent uptick of global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. Apparently His Pastaness is to be worshipped in full pirate regalia. The decline in worldwide pirate population over the past 200 years directly corresponds with the increase in global temperature. Here is a graph to illustrate the point."

    -Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

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