Now we have come to the last chapter in the history of our region, it covers the period from the Great War to the “Bonn years” of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The Great War: Total mobilization and upheaval in Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia, plus a new social and world order. At the beginning of the 20th century, two blocks all armed to a maximum stood against each other. England, France and Russia („Triple Entente“) on one side, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy („Dreibund“) on the other.
Germany, 1918/19: The war is lost, there is hunger and need everywhere, the German Revolution does away with Kaiser Wilhelm II. The world after the Great War was a different one. Millions of soldiers had perished in battle.
Rhineland, 1918/1919, the allied occupation of the Rhineland brings foreign soldiers to our region. Rhineland separatists. The armistice put a temporary end to the fighting in the Great War. However, martial law remained in force, and the British fleet maintained its naval blockade.
This chapter if about the first German republic, named after the city of Weimar where the national assembly met in 1919, to decide about a constitution and to form a new government. However, the young Weimar Republican had to struggle from its start.
England’s Premier Chamberlain on Petersberg and forced labor in the Ofenkaulen mine remind us of the Nazi Germany era. On January 30, 1933, pressured by former Chancellor Franz von Papen and other staunch conservatives, President Hindenburg had finally appointed Hitler Chancellor. Within only a few month, Germany became a totalitarian state.
The reforestation at Ofenkaulberg conceals very painful memories. Forced labour in the Ofenkaulen mines and air raids during World War II. The war raged between 1939 and 1945 and affected the civilians more than any war before.
The last chapter deals with the democratic new beginning after the Second World War, the “Bonn years” of the Federal Republic and the state guests on Mount Petersberg.