The Thirty Years’ War

Despite the horrors of the two World Wars, the Thirty Years’ War – the first ‘great catastrophe’ in German history – remains deeply embedded in the collective consciousness of the German people. Even today, the numerous written accounts of brutal violence, plagues, famine, religious fanaticism, and the dissolution of state structures continue to evoke vivid images. Most people can still name the famous generals, like King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden and Albrecht von Wallenstein. Pictorial representations, documents, weapons, and armaments bear witness to this long tragedy.