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Reich (/ˈraɪk/;[1] German: [ˈʁaɪç] ( listen)) is a German word literally meaning "realm". The terms Kaiserreich (literally "realm of an emperor") and Königreich (literally "realm of a king") are used in German to refer to empires and kingdoms respectively. The Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary
Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary
indicates that in English usage, the term "the Reich" refers to " Germany
Germany
during the period of Nazi control from 1933 to 1945".[2] As such, the term Deutsches Reich (sometimes translated to "German Empire") continued to be used even after the collapse of the German Empire
Empire
and abolition of the monarchy in 1918. There was no emperor but many Germans had imperialistic ambitions. According to Richard
Richard
J. Evans:

The continued use of the term 'German Empire', Deutsches Reich, by the Weimar Republic....conjured up an image among educated Germans that resonated far beyond the institutional structures Bismarck created: the successor to the Roman Empire; the vision of God's Empire
Empire
here on earth; the universality of its claim to suzerainty; and a more prosaic but no less powerful sense, the concept of a German state that would include all German speakers in central Europe--'one People, one Reich, one Leader', as the Nazi slogan was to put it.[3]

The term derives from the Germanic word meaning "realm" in general, but is typically used in German to designate a kingdom or an empire, especially the Roman Empire.[4] The terms Kaisertum (roughly "Emperordom") and Kaiserreich are used in German to more specifically define an empire ruled by an emperor.[4] Reich is comparable in meaning and development (as well as descending from the same Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European
root) to the English word realm (via French reaume "kingdom" from Latin
Latin
regalis "royal"). It is used for historical empires in general, such as the Roman Empire
Empire
(Römisches Reich), Persian Empire
Empire
(Perserreich), and both the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire
Empire
(Zarenreich, literally " Tsar
Tsar
realm"). The Eastern Realm
Realm
(Österreich) of the Holy Roman Empire
Empire
is still the name used today for Austria. In the history of Germany
Germany
specifically, it is used to refer to:

the early medieval Frankish Realm
Realm
(Francia) and Carolingian Empire (the Fränkisches Reich and Karolingerreich); the Holy Roman Empire
Empire
(Heiliges Römisches Reich), which lasted from the coronation of Charlemagne
Charlemagne
as Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
in 800, until 1806, when it was dissolved during the Napoleonic Wars; the German Empire
Empire
(Deutsches Reich or Deutsches Kaiserreich), which lasted from the unification of Germany
Germany
in 1871 until its collapse after World War I, during the German Revolution of 1918–1919; the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
of 1919–1933 continued to use Deutsches Reich as its official name; Nazi Germany, the state often referred to as the Third Reich, which lasted from the Machtergreifung
Machtergreifung
in 1933 until the end of World War II in Europe in 1945.

The term "Third Reich" was adopted by the Nazis as propaganda to legitimize their government as a successor to the retroactively renamed "First" and "Second" Reichs. The terms "First Reich" and "Second Reich" are not used by historians, whilst the term "Fourth Reich" is used mainly in fiction and for political humour, however it also used by those who subscribe to the belief of Neo-Nazism
Neo-Nazism
or the belief of "Aryan Supremacy".

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Usage throughout German history

2.1 Frankish Empire
Empire
(1st Riech) 2.2 Holy Roman Empire

2.2.1 Modern age

2.3 German Reich 2.4 During the Weimar Republic 2.5 During the Nazi period 2.6 Possible negative connotations in modern use 2.7 Limited usage in the railway system of the German Democratic Republic 2.8 Personal names

3 Usage in related languages

3.1 In Scandinavian languages 3.2 In Estonian 3.3 In English 3.4 Rijk/ryk

4 See also 5 References

Etymology[edit]

Look up Reich in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Look up Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/rīkijan in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Look up Reconstruction:Proto-Germanic/rīks in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

The Latin
Latin
equivalent of Reich is imperium or rather with a king regnum. Both terms translate to "rule, sovereignty, government", usually of monarchs (kings or emperors), but also of gods, and of the Christian God.[5] The German version of the Lord's Prayer
Lord's Prayer
uses the words Dein Reich komme for "ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου" (usually translated as "thy kingdom come" in English).[6] Himmelreich is the German term for the concept of "kingdom of heaven". The German noun Reich is derived from Old High German
Old High German
rīhhi, which together with its cognates in Old English
Old English
rīce Old Norse
Old Norse
ríki (modern Scandinavian rike/rige) and Gothic reiki is from a Common Germanic *rīkijan. The English noun is extinct, but persists in composition, in bishopric. The German adjective reich, on the other hand, has an exact cognate in English rich. Both the noun (*rīkijan) and the adjective (*rīkijaz) are derivations based on a Common Germanic
Common Germanic
*rīks "ruler, king", reflected in Gothic as reiks, glossing ἄρχων "leader, ruler, chieftain". It is probable that the Germanic word was not inherited from pre-Proto-Germanic, but rather loaned from Celtic (i.e. Gaulish
Gaulish
rīx, Welsh rhi, both meaning 'king') at an early time.[7] The word has many cognates outside of Germanic and Celtic, notably Latin
Latin
rex and Sanskrit Raj "rule". It is ultimately from a Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European
root *reg-, meaning "to straighten out or rule". Usage throughout German history[edit] Frankish Empire
Empire
(1st Riech)[edit] Frankenreich or Fränkisches Reich is the German name given to the Frankish Kingdom
Frankish Kingdom
of Charlemagne. Frankenreich came to be used of Western Francia
Francia
and medieval France
France
after the development of Eastern Francia
Francia
into the Holy Roman Empire. The German name of France, Frankreich, is a contraction of Frankenreich used in reference to the kingdom of France
France
from the late medieval period.[8] Holy Roman Empire[edit] See also: Holy Roman Empire The term Reich was part of the German names for Germany
Germany
for much of its history. Reich was used by itself in the common German variant of the Holy Roman Empire, (Heiliges Römisches Reich (HRR)). Der rîche was a title for the Emperor. However, Latin, not German, was the formal legal language of the medieval Empire
Empire
( Imperium Romanum Sacrum), so English-speaking historians are more likely to use Latin imperium than German Reich
German Reich
as a term for this period of German history. The common contemporary Latin
Latin
legal term used in documents of the Holy Roman Empire
Empire
was for a long time regnum ("rule, domain, empire", such as in Regnum Francorum for the Frankish Kingdom) before imperium was in fact adopted, the latter first attested in 1157, whereas the parallel use of regnum never fell out of use during the Middle Ages. Modern age[edit] At the beginning of the modern age, some circles redubbed the HRE into the "Holy Roman Empire
Empire
of the German Nation" (Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation), a symptom of the formation of a German nation state as opposed to the multinational state the Empire
Empire
was throughout its history. Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
and Prussia
Prussia
opposed this movement. Resistance against the French revolution
French revolution
with its concept of the state brought a new movement to create a German "ethnical state", especially after the Napoleonic wars. Ideal for this state was the Holy Roman Empire; the legend arose that Germany
Germany
were "un-defeated when unified", especially after the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
(Deutsch-Französischer Krieg, lit. "German-French war"). Before that, the German question ruptured this "German unity" after the 1848 Revolution before it was achieved, however; Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
as a multinational state could not become part of the new "German empire", and nationality conflicts in Prussia
Prussia
with the Prussian Poles arose ("We can never be Germans – Prussians, every time!"). The advent of national feeling and the movement to create an ethnically German Empire
Empire
did lead directly to nationalism in 1871. Ethnic minorities declined since the beginning of the modern age; the Polabs, Sorbs and even the once important Low Germans had to assimilate themselves. This marked the transition between Antijudaism, where converted Jews were accepted as full citizens (in theory), to Antisemitism, where Jews were thought to be from a different ethnicity that could never become German. Apart from all those ethnic minorities being de facto extinct, even today the era of national feeling is taught in history in German schools as an important stepping-stone on the road to a German nation. The term royal reich, or reich royale, was coined to describe a monarchy or royalty-backed network that characterizes many of the same attributes that Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
possessed, notably privilege of royal rank, repression and silencing of expression. German Reich[edit] See also: German Reich In the case of the Hohenzollern Empire
Empire
(1871–1918), the official name of the country was Deutsches Reich ("German Realm"), because under the Constitution of the German Empire, it was legally a confederation of German states under the permanent presidency of the King of Prussia. The constitution granted the King of Prussia
Prussia
the title of "German Emperor" (Deutscher Kaiser), but this referred to the German nation rather than directly to the "country" of Germany.[4] The exact translation of the term "German Empire" would be Deutsches Kaiserreich. This name was sometimes used informally for Germany between 1871 and 1918, but it was disliked by the first German Emperor, Wilhelm I, and never became official. The unified Germany
Germany
which arose under Chancellor Otto von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck
in 1871 was the first entity that was officially called in German Deutsches Reich. Deutsches Reich remained the official name of Germany until 1945, although these years saw three very different political systems more commonly referred to in English as: "the German Empire" (1871–1918), the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
(1919–1933; this term is a pre- World War II
World War II
coinage not used at the time), and Nazi Germany (1933–1945). During the Weimar Republic[edit] After 1918 "Reich" was usually not translated as "Empire" in English-speaking countries, and the title was instead simply used in its original German. During the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
the term Reich and the prefix Reichs- referred not to the idea of empire but rather to the institutions, officials, affairs etc. of the whole country as opposed to those of one of its constituent federal states (Länder), in the same way that the terms Bund (federation) and Bundes- (federal) are used in Germany
Germany
today, and comparable to The Crown in Commonwealth countries and The Union in the United States. During the Nazi period[edit] The Nazis sought to legitimize their power historiographically by portraying their ascendancy to rule as the direct continuation of an ancient German past. They adopted the term Drittes Reich ("Third Empire" – usually rendered in English in the partial-translation "the Third Reich"), first used in a 1923 book entitled Das Dritte Reich by Arthur Moeller van den Bruck,[9] that counted the medieval Holy Roman Empire
Empire
as the first and the 1871–1918 monarchy as the second, which was then to be followed by a "reinvigorated" third one. This ignored the previous 1918–1933 Weimar period, which the Nazis denounced as a historical aberration, contemptuously referring to it as "the System". In the summer of 1939 the Nazis themselves actually banned the continued use of the term in the press, ordering it to use expressions such as nationalsozialistisches Deutschland ("National Socialist Germany"), Großdeutsches Reich ("Greater German Reich"), or simply Deutsches Reich (German Reich) to refer to the German state instead.[10] It was Adolf Hitler's personal desire that Großdeutsches Reich and nationalsozialistischer Staat ("[the] National Socialist State") would be used in place of Drittes Reich.[10] Reichskanzlei Berchtesgaden
Berchtesgaden
(" Reich Chancellery
Reich Chancellery
Berchtesgaden"), another nickname of the regime (named after the eponymous town located in the vicinity of Hitler's mountain residence where he spent much of his time in office) was also banned at the same time, despite the fact that a sub-section of the Chancellery was in fact installed there to serve Hitler's needs.[10] Although the term "Third Reich" is still in common use to refer to this historical period, the terms "First Reich" and "Second Reich" for the earlier periods are seldom found outside Nazi propaganda. To use the terms "First Reich" and "Second Reich", as some commentators did in the post-war years, is generally frowned upon as accepting Nazi historiography.[citation needed] During and following the Anschluss (annexation) of Austria
Austria
in 1938 Nazi propaganda also used the political slogan Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer
Führer
("One people, one Reich, one leader"), in order to enforce pan-German sentiment. The term Altes Reich ("old Reich"; cf. French ancien regime for monarchical France) is sometimes used to refer to the Holy Roman Empire. The term Altreich was also used after the Anschluss
Anschluss
to denote Germany
Germany
with its pre-1938 post- World War I
World War I
borders. Another name that was popular during this period was the term Tausendjähriges Reich ("Thousand-Year Reich"), the millennial connotations of which suggested that Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
would last for a thousand years. The Nazis also spoke of enlarging the then-established Greater German Reich into a " Greater Germanic Reich
Greater Germanic Reich
of the German Nation" (Großgermanisches Reich Deutscher Nation) by gradually annexing all the historically Germanic countries and regions of Europe (Flanders, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden
Sweden
etc.) directly into the Nazi state.[11] Possible negative connotations in modern use[edit] A number of previously neutral words used by the Nazis have later taken on negative connotations in German (e.g. Führer
Führer
or Heil); while in many contexts Reich is not one of them (Frankreich, France; Römisches Reich, Roman Empire), it can imply German imperialism or strong nationalism if it is used to describe a political or governmental entity. Reich has thus not been used in official terminology since 1945, though it is still found in the name of the Reichstag building, which since 1999 has housed the German federal parliament, the Bundestag. The decision not to rename the Reichstag building was taken only after long debate in the Bundestag; even then, it is described officially as Reichstag – Sitz des Bundestages (Reichstag, seat of the Bundestag). As seen in this example, the term "Bund" (federation) has replaced "Reich" in the names of various state institutions such as the army ("Bundeswehr"). The term "Reichstag" also remains in use in the German language
German language
as the term for the parliaments of some foreign monarchies, such as Sweden's Riksdag
Riksdag
and Japan's pre-war Imperial Diet. Limited usage in the railway system of the German Democratic Republic[edit] The exception is that during the Cold War, the East German railway incongruously continued to use the name Deutsche Reichsbahn (German Reich Railways), which had been the name of the national railway during the Weimar Republic
Weimar Republic
and the Nazi era. Even after German reunification in October 1990, the Reichsbahn continued to exist for over three years as the operator of the railroad in eastern Germany, ending finally on 1 January 1994 when the Reichsbahn and the western Deutsche Bundesbahn
Deutsche Bundesbahn
were merged to form the privatized Deutsche Bahn AG. Personal names[edit] The early medieval form of the word, used in the sense "strong", "powerful" or "ruler", appears as an element in many male personal names from the Germanic heroic tradition, such as Richard
Richard
(strong heart)[12], Dietrich (ruler of the people), Heinrich (ruler of the home)[13], or Friedrich (guardian of the peace).[citation needed][clarification needed] Usage in related languages[edit] In Scandinavian languages[edit] The cognate of the word Reich is used in all the Scandinavian languages with the identical meaning, i.e. "realm". It is spelled rike in Swedish and modern Norwegian and rige in Danish and older Norwegian (before the 1907 spelling reform). The word is traditionally used for sovereign entities, generally simply means "country" or "nation" (in the sense of a sovereign state) and does not have any special or political connotations. It does not imply any particular form of government, but it does imply that the entity is both of a certain size and of a certain standing, like the Scandinavian kingdoms themselves; hence the word might be considered exaggerated for very small states, like a city-state. Its use as a stand-alone word is more widespread than in contemporary German, but most often it refers to the three Scandinavian states themselves and certain historical empires, like the Roman Empire; the standard word for a "country" is usually land and there are many other words used to refer to countries. The word is part of the official names of Denmark, Norway and Sweden
Sweden
in the form of kongerike (Norwegian), kongerige (Danish) and konungarike (Swedish), all meaning kingdom, or literally the "realm of a king" (a kingdom can also be called kongedømme in Danish and Norwegian and kungadöme in Swedish, direct cognates of the English word). Two regions in Norway
Norway
that were petty kingdoms before the unification of Norway
Norway
around 900 AD have retained the word in the names (see Ringerike and Romerike). The word is also used in "Svea rike", with the current spelling Sverige, the name of Sweden
Sweden
in Swedish. Thus in the official name of Sweden, Konungariket Sverige, the word rike appears twice. The derived prefix "riks-" (Swedish and Norwegian) and "rigs-" (Danish and pre-1907 Norwegian) implies nationwide or under central jurisdiction. Examples include riksväg and riksvei, names for a national road in Swedish and Norwegian. It is also present in the names of numerous institutions in all the Scandinavian countries. It is used in words such as utrikes (Swedish), utenriks (Norwegian) and udenrigs (Danish), relating to foreign countries and other things from abroad. The opposite word is inrikes/innenriks/indenrigs, meaning domestic. The Lord's Prayer
Lord's Prayer
uses the word in the Swedish, Norwegian and Danish versions: Tillkomme ditt rike, Komme ditt rike, Komme dit rige ('Thy kingdom come' – old versions). Låt ditt rike komma!, La ditt rike komme, Komme dit rige ('Let your kingdom come' – new versions). In Estonian[edit] Riik is also an Estonian word for country and realm. In English[edit] "Rike" is also a now-archaic English word cognate with "reich". Rijk/ryk[edit] Rijk is the Dutch and ryk the Afrikaans
Afrikaans
equivalent of German Reich. In a political sense in the Netherlands
Netherlands
and Belgium the word rijk often connotes a connection with the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Netherlands
and Belgium as opposed to the European part of the country or as opposed to provincial or municipal governments; the ministerraad is the executive body of the Netherlands' government and the rijksministerraad that of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, a similar distinction is found in wetten (laws) versus rijkswetten (kingdom laws), or the now-abolished rijkswacht for gendarmerie in Belgium. The word rijk can also be found in institutions like Rijkswaterstaat, Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu, and Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. In Afrikaans, ryk refers to rulership and area of governance (mostly a kingdom), but in a modern sense the term is used in a much more figurative sense (e.g. Die Hemelse Ryk (the heavenly kingdom, China)), as the sphere under one's control or influence, such as:

die drie ryke van die natuur: die plante-, diere- en delfstowweryk (the three kingdoms of nature: the plant, animal and mineral kingdom) die duisendjarige ryk (the thousand year realm, the Biblical millennium) die ryk van die verbeelding, van drome (the realm of the imagination, of dreams) 'n bestuurder wat sy ryk goed beheer (a manager that controls his domain well)

Like in German, the adjective rijk/ryk means "rich". See also[edit]

Germany German Reich Imperium Reich (other)

References[edit]

^ http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/reich ^ See "the Reich" in Cambridge Dictionary (2013) ^ Richard J. Evans
Richard J. Evans
(2005). The Coming of the Third Reich. Penguin. p. 33.  ^ a b c Harper's magazine, Volume 63. Pp. 593. ^ see e.g. Jacob Grimm, Deutsches Wörterbuch, s.v. " Reich n." ^ the Lord's Prayer
Lord's Prayer
in Scandinavian also uses the cognate word; so it is in Old English
Old English
– 'Tobecyme thin rice' ^ Grimm, Deutsches Wörterbuch, original suggestion from Karl Brugmann grundrisz der vergl. gramm. 1, 65. Also mentioned in e.g. Calvert Watkins, American Heritage dictionary of Indo-European Roots, p. 70. ^ Grimm, Deutsches Wörterbuch
Deutsches Wörterbuch
cites Conrad of Megenberg
Conrad of Megenberg
(fastn. 140.14): ich pin ein konig aus Frankreich. ^ The man who invented the Third Reich: the life and times of Arthur Moeller van den Bruck. Npi Media Ltd. May 1, 1999. ISBN 978-0-75-091866-4.  ^ a b c Schmitz-Berning, Cornelia (2000). Vokabular des Nationalsozialismus. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, 10875 Berlin, pp. 159–160. (in German) [1] ^ Elvert, Jürgen (1999) (in German). Mitteleuropa!: deutsche Pläne zur europäischen Neuordnung (1918–1945), p. 325. Verlag Wiesbaden GmbH. ISBN 3-515-07641-7. [2] ^ " Richard
Richard
- Oxford Reference". doi:10.1093/acref/9780198610601.001.0001/acref-9780198610601-e-2704. Retrieved 2018-01-28.  ^ "Henry - Oxford Reference". doi:10.1093/acref/9780198610601.001.0001/acref-9780198610601-e-1422. Retrieved

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