Down the Rhine [Illustrated] Young America in Germany

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Those who would not promise to follow Adolf amongst them Johannes Gutenberg were driven out of the town or thrown into prison. The new archbishop revoked the city charter of Mainz and put the city under his direct rule. Ironically, after the death of Adolf II his successor was again Diether von Isenburg, now legally elected by the chapter and named by the Pope. The Jewish community of Mainz dates to the 10th century AD. It is noted for its religious education. Rabbi Gershom ben Judah — taught there, among others.

He concentrated on the study of the Talmud , creating a German Jewish tradition. Mainz is also the legendary home of the martyred Rabbi Amnon of Mainz , composer of the Unetanneh Tokef prayer. The Jews of Mainz, Speyer and Worms created a supreme council to set standards in Jewish law and education in the 12th century.


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The city of Mainz responded to the Jewish population in a variety of ways, behaving, in a sense, in a bipolar fashion towards them. Sometimes they were allowed freedom and were protected; at other times, they were persecuted. The Jews were expelled in , [15] after which they were invited to return , and in Jews were attacked in and by mobs in Outbreaks of the Black Death were usually blamed on the Jews, at which times they were massacred, such as the burning of about 6, Jews alive in Nowadays the Jewish community is growing rapidly, and a new synagogue by the architect Manuel Herz was constructed in on the site of the one destroyed by the Nazis on Kristallnacht in On 18 March , the Jacobins of Mainz, with other German democrats from about towns in the Rhenish Palatinate , proclaimed the ' Republic of Mainz '.

Led by Georg Forster , representatives of the Mainz Republic in Paris requested political affiliation of the Mainz Republic with France, but too late: Prussia was not entirely happy with the idea of a democratic free state on German soil although the French dominated Mainz was neither free nor democratic.

Prussian troops had already occupied the area and besieged Mainz by the end of March, After a siege of 18 weeks, the French troops in Mainz surrendered on 23 July ; Prussians occupied the city and ended the Republic of Mainz. It came to the Battle of Mainz in between Austria and France.

Members of the Mainz Jacobin Club were mistreated or imprisoned and punished for treason. In , the French returned. Austria and Prussia could not but approve this new border with France in From to , to the German Confederation Mainz was the most important fortress in the defence against France, and had a strong garrison of Austrian, Prussian and Bavarian troops. In the afternoon of 18 November , a huge explosion rocked Mainz when the city's powder magazine, the Pulverturm , exploded. Approximately people were killed and at least injured; 57 buildings were destroyed and a similar number severely damaged in what was to be known as the Powder Tower Explosion or Powder Explosion.

During the Austro-Prussian War in , Mainz was declared a neutral zone. For centuries the inhabitants of the fortress of Mainz had suffered from a severe shortage of space which led to disease and other inconveniences. In Mayor Carl Wallau and the council of Mainz persuaded the military government to sign a contract to expand the city. Beginning in , the city of Mainz assimilated the Gartenfeld , an idyllic area of meadows and fields along the banks of the Rhine to the north of the rampart.

The city expansion more than doubled the urban area which allowed Mainz to participate in the industrial revolution which had previously avoided the city for decades. He also planned the first sewer system for the old part of town since Roman times and persuaded the city government to relocate the railway line from the Rhine side to the west end of the town.

The Mainz master builder constructed a number of state-of-the-art public buildings, including the Mainz town hall — which was the largest of its kind in Germany at that time — as well a synagogue, the Rhine harbour and a number of public baths and school buildings. In the demolition of the entire circumvallation and the Rheingauwall was taken in hand, according to imperial order of Wilhelm II.

During the German Revolution of the Mainz Workers' and Soldiers' Council was formed which ran the city from 9 November until the arrival of French troops under the terms of the occupation of the Rhineland agreed in the Armistice. The French occupation was confirmed by the Treaty of Versailles which went into effect 28 June The Rhineland in which Mainz is located was to be a demilitarized zone until and the French garrison, representing the Triple Entente , was to stay until reparations were paid.

In Mainz participated in the Rhineland separatist movement that proclaimed a republic in the Rhineland.

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It collapsed in The French withdrew on 30 June Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in January, and his political opponents, especially those of the Social Democratic Party, were either incarcerated or murdered. Some were able to move away from Mainz in time. One was the political organizer for the SPD, Friedrich Kellner , who went to Laubach, where as the chief justice inspector of the district court he continued his opposition against the Nazis by recording their misdeeds in a page diary.

They hoisted the swastika on all public buildings and began to denounce the Jewish population in the newspapers. In , the Nazis remilitarized the Rhineland with great fanfare, the first move of Nazi Germany 's meteoric expansion. The former Triple Entente took no action.

Castles along The Rhine

During World War II, more than 30 air raids destroyed about 80 percent of the city's center, including most of the historic buildings. Mainz was captured on 22 March against uneven German resistance staunch in some sectors and weak in other parts of the city by the 90th Infantry Division under William A. Patton , Jr. From to , the city was part of the French zone of occupation.

Mainz is home to the headquarters of the Bundeswehr' s Landeskommando Rhineland-Palatinate and other units. The following list shows the largest minority groups in Mainz as of [update] :.

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The destruction caused by the bombing of Mainz during World War II led to the largest building boom in the history of the town. During the last war in Germany, more than 30 air raids destroyed about 80 percent of the city's center, including most of the historic buildings. The air raid caused most of the dead and made an already hard-hit city largely leveled.

Nevertheless, the post-war reconstruction took place very slowly. While cities such as Frankfurt had been rebuilt fast by a central authority, only individual efforts were initially successful in rebuilding Mainz. The reason for this was that the French wanted Mainz to expand and to become a model city. Mainz lay within the French-controlled sector of Germany and it was a French architect and town-planner, Marcel Lods , who produced a Le Corbusier-style plan of an ideal architecture.

Even after the failure of the model city plans it was the initiative of the French founding of the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz , elevation of Mainz to the state capital of Rhineland-Palatinate, the early resumption of the Mainz carnival driving the city in a positive development after the war. The City Plan of by Ernst May allowed a regulated reconstruction for the first time. At the time of the two-thousand-years-anniversary in the city was largely reconstructed. By there remained only a few ruins. The town used Jacobsens activity for the Danish Novo erecting a new office and warehouse building to contact him.

The urban renewal of the old town changed the inner city. During the s the Kisselberg between Gonsenheim and Bretzenheim, the "Fort Malakoff Center" at the site of the old police barracks, the renewal of the Main Station and the demolition of the first post-war shopping center at the Markt followed by the erection of a new historicising building at the same place. The city of Mainz is divided into 15 local districts according to the main statute of the city of Mainz.

Rhine, Germany: Castle-Studded Rhine River

Each local district has a district administration of 13 members and a directly elected mayor, who is the chairman of the district administration. This local council decides on important issues affecting the local area, however, the final decision on new policies is made by the Mainz's municipal council. In accordance with section 29 paragraph 2 Local Government Act of Rhineland-Palatinate , which refers to municipalities of more than , inhabitants, the city council has 60 members. Until , the districts of Bischofsheim now an independent town , Ginsheim-Gustavsburg which together are an independent town belonged to Mainz.

The coat of arms of Mainz is derived from the coat of arms of the Archbishops of Mainz and features two six-spoked silver wheels connected by a silver cross on a red background. Mainz is home to a Carnival , the Mainzer Fassenacht or Fastnacht , which has developed since the early 19th century. Carnival in Mainz has its roots in the criticism of social and political injustices under the shelter of cap and bells.


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  • Today, the uniforms of many traditional Carnival clubs still imitate and caricature the uniforms of the French and Prussian troops of the past. The height of the carnival season is on Rosenmontag "rose Monday" , when there is a large parade in Mainz, with more than , people celebrating in the streets. The first ever Katholikentag , a festival-like gathering of German Catholics, was held in Mainz in Johannes Gutenberg , credited with the invention of the modern printing press with movable type, was born here and died here.

    Since the Mainzer Johannisnacht commemorates the person Johannes Gutenberg in his native city. The Mainz University , which was refounded in , is named after Gutenberg ; the earlier University of Mainz that dated back to had been closed down by Napoleon's troops in Mainz was one of three important centers of Jewish theology and learning in Central Europe during the Middle Ages.

    Known collectively as Shum , the cities of Speyer , Worms and Mainz played a key role in the preservation and propagation of Talmudic scholarship. There are also a couple of radio stations based in Mainz. The local football club 1. FSV Mainz 05 has a long history in the German football leagues. Since it has competed in the Bundesliga First German soccer league except a break in second level in —08 season. After leaving Mainz Klopp went on to win two Bundesliga titles and reaching a Champions League final with Borussia Dortmund , before eventually winning the Champions League with English club Liverpool in In the summer the club opened its new stadium called Coface Arena.

    The local wrestling club ASV Mainz is currently in the top division of team wrestling in Germany, the Bundesliga. As a result of the invasion of Georgia by Russian troops, Mainz acted as a neutral venue for the Georgian Vs Republic of Ireland football game.

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    Its men's team is playing in the Regionalliga and its women's team is playing in the 2. Dinner was a gala affair with lots of courses.

    I forgot to mention a beautiful musical interlude before dinner with a group called La Strada.