History of Hamburg

History of Hamburg

The history of Hamburg begins with its foundation in the ninth century as a mission settlement to convert the Saxons. Since the Middle Ages Hamburg was an important trading centre in Europe. The convenient location of the port and its independence as a city and state for centuries strengthened this position.

The city was member in the medieval Hanseatic trading league and a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire. From 1815 until 1866 Hamburg was an independent state of the German Confederation, then the North German Confederation (1866–71), the German Empire (1871–1918) and during the period of the Weimar Republic (1918–33). In Nazi Germany Hamburg was a state and a "Gau" from 1934 until 1945. After the Second World War Hamburg was in the British Zone of Occupation and became the a state in the western part of Germany in the Federal Republic of Germany (Since 1949).


A castle was named "Hammaburg" (where "burg" means castle). The "Hamma" element remains uncertain. Old High German includes both a hamma, "angle" and a hamme, "pastureland". The angle might refer to a spit of land or to the curvature of a river. However, the language spoken might not have been Old High German, as Low Saxon was spoken there later. Other theories hold that the castle was named for the word of a surrounding vast forest, "hammen".Verg, p. 8] "Hamm" as a place name occurs a number of times in Germany, but its meaning is equally uncertain. It could be related to "heim" and Hamburg could have been placed in the territory of the ancient Chamavi. However, a derivation of "home city" is perhaps too direct, as the city was named after the castle. Another theory is that Hamburg comes from "ham" which is Old Saxon for "shore". de icon] the Hamburg Senate was disolved and the position of First Mayor of Hamburg abolished. Hamburg was named "Hansestadt Hamburg".

During World War II Hamburg suffered a series of devastating air raids which killed 42,000 German civilians. Through this, and the new zoning guidelines of the 1960s, the inner city lost much of its architectural past. From 1938 until 1945 a concentration camp was established in the Neuengamme quarter of Hamburg, [No. 1034 in the official German list of concentration camps: Citation |title=Verzeichnis der Konzentrationslager und ihrer Außenkommandos gemäß § 42 Abs. 2 BEG |url=http://hh.juris.de/hh/gesamt/Verf_HA.htm#Verf_HA_rahmen |year=1967 |accessdate=2008-09-20 |publisher=Federal Ministry of Justice de icon] some of the buildings have been preserved and as of 2008 serve as a memorial. From 1939 until 1945 more than 500,000 men, women and children [cite web |url=http://staging3.hauptsache.net/index.php?id=973 |title=www.kz-gedenkstaette-neuengamme.de: Zwangsarbeiterlager in Hamburg |accessdate=2008-10-04 |publisher=KZ-Gedenkstätte Neuengamme (Camp memorial Neuengamme) de icon] — including prisoners of war — were forced to work at more than 900 companies, living in more than 1,200 camps all over Hamburg. Some of these camps held only 7 inmates, others were known for more than 1,500 inmates. [cite web |url=http://www.zwangsarbeit-in-hamburg.de/ |title=Zwangsarbeit in der Hamburger Kriegswirtschaft 1939-1945 |accessdate=2008-10-04 |publisher=Hamburg State Agency for Political Education de icon]

After the Second World War

The Iron Curtain — only convert|50|km|mi|-1 east of Hamburg — separated the city from most of its hinterland and further reduced Hamburg's global trade. On February 16, 1962 a severe storm caused the Elbe to rise to an all-time high, inundating one fifth of Hamburg and killing more than 300 people. [Citation |first1=Uwe |last1=Sönnichsen |first2=Hans-Werner |last2=Staritz |title=Trutz, blanke Hans – Bilddokumentation der Flutkatastrophen 1962 und 1976 in Schleswig-Holstein und Hamburg |isbn=3-88042-055-6 |publisher=Husum Druck- und Verlagsgesellschaft |year=1978 |location=Husum de icon]

A group of radical Islamists that included students who eventually came to be key operatives in the 9/11 attacks, according to U.S. and German intelligence agencies, was called the Hamburg cell. [Citation |url=http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch5.htm |publisher=National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States |title=Al Qaeda aims at the American homeland |accessdate=2008-10-01]

In the 2000s

After German reunification in 1990, and the accession of some Eastern European and Baltic States into the EU in 2004, Hamburg Harbour and Hamburg have ambitions for regaining their positions as the region's largest deep-sea port for container shipping and its major commercial and trading centre.

ee also

*Postage stamps and postal history of Hamburg



* de icon

Further reading

External links

* [http://international.hamburg.de/?ba=english Official website] . Retrieved 1 October 2008.
* [http://www.hamburg.de Official website] . More detailed German website. Retrieved 1 October 2008.

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