• Germany edition
 
Medieval Teutonic knights' remains found in Poland
A file photo of a hobby knights rumbling. Photo: DPA

Medieval Teutonic knights' remains found in Poland

Published: 12 Dec 2008 08:23 GMT+01:00

"Anthropological and DNA testing has enabled us to back up the theory that these are the remains of the grand masters. We can be 96 percent certain," Bogumil Wisniewski, head of a team which found the skeletons, told AFP on Thursday.

Wisniewski said his team was convinced the men were Werner von Orseln, who led the knights from 1324-1330, Ludolf Koenig (1342-1345), and Heinrich von Plauen (1410-1413).

The three skeletons were discovered in May 2007 in a crypt under the cathedral in Kwidzyn in northern Poland - formerly known by the German name Marienwerder - along with pieces of silk and ornate brooches, which were a sign of high religious rank.

Studies of the wood of the coffins confirmed that they were from the right period.

The Teutonic Knights' order was founded in the Holy Land in 1190, during the Third Crusade. Despite its name, its members came from a handful of European regions, and not only German-speaking areas.

In 1226 the Polish Duke Konrad of Mazovia invited the knights to help him conquer the pagan population of neighbouring Prussia.

The order gradually took control of large stretches of the Baltic coast, establishing a state with its capital at Marienburg - today's Malbork in northern Poland.

The knights fought a string of successful military campaigns against their neighbours.

But their power declined after they were defeated by an army of Poles and Lithuanians in 1410 at the Battle of Grunwald, which is still seen as a key moment in the history of both peoples.

The order lost its religious character in the 16th century, and its domain was transformed into the Duchy of Prussia, which endured in various guises until Germany lost the territory to Poland and Russia after World War II.

Today's headlines
Thieves tunnel into jewellery display case
Yoink. Photo: DPA

Thieves tunnel into jewellery display case

A jewellery shop owner opened up on Monday to find that thieves had tunnelled into his store from the basement of the shopping complex and made off with his diamond display. READ  

The end of 'soli'? Not so fast, hope states
Photo: DPA

The end of 'soli'? Not so fast, hope states

The Green-Red coalition government in North Rhein-Westphalia is urging the federal government not to do away with the solidarity surcharge on income taxes in 2020, and instead funnel more of the money into the books of the western states, it was reported on Monday. READ  

JobTalk Germany: Entrepreneur series
From flea markets to an online garage sale
reBuy founder Laurence Leuschner. Photo: DPA

From flea markets to an online garage sale

In our new feature series, The Local looks into a successful entrepreneur's life - the story behind their successes, major challenges and how being an entrepreneur changed them forever. This week, Sparsh Sharma talks to Lawrence Leuschner, founder of second-hand marketplace reBuy. READ  

Gurlitt inheritance
Swiss museum accepts art looted by Nazis
A painting by Frans Francken confiscated from a Jewish owner under the Nazis and found in the Gurlitt collection. Photo: LKA Bayern/DPA

Swiss museum accepts art looted by Nazis

The Bern Museum of Fine Art announced on Monday that it would accept a huge haul of works left to it in the will of the son of a Nazi-era art dealer. READ  

Gloom lifts in business confidence index

Gloom lifts in business confidence index

Business confidence in Germany appears to be stabilising after long months of decline, with the Ifo business climate index rising in November for the first time in seven months, data showed on Monday. READ  

Spy scandal
NSA leaker Snowden feted in Stuttgart
Photo: DPA

NSA leaker Snowden feted in Stuttgart

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden accepted the Stuttgart Peace Prize and called on the public to keep fighting for peace in a speech via video uplink on Sunday. READ  

Putin Euro influence strategy targets AfD
AfD vice-president Alexander Gauland (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (right). Photos: DPA

Putin Euro influence strategy targets AfD

A Moscow strategy paper seen by German media shows how Russian President Vladimir Putin has been advised to influence Europe through right-wing populist parties including Alternativ für Deutschland (AfD). READ  

Schumi faces 'difficult and long' recovery
Photo: DPA

Schumi faces 'difficult and long' recovery

Michael Schumacher's manager Sabine Kehm said on Sunday there is still no clear time-frame for the Formula One legend's full recovery. READ  

Coalition falls out over female executive quota
Photo: DPA

Coalition falls out over female executive quota

Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Social Democratic (SPD) politicians are bickering in public over quotas for female board members in large companies. READ  

Prosecutors mull new Oktoberfest terror probe
Bodies lie on the ground following the "Wiesn attack" of 1980. Photo: DPA

Prosecutors mull new Oktoberfest terror probe

State prosecutors are considering reopening their investigation into the 1980 bombing at Munich's Oktoberfest after new evidence emerged. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Win your Christmas list: €250 at Marks & Spencer
Photo: DPA
Politics
Can 'sorry' ever be enough for the Linke?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
Sponsored Article
Ever wanted to try out home exchange?
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1989
Photo: DPA
Berlin
The Local's series on 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall
Photo: DPA
National
Which city is the worst for car crashes?
Photo: DPA
National
The folly of the foreigner road charge
Photo: DPA
National
The man who stopped Germany's trains
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
Offer: Unlimited airmiles through December 19th
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
How to replace retiring baby boomers
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
Finger slicer's insurance scam fails
Photo: DPA
Gallery
See how Berlin has changed in 22 photos
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Want to study in Germany? These are the subjects to choose
Sponsored Article
International School on the Rhine: a legacy
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,183
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists
Click here for the full job description
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd