The Thirty Years’ War: How Was Peace Achieved? [VIDEO]

DW Documentary released a two-part series on how the Thirty Year’s War ended and the Peace of Westphalia was designed. In fact, it took five years for all the parties to get onboard and led largely by Maximilian, Graf von Trauttmansdorff who represented the Holy Roman emperor.

Synopsis: Huge battles, famines, the plague and cholera: For 30 years, brutal soldiers and marauding mercenaries turned Central Europe into the first circle of hell as Catholics and Protestants struggled for hegemony. Almost all the European powers had a hand in the bloody conflict, which was finally ended by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The first great pan-European conflagration was all about power and religion. About four million people died between 1618 and 1648 in the “German lands” alone.

Most of the fighting took place in the territories of the “Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.” The warring factions agreed on two places for peace negotiations: the first international congress took place in the cities of Münster and Osnabrück in western Germany and lasted five years. Both places become a hotbed of intrigue, secret treaties and shady deals as the envoys negotiated the future of Europe on behalf of their rulers.

In fact, the Peace of Westphalia really marked the birth of modern diplomacy. A blend of reenactments, animations, archival research and expert opinion brings the negotiations 370 years ago to life in an exciting two-part documentary and shows how touch-and-go the outcome was right up to the very last moment.


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