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.
October 2018 is the four-hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War. The documentary traces the story of how it was finally brought to an end with the peace of Munster and Osnabrück – the first peace in European history to be concluded at the negotiating table and not fought on the battlefield.
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 re-enactments, 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.
Part 02 here.
Production & Filming Details
- Holger Preusse.
- Deutsche Welle (DW).
- Release Date:
- Part 01: 24 October 2018 (DW English).
- Part 02: 31 October 2018 (DW English).
- Running Time: 46 minutes (each episode).
- Rating: Unknown.
- Country: Germany.
- Language: German.