¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 In early February 1638 Stühlingen was first invaded and plundered by the imperial troops under lieutenant field-marshal Count Johann von Werth.10 Shortly after the second battle of Rheinfelden (March 3, 1638), the general Prince Bernhard of Saxe Weimar appeared with his victorious French army in Stühlingen, requesting provisions.11 The only records relating to Jews were the protection tax records for 1638; no records exist for 1639. It is possible that the Stühlingen administrative apparatus had largely ceased to function during these critical years.
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 In popular German historical literature, the Thirty Years’ War is commonly reduced to the settling of a confessional conflict following the Reformation. In fact, it was the perfect storm; geopolitical, dynastic, confessional, and social tensions erupted together, further agitated by a host of obstinate and sociopathic personalities. It really was not one continuous war, but a series of about seven almost independent conflicts, all arising from a similar combination of dire motives.12
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Accounts of the war and its physical, social, demographic, and economic consequences range from that of a cataclysm to that of a trifle.13 While some of these different perspectives may be explained by the historic context in which they were written, the actual complexity of events also made it difficult to provide an accurate picture. Over the lengthy duration of the war, different regions were involved to various degrees and over different time periods. Contemporary records tended to be focused locally and shaped as much by ideology as by facts.14 Careful analysis of the evidence suggests that the German Empire overall lost about 20% of its population between 1618 and 1648. It appears that the impact of famine and pestilence affected mortality more than violence itself.15
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 Several factors contributed to the economic troubles arising out of the war: the gradual breakdown of civic order, widespread speculation, and currency manipulations led to severe inflation in the early years of the war; the diversion of horses towards the war effort – particularly draught horses – severely impeded agricultural productivity; and mounting war debts led to a general credit crunch.16
10 Semler, “Die Tagebücher,” 341.
11 Warlich, “Pappenheim, Maximilian von.”
12 Wilson, “The Thirty Years War”, 225.
13 Vincent, “The Lamentations of Germany”; Steinberg, “The Thirty Years War”.
14 Wilson, “The Thirty Years War”, 5.
15 Ibid., 786–95.
16 Ibid., 795–805.