I don’t often post with the sole intention of sharing a link, but this is one of those rare occasions when I think it’s worth it. CBC Radio’s Ideas ran a documentary about the Holy Orders and the concluding segment (aired on June 6th) centred on the Teutonic Knights. The Story of the Teutonic Knights – The Iron Fist gives an excellent overview of the Teutonic Knights’ establishment in the Holy land, its height during the Baltic Crusades, and the continued significance of the Order to the national identities of Poland and Germany long after its fall.
I have a long…er, history with the Baltic Crusades, starting with watching the Polish film Krzyzacy (1960); my fascination culminated with a paper I wrote for a seminar during the final year of my undergraduate degree. While the paper focused specifically on Paul Vladimiri’s submission to the Council of Constance (1417) arguing against the continued existence of the Teutonic Knights’ Ordenstaat in Prussia, I devoted a great deal of time to considering the ideological underpinnings of that particular Order. If you’re interested in my ramblings about the Baltic Crusades, you can find some here.
In 2010 I attended the anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald, fought in 1410 between the Kingdom of Poland-Lithuania and the Teutonic Order. So, in lieu of analyzing the importance of Grunwald in Polish historical memory, I provide you with pictures to accompany the documentary (all photographs copyright me &c.):