Aurich, Germany History
The history of today’s city of Aurich (Germany) has been historically documented since the 13th century according to softwareleverage.
Aurich was first mentioned in a document in 1276 as aurechove in a Frisian legal record, the so-called brokmer letter. This is a written code of law (brocmanni).
The Borkmerbrief is considered the most detailed Frisian legal source and reports on the state and court constitution.
The right of the state and court constitution therefore goes back to the will of the assembled people. For example, the brokmer letter regulates that political and judicial power rests on annually elected peasant officials (Redjeven).
The early development of the city happened over time around the Lamberti Church, donated by Count Moritz von Oldenburg around 1200. Initially, the area was under the sovereignty of the Counts of Oldenburg.
In the 14th century, however, a system of rule based on the exercise of power by local chiefs established itself.
In this, the vom Brok family seem to have acted quite successfully, because they were enfeoffed by the Counts of Oldenburg with the castle and church in Aurich.
At the end of the 14th century, the family built their first chieftain’s castle, the Nieburg (Neu Burg). However, the Nieburg was razed around the year 1430, so that there is nothing left of it today.
After Ulrich Cirksena was raised to the rank of imperial count, Emperor Friedrich III. enfeoffed with the Reichsgrafschaft Ostfriesland. Although the residence of the counts was in Emden, the region around Aurich was able to establish itself as an important cattle trading center due to its central location.
Aurich suffered a severe blow during the Saxon feud (1514-1517). In this dispute between the East Frisian Count Edzard I and Georg von Sachsen, Aurich fell victim to a fire in 1514 that destroyed almost the entire city.
From the year 1517 Edzard I started the planned reconstruction of Aurich. This went hand in hand with the relocation of the important cattle trading center to a market that was unusually large at the time (150 by 50 m). The effects of this urban redesign continue to have an impact on the cityscape of Aurich to this day. The reconstruction also ensured a renewal of the city’s fortifications to prevent further destruction.
From 1539 onwards, the city of Aurich can also be used, because Count Enno II granted Aurich city rights in that year. This went hand in hand with the amalgamation of the state authorities, and from 1561 the Counts of East Friesland moved their residence to Aurich. Aurich thus first became the capital of the county and later the capital of the Principality of East Friesland.
The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) also took place in East Frisia, after all, the region was captured three times by opposing troops (1622 to 1624; 1627 to 1631 and 1637 to 1651), but there were no large-scale fighting in the area. Nevertheless, the general turmoil of the war showed its effects, and so evidence of plague epidemics can be found in East Frisia.
Paradoxically, however, there was evidence of upscale construction activity during this period. For example, the Marstall and the Julianenburg pleasure palace date from the Thirty Years’ War.
After the Cirksena died out in 1744, the Prussian King Friedrich II (the old Fritz; 1712-1786) raised his right of succession, which was regulated in the Emden Convention, and on June 7, 1744, five hundred men marched into Aurich and occupied the city. With the homage on June 23, the region came under Prussian rule, and Aurich became the government capital of the Prussian province of East Friesland.
During the Seven Years’ War, the region was occupied twice by French troops, which caused considerable suffering for the residents. In the following period, however, the region flourished again, spurred on by the reclamation edict of 1765. Over 80 new bog colonies were created, most of which were initially settled by settlers from the Palatinate.
During the Napoleonic period, the region around Aurich also experienced major political changes. After the battle of Jena and Auerstedt, the city was occupied by Dutch troops and in 1808 it was solemnly incorporated into the Kingdom of Holland. But as early as 1810 it was occupied again by French troops and incorporated into the Departement de l’Ems-Oriental (Osterems) and thus integrated into the French Empire.
As a result of the Congress of Vienna, Aurich and all of East Friesland were added to the Kingdom of Hanover from 1817, but again under Prussian status after the German War of 1866. The city, which was still characterized by the cattle trade, received an economic boom through the construction of the Ems-Jade Canal from 1880 to 1888. During the German Empire, the city of Aurich played the role of an important garrison and civil service town.
While the beginning of the First World War was still euphoric in the city, the long course of the war and the associated privations for the population showed its effect no later than November 8, 1918, one day before the emperor’s abdication, with the establishment of the first soldiers’ council. However, there was no permanent establishment of workers ‘and soldiers’ councils in the rural, conservative region.