Teutonic Knights in popular culture

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Deutscher Orden-Reenactment, Poland, Sanok-Mrzygłód, 2010

This article is about depictions of the Teutonic Knights in popular culture.


  • In the Conrad Stargard science fiction series, by Polish American writer Leo Frankowski, the Teutonic Knights are depicted in an extremely hostile way, including repeated references to their "bad body smell". The title character, a modern Polish engineer who is sent back in time to the 13th century and introduces modern technology, encounters Teutonic Knights who are taking children into slavery, whereupon he kills them and sets the children free. Stargard's later conflicts with the Teutonic Knights culminate with his exterminating the entire order by flooding the city of Torun with poison gas.
  • In the popular web-comic series Hetalia the character Prussia spent an amount of time as Teutonic Knights.
  • In the book cycle "the Mongoliad" the Teutonc Knights, and some similar rivals, are the central characters on a quest to kill the Khan of the Mongols. [2]


  • The black and white colours of the Order became the colours of the state of Prussia.
  • Emperor William II of Germany posed for a photo in 1902 in the garb of a monk from the Teutonic Order, climbing up the stairs in the reconstructed Marienburg Castle as a symbol of the German Empire's policy.[3]
  • German nationalism often invoked the imagery of the Teutonic Knights, especially in the context of territorial conquest from eastern neighbours of Germany and conflict with nations of Slavic origins, who were considered to be of lower development and lacking in culture. The German historian Heinrich von Treitschke used imagery of the Teutonic Knights to promote pro-German and anti-Polish rhetoric. Such imagery and symbols were adopted by many middle-class Germans who supported German nationalism. During the Weimar Republic, associations and organisations of this nature contributed to laying the groundwork for the formation of Nazi Germany.[3]
  • During World War II, Nazi propaganda and ideology made frequent use of the Teutonic Knights' imagery, as the Nazis sought to depict the Knights' actions as a forerunner of the Nazi conquests for Lebensraum. Heinrich Himmler tried to idealize the SS as a 20th-century incarnation of the medieval knights. The modern Order however, was banned in the Third Reich in 1938, due to long standing belief of both Hitler and Himmler, that Catholic military-religious orders, were untrustworthy and politically suspect as subordinates of the Vatican, and representatives of its policy.[4]

Film & Music[edit]

  • In the popular anime Hetalia the character Prussia spent an amount of time as Teutonic Knights

Reenactment and Roleplaying[edit]

The Teutonic Knights are recreated by many re-enactment groups around the world. Many historical and fantasy fighting groups recreate the teutonic order, an example are the Teutonic Knights of Daghorhir which encompass two separate units in New York and Texas respectively.[5]

In Countries such as England, Poland and Estonia, The popularity of reenactment of the teutonic order has increased with organizations recreating the Order fight in battle demonstrations, living history exhibits and of course battle reenactments commemorating famous battles of the Teutonic Knights.[6][7][8]