Graf

Graf (male) or Gräfin (female) is a historical title of the German nobility, usually translated as "count". Considered to be intermediate among noble ranks, the title is often treated as equivalent to the British title of "earl" (whose female version is "countess").

Rangkronen-Fig. 18
Image of a Grafenkrone, the heraldic coronet of a Graf

History

The comital title of Graf is common to various European territories where German was or is the official or vernacular tongue, including Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Alsace, the Baltic states and other former Habsburg crown lands. In Germany, all legal privileges of the nobility have been officially abolished since August 1919, and Graf, like any other hereditary title, is treated as part of the legal surname.[1] In Austria, its use is banned by law, as with all hereditary titles and nobiliary particles. In Switzerland, the title is not acknowledged in law. In the monarchies of Belgium, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg, where German is one of the official languages, the title continues to be recognised, used and, occasionally, granted by the national fons honorum, the reigning monarch.

From the medieval era, a Graf usually ruled a territory known as a Grafschaft (county). In the Holy Roman Empire, many Imperial counts (Reichsgrafen) retained near-sovereign authority in their lands until the Congress of Vienna subordinated them to larger, neighboring monarchs through the German mediatisation process of 1815, preserving their precedence, allocating familial representation in local legislatures, some jurisdictional immunities and the prestigious privilege of Ebenbürtigkeit. In regions of Europe where nobles did not actually exercise Landeshoheit over the populace, the Graf long retained specific feudal privileges over the land and in the villages in his county, such as rights to peasant service, to periodic fees for use of common infrastructure such as timber, mills, wells and pastures.

These rights gradually eroded and were largely eliminated before or during the 19th century, leaving the Graf with few legal privileges beyond land ownership, although comital estates in German-speaking lands were often substantial. Nonetheless, various rulers in German-speaking lands granted the hereditary title of Graf to their subjects, particularly after the abolition of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806. Although lacking the prestige and powers of the former Imperial counts, they remained legal members of the local nobility, entitled to whatever minor privileges were recognised at the ruler's court. The title, translated as "count", was generally accepted and used in other countries by custom.

Many Continental counts in Germany and Austria were titled Graf without any additional qualification. Except in the Kingdom of Prussia from the 19th century, the title of Graf was not restricted by primogeniture: it was inherited by all legitimate descendants in the male line of the original titleholder, the males also inheriting an approximately equal share of the family's wealth and estates. Usually a hyphenated suffix indicated which of the familial lands a particular line of counts held, e.g. Castell-Rudenhausen.

In the medieval Holy Roman Empire, some counts took or were granted unique variations of the gräfliche title, often relating to a specific domain or jurisdiction of responsibility, e.g. Landgraf, Markgraf, Pfalzgraf (Count Palatine), Burggraf, Wildgraf, Waldgraf, Altgraf, Raugraf, etc. Although as a title Graf ranked, officially, below those of Herzog (duke) and Fürst (prince), the Holy Roman Emperor could and did recognise unique concessions of authority or rank to some of these nobles, raising them to the status of gefürsteter Graf or "princely count". But a grafliche title with such a prefix did not always signify a higher than comital rank or membership in the Hochadel. Only the more important of these titles, historically associated with degrees of sovereignty, remained in use by the 19th century, specifically Markgraf and Landgraf.

For a list of the titles of the rank of Count etymologically related to Graf (and for other equivalents) see article Count.

Etymology and origin

The word Graf is said to derive ultimately from the Greek verb γρᾰ́φειν (graphein, "to write"), but this may be fanciful: Paul the Deacon wrote in Latin c. 790: "the count (comes) of the Bavarians that they call gravio who governed Bauzanum and other strongholds…" (Historia Langobardorum, V.xxxvi); this may be read to make the term a Germanic one, but by then using Latin terms was quite common.

Nobiliary titles containing the term Graf

Some are approximately of comital rank, some higher, some lower. The more important ones are treated in separate articles (follow the links); a few minor, rarer ones only in sections below.

German English Comment/ etymology
Markgraf Margrave (only continental)
or Marquess
Mark = march (border province) + Graf. Exercised authority over territory on the border of the Empire.
Landgraf Landgrave Land (country) + Graf. Exercised authority over an entire province.
Reichsgraf Imperial Count Reich, i.e., (the Holy Roman) Empire + Graf. Imperial count, whose title was granted or recognised by the Emperor.
Gefürsteter Graf Princely Count German verb for "made into a Reichsfürst" + Graf.
Pfalzgraf Count Palatine
or Palsgrave (the latter is archaic in English)
Pfalz (palatial estate, Palatinate) + Graf. Originally ruled "with the authority of the Imperial Palace"; later, ruler of the "Palace-land", i.e., the Palatinate.
Rheingraf Rhinegrave Rhein (river Rhine) + Graf. Ruled territory bordering the Rhine River.
Burggraf Burgrave Burg (castle, burgh) + Graf. Ruled territory surrounding or dominated by a fortified castle.
Altgraf Altgrave Alt (old) + Graf. A count whose title pre-dated Imperial grants of the comital title. Unique to the Salm family.
Freigraf Free Count Frei = free (allodial?) + Graf. Both a feudal title of comital rank and a more technical office.
Waldgraf Wildgrave Wald = forest + Graf. Ruled a heavily forested area.
Raugraf Raugrave Rau (raw, uninhabited, wilderness) + Graf. Ruled territory centered on an undeveloped area of land.
Vizegraf Viscount Vize = vice- (substitute) + Graf.

Reichsgraf

A Reichsgraf was a nobleman whose title of count was conferred or confirmed by the Holy Roman Emperor, and meant "Imperial Count", i.e. a count of the Holy Roman Empire. Since the feudal era, any count whose territory lay within the Empire and was under the immediate jurisdiction of the Emperor with a shared vote in the Reichstag came to be considered a member of the "upper nobility" (Hochadel) in Germany, along with princes (Fürsten), dukes (Herzöge), electors, and the emperor himself.[2] A count who was not a Reichsgraf was likely to possess only a mesne fief (Afterlehen) — he was subject to an immediate prince of the empire, such as a duke or prince elector.

However, the Holy Roman Emperors also occasionally granted the title of Reichsgraf to subjects and foreigners who did not possess and were not granted immediate territories — or, sometimes, any territory at all.[2] Such titles were purely honorific.

In English, Reichsgraf is usually translated simply as count and is combined with a territorial suffix (e.g. Count of Holland, Count Reuss) or a surname (Count Fugger, Count von Browne). Even after the abolition of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the Reichsgrafen retained precedence above other counts in Germany. Those who had been quasi-sovereign until German mediatisation retained, until 1918, status and privileges pertaining to members of reigning dynasties.

Notable Reichsgrafen included:

A complete list of Reichsgrafen with immediate territories as of 1792 can be found in the List of Reichstag participants (1792).

Margrave

A Markgraf or Margrave was originally a military governor of a Carolingian "mark" (march), a border province. In medieval times the borders of the Holy Roman Empire were especially vulnerable to foreign attack, so the hereditary count of these "marches" of the realm was sometimes granted greater authority than other vassals to ensure security. They bore the title "margrave" until the few who survived as sovereigns assumed higher titles when the Empire was abolished in 1806.

Examples: Margrave of Baden, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth. Since the abolition of the German Empire at the end of World War I, the heirs of some of its former monarchies have resumed use of margrave as a title of pretence, e.g. Maria Emanuel, Margrave of Meissen and Maximilian, Margrave of Baden.

Landgrave

A Landgraf or Landgrave was a nobleman of comital rank in feudal Germany whose jurisdiction stretched over a territory larger than usually held by a count within the Holy Roman Empire. The status of a landgrave was elevated, usually being associated with suzerains who were subject to the Holy Roman Emperor but exercised sovereign authority within their lands and independence greater than the prerogatives to which a simple Graf (count) was entitled, but the title itself implied no specific, legal privileges.

Landgraf occasionally continued in use as the subsidiary title of such minor royalty as the Elector of Hesse or the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar, who functioned as the Landgrave of Thuringia in the first decade of the 20th century. The jurisdiction of a landgrave was a Landgrafschaft or landgraviate, and the wife of a landgrave was a Landgräfin or landgravine.

Examples: Landgrave of Thuringia, Landgrave of Hesse, Landgrave of Leuchtenberg, Landgrave of Fürstenberg-Weitra. The title is now borne by the hereditary heirs to the deposed monarchs of Hesse (Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse and Wilhelm, Landgrave of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld), who lost their throne in 1918.

Gefürsteter Graf

A gefürsteter Graf (English: "princely count") is a Reichsgraf who was recognised by the Holy Roman Emperor as bearing the higher rank or exercising the more extensive authority of an Imperial prince (Reichsfürst). While nominally retaining only a comital title, he was accorded princely rank and, usually, arms by the Emperor.

Burgrave / Viscount

A Burggraf, or Burgrave, was a 12th- and 13th-century military and civil judicial governor of a castle (compare castellan, custos, keeper) of the town it dominated and of its immediate surrounding countryside. His jurisdiction was a Burggrafschaft, burgraviate.

Over time the office and domain to which it was attached tended to become hereditary by Imperial grant or retention over generations by members of the same family.

Examples: Burgrave of Nuremberg, Burgrave of (Burggraf zu) Dohna-Schlobitten

Initially burgrave suggested a similar function and history as other titles rendered in German by Vizegraf, in Dutch as Burggraaf or in English as Viscount (Latin: Vicecomes); the deputy of a count charged with exercising the count's prerogatives in overseeing one or more of the count's strongholds or fiefs, as the burgrave dwelt usually in a castle or fortified town. Some became hereditary and by the modern era obtained rank just below a count, though above a Freiherr' (baron) who might hold a fief as vassal of the original count.

Rhinegrave, Wildgrave, Raugrave, Altgrave

Unlike the other comital titles, Rhinegrave, Wildgrave (Waldgrave), Raugrave, and Altgrave are not generic titles. Rather, each is linked to a specific countship, whose unique title emerged during the course of its history. These unusually named countships were equivalent in rank to other Counts of the Empire who were of Hochadel status, being entitled to a shared seat and vote in the Imperial Diet and possessing Imperial immediacy, most of which would be mediatised upon dissolution of the Empire in 1806.[3]

  • Rhinegrave (German: Rheingraf) was the title of the count of the Rheingau, a county located between Wiesbaden and Lorch on the right bank of the Rhine. Their castle was known as the Rheingrafenstein Castle. After the Rhinegraves inherited the Wildgraviate (see below) and parts of the Countship of Salm, they called themselves Wild-and-Rhinegraves of Salm.[3][4]
  • When the Nahegau (a countship named after the river Nahe) split into two parts in 1113, the counts of the two parts, belonging to the House of Salm, called themselves Wildgraves and Raugraves, respectively. They were named after the geographic properties of their territories: Wildgrave (German: Wildgraf; Latin: comes sylvanus) after Wald ("forest"), and Raugrave (German: Raugraf; Latin: comes hirsutus) after the rough (i.e. mountainous) terrain.[3][5]
  • Altgrave (German: Altgraf, "old count") was a title used by the counts of Lower Salm to distinguish themselves from the Wild- and Rhinegraves of Upper Salm, since Lower Salm was the senior branch of the family.[3]

In Sweden

The corresponding titles in Sweden are greve (m.) and grevinna (f.) and would commonly be used in the third-person in direct address as a mark of courtesy, as in grevinnan.

Modern usage in German surnames

German nobility, although not abolished (unlike the Austrian nobility by the new First Austrian Republic in 1919), lost recognition as a legal class in Germany under the Weimar Republic in 1919 under the Weimar Constitution, article 109. Former hereditary noble titles legally simply transformed into dependent parts of the legal surname (with the former title thus now following the given name, e.g. Otto Graf Lambsdorff).[7] As dependent parts of the surnames (nichtselbständige Namensbestandteile), they are ignored in alphabetical sorting of names, as is the eventual nobiliary particle, such as von or zu,[8] and might or might not be used by those bearing them. The distinguishing main surname is the name following the Graf, or Gräfin, and the eventual nobiliary particle. Today, having lost their legal status, these terms are often not translated, unlike before 1919. The titles do, however, retain prestige in some circles of society.

Other uses

The suffix -graf occurs in various office titles which did not attain nobiliary status but were either held as a sinecure by nobleman or courtiers, or functional officials such as the Deichgraf (in a polder management organism).

See also

Sources and references

(incomplete)

  1. ^ Weimar Constitution Article 109, sentence 2
  2. ^ a b Velde, François (2008-02-13). "Evolution of the Council of Princes from 1582 to 1803". Heraldica.org. Retrieved 2008-03-04.
  3. ^ a b c d Almanach de Gotha, Salm. Justus Perthes, 1944, pp. 169, 276, 280. French.
  4. ^ Rheingraf. article in: Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4. Aufl. 1888–1890, Bd. 13, S. 0780 f.
  5. ^ Raugraf. article in: Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4. Aufl. 1888–1890, Bd. 13, S. 0605 f.
  6. ^ Raugraf Archived 2007-06-03 at the Wayback Machine at wissen.de
  7. ^ Article 109 of the Weimar Constitution constitutes: Adelsbezeichnungen gelten nur als Teil des Namens und dürfen nicht mehr verliehen werden ("Noble names are only recognised as part of the surname and may no longer be granted").
  8. ^ Compare DIN standard # 5007, part 2.

External links

Battle of the River Plate

The Battle of the River Plate was the first naval battle in the Second World War and the first one of the Battle of the Atlantic in South American waters. The German panzerschiff Admiral Graf Spee had cruised into the South Atlantic a fortnight before the war began, and had been commerce raiding after receiving appropriate authorisation on 26 September 1939. One of the hunting groups sent by the British Admiralty to search for Graf Spee, comprising three Royal Navy cruisers, HMS Exeter, Ajax and Achilles (the last from the New Zealand Division), found and engaged their quarry off the estuary of the River Plate close to the coast of Uruguay in South America.

In the ensuing battle, Exeter was severely damaged and forced to retire; Ajax and Achilles suffered moderate damage. The damage to Admiral Graf Spee, although not extensive, was critical; her fuel system was crippled. Ajax and Achilles shadowed the German ship until she entered the port of Montevideo, the capital city of neutral Uruguay, to effect urgent repairs. After Graf Spee's captain Hans Langsdorff was told that his stay could not be extended beyond 72 hours, he scuttled his damaged ship rather than face the overwhelmingly superior force that the British had led him to believe was awaiting his departure.

Claus von Stauffenberg

Claus Philipp Maria Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (15 November 1907 – 21 July 1944) was a German army officer. He was a "Graf" i.e. count and Schenk (i.e., cupbearer) - an additional hereditary noble title. He took part in the attack on Poland, the German invasion of the Soviet Union and the Tunisian Campaign during the Second World War.

Stauffenberg was one of the leading members of the failed 20 July plot of 1944 to assassinate Adolf Hitler and remove the Nazi Party from power. Along with Henning von Tresckow and Hans Oster, he was one of the central figures of the German Resistance movement within the Wehrmacht. For his involvement in the movement, he was executed by firing squad shortly after the failed attempt known as Operation Valkyrie.

Count Orlok

Count Orlok (German: Graf Orlok) is the main antagonist and title character portrayed by German actor Max Schreck (1879–1936) in the classic 1922 silent film Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens. He was based on Bram Stoker's character Count Dracula.

Documentary hypothesis

The documentary hypothesis (DH) is a model used by biblical scholars to explain the origins and composition of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). Others are the supplementary hypothesis and the fragmentary hypothesis; all agree that the Torah is not a unified work from a single author, but is made up of sources combined over many centuries by many hands. They differ on the nature of these sources and how they were combined. According to the documentary hypothesis there were four sources, each originally a separate and independent book (a "document"), joined together at various points in time by a series of editors ("redactors"). Fragmentary hypotheses see the Torah as a collection of small fragments, and supplementary hypotheses as a single core document supplemented by fragments taken from many sources.A version of the documentary hypothesis, frequently identified with the German scholar Julius Wellhausen, was almost universally accepted for most of the 20th century, but the consensus has now collapsed. As a result, there has been a revival of interest in fragmentary and supplementary approaches, frequently in combination with each other and with a documentary model, making it difficult to classify contemporary theories as strictly one or another.Modern scholars increasingly see the completed Torah as a product of the time of the Achaemenid Empire (probably 450–350 BCE), although some would place its production in the Hellenistic period (333–164 BCE) or even the Hasmonean dynasty (140–37 BCE). Of its constituent sources, Deuteronomy is generally dated between the 7th and 5th centuries; there is much discussion of the unity, extent, nature, and date of the Priestly material. Deuteronomy continues to be seen as having had a history separate from the first four books, and that this historigraphic tradition is continued with the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings as Deuteronomistic history. There is a growing recognition that Genesis developed apart from the Exodus stories until joined to it by the Priestly writer.

Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf

K.u.k. Feldmarschall Franz Xaver Joseph Graf Conrad von Hötzendorf (German: Franz Xaver Josef Graf Conrad von Hötzendorf; 11 November 1852 – 25 August 1925), sometimes anglicised as Hoetzendorf, was an Austrian general who played a central role in World War I. He served as Field Marshal and Chief of the General Staff of the military of the Austro-Hungarian Army and Navy from 1906 to 1917. He was in charge during the July Crisis of 1914 that caused World War I. For years he had repeatedly called for preemptive war against Serbia to rescue the multiethnic Habsburg Empire, which was, he believed, nearing disintegration. Later on, he came to believe that the Dual Monarchy had taken action at the eleventh hour. The Army was also unprepared and he had resorted to politics to further his goals. He was unaware that Germany would relocate the majority of his forces to the East, rather than in the Balkans. Conrad was anxious about invading Russia and when the Tsar's armies had captured the Carpathian mountain passes and were on the verge of invading Hungary, Italy entered the war on the side of the Allies. Nevertheless, the Austro-Germans cleared Galicia and Poland during the Gorlice–Tarnów Offensive in the summer of 1915 and later conquered Serbia in October. From 1915 his troops were increasingly reliant on German support and command. Without support from his Germanic allies the Austro-Hungarian Army was an exhausted force.

In March 1917, Charles I of Austria dismissed him as Chief of Staff after Emperor Franz Joseph died and Conrad's Trentino Offensive had failed to achieve its objective; he then commanded an army group on the Italian Front until he retired in the summer of 1918. He died in 1925.

For decades he was celebrated as a great strategist, albeit one who was defeated in all his major campaigns. Historians now rate him as a failure whose grandiose plans were unrealistic. During his tenure, repeated military catastrophe brought the Austrian army to its near destruction.

Gabriela Sabatini

Gabriela Beatriz Sabatini (Spanish pronunciation: [gaˈβɾjela saβaˈtini]; born 16 May 1970) is an Argentine former professional tennis player. She was one of the leading players on the women's circuit in the late-1980s and early-1990s. She won one women's grand slam singles title at the US Open in 1990, the women's grand slam doubles title at Wimbledon in 1988, two WTA Finals in 1988 and 1994, and a silver medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.

Sabatini also won most of the highest level regular events on the women's tour including Miami and Rome (four times). In the late 1980s, Sabatini launched a line of fragrances after partnering with the German perfume company Muelhens. Her signature scent debuted in 1989.

German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin

The German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin was the lead ship in a class of two carriers of the same name ordered by the Kriegsmarine. She was the only aircraft carrier launched by Germany and represented part of the Kriegsmarine's attempt to create a well-balanced oceangoing fleet, capable of projecting German naval power far beyond the narrow confines of the Baltic and North Seas. The carrier would have had a complement of 42 fighters and dive bombers.

Construction on Graf Zeppelin began on 28 December 1936, when her keel was laid down at the Deutsche Werke shipyard in Kiel. Named in honor of Graf (Count) Ferdinand von Zeppelin, the ship was launched on 8 December 1938, and was 85% complete by the outbreak of World War II in September 1939. Graf Zeppelin was not completed and was never operational due to shifting construction priorities necessitated by the war. She remained in the Baltic for the duration of the war; with Germany's defeat imminent, the ship's custodian crew scuttled her just outside Stettin in March 1945. The Soviet Union raised the ship in March 1946, and she was ultimately sunk in weapons tests north of Poland 17 months later. The wreck was discovered by a Polish survey ship in July 2006.

German cruiser Admiral Graf Spee

Admiral Graf Spee was a Deutschland-class "Panzerschiff" (armored ship), nicknamed a "pocket battleship" by the British, which served with the Kriegsmarine of Nazi Germany during World War II. The two sister-ships of her class, Deutschland and Admiral Scheer, were reclassified as heavy cruisers in 1940. The vessel was named after Admiral Maximilian von Spee, commander of the East Asia Squadron that fought the battles of Coronel and the Falkland Islands, where he was killed in action, in World War I. She was laid down at the Reichsmarinewerft shipyard in Wilhelmshaven in October 1932 and completed by January 1936. The ship was nominally under the 10,000 long tons (10,000 t) limitation on warship size imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, though with a full load displacement of 16,020 long tons (16,280 t), she significantly exceeded it. Armed with six 28 cm (11 in) guns in two triple gun turrets, Admiral Graf Spee and her sisters were designed to outgun any cruiser fast enough to catch them. Their top speed of 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph) left only the few battlecruisers in the Anglo-French navies fast enough and powerful enough to sink them.The ship conducted five non-intervention patrols during the Spanish Civil War in 1936–1938, and participated in the Coronation Review of King George VI in May 1937. Admiral Graf Spee was deployed to the South Atlantic in the weeks before the outbreak of World War II, to be positioned in merchant sea lanes once war was declared. Between September and December 1939, the ship sank nine ships totaling 50,089 gross register tons (GRT), before being confronted by three British cruisers at the Battle of the River Plate on 13 December. Admiral Graf Spee inflicted heavy damage on the British ships, but she too was damaged, and was forced to put into port at Montevideo. Convinced by false reports of superior British naval forces approaching his ship, Hans Langsdorff, the commander of the ship, ordered the vessel to be scuttled. The ship was partially broken up in situ, though part of the ship remains visible above the surface of the water.

Jessica Graf

Jessica Furtado Nickson (née Graf; born December 11, 1990) is an American reality television personality, actress, and model. She first came to national prominence after competing in Big Brother 19, where she placed twelfth. After Big Brother, she went on to win The Amazing Race 30 with her fellow Big Brother competitor and then-fiancé Cody Nickson.

LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin

LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin (Deutsches Luftschiff Zeppelin #127; Registration: D-LZ 127) was a German-built and -operated, passenger-carrying, hydrogen-filled, rigid airship which operated commercially from 1928 to 1937. When it entered commercial service in 1928, it became the first commercial passenger transatlantic flight service in the world. It was named after the German pioneer of airships, Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who was a count (Graf) in the German nobility. During its operating life, the airship made 590 flights covering more than 1.7 million kilometers (over 1 million miles). It was designed to be operated by a crew of 36 officers and men. The LZ 127 was the longest rigid airship at the time of its completion and was only surpassed by the USS Akron in 1931. It was scrapped for fighter plane parts in 1940.

Leo von Caprivi

Georg Leo Graf von Caprivi de Caprera de Montecuccoli (English: Count George Leo of Caprivi, Caprera, and Montecuccoli), born Georg Leo von Caprivi, (24 February 1831 – 6 February 1899) was a German general and statesman who succeeded Otto von Bismarck as Chancellor of Germany. Caprivi served as German Chancellor from March 1890 to October 1894. Caprivi promoted industrial and commercial development, and concluded numerous bilateral treaties for reduction of tariff barriers. However, this movement toward free trade angered the conservative agrarian interests, especially the Junkers. He promised the Catholic Center party educational reforms that would increase their influence, but failed to deliver. As part of Kaiser Wilhelm's "new course" in foreign policy, Caprivi abandoned Bismarck's military, economic, and ideological cooperation with Russia, and was unable to forge a close relationship with Britain. He successfully promoted the reorganization of the German military.

List of Grand Slam women's singles champions

List of Women's singles Grand Slam tournaments tennis champions. Note that some major changes have taken place over the years that have affected how many titles have been won by various players. Most notable included the elimination of the challenge round in 1922, the opening of the French national championships to international competition in 1925, and the admission of professional players in 1968 (the start of the "Open" era). Since then, 50 women have won at least one grand slam.

Lutz Graf Schwerin von Krosigk

Johann Ludwig "Lutz" Graf Schwerin von Krosigk (Born Johann Ludwig von Krosigk; 22 August 1887 – 4 March 1977) was a German senior government official who served as Minister of Finance of Germany from 1932 to 1945 and de facto Chancellor of Germany in May 1945.

A non-partisan conservative, he was appointed to the post by Franz von Papen in 1932. At the request of President Paul von Hindenburg, he continued in that office under Kurt von Schleicher and Adolf Hitler. He and his ministry were involved in the persecution of German and European Jews, including by stealing their property, and laundering money. During May 1945, after the suicides of Hitler and his designated successor Joseph Goebbels, he also served as "Leading Minister" of the short-lived Flensburg government of President Karl Dönitz. Schwerin von Krosigk also held the essentially nominal offices of Foreign Minister and Finance Minister in the provisional government that controlled only a small, progressively shrinking portion of Germany, due to the rapid advance of the Allied forces who finally dissolved it and arrested its members.

Besides Adolf Hitler himself, Schwerin von Krosigk and Wilhelm Frick were the only members of the Third Reich's cabinet to serve continuously from Hitler's appointment as Chancellor until his death. By receiving the golden NSDAP Party Badge from Adolf Hitler, given for honour on 30 January 1937, he became a member of the NSDAP (membership number: 3,805,231). He also joined the Academy of German Law in 1937.

At the 1949 Ministries Trial, he was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to 10 years in jail; his sentence was commuted in 1951. He later worked as an author and publicist.

MV Liemba

MV Liemba, formerly Graf Goetzen or Graf von Goetzen, is a passenger and cargo ferry that runs along the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika. The Marine Services Company Limited of Tanzania sails her, with numerous stops to pick up and set down passengers, between the ports of Kigoma, Tanzania and Mpulungu, Zambia.

Graf von Goetzen was built in 1913 in Germany, and was one of three vessels the German Empire used to control Lake Tanganyika during the early part of the First World War. Her captain had her scuttled on 26 July 1916 in Katabe Bay during the German retreat from Kigoma. In 1924, a British Royal Navy salvage team raised her and in 1927 she returned to service as Liemba. Liemba is the last vessel of the German Imperial Navy still actively sailing anywhere in the world.

Liemba is believed to be the inspiration for the German gunboat Luisa in C. S. Forester's 1935 novel The African Queen, and John Huston's subsequent film version. The ship featured in the 1992 BBC Television travel series Pole to Pole. Indican Pictures and Breadbox Productions released a documentary on the ship in 2010, Liemba.

Martina Navratilova

Martina Navratilova (Czech: Martina Navrátilová pronounced [ˈmarcɪna ˈnavraːcɪlovaː]; born Martina Šubertová pronounced [ˈmarcɪna ˈʃubɛrtovaː]; October 18, 1956) is a former Czechoslovak and later American professional tennis player and coach. In 2005, Tennis magazine selected her as the greatest female tennis player for the years 1975 through 2005 and she is considered one of the best, if not the best, female tennis players of all time.Navratilova was world No. 1 for a total of 332 weeks in singles, and a record 237 weeks in doubles, making her the only player in history to have held the top spot in both singles and doubles for over 200 weeks. She was year-end singles No. 1 seven times, including a record of five consecutive years, as well as year-end doubles No. 1 five times, including three consecutive years during which she held the ranking for the entire year.

She won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, 31 major women's doubles titles (an all-time record), and 10 major mixed doubles titles, combined marking the open-era record for the most number of Grand Slam titles won by one player, male or female. She reached the Wimbledon singles final 12 times, including for nine consecutive years from 1982 through 1990, and won the women's singles title at Wimbledon a record nine times (surpassing Helen Wills Moody's eight Wimbledon titles), including a run of six consecutive titles, widely regarded as the best performance by any professional player at a major event. She and Billie Jean King each won 20 combined Wimbledon titles, an all-time record. Navratilova is also one of just three women ever to have accomplished a Career Grand Slam in women's singles and doubles, and mixed doubles (called the Grand Slam "boxed set"), a distinction she shares only with Margaret Court and Doris Hart.

Navratilova holds the records for most singles (167) and doubles titles (177) in the Open Era. Her record as No. 1 in singles (1982–86) remains the most dominant in professional tennis to date. Over five consecutive seasons, she won 428 out of 442 singles matches, averaging fewer than three losses per year to 87 wins, for a sustained winning percentage of 96.8%. She holds the best season win-loss record in the open era, 86-1 (98.9%) in 1983, and four out of the top six open era seasons. She recorded the longest winning streak in the open era (74 consecutive matches) as well as three out of the six longest winning streaks in history.

She and Serena Williams are the only Open Era players to have won six major singles crowns without the loss of a set. Navratilova, Margaret Court and Maureen Connolly share the record for the most consecutive major singles titles (six). Navratilova reached 11 consecutive major singles finals, second all-time only to Steffi Graf's 13, and is the only woman ever to reach 19 consecutive major semifinals. Navratilova also won the season-ending WTA Tour Championships for top ranked players a record eight times and made the finals a record 14 times. She is the only player of either sex to have won eight different tournaments at least seven times. She was ranked in the world's top 10 in singles for a record 20 consecutive years (1975–1994), a span which included 19 years in the top 5, 15 years in the top 3, and 7 years as the world No. 1 ranked singles player. Navratilova is regarded by many to be the greatest female tennis player of all time.

In women's doubles, Navratilova and Pam Shriver had one of the most successful partnerships in women's doubles and won 109 consecutive matches including all four major titles, the doubles Grand Slam, in 1984. The pair set an all-time record of 79 titles together and tied the record set by Louise Brough Clapp and Margaret Osborne duPont of 20 major women's doubles titles as a team. Navratilova also won the WTA Tour Championships doubles title a record 11 times. She is one of only five tennis players of all-time to win a multiple slam set in two disciplines, matched only by Margaret Court, Roy Emerson, Frank Sedgman and Serena Williams. Navratilova won her last major title in 2006, adding the mixed doubles crown at the 2006 US Open to her resume just a few weeks before her 50th birthday, 32 years after her first Grand Slam title in 1974.

Originally from Czechoslovakia, she was stripped of her citizenship when, in 1975 at age 18, she asked the United States for political asylum and was granted temporary residency. At the time, Navratilova was told by the Czechoslovak Sports Federation that she was becoming too americanised, and she should go back to school and make tennis secondary. Navratilova became a US citizen in 1981, and on January 9, 2008, she reacquired Czech citizenship. She stated she has not renounced her U.S. citizenship nor does she plan to do so, and that reclaiming Czech nationality was not politically motivated.

Monica Seles

Monica Seles (; Hungarian: Szeles Mónika, pronounced [ˈsɛlɛʃ ˈmoːnikɒ]; Serbian: Моника Селеш, Monika Seleš; born December 2, 1973) is a retired professional tennis player, who represented Yugoslavia and the United States and is also a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. An ethnic Hungarian, she was born and raised in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. She became a naturalized American citizen in 1994 and also received Hungarian citizenship in June 2007. A former world no. 1, she won nine Grand Slam singles titles, eight of them as a teenager while representing Yugoslavia, and the final one while representing the United States.

In 1990, Seles became the youngest ever French Open champion at the age of 16. She went on to win eight Grand Slam singles titles before her 20th birthday and was the year-end world no. 1 in 1991 and 1992. However, on April 30, 1993, she was the victim of an on-court attack, when a man stabbed her in the back with a 9-inch (23 cm) long knife. Seles did not return to tennis for over two years. Though she enjoyed some success after rejoining the tour in 1995, including a fourth Australian Open title in 1996, she was unable to consistently reproduce her best form. She played her last professional match at the 2003 French Open, but did not officially retire until February 2008.

Regarded by many in the sport as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, Seles was named one of the "30 Legends of Women's Tennis: Past, Present and Future" by Time. Several players and historians have stated that Seles had the potential to become the most accomplished female player of all time had she not been stabbed. She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2009.

Steffi Graf

Stefanie Maria "Steffi" Graf (German pronunciation: [ˈʃtɛfiː ˈgʁa:f]; born 14 June 1969) is a German former professional tennis player. She was ranked world No. 1 and won 22 Grand Slam singles titles. Her 22 singles titles put her second on the list of major wins in the female competition since the introduction of the Open Era in 1968 and is third all-time behind Margaret Court (24) and Serena Williams (23). In 1988, she became the only tennis player to achieve the Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year. Furthermore, she is the only tennis player to have won each Grand Slam tournament at least four times.

Graf was ranked world No. 1 by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) for a record 377 total weeks—the longest period for which any player, male or female, has held the number-one ranking since the WTA and the Association of Tennis Professionals began issuing rankings. She won 107 singles titles, which ranks her third on the WTA's all-time list after Martina Navratilova (167 titles) and Chris Evert (157 titles). She and Margaret Court are the only players, male or female, to win three Grand Slam tournaments in a calendar year five times (1988, 1989, 1993, 1995 and 1996).

Notable features of Graf's game were her versatility across all playing surfaces, footwork and powerful forehand drive. Graf's athletic ability and aggressive game played from the baseline have been credited with developing the modern style of play that has come to dominate today's game.

She won six French Open singles titles (second to Evert), seven Wimbledon singles titles, four Australian Open titles, and five U.S. Open singles titles. She is the only singles player (male or female) to have achieved a Grand Slam since hard court was introduced as a surface at the US Open in 1978. Consequently, Graf's Grand Slam was achieved on grass, clay, and hard court while the previous five Grand Slams were decided on only grass and clay. Graf reached thirteen consecutive major singles finals, from the 1987 French Open through to the 1990 French Open, winning nine of them. She won 5 consecutive major singles tournaments (1988 Australian Open to 1989 Australian Open), and seven out of eight, in two calendar years (1988 Australian Open to 1989 US Open, except 1989 French Open). She reached a total of 31 major singles finals.

Graf is regarded by many to be the greatest female tennis player of all time. Navratilova included Graf on her list of great players. In 1999 Billie Jean King said, "Steffi is definitely the greatest women's tennis player of all time." In December 1999, Graf was named the greatest female tennis player of the 20th century by a panel of experts assembled by the Associated Press. Tennis writer Steve Flink, in his book The Greatest Tennis Matches of the Twentieth Century, named her as the best female player of the 20th century. In March 2012, Tennis Channel picked Graf as the greatest female tennis player ever in their list of 100 greatest tennis players of all time. In November 2018, Tennis.com polled its readers to choose the greatest women's tennis player of all time and Steffi was selected as the best.Along with countryman Boris Becker, Graf was considered instrumental in popularizing tennis in Germany, where it has remained a highly popular sport ever since.Graf retired in 1999 while she was ranked world No. 3. She married former world No. 1 men's tennis player Andre Agassi in October 2001. They have two children – Jaden Gil and Jaz Elle. Graf was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004.

WTA Tier II tournaments

The WTA Tier II tournaments were Women's Tennis Association tennis second-level tournaments held from 1990 until the end of the 2008 season. The line-up of events varied over the years, with tournaments being promoted, demoted or cancelled.

From 2009 WTA Tour, WTA changed tournament categories, so that majority of Tier I and Tier II tournaments from the previous season are in one category, WTA Premier Tournaments.

WTA Tier I tournaments

The WTA Tier I tournaments were Women's Tennis Association tennis elite tournaments held from 1990 until the end of the 2008 season. From 1988 to 1990, the different levels of WTA tournaments were referred to by the term 'Category', and there were 5 categories. Two of the Tier I tournaments, Indian Wells and Miami, were also joint events held simultaneously with the ATP Tour Masters Series.

There were initially 6 Tier I tournaments held annually from 1990. The list expanded to 8 events in 1993, 9 in 1997 and 10 in 2004, before being scaled back to 9 for 2008.

In 2009 the WTA changed the tournament categories, so that the majority of Tier I and Tier II tournaments were in one category, Premier Tournaments, split into three categories.

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