Friends or Foes?

Episode 2: Separate ways

Not long after the collapse of Charlemagne’s empire, the forefathers of the Germans and the French went separate ways, and they fought over the Franconian Emperor’s legacy. But despite all the squabbling over titles and power, the Germans and the French were more united than divided in the Middle Ages. The common people on both sides suffered under the rigid feudal order, and wars and the plague did not stop at national borders. French and German soldiers even fought side by side: on the crusades to the Holy Land or against the English, such as in the Battle of Crécy. Indeed, if there was an arch enemy at that time, it was the English!