King Henry the First of Germany was, due to his strong civic and military leadership, the first ruler to bring all the formerly separated portions of Germany together into one kingdom. Some say he gets his name from the fact that, when told he had ascended to leadership, he was in the middle of readying birds for the hunt (it's a good thing he wasn't told while intimate with Mrs. Henry The Fowler or he'd be Henry The Fouler of Women). Among his most brilliant strokes was to offer the Magyars, who had been beating up on the German kingdoms for some time, a large tribute in order to secure a truce. Henry used this time to secure his country and build a large army and, at the Synod of Erfurt, decided to end payment. This led to an attack by the Magyars who were repelled after learning, a little too late, what Henry had been up to. This time it is not the Hungarians, but rather the Japanese who are encroaching on German territory, and we have Mr.Choppers to thank for explaining the history behind it.

I always thought that the rivalry started at the 932 AD synod of Erfurt, when the fathers decided to change from a monastic to a diocesan car company structure. Duke Ferdinand of Stuttgart famously struck out on his own, and ever since there has been a rift in the automotive world. Only today, however, has it come to the surface for us laymen to see.

Good work, James Burke. [Photo: Fowler History]