Who is the oldest person

These are Germany's "elders"

The oldest German is 112 years old. That is a lot, but nothing like the spring that the oldest city counts. A look at Germany's age records.

Josefine Ollmann from Itzehoe in Schleswig-Holstein can feel like a record holder at the moment. At 112 years of age - as of February 2021 - she is the oldest person still alive in Germany. Although that can never be said for sure. Because there is no central register of the oldest Germans. Only one thing is certain: the title is regularly reassigned because human life is finite. Other age records, on the other hand, are forever. And Germany has some interesting ones to offer, as our photo series shows.

For example Trier: The city on the Moselle was founded in 16 BC at the latest. Christ founded by the Romans as Augusta Treverorum and is therefore the oldest in Germany. Almost consequently, it can come up with two other titles: The oldest church and the oldest house in Germany are also in the Rhineland-Palatinate city.

Age records are often controversial

But Trier already shows how coveted and competitive the records are. In any case, there is no official title for the oldest city. Worms and Kempten also claim the title for themselves - and refer to older Celtic settlements. These can also be proven for other spots in Germany. However, there can be no talk of urban settlement with them.

Anyone looking for Germany's age records will come across many such disputes. Some of the records that adorn themselves with the attribute “oldest” go back to the creativity of some marketing experts who would like to enhance their region with a superlative.

Sometimes subtleties decide the winner

Generations of people have internalized that the Dresden Striezelmarkt is the oldest Christmas market. A mistake, as the record institute for Germany officially stated in 2015: "Germany's oldest Christmas market named in a chronicle" is therefore the Wenzelsmarkt in Bautzen, which was first named in 1384 - a city 50 kilometers east of Dresden. The Striezelmarkt, which was mentioned in a document in 1434, does not go away empty-handed: it is now considered “Germany's oldest documented Christmas market”. All right?

Another tricky question is which gymnastics club is the oldest. In the running: the Hamburg gymnastics club from 1816 r.V. and TSV 1814 Friedland from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Anyone who believes that they can determine the winner based on the year in which the club was founded is underestimating the intricacies of the interpretation of the rules: In the conflict, the German Gymnastics Federation relies on club law, which at that time only existed in Hamburg. The fact that in Friedland there was evidence of gymnastics earlier does not matter.

What do we learn from it? It is not always enough to be the oldest. You also have to have history on your side.