Can they really be considered "German"? Until Napoleon's Confederation of the Rhine, the notion of a united Germany was not possible. In fact, Benedictus considers himself more a Bavarian than a German. This is clear in his charming, "Milestones". It is only when Bismark was able to make the German princes subservient to the King of Prussia that Germany emerged. I suggest it was an historical disaster. It was World War One that kicked the soul out of Europe and she has never recovered.