Germersheim is a town in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, of around 20,000 inhabitants. It is also the seat of the Germersheim district. The neighboring towns and cities are Speyer, Landau, Philippsburg, Karlsruhe and Wörth.
After his invasion of Gallia, Gaius Iulius Caesar made the Rhine river the border between the Roman Empire and Germania. Some small areas east of it were later invaded and added to the Roman province of Agri Decumates. As it was attacked more and more it was given up in the second half of the third century and a military camp was founded, named "Vicus Iulii" ("Village of Julius/Julius' Village). It was supported up to the fourth century.
The first record of the name "Germersheim" is from 1090, when it was named in the Sinsheimer Chronik (Chronicle of Sinsheim). The German King Rudolph von Habsburg (Rudolf of Habsburg) gave Germersheim city rights in 1276 (18 August). There is a legend which says that he, as a sick man, rode from Germersheim to Speyer to die there and not in Germersheim.
In 1325 the town was given to the Electorate of the Palatinate by King Ludwig IV. It got a higher status in the following centuries. A Catholic Order founded a monastery in 1298 which it used up to 1527.
Still strategically important during the French Revolutionary Wars, in July 1793 Germersheim was the scene of a significant French defeat when an Austrian army under the veteran Field Marshal von Wurmser defeated a French army under Beauharnais.
General Hans Graf von Sponeck, who ordered the retreat of his troops from Kerch because they were going to be hopelessly cut off by the Russian landings at Theodosia, on the Crimean Peninsula, and against express instruction of his superior officer in the winter 1941, was interned here in the fortress after Hitler had commuted his death sentence to six years detention. In the purge following the failed assassination attempt on Hitler Graf Sponeck, although not involved, was shot. Today, a street in Germersheim is named Hans Graf Von Sponeck Straße in his honour.