The Knights of Saint John in Germany
The German knights of Saint John were the smallest group in the Order following the suppression of the Grand Priory of England, as German nobles wishing to make religious profession as knights generally joined the Teutonic Order.  Only with the destruction of the latter as an independent institution in the early nineteenth century and its subordination to the Austrian Emperor did a substantial number of Germans join the Order of Malta (indeed the first National Associations to be formed were the Rhine-Westphalian in 1859 and the Silesian in 1867).
The first known Grand Prior of Germany was a certain Arleboldus in 1187, but we know little about the early priors before Fra' Henry (Count) of Dockenburg, elected in 1251 and Fra Henry (Count) of Furstenberg elected in 1272. The German knights particularly distinguished themselves in the crusade to halt Sultan Bajazet's campaign through the Balkans in 1397, under the leadership of the then Grand Prior, Fra' Friedrich (Count) of Zollern, elected in 1394.  They joined the Grand Master, who had come directly from Rhodes along with the principal commanders of the Order's forces and a large number of knights, in Hungary and proceeded southwards to Bulgaria. The battle of Nicopolis which followed in 1397 was a crushing defeat for the Christian forces, all but twenty-five of the Christian knights (who were held for ransom), including the German Grand Prior, either died in battle or were executed by the victorious Turks afterwards; the Grand Master himself escaped. Bajazet was halted, however, and the Turkish forces did not again successfully invade the territory of the Empire for another one hundred and thirty years. The importance of the German Langue was recognized at the Chapter-General of 23 May 1428 when the title of Grand Bailiff was conferred on its head, with the responsibility of inspecting and superintending all the priories and commanderies in Germany, Bohemia and neighbouring provinces. The Grand Bailiff was also given the task of supervising the inspection of the governor and garrison of the Castle of Saint Peter of Halicarnassus and the coast of Asia Minor, which he was required to visit annually.
Unfortunately the preponderance of French knights and their domination of the principal offices of the Order caused some resentment on the part of the smaller Langues, who had already been divided during the great schism (the German Grand Priory was itself split over this issue). The German knights were never powerful enough for their case to succeed and the minor role they played in the affairs of the Order was probably partially responsible for the relatively modest support the Order enjoyed in the northern territories of the Empire. Nonetheless they consistently provided a small group of knights to defend the convent, eight Germans participating in the defense of Rhodes in 1480.  With the turmoil generated by Martin Luther and the Hussites, Germany and Bohemia were both in considerable disorder by the time of the second siege of Rhodes in 1522 and only seven Germans, out of a total of just under three hundred and forty knights present, participated in the final defense of the island. The Bailiff of Brandenburg, commanding the light cavalry, himself fell during the first siege, immortalizing the title which is now attached to the Lutheran Order, and the post defended by the Germans (under the command of commander Fra' Christopher Valdner) was the first to be attacked at the second siege. With the acquisition of Malta, the Grand Bailiff, Fra' Georg Schilling von Cannstatt, was given initial responsibility for the defense of Tripoli but warned that the city's physical situation would make it very difficult to defend against a serious attack. Fortunately, when his prediction came true it was the Marshal of the Order, Villars, who bore the blame for abandoning Tripoli in 1551 and who was imprisoned and humiliated by Grand Master de Homedes (he was rehabilitated by Jean de la Valette).
Schilling was one of the greatest military commanders the Order had in its history and, as general of the galleys, in the 1530's and 1540's commanded numerous sallies against the Moslem raiders based across North Africa. In September 1541 he led a fleet of four galleys and two well-armed valets (small, fast raiding ships) with some four hundred knights and soldiers to join the Imperial fleet under Andrea Doria. In late October they reached the coast of Algeria and began the siege of the capital. Schilling distinguished himself brilliantly, leading a company of German knights and soldiers in repeated charges at the walls, but although they failed to capture the city they successfully destroyed much of the Moslem pirate fleet. In 1548 Schilling was rewarded by the Emperor with the elevation of the Order's bailiwick at Heitersheim (after 1806 it was incorporated into Baden) to an immediate Principality of the Holy Roman Empire with a seat in the Diet, remaining at the head of the German Langue until his death four years later. Since each new Grand Prior had to be reinvested with the principality the grant of this privilege gave the Emperor greater control over the Langue.
The election of Fra' Jean de la Valette in 1557 came at a time of great strain in the Order. The English Langue had been abolished and then temporarily reinstated but was very weak and was to be suppressed again within three years; the German Langue was divided by the conversion of some of its members to the doctrines of Luther and Calvin. Many of the commanderies had ceased to pay responsions and, after the Grand Master complained to the Emperor, the German knights were summoned to a Chapter-General and agreed to send three delegates to Malta to arrange a settlement with the Grand Master. Although problems continued in Germany, with the Lutheran commanderies periodically refusing to pay their responsions, the German knights distinguished themselves at the great siege, sharing with the Portugese knights the responsibility of defending the Mole to the walls of the Castle of Sant' Angelo.
The Grand Master and Sacred Council were continually confronted with problems in Germany during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In the mid-1570's a proposal was made in the Imperial Diet to force the unification of the German knights with the Teutonic Order, to provide a more powerful defensive force against further Turkish incursions into Hungary. Fortunately the Order's Ambassador successfully lobbied against this but, in 1578, following the death of the Grand Prior of Bohemia, the Emperor asserted a claim to nominate his successor, although again the Grand Master successfully maintained the Order's rights. Two years later, in 1580, the Emperor once again claimed the prerogative to nominate the Grand Prior of Bohemia and make nominations to commanderies, leading to a break-down in relations over this issue which was settled in the Order's favor in 1598. In the following year the Grand Master and Council augmented the potential number of German knights by permitting Swiss postulants to join the German Langue.
In 1580 the Bailiff of Brandenburg and several knights of the Bailiwick of Sonnenburg, in East Prussia, who had abandoned their vows to embrace Lutheranism, effectively detached themselves from the Grand Magistral authority. The Grand Master and Council could not recognize this declaration of secession by the protestant commanderies and the title of Bailiff of Brandenburg continued to be given, as an honorific, to a senior German knight. The loyalty of the remaining German knights to the Grand Master was severely tested in 1608 over the admission into the Langue of Charles, Count of Brie, natural son of Henri, Duke of Lorraine  and, in an act of revolt, the Germans removed the Arms of the Grand Master and Order from the front of their Auberge and replaced them with those of the Emperor. The disastrous Thirty Years War worsened the Order's situation in Germany, with members of the Order engaged on opposite sides in the conflict and no responsions being sent to the common treasure for the whole period. Urban VIII, who had been increasing the Papal authority over the Order,  then extended to the Polish knights the right to enjoy Bohemian commanderies on the basis that both Priories were members of the same Langue.
The Treaties of Munster and Osnabruck of 1648, which effectively ended the war in Germany, were agreed at the expense of the Order and resulted in the definitive loss of the Lutheran commanderies, now permanently separated under the protection of the Elector of Brandenburg. Despite the high rank and prestige of the newly elected Grand Prior, Fra' Friedrich (Landgraf) of Hesse-Darmstadt, a courageous and spiritual knight, the Order was virtually ignored in the Treaty negotiations and a satisfactory settlement of the war was seen as a more important priority than the interests of the Order of Saint John. In 1668, however, the Grand Prior successfully obtained the sum of fifty thousand florins from the State of Holland in the Netherlands in compensation for the seizure of the benefices of the commandery of Haarlem, to which the Order renounced all its claims.
Hesse-Darmstadt's and his two successors as Grand Prior died within a month of their appointment and were succeeded by Fra' Herman (Baron) von Wachtendonck in 1683 (who died in 1703). The new Grand Prior was soon faced with the threat of a Turkish invasion of the Empire but the brilliant defense of Vienna by Jan Sobieski, King of Poland, in which several knights participated, drove them back across the Danube and out of the Imperial territories, into which they never ventured again. This great victory inspired a new alliance against the infidel and a brief but successful campaign followed in which the German knights participated with distinction; again in 1694 a further campaign was undertaken, in which the German knight, Fra' Franz-Sigismond (Count) von Thun, was appointed General. The final crusade in which the German knights joined was the campaign in the Morea and the Balkans in 1715-18, culminating in the battle of Passarowitz in which the Christian forces were commanded by the Imperial Field Marshal Prince Eugene of Savoy.
The number of German knights of the Order of Malta was never substantial, numbering thirty-seven when Vertot published his great work in 1726. Of these several held more than one commandery, the (titular Catholic) bailiwick of Brandenburg then being held by Fra' Philipp-Wolfgang (Baron) von Guttenberg, along with three other commanderies. In 1726 the Langue had sixty-seven commanderies, excluding the Priories of Bohemia and Hungary, and the protestant Bailiwick at Sonnenburg.  Among the German knights were several whose families are today represented in the Order, namely the then Grand Prior, Fra' Goswin-Herman-Othon (Baron) von Merveldt and Fra' Herman-Adolf (Baron) von Merveldt (there are three Counts von Merveldt in the Rhine-Westphalian Association and one in the British), Fra' Johann (Baron) von Freyberg (there are four Freybergs in the Rhine-Westhpalian and one in the Silesian Associations), and Fra' Albrecht-Franz (Count) von Fugger-Kirchberg (the Prince of Fugger-Babenhausen is a member of the Rhine-Westphalian Association). 
At the fall of Malta the last Grand Prior of Germany and Prince of Heitersheim was Fra Ignaz-Balthasar (Baron) Rinck von Baldenstein, elected in 1796 in succession to Fra Johann-Josef-Benedict (Count) of Reinach, and until the German Associations produce a sufficient number of professed knights of Justice (there is presently only one professed German knight), the Catholic Grand Priory cannot be revived.
The full name of the Order is "Die Balley Brandenburg des ritterlichen Ordens St Johannis vom Spital zu Jerusalem". The original Bailiwick of Brandenburg at Sonnenburg enjoyed a semi-autonomous status within the German Langue from at least 1382, with the election of a Herrenmeister ("Master of the Knights"), notification of which was formally given to the Grand Master who, in turn, responded with his congratulations, a practice which has continued to the present day. The Bailiwick's foundation was made possible by Albert of Ascania ("Albert the Bear", ancestor of the Dukes of Anhalt), then Margrave of Brandenburg, who granted the Order new properties, along with confiscated benefices of the Templars, and his protection, as did the Margrave Waldemar in 1318. In 1415 Frederick of Hohenzollern, second son of Frederick V, Prince of Ansbach, sold the Burgravate of Nuremberg to the people of the city and, with the proceeds, acquired the Margravate of Brandenburg. In 1420, with the death of his elder brother John III, Frederick (VI Margrave) became the first Elector of Brandenburg and was able to reunite the Hohenzollern fiefs, beginning the consolidation of power which was to culminate in 1871 with the accession of a descendant to the Crown of Imperial Germany. The Electors continued as Protectors of the Bailiwick and, like their subjects, adopted the Lutheran faith. In 1511 Margrave Albrecht of Brandenburg-Ansbach, third son of reigning Margrave Frederick of Ansbach, was elected Grand Master of the Teutonic Order (Hoch-und-Deutschmeister). With the conversion of the dynasty he secularized the Order, married and obtained the title of ruling Duke in Prussia (the Eastern territories of the Teutonic Order) from the King of Poland in 1525. The Duchy of Prussia passed by marriage to the senior line of Electors in 1618 and, in 1656, the Duke obtained independence from the Poles as Sovereign Duke. The greater power of the dynasty was more widely recognized in 1701 when the Elector Frederick III took the title of King in Prussia with the consent of the Emperor.
Neither the Grand Master nor the knights of the Catholic Order could legally consider the members of the protestant Bailiwick to be fellow brothers of Saint John (although responsions were paid periodically to the Grand Magistery by the Johanniter knights), but courteous relations were maintained between the now protestant bailiwick and the Grand Magistery. The government of the Bailiwick, although it had been protestantised only shortly after the acquisition of the island of Malta, actually styled itself the government of the "Johanniter und Malteser" Order. The historical relationship between the Bailiwick and the Elector of Brandenburg was the legacy of the Brandenburg inheritance and was limited to the Elector's title of "Summus Patronus et Protector Ordinis" which had been acknowledged by the powers in article X of the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648. No effort was made to establish a new protestant Order, extending the membership beyond its pre-reformation size.
Frederick II (the Great), entered into negotiations with the Grand Magistery in 1763-64, following the acquisition of Silesia where a number of commanderies of the Catholic Order were situated. The Prussian king permitted the Catholic knights to wear their cross within his territories while the Protestant knights were granted the privilege of adding the royal Prussian crown to their badge. Both the King and Grand Master Pinto de Fonseca hoped that if the Brandenburg commanderies paid their Responsions to the Common Treasury, they would be treated as separated brothers reconciled under the Grand Master, even though Canon Law would have made it impossible for the protestant knights to be recognized as members of the Order. These negotiations proved inconclusive as it was made clear by the Holy See that it would not be possible to re-admit what the Papacy considered to be an heretical organization; however the Bailiwick continued to pay responsions and actually sent deputies to the Chapter-General of 1776. The Grand Magistery of the SMHOM continued to recognise that it enjoyed a special relationship with the protestant bailiwick, even after the abolition and re-establishment of the bailiwick in 1852. The Bailiwick continued as an independent but largely honorific body, with no specific military mission and limited humanitarian duties, until it was abolished and its estates confiscated (to pay for the war against Napoleon), by a decree of King Frederick William III dated 23 January 1811.
The Foundation of the Modern Johanniter Order
The following year, on 23 May 1812, the King founded the "Royal Prussian Order of Saint John", as an award of merit, of which he appointed himself Sovereign Protector and a Hohenzollern Prince as titular Herrenmeister. The existing knights were incorporated into the new Order but dispensed of their obligations to pay responsions. The last Herrenmeister of this Order, Prince Henry of Prussia, died in 1846 and it was abolished by a decree of 15 October 1852, which replaced it with a re-founded Bailiwick of Brandenburg. Modeled exactly on the original Bailiwick and placed under the protection of the King of Prussia in his capacity as Margrave of Brandenburg, it was constituted as a Noble Order dedicated to humanitarian services and given new statutes on 14 March 1853. The first members included the survivors of the pre-1811 Order, thus providing continuity with the earlier foundation. A Prince of the House of Hohenzollern was appointed Herrenmeister and it was divided into knights of Justice and knights of Honor, postulants for the former rank having had to have been knights of Honor for four years before becoming eligible for Justice - all members had to prove nobility and must profess the Lutheran or Reformed faith. Commanders were appointed by the Herrenmeister from among the knights of Justice and had particular responsibilities in their provinces in addition to the title of commander. The first Roll of the refounded Bailiwick, published in 1859, listed H.R.H. Prince Carl of Prussia as Herrenmeister with ten commanders and three honorary commanders, one hundred and fifty six knights of Justice and one thousand three hundred and eighteen knights of Honor. These were divided into twelve groups, of which the three largest were the Bailiwick (which included all non-German members of the Order before the formation of national commanderies), Brandenburg Province and Silesia, the others being Prussia, Pomerania, Posen, Saxony, Westphalia, Rhine, Wurtemberg, Mecklemburg and Hesse.
Following the fall of the German Empire in 1918, the new Constitution of the German (Weimar) Republic stated (article 109), "Orders and symbols of Honor may not be granted by the State" but was silent on the question of existing Orders awarded by the former sovereigns or under their protection. The Bailiwick survived as an independent and autonomous body, now independent of the German state, and the deposed Emperor remained Protector in his capacity as Margrave of Brandenburg, retaining this title until ceding his responsibilities as such to his son, the Herrenmeister.
During the Third Reich the Order, like many other Christian groups, was barely tolerated by the Nazi regime. On 2 July 1938 a decree (78/38) of Deputy-Fuhrer Rudolf Hess signed by Martin Borman (proxy) stated that "it is forbidden for members of the NSDAP (the Nazi party) and their relatives to belong to the Johanniter Order" and shortly afterwards the Herrenmeister informed Hitler that those knights who had announced their intention to resign from the Order would be dismissed "in the near future".  At the same time Hess ordered that the badge of the Order could not be worn on the uniform of the party (and pro-Nazi army commanders made it clear that they could not tolerate their officers wearing it on military uniform). As the course of the war turned against Germany Hitler issued a secret decree on 19 May 1943 that certain categories of person should "not be employed in positions of authority in the government, the Party and the army, and that their promotion to positions of authority is barred from the beginning". In an elaboration of this decree supreme army commander Keitel wrote in a further secret letter dated 23 October 1943,  that this would include any member, by birth or marriage, of a reigning or formerly reigning family and any prominent noble family with international connections, which applied to a substantial number of the members of both the Johanniter and Malta Orders. Thus during the war years the membership not only declined because of the difficulties encountered by professional soldiers but a number of the members were killed in action, executed after being implicated in the 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler, murdered by the Nazis or deported as Russian prisoners of war to Siberia, from where many never returned. There is evidence that it was Hitler's intention to dismantle the Order following a German victory (along with a parallel attack on the Catholic and Lutheran churches).
Although the Johanniter were by no means alone in their active resistance to Hitler, they shared the same strong Christian beliefs and often a similar social background with the majority of those inside and outside the armed forces who, from 1935 onwards, sought to warn Britain and her allies, as well as the German people, of Hitler's real intentions. Numerous attempts were made to overthrow Hitler by leading army officers but these were frustrated by the surge in Hitler's popularity following the Anschluss and the occupation of the Sudetenland (which met with no serious opposition from the allied powers), or other military successes, by technical failures and a series of accidents.  The 20th July Plot against Hitler was the most exemplary instance of personal sacrifice, since the participants risked certain death, the possible elimination of their families and being branded as traitors to the country which they were trying to serve. Nearly all the participants were devout Christians, both Catholic and Protestant (Claus, Count Schenck von Stauffenberg, who planted the bomb was Catholic, his aide, Werner van Haeften, a Lutheran), including members of the Johanniter and the Sovereign Military Order and other Protestant and Catholic groups, and had determined that Hitler's criminal regime had to be ended by whatever means necessary.  Although the plot was unsuccessful, it is to the considerable credit of the participants (one hundred and fifty-eight of whom were executed for their involvement) that, despite the great dangers they faced, their courage gave them the strength to die for the honor of Germany.
The Order's survival after the war was due particularly to the efforts of the Herrenmeister, Prince Oscar of Prussia, who worked enormously hard to reorganize the Bailiwick, traveling back and forth across Germany by train. The division of Germany led to the loss of thirty-three hospitals situated in the East, out of a total of forty-eight, while the war had caused the destruction of many other institutions by allied bombing. Today the Order has official recognition under Federal German Law, and the Federal Republic deals with it in its capacity as joint-supporter (with the Sovereign Military Order) of the principal ambulance service of the Republic. The main humanitarian arms of the Order are the Johanniter Unfall-hilfe (Ambulance Corps), the Johanniter Schwesternschaft (the Johanniter Nursing Arm), both paralleled in the Order of Malta, and the Johanniter Hilfsgemeinschaft (Johanniter Welfare Organization). The Order maintains nineteen old people's homes with nearly two thousand beds and fifteen major hospitals with (in 1988) approximately eighty-two thousand in-patients, four thousand two hundred and fifty staff and nearly three thousand five hundred beds. The total annual turnover of the Order in 1987 was DM 462 million (US $290 million) with a balance sheet totaling DM 58 million ($36 million).
Prince Oscar remained Herrenmeister until shortly before his death in 1958, when he was succeeded by Botho Prince zu Stolberg-Wernigerode until the succession of the present Herrenmeister on 10 May 1958, His Royal Highness Prince Wilhelm-Karl of Prussia, who takes a very active role in its affairs.  There is no formal requirement that the Herrenmeister should be a member of the Prussian Royal House, indeed Prince Wilhelm-Karl's predecessor was the head of a mediatized sovereign House. Until the appointment of Prince Oscar the Herrenmeister was appointed by the Protector, but it is now accepted that the retiring Herrenmeister (combining as he does both functions), has the responsibility of naming his successor (failing such nomination the appointment would be made by the senior officers). A law of 12 July 1957 permits the wearing of "Orders and decorations of honor, which were established by a sovereign, the Emperor, etc", so the Johanniter Cross may be worn today without prohibition. The Johanniter Order is still restricted to Lutheran and Reformed protestants but, since 1948, noble proofs are no longer required to become a knight and promotion to Justice comes as a result of distinguished service after at least four years of membership in the Order.
There were two thousand nine hundred and fifty members on 1 January 1990, including the members of the non-German commanderies, of whom nearly nine hundred are knights of Justice (who are dubbed by the Herrenmeister at an annual investiture ceremony at the Church of Nieder-Weisel) and the remainder are knights of Honor (who are admitted at their local commandery in the presence of a high dignitary of the Order, without the accolade). The Herrenmeister can confer the Honorary Cross on persons professing the reformed faith, who do not belong to the Order but have rendered it some special service. In 1989 twenty-nine knights of Honor were admitted of whom twelve were nobles; there were sixty-four promotions to Justice, of whom thirty-two were noble, and seven recipients of the Honorary Cross, of whom five were noble. Among the Knights of Honor are now included several Catholics, most notably Dieter Graf von Spee, a knight of Obedience of the SMHOM and member of the German Sub-Priory but resident in Canada who is a member of the false Order's Commission.
Although there are many lady volunteers there are no lady members (unlike the Sovereign Order, the Dutch and British Orders), the pre-1811 Order having been limited entirely to knights. The principal officers, in addition to the Herrenmeister, are the Governor (Statthalter), the Chancellor, the Commander of the Bailiwick, the Chaplain-General (Ordensdekan), the Secretary-General, the Chief Council (Ordenshauptmann), the Director of Operations (Ordenswerkmeister, responsible for the Order's activities), the President of the Ambulance Corps, the Delegate for the Hilfgemeinschaften and the Treasurer. There are twenty-three serving commanders (appointed by the Herrenmeister from among the knights of Justice), of whom eighteen are in charge of German commanderies and the other five responsible for the four non-German commanderies, and also a number of honorary or former serving commanders.
The Commandery in Austria
The commandery was founded in 1986 from a former Sub-Commandery. It presently has a total of thirty-six members of whom there is one commander (Regierender Kommendator), thirteen knights of Justice and twenty-two knights of Honor. The commandery is administered by a convent headed by a commander with six officers. The principal activities of the commandery are supporting the Johanniter-Unfallhilfe Oesterreich, with three bases in Vienna, Tyrol and Carinthia, and the Johanniter-Hilfsgemeinschaft in Vienna. 
The Sub-Commandery in the United States
The members of the Bailiwick sub-commandery in the United States number a total of forty-one, of whom nineteen are knights of Justice and twenty-two are knights of Honor. The knights resident in the United States informally constituted an association in the 1950's and were incorporated into their present form as the Johanniter Aid Association in 1983. The American members are mostly, but not exclusively, of German origin and meet annually in June. They are engaged in actively supporting several charities related to the problems of the elderly and contribute directly to the work of the Bailiwick itself. The Association works closely with the American arm of the Hungarian Commandery
The Sub-Commandery in Canada
The Canadian Sub-Commandery was established in 1986 and separated from the U.S. Sub-Commandery at that time. It has twenty-two members divided into five knights of Justice and seventeen knights of Honor. It has a non-profit arm, the Johanniter-Aid Association in Canada, incorporated in 1985
The autonomous commanderies, members of the Alliance
The Commandery in Finland (Johanniter Ridderskapet i Finland)
The early history of the Order of Saint John in Finland may be found under the Swedish Order, as Finland was part of the kingdom of Sweden from the early thirteenth century until 1809 when it was incorporated into the Russian Empire (the Czar becoming Grand Duke of Finland). In 1917 it established its independence, briefly electing to become a Monarchy under the Landgraf of Hesse, before becoming an independent Republic which it remains to this day. Finland became entirely Lutheran at the Reformation and, as the Order's properties were confiscated, no more knights were admitted (unlike the Bailiwick of Brandenburg itself). A few knights were admitted into the non-Catholic Grand Priory of Russia between 1799 and 1803 and a handful of Finns were made members of the Prussian Order of Saint John which was replaced with a revived Bailiwick in 1852.
The first Finnish knight to be admitted into the revived Bailiwick was Baron Anders Ramsay, born in 1799 and made a knight in 1870.  In 1923 the Finnish knights, then fifteen in number, organized themselves into a sub-chapter (receiving the consent of the Chapter-General of 1925 and statutes in 1935), which by 1933 had nineteen members. By the end of the Second World War this number had been reduced to only fourteen (during the war years the Finns were continually at war with Soviet Russia, first as enemies then as allies of Germany), but recruiting soon picked up and, on 4 December 1949, permission was given for the establishment of a separate Finnish Commandery. The members of the Commandery met together for the first time on 18 May 1950 when there were forty-seven knights. The first commander was Baron Ernst Fabian Wrede who was succeeded in 1952 by Mr Woldemar Fredrick Hackman (1952-1961), then Count Carl-Johan Creutz (1961-1987) and, on 27 June 1987, by Professor Nils Oker-Blom.
Although the German Johanniter Order has opened its ranks to non-nobles, the Finnish commandery remains limited to members of the Finnish nobility whose proofs are regulated by the Finnish House of Nobles.  The Order has official recognition in Finland and its decoration can be worn on all occasions, including on military uniform. There are presently one hundred and thirty-three members of whom there are two commanders (one serving, one formerly serving), sixteen knights of Justice and one hundred and fifteen knights of Honor. The commandery is governed by a Chapter of nine members, of whom the Commander, Judge (Domare, responsible for regulating the statutes and membership), Director (Verkmastare, responsible for the activities of the commandery), Treasurer (responsible for the accounts), and Secretary-General (responsible for correspondance and keeping the minutes of meetings) are the principal officers, with four Councilors, while the Chaplain, Master of Ceremonies and Nurse (who is not a member of the Order) are not members of the Convent.  The commander is elected for life or until his voluntary retirement, the principal officers for terms of six years and the councilors for three years. The principle activities of the Finnish commandery are assistance to victims of multiple sclerosis, and other direct medical aid, maintaining low cost apartments for the elderly or poor and teaching first aid to boy scouts. In 1983 it established a special program to care for young drug victims and in May 1986 gave an ambulance specifically for the purpose of saving drug victims and trying to rehabilitate them back into society. To assist those newborn babies suffering from a congenital kidney disease, particularly found in Finland, who are awaiting transplants, the commandery has recently supplied two university clinics with five peritoneal dialysis machines.
The Commandery in Switzerland (Genossenschaft des Johanniterriten in der Schweiz)
The Swiss knights formed a Sub-Commandery on 16 January 1937 which became a Commandery on 19 January 1948. It presently has seventy-nine members of whom there are three commanders (one serving, one formerly serving and one honorary), eighteen knights of Justice and fifty-eight knights of Honor. The Swiss commandery never required an exclusive proof of nobility for membership since there has been no indigenous Swiss nobility since 1291 and all noble titles used by Swiss citizens are foreign creations. Instead the special Swiss qualification was membership of one of the regimentsfahigen families who, before 1789, were eligible to supply officers to the Swiss army and assume governmental responsibilities. The Swiss commandery is governed by a convent of twelve members headed by the commander and assisted by a Secretary, Treasurer, a director of charitable works, the heads of the six sub-commanderies of Basel, Bern, Zurich, Neuchatel, Vaud and Geneva, an Assessor and director of Public Relations. It has no direct charitable institutions although its members are involved in a number of specific humanitarian activities and the commandery grants post-graduate scholarships to theology students at Swiss universities. 
The Hungarian Commandery (Johannitarend Magyar Tagozata)
The commandery was founded in 1924 and the statutes confirmed by the Chapter-General of 25 January 1924. It is composed primarily of members of the protestant Hungarian nobility living both in Hungary and in exile in Europe and elsewhere. Like the Hungarian Association of the Sovereign Military Order, this group now has to face the reality of the dramatic political changes that have taken place in the past two years which have enabled the commandery to re-establish its presence in its homeland. The massive breakdown in hospital and other social services that has followed the collapse of communism has given a huge responsibility to organizations like the Johanniter Order, but to be effective it is very clear that the administration and officers must return to Hungary and the size of the commandery will probably have to be increased. It presently has ninety-eight members of whom thirty are knights of Justice and sixty-eight are knights of Honor. The principal officer is the commander whose eventual successor is likely to be a Hungarian resident. 
The Commandery in France (Grand Bailliage de Brandenbourg de l'Ordre de Saint Jean de Jerusalem,
Founded in 1959 for French protestants, it presently numbers sixty members of whom there are two commanders (one serving), eleven knights of Justice and forty-seven knights of Honor. The commandery having been formed after 1948 (when noble proofs were dropped in Germany) never required proof of nobility and only half of the members are from noble families. Like the other commanderies it is governed by a convent headed by the commander. There are no directly maintained hospital activities but the commandery does co-operate with the Oeuvres Hospitalieres of the SMHOM Although it is not recognized as an Order of Chivalry, since 1961 the Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honor has accorded its members the special privilege of being able to wear their cross on the same occasions as members of the SMHOM 
Decorations of the Order
The Cross of the Johanniter Order is a white maltese cross with a single headed Prussian eagle between each arm, suspended from a long plain black neck ribbon (so that it hangs on the breast). The Crosses of the Herrenmeister (7 cms diameter), commanders (5.5 cms diameter) and the knights of Justice (5.0 cms diameter) have gold Prussian eagles between the arms and are ensigned with a closed royal crown; that of knights of Honor (6 cms) has black eagles with gold heads and no crown. The mantle of the knights of Justice and Honor are identical, a plain black cloak decorated on the left side with the plain white cross, but that of the Herrenmeister is in velvet faced with black satin, the knights of Justice is moire faced with satin and French knights of Honor have a white woollen collar.
The Arms of the Order are: (informally) Gules, a (Greek) cross Argent.
By regulations of 16 January 1858 commanders may superimpose their Arms upon the plain Cross of the Order; knights of Justice may quarter the Cross in the 1st and 3rd quarters, if their Arms are already quartered they may place the Cross on an escutcheon of pretense, and if their Arms already include an escutcheon the Cross will be charged above and below the escutcheon. Knights of Honor can only suspend the Cross from below the shield.
The German Langue included not only the non-Italian parts of the Holy Roman Empire, modern Germany, Austria, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, but also Bohemia, Poland, Lithuania, Silesia, Hungary, and Scandinavia.
Of the senior branch of the Hohenzollern family, later Princes of Hohenzollern and kings of Roumania.
Vertot names them, Op.cit., Vol. II, p.620, as Fra' Georg Dou, commander of Romueil, Fra' Conrad von Venighen, commander of Tobei and Lieutenant of the Grand Bailiff, Fra' Peter Selz, commander of Meisenheim, Fra' Philip Stolz, Fra' Erhard Derningen, Fra' Johann Hasteim, Fra' Johann Hechar and Fra' Johann Schang.
The rules of the Langue prohibited the admission of illegitimate sons even, as in this case, of reigning princes.
See above, pages 15-16).
He had been born a Lutheran but had been received into the Catholic Church in 1637, becoming general of the galleys soon afterwards. He was elected Grand Prior in 1647 at the age of thirty-one and five years later was created a Cardinal on the recommendation of the Emperor. Philip IV of Spain later nominated him admiral of his Mediterranean fleet and general of the galleys of Spain and Sardinia and in 1671 he became Bishop of Breslau and Prince of Niesz, then Imperial Ambassador to Rome, before dying in 1682.
See Vertot, Op.cit., Vol IV, Dissertation, pp.22-23.
Le Martyrologie des Chevaliers de S. Jean de Hierusalem dits de Malte, by Mathieu de Goussancourt, of 1643, lists the following members of the German Langue who died in action against the infidel: Fra' Georg (Baron) von Bach (great siege, 1565), Fra' Ludwig (Duke) of Brunswick (1300), Fra' Carl Bernosen (1557), Fra' Daniel von Anghelonne (Zara 1552), Fra' Florian Dormut Stezela (great siege 1565), Fra' Turc von Duelen (great siege 1565), Fra' Talman von Eysenbach (great siege 1565), Fra' Johann and Fra' Georg von Hassemburg (great siege 1565), Fra' Wultan von Hunech (great siege 1565), Fra' Peter von Kockern (1606), Fra' Wilhelm von Leyen (1570), Fra' Johann-Georg von Rauistal (1606), Fra' Hieronymus Rechuch (great siege 1565), Fra' Nicholas Skurosski (1570), Fra' N.. Sternfeld (1566), Fra' Hermann (Count) von Verdenberg (1416), and Fra' Johann Valpert (1606).
The Electors alone had the right to elect the "Emperor of the Romans", otherwise known as the Holy Roman Emperor or German Emperor.
Including Carl-Lazarus, Count Henckel von Donnersmarck, Richard, Burggraf and Count zu Dohna-Schlobitten, Richard, Count zu Solms-Laubach, and Eberhard, Count zu Stolberg-Wernigerode.
 For the complete record of the decrees concerning the Johanniter Order see Archives of the Federal Republic of Germany, NS 6/230, Bl. 4 (for 78/38) and NS 6/231, Bl. 75 (for 179/38).
 KW WZA/Ag WZ (II) Nr. 3800/43.
 See in particular Baron von Freytag's speech in Wilhelm Karl Prinz von Preussen and Bernd Baron Freytag von Loringhoven Johanniter und der 20 Juli 1944, Nieder-Weisel 1985/1989.
 The following members of the Johanniter lost their lives as a consequence of their participation in the July Plot: Major-General Heinrich Count zu Dohna-Tolksdorf (knight of Justice), Albrecht von Hagen (knight of Honor), Ulrich von Hassel (German Ambassador to Italy from 1932-1938, dismissed for his anti-nazi sentiments, knight of Honor), Ewald von Kleist-Schmenzin (a determined opponent of the nazis from as early as 1932, knight of Justice), Lieutenant-Colonel Fritz von der Lancken (knight of Honor), Major Wilhelm Count zu Lynar-Lubbenau (knight of Justice), General Friedrich von Rabenau (knight of Justice), Major Adolf Count von Schack (knight of Justice), Werner Count von der Schulenburg (German Ambassador in Moscow, knight of Justice), Ulrich-Wilhelm Count von Schwerin von Schwanenfeld (aide to Field-Marshal Witzleben, knight of Justice), and Field-Marshal Erwin von Witzleben (knight of Justice). Three other Johanniter knights not directly involved in the July plot died for their resistance to Hitler, Malte Prince zu Putbus, knight of Justice von Ribbeck and Lieutenant-General Hans Count von Sponeck. Three members of the SMHOM died following their participation in the plot, Georg, Baron von Boeselager, Max-Ulrich, Count von Drechsel-Deuffenstetten, and Michael, Count von Matuschka. Two other knights of the SMHOM who were part of the conspiracy escaped execution, Philip, Baron von Boeselager (younger brother of Baron Georg and father of the present Hospitaller, Baron Albrecht von Boeselager) and Hyazinth, Count von Strachwitz. Other knights of Malta who played a prominent role in the resistance to Hitler included Konrad (Count) von Preysing-Lichenegg-Moos, Cardinal Archbishop of Berlin and Clemens-August (Count) von Galen, Cardinal Bishop of Munster. Among the distinguished Catholic noblemen who were executed following the failed plot were Adam von Trott zu Solz, and Baron Karl-Ludwig von Guttenberg (the latter a Capitular Commander of the Bavarian Order of Saint George). For a detailed study of the role of members of the Johanniter and Malta Orders in the July Plot, see Preussen and Freytag, Op.cit.supra.
 Prince Wilhelm-Karl is married to Armgard von Veltheim and has two sons, both knights of Honor of the Order, and one daughter.
 The commander is H.S.H. Heinrich IV Prince of Reuss-Kostritz and the Deputy-Commander and Treasurer is Count zu Castell. The address of the commander is A-2115 Ernstbrunn, Nieder-Oesterreich.
 Information received in a letter of Mr Eric Rotkirch dated 15 October 1990.
 The records of the Finnish nobility are regulated by the genealogist of the "House of Nobility" (the Swedish House was founded by King Gustaf II Adolf in 1626 and the Finnish House was established following independence from Sweden under the Czars in 1809) and includes all those Finns ennobled by the Kings of Sweden or the Czars of Russia as Sovereigns of Finland. It also includes those foreign nobles who settled in Finland and whose nobility was confirmed by the Swedish or Russian Sovereigns.
 The commander is Professor Nils Oker-Blom, the Domare is Baron George Ramsay, the Verkmastare is Herr Carl-Erik Estlander, the Treasurer is Baron Gustaf von Troil and the Secretary is Herr Eric Rotkirch; the councillors are Count Jan Aminoff, Dr Martin von Bonsdorff, Olof Bruncrona, and Carl-Christian Rosenbroijer. The Arms of the commandery are: 1 and 4, for Finland, and 2 and 3, Gules, the cross of Saint John Argent. The address of the commander is Enasvagen 22 H 51, SF-00200 Helsingfors and the administration is based at Granfelstvagen 10A, 00570 Helsingfors, Finland.
 The present commander is Dr Vincent von Sinner, the Treasurer is M. R. Ehinger Krehl (also Secretary of the Alliance) and the Secretary is M. Philippe Grand d'Hauteville. The Arms of the commandery are 1 and 4: Gules, a Greek cross Argent; 2 and 3: Gules, the eight-pointed cross of Saint John, Argent. The address of the commander is Obere Wenkenhofstrasse 33, CH-4125 Riehen and the administration is based at 15 Aeschenvorstadt, CH-40511 Basel, Switzerland.
 The Arms of the commandery are 1 & 3 for Hungary, 2 and 4 Gules, the eight-pointed cross of Saint John Argent. The address of the commander is Zieblandstrasse 16/III, 8000 Munchen 40 and of the Secretary, Mr L.A. Vermes, Zwiegstelle 4, 8000 Munchen 8, Max Weberplatz 5, Germany.
 The headquarters of the commandery are at 9 Rue des Missionaires, 78000 Versailles, France.