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German nobility can be classified three ways: by noble rank of title (Graf, Ritter, Baron, etc.), by the region of titular domain or possession, or by family lineage (for example House of Wittelsbach). Categorization ideally reflects all three aspects.
Since 1919 nobility is no longer legally recognized. Noble titles and designations were not abolished in Germany, however, and have been commonly retained as part of the family name.
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