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  • Graf or Gräfin is a historical title of the German nobility, usually translated as count. Considered intermediate among noble ranks, the title is often treated as equivalent to the British "earl". The comital title Graf is common to various European territories where German was or is the official or vernacular tongue, e.g., Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Alsace, the Baltic states and other Habsburg crown lands. Since August 1919, in Germany, all legal privileges of the nobility have been officially abolished, and Graf, like any other hereditary title, is treated as part of the legal surname. In Austria its use, as with all hereditary titles and nobiliary particles, is banned by law; whereas in Switzerland the title is not acknowledged in law; while in Luxembourg and Liechtenstein the title continues to be recognised, used and, occasionally, granted by the national fons honorum, the reigning monarch. From the medieval era, a Graf usually ruled a territory known as a Grafschaft.

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