Coordinates: 51°N 9°E / 51°N 9°E / 51; 9
Republic of Germany
Bundesrepublik Deutschland (German)[a]
Coat of arms
"Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit" (de facto)
"Unity and Justice and Freedom"
Anthem: "Deutschlandlied" (third verse only)[b]
"Song of Germany"
Location of Germany (dark green)
– in Europe (green & dark grey)
– in the European Union (green)
Germany in the World
and largest city
52°31′N 13°23′E / 52.517°N 13.383°E / 52.517; 13.383
and national language
Ethnic groups (2016)
7001117000000000000♠11.7% Other Europeans
7000490000000000000♠4.9% West Asians
7000130000000000000♠1.3% Other Asians
34.4% Not religious
0.8% Other religions
Federal constitutional parliamentary republic
• President of the Bundestag
• President of the Bundesrat
• President of the Federal Constitutional Court
• Upper house
• Lower house
357,168 km2 (137,903 sq mi) (62nd)
• 2017 estimate
232/km2 (600.9/sq mi) (58th)
$4.308 trillion (5th)
• Per capita
$3.934 trillion (4th)
• Per capita
very high · 4th
Euro (€) (EUR)
• Summer (DST)
Drives on the
ISO 3166 code
.de and .eu
Germany (German: Deutschland [ˈdɔʏtʃlant]), officially the Federal
Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland,
listen (help·info)),[e] is a federal parliamentary
republic in central-western Europe. It includes 16 constituent states,
covers an area of 357,021 square kilometres (137,847 sq mi),
and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With about 82 million
Germany is the most populous member state of the European
Union. Germany's capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while its
largest conurbation is the Ruhr, with its main centres of
Essen. The country's other major cities are Hamburg, Munich, Cologne,
Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Bremen, Dresden, Hannover,
Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern
Germany since classical antiquity. A region named
documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the
Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century,
German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire.
During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of
Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman
German Confederation was formed in 1815. The German
revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the
establishing major democratic rights.
Germany became a nation state when most of the German states
unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I
and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the
parliamentary Weimar Republic. The
Nazi seizure of power
Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led
to the establishment of a dictatorship,
World War II
World War II and the
Holocaust. After the end of
World War II
World War II in
Europe and a period of
Allied occupation, two German states were founded: West Germany,
formed of the American, British and French occupation zones, and East
Germany, formed of the Soviet occupation zone. Following the
Revolutions of 1989
Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern
Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990.
In the 21st century,
Germany is a great power with a strong economy;
it has the world's 4th largest economy by nominal GDP, and the 5th
largest by PPP. As a global leader in several industrial and
technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter
and importer of goods. A developed country with a very high standard
of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care
system, environmental protection, and a tuition-free university
Germany was a founding member of the European
Economic Community in 1957 and the
European Union in 1993. It is part
Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the
Eurozone in 1999.
Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, and
the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history,
Germany has been
continuously the home of influential and successful artists,
philosophers, musicians, sportspeople, entrepreneurs, scientists,
engineers, and inventors.
Germanic tribes and Frankish Empire
East Francia and Holy Roman Empire
German Confederation and Empire
Republic and Nazi Germany
2.5 East and West Germany
Germany and the European Union
4.2 Constituent states
4.3 Foreign relations
5.3 Energy and infrastructure
5.4 Science and technology
6.1 Immigrant population
7.4 Literature and philosophy
7.9 Fashion and design
8 See also
11 External links
Further information: Names of Germany
The English word
Germany derives from the
Latin Germania, which came
into use after
Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the
Rhine. The German term Deutschland, originally diutisciu land
("the German lands") is derived from deutsch (compare dutch),
Old High German
Old High German diutisc "popular" (i.e. belonging to
the diot or diota "people"), originally used to distinguish the
language of the common people from
Latin and its Romance descendants.
This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular" (see
also the Latinised form Theodiscus), derived from *þeudō, descended
from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word
Teutons also originates.
Main article: History of Germany
The Nebra sky disk, c. 1700 BC
The discovery of the
Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were
Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete
hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal
Schöningen where three 380,000-year-old wooden javelins were
unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first
ever non-modern human fossil was discovered; the new species of human
was called the Neanderthal. The
Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be
40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans, similarly dated, has been
found in caves in the
Swabian Jura near Ulm. The finds include
42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the
oldest musical instruments ever found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age
Lion Man which is the oldest uncontested figurative art ever
discovered, and the 35,000-year-old
Venus of Hohle Fels
Venus of Hohle Fels which is
the oldest uncontested human figurative art ever discovered. The
Nebra sky disk
Nebra sky disk is a bronze artifact created during the European Bronze
Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt. It is part of
UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme.
Germanic tribes and Frankish Empire
Main articles: Germania, Migration Period, and Frankish Realm
Europe (100–500 AD)
Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Nordic
Bronze Age or
the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern
Scandinavia and north Germany,
they expanded south, east and west from the 1st century BC,
coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of
Gaul as well as Iranian,
Baltic, and Slavic tribes in Central and Eastern Europe. Under
Augustus, Rome began to invade
Germania (an area extending roughly
Rhine to the Ural Mountains). In 9 AD, three Roman
legions led by Varus were defeated by the
Cheruscan leader Arminius.
By 100 AD, when
Tacitus wrote Germania,
Germanic tribes had
settled along the
Rhine and the
Danube (the Limes Germanicus),
occupying most of the area of modern Germany. However, Austria, Baden
Württemberg, southern Bavaria, southern
Hessen and the western
Rhineland had been conquered and incorporated into Roman provinces:
Germania Superior, and Germania
Frankish Realm and its expansion. As it was partitioned in 843, West
Francia (blue) and
East Francia (red) became predecessors of France
and Germany, respectively
In the 3rd century a number of large West
Germanic tribes emerged:
Alemanni, Franks, Chatti, Saxons, Frisii, Sicambri, and Thuringii.
Around 260, the
Germanic peoples broke into Roman-controlled
lands. After the invasion of the
Huns in 375, and with the decline
of Rome from 395,
Germanic tribes moved farther southwest.
Simultaneously several large tribes formed in what is now
displaced or absorbed smaller Germanic tribes. Large areas known since
Merovingian period as Austrasia, Neustria, and Aquitaine were
conquered by the
Franks who established the Frankish Kingdom, and
pushed farther east to subjugate
Saxony and Bavaria. Areas of what is
today the eastern part of
Germany were inhabited by Western Slavic
tribes of Sorbs,
Veleti and the Obotritic confederation.
East Francia and Holy Roman Empire
East Francia and Holy Roman Empire
In 800, the Frankish king
Charlemagne was crowned emperor and founded
the Carolingian Empire, which was later divided in 843 among his
heirs. Following the break up of the Frankish Realm, for 900
years, the history of
Germany was intertwined with the history of the
Holy Roman Empire, which subsequently emerged from the eastern
portion of Charlemagne's original empire. The territory initially
East Francia stretched from the
Rhine in the west to the Elbe
River in the east and from the
North Sea to the Alps. The Ottonian
rulers (919–1024) consolidated several major duchies and the German
Otto I was crowned
Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor of these regions in 962. In
996 Gregory V became the first German Pope, appointed by his cousin
Otto III, whom he shortly after crowned Holy Roman Emperor. The Holy
Roman Empire absorbed northern
Italy and Burgundy under the reign of
Salian emperors (1024–1125), although the emperors lost power
through the Investiture Controversy.
Martin Luther (1483–1546) initiated the
In the 12th century, under the Hohenstaufen emperors (1138–1254),
German princes increased their influence further south and east into
territories inhabited by Slavs; they encouraged German settlement in
these areas, called the eastern settlement movement (Ostsiedlung).
Members of the Hanseatic League, which included mostly north German
cities and towns, prospered in the expansion of trade. In the
south, the Greater Ravensburg Trade Corporation (Große Ravensburger
Handelsgesellschaft) served a similar function. The edict of the
Golden Bull issued in 1356 by Emperor Charles IV provided the basic
constitutional structure of the Empire and codified the election of
the emperor by seven prince-electors who ruled some of the most
powerful principalities and archbishoprics.
Population declined in the first half of the 14th century, starting
with the Great Famine in 1315, followed by the
Black Death of
1348–50. Despite the decline, however, German artists,
engineers, and scientists developed a wide array of techniques similar
to those used by the Italian artists and designers of the time who
flourished in such merchant city-states as Venice, Florence and Genoa.
Artistic and cultural centres throughout the German states produced
such artists as the Augsburg painters Hans Holbein and his son, and
Johannes Gutenberg introduced moveable-type printing
to Europe, a development that laid the basis for the spread of
learning to the masses.
Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire in 1648, after the Peace of Westphalia, which
ended the Thirty Years' War
In 1517, the
Martin Luther publicised The Ninety-Five
Theses, challenging the
Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church and initiating the
Protestant Reformation. In 1555, the
Peace of Augsburg
Peace of Augsburg established
Lutheranism as an acceptable alternative to Catholicism, but also
decreed that the faith of the prince was to be the faith of his
subjects, a principle called Cuius regio, eius religio. The agreement
at Augsburg failed to address other religious creed: for example, the
Reformed faith was still considered a heresy and the principle did not
address the possible conversion of an ecclesiastic ruler, such as
happened in Electorate of
Cologne in 1583. From the
Cologne War until
the end of the Thirty Years' Wars (1618–1648), religious conflict
devastated German lands. The latter reduced the overall population
of the German states by about 30 per cent, and in some places, up to
80 per cent. The
Peace of Westphalia
Peace of Westphalia ended religious warfare among
the German states. German rulers were able to choose either Roman
Lutheranism or the
Reformed faith as their official
religion after 1648.
In the 18th century, the
Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire consisted of approximately
1,800 territories. The elaborate legal system initiated by a
series of Imperial Reforms (approximately 1450–1555) created the
Imperial Estates and provided for considerable local autonomy among
ecclesiastical, secular, and hereditary states, reflected in Imperial
House of Habsburg
House of Habsburg held the imperial crown from 1438 until
the death of Charles VI in 1740. Having no male heirs, he had
convinced the Electors to retain Habsburg hegemony in the office of
the emperor by agreeing to the Pragmatic Sanction. This was finally
settled through the War of Austrian Succession; in the Treaty of
Aix-la-Chapelle, Charles VI's daughter
Maria Theresa ruled the Empire
as Empress Consort when her husband, Francis I, became Holy Roman
Emperor. From 1740, the dualism between the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy
and the Kingdom of
Prussia dominated the German history.
In 1772, then again in 1793 and 1795, the two dominant German states
Prussia and Austria, along with the Russian Empire, agreed to the
Partitions of Poland; dividing among themselves the lands of the
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. As a result of the partitions,
millions of Polish speaking inhabitants fell under the rule of the two
German monarchies. However, the annexed territories though
incorporated into the Kingdom of
Prussia and the Habsburg Realm, were
not legally considered as a part of the Holy Roman Empire.
During the period of the French Revolutionary Wars, along with the
arrival of the
Napoleonic era and the subsequent final meeting of the
Imperial Diet, most of the secular
Free Imperial Cities
Free Imperial Cities were annexed
by dynastic territories; the ecclesiastical territories were
secularised and annexed. In 1806 the Imperium was dissolved; German
states, particularly the
Rhineland states, fell under the influence of
France. Until 1815, France, Russia,
Prussia and the Habsburgs competed
for hegemony in the German states during the Napoleonic Wars.
German Confederation and Empire
Main articles: German Confederation, German Empire, and German
A map showing the
German Confederation (1815–1836) with its 39
Following the fall of Napoleon, the
Congress of Vienna
Congress of Vienna (convened in
1814) founded the
German Confederation (Deutscher Bund), a loose
league of 39 sovereign states. The appointment of the Emperor of
Austria as the permanent president of the Confederation reflected the
Congress's failure to accept Prussia's influence among the German
states, and acerbated the long-standing competition between the
Hohenzollern and Habsburg interests. Disagreement within restoration
politics partly led to the rise of liberal movements, followed by new
measures of repression by Austrian statesman Metternich. The
Zollverein, a tariff union, furthered economic unity in the German
states. National and liberal ideals of the French Revolution
gained increasing support among many, especially young, Germans. The
Hambach Festival in May 1832 was a main event in support of German
unity, freedom and democracy. In the light of a series of
revolutionary movements in Europe, which established a republic in
France, intellectuals and commoners started the
Revolutions of 1848
Revolutions of 1848 in
the German states. King Frederick William IV of
Prussia was offered
the title of Emperor, but with a loss of power; he rejected the crown
and the proposed constitution, leading to a temporary setback for the
Foundation of the
German Empire in Versailles, 1871. Bismarck is at
the centre in a white uniform.
King William I appointed
Otto von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck as the new Minister
Prussia in 1862. Bismarck successfully concluded war on
Denmark in 1864, which promoted German over Danish interests in the
Jutland peninsula. The subsequent (and decisive) Prussian victory in
Austro-Prussian War of 1866 enabled him to create the North German
Confederation (Norddeutscher Bund) which excluded
Austria from the
federation's affairs. After the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian
War, the German princes proclaimed the founding of the German Empire
in 1871 at Versailles, uniting all the scattered parts of Germany
Prussia was the dominant constituent state of the new
empire; the Hohenzollern King of
Prussia ruled as its concurrent
Berlin became its capital.
Gründerzeit period following the unification of Germany,
Bismarck's foreign policy as
Chancellor of Germany
Chancellor of Germany under Emperor
William I secured Germany's position as a great nation by forging
France by diplomatic means, and avoiding war.
Under Wilhelm II, Germany, like other European powers, took an
imperialistic course, leading to friction with neighbouring countries.
Most alliances in which
Germany had previously been involved were not
renewed. This resulted in creation of a dual alliance with the
multinational realm of Austria-Hungary, promoting at least benevolent
neutrality if not outright military support. Subsequently, the Triple
Alliance of 1882 included Italy, completing a Central European
geographic alliance that illustrated German, Austrian and Italian
fears of incursions against them by
France and/or Russia. Similarly,
Russia also concluded alliances that would protect
them against Habsburg interference with Russian interests in the
Balkans or German interference against France.
German Empire (1871–1918), with the Kingdom of
Prussia in blue
Berlin Conference in 1884,
Germany claimed several colonies
including German East Africa, German South West Africa, Togoland, and
Germany further expanded its colonial empire to
include German New Guinea,
German Micronesia and
German Samoa in the
Pacific, and Kiautschou Bay in China. In what became known as the
Genocide of the Twentieth-Century", between 1904 and 1907, the
German colonial government in South West
Africa (present-day Namibia)
ordered the annihilation of the local Herero and Namaqua peoples, as a
punitive measure for an uprising against German colonial rule. In
total, around 100,000 people—80% of the Herero and 50% of the
Namaqua—perished from imprisonment in concentration camps, where the
majority died of disease, abuse, and exhaustion, or from dehydration
and starvation in the countryside after being deprived of food and
The assassination of Austria's crown prince on 28 June 1914 provided
the pretext for the
Austrian Empire to attack
Serbia and trigger World
War I. After four years of warfare, in which approximately two million
German soldiers were killed, a general armistice ended the
fighting on 11 November, and German troops returned home. In the
German Revolution (November 1918), Emperor Wilhelm II and all German
ruling princes abdicated their positions and responsibilities.
Germany's new political leadership signed the
Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles in
1919. In this treaty, Germany, as part of the Central Powers, accepted
defeat by the Allies in one of the bloodiest conflicts of all time.
Germans perceived the treaty as humiliating and unjust and it was
later seen by historians as influential in the rise of Adolf
Hitler. After the defeat in the First World War, Germany
lost around 13% of its European territory (areas predominantly
inhabited by ethnic Polish, French and Danish populations, which were
lost following the Greater
Poland Uprising, the return of
Alsace-Lorraine and the Schleswig plebiscites), and all of its
colonial possessions in
Africa and the South Sea.
Republic and Nazi Germany
Main articles: Weimar
Republic and Nazi Germany
Philipp Scheidemann proclaims the German
Republic from the
Reichskanzlei window, on 9 November 1918.
Germany was declared a republic at the beginning of the German
Revolution in November 1918. On 11 August 1919 President Friedrich
Ebert signed the democratic Weimar Constitution. In the subsequent
struggle for power, the radical-left
Communists seized power in
Bavaria, but conservative elements in other parts of
to overthrow the
Republic in the Kapp Putsch. It was supported by
parts of the
Reichswehr (military) and other conservative,
nationalistic and monarchist factions. After a tumultuous period of
bloody street fighting in the major industrial centres, the occupation
Ruhr by Belgian and French troops and the rise of inflation
culminating in the hyperinflation of 1922–23, a debt restructuring
plan and the creation of a new currency in 1924 ushered in the Golden
Twenties, an era of increasing artistic innovation and liberal
cultural life. Historians describe the period between 1924 and 1929 as
one of "partial stabilisation." The worldwide
Great Depression hit
Germany in 1929. After the federal election of 1930, Chancellor
Heinrich Brüning's government was enabled by President Paul von
Hindenburg to act without parliamentary approval. Brüning's
government pursued a policy of fiscal austerity and deflation which
caused high unemployment of nearly 30% by 1932.
Nazi Party led by
Adolf Hitler won the special federal election of
1932. After a series of unsuccessful cabinets, Hindenburg appointed
Chancellor of Germany
Chancellor of Germany on 30 January 1933. After the
Reichstag fire, a decree abrogated basic civil rights and within weeks
the first Nazi concentration camp at Dachau opened. The
Enabling Act of 1933
Enabling Act of 1933 gave Hitler unrestricted legislative power;
subsequently, his government established a centralised totalitarian
state, withdrew from the League of Nations following a national
referendum, and began military rearmament.
Adolf Hitler, leader of
Nazi Germany (1933–1945)
Using deficit spending, a government-sponsored programme for economic
renewal focused on public works projects. In public work projects of
1934, 1.7 million
Germans immediately were put to work, which gave
them an income and social benefits. The most famous of the
projects was the high speed roadway, the Reichsautobahn, known as the
German autobahns. Other capital construction projects included
hydroelectric facilities such as the Rur Dam, water supplies such as
Zillierbach Dam, and transportation hubs such as Zwickau
Hauptbahnhof. Over the next five years, unemployment plummeted and
average wages both per hour and per week rose.
In 1935, the regime withdrew from the
Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles and
Nuremberg Laws which targeted
Jews and other
Germany also reacquired control of the Saar in 1935,
Rhineland in 1936, annexed
Austria in 1938, annexed
the Sudetenland in 1938 with the
Munich Agreement and in direct
violation of the agreement occupied
Czechoslovakia with the
proclamation of the
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in March 1939.
Kristallnacht, or the "Night of Broken Glass", saw the burning of
hundreds of synagogues, the destruction of thousands of Jewish
businesses, and the arrest of around 30,000 Jewish men by Nazi forces
inside Germany. Many Jewish women were arrested and placed in jails
and a curfew was placed on the Jewish people in Germany.
In August 1939, Hitler's government negotiated and signed the
Molotov–Ribbentrop pact that divided Eastern
Europe into German and
Soviet spheres of influence. Following the agreement, on 1 September
Germany invaded Poland, marking the beginning of World War
Europe in 1942
In response to Hitler's actions, two days later, on 3 September, after
a British ultimatum to
Germany to cease military operations was
ignored, Britain and
France declared war on Germany. In the spring
Denmark and Norway, the Netherlands,
Belgium, Luxembourg, and
France forcing the French government to sign
an armistice after German troops occupied most of the country. The
British repelled German air attacks in the
Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain in the
same year. In 1941, German troops invaded Yugoslavia,
Greece and the
Soviet Union. By 1942,
Germany and other
Axis powers controlled most
Europe and North Africa, but following the Soviet
Union's victory at the Battle of Stalingrad, the allies' reconquest of
North Africa and invasion of
Italy in 1943, German forces suffered
repeated military defeats. In June 1944, the Western allies landed
France and the Soviets pushed into Eastern Europe. By late 1944,
the Western allies had entered
Germany despite one final German
counter offensive in the Ardennes Forest. Following Hitler's suicide
during the Battle of Berlin, German armed forces surrendered on 8 May
World War II
World War II in Europe. After World War II, former
members of the Nazi regime were tried for war crimes at the Nuremberg
In what later became known as The Holocaust, the German government
persecuted minorities and used a network of concentration and death
Europe to conduct a genocide of what they considered to
be inferior peoples. In total, over 10 million civilians were
systematically murdered, including 6 million Jews, between 220,000 and
1,500,000 Romani, 275,000 persons with disabilities, thousands of
Jehovah's Witnesses, thousands of homosexuals, and hundreds of
thousands of members of the political and religious opposition from
Germany, and occupied countries (Nacht und Nebel). Nazi policies
in the German occupied countries resulted in the deaths of 2.7 million
Poles, 1.3 million Ukrainians, and an estimated 2.8 million
Soviet war prisoners. In addition, the Nazi regime abducted
approximately 12 million people from across the German occupied Europe
for use as slave labour in the German industry. German military
war casualties have been estimated at 5.3 million, and around
900,000 German civilians died; 400,000 from Allied bombing, and
500,000 in the course of the Soviet invasion from the east. Around
12 million ethnic
Germans were expelled from across Eastern Europe.
Germany lost roughly one-quarter of its pre-war territory.
Strategic bombing and land warfare destroyed many cities and cultural
East and West Germany
History of Germany
History of Germany (1945–90)
American, Soviet, British and French occupation zones in Germany, and
the French controlled Saar Protectorate, 1947. Territories east of the
Oder-Neisse line transferred to
Poland and the
Soviet Union under the
terms of the
Germany surrendered, the Allies partitioned
Berlin and Germany's
remaining territory into four military occupation zones. The western
sectors, controlled by France, the United Kingdom, and the United
States, were merged on 23 May 1949 to form the Federal
Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland); on 7 October 1949, the Soviet
Zone became the German Democratic
Republic (Deutsche Demokratische
Republik). They were informally known as
West Germany and East
East Germany selected East
Berlin as its capital, while West
Bonn as a provisional capital, to emphasize its stance
that the two-state solution was an artificial and temporary status
West Germany was established as a federal parliamentary republic with
a "social market economy". Starting in 1948
West Germany became a
major recipient of reconstruction aid under the
Marshall Plan and used
this to rebuild its industry.
Konrad Adenauer was elected the
first Federal Chancellor (Bundeskanzler) of
Germany in 1949 and
remained in office until 1963. Under his and Ludwig Erhard's
leadership, the country enjoyed prolonged economic growth beginning in
the early 1950s, that became known as an "economic miracle"
(Wirtschaftswunder). The Federal
Germany joined NATO
in 1955 and was a founding member of the European Economic Community
Berlin Wall during its fall in 1989, with the
Brandenburg Gate in
East Germany was an
Eastern Bloc state under political and military
control by the USSR via occupation forces and the Warsaw Pact.
East Germany claimed to be a democracy, political power was
exercised solely by leading members (Politbüro) of the
communist-controlled Socialist Unity Party of Germany, supported by
the Stasi, an immense secret service controlling many aspects of the
society. A Soviet-style command economy was set up and the GDR
later became a
Comecon state. While East German propaganda was
based on the benefits of the GDR's social programmes and the alleged
constant threat of a West German invasion, many of its citizens looked
to the West for freedom and prosperity. The
Berlin Wall, rapidly
built on 13 August 1961 prevented East German citizens from escaping
to West Germany, eventually becoming a symbol of the Cold War.
Ronald Reagan's "Mr. Gorbachov, Tear down this wall!" speech at the
Wall on 12 June 1987 influenced public opinion, echoing John F.
Ich bin ein Berliner
Ich bin ein Berliner speech of 26 June 1963. The fall
of the Wall in 1989 became a symbol of the Fall of Communism, the
Dissolution of the Soviet Union,
German Reunification and Die
Tensions between East and
West Germany were reduced in the early 1970s
by Chancellor Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik. In summer 1989, Hungary
decided to dismantle the
Iron Curtain and open the borders, causing
the emigration of thousands of East
West Germany via
Hungary. This had devastating effects on the GDR, where regular mass
demonstrations received increasing support. The East German
authorities eased the border restrictions, allowing East German
citizens to travel to the West; originally intended to help retain
East Germany as a state, the opening of the border actually led to an
acceleration of the Wende reform process. This culminated in the Two
Plus Four Treaty a year later on 12 September 1990, under which the
four occupying powers renounced their rights under the Instrument of
Germany regained full sovereignty. This permitted
German reunification on 3 October 1990, with the accession of the five
re-established states of the former GDR.
Germany and the European Union
German reunification and
History of Germany
History of Germany since 1990
German unity was established on 3 October 1990. Since 1999, the
Reichstag building in
Berlin has been the meeting place of the
Bundestag, the German parliament.
Germany is considered to be the enlarged continuation of
Germany and not a successor state. As such, it
retained all of West Germany's memberships in international
organisations. Based on the Berlin/
Bonn Act, adopted in 1994,
Berlin once again became the capital of the reunified Germany, while
Bonn obtained the unique status of a Bundesstadt (federal city)
retaining some federal ministries. The relocation of the
government was completed in 1999. Following the 1998 elections,
Gerhard Schröder became the first Chancellor of a
red–green coalition with the
Alliance '90/The Greens
Alliance '90/The Greens party. Among
the major projects of the two Schröder legislatures was the Agenda
2010 to reform the labour market to become more flexible and reduce
The modernisation and integration of the eastern German economy is a
long-term process scheduled to last until the year 2019, with annual
transfers from west to east amounting to roughly $80 billion.
Germany became a co-founder of the
European Union (1993), introduced
Euro currency (2002), and signed the
Lisbon Treaty in 2007
Germany has taken a more active role in the
European Union. Together with its European partners
Germany signed the
Maastricht Treaty in 1992, established the
Eurozone in 1999, and
Lisbon Treaty in 2007.
Germany sent a peacekeeping
force to secure stability in the Balkans and sent a force of German
Afghanistan as part of a
NATO effort to provide security in
that country after the ousting of the Taliban. These deployments
were controversial since
Germany is bound by domestic law only to
deploy troops for defence roles.
In the 2005 elections,
Angela Merkel became the first female
Chancellor of Germany
Chancellor of Germany as the leader of a grand coalition. In 2009
the German government approved a €50 billion economic stimulus
plan to protect several sectors from a downturn.
In 2009, a liberal-conservative coalition under Merkel assumed
leadership of the country. In 2013, a grand coalition was established
in a Third Merkel cabinet. Among the major German political projects
of the early 21st century are the advancement of European integration,
the energy transition (Energiewende) for a sustainable energy supply,
the "Debt Brake" for balanced budgets, measures to increase the
fertility rate significantly (pronatalism), and high-tech strategies
for the future transition of the German economy, summarised as
Germany was affected by the
European migrant crisis
European migrant crisis in 2015 as it
became the final destination of choice for many asylum seekers from
Africa and the
Middle East entering the EU. The country took in over a
million refugees and migrants and developed a quota system which
redistributed migrants around its federal states based on their tax
income and existing population density.
Main article: Geography of Germany
Physical map of Germany
Germany is in Western and Central Europe, with
Denmark bordering to
Poland and the Czech
Republic to the east,
Austria to the
Switzerland to the south-southwest, France,
Belgium lie to the west, and the
Netherlands to the northwest. It lies
mostly between latitudes 47° and 55° N and longitudes 5° and 16°
Germany is also bordered by the
North Sea and, at the
north-northeast, by the Baltic Sea. With
Switzerland and Austria,
Germany also shares a border on the fresh-water Lake Constance, the
third largest lake in Central Europe. German territory covers
357,021 km2 (137,847 sq mi), consisting of
349,223 km2 (134,836 sq mi) of land and 7,798 km2
(3,011 sq mi) of water. It is the seventh largest country by
Europe and the 62nd largest in the world.
Elevation ranges from the mountains of the
Alps (highest point: the
Zugspitze at 2,962 metres or 9,718 feet) in the south to the shores of
North Sea (Nordsee) in the northwest and the
Baltic Sea (Ostsee)
in the northeast. The forested uplands of central
Germany and the
lowlands of northern
Germany (lowest point:
Wilstermarsch at 3.54
metres or 11.6 feet below sea level) are traversed by such major
rivers as the Rhine,
Danube and Elbe. Germany's alpine glaciers are
experiencing deglaciation. Significant natural resources include iron
ore, coal, potash, timber, lignite, uranium, copper, natural gas,
salt, nickel, arable land and water.
Rhine valley in summer at Lorelei.
Germany has a temperate seasonal climate dominated by humid
westerly winds. The country is situated in between the oceanic Western
European and the continental Eastern European climate. The climate is
moderated by the North Atlantic Drift, the northern extension of the
Gulf Stream. This warmer water affects the areas bordering the North
Sea; consequently in the northwest and the north the climate is
Germany gets an average of 789 mm (31 in) of
precipitation per year; there is no consistent dry season. Winters are
cool and summers tend to be warm: temperatures can exceed 30 °C
The east has a more continental climate: winters can be very cold and
summers very warm, and longer dry periods can occur. Central and
Germany are transition regions which vary from moderately
oceanic to continental. In addition to the maritime and continental
climates that predominate over most of the country, the Alpine regions
in the extreme south and, to a lesser degree, some areas of the
Central German Uplands have a mountain climate, with lower
temperatures and more precipitation.
The territory of
Germany can be subdivided into two ecoregions:
European-Mediterranean montane mixed forests and Northeast-Atlantic
shelf marine. As of 2008[update] the majority of
covered by either arable land (34%) or forest and woodland (30.1%);
only 13.4% of the area consists of permanent pastures, 11.8% is
covered by settlements and streets.
The golden eagle is the national bird of Germany
Plants and animals include those generally common to Central Europe.
Beeches, oaks, and other deciduous trees constitute one-third of the
forests; conifers are increasing as a result of reforestation. Spruce
and fir trees predominate in the upper mountains, while pine and larch
are found in sandy soil. There are many species of ferns, flowers,
fungi, and mosses. Wild animals include roe deer, wild boar, mouflon
(a subspecies of wild sheep), fox, badger, hare, and small numbers of
the Eurasian beaver. The blue cornflower was once a German
The 16 national parks in
Germany include the Jasmund National Park,
the Vorpommern Lagoon Area National Park, the Müritz National Park,
the Wadden Sea National Parks, the Harz National Park, the Hainich
National Park, the Black
Forest National Park, the Saxon Switzerland
National Park, the Bavarian
Forest National Park and the Berchtesgaden
National Park. In addition, there are 15 Biosphere Reserves, as well
as 98 nature parks. More than 400 registered zoos and animal parks
operate in Germany, which is believed to be the largest number in any
Berlin Zoo, opened in 1844, is the oldest zoo in
Germany, and presents the most comprehensive collection of species in
List of cities and towns in Germany
List of cities and towns in Germany and List of cities in
Germany by population
Germany has a number of large cities. There are 11 officially
recognised metropolitan regions in Germany. 34 cities have been
identified as regiopolis. The largest conurbation is the Rhine-Ruhr
region (11.7 million in 2008[update]), including
capital of North Rhine-Westphalia), Cologne, Bonn, Dortmund, Essen,
Duisburg, and Bochum.
Largest cities or towns in Germany
Statistical offices in
Germany (31 December 2015)
Main articles: Politics of Germany, Taxation in Germany, and Federal
budget of Germany
President since 2017
Chancellor since 2005
Germany is a federal, parliamentary, representative democratic
republic. The German political system operates under a framework laid
out in the 1949 constitutional document known as the Grundgesetz
(Basic Law). Amendments generally require a two-thirds majority of
both chambers of parliament; the fundamental principles of the
constitution, as expressed in the articles guaranteeing human dignity,
the separation of powers, the federal structure, and the rule of law
are valid in perpetuity.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier (19 March 2017–present), is
the head of state and invested primarily with representative
responsibilities and powers. He is elected by the Bundesversammlung
(federal convention), an institution consisting of the members of the
Bundestag and an equal number of state delegates. The second-highest
official in the
German order of precedence
German order of precedence is the Bundestagspräsident
(President of the Bundestag), who is elected by the
responsible for overseeing the daily sessions of the body. The
third-highest official and the head of government is the Chancellor,
who is appointed by the Bundespräsident after being elected by the
The political system of Germany
Angela Merkel (22 November 2005–present), is the
head of government and exercises executive power, similar to the role
Prime Minister in other parliamentary democracies. Federal
legislative power is vested in the parliament consisting of the
Bundestag (Federal Diet) and Bundesrat (Federal Council), which
together form the legislative body. The
Bundestag is elected through
direct elections, by proportional representation (mixed-member).
The members of the Bundesrat represent the governments of the sixteen
federated states and are members of the state cabinets.
Since 1949, the party system has been dominated by the Christian
Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party of Germany. So far
every chancellor has been a member of one of these parties. However,
the smaller liberal Free Democratic Party (in parliament from 1949 to
2013) and the
Alliance '90/The Greens
Alliance '90/The Greens (in parliament since 1983) have
also played important roles. Since 2005, the left-wing populist
party The Left, formed through the merger of two former parties, has
been a staple in the German
Bundestag though they have never been part
of the federal government. In the German federal election, 2017, the
Alternative for Germany
Alternative for Germany gained enough votes to
attain representation in the parliament for the first time.
The debt-to-GDP ratio of
Germany had its peak in 2010 when it stood at
80.3% and decreased since then. According to Eurostat, the
government gross debt of
Germany amounts to €2,152.0 billion or
71.9% of its GDP in 2015. The federal government achieved a
budget surplus of €12.1 billion ($13.1 billion) in 2015.
Germany's credit rating by credit rating agencies Standard &
Fitch Ratings stands at the highest possible
rating AAA with a stable outlook in 2016.
Main articles: Law of Germany, Judiciary of Germany, and Law
enforcement in Germany
Judges of the Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional Court)
in Karlsruhe in 1989
Germany has a civil law system based on
Roman law with some references
to Germanic law. The Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional
Court) is the German Supreme Court responsible for constitutional
matters, with power of judicial review. Germany's supreme
court system, called Oberste Gerichtshöfe des Bundes, is specialised:
for civil and criminal cases, the highest court of appeal is the
inquisitorial Federal Court of Justice, and for other affairs the
courts are the Federal Labour Court, the Federal Social Court, the
Federal Finance Court and the Federal Administrative Court.
Criminal and private laws are codified on the national level in the
Strafgesetzbuch and the
Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch respectively. The
German penal system seeks the rehabilitation of the criminal and the
protection of the public. Except for petty crimes, which are
tried before a single professional judge, and serious political
crimes, all charges are tried before mixed tribunals on which lay
judges (Schöffen) sit side by side with professional
judges. Many of the fundamental matters of administrative
law remain in the jurisdiction of the states.
Germany has a low murder rate with 0.9 murders per 100,000 in
Main article: States of Germany
Germany comprises sixteen federal states which are collectively
referred to as Bundesländer. Each state has its own state
constitution and is largely autonomous in regard to its internal
organisation. Two of the states are city-states consisting of just one
Berlin and Hamburg. The state of
Bremen consists of two cities
that are separated from each other by the state of Lower Saxony:
Bremen and Bremerhaven.
Because of the differences in size and population the subdivisions of
the states vary. For regional administrative purposes five states,
namely Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse,
North Rhine-Westphalia and
Saxony, consist of a total of 22 Government Districts
(Regierungsbezirke). As of 2017[update]
Germany is divided into 401
districts (Kreise) at a municipal level; these consist of 294 rural
districts and 107 urban districts.
Nominal GDP billions EUR (2015)
Nominal GDP per capita EUR (2015)
Main article: Foreign relations of Germany
Germany hosted the
G20 summit in Hamburg, 7–8 July 2017
Germany has a network of 227 diplomatic missions abroad and
maintains relations with more than 190 countries. As of
Germany is the largest contributor to the budget of the
European Union (providing 20%) and the third largest contributor
to the UN (providing 8%).
Germany is a member of NATO, the OECD,
the G8, the G20, the
World Bank and the IMF. It has played an
influential role in the
European Union since its inception and has
maintained a strong alliance with
France and all neighbouring
countries since 1990.
Germany promotes the creation of a more unified
European political, economic and security apparatus.
The development policy of
Germany is an independent area of foreign
policy. It is formulated by the Federal Ministry for Economic
Cooperation and Development and carried out by the implementing
organisations. The German government sees development policy as a
joint responsibility of the international community. It was the
world's third biggest aid donor in 2009 after the
United States and
In 1999, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's government defined a new basis
for German foreign policy by taking part in the
Kosovo War and by sending German troops into combat
for the first time since 1945. The governments of
Germany and the
United States are close political allies. Cultural ties and
economic interests have crafted a bond between the two countries
resulting in Atlanticism.
Main article: Bundeswehr
Eurofighter Typhoon is part of the Luftwaffe fleet
Germany's military, the Bundeswehr, is organised into Heer (Army and
special forces KSK), Marine (Navy), Luftwaffe (Air Force), Bundeswehr
Joint Medical Service and
Streitkräftebasis (Joint Support Service)
branches. In absolute terms, German military expenditure is the 9th
highest in the world. In 2015, military spending was at €32.9
billion, about 1.2% of the country's GDP, well below the
As of 2017[update] the
Bundeswehr employed roughly 178,000 service
members, including about 9,000 volunteers. Reservists are
available to the Armed Forces and participate in defence exercises and
deployments abroad. Since 2001 women may serve in all functions
of service without restriction. About 19,000 female soldiers are
on active duty. According to SIPRI,
Germany was the fifth largest
exporter of major arms in the world from 2012–2016.
Brandenburg-class frigate (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern)
In peacetime, the
Bundeswehr is commanded by the Minister of Defence.
In state of defence, the Chancellor would become commander-in-chief of
The role of the
Bundeswehr is described in the
Constitution of Germany
as defensive only. But after a ruling of the Federal Constitutional
Court in 1994 the term "defence" has been defined to not only include
protection of the borders of Germany, but also crisis reaction and
conflict prevention, or more broadly as guarding the security of
Germany anywhere in the world. As of 2017[update], the German military
has about 3,600 troops stationed in foreign countries as part of
international peacekeeping forces, including about 1,200 supporting
operations against Daesh, 980 in the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission
in Afghanistan, and 800 in Kosovo.
Until 2011, military service was compulsory for men at age 18, and
conscripts served six-month tours of duty; conscientious objectors
could instead opt for an equal length of
service), or a six-year commitment to (voluntary) emergency services
like a fire department or the Red Cross. In 2011 conscription was
officially suspended and replaced with a voluntary service.
Main article: Economy of Germany
Countries with economy larger than Germany
Germany maintains a large automotive industry, and
is the world's third largest exporter of goods.
Germany has a social market economy with a highly skilled labour
force, a large capital stock, a low level of corruption, and a
high level of innovation. It is the world's third largest
exporter of goods, and has the largest national economy in Europe
which is also the world's fourth largest by nominal GDP and the
fifth one by PPP.
The service sector contributes approximately 71% of the total GDP
(including information technology), industry 28%, and agriculture
1%. The unemployment rate published by
Eurostat amounts to 4.7% in
January 2015, which is the lowest rate of all 28 EU member
states. With 7.1%
Germany also has the lowest youth unemployment
rate of all EU member states. According to the
one of the highest labour productivity levels in the world.
Frankfurt is a leading business centre in
Europe and seat of the ECB.
Germany is part of the European single market which represents more
than 508 million consumers. Several domestic commercial policies are
determined by agreements among
European Union (EU) members and by EU
Germany introduced the common European currency, the Euro
in 2002. It is a member of the
Eurozone which represents
around 340 million citizens. Its monetary policy is set by the
European Central Bank, which is headquartered in Frankfurt, the
financial centre of continental Europe.
Being home to the modern car, the automotive industry in
regarded as one of the most competitive and innovative in the
world, and is the fourth largest by production. The top 10
Germany are vehicles, machinery, chemical goods, electronic
products, electrical equipments, pharmaceuticals, transport
equipments, basic metals, food products, and rubber and plastics.
Of the world's 500 largest stock-market-listed companies measured by
revenue in 2014, the Fortune Global 500, 28 are headquartered in
Germany. 30 Germany-based companies are included in the DAX, the
German stock market index. Well-known international brands include
Mercedes-Benz, BMW, SAP, Volkswagen, Audi, Siemens, Allianz, Adidas,
Porsche, Deutsche Bahn,
Deutsche Bank and Bosch.
Germany is recognised for its large portion of specialised small and
medium enterprises, known as the
Mittelstand model. Around 1,000 of
these companies are global market leaders in their segment and are
labelled hidden champions.
Berlin developed a thriving,
cosmopolitan hub for startup companies and became a leading location
for venture capital funded firms in the European Union.
The list includes the largest German companies by revenue in
Germany is part of a monetary union, the eurozone (dark blue), and of
the EU single market.
Transport in Germany
Transport in Germany and Rail transport in Germany
ICE 3 in
Cologne railway station
With its central position in Europe,
Germany is a transport hub for
the continent. Like its neighbours in Western Europe, Germany's
road network is among the densest in the world. The motorway
(Autobahn) network ranks as the third-largest worldwide in length and
is known for its lack of a general speed limit.
Germany has established a polycentric network of high-speed trains.
InterCityExpress or ICE network of the
Deutsche Bahn serves major
German cities as well as destinations in neighbouring countries with
speeds up to 300 km/h (190 mph). The German railways
are subsidised by the government, receiving €17.0 billion in
The largest German airports are
Frankfurt Airport and
both hubs of Lufthansa, while Air
Berlin has hubs at
Berlin Tegel and
Düsseldorf. Other major airports include
Berlin Schönefeld, Hamburg,
Bonn and Leipzig/Halle. The Port of
Hamburg is one of the
top twenty largest container ports in the world.
Energy and infrastructure
Main articles: Energy in Germany, Telecommunications in Germany, and
Water supply and sanitation in Germany
Electricity production in
Germany from 1980 to 2012
Germany was the world's sixth-largest consumer of
energy, and 60% of its primary energy was imported. In 2014,
energy sources were: oil (35.0%); coal, including lignite (24.6%);
natural gas (20.5%); nuclear (8.1%); hydro-electric and renewable
sources (11.1%). The government and the nuclear power industry
agreed to phase out all nuclear power plants by 2021. It also
enforces energy conservation, green technologies, emission reduction
activities, and aims to meet the country's electricity demands
using 40% renewable sources by 2020.
Germany is committed to the
Paris Agreement and several other treaties
promoting biodiversity, low emission standards, water management, and
the renewable energy commercialisation. The country's household
recycling rate is among the highest in the world—at around 65%.
Nevertheless, the country's total greenhouse gas emissions were the
highest in the EU in 2010[update]. The German energy transition
(Energiewende) is the recognised move to a sustainable economy by
means of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Science and technology
Main article: Science and technology in Germany
Albert Einstein, physicist. The
Nobel Prize has been awarded to 107
Germany is a global leader in science and technology as its
achievements in the fields of science and technology have been
Research and development
Research and development efforts form an integral part of
the economy. The
Nobel Prize has been awarded to 107 German
laureates. It produces the second highest number of graduates in
science and engineering (31%) after South Korea. In the beginning
of the 20th century, German laureates had more awards than those of
any other nation, especially in the sciences (physics, chemistry, and
physiology or medicine).
Notable German physicists before the 20th century include Hermann von
Joseph von Fraunhofer
Joseph von Fraunhofer and Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit, among
Albert Einstein introduced the special relativity and general
relativity theories for light and gravity in 1905 and 1915
respectively. Along with Max Planck, he was instrumental in the
introduction of quantum mechanics, in which
Werner Heisenberg and Max
Born later made major contributions.
Wilhelm Röntgen discovered
Otto Hahn was a pioneer in the fields of radiochemistry
and discovered nuclear fission, while
Ferdinand Cohn and Robert Koch
were founders of microbiology. Numerous mathematicians were born in
Germany, including Carl Friedrich Gauss, David Hilbert, Bernhard
Riemann, Gottfried Leibniz, Karl Weierstrass,
Hermann Weyl and Felix
European Space Operations Centre
European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt
Germany has been the home of many famous inventors and engineers,
including Hans Geiger, the creator of the Geiger counter; and Konrad
Zuse, who built the first fully automatic digital computer. Such
German inventors, engineers and industrialists as Count Ferdinand von
Zeppelin, Otto Lilienthal, Gottlieb Daimler, Rudolf Diesel, Hugo
Karl Benz helped shape modern automotive and air
transportation technology. German institutions like the German
Aerospace Center (DLR) are the largest contributor to ESA. Aerospace
Wernher von Braun
Wernher von Braun developed the first space rocket at
Peenemünde and later on was a prominent member of
NASA and developed
Saturn V Moon rocket. Heinrich Rudolf Hertz's work in the domain
of electromagnetic radiation was pivotal to the development of modern
Research institutions in
Germany include the
Max Planck Society, the
Helmholtz Association and the Fraunhofer Society. The Wendelstein 7-X
Greifswald hosts a facility in the research of fusion power for
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize is granted to ten
scientists and academics every year. With a maximum of
€2.5 million per award it is one of highest endowed research
prizes in the world.
Main article: Tourism in Germany
Germany is the seventh most visited country in the world, with a
total of 407 million overnights during 2012. This number includes
68.83 million nights by foreign visitors. In 2012, over 30.4 million
international tourists arrived in Germany.
Berlin has become the third
most visited city destination in Europe. Additionally, more than
Germans spend their holiday in their own country, with the
biggest share going to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Domestic and
international travel and tourism combined directly contribute over
EUR43.2 billion to German GDP. Including indirect and induced impacts,
the industry contributes 4.5% of German GDP and supports 2 million
jobs (4.8% of total employment).
Germany is well known for its diverse tourist routes, such as the
Romantic Road, the Wine Route, the Castle Road, and the Avenue Road.
German Timber-Frame Road
German Timber-Frame Road (Deutsche Fachwerkstraße) connects towns
with examples of these structures.
Germany's most-visited landmarks include e.g. Neuschwanstein Castle,
Hofbräuhaus Munich, Heidelberg
Dresden Zwinger, Fernsehturm
Berlin and Aachen Cathedral. The
Freiburg is Europe's second most popular theme park
Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria
Museum Island in Berlin
Lake Obersee in Bavaria
Europa-Park near Freiburg
Stralsund old town
Demographics of Germany
Demographics of Germany and Germans
German population development from 1800 to 2010
With a population of 80.2 million according to the 2011
census, rising to 81.5 million as at 30 June 2015 and
to at least 81.9 million as at 31 December 2015,
the most populous country in the European Union, the second most
populous country in
Europe after Russia, and ranks as the 16th most
populous country in the world. Its population density stands at
227 inhabitants per square kilometre (588 per square mile). The
overall life expectancy in
Germany at birth is 80.19 years (77.93
years for males and 82.58 years for females). The fertility rate
of 1.41 children born per woman (2011 estimates), or 8.33 births per
1000 inhabitants, is one of the lowest in the world. Since the
1970s, Germany's death rate has exceeded its birth rate. However,
Germany is witnessing increased birth rates and migration rates since
the beginning of the 2010s, particularly a rise in the number of
Four sizable groups of people are referred to as "national minorities"
because their ancestors have lived in their respective regions for
centuries. There is a Danish minority (about 50,000) in the
northernmost state of Schleswig-Holstein. The Sorbs, a Slavic
population of about 60,000, are in the
Lusatia region of
Brandenburg. The Roma and
Sinti live throughout the whole federal
territory and the
Frisians live on Schleswig-Holstein's western coast,
and in the north-western part of Lower Saxony.
Approximately 5 million
Germans live abroad.
Main article: Immigration to Germany
After the United States,
Germany is the second most popular
immigration destination in the world. As of 2016[update],
about ten million of Germany's 82 million residents did not have
German citizenship, which makes up 12% of the country's
population. The majority of migrants live in western Germany, in
particular in urban areas.
Germany is home to the second-highest number of international
The Federal Statistical Office classifies the citizens by immigrant
background. Regarding the immigrant background, 22.5% of the country's
residents, or more than 18.6 million people, were of immigrant or
partially immigrant descent in 2016 (including persons descending or
partially descending from ethnic German repatriates). In 2015,
36% of children under 5 were of immigrant or partially immigrant
In 2011 census, as people with immigrant background (Personen mit
Migrationshintergrund) were counted all immigrants, including ethnic
Germans that came to the federal republic or had at least one parent
settling here after 1955. The largest part of people with immigrant
background is made up of returning ethnic
Spätaussiedler), followed by Turkish, European Union, and former
In the 1960s and 1970s, the German governments invited "guest workers"
(Gastarbeiter) to migrate to
Germany for work in the German
industries. Many companies preferred to keep these workers employed in
Germany after they had trained them and Germany's immigrant population
has steadily increased.
In 2015, the Population Division of the
United Nations Department of
Economic and Social Affairs listed
Germany as host to the
second-highest number of international migrants worldwide, about 5% or
12 million of all 244 million migrants.
7th amongst EU countries and 37th globally in terms of the per centage
of migrants who made up part of the country's population. As of
2014[update], the largest national group was from
Russia (1,188,000), and Italy
(764,000). 740,000 people have African origins, an increase of
46% since 2011. Since 1987, around 3 million ethnic Germans,
mostly from the former
Eastern Bloc countries, have exercised their
right of return and emigrated to Germany.
Main article: Religion in Germany
Upon its establishment in 1871,
Germany was about two-thirds
Protestant[f] and one-third Roman Catholic, with a notable Jewish
minority. Other faiths existed in the state, but never achieved a
demographic significance and cultural impact of these three
Germany lost nearly all of its Jewish minority during the
Holocaust. Religious makeup changed gradually in the decades following
West Germany becoming more religiously diversified through
East Germany becoming overwhelmingly irreligious
through state policies. It continues to diversify after the German
reunification in 1990, with an accompanying substantial decline in
religiosity throughout all of
Germany and a contrasting increase of
Protestants and Muslims.
Dresden Frauenkirche (Evangelical)
Cologne Cathedral (Roman Catholic)
Geographically, Protestantism is concentrated in the northern, central
and eastern parts of the country.[g] These are mostly members of the
EKD, which encompasses Lutheran,
Reformed and administrative or
confessional unions of both traditions dating back to the Prussian
Union of 1817.[h] Roman Catholicism is concentrated in the south and
According to the 2011 German Census,
Christianity is the largest
religion in Germany, claiming 66.8% of the total population.
Relative to the whole population, 31.7% declared themselves as
Protestants, including members of the Evangelical Church in Germany
(EKD) (30.8%) and the free churches (German: Evangelische Freikirchen)
(0.9%), and 31.2% declared themselves as Roman Catholics.
Orthodox believers constituted 1.3%. Other religions accounted for
2.7%. According to the most recent data from 2016, the Catholic Church
and the Evangelical Church claimed respectively 28.5% and 27.5% of the
population. Both large churches have lost significant
numbers of adherents in recent years.
In 2011, 33% of
Germans were not members of officially recognised
religious associations with special status.[i]
Germany is strongest in the former East Germany, which used to be
Protestant before state atheism, and major metropolitan
Islam is the second largest religion in the country. In the 2011
census, 1.9% of the census population (1.52 million people) gave their
religion as Islam, but this figure is deemed unreliable because a
disproportionate number of adherents of this religion (and other
religions, such as Judaism) are likely to have made use of their right
not to answer the question. Figures from
Religionswissenschaftlicher Medien- und Informationsdienst suggest a
figure of 4.4 to 4.7 million (around 5.5% of the population) in
2015. A study conducted by the Federal Office for Migration and
Refugees found that between 2011 and 2015 the Muslim population rose
by 1.2 million people, mostly due to immigration. Most of the
Muslims are Sunnis and
Alevites from Turkey, but there are a small
number of Shi'ites, Ahmadiyyas and other denominations.
Other religions comprising less than one per cent of Germany's
Buddhism with 270,000 adherents,
200,000 adherents, and
Hinduism with some 100,000 adherents. All other
religious communities in
Germany have fewer than 50,000 adherents
German language and Languages of Germany
The Goethe Institut, a
German language academy, in São Paulo, Brazil
German is the official and predominant spoken language in
Standard German is a West Germanic language and is
closely related to and classified alongside Low German, Dutch,
Afrikaans, Frisian and English. To a lesser extent, it is also related
to the North Germanic languages. Most German vocabulary is derived
from the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family.
Significant minorities of words are derived from
Latin and Greek, with
a smaller amount from French and most recently English (known as
Denglisch). German is written using the
German dialects, traditional local varieties traced back to the
Germanic tribes, are distinguished from varieties of standard German
by their lexicon, phonology, and syntax. It is one of 24 official
and working languages of the European Union, and one of the three
working languages of the European Commission. German is the most
widely spoken first language in the European Union, with around 100
million native speakers.
Recognised native minority languages in
Germany are Danish, Low
German, Low Rhenish, Sorbian, Romany, North Frisian and Saterland
Frisian; they are officially protected by the European Charter for
Regional or Minority Languages. The most used immigrant languages are
Turkish, Kurdish, Polish, the Balkan languages, and Russian. Germans
are typically multilingual: 67% of German citizens claim to be able to
communicate in at least one foreign language and 27% in at least
Goethe-Institut is a non-profit German cultural association
operational worldwide with 159 institutes. It is offering the study of
German language and encouraging global cultural exchange.
Main article: Education in Germany
The Heidelberg University, established in 1386, is a German university
Responsibility for educational supervision in
Germany is primarily
organised within the individual federal states. Optional kindergarten
education is provided for all children between three and six years
old, after which school attendance is compulsory for at least nine
years. Primary education usually lasts for four to six years.
Secondary education includes three traditional types of schools
focused on different academic levels: the Gymnasium enrols the most
gifted children and prepares students for university studies; the
Realschule for intermediate students lasts six years and the
Hauptschule prepares pupils for vocational education. The
Gesamtschule unifies all secondary education.
A system of apprenticeship called Duale Ausbildung leads to a skilled
qualification which is almost comparable to an academic degree. It
allows students in vocational training to learn in a company as well
as in a state-run trade school. This model is well regarded and
reproduced all around the world.
Most of the German universities are public institutions, and students
traditionally study without fee payment. The general requirement
for university is the Abitur. However, there are a number of
exceptions, depending on the state, the college and the subject.
Tuition free academic education is open to international students and
is increasingly common. According to an
OECD report in 2014,
Germany is the world's third leading destination for international
Germany has a long tradition of higher education. The established
Germany include some of the oldest in the world, with
Heidelberg University (established in 1386) being the oldest. It
is followed by the
Leipzig University (1409), the Rostock University
(1419) and the
Greifswald University (1456). The University of
Berlin, founded in 1810 by the liberal educational reformer Wilhelm
von Humboldt, became the academic model for many European and Western
universities. In the contemporary era
Germany has developed eleven
Universities of Excellence: Humboldt University Berlin, the University
of Bremen, the University of Cologne, TU Dresden, the University of
Tübingen, RWTH Aachen, FU Berlin, Heidelberg University, the
University of Konstanz, LMU Munich, and the Technical University of
Main article: Healthcare in Germany
The Hospice of the Holy Spirit in Lübeck, established in 1286, is a
precursor to modern hospitals.
Germany's system of hospices, called spitals, dates from medieval
times, and today,
Germany has the world's oldest universal health care
system, dating from Bismarck's social legislation of the 1880s,
Since the 1880s, reforms and provisions have ensured a balanced health
care system. Currently the population is covered by a health insurance
plan provided by statute, with criteria allowing some groups to opt
for a private health insurance contract. According to the World Health
Organization, Germany's health care system was 77% government-funded
and 23% privately funded as of 2013[update]. In 2014, Germany
spent 11.3% of its GDP on health care.
Germany ranked 20th in the
world in life expectancy with 77 years for men and 82 years for women,
and it had a very low infant mortality rate (4 per 1,000 live
In 2010[update], the principal cause of death was cardiovascular
disease, at 41%, followed by malignant tumours, at 26%. In
2008[update], about 82,000
Germans had been infected with
26,000 had died from the disease (cumulatively, since 1982).
According to a 2005 survey, 27% of German adults are smokers.
Germany has been increasingly cited as a major health
issue. A 2007 study shows
Germany has the highest number of overweight
people in Europe.
Main article: Culture of Germany
A typical German Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) in Jena
Culture in German states has been shaped by major intellectual and
popular currents in Europe, both religious and secular. Historically,
Germany has been called Das Land der Dichter und Denker ("the land of
poets and thinkers"), because of the major role its writers and
philosophers have played in the development of Western thought.
Germany is well known for such folk festival traditions as Oktoberfest
and Christmas customs, which include Advent wreaths, Christmas
pageants, Christmas trees,
Stollen cakes, and other
practices. As of 2016[update]
UNESCO inscribed 41 properties
Germany on the World Heritage List. There are a number of
public holidays in
Germany determined by each state; 3 October has
been a national day of
Germany since 1990, celebrated as the Tag der
Deutschen Einheit (German Unity Day). Prior to reunification, the
day was celebrated on 17 June, in honor of the Uprising of 1953 in
East Germany which was brutally suppressed on that date.
In the 21st century
Berlin has emerged as a major international
creative centre. According to the Anholt–
GfK Nation Brands
Index, in 2014
Germany was the world's most respected nation among 50
countries (ahead of US, UK, and France). A global
opinion poll for the
BBC revealed that
Germany is recognised for
having the most positive influence in the world in 2013 and
Main article: Music of Germany
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827), composer
Symphony No. 5
German classical music includes works by some of the world's most
Dieterich Buxtehude composed oratorios for
organ, which influenced the later work of
Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach and
Georg Friedrich Händel; these men were influential composers of the
Baroque period. During his tenure as violinist and teacher at the
Salzburg cathedral, Augsburg-born composer
Leopold Mozart mentored one
of the most noted musicians of all time: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven was a crucial figure in the transition between
the Classical and Romantic eras.
Carl Maria von Weber
Carl Maria von Weber and Felix
Mendelssohn were important in the early Romantic period. Robert
Johannes Brahms composed in the Romantic idiom. Richard
Wagner was known for his operas.
Richard Strauss was a leading
composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. Karlheinz
Hans Zimmer are important composers of the 20th and
early 21st centuries.
Germany is the second largest music market in Europe, and fourth
largest in the world. German popular music of the 20th and 21st
centuries includes the movements of Neue Deutsche Welle, pop, Ostrock,
heavy metal/rock, punk, pop rock, indie and schlager pop. German
electronic music gained global influence, with
Kraftwerk and Tangerine
Dream pioneering in this genre. DJs and artists of the techno and
house music scenes of
Germany have become well known (e.g. Felix
Jaehn, Paul van Dyk, Paul Kalkbrenner, and Scooter).
Main article: German art
Wanderer above the Sea of Fog
Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (1818)
Franz Marc, Roe Deer in the
German painters have influenced western art. Albrecht Dürer, Hans
Holbein the Younger,
Matthias Grünewald and Lucas Cranach the Elder
were important German artists of the Renaissance, Peter Paul Rubens
Johann Baptist Zimmermann
Johann Baptist Zimmermann of the Baroque, Caspar David Friedrich
Carl Spitzweg of Romanticism,
Max Liebermann of
Max Ernst of Surrealism. Such German sculptors as Otto
Schmidt-Hofer, Franz Iffland, and
Julius Schmidt-Felling made
important contributions to
German art history in the late 19th and
early 20th centuries.
German art groups formed in the 20th century, such as the
November Group or
Die Brücke (The Bridge) and
Der Blaue Reiter
Der Blaue Reiter (The
Blue Rider), by the Russian-born Wassily Kandinsky, influenced the
Munich and Berlin. The New Objectivity
arose as a counter-style to it during the Weimar Republic. Post-World
War II art trends in
Germany can broadly be divided into
Neo-expressionism, performance art and Conceptualism. Especially
notable neo-expressionists include Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer,
Jörg Immendorff, A. R. Penck, Markus Lüpertz,
Peter Robert Keil
Peter Robert Keil and
Rainer Fetting. Other notable artists who work with traditional media
or figurative imagery include Martin Kippenberger, Gerhard Richter,
Sigmar Polke, and Neo Rauch. Leading German conceptual artists include
or included Bernd and Hilla Becher, Hanne Darboven, Hans-Peter
Feldmann, Hans Haacke, Joseph Beuys, HA Schult, Aris Kalaizis, Neo
Leipzig School) and
Andreas Gursky (photography). Major art
exhibitions and festivals in
Germany are the documenta, the Berlin
Biennale, transmediale and Art Cologne.
Main article: Architecture of Germany
Architectural contributions from
Germany include the Carolingian and
Ottonian styles, which were precursors of Romanesque.
Brick Gothic is
a distinctive medieval style that evolved in Germany. Also in
Baroque art, regional and typically German elements
evolved (e.g. Weser
Dresden Baroque). Among many
Baroque masters were Pöppelmann, Balthasar Neumann,
Knobelsdorff and the Asam brothers. The
Wessobrunner School exerted a
decisive influence on, and at times even dominated, the art of stucco
Germany in the 18th century. The Upper Swabian Baroque
Route offers a baroque-themed tourist route that highlights the
contributions of such artists and craftsmen as the sculptor and
plasterer Johann Michael Feuchtmayer, one of the foremost members of
Feuchtmayer family and the brothers
Johann Baptist Zimmermann
Johann Baptist Zimmermann and
Vernacular architecture in
Germany is often
identified by its timber framing (Fachwerk) traditions and varies
across regions, and among carpentry styles.
When industrialisation spread across Europe,
Classicism and a
distinctive style of historism developed in Germany, sometimes
referred to as
Gründerzeit style, due to the economical boom years at
the end of the 19th century. Regional historicist styles include the
Nuremberg Style and Dresden's Semper-Nicolai School.
Among the most famous of German buildings, the Schloss Neuschwanstein
represents Romanesque Revival. Notable sub-styles that evolved since
the 18th century are the German spa and seaside resort architecture.
German artists, writers and gallerists like Siegfried Bing, Georg
Bruno Möhring also contributed to the development of Art
Nouveau at the turn of the 20th century, known as Jugendstil in
Resort architecture on Rügen, timber framing in Bernkastel,
Hohenzollern Castle in
Swabia and the
Elbe Philharmonic in Hamburg.
Expressionist architecture developed in the 1910s in
Art Deco and other modern styles, with e.g. Fritz Höger,
Erich Mendelsohn, Dominikus Böhm, and Fritz Schumacher being
Germany was particularly important in the
early modernist movement: it is the home of Werkbund initiated by
Hermann Muthesius (New Objectivity), and of the
founded by Walter Gropius. Consequently,
Germany is often considered
the cradle of modern architecture and design. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
became one of the world's most renowned architects in the second half
of the 20th century. He conceived of the glass façade
skyscraper. Renowned contemporary architects and offices include
Hans Kollhoff, Sergei Tchoban, KK Architekten, Helmut Jahn, Behnisch,
GMP, Ole Scheeren, J. Mayer H., OM Ungers,
Gottfried Böhm and Frei
Otto (the last two being
Pritzker Prize winners).
Literature and philosophy
German literature and German philosophy
Brothers Grimm collected and published popular German folk tales.
German literature can be traced back to the Middle Ages and the works
of writers such as
Walther von der Vogelweide
Walther von der Vogelweide and Wolfram von
Eschenbach. Well-known German authors include Johann Wolfgang von
Goethe, Friedrich Schiller,
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Theodor
Fontane. The collections of folk tales published by the Brothers Grimm
German folklore on an international level. The Grimms
also gathered and codified regional variants of the German language,
grounding their work in historical principles; their Deutsches
Wörterbuch, or German Dictionary, sometimes called the Grimm
dictionary, was begun in 1838 and the first volumes published in
Influential authors of the 20th century include Gerhart Hauptmann,
Thomas Mann, Hermann Hesse,
Heinrich Böll and Günter Grass. The
German book market is the third largest in the world, after the United
States and China. The
Book Fair is the most important
in the world for international deals and trading, with a tradition
spanning over 500 years. The
Book Fair also retains a
major position in Europe.
German philosophy is historically significant: Gottfried Leibniz's
contributions to rationalism; the enlightenment philosophy by Immanuel
Kant; the establishment of classical
German idealism by Johann
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Friedrich Wilhelm
Joseph Schelling; Arthur Schopenhauer's composition of metaphysical
pessimism; the formulation of communist theory by
Karl Marx and
Friedrich Engels; Friedrich Nietzsche's development of perspectivism;
Gottlob Frege's contributions to the dawn of analytic philosophy;
Martin Heidegger's works on Being; Oswald Spengler's historical
philosophy; the development of the
Frankfurt School by Max Horkheimer,
Herbert Marcuse and
Jürgen Habermas have been
Main article: Media of Germany
Deutsche Welle headquarters in
The largest internationally operating media companies in
Bertelsmann enterprise, Axel Springer SE and ProSiebenSat.1 Media.
The German Press Agency DPA is also significant. Germany's television
market is the largest in Europe, with some 38 million TV
households. Around 90% of German households have cable or
satellite TV, with a variety of free-to-view public and commercial
channels. There are more than 500 public and private radio
stations in Germany, with the public
Deutsche Welle being the main
German radio and television broadcaster in foreign languages.
Germany's national radio network is the
Deutschlandradio while ARD
stations are covering local services.
Many of Europe's best-selling newspapers and magazines are produced in
Germany. The papers (and internet portals) with the highest
Bild (a tabloid), Die Zeit, Süddeutsche Zeitung,
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Die Welt, the largest magazines
include Der Spiegel, Stern and Focus.
The German video gaming market is one of the largest in the
Cologne is the world's leading gaming
convention. Popular game series from
Germany include Turrican,
the Anno series,
The Settlers series, the Gothic series, SpellForce,
the FIFA Manager series,
Far Cry and Crysis. Relevant game developers
and publishers are Blue Byte, Crytek, Deep Silver, Kalypso Media,
Piranha Bytes, Yager Development, and some of the largest social
network game companies like Bigpoint, Gameforge, Goodgame and
Main article: Cinema of Germany
German cinema has made major technical and artistic contributions to
film. The first works of the Skladanowsky Brothers were shown to an
audience in 1895. The renowned
Babelsberg Studio in Berlin's suburb
Potsdam was established in 1912, thus being the first large-scale film
studio in the world. Today it is Europe's largest studio. Other
early and still active studios include UFA and
Bavaria Film. Early
German cinema was particularly influential with German expressionists
Robert Wiene and Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau. Director Fritz
Lang's Metropolis (1927) is referred to as the first major
science-fiction film. In 1930
Josef von Sternberg
Josef von Sternberg directed The
Blue Angel, the first major German sound film, with Marlene
Dietrich. Films of
Leni Riefenstahl set new artistic standards,
in particular Triumph of the Will.
Babelsberg Studio near Berlin, the world's first large-scale film
After 1945, many of the films of the immediate post-war period can be
characterised as Trümmerfilm (rubble film). Such films included
Die Mörder sind unter uns (The Murderers are among
us, 1946) and Irgendwo in
Berlin (Somewhere in Berlin, 1946) by Werner
Krien. Notable East German films were largely produced by DEFA and
included Ehe im Schatten (Marriage in the Shadows) by Kurt Maetzig
(1947), Der Untertan (1951);
Die Geschichte vom kleinen Muck (The
Story of Little Muck, 1953), Konrad Wolf's Der geteilte Himmel
(Divided Heaven) (1964) and Frank Beyer's Jacob the Liar (1975). The
defining film genre in
West Germany of the 1950s was arguably the
Heimatfilm ("homeland film"); these films depicted the beauty of the
land and the moral integrity of the people living in it.
Characteristic for the films of the 1960s were genre films including
Edgar Wallace and Karl May adaptations. One of the most successful
German movie series of the 1970s included the sex reports called
Schulmädchen-Report (Schoolgirl Report). During the 1970s and 1980s,
New German Cinema directors such as Volker Schlöndorff, Werner
Herzog, Wim Wenders, and
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Rainer Werner Fassbinder brought West German
auteur cinema to critical acclaim.
Among the box office hits, there were films such as Chariots of the
Das Boot (The Boat, 1981), The Never Ending Story (1984),
Otto – The Movie (1985),
Run Lola Run
Run Lola Run (1998), Manitou's Shoe (2001),
the Resident Evil series (2002–2016),
Good Bye, Lenin!
Good Bye, Lenin! (2003), Head
The White Ribbon
The White Ribbon (2009),
Animals United (2010), and Cloud
Atlas (2012). The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
("Oscar") went to the German production Die Blechtrommel (The Tin
Drum) in 1979, to Nirgendwo in Afrika (Nowhere in Africa) in 2002, and
to Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others) in 2007. Various
Germans won an "Oscar" award for their performances in other
The annual European Film Awards ceremony is held every other year in
Berlin, home of the European Film Academy. The
Film Festival, known as "Berlinale", awarding the "Golden Bear" and
held annually since 1951, is one of the world's leading film
festivals. The "Lolas" are annually awarded in Berlin, at the
German Film Awards, that have been presented since 1951.
Main article: German cuisine
Forest Gâteau, a German dessert
German cuisine varies from region to region and often neighbouring
regions share some culinary similarities (e.g. the southern regions of
Swabia share some traditions with
Austria). International varieties such as pizza, sushi, Chinese food,
Indian cuisine and doner kebab are also popular and
available, thanks to diverse ethnic communities.
Bread is a significant part of
German cuisine and German bakeries
produce about 600 main types of bread and 1,200 different types of
pastries and rolls (Brötchen). German cheeses account for about a
third of all cheese produced in Europe. In 2012 over 99% of all
meat produced in
Germany was either pork, chicken or beef. Germans
produce their ubiquitous sausages in almost 1,500 varieties, including
Bratwursts, Weisswursts, and Currywursts. In 2012, organic foods
accounted for 3.9% of total food sales.
Although wine is becoming more popular in many parts of Germany,
especially close to
German wine regions, the national alcoholic
drink is beer. German beer consumption per person stands at 110 litres
(24 imp gal; 29 US gal) in 2013 and remains among
the highest in the world. German beer purity regulations date
back to the 15th century.
Michelin Guide awarded eleven restaurants in
stars, the highest designation, while 38 more received two stars and
233 one star. German restaurants have become the world's
second-most decorated after France.
Main article: Sport in Germany
The German national football team after winning the
FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup for
the fourth time in 2014. Football is the most popular sport in
Germans are members of a sports club and an
additional twelve million pursue sports individually. Association
football is the most popular sport. With more than 6.3 million
official members, the
German Football Association
German Football Association (Deutscher
Fußball-Bund) is the largest sports organisation of its kind
worldwide, and the German top league, the Bundesliga, attracts the
second highest average attendance of all professional sports leagues
in the world. The German men's national football team won the
FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup in 1954, 1974, 1990, and 2014, the UEFA European
Championship in 1972, 1980 and 1996, and the FIFA Confederations Cup
Germany hosted the
FIFA World Cup
FIFA World Cup in 1974 and 2006 and the
UEFA European Championship
UEFA European Championship in 1988.
Other popular spectator sports include winter sports, boxing,
basketball, handball, volleyball, ice hockey, tennis, horse riding and
Water sports like sailing, rowing, and swimming are popular in
Germany as well.
Germany is one of the leading motor sports countries in the world.
BMW and Mercedes are prominent manufacturers in
Porsche has won the
24 Hours of Le Mans
24 Hours of Le Mans race 19 times,
Audi 13 times (as of 2017[update]). The driver Michael Schumacher
has set many motor sport records during his career, having won seven
Formula One World Drivers' Championships, more than any other. He is
one of the highest paid sportsmen in history.
Sebastian Vettel is
also among the top five most successful Formula One drivers of all
Nico Rosberg won the Formula One World Championship.
Historically, German athletes have been successful contenders in the
Olympic Games, ranking third in an all-time
Olympic Games medal count
(when combining East and West German medals).
Germany was the last
country to host both the summer and winter games in the same year, in
Berlin Summer Games and the Winter Games in
Munich it hosted the Summer Games of
Fashion and design
Main article: German fashion
Claudia Schiffer, German supermodel
German designers became early leaders of modern product design, with
Bauhaus designers like Mies van der Rohe, and
Dieter Rams of Braun
being essential pioneers.
Germany is a leading country in the fashion industry. The German
textile industry consisted of about 1,300 companies with more than
130,000 employees in 2010, which generated a revenue of 28 billion
Euro. Almost 44 per cent of the products are exported. The Berlin
Fashion Week and the fashion trade fair Bread & Butter are held
twice a year.
Düsseldorf are also important design,
production and trade hubs of the domestic fashion industry, among
smaller towns. Renowned fashion designers from
Karl Lagerfeld, Jil Sander, Wolfgang Joop,
Philipp Plein and Michael
Michalsky. Important brands include Hugo Boss, Escada, Adidas, Puma,
Esprit and Triumph. The German supermodels Claudia Schiffer, Heidi
Klum, Tatjana Patitz,
Nadja Auermann and Toni Garrn, among others,
have come to international fame.
Index of Germany-related articles
Outline of Germany
Germany – book
^ In the recognized minority languages and the most spoken minority
language of Germany:
Danish: Forbundsrepublikken Tyskland
Low German: Bundesrepubliek Düütschland
Upper Sorbian: Zwjazkowa Republika Němska
Lower Sorbian: Nimska Zwězkowa Republika
Romani: Federalni Republika Jermaniya
North Frisian: Bûnsrepublyk Dútslân
Turkish: Almanya Federal Cumhuriyeti
^ From 1952 to 1990, the
Deutschlandlied was the national anthem but
only the third verse was sung on official occasions. Since 1991, the
third verse alone has been the national anthem.
Berlin is the sole constitutional capital and de jure seat of
government, but the former provisional capital of the Federal Republic
of Germany, Bonn, has the special title of "federal city"
(Bundesstadt) and is the primary seat of six ministries; all
government ministries have offices in both cities.
^ Danish, Low German, Sorbian, Romany, and Frisian are recognised by
the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
^ IPA transcription of "Bundesrepublik Deutschland":
^ German Protestantism has been overwhelmingly a mixture of Lutheran,
Reformed (i.e. Calvinist), and United (
Reformed/Calvinist) churches, with Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodists,
and various other
Protestants being only a recent development.
Lutheranism is found mostly throughout northern Germany,
Württemberg and parts of Franconia;
Calvinism in the extreme
northwest and Lippe, while the United churches throughout the
remainder of Germany.
^ Although the first such union between
Lutheran and Calvinist
Protestants happened in August 1817 in the
Duchy of Nassau
Duchy of Nassau (a
confessional union, see Unionskirche, Idstein); that is before the
Prussian Union of September 1817. There were also unions in other
smaller German states happening independent of each other.
^ Such organizations are corporations under public law with the power
to levy compulsory taxes on their members. The tax rate is eight
percent of income tax (and certain other taxes) in
Bavaria and nine
percent in other states; in most cases the tax is collected by the
state and in other cases data on church members' income is
shared. Most people who leave the church do so in order to avoid
paying these taxes.
^ Bundespräsidialamt. "Repräsentation und Integration" (in German).
Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
Nach Herstellung der staatlichen Einheit Deutschlands bestimmte
Bundespräsident von Weizsäcker in einem Briefwechsel mit
Bundeskanzler Helmut Kohl im Jahr 1991 die dritte Strophe zur
Nationalhymne für das deutsche Volk. [In 1991, following the
establishment of German unity, Federal President von Weizsäcker, in
an exchange of letters with Chancellor Helmut Kohl, declared the third
verse [of the Deutschlandlied] to be the national anthem of the German
^ Numbers and Facts about Church Life in
Germany 2016 Report Archived
30 October 2016 at the Wayback Machine.. Evangelical Church of
Germany. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
^ "Bevölkerung in Deutschland zum Jahresende 2016 auf 82,5 Millionen
Personen gewachsen". Archived from the original on 16 January
^ a b c d "World Economic Outlook Database, April 2017, Germany".
International Monetary Fund. April 2017. Archived from the original on
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Eurostat Data Explorer. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
Retrieved 25 November 2017.
^ "2016 Human Development Report" (PDF).
United Nations Development
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Retrieved 23 March 2017.
^ Mangold, Max, ed. (1995). Duden, Aussprachewörterbuch (in German)
(6th ed.). Dudenverlag. pp. 271, 53f.
Latin name Sacrum Imperium (Holy Empire) is documented as far
back as 1157. The
Latin name Sacrum Romanum Imperium (Holy Roman
Empire) was first documented in 1254. The full name "Holy Roman Empire
of the German Nation" (Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation,
short HRR) dates back to the 15th century.
Zippelius, Reinhold (2006) . Kleine deutsche
Verfassungsgeschichte: vom frühen Mittelalter bis zur Gegenwart
[Brief German Constitutional History: from the Early Middle Ages to
the Present] (in German) (7th ed.). Beck. p. 25.
^ a b Demshuk, Andrew (30 April 2012). The Lost German East.
ISBN 9781107020733. Archived from the original on 1 December
^ Schulze, Hagen (1998). Germany: A New History. Harvard University
Press. p. 4. ISBN 0-674-80688-3.
^ Lloyd, Albert L.; Lühr, Rosemarie; Springer, Otto (1998).
Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Althochdeutschen, Band II (in German).
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. pp. 699–704.
ISBN 3-525-20768-9. Archived from the original on 11 September
2015. (for diutisc) Lloyd, Albert L.; Lühr, Rosemarie;
Springer, Otto (1998). Etymologisches Wörterbuch des
Althochdeutschen, Band II (in German). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
pp. 685–686. ISBN 3-525-20768-9. Archived from the
original on 16 September 2015. (for diot)
^ Wagner, G. A; Krbetschek, M; Degering, D; Bahain, J.-J; Shao, Q;
Falgueres, C; Voinchet, P; Dolo, J.-M; Garcia, T; Rightmire, G. P (27
August 2010). "Radiometric dating of the type-site for Homo
heidelbergensis at Mauer, Germany". PNAS. 107 (46): 19726–19730.
Bibcode:2010PNAS..10719726W. doi:10.1073/pnas.1012722107. Archived
from the original on 1 January 2015. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
^ "World's Oldest Spears". archive.archaeology.org. 3 May 1997.
Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 27 August
^ "Earliest music instruments found". BBC. 25 May 2012. Archived from
the original on 3 September 2017. Retrieved 25 May 2012.
^ "Ice Age Lion Man is world's earliest figurative sculpture". The Art
Newspaper. 31 January 2013. Archived from the original on 15 February
2015. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
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