Overview website for Germany
As anyone who travels through Germany will soon find out, there is no such thing as a typical German. The nation is strongly influenced by …\
Anything that ever made it big is bound to attract some stereotypes, and Germany is no different. Beer, crazy deaf composers, robotic efficiency, sausage, …
Provides an overview of Germany, including key events and facts about this European country.
Germany is a country in central Europe and a member of the European Union. Official Name: Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany) …
The German economy – the fifth largest economy in the world in PPP terms and Europe’s largest – is a leading exporter of machinery, vehicles, …
Germany is Europe’s most industrialized and populous country. Famed for its technological achievements, it has also produced some of Europe’s most celebrated composers, philosophers and poets.
Achieving national unity later than other European nations, Germany quickly caught up economically and militarily, before defeats in World War I and II left the country shattered, facing the difficult legacy of Nazism, and divided between Europe’s Cold War blocs.
Germany rebounded to become the continent’s economic giant, and a prime mover of European cooperation. With the end of the Cold War, the two parts of the country were once again united, although the economy of the former east continues to lag behind that of the former west.
Berlin Wall at Brandenburg Gate The Berlin Wall: The fall of the city’s East-West barrier preceded German reunification in 1990
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At a glance
Politics: Angela Merkel of the conservative Christian Democrats won a second term as chancellor in 2009
Economy: Europe’s largest economy, Germany is a leading manufacturer and exporter. Vehicles, machines and chemicals are key sectors
International: Germany is a major player in Europe and a proponent of European integration. It is the third biggest troop supplier in Afghanistan
Country profiles compiled by BBC Monitoring
Germany’s economic success since World War II is to a large extent built on its potent export industries, fiscal discipline and consensus-driven industrial relations and welfare policies. It is particularly famed for its high-quality and high-tech goods.
Germany’s export-dependent economy was initially hit hard by the global financial crisis of 2008-9, which triggered the worst recession since 1949. But by 2010, its exports had helped the country to rebound more robustly than most other EU members.
However, an ageing population has led to concern over the continued viability of Germany’s high welfare and health spending. There is also a debate about how to improve integration of the many post-war immigrants whose labour helped fuel the economic boom.
In addition, the former Soviet-dominated east has struggled to catch up with the west since reunification, while people in the west have had to pay a higher than expected financial price for unity.
The pain of Germany’s Nazi legacy remains a sensitive issue. Out of the devastation of the Second World War grew an awareness of the need to guard against any such catastrophe recurring in Europe.
In the 1950s Germany was one of the six founding nations of the European Economic Community from which the European Union eventually developed and in which Germany is a key player. Franco-German cooperation was central to European economic integration in the 1980s and 1990s.
After decades of lagging behind its economic strength, Germany’s international profile has been growing. The country sent peacekeepers to the Balkans and its forces have been involved in operations in Afghanistan.
The country has famous beer brewing traditions. Beer purity laws dating back to 1516 limit the fermentation ingredients to malted grain, hops, yeast and water.
As the birthplace of Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven and Johannes Brahms, among others, Germany’s gift to European music is colossal, while Goethe, Heine, Kant and Thomas Mann are giants in the world of letters and philosophy.
Anything that ever made it big is bound to attract some stereotypes, and Germany is no different. Beer, crazy deaf composers, robotic efficiency, sausage, Inglourious Basterds—just to name a few. Germany has some of the best collections of art in the world, incredible architecture, and a history that makes it clear no one bosses Germany around. Whether giving the ancient Romans a run for their money or giving birth to Protestantism, Germany has always been a rebel. Even behind its success as a developed country, it hasn’t given that up.
The damage from World War II still lingers in city skyscapes, and the country is keenly embarrassed of its Nazi and communist pasts. Even though its concrete wall has been demolished, Berlin, the country’s capital, still retains a marked difference between east and west after decades of strife, tempering the picturesque castles and churches of earlier golden ages.
Plenty of discounts, cheap eats, and a large young population make Germany an exciting place to visit and study. It’s also incredibly accessible for Anglophone visitors, as many Germans have no qualms about slipping from their native tongue into English. The nightlife and culture of Berlin or Munich will grab you and never let you go, while thriving smaller university towns will charm you into wanting to stay another semester.