Germany is a country in Central and Western Europe, covering 357,022 square kilometres (137,847 square miles). It lies between the Baltic and North seas to the north, and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, and France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands to the west.


History: Humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The first non-modern human fossil (the Neanderthal) was discovered in the Neander Valley. Similarly dated evidence of modern humans has been found in the Swabian Jura, including 42,000-year-old flutes that are the oldest musical instruments ever found, the 40,000-year-old Lion Man, and the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels. The Nebra sky disk, created during the European Bronze Age, is attributed to a German site.

A region named Germania was documented before AD 100. 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 center of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the German Revolution of 1918-1919, the parliamentary Weimar Republic replaced the Empire.

The Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, World War II, and the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, two new German states were founded: West Germany and East Germany. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community and the European Union. The country was reunified on October 3, 1990.

Additional history (1919-2009) including information about "The Holocaust" and "The Fall of The Berlin Wall" will be included later in this document.


Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor. With 83 million inhabitants of its 16 constituent states, it is the second-most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous member state of the European Union. Its capital and largest city is Berlin, and its financial center is Frankfurt; the largest urban area is the Ruhr.

Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has many World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. Berlin has become the third most visited city destination in Europe. Germany's most visited and popular landmarks include Cologne Cathedral, the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, the Dresden Frauenkirche, Neuschwanstein Castle, Heidelberg Castle, the Wartburg, and Sanssouci Palace. The Europa-Park near Freiburg is Europe's second most popular theme park resort.

Germany is a great power with a strong economy. It is a well-developed country with a high standard of living. It offers social security and a universal health care system, environmental protections, and a tuition-free university education. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, and the OECD.

Germany has a social market economy with an extremely skilled labor force, a low level of corruption, and an elevated level of innovation.

Germany is part of the European single market that represents more than 450 million consumers. In 2017, the country accounted for 28 percent of the Eurozone economy according to the International Monetary Fund. Germany introduced the common European currency, the Euro, in 2002. Its monetary policy is set by the European Central Bank, which is headquartered in Frankfurt.

The 2011 German Census showed Christianity as the largest religion in Germany, with 66.8 percent identified as Christian, 3.8 percent not being church members, 31.7 percent as Protestants, including members of the Evangelical Church in Germany, which encompasses Lutheran, the free churches, Roman Catholics, and Orthodox believers.

German is the official language. It is one of 24 official languages of the European Union, and one of the three procedural languages of the European Commission. German is the most widely spoken first language in the European Union, with approximately 100 million native speakers.

Recognized native minority languages are Danish, Low German, Low Rhenish, Sorbian, Romany, North Frisian, and Saterland Frisian. The most frequent immigrant languages are Turkish, Arabic, Kurdish, Polish, the Balkan languages, and Russian. Germans are typically multilingual, 67 percent of German citizens communicate in at least one foreign language and 27 percent in at least two.

Education in Germany is primarily organized within the individual federal states. Optional kindergarten education is provided for all children three to six years old, after which school attendance is compulsory for at least nine years. Primary education is usually four to six years. Secondary schooling is divided into tracks based on whether students pursue academic or vocational education.

A system of apprenticeship called Duale Ausbildung leads to a skilled qualification that is almost comparable to an academic degree. It allows students in vocational training to learn in a company and in a state-run trade school. This model is reproduced around the world.

Most German universities are public institutions, and students traditionally study without fee payment. The general requirement for university is the Abitur. According to an OECD report in 2014, Germany is the world's third leading destination for international study. The established universities in Germany include some of the oldest in the world, with Heidelberg University (established in 1386) being the oldest. The Humboldt University of Berlin, founded in 1810 by the liberal educational reformer Wilhelm von Humboldt, became the academic model for many Western universities. In the contemporary era Germany has developed eleven Universities of Excellence.

Significant natural resources in Germany include iron ore, coal, potash, timber, lignite, uranium, copper, natural gas, salt, and nickel.

Most of Germany has a temperate climate. Winters range from cold in the southern Alps to mild and are generally overcast with limited precipitation, while summers vary from hot and dry to cool and rainy. The northern regions have prevailing westerly winds that bring moist air from the North Sea, moderating the temperature and increasing precipitation. The southeast regions have more extreme temperatures.

The territory of Germany can be divided into two ecoregions: European-Mediterranean montane mixed forests and Northeast-Atlantic shelf marine. As of 2016, 51 percent of Germany's land area is agriculture, 30 percent is forested, and 14 percent is settlements or infrastructure.

Major intellectual and popular currents in Europe, both religious and secular, have shaped culture in German states.

Creative Arts & Philosophy

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. A global opinion poll for the BBC revealed that Germany is recognized for having the most positive influence in the world in 2013 and 2014.

Germany is 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 UNESCO inscribed 41 properties in Germany on the World Heritage List. There are numerous public holidays in Germany determined by each state. October 3rd has been a national day since 1990, celebrated as the Tag der Deutschen Einheit (German Unity Day).

German classical music includes works by some of the world's best known composers. Dieterich Buxtehude, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Georg Friedrich Händel were influential composers of the Baroque period. Ludwig van Beethoven was a crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras. Carl Maria von Weber, Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, and Johannes Brahms were significant Romantic composers. Richard Wagner was known for his operas. Richard Strauss was a leading composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. Karlheinz Stockhausen and Wolfgang Rihm are important composers of the 20th and early 21st centuries.

As of 2013, Germany was the second largest music market in Europe, and fourth largest in the world. German popular music of the 20th and 21st centuries include 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 known (e.g. Paul van Dyk, Paul Kalkbrenner, and Scooter).

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 and Johann Baptist Zimmermann of the Baroque, Caspar David Friedrich and Carl Spitzweg of Romanticism, Max Liebermann of Impressionism, and Max Ernst of Surrealism.

Several German art groups formed in the 20th century; Die Brücke (The Bridge) and Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) influenced the development of expressionism in Munich and Berlin. The New Objectivity arose in response to expressionism during the Weimar Republic. After World War II, broad trends in German art include neo-expressionism and the New Leipzig School.

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 Renaissance and Baroque art, regional and typically German elements evolved (e.g. Weser Renaissance). Vernacular architecture in Germany is often identified by its timber framing (Fachwerk) traditions and varies across regions, and among carpentry styles.

When industrialization spread across Europe, Classicism and a distinctive style of historism developed in Germany, sometimes referred to as Gründerzeit style. Historism is a philosophical and historiographical theory, founded in 19th-century Germany (as Historismus) and especially influential in 19th and 20th century Europe.

Expressionist architecture developed in the 1910s in Germany and influenced Art Deco and other modern styles. Germany was particularly important in the early modernist movement: it is the home of Werkbund initiated by Hermann Muthesius (New Objectivity), and of the Bauhaus movement founded by Walter Gropius. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe became one of the world's most renowned architects in the second half of the 20th century. He conceived the glass façade skyscraper. Renowned contemporary architects and offices include Pritzker Prize winners Gottfried Böhm and Frei Otto.

German designers became early leaders of modern product design. The Berlin Fashion Week and the fashion trade fair Bread & Butter are held twice yearly.

German literature traces back to the Middle Ages and the works of writers such as Walther von der Vogelweide and Wolfram von Eschenbach. Known German authors include Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, and Theodor Fontane.

Folk tales published by the Brothers Grimm popularized German folklore on an international level. The Grimms 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, begin in 1838 and the first volumes were published in 1854.

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 Frankfurt Book Fair is the most important in the world for international deals and trading, with a tradition spanning over 500 years. The Leipzig 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 Gottlieb Fichte, 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 has been particularly influential.

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 for their performances in other films. The annual European Film Awards ceremony is held every other year in Berlin, home of the European Film Academy. The Berlin International 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.


German cuisine varies from region to region and neighboring regions often share some culinary similarities (e.g. the southern regions of Bavaria and Swabia share some traditions with Switzerland and Austria). International varieties such as pizza, sushi, Chinese food, Greek food, Indian cuisine, and doner kebab are popular.

Bread is a significant part of German cuisine and German bakeries produce about 600 types of bread and 1,200 types of pastries and rolls (Brötchen). German cheeses account for approximately 22 percent of all cheese produced in Europe. In 2012 over 99 percent of meat produced in Germany was pork, chicken, or beef. Germans produce their ubiquitous sausages in almost 1,500 varieties, including Bratwursts and Weisswursts. Although wine is popular in parts of Germany, especially in wine regions, the national alcoholic drink is beer. German beer purity regulations date back to the 16th century.

Football is the most popular sport in Germany. With more than seven million official members, the German Football Association (Deutscher Fußball-Bund) is the largest single-sport organization worldwide. 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 in 1954, 1974, 1990, and 2014, the UEFA European Championship in 1972, 1980, and 1996, and the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2017.

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 1936: the Berlin Summer Games and the Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Munich hosted the Summer Games of 1972.

Germany is one of the leading motor sports countries in the world. Constructors like BMW and Mercedes are prominent manufacturers in motor sport. Porsche has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race 19 times, and Audi 13 times (as of 2017). Driver Michael Schumacher has set many motor sport records during his career, having won seven Formula One World Drivers Championships. Sebastian Vettel is among the top five most successful Formula One drivers of all time.

German Cars: The German automotive industry is one of the largest and most innovative in the world. German-designed cars have won, for the most times among all countries, the European Car of the Year, the International Car of the Year, and the World Car of the Year awards. The five top German car brands are Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche, and BMW. BMW stands for Bayerische MotorenWerke. BMW was the first to produce a fully electric car in 1972. It was impractical (it used 12 batteries and could only drive for 19 miles), but it was an engineering accomplishment that paved the way for future electric cars.

A lesser known German car worth mentioning is Opel. Opel originally built sewing machines and was founded in 1862. In 1886, Opel began producing bicycles and in 1899, it built its first car.

Mercedes Benz: Carl (sometimes Karl) Friedrich Benz, was a German engine designer and automotive engineer. His Benz Patent Motorcar from 1885 is considered the first practical automobile. He received a patent for the motorcar in 1886. It was a three-wheeled, petrol-powered Motorwagen and Carl's wife Bertha Ringer Benz took it on a 120-mile round trip drive without his knowledge. It was powered by a 954cc single-piston, four-stroke engine that had an impressive 0.9 hp. The "Mercedes" part of name is in honor of Emil Jellinek's daughter Mercedes. Mercedes-Benz vehicles were the first to have brakes on all four wheels, beginning in 1924. Mercedes-Benz vehicles are manufactured in 30 countries. The car does not rattle or squeak with age because each car is welded in 10,000 places. The prestigious brand defines speed and luxury and is one of the best-known names in the car market in the world. The Mercedes Benz company is the largest car manufacturer worldwide.

Plants and animals include those generally common to Central Europe. According to the National Forest Inventory, beeches, oaks, and other deciduous trees constitute just over 40 percent of the forests. Roughly 60 percent are conifers, particularly spruce and pine. 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 national symbol.

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.

There are 17 Biosphere Reserves, 105 nature parks, and more than 400 zoos and animal parks. The Berlin Zoo, which opened in 1844, is the oldest in Germany, and claims the most comprehensive collection of species in the world.

Being home to the modern car, the automotive industry in Germany is one of the most competitive and innovative in the world, and is the fourth largest by production. The top ten exports of Germany are vehicles, machinery, chemical goods, electronic products, electrical equipments, pharmaceuticals, transport equipments, basic metals, food products, rubber, and plastics. Germany is one of the largest exporters globally.

Of the world's 500 largest stock-market-listed companies measured by revenue in 2019, the Fortune Global 500, 29 are headquartered in Germany. Thirty major Germany-based companies are included in the DAX, the German stock market index that is operated by Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Known international brands include Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volkswagen, Audi, Siemens, Allianz, Adidas, Porsche, Bosch, and Deutsche Telekom.

Berlin is a hub for startup companies and has become a leading location for venture capital funded firms in the European Union. Germany is recognized for its specialized small and medium enterprises, known as the Mittelstand model. These companies represent 48 percent global market leaders in their segments, labeled Hidden Champions.

Research and development is an integral part of the German economy. In 2018 Germany ranked fourth globally for the number of science and engineering research papers published. Research institutions include the Max Planck Society, the Helmholtz Association, the Fraunhofer Society, and the Leibniz Association. Germany is the largest contributor to the European Space Agency.


Additional History

1919 & 1924: On August 11, 1919, President Friedrich Ebert signed the democratic Weimar Constitution. In the subsequent struggle for power, Communists seized power in Bavaria, but conservative elements elsewhere attempted to overthrow the Republic in the Kapp Putsch. Street fighting in the major industrial centers, the occupation of the Ruhr by Belgian and French troops, and a period of hyperinflation followed. A debt restructuring plan and the creation of a new currency in 1924 ushered in the Golden Twenties, an era of artistic innovation and liberal cultural life.

1929 & 1932: The worldwide Great Depression hit Germany in 1929. Chancellor Heinrich Brüning's government pursued a policy of fiscal austerity and deflation that caused unemployment of nearly 30 percent by 1932. The Nazi Party led by Adolf Hitler won a special election in 1932. Hindenburg appointed Hitler as Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. After the Reichstag fire, a decree abrogated basic civil rights and the first Nazi concentration camp opened. The Enabling Act gave Hitler unrestricted legislative power, overriding the constitution. His government established a centralized totalitarian state, withdrew from the League of Nations, and dramatically increased the country's rearmament. A government-sponsored program for economic renewal focused on public works, the most famous of which was the German autobahns.

1935 - 1939: In 1935, the regime withdrew from the Treaty of Versailles and introduced the Nuremberg Laws that targeted Jews and other minorities. Germany also reacquired control of the Saar in 1935, remilitarised the Rhineland in 1936, annexed Austria in 1938, annexed the Sudetenland in 1938 with the Munich Agreement, and in violation of the agreement occupied Czechoslovakia in March 1939. Kristallnacht saw the burning of synagogues, the destruction of Jewish businesses, and mass arrests of Jewish people.

In August 1939, Hitler's government negotiated the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact that divided Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded Poland, beginning World War II in Europe; Britain and France declared war on Germany on September 3rd. In the spring of 1940, Germany conquered Denmark and Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France, forcing the French government to sign an armistice.

1941-1943: The British repelled German air attacks in the 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 of continental Europe and North Africa, but following the Soviet victory at the Battle of Stalingrad, the allies' reconquest of North Africa and invasion of Italy in 1943, German forces suffered repeated military defeats.

1944: In 1944, the Soviets pushed into Eastern Europe; the Western allies landed in France and entered Germany despite a final German counteroffensive.

1945: Following Hitler's suicide during the Battle of Berlin, Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945, ending World War II in Europe. After World War II, Nazi officials were tried for war crimes at the Nuremberg trials.

The Holocaust

1941-1945: The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was the genocide of the European Jews during World War II. Between 1941 and 1945, across German-occupied Europe, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews, approximately two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population. The murders were carried out in pogroms (organized massacres) and in mass shootings; by a policy of extermination through work in concentration camps; and in gas chambers and gas vans in German extermination camps, chiefly Auschwitz, Bełżec, Chełmno, Majdanek, Sobibór, and Treblinka in occupied Poland.

Approximately 17 million people were murdered, the six million Jews, at least 130,000 Romani, 275,000 persons with disabilities, thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses, thousands of homosexuals, and hundreds of thousands of political and religious opponents.

Nazi policies in German-occupied countries resulted in the deaths of 2.7 million Poles, 1.3 million Ukrainians, one million Belarusians, and 3.5 million Soviet war prisoners. German military war casualties have been estimated at 5.3 million, and approximately 900,000 German civilians died. Approximately 12 million ethnic Germans were expelled from across Eastern Europe, and Germany lost roughly one-quarter of its pre-war territory.

Holocaust Denial: Holocaust denial is a serious crime in Germany. If a person, in a public forum, denies that the Holocaust happened, they could be arrested and sentenced to as much as five years in prison.

The Fall Of The Berlin Wall

1989: The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, was a pivotal event in history that marked the falling of the Iron Curtain and the start of the fall of communism in Eastern and Central Europe.

1990: "The Wall" is the eleventh studio album by English rock band Pink Floyd, released November 28, 1979. It is a rock opera that initially received mixed reviews from critics, many of whom found it overblown and pretentious. It later came to be considered one of the greatest albums of all time. The recorded album is much better than the July 21, 1990 live concert's sound was.

The Wall-Live in Berlin was a live concert by Roger Waters and guest artists, of the Pink Floyd studio album The Wall. The concert was in Berlin on July 21, 1990, to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall eight months earlier. It was staged on vacant terrain between Potsdamer Platz and the Brandenburg Gate, a location that had been part of the "no man's land" of the Berlin Wall. The concert raised two million dollars for the Memorial Fund for Disaster Relief campaign that was founded by British World War II hero Leonard Cheshire.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, pieces were auctioned and shipped around the world. Numerous sections and pieces have been given to various institutions and are displayed in many countries, with several on display in Germany. Some are occasionally moved, so locations may change.

The fall of the inner German border took place shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. An end to the Cold War was declared at the Malta Summit three weeks later, and the reunification of Germany took place in October the following year.

1992 & 2007: Since reunification, Germany has taken a more active role in the European Union, signing the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 and the Lisbon Treaty in 2007, and co-founding the Eurozone. Germany sent a peacekeeping force to secure stability in the Balkans and sent German troops to Afghanistan as part of a NATO effort to provide security in that country after the ousting of the Taliban.

1994 & 1999: United Germany was considered the enlarged continuation of West Germany so it retained its memberships in international organizations. Based on the Berlin/Bonn Act (1994), Berlin again became the capital of 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.

2005 & 2009: In the 2005 elections, Angela Merkel became the first female chancellor. In 2009 the German government approved a €50 billion stimulus plan. 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 (pronatalism, a pro-birth position), and high-tech strategies for the transition of the German economy, summarized as Industry 4.0.

2015: Germany was affected by the European migrant crisis in 2015. The country took in more than a million migrants and developed a quota system that redistributed migrants around its federal states.


Interesting Facts About Germany

German Johann Gutenberg is the inventor of the movable-type printing press. In 1455, Gutenberg produced what is believed to be the first book ever printed: a Latin language Bible, printed in Mainz, Germany. The Gutenberg press invention of the movable-type printing press meant that Bibles and books could finally be produced in large quantities in a short period of time.

In 1663, German poet and theologian Johann Rist published the literary-philosophy periodical Erbauliche Monaths-Unterredungen, which is considered to be the first magazine in the world.

The German book market is the third largest in the world, after the United States and China. Germany publishes approximately 94,000 titles each year. The Frankfurt Book Fair is the most important in the world for international deals and trading, with a tradition spanning over 500 years. The Leipzig Book Fair also retains a major position in Europe.

Germany has more than 1,300 beer breweries that produce over 5,000 types of beer. Beer manufacturers are required to follow the purity law, also known as "Reinheitsgebot," which allows only water, barley, and hops to be used in the production of German beer. German beer purity regulations date back to the 16th century. Beer is officially considered a food in Bavaria.

It is commonly believed that Christian Friedrich Ludwig Buschmann invented the accordion's basic form in Berlin in 1822, although one instrument has been discovered that appears to have been built earlier. The accordion is a music staple in German culture.

Over 100 Germans have been awarded the Nobel Prize. This is the third highest number of winners in the world after the United States and the United Kingdom. The first recipient in Germany was Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen for Physics in 1901. The most recent was Joachim Frank for Chemistry in 2017. Genius Albert Einstein (recipient of Nobel Prize for Physics, 1921) was German. Einstein was born in the German city of Ulm.

Including the Winter Games of 2014, Germany has won a total of 1,681 medals, 547 of them being gold.

Germany has produced some of the world's best tennis players. Boris Becker, Steffi Graf, Anke Huber, and Michael Stich are all Germans.

Germany hosts some of the largest music festivals in the world; including Rock am Ring, Wave-Gotik-Treffen, and Wacken Open Air.

In Germany it is not a punishable offense for a prisoner to escape from jail. Germany follows the philosophy that it is a human's inherent nature to want to be free from confinement. Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Mexico have a similar philosophy. In Germany people can be punished for acts they commit in order to escape from jail. Prisoners are held liable if they cause damage to property or inflict bodily harm against a person during their breakout. If no destruction or harm has been done, the escapee cannot be given additional punishment. If caught, they must serve the remainder of the term they were initially sentenced for.

Germany has some of the world's most famous inventions: the fluorescent lamp, automated calculator, the discovery of insulin, aspirin, telephone, clarinet, pocket watch, paraffin, petrol/gasoline, Diesel engine, automobile engine, differential gear and other important devices, motorcycle, jet engine, LCD screen, x-ray machine, cuckoo clock, the pregnancy test, the Walkman, and Fanta. Also, Adidas and Puma are German brands.

Fanta originated in Germany as a result of the Second World War. Because of a trade embargo that prohibited importing Coca-Cola syrup into Germany, the head of Coca-Cola in Germany decided to create a domestic product using leftover products like whey and apple pomace. Fanta is the second oldest Coca-Cola brand and is the most popular Coca-Cola soft drink outside of the United States.

Berlin has the largest train station in Europe.

Berlin is nine times larger than Paris and has more bridges than Venice.

In 2009 toy manufacturer Mattel celebrated their 50th birthday. To commemorate the day they created a Barbie doll in honor of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany since 2005, was ranked as the world's second most powerful person in Forbes magazine in 2012.

The Bible says Sundays are a day of rest. All stores and malls in Germany are closed on Sunday.

The Federal High Court of Justice in Germany has ruled that making music or practicing your instrument in rental apartments is only allowed during specify times of the day and with strict time limitations, depending on the instrument. For example, piano players may play or practice two hours per day. Drummers may play or practice for 45 minutes in the summer and 90 minutes in the winter.

Germans have the third best passport in the world. Germans can travel to 126 countries around the world without a visa, and to 36 additional countries, they can get a visa upon arrival.

Flag of Germany: The black color is a symbol of determination. The Red color is a symbol of bravery and strength. The Yellow color is a symbol of generosity.

The Black Eagle is Germany's national animal.

Discrimination against gay and lesbian people is illegal in Germany. Berlin is the third largest gay and lesbian city in Europe. A person in a same-sex relationship can adopt children. However, some say Germany's legislation as inadequate, because civil unions are allowed instead of marriage, and only successive adoption is allowed, meaning a partner can adopt a child that has been adopted by their partner. Gay and lesbian couples cannot file to adopt as a couple.

Germany has legal say on what babies can be named. You must be able to tell the gender of a child by his or her first name. Germany does not allow gender-neutral names, last names as first names, names of objects, names of products, names that could negatively affect the child's well-being, or names that could lead to the child suffering humiliation.

There are no official statistics on popular names, but Emma and Ben are believed to be the favorite 2019 German names for babies. This is the ninth time in a row that Ben has been the number one name choice for boys. It is the fourth time since 2014 that Emma has been the number one name choice for girls.

German biologist Ernst Haeckel first coined the term "ecology" in 1866.

The world's narrowest street is in Reutlingen. It is called Spreuerhofstrasse and is 31 cm (one foot) wide at its narrowest point.

Germany is sometimes called the Nation of Renters because only approximately 40 percent of Germans have their own house, everyone else live in rented houses.

Germany was the first country in the world to adopt Daylight saving time - DST, also known as summer time. This occurred in 1916, in the midst of WWI.

American author Mark Twain, not known for being a fan of the German language, once declared: "I never knew before what eternity was made for. It is to give some of us a chance to learn German."

When JFK visited Berlin, he infamously said "Ich bin ein Berliner," which translates to "I am a jelly donut."

Most taxis in Germany are Mercedes.


Holocaust Denial: Holocaust deniers emerged as a cultural phenomenon in the late 1970s. Holocaust denial is commonly associated with racist propaganda, and it is a serious societal problem. Holocaust denial is viewed as failing to adhere to principles for the treatment of evidence that mainstream historians (and scholars in other fields) regard as basic to rational inquiry. Holocaust denial is either implicitly or explicitly a crime in Germany, in 15 other countries, and in Israel. Many countries, including Germany, have broad laws that criminalize genocide denial. Some countries also prohibit various elements associated with Nazism, such as the display of Nazi symbols. The official response of the United States to Holocaust denial has been significantly different from that in many other countries, primarily because the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment provides for freedom of expression.

The Holocaust was well documented by the bureaucracy of the Nazi government. The Allied forces that entered Germany and its associated Axis states towards the end of World War II witnessed it.

Non-Jewish captives such as Catholic French Resistance member André Rogerie witnessed it from the inside. André Rogerie wrote extensively about the Holocaust and testified about his experiences in seven camps including Auschwitz-Birkenauand. He also produced the oldest contemporary sketch of a camp crematorium.

According to researchers Michael Shermer and Alex Grobman, there is a "convergence of evidence" that proves the Holocaust happened.


Germany has more than 21,000 castles and most are at least 100 years old. Many have been converted into museums, hotels, restaurants, cafes, and art centers.

University education is free for everyone, including non-Germans.

Sixty-five percent of the highways in Germany (Autobahn) have no speed limit.

Germany is one of 22 countries that outlaw the declawing of cats because it is unnecessarily cruel.

Germany is a leader in climate and energy policies. In 2011 the country decided to decommission their nuclear power stations (then producing approximately 18 percent of electricity consumed) by 2022, and replaced them with renewable energies and new storage for green electricity. Almost one-third of Germany is powered by renewable energy, such as solar panels and windmills. Many Germans consider the amount of energy the average American uses to be wasteful. Many Americans agree with Germans who think this.

The Christmas tree was first created in Germany during the Renaissance era. Rather than being draped with illuminated lights, the original Christmas tree was decorated with apples, nuts, and other foods.

German entrepreneur Hans Riegel created Gummy bears. They are gelatin-based candies in the shape of a bear. Most are not suitable for vegetarians. Some are made with pectin or starch instead of gelatin, making them suitable for vegetarians.

There is much more about Germany. Please research further on your own, if you wish to learn more.