Germany

  Europe, Germany

Germany (German: Deutschland), or officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country located in Central Europe. North Sea, Denmark and the Baltic Sea to the north; Poland and the Czech Republic to the east; Austria and Switzerland to the south; to the west are France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. The country is geographically located in the temperate climate zone and its surface area is 357,578 km2. It has the largest population in the European Union with approximately 83 million people living on its territory, making it the second most populated country in the world, after the United States, with immigrants at a rate of 14.88%, according to the United Nations estimate. The capital of the country, Berlin, is also the most populated city, followed by Hamburg, Munich and Cologne, respectively.

Before 100 BC, Germanic peoples lived in the region called Germania. From the 10th century until 1806, the Germanic regions became part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, parts of northern Germany became the center of the Protestant Reformation. The Germanic people first became a nation-state during the Franco-Prussian War in 1871. With the 1918-1919 German Revolution, which took place after World War I, the Weimar Republic based on a semi-presidential system was established. The Nazi dictatorship that came to power in 1933. It caused World War II and the Holocaust. In 1949, Germany was divided into two states by the states that won the war. These two states merged in 1990. West Germany was one of the founding members of the European Economic Community in 1957, which later became the European Union. With the unification, East Germany became a member of this union in 1993. Germany is part of the Schengen area and adopted the European common currency, the euro, in 2002.

Germany is a federal parliamentary republic. It consists of sixteen states (German: Bundesländer). Its capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO and the G8 and has signed the Kyoto Protocol. According to 2007, Germany is the world’s 3rd largest economy by GDP. The country is the second largest donor for development in the world. On the other hand, the country ranks 6th in terms of military expenditure budget. The country has a high standard of living with its social security system. Germany plays a key role in European affairs at the world level with its high country population and economic development. Germany has been recognized as a leader in many fields of science and technology.

History

Germanic Tribes

The Germanic Tribes are thought to have emerged in the Bronze Age or just before the Iron Age. In the 1st century BC, tribes from southern Scandinavia and northern Germany spread south, east, and west, interacting with Celts, Gauls, Slavs, Baltic tribes, and Iranian peoples. What is known about early Germanic history is limited to data from the time of the Roman Empire.

During the Roman Empire under Augustus, the Roman General began attacks on Germania. The Germanic tribes learned war tactics during this time. In the meantime, they managed to preserve their identity. In 9 B.C., the Roman legion led by Publius Quinctilius Varus was defeated by the leader of the Cheruskers at the Battle of Varus. Thus, it expanded to its borders between the Danube and Rhine rivers. According to Tacitus’ work on the Teutons of around 100 disciples, the Germanic tribes settled in today’s modern homeland between the Danube and the Rhine. Several large Germanic tribes emerged around the 3rd century BC. Alamans, Franks, Saxons, Frisians, Chattians, Sicambris are some of them. Around 260, the Germanic peoples crossed the Danube and began to enter Roman-controlled areas.

Holy Roman Empire (962-1806)

Charlemagne brought together the divided statelets of the Middle Ages. He was crowned king in the Vatican on December 25, 800, and established the Carolingian Empire. By 843, this state was divided into three parts and, undergoing changes, continued its existence until 1806. The state spread from the Eider River to the Mediterranean. Although the state was known as the Holy Roman Empire, from 1448 it was officially called the Holy Roman Empire of the German People (Sacrum Romanum Imperium Nationis Germanicæ).

During the Otto Dynasty (919-1024), in 962; The Duchy of Lorraine, Saxony, Franconia, Swabia, Thuringia, and Bavaria were united and the German king was crowned Holy Roman Emperor. The Holy Roman Empire captured Northern Italy and Burgundy while under the Salian dynasty (1024-1125). Against this, the emperors lost their power when they struggled to take power. Under the rule of the Hohenstaufen Dynasty (1138-1254), German princes increased their influence in the Slavic lands to the south and east and encouraged immigration to these regions (Ostsiedlung). The German immigrants who settled here developed in trade by establishing the Hanseatic League and, according to the Europe of that day, they became quite wealthy.

With the edict announced in 1356, some changes were made regarding the election of the monarch. Accordingly, the king was to elect a delegation of seven, composed of archbishoprics and princes from influential provinces. From the 15th century, the king was only a member of the House of Habsburg.

In 1517, Martin Luther initiated the Protestant Reformation by drafting a 95-point proclamation against the abused Roman Catholic Church. After 1530, Lutheranism broke away from the Catholic Church and became the official religion in many German States. Thereupon, the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) began, which devastated the German country. The population in the German states decreased by about 30%. The Treaty of Westphalia signed in 1648 ended this religious war. At the end of the war, the kingdom was divided into several independent provinces. After 1740, the Habsburg Monarchy and the Prussian State, which ruled in Austria, tried to pull the German states to their side and dominate the country completely. The Holy Roman Empire was completely destroyed in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars.

Restoration and Revolution (1814-1871)

After the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte, 39 independent German states were established under the name of the German Confederation with the decisions taken at the Congress of Vienna in 1814. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was chosen as the leader of this confederation. In response to the Congress of Vienna, uprisings broke out in various European countries. The development and liberalism movement in science and philosophy, especially in Germany, was the main factor in the people’s search for their rights. In this process, the majority of the German people were affected by the French Revolution and the nationalist movement. The people wanted national unity. The elected Constituent Assembly met in Frankfurt on 13 May 1848 to draft a constitution. The constitution was adopted on March 28, 1849. Black, red and gold colors representing this movement later gave color to the German Flag.

As a result of the Revolutions of 1848, a republic was declared in France. Upon the success of this movement, German intellectuals and the public also started a revolution. Initially, monarchs upheld the liberal rights claimed. King of Prussia IV. The kingdom was offered to Friedrich Wilhelm with some of his rights taken away. But he refused it. Because if he had accepted, he would wear the crown not in the grace of God, but in the presence of the assembly, and he would be subordinate to the assembly. After his death, Wilhelm I succeeded him. In 1862, he appointed Otto von Bismarck as prime minister. Bismarck captured some places in the war with Denmark in 1864. The following year, he defeated the Austrian army in the wars and established the North German Confederation. Austria was excluded from this confederation.

German Empire (1871-1918)

Modern Germany, based on known national foundations, was established in 1871 with arrangements made. The founder of the country was the Kingdom of Prussia. After the Franco-Prussian War, it was declared an empire in the decisions taken at Versailles on January 18, 1871. The Hohenzollern Dynasty ruled the empire. The capital city was Berlin. The empire was formed by including all the scattered German states, but Austria was excluded from this union. The country began to establish colonies outside Europe from 1884.

Wilhelm I, who was on the throne during the construction of the empire, tried to make Germany strong and secure in foreign policy like other great states. An attempt was made to stay away from France diplomatically and war was avoided. II. During the Wilhelm period, Germany, like other European powers, followed an imperial policy and from time to time entered into conflict with neighboring states over its colonies. This damaged some friendships and formed a pole against Germany by signing an agreement with France, the United Kingdom and the Russian Empire. Germany was only able to form an alliance with the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Germany’s imperial policy went beyond the country and the state participated in the partition of Africa like other European powers. At the Berlin Conference, this continent was allocated to the European powers. Germany’s share fell to German East Africa, German North-West Africa, Togo and Cameroon. This struggle in inter-great-power Africa was to be one of the causes of World War I.

On June 28, 1914, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in Sarajevo, started World War I. The Central Powers, including Germany, failed after 4 years of wars against the Allies. There was a revolution in Germany in November 1918 and the emperor II. Wilhelm was forced to abdicate. A ceasefire was declared on 11 November. The Treaty of Versailles was signed on 28 June 1919. However, the terms of the agreement were found humiliating for Germany, this situation increased nationalism in the country and the people gradually began to unite around the national socialism movement.

Weimar Republic (1918-1933)

After the successful November 1918 revolution, the republic was proclaimed. The state, which was declared to be founded on 11 August 1919 by the social democratic President Friedrich Ebert, takes its name from the city of Weimar, where the national assembly met to create the new constitution. Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht previously founded the Communist Party of Germany in 1918. Apart from this, the German Workers’ Party was founded on January 5, 1919. The party would later evolve into the National Socialist German Workers’ Party on February 24, 1920. Apart from these important parties, there were many other parties that were established.

Damaged by the Great Depression, the harsh peace conditions dictated by the Treaty of Versailles, and a long series of unstable governments, the political masses in Germany began to identify less with their political system, the parliamentary system. This was exacerbated by a widespread right-wing (monarchist, nationalist, and national socialist) Dolchstoßlegende, a political myth that claimed that Germany lost World War I because of the German Revolution, not because of military defeat. On the other hand, radical leftist communists, such as the Spartacus League, wanted to overthrow the system they saw as “capitalist rule” in order to establish a “Räterepublik”.

Paramilitary forces were established by many parties and thousands of murders were committed for political reasons. Paramilitary forces were intimidating voters and sowing seeds of violence and hatred in the population already suffering from high unemployment rates and poverty. After a series of failed cabinets, President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933, not only because he saw many alternatives but also because of pressure from his right-wing advisers.

Third Empire (1933-1945)

On February 27, 1933, the German Parliament was set on fire. Some basic democratic rights were abolished the next day. Hitler concentrated all legislative and executive powers in himself. While the decision on this was taken in the parliament, the Social Democratic Party of Germany stood against the bill; moreover, the 81 seats of the German Communist Party in the parliament could not prevent this decision. Again, some amendments to the constitution led to the emergence of a single-party regime in the country. Quotas were set in the industrial field. Thus, the industry would only produce enough basic necessities and would shift all its production power to the arms industry. In 1936 German troops entered the Rhine-Ruhr Region, which was a demilitarized zone according to the Treaty of Versailles. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement proved to be inadequate. Encouraged by this, Hitler began to implement the policy of expansion from 1938. Afraid of fighting on two fronts, Hitler signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact with the Soviet Union, which he later broke.

In 1939, as a result of nationalism to the extreme, Germany invaded Poland with the tactic of a blitz war. In the two days that followed, Great Britain and France issued declarations of war and declared war on Germany. This is II. It meant the start of World War II. Germany succeeded in controlling a significant part of Europe, directly or indirectly, in a very rapid manner.

On July 22, 1941, Hitler unilaterally dissolved the pact with the Soviet Union, opened the Eastern Front and launched Operation Barbarossa. Shortly thereafter, the Empire of Japan attacked the United States’ base at Pearl Harbor. Germany declared war on the United States. The attacks developed by the German army at the beginning of the war against the Soviet Union ended with the Battle of Stalingrad. In this battle to open the way to Moscow, the German armies were defeated. Then, the German armies had to retreat from the eastern front. The Normandy Landing was the turning point on the western front of the war. Allied forces advanced rapidly through German-dominated areas, landing on the Normandy beaches. This was the end of the war for Germany. On May 8, 1945, the Red Army took Berlin under its control.

The National Socialist government followed a policy of eliminating Jews, communists, Roma, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, political rivals, priests, and mentally handicapped people, with the genocide that would later be defined as the Holocaust. During the Third Reich, nearly eleven million people were persecuted in the Holocaust. Of these, six million were Jews and three million were Poles. II. World War II and the genocides committed by Germany cost the lives of approximately 35 million people in Europe.

Split and Merger (1945-1990)

The war had resulted in the deaths of nearly ten million German soldiers and civilians. Vast lands east of the Oder River were lost; fifteen million Germans in other countries outside the new borders were deported by these countries; Many major cities were destroyed. The remaining national territory and Berlin were divided by the Allies into four military districts.

France, the United Kingdom and the United States, which controlled the western territories, united their territories and formed the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland, or BRD) on 23 May 1949; On October 7, 1949, the Soviet zone was transformed into the German Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik, or DDR). These; “West Germany” and “East Germany” and the two parts of Berlin were referred to as “West Berlin” and “East Berlin”. East Germany declared East Berlin its capital, while West Germany made Bonn its capital.

West Germany proclaimed the Federal Parliamentary Republic and focused on the market economy by cooperating with the United States, France and the United Kingdom. The country entered into rapid economic development from the beginning of the 1950s. West Germany also joined NATO in 1955; In 1958, it was among the six founding countries of the European Economic Community.

By signing the Warsaw Pact, East Germany became one of the Eastern Bloc countries under the military and political control of the Soviet Union. Despite democratic rights, political power was held only by the leading members (Politburo). Their power was provided by the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, the widely spread secret service and many slum organizations of the governing Socialist Unity Party followed every opinion in society. The basic needs of the people were met by the state at very cheap prices. The Soviet-like planned economy was established; Later, he became a member of the East German Council of Mutual Economic Assistance. Despite communist propaganda describing the country’s social program and talking about its benefits, many citizens admired political freedom and economic prosperity in the West. The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 to prevent escapes from East Germany to West Germany and became the symbol of the Cold War.

Tensions between East and West Germany were eased by Prime Minister Willy Brandt’s German: Ostpolitik policy. In response to the increase in immigration from East Germany to West Germany, the East German government eased the crossing barriers at the borders and allowed its citizens to travel to West Germany. In the face of increasing popular pressure, East Germany opened its borders. Ultimately, German reunification was achieved on October 3, 1990. With the agreements made, the four great powers that founded these states gave up their rights and Germany gained its full independence. Berlin was declared the official capital of the country, while Bonn became the headquarters of some ministries.

Since reunification, Germany has been taking an active role in NATO and the European Union. Germany sent peacekeepers to the Balkans. In addition, the German Army played a role in the NATO army, which went to Afghanistan to ensure security after the fall of the Taliban in the Afghanistan War. These military operations were much discussed; because II. After the World War II, it was accepted that the country would only have soldiers for defense, and sending soldiers abroad was prohibited by law. However, the assembly agreed that this could be done for peacekeeping.

Geography

Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2. Of this, 349,223 km2 consists of land and 7,798 km2 consists of water resources. Germany is the seventh largest country in Europe and the sixty-third largest country in the world in terms of surface area. Elevation; it decreases from the Alps in the south to the North Sea (Nordsee) in the north and the Baltic Sea (Ostsee) in the northwest. The highest point in the country is the Zugspitze, at an altitude of 2,962 m, located in the Alps. Access to the forested highlands of central Germany and the low plains to the north; It is supplied by some of Europe’s major major rivers, such as the Rhine, the Danube, and the Elbe.

Germany shares most of its borders with member states of the European Union. The country’s neighbors are Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France and Luxembourg to the west, Belgium and the Netherlands to the northwest.

States

Germany is a federation of 16 states known as “Bundesländer” in German. Of these states, Berlin and Hamburg consist of a single city, and Bremen consists of 2 cities, Bremerhaven and Bremen, and these three regions are classified as ‘Stadtstaaten’ (city-states). The remaining 13 regions are called Flächenländer in German. The 16 states that make up the Federal Republic of Germany are listed alongside their capitals.

StateCapitalArea
(km2)[132]
Population (2018)[133]Nominal GDP billions EUR (2015)[134]Nominal GDP per capita EUR (2015)[134]
Baden-WürttembergStuttgart35,75111,069,53346142,800
BavariaMunich70,55013,076,72155043,100
BerlinBerlin8923,644,82612535,700
BrandenburgPotsdam29,6542,511,9176626,500
BremenBremen420682,9863247,600
HamburgHamburg7551,841,17911061,800
HesseWiesbaden21,1156,265,80926443,100
Mecklenburg-VorpommernSchwerin23,2141,609,6754025,000
Lower SaxonyHanover47,5937,982,44825932,900
North Rhine-WestphaliaDüsseldorf34,11317,932,65164636,500
Rhineland-PalatinateMainz19,8544,084,84413232,800
SaarlandSaarbrücken2,569990,5093535,400
SaxonyDresden18,4164,077,93711327,800
Saxony-AnhaltMagdeburg20,4522,208,3215725,200
Schleswig-HolsteinKiel15,8022,896,7128631,200
ThuringiaErfurt16,2022,143,1455726,400
GermanyBerlin357,38683,019,213302537,100

Climate

Germany in general has a moderate climate dominated by humid westerly winds. Climate; It is affected by the North Atlantic Currents under the influence of the Gulf Stream. These warming waters affect many regions, including the Jutland Peninsula and the Rhineland bordering the North Sea. Consequently, the climate in the northwest and northern regions is Temperate oceanic; precipitation lasts each period to reach its maximum throughout the summer.

Winters are mild and summers are cool, although temperatures can often exceed 30°C (86°F). In the east, the climate is more continental; Winters can be very cold and summers can be very hot and dry. Central and southern Germany, on the other hand, is a transition zone between continental and oceanic climates. Again, the highest temperature can exceed 30°C (86°F) in summer.

Biodiversity

Germany; Being found in the Central and Atlantic regions of Europe, it is home to many animal and plant species. The country is divided into four main Ecoregions: Atlantic forests, Baltic forests, Central European forests and Western European forests. The whole of Germany is covered with arable land (33%) and Silvicultures, forests (31%). Only 15% is covered with permanent meadows.

The plant and animal variety is generally the same as in Central Europe. Beeches, oaks and other deciduous trees make up a third of the forests; Conifers are increasing with afforestation. Spruce and fir trees dominate the upper parts of the mountains, whereas pine and larch are found in sandy lands. The country has many varieties of ferns, flowers, mushrooms and black moss. The fish is found in the North Sea and rivers. Wild animal varieties generally consist of deer, wild boar, wild sheep, fox, badger, hare and beaver. Many types of migratory birds pass through Germany in the spring and autumn.

National Parks in Germany are: Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park, Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park, Lower Saxony Wadden Sea National Park, Jasmund National Park, Vorpommern Lagoon Region National Park, Müritz National Park, Lower Oder Valley National Park, Harz National Park, Saxon Switzerland National Park and Bavarian Forest National Park.

Germany is famous for its zoos, wildlife parks, underwater parks and bird parks. With more than 400 registered zoos and nature parks, the country is number one in the world. The Berlin Zoological Garden is Germany’s oldest and today the world’s most diverse zoo.

Environment

Germany is known as an environmentally conscious country. Most Germans know that human actions are the most important cause of Global warming. By signing the Kyoto Protocol and many other environmental security agreements, the country has promised to comply with the low emission standard, increase recycling and expand the use of renewable energy sources.

The German government has pioneered this goal with its extensive activities in the reduction of environmentally harmful substances, and today, as a result of these activities, the rate of harmful chemicals in the country is reduced. Against Germany being the first in the European Union in terms of carbon dioxide per capita; It has a considerably lower rate than Australia, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Emissions from coal burning and industrial waste cause air pollution. Acid rains created by sulfuric acid cause damage to forests. Pollution to the Baltic Sea created by East Germany by sewage and industrial residues has been reduced. During the government under Gerhard Schröder, it was announced that it was planned to end the use of nuclear energy in the name of electricity generation.

Germany; It works with the European Union to protect the EU’s fauna, flora and habitat. Glaciers in the Alpine region, where Germany’s last glacial region is located, are subject to melting.

Government

Germany; It is a federal, parliamentary, representative democracy. The German political system was based on the constitution proclaimed in 1949, known as the Grundgesetz. Mentioned by Grundgesetz, the word Verfassung (constitution) is favored over; Because the country was two separate states at that time and those who wrote Grundgesetz emphasize that it can be changed with a constitution in Germany. For a suggested selection on Grundgesetz, binary should be chosen; Fundamentally successful, the separation of powers, the federal structure and the constitution is corrected. Grundgesetz, implementing small app-related stuff after the German refactoring in 1990.

The Bundeskanzler (Federal Chancellor) – now Angela Merkel – is the head of government and the executive, similar in terms of duties to the prime minister in Parliamentary democracies. The main legislative body, the Bundestag, and the Bundesrat, the constitutional body that represents the sixteen states and participates in the making of laws, are the federal legislatures. These two structures make laws. There are 614 deputies in the Bundestag. These deputies are elected every four years and represent the German people. The electoral system is a mixture of majority system and proportional representation system. Members of the Bundesrat are elected officials from sixteen states, who also sit in state cabinets. Each state government has the right to change its delegate at any time.

Bundespräsident (Federal President) – now Frank-Walter Steinmeier – The head of state is the primary authority with his symbolic duties and powers. He performs his duties for a period of five years. May be re-elected for another term. It is elected partly by the members of the Bundestag, and partly by a council elected by the parliaments of the sixteen states and consisting of an equal number of members of the Bundestag. The head of the Bundestag is officially second in protocol. The Chancellor comes in third place in the protocol. The chancellor, elected by the Bundestag, is appointed by the President.

Since 1949, elections and ministries have been won by the Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party of Germany. On the other hand, the liberal parties Liberal Democrat Party (which has always been in parliament since 1949) and Union 90/Greens (in parliament since 1983), which are supported by a small segment, play an important role in the Bundestag. These parties play minor roles in coalition governments.

External Affairs

Germany has been playing a leading role within the European Union since its foundation. II. Since World War II, the country has had close relations with France. This friendship became particularly strong in the late 1980s and early 1990s under the leadership of Christian Democrat Helmut Kohl and Socialist François Mitterrand. Germany leads European states in finding new technologies, creating a unified and responsive European policy, and building defense and security devices.

Since the founding of West Germany on May 23, 1949, the country has become aware of its weakness in its existing foreign relationship, both because of its recent past and its occupation. During the Cold War, Germany’s part on the Eastern Bloc became a symbol of the East-West tension in Europe in the political sense. Against this, in the 1970s, it became the main factor in Willy Brandt’s Ostpolitiki détente. In 1999, Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s government took a different decision on basic German foreign policy, sending troops into NATO’s operation in Yugoslavia. Thus, the German soldiers, II. It was his first time abroad since World War II.

Germany and the United States are close friends. With the Marshall Plan in 1948, the US government helped rebuild Germany’s post-war industry. In addition, the USA also provided assistance with the food crisis in post-war Germany. During the Iraq War, Germany, by being cold towards the American government, overturned the Atlanticism thesis based on the joint action of the EU and the USA. On the other hand, there is a close socio-cultural relationship between the two countries. The two countries are also highly dependent on each other economically: 8.8% of Germany’s imports and 6.6% of its exports belong to the United States. Again, the United States imports 8.8% and exports 9.8% with Germany. Another affinity concerns ethnic groups in America. German citizens make up the largest minority in the country. Also, Ramstein Airport near Kaiserslautern is the US Army’s largest base outside its territory.

Development aids

Development assistance of the Federal Republic of Germany is independent of the official country policy. These aids are regulated and implemented by the Ministry of Economic Solidarity and Development (BMZ). The German government sees these aids as an international responsibility.

In 2007, Germany spent 8.96 billion euros for development aid and humanitarian aid. This means an increase of 5.9% compared to the previous year, 2006. Thus, the country has become the top donor country after the United States. Germany spends 0.37% of the country’s budget on these aids each year, and the government’s 2010 target is to increase this to 0.51%.

The military

The German Army, also known as the Bundeswehr, consists of the Land Forces, the Navy, the Air Force and the Central Medical Service. According to 2003 data, 1.5% of the country’s GDP is spent on the military. Military service obligation was abolished as of 2011. The majority of the army is made up of professional soldiers. peacetime; The Bundeswehr is controlled by the defense minister. If Germany participates in a war, then the German Chancellor takes over the management of the Bundeswehr.

With the latest regulations, 170 thousand professional soldiers, 5 to 12 thousand volunteer soldiers and 2 thousand 500 active reserve forces are envisaged in the Bundeswehr. They participate in defense drills and some of them have spread abroad. Since 2001, women can also join the army without any legal restrictions. Approximately 14,500 women are currently on active duty. There are also female soldiers in various countries for peace missions in this issue. Currently, two female medical officers are in the rank of general in the country.

According to October 2006; German Army; With a military force of approximately 9,000 people, it is a partner of many peacekeeping forces abroad. Of these, 1,180 soldiers are in Bosnia and Herzegovina; 2,844 soldiers in Kosovo; 750 soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo under EUFOR; and 2,800 soldiers are in Afghanistan under ISAF created by NATO. According to February 2007; With around 3,000 ISAF forces in Afghanistan, Germany is the 3rd largest sending country after the United States (14,000) and Great Britain (5,200). Germany has nuclear weapons deployed to Büchel by the United States.

Intelligence

Intelligence in Germany has three pillars:

  • The Bundesnachrichtendienst, short for BND (Federal Intelligence), is responsible for foreign intelligence. It is directly subordinate to the Chancellor.
  • The Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution), BfV for short, is the country’s internal security agency and is subordinate to the Federal Internal Affairs. The states also have their own bureaus for the protection of the constitution under their interior ministries. These also work under the BfV umbrella.
  • The Bundesamt für den militärischen Abschirmdienst, or BAMAD for short, is a military intelligence agency under the Federal Ministry of Defense.

Demography

Germany with over 83 million citizens; It is the most populated country in the European Union. On the other hand, the fertility rate in the country is well below the world average with 1.39 children per mother. The population will increase by 2030 and will be around 87 million. The Federal Statistical Office estimates the population will be between 69-74 million in 2050 (69 million +100,000 annual migration; 74 million +200,000 annual migration). Germany has many big cities. The biggest of these are Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Leipzig. However, many cities in Germany merged with each other and formed large settlements. One of them is the Rhine-Ruhr Region. This region; It covers the cities of Düsseldorf (the capital of the NRW), Cologne, Essen, Dortmund, Duisburg and Bochum.

As of December 2004, approximately 7 million foreigners in Germany acquired German citizenship. 19% of those residing in the country are foreign or of foreign origin. The number of young people with foreign origin is higher than the number of old people with foreign origin. 30% of Germans over the age of 15 have at least one parent born abroad. 60% of children aged 5 and younger in major cities have at least one parent born abroad.

The largest minority group in the country (4.1 million) consists of people from Turkey. Other minorities came from Italy, Serbia, Greece, Poland and Croatia. According to the United Nations Population Fund list, Germany is the third country with the highest immigrant population in the world. It; 5% of the world’s immigrants, that is, 10 million of 191 million immigrants, or in other words, 12% of Germany’s population. Thanks to Germany’s past immigration laws, which did not cause much difficulty, many foreigners became German citizens and preferred German ethnicity (mostly from former Soviet Union countries). However, since 2000, the laws have been toughened and naturalization has been made difficult.

Religion

Christianity is the most common religious belief in Germany with 45.8 million (55.1%) adherents. The second common belief is Islam with 5.2 million people (7.2%), followed by Buddhism and Judaism with a total of 200.000 people (0.25%) who believe in both. Hinduism has 90,000 followers (0.1%). All other religious communities in Germany have fewer than 50,000 adherents (or 0.05%). About 32.3 million Germans (38.8%) do not believe in any religion.

Protestantism in the north and east; Roman Catholicism is concentrated in the south and west. All beliefs cover about 61% of the population. Pope Benedict XVI, who was pope from 2005 to 2013, was born in Bavaria. Non-believers, including atheists and agnostics, make up about 36% of the population and live mainly in the former East German regions and major metropolitan areas.

There are also a small number of Shiites, with a Muslim population of approximately 4.3 million, mostly Sunnis and Alevis from Turkey. Serbs and Greeks are the majority of the people who belong to the Orthodox Sect, making up 1.9% of the country’s population. Germany is the country with the third largest Jewish population in Western Europe. In 2004, the Jewish population coming to Germany from Soviet republics, such as in Israel, numbered more than 200,000, compared with 30,000 at the time of German Unification. Cities with a predominantly Jewish population include Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich. About 250,000 Buddhists live in Germany and 50% of them are Asian immigrants.

According to the Eurobarometer Survey of 2005, 47% of German people support the idea that “I believe there is a Creator”, while 25% “I believe there is some kind of spirit or life source” and 25% “Any spirit, I do not believe that there is a creative or life source”.

Language

German is the official and predominantly spoken language in Germany. It is also one of the 23 official languages ​​of the European Union and one of the three working languages ​​of the European Commission, along with English and French. Lesser known local languages ​​are Danish, Sorbian, Romani, Low German and Frisian. These languages ​​are officially protected by the European Agreement for the Protection of Regional and Minority Languages. The most used immigrant languages ​​are Turkish, Polish, Balkan languages ​​and Russian.

Standard German belongs to the Germanic group of languages ​​and is very closely related to English, Dutch and Frisian, and has the same classification. In addition, Standard German has minor similarities with East Germanic languages ​​(extinct) and North Germanic languages. Many German words are derived from the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. Significant minority words derive from Latin and Greek, to a lesser extent from French and today English. German is written using the Latin alphabet. In addition to the 26 standard letters, German has three umlaut letters ä, ö and ü, and the letter “ß” called Eszett or Scharfes S (sharp S).

German dialects were formed by the differentiation of Standard German. German dialects are traditional local genres and have survived from different Germanic tribes. Many of these dialects are; not fully understood, even by someone who speaks only Standard German; because it has some differences from the known German in terms of dictionary, phonology and syntax.

German is the mother tongue of approximately 100 million people worldwide and the second language of around 80 million people. German is the mother tongue of approximately 90 million (18%) people living in the European Union. 67% of German people can communicate with at least one foreign language, and 27% with at least two foreign languages ​​other than their own.

Economy

Germany is the largest national economy in Europe, the country with the third largest gross domestic product in the world, and the fifth country in purchasing power parity; The real growth rate in 2007 was 2.4%. Since its industrialization, the country; has played a role as a locomotive, innovator and pioneer in the global economy. Export goods labeled “Made in Germany” are the main element of the country’s wealth. Germany has become the world’s largest exporter with an export of $1.401 trillion in 2017. Country; It is included in the Eurozone countries and has a trade surplus of 165 billion euros. 70% of its total income consists of service sector, 29.1% of industrial areas and 0.9% of agriculture sector. The majority of the products produced are engineering products in automobile, machinery, metal industry and chemical substances. Germany is the number one manufacturer of wind turbines and solar technology in the world. Major international trade fairs and congresses are held every year in many German cities such as Hannover, Frankfurt and Berlin.

There are 37 companies from Germany in the Fortune Global 500 ranking, which shows the world’s 500 largest companies ranked by revenue. The ten largest of these are Daimler AG, Volkswagen AG, Allianz SE (most profitable company), Siemens, Deutsche Bank (2nd most profitable), E.ON, Deutsche Post, Deutsche Telekom, Metro and BASF. The companies with the highest number of employees are Deutsche Post, Robert Bosch GmbH and Edeka.

Worldwide known brands are: Mercedes-Benz, SAP, BMW, Adidas, Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen, ThyssenKrupp, Opel, Lufthansa, Aldi, Lidl and Nivea.

Germany; He is an advocate of a closed European economy and political unification. In its commercial decisions, it acts in line with the decisions of the European Union members and the EU single market laws. Germany uses the euro, the general currency of Europe, and Germany’s monetary policy decisions are made by the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, like other Eurozone countries. After reunification in 1990, living standards and annual incomes were high in the former West German states, and efforts were made to maintain these standards throughout Germany. The modernization of the former East German economy and its integration into the standards of the western states is scheduled to be long-term until 2019, with an annual transfer of approximately $80 billion from the west to the east. The unemployment rate has been on the decline since 2005 and reached 7.5% in June 2008, falling to the lowest level of the last 15 years. Percentages range from 6.2% to 12.7% from West Germany to the East. While the current government followed a restrictive fiscal policy and cut jobs in the public sector, the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel introduced a series of reforms in the name of the labor market and welfare.

Banknotes

In the first six months of 2004, the most counterfeited banknotes in Germany were 50 euro (43.6%), followed by 20 euro (28.2%) and 100 euro (21.3%). Counterfeits of 500 euro banknotes were very rare. In total, around 594,000 counterfeit coins were discovered in the European region in 2004. This number decreased to 579,000 in 2005 and 565,000 in 2006. The number of forgery registered in Germany has decreased from 80,583 to 40,204 (2007) in recent years (2004). During the introduction of the euro, attempts were made to introduce counterfeit 300 and 1000 euro (these banknotes were not genuine) banknotes, and in some cases this attempt was successful. In 2006, 20 euro notes were the most counterfeited banknote with 36%.

In 2003, 8,277 Swiss banknotes worth 4 million Swiss francs were found to be counterfeit. When calculated according to the nominal value (total banknotes in circulation 34 Billion francs), the share of counterfeit money is 0.022%. From 4 million fake francs to 2.3 million francs are fake banknotes called Faximile-Banknotes. These banknotes are used in organized money laundering, defrauding buyers who do not recognize Swiss notes when delivering money. Faximile-Banknotes are usually issued in bundles sandwiched between real banknotes.

Euro counterfeiting in Switzerland is one of the most problematic issues. In 2004, counterfeit euro notes and coins worth 2 million euros were confiscated. In addition, 1 million dollars worth of dollar counterfeiting was also made.

In terms of value, the 100 franc banknotes were the most valid unit in 2003 with a usage rate of 53%. This unit is followed by 50 franc banknotes with 16% and 20 franc banknotes with 14%. The least counterfeited banknotes are 1000 franc notes with a rate of 2.9%. In addition, 2000 franc banknotes that are not officially on the market have also been identified.

Some counterfeits are so obvious that experienced officers of the Federal Bank and Police Counterfeit Currencies and counters can recognize them.

Infrastructure

Its central location in Europe has made Germany an important transport hub. This has been achieved thanks to the country’s dense and modern transportation network. The most famous of this network is the wide motor vehicle road (Highway), which is the third largest in total length in the world. It is also an important feature that there is no speed limit between some routes on highways.

Germany has established a multi-centre high-speed train network. InterCityExpress, also known as ICE, generally provides transportation to major cities and distances in neighboring countries. The speeds of the trains range from 160 km/h to 300 km/h and Deutsche Bahn provides the top forward service. Transportation takes place in 30-minute, hourly or bi-hourly periods.

Germany is the world’s fifth largest energy consumer, and two-thirds of its primary energy needs were met by imports in 2002. In the same year, Germany became Europe’s largest electricity consumer: total electricity consumption was 512.9 terawatt-hours. government policy; Emphasizes the development of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind energy, biodiesel, hydroelectric and geothermal energy. According to the results of the energy saving measurement, energy efficiency has been improving since the early 1970s. The government has set a target of meeting half of the country’s energy needs from renewable sources by 2050.

Government and the German nuclear power industry in 2000; They agreed to gradually reduce nuclear power plants by 2021. However, renewable energy has a very low share in energy consumption. The distribution of energy consumption in 2006 by resources was as follows: fuel oil (35.7%); coal (23.9%); natural gas (22.8%); nuclear energy (12.6%); water and wind power (1.3%); others (3.7%).

Science

Germany has historically been home to some of the most outstanding research in various scientific fields. The Nobel Prize has been received by 101 Germans to date. The work of Albert Einstein and Max Planck is very important for the foundations of modern physics, and these studies were later developed by Werner Heisenberg and Max Born. These names were also influenced by previously trained names such as Hermann von Helmholtz, Joseph von Fraunhofer and Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit. Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered the X-ray, which is called Röntgenstrahlen in both German and other languages. This achievement made him the first Nobel Prize winner in Physics in 1901.

Space engineer Wernher von Braun developed the first space rocket and later became a leading member of NASA, developing the Saturn V moon rocket, which led to the success of the US Apollo program. Heinrich Rudolf Hertz’s work in the field of electromagnetic radiation laid the foundation for the development of modern telecommunications. Wilhelm Wundt, who built his first laboratory at the University of Leipzig in 1879, is considered the father of Experimental psychology. The work of Alexander von Humboldt as a naturalist and explorer formed the basis of biogeography.

Important mathematicians such as Carl Friedrich Gauss, David Hilbert, Bernhard Riemann, Gottfried Leibniz, Karl Weierstrass and Hermann Weyl were also born in Germany. Germany is the home of many famous inventors and engineers, such as Johannes Gutenberg, who first established the printing press in Europe, Hans Geiger, the creator of the Geiger counter, and Konrad Zuse, who built the first fully automatic digital computer. German inventors, engineers and industrialists such as Ferdinand von Zeppelin, Otto Lilienthal, Gottlieb Daimler, Rudolf Diesel, Hugo Junkers and Karl Benz helped shape modern automotive and air transportation technology.

Important research units in Germany are the Max Planck Society, Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. These institutions are independent or externally linked to the university system and make significant contributions to scientific production. The prestigious Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize is awarded to ten scientists or academics each year. Each award can be worth up to a maximum of 2.5 million euros, making it one of the highest value research awards in the world.

Education

In Germany, the responsibility for the administration of education lies primarily with the federal states. The federal government has a very minor role in education. Optional kindergarten education is provided to all children between the ages of three and six, followed by compulsory education for at least nine years. Primary education generally lasts for four years and public schools are not stratified in this primary education process. In contrast, in secondary education, there are four types of schools that students can attend, depending on the abilities of the students and the recommendations of the teachers: the most talented students enroll in the Gymnasium and the Gymnasium prepares them for university education; education lasts eight or nine years, depending on the system of the states; Realschule more commonly caters to intermediate students and lasts six years; Hauptschule schools prepare students for vocational training, and the Gesamtschule adopts an education system covering the previous three types.

The Program for International Student Assessment, provided by the OECD, is designed to assess the abilities of 15-year-old students from OECD countries and several partner countries. In 2006, German schoolchildren improved their levels compared to previous years, and according to statistical studies, they were 13th above the average in scientific abilities, 20th in mathematics and 18th in reading abilities, neither much above nor below the average. Socioeconomic status is quite high in Germany, and students’ performance is affected more by socioeconomic factors than in other countries.

To enter university, high school students must take the Abitur exam; Students with a vocational high school diploma can also apply. Duale Ausbildung, a special apprenticeship system, allows students to pursue their vocational training within a company. Many German universities are state-owned and the tuition fee for one semester varies between 50-500 Euros.

Universities in Germany have an international reputation for the high educational standards in the country. According to THES – QS World University Ranking criteria, 3 German universities were in the top 100 in the world in 2007, while the number of universities in the top 200 was 11.

Culture

Germany is historically referred to as Das Land der Dichter und Denker (the land of poets and thinkers). Since 2006 Germany has called itself the Land of Ideas. German culture emerged long before Germany was born as a nation-state and has influenced the entire German-speaking geography. Under the influence of its roots, culture in Germany was shaped by the influence of mental and popular trends in Europe such as religion and secularism. It would therefore be difficult to define a specific German tradition apart from European culture. In the context of this judgment, another inference will be on historical figures; Although Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Kafka and Paul Celan are not German natives in modern thought, they are considered within the German cultural environment in terms of their historical situation, understanding of their working and social relations.

The Federal States are responsible for cultural institutions in Germany. 240 funded theatres, hundreds of symphonic orchestras, thousands of museums and over 25,000 libraries are scattered across 16 states. These cultural opportunities are valued by millions of people: 91 million people visit museums every year in Germany, 20 million people go to the theater and opera, and 3.6 million people listen to symphonic orchestras.

Germany supports world-famous classical music composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms and Richard Wagner. As of 2006, Germany has become the fifth largest music market in the world and has had an influence on pop, rap and rock music with bands such as Kraftwerk, Scorpions, Bausa, Raf Camora, Bonez MC and Rammstein.

Many German painters have gained international prestige for their works in different artistic styles. Hans Holbein, Matthias Grünewald and Albrecht Dürer are important artists of the Renaissance period, Caspar David Friedrich of the Romantic Period and Max Ernst are important artists of surrealism. Germany’s Carolingian architecture and Otto architecture and its contributions to this field have been important precursors of Romanesque architecture. The area later became a place where important works of styles such as Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque were carried out. Germany has a very important place in the near modern movement, especially with the Bauhaus movement initiated by Walter Gropius. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, also from Germany, became one of the world’s most famous architects in the second half of the 20th century. Glass-fronted skyscrapers are his idea.

Philosophy

Germany’s influence on philosophy is historically significant, and many memorable German philosophers have made significant contributions to Western philosophy since the Middle Ages. Gottfried Leibniz’s contributions to rationalism; the founding of classical German idealism by Immanuel Kant, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and Johann Gottlieb Fichte; formulation of Communist theory by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels; Arthur Schopenhauer’s compilation of metaphysical pessimism; Friedrich Nietzsche’s development of Perspectivism; Martin Heidegger’s studies on existentialism; social theories of Jürgen Habermas; They were quite impressive for the development of philosophy.

German literature can be traced back to the Middle Ages, with the work of writers such as Walther von der Vogelweide and Wolfram von Eschenbach. Many German writers and poets, such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller, had a great reputation. Folk tales published by the Brothers Grimm have made German Folk Literature internationally famous. Influential writers of the 20th century are Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht, Hermann Hesse, Heinrich Böll and Günter Grass.

Media

The German television market is the largest in Europe with 34 million TV owners. Many regional and national broadcast stations are organized by cable links within the federal political structure. About 90% of German households have cable or satellite broadcasting, and viewers have many choices to watch, from public channels to private channels. Pay TV services are not in demand, as general TV broadcasters ZDF and ARD offer widespread digital channels.

Germany is home to the world’s largest media outlets such as Bertelsmann and Axel Springer AG. Some of Germany’s free TV advertising networks are owned by ProSiebenSat1.

About 60,000 new editions are produced on the German book market each year. This figure corresponds to 18% of the books published all over the world and thus Germany is the 3rd largest book producer in the world[citation needed]. The Frankfurt Book Fair is known as the world’s most important book fair in the international market and trade, and it has become a tradition, having been held for over 500 years.

Country news is published in English in the news magazine Der Spiegel, publisher Deutsche Welle and news site The Local.

The most visited websites by German internet users in November 2008 are Google, YouTube, eBay, Wikipedia, Yahoo!.

In 2016, a law passed from the Bundestag. By law, the BND would be able to spy on foreign journalists. The Bundesverfassungsgericht ruled on 19 May 2020 that this law is unconstitutional.

Cinema

German cinema dates back to very early times, with the work of Max Skladanowsky. Cinema was influential during the Weimar Republic years with German expressionists: Robert Wiene and Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau. It can be said that the director Fritz Lang, who was of Austrian origin, became a German citizen in 1926 and had a career in the pre-war German film industry, had a great influence on Hollywood cinema. His silent film Metropolis (1927) is considered the father of modern science fiction films.

In 1930, Austrian-American Josef von Sternberg directed the first major German sound film, Blue Angel, which brought actress Marlene Dietrich worldwide fame. The impressionist documentary Berlin: Symphony of a Big City, directed by Walter Ruttmann, is one of the first important examples of the urban symphony genre. Although Leni Riefenstahl included new aesthetic elements in her works, the films of the Nazi period were generally propaganda.

During the 1970s and 80s, directors of New German Cinema such as Volker Schlöndorff, Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders and Rainer Werner Fassbinder hindered the advancement of West German cinema in the international arena, mostly with their provocative films.

More recent films, Good Bye Lenin! (2003), Against the Wall (2004) and Der Untergang (The Collapse) (2004) have achieved significant success in the international arena. The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film went to German productions Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum) in 1979, Irgendwo in Afrika (Nowhere in Africa) in 2002, and Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others) in 2007. gone. The best-known German actors are Marlene Dietrich, Klaus Kinski, Hanna Schygulla, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Jürgen Prochnow and Thomas Kretschmann.

Held annually since 1951, the Berlin Film Festival is among the world’s leading film festivals. An international jury is present to evaluate films from all over the world, and the winners are awarded with Gold and Silver Bears. The annual European Film Awards ceremony is held every two years in Berlin, the home city of the European Film Academy (EFA). Babelsberg Studios in Potsdam is the oldest of the large-scale film studios in the world and is a hub for international film production.

Sport

Sport has an important place in German life. Twenty-seven million Germans are members of a sports club, and twelve million follow an individual activity. Football is the most popular sport. With 6.3 million official members, the German Football Association (Deutscher Fußball-Bund) is the largest organization of its kind in the world. The Bundesliga has the highest average attendance rate among all professional sports leagues in the world. The German national football team won the FIFA World Cup in 1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014, and the European Football Championship in 1972, 1980 and 1996. Germany hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1974 and 2006 and the European Football Championship in 1988. The most successful and famous football players are Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Müller, Jürgen Klinsmann, Lothar Matthäus and Oliver Kahn. Other sports that are popular with the audience are handball, volleyball, basketball, ice hockey and tennis.

Germany is one of the leading countries in motor sports in the world. Michael Schumacher, the most successful Formula 1 driver in history, broke many important motorsport records throughout his career and is the driver who has won the most races and championships in Formula 1 since 1946. He is one of the highest-paid athletes in history and has a billion-dollar fortune. BMW and Mercedes manufacturers are leading teams in motorsport. Porsche has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans 16 times, a prestigious racing organization held annually in France.

When East and West Germany are evaluated together, German athletes are among the most successful countries in the Olympic Games, ranking third in the Olympic Games medal rankings. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Germany ranked fifth in the medal standings, and first in the 2006 Winter Olympics. Germany has hosted the Summer Olympic Games twice, in Berlin in 1936 and in Munich in 1972. The Winter Olympic Games were also held in 1936 in Bavaria’s twin cities, Garmisch and Partenkirchen.

German kitchen

German cuisine differs from region to region. Southern regions of Bavaria and Swabia are examples of this. Culinary culture of these regions; It is similar to that of Austria and Switzerland. Dishes made with pork, beef and poultry are the leading dishes consumed in Germany. Pork has a special place in German cuisine. In almost all regions, meals are eaten with sausage. One of the most familiar sausage foods is Currywurst. More than 1500 types of sausages are produced in Germany. The most popular vegetables are potatoes, cabbage, carrots, turnips, spinach and beans. Organic food sales have become a market and 3% of the products sold are made up of this group of foods. It is rising in a trend.

A famous German saying goes: “Breakfast is like an emperor, lunch is like a king, and dinner is like a pauper.” Breakfast is usually made with cereals and bread with honey or jam. Some Germans prefer cold food or cheese bread for breakfast. More than 300 types of bread are sold in bakeries in the country.

Thanks to immigrants from other countries, German cuisine and daily food habits have been influenced by many cuisines. Italian dishes such as pizza and pasta, Turkish and Arabic dishes such as Döner are widely sold, especially in big cities. International burger chains and Chinese restaurants are spread across the country. Indian, Japanese and other Asian cuisines are growing in popularity. Nine high-profile German restaurants have been declared three-star by the Michelin Guide, which ranks restaurants internationally. Again, 15 restaurants received two stars.

Although wine is common in many parts of the country, the national drink of Germany is known as beer. Although beer consumption per capita in Germany has decreased over the years, it maintains its position at the top with 116 liters per capita annually. As a result of research on 18 western countries, Germany; It was 14th in per capita soft drink consumption and 3rd in fruit juice consumption per capita. Apart from these, mineral water and Schorle (mixed with fruit juice) are very popular in Germany.

Society

Since the 2006 World Cup, the image of the country has changed in the domestic and international world. After this tournament, Germany climbed to the top of the annual National Brand Indicator research and reached the leadership in 2008. the recognition of the country to people from 20 different countries; The questions were asked in terms of culture, politics, exports, people of the country, tourism to the country, attracting immigrants and investments. Another global opinion survey was conducted by the BBC, and it turned out that Germany was the country with the most positive impact among the 22 leading investor countries. While a large group of 56% have a positive view of the country, another 18% have a negative view of the country. More than 3 million Turks live in Germany.

Germany is legally and socially tolerant of homosexuals. Civil partnership has been allowed since 2001. Homosexuals can legally adopt their spouse’s biological children (as stepchildren). The mayors of two major German cities have declared that they are gay.

During the last decade of the 20th century, Germany changed its attitude towards immigrants. Until the mid-90s, the general idea was that Germany was not a country of immigration. On the other hand, 10% of the population consisted of non-Germans. After the Gastarbeiters (blue-collar, guest worker) had ceased to enter the country, these asylum seekers were tolerated. Today, the government and German society think that the arrival of qualified immigrants under control is acceptable. The foreign population living in Germany, which was 4.4 million in 1984, increased to 7.3 million in 2008.

With 58 billion euros in holiday spending in 2005, Germany came first in this regard. The most popular travel destinations are Austria, Spain, Italy and France.

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