All About Countries - Germany by allaboutcountries - Issuu

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Contents General Information


History 6 Nature 26 People 36 Economy & Transportation


Culture 54


German Personalities


Otto Von Bismarck


Ludwig Van Beethoven


Albert Einstein


Adolf Hitler


Frederick I Barbarossa


Arthur Schopenhauer


Friedrich Nietzsche


Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


Johann Sebastian Bach


Oskar Schindler


German Cuisine


Bratwurst mit Sauerkraut


Grünkohleintopf 103 Black Forest Cake


Schwäbische Käsespätzle


Königsberger Klopse


Kasseler Rippchen


Germany Travel


Stuttgarter Zwiebelkuchen






Hamburg 128

Saxon Kartoffeln Suppe


Frankfurt 132

Rote Grütze


Leverkusen 134

Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfestbier


Dortmund 136 Köln


Dresden 144 Other places


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General Information Location

Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is a country located in Central Europe. It is bordered by France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Holland to the west, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Denmark to the north and Austria and Switzerland to the south. It has access to the Baltic Sea and the North Sea to the north. Germany covers an area of 357.168 km2, has a density of 227 persons/km2 and its capital is located in the city of Berlin, which hosts approximately 3.5 million people (without the metropolitan area). Germany’s national anthem is called Deutschlandlied, which was written by Joseph Haydn and the motto is “Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit” which translates to “Unity and Justice and Freedom”. The country is organized as a federal parliamentary republic, which consists of 16 Lands, and its total population reaches almost 83 million persons. Other important German citizens or of German ancestry can be found in the United States of America (45.000.000 of German ancestry), Brazil (12.000.000 of German ancestry), Argentina (3.500.000 of German ancestry), Canada (3.200.000 of German ancestry) and South Africa (1.200.000 of German ancestry). The official currency in Germany is the Euro (EUR). The Unity Day is celebrated on the 3rd of October every year, as West Germany reunified with


East Germany on 3 October 1990. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993. It is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7 (formerly G8), the G20, and the OECD. The national military expenditure is the 9th highest in the world. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, philosophers, musicians, sportspeople, entrepreneurs, scientists, engineers and inventors.


The national flag of Germany is the official symbol of the state and consists of three horizontal bands of equal size in black, red and yellow. In German, the three colors of the flag are named “Schwarz-Rot-Gelb”. The tricolor first appeared in the early 19th century and gained prominence during the 1848 revolution. The Frankfurt Parliament of 1848-1850 proposed the tricolor as the flag for a united and democratic German state. With the formation of the Weimar Republic after World War I, the tricolor was adopted as the national flag of Germany. Following World War II, it was designated as the flag of both West Germany and of East Germany. The two flags were identical until 1959 when socialist symbols were added to that of East Germany. Since the reunification of 3 October 1990, the black-red-yellow tricolor has remained the flag of Germany. The German flag hasn’t always used black, red and gold as its colors. After the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, the North German Confederation dominated by Prussians adopted a black-white-red tricolor flag, which later became the flag of the German Empire, consisting of the unification of Germany in 1871 and

was used until 1918. The black, white and red colors became once more the German national colours after the foundation of Nazi Germany in 1933. The black-redyellow and black-white-red colour schemes have played an important role in German history and had different meanings. Modern colours of the flag are associated with the republican democracy formed after World War II and represent German unity and freedom; freedom not only of Germany but the personal freedom of German citizens as well.

Confederation composed of thirty-nine Teutonic States until 1848 there was no German symbol. It was in the German revolution of the same year that the Parliament of Frankfurt re-instated the bi-headed eagle with two heads but without the imperial insignia, even if the symbol did not reach widespread popularity. Also in the flag of Prussia there was the imperial black eagle, inherited by the Teutonic Knights, who had adopted it following the confirmation of their order by Emperor Frederick II in 1226 (then the Prussian eagle, like that of Frederick II, was not bi-headed). Therefore the black eagle (on a white background) became the symbol of the Second Reich. It was during the Weimar Republic that a black eagle was imprinted on a yellow shield, again with a single head. Even during the Nazi regime, before the adoption of the swastika, the German coat of arms had an eagle on it before the adoption of the current national coat of arms.

Coat of Arms

The German coat of arms (Bundeswappen or Bundesadler) consists of an eagle on a yellow shield and has a very long historical tradition: from the Germanic tribes, which identified it as a representation of Odin, then to the Roman domination that brought another type of eagle until the creation of the Holy Roman Empire that continued to identify itself under the eagle. The appearance of the current imperial eagle (Reichsadler) is contemporary (dates back to the period of Charlemagne) and it was established that in the 13th century the golden shield with the eagle was already a symbol of representation of the empire as the soldiers of Frederick II of Swabia wore a black eagle on their shield, while the adoption by Emperor Sigismund of a two-headed eagle was made in 1433. Since then, the symbol of the empire remained the double-headed eagle, with the imperial family’s banner imprinted on its belly. With the fall of the empire in 1806 and the creation of the Germanic 5

History Antiquity and The Germanic Tribes Germany was hit by the Ice Age in 30.000 BC –

10.000 BC. The Neolithic period began in Germany in the 6th millennium BC with the culture of linear ceramics, succeeded in the middle and recent Neolithic by the Rössen and Michelsberg cultures. Other important Middle-Neolithic cultures widespread in Germany were the funnel-shaped glass culture, builder of megaliths and the Wartberg culture, also part of the megalithism circuit. The Pfyn and the Altheim cultures were also present in the south. Between the end of the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC, the cultures known as Globular Amphora and Corded Ware marked the arrival of the first Indo-European tribes from the east, according to the Kurgan theory. The Bell Beaker culture, coming from the west, inhabited most of the German territory between the 3rd and the 1st half of the 2nd millennium BC and was followed in the following centuries by the Nordic Bronze Age in the far north, by the Únětice culture and related groups (Adlerberg, The Battle of Teutoborg Forest Straubing etc.), by the Mounds Builders culture and finally by the House Urns culture. An important exhibit In the south of Germany during the 1st from the German Bronze Age is the Nebra Record dated millennium BC, the Celtic cultures of Hallstatt and La 1600 BC. Tène spread, while in the north an important culture of the era was that of Jastorf (Germani). In the north-west and in central Germany the Harpstedt-Nienburg and House Urns cultures emerged. It is considered that the ethnogenesis of the Germanic tribes occurred during the Nordic Bronze Age or at the latest during the PreRoman Iron Age. Starting from southern Scandinavia and northern Germany, the Germanic tribes extended their territory to the south, east and west, in the 1st century BC. They came in contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul, the Iranian tribes and the Baltic and Slavic tribes in Eastern Europe. Not much is known about the early history of the Germanic tribes.

The Germanic Tribes vs The Roman Empire


The 35.000 to 40.000 year old Venus vom Hohlefels, the oldest representation of a human being

During the reign of Caesar Augustus, Roman general Publius Quinctilius Varus started the invasion of Germany (Germany being the name given by the Romans to the territories east of the Rhine to the Ural Mountains). In this period, the Germanic tribes began to get acquainted with the Roman tactics of war, however

being: the Alamans, Franks, Chatii’s, Saxons, Frisians, Sicambris and Thuringians. Around the year 260 AD, the Germanic tribes crossed the limes and the Danube border, reaching near the Roman controlled territories. Following a century and a half of increasing pressure on the Roman border, the Vandali, Burgundi, Alani and Suevi tribes stationed along the Rhine and crossed the river in 407, later establishing short-lived Germanic kingdoms in parts of modern France and Spain. The Merovingian kings of the Germanic tribe of the Franks conquered northern Gaul in 486. Between the 5th and 6th centuries AD, the Franks subdued the other Germanic tribes. In 496, Swabia became a Frankish Dukedom following the Battle of Tolbiac. Already at that time, King Clovis I dominated a large part of the current Germany, from which he started to raid towards Saxony. Southern Germany, however, remained under Ostrogoth influence. In 531, the Franks and the Saxons destroyed the Kingdom of Thuringia. The easternmost part of the Frankish domain, corresponding to the current Central-West Germany was called Austrasia. The Saxons settled east of the Unstrut River. In 718, Charles Martel attacked the Saxons, whom he accused of helping the Neustrians. In 743, Carloman attacked the Saxons again after accusing them of having helped Odilo of Bavaria. In 751, Pepin the Short assumed with the anointing of the Church the title of King of the Franks. In the second half of the 8th century the Frankish kings enjoyed the alliance of the Catholic Church, so the Frankish king Charlemagne (Charles The Great) launched in a long military campaign against the Saxons and the Avars by conquering Bavaria in 788 and Lower Saxony in 804. He then forced the local populations to convert to Catholicism. Charlemagne was crowned Emperor in the year 800 and his kingdom extended over almost all of nowadays France and Germany, forming the nucleus of both future nations. Charles the Great (Charlemagne)

maintaining their tribal affiliation. In the year 9 AD, the Germanic tribes led by Arminius managed to defeat 3 roman legions led by Varus at the Battle of Teutoborg Forest. Much of today’s Germany, especially the east of the Rhine and the north of the Danube remained outside Roman occupation. Towards the year 100 AD, when Tacitus was writing his book about Germany, the Germanic tribes settled along the Rhine and the Danube (Limes Germanicus), occupying most of the area of today’s modern Germany. In the 3rd century AD, many Germanic tribes became famous, among them

The Holy Roman Empire

On 25 December 800, Charles the Great founded the Carolingian Empire, which would be then divided in 843 AD. The Holy Roman Empire was founded in the eastern part as a result from this division and continued to live in various forms from 962 until 1806. Its territory stretched from the Eider River in the north to the Mediterranean coast in the south. Originally named The Holy Roman Empire, it was officially renamed to The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (Sacrum Romanum Imperium Nationis Germanicæ) in 1448 because the title had to relation with the occupied 7

territory. In 936, Otto of Saxony was crowned in Aachen. Otto tried to reinforce the imperial authority with the reaffirmation of the ancient Carolingian rights on ecclesiastical appointments. In 951, Otto I married Queen Adelaide of Italy and thus was crowned king of Italy. Meanwhile, external threats were rejected with the decisive victory over the Hungarians at Augusta in 955. In addition, the Slavic populations who settled between the Elbe and Oder rivers were subjected. Otto I had set the kingdom of Burgundy under his protectorate. In 962, Otto I was crowned emperor in Rome, thus taking the succession of Charlemagne. This event led to a strong Frankish influence on the papacy. In 1033, at the time of Emperor Conrad II (the first emperor of the Salic dynasty), the Kingdom of Burgundy was formally incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire. During the reign of Henry III (1039-1056), the empire supported the Cluniac movement. Meanwhile the Holy Roman Empire continued its expansion to the east. In 1122, a temporary reconciliation between the papacy and the empire was reached with the Concordat of Worms. The struggle for investitures had the consequence, in the long run, of weakening the German national church


Otto I of Saxony, Holy Roman Emperor

Frederick Barbarossa awards the city of Haarlem with a sword for its shield or coat of arms

and strengthening local principles. During the period of the Crusades, the Teutonic order was founded. Starting from the year 1100, new cities were founded in the vicinity of the imperial fortresses, castles, imperial palaces and monasteries. The cities developed and began to issue the first municipal statutes, while the rural population remained in a state of servitude. In particular, some cities became free imperial cities, which did not depend on bishops or local princes, but were directly subject to the emperor. The free cities were governed by patricians of bourgeois extraction. The workers of the free cities joined in guilds. Meanwhile, trade increased to the north and east, so the major merchant centers joined in the Hanseatic League. Between 1152 and 1190, during the reign of Frederick I Barbarossa, a compromise with the Guelph rivals was reached with the concession to Henry the Lion of the Duchy of Bavaria. Following the Privilegium minus from 1156, Austria became a separate duchy. In 1180, Henry the Lion was banned and the Duchy of Bavaria was given to Otto Wittelsbach, while Saxony was divided. Between 1184 and 1186, the Hohenstaufen Empire reached its peak following the marriage of Frederick I Barbarossa’s son, Henry (the future Henry VI of Swabia) with the Norman princess Constance of Hauteville. The power of the feudal lords was undermined by the appointment of imperial officials. Court life flourished, leading to the development of German culture. Between 1212 and 1250, Frederick II established a modern bureaucratic state. He reaffirmed the dream of conquering Italy, colliding with the papacy. In Germany, he guaranteed ample powers for secular and ecclesiastical

Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire

principles, causing the birth of independent states. The struggle with the Pope weakened the strength of the empire as Frederick II was excommunicated three times. After his death, the Hohenstaufen family was no longer the ruling dynasty. Later there was a period of interregnum in which there was no Holy Roman Emperor. Starting from 1226, under the auspices of Frederick II, the Teutonic knights began the conquest of Prussia after having been called in the Land of Chełmno by the Polish duke Conrad I of Mazovia. After long struggles, the ancient Prussians (of Baltic ethnicity) were subjugated and Christianized by the Teutonic knights. Many German cities were founded along the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea. However, starting from 1300, the empire began to lose territories in all of its borders. The failure of the negotiations between Louis IV and the papacy led in 1338 to the Declaration of Rhense, according to which the papal confirmation was no longer needed in case the election of the emperor had occurred with the approval of the majority of the great electors. Between 1346 and 1378, Emperor Charles IV tried to re-establish the imperial authority. Around the middle of the 14th century, Germany, like the rest of Europe, was hit by the black plague. The Jews were persecuted for religious and economic reasons and many of them were forced to flee to Poland.

With the Golden Bull of 1356 it was stipulated that in the future, the emperor had to be chosen by four secular princes (the King of Bohemia, the Palatine Count of the Rhine, the Duke of Saxony and the Brandenburg Markgraf) and three spiritual leaders (the Archbishops of Mainz, Trier and Cologne). After the severe epidemic of the mid-14th century, the proto-capitalist system developed and, little by little, replaced feudalism. The Fugger family became prominent in mercantile and financial activities and became a sponsor of secular and ecclesiastical principles. The ancient chivalric class began to lose its monopoly on military ability in favor of armies composed of mercenaries and soldiers of fortune. Robberies became common. Since 1438, the Habsburgs, who controlled the south-eastern part of the empire, maintained close control over the emperor until 1806. This situation gave impetus to a growing state fragmentation of Germany. Between the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 16th centuries, Maximilian I tried to reform the empire. An imperial supreme court was established and imperial taxes were imposed, while the powers of the imperial diet were increased. These reforms were mortified by the continued fragmentation of the empire.

Martin Luther


The Reformation and the Thirty Years War

Around the beginning of the 16th century within the Roman Church there was much discontent regarding the Holy Roman Empire caused by the abuse of indulgences. In 1515, the rebellion of the Frisian peasants began. Commanded by Pier Gerolfs Donia and Wijard Jelckama, thousands of Frisians fought against the expropriation of their lands by Charles V. The hostilities ended in 1523 when the last leaders of the rebellion were captured and then beheaded. In 1517, Martin Luther published his 95 Theses in the square of his city, but did not pin them to the door of the Wittenberg church as commonly known. More plausible it may have seemed that a stranger had removed the 95


Charles V at the Battle of MĂźhlberg against the Schmalkaldic League

Theses from their original place to place them at the door of the Church. The list indicated the 95 allegations by which Martin Luther denounced the corruption and the bad conduct of the Catholic Church. One of the most cited examples, but that for Martin Luther was not the most serious problem, was the condemnation of the sale of indulgences. Another prominent point among the 95 Theses was the abuse of power by the high clergy, including the Pope. Although Luther’s 95 Theses were condemned following the Edict of Worms in 1521, in those years the reform movement grew easily thanks to the contemporary wars of Emperor Charles V with France and the Ottoman Empire. Hidden in Wartburg, Martin Luther translated the Bible from Latin into

German, laying the foundations for the German literary language. In 1524, following the preaching of reformist priests against the nobility, peasant wars broke out in Swabia, Franconia and Thuringia. The revolt, although backed by some noble warriors such as Götz von Berlichingen and Florian Geyer (in Franconia) and the theologian Thomas Müntzer (in Thuringia), was however repressed by territorial principles. An estimated 100.000 peasants were massacred during the uprising. With the Second Speyer Diet of 1529, the Lutheran princes were the minority. Since the minority did not want to comply with the decisions taken by the Diet, they began to protest against the majority (hence the term “Protestant”). From 1545, the period of the Counter-Reformation began in Germany. The greatest strength of the Catholic Counter-Reformation was given by the Jesuit Order. From this period onwards, central and north-eastern Germany became Protestant, while the southern and western part remained predominantly Catholic. In 1547, Charles V defeated the Schmalkaldic League, an alliance of Protestant princes. The Peace of Augsburg led to the recognition of the Lutheran faith

by Charles V. However, the treaty stipulated that the religion of the state should be the religion of the prince (Cuius regius, eius religio). In 1556, Charles V abdicated from the throne. Since then, the Habsburg Empire was divided and two separate dynasties were formed. In 1608-1609, the Evangelical Union and the Catholic League were formed. From 1618 to 1648, the Thirty Years War devastated the Holy Roman Empire. Among the causes of this long war were: religious conflicts between Protestants and Catholics, the efforts of the various princes of the empire to increase their power, as well as the imperial attempt to restore the religious and political unity of the empire. The propitious occasion to unleash the war came as a result of the revolt of the Bohemian Protestant nobility (Defenestration of Prague). However, the war involved a large part of Europe with the intervention of King Christian IV of Denmark, King Gustav Adolph of Sweden and the king of France under the regency of Cardinal Richelieu. Germany became the main war theater between France and the Habsburgs for dominance in Europe. The Thirty Years War caused the devastation of much of Germany, the loss of a

Painting depicting the Peace of Westphalia with the signing of the Treaty of Münster 11

The Prussian Flag

third of its population and a general impoverishment. The Thirty Years War ended in 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia, signed in Münster and Osnabrück. Some imperial territories were lost in favor of France and Sweden, while the northern Netherlands left the Holy Roman Empire after having been de facto independent for at least 80 years. The imperial power began to decline when the powers of the territorial principalities began to grow.

From the Peace of Westphalia to the dissolution of the Empire

The political-military growth of PrussiaBrandenburg under the guidance of the Great Elector Frederik Wilhelm I started since 1640. With the peace of Westphalia, Prussia was strengthened with the acquisition of East Pomerania. A power system based on absolutism was established. In 1701, the Great Elector Frederick of Brandenburg was crowned King of Prussia. From 1713 to 1740, King Frederik Wilhelm I, also known as the soldier king, established a strongly centralized state. Meanwhile, King Louis XIV of France conquered part of Alsace and Lorraine (1678-1683) and devastated the Palatinate (1688-1697). Louis XIV benefited from the problems of the empire with the Turks, who were threatening Austria. However, at the end, Louis XIV had to leave the Palatinate. In 1683, the Ottoman Turks were defeated at the gates of Vienna by a relief army led by the Polish Prince Jan Sobieski, while the city itself resisted the siege thanks to the strenuous defense of the imperial troops under the guidance of Charles IV of Lorraine, Prince Eugene of Savoy and Elector Maximilian Emmanuel of Bavaria. Hungary was reconquered and later became the destination for German settlers. Austria, under the Habsburg dynasty, became a great power. In the War of Austrian Succession (174012

Frederick II the Great, King of Prussia

1748) Maria Theresa fought successfully to obtain the recognition of her succession for the throne of Austria, but following the Silesian War and the Seven Years War she had to surrender Silesia to Frederick II of Prussia. After the Peace of Hubertusburg in 1763 between Austria, Prussia and Saxony, Prussia began to become a great European power. This started the rivalry between Austria and Prussia for leadership in Germany. Starting from 1763 in Austria and Prussia, despite the resistance of the nobility, the regime of “enlightened absolutism” was established, according to which the prince became “the first servant of the state”. The economy developed and some important legal reforms were undertaken, including the abolition of torture. The emancipation of the peasants began and measures for compulsory schooling were taken. Between 1772 and 1795, Prussia took part in the partition of Poland. In 1792, Prussia and Austria were the first powers to declare war on revolutionary France. In 1795, France invaded the Austrian Netherlands and the left bank of the Rhine and Prussia abandoned the war. Austria continued to fight France until 1797 when it was defeated by Napoleon Bonaparte’s army in Italy and signed the Treaty of Campoformio according to which it lost the southern Netherlands and Milan but

states of Germany. Prussia increasingly felt threatened by the presence of French troops in Germany and asked for the withdrawal. When France refused the proposal, Prussia declared war. The result was disastrous for the Prussians as they were defeated at the Battle of JenaAuerstadt. The French occupied Berlin and crossed the east until they arrived in Poland. The Tilsit treaty ended the war. Prussia lost 40% of its territory and had to reduce its army to 45.000 men. There was no revolt by the population against the French occupiers.

Restauration and Revolution

Following the fall of Napoleon Bonaparte, in 1814 it was organized the Congress of Vienna where the German Confederation (Deutsche Bund), a league made up of 39 states was founded. The disagreement with the political ideas of restauration led to the strengthening of the liberal movements which demanded unity and freedom. These requests, however, were followed by new measures of repression made up by Austrian politician, Klemens von Metternich. Zollverein, a tariff union, has contributed decisively to the economic unification of the German states. During this period, many Germans were influenced by the principles of the French Revolution, while nationalism was a rising force, especially among young intellectuals. For the first time, the black-red-yellow colours were chosen to represent Prussian forces during the Battle of Jena-Auerstadt the movement and later they became the official colours earned instead Venice. In 1799, hostilities with France of the German flag. resumed the war of the second coalition. The conflict In the context of a series of revolutionary ended with the Peace of Luneville in 1801. In 1803, with movements in Europe, which resulted in the the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss (a resolution of the Imperial Diet in Regensburg), Napoleon abolished almost all ecclesiastical and secular principalities, as well as the free cities. Thus, in the south-west of Germany, medium-sized states were formed, while in the northwestern part, Prussia acquired new territories. In 1805, the war of the third coalition broke out. The Austrian army commanded by Karl Mack von Leiberich was defeated in Ulm by Napoleon. The French occupied Vienna and in December 1805 defeated the AustroRussian army in Austerlitz. Subsequently, Austria had to cede Venice and Tyrol to France and had to recognize the independence of Bavaria. The Holy Roman Empire was formally dissolved on 6 August 1806 when the last emperor, Francis II, abdicated. From that moment on, the Habsburgs still maintained the title of emperor but only of Austria. In 1806, the Confederation of the Rhine was founded under Napoleonic protectorate, which included the minor The German Confederation between 1815 and 1866


Liberal and nationalist pressure led to the unsuccessful Revolution of 1848 in the German states

proclamation of the republic in France, the intellectuals and the commoners brought the 1848 revolution within the German Confederation. Frightened, the monarchs have accepted the demands of the revolutionaries at first, but in these circumstances, King Frederik William IV of Prussia was offered the title of Emperor. Since he had to give up a part of the political power he held previously, he decided to refuse the crown and to reject the proposed constitution, which then meant a setback for the movement. The conflict between King Wilhelm I of Prussia and the Parliament, which was becoming increasingly influenced by liberal ideas, broke amid the discussions on military reforms in 1862 and, as a result, the King named Otto von Bismarck as the new prime-minister of Prussia. Bismarck fought in 1864 a war against Denmark, coming out victorious. The Prussian victory in the Prussian-Austrian War of 1866 enabled him to create a North German Confederation (Norddeutscher Bund) and to prevent Austria, which previously was the most powerful German state to meddle in the politics of other German states.

was formed, encompassing the northern part of actual Germany (North German Confederation), dominated by Prussia (PreuĂ&#x;en), then Bavaria (Bayern) and various other regions, excluding, however, the Germanspeaking parts of Austria. This was the Second German Reich. The First Reich, known for centuries as The Holy Roman Empire of German Nation was the result of the Carolingian Empire division in 843, and it existed under various forms until 1806. The Third Reich and the last was the Nazi one, which lasted for 12 years (1933-1945). The modern state now known as Germany was

The German Empire

The German community and language have appeared thousands of years ago, but as a state, Germany appeared only in 1871, when, under the leadership of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the German Empire 14

Prussia at its peak

unified in 1871 when the German Empire was established with the Kingdom of Prussia as a constituent. After the victory against the French in the Franco-Prussian War, the German Empire was proclaimed at Versailles on 18 January 1871. The Hohenzollern dynasty of Prussia ruled the new Empire, whose capital was at Berlin. The Empire was a unification of all German states which were dismembered, the only exception being Austria (Kleindeutsche Lösung or Lower Germany). Since 1884, Germany has begun a process of colonization of several countries outside Europe. During the Gründerzeit period, after the German unification, Emperor William I’s foreign policy was to secure Germany’s position as a great nation. He used alliances, isolating France by diplomatic means and avoiding war. However, under the leadership of Wilhelm II, like all European powers, Germany took an imperialistic course that led to misunderstandings with neighbouring countries. Most alliances in which Germany was part of were not renewed and the new alliances excluded the German state. France established new relationships by signing a treaty with the United Kingdom called Entente and

liaison with the Russian Empire. In addition to its relations with the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Germany became increasingly isolated. German Imperialism extended beyond its borders and joined other European powers, demanding their share of Africa. The Congo Conference from Berlin (1884-1885), mediated by Bismarck divided Africa among European powers. Taking advantage of a favorable political situation (friendship with the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Italy, Russia and a deal with France), Germany has established the following protectorates: South-Western German Africa (1884), Togo and Cameroon (1884), East German Africa (1885), including the German colonies of the southern areas: Kaiser Wilhelmland (acquired from New Guinea in 1880), Bismarck Archipelago, Marshall Island. The quarrel between the imperialist domination of Africa and other areas caused tensions between the great powers, which, by accumulation, were one of the reasons that contributed to the outbreak of WWI. When Bismarck resigned, Wilhelm II declared that he would give continuity to the foreign policy of the

Otto von Bismarck (center, in a white suit) was the main protagonist of the German unification


Hindenburg, Wilhelm II and Ludendorff in January 1917

chancellor. However, a new course was soon begun, with the claim to reinforce German power in the world (Weltpolitik). The counter-insurance treaty with Russia was not renewed. Instead, France managed to get closer to Russia by entering into an alliance treaty against the


Imperial Germany between 1871 and 1918

Triple Alliance. In order to protect German overseas trade, Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz started a warship construction program. In 1890, Germany acquired the island of Heligoland from Great Britain in exchange for the African island of Zanzibar, and there began the construction of a large naval base. This act was a direct threat to the secular British naval hegemony. Germany became increasingly isolated. Herbert von Bismarck, Otto’s son, was one of the strongest anti-British voices in the Reichstag between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1905, Germany almost arrived at war with Great Britain and France because the latter tried to establish a protectorate over Morocco. However, a compromise was reached according to which France relinquished control of part of Morocco. 1911 saw another dispute over Morocco as France attempted to suppress by force a revolt broke out in the North African country. Germany, by repelling the polemics of a few years before, agreed with France with which it obtained territories in Central Africa in exchange for not intervening in Moroccan matters. In 1912, Morocco became a French protectorate in all respects.

Germany in World War I

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria on 28 June 1914 by Bosnian Gavrilo Princip was the pretext for the outbreak of WWI. As the main force of the Triple Alliance (or Central Powers), Germany bore the brunt of the war against the Allied Powers (Entante) and suffered heavy losses in one of the bloodiest conflicts of all time, numbering about 6 million German casualties (1,7 million deaths and 4,3 million injuries). The German Empire fought alongside Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire against France, Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Japan and a number of minor states. The conflict also spread to the Far East and Africa. In the West, Germany fought a trench war with bloody battles. After a rapid march through Belgium, the German troops were stopped at the Marna River, north of Paris. Military lines changed very little in France until the end of the war. In the East, there were decisive victories against Russia. Following the Battle of Tannenberg (1914), and thanks to successive AustroGerman successes, much of the Russian army was defeated. The German Empire imposed peace in 1917 in the newly formed Soviet Union led by Lenin. Churchill ordered a naval blockade in the North Sea, which lasted until 1919, causing Germany to cut supplies of raw materials and food supplies. The USA’s entry into the war in 1917 alongside the Triple Entente was a decisive

German soldiers in Riga (Latvia) during WW1

turn of point against Germany. At the end of October 1918 a revolution broke out in Kiel. Some units of the German navy refused to embark on a last large-scale offensive as they realized that the war was lost. At the beginning of November, the uprising also spread to other cities in Germany. In the autumn of 1918, the difficult situation on the domestic front and the revolutionary movements led Emperor Wilhelm II to abdicate and go into exile in Netherlands. The socialists took the power and proclaimed the republic. To prevent the invasion of the country, on the 11th of November it was signed an armistice with the Allies, which ended the war. The Treaty of Versailles

Battle of Tannenberg


Ebert. Suffering from the economic crises, the harsh conditions of peace dictated by the Treaty of Versailles and the succession of governments more or less stable, the people of Germany were deprived increasingly more of identification with their political system. This was exacerbated widespread by the right wing (monarchist, völkish and Nazi) Dolchstoßlegende who promoted the idea that Germany lost WWI through the efforts and the influence of those who wanted to overthrow the government. The biggest criticism of the Weimar government was the betrayal of the German nation by signing the Treaty of Versailles. Meanwhile, the left communist radicals such as the League of Spartacus wanted a revolution having as a main target the abolition Main artisans of the Versailles Treaty: David Lloyd George, Vittorio of capitalism in favor of a Räterepublik. Orlando, Georges Clemenceau and Woodrow Wilson However, the dissatisfaction with the new from June 1919 drew hostilities among the nationalists government in Weimar caused an increase in the who refused to recognize the defeat of the World War. numbers of members of the Communist Party of In Germany, the Treaty was perceived as a humiliating Germany. Many conservatives were drawn to the continuation of the war and its harshness is usually revolution in a revanchist political right spirit, especially regarded as having an important role in the birth and German National Socialist Workers Party - Nazi Party. subsequent growth Nazism in the country.

The Weimar Republic

At the beginning of the German Revolution, Germany was proclaimed a republic and abolished the monarchy. However, the struggle for the power continued. Communist leftist radicals took the power in Bavaria, but failed to take control of the whole Germany. The Revolution had ended in August 1919 when the Weimar Republic was formally established. On the 11th of August 1919, the Weimar Constitution came into effect and was signed by President Friedrich


States of the Weimar Republic

Japanese poster promoting the Axis cooperation in 1938

Some of the Nazi Germany leaders: Adolf Hitler (center) with Hermann Göring (left) and Albert Speer (right)

By 1932, these two parties controlled the majority Paul von Hindenburg made a crucial decision: having of the Parliament (296 parliamentary seats until July few alternatives and pressed by the right wing advisers, 1932). After several series of short cabinets, President on 30 January 1933, von Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler as chancellor of Germany, meeting thus Hitler’s demand. In 1934, Hitler took over all the control, became the head of the state and escaped from violent opposition. In 1935, anti-Semitism became an official state policy in Germany and was formally supported by the Nuremberg Laws (Nürnberger Gesetze).

The Third Reich and WWII

In almost all of this period, the German state was officially called Deutsches Reich (German Empire), the colloquial name being Drittes Reich (The Third Reich) or Nazi-Deutschland (Nazi Germany). On the 27th of February 1933, the headquarters of the Reichstag (German Parliament by then), located in the building with the same name even nowadays, was burned. This was the pretext for the decrees of urgency that repealed the fundamental civil rights. A decision of the Parliament gave Hitler unrestricted legislative power. Only the Social Democratic Party (SPD) voted against Vyacheslav Molotov (signing the treaty) and Joachim von Ribbentrop (in his back)


the historical land of Saar and in 1936 gained military control of the Rhine region, both territories being lost following the Treaty of Versailles. While maintaining an aggressive campaign to develop massive arms production, Germany’s foreign policy has become more aggressive and expansionist, pushing in this manner all mankind to WWII. In 1938 and 1939, Austria and Czechoslovakia were brought under control and Germany’s invasion of Poland was prepared by the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact and Operation Himmler. On 1 September 1939, the German army launched the blitzkrieg war on Poland, which was German soldiers from the 6th Gebirgsjäger company quickly occupied by German troops and Soviet Red in Mo i Rana, Norway Army, marking the beginning of the Second World War it, while the Communist members of the Parliament in Europe. United Kingdom and France declared war were imprisoned. Using his power to destroy any actual on Germany and since the war has expanded, Germany or potential resistance within a few months, Hitler and its allies took control of a big part of continental established a centralized totalitarian state. The industry Europe. In the first part of the war, Germany had swift was revitalized by massive arms production, thing military successes, gaining control of the main territories which was prohibited for Germany after losing the First in Europe, a large part of the USSR and North Africa. In World War. In 1935, Germany had regained control over 1941, the Nazis implemented the Holocaust as a state


Defendants at the Nürnberg Trials

policy, based on racist arguments and pretexts and its objective was the mass extermination of millions of Hebrews and other nationalities. On 22 June 1941, Germany violated the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact and invaded the Soviet Union. In the same year, Japan attacked the American base at Pearl Harbor in the Pacific Ocean and Germany, as an ally of Japan, declared war to the United States. Although the German army advanced into the Soviet Union quite rapidly, the Battle of Stalingrad marked the turning point of the war. As a consequence, the German army began to retreat from the Eastern Front. In September 1943, Germany’s ally, Italy, surrendered, thus forcing the Wehrmacht’s forces to open another front in order to maintain this north-Mediterranean region within the German defense system. The Normandy landings marked another turning point in this war, the western front being re-opened. On 6 June 1944, Allied Anglo-American forces landed on the Coast of Normandy in an occupied France and started to head for the German territory. Very soon, on 8 May 1945, after the Red Army conquered Berlin, Hitler committed suicide in his bunker and Nazi Germany was forced to capitulate unconditionally. During the Second World War approximately 7 million German soldiers and civilians died (including ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe). During the Third Reich, the Nazi German government has applied various policies against minorities and dissidents, which later would be known as the Holocaust. During this time they killed about 17 million people, including 6 million Hebrews and a significant number of Gypsies, Poles and other Slavs, Soviet prisoners of war, the mentally ill, homosexuals

Konrad Adenauer was the dominant leader in post-war West Germany

and political opposition members. The Second World War and the Nazi genocide were responsible for more than 40 million deaths in Europe. After the end of the Second World War, the NĂźrnberg trials of German war criminals took place.

Modern History

Occupation zone borders after 1945

Some politicians believed that the harsh conditions imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and the economic problems due to the global economic crisis started in 1929 as being the factors which enabled the Nazi Party of Hitler (NSDAP) to obtain a high percentage of the vote and finally to form on 30 January 1933 a new government with Adolf Hitler as Chancellor. Historians, without rejecting the involvement of certain conjectural factors such as the obligation to compensate the states assaulted by Germany in World War I for the huge losses inflicted or the global crisis which started from the stock market crash in the US highlighted the importance of the recent history of Germany, including the period during 21

Willy Brandt, former Chancellor of West Germany


and after the unification of Germany when the liberal tendency was brutally marginalized or co-opted only by the nationalist political trends in the ascension of Nazi. In the first volume of his trilogy dedicated to the phenomenon, the British historian Richard J. Evans, for example, finds the origin of the Nazi drift in obvious characteristics of the German society such as militarism, the prevalence of aristocratic values and institutions (in contrast to the liberal and democratic values which became more common and more successfully in countries like France or Great Britain) as well as the inheritance of the Iron Chancellor Otto von Bismarck’s political conservatism and its sustainable influence over the collective mind (meaning the intensive yearning for a strong leader to lead his nation as a severe, but inspired parent). Considering the fact that the roots of the Nazi drift are deeply embedded in the country’s history, at least as to reach the mid-19th century, other historians such as Frenchman Georges Benoussan highlighted the meaningful fact that the German nation was brought close together in 1871 by some politicians, and so it happened the federalization of the various states of German speaking territories. The fact that the unification had to be gained from a war against foreigners (France, Austria or Denmark) made the German nationalists, deeply and durable marked by

The two Germanys joining the UN in 1973

the besieged mentality and the hostility to foreigners, increasing anti-liberals. From this idea results one of the explanations for the liberals failure during the revolution of 1848 on German-speaking territories and especially, Berlin. Following requests made by Stalin at the Yalta and Potsdam conferences, the German provinces until then east of the rivers Odra (Oder) and Neisse (Neiße): Pomerania, Silesia, the Hanseatic city of Danzig (now Gdansk in Poland), Eastern Prussia, Western Prussia and the Sudetenland united with Poland, the USSR and Czechoslovakia. Since the Red Army’s offensive on 12 January 1945 until 1948, most German inhabitants of these regions (approximately 12 million before the war) were expelled westward and towards Siberia in brutal conditions. Around 2 million of them lost their lives during the war and in the process of expulsion (Vertreibung). After the war, nowadays German territory has been divided into four zones of occupation, controlled by the Allied powers of France, USSR, United Kingdom and United States. Berlin was also divided into four sectors controlled by these forces. The splitting

culminated in the establishment, in 1949, in nowadays Germany of two German states: the western part was called the Federal Republic of Germany or West Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland), while the east-facing USSR was called German Democratic Republic, GDR or East Germany (Deutsche Demokratische Republik or DDR). West Germany quickly regained its pre-war level and became a major economic power in Europe. The German Democratic Republic was a state of the communist bloc under the political and military control of the Soviet Union. Although it claimed to be a democracy, the political power of the GDR was strictly controlled by the German Socialist Unity Party (SED). The SED’s power was assured by Stasi’s activity, an enormous secret service, along with a number of SED organizations that kept all aspects of East German society under control. The GDR became a planned economy country. While the GDR propaganda was based on the benefits of the social program and the alleged threat of an invasion by the FRG, many East German citizens fled or at least tried to escape to the west. In 1961 the Berlin Wall was built, a symbol of

Fall of the Berlin Wall


Germans seized the chance to leave and crowded along the Berlin Wall and at the borders with the FRG. This event led to the acceleration of reforms in the GDR and led to the absorption of its territories within the Federal Republic of Germany. The reunification between East and West took place on 3 October 1990.

Unified Germany and the EU

German soldiers in Afghanistan

the Cold War, to stop the escape routes to the west. During the 1960’s the desire to confront the Nazi past came into being. Mass demonstrations acclaimed the new Germany. The post-war generation was born. Feminism, environmentalism and anti-nationalism became fundamental parts of German identity. Willy Brandt became then chancellor of West Germany and made an important contribution to the reconciliation between the East and the West. Active since 1968, the Rote Armee Fraktion carried out a series of terrorist attacks in West Germany, which lasted until the 1990’s. The relations between the two Germanys remained cold until the 1970’s when Chancellor Willy Brandt launched a controversial rapprochement with the Eastern bloc (Ostpolitik). Although it was still struggling to alleviate the adversities of families separated by the Iron Curtain, the FRG under Brandt was committed to keeping the concept of “two German states in one German nation”. Relationships improved so much so that in 1973 the two Germanys were admitted to the UN. The separation of the two Germanys lasted until the end of the Cold War, when the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. In the summer of 1989, thousands of East German citizens managed to emigrate to the west. In addition, thousands of East Germans attempted emigration to the west by occupying the embassies of the FRG in countries from Eastern Europe, particularly Prague. The exodus of Eastern German citizens caused mass demonstrations to demand political, economic and social reforms in the GDR. The peaceful revolution of the GDR in 1989, which provoked a rapid reunification of Germany, was called Die Wende. Faced with the unrest of the people, Erich Honecker, leader of the GDR, was forced to resign in October 1989. On 9 November 1989, the authorities of the GDR unexpectedly allowed their citizens to move freely to the west. Hundreds of thousands of East 24

In 1990, after the fall of the Communist Regimes in Europe, the two German states finally reunified. In the former GDR, Länder were set (as already existed in FRG) and they officially joined the FRG, also adopting the FRG constitution called Grundgesetz. The Treaty which defined this reunification was called “The 2 plus 4 Treaty” (was concluded by the 2 German states and the 4 powers who held sovereignty over the whole of Germany - UK, France, USA and USSR). By signing these documents, the German Democratic Republic ceased to exist. According to the Bonn-Berlin document, adopted by the Parliament on 10 May 1994, Berlin became once again the capital of Germany, while Bonn obtained the unique status of Bundesstadt (federal city), while retaining some federal ministries. The re-movement of the government was completed in 1999.

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

After reunification, Germany has taken an increasingly active role in the European Union and NATO. Germany sent peacekeeper forces to ensure stability in the Balkans and sent a German military force in Afghanistan as part of NATO’s efforts to establish security in this country after the removal of the Taliban forces. These deployments were controversial because after the war, Germany was forced to send troops for defense purposes. The events from foreign territories were perceived as being covered without defensive insurance. However, the Parliament’s vote on this issue legalized the participation in a peacekeeping context. The unified German state is now one of the most important countries in the European Union and the world.

Recent political events

Starting from 1998 to July 2005, the Federal Chancellor was Gerhard Schröder (SPD) and headed a cabinet of coalition between the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens (Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen). On 21 July 2005, Federal President Horst Köhler dissolved the Bundestag following a vote of distrust that he received from Chancellor Schröder. On 18 September 2005 there were held early federal election, after which it came

to power a great coalition between the parliamentary groups CDU / CSU (so-called “Christian Union”) and SPD, with Angela Merkel (CDU) as chancellor. At the 2009 federal election, the Social Democrats fell in the voter preference so the Christian Democrats formed a coalition with the Liberals (FDP), coalition called the “black-yellow”. The 17th Bundestag of Germany was constituted on 28 October 2009. Norbert Lammert (CDU) was elected President of the Bundestag. Angela Merkel then formed her new cabinet consisting of 16 people (from the CDU, CSU and FDP), with Guido Westerwelle (FDP) as Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister. On the Presidential elections from 30 June 2010, the Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung) chose Christian Wulff (CDU) in the 3rd ballot as Germany’s new president for a period of 5 years. He was sworn in on 2 July 2010. On 17 February 2012, Wulff was forced to resign after the prosecution of Lower Saxony accused him of receiving undue benefits during the period when he was prime minister of Lower Saxony. On 18 March 2012, the Federal Assembly (Bundesversammlung) elected former anticommunist dissident Joachim Gauck (independent) in the first round as the new president of Germany.

Germany Nowadays


Nature Landforms

On Germany’s territory there are three large natural units which succeed one after another from north to south: the North German Plain, the Hercynian Massifs of Middle Germany and the Bavarian Alps with their plateaus. The North German Plain is a sector of the Great North European Plain and it is flat to the west of Berlin, also being crossed by two rows of hills more or less parallel. Gradually, the plain passes through a mountainous area of middle height. Thus, in the west, there are the eroded Harz Mountains, which have the appearance of a plateau with altitudes of 300 to 900 meters (with their maximum altitude at 1.142 meters - Broken Peak), while in the south there are the Thuringian Highlands (with their maximum altitude at 982 meters - GroĂ&#x;er Beerbeg Peak), the Vogtland Mountains and the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge), which are characterized by smooth peaks with plateau appearances. Fichtelberg Peak at 1.214 meters is the highest point of the German side Ore


The North German Plain

Mountains. The Baltic Sea shore is mostly low. Just in some places it is higher and steeped, for example, near the city of Sassnitz. The Hercynian Massifs can be found in the center of Germany. These massifs are eroded and have an appearance of plateaus. They are also separated by large depressions, the most well-known of them being: the Rhenish Massif System (plateau with altitudes of 500-700 meters and with gorges cut by deep valleys), the Thuringian Forest Mountains, the Swabian Jura (1.015

Typical landscape from the Erzgebirge

Bavarian Alps

meters - Lemberg Peak), Franconian Jura (plateau with altitudes of 300-900 meters) and the Ore Mountains. In the southwest, there is an old eroded massif which looks like a plateau in its northern parts and is highly fragmented in its southern parts: the Black Forest Mountains with its maximum peak at 1.493 meters Feldberg Peak. In southern Germany, there are the Bavarian Alps (the highest mountains from Germany, with the peak at 2.963 meters - Zugspitze) consisting in chains orientated from west to east, mostly of limestone. At their feet, the Danube plateau stretches. The Bavarian Alps are made up of three massifs: Allgäu, west of Lech (Peak Hochvogel - 2.589 meters), the Bavarian Pre-Alps (Peak Zugspitze - 2.963 meters) and the Berchtesgaden

Alps (Peak Watzman - 2.700 meters). The hydrographic network is directed north towards the Baltic Sea, the main rivers being Elbe and Oder. Elbe springs from the Sudeten (1.165 km total length), being fully navigable and it is linked through channels to other river systems of Central and Western Europe. Its main affluent is the Saale River (which drains the south of the country and has a length of 427 km, only 157 km being navigable). Oder flows in the east (total length 848 km) and springs from the contact area of the Sudeten and Carpathian Mountains and flows into the Baltic Sea through the Bay of Szczecin, being connected by waterways with Vistula and Elbe. Germany’s hydrographic network is made up also of two other basins: the North Sea (the Elbe, Weser, Ems,

The Danube flowing through Germany


Zugspitze - Highest Peak in Germany

View of the Rhine River passing near a city

Rhine) and the Black Sea (Danube). The Rhine is one of the main fluvial arteries, navigable on 700 km and drains together with its tributaries (Main, Necktar, Rhine, Moselle) in the central and western parts of Germany, while Elbe, Weser (805 km long) and Ems (387 km) are draining the northern plains and the Danube. They spring from the Black Forest Mountains, drain the south of Germany and cross over a distance of 650 km (of which 387 km navigable). All these streams and rivers are interconnected through a vast system of channels, which totals 2.414 km. In the south, Germany shares together with Austria and Switzerland the glacial lake of Bodensee with an area of 571 km2 and a maximum depth of 252 meters.

In eastern areas, the climate is more continental; winters can be very cold, summers can be very hot and dry periods are often recorded. Central and southern Germany are transitional regions which vary from moderately oceanic to continental temperature. Germany has a climate of transition from the northwestern temperate oceanic to the central and northeastern temperate continental. The winds coming from west are bringing lots of rainfalls. The Rhine Valley is more sheltered with a milder climate. The precipitation tends to be around 500-640 mm/year in the north, and around 270 mm/year in the south. The Atlantic influence decreases within the country from west to east. On the coasts there dominates a maritime climate type with comparatively low temperature


Germany has a temperate climate with an average annual temperature of 9°C. The average temperature in January ranges from -6°C to 1°C (depending on its place and altitude), while the average temperature of July between 16°C and 20°C. Rainfall is higher in the south, where there is about 1.980 mm per year, mostly in the form of snow. Most of Germany has a temperate climate, in which the wet western winds are prevailing. The climate is moderated by the North Atlantic Current, which is the northern extension of the Gulf Stream. This warm water affects the coastal areas of the North Sea, including the area along the Rhine, which flows into the North Sea. As a consequence, in the north and northwest, the climate is oceanic with lots of rains throughout the year, especially during summer. The winters are mild and the summers tend to be cool, though temperatures can exceed 30°C (86°F) for extended periods. 28

Köppen Climate Classification Map of Germany

Great landscape of a valley in Germany

differences between summer and winter, while to the southeast, especially in eastern Bavaria and in eastern Germany there is a clear continental influence with warmer summers and colder winters.

In recent decades, as a result of global warming in Germany as well as worldwide, a general trend towards higher temperatures is emerging. As can be seen from the general air temperatures in Germany, the average temperatures were higher in all years since 1988 in comparison with the long-term average of 8.2°C between 1961 and 1990. Since about the turn of the millennium there was an accumulation of very warm years. Thus, the old average temperature of 9.9°C since the year 2000 has already increased by 0.4°C in 2015. The warming has been very mixed from month to month. Temperatures in July have risen the most, followed by April and January with about 1°C, while the autumn months are relatively warmer. These changes also have obvious consequences for everyone. On average, therefore, the early spring as defined by the snowdrop bloom begins about 10 days earlier than it did 40 years ago. The same applies to the apple blossom as a defining event of the beginning of the full spring. In particular, April has changed in recent years. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Germany was -46°C and was recorded on 24 December 2001 at Funtensee in the Berchtesgaden Alps. However, it is an uninhabited extreme location where cold air masses can form over long snowy winter nights. The German Weather Service offered as a negative record a -37.8°C from 12 February 1929 in Hüll. The highest ever measured temperature in Germany was on 5 July 2015 in Kitzingen, Lower Franconia with 40.3°C.

Solar GIS Map of Germany


Sunlight over the landscape of Lugde, Germany


The natural area of Germany lies in the temperate climatic zone. From west to east, its natural vegetation characterizes the transition from the western side climate to the continental climate. The flora is dominated by deciduous and mixed forests that haven’t been affected by human influence, except for nutrientpoor or dry sites such as rocky outcrops, heathlands and moorland, as well as alpine and subalpine highlands, which are extremely poor in vegetation and experience


German Blue Cornflower is the national flower of Germany

a cold climate. Locally, the flora in Germany shows a high diversification depending on the location, terrain and climatic situation. The total number of wild plant species in Germany is estimated at 9.500 species. There are also about 14.000 types of mushrooms. In particular, on fallow and stubble areas, there are now a number of new introduced species such as the Robinia pseudoacacia and the bog birch. Currently, the forest in Germany covers 32% of the land area. This makes Germany one of the most heavily forested countries in the European Union. The current tree species composition corresponds only to a small part of the natural conditions and is mainly determined by forestry. The most common tree species are the common spruce (26%), followed by the Scots pine (22.9%), the European beech (15.8%) and oaks (10.6%). About half of the land area is used for agricultural purposes, more precisely 182.637 km² as of 1 January 2017. In the river valleys, including the Main, Mosel, Ahr and Rhine, the landscape was often redesigned for wine growing. Among the plants, the white flower acacia is very appreciated by the local population, its presence being common. There is also a growing interest in the production of apicultural flora and mainly cereals

Landscape from Germany’s Black Forest Mountains

(barley, oats, rye, wheat), potatoes and corn. The wide existing wood is mostly from red beech tree. In addition, other trees such as oak, birch or pine are common. The wood (der Wald) has in German culture an almost religious importance: it is the background of many fables, it is the recreational place and the object of many songs. The natural vegetation is represented by the coniferous forests (over Âź of the area is covered by forests of pine, beech, oak). In the Harz Mountains

the hardwood forests are predominating, while in the Thuringian Forest and the Erzgebirge, there are lots of conifers. In the north, as in the central parts, the CentralEuropean species are predominating, while towards the south, the Eastern European species can be found. In places where the coniferous forests are forming clusters, they are usually associated with pastures and meadows. Mixed forests are dominating in the south of Germany, where spodosols and brown soils developed, while in the river valleys, on the fluvial deposits, the alluvial soils and polders developed. In Southern Germany, the vegetable, soils and animals are experiencing ratios, while the coniferous forests are climbing to over 2.000 m. Below 2.000 meters there are mixed and hardwood forests. Juniper, cranberries and acid soils specific to the alpine meadows aren’t missing from the alpine and sub-alpine vegetation. The alpine marmot can be often seen at this level. The blue cornflower was once a German national symbol. The preservation of nature is a public task in Germany and a state objective enshrined in Article 20a of the Basic Law. Throughout the country there are 16 national parks, 19 biosphere reserves, 95 nature parks and thousands of nature reserves, landscape conservation areas and natural monuments.



A boat house in the Berchtesgaden National Park


Bastei Bridge in Saxon Switzerland National Park

The Black Eagle is the national animal of Germany


Republic occasionally wander through the territories In Germany, about 48.000 species have been of Germany. Wolf packs formed in the Sorbian area recorded. Most domestic mammals in Germany live in since around 2000. In 2010, a herd of bison has settled the temperate deciduous forests. In the forest, among in the Rothaargebirge. Alpine marmots live in high other animals there are martens, red deer, roe deer, alpine regions, while the chamois lives in various low wild boars and lynx and foxes. Beavers and otters mountain ranges. Among the reptiles living in Germany are rare inhabitants of the river floodplains. Other there can be included the grass snake, common large mammals were eradicated: aurochs (around viper and European pond turtle. Amphibians such as 1470), brown bear (1835), elk and wild horse (19th salamanders, frogs, toads and newts are all listed on the century), bison (18th century), wolf (1904). In recent Red Book of endangered species in Germany. Out of the bald eagle, which is considered a times, moose and wolves from Poland and the Czech 33

Alpine Marmot

symbolic German heraldic animal, there are left about 500 pairs, mainly in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Brandenburg. The golden eagle can only be found in the Bavarian Alps, whereas the bearded vulture from Switzerland and Austria, which has been eradicated there, has made its presence once more on the German territories. The most common birds of prey are the common buzzard and kestrel. The population of peregrine falcons is significantly lower. More than half of the total population of red kite breeds in Germany is declining due to intensive agriculture. In contrast, many birds benefit from the presence of humans, especially the city pigeons which are living in cities, blackbirds (former forest birds), sparrows and tufted titmouse, as well as crows and gulls living near dumps. The salmon, which used to be common in the rivers, was largely eradicated during the course of industrialization, but re-established in the Rhine in the 1980’s. The last sturgeon was caught in Germany in 1969. In many ponds, the carps are the main species 34

of fish that can be found. From the nearly extinct seals that used to live in the Wadden Sea, a few of them have made their presence during the last years. The gray seals also returned to the coasts of Germany after they had disappeared following excessive hunting. The Wadden Sea is a resting place for ten to twelve million migratory birds per year. In the North and Baltic Sea, there are eight species of whales, including the porpoise. Also the common dolphin and other dolphin species are living there. The fauna is quite varied and includes characteristic elements to both northern European and eastern or south-eastern European: deer, marten, wild cat, bison, hamster, thrush nightingale, dwarf owl, black woodpecker. Other wild animals include: roe deer, wild boar, mouflon (a subspecies of wild sheep), fox, badger, hare, and small numbers of the Eurasian beaver. The 14 national parks in Germany include the Jasmund National Park, the Vorpommern Lagoon Area National Park, the MĂźritz National Park, the Wadden

The German Shepherd is one of the most appreciated dog breeds in the world

Sea National Parks, the Harz National Park, the Hainich National Park, the Black Forest National Park, the Saxon Switzerland National Park, the Bavarian Forest National Park and the Berchtesgaden National Park. In addition, there are 14 Biosphere Reserves, as well as 98

nature parks. More than 400 registered zoos and animal parks operate in Germany, which is believed to be the largest number in any country. The Berlin Zoo, opened in 1844, is the oldest zoo in Germany and presents the most comprehensive collection of species in the world.

Gray Seals on the coasts of the Wadden Sea


People Language

German is the official and predominantly spoken language in Germany. It is one of the 23 official languages of the European Union, as well as one of the three working languages of the European Commission, along with English and French. Recognized minority native languages are Danish, Sorbian, Romani and Frisian. They are officially protected by the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Most used immigrant languages are Turkish, Polish, Balkan languages and Russian. Other new or barely spoken minority languages such as Yiddish or the Yenish language were not included in the charter. The German Sign Language used by deaf people has been recognized as an independent language in Germany since 2002. Other previously common languages such as Mosel Romansh (extinct in the 11th century) and Polabian (extinct in the 18th century) are no longer spoken today. Standard German is a West Germanic language and is closely related to and classified alongside English, Dutch and Frisian languages. In a lesser extent, it is also linked to the East Germanic (extinct) and the Scandinavian languages. Much of the German vocabulary comes from the German branch (belonging to the family of Indo-European languages). Significant minorities of words are derived from Latin and Greek, with a smaller amount from French and most recently, English (known as Denglisch). German is written using the Latin alphabet. In addition to the 26 standard letters, German has three vowels with umlauts, namely ä, ö, ü and as well as a sharp “S” which is written “ß” and it is considered to be the only letter used nowadays from the Gothic alphabet. High German (Hochdeutsch) within the meaning of Standard German was formed in the 16th – 17th centuries under interim dialects (Mitteldeutsche) between Higher and Lower German. Works for the media and especially the written are almost all produced in Hochdeutsch, which is a universal language understood in all areas of the German language in the world except preschoolers in areas where they speak only dialect. But in the age of television, even they come to understand High German even before going to school. The first dictionary of the Grimm Brothers, whose 16 parts were 36

Map of German Language and Dialects

published between 1852 and 1960 was and still is the most complete census of words in German. Whether the Low German (Niederdeutsch) language is independent or a variety of German is disputed in linguistics. Low German in 2007 had about 2.6 million active speakers. Nearly half of the population understood it as good to very good in 2016: 70% in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern,

Knowledge of German in the EU

German Varieties

60% in Schleswig-Holstein and almost 50% in Lower Saxony. In these federal states, the language was actively spoken by 20, 25 and 18% respectively of the population. Regarding the language areas of North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony-Anhalt there were 12%, while in Brandenburg there were 3% speakers of Low German. North Germans tend to use the Low German language or regional dialects less pronounced, while in Central and Upper Germany the use of the Franconian, Bavarian and Alemannic dialects is more common even in the academic field. In 1880, grammatical and orthographic rules at the time appeared in the lexicon Duden, named after its author, Konrad Duden. In 1901, the book was declared the standard definition of the German language. From then until 1998, there has not been a major reform of spelling. In 1998, a decision was reached regarding the reformation of the spelling rules, the so called New German spelling for which linguists of four Germanic states - West Germany, East Germany, Austria and Switzerland (German-speaking cantons) have talked decades about it. German is part of the Germanic languages, together with English, forming the so called Anglo-Saxon languages. “Deutsches Wörterbuch” by the Brothers Grimm helped to standardize German orthography


Map of Germanic Languages spoken in Europe

German dialects differ from Standard German. German dialects are the traditional local languages and came from different German tribes. Many of them are not easily understood by someone who knows only Standard German, since they often differ in terms of lexical, phonological and syntactic from Standard German. Globally, German is spoken by about 100 million native speakers and also about 80 million nonnative speakers. German is the primary language of approximately 90 million people (18%) in the EU. 67% Religion Map of Germany – Yellow: Roman-Catholic; Purple – Protestants; Blue – Atheists … Dark intensity =absolute majority; Light intensity = of German citizens claim to be able to communicate in relative majority at least one foreign language and 27% in at least two languages other than their own. areas. According to a Eurobarometer survey in 2005, 47% of Germans agreed with the statement “I believe there is a God”, while 25% agreed with the statement Religion Christianity is the largest religious denomination “I believe there is some sort of spirit or life force” and in Germany with 52 million adherents (64%). 26.5 another 25% said “I don’t think there is any spirit, God million are Protestants (32.3%), while 25.5 million are or life force”. Of the 4.3 million Muslims, most are Sunnis Catholics (31%). The second largest religion is Islam and Alevis from Turkey, but there are a small number of with about 4.3 million adherents (5%), followed by Buddhism and Judaism, both with around 200.000 Shiites. 1.7% of the total population declared themselves believers (some 0.25%). Hinduism has 90.000 believers Orthodox Christians, Serbs and Greeks being the most (0.1%) and Sikhism 75.000 (0.09%). Other religious numerous. Germany is the third European country communities in Germany have fewer than 50.000 (or with the largest Hebrew population after France less than 0.05%) adherents. About 24.4 million Germans and the United Kingdom. In 2004, many Hebrews (29.6%) have not declared their religion, considering from the former Soviet republics have established in Germany (twice as many as in Israel), thus the Hebrew themselves atheists or agnostics. Protestantism is concentrated in the north and total population reaching up to more than 200.000 east of Germany, while Roman Catholicism in the south compared to 30.000 prior to German reunification. and west. Pope Benedict XVI, who stepped down on Large cities with significant Hebrew populations 28 February 2013, was born in Bavaria. Non-religious include Berlin, Frankfurt and München. Approximately people, including atheists and agnostics, make up 29.6% 250.000 Buddhists live in Germany, 50% of them being of the population, of which many are especially from immigrants from Asia. The area of nowadays Germany has been the former East Germany and from major metropolitan 38

Purple = Protestant Census as of 2011 Yellow and Orange = Catholic Census as of 2011

Christianized since the early Middle Ages. In the Franconian period, proselytizing was completed in the empire of Charlemagne, partly by force. Since Martin Luther’s 95 Theses in 1517, the Christian Reformation began and, as a result, the formation of Protestant denominations, which in Germany shape the religious landscape in addition to the Catholic denomination appeared. Religious freedom in Germany is guaranteed by Article 4 of the Basic Law, individually as a fundamental right and institutionally in the relationship between religion and state. Thus, the ideological neutrality of the state and the right of self-determination of the religious communities is established. On this basis, the relationship between religious communities and the state is in an harmonious partnership. Ergo, there is no strict separation of the church and state, but in many social and educationalcultural areas, there are interconnections. For example, both the church and the state co-finance sponsorship of kindergartens, schools, hospitals or nursing homes. Likewise, some German parties refer to the Christian tradition of the country. The Christian churches have the Religion Map of Germany by Länder as of 2008


Martin Luther started the beginning of the Protestant Reformation with his “95 Theses�


Berliner Dom, a big and impressive Protestant German Church

The religious situation in the German Empire about 1895: tan, purple, and pink areas are predominantly Protestant, lilac and blue areas predominantly Catholic

status of official churches and are public corporations due to the current state-church law. The conferred corporate status is intended to give the churches a specific objective without being subject to state supervision. Instead, the ecclesiastical public mission is partially recognized in church treaties with the Länder or the corresponding regulations in the constitutions. Certain Christian churches as well as the Jewish communities charge a church tax, which the state collects against a reimbursement of expenses and forwards it to the respective churches or to the Central Council of Jews in Germany. Furthermore, according to the Basic Law, religious education is optional, yet a neat subject in public schools (with the exception of Bremen, Berlin and Brandenburg). This subject is often taught by a representative of one of the two major churches, Protestant or Catholic.

World Heritage

On UNESCO’s list there can be found 37 cultural objectives and 3 natural objectives in Germany: Cultural Objectives: • Aachen Cathedral • Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch • Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar and Dessau • Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe • Berlin Modernism Housing Estates • Carolingian Westwork and Civitas Corvey • Castles of Augustusburg and Falkenlust at Brühl • Classical Weimar • Collegiate Church, Castle and Old Town of Quedlinburg • Cologne Cathedral • Fagus Factory in Alfeld 41

Map of the population density in Germany as of 2006

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 42

Frontiers of the Roman Empire Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz Hanseatic City of Lübeck Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar Luther Memorials in Eisleben and Wittenberg Margravial Opera House Bayreuth Maulbronn Monastery Complex Mines of Rammelsberg, Historic Town of Goslar and Upper Harz Water Management System Monastic Island of Reichenau Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin Muskauer Park / Park Mużakowski Old town of Regensburg with Stadtamhof Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin Pilgrimage Church of Wies Prehistoric Pile dwellings around the Alps Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier Speicherstadt and Kontorhaus District with Chilehaus Speyer Cathedral St Mary’s Cathedral and St Michael’s Church at Hildesheim Town Hall and Roland on the Marketplace of Bremen

Map of the birth rate in German Länder with number of children per woman (fertility rate) in the years 2011-2013

• • • • •

Town of Bamberg Upper Middle Rhine Valley Völklingen Ironworks Wartburg Castle Würzburg Residence with the Court Gardens and Residence Square • Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen Natural Objectives: • Messel Pit Fossil Site • Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany • Wadden Sea


With a population of about 82 million, Germany is the most populous country in the European Union. The fertility rate is one of the lowest in Europe, with only 1.41 children per woman. The biggest urban agglomeration is in the Rhein-Ruhr region conurbation (12 million), including Düsseldorf, the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, and the cities of Köln, Essen, Dortmund, Duisburg and Bochum. As

Demographic development of Germany after reunification

in many developed countries, the birth rate is lower in Germany than the mortality rate. In 2011, per 1.000 inhabitants there were 8 births and 10.4 deaths. The rural population represents 9% of the country, while the urban population is about 91%. After World War II, 15 million ethnic Germans were expelled or fled from Germany’s eastern territories of nowadays Poland, Lithuania and Russia. A smaller number of ethnic Germans from Yugoslavia, Hungary and Romania were

displaced or fled during and immediately after the end of the war. The displaced population was integrated in the two German states established in 1949, the FRG and the GDR. In the subsequent decades, waves of ethnic Germans from the Eastern European countries such as USSR, Poland and Romania have immigrated. Thus, since 1960, ethnic Germans in Poland and the USSR (especially in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia and

Foreign Population of Germany in 2016


Ukraine) have resettled in West Germany. Many, in order to ease emigration, moved from the Central Asian republics in the republics located in the west, like in the Moldavian SSR. Starting from December 2004, about 17 million foreign citizens were recorded in Germany and thus 19% of the country’s inhabitants have foreign origins. In this situation, young people are more likely to have foreign origins than the elders. 30% of Germans are about 15 years of age and those under that age have at least one parent born abroad. In large cities, 60% of children are over the age of 5 years and those under the age of 5 years old have at least one parent born abroad. According to statistics from 2007, the largest group (2.7 million) is from Turkey and the majority of the rest are from countries such as Italy (761.000) and Poland (638.000). UNFPA has listed Germany as the host holding the 3rd largest number of immigrants worldwide, 5% or 10 million of the total of 191 million migrants or about 12% of the German population. Between 1950 and 2002, a total of 4.3 million people, either born in the country or living there for a long time, were naturalized on their own initiative. As a consequence of the laws of asylum and immigration restrictions in Germany (formerly, almost without restriction), the number of immigrants seeking asylum and affirming their German ethnicity (mostly from the former Soviet Union) has declined continuously since 2000. Many people who have German origins are in the United States (50 million), Brazil (12 million) and Canada (3 million). Approximately 3 million “Aussiedler” (German refugees especially from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union) have reestablished in Germany after 1987. After Turkey, Poland, Italy and Romania account for the largest share of immigrants in Germany. The proportion of Europeans from non-EU countries increased as a result of migration, particularly from former Yugoslavia and the states of the former Soviet Union in the 1990’s. In addition, there were about 2 million people of Asian nationality in Germany, most of them coming from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and China. Half a million Africans and 250.000 US citizens where living in the country by 2016. The proportion of foreigners and people with a migrant background varies considerably from region to region, with the highest proportions being reached in the metropolitan areas of the West and in Berlin, while the lowest are in the rural areas of northern Bavaria, eastern and northern Germany. In 2015, Offenbach am Main (32.8%), Frankfurt am Main (27.7%), München (24.5%) and 44

Population development from 2007 to 2009: Only purple and blue counties gained residents, while orange and red counties lost heavily

Stuttgart (23.2%) were the independent cities with the highest proportions of foreigners. The district with the lowest proportion of foreigners was Elbe-Elster (1.2%). The Institute of German Economy predicted in 2017 that the population of Germany would continue to grow through immigration and in 2035 would comprise around 83.1 million people. Some researchers see demographic and economic reasons for the need for increased immigration of well-educated professionals and academics, which can be achieved through a model immigration policy based on examples such as Australia and Canada, with a transparent and immigrantoriented governance system. Immigration and family reunification should not be at the expense of social systems. The orientation towards a family-friendly, child and youth-promoting society with multiple-child families is politically desired. As a central prerequisite, experts evaluate the compatibility of family and work. With continued low birth rates, especially among middle and higher education levels, social, economic and geopolitical problems are predicted for Germany. Germany is made up of the following 16 Länder:

The top 20 largest cities from Germany can be seen in the following table:

German Länder Map

Rank City Name

















North-Rhine Westphalia












North-Rhine Westphalia




North-Rhine Westphalia




North-Rhine Westphalia




























Lower Saxony










MecklenburgVorpommern Lower Saxony




North-Rhine Westphalia





North-Rhine Westphalia


North-Rhine Westphalia





North-Rhine Westphalia









North-Rhine Westphalia





North-Rhine Westphalia












Economy & Transportation Economy

Germany has the largest national economy in Europe, the 4th in the world by nominal GDP and 5th in the world by purchasing power parity according to data from 2008. Since the inception of the industrial era, Germany was a leader, innovator and beneficiary of an increasingly globalized economy. Germany leads the world in exports, exporting goods worth 1.133 trillion $ in 2006 (including the Euro Zone countries) and generates a trade surplus of 165 billion $. The success of the German economy is very meritorious, considering that these positive results are obtained given the fact that in Europe alone there are six economies more efficient than the German one, while German workers, which are exceling in terms of labor productivity when they are compared with other workers of the developed


Germany’s Export Tree Map

world (OECD), however, they work the least if they are compared to workers of other economies of the OECD (except for the Netherlands). German children spend less time in school than children of many of their neighbouring countries. According to some analysts, the recent success

Frankfurt Financial District

of Germany lies in the common currency, the Euro, which made German products cheaper than they were before the adoption of the common currency in Europe. The services sector contributes to about 70% of the total GNP, the industry sector contributes to about 29.1%, while 0.9% is the contribution of the agriculture sector. Most products come from the engineering sector, including: automobiles, machinery, metallurgical and chemical products. Germany is the largest producer of wind turbines and solar energy technologies operating in the world. The biggest international trade fairs and congresses are held each year in German cities such as Hannover, Frankfurt and Berlin. Among the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the world organized by top revenue companies, there are 37 companies based in Germany. In 2007, the largest of these were: Daimler, Volkswagen, Allianz (the most profitable company), Siemens, Deutsche Bank (the second company regarding profitability), E.ON, Deutsche Post, Deutsche Telekom, Metro Cash & Carry and BASF. Among the companies with the most employees Deutsche Post, Robert Bosch GmbH and

The Volkswagen Beetle was an icon of German reconstruction

GDP per capita in Germany as of 2015


German Exports in 2016

Edeka are in the top. Companies and at the same time famous German brand products across the globe are: Adidas, Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Nivea, Porsche, SAP, Volkswagen and many others. Germany is a supporter of economic and political integration in Europe and its commercial policies are increasingly more determined by agreements between EU members and the European legislation on the common market. Germany adopted the single European currency (Euro) and its monetary policy is set by the


European Central Bank, based in Frankfurt. After the German reunification in 1990, the standard of living and annual income remained significantly higher in the former West Germany. Modernization and integration of the economy in Eastern Germany today continues to be a long process and it is expected that it will take until 2019, the annual transfers from west to east being until now as far as around 80 billion $ in total. Unemployment has fallen since 2005, reaching a very low percentage: 3.8% in July 2011. This percentage varies, however,

German Autobahn near MĂźnchen

High-Speed Train in Germany

Old Locomotive in Dresden

between the former West Germany and the former East Germany. The government of Chancellor Gerhard SchrÜder initiated in the early 2000’s a series of reforms on the labor market and institutions related to public welfare, while the governments that followed (black-red and black-yellow) adopted a restrictive fiscal policy and reduced the number of jobs in the public sector. Between 1990 and 2009, Germany received Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of 700 billion $. In 2009, foreign direct investments in Germany were 36 billion $. At the same time, Germany had generated for other countries FDI worth 62.7 billion $ in 2009. The top 10 exports of Germany are vehicles, machinery, chemical goods, electronic products, electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals, transport equipment, basic metals, food products, rubber and plastics. Germany has a labor force of 42.3 million people and a current unemployment rate of 8.4%, which means

almost 3 million people. Out of its total GNP, 65.8% of it goes towards the payment of public debts.


Germany is a major transport hub due to its central location. This can be seen in many modern transport networks. The extensive network of its highways (Autobahn) ranks it 3rd worldwide by total length and is characterized by lack of speed limit on most roads. Road transport ensures over 650.000 km of roads and highways, the most important being the Hansalinie Highway linking the city-ports of Hamburg and Bremen Ruhr. The first highway in the world, the AVUS, was opened in Berlin in 1921. In the second half of the 20th century, road traffic replaced the railways as the main mode of transport. Germany has one of the densest road networks in the world. The federal highway network comprises 12.845 kilometers of

Wind Turbines in Germany


Buses in Bavaria

highways (as of 2012) and 40.711 kilometers of federal highways. Furthermore, the supra-local road network included 86.597 kilometers of provincial roads and 91.520 kilometers of county roads and municipal roads Germany’s railway network is about 38.500 kilometers long and is used daily by up to about 50.000 passenger and freight trains. As part of the railway reform, the state railways German Federal Railways (West) and German Reichsbahn (East) were transferred to the private enterprise Deutsche Bahn AG on 1 January 1994. The company organizes most of the rail traffic in Germany. Around 350 other railway companies operate the German railway network. While the state has withdrawn from operations, it finances most of the network maintenance and development of the regional transport. Regional (Interregio-Express (IRE), Regionalbahn (RB), Regional-Express (RE) and S-Bahn (S)) and long-distance services (Intercity (IC), Eurocity (EC) as well as Intercity-Express (ICE)) are

regularly functioning according to clock timetable. For long-distance routes there are high-speed trains. Germany built a polycentric network of high speed trains. InterCityExpress or ICE is the most advanced service category of Deutsche Bahn and operates in major German cities, as well as towards destinations in neighbouring countries. Maximum train speed varies between 160 km/h and 300 km/h. Connections are provided every 30 minutes or every two hours, depending on the route. Regional (Interregio-Express (IRE), Regionalbahn (RB), Regional-Express (RE) and S-Bahn (S)) and long-distance services (Intercity (IC), Eurocity (EC) as well as Intercity-Express (ICE)) are regularly functioning according to clock timetable. For long-distance routes there are high-speed trains. Germany built a polycentric network of high speed trains. InterCityExpress or ICE is the most advanced service category of Deutsche Bahn and operates in major German cities, as well as towards destinations

Tram in Alexanderplatz, Berlin

Berlin’s U-Bahn


Port of Hamburg

electric tram in the world in Lichterfelde near Berlin. In the first half of the 20th century, this mode of transportation dominated the public transport system of the larger cities in Germany. After the Second World War, many were decommissioned, especially in West Berlin Metro Map Germany, while others were converted to light rail in neighbouring countries. Maximum train speed vehicles with inner-city tunnels. They were replaced varies between 160 km/h and 300 km/h. Connections by bus transport, which are also available in the big are provided every 30 minutes or every two hours, cities and rural places and cover almost every place. depending on the route. However, bus networks are fewer in rural areas due to In 1881, Werner von Siemens used the first the population decline and are often replaced by call

Rhine-Main-Danube Canal


bus systems. Subways were created in the major cities in the 20th century and combined with S-Bahn trains into a rapid transit network for the city and surrounding areas. Since the 1980’s, cycle paths in the cities and in the countryside have been created and expanded, so that today the bicycle plays an increasing role in local traffic again. By international comparison, public transport in the larger cities of Germany is characterized by high efficiency and coverage. Due to its high foreign trade share, Germany is particularly dependent on maritime trade. It has a number of modern seaports, but also handles large portions of its overseas trade via the ports of neighboring countries, notably the Netherlands. The three largest seaports in Germany are Hamburg, Wilhelmshaven and the port of Bremen. The JadeWeserPort in Wilhelmshaven is the only deep water port in Germany. The most important Baltic Sea ports are Rostock, Lübeck and Kiel. RostockWarnemünde is the most frequented cruise port in Germany. Fluvial navigation is done either on the main arteries basins or channels. Navigable rivers are the Elbe, Saale, Oder, Rhine, Ems, Weser, Danube, Main, Neckar, Moselle and the main channels: Elbe-Havel, Ludwigskanal. The main river ports are: Duisburg, Köln, Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Dresden, Riesa and Magdeburg. Maritime transport is conducted in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. The main port and the 2nd in Europe is Hamburg with a traffic of 63 million tons making it the 7th in the world. Other important ports are those of Wilhelmhaven, Bremen,


Bremerhaven, Rostock, Emden, Lübeck, Warnemunde, Wismar and Strelsund. There are ports located on the Kiel Canal as well. Germany has over 8.000 km of navigable arteries. The Rhine-Main-Danube canal connects Rotterdam (North Sea) with the Black Sea. For air transport, huge passenger flow is recorded in airports like Berlin, Frankfurt, München or Hamburg. The biggest air operator is Lufthansa, who recently bought the low-cost operator GermanWings. Air Berlin is also an important air operator. Charter companies such as Condor, TUIfly, SunExpressDeutschland and Germania are also developed. Frankfurt airport is by far the busiest airport by passenger traffic in Germany as well as the 4th busiest in Europe after London’s Heathrow Airport, Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport and İstanbul’s Atatürk Airport. The airport is also the 12th busiest worldwide by total number of passengers in 2015, with 61.032 million passengers using the airport in 2015, an increase of 2.5% from 2014. It also had a freight throughput of 2.076 million metric tons in 2015 and is the busiest airport in Europe by cargo traffic. As of winter 2012, Frankfurt Airport served 264 destinations in 113 countries, making it the airport with the most international destinations in the world. In Germany, taxis are controlled by the city, drivers and cars are licensed and they know their way. Fares are set by the respective city and metered, so they all cost roughly the same no matter which local taxi company you use. You can get a bill or receipt from any taxi driver as they have forms for that. Just ask for a “Quittung”. German taxis are usually safe but tourists should always be aware of scammers.

Frankfurt International Airport

Lufthansa is the national air carrier of Germany

Taxi Station in Germany


Culture German Proverbs

1. All beginnings are hard. (Aller Anfang ist schwer.) 2. The devil’s favourite piece of furniture is the long bench. (Des Teufels liebstes Möbelstück ist die lange Bank.) 3. He who rests grows rusty. (Wer rastet, der rostet.) 4. Starting is easy, persistence is an art. (Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.) 5. Failure makes smart. (Aus Schaden wird man klug.) 6. The cheapest is always the most expensive. (Das Billige ist immer das Teuerste.) 7. You don’t see the forest for all the trees. (Du siehst den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht.) 8. Make haste with leisure. (Eile mit Weile.) 9. Don’t worry about eggs that haven’t been laid yet. (Kümmere Dich nicht um ungelegte Eier.) 10. Crooked logs also make straight fires. (Krummes Holz gibt auch gerades Feuer.) 11. You have to take things the way they come. (Man muss die Dinge nehmen, wie sie kommen.) 12. The morning hour has gold in its mouth. (Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund.) 13. Yourself is the man./Yourself is the woman. (Selbst ist der Mann./Selbst ist die Frau.) 14. Actions say more than words. (Taten sagen mehr als Worte.) 15. Practice is what makes a master. (Übung macht den Meister.) 16. He who says A also has to say B. (Wer A sagt, muss auch B sagen.) 17. If the rider is no good, it’s the horse’s fault. (Wenn der Reiter nichts taugt, ist das Pferd schuld.) 18. Appetite emerges while eating. (Der Hunger kommt beim Essen.) 19. First think, then act. (Erst denken, dann handeln.) 20. Work is work and liquor is liquor. (Dienst ist Dienst und Schnaps ist Schnaps.)

Easter Sunday (2 days before)

Good Friday (Karfreitag)

Easter Sunday (1 day after)

Easter Monday (Ostermontag)

1 May

Labor Day (Tag der Arbeit)

Easter Sunday (after 40 days)

Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt)

Easter Sunday (after 50 days)

Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag)

Easter Sunday (after 60 days)

Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam)

8 August

Peace Festival (Friedenfest)

15 August

Assumption Day (Mariä Himmelfahrt) German Unity Day (Tag der Deutschen Einheit)

3 October 31 October

Reformation Day (Reformationstag)

1 November

All Saints (Allerheiligen)

Second Wednesday before the First Advent

Repentance and Prayer Day (Buß und Bettag)

25 December

Christmas Day (Weihnachtstag) Saint Stephen’s Day / Boxing Day (Zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag)

26 December

German Holidays Period


1 January

New Year’s Day (Neujahrstag)

6 January

Epiphany (Heilige Drei Könige)


German Shepherd is the iconic dog for the country

Germany is often associated with the Nazi Ideology

German woman in traditional Oktoberfest clothing

Volkswagen is the most appreciated German car brand

Bavarian costumes


German Costumes from various periods


German beer

Oktoberfest in Bavaria

German Personalities


OTTO VON BISMARCK Otto von Bismarck (b. 1 April 1815 in Schönhausen, Prussia, now Germany - d. 30 July 1898 in Friedrichsruh, Schleswig-Holstein, German Empire, now Germany) was a conservative Prussian statesman who dominated German and European affairs from the 1860’s until 1890. In the 1860’s he engineered a series of wars that unified the German states, significantly and deliberately excluding Austria, into a powerful German Empire under Prussian leadership. Bismarck was born in Schönhausen, Kingdom of Prussia. His father, Ferdinand von BismarckSchönhausen was noble landowner, descendant of a Swabian family settled in Pomerania. Ferdinand was a typical member of the landowning elite of Prussia. The economic situation of his family was modest, Ferdinand’s qualities as a farmer probably were less than mediocre, and Bismarck wouldn’t get to know the real wealth until rewards after the German unification started to arrive. His mother, Wilhelmine Mencken, came from an educated bourgeois family from which they had several high-ranking officials and academics.

Otto von Bismarck

Ferdinand von Bismarck had married at the age of 16 years old and found out that life was limited to the province. When his son, Otto was 7 years old, he enrolled him at the famous Plamann modern institute in Berlin and moved to the capital to be around him. The young Bismarck did not like giving up the easy life of the country in exchange for a less free life in a big city. At school he had to face the children of the most educated families from Berlin. He spent five years at the school, then he attended the “William Frederick” gymnasium for three years. He passed the university entrance exam (Abitur) in 1832. At the urging of his mother, he began to study law at Göttingen, in the Kingdom of Hanover. Apparently, Bismarck was a mediocre student who spent a lot of time drinking with his colleagues in an aristocratic fraternity. After a brief period at the University of Berlin, he joined the Prussian civil service, where he was suffering from boredom and from the inability to accept the principles of hierarchical bureaucracy. His mother’s death in 1839 has given him the opportunity to resign from his post to come in the aid of his father, who was facing financial difficulties 58

Young Bismarck in 1836

in managing his properties. Between 1839 and 1847, Bismarck led the ordinary life of a noble county Prussian. He later described this period from a romantic perspective, wondering why he gave such an idyllic existence in exchange of the uncertainty from the political life. It is possible that this nostalgia could have been more theatrical than real. During this time he met and married Johanna von Puttkamer, the daughter of a conservative and very devout aristocratic family. While courting Johanna, Bismarck went through a religious conversion that would later confer him inner strength and safety. One critic would later remark that Bismarck believed in a God who always agreed with him. There is no doubt that this marriage was a very happy one. Moreover, Bismarck’s last wish before dying in 1898 was to review Johanna, who had died several years before. Otto von Bismarck’s policy from the 1840’s hasn’t strayed too far away from that of a typical country noble. Indeed it can be said that his policy was a more conservative one. He believed in a Christian state, confirmed ultimately by the supreme deity. The existing social and political order had to be defended to prevent the chaos described by Hobbes as the struggle of all against all. Given his views, Bismarck was welcomed as a member of the conservative religious circle gathered around the von Gerlach brothers, the most fiercest defenders of the noble properties against the restrictions imposed by the bureaucratic centralization. Bismarck was full of sarcasm when he was dealing with liberal aristocrats who considered England as a model for Prussia. In 1847, he attended at the United Diet of Prussia, where his speeches against the Jewish emancipation and contemporary liberalism earned him a reputation of an illiterate conservative, totally not aware of the dynamic forces of his time. Bismarck’s answer to the liberal revolution that swept across Europe in 1848 confirmed his image of a reactionary. He opposed to any concessions offered to the liberals and expressed his contempt for the King’s willingness to reach an agreement with the revolutionaries. He even thought to send his peasants in a march to Berlin to liberate Friedrich Wilhelm IVfrom the dangerous influence of the rebels. Along with other conservative extremists, including Ernst Ludwig von Gerlach, he began to contribute to the Kreuzzeitung newspaper since 1848, used as a manifesto of antirevolutionary thinking. He believed that the forces of change were reserved exclusively for the educated middle class who was holding lots of properties. But most Prussian people

Bismarck became the architect of the German Unification

were peasants and craftsmen, but Bismarck believed they were loyal monarchists. The role of police was to confirm the loyalty of these two groups in the way of materials concessions. The economic policies of the urban middle class radicals stemmed only from their own interests, he argued. The radicals were encouraging the industrial development using the lower stratum of the middle class and the peasant’s support. Finally, even the middle class would be enough if it could be conquered through tactical concessions and successes in foreign policy. This strategic and opportunist thinking removed Bismarck from the ideological conservatives who strongly embraced the traditional concepts of authority. Bismarck’s vision of a manipulative state that maintained its power by rewarding the groups which obeyed him remained constant throughout his political career. In 1849, he was elected member of the Prussian Chamber of Deputies (lower house of the Diet Prussia), and the family moved to Berlin. He was still far from being a German nationalist. Otto told one of his fellow conservatives: “We are and will remain Prussians... We do not want to see the Kingdom of Prussia lost in the putrid stew of our cozy South German sentimentalists.” 59

Bildnis des Reichskanzlers Fürst Otto von Bismarck (by Ludwig Knaus)

In 1851, Friedrich Wilhelm IV appointed him as the Federal Diet representative of Prussia in Frankfurt, an obvious reward of his loyalty to the monarchy. Beyond the fact that he found humiliating the constant subjection to the Austrians of Frankfurt, he understood that the status quo was supposed to make Prussia to accept its rank as a secondary power in Central Europe. In 1854, he objected to a close cooperation with Austria, arguing that the cooperation would have meant “to join our shining and valuable frigate fleets with the harassed and rotten ones of Austria”. In 1859 Bismarck was sent to Russia as ambassador of Prussia and in May 1862 he moved to Paris as ambassador to the court of Napoleon III. In this manner, Otto won 11 years of foreign policy experience before becoming prime minister and foreign minister of Prussia in September 1862. He had come to personally know the architects of France, Russia and Austria’s foreign policies. Ironically, Bismarck was recalled by 60

Emperor Wilhelm I (1861-1888) at the reins of power at a critical moment in the internal development of Prussia. He dissolved twice the Parliament and each time the liberal majority was more substantial. Bismarck’s appointment was the final desperate effort of the monarch to avoid the parliament authority’s imposition over the military. The Chamber of Deputies interpreted this as a challenge. But the Bismarck who has returned to Berlin from Paris wasn’t the backward conservatoire of 1848 anymore. After the time spent at Frankfurt and Paris he had come to appreciate the importance of the growing educated middle class who owned lots of properties. France had taken contact with the regime of Napoleon III, which was based on a combination of a successful foreign policy and an internal one based on plebiscites to support the authoritarian regime of the Emperor. When the Danish King reacted impulsively, Bismarck has assured that the German interests were represented rather by Prussia and Austria and less by the German Confederation. Liberal leaders such as Rudolf Virchow considered Bismarck a reactionary who was no longer “the man who has joined us with the feeling that something was going to succeed by a vigorous foreign policy.” A quick and victorious war against Denmark has left the fate of Schleswig and Holstein provinces in the hands of Bismarck and of the Austrians. After lengthy negotiations, on 20 August 1865 the Convention of Gastein was signed. The convention stated that Schleswig was to be administered by Prussia and Holstein by Austria. The liberals were left unimpressed by the efficiency of the Prussian army and once again rejected the law on the army in January 1865. The Confederation of North Germany was founded in 1867 with Prussia being its foundation. Its constitution seemed a progressive one. In the beginning, it was established the universal male suffrage, by secret vote. But this thing sprang from Bismarck’s belief that most of the Prussians, if they would have been given this right, they would have voted with the Conservatives. From this point of view, restricting the right to vote would have favored the Liberals. Of course, in 1867, neither the Socialists, nor the Catholic centrist party weren’t set up as a political party. When, in 1869, the throne of Spain was offered to the King’s cousin, Prince Leopold of HohenzollernSigmaringen, Napoleon III interpreted this as an attempt to encircle France. He sent twice his ambassador, Vincent Benedetti, to the Prussian King at Bad Ems,

Otto von Bismarck in 1870 (by Franz von Lenbach)


Otto von Bismarck in 1894

once to ask to withdraw his acceptance of the offer, on 12 July and a second time to ask the Hohenzollern family not to accept the Spanish throne even in the future. The King politely refused the second request. Bismarck received a telegram from Bad Ems, known as the “Ems Dispatch” which recounted in small details the meeting between Wilhelm I and the French ambassador, which he modified it and shortened it for the press so that the telegram would show that the French sought to humiliate the Prussian monarch and the monarch’s refusal before Napoleon’s demands to seem as a brutal offensive in the eyes of the French. The French responded by declaring war on Prussia on 19 July 1870. When the French were defeated decisively in Sedan, it seemed that Bismarck would manage to record a third quick victory within seven years. But a guerrilla war broke out, and Paris has resisted despite the fact that the king was captured. But Bismarck has fueled the anti-French feelings to such an intensity that in January 1871, the four southern states joined the North German Confederation to create the German Empire. The less 62

desirable German solution, which excluded 7 million German-speaking Austrians was the result of the three wars of Bismarck. He was inundated with honors and hailed as a national hero. It is important to note that the Germany which has created by Bismarck was not the result of a strong popular nationalist current, but of a cabinet diplomacy and through wars. Not all the German-speaking areas of Europe were contained, but only as many as Prussia could unite without losing its hegemony. The new constitution was a revised form of the 1867 constitution which included the function of Prussian chancellor, specifically designed for Bismarck. He remained Prime Minister of Prussia until 1890, except for a brief period between 1872 and 1873. Between 1870 and 1890, Bismarck won the respect of many European leaders by his sincere efforts on behalf of peace. Apart from few colonial purchases in the mid-1880’s, Germany had acted as a power pleased with what it had. The considerable tactical skills of Bismarck had managed to create a strong German Empire during the first decade of his reign in power. The second part of Bismarck’s strategy to destroy the social democracy was the application of a social legislation aimed at lulling the workers and leading them away from political extremism. During the 1880’s, the government introduced and enforced the accident and the old age insurance, as well as a form of social medicine. But Bismarck’s double strategy which aimed to attract the workers to the conservative regime was not successful. The support shown for the Social Democrats increased each time elections were organized. The elections of 1890 were disastrous for Bismarck. The Catholic Center Party, the Social Democrats and the Progressives, parties which he labeled as enemies of the empire, obtained more than half of the seats of the new Reichstag. The young new Emperor and King of Prussia, Wilhelm II reigned between 1888 and 1918 and did not want to start his reign with a bloodbath or a coup. Being 75 years old in 1890, Bismarck resigned from his post upon tasting the failure. The Anti-Socialists Law was not renewed and the new government has struggled to attract workers to the regime. Bismarck withdrew to his domain with a bitter heart. The fact that he subsequently became a very rich prince didn’t make his withdrawal easier. Over the next eight years, until his death in 1898, Otto issued stinging criticisms against its successors. Elected to the Reichstag, he preferred not to take the place. He wrote his memoirs, which were sold very well.

Portrait of Otto von Bismarck at his 75th birthday (by Franz von Lenbach) 63

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Ludwig van Beethoven (b. 17 December 1770 in Bonn, Electorate of Köln, The Holy Roman Empire, now Germany - d. 26 March 1827 in Vienna, Austrian Empire, now Austria) was a German composer. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. His best-known compositions include 9 symphonies, 5 piano concertos, 1 violin concerto, 32 piano sonatas, 16 string quartets, his great Mass, the Missa Solemnis and an opera, Fidelio. Ludwig van Beethoven was born in 1770, as the son of Johann van Beethoven (1740-1792), of Flemish origin and Magdalena Keverich van Beethoven (1744-1787). Until relatively recently, 16 December was considered in many reference works as the date of Beethoven’s birth because it is well known that he was baptized on 17 December and at that time, the children were baptized a day after birth. However, this assumption is still regarded with reservations today. The family environment was not very favorable for him, under the wayward authority of his father, a mediocre yard singer and a notorious alcoholic. Noticing, however, his son’s early musical talent, he tried to


Painting of Beethoven in 1803 (by Christian Horneman)

transform the small Ludwig into a child prodigy, just like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Beethoven began taking music lessons at the age of 10 years old with organist Christian Gottlob Neef. He recognizes the little child’s exceptional musical endowment and with the support of the Archbishop of Bonn, Maximilian Franz, he facilitates young Beethoven a trip to Vienna in 1787. Ludwig took a few lessons with Mozart, but he returned as soon as possible to Bonn, due to the illness and death of his mother. In the next four years, Ludwig worked with the chapel courtyard and the orchestra theater in Bonn, thus having the opportunity to expand his musical knowledge with works that were in circulation at the time. During this time, he composed a cantata at the death of Emperor Joseph II. In November 1792, Beethoven leaves for the second time in Vienna, where he became a pupil of Joseph Haydn, and later of Antonio Salieri. In the capital of the Habsburg Empire, Beethoven manages to win the favors of the Viennese aristocratic society through private concerts. With this occasion, he managed to gain fame as a virtuoso pianist and composer. Thanks to these relationships and contacts with publishing houses, which published some of his compositions, Beethoven managed to acquire the independence that Mozart once wanted as well. In March 1795, Ludwig van Beethoven appears for the first time in front of the Viennese audience, running his first concerto for piano and orchestra. A series of concerts follow in Prague, Dresden, Berlin and Preßburg (Bratislava). After the first piano sonatas, including sonata op. 13 “Pathetique”, Beethoven starts since 1798, the series of string quartets, and composes his first symphony in C-major. At the same time, the first signs of decrease in his hearing appeared, which determined him to isolate more and more from society. In the famous “Heiligenstadt Testament” from 1802, Beethoven addressed to his brother, frightened about the deafness which was more pronounced day after day. However, precisely in these years, Beethoven composed a series of perfect works of the classic style of maturity, such as the three piano sonatas op. 31, Symphony III “Eroica”, then the piano sonata op. 57 “Appassionata”, the concerto for violin and orchestra, as well as Symphony V (“Destiny”) and Symphony VI (“Pastoral”). In these compositions it can be observed the differences between this works and his first works composed in his early years in Vienna. The orchestra becomes Beethoven’s main “tool”, and even the works composed for solo instruments tend to have an orchestral characteristic. In May 1799, Beethoven taught piano to the

Ludwig van Beethoven

daughters of Hungarian Countess Anna Brunsvik. During this time, Beethoven fell in love with the younger daughter Josephine who has therefore been identified as one of the more likely candidates for the addressee of his letter to the “Immortal Beloved� in 1812. Shortly after these lessons, Josephine was married

to Count Josef Deym. Beethoven was a regular visitor at their house, continuing to teach Josephine, and playing at parties and concerts. Her marriage was by all accounts happy, despite the initial financial problems, and the couple had four children. Her relationship with Beethoven intensified after Deym died suddenly in 1804. 65

Life mask of Beethoven made in 1812

Beethoven had few other students. From 1801 to 1805, he tutored Ferdinand Ries, who went on to become a composer and later wrote Beethoven remembered, a book about their encounters. The young Carl Czerny studied with Beethoven from 1801 to 1803. Czerny went on to become a renowned music teacher himself, instructing Franz Liszt, and gave on 11 February 1812 the Vienna premiere of Beethoven’s 5th piano concerto, the “Emperor”. In the autumn of 1808, after having been rejected for a position at the royal theatre, Beethoven received an offer from Napoleon’s brother Jérôme Bonaparte, then king of Westphalia, for a well-paid position as Kapellmeister at the court in Cassel. To persuade him to stay in Vienna, the Archduke Rudolph, Prince Kinsky and Prince Lobkowitz, after receiving representations from the composer’s friends, pledged to pay Beethoven a pension of 4.000 florins a year. Only Archduke Rudolph paid his share of the pension on the agreed date. Kinsky, immediately called to military duty, did not contribute and soon died after falling from his horse. Lobkowitz stopped paying in September 1811. No successors came forward to continue the patronage, and Beethoven relied mostly on selling composition rights and a 66

small pension after 1815. The effects of these financial arrangements were undermined to some extent by war with France, which caused significant inflation when the government printed money to fund its war efforts. By 1818, Beethoven became completely deaf, the only way to communicate with interlocutors being the “notebook conversations” in which people were writing instead of speaking. Deafness has not stopped his artistic creation and in 1819, he composed “Diabelli Variations” for the piano, while in 1820 the first version of “Missa Solemnis” was created. Ludwig performed his last piano sonatas and string quartets, and finally, he composed the Symphony No. 9. On 7 May 1824 in Vienna was held the first performance of Symphony No. 9. The success was triumphant, might even say revolutionary. Beethoven was greeted with five volleys of applause when, according to labels, the imperial family was welcomed at the entrance to the hall with just three volleys. The Symphony unleashed a delirious enthusiasm, many people wept. Beethoven, who was on the scene, facing the orchestra did not perceive anything that was happening in the hall, where people stood up, shouting and shaking their hats. One of the singers turned Beethoven with the face to the public, being able thus to live the triumph. Increasingly ill, being bedridden since December 1826, Beethoven died on 26 March 1827, following a liver disease. At the funerals from Währinger cemetery, thousands of inhabitants of Vienna attended, and poet Franz Grillparzer spoked the farewell words. He was later twice exhumed and reburied in the Central Cemetery (Zentralfriedhof) of Vienna. The importance of Beethoven’s music is significant in terms of transforming the role of the composer in society. From the medieval composer, a dependent artisan and often humble, in the service of the Church and the aristocracy, the composer becomes, with the presence of Beethoven, an artist who creates out of an inner necessity and not in command. His influence on composers who followed him was enormous. Openly admired by Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, by Richard Wagner and Arnold Schönberg, as the founder of a new era in music, the great German composer is considered to this day as a cardinal figure in the evolution of all time music, recognized in the language and technique of contemporary music. Beethoven was a revolutionary founder of a new generation of musicians and of a different attitude towards the creations of composers.

Ludwig van Beethoven (by Joseph Mähler)


ALBERT EINSTEIN Albert Einstein (b. 14 March 1879 in Ulm, Kingdom of Württemberg, German Empire / d. 18 April 1955 in Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A.) was a German born theoretical physicist. He developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics). Einstein's work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. Einstein is best known in popular culture for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2 (which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation").


Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany into a Hebrew family. Although today he is considered one of the smartest people who ever lived on this planet, in his childhood Einstein did not seem too intelligent as a child. He began to speak only from the age of 3 and his parents believed that he was retarded. Although he started talking so late, little Einstein often spoke fluently and used the vocabulary of an adult. Einstein’s family house was frequented by a young medical student, Max Talmud, which will borrow numerous books of science and philosophy to little Albert. Einstein started reading with a big thirst for knowledge and he creates himself a solid base of scientific knowledge. As a young child, Einstein used to analyze in small details any idea, information or phenomenon

Albert Einstein

that he would encounter in his readings. This capability along with the self-taught talent enabled him to learn a lot about the laws of the world in which he lived. It is believed that his passion for physics was born when his father gave him a compass. Little Albert became curious about the force that guided the needle of the compass. At the age of 6 years old, at the insistence of his mother, little Albert took violin lessons. Einstein proved to have a real talent for the violin and he would continue playing it for the rest of his life. In the moments when Einstein’s researches were in a standstill or he had any other problems, Einstein used to play the violin. At the age of 11 years old, Albert enrolled in an elite secondary school in München. This school was based on a military model, specific to all schools in Germany at that time. Discipline was strict and the teachers were very authoritarian. Einstein could not adapt to this environment and the courses were very boring for him. At school, teachers considered him a problematic child since he was not able to adapt to the education system and was not interested in the courses. Einstein was a loner and had an introvert nature, being avoided by his colleagues. Although he didn’t had good grades in high school, Einstein was a self-taught person since childhood. From an early age, he began to study physics and mathematics. At 12 years old, Einstein knew the whole Euclidean geometry. At the age of 15 years old, Einstein and his family moved to Pavia, Italy. This move was due to his father’s business. This allowed him to escape military service, which was compulsory in Germany starting from the age of 16. At the age of 17 years old, Einstein went to Switzerland to register at the Polytechnic University of Zürich, one of the most prestigious universities of the time. Although he did not pass the entrance exam, the teachers promised him to be admitted the next year. Einstein enrolls at the Aarau high school. The Swiss school system will be favorable for Einstein. Here, the teachers respected each student’s way of thinking. During this period, Einstein falls in love for the first time with Mari, the daughter of a history teacher. In Switzerland, Einstein started for the first time to socialize. Already since this period, Einstein puts himself for the first time the question that will be the essence of his later research: “What would happen if we could travel with the speed of light?” In 1896, Einstein registered at the Polytechnic University of Zürich. This was one of the most prestigious institutions of the time and had some of the best equipped laboratories. But Einstein’s disappointment

Einstein explaining one of his theories

was great when he saw that the teachers taught according to the old principles of physics, unaware of the new findings. Einstein spent his time in café’s where he was involved in scientific discussions with his colleagues. At the university he will know the great love of his life, Mileva Marić, who will later become his wife. Mileva was a student of Serbian origin, one of the few students of those times. Because some teachers wore strong antipathies to him, he did not get any post in the university, and his doctoral dissertation was rejected. Since his graduation in 1901 until 1914 when he moved to Berlin, Einstein often changed his place of work. He used to work as a tutor, guardian, teacher at a private school, Patent Examiner at the Institute and professor. In 1905 Einstein obtained his PhD from the University of Zürich with a thesis on the determination of the molecular dimensions. 1905 is the year of miracles for Einstein. In that year, he published a number of articles and theories, including the theory of relativity, which 69

Albert Einstein receiving the American citizenship in 1940

subsequently brought him fame. Also, he published the theory of the photoelectric effect that year, which will bring him the Nobel Prize. Although the theory of relativity was published in numerous scientific journals, this was not taken into account by the scientific community, but Einstein received a letter from Max Planck in which he expressed his interest in the theory. In 1909, Einstein met Max Planck, with whom he maintained a friendly relationship throughout his entire life, despite the fact that they had different political views, Planck being a strong supporter of the German policy. During this period he was appointed professor of the University of 70

Zürich. In 1914, he moved to Berlin, where he obtained the position of director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute and professor at the University of Berlin. In 1919, the astronomical observations concerning the direction of the light, confirmed Einstein’s theories. Also, in 1919, he and Mileva divorced. After Einstein’s rise and the birth of their first child, the relationship between the two became cold. Mileva only dealt with household chores, while Einstein was becoming increasingly absorbed by his theories. In Berlin he married Elsa, a cousin, who will accompany him wherever he would travel. In 1927, Albert Einstein met Niels Bohr, one of

bomb, Einstein, supported by a large number of other physicists sends a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in which he explains the need for the US to develop the atomic bomb before Germany. But Germany surrenders, so the bomb is launched in Japan, which had not surrendered until then. At the bombing of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he felt a strong indignation which he expressed it publicly. Einstein visited Japan and expressed his feelings of disappointment about the use of his research. The rest of his life is divided between politics and science. Einstein was a global supporter of disarmament and the emancipation of peoples. One of his last wishes of his last part of life was to prove the unified theory of fields. Einstein hoped to unify the theory of relativity with that of quantum mechanics, to create a theory that could describe the universe. Einstein died in 1955, following a heart attack caused by an untreated disease of blood vessels. A hospital doctor in Princeton extracted his brain, without the consent of his family, in the hope that people will discover what made Einstein so smart.

Einstein in 1947

the fathers of quantum mechanics. Along with him, he would develop quantum mechanics. Although quantum mechanics resulted from his theories, Einstein did not agree with the interpretation of the Copenhagen school, which included at that time Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg. The discussions about the quantum mechanics continued for a long time but Einstein died without accepting this theory. Despite this fact, his friendship with Niels Bohr lasted his entire life. In 1932, due to the ascent to power of the Nazis, being a Jewish person, Einstein was forced to leave Germany and head towards the US, where he was appointed professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. With the start of the Second World War, Einstein publishes numerous pacifist manifests. Although he was a great pacifist, frightened by the possibility that Germany could develop the atomic Albert Einstein in his old days in the 1950’s


ADOLF HITLER Adolf Hitler (b. 20 April 1889 in Braunau am Inn, Austro-Hungaryan Empire, now Austria - d. 30 April 1945 in Berlin, Germany) was a GermanAustrian politician who was the leader of the Nazi Party, Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and Führer ("leader") of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. As dictator of Nazi Germany, he initiated World War II in Europe with the invasion of Poland in September 1939 and was a central figure of the Holocaust. Adolf Hittler was born in the small town of Braunau, located on the border between Germany and Austria in 1889. On the other side of the river separating the two countries, Adolf could see Bismarck’s Germany. Hitler’s personal life has become more relaxed and stable through the convenience brought by his political success. After his release from prison, he often went to Obersalzberg, near Berchtesgaden. His incomes at that time came from the party funds and from publishing articles in the nationalist newspapers. He was largely indifferent to clothing and food, but he renounced on


Adolf Hitler

eating meat and drinking beer or any other alcoholic beverages. His work was quite irregular at first. Usually he got up late, used to spend a lot of time at his desk and went to sleep late at night. At the outbreak of World War I, Hitler was living in München and as an Austrian citizen he volunteered to serve in the Bavarian Army. According to a subsequent report by the Bavarian authorities in 1924, Hitler almost certainly served in the Bavarian Army by error. Posted to the Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment 16 (1st Company of the List Regiment), he served as a dispatch runner on the Western Front in France and Belgium, spending nearly half his time at the regimental headquarters in Fournes-en-Weppes, well behind the front lines. He was present at the First Battle of Ypres, the Battle of the Somme, the Battle of Arras, and the Battle of Passchendaele, and was wounded at the Somme. He was decorated for bravery, receiving the Iron Cross, Second Class, in 1914. On a recommendation by Lieutenant Hugo Gutmann, Hitler’s Jewish superior, he received the Iron Cross, First Class on 4 August 1918, a decoration rarely awarded to one of Hitler’s Gefreiter rank. He received the Black Wound Badge on 18 May 1918. At Berchtesgaden, he was accompanied by his half-sister, Angela Raub, and her two daughters. Hitler was in love with one of them, Geli, and it looked like his possessive jealousy led her to commit suicide in September 1931. Hitler remained inconsolable for weeks. Later, Eva Braun, an assistant from a photo shop in München, became his mistress. Hitler has rarely displayed in public with her. He didn’t want to get married, thinking that this would affect his career. Eva Braun was a young simple girl, with few intellectual endowments. Her greatest virtue in Hitler’s eyes was her undeniable loyalty and, in recognition of this loyalty, she has legally married to her just before their death. Once in power, Hitler established an absolute dictatorship. He secured the President’s agreement to hold new elections. The burning of the Reichstag from the night of 27 February 1933 (probably the action of a Dutch communist, Marinus van der Lubbe) provided the pretext for the promulgation of a decree which suppressed the liberties and intensified the violence. In these conditions, when the elections were held on 5 March, the Nazis won 43,9% of the votes. On 21 March, the Reichstag was met at the Garrison Church of Potsdam to demonstrate for the union of the National Socialism with the old conservative Germany, represented by President Hindenburg. Two days later, on 23 March

trade unions have ceased to exist. The disappearance of the Catholic Center Party was followed in July by the German Concordat with the Vatican. Hitler had no intention to trigger a radical revolution. The conservative “Ideas” were still necessary if he was to reach the presidency of Germany and to secure military support. Moreover, he did not intend to expropriate the industry leaders if they continued to serve the interests of the Nazi state. But Ernst Röhm was the promoter of a “continuous revolution”. He was also the head of the SA, in which the army had no trust. Initially, Hitler tried to secure Röhm’s support for his policies by persuasion. Heinrich Himmler and Hermann Göring wanted to remove Röhm, but Hitler hesitated until the last moment. Finally, on 29 June 1934, he made the decision to get rid of him. In the “night of Adolf Hitler (far right) during the First World War the long knives”, Röhm and lieutenant Edmund Heines 1933, the Empowerment Act, which gave full powers to were executed without trial, along with Gregor Strasser, Hitler, was voted by the Reichstag using the combined Kurt von Schleicher and others. The army leaders votes of the Nazi deputies, the nationalist ones and of were glad to see the SA destroyed, so they endorsed the Catholic Centre Party. After less than three months Hitler’s actions. At Hindenburg’s death on 2 August, all the No-Nazi parties and organizations, as well as the the military leaders, along with Chancellor von Papen

Adolf Hitler in 1933


Hitler giving a speech in the Reichstag

agreed to the merging of the presidency institution with the Chancellor one, to which the leader disposed of the supreme command of the armed forces of the Reich. Now, both officers and soldiers had to swear an oath of allegiance to Hitler, personally. The economic recovery and a rapid reduction of unemployment made the regime more popular and the combination of these successes with the politics of terror has obtained 90% of the electorate votes in a plebiscite. Hitler paid little attention to the internal problems of the organization and management of the Nazi state. Being in charge of formulating and implementing only the outline of his policy, as well as of the proper functioning of the system of terror that ensured the state’s security, he has left the administration tasks in his subordinates hands. Each of these administrators exercised an arbitrary power in its own sphere of competence, but by the deliberate creation of functions and organizations whose authority overlapped, Hitler managed to avoid effectively any of these functions and organizations to ever become powerful enough to undermine or challenge its absolute 74

authority. He granted quite a lot of attention to foreign policy. As mentioned quite clear in “Mein Kampf ”, to unite all Germans in one country was his greatest ambition. Besides, the natural expansion was eastward towards Poland, Ukraine and the USSR, expansion that necessarily implied to resume the historic conflict with the Slavic peoples, which in the new order they were to be subordinated to the Teutonic master race. He saw in Fascist Italy its natural ally in this crusade. Great Britain was another possible ally, provided they abandon their traditional policy of maintaining the balance of power in Europe and to limit their interests in the overseas territories (colonies). In the west, France remained the natural enemy of Germany and therefore had to be intimidated or subdued, to make the eastward expansion possible. Before this expansion became possible, it was necessary to lift Germany’s restrictions from the end of World War I by the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler used all the tricks of his propaganda to appease the suspicions of other powers. He posed as a defender of Europe against

the Bolshevik danger and insisted that he is a man of peace who wanted only to remove the inequalities created by the Treaty of Versailles. He withdrew from the Disarmament Conference and the League of Nations in October 1933 and signed a non-aggression treaty with Poland in January 1934. Each repudiation of a treaty was accompanied by the offer to negotiate a new one and by the insistence on the limited nature of the German ambitions. Only one time the Nazis crossed the line and made their calculations wrong: when the Austrian Nazis, with the complicity of German organizations, assassinated Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss of Austria and attempted a revolution in July 1934. The attempt failed and Hitler denied any connection with those acts. In January 1935, a plebiscite in the Saar region has approved with over 90% of the votes the annexation of this territory to Germany. In March the same year, Hitler introduced the conscription. Although this action has caused protests from France, Great Britain and Italy, the opposition was quite low and the diplomacy of peace promoted by Hitler had enough success to convince Britain to negotiate a naval treaty in June 1935, recognizing the rights of Germany to build a sizable fleet. The great coup was managed in March 1936, when he used the pretext of concluding a pact between France and the Soviet Union by occupying the demilitarized zone of the Rhineland, a decision that he took against the advice of many of his generals. Meanwhile, the alliance with Italy, anticipated in “Mein Kampf ”, quickly became a reality as a result of sanctions imposed on Italy by France and Great Britain during the Ethiopian war. In October 1936, it was proclaimed by Benito Mussolini the Rome-Berlin Axis. Soon after, the Anti-Comintern Pact with Japan was signed and a year later all three countries have signed the pact. Although, theoretically, France had many allies in Europe, while Germany had none, Hitler’s Third Reich became the main European power. In November 1937, at a secret meeting with his military leaders, Hitler outlined the plans for the future conquests of Austria and Czechoslovakia. In January 1938, he dismissed the services of those who did not supported with much enthusiasm the Nazi dynamism, Hjalmar Schacht, assigned with the German economy, Werner von Fritsch, a representative of the cautious wing of professional soldiers and Konstantin von Neurath, von Hindenburg’s man from external businesses. In February, Hitler invited the Austrian Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg at Berchtesgaden and compelled him to sign an agreement that included

Painting of “Führerbildnis” in 1937

the Austrian Nazis in the government of Vienna. When Schuschnigg tried to resist, announcing a plebiscite on the independence of Austria, Hitler immediately ordered the invasion of Austria by German troops. The enthusiastic reception that made Hitler glad, persuaded him to seal the immediate future of this country by annexing it (Anschluss). He has returned in triumph to Vienna, the place of humiliation scenes and where he undertook a hard life here in his youth. Hitler did not encounter any resistance from Great Britain or France regarding this action. He has given special attention to ensure Italy’s support but Italy, proclaiming his eternal gratitude towards Mussolini. Despite assurances that the Anschluss will not affect the relations with Czechoslovakia, Hitler went immediately to develop plans against this country. Konrad Henlein, leader of the German minority in Czechoslovakia was instructed to agitate and make impossible demands accepted on behalf of the Sudeten Germans, thus allowing him to continue Hitler’s plans of dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. The availability 75

Adolf Hitler with ally Benito Mussolini, leader of Fascist

of Great Britain and France to accept the cession to Germany of some areas of the Sudetenland, offered Hitler alternative ways to get substantial territorial gains through peaceful means or through a spectacular war against Czechoslovakia. Mussolini’s intervention and British Prime Minister’s Neville Chamberlain seemed to have been decisive. Hitler accepted the München Agreement of 30 September. He also stated that this was the last territorial claim in Europe. After a few months, however, he went to the complete occupation of Czechoslovakia. On 5 March 1939, he arrived in Prague, where he said that the rest of the “Czech Republic” will become a German protectorate. A few days later, on 23 March, the Lithuanian government was forced to give up Memel (Klaipeda) to Germany Memel from the northern border with East Prussia. Afterwards, Hitler turned his attention to Poland. In front of the Polish nation protests and its leaders, whose determination to resist was strengthened 76

by guarantees given by France and Britain, Hitler confirmed his alliance with Italy (The Pact of Steel of May 1939). Furthermore, on 23 August, barely within the limits set for its attack against Poland, he signed a nonaggression pact with the Soviet Union’s leader, Joseph Stalin, the largest diplomatic bomb of the century. Hitler still continued to claim that he has no conflict with Britain, but everything was in vain. Two days after the invasion of Poland by Hitler’s armies on 1 September, France and Great Britain declared war on Germany. In the foreign policy, Hitler combined opportunism with the ingenious coordination and intelligent choice of favorable situations. He showed an amazing capacity for assessing the mood of the leaders of Western democracies and had exploited their weaknesses, despite the fact that he barely got out of Austria or Germany and did not speak any foreign language. Up to this point, every move has been a

success. Even his concerns regarding the entry into the war of France and Britain spread due to his rapid success registered in the Polish campaign. He thought he could trust his talents even in wartime, as he relied on them before. Germany’s war strategy was undertaken by Hitler from the beginning. When the successful campaign in Poland failed to produce the coveted peace agreement with Britain, he ordered the army to prepare an immediate offensive in the west. The bad weather has caused some more hesitant generals to postpone the offensive in the west. This situation has led to two major changes to the plan. The first was Hitler’s order to thwart a possible British presence in Norway through the occupation of this country, as well as Denmark by the Germans in April 1940. Hitler was closely occupied with the daring operations and analyzed them until they produced the successful end. Since then, his intervention in the details of the military operations has increased continuously. The second change was the adoption of General Erich von Manstein’s plan of an offensive through the Ardennes, which began on 10 May, instead of the originally planned northern offensive. It was an amazing and brilliant success. The German armies reached to the English Channel ports, which they had failed to reach during World War I, in only ten days. Holland has surrendered after four days and Belgium after 16 days. Hitler ordered that the tanks of General Karl Rudolf Gerd von Rundstedt to stop south of Dunkerque, which allowed the British to evacuate much of the army. But overall, the western campaign was a stunning success. On the 10th of June, Italy entered the war on Germany’s side. On 22 June, Hitler signed the armistice with France in the same place where the armistice of 1918 was signed. Hitler hoped that the British would negotiate a truce. As this has not happened, he proceeded to the development of a plan of invasion of Great Britain, which included the elimination of the British airline military forces. Simultaneously, the Germans began preparations for the invasion of the Soviet Union, which, according to Hitler, was Britain’s last hope of stopping the German control over the entire continent. Then Mussolini invaded Greece, where the Italian’s army failure made necessary the coming in aid of the German forces from the Balkans and North Africa. Hitler’s plans were then disrupted by the coup in Yugoslavia in March 1941 that toppled the government that made an agreement with Germany. Hitler immediately ordered his army to occupy Yugoslavia. The campaigns in the

Hitler in Paris in 1940

Mediterranean theater of war, although successful, were limited in comparison with the invasion of Russia. Hitler gathered all available forces for Operation Barbarossa, the planned invasion of the Soviet Union. The attack against the USSR was launched on 22 June 1941. The German army quickly filed in the Soviet Union, taking nearly three million prisoners, but failed to destroy the Russian opponent. Hitler became arrogant in dealing with his generals. He did not agree with what looked like the direction of the main attack, wasting time and strength not focusing on a single objective. In December 1941, a few kilometers from Moscow, a Soviet counteroffensive led finally to the conclusion that Hitler’s hopes to end the war with the Soviet Union through a single campaign can’t be achieved. The next day, on 7 December, the Japanese attacked the US forces at Pearl Harbor. Hitler’s alliance with Japan compelled him to declare war on the United States. Since then, his entire strategy changed. He hoped and tried like his idol, Frederick II the Great, to break what he considered to be the unnatural coalition of his opponents, forcing one or the other of this coalition to 77

Portrait of Adolf Hitler from 1933

conclude a separate peace. After all, the “unnatural” coalition of Stalin, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt was broken, but too late for Hitler. He also ordered the reorganization of the German economy on the basis of war. Meanwhile, Himmler was preparing the ground for a “new order” in Europe. From 1933 to 1939, in some cases, even in the early years of the war, Hitler’s plans were to expel the Jews from the Great German Reich. In 1941, his policy was changed from expulsion to extermination. Concentration camps created by the Nazi regime were thus transformed and expanded to include extermination camps, such as Auschwitz, creating mobile and extermination teams, called “Einsatzgruppen” (Intervention Groups). Although Catholics, Poles, homosexuals, Gypsies and people with disabilities were considered targets of persecution, if not of the total extermination, the Jews of Germany, Poland and Soviet Union were by far the most numerous victims. 78

In German occupied Europe during the war there were killed about 6,000,000 Hebrews. The sufferings of other populations were smaller, if one compares the number of those killed. In the late 1942, the defeats of the German army at Stalingrad and El Alamein, and the American landing in French North Africa were the turning points of the war and the behavior and lifestyle of Hitler began to change. Leading his military operations from the eastern headquarters, he refused to visit the bombed cities or to allow any withdrawals, becoming more and more dependent of his doctor, Theodor Morell, and of all kinds of medications which he took in large quantities. However, he had not lost his ability to react vigorously against the adversities. After the arrest of Mussolini in July 1943 and the Italian armistice, he didn’t only ordered the occupation of all the important positions held by the Italian army, but he also ordered the recovery of Mussolini, intending to put him at the head of a new fascist government. But on the eastern front it was becoming far more increasingly difficult to stand up against the advancing Soviet troops. Relations with the army commanders had become strained, especially because of the increased importance given to the SS divisions (Schutzstaffel). Simultaneously, the failure of the German submarines campaign in the Atlantic Ocean against the Allied vessels and the bombing of German cities made it highly unlikely for Germany to obtain the victory in the war. The desperate officers and the anti-Nazis civilians were prepared to remove Hitler and negotiate peace. Between 1943 and 1944 there were several attempts on Hitler’s life, the closest to achieving this objective being on 20 July 1944, when Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg detonated a bomb during a conference at Hitler’s headquarters in East Prussia. But Hitler escaped with only superficial wounds and, with few exceptions, those involved in the plot were executed. The reduction of the independence of the army was now complete. National Socialist political officers were named in all German military headquarters. Hitler was becoming increasingly ill but he did not relax, nor lost control, continuing to exert almost hypnotic power over his close subordinates, none of them having an independent authority. The allied landings in Normandy on 6 June 1944 marked the beginning of the end. In the course of only a few months the Allies released or made to surrendered eight European capitals, including: Rome, Paris, Brussels, Bucharest, Sofia, Athens, Belgrade and Helsinki. In

December 1944, Hitler moved his headquarters in the West to lead the offensive in the Ardennes, meant to make a tie between the English and the American army. When this failed, his hopes for victory became more chimerical than ever relying on the use of new weapons (German missiles had been used against London since June 1944) and the eventual division among the allied powers. After January 1945, Hitler has never left the Reich Chancellery in Berlin or its bunker abandoning its plan to oppose a final resistance in the south, at the time when the Soviet troops were approaching Berlin. In a state of extreme nervousness and exhaustion, he finally accepted the inevitable defeat and was ready to take his life, leaving adrift the country where he exercised his absolute power. Before doing this, he had done two more things. On 28 April to 29 at midnight, he married Eva Braun. Immediately afterwards he dictated his political testament, justifying his career and

naming Admiral Karl Dönitz as head of the state and Josef Goebbels as Chancellor. On 30 April, he took his farewell from Goebbels and the few that were left in the bunker, then retreated to his apartment and shot himself. His wife took poison. In accordance with the instructions he had given, their bodies were burned. Hitler’s successes are due to Germany’s postwar susceptibility and to his unique national leadership talent. The ascent to power was not inevitable, but there was no other person who had the equal ability to exploit and shape events in its purpose. The power that he held was unprecedented both in scope and in terms of technical resources at its disposal. His ideas and goals have been accepted, wholly or partly, by millions of people, especially in Germany, and elsewhere. By the time he was defeated, he destroyed much of what remained of the old Europe, while the German people were forced to deal with what was later called “Year Zero” - 1945.

Hitler’s eagle nest, the place he committed suicide


FREDERICK I BARBAROSSA Frederick I Barbarossa (b. 1122 in The Holy Roman Empire, now Germany - d. 10 June 1190 at Saleph River, Cilicia, Anatolia, now Turkey) was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1155 until his death. He was elected King of Germany at Frankfurt on 4 March 1152 and crowned in Aachen on 9 March 1152. He became King of Italy in 1155 and was crowned Roman Emperor by Pope Adrian IV on 18 June 1155. 1122 seems to be the year that Frederick I, called Barbarossa was born, probably in Waiblingen, Germany. Frederick I Barbarossa came to the throne because of Conrad III’s desire, whose grandson he was. On his deathbed, he told his German parents that he wanted Frederic to become his heir. In 1125, he was elected in Frankfurt and crowned King of Germany in Aachen. Two years later, he was crowned King of Italy in Pavia. Eager to restore the Empire to the position it had occupied under Charlemagne and Otto I the


Frederick I Barbarossa

Barbarossa submitting to the authority of Pope Alexander III

Great, the new king clearly saw that the restoration of order in Germany was a necessary preliminary to the enforcement of the imperial rights in Italy. Issuing a general order for peace, he made lavish concessions to the nobles. Abroad, Frederick intervened in the Danish civil war between Sweyn III Grathe and Valdemar I of Denmark and began negotiations with the Eastern Roman Emperor, Manuel I Comnenus. It was probably about this time that the king obtained papal assent for the annulment of his childless marriage with Adelheid of Vohburg, on the grounds of consanguinity (his great-great-grandfather was a brother of Adela’s great-great-great-grandmother, making them fourth cousins). He then made a vain effort to obtain a bride from the court of Constantinople. On his accession, Frederick had communicated the news of his election to Pope Eugene III, but had neglected to ask for the papal confirmation. In March 1153, Frederick concluded the treaty of Constance with the Pope, whereby he promised, in return for his coronation, to defend the papacy, to make no peace with King Roger II of Sicily or other enemies of the Church without the consent of Eugene and to help Eugene regain control of the city of Rome. The residents of northern Italy disagreed with his ambitions, as a consequence a long period of conflict erupted. In 1155, Frederick Barbarossa was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Adrian IV, with who he came into conflict later. The Papacy supported the Italian cities led by Milano, excommunicating thus Frederick. In 1167, the conflict was sharp and the Italian cities of Milan, Parma, Padova, Verona, Brescia, Piacenza, Bologna, Cremona, Mantova and Bergamo formed an alliance called “The Lombard League”. The Italian cities alliance managed to remove Frederick’s influence in Italy, defeating him on 29 May in Legnano, especially because Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony, refused to come in his aid. In 1164, Frederick took what are believed to be

Frederick Barbarossa awards the city of Haarlem with a sword for its shield or coat of arms

Depiction of Frederick Barbarossa in Kyffhäuser, Thuringia, Germany

the relics of the “Biblical Magi” (the Wise Men or Three Kings) from the Basilica di Sant’Eustorgio in Milan and gave them as a gift (or as loot) to the Archbishop of Cologne, Rainald of Dassel. The relics had great religious significance and could be counted upon to draw pilgrims from all over Christendom. Today they are kept in the Shrine of the Three Kings in the Köln Cathedral. After the death of the antipope Victor IV, Frederick supported antipope Paschal III, but he was soon driven away from Rome, leading to the return of Pope Alexander III in 1165. Between Frederick and the pope it was signed a treaty in Venice in 1177, the Emperor recognizing Alexander III as the true pope. In front of Saint Mary’s Church, Frederick received the kiss of peace from the Pope, but for him it was a humiliating kiss. Henry the Lion’s betrayal angered Frederick even more. The Duke of Saxony was the most powerful German prince, receiving important possessions from the emperor and the right to invest bishops in territories east of the Elbe River. The economic power of the Duke rose after the foundation of the München and Lübeck cities. After the battle of Legnano, the king accused him of treason, and thus he conquered the city of Lübeck and took his titles and territories. Frederick forced Henry the Lion to flee into exile in England, at his father in law, Henry II. After this event, Frederick I Barbarossa managed to threaten the papal authority in Italy by unifying the Kingdom of Sicily with his Empire and by marrying his son, Henry IV with the Norman heiress princess from there. The conflicts with the papacy didn’t prevent from answering the calls to crusade, especially as he was an admirer of the chivalric ideals. In 1178, he was crowned King of Burgundy at Arles. In 1184, at Mainz, in a special

ceremony during the local festival, Frederick raised his sons to the rank of knights. In 1188, at the “Diet of Jesus Christ” as it the diet in Mainz was called, he agreed to leave to the Orient for the redemption of Jerusalem. In a gesture of good will towards the papacy, Frederick accepted the return of Countess Matilda of Tuscany Duchy to the papal state. His deed pleased the Pope, but has not helped him in the campaign against the infidels. Between the period of 1189-1990, Frederick Barbarossa was one of the leaders of the Third Crusade, along with kings Philip II of France and Richard I of England. On 10 June 1190, Frederick died drowned in the Saleph river (now Göksu), Anatolia, Asia Minor when he tried to cross it. Historians have compared Frederick to Henry II of England. Both were considered the greatest and most charismatic leaders of their age. Each possessed a rare combination of qualities that made them appear superhuman compared to their contemporaries: longevity, boundless ambition, extraordinary organizing skill and greatness on the battlefield. Both were handsome and proficient in courtly skills, without appearing effeminate or affected. Both came to the throne in the prime of manhood. Each had an element of learning, without being considered impractical intellectuals but rather more inclined to practicality. Each found himself in the possession of new legal institutions that were put to creative use in governing. Both Henry and Frederick were viewed to be sufficiently and formally devout to the teachings of the Church, without being moved to the extremes of spirituality seen in the great saints of the 12th century. In making the final decisions, each relied solely upon his own judgment, and both were interested in gathering as much power as they could. 81

ARThUR SCHOPENHAUER Arthur Schopenhauer (b. 22 February 1788 in Danzig, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, now Gdansk, Poland - d. 21 September 1860 in Frankfurt, German Confederation) was a German philosopher. He is best known for his 1818 work The World as Will and Representation, in which he characterizes the phenomenal world as the product of a blind, insatiable, and malignant metaphysical will. Proceeding from the transcendental idealism of Immanuel Kant, Schopenhauer developed an atheistic metaphysical and ethical system that has been described as an exemplary manifestation of philosophical pessimism, rejecting the contemporaneous post-Kantian philosophies of German idealism. Arthur Schopenhauer was born in 1788 and was the son of a merchant, who intended his son to the merchant career as well. Together with his father, he made numerous trips through Europe. After his


Young Schopenhauer in 1815, by Sigismund Ruhl

death in 1809, he first started studying medicine at the University of Göttingen, but then he quits to devote himself to the study of philosophy. In 1811, young Arthur leaved for Berlin, where he attended the courses of Friedrich Schleiermacher and Johann Gottlieb Fichte. Schopenhauer transferred to Jena and in 1813 he was awarded the title of Doctor of Philosophy with the dissertation “On the quadruple root of the principle of sufficient reason” (Über die vierfache Wurzel des Satzes vom zureichenden Grunde). In the same year, he meets Goethe at Weimar, where they discuss about Schopenhauer’s colour theory. In his work published thereafter (1816), “On vision and colours” (Über das Sehen und die Farben), Arthur exposed his own thinking in this area, contrary to Goethe’s views. In 1819, he got the assignment of teacher at the University of Berlin, where Hegel also used to teach, who at that time was the dominant figure of German philosophy, but now he was criticized by Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer’s principal work, “The World as Will and Representation” (Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung, 1819) occurs in the same year. He taught as a lecturer at the University of Berlin until 1831 when, due to a cholera epidemic, whose victim was Hegel, he takes refuge in Frankfurt am Main, where he will live until the end of his life as a retired free philosopher. Here, he began the study of Buddhist and Hindu philosophies as well as the mystics of primitive Christianity, mainly driven by Meister Eckhart and Jakob Böhme. During this period, he published the work “On the will in nature” (Über den Willen in der Natur, 1836), “The Two Fundamental Problems of Ethics” (Die beiden Grundprobleme der Ethik, 1841), aphorisms grouped in “Parerga and Paralipomena” (1851). Schopenhauer died in Frankfurt on 21 September 1860. Under the influence of Plato and Immanuel Kant, Schopenhauer lies in the problem of the theory of knowledge on the position of idealism. But in this view, Schopenhauer supports his own views and combats Hegel’s philosophy. Based on natural sciences, he developed an original perspective on the physiology of perception. According to Schopenhauer, the outside world exists only insofar as it is perceived and present in the human consciousness, in conclusion, as a representation. He didn’t fully agree with Kant, who believed that “the thing itself ” (das Ding an sich) would be above all sensory experience and therefore could not be known. Schopenhauer claims that the will underlies at the representation of the world, having a strong unreasonable force and purpose. Unlike Hegel,

Arthur Schopenhauer

he considers that the world and history are meaningless and do not have a final target. The will is not only for the actions of man, but determines the entire reality, organic or inorganic. The will manifests itself as a vital force in the animal world and as an impulse to procreation. This theory over the “primacy of will” is the central idea of Schopenhauer’s philosophy and had, since the second half of the 19th century to the present days, an increasing influence on philosophical thought. In the third expanded edition of “The World as Will and Representation” (1859), Schopenhauer added an appendix to his chapter on the “Metaphysics of Sexual

Love”. He also wrote that homosexuality did have the benefit of preventing ill-begotten children. Concerning this, he stated that “the vice we are considering appears to work directly against the aims and ends of nature, and that in a matter that is all important and of the greatest concern to her, it must in fact serve these very aims, although only indirectly, as a means for preventing greater evils.” Shrewdly anticipating the interpretive distortion, on the part of the popular mind, of his attempted scientific explanation of pederasty as personal advocacy (when he had otherwise described the act, in terms of spiritual ethics, as an “objectionable 83

A thoughtful Schopenhauer

aberration”), Schopenhauer sarcastically concludes the appendix with the statement that “by expounding these paradoxical ideas, I wanted to grant to the professors of philosophy a small favour, for they are very disconcerted by the ever-increasing publicisation of my philosophy which they so carefully concealed. I have done so by giving them the opportunity of slandering me by saying that I defend and commend pederasty.” Schopenhauer’s views on literature and art are a direct consequence of his pessimism and influence of Buddhist philosophy. The will is an existential impulse which gives no satisfaction, on the contrary, it is constantly creating new needs which can’t be fully satisfied, thus it becomes a source of suffering. Therefore there can be no lasting happiness. :ife is a vale of tears, full of pain. At a higher level, man can escape the dictate of Will, managing to break free. The release of suffering is achieved by denying the Will, which can be obtained by artistic contemplation or asceticism, renunciation and meditation. Through art, man escapes from the domination of Will and becomes a “pure and passive subject of knowledge”. He was named the second Buddha. While man can only temporarily release itself 84

from the shackles of Will through artistic contemplation, Schopenhauer’s ethical conception gives the solution of lasting denial of the Will. Unlike Kant, Schopenhauer’s ethics are not based on reason and moral laws. He sees in “mercy” the only way of moral behaviour. Through compassion and understanding the suffering of the world, man overcomes selfishness and identifies with its peers (Über die Grundlage der Moral, 1840). Schopenhauer’s metaphysics is labeled as Buddhism. In the same way, ethics is impregnated in the Buddhist conception of the world and Christian mysticism. Even though Schopenhauer ended his treatise on the freedom of human will with the postulate of everyone’s responsibility for their character and, consequently, acts, the responsibility following from one’s being the Will as noumenon (from which also all the characters and creations come), he considered his views incompatible with theism, on grounds of fatalism and, more generally, responsibility for evil. In Schopenhauer’s philosophy, the dogmas of Christianity lose their significance, and the “Last Judgment” is no longer preceded by anything, “The world is itself the Last Judgment on it.” Whereas God, if he existed, would be evil. In Schopenhauer’s 1851 essay “On Women”, he expressed his opposition to what he called “TeutonicoChristian stupidity” of reflexive unexamined reverence (Abgeschmackten Weiberveneration) for the female. Schopenhauer wrote that “Women are directly fitted for acting as the nurses and teachers of our early childhood by the fact that they are themselves childish, frivolous and short-sighted.” He opined that women are deficient in artistic faculties and sense of justice, and expressed opposition to monogamy. Indeed, Rodgers and Thompson in “Philosophers Behaving Badly” call Schopenhauer “a misogynist without rival in....Western philosophy.” He claimed that “woman is by nature meant to obey.” The essay does give some compliments, however, that “women are decidedly more sober in their judgment than men are,” and are more sympathetic to the suffering of others. At the appearance of his works, Schopenhauer hasn’t enjoyed an overwhelming attention. In philosophy, he exerted a great influence on the thinking of Friedrich Nietzsche, Henri Bergson, Ludwig Wittgenstein or Emil Cioran. In literature, Schopenhauer’s influence is recognized on the works of Lev Tolstoi, Mihai Eminescu, Marcel Proust, Thomas Mann or Michel Houellebecq. In psychology, his ideas were taken over by Eduard von Hartmann and Sigmund Freud.

Arthur Schopenhauer monument at Obermainanlage in Frankfurt am Main, Germany


FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE Friedrich Nietzsche (b. 15 October 1844 in Röcken (near Lützen), Saxony, Prussia, now Germany - d. 25 August 1900 in Weimar, Saxony, Germany) was a German philosopher, cultural critic, poet, and Latin and Greek scholar whose work has exerted a profound influence on Western philosophy and modern intellectual history. Nietzsche was born into a Protestant family, his father being a pastor. From an early age, he faced with the problem of faith in God and leaned more towards atheism, which will be reflected later in his philosophical thinking. He studied philosophy at the University of Leipzig. Arthur Schopenhauer’s book, “Welt als Wille und Vorstellung” (“The World as Will and Representation”) will be the conceptual premise of his philosophical vocation. In 1869, aged only 25, he was appointed professor at the University of Basel


Friedrich Nietzsche

and received Swiss citizenship. Friedrich Nietzsche studied the ancient Greek philosophy, especially the representatives of the pre-Socratic period, Heraclitus and Empedocles. Due to health reasons, he quits university and starting from 1879, he goes in random places like Venice, Turin, Nice or Engadin, in the search of a good climate. In 1882, Nietzsche met Lou von Salomé and proposes to her, but he was refused. In the same year, while he was at Nice, he began writing his most important work, “Also sprach Zarathustra” (“Thus Spoke Zarathustra”), which will appear in 1885. In 1888, he moved to Turin, where he completed his works: “Götze-Dämmerung” ( “Twilight of the idols”) and “Ecce Homo”. On 3 January 1889, in Turin’s Carlo Alberto market, Nietzsche assisted at the horrible whipping and agony of a horse in the street. This is the moment when he had his first crisis of madness, at which he had manifestations of delirium, considering himself as Dionysos or Jesus. He is taken care of until his death by his sister, Elisabeth Foerster Nietzsche. Nietzsche’s philosophy thought of the revaluation of Greek philosophy and art from the earliest historical period, to the detriment of classicism, seen as affirmation of the rational vision and therefore decadent. Nietzsche identifies in the Greek tradition four stages: 1) the obscure phase of the Titans when the world was indefinite; 2) the balance of reason and dreaming (Apollonian); 3) the stage of chaos, drunkenness, riot, beverage narcotics (Dionysian); 4) The agreement between the Apollonian and Dionysian stage where drunkenness is limited by a balanced mind. In particular, Greek tragedy (Aeschylus, Sophocles) has been interpreted as an expression of the vital impulse that returns to its own, limiting the order and disorder, both understood in radicals, excessive terms. Nietzsche criticizes the fundamental values of the ultrarationalized society in which he lived, reaching to the denial of the encyclopedic principles that exclude the existence vitalism. The concept of “will of power” played a central role in Nietzsche’s philosophy, insofar as it is for him, in the metaphysical sense, a tool for understanding the world, “the innermost essence of existence is the will of power”. His project of reassessment of the traditional concepts of metaphysics will lead to the abolition of the idealistic values, especially those of Christianity, but also of historians. The will of power is regarded as a conflict internal relationship, as an intimate structure of becoming, as a fundamental pathos, and not only as

a development of a force. This conception allows the overcoming of man, not his removal, but the abandonment of the old idols and of the hope in a world beyond, accepting life as an act of aspiration to power. Contrary to false interpretations of his philosophy, Nietzsche’s superhuman is not a man of great physical and intellectual strength, but an evolving trend, the expected and desired man: “I came to preach the Superhuman. Man is something that must be overcome” (Also sprach Zarathustra). Man is therefore a bridge between apes and Superhuman, a transitional element in evolution. Starting from the premise of will of power, Nietzsche developed an abysmal psychology, which puts on the forefront the fighting or the combination of instincts, impulses and emotions, consciousness being only the perception of the game’s unconscious forces effects. Nietzsche distinguishes the morality of the weak and the strong. Thus, in his view, compassion, altruism and all humanitarian values are values by which man he denies himself in order to give the appearance of a moral beauty and the satisfaction of his own superiority. Nietzsche wanted to restructure the society by criticizing several aspects of modern culture, of official Nietzsche in an artillerist costume in 1868


Friedrich Nietzsche in 1882 (by Gustav Schultze)

universal philosophy, denying those ideas of civilization and democracy. For him, art is the only factor that justifies life. In his book, “Die Geburt der Tragödie” (“Birth of Tragedy”) he opposes and associates the Dionysian and Apollonian figures, both born from the intoxication of the senses. The first is a drunken discharge of energy, the second a purely visual intoxication. As a consequence, Nietzsche adds a third form: the voluntary force that manifests itself in architecture. Friedrich Nietzsche is the one who said that God is dead. His idea received two major interpretations: the first one supports that Nietzsche talked about the death of the Christian God and the second one speaks about the death of philosophers’ God. He predicted the agony of metaphysics once the manifestation of the Socratic 88

rational spirit destroyed the principles of the Dionysian human, which followed ecstasy by drunkenness , concupiscence and other ecstatic manifestations obtained through the exacerbation of senses. Nietzsche is considered a vitalism philosopher. He preaches all the virtues of the healthy, vigorous man, full of power over his instincts, who can support freedom on his shoulders. As an irony of life, Nietzsche was quite a sick man all his life. The main reason that he gave up his academic career was that his illness worsened. It is said that Nietzsche’s precursor would have been Schopenhauer, who through the work of “The World as Will and Representation” determined Nietzsche to “straighten” the concept of will, by putting it alongside power, which becomes essential in the individual affirming.

Friedrich Nietzsche in 1859


JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (b. 28 August 1749 in Frankfurt am Main, Holy Roman Empire, now Germany - d. 22 March 1832 in Weimar, Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, German Confederation, now Germany) was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of meters and styles, prose and verse dramas; memoirs and an autobiography, as well as literary and aesthetic criticism, treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour, and four novels. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10.000 letters, and nearly 3.000 drawings by him exist. A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August in 1782 after first taking up residence there in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, ennobled in 1782, was in Frankfurt as son of Johann Kaspar Goethe (1710-1782), high officer of the state, and Catharina Elisabeth Textor (1731-1808). Goethe’s relationship with his parents was not without conflict. Except for his sister, born on 7 December 1750, Cornelia Friederike Christiana, all his brothers died at an early age. In 1758, the young Goethe became ill from smallpox. From 1756 until 1758 he visited a public school. An instrumental role in Lutheran religious education included the reading of the Bible and Sunday service of the church. Goethe received a good education, studying art, music, fencing, horseback riding, German and universal literature, ancient and modern languages. Like ancient Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Italian, French and English. He had his first doubt in faith in 1755 during the earthquake in Lisbon, where: God has punished the innocent the same way as those guilty and hasn’t proven a fatherly attitude. Religious education he received in Frankfurt from Johann Philipp Fresenius, a family friend and later from his uncle, priest John Jacob Starck, didn’t attract him so much: “the Protestantism values of the Church which we were taught was just a dry morality; at a wise speech they didn’t thought, the doctrine was not for the heart nor for the soul”. Only the stories of the Old Testament, particularly the stories of the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob have attracted and made him wonder in a world of imaginations. His attitude towards 90

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

churches and the Christian dogma was distant and later even hostile. Goethe began an early love of literature, which he could find in his father’s vast library. He was fascinated by theater, for in his parental home, a puppet theater was giving an annually representation. During the occupation of Frankfurt by the French troops, he was often visiting the French Theatre. In 1763, he attended at a concert of young Mozart, who was only 7 years old by then. In 1765, he began to study law at the University of Leipzig, but he wasn’t too excited, but he finishes it in 1768. First, Goethe had to adapt to clothes and manners, to the elegant style of life, in order to be supported by his fellow citizens. During this time, a pleasure for him was to attend the lectures of Christian Gellert, a poet and philosopher of the Enlightenment ethics. Also, he used to participate at the drawing courses of painter and sculptor, Adam Oeser, who was director of the University of Leipzig. Meanwhile, Goethe wrote his first poems, “Neue Lieder”, imbued by a strong and lofty lyricism and a comedy entitled “Die Laune des Verliebten”. Young Goethe enjoyed the freedom of life away

Goethe in the Roman Campagna (1786) by Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein

from his parental home. He used to visit the Theatre or spend his evenings with friends at a beer house. In this period, Goethe had his first sentimental disillusionment in the love shared by Anna Katharina Schönkopf, that after two years, is jointly disbanded. This event he included in the comedy “Die Mitschuldigen”, written on his return home. He spent a year and a half recovering from the emotional disillusionment, when a friend of his mother, Susanne von Klettenberg, told him about

Herrnhuter Brüdergemeine’s concept, a branch of the Protestant Church, and thus, Goethe began to deal with mysticism, alchemy and soul-searching. After a long illness, Christiane, Goethe’s wife, dies in 1816. As a result, in 1817, Goethe withdraws from the theater management in Weimar. His daughterin-law cared for his welfare. Meanwhile, Goethe began to establish order in his works. During this period, he wrote “Geschichte meines botanischen Studiums” 91

Statues of Goethe and Schiller in Weimar, Germany

(History of my botanical study) until 1824, followed by “Zur Naturwissenschaft überhaupt” (To the natural sciences), a book with thoughts about morphology, geology and mineralogy. Goethe befriended Friedrich Karl Reinhard and Maria Kaspar von Sternberg. Temporarily, he dedicated himself to mystical aspects. His agendas and notes from the past years will serve to the writing of “Italienische Reise” (Italian Journey). In 1821, a collection of short novels followed: “Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahre” (Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship). In 1823, Goethe becomes ill of inflammation of the heart’s pericardium. After he recovered, he became more spiritual than before. In Karlsbad, old Goethe met young 19 years old, Ulrike von Levetzow, to which he proposes to her. But she rejects him, for which Goethe writes on his way home with disappointment the “Marienbader Elegy” (Elegy of Marienbad). With his last powers, he resumed work on the second part of Faust. He didn’t wrote anything, just dictated, thereby 92

solving the correspondence and confessing his problems in long discussions to poet Johann Peter Eckermann, to whom he wrote. In 1830, his son, August, dies in Rome. In the same year, he concluded his work on the second part of Faust. This was a work that he wrote in many years and became his most successful one. Formally, it was a piece for the stage, but actually it was barely able to play on it. In the same period he got involved in the controversies between the two paleontologists, Georges Cuvier and Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire on catastrophism, continuous development of species and others. In August 1831, Goethe will visit again the Thuringian Forest in Ilmenau, where his first scientific ideas came to his head. 51 years later, after he wrote on a plank of a hunting house in 1780 his famous poem “Wandrers Nachtlied”, he again visited this place. On 22 March 1832, Goethe died of pneumonia. His last words, seems to have been: “Mehr Licht!” (More light!). They are related by his doctor, Carl Vogel, who at the time of his death wasn’t in Goethe’s room. Goethe was buried on 26 March 1832 at the Tomb of the Prince in Weimar. After the poet’s death, his appreciation has decreased. He was then in the shadow of Friedrich Schiller, whose revolutionary tendencies fitted better at that time than Goethe’s conservative stance. Apart from various critics, even from among the church, he was criticized for his lack of patriotism, faith and morality. Only after 1860, Goethe belonged to literature taught in German schools. This period of lack of attention towards Goethe and his works ended with the creation of the German Empire in 1871. During National Socialism, the Nazis didn’t talk much about Goethe. Goethe’s humanism, cosmopolitanism and his ideas of a man ideal educated by himself and completely independent didn’t fit with the Nazi ideology. Alfred Rosenberg declared in his 1930 book Der Mythus des 20. Jahrhunderts (The Myth of the 20th century) that Goethe couldn’t have been helpful for the period of fierce battle because he was a character who hated violence both in life and in lyrics. Goethe tried to mix poetry with natural sciences, philosophy and politics. Practical activities and his encounters with other people are reflected in his poetic and literary works. His works of poetry were always based on concrete happenings. Goethe was fascinated by Kant’s epistemology theory. Goethe’s beliefs on Kant’s thesis were: “Nun aber schien zum erstenmal eine Theorie mich anzulächlen” (Now, for the first time, a theory appears to smile to me).

Goethe by G.M. Kraus


JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Johann Sebastian Bach (b. 31 March 1685 in Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany - d. 28 July 1750 in Leipzig, Germany) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organization, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and over three hundred cantatas of which around two hundred survive. Johann Sebastian Bach was born into a family of professional musicians. He was born in Eisenach, Thuringia, where Bach’s family was known by the large number of musicians it gave. In this family cultivating music has become a tradition, many members devoted themselves to music, either as professionals or as amateurs. Sebastian’s father, Johann Ambrosius, was a modest musician, burdened by a large family with eight children, of whom four were alive, Sebastian was the youngest. His father worked as a court musician with


Johann Sebastian Bach

the task of organizing musical activity with profanity characteristics in the town, but also had the function of the local church organist. His mother, Elisabeth Lämmerhirt, died early on, followed soon afterwards by his father when Johann Sebastian was only 9 years old. Orphaned, he went to his older brother, Johann Christoph Bach, an organist at Ohrdurf. Here, he began to execute his first musical motifs for the organ, showing a particular penchant for the instrument. The desire to improve led him to visit the most famous organists of the time, Georg Böhm, Dietrich Buxtehude and Johann Adam Reinken. In 1703, he got the first post of organist in the town of Arnstadt. Because of his evident virtuosity, he was employed in a better position as organist in Mühlhausen. Some of Bach’s first compositions which date from this era is probably the famous “Toccata and Fugue in D minor”. Without the means to attend the University, leaving school in Lüneburg he had to engage as a musician in various courts and thus began to strike the vicissitudes of a musician’s life in the service of a senior or a parish council. After a few months spent as a violinist at the court of Weimar, he was hired as organist at Arnstadt (1704-1707), but the job could not satisfy any musical aspirations and were not favorable to his artistic development. Both the quality of the music to be performed, and the low level of professionalism of the choir, which he was supposed to teach them constantly could not contribute to his development. In 1708, Bach achieved the post of organist at the courtyard and concert master at the court of the Duke of Weimar. In this function he was required not only to compose music for the organ, but also to make compositions for orchestral ensembles, enjoying the protection and friendship of Duke Johann Ernst, himself a composer. Passionate by the counterpoint art, Bach composed the majority of his repertoire run during his time spent in Weimar. From this period dates the famous composition “Well-Tempered Clavier” (Wohltemperiertes Klavier), which includes 48 preludes and runs, two for each major and minor range, a monumental and masterful work not only by the use of counterpoint, but also because he was the first to have explored the full tonal range and the multitude of musical intervals. Due to the deterioration of relations with Duke Wilhelm Ernst, Bach is forced to leave Weimar in 1717, transferring to the court of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen. Meanwhile, he composed the 6 Brandenburg Concertos as well as the “solo” suites for cello, the “solo” sonatas for violin and the orchestral

Young Bach

suites. In 1723, Johann Sebastian Bach was appointed cantor and music director at the Saint Thomas Church in Leipzig. Bach was tasked on the one hand, to teach music to students from the canto school and on the other hand, to provide musical compositions to the two main churches in Leipzig, composing one cantata every week, inspired by the biblical readings Sunday. For festive days, Bach composed cantatas and oratorios of great beauty, as “Matthew’s Passion” for the Good Friday, “Magnificat” for Christmas and others. Many of the works of this period are the result of collaboration with the Collegium Musicum in Leipzig or are so-called

erudite compositions, as the four volumes of exercises for the harpsichord, The Goldberg Variations, The Art of the Fugue, Italian Concerto. Johann Sebastian Bach was married in 1707 to Maria Barbara, with whom he had seven children, of whom only four survived childhood diseases. After the death of his first wife, Bach was married to Anna Magdalena Wilcke in 1721, a young soprano, which, though 17 years younger than him, together had a long happy marriage. Together they had 13 children. All the sons of Bach showed a special endowment for music, many became consecrated musicians, like Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, Johann Gottfried Bernhard Bach, Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, Johann Christian Bach and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Johann Sebastian Bach’s works were classified and cataloged in 1950 by musicologist Wolfgang Schmieder in the Bach-WerkeVerzeichnis (catalog of Bach’s works: BWV) and are found in a large number as such. Bach has broken from the human life and its ideals. Living in an age where humanity was on the threshold of new classic achievements when the feudal aristocracy received, in turn, the strikes that hastened its end, Bach has assimilated various trends which crossed in those time spirituality. With its huge moral force and creative sap, Bach has set up various expressions, molded into perfect sound architecture. Leading to perfection the mashed forms from the 18th century, Bach expressed in his music the highest human ideas and aspirations. In chamber music, the art of the French harpsichordist combined with the Rococo ornamentation, has spread to German courts. Bach has assimilated this style and that of Italian violinists, but passed these ways of expression through his own creative filter. From the art of the French harpsichordist, he surprised viable elements, namely the melodic grace and spontaneity, removing the unnecessary or harmful for clarity ornamentation. From the Italians music, he took the cantabile, avoiding the emphatic melodic line or overloaded with ornaments. During his stay in Weimar, dates Bach’s famous meeting with French

Johann Sebastian Bach’s signature


organist Jean Louis Marchand. Invited to the royal court in Dresden, in 1717, for a musical joust with the organist, Bach has stunned his opponent so much by improvised harpsichord variations that, the day before the tournament, Marchand left unexpectedly. During the visit he made to Berlin in 1747, to the flutist King Friedrich II of Prussia (at his court, harpsichordist was his son, K. Philipp Emanuel) Bach improvised a magnificent fugue on the dull theme given by the king. Back in Leipzig, he wrote on this theme 7 Ricercar, two canons anda Sonata Tre (for flute, violin and ethnographic objects). Combined, these pieces were sent to the King under the title of “Musical Offering”, representing polyphony exercises and demonstrations of technical virtuosity. Between 1729 and 1740, Bach led the “Collegium Musicum”, a student musical society founded by Telemann, thing which helped him to the creation of 159 instrumental pieces, overtures, suites and secular cantatas. Though he didn’t write music for opera, he was interested in dramatic plays, watching the


performances at the Opera Theatre in Dresden. Here, there were brought in 1717, Venetian Antonio Lotti, and later, Johann Adolf Hasse a Saxon Italian, who led the musical life in Dresden. The two solo Italian cantatas, “Amore traditore” and “Non sa che sia dolore”, as well as “The Coffee Cantata” are testimonies of his contact with Italian-style opera. In his time, the first keyboard with hammers was built, the Hammerklavier in 1701, fitted with a mechanism which stopped the vibration of the strings (Dämpfer, étouffeur). Known for the virtuosity of its performances, Bach was often invited to try the newly built tools. He perfected the instrument itself by trying to build the so-called “viola pomposa”, with larger dimensions than the “viola da gamba” and proposed the building of a Lautencymbal with metal strings and intestine for special timbral effects. Towards the end of his life, Bach tried to print his works, personally taking part in zinc plating, which contributed to his blindness. A brief period of recovery of his vision (10 days only) preceded its end in 1750.

Statue of Bach in Leipzig, Germany

Bach playing the Organ


OSKAR SCHINDLER Oskar Schindler (b. 28 April 1908 in Zwittau, Moravia, Austria-Hungary Empire, now Svitavy, Czech Republic - d. 9 October 1974 in Hildesheim, West Germany) was a German industrialist, spy, and member of the Nazi Party who is credited with saving the lives of 1.200 Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his enamelware and ammunitions factories, which were located in occupied Poland and the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. He is the subject of the 1982 novel Schindler's Ark, and the subsequent 1993 film Schindler's List, which reflected his life as an opportunist initially motivated by profit who came to show extraordinary initiative, tenacity and dedication to save the lives of his Jewish employees. Oskar Schindler was born in Zwittau, Moravia, Austro-Hungarian Empire, today Svitavy, Czech Republic. His family owned a factory of agricultural machines. He had a younger sister. After attending primary and secondary school, Schindler enrolled in a technical school, from which he was expelled in 1924 for forging his report card. He later graduated, but did not take the Abitur exams that would have enabled him to go to college or university. Instead he took courses in Brno in several trades, including chauffeuring and machinery, and worked for his father for three years. A fan of motorcycles since his youth, Schindler bought a 250-cc Moto Guzzi racing motorcycle and competed recreationally in mountain races for the next few years. Oskar learned mechanics in the industrial city of Zwittau and worked in his father’s factory for a while. At 20 years old, he was married against his will and went to work at an electric company in Moravia. Although he was a citizen of Czechoslovakia, Schindler became a spy for the Abwehr, the intelligence service of Nazi Germany, in 1936. He was assigned to Abwehrstelle II Commando VIII, based in Breslau. He later told the Czech police that he did it because he needed the money, By this time, Schindler had a drinking problem and was chronically in debt. His tasks for the Abwehr included collecting information on railways, military installations, and troop movements, as well as recruiting other spies within Czechoslovakia, in advance of a planned invasion of the country by Nazi Germany. He was arrested by the Czech government for espionage on 18 July 1938 and immediately imprisoned, 98

Oskar Schindler

but was released as a political prisoner under the terms of the München Agreement, the instrument under which the Czech Sudetenland was annexed into Germany on 1 October. Schindler applied for membership in the Nazi Party on 1 November and was accepted the following year. After some time off to recover in Zwittau, Schindler was promoted to second in command of his Abwehr unit and relocated with his wife to Ostrava, on the Czech-Polish border, in January 1939. He was involved in espionage in the months leading up to Hitler’s seizure of the remainder of Czechoslovakia in March. Emilie, his wife, helped him with paperwork, processing and hiding secret documents in their apartment for the Abwehr office. As he frequently travelled to Poland on business, he and his 25 agents were in a position to collect information about Polish military activities and railways for the planned invasion of Poland. One assignment called for his unit to

Liam Neeson portraying Oskar Schindler in the 1993 movie “Schindler’s List”

monitor and provide information about the railway line and tunnel in the Jablunkov Pass, deemed critical for the movement of German troops. Schindler continued to work for Abwehr until as late as fall 1940, when he was sent to Turkey to investigate corruption among the Abwehr officers assigned to the German embassy there. In 1935, he has registered in the German Party of Sudetenland in order to continue his business. In 1939, when Hitler invaded Poland, Oskar Schindler joined the National Socialist Party of German Workers (NSDAP) and moved to Krakow with the intention of profiting from the conflict between Germany on the one hand and Britain and France, on the other hand. He has befriended with Nazi officers who had established their headquarters in the Polish capital and obtained illegal cognac and cigars for them. Trying to get in touch with the Jewish businessmen from Krakow, he met Hebrew accountant Itzhak Stern and bought a factory in 1940. He managed to bribe the right people and to obtain contracts with the German army for the cookware that his factory was producing for them. He hired more than 1.000 Hebrews, but at the time of their hiring, the persecution of the Nazis have already started against them. In 1942, he managed to bring back in the factory the Jews that were sent to forced labor. In 1943, when the Nazis wanted to liquidate the ghetto of Krakow, a skillful Schindler proposed the establishment of a labor

camp within his factory, continuing to hire workers from the nearest camp, Plaszow. In 1944, the Plaszow labor camp was transformed to a concentration camp and the prisoners were sent to Auschwitz. Schindler’s factory was closed and once again he turned to his relationships and bribed the right people to move his factory in Brunnlitz, Czechoslovakia, to supply the German army with missiles and grenades. Oskar was asked for a list of Jews who he wanted to take with him and he submitted 1.200 names. In freight wagons left only 800 people, others loaded with 300 women and children were diverted to the death camp, Auschwitz. He managed to save them and send them to Brunnlitz. Schindler didn’t produce anything for 7 months, thus losing money, spending his previously accumulated resources for the maintenance of his workers and bribing the SS officers. At the end of the Second World War, Schindler and his wife fled to West Germany, trying to bypass the Russian troops from the east. Coincidentally or not, after a few days, the 1.200 Hebrews from the factory were released by a lone Russian officer. In 1949, he moved to Argentina and bought a farm that went bankrupt. Until 1957, he survived by using a Hebrew charitable organization. In 1958 he returned to Germany and supported by all Hebrew, he opened a cement factory, but lost it in the same year. Until the end of his life, Oskar Schindler lived from a small pension awarded by the German Government and used the assistance of Hebrew organizations. He visited Israel 13 times, where he was well received by the survivors of the war, which were saved by him. He died on 9 October 1974 in Hildesheim, Germany, and was buried in Israel, on Mount Zion, the only member of the Nazi Party to be honoured in this way. For his work during the war, in 1963 Schindler was named Righteous Among the Nations, an award bestowed by the State of Israel on non-Jews who took an active role to rescue Jews during the Holocaust. Other awards include the German Order of Merit, which he acquired in 1966. Writer Herbert Steinhouse, who interviewed him in 1948, wrote that “Schindler’s exceptional deeds stemmed from just that elementary sense of decency and humanity that our sophisticated age seldom sincerely believes in. A repentant opportunist saw the light and rebelled against the sadism and vile criminality all around him.” In a 1983 television documentary, Schindler was quoted as saying “I felt that the Jews were being destroyed. I had to help them, there was no choice.” 99


Schindler’s grave in Jerusalem, Israel

German Cuisine


Bratwurst mit Sauerkraut Ingredients: • • • • • • •

600g Potatoes 1 onion 300g Sauerkraut 5 sausages (Bratwurst) Bunch of chives Oil Salt and Pepper


2. 3. 4. 5. 6.


minutes in boiling salted water, then drain. Peel the onion and cut it in small portions. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and fry the sausages all around until they get brown. Remove the potatoes and put them together with the onion until the latter turns golden brown. Cut the sausages into small slices or keep them as they are once you are finished with them. Salt and pepper the potatoes. Add some Sauerkraut along the sausages and let everything fry for about 2 minutes. Once the cabbage is browned, sprinkle some rings of chives over it. Add all the ingredients in a plate and enjoy!

1. Peel the potatoes, cut them and put ‘em about 7


Bratwurst mit Sauerkraut


kale in a colander and chop it coarsely. 2. Heat some oil in a large saucepan, then add the onions and sauté them until they become translucent. 3. Once you’ve done the previous step, add the kale Ingredients: and 2 cups of water. • 1 or 1,5 kg of kale (washed, with the stems and ribs 4. Throw the oats in the pot, stir and bring to a boil, removed) then reduce the heat and start simmering for half • 2 tablespoons Vegetable oil an hour. • 2 yellow onions (peeled and chopped) 5. Add 1 more cup of water if necessary. The stew • 2 tablespoons Rolled Oats should be very moist. • 450g smoked pork loin 6. Add the pork loin and the Pinkelwurst, then cook • 1 Pinkelwurst or other smoked boiling sausage over low heat for half an hour. • 2 smoked boiling sausages 7. After you’ve done the previous step, add the smoked • Pepper sausages and maximum 1/2 a cup of water, if • Salt necessary. • Ground Nutmeg 8. Cook for 30 more minutes. The smoked sausages should only be added for the last half an hour of the cooking time. Steps: 1. Put some salt and water in a large pot, then bring it 9. Once everything is done, season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. to a boil. Put the kale into the pot and let it blanch for 2 minutes. Once the process is done, drain the 10. Serve with boiled potatoes.



Black Forest Cake


For the chocolate cake: • 3 eggs • 250g flour • 300g sugar • 115 ml of oil • 50g cocoa • 225 ml milk • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder • 3/4 teaspoon baking bicarbonate • 1 small sachet of vanilla sugar • 1/4 teaspoon salt • Oil and flour to form a wallpaper • For the filling: • 2 cans of black cherries in syrup • 2 tablespoons kirsch • 250 g whipped cream with powdered sugar 104

• For the icing: • 250g whipped cream with powdered sugar • 200g cherry juice To decorate: • 50g dark chocolate


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Brush with oil and coat with flour a form of 21-23 cm in diameter. 2. In a mixing bowl mix the flour with sugar, vanilla sugar, cocoa, bicarbonate, baking powder and salt. 3. Add eggs, oil, milk and mix until smooth. 4. Pour the mixture into pan and bake for about 40 minutes. Check if the cake is baked with a toothpick. If the thrust in the middle comes out clean, then it means it is done. Allow it to cool on a rack. 5. Cut the cooled dough into 3 equal slices horizontally. 6. On a plate put the first slice and add cherry juice over it. Place 125 ml of whipping cream. 7. On the whipped cream put the black cherries from

a jar, but drain them before. Press them with your hands so they can get into the whipped cream. Repeat the process with the second piece of cake; moist, 125 ml of whipping cream and black cherries or kirsch. 8. Place the last slice upside down to have a uniform surface. Pour cherry juice over it. 9. Place the cream first on the edges, in the holes formed from the cake mounting. 10. Top with whipped cream and decorate as desired, best with dark chocolate. 11. Cover and refrigerate at least 5 hours.

• • • • •

Steps: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Schwäbische Käsespätzle Ingredients:

• Spätzle • 100g butter • 2 big onions (chopped)

½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon sugar 350g Emmentaler or Jarlsberg cheese (grated) Parsley (chopped) Salt and Pepper

6. 7. 8.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease with the butter a casserole dish. Sauté the onions until they get light brown. Boil the Spätzle according to the instructions (should be the same process like making spaghetti) Put ⅓ of the Spätzle on the bottom of the dish, then add the same quantity of cheese and caramelized onions. Repeat the process and sprinkle over each layer some salt. The last layers should be cheese and finally onions on top. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure that the cheese is melted and that the edges are just beginning to get a little crispy. Add chopped parsley on top. Serve hot.

Schwäbische Käsespätzle


• Chopped parsley

Königsberger Klopse Ingredients:

For the meatballs: • 500g minced meat mixture • 1 onion • 4 cloves of garlic • 1 egg • 1 tablespoon bread crumbs • 1 teaspoon mustard • Salt and pepper • Nutmeg • 1 bay leaf • 4 or 5 peppercorns • 1 liter broth For the sauce: • 40g butter • 3 tablespoons flour • 600ml broth • 200ml sour cream • 50ml white wine • Juice of 1 lemon • 1 tablespoon capers • Salt and pepper



1. Start by preparing the meatballs. Mix the meat with the chopped onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, egg and mustard. 2. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg and mix well. Then start forming round balls. 3. Cook the meatballs in the broth in which you must add the bay leaf and the peppercorns. 4. Leave them to cook until they rise to the surface and then take them out into a bowl. 5. Meanwhile prepare the sauce by melting the butter and adding the flour. Mix vigorously, but be careful not to burn everything. 6. Take the pot away from the heat and add the broth and the wine, stirring, but being careful not to make lumps. 7. Put the pot back on heat and add the sour cream and the lemon juice, together with the capers and let it boil. 8. Add the meatballs in the sauce and add some salt. Let it simmer for a few more minutes. The sauce should be thick. 9. Finally, add the chopped parsley and serve them hot with boiled potatoes.

Königsberger Klopse

Kassler Rippchen

Kasseler Rippchen Ingredients: • • • • • • • • •

100g butter 4-5 potatoes 1 onion (finely chopped) 700g of sauerkraut 500 ml of dry white wine 8 juniper berries (lightly crushed) 6 kasseler pork cutlets Sour Cream Cornstarch or flour


1. Cook the sauerkraut with a tablespoon of oil. 2. Add the chopped onion and cook further. If needed, add more oil.

3. Add 1/3 cup of wine and season with salt, pepper and sugar. 4. Simmer for about 15 minutes. If necessary, add more wine in order not to burn the cabbage. 5. In the meantime, bring to a boil the potatoes. 6. In another pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil or butter and fry the pork chops slightly. After they have fried, set them aside. 7. In the oil were the chops were fried, add the other 2/3 cup of wine, but only after you have removed all traces of burning. 8. Bring to a boil and add some sour cream. 9. Mix some cornstarch with a little cold water and add it to the boiling sauce, as necessary, to thicken. The cornstarch is used to thicken the sauce. It can be replaced with flour. 10. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. 11. Place the pork chops in the sauce and serve them with sauerkraut and boiled potatoes. 107

Stuttgarter Zwiebelkuchen Ingredients:

For the dough • 250g flour • 125g margarine • 1 egg • 1 packet of baking powder • Salt For the filling • 150g bacon • 50g margarine • 1 kg onions • 250g sour cream • 2 eggs • 2 tablespoons flour • Salt • Thyme


1. Make the dough and put it into a round shape.


2. Fry the bacon in margarine and add the chopped onion. 3. Mix the sour cream with eggs, flour and spices, then add the onion. 4. Put everything over the dough and then bake in the oven at 175°C for about 1 hour.

SAUERBrATEN Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • • •

1 kilogram of non-fat beef 1/4 liter of red wine vinegar 2 bay leaves 2 tablespoons of black pepper grains 2 large onions 1 large carrot 200g potatoes 1/4 liter of tomato paste 2 tablespoons sour cream Salt and pepper (to taste) Vegetable oil

Stuttgarter Zwiebelkuchen


1. Place the beef in a pan and cover it completely with vinegar. 2. Place in the same pan the bay leaves and black pepper grains and put it in the refrigerator where it will stay for 2 days and a maximum of 3 days. The meat will be turned on each side about two times a day. 3. Remove the meat from the refrigerator, allow it to drain until it becomes almost dry, then season it with pepper on all sides. 4. Cut the onions, carrots and potatoes into small cubes 5. Heat some oil in skillet and brown the meat on all sides. 6. Add the onions to the pan and brown them until they become brown on all sides.


7. Take a pot with a lid and place the browned meat and onions there. 8. Sprinkle the meat with salt, add the potatoes and carrots, the tomato paste and some marinade from the refrigerator (without black pepper grains and bay leaves) and let them boil under the lid, for at least an hour and a half. 9. The meat, at this stage, has to be turned only once on the other side. 10. Remove the meat from the pot and it set aside, covering it to stay warm. 11. Make a puree from what is left in the pot and leave it to medium heat until it is slightly thickened slightly. 12. Then add the sour cream, salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat. 13. Serve the meat sliced, with gravy, sauerkraut and vegetables for garnish. 109

Saxon Kartoffeln Suppe

cooked. Don’t forget to add some salt. 2. Take out the potatoes and let them dry, but don’t keep them in water. 3. Boil the vegetables together with the garlic and Ingredients: thyme in water until they turn soft. Take them out • 2,5kg potatoes but this time, keep the water. • 750g carrots and root celery (peeled) 4. Dissipate the potatoes and the vegetables. • 300g onions 5. Add the vegetables to the potatoes and fill up with • 100g shalots vegetable stock until the consistency becomes thick. • 3 or 4 pieces of garlic 6. Stir fry the bacon, pull it into chunks and add it to • 400g bacon the soup. If you are vegetarian, you can skip this • 350g Räucherling (cold-smoked pork fillet) step. • 100g Butaris 7. Add about half of the stirred bacon and shalot mix • 1 bunch of Parsley to the soup, but keep the rest for later. You will have • ½ bunch of Thyme to use it as topping. • Majoram (crushed) 8. Add the crushed majoram and pepper. Taste the • Salt and black Pepper soup and if you want, add more salt. 9. Boil the soup and stir a bit. Steps: 1. Boil the potatoes in water until they are thoroughly 10. Add the chopped parsley and enjoy it.


Saxon Kartoffeln Suppe

Rote Grütze

powdered sugar.

Rote Grütze


1. In a saucepan with a thicker bottom, put the fruits, Ingredients: sugar, vanilla seeds, wine and salt. • 500g fruits (raspberry, red and black currants, 2. Place the pot on low heat and simmer for about 20 blackberry and blueberry) minutes, then pass the mixture in a blender, taking • 100g sugar care to keep some big pieces of fruits. • 40 ml red wine 3. Place the mixture back into the pot, heat it and add • The seed pods from ½ vanilla starch mixed with water. • A pinch of salt 4. Mix and simmer for another 5 minutes, then pour • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch the pudding fruit in glasses. Allow to cool. • Lightly sweetened Whipped Cream (for topping) 5. Serve over with quark, sour cream, vanilla sauce or • 3 tablespoons of quark mixed with a teaspoon of whipped cream. 111

Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfestbier


Germany Travel




Berlin, skyline over the Spree River

Museum Island in Berlin

Berliner Dom


The Reichstag

Brandenburg Tor

Berlin Wall, East Side


Victory Column

French Cathedral


Berlin Zoo

Charlottenburg Palace and Park


Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Garden and Museum



Nikolai Quarter

Unter den Linden



Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

Grunewald Forest

Potsdamer Platz




English Garden

Frauenkirche and MĂźnchen Rathaus



Nymphenburg Schloss

BMW Welt Museum

Asam Church



Oktoberfest celebrated in MĂźnchen

Olympic Park


Bavarian State Opera and National Theater

Theatine Church of Saint Cajetan



Saint Michael’s Church

Magnificent Residenz




Hamburg Rathaus


International Maritime Museum

Miniatur Wunderland


Saint Michael’s Church

Port of Hamburg




Hamburg Harbour

Kunsthalle Hamburg



Frankfurt Skyline

Frankfurt Hauptwache


Frankfurt Rรถmer

Goethe House

Financial District



Bay Arena

Japanese Garden (Japanischer Garten)


Leverkusen Rathaus Galerie

Schloss Morsbroich

NaturGut Ophoven

Neuland Park

Altenberger Dom





Dortmund Alter Markt and Saint Reinold’s Church



Zollern Gallery

Phoenix See


Dortmund Hรถrde

Dortmunder U




Saint Gereon’s Church

Kรถlner Dom

Saint Pantaleon Church


Phantasialand in Kรถln


Roman Germanic Museum


Kรถln Cathedral along the Rhine River





Dresden Frauenkirche

Theaterplatz and the Semperoper

Dresden Skyline


Dresden Gardens


Zwinger Palace

Dresden Catholic Church


Moritz Castle

Goldene Reiter


Other places


Bremen Cathedral

Bremen Marketplatz

Leipzig Skyline


Blankenstein Castle near Bochum

Duisburg Altstadt


Neuschwanstein Castle during Winter

Neuschwanstein Castle



Kehlsteinhaus or Eagle’s Nest

Bad Arolsen

Holstentor in LĂźbeck



Linderhof Castle

Insel Mainau in Bodensee


Hanseatic City of LĂźbeck

Dresden Catholic Church


Lindau Island on the Bodensee Lake

Sanssouci Palace and Gardens in Potsdam

Old city of Heidelberg

Ernst-August-Platz Mitte Hannover

Aachen Cathedral


Augustus Square in Leipzig

Old City Hall of Bamberg


Bonn University

Italian Water Stairs in Mainau Insel

Stuttgart Zoo Building


Hannover Neues Rathaus

Schleuse Anderten in Hannover


Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Erfurt Cathedral


Hohenzollern Castle

Eltz Castle


Düsseldorf Panorama

Kaiserburg Castle in Nürnberg

Königstein Fortress in Saxon Switzerland National Park


View of Middle Rhine Valley and Burg Katz

Schlossplatz Pavilion in Stuttgart

Europa Park


RĂźgen Island

Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site

Harz National Park

Hohenschwangau Castle


Panoramic view of beautiful mountain village in the Bavarian Alps

Rostock Wasserturm


Roland Statue in Bremen




Rügen Cliffs at the Baltic Sea

Zugspitze Peak


The Black Forest


Profile for allaboutcountries

All About Countries - Germany  

This is a Codex where you can find general information (history, nature, people, economy), top personalities, best recipes and at least 100...

All About Countries - Germany  

This is a Codex where you can find general information (history, nature, people, economy), top personalities, best recipes and at least 100...