and second most populous nation (after Russia),
Germany is a key member of the continent's economic, political,
and defense organizations.
European power struggles immersed Germany
in two devastating World Wars in the first half of the 20th century
and left the country occupied by the victorious Allied powers
of the US, UK, France, and the Soviet Union in 1945.
With the advent of the Cold War, two German states were formed in 1949 :
the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG)
and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR).
The democratic FRG embedded itself in key Western economic
and security organizations, the EC, which became the EU, and NATO,
while the Communist GDR was on the front line of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact.
The decline of the USSR and the end of the Cold War
allowed for German unification in 1990.
Since then, Germany has expended considerable funds
to bring Eastern productivity and wages up to Western standards.
In January 1999, Germany and 10 other EU countries
introduced a common European exchange currency, the euro.
The flag of Germany is a tricolour consisting of three equal horizontal bands displaying the national colours of Germany : black, red and gold.
The black-red-gold tricolour first appeared in the early 19th century and achieved prominence during the 1848 revolution. The short-lived Frankfurt Parliament of 1848–1850 proposed the tricolour as a flag for a united and democratic German state. With the formation of the Weimar Republic after World War I, the tricolour was adopted as the national flag of Germany. Following World War II, the tricolour was designated as the flag of both West and East Germany. The two flags were identical until 1959, when the East German flag was defaced with the coat of arms of East Germany. Since reunification on 3 October 1990, the black-red-gold tricolour has remained the flag of Germany.
The flag of Germany has not always used black, red and gold as its colours. After the Austro–Prussian War in 1866, the Prussian-dominated North German Confederation adopted a tricolour of black-white-red as its flag. This flag later became the flag of the German Empire, formed following the unification of Germany in 1871, and was used until 1918. Black, white and red were reintroduced as the German national colours with the establishment of Nazi Germany in 1933.
The colour schemes of black-red-gold and black-white-red have played an important role in the history of Germany and have had various meanings. The colours of the modern flag are associated with the republican democracy formed after World War II, and represent German unity and freedom : not only the freedom of Germany, but also the personal freedom of the German people.
National Anthem of GERMANY :
"Lied der Deutschen" (Song of the Germans)
"Deutschlandlied" (Song of Germany)
Words by : August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben
Music by : Joseph Haydn
Adopted : 1922, abolished 1945, restored 1990
The song is as well-known by the opening words and refrain of the first stanza, "Deutschland über alles" (Germany above all), but this has never been its title. The line "Germany, Germany above all" meant that the most important goal of the Vormärz revolutionaries should be a unified Germany overcoming the perceived anti-liberal Kleinstaaterei. Alongside the Flag of Germany it was one of the symbols of the March Revolution of 1848.
In order to endorse its republican and liberal tradition, the song was chosen for national anthem of Germany in 1922, during the Weimar Republic. Out of similar reasons in 1952, West Germany adopted the Deutschlandlied as its official national anthem, with only the third stanza sung on official occasions. Upon German reunification in 1990, the third stanza only was confirmed as the national anthem.
The following provides the lyrics of the "Lied der Deutschen" as written by Hoffmann von Fallersleben. Only the third verse is currently the Federal Republic of Germany's national anthem.
|German lyrics||Approximate translation|
Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,
Germany, Germany above all,
Deutsche Frauen, deutsche Treue,
German women, German loyalty,
|Third stanza |
(Germany's National Anthem)
Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
Unity and justice and freedom
Land : 348 672 sq km
2 389 km
Elevation extremes :
Lowlands in north, uplands in center, Bavarian Alps in south.
82 329 758 (2010 estimation)
Demonym : German
Ethnic groups :
Country name :
Former : German Empire, German Republic, German Reich
ISO country code :
Government type :
Berlin (population of city : 3 439 100 -2009- Largest city of Germany)
Former (transitional) Capital City: Bonn
Other major cities :
Administrative divisions :
National holiday :
Unity Day, 3 October (1990).
Executive branch :
Legislative branch :
Judicial branch :
EUR) - €
Agriculture products :
Potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruit, cabbages, cattle, pigs, poultry.
Exports partners :
Imports partners :