Wednesday, September 1, 2010

GERMANY - Country profile

As Europe's largest economy
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.

Flag of GERMANY :

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

Das Deutschlandlied ("The Song of Germany", also known as "Das Lied der Deutschen" or "The Song of the Germans"), has been used wholly or partially as the national anthem of Germany since 1922. The music was written by Joseph Haydn in 1797 as an anthem for the birthday of the Austrian Emperor Francis II of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1841, the German linguist and poet August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben wrote the lyrics of "Das Lied der Deutschen" to Haydn's melody, lyrics that were considered revolutionary at the time.

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
First stanza

Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,
Über alles in der Welt,
Wenn es stets zu Schutz und Trutze
Brüderlich zusammenhält.
Von der Maas bis an die Memel,
Von der Etsch bis an den Belt,
|: Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,
Über alles in der Welt! :|

Germany, Germany above all,
Above all in the world,
When, for protection and defence, it always
takes a brotherly stand together.
From the Meuse to the Memel,
From the Adige to the Belt,
|: Germany, Germany above everything,
Above everything in the world. :|

Second stanza

Deutsche Frauen, deutsche Treue,
Deutscher Wein und deutscher Sang
Sollen in der Welt behalten
Ihren alten schönen Klang,
Und zu edler Tat begeistern
Unser ganzes Leben lang.
|: Deutsche Frauen, deutsche Treue,
Deutscher Wein und deutscher Sang! :|

German women, German loyalty,
German wine and German song
Shall retain in the world
Their old beautiful chime
And inspire us to noble deeds
During all of our life.
|: German women, German loyalty,
German wine and German song! :|

Third stanza
(Germany's National Anthem)

Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
Für das deutsche Vaterland!
Danach lasst uns alle streben
Brüderlich mit Herz und Hand!
Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
Sind des Glückes Unterpfand;
|: Blüh' im Glanze dieses Glückes,
Blühe, deutsches Vaterland. :|

Unity and justice and freedom
For the German fatherland!
For these let us all strive
Brotherly with heart and hand!
Unity and justice and freedom
Are the pledge of fortune;
|: Bloom in this fortune's blessing,
Bloom, German fatherland. :|

Location :

Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland, south of Denmark.

Maps :

Area :

Total : 357 022 sq km
Land : 348 672
sq km
Water : 8 350 sq km

Coastline :

2 389 km

Elevation extremes :

Lowest point : Neuendorf bei Wilster -3.54 m
Highest point : Zugspitze 2 963 m

Terrain :

Lowlands in north, uplands in center, Bavarian Alps in south.

Natural resources :

Coal, lignite, natural gas, iron ore, copper, nickel, uranium, potash, salt, construction materials, timber, arable land.

Climate :

Temperate and marine ; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers ; occasional warm mountain (foehn) wind.

Population :

82 329 758 (2010 estimation)

Nationality :

Demonym : German

Ethnic groups :

German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1% (made up largely of Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish).

Religions :
Protestant 34%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 3.7%, unaffiliated or other 28.3%.

Languages :


Country name :

Conventional long form : Federal Republic of Germany
Conventional short form : Germany
Local long form : Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Local short form : Deutschland
Former : German Empire, German Republic, German Reich

ISO country code :


Government type :

Federal Republic.

Capital :

Berlin (population of city : 3 439 100 -2009- Largest city of Germany)
Former (transitional) Capital City: Bonn

Other major cities :

Bremen, Dortmund, Dresden, Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover , Köln, München, Stuttgart.

Administrative divisions :

16 states (Laender, singular - Land) ; Baden-Wurttemberg, Bayern (Bavaria), Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia), Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate), Saarland, Sachsen (Saxony), Sachsen-Anhalt (Saxony-Anhalt), Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringen (Thuringia); note - Bayern, Sachsen, and Thuringen refer to themselves as free states (Freistaaten, singular - Freistaat).

Independance :

18 January 1871 (German Empire unification) ; divided into four zones of occupation (UK, US, USSR, and later, France) in 1945 following World War II ; Federal Republic of Germany (FRG or West Germany) proclaimed 23 May 1949 and included the former UK, US, and French zones ; German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany) proclaimed 7 October 1949 and included the former USSR zone ; West Germany and East Germany unified 3 October 1990 ; all four powers formally relinquished rights 15 March 1991.

National holiday :

Unity Day, 3 October (1990).

Constitution :
23 May 1949, known as Basic Law ; became constitution of the united Germany 3 October 1990.

Executive branch :

Chief of state : President Christian WULFF (since 30 June 2010).

Head of government : Chancellor Angela MERKEL (since 22 November 2005).

Cabinet : Cabinet or Bundesminister (Federal Ministers) appointed by the president on the recommendation of the chancellor.

Elections : president elected for a five-year term (eligible for a second term) by a Federal Convention, including all members of the Federal Assembly and an equal number of delegates elected by the state parliaments ; election last held on 30 June 2010 (next to be held by June 2015) ; chancellor elected by an absolute majority of the Federal Assembly for a four-year term ; Bundestag vote for Chancellor last held after 27 September 2009 (next to follow the legislative election to be held no later than 2013).

Election results : Christian WULFF elected president ; received 625 votes of the Federal Convention against 494 for GAUCK and 121 abstentions ; Angela MERKEL reelected chancellor ; vote by Federal Assembly 323 to 285 with four abstentions .

Legislative branch :

Bicameral legislature consists of the Federal Council or Bundesrat (69 votes ; state governments sit in the Council ; each has three to six votes in proportion to population and are required to vote as a block) and the Federal Assembly or Bundestag (622 seats ; members elected by popular vote for a four-year term under a system of personalized proportional representation ; a party must win 5% of the national vote or three direct mandates to gain proportional representation and caucus recognition).

Judicial branch :

Federal Constitutional Court or Bundesverfassungsgericht (half the judges are elected by the Bundestag and half by the Bundesrat).

Currency :

Euro (EUR) -

Agriculture products :

Potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruit, cabbages, cattle, pigs, poultry.

Industries :

Among the world's largest and most technologically advanced producers of iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, machine tools, electronics, food and beverages, shipbuilding, textiles.

Exports partners :
France 10.2%, US 6.7%, Netherlands 6.7%, UK 6.6%, Italy 6.3%, Austria 6%, China 4.5%, Switzerland 4.4% (2009).

Imports partners :

Netherlands 12.71%, France 8.3%, Belgium 7.19%, China 6.89%, Italy 5.88%, UK 4.76%, Austria 4.55%, US 4.25%, Switzerland 4.07% (2009).

1 comment:

  1. Foto Christian Wulff 2009 von: Martina Nolte, Lizenz: Creative Commons BY-SA-3.0 de (