ABOUT Germany

Country Briefs: Germany is more than one could have ever imagined. The country has something for everyone, from Rhine river cruises and the customary Oktobefest to the wonderful cities like Berlin and the excitement of skiing and snowboarding in the Alps. All these lures together make Germany one of the ideal vacation spots on earth.

Germany is an European country. It lies to the north of the North Sea, Denmark and the Baltic sea, to the east of Poland and the Czech republic, to the south by Austria and Switzerland and to the west of France, Belgium and Netherlands.

Germany comprises of 16 states and covers an area of 357,050 square kilometers. Berlin, the largest city is the capital of Germany. Out of Germany's total population that does not exceed 9million people, Berlin alone nestles around 3 million people. Berlin is the political and cultural hub of Germany; it is also a perfect mirror to the vast history of this country.

If we trace back the history of Germany we find that from 100 BC to 300 AD Germany, under the dominion of Celts was invaded by the Germanic tribes from Scandinavia. From 125 to 101 BC the Germanic tribes also invaded the Western Europe. But the Romans soon ousted these people from their place and conquered the area.

The Romans ruled for a long time after which they were overpowered by the Germans in the A.D. 9 Battle of Teutoburg Forest.

From 300 to 843 Germany was flooded with migrations from different sects such as the Goths, Vandas, franks and other Germanic and Slavic tribes.

In 400 AD the king of Visigoths, Euric, codified the German laws into a constitution known as the Code of Euric.

In 843 there was a division of the Carolingian empire that led to the creation of the Holy Roman Empire of German nation. The Roman Empire ruled successfully till 1806.

When the Ottoman Turks came to power in 919, the Holy Roman Empire got to acquire the duchies of Lorraine, Saxony, Franconia, Swabia, Thuringia and Bavaria. Italy and Burgundy too came under the domination of the Holy Roman Empire gradually.

In 1138 the German princes became stronger and virtually became independent rulers within their territories. In 1500 Germany got its separate protestant church. As a result of this from 1618 to 1648 Germany witnessed the thirty years of war, a conflict between Protestants and Catholics. The war ended in 1648 with the treaties of Munster and Osnabruck that in turn led to a weak and broken Germany.

Germany acquired its German confederation with 39 sovereign states in 1814.

On 1st march 1848 the March revolution began. During the course of the war the Prussian king Friedrich William IV was pressed to make concessions and reform the German Federation. In 1886 there was German War in Germany. This led to the dissolution of the German Federation and contraction of the German states.

After the French defeat in the Franco Prussian war that was fought because of Prussian dominance in Germany, the German empire was proclaimed in Versailles on 18th January 1871.


At the onset of 1884, Germany established many colonies.

In November 1918 there took place the Second German Revolution. The war ended with the signing of an armistice on 11th November. In 1919 Germany was forced to sign the treaty of Versailles, which was not actually approved by the Germans.

In august 1919 the Weimar constitution came into effect. The Weimar Republic reigned some glorious years over Berlin.

Following a course of political turmoil on 30th January 1933 president Von Hindenburg appointed Adolph Hitler as the vice chancellor of Germany.

In 1933 by virtue of the Enabling Act, Hitler acquired complete legislative powers of the country.

In 1938 Hitler launched his policy of expansionism, a drive to establish a Greater Germany.

In the years that followed Hitler had overpowered more than half of Europe.

In 1941 Hitler broke the Soviet Union Pact. In the same year the Japanese naval forces attacked the American base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Soon Hitler declared war on United States and the two countries entered the battlefield.

Germany gained control over the Soviet Union and this led to the battle of Stalingrad in 1941.

On 8th may 1945 Germany surrendered as the Red Army captured Berlin. Hitler committed suicide during this time.

Germany persecuted many Jews prior to and during the Second World War.

The Federal Republic of Germany was established on 5th may 1955. On 7th October 1949 the Soviet zone was established as the German Democratic Republic. These two states were known as West and East Germany respectively

The unification of the East and West Germany took place in 1989 and it was known as the German reunification.

However another German reunification followed on 3rd October 1990 when the areas of the former German Democratic Republic (east Germany) were incorporated into the Federal Republic of Germany or West Germany

Germany States
State HASC FIPS Pop-2003 Pop-2002 Area (km.²) Capital German name
Baden-Wurttemberg DE.BW GM01 10,670,000 10,661,000 35,752 Stuttgart Baden-Württemberg
Bavaria DE.BY GM02 12,392,000 12,387,000 70,549 Munich Bayern
Berlin DE.BE GM16 3,392,000 3,392,000 892 Berlin Berlin
Brandenburg DE.BR GM11 2,577,000 2,582,000 29,477 Potsdam Brandenburg
Bremen DE.HB GM03 663,000 662,000 404 Bremen Bremen
Hamburg DE.HH GM04 1,732,000 1,729,000 755 Hamburg Hamburg
Hesse DE.HE GM05 6,088,000 6,092,000 21,115 Wiesbaden Hessen
Lower Saxony DE.NI GM06 7,983,000 7,980,000 47,618 Hanover Niedersachsen
Mecklenburg-West Pomerania DE.MV GM12 1,739,000 1,745,000 23,173 Schwerin Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
North Rhine-Westphalia DE.NW GM07 18,071,000 18,076,000 34,083 Dusseldorf Nordrhein-Westfalen
Rhineland-Palatinate DE.RP GM08 4,054,000 4,058,000 19,847 Mainz Rheinland-Pfalz
Saarland DE.SL GM09 1,063,000 1,065,000 2,569 Saarbrucken Saarland
Saxony DE.SN GM13 4,337,000 4,349,000 18,413 Dresden Sachsen
Saxony-Anhalt DE.ST GM14 2,540,000 2,549,000 20,445 Magdeburg Sachsen-Anhalt
Schleswig-Holstein DE.SH GM10 2,817,000 2,817,000 15,763 Kiel Schleswig-Holstein
Thuringia DE.TH GM15 2,385,000 2,392,000 16,172 Erfurt Thüringen
16 states 82,503,000 82,537,000 357,027    
  • HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes. If periods are replaced by hyphens, these are the same as the state codes from ISO standard 3166-2, except that Brandenburg is DE-BB.
  • ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
  • FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4.
  • NUTS: Codes from Nomenclature for Statistical Territorial Units (European standard).
  • Pop-2003: Mikrozensus 2003-05.
  • Pop-2002: Results of the population update, 2002-12-31.
  • Pop-1991: 1991-12-31 estimate.
  • Capitals: listed in English, but the only name differences in German are München (= Munich), Düsseldorf, and Saarbrücken.
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