Since 1949 the term "Germany" mainly refers to the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland; BRD), a country created by the Western plutocratic Allies as West Germany, from 1949 to 1990, consisting of the western two-thirds of what is now Germany. Central and eastern Germany had been occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945, who established a puppet communist state west of the river Oder which was more commonly referred to as 'East' Germany (although eastern Germany constitutes those provinces occupied since 1945 by Poland and Russia). West Berlin was an Allied enclave inside the communist German Democratic Republic. When the latter collapsed, West and 'East' (central) Germany were reunited in 1990 and West Germany's 'constitution' and official name (Federal Republic of Germany) were adopted by the now dissolved German Democratic Republic.
Strictly speaking, today's Federal Republic of Germany does not have a constitution but is built on the "Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany" (Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland), dictated by the enemy occupation forces "for" the FRG, therefore not titled "of" the FRG. German courts have treated the Basic Law as a constitution even though it contains no declaration of constitutional status. The Basic Law declares that it shall lose its validity as soon as the German people ratify a constitution. Although the vast majority of Germans today believe that their country is sovereign, Germany’s exact legal status is ambiguous with Allied occupying forces (excludes Russia) still present under the guise of NATO.
Discussion of many aspects of history, notably surrounding World War II, cannot be freely or openly discussed or written about under post-WWII laws. Numerous people have as a result been imprisoned for breaking these laws, sometimes for lengthy periods. This means Germany falls into the category of states with no freedom of speech rights.
- Germania (prehistoric Germanic tribes, the Proto-Germanics or Urgermanen, since approximately 20,000 BC)
- Kingdom of the Franks
- Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation or First Reich (800–1806)
- Deutscher Bund (1815–1866)
- Norddeutscher Bund (1. Juli 1867–18. Januar 1871)
- German Empire or Second Reich (18. Januar 1871–28 November 1918)
- German Reich (1919–1933)
- German Reich or Third Reich (1933–1945)
- West Germany, area militarily occupied by the Western Allies from May 1945
- East Germany, name used by the occupiers of this part of Germany (actually Middle Germany), the Soviet Union
- Federal Republic of Germany (founded 23/24 May 1949)
- German Democratic Republic (founded 7 October 1949)
- German reunification (Deutsche Einheit) on 3 October 1990 (partial)
Germany in this sense traces its origin to the early Germanic tribes east of the Rhine in the area known to the Romans as Germania, against whom the tribes resisted conquest. Most well known is the victory in 9 AD by Hermann over three Roman legions. Tacitus in around 98 AD wrote a book Germania dealing generally with the title and the German tribes. According to the Roman geographer and mathemetician Claudius Ptolemaeus (Ptolemy), Germania's eastern border was the river Vistula (Weichsel). Some of the German tribes later migrated into and conquered large parts of Europe.
Eventually the Holy Roman Empire (from 1512 the "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation") appeared, also known as the First Reich. Although its borders varied greatly over time, countries and states within its borders owed fealty to the Holy Roman Emperor. Austria-Hungary and Prussia eventually became the major powers within the Holy Roman Empire, which was formally dissolved in 1806.
In 1871 the German states were unified into a Federation under the direction of the Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck as the German Empire, also known as the Second Reich, with the Prussian King as Emperor.
Austria-Hungary, having a large German population in some areas, and several other German speaking areas which had previously been part of the Holy Roman Empire, were not part of the German Empire.
The rapid advance to industrial maturity led to a drastic shift in Germany's economic situation – from a rural economy into a major exporter of finished goods. The ratio of the finished product to total exports jumped from 38% in 1872 to 63% in 1912. By 1913 Germany had come to dominate all the European markets. By 1914 Germany had become one of the biggest exporters in the world.
At the end of the First World War, the German Revolution of 1918–19 resulted in the Emperor's abdication and the end of the Empire. It was replaced by the Weimar Republic government who were forced to sign the harsh Treaty of Versailles.
Germany saw itself as the fatherland of the German nation (here meaning ethnic/racial group). In this respect it would today include the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Austria and other territories where Germans live. Also adherents of Pan-Germanism would argue that this includes territories and German homelands where Germans lived until relatively recently when they were expelled at the end of WWII, such as provinces today occupied by Poland and the Czech Republic. Pan-Germanism was an ideology and movement seeking to unify these territories and homelands.
Adolf Hitler and the NSDAP were elected to power in the January 1933 General Elections, which resulted in National Socialist Germany. Austria (the Anschluss) and the Bohemian Sudetenland were incorporated into National Socialist Germany in 1938, before the Second World War, and with that event Germany & Austria were able to recover territories taken from them under the Versailles Treaty. From the German perspective this was a form of pan-Germanism as well as revanchism. With the subsequent addition of non-German territories this enlarged entity is sometimes called, unofficially, the Third Reich.
During and after the war the German people became the victims of mass killings; numbers of victims are disputed. (See Claimed mass killings of Germans by the WWII Allies). Brutal ethnic cleansings by the Soviet Union and its communist puppet governments in the east expelled all Germans from their homelands and also from other countries in the communist bloc. The War Crimes carried out by the Czechs in 1945-6 against the German inhabitants of Bohemia, Moravia, (and Sudetenland) remain unaccounted for.
Federal Republic of Germany
The Federal Republic of Germany is since 24 May 1949 a federal parliamentary republic of sixteen states (Bundesländer). The capital and largest city is Berlin (before that Bonn). The FRG is bordered to the north by the North Sea, Kingdom of Denmark, and the Baltic Sea; to the east by the Republic of Poland and the Czech Republic; to the south by the Federal Republic of Austria and Swiss Confederation; and to the west by the French Republic, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Kingdom of Belgium, and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The territory of the Federal Republic of Germany covers 357,021 square kilometers (137,847 sq mi) and is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. With 81.8 million inhabitants in January 2010, it has the largest population among member states of the European Union, and it is also home to the third-largest number of international migrants worldwide.
In 1949, after World War II, Germany was divided into many separate states along the lines of Allied occupation. The biggest parts of rump Germany—East Germany and West Germany—were reunified in 1990. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Community in 1957, which became the EU in 1993. It is part of the Schengen Area, and since 1999, a member of the euro area.
The Federal Republic of Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, Group of Seven (G7), G20, OECD, and the WTO. It is a major power with the largest national economy in Europe, the fourth-largest by nominal GDP in the world, and fifth by GDP (PPP) as of 2020.
Germany is a leading producer of wind turbines and solar-power technology. Annual trade fairs and congresses are held in cities throughout Germany. 2011 was a record-breaking year for the German economy. German companies exported goods worth over €1 trillion ($1.3 trillion), the highest figure in history. Many years Germany has been the largest exporter and second largest importer of goods worldwide.
The Federal Republic of Germany allocates the second biggest annual budget of development aid in the world, much less was invested in it's military, the Bundeswehr. This changed 2022 drastically after the Russian invasion into Ukraine.
- "Accounting for 15.2% motor vehicles and parts thereof of exports, was Germany's main export product in 2021. Machinery (14.2%) and chemical products (9.9%) ranked second and third, respectively, among the most important export items. According to preliminary results, goods worth 245.4 billion euros were traded between Germany and the People's Republic of China in 2021 (exports and imports). The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reports that the People's Republik of China was Germany's most important trading partner in 2021 for the sixth consecutive year. Next came the Netherlands with a trading volume of 206,3 billion euros, followed by the United States in third place with a foreign trade turnover of 194.0 billion euros."
Germany holds a key position in European affairs and maintains a multitude of close partnerships on a global level. Germany is recognised as a scientific and technological leader in several fields. The state has developed a very high standard of living and established a comprehensive system of social security. Every unemployed person is supported unlimited, doctor visits or hospitalization are free for everyone, so are the universities. Senior citizen receive a pension from their first day of retirement until their last breath.
States of the FRG
- Bavaria (Bayern)
- Berlin (city-state)
- Bremen (city-state)
- Hamburg (city-state)
- Hesse (Hessen)
- Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen)
- North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen)
- Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz)
- Saxony (Sachsen)
- Saxony-Anhalt (Sachsen-Anhalt)
- Thuringia (Thüringen)
- Claimed mass killings of Germans by the WWII Allies
- National Socialist Germany revisionism
- Jewish influence (Germany)
- White demographics: Germany
- Reich • Germanophilia
- German Army
- Barraclough, Geoffrey (translator), Mediaeval Germany 911-1250, Essays by German Historians, Blackwells, Oxford, U.K., 1938.
- Leyser, K. J., Medieval Germany and its Neighbours 900-1250;;, Hambledon Press, London, 1982, ISBN: 0-907-628-08-7
- Führmann, Professor Horst, Germany in the High Middle Ages c1050-1200, Cambridge University Press, U.K., 1986, ISBN: 0-521-26638-6
- Sheehan, James J., German History 1770-1866, Clarendon Press, Oxford, U.K., 1989, ISBN: 0-19-822120-7
- Craig, Gordon A., Germany 1866-1945, Clarendon Press, Oxford, U.K., 1978 & 1988, ISBN: 0-19-822113-4
- Watson, Peter, German Genius - Europe's Third Renaissance, the Second Scientific Revolution, and the Twentieth Century,, Simon & Schuster, London, 2010, ISBN: 978-0-74328-553-7
- Benton L. Bradberry: The Myth of German Villainy, AuthorHouse, 2012, ISBN 978-1477231838 [454 p.]
- Keesing Research Report, Germany and Eastern Europe since 1945, Charles Scribner & Sons, New York, 1973.
- Turner, Henry Ashby, Germany from Partition to Reunification, Yale University Press, U.S.A., 1992, ISBN: 0-300-05347-9
- The Parliamentary Council, which met in Bonn from September 1948 to June 1949, drafted and approved the Basic Law on behalf of the three western occupying powers. It was accepted by all the German Landtag in the three western zones, with the exception of the Bavarian one. On 23 May 1949, four years after the end of World War II, the Basic Law was solemnly proclaimed. It came into effect a day later.
- See Ursula Haverbeck and Ernst Zündel
- Bryce, D.C.L., James, The Holy Roman Empire, New Edition, Macmillan & Co., London, 1915.
- Heer, Professor Friedrich, Charlemagne and His World, London, 1975.
- Hampe, Karl, Germany Under The Salian and Hohenstauffen Emperors, English-language edition, Blackwells, Oxford, U.K., 1973, ISBN: 0-631-14180-4
- Marriott, M.A., Sir J.A.R., and Robertson, C.V.O., LL.D., M.A., Sir Charles Grant, The Evolution of Prussia - The Making of an Empire, New edition, Clarendon Press, Oxford, U.K., 1937.
- Bülow, Prince Bernhard von, Imperial Germany, English-language edition, Cassell & Co., London, 1914.
- Stürmer, Michael, The German Empire 1871-1919, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 2000, ISBN: 0-297-646214
- Palmér, Torsten, Neubauer, Hendrik, & Bierther, Patrick, The Weimar Republic, English-language edition, Könemann, Cologne, Germany, 2000, ISBN: 3-8290-2697-8
- See the Nationalism article.
- The Expulsion of the German Population from the Territories East of the Oder-Neisse Line, editor Professor Theodor Schieder with an editorial committee of four others, Published by the Federal Ministry for Expellees, Refugees and War Victims, Bonn, West Germany, 1954.
- Examples here: http://www.wintersonnenwende.com/scriptorium/english/archives/whitebook/desg22.html#066
- The Liquidator: Edvard Benes, by Sidonia Dedina, 2000, English-language edition, USA, 2001, ISBN 0-9663968-4-7
- The Expulsion of the German Population from Czechoslovakia edited by Professor Theodor Schieder, and an editorial committee of W. Conze, A. Diestelkamp, R.Laun, P. Passow, and H. Rothfels, published by the Federal German Ministry for Expellees, Refugees and War Victims, Bonn, 1960.
- The Sudeten-German Tragedy by Austin J. App, PhD., U.S.A., April 1979.
- Lied der Deutschen
- "Das Lied der Deutschen", unofficially already a hit, was not played at an official ceremony until Germany and the United Kingdom had agreed on the Heligoland–Zanzibar Treaty in 1890, when it appeared only appropriate to sing it at the ceremony on the now officially German island of Heligoland. During the time of the German Empire it became one of the most widely known patriotic songs. The song became very popular after the 1914 Battle of Langemarck during World War I, when, supposedly, several German regiments, consisting mostly of students no older than 20, attacked the British lines on the Western front singing the song, suffering heavy casualties. They are buried in the Langemark German war cemetery in Belgium. On 11 August 1922, German President Friedrich Ebert made it the official German national anthem.
- Germany: Inflow of foreign population by country of nationality, 1994 to 2003. Migrationinformation.org. Retrieved on 2010-01-04.
- Germany world's second biggest aid donor after US TopNews, India. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- Foreign trade, Statistisches Bundesamt
- The leader of Europe? Answers an ocean apart International Herald Tribune. April 4, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-04.
- Confidently into the Future with Reliable Technology www.innovations-report.de. May 7, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-04.