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German tribal areas during the time of the Roman Empire (up to 300 AD).
Germany before the Slav incursions.
German language areas in Europe, including those taken in the official national census of 1910.

Germans are a Germanic people, sharing a similar history and genetics, and associated with the German language and Germany.


Pomerode was founded by Pomeranian Germans in 1861 and is considered the "most typically German of all German towns of southern Brazil".

Germans are defined by their blood, or by law (national citizenship), which has, in the course of German history, varying relations to German culture (de), along with the influence of sub-cultures and society in general. Countries with a significant ethnic German population are Germany (overall population 83 million[1], Austria (9 million[2]) and the German part of Switzerland (921,000[3].


Out of approximately 100 million native speakers of German in the world, about 80 million consider themselves Germans. There are an additional 70 million people of German ancestry (mainly in the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Russia, Canada and Australia) who are not native speakers of German but who may still consider themselves ethnic Germans (Volksdeutsche), so that the total number of Germans worldwide lies upwards of 160 million, depending on the criteria applied (native speakers, single-ancestry ethnic Germans or partial German ancestry).

In the USA, 15.2 % of citizens identify as German American (over 40,000,000) according to the United States Census of 2000. Although the percentage has declined, it is still more than any other group. Another 534,000 German citizens live in the USA. 142,000 Germans live in Russia, another 840,000 consider themselves ethnic Germans. 21,000 Germans live in Brazil, over 3,000,000 are of German heritage, about 12 million Brazilians have at least some German heritage, 1.5 million speak German or Brazilian German.[4] Australia has over 1,000,000 people of German citizenship or heritage and over 500,000 Argentinians are of German desent.

Some illustrious Germans



  • Friedrich Hebbel
  • Heinrich von Kleist (de)
  • Gerhart Hauptmann

Poets & authors



See also

Further reading

  • Dawson, William Harbutt, Germany at Home, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1908.
  • Chamberlain, Houston Stewart, Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, 2 vols., John Lane:The Bodley Head, London, 1913.
  • Mackenzie, Donald A., Teutonic Myth and Legend, Gresham Publishing Co., London. n.d. (c1912)
  • Rocker, Rudolph, Nationalism and Culture, Los Angeles, U.S.A., 1937.
  • Royal Institute of International Affairs, Nationalism, Oxford University Press, London, 1939.
  • Moore, Gregory, editor, Fichte: Addresses to the German Nation, Cambridge University Press, 2008, ISBN: 978-0-521-44873-4
  • 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.]


  1. According to the "Central Register of Foreign Nationals" (AZR), there were about 11.2 million "foreigners" living in Germany at the end of 2019.
  2. 93.5% are German according to the 2001 Census
  3. Switzerland has about a quarter of its population born outside the country, and is one of the two countries with the highest proportion of immigrants in the western world. It probably therefore reduces this figures by a third.
  4. The mutually comprehensible German-based dialects spoken by German Brazilians together form a significant minority language in Brazil. They are particularly strong in the country's South and Southeast Regions. Brazilian German is strongly influenced by Portuguese and to a lesser extent by Italian dialects and indigenous languages.