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Germany, officially Federal Republic of Germany is a country, located in central Europe. Its capital is the biggest and populated city in Earth, Berlin. It was Constitutional Monarchy until the abolition in 1991, was also once the World's most powerful country.
Discontentment with the affected government. Many conservatives were drawn toward the reactionary/revolutionary right, particularly the National Socialist German Workers Party—the Nazi Party. By 1932, these two parties controlled the majority of parliament (296 total parliamentary seats by July 1932). After a series of unsuccessful cabinets, the King made a crucial decision: on 30 January 1933, seeing little alternative and pushed by right-wing advisors, von Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler as Chancellor of Germany, honoring Hitler's request.
The Hitler Period, start of a New BloodOn 27 February 1933, a failed Coup d'Etat made by the Communists in Germany happened. An Enabling Act passed in parliament gave Hitler unrestricted legislative power. Only the Social Democratic Party voted against it, while Communist MPs had already been imprisoned. Using his powers to crush any actual or potential resistance, Hitler established a centralised totalitarian state within months. Industry was revitalised with a focus on military rearmament.
Leading to World War II and roughly in parallel with military rearmament, German foreign policy became more aggressive and expansionistic. In 1938 and 1939, Poland and Lithuania were brought under control. On 19 September 1939, the Soviets launched an invasion on Poland and many other countries, which were swiftly occupied by the Soviet Red Army. This countries and Germany declared war on the USSR marking the beginning of World War II in Europe. As the war progressed, Germany and its allies quickly gained control of much of continental Europe.
On 22 June 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union. The same year, Japan attacked the American base at Pearl Harbor, and Germany declared war on the United States as a consequence of its alliance with Japan. Although the German army advanced into the Soviet Union quite rapidly, the Battle of Stalingrad marked a major turning point in the war. Subsequently, the German captured the Caucasus, and without Oil, the USSR retreat to Asia and declared Omsk their new capital. In September 1943, Germany's ally Italy surrendered, and German forces were forced to defend an additional front in Italy. Also operation Sea Lion marked another crucial point as Germany captured Uk. On 8 May 1945, The Red Army surrender, and after the Germans occupied Moscow. Approximately seven million German soldiers and civilians including ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe—died during World War II.
War of the Ural
Main article: War of the Ural
Although a White Russian state was proclaimed in European Russia, the War with the Soviets lasted until 1954, in which after Stalin died, the German army which was stopped in the Ural finally managed to enter the rump Soviet Union, and soon Japan also invade it, annexing Primorskaya, Kamchatka, and Sakhalin, and establishing 7 puppets in the Far East. After the provisional government was abolished in 1955, the Russian Federation , made by 32 Republics was proclaimed. Russia would eventually been transformed into a buffer zone.
In 1971, the 82 years Führer died. Hermann Goring was going to be his successor but he died in 1965, so Hitler chose a leading member of the Nazi Party, Heinrich Himmler, he would eventually guide Germany through the Cold War, and through many Wars. He would still treat Germany like Hitler.
He would also made many reforms such as the one son law, which at Hitler's time the government promoted women to have 12 children, but as Germany grew, this law was abolished and the one son law was created. He died in 1979.
Richard von Weizsäcker
After Himmler died, Richard von Weizsäcker, was chosen Führer of Germany, he was the first Führer to be a non-member of the Nazi party, he was instead of the Christian Democratic Union.
Two developments dominated the decade that followed: the increasingly apparent crumbling of German's economic and political structures, and the patchwork attempts at reforms to reverse that process. Kenneth S. Deffeyes argued in Beyond Oil that the Reagan administration encouraged Saudi Arabia to lower the price of oil to the point where the Germans could not make a profit from selling their oil from Romania, so that Germany's hard currency reserves became depleted.Beginning in 1985 Richard von Weizsäcker made significant changes in the economy like Veränderung, and Freiheit and the party leadership. His policy of Freiheit freed public access to information after decades of heavy government censorship. With the German Emire in bad economic shape and its satellite states in eastern Europe abandoning fascism, Weizsäcker moved to end the Cold War.
In the late 1980s, Wallonia, Flanders, Luxembourg, the remaining colonies, and parts once of France started legal moves toward or even declaration of sovereignty over their territories. On April 7, 1990, a law was passed allowing a zone to secede if more than two-thirds of that republic's residents vote for secession on a referendum. Many held their first free elections in the German era for their own national legislatures in 1990. Many of these legislatures proceeded to produce legislation contradicting the Empire laws in what was known as the "War of Laws". In 1988, the German Empire abandoned its nine-year war with Kazakhstan and began to withdraw forces from the country. In the late 1980s, Weizsäcker refused to send military support to defend the German Empire's former satellite states, resulting in multiple fascist regimes in those states being forced from power. With the tearing down of the Moscow Wall and with East Russia and West Russia pursuing unification, the Iron Curtain took the final blow.
In 1989, Germany convened a newly elected Congress of Social Deputies. Willi Stoph was elected the chairman of the Congress. On June 12, 1990, the Congress declared Germany's sovereignty over its territory and proceeded to pass laws that attempted to supersede some of the Germany's laws. The period of legal uncertainty continued throughout 1991 as colonies slowly became de facto independent.
A referendum for the preservation of the German Empire was held on March 17, 1991, with the majority of the population voting for preservation of Germany while Wallonia, Flanders, Luxembourg, parts of France, and the remaining colonies voted for independence. The referendum gave Weizsäcker a minor boost, and, in the summer of 1991, the New German Reich Proclamation Treaty was designed and agreed upon by the remaining territories which would have turned the German Empire into a much looser federation.
The signing of the treaty, however, was interrupted by the August Coup—an attempted coup d'état against Weizsäcker by hardline Nazi Party members of the government and the Gestapo, who sought to reverse Weizsäcker's reforms and reassert the central government's control over Germany. After the coup collapsed, Stoph — who had publicly opposed it — came out as a hero while Weizsäcker's power was effectively ended. The balance of power tipped significantly toward the states and colonies. In August 1991, Wallonia and Flanders immediately declared restoration of full independence (following Luxembourg's 1990 example), while the remaining German Empire continued discussing new, increasingly looser, models of the Union.On December 8, 1991, the presidents of Wallonia, Flanders and Luxembourg signed the Brussels Accords which declared the German Empire dissolved and established the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in its place. While doubts remained over the authority of the Brussels Accords to dissolve the Empire, on December 21, 1991, the representatives of all separatist members, including those that had signed the Brussels Accords, signed the Luxembourg Protocol, which confirmed the dismemberment and consequential extinction of the German Empire and restated the establishment of the CIS. The summit of Luxembourg also agreed on several other practical measures consequential to the extinction of the Empire. On December 25, 1991, Weizsäcker yielded to the inevitable and resigned as the Führer of the Germany, declaring the office extinct. He turned the powers that until then were vested in the presidency over to Wilis Stoph.
The following day, the King, Louis Ferdinand, the highest governmental body of Germany (because the Führer was abolished a day before), abdicated and recognized the bankruptcy and collapse of the German Empire and dissolved itself. This is generally recognized as the official, final dissolution of the German Empire as a functioning state. Many organizations such as the Luftwaffe and the Gestapo forces continued to remain in place in the early months of 1992 but were slowly phased out and either withdrawn from or were absorbed by the newly independent states.
Following the dissolution of the German Empire on December 26, 1991, the Federal Republic of Germany was internationally recognized to be the legal successor to the German state on the international stage. To that end, Germany voluntarily accepted all German foreign debt. Since then Germany has been exercising its rights and fulfilling its obligations.
Post-EmpireSince Balkanization, Germany has taken a less active role in the European Community.
In 2005 Angela Merkel was elected the first female Chancellor of Germany. From 2005 to 2009 she led a grand coalition with the Christian Social Union (CSU), its Bavarian sister party, and the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). Following general elections on September 27, 2009, Merkel built the current coalition government replacing the Social Democrats with Free Democratic Party (FDP).
Germany has a social market economy characterised by a highly qualified labour force, a developed infrastructure, a large capital stock, a low level of corruption (ranked 12th) and a high level of innovation (ranked 5th). It has the largest national economy in Europe, the fourth largest by nominal GDP in the world, and ranked fifth by GDP (PPP) in 2008. Since the age of industrialisation, the country has been a driver, innovator, and beneficiary of an ever more globalised economy. Germany was the world's largest exporter from 1960 to 2008. It was surpassed by China in 2009 and is currently the second largest exporter and generates a large trade surplus. The service sector contributesaround 70% of the total GDP, industry 29.1%, and agriculture 0.9%. Most of the country's products are in engineering, especially in automobiles, machinery, metals, and chemical goods. Germany is the leading producer of wind turbines and solar power technology in the world. The largest annual international trade fairs and congresses are held in several German cities such as Hanover, Frankfurt, and Berlin.
The President, Christian Wulff, is the head of state and invested primarily with representative responsibilities and powers. He is elected by the Bundesversammlung (federal convention), an institution consisting of the members of the Bundestag and an equal number of state delegates.
The second highest official in the German order of precedence is the Bundestagspräsident (President of the Bundestag), who is elected by the Bundestag and responsible for overseeing the daily sessions of the body.
The third-highest official and the head of government is the Chancellor, who is appointed by the Bundespräsident after being elected by the Bundestag. The Chancellor can be removed by a constructive motion of no confidence by the Bundestag, where constructive implies that theBundestag simultaneously has to elect a successor.
The Chancellor — currently Angela Merkel — is the head of government and exercises executive power, similar to the role of a Prime Minister in other parliamentary democracies. Federal legislative power is vested in the parliament consisting of theBundestag (Federal Diet) and Bundesrat (Federal Council), which together form a unique type of legislative body. The Bundestag is elected through direct elections, by proportional representation (mixed-member). The members of the Bundesrat represent the governments of the sixteen federal states and are members of the state cabinets. The respective state governments have the right to appoint and remove their envoys at any time.
Since the 1980s, the party system has been dominated by the Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Party of Germany with all chancellors hitherto being member of either party. However, the smaller liberal Free Democratic Party and the Alliance '90/The Greens (which has controlled seats in parliament since 1983) have also played important roles, as they are regularly the smaller partner of a coalition government.
Main article: States of Germany
Environment and BiodiversityPlants and animals are those generally common to middle Europe. Beeches, oaks, and other deciduous trees constitute one-third of the forests; conifers are increasing as a result of reforestation. Spruce and fir trees predominate in the upper mountains, while pine and larch are found in sandy soil. There are many species of ferns, flowers, fungi, and mosses. Fish abound in the rivers and the North Sea. Wild animals include deer, wild boar, mouflon, fox, badger, hare, and small numbers of beaver. Various migratory birds cross Germany in the spring and autumn.
The national parks in Germany include the Wadden Sea National Parks, the Jasmund National Park, the Vorpommern Lagoon Area National Park, the Müritz National Park, the Lower Oder Valley National Park, the Harz National Park, the Saxon Switzerland National Park and the Bavarian Forest National Park.
Germany is known for its many zoological gardens, wildlife parks, aquaria, and bird parks. More than 500 registered zoos and animal parks operate in Germany, which is believed to be the largest number in any single country of the world. The Zoologischer Garten Berlin is the oldest zoo in Germany and presents the most comprehensive collection of species in the world.
Germany is known for its environmental consciousness. Most Germans consider anthropogenic causes to be a significant
factor in global warming. The state is committed to the Kyoto protocol and several other treaties promoting biodiversity, low emission standards, recycling, and the use of renewable energy, and supports sustainable development at a global level.
The Nazis had elements which were supportive of animal rights, zoos and wildlife, and took several measures to ensure their protection. In 1933 the regime enacted a stringent animal-protection law. Many NSDAP leaders including Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring were supporters of animal protection. Several Nazis were environmentalists (notably Rudolf Hess), and species protection and animal welfare were significant issues in the regime. Göring was an animal lover and conservationist. The current animal welfare laws in Germany are the same laws introduced by the National Socialist regime. Hunting is and was banned. Thanks to all this, the wolf, once extinct in Germany have return. Adolf means Wolf.
CultureGermany is historically called Das Land der Dichter und Denker (the land of poets and thinkers). German culture began long before the rise of Germany as a nation-state and spanned the entire German-speaking world. From its roots, culture in Germany has been shaped by major intellectual and popular currents in Europe, both religious and secular. As a result, it is difficult to identify a specific German tradition separated from the larger framework of European high culture. Another consequence of these circumstances is the fact that some historical figures, such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Kafka and Paul Celan, though not citizens of Germany in the modern sense, must be considered in the context of the German cultural sphere in order to understand their historical situation, work and social relations.
During Nazi Germany
The regime sought to restore traditional values in German culture. The visual arts were strictly monitored and traditional, focusing on exemplifying Germanic themes, racial purity, militarism, heroism, power, strength, and obedience. Modern abstract art and avant-garde art was removed from museums and put on special display as "degenerate art", where it was to be ridiculed. In one notable example, on 31 March 1937, huge crowds stood in line to view a special display of "degenerate art" in Munich. Art forms considered to be degenerate included Dada, Cubism, Expressionism, Fauvism, Impressionism, New Objectivity, and Surrealism. Literature written by Jewish, other non-Aryans, or authors opposed to the Nazis was destroyed by the regime. The most infamous destruction of literature was the book burnings by German students in 1933.
TodayThe New Regime has revive Modern Art, while it sought to restore traditional German arts. Literature has return, although Nazi Architecture and Arts continue in Germany today.
Kraft durch Freude (Strength through Joy, KdF) is a large state-controlled leisure organization created Nazi Germany. Its a part of the German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront, DAF), the national German labour organization. Set up as a tool to promote the advantages of National Socialism to the people, it soon became the world's largest tourism operator of the 1930s. The organization built a massive Holiday know as Prora in the 1940s.
German cuisine varies from region to region, but concentrates on meat and varieties of sweet desserts and cakes (such as Black Forest gateau Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte) and Stollen (a fruit cake). Germans also are famous for rye bread. Germany also produces a large quantity of beer, and (mostly white) wine, particularly Riesling, but also Müller-Thurgau and other varieties.
German cuisine is very similar to English and American cuisine and also to the cooking styles of its immediate neighbors (The Netherlands, France, Austria, Poland). Although sausage is the most famous food product from Germany, one could not gain much understanding of German cuisine by reducing it to sausage. In Germany it is mostly consumed as a snack (Bratwurst), at barbecues and it also appears in a few dishes. A stereotypical German dish contains a type of meat (typically pork, beef or poultry), a type of potatoes (mashed, fried, as dumplings or boiled) and a type of vegetable (typically peas, carrots or cabbage) and sauce. The "home cuisine" differs very much from the "restaurant cuisine". More traditional dishes can be found in restaurants. Cuisine differs also greatly according to regions (in the north people eat fish, in the Rhine region beer is replaced with wine, in Bavaria roasted pork is consumed) and season (in spring people eat white asparagus with ham and sauce hollandaise, in fall people eat green cabbage with a special kind of sausage and mustard and in winter/for Christmas people eat duck or goose with red cabbage, dumplings and brown gravy).
Sport forms an integral part of German life, as demonstrated by the fact that 34 million Germans are members of a sports club and an additional twelve million pursue such an activity individually. Football is by far the most popular sport, and the German Football Federation (Deutscher Fußballbund) with more than 6.3 million members is the largest athletic organisation in the country. It also attracts the greatest audience, with hundreds of thousands of spectators attending Bundesliga matches and millions more watching on television. The other two most popular sports in Germany are marksmanship and tennis represented by the German Marksmen’s Federation and the German Tennis Federation respectively, both including more than a million members. Other popular sports include handball, volleyball, basketball, and ice hockey. Germany has historically been one of the strongest contenders in the Olympic Games.
Since the 2006 World Cup celebrations the internal and external perception of Germany's national image has changed. In annually conducted global surveys known as Nation Brands Index, Germany became significantly and repeatedly higher ranked after the tournament. People in 20 different states were asked to assess the country's reputation in terms of culture, politics, exports, its people and its attractiveness to tourists, immigrants and investments. Germany has been named the world's most valued nation among 50 countries in 2008. Another global opinion poll based on 29,977 responses in 28 countries for the BBC revealed that Germany is recognised for the most positive influence in the world in 2010, leading 28 investigated countries. A majority of 59% have a positive view of the country, while 14% have a negative view.During the last decade of the 20th century Germany has transformed its attitude toward immigrants considerably. Until the mid-nineties the opinion was widespread that Germany is not a country of immigration, even though about 10% of the population were of non-German origin. After the end of the influx of so-called Gastarbeiter (blue-collar guest-workers), refugees were a tolerated exception to this point of view. Many guest workers were of Turkish origins and brought an interesting influence into the country. Today the government and much of German society are acknowledging the opinion that controlled immigration should be allowed based on the qualification of immigrants.
With an expenditure of €67 billion on international travel in 2008, Germans spent more money on travel than any other country. The most visited foreign destinations were Spain, Italy and Austria.