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German speaking
Language German
Capital Berlin
Other main cities Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Essen, Dortmund, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Bremen, Hanover, Duisberg
Area (km2) 356,733
Population 82,012,162
Currency Euro
History of Germany
The Franks, one of a number of tribes known to have lived in the region of modern Germany from the end of the 2nd Century BC, were led to European dominance by the Emperor Charlemagne who was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 800 AD, and for several hundred years it was common for the German ruler to possess the title. From 1438 to its decline the Hapsburg line ruled the Holy Roman Empire.

The Thirty Years War (1618-48) left the empire in disarray and by 1815 Austria and Prussia were struggling over control of Germany. Germany was finally united by Otto Von Bismarck, a Prussian Prime Minister, in three wars against Denmark, Austria and France.

Wilhelm I of Prussia was declared Emperor of Germany and the Second German Reich began. Wilhelm II's foreign policy met with defeat in the First World War and the Second German Reich fell, to be replaced by the moderate Weimar Republic.

There was much national resentment towards the Weimar government and Adolf Hitler exploited these feelings, becoming chancellor in 1933 and rearming from 1934. Between 1934 and 1938 the Rhineland was reoccupied, Austria was annexed and alliances with Italy strengthened. The invasion of Poland in 1939 is commonly seen as the beginning of World War II.

After the German surrender the nation was divided into 4 occupied zones. The Federal Republic of Germany was declared in 1949 with Bonn as the capital, while the Soviet dominated East Germany became the Democratic Republic of Germany. The erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961 intensified the division of the two Germanys until 1973 when both nations were accepted for membership of the United Nations.

With the collapse of Communism and the destruction of the Berlin Wall in 1989 Germany was on its way to becoming a united country once more.

Germany's 16 federated states form one of the major industrialised nations of central Europe and a key player in the European Union.

Did you know?
There are no "primitive" languages. All languages have a system of sounds, words and sentences that can adequately communicate the content of culture.
German History
German Speaking
» Germany
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