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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 5

Cons and tolerance

Germany is today often regarded as an open and tolerant country, although conservative politicians have voiced strong criticism against the Islamic minority after the murder of the Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh, and said the multi-cultural idea have failed. Removed as irrelevant to the article. They say that every day, to everyone who isn't hiding quickly enough. -- Anon.


I started editing the history section, and then I got to the part about Bismarck and the unification of the Second Empire. The pace of the text changes dramatically here. Before I delete a lot of stuff that is true and that is learned in German history courses, I thought maybe it would be good to discuss what is German history, what is Prussian history, and whether the Bismarckian era is so much more important to German history than the Metternichian (Metternich is not mentioned at all, nor is Marx)--and if we go into the history of Prussia, should we not also include the internal politics of the Kingdom of Württemberg, the development of the first constitution of Nassau, etc? I think a lot of this should be moved to other articles and the "Germany" article should present more of a summary. I just don't know where (or how) to move it... --Bhuck 10:15, 8 Apr 2004 (UTC)

- I know there's a separate article on the Third Reich, but the history summary in this article really should elaborate on this extremely important part of German history. Astonishing that (even in such a brief summary) the words Fascism, Nazi, and holocaust get not even a mention. They should be there if only to provide the links to the relevant articles, which I suppose is a primary function of such a summary. Somebody please rectify this.--Palefire


Germany's population number in the template:germany infobox appears to be set too low. According to the German Federal Statistical Office, Germany's population at the end of December 2003 was 82,531,700 - not 82,495,000 [1]. The English site of the Federal Statistical Office is definitely worth checking from time to time. Heimdal 13:16, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Made some changes in the 2nd paragraph of the article's demographics section - plus a link to the German Federal Statistical Office. I have removed the word "Gastarbeiter" because it is no longer used in Germany. Heimdal 13:51, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I have been bold and removed the entire 4th paragraph in the demographics section of the article, after my changes to the 2nd paragraph. Heimdal 14:39, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Some other numbers are wrong for non-citizen residents. The real numbers are here (english, from the Federal Statistical Office) http://www.destatis.de/basis/e/bevoe/bevoetab4.htm. I would change it but the page is locked :) The number of muslims is wrong too but I cant find a good source for that.

There's a more detailed table here: [2] (same source) - it shows that there are more Brits and Portuguese in Germany than Macedonians, for example. The current figures in the article seem to come from the table mentioned by the last poster. Saintswithin 18:51, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Mapblast map?

To answer your question, Magnus, sure, why not a link to a Mapblast map? But why Mapblast in particular? There are surely a lot better maps for our purposes. In fact, if I'm not mistaken the CIA has some for free. --LMS

Fascinating article, Axel! Looks like a lot of good material for the anti-Americanism article. --LMS

Which date of independence to use?

Which date of independence should we use? The 1949 date is frequently used given the nature of reform within Germany leading up to that date. Just how much of the Empire is left in today's Germany? Also, I'm not sure about the national motto. -Scipius

hmm, good question. You can even go for the unification date. However, the country as we know it now was really founded in 1871, so I'd take that date. The Netherlands and the USA's borders haven't really remained the same either since their independence. Jeronimo
1871 is the prussian unification the so called "kleindeutsche Lösung" which meant that since then German Austria was excluded. 1949 is todays Western Germany which has little in common with the Kaiserreich.-- 15:02, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I don't like the notion of 1871 as a date of independence. I admit this primarily to be a subjective feeling, but 1991 or 1949 would in my opinion be the only veracious data for independence. When it comes to formation one can of course argue that 873 is equally much the date of foundation of "the country as we know it" as is the re-unifications in 1871 or 1990. -- Ruhrjung 09:40 May 5, 2003 (UTC)
Well, the word independence is taken from the country template, as it is applicable to many nations in the world - but not to all. If the word independence is not your liking (and I can agree with that) you can replace it by "founded" or "formed" or something similar, since Germany indeed never really was a dependency, with the possible exception of the years after WW2. Then, I'd prefer the year 1871 because - I believe - that was when the country also became known as Germany. Jeronimo 10:15 May 5, 2003 (UTC)
Now I think the 2nd Empire was best known abroad as The Prussians for all of its existence. :-))) But joking apart, I agree that Germany was dramatically transformed in 1871. However, let's not give the impression that this transformation was the most significant in the German history. I hold the splits of Charlemagne's realm, and the Westphalian treaties, as more important for the German nation. Mentioning 1871 in this context gives me strange associations. To put this in perspective, see: Denmark, France, Sweden and Russia. Don't forget that Denmark was discontinued for some 20 years of the 14th century (pawned to Holstein), and that Sweden was (at least semi-dependent) to Denmark in the 15th century. -- Ruhrjung 10:56 May 5, 2003 (UTC)
2nd Reich is nazi vocabulary -- 15:02, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I do now change the data to 873. -- Ruhrjung 06:24 May 13, 2003 (UTC)

Uh, no no no no, The Bundesrepublik Deutschland was not formed in 873 AD! The modern German government was formed quite recently! It's really not appropriate to use Independence in reference to this region as it never really fought a war of independence, nor was it really granted independence excepting that in relation to its brief postwar occupations. The independence term is a holdover from the United States page I suspect, that should be changed to Date of Formation or something; which, depending on whether WEst Germany annexed East Germany or merged with East Germany is going to be either 1991 or 1949. The 1871 government ceased to exist in 1918.

Annexed East Germany ???? -- 15:02, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

See the comments from May 5. I agree with you that the "Independence" scheeme is awkward. But isn't there a reason to chose a similar aspect as have our neighbour countries? "France" or "Sweden" has also changed regimes and borders quite a few times. -- Ruhrjung 06:48 May 13, 2003 (UTC)

Do Germans even celebrate an independence day?

they celebrate unification
No. Do the Danes or the Swedes?
With all respect for your boldness, I question if it's too wise to change a disputed sentence before having tried to conclude the debate on this talk-page. -- Ruhrjung 07:00 May 13, 2003 (UTC)
Actually we kind of have an "Independance Day", the "Tag der Deutschen Einheit" (day of German unity) on -10-03 since 1990. 1949-05-23 is only celebrated in that the Bundespräsident is elected on that date every five years. But as the GDR merely joined the FRG (which still upsets some people) that day, I see the formation of the state in 1949. OTOH it wasn't independent back then, probably not even before 1991-03-04 when the USSR finally ratified the 4+2-Treaty. -- Crissov 14:52, 22 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I think you are trying to use the somewhat amigious "date of the formation of the German nation" whereas this page seems to refer explicitly to the federal democratic constitutional government formed in 1949.

The 1871 government may have ceased to exist in 1918, but the German state founded in 1871 did not. The German state t<style>

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} </style> hat existed between 1918 and 1945 was called the Deutsche Reich, just like the state that existed before 1918. It changed its form of government, but it was still the same country, with the same name and (mostly) the same internal divisions. In 1945, though, I'd say that state pretty much ceased to exist. john 06:55 May 13, 2003 (UTC)

Großdeutsche Reich in fact, Germany in 1940 was united Germany and Austria, named Großdeutsches Reich.

Well, I disagree although it doesnt matter if we both agree the state vanished in 1945. I think the Weimar Republic was wholly new and different from the 1871 government.

A republic, no monarchy, in deed.
It makes me sad to see my friendly attempt being reverted within minutes. I fear this doesn't exactly improve the credibility of this and similar pages. One could have hoped for, at least, a message on my Talk-page. In a perfect state the discussion had been resolved on this talk page first, and I admit I maybe better could have waited.
So far there have been reasons presented for:
  1. The time of the division of Charlemagnes realm.
  2. The establishment of the Second Empire.
  3. The establishment of West-Germany.
  4. The re-unification with East-Germany.
  5. The time when the occupational troops left German soil.
The scheeme used contains a box for "Independence". I question the value of a title "Formation" which would be unique for Germany. This doesn't reflect any real uniqueness, in my humble opinion. Better would be to note the year of Independence as "n/a". -- Johan Magnus 01:33 May 14, 2003 (UTC)
I think "formation" is a much better name than "independence." Independence doesn't work for most of Europe, or for China, for Thailand, Japan, Ethiopia, and various other countries. Also, what date do you give for the "independence" of the British dominions? The date they became dominions, or the date of the Statute of Westminster? Formation works better. When was, say, Argentina, formed? It would be the same year that it became independent, no? That would seem to be a much wider form than "Independence" john 06:04 May 14, 2003 (UTC)

However, the date 1949 is to modern Germany as 1776 is to the United States. Surely we should not fail to include such an important date? I agree it is somewhat inappropriate perhaps to revert; however, do not worry too much as older versions are saved. My reversion accomplished some good as you have now decided to discuss this issue. While the idea of a convention regulating pages to be similar is a good idea, I question whether every state should be given a "date of independence" as this is not applicable in many situations; however, what is implied by that term "independence" is applicable in probably every single case, that being the day the current government is generally considered to have been formally and constitutionally created, a date which in some cases simply happens to coincide with "independence".

The date 1871 seems, to me, at least, to be similarly important to 1949. After 1871, there was a single German state - only after 1871 does the term "Germany" even acquire a political meaning. 1949 is simply the date of foundation of the present government, the Bundesrepublic. Would we give 1946 as the date of independence or foundation or formation of Italy? No, we would give 1861, wouldn't we? john 06:04 May 14, 2003 (UTC)

No the Bundesrepublik was the partial souvereignity of the Western occupied territories. Same happened in the Middle German part (SBZ--> GDR), and the Eastern part went under Poland's rule and is since then no part of political germany anymore.

But was the Bundesrepublik Deutschland formed in 1871? I think the solution to this issue is to have Germany be a history page about the notion of a German nation; and with a link to Bundesrepublik Deutschland. It may be correct to say the German nation formally appeared in 1871; however, it is incorrect to say the Bundesrepublik Deutschland was formed at that time, and that is what this article is indicating.

Don't you think it could have a value to use the "Fact box" in a similar way as the neighbour nations? -- 14:28 14 May 2003 (UTC)

Again, the Republic of Italy was not formed in 1861, but Italy as a nation-state was. Similarly, Germany as a nation-state was formed in 1871. The present French Republic was formed in 1959, but France has been in existence as a political entity for a millennium or so, and as a nation-state for hundreds of years. Why is the Bundesrepublik to be treated differently? I would say that the four years of non-German sovereignty would be the only argument to be made on this basis. If this were 1930, say, Clearly the German Reich had been founded not in 1918 or 19 (the dates of the fall of the monarchy and the Weimar constitution, respectively), but in 1871, in spite of the fact that the form of government and constitution were different. And a name change doesn't really seem significant enough, either. In the last 30 years, Afghanistan has changed it's name numerous times. Until 1973, it was the Kingdom of Afghanistan. In that year, it became the Republic of Afghanistan. In 1978, it became the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. In 1987, it switched back to the Republic of Afghanistan. In 1992, it became the Islamic State of Afghanistan, and in 1997, with the Taliban, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Since 2001, it's been the Islamic State of Afghanistan again. Does that mean that Afghanistan was formed in 2001? john 07:33 16 May 2003 (UTC)

the question is if you regard German Austria as a part of Germany, 1871 was the kleindeutsche Lösung, the prussian monarchic germany. After the i. WW the parliaments of both Germany and Austria called for unification but it was prohibited by the Versailles treaty. So the main result from 1871 was the split between germany and Austria.-- 15:02, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I would like to remind that this is not a page about the Bundesrepublik, just like France isn't about the Fifth Republic, or Sweden isn't about Bernadotte's Swedish Monarchy, or the Social Democrats' Swedish Hegemony. On the other hand, this is not about the "Germanics". It's about "Germany". What happened in 1871? Imperial Austria's prestigeous wish to dominate Germany was defeated by Prussia, establishing a competing Empire. A division of Germany was established, just like in 1949. Denmark "as we know it today" must be said to have been formed either in 1658, when Terra Scania was to be ceeded, in the 1350s when Waldemar Atterdag re-conquered and re-united most of Denmark from German Counts of Holstein, or in 1864 when Schleswig-Holstein was ceeded. But a (loosly) united Denmark existed since Christianization. The same can be said about Sweden. And about Germany and France since 873. Italy is not an equal case: Italy had been under a sustained foreign rule and totally lost unity. Germany wasn't under foreign rule until 1871. -- Ruhrjung 08:37 16 May 2003 (UTC)

The idea that Germany between say 1250 and 1871 (or 1866) is comparable in its nation-stateness to France, Sweden, Denmark, etc. in the same period is ridiculous.
in fact France was no nation in 1250
This I dispute in all friendliness. Compare Denmark before Waldemar Atterdag with the German Reich, or Sweden before Gustav Wasa. -- Ruhrjung 09:28 18 May 2003 (UTC)
Yes, Germany wasn't under foreign rule. But it was not a unified state either. The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation was an interesting phenomenon, and was a kind of German political entity, but it was nothing like the Kingdom of France, and the Emperor was not the monarch of Germany in the same way that the Most Christian King was the monarch of France. And the Germanic Confederation that followed was even less a German state. 1871 was the year that a single, sovereign German state was created, in very much the same way that a single, sovereign, Italian state was created ten years earlier. Yes, the details were different, because the Italian and German situations were different, but I still think the analogy is appropriate, and that Germany before 1866 was a lot more like Italy than it was like France, even if it was not entirely like either. john 07:00 18 May 2003 (UTC)
Of course it was! The Caesar was roman emperor. Back then there was no concept of a national state. The split between France and Germany then netherlands and Germany all this is not on a nation's state level. The King of Hanover was the British crown. The national anthem of the German Reich was the same as the British. Parts of middle germany were under rule of the swedish crown. In the 30 yrs War spanish, swedish troups fought. Modern Germany as a nation appears in 1848 with the Frankfurt assembly and the failed formation of a United Germany.
If one choses to look at one fixed date, as for instance Germany of 1863, there are strong reasons supporting the notion of "Germany being more like Italy than France". Although, if instead focusing on trends and longer periods, I think one comes to another conclusion. France, Denmark, Sweden and Germany started as rather similar constructs. The other escaped the deepest pits of feudalism, Germany didn't, which showed in 1648. But Germany remained formally independent (although sovereignty was feudalistically spread - but cultural and linguistic unity didn't suffer). Then, and maybe more important, do Germans relate to Germany in a way similar to how Italians relate to Italy rather than to how the French relate to France or the Norwegians relate to Norway?
Maybe it would be the best idea to note the year of Independence as "n/a" - or maybe simplier: to remove the row from the table.
-- Ruhrjung 09:28 18 May 2003 (UTC)
Removing the row might be easiest. I'd add that Germany had little more "linguistic unity" than Italy in, say, the 18th century. Both had a literary language based on one of the regional languages (Saxon in Germany, Tuscan in Italy), and a variety of more or less related dialects, some mutually incomprehensible. I'd also add that the "deepest pits of feudalism" reached by Germany were at a level never reached by any other European state. The extraordinary disunity of Germany for most of the Early Modern Period, in particular, was unique in European history, and in many ways, well, not feudalism at all. I'd also say that the nature of the idea of the Holy Roman Empire as a universal state (which was shared between Germany and Northern Italy) served to make German proto-nationalism a rather different thing from the proto-nationalism of France, England, or Sweden. The early Germans (and North Italians) expressed their political identity through an empire which was theoretically universal, in much the same way that the Byzantine Empire produced an identity which was not Greek nationalist in any modern sense, but rather "Roman" and universal. I think this is a pretty significant difference. And the shared experience between Germany and Northern Italy here is significant. Southern Italy had a rather different experience, of course. In any event, I think that in most ways, the German and North Italian experience during the high and late middle ages was quite different from that in France (can one imagine a Frenchman writing, as Dante did, of the virtues of a universal monarchy, for instance?) That the universalist imperial vision had, likely, died with poor Conradin in Naples in 1268 was not noticed for a while. And by the time it had, both Northern Italy and Germany had developed politically in quite a different manner from most of the rest of Europe. Looking at Europe around 1500, one sees, around the margins, several medium-to-large, relatively unitary states - Portugal, Castile, Aragon, Naples, Hungary, Bohemia, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, England, Scotland, France. And then, in the middle, is the mess that is the Holy Roman Empire, which is, depending on how you look at it, either an enormous state dominating the whole center of Europe, or a tangle of hundreds of small to very small states. Anyway, I think a pretty strong case can be made that Germany was *always* more easily comparable to Italy than to Sweden or France. john 08:06 19 May 2003 (UTC)
Given the header of the table reads "Bundesrepublik Deutschland", IMHO the date of formation should related to this. This doesn't help much for the table titled "Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft" though. BTW I added the definition from the primary source (Factbook) to Independence .. at least, until the content in all country articles has been edited. --User:Docu

About this 'day of independence' thingie... i'd think, that the official date is 1955 (would've to look up the exact date), when the FRG got back 'full' sovereignty` from the 4 allied control powers. That year allied controls and restraints where lifted, Germany got a 'new' army (recruited from the paramilitary police force established a few years earlier and commanded by former nazi-generals...) and joined NATO. The allies kept the right to intervene into inner-german-turmoil (coup d'etat and the like) till 1966? when the german army gained that right (notstandsgesetze) perhaps both dates should be mentioned... i'll be back at university tomorrow and ask there. the one, who teaches "regierungssysteme in deutschland" (types of goverment in germany) should know for sure... hal9500

I am amending words that go beyond non-NPOV and to unsubstantiated theory only. Read Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World by a most respected and authoratative historian with access to facts who debunks the myth being perpetuated here by pointing out that at the Paris Peace Talks that resulted in the Treaty of Versailles, the Allied leaders did their best, and to blame World War II on them is to absolve Hitler and his appeasers. Joe Canuck 13:10 17 Jun 2003 (UTC)

The article and table refer to the Federal Republic, so those dates should be used for formation & unification (which I have changed to the usual English term "Reunification". Other dates can be mentioned in the history but there is no need to list them in the table. The situation is not similar to Canada which lists 3 dates in the evolution of one constant political entity.--garryq 16:01, 16 May 2004 (UTC)

People, you should put in the year 1949. In 1990 the DDR (GDR in English = German Democratic Republic) (DDR = Deutsche Demokratische Republik) decided to merge with the Federal Republic. Though they merged, they DDR merely added their territory to the Federal Republic's. The DDR had a 'special' status (which it still has) with elections and electors, but it's the Federal Republic's Government that stayed in power. So in the end, I, as a german [not really proud of being one] have to say that the real date was 1949 though the national holiday is the 3rd October 1990 when the two states officially merged. --frederick_c 17:37, 7 February 2005 (GMT +8)

I'd say, Germany's formation date is 1871. In 1973 the german Federal Constitution Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) in Karlsruhe has judged, that the Federal Republic of Germany is the german national state as formed in 1871 and not the successor of the German Empire. 18:19, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

Controversial section

The following was inserted by http://www.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Special:Contributions&target= together with some other material of a less problematic nature:

The German inhabitants, who before the war had numbered 10 million, were expropriated and expelled. About 2 million residents of these areas lost their lives in the war and expulsions, which were essentially completed in 1949.

Kosebamse 17:37, 19 Aug 2003 (UTC)

See Heimatvertriebene. --Ann O'nyme 22:36, 19 Aug 2003 (UTC)


Moved from article: (There is a German word for constitution; the name Grundgesetz was chosen on purpose, to reflect the temporary nature of it. There was supposed to be a 'real' constitution, after reunification. After reunification came, the Grundgesetz was accepted as the official German constitution by parliament.)

That name was indeed chosen instead of "Verfassung" (constitution) for that very reason. Although in the reunification treaties proposals were laid down for reappraisal and reformation of the "Grundgesetz", very little has changed in fact. I am however not sure to what degree today's Grundgesetz has indeed been passed by parliament after 1990 and whether it is universally accepted that there is no further need to discuss reforms. Kosebamse 13:46, 17 Oct 2003 (UTC)

To explain my strange edit summary, before that I made an edit where I didn't change anything by mistake and thought it would show up - what I did was restoring the edit Kosebamse explains above after having reverted to an earlier version. - Sandman 09:05, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Hi Sandman, I moved that paragraph out of the article because
  1. "There is a German word for constitution" is a clumsy way of putting it (why not give the translation? Why do we need this at all?)
  2. I have not seen any explanation whether the German federal parliament has indeed, in a legally binding sense, passed the Verfassung after Germany's reunification; indeed I seem to remember that the matter is not entirely settled in view of the explicit provisions in the reunification treaties calling for constitutional reforms. Sorry, IANAL, but there remains some doubt on my side.
Methinks, therefore, it would be better to clarify this and improve the article instead of just reverting it (BTW I am in no way related to the revisionists who currently haunt German/Polish articles with their name changes and what not). Kosebamse 21:13, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)
I didn't revert your change - I reverted earlier changes and then restored yours. I know it looks different in the edit summaries, that's why I tried to explain it here. - Sandman 13:31, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Oh I see. I tried to get a clue from the page history, but apparently didn't. So if now somebody could enlighten us as to the facts... Thanks, Kosebamse 19:22, 19 Oct 2003 (UTC)


While reading about Magellan's first voyage, the names of the first 18 seamen to circumnavigate the globe were listed. On that list, Hans of Aachen leapt out at me. So I thought others might be interested that seamen of many nationalities participated in the voyage. Thus the edit which has since been reverted. I have no problem with this, but I thought this knowledge would edify others. 21:49, 18 Oct 2003 (UTC)

If you'll notice, the Library of Congress Country Studies puts a great deal of emphasis on the social structure of Germany. I cannnot claim to be an expert on this country, but from what I know about the culture, social stratification and political theory are major parts of German identity and the organization of society. (Some may even say that the clash of ideologies in the 1920s/30s was a defining "tipping point.") If possible, can experts on this topic offer more material on this matter? I find the idea in the Country Study of the "elite 1000" particularly fascinating. Even today, ten years after the Country Study, work like Gerhard Richter's clearly plays on ideas of government control, organization, the "elite," etc. Thanks, and great article.

French along the border?

Are there really regions in Germany where French is spoken along the border to France? Never heard about that.

I don't know for sure. My guess would be, that "yes".
I have been to "Elsaß" several times as kid (in the early 80ies) and remember a few of the elder still being able to talk German. These people are vanishing as history goes. I believe most young people identify fully with the nation, they are living in.
I guess, that especially on these, historically a long time inconsistant (long lasting argues and wars of both nations of ownership in pre-UN history), places there might be traumatic ideas when talking the other language, so this might be a reason it is not being cultivated.
I just added these lines to give this topic some thought, this is not an encouragement, to make that a "fact", since I can't give one. Someone might want to know how to research this ? --Amix 02:16, 26 May 2004 (UTC)
Theres a state called Saarland where some people actually speak french and german.
Alsace and Lorraine regions have switched hands between the two nations many times in the past century or so, so i'd assume that along the border people may speak the language of the other country to that in which they live Grunners 15:03, 15 Jul 2004 (UTC)

As the grandson of an Alsatian grandmother born in the city of Mulhouse/Mühlhausen in Southern Alsace/Elsass, near the Swiss border, I can assure you, that especially in the countryside many people still speak the local German dialect. This dialect belongs to the Alemannic dialect group and is understood by most Germans that live in South Western Germany as well as by German speaking Swiss, since their dialects belong to the same group. There are also shows on local radio and television in this dialect, and the main newspaper, "Derniere Nouvelle d'Alsace" is published in French and German (Standard German) since there is no codified version of the Alsatian and Lorraine dialects. As for the Saarland, the local language is German (or rather the Saar dialect, which again has many similarities with the Lorraine dialect spoken on the other side of the border) and the majority of the population isn't necessarily more fluent in German than your average German in other parts of Southern/Southwestern Germany. Over the past decades Alsace/Elsass has become a symbol of European unity and reconciliation, which is probably why the European Union made the Alsatican capital Strassbourg/Straßburg on of their seats of parliament. GermanAmerican 19:51, 9 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Isn't the history section a little unbalanced?

Reading through the "history" section one can see that by far the largest portion of the text deals with the war crimes commited by the German in both WW I and II and also the holocaust. Now, there's no doubt that the facts presented in this article are very true. Every German citizen (including me) know about them, they are told in school in Germany, and e.g. denying the existence of the holocaust can get you in jail here. Nonetheless, I can't resist my feeling that the article is missing important facts, thus misleading the reader somewhat. Let me explain this a bit.

When one looks at the last three paragraphs of the "history" section, three key facts are presented:

1. In 1945 Germany finally surrendered. After that, Germany was 45 years long divided and supervised.

2. In 1935 anti semitism became official Nazi German policy.

3. After the fall of Communism in Europe Germany was 1990 again united and is now playing a leading role in the EU.

I'm having two problems with this text:

First, despite the year numbers, the order of presentation and the lack of an additional counter statement suggests that anti semitism is _still_ official German policy.

Second, the lack of any additional info effectively leaves a gap between the years of '45 and '90. Additionally, it states, that Germany was "45 years long [...] supervised", which may leave the impression for the incautious reader that Germany was effectively occupied by the victory forces until '90.

I hope you see how this is a real concern. For example, friends who were born 30 years after end of WW II visiting e.g. the USA have repeatedly told me how people associated them with the "Nazi Party", because they didn't know better. Now I do assume that most US citizen do know some facts about Germany. But after all, this article is ment to teach people about Germany who _don't_ have a clue yet, so it's important they don't get even more confused.

So in order to get the facts straight, I urge the maintainer of this page to do the following:

a) Get the order of incidents right to prevent accidentially suggesting wrong facts.

b) Acknowledge the fact that Germany went democratic shortly after the war, including the full set of human rights.

c) At least add a short sentence describing how Germany's economic was able to rise and at the same time control from the allies was gradually removed.

Let me know on this page if you have any concerns or questions regarding this request.


Having Rote Arme Fraktion and nonsense about feminism in the summary of German history, and using as much space for that as for the Holy Roman Empire, is ridiculous. Please don't do that. You may move this stuff to History of Germany, Feminism, etc., respectively. Nico 14:09, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)

  • You removed the following paragraph:
In the 1960s a desire to confront the Nazi past came into beeing. Successfully, mass protests clamored for a new Germany. The post-war generation was born. Feminism, environmentalism and anti-nationalism became fundamental parts of the German identity. Willy Brandt became chancellor. He made an important contribution towards reconciliation between West and East Germany. Active from 1968, the Red Army Faction carried out a succession of terrorist attacks in West Germany during the 1970s.

But, the paragraph is important! It represents 1950-1990, 40 years! Without the paragraph Brandt's Ostpolitik and the anti-nationalism in Germany are missing in the overview, and the re-unification comes directly after WWII. What a gap! (Sorry Nico for the word "vandalism" I used, I thought a Nazi would have removed the paragraph, before I read your argumentation) 14:10, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)

    • Now I read Markus' arguments, too. I agree with him. Therefore the paragraph is important! 14:19, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)

This paragraph is truly important, thus it has to remain. But as a native German I am suprised that Feminism became a fundamental part of Germany. I was born in 1983, thus I fully experienced roughly ten to twelve years of Germany's political and cultural history. I am also interested in what is happening in Germany, but I never felt that feminism became, not even will become a fundamental part! I don't know where this person researched this fact? Only some years ago women were not allowed to serve as a soldier in the german army (Bundeswehr) unless an EU law forced the government. In environmentalism and anti-nationlism I fully agree but feminism? Can someone post some facts for this statement?! To avoid a false impression I am not an anti-feminist.

In Germany the famous feminist Alice Schwarzer founded the feminism magazin EMMA which has been published the first time on January 26. 1977. She truly is an important part of our german contemporary culture.


I disagree. And I'm not sure if all those statements are accurate, either. There is not one particular "German identity". Not all Germans are feminists, just like not all Germans are masculinists, are they? I think most of this is a parenthesis in the history of Germany, and should be in the history article, not in the summary. However, this could be in the summary: "Willy Brandt became chancellor. He made an important contribution towards reconciliation between West and East Germany. " Nico 14:20, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)

But, what about the Öko-Movement that led to the Green party in the 1980s and to the "Schröder-generation" today? What about the efforts of getting rid of the Nazi past? That should definitely mentioned in a short paragraph. Otherwise one could believe there wouldn't be a difference between Hitler's Germany and Schröders' Germany. Please read Markus arguments, too! As he annotates, the economic growth isn't mentioned, too. We should complete the years 1950-1990. If you have better ideas, we could discuss them here. Of course, we should discribe the history in short paragraphs. But, important occasions in the post-Nazi era should be described, too. 14:30, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)
The problem is: There is no "Schröder-generation". Politics is not that important, a strong identification for most people. So there is neither a Schröder- nor a Beckenbauer-Generation. Germany is not totalitarian society with focus on a leader. I think Economic structural change has to be described. -- 14:31, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC) André
What about:

"In the 1960s a desire to confront the Nazi past came into beeing. Successfully, mass protests clamored for a new Germany. The post-war generation was born. democracy, human rights and anti-nationalism became fundamental parts of Germany. Willy Brandt became chancellor. He made an important contribution towards reconciliation between West and East Germany. Active from 1968, the Red Army Faction carried out a succession of terrorist attacks in West Germany during the 1970s."

And, what is wrong about the Red Army Faction? 14:35, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)

This seems OK, although I still don't think Rote Armee Fraktion is important enough for the short summary. Nico 14:52, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I will leave RAF out. Compromises -- that's why Wikipedia works! 14:55, 25 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Removed sentence on "total control" by the Nazis

(As proven in many court proceedings after the war, it was very easy for common German, e.g., to refuse to partake in jew mass-killings. None of the - very few - Germans who refused to shoot hostages, jews, or commit other crimes - was ever punished. The myth of Hitler's "absolute power" served merely as an excuse for common Germans to avoid just punishment.)

--Ruhrjung 17:36, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Please note that this catch phrase of Hitler's absolute control was used excessively after the war to avoid any kind of responsibility for what had happened during the Third Reich. Numerous Germans dreamed about getting rich through conquering foreign nations and robbing jews, and the method to fingerpoint at the Nazis was really a silly excuse. As Billy Wilder and many other exiled Germans (or rather Austrians) learned after the war, the Nazis were a strange band of people who had disappeared suddenly after May 1945. Nobody seemed to have belinged to them ;-)
I do not at all disagree with you in what you write above, quite the contrary, but I think that you confuse things for the reader (particularly for readers with limited knowledge of the facts on the ground in Germany and the German post-war discurse) when you insist on wordings which make the Nazis seem less totalitarian than they actually were, and I really hope you will remove the notion of the Nazi control over government as "almost" total in this article, where the history section by neccessity is a condensed version of what we have in the Third Reich article.
--Ruhrjung 16:51, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Middle of Europe?

I hesitate to edit this article since my experience of Germany is limited to a few (very enjoyable) holidays, but I'm unconvinced by the claim (in the first sentence) that Germany is in "the middle of Europe". By the definition given under Europe (stretching to the Ural mountains), I would guess that even the easternmost point of Germany is well to the west of the continental centre. I suspect the latter may lie in eastern Poland or maybe Slovakia. What do people think?

(Note that the map on the Europe page doesn't stretch as far as the Urals! The area covered by the map showing the location of Germany better approximates the extent of Europe!) Cambyses 05:38, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I defer to others, but I do not think this phrase is meant to be taken literally. When people say Middle Europe (or Mittleeuropa or some-such term) I do not think they mean the exact geographic center. I am not sure what the origin is, but I have heard it many times. Remember, when people say "Eastern Europe" they are not referring to anything in the eastern half of the continent; they are refering to a block of countries that have (or had!) linguistic, cultural, or political commonalities. Slrubenstein
Russia is usually excluded from Europe (I see many references to "Russia and Europe" or similar), so Germany would still lie in middle Europe. — Jor (Talk) 11:02, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)
It would be more correct to say that the Asian-European "border" is commonly held to follow the Ural mountains. "Excluding" Russia from Europe sounds more like the effect of lacking education in geography, or too much of exposure to FOX News — or using "Europe" as a shortform for the European Union (which excludes Norway, Switzerland and many Eastern European countries too). --Ruhrjung 11:35, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)
During the cold war, "Eastern Europe" primarily referred to those nations west of the Soviet Union and east of Germany/Austria/Italy. (i.e. NATO vs Warsaw-Pact.) Of course the geographic edge of Europe (if Eurasia is to be split at all!) is the Ural mountains line, but the political eastern edge of Europe remains the CIS. (Or perhaps soon the EU!) — Jor (Talk) 11:38, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)
You are right that the use of the term "Central Europe" came out of custom within NATO's sphere of influence during the Cold War, but I feel your point of view here is somewhat short-sighted. Concepts as "Asia", "Africa" and "Europe" have much more longevity in people's mindsets than so. --Ruhrjung 14:11, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Good point, but I think perhaps "the middle of Europe" has perhaps a subtly different implication to "Central Europe", the definite article implying the actual centre rather than a general area. I'll try changing it to the latter, which I guess is universally acceptable. (I realise this seems pedantic, but I think it is important not to perpetuate the commonly-held view (at least among English speakers) that the western countries somehow form the main and most important part of the continent, with the East as a kind of annex!) Cambyses 17:55, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Germany a hip country?

"Today Germany turns out to be a hip country with its casual capital Berlin and a self-confident music and art culture. Current movie and literature movements work up the re-unification."

Sounds a little bit dated. Germany is hardly "hip" at the moment. It certainly was in the 90s, after the reunification, but that is already a decade ago. Maybe we should avoid using terms like "hip" at all, because such things change by the minute. And since when is Berlin a "casual" capital? What does that mean?

- Yes, absurd. I re-worded that paragraph. I couldn't work out the meaning of "working up the re-unification", so I removed it. Anyone feel free to make it mean something and re-insert it. (Palefire)

As a internet project I think events such as

  • Wizards of OS/Berlin
  • Linuxtag
  • yearly CCC-Hacker's Meeting/Berlin
  • Electronic art festivals such as emaf (http://www.emaf.de)

mean that modern media art, hacktivism, Open source and Linux are very strong in Germany. This can be and shall be mentioned.

It is also an intresting fact that according to securtiyspace.com about 14 % of internet domains are .de http://www.securityspace.com/s_survey/data/200412/domain.html

A currency called "German Eurocoins"?

I think it is not appropriate to state that German Euro coins are a currency in Germany. If we do so - in order to be consequent - we have to put in all other national variants of the Euro coins as well (since those are "legal tender" in Germany as well). Additionally there is a difference between currency and legal tender, thus the Euro is the sole currency of Germany. Gugganij 20:08, 26 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Swiss francs the currency in Büsingen?

I removed the following footnote from the table: The enclave town of Büsingen am Hochrhein uses the Swiss franc as currency. Reasons:

  1. One have to distinguish between currency, legal tender and just the general acceptance of money without a legal basis.
    1. The only currency in whole of Germany is the euro.
    2. Legal tender are Euro banknotes and Eurocoins of all countries, which are authorised to mint them.
  2. According to the official homepage of Büsingen ([3]) Swiss francs are neither the official currency nor legal tender in this district. Swiss francs are widely accepted though (according to the homepage there are much more Swiss francs in circulation than Euros), but that fact does not have any legal basis (in contrary to Swiss francs one can insist to pay a restaurant bill in Büsingen with Euro)

According to grenzen.150m.com/buesingenGB.htm :

"[...] as Büsingen is incorporated into the Swiss customs territory, meaning that also the official currency is the Swiss Frank, however Büsingen is political and administration-wise German. (Kreis Konstanz)."

Either this page is wrong, or Büsingen official website is not accurate.

Gibt es Jemand aus Büsingen bei Wikipedia? TheWikipedian

grenzen.150m.com seems to me to be a private page. Since the conclusion that Swiss Francs is the official currency might easily be drawn just by visiting Büsingen and noting that the majority of money in ciruclation are Swiss Francs, that conclusion does not have to be true. I think the information of the official website of Büsingen is more reliable. By the way, being part of a customs territory does not automatically imply that there is also one currency (e.g. The EU is a customs union with different currencies). Gugganij 09:44, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)
de:Büsingen am Hochrhein says, that the Euro is the official currency and has to be used. But, usually the Swiss Franc is used. Even the local administration uses it for internal organisations. Before, the D-Mark was the official currency, but often the Büsingers didn't want to take the Mark. Stern 14:34, 8 Sep 2004 (UTC)