The Federal Republic of Germany, most commonly known as just Germany, is tucked away in the center, northern part of Europe and directly south of the Baltic Sea. Germany gets its name from the Latin word “Germania” meaning “of the people.” Germanys 2,307-mile border surrounds a population of 80,219,695 according to the census conducted in May of 2011. If you ever plan on visiting Germany I would suggest making traveling arrangements during the summer months. Reason being the winter months in Germany are known to have a consistent overcast for several months with little to no sunshine. Despite the prolonged overcast Germany has a lot to offer the world. It has one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, and oldest cathedral in northern Europe, the Aachen Cathedral. Located in Aachen, Germany it has been standing since 796 AD. A highly recommended hotel to stay in during your stay at Germany is the Radisson Blu Hotel In Berlin. When you lay your eyes upon the 82 foot tall, 260,000-gallon salt-water aquarium, you might not ever want to leave. It holds 50 different species and three scuba divers dive in every day for maintenance and feeding of the fish.
Germany’s capital, Berlin, is famous worldwide for a long list of reasons. The most popular reason, in my esteemed in opinion, is the Berlin wall. Post War World ll, the Soviet Union took control of East Germany which was known as the German Democratic Republic, and United States, Great Britain, and France took control of west Germany. At the time Berlin was located in the Soviet Union’s territory(German Democratic Republic) however, the four countries still divided the capital into the same scale proportions as they divided the entire country. Many Germans in Eastern Germany did not agree with the standard of living under the Soviet Union and fled to western Berlin by the thousands. This was causing damage economically to eastern Germany, and in the result, the Berlin wall was built to stop traffic flow in and out of western Berlin. It was built in 1961 and demolition began in 1989.
In Germany, German is the most common language with approximately 95% of its population speaking German, and English is normally taught as the second language. The least spoken language is North Frisian, with only 0.01%(10,000) of its population speaking the language. As for ethnic composition, Germany is made up of approximately 88% Germans, and its highest minority group being Turkish making up 3% of the population. Before 1950 Germany was made up of almost all Germans besides Jews, which were almost eliminated by Adolf Hitler. Today, there is approximately 250,000 Jews still living in Germany.
Germany’s most popular sport by default is soccer, or most commonly known across Europe as Fussball. Over the course of a decade Germany invested approximately $1billion in youth football teams. Germany also invested $1.84 billion in newly renovated stadiums bringing in 13.8 million spectators. When it comes to sports in Germany, Franz Beckenbauer is the considered to be the most influential person. He is a famous football player that is the only one in German history to win the world cup as both as a player and manager. Oddly enough golf is ranked as the second most popular sport in America mostly being played by the upper class due to the hig cost to use the course. Bernard Langer definitely sets the bar high when it comes to most popular golfer in Germany. He’s a international championship winner, $25,ooo,ooo net worth, media hogging, chunk of pure German awesomeness. I’m not exactly sure how hockey comes in third after golf but according to The Ultimate Guide it is. Olaf Kölzig, a German NHL goaltender, coincidently played for my favorite hockey team, the Washington Capitals for fifteen seasons. He made six playoff appearances failing each time to bring home the Lord Stanley Cup. Currently the goaltender for the Washington Capitals is German native Phillip Grubauer.
Germany, being the third largest exporter in the world, trades with countries all over the world. The only two countries that export more than Germany is to no surprise China being number one and United States second. Germany’s top four trade partners are United States, France, China, and Netherlands. As an exporter, Germany’s “bread and butter” is high-tech industrialized equipment and ships. Most the credit goes to a privately owned business in Germany called Beckhoff for its booming exporting economy and its AAA credit rating. Beckhoff designs open automation systems for PC controlled technology. It sold $608 million dollars worth of its product in 2016 and exported more than half of its output.Germany’s political system may seem confusing at first, but after reviewing their system it’s actually pretty similar to the United States. Separated by three branches Germany’s political system is made up of the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive branch. Similar to The United States, it is separated into three branches for separation of powers, plus checks and balances. The major difference in the German political system is the relationship between the President and Chancellor. In the United States, the vice president has two main duties. First, to act as a tiebreaker if the Senate becomes deadlocked, and to oversee the electoral college voting system. In Germany Chancellor is much more involved actually being head of the government while the president plays more of a representative and ceremonial role. The president nominates the Chancellor and only becomes Chancellor after being voted in by Germany’s government. The president also has the power to dismiss the Chancellor from his or her duties. President of Germany, Joachim Gauck, was elected March 18, 2012, and will hand over The Federal Republic of Germany to Frank-Walter Steinmeier on March 19, 2017. Surprisingly, there is no limit as to how long the Chancellor of Germany can serve. Helmut Kohl served as Chancellor for over 16 years in the 80’s and 90’s, while currently the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, is going on her tenth year in office.
Germany definitely makes its education system appealing to its citizens and foreign students with its tuition-free price tag. In 2005 all of Germany’s public undergraduate schools got rid of all their tuition fees. Only charging a small administrative fee of approximately $150. Understandably, the privately owned Universities aren’t able to follow suit with the German government due to them being dependent on the tuition fees to cover expenses. Reading comments in the article revealed the people to be excited and eager to take advantage of Germany’s education system. I found it interesting 44% of Germans are for colleges charging tuition fees and 46% likes the education system as it is now. Some predictable reasons why a lot of Germans are for tuition cost is due to high taxes and the overcrowding universities due to no tuition. Speaking from an American point of view I would be in favor of America adopting a similar education system as Germany. I believe Germany has really set an example for America and we can definitely learn from this.
One of the most familiar German product the average American citizen can connect to Germany is the Volkswagon Beetle. It hit the German market in 1938 with Volkswagon making 630 Beetles. Hitler ended up with these vehicles in order to support his military operation during War World Two. All the way up to 2004 the Beetle’s engine was located in the rear trunk. Its abnormality to have the engine in the rear of the vehicle is due to making the vehicle itself cheaper, and not needing drive shafts and the cooling system able to cool the engine faster. The 50 horse power engine can push the vehicle to a maximum speed of 81 mph. I personally have ridden in a modern day Volkswagen, Beetle and it is quite an experience. On the dash of every Volkswagen, Beetle there is a small vase the size of your index finger to place a small flower. Personally one of my favorite child hood memories is riding in my Uncles vehicle and seeing the flower of his choice, playing Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin. If your interested in experiencing the German culture and purchasing a Beetle you can get one fully loaded, convertible for approximately $23,000. Another popular Volkswagen made vehicle to make in influence on the American people is the Volkswagen, Transporter. It’s a small bus made by Volkswagen that was mainly popular in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s amongst the younger generation.
Despite Germany contributing so much to the world today such as fuss ball, all the way to free education it’s almost impossible to ignore Germany’s dark role in World War ll under the control of Adolf Hitler. Hitler invaded Poland which turned into a worldwide war which seems to have an everlasting effect on the whole world. Hitler enforced a foreign policy whose main objective was to eliminate all jews and unify all German speaking people. It is estimated a total of 5,933,900 Jews died during War World 2 eliminating 67% of their population during Hitler’s attempt to annihilate all Jewish people. After Germany attempted to invade nearly the entire world, Hitler buckled under the pressures of defeat and committed suicide on April 40, 1945. Shortly after on May 7, 1945, Germany surrenders unconditionally. A positive point of view I take from the war ending are the countries that took Hitler’s wrong doings and used them to better their homeland and ultimately the world. An example would be the United Nations, a group of countries from across the world working together on world peace. There are seven Holocaust Museums in Germany and a total of fifty-seven holocaust museums and memorials in the United States.
Footnote: For the record there has been an attempt to influence the German people with Seinfeld. It failed.