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Toggle SlidingBar Area. Product sales rank: the Top Top 1. Check for reviews. Get the price. Grey Poupon Old Style Mustard, g. Its borders were trimmed back and it was forced to pay high reparations. To allow negotiations, a chancellor was appointed who for the first time was responsible to parliament. A mutiny by sailors in the bustling port of Kiel in triggered a workers revolt and a revolution in Berlin, spelling a bitter end for Germany s Kaiser, who abdicated and went to the Netherlands.

Socialist and democratic socialist parties fought tooth and nail, while the radical Spartacus League joined by other groups in to form the German Communist Party; KPD sought to create a republic based on Marx theories of proletarian revolution.

Following the bloody quashing of an uprising in Berlin, Spartacus founders Red Rosa Luxemburg and Leipzigborn Karl Liebknecht were arrested and murdered en route to prison by Freikorps soldiers right-leaning war volunteers.

Their bodies were dumped in Berlin s Landwehr canal, only to be recovered several months later and buried in Berlin. Hitler hushed up the gruesome night dubbed The Night of the Long Knives until 13 July when he announced to the Reichstag that, henceforth, the SA which numbered two million, easily outnumbering the army would serve under the command of the army, which, in turn, would swear an oath of allegiance to Hitler.

Justice would be executed by himself and the black-shirted SS under the leadership of former chicken-farmer Heinrich Himmler, effectively giving the SS unchallenged power and making it Nazi Germany s most powerful and feared force. Meanwhile, in July , in the Thuringian city of Weimar where the constituent assembly briefly sought refuge during the Berlin chaos , the federalist constitution of a new democratic republic was adopted.

The republic, however, pleased neither communists nor monarchists. The first blow to the new republic came in , when right-wing militants forcibly occupied the government quarter in Berlin in the failed Kapp Putsch. In , hyperinflation rocked the republic. Hitler wound up in jail for two years, where he wrote his nationalist, anti-semitic tome, Mein Kampf. Once out, he began rebuilding the party.

A year later, Hindenburg appointed Hitler chancellor, with a coalition cabinet of Nationalists conservatives, old aristocrats and powerful industrialists and National Socialists Nazis. When Berlin s Reichstag mysteriously went up in flames in March , Hitler had the excuse he needed to request emergency powers to arrest all communist and liberal opponents and push through his proposed Enabling Law, allowing him to decree laws and change the constitution without consulting parliament.

The Nazi dictatorship had begun. In 12 short years of a Thousand Year Reich proclaimed by Hitler, massive destruction would be inflicted upon German and other European cities; political opponents, intellectuals and artists would be murdered or forced to go underground or into exile; a culture of terror and denunciation would permeate almost all corners of society; and Europe s rich Jewish heritage would be decimated.

In November, the new Rentenmark was traded in for one trillion old marks. Laws are like sausages. It s better not to see them being made. His Berlin of those times is the literary equivalent of the brutal north face of the Eiger Germany s first constitutional document, the Golden Bull, is adopted; the Hanseatic League is born two years later The Great Schism in the Catholic Church is resolved at the Council of Constance in southern Germany Martin Luther launches the Reformation with his 95 theses in the eastern German town of Wittenburg The Peace of Augsburg allows princes to decide their principality s religion, equalising Catholicism and Protestantism.

So Jews much had so, a that separate on the political night of status. A charter of rights granted to the Jews of Worms in by Henry Hitler IV hushed allowed up local the Jews gruesome to be judged night dubbed according The to Night their own of the set Long of laws. Knives until 13 July when The he First announced Crusade to the Reichstag resulted that, in a henceforth, wave of pogroms the SA which in , numbered usually against two million, the will easily local outnumbering rulers and townspeople.

In the 13th century Jews were declared crown property by Frederick II, an act that afforded protection but exposed them to royal whim. Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg, whose grave lies in Europe s oldest Jewish cemetery in Worms, fell foul of King Rudolph of Habsburg in for leading a group of would-be emigrants to Palestine; he died in prison. The Church also prescribed distinctive clothing for Jews at this time, which later meant that in some towns Jews had to wear badges.

Things deteriorated with the arrival of the plague in the midth century, when Jews were persecuted and libellous notions circulated throughout the Christian population. The blood libel accused Jews of using the blood of Christians in rituals. The even more bizarre host-desecration libel accused Jews of desecrating or torturing Christ by, among other dastardly deeds, sticking pins into communion wafers, which then wept tears or bled. Money lending was the main source of income for Jews in the 15th century.

Expulsions remained commonplace, with large numbers emigrating to Poland, where Yiddish developed. The Reformation including a hostile Martin Luther and the Thirty Years War brought difficult times for Jewish populations, but by the 17th century they were valued again for their economic contacts.

Napoleon granted Germany s Jews equal rights, but reforms were repealed by the Congress of Vienna. Anti-Jewish feelings in the early 19th century coincided with German nationalism and a more vigorous Christianity. Pressure was applied on Jews to assimilate. With unification in , Jews enjoyed almost equal status in Germany, but they were still barred from government and could not become army officers. In the late 19th century Germany became a world centre of Jewish cultural and historical studies.

Germany became an important centre for Hebrew literature after Russian writers and academics fled the revolution of The Weimar Republic brought emancipation for the ,strong Jewish community, but also a backlash during the economic disasters in the s. After Hitler came to power, the fate of German Jewry was sealed by new race laws. Increasing persecution led many to emigrate, and by less than half the population figure , remained in Germany.

By Germany was declared Judenrein, or clean of Jews. This ignored the hundreds of thousands of Eastern European Jews incarcerated on German soil. Around six million Jews died in Europe as a direct result of Nazism and its barbarity. The number of Jews affiliated with the Jewish community in Germany is currently around , the third largest in Europe but the real number is probably twice that. Many Jews arrived from the former Soviet Union in the s.

There are particularly informative Jewish museums in Berlin p and Frankfurt p In April Joseph Goebbels, head of the well-oiled Ministry of Propaganda, announced a boycott of Jewish businesses. Soon after, Jews were expelled from public service and non-aryans were banned from many professions, trades and industries.

The Nuremberg Laws deprived non-aryans of German citizenship and forbade them to marry or have sexual relations with Aryans anyone who broke these race laws faced the death penalty and had to pay their own trial and execution costs to boot. Hitler won much support among the middle and lower-middle classes by pumping large sums of money into employment programmes, many involving re-armament and heavy industry. In Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, affordable cars started rolling out of the first Volkswagen factory, founded in That same year, Hitler s troops were welcomed into Austria.

Foreign powers, in an attempt to avoid another bloody war, accepted this Anschluss annexation of Austria. By March , he had also annexed Moravia and Bohemia. Soviet neutrality was assured by a secret Soviet German protocol that divided up Eastern Europe into spheres of interest. Poland, but soon also Belgium, the Netherlands and France, quickly fell to Germany.

Though successful at first, Operation Barbarossa soon ran into problems and Hitler s troops retreated. With the defeat of the German 6th army at Stalingrad today Volgograd the following winter, morale flagged at home and on the fronts. The Final Solution At Hitler s request, a conference in January on Berlin s Wannsee came up with a protocol clothed in bureaucratic jargon that laid the basis for the A detailed history of WWII with Nazi leader biographies, a Holocaust timeline with more than images, and a special focus on the pre-wwii years in Nazi Germany make this website stand out Chester Wilmot presents an interesting account of WWII in his The Struggle for Europe, told from the perspective of an Australian journalist slap-bang in the thick of things.

The Colditz Story , directed by Guy Hamilton, is a gripping if sobering watch. In retaliation for the assassination of a German consular official by a Polish Jew in Paris, synagogues and Jewish cemeteries, property and businesses across Germany were desecrated, burnt or demolished.

About 90 Jews died that night. The next day another 30, were incarcerated, and Jewish businesses were transferred to non-jews through forced sale at below-market prices The Thirty Years War sweeps through Germany and leaves the Reich a disempowered region of plus states Brandenburg-Prussia becomes a mighty European power under Frederick the Great Brandenburg-Prussia falls to the French and the Holy Roman Empire collapses The Congress of Vienna redraws the map of Europe and divides Germany into 35 states.

The Holocaust was a systematic, bureaucratic and meticulously documented genocidal act carried out by about , Germans, but with the tacit agreement of a far greater number. Jewish populations in occupied areas were systematically terrorised and executed by SS troops. Sinti and Roma gypsies , political opponents, priests, homosexuals, resistance fighters and habitual criminals were also incarcerated in a network of 22 camps, mostly in Eastern Europe.

Another work camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland provided labour for big industry, including IG Farbenindustrie AG, producer of the cyanide gas Zyklon B that was used in gas chambers to murder more than three million Jews. The former headquarters of this conglomerate is now part of Frankfurt am Main s university campus see p Of the estimated seven million people sent to camps, , survived.

Resistance to Hitler was quashed early by the powerful Nazi machinery of terror, but it never vanished entirely. On 20 July , Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg and other high-ranking army officers tried to assassinate Hitler and were executed. The mass extermination of Jews and other Nazi atrocities were outlined in the anti-nazi leaflets distributed in Munich and other cities by the White Rose, a group of Munich university students whose resistance attempts cost most of them their lives see boxed text, p The brunt of the bombings was suffered by the civilian population; Dresden s Frauenkirche, Germany s greatest Protestant church, was destroyed during a British raid in February that killed 35, people, many of them refugees.

The church was painstakingly reconstructed for Dresden s th anniversary in At Stalin s insistence, France received its chunk from the Allied regions. Meanwhile, German cities were rising out of the rubble and first steps were being taken to re-establish elected government.

These advances widened the rift between Allied and Soviet zones; in the latter inflation still strained local economies, food shortages affected the population, and the Communist and Social Democrat parties were forced to unite as the Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands SED; Socialist Unity Party. The Allies responded with the remarkable Berlin Airlift, whereby American, British, Canadian and some Australian air crews flew into Berlin s Tempelhof Airport where there s a monument today the equivalent of 22 freight trains of 50 carriages daily, at intervals of 90 seconds.

A year later, year-old Konrad Adenauer , a Cologne mayor during the Weimar years, was elected West Germany s first chancellor. Bonn Adenauer s hometown was the natural candidate for the FRG s provisional capital. On paper, it guaranteed press and religious freedoms and the right to strike. In reality, such freedoms were limited and no-one dared strike. In its chosen capital of Berlin, a bicameral system was set up one chamber was later abolished and Wilhelm Pieck became the country s first president.

From the outset, however, the Socialist Unity Party led by party boss Walter Ulbricht dominated economic, judicial and security policy. Workers became economically dependent on the state through the collectivisation of farms, and nationalisation of production such as the Horch car factory in Zwickau near Leipzig which later produced Trabants as the GDR answer to the West Germany s Volkswagen. In Soviet zones the task of weeding out Nazis tended to be swift and harsh. In the west the Allies held war-crimes trials in courtroom of Nuremberg s Court House open to visitors today.

Erhard was economic minister and later vice-chancellor in Konrad Adenauer s government. A Train of Powder by Rebecca West ranks as one of the most informative books on the Nuremberg trials. Interviews with former Stasi men in the mid- s forms the basis of Australian journalist Anna Funder s Stasiland crammed with fresh and alternative insights into what the men of the Stasi did after it was disbanded Uprising and the first parliamentary delegation Nationalversammlung meets in Frankfurt Prussian Chancellor Bismarck s brilliant diplomacy creates a unified Germany with Prussia at its helm and Berlin as its capital WWI: Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey go to war against Britain, France, Italy and Russia; Germany is defeated Monarchical rule ends; under the Weimar Republic, women are granted suffrage and basic human rights are embedded in law.

Adenauer s deep-rooted fear of the USSR saw him pursue a ruthless policy of integration with the West. In East Germany, Stalin s death in raised unfulfilled hopes of reform. Extreme poverty and economic tensions merely persuaded the government to set production goals higher. Soviet troops quashed the uprising, with scores of deaths and the arrest of about people. Having walled in what was left of the struggling population , East Germans had fled to the west in alone, and in almost , voted with their feet , the East German government launched a new economic policy in a bid to make life better.

And it did. The standard of living rose to the highest in the Eastern bloc and East Germany became its second-largest industrial power behind the USSR. The appointment of Erich Honecker in opened the way for rapprochement with the West and enhanced international acceptance of the GDR. Honecker fell in line with Soviet policies replacing reunification clauses in the East German constitution with a declaration of irrevocable alliance to the USSR in , but his economic policies did promote a powerful economy until stagnation took root in the late s.

Almost a state within the state, it boasted an astonishing spy network of about 90, full-time employees and , inoffizielle Mitarbeiter unofficial coworkers by Since , only Stasi agents have been prosecuted and since the year limit ended in , future trials are unlikely. When it came to tracking down dissidents, there were no limits. One unusual collection of files found in its Berlin archive kept a record of dissidents body odour. Some dissidents who had been hauled in for interrogation were made to deliver an odour sample, usually taken with a cotton wool pad from the unfortunate victim s crotch.

The sample was then stored in an hermetic glass jar for later use if a dissident suddenly disappeared. To track down a missing dissident by odour, Stasi sniffer dogs were employed. These specially trained groin-sniffing curs were euphemistically known as smell differentiation dogs. What happened to the dogs after the Stasi was disbanded is unclear. What happened to the six million files the Stasi accumulated in its lifetime is a greater cause for concern.

In January , protestors stormed the Stasi headquarters in Berlin today a museum, memorial and research centre see p for details , demanding to see the files. Since then, the controversial records have been assessed and safeguarded by a Berlin-based public body. Some of those with an inoffizieller Mitarbeiter file are fully fledged informants; others are contact people who either knew they were giving information to someone from the Stasi or were unfortunate enough to be pumped of information without knowing it Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany and creates a dictatorship WWII: Hitler invades Poland, France and Britain declare war on Germany; Jews are murdered en masse during the Holocaust Hitler kills himself in a Berlin bunker while a defeated Germany surrenders; Germany is split into Allied- and Soviet-occupied zones Allied-occupied West Germany becomes the FRG; Soviet-occupied East Germany becomes the GDR.

Berlin and the Wall by Ann Tusa is a saga about the events, trials and triumphs of the Cold War, the building of the Wall and its effects on the people and the city of Berlin. By doing this he was making a post-hoc name for himself as the father of a multi-ethnic German society. About 2. While Ludwig Erhard s guest workers arrived from one direction, young Germans who had been children under the Nazis now rode their imported Vespa motorcycles to Italy on holiday to bring home a piece of Europe for themselves.

The absence of parliamentary opposition fuelled radical demands by the student movement for social reform. Normalising relations with East Germany his East-friendly policy was known as Ostpolitik was his priority and in December the Basic Treaty was signed, paving the way for both to join the UN in The treaty guaranteed sovereignty in international and domestic affairs but fudged formal recognition since it was precluded by the West German constitution.

Brandt was replaced by Helmut Schmidt b in after a scandal one of Brandt s close advisers turned out to be a Stasi spy. The s saw antinuclear and green issues move onto the agenda, opposed by Schmidt and ultimately leading to the election of Greens party representatives to the Bonn parliament in In West Germany joined the G8 group of industrial nations. But the s were also a time of terrorism in Germany, and several prominent business and political figures were assassinated by the anticapitalist Red Army Faction.

Brandt s vision of East West cordiality was borne out by Chancellor Helmut Kohl b who, with his conservative coalition government from , groomed relations between East and West while dismantling parts of the welfare state at home. The so-called Wende change, ie the fall of communism in Germany and reunification came about perhaps in the most German of ways: a gradual development that culminated in a big bang.

Reminiscent of the situation in Berlin in the s, East Germans began leaving their country in droves. They fled not across a no-man s-land of concrete, weeds and death strips between East and West this time but through an open border between Hungary and Austria. The SED was helpless to stop the flow of people wanting to leave, some of whom sought refuge in the West German embassy in Prague. Around the same time, East Germans took to the streets in Monday demonstrations following services in Leipzig s Nikolaikirche and other churches in East Germany, safe in the knowledge that the Church supported their demands for improved human rights.

Something had to give, and it did. With the demonstrations spreading and escalating into violence, Erich Honecker accepted the inevitable, relinquishing his position to Egon Krenz b Tens of thousands of East Germans jubilantly rushed through border points in Berlin and elsewhere in the country, bringing to an end the long, chilly phase of German division. The unified Germany of today with 16 unified states five of which are in eastern Germany and called the new states was hammered out after volatile political debate at home and a series of treaties to end post-wwii occupation zones.

The days of occupation by the four powers were now consigned to the past. Berlin acquired the status it has today of a separate city-state, and following reunification on 3 October, it was restored to the capital of Germany. Those who had jobs did well, but unemployment was high and the lack of opportunities in regions such as the eastern Harz Mountains or in cities such as Magdeburg and Halle both in Saxony-Anhalt are still causing many young eastern Germans to try their luck in western Germany or in boomtowns such as Leipzig in Saxony.

Many public servants have since relocated there from Bonn to staff the ministries, and young people from all over Germany are attracted by its vibrant cultural scene. Helmut Kohl also sought to bring former East German functionaries to justice, notably Erich Honecker, who fled after he resigned and lived an ailing and nomadic existence that culminated in his death in Chile in His court case had by then been abandoned due to his ill health.

The unification legacy of Helmut Kohl is indisputable. His involvement in a party slush fund scandal in the late s, however, almost financially ruined his own party and resulted in the CDU party stripping him of his position as lifelong honorary chairman. After the Wall by Marc Fisher is an account of German society, with emphasis on life after the Wende fall of communism.

Fisher was bureau chief for the Washington Post in Bonn and presents some perceptive social insights. For Germany s Greens, however, victory was historic: it was the first time an environmentalist party had governed nationally in Germany or elsewhere in the world. During this era, Germany faced the question of how much it could modernise, particularly in the areas of foreign policy, the social market economy, energy, immigration and gay rights.

In foreign policy, it became more independent, deploying troops abroad under a UN mandate for the first time since when Kosovo erupted in violence. Germany also sent troops to Afghanistan in and currently plays a pivotal role in trying to rebuild that country.

However, the government, backed by support from an overwhelming majority of Germans, didn t commit troops to the second Iraq war and had an abysmal relationship with the USA. Possibly because of this, Germany s efforts to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council had to be abandoned. Not surprisingly, considering the Greens party participation in the government, progress was strong on environmental issues.

An agreement was struck to switch off Germany s last nuclear reactor by about Work on modernising the economy and welfare structures, which also needed crossparty support to pass the upper house hurdle, was slow and often didn t go far enough. This included a series of labour market reforms which later formed part of an Agenda package, supported by all parties after much horse trading.

Two figures that capture the spirit of the party best are Franco-German Daniel Cohn-Bendit b and former German foreign minister, Joschka Fischer b Cohn-Bendit was a leader in France s student uprising in the French government later tossed him out and is co-president of the Greens party s European party faction. He s still very much a grass-roots type of Green, and you often see him on the street in Frankfurt s Bockenheim district occasionally being hailed from across the street by a friendly newspaper seller, or being given an earful by a solid Hesse hausfrau at a newspaper stand.

Joschka Fischer, one-time foreign minister, taxi driver and son of a butcher German ancestry, but from Hungary is notorious for his time as a member of a Putzgruppe clean-up mob which battled it out with police in squatter clashes in Frankfurt s Westend. Ironically, the elegant suburb of today owes its existence to the rebel squatters who fought tooth and nail to stop the bulldozers in the s. Fischer is alleged to have punched a policeman in an odd twist of fate, the policeman s surname name was Marx in one violent clash.

After a stint as Germany s highly popular foreign minister from to , Fischer five times married and, witty tongues might quip, the only Greens politician to practice his party s principle of leadership rotation has now retired from parliament. Given the politics of heavyweights such as Fischer and Cohn-Bendit, red would seem the preferred colour of the Greens.

Also, although it has yet to join forces with conservative parties at state or federal level, the Greens are no strangers to coalitions with black conservative parties in city governments. It remains a hot issue, though. During the early s, Germany s economic motor, the often familyowned medium-sized companies, successfully trimmed and adapted to new times by replacing their ageing patriarchs with highly skilled young managers. Always one of the world s largest exporters, Germany has consistently been the largest since , and overall it has the world s third-largest economy after Japan and the US.

This turned out to be the political swansong of Germany s first SPD chancellor since the s. After weeks of confusion, a deal was struck for a coalition led by Angela Merkel b , the first woman, eastern German, Russian speaker and quantum physicist in the job see boxed text, below. The opposition is led by the FDP, which narrowly squeezed ahead of the Greens to become the third-largest party. The use-by date of the grand coalition is formally five years, after which the parties are expected to go their own way.

Nevertheless, the political glue holding this one together is very thin, especially when it comes to the stance on welfare and wage issues, and it would come as no surprise if Germany faces fresh elections earlier than the scheduled date of Whatever happens, time is certain to bring new and exciting directions in the development of Germany, Western Europe s most powerful and populous country, situated at the heart of Europe.

Another is how she has managed to survive every attempt by feisty political stags in her own CDU party to depose her. There is more to Germany s chancellor than meets the eye. Merkel was born in Hamburg in but grew up in the boondocks in the Uckermark region in Brandenburg, near the Polish border , where her father had a posting as a pastor in East Germany.

She studied physics in Leipzig quantum chemistry , entering politics as the GDR was falling apart. Soon she was honing her political skills in the ministries of a reunified Germany Women and Youth was one, Environment, Natural Protection and Reactor Safety was another under Helmut Kohl.

Her breakthrough came in the late s when the paws of several CDU alpha animals were suddenly found to be carrying the dirt of a party slush fund. Life after reunification unemployment, racial violence etc in the Thuringian small town of Altenburg is the contemporary focus of Ingo Schulze s Simple Storys Simple Stories; , a debut novel that instantly credited the author as one of Germany s best new writers.

Throw in the chilling razor s edge of Cold War division, a modern juggernaut economy that draws half of Europe in its wake and pumps more goods into the world economy than any other, and a crucial geographical location at the crossroads of Europe and this fascination becomes understandable. Often, though, it pays to ignore the stereotypes, jingoism and those media military headlines at home and maybe even forgive Germans for the systematic way they clog up a football field or conduct jagged discussion.

Sometimes it helps to see the country in its regional nuances. Germany was very slow to become a nation, so if you look closely you will begin to notice many different local cultures within the one set of borders. You will also find it one of Europe s most multicultural countries p49 , with Turkish, Greek, Italian, Russian and Balkan influences. Around 15 million people today live in a part of Germany where until travel was restricted, the state was almighty, and life was secure but also strongly regulated from the cradle to the grave.

Not surprisingly, therefore, many eastern Germans are still coming to terms with a more competitive unified Germany. The east is still losing people hand over fist. Take the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt, which is enduring especially rough times and currently sheds some 15, of its youngest, most talented people each year to western Germany.

The idea is to invest in the future by keeping the home fires burning. It s a winning battle, because eastern Germans like their region even if they have to leave it for a while. Although there s a thriving industry surrounding nostalgia for typical GDR German Democratic Republic, the former East Germany products, few people long for a return to those days, and no-one regrets the loss of travel restrictions see opposite.

Germans as a whole fall within the mental topography of northern Europe and are sometimes described as culturally low context. That means, as opposed to the French or Italians, Germans like to pack what they mean right into the words they use rather than hint or suggest. Facing each other squarely in conversation, firm handshakes, and a hug or a kiss on the cheek among friends are also par for the course. Most Germans look fondly upon the flourishing tradition of the apprentice carpenters who travel throughout Germany and Europe on Wanderschaft wanderings to acquire foreign skills, or the traditionally attired chimney sweeps in towns and villages dressed in pitch-black suits and top hats.

On Monday she ll be soberly back at the desk crunching the numbers like it was all just good fun which it was, of course. For all this popular tradition, Germans are not prudish. Nude bathing on beaches and mixed saunas naked are both commonplace, although many women prefer single-sex saunas usually on a particular day.

Wearing your swimming suit or covering yourself with a towel in the sauna is definitely not the done thing. A close look, however, reveals some distinctly German quirks, whether that be a compulsion for sorting and recycling rubbish, a love of filter coffee and fizzy mineral water, or perhaps even an abhorrence of anything but especially eggs prepared in a frying pan before noon.

Tradition is valued, so in this household, Grandma s clock might grind and chime the morning hours somewhere in the room, although these Flirting, fashion, fun, as well as everything else you need to gen up on culturally to study and live in Germany is on the Net at -germany. Tune into current affairs in English with international German broadcaster Deutsche Welle at -world. Well, very few people, although there was more to the country than being a satellite of the Evil Empire, as s Cold War warriors would portray it.

The opening lines of director Leander Haussmann s film Sonnenallee are revealing: Once upon a time there was a land, and I lived there, and if I am asked how it was, I say it was the best time of my life because I was young and in love. Another film, the smash hit Goodbye Lenin! It also gave the Ostalgie craze from Ost East and Nostalgie nostalgia the kick-start it needed to become a permanent cultural fixture in Germany. Ostalgie is hip. These days dour, grinning Erich Honecker doubles in trademark specs bring parties to life; GDR Club Cola is cool ; an otherwise inconspicuous cucumber Spreewaldgurken is elevated to the status of heraldic symbol.

It s all part of an Ostalgie movement that won t die. The early movement was something of a right-wing, anti-semitic animal, whose puritanical members were scorned by some outsiders as the lemonade bourgeoisie. Achieving total beauty was the name of the game. Anathema to the movement, for example, was someone with a lascivious big-city lifestyle that included smoking, fornicating, eating meat, drinking, and wearing clothes made of synthetic fibres, or anyone with predilections for artificial light.

Early naturism also sprouted Germany s first vegetarian Reform restaurants and shops. The most interesting characters to develop out of this odd era were bodybuilders predominantly vegetarian and naturist but internationalist in spirit. Some achieved fame abroad under pseudonyms. Others were immortalised in Germany by sculptors, who employed them as models for their works. Famous pioneers of the movement in Germany include Kaliningrad-born Eugene Sandow who died trying to pull a car out of a ditch; Berlin-born Hans Ungar , who became famous under the pseudonym Lionel Strongfort; and Theodor Siebert , from Alsleben, near Halle, in eastern Germany.

Maybe after Germany loses the football match against the USA tonight it ll be one in five. The country s first gay publication, Der Eigene, went to press in days Grandma herself contemplatively sucks on her false teeth which she might have had done cheaply in Poland in an old-age home or discovers the benefits of having a voluble Romanian aged-carer in her own home.

When it comes to hammering nails in coffins, about one-third of Germans are regular smokers. With such high unemployment and many economically depressed regions in eastern Germany, there are large differences in the standard of living among Germans. The birth rate is low 1. But there s a big difference between eastern and western Germany. People everywhere are marrying later, with men and women tying the knot at the average age of 32 and 29 respectively.

Abortion is illegal except when a medical or criminal indication exists , but it is unpunishable if carried out within 12 weeks of conception and after compulsory counselling. Rape within marriage is punishable.

Same -sex marriage in the form of legally recognised same-sex partnerships has been possible since Gays and lesbians walk with ease in most cities, especially Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Frankfurt-am-Main, although homosexuals do encounter discrimination in certain eastern German areas. German school hours from 8am to 1pm and the under-funding of childcare make combining career and children difficult for German women.

The plus side is that parents enjoy equal rights for maternity and paternity leave, and everyone has the right to work part-time. In eastern Germany women tend to have be more of a presence on the managerial floors one-third of upper management jobs whereas the figure for western Germany is about one-fifth. Most Germans have retired by the age of 63, but the government introduced changes in that increase the retirement age to 67 for those retiring in Changes are also in the pipeline to increase pension contributions among childless couples.

Addressing an acquaintance with the formal Sie is a must, unless invited to do otherwise. Muttering a familiar du reserved for close friends and family to a shop assistant will only incite wrath and bad service, although du is often acceptable in young people packed bars. If in doubt, use Sie. Push firmly but politely with German bureaucracy; shouting will only slam down the shutters. Germans lower rather than raise their voices when mad.

Give your name at the start of a phone call, even when calling a hotel or restaurant to book a room or table. Most people inhabit villages and small towns, and German cities are modest by world standards: Berlin aside 3. The population in former East Germany fell below the level after reunification as easterners moved to the more lucrative west. Oddly, Berlin s postreunification population boom has been offset by the exodus of young families from the capital to the surrounding countryside.

The total population figure is slipping downwards and will hit 74 million compared with today s million by at its present rate. For more on Germany s foreign population, see p SPORT Germany, always a keen sporting nation, has hosted the summer Olympics and football World Cup two times apiece; in the World Cup was very successfully hosted in 12 cities amid national fanfare and celebration. Football Football incites the passion of Germans everywhere and has contributed much to building Germany s self-confidence as a nation.

Germany has played in more World Cups than anyone else and has won the prestigious title three times, in , and Its first victory against Hungary in Bern, Switzerland, was unexpected and miraculous for a country slumbering deeply in post-wwii depression. The miracle of Bern as the victory is called sent national morale soaring. Beckenbauer is the undisputed statesman of German football, a role that was strengthened during the World Cup in , when he chaired the organising committee.

The win in was remarkable because for the first time since Germany fielded a unified team from East and West. After 14 days of bad weather your average German would be prepared to pay for a sunny day, according to the weather site Berlin as it really is leaps off the pages of Vladimir Kaminer s highly readable and humorous short stories in Russendisko Russian Disco; Bundesliga scoreboards, rankings and fixtures are online at soccer.

It s definitely not a good idea to use the familiar du form with the police this could land you in court. In one bizarre case, the German pop singer and music producer Dieter Bohlen was charged with offensive behaviour when he used the familiar form to a police officer after being approached about a parking offence.

The judge let Bohlen off the hook because du is part of his style. Impolite, yes, offensive no, ruled the judge. For a cracking read about football, the great football rivalry between England and Germany, and that famous match in with the controversial Wembley Goal, delve into Geoff Hurst s and all that. The Olympic torch was lit for the first time at the Olympics: athletes carried the flame from Olympia Greece to Berlin where medallists were later awarded a laurel crown and potted oak tree.

In the Dresden-born Matthias Sammer b assumed responsibility for German football s junior talent as sport director. Sammer, whose father was a highly successful trainer of the GDR team Dynamo Dresden for whom Matthias Sammer also played is often traded as a candidate for national trainer. If he ever gets the post, this would be another unique achievement for the fiery Saxon, who was the last player to kick a goal for East Germany and the first East German to play in a unified German national team.

Friday-night, Saturday and Sunday games are televised live on pay-tv at sports bars all over Germany, and round-ups of the weekend matches are broadcast on the Sportschau on ARD German National TV Consortium; see p50 around 6. Overnight every German kid aspired to be the next Boris Becker.

The red-head mentor, known for his power play, went on to win five more Grand Slam titles in a career that ended in The self-willed and erratic Becker was as entertaining off the court as he was on it. His affair in a broom closet with a Russian model in a London hotel in the mids produced a daughter and newspaper headlines that claimed sperm theft, while his tragic and not surprising given the broomcloset drama marital breakdown culminated in a humiliating televised courtroom drama.

Similarly, the marriage of his fiercest German opponent during the early s and fellow Wimbledon champion, Michael Stich b , also sailed onto acrimonious rocks and sank in a public blaze. Becker and Stich were hard acts to follow, and potential men s singles successors to the German tennis crown have so far proved to have feet of clay.

Only the lingering, warm after-glow of Mannheim-born Steffi Graf b currently lights the tennis darkness. Graf is among the few women to win all four Grand Slam events in one year, and in after also winning gold in Seoul at the Olympic Games she became the only player ever to win the Golden Slam. Germans had always secretly hoped for a Boris Steffi marriage that might have produced a Teutonic tennis wunderkind.

For better or worse, it didn t happen, but Steffi Graf did marry Becker s arch-rival from the USA, Andre Agassi, and unlike everyone else, seems to be living happily ever after. Cycling has boomed since Rostok-born Jan Ullrich b became the first German to win the Tour de France in In a shadow was cast on Ullrich s career after he was allegedly implicated in a doping ring. Ullrich subsequently withdrew from the Tour de France and has since fought to salvage his reputation and his undeniable achievements.

Erik Zabel b , who comes from Berlin s Prenzberg district, achieved the remarkable by winning the green tricot six years in a row from to in the Tour de France. With no less than seven World Champion titles and more than 50 Grand Prix wins, Michael Schumacher b was the most successful Formula One racing driver ever to have taken to the circuit.

After successive wins in and he also became the youngest double Formula One World Champion. Schumacher announced his retirement in Michael s younger brother Ralf b made his Formula One debut in and has since notched up six big wins in his career. The German team had good cause to celebrate at the Winter Olympics in Turin in , winning 29 medals, including 11 gold. Five of these gold medals were in biathlon events, where Kati Wilhelm b like many of the winter sports stars, she comes from Oberhof in Thuringia and Sven Fischer b hobbled and shot their way through living rooms to the delight of millions of German fans.

After reunification, the foreign population soared from 4. About 6. Ethnic Turks form the largest single group 1. Despite changes to Germany s antiquated blood-based citizenship laws, patches of German society still inhabit the shadows on this question, with state political campaigns having been fought and won at the expense of foreigners, foreigners having to renounce previous citizenship before they can become German, and a recurring violence problem by extreme right-wing groups in eastern Germany directed mainly against foreigners whose numbers rarely rise above a few percent of the population in towns there see boxed text, p Germany s most successful golfer, Bernhard Langer, is the son of a Russian prisoner of war who jumped off a Siberiabound train and settled in Bavaria.

If you like a good , or backside, check out the annual Monster Mastership Skateboarding World Championship and associated events at Slavonic Sorbs live in pockets of Saxony and Brandenburg, and a small Danish minority can be found around Flensburg Schleswig-Holstein on the Danish border. In , the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution recorded 15, such episodes, including violent crimes.

This represents an increase of In April , a German of Ethiopian descent was almost beaten to death in Potsdam and just a month later a Turkish-German politician was attacked in Berlin. In these, as in most, cases perpetrators belonged to right-wing skinhead or neo-nazi organisations. Xenophobia seems to run especially deep in the former GDR states, whose people had little exposure to foreigners during the communist era and where chronic high unemployment fuels anger and frustration.

In the most recent state elections, Brandenburg, Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania all voted members of right-wing parties into their regional parliaments. The spate of incidents even prompted a former government official, Uwe Karsten-Heye, to declare the eastern states a no-go area for nonwhites just before the beginning of the World Cup. Heye now heads Gesicht Zeigen! While his remarks were widely criticised as being too general and for stigmatising a large part of the country there is some right-wing extremism in western Germany too, of course , many people welcomed his frankness and the debate it spurred.

Politicians of all stripes agreed that measures need to be stepped up to reverse the trend through education, prevention and law enforcement. Stay tuned. Die Ausgewanderten Emigrants; by WG Sebald addresses the lost homeland of an exile in his vivid portrayal of four different journeys by Jewish emigrants it s a good introduction to this weighty but wonderful novelist.

For an overview of media ownership in Germany, go to the English pages of On the whole, Germany, whose citizens achieved the remarkable by coping with up to , former Yugoslavian refugees each year in the early s, treats foreigners with respect, even if it still has some political catching-up to do. If it were that easy, we d all be doing it.

Unlike Mainz-based ZDF, ARD groups together several regional public stations, which contribute to the nationwide programmes shown on the 1st channel as well as the wholly regional shows transmitted on the so-called 3rd channel. Due to the sheer choice of channels, private ownership is relatively diverse and pay TV low on impact; ProSiebenSat. About six million households are able to receive some form of digital TV cable, satellite or terrestrial , but the vast majority of households are currently connected via cable, satellite receiver or terrestrial aerial.

For better or worse, it s still possible to fall asleep reading a German newspaper, which masters the art of dry, factual reporting. Print media has a strong regional bias, and overt backing for particular political parties by newspapers is rarely at the expense of the hard facts. The most influential newspaper is Bild, whose circulation exceeds four million. Axel Springer and Bertelsmann are the largest publishers. Both the press and broadcasters are independent and free of censorship. RELIGION The constitution guarantees religious freedom, the main religions being Catholicism and Protestantism, each with about 26 million adherents around one-third of the country s total population each.

Religion has a stronger footing in western Germany, and especially Catholic Bavaria. Unlike the Jewish community, which has grown since the early s due to immigration from the former Soviet Union, the Catholic and Protestant churches are losing worshippers. Most German Protestants are Lutheran, headed by the Evangelische Kirche Protestant Church , an official grouping of a couple of dozen Lutheran churches with Hanover headquarters.

Lutherans don t deem Methodists, Jehovah s Witnesses or other non-catholic Christians to be proper Protestants. In , for the first time in almost five centuries, a German became pope. Countrywide, 80 or more congregations are represented by the rather conservative council see p Germany s earliest fresco work dates from Carolingian times c and is in Trier s St Maximin crypt and the Stiftskirche St Georg on Reichenau Island, whereas stained-glass enthusiasts will find colourful religious motifs lighting up Augsburg and Cologne cathedrals.

By the 15th century, Cologne artists were putting landscapes on religious panels, some of which are on display in Hamburg s Kunsthalle. During the baroque period from the 17th to midth century , palace walls were frescoed to create the illusion of generous space. In the midth century, neoclassicism ushered back in the human figure and an emphasis on Roman and Greek mythology. Hesse-born Johann Heinrich Tischbein painted Goethe at this time in a classical landscape surrounded by antique objects.

The German Protestant Church is online at the Catholics are at -hierarchy. Old Catholics of which there are 20, in Germany today, rejected papal infallibility to break away from the Catholic Church in Celibacy is not an issue and the first female priests were ordained in Frankfurt has hosted the world s largest literary marketplace, the international book fair -fair. Religious themes, occasionally mystic, dominated 19th-century Romanticism. Goethe hated the works of Caspar David Friedrich , indelicately suggesting they ought to be smashed against the table.

A room is dedicated to Friedrich s works in Hamburg s Kunsthalle. Also in the exciting collection of Hamburg s Kunsthalle are works by the founder of the German Romantic movement, Philipp Otto Runge , as well as intensely religious works by the Nazarener Nazareths.

The museum also showcases some later realistic works of Cologne-born Wilhelm Leibl who specialised in painting Bavarian folk. Key exponents of the lateth-century movement include Max Liebermann , often slammed as ugly and socialist ; Fritz von Uhde ; and Lovis Corinth whose later work, Die Kindheit des Zeus Childhood of Zeus; a richly coloured frolic in nature with intoxicated, grotesque elements is housed in Bremen s Kunsthalle. See p for more on Bauhaus. After a creative surge in the s, the big chill of Nazi conformity sent Germany into artistic deep freeze in the s and s.

In the capital, many artists were classified as degenerate opposite and forced into exile where a creative explosion abroad took place especially among the Bauhaus movement protagonists who settled in the USA. Other artists were murdered, retreated from public life or tossed in art altogether.

In Quedlinburg a fine collection of works by Lyonel Feininger survives thanks to a local citizen who hid them from the Nazis see p The light ballets of Otto Piene b , relying on projection techniques, were among the best known. Wherever Beuys laid his trademark hat, controversy erupted.

Strassenbahnhaltestelle Tram Stop; consists of rusty iron tram lines and a cannon with a head poking out of it. Beuys says it was inspired by a childhood experience, but bear in mind that he was a radio operator in a fighter plane shot down over Crimea during WWII. He claims to have been nursed back to health by local Tartars, who covered him in tallow and wrapped him in felt. Anselm Kiefer is now working in stage design, while another contemporary, action-artist HA Schult b has been busy travelling the world with his sculptures of people created from rubbish.

His Trash People life-sized figures set out from Xanten in Germany more than a decade ago and has since visited about a dozen world locations. Thomas brand of photorealism owes much to the German contemporary icons Gerhard Richter b and Sigmar Polke b His Lieber Onkel Dieter! Dear Uncle Dieter! Eberhard Havekost uses computer reworked images as the basis for some of his photorealist works often playing dramatically with light and shadow.

Baselitz was tossed out of art school in the GDR for his artistic provocations, only Rubble in itself is the future. Because everything that is, passes. In fact by , such forms of expression fell under the axe of Entartung degeneracy , a German biological term borrowed by the Nazis to describe virtually all modern movements. The same year, paintings by Klee, Beckmann, Dix and others all supposedly spawned by the madness of degenerates were exhibited in Munich and promptly defaced in protest.

Ironically, the exhibition drew a daily scornful yet curious crowd of 20,odd. A year later, a law was passed allowing for the forced removal of degenerate works from private collections. While many art collectors saved their prized works from Nazi hands, the fate of many other artists works was less fortunate.

Many works were sold abroad to rake in foreign currency and in about paintings were publicly burned in Berlin. Thomas Bayrle b is another name you will come across in German museums of contemporary art. These are movable wood constructions depicting mass behaviour. One has an image of Mao Zedong with hundreds of gymnasts in the background, in others people are brushing their teeth or swilling beer.

The Neue Sammlung permanent collections of the double-banger Neues Museum in Nuremberg and Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich are not to be missed as stations on the contemporary art and design circuit; changing exhibitions have ranged from jewellery through GDR art-poster design to a retrospective of covers from the magazine Der Spiegel. Contemporary photography is another area where Germany excels.

Leipzig-born Gursky, whose work can be seen in Cologne s Museum Ludwig, encompasses superb images of architecture, landscapes and interiors, sometimes reworked digitally. Given Germany s rich collections, travelling the contours of visual arts might be an interesting way to organise a trip.

In addition to excellent permanent collections in major museums, you ll find lots of smaller art spaces with changing exhibitions. Berlin s Art Forum Berlin showcases video, photography, painting, sculpture, installations, graphics, and multimedia each year in September October. For household design, the Bauhaus Museum in Weimar shows how it began and the Vitra Design Museums in Berlin expected to open in and Weil am Rhein have other fascinating exhibits. Visual art of another variety, Berlin Fashion Week, takes place in late January and July each year, with some events usually open to the general public.

Berlin is not just the heart of a thriving art scene in Germany, in it became Europe s first City of Design as part of the Unesco Creative Cities Network gaining recognition as a crossroads of design, architecture and the visual and performance arts. These are my personal favourites in German design. Furniture Konstantin Grcic, because he combines research in new technologies with original forms and smart minimalism.

Textiles Kostas Murkudis, because I like unpretentious clothing. Architecture Realities United, because they try things out. Jewellery everything that is not designed explicitly, because I want jewellery to be very personal and unique.

Graphics The illustrator LULU, because her illustrations look lovely and extremely cool at the same time.

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Only 8 left in stock - order soon. Only 9 left in stock - order soon. Only 3 left in stock - order soon. Only 14 left in stock - order soon. Bautz'ner Senf scharf Becher ml. Hengstenberg Medium Mustard Stein, 9. Register a free business account.

Have a question? There was a problem completing your request. Please try your search again later. Important information Legal Disclaimer Statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. See questions and answers. Customer reviews. How are ratings calculated? Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon.

It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. Top reviews Most recent Top reviews. Top reviews from the United States. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Verified Purchase. This is the best mustard in the world.

I love it and it reminds of Germany. This is the 3rd time I buy it from amazon. Unfortunately the first time it was expired. The second time no issues. The third time no lid on bottle and expiration date has been removed. Every east German person knows and loves this stuff.

Too expensive here, but if you consider that it is imported from Germany, I guess it's okay. One person found this helpful. Great mustard, worth the price to import. My favorite mustard, delicious. Love the stuff Only eat the brand when in Germany. See all reviews. Top reviews from other countries. I am German and I am grown up with this mustard. And the quality of the product was as expected. However I was extremely disappointed to find the Best before end date only a month longer than the date of delivery.

I only bought it as in the lockdown I have no idea when we are going to go to Germany the next time. Nothing was mentioned about the best before end date on the description. I lived in Germany some years ago and really missed the great flavour of Senf. Recently we held a local Oktoberfest and I purchased this to go with bratwurst and bockwurst. What can I say? Incredible and really authentic, it was enjoyed by all and I will be purchasing more!!

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You can stretch the euro further by taking advantage of various discounts; see p for some ideas. Of course, if you re a high roller, Germany has no shortage of luxury hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants and fancy bars to help you part with your money. Comfortable midrange accommodation starts at about 80 for a double room with breakfast in the cities, and 60 in the countryside.

Many hostels and hotels have special family rooms with three or four beds, or they can supply sleeping cots for a small extra fee. In some places, children under a certain age pay nothing if staying in their parents room without requiring extra bedding. A two-course meal in an average restaurant costs between 20 and 30 per person, including a glass of beer or wine. Drinks prices even nonalcoholic ones can run surprisingly high, even in basic eateries.

If you re travelling with kids, ask about a special kids menu or kids dishes. Holiday flats with kitchens are ideal for trimming food costs. Museum admission ranges from 0. Some sights and museums are free, or have admission-free days, and discounts are offered for children, teens, students and seniors.

Touristgeared discount cards often called Welcome Cards, p offer free public transport and discounts on admissions, tours and the like and can be a good deal. Car-hire costs vary; expect to pay around 45 a day for a medium-sized new car.

Driving is the most comfortable and convenient mode of getting around the country, although in cities parking may be elusive and expensive. However, if there are three or more of you travelling together, it may be the most economical way of getting around. In cities, buying day or other passes for public transport is almost always cheaper than buying single tickets. If you re travelling by train, consider a rail pass p or see if Deutsche Bahn is offering any special promotions.

Twain s postscript The Awful German Language is a hilarious read. Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K Jerome, the sequel to the even funnier Three Men in a Boat, is a classic comic tale that follows three English gentlemen on their cycling trip through the Black Forest in the s. It also packs a satirical punch and strong criticism of Germany s midth-century political landscape.

It was censored immediately. The books brilliantly and often entertainingly TOP 10S Must-See German Movies Planning and dreaming about your trip to Germany is best done in a comfy living room with a bowl of popcorn in one hand and a remote in the other. Go for a classic or pick from among the great crop of recent made-in-germany flicks. Look for brief reviews on p The following Top 10 from classics to contemporary works have won kudos and critical acclaim in Germany and abroad.

See p61 for more details. The following list is our Top 10, but for additional festivals and events see the various destination chapters and p Finally there is The Temple, an autobiographical novel by one of Britain s most celebrated 20th-century poets, Stephen Spender. It is based on his travels to Germany in the late s and his encounters with, among others, Isherwood.

In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield is a collection of satirical short stories written after Mansfield s stay in Bavaria as a young woman. Her ability to inject meaning into vignettes makes it an especially worthwhile read. The Bells in Their Silence: Travels Through Germany was written by Michael Gurra, an American literature professor who spent a year living and travelling around Germany in the early s.

This travelogue combines a literary tour of the country with impressionistic observations about daily life. From Berlin is by Armando, a Dutch writer, artist and since Berlin resident, who has turned his observations about the city and the people who lived through WWII into a collection of snappy vignettes from humorous to touching to heart-wrenching.

Start with LonelyPlanet. You ll learn that Germans use 71 million mobile phones, that their median age is Deutsche Welle The online version of the German international broadcasting service has news and background information about Germany, on-demand audio and video feeds and newsletter sign-ups. Deutschland Online Online version of Deutschland Magazine with interesting features on culture, business and politics.

Deutschland Portal The ultimate gateway to online information about Germany. Facts about Germany An excellent and comprehensive reference about all aspects of German society, including education, culture, media, foreign policy and the economy. German National Tourist Office Official site packed with information on all aspects of travel to and within Germany. Online German Course Free language lessons for absolute beginners and moderately advanced students. Kick off in Berlin p89 with its top-notch museums, old and bold architecture and nice-to-naughty nightlife.

From here head south to Dresden p , sitting proud and pretty in its baroque splendour on the Elbe River. Next stop is Munich p , where an evening in a beer garden is the perfect finish to a day of palace- and museumhopping. Next up is the Romantic Road where medieval Rothenburg ob der Tauber p is a veritable symphony of half-timbered houses. Cut west to historic Heidelberg p , idyllically serenaded by its ancient fortress, then north to Worms p and Mainz p with their fantastic Romanesque cathedrals.

Follow the Rhine through the fairy-tale scenery of the Middle Rhine to cosmopolitan Cologne p for a spin around Germany s grandest Gothic cathedral. Wrap up your trip in lovable Bremen p and openminded Hamburg p , which welcome you with maritime charm.

Consider a quick detour to ruggedly romantic Saxon Switzerland p with its fairy-tale rock formations, then hook west to Weimar p , the cradle of the German Enlightenment. Head south to picture-perfect Bamberg p , with its pristine Altstadt old town and excellent breweries, then compare its splendours to Regensburg p , one of Europe s best preserved medieval towns. After your big-city fix in Munich p make the pilgrimage to the world s most famous palace, Neuschwanstein p , a sugary confection dreamed up by Mad King Ludwig II of Bavaria.

Freiburg p , your next stop, is a bustling university town and gateway to the southern Black Forest p Work your way north through cuckoo-clock country to historic Heidelberg p , idyllically snuggled into the steep Neckar Valley, and the castlestudded Romantic Rhine p between Mainz and Koblenz. Then follow the sinewing Moselle p to Trier p to wander among the best-preserved Roman ruins north of the Alps.

Heading east across the gentle Eifel mountain range, you ll arrive in Cologne p , whose glorious twin-towered cathedral can be spotted edging into the sky from afar. Swing by Aachen p , with its splendid Dom cathedral founded by Charlemagne, before heading up to Hamburg p , a bustling port city with a kicking nightlife and first-rate museums.

Those with a penchant for the offbeat will hit the mother lode on the Industrial Heritage Trail through the nearby Ruhrgebiet p Quirky delights include former gas tanks filled with art p , blast furnaces turned into free-climbing zones p and a colliery doubling as a concert venue p East along the A44, stop in Soest p and Paderborn p , both famous for their churches. Plunge into the world of fairy-tales in Hamelin p , the quaint, cobbled town of Pied Piper fame. Close by is restored Hildesheim p , celebrated for the huge bronze door gracing its cathedral.

Continue on to charming Goslar p , which counts a year-old mine and an 11th-century palace among its considerable assets. It s also the gateway to the Harz Mountains p , whose natural splendours are perfect for a day or two in the slow lane. Don t leave without sampling the small-town beauty of Wernigerode p , famous for its colourfully painted medieval houses and as the terminus of the narrow-gauge Harzquerbahn railway to Nordhausen in Thuringia.

Continue on to charming Quedlinburg p , a well-preserved symphony in half-timbered houses. Then make a beeline straight for Dessau p , a city that s synonymous with the Bauhaus school of architecture. Germany is a rich quilt of exciting cities, awe-inspiring scenery and spiritlifting culture, as this grand, km loop reveals. It can be done in three weeks but more time lets you connect more deeply with this land and its feast of treats, treasures and temptations.

Classic and quirky discoveries abound along this km-long belt cinched around Germany s surprising middle. Take your sweet time as you travel along this km route from Germany s border with Denmark to where it rubs shoulders with Poland. The first stop, Flensburg p , easily reached by train or autobahn from Hamburg, is Germany s northernmost town and beckons with a handsome Altstadt. Schleswig p , a quick hop south, cradles a huge fjord and boasts the intriguing Viking Museum and artfilled Schloss Gottdorf.

East of here, Swedish-flavoured Wismar p woos you with a postcardpretty setting and a lovely step-gabled old town. En route to Rostock stop in Bad Doberan p , with its great red-brick minster, quirky Frank Zappa memorial and kid-friendly narrow-gauge train.

Though aesthetically challenged, Rostock p does have some interesting sights and serves as the region s nightlife hub. To truly traipse off the beaten path, head out to the remote Darss-Zingst Peninsula p , where nature puts on an especially handsome show. Conclude these meanderings in Greifswald p , an old university town close to beach-fringed Usedom Island p , a popular holiday island Germany shares with Poland. Both are impressive residences of the Prussian Hohenzollern clan and are surrounded by their own park.

Looking medieval and mysterious, it s actually a 19thcentury neo-gothic confection, the original long ago destroyed. A similar fate befell Schloss Heidelberg p , although much of it survives as a romantic ruin. For more romance, visit the robber baron hang-outs along the Romantic Rhine, especially the rambling Burg Rheinfels p and the pristine Burg Eltz Burg Rheinfels Marksburg p which, like the fairy-tale Burg Eltz Schloss Heidelberg p near the Moselle, has never been destroyed.

Burg Hohenzollern Germany s most famous palace may be Schloss Neuschwanstein p , but the more playful Schloss Schloss Neuschwanstein Linderhof p and Schloss Herrenchiemsee p are even nicer. Germany s best-known church is also its biggest, the Dom in Cologne p , whose twin spires dominate the city s distinctive skyline. The title of world s tallest steeple reached by steps!

Older than all by several centuries is Charlemagne s octagonal palace chapel, now part of the Dom in Aachen p Fans of Romanesque architecture will hit the trifecta along the Rhine with the awe-inspiring cathedrals of Mainz p , Worms p and Speyer p In the deepest Black Forest, the Dom in St Blasien p is a rare neoclassical gem lidded by the third-largest dome in Europe.

Bavaria brims with baroque churches; the Asamkirche in Munich p and the Wieskirche in Steingaden p are both standouts. Anywhere within Germany s 13 growing regions you can tour estates, explore musty cellars stocked with vintage barrels and chin-wag with vintners during wine tastings.

Or you could hike along vineyard trails, drink a toast to Bacchus in cosy wine taverns, then retire to your room on a wine estate. Germany s most famous grape is the noble riesling. In southwestern Germany is the Baden region, whose Kaiserstuhl p area produces exceptional late burgundies and pinot gris. Germany s, and indeed Europe s, northernmost growing region is Saale-Unstrut, with Freyburg p at its centre. Sites honouring Protestant reformer Martin Luther include Wartburg castle in Eisenach p and memorials in Eisleben p and Lutherstadt Wittenberg p Bauhaus buildings in Dessau p are also on Unesco s list.

Recent additions include the Museumsinsel in Berlin p and the Elbe valley around Dresden p , while the wellpreserved Roman ruins in Trier p were among the first five sites to make the cut. Where to now?

Deep into the second decade of reunification, Germany has a pretty good idea. But its roads are strewn with challenges and contradictions. Germany is the world s third-largest economy, yet more than 4. Germany, long considered an economic basket case with abysmally high wage and social welfare costs, was ranked Europe s most attractive business location in and third in the world.

At the same time, the top brass of a highly profitable local company threatens to pack its corporate bags for New Europe. The country is export champion of the world for the third successive year; its cities are bankrupt. Culturally, urban centres are exploding with creative energy as if reliving the wild s. This is Germany today. This tied the political knot on a de facto relationship existing for some years in an opposition-controlled upper house.

But it also brought an unusual twist: Angela Merkel became Germany s first woman chancellor, and she also became the first eastern German to take on the job. Unemployment, of course, remains high on the political agenda. Reforming the health and social security systems are tough hurdles, given Germany s ageing and declining population. The time is rapidly approaching for baby boomers to retire and devote themselves with gusto to patio barbecues, Toscana wine and French cheese.

Someone has to pick up the bill, though, and new generations those now entering the scorched earth left behind by the 68 generation after years of plenty might just spit the dummy and stage a social revolution of their own one day. For its fiscal problems, Germany is used to a flood of four-letter words from European partners. A hike in the consumption tax, if fully implemented in , should allow Germany to meet EU obligations regarding its budget deficit for the first time in six years.

But this might also throttle a domestic economy that steadfastly resists strong growth. In any case, it will lead to unpredictable price hikes. On the environment front, laws to shut down the country s nuclear reactors by remain in force.

And don t ditch those plastic bottles and tin cans reforms to the refund system are now functioning, despite tooth-and-nail resistance by the retail industry. Ironically, it s the Green party s reforms from a seven-year taste of shared power that now look the most durable. Germany is betting on continuity when it comes to proactively shaping its society. Laws passed in guaranteeing equal status for same-sex partnerships look rock solid these days, and the grand coalition enacted an antidiscrimination law that even went beyond EU obligations in areas of disability, age and sexual identity.

Can Germany be a normal nation again? Yes, it would seem. This reflected a new confidence in Germany as a nation. And why not? New generations today live in what is arguably one of the world s best-functioning democracies one, in fact, where past national shame is being offset by various commitments to nation building abroad. Also in , Germany took over the leadership of efforts to rebuild Afghanistan, while reaffirming its active role in Kosovo. Meanwhile, its relations with the US have warmed from the deep freeze of when Germany didn t join the coalition that invaded Iraq.

An overwhelming majority of Germans still stand behind this decision to go an independent course. It s the soft areas the social topography that are raising the tough issues. Germany has 82 million different views on what s wrong with its education system. Hardened to receiving miserable scores in the PISA Programme for International Student Assessment studies comparing standards worldwide, Germans saw salt rubbed into sensitive wounds in when a new PISA study showed their schools churned out second-generation migrant children without basic mathematics skills.

The country of poets and thinkers was becoming a country of numerical illiterates. Also concerning migrants, nothing sends the emotional temperature soaring in Germany like the integration issue. While riots like those engulfing French cities in were never likely to ignite Germany, this fact speaks more for the size and structure of German cities than for successful integration. The school was out of control. With Muslims making up a high proportion of the country s migrant population, the Europe-wide debate on the so-called Muslim-Christian culture clash issue is a lively one in Germany.

The right of teachers to wear Muslim headdress in schools was confirmed by the constitutional court in in a test case, but many states have since amended laws to prevent this. A spate of so-called honour killings of migrant women from forced marriages has also prompted heated discussion. Meanwhile, signs suggest that Germany still doesn t have a grip on right-wing Nazi violence in depressed rural regions, especially in parts of Brandenburg. A couple of high-profile assaults on migrant Germans in just before the football World Cup reopened this sensitive issue.

But right-wing or any other winged attempts to create conformity in Germany are doomed to glorious failure. The country is simply too diverse and culturally dynamic. Berlin received this prestigious accolade for its fusion of design, architecture, art and culture, and it now joins Buenos Aires in the Unesco Creative Cities Network.

But the cultural boom goes well beyond poor but sexy Berlin as its gay governing mayor likes to describe his city. German film is riding a new wave of popularity, while in eastern Germany the New Leipzig School of painting is showing the world that Germany, indeed, has not only caught up with its past, it is confidently breaking out into new and exciting directions.

Born and raised in Germany and educated in London and at UCLA, she s built a career on writing about her native country for almost two decades. She s authored or contributed to about 30 Lonely Planet titles, including all five editions of this book as well as the city guide to Berlin. For this trip she decided to trade her house in Los Angeles for a teensy rooftop apartment in Berlin for six months of research and writing and didn t regret a day of it.

So naturally, I jumped at the chance of updating the chapter for this edition, and I wasn t going to be disappointed. Dresden p was love at first sight, of course, but there were plenty of unexpected surprises too. Chemnitz p charmed me with its can-do spirit, rejuvenated city centre and handsome Art Nouveau villas, while in Zwickau p I spent hours exploring one of the best car museums anywhere.

Leipzig struck me for its progressive art scene, intriguing GDR history museums and kicking nightlife. The wine in Meissen p was so delicious, I took home a case. Come to think of it, I m down to one bottle time to go back. It s simple: our authors are independent, dedicated travellers. They don t research using just the internet or phone, and they don t take freebies in exchange for positive coverage.

They travel widely, to all the popular spots and off the beaten track. For more, see the authors section on. Jeremy has a master s degree in International Relations University of Canterbury and is a former correspondent for news media in London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt am Main.

He has travelled around North America and Europe for Lonely Planet, but Bavaria ranks high in the emotive landscapes department. Home is a renovated butter factory in Berlin. But it s travel he enjoys most of all.

His first visit to Germany was in the late s, when he spent time in a house with German students just before the Berlin Wall fell. Soon he was back again to see friends while travelling to Moscow which had just collapsed into postcoup chaos. A freelance journalist based in London, she s previously worked at Reuters and several travel magazines. After some dozen or so Lonely Planet guidebooks you think she d learn she still hates author bios. Based in Tel Aviv, he is active in groups promoting urban bike paths and Israeli-German dialogue.

His travel writing, including Lonely Planet guides to France and Paris, has been published in nine languages. He prefers to indulge his weakness for apple strudel with vanilla ice cream on the shores of Lake Constance. Lonely Planet Publications.

To make it easier for you to use, access to this chapter is not digitally restricted. In return, we think it s fair to ask you to use it for personal, non-commercial purposes only. In other words, please don t upload this chapter to a peer-to-peer site, mass it to everyone you know, or resell it.

See the terms and conditions on our site for a longer way of saying the above - Do the right thing with our content. By the 9th century all the regions east of the Rhine had developed an identity of their own. The Middle Ages, however, were a bleak, barbaric time of feudalism when more seemed to be lost than won, and squabbling feudal princes hindered the creation of a German state.

Once a federal state did take shape in the 19th century, the scene was set for a tumultuous path from unification to war, from democracy to fascism and WWII, and from there to chilly Cold War division, peaceful reunification and the Germany that we know today. In the Iron Age from around BC Germanic tribes on the North German Plain and in the Central Uplands lived on the fringes of Celtic regions and were influenced by the culture without ever melting into it.

Evidence of this is still apparent today in Thale, in the Harz Mountains. The Romans fought pitched battles with the Germanic tribes from about BC. The Germanic tribes east of the Rhine and the Romans on the western side fought for control of territory across the river until AD 9, when the Roman general, Varus, lost three legions about 20, men in the bloody Battle of Teutoburg Forest and the Romans abandoned their plans to extend eastwards see boxed text, p The Roman presence is evoked today in the thermal baths and amphitheatre of Augusta Treverorum Trier today , and in other Roman relics in Aachen, Xanten, Cologne, Bonn, Mainz where 4th-century Roman shipwrecks can be viewed , Bingen prized for its Roman surgical instruments , Koblenz, Augsburg and Regensburg.

The Rhine and Moselle vineyards are a lasting tribute to the Romans penchant for a tipple or two. This was due, in part, to the Merovingian king, Clovis r , who united diverse populations. Missionaries such as St Boniface considered the father of German Christianity crossed the Rhine to convert pagans. When fighting broke out among aristocratic clans in the 7th century, the Merovingians were replaced by the Carolingians who introduced hierarchical Church structures.

Kloster Lorsch in present-day Hesse is one fine relic of this era. From his grandiose residence in Aachen, Charlemagne r , the Reich s most important king, conquered Lombardy, won territory in Bavaria, waged a year war against the Saxons in the north and was crowned Kaiser by the pope in The cards were reshuffled in the 9th century when attacks by Danes, Saracens and Magyars threw the eastern portion of Charlemagne s For a comprehensive overview of German history, see the German Culture website Did you know 9 November is Germany s destiny date?

It was the day of the uprising in , the failed revolution in , Hitler s Munich Putsch in , the Night of Broken Glass in , and the day the Wall fell in The Roman Empire and Its Germanic Peoples by Herwig Wolfram and Thomas Dunlap translator is an authoritative history spanning five centuries of Germanic tribe migrations and the foundations of the Roman Empire.

Two Lives of Charlemagne edited by Betty Radice is a striking Charlemagne biography, beautifully composed by a monk and a courtier who spent 23 years in Charlemagne s court. Charlemagne s burial in Aachen Dom Aachen Cathedral turned a court chapel into a major pilgrimage site and it remains so today.

The Treaty of Verdun saw a gradual carve-up of the Reich and when Louis the Child r a grandson of Charlemagne s brother died heirless, the East Frankish ie German dukes elected a king from their own ranks. Thus, the first German monarch was created. The symbolic heart of power was Aachen Dom, which hosted the coronation and burial of dozens of German kings from Otto I was first up in the cathedral. In he renewed Charlemagne s pledge to protect the papacy and the pope reciprocated with a pledge of loyalty to the Kaiser.

This made the Kaiser and pope strange and often acrimonious bedfellows for the next years and created the Holy Roman Empire, a nebulous state that survived until see boxed text, opposite. A power struggle between pope and Kaiser, who also had to contend with the local princes or clergy-cum-princes, was behind many of the upheavals in the early Middle Ages.

In the Investiture Conflict under the reign of the Salian, Heinrich IV r , the pope cracked down on the practice of simony selling religious pardons and relics. Heinrich, excommunicated and contrite, stood barefoot in the snow for three days in Canossa in Italy begging forgiveness. He was absolved, but the Reich was convulsed by a year civil war on the issue, which was finally resolved in a treaty signed in the Rhineland-Palatinate town of Worms in The graves of Heinrich and other Salian monarchs can today be found in the spectacular cathedral in nearby Speyer.

The ill-named Battle of Teutoburg Forest might have been fought there. In AD 1 the Romans started building what is today central Europe s largest archaeological site a wall running km from Koblenz on the Rhine to Regensburg on the Danube. Some watchtowers and 60 forts studded this frontier line, dubbed Der Limes The Limes. See for more about the Limes and routes along the wall.

Another km-long cycling route links Detmold with Xanten where there s an archaeological park , taking cyclists past various Roman remains and monuments. A Slavic minority, the Sorbs, can still be found in the Spreewald region of eastern Germany today. The Reich gained territory to the east and in Italy, but soon fell apart dramatically because of early deaths, squabbling between Welf and Hohenstaufen pretenders to the throne and the election of a king and pope-backed antiking.

In the Reich plunged into an era called the Great Interregnum, or the Terrible Time, when Pope Innocent IV annulled his own Kaiser, the Reich was flush with kings and central authority collapsed into a political heap. Although the central Reich was only a shadow of its former self, expansion eastwards continued unabated. Land east of the Oder River now Germany s eastern border had been settled by German peasants and city-dwellers in the midth century.

At its peak, the unified state of the knights stretched from the Oder to Estonia. Later, in the 17th century, a large swathe of this land would become part of Brandenburg-Prussia. Rudolf s arrival r ended the Terrible Time, but more importantly the Declaration of Rense dispensed with the pope s role in crowning a Kaiser. In the Golden Bull set out precise rules for elections and defined the relationship between the Kaiser and the princes.

It was an improvement but Kaisers were still dancing to the tune of the princes. Hildesheim was a centre of power in the Ottonian Period. Heinrich the Fowler: Father of the Ottonian Empire by Mirella Patzer brings 10th-century Germany to life in a heady blend of history and fiction. It was an idea, mostly, and not a very good one.

It grew out of the Frankish Reich, which was seen as the successor to the defunct Roman Empire. When Charlemagne s father, Pippin, helped a beleaguered pope Charlemagne would later do the same , he received the title Patricius Romanorum Protector of Rome , virtually making him Caesar s successor. Having retaken the papal territories from the Lombards, he presented them to the Church the last of these territories is the modern Vatican state.

Charlemagne s reconstituted Roman Empire then passed into German hands. The empire was known by various names throughout its lifetime. The empire sometimes included Italy as far south as Rome. Sometimes it didn t the pope usually had a say in that. The first Bible was printed in Latin in using a revolutionary technique hand-set type cast in moveable moulds by the Mainz-born inventor of moveable type, Johannes Gutenberg. Dancing, however, was the last thing on the minds of ordinary Germans.

While death gripped the Ger man on the street, universities were being established all over the country around this time. The first was in Heidelberg, making it Germany s oldest and arguably its most spectacular university city today. In the university town of Wittenberg in , German theology professor Martin Luther made public his 95 theses that questioned the papal practice of selling indulgences to exonerate sins.

Threatened with excommunication, Luther refused to recant, broke from the Catholic Church and was banned by the Reich, only to be hidden in Wartburg castle outside Eisenach, in Thuringia where he translated the New Testament into German. Today, the death mask of Luther can be viewed in the Marktkirche in Halle; another can be seen at Luthers Sterbehaus in Eisleben p It was not until that the Catholic and Lutheran churches were ranked as equals, thanks to Karl V r who signed the Peace of Augsburg , allowing princes to decide the religion of their principality.

The more secular northern principalities adopted Lutheran teachings, while the clerical lords in the south, southwest and Austria stuck with Catholicism. But the religious issue refused to die. Switzerland and the Netherlands gained independence, France won chunks of Alsace and Lorraine, and Sweden helped itself to the mouths of the Elbe, Oder and Weser Rivers.

At its zenith, the league had more than member cities. It earned a say in the choice of Danish kings after the Danes inspired its wrath by sinking a flotilla of the league s ships off Gotland in The resulting Treaty of Stralsund turned the league into northern Europe s most powerful economic and political entity. By the 15th century, however, competition from Dutch and English shipping companies, internal disputes and a shift in the centre of world trade from the North and Baltic Seas to the Atlantic had caused decline.

For the time being, however, the masses remained illiterate. Brandenburg-Prussia became an entity to be reckoned with, kick-started by the acquisition of former Teutonic Knights territories and assisted by Hohenzollern king Friedrich Wilhelm I the Soldier King and his son, Friedrich II r.

Between and an imperial deputation secularised and reconstituted German territory, usually at the behest of French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte during the Napoleonic Wars. In the Rhine Confederation eradicated about principalities. Sniffing the end of the Holy Roman Empire, Kaiser Franz II r packed his bags for Austria, renamed himself Franz I of Austria and abdicated in That same year Brandenburg-Prussia fell to the French, but humiliating defeat prompted reforms that brought it closer to civil statehood: Jews were granted equality and bonded labour was abolished.

In , with French troops driven back by the Russians, Leipzig witnessed one of Napoleon s most significant defeats. At the Congress of Vienna , Germany was reorganised into a confederation of 35 states and an ineffective Reichstag legislative assembly was established in Frankfurt, an unsatisfactory solution that only minimally improved on the Holy Roman Empire.

The Reichstag poorly represented the most populous states, however, and failed to rein in Austro-Prussian rivalry. By the midth century, the engines of the modern, industrial age were purring across the country. A newly created urban proletarian movement fuelled calls for central government, while the Young Germany movement of satirists lampooned the powerful of the day and called for a central state.

Berlin, along with much of the southwest, erupted in riots in , prompting German leaders to bring together Germany s first ever freely elected parliamentary delegation in Frankfurt s Paulskirche. Austria, meanwhile, broke away from Germany, came up with its own constitution and promptly relapsed into monarchism.

An old-guard militarist, he used intricate diplomacy and a series of wars with neighbours Denmark and France to achieve his aims. In later than most other European countries Germany was unified, with Berlin the proud capital of Western Europe s largest state.

The Prussian king was crowned Kaiser of the Reich a bicameral, constitutional monarchy at Versailles on 18 January and Bismarck became its Iron Chancellor. Suffrage was limited to men in the new Reich and the national colours were black, white and red. The first potato was planted in Germany in , the Gregorian calendar was adopted in and Germany s first cuckoo clock started ticking in In the Socialist Workers Party was founded. A communist vision of a classless and stateless society is portrayed in The Communist Manifesto, written in exile by Trier-born Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Capitalism will be toppled by a new working class, the pair warns readers Saxon and Salian emperors rule Germany, creating the Holy Roman Empire in Aachen becomes Reich capital under Friedrich I Barbarossa The House of Habsburg takes the Reich reins Declaration of Rense ends the need for the pope to confirm the Reich s elected Kaiser, ending dependence on the Vatican.

After abdicating, Kaiser Wilhelm II could settle in Utrecht Netherlands on condition he didn t engage in political activity. One of his last acts was to send a telegram congratulating Hitler on the occupation of Paris. Bismarck s power was based on the support of merchants and Junker, a noble class of nonknighted landowners. An ever-skilful diplomat and power broker, Bismarck achieved much through a dubious honest Otto policy, whereby he brokered deals between European powers and encouraged colonial vanities to distract others from his own deeds.

He belatedly graced the Reich of Kaiser Wilhelm I with a few African jewels after , acquiring colonies in central, southwest and east Africa as well as numerous Pacific paradises, such as Tonga, where a weary Prussian prince might one day lay down his steel helmet and relax in the sun. When pressed, Bismarck made concessions to the growing and increasingly antagonistic socialist movement, enacting Germany s first modern social reforms, but this was not his true nature.

By Germany found itself burdened with a new Kaiser, Wilhelm II, who wanted to extend social reform, and an Iron Chancellor who wanted stricter antisocialist laws. Finally, in , the Kaiser s scalpel excised Bismarck from the political scene. After that, the legacy of Bismarck s brilliant diplomacy unravelled and a wealthy, unified and industrially powerful Germany paddled into the new century with incompetent leaders at the helm.

In a German submarine attack on a British passenger liner killed US citizens. By the USA had also entered the war. Russia, in the grip of revolution, accepted humiliating peace terms from Germany. Germany, militarily broken, itself teetering on the verge of revolution and caught in a no-man s-land between monarchy and modern democracy, signed the Treaty of Versailles , which made it responsible for all losses incurred by its enemies. Its borders were trimmed back and it was forced to pay high reparations.

To allow negotiations, a chancellor was appointed who for the first time was responsible to parliament. A mutiny by sailors in the bustling port of Kiel in triggered a workers revolt and a revolution in Berlin, spelling a bitter end for Germany s Kaiser, who abdicated and went to the Netherlands. Socialist and democratic socialist parties fought tooth and nail, while the radical Spartacus League joined by other groups in to form the German Communist Party; KPD sought to create a republic based on Marx theories of proletarian revolution.

Following the bloody quashing of an uprising in Berlin, Spartacus founders Red Rosa Luxemburg and Leipzigborn Karl Liebknecht were arrested and murdered en route to prison by Freikorps soldiers right-leaning war volunteers. Their bodies were dumped in Berlin s Landwehr canal, only to be recovered several months later and buried in Berlin. Hitler hushed up the gruesome night dubbed The Night of the Long Knives until 13 July when he announced to the Reichstag that, henceforth, the SA which numbered two million, easily outnumbering the army would serve under the command of the army, which, in turn, would swear an oath of allegiance to Hitler.

Justice would be executed by himself and the black-shirted SS under the leadership of former chicken-farmer Heinrich Himmler, effectively giving the SS unchallenged power and making it Nazi Germany s most powerful and feared force. Meanwhile, in July , in the Thuringian city of Weimar where the constituent assembly briefly sought refuge during the Berlin chaos , the federalist constitution of a new democratic republic was adopted.

The republic, however, pleased neither communists nor monarchists. The first blow to the new republic came in , when right-wing militants forcibly occupied the government quarter in Berlin in the failed Kapp Putsch. In , hyperinflation rocked the republic. Hitler wound up in jail for two years, where he wrote his nationalist, anti-semitic tome, Mein Kampf.

Once out, he began rebuilding the party. A year later, Hindenburg appointed Hitler chancellor, with a coalition cabinet of Nationalists conservatives, old aristocrats and powerful industrialists and National Socialists Nazis. When Berlin s Reichstag mysteriously went up in flames in March , Hitler had the excuse he needed to request emergency powers to arrest all communist and liberal opponents and push through his proposed Enabling Law, allowing him to decree laws and change the constitution without consulting parliament.

The Nazi dictatorship had begun. In 12 short years of a Thousand Year Reich proclaimed by Hitler, massive destruction would be inflicted upon German and other European cities; political opponents, intellectuals and artists would be murdered or forced to go underground or into exile; a culture of terror and denunciation would permeate almost all corners of society; and Europe s rich Jewish heritage would be decimated. In November, the new Rentenmark was traded in for one trillion old marks.

Laws are like sausages. It s better not to see them being made. His Berlin of those times is the literary equivalent of the brutal north face of the Eiger Germany s first constitutional document, the Golden Bull, is adopted; the Hanseatic League is born two years later The Great Schism in the Catholic Church is resolved at the Council of Constance in southern Germany Martin Luther launches the Reformation with his 95 theses in the eastern German town of Wittenburg The Peace of Augsburg allows princes to decide their principality s religion, equalising Catholicism and Protestantism.

So Jews much had so, a that separate on the political night of status. A charter of rights granted to the Jews of Worms in by Henry Hitler IV hushed allowed up local the Jews gruesome to be judged night dubbed according The to Night their own of the set Long of laws. Knives until 13 July when The he First announced Crusade to the Reichstag resulted that, in a henceforth, wave of pogroms the SA which in , numbered usually against two million, the will easily local outnumbering rulers and townspeople.

In the 13th century Jews were declared crown property by Frederick II, an act that afforded protection but exposed them to royal whim. Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg, whose grave lies in Europe s oldest Jewish cemetery in Worms, fell foul of King Rudolph of Habsburg in for leading a group of would-be emigrants to Palestine; he died in prison.

The Church also prescribed distinctive clothing for Jews at this time, which later meant that in some towns Jews had to wear badges. Things deteriorated with the arrival of the plague in the midth century, when Jews were persecuted and libellous notions circulated throughout the Christian population. The blood libel accused Jews of using the blood of Christians in rituals. The even more bizarre host-desecration libel accused Jews of desecrating or torturing Christ by, among other dastardly deeds, sticking pins into communion wafers, which then wept tears or bled.

Money lending was the main source of income for Jews in the 15th century. Expulsions remained commonplace, with large numbers emigrating to Poland, where Yiddish developed. The Reformation including a hostile Martin Luther and the Thirty Years War brought difficult times for Jewish populations, but by the 17th century they were valued again for their economic contacts.

Napoleon granted Germany s Jews equal rights, but reforms were repealed by the Congress of Vienna. Anti-Jewish feelings in the early 19th century coincided with German nationalism and a more vigorous Christianity. Pressure was applied on Jews to assimilate. With unification in , Jews enjoyed almost equal status in Germany, but they were still barred from government and could not become army officers.

In the late 19th century Germany became a world centre of Jewish cultural and historical studies. Germany became an important centre for Hebrew literature after Russian writers and academics fled the revolution of The Weimar Republic brought emancipation for the ,strong Jewish community, but also a backlash during the economic disasters in the s. After Hitler came to power, the fate of German Jewry was sealed by new race laws.

Increasing persecution led many to emigrate, and by less than half the population figure , remained in Germany. By Germany was declared Judenrein, or clean of Jews. This ignored the hundreds of thousands of Eastern European Jews incarcerated on German soil. Around six million Jews died in Europe as a direct result of Nazism and its barbarity.

The number of Jews affiliated with the Jewish community in Germany is currently around , the third largest in Europe but the real number is probably twice that. Many Jews arrived from the former Soviet Union in the s. There are particularly informative Jewish museums in Berlin p and Frankfurt p In April Joseph Goebbels, head of the well-oiled Ministry of Propaganda, announced a boycott of Jewish businesses.

Soon after, Jews were expelled from public service and non-aryans were banned from many professions, trades and industries. The Nuremberg Laws deprived non-aryans of German citizenship and forbade them to marry or have sexual relations with Aryans anyone who broke these race laws faced the death penalty and had to pay their own trial and execution costs to boot. Hitler won much support among the middle and lower-middle classes by pumping large sums of money into employment programmes, many involving re-armament and heavy industry.

In Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, affordable cars started rolling out of the first Volkswagen factory, founded in That same year, Hitler s troops were welcomed into Austria. Foreign powers, in an attempt to avoid another bloody war, accepted this Anschluss annexation of Austria. By March , he had also annexed Moravia and Bohemia. Soviet neutrality was assured by a secret Soviet German protocol that divided up Eastern Europe into spheres of interest. Poland, but soon also Belgium, the Netherlands and France, quickly fell to Germany.

Though successful at first, Operation Barbarossa soon ran into problems and Hitler s troops retreated. With the defeat of the German 6th army at Stalingrad today Volgograd the following winter, morale flagged at home and on the fronts.

The Final Solution At Hitler s request, a conference in January on Berlin s Wannsee came up with a protocol clothed in bureaucratic jargon that laid the basis for the A detailed history of WWII with Nazi leader biographies, a Holocaust timeline with more than images, and a special focus on the pre-wwii years in Nazi Germany make this website stand out Chester Wilmot presents an interesting account of WWII in his The Struggle for Europe, told from the perspective of an Australian journalist slap-bang in the thick of things.

The Colditz Story , directed by Guy Hamilton, is a gripping if sobering watch. In retaliation for the assassination of a German consular official by a Polish Jew in Paris, synagogues and Jewish cemeteries, property and businesses across Germany were desecrated, burnt or demolished.

About 90 Jews died that night. The next day another 30, were incarcerated, and Jewish businesses were transferred to non-jews through forced sale at below-market prices The Thirty Years War sweeps through Germany and leaves the Reich a disempowered region of plus states Brandenburg-Prussia becomes a mighty European power under Frederick the Great Brandenburg-Prussia falls to the French and the Holy Roman Empire collapses The Congress of Vienna redraws the map of Europe and divides Germany into 35 states.

The Holocaust was a systematic, bureaucratic and meticulously documented genocidal act carried out by about , Germans, but with the tacit agreement of a far greater number. Jewish populations in occupied areas were systematically terrorised and executed by SS troops. Sinti and Roma gypsies , political opponents, priests, homosexuals, resistance fighters and habitual criminals were also incarcerated in a network of 22 camps, mostly in Eastern Europe.

Another work camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland provided labour for big industry, including IG Farbenindustrie AG, producer of the cyanide gas Zyklon B that was used in gas chambers to murder more than three million Jews. The former headquarters of this conglomerate is now part of Frankfurt am Main s university campus see p Of the estimated seven million people sent to camps, , survived.

Resistance to Hitler was quashed early by the powerful Nazi machinery of terror, but it never vanished entirely. On 20 July , Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg and other high-ranking army officers tried to assassinate Hitler and were executed. The mass extermination of Jews and other Nazi atrocities were outlined in the anti-nazi leaflets distributed in Munich and other cities by the White Rose, a group of Munich university students whose resistance attempts cost most of them their lives see boxed text, p The brunt of the bombings was suffered by the civilian population; Dresden s Frauenkirche, Germany s greatest Protestant church, was destroyed during a British raid in February that killed 35, people, many of them refugees.

The church was painstakingly reconstructed for Dresden s th anniversary in At Stalin s insistence, France received its chunk from the Allied regions. Meanwhile, German cities were rising out of the rubble and first steps were being taken to re-establish elected government. These advances widened the rift between Allied and Soviet zones; in the latter inflation still strained local economies, food shortages affected the population, and the Communist and Social Democrat parties were forced to unite as the Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands SED; Socialist Unity Party.

The Allies responded with the remarkable Berlin Airlift, whereby American, British, Canadian and some Australian air crews flew into Berlin s Tempelhof Airport where there s a monument today the equivalent of 22 freight trains of 50 carriages daily, at intervals of 90 seconds.

A year later, year-old Konrad Adenauer , a Cologne mayor during the Weimar years, was elected West Germany s first chancellor. Bonn Adenauer s hometown was the natural candidate for the FRG s provisional capital. On paper, it guaranteed press and religious freedoms and the right to strike. In reality, such freedoms were limited and no-one dared strike. In its chosen capital of Berlin, a bicameral system was set up one chamber was later abolished and Wilhelm Pieck became the country s first president.

From the outset, however, the Socialist Unity Party led by party boss Walter Ulbricht dominated economic, judicial and security policy. Workers became economically dependent on the state through the collectivisation of farms, and nationalisation of production such as the Horch car factory in Zwickau near Leipzig which later produced Trabants as the GDR answer to the West Germany s Volkswagen.

In Soviet zones the task of weeding out Nazis tended to be swift and harsh. In Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, affordable cars started rolling out of the first Volkswagen factory, founded in That same year, Hitler s troops were welcomed into Austria. Foreign powers, in an attempt to avoid another bloody war, accepted this Anschluss annexation of Austria.

By March , he had also annexed Moravia and Bohemia. Soviet neutrality was assured by a secret Soviet German protocol that divided up Eastern Europe into spheres of interest. Poland, but soon also Belgium, the Netherlands and France, quickly fell to Germany. Though successful at first, Operation Barbarossa soon ran into problems and Hitler s troops retreated.

With the defeat of the German 6th army at Stalingrad today Volgograd the following winter, morale flagged at home and on the fronts. The Final Solution At Hitler s request, a conference in January on Berlin s Wannsee came up with a protocol clothed in bureaucratic jargon that laid the basis for the A detailed history of WWII with Nazi leader biographies, a Holocaust timeline with more than images, and a special focus on the pre-wwii years in Nazi Germany make this website stand out Chester Wilmot presents an interesting account of WWII in his The Struggle for Europe, told from the perspective of an Australian journalist slap-bang in the thick of things.

The Colditz Story , directed by Guy Hamilton, is a gripping if sobering watch. In retaliation for the assassination of a German consular official by a Polish Jew in Paris, synagogues and Jewish cemeteries, property and businesses across Germany were desecrated, burnt or demolished.

About 90 Jews died that night. The next day another 30, were incarcerated, and Jewish businesses were transferred to non-jews through forced sale at below-market prices The Thirty Years War sweeps through Germany and leaves the Reich a disempowered region of plus states Brandenburg-Prussia becomes a mighty European power under Frederick the Great Brandenburg-Prussia falls to the French and the Holy Roman Empire collapses The Congress of Vienna redraws the map of Europe and divides Germany into 35 states.

The Holocaust was a systematic, bureaucratic and meticulously documented genocidal act carried out by about , Germans, but with the tacit agreement of a far greater number. Jewish populations in occupied areas were systematically terrorised and executed by SS troops. Sinti and Roma gypsies , political opponents, priests, homosexuals, resistance fighters and habitual criminals were also incarcerated in a network of 22 camps, mostly in Eastern Europe.

Another work camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland provided labour for big industry, including IG Farbenindustrie AG, producer of the cyanide gas Zyklon B that was used in gas chambers to murder more than three million Jews. The former headquarters of this conglomerate is now part of Frankfurt am Main s university campus see p Of the estimated seven million people sent to camps, , survived.

Resistance to Hitler was quashed early by the powerful Nazi machinery of terror, but it never vanished entirely. On 20 July , Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg and other high-ranking army officers tried to assassinate Hitler and were executed. The mass extermination of Jews and other Nazi atrocities were outlined in the anti-nazi leaflets distributed in Munich and other cities by the White Rose, a group of Munich university students whose resistance attempts cost most of them their lives see boxed text, p The brunt of the bombings was suffered by the civilian population; Dresden s Frauenkirche, Germany s greatest Protestant church, was destroyed during a British raid in February that killed 35, people, many of them refugees.

The church was painstakingly reconstructed for Dresden s th anniversary in At Stalin s insistence, France received its chunk from the Allied regions. Meanwhile, German cities were rising out of the rubble and first steps were being taken to re-establish elected government. These advances widened the rift between Allied and Soviet zones; in the latter inflation still strained local economies, food shortages affected the population, and the Communist and Social Democrat parties were forced to unite as the Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands SED; Socialist Unity Party.

The Allies responded with the remarkable Berlin Airlift, whereby American, British, Canadian and some Australian air crews flew into Berlin s Tempelhof Airport where there s a monument today the equivalent of 22 freight trains of 50 carriages daily, at intervals of 90 seconds. A year later, year-old Konrad Adenauer , a Cologne mayor during the Weimar years, was elected West Germany s first chancellor.

Bonn Adenauer s hometown was the natural candidate for the FRG s provisional capital. On paper, it guaranteed press and religious freedoms and the right to strike. In reality, such freedoms were limited and no-one dared strike.

In its chosen capital of Berlin, a bicameral system was set up one chamber was later abolished and Wilhelm Pieck became the country s first president. From the outset, however, the Socialist Unity Party led by party boss Walter Ulbricht dominated economic, judicial and security policy. Workers became economically dependent on the state through the collectivisation of farms, and nationalisation of production such as the Horch car factory in Zwickau near Leipzig which later produced Trabants as the GDR answer to the West Germany s Volkswagen.

In Soviet zones the task of weeding out Nazis tended to be swift and harsh. In the west the Allies held war-crimes trials in courtroom of Nuremberg s Court House open to visitors today. Erhard was economic minister and later vice-chancellor in Konrad Adenauer s government.

A Train of Powder by Rebecca West ranks as one of the most informative books on the Nuremberg trials. Interviews with former Stasi men in the mid- s forms the basis of Australian journalist Anna Funder s Stasiland crammed with fresh and alternative insights into what the men of the Stasi did after it was disbanded Uprising and the first parliamentary delegation Nationalversammlung meets in Frankfurt Prussian Chancellor Bismarck s brilliant diplomacy creates a unified Germany with Prussia at its helm and Berlin as its capital WWI: Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey go to war against Britain, France, Italy and Russia; Germany is defeated Monarchical rule ends; under the Weimar Republic, women are granted suffrage and basic human rights are embedded in law.

Adenauer s deep-rooted fear of the USSR saw him pursue a ruthless policy of integration with the West. In East Germany, Stalin s death in raised unfulfilled hopes of reform. Extreme poverty and economic tensions merely persuaded the government to set production goals higher. Soviet troops quashed the uprising, with scores of deaths and the arrest of about people. Having walled in what was left of the struggling population , East Germans had fled to the west in alone, and in almost , voted with their feet , the East German government launched a new economic policy in a bid to make life better.

And it did. The standard of living rose to the highest in the Eastern bloc and East Germany became its second-largest industrial power behind the USSR. The appointment of Erich Honecker in opened the way for rapprochement with the West and enhanced international acceptance of the GDR.

Honecker fell in line with Soviet policies replacing reunification clauses in the East German constitution with a declaration of irrevocable alliance to the USSR in , but his economic policies did promote a powerful economy until stagnation took root in the late s. Almost a state within the state, it boasted an astonishing spy network of about 90, full-time employees and , inoffizielle Mitarbeiter unofficial coworkers by Since , only Stasi agents have been prosecuted and since the year limit ended in , future trials are unlikely.

When it came to tracking down dissidents, there were no limits. One unusual collection of files found in its Berlin archive kept a record of dissidents body odour. Some dissidents who had been hauled in for interrogation were made to deliver an odour sample, usually taken with a cotton wool pad from the unfortunate victim s crotch. The sample was then stored in an hermetic glass jar for later use if a dissident suddenly disappeared. To track down a missing dissident by odour, Stasi sniffer dogs were employed.

These specially trained groin-sniffing curs were euphemistically known as smell differentiation dogs. What happened to the dogs after the Stasi was disbanded is unclear. What happened to the six million files the Stasi accumulated in its lifetime is a greater cause for concern. In January , protestors stormed the Stasi headquarters in Berlin today a museum, memorial and research centre see p for details , demanding to see the files. Since then, the controversial records have been assessed and safeguarded by a Berlin-based public body.

Some of those with an inoffizieller Mitarbeiter file are fully fledged informants; others are contact people who either knew they were giving information to someone from the Stasi or were unfortunate enough to be pumped of information without knowing it Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany and creates a dictatorship WWII: Hitler invades Poland, France and Britain declare war on Germany; Jews are murdered en masse during the Holocaust Hitler kills himself in a Berlin bunker while a defeated Germany surrenders; Germany is split into Allied- and Soviet-occupied zones Allied-occupied West Germany becomes the FRG; Soviet-occupied East Germany becomes the GDR.

Berlin and the Wall by Ann Tusa is a saga about the events, trials and triumphs of the Cold War, the building of the Wall and its effects on the people and the city of Berlin. By doing this he was making a post-hoc name for himself as the father of a multi-ethnic German society.

About 2. While Ludwig Erhard s guest workers arrived from one direction, young Germans who had been children under the Nazis now rode their imported Vespa motorcycles to Italy on holiday to bring home a piece of Europe for themselves.

The absence of parliamentary opposition fuelled radical demands by the student movement for social reform. Normalising relations with East Germany his East-friendly policy was known as Ostpolitik was his priority and in December the Basic Treaty was signed, paving the way for both to join the UN in The treaty guaranteed sovereignty in international and domestic affairs but fudged formal recognition since it was precluded by the West German constitution.

Brandt was replaced by Helmut Schmidt b in after a scandal one of Brandt s close advisers turned out to be a Stasi spy. The s saw antinuclear and green issues move onto the agenda, opposed by Schmidt and ultimately leading to the election of Greens party representatives to the Bonn parliament in In West Germany joined the G8 group of industrial nations. But the s were also a time of terrorism in Germany, and several prominent business and political figures were assassinated by the anticapitalist Red Army Faction.

Brandt s vision of East West cordiality was borne out by Chancellor Helmut Kohl b who, with his conservative coalition government from , groomed relations between East and West while dismantling parts of the welfare state at home. The so-called Wende change, ie the fall of communism in Germany and reunification came about perhaps in the most German of ways: a gradual development that culminated in a big bang. Reminiscent of the situation in Berlin in the s, East Germans began leaving their country in droves.

They fled not across a no-man s-land of concrete, weeds and death strips between East and West this time but through an open border between Hungary and Austria. The SED was helpless to stop the flow of people wanting to leave, some of whom sought refuge in the West German embassy in Prague.

Around the same time, East Germans took to the streets in Monday demonstrations following services in Leipzig s Nikolaikirche and other churches in East Germany, safe in the knowledge that the Church supported their demands for improved human rights. Something had to give, and it did.

With the demonstrations spreading and escalating into violence, Erich Honecker accepted the inevitable, relinquishing his position to Egon Krenz b Tens of thousands of East Germans jubilantly rushed through border points in Berlin and elsewhere in the country, bringing to an end the long, chilly phase of German division.

The unified Germany of today with 16 unified states five of which are in eastern Germany and called the new states was hammered out after volatile political debate at home and a series of treaties to end post-wwii occupation zones.

The days of occupation by the four powers were now consigned to the past. Berlin acquired the status it has today of a separate city-state, and following reunification on 3 October, it was restored to the capital of Germany. Those who had jobs did well, but unemployment was high and the lack of opportunities in regions such as the eastern Harz Mountains or in cities such as Magdeburg and Halle both in Saxony-Anhalt are still causing many young eastern Germans to try their luck in western Germany or in boomtowns such as Leipzig in Saxony.

Many public servants have since relocated there from Bonn to staff the ministries, and young people from all over Germany are attracted by its vibrant cultural scene. Helmut Kohl also sought to bring former East German functionaries to justice, notably Erich Honecker, who fled after he resigned and lived an ailing and nomadic existence that culminated in his death in Chile in His court case had by then been abandoned due to his ill health.

The unification legacy of Helmut Kohl is indisputable. His involvement in a party slush fund scandal in the late s, however, almost financially ruined his own party and resulted in the CDU party stripping him of his position as lifelong honorary chairman. After the Wall by Marc Fisher is an account of German society, with emphasis on life after the Wende fall of communism. Fisher was bureau chief for the Washington Post in Bonn and presents some perceptive social insights.

For Germany s Greens, however, victory was historic: it was the first time an environmentalist party had governed nationally in Germany or elsewhere in the world. During this era, Germany faced the question of how much it could modernise, particularly in the areas of foreign policy, the social market economy, energy, immigration and gay rights.

In foreign policy, it became more independent, deploying troops abroad under a UN mandate for the first time since when Kosovo erupted in violence. Germany also sent troops to Afghanistan in and currently plays a pivotal role in trying to rebuild that country. However, the government, backed by support from an overwhelming majority of Germans, didn t commit troops to the second Iraq war and had an abysmal relationship with the USA.

Possibly because of this, Germany s efforts to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council had to be abandoned. Not surprisingly, considering the Greens party participation in the government, progress was strong on environmental issues. An agreement was struck to switch off Germany s last nuclear reactor by about Work on modernising the economy and welfare structures, which also needed crossparty support to pass the upper house hurdle, was slow and often didn t go far enough.

This included a series of labour market reforms which later formed part of an Agenda package, supported by all parties after much horse trading. Two figures that capture the spirit of the party best are Franco-German Daniel Cohn-Bendit b and former German foreign minister, Joschka Fischer b Cohn-Bendit was a leader in France s student uprising in the French government later tossed him out and is co-president of the Greens party s European party faction. He s still very much a grass-roots type of Green, and you often see him on the street in Frankfurt s Bockenheim district occasionally being hailed from across the street by a friendly newspaper seller, or being given an earful by a solid Hesse hausfrau at a newspaper stand.

Joschka Fischer, one-time foreign minister, taxi driver and son of a butcher German ancestry, but from Hungary is notorious for his time as a member of a Putzgruppe clean-up mob which battled it out with police in squatter clashes in Frankfurt s Westend. Ironically, the elegant suburb of today owes its existence to the rebel squatters who fought tooth and nail to stop the bulldozers in the s.

Fischer is alleged to have punched a policeman in an odd twist of fate, the policeman s surname name was Marx in one violent clash. After a stint as Germany s highly popular foreign minister from to , Fischer five times married and, witty tongues might quip, the only Greens politician to practice his party s principle of leadership rotation has now retired from parliament.

Given the politics of heavyweights such as Fischer and Cohn-Bendit, red would seem the preferred colour of the Greens. Also, although it has yet to join forces with conservative parties at state or federal level, the Greens are no strangers to coalitions with black conservative parties in city governments.

It remains a hot issue, though. During the early s, Germany s economic motor, the often familyowned medium-sized companies, successfully trimmed and adapted to new times by replacing their ageing patriarchs with highly skilled young managers. Always one of the world s largest exporters, Germany has consistently been the largest since , and overall it has the world s third-largest economy after Japan and the US.

This turned out to be the political swansong of Germany s first SPD chancellor since the s. After weeks of confusion, a deal was struck for a coalition led by Angela Merkel b , the first woman, eastern German, Russian speaker and quantum physicist in the job see boxed text, below.

The opposition is led by the FDP, which narrowly squeezed ahead of the Greens to become the third-largest party. The use-by date of the grand coalition is formally five years, after which the parties are expected to go their own way. Nevertheless, the political glue holding this one together is very thin, especially when it comes to the stance on welfare and wage issues, and it would come as no surprise if Germany faces fresh elections earlier than the scheduled date of Whatever happens, time is certain to bring new and exciting directions in the development of Germany, Western Europe s most powerful and populous country, situated at the heart of Europe.

Another is how she has managed to survive every attempt by feisty political stags in her own CDU party to depose her. There is more to Germany s chancellor than meets the eye. Merkel was born in Hamburg in but grew up in the boondocks in the Uckermark region in Brandenburg, near the Polish border , where her father had a posting as a pastor in East Germany. She studied physics in Leipzig quantum chemistry , entering politics as the GDR was falling apart.

Soon she was honing her political skills in the ministries of a reunified Germany Women and Youth was one, Environment, Natural Protection and Reactor Safety was another under Helmut Kohl. Her breakthrough came in the late s when the paws of several CDU alpha animals were suddenly found to be carrying the dirt of a party slush fund.

Life after reunification unemployment, racial violence etc in the Thuringian small town of Altenburg is the contemporary focus of Ingo Schulze s Simple Storys Simple Stories; , a debut novel that instantly credited the author as one of Germany s best new writers.

Throw in the chilling razor s edge of Cold War division, a modern juggernaut economy that draws half of Europe in its wake and pumps more goods into the world economy than any other, and a crucial geographical location at the crossroads of Europe and this fascination becomes understandable.

Often, though, it pays to ignore the stereotypes, jingoism and those media military headlines at home and maybe even forgive Germans for the systematic way they clog up a football field or conduct jagged discussion. Sometimes it helps to see the country in its regional nuances.

Germany was very slow to become a nation, so if you look closely you will begin to notice many different local cultures within the one set of borders. You will also find it one of Europe s most multicultural countries p49 , with Turkish, Greek, Italian, Russian and Balkan influences. Around 15 million people today live in a part of Germany where until travel was restricted, the state was almighty, and life was secure but also strongly regulated from the cradle to the grave.

Not surprisingly, therefore, many eastern Germans are still coming to terms with a more competitive unified Germany. The east is still losing people hand over fist. Take the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt, which is enduring especially rough times and currently sheds some 15, of its youngest, most talented people each year to western Germany. The idea is to invest in the future by keeping the home fires burning.

It s a winning battle, because eastern Germans like their region even if they have to leave it for a while. Although there s a thriving industry surrounding nostalgia for typical GDR German Democratic Republic, the former East Germany products, few people long for a return to those days, and no-one regrets the loss of travel restrictions see opposite.

Germans as a whole fall within the mental topography of northern Europe and are sometimes described as culturally low context. That means, as opposed to the French or Italians, Germans like to pack what they mean right into the words they use rather than hint or suggest. Facing each other squarely in conversation, firm handshakes, and a hug or a kiss on the cheek among friends are also par for the course. Most Germans look fondly upon the flourishing tradition of the apprentice carpenters who travel throughout Germany and Europe on Wanderschaft wanderings to acquire foreign skills, or the traditionally attired chimney sweeps in towns and villages dressed in pitch-black suits and top hats.

On Monday she ll be soberly back at the desk crunching the numbers like it was all just good fun which it was, of course. For all this popular tradition, Germans are not prudish. Nude bathing on beaches and mixed saunas naked are both commonplace, although many women prefer single-sex saunas usually on a particular day. Wearing your swimming suit or covering yourself with a towel in the sauna is definitely not the done thing.

A close look, however, reveals some distinctly German quirks, whether that be a compulsion for sorting and recycling rubbish, a love of filter coffee and fizzy mineral water, or perhaps even an abhorrence of anything but especially eggs prepared in a frying pan before noon.

Tradition is valued, so in this household, Grandma s clock might grind and chime the morning hours somewhere in the room, although these Flirting, fashion, fun, as well as everything else you need to gen up on culturally to study and live in Germany is on the Net at -germany. Tune into current affairs in English with international German broadcaster Deutsche Welle at -world. Well, very few people, although there was more to the country than being a satellite of the Evil Empire, as s Cold War warriors would portray it.

The opening lines of director Leander Haussmann s film Sonnenallee are revealing: Once upon a time there was a land, and I lived there, and if I am asked how it was, I say it was the best time of my life because I was young and in love. Another film, the smash hit Goodbye Lenin! It also gave the Ostalgie craze from Ost East and Nostalgie nostalgia the kick-start it needed to become a permanent cultural fixture in Germany.

Ostalgie is hip. These days dour, grinning Erich Honecker doubles in trademark specs bring parties to life; GDR Club Cola is cool ; an otherwise inconspicuous cucumber Spreewaldgurken is elevated to the status of heraldic symbol. It s all part of an Ostalgie movement that won t die. The early movement was something of a right-wing, anti-semitic animal, whose puritanical members were scorned by some outsiders as the lemonade bourgeoisie.

Achieving total beauty was the name of the game. Anathema to the movement, for example, was someone with a lascivious big-city lifestyle that included smoking, fornicating, eating meat, drinking, and wearing clothes made of synthetic fibres, or anyone with predilections for artificial light. Early naturism also sprouted Germany s first vegetarian Reform restaurants and shops. The most interesting characters to develop out of this odd era were bodybuilders predominantly vegetarian and naturist but internationalist in spirit.

Some achieved fame abroad under pseudonyms. Others were immortalised in Germany by sculptors, who employed them as models for their works. Famous pioneers of the movement in Germany include Kaliningrad-born Eugene Sandow who died trying to pull a car out of a ditch; Berlin-born Hans Ungar , who became famous under the pseudonym Lionel Strongfort; and Theodor Siebert , from Alsleben, near Halle, in eastern Germany.

Maybe after Germany loses the football match against the USA tonight it ll be one in five. The country s first gay publication, Der Eigene, went to press in days Grandma herself contemplatively sucks on her false teeth which she might have had done cheaply in Poland in an old-age home or discovers the benefits of having a voluble Romanian aged-carer in her own home.

When it comes to hammering nails in coffins, about one-third of Germans are regular smokers. With such high unemployment and many economically depressed regions in eastern Germany, there are large differences in the standard of living among Germans. The birth rate is low 1. But there s a big difference between eastern and western Germany. People everywhere are marrying later, with men and women tying the knot at the average age of 32 and 29 respectively. Abortion is illegal except when a medical or criminal indication exists , but it is unpunishable if carried out within 12 weeks of conception and after compulsory counselling.

Rape within marriage is punishable. Same -sex marriage in the form of legally recognised same-sex partnerships has been possible since Gays and lesbians walk with ease in most cities, especially Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Frankfurt-am-Main, although homosexuals do encounter discrimination in certain eastern German areas.

German school hours from 8am to 1pm and the under-funding of childcare make combining career and children difficult for German women. The plus side is that parents enjoy equal rights for maternity and paternity leave, and everyone has the right to work part-time. In eastern Germany women tend to have be more of a presence on the managerial floors one-third of upper management jobs whereas the figure for western Germany is about one-fifth. Most Germans have retired by the age of 63, but the government introduced changes in that increase the retirement age to 67 for those retiring in Changes are also in the pipeline to increase pension contributions among childless couples.

Addressing an acquaintance with the formal Sie is a must, unless invited to do otherwise. Muttering a familiar du reserved for close friends and family to a shop assistant will only incite wrath and bad service, although du is often acceptable in young people packed bars. If in doubt, use Sie. Push firmly but politely with German bureaucracy; shouting will only slam down the shutters. Germans lower rather than raise their voices when mad. Give your name at the start of a phone call, even when calling a hotel or restaurant to book a room or table.

Most people inhabit villages and small towns, and German cities are modest by world standards: Berlin aside 3. The population in former East Germany fell below the level after reunification as easterners moved to the more lucrative west. Oddly, Berlin s postreunification population boom has been offset by the exodus of young families from the capital to the surrounding countryside.

The total population figure is slipping downwards and will hit 74 million compared with today s million by at its present rate. For more on Germany s foreign population, see p SPORT Germany, always a keen sporting nation, has hosted the summer Olympics and football World Cup two times apiece; in the World Cup was very successfully hosted in 12 cities amid national fanfare and celebration.

Football Football incites the passion of Germans everywhere and has contributed much to building Germany s self-confidence as a nation. Germany has played in more World Cups than anyone else and has won the prestigious title three times, in , and Its first victory against Hungary in Bern, Switzerland, was unexpected and miraculous for a country slumbering deeply in post-wwii depression.

The miracle of Bern as the victory is called sent national morale soaring. Beckenbauer is the undisputed statesman of German football, a role that was strengthened during the World Cup in , when he chaired the organising committee. The win in was remarkable because for the first time since Germany fielded a unified team from East and West.

After 14 days of bad weather your average German would be prepared to pay for a sunny day, according to the weather site Berlin as it really is leaps off the pages of Vladimir Kaminer s highly readable and humorous short stories in Russendisko Russian Disco; Bundesliga scoreboards, rankings and fixtures are online at soccer. It s definitely not a good idea to use the familiar du form with the police this could land you in court. In one bizarre case, the German pop singer and music producer Dieter Bohlen was charged with offensive behaviour when he used the familiar form to a police officer after being approached about a parking offence.

The judge let Bohlen off the hook because du is part of his style. Impolite, yes, offensive no, ruled the judge. For a cracking read about football, the great football rivalry between England and Germany, and that famous match in with the controversial Wembley Goal, delve into Geoff Hurst s and all that.

The Olympic torch was lit for the first time at the Olympics: athletes carried the flame from Olympia Greece to Berlin where medallists were later awarded a laurel crown and potted oak tree. In the Dresden-born Matthias Sammer b assumed responsibility for German football s junior talent as sport director. Sammer, whose father was a highly successful trainer of the GDR team Dynamo Dresden for whom Matthias Sammer also played is often traded as a candidate for national trainer.

If he ever gets the post, this would be another unique achievement for the fiery Saxon, who was the last player to kick a goal for East Germany and the first East German to play in a unified German national team.

Friday-night, Saturday and Sunday games are televised live on pay-tv at sports bars all over Germany, and round-ups of the weekend matches are broadcast on the Sportschau on ARD German National TV Consortium; see p50 around 6. Overnight every German kid aspired to be the next Boris Becker.

The red-head mentor, known for his power play, went on to win five more Grand Slam titles in a career that ended in The self-willed and erratic Becker was as entertaining off the court as he was on it. His affair in a broom closet with a Russian model in a London hotel in the mids produced a daughter and newspaper headlines that claimed sperm theft, while his tragic and not surprising given the broomcloset drama marital breakdown culminated in a humiliating televised courtroom drama.

Similarly, the marriage of his fiercest German opponent during the early s and fellow Wimbledon champion, Michael Stich b , also sailed onto acrimonious rocks and sank in a public blaze. Becker and Stich were hard acts to follow, and potential men s singles successors to the German tennis crown have so far proved to have feet of clay. Only the lingering, warm after-glow of Mannheim-born Steffi Graf b currently lights the tennis darkness.

Graf is among the few women to win all four Grand Slam events in one year, and in after also winning gold in Seoul at the Olympic Games she became the only player ever to win the Golden Slam. Germans had always secretly hoped for a Boris Steffi marriage that might have produced a Teutonic tennis wunderkind. For better or worse, it didn t happen, but Steffi Graf did marry Becker s arch-rival from the USA, Andre Agassi, and unlike everyone else, seems to be living happily ever after.

Cycling has boomed since Rostok-born Jan Ullrich b became the first German to win the Tour de France in In a shadow was cast on Ullrich s career after he was allegedly implicated in a doping ring. Ullrich subsequently withdrew from the Tour de France and has since fought to salvage his reputation and his undeniable achievements. Erik Zabel b , who comes from Berlin s Prenzberg district, achieved the remarkable by winning the green tricot six years in a row from to in the Tour de France.

With no less than seven World Champion titles and more than 50 Grand Prix wins, Michael Schumacher b was the most successful Formula One racing driver ever to have taken to the circuit. After successive wins in and he also became the youngest double Formula One World Champion.

Schumacher announced his retirement in Michael s younger brother Ralf b made his Formula One debut in and has since notched up six big wins in his career. The German team had good cause to celebrate at the Winter Olympics in Turin in , winning 29 medals, including 11 gold.

Five of these gold medals were in biathlon events, where Kati Wilhelm b like many of the winter sports stars, she comes from Oberhof in Thuringia and Sven Fischer b hobbled and shot their way through living rooms to the delight of millions of German fans. After reunification, the foreign population soared from 4. About 6. Ethnic Turks form the largest single group 1. Despite changes to Germany s antiquated blood-based citizenship laws, patches of German society still inhabit the shadows on this question, with state political campaigns having been fought and won at the expense of foreigners, foreigners having to renounce previous citizenship before they can become German, and a recurring violence problem by extreme right-wing groups in eastern Germany directed mainly against foreigners whose numbers rarely rise above a few percent of the population in towns there see boxed text, p Germany s most successful golfer, Bernhard Langer, is the son of a Russian prisoner of war who jumped off a Siberiabound train and settled in Bavaria.

If you like a good , or backside, check out the annual Monster Mastership Skateboarding World Championship and associated events at Slavonic Sorbs live in pockets of Saxony and Brandenburg, and a small Danish minority can be found around Flensburg Schleswig-Holstein on the Danish border. In , the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution recorded 15, such episodes, including violent crimes.

This represents an increase of In April , a German of Ethiopian descent was almost beaten to death in Potsdam and just a month later a Turkish-German politician was attacked in Berlin. In these, as in most, cases perpetrators belonged to right-wing skinhead or neo-nazi organisations.

Xenophobia seems to run especially deep in the former GDR states, whose people had little exposure to foreigners during the communist era and where chronic high unemployment fuels anger and frustration. In the most recent state elections, Brandenburg, Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania all voted members of right-wing parties into their regional parliaments.

The spate of incidents even prompted a former government official, Uwe Karsten-Heye, to declare the eastern states a no-go area for nonwhites just before the beginning of the World Cup. Heye now heads Gesicht Zeigen! While his remarks were widely criticised as being too general and for stigmatising a large part of the country there is some right-wing extremism in western Germany too, of course , many people welcomed his frankness and the debate it spurred.

Politicians of all stripes agreed that measures need to be stepped up to reverse the trend through education, prevention and law enforcement. Stay tuned. Die Ausgewanderten Emigrants; by WG Sebald addresses the lost homeland of an exile in his vivid portrayal of four different journeys by Jewish emigrants it s a good introduction to this weighty but wonderful novelist. For an overview of media ownership in Germany, go to the English pages of On the whole, Germany, whose citizens achieved the remarkable by coping with up to , former Yugoslavian refugees each year in the early s, treats foreigners with respect, even if it still has some political catching-up to do.

If it were that easy, we d all be doing it. Unlike Mainz-based ZDF, ARD groups together several regional public stations, which contribute to the nationwide programmes shown on the 1st channel as well as the wholly regional shows transmitted on the so-called 3rd channel. Due to the sheer choice of channels, private ownership is relatively diverse and pay TV low on impact; ProSiebenSat. About six million households are able to receive some form of digital TV cable, satellite or terrestrial , but the vast majority of households are currently connected via cable, satellite receiver or terrestrial aerial.

For better or worse, it s still possible to fall asleep reading a German newspaper, which masters the art of dry, factual reporting. Print media has a strong regional bias, and overt backing for particular political parties by newspapers is rarely at the expense of the hard facts. The most influential newspaper is Bild, whose circulation exceeds four million.

Axel Springer and Bertelsmann are the largest publishers. Both the press and broadcasters are independent and free of censorship. RELIGION The constitution guarantees religious freedom, the main religions being Catholicism and Protestantism, each with about 26 million adherents around one-third of the country s total population each. Religion has a stronger footing in western Germany, and especially Catholic Bavaria. Unlike the Jewish community, which has grown since the early s due to immigration from the former Soviet Union, the Catholic and Protestant churches are losing worshippers.

Most German Protestants are Lutheran, headed by the Evangelische Kirche Protestant Church , an official grouping of a couple of dozen Lutheran churches with Hanover headquarters. Lutherans don t deem Methodists, Jehovah s Witnesses or other non-catholic Christians to be proper Protestants. In , for the first time in almost five centuries, a German became pope. Countrywide, 80 or more congregations are represented by the rather conservative council see p Germany s earliest fresco work dates from Carolingian times c and is in Trier s St Maximin crypt and the Stiftskirche St Georg on Reichenau Island, whereas stained-glass enthusiasts will find colourful religious motifs lighting up Augsburg and Cologne cathedrals.

By the 15th century, Cologne artists were putting landscapes on religious panels, some of which are on display in Hamburg s Kunsthalle. During the baroque period from the 17th to midth century , palace walls were frescoed to create the illusion of generous space. In the midth century, neoclassicism ushered back in the human figure and an emphasis on Roman and Greek mythology. Hesse-born Johann Heinrich Tischbein painted Goethe at this time in a classical landscape surrounded by antique objects.

The German Protestant Church is online at the Catholics are at -hierarchy. Old Catholics of which there are 20, in Germany today, rejected papal infallibility to break away from the Catholic Church in Celibacy is not an issue and the first female priests were ordained in Frankfurt has hosted the world s largest literary marketplace, the international book fair -fair.

Religious themes, occasionally mystic, dominated 19th-century Romanticism. Goethe hated the works of Caspar David Friedrich , indelicately suggesting they ought to be smashed against the table. A room is dedicated to Friedrich s works in Hamburg s Kunsthalle.

Also in the exciting collection of Hamburg s Kunsthalle are works by the founder of the German Romantic movement, Philipp Otto Runge , as well as intensely religious works by the Nazarener Nazareths. The museum also showcases some later realistic works of Cologne-born Wilhelm Leibl who specialised in painting Bavarian folk.

Key exponents of the lateth-century movement include Max Liebermann , often slammed as ugly and socialist ; Fritz von Uhde ; and Lovis Corinth whose later work, Die Kindheit des Zeus Childhood of Zeus; a richly coloured frolic in nature with intoxicated, grotesque elements is housed in Bremen s Kunsthalle.

See p for more on Bauhaus. After a creative surge in the s, the big chill of Nazi conformity sent Germany into artistic deep freeze in the s and s. In the capital, many artists were classified as degenerate opposite and forced into exile where a creative explosion abroad took place especially among the Bauhaus movement protagonists who settled in the USA.

Other artists were murdered, retreated from public life or tossed in art altogether. In Quedlinburg a fine collection of works by Lyonel Feininger survives thanks to a local citizen who hid them from the Nazis see p The light ballets of Otto Piene b , relying on projection techniques, were among the best known.

Wherever Beuys laid his trademark hat, controversy erupted. Strassenbahnhaltestelle Tram Stop; consists of rusty iron tram lines and a cannon with a head poking out of it. Beuys says it was inspired by a childhood experience, but bear in mind that he was a radio operator in a fighter plane shot down over Crimea during WWII.

He claims to have been nursed back to health by local Tartars, who covered him in tallow and wrapped him in felt. Anselm Kiefer is now working in stage design, while another contemporary, action-artist HA Schult b has been busy travelling the world with his sculptures of people created from rubbish.

His Trash People life-sized figures set out from Xanten in Germany more than a decade ago and has since visited about a dozen world locations. Thomas brand of photorealism owes much to the German contemporary icons Gerhard Richter b and Sigmar Polke b His Lieber Onkel Dieter! Dear Uncle Dieter! Eberhard Havekost uses computer reworked images as the basis for some of his photorealist works often playing dramatically with light and shadow.

Baselitz was tossed out of art school in the GDR for his artistic provocations, only Rubble in itself is the future. Because everything that is, passes. In fact by , such forms of expression fell under the axe of Entartung degeneracy , a German biological term borrowed by the Nazis to describe virtually all modern movements.

The same year, paintings by Klee, Beckmann, Dix and others all supposedly spawned by the madness of degenerates were exhibited in Munich and promptly defaced in protest. Ironically, the exhibition drew a daily scornful yet curious crowd of 20,odd. A year later, a law was passed allowing for the forced removal of degenerate works from private collections. While many art collectors saved their prized works from Nazi hands, the fate of many other artists works was less fortunate.

Many works were sold abroad to rake in foreign currency and in about paintings were publicly burned in Berlin. Thomas Bayrle b is another name you will come across in German museums of contemporary art. These are movable wood constructions depicting mass behaviour. One has an image of Mao Zedong with hundreds of gymnasts in the background, in others people are brushing their teeth or swilling beer. The Neue Sammlung permanent collections of the double-banger Neues Museum in Nuremberg and Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich are not to be missed as stations on the contemporary art and design circuit; changing exhibitions have ranged from jewellery through GDR art-poster design to a retrospective of covers from the magazine Der Spiegel.

Contemporary photography is another area where Germany excels. Leipzig-born Gursky, whose work can be seen in Cologne s Museum Ludwig, encompasses superb images of architecture, landscapes and interiors, sometimes reworked digitally. Given Germany s rich collections, travelling the contours of visual arts might be an interesting way to organise a trip.

In addition to excellent permanent collections in major museums, you ll find lots of smaller art spaces with changing exhibitions. Berlin s Art Forum Berlin showcases video, photography, painting, sculpture, installations, graphics, and multimedia each year in September October. For household design, the Bauhaus Museum in Weimar shows how it began and the Vitra Design Museums in Berlin expected to open in and Weil am Rhein have other fascinating exhibits.

Visual art of another variety, Berlin Fashion Week, takes place in late January and July each year, with some events usually open to the general public. Berlin is not just the heart of a thriving art scene in Germany, in it became Europe s first City of Design as part of the Unesco Creative Cities Network gaining recognition as a crossroads of design, architecture and the visual and performance arts. These are my personal favourites in German design.

Furniture Konstantin Grcic, because he combines research in new technologies with original forms and smart minimalism. Textiles Kostas Murkudis, because I like unpretentious clothing. Architecture Realities United, because they try things out.

Jewellery everything that is not designed explicitly, because I want jewellery to be very personal and unique. Graphics The illustrator LULU, because her illustrations look lovely and extremely cool at the same time. Roman and Byzantine influences flowed together in a more proportional interior with integrated columns, reflected in the elegant Stiftskirche St Cyriakus in Gernrode Harz Mountains and the Romanesque cathedrals in Worms, Speyer and Mainz.

Early Gothic architecture, slow to reach Germany from its northern- French birthplace, kept many Romanesque elements, as the cathedral in Magdeburg Saxony-Anhalt illustrates. From the 15th century, elaborately patterned vaults and hall churches emerged. Munich s Frauenkirche and Michaelskirche are typical of this late Gothic period. The Renaissance reached Germany around the midth century, bestowing Heidelberg and other southern cities with buildings bearing ornate leaf work and columns, while in northern Germany the secular Weser Renaissance style produced the ducal palace Schloss in Celle Lower Saxony.

From the early 17th century to the midth century, feudal rulers ploughed their wealth into residences. One of the finest baroque churches, Dresden s Frauenkirche , was destroyed in the fire-bombing of the city, reconstructed, and reopened in Late baroque ushered in Potsdam s rococo Schloss Sanssouci. Berlin s Brandenburg Gate, based on a Greek design, is a brilliant showcase of neoclassicism.

This lateth-century period saw baroque folly and exuberance fly out the window and strictly geometric columns, pediments and domes fly in. The colonnaded Altes Museum, Neue Wache and Schauspielhaus all designed by leading architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel are other pure forms of neoclassicism still gracing the capital.

For an informative and illustrated dip into Berlin architecture past, present and future visit the Senate Department of Urban Development at. A wave of derivative architecture based on old styles swept through late- 19th-century Germany. A German peculiarity was the so-called rainbow style, which blended Byzantine with Roman features. Germany s iconic Reichstag building was designed by Paul Wallot in the Wilhelmian neobaroque style; it was restored in the s with a stunning glass-and-steel cupola inspired by the original by internationally acclaimed British architect Norman Foster.

Wallots use of steel to create a greater span and large glass surface was subsequently adopted by the earlyth-century Art Nouveau movement, which created some of the country s most impressive industrial architecture: look no further than Berlin s Wertheim bei Hertie department store. Through his founding in of the Staatliches Bauhaus a modern architecture, art and design institute in Weimar Bauhaus pushed the industrial forms of Art Nouveau to a functional limit and sought to unite architecture, painting, furniture design and sculpture.

Critics claimed Bauhaus was too functional and impersonal, relying too heavily on cubist and constructivist forms. Also see Design for Life p The Nazis shut down the Bauhaus school in and rediscovered the pompous and monumental. Work on overhauling the ageing stadium was finished in , with new roofing, restoration of original materials, and the lowering of the playing field to intensify the atmosphere.

German contributions include the following: A unique collection of , pieces of worldwide music excluding Western art and pop in Berlin s Ethnologisches Museum Museum of Ethnology , recorded between and listed ; p The negative of the reconstructed version of Fritz Lang s silent film, Metropolis , pieced together from a fragmented original The page Gutenberg Bible Europe s first book to be printed with moveable type is one of four of the original 30 to survive.

Learn about the digital version at bergdigital. Yet another highlight that outlived the country that created it is the One structure that was much less successful and has survived history only in fragments is that most potent symbol of the Cold War the Berlin Wall. It is given annually in two categories products and people preis. Berlin, of course, is the locus of many of the most contemporary building projects in Germany today.

Another Jahn creation that raises eyebrows and interest in Berlin is the minimalist and edgy Neues Kranzler Eck In , Berlin christened its latest star attraction amid light shows the vast Hauptbahnhof, a transparent-roofed, multiple-level Turmbahnhof tower station; the lines cross at different levels that takes glass-and-steel station architecture to new limits. The contrast or collision, depending on your view of old and new in the extension of Cologne s Wallraf-Richartz-Museum , a design by Oswald Matthias Ungers b , is a worthy addition to a city with one of the world s most beautiful cathedrals.

Munich architect Stefan Braunfels b masterminded Munich s modernist Pinakothek der Moderne For an interaction of light and architecture, try to catch the Luminale festival in the Rhine-Main region an event in April each year whereby light artists use sound and light to transform buildings, museums and parks into illuminated works of art or light laboratories. A more formalised troubadour tradition followed, but it was baroque organist Johann Sebastian Bach , born in Eisenach, who influenced early European music most.

His legacy can be explored in Leipzig s Bach Museum in the house in which he died. Another museum in Eisenach is dedicated to his life and work. Beethoven is also the most important of the composers who paved the way for Romanticism. He penned his first overture at the age of 17 and later dug up works by JS Bach to give the latter the fame he enjoys today.

Born in Leipzig, dying in Venice, Richard Wagner dominates 19th-century music like no other person. Other composers ignored him at their peril. Hitler, who picked up on an anti-semitic essay and some late-life ramblings on German virtues, famously turned Wagner into a post-mortem Nazi icon. A summer music festival in Bayreuth celebrates Wagner s life and works p Hamburg brought forth Johannes Brahms and his influential symphonies, chamber and piano works. Two figures whose legacies can be explored today in cities such as Bonn, Leipzig and Zwickau are composer Robert Schumann and his gifted pianist-spouse Clara Wieck.

One of his pupils, Hanns Eisler , went into exile in but returned to East Berlin to teach in Among his works was the East German national anthem, Auferstanden aus Ruinen Resurrected from Ruins , lyric-less from when its prounification words fell out of favour with party honchos. Hanau-born Paul Hindemith was banned by the Nazis and composed his most important orchestral compositions outside his homeland.

The Hindemith Institute in Frankfurt-am-Main promotes his music and safeguards his estate. Perhaps better-known is Dessau-born Kurt Weill , another composer who fled the Nazi terror. Weill ended up in New York where he wrote successful Broadway musicals. Dresden Opera Orchestra and the Leipzig Orchestra are also important stops on the classical trail. The young Kammersymphonie Berlin Berlin Chamber Symphony , established in , recaptures the multifaceted music scene of s Berlin through its focus on less common orchestral works.

Acclaimed and glamorous German violinist, Anne-Sophie Mutter b , gave her first solo performance with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra founded at the age of 14 and made her first recording with the Berlin Philharmonic a year later.

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For additional information about a product, please contact the manufacturer. Content on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for​. herman knochen bristol bautzen keinerlei konflikte veränderte mechanische scharf colonel steuermann behalten extra gewährleisten angestellten reichert investment versammlungen hinreichend supply sleeping cots for a small extra fee. In some silhouette of Bautzen (p) etched itself into my memory as much as the Germany with Prussia at its helm and Berlin as its capital and a sweet (süss) or spicy (scharf) mustard (Senf).