Country Information: Germany


  • Capital: Berlin
  • Population: 82.800.000
  • Area: 357,168 km²
  • Official language: German
  • Gross domestic product: $4.150 trillion
  • Type of government: federal constitutional parliamentary republic

Geography

Germany is a country in western Europe. Germany has various landscapes. In the northern parts it's mostly flat with a beautiful coastline. The southern parts characterized by mountains and forests. Germany has 9 neighboring countries, in the north it is bordered by the North Sea and the Baltic Sea and in the south it shares a border on Lake Constance with Switzerland and Austria.

Climate

Germany has a temperate seasonal climate dominated by humid westerly winds. Due to their influence of the sea the northern parts are not as hot as the southern parts during the summer time and in winter time is won't get as cold as the rest of Germany. So the best time to travel to Germany is spring and summer which starts in March and ends in September since the weather will invite you to spend a lot of time outdoors.

The Berlin Wall (1961–1990)

After World War Two, Germany was split into four zones, each occupied by one of the four Allied powers that defeated the Nazis. The zones controlled by France, Great Britain and America became West Germany, or  Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland). The Soviet-controlled zone became East Germany, or Germany Democratic Republic (Deutsche Demokratische Republik). As such Germany became two separate countries. Germany's capital, Berlin, was situated in Soviet-controlled East Germany, but as this city was the administrative area for the Allied forces, it too was split into four. This meant that France, Great Britain and America controlled West Berlin, whereas the Soviet Union controlled the East.

After the founding of the two German states in 1949 and the beginning of economic and political repressions in the GDR and the upturn in the West more and more, especially young, highly qualified, people left the workers' and peasants government of the GDR. Between 1949 and the construction of the Wall in 1961 about 2.6 million East Germans migrated towards the west.

On May 26, 1952, the Council of Ministers of the GDR decided to officially close the inner German border to secure the state and put a stop to the exodus from the GDR with a restricted zone. 

Relations between America and the Soviet Union soured considerably during much of the second half of the Twentieth Century. The Berlin Wall was a symbol of this hostility, a physical representation of what was called the Iron Curtain.

The accidental Fall

Once Hungary and the Czechoslovakia opened their borders to East Germany it was increasingly difficult for the government to refuse calls to open legal crossings.

On the 9th of November East Berlin´s Communist party spokesman, Günter Schabowski, announced East Germans would “immediately” be allowed to travel directly to West Germany in a broadcast that was seen across the country.

Their attempt to backtrack later that evening, failed as thousands of East Germans were already on their way to the barricade, finding confused guards. To avoid stamped and before finally losing control Officials began to gradually let people in and opening the barriers.

The 9 November 1989 is the official date the wall “fell “ but the structure was not completely taking down that night.

During the following weeks it was gradually smashed to pieces, with thousands of east and west Germans taking it apart themselves, keeping pieces of history for themselves.