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Germany Essay, Research Paper

Basic Facts

Germany is in central Europe, at 50 degrees latitude, and 10

degrees longitude. It is bordered by Denmark, The Netherlands,

Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Austria, Czechs

Republic, And Poland. The capitol of Germany is Berlin.

The population of Germany is 81,264,000. The estimated

population for Germany in the year 2000 is 82,583,000. Germany

is smaller than Texas, or about 4 1/2% of the size of the U.S.A.

The German flag has black, red, and gold, horizontal stripes

without any symbols on it. In 1950 when Germany was divided,

West Germany’s flag was black, red, and dark gold, with no

symbols. East Germany’s flag was black, red and, yellow with a

coat of arms symbol in the middle. After Germany became

reunited, the flag was changed to black, red, and gold stripes,

with no symbols on it. These colors have been associated with

German unity since the 1800’s.

The Land

In Germany some interesting places are: The Rhine River,the

Olympic Stadium in Munich, the Bavarian Alps where the

Newschwanstein Castle is, the Black Forest, the Harz Mountains,

and Berlin.

There are many natural resources in Germany. Germany is

bordered by the North and Baltic Seas. These have busy shipping

ports. There are also four main rivers in Germany. In the West

is the Rhine River, the Danube is in the South, the Oder is in

the East, and the Elbe and the Weser Rivers are in the north.

The soil in Germany varies. The North German plains has

soil that is soft and fertile. Much of the rest of Germany has

rocky soil.

The minerals in Germany are: Coal, potash, lignite, iron,

and uranium. There are mines in Germany but are mainly coal.

There is a large variety of plants in Germany. They range

from crops in the large German plain to fir and spruce trees in

the Black Forest.

They have the same kinds of domestic animals we do, and as

well as forest animals. In the North German Plain which is

mostly farm area, there are sheep, cattle, horses, hogs, poultry,

and dairy cows.

There are five different land regions in Germany. The first

is the North German Plain. It is the largest land region, and is

low and nearly flat. The southern edge of this area has very

fertile soil. There are many farms here, and many people here

and in cities such as Bonn, and Cologne.

The second land region is The Central Highlands. This area

is a series of plateaus that range from almost flat to

mountainous. There are steep, narrow valleys, and the Rhine

River runs through this area. It is one of the most beautiful

sights in Germany.

The South German Hills, have long parallel ridges that go

from southwest to northeast. Sheep are raised here, and the

lowlands between the ridges have some of the best farm lands in


The fourth land region in Germany is The Black Forest. Many

old German legends and fairy tails take place here. The Black

Forest gets it’s name from the thick forests of dark fir and

spruce trees that are on the mountainsides.

The fifth land region is the Bavarian Alps. It is part of

the largest mountain system in Europe, the Alps. They rise more

than 6,000 feet, and Zugspitze is the highest point in Germany at

9,721 feet. This region has many lakes formed by ancient

glaciers, and mountain streams flow into the Danube River.

The People

The money that is used in Germany is the Deutsche Mark. The

Deutsche Mark comes in a variety of colors. For example, the

twenty marks is blue, and the one hundred marks in green. There

are also coins.

Education is very important in Germany. They have a public

education system that is controlled by the individual states.

All children must go to school for 9 or 10 years. After

elementary school there are schools to choose from. The Gymnasium

is a traditional junior and senior high school that prepares

students for the university. Intermediate schools have academic

subjects and job training, and Hauptschulen are vocational

schools which mainly have job training. Comprehensive schools

combine all three types of schools. Germany has many

universities and technical colleges. The University of Heidelberg

was founded in 1386, and is the oldest University in Germany.

The main sports played in Germany are soccer, gymnastics,

tennis, horse back riding, and some snow sports like ice skating,

and skiing. Other recreation is biking, camping, and hiking.

The holidays celebrated in Germany are the same ones as the

United States, such as Christmas, Easter, and Mother’s Day. On

November 1, they celebrate All Saints’ Day instead of Halloween

on October 31. But there are many local celebrations that are

special to each region. Munich celebrates Oktoberfest, which

actually starts in September, and has parades, singing, and lots

of food. The Oberammergau Passion Play is a festival that takes

place every year and thousands of people perform in a play about

Christ’s suffering. This was started in 1634 when the people of

Oberammergau prayed to be spared from a terrible plague, and

promised to perform a passion play every year. The plague did

not come to Oberammergau, and so the Passion Play is put on every

year. Nearly every region has some kind of Sommerfest or

Tanzfest (dance festival) where people dress up in the special

costumes for that region. There is always lots of music, food,

and dancing.

The jobs and industries in Germany are a lot like here.

Manufacturing is the main source for the economy. There are many

factories that produce iron and steel, and there are chemical and

textile industries also. The steel is often used to make cars,

and Germany is the third largest automobile manufacturer in the


The service industries are in community, government and

personal services. Community services include jobs in education

and health care, and personal services include such jobs as

repair shops and beauty salons.

Mining is also an industry in Germany. Potash and rock salt

are mined, as well as low quality coal called lignite. Some

lead, copper, petroleum, tin, uranium and zinc are mined in

Germany too.

There is agriculture in Germany with potatoes being one of

the largest crops. Grains are grown there such as barley, oats,

rye, and wheat. Sugar beets, vegetables, apples, grapes, and

other fruits are important crops. There are vineyards near the

Rhine and Moselle Rivers, and some farmers raise beef and dairy

cattle, hogs, horses, poultry and sheep.

Many great people in art, music, and literature came from

Germany. In literature and philosophy from about 1750 to 1830,

there was Johann von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Heinrech von

Kleist, and many other novelists. Political writers were

Immanuel Kant, Georg Hegel, and Frederich Nietzsche, among


German composers are very well known, and include Bach,

Handel, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann, Wagner,

Strauss and Schoenberg. Mozart can also be considered German, as

Austria was historically connected to other German states.

During the Renaissance, German artists created some

wonderful paintings and engravings. Albrecht Durer and Hans

Holbein the Younger are famous for portraits and other paintings.

Matthias Grunewald painted religious art, and in the 1800’s

Caspar David Friedrich was an important painter in the romantic

period. Max Beckmann was among the German painters that

developed the Expressionist style.

Other areas of artistic accomplishments are architecture,

with Walter Gropius who founded an important school of design in

1919, and film making done by Fritz Lang. He directed a silent

film in 1926 called Metropolis.

Transportation in Germany is done in cars on the Autobahn,

which is like a freeway. Germany has one of the highest

ownerships of cars in the world. They also travel by buses and

airplanes like we do. The Germans enjoy riding bikes, and use

them for transportation sometimes, but mainly as recreation with

families or friends.

Germany has a very big railroad, and many people ride the

trains for long trips as well as shorter commutes.

Boats are used for transportation because of the many rivers

in Germany. Also, the North and Baltic Seas border Germany, and

ships and boats are used there, too. Boating on the Rhine and

other rivers is often recreational as well.

Walking is a form of transportation that the Germans enjoy.

They walk a lot to get to where they want to go, but walking and

hiking are part of the recreation that Germans like to do.

The houses in Germany do not have as much space as many of

the homes in the United States. They are built closer together

and are smaller. In some cities there are housing shortages.

Most of the houses are fairly modern. Many homes were destroyed

in World War II, and were rebuilt. There are apartments in

Germany, too. Some of the houses in the farmlands are very old.

A common type of German farm home is the Bauernhof. It is a

single building containing both a house and a barn. Many have

been remodeled inside so the people can gave more space, but some

still have animals living in the barn half.

The Government

The government of Germany is a federal republic. The people

elect their representatives by secret ballot. There is a

parliament which has two houses, the Bundestag and the Bundesrat.

The main leader is the chancellor, and Helmut Kohl is the current

leader in Germany. He can remain in office for five years. The

Bundestag chooses the head of the government by having the people

vote for deputies who then choose the leader from the strongest



The main religion in Germany is Christianity. It is 45 per

cent protestant, mainly Lutheran. Forty per cent are Catholic,

and two per cent are Muslim. There are about 40,000 Jews in



The fashion in Germany is the same as the United States.

But many years ago each region had its own outfits that were

special to that area. When someone from one region traveled to

another region, the people could tell where they were from just

by their clothes. Today, the people of the different regions

dress up in costumes for special celebrations that show what

region they are from. For example, in the area of Bavaria, the

costumes for the girls are black sleeveless dresses which are

worn over a lacy white blouse. A white apron is worn over the

skirt, and a white shawl is on the girl’s shoulders. On the

front of her outfit is embroidery and artificial gold coins sewn

on. A little black hat with a small brim and a white feather is

also worn. The boys wear lederhosen, which are short leather

pants with a bib, like overalls. These often have embroidery on

the front, too.


The German people eat meals which usually have potatoes and

pork, veal or fish. They don’t eat as much beef as we do in the

United States. They are famous for the many varieties of bread

(called Brot), sausages (Wurst), and sauerkraut, which is pickled

cabbage. Sauerkraut and sausages were created many years ago as

a way of preserving cabbage and meat.

They enjoy vegetables and fruit, especially apples. They

make many different kinds of cheese, such as Munster and

Limburger, which are named after the regions in Germany where

they are made.

Germany is also well known for beer and wine. There are

many varieties of German beer and wine, also depending on the

regions where they are made.

Cakes (torten) are a favorite treat in Germany, and there

are many types such as Black Forest Cherry Cake (Schwarzwalder

Kirschtorte), and cheesecakes topped with fruit. Many Germans

enjoy an afternoon treat of “Kaffee und Kuchen”, which means

coffee and cake. The idea of having special cakes with coffee is

where the idea of “coffee cake” comes from.

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