Germany (German: Deutschland, German pronunciation: [ˈdɔʏtʃlant]), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.
Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,578 square kilometres (138,062 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying entirely in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a very decentralised country. Its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport.
In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic. The Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to World War II, and the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American, British, and French occupation zones, and East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone. Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990.
Today, Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor. It is a great power with a strong economy. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993. Read more...
Richard Wagner (22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is primarily known for his operas (or, as some of his later works were later known, "music dramas"). Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Weber and Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"), by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung).
His compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their complex textures, rich harmonies and orchestration, and the elaborate use of leitmotifs—musical phrases associated with individual characters, places, ideas or plot elements. His advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonal centres, greatly influenced the development of classical music. His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the start of modern music. More...
The Saar loop (Saarschleife) at Mettlach
Image credit: Wolfgang Staudt
Sebastião Salgado in 2014
- 8 November 2019 –
- An explosion in a mine in Teutschenthal, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, injures two workers and traps around 30 underground in a secure area. All are rescued several hours later. (Deutsche Welle)
- 20 October 2019 –
- The 2019 Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels is awarded to Sebastião Salgado (pictured). (Deutsche Welle)
- 10 October 2019 –
- The 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to Peter Handke. (The New York Times)
- 9 October 2019 – Halle and Landsberg attacks
- Two people are killed and two others are injured in attacks by a man wearing military camouflage near a synagogue and at a kebab shop in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Shots are also reported in nearby Landsberg. A suspect, 27-year old Stephan Billiet, is arrested. The attack had been livestreamed on Twitch for 35 minutes, citing anti-Semitic and racist motivations. (BBC) (DW) (The Guardian)
More Germany-related news in English can be found at Deutsche Welle, Tagesschau, and Der Spiegel.
Anniversaries for November 17
Did you know...
Did you know ...
- ... that the fall of the Berlin Wall (immediate aftermath pictured) was the result of a bureaucratic mistake?
- ... that Frank Philipp Schlößmann designed the stage for Wagner's Ring cycle in Bayreuth in 2006, and more recently created a large illuminated ring framing the stage for the same work in Minden?
- ... that Renatus Mészár, who made his opera debut at the Munich Biennale and then was a member of the NDR Chor, has appeared as Wotan in Wagner's Ring cycle, including on DVD?
- ... that Helmuth Froschauer, a former member of the Vienna Boys' Choir, later conducted the ensemble on 22 international tours?
- ... that the "GOETHE 1" car registration plate of UC Irvine professor Thomas P. Saine was featured in a German novel?
- ... that Jennifer Morgan, co-chief executive officer at SAP SE, is the first woman CEO of a company on the DAX index?
- ... that German engineer Hermann Oestrich became a Knight of the Legion of Honour for developing the Snecma Atar turbojet engines?
- ... that in 1945, British medical student Michael Hargrave, second from right) volunteered to provide assistance in Holland, but was sent to help survivors at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp instead?
Pomeranian cuisine generally refers to dishes typical of the area that once formed the historic Province of Pomerania in northeast Germany and which included Stettin (now Szczecin) and Further Pomerania. It is characterised by ingredients produced by Pomeranian farms, such as swede (Wruken) and sugar beet, by poultry rearing, which has produced the famous Pomeranian goose, by the wealth of fish in the Baltic Sea, rivers and inland lakes of the Pomeranian Lake District, and the abundance of quarry in Pomeranian forests. Pomeranian cuisine is hearty. Several foodstuffs have a particularly important role to play here in the region: potatoes, known as Tüften, prepared in various ways and whose significance is evinced by the existence of a West Pomeranian Potato Museum (Vorpommersches Kartoffelmuseum), Grünkohl and sweet and sour dishes produced, for example, by baking fruit.
Pomeranian farmers were self-sufficient: crops were stored until the following harvest, meat products were preserved in the smoke store of the home, or in the smokeries of larger villages such as Schlawin. Fruit, vegetables, lard and Gänseflomen were preserved by bottling in jars. Syrup was made from the sugar beet itself. Read more...
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