Sunday, November 4, 2007



germanyBerlin Town Hall Germany image courtsey:

Germany is the founding member and leader of the 27 member European Union; and fourth largest economy in the world. Germany’s rising from the ashes of the World War 2 to this status is nothing short of a miracle, reminding the legendary bird; Phoenix. On 1815 with the defeat of Napoleon; the winners of the war (Britain, Russia and Prussia) reached in an agreement in sharing the area; and Germany was formed as a confederation of the 39 smaller adjoining regions. A Parliament was formed at Frankfurt in the name Bundestag. But it was William Bismarck who made it the present Germany by annexing all the areas with German culture. Germans call their nation Deutschland, their currency (before the advent of Euro) Deutschmark and their bank Deutsch Bank.

The West and the East.

The end of the World War 2 changed whole dynamics of history; Russia came under the Communist regime and it took over control of the eastern European regions like Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Albania etc; the eastern portion of Germany cut out from the rest was also one among these. This portion (the so called German Democratic Republic) was cut off from the rest of the world. While the Western portion (Federal Republic of Germany or the FGR) adopted capitalism; the alliance with US, Britain, France brought new currency, investment and development. When impoverished people of the eastern portion began to migrate to west in search of job, food and water (all these were not available in the east!) the German Wall was built.

A wall between hearts.

germanyDestruction of Berlin Wall in Germany image courtsey:

East Germans were fleeing to west despite the threat of being shot! There is no statistics of how many were shot dead. the communists came to understand that there will be no people to be ruled! On 13th August 1961 the wall (45 km in length) was built by the East German Forces to check migration of people from east to west. This wall was intended to check Fascism as per the GDR authorities! The wall made residents of West Berlin virtual prisoners. On 1973 on an agreements reached between America, Russia, France and Britain; residents of both Berlins were allowed freedom to travel. October 18th 1989 saw an end to the most hated icon of Germany.

German Airlift.

The West Berlin was trapped in the communist portion and land-access to it was denied compelling the Western Alliance to airlift materials required for the bereaved city. Two hundred thousand flights were operated day and night to meet the day today requirements of about two million residents. This mega operation (known as the Berlin Airlift) unheard of so far; lasted until Soviet Union called off the blockade in May, 1949. On October 18th 1989 the wall was demolished by the people, its stones are now a novelty and bought by visiting tourists as a memento (even other concrete scraps are sold as German Wall remnants by some ‘smart’ ones!)


germanyMap of Germany coutsey:

Germany is located in the middle of Europe and its capital is

Berlin. Germany is Federal Republic; its Head of the state is Chancellor. Its independence day is 3rd October 1990 (the day both Germanys got united. It has an area of 558554 sq km and a population of 82.5 million and its official language is German. Protestant Christians and Catholics form the majority of the population (about 35% each), Muslims form about 5%. Germany has a coastline of 2389 km; Frankfurt and Hamburg are the main ports. Germany’s northern boundary stretches from North Sea to the Baltic Sea. Germany is rich in neighborhood as there are so many nations (clock-wise France, Luxemburg, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Czech, Austria and Switzerland).

A virtual ‘power house’ of Europe.

Once upon a time the Germans ruled the Roman Empire, in recent past it could challenge the whole world (during the wars) and now it dominates the world with its list of great men in almost all fields from technology to philosophy, there is no end to the list of scientists, mathematicians, philosophers, statesmen; in one way or other they played major role in changing the course of the world history. Johannes Kepler (Astronomer 1571), Goethe (writer 1749), Nietzsche (philosopher 1844), Schiller (writer 1759), Beethoven (composer 1770), Richard Wagner (composer 1813), Karl Marx (1818)and Engels (1820)(Communist Manifesto), Albert Einstein (founder of Atomic Theory), Emmanuel Kant (philosopher 1724), Martin Luther (reformer 1483), Johan Guttenberg (1390, discovered printing 1448), Rudolf Diesel (inventor of diesel engine 1858), these are just some of the names whose deeds crown history’s pages.

Technology super power.

World’s best Universities, topmost scientists and technologists enabled Germany to in churning out products that could excel the best in the world, ‘kindergarten’ itself is a German word meaning kids’ garden; denotes Germans’ stress on education from early childhood. The GDP of Germany is $ 2.5 trillion and is growing at 1% per annum. Industry contributes about 30% of its economy. Its motor cars, heavy machineries, precision and electronic equipments, chemicals, garments, food products etc all contribute to bourgeoning export basket. ‘Made in Germany’ products are accepted by the whole world as durable and trustworthy.

A statement of luxury and ultimate pleasure.

germanyBMW Sports Car courtsey:

Germany is home to BMW, Walks Wagen as well as Mercedes Benz. Walks Wagen means car of the people. Its factory was built at Wolf berg in1937 for mass production to make it a common man’s car. BMW is a breed apart as it is a rich man’s pride possession. BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke meaning Bavarian Motor Works) is there for the last seven decades delivering its promise (‘Joy in Driving’ is its punch word) to customers world wide. It employs about a hundred thousand people to make cars with fit and finish; no competitor can deliver. Rolls Royce – the mother of all luxuries- is the latest addition to BMW’s stable when it acquired the brand from Walks Wagen in 2002.


Germans connoisseurs as far as quality booze is concerned; wine and beer (wheat beer with lager) are most popular; the Berliner weise (beer with fruit juices) is very famous, wines made out of superb grapes procured from the Rhine valleys are specialties. German wines have a characteristic flowery or fruity aroma –peach, apricot, apple etc- and a ‘nerve’ that reflects the soil that bred the grapes. There are wines with spicy and herbal aroma. Silvaners, Muller Thurgau, Scheurebe, Rieslaner, Pinot Blanc etc are its own popular varieties of which Germans are proud of.

Food for thought.

Germany being a federation of different small states, its food habits also exhibit variations; for example Bavarians have dishes similar to that of their neighboring Switzerland and Austria, where as the western areas have similarities to French cuisines. The eastern portions prefer dishes like those of Eastern Europe.

Breads of different types either toasted or rolled with eggs, jam, honey etc is for breakfast; a strong tea is a must. Salted meat, pickles, cheese, ham, cornflakes, fried cereals, dry grapes etc are also breakfast items.

Dinner is the main food as it is everywhere, pork, chicken, beef, etc are cooked in various styles; rabbit and mutton are also favorite dishes for dinner. Shintcel has always been the masterpiece among German dishes. Trout, pike are favorites but salmon and tuna are also widely consumed.

Soft skills.

Not just wining and dining; Germans are a disciplined lot and their adherence to rituals, perseverance and will to work hard have made them jack of every games from football to philosophy. These all never mean that they lag behind in soft skills; as experts in music (especially classical), Germans are second to nobody, Richard Wagner, Beethoven, Bach etc are without peers.

History is just history,


Germany Flag

The bitter experiences associated with two world wars have made Germans wiser and they take every precaution to see that history never repeats, even the mention of the name of Fuehrer is scoffed off as a bad word. This nation is committed to give equal opportunities to every religions and state pay to the priests from its exchequer to promote spirituality so that the people never go back to the holocaust mindset. Germany is a vibrant nation and that looks forward and to see that it keeps abreast with the changing time, rather than wasting time over what has happened in yester years. History is just history but it is future that matters.

No comments: