Germany is a fascinating country, from its involvement in WWI and WWII to its delicious cuisine. Germany’s friendly people and landmarks are also great. For instance, when I think of Germany, I think of Nazis, castles, the Berlin wall, and potatoes. Right now, we are in Dresden. My grandmother was born here during the time when WWII was ending and Dresden was being bombed. It was chaos and everywhere in Dresden was leveled and all the building were on fire. Water was very scarce and the citizens had to go to the wells positioned throughout the city to get fresh, clean water.
Germany has a very interesting history. First of all, the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation dissolved when Emperor Franz II abdicated, after assuring he would get the title of Emperor of Austria. Austria and Prussia shared the territory now called Germany. Prussia and other southern countries worked together to take over some of the territory of France and Austria and then they crowned the King of Prussia the German Emperor. In 1918, WWI was put to an end and the German Empire became the Weimar Republic (German Republic). Despite great advances in the field of science during the following years, they experienced hyperinflation. For instance, 60 marks equaled about $1 at the beginning of 1921, and at the end of 1923, 4,210,500,000,000 German marks was the same as one US dollar. People in Germany were anxious for change and that led to the beginning of Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler had power from 1933 – 1945 (the end of WWII).
Then the government was split into West and East Germany and the wall was put up. East Germany became communist and West Germany became a republic. At first, many young, educated people left East Germany, creating a major problem that was fixed by putting up the wall that was guarded 24 hours a day. Several hundred people were killed trying to escape from East Germany. Then a peaceful revolution occurred and the wall was taken down, leading to the reunification of Germany.
The people, language, and culture of Germany are fascinating. The people in Germany are 81% German, 7% other Europeans, 4% Turks, 2% Asia, and 6% other. There are 80,716,000 people in Germany, or 1.13% of the world’s population. The people there drive on the right, they use the Euro, and they speak German. 30.0% of Germans are catholic, 29.9% are protestants, and 34.1% have no stated religion, which makes sense as Soviet occupied East Germany abolished all religion there.
Germany has an amazing cuisine. My personal favorite is a good sausage on a bun. There are also lots of potatoes as the main starch, and Germany is famous for its strong mustards. The big drink in Germany is beer. Some very common side vegetables are pickles, rotkraut, and Sauerkraut. Rotkraut is a pickled red cabbage and Sauerkraut is a pickled cabbage.
German tourism is focused on the many castles and fortresses. Popular spots are Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, and Dresden. Berlin attracts visitors because it was divided in half by the Allies and because it is the capital. Munich is known for its folklore and beer. Frankfurt is home to many museums, parks, and sights, and Dresden because of its shocking part in WWII and its many palaces.
Germany is an amazing country with fabulous culture, cuisines, religious history, people, and landmarks. I highly recommend coming here, even if it is just to see some of the breathtaking castles, like Neuschwanstein castle or Koblenz fortress overlooking the Rhine.