Germany

History
Of course Germany has a much spoken history. In the latter part of world war I, when it became clear Germany would not come out victorious, kaiser Wilhelm II snuck away to Holland in 1918. Once again social unrest took hold of Germany. Under the command of the Weimar Republic peace was far sought. A German army veteran and Austrian deserter named Adolf Hitler managed to turn a general disaffection between public into complete lunacy. In 1933 the National German Socialist Worker’s party led by Adolf Hitler assumed total authority over Germany. Extravagant military spending and the quest for a pure and bigger country led to world war II. Heavy military losses in 1943 eventually led to the unconditional surrender in 1945.

After WWII the country divided in two parts, the Allies with Britain, France and the USA, the other part the Soviet occupied zone. The Allies formed the Federal Republic of Germany and consisted mostly of westerners. The, communistic, soviet zone named themselves the German Democratic Republic where most supporters were located in the east. The west received large investments from US capital which led to the relocation of people from the east to the west looking for work. The German Democratic Republic was not happy with this situation and, in 1961, decided to stop everyone from crossing the east to west border by building a wall around west berlin and closing the rest of the border. Over the next 25 years west Germany would grow to one of the most prosperous countries in Europe. Under huge international pressure against communism and massive demonstrations in East Germany the wall was pulled down in November 1989. After centuries Germany is once again reunited.

Population
Even with Germany reunited the majority of the population lives in the West. Germany counts 20 large cities, only two of them are in the east. Most people now-a-days head for the cities where often better opportunities for work exist. Less then 20% of Germanies inhabitants live on the 30% eastern side of the country. Germany presently counts a population of 82 million people and competes with other European countries to be the most densely populated country. In numbers, Germany has the highest population count in Europe.

Germany is situated in the heart of Europe. Germany shares its borders with nine other countries; Denmark, Czech Republic, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, France and the Benelux. Its central location gives Germany a prime position over other countries concerning import and export.

Time
Most Germans like to organise their day into controllable units. Time is managed carefully; trains run on the minute, projects carefully scheduled and worked out in every detail. If you are running late for a job interview, even if it’s for a few minutes, phone ahead and explain your situation.

Artists
Germany has produced some of the most impressive and well known philosophers, Kant and Karl Marx probably being the most well known. Einstein, the physicist with his funky hairstyle, is also German. Also the classical composers Beethoven, Bach and Brahms are among the world elite and may call themselves German. Possibly the best poet, dramatist, painter, scientist, and philosopher is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The drama “Faust” has made him well known around the world.

Food & Beer
Germans don’t seem to have heard of dieting. Breakfast starts with rolls with cheese and cold meat. Lunch often has sausages included and is considered the main meal of the day. In the evening again sausages are served. Beer is by all means the national beverage. In some places beer is cheaper than water so if you’re thirsty just take a beer. Different breweries are located around the country and each brewery and region gives a distinctive taste to its beer. In winter warm Gluhwein is served guaranteed to get you warm after a few drinks.

Travel
Wile Germany is the European hub for import of products into Europe, Germany has an extensive rail and road network. Air travel is also a possibility but rather expensive if you travel on a budget. If your intention is leaving Germany several lowcost airlines operate from remote airports. A good substitute to air travel is the Inter City Express or ICE trains which run between large cities and travel at speeds of 250 kilometres an hour. Regular trains are less expensive then the ICE trains but more expensive the busses. Most towns are near train stations and offer bus services to the station. The German road system is also extensive. The German motorways or “autobahn” as they call it have no set speed limit so it you’re on the road you might be overtaken by a Porsche trying to keep up with the ICE train! On more accident prone parts of the motorway however speed limits do apply.