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Location of Germany within Europe
 

Germany (German: Deutschland), 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 western part of the Soviet occupation zone, reduced by the newly established Oder-Neisse line. 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...

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Law Regarding Measures of State Self-Defense legalizing the murders of the Night of the Long Knives after the fact

The Night of the Long Knives (German: Nacht der langen Messer), or the Röhm purge, also called Operation Hummingbird (German: Unternehmen Kolibri), was a purge that took place in Nazi Germany from June 30 to July 2, 1934. Chancellor Adolf Hitler, urged on by Hermann Göring and Heinrich Himmler, ordered a series of political extrajudicial executions intended to consolidate his power and alleviate the concerns of the German military about the role of Ernst Röhm and the Sturmabteilung (SA), the Nazis' paramilitary organization, known colloquially as "Brownshirts". Nazi propaganda presented the murders as a preventive measure against an alleged imminent coup by the SA under Röhm – the so-called Röhm Putsch.

The primary instruments of Hitler's action, which carried out most of the killings, were the Schutzstaffel (SS) paramilitary force under Himmler and its Security Service (SD), and Gestapo (secret police) under Reinhard Heydrich. Göring's personal police battalion also took part in the killings. Many of those killed in the purge were leaders of the SA, the best-known being Röhm himself, the SA's chief of staff and one of Hitler's longtime supporters and allies. Leading members of the leftist-leaning Strasserist faction of the Nazi Party, including its figurehead, Gregor Strasser, were also killed, as were establishment conservatives and anti-Nazis, such as former Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher and Bavarian politician Gustav Ritter von Kahr, who had suppressed Hitler's Munich Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. The murders of SA leaders were also intended to improve the image of the Hitler government with a German public that was increasingly critical of thuggish SA tactics. (Full article...)

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Ulrike Meinhof

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Bacon dumpling with Bayrisch Kraut
Bayrisch Kraut (Bavarian cabbage) is a traditional Bavarian dish. It is made of shredded cabbage cooked in beef stock with pork lard, onion, apples, and seasoned with vinegar. It is typically served with bratwurst or roast pork. In German cuisine it is an alternative to sauerkraut. (Full article...)

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