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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 decentralized 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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Door of the Theses in Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
Door of the Theses in Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

The Ninety-five Theses or Disputation on the Power of Indulgences (Latin: Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum) are a list of propositions for an academic disputation written in 1517 by Martin Luther, professor of moral theology at the University of Wittenberg, Germany, that started the Protestant Reformation, a schism in the Catholic Church which profoundly changed Europe. They advance Luther's positions against what he saw as abusive practices by preachers selling plenary indulgences, which were certificates believed to reduce the temporal punishment for sins committed by the purchasers themselves or their loved ones in purgatory. In the Theses, Luther claimed that the repentance required by Christ in order for sins to be forgiven involves inner spiritual repentance rather than merely external sacramental confession. He argued that indulgences lead Christians to avoid true repentance and sorrow for sin, believing that they can forgo it by purchasing an indulgence. They also, according to Luther, discourage Christians from giving to the poor and performing other acts of mercy, believing that indulgence certificates were more spiritually valuable. Though Luther claimed that his positions on indulgences accorded with those of the pope, the Theses challenge a fourteenth-century papal bull stating that the pope could use the treasury of merit and the good deeds of past saints to forgive temporal punishment for sins. The Theses are framed as propositions to be argued in debate rather than necessarily representing Luther's opinions, but Luther later clarified his views in the Explanations of the Disputation Concerning the Value of Indulgences. More...

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David Hilbert
David Hilbert

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Königsberg-style marzipan
Königsberg-style marzipan
Königsberg marzipan is a type of marzipan traditionally produced in the former German city of Königsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia). Königsberg's first marzipan production was established by the Pomatti brothers in 1809, who became confectioners of the Royal Prussian Court. They were joined by Sterkau, Petschliess, Liedtke, Siegel, Steiner, Gehlhaar, Plouda in Kneiphof, as well as Wald in Berlin and Schwermer in Bad Wörishofen. Königsberg marzipan is known for its flamed surface, which results in a golden-brown finish. It contains rose water and is often filled with jam. These characteristics distinguish it from the more common Lübeck Marzipan, which also frequently comes in more elaborate forms. (Full article...)

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