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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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Grenzpfosten der DDR in Mödlareuth
Grenzpfosten der DDR in Mödlareuth

The inner German border (German: innerdeutsche Grenze or deutsch-deutsche Grenze; initially also Zonengrenze) was the border between the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, West Germany) from 1949 to 1990. Not including the similar but physically separate Berlin Wall, the border was 1,393 kilometres (866 mi) long and ran from the Baltic Sea to Czechoslovakia.

It was formally established on 1 July 1945 as the boundary between the Western and Soviet occupation zones of former Nazi Germany. On the eastern side, it was made one of the world's most heavily fortified frontiers, defined by a continuous line of high metal fences and walls, barbed wire, alarms, anti-vehicle ditches, watchtowers, automatic booby traps and minefields. It was patrolled by 50,000 armed GDR guards who faced tens of thousands of West German, British and US guards and soldiers. In the hinterlands behind the border were more than a million North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and Warsaw Pact troops. More...

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Gerhart Hauptmann
Gerhart Hauptmann

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Berliner Weisse (German: Berliner Weiße, pronounced [bɛʁˌliːnɐ ˈvaɪ̯sə] ) is a cloudy, sour beer of around 3.5% alcohol by volume. It is a regional variation of the wheat beer style from Northern Germany, dating back to at least the 16th century. It can be made from combinations of malted barley and wheat, with the stipulation that the malts are kilned at very low temperatures or even air-dried to minimise colour formation. The fermentation takes place with a mixture of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Brettanomyces) and lactic acid bacteria, a prerequisite that creates the lactic acid taste, a distinguishing feature of Berliner Weisse. By the late 19th century, Berliner Weisse was the most popular alcoholic drink in Berlin, with up to fifty breweries producing it. By the late 20th century, there were only two breweries left in Berlin producing the beer. (Full article...)

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