[[caption-width-right:329: Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit]]

->''"I have often felt a great sorrow at the German people, which is so estimable in the individual and so wretched in the generality."''
-->-- '''Creator/JohannWolfgangVonGoethe''' (he was writing before UsefulNotes/WorldWarII)

Germany ('''German:''' ''Deutschland''), officially known as the Federal Republic of Germany ('''German:''' ''Bundesrepublik Deutschland''), is a federal republic in central Europe with a complicated and troubled history. Modern-day Germany is a major economic power and a member of UsefulNotes/TheEuropeanUnion, [[GroupOfEight G8]] and the UsefulNotes/{{NATO}} after it had spent the UsefulNotes/ColdWar [[UsefulNotes/BerlinWall divided]] into two countries--UsefulNotes/EastGermany and UsefulNotes/WestGermany.

'''A Short History of Germany'''

The Germanic tribes were already known to the [[AncientRome Romans]], and despite a series of bloody wars, they were never all incorporated into the empire. After the fall of Rome, they expanded into what are today France (also giving it its name), Italy and Eastern Europe, laying the foundation for the historical borders of the UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire.

Under the Frankish and Carolingian Empires, the German(ic) tribes were united, but that didn't last and the various German nations spent the next millennium broken up into hundreds of kingdoms, duchies, margraviates, bishoprics, merchant republics and others. The smaller ones were usually to some extent dominated by their bigger neighbors, such as [[UsefulNotes/TheSoundOfMartialMusic Austria]], Bavaria or Brandenburg (and latter UsefulNotes/{{Prussia}}), although the filthy rich city states that were a member of the Hansa could practically buy and sell fate. This splintering and constant infighting prevented the development of a national mentality of one German nation until much later, and regionalism prevails until today.

With the Reformation came the slow development of a standard UsefulNotes/GermanLanguage, which would ultimately foster a spirit of common German-ness, but first led to horrific religious bloodshed and was another nail in the coffin of the Holy Roman Empire (which became mostly an additional title for the Habsburg monarchs-- although technically the Holy Roman Empire was elected among the princes of Germany, it was held by someone from the house of Habsburg from 1415 until 1806 with only a short break from 1742-1745). The reformation itself, incidentally, went only half-way. Today, about half the Germans are Protestants and half are Catholic, split fairly evenly with the former being predominantly in Northern Germany and the latter in the South (particularly in Bavaria). Rome and the Papacy still look at anything the German Catholics cook up with a lot of skepticism--after all, those same Catholics also cooked up the Reformation.

And then came UsefulNotes/NapoleonBonaparte. He steamrolled most of Europe, defeated the traditional monarchies and basically forced the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire. Thanks to his influence, the borders were radically restructured and of hundreds of states, only around forty were left. From this, a loose confederation was formed, including the world's first customs union that didn't involve the simultaneous creation of a political union.

After Napoleon's defeat, Prussia emerged as the dominant power in what was then considered German lands. For a while, Prussia and Austria struggled for dominance. Supporters of either side were known as Little Germans and Big Germans respectively. This referred not to the size or power of the two states, but of their divergent visions of what a unified Germany should be. In the end, the Little Germans won. The [[MagnificentBastard magnificent bastardry]] of UsefulNotes/OttoVonBismarck led to the foundation of the German Empire in 1871, which reflected the ''Kleindeutsche Lösung'' (solution of a small Germany)-- the unification of all German countries except Austria.[[note]]The reason the Prussians and their allies wanted Austria excluded were twofold. First and most important, Austria was predominantly Catholic, while Prussia and most other northern German states were primarily Protestant. Second, [[UsefulNotes/TheSoundOfMartialMusic Austria already had its own multicultural empire]]; the Prussians did not want such a huge influx of non-Germans into the new Germany, while Austria's Habsburg monarchs would never dream of renouncing rule over the non-German half of their empire.[[/note]]

The next forty years saw the rapid rise of Germany as a great power. Being late to unify, the country was able to only establish a handful of colonies in Africa and the Pacific. German industry saw the establishment of a strong economy, and their education system saw the cultivation of some of the finest scientists of the turn of the century, such as Wilhelm Röntgen, who discovered X-rays, and theoretical physicists Max Planck and Albert Einstein. However, the meteoric rise was met with a degree of concern from Britain and France, who quickly asserted themselves as Germany's principal rivals.

Then came the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI first European unpleasantness]] over a silly thing in the Balkans. Long story short, Germany lost and a [[UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic republic]] was declared. Humiliated by the defeat and territorial losses and burdened by the reparations mandated by the Treaty of Versailles, the Weimar Republic was off to a bad start. It was plagued by political instability (in the 14 years of its existence, it had 14 chancellors) and economic troubles--all of which destroyed the credibility of the government. This and a number of other factors contributed to the rise of UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler and the subsequent [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII second European unpleasantness]].

After Germany lost that war (which is nowadays treated as a liberation in the German public), it was occupied by the four Allies. The nascent UsefulNotes/ColdWar led to the establishment of two Germanies--the [[UsefulNotes/WestGermany FRG]] and the [[UsefulNotes/EastGermany GDR]]. [[note]]Almost three Germanies. The Saarland was set up as a French protectorate and may have either remained an independent nation or become a part of France. However, the people there really really didn't want that, voted against it, and rejoined Germany in 1957, an event referred to as Little Reunification.[[/note]] Over the next few years, both Germanies were rebuilt. Although the ''Wirtschaftswunder'' is associated with the West, the GDR didn't do too bad for CommieLand, either.

The UsefulNotes/BerlinWall fell in 1989 in what constituted a CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming for most Germans, and the two countries were reunified one year later. However, the subsequent economic troubles (especially in the former East), which have lasted until today, contribute to the continued existence of a mental divide between East and West.

For a more detailed look, see also the appropriate links below in the History section.
* UsefulNotes/DichterAndDenker (Famous Germans, excluding politicians. For them, see further below.)
* UsefulNotes/GermanDialects
* UsefulNotes/GermanEducationSystem
* GermanHumour
* UsefulNotes/GermanLanguage
* GermanMedia
** GermanLiterature
** UsefulNotes/GermanTVStations
** GermanWebOriginals
* UsefulNotes/GermanPeculiarities
* UsefulNotes/DerStammtisch
** TabletopGame/{{Skat}} (card game)

* UsefulNotes/{{Berlin}}
** UsefulNotes/BerlinWall
** UsefulNotes/BerlinUAndSBahn
* UsefulNotes/TheSixteenLandsOfDeutschland (The 16 German "states")
* UsefulNotes/{{Bonn}} ([[UsefulNotes/WestGermany Former Capital]])
* UsefulNotes/{{Hamburg}}
** UsefulNotes/HamburgUAndSBahn
* UsefulNotes/{{Munich}}
* UsefulNotes/{{Prussia}}

* UsefulNotes/TheBerlinRepublic (Post-1990 Germany)
* UsefulNotes/TheChancellorsOfGermany
* UsefulNotes/PoliticalSystemOfGermany
* UsefulNotes/PoliticiansAndPartiesOfGermany (current parties)
* UsefulNotes/GermanPoliticalPartiesAfterWorldWarII (history)
* UsefulNotes/ThePresidentsOfGermany
* UsefulNotes/WeAreNotTheWehrmacht (Bundeswehr - Modern German Military)
* UsefulNotes/TheThinFormerlyGreenLine (German Police Forces)
* UsefulNotes/DeutscheBahn (German Railways)

* UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire (963 - 1806)
* UsefulNotes/TheTeutonicKnights (Middle Ages)
* UsefulNotes/HanseaticLeague (also Middle Ages)
* UsefulNotes/PrussianKings (Early - Mid Modern Era)
* UsefulNotes/AllTheLittleGermanies (1806 - 1871)
* UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany (1871 - [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI 1918]])
** UsefulNotes/PrussiansInPickelhauben (Imperial German Military)
* UsefulNotes/WeimarRepublic (1918 - [[ThoseWackyNazis 1933]])
* UsefulNotes/NaziGermany (1933 - [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII 1945]])
** UsefulNotes/NazisWithGnarlyWeapons (Wehrmacht)
** UsefulNotes/TheHolocaust
** UsefulNotes/TheGestapo
* UsefulNotes/WestGermany (The Bonn Republic) (May 1949 - [[TheGreatPoliticsMessUp October 1990]])
* UsefulNotes/EastGermany (German Democratic Republic) (October 1949 - [[TheGreatPoliticsMessUp October 1990]])
** UsefulNotes/OssisWithOsas (East German People's Army)
** UsefulNotes/TheStasi

''In popular culture''
* Literature/{{Nibelungenlied}}
* Literature/ThePiedPiperOfHamelin
* Literature/TheAdventuresOfBaronMunchhausen
* Creator/TheBrothersGrimm collected numerous fairy tales and other German folktales. Some of them even take place in German cities, like Bremen in ''Literature/TheBremenTownMusicians''
* Literature/AlsoSprachZarathustra
* Literature/DoctorFaustus
* Literature/TheErlKing
* Literature/MaxAndMoritz
* Literature/DerStruwwelpeter
* Film/DieBuchseVonPandora
* Literature/{{Buddenbrooks}}
* Literature/VenusInFurs
* Film/DasTestamentdesDoktorMabuse
* Film/Die1000AugenDesDrMabuse
* Film/{{Nosferatu}}
* Film/{{Cabaret}}
* Literature/TheSpyWhoCameInFromTheCold
* Many World War I and II movies.
* The French comic book character Asterix visited the country in ''Recap/AsterixAndTheGoths''.
* Literature/BerlinAlexanderplatz
* Literature/TheTinDrum
* All Krautrock bands.
* In Series/FawltyTowers Basil is famously visited by some German tourists.
* Series/DieSendungMitDerMaus
* Series/CaptainBluebear
* Series/{{Derrick}}: Hugely popular detective series.
* Series/{{Tatort}}
* Music/{{Berlin}} by Lou Reed
* Music/{{Heroes}} by David Bowie. The title track also takes place in Germany.
* ''Holiday in Berlin'' by The Sex Pistols
* Film/TheBoyInTheStripedPyjamas
* Film/ChristianeF
* Film/SalonKitty
* Film/DasBoot
* Film/GoodbyeLenin
* Film/RunLolaRun
* Film/DasExperiment
* Film/{{Munich}}
* Üter in ''The Simpsons'' is German.
* Ride/EuropaPark


[[folder: The German Flag ]]

->The flag's black, red and gold colors derived loosely from the uniforms worn by the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%BCtzow_Free_Corps Lützow Free Corps]], a group of Prussian freedom fighters against Napoleon, many of whose members would later participate in the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wartburg_Festival Wartburg Festival]] of 1817, demanding German unity, while dressed in their uniforms.