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Germany

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INSTITUTE OF LANGUAGES

NAME: HUSSAIN NIZZAMI

SESSION: 2012-2013

SUBMITTED TO: MAM MARIA MALDONADO
TOPIC:
GERMANY HISTORY & CULTURE

UNIVERSITY OF THE PUNJAB
Table of Contents:
Item Topic Page
Geography 3
History 5
Government 10
Economy 12
Industry 15
Educational System 20
Famous Historical Germans 23
Culture 25
Landshut 29
References 30

Geography:
Located in north Central Europe, Germany is one of the continent’s largest and most populated nations. Germany border is made up of 9 neighboring European countries and also includes northern sea borders contained by the North Sea and Baltic Sea, and a southern border including the Swiss Appalachian Mountains.
Germany’s landscape includes flat plains, hill country, river valleys, sandy coastlines, and rough mountain terrain. Germany was once covered in dense forest lands, but the nation has cut down much of these woodlands in order to provide land for cities, industrial zones, and farmlands. Germany has a total area of 137,854 square miles (about the size of the state of Montana, US).
The major land regions in Germany run roughly parallel, east – west bound across the country. Ancient glaciers once covered the largest and northernmost region of Germany, the North German Plains. As these glaciers melted, they left behind flat lowlands, small lakes, and areas o of sandy, infertile soils. Rivers flow northward through the plains, and swamps and bogs have formed in the areas left behind that had poor drainage. The southern edge of the plains, contain fertile areas known as borden, an area where farmers can raise a variety of grain and vegetable cropsˡ.
The Central Highlands are made up of more than a dozen small mountain ranges that rise within a region stretching across middle Germany. One of the notable mountain ranges located in this area is the Harz. This mountain range contains the Brocken, a mountain peak that straddles the old boundary between East and West Germany. Middle Germany consists of dense woodlands, including the Thuringian and Bohemian forests, that cover the mountains and the vast valleys to the south. The Thuringian Basin, in eastern Germany, ends at the Ore Mountains on the border of the Czech Republic.
Southern Germany is characterized as having long, wooded ridges. The highlands rise above plateaus and winding rivers valleys. The clay soil of the southern region provides for fertile farmlands. The mountainous Black Forest takes its name from the thick forests of fir and spruce trees that cover the hillsides of the southern regions. The Alpine Forelands (foothills) begin in south of the Dunabe River and continue to the Bavarian Alps, which rise along Germany’s borders with Switzerland and Austria. Ancient glaciers in this area formed many lakes in southern Bavaria, thus created an area comprised of rapid streams, rolling foothills, pastures, and fields capable of sustaining wheat and many other grains. The country’s highest point, Zugspitze 9721 feet elevation, resides Southwest of Munich – the largest southern German cityˡ.
The massive glaciers that once covered Germany carved many basins in which small lakes and river ways formed. One of the largest lakes is Lake Constance (also known as the Bodensee) and is about 45 miles long and 10 miles wide, sharing shorelines/borders with Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Germany claims a mild continental climate with warm summers and cold winters (averaging temperatures of low 70’s F in the summer months and average high 20’s F in the colder winter months). Highland regions often experience lower temperatures, including below freezing winters. Rain falls throughout the year in the northwest, but farther inland most rain occurs during the summer months. The mountains in the south receive as much as 80 inches of rain and snow a year, while only about 30 inches of precipitation falls annually in the Central Highlands. ˡ
Once covered with massive amounts of woodlands, natural forests and cultivated farmlands and plantations now cover around one-third of the land in Germany. Pine trees grow in the sandy soils of the coastal regions, while spruce dominate the woods of the Central Highlands. Firs flourish in the mountains of the south and in the Black Forest. Germany is home to many native species of animals and birds – deer, lynx, pine martens and grouse survive in the forests. Beavers live in the Elbe Valley, while wild boar and deer roam the Bavarian woodlands. Germany has many protected game reserves in and around the Lüneburg Heath and many of the surrounding heaths (woodlands) in North Germany. One of the most notable is the 5,680 acres along the Lake Schaal in eastern Germany which is inhabited by sea eagles, cranes, cormorants, ospreys, and other birds.
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Natural resources include a variety of natural occurring minerals, but coal is the only mineral found in large quantities. Iron and oil deposits are also indigenous to Germany. Other natural resources include rock salt, copper, lead, silver, tin, uranium, zinc and bauxite. A fine white clay known as kaolin is used by artisans to produce the country’s famous Dresden china.
1 Germany . . . In Pictures: Visual Geography Series, Geography Department, Lerner Publications Company, Minneapolis, 1994
History:
Archeologists believe that human beings have lived in Germany for about 650,000 years. Although very little is known about the region’s first inhabitants. As early as 100,000 years ago, nomadic hunting groups migrated into the forests and river valleys of north Central Europe. The remains of these peoples were found in the Neander Valley near Düsseldorf. The discovery of these hunters led scientists to name these prehistoric people Neanderthals. ²
Early History:
Around 400 B.C. groups of Celts had settled much of central Europe, including what we know as southern and western Germany. These peoples raised grains and livestock and crafted iron tools and weapons for use in farming and warfare. Around 100 B.C. northern European peoples known as Teutons migrated southward towards Germany, pushing the Celtic people aside. At this same time that the Teutons were settling in Germany, the Roman armies were expanding the Roman Empire. Recorded history begins somewhere around 50 B.C. when Julius Cesar’s Gallic Wars brought the Roman Empire quests for expansion to “Germania”. The dense forest slowed the Roman attacks on Teutonic farms and villages. Unable to conquer the region, the Romans built fortification lines between the Rhine and Dunabe to prevent Teutonic invasions of Gaul (modern France) and Italy.
By 4th Century these Teutonic invasions had weakened Rome. In A.D 395, the empire was divided into eastern and western halves. Many Germanic groups – including the Goths and the Franks – saw this division as a chance of opportunity to press their own attacks. The fall of the Roman Empire in A.D. 476 at the hands of a Roman employed Germanic commander, by the name of Odoacer, who turned his forces of Germanic soldiers – hired by the Roman Emperor to serve in the Roman Army – against the capital and became the leader of Italy. The western empire collapsed, and the Franks and other Germanic people began crossing the Rhine and seizing more of the Roman territory in Gaul.
In A.D. 486 Frankish king Clovis defeated the Roman governor who still reigned in Gaul. Clovis established the Frankish Empire, stretching across much of Northern Europe. After the death of Clovis, the Frankish Empirical lands were divided amongst his sons. This act weakened the Frankish Empire and many Germanic groups began to claim independence from the Frankish rule – the Saxons of northern Germany for instance. Charlemagne became ruler of the Franks in 768, defeated the Saxons and expanded the Frankish Empire widely into central and western Europe. In 800 Charlemagne was named “Emperor of the Romans” and the Frankish king became the ruler of the western Empire. Under the rule of Charlemagne, the Germanic peoples united and established a central government (administration) out of the capital – Aachen. Charlemagne also ordered the building of schools and monasteries. Under his supervision the first dictionary of the German language was written by scholars. After his death, his grandsons fought for control of the realm. After the Treaty of Verdun was signed by the three heirs the Empire the Carolingian empire was divided into several parts. Each ruling a different section, Ludwig II took East Francia (including territories east of the Rhine), Lothair took the Middle Kingdom (smaller area lying west of the Rhine), and Charles I (the Bald) rules West Francia, which later would become France. During the 9th Century raiders from the east staged multiple attacks on East Francia. German nobles received titles and land from the Ludwig in reward for their aide given in defending the realm. Gradually these Germanic nobles, or dukes, created independent orders within Germany. The largest and most powerful of these duchies were the Saxony, Swabia, Franconia, Bavaria, and Lorraine.²
Middle History:
Under the leadership of Duke Henry of Saxony – 919 to 936, the Germanic peoples were united. Henry took the title of King, and for the first time the term Kingdom (Empire) of the Germans – “Regnum Teutonicorum” – was applied to the Frankish kingdom, thus creating the German empire out of the East Frankish kingdom by bringing the five largest German duchies into a strong alliance. In 936 Otto I the Great was crowned. He strengthed what Henry started by appointing bishops and abbotts as princes of the Empire, whereby creating a national Church. At the Battle of Lechfeld in 955 a victory over the Magyars of Hungary and the “Slavs” between the Elbe and Oder rivers contained the outside threats to the Kingdom. In 962 Otto I was crowned Holy Emperor of Rome by the Pope, after heeding a call for help from the pope himself. For centuries after German kings also became leaders of the Holy Roman Empire, and established a strong Frankish influence over the Papacy.
Under Fredrick I – mid 1100’s – Germany extended its rule to parts of what are now Poland and Hungary. His successor – son Henry VI – also brought northern Italy into the realm. Beginning around 1226, under the leadership of Frederick II, the Teutonic Knights began their quest of Prussia. Through much warfare the native Prussians were conquered and Christianized, and numerous German towns were established along the eastern shores lines of the Baltic Sea. Beginning around 1300 Charles IV, issued a law called the Golden Bull. This law brought back and codified an old tradition where seven German electors (four secular and three spiritual) would have the power to name the Holy Roman emperor. For the next five centuries the Holy Roman empire would be controlled by Habsburg dynasty member, which controlled Austria and other principal entities that made up the realm’z largest and strongest domains. ²
Recent History:
Due to discontent with the Holy Roman Empire change started occurring in Germany around the fifteenth century. A revival of the ancient arts and philosophy called the Renaissance arrived from Italy. With the publication of the 95 Theses by Martin Luther, a publication that listed 95 beliefs of Luther that showed corruption and misguidance within the Catholic Church, a reformation began. This reformation led to the birth of the Protestant Church. Northern German states became heavily Protestant, while the southern states remained Catholic.
The Habsburg attempted to place a Catholic on the throne of Bohemia which led to a violent uprising. This eventually led to the 30 Year War (1618-1648) between the Protestants and Catholics. The war ended with the Peace of Westphalia, a truce that recognized Catholic and Protestant territories in Germany. Imperial territory was lost to France and Sweden and the Netherlands left the Holy Roman Empire. The imperial power declined further as the states’ rights were increased.
This truce strengthened the rulers of Saxony, Bavaria, Brandenburg, Prussia and other large German states.
At the end of the Napoleonic Wars, European leaders would meet in Vienna to redefine, restructure, and redraw the boundaries of Europe. The German Confederation would be created out of the former Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. Germany would consist of 39 states which would have ruling princes and few free cities and would be under Austrian leadership. Food shortages and economic problems caused by poor harvests during the 1840’s would lead to an uprising calling for a truly democratic government. Eventually unification would be experienced under the guide of Otto von Bismark as prime minister. Leading war efforts against Denmark and Austria, he was able to replace the German Confederation with the North German Confederation. Seeing opportunity to strengthen his state again after a new claim to the throne in Spain, Bismark would spark the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. During the war, Bismark was able to aide in the unification of southern German states to become under Prussian control. Under the new unified Germany, Wihelm I would take control as Kaiser (emperor).
In the late 19th century Germany would experience rapid growth in population, international territories, and economic gain. During the Industrial Revolution the country would become a major European power by 1900. Defeat due to involvement in World War I would result in not only territorial and reparation losses under the Treaty of Versailles, but would also lead to civil riot throughout the country. Wilhelm would give up his throne, and Socialists proclaimed the founding of a new, democratic German government.
Overwhelmed by the heavy reparation levied by the Treaty, German economy would suffer collapse during the 1920’s. Unemployment rose, and raging inflation destroyed the value of the German currency. Due to a loss in faith in leadership, small political parties sprang up. In 1923 the Nazi party would attempt to stage an overthrow in Munich. Even though the attempt failed, the party would gain support in the following years. The Great Depression of 1929 dealt huge blows to the economy again, and the then leader – Hindenburg – began ruling by decree due to civil uprisings and increased political rioting. Giving in to public pressures during the down times, Hindenburg appointed Hitler chancellor in 1933. After Hindenburg’s death in 1934, Hitler named himself the German führer (leader) and the Nazi Party would come to rule explicitly the German industry, administration, and education. In the following six years, the Nazi regime would prepare for World War II. The official surrender of the German forces in May of 1945 would mark the end of the War and the beginning of the rebuilding of Germany due to the devastation caused to its industries and cities. Germany would have to reply on its former enemies for survival and ability to rebuild. After the War Germany was divided into four postwar occupation zones. In 1948 the US, France and Great Britain would merge their three occupation zones while maintaining control over West Berlin (Federal Republic of Germany). The Soviet Union still controlled and occupied east Germany and East Berlin (German Democratic Republic). West Germany was established as a liberal democratic republic while East Germany became a Communist State under influence of the Soviet Union. West Germany would enjoy prolonged economic growth beginning in the early 1950’s due to Marshall Plan loans (under US President H. Truman). West Germany would join NATO in 1955 and was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1958. East Germany soon became the richest, most advance country in the Warsaw Pact, but many of its citizens looked for escape into the West for its political freedoms and economic prosperity. To prepare for any future conflict, the US and Soviet Union would base large military units/forces and modern weapons within Germany. This “Cold War” (nonviolent actions) would pit the different sides against each other and end almost all trade between the two sides. East Germany’s economic growth was much slower and weaker than that seen in West Germany. With Communist government setting wages and prices, little effort was made for increased production. Throughout the 1950’s living standards remained low in East Germany, and millions would flee to West Germany to prosper from its rapid economic growth and liberal democratic republic law. In 1961 the Berlin Wall was built by the East Germans to keep their residents from escaping to West Germany. The Berlin Wall would become a symbol of the “Cold War” that would exist in the German territory until its demolition in 1990.
With civil unrest due to the division in sides, East German leader Erick Honecker was forced to resign in 1989, and being unable o stop migrations of East Germans to West Germany via Austria, the East German government finally opened its borders in November 1989. As the Berlin Wall fell, millions of East Germans crossed into West Berlin. Germany was formally reunited on October 3, 1990. ²
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2 ( 2010). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved March 8, 2010, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition: http://school.eb.com/eb/article-57984
Government:
In 1945, Germany was occupied by the Allied Forces and divided into four occupied zones. France, US, and Great Britain occupied what came to be known as West Germany after they combined zones (Federal Republic of Germany). The Soviet Union would control the eastern sector and what would become known as East Germany (The German Democratic Republic). Both sides would set up governments that mirrored each other and on paper would seamlessly be quite similar. Both would claim federal republics, meaning that they would have a national government and state governments, while the head of each state would be a President. The federal governments would be comprised of two houses, the lower house filled by nationally elected representatives and the upper house would consist of State government appointed officials. West Germany would have its Chancellor elected by the lower house from its members and East Germany would do the same except this position would be Prime Minister. The President would be elected by the upper house. Germany’s constitution, The Basic Law, was adopted in 1949 when the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was created. Several political parties won seats in the parliament in West Germany, the major ruling parties however were the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Free Democratic Party (FDP), and the Social Democratic Party (SDP). The CDU was the party that the first West German chancellor was named from, Konrad Adenauer, and the FDP claimed the first president in Theodor Heuss. The CDU remained in control of parliament for the next 20 years. After 1963, with the retirement of Adenauer, the economics minister Ludwig Erhard succeeded as chancellor. East and West Germany had started growing further apart in their actions and governmental administrations. A new government was formed in 1982 after the organization of a new political party named the Green Party came on to the scene around late 1970’s. This party promoted important social issues of environmentally centered concerns as well as supporting childcare programs, assistance programs, and peace movements in general. CDU leader Helmet Kohl became chancellor and he held this position through the reunification of East and West Germany and until late 1990’s. In the decades since 1949, West Germany's parties have tended to lean toward the middle of the political spectrum, largely because both the historical experience with fascism and the existence of communist East Germany greatly diminished the appeal of either extreme. This model of government is what is currently in place in current unified Germany.
East Germany started out on paper identical to West Germany, however, the Communist Soviet Union that had taken over the occupational zone known as East Germany kept tight military control of the political system. The same parties emerged, but due to the Communist strong hold, were kept at bay. The SDP soon merged into the Communist Party to form the new Socialist Unity Party. Their leader, Walter Ulbricht, became the first prime minister. In 1952 the states of East Germany were replaced with 15 smaller regions. East German worker staged strikes to try and improve efforts, but were met with stiff Soviet military interference. West Germany did not interfere with the East German efforts, and Ulbricht’s power strengthened in the coming years. He remained in power until 1971. With more relaxed relations building between East and West Germany, political parties started to emerge. By early 1990’s upwards of 36 political parties had registered for the new elections to be held that year. The first free elections were held in East Germany in March 1990, and the new government opened the doors for discussion of unification of East and West Germany.
The Unified Germany:
The 1949 Constitution of the Federal Republic (West Germany) now governs the unified nation of Germany. Representatives of the German länder or “states” and members of the Bunderstag or “parliament”, meet every five years to elect the German president, the official head of state. A chancellor, who serves as the head of the German government, selects cabinet ministers and sets policy for nationwide concerns such as defense, foreign affairs, and the federal budget.
Citizens 18 years of age and oler elect the 662 members of the Bundestag. The political party that holds a majority in the parliament may nominate the chancellor, who must win election by the entire chamber. The parliament debates important legislation and passes federal laws. Representatives of the 16 German länder sit on the Bundesrat, or federal council. The council allows the states to approve or reject laws that affect local governments. The heads of the state governments rotate as Bundestag president, each serving a one-year term. The German länder have their own legislatures and constitutions. Although the states have the power to pass and enforce local laws, they also must observe statutes passed by the federal government. Länder governments administer health care, education, and environmental policies within their bodies. Each state also has its own police force. The Federal Constitutional Court is Germany’s highest court. The Bundestag and Bundesrat each appoint eight judges to the court for 12 year terms. The court reviews laws and policies to make sure they conform with the country’s constitution. Five federal courts have the power to review decisions by the local courts. Länder courts hear civil and criminal cases, and lower courts decide administrative disputes.
Economy:
The Germans proudly label their economy as a “soziale Marktwirtschaft” or “social market economy” to show that the system has developed after the War is both a material and a social – or human – dimensions. Germans stress the importance of the term market because of the experiences during the Nazi regime of state intervention and domination. The only state role now addressed is that in the West German economy which stresses the protection of a competitive environment free of monopolistic or oligopolistic tendencies.
Furthering on the principles of the social market economy, and closely linked to it, come the more traditional German concept of Ordnung – which translates to order. This phrase really means an economy, society, or polity that is structured but not dictatorial. The founders of the social market economy portrayed and insisted that Denken in Ordnungen – to think in terms of systems of order – was essential to the rebuilding of the economy. Not only was this system of orders essential, is also needed to be a free chosen order or Ordo-Liberalismus as the base essence of the concept and not a commanded order that must be followed.
The German constitution, the Grundgesetz or “Basic Law”, guarantees the right to own property, freedom of movement, free choice of occupation, freedom of association, and equality before law. However, this constitution modified the operation of the unfettered free market by means of implementing its social market economy. The constitution also allows for health protection, unemployment and disability compensation, maternity and child care provisions, job retraining, pensions, and many others – that are paid for by individual contributions, employer contributions, and public funds.
Germany has many economic benefactors, a high degree of coordination has been required to achieve the growth it must have to survive, balanced foreign trade, stable prices, and low unemployment. A variety of consultative bodies unite federal and state governments, the Deutsche Bundesbank, representatives of business and of the municipalities and trade unions. The Board of Experts for the Assessment of Overall Economic Trends, established in 1963, produces an overall evaluation of economic developments each year to assist in national economic decision making. The federal government submits an annual economic report to the legislature that contains a response to the annual evaluation given by the Board of Experts and an outline of the economic and financial policies it is pursuing. Federal government plays a role in the economy, as it underwrites the capital and operating costs of the economic and social infrastructure (autobahn, waterways, postal system, rail systems, and telecommunications). The federal government, the states, and the cities contribute to regional and local rapid transit systems. The Government collaborates with industry in bearing the costs of research and development, and Federal intervention is particularly strong in the defense industry and the Coal industry.
Germany has a varied tax system, with taxes imposed at the national, state, and local levels. Due to the generous system of social services, tax rates on corporations, individuals and goods and services are all relatively high in comparison with other countries. Germany employs a robin hood type of tax equalization system, where tax revenues are distributed from wealthier regions to less prosperous ones. After the unification, many western Germans resented this style of taxation distribution as east Germany had a substantially lower prowess.
Looking back at German Economy, after the devastation of WWII, West Germany rebounded with a so-called economic miracle that began in 1948. In the time period following the post war period marked by the implementation of the Marshall Plan, 1951 – 1961 West Germany’s gross national product rose by 8% per double – doubling the rate for Britain and US. West Germany continued to follow an upward trend. East Germany had also experienced an economic miracle of sorts. East Germany had been part of an advanced capitalist economy pre-war, which had given it a considerable advantage after the war in its efforts for reconstruction. The high level of industrial infrastructure, learned skills, and scientific and technical education enabled East Germany to develop the economy and to advance the standard of living to a level markedly higher than those of most other socialist countries. East Germany had a command economy, where all decisions were made by the governing communist party. The system of planning was inflexible and eventually caused disastrous/ruinous economic conditions. Power, influence and personal affiliations drove economic decisions, and all groups where expected to collaborate in order to achieve the communist government’s economic objectives. Without having a reward system in place to push innovation and production, East Germany lacked quality control and technological innovation thus plaguing East German economy with cynicism, apathy and inertia to move forward.
In 1990 when East and West Germany re-united, Germany had one of the largest economies in the world and was a leader in world trade. Unification caused severe draw backs across Germany as a whole, and came with its own costs. Unification unveiled the inadequacies that existed in the East German economy as well as West Germany introducing the deusche mark to East German as the sole currency in Germany at the time. This caused its own downward spiral effects in the eastern economy. Years after Unification, leading into the 21st century the effects of unification weighed heavily on the German economy and its political institutions. Recently Germany has been plagued not only with decisions to phase out its nuclear power industry and coal mining industry but also with these decisions it is dealing with high unemployment rates (over 4 million annually). This aspect has become a chief political issue. Extremely high wages, and generous social services, along with high taxation have also dampened the economy. Unification caused the public debt to grow dramatically, and at the beginning of the 21st century about 1/5th of the annual federal budget is said to go towards interest payments on the accruing national debt.
However, unification gave way to other issues such as globalization, and introduction of the euro in 2002. Germany’s domestic problems and opportunities became a complex issue bound with global and regional processes over which it had only varied levels of influence and control – different than the society that became prosperous by following patterns and having firm control of major levers of its own economy.
Industry:
In the 1930’s and 40’s German industry came under the strict control of the Nazi political government and turned primarily from civilian to military production. But the bombing of Germany during WWII demolished industrial zones, transportation systems, and residential areas. The German economy came to a standstill and millions suffered unemployment and poverty. After the War, the US sponsored Marshall Plan brought about the rebuilding of West Germany. New industries in the region prospered, and as a wide variety of consumer goods became available, the standard of living rapidly improved. The post-war Communist East Germany government, however, refused western aide and took direct control of the industries and agriculture. Although industrialization helped the region recover from the war, shortages of food and consumer goods quickly developed. In the 1980’s growing inefficiency of the government’s system and the weakness of the other Communist regimes in eastern Europe led to the downfall of the East German government. In the 1990’s the unified German government took over the economy of eastern Germany. West German money was exchanged for East German currency, and generous social benefits were extended to the eastern population. A public agency called the Treuhandanstalt was put in charge of selling state-owned businesses to private owners, who would bring those firms into a free-market economy.
Germany now boasts the most productive industries in Europe and the third largest economy in the world. Below is a list of Germany’s 30 largest industrial firms (as of 1993):
Firm | Sales (in billions of deutsche marks) | Employees (in thousands) |
Daimler-Benz | 97.7 | 366.7 |
Siemens | 81.6 | 391.0 |
Volkswagen | 76.6 | 253.0 |
VEBA | 66.3 | 128.3 |
RWE | 55.8 | 118.0 |
Hoechst | 46.0 | 172.5 |
BASF | 43.1 | 112.0 |
Bayer | 41.0 | 151.9 |
Thyssen | 33.5 | 141.0 |
Bosch | 32.5 | 156.6 |
BMW | 29.0 | 71.0 |
Mannesmann | 28.0 | 127.7 |
Metallgesellschaft | 26.1 | 42.6 |
VIAG | 23.7 | 80.7 |
Ruhrkohle | 23.4 | 111.2 |
Preussag | 23.3 | 73.3 |
Adam Opel | 23.0 | 50.8 |
Deutsche Shell | 21.4 | 3.2 |
Ford | 21.2 | 43.8 |
Hoesch-Krupp | 20.5 | 78.4 |
ESSO | 19.4 | 2.4 |
MAN | 19.0 | 57.8 |
Bertelsmann | 17.2 | 50.5 |
Degussa | 14.9 | 32.1 |
Deutsche BP | 14.7 | 2.8 |
Ruhrgas | 14.3 | 11.6 |
Henkel | 14.1 | 40.5 |
IBM Deutschland | 12.6 | 25.0 |
Ph. Holzmann | 12.5 | 43.8 |
Agiv | 10.0 | 42.7 |
The Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry Industry have been reflected in a dramatic divergence of development. Although almost half of the country’s land remains under cultivation, mechanization has increased productivity and by the early 1990’s Germany was still having to import about 33% of its food supply. German farms are small, and most farmers only work their lands half time and supplement their incomes by picking up jobs in the nearby cities and factories. Some larger farms do exist, and have joined co-ops where workers pool their resources and share profits from sales. Crop and livestock production vary by region. Fruit orchards thrive in the Rhine Valley, while grains grow in the Thuringian Basin, and seacoast farmers raise livestock. After WWII, East Germany organized its private farms into large, state-run co-ops. These farms have now been sold off to individual privatized farmers, who in an attempt to help compete against the mechanized West German farms, receive government assistance.
The fishing industry is centered on the northern seaports. Herring, cod, sole, and flounder are the main catches out of the Baltic and North Seas, as well as North Atlantic Ocean near the coast of Greenland. Overfishing has become an issue which has started to deplete the stocks in many of these areas.
Forests cover nearly one-third of Germany’s land and provide about two-thirds of the country’s lumber and paper product supplies. Workers on government-controlled plantations carefully plan and monitor timber growth across the nation. Since 1975 government has required forestry companies to replant harvested areas.
Resource and Power (Mining and Energy):
Coals deposits near the Ruhr River became a mainstay of German industry during the 1800’s. By the 1970’s mining companies had dug up much of the country’s high-quality coal. Remaining reserves have proved expensive to extract. Germany still has large supplies of rock salt and of potash – an ingredient of agricultural fertilizers. Other mineral deposits include lead, copper, tin, uranium and zinc. Eastern Germany’s largest mineral resource is lignite coal. Coal now contributes to less than one-fifth of Germany’s total energy production. In 2007 the government announced that it tentatively planned to phase out the coal mining within about a decade.
Manufacturing:
The manufacturing industry almost single handedly drove Germany through the recovery period after WWII. West German companies expanded rapidly to meet the growing need for consumer goods, heavy machinery, cars, textile, and electrical equipment. Auto making boosted Germany’s foreign trade, while the chemical, steel, and food processing industries also produced exports. By the early 1990’s manufacturing sector was creating about 40% of the country’s goods. Manufacturing sector includes raw materials for construction and automobiles, ships, and machinery. Germany also produces chemicals, machinery, rubber, and textiles, as well as processing food, beverages and making electrical goods. German industries also make clothing, furniture, scientific instruments, cameras, computers, toys and leather goods. German aerospace companies cooperate with several other European nations to produce the Airbus – passenger plane. Eastern Germany offers important advantages even though most of the companies in the area had gone bankrupt. Because of the former communist government in control of prices and wages, production costs in the eastern zone have remained relatively low. Several western automakers where able to open plants in eastern Germany, which attracted joint ventures with other European nations.
Foreign Trade:
The postwar division of Germany created two separate economies with different trading links. East Germany exported its goods to other members of the Soviet block in central and eastern Europe. West Germany joined the European Community (EC), a group of non-Communist nations that pursued common trade and economic policies. This action strengthened West Germany’s economy by increasing its exports to other EC nations. West Germany’s rapid growth eventually made it the largest exporter in Europe. The country’s high standard of living and its strong demand for consumer goods has also created an important market for foreign imports as well. A reunified Germany now sells more goods than it buys, giving the nation a trade surplus. Germany exports vehicles, chemicals, electrical equipment, optical instruments, heavy machinery, and food. Major imports include energy products, clothing, textiles, food and machinery. The country’s most important trading partners are France, Italy, Netherlands, Britain, US and other countries of the former Soviet Union. By the late 1990’s many European companies where buying newly privatized firms in eastern Germany, being attracted by lower operating costs in the region. This would allow for making goods less expensive than the western German products and promote competitiveness of the German products abroad and boost German foreign trade.
Educational System:
The German public education system makes it possible for qualified kids to study up to university level, regardless of their families’ financial status. The educational system, in many ways, is different than that from other Anglo-Saxon countries, but it produces high- performing students.³
The educational system in German speaking countries generally follow the European model of free public education and a variety of secondary schools for academic and vocational education, unlike the American model of a single comprehensive High School for all students. Although the control of education rests with the states, there is a national commission that strives for to create uniformity of curriculum, requirements, and standards of achievement. Schooling is free and compulsory for children ages 6 to 18, while some books and study materials are free as well, financial assistance and other forms of support are available in cases of hardships.
Children may attend a voluntary Kindergarten beginning at age 3. Preschooling, which is notable a German contribution to the education system, About 4/5 of all German children attend kindergarten.
Elementary:
Elementary School is known as Grundschule or “basic school” from age 6 until about age 10. Around age 10 the Grundschule teacher will recommend the future educational path that each student will take. These recommendations will be based on a students academic achievements, potential, and personality characteristics such as ability to work independently or with groups and self-confidence. Parents do have authority to override the teacher recommendations and have their students attend a higher level institution. It is possible for students to switch to a higher level institution on their own with improved performance, it is not frequently the case. It is more common for students to perform poorly at the higher level and switch to a lower level institution for completion of the required years of training.
Secondary School:
Less than half will continue with their elementary schooling in a junior secondary school called Hauptschule or “head school” until about the age of 15 or 16 (grades 5 – 9 equivalent). Afterwards , these students are assigned to a Berufsschule or “vocational school” that they attend part time in conjunction with an apprenticeship or other on-the-job or co-op training. This program allows almost all young persons in the vocational track to learn a useful skill or trade, and is constantly adapted to meet the demands of the employment market.
About one-third of the Grundschule students will be promoted to a Realschule or “practical school” and earn an intermediate level certification that will allow the student to enter a Fachschule or “technical or special training school”, where upon the completion of which is a prerequisite career in the middle levels of business, admin, and civil services.
Approximately one-third of all student are chosen to attend the Gymnasium or “senior secondary school”. Gymnasium is equivalent to grammar school and is a rigorous program lasting for 9 years which prepares them for the Abitur or Reifezeugnis or “certificate of maturity” – emphasizing the classics, modern languages, mathematics, and natural sciences while preparing the students for continuation into a University for study or for a dual academic and vocational credential.
The grading scale is from one to six. Students receiving a poor mark of 5 or 6 may have to repeat a year, but this is rare. School is compulsory from age 6 – 15, but most students attend school until age 18 or 19 when they graduate from Gymnasium or advanced vocational school (13th grade).
Students and parents have the choice of which school they attend, provided that they have their grades are good enough and the school will accept them. Students are not zoned to any particular school, which means that students have the ability to attend any school that offers the curriculum they wish to study. Most schools are state run, but schools run by churches also receive public funding. Private and Boarding Schools do exist, but they are more rare than in other countries. HOMESCHOOLING is prohibited in Germany.4
Higher Education:
A Matura or Arbitur diploma theoretically entitles a student to automatically enter the University. In the 1960’s only about 8-10% pursued this level, now more than 30% go on to college. This has caused overcrowding and limitations on entrance, particularly in the fields of medicine and dentistry. 4
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University level study has three levels: The Fachhochschulen or “University of Applied Sciences” that offer courses of study mainly in Engineering, Economics, Public and Legal Administration, and Heath and Therapy occupations. The Hauptstudium or “Masters Degree” and leads to a Magister Degree. The course of studies usually comprises two equally weighted subject matters or one major and two minor subjects.
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The last level is the Universitäten or “Doctoral Studies”. This consists of two to four years of independent studies leading to the development of a thesis. The title Doktor is bestowed after completion of the written thesis and either an oral examination or defense of the written thesis.5 Education and teachers are generally held in high regard in the German speaking world. Teachers are well-paid state employees, and University professors are generally held in higher prestige than business executives.6
4 Germany. ( 2010). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved March 8, 2010, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition: http://school.eb.com/eb/article-57984
5 US Deparment of Education, the Educational System in Germany: Case Study Findings, June 1998 6 http://www.howtogermany.com/pages/germanschools.html
Famous Historical Germans:
Martin Luther
(1483–1546) priest, religious reformer
“Luther became a priest at age 24 and a religion professor soon after. His studies convinced him that many of the practices of the Catholic Church—including selling indulgences and not allowing common people to study the Bible in their own languages—were wrong. In 1517, he nailed his 95 theses stating how the Church should change to the door of the castle at Wittenburg. After excommunication in 1521, Luther translated the Bible into German, married, and continued work that would lead to the Protestant Reformation.” 7
Steffi Graf (Stephanie Maria Graf)
(1969–) tennis player
“Graf was extremely talented in tennis, even at a young age. She began playing at age four and had entered the world rankings at age thirteen. In 1987, she reached number one in the world, a position she would hold for a record 186 weeks. In 1988, she achieved the remarkable feat of winning all four Grand Slam titles, as well as an Olympic gold medal. Undoubtedly one of the best women's tennis players in history, Graf retired in 1999. In 2001, she married tennis star Andre Agassi, with whom she has two children.” 7
Friedrich Nietzsche
(1844–1900) philosopher
“Nietzsche was raised a strongly religious child and was brilliant during college. But he soon began to change his belief system. Nietzsche rejected Christianity for focusing too much on the afterlife, saying it made earthly life meaningless. He rejected the “slave morality” of Christianity and instead advocated that a superman imbued with creativity and passion would live beyond the ideas of good and evil. Nietzsche eventually went hopelessly insane in 1889 and died about 10 years later. Nazis later seized on his ideas, but most scholars agree that Nietzsche would not have approved of the Nazi movement.” 7
Karl Marx
(1818–1883) social philosopher
“Marx studied law before being drawn to philosophy, in which he embraced radical ideas about forming a classless society. Because his ideas were controversial, they were suppressed in Germany, so he moved to Paris, then Brussels, and finally London. Working closely with Friedrich Engels, Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto, which interprets the world as a history of class struggle. He advocated having workers share in the wealth earned by companies. Although communist economies based on his principles have mostly failed, his works have been influential in Western philosophical thought.” 7
Brothers Grimm (Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm)
(1785-1863, 1786-1859) writers
“Although they grew up relatively poor, both Jacob and Wilhelm were well educated. When they were young adults, their native Germany came under attack from Napoleon, who tried to suppress local culture. The brothers saw their work collecting German folktales as patriotism. They published many of the stories, including Snow White, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, and the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Eventually, the Grimms and countless editors after them began sanitizing the stories, making them more suitable for children.” 7
Ludwig van Beethoven
(1770–1827) composer
“ Beethoven was a child, his father tried to make him a child prodigy, like Mozart had been. Although he was not a prodigy, Beethoven did become a virtuoso pianist and composer. As an adult, he moved to Vienna and studied with Mozart. While there, Beethoven began writing some of his famous works, including Moonlight Sonata. But around age 28, he began to go deaf. However, he continued to compose, (he would complete his famous Ninth Symphony much later), and eventually became one of the world's best known composers.”7
Culture:
German culture is largely based off of the history of the nation. Having a population of roughly 82.5 million (July 2007 estimation) and being made up of 91.5% ethnic German, and the rest of the made up of Turkish, Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croation, and Spanish ethnicities provides for a heavily dominated culture. Religion plays a major role in building of the German culture, having a split between Protestant and Roman Catholic (both 34%), Muslim 3.7% and unaffiliated 28.3%.
Social:
As a whole, the German culture is a planning culture and Germans are considered the masters of planning. The culture prizes itself on forward thinking and knowing what they will be doing at a specific time on a specific day. Thus, Germany is often called, “Das Land der Dichter und Denker” which translates to “The Land of Poets and Thinkers”. Careful planning in ones business and personal life provides a sense of security. Rules and regulations allow people to know what is and can be expected and plan their lives accordingly. Germans believe that maintaining a clear line of demarcation between people, places and things is the surest way to lead a structured and ordered life. Once a proper of performing a task is discovered, it is felt that no further way of doing this task is needed. Work and personal lives are rigidly divided, and there are proper times for every activity. When the business day ends, you are expected to leave the office and all work issues behind. A need to bring work home, or stay late at the office would mean that you did not plan your day accordingly.
German culture takes great pride in the up-keeping of their homes. They are kept neat and tidy at all times, with everything in its appropriate place. In the German culture, most communication is rather formal, the home is the place where one has the ability to relax and allow individualism to show. Only close friends and relatives are invited into a person’s house, so it is the one place where more informal communication takes place. Just as the inside of the home is meticulously kept, there are unwritten rules that govern the outward maintenance of the home as well. Common areas must be kept unobstructed and clean at all times – areas such as sidewalks, pavements, corridors outside of apartments, and steps as well.
If one is lucky enough to be viewed close enough to be invited into a German’s home, there are certain etiquecies that should be shown to the host. One should bring a gift of chocolates or flowers with you to give the owner of the house – yellow roses or tea roses are always a favorite, stay away from carnations and lilies as these are for mourning and funeral arrangements. If the gift is to be a wine, select an imported wine. The gift will usually be opened upon receipt of the gift in front of the giver. Punctuality is pertinent. If one should be running late (more than 10-15 minutes) a phone called giving an explanation is in order. In terms of greetings, they are often formal in nature, and done with a firm handshake (even to children). When entering a room, you should use a persons last name until they give you permission to use their first name accompanied with “Frau” or “Herr” (Miss or Mister). Hand-written thank you notes should be sent following the invitation expressing gratitude for the hospitality.
When dining with your host, remain standing until the host invites you to sit at their table. Do not begin eating until the host has started or someone gives a go ahead of “guten appetit” (good appetite).
If it is a large dinner party, wait for the host/hostess to place her napkin in their lap before you situate your own. Never rest your elbows on the table, as this is view as disrespectful to the hostess and shows a lack of manners. Finish all food on plate, and at the termination of your dinner (showing that you are finished with your meal) place your utensils parallel across the top of the plate. The host will give the first toast, and an honored guest would return the toast later in the meal (perhaps midpoint or at the end). The most common toasts are “Zum Wohl” (usually with wine) and “Prost!” (with beer).
Business:
Germans do not consider it necessary to be friends in order to do business. However, educational background is important, as well as your company’s history and your credentials. In offices, Germans communication is very formal. Most of the times office doors are shut and you must knock and wait for entrance. Communication is very direct, almost blunt and shows a lack of emotion. Even though suspicious at times to others, Germans are often very direct in their communications.
Germany is a major trading partner for many countries throughout the world, not to mention the most important single market in the European Union. Almost everyone wants to be active in this market, and for the most part, most everyone already is. Stiff competition exist among many almost identical products and services. This fact leads to increased pressure to differentiate product quality and characteristics as well as how a business presents and personifies itself to the German market. Employees play a major part in a company’s performance, almost more so than the product itself. Perception is key factor of the business entity.
If you schedule an appointment, the letters should be written in German, scheduled at least one to two weeks in advance of the meeting request, and formal letters should be addressed to the top person in the functional area, including the person’s name and proper business title. The first meeting is usually used to get to know each other and for the German company (or colleagues) a chance to determine if you are trustworthy. Canceling a meeting at the last minute is considered extremely rude and could jeopardize any future business relationships that might come. When entering the room at meetings, the eldest or highest ranking person will enter the room first (men before women if equitable age and titles or roles). Do not sit until you are directed where to sit and maintain direct eye contact when speaking. Meetings adhere to strict protocols and agendas, including starting and ending times. Meetings should be treated with extreme formalities, as Germany is heavily regulated and extremely bureaucratic in nature. Once in the meeting, Germans will prefer to get right to the business at hand and only engage in brief small talk. Make sure all material is printed in English and German, as this will show respect. It is also good show to have an interpreter on hand at your meetings, even if the meeting is conducted in English – just in case any further clarity is needed. Contracts are strictly followed, and you must remain patient and not appear ruffled by the rigid protocols. Germans are a detailed oriented people and will not move forward until every innuendo is understood as far as coming to an agreement is concerned. Business is also very hierarchal in its nature, so much that decision making is held at the top of the company and then filtered down to chain of commands. Final decisions are translated into rigorous, comprehensive action steps that are to be followed and expected to be carried out to the proverbial “t”.
Counterproductive actions such as high-pressure techniques and confrontational behavior will get you nowhere in a hurry in a culturally German dominated meeting. Once a decision has been made, due to the tenacity that went into making the decision, it will not be changed. Dressing for the business meeting, one should dress accordingly. Business dress should be understated, formal and conservative. Mean should wear dark colored, conservative business suits, and women should wear either business suits or conservative dress. Do not wear outrageously lavish jewelry or accessories. Following this established protocol for business is critical to building and maintaining a business relationship with German companies. As a whole, Germans are suspicious of promises that sound too good to be true or displays of emotion when it comes to business (and even personal relationships). Business people can expect a great deal of written communiciation from German partners, as this serves as a method of both backing up decisions and to maintain a record of decisions and discussions.
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7 http://online.culturegrams.com/world/world_country.php?contid=5&wmn=Europe&cid=60&cn=Germany
"Germany: Famous People." CultureGrams Online Edition. ProQuest, 2010. Web. 8 Mar 2010.
8 http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/germany-country-profile.html
The following was taken from the website: http://www.landshut.de/en/thema/home.html
Landshut |
|
Landshut is a city located in the lower section of the Urban District of the state of Bavaria. It is roughly 63,000 people (December 2006) and is made up area of roughly 65.7 km2.
The city itself if often called “Three Helmets City”. Due to the proximity and easy access to Munich (about 45 miles) and The FJS International Airport, the city has the lowest unemployment rate.
Founded in 1204 by Duke Louis I, and became the capital of Lower Bavaria in 1255. Landshut is located in the center of Lower Bavaria and rest in the Alpine foothills. The River Isar runs through the city center. Landshut was home to a subcamp of the Dachau concentration camp during the WWII in order to provide slave labor to the local industry. US Army maintained facilities in Landshut until 1965 after the end of the war.
Since the opening of the Munich airport in 1992, Landshut has become an attractive business location home to such companies as BMW, Deutsche Telekom, Renesas (formerly Hitachi), Schott Glass, and two nuclear power plants (just outside of the city) to name a few.
The city is also home to the Hochschule Landshut. With about 2600 students and 70 professors and lectures, the school’s main focus are within five faculties:
* International Business
* Electrical and Information Technology with Computer Sciences
* Industrial and Mechanical Engineering
* Automotive and Transportation Technology
* Social Work
In addition, the Hochscule offers a wide range of further degree (Master level) course and training opportunities.
Compared to the total population, the job density statistics below show the proportion of the workforce at each Bavarian location. When all employed persons have been counted, who are in an employment relationship, who run a business or are farming as a self-employed or who are self-employed, persons with exclusively incidental employments are also included in the following statistics:
Job Density in Bavarian Administratively Independent Cities in 2005
The city of Landshut offers several activities for its citizens. These activities range from sports clubs (which you must register for), to ice skating, a public swimming pool (indoor and outdoor), creative free time programs ran through the local civic center, public library, art exhibitions, and theatre and concerts (brochures and programs can be found on the local bus or at the City Hall)
The Ländtor The Trausnitz castle The Church of St. Jodok Cathedral of St. Martin
Bibliography of References:
* http://www.landshut.de/en/thema/home.html
* http://online.culturegrams.com/world/world_country.php?contid=5&wmn=Europe&cid=60&cn=Germany
* "Germany: Famous People." CultureGrams Online Edition. ProQuest, 2010. Web. 8 Mar 2010.
* http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/global-etiquette/germany-country-profile.html
* Germany. ( 2010). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved March 8, 2010, from
* Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition: http://school.eb.com/eb/article-57984
* US Deparment of Education, the Educational System in Germany: Case Study Findings, June 1998
* http://www.howtogermany.com/pages/germanschools.html
* ( 2010). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved March 8, 2010, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition: http://school.eb.com/eb/article-57984
* Germany . . . In Pictures: Visual Geography Series, Geography Department, Lerner Publications Company, Minneapolis, 1994

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