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Saturday, 28 March 2015


Germany Roman expansion into Germany was brought to a definitive end in AD 9 when German chief Arminius lured the legions under Roman General Varus into a trap in the Teutoburg Forest. All 50,000 Romans were killed or enslaved and Varus commited suicide.

After being outlawed Martin Luther (1483-1546) found refuge at Wartburg Castle in 1521 under the protection of Frederick of Saxony. There the reformer worked tirelessly on translating the New Testament into German, in defiance of the Diet of Worms, so that the Bible might be read by all. He completed his translation in a remarkable eleven weeks.  Luther's German New Testament had a profound effect on the development of the German language and contributed largely to restructuring German literature.

Protestant and Catholic representatives at the 1555 Diet of Augsburg agreed a compromise settlement in Germany. The peace adopted the notable principle of cuius regio, eius religio, establishing the right of German princes to determine their subjects' faith and enforce religious uniformity, while condemning dissent.

The first democratic republic in Germany, the Republic of Mainz, was declared by Andreas Joseph Hofmann on March 18, 1793. A product of the French Revolutionary Wars, it lasted to July 23, 1793 when a coalition of Prussia, Austria, and other German states besieged and captured Mainz from the revolutionary French forces.

Mainz towards the Rhine river (around 1890)

After the French defeated the German princes in the Franco-Prussian War, the ensuing patriotic fever united all the states. The formal unification of Germany into a politically and administratively integrated nation state officially occurred on January 18, 1871 at the Versailles Palace's Hall of Mirrors in France. The Otto Von Bismarck led Prussia was the dominant constituent state of the new empire and Berlin became its capital.

The Hohenzollern King of Prussia was proclaimed Wilhelm I of Germany. Wilhelm already had had the title of German Emperor since the constitution of 1 January 1871, but he had hesitated to accept the title.

Foundation of the German Empire in Versailles, 1871. Bismarck is at the center in a white uniform.

The German Reich declared all men aged 18 to 45 as army reservists on November 29, 1935.

The city of Aachen fell to American forces after three weeks of fighting on October 21, 1944. It was the first German city to fall to the Allies in World War II.

German prisoners in Aachen

On March 19, 1945, Hitler announced the ‘Nero Decree’, the destruction of Germany’s own infrastructure to stop it falling into enemy hands.

From 1949 to 1990, Germany was made up of two countries called the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) under a Christian Democrat coalition and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) under a communist regime.

During this time, Berlin was divided into a west and an east part. On 13 August 1961, East Germany started building the Berlin Wall between the two parts of Berlin.

On November 9, 1989, Communist-controlled East Germany opened checkpoints in the Berlin Wall allowing its citizens to travel to West Germany. This key event led to the eventual reunification of East and West Germany, and fall of communism in eastern Europe including Russia.

On October 3, 1990, The German Democratic Republic ceased to exist and its territory became part of the Federal Republic of Germany. East German citizens became part of the European Community, which later became the European Union. October 3rd is now celebrated every year as German Unity Day.

About 5,500 bombs from World War II are found in Germany every year and are defused.

‘Germany’ is an anagram of ‘Meg Ryan.’

The German entry for the 1964 Eurovision Song Contest holds the record for the longest title for any Eurovision entry. It was called “Man gewöhnt sich so schnell an das Schöne”.  The tune finished last with no points.

In 1996 a court in Kassel, Germany, ruled that policemen may wear their hair in a plait if they wish to.

More board games are sold in Germany than anywhere else on Earth.

Source Daily Express

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