Germany - education
The 40 years of division of the German state after World War II led to the
development of two very different education systems, which were characterized by
resp. the structure of Western European society and the Soviet-oriented
polytechnic unitary school ideas.
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The challenge of the 1990's in the reunited Germany has also been in this area
to adapt the Eastern system to the Western. The educational framework is set by
the federal government, but most powers lie within all levels of education at
the state level.
There is 12 years of compulsory schooling for 6-18-year-olds, the last three
years possibly. in the form of the so-called Berufsschulpflicht, where
parts of the teaching consist of internships.
The German education system consists of a preschool area, Elementarbereich,
with kindergartens for 3-6 year olds. This is followed by a most often five-year
primary school, Primarbereich, and a most often eight-year
superstructure, which is divided into Sekundarbereich I for the
11-16-year-olds and Sekundarbereich II for the 16-19-year-olds.
Secondary area I includes Hauptschule (approximately 26%), Realschule (approximately
27%) and Gymnasium (approximately 32%) (1997); approximately 9% of the pupils at this
stage continue in unitary schools, so-called Gesamtschulen, which can
be actual unitary schools such as the Danish primary and lower secondary school,
but also denote a branched structure with joint administrative management.
The remaining part of the pupils is divided into a relatively small private
school sector as well as special schools, Sonderschulen. Secondary
area I ends either with Hauptschulabschluss or Realschulabschluss.
At Sekundarbereich II, specialization is expanded, as in addition to the
general three-year Gymnasiale Oberstufe, which ends with an Abitur corresponding
to the Danish matriculation examination, there are a number of
vocational special educations, Berufsfachschulen, which are full-time
vocational schools with partial general education; in addition, there are actual
apprenticeships that alternate between school and internship.
Higher education takes place at state or state-recognized institutions, Hochschulen,
spread over 113 universities, of which 15 in the former GDR, and more than 225
other higher education institutions (1997).
Germany's oldest university is the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg from
1386; The Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, founded in 1809, has
been particularly influential.
The general adult education area, Bereich der Weiterbildung, has
been growing steadily in the second half of the 1900's.
ETYMOLOGY: Germany is called on ty. Deutschland, 1st indent of oldhty. diutisc 'folke-',
derived. of germ. * þeudō- 'folk'.
OFFICIAL NAME: Federal Republic of Germany
CAPITAL CITY: Berlin
POPULATION: 81,900,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 357,000 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): German
RELIGION: Lutherans 37%, Catholics 34%, other Christians 4%, Muslims 4%, others el. no
CURRENCY CODE: EUR
ENGLISH NAME: Germany
POPULATION COMPOSITION: German nationals 91%, others (especially Turks, Italians, Kurds and people
from the former Yugoslavia) 9%
GDP PER residents: $ 23,928 (2007)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 76 years, women 81 years (2007)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.932
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 21
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .DE
Germany, Federal Republic of Central Europe, which after the reunification in
1990 between West and East Germany (BRD and GDR) consists of 16 Länder, Länder.
Germany was a co-founder of the EC (1957), and the federal state is today one
of the great economic powers. The D-mark was for decades Europe's strongest
currency, but was replaced in 2002 by the euro. Germany occupies a prominent
place in science and culture. Emigrated Germans have had a significant
influence, not least in the United States, Eastern and Northern Europe.
Germany - religion
Of Germany's about 83 million. residents belong to two-thirds of the two
major Christian denominations with almost as many Catholics and Protestants.
In addition (1999) 3 mill. members of other Christian denominations
(Orthodox, Methodist, Baptist, etc.), 3 million. Muslims as well as groups of
Jews, Buddhists and Hindus (about 100,000 each), while all other religions have
only a few followers.
The remaining 22 million is without religious affiliation. Adherence to the
Christian churches was declining in the last decades of the 1900's, mostly among
Protestants, while the number of Muslims increased due to immigration.
Since the Reformation, Germany has been marked by tension between Catholic
and Protestant territories. Northern Germany with Prussia and Saxony was
predominantly Protestant, while most southern areas, such as Bavaria, were
Catholic. This distribution can still be traced, but relocation and especially
the integration of 10 million. refugees immediately after World War II have
meant that many families and all the country's own are now denominationally
In the second half of the 1900's, the Roman Catholic Church sought to adapt
the scope of its 27 dioceses to the new conditions. After 1945, the Evangelical
Church was reorganized as an association of 24 Lutheran, Reformed, and
Lutheran-Reformed (unified) national churches, the Evangelische Kirche in
The division of Germany in 1945 has had very different consequences for the
ecclesiastical conditions in the West and East.
The church was in 1945 one of the few intact structures because a large part
of the resistance to Nazism had a church basis (see the church struggle and
the Confessional Church).
Not least, the churches organized relief, youth work, and cultural activity,
and church leaders and theologians contributed to the protracted internal
confrontation with the Nazi era that was important to the building of the new
democracy. The leading political parties, led by the CDU, sought a positive
relationship with the churches (see Christian Democratic parties).
In step with the consolidation of the Federal Republic and the rising
prosperity, the ecclesiastical influence diminished. In 2000, only 5-10% of
Protestants (among Catholics 20-25%) can be called ecclesiastical active. The
opposition between the denominations is now less important, especially due to
ecumenical (inter-church) work. In many cities, the various Christian
congregations work closely together without merging.
Most are traditionally Lutherans. From the outset, the GDR's communist rulers
marginalized the influence of the churches:
Withdrawal from the church was a condition of career, a "Jugendweihe"
replaced the confirmation, and the activities of the churches were limited to
the space of the church.
In the Protestant Church there was some opposition to the socialist state,
but also widespread collaboration. In the GDR, the CDU completely subordinated
itself to the governing party SED.
In the last two decades of the GDR, the state came with positive signals to
the churches, at the same time as they were infiltrated by the secret police,
while especially the Protestant church leaders spoke of a "church in socialism".
In the hectic months leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the
churches became a rallying point for the nascent opposition. After
reunification, however, it has been shown that the church alienation of the
population is lasting; only 30% of the population of the former East Germany has
a church affiliation.
In present-day Germany the consequences of the division are still very clear
in ecclesiastical terms; presumably a gradual leveling will take place by virtue
of the changed multicultural and multireligious situation.
Germany - political parties
Each voter has two votes, one on a candidate and one on a list, usually a
party. The 5% threshold has made it difficult for new parties to be represented.
So far, only Die Grünen (1983) and the East German PDS (1990) have
succeeded. The Danish minority party, the South Schleswig Electoral
Association, SSW, which only stands in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, is
exempt from this provision in the Election Act.
The parties in the Bundestag elected in 2005 are the Social
Democratic SPD (34.4%), the Christian Democratic CDU and its Bavarian sister
party CSU (35.2%), the Liberal FDP (9.8%), the environmental party Bündnis 90/
Die Grünen (8.1%) and the successor to the East German Communist Party, Die
Linke, PDS (5.1%).
The changing right-wing radical parties (Nationaldemokratische Partei
Deutschlands, NPD, Deutsche Volks-Union, DVU and Die Republikaner) have not
been able to cross the threshold despite periodic success in parliamentary and
The red-green coalition government between the SPD and Die Grünen, which came
to power in 1998, has, despite important reforms, been marked by internal
disagreement about e.g. immigration policy and on the issue of the German army's
participation in military peacekeeping operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan.
The SPD and Die Grünen won a narrow election victory in 2002 and retained
government power, while the CDU/CSU, despite progress, had to continue as an
In 2005, the red-green coalition government lost power; Die Grünen continued
in opposition while the CDU/CSU formed a coalition government with the SPD.
Germany - Constitution
The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany, Grundgesetz,
is from 1949 with many later amendments, in connection with the
According to the Constitution, Germany is a democratically and socially
responsible state; the first 19 articles guarantee the rights of the individual
citizen from a fundamental point of view of natural law.
The Federal Republic consists of 16 states, Länder, including
Berlin and five newly created Länder in the former GDR. The legislative power of
the federal state lies with a parliament with two chambers, the Bundestag, the Bundestag,
and the Federal Council, the Bundesrat.
The members of the Bundestag (membership varies, 2013 it was 630) are elected
by direct election, one half in single-member constituencies, the other on party
list; the election period is four years. There is a 5% threshold, however, which
is suspended if a party wins at least three seats.
The members of the Bundesrat are appointed by the individual state
governments from among the members of the government; the states have three to
six members depending on the population (in 2013 it had 69 members). They sit
for four to five years depending on the state's term of office.
Federal laws are first passed in the Bundestag and then presented to the
Federal Council, which has limited veto power. Basic Law can only be amended by
approval of 2/3 of the members of both the Bundestag by
the Federal Council; however, the provisions that Germany is a federal state and
that the Länder participate in the legislation cannot be changed.
The Bundestag has a clearly dominant role in economic and financial
legislation. In addition to the taxes levied directly by the federal government,
it may, where appropriate, receive a portion of the federal income and
corporation taxes for federal purposes, primarily to ensure equal living
conditions in the states.
The Federal Chancellor, the Federal Chancellor, who has the
executive power, is elected by an absolute majority of the Bundestag; he is head
The president is head of state; he is elected for a five-year term by a
special convened electoral assembly consisting of all members of the Bundestag
and a corresponding number who do not have to be members of parliament and
elected by the state parliaments in proportion to the strength of the
parties. No president may sit for more than two terms; the president has
predominantly representative duties.
Germany has a constitutional court whose task is to ensure that the
legislation is in accordance with the Constitution, in particular its provisions
on equality. Parties working to repeal the basic constitutional order may be
banned by the Constitutional Court; it has happened in three cases.
In addition, the Federal Republic and each of the Länder have a special
constitutional protection body, the Verfassungsschutz, which monitors
threats to the Constitution and democracy.
The states each have a parliament, Landtag, and a government headed
by a prime minister; however, this does not apply to Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg,
which are organized a little differently. The Länder have limited state
sovereignty, ie. that they can legislate in all areas not conferred on the
Federation by the Grundgesetz, and that they exercise this sovereignty primarily
in the formulation of education and cultural policy, the judiciary and
environmental protection; moreover, they administer the federal law.
Germany - management
The 16 Länder of the Federal Republic, Länder, have a certain
limited legislative power; moreover, they administer the federal law. The 16
Länder are divided into a total of 29 administrative regions, Regierungsbezirke.
At the level below the individual Länder, the local administration of elected
councils is exercised in 426 rural districts, Landkreise,
and 117 urban districts, Kreisfreie Städte, and below this level again
there are 16,043 municipalities, Gemeinden.
According to German tradition, the municipalities have a high degree of
autonomy and responsibility with regard to the administration of schools,
hospitals, the housing area, social welfare, public institutions and services in
addition to cultural facilities, etc.
Germany - economy
Germany has the world's third largest economy and the world's largest exports
as well as trade surplus (2005). After World War II, the country lay in
ruins. Industrial production was less than 1/3 of the
pre-war, the infrastructure was destroyed, and the currency, Reich Mark,
Reconstruction only gained momentum after the Western powers in 1949 approved
the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany. While East Germany was
transformed into a socialist planned economy under Soviet domination, the
Western Powers supported the building of a market economy.
Three factors acted as catalysts for West Germany's economic development: 1)
financial support from the Allies, especially from the United States in the form
of Marshall aid, 2) a currency reform, whereby D-mark replaced Reichsmark, and
3) a new economic policy, Ordnungspolitik, as Minister of Economic
Affairs Ludwig Erhard (CDU) was the sponsor, and whose main principle was that
public institutions should create a well-functioning framework for market
Thus, monetary policy was to be governed by a politically independent
institution and to ensure stable price and exchange rate developments, while the
role of fiscal policy was limited to securing the financing of the most
necessary state apparatus.
In addition, there was a labor market and social policy which was intended to
ensure peace in the labor market and thus indirectly contribute to the survival
of democracy; Among other things, Through the establishment of workers' councils
and financially strong trade unions, employees had an influence on the
management of companies. The traditional German social policy with comprehensive
unemployment, sickness and pension insurance systems was continued and expanded.
This model of society, nicknamed the Soziale Marktwirtschaft 'social
market economy', is credited with Wirtschaftswunder, the economic
miracle of West Germany in the 1950's, when an export-led recovery led to an
annual growth of approximately 7% on average. Unemployment fell from DKK 2 million. to
300,000 despite massive immigration from the East and inflation was kept below
Fiscal policy was given a more active role under the "grand coalition"
between the Social Democrats (SPD) and the CDU 1966-69, and when a recession
of 1966-67 hit the country for the first time since the war, the development was
counteracted through fiscal expansion and deficits on the public budgets.
The period 1969-82, when the SPD and the Liberals (FDP) were in government
under the leadership of Willy Brandt and Helmut Schmidt, was marked by severe
economic downturns in the wake of the two oil crises.
Public sector debt rose sharply and unemployment, which had been virtually
non-existent in 1970, rose to over 7%. The SPD left government co-operation in
1982, leaving the helm of a coalition between the CDU and the FDP with Helmut
Kohl as chancellor.
To reverse the trend, the new government announced an economic program that
leaned on Erhard's liberal ideas. Among other things. the growing socio-economic
role of the state should be reduced through fiscal tightening and privatization
of state-owned enterprises, just as the welfare system should be reformed and
the labor market made more flexible; however, the program was only poorly
The period leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was marked by
high growth, low inflation and large external balances. The fall of the wall
paved the way for reunification in October 1990, but as early as July 1, 1990,
the two Germany formed a monetary union. GDR mark was exchanged for D mark,
which became the means of payment in the two countries.
The exchange ratio for salaries and a large part of saved funds was 1: 1,
while the rest of the savings were exchanged in the ratio 2: 1. Since DDR
field's actual purchasing power was only about 1/10 of
the D-mark, it meant immediately a marked increase in wealth for the citizens of
East Germany, but also that the East German companies that were often
characterized by an aging capital stock and low productivity, got their
competitiveness further deteriorated.
East Germany was to be rebuilt following the West German model, which meant a
rapid transition from a planned to a market economy. The consequence was a
dramatic rise in unemployment, which, despite widespread application of
activation schemes and early retirement, quickly reached around 20% in the new
Also for the West German states, the reunification had significant
consequences due to money transfers of over 100 billion. D-mark annually,
corresponding to 4-5% of GDP, for social purposes and for the development and
reconstruction of the infrastructure in the former East Germany.
This meant a large deficit in public budgets, but when most of the money
returned to West Germany in the form of demand for goods and services,
reunification intensified the recovery in the western Länder. The consequence
was, among other things, that the balance of payments in 1991 showed a deficit
for the first time in ten years, and that inflation, which in 1986-89 was
approximately 1% on average, rose to over 5% in 1992.
The development led the Bundesbank, which ruled at a normative annual
inflation rate of 2%, to implement a number of monetary tightening measures. It
was the start of a sharp recession in 1993, and unemployment rose sharply in the
western states as well.
Although the economy emerged from the recession in 1994, the rest of the
1990's were marked by low growth and high unemployment. Thus, 10.5% of the labor
force was out of work in 1999, spread over almost 9% in the western states and
18% in the eastern ones. Although domestic demand had been weak, by the end of
the 1990's the deficit on external balances had not yet been turned into a
The problems reflect, among other things, that Germany has Europe's highest
wage costs and that the country's competitiveness has been continuously
deteriorated through revaluations of the D-mark vis-à-vis its main European
trading partners. Germany participated in the European Monetary Cooperation, the
EMS, 1979-99, in which the D-mark was the anchor currency.
The high labor costs have resulted in German companies to a large extent
moving production abroad, e.g. to countries in Central and Eastern
Europe. Therefore, the focus in economic policy in the mid-1990's was on making
the business environment more attractive, e.g. in the form of corporate tax cuts
and labor market reform. Furthermore, a number of sectors, including in
telecommunications, energy and transport, which the state previously had a
monopoly on, have been liberalized, and state-owned companies privatized,
thereby strengthening competition.
The structural policy measures have largely continued after the SPD returned
to power after the 1998 election under the leadership of Gerhard
Schröder. Among other things, his government sought to combat youth and
long-term unemployment through a more active labor market policy, while lowering
corporate social security contributions to reduce labor costs.
Furthermore, through a tax reform, the government sought to stimulate both
the demand and supply side of the economy, just as tripartite negotiations
between the government and the social partners were to form the basis for
job-creating wage development.
Thus, the Schröder government has eased fiscal policy in relation to the
situation in the mid-1990's, as it had to be tightened as part of the
preparations to qualify Germany for participation in Economic and Monetary
Union, EMU, from 1.1.1999. From that date, the European Central Bank, the ECB,
took over the responsibility of the Bundesbank for monetary policy, and in 2002
replaced the euro D mark as the currency. As Germany accounts for about 1/3 of
the euro area economic activity, inflation in Germany, however, important for
the ECB's monetary policy decisions.
In the years 2000-03, Germany, with its large export sector, was hit by the
international downturn and experienced almost zero growth; it rose slightly to
1.6 and 0.9% in respectively. 2004 and 2005. A contributing factor was a weak
development of the domestic market and the persistently high unemployment rate
of 11-12%. In the eastern states, unemployment is twice as high as in the west,
and related expenditure has since 2002 increased the budget deficit to more than
the permitted 60% of GDP (2005).
Germany's main trading partners are the other EU countries, in particular
France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Italy, the former socialist
countries of Central and Eastern Europe taken as a whole, and the United States
and Japan. Germany is Denmark's largest trading partner.
Denmark's exports to Germany in 2005 were DKK 87.8 billion. DKK, while
imports from there were 93.7 billion. The most important Danish export goods in
2005 were machines for industry, meat, vehicles, clothing and power
machines. Imports included of vehicles (14%) and machinery.
Germany - social conditions
Germany introduced from the mid-1880's as the first country a social security
system consisting of compulsory employee insurance, which provided social
benefits in the event of illness, accident, disability and old age; social
insurance was financed by statutory contributions from employees and
employers. Social insurance is still the basis of social legislation in Germany,
but has over time been expanded, just as the state participates in the
The occupational injury insurance covers occupational
injuries, occupational diseases and rehabilitation, and the family insurance provides
child allowance. The statutory unemployment insurance is financed by
equal contributions from workers and employers, who each pay approximately 6.3% of the
Unemployment benefits make up between 63 and 68% of a wage income, depending
on dependents. The duration of the assistance depends on the age: Unemployment
benefits for recipients under the age of 42 can be granted for a maximum of 12
months, while recipients over the age of 56 can receive unemployment benefits
for up to 36 months.
The health insurance is administered by approximately 1200 independent
health insurance funds. For the first six weeks of illness, the employer pays
wages; then sickness benefits are provided at 80% of salary for up to 78 weeks
within three years. The health insurance provides medical care at public or
private clinics and hospitals. The insurance covers employees and their
immediate family; approximately 10% of the population is not covered.
The statutory pension insurance is administered by representatives
of employees and companies; The financing takes place partly through an
insurance contribution of 17.7% of the wage sum, which is divided equally
between the companies and the employees, and partly through a state subsidy of
approximately 20% of the cost.
The German basic pensions are financed through current payments in line with
the Danish national pension; disability pension, old-age pension and pension for
survivors are provided. Retirement pension can be obtained from the age of
65; the pension is calculated according to a formula in which previous salary
and number of working years play the largest role.
Individuals who are not covered by employee insurance can receive welfare
assistance; but in addition, the special rule applies in Germany that
parents have a maintenance obligation towards their children regardless of the
age of the children. The opposite is also true: Children have a duty of care to
their parents, regardless of their parents' age.
Germany (Health conditions)
In 1997, life expectancy was 80.6 years for women and 74.2 years for men. Men
from the former GDR lived 1995-97 2.3 years shorter than men from the rest of
the country; for women, the difference was 1.2 years.
Around 1950, life expectancy was slightly higher in the GDR than in West
Germany, and it was not until around 1970 that it changed; the difference was
marked in 1990. Infant mortality in 1997 was 4.9 per. 1,000 live births, down
from 7.1 in 1990.
The most common causes of death in the late 1990's were cardiovascular disease
with approximately 50%, cancer with approximately 25% and external causes such as accidents
and suicide. The proportion of deaths due to cardiovascular disease is
declining, also in the former GDR, where the mortality rate from these diseases
in 1993 was 40% higher than in the rest of the country. Cancer mortality has
been declining slowly for men since 1988 and for women since 1970. In the former
GDR, cancer mortality is slightly higher than in the western part of the
country. Accidental deaths are the most common cause of death up to the age of
35. However, road deaths have been declining slowly since 1980. AIDS is a
relatively modest problem compared with, for example, neighboring Switzerland
The financing of the German healthcare system is largely based on a statutory
private insurance system. Its origins go back to 1883, when
Chancellor Bismarck enacted the first legislation in this regard with forced
contributions from workers and employers. The system has been under gradual
development until 1999, however, the GDR had a centralized, state-funded
healthcare system, which at the reunification was changed to the West German
In 1999 there were approximately 450 statutory health insurance funds in Germany,
the majority of which are related to the place of employment of the
insured. These funds secured DKK 72 million. persons (51 million employees and
their family members) in 1999. In addition, there were 52 private health
insurance companies, which covered all expenses for DKK 7
million. persons. Statutory funds were financed in 1999 by paying 13% of
employees' gross salaries, equally divided between employees and employers.
The states are responsible for organizing the hospital system. The federal
level is responsible for the overall rules of the health insurance scheme. The
health insurance funds have a very large influence in terms of coverage rate and
Health care costs have been rising, but stabilized in the late 1990's at
around 10.5% of GDP. approximately 10% is direct patient payment, 10% comes from
taxes, while the rest is covered by the insurance system. In the 1990's, there
was a gradual expansion of patients' partial deductibles. The country had 3.5
doctors and 6.7 hospital beds per. 1000 residents in 1998. Of these, 55% were
public, 38% run by non-profit organizations and the rest privately.
Germany - legal system
Like other continental legal systems outside the Nordic region, German law is
characterized by large law books, the most important of which is the Civil Code,
the Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (BGB), which entered into force on 1
January 1900 throughout the German Empire.
It replaced many different civil law systems, but was not the first law book
for Germany. In 1861, a Commercial Code was introduced, which was later replaced
by a new Handelsgesetzbuch, which came into force at the same time as
the BGB, and shortly after Germany was merged in 1871, a Civil Procedure Act and
a Bankruptcy Act were introduced.
Before the BGB came into force, the Gemeines Recht 'The Common
Court' applied in many German states. It was based on Roman law, which had been
developed by Italian and German jurists since the Middle Ages. The Gemeines
Recht also came to influence the BGB.
BGB is a scientific and very well thought out work. It consists of five
books. The first is a common part, which contains the common rules that apply to
the conditions regulated in the other four books. This is followed by books
on bond law, property law, (see property law), family law and inheritance law.
An abstract method is used, ie. that the law brings the more general rules
before the more special ones. The law also has a technical language with precise
concepts, which have the same meaning everywhere, in order for the rules to
appear as accurate as possible. What is gained in precision, however, is lost in
readability; BGB is difficult to understand and find your way around.
It is more modern than the hundred-year-old French, district court
(see property law), Code civil (see Code Napoléon), taking into
account the industrialization that had taken place, but its conceptual basis is
largely the same.
It is characterized by the liberal philosophy of the bourgeois middle
class. The spirit is patriarchal and conservative, but there are a few social
rules that the Civil Code did not have. As BGB had intended and written, it
would not have given the weak party in a contractual relationship much
BGB and German law in general were subjected to a harsh test in the
1900's. Germany experienced two world wars with consequent poverty, devastation
and crises, 12 years of Nazi dictatorship and after World War II a division of
the country that was to last for more than 40 years.
In East Germany, a new legal system was introduced, characterized by the
socialist ideology. When East and West Germany were reunited in 1990, the law
that had been in force in West Germany was introduced throughout the new
Germany. For the people of former East Germany, it was a sudden and violent
Already during World War I, the German courts recognized the inadequacy of
the BGB and then began a lengthy reform effort. Some provisions were never used
by the courts, while others were given a wider scope than intended.
BGB 242, which states that the debtor must fulfill his service obligation in
accordance with honorable and good business practice, as well as other rules
were used to modernize German law by interpreting and deviating from other of
BGB's rules, eg to override unfair contract terms, ease a seller obligation to
supply a good at a fixed price in the event of sharp price increases, or to
combat legal abuses.
Despite its shortcomings and trials, German law has a very high standard in
terms of social content. After West Germany had become an independent state in
1949, legislation in several areas remedied what the BGB lacked in terms of
Human rights were enshrined in the 1949 Constitution, and several laws as
well as amendments to the BGB protect workers and the weaker party in
contractual relations. The bond law rules in BGB were also obsolete, which the
Germans experienced especially after the implementation of the international
purchase law CISG in Germany.
For a long time, however, there was strong opposition among German lawyers to
reforming BGB's bond law. However, as the EU had instructed Member States before
the end of 2001 to implement some directives on contractual relations, it became
necessary to reform bond law, in particular its rules on limitation and breach
of contract. This happened at great speed during the debt reform, which came
into force on 1 January 2002.
The current rules on non-compliance are influenced by the rules in CISG and
Principles of European Contract Law, see Commission on European Contract Law,
and are somewhat more up-to-date. For example, in the event of a debtor's breach
of a contract, it is no longer required to give the creditor the right to
fulfill in kind, a refusal of the purchase price or access to terminate the
contract, that the debtor has acted negligently or intentionally.
It is sufficient that the contract has not been fulfilled properly. The rules
on limitation periods have been simplified and a number of pre-existing BGB laws
have been incorporated into the BGB, such as the 1976 General Terms and
Conditions Act, which enshrined the far-reaching control of unfair contract
terms, especially in consumer contracts introduced by the courts over the years.
It has also been criticized that the injured party could only receive
compensation for a non-financial loss, ie. mental illness, Schmerzensgeld,
by damage to life, body and health as well as by deprivation of liberty and by
violation of a woman's sexual freedom, if these injuries were caused
intentionally or negligently, see culpa, and committed outside contractual
With effect from 1 August 2002, these and other non-pecuniary damages can
also be compensated if they are caused in a contractual relationship, even where
the liability is strictly without a claim for fault. Finally, not only women but
also men can be awarded compensation for non-pecuniary harm in violation of
their sexual freedom.
The new rules, like the old ones, are written in a scientific language that
is clear and logical. The concise and concise text may arouse the admiration of
German jurists, but it remains incomprehensible to lay people, and most
non-German jurists have to put considerable effort into understanding it.
According to the Constitution, men and women have the same rights, the family
enjoys the special protection of the state, and children born out of wedlock
must be given the same opportunities as children born out of wedlock. The
constitution has led to a radical change in BGB's fourth book on family
law. However, the changes are not major fsv. concerning the conclusion of the
marriage. There is, as before, forced civil marriage, and a possible later
marriage in a church has no legal effects.
In German law, the legal property regime for spouses is a so-called growth
community, Zugewinngemeinschaft. However, they can adopt separate
property or an actual community of property. During the growth community, each
spouse has the property which he or she has brought with him or her in the
marriage or which he or she acquires during the marriage. When the marriage
ends, the increase in the spouses' wealth is calculated, and if one is greater
than the other, some equalization is made.
In the past, access to divorce and the rules on the consequences of divorce
were based on the principle of guilt. The BGB now rules that a marriage can be
dissolved by judgment once it has broken down, regardless of who is the culprit.
If the cohabitation has not lasted one year, however, the marriage can only
be dissolved if, for reasons which depend on one spouse, it would mean an
unreasonable burden for the other to continue it. If the cohabitation has been
annulled for a year, if both are seeking divorce, there is an irrefutable
presumption that the marriage has broken down.
In 2001, nearly 3/4 of all divorces granted by this
rule. The presumption also exists if the cohabitation has been terminated for
three years and one of the spouses is requesting a divorce. These rules are
intended to exempt the parties from disclosing to the judge all the details of
their mutual relationship.
Exceptionally, however, the court may decide that the spouses shall not be
divorced even if the marriage is broken, if it is considered necessary to
maintain it for the sake of minor joint children, or if a divorce due to
exceptional circumstances would be unreasonably harsh for a spouse who want the
In 2001, Germany introduced a registered partnership, Lebenpartnerschaft,
between two people of the same sex. In conclusion, the parties shall, in the
presence of each other, make a declaration to that effect to the competent
authority. The partnership has in several respects the same effects on the
parties' personal relationship as marriage.
Upon the death of a partner, the longest living person thus inherits in the
same way as a spouse. The partnership may be terminated by judgment, provided
that either one year has elapsed after both of them have declared to a notary
that they wish to be dissolved, or that one has declared to a notary that he
wishes the dissolution of the partnership, and three years have elapsed since
then, or the court finds that the continuation of the partnership for the party
seeking dissolution, due to circumstances which depend on the other party, would
be an unreasonable burden. In connection with the dissolution, the court may
decide on continued maintenance and on who the home and contents, etc. must
There are ordinary courts for civil and criminal cases and also a number of
special courts. The first instance of the ordinary courts is the Amtsgericht
(AG), where the cases are adjudicated by a legal judge.
AG handles small cases, including civil cases with a property value of 5000
euros or less, rental cases, family matters and enforcement, and maintains the
trade register and the land register, which correspond to registration. It
also oversees bankruptcy and death estates.
An appeal is made to a Landgericht (LG), where three legal judges rule on the
case. In the first instance, LG deals with cases of greater economic
value. Trade cases in LG are decided by two trade-skilled lay judges and a legal
judge as presiding judge. Cases decided by an LG in the first instance can be
appealed to an Oberlandesgericht (OLG), where all cases are decided by three
Judgments handed down by an LG or OLG as a second instance can be brought
before the Supreme Court, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), where five legal judges
decide the case. BGH only takes a position on legal issues, not on evidence
Cases can usually only be appealed once; further appeal, which is granted
only in cases of fundamental importance, or in order to further develop the
court or create a uniform case law, requires the permission of the Court of
Appeal, or where an OLG has refused to grant it, BGH's permission.
There are also a number of special courts with several instances, such as
labor courts (Arbeitsgerichte), which decide individual and collective labor
disputes, social courts (Sozialgerichte), which hear cases on social insurance
that cover large parts of the public welfare system. In addition, disputes
between the administration and the citizens are settled by administrative courts
(Verwaltungsgerichte) and tax issues by the Finanzgerichte.
The Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht), which is the first and
only instance in constitutional matters, decides whether the Constitution,
including in particular its rules on human rights, has been complied with by the
authorities or the other German courts.
Germany - military
The Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) is (2006) at 284,500. The army is at
191,350, the navy of 25,650 and the Air Force (Luftwaffe) at
65,500. The period of service for conscripts is nine months. The equipment is
modern and predominantly German-made. The reserve comprises 344,700, of which
the army's part is 297,300, the navy's part 11,500 and the air force's part
The army has a total reaction force of division s size as well as 5 armored
divisions, 1 air mobile division and 1 fighter division (with special forces and
2 airborne brigades).
Armored divisions are earmarked for international corps, including one for
cooperation in the German-Polish-Danish Army Corps in Szczecin, Poland. The Navy
has 14 frigates and 14 torpedo boats, 13 submarines, 23 minesweepers, 38
support vessels, 20 maritime reconnaissance aircraft and 22 armed
helicopters. the air force advises over 417 fighter jets, approximately 100
transport aircraft of various types, 89 transport helicopters
and anti- aircraft missiles.
In 1955, West Germany was allowed to have armed forces and at the same time
became a member of NATO. In response to the rearmament, East Germany itself was
rearranged and became a founding member of the Warsaw Pact that same year.
In 1990, the West German Bundeswehr took over the GDR's Nationale Volksarmee
(NVA). The senior officers were retired and most Soviet-produced equipment was
sold or scrapped.
Germany - trade union movement
Germany's trade union movement was originally in the 1860's split into a
liberal, a Christian and a social democratic direction. The latter, the "free
trade union movement", whose practice was based on the opposition between labor
and capital, became, despite oppression by the state during the first decades,
the absolute largest, followed by the Catholic, while the liberal and the later
established national wing alone organized a few professional groups, primarily
After the revolution of 1918-20, the free trade union movement in particular
flourished, but again lost influence in connection with the collapse of the
economy in 1922-23. In 1919, officials also gained the right to organize. After
the Nazis came to power in 1933, the trade union movement was banned; the
illegal cadres gained no major importance.
After 1945, the trade union movement re-emerged in the four occupation zones
as a unitary trade union movement with no religious or political
affiliation. With the state split, the trade union movement was also divided
into two independent national organizations: the Freier Deutscher
Gewerkschaftsbund in the GDR and the West German national organization,
Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund, DGB, which was established in 1949 by an
association of trade unions in the three western occupation zones.
DGB was an association of originally 17 industrial unions, of which IG
Metall was the largest. Outside were the Deutsche Angestellten Gewerkschaft,
DAG, and the Deutscher Beamtenbund, DBB. Until 1980, an organizational degree of
approximately 40%; around 85% of these were organized in the DGB. In 1980, the
proportion of women reached over 20% for the first time. The trade union
movement in particular organized the very large workplaces, while many of the
small ones have no trade union representation or union representatives. The
works councils, which arose after 1918, are independent of the trade union
After the reunification in 1990, the eastern and western organizations
merged, and the degree of organization increased somewhat, but during the 1990's,
especially the eastern federal states were hit by an economic crisis, and
employment and thus also the degree of professional organization fell sharply.
The simultaneous restructuring of industry led to a further crisis for the
trade union movement, which, together with the abolition of Indo-German
communist competition, made the trade union movement a less central social
factor. The trade union movement lost several million members, and the degree of
organization fell to approximately 29%. The trade union movement reacted slowly and
with organizational mergers without much perspective; including merger plans
(2000) between DAG and DGB.
The trade union movement has been party-politically neutral since 1945, but
co-operation with the Social Democratic Party was for long periods quite
intensive, and prominent representatives of the trade union movement have been
ministers in the Social Democratic governments 1969-82 and from 1998.
Germany - Libraries
Due to the political structure of the kingdom, in older times there was no
common German national library such as in France or in Denmark. It was not until
1913 that the Deutsche Bücherei was founded in Leipzig, based on
voluntary submission from German publishers; compulsory delivery was not
completed until 1935.
In 1947, a West German parallel was established, the Deutsche Bibliothek in Frankfurt
am Main, united in 1990 with the Deutsche Bücherei under the common name Die
To ensure the coverage of German literature before 1913, some libraries have
the special task of collecting older prints from different eras: Before 1600: Bayerische
Staatsbibliothek, Munich; 1601-1700: Duke August Library, Wolfenbüttel; 1701-1800: Göttingen
University Library; 1801-70: Frankfurt aM Stadt- und
Universitätsbibliothek; 1871-1912: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin.
In the individual states there were princely libraries, state
libraries; several of these have great international significance: Staatsbibliothek
zu Berlin - Preussischer Kulturbesitz with over 9 mio. volume and Bayerische
Staatsbibliothek in Munich with 7 mio. volume, including the world's
largest collection of incunabula. Also noteworthy are the Sächsische
Landesbibliothek in Dresden, merged with the University Library in 1996,
and the Württembergische Landesbibliothek in Stuttgart with a famous
Of the country's 75 university libraries, 45 are founded in the 1900's; the
oldest is Heidelberg (1386). Incidentally, very significant are
Berlin (several), Erlangen, Frankfurt am Main, Halle and Leipzig. From the
Enlightenment, the University Library in Göttingen became a model for the modern
research library; even today it is Germany's largest university library (4
Also in the 1800's. German libraries were normative far beyond the borders of
the kingdom, but World War II was a disaster: approximately 25 mio. volume
perished. However, a systematic reconstruction has restored German research
libraries to a leading position.
35 libraries are specifically responsible for certain subject areas, and in
addition 4 libraries have central functions for the acquisition and
dissemination of professional literature: Bibliothek des Instituts für
Weltwirtschaft, Kiel (Economics), Deutsche Zentralbibliothek für
Landbauwissenschaft, Bonn; Deutsche Zentralbibliothek für Medizin, Köln og Technische
The British-American ideas did not pass Germany by, but were not as easily
accepted as, for example, in Denmark; many sought to associate them with
classical German concepts of formation.
Only after World War II did the Anglo - Saxon "public library" become a
guide, and especially in northern Germany there are many high-quality public
libraries, for example in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein.
In a number of cities, eg Leipzig, Lüneburg, Munich, public libraries
operate in connection with the older scientific city libraries.
Germany - archives
Each state has its own national or state archive, and a large number of
municipalities have their own archive institutions.
The German National Archives, the Bundesarchiv, established in 1950
by the Bundestag, contains in particular archives from the central German state
administration since the early 1800's. as well as private archives, archives of
nationwide organizations etc.
Since 1952, it has been headquartered in Koblenz with a dozen branches spread
across the country, including the former GDR, whose central state archives were
part of the Bundesarchiv at the reunification in 1990; Zentrales
Staatsarchiv der DDR contained the Reichsarchiv in Potsdam, founded
Outside the remit of the Bundesarchiv are the so-called Stasiarkives,
headquartered in Berlin and a number of regional offices; they contain large
collections from the GDR's secret police and intelligence service.
Germany - mass media
Germany - Mass Media, The Print Press
Germany's oldest surviving weekly magazines are the Aviso and the Strasbourg
Relation of 1609; The oldest daily newspaper is the Einkommen Zeitungen
in Leipzig from 1650. An actual daily press with local and national news
material and opinion-forming articles such as Rheinischer Merkur was not
developed until the early 1800's.
Further growth was hampered by censorship, but the press flourished again
around the year of the revolution of 1848. In 1874, the National Press Act
abolished censorship, but not the administrative barriers, and freedom of the
press was not enshrined in the Weimar Republic until 1919.
With Adolf Hitler's takeover of power, the press, Gleichschaltung. The
Jewish-owned and liberal magazines were closed or forcibly acquired, and
critical journalists were persecuted. The circulation of the Nazi press
increased from 1 million. in 1933 to 21 million. in 1944 with the party
newspaper Völkischer Beobachter at the helm.
In 1945-49, the occupying forces regulated the German press with
licenses. News reporting and opinion formation were separated as protection
against propaganda and political abuse. Among the first allowed newspapers in
the western zones were the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche
Zeitung, Die Zeit, Die Welt and the weekly magazine Der Spiegel, which remain
leading German media.
In the Soviet zone and later the GDR, the Communist Party controlled the
press, and the party newspaper Neues Deutschland set the tone. The magazine was
continued after the German reunification in 1990 with the readership
concentrated in the former GDR. The circulation is 24,000 (1999; all following
circulation figures are also from 1999).
Germany's most widespread left-wing newspaper is the Tageszeitung with a
circulation of 60,000. Leading liberal newspapers include Süddeutsche Zeitung
and Frankfurter Rundschau, the latter with a circulation of 189,000.
The bourgeois Springer press is led by Die Welt and Germany's largest
newspaper, Bild. Germany has large regional newspaper groups,
including Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, with a circulation of 1,186,000,
Rheinische Post, circulation 430,000, and Berliner Zeitung with a circulation of
218,000. The weekly magazine Der Spiegel and the competitor Focus (published in
1993, circulation 797,000) have great impact. Flensburg Newspaper with a
circulation of 6800 is read by the Danish-speaking minority.
In Germany, 355 dailies are published with a total daily circulation of DKK
24.6 million. copies. The circulation of the printed press is declining, there
are fewer titles, and the newspapers are increasingly concentrated in a few
publishers. The largest publishers are Springerpressen, Bertelsmann and Grunner
und Jahr. Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA) is Germany's largest news agency and is
owned by approximately 200 magazine publishers and radio and television stations.
The electronic press
In 1923, private radio stations were set up, which in 1925 merged into the
Reichsfunk-Gesselschaft. Freedom of speech in the Weimar Republic promoted the
spread of radio, but in the 1930's it became a powerful propaganda tool for the
National Socialists. In 1935, television broadcasts began.
After 1945, the occupying forces regulated the licenses to broadcast radio
and television. In the Soviet sector, later the GDR, a centralized system was
established in the service of the Communist Party. In the Western sectors, the
structure was regional and shielded from direct political control, with
the BBC as a role model. In 1950, the West German radio and television stations
merged into the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten
in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (ARD).
After German reunification, East German stations entered into this
cooperation. Today (2000) the largest regional stations are Westdeutscher
Rundfunk, Bayerischer Rundfunk and Norddeutscher Rundfunk. ARD has a television
channel that broadcasts to all of Germany, and the Member States each have a
regional television channel and up to five radio channels.
In 1961, the Länder founded Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) with a
television channel. Both ARD and ZDF are financed by licenses and advertising
and have public service obligations (Grundversorgung). They are behind the
transnational TV channels ARTE and 3SAT and the news channel Phoenix as well as
the nationwide DeutschlandRadio.
In 1985, Germany's first commercial television channel SAT.1 began
broadcasting. It is owned by Axel Springer-Verlag and the Kirch Group. Other
private TV stations are RTL, PRO7, Deutsches Sportfernsehen, Vox and the news
channel n-tv. There are over 200 private radio stations, of which ARD-TV in 1999
had a market share of 15%, ZDF of 13%, RTL 15%, SAT.1 11% and PRO7 9%.
Germany - visual arts and architecture
Germany - visual arts and architecture, the Middle Ages and the
The Romans built significant buildings and fortifications, best preserved
in Trier, where the Porta Nigra and Aula Palatina city gates have been
A coherent expression in architecture, book painting and handicrafts first
appeared in the Carolingian Empire from the end of the eighth century
(see Carolingian art) and then under Emperor Otto I and his successors
(see Ottoman art).
The Romanesque art developed under the Salic and Hohenstaufi emperors and
reached a peak in the Rhineland in the 1000's and 1200's with the cathedrals
of Speyer, Worms and Mainz. Significant secular buildings are
the Wartburg castle in Thuringia and the imperial palace in Goslar.
From the 11th century, a powerful, architectural sculpture grew on the
churches' tympanum fields, on baptismal fonts and grave reliefs. Murals are
preserved in the Allerheiligenkapelle in Regensburg (after 1160), stained glass
in the cathedral in Augsburg (12th century).
Gothic was first used at the cathedrals of Magdeburg (1209 ff.) And in the
Liebfrauenkirche (1235-60) in Trier and came to full bloom at the cathedrals
of Strasbourg, Cologne, Freiburg im Breisgau, Ulm and Regensburg. In northern
Germany, the brick gothic developed, as it ia. seen in Marienkirche (1250-1350)
in Lübeck; important secular buildings are the town halls of Lübeck and Bremen.
From the middle of the 13th century, sculptural masterpieces such as Bambergrytteren (approximately
1235) were created in the cathedral in Bamberg and the founding portraits in the
choir in the cathedral in Naumburg (approximately 1250).
The late Gothic workshops of the 15th and early 16th centuries were run by
masters such as Hans Multscher (Ulm), Tilman Riemenschneider (Würzburg), Veit
Stoss (Nuremberg) and Bernt Notke and Claus Berg (Lübeck), both of whom
delivered significant works. to Denmark.
In the field of painting, the Cologne School with Stephan Lochner cultivated
a cultured, scholastic style "beautiful style", while the North German
masters Bertram and Francke like the South German Gabriel Angler and Konrad
Witz created works of pathetic expressive beauty. From the latter half of the
15th century, some influence from the Netherlands is traced to artists such
as Martin Schongauer in Colmar.
The Renaissance did not become so markedly a style phenomenon in Germany due
to the unrest and uncertainty that the Reformation brought with it.
Albrecht Dürer's graphics from the beginning of the 16th century were of
great importance to his contemporaries, even outside the country's borders. His
calm, well-considered idiom stands in stark contrast to Matthias
Grünewald's religiously influenced religious art.
The cool Hans Baldung Grien developed a satirical, intellectual circle of
motifs, Hans Burgkmair created a deep and glowing color, while Hans Holbein dy,
who worked in Basel and in London, made excellent portraits.
Of a special character is the sacred depiction of nature cultivated by Lucas
Cranach d.æ., Albrecht Altdorfer and Wolfgang Huber in the cultural centers of
the Danube around 1500. Cranach later in Wittenberg became the founder of a
Protestant iconography in collaboration with Martin Luther.
The architecture was influenced by the stagnation around the
Reformation; notable buildings are the Fuggerkapellet (1509-18) and the town
hall by Elias Holl (beginning of the 17th century) in Augsburg as well as the
residence castle in Landshut (1536-43). For the new evangelical church, church
building was paralyzed by a series of fundamental iconographic problems that
were first solved in the Baroque.
A masterpiece of Catholic Renaissance architecture is the Jesuit church of
St. Michael in Munich (1583-97).
Visual art from the Baroque to 1850
The sculpture in Catholic Southern Germany was dominated in the mid-18th
century by Ignaz Günther in Munich. The baroque "Gesamtkunstwerk" was worshiped
in Bavaria by the Asam brothers in numerous church decorations, for example in
the monastery church Weltenburg (1717-21).
At the Prussian court in Berlin, Andreas Schlüter created his powerful
sculptures, such as the equestrian statue of Elector Frederik Vilhelm the Great
(erected in 1703).
At the Saxon court in Dresden, Balthasar Permoser entered into a congenial
collaboration with the architect MD Pöppelmann in the Zwinger plant (1710-28).
From the middle of the 18th century, neoclassicism was promoted by the
theorist JJ Winckelmann, and among the painters who joined its program was AR
Mengs, who was given major decorating assignments in Italy and Spain.
Main representatives of the pantheistic landscape painting in the early 1800's
were Philipp Otto Runge in Hamburg and Caspar David Friedrich, who settled in
Dresden and created some of the masterpieces of romantic landscape
painting. Carl Gustav Carus and Ludwig Richter also worked here.
In Berlin, Karl Friedrich Schinkel made a number of pathetic paintings by
e.g. Gothic churches. In contrast, the artist group Nazarene with Friedrich
Overbeck, Franz Pforr and Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, inspired by the
Hungarian Renaissance, worked in Italy from 1810.
The art academies in Düsseldorf (see Düsseldorf School) and Munich, led by
Peter von Cornelius, had a certain search among Scandinavian artists. The
romance was replaced by the matter-of-fact, intimately bourgeois and realistic
Biedermeier style, represented by Carl Spitzweg. The most important figures in
the classicist sculpture were Johann Gottfried Schadow and Christian Rauch.
Visual art from 1850 to 2016
From the middle of the 19th century, the art of sculpting was dominated by a
neo-baroque style, which was especially expressed in large national monuments
by Reinhold Begas.
Only with Max Klinger's symbolist sculpture did a renewal take place, which
was later continued by the expressionist artists Ernst Barlach, Wilhelm
Lehmbruck and Käthe Kollwitz.
From around 1850, the history painting was renewed by Adolph von Menzel, who
at the same time in his interiors and landscapes anticipated Impressionism. A
classic romantic current was cultivated by Anselm Feuerbach and Hans von
The most important practitioners of Impressionism were Max Liebermann, Max
Slevogt and Lovis Corinth. In the 1890's, the Secessions
were founded Münchner Sezession in 1892 and Berliner Sezession in 1898, and
the Art Nouveau style was developed by Franz von Stuck, Max Klinger
and Alfred Kubin. The artists' colonies in Dachau (Adolf Hölzel) and Worpswede
(including Paula Modersohn-Becker) cultivated an atmospheric landscape
Modernism also broke through in Berlin, Dresden and Munich with the formation
of the artist groups Die Brücke (1905) with Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich
Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Emil Nolde and Otto Mueller as well as Der
Blaue Reiter (1911) with Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, August
Macke and Paul Klee, as well as the activities around the magazine and
gallery Der Sturm in Berlin from 1910.
Dadaism was founded during the First World War in Zurich by Hugo
Ball and later continued in Berlin (Raoul Hausmann, John Heartfield, George
Grosz and Hannah Höch), in Cologne (Max Ernst and Hans Arp) and in Hanover
At the same time, the experiences of World War I meant a breakthrough for the
depiction of human abandonment in artists such as Max Beckmann and Otto Dix.
The constructivism and machine aesthetics of the Bauhaus school were dominant
in 1919-33 (Oskar Schlemmer) at the same time as the objective, extremely
realistic direction Neue Sachlichkeit.
This development was abruptly stopped in the 1930's with the rise to power of
Nazism and the proclamation of its ultra-conservative view of art. The Nazis
confiscated numerous privately and publicly owned works of art, and with the
exhibition Entartete Kunst in 1937, modern art was banned. Instead,
came the depiction of a "healthy" humanity, exemplified for example in Arno
Breker's extremely classicist sculptures. Several of the German avant - garde's
most important artists fled abroad, and their works were destroyed.
With the partition of Germany 1948-49, the art scene also
split. International modernism was given poor conditions in East Germany, where
abstract art was seen as an expression of "late capitalist alienation". With
Picasso as a starting point, an attempt was made to create a modern expression,
as seen in the painters Willi Sitte, Harald Metzkes; the same tendency lay in
the sculpture of Gustav Seitz.
Important was the so-called Leipziger Schule with artists such as Werner
Tübke, Bernhard Heisig, Wolfgang Mattheuer, Heinz Zander and Arno Rink.
In West Germany, in the 1950's, an international, abstract expressionism was
taken over, as seen by the Munich group Zen 49 (including Willi
Baumeister and Rupprecht Geiger), the Frankfurt group Quadriga (among others
Bernhard Schulze and Otto Greis) and the Düsseldorfer group Group 53 (Gerhard
Hoeme and Peter Brüning). Tachism was represented by Wols and Hans Hartung.
With the group Zero, formed in Düsseldorf 1957-58 (Otto Piene and Heinz
Mack), new trends emerged.
After the international Fluxus manifestations and happenings of
the 1960's, Joseph Beuys and Wolf Vostell developed the art of action in the
1970's, where the motto was a fusion of art and life. Beuys in particular came to
influence both German and international art.
From 1960, Eugen Schönebeck, Georg Baselitz, AR Penck, Gerhard
Richter and Sigmar Polke developed a field of tension between fabled figuration
and abstraction. It is probably no coincidence that all of the above originated
in East Germany or Eastern Europe, where the figurative-expressionist painting
tradition prevailed. Another trend represented Markus Lüpertz, Anselm
Kiefer and Jörg Immendorff, who worked on the German myths and traumas and
created the conditions for the expressive painting of the 1980's, Die Neuen
After the reunification of Germany, attempts have been made to draw parallels
in the development of the artistic expression after 1945 in East and West with
exhibitions such as "Deutschlandbilder" (1997) and "Ein Jahrhundert Kunst in
The first decade of the 21st century shows new realistic trends. In
particular, the so-called Neue Leiziger Schule has made an international
impact. The most important artists are Neo Rauch, Tim Eitel (b.1971), Matthias
Weischer and Tilo Baumgärtel.
The style is a naive, cartoonish realism, which due to the large format of
the works elevates the often banal and everyday motifs to an archetypal and
eternal truth. Several of the school's artists are represented at the art museum
Other trends are Eberhard Havekost's streamlined photoshop realism and Thomas
Scheibitz's fragmentary post-cubism. The latter represented Germany at the
Venice Biennale in 2005.
Architecture from baroque to 1850
The contradictions between Catholic Southern Germany and Protestant Northern
Germany were strong in Baroque art.
One of the most prominent architects was Balthasar Neumann, who built the
residence in Würzburg (1720-44) and the pilgrimage church Vierzehnheiligen (1743
A major work is also the cathedral in Fulda, built by Johann
The festive South German Catholic Baroque was characterized by
the Asam brothers, who worked as architects, painters and sculptors, thus in
the church of St. John von Nepomuk in Munich (1733-46).
A Roman baroque was developed in Berlin by Andreas Schlüter with the
rebuilding and expansion of the castle in Berlin (1698-1707).
Under Frederik II the Great was the leading architect GW von
Knobelsdorff, who performed the opera in Berlin (1741-43) and the pleasure
castle Sanssouci (1745-47) in Potsdam, both in a French-Dutch-influenced Baroque
In Saxony, Dresden became a glorious center, where MD Pöppelmann built
the Zwinger party (1710-28) together with the sculptor Balthasar Permoser,
and Georg Bähr built the largest evangelical church in Germany,
the Frauenkirche (1726-43).
In Berlin, neoclassicism began with the construction of the Brandenburg
Gate 1788-91 by CG CG Langhans. The French architecture of the revolution was
cultivated by Friedrich Gilly, who did not manage to build much; his projects,
however, became very important, especially for his student Karl Friedrich
Schinkel, who in Berlin performed Schauspielhaus (1818-21) and with the
Bauakademie (1832-36) anticipated functionalism.
The most important representative of classicism in southern Germany was Leo
von Klenze, who created a number of monumental buildings based on ancient
models in Munich, including Propyläen (1846 ff.) And Walhalla near Regensburg
Architecture from 1850 to 2016
The most significant and influential architect in the latter half of the 19th
century was Gottfried Semper, who worked with several historical styles, for
example in the Hoftheater (Staatsoper) in Dresden (1838-41).
The Art Nouveau style, which emerged in the 1890's, had important centers in
Munich, Darmstadt, Dresden and Berlin. Its most important architects were August
Endell, who created photo studio "Elvira" in Munich (1897-98), Alfred
Messel (1853-1909) with Warenhaus Wertheim in Berlin (1896) and Peter Behrens,
who built the epoch-making AEG turbine hall in Berlin (1908-09).
The Deutscher Werkbund emerged in response to the frozen historical formalism
and was founded in 1907 in Munich as an association of architects, artists and
theorists, among others. Hermann Muthesius, Richard Riemerschmid, Peter
Behrens and Henry van der Velde.
The first German garden town was built by Heinrich Tessenow, Riemerschmid
and Muthesius in 1909 in Hellerau north of Dresden. In the 1920's, Germany became
a pioneer in this field with the Weissenhofsiedlung residential building in
Stuttgart, built in 1927 under the direction of Mies van der Rohe.
An interlude was expressionism, which was expressed in Erich
Mendelsohn's Einsteinturm in Potsdam (1917-21).
The Bauhaus school, founded in Weimar in 1919 by Walter Gropius, had a
profound influence on architecture and design and played a major role in the
breakthrough of functionalism; In 1926, Gropius designed the school's new
buildings in Dessau.
With the Nazi takeover in 1933, this development stopped, the Bauhaus was
closed, and a staff of young architects was appointed to launch the Nazi
program. Hitler himself was very interested in architecture, the leading
architect was Albert Speer, and the architecture of the Third Reich took on the
character of a mannerist classicism on an exorbitant scale, such as the
Reichsparteigelände (1934) in Nuremberg and the Reichskanzlei (1938) in Berlin.
After World War II, Germany stood with cities in ruins and bombed-out
monuments. Many of them have since been rebuilt. In West Germany, they chose to
build in an international style, imported from the United States and later from
In East Germany, an architecture created for the ideal socialist state,
imported from Moscow, was planned. Despite the differences of state ideologies,
however, there were many similarities.
During the GDR era, the 1.7 km long Stalinallee (1951-60; from 1961
Karl-Marx-Allee) was built in Berlin, designed by Hermann Henselmann
(1905-1995), sarcastically called "Nati-Tradi-Stil".
As a Western counterpart, the Hansaviertel was built in 1957 as an
international collaboration (see Interbau 1957), a political demonstration of
Western progress. In contrast, Hans Scharoun's individualistic Philharmonie
(1956-63) stands as an architectural highlight. The "neo-brutalism" of the 1960's
resulted in in Gottfried Böhms (b. 1920) town hall in Bensberg near Cologne
A prominent example of technical and scientific collaboration is the tent
architecture of the Olympiagelände in Munich (1967-72) according to plans
by Günter Behnisch and Frei Otto.
The postmodernism of the 1980's had similarities to the historicism of the
previous century. An excellent example of this is James Stirling's extension
building to the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, which was inaugurated in 1984.
From the 1970's, OM Unger's classicist-inspired square architecture has left
its mark on the cityscape in a number of German cities; Among other things, his
museum buildings for the Hamburger Kunsthalle (1997) in Hamburg and the
Wallraf-Richatz-Museum (2001) in Cologne are remarkable. Deconstructivism is
represented by Daniel Libeskind's Jüdisches Museum (1993-98) in Berlin and Coop
Himmelblau's UFA-Kinozentrum in Dresden (1993-98).
In connection with the reconstruction of the neglected and dilapidated urban
areas in the former GDR, an interesting discussion has taken place since the
reunification in 1990 regarding the architectural form and objectives of the
building. The traditionalists wanted reconstruction of the historic city centers
and the "modernists" wanted a contemporary construction.
An example of the first trend is the reconstruction of the Frauenkirche and
the surrounding Neumarkt in Dresden. Berlin has also wanted to rebuild the
symbol-laden monuments Berliner Stadtschloß and Schinkel's Bauakademie.
At the same time, there has been an almost manic tendency to remove the
traces of the GDR era and its architecture, in the form of the demolition
of the former Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Palast der Republik in Berlin
despite many constructive proposals for recycling.
However, a number of compromises have been made, as important buildings have
been preserved as historical evidence. Many of the "Plattenbau" of the past have
thus been changed according to contemporary housing visions and from this many
interesting solutions have emerged.
Germany - crafts and design
The medieval crafts were characterized by the connection to the church and
the princely houses with magnificent works in silver and gold, ivory and
enamel. From the 17th century, the German empires marked themselves with an
independent craft that stylistically depended first on Italy, later also on
France and England.
From the Middle Ages, woodcarving was cultivated with great skill, such as
16th-century wall and hanging cabinets with Gothic masonry fillings, the more
sculptural, richly carved Renaissance chests and sideboards or Baroque inlaid
storage furniture, including magnificent cabinets.
Metal art also reached a high level with 1600's - 1700's richly run
Augsburgersølv. Since the Middle Ages, the production of utility glass has
mainly centered around the Rhine; in the 16th century, a hard, crystalline glass
was added that allowed grinding and refined shaping.
The salt-glazed German stoneware was made from the Middle Ages around the
Rhine, but a number of centers from the 16th century left their special mark on
form and decoration (Rären, Siegburg, Cologne).
In the 18th century, polychrome decorated faience was developed in Strasbourg
(the Hannong family), Stockelsdorf and in the Danish duchies, while porcelain
production was given centers in Meissen, Munich (Nymphenburg) and Berlin.
German baroque and rococo furniture excels by voluminous forms (e.g. the
mighty cupboards), carvings and gilding. With the furniture of the Biedermeier
period (1820-50), an independent, simple, geometric style was created in
veneered mahogany, cherry or birch wood.
Under historicism, craftsmanship developed, recreating the most outstanding
works of earlier epochs in an attempt to create a national style.
With the Art Nouveau style around 1890, a linear, "graphic" style was
designed, where the ornamental was semi-abstract. With the Deutscher
Werkbund (1907) and the Bauhaus School (1919), Germany came to the forefront
with the development of furniture, metal (bodywork and fixtures), textiles and
After World War II, German industrial and graphic design has made a
significant mark in numerous areas, linked partly to educational institutions
and partly to companies.
An heir after the Bauhaus school was the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm
(grdl. 1950), whose simple and rational design line is represented by Dieter
Rams (b. 1932), who has been affiliated with Braun AG.
Germany - literature
German literature is a collective term for literature written in German, ie
also in eg Austria and Switzerland (see, however, sections on literature under
these countries). In contrast, the term is rarely used for literature written in
other languages in Germany, although literature in Latin up to and including
the 17th century played a significant role.
German literature is part of European literature and largely follows the
common development trends. It is often considered more speculative and
introverted than French or English literature, more marked by reflection on
metaphysical and existential subjects than by extensive descriptions of the
world and its phenomena.
However, such generalizations must be made with great reservations,
e.g. because the German-speaking world has never had one undoubted center from
which all influences have emanated.
Linguistically, the German territory is clearly divided between High
(southern) German and Low (Low) German dialects, and a more unified written
language was not developed until the 16th century.
Old High German literature
An Old High German and Old Saxon (ie Old Low German) literature appears from
approximately 750 and especially in the so-called Carolingian Renaissance from around
800. The cultural centers of the time were the monasteries, especially in
southern Germany and Switzerland, and the literature was mostly religious, thus
Otfrid of Weissenburg's (in Alsace) summary rendering of the Gospels (gospel harmony)
in rhyming verses from approximately. 870.
This verse form later became dominant, while still the Old Saxon Christ epic Heliand (ie Heiland,
'savior', approximately 830) and the somewhat earlier secular heroic Hildebrandslied used
Germanic stavrim. From the period approximately 900-1050 is known predominantly
tradition in Latin, eg the nun Hrotsvita from Gandersheim's religious dramas.
Middle High German literature
Its first great flowering saw German secular literature from approximately 1150 and
especially around 1200 with the court literature, mainly written by lava nobles
at the courts in southern Germany and Austria and influenced by especially
French traditions and art forms.
Memorial song is the German equivalent of the troubadour poem with Heinrich
von Morungen (d. 1222), Reinmar der Alte, Walther von der
Vogelweide and Neidhat von Reuenthal as the most significant names. In addition
to this courtly lyric poetry, a more popular oral lyricism also existed
throughout the Middle Ages, which is only known indirectly, e.g. through
the reflex of Latin vagant poetry, and the transitions can be fluid.
Even before 1200, a number of verse narratives appeared, which reflected
the encounter of the Crusades with foreign cultures, but also in epic poetry,
the time around and just after 1200 became a time of greatness with great
courtly novel novels based on ancient or Celtic material; Heinric van Veldeke (Eneide,
ie Æneiden, approximately 1190), Hartmann von Aue, Wolfram von Eschenbach (Parzival, approximately 1210), Gottfried von Strassburg (Tristan, approximately 1210) and the
anonymous and strophic Nibelungenlied with material from the migration period.
During the 1200-t. the chivalrous-court style was bourgeoisized somewhat,
much poetry became more instructive, satirical or low-comic in the so-called Schwank (farce,
1st collection approximately 1220), while the later prose novels (folk books) contained
the more adventurous narratives. Throughout the period, the drama remained
predominantly Latin and associated with church festivities.
The late Middle Ages until approximately 1500 often spanned further on the subjects
and forms that had been developed in the High Middle Ages, and most of the
preserved records of the great court poetry date from this later period, eg The
Manessian Manuscript from the 1300's.
Towards the end of the period, the invention of the art of printing (1460)
meant a tremendous expansion of the possibilities of distribution, which at that
time, as later, especially benefited popular literature.
Great and lasting significance was given to the mystical piety literature,
which was first Latin (Hildegard of Bingen in the 12th century), later the
German language and more philosophical with Mester Eckhart, Johann
Tauler and Heinrich Seuse as the most important representatives in the
14th century. Important secular poets were Heinrich von Meissen nicknamed
Frauenlob (d. 1318) and Oswald von Wolkenstein (after 1400).
The religious drama, which was particularly associated with the cities,
gradually developed into German as well, and in the Shrove Tuesday games a
secular drama was also created there.
In the prose work Der Ackermann aus Böhmen (approximately 1400) by Johannes
von Saaz, a widower's bitter dialogue with death, the style of the Italian
Renaissance already broke through.
The humanist literature of the Renaissance was often in Latin, while the
German-language literature was characterized by the Reformation, which in
Germany became one of the consequences of humanism, and which began with Martin
Luther's 95 theses from 1517.
Luther's translation of the Bible, which was not the first of its kind, but
by far the most significant, along with the printers' interest in larger
markets, was of great importance for the creation of a more standardized written
In addition, Luther's bold and precise style both in the translation and in
his own hymns (e.g. "Our God he is so firm a castle") influenced later
breakthroughs in German literature, thus Sturm und Drang. A significant
representative of the religious and political upheavals of the Reformation
period was Ulrich von Hutten.
Hans Sachs was a central figure, including in the lyrical master song and as
the author of several Shrovetide plays, both genres building on medieval
traditions. The didactic and satirical tendencies were also developed by
e.g. Johann Fischart (1546-90) and Jörg Wickram (approximately 1505-approx. 1560, publisher of
one of the great anecdote collections of the time, Das Rollwagenbüchlein).
During this period there was considerable influence from Romanesque
literatures, especially the Italian, well felt both in the southern parts of
Germany, which were marked by the Catholic Counter - Reformation, and in the
northern Lutheran parts.
This influence continued in the Baroque time (1600's) literature, where the
founding of academies and language companies Italian-style also contributed to
the development of a new German literary language, which was also helped
by Martin Opitz ' book about German poetics from the 1624th
While the cities had been the main cultural centers of the Renaissance,
the chaos of the Thirty Years' War meant a strengthening of the princes as
warlords and then of the courts as the center of the administration of
The poetry of the period was both passionate and rhetorically refined, for
example by Andreas Gryphius and Paul Fleming, but simpler poems such as Paul
Gerhardt's hymns were also written, some of which also reached outside Germany
(eg "Command your ways"), and mysterious-pious thought language by Angelus
The drama ranged from the religiously instructive, counter-Reformation Jesuit
drama to original mourning plays by Andreas Gryphius, Daniel Caspar von
Lohenstein and others, the so-called Silesian school.
In prose, the great courtly, so-called political novels about princes and
heroes, knights and love dominated, but in retrospect it is the picaresque novel
based on the Spanish model, Grimmelshausen's Simplicissimus Teutsch from
1669, that has remained.
Gotthold.Ephraim Lessing. In the 1700's. many sought to do away with the
death fascination of the late Middle Ages and Baroque. The German Enlightenment
philosopher GE Lessing showed in his small book Wie die Alten den Tod gebildet
(1769) that in ancient times no rattling bones and terrifying skulls were known,
but depicted death as a winged figure with a downward-facing torch and the soul
like a butterfly. effortlessly leaves the body (copper engraving from the title
page). Goethe's generation and later Romanticism took over this relaxed
relationship to death.
The 18th century did away with the supposedly bloated baroque, which was only
really appreciated again by the 1900's. The poetry of the time was under first
French, later also English influence, at first predominantly rationalistic and
instructive, in the poetry of BH Brockes, for example, in the drama and theory
of JC Gottsched.
There was a renewed bourgeoisization in opposition to the courtly and with
ever-increasing sympathy for what was perceived as the unspoiled
nature. Shepherding poetry had also existed before, but its vision of a more
original world now seemed to become more than just a dream, for example
with Salomon Gessner.
From the middle of the century, with GE Lessing's plays and with CM
Wieland's verse narratives and prose novels, a more individualized literature
emerged, which without denying the ideal of reason gave more space to emotions
and thereby helped to give impetus to the special German variant of European
sensitivity literature: Sturm und Drang.
Pre-empted, this movement also of FG Klopstock great Messiah -digt
(1748 et seq.) And his suspect and the philosopher JG Hamann and after him by JG
von Herder. The development was accompanied by an increasingly intense
theoretical elaboration of aesthetic problems, which over the following decades
became a real aesthetic philosophy: from Immanuel Kant over the Romanticism
to GWF Hegel.
Sturm und Drang, classic and romance
1770-1830, German literature experienced a period of glory and for the first
time also influenced the poetry of other countries strongly, not least the
Danish Golden Age poetry.
Herder's ideas about the organic cultural life of peoples, Johann Wolfgang
von Goethe's poetry with its new extensive emotional and linguistic register,
his formative novel, Friedrich Schiller's drama, thematizing the clash between
individual and society on the new, modern conditions, and in the next age group
the romantic movement led by the brothers August Wilhelm and Friedrich
Schlegel, which included both radical new poetic theory, fullness of emotion
all the way into the swarming, and a new national consciousness - all this
together with the contemporary philosophical idealism from Kant over JG
Fichte and FWJ Schelling to Hegel created an overwhelming lushness in German
The posterity has both admired this lushness and interpreted it as a
replacement for the political revolution, which did not take place in Germany,
where one does not speak politically about the Napoleonic era, but poetically
about the Good Age.
In addition to those mentioned, Friedrich Hölderlin, Heinrich von
Kleist, Jean Paul, Clemens Brentano, Joseph von Eichendorff and others
still belong to the canonical writers in Germany, while both ETA
Hoffmann's psychological short stories and the Brothers Grimm's edition of
German fairy tales reached far beyond the country. borders.
Heinrich Heine. Pencil drawing from approximately 1825 by an unknown contemporary
The good times became both a great inspiration and a great challenge for the
next generations in the 1800's, who, depending on temperament, had to do away
with it or perceive themselves as epigones. The showdown was most evident
with Heinrich Heine and the Junges Deutschland movement in the 1830's and 1840's.
Heine's critical and witty work became internationally known and treasured,
while the more introverted so-called Biedermeier literature with such
significant works as Eduard Mörike's poems, the Austrian Franz
Grillparzer's dramas or the Bohemian Adalbert Stifter novels and short stories
only rarely reached beyond the German language.
The world literature of the time was the English and French, later the
Russian and Nordic novels. The great realists of German literature, the
Swiss Gottfried Keller or Wilhelm Raabe and Theodor Fontane, have not gained
international fame to the same degree.
The last part of the 1800's. was characterized by naturalism with Gerhart
Hauptmann's earliest dramas, which were influenced by Ibsen. The lyrics were
partly after French inspiration characterized by symbolism with the Swiss CF
Meyer and later Stefan George and the Austrian Hugo von Hofmannsthal as central
In the further development of these tendencies emerged from the beginning of
the 1900's authors such as Thomas Manns and Hermann Hesse's narrative and Rainer
Maira Rilke's lyrical work, which both summarized and gradually also exceeded
the late 1800's "decadence".
In the late 1800's. and well into the 1900's. Friedrich
Nietzsche's philosophy played a crucial role as inspiration and challenge.
Bertolt Brecht with Ruth Berlau, photographed approximately 1938 by architect
Mogens Voltelen, who was co-editor of the magazine Kulturkampen.
Around 1910, expressionism broke through in German painting, and the term was
also soon used for poetry, which with poets such as Georg Heym, Georg
Trakl and Gottfried Benn, prose writers such as Alfred Döblin and later
playwrights such as Ernat Toller and Georg Kaiser expressed violent visions of
both doom and renewal. The form was frequently experimental, but one also finds
the extreme themes bound in almost classical language and traditional forms.
World War I was seen everywhere as a catastrophe, but especially in the
German-speaking area, where the German Empire was greatly weakened and the
Austro-Hungarian hero completely disbanded in 1918. The fate of this dual
monarchy seemed to herald Europe's dethronement as a cultural world center.
But some of the greatest writers of the period, Franz Kafka, Robert
Musil, Hermann Broch, originated from the dual monarchy, where they had early
registered the signs of crisis. In Germany itself, expressionism was replaced in
the 1920's by the so-called Neue Sachlichkeit ('new objectivity'), a literature
that wrote off the metaphysical perspectives and focused on everyday life.
At the same time, however, there were still strongly traditionalist, often
also politically reactionary currents, which in turn were challenged by the
political satire of the time, for example with Kurt Tucholsky.
Nazism took power in 1933, which led to the public burning of the
literature that the regime wanted to fight, the poetry split, in so far as much
of the most important German literature hereafter had to be written outside
Many German writers had to go into exile, either because they were Jews,
because they were modernists, because they were left-wing or for all reasons at
the same time: Bertolt Brecht, whose "epic theater" broke through
internationally after 1945, Anna Seghers, Arnold Zweig, Heinrich Mann.
Some also chose exile without directly belonging to these groups, eg Thomas
Mann, while in Germany, in addition to actual Nazi literature, more traditional
but non-Nazi literature was also written and published, as well as sometimes
works that were at the time perceived as critical; Ernst Jünger can be an
example of this.
The distinction between exile literature and literature within the borders of
Germany is only to a certain extent stylistic, but in all other respects
In the time after 1945, the picture was determined for a time by the already
established authors, but from approximately In 1950, a new literature emerged in West
Germany that drew many impulses from international, especially French and
American, modernism, which now became available. Franz Kafka's work was also
re-imported, so to speak.
Exile literature did not gain much importance in the West, but East German
literature was influenced by returned exile writers, but was soon subject to the
doctrine of socialist realism : a continuation of the realistic tradition of the
1800's, but with a socialist future perspective.
While the building of a new society, both voluntary and forced, became a
major theme in the East, Western German literature was marked by a distancing
from ideologies. A common starting point in the otherwise very different efforts
was the confrontation with the Nazi past, which in general is a main element in
German literature right up to approximately 1990.
The confrontation manifests itself not only in theme and motif, but
especially in the West also often in form, namely as an emphasis on the tools
that Nazism had banned, and a willingness to absorb foreign currents:
experiments with grammar and imagery, dissolution of narrative structure,
critical distancing instead of empathy etc.
The political showdown was common to writers such as the traditionally
narrator Heinrich Böll and later the more imaginative Günter Grass, and it also
took place in poetry, for example in Paul Celan, Ingeborg Bachmann and Hans
Magnus Enzensberger, and in the drama, whose most important representatives in
1950 's were the two Swiss Max Frisch and Friedrich Dürrenmatt, who had both
learned from Brecht without following him in his socialist party.
Rolf Hochhuth's in the form of traditional, but politically highly
controversial drama Der Stellvertreter (1963) about the role of the
Catholic Church in the Nazi era was followed by several more or less documentary
dramas by Peter Weiss, but later also of a renewal of the play as a social
image of Botho Strauß.
In the second half of the 1900's, the same lines of development are seen in
German-language literature as in other European literature. A rather short
realistic period just after 1945 was replaced by a more modernist
experimentation and since the 1960's by a partial politicization of literature, a
new social commitment, which as a rule stood on the left, but in West Germany
was rarely party political; in addition, the alleged socialism in the GDR was
Peter Weiss' direct confession to socialism in the more communist sense
remained an exception; the same was true to some extent of Grass' active support
for German social democracy. For the development of a new literary public in
West Germany, Group 47 gained great importance, especially from the mid-1950's.
The German division left its mark on the spread of literature. West German
literature was for a long time largely excluded from the GDR, and East German
literature was long overlooked in the West, but gained a fairly large audience,
especially in the 1970's and 1980's, as the GDR became demonized in the public
consciousness, and the East German literature, for its part, freed itself from
the rigid doctrines.
As a subject, the German division was for a long time largely absent in West
German literature. First Uwe Johnson, who grew up in the GDR, changed this. On
the contrary, the relationship with the West as an official threat and perhaps
unofficial promise still played a role in East German literature. After the
expulsion of singer Wolf Biermann in 1976, several of its representatives
chose to leave the GDR.
The now already classic generation in German post-war literature was for the
most part born in the years around 1930: Günter Grass, Hans Magnus
Enzensberger, Siegfried Lenz, Martin Walser, Uwe Johnson, in the GDR Christa
Wolf and Heiner Müller, in Austria Thomas Bernhard, whose ancestors showdown
with his country resonated outside it as well.
But also several slightly older writers continued to play a role even until
the 1980's: Heinrich Böll, Peter Weiss and the Swiss Max Frisch and Friedrich
Dürrenmatt. Grass' novel Die Blechtrommel (1959) became a worldwide success and
created a renewed international interest in German literature.
In the next age group, the West German Botho Strauss, the East Germans Volker
Braun and Christoph Hein, the Austrians Peter Handke and Elfriede Jelinek, the
Swiss Adolf Muschg (b. 1934) and Peter Bichsel can be highlighted.
After German reunification in 1990, one can still observe differences between
West and East, conditioned by the authors' upbringing in different political
systems, and this may be an explicit theme in their works, eg in Wolfgang
Hilbigs Ich (1995, da. Jeg, 2002) or with Herta Müller, who
comes from the German minority in Romania.
Both before and after the reunification, however, German literature was and
is also bound together by common language and tradition, and foreigners could
often find it difficult to follow the internal German debates of the time of the
division about fundamental differences between West German and East German
It can hardly be argued that German literature around the year 2000 shows a
marked national distinctiveness. It has a part in the currents that also apply
in other countries, such as postmodernism, which can perhaps be attributed to
e.g. Patrick Süskind and the Austrian Christoph Ransmayr to.
While German literary critics in the 1980's often lamented the lack of
renewal, in the 1990's, in addition to continued productivity among the elderly,
a number of significant debuts were experienced: the lyricist and essayist Durs
Grünbein and the prose writer Ingo Schulze from the GDR. Other prominent prose
writers are Bernhard Schlink, Marcel Beyer, Hans-Ulrich Treichel and Karen
Duve. Among the still young talents are Zsuzsa Bánk (b. 1965) and Daniel
Kehlmann (b. 1975).
Germany - theater
It was not until the late 17th century that Germany got a real professional
theater. The first hiking troops were formed under the influence of English and
Italian comedians who traveled around the country. The repertoire consisted of
the so-called Haupt- und Staatsaktionen, which recorded elements from both
English chronicle plays and Italian masked comedy.
A reaction against this mixed genre set in in the 18th century, when theater
director Caroline Neuber and her troupe, inspired by the critic Johann Christoph
Gottsched, sought to cleanse the theater of amusement and introduce a regular
drama based on the French pattern. Before her death in 1760, however, she
managed to perform a few early comedies by Karl Friedrich Lessing, who with his
bourgeois dramas and his drama-theoretical masterpiece, Hamburgische
Dramaturgie (1767-1769), distanced himself from the French classicist style
and represented the tastes of the Enlightenment.
At the same time, the actors Conrad Ekhof (1720-1778) and FL Schröder also
fought for a more realistic playing style. Schröder introduced as theater
director in Hamburg from 1771 William Shakespeare on the German stage in
adaptations made by himself.
However, the German Sturm und Drang drama, which grew as a result of interest
in Shakespeare at the end of the 18th century, had only a short
life. Both Johann Wolfgang Goethe and Friedrich Schiller soon moved in a more
classical direction, and as head of the hip theater in Weimar 1790-1817, Goethe
instituted a neoclassical, strictly codified style of play.
An actual national scene did not exist due to the absence of a central state
power; however, small "national theaters" emerged in the many principalities
into which Germany was divided, often with the best playwrights of the time
attached. With this, the foundation was laid for the strong position that
playwrights have since occupied in German theater.
Ludwig Tieck's ironic fairy-tale comedies from the 1790's paved the way for
romantic drama with their satire on the sentimental bourgeois pieces of the
time, and as Shakespeare's translator, director and playwright he gained great
In the 19th century, the classicism of the Weimar School was confronted with
an unbound, individualistic style of play. The swarm of romance for exotic and
distant historical environments also led to an increased interest in
scenography, culminating in the spectacular productions of theater director
Franz Dingelstedt (1814-1881) in Munich in 1854.
Historical research came to play an increasingly important role, and towards
the end of the century, the court troupe attracted the Meiningerne's classic
productions with authentic decorations and costumes and with the emphasis on the
ensemble playing international attention and pointed forward to naturalism.
In 1889, Berlin, which after Germany's unification became the most important
theater city, with the theater association Freie Bühne was given an experimental
stage, which, like the Parisian Théâtre Libre, was devoted to naturalistic
The German romantic drama of the first half of the 19th century had roots
back in the Sturm und Drang movement, but often remained a reading
drama. Both Heinrich von Kleist and Christian Dietrich Grabbe had difficulty
finding theaters, and Georg Büchner never managed to see his plays performed.
More appeal had Richard Wagner's Germanic-mythical musical drama. The
Festival House in Bayreuth (built 1872-1876) became a place of worship, and
Wagner's ideas of a Gesamtkunstwerk that fused the arts together became very
important for the theater of the following century.
Significant for the 20th century was the showdown with the reality-illusory
theater, formulated by the theater theorist Georg Fuchs (1868-1949) in Theater
der Zukunft (1905), which gained significance for the avant - garde's
conscious exhibition of theater as theater, not as imitation reality. It was
distinctly the century of the great directors.
The first decades were dominated by Leopold Jessner's revolutionary
classic interpretations, Erwin Piscator's documentary contemporary dramas
and Max Reinhardt's productions, which ranged from the intimate chamber play to
spectacular performances for thousands of audiences.
The Nazi takeover in 1933 put an end to the experiments. A particularly Nazi
form of theater was the cult mass plays performed in the open air, which paid
homage to the Aryan race and preached the individual's complete submission to
Many of the leading playwrights and theater people of the time went into
exile, and some returned after the war to the reconstruction of a theater life
marked by divided Germany.
Erwin Piscator settled in West Berlin, while Bertolt Brecht chose East
Berlin, where he got his own theater, the Berliner Ensemble, which allowed him
to realize his theories of an epic theater. In fact, Brecht became more
important in West Germany than in the GDR, as the GDR viewed his theater with a
certain skepticism that did not feel obligated to socialist realism; at the same
time, one was fully aware of Brecht's value for the regime's external
Waterproof bulkheads between the two Germany were not there. There was a
regular exchange of directors, Peter Weiss was played both in the East and in
the West, and Heiner Müller, a controversial figure in the GDR, achieved as a
playwright in the 1970's and 1980's almost cult status in the West.
The confrontation with the Nazi past has characterized German theater, which
even after the war has retained its strong directorial dominance (Peter
Stein, Peter Zadek, Claus Peymann (b. 1937) and others).
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, new visions have had a hard time getting
through. One of the most original directors of the 1990's, Frank Castorf (b.
1951), raised in the former East Berlin and current head of the Volksbühne in
the United Capital, can be considered typical of the time due to his
disrespectful treatment of cultural heritage and history, which in fragments
thrown into the stage and turns it into a postmodern junk playground. An
illusion-free, but dazzlingly talented theater, which, however, around 2000
seems to be challenged by a new generation of more future-oriented theater
Germany - dance
Sword dances and chain dances with epic lyrics, Reigen, are some of
the oldest dances in the German cultural area. Despite the church's ban on
circle dances, these were danced with jumps and acrobatic movements in front of
the church or in the cemetery on special occasions.
From the 1100's. Sword dancing was included in a closed circle at various
ceremonies in the craftsmen's. Under the influence of British fashion dance
spread versus dance at the end of 1600-t., Especially in the north and in the
central part of the country. Popular couple dances such as dreher, deutsche and ländler,
which were danced in the 1600's, are considered the predecessors of the waltz.
The improvised schuhplattler as well as zwiefach and bandl were
preserved until the end of the 1900-t. By 1850, Viennese waltz (see waltz), schottisch, mazurka and rheinländer
had developed into popular ballroom dances.
In the early 1900-t. the Art Nouveau movement and its revival of traditional
dances influenced the development of dance; this was followed in the 1950's by a
revival movement. Today, the dances live predominantly in folk dance
associations and in hometown circles.
Ballet and free dance
When classical ballet has excelled in Germany, it is largely due to
choreographers and dancers who have come from outside. J.-G. Noverre had great
opportunities for development in Stuttgart in 1760-66, while Filippo Taglioni
(1777-1871) was successful in 1824-28 with his daughter Marie Taglioni in
Berlin, where his son Paul Taglioni (1808-84) also resided as a permanent
choreographer 1856-83.....AAAAAAAAAAAAA about ballet and free dance in Germany.
Germany - dance - ballet - free dance
When classical ballet has excelled in Germany, it is largely due to
choreographers and dancers who have come from outside. J.-G. Noverre had great
opportunities for development in Stuttgart in 1760-66, while Filippo Taglioni
(1777-1871) was successful in 1824-28 with his daughter Marie Taglioni in
Berlin, where his son Paul Taglioni (1808-84) also resided as a permanent
In the 1900's. John Cranko lifted the Stuttgart Ballet to new artistic heights
1961-73, while John Neumeier as the great "storyteller" from 1973 has resided as
ballet director at the Hamburgische Staatsoper.
Also in Berlin, foreign ballet masters have worked, Kenneth
MacMillan 1966-69 and Peter Schaufuss 1990-94. At Ballet Frankfurt, William
Forsythe led the classical ballet in new ways from 1984-2004 and continues with
The Forsythe Company in Dresden.
Germany has made an independent contribution to the art of dance, especially
in the field of free dance. Isadora Duncan's guest performance led to the
opening of a school in Berlin in 1905, and six years later Émile
Jaques-Dalcroze (1865-1950) inaugurated her rhythmic school in Hellerau.
With choreographers and dancers such as Rudolf von Laban, Mary Wigman,
Harald Kreutzberg (1902-68) and Kurt Jooss, Germany got some expressive
dancers, who in 1910-40 created a dance that aesthetically and substantively
went against classical ballet.
In recent times, this humanly engaged and often provocative dance had one of
its foremost representatives in Pina Bausch in the Wuppertal, but also Sasha
Waltz (b. 1963) has asserted herself at the Schaubühne in Berlin.
After the reunification, Berlin stood with no less than three major classical
ballet companies, in the west the company at the Deutsche Oper and in the east
the companies at the Komische Oper and Staatsoper Unter den Linden.
Today, they have merged for the Staatsballett Berlin, but perform on various
stages. At the same time, the German Ausdruckstanz has found new
expressions, Johann Kresnik's (b. 1939) drama-bound form of dance theater.
Germany - music to 1750
Within the land area that encompasses present-day Germany, music life has for
centuries been characterized by a variegated diversity of forms of expression
and styles. There has been a significant impact from the surrounding countries,
e.g. in the west from France and the Netherlands, in the east from Poland and
Russia, in the south from Italy, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
In addition to the towns where city musicians were employed in the 1300's and
1800's, musicians from home and abroad had the opportunity to unfold at the
courts of the numerous principalities, duchies and kingdoms into which the
country was divided until 1871, and where more or less independent traditions
were cultivated and developed. In this way, Germany became one of the most
significant contributors to the art of music and its development in general.
The oldest times
The earliest evidence of musical manifestations consists in finds from
northern Germany of a few lures from the Bronze Age, ie. 1700-500 BC; like the
scandinavian instruments, their use has not been clarified.
The Gregorian chant is believed to have evolved from the 700's. in the western
part of the Frankish Empire as a Gallic adaptation of the Roman melody
repertoire, in the eastern part was subjected to a similar local treatment. It
is particularly characterized by the melodic second interval being replaced by a
Characteristic of German music in the Middle Ages is also the early rise of
popular religious songs, the so-called leiser such as Christ ist erstanden (in
Danish Christ rose from the dead) and Nun bitten wir den heiligen
Geist (Now we pray the Holy Spirit), both from 1200-t.
Influence from the western part of the kingdom also made itself felt in the
world of music, in that the southern and northern French troubadours and
troubadours got German counterparts in the noble memorial singers,
eg Walther von der Vogelweide. Until the mid-1800's. their singing and poetry
tradition was continued on German territory by the bourgeois master singers.
Orlando di Lasso pictured sitting by the harpsichord with the Bavarian court
chapel around it. In addition to leading the chapel, he oversaw the training of
choir boys and was responsible for copying notes for the chapel's
collection. Book painting from approximately 1570 by Hans Mielich (1516-73).
The musical style period, traditionally referred to as the Renaissance, is
for Germany in particular characterized by the significant innovations that
became the musical consequence of the Reformation.
The need for suitable songs with lyrics in the mother tongue for use in the
evangelical service, kirchenlieder or chorales, was covered
through new melodies to the German-language, strophic poems. In addition
to Martin Luther, his musical collaborator Johann Walter himself contributed to
this with a number of choral melodies.
These were published in numerous choral books and, moreover, were often used
as a basis for motets of the same nature as the Latin movements. The so-called chancellor
chorales, which put the melody in the upper part, were first published in
1586 by Lucas Osiander.
A significant renewal of church music as a result of the use of the German
language in worship was the emergence of a German Protestant tradition within
the passion genre. The earliest postponements of the evangelical accounts of
Jesus' suffering and death in Luther's translation are due to Johann Walter,
whose passions were imitated by Bartholomäus Gesius and numerous other
In southern Germany, which remained Catholic, the cosmopolitan-oriented
composer Orlando di Lasso worked at the court in Munich. In addition to church
music in the vocal polyphonic style of the time, he wrote numerous
polyphonic German songs.
The foundation for later music theory and science was also laid during this
period in Germany. Contribution to this is due to Sebastian Virdung (b. C.
1465), who in 1511 published a treaty on musical instruments, followed a century
later by Michael Praetorius' masterpiece Syntagma musicum.
Heinrich Schütz as a 65-year-old portrayed by the painter Christoph Spetner
(1617-99). The picture hangs at the University Library in Leipzig.
Diderich Buxtehude. Painting by Johannes Voorhout, 1674. Buxtehude is seen at
the front with the sheet music.
The Baroque period in Germany at the beginning of the period was marked by
the ravages of the Thirty Years' War. Before its eruption, Hans Leo Hassler
had studied with Andrea Gabrieli (1510-86) in Venice; he was later followed
by Heinrich Schütz, who was a student of his nephew Giovanni Gabrieli.
The Venetian school's use of soloists, choirs, and various instrument
combinations, often divided into two or more concert groups, was mainly
transferred to German territory through Schütz, but as the number of musicians
was reduced as a result of the war, it eventually became necessary to write for
smaller herds. This gave rise to the soloist-obsessed clerical concert, which
became one of the forerunners of the church cantata.
During the same period, organ music flourished in both southern and northern
Germany. A significant influence was exerted by the Dutchman Jan Pieterszoon
Sweelinck, who became a teacher for several German organists. In particular,
his variation and recording technique influenced various types of choral
arrangements for organ.
Among the most significant composers are Samuel Scheidt and Johann
Pachelbel in Southern Germany, Heinrich Scheidemann, Georg Böhm and the
Dane Diderich Buxtehude in Northern Germany.
In step with the music, the German organ-building art developed; it is
characterized in particular by the arrangement of the organs so that a choral
melody can be highlighted through characteristic single voices.
The suite also had its real breakthrough as an independent musical genre in
the first half of the 1600's, especially through Johann Hermann
Schein's collection Banchetto musicale (1617). Suites for harpsichord
wrote Johann Jacob Froberger under the influence of the style of the French
To Germany, the opera was introduced mainly through Agostino Steffani, who
worked in Hanover. The genre has since become the subject of widespread worship,
particularly in Hamburg with Reinhard Keizer as the most prominent composer.
Johann Sebastian Bach, painted by Elias Gottlieb Haussmann in 1746. Bach was
painted as a 61-year-old while he was a Thomas cantor in Leipzig. The picture
was handed over to the Sozietät der Musikalischen Wissenschaften, which the
composer joined the following year. Bach presents here the so-called Riddle
CannonCanon triplex à 6 V (ocibus), BWV 1076, composed for the musical
company. Museum of History of the City of Leipzig.
The Late Baroque is represented by several of the great figures in the
history of European music. In addition to Georg Friedrich Händel, who, however,
mainly worked in England, this applies in particular to Johann Sebastian Bach,
who was Thomaskantor in Leipzig.
Bach's music, which belongs to all church musical as well as secular genres
(except opera), denotes a peak of artistic expression and technique, which,
however, did not appear until the 1800's. became the subject of general interest
Composers such as Georg Philipp Telemann, who held the position of
music director in Hamburg, Christoph Graupner in Darmstadt and Johann David
Heinichen, who together with the Bohemian Jan Dismas Zelenka worked in Dresden,
belong to the same generation of prominent musicians.
Music theory was the subject of considerable attention from several different
sides during the same period. In 1732 Johann Walther published a Musicalisches
Lexicon, while Johann Mattheson in a number of books, including Der
vollkommene Capellmeister (1739), described the practice and aesthetics of
the time; the latter subject was also dealt with by Johann Adolph Scheibe.
Textbooks in play on various instruments were published by Carl Philipp
Emanuel Bach (on piano playing, 1753 and 1762) and Johann Joachim Quantz (on
flute playing, 1752).
Germany - music from 1750 onwards
Germany - music from 1750 onwards, 1750-1820
The various textbooks testify that around 1720 new flavors emerged,
especially the gallant style, which was characterized by simple, homophonic
movement and the period structures of dance music.
From approximately In 1740, the courts of Berlin and Mannheim became important
centers for musical development. From 1743, a number of composers and musicians
(predominantly of Bohemian descent) worked at the court in Mannheim, who under
the direction of Johann Stamitz developed an epoch-making orchestral style and a
considerable repertoire of instrumental music. The Mannheim Chapel became known
for its disciplined playing, which, unlike the Baroque's unmediated transitions
between weak and powerful timbre, used crescendo and diminuendo effects with
great effect. In addition to Stamitz, who in his symphonies and instrumental
concerts contributed to the development of the sonata
form, Mannheimskolen spoke, among other things. composers Franz Xaver Richter,
Ignaz Holzbauer (1711-1783), Anton Filz (1730-1760) andChristian Cannabich.
Among the younger generation, Carl Stamitz made a name for himself with
concerts for the relatively newly developed clarinet. The Mannheim style became
an important forerunner of the Viennese classics, and as the cultural
significance of the Mannheim court decreased around 1778, the focus of symphonic
music shifted to Vienna over a number of years.
At Frederik II the Great's court in Berlin, among other things, the prolific
flute composer Johann Joachim Quantz, the violin virtuoso Franz Benda, who
wrote numerous works for his instrument, and Carl Heinrich Graun, who composed
Italian-inspired operas for the Royal Opera. Most notable was the court
harpsichordist Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach (1714-1788), whose expressive tonal
language is particularly expressed in a number of sonatas and fantasies for
piano; he stands as an exponent of the sensitive style (Empfindsamkeit)
that also characterized contemporary literature. In particular, poems by
the Göttinger Hain Association were subject to simple, singable melodies, and
through JAP Schulz, who together with JF Reichardt (1752-1814), CF Zelter
(1758-1832) and JR Zumsteeg (1760-1802) belong to the second Berlin school,
reached lieden to Denmark.
The German singing game, which is characterized by spoken dialogue and songs,
was strongly influenced by Johann Adam Hiller's 12 contributions to the
genre. As head of subscription concerts held in Leipzig's Gewandhaus from 1781,
Hiller laid the groundwork for the fame of this concert institution.
Ludwig van Beethoven, who settled in Vienna in 1792, stands as a pivotal
figure in the development of music history, as he was the first composer who
ideally supported himself as a free-creative artist. He thus created his music
for the public music market, which gradually grew from the mid-1700's. and was
characterized by public concerts, publishing and music criticism.
Not only did Beethoven make a decisive contribution to the development of the
autonomous genres of the 18th century: the symphony, the concerto, the string
quartet and the sonata, but his expansion of the surviving forms also came to
stand as a challenge for the following generations of composers.
The early 1800's. was characterized by a newly awakened interest in the music
of earlier times, exemplified in the Bach Renaissance. The awareness of
history thus became an important element in romantic music, just as the feeling
of alienation in the present was prevalent. Musically dramatic, the romance was
ushered in by Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischütz (1821), in which
demonia and eerie natural moods are set against idyllic choral elements. As head
of the court opera in Dresden, Weber emphasized that all elements of the opera
performance were part of an artistic whole, and he became the first to conduct
with a baton. Other main figures in romantic German opera were Louis
Spohr and Heinrich Marschner; Giacomo Meyerbeerunited Italian, French and
German operas in his theatrical works. Representatives of the comic opera were
Albert Lortzing (1801-1851), Friedrich von Flotow and Otto Nicolai.
In the 1800's. music life underwent a professionalization, and both the modern
conductor and the well-educated musician, who specialized in one instrument,
were the result of this development. At the same time, the need arose for a
music critique that could guide a growing audience about the range of music and
put aesthetic issues up for debate.
Several of the young composers of Romanticism were active in more than one
field: Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, for example, made a career as a conductor
and co-founder of the first German Conservatory of Music (Leipzig 1843),
while Robert Schumann as publisher of the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (1834-44)
sought to bridge the gap between art and material reality through a reflected
critique of music. Also Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner was active as music
A genre innovation was the character piece for piano, which was often based
on a poetic idea, such as Mendelssohn's Lieder ohne Worte and
Schumann's collections. Franz Liszt's symphonic poems were also based on a
programmatic idea that determined the formal structure of music. In this
respect, Liszt was a counterpoint to the somewhat younger, classically
oriented Johannes Brahms.
From the mid-1800's. A musical aesthetic debate unfolded, in which the
so-called New Germans attributed, among other things, Liszt's music had a
progressive, revolutionary potential, while the "classicists" denied the music's
ability to convey a message. It is significant that in the same decade, the
musical playwright Richard Wagner developed his idea of Gesamtkunstwerk,
in which words, tone and action unite as a whole, and in which the weight of the
musical expression is shifted from the singers to the orchestra.
The most important German opera composers at the turn of the
1900's. were Richard Strauss and Hans Pfitzner, while the prolific
instrumental composer Max Reger in particular created significant works for
The period up to 1933 was particularly marked by the breakthrough of modern
music. Especially during the Weimar Republic, people were open to foreign
currents, and festivals for new music were organized in e.g. Donaueschingen and
A dominant figure in the young generation was Paul Hindemith, who developed
a neo-baroque style, characterized by polyphonic movement structures. Under the
impression of the youth music movements of the time (see Fritz Jöde), he also
composed music for amateurs.
The Austrian-born Ernst Krenek made his real breakthrough in Germany with the
jazz opera Jonny spielt auf (1926), while Kurt Weill in 1927-29 in
collaboration with Bertolt Brecht created social-critical musical drama (eg Dreigroschenoper,
1928) in a tonal language that juxtaposed elements from jazz, skillingsvise,
cabaret singing and older music.
Among the composers that prevailed in the 1930's were Carl Orff (Carmina
burana, 1937), Karl Amadeus Hartmann and Boris Blacher.
After Adolf Hitler took power in 1933, all Jewish music was banned - this
also applied to works by long-deceased composers such as Meyerbeer and
Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. Nazism led to the emigration of a large number of
internationally recognized conductors, musicians and singers, who in many cases
were able to continue their careers without interruption abroad. After an
adjustment period, Hindemith also went into exile.
Among the remaining composers, Richard Strauss in particular was celebrated,
while the declared non-Nazi Wilhelm Furtwängler continued with to direct
Wagner with Hitler and the party leaders - and wounded soldiers - as spectators
at the Bayreuth Festival. Much of the new music was branded as degenerate and
repressed. Some of the younger, experimental composers tried to moderate their
expression so that it could be tolerated by those in power.
In the years after 1945, both West Germany and the GDR were busy connecting
with the musical development that had been interrupted during the war. However,
the interest in neo-baroque and neoclassicism was short-lived, and by virtue of
the Darmstadt School, Arnold Schönberg's twelve-tone technique and serialism
soon became the dominant principle among West German composers.
Two main characters who have gone through several creative phases based on
serialism are Hans Werner Henze and Karlheinz Stockhausen. In the GDR, music
life became subject to state cultural policy, and a large number of symphony
orchestras contributed to the spread of music, including through workplace
The composers Hanns Eisler and Paul Dessau, who formed a link to Bertolt
Brecht's political theater, were of great importance for the development of
progressive music based on Marxist ideas. The goal of creating an understandable
music was crucial for the tonal language, for example with Ernst Hermann Meyer
(1905-88) and Rudolf Wagner-Régeny, to remain fairly conventional, and for
vocal genres such as oratorio and cantata to have a prominent place.
From the 1970's, within the framework of chamber music, a more experimental
style emerged with e.g. Reiner Bredemeyer (1929-1995), Paul-Heinz Dittrich (b.
1930) and Friedrich Schenker (1942-2013).
After reunification in 1990, Germany has established itself as a country of
musical immigration, a trend that began in the mid-1950's with the settlement of
composers Mauricio Kagels and György Ligeti, and prominent composers such
as Arvo Pärt, Alfred Schnittke and Sofja Gubajdulina in the 1980's. and the
1990's were based in Germany.
Germany - folk music
Old distinguishes between Volksmusik originally hornorkestrenes
traditions and a song repertoire that occurred in the 1800-T., And volkstümliche
Music comprising nykompositioner with traditional features; the latter
plays a significant role in the mass media. Song melodies usually contain four
lines emphasizing the third, and the instrumental music is tied to game
characters and dance moves.
Clear differences in musical traditions, partly depending on dialects and
localities, are found between northern German regions, the area along the Rhine
and eastern and southern German states, among the population from former
German-speaking regions, minorities and immigrants.
Special are the yodeling tradition (with register exchange), Schnadahüpfl (improvised
small verses) and Glockenbeiern (rhythmically complicated bell
The music is practiced mostly in local groups and is most often associated
with religious parties and the seasons, market and shooting parties,
Shrovetide, Saint Martin and Dreikönigstag.
Germany - popular music
Characteristic of German popular music in the 1900's. is the hit (der
Schlager), which originated in Vienna, but after the First World War
unfolded in Berlin, where the cabaret and revue stage provided material for the
genre. The operetta diva Fritzi Massary (1882-1969) became the first hit star of
The soundtrack and the many music films meant widespread in Europe by the
German filmmaker, with Werner Richard Heymann and Friedrich Hollaender among the
most important composers and Marlene Dietrich, Willy Fritsch and Lilian Harvey
(1907-68) as singing actors. The Nazis' stamping of jazz as degenerate (see Entartete
Kunst) meant that the genre's jazz and swing elements were toned down, thereby
making the hit more Central European in its tonal language. At the same time,
the lyrics became more pathetic and sentimental.
Due to the emigration of especially Jewish composers and soloists, a
provincialization threatened, which the Nazis tried to counteract by cultivating
new audience favorites, preferably foreigners such as the Swede Zarah Leander,
the Hungarian Marika Rökk (1913-2004) and the Chilean Rosita Serrano (1914-97).
After the war, the presence of the American occupation troops meant a renewed
interest in jazz-influenced pop, as it was expressed in Caterina Valente, but
the traditional hit continued to exist in e.g. Vico Torriani (1920-98), Peter
Alexander (1926-2011) and Freddy Quinn (b. 1931). The latter asserted itself on
a tried and tested field within the butcher, which also the actor Hans
Albers had successfully cultivated, old and new sailor songs. On the whole, the
percussionist remained characterized by singable melodies, equal emphasis of all
beats in time, broad orchestration and German lyrics.
The escalating youth worship in the 1960's and 1970's made the butcher industry
focus on a younger audience with Peter Kraus (b. 1939), Conny Froboess (b.
1943), and Rex Gildo (1936-99). Here they borrowed both musical and linguistic
clichés from American rock'n roll without failing the regular audience.
During this period, several Scandinavian soloists also had a career in
Germany, including Gitte Hænning, who for a transition had to form a couple
with Rex Gildo, Dorthe Kollo and Wenche Myhre.
When young people began to take an interest in authentic rock in German
bottling, this era was over. The butcher ran into a crisis that it never
completely overcame. In connection with the phenomenon Heino (Heinz Georg Kramm,
b. 1938), who sings folk and wandering songs from old youth and soldiers'
songbooks, the genre has resurfaced, but is now often declared as folk music.
The word Schlager itself is today more easily antiquated in the
domestic market, but has with some success been used for export purposes,
e.g. to Denmark.
The German hit tradition was the basis for the music at Dansktoppen.
Germany - rock music
In the 1960's German rock music was heavily inspired by American and British
music, but in 1969 the band Amon Düül II released Phallus Dei, mixing
electronic music with rock and oriental music in a progressive way.
German rock has been characterized by the Central European avant-garde
tradition. 1970's groups such as Can, Popul Vuh, Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk,
with their experimental use of synthesizers and minimalist tonal language, were
the inspiration for 1990's electronica (see techno).
The West Germany of the 1970's was also characterized by political rock, while
East German rock groups were often banned from performing. In the late 1970's,
the German version of punk, the Neue Deutsche Welle, gained much
traction. Commercial success was achieved by Nina Hagen and Nena, while the
machine-experimenting Einstürzende Neubauten attracted attention in avant-garde
A group like Boney M was representative of the hard-boiled disco music
produced in Munich. The heavy metal genre is widespread in Germany; most famous
internationally are Scorpions.
In the 1990's, the style Neue Deutsche Härte with the
group Rammstein, a mix of metal, hardcore and techno-beats, widespread similar
to the techno-style trance.
Germany - film
The brothers Max and Emil Skladanowsky (1863-1939 and 1856-1945) presented as
the first films in Berlin in 1895, a month before the Lumière brothers in Paris.
However, their camera system did not work, and in the early years German film
was behind the film in other northern European countries. In the 1910's, German
film was influenced by Danes such as Stellan Rye (1880-1914) with Der
Student von Prag (1913, Studenten fra Prag), Urban Gad and Asta
In 1917, the film company UFA was established, which became a leader when
German film finally reached a heyday in the 1920's.
Expressionism broke through as a film direction with Robert Wienes The
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920, Dr. Caligari). Since
then, Kammerspiel followed as FW Murnaus Der letzte Mann (1924, Hotel
Atlantic), which, like the so-called Straßenfilme ('street
film'), Karl Grunes (1890-1962) Die Straße (1923, Gaden),
approached contemporary realism.
A special genre was the so-called Bergfilme ('mountain film'),
Arnold Fancks (1889-1974) Der heilige Berg (1926, En moderne
Eva). In addition to Ernst Lubitsch's farces and historical dramas
and Fritz Lang's monumental masterpieces, Metropolis (1926) and Die
Nibelungen (1924), which dealt with old and new myths, there was also the
movement Neue Sachlichkeit, which left its mark. on GW Pabsts Die freudlose
Gasse (1925, Bag Glædernes Maske) and Phil Jutzis (1896-1946) Mutter
Krausens Fahrt ins Glück (1929, Mutter Krauses Himmelfart). An
avant-garde film art also thrived with Walter Ruttmann.
German film was during this period a center of the innovative artistic
film. It culminated with the early sound films, Josef von Sternberg's Der
blaue Engel (1930, Den Blå Engel), Fritz Langs M (1931),
political film art such as Slatan Dudows (1903-63) Kuhle Wampe (1932),
with a screenplay by Bertolt Brecht, and operetta films such as Erik Charells Der
Kongreß tanzt (1931, Congress dancer).
A number of main characters in German film, including Lubitsch and Murnau,
applied to Hollywood in the mid-1920's, others, such as Lang, fled Nazism in the
1930's. Leading figures in the Nazi film, led by Propaganda Minister Joseph
Goebbels, were documentary filmmakers Leni Riefenstahl with Triumph des
Willens (1935) and Veit Harlan, who presented Nazi ideology draped as
large-scale historical dramas such as Jud Süss (1940, The Jew Süss)
and Kolberg (1945).
After the war, directors such as Wolfgang Staudte with Die Mörder sind
unter uns (1946, Morderne er blandt os), Helmut Käutner with In
jenen Tagen (1947, Galskabens Vej), Bernhard Wicki with Die
Brücke (1959, Broen) and in the GDR Konrad Wolf with Sterne (1959, The
Star) a humanistic film art that went right with the Nazi past. In
addition, the West German films of the 1950's were mostly characterized by
amusement and hometown romance (Heimatfilme).
In the 1960's, a group of young intellectual instructors, including Alexander
Kluge, Jean-Marie Straub and Volker Schlöndorff, new avenues for German film,
but it did not succeed convincingly until the 1970's with directors such
as Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Margarethe von Trotta and especially Rainer
Werner Fassbinder, who with his controversial and innovative film art became
the main character.
Also central is Edgar Reitz, who in German television masterpieces Heimat (1984, Hometown), Die
zweite Heimat (1992, The Second Hometown) and Heimat 3 (2004)
tells German history in the 20th century.
The newer German film also features eccentric originals such as Herbert
Achternbusch (b. 1938) and Hans-Jürgen Syberberg, female satirists such as Doris
Dörrie (b. 1955) and commercial directors such as Wolfgang Petersen with Das
Boot (1981, the submarine) and Roland Emmerich (b. 1955) with a
Hollywood career that includes Independence Day (1996).
The young German film stands out with directors such as Sönke Wortmann
(b. 1959) with Derbewte Mann (1994, The Sensitive Man),
Caroline Link (b. 1964) with Jenseits der Stille (1996, Behind the
Silence) and Tom Tykwer with the postmodernist Lola rennt (1998, Lola).
After the turn of the millennium, German film has with great success dealt
with Germany's recent history in Wolfgang Beckers (b. 1954) comedy Good
Bye Lenin! (2003) on the fall of the wall, Oliver Hirschbiegel's (b. 1957)
drama Der Untergang (2004) on Hitler's last days and Florian Henckel
von Donnersmarcks (b. 1973) Das Leben der Anderen (2006, The lives
of others) on Stasi interception in DDR.
With Gegen die Wand (2004) by Fatih Akin, multi-ethnic Germany has
also entered the international film screen.
Germany - sports
In the late 1700's. the sports and games introduced in German schools, and by
1814 the gymnastics shape turn to a patriotic rallying point for opposition to
the German division. From the late 1800's. also won the English sport forward.
During the Weimar Republic 1919-33, new forms of gymnastics were introduced,
the natural gymnastics under the influence of Denmark and Hinrich
Medau's total movement gymnastics, as well as workers' sports.
With the Nazi takeover, all sports became subject to National Socialism. The
1936 Berlin Olympics were used for a demonstration of the sporting success and
legitimacy of the Third Reich, and the sport was used in the military and
paramilitary preparation of the youth.
After World War II, West German sport was reorganized under the leadership of
the Deutscher Sportbund. The states were responsible for grassroots sports,
while elite sports were organized centrally; professional football won out in
big clubs. In the GDR, the Deutscher Turn- und Sportbund and an actual Sports
Ministry were established.
The two Germany participated with a joint national team in international
competitions, at the Olympics in Tokyo in 1964, but with increasing
conflicts. The GDR wanted to take advantage of elite sports' opportunities for
national recognition and built research and training centers as well as children
and youth sports schools. There was a special focus on athletics, figure skating
and swimming, not least for women. From the late 1960's, the GDR participated as
an independent nation in international competitions and became one of the
world's most winning sports nations.
With the reunification in 1990, virtually all of the GDR's sports structures
were dismantled or reorganized to bring them in line with those of the Federal
Republic. GDR athletes contributed to German results in the following World Cups
and Olympics, but the sources of results were dehydrated.
The focus was on the methods that had been used, especially the systematic
doping of young athletes, and a number of lawsuits were filed, the most
prominent against Manfred Ewald (1926-2002), who was primarily responsible for
the GDR's elite programs 1963-88.
Germany - kitchen
A common German cuisine can hardly be described; German cuisine is composed
of a multitude of regional cultures. The food culture is influenced by the
immigrants' kitchens, but not noticeably by the division into East and
West. Somewhat simplified, the food of the regions can be described in two major
units: North German and South German.
North German kitchens are very similar to the original Danish cuisine. Basic
food is sourdough bread of rye, salt and smoked products, coarse vegetables and
potatoes. A daily meal can be open sandwiches.
In the southern German kitchens, the variations are greater. In general,
potatoes are replaced by doughs in the form of flour dumplings (Knödel,
Klösse) and pasta (Spätzle, Maultaschen). Soup is served with
at least one daily meal.
Sauerkraut is widely used as a garnish; fresh meat and fish are
marinated and braised in sour-sweet sauces ( Sauerbraten). Bread is
more often wheat or mixed bread.
Common German phenomena are the huge selection of breads, more than 400
regularly occurring, and of charcuterie products: smoked hams from Holstein,
the Black Forest and Westphalia as well as sausages (1600 kinds), jams and pies
from all regions.
As a somewhat paradoxical counterweight to the heavy diet, a rich cake and
confectionery culture thrives with light and elegant products. Internationally
known are Schwarzwälder cherry pies.
Germany - wine
Germany produces approximately 10 mio. hl of wine per year from a total area with
vines of 105,000 ha. 85% are white wines, which have traditionally been popular
in Denmark, where German wine occupies a fifth place of wine consumption with
10.2 million. l per year (6.4%; 1999).
Germany's vineyards are among the northernmost in the world, producing
quality wines. In very sunny years, the perfect balance between sugar and acid
is achieved, which makes the best German wines unique.
Germany got a wine law in 1971, which follows the norms of the EU, but also
expresses the constant striving for as much sugar in the grapes as possible. Tafelwein and Landwein both
belong to the table wine category. Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete,
QbA, includes most German wines and comes from one of the 13 Anbaugebiete, wine
districts, which must always be indicated on the label. QbA roughly corresponds
to France's AOC. As a superstructure follows QmP, Qualitätswein mit
Prädikat, where the predicate indicates the ripeness of the grapes during
the harvest; from the driest to the very sweet it
is Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese,Ice wine and dried berries.
Unlike most French wines, for example, QmP must not be added sugar to raise
the alcohol percentage, and they were formerly called Naturweine. Traditionally,
Spät- and Auslese have been on the sweet side and often only with 8-9% alcohol,
but the trend towards dry wines for food has led many farmers to make Auslese
Trocken, completely fermented with 12-13% alcohol and under 4 g residual sugar
per liters. Any German winegrower can, in lucky years, make all these types of
wines of all grape varieties, and the German Wine Act has no official forms of
classification by quality.
The finest wines, all of the Riesling grape, come from
the Rheingau and Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. The Palatinate and Rheinhessen together
account for 50% of German wine, the majority with the grape müller-thurgau,
which accounts for 22% of all wine, closely followed by Riesling.
Spätburgunder (pinot noir) is the most common blue grape,
but dornfelder produces well-colored and aromatic red wines. The finest
German Riesling wines are among the best in the world, and both the dry and
noble sweet wines can develop for years.
Germany's profile is still drawn far too much by mass-produced wines such
as Liebfraumilch and Zeller Schwarze Katz. But after 2000, the country has
regained some of its former respect for its wines. The number of
quality-conscious manufacturers and the overall quality is increasing.
Together with the two neighboring countries Belgium and the Czech Republic,
Germany has a highly developed and refined beer culture. In 2006, 1240 breweries
were registered in the country. In 1516, the raw materials of beer brewing,
barley, hops and water, were laid down by law in Bavaria. This later so-called Reinheitsgebot was
since spread throughout Germany and has had to be adapted to the development
with acceptance of both yeast and wheat. It is widely debated today and is
considered a protectionist concept. In 1987, the European Court of Justice
opened up the German market for beer not brewed under the Reinheitsgebot.
With an annual consumption of 117.5 l per residents (2003) one of the world's
largest consumption of beer. The under-fermented pilsner type is the most
popular with brands such as Bitburger, Warsteiner and König. Over-fermented
beers include the dark, traditional Altbier and the regional, light
Kölsch. Also Weissbier is widespread. It is available as low-alcohol Berliner
Weisse and as Bavarian, medium-strength wheat beer both filtered and unfiltered
("mit oder ohne Hefe"). There are also numerous under-fermented (strong) beers
such as Bock (see Bockbier) and Doppelbock as well as a wealth of local
specialty brews, such as Rauchbier (brewed with smoked malt) from Schlenkerla in
Bamberg and Eisbock from Kulmbach (with a high alcohol content).