Germany – many people think of soccer, cars and „German thoroughness“. Most people in the world know VW, probably also Mercedes and BMW. A paradise? At least many people try to come to Germany when they want or have to leave their home country for political or economic reasons. But the Germans themselves? First, a few facts about Germany:
Germany’s landscapes, its cities and its culture are considered diverse and charming, even if it is often rainy and windy in the winter months. Germany is the largest economy in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. Many groundbreaking inventions were developed here. Science and research have a high value and a long tradition in Germany. Around 13% of people from other nations live in Germany.
Many Germans are cosmopolitan and tolerant, but there is also more and more xenophobia and anti-Semitism. Geographically, Germany is pretty much in the middle of Europe. Over 83 million people live here – more than in any other country in the European Union (EU). Germany is one of the founding members of the EU and supports the ever closer integration of European states. As a member state of the United Nations (UN), Germany is also committed under the UN Charter to maintaining and promoting international peace, respect for international law, the protection of human rights and the promotion of international cooperation.
Landscapes and cities
The North Sea and the Baltic Sea are dotted with island chains with wide dune beaches as well as heath and moor landscapes. Dense mixed forests and medieval castles can be found in the low mountain ranges. In the south, the Alps rise up with their clear mountain lakes. There you will also find the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain at nearly 3,000 meters.
Almost half of the Germans live in the more than 80 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. The largest German cities are Berlin (3.6 million inhabitants), Hamburg (1.8 million) and Munich (1.5 million). Often the old city centers with their medieval city walls have been preserved. In some quarters you can still admire half-timbered houses or long streets with spacious and magnificent residential buildings from the Gründerzeit (19th century).
Compared to many other countries, Germany has a very dense network of publicly funded cultural institutions – you can visit almost 5,000 museums and nearly 8,000 libraries. You will find a wide variety of offerings not only in large cities and metropolitan areas, but also in rural areas and smaller towns.
The election in two weeks‘ time has many Germans worried – and rightly so?
A far-right party is expected to win large shares of the vote, the leading candidate of the current governing party is considered to be out of his depth even by many of his party members, and the former environmental party the GREENS have a candidate who has destroyed many of their electoral chances. But the Germans‘ concerns are also causing society to drift further and further apart, especially on three points:
- Intellectual city dwellers demand radical climate protection measures
- Climate impacts will soon make driving a luxury – that’s what the majority fears
- We must let migrants into Germany almost unhindered, say the educated upper class
- There are more and more crimes committed by migrants, especially knife attacks say the others, we must strictly limit immigration
- Internationalization is a great thing, say the some
- We will soon lose our jobs to China and India, say the others.
What is your opinion – are the Germans right to worry? Or is this all just a luxury problem from your point of view? Please write your comment on Facebook! We will summarize all opinions!
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