|BERLIN -- THE REICHSTAG|
|BERLIN - |
DURING COMMUNIST TIME
THE EAST GERMANS TURNED
THE HORSES AROUND TO
LOOK DOWN ONTO THEIR SIDE.
AFTER THE UNIFICATION
THE HORSES WERE
TURNED AROUND AGAIN
Germany is in the Middle of Europe between the Alps and Scandinavia. It isn’t the largest country in Europe but has the biggest population after Russia and had the strongest economy.
Most of Germany’s landscape has high mountains, low hills and plains. The hills are covered with dark forests and castle still watching over orchards, vineyards and fertile plains. The Northern Lowland has mostly sandy soil which is not very fertile. It is covered with heath and pine forest. Big rock boulders can be seen frequently which were left behind from the Ice Age. The far south is bordered off a huge mountains range called the Alps.
NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE WHICH WALT DISNEY COPIED FOR HIS DISNEY LAND
THIS AND VARIOUS OTHER CASTLES AND PALACES BUILT BY KING LUDWIG II ARE ALL IN THE ALPS AND HAVE A GREAT MANY VISITORS
The climate is moderate and crops of potatoes, maize and wheat grow well. Cattle graze in the damp and mild north-west and also in the valleys of the mountains. Pigs, cattle and poultry are kept in large battery units near cities. The reason for this ways of farming is that winters are extremely cold with heavy snow.
Germany has a number of large cities. Many of them like Munich and Dresden were capitals of independent states. Bavaria and Saxony came to be part of the German Empire in the century before last. The cities inherited splendid palaces and museums.
Germany has 16 Federal States or Lander. The government of each state is responsible for education and all other aspects.
Till the credit crunch Germany was one of the leading economical powers of Europe and the world. West Germany had a good name for the high quality of products. East Germany was a supplier to Russia till 1990 when communist Russia collapsed. Their factories were neglected and could not compete on the Free Market. They had to be demolish and rebuilt. During this time there was great hardship and unemployment.
Agriculture is not very profitable in the West. In East Germany there were the collective units established by the Soviet Union. After the collapse the poor supply and packaging suffered in sales on the Free Market.
The Autobahn (motorways) which Hitler started in 1930 has vastly improved and so did the railway with high-speed trains right through the country on the mainline network. The conditions in East Germany of their motorway, railways, canals and telecommunication was more than poor after 45 years of communism. After the fall of the wall West Germany had to rebuild the whole East Germany. It nearly bankrupt West Germany but the country was recovering till the credit crunch.
There were German tribes in Roman times. In 962 AD King Otto I united all the German-speaking people of north-central Europe. He was crowned by the Pope and became Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. This lasted till 1806 and was ruled by the Habsburg from Vienna. During this time it covered Austria, the Czech Republic and parts of Hungary. Germany was ruled by 400 separate princes, dukes and bishops.
|THE ROMAN EMPIRE|
In the 19th century German-speaking people demanded to be united. In 1871 the German princes asked the King of Prussia to be their Emperor or Kaiser. The chancellor of Kaiser William I was the famous Otto von Bismarck.
Rivalry and other problems which came ahead by the shooting of Crown prince Ferdinand and it led to WWI in 1914. After the war Germany’s economy was a full blown inflation. This ground bred Nazism and Hitler promised jobs and a new Empire the third Reich. At first jobs were created by starting the Autobahn, productions but also a built-up of ships and air crafts. By the time the top men still from the previous regime realise what he really was aiming for; they had an attempt of killing him but failed. After that it was too late because the Nazis tightened their already stranglehold and it led into WWII. During all this time Hitler gave Germany’s darkest deed. He had 6million people killed, mostly Jews.
|THE FOUR ZONE AT 1947|
After 1945 the Allies occupied Germany and divided it into four zones. USSR’s section became East Germany while the rest were the Federal Republic of West Germany. The West was a fully democratic state with a capitalist economy. East and West Germany were finally reunited in 1990.
Since 1945 the East German economy had a steady decline and by 1961 it was almost at rock bottom. It was further weakened by nearly 2.5 million people migrated to the West. The East Germany government had to do something drastic. They built a system of fortifications along the country’s western boundaries encircling West Berlin. People became more desperate and tried to escape by any sort of methods like risking jumping from nearby houses into no-man's-land and climbing of the other side into West Germany while the Stasis (the East German State police) kept shooting and the West border guards had to stand there and watch it. Many, many died there and they were mainly youngsters. One particular person a 20 year old was lying shot in no-man's-land bleeding heavily and the Stasis would not let the West Germany go and rescue him. He called for two hours. Afterwards, nobody was ever prosecuted for any of these murders.
East German people who escaped told stories of constantly being watched and if under any kind of suspicion you went into prison or Siberia. The government called for a political meeting within half-an-hour and even if your mother was dying at home you were supposed to come. When they were thinking of escaping, many through the Underground of Berlin first, they could not take anything with them in case they were checked at the East Berlin section. Not even a photo of their family. It was nothing but dictatorship and people still, even today, belief in communism or socialism which is a cover up.
There are so many beautiful countrysides it will take several visits to see most of them. A boat trip down the Rhine which starts in Switzerland and ends into the North Sea is absolutely unforgettable. Between Frankfurt and Koeln is the the most spectacular stretch for tourists. Up on the hills there various castle
The Danube originates in the Black Forests Germany and flows through ten countries until it reaches the black sea. There are many beautiful sights along the way but a boat and cycle trip will be an experience worthwhile the effort.
The Harz is a mountainous area and well known for skiing and even more so for wander ways in the summer. It is incredible beautiful and with lovely little villages and small town.
|THE WANDER WAY |
IS ON THE RIGHT
|STOLBERG IN HARZ|