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date: 18 August 2019

Germany, Federal Republic of (Ger. Deutschland)locked

  • John Kmetz,
  • Ludwig Finscher,
  • Giselher Schubert,
  • Wilhelm Schepping
  •  and Philip V. Bohlman


(Ger. Deutschland)

Country in Northern Europe. It extends from the Baltic Sea and the North German Plain to Lake Constance and the Bavarian Alps and Plateau, and from the North Sea and the French border to the Oder and Neisse rivers and the mountainous eastern regions of the Erzgebirge and the Fichtelgebirge. It is bordered by Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. After World War II, from 1949 to 1990, Germany was divided, with Bonn as the capital of West Germany; the historic capital Berlin was restored after reunification in 1990 (East Berlin having served as the capital of East Germany from 1949 to 1990).

For opera in Germany, see also Germany, Austria .

John Kmetz

Exactly when German history began has been a matter of debate ever since Goethe and Schiller felt obliged to ask the question ‘Germany? But where is it?’. Some modern historians start with the anointing of the first Carolingian king, Pippin the Short, in 751; or the re-foundation of the ‘Roman’ Empire in the West by his son Charlemagne (768–814) when he was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III in 800. Other scholars have suggested the division of the Carolingian Empire in 843 by the Treaty of Verdun, or 911, the year that Conrad I, Duke of Franconia, was elected as the first king of the East Franks; and still others look to the coronation of Otto I, king of the East Franks, in 936, or to his imperial coronation in Rome in 962 as the country’s birthdate. It is clear, however, that by the end of the 10th century the four East Frankish peoples – the Franks, Swabians, Bavarians and Saxons – formed what was known as the land of the Germans (...

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