People of Germany / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Germans (German: Deutsche, pronounced [ˈdɔʏtʃə] ) are the natives or inhabitants of Germany, or sometimes more broadly any people who are of German descent or native speakers of the German language.[18][19] The constitution of Germany defines a German as a German citizen.[20] During the 19th and much of the 20th century, discussions on German identity were dominated by concepts of a common language, culture, descent, and history.[21] Today, the German language is widely seen as the primary, though not exclusive, criterion of German identity.[22] Estimates on the total number of Germans in the world range from 100 to 150 million, and most of them live in Germany.[23]

Quick facts: German Deutsche, Regions with significant po...
German: Deutsche
Regions with significant populations
Germany72,569,978[lower-alpha 1]
United States534,000[lower-alpha 2]
c. 42,600,000[3]
Brazil21,000[lower-alpha 3]
c. 5,000,000[4][5]
Canada157,000[lower-alpha 4]
c. 3,322,405[6]
Australia125,000[lower-alpha 5]
Kazakhstanc. 900,000[8]
Russia142,000[lower-alpha 6]
c. 840,000[8]
Argentina9,000[lower-alpha 7]
c. 500,000[9]
Switzerland357,000[lower-alpha 8]
United Kingdom310,000[lower-alpha 9]
Hungary36,000[lower-alpha 10]
c. 250,000[8]
New Zealand25,000[lower-alpha 11]
c. 200,000[lower-alpha 12]
Austria233,000[lower-alpha 13]
Italy211,000[lower-alpha 14]
France203,000[lower-alpha 15]
Spain201,000[lower-alpha 16]
Poland101,000[lower-alpha 17]
148,000 (of whom 45,000 declared solely German ethnicity)[11]
Mexico7,000[lower-alpha 18]
c. 90,000[lower-alpha 19]
Chile8,000[lower-alpha 20]
c. 1,000,000 [14]
South Africa17,000[lower-alpha 21]
c. 75,000[9]
Romania34,071[lower-alpha 22]
c. 22,900[15]

The history of Germans as an ethnic group began with the separation of a distinct Kingdom of Germany from the eastern part of the Frankish Empire under the Ottonian dynasty in the 10th century, forming the core of the Holy Roman Empire. In subsequent centuries the political power and population of this empire grew considerably. It expanded eastwards, and eventually a substantial number of Germans migrated further eastwards into Eastern Europe. The empire itself was politically divided between many small princedoms, cities and bishoprics. Following the Reformation in the 16th century, many of these states found themselves in bitter conflict concerning the rise of Protestantism. The 19th century saw the dismemberment of the Holy Roman Empire and the growth of German nationalism. The kingdom of Prussia incorporated most of the Germans into its German Empire in 1871, while a substantial number of Germans also inhabited the multiethnic kingdom of Austria-Hungary. During this time a large number of Germans emigrated to the New World, particularly to the United States, Canada and Brazil, as well as establishing prominent communities in New Zealand and Australia. The Russian Empire also contained a substantial German population.

In the aftermath of World War I, Austria-Hungary and the German Empire were partitioned, resulting in many Germans becoming ethnic minorities in newly established countries. In the chaotic years that followed, Adolf Hitler became the dictator of Nazi Germany and embarked on a genocidal campaign to unify all Germans under his leadership. His Nazi movement defined Germans in a very broad way which included Austrians, Luxembourgers, eastern Belgians, and so-called Volksdeutsche, which were ethnic Germans elsewhere in Europe and globally. However, this Nazi conception expressly excluded German citizens of Jewish or Roma background. Nazi policies of military aggression and its persecution of those deemed non-Germans in the Holocaust led to World War II in which the Nazi regime was defeated by allied powers, led by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the former Soviet Union. In the aftermath of Germany's defeat in the war, the country was occupied and once again partitioned. Millions of Germans were expelled from Central and Eastern Europe. In 1990, West Germany and East Germany were reunified. In modern times, remembrance of the Holocaust, known as Erinnerungskultur, has become an integral part of German identity.

Owing to their long history of political fragmentation, Germans are culturally diverse and often have strong regional identities. Arts and sciences are an integral part of German culture, and the Germans have been represented by many prominent personalities in a significant number of disciplines, including Nobel prize laureates where Germany is ranked third among countries of the world in the number of total recipients.

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