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Willkommen im Deutschland-Portal!

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Location of Germany within Europe 

Germany (German: Deutschland), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,578 square kilometres (138,062 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying entirely in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a very decentralized country. Its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport.

In 1871, Germany became a nation-state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic. The Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to World War II, and the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American, British, and French occupation zones, and East Germany, formed from the western part of the Soviet occupation zone, reduced by the newly established Oder-Neisse line. Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990.

Today, Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor. It is a great power with a strong economy. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993. Read more...

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Konrad Kujau in 1992
Konrad Kujau in 1992

The Hitler Diaries (German: Hitler-Tagebücher) were a series of sixty volumes of journals purportedly written by Adolf Hitler, but forged by Konrad Kujau between 1981 and 1983. The diaries were purchased in 1983 for 9.3 million Deutsche Marks (£2.3 million or $3.7 million) by the West German news magazine Stern, which sold serialisation rights to several news organisations. One of the publications involved was The Sunday Times, who asked their independent director, the historian Hugh Trevor-Roper, to authenticate the diaries; he did so, pronouncing them genuine. At the press conference to announce the publication, Trevor-Roper announced that on reflection he had changed his mind, and other historians also raised questions concerning their validity. Rigorous forensic analysis, which had not been performed previously, quickly confirmed that the diaries were fakes.

Kujau, born and raised in East Germany, had a history of petty crime and deception. In the mid-1970s he began selling Nazi memorabilia which he had smuggled from the East, but found he could raise the prices by forging additional authentication details to associate ordinary souvenirs to the Nazi leaders. He began forging paintings by Hitler and an increasing number of notes, poems and letters, until he produced his first diary in the mid-to-late 1970s. The West German journalist with Stern who "discovered" the diaries and was involved in their purchase was Gerd Heidemann, who had an obsession with the Nazis. When Stern started buying the diaries, Heidemann stole a significant proportion of the money.

Kujau and Heidemann spent time in prison for their parts in the fraud, and several newspaper editors lost their jobs. The story of the scandal was the basis for the films Selling Hitler (1991) for the British channel ITV, the German cinema release Schtonk! (1992), and the television series Faking Hitler [de]. (Full article...)

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Anniversaries for March 26

Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven

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Selected cuisines, dishes and foods

Pomeranian cuisine is famous for its great variety of fish dishes, such as herring in cream ("Sahnehering", pictured) and Bismarck herring.
Pomeranian cuisine is famous for its great variety of fish dishes, such as herring in cream ("Sahnehering", pictured) and Bismarck herring.

Pomeranian cuisine generally refers to dishes typical of the area that once formed the historic Province of Pomerania in northeast Germany and which included Stettin (now Szczecin) and Further Pomerania. It is characterised by ingredients produced by Pomeranian farms, such as swede (Wruken) and sugar beet, by poultry rearing, which has produced the famous Pomeranian goose, by the wealth of fish in the Baltic Sea, rivers and inland lakes of the Pomeranian Lake District, and the abundance of quarry in Pomeranian forests. Pomeranian cuisine is hearty. Several foodstuffs have a particularly important role to play here in the region: potatoes, known as Tüften, prepared in various ways and whose significance is evinced by the existence of a West Pomeranian Potato Museum (Vorpommersches Kartoffelmuseum), Grünkohl and sweet and sour dishes produced, for example, by baking fruit.

Pomeranian farmers were self-sufficient: crops were stored until the following harvest, meat products were preserved in the smoke store of the home, or in the smokeries of larger villages such as Schlawin. Fruit, vegetables, lard and Gänseflomen were preserved by bottling in jars. Syrup was made from the sugar beet itself. (Full article...)



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