Germany. At the beginning of the year, three state
elections were held that were seen as a thumbs-up for the
2009 election. According to
Countryaah reports, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian
Democratic CDU lost ground in all three elections while the
result became more mixed for the national-level coalition
partner, the Social Democratic SPD. The elections were a
success for the newly formed Left Party Die Linke.
In Hesse, despite the setback, the CDU was able to
re-establish government with the liberal FDP. In Hamburg,
where the SPD also lost its mandate, the CDU for the first
time formed a "blue-green" coalition with the environmental
party The Greens. In Lower Saxony, where CDU and SPD
received equal voting shares, the situation remained unclear
for a long time. The SPD made several attempts to form a
government with the Green Party, supported by Die Linke, but
failed when several SPD members refused to seek support from
the party, which consisted partly of former communists. In
November, one last attempt was made; when it failed, the
state parliament dissolved and new elections were announced.
In a fire disaster in Ludwigshafen in February, nine
people with Turkish background were killed. Speculation that
neo-Nazis caused the fire to occur and some Turkish
immigrants accused the fire brigade of having arrived late
in the fire with diligence. Turkey sent investigators and
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan visited the fire
scene. The investigation found no evidence of an arson fire.
The government coalition tensions increased when in May
the SPD nominated Gesine Schwan as its candidate in the 2009
presidential election. Schwan, who is challenging incumbent
President Horst Köhler, hoped to strengthen the SPD's
The continuing declining figures for the SPD caused party
leader Kurt Beck to resign in September. At an extra
congress in October, Franz Müntefering, who had resigned
from politics last year, returned to the party leader post.
At the same time, the party appointed Foreign Minister
Frank-Walter Steinmeier as SPD's chancellor candidate,
thereby challenging Angela Merkel ahead of the federal
election in September 2009.
In Bavaria, in September it became a disaster choice for
CSU, the CDU's sister party, which had its own majority in
the state since 1962. CSU backed from 60 to 43 percent and
was forced to form a coalition with the FDP. Party leader
Erwin Huber resigned and was replaced by Horst Seehofer.
In October, the Bundestag approved a rescue package for
the banks of € 480 billion that would help dampen the
effects of the global financial crisis. The government had
already pledged support to rescue, among other things, the
big bank Hypo Real Estate, which was facing collapse. In
order to calm borrowers, a bank guarantee was issued for all
private savings in the country.
In November, it was formally established that Germany was
in recession, as growth was negative for two consecutive
quarters. But despite the downturn in world trade hit hard
on export-oriented Germany, and not least its automotive
industry, the government took a more restrained stance on
government intervention than many of the other leading
economies in the EU, leading to criticism of Merkel.
Eventually, a stimulus package of EUR 50 billion was adopted
in two years, in mixed private and state investment, and as
the year ended, negotiations between the coalition parties
were ongoing for yet another package. In December, a slight
rise in unemployment was noted for the first time in three
years, at 7.6 per cent.
We find the first references to the existence of the
Germans ifbm. the military expeditions undertaken by the
Roman emperor Julius Caesar in Gaul - north of the Alps and
west of the Rhine - in the years 58-51 BCE. These people
invaded the Mediterranean already in the years 113-101 BCE.
In year 9, Arminio, leader of the Querusians, carried out
a revolt that crushed 3 Roman legions at Teutoburg. By the
middle of the third century, the original tribes had
gathered in larger political associations: the Saxons, the
Franks and the Germans. Following the gradual withdrawal of
the Romans, the invasion of Atila's females in the fourth
century led to the great migration of people in Europe. But
the Mongol empire was crushed after it had defeated the
Germans in the year 455. Germans and Saxons, in turn, were
defeated by Clovis and Karl the Great from the Frankish
The division of the Caroline empire with the Treaty of
Verdun in 843 gave rise to the formation of the first purely
Germanic kingdom. During Oton I, crowned in Rome in 936,
Germany developed and remained the most powerful European
kingdom during the following 2 centuries. In the 12th and
13th centuries, Germany carried out continuous expansion and
colonization, stimulated by the ever-increasing population.
During the same period, the non-stability of kingdoms
contributed to the formation of both secular and religious
principals. The princes were authorized to build castles,
exploit natural resources and practice justice in their
In 1356, the royal authority over the papacy was legally
affirmed with Charles IV's (1346-78) golden bull. He
obtained the right to appoint the king himself without
Rome's approval and at the same time strengthened the
position of the principals, whose support he depended on.
The 15th and 16th centuries were characterized by a
continuous lack of internal stability. The Protestant
Reformation initiated by Martin Luther's theses in 1517 was
mixed with the political rival. The Reformation channeled
the ever-increasing criticism of the increasing
secularization and corruption of the German Church. The
church had developed into an economically wealthy
institution, whose lands in some parts accounted for
one-third of the total land area, but the scandal itself was
triggered by the sale of sins. After numerous civil wars and
The political quarrels reflected the religious ones. In
1608 the Union was formed (Protestant) and the year after
the League (Catholic). The uprising in Bohemia was the start
of the Thirty Years War (1618-48), affecting the entire
continent and reducing the population of Central Europe by
approx. 30%. It was completed in 1648 with peace in
Berlin - music
Since the Middle Ages, Berlin has been the scene of a rich and varied musical
life; however, some periods stand stronger in history than others. Significant
was especially the reign of Frederik II the Great in the middle of the 1700's.
At court, composers such as Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and the brothers CH and
JG Graun worked, the latter especially in connection with the opera. In 1742,
the music-interested king founded the Königliche Hofoper, which in
1919 changed its name to the Deutsche Staatsoper, and whose new
building at Unter den Linden was inaugurated in 1955.
From 1912 the Deutsches Opernhaus (later Städtische Oper, from 1961
Deutsche Oper) originates. In 1947, the Komische Oper opened in what was then
Countless conductors and other artists have over the years developed their
abilities in collaboration with the city's leading symphony orchestras,
the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Berlin
Sinfonie-Orchester and the Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester.
The center of music education in Germany was the Hochschule für Musik,
which was founded in 1869.