The German higher education landscape is a colourful one. Nationwide there is a choice of 400 universities of a very high level at which you can study. Choosing the right study course is therefore perhaps not so easy. Here you can find the most important websites and tips for your search for a study place.
Peace mediation is a new but increasingly important instrument of German foreign policy. Christina Horváth-Stenner, a Mediation Support Officer at the Crisis Prevention Centre of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), explains how it is used. She is one of the pool of experts at the Centre for International Peace Operations (ZIF).
Even in the Unification Treaty it was determined that Berlin be the capital. On June 20, 1991 the Deutsche Bundestag passed a resolution to also move the seat of government and Parliament from Bonn – since 1949 the capital of the Federal Republic – to Berlin. Since the move in 1999, Germany once again has in Berlin a pulsating political center that bears comparison with the major cities of the big European neighboring states. In addition to the newly designed Reichstag building, symbols of this are the Chancellery and the open Brandenburg Gate, which represents the overcoming of the country’s division. For a while there had been fears that the government’s move to Berlin could become an expression of a new German megalomania, with which the country’s economic and political weight would upset the status quo in Europe again. These fears proved to be wrong. Rather, German Unity was to be the initial spark that led to the overcoming of the division of Europe into east and west.
Officially, the main purpose of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Algeria is to strengthen trade relations. According to Algerian news agency APS, the visit will offer "an opportunity to take stock of the economic relations between Algeria and Germany" and to strengthen them.
Following the collapse of the GDR it emerged that its average productivity was a third of that of the Federal Republic, such that instead of the expected DM 600 billion (some EUR 300 billion) profit, the Treuhandanstalt, the agency commissioned to privatize the state-owned enterprises, ultimately posted a DM 230 billion deficit. The hope of being able to finance the necessary investments in the infrastructure of the new federal states with the proceeds from the privatization of the so-called “people’s property” had been deceptive.
November 9, 1989, the day on which the Berlin Wall fell, marked the climax of a trend that was similar to a revolution and in which the citizens of the GDR played the main role. Some, because they did everything in their power to leave a state that refused to grant them the freedom to travel and who by occupying embassies abroad forced the authorities into allowing them to leave, and others because they proclaimed in no uncertain terms that they wished to stay in the GDR. However, they also demanded fundamental reforms, which the regime could not agree to without setting its downfall in motion. Given this assault on two fronts, despite massive security measures the GDR collapsed like a house of cards in the space of just a few months. This paved the way for the division of Germany to be overcome and for the country to be reunited on October 3, 1990.
After 1945 only one part of Germany had a chance to give democracy a second go, namely West Germany. In 1948/9, representatives of the freely elected parliaments of the federal states in the American, British and French zones of occupation met in the Parliamentary Council in Bonn and devised a constitution that drew logical conclusions from the mistakes made in preparing the Reich Constitution of 1919 and the failure of the Weimar Republic: The Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany. This second German democracy was to be a functioning parliamentary democracy with a strong Federal Chancellor, who could only be toppled by a “constructive vote of no confidence”, i.e., by a successor being voted, and a Federal President who played a nominal role only. As opposed to Weimar days, parallel legislative powers for the people were not envisaged. The Basic Law put a shot across the bows of any self- confessed opponents of democracy, by stating that the fight for basic rights and a ban on political parties that were not in line with the constitution would be taken as far as the Federal Constitutional Court. The principles of the state were given very strong foundations by making it impossible even for a majority vote to change the constitution, rendering the “legal” elimination of democracy, as in 1933, impossible.
The programme “Dialog macht Schule" (Dialogue Catches On) helps schoolchildren to develop democratic thinking and action. The Federal Government-funded programme exists in five cities. A conversation with its co-founder and General Manager Hassan Asfour.
Hitler did not come to power on the back of a major election victory but he would not have become Reich Chancellor in January 1933 had he not been the leader of the strongest party. At the last Weimar Republic Reichstag elections on November 6, 1932 the National Socialists had lost two million votes compared with the July 31, 1932 elections, while the Communists gained 600,000 thereby reaching the magic number of 100 Reichstag seats. The success of the Communist Party (KPD) whipped up fears of civil war, and it was this fear that was to become Hitler’s most powerful ally, particularly among the powerful Conservative elite. It was their recommendation to Hindenburg that Hitler had to thank for the fact that on January 30, 1933 the Reich President appointed him to the position of Reich Chancellor at the head of a predominantly conservative cabinet. Terror against anyone who dissented was not a sufficient means to hold on to power during the 12 years of the Third Reich. Hitler was able to beat unemployment within a matter of years primarily through a rearmaments program, thereby winning the support of large sections of the working classes. As a result of the ruthless exploitation of workers and natural resources in the occupied territories he had been able to spare the German masses the hardships they had had to endure after the First World War (The First World War), ensuring that he could count on their support even during the Second World War. The major successes in foreign policy during the pre-War years, headed by the re-occupation of the de-militarized Rhineland in March 1936 and the Austrian “Anschluss” in March 1938 meant that Hitler’s popularity was to reach record levels in all classes of society.
“Quick, quick, come over here please. You don’t yet get to see this very often!” On a hot summer day, a group of international visitors has gathered at Südkreuz LRT station in Berlin to find out how Germany intends to make its cities smarter. Smarter, as systems engineer Mauricio Rojas at the firm inno2grid has just explained, would mean, for example, switching urban transport to e-mobility. A few metres away a yellow e-bus operated by the Berlin transport authorities just happens to be pulling up. By 2025 there should be 200 e-busses like this on Berlin’s roads. “At the moment, however, there are only five in service.” A special feature is that the vehicle charges without any cables, by means of a charging plate beneath the asphalt. “Like with an electric toothbrush,” Rojas explains.