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Germany - 2006 World Cup Host Country

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Germany is about more than sauerkraut and lederhosen. It's also about football and really sweet bathrooms! Find out more about this sausage-loving nation who will play host to the 2006 FIFA World Cup!

Germany - Where Is It?

Germany is in Central Europe, wedged between Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Poland and the Czech Republic. Phew, it must be getting claustrophobic. The North Sea and the Baltic Sea border the North of the country.

Germany - A Brief History

The country now known as Germany was unified as a modern nation-state in 1871. Soon after gaining leadership, Emperor Wilhelm II began to turn away from Germany's earlier alliances, which began a long period of isolationism. World War One broke out in 1914, which pitted Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria against the UK, France, Russia and pretty much the rest of the world. Germany's side lost and was forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles, which had many strict rules about how the country had to be run.

In 1918, there was a revolution in Germany that forced Emperor Wilhelm II and all German ruling princes to step down. Not long after, the effects of the Great Depression - along with the serious economic impacts of the Treaty of Versailles - led the country to a bad economic situation. People looked to extreme parties - like the Nazis - to solve their problems. In 1933, President von Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler (leader of the Nazis) Chancellor of Germany. In 1939, Germany attacked Poland - and World War II began. During this war, the Nazis passed laws to restrict the freedoms of Jews, Slavs, gay people, people who opposed the Nazis and the disabled (among others). These people were discriminated against, jailed and killed. When Germany was defeated in 1945, it was discovered that the Nazis had murdered about 11 million people in the Holocaust, including nearly six million Jewish people.

Germany - The Country Today

After World War II ended, Germany was split into two - East and West Germany. It wasn't until 1989 that the country was unified. Since then, Germany has become a thriving multicultural country with a democratically elected government and a stable economy.

Germany - 2006 FIFA World Cup

The 2006 football (soccer) World Cup is being shared between 12 different German cities: Berlin, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg (home of the hamburger), Hanover, Kaiserslautern, Cologne, Leipzig, Munich, Nuremberg and Stuttgart.

Germany - Did U Know?
  • Berlin has one of the world's coolest public bathrooms - built especially for the World Cup crowds. It features air-conditioning, music, a video projection on the wall showing swirling underwater bubbles and even golf flags on the urinals for ...errr, "aiming".
  • The German Autobahn (freeway) has no speed limit.
  • David Hasselhoff became a hugely popular singer in Germany. Go figure.
  • Gummy Bears, Kindergarten and Snow White were all created in Germany.
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