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Territory in north central Europe, ruled since 1990 by the Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Germany (German: Deutschland), officially the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland), is a country in central-western Europe. It includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometers, and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With nearly 83 million inhabitants, Germany is the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany's capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while its largest conurbation is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Dortmund and Essen. The country's other major cities are Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Bremen, Dresden, Hannover and Nuremberg.

Geographical type: Territory

Latitude: 51° N — Longitude: 9° E

Area: 357,168 km²

ISO 3166-2 code: DE

Birthplace of

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, in Frankfurt, on 28 Aug 1749
Ludwig Lachmann, in Berlin, on 1906
Karl Marx, Carl Marx, in Trier, on 5 May 1818
Franz Oppenheimer, in Berlin, on 30 Mar 1864
Erich Maria Remarque, in Osnabrück, on 22 Jun 1898
Wilhelm Röpke, in Schwarmstedt, on 10 Oct 1899
Hans Scholl, in Crailsheim, Baden-Württemberg, on 22 Sep 1918
Sophie Scholl, in Forchtenberg, Baden-Württemberg, on 9 May 1921
Hans Sennholz, in Bergkamen, Unna, on 3 Feb 1922
Max Weber, in Erfurt, on 21 Apr 1864

Home To

Partei der Vernunft, Schlierbach

Deathplace of

John Dalberg-Acton, in Tegernsee, Bavaria, on 19 Jun 1902
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, in Weimar, on 22 Mar 1832
Hugo Grotius, in Rostock, on 28 Aug 1645
F. A. Hayek, in Freiburg, on 23 Mar 1992
Ivan Illich, in Bremen, on 2 Dec 2002
Hans Scholl, in Munich, on 22 Feb 1943
Sophie Scholl, in Munich, on 22 Feb 1943
Max Weber, in Munich, on 14 Jun 1920

Measures of Freedom

Germany | Freedom House, Freedom in the World 2022
2016: Status: Free, Aggregate Score: 95, Political Rights: 1, Civil Liberties: 1
More than one million refugees entered Germany in 2015, the majority coming from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. This record-breaking influx, which heavily strained the resources of the German government, led to contested public discussions about immigration and asylum. Anti-immigration violence increased amid the crisis, with the Ministry of the Interior recording a sharp rise in attacks on refugee shelters during the year.
Human Freedom Index [PDF], The Human Freedom Index 2021
2019: 8.73, Rank: 15, Personal Freedom: 9.32, Economic Freedom: 7.91
Level of Economic Freedom, Economic Freedom of the World
2014: 7.55, Rank: 30


Albert Jay Nock: A Gifted Pen for Radical Individualism, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, Mar 1997
Biographical essay, including Nock's early life, editorship of The Freeman (1920-1924), and notable books and essays
Nock wrote more about diplomacy than any other subject for The Freeman, and although he didn't pore through all the diplomatic documents, he did gain perspective by traveling through Europe. For instance, he witnessed the 1923 German runaway inflation: "I crossed from Amsterdam to Berlin with German money in my bill-fold amounting nearly to $1,250,000, pre-war value. Ten years earlier I could have bought out half a German town, lock, stock and barrel, with that much money, but when I left Amsterdam my best hope was that it might cover a decent dinner and a night's lodging."
Along Pennsylvania Avenue, by Murray N. Rothbard, Faith and Freedom, Dec 1954
Discusses (a) the world outlook after the 1954 Paris agreements, expressing hope "prospects for continued peace" and (b) the rise in coffee prices, pointing the finger at the Brazilian and U.S. governments
The apparent victory of the Paris agreements, however, will erect a jerry-built structure. It does not perform the EDC job of chaining Germany and the other countries to a supranational organization at the beck of Washington. ... The agreements leave Germany deprived of the Eastern half of its territory, and of its coal-rich Saar Valley. Eventually, the German urge toward reunification can lead to a World War or to a policy of outright neutralism, with the latter hopefully far more likely.
Related Topics: Brazil, Dwight D. Eisenhower
UpdBenjamin Tucker, Individualism, & Liberty: Not the Daughter but the Mother of Order, by Wendy McElroy, Literature of Liberty, 1981
Bibliographical essay covering the people and radical movements that influenced Tucker in his founding and publishing of Liberty, its major themes and contributors
[Tucker's] attempt to establish libertarianism as an international movement was best exemplified by Libertas (1888), a German language version of Liberty, published by Tucker and edited by George and Emma Schumm. "This will be the only thoroughly Anarchistic German journal ever published in the world ..." Tucker wrote in announcing Libertas. "The paper will be of the same shape and size as the English Liberty, and the two will alternate in the order of publication—the English appearing one week and the German the next." Libertas was short-lived.
Decimating the Constitution with Military Tribunals, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 27 Sep 2006
Discusses what would become the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA); note: in 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled section 7 of the MCA unconstitutional, which led to the MCA of 2009
As I pointed out in ... "How Hitler Became a Dictator," after the terrorist strike on the Reichstag, which enabled Hitler to secure the Enabling Act that temporarily suspended civil liberties in Germany, a German judge, while convicting one of the defendants, acquitted others, much to Hitler's chagrin ... So, Hitler decided to implement a new "independent" judicial system within Germany to try terrorists and traitors. Known as the "People's Court," it became nothing more than a judicial lapdog to carry out prosecutions, convictions, and punishments in accordance with Hitler's will.
The Disastrous Middle Of the Road Policy, by Ludwig von Mises, The Commercial and Financial Chronicle, 4 May 1950
From a speech to the University Club of New York on 18 Apr 1950; argues that the middle of the road policies of interventionism, such as price controls and progressive taxation, eventually lead to socialism via central planning
The Germans, in the First World War, began with price ceilings for a small group of consumers' goods considered as vital necessities. It was the inevitable failure of these measures that impelled them to go further and further until ... they designed the Hindenburg plan ... The total defeat of the Kaiser swept the whole imperial apparatus of administration away and with it went also the grandiose plan. But when in 1931 Chancellor Brüning embarked anew on a policy of price control and his successors, first of all Hitler, obstinately clung to it, the same story repeated itself.
UpdThe Fallacy of the Concept of "National Character", by Ludwig von Mises, Omnipotent Government, 1944
Section 2 of chapter 10, "Nazism as a World Problem"; explains why it is incorrect to generalize from some supposedly representative persons of a given nation to a national "character"
The most popular interpretation of the ascendancy of Nazism explains it as an outcome of the German national character. The holders of this theory search German literature and history for texts, quotations, and deeds indicating aggressiveness, rapacity, and lust for conquest. From these scraps of knowledge they deduce the German national character, and from the character so established the rise of Nazism. ... But it is no less easy to discover the same characteristics in the history and literature of other linguistic groups, e.g., Italian, French, and English.
Fascism, by Sheldon Richman, The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, 2008
Defines fascism, contrasting it with other ideologies, identifying Mussolini's Italy and Nazi Germany as its two main exponents and discussing its influence on the New Deal
Adolf Hitler['s] National Socialist (Nazi) Party adapted fascism to Germany beginning in 1933 ... Hitler's regime eliminated small corporations and made membership in cartels mandatory. The Reich Economic Chamber was at the top of a complicated bureaucracy comprising nearly two hundred organizations organized along industry, commercial, and craft lines, as well as several national councils. The Labor Front, an extension of the Nazi Party, directed all labor matters, including wages and assignment of workers to particular jobs. Labor conscription was inaugurated in 1938.
Give Me Liberty [PDF], by Rose Wilder Lane, 1936
Originally published as an article titled "Credo" in the Saturday Evening Post; describes her experiences in and history of Soviet Russia and Europe, contrasting them with the history of the United States, emphasizing the individualist themes
Marx wanted Hegel's "freedom" for "the working classes." Bismarck took the idea from Hegel and Marx, used it to crush the German liberals, and founded upon it his Socialpolitik, which is now called Social Security here ... After crushing the attempt to establish human rights in Germany, Bismarck built the centralized, socialized, despotic German State, and the world's statesmen and reactionary thinkers fervently admired it. Forty years ago, America's parrot-intellectuals were ceaselessly repeating, "Germany is fifty years ahead of us in social legislation."
Goethe on National Greatness, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, The Free Market, Oct 1999
Discusses Goethe's thoughts on political centralization, as told to Johann Peter Eckermann, contrasting the German Confederation (Bund) to centralized France
From 1648 until the Napoleonic wars, Germany consisted of some 234 countries, 51 free cities, and about 1,500 independent knightly manors. Of this multitude of independent political units, only Austria counted as a great power, and only Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, and Hannover could be considered major political players. Saxe-Weimar was one of the smaller and poorer countries, encompassing just a few dozen villages and small towns. As a result of the Vienna Congress of 1815 following Napoleon's defeat, the number of independent political territories was reduced to thirty-nine.
Hitler's Mutual Admiration Society, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 29 Oct 2003
Describes the mutual admiration society that existed in the 1930s between Franklin Roosevelt, Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini
One of the best examples was Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal, which in large part mirrored the economic policies that Hitler was implementing to get Germany out of the Depression. That's why it's not a coincidence that the photograph of the man with the pointy helmet on the U.S. Social Security Administration's website is ... Otto von Bismarck, the "iron chancellor" of Germany. Social Security, which the Roosevelt administration enacted in the 1930s, had originated with Bismarck, who himself had gotten the idea from German socialists in the late 1800s. Social Security was also a key part of Hitler's economic program.
How Empires Bamboozle the Bourgeoisie, by Lew Rockwell, Mises Daily, 28 Oct 2006
Speech at the Mises Institute Supporter's Summit; comments on two issues related to the U.S. population reaching 300 million: what kind of economy is needed to support that population and do all these people need to live under the same central government
World War I had ended with many resentments stewing ... Germany ... was ripe for bamboozlement by a leader who could tap into the resentment concerning lost territories. The leader would convince the people that the urge for justice can only be satisfied by re-creating an empire, and only the strongest possible leader could manage to accomplish this against all odds. Mises wrote with an impassioned desire to stop the course of events. "It would be the most terrible misfortune for Germany and for all humanity if the idea of revenge should dominate the German policy of the future," he wrote.
How Franklin Roosevelt Lied America Into War, by William Henry Chamberlin, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, 1953
Excerpted from chapter 8, "The Bankruptcy of a Policy", of the Harry Elmer Barnes anthology; describes several actions by Roosevelt and his administration which contradicted his campaign pledges "to keep our country out of war"
... so-called naval patrols, the purpose of which was to report the presence of German submarines to British warships, in the Atlantic in April, 1941. ... The orders to American warships to shoot at sight at German submarines, formally announced on September 11. The beginning of actual hostilities may be dated from this time rather than from the German declaration of war, which followed Pearl Harbor. ... the American and British governments knew ... that Hitler was contemplating an early attack upon the Soviet Union. Such an attack was bound to swallow up much the greater part of Germany's military resources.
The Idea of Liberty is Western, by Ludwig von Mises, American Affairs, Oct 1950
Argues that the "idea of liberty is and has always been peculiar to the West", beginning in ancient Greece and moving westward to Europe and America, and discusses "liberty" as viewed by Harold Laski, contrasting life under Stalin with Italy under fascism
No less a man than Bismarck, among the nineteenth-century statesmen the foremost foe of liberty, bears witness to the fact that even in the Prussia of Frederick William III the Gymnasium was a stronghold of republicanism ... When in 1848 and 1849 [Karl Marx] took an active part in the organization and the conduct of the revolution, first in Prussia and later also in other German states, he was—being legally an alien—expelled ... Later, when ... the abettors of the abortive revolution were amnestied, he was free to return to all parts of Germany and often made use of this opportunity.
UpdThe Mont Pelerin Society's 50th Anniversary, by Greg Kaza, The Freeman, Jun 1997
Historical and anecdotal essay about the founding of the Mont Pelerin Society and its first meeting, including insights on post World War II Germany
The German currency was virtually worthless at the end of World War II, cigarettes having emerged as the preferred medium of exchange. In many cases, [Walter] Eucken told the conference, farmers refused to sell their foodstuffs for any kind of currency. If you lived in a city and wanted food, you packed your furniture and carted it to a farm in search of potatoes. Barter was not merely theory in postwar Germany ... Moreover, the United States and British military authorities ... attempted to run the nation through a flood of paper directives and allocations ...
Professor Ludwig von Mises Discusses Free Enterprise, La Prensa, 2 Jun 1959
Full title: De la Libre Empresa Habló el Profesor Dr. Ludwig von Mises
Translation of article reporting Mises' visit to Buenos Aires; discusses his views on free enterprise, inflation, the policies of De Gaulle and Adenauer and the possibility of an Argentine economic recovery
[Mises] added ... that "regarding this, the French government is applying the policy adopted with success by Dr. Adenauer's government in West Germany." He also said that 'the economic measures that the German government took to this effect, were taken against the will of the occupying Western powers; only after they were applied was it seen how beneficial they were for the consolidation of a healthy currency and for German economic development."
Roots Of Economic Understanding, by F. A. Harper, Ideas on Liberty, Nov 1955
Explains the rudiments of economics by specifying required attributes (desirability, scarcity, exchangeability) then delving into how people, from the earliest age, become cognizant of economic concepts, but ending with criticism of econmic ignorance
The human weakness for watching false economic scoreboards reminds me of an ... observation by a man who was reviewing the ... the nation he governed. He said ... "It gives us also a special, secret pleasure to see how the people about us are unaware of what is really happening to them ..." ... The man who made that statement apparently knew well the game of attaining personal power by playing on the weaknesses of human ignorance. He was Adolf Hitler ... The tragedy that befell the German people and later engulfed much of the rest of the world attests to the consequences of economic ignorance.
Röpke, Wilhelm (1899-1966), by Aaron Steelman, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
Röpke was a professor of economics at the University of Marburg when Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933. An outspoken critic of the Nazis, Röpke left his native Germany that same year ... Along with Walter Eucken, Alexander Rüstow, and others, Röpke advised Ludwig Erhard on how to reform the West German economy following World War II. This group of Ordoliberals, as they came to be known, pushed for a substantially more market-oriented system than that which preceded it, along with a modest system of transfer payments consistent with modern welfare state goals.
Related Topic: Wilhelm Röpke
The Secret State, by Carl Oglesby, 19 Dec 1991
Details various events from the dismantling of the Office of Strategic Services after World War II to the 1991 death of Danny Casolaro, which Oglesby said are reason to be worried about "a secret and invisible state within the public state"
Days after the Nazi surrender in May 1945, a US Army command center in southern Germany was approached by Nazi Brigadier General Reinhard Gehlen. Gehlen was the chief of the Nazi intelligence apparatus known as the FHO, Foreign Armies East ... [F]ulfilling one of the terms of the secret treaty of Fort Hunt in 1945, the entire Gehlen Org was transferred to the new West German government, which gave it the name of the Federal Intelligence Service, or BND, and which the descendants of General Gehlen serve to this day. The BND continued to serve as the backbone of NATO intelligence ...
Sophie Scholl: A Life of Courage, by Wendy McElroy, Freedom Daily, May 2007
Review of the 2005 German film Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (Die letzten Tage), also contrasting this film with typical Hollywood depictions of Nazis
Sophie and her brother, Hans, were leading members of ... the White Rose. Five students ... formed the group in 1942 at the University of Munich. ... This brilliantly crafted film ... is confirmation that German filmmaking, which has arguably been in decline since the 1970s, is reestablishing its reputation for innovation and excellence. ... Rather than publicly admit to losing an entire army at Stalingrad, the regime viciously cracks down on dissidents ... This is the juncture in Nazi history at which the minister for public enlightenment and propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, delivers his famous "total war" speech.
Totalitarian Busybodies: The horrors of the Stasi's East Germany, by Glenn Garvin, Reason, Jan 2006
Review of Stasiland: True Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall by Anna Funder and After the Wall: Confessions from an East German Childhood and the Life That Came Next by Jana Hensel
That assessment may misjudge the pressures felt by average East Germans. They did try to rebel in 1953 with a series of violent street protests that two Russian armored divisions quickly crushed. ... Political resistance in East Germany would be dealt with not by the Berlin regime but its Soviet puppet masters ...
Related Topics: Cuba, Nicaragua
Yahoo! We Have Free Speech, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 1 Mar 2001
Discusses a French court's order to Yahoo to stop selling Nazi memorabilia and contrasts attitudes regarding freedom of speech, recalling the story of "The White Rose" resistance group in 1940s Nazi Germany
A good example of an unfree society was Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. In Nazi Germany, the state had the power to determine which items could be published and to criminalize the publication of unacceptable materials. If a person published prohibited items, punishment was often severe ... The [White Rose] essays were illegal under German law because criticism of the Nazi regime was considered vile, despicable, and contemptible. What was significant, of course, was that the German government had the power to determine which utterances were unacceptable and to make their publication illegal.


Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War, by Ludwig von Mises, 1944
Partial contents: German Liberalism - The Triumph of Militarism - Etatism - Etatism and Nationalism - Refutation of Some Fallacious Explanations - The Peculiar Characteristics of German Nationalism - The Social Democrats in Imperial Germany
Related Topic: War

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Germany" as of 16 Sep 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.