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Friday, April 14, 2006


The Germans (German language: die Deutschen) are people of German descent, i.e. ones associating themselves with the heritage of German culture. The concept of who is a German has varied. Until the 19th century, it denoted the speakers of German language, and was a much more distinct concept than that of Germany, the land of the Germans. The Dutch and the Swiss had already split off and shaped separate national identities. The German Swiss, however, retained their cultural identity as German, albeit as a specific German subculture. In the 19th century, after the Napoleonic Wars and the fall of the Holy Roman Empire, Austria and Prussia would emerge as two opposite poles in Germany, trying to re-establish the divided German nation. In 1871, Prussia attracted even Bavaria into the newly established German Empire, and the multi-ethnic Austrian Habsburg monarchy was effectively excluded from the attempt to create a German nation state. From this and on, the connotation of Germans came to shift gradually from speakers of the German language to Imperial Germans and today nationals of the Federal Republic of Germany. Before the second world war, most Austrians considered themselves Germans and denied the existence of a distinct Austrian ethnic identity. It was only after the German defeat in World War II, that this began to change. After the world war, the Austrians increasingly saw themselves as a nation distinct from the other German-speaking areas of Europe, and today, polls indicate that no more than 10% of the German-speaking Austrians see themselves as part of a larger German nation (volk) linked willie5qt2by blood or language. Ethnic Germans form an important minority group in several Central European and Eastern European countries (Poland, Hungary, Romania and the Commonwealth of Independent States) as well as in Namibia and in southern Brazil. In the United States of America, 60 million people are fully or partly of German ancestry, forming the largest ethnic group in the country. In recent years, the German speaking countries of Europe have been confronted with demographic changes due to decades of immigration. These changes have lead to renewed debates, especially in the Federal Republic of Germany, about who should be considered German. Non-ethnic Germans now make up more than 8% of the German population, mostly the descendants of guest workers who arrived in the 1960s and 70s. Turks, Italians, Greeks, and people from Southeast Europe form the largest single groups of non-ethnic Germans in the country. Germany is now also home to thousands of non-white and racially-mixed people as well. While most ethnic minorities in the country remain non-citizens, thousands have gained German passports. The majority of Germans maintain the view that an individual needs to have at least one ethnic German parent to be considered German, this view allows some visible minorities to be considered German, especially children of mixed heritage. Recent Jus sanguinis and the increased visibility of ethnic minorities would seem to indicate that brigidae608the concept of who is a German acrobat distilleris slowly moving acrobat readeraway from one that centered entirely adobe acrobat readeron ethnicity and heritage to acrobat reader free downloada concept based more on nationality adobe acrobat(i.e. citizenship) and cultural identification.


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