CountryAAH, Mounir Motassadeq was sentenced in January to 15
years in prison for assisting al-Qaeda members in the plans
for the September 9, 2001 terrorist attack against the
United States. This was the third time the Hamburg court
sentenced Motassadeq, who again denied he knew of the plans.
The first time was in 2003, in a case that was later
annulled, and the second time was in 2005 when the
prosecution involved membership in a terrorist organization.
A Stuttgart court in February pardoned Brigitte
Mohnhaupt, a former member of the city guerrilla Red Army
faction (RAF). In 1985, Mohnhaupt had been sentenced to life
imprisonment for interference with, among other things. nine
murders. She was no longer considered a threat to society
and was released in March, despite protests from some
politicians and relatives of the victims.
This year's only election was held in the city of Bremen
in May. The result was that the Social Democrats in the SPD
formed government with the Greens after having co-ruled with
the Christian Democratic CDU for twelve years.
During the first half of the year, Germany was the EU's
Presidency. Chancellor Angela Merkel made it clear that the
highest priority was to create a new EU treaty instead of
the constitution that was scrapped when voters in France and
the Netherlands voted no in 2005. In June, before Germany
handed over the Presidency, EU members agreed on the
framework for a new "reform treaty" and mandated an IGC to
elaborate on the details.
The agreement was seen as a success for Merkel, who was
also praised for the summit of the eight G8 industrialized
countries, also held in June. The climate issue dominated
the meeting, and Merkel was hailed for having been with the
United States on a letter of intent to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions. The health resort of Heiligendamm on the Baltic
Sea, where the meeting was held, was completely blocked off
with fences and a massive police raid to keep thousands of
globalization opponents and other protesters at bay.
A new left-wing party was formed in June, when the two
parts of the Alliance Alliance Die Linke completed the
collaboration by merging. Thus was dissolved WASG, which
consisted of defunct Social Democrats led by former Finance
Minister Oskar Lafontaine, and PDS, heir to the communists
in former East Germany. Die Linke emerged as an alliance in
the Bundestag election in 2005 and received 8 percent of the
The city of Duisburg was shaken in August by the murders
of six Italians who were shot to death outside a restaurant.
At least some of them were found to be linked to the Italian
mafia, which was reported to have extensive drug trafficking
Warnings had been going on for months about an increased
risk of terrorism in Germany when police arrested three
young men in September and seized large amounts of
explosives. The three - two Germans who converted to Islam
and a Turkish citizen living in the country - were said to
have planned attacks on Frankfurt Airport as well as several
US targets in Germany. The men were said to belong to an
Islamist organization with roots in Uzbekistan and links to
the al-Qaeda terror network.
The leader of the Christian Social CSU in Bavaria, Edmund
Stoiber, resigned in the fall as party leader. Stoiber also
left the post of head of government in the state, a post he
had held since 1993. New party leader for CSU, which is
CDU's sister party in Bavaria, became Erwin Huber, while
Günther Beckstein became new prime minister.
Deputy Chancellor and Labor Minister Franz Müntefering
resigned in November, citing his wife was seriously ill with
cancer. Müntefering had held a key position in the work of
holding together the government coalition between his own
SPD and Merkel's CDU. New Vice Chancellor became Foreign
Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, also he Social Democrat.
The train driver of the trade union GDL reached a
preliminary agreement in December with the train company
Deutsche Bahn, which was reported to mean a double-digit pay
raise. GDL's 34,000 locomotives had struck on several
occasions beginning in July. Chaos occurred in both freight
and passenger traffic when traffic was suspended for up to
three days in a strike action that was reported to be one of
the most extensive in German history.
At the end of the year, a package of measures was adopted
to substantially reduce carbon dioxide emissions up to 2020
through investments in, among other things. alternative
energy sources, cleaner coal burning and new car taxes.
The Prehistory of Germany
In prehistoric times, Germany was a very disparate area,
and cultural development differed in the different regions.
The northwestern part of the country shows a strong
connection to the Nordic countries in most periods;
northeastern Germany has had a similar development as in
Poland; the middle, eastern part of Germany has been heavily
influenced by Bohemia and the Danube area and has been
closely associated with Austria and Hungary. The Rhine area,
on the other hand, is strongly Western European.
Germany had a unified culture first in historical times.
The oldest prehistoric finds from the German area can be
linked to the Clactonia culture from ancient Paleolithic
times. There are a number of discoveries linked to the
Acheuléen culture, and from the Mousterian a number of
discoveries have been made of implements and skeletons of
In Late Paleolithic times, hunting became more
specialized and more effective. This is the time for the
magnificent cave art in Western Europe. From the end of the
Paleolithic period, the North German Hamburg and Ahrensburg
cultures are known. Tools and bone material testify here to
specialized reindeer hunters. Cultural development in the
Mesolithic era shows close connection with the development
in southern Scandinavia. Duvensee represents an important
site that is at the same time as the Danish Maglemose
culture. In the rest of Germany there are different
Mesolithic cultural groups.
The transition to the younger Stone Age (Neolithic Age)
is characterized by the introduction of agriculture. The
oldest Neolithic culture in Germany is represented by band
ceramic groups. These spread eastwards across the southern
and central German plains and developed into various
regional groups. In the northeast, the hopper culture
dominated. In the west, the Cortaillod culture spread. Some
time later, ceramic ceramic cultural groups came to form a
center in Saxony - Thuringia.
The transition to the Bronze Age
The transition to the Bronze Age is estimated at approx.
2300 BC, and the oldest part of the period is characterized
by the Aunjetitz culture with its center in Bohemia. Later
the center of gravity moved to the Danube area. In Northern
Germany, cultural development is very similar to the
southern Scandinavian. In the younger Bronze Age, the fire
burial custom spread from Hungary. In addition, new ceramic
forms and bronze objects, which are characteristic of the
earmarked cultures, gained access. In the discovery material
good contact with Italy and Greece is tracked.
The transition to the Iron Age
The transition to the Iron Age has not happened in
Germany at the same time everywhere. In the southern part of
the country, the Celtic Hallstatt culture represents this
transition, but in the north the Bronze Age continued for a
while. Only in the younger Hallstatt era did the transition
to the Iron Age take place.
In the archaeological material, a division into various
cultural areas is traced in the north, which may correspond
to the sites of different Germanic tribes. In the south, the
Hallstatt culture went into La Tène. Contrary to our times,
however, the Celtic La Tène culture was pushed both from
Germanic tribes and from the Romans, which expanded from the
In Roman times, Germany was divided into two separate
main areas. In the parts of the country occupied by the
Romans, a provincial Roman culture prevailed, while
independent Germanic tribes lived east of the Rhine.
However, these were relatively strongly influenced by the
Romans, and in the 1st century AD. the Roman impulses were
largely conveyed by the Markomans.
The migration period on the Continent has been marked by
tribes on migration. In the archaeological material it is
clearly seen that the Germanic objects disappear in the area
east of the Elbe and are replaced by Slavic types of
objects. From the time of the migration, in the southern and
western areas there is a rich archaeological material from
many burial fields. This disappears at the transition to
Christianity in the 600-700s.