55+ Facts About Germany You Should Know

Discover 55+ fun facts about Germany!

Germany,  officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a large country of wide contrasts. Germany is home to the sandy islands of the North Sea, the lakes of Mecklenburg, lonely castles perched on crags in Baden and Thuringia, medieval cities and fairytale villages, and mountain ranges including the Alps. It is also the land of Bach, Beethoven, Goethe, Schiller, and other artists that influenced Western culture. Here are some interesting facts about Germany. 

Facts about Germany

1. Germany is the seventh-largest country in Europe.

Occupying an area of 357,022 km² (137,847 sq mi), Germany is the 63rd largest nation in the world. Comparatively, it is about three times the size of the US state of Pennsylvania.

2. Germany is the most populous nation in the European Union (EU) and the second-most populous nation in Europe.

With a population of approximately 84 million, Germany is by far the European Union’s most populous member country. It is also the second-most populous country in Europe behind Russia.

3. Germany shares a land border with nine other European countries – the most of any country in the European Union (EU).

Germany is bordered by Denmark (140 km/86 mi) to the north, Poland (467 km/290 mi) and the Czech Republic (704 km/437 mi) to the east, Austria (801 km/497 mi) to the southeast, and Switzerland (348 km/216 mi) to the south-southwest, France (418 km/259 mi), Luxembourg (138 km/85 mi) and Belgium  (133 km/82 mi) to the west, and the Netherlands (575 km/357 mi) to the northwest.

4. The highest point in Germany is Zugspitze.

Rising to an elevation of 2,962 m (9,718 ft) above sea level, Zugspitze is the highest peak of the Wetterstein Mountains as well as the highest mountain in Germany. It is located in southern Germany near the border with Austria.

5. Germany has the largest railway network in the European Union (EU).  

At a total length of over 40,000 km, Germany’s railway network is the biggest in the EU and the sixth biggest in the world.

6. Around 65% of Germany’s Autobahn (the federal controlled-access highway system) has no speed limit.  

Germany’s Autobahn is one of the most famous highway systems in the world. With over 12,070 km (7,500 mi) of expressway connecting various points across Germany, the Autobahn is known for its high velocity. 

Contrary to popular belief, the entire Autobahn is not speed-limit-less; around 65% of the Autobahn has zero speed limitations.

7. It is illegal to run out of fuel on the Autobahn.  

It is illegal to stop unnecessarily on Germany’s super-fast Autobahn and it is illegal to run out of gas on the Autobahn as it is seen as a preventable circumstance. Failure to comply can result in drivers being fined and also having their licenses suspended for up to six months.

8. Attempting to escape from prison is legal in Germany.  

One of the more peculiar facts about Germany is that prison escape is not punishable by law as German law considers ‘freedom’ to be a basic human instinct. This is opposed to the legal system in the United States where escaping from prison is a criminal offense that results in extra years being added to the original sentence.

However, if an escapee is caught, he/she is liable to be sent back to prison to serve the remainder of his/her sentence. 

9. The first magazine ever seen was launched in 1663 in Germany.  

Dating to 1663, the Erbauliche Monaths-Unterredungen (“Edifying Monthly Discussions”) was a German philosophy periodical that is considered to be the world’s first magazine.

10. The name “Germany” comes from Latin.  

The name “Germany” comes from the Latin Germania, the Roman name for the lands north of the Alps, where the Barbarian tribes lived.

11. Germany is home to the narrowest street in the world.  

According to Guinness World Records, the narrowest street in the world is Spreuerhofstraße, located in the old town of Reutlingen, in Germany. Running between two closely built houses, Spreuerhofstraße is only 31 cm (12.2 in) wide at its narrowest point and 40 cm (15.75 in) wide on average. 

12. In Germany, there are fake bus stops outside many nursing homes to prevent confused senior citizens from wandering off.

Fake bus stops were introduced in Germany in the 2000s, with the intention of reducing wandering among older individuals and to help elderly people with dementia mitigate their anxiety. Benches or booths resembling real bus stops are erected in the corridors of old people’s homes or just outside.

These stops are sometimes outfitted with information boards, fake timetables, and actual bus stop signs, but a bus is never actually going to arrive. 

13. In Germany, your baby’s name must be the one on a pre-approved list.

One of the most unique facts about Germany is that all babies’ names in the country must be approved by the Standesamt (German civil registration office). In Germany, your baby’s name cannot be a surname, product, or object, and the name chosen must not negatively affect the well-being of the child or lead to humiliation. This is in contrast to the US, where parents can name their children pretty much whatever they like.

If one or both parents hail from a different country and opt for a name native to their home country, then the relevant foreign embassy will be consulted for this name. Examples of some names banned in Germany are Osama Bin Laden, Adolf Hitler, Kohl, and Stompie.

14. Germany was once a cluster of small kingdoms, duchies, and principalities.

From the Middle Ages till the 19th century, present-day Germany consisted of a realm of small kingdoms, duchies, and principalities. Germany only unified as recently as 1871, when Wilhelm I became the leader of the German Empire following the Franco-Prussian War.

15. Germany was a divided country from 1949 to 1990.

At the end of the Second World War, Germany was divided into four zones of occupation under the control of the United States, Britain, France, and the Soviet Union. Soon, the nation became a focus of Cold War politics and as divisions between East and West became more evident, so too did the division of Germany.

In 1949, Germany formally split into two independent nations: the Federal Republic of Germany (FDR or West Germany), allied to the Western democracies, and the German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany), allied to the Soviet Union. 

On 3 October 1990, the division of Germany ended when the two sides were officially reunified. Each year, October 3rd is celebrated as German Unity Day.

16. Germany made its final reparations payment from the WWI Treaty of Versailles in 2010.

Germany made its final payment for reparations as outlined in the Treaty of Versailles that concluded World War I. Germany’s debt from WWI was equivalent to 96,000 tons of gold.

The huge debt levied upon Germany after its World War I defeat has often been cited as a contributing factor to the rise of Adolf Hitler, the Nazi party, and the eventual breakout of World War II.

17. Germany was the first country in the world to adopt Daylight Saving Time (DST).

On 30 April 1916, Germany became the first country to implement Daylight Saving Time (DST). This was done in an effort to conserve energy and provide more usable hours of daylight.

18. Germany is home to the oldest brewery in the world that is still in operation.

The Weihenstephan Brewery began brewing beer in 1040 and is widely regarded as the oldest brewery in the world. Founded by monks, the Freising-based Bavarian brewery has survived four fires, three plagues, multiple earthquakes, and various wars throughout its near thousand-year history.

Though Weihenstephan brews about a dozen beer styles, including a dark beer, a pilsner, a seasonal lager, and an alcohol-free version, it is particularly famous for its Hefeweizen or wheat beer.

19. Fanta originated in Germany after difficulties importing Coca-Cola syrup into Nazi Germany during World War II.

Did you know that Fanta, the definitive orange soda, originated in Germany during World War II? Heavy trade embargoes during World War II led to difficulties in importing the original Coca-Cola syrup from the US. 

Because of this, the production of Coke ceased in Germany during the war. Consequently, Max Keith, the head of Coca-Cola in Germany had chemists concoct another soda that was vaguely similar to Coke with leftover materials such as apple pomace and whey. 

The resulting liquid was Fanta, though it originally resembled today’s ginger ale. The orange Fanta we know today only became flavored with citrus fruits in the 1950s.

20. Germany is home to the world’s tallest church.

The tallest church in the world is the Ulm Minster, the main Lutheran congregation in Ulm, Germany. Built in the late 19th century, the spire of the Gothic church reaches a height of 161.5 m (530 ft).

21. The largest ceiling fresco in the world can be found in Germany.

The largest ceiling fresco in the world is the Giambattista Tiepolo, which can be found in the Würzburg Residenz, a palace in southern Germany. The massive fresco measures 190 x 30.5 meters (623 ft x 100 ft) and adorns the vaulting of the grand staircase of the palace, leading from the ground floor to the first floor.

22. Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany.

Under German law, Holocaust denial constitutes a crime and carries a sentence of up to five years in jail.

23. Around 300 kinds of bread and 1,200 different kinds of pastries and rolls are produced in Germany.

Germany is a foodie’s paradise and a carb watchers nightmare as there are more than 300 bread varieties and over 1,200 different bread rolls and baked goods in Germany. 

It is thought to be the country with the largest choice of types of bread. Most are mixed breads, where a mixture of rye and wheat flours are used.

24. The Treaty of Versailles reduced Germany’s territory in Europe by approximately 13 percent and stripped Germany of all its overseas territories and colonies.

Among the many unfavorable conditions imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, the country lost a great deal of its territory, mainly to Poland, France, and Lithuania. Germany also lost territory to Belgium, Luxembourg, and Czechoslovakia.

With this treaty, Germany also was stripped of its colonial empire in Africa which included German West Africa (primarily modern-day Cameroon and Ghana, but also parts of modern-day Nigeria, Togo, and the Central African Republic), and German East Africa (primarily present-day Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania, but also parts of Chad, Kenya, and Mozambique). 

Germany also lost possession of German South West Africa (present-day Namibia). Although it is difficult to know the exact parameters of Germany’s African territories, it is estimated that German Africa covered at least 4.5 million km².

25. Adidas and Puma, the second and third largest sportswear manufacturers in the world, were both founded in the German town of Herzogenaurach as a result of a feud between two brothers.

Although the small Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach seems like a sleepy backwater, it is home to two of the world’s largest sportswear companies. It is here that Rudolf (“Rudi”) Dassler founded Puma in 1948 and a year later his younger brother Adolf (“Adi”) Dassler established Adidas.

Rudolf and his younger brother Adolf began their shoe business (Sportfabrik Gebrüder Dassler, or Geda) in their mother’s laundry room in the 1920s. However, after World War II the brothers had a terrible falling out. Their spat resulted in the creation of two sports giants, Puma and Adidas, both of which are still headquartered in Herzogenaurach.

For decades, the rivalry between Adidas and Puma split the town in two, with brand loyalty becoming paramount for many residents. Herzogenaurach was infamously known as “the city of bent necks” because everyone’s first gaze was at other people’s shoes.

26. Germany is considered the world’s capital of penis enlargement.

Among the many things that Germany is a world leader in is penis enlargement surgery! According to data released by plastic surgeons, approximately one in five penis enlargement operations takes place in Germany.

27. In Germany, there’s a specific word for analyzing and learning to live with the past, in particular the Holocaust: “Vergangenheitsbewältigung.”

Germany has had an unsettled recent history, including both World Wars, the Nazi regime, and tension between East and West Germany. The term “Vergangenheitsbewältigung”, which literally translates as “coping with the past”, has become a key concept in post-1945 German culture. 

It describes the way in which Germans discuss and confront their history, in particular the excesses and human rights abuses associated with the Holocaust.

28. Munich, the southernmost major city in Germany, further north than any major city in the United States (excluding Alaska).

One of the interesting geographical Germany facts is that Munich, the country’s southernmost city Munich, is situated further north than any major city in the United States (excluding Alaska). Munich is located just above the 48th parallel, making it even further north than Seattle, the northernmost major city in mainland United States.

29. The 9th of November has been the date of several important events in German history and is known as “Schicksalstag” (“Day of Fate”).

9 November is a significant day in Germany as several notable events in German history are connected to the date. Among the prominent events in German history to occur on 9 November are the end of monarchy in 1918, Hitler’s failed Beer Hall Putsch in 1923, the Nazi antisemitic pogroms (Kristallnacht) in 1938, and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

30. In 1923, Germany suffered the world’s fourth-worst hyperinflation on record during which it took approximately 3.7 days for prices to double.

One of the primary causes of hyperinflation in Germany after World War I was the war reparations demanded by the Treaty of Versailles which required expenses to be paid for with a gold or foreign currency equivalent, instead of German papiermarks. 

During the worst period of Germany’s hyperinflation in October 1923, a loaf of bread cost 428 billion marks, and a kilo of butter was 6 trillion! The hyperinflation situation was so extreme that a psychological disorder called “Zero Stroke” was coined after Germans were forced to transact in the hundreds of billions for everyday items and were giddy at the number of zeroes involved.

At one stage, workers were paid daily by the wheelbarrow load and then ran to shops as the value of the currency would drop too much when walking!

31. The balcony of the hotel where American pop star Michael Jackson infamously dangled his son over is in Berlin.

In 2002, American pop star Michael Jackson infamously dangled his 9-month-old son Prince Michael II with one arm out of the balcony on the fifth floor of Hotel Adlon in Berlin. Although Jackson later apologized for his actions, saying he “got caught up in the moment”, the incident understandably generated much public outrage.

32. “Ostalgie” is a German term referring to nostalgia for East Germany.

Although a vast majority of East Germans are happy to live in a freer and wealthier unified Germany, some citizens of the former GDR (German Democratic Republic) have “Ostalgie” (nostalgia for East Germany and East German products, if not for the collapsed socialist political system itself).

After German reunification in 1990, everyday life remained unchanged in the West. However, East Germans changed or lost their jobs and positions, paid higher wages to new renters, elected different parties, bought consumer goods that were unobtainable until then, and so on. 

Ostalgie and the emphasis on a distinct East German identity (Ostidentität) partly arose as a result of East Germans attempting to distinguish themselves from West Germans and as a means to extensively preserve the culture of the GDR before it would be depreciated by the West.

33. The first person to win the Academy Award for Best Actor was a German film star, Emil Jannings.

German film star Emil Jannings was the first recipient of the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1929 for his roles in the films The Last Command (1928) and The Way of All Flesh (1927). To date, Jannings is the only German ever to have won the Oscar for Best Actor.

34. The oldest city in Germany is Trier.

Founded in 16 BC during the reign of Roman Emperor Augustus, Trier is Germany’s oldest city. It is located in southwestern Germany near the Luxembourg border and is an important site for ancient art treasures and monuments.

35. About two-thirds of Germany’s population is Christian.

Christianity is the predominant religion in Germany with Christians accounting for approximately two-thirds of the population. Christians in Germany are split evenly between Protestant and Catholic, but you’ll find more Protestants in the north and more Catholics in the south.

36. Pillows are considered to be “passive weapons” in Germany.

One of the most amusing facts about Germany is that in accordance with German law, a pillow can be regarded as a passive weapon. If you were to whack someone with a pillow and somehow injure them, you could technically be charged with assault.

37. Germany boasts some of the world’s most famous inventions.

Germany is rightfully considered as a nation of practical people, so it is hardly surprising that the history books abound with the names of Germans who have made important contributions to the development of science and technology. 

Some of the most notable German inventions and discoveries are the lightbulb, the automated calculator, the automobile, insulin, aspirin, printing with movable type, the pocket watch, the clarinet, paraffin, contact lenses, scotch tape, radio waves, and X-rays,

More German inventions include the Fahrenheit scale, coffee filters, gummy bears, toothpaste, gasoline and diesel engines, the automobile engine, the cuckoo clock, the electron microscope, the motorcycle, the jet engine, the LCD screen, and the personal cassette player (later named the Walkman by Sony).

38. Watching the slapstick 1963 British comedy sketch “Dinner for One” is an essential part of the German New Year’s Celebration.

Every New Year’s Eve, half of all Germans are glued in front of their televisions to watch a 1963 English comedy sketch called Dinner for One. Although most of the English-speaking world is ignorant of its existence, this obscure British slapstick sketch starring Freddie Frinton and May Warden has become Germany’s most popular New Year’s tradition.

Dinner for One is so popular that its catchphrase “the same procedure as every year” has become an intrinsic part of the German language. Every year it is screened (running at either 11 or 18 minutes), usually several times, by most of Germany’s regional public TV channels. Oddly, it is broadcast in English without subtitles.  

German entertainer Peter Frankenfeld stumbled upon Dinner for One in Blackpool’s seaside circuit in 1962. Frankenfeld was so besotted that he invited actors Freddie Frinton and May Warden to perform the sketch on his live TV show Guten Abend, Peter Frankenfeld. The now-classic black-and-white recording of the skit dates from a 1963 live performance in Hamburg’s Theater am Besenbinderhof. 

39. A mistake at a press conference helped topple the Berlin Wall.

The fall of the Berlin Wall has a lot of memorable moments but a less remarkable moment actually precipitated the toppling of the wall. It happened at a routine press conference on 9 November 1989, when East German spokesperson Günter Schabowski was handed an announcement about relaxed travel regulations.

Although the intention was to announce the changes overnight and phase in the new rules the next morning, Schabowski delivered the incredible news that East Germans would be able to leave the GDR without preconditions at all border crossings with West Germany. He then compounded his blunder by adding the new rules would come into force “immediately.”

The press conference was broadcast live on East German TV and prompted East Germans to rush to border crossings that evening and sealed the rapid demise of the Soviet-backed GDR. The first border checkpoint that was opened was the one in Bornholmer Strasse at 11.29 p.m.

40. Germany hosts the world’s largest annual beer festival.

Munich’s Oktoberfest is the world’s biggest beer festival, regularly attracting more than 6 million visitors. It was first held in 1810 in honor of the Bavarian crown prince Ludwig’s marriage to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The festival proved a big hit and has been held ever since.

Although called “Oktoberfest”, the majority of the 16-18 day festival actually takes place in September and lasts to the first Sunday in October. Other than beer, the main highlights of the event is the Costume and Riflemen’s Parade.

41. In Germany there exists the only tree in the world with its own mailing address.

One of the mind blowing facts about Germany is that it is home to the only tree in the world that has its own postcode! Deep in northern Germany’s Dodauer Forest, outside the town of Eutin, lies the Bridegroom’s Oak—the only tree in the world with its own mailing address. The German postal service, Deutsche Post, assigned the oak its own postcode and postman in 1927.

The “matchmaking” tree receives about 1,000 letters per year from singles looking for love. Anyone can take letters from the tree and respond. It is estimated the tree has been responsible for over 100 marriages. 

42. First aid training is required to get a driver’s license in Germany.

In Germany, first aid training is deemed necessary to get a driver’s license, in order to ensure that in the event of an accident other drivers will be able to help.

43. It is illegal to homeschool in Germany.

Homeschooling has been illegal in Germany since 1919. It is allowed only for medical reasons, and even then is rarely permitted.

44. An average of 2,000 tons of unexploded munitions from World War II are discovered in Germany each year.

Although Germany has been at peace for over 75 years, German bomb-disposal squads are among the busiest in the world. More than 2,000 tons of unexploded munitions are uncovered on German soil every year. 

Before any construction project begins in Germany, the ground must be certified as cleared of unexploded ordnance. What’s worse is that the work of defusing and disposal is becoming more dangerous and difficult as the bombs degrade.

45. Aspirin and Heroin were registered trademarks of the Bayer pharmaceutical company in Germany until the end of the first World War.

Along with Aspirin, the most common drug in household medicine cabinets, German pharmaceutical company Bayer also owned the trademark to an opiate drug it had named Heroin. 

After Germany’s surrender in World War I, the 1919 Treaty of Versailles exacted war reparations that included Bayer’s forfeiture of the aspirin and heroin trademarks in the United Kingdom, the United States, France, and Russia. Consequently, aspirin and heroin became generic drugs.

46. Germany is the only country in the world to have enacted a law to make dog training a “protected profession”, meaning that an exam has to be passed before a person can call themselves a dog trainer.

Germany is presently the only country in the world to legislate dog training.

47. Performing the Nazi salute in Germany is a criminal offense punishable by up to 3 years in prison.

The Nazi salute has been deemed a provocative gesture and a punishable crime in Germany since 1945. In addition, the Nazi Party is banned in the country. Symbols such as the swastika and other Nazi imagery can only be used for teaching, in films or historical research, or in documentaries or films satirizing the Nazis. 

48. The world’s first televised sporting event was the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

The first televised sporting event in the world occurred in 1936 when two German networks aired the 1936 Summer Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany. 72 hours of live black and white Olympics coverage were beamed out to special viewing booths called “Public Television Offices” in Berlin and Potsdam. 

49. Germany was the first country to have universal healthcare.

Germany has the world’s oldest universal healthcare system dating back to 1883 when Chancellor Otto von Bismarck’s social legislation made nationwide health insurance compulsory.

50. Germany is the birthplace of Protestantism.

In 1517, on the eve of All Souls’ Day (31 October), German monk and professor of theology Martin Luther nailed his 95 “theses” to the doors of the castle church in Wittenberg, condemning the practice of excesses of the Catholic Church. This event came to be considered the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.  

His subsequent pronouncements, in which he criticized many aspects of the Church’s teaching and indulgences, made him the “father” of the Reformation movement in Germany and other countries. Luther’s teachings led to religious wars which finally ended with the Augsburg Peace Treaty, signed in 1555, which confirmed the religious division of Germany. 

51. Although the German national anthem has three stanzas, only the third stanza has been used as the national anthem. 

“Deutschlandlied” (Song of Germany), also known as “Das Lied der Deutschen” or (The Song of the Germans) has been the national anthem of Germany since 1922. It was written by the German linguist and poet August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben in 1841 and consists of three stanzas. 

In 1945, the use of all national symbols of Nazi Germany, including the “Deutschlandlied” was prohibited by the Allies. In 1951, “Deutschlandlied” was restored in 1951 by West Germany, using officially only the third verse.

After German reunification in 1990, the third stanza of “Deutschlandlied” was confirmed as the national anthem. The other verses, which include the lyrics “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles/Über alles in der Welt” (Germany, Germany above all/Above all in the world) were dropped due to their association with Nazi Germany.

Contrary to popular belief, the first two stanzas aren’t currently forbidden to be sung in Germany, nor is it a crime to perform the whole “Deutschlandlied” at events. The performance of the first verse, though, is often seen as an extremist, right-wing act.

52. Germany is home to 46 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Given its rich history, it comes as no surprise that Germany is home to 45 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Some of the most notable UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Germany are the Aachen Cathedral, the Cologne Cathedral, the Hanseatic City of Lübeck, the Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin, the Town of Bamberg, and the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen.

53. Between 1945 and 1959, more than 1,600 German scientists, engineers, and technicians (many of whom were Nazi Party members) were taken from former Nazi Germany to the United States for government employment after the end of World War II.

After World War II, the US government raced to take over the famously most sophisticated and legendary German technology of its time such as aircraft technology, supersonic rockets, cruise missiles, and even stealth technology aircraft. This was done to gain military advantage in the Soviet–American Cold War, and the Space Race.

Through a covert intelligence program named “Operation Paperclip”, the United States managed to bring hundreds of people from Germany, consisting of medical experts, missile experts, physicists and chemists, geophysicists, space experts, and biological weapons experts. In addition, tons of documents, hardware, weapon systems, and technologies were transferred from Germany to the United States.

Operation Paperclip was top secret at the time since some of these men helped create designs that killed many people throughout the world. Not all the men recruited were Nazis or SS officers but the most prominent and valued among them were, having worked either directly with Hitler or leading members of the Nazi Party.

Some of the most notable Nazi scientists recruited to the US through Operation Paperclip include:

  • Wernher Von Braun: rocket expert who helped the Apollo missions and human landings on the Moon in 1969
  • Arthur Rudolph: rocket expert who was later recruited to become a NASA scientist)
  • Eberhard Rees: rocketry pioneer and the second director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center
  • Sidney Gottlieb: chemist and spy who was later recruited into the Central Intelligence Service and was involved in the MK Ultra project
  • Otto Ambros: Hitler’s favorite chemist who became an adviser to chemical companies such as W. R. Grace, Dow Chemical, as well as the U.S. Army Chemical Corps
  • Hubertus Wagner: inventor of the Henschel missile recruited at the Special Devices Center

54. Germany was the last country to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games in the same year, in 1936.

In 1936, the Summer Olympics took place in Berlin and the Winter Olympics were held in the ski town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in southern Germany.

55. The famed Olympic torch relay was first performed at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin and was actually created by the Nazis for propaganda in 1936.

The torch relay that culminates in the ceremonial lighting of the flame at Olympic stadium was ordered by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, who intended to turn the 1936 Berlin Games into a celebration of the Third Reich. With its aura of ancient mysticism, the ritual gave the Nazis a perfect platform to tie the Third Reich to the glory of ancient Greece.

While the pageantry of the 1936 Summer Olympics torch relay appeared to reprise a sacred ancient Greek tradition, the torch relay was actually a piece of political theater carefully scripted and paid for entirely by Nazi Germany. It had nothing to do with the Games born centuries ago in Ancient Olympia.

The Greeks employed a ritual fire in the ancient Olympics, but the Greeks opened their Olympics by word of mouth, sending heralds – not torchbearers – running through the streets. The Olympic torch relay was the brainchild of Carl Diem, the chief organizer of the Berlin Games.

56. The national tree of Germany is the oak tree.

Like several other nations, the oak tree is Germany’s national tree as it symbolizes strength, morale, resistance, and knowledge.

57. Germany is the second most popular immigration destination in the world.