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November 05, 2000

For 11 years there has been simply Germany, no longer a country divided into East and West. The unified republic emerged when the 12-foot-high concrete Berlin Wall was brought down by the nation's people. A country roughly the size of the state of Montana, Germany has a long history of technological innovation, such as the revolutionary development of the printing press by Johann Gutenberg in 1450, and today is one of the world's largest and most advanced manufacturing centers. Learn about Germany's tumultuous history and many cultural contributions through these direct links on The Times Launch Point Web site:

Level 1

Cultural Connections: Germany: Famous German citizens include composers Beethoven and Brahms and authors such as the Grimm Brothers, who wrote "Hansel and Gretel," "Sleeping Beauty" and "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." Learn about Germany's people, food, holidays, and culture and compare them with other countries from around the globe.

Germany: An Exploration of the People and the Culture: Bretzeln is the German word for what we call pretzels. Try some recipes, learn about the German school system and social traditions and find out about daily life through photos and articles.

The Colors of Courage: Through interviews, photos and a timeline, this site created by fifth-graders honors those who demonstrated courage while living through discrimination, prejudice and the Holocaust.

Level 2

Die Bundesregierung Informiert: The Federal Government: This excellent site offers an illustrated look at such topics as geography, culture, economy and life in the community. Learn about Germany's federal government; access an online magazine that discusses politics, business, science and culture. Publications/Facts_about_Germany/ix937_8951.htm

Germany: The Federal Republic of Germany is a parliamentary democracy with one official (the federal president) serving as head of state and another (the federal chancellor) serving as head of the government. Listen to the national anthem and compare Germany's holidays with those in the U.S.

A Concrete Curtain: The Life & Death of the Berlin Wall: This year marks the 11th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Discover the history of the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall through this site that features maps and photos. Available in English, French and German.

Level 3

Germany--A Country Study: This comprehensive collection of articles details Germany's history from the Germanic tribes in the first century AD on up to the 1990s and includes sections on its geography, economy, government, culture and politics.

Holocaust--A Tragic Legacy: Investigate the painful history of the Holocaust through this project created by high school students. Hear stories told by Holocaust survivors, view a concentration camp, and tour an interactive timeline.

Encarta: Germany: Trace Germany's history from the Stone Age to the present day, learn about its geography and economy, and learn about important literary, philosophical and artistic figures such as Bauhaus architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe who was known for his philosophy of "Less is More."

This column was designed by Jennifer Chen, Daina Frias, Mariam Ishaq-Azizi and Anna Manring.


The answer to this Internet quiz can be found in the sites at right.

Why do Germans celebrate Reunification Day on Oct. 3?

CLUE: See Germany: An Exploration of the People and the Culture

Find What You Need to Know: Have a project on California history? Need help doing a math problem? Launch Point now covers more than 150 topics for getting your schoolwork done. Go to for the full list of subjects and direct links to the best Internet sites.

Answer to last week's Quest: Tom Cruise learns his lines by listening to a tape because he has dyslexia.

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