Jakob M. Pastötter
The German name is “Deutsche” from Germanic
(“nation/people”). Itdoes not go back to an ancient name or term but was developed followingthe line:
(Germany). The term was first coined as “theodiscus” in 768under the rule of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles the Great, orCharlemagne, in the context of language to make a distinction from theRomance-speaking people. Thus, even today,
strongly relies onculture and language, although the term
(GermanCulture Nation), which is a phrase of the 18th and 19th century todescribe the fact that Germanspeaking people share a common culturalheritage but do not live in a single state, is rarely used nowadays.
Today, Germans live in three states located in Central Europe: the FederalRepublic of Germany (FRG), which embraces 357,021 km
following thereunification of West Germany and the former Communist East Germanyin 1990, Austria with an area of 82,738 km
, and Switzerland with an areaof 41,293 km
. There is also the small Dukedom of Liechtenstein betweenSwitzerland and Austria with an area of 157 km
. German minorities livein all adjoining countries, but few German settlements in Eastern Europe,some going back to medieval colonies, have survived the expulsionsfollowing World War II and 50 years of Communist and nationalist rule.Denmark and the Baltic Sea mark the borders in the north, TheNetherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, and French-speakingSwitzerland in the west, Slovenia, Italy, and Italian-speaking Switzerlandin the south, and Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary inthe east. Germany’s terrain includes lowlands in the north, uplands in thecenter, and the Bavarian Alps in the south. Austria includes the AustrianAlps and their foothills in the western and southern parts and the DanubeRiver basin in the north and east, while German-speaking Switzerlandincludes uplands in the north and the Swiss Alps in the south. The climateis temperate and marine. In 2001, Germany had an estimated populationof 83,000,000, Austria of 8,000,000, and Swiss Germans accounted for4,000,000 of the total Swiss population of 7,000,000.
Although there are many aspects affecting the individual habitus as thesocial, cultural, and economic fabric of the three German-speaking