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Education

Literacy: 95 %.
Compulsory School Attendance: 10 years
Attendance: 100 %
Elementary school 'Grundschule': ages 6 through 10
Academic high school 'Gymnasium': ages 11 -19
Vocationally oriented 'Realschule': ages 11 - 16

The diploma from the Gymnasium is the basic requirement for admission to a university, the Realschule diploma to a commercial or technical college, or to the last three years of Gymnasium. A diploma from a Hauptschule, a vocationally oriented branch with five years of education, ages 11-15, is generally required to enter a formal three-year vocational training program for skilled technicians, craftsmen, etc., combined with classroom instruction at a vocational school (dual system of vocational training).

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History

As a result of World War II, Germany was divided. In 1949, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) developed out of the Soviet zone of occupation, and the Federal Republic of Germany out of the U.S., British and French zones. Divided Berlin became a special area under joint administration by the Four Powers. The German Democratic Republic claimed East Berlin as its capital, while the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany was located in Bonn.

On August 13, 1961, the East German government built the Berlin Wall, sealing off Berlin East from Berlin West. Twenty-eight years later, on November 9, 1989, the exodus of thousands of East Germans via Hungary and Austria to West Germany, and mass demonstrations in a number of East German cities, led to the opening of the Berlin Wall.

On October 3, 1990, East Germany acceded to the Federal Republic of Germany. Germany was united again. In June 1991, the German Parliament decided to move the seat of government and parliament to the capital Berlin.

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National Emblems

Federal flag: Three equal horizontal stripes in black, red and gold
Federal seal: Black eagle on a gold background
National Anthem: Third stanza ("Unity and Right and Freedom for the German Fatherland'') of "Deutschland-Lied" (Song of Germany). Lyrics from an 1841 poem by Hoffmann von Fallersleben, the music is Haydn's old "Emperor Quartet."

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Intl. Organizations

Member Major International Organizations:
UN and all of its special agencies, NATO, WEU, EU, EMU, OECD, GATT/WTO, OSCE.

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