German Ethnicity

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          The Behrens family left Hinter Pommern, Germany and arrived in America at Ellis Island in 1884.  Of many immigrants, these three were the beginning of my family, John Frederick Behrens, who immigrated to America for job opportunities as a heavy framer, or as we know it today an engineer, his wife Hannah Hartsiel and their child John Frederick Behrens Jr. who went on to marry Minna Marie Peglow in 1892.  One of their eleven was George Edward Behrens (1896-1934) who married Leora Clemens, (who had also immigrated from Germany, but for the reason of seeking religious freedom) had 6 children, one of which is my Grandma Phyllis Jeraldine Behrens. Her mother is the reason I chose to do my Behrens side of my heritage instead of my DeMink Heritage.  My middle name is Behrens, to carry on my Great Grandmothers legacy.  My Great Grandmother Leora Behrens not only worked and raised 6 kids on her own during the depression, but also put herself through nursing school all at the same time.  I am very proud to be a descendant such a strong woman and to carry the name Behrens.

         Germany is mostly low lands, with scattered with small foothills tracing the mountains.  "Germany has a mild climate, largely because the land is near the sea"(Germany, 1999) that also makes it so the sea cools the land during summer and warms the land during the winter. What also comes with living next to water is the moderate to heavy rainfall. Germany's neighboring countries are "Denmark, Poland, The Czeck Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Present day Germany's main subsistence strategies is "Information technology at about 65%, industrial at about 34% and agricultural at about 1%"( Germany, 1999).

Information technology is mostly used in "community, government, and personal services.  Community services include such economic activities as education and health care.  Personal services consist of such activities as advertising and data processing, and the operation of cleaning establishments, repair shops, and beauty salons.  Government includes both public administration and defense. Other service industries are finance and insurance, trade, transportation and communications, and utilities."(Germany, 1999)  Information technology is very dependent on the technology such as computers for most of the work load of saving information and the processing of it.  Information technology is also dependent on the operators of the technology, the men and women entering the information in the form of date entry and the men and women who do the up keep work on the computers, printers etc.

Industrialism is the second highest used subsistence strategy used in Germany.  "Germany has large supplies of potash and rock salt.  It also has some lead, copper, petroleum, tin, uranium, and zinc.  East Germany produces large quantities of a low-quality coal called Lignite" (Germany, 1999) Although oil-burning and nuclear-powered generating plants are more common today, the main source of electrical power is still coal. "In southern Germany, mountain streams are used to generate hydro-electric power.  Germany has some gas fields, but it must import most of its natural gas.  The nation also depends on imported oil, mainly from the Middle East."(Germany, 1999)  Tools used would be things such as picks, shovels, dynamite, engines used to transport both workers and other machines into mine, engines to pump out mines and trucks to transport mined goods to be refined.

Agriculture although a rather small part of the subsistence strategy it is just as important.  "One third of Germany's food must be imported.  Germany is one of the world's largest importers of agricultural goods.  Potatoes are the only food produced in large enough quantities so that they do not have to be imported.  The chief grains include barley, oats, rye, and wheat.  Sugar beets Vegetables, apples, grapes, and other fruits are also important crops."(Germany, 1999)  Tools used in agriculture are tractors, seeders, plows, harvesters, large irrigation systems and fertilizers and pesticides, shovels, rakes etc.

Although pastoralism is not a significant percent of Germany's subsistence strategy it is an important source of income.  Large numbers of farmers raise beef and dairy cattle, hogs, horses, poultry, and sheep.  Tools used are shovels, rakes, fences, small irrigation, food and water troughs etc.

Germany's political organization is centralized, and they type of government is Democracy "where public authority is divided among federal, state, and local levels of government.  In federal elections held every four years, all citizens who are eighteen years of age or older are entitled to cast votes" (Germany, 2001)  The federal President holds the power and "Germany is a federal republic in which the people elect their representatives by secret ballot."(Germany, 1999)  Germans parliament has two houses, "the Bundestag (federal diet) and the Bundesrat (Federal council). The bundestag, which is the more powerful of the two houses, passes the laws and chooses the head of government. The Bundesrat is the house in which Germany's states are represented."(Germany, 1999)  The political parties in Germany are the social democratic party and social democratic party.

Germany has a capitalistic economy with a negative reciprocity between groups and added value exchange.  The economic sectors are primary-4% of the population, secondary-24% of population, tertiary-34% of population

Germany's main religions are Protestants, mostly Lutheran at 45%, Roman Catholics at 40% and Muslims at 2%. Making Germany have both polytheism and monotheism. Grave yards in Germany are a commonly visited place by the religious on holidays and personal anniversaries, they are considered hold ground.

The post-marital residence is neolocal.  The main type of marriage used in Germany is by love match, were people choose their own partners based on exogamy.  The family type in Germany is nuclear.  The type of decent is double, with a bilateral kinship.

Some interesting things that I found out about Germany and its people are that they really like to hike. Even the youth enjoy going on hiking trips, in which they stay the night at open inns, that actually have a slang term for which is youth hostel.

I also found that Germans love soccer.  Soccer is the most popular sport in Germany, followed by gymnastics and tennis.  There are thousands of soccer teams in Germany.

German schooling is very different from here in America, first, education is controlled by the state that you are in.  "All children must go to school full time for at least 9 or 10 years, starting at 6.  But the length of time children spend in elementary and other types of schools varies… most Germans attend elementary for four years. Children may then go to one of several types of schools. A traditional junior and senior high schools that provide training for university…intermediate schools with both university training and work skills… and vocational schools that offer much job training…. And comprehensive schools that combine all three types."(Germany, 1999)

I found while doing my research that Germany played a huge roll in shaping the art world that we see today, mostly of the influence is from the German Renaissance.  Today expressionism is big in Germany with many big names.

The most interesting thing that I found was that psychology was actually founded by a German man named Wilhelm Wundt in 1879.  Wundt was a teacher of a man named Edward Titchner who was the person to coin the term structuralism, meaning what the mind is, opposed to what it does.


Reference page

(2001). Germany. Countries and their cultures. New York, New York: Macmillan Reference USA.

(1999). Germany. The World book encyclopedia. Chicago, Illinois: World Book inc.

Wiedyk, Sarah.  11-18-09, visited and studied in Germany.