Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Legacy of Being a German

I will occasionally comment on the change in German landscape, after WW II.

In 1939, if you'd done a decent'd find roughly 69.3 million residents in Germany.  By 1945, you'd find it being around 63 million.  The statistical folks would tell you that around eight to nine percent of the population just went away, and didn't exist anymore.

On the military side, the numbers go from 3.7 million to 4.4 million German soldiers who died.  The numbers can't be brought to a final conclusion because of the Russian habit of holding people for years and various Germans being declared dead but then showing up a year or two later (being released by the Russians).

Somewhere in the range of 400,000 German civilians died, from bombing runs and fires that occurred.  Again, it can never be brought to a precise number because whole neighborhoods simply disappeared in some cases.

Germans killed by the Nazis?  This gets brought up and the general number assigned is a minimum of 300,000.

Layered over the top of WW I?

The general figure of 2 million German soldiers dead is often given.  On top of that, with civilians from disease or malnutrition?  400,000 to 700,000 civilians.  In this case, it adds up to roughly four percent of the population.

In the case of the two wars.....there's a large segment of men who don't come back and it has an endearing affect on German society....even today.

Germans went through a regrowth period in the 1950s and 1960s....with the population returning to some norm, and hitting some peak of around eighty-two million back around around a decade ago.  Because of a lessening birth-rate....the nation is shifting back to the 65 to 69 million number....within twenty-five years.  This number is often quoted by university research projects, the German government itself, and private foundations.  Other than immigrants changing this landscape, there's not much that change where they are heading.

The worst period of German history from 1914 to 1945?

If you go back to the Thirty Years War (starting in 1619), most historians throw differing numbers around in the region....where the plague and the war, along with malnutrition and starvation.....probably killed off around fifty-percent of the Germanic population.

Whatever exists today in built upon the legacy of a lot of Germans having endeared a tough circumstance to be standing here today.

No comments: