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About 30 percent of Germans belong to the official Protestant church.

An estimated 28 percent of the population is Catholic.

Names must also be chosen from a pool of distinctly German names.

These include Dieter and Helmut for boys and Katarina and Christa for girls. Its characters, including Siegfried, Brunhilde, and Hagen, have become famous around the world through the operas of Richard Wagner (1813–83).

A number of different languages, including Turkish, are spoken by Germany's immigrant populations.

The destruction of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 became one of the most important symbols of the communist system's collapse.

In March 1990, the East Germans held their first free elections.

Low German is spoken along the North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts and on Germany's offshore islands.

It has some features in common with Dutch and even English (examples: Standard German Wasser, Low German Water; Standard German Apfel, Low German Appel ).

Before the 1930s, Germany had a Jewish population of about 530,000. Muslims (followers of Islam) now account for nearly 3 percent of the population. Germany's legal holidays include New Year's Day (January 1), Good Friday (late March or early April), Easter (late March or early April), Pentecost (in May), Labor Day (May 1), and Christmas (December 25).

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