The Germans (German: Deutsche) are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages. Legally, Germans are citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Of approximately 100 million native speakers of German in the world, about 66–75 million consider themselves Germans. There are an additional 80 million people of German ancestry mainly in the United States, Brazil (almost totally in the country's South Region), Canada, Argentina, France, Russia, Chile, Poland, Australia and Romania (who most likely are not native speakers of German). Thus, the total number of Germans worldwide lies between 66 and 160 million, depending on the criteria applied (native speakers, single-ancestry ethnic Germans, partial German ancestry, etc.).
Today, peoples from countries with a German-speaking majority or significant German-speaking population groups other than Germany, such as Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg, have developed their own national identity, and since the end of World War II, have not referred to themselves as "Germans" in a modern context.
Famous quotes containing the word germans:
“The Germans are always too late. They are late, like music, which is always the last of the arts to express a world condition,when that world condition is already in its final stages. They are abstract and mystical.”
—Thomas Mann (18751955)
“Biography, too, is liable to the same objection; it should be autobiography. Let us not, as the Germans advise, endeavor to go abroad and vex our bowels that we may be somebody else to explain him. If I am not I, who will be?”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“New York is a meeting place for every race in the world, but the Chinese, Armenians, Russians, and Germans remain foreigners. So does everyone except the blacks. There is no doubt but that the blacks exercise great influence in North America, and, no matter what anyone says, they are the most delicate, spiritual element in that world.”
—Federico García Lorca (18981936)