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)
“I fancy we are almost the only nation in the world who seem to think that composition comes by nature. The French attend to their own language, the Germans study theirs; but Englishmen do not seem to think it is worth their while.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley (182595)
“I think that both here and in England there are two schools of thoughtthose who would be altruistic in regard to the Germans, hoping that by loving kindness to make them Christian againand those who would adopt a much tougher attitude. Most decidedly I belong to the latter school, for though I am not blood-thirsty, I want the Germans to know that this time at least they have definitely lost the war.”
—Franklin D. Roosevelt (18821945)