What do you know about Romania


Official name: Romania
Capital: Bucharest
Continent: Europe
Currency: Leu

Language: Romanian
Area: 237,500 km² (Germany: 357,111 km²)
Population: 21.5 million (Germany: 81.7 million)
National holiday: December 1st, Unity Day

Romania is located in southeastern Europe and has Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and Moldova as neighboring countries. The remainder of the country's border is on the Black Sea coast. This is also where the Danube, the country's most important river, flows into the sea. Bucharest is the capital of Romania. With almost two million inhabitants, it is the sixth largest city in the European Union.

Long road to democracy
Romania was created through the merger of two principalities and the Transylvania region. But since then the political situation has changed frequently: Romania was a monarchy after the First World War and after the Second World War it belonged to the communist countries of the Warsaw Pact. In 1965 the dictator Ceausescu came to power and oppressed the people. The dictator was overthrown by a violent revolution in 1989.

Member of the European Union
Romania has been a democratic state since 1990, oriented towards its western neighbors. The president is elected directly by the people as head of state. Parties are only represented in parliament with their MPs if they get more than five percent of the vote. Romania has been part of the European Union since 2007.

rich and poor
Many Romanians are very poor. Many have no jobs - especially those who live in the country. In the cities, people have a little more money. New houses are being built there all the time: shopping centers, cafes and restaurants, for example. In these new buildings there will also be new jobs and that is good for Romania.

Count Draculas Transylvania
In the heart of the country lies Transylvania, also known as Transylvania, the legendary home of "Count Dracula". The rest of the country is also very mountainous, with the Carpathian Mountains running through large parts of it. Many rare animals still live in Romania's untouched nature, for example brown bears, wild cats and wolves.

Pork brings luck
It is also good to eat pork on January 1st. At least that's what the Romanians believe. It is said to bring good luck. Romanians also like to eat pork on other days of the year. Luck or not: it just tastes delicious.


The citizens of a city or a country cannot all decide at the same time which policy is to be made. They therefore elect women or men to represent them in parliament for a certain period of time. This can be the Bundestag or the Landtag or a city or local council. There, the MPs should then make decisions in the interests of their voters as far as possible. Most MPs belong to one party, but that doesn't have to be the case. There are also parliamentarians without a party. The most important part of the parliamentary work takes place in working groups and committees. For example, there is advice on what youth or health policy should look like.

As a member of parliament you have a lot to do. There is no time to continue working in the old profession. But of course there is no salary without a job. That is why MPs are given so-called "diets".


There are over a billion people in the world who live on the streets with insufficient food and barely any clothes. Many of them can never go to school. They live in abject poverty. Poverty has many causes. Often people cannot find work because there is no job or because they have no education.

Other reasons are overpopulation and natural disasters such as floods or drought. This often leads to poor harvests. In many countries there is a lack of raw materials to build an industry that could create jobs. Wars or the mistakes of their own governments also plunge people into poverty.

In Germany, too, there are people who do not have enough to eat every day and only have a few things. Old people, single women and children are particularly poor. Social assistance and unemployment benefit II are designed to help alleviate the worst effects of poverty. Many citizens also help on a voluntary basis.


The term comes from the Greek and means "rule of the people". This form of government has existed in Germany since 1949, before it existed from 1918 to 1933. Democracy means: All citizens have the same rights and obligations. They are not ruled by an emperor or a king, nor are they governed by a general. All people are free to speak their minds, to gather, to get information. There are different parties that publish their ideas in so-called party programs. In a democracy, citizens vote for people and parties that they want to be governed by for a period of time. And if the government does its job badly, the people can choose another government in the next election.

In a democracy, everything the state does must follow the rules of the constitution and applicable laws. In Germany these rules are contained in the Basic Law. The democratic state is therefore always a constitutional state.

From 1949 to 1990 there was a second German state in Germany, the "German Democratic Republic", or GDR for short. Although the term "democracy" appeared in the name of the state, the GDR was not a democracy.


The word comes from Latin and is exactly the opposite of democracy: It is not the majority of the people who determine, but a few, for example a single party or even just a single person: the dictator. The dictator is usually not elected, but he brings himself to power by force - often with the help of the military. Many people living in a dictatorship have anger and fear, but cannot speak their mind freely. If they do, they will be arrested, sent to prison or a labor camp. One hears again and again that prisoners are tortured and killed. Sometimes the victims' families are not informed about what is happening to the prisoners for years.


Germany is in the middle of Europe. With an area of ​​10 million square kilometers, Europe is the second smallest continent or part of the world after Australia. This is the name given to large contiguous land masses with associated islands and seas. There are five continents on our planet: Asia, America, Africa, Europe, Australia. Germany would fit into Europe about 33 times. The Ural Mountains in Russia demarcate Europe from Asia in the east; in the south the Mediterranean is the border with Africa. To the west and north of Europe lies the Atlantic Ocean. The southernmost point of Europe is on Cyprus, the northernmost is the North Cape in Norway. If you were to travel from the southernmost point of the continent to the northernmost, you would be on the road for four to five days by car and ship - without traffic jams and breaks.

There are many different countries in Europe, including many small countries. A total of over 700 million people live here. Over 60 different languages ​​are spoken.

Many European states have come together in the European Union (EU) to pursue a common policy in some areas. Do you still want to know where the name Europe comes from? This name was taken from Greek myths. "Europe" was the name of the daughter of a Phoenician king. It was stolen by Zeus, the king of the gods, who disguised himself as a bull. This is why Europe is often portrayed in art as a woman with a bull.

EU: European Union

The European Union (abbreviated: EU) is an association of European states that have common political goals. The EU has existed since November 1, 1993. On that day, twelve countries, including Germany, joined together to form the European Union. This was previously agreed in the Maastricht Treaty. Before that there was already an association of European states, the so-called "European Community". But it had different goals than the EU and was organized differently.
Every country in Europe has the opportunity to become a member of the European Union. However, some requirements must be met for this. One of the most important requirements is that the future member is democratic. Today 28 countries belong to the EU. They have a total of over 500 million inhabitants.

Members of the European Union
These are the members of the EU: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the United Kingdom (Great Britain) and the Greek part of Cyprus. If all states that have applied for membership join the EU in the next few years, the EU will have more than 30 members.

Common European Policy
The states that have come together in the EU want to work together on many political, economic and social issues. Together they want to ensure that prosperity in Europe is secured and that people can live in peace. Such a common policy is sometimes quite difficult. All states in the Community are still independent states and have their own governments. Sometimes there are disputes between the EU and individual states - and of course also between the states themselves. It's like being in a big family. It is not always easy to come to an agreement.

Since 1999, many EU countries have had a common currency: the euro. This facilitates trade and business between the participating countries.

You may have noticed that there are sometimes small checkpoints at the borders with the Netherlands, France or other EU countries, but there are no passport controls. In the past, you always had to show a passport when driving to another country. Today the states of the EU are only allowed to control the borders in exceptional cases. The fact that traveling in Europe from one country to another is so easy today shows that the people on our continent live in a "Common House Europe".

By the way, the term "union" comes from Latin and means "union".


One speaks of "tyranny" when a dictator or a group of people exercises sole power in a country by force. This group can be a political party or the military, for example. There is no democracy in a tyranny. No parliament controls the government, there are no free elections. The ruler does not feel bound by any constitution. There is no separation of powers as it is in our democracy in a tyranny. All power rests with the ruler. He determines the jurisdiction, he decides and controls the executive branch, he gives orders to the police and the military as to what to do.

In the last century there were different rulers in Europe. In Germany, Hitler was a tyrant, as was Stalin in the former Soviet Union, but also Ceausescu in Romania, to name but a few. Today the Belarusian President Lukashenko rules in Europe like a tyrant. Outside Europe, for example in Africa, one can also find rulers like Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe or President Teodoro Obiang in Equatorial Guinea. There are parliaments in these countries, but they are meaningless and have no decision-making power.


Can you tell me the capital of this or that country? This is a popular trivia question. From Germany it is Berlin, from Poland Warsaw, from Sweden Stockholm, you all know that. The capital is usually the city of a country in which the government and parliament have their seat. It is often the largest city in the country, but it doesn't always have to be that way. Washington, for example, is the capital, but by no means the largest city in the United States.


This term goes back to the Latin word "communis", which means "together". Communism has a certain idea of ​​an ideal human society: all people should collectively own the means of production that are necessary for livelihood. These are, for example, devices and machines, the land on which they are planted, the animals that people live on, the houses in which they live. According to this idea, which already existed in ancient times, all things that are produced together should also be distributed fairly.

As a political doctrine, communism emerged in the 19th century when industrialization began. Back then, more and more people had to work in the factories for little wages. Those who owned the machines and factories (the so-called "capitalists") got richer and richer, but without letting the workers share in this prosperity.

Karl Marx (1818-1883) thought about how to shape the economy and technical progress fairly. In his book "The Communist Manifesto", which Karl Marx wrote together with Friedrich Engels, he called for an end to the "exploitation of man by man". Private property should be abolished. Technological progress should benefit everyone, not just a few. In this way, sooner or later, a classless society would emerge in which all people would have equal rights. No particular group in society would be preferred. Marx's teaching was called "Marxism".

Communism in the 20th century
This basic idea was further developed by other thinkers (for example Vladimir Ilyich Lenin) and became the basis for various forms of political rule in the 20th century. After the Russian October Revolution in 1917, in which Lenin played a leading role, a state and social order emerged in the Soviet Union that wanted a communist society as the ultimate goal. On the way to such a society, socialism should be realized as a preliminary stage. In fact, it has been shown that in communist states, that is, in states that wanted to implement communism, terrible injustices and terror occurred. In the dictatorship of the Soviet Union, which was one of the greatest communist powers, many millions of people lost their lives because they disagreed with the rulers. In addition to the Soviet Union, there were many other countries that tried in different ways to achieve communism.

With the end of the Soviet Union (1991) as the greatest power of communism, this movement largely stalled or disappeared entirely. As a doctrine, communism is hardly ever spread today.


"Monarchy" refers to a specific form of government. The word comes from the Greek and means "sole rule". In contrast to the republic, a single person, the monarch, exercises power in a monarchy. The right to rule is often passed on within the family (this is then called "hereditary monarchy"). For example, Queen Elizabeth of England is a monarch or King Juan Carlos of Spain is a monarch. In these two countries (as in many others where there are still queens, kings or princes), the queen or the king cannot decide everything alone. Popularly elected parliaments and democratic governments make the laws and determine the direction of politics today. The monarchs, for example the Queen, do consult with them, but have almost only the task of signing laws, appointing ministers and representing the state on official occasions. This is called "parliamentary monarchy" or "constitutional monarchy". This means that the position and duties of the king are laid down in a constitution (the Latin term "constitutio" means "constitution").

In earlier centuries there were pharaohs, emperors, kings and princes or even priests who were really the sole rulers of their people - no one was allowed to talk to them. Such an abundance of power is called "absolute monarchy".

houses of Parliament

The word "parliament" comes from the French word "parler" (in German: "speak") and means "representation of the people". The representatives (representatives of the people) sit in parliament. New laws are discussed and passed in parliament. That is why the parliament is also called the legislative assembly or "legislature". This comes from the Latin term "legislatio", which means "legislation".

The parliament controls the government. For example, if the government proposes to send soldiers to a war zone or to increase taxes, but the elected representatives vote against it, the proposal cannot be carried out.There are many parliaments in Germany: in the municipalities, the cities and the federal states. The parliament for the whole country is the German Bundestag.

There are also student and pupil parliaments. The elected sit in all of these representations and discuss what is best for their voters. The European Union also has a parliament. The representatives are elected in the various member states of the EU. The European Parliament works in Strasbourg, Brussels and Luxembourg.


People join or join a party because they share similar political views or goals. These ideas are laid down in party programs. The members of a party are convinced that they can achieve more together than if everyone works for themselves. That is why every party tries to convince other people who are not in any or any other party of its program. Speeches are held at election events, and party members distribute leaflets, balloons or pens with the party's lettering. All parties want to be elected. The more votes they win in elections, the more influence they will later have in parliament.

Young people in parties?
To become a member of a party you have to be at least 16 years old. Many parties have youth organizations. You can already become a member there if you are younger than 16 - in some parties at 14, in others at 15.

Left or right?
One reads or hears it like this or similar more often in times before an election: "This one belongs to a left-wing party, that one is in a right-wing party or belongs to the center." How did these names for certain parties come about? They originally refer to a seating arrangement in parliament. Already in the first German National Assembly in 1849 in the Paulskirche in Frankfurt (whose seating arrangement was based on the French National Assembly of 1789) a distinction was made between left and right groups. From the point of view of the President of Parliament, the progressives sat on the left, some of whom wanted to radically change society at the time. In the center sat the liberal groups and on the right in parliament the conservative groups. The German Bundestag, which has existed since 1949, has continued this tradition of seating arrangements, first in the old Bundestag building in Bonn and, after reunification, in the Berlin Reichstag building.
From the perspective of today's President of the Bundestag, the members of the so-called left-wing parties, namely the Left, the SPD and Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen, sit on the left to the middle. From about the middle to the right, the members of the bourgeois-conservative parties CDU and CSU sit.


The word comes from Latin and means something like "chairman". We know it as the name for our head of state, the Federal President. The title also exists in many other areas, for example there is the President of the Bundestag, the President of the Court or the President of the Police. Many associations and clubs are also headed by a president (for example, the president of the German Sports Confederation). Sometimes this title is only given for a short period of time: for example, a man or a woman can be appointed president of a conference or congress.


When people feel oppressed or treated unfairly by an existing order, by their government or their rulers, they sometimes see no more possibility of a better life. They band together and fight (often by force) against the existing order. Such action is called "revolution", which comes from the French word for "upheaval".

Violent revolutions
The most famous upheaval in history is the French Revolution of 1789. At that time, the king was overthrown by a great popular uprising. With heavy sacrifices, a new political order emerged in which the power was no longer held by the king, but by the people. Another revolution with great and long-lasting effects was the Russian October Revolution of 1917. The insurgents killed the then ruler of Russia, the Tsar, and his family, and for a long time established the rule of communism in Russia and other countries. Sometimes governments, kings or other rulers are overthrown not by the people but by the military. Then it's called a military revolt.

The peaceful revolution in the GDR
In contrast to the mostly violent coups described above, there is also the term "peaceful revolution". An example of this is the end of the GDR and German reunification in 1990. This happened without a single shot being fired - solely through the peaceful protest of the population of the former GDR, who took to the streets in large numbers.

Rapid development in science and technology is also called a revolution. For example, the invention of the steam engine by James Watt in the 18th century triggered the industrial revolution. The invention of the railroad heralded a transport revolution. The changes in the economy and society that have occurred through the invention of the computer, the Internet and the new information media are also referred to as "revolutionary".


One line of the passport asks for "citizenship". Most of us say: German. With our neighbors it would be noted that they have, for example, Polish or Dutch citizenship. Children usually have the same nationality as their parents.

What does "state" mean? The word comes from the Latin "status" and the Italian "stato" and means something like "state" or "constitution". Incidentally, the term was first used in the 15th century by the Italian writer Niccolo Machiavelli and was also used in German-speaking countries at the end of the 18th century.

State means an association of many people who (voluntarily) live in a certain, demarcated area. Most of the time, a state has grown over a longer period of time, and its citizens are linked by the same nationality. This community is called the people of the state; the territory in which the state people live is the state territory. This also includes the air space above and a certain strip of the territorial sea, usually three nautical miles. A state is normally not dependent on any other power, it makes its own laws. He is sovereign. The police, the military and other state organs exercise state authority. They ensure that the law is observed and that the independence of the state is not threatened by any other power.

A state has a certain form of rule and government. In our country and in many other countries, it is democracy in which the people elect their representatives to parliament. Other states have, for example, a monarchy or a dictatorship as a form of rule.

People / nation

The word "people" comes from the old high German "folc" and that means "many". A people is a large group of people with a common ancestry. As a rule, all members of this group live together in a certain area, the German people in Germany, the French in France, etc. A people have a common origin, history, culture. Most of his people also speak the same language. However, this does not always have to be the case. There can be many different dialects and very different languages ​​within a country, as you can see in Switzerland or Canada. For example, the people of the United States of America include people of many skin colors and backgrounds. In such cases one speaks of a "nation" (that comes from Latin).

When one speaks of "nation" in politics, one thinks above all of the sense of belonging of the people in a country in which the exchange between people of different origins is to be promoted. This corresponds to the understanding of modern democratic states, which have stipulated in their constitutions that no one may be treated worse because of their race, skin color, language or religion. Everyone is allowed to live in freedom - without being hindered in it.

Second World War

The Second World War lasted from 1939 to 1945. It began on September 1, 1939, when German troops invaded neighboring Poland. The National Socialists, who had come to power in Germany under the leadership of the dictator Adolf Hitler, wanted Germany to become big and powerful again. They no longer wanted to accept the provisions of the Versailles Peace Treaty, which limited Germany's power after the First World War. Poland was the first country to be occupied by German troops.

Germany was allied with Italy and Japan (they were called the "Axis Powers"). The main opponents of the Axis were Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union and the USA. A total of 27 nations were involved in this worldwide war. In Europe almost all countries were directly affected by the war. At first, the German troops managed to conquer most of the European countries. But Germany could not defeat its opponents. In 1941 the US entered the war against Germany. Together with the other allies, they liberated the areas that had been occupied by the German armies. The German troops were defeated. The dictator committed suicide in Berlin on April 30, 1945. Germany surrendered (gave up) and on May 9, 1945 an armistice came into effect.

But that did not end the Second World War. Japan had waged war against the United States in Asia. The Japanese government did not give up until early September 1945 after American bombers dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed or seriously injured in the process.

In total, the Second World War left over 60 million dead. More than 6 million Jews were murdered by the Germans. Sinti and Roma and other minorities have been persecuted and killed.

Germany, which had lost the war, was initially occupied by the troops of the victorious powers of the Soviet Union, Great Britain, the USA and France. Then the country was divided into the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR. One consequence of the war was the division of Europe into two power blocs under the leadership of the USA and the Soviet Union. This post-war order only came to an end in 1990 with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the communist system in Eastern Europe.