German has more native speakers in Europe than any other language in the European Union: nearly one hundred million, most of whom live in the Federal Republic and Austria. Well into the 20th century, German played a predominant role in science and philosophy. A number of the key works of modern thought – the theories of Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein, for example – were written first in the German language. In the middle of the 20th century, German was stigmatised in the minds of many people because of its association with Hitler and the crimes of the Nazis. Today, however, the economic success of Germany has made the language increasingly attractive for business people around the world.
Producer: Marijke van der Meer
Broadcast: September 30, 1991