Sassen-Anholt (Low German)
|State of Germany|
|• Minister-President||Reiner Haseloff (CDU)|
|• Governing parties||CDU / SPD|
|• Votes in Bundesrat||4 (of 69)|
|• Total||20,447.7 km2 (7,894.9 sq mi)|
|• Density||110/km2 (290/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|ISO 3166 code||DE-ST|
|GDP/ Nominal||€52.16 billion (2010)|
Saxony-Anhalt (German: Sachsen-Anhalt, pronounced [ˌzaksən ˈanhalt], Low German: Sassen-Anholt) is a landlocked federal state of Germany surrounded by the federal states of Lower Saxony, Brandenburg, Saxony and Thuringia. Its capital is Magdeburg.
Saxony-Anhalt covers an area of 20,447.7 square kilometres (7,894.9 sq mi). It has a population of 2.34 million.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Administrative subdivision
- 3 History
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Politics
- 6 Economy
- 7 Culture
- 8 Religion
- 9 Anthem
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Saxony-Anhalt is one of 16 states of Germany. It is located in the western part of eastern Germany. By size, it is the 8th largest state in Germany, and by population, the 10th largest.
In the north, the Saxony-Anhalt landscape is dominated by plain (North German Plain). The old Hanseatic towns Salzwedel, Gardelegen, Stendal, or Tangermünde are located in the sparsely populated Altmark. The Colbitz-Letzlingen Heath and the Drömling near Wolfsburg mark the transition between the Altmark region and the Elbe-Börde-Heath region with its fertile, sparsely wooded Magdeburg Börde. Notable towns in the Magdeburg Börde are Haldensleben, Oschersleben (Bode), Wanzleben, Schönebeck (Elbe), Aschersleben and the capital Magdeburg, from which the Börde derives its name.
The Harz mountains are located in the south-west, comprising the Harz National Park, the Harz Foreland and Mansfeld Land. The highest mountain of the Harz (and of Northern Germany) is Brocken, with an elevation of 1,141 meters (3,735 ft). In this area, one can find the towns of Halberstadt, Wernigerode, Thale, Eisleben and Quedlinburg.
The metropolitan area of Halle (Saale) forms an agglomeration with Leipzig in Saxony. This area is known for its highly developed chemical industry (the Chemiedreieck - chemical triangle), with major production plants at Leuna, Schkopau (Buna-Werke) and Bitterfeld. Finally, in the east, Dessau-Roßlau is situated on the Elbe (as is the Magdeburg) in the Anhalt-Wittenberg region.
Saxony-Anhalt is subdivided into eleven rural districts and three urban districts. The current state was created by two districts reforms. By the first one in 1994, 37 districts were reformed into 21 new districts. The latest reform took place on January 1, 2004, when the 21 districts were reordered into the current eleven districts.
From 1994 to 2003, Saxony-Anhalt was divided into 21 rural districts ("Landkreise"). Above this level, there were three governmental districts (Regierungsbezirke): Dessau, Halle and Magdeburg. On 1 January 2004 these three governmental districts were abolished.
The rural districts are
- Altmarkkreis Salzwedel
- Jerichower Land
and the three urban districts
In April 1945 the US Army took control of most of the western and northern area of the future Saxony-Anhalt. The U.S. Group Control Council, Germany (a precursor of the OMGUS) appointed the first non-Nazi officials in leading positions in the area. So Erhard Hübener, furloughed by the Nazis, was reappointed Landeshauptmann (state governor). By early July the US Army retired in order to allow the Red Army taking Prussian Saxony as part of its Soviet occupation zone, as agreed by the London Protocol in 1944.
On 9 July the Soviet SVAG ordered the merger of the Free State of Anhalt, Halle-Merseburg, the governorate of Magdeburg (in its then borders), Allstedt (before Thuringia) and some Brunswickian eastern exclaves and salients (Calvörde and the eastern part of the former Blankenburg district) into the Prussian Province of Saxony. While the prior Saxon Erfurt governorate had become a part of Thuringia.
The SVAG appointed Hübener as president of the provincial Saxon administration, a newly created function. The administration was seated in Halle an der Saale, which became the capital, also of later Saxony-Anhalt until 1952. On 3 September 1945 the new administration enacted by Soviet-inspired ordinance the mass expropriations, mostly hitting holders of large real estates, often of noble descent.
On the occasion of the first as well as one and only election in the Soviet zone, allowing parties to really compete for seats in provincial and state parliaments, on 20 October 1946, the Province of Saxony was renamed into Province of Saxony-Anhalt (Provinz Sachsen-Anhalt), accounting for the prior merger. On 3 December 1946 the members of the new provincial parliament elected Hübener the first minister-president of Saxony-Anhalt with the votes of CDU and Liberal Democratic Party of Germany (LDPD). So he became the only governor in the Soviet zone, who was no member of the communist Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED). He was an inconvenient governor for the Soviet rulers.
After the official Allied decision to dissolve the Free State of Prussia, which had remained in limbo since the Prussian coup of 1932, its former provinces, in as far as they still existed, achieved statehood, thus the province emerged into the State of Saxony-Anhalt on 6 October 1947. It became part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) in 1949. From 1952 to 1990 the East German states had been suppressed and Saxony-Anhalt's territory was divided into the East German districts of Halle and Magdeburg. In 1990, in the course of German reunification, the districts were reintegrated as a state.
Since German reunification there has been a continuous downward trend in the population of Saxony-Anhalt. This is partly due to outward migration and partly because the death rate exceeds the birth rate. Although the birth rate has been steady since 1994, the net reproduction rate is only approx. 50%.
The percentage of foreigners in the population of Saxony-Anhalt is 1.9 percent, the lowest of all the federal states of Germany.
List of minister presidents of Saxony-Anhalt
20 March 2011 state election
Former Minister-president Wolfgang Böhmer (CDU) did not run for re-election.
These are the official election results (secondary votes):
|Party||Party List votes||Vote percentage||Total Seats||Seat percentage|
|Christian Democratic Union (CDU)||322,897||32.5%||41||39.0|
|The Left Party (Die LINKE(PDS/WASG))||234,917||23.7%||29||27.6|
|Social Democratic Party (SPD)||213,586||21.5%||26||24.8|
|Alliance '90/The Greens||70,906||7.1%||9||8.6|
|National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD)||45,697||4.6%||0||0.0%|
|Free Democratic Party (FDP)||38,172||3.8%||0||0.0%|
|All Others||67 000||6.8%||0||0.0%|
Development of the economy
Saxony-Anhalt was part of the communist German Democratic Republic. After the breakdown of communism and the German reunification in 1990, the collapse of non competitive former GDR industries temporarily caused severe economic problems. In 2000, Saxony-Anhalt had the highest unemployment rate of all German states, at 20.2 percent.
However, the process of economic transformation towards a modern market economy seems to be completed. Massive investments in modern infrastructure have taken place since 1990, and the remaining and newly created businesses are highly competitive. For example, the industry has doubled its share of international revenue from 13 percent in 1995 to 26 percent in 2008. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate has fallen considerably. By 2010 the GDP of Saxony-Anhalt was almost two and a half times higher than it was in 1991.
Even though part of this recovery was induced by the quite good performance of the Germany economy, Saxony-Anhalt did not only follow the national trend, but clearly outperformed other German states. For example, it got ahead of three German states in terms of unemployment (10,8 percent, as of September 2011): the German capital and city-state of Berlin (12.7 percent), the city-state Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (11.3 percent), and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (11.1 percent).
Structure of the economy
- The chemical industry is quite important, with almost 25,500 employees across 214 plants in 2010. One of the biggest chemical producing areas can be found around the city of Bitterfeld-Wolfen. Because of the chemical industry, Saxony-Anhalt attracts more foreign direct investments than any other state in eastern Germany.
- The state is the location of numerous wind farms producing wind-turbine energy.
- Saxony-Anhalt is also famous for its good soil. Hence, the food industry has an important role with almost 19,500 employees across 190 plants in 2010. Some of the best known products are Baumkuchen from Salzwedel and Halloren chocolate globes from Germany’s oldest chocolate factory in Halle.
World Heritage Sites
Saxony-Anhalt has the most World Heritage Sites of all states in Germany.
The region has historically been associated with the Lutheran faith, but under Communist rule, church membership was strongly discouraged and much of the population disassociated itself with any religious body. In 2010, the majority of citizens in Saxony-Anhalt were non-denominational and more were leaving the churches than entering them. 17.6% of Saxon-Anhaltish adhere to the major denominations of Christianity (14.1% are members of the Evangelical Church in Germany and 3.5% are Catholics), 2% are members of other religions (mostly Judaism, the New Apostolic Church, Islam and Mandeism). 80.4% of the citizens of Saxony-Anhalt are religiously unaffiliated.
- Lied für Sachsen-Anhalt ("Song for Saxony-Anhalt")
- Motto: Land of the Early Risers
- "Bevölkerung und Erwerbstätigkeit". Statistisches Landesamt Sachsen-Anhalt (in German). July 2012.
- District reform law 11 November 2005 (German)
- The latter, however, a salient originally not assigned as part of the Soviet zone, was unilaterally handed over by the Britons only on July 22.
- "1945–1949", on: Gedenkkultur Dessau-Roßlau. Retrieved on 16 August 2011.
- n-tv, Magdeburger Mathematik - LKA schönt Statistik, 27. November 2007
- Official results of the 2011 election
- Statistical Office of the State of Saxony-Anhalt (2010)
- Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Halle-Dessau (2010), p. 14
- Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Berlin (2011), p. 2
- fDi Atlas (2010)
- Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Berlin (2011), p. 2
- fDi Atlas (2010)
- Statistik der EKD für 2010
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saxony-Anhalt.|
- Official governmental portal
- Official Directory
- Geographic data related to Saxony-Anhalt at OpenStreetMap