Berlin is the capital and the biggest town in Germany . It has a population of about 3.5 million and extends over 889 kilometres. Berlin is located in central Europe, longitude 13:25 E, latitude 52:32 N, and is 34 m above sea level
Originally Slavic tribes who were replaced by German settlers in the 11th century occupied the area of Berlin. In 1307 the villages of Cölln and Berlin were united into a single township. Early Berlin was plagued by disease and banditry and stagnated as unimportant backwater. The Thirty Year's War (1618-1648) reduced Berlin's population to 6,000 and devastated the economy. The situation improved in 1701 when Berlin became the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia. Under the reign of Frederick the Great Berlin evolved into a major European capital. Frederick was determined to make Berlin a city as great as Paris or London. In 1871 Berlin was elevated to the capital of the new German Empire. During the Imperial Period (1871-1918) Berlin underwent rapid industrialization and saw its population rise well over 1 million. When the German Empire collapsed after World War I (1914-1918), Berlin suffered from street fighting and famine. Berlin soon recovered and became a centre of art and culture during the 1920's. In 1933 the Nazi Party came to power and began to redesign Berlin into a fascist capital. The 1936 Olympic games were held as a showcase of Nazi progress, and many new buildings were constructed. On November 9-10 1938, over 80 Jewish shops were destroyed during the Night of Broken Glass. Plans to drastically redesign Berlin's city center were halted by the outbreak of World War II (1939-1945). From 1941 to 1943, Berlin's Jews were arrested and deported to concentration camps throughout Europe. By 1944 the British and Americans bombed Berlin continuously until the end of the war in May 1945. 50,000 Berliners died during the bombings, and most of the city was destroyed. D