Greeks in Germany
The Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 in Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

form a significant community with a population of 294,891 people according to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany
Federal Statistical Office of Germany
The Federal Statistical Office of Germany is a federal authority of Germany. It is a part of the Federal Ministry of the Interior of the Federal Republic of Germany....

, on December 31, 2007.


The first Greeks came during the time of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 to Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...


Significant immigration from Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 to Germany started around 1700, when the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 opened its borders. The first community was found in Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

 at this time.

The second wave of immigration was when Otto of Wittelbach became King of Greece as Otto of Greece
Otto of Greece
Otto, Prince of Bavaria, then Othon, King of Greece was made the first modern King of Greece in 1832 under the Convention of London, whereby Greece became a new independent kingdom under the protection of the Great Powers .The second son of the philhellene King Ludwig I of Bavaria, Otto ascended...

. Many Greeks came as students to Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...


The Greek population of today came mostly after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 needed employees for their expanding industry. In East Germany, Greek communists came as political refugees until 1973.

Many Greeks were relocated to German Democratic Republic
German Democratic Republic
The German Democratic Republic , informally called East Germany by West Germany and other countries, was a socialist state established in 1949 in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany, including East Berlin of the Allied-occupied capital city...

 during the Greek Civil War
Greek Civil War
The Greek Civil War was fought from 1946 to 1949 between the Greek governmental army, backed by the United Kingdom and United States, and the Democratic Army of Greece , the military branch of the Greek Communist Party , backed by Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albania...


Greek Schools in Germany

The first Greek schools were created because of the amount of Greeks immigrating over to Germany. Since the first Greek school built in 1960 and up until 1990, over 1 million Greeks had immigrated to Germany. About 800,000 of those Greeks had after either a long-term or a short term stay had gone back to Greece. Nowadays, every fifth of an estimated 47,000 students of Greek origin attends one of 35 Greek schools in Germany.

Educational Attainment of Greeks in Germany

The Greek are a successful minority. Second Generation Greek students were more likely to attend a Gymnasium (college preparatory school) than their ethnic German counterparts.


The population of the Greek community in Germany was estimated by the Federal Statistical Office of Germany
Federal Statistical Office of Germany
The Federal Statistical Office of Germany is a federal authority of Germany. It is a part of the Federal Ministry of the Interior of the Federal Republic of Germany....

 to be 294,891 people on December 31, 2007. The number increases significantly in other estimations, as the Federal Foreign Office of Germany gives an estimated population of 320,000 people, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece steps it up to 380,000.
Year 1967 1970 1973 1976 1979 1982 1985
Persons 200.961 342.891 407.614 353.733 296.803 300.824 280.614
Year 1988 1991 1994 1997 2000 2001 2003
Persons 274.973 336.893 355.583 363.202 365.438 362.708 354.600

Greek Muslims

There are some members of the Muslim minority of Greece
Muslim minority of Greece
The Muslim minority of Greece is the only explicitly recognized minority in Greece. It numbers 97,604 people or 0.91% of the total population, according to the 1991 census , and 140,000 people or 1.24% of the total population, according to the United States Department of State.The Muslim minority...

 among the some 350,000 Greeks living in Germany who are ethnic Turks
Turkish people
Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

 or who espouse a Turkish identity. The majority of Turks immigrated from Western Thrace
Western Thrace
Western Thrace or simply Thrace is a geographic and historical region of Greece, located between the Nestos and Evros rivers in the northeast of the country. Together with the regions of Macedonia and Epirus, it is often referred to informally as northern Greece...

. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Thracian tobacco industry was affected by a severe crisis and many tobacco growers lost their income. This resulted in many Turks leaving their homes and immigrating to Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 with estimates suggesting that today there are now between 12,000 and 25,000 residing in Germany.

Notable Greek-Germans

  • Daniela Amavia
    Daniela Amavia
    Daniela Amavia , also credited as Daniela Elle and Daniela Lunkewitz, is an actress and model, appearing in numerous films and international fashion events.-Career:...

     - actress and model
  • Constantin Carathéodory
    Constantin Carathéodory
    Constantin Carathéodory was a Greek mathematician. He made significant contributions to the theory of functions of a real variable, the calculus of variations, and measure theory...

     - mathematician
  • Miltiades Caridis
    Miltiades Caridis
    Miltiades Caridis was a German-Greek conductor.Caridis was born in Gdańsk, then Free City of Danzig. His mother was a Danziger of German ethnicity, his father was a merchant from Greece. His family moved to Weimar Germany and he was raised in Dresden, but his family moved to Greece in 1938,...

     - conductor
  • Giorgos Donis - footballer
  • Konstantinos Gerodimos
  • Artemis Gounaki
    Artemis Gounaki
    Artemis Gounaki , born April 7, 1967 in Munich is a Greek-German singer, vocal coach, songwriter, composer and arranger. Gounaki's father was born in the Greek island of Crete....

     - singer/songwriter
  • LaFee
    Christina Klein , better known by her stage name LaFee, is a German singer/songwriter who has sold more than one million records worldwide. She is most famous in mainland Europe, particularly in German-speaking countries....

     - singer/songwriter
  • Vicky Leandros
    Vicky Leandros
    Vicky Leandros is a Greek singer with a long international career. She is the daughter of singer, musician and composer Leandros Papathanasiou...

     - singer
  • Ioannis Masmanidis
    Ioannis Masmanidis
    Ioannis Masmanidis is a German footballer of Greek descent who currently plays for K.A.S. Eupen.- Club career :...

     - footballer
  • Kostantinos Mitroglou - footballer
  • Argyris Nastopoulos
    Argyris Nastopoulos
    Argyris Nastopoulos was born in Germany in 1979 but he grew up in Athens. He worked as a magician as a teenager. In 1999 he was chosen by the Cypriot composer, Georges Theofanous, to be one of the members in the first boy-band of Greece, ONE. ONE became very popular and commercially successful in...

     - singer
  • Demis Nikolaidis
    Demis Nikolaidis
    Themistoklis "Demis" Nikolaidis was the forty second president of AEK Athens F.C., and is considered one of the finest footballers Greece has ever produced. In his early childhood and teenage years he lived in the city of Alexandroupoli, in the north-east part of Greece...

    - footballer
  • Joseph Pilates
    Joseph Pilates
    Joseph Hubertus Pilates invented and promoted the Pilates method of physical fitness.- Biography:Joseph H. Pilates was born in 1883 in Mönchengladbach, Germany. His father was a prize-winning gymnast of Greek ancestry, and his mother worked as a naturopath...

     - inventor of Pilates
  • Antonis Remos
    Antonis Remos
    Antonis Remos , is a Greek laïko singer.-Early life:Antonis Remos was born in Düsseldorf, West Germany. He was raised there by his Greek parents, and later his family moved back to their native Thessaloniki, Greece, where he finished school. During his childhood he got involved with music and...

     - singer
  • Susan Sideropoulos
    Susan Sideropoulos
    Susan Sideropoulos is a German actress and singer.Her father is of Greek descent while her mother is from Israel....

    - singer and actress
  • Despina Vandi
    Despina Vandi
    Despina Malea , known by her stage name Despina Vandi , is a Greek singer. Born in Tübingen near Stuttgart, West Germany, Vandi's family returned to Kavala, Greece when she was six years old and she later enrolled at the University of Thessaloniki, but eventually dropped out to begin a career in...

    - singer
  • Anastasia Zampounidis
    Anastasia Zampounidis
    Anastasia Zampounidis , is a VJ on MTV Germany. She currently resides in Germany.-Climb to fame:...

     - broadcaster
  • Adam Bousdoukos- from Soul Kitchen
    Soul Kitchen (film)
    Soul Kitchen is a 2009 German comedy film directed by Fatih Akın, with a screenplay by Akin and Adam Bousdoukos. Bousdoukos based the story on his own experiences as the owner of a Greek tavern named "Taverna", where Akin was a regular customer. Akin filmed the movie entirely in the Hamburg...

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