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Hanover: the town hall on Lake Masch

Mining tradition and Volkswagen. Nearly two thirds of this region is given over to farming. It also has a
long mining tradition especially in the Harz. Even in medieval times the imperial town of Goslar owed its
wealth to silver mining. In 1775 a school for miners and foundry workers was established in Clausthal
which developed into a world-famous mining college. Luneburg gained prominence because of local salt
deposits, and the potash industry is a major branch of Lower Saxony's economy. Salzgitter is the center
of Europe's third largest iron-ore deposit. Significant quantities of local oil and gas are also extracted,
providing about 5% of the country's requirements. Emden has Germany's third largest port on the North
Sea. Famous companies produce container vessels and automobiles there. But one town in Lower Saxony
epitomized car manufacturing in Germany: Wolfsburg, home of the famous Volkswagen. Volkswagen is
the largest company in the region and its foundation the largest nongovernmental scientific institution in

Hanover and the industrial fair, Gottingen and its university. Half a million of this state's 73 million
inhabitants live in the capital, Hanover. It is the venue for the world famous industrial fair, and more lately
for its "Cebit" display of communications technology. Every year they show the present generation the
world of tomorrow.

The university town of Gottingen has played an outstanding role in the country's political and scientific
history. In 1837 a group of professors, the "Gottingen Seven" protested against the sovereign's decision to
annul the constitution. This led to their dismissal, but most of these liberal spirits were deputies to the
National Assembly in Frankfurt in 1848. Another famous name associated with Gottingen is that of the
mathematician and astronomer Carl Friedrich Gauss (1771-1859), a genius of his century. In the 20th
century Gottingen has been a source of major developments in the field of nuclear physics. Of all those
who taught or studied in Gottingen one need only mention the Nobel Prize winners Max Born (1882-1970)
and Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976).

     Size of region: 47,438 square kilometers
     Population: 2 million
     Capital: Hanover (population 495,000)
     Larger cities: Brunswick (252,000), Osnabruck (151,000), Oldenburg(140,000), Wolfsburg

Geographical data: After Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Lower Saxony has the lowest population
density of all federal states and is mainly agricultural. It spreads from the North Sea coast with the East
Frisian islands to the Mittelgebirge with the Weserbergland and the western part of the Harz in the south.
The Luneburg Heath recreational area is situated in the north- german lowlands.

Historical data: Lower Saxony of today largely corresponds with the Saxon duchy of the Middle Ages,
which--as for example under the leadership of Widukind -- was always bent on revolting against the
Franconians. In the 10th and 11th centuries, the Saxon kings and emperors themselves were of greater
importance to the Reich, until the Saxon duchy deteriorated in 1180 with the fall of the Guelph duke
Heinrich the Lion and the creation of the duchy of Braunschweig-Luneburg by Kaiser Friedrich II in 1235
for the descendants of Heinrich. Due to ensuing dynastic divisions and special regional developments, the
name Saxony "wandered" up the Elbe, while around 1300 the area between Schelde and Elbe was called
Lower Saxony for the first time; in 1512, the Lower Saxon Circle of the Reich became a legal state.

Ernst August of Hanover was a decisive personality for the further development of the region. In 1692, he
was made elector, and he married a granddaughter of the British king James I. In 1714, their son became
king of England as George I, and thus a personal union between England and Hanover was called into life
which was to last until 1837. In the 18th century, the electorate gained large regions, and, in 1815, it was
declared a kingdom by the Congress of Vienna. After yet further territorial gains, it was the dominating
power in northwest Germany. After Hanover had been completely annexed by Prussia in 1866, it retained
its status as Prussian province even in the time after the German empire's end in 1918--a popular vote in
1924 concerning the independence of Hanover was unsuccessful; on the contrary, Brunswick, Oldenburg,
and Schaumburg-Lippe, which belong to the Lower Saxony of today, retained their status as independent

On the initiative of the British occupying forces in 1946, the former Prussian province of Hanover was
merged with Brunswick, Oldenburg, and Schaumburg-Lippe to form the state of Lower Saxony. Even
today, the single parts of the federal state are influenced by a strong regional awareness. Consequently, the
inhabitants of Schaumburg-Lippe demanded a referendum on re-establishment of the independent political
unit, but the Upper House decided that the small former state was to remain a part of Lower Saxony.