What did people in Germany Google in 2023?

What did people in Germany Google in 2023?

From grand geo-political questions to “How do whales sleep?”; the mishmash list of things that Germany wanted to find out from Google in 2023 makes for some intriguing reading.

Israel-Gaza War tops Germany’s most Googled list in 2023

The ongoing Israel-Gaza war and Germany’s role in it have dominated much of the country’s headlines and political discourse during the final months of 2023. Across the 16 German federal states there was much interest in unfolding events in the Middle East, but nowhere else were people as interested to follow the Hamas hostage situation and attacks on Gaza, as in Berlin.

Of all the German cities and regions, Berliners were the most frequent to take to Google and search “Israel”. Since the Hamas attack in Israel on October 7, the Israeli airstrikes and the siege on Gaza, tensions have been rising in the German capital. What followed was police crackdowns on demonstrations in solidarity with Palestine, a rise in antisemitic attacks and state support being cut from the Oyoun Cultural Centre, which publicly supports the BDS movement.

Across the country, the Israel-Gaza war has reignited a conversation about Germany’s “historical responsibility” towards the State of Israel, the dedication to which has resulted in Saxony-Anhalt announcing that it will require people applying for a German passport to officially declare that they believe in Israel’s right to exist. 

With two opposing protests taking place in Berlin on December 10, one a pro-Israel demonstration attended by Olaf Scholz and another happening outside the SPD headquarters titled “Solidarity with Palestine – no weapons for genocide”, the conversation about how Germany should proceed continues among citizens.

Most Googled in Germany: Till Lindemann and DB train strikes

With a large German-Turkish population, it is no surprise that the earthquake that shook Turkey and Syria back in February was the second most Googled topic in 2023. This was followed by “Rammstein”, a search which peaked in the first week of June when several women came forward with accusations of rape, sexual assault and grooming against the band’s frontman Till Lindemann. The case was dropped in August after German police said that they did not have enough official testimonies from the women who had come forward. 

Another major theme of the year in Germany? Train strikes. Coming in at number eight on the list, the term “Bahnstreik” saw multiple peaks throughout the year, during the nationwide transport strikes in March, again in May and finally with the Train Drivers’ Union strikes in November and December.

What was Germany asking Google in 2023?

People in Germany also posed endless questions to all-telling Google during 2023. Many were related to the Israel-Gaza war, others to a curiosity for general knowledge. “What is the Gaza strip?” and “How deep is the Titanic?” were the top “What” and “How” questions, the latter relating to the missing Titan submarine which dominated the headlines in June. “How do whales sleep?” was among the sweetest of queries from Germany.

The second-most Googled “What?” question was a million-dollar one, which proved how much sway television still has in Germany, “What is a centenarian?”. On February 27, millions took to Google to ask the same question that RTL Who Wants To Be A Millionaire host Günther Jauch had just posed his contestant in the hot seat. The answer? Someone lucky enough to make it to 100 or older.

Viewers of the Zum allerletzen Mal: Der große Schlagerabschied, a programme broadcast in January 2023 about the retrirement of Schlager musician Jürgen Drews, also led to a swell of Google searches about the star, specifically his age. This also put Drews among the most-Googled German celebrities in 2023.

Almost all remaining “What” questions related to the Israel-Gaza war, including “What is a kibbutz?”, “What is Hamas?” and “What is a caliphate?”.

Germany’s top trending Google searches in 2023

The top 10 trending general Google searches in Germany in 2023 were:

  1. Israel
  2. Earthquake Turkey
  3. Rammstein
  4. Lion Berlin - a search relating to the supposed “lion” which was on the loose in Berlin and Brandenburg in July and turned out to be a wild boar.
  5. Lützerath - a village evicted to make way for the expansion of the Garzweiler II surface mine. Climate activists squatting in the village were evicted by police in January 2023.
  6. Titanic U-Boat
  7. Taylor Swift
  8. Train strike
  9. Bed bugs
  10. Hamburg Airport

Thumb image credit: DimaBerlin /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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