Reinvestigation of the reaction of Li(7)Ge(12) with benzophenone in tetrahydrofuran solution affords the metastable crystalline germanium allotrope allo-Ge, which transforms into another allotrope, 4H-Ge, upon annealing at temperatures between 150 and 300 degrees C. When annealing 4H-Ge above 400 degrees C the ground state modification alpha-Ge is obtained. The crystal structure of 4H-Ge was refined from powder X-ray diffraction data (space group P6(3)/mmc (no. 194), a = 3.99019(4) and c = 13.1070(2) angstrom, Z = 8) and the sequence of phase transitions from allo-Ge to alpha-Ge was monitored by temperature-dependent powder X-ray diffraction experiments. Electrical resistivity measurements and quantum-mechanical calculations show that 4H-Ge is a semiconductor, which is in contrast to previous theoretical predictions. The Raman spectrum of 4H-Ge displays three bands at 299, 291, and 245 cm(-1) which are assigned to E(1g), E(2g) and A(1g) modes, respectively, and relate to the optic mode in alpha-Ge.