Yes. In order to register a .DE domain, you must have presence in Germany, as well as functioning name servers.
Local Presence required
The Registrant or the person named as the Administrative Contact person for a .DE domain must reside in Germany. The Registry will validate this requirement at the time off registration application and if not fulfilled, the registration will fail.
Active Name Servers Required
The two required name servers that are authoritative for the domain name must be active at the time of registration and on different subnets. If this is not the case, the order will complete, however there will be a 30-day window in which you must update your name servers. If this is not done, the registry will delete the domain name, and refunds will not be given. The Name Servers associated with the domain name at the time of the order cannot be changed during the 30-day window.
PLEASE NOTE: If a name is submitted without two authoritative, active Name Servers, an automated email will be sent by the Tucows system to the Registrant informing them of the need for authoritative, active Name Servers, the timeline to fulfill this requirement and how to inform the system that the Name Servers are now active.
As well, the Name Servers associated with .DE domains must reside on different subnets to avoid a single point of failure. The Registry Operator makes this determination by reviewing the IP addresses of the Name Servers. If the address differs in one of the first three octets, then the Name Servers are deemed to be on different subnets.