Comparisons of incidence estimates of testicular cancer subtypes beyond seminoma and non-seminoma are virtually missing in the epidemiologic literature. We analysed incidence data from population-based German cancer registries to provide subtype-specific incidences of testicular cancer. We pooled data from nine cancer registries from 1998 to 2003. We estimated incidence and mortality time trends of West and East Germany. Incidence and mortality were standardized by the European standard population. The annual percentage incidence change from 1961 through 1989 was 4.9% in East Germany and 3.0% from 1970 through 2004 in Saarland. Incidence increases were the most pronounced among adolescents and young men aged 15–49 years. In 1998–2003, the seminoma incidence rate was 5.1 per 100 000; among non-seminomas, the rates were the highest for malignant teratoma (1.6 per 100 000), followed by embryonal carcinoma (1.2 per 100 000). Testicular lymphomas were rare (0.1 per 100 000). The incidence of testicular cancer among children aged 0–14 years was nearly constant from 1987 through 2004. Majority of these cancers were yolk sac tumours (0.1 per 100 000). In East and West Germany, rates of embryonal carcinoma in the early periods were considerably lower than the rates of malignant teratoma. In the most recent periods, rates of embryonal carcinoma became quite similar to the rates of malignant teratoma. The mortality decline started in West Germany roughly 12 years earlier than in East Germany. The later start of the mortality decline in East Germany may be because of a later introduction of platinum-based chemotherapy compared to West Germany.