West Germany

Federal Republic of Germany in the period between its formation on 23 May 1949 and German reunification on 3 October 1990

West Germany (German: West Deutschland) is the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland, BRD; audio speaker iconlisten), retrospectively designated the Bonn Republic.[3] It was a country in Central Europe. It was created on May 23, 1949. It ended on October 3, 1990 due to German Reunification. During the Cold War, West Germany was part of the Western bloc. It was created from the eleven states in Allied-occupied Germany after World War II. The capital city was Bonn.

Federal Republic of Germany
Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Motto: "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit"
"Unity and Justice and Freedom"
"Ich hab' mich ergeben" and "Hymne an Deutschland" (1949–1952)
Territory of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from the accession of the Saar on 1 January 1957 to German reunification on 3 October 1990
Territory of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from the accession of the Saar on 1 January 1957 to German reunification on 3 October 1990
Largest cityHamburg
Common languagesGerman
Demonym(s)West German
GovernmentFederal parliamentary constitutional republic
• 1949–1959
Theodor Heuss
• 1959–1969
Heinrich Lübke
• 1969–1974
Gustav Heinemann
• 1974–1979
Walter Scheel
• 1979–1984
Karl Carstens
• 1984–1990
Richard von Weizsäckerb
• 1949–1963
Konrad Adenauer
• 1963–1966
Ludwig Erhard
• 1966–1969
Kurt Georg Kiesinger
• 1969–1974
Willy Brandt
• 1974–1982
Helmut Schmidt
• 1982–1990
Helmut Kohlc
Historical eraCold War
• Formation
23 May 1949
1 January 1957
• Admitted to the United Nations
18 September 1973
3 October 1990
1990248,577 km2 (95,976 sq mi)
• 1950
• 1970
• 1990
CurrencyDeutsche Marke (DM) (DEM)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
• Summer (DST)
Calling code49
Internet TLD.de
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Allied-occupied Germany
Saar Protectorate
Federal Republic of Germany (reunified Germany)
Today part of Germany
  1. From 1952 to 1991, the official national anthem of Germany was Deutschlandlied in its entirety, but only the third stanza was to be sung at official events.[1]
  2. Continued as President of the reunified Germany until 1994.
  3. Continued as Chancellor of the reunified Germany until 1998.
  4. Population statistics according to Statistisches Bundesamt.[2]
  5. In Saarland, between January 1957 and July 1959, the French franc and Saar franc.
  6. At first, Bonn was referred to only as the provisional seat of government institutions, but from the early 1970s it was called the "federal capital" (Bundeshauptstadt).

West Germany was very important in the Cold War. The last capital city of Germany Berlin was also split into West Berlin and East Berlin.

History change

After World War II, Germany was split into four zones. These zones were controlled by the - British, French, Americans, and Soviets. From 1946 to 1949, the British, French, and American zones combined (came together) to create West Germany. The Soviet zone became East Germany. The two zones would not come together again until 1990.

Konrad Adenauer was called in as chancellor from 1947 until 1962. He was not meant to be the chancellor for a long time, but he stayed longer than expected. As chancellor, he helped West Germany recover (get better) from World War II and improved the economy.

After Adenauer left, he was followed by Ludwig Erhard, who was also followed by Kurt Georg Kiesinger. In 1968 the West German student movement protests began.

In 1969 Willy Brandt became chancellor. Under him, West Germany was nicer to the Eastern countries, and he managed to sign agreements with East Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, who had been more hostile to West Germany. Brandt had to resign in May 1974 when it was found out that one of his staff members was a spy.

Helmut Schmidt served as chancellor until 1982. He helped launch the European Monetary System (EMS). Schmidt was followed by Helmut Kohl, who was chancellor when the Berlin Wall collapsed and Germany reunified in 1990.

Notes change

  1. Though all stanzas were official, only the third stanza was sung in practice.

References change

  1. [1] Archived 5 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Bevölkerungsstand Archived 13 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  3. The Bonn Republic — West German democracy, 1945-1990, Anthony James Nicholls, Longman, 1997

Other websites change

  Media related to West Germany at Wikimedia Commons