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. (March 2016)
|Federal Republic of Germany|
"Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit"
"Unity and Justice and Freedom"
Territory of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1 January 1957 to 2 October 1990
50°44′02″N 7°05′59″E / 50°44′02″N 7°05′59″E / 50.73389; 7.09972
|Government||Federal 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 era||Cold War|
| • ||Formation||23 May 1949|
| • ||Accession of Saar Protectorate||1 January 1957|
| • ||Admitted to the United Nations||18 September 1973|
| • ||Reunification||3 October 1990|
| • ||1990||248,577 km2 (95,976 sq mi)|
| • ||1950 est.||50,958,000d |
| • ||1970 est.||61,001,000 |
| • ||1990 est.||63,254,000 |
| Density||254/km2 (659/sq mi)|
|Currency||Deutsche Marke (DM)|
|Today part of|| Germany|
|a.||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.|
|b.||Continued as President of the reunified Germany until 1994.|
|c.||Continued as Chancellor of the reunified Germany until 1998.|
|d.||Population statistics according to Statistisches Bundesamt.|
|e.||In Saarland, between January 1957 and July 1959, the French franc and Saar franc.|
|f.||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 is the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland, BRD) in the period between its creation on 23 May 1949 and German reunification on 3 October 1990. During this Cold War era, NATO-aligned West Germany and Warsaw Pact-aligned East Germany were divided by the Inner German border. After 1961 West Berlin was physically separated from East Berlin as well as from East Germany by the Berlin Wall. This situation ended when East Germany was dissolved and split into five states, which then joined the ten states of the Federal Republic of Germany along with the reunified city-state of Berlin. With the reunification of West and East Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, enlarged now to sixteen states, became known simply as "Germany". This period is referred to as the Bonn Republic (Bonner Republik) by historians, alluding to the interwar Weimar Republic and the post-reunification Berlin Republic.
The Federal Republic of Germany was established from eleven states formed in the three Allied Zones of occupation held by the United States, the United Kingdom and France (the "Western Zones"). US and British forces remained in the country throughout the Cold War. Its population grew from roughly 51 million in 1950 to more than 63 million in 1990. The city of Bonn was its (provisional) capital. The fourth Allied occupation zone (the East Zone, or Ostzone) was held by the Soviet Union, bounded to the east by the Oder-Neisse line; and in 1949 this became the socialist German Democratic Republic (abbreviated GDR; in German Deutsche Demokratische Republik or DDR) with its de facto capital in East Berlin. The former parts of Germany east of the Oder-Neisse were separated from 'Germany as a whole' by the Potsdam Agreement of 1945, and then annexed by Poland and the Soviet Union. As a result, West Germany had a territory about half the size of the interbellum democratic Weimar Republic.
At the onset of the Cold War, Europe was divided among the Western and Eastern blocs. Germany was de facto divided into two countries and two special territories, the Saarland and divided Berlin. Initially the Federal Republic of Germany claimed an exclusive mandate for all of Germany, considering itself to be the democratically reorganised continuation of the 1871–1945 German Reich. It took the line that the GDR was an illegally constituted puppet state. Though the GDR did hold regular elections, these were not free and fair. From the West German perspective, the GDR was therefore illegitimate.
Three southwestern states of West Germany merged to form Baden-Württemberg in 1952, and the Saarland joined the Federal Republic of Germany in 1957. In addition to the resulting ten states, West Berlin was considered an unofficial de facto 11th state. While legally not part of the Federal Republic of Germany, as Berlin was under the control of the Allied Control Council, West Berlin aligned itself politically with West Germany and was directly or indirectly represented in its federal institutions.
Relations with the Soviet bloc improved during the era of "Neue Ostpolitik" around 1970, West Germany then adopting the principle that the GDR and the Federal Republic were "two German states within one German nation". Claims to an exclusive mandate were formally relinquished, West Germany accepting that, within its own boundaries, the GDR represented its population as a de jure German state outside the Federal Republic. In addition, although the Federal Republic still did not recognise the GDR as being fully a sovereign state in international law, it nevertheless accepted that within the forum of international law East Germany was an independent sovereign state with which the Federal Republic could enter into binding international agreements. But in respect of legality within its own boundaries, West Germany continued to maintain that there remained a single (but dormant) overall German nation, that could only be represented de jure by the Federal Republic. From 1973 onward, East Germany maintained the existence of two German sovereign states, with West Germany being both de facto and de jure a foreign country. The Federal Republic and the GDR agreed that neither of them could speak in the name of the other.
The foundation for the influential position held by Germany today was laid during the Wirtschaftswunder (economic miracle) of the 1950s when West Germany rose from the enormous destruction wrought by World War II to become the world's third-largest economy. The first chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who remained in office until 1963, had worked for a full alignment with NATO rather than neutrality. He not only secured a membership in NATO but was also a proponent of agreements that developed into the present-day European Union. When the G6 was established in 1975, there was no question whether the Federal Republic of Germany would be a member as well.
Following the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, symbolised by the opening of the Berlin Wall, there was a rapid move towards German reunification. East Germany voted to dissolve itself and accede to the Federal Republic in 1990. Its five post-war states (Länder) were reconstituted along with the reunited Berlin, which ended its special status and formed an additional Land. They formally joined the Federal Republic on 3 October 1990, raising the number of states from 10 to 16, ending the division of Germany. The expanded Federal Republic retained West Germany's political culture and continued its existing memberships in international organisations, as well as its Western foreign policy alignment and affiliation to Western alliances like UN, NATO, OECD and the European Union.