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, capital =
Bonn The Federal city of Bonn ( lat, Bonna) is a city on the banks of the Rhine in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with a population of over 300,000. About south-southeast of Cologne, Bonn is in the southernmost part of the Rhine-Ruhr reg ...
f , largest_city =
Hamburg en, Hamburgian(s) , timezone1 = CET , utc_offset1 = +1 , timezone1_DST = CEST , utc_offset1_DST = +2 , postal_code_type = Postal code(s) , postal_code ...

Hamburg
, common_languages =
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language * Germanic peoples * Ger ...
, religion = See '' Religion in West Germany'' , demonym =
West German ) , capital = Bonnf , largest_city = Hamburg , common_languages = German , religion = See ''Religion in West Germany'' , demonym = West German , title_leader = President , lea ...
, title_leader =
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese full- ...
, leader1 =
Theodor Heuss Theodor Heuss (; 31 January 1884 – 12 December 1963) was a German liberal politician who served as the first President of the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1959. His cordial nature – something of a contrast to the stern characte ...
, year_leader1 = 1949–1959 , leader2 = , year_leader2 = 1984–1990 , title_deputy =
Chancellor Chancellor ( la, links=no, cancellarius) is a title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the ''cancellarii'' of Roman courts of justice—ushers, who sat at the ''cancelli'' or lattice work ...
, deputy1 =
Konrad Adenauer Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer (; 5 January 1876 – 19 April 1967) was a German statesman who served as the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1949 to 1963. From 1946 to 1966, he was the first leader of the ...
, year_deputy1 = 1949–1963 , deputy2 =
Helmut Kohl Helmut Josef Michael Kohl (; 3 April 1930 – 16 June 2017) was a German statesman and politician of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) who served as Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 (of West Germany, 1982–1990; and of reunified Germ ...
c , year_deputy2 = 1982–1990 , legislature = , upper_house = Bundesrat , lower_house =
Bundestag The Bundestag (, "Federal Diet") is the German federal parliament. It is the only body that is directly elected by the German people on the federal level. It can be compared to a lower house similar to the United States House of Representatives ...
, era = Cold War , event_start =
Formation Formation may refer to: Linguistics * Back-formation, the process of creating a new lexeme by removing or affixes * Word formation, the creation of a new word by adding affixes Mathematics and science * Cave formation or speleothem, a secondary m ...
, date_start = 23 May , year_start = 1949 , event1 = , date_event1 = 5 May 1955 , event2 = Member of
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 European and North American countries. The ...
, date_event2 = 9 May 1955 , event3 =
Saar statute The Saar Statute was a Franco-West German agreement signed in 1954 which resulted from lengthy diplomatic negotiations between France and West Germany. It helped to pave the way for a more modern Europe following post World War II tensions and geo-p ...
, date_event3 = 1 January 1957 , event4 = Creation of
EEC The European Economic Community (EEC) was a regional organization that aimed to bring about economic integration among its member states. It was created by the Treaty of Rome of 1957.Today the largely rewritten treaty continues in force as the ...
, date_event4 = 25 March 1957 , event5 = Admitted to the UN , date_event5 = 18 September 1973 , event6 = Final Settlement , date_event6 = 12 September 1990 , event_end =
Reunification A political union is a type of state which is composed of or created out of smaller states. The process of creating such a state out of smaller states is called unification. Unification of states that used to be together and are reuniting is referr ...
, date_end = 3 October , year_end = 1990 , stat_year1 = 1950 , stat_year2 = 1970 , stat_year3 = 1990 , stat_area3 = 248577 , stat_pop1 = 50,958,000d , stat_pop2 = 61,001,000 , stat_pop3 = 63,254,000 , population_density_km2 = 254 , GDP_PPP_year = 1990 , GDP_PPP = ~$1.0
trillion A trillion is a number with two distinct definitions: *1,000,000,000,000, i.e. one million million, or (ten to the twelfth power), as defined on the short scale. This is now the meaning in both American and British English. *1,000,000,000,000,000, ...
, GDP_PPP_rank = 4th , currency = e (DM) , currency_code = DEM , time_zone = CET , utc_offset = +1 , time_zone_DST = CEST , utc_offset_DST = +2 , cctld = .de , calling_code = +49 , footnote_a = From 1952 to 1991, the official national anthem of Germany was in its entirety, but only the third stanza was to be sung at official events. , footnote_b = Continued as President of the reunified Germany until 1994. , footnote_c = Continued as Chancellor of the reunified Germany until 1998. , footnote_d = Population statistics according to .Bevölkerungsstand
, footnote_e = In
Saarland Saarland (, also , ; french: Sarre ) is a state of Germany in the west of the country. With an area of and population of 995,600 in 2015, it is the smallest German state in both area and population apart from the city-states of Berlin, Bremen, and ...
, between January 1957 and July 1959, the
French franc The franc (; ; sign: F or Fr), also commonly distinguished as the (FF), was a currency of France. Between 1360 and 1641, it was the name of coins worth 1 livre tournois and it remained in common parlance as a term for this amount of money. It was ...
and
Saar francThe Saar franc was the French franc (german: Franken) used as the official currency of the Saar during the times that the Saar territory was economically split off from Germany, in 1920–1935 as the Territory of the Saar Basin, in 1947–1957 as the ...
. , footnote_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''). , today = , area_km2 = , area_rank = , HDI = , HDI_year = West Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; german: Bundesrepublik Deutschland ), retrospectively designated as the Bonn Republic, is the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany between its formation on 23 May 1949 and the
German reunification German reunification (german: link=no, Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic (GDR) became part of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) to form the reunited nation of Germany. The end of th ...
through the accession of
East Germany East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a country that existed from 1949 to 1990, the period when the eastern portion of Germany was part of the Eastern Bloc during the ...
on 3 October 1990. During this
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union and the United States and their respective allies, the Eastern Bloc and the Western Bloc, after World War II. Historians do not fully agree on the dates, but the per ...
period, the western portion of Germany was part of the
Western Bloc The Western Bloc, also known as the Anti-Communist Bloc, Capitalist Bloc and the American Bloc, was a coalition of the countries that were allied with the United States and its ideology, a member of NATO, and/or opposed the Soviet Union, Warsaw ...
. West Germany was formed as a political entity during the
Allied occupation of Germany Allied-occupied Germany (, literally "Germany in the occupation period") was the administration of Germany () upon defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, when the victorious Allies asserted joint authority and sovereignty over Germany as a whol ...
after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—forming two opposing milit ...
, established from eleven
states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, United States * ''Our Sta ...

states
formed in the three Allied zones of occupation held by the United States, the United Kingdom and France. Its provisional capital was the city of
Bonn The Federal city of Bonn ( lat, Bonna) is a city on the banks of the Rhine in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with a population of over 300,000. About south-southeast of Cologne, Bonn is in the southernmost part of the Rhine-Ruhr reg ...
. At the onset of the Cold War, Europe was divided between the Western and . Germany was divided into two countries and two special territories, the
Saarland Saarland (, also , ; french: Sarre ) is a state of Germany in the west of the country. With an area of and population of 995,600 in 2015, it is the smallest German state in both area and population apart from the city-states of Berlin, Bremen, and ...
and a divided Berlin. Initially, West Germany claimed an
exclusive mandate An exclusive mandate is a government's assertion of its legitimate authority over a certain territory, part of which another government controls with stable, ''de facto'' sovereignty. It is also known as a claim to sole representation or an exclusi ...
for all of Germany, identifying as the sole democratically reorganised continuation of the 1871–1945
German Reich ''German Reich'' (german: Deutsches Reich, ) was the constitutional name for the German nation state that existed from 1871 to 1945. The ''Reich'' became understood as deriving its authority and sovereignty entirely from a continuing unitary Germa ...
. It took the line that the German Democratic Republic (GDR), commonly referred to as
East Germany East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a country that existed from 1949 to 1990, the period when the eastern portion of Germany was part of the Eastern Bloc during the ...
, was an illegally constituted
puppet state A puppet state, puppet régime or puppet government is a state that is ''de jure'' independent but ''de facto'' completely dependent upon an outside power and subject to its orders.Compare: Puppet states have nominal sovereignty, but a foreign p ...
controlled by the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its governmen ...
. Three southwestern states of West Germany merged to form
Baden-Württemberg Baden-Württemberg (; ) is a state (''Land'') in southwest Germany, east of the Rhine, which forms the southern part of Germany's western border with France. With more than 11 million inhabitants as of 2017 across a total area of nearly , it is ...
in 1952, and the Saarland joined West Germany in 1957. In addition to the resulting ten states,
West Berlin West Berlin (german: Berlin (West) or ) was a political enclave which comprised the western part of Berlin during the years of the Cold War. Although no specific date on which the sectors of Berlin occupied by the Western Allies became "West B ...
was considered an unofficial eleventh state. While legally not part of West Germany, as Berlin was under the control of the
Allied Control Council , Berlin, 1945–1990 Headquarters of the Allied Control Council: View from the Kleistpark The Allied Control Council or Allied Control Authority (german: Alliierter Kontrollrat) and also referred to as the Four Powers (), was the governing body o ...
, West Berlin politically aligned with West Germany and was directly or indirectly represented in its federal institutions. The foundation for the influential position held by Germany today was laid during the economic miracle of the 1950s (''
Wirtschaftswunder The term ''Wirtschaftswunder'' (, "economic miracle"), also known as the Miracle on the Rhine, describes the rapid reconstruction and development of the economies of West Germany and Austria after World War II (adopting an ordoliberalism-based so ...
''), when West Germany rose from the enormous destruction wrought by
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—forming two opposing milit ...
to become the world's third-largest economy. The first chancellor
Konrad Adenauer Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer (; 5 January 1876 – 19 April 1967) was a German statesman who served as the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1949 to 1963. From 1946 to 1966, he was the first leader of the ...
, who remained in office until 1963, worked for a full alignment with
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 European and North American countries. The ...
rather than neutrality, and secured membership in the military alliance. Adenauer was also a proponent of agreements that developed into the present-day
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. The EU has developed an internal s ...
. When the G6 was established in 1975, there was no serious debate as to whether West Germany would become a member. Following the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, symbolised by the
opening Opening may refer to: * Al-Fatiha, "The Opening", the first chapter of the Qur'an * The Opening (album), live album by Mal Waldron * Backgammon opening * Chess opening * A title sequence or opening credits * , a term from contract bridge * , a ter ...
of the
Berlin Wall The Berlin Wall (german: Berliner Mauer, ) was a guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Construction of the wall was commenced by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) on ...

Berlin Wall
, both territories took action to achieve
German reunification German reunification (german: link=no, Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic (GDR) became part of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) to form the reunited nation of Germany. The end of th ...
. East Germany voted to dissolve and accede to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1990. Its five post-war states () were reconstituted, along with the reunited Berlin, which ended its special status and formed an additional . They formally joined the federal republic on 3 October 1990, raising the total number of states from ten to sixteen, and ending the division of Germany. The reunited Germany is the direct continuation of the state previously informally called West Germany and not a new state, as the process was essentially a voluntary act of accession: West Germany was enlarged to include the additional states of East Germany, which had ceased to exist. 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 such as the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of ...
, NATO,
OECD The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Économiques, OCDE) is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 37 member countries, founded in 1961 to sti ...

OECD
, and the
European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) was a regional organization that aimed to bring about economic integration among its member states. It was created by the Treaty of Rome of 1957.Today the largely rewritten treaty continues in force as the ...
.


Naming conventions

The official name of West Germany, adopted in 1949 and unchanged since, is (Federal Republic of Germany). In East Germany, the terms (West Germany) or (West German Federal Republic) were preferred during the 1950s and 1960s. This changed under its 1968 constitution, when the idea of a single German nation was abandoned by East Germany. As a result, it officially considered West Germans and West Berliners as foreigners. The initialism '' BRD'' (FRG in English) began to prevail in East German usage in the early 1970s, beginning in the newspaper . Other
Eastern Bloc#REDIRECT Eastern Bloc#REDIRECT Eastern Bloc {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...

Eastern Bloc
nations soon followed suit. In 1965 the West German Federal Minister of All-German Affairs
Erich Mende Erich Mende (28 October 1916 – 6 May 1998) was a German politician of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and Christian Democratic Union (CDU). He was the leader of FDP from 1960 to 1968 and the third Vice Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Ger ...

Erich Mende
had issued the "Directives for the Appellation of Germany", recommending avoiding the initialism BRD. On 31 May 1974, the heads of West German federal and state governments recommended always using the full name in official publications. From then on, West German sources avoided the abbreviated form, with the exception of left-leaning organizations which embraced it. In November 1979 the federal government informed the
Bundestag The Bundestag (, "Federal Diet") is the German federal parliament. It is the only body that is directly elected by the German people on the federal level. It can be compared to a lower house similar to the United States House of Representatives ...
that the West German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF had agreed to refuse to use the initialism. The
ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes are two-letter country codes defined in ISO 3166-1, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), to represent countries, dependent territories, and special areas of g ...
country code of West Germany was DE (for ''Deutschland'', Germany), which has remained the country code of Germany after reunification. ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 codes are the most widely used country codes, and the DE code is notably used as a country identifier, extending the postal code and as the Internet's country code top-level domain .de. The less widely used
ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 codes are three-letter country codes defined in ISO 3166-1, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), to represent countries, dependent territories, and special areas of g ...
country code of West Germany was DEU, which has remained the country code of reunified Germany. The now deleted codes for East Germany, on the other hand, were DD in ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 and DDR in ISO 3166-1 alpha-3. The colloquial term ''West Germany'' or its equivalent was used in many languages. was also a widespread colloquial form used in German-speaking countries, usually without political overtones.


History

in Germany, early 1946. The territories east of the
Oder–Neisse line The Oder–Neisse line (german: Oder-Neiße-Grenze, pl, granica na Odrze i Nysie Łużyckiej) is the basis of most of the international border between Germany and Poland. It runs mainly along the Oder and Lusatian Neisse rivers and meets the ...
, under Polish and Soviet administration/annexation, are shown in cream, as is the detached
Saar Protectorate The Saar Protectorate (german: Saarprotektorat ; french: Protectorat de la Sarre) officially Saarland (french: Sarre) was a short-lived protectorate (1946–1957) partitioned from Germany after its defeat in World War II; it was administered by ...
(France).
Bremen Bremen (, also ; Low German also: ''Breem'' or ''Bräm''), officially the City Municipality of Bremen (german: Stadtgemeinde Bremen, ), is the capital of the German state Free Hanseatic City of Bremen (''Freie Hansestadt Bremen''), a two-city-stat ...
was an American
enclave An enclave is a territory (or a part of one) that is entirely surrounded by the territory of one other state. Enclaves may also exist within territorial waters. ''Enclave'' is sometimes used improperly to denote a territory that is only partly s ...
within the British zone. Berlin was a four-power area within the Soviet zone. On 4–11 February 1945 leaders from the
United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, 326 India ...
, the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...
, and the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its governmen ...
held the
Yalta Conference The Yalta Conference, also known as the Crimea Conference and code-named Argonaut, held February 4–11, 1945, was the World War II meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union to discuss the ...
where future arrangements regarding post-war Europe and Allied strategy against Japan in the Pacific were negotiated. They agreed that the boundaries of Germany as at 31 December 1937 would be chosen as demarcating German national territory from German occupied territory; all German annexations after 1937 were automatically null. Subsequently, and into the 1970s, the West German state was to maintain that these 1937 boundaries continued to be 'valid in international law'; although the Allies had already agreed amongst themselves that East Prussia and Silesia must be transferred to Poland and the Soviet Union in any Peace agreement. The conference agreed that post-war Germany, minus these transfers, would be divided into four occupation zones: a French Zone in the far west; a British Zone in the northwest; an American Zone in the south; and a Soviet Zone in the East. Berlin was separately divided into four zones. These divisions were not intended to dismember Germany, only to designate zones of administration. By the subsequent
Potsdam Agreement The Potsdam Agreement (german: Potsdamer Abkommen) was the August 1945 agreement between three of the Allies of World War II, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Soviet Union. It concerned the military occupation and reconstruction o ...
, the four Allied Powers asserted joint sovereignty over "Germany as a whole", defined as the totality of the territory within the occupation zones. Former German areas east of the rivers
Oder The Oder (, ; Czech, Lower Sorbian and pl, Odra;, szl, Ôdra; hsb, Wódra) is a river in Central Europe. It is Poland's second-longest river in total length and third-longest within its borders after the Vistula and Warta. The Oder rises in the C ...

Oder
and
Neisse The Lusatian Neisse (german: Lausitzer Neiße; pl, Nysa Łużycka; cs, Lužická Nisa; Upper Sorbian: ''Łužiska Nysa''; Lower Sorbian: ''Łužyska Nysa''), or Western Neisse, is a river in northern Central Europe.
and outside of 'Germany as a whole' were separated from German sovereignty in July 1945 and transferred from Soviet military occupation to Polish and Soviet (in the case of the territory of Kaliningrad) civil administration, their Polish and Soviet status to be confirmed at a final Peace Treaty. Following wartime commitments by the Allies to the governments-in-exile of Czechoslovakia and Poland, the Potsdam Protocols also agreed to the 'orderly and humane' transfer to Germany as a whole of the ethnic German populations in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. Eight million German expellees and refugees eventually settled in West Germany. Between 1946 and 1949, three of the occupation zones began to merge. First, the British and American zones were combined into the quasi-state of Bizonia. Soon afterwards, the French zone was included into Trizonia. Conversely, the Soviet zone became
East Germany East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a country that existed from 1949 to 1990, the period when the eastern portion of Germany was part of the Eastern Bloc during the ...
. At the same time, new federal states () were formed in the Allied zones; replacing the geography of pre-Nazi German states such as the
Free State of Prussia The Free State of Prussia (german: Freistaat Preußen) was a state of Germany from 1918 to 1947. It was established in 1918 following the German Revolution, abolishing the German Empire and founding the Weimar Republic in the aftermath of the F ...
and the
Republic of Baden The Republic of Baden (german: Republik Baden) was a German state that existed during the time of the Weimar Republic, formed after the abolition of the Grand Duchy of Baden in 1918. It is now part of the modern German state of Baden-Württemberg. ...
, which had derived ultimately from former independent German kingdoms and principalities. In the dominant post-war narrative of West Germany, the
Nazi Nazism (), officially National Socialism (german: Nationalsozialismus; ), is the ideology and practices associated with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (german: link=no, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, NSDAP, or National Social ...

Nazi
regime was characterised as having been a 'criminal' state, illegal and illegitimate from the outset; while the
Weimar Republic The Weimar Republic (german: Weimarer Republik ) was the German state from 1918 to 1933, as it existed as a federal constitutional republic. The state was officially the German Reich (german: Deutsches Reich, link=no, label=none), and was also r ...
was characterised as having been a 'failed' state, whose inherent institutional and constitutional flaws had been exploited by
Hitler Adolf Hitler (; 20 April 188930 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician who was the dictator of Germany from 1933 to 1945. He rose to power as the leader of the Nazi Party, becoming Chancellor in 1933 and then assuming the title o ...
in his illegal seizure of dictatorial powers. Consequently, following the death of Hitler in 1945 and the subsequent capitulation of the German Armed Forces, the national political, judicial, administrative, and constitutional instruments of both Nazi Germany and the Weimar Republic were understood as entirely defunct, such that a new West Germany could be established in a condition of constitutional nullity. Nevertheless, the new West Germany asserted its fundamental continuity with the 'overall' German state that was held to have embodied the unified German people since the
Frankfurt Parliament The Frankfurt Parliament (german: Frankfurter Nationalversammlung, literally ''Frankfurt National Assembly'') was the first freely elected parliament for all of Germany, including the German-populated areas of Austria-Hungary, elected on 1 May 18 ...
of 1848, and which from 1871 had been represented within the
German Reich ''German Reich'' (german: Deutsches Reich, ) was the constitutional name for the German nation state that existed from 1871 to 1945. The ''Reich'' became understood as deriving its authority and sovereignty entirely from a continuing unitary Germa ...
; albeit that this overall state had become effectively dormant long before 8 May 1945. In 1949 with the continuation and aggravation of the Cold War (witness the
Berlin Airlift The Berlin Blockade (24 June 1948 – 12 May 1949) was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War. During the multinational occupation of post–World War II Germany, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway, road, ...
of 1948–49), the two German states that were originated in the Western Allied and the Soviet Zones became known internationally as West Germany and East Germany. Commonly known in English as
East Germany East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a country that existed from 1949 to 1990, the period when the eastern portion of Germany was part of the Eastern Bloc during the ...
, the former
Soviet occupation zone The Soviet Occupation Zone (; , ''Sovetskaya okkupatsionnaya zona Germanii'', "Soviet Occupation Zone of Germany") was an area of Germany occupied by the Soviet Union as a communist area at the end of World War II in 1945. On 7 October 1949 the ...
, eventually became the ''
German Democratic Republic German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language * Germanic peoples * Ger ...
'' or ''GDR''. In 1990 West Germany and East Germany jointly signed the
Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany The Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany (german: Vertrag über die abschließende Regelung in Bezug auf Deutschland; rus, Договор об окончательном урегулировании в отношении Герм ...
(also known as the "Two-plus-Four Agreement"); by which transitional status of Germany following
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—forming two opposing milit ...
was definitively ended and the Four Allied powers relinquished their joint residual sovereign authority for Germany as a whole including the area of West Berlin which had officially remained under Allied occupation for the purposes of international and GDR law (a status that the Western countries applied to Berlin as a whole despite the Soviets declaring the end of occupation of East Berlin unilaterally many decades before). The Two-plus-Four Agreement also saw the two parts of Germany confirm their post-war external boundaries as final and irreversible (including the 1945 transfer of former German lands east of the
Oder–Neisse line The Oder–Neisse line (german: Oder-Neiße-Grenze, pl, granica na Odrze i Nysie Łużyckiej) is the basis of most of the international border between Germany and Poland. It runs mainly along the Oder and Lusatian Neisse rivers and meets the ...
), and the Allied Powers confirmed their consent to German Reunification. From 3 October 1990, after the reformation of the GDR's , the East German states joined the Federal Republic.


NATO membership

With territories and frontiers that coincided largely with the ones of old
Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted from the 5th to the late 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and transitioned into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages i ...
East Francia East Francia (Latin: ''Francia orientalis'') or the Kingdom of the East Franks (''regnum Francorum orientalium'') was a successor state of Charlemagne's empire ruled by the Carolingian dynasty until 911. It was created through the Treaty of Verdu ...
and the 19th-century
Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the Revolutionary Wars. As Napoleon I, he was Empe ...
ic
Confederation of the Rhine The Confederation of the Rhine (; French: officially ' (Confederated States of the Rhine), but in practice ') was a confederation of German client states at the behest of the First French Empire. It was formed from parts of the Holy Roman Empire b ...
, the Federal Republic of Germany, founded on 23 May 1949, under the terms of the
Bonn–Paris conventions The Bonn–Paris conventions were signed in May 1952 and came into force after the 1955 ratification. The conventions put an end to the Allied occupation of West Germany.Joachim von ElbU.S. Embassy Bonn HistoryU.S. Diplomatic Mission to German ...
it obtained "the full authority of a sovereign state" on 5 May 1955 (although "full sovereignty" was not obtained until the Two Plus Four Agreement in 1990). The former occupying Western troops remained on the ground, now as part of the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 30 European and North American countries. The ...
(NATO), which West Germany joined on 9 May 1955, promising to rearm itself soon. West Germany became a focus of the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union and the United States and their respective allies, the Eastern Bloc and the Western Bloc, after World War II. Historians do not fully agree on the dates, but the per ...
with its juxtaposition to East Germany, a member of the subsequently founded
Warsaw Pact The Warsaw Treaty Organization (WTO), officially the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, commonly known as the Warsaw Pact (WP), was a collective defense treaty signed in Warsaw, Poland between the Soviet Union and seven o ...
. The former capital,
Berlin Berlin (; ) is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the most-populous city of the European Union, according to population within city limits. One of Ger ...
, had been divided into four sectors, with the Western Allies joining their sectors to form
West Berlin West Berlin (german: Berlin (West) or ) was a political enclave which comprised the western part of Berlin during the years of the Cold War. Although no specific date on which the sectors of Berlin occupied by the Western Allies became "West B ...
, while the Soviets held
East Berlin East Berlin was the ''de facto'' capital city of the German Democratic Republic from 1949 to 1990. Formally, it was the Soviet sector of Berlin, established in 1945. The American, British, and French sectors were known as West Berlin. From ...
. West Berlin was completely surrounded by East German territory and had suffered a Soviet blockade in 1948–49, which was overcome by the
Berlin airlift The Berlin Blockade (24 June 1948 – 12 May 1949) was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War. During the multinational occupation of post–World War II Germany, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway, road, ...
. The outbreak of the
Korean War The Korean War (South Korean: ; North Korean: , "Fatherland Liberation War"; 25 June 1950–27 July 1953) was a war between North Korea (with the support of China and the Soviet Union) and South Korea (with the support of the United Nations, ...
in June 1950 led to U.S. calls to rearm West Germany to help defend
Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe farthest from Asia, with the countries and territories included varying depending on context. After the beginning of foreign exploration in the Age of Discovery, roughly from the 15th century, the concept ...
from the perceived
Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a federal socialist state in Northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its governmen ...
threat. Germany's partners in the
European Coal and Steel Community The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was an organisation of six European countries created after World War II to regulate their industrial production under a centralised authority. It was formally established in 1951 by the Treaty of Paris ...
proposed to establish a
European Defence Community The Treaty establishing the European Defence Community, also known as the Treaty of Paris, is an unratified treaty signed on 27 May 1952 by the six 'inner' countries of European integration: the Benelux countries, France, Italy, and West Germany. T ...
(EDC), with an integrated army, navy and air force, composed of the armed forces of its member states. The West German military would be subject to complete EDC control, but the other EDC member states (
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the so ...
,
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan France and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of Fr ...
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a continental part, delimited by the Alps, a peninsula and several islands surrounding it. Italy is located in Southern Europ ...
,
Luxembourg Luxembourg ( ; lb, Lëtzebuerg ; french: link=no, Luxembourg; german: link=no, Luxemburg), officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, ; french: link=no, Grand-Duché de Luxembourg ; german: link=no, Großherzogtum Luxemburg is a landlocked count ...
and the
Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in the Caribbean. It is the largest of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In Europe, the ...

Netherlands
) would cooperate in the EDC while maintaining independent control of their own armed forces. Though the EDC treaty was signed (May 1952), it never entered into force. France's
Gaullists Gaullism (french: link=no, Gaullisme) is a French political stance based on the thought and action of World War II French Resistance leader General Charles de Gaulle, who would become the founding President of the Fifth French Republic. De Gaulle w ...
rejected it on the grounds that it threatened national sovereignty, and when the
French National Assembly The National Assembly (french: link=no, italics=set, Assemblée nationale; ) is the lower house of the bicameral French Parliament under the Fifth Republic, the upper house being the Senate (). The National Assembly's legislators are known as ( ...
refused to ratify it (August 1954), the treaty died. The French Gaullists and communists had killed the French government's proposal. Then other means had to be found to allow West German rearmament. In response, at the
London and Paris Conferences The London and Paris Conferences were two related conferences held in London and Paris during September–October 1954 to determine the status of West Germany. The talks concluded with the signing of the Paris Agreements (Paris Pacts, or Paris Acco ...
, the
Brussels Treaty The Treaty of Brussels, also referred to as the Brussels Pact, was the founding treaty of the Western Union (WU) between 1948 and 1954, when it was amended as the Modified Brussels Treaty (MTB) and served as the founding treaty of the Western Eur ...
was modified to include West Germany, and to form the
Western European Union The Western European Union (WEU; french: Union de l'Europe occidentale, ''UEO''; german: Westeuropäische Union, ''WEU'') was the international organisation and military alliance that succeeded the Western Union (WU) after the 1954 amendment of th ...
(WEU). West Germany was to be permitted to rearm (an idea many Germans rejected), and have full sovereign control of its military, called the . The WEU, however, would regulate the size of the armed forces permitted to each of its member states. Also, the German constitution prohibited any military action, except in the case of an external attack against Germany or its allies (). Also, Germans could reject military service on grounds of conscience, and serve for civil purposes instead. The three Western
Allies An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or states that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out among them. Members of an alliance are called a ...
retained occupation powers in Berlin and certain responsibilities for Germany as a whole. Under the new arrangements, the Allies stationed troops within West Germany for NATO defense, pursuant to stationing and status-of-forces agreements. With the exception of 55,000 French troops, Allied forces were under NATO's joint defense command. (France withdrew from the collective military command structure of NATO in 1966.)


Reforms during the 1960s

Konrad Adenauer Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer (; 5 January 1876 – 19 April 1967) was a German statesman who served as the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1949 to 1963. From 1946 to 1966, he was the first leader of the ...
was 73 years old when he became chancellor in 1949, and for this reason he was initially reckoned as a caretaker. However, he stayed in power for 14 years. The grand old man of German postwar politics had to be dragged—almost literally—out of office in 1963. In October 1962 the weekly news magazine published an analysis of the West German military defence. The conclusion was that there were several weaknesses in the system. Ten days after publication, the offices of in Hamburg were raided by the police and quantities of documents were seized. Chancellor Adenauer proclaimed in the that the article was tantamount to high treason and that the authors would be prosecuted. The editor/owner of the magazine,
Rudolf Augstein Rudolf Karl Augstein (5 November 1923 – 7 November 2002) was one of the most influential German journalists, a founder and part-owner of ''Der Spiegel'' magazine. Life and career Born in Hanover, Germany, he was a radio operator and artillery ...
spent some time in jail before the public outcry over the breaking of laws on freedom of the press became too loud to be ignored. The FDP members of Adenauer's cabinet resigned from the government, demanding the resignation of
Franz Josef Strauss Franz Josef Strauss ( ; 6 September 1915 – 3 October 1988) was a German politician. He was the long-time chairman of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) from 1961 until 1988, member of the federal cabinet in different positions between ...
, Defence Minister, who had decidedly overstepped his competence during the crisis. Adenauer was still wounded by his brief run for president, and this episode damaged his reputation even further. He announced that he would step down in the fall of 1963. His successor was to be Ludwig Erhard. In the early 1960s the rate of economic growth slowed down significantly. In 1962 growth rate was 4.7% and the following year, 2.0%. After a brief recovery, the growth rate slowed again into a recession, with no growth in 1967. A new coalition was formed to deal with this problem. Erhard stepped down in 1966 and was succeeded by
Kurt Georg Kiesinger Kurt Georg Kiesinger (; 6 April 1904 – 9 March 1988) was a German politician who served as Chancellor of Germany (West Germany) from 1 December 1966 to 21 October 1969. Before he became Chancellor he was a Nazi Party member, served as Minister Pr ...
. He led a
grand coalition#REDIRECT Grand coalition {{R from other capitalisation ...
between West Germany's two largest parties, the CDU/CSU and the
Social Democratic Party The name Social Democratic Party or Social Democrats has been used by many political parties in various countries around the world. Such parties are most commonly aligned to social democracy as their political ideology. Active parties Form ...
(SPD). This was important for the introduction of new emergency acts: the grand coalition gave the ruling parties the two-thirds majority of votes required for their ratification. These controversial acts allowed basic constitutional rights such as
freedom of movement Freedom of movement, mobility rights, or the right to travel is a human rights concept encompassing the right of individuals to travel from place to place within the territory of a country,Jérémiee Gilbert, ''Nomadic Peoples and Human Rights'' ...
to be limited in case of a state of emergency. , student leader During the time leading up to the passing of the laws, there was fierce opposition to them, above all by the Free Democratic Party (Germany), Free Democratic Party, the rising West German student movement, a group calling itself ("Democracy in Crisis") and members of the Campaign against Nuclear Armament. A key event in the development of open democratic debate occurred in 1967, when the
Shah of Iran This article lists the monarchs of Persia (Iran) from the establishment of the Median Empire by Medes around 705 BC until the deposition of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1979. Earlier monarchs in the area of modern-day Iran are listed in: *List of rul ...
,
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi Mohammad Reza Pahlavi ( fa, محمدرضا پهلوی, ; 26 October 1919 – 27 July 1980), also known as Mohammad Reza Shah (), was the last ''Shah'' (King) of Iran from 16 September 1941 until his overthrow in the Iranian Revolution on 11 ...

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
, visited West Berlin. Several thousand demonstrators gathered outside the Opera House where he was to attend a special performance. Supporters of the Shah (later known as ), armed with staves and bricks attacked the protesters while the police stood by and watched. A demonstration in the centre was being forcibly dispersed when a bystander named
Benno Ohnesorg Benno Ohnesorg (; 15 October 1940 – 2 June 1967)Böttcher, Dirk (2002). "Ohnesorg, Benno" (in German), in: Hannoversches biographisches Lexikon: von den Anfängen bis in die Gegenwart'. Hannover: Schlütersche. p. 275. was a West German un ...
was shot in the head and killed by a plainclothes policeman. (It has now been established that the policeman, Kurras, was a paid spy of the East German security forces.) Protest demonstrations continued, and calls for more active opposition by some groups of students were made, which was declared by the press, especially the tabloid newspaper, as a massive disruption to life in Berlin, in a massive campaign against the protesters. Protests against the US intervention in Vietnam, mingled with anger over the vigour with which demonstrations were repressed led to mounting militance among the students at the universities in Berlin. One of the most prominent campaigners was a young man from East Germany called
Rudi Dutschke Alfred Willi Rudolf Dutschke (; 7 March 1940 – 24 December 1979) was a German Marxist sociologist and a political activist in the German student movement and the APO protest movement of the 1960s. He advocated a "long march through the institut ...
who also criticised the forms of capitalism that were to be seen in West Berlin. Just before Easter 1968, a young man tried to kill Dutschke as he bicycled to the student union, seriously injuring him. All over West Germany, thousands demonstrated against the Springer newspapers which were seen as the prime cause of the violence against students. Trucks carrying newspapers were set on fire and windows in office buildings broken. In the wakes of these demonstrations, in which the question of America's role in Vietnam began to play a bigger role, came a desire among the students to find out more about the role of the parent-generation in the Nazi era. The proceedings of the War Crimes Tribunal at Nuremberg had been widely publicised in Germany but until a new generation of teachers, educated with the findings of historical studies, could begin to reveal the truth about the war and the crimes committed in the name of the German people. One courageous attorney,
Fritz Bauer Fritz Bauer (16 July 1903 – 1 July 1968) was a German Jewish judge and prosecutor. He was instrumental in the post-war capture of former Holocaust planner Adolf Eichmann and also played an essential role in starting the Frankfurt Auschwitz tria ...
patiently gathered evidence on the guards of the concentration camp and about twenty were put on trial in Frankfurt in 1963. Daily newspaper reports and visits by school classes to the proceedings revealed to the German public the nature of the concentration camp system and it became evident that the was of vastly greater dimensions than the German population had believed. (The term "Holocaust" for the systematic mass-murder of Jews first came into use in 1979, when a 1978 American mini-series with that name was shown on West German television.) The processes set in motion by the Auschwitz trial reverberated decades later. The calling in question of the actions and policies of government led to a new climate of debate. The issues of emancipation, colonialism, environmentalism and grass roots democracy were discussed at all levels of society. In 1979 the environmental party, the Greens, reached the 5% limit required to obtain parliamentary seats in the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen provincial election. Also of great significance was the steady growth of a
feminist movement The feminist movement (also known as the women's movement, or simply feminism) refers to a series of political campaigns for reforms on issues such as reproductive rights, domestic violence, maternity leave, equal pay, women's suffrage, sexual ...
in which women demonstrated for equal rights. Until 1977 a married woman had to have the permission of her husband if she wanted to take on a job or open a bank account. Further reforms in 1979 to parental rights law gave equal legal rights to the mother and the father, abolishing the legal authority of the father. Parallel to this, a gay movement began to grow in the larger cities, especially in West Berlin, where homosexuality had been widely accepted during the twenties in the Weimar Republic. Anger over the treatment of demonstrators following the death of Benno Ohnesorg and the attack on Rudi Dutschke, coupled with growing frustration over the lack of success in achieving their aims led to growing militance among students and their supporters. In May 1968, three young people set fire to two department stores in Frankfurt; they were brought to trial and made very clear to the court that they regarded their action as a legitimate act in what they described as the "struggle against imperialism". The student movement began to split into different factions, ranging from the unattached liberals to the Maoism, Maoists and supporters of direct action in every form—the anarchists. Several groups set as their objective the aim of radicalising the industrial workers and taking an example from activities in Italy of the
Red Brigades The Red Brigades ( it, Brigate Rosse , often abbreviated ''BR'') was a far-left armed organization and guerrilla group based in Italy responsible for numerous violent incidents, including the abduction and murder of former Prime Minister Aldo Moro ...
(), many students went to work in the factories, but with little or no success. The most notorious of the underground groups was the
Red Army Faction The Red Army Faction (RAF, ; , ),See the section "Name" also known as the Baader–Meinhof Group or Baader–Meinhof Gang (, ), was a West German far-left militant organization founded in 1970. Key early figures included Andreas Baader, Ulrike ...
which began by making bank raids to finance their activities and eventually went underground having killed a number of policemen, several bystanders and eventually two prominent West Germans, whom they had taken captive in order to force the release of prisoners sympathetic to their ideas. In the 1990s attacks were still being committed under the name "RAF". The last action took place in 1993 and the group announced it was giving up its activities in 1998. Evidence that the groups had been infiltrated by German Intelligence undercover agents has since emerged, partly through the insistence of the son of one of their prominent victims, the State Counsel Buback.


Willy Brandt

In the 1969 election, the SPD—headed by
Willy Brandt Willy Brandt (; born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm; 18 December 1913 – 8 October 1992) was a German politician and statesman who was leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from 1964 to 1987 and served as Chancellor of the Federal Re ...

Willy Brandt
—gained enough votes to form a coalition government with the FDP. Although Chancellor for only just over four years, Willy Brandt was one of the most popular politicians in the whole period. Brandt was a gifted speaker and the growth of the Social Democrats from there on was in no small part due to his personality. Brandt began a policy of rapprochement with West Germany's eastern neighbours, a policy opposed by the CDU. The issue of improving relations with Poland, Czechoslovakia and East Germany made for an increasingly aggressive tone in public debates but it was a huge step forward when Willy Brandt and the Foreign Minister, Walther Scheel (FDP) negotiated agreements with all three countries. (Moscow Agreement, August 1970, Warsaw Agreement, December 1970, Four Power Agreement over the status of West Berlin in 1971 and an agreement on relations between West and East Germany, signed in December 1972.) These agreements were the basis for a rapid improvement in the relations between east and west and led, in the long-term to the dismantlement of the Warsaw Treaty and the Soviet Union's control over Eastern Europe. Chancellor Brandt was forced to resign in May 1974, after
Günter Guillaume Günter Guillaume (1 February 1927 – 10 April 1995) was an intelligence agent for East Germany's secret service, the Stasi, in West Germany. Guillaume became West German chancellor Willy Brandt's secretary, and his discovery as a spy led ...
, a senior member of his staff, was uncovered as a spy for the East German intelligence service, the . Brandt's contributions to world peace led to his nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1971.


Chancellor of Domestic Reform

Although Brandt is perhaps best known for his achievements in foreign policy, his government oversaw the implementation of a broad range of social reforms, and was known as a "Kanzler der inneren Reformen" ('Chancellor of domestic reform').Radice; Radice (1986). ''Socialists in the Recession: the Search for Solidarity''. According to the historian
David Childs at night David Magie Childs (born April 1, 1941) is an United States, American architect and chairman emeritus of the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. He is best known for being the architect of the new One World Trade Center in New ...
, "Brandt was anxious that his government should be a reforming administration and a number of reforms were embarked upon".Childs, David (1992). Germany in the Twentieth Century Within a few years, the education budget rose from 16 billion to 50 billion DM, while one out of every three DM spent by the new government was devoted to welfare purposes. As noted by the journalist and historian Marion Dönhoff, "People were seized by a completely new feeling about life. A mania for large scale reforms spread like wildfire, affecting schools, universities, the administration, family legislation. In the autumn of 1970 Jürgen Wischnewski of the SPD declared, 'Every week more than three plans for reform come up for decision in cabinet and in the Assembly.'"Dönhoff, Marion (1982). ''Foe into Friend: the Makers of the New Germany from Konrad Adenauer to Helmut Schmidt''. According to
Helmut Schmidt Helmut Heinrich Waldemar Schmidt (; 23 December 1918 – 10 November 2015) was a German politician and member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), who served as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1974 t ...
, Willy Brandt's domestic reform programme had accomplished more than any previous programme for a comparable period. Levels of social expenditure were increased, with more funds allocated towards housing, transportation, schools, and communication,Prittie, Terence (1974). ''Willy Brandt: Portrait of a Statesman'' and substantial federal benefits were provided for farmers.Binder, David (1975). ''The Other German: Willy Brandt's Life & Times'' Various measures were introduced to extend health care coverage, while federal aid to sports organisations was increased. A number of liberal social reforms were institutedSinn, Hans-Werner (2007). ''Can Germany Be Saved? The Malaise of the World's First Welfare State'' whilst the welfare state was significantly expanded (with total public spending on social programs nearly doubling between 1969 and 1975), with health, housing, and social welfare legislation bringing about welcome improvements, and by the end of the Brandt Chancellorship West Germany had one of the most advanced systems of welfare in the world.


= Social security

= Substantial increases were made in
social security Welfare is a type of government support intended to ensure that members of a society can meet basic human needs such as food and shelter. Social security may either be synonymous with welfare, or refer specifically to ''social insurance'' prog ...
benefits such as injury and sickness benefits, pensions, unemployment benefits, housing allowances, basic subsistence aid allowances,Walker, Robert; Lawson, Roger; Townsend, Peter, eds. (1984). ''Responses to Poverty: Lessons from Europe.'' and family allowances and living allowances. In the government's first budget, sickness benefits were increased by 9.3%, pensions for war widows by 25%, pensions for the war wounded by 16%, and retirement pensions by 5%. Numerically, pensions went up by 6.4% (1970), 5.5% (1971), 9.5% (1972), 11.4% (1973), and 11.2% (1974). Adjusted for changes in the annual price index, pensions went up in real terms by 3.1% (1970), 0.3% (1971), 3.9% (1972), 4.4% (1973), and 4.2% (1974). Between 1972 and 1974, the purchasing power of pensioners went up by 19%. In 1970, war pensions were increased by 16%. War victim's pensions went up by 5.5% in January 1971, and by 6.3% in January 1972. By 1972, war pensions for orphans and parents had gone up by around 40%, and for widows by around 50%. Between 1970 and 1972, the "Landabgaberente" (land transfer pension) went up by 55%. Between 1969 and 1974, the average real standard rate of income support rose (in 1991 prices) from around 300 DM to around 400 DM. Between 1970 and 1974, unemployment benefits rose from around 300 euros to around 400 euros per month, and unemployment assistance from just under 200 euros per month to just under 400 euros per month. In 2001 prices, the average standard social assistance benefit level rose from around 200 euros per month in 1969 to over 250 euros per month in 1974. During most of Brandt's years as chancellor, the majority of benefits increased as a percentage of average net earnings. In 1970, seagoing pilots became retrospectively insurable, and gained full social security as members of the Non-Manual Workers Insurance Institute. That same year, a special regulation came into force for District Master Chimney Sweeps, making them fully insurable under the Craftsman's Insurance Scheme. An increase was made in tax-free allowances for children, which enabled 1,000,000 families to claim an allowance for the second child, compared to 300,000 families previously. The Second Modification and Supplementation Law (1970) increased the allowance for the third child from DM 50 to DM 60, raised the income-limit for the second child allowance from DM 7,800 to DM 13,200; subsequently increased to DM 15,000 by the third modification law (December 1971), DM 16,800 by the fourth modification law (November 1973), and to DM 18,360 by the fifth modification law (December 1973). A flexible retirement age after 62 years was introduced (1972) for invalids and handicapped persons, and social assistance was extended to those who previously had to be helped by their relatives. From 1971, special subventions were provided to enable young farmers to quit farming "and facilitate their entry into the non-agricultural pension system by means of back payments". The Third Modification Law (1974) extended individual entitlements to
social assistance Welfare is a type of government support intended to ensure that members of a society can meet basic human needs such as food and shelter. Social security may either be synonymous with welfare, or refer specifically to ''social insurance'' prog ...
by means of higher-income limits compatible with receipt of benefits and lowered age limits for certain special benefits. Rehabilitation measures were also extended, child supplements were expressed as percentages of standard amounts and were thus indexed to their changes, and grandparents of recipients were exempted from potential liability to reimburse expenditure of social assistance carrier. The Third Social Welfare Amendment Act (1974) brought considerable improvements for the handicapped, those in need of care, and older persons,Schmidt, Helmut (1982). Wolfram F. Hanrieder (ed.). ''Perspectives on Politics''. and a new fund of 100 million marks for disabled children was established. Allowances for retraining and advanced training and for refugees from East Germany were also increased, together with federal grants for sport. In addition, increases were made in the pensions of 2.5 million war victims. Following a sudden increase in the price of oil, a law was passed in December 1973 granting recipients of social assistance and housing allowances a single heating-oil allowance (a procedure repeated in the winter of 1979 during the Schmidt Administration).Kohler, Peter A.; Zacher, Hans F.; Partington, Martin, eds. (1982). ''The Evolution of Social Insurance 1881–1981: Studies of Germany, France, Great Britain, Austria, and Switzerland.'' Improvements and automatic adjustments of maintenance allowances for participants in vocational training measures were also carried out, and increased allowances were provided for training and retraining, together with special allowances for refugees from East Germany.The Velvet Chancellors: A History of Post-war Germany by Terence Prittie There was determined, by statutory regulation issued in February 1970, the category of persons most seriously disabled "to whom, with regard to maintenance aid, an increased demand (50% of the appropriate rate) is being conceded, and, within the scope of relief in special living conditions: a higher rate of nursing aid". In 1971, the retirement age for miners was lowered to 50. An April 1972 law providing for "promotion of social aid services" aimed to remedy, through various beneficial measures (particularly in the field of national insurance and working conditions), the staff-shortage suffered by social establishments in their medico-social, educational and other work. A bill to harmonize re-education benefit and another bill relating to severely handicapped persons became law in May and September 1972 respectively. In 1972, winter payments for construction workers were introduced. To assist family planning and marriage and family guidance, the government allocated DM 2 232 000 in 1973 for the payment and for the basic and further training of staff. A special effort was also made in 1973 to organize the recreation of handicapped persons, with a holiday guide for the handicapped issued with the aid of the Federal Ministry of Family and Youth Affairs and Health in order to help them find suitable holiday accommodation for themselves and their families. From 1972 to 1973, the total amount of individual aids granted by Guarantee Fund for the integration of young immigrants increased from 17 million DM to 26 million DM. Under a law passed in April 1974, the protection hitherto granted to the victims of war or industrial accidents for the purpose of their occupational and social reintegration was extended to all handicapped persons, whatever the cause of their handicap, provided that their capacity to work had been reduced by at least 50%.


= Health

= In the field of health care, various measures were introduced to improve the quality and availability of health care provision. Free hospital care was introduced for 9 million recipients of social relief, while a contributory medical service for 23 million panel patients was introduced. Pensioners were exempted from paying a 2% health insurance contribution, while improvements in health insurance provision were carried out, as characterised by an expanded sickness insurance scheme, with the inclusion of preventative treatment. The income limit for compulsory sickness insurance was indexed to changes in the wage level (1970) and the right to medical cancer screening for 23.5 million people was introduced. In January 1971, the reduction of sickness allowance in case of hospitalisation was discontinued. That same year, compulsory health insurance was extended to the self-employed. In 1970, the government included nonmedical psychotherapists and psychoanalysts in the national health insurance program. Pupils, students and children in kindergartens were incorporated into the accident insurance scheme, which benefited 11 million children. Free medical checkups were introduced that same year, while the Farmers' Sickness Insurance Law (1972) introduced compulsory sickness insurance for independent farmers, family workers in agriculture, and pensioners under the farmers' pension scheme, medical benefits for all covered groups, and cash benefits for family workers under compulsory coverage for pension insurance. Participation in employer's health insurance was extended to four million employees. A Development Law of December 1970 made it possible for all employees voluntarily to become members of the statutory sickness insurance. The level of income for compulsory sickness insurance was indexed to 75% of the respective assessment level for pension insurance, while voluntarily insured employees were granted a claim to an allowance towards their sickness insurance from their employer. This law also introduced a new type of sickness insurance benefit, namely facilities for the early diagnosis of disease. Apart from the discretionary service of disease prevention which had existed since 1923, insured persons now had a right in certain circumstances to medical examinations aimed at the early diagnosis of disease. According to one study, this marked a change in the concept of sickness insurance: it now aimed at securing good health. The Hospital Financing Law (1972) secured the supply of hospitals and reduced the cost of hospital care, "defined the financing of hospital investment as a public responsibility, single states to issue plans for hospital development, and the federal government to bear the cost of hospital investment covered in the plans, rates for hospital care thus based on running costs alone, hospitals to ensure that public subsidies together with insurance fund payments for patients cover total costs". The Benefit Improvement Law (1973) made entitlement to hospital care legally binding (entitlements already enjoyed in practice), abolished time limits for hospital care, introduced entitlement to household assistance under specific conditions, and also introduced entitlement to leave of absence from work and cash benefits in the event of a child's illness. In 1971, to encourage the growth of registered family holiday centres, the Federal Government granted subsidies for the building and appointing of 28 of these centres at a total cost of 8 million DM. Free preliminary investigations were introduced for 2.5 million children up until the age of 4 for the early detection and correction of developmental disorders, and health research was expanded. Federal grants were increased, especially for the Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg, while a Federal Institute for Sport Science was set up, together with the Institute for Social Medicine and Epidemiology in Berlin. In addition, funding for new rehabilitation facilities was increased.


= Pensions

= The Pension Reform Law (1972) guaranteed all retirees a minimum pension regardless of their contributions and institutionalized the norm that the standard pension (of average earners with forty years of contributions) should not fall below 50% of current gross earnings. The 1972 pension reforms improved eligibility conditions and benefits for nearly every subgroup of the West German population.Mares, Isabela (2006). ''Taxation, Wage Bargaining, and Unemployment''. The income replacement rate for employees who made full contributions was raised to 70% of average earnings. The reform also replaced 65 as the mandatory retirement age with a "retirement window" ranging between 63 and 65 for employees who had worked for at least thirty-five years. Employees who qualified as disabled and had worked for at least thirty-five years were extended a more generous retirement window, which ranged between the ages of 60 and 62. Women who had worked for at least fifteen years (ten of which had to be after the age of age 40) and the long-term unemployed were also granted the same retirement window as the disabled. In addition, there were no benefit reductions for employees who had decided to retire earlier than the age of 65. The legislation also changed the way in which pensions were calculated for low-income earners who had been covered for twenty-five or more years. If the pension benefit fell below a specified level, then such workers were allowed to substitute a wage figure of 75% of the average wage during this period, thus creating something like a minimum wage benefit. According to one study, the 1972 pension reform "enhanced" the reduction of poverty in old age. Voluntary retirement at 63 with no deductions in the level of benefits was introduced, together with the index-linking of war victim's pensions to wage increases. Guaranteed minimum pension benefits for all West Germans were introduced, along with automatic pension increases for war widows (1970). Fixed minimum rates for women in receipt of very low pensions were also introduced, together with equal treatment for war widows.Brandt, Willy (1992). ''My Life in Politics'' Improvements in pension provision were made for women and the self-employed, a new minimum pension for workers with at least twenty-five years' insurance was introduced, faster pension indexation was implemented, with the annual adjustment of pensions brought forward by six months, and the Seventh Modification Law (1973) linked the indexation of farmers' pensions to the indexation of the general pension insurance scheme. A new pension for "severely handicapped" persons was introduced in 1972, along with occupational injury annuities and a special pension for long-standing insurant from the age of 63 and a pension due to "limited earning capacity" from the age of 62. In addition, a special pension benefit was introduced for workers aged 60 and above after unemployment. Under the Severely Handicapped Persons Act of April 1974, a seriously disabled person could retire early on an old age pension at the age of 62 years, provided that he "complied with the other provisions of the legislation on pension insurance".


= Education

= In education, the Brandt Administration sought to widen educational opportunities for all West Germans. The government presided over an increase in the number of teachers, generous public stipends were introduced for students to cover their living costs, and West German universities were converted from elite schools into mass institutions. The school leaving age was raised to 16, and spending on research and education was increased by nearly 300% between 1970 and 1974. Working through a planning committee set up for the "joint task" of university development, the Federal Government started to make investment costs in 1971. Fees for higher or further education were abolished, while a considerable increase in the number of higher education institutions took place. A much needed school and college construction program was carried out, together with the introduction of postgraduate support for highly qualified graduates, providing them with the opportunity to earn their doctorates or undertake research studies. A law on individual promotion of vocational training came into force in October 1971, which provided for financial grants for attendance at further general or technical teaching establishments from the second year of studies at higher technical schools, academies and higher education establishments, training centres of second degree, or certain courses of television teaching. Grants were also made in certain cases for attendance at training centres located outside the Federal Republic. with an extension built in the 1970s The education budget was doubled from 3% to 6%, while an expansion of secondary education took place. The number of university students went up from 100,000 to 650,000, 30,000 more places were created in the schools, and an additional 1,000 million marks was allocated for new school buildings. In addition, the provision of scholarships was expanded, with the 1970 programme providing for, in the words of one observer, "5,000 new scholarships for graduates, and double that number were being awarded three years later". Grants were introduced for pupils from lower income groups to stay on at school, together with grants for those going into any kind of higher or further education. Increases were also made in educational allowances, as well as spending on science. In 1972, the government allocated 2.1 million DM in grants to promote marriage and family education. Under the Approbationsordnung (medical education profession act) of 1970, the subject of psychosomatic medicine and psychotherapy at German universities became a compulsory subject for medical students, and that same year education of clinical and biomedical engineers was introduced. The Brandt Administration also introduced enabling legislation for the introduction of comprehensives, but left it to the Lander "to introduce them at their discretion". While the more left-wing Lander "rapidly began to do so", other Lander found "all sorts of pretexts for delaying the scheme". By the mid-1980s, Berlin had 25 comprehensives while Bavaria only had 1, and in most Lander comprehensives were still viewed as "merely experimental".


= Housing

= In the field of housing, various measures were carried out to benefit householders, such as in improving the rights of tenants and increasing rental assistance. According to the Rent Subsidies Act (Wohngeldgesetz) of 1970, "low-income tenants and owners of accommodations are supported with rents and burdens subsidies". The determination of the income of families taken into consideration for housing allowances was simplified, and increased levels of protection and support for low-income tenants and householders were introduced which led to a drop in the number of eviction notices. By 1974, three times as much was paid out in rent subsidies as in 1969, and nearly one and a half million households received rental assistance. Increases were made in public housing subsidies, as characterised by a 36% increase in the social housing budget in 1970 and by the introduction of a programme for the construction of 200,000 public housing units (1971). From 1970 to 1971, an 18.1% increase in building permits for social housing units was made. Other reforms aimed at improving tenants' rights included protection against conversion of rental housing into condominiums, the prohibition of the misappropriation of living space, new regulation of the apartment broker system, and a fee scale for engineers and architects. In addition, the income limits for eligibility for social housing were raised and adapted in order of general income trends. A loose form of rent regulation was introduced under the name of "Vergleichmieten" ('comparable rents'), together with the provision of "for family-friendly housing" freight or rent subsidies to owners of apartments or houses whose ceiling had been adapted to increased expenses or incomes (1970). In addition, a law for the creation of property for workers was passed, under which a married worker would normally keep up to 95% of his pay, and graded tax remission for married wage-earners applied up to a wage of 48,000 marks, which indicated the economic prosperity of West Germany at that time. The Town Planning Act (1971) encouraged the preservation of historical heritage and helped open up the way to the future of many German cities, while the Urban Renewal Act (1971) helped the states to restore their inner cities and to develop new neighbourhoods. In addition, Guidelines of December 1972 on the usage of federal funds in assisting social housing construction laid down that a certain standard needed to be observed when building homes for severely handicapped persons. The Second Housing Allowance Law of December 1970 simplified the administration of housing allowances and extended entitlements, increased the income limit to 9,600 DM per year plus 2,400 DM for each family member, raised the general deduction on income to determine reckonable income from 15% to 20%, allowance rates listed in tables replacing complicated calculation procedure based on "bearable rent burdens". The Housing Construction Modification Law (1971) increased the income-limit for access to low rent apartments under the social housing programme from 9,000 DM to 12,000 DM per annum plus 3,000 DM (instead of 2,400) for each family member. The law also introduced special subsidies to reduce the debt burden for builders not surpassing the regular income-limit by more than 40%. Under a 1973 law, the limits were increased to 1,000 DM plus 9,000 DM and 4,200 DM for additional family members. The Rent Improvement Law (1971) strengthened the position of tenants. Under this legislation, notice was to be ruled illegal "where appropriate substitute accommodation not available; landlords obliged to specify reasons for notice", whilst the Eviction Protection Law (1971) established tenant protection against rent rises and notice. The notice was only lawful if in the "justified interest of the landlord". Under this law, higher rents were not recognised as "justified interest". The Second Eviction Protection Law (1972) made the tenant protection introduced under the Eviction Protection Law of 1971 permanent. Under this new law, the notice was only lawful where the landlord proved justified personal interest in the apartment. In addition, rent increases were only lawful if not above normal comparable rents in the same area. Directives on the housing of foreign workers came into force in April 1971. These directives imposed certain requirements for space, hygiene, safety, and amenities in the accommodation offered by employers. That same year, the Federal Government granted a sum of 17 million DM to the Länder for the improvement and modernization of housing built before 21 June 1948. In addition, according to a 1971 regulation of the Board of the Federal Labour Office, "construction of workers' hostels qualified for government financial support under certain conditions". The "German Council for town development", which was set up by virtue of Article 89 of a law to foster urban building, was partly aimed at planning a favourable environment for families (such as the provision of playgrounds). In 1971, the Federal Labour Office made available DM 425 million in the form of loans to provide 157 293 beds in 2 494 hostels. A year later, the Federal Government (Bund), the Lander and the Federal Labour Office promoted the construction of dwellings for migrant workers. They set aside 10 million DM for this purpose, which allowed the financing of 1650 family dwellings that year. Development measures were begun in 1972 with federal financial aid granted to the Lander for improvement measures relating to towns and villages, and in the 1972 budget, DM 50 million was earmarked, i.e. a third of the total cost of some 300 schemes. A council for urban development was formed in May 1972 with the purpose of promoting future work and measures in the field of urban renovation. In 1973, the government provided assistance of DM 28 million for the modernisation of old dwellings. New rules were introduced regarding improvements in the law relating to rented property, and control of the rise in rents and protection against cancellation of leases also safeguarded the rights of migrant workers in the sphere of housing. A law of July 1973 fixed the fundamental and minimum requirements regarding workers' dwellings, mainly concerning space, ventilation and lighting, protection against damp, heat and noise, power and heating facilities and sanitary installations.


= Civil rights and animal protection

= In regards to civil rights, the Brandt Administration introduced a broad range of socially liberal reforms aimed at making West Germany a more open society. Greater legal rights for women were introduced, as exemplified by the standardisation of pensions, divorce laws, regulations governing use of surnames, and the introduction of measures to bring more women into politics. The voting age was lowered from 21 to 18, the age of eligibility for political office was lowered to 21, and the age of majority was lowered to 18 in March 1974. The Third Law for the Liberalization of the Penal Code (1970) liberalised "the right to political demonstration", while equal rights were granted to illegitimate children that same year. A 1971 amendment to a federal civil service reform bill enabled fathers to apply for part-time civil service work. In 1971, corporal punishment was banned in schools, and that same year a new Highway Code was introduced. In 1973, a measure was introduced that facilitated the adoption of young children by reducing the minimum age for adoptive parents from 35 to 25. A women's policy machinery at the national level was established in 1972 while amnesty was guaranteed in minor offences connected with demonstrations. From 1970 onwards, parents as well as landlords were no longer legally prohibited "to give or rent rooms or flats to unmarried couples or to allow them to stay overnight". In October 1972, the legal aid system was improved with the compensation paid to private lawyers for legal services to the poor increased. The Bausparkassen Act of 1972 placed all Bausparkassen (from January 1974 onwards) under the supervision of the Federal Banking Supervisory Office, and confined Bausparkassen "to the contract saving business and related activities". The Animal Protection Act, passed in 1972, introduced various safeguards for animals such as not permitting the causing of pain, injury, or suffering to an animal without justification, and limiting experiments to the minimum number of animals necessary. In 1971, rules were introduced making it possible for former guestworkers "to receive an unlimited residence permit after a five-year stay".


= Armed forces

= missiles in West Germany, 1981 A number of reforms were also carried out to the armed forces, as characterised by a reduction in basic military training from 18 to 15 months, a reorganisation of education and training, and personnel and procurement procedures. Education for the troops was improved, a personnel reshuffle of top management in the Bundeswehr was carried out, academic education was mandated for officers beyond their basic military training, and a new recruiting policy for Bundeswehr personnel was introduced with the intention of building an army that reflected West Germany's pluralistic society. Defense Minister
Helmut Schmidt Helmut Heinrich Waldemar Schmidt (; 23 December 1918 – 10 November 2015) was a German politician and member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), who served as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1974 t ...
led the development of the first Joint Service Regulation ZDv 10/1 (Assistance for Innere Fuehrung, classified: restricted), which revitalized the concept of Innere Fuehrung while also affirming the value of the "citizen in uniform". According to one study, as a result of this reform, "a strong civil mindset displaced the formerly dominant military mindset", and forced the Bundeswehr's elder generation to accept a new type of soldier envisioned by Schmidt. In addition, the Federal Cost of Moving Act increased the relocation allowance (with effect from 1 November 1973), with the basic allowances raised by DM 50 and DM 100 respectively, while extra allowances for families were raised to a uniform amount of 125 DM. In 1970, the Armed Forces Vocational Schools and the Vocational Advancement Organization extended their services for the first time to conscripts, "so far as military duty permitted". New enlistment bonuses were authorized and previous bonus schemes were improved, and new pay regulations were introduced that improved the financial situation of military personnel and civil servants. In July 1973, the 3rd Amendment to the Civilian Service Act came into force; "a prerequisite for the creation of additional civilian service places for recognized conscientious objectors". The amendment provided that men recognized as conscientious objectors while performing military service should immediately be transferred to a civilian service assignment. The maximum amount for servicemen enlisting for at least 12 years was increased from DM 6,000 to DM 9,000, and from October 1971 onwards, long-term personnel were paid grants towards the cost 'of attending educational institutes of the "second educational route" or participating in state-recognized general education courses provided by private correspondence schools and the "television college"'. In 1972, two Bundeswehr universities were established; a reform which, according to one historian, "fought against the closed nature of the military and guaranteed that officers would be better able to successfully interact with the civilian world". From April 1973, the general maintenance payments under the Law amending the Maintenance Security Act and the Workplace Protection Act were increased, while increases were also made in the special allowance (Christmas bonus) for conscripts, together with the dismissal allowance. The expense allowance for troops on duty-related absence from place of employment was improved, together with travel subsidies and provisions for military service damaged soldiers and their families. In addition, the position of non-commissioned officers was improved.


= Safety and crime

= Legislation aimed at safeguarding consumers was also implemented under the Brandt Administration. The consumer's right of withdrawal in case of hire purchase was strengthened in March 1974, and fixed prices for branded products were abolished by law in January that same year, which meant that manufacturers' recommended prices were not binding for retailers. In addition, a progressive anticartel law was passed. A 1969 law on explosive materials was supplemented by two orders; the first (made in November 1969) establishing a committee of experts for explosive materials, while the second order (made the following month) included details for the implementation of the law on explosive materials. An Act of December 1959 on the peaceful use of nuclear energy and protection against its dangers was amended by an Act of June 1970 that established a tax levied for the costs for permissions and surveillance measures. The Law on Compensation for Measures of Criminal Prosecution and Penalties, passed in March 1971, provided for standardized compensation in certain situations. In addition, the budget for communications was increased. The federal crime-fighting apparatus was also modernised, while a Foreign Tax Act was passed which limited the possibility of tax evasion. A law on explosives (Sprengstoffgesetz) was the subject of two application ordinances (on 17 November 1970 and 24 August 1971) and a general regulatory provision (19 May 1971), which covered respectively the application of the law to nationals of EC Member States, the duty of employers to notify in time the inspection authorities of detonation plans, the interpretation of the purpose and field of application of the law, authorizations for transport of explosives, and control and recognition of training courses on work with explosives. Taking into account the enormous high peaks of air traffic noise and its concentration at a limited number of airports, the Law for Protection against Aircraft Noise of 1971 sought to balance two conflicting demands, the first being the legitimate demand by industry, business and the public for an efficient air-traffic-system, and secondly, the understandable and by no means less legitimate claims of the affected people for protection and compensation. The legislation regulated the establishment of so-called "Lärmschutzzonen" (protection areas against aircraft noise) for all 11 international airports and for those 34 military airports used for jet air craft, and the law also authorised the Federal Department of the Interior to decree protection areas for each of those mentioned airports with approval by the "Bundesrat", the representation of the German Federal States.


= Workers' rights

= In terms of working conditions, a number of reforms were introduced aimed at strengthening the rights of workers both at home and in the workplace. The Sickness Act of 1970 provided equal treatment of workers and employees in the event of incapacity for work, while maternity leave was increased. Legislation was introduced in 1970 which ensured continued payment of wages for workers disabled by illness. In 1970 all employees unit for work (with the exception of women in receipt of maternity benefits and temporarily and inconsiderably employed persons) were provided with an unconditional legal claim against their employer to continued payment of their gross wage for a period of 6 weeks, as also in the case of spa treatment approved by an Insurance Fund, the Fund bearing the full cost thereof. Previously, payment of employer's supplement and sick pay were only made from the day on which the doctor certified unfitness for work. In 1972, an Act on Agency Work was passed which sought to prevent works agencies from providing job placement services and aimed to provide job minimum protection for employees in agency work. A law on the hiring out of manpower, passed in October 1972, contained provisions to stipulate prior authorization for the hiring out of manpower, to draw a distinction between the system governing workers hired out and the placing of workers, to regulate and improve the rights of hired out workers pertaining to working conditions and social insurance, and provide for more severe penalties and fines to be imposed on offenders. Improvements were also made in income and work conditions for home workers, accident insurance was extended to non-working adults, and the Border Zone Assistance Act (1971) increased levels of assistance to the declining zonal peripheral area. The Occupational Safety Act (1973) required employers to provide company doctors and safety experts. A directive on protection against noise at the place of work was adopted in November 1970. If measurements showed or there was reason to assume that a noise level guide value of 90 dB( A) may be exceeded at the place of work, then the authority had to instruct the employer to arrange check-ups of the employees concerned and these employees had to use personal noise protection devices. A matching fund program for 15 million employees was also introduced, which stimulated them to accumulate capital. A ministerial order of January 1970 extended protection in cases of partial unemployment to home workers, while an ordinance of August 1970 fixed the conditions of health necessary for service in the merchant navy. A general provision of October 1970 determined in detail the circumstances in which the competent authority must take action on the basis of the act on the technical means of work. The requirement also stipulated the extent to which the technical standards established by national and international organisations can be regarded as "rules of the art". In a directive of 10 November 1970, the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs recommended to the higher authorities for work protection of the "Lander" to bring in the directive published, in agreement with the Ministry of Labour, by the German Engineers' Association on the evaluation of work station noise in relation to loss of hearing, in order to improve safeguards for workers against the noises in question. In September 1971, an ordinance was published concerning dangerous working materials; safeguarding persons using these materials against the dangers involved. In August 1971, a law came into force directed at reducing atmospheric pollution from lead compounds in four-stroke engine fuels. As a safeguard against radiation, a decree on the system of authorisations for medicaments treated with ionizing radiation or containing radioactive substances, in its version of 8 August 1967, was remodelled by a new Decree of 10 May 1971 which added some radionuclides to the list of medicaments which doctors in private practice were authorized to use. By a decree of the Federal Minister for Labour and Social Order, the Federal Institute for Industrial Protection became the Federal Agency for Industrial Protection and Accident Research. Amongst its designated tasks included the promotion of industrial protection, accident prevention on the journey to and from work and accident prevention in the home and leisure activities, the encouragement of training and advanced training in the area of industrial protection, and to promote and coordinate accident research. A regulation was issued in 1972 which permitted for the first time the employment of women as drivers of trams, omnibuses and lorries, while further regulations laid down new provisions for lifts and work with compressed air. The Factory Constitution Law (1971) strengthened the rights of individual employees "to be informed and to be heard on matters concerning their place of work". The Works Council was provided with greater authority while trade unions were given the right of entry into the factory "provided they informed the employer of their intention to do so", while a law was passed to encourage wider share ownership by workers and other rank-and-file employees. The Industrial Relations Law (1972) and the Personnel Representation Act (1974) broadened the rights of employees in matters which immediately affected their places of work, while also improving the possibilities for codetermination on operations committees, together with access of trade unions to companies. The Works Constitution Act of 1972 required in cases of collective dismissal at an establishment normally employing more than twenty employees that management and the works council must negotiate a social plan that stipulates compensation for workers who lose their jobs. In cases where the two parties could not agree on a social plan, the law provided for binding arbitration. In 1972, the rights of works councils to information from management were not only strengthened, but works councils were also provided with full codetermination rights on issues such as working time arrangements in the plant, the setting of piece rates, plant wage systems, the establishment of vacation times, work breaks, overtime, and short-time work. Legislation was passed which acknowledged for the first time the presence of trade unions in the workplace, expanded the means of action of the works councils, and improved their work basics as well as those of the youth councils. A law of January 1972 on the organization of labour in enterprises significantly extended the works council's right of cooperation and co-management in the matter of vocational training. That same year, the Safety Institute of the Federal Republic of Germany was transformed into a public Federal Agency (Bundesanstalt) with significantly enlarged powers, in the context of which special emphasis would be placed on its new task of promoting and coordinating research in the area of accident prevention. New provisions were introduced for the rehabilitation of severely disabled people ("Schwerbehinderte") and accident victims. The Severely Disabled Persons Act of April 1974 obliged all employers with more than fifteen employees to ensure that 6% of their workforce consisted of people officially recognised as being severely handicapped. Employers who failed to do so were assessed 100 DM per month for every job falling before the required quota. These compensatory payments were used to "subsidise the adaptation of workplaces to the requirements of those who were severely handicapped". A law passed in January 1974, designed to protect members of the supervisory boards of companies who are undergoing training, was aimed at ensuring that the representatives of young workers and youthful members of works councils still undergoing training could perform their duties with greater independence and without fear of disadvantageous consequences for their future careers. On request, workers' representatives on completion of their training courses had to have an employment relationship of unlimited duration. In the field of transport, the Municipal Transportation Finance Law of 1971 established federal guidelines for subsidies to municipal governments, while the Federal Transport Plan of 1973 provided a framework for all transport, including public transport. In addition, the Severely Handicapped Persons Act of April 1974 extended the welfare and promotional obligations of the employer, and provided a right to extra holiday consisting of six working days.


= Environmental protection

= A federal environmental programme was established in 1971, and in 1972 laws were passed to regulate garbage elimination and air pollution via emission. Matching grants covering 90% of infrastructure development were allocated to local communities, which led to a dramatic increase in the number of public swimming pools and other facilities of consumptive infrastructure throughout West Germany. In addition, efforts were made to improve the railways and motorways. In 1971, a law was passed setting the maximum lead content at 0.4 grams per liter of gasoline, and in 1972 DDT was banned. The Federal Immissions Control Law, passed in March 1974, provided protection from noxious gases, noise, and air-borne particulate matter.


= Economy

= Under the Brandt Administration, West Germany attained a lower rate of inflation than in other industrialised countries at that time, while a rise in the standard of living took place, helped by the floating and revaluation of the mark. This was characterised by the real incomes of employees increasing more sharply than incomes from entrepreneurial work, with the proportion of employees' incomes in the overall national income rising from 65% to 70% between 1969 and 1973, while the proportion of income from entrepreneurial work and property fell over that same period from just under 35% to 30%. In addition, the percentage of West Germans living in poverty (based on various definitions) fell between 1969 and 1973. According to one estimate, the percentage of West Germans living in poverty fell from 9.7% to 8.9% between 1969 and 1973, and from 20.2% to 14.0% according to another estimate. According to another estimate, the percentage of West Germans living in poverty during this period fell from 2.7% to 1.4%.


Helmut Schmidt

Finance Minister
Helmut Schmidt Helmut Heinrich Waldemar Schmidt (; 23 December 1918 – 10 November 2015) was a German politician and member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), who served as Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1974 t ...
(SPD) formed a coalition and he served as Chancellor from 1974 to 1982.
Hans-Dietrich Genscher Hans-Dietrich Genscher (21 March 1927 – 31 March 2016) was a German statesman and a member of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), who served as the Federal Minister of the Interior from 1969 to 1974, and as the Federal Minister of Foreign ...
, a leading FDP official, became Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister. Schmidt, a strong supporter of the European Community (EC) and the Atlantic alliance, emphasized his commitment to "the political unification of Europe in partnership with the USA". Mounting external problems forced Schmidt to concentrate on foreign policy and limited the domestic reforms that he could carry out. The USSR upgraded its intermediate-range missiles, which Schmidt complained was an unacceptable threat to the balance of nuclear power, because it increased the likelihood of political coercion and required a western response. NATO respond in the form of its twin-track policy. The domestic reverberations were serious inside the SDP, and undermined its coalition with the FDP. One of his major successes, in collaboration with French President
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing Valéry René Marie Georges Giscard d'Estaing (, , ; 2 February 19262 December 2020), also known as Giscard or VGE, was a French politician who served as President of France from 1974 to 1981. After serving as Minister of Finance under Prime M ...
, was the launching of the
European Monetary System The European Monetary System (EMS) was a multilateral adjustable exchange rate agreement in which most of the nations of the European Economic Community (EEC) linked their currencies to prevent large fluctuations in relative value. It was initiated ...
(EMS) in April 1978.


Helmut Kohl

In October 1982 the SPD–FDP coalition fell apart when the FDP joined forces with the CDU/CSU to elect CDU Chairman
Helmut Kohl Helmut Josef Michael Kohl (; 3 April 1930 – 16 June 2017) was a German statesman and politician of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) who served as Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 (of West Germany, 1982–1990; and of reunified Germ ...
as Chancellor in a
constructive vote of no confidenceThe constructive vote of no confidence (german: konstruktives Misstrauensvotum, es, moción de censura constructiva) is a variation on the motion of no confidence that allows a parliament to withdraw confidence from a head of government only if there ...
. Following national elections in March 1983, Kohl emerged in firm control of both the government and the CDU. The CDU/CSU fell just short of an absolute majority, due to the entry into the Bundestag of the
Greens Greens may refer to: *Leaf vegetables such as collard greens, mustard greens, spring greens, winter greens, spinach, etc. Politics Supranational * Green politics * Green party, political parties adhering to Green politics * Global Greens * Europe ...
, who received 5.6% of the vote. In January 1987 the Kohl–Genscher government was returned to office, but the FDP and the Greens gained at the expense of the larger parties. Kohl's CDU and its Bavarian sister party, the CSU, slipped from 48.8% of the vote in 1983 to 44.3%. The SPD fell to 37%; long-time SPD Chairman Brandt subsequently resigned in April 1987 and was succeeded by
Hans-Jochen Vogel Hans-Jochen Vogel (3 February 192626 July 2020) was a German lawyer and a politician for the Social Democratic Party (SPD). He served as Mayor of Munich from 1960 to 1972, winning the 1972 Summer Olympics for the city and Governing Mayor of West ...
. The FDP's share rose from 7% to 9.1%, its best showing since 1980. The Greens' share rose to 8.3% from their 1983 share of 5.6%.


Reunification

With the
collapse of communism The Revolutions of 1989 formed part of a revolutionary wave in the late 1980s and early 1990s that resulted at the end of communist rule throughout the world, including in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond. The period is often also called th ...
in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, symbolised by the opening of the
Berlin Wall The Berlin Wall (german: Berliner Mauer, ) was a guarded concrete barrier that physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. Construction of the wall was commenced by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany) on ...

Berlin Wall
, there was a rapid move towards
German reunification German reunification (german: link=no, Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic (GDR) became part of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) to form the reunited nation of Germany. The end of th ...
; and a final settlement of the post-war special status of Germany. Following democratic elections, East Germany declared its accession to the Federal Republic subject to the terms of the Unification Treaty between the two states; and then both West Germany and East Germany radically amended their respective constitutions in accordance with that Treaty's provisions. East Germany then dissolved itself, and its five post-war states () were reconstituted, along with the reunited Berlin which ended its special status and formed an additional . 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 NATO and the European Union. The official German reunification ceremony on 3 October 1990 was held at the building, including
Chancellor Chancellor ( la, links=no, cancellarius) is a title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the ''cancellarii'' of Roman courts of justice—ushers, who sat at the ''cancelli'' or lattice work ...
Helmut Kohl Helmut Josef Michael Kohl (; 3 April 1930 – 16 June 2017) was a German statesman and politician of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) who served as Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 (of West Germany, 1982–1990; and of reunified Germ ...
,
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese full- ...
Richard von Weizsäcker Richard Karl Freiherr von Weizsäcker (; 15 April 1920 – 31 January 2015) was a German politician (CDU), who served as President of Germany from 1984 to 1994 (of West Germany 1984–1990 and of the reunited Germany 1990–1994). Born into the ...

Richard von Weizsäcker
, former Chancellor
Willy Brandt Willy Brandt (; born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm; 18 December 1913 – 8 October 1992) was a German politician and statesman who was leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from 1964 to 1987 and served as Chancellor of the Federal Re ...

Willy Brandt
and many others. One day later, the parliament of the united Germany would assemble in an act of symbolism in the Reichstag building. However, at that time, the role of Berlin had not yet been decided upon. Only after a fierce debate, considered by many as one of the most memorable sessions of
parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: representing the electorate, making laws, and overseeing the government via hearings and inquiries. The ...
, the concluded on 20 June 1991, with quite a slim majority, that both government and parliament should move to
Berlin Berlin (; ) is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the most-populous city of the European Union, according to population within city limits. One of Ger ...
from
Bonn The Federal city of Bonn ( lat, Bonna) is a city on the banks of the Rhine in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, with a population of over 300,000. About south-southeast of Cologne, Bonn is in the southernmost part of the Rhine-Ruhr reg ...
.


Economic miracle

The West German ("economic miracle", coined by ''
The Times ''The Times'' is a British daily national newspaper based in London. It began in 1785 under the title ''The Daily Universal Register'', adopting its current name on 1 January 1788. ''The Times'' and its sister paper ''The Sunday Times'' (founde ...
'') began in 1950. This improvement was sustained by the currency reform of 1948 which replaced the with the and halted rampant inflation. The Allied dismantling of the West German coal and steel industry finally ended in 1950. for many years the most successful car in the worldon the assembly line in Wolfsburg factory, 1973 As demand for consumer goods increased after World War II, the resulting shortage helped overcome lingering resistance to the purchase of German products. At the time Germany had a large pool of skilled and cheap labour, partly as a result of the flight and expulsion of Germans from Central and Eastern Europe, which affected up to 16.5 million Germans. This helped Germany to more than double the value of its exports during the war. Apart from these factors, hard work and long hours at full capacity among the population and in the late 1950s and 1960s extra labour supplied by thousands of ("guest workers") provided a vital base for the economic upturn. This would have implications later on for successive German governments as they tried to assimilate this group of workers. With the dropping of Allied reparations, the freeing of German intellectual property and the impact of the
Marshall Plan The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was an American initiative passed in 1948 for foreign aid to Western Europe. The United States transferred over $12 billion (equivalent to $ billion in ) in economic rec ...

Marshall Plan
stimulus, West Germany developed one of the strongest economies in the world, almost as strong as before the Second World War. The East German economy showed a certain growth, but not as much as in West Germany, partly because of continued reparations to the USSR. In 1952, West Germany became part of the
European Coal and Steel Community The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was an organisation of six European countries created after World War II to regulate their industrial production under a centralised authority. It was formally established in 1951 by the Treaty of Paris ...
, which would later evolve into the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. The EU has developed an internal s ...
. On 5 May 1955 West Germany was declared to have the "authority of a sovereign state". The
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, t ...
,
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France ** French language, a French language which originated in France, and its various dialects ** French people, a nation and ethnic group identified with Fr ...
and U.S. militaries remained in the country, just as the
Soviet Army The Soviet Ground Forces (russian: Советские сухопутные войска, Sovetskiye sukhoputnye voyska, SSV) was the main land warfare uniform service branch of the Soviet Armed Forces from 1946 to 1992. Until 25 February 1946 ...
remained in East Germany. Four days after obtaining the "authority of a sovereign state" in 1955, West Germany joined NATO. The UK and the USA retained an especially strong presence in West Germany, acting as a deterrent in case of a Soviet invasion. In 1976 West Germany became one of the founding nations of the Group of Six (G6). In 1973, West Germany—home to roughly 1.26% of the world's population—featured the world's fourth largest GDP of 944 billion (5.9% of the world total). In 1987 the FRG held a 7.4% share of total world production.


Demographics


Population and vital statistics

Total population of West Germany from 1950 to 1990, as collected by the .


Religion

Religious affiliation in West Germany decreased from the 1960s onward.FOWID, Religionszugehörigkeit Bevölkerung 1970–2011
online
; PDF-Datei; 173 kB)
Religious affiliation declined faster among Protestants than among Catholics, causing the Roman Catholic Church to overtake the EKD as the largest denomination in the country during the 1970s.


Position towards East Germany

and
Willi Stoph Wilhelm Stoph (9 July 1914 – 13 April 1999) was a German politician. He served as Chairman of the Council of Ministers (Prime Minister) of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) from 1964 to 1973, and again from 1976 until 1989. He ...
in
Erfurt Erfurt ( , ; ) is the capital and largest city in the state of Thuringia, central Germany. It is located in the southern part of the Thuringian Basin, within the wide valley of the Gera river. It is located south-west of Leipzig, south-west o ...
, 1970, the first time a Chancellor met a GDR prime minister The official position of West Germany concerning East Germany at the outset was that the West German government was the only democratically elected, and therefore the only legitimate, representative of the German people. According to the
Hallstein Doctrine The Hallstein Doctrine (), named after Walter Hallstein, was a key principle in the foreign policy of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1955 to 1970. As usually presented, it prescribed that the Federal Republic would not establi ...
, any country (with the exception of the USSR) that recognised the authorities of the
German Democratic Republic German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language * Germanic peoples * Ger ...
would not have diplomatic relations with West Germany. In the early 1970s, Willy Brandt's policy of "" led to a form of mutual recognition between East and West Germany. The Treaty of Moscow (August 1970), the Treaty of Warsaw (December 1970), the
Four Power Agreement on Berlin The Four Power Agreement on Berlin, also known as the Berlin Agreement or the Quadripartite Agreement on Berlin, was agreed on 3 September 1971 by the four wartime Allied powers, represented by their ambassadors. The four foreign ministers, Alec Do ...
(September 1971), the Transit Agreement (May 1972), and the Basic Treaty (December 1972) helped to normalise relations between East and West Germany and led to both German states joining the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of ...
. The Hallstein Doctrine was relinquished, and West Germany ceased to claim an
exclusive mandate An exclusive mandate is a government's assertion of its legitimate authority over a certain territory, part of which another government controls with stable, ''de facto'' sovereignty. It is also known as a claim to sole representation or an exclusi ...
for Germany as a whole. Following the Ostpolitik the West German view was that East Germany was a ''de facto'' government within a single German nation and a ''de jure'' state organisation of parts of Germany outside the Federal Republic. The Federal Republic continued to maintain that it could not within its own structures recognise the GDR ''de jure'' as a sovereign state under international law; while at the same time acknowledging that, within the structures of international law, the GDR was an independent sovereign state. By distinction, West Germany then viewed itself as being within its own boundaries, not only the ''de facto'' and ''de jure'' government, but also the sole ''de jure'' legitimate representative of a dormant "Germany as whole". The two Germanies relinquished any claim to represent the other internationally; which they acknowledged as necessarily implying a mutual recognition of each other as both capable of representing their own populations ''de jure'' in participating in international bodies and agreements, such as the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of ...
and the
Helsinki Final Act#REDIRECT Helsinki Accords {{R from other capitalisation ...
. This assessment of the Basic Treaty was confirmed in a decision of the
Federal Constitutional Court The Federal Constitutional Court (german: Bundesverfassungsgericht; abbreviated: ') is the supreme constitutional court for the Federal Republic of Germany, established by the constitution or Basic Law (') of Germany. Since its inception with t ...
in 1973; : "... the German Democratic Republic is in the international-law sense a State and as such a subject of international law. This finding is independent of recognition in international law of the German Democratic Republic by the Federal Republic of Germany. Such recognition has not only never been formally pronounced by the Federal Republic of Germany but on the contrary repeatedly explicitly rejected. If the conduct of the Federal Republic of Germany towards the German Democratic Republic is assessed in the light of its détente policy, in particular the conclusion of the Treaty as de facto recognition, then it can only be understood as de facto recognition of a special kind. The special feature of this Treaty is that while it is a bilateral Treaty between two States, to which the rules of international law apply and which like any other international treaty possesses validity, it is between two States that are parts of a still existing, albeit incapable of action as not being reorganized, comprehensive State of the Whole of Germany with a single body politic." The West German Constitution (, "Basic Law") provided two articles for the unification with other parts of Germany: * Article 23 provided the possibility for other parts of Germany to join the Federal Republic (under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany). * Article 146 provided the possibility for unification of all parts of Germany under a new constitution. After the peaceful revolution of 1989 in East Germany, the Volkskammer of the GDR on 23 August 1990 declared the accession of East Germany to the Federal Republic under Article 23 of the Basic Law; and so initiated the process of reunification, to come into effect on 3 October 1990. Nevertheless, the act of reunification itself (with its many specific terms and conditions; including fundamental amendments to the West German Basic Law) was achieved constitutionally by the subsequent Unification Treaty of 31 August 1990; that is through a binding agreement between the former GDR and the Federal Republic now recognising each another as separate sovereign states in international law. This treaty was then voted into effect on 20 September 1990 by both the Volkskammer and the
Bundestag The Bundestag (, "Federal Diet") is the German federal parliament. It is the only body that is directly elected by the German people on the federal level. It can be compared to a lower house similar to the United States House of Representatives ...
by the constitutionally required two-thirds majorities; effecting on the one hand, the extinction of the GDR and the re-establishment of on the territory of East Germany; and on the other, the agreed amendments to the Basic Law of the Federal Republic. Amongst these amendments was the repeal of the very Article 23 in respect of which the GDR had nominally declared its postdated accession to the Federal Republic. The two German states entered into a
currency A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the most specific sense is money in any form when in use or circulation as a medium of exchange, especially circulating banknotes and coins. ...
and
customs union A customs union is generally defined as a type of trade bloc which is composed of a free trade area with a common external tariff.GATTArticle 24 s. 8 (a) Customs unions are established through trade pacts where the participant countries set up co ...
in July 1990, and on 3 October 1990, the
German Democratic Republic German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language * Germanic peoples * Ger ...
dissolved and the re-established five East German (as well as a unified Berlin) joined the Federal Republic of Germany, bringing an end to the East–West divide.


Politics

Political life in West Germany was remarkably stable and orderly. The Adenauer era (1949–63) was followed by a brief period under
Ludwig Erhard Ludwig Wilhelm Erhard (; 4 February 1897 – 5 May 1977) was a German politician affiliated with the CDU, and the second Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1963 until 1966. He is known for leading the West German po ...
(1963–66) who, in turn, was replaced by
Kurt Georg Kiesinger Kurt Georg Kiesinger (; 6 April 1904 – 9 March 1988) was a German politician who served as Chancellor of Germany (West Germany) from 1 December 1966 to 21 October 1969. Before he became Chancellor he was a Nazi Party member, served as Minister Pr ...
(1966–69). All governments between 1949 and 1966 were formed by the united caucus of the Christian-Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU), either alone or in coalition with the smaller Free Democratic Party (Germany), Free Democratic Party (FDP) or other right-wing parties. Kiesinger's 1966–69 "Grand Coalition" was between West Germany's two largest parties, the CDU/CSU and the
Social Democratic Party The name Social Democratic Party or Social Democrats has been used by many political parties in various countries around the world. Such parties are most commonly aligned to social democracy as their political ideology. Active parties Form ...
(SPD). This was important for the introduction of new emergency acts—the Grand Coalition gave the ruling parties the two-thirds majority of votes required to see them in. These controversial acts allowed basic constitutional rights such as freedom of movement to be limited in case of a
state of emergency A state of emergency or emergency powers is a situation in which a government is empowered to be able to put through policies that it would normally not be permitted to do, for the safety and protection of their citizens. A government can decla ...
. Leading up to the passing of the laws, there was fierce opposition to them, above all by the FDP, the rising
German student movement The West German student movement or sometimes called the 1968 movement in West Germany was a social movement that consisted of mass student protests in West Germany in 1968; participants in the movement would later come to be known as 68ers. The ...
, a group calling itself ("Democracy in a State of Emergency") and the
labour unions A trade union (or a labor union in American English), often simply called a union, is an organization of workers who have come together to achieve many common goals, such as protecting the integrity of their trade, improving safety standards, a ...
. Demonstrations and protests grew in number, and in 1967 the student
Benno Ohnesorg Benno Ohnesorg (; 15 October 1940 – 2 June 1967)Böttcher, Dirk (2002). "Ohnesorg, Benno" (in German), in: Hannoversches biographisches Lexikon: von den Anfängen bis in die Gegenwart'. Hannover: Schlütersche. p. 275. was a West German un ...
was shot in the head by a policeman. The press, especially the tabloid newspaper, launched a campaign against the protesters. By 1968 a stronger desire to confront the
Nazi Nazism (), officially National Socialism (german: Nationalsozialismus; ), is the ideology and practices associated with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (german: link=no, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, NSDAP, or National Social ...
past had come into being. In the 1970s
environmentalism Environmentalism or environmental rights is a broad philosophy, ideology, and social movement regarding concerns for environmental protection and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to ...
and anti-nationalism became fundamental values among left-wing Germans. As a result, in 1979
the GreensThe Greens or Greens may refer to: Current political parties *Australian Greens, also known as ''The Greens'' *Greens of Andorra *Greens of Bosnia and Herzegovina *Greens of Burkina *Greens (Greece) *Greens of Montenegro *Greens of Serbia *Greens o ...
were able to reach the 5% minimum required to obtain parliamentary seats in the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen state election, and with the foundation of the national party in 1980 developed into one of the most politically successful green movements in the world. Another result of the unrest in the 1960s was the founding of the
Red Army Faction The Red Army Faction (RAF, ; , ),See the section "Name" also known as the Baader–Meinhof Group or Baader–Meinhof Gang (, ), was a West German far-left militant organization founded in 1970. Key early figures included Andreas Baader, Ulrike ...
(RAF). The RAF was active from 1968, carrying out a succession of terrorist attacks in West Germany during the 1970s. Even in the 1990s, attacks were still being committed under the name ''RAF''. The last action took place in 1993, and in 1998 the group announced it was ceasing activities. in 1987 In the 1969 election, the SPD gained enough votes to form a coalition government with the FDP. SPD leader and Chancellor
Willy Brandt Willy Brandt (; born Herbert Ernst Karl Frahm; 18 December 1913 – 8 October 1992) was a German politician and statesman who was leader of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) from 1964 to 1987 and served as Chancellor of the Federal Re ...

Willy Brandt
remained head of government until May 1974, when he resigned after the
Guillaume Affair#REDIRECT Guillaume affair {{R from move ...
, in which a senior member of his staff was uncovered as a spy for the East German intelligence service, the . However the affair is widely considered to have been merely a trigger for Brandt's resignation, not a fundamental cause. Instead, Brandt, dogged by scandal relating to alcohol and depression as well as the economic fallout of the
1973 oil crisis#REDIRECT 1973 oil crisis#REDIRECT 1973 oil crisis {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
, almost seems simply to have had enough. As Brandt himself later said, "I was exhausted, for reasons which had nothing to do with the process going on at the time". Finance Minister Helmut Schmidt (SPD) then formed a government, continuing the SPD–FDP coalition. He served as Chancellor from 1974 to 1982. Hans-Dietrich Genscher, a leading FDP official, was Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister in the same years. Schmidt, a strong supporter of the
European Community The European Economic Community (EEC) was a regional organization that aimed to bring about economic integration among its member states. It was created by the Treaty of Rome of 1957.Today the largely rewritten treaty continues in force as the ...
(EC) and the Atlantic alliance, emphasized his commitment to "the political unification of Europe in partnership with the USA". The goals of SPD and FDP however drifted apart in the late 1970s and early 1980s. On 1 October 1982 the FDP joined forces with the CDU/CSU to elect CDU Chairman
Helmut Kohl Helmut Josef Michael Kohl (; 3 April 1930 – 16 June 2017) was a German statesman and politician of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) who served as Chancellor of Germany from 1982 to 1998 (of West Germany, 1982–1990; and of reunified Germ ...
as Chancellor in a
constructive vote of no confidenceThe constructive vote of no confidence (german: konstruktives Misstrauensvotum, es, moción de censura constructiva) is a variation on the motion of no confidence that allows a parliament to withdraw confidence from a head of government only if there ...
. Following national elections in March 1983, Kohl emerged in firm control of both the government and the CDU. The CDU/CSU fell just short of an absolute majority, because of the entry into the Bundestag of the Greens, who received 5.6% of the vote. In January 1987 the Kohl–Genscher government was returned to office, but the FDP and the Greens gained at the expense of the larger parties. The Social Democrats concluded that not only were the Greens unlikely to form a coalition, but also that such a coalition would be far from a majority. Neither condition changed until 1998.


Denazification

In 1951 several laws were passed, ending the denazification. As a result, many people with a former Nazi past ended up again in the political apparatus of West Germany. West German President
Walter Scheel Walter Scheel (; 8 July 1919 – 24 August 2016) was a German politician. A member of the Free Democratic Party of Germany (FDP), he first served in government as Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development from 1961–66. He led the ...
and Chancellor
Kurt Georg Kiesinger Kurt Georg Kiesinger (; 6 April 1904 – 9 March 1988) was a German politician who served as Chancellor of Germany (West Germany) from 1 December 1966 to 21 October 1969. Before he became Chancellor he was a Nazi Party member, served as Minister Pr ...
were both former members of the
Nazi Party The Nazi Party, officially the National Socialist German Workers' Party (german: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP), was a far-right political party in Germany active between 1920 and 1945, that created and supported the ...
. In 1957, 77% of the West German Ministry of Justice's senior officials were former Nazi Party members. Konrad Adenauer's State Secretary
Hans Globke Hans Josef Maria Globke (10 September 1898 – 13 February 1973) was a German lawyer, high-ranking civil servant and politician who was Under-Secretary of State and Chief of Staff of the German Chancellery in West Germany from 28 October 1953 to 15 ...
had played a major role in drafting anti-semitic
Nuremberg Race Laws The Nuremberg Laws (german: link=no, Nürnberger Gesetze, ) were antisemitic and racist laws that were enacted in Nazi Germany on 15 September 1935, at a special meeting of the Reichstag convened during the annual Nuremberg Rally of the Na ...

Nuremberg Race Laws
in Nazi Germany.


Culture

In many aspects, German culture continued in spite of the dictatorship and wartime. Old and new forms coexisted next to each other, and the American influence, already strong in the 1920s, grew.


Sport

Postage stamps commemorating the 1974 World Cup held in West Germany In the 20th century,
association football Association football, more commonly known as simply football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of 11 players. It is played by approximately 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencie ...
became the largest sport in Germany. The
Germany national football team The Germany national football team (german: Deutsche Fußballnationalmannschaft or ''Die Mannschaft'') represents Germany in men's international football and played its first match in 1908. The team is governed by the German Football Associati ...
, established in 1900, continued its tradition based in the Federal Republic of Germany, winning the
1954 FIFA World Cup The 1954 FIFA World Cup was the fifth edition of the FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football tournament for senior men's national teams of the nations affiliated to FIFA. It was held in Switzerland from 16 June to 4 July. Switzerlan ...
in a stunning upset dubbed the
miracle of Bern The 1954 FIFA World Cup Final was the final match of the 1954 FIFA World Cup, the fifth World Cup in FIFA history. The game was played at the Wankdorf Stadium in Bern, Switzerland, on 4 July 1954, and saw West Germany beat the heavily favoured Gol ...
. Earlier, the German team was not considered part of the international top. The
1974 FIFA World Cup The 1974 FIFA World Cup was the 10th FIFA World Cup, and was played in West Germany (including West Berlin) between 13 June and 7 July. The tournament marked the first time that the current trophy, the FIFA World Cup Trophy, created by the Itali ...
was held in West German cities and West Berlin. After having been beaten by their East German counterparts in the first round, the team of the
German Football Association The German Football Association (german: Deutscher Fußball-Bund ; DFB ) is the successful governing body of football in Germany. A founding member of both FIFA and UEFA, the DFB has jurisdiction for the German football league system and is in ch ...
won the cup again, defeating the
Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in the Caribbean. It is the largest of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In Europe, the ...

Netherlands
2–1 in the final. With the process of unification in full swing in the summer of 1990, the Germans won a third World Cup, with players that had been capped for East Germany not yet permitted to contribute. European championships have been won too, in 1972, 1980 and 1996. After both Olympic Games of 1936 had been held in Germany,
Munich Munich ( ; german: München ; bar, Minga ) is the capital and most populous city of Bavaria. With a population of 1,558,395 inhabitants as of 31 July 2020, it is the third-largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg, and thus the lar ...
was selected to host the
1972 Summer Olympics The 1972 Summer Olympics (), officially known as the Games of the XX Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Munich, West Germany, from 26 August to 11 September 1972. The event was overshadowed by the Munich massacre in the seco ...
. These were also the first summer games in which the East Germans showed up with the separate flag and anthem of the GDR. Since the 1950s,
Germany at the Olympics Athletes from Germany have taken part in most of the Olympic Games since the first modern Games in 1896. Germany has hosted three Olympic Games, in 1936 both the Winter and Summer Games, and the 1972 Summer Olympics. In addition, Germany had been s ...
had been represented by a united team led by the pre-war German NOC officials as the IOC had denied East German demands for a separate team. The 800-page ''"Doping in Germany from 1950 to today"'' study details how the West German government helped fund a wide-scale doping programme. West Germany encouraged and covered up a culture of doping across many sports for decades. As in 1957, when the Saarland acceded, East German sport organisations ceased to exist in late 1990 as their subdivisions and their members joined their Western counterparts. Thus, the present German organisations and teams in football, Olympics and elsewhere are identical to those that had been informally called "West German" before 1991. The only differences were a larger membership and a different name used by some foreigners. These organisations and teams in turn mostly continued the traditions of those that represented Germany before the Second World War, and even the First World War, thus providing a century-old continuity despite political changes. On the other hand, the separate East German teams and organisations were founded in the 1950s; they were an episode lasting less than four decades, yet quite successful in that time. As of 2012, West Germany have played a record 43 matches at the European Championships.


Literary scene

Besides the interest in the older generation of writers, new authors emerged on the background of the experiences of war and after war period.
Wolfgang Borchert Wolfgang Borchert (; 20 May 1921 – 20 November 1947) was a German author and playwright whose work was strongly influenced by his experience of dictatorship and his service in the Wehrmacht during the Second World War. His work is among the bes ...
, a former soldier who died young in 1947, is one of the best known representatives of the .
Heinrich Böll Heinrich Theodor Böll (; 21 December 1917 – 16 July 1985) was one of Germany's foremost post-World War II writers. He was awarded the Georg Büchner Prize in 1967 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1972. Biography Böll was born in Cologn ...
is considered an observer of the young Federal Republic from the 1950s to the 1970s, and caused some political controversies because of his increasingly critical view on society. The
Frankfurt Book Fair The Frankfurt Book Fair (German: Frankfurter Buchmesse) is the world's largest trade fair for books, based both on the number of publishing companies represented, and the number of visitors. It is considered to be the most important book fair in ...
(and its
Peace Prize of the German Book Trade is an international peace prize awarded annually by the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, an association of German book publishers and book sellers, which runs the Frankfurt Book Fair. The award ceremony is held in the Paulskirche in Fra ...
) soon developed into a regarded institution. Exemplary for West Germany's literature are – among others –
Siegfried Lenz Siegfried Lenz (; 17 March 19267 October 2014) was a German writer of novels, short stories and essays, as well as dramas for radio and the theatre. In 2000 he received the Goethe Prize on the 250th Anniversary of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's birt ...
(with '' The German Lesson'') and Günter Grass (with ''The Tin Drum'' and ''The Flounder'').


Geographical distribution of government

In West Germany, most of the political agencies and buildings were located in Bonn, while the DAX, German Stock Market was located in Frankfurt am Main, which became the economic center. The judicial branch of both the German
Federal Constitutional Court The Federal Constitutional Court (german: Bundesverfassungsgericht; abbreviated: ') is the supreme constitutional court for the Federal Republic of Germany, established by the constitution or Basic Law (') of Germany. Since its inception with t ...
() and the highest Court of Appeals, were located in Karlsruhe. The West German government was known to be much more Decentralization, decentralised than its state socialism, state socialist East German counterpart, the former being a federal state and the latter a unitary state, unitary one. Whilst East Germany was divided into 15 administrative districts (), which were merely local branches of the national government, West Germany was divided into states () with independently elected state parliaments and control of the , the second legislative chamber of the Federal Government.


Present geographical and political terminology

Today, North Rhine-Westphalia is often considered to be Western Germany in geographical terms. When distinguishing between former West Germany and former East Germany as parts of present-day unified Germany, it has become most common to refer to the (old states) and the (new states), although and are still heard as well.


See also

* Economic history of the German reunification *
Bonn–Paris conventions The Bonn–Paris conventions were signed in May 1952 and came into force after the 1955 ratification. The conventions put an end to the Allied occupation of West Germany.Joachim von ElbU.S. Embassy Bonn HistoryU.S. Diplomatic Mission to German ...
* Petersberg Agreement *
West Berlin West Berlin (german: Berlin (West) or ) was a political enclave which comprised the western part of Berlin during the years of the Cold War. Although no specific date on which the sectors of Berlin occupied by the Western Allies became "West B ...


Notes


References

;Sources * * *


Further reading

* Bark, Dennis L., and David R. Gress. ''A History of West Germany Vol 1: From Shadow to Substance, 1945–1963'' (1992); ; vol 2: ''Democracy and Its Discontents 1963–1988'' (1992) * Berghahn, Volker Rolf. ''Modern Germany: society, economy, and politics in the twentieth century'' (1987
ACLS E-book online
* Hanrieder, Wolfram F. ''Germany, America, Europe: Forty Years of German Foreign Policy'' (1989) * Henderson, David R. "German Economic Miracle." ''The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics'' (2008). * Jarausch, Konrad H. ''After Hitler: Recivilizing Germans, 1945–1995'' (2008) * Junker, Detlef, ed. ''The United States and Germany in the Era of the Cold War'' (2 vol 2004), 150 short essays by scholars covering 1945–1990 * MacGregor, Douglas A ''The Soviet-East German Military Alliance'' New York, Cambridge University Press, 1989. * Main, Steven J. "The Soviet Occupation of Germany. Hunger, Mass Violence and the Struggle for Peace, 1945–1947." ''Europe-Asia Studies'' (2014) 66#8 pp. 1380–1382. * Maxwell, John Allen. "Social Democracy in a Divided Germany: Kurt Schumacher and the German Question, 1945–52." PhD dissertation, West Virginia University, 1969. * Merkl, Peter H. ed. ''The Federal Republic of Germany at Fifty'' (1999) * Mierzejewski, Alfred C. ''Ludwig Erhard: A Biography'' (2004
online
* Pruys, Karl Hugo . ''Kohl: Genius of the Present : A Biography of Helmut Kohl'' (1996) * Schwarz, Hans-Peter. ''Konrad Adenauer: A German Politician and Statesman in a Period of War, Revolution and Reconstruction'' (2 vol 1995
excerpt and text search vol 2
als
full text vol 1
an
full text vol 2
* Smith, Gordon, ed, ''Developments in German Politics'' (1992) , broad survey of reunified nation * Smith, Helmut Walser, ed. ''The Oxford Handbook of Modern German History'' (2011) pp. 593–753. * Weber, Jurgen. ''Germany, 1945–1990'' (Central European University Press, 2004
online edition
* Williams, Charles. ''Adenauer: The Father of the New Germany'' (2000
Online


Primary sources

* Beate Ruhm Von Oppen, ed. ''Documents on Germany under Occupation, 1945–1954'' (Oxford University Press, 1955
online


External links

{{Authority control West Germany, Contemporary German history Former polities of the Cold War Anti-communism in Germany Borders of Germany Political history of Germany States and territories established in 1949 States and territories disestablished in 1990 1949 establishments in Germany, * 1990 disestablishments in Germany, * 1949 establishments in West Germany, * 1990 disestablishments in West Germany, *