reply to post by JimIrie
hmmmm? quote from wikipedia
West Germany (German: Westdeutschland) is the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland) in the
period between its formation in May 1949 to German reunification in October 1990, when the communist East Germany was dissolved and the five states on
its territory joined the Federal Republic of Germany, ending the more than 40-year division of Germany and Berlin. From the 1990 reunification
onwards, the enlarged Federal Republic of Germany with sixteen states has been exclusively known as Germany in common usage.
The Federal Republic of Germany was organized from the initially 12 states formed in the three Western Zones or Allied Zones of occupation held by the
United States, the United Kingdom, and France. City of Bonn was its provisional capital city. The fourth Allied occupation zone or East Zone (Ostzone)
was held by the Soviet Union. The parts east of the Oder-Neisse were de facto annexed by the Soviet Union and Communist Poland, the remaining central
part around Berlin became the communist German Democratic Republic, GDR (in German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, DDR) with its de facto capital
East Berlin. As a result, the remaining Western Germany had a territory about half the size of its previous democratic-capitalist antecessor, the
interwar Weimar Republic.
Relations with the Soviet bloc improved during the era of Ostpolitik in the 1970s, and the two German states recognized the existence of each other.
De jure West Germany formally maintained the exclusive mandate: it recognized the GDR as a de facto government still within a single German nation
that in turn is represented de jure by the West German state only, while East Germany recognized the existence of two German countries de jure, and
the West as both de facto and de jure foreign country.
The foundation for the influential position held by Germany today was laid during the Wirtschaftswunder (economic miracle) of the 1950s, when West
Germany rose from the massive destruction wrought by World War II to become the world's third largest economy. The first chancellor Konrad Adenauer,
who remained in office until 1963, had worked for a full alignment with the West rather than neutrality. He not only secured a membership in NATO, but
he was also a proponent of agreements that developed into the present-day European Union. When the G6/G8 was established in 1975, there was no
question whether the Federal Republic of Germany would be a member as well.
With the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, symbolized by the opening of the Berlin Wall, there was a rapid move towards
German reunification. East Germany voted to dissolve itself and accede to the Federal Republic in 1990. Its postwar five states (Länder) were
reconstituted, and along with reunited Berlin, which ended its special status and formed an additional Land, they formally joined the Federal Republic
of Germany on 3 October 1990, raising the number of states from 10 to 16. The expanded Federal Republic of Germany, now exclusively known as simply
Germany in the English language, retained its political culture, and it continues the memberships in international organizations, as well as its
Western foreign policy alignment and affiliation to Western alliances like the European Union and NATO. The enlarged Federal Republic of Germany is
the continuation of, and not a successor to, the (West German) Federal Republic of Germany with fewer states until 1990.