West Germany

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West Germany was the informal English name[1] for the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 to 1990, during which years the Federal Republic did not include the German Democratic Republic (informally known in English as East Germany). Since the German Democratic Republic disbanded itself, with its constituent Länder acceding to the Federal Republic on October 3, 1990, the Federal Republic has been known simply as Germany.

West Germany was declared "fully sovereign" May 5, 1955, although the British, French and US militaries remained in the country, just as the Soviet Army remained in East Germany. West Germany's seat of government and de facto capital was Bonn although Berlin was symbolically named as the de jure capital in the West German Basic Law.

See also: History of Germany since 1945, German reunification, and West Berlin.


  1. ^  In German, Westdeutschland ("West Germany") was more often used to distinguish the contiguous western states from West Berlin, which was in the middle of East Germany. In German, the western German state was, like its eastern counterpart, usually known by its initials: BRD (from Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Federal Republic of Germany).
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