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West Germany
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West Germany

West Germany was the informal but universally used name for the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949 until 1990, during which years the Federal Republic did not yet include the eastern part of Germany. Since the German reunification of 1990, the Federal Republic of Germany is informally called simply Germany.

The Federal Republic of Germany or FRG (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland or BRD) is a capitalist federal parliamentary democracy. The Federal Republic was proclaimed May 23, 1949 and included the post-World War II UK, US, and French occupation zones. West Germany was declared fully sovereign May 5th 1955, with Bonn as its capital, but the former occupying troops remained on the ground, largely to protect the country from Soviet threat because of the Cold War.

West Germany joined NATO on May 9th. The nation thus became a focus of the Cold War with its juxtaposition to Warsaw Pact member German Democratic Republic (GDR). The former capital, Berlin, was also divided but was completely surrounded by the GDR.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, the unification of the two Germanies was quickly arranged: formally, the FRG grew by annexing the territory of the GDR ("East Germany"), and is now known simply as Germany. This took place on October 3, 1990, and the four occupying powers officially withdrew on March 15, 1991.

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