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West Germany a common name of a former republic of central Europe bordered on the north by the North Sea West Germany had an area of 248577 sq km 95976 sq miles It was established officially as the Federal Republic of Germany on May 23 1949 as one of two successor statesEast Germany officially the German Democratic Republic or GDR being the otherto the nation of Germany after its defeat in World War II 1939-1945 West Germany ceased to exist in 1990 when it merged with East Germany into a single nation known as Germany officially called the Federal Republic of Germany When World War II ended in 1945 leaders from the United States Great Britain and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics USSR met at the Potsdam Conference They decided to temporarily divide Germany into four occupation zonesFrench in the southwest British in the northwest American in the south and Soviet in the east The city of Berlin located inside the Soviet zone was also divided among the four powers When the USSR began to establish Communist governments in Eastern Europe the Allies alliance suffered a breakdown With western powers opposed to Soviet expansion the Cold War began and tensions in Germany increased The Soviets increased the isolation of the zones of Germany and Berlin under their control distancing these zones from the democratic development being encouraged by the Western powers in the rest of Germany Unable to agree with the Western powers on a policy for Germany the Soviets set up a Communist government in the eastern part of Germany East Germany The United States France and Great Britain supported the free market democracy in the west West Germany West Germany included the states of Baden-Wrttemberg Bavaria Bremen Hamburg Hesse Lower Saxony North Rhine-Westphalia Rhineland-Palatinate Saarland and Schleswig-Holstein Bonn an old University City on the Rhine River served as the West German capital and continues to host
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