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West Germany (German: West Deutschland) is the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland, BRD; listen (info • help)), retrospectively designated the Bonn Republic. It was a country in Central Europe. It was created on May 23, 1949. It ended on October 3, 1990 due to German Reunification. During the Cold War, West Germany was part of the Western bloc. It was created from the eleven states in Allied-occupied Germany after World War II. The capital city was Bonn.
After World War II, Germany was split into four zones. These zones were controlled by the British, French, Americans, and Soviets (Russians). From 1946 to 1949, the British, French, and American zones combined (came together) to create West Germany. The Soviet zone became East Germany. The two zones would not come together again until 1990.
Konrad Adenauer was called in as chancellor from 1947 until 1962. He was not meant to be the chancellor for a long time, but he stayed longer than expected. As chancellor, he helped West Germany recover (get better) from World War II and improved the economy.
In 1969 Willy Brandt became chancellor. Under him, West Germany was nicer to the Eastern countries, and he managed to sign agreements with East Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, who had been more hostile to West Germany. Brandt had to resign in May 1974 when it was found out that one of his staff members was a spy.
Helmut Schmidt served as chancellor until 1982. He helped launch the European Monetary System (EMS). Schmidt was followed by Helmut Kohl, who was chancellor when the Berlin Wall collapsed and Germany reunified in 1990.
- The Bonn Republic — West German democracy, 1945-1990, Anthony James Nicholls, Longman, 1997