23.05.

1949: How the Allies Created West Germany

1949: How the Allies Created West Germany
Photo Credit To https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flag-map_of_West_Germany_%281949%E2%80%931990%29.svg

The famous Konrad Adenauer was elected as the first Chancellor of the new country. He proved to be a capable man who brought Germany from post-war poverty onto a path to prosperity. 

On this day, three Western occupying powers (USA, the UK, and France) allowed the creation of a new state in the territory of their previous occupation zones. It was West Germany, officially named the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland). On this day the Basic Law (German: Grundgesetz) of the new state (the term constitution was not used because it was reserved for the future unified Germany) came into force. This Basic Law is still in force in Germany, of course with numerous amendments. The famous Konrad Adenauer from the CDU party (Christian Democratic Union) was elected Chancellor of the new government.

Adenauer, a devout Catholic, proved to be a very capable Chancellor and took Germany from postwar poverty onto a path of prosperity. According to a survey done by the ZDF television, Konrad Adenauer is considered the greatest German in history by Germany’s residents. It is interesting that Bonn was selected to be the capital of the new West Germany, allegedly because of Adenauer’s intervention (Adenauer was born just 15 kilometers from Bonn). After the bombing, only one building large enough to suffice for the new political purposes remained standing in Bonn. It was the Museum Koenig and it had to serve the new purpose, even though it had previously been a natural history museum. The new West Germany remained under Allied occupation. Its armed forces (German: Bundeswehr) were formed only in 1955. Some people opine that the Federal Republic of Germany is still largely controlled by the former Western Allies, especially the United States, and that it has no real sovereignty even today.

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