July 5, 2022
The Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland), in short Germany (German: Deutschland), is a country in Western and/or Central Europe. It has a territory of 357,022 km² and is bordered in the north by the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and Denmark, in the east by Poland and the Czech Republic, in the south by Austria and Switzerland and in the west by France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. With 83,222,442 inhabitants (September 30, 2021), Germany has the largest population of all countries in the European Union. The capital and largest city of the country is Berlin. In a sense, German history begins as early as the 1st century BC, when there was already talk of Germania, an area inhabited by mainly Germanic tribes. A German state took longer. The Holy Roman Empire, which existed roughly between 800 and 1800, can be seen as a precursor, but had much less central authority, like its successor, the German Confederation (1815-1866). After that, German unification really got going and in 1871 the German Empire was created, which largely encompassed the current national borders. This state became a republic for the first time with the abolition of the monarchy after the November Revolution of 1918; the so-called Weimar Republic. Under Nazi rule (1933-1945), Germany was a dictatorship, unleashing World War II and carrying out the Holocaust. Germany lost the war and was then divided into the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany or DDR). After the fall of communism, German reunification came about in 1990 and the six East German states joined the Federal Republic. The Federal Republic of Germany is a federation of sixteen federal states, called Bundesländer or Länder (singular Land) in German. It is a federal republic and an important member of the economic, political and military organizations in Europe and the world. The country is a member of the European Union and the Eurozone, the UN, NATO and the G8, among others. Germany is also the most important trading partner of the Netherlands and Belgium and was the fourth largest economy by nominal GDP in 2014, the third largest exporter (2011) and the third largest importer (2011) in the world.