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West Germany

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In 1945, the Allies (well - Britain, America & France), decided that war crimes should be punished. As they strung-up convicted war criminals by the bucketload, the cries that were cut off by the noose ("Ach, nein - I know ze secret of the atom-bombaaargh...!") began to disturb the grim dispensers of justice. What if..., they thought. What if these guys just might be of some use to us? After all, the Iron Curtain had come down with a clang across Europe. Yesterday's enemy... The cliches just kept on coming. Karl Adenauer had once been gently imprisoned by the Nazis. And he promised us that he hated Communists. That was good enough for the Allies. Before you could say "Sieg Heil!", the Christian Democrats were in power in the newly-formed Federal Republic of Germany. Shortly, the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) saw the new nation in the forefront of the Cold War. The fact they were just about the most reluctant conscripts anywhere in the world, was neither here nor there. The Americans and their allies in NATO, couldn't wait to hand over their garrison duties to the eager lads in field-grey. In reality, the West Germans didn't want to fight anyone; all they wanted was to be reunited with their East German compatriots. As the arm-wrestle with the Soviet Union started to swing in favour of the West, the Deutsches Demokratik Republik of East Germany found it harder to keep their citizens inside their barbed-wire and machine-gun controlled borders. West German Chancellor] Willy Brandt finally reached an agreement with Erich Honecker, the East German leader, to open up the border and permit family visits. In 1989, the Berlin Wall - a red-hot joke of a frontier if ever there was one - finally came down. This paved the way for German reunification. The West German capital of Bonn was abandoned in favour of the old Reich seat of government in Berlin, and the West German state passed into history.