West Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, referred to by historians as the Bonn Republic, was a country in Central Europe that existed from 1949 to 1990, when the western portion of Germany was part of the Western bloc during the Cold War. It was created during the Allied occupation of Germany in 1949 after World War II, established from eleven states formed in the three Allied zones of occupation held by the United States, the United Kingdom and France, its capital was the city of Bonn. At the onset of the Cold War, Europe was divided among the Eastern blocs. Germany was de facto divided into two countries and two special territories, the Saarland and divided Berlin; the Federal Republic of Germany claimed an exclusive mandate for all of Germany, considering itself to be the democratically reorganised continuation of the 1871–1945 German Empire. It took the line. Though the GDR did hold regular elections, these were not fair. From the West German perspective, the GDR was therefore illegitimate.
Three southwestern states of West Germany merged to form Baden-Württemberg in 1952, the Saarland joined the Federal Republic of Germany in 1957. In addition to the resulting ten states, West Berlin was considered an unofficial de facto 11th state. While not part of the Federal Republic of Germany, as Berlin was under the control of the Allied Control Council, West Berlin politically-aligned itself with West Germany and was represented in its federal institutions; the foundation for the influential position held by Germany today was laid during the Wirtschaftswunder of the 1950s when West Germany rose from the enormous destruction wrought by World War II to become the world's third-largest economy. The first chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who remained in office until 1963, had worked for a full alignment with NATO rather than neutrality, he not only secured a membership in NATO but was a proponent of agreements that developed into the present-day European Union. When the G6 was established in 1975, there was no question whether the Federal Republic of Germany would be a member as well.
Following the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, symbolised by the opening of the Berlin Wall, there was a rapid move towards German reunification. East Germany voted to dissolve itself and accede to the Federal Republic in 1990, its five post-war states were reconstituted along with the reunited Berlin, which ended its special status and formed an additional Land. They formally joined the Federal Republic on 3 October 1990, raising the number of states from 10 to 16, ending the division of Germany; the reunion did not result in a brand-new country. The expanded Federal Republic retained West Germany's political culture and continued its existing memberships in international organisations, as well as its Western foreign policy alignment and affiliation to Western alliances like UN, NATO, OECD and the European Union; the official name of West Germany, adopted in 1949 and unchanged since is Bundesrepublik Deutschland. In East Germany, the terms Westdeutschland or westdeutsche Bundesrepublik were preferred during the 1950s and 1960s.
This changed once under its 1968 constitution, when the idea of a single German nation was abandoned by East Germany, as a result West Germans and West Berliners were considered foreigners. In the early 1970s, starting in the East German Neues Deutschland, the initialism "BRD" for the "Federal Republic of Germany" began to prevail in East German usage. In 1973, official East German sources adopted it as a standard expression and other Eastern Bloc nations soon followed suit. In reaction to this move, in 1965 the West German Federal Minister of All-German Affairs Erich Mende issued the Directives for the appellation of Germany, recommending avoiding the initialism. On 31 May 1974, the heads of West German federal and state governments recommended always using the full name in official publications. From on West German sources avoided the abbreviated form, with the exception of left-leaning organizations which embraced it. In November 1979 the federal government informed the Bundestag that the West German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF had agreed to refuse to use the initialism.
The ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code of West Germany was "DE", which has remained the country code of Germany after reunification. ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 are the most used country codes, the "DE" code is notably used as country identifier extending the postal code and as the Internet's country code top-level domain.de. Accordingly the less used ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 country code of West Germany was "DEU", which has remained the country code of reunified Germany; the now deleted codes for East Germany, on the other hand, was "DD" in ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 and "DDR" in ISO 3166-1 alpha-3. The colloquial term "West Germany" or its equivalent was used in many languages. "Westdeutschland" was a widespread colloquial form used in German-speaking countries without political overtones. On 4–11 February 1945 leaders from the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union held the Yalta Conference where future arrangements as regards post-war Europe and strategy against Japan in the Pacific were negotiated.
The conference agreed that post-war Germany would be divided into four occupation zones: a French Zone in the far west.
Party of Democratic Socialism (Germany)
The Party of Democratic Socialism was a democratic socialist political party in Germany active between 1989 and 2007. It was the legal successor to the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, which ruled the German Democratic Republic as a one-party state until 1990. From 1990 through to 2005, the PDS had been seen as the left-wing "party of the East". While it achieved minimal support in western Germany, it won 15% to 25% of the vote in the eastern new states of Germany, entering coalition governments in the federal states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Berlin. In 2005, the PDS, renamed The Left Party. PDS entered an electoral alliance with the Western Germany-based Electoral Alternative for Labour and Social Justice and won 8.7% of the vote in Germany's September 2005 federal elections. On 16 June 2007, the two groupings merged to form a new party called The Left; the party had many progressive policies, including support for legalisation of same-sex marriage and greater social welfare for immigrants.
Internationally, the Left Party. PDS was a co-founder of the Party of the European Left and was the largest party in the European United Left–Nordic Green Left group in the European Parliament; the grassroots democracy movement that forced the dismissal of East German head of state Erich Honecker in 1989 empowered a younger generation of reform politicians in East Germany's ruling Socialist Unity Party who looked to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika as their model for political change. Reformers like authors Stefan Heym and Christa Wolf and attorney Gregor Gysi, lawyer of dissidents like Robert Havemann and Rudolf Bahro, soon began to re-invent a party infamous for its rigid Marxist–Leninist orthodoxy and police-state methods. By the time of a special party conference on 16 December 1989, it was obvious that the SED was no longer a Marxist-Leninist party. During the second session the party accepted a proposal from Gysi, who had become party chairman earlier in the month, that the party adopt a new name, "Party of Democratic Socialism."
Gysi felt. The proposal came directly after a speech from Michael Schumann highlighting the injustices perpetrated under the SED, distancing the conference from certain high-profile party leaders - notably Honecker and the country's last Communist leader, Egon Krenz. Above all Schumann's speech opened the way for the party to reinvent itself, using a phrase, much quoted: "We break irrevocably with Stalinism as a system!", A brief transitional period as the SED/PDS followed. By the end of 1989, the last hardline members of the party's Central Committee had either resigned or been pushed out, followed in 1990 by 95% of the SED's 2.3 million members. On 4 February 1990, the party was formally renamed the PDS. However, neo-Marxist and communist minority factions continued to exist. By the time the party had formally renamed itself the PDS, it had expelled most of the remaining prominent Communist-era leaders from its ranks—including Honecker and Krenz; this was not enough to save the party when it faced the voters for the first time in the 1990 East German elections—the first and only free elections held in East Germany.
The party was roundly defeated, winning only 66 seats in the 400-seat Volkskammer, finishing a distant third behind the East German wings of the Christian Democratic Union and the refounded Social Democratic Party. The PDS had experience as a junior coalition partner in two federal states —Berlin and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania— where it co-governed until 2006 with the Social Democratic Party of Germany. Political responsibility has burnished the Left's reputation as a pragmatic, rather than ideological party, it remained strong in local government in eastern Germany, with more than 6,500 town councillors and 64 elected mayors. The party continued to win eastern voters by emphasizing political competence and refused to be labelled as a "protest party", although it attracted millions of protest voters in the federal election, profiting from growing dissatisfaction with high unemployment and cutbacks in public health insurance, unemployment benefits, labour rights. In the first all-German elections in 1990, the PDS won only 2.4% of the nationwide vote.
However, a one-time exception to Germany's electoral law allowed eastern-based parties to qualify for representation if they won five percent of the vote in the former East Germany. As a result, the PDS entered the Bundestag with 17 deputies led by Gysi, one of Germany's most charismatic and articulate politicians. However, it was only reckoned as a "group" within the Bundestag, not a full-fledged parliamentary fraction. In the 1994 federal election, in spite of an anti-communist "Red Socks" campaign by the then-ruling Christian Democrats aimed at scaring off eastern voters, the PDS increased its vote to 4.4 percent. More Gysi was reelected from his Berlin seat, three other PDS members were elected from eastern districts. Under the German constitution, a party that wins at least three directly-elected seats is eligible for proportional representation if it falls short of the five percent threshold; this allowed it to re-enter the Bundestag with an enlarged caucus of 30 deputies. In the 1998 federal election, the party reached the high-water mark in its fortunes by tallying 5.1% of the national vote and 36 seats, thus clearing the critical 5% threshold required for guaranteed proportional representation and full parliame
Potsdam is the capital and largest city of the German federal state of Brandenburg. It directly borders the German capital, is part of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region, it is situated on the River Havel 24 kilometres southwest of Berlin's city centre. Potsdam was a residence of the Prussian kings and the German Kaiser until 1918, its planning embodied ideas of the Age of Enlightenment: through a careful balance of architecture and landscape, Potsdam was intended as "a picturesque, pastoral dream" which would remind its residents of their relationship with nature and reason. Around the city there are a series of interconnected lakes and cultural landmarks, in particular the parks and palaces of Sanssouci, the largest World Heritage Site in Germany; the Potsdam Conference in 1945 was held at the palace Cecilienhof. Babelsberg, in the south-eastern part of Potsdam, was a major film production studio before the 1930s and has enjoyed success as a major center of European film production since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The Filmstudio Babelsberg is the oldest large-scale film studio in the world. Potsdam developed into a centre of science in Germany in the 19th century. Today, there are three public colleges, the University of Potsdam, more than 30 research institutes in the city; the area was formed from a series of large moraines left after the last glacial period. Today, the city is three-quarters green space, with just a quarter as urban area. There are about 20 lakes and rivers in and around Potsdam, such as the Havel, the Griebnitzsee, Templiner See, Tiefer See, Teltowkanal, Heiliger See and the Sacrower See; the highest point is the 114-metre high Kleiner Ravensberg. Potsdam is divided into seven historic city Bezirke and nine new Stadtteile, which joined the city in 2003; the appearance of the city quarters is quite different. Those in the north and in the centre consist of historical buildings, the south of the city is dominated by larger areas of newer buildings; the city of Potsdam is divided into 34 Stadtteile, which are divided further into 84 statistical Bezirke.
Today one distinguishes between the older parts of the city - these are the city center, the western and northern suburbs, Bornstedt, Potsdam South, Drewitz and Kirchsteigfeld - and those communities incorporated after 1990 which have since 2003 become Stadtteile - these are Eiche, Golm, Groß Glienicke, Marquardt, Neu Fahrland and Uetz-Paaren. The new Stadtteile are located in the north of the city. For the history of all incorporations, see the relevant section on incorporation and spin-offs. Structure with statistical numbering: Officially the climate is oceanic - more degraded by being far from the coast and to the east, but using the 1961-1990 normal and the 0 °C isotherm the city has a humid continental climate, which shows a slight influence of the continent different from the climates predominantly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. Low averages below freezing for all winter causing snows that are frequent and winters are cold, but not as stringent as inland locations or with greater influence from the same.
Summer is relatively warm with temperatures between 23 to 24 ° C, the heat waves being influenced by the UHI of Potsdam. The average winter high temperature is 3.5 °C, with a low of −1.7 °C. Snow is common in the winter. Spring and autumn are short. Summers are mild, with a high of 23.6 °C and a low of 12.7 °C. The name "Potsdam" seems to have been Poztupimi. A common theory is that it derives from an old West Slavonic term meaning "beneath the oaks", i.e. the corrupted pod dubmi/dubimi. However some question this explanation; the area around Potsdam shows signs of occupancy since the Bronze Age and was part of Magna Germania as described by Tacitus. After the great migrations of the Germanic peoples, Slavs moved in and Potsdam was founded after the 7th century as a settlement of the Hevelli tribe centred on a castle, it was first mentioned in a document in 993 as Poztupimi, when Emperor Otto III gifted the territory to the Quedlinburg Abbey led by his aunt Matilda. By 1317, it was mentioned as a small town.
It gained its town charter in 1345. In 1573, it was still a small market town of 2,000 inhabitants. Potsdam lost nearly half of its population due to the Thirty Years' War. A continuous Hohenzollern possession since 1415, Potsdam became prominent, when it was chosen in 1660 as the hunting residence of Frederick William I, Elector of Brandenburg, the core of the powerful state that became the Kingdom of Prussia, it housed Prussian barracks. After the Edict of Potsdam in 1685, Potsdam became a centre of European immigration, its religious freedom attracted people from France, the Netherlands and Bohemia. The edict accelerated economic recovery; the city became a full residence of the Prussian royal family. The buildings of the royal residences were built during the reign of Frederick the Great. One of these is the Sanssouci Palace, famed for Rococo interiors. Other royal residences include the Orangery. In 1815, at the formation of the Province of Brandenburg, Potsdam became the provincial capital until 1918, except for a period between 1827 and 1843 when Berlin was the provincial capital.
The province comprised two governorates named after their capitals Potsdam and Frankfurt (O
The Luftwaffe was the aerial warfare branch of the combined German Wehrmacht military forces during World War II. Germany's military air arms during World War I, the Luftstreitkräfte of the Army and the Marine-Fliegerabteilung of the Navy, had been disbanded in May 1920 as a result of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles which stated that Germany was forbidden to have any air force. During the interwar period, German pilots were trained secretly in violation of the treaty at Lipetsk Air Base. With the rise of the Nazi Party and the repudiation of the Versailles Treaty, the Luftwaffe was established on 26 February 1935, just over a fortnight before open defiance of the Versailles Treaty through German re-armament and conscription would be announced on March 16; the Condor Legion, a Luftwaffe detachment sent to aid Nationalist forces in the Spanish Civil War, provided the force with a valuable testing ground for new tactics and aircraft. As a result of this combat experience, the Luftwaffe had become one of the most sophisticated, technologically advanced, battle-experienced air forces in the world when World War II broke out in 1939.
By the summer of 1939, the Luftwaffe had twenty-eight Geschwader. The Luftwaffe operated Fallschirmjäger paratrooper units; the Luftwaffe proved instrumental in the German victories across Poland and Western Europe in 1939 and 1940. During the Battle of Britain, despite inflicting severe damage to the RAF's infrastructure and, during the subsequent Blitz, devastating many British cities, the German air force failed to batter the beleaguered British into submission. From 1942, Allied bombing campaigns destroyed the Luftwaffe's fighter arm. From late 1942, the Luftwaffe used its surplus ground and other personnel to raise Luftwaffe Field Divisions. In addition to its service in the West, the Luftwaffe operated over the Soviet Union, North Africa and Southern Europe. Despite its belated use of advanced turbojet and rocket propelled aircraft for the destruction of Allied bombers, the Luftwaffe was overwhelmed by the Allies' superior numbers and improved tactics, a lack of trained pilots and aviation fuel.
In January 1945, during the closing stages of the Battle of the Bulge, the Luftwaffe made a last-ditch effort to win air superiority, met with failure. With dwindling supplies of petroleum and lubricants after this campaign, as part of the entire combined Wehrmacht military forces as a whole, the Luftwaffe ceased to be an effective fighting force. After the defeat of Germany, the Luftwaffe was disbanded in 1946. During World War II, German pilots claimed 70,000 aerial victories, while over 75,000 Luftwaffe aircraft were destroyed or damaged. Of these, nearly 40,000 were lost entirely; the Luftwaffe had only two commanders-in-chief throughout its history: Hermann Göring and Generalfeldmarschall Robert Ritter von Greim for the last two weeks of the war. The Luftwaffe was involved in Nazi war crimes. By the end of the war, a significant percentage of aircraft production originated in concentration camps, an industry employing tens of thousands of prisoners; the Luftwaffe's demand for labor was one of the factors that led to the deportation and murder of hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews in 1944.
The Luftwaffe High Command organized Nazi human experimentation, Luftwaffe ground troops committed massacres in Italy and Poland. The Imperial German Army Air Service was founded in 1910 with the name Die Fliegertruppen des deutschen Kaiserreiches, most shortened to Fliegertruppe, it was renamed Luftstreitkräfte on 8 October 1916. The air war on the Western Front received the most attention in the annals of the earliest accounts of military aviation, since it produced aces such as Manfred von Richthofen and Ernst Udet, Oswald Boelcke, Max Immelmann. After the defeat of Germany, the service was dissolved on 8 May 1920 under the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles, which mandated the destruction of all German military aircraft. Since the Treaty of Versailles forbade Germany to have an air force, German pilots trained in secret. Civil aviation schools within Germany were used, yet only light trainers could be used in order to maintain the façade that the trainees were going to fly with civil airlines such as Deutsche Luft Hansa.
To train its pilots on the latest combat aircraft, Germany solicited the help of the Soviet Union, isolated in Europe. A secret training airfield was established at Lipetsk in 1924 and operated for nine years using Dutch and Soviet, but some German, training aircraft before being closed in 1933; this base was known as 4th squadron of the 40th wing of the Red Army. Hundreds of Luftwaffe pilots and technical personnel visited and were trained at Soviet air force schools in several locations in Central Russia. Roessing, Fosse, Heini, Makratzki and many other future Luftwaffe aces were trained in Russia in joint Russian-German schools that were set up under the patronage of Ernst August Köstring; the first steps towards the Luftwaffe's formation were undertaken just months after Adolf Hitler came to power. Hermann Göring, a World War I ace, became National Kommissar for aviation with former Luft Hansa director Erhard Milch as his deputy. In April 1933 the Reich Aviation Ministry was established; the RLM was in charge of production of aircraft.
Göring's control over all aspects of aviation became absolute. On 25 March 1933 the German Air Sports Association absorbed all private and national organizations, while retaining its'sports' title. On 15 May 1933, all military aviation organizations in th
Barbara Rütting is a German film actress and author. She appeared in 50 films between 1952 and 1979. Rütting won the German Film Award as Best New Actress of the Year in 1953, she was a star of German cinema in the 1950s and 1960s, appearing in Canaris with O. E. Hasse and The Last Bridge with Maria Schell. In 1961, she played the female lead as a journalist in the American-German film Town Without Pity, co-starring Kirk Douglas and Christine Kaufmann. After the 1970s, Rütting's film and television appearances were sporadic, she instead focused on her career as a writer of lifestyle books. She became a vocal supporter for Environmental protection and Animal rights, she joined the Alliance 90/The Greens in the 1980s and was elected twice, in 2002 and 2008, into the Landtag of Bavaria. She left the Greens in 2009 and became a member of V-Partei3 in 2016. 1976 Mein Kochbuch – naturgesunde Köstlichkeiten aus aller Welt 1979 Ach du grüner Kater 1979 Koch- und Spielbuch für Kinder 1985 Mein neues Kochbuch 1988 Mein Gesundheitsbuch 1991 Lieblingsmenüs aus meiner Vollwertküche 1993 Träumen allein genügt nicht 1997 Grüne Rezepte für den blauen Planeten Essen wir uns gesund.
30 Jahre unterwegs in Sachen Vollwerternährung, ISBN 3-7766-2293-8 Lachen wir uns gesund. Anleitungen zum Glücklichsein. 3-7766-2236-9 Bleiben wir schön gesund, ISBN 3-7766-2210-5 Koch- und Spielbuch für Kinder vorgestellt von dem Kater Fettucini, ISBN 3-87287-509-4 Ach du grüner Kater ISBN 3-936837-31-7 Mein neues Kochbuch. Schlemmereien aus der Vollwertküche, ISBN 3-442-13760-8 … und dennoch. Erfahrungen eines Lebens. Herbig Verlag, München, 2004 2007 Ich bin alt und das ist gut so. Meine Muntermacher aus acht gelebten Jahrzehnten. Nymphenburger Verlag, ISBN 3-485-01114-2 Barbara Rütting on IMDb
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of conflict between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union and other Allies, which encompassed Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Northeast Europe, Southeast Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945. It has been known as the Great Patriotic War in the former Soviet Union and modern Russia, while in Germany it was called the Eastern Front, or the German-Soviet War by outside parties; the battles on the Eastern Front of the Second World War constituted the largest military confrontation in history. They were characterized by unprecedented ferocity, wholesale destruction, mass deportations, immense loss of life due to combat, exposure and massacres; the Eastern Front, as the site of nearly all extermination camps, death marches and the majority of pogroms, was central to the Holocaust. Of the estimated 70-85 million deaths attributed to World War II, over 30 million, the majority of them civilian, occurred on the Eastern Front.
The Eastern Front was decisive in determining the outcome in the European theatre of operations in World War II serving as the main reason for the defeat of Nazi Germany and the Axis nations. The two principal belligerent powers were Germany and the Soviet Union, along with their respective allies. Though never engaged in military action in the Eastern Front, the United States and the United Kingdom both provided substantial material aid in the form of the Lend-Lease to the Soviet Union; the joint German–Finnish operations across the northernmost Finnish–Soviet border and in the Murmansk region are considered part of the Eastern Front. In addition, the Soviet–Finnish Continuation War may be considered the northern flank of the Eastern Front. Germany and the Soviet Union remained unsatisfied with the outcome of World War I. Soviet Russia had lost substantial territory in Eastern Europe as a result of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, where the Bolsheviks in Petrograd conceded to German demands and ceded control of Poland, Estonia, Latvia and other areas, to the Central Powers.
Subsequently, when Germany in its turn surrendered to the Allies and these territories were liberated under the terms of the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 at Versailles, Soviet Russia was in the midst of a civil war and the Allies did not recognize the Bolshevik government, so no Soviet Russian representation attended. Adolf Hitler had declared his intention to invade the Soviet Union on 11 August 1939 to Carl Jacob Burckhardt, League of Nations Commissioner, by saying: Everything I undertake is directed against the Russians. If the West is too stupid and blind to grasp this I shall be compelled to come to an agreement with the Russians, beat the West and after their defeat turn against the Soviet Union with all my forces. I need the Ukraine as happened in the last war; the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact signed in August 1939 was a non-aggression agreement between Germany and the Soviet Union. It contained a secret protocol aiming to return Central Europe to the pre–World War I status quo by dividing it between Germany and the Soviet Union.
Finland, Estonia and Lithuania would return to the Soviet control, while Poland and Romania would be divided. The Eastern Front was made possible by the German–Soviet Border and Commercial Agreement in which the Soviet Union gave Germany the resources necessary to launch military operations in Eastern Europe. On 1 September 1939 Germany invaded Poland, starting World War II. On 17 September, the Soviet Union invaded Eastern Poland, and, as a result, Poland was partitioned among Germany, the Soviet Union and Lithuania. Soon after that, the Soviet Union demanded significant territorial concessions from Finland, after Finland rejected Soviet demands, the Soviet Union attacked Finland on 30 November 1939 in what became known as the Winter War – a bitter conflict that resulted in a peace treaty on 13 March 1940, with Finland maintaining its independence but losing its eastern parts in Karelia. In June 1940 the Soviet Union illegally annexed the three Baltic states; the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact ostensibly provided security to the Soviets in the occupation both of the Baltics and of the north and northeastern regions of Romania, although Hitler, in announcing the invasion of the Soviet Union, cited the Soviet annexations of Baltic and Romanian territory as having violated Germany's understanding of the Pact.
Moscow partitioned the annexed Romanian territory between the Ukrainian and Moldavian Soviet republics. Adolf Hitler had argued in his autobiography Mein Kampf for the necessity of Lebensraum: acquiring new territory for Germans in Eastern Europe, in particular in Russia, he envisaged settling Germans there, as according to Nazi ideology the Germanic people constituted the "master race", while exterminating or deporting most of the existing inhabitants to Siberia and using the remainder as slave labour. Hitler as early as 1917 had referred to the Russians as inferior, believing that the Bolshevik Revolution had put the Jews in power over the mass of Slavs, who were, in Hitler's opinion, incapable of ruling themselves but instead being ruled by Jewish masters; the Nazi leadership, saw the war against the Soviet Union as a struggle between the ideologies of Nazism and Jewish Bolshevism, ensuring territorial expansion for the Germanic Übermensch, who according to Nazi ideology were the Aryan Herrenvolk, at the expense of
West Berlin was a political enclave which comprised the western part of Berlin during the years of the Cold War. There was no specific date on which the sectors of Berlin occupied by the Western Allies became "West Berlin", but 1949 is accepted as the year in which the name was adopted. West Berlin aligned itself politically with the Federal Republic of Germany and was directly or indirectly represented in its federal institutions. West Berlin was formally controlled by the Western Allies and was surrounded by the Soviet-controlled East Berlin and East Germany. West Berlin had great symbolic significance during the Cold War, as it was considered by westerners as an "island of freedom", it was subsidised by West Germany as a "showcase of the West". A wealthy city, West Berlin was noted for its distinctly cosmopolitan character, as a centre of education and culture. With about two million inhabitants, West Berlin had the largest population of any city in Germany during the Cold War era. West Berlin was 100 miles east and north of the Inner German border and only accessible by land from West Germany by narrow rail and highway corridors.
It consisted of the American and French occupation sectors established in 1945. The Berlin Wall, built in 1961, physically separated West Berlin from its East Berlin and East German surroundings until it fell in 1989; the Potsdam Agreement established the legal framework for the occupation of Germany in the wake of World War II. According to this agreement, Germany would be formally under the administration of four Allies until a German government "acceptable to all parties" could be established; the territory of Germany, as it existed in 1937, would be reduced by most of Eastern Germany thus creating the former eastern territories of Germany. The remaining territory would be divided into four zones, each administered by one of the four allied countries. Berlin, surrounded by the Soviet zone of occupation—newly established in most of Middle Germany—would be divided, with the Western Allies occupying an enclave consisting of the western parts of the city. According to the agreement, the occupation of Berlin could end only as a result of a quadripartite agreement.
The Western Allies were guaranteed three air corridors to their sectors of Berlin, the Soviets informally allowed road and rail access between West Berlin and the western parts of Germany. At first, this arrangement was intended to be of a temporary administrative nature, with all parties declaring that Germany and Berlin would soon be reunited. However, as the relations between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union soured and the Cold War began, the joint administration of Germany and Berlin broke down. Soon, Soviet-occupied Berlin and western-occupied Berlin had separate city administrations. In 1948, the Soviets tried to force the Western Allies out of Berlin by imposing a land blockade on the western sectors—the Berlin Blockade; the West responded by using its air corridors for supplying their part of the city with food and other goods through the Berlin Airlift. In May 1949, the Soviets lifted the blockade, West Berlin as a separate city with its own jurisdiction was maintained. Following the Berlin Blockade, normal contacts between East and West Berlin resumed.
This was temporary. In 1952, the East German government began further isolating West Berlin; as a direct result, electrical grids were separated and phone lines were cut. The Volkspolizei and Soviet military personnel continued the process of blocking all the roads leading away from the city, resulting in several armed standoffs and at least one skirmish with the French Gendarmerie and the Bundesgrenzschutz that June. However, the culmination of the schism did not occur until 1961 with the construction of the Berlin Wall. From the legal theory followed by the Western Allies, the occupation of most of Germany ended in 1949 with the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany and of the German Democratic Republic. Under Article 127 of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic, provision was made for federal laws to be extended to Greater Berlin as well as Baden, Rhineland-Palatinate and Württemberg-Hohenzollern within one year of its promulgation. However, because the occupation of Berlin could only be ended by a quadripartite agreement, Berlin remained an occupied territory under the formal sovereignty of the allies.
Hence, the Basic Law was not applicable to West Berlin. On 4 August 1950 the House of Representatives passed a new constitution, declaring Berlin to be a state of the Federal Republic and the provisions of the Basic Law as binding law superior to Berlin state law. However, this became statutory law only on 1 September and only with the inclusion of the western Allied provision according to which Art. 1, clauses 2 and 3, were deferred for the time being. It stated that: Article 87 is interpreted as meaning that during the transitional period Berlin shall possess none of the attributes of a twelfth Land; the provision of this Article concerning the Basic Law will only apply to the extent necessary to prevent a conflict between this Law and the Berlin Constitution... Thus civic liberties and personal rights guaranteed by the Basic Law were valid in West Berlin. In addition, West German federal statutes could