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====Post-World War II====
After the devastating defeat in World War II (1939-1945), Germany was divided into four sectors, controlled by the French, British, US and Soviet forces. United Kingdom and the US decided to merge their sectors, followed by the French. Silesia, Pomerania and the southern part of East Prussia came under Polish administration according to the international agreement of the allies. With the beginning of the Cold War, the remaining central and western parts of the country were divided into an eastern part under Soviet control, and a western part which was controlled directly by the Western Allies. The western part was transformed into the ''Federal Republic of Germany (FRG)'', a democratic nation with [[Bonn]] as the provisional capital city, while the Soviet-controlled zone became the communist/authoritarian Soviet style ''German Democratic Republic (GDR)''. Berlin had a special status as it was divided among the Soviets and the West, with the eastern part featuring as the capital of the GDR. The western sectors of Berlin (West Berlin), was ''de facto'' an exclave of the FRG, but formally governed by the Western Allies. On August 13, 1961 the ''Berlin Wall'' was erected as part of a heavily guarded frontier system of border fortifications. As a result between 100 and 200 Germans trying to escape from the communist dictatorship were murdered here in the years
In the late 1960's a sincere and strong desire to confront the Nazi past came into being. Students' protests beginning in 1968 successfully clamoured for a new Germany. The society became much more liberal, and the totalitarian past was dealt with more unconcealed than ever before since the foundation of the FRG in 1949. Post-war education had helped put Germany among countries in Europe with the least number of people subscribing to Nazi or fascist/authoritarian ideas. Willy Brandt became chancellor in 1969. He made an important contribution towards reconciliation between Germany and the communist states including important peace gestures toward Poland.