Federal Republic of Germany

From ProleWiki, the proletarian encyclopedia
Federal Republic of Germany
Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Flag of Federal Republic of Germany
Coat of arms of Federal Republic of Germany
Coat of arms
Motto: Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit[Note 1]
Unity and Justice and Freedom
Location of Federal Republic of Germany
and largest city
Berlin[Note 2]
Dominant mode of productionImperialist Capitalism
GovernmentFederal parliamentary bourgeois state
• President
Frank-Walter Steinmeier
• Chancellor
Olaf Scholz
• Dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire
6 August 1806
• Creation of the German Confederation
8 June 1815
13 March 1848
• Dissolution of the German Confederation
24 August 1866
• North German Confederation gains statehood
1 July 1867
• Proclamation of the German Empire
18 January 1871
• Proclamation of the Weimar Republic
9 November 1918
• Beginning of the Nazi regime
30 January 1933
8 May 1945
• Proclamation of the Federal Republic
27 May 1949
3 October 1990
• 2020 estimate

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland), is a country in Central Europe. It is bordered by France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Poland, Czechia, Austria and Switzerland as well as having northern coasts on the North Sea and Baltic Sea. It is an imperialist state in NATO, the second-most populous country in Europe after Russia, and the most populous and influential member state of the European Union.

History[edit | edit source]

Medieval history[edit | edit source]

See main article: Holy Roman Empire (800–1806)

Unification and German Empire[edit | edit source]

See main article: German Empire (1871–1918)

Weimar Republic[edit | edit source]

See main article: German Reich (1918–1933)

Nazi Germany[edit | edit source]

See main article: German Reich (1933–1945)

West Germany[edit | edit source]

British-occupied Germany (green), French-occupied Germany (blue), Soviet-occupied Germany (red), and US-occupied Germany (yellow)

After the defeat of Axis forces during the Second World War, Germany was divided into four zones occupied by the Soviet Union, USA, France and Great Britain. At the Yalta Conference in early 1945, they agreed to make all of Germany pay $10 billion reparations to the USSR. The USA violated this agreement in May 1946 and only let the USSR take reparations from the east.[1]

In 1946, Hesse (part of the US zone) held a referendum on nationalizing banks and essential industries. 62% voted in favor for the first vote and 72% did the second time. In British-occupied North Rhine-Westphalia, a majority also voted to expropriate the ruling class. The occupying powers vetoed the results of these referendums.[2]:14–5

In 1948, France, the UK, and the USA merged their occupation zones to form West Germany. The Soviet Union then tried to blockade West Berlin to make it pay reparations, but the USA broke the blockade with an airlift.[1] The USA wrote the constitution of West Germany, which was never approved by voters. The constitution refused to recognize the GDR as a legitimate country.[3]:114

In 1952, Chancellor Konrad Adenauer rejected a Soviet offer for reunification.[2]:17

Annexation of the GDR[edit | edit source]

In December 1989, the West pressured the GDR into adopting a 3:1 exchange rate between the Eastern and Western currencies even though the eastern mark had a much higher purchasing power for basic consumer goods. Westerners flowed into the GDR and plundered the country by buying commodities for less than 10% of their normal prices using the new exchange rate.

The majority of East Germans only began to support unification in 1990, when Westerners had dropped the GDR's standard of living by more than two-thirds by shopping there with the 3:1 exchange rate. At this time, they still wanted a left-wing government. Western conservatives promised to establish a 1:1 exchange rate if bourgeois parties won the GDR's elections, leading those parties to narrowly win the 1990 elections and impose a capitalist counterrevolution.[3]:149–50

Russo-Ukrainian conflict[edit | edit source]

Germany joined NATO's sanctions regime against Russia during the 2022 Russo-Ukrainian conflict, and have supplied billions of dollars to support Ukraine.[4] Despite promises early in the war that they would not send tanks, eventually acquiesced to demands to supply Ukraine with Leopard and Leopard II tanks.[5]

Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced he would more than double Germany's military budget, putting it on track to become the third largest military in the world.[6] The German government banned displaying the Soviet flag, flown by the liberators during the Second World War, and allowed the use of the Ukrainian flag, which was only used by Nazi collaborators during the war.[7]

As a consequence of the sanctions regime against Russia, and particularly because of the country's refusal to buy relatively cheap Russian natural gas via pipelines and the 26 September Nord Stream explosion, the German economy has fallen into a prolonged economic stagnation and recession.[8] The German GDP was expected to shrink by 0.6% in 2023 as industry and private consumption remained muted due to high energy costs and interest rates.[9] One third of Germany's industrial companies are planning to, or are in the process of moving their facilities abroad.[10]

Economy[edit | edit source]

The vast amount of social programs in Germany are largely sustained off economic exploitation of less developed parts of Europe, with German finance capital having a large amount of influence over the European banking system, the eurozone, and the euro. Furthermore, the German economy, along with the other highly developed economies of Western Europe, are able to benefit greatly as a result of human capital flight from other areas in Europe, particularly the former Yugoslavia and Balkans,[11][12][13][14] which is one of the primary goals of the European Union, that being the unfettered transportation of capital.[15]

Politics[edit | edit source]

2019 German election: CDU (gray), Greens (green), SPD (red), and AfD (blue)

The far-right Alternative for Germany received 11% of the vote in the 2019 German elections, and is polling at 20% as of early 2024.[16]

Since 2015, the AfD has become openly racist and anti-Semitic and many of its leaders promote Nazi concepts. They also deny climate change[17] and are Germany's biggest supporters of Israel.[18]

Lack of democracy[edit | edit source]

Unlike the later formed DDR, the West German constitution was passed without ratification of citizens and a thorough denazification policy was not implemented.

Candidates for elections were chosen by rich bureaucrats, and write-in votes were not allowed. It was illegal to work with any organization connected to the GDR.[3]:122–3

Neo-Nazism[edit | edit source]

The majority of officials in the West German Justice Ministry were former members of the Nazi Party. 34 out of 170 officials had been members of the Sturmabteilung Nazi paramilitary. In 1957, there were more senior officials who were former Nazis than there had been during Hitler's rule. Between 1949 and 1980, 54% of interior ministry staffers had been Nazis and 8% had been in the Nazi Interior Ministry led by Heinrich Himmler.[19]

The neo-Nazi National Democratic Party of Germany was founded in 1964 and grew from 473 to 50,000 members in 1969. It held sixty seats in the legislatures of eight German states. In 1968, West Germany appointed General Albert Schnez to commander-and-chief of the Bundeswehr. Schnez had joined the Nazi Party in 1933 and was a colonel in the Nazi army.[20]

Infrastructure[edit | edit source]

Energy[edit | edit source]

The German economy is highly dependent on fossil fuel.[21] Renewable energy has plateaued in the last decade at 15% of total consumption.[22] Germany shut down its last nuclear power plant in 2023.[23]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

Culture[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Austin Murphy (2000). The Triumph of Evil: 'A Comparative Analysis of East and West German Financial Systems in Light of the New Evidence' (p. 154). [PDF] Fucecchio: European Press Academic Publishing. ISBN 8883980026
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bruni de la Motte, John Green (2015). Stasi State or Socialist Paradise?: 'A Difficult Birth - How the GDR Came About'. London: Artery Publications. [LG]
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Austin Murphy (2000). The Triumph of Evil: 'A Detailed Autopsy of the Collapse of the Superior System in the Divided Germany'. [PDF] Fucecchio: European Press Academic Publishing. ISBN 8883980026
  4. "Germany to spend billions on weapons for Ukraine – media" (2022-04-15). Russia Today. Archived from the original on 2023-07-23. Retrieved 2023-10-01.
  5. Adam Durbin (2023-03-28). "Ukraine war: Germany sends much-awaited Leopard tanks" BBC. Archived from the original on 2023-03-28. Retrieved 2023-10-01.
  6. Rob Schmitz (2022-03-17). "Germany is building what's expected to become Europe's largest military" NPR. Archived from the original on 2022-03-24. Retrieved 2022-05-08.
  7. Peter Schwarz (2023-05-12). "May 8 and the rehabilitation of Nazism in Germany" WSWS. Archived from the original on 2023-05-12.
  8. "Germany's economy mired in woes" (2023-09-29). People's Daily. Archived from the original on 2023-09-30. Retrieved 2023-10-01.
  9. Doloresz Katanich (2023-09-28). "The German GDP is shrinking by 0.6% this year" Euro News. Archived from the original on 2023-09-28. Retrieved 2023-10-27.
  10. "Germany's economy mired in woes" (2023-09-29). People's Daily Online. Archived from the original on 2023-09-30. Retrieved 2023-10-27.
  11. Satyajit Das (2012-6-7). "Germany and France can’t afford euro-zone bailout" MarketWatch. Retrieved 2022-7-2.
  12. Fred Goldstein (2015-3-15). "German imperialism and the Greek debt crisis" Workers World. Retrieved 2022-7-2.
  13. “Emigration from the Western Balkan Six (WB6) region has been significant for decades, generating a large diaspora. In 2020, more than one in five citizens born in the region lived abroad, predominantly in a handful of OECD countries. This trend is set to continue as more than one third of WB6 citizens surveyed in 2021 consider emigrating. While sustained high emigration levels, especially of young talents”

    [https://www.oecd.org/south-east-europe/programme/up-coming.htm "HIGH-LEVEL CONFERENCE ON SOUTH EAST EUROPE

    HUMAN CAPITAL FLIGHT - SHAPING THE FUTURE TOGETHER"] (2022-5-17). OECD. Retrieved 2022-7-2.

  14. "Human flight and brain drain in Europe" (2021). The Global Economy. Retrieved 2022-7-2.
  15. The EU single market. Archived from the original on 2007-9-1.
  16. "Voting intentions for the German parliament from the 2021 General Election to the 22nd of March 2024, by party" (2024-04-02). Statista. Archived from the original on 2024-04-11.
  17. Ellen Rivera, Marsha P. Davis (2019-07-22). "Dissecting Identity & Democracy: the EU’s new far-right super group" CovertAction Magazine. Archived from the original on 2020-09-21. Retrieved 2022-11-23.
  18. Raphael Ahren (2017-09-24). "Loathed by Jews, Germany’s far-right AfD loves the Jewish state" The Times of Israel. Archived from the original on 2023-11-28.
  19. "Report: Majority of West German Justice Ministry officials were ex-Nazis following WWII" (2016-10-11). The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 2021-09-20. Retrieved 2022-06-11.
  20. Herbert Aptheker (1969). Czechoslovakia and Counter-Revolution: 'The Question of West Germany' (pp. 12–13). New York City: New Outlook Publishers.
  21. "Germany - Country Commercial Guide" (2023-12-06). International Trade Administration. Archived from the original on 2024-04-04.
  22. "History of the German Energiewende". EnergyTransition. Archived from the original on 2023-12-04.
  23. "The nuclear phase-out in Germany". Federal Office for the Safety of Nuclear Waste Management. Archived from the original on 2024-04-17.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. From 1949 to 1962, this was 'Gott mit uns' ('God with us').
  2. From 1949 until unification in 1990, the capital city was Bonn. In 1990, as dictated by the Two plus Four Agreement, Berlin was made the capital; and in the following year, the Bundestag was moved there.