(1)One of the most powerful nation in western Europe, as well as the most influential member in the European Union, Germany as we now know it was only formed in 1990, when East Germany and West Germany re-unified after the fall of the Berlin Wall. (2)Split after World War II into two separate countries, under two different political and economic systems-split, that is, into a socialist country and a capitalist country-Germany's emergence as a single nation reshaped the modern world and (3)merits close studied.
East Germany had been occupied by Soviet troops during World War II, meaning that it was reconstituted under a socialist regime (4)in the postwar Period. The United States, France, and the United Kingdom had occupied West Germany, installing capitalist modes of production as their portion of the former Third Reich rebuilt itself. Berlin, once the capitol city of the Reich, was split down its heart. (5)Armed guards patrolled the length of the now-infamous barrier between East and West Germany-this, of course, is the Berlin Wall.
In almost all aspects of life, East and West Germany underwent (6)drastics shifts during the rebuilding of the two nations. West Germany experienced what has since been called an (7)economic miracle: aid from NATO countries helped induce a boom, resulting in increased industrial production as well as exports and imports. (8)By contrast, the most significant changes in East Germany were not economic but political and social, and negative overall: (9)the day-to-day livings of East German citizens were stifled by a culture of surveillance and fear. (10)If they dared to dissent, those citizens arguing with official party politics were detained, tortured, and often killed by the Stasi, or state police.