Germany/Federal Republic

West Germany which was officially known as the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), was a political entity formed during the Allied occupation of Germany after World War II. West Germany and West Berlin were part of the Western Bloc during the Cold War. It became a prominent economic powerhouse during the 1950s, laying the foundation for Germany's influential position today. East Germany dissolved and joined the Federal Republic of Germany in 1990, leading to the reunification of Germany. Before reunification, the country was divided between the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). 

The West German economic miracle began in 1950 and was sustained by various factors, including the currency reform of 1948, the Allied dismantling of the West German coal and steel industry in 1950, and the availability of skilled and cheap labor. Increased demand for consumer goods and the drop in Allied reparations also contributed to West Germany's economic growth, which eventually led to the country developing one of the strongest economies in the world. West Germany became part of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952 and joined NATO in 1955. By 1973, the country had the world's fourth-largest GDP. 

The Deutsche Mark or the German mark was the official currency of West Germany. It was first introduced in 1948 to replace the Reichsmark under Allied occupation and became the Federal Republic of Germany's official currency in 1949. On January 1, 1999, the Deutsche Mark was replaced by the euro, but coins and banknotes continued to be used until January 1, 2002. The Deutsche Mark was divided into 100 pfennigs and had four series of banknotes issued between 1948 and 1990.

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