World War 2
German Language and Culture

How did Germany change after World War 2?



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Germany after WWII

This is an enormous topic. Here are some points.
  • At the end of WWII Germany suffered a devastating defeat. In addition to everything else it was politically and morally bankrupt.
  • Germany lost its eastern provinces - East Prussia, Silesia and most of Pommerania.

Most of the population, which was German, was brutally expelled to the Western Zones of Germany. The German-speaking population of the Sudetenland (in Bohemia and Moravia) was also expelled. An estimated 11.7 milion Germans were forcibly expelled, of whom at least 1 million perished.

  • Prussia was dissolved and there is no likelihood of its being restored.
  • As a result of the Cold War the country was split into East and West. Re-unification had to wait till 1990.
  • The West German economy enjoyed a period of spectacular growth from about 1950 onwards.
  • Democracy became firmly established in West Germany.
  • In West German (and later Germany as a whole) there have been notable attempts to "confront the past".