Germany: Historical Overview                                   

For more in depth history of Germany navigate your way through different time periods here (scroll to Germany and click the down arrow to start)!

1800-400 BC

During the late Bronze Age and the early Iron Age, Celtic people in the area become skilled metalworkers.


On August 10, 843, Eastern Francia was established from the division of the Carolingian Empire.


On February 2, 962, Otto I was crowned and recognized as the first Holy Roman Emperor.


January 18, 1871 was the establishment of the German Empire.


Germany was divided into four zones of occupation: UK, US, USSR and France following World War II.


With the advent of the Cold War, two German states were formed in 1949: the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The Federal Republic of Germany (FRG or West Germany) was proclaimed on May 23, 1949 and includes the former UK, US and French zones. The German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany) was proclaimed on October 7, 1949 and includes the former USSR zone. The democratic FRG embedded itself in key western economic and security organizations, the European Community, which became the European Union and NATO, while the communist GDR was on the front line of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact.


The decline of the USSR and the end of the Cold War allowed for German unification. West Germany and East Germany unified on October 3, 1990.


All four powers (UK, US, USSR and France) formally relinquished rights on March 15, 1991.


Germany expended considerable funds to bring eastern productivity and wages up to western standards. In January 1999, Germany and 10 other EU countries introduced a common European exchange currency called the euro.


Germany took in refugees, most of whom were fleeing violence in Syria. About 800,000 refugees arrived within a year. TIME magazine named Merkel its “Person of the Year.”