On October 3, 1990, East Germany and West Germany united as a single nation. In 1945, after the defeat of Germany in World War II, the country was split into two nations: the German Democratic Republic in the East (a communist state dominated by the Soviet Union) and the Federal Republic of Germany in the West (a capitalist state aligned with the United States, Britain, and France). The reunification of Germany was one of the major events in the decline of Soviet-style communism at the end of the 20th century.

Today, Germany is a member of the European Community and the military alliance known as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). It is the most populous and economically productive country in Europe.

align
Verb

to put in a straight line.

alliance
Noun

people or groups united for a specific purpose.

decline
Verb

to reduce or go down in number.

military
Noun

armed forces.

Noun

political unit made of people who share a common territory.

NATO
Noun

North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Military alliance of 28 North American and European countries.

Soviet Union
Noun

(1922-1991) large northern Eurasian nation that had a communist government. Also called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or the USSR.

World War II
Noun

(1939-1945) armed conflict between the Allies (represented by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union) and the Axis (represented by Germany, Italy, and Japan.)

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