Germany is a liberal, stable democracy, but the country has a tumultuous history. In 2015 the country celebrated an important anniversary: 25 years of German unity. Between 1949 and 1990 the country was divided into the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic (GDR). This division was a consequence of the Second World War (1939-1945), which was started by the Nazis during the Third Reich (1933-1945). The later “peaceful revolution”, which is the name given to the people’s movement in the GDR, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 made reunification possible.
Germany lies at the heart of Europe and has nine adjoining states, more than any other country in Europe. A total of 81.2 million people live in Germany, making it the most populous country in the European Union. Germany is a federation and consists of 16 federal states. Berlin is its capital.