Soviet-backed Communists ruled East Germany, while democracy thrived in West Germany. In 1990, a few months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the East German government collapsed and Germany became one nation again. The country grew to become the world’s fourth largest economy and one of the most important players on the world stage. POST-WORLD WAR II INTERNATIONAL POLITICS When the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union planned to partition Germany into zones of occupation after World War II, the Soviets agreed to declare war against Japan. In return, the Americans and British bartered away Eastern Europe, leaving the Soviets—whose army was already there—to dominate those countries.

The Berlin Wall, cutting off the eastern part of the city from the west, in the Tiergarten district in 1988.

A section of the Berlin Wall that remains today.

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