Germany, Federal Republic of

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Germany, Federal Republic of


(FRG, Bundesrepublic Deutschland).

The Federal Republic of Germany is a Central European state bounded by the German Democratic Republic (GDR), Czechoslovakia, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, the North Sea, and the Baltic Sea. It includes the East and North Frisians, Helgoland, and Sanddüne Island in the North Sea and Fehmarn Island in the Baltic Sea. Area, 248,100 sq km. Population, 59.5 million (1976). The FRG is a federation of ten Länder, or states (see Table 1), with Bonn as its capital.

Table 1. Administrative-political divisions of the FRG
LandArea (sq km)Population (1975)Capital
Baden-Württemberg ...............35,7009,153,000Stuttgart
Bavaria (Bayern) ...............70,50010,810,000Munich (München)
Bremen ...............400717,000Bremen
Hamburg ...............8001,71,7,000Hamburg
Hesse (Hessen) ...............21,1005,550,000Wiesbaden
Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) ...............47,4007,239,000Hanover (Hannover)
North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen) ...............34,10017,130,000Düsseldorf
Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz) ...............19,8003,666,000Mainz
Saarland ...............2,6001,096,000Saarbrücken
Schleswig-Holstein ...............15,7002,582,000Kiel

The FRG is a federal republic composed of ten Länder. Its present constitution, called the Basic Law (Grundgesetz), was adopted in 1949. As of 1976, 67 of the Basic Law’s 146 articles had been fully or partially abrogated, supplemented, or modified, and 34 new articles had been included. The most important amendments dealt with the expansion of the powers of the central government and the introduction of emergency legislation. The head of state is the president, elected for a five-year term by a federal convention composed of the Bundestag and an equal number of members elected by the Länder parliaments. The president represents the country in international relations, concludes treaties with foreign powers, accredits ambassadors, appoints federal judges, and exercises the right of pardon.

The highest legislative body is a bicameral parliament comprising the Bundestag and the Bundesrat. The Bundestag, composed of 496 deputies elected for four-year terms, enacts legislation, elects the head of the federal government, and participates in the election of the president of the republic.

The Bundesrat, which represents the Länder, consists of 41 deputies, who are either members of the Länder governments or persons appointed by the governments. Each Land has from three to five seats in the Bundesrat, depending on the size of its population. The Bundesrat may delay the adoption of a law by demanding that a conciliation committee be formed to consider a bill that had been passed in the Bundestag. The Bundesrat may also protest a bill in the Federal Constitutional Court. All citizens who have attained the age of 18 years are eligible to vote.

Executive power is vested in the government (cabinet), headed by the federal chancellor, who is the leading figure in the constitutional mechanism of the FRG. The government coordinates and supervises the ministries, of which there were 16 in 1975. The ministries are headed by ministers, who are assisted by state secretaries. Parliamentary state secretaries, appointed by the president from among the deputies to the Bundestag, implement the ministers’ policies in the parliament. Each Land has its own constitution, an elected legislative body in the form of a unicameral Landtag (bicameral in Bavaria), and a government headed by a minister-president.

The judicial system consists of courts of general jurisdiction, as well as constitutional, administrative, finance, labor, social, and disciplinary courts. The Federal Constitutional Court is empowered to interpret the constitution, to resolve disputes between the federation and the Länder, and to determine the constitutionality of laws.

Coasts. The predominantly low and flat coasts of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea are broken by bays and estuaries. Along the North Sea coast stretches a band of Watten (mud flats) whose outer boundary is formed by the East and North Frisians.

TERRAIN. The country’s topography rises from north to south. The northern part of the FRG lies within the North German Plain, where traces of continental glaciation are clearly discernible, particularly in the northeast. The glacial landforms include moraine plains, outwash sand plains, and valleys formed by glacial runoff. In the northeast are found extensive moraine uplands and numerous lakes, part of the Baltic lake country. To the south, rolling foothills form a transition to the low and middle-elevation Central German Mountains (600–1,400 m) and to the uplands in the central part of the country, which were formed by Quaternary uplifts of eroded Hercynian structures. The central uplands include the Rhenish Slate Mountains (maximum elevation 880 m), the Weser Hills, the rolling upland and low mountains of Hesse, part of the Harz Mountains (rising to 1,142 m), the horst massifs of the Black Forest (maximum elevation 1,493 m), and the Odenwald, Spessart, and Haardt. Along the Czechoslovak border rise the Šumava Mountains (to 1,456 m) and the Bohemian Forest. To the west stretch the middle-elevation massifs of the Bavarian Forest, the Fichtelgebirge, and the Swabian-Franconian cuesta region with its numerous karst formations. The entire central part of the country has a diversified and fragmented topography, the flat crests of mountains contrasting sharply with the steep slopes.

In the south the Bavarian Plateau, descending from 600 m in the north to 300 m in the south, occupies the Alpine Foreland. Glacial aggradational landforms predominate on the plateau. The extreme south is occupied by the outer ranges of the Eastern Alps, whose highest peak, the Zugspitze, rises to 2,963 m. The ranges have glacial and karst landforms.


Geological structure and mineral resources. The central and northern parts of the FRG are composed of weakly metamorphosed Paleozoic, chiefly Variscan, rocks—shales, limestones, greywackes, and basic and acid extrusive rocks. These rocks were formed on a predominantly Upper Proterozoic foundation and were intruded by Devonian and Lower Carboniferous diabases, Upper Paleozoic granitoids, and Permian acid extrusive rocks. The platform mantle is composed of Permian sediments, chiefly evaporites, and by Mesozoic and Cenozoic sediments. The intensive fragmentation of the Epipaleozoic platform in the Mesozoic and especially in the Cenozoic was accompanied by the formation of deep grabens (Upper Rhenish Rift, Gifhorn Trough, and the Lower Rhenish Graben) and ridges (Rhenish Massif, part of the Bohemian Massif, and the Black Forest, Odenwald, and Spessart) and by alkaline basalt volcanism (Vogelsberg, Kaiserstuhl, and Siebengebirge).

Lying within the Mediterranean geosynclinal belt, the southern FRG is composed of Mesozoic limestone and flysch formations, which occur in the tectonic overthrust sheets of the Eastern Alps in Bavaria, and of Cenozoic molasse, in the Alpine Foreland.

One of the country’s principal mineral resources is coal. Most of the hard coal reserves of 230 billion tons are found in the Ruhr, Saar, and Aachen coal basins. Brown coal reserves total 70 billion tons; the largest coalfields are in the Lower Rhine Basin. Potash is mined in the vicinity of Hanover, where the deposit is a western continuation of the Stassfurt Salt Basin, and in the Werra-Fulda river basin. Reserves are estimated at 9 billion tons of K2O. The country’s petroleum reserves total 76.1 million tons. The deposits are located in the southern parts of the Central European Oil and Gas Basin and in the Rhine and Alpine basins. Iron ore deposits, with reserves of 1.9 billion tons, are found in Gifhorn, Salzgitter, and Siegerland. There are barite and zinc deposits at Meggen, lead deposits at Mechernich, and lead and zinc deposits at Rammelsberg and in the Ruhr. Other resources include fluorite and graphite, mined at Passau.


Climate. The country’s temperate climate varies from maritime to intermediate between maritime and continental. The prevailing westerly air currents, accompanied by cyclonic circulation, bring warm air and moisture from the Atlantic Ocean. In the mountains climatic conditions are affected by elevation and exposure. The mean January temperature, 0° to –1°C on the western and northwestern plains and –1° to –2°C in the northeast, increases to 2°–4°C on the Bavarian Plateau. In the upper parts of the Central German Mountains the mean January temperature is –4°C, and in the Alps it is –5°C or lower. The mean July temperature is 16°–17°C in the north and northwest, 18°–20°C in the valleys of the Rhine and its tributaries and in the Danube Valley, and 14°C or lower in the upper parts of the Central German Mountains and in the Alps.

The average annual precipitation, 600–700 mm in the plains and less than 500 mm in some intermontane basins, increases to 1,600–1,800 mm in the Harz Mountains and the Black Forest and exceeds 2,000 mm in some parts of the Alps. In the northwest the maximum precipitation occurs in the fall and the minimum in the spring. Further to the south the maximum precipitation coincides with summer and the minimum with winter. In the plains the snow cover is unstable and lasts about two weeks. In some parts of the Central German Mountains it lasts four or five months. In the Alps, at an elevation of 1,100 m, the slopes are covered with snow for six months. The highest peaks are snow capped.

Rivers and lakes. The FRG has a dense and ramified network of deep rivers, most of which drain into the North Sea. The main river, the Rhine, crosses the entire country from south to north. The lower reaches of the Elbe are located in the FRG, as are the Weser and Ems rivers. The southern regions lie within the Danube basin. The Alpine rivers, including the upper reaches of the Rhine and the right tributaries of the Danube, are fed mainly by snow and glaciers so that their flow is at its maximum in summer and at its minimum in winter. Torrential rains can cause the Alpine rivers, already swollen by snowmelt, to overflow their banks. Fed by snow and rain, the rivers that rise in the central uplands attain their maximum flow in late spring, although autumn rains frequently cause flooding. Most of the rivers of the northern plains, fed by rain, have high water in winter. Such large rivers as the Rhine have a complex regime. The flow of many rivers is regulated by reservoirs.

Most of the rivers do not freeze over in the winter. The many navigable rivers are connected by canals. The largest concentration of lakes is to be found in the regions of ancient glaciation: on the Bavarian Plateau and in the northeast in the Baltic lake country. On the Bavarian Plateau are Lake Constance (Bodensee, 538 sq km), Lake Chiem, Lake Starnberger, and Lake Ammer.

Soil. On the North German Plain podzolic soil, the most common type, alternates with peat-bog soil. Marsh soil is found along the North Sea coast, and brown forest soil occurs in the Baltic lake country and on the Bavarian Plateau. In the Central German Mountains the soil cover forms a mosaic pattern. Chernozems on loess are widely found in some intermontane and piedmont regions, especially in the southeast. Rendzina, a humusrich calcareous soil, is associated with outcrops of calcareous rock. The brown forest soil frequently found on mountain slopes and in the intermontane basins yields at higher elevations to podzolic and mountain-meadow soil with pockets of peat-bog soil. In the Alps the soil is likewise determined by elevation. Over much of the country the soil has been heavily cultivated for centuries.

Flora. About 30 percent of the country is covered with forests, most of them planted. The planted forests generally consist of one coniferous species, pine in the north and spruce in the central regions and the south. Natural forests, consisting chiefly of deciduous trees, have survived mainly in the mountains. The most densely forested areas are in the Rhenish uplands. Beech forests, generally small tracts, sometimes reach the timberline, but usually they give way at high elevations to fir and spruce. On lime-rich soil the beech trees are mixed with oak, hornbeam, maple, and linden. Floodplain forests of alder and poplar, with an admixture of ash, willow, and linden, have survived in places in the valleys of the Danube, Rhine, Elbe, and several other rivers. In the high Alps there are subalpine and alpine meadows with a great variety of plant species. Large peat bogs are found on the northern plains and on the Bavarian Plateau. In the northwest there are small tracts of heath with thickets of juniper, Genista, and other shrubs. Most of the meadows along the river valleys and in the marshes have also been planted.

Fauna. The wolves, lynx, and bears that once inhabited the forests have been largely exterminated. Game animals include the roe and red deer, wild boar, hare, fallow deer, chamois, mouflon, pheasant, and partridge. Also encountered are foxes, badgers, and hedgehogs. Birds include capercaillies, grouse, and woodcocks. There are various species of mouselike rodents. Colonies of water fowl nest along the seacoasts. Herring, cod, and mackerel are caught in the coastal waters. Small groups of seals have survived on the mud flats.

Protected territories. In 1976 the republic had 43 natural parks, including the Bergstrasse-Odenwald, Harz, and Palatinate Forest, and 35 preserves for the protection of characteristic flora and fauna and the natural landscape as a whole.

Natural regions. The North German Plain has level and hilly landscapes that have developed on ancient glacial and outwash deposits and that include open woodlands, vast peat bogs, and stretches of heath. In the south the plain is rimmed by a belt of fertile rolling loess plains broken by ravines. In the Central German Mountains and the central uplands, wooded uplands and mountains alternate with intermontane basins occupied by fields, orchards, and vineyards. The Alps are flysch and limestone ranges whose landscape is determined by elevation: deciduous and mixed forests yield at higher elevations to coniferous forests, alpine meadows, perennial snow, and glaciers.


Martonne, E. Tsentral’naia Evropa. Moscow, 1938. (Translated from French.)
Igritskaia, L. B. “Prirodnye usloviia.” In Germaniia. Moscow, 1959.
Rutten, M. G. Geologiia Zapadnoi Evropy. Moscow, 1972. (Translated from English.)
Mestorozhdeniia nefti i gaza Severo-Zapadnoevropeiskoi neftegazonosnoiprovintsii. Moscow, 1975.
Findeisen, C, and G. Findeisen. Physische Geographie von Deutschland, 2nd ed. Berlin, 1957.
Gellert, J. F. Grundzüge der physischen Geographie von Deutschland, vol. 1. Berlin, 1958.
Woldstedt, P., and K. Duphorn. Norddeutschland und angrenzende Gebiete im Eiszeitalter. Stuttgart, 1974.
Karrenberg, H., et al. “Die Karbon-Ablagerungen in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland: Eine Übersicht.” In Fortschritte in der Geologie von Rheinland und Westfalen, 1971, vol. 19.

The FRG is nationally homogeneous, with Germans accounting for more than 94 percent of the population. There are large groups of immigrants, mostly from southern Europe. The official language is German. About 49 percent of the inhabitants are Protestants, predominantly Lutherans, and roughly 45 percent are Roman Catholics, most of whom live in the south. The Gregorian Calendar is used.

In the first postwar years (1946–50) the population increase in the FRG was largely due to the influx of immigrants. In subsequent years foreign workers accounted for most of the population growth. Since the early 1970’s the natural increase has been relatively low; in some years there has actually been a net population loss, owing to the distorted age structure of the population, a legacy of the war years. A low marriage rate has reduced the birth rate, which in turn has led to an aging of the population. The proportion of persons over 60 rose from 17 percent in the late 1950’s to 20 percent in 1974. The rise in the proportion of older people has caused an increase in the mortality rate. Between 1959 and 1964 the annual birth rate averaged 17 and the mortality rate 11; in 1975 the figures were 9.7 and 12.1, respectively.

Immigration and emigration, involving some 600,000 persons annually, affect mainly temporary residents. In 1975 the country had more than 4 million temporary residents, chiefly foreign workers and their families. Most of the workers came from Turkey, Yugoslavia, Italy, Greece, Spain, and Austria.

The average population density is 241 persons per sq km, but regional variations are considerable, ranging from 50–70 persons in the northern part of Lower Saxony and in the mountains to 1,000 persons or more in the Ruhr. Urbanization has accentuated the differences in population density. Some 88 percent of the country’s inhabitants are urban dwellers, defined as residents of communities with a population of more than 2,000. About one-third of the townspeople live in cities with a population of more than 500,000—Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Essen, Frankfurt am Main, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Bremen, Nuremberg, and Hanover. The largest conurbations are those of the Rhine-Ruhr (population 10 million), the Rhine-Main (2.5 million), and Stuttgart (about 2 million).

The country had a labor force of 26.9 million in 1975. A breakdown of the work force by occupation reveals a steady growth in the number of people employed in the nonproduction sphere. In 1975 industry, including construction and crafts, employed 45.8 percent of the labor force (compared to 42.2 percent in 1950). That year, agriculture, including forestry, hunting, and fishing, accounted for 6.6 percent of the gainfully employed (23.2 percent in 1950), transportation and communications for 5.8 percent (5.9 percent), trade and finance for 14.9 percent (9.6 percent), and the service sphere, the state bureaucracy, education, and public health for 26.1 percent (19.9 percent). In 1974 wage earners made up 86 percent of the labor force, compared to 70.8 percent in 1950. The majority of the country’s proprietors and self-employed—artisans, tradesmen, and small and middle peasants—belong to the urban and rural petite bourgeoisie. The big bourgeoisie accounts for about 1.7 percent of the economically active population.

The FRG was formed from the territory of the American, British, and French occupation zones in Germany as a result of the partition of Germany and the sabotage of the Potsdam Conference, the policy pursued after World War II by the Western powers with the support of the monopolistic circles among the West German bourgeoisie.

The decision to set up a separate West German state was adopted at the London Conference, convened in February-March and April-June 1948 by six Western powers: the USA, Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. A currency reform was carried out in West Germany on June 20, and on July 1 the American, British, and French military governors instructed the minister-presidents of the West German Länder to prepare for the convocation of a constituent assembly and for the drafting of a constitution for the future FRG. In August 1948 a group of experts drew up a draft of the Basic Law, which was submitted to a parliamentary council composed of 65 representatives of the West German Länder. In May 1949 the council adopted the constitution of the West German state, which was confirmed, with a few qualifications, by the American, British, and French military governors and promulgated on May 23, 1949.

The first elections to the Bundestag were held in West Germany in August 1949. On September 7 the Bundestag met in Bonn to elect a president jointly with representatives of the Länder and to form a government. The first president of the FRG was Theodor Heuss, a member of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), which had been founded in 1948. A coalition government was formed, composed of members of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the affiliated Christian Social Union (CSU), both founded in 1945, the Free Democratic Party, and the German Party (GP), organized in 1946. (In 1961 the German Party merged with the All-German Bloc, founded in 1949, to form the All-German Party). The coalition government was headed by K. Adenauer of the Christian Democratic Union, who formed a cabinet on Sept. 20, 1949.

The formation of the FRG created the constitutional and political basis for the restoration and strengthening of the German monopolies. Among the largest firms and banks to be reestablished were Krupp, Thyssen, Haniel, Mannesmann, Klöckner, Hoesch, I. G. Farben (divided into several successor companies, three of them giant ones), and the “big three”—the Deutsche Bank, the Dresdner Bank, and the Commerzbank.

A rapid economic recovery followed, aided by American grants and credits (West Germany was included in the Marshall Plan in early 1948) and by the mobilization of domestic resources. The gross industrial output approached the 1936 level in late 1949, reaching the prewar level a year later. Among the most rapidly developing industries were machine building, instrument-making, and optics. The industrial revival was accomplished through the infusion of large capital investments and by maintaining a relatively low level of public consumption and simultaneously stimulating savings. Two other factors that contributed to industrial growth were the availability of large reserves of highly skilled workers (10.3 percent of the labor force was unemployed in 1949) and small direct military expenditures.

The country’s industrial output increased by 25.8 percent in 1950 and by 18 percent in 1951. The next year exports exceeded imports, and thereafter the FRG enjoyed an increasingly favorable balance of trade. Between 1954 and 1956 the industrial output increased by 39 percent. In 1954 eight firms owned 72 percent of the production capacity of the entire metallurgical industry; 15 monopoly groups accounted for 82 percent of West Germany’s coal output; and the AEG and Siemens monopolies controlled 75 percent of the fixed capital of the electrical engineering industry. In late 1953 enterprises employing 500 or more persons accounted for 2.3 percent of all industrial enterprises, but they employed 49.2 percent of the country’s industrial workers and accounted for about half of its industrial output.

While strengthening the dominant position of monopoly capital, the Adenauer government tried to suppress the country’s democratic forces. In November 1951 it instituted legal proceedings aimed at outlawing the Communist Party of Germany. Numerous democratic organizations were persecuted, among them the Free German Youth League, the Democratic Women’s League, the Kulturbund, and the Peace Committee. “Politically unreliable” citizens were dismissed from the state bureaucracy, which was inundated with former Nazis and with officers, civil servants, and judges of the Third Reich. Numerous extreme right-wing parties and organizations were revived.

The foreign policy of the West German ruling circles aimed at a reversal of the consequences of World War II, to be achieved through a close alliance with the Western powers, primarily the USA. The policy became an integral part of the basic political documents and juridical normative acts of the FRG. The Basic Law described the Federal Republic as the state of a “transition period” created on behalf of “all Germans.” Article 23 envisaged the inclusion of the remaining parts of Germany. Supported by the Western powers, the FRG government claimed jurisdiction over all Germans (art. 116) regardless of their actual citizenship. It refused to recognize the postwar borders in Europe and officially aspired to extend the boundary of the FRG to the Jan. 1, 1937, borders of the Third Reich. The FRG aimed at nothing less than the abolition of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the annexation of West Berlin, and it laid claim to territories within the USSR and the Polish People’s Republic. This policy was supported not only by all the bourgeois parties represented in the Bundestag but essentially also by the opposition party of that time, the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SDPG), founded as a West German political party in 1946.

The occupation regime was not immediately abolished, and the West German government bodies initially exercised their right of self-government under the supervision of the allied High Commission. From the standpoint of international law, the FRG did not have full legal capacity; it could neither maintain foreign missions nor join international organizations. The occupation authorities retained the right to interfere in the country’s domestic affairs and to supervise industrial production.

Gradually, however, the occupation regime was relaxed. Under the Petersberg Agreement of Nov. 22, 1949, the Western powers pledged to stop dismantling war industry enterprises. At the New York conference of foreign ministers of the Western powers, held in September 1950, several restrictions were removed on shipbuilding, navigation, chemical production, and scientific research. The FRG was permitted to create large police units. The republic became a member of the Council of Europe on Aug. 7, 1950, and of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) on Apr. 18, 1951. In 1952 representatives of the USA, Great Britain, France, and the FRG, meeting in Bonn, signed the Bonn Convention, which proclaimed the sovereignty of the FRG and the termination of the occupation regime. The Treaty of Paris, signed on May 27, 1952, provided for the establishment of the European Defense Community, a military alliance of the six member states of the ECSC.

The signing of these treaties, which opened the way for the remilitarization of the FRG, provoked a wave of popular protest within and outside the country. Mass demonstrations were held in Munich, Nuremberg, Darmstadt, and several other cities. By late 1952, 15 million persons in the FRG had come out against the Bonn Convention and the militarization of the country. The West German workers’ demonstrations of 1952, including strikes by Hamburg dockers and municipal transport workers and by Ruhr miners and steelworkers, reflected the struggle for better living conditions. In the course of the struggle, the workers managed to wrest several concessions from the employers and the government, principally with regard to social legislation.

In May 1953 the Bonn Convention and the Treaty of Paris were ratified by a majority vote. However, since the French National Assembly refused on Aug. 30, 1953, to ratify the Treaty of Paris, the system agreed upon in Paris and Bonn was modified. The subsequent Paris Agreements, signed in 1954, permitted the FRG to join NATO and the Western European Union.

Mass demonstrations protesting the FRG’s participation in the groupings of the Western powers continued throughout 1954 and 1955. They involved the trade unions, Social Democrats, Communists, and representatives of diverse social strata. Some 70 percent of the strikes of those years took place under the slogan of opposition to the Paris Agreements. In the fall of 1954, conferences held by industrial trade unions and a federal trade union conference denounced remilitarization in any form. The Third Congress of the German Federation of Trade Unions, held in October 1954, declared its opposition to the armament of the FRG. At a meeting called by the Central Board of the Social Democratic Party on Jan. 29, 1955, in Frankfurt am Main, the party adopted the German Manifesto, which appealed to the people to resist the country’s involvement in Western military alliances. Although the Social Democratic leaders opposed the Paris Agreements in the Bundestag, they decided to stop collecting signatures for the German Manifesto after the Bundestag ratified the agreements on Feb. 27, 1955.

The ratification of the Paris Agreements and the FRG’s entry into NATO on May 9, 1955, were followed by a rapid revival of war industries, a strengthening of the political and economic positions of the FRG in capitalist Europe, and a broad expansion of foreign trade. In international affairs, the FRG sought to make a show of strength in its relations with the USSR and the other socialist states. In 1961 the FRG had the second largest industrial output in the capitalist world (it ranked third in the early 1970’s, after the USA and Japan). Its active trade balance amounted to 6 billion marks in 1963, and its gold reserves, exceeding 7 billion, were surpassed only by those of the USA in the capitalist world. From 1957 to 1966 the FRG’s direct capital investments in Latin America rose from 514 million marks to 1,615,000,000 marks; in Africa, from 93 million to 565 million marks; and in Asia, from 76 million to 314 million marks.

Concurrently, foreign capital investments in the economy of the FRG increased. The largest investor, the USA, contributed about 34 percent of all foreign capital investments. The Netherlands accounted for 17 percent, Sweden for 16 percent, Great Britain for 10 percent, and France for 7 percent. Relying on its economic strength, the FRG took a dominant position among the USA’s European allies, particularly in the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community, both founded in 1957–58. The FRG used the idea of European integration to pursue a revanchist foreign policy.

Despite the opposition of the Social Democrats, trade unions, and youth organizations, the Bundestag on July 7, 1956, adopted a law establishing universal military service. By late 1966 the country’s regular army totaled some 468,000 men. The FRG began to play an increasingly prominent role in NATO, its generals and officers holding several key posts in the command echelons of the alliance. The production of armaments expanded, and by 1967 the war industry was supplying about 65 percent of the Bun-deswehr’s matériel. The Western powers gradually eased the restrictions on the production of war materiel that had been stipulated in the Paris Agreements. Thus, in 1958 production of antitank rockets was permitted, and in 1959 restrictions on the tonnage of warships were revised. Under the Hassel-McNamara agreement (1964) the USA pledged to sell annually to the republic American armaments worth $675 million and to provide information on the use of atomic weapons. On Mar. 25, 1958, the Bundestag adopted a decision to arm the Bundeswehr with nuclear missiles. In trying to obtain these weapons, the West German government began pressing for the formation of “multilateral,” or European, forces armed with nuclear weapons. Simultaneously, the republic embarked on the development of a nuclear energy industry.

The second half of the 1950’s saw an intensification of the class struggle in the FRG, caused by rising prices and taxes and a decline in the growth of output in several branches of industry, including coal mining, metallurgy, and shipbuilding. In February and March 1958 there were prolonged strikes in Lower Saxony, Bremen, and Hesse. The Ruhr was also affected by a large-scale strike movement. A public outcry against “atomic death” was provoked by the policy of arming the Bundeswehr with atomic weapons.

The ruling circles responded to the public demonstrations with new repressions. More than 200 democratic organizations were banned between 1951 and 1958, and the Communist Party was outlawed in 1956. In 1958, the government drafted “emergency laws” providing for the establishment of a dictatorship and the suspension of democratic freedoms in a time of crisis. Extreme right-wing and nationalist forces stepped up their activity. The neo-Nazi National Democratic Party was founded in November 1964, and from 1966 to 1968 it sent deputies to the Landtage of Hesse, Bavaria, Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, Rhine-land-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, and Bremen. In subsequent elections the party lost all its seats.

Despite its appeals for a normalization of relations with the socialist countries (Seventh Congress, July 1956), its opposition to the arming of the Bundeswehr with nuclear weapons, its advocacy of a nuclear-free zone in Europe and European security (Eighth Congress, May 1958), and its demand for recognition of and negotiations with the GDR (SDPG Plan on the German Question, March 1959), the Social Democratic Party embarked on a policy of cooperation with the Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union. The victory of this policy coincided with the party’s ideological evolution toward a definitive break with Marxism. The party’s new ideological outlook was stated in the Fundamental Program of the SDPG, adopted on Nov. 15, 1959, at an extraordinary party congress held in Bad Godesberg.

On the proposal of the Soviet government, diplomatic relations between the USSR and the FRG were established in September 1955 after a visit to Moscow by a West German government delegation headed by Chancellor Adenauer. Nevertheless, a true normalization of relations could not be achieved because of the unwillingness of the FRG leadership to accept the consequences of World War II and to come to terms with European realities. The FRG government rejected all proposals for a normalization of relations with the GDR, sought to thwart socialist construction in the GDR, and tried to infringe on the rights of the GDR in international affairs. In late 1955 it proclaimed the Hall-stein Doctrine, according to which recognition of the GDR by other states would be considered an unfriendly act toward the FRG. In accordance with this doctrine the FRG broke off diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia in 1957 (restored in 1968) and with Cuba in 1963 (restored in 1975). The FRG made illegal claims to West Berlin, using its territory for economic and political sabotage in the GDR, and it rejected proposals for ensuring security in Europe. The establishment of effective border supervision in Berlin by the GDR government on Aug. 13, 1961, dealt a heavy blow to the plans of the ruling circles of the FRG. In October 1963, when it was becoming increasingly apparent that his political course was leading to an impasse, Adenauer resigned. He was replaced by L. Erhard of the Christian Democratic Union.

In late 1965 the symptoms of economic difficulties became more alarming. Economic growth virtually ceased in 1966, and output declined the next year. Friction arose in Erhard’s coalition government of Christian Democrats and Free Democrats, and the government fell in October 1966. A “grand coalition” government of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats was formed on Dec. 1, 1966, under the leadership of K. G. Kiesinger, a Christian Democrat. W. Brandt, chairman of the Social Democratic Party, became minister of foreign affairs. The political course followed by the FRG remained essentially unchanged, however, and the country was heading for political isolation even among its allies. In the September 1969 elections to the Bundestag the Christian Democrats were defeated. In October a coalition cabinet of Social Democrats and Free Democrats was formed under the leadership of Brandt, who announced a policy of “continuity and renewal.”

On Nov. 28, 1969, the FRG signed the Nuclear Nonprolifera-tion Treaty. It accepted the Soviet Union’s proposal to conduct negotiations, which ended on Aug. 12, 1970, with the signing of a Soviet-West German treaty in Moscow. Under the treaty the parties agreed to observe strictly the territorial integrity of all the European states and the inviolability of their frontiers, including the western frontier of the Polish People’s Republic along the Oder-Neisse line and the border between the FRG and the GDR. The parties pledged to solve disputes between them through peaceful means and to refrain from the threat or use of force. In the course of the negotiations an accord was reached on a number of pressing problems concerning the strengthening of peace in Europe. The FRG government pledged to conduct its relations with the GDR on the basis of complete equality and respect for the independence and autonomy of each state in domestic matters, and it announced its willingness to promote the entry of the GDR and the FRG into the UN. Both states were admitted to the UN in September 1973. It was agreed that problems relating to the invalidity of the Munich Pact (1938) would be settled between the FRG and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in a manner acceptable to both parties. On Dec. 7, 1970, the FRG and the Polish People’s Republic signed a treaty whose main provision was the recognition of Poland’s western frontiers.

The Christian Democrats opposed the treaties with the USSR and the Polish People’s Republic and tried to prevent their ratification in the Bundestag. The four-power agreement on West Berlin that was signed by the USSR, the USA, Great Britain, and France on Sept. 3, 1971, strengthened the position of the supporters of the treaties in the FRG. The meeting between L. I. Brezhnev, general secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, and Chancellor Brandt in the Crimea on Sept. 16–17, 1971, was a landmark in the development of relations between the USSR and the FRG. On May 17, 1972, the Bundestag ratified the treaties with the USSR and Poland, and in August representatives of the GDR and the FRG began drafting a treaty that would normalize relations between the two countries.

The bitter political struggle over the treaties with the socialist countries temporarily cost the coalition of Social Democrats and Free Democrats its majority in the Bundestag. New elections, held on Nov. 19, 1972, ahead of schedule, brought victory to the ruling coalition, the Social Democrats polling 45.8 percent of the votes and the Free Democrats 8.4 percent. The weakened position of the Christian Democrats attested to a broad base of support for the new political course. A treaty signed by the GDR and the FRG in Berlin on Dec. 21, 1972, stated that relations between the two countries would be governed by the generally accepted norms of international law. A treaty between Czechoslovakia and the FRG, signed on Dec. 11, 1973, paved the way for the establishment of normal relations between the two countries. Another milestone in Soviet-West German relations was Brezhnev’s visit to the FRG on May 18–22, 1973. During the visit new avenues of cooperation were discussed, and several agreements expanding the scope of cooperation were signed.

Meanwhile, the reactionary forces grouped around the Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union sought to undermine the coalition and to revive the earlier nationalist, essentially revanchist, political goals by playing on the anticommunist and nationalist feelings that continued to poison the consciousness of some of the country’s inhabitants. Nor was the policy of the governing parties free of these trends. In July 1973 the Federal Constitutional Court, acting on a petition of the Bavarian Land government (CSU), gave an interpretation of the treaty between the GDR and the FRG that distorted its meaning. The court’s decision bespoke a desire to justify the restoration of the German Reich, to interfere in the domestic affairs of the GDR, and to include West Berlin in the FRG. The government of the FRG concurred with the decision. In domestic affairs it continued, with some variations, to persecute left-wing groups for their political convictions on the basis of the “bans on occupations” decree issued in 1972 by the minister-presidents of the Länder.

In May 1974, Brandt resigned as chancellor but remained chairman of the Social Democratic Party. H. Schmidt, the Social Democrat elected to head the coalition government, announced his intention to continue the policy of his predecessor. At the same time, the new government emphasized its intention to give priority to developing relations with the West, strengthening NATO, and speeding up European integration. Under the Schmidt government the Bundeswehr increased to 500,000 men. The FRG’s military expenditures per capita of population far exceeded those of the other NATO countries, except for the USA.

The crisis that gripped the economies of the capitalist countries in 1973 also affected the FRG, where output declined and unemployment rose. Nevertheless, the West German economy suffered less than the economies of the other Western countries. The West German ruling circles took advantage of this circumstance to strengthen their position in NATO and in the European Economic Community at the expense of their European allies. In 1975–76 the FRG accounted for about 46 percent of the industrial output of the EEC. In volume of foreign trade it was surpassed in the capitalist world only by the USA. Its gold and currency reserves exceeded 80 billion West German marks.

In October 1974, Schmidt paid an official visit to the Soviet Union. In the course of the negotiations it was reaffirmed that the treaty signed in Moscow in 1970 would continue to serve as a reliable basis for improving relations between the two countries and would be consistently implemented. The visit of W. Scheel, president of the FRG, to the USSR in November 1975 was the first visit of a West German head of state in the history of Soviet-West German relations. The relaxation of international tension, reflected in the signing of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe by 35 states, has created favorable conditions for the further development of contacts between the USSR and the FRG despite the obstructions of opponents of deténte within the FRG.

Although the Christian Democrats took some seats from the coalition of Social Democrats and Free Democrats in the October 1976 elections to the Bundestag, the governing coalition retained the majority necessary to form a government.


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The Social Democratic Party of Germany (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands) was founded as a West German political party in 1946. A member of the Socialist International, the party had about 1 million members in 1977. The Free Democratic Party (Freie Demokratische Partei), founded in 1948, draws its support from the big and middle bourgeoisie and the higher strata of the intelligentsia. It had about 78,000 members in 1977. The Christian Democratic Union (Christlich-Demokratische Union) was founded in the British and American occupation zones in 1945 and became a unified West German party in 1950. It represents the interests of the West German monopolies and is supported by the churches, especially by the Catholic Church. The party had a membership of 645,000 in 1977. The Christian Social Union (Christlich-Soziale Union), founded in 1945, operates in Bavaria as an affiliate of the CDU. Although the two parties form a fraction in the Bundestag, the CSU has some autonomy in matters of organization and generally takes positions somewhat to the right of the CDU. It had 131,000 members in 1977. The National Democratic Party (National-demokratische Partei Deutschlands), founded in 1964, is a neo-Nazi party numbering some 14,000 members in 1977.

The Communist Party of Germany (Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands) was formed as a West German political party in 1948 and was outlawed in 1956. The German Communist Party (Deutsche Kommunistische Partei), founded in 1968, is the legal Communist party of the FRG. It had about 40,000 members in 1977. The German Federation of Trade Unions, founded in 1949, unites 16 industrial unions with a total membership of about 7.4 million in 1977. It belongs to the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.

There are several dozen revanchist leagues and associations in the FRG. The largest of them, the Union of Expellees, was founded in 1958. In 1976 its 23 regional chapters had about 2.5 million members. The union sponsors a youth organization called German Youth of the East. There are also more than a thousand soldiers’ leagues.

General characteristics. A highly developed capitalist country, the FRG accounted for about 9 percent of the industrial output of the capitalist world in 1975. Its gross national product and industrial output are surpassed only by those of the USA and Japan in the capitalist world, and its per capita national income, amounting to $3,270 at the official exchange rate in 1973, is one of the highest in the capitalist world. In 1976 industry accounted for 95 percent of the country’s combined industrial and agricultural output. The economy of the FRG is dependent on foreign markets, a factor that strongly affects business trends and many other processes within the country. There is a high and steadily growing concentration of production and capital. More than 60 percent of the industrial output is produced by large or giant enterprises employing more than 500 persons. In 1975 joint-stock companies with a capital of 100 million marks or more accounted for 7 percent of the country’s joint-stock companies but owned 69 percent of all the joint-stock capital. The corresponding figures for 1954 are 1.3 percent and 32.1 percent.

Private monopoly associations, called concerns, dominate the economy. The largest concerns are Ruhrkole AG in the coal industry; Thyssen, Krupp, Hoesch, Mannesmann, Klöckner, and Gutehoffnungshütte in metallurgy, heavy machine building, and the coke-oven industry; the successor companies of I. G. Farben (Bayer AG, BASF, and Hoechst) in the chemical industry; and Siemens, AEG-Telefunken, and Bosch in electrical engineering and electronics. In banking, the “big three”—Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank, and Commerzbank—account for more than half of the available credits. The leading insurance concern is Allianz.

State-monopoly capitalism is more highly developed in the FRG than in most of the advanced capitalist countries. In 1972 state expenditures accounted for 39.3 percent of the national income. The state tries to mitigate economic crises, inflation, and unemployment through a credit policy, development programs in various branches of the economy, and programs for improving the economy of “depressed areas.” In the late 1960’s enterprises in the state sector employed 8.7 percent of the country’s manual workers and office employees, including 2.2 percent of all industrial workers. The greatest proportion of state ownership may be found in the infrastructure (transportation and communications), mining and energy, nonferrous metallurgy, including the production of aluminum (76 percent) and of lead and zinc (about two-fifths), iron-ore mining (46 percent), electricity generation (more than half), brown-coal mining, and the construction and operation of nuclear power plants. A large amount of state capital has been invested in the automobile industry, in which state-owned factories produce 42 percent of the total output, in the shipbuilding industry, and in the credit system, with the state providing half of all the credits. The major state concerns and mixed concerns (those in which the state participates) are Volkswagenwerk, RWE, Veba, and Salzgitter.

Table 2. Structure of industry according to the net output of various branches1 (in percent)
1Excluding handicrafts
All industry ...............100100100
Mining ...............8.153.412.79
Coal ...............5.992.752.09
Ore ...............0.400.060.05
Potash and rock salt ...............0.420.210.19
Oil and gas ...............0.270.340.41
Manufacturing ...............84.8387.1386.42
Primary and partially processed raw materials ...............23.4026.3627.48
Ferrous metals ...............5.895.895.98
Nonferrous metals ...............1.311.151.16
Chemicals ...............9.449.5611.21
Oil refining ...............0.563.463.17
Sawmilling and woodworking ...............1.510.730.75
Pulp and paper production ...............1.440.850.91
Metalworking and machine building ...............23.1836.0534.62
General machine building ...............7.4710.039.12
Motor vehicles, motorcycles, and other means of ground transportation ...............3.476.815.89
Shipbuilding ...............0.450.620.63
Electrical engineering ...............4.499.069.96
Precision mechanics and optics ...............1.081.301.13
Hardware ...............3.364.073.82
Office equipment and computers ...............0.730.84
Consumer goods ...............21.6815.7015.15
Wood products ...............
Printing ...............1.972.382.24
Plastic goods ...............0.341.572.04
Leather goods and footware ...............2.070.950.65
Textiles ...............10.223.733.42
Clothing ...............2.412.121.75
Food and condiments ...............16.579.029.19
Energy ...............4.524.586.23
Construction ...............2.504.884.57

The military-industrial complex plays an important role in the development of state-monopoly capitalism. Military expenditures, including indirect ones, constitute the largest single item of expenditure in the state budget. More than 1,000 enterprises are involved in the production of military materiel, including almost all the giant concerns in heavy industry. The Flick concern, for example, produces tanks; Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm, aircraft missiles; Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, warships; Siemens and AEG-Telefunken, electronic military equipment; and Bayer, BASF, and Hoechst, war chemicals.

Foreign capital plays a significant role in the country’s economy. In 1976 more than 10,000 foreign firms with a total nominal capital of more than 44.3 billion marks were operating in the FRG. The largest foreign investor was the USA, which accounted for 39.5 percent of all the direct foreign investments. Switzerland and Liechtenstein contributed 15.8 percent; the Netherlands, 12.9 percent; Great Britain, 9.8 percent; France, 5.5 percent; and Belgium and Luxembourg, 5.5 percent. In 1970 multinational monopolies controlled 70 percent of the oil refining capacity, 80 percent of the production of computers, 40 percent of the manufacture of motor vehicles, and from 10 percent to 40 percent of the output of the chemical, machine-building, and glass industries.

The high growth rate of industrial output prior to the mid-1960’s, when it averaged 9.2 percent despite annual fluctuations and frequent crises in some branches, was achieved by eliminating the consequences of World War II through reconstruction and by embarking on a scientific and technological revolution and on European economic integration. The FRG took a leading place in the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), and especially the European Economic Community (EEC). After the mid-1960’s the economic situation became unstable. The rising cost of raw materials and labor and the saturation of the market precipitated a “structural crisis” in the economy that had painful consequences for several branches of the economy and some population groups and created unemployment. During the country’s first economic crisis, which lasted from the middle of 1966 to the fall of 1967, the industrial output dropped by almost 2.8 percent. During the second crisis, which began in late 1973, output declined further, falling by 1.4 percent in 1974 and by 6.3 percent in 1975. In 1976 the crisis gave way to cyclical upswings, and the industrial output increased by 6.7 percent. In January 1977 some 1.25 million persons were unemployed, compared to 149,000 in 1970, and 300,000 persons were partially unemployed. Prices rose by 6 percent in 1975, and rents increased by 25.3 percent between 1971 and 1974. The purchasing power of the West German mark decreased by about half from 1950 to 1975.

Industry. The most rapidly developing branches of industry are those that are directly related to scientific and technological progress. In 1973 the index of overall industrial output was 481 percent (1950 = 100). The highest indexes were in the electrical engineering industry (1,140 percent), the automobile industry (1,095 percent), and the chemical industry (1,000.2 percent). In the textile industry the index was 309.7 percent; in ferrous metallurgy, 376 percent; in the food and condiments industry, 376.5 percent; and in general machine building, 429.5 percent. The share of new and old branches in industrial production changed correspondingly (see Table 2). In 1974 the means of production accounted for 76 percent of the industrial output, up from 62 percent in 1950, and consumer goods and foodstuffs for 24 percent, compared to 38 percent in 1950.

Table 3. Changes in the consumption of primary energy (in percent)
Hard coal ...............71.359.429.919.3
Brown coal ...............18.514.99.210.0
Oil ...............5.121.752.652.1
Natural gas ...............
Wood and peat ...............
Atomic power ...............0.62.1
Water power ...............

MINING. The FRG has many types of mineral resources, but their reserves are not equally valuable. The most important branches of the mining industry are coal mining and the mining of potash and rock salt. Also extracted are oil, iron ore, lead, zinc, copper, fluorspar, and natural gas. The share of West Germany’s mining industry in the overall structure of industry is steadily declining, a trend characteristic of other developed capitalist countries. The decline of mining also reflects the “structural crisis” in the country’s economy, particularly the decreasing output of iron ore and hard coal.

The centers of hard-coal mining are the Ruhr, which accounts for more than 80 percent of the country’s output, and the Aachen and Saar basins. Most of the Ruhr coal is used to fuel heat and power plants and to make coke; more than 90 percent of the country’s coke output is derived from Ruhr coal. The FRG is the leading producer of brown coal among the capitalist countries. The Lower Rhine (Cologne) Basin yields 80 percent of the country’s brown coal. The remainder is obtained from Lower Saxony (around Helmstedt), Hesse (Kassel), and Bavaria (Schwandorf). The growing use of oil and gas, the introduction of new types of energy, and other factors have contributed to a decline in the use of coal as a fuel. The number of coal mines declined from 154 in 1957 to 53 in 1973. The Ruhr concerns placed the coal mines under the management of Ruhrkohle AG.

The three major petroleum and gas basins are the Northern Basin, the Upper Rhine Basin, and the Cis-Alpine Basin. The Northern Basin, which yields 90 percent of the country’s oil output and most of its gas output, comprises the Weser-Elbe field and the more important Emsland and Ems-Weser fields. Domestic oil meets about 6 percent of the country’s requirement. Some 100 million tons of oil are imported annually from the Near East, North Africa, South America, and the USSR. The oil-refining industry developed rapidly between the 1950’s and the 1970’s. The capacity of the country’s oil refineries increased by a factor of almost 30 between 1950 and 1976, from 5.2 million tons to 155.1 million tons. Most of the refineries are owned by foreign, mainly American and Anglo-Dutch, capital. Before the war Hamburg was the principal oil-refining center. Since the war, two major oil-refining regions have emerged, the Rhenish and the Southern. In the Rhenish Region, encompassing the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia, the largest refineries are at Gelsenkirchen, Dinslaken, Cologne, and Wesseling; in the Southern Region, which includes the Land of Bavaria and the Land of Baden-Württemberg, most of the refining is done at Ingolstadt and Karlsruhe. Neither does domestic gas production meet the country’s needs. The FRG’s gas imports from the Netherlands, the USSR, and the Norwegian sector of the North Sea came to 25 billion cu m in 1975. Most of the domestic gas is extracted in the Ems-Weser interfluve and along the North Sea coast, near the mouth of the Ems River.

The most important iron-ore deposit, the Salzgitter, belongs to the northern group of iron-ore deposits, which also includes the Ilsede-Peine deposit. The major iron-ore deposits in the central group are those of Siegerland, Lahn-Dill, and Sauerland in the Taunus and Hunsrück mountains. Relatively small amounts of iron ore are mined in the south, chiefly around the Bavarian cities of Auerbach and Sulzbach-Rosenberg.

Potash is mined in the North Hanover Basin, located in the Weser-Aller interfluve, in the South Hanover Basin around Neuhof, Sehnde, and Ronenberg, and in the Werra river basin at Philippsthal and Heringen. Rock salt is mined near Büderich and Friedrichsthal. Other minerals include fluorspar (115,000 tons in 1974), extracted in the Upper Palatinate, barite (860,000 tons), mined in the Black Forest and the Spessart, and kaolin (about 500,000 tons). The most important nonferrous metals are lead and zinc, both mined in the Rhenish Slate Mountains, and copper.

POWER ENGINEERING. Major changes occurred in the structure of the energy balance between the 1950’s and the 1970’s, when solid fuel was increasingly replaced by liquid and gas fuel, and new sources of energy, including nuclear power, were tapped. (see Table 3). In 1975 thermal power plants produced 94 percent of the country’s electricity. The electric power industry continues to depend heavily on solid fuel. Hard coal accounted for 34.1 percent of the electric power output in 1975, brown coal for 25.8 percent, oil and oil products for 14.3 percent, natural gas for 15.8 percent, peat and wood for 0.9 percent, water power for 5.2 percent, and atomic power for 3.9 percent.

The country’s electric power base is in North Rhine-Westphalia, where the coal-fired Förde power plant has a capacity of 2.35 million kW, and the Neurath plant, fueled by brown coal, can generate up to 3.3 million kW. Both plants are new, and only the first units have been put into operation. Among the largest thermal power plants using brown coal are those at Frimmersdorf (capacity 2.6 million kW), Niederaussen (2.6 million kW),

Table 4. Output of principal industrial commodities
1 ln metal content
Note: Official West German statistical publications illegally include indexes for West Berlin, which is not part of the FRG. In some cases it is impossible to exclude these indexes from statistical data on the FRG.
Hard coal (million tons) ...............12614211192
Brown coal (million tons) ...............7696108123
Oil, extraction (million tons) ...............1686
Oil, refining (million tons) ...............32810892
Natural gas (billion cu m) ...............0.070.0412.621
Electric power (billion kW-hrs) ...............46116243296
Zinc ore1 (tons) ...............98,400114,600138,000116,000
Lead ore1 (tons) ...............46,90050,00050,00043,000
Copper ore1 (tons) ...............1,7002,2001,3002,000
Aluminum (tons) ...............83,000303,000568,000678,000
Zinc, primary (tons) ...............136,000192,000301,000294,700
Lead, refined (tons) ...............142,000207,000305,000260,000
Copper, refined (tons) ...............198,000309,000406,000422,000
Cast iron (million tons) ...............9263430
Steel (million tons) ...............12344540
Trucks and buses (units) ...............82,000230,000296,000278,000
Passenger cars (units) ...............216,0001,674,0003,132,0002,908,000
Farm tractors (units) ...............52,000131,000105,000117,000
Ships launched (gross registered tons) ...............154,0001,092,0001,687,0002,545,000
Radio receivers (units) ...............2,008,0003,939,0006,500,0004,432,000
Television sets (units) ...............2,164,0002,900,0003,495,000
Potassium fertilizers, in K2O content (tons) ...............912,0001,978,0002,306,0002,220,000
Nitrogen fertilizers, in nitrogen content (tons) ...............440,0001,225,0001,568,0001,452,000
Phosphate fertilizers, in P2O5 content (tons) ...............350,000819,000912,000741,000
Sulphuric acid, in SO3 content (tons) ...............1,446,0003,170,0004,435,0003,420,000
Plastics (tons) ...............84,000991,0004,360,0005,028,000
Synthetic fibers (tons) ...............1,00052,300497,000568,000
Synthetic rubber (tons) ...............82,000312,000316,000
Cement (million tons) ...............11263833
Paper (tons) ...............1,144,0002,537,0004,413,0004,458,000
Cotton fabrics (million sq m) ...............8461,399844900
Wool fabrics (million sq m) ...............103171123100

Scholven (2.2 million kW), and Weisweiler (2 million kW). The thermal power plants that were built in the north and in Bavaria in the 1960’s and 1970’s use mainly liquid fuel. Most of the country’s hydroelectric power plants are located in the Alps and their foothills. The largest hydroelectric power plant, the Witznau plant, has a capacity of 190,000 kW. The country’s first nuclear power plant, built at Kahl in Bavaria, was put into operation in 1961. In 1974 there were 11 nuclear power plants with a combined capacity of 3.5 million kW. The largest nuclear power plants were built at Biblis on the Rhine, near Worms (1.2 million kW), at Stade on the Elbe, west of Hamburg (700,000 kW), and at Würgassen on the Weser (700,000 kW).

About 6 percent of the needed electric power is imported. The FRG has an integrated power grid that includes the power grids of the country’s major electric power monopolies. The largest such monopoly is the concern called Rheinisches-Westfalisches Elektrizitätswerk AG (RWE).

MANUFACTURING. The country’s strong ferrous metallurgy industry uses Ruhr coking coal, but as much as 96 percent of its iron-ore supplies are imported from Sweden, Brazil, Liberia, and other countries. The share of high-quality steel, currently about 15 percent of the ferrous metal output, is steadily increasing. About two-thirds of the steel is produced by the Thyssen, Hoesch, Saarhütten, Klöckner, and Krupp concerns. The production of tubes and pipes is controlled by the Mannesmann concern. About 70 percent of the pig iron and steel is smelted in the Ruhr; the rest is produced in the Saar region and in Salzgitter, Bremen, and Wetzlar.

The nonferrous metallurgy industry produces chiefly semifinished goods and castings. Its leading branch is the aluminum industry, which uses imported bauxite and alumina, mainly from Surinam and Australia. The largest plants are in Hamburg, Tög-ing, Rheinfelden, Lünen, Grevenbroich, and Norf. Copper works, depending entirely on imported concentrates, are located in Hamburg, Lünen, Duisburg, and Wilhelmsburg. Lead works, importing about 90 percent of their ore, are found in Stolberg, Nordenham, Braubach, and Binsfeldhammer, and zinc plants, importing as much as 30 percent of their ore, are located at Datteln, Duisburg, and Hamburg. The private concerns Metallgesellschaft and Degussa and the state-owned concern VIAG have a monopoly on the production of nonferrous metals, in which foreign capital is also involved.

MACHINE BUILDING AND METALWORKING. The country’s industrial output and exports are dominated by a group of machine-building and metalworking industries engaged in the production of “investment commodities.” These industries operate on a high technological level and produce a large assortment of goods, although there is a growing tendency toward specialization within the Common Market.

The most important branch of general machine building is the production of metalworking machines, of which two-thirds are machine tools and one-third are forging and pressing machines. In the capitalist world, the FRG is a leading producer and exporter of such equipment, as well as of metallurgical, textile, printing, and several other types of machinery. Also manufactured on a large scale are construction and agricultural machinery, equipment for the food-processing, chemical, and woodworking industries, diesel engines, fittings, hand tools, bearings, gears, hoisting equipment, locomotives, and railroad cars. The production of heavy equipment is controlled by the Mannesmann (including Demag), Gutehoffnungshütte (MAN), Krupp, and Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz concerns, whose largest factories are at Duisburg, Cologne, Oberhausen, Essen, Düsseldorf, Bochum, and Augsburg. Machinery for the chemical industry is produced by the chemical monopolies and by such concerns and large firms as Krupp, Lurgi, Linde, and Ude. The production of agricultural machinery and tractors, controlled by Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz and International Harvester, is concentrated in Cologne, Neuss, and Mannheim. Locomotives are manufactured by Krupp, Rheinische Stahlwerke (with its subsidiary Henschel), and Flick (including Krauss-Maffei) at factories in Munich, Kassel, and Essen.

The highly developed electrical engineering and electronics industry produces industrial equipment, electric appliances, and electronic instruments. It specializes in the production of high-voltage equipment and also manufactures telegraph and telephone equipment. The FRG is one of the world’s major exporters of electrical equipment. The output of the electronics industry includes computers, television sets (more than half of them color sets), radio receivers, and tape recorders. The electrical engineering and electronics industry is marked by a high degree of monopoly control. More than half of its output comes from the Siemens, AEG-Telefunken, and Grundig concerns. Foreign investments play a major role in Standard Electric Lorenz (American), Brown Boveri (Swiss), and Philips (Dutch). The production of computers, dominated by the American IBM corporation, is dispersed throughout the south. Important centers include Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Mannheim, Erlangen, Essen, and Hanover.

The FRG is the capitalist world’s third largest producer of motor vehicles (after the USA and Japan) and its leading exporter of motor vehicles (chiefly to the USA). The industry is highly monopolized, with five concerns controlling 95 percent of the output. The largest concern, the state-run Volkswagenwerk, accounts for more than 40 percent of the motor vehicles produced. The other four concerns are Daimler-Benz, the US-owned Adam Opel and Ford-Werke, and BMW. Volkswagenwerk’s plants are located in Wolfsburg, Hanover, Braunschweig, Kassel, and Em-den, and Daimler-Benz operates plants in Stuttgart, Sindel-fingen, Mannheim, Haguenau, and Wörth. Adam Opel has plants in Rüsselsheim, Bochum, and Kaiserslautern; Ford-Werke, in Saarlouis; and BMW, in Munich.

The FRG is one of the capitalist world’s major builders and exporters of oceangoing vessels. In 1975 it produced more than 7 percent of the world’s tonnage of merchant ships, taking second place after Japan. It specializes in the production of technologically complex and expensive ships. As much as half of the output is exported. The largest shipbuilders are Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (state-owned), Blohm and Voss, Bremer Vulkan, and AG Weser, with yards at Bremen, Hamburg, and Kiel.

River craft are built at 83 dockyards, which employed 6,400 people in 1973. Vessels with a combined carrying capacity of 111,000 tons have been built. The main yards are in Duisburg, Frankfurt am Main, and Regensburg.

The precision engineering and optical industry produces a great variety of goods on a large scale. Watches and especially clocks constitute the largest output by value. In 1972, West Germany led the world in the manufacture of timepieces, producing 41 million, including 32 million clocks. Other major products include motion-picture and photography equipment, lenses for eyeglasses, precision measuring instruments, microscopes, and binoculars. About half of the industry’s output, including watches and clocks, comes from the Länder of Baden-Wurttem-berg and Hesse and adjoining parts of the Rhineland-Palatinate. The largest enterprises are at Stuttgart, Frankfurt am Main, Wetzlar, and Ober Kochen.

Table 5. Distribution of agricultural land by groups of farms
Size of farms (in hectares)19491975
Percentage of all farmsPercentage of total farmlandPercentage of all farmsPercentage of total farmland
1–2 ...............18.513.63.31.4
2–5 ...............33.620.613.85.0
5–10 ...............24.519.821.510.4
10–20 ...............15.624.426.724.7
20–50 ...............6.819.524.441.9
50–100 ...............
100 or more ...............

The hardware industry manufactures various tools, locks, metal furniture, and heating devices. Most of the enterprises are in the Länder of North Rhine-Westphalia (Solingen, Remscheid) and Baden-Württemberg.

CHEMICALS. Another leading branch of industry—and one of the country’s oldest—is the manufacture of chemicals. In few other countries does the share of the chemical industry in industrial output and exports, as well as the per capita output, exceed that of West Germany. The FRG accounts for 20–22 percent of the capitalist world’s exports of chemicals. Two-thirds of the raw materials used are imported.

The development of the chemical industry has been promoted by the militarization of the economy and by the almost total absence of many types of natural raw materials, which has stimulated the production of substitutes. In the late 1950’s the organic synthesis industry shifted to the processing of oil and gas, whose share rose from 24 percent in 1957 to 96 percent in 1973. The leading products are plastics, synthetic resins, synthetic fibers, synthetic rubber, detergents, and other synthetic materials. The industry also produces sulfuric acid, soda, potassium fertilizers, paints and varnishes, and pharmaceuticals. The FRG is the leading exporter of mineral fertilizers and pharmaceuticals.

Linked to the defense industry, the manufacture of chemicals is one of the most highly monopolized branches of West German industry. The Bayer, BASF, Hoechst, and Henkel concerns control more than two-thirds of the industry’s circulating capital and an even greater proportion of its output of basic chemicals. A large amount of foreign capital is invested in the petrochemical industry. The chemical industry is most highly developed in Rhine-Westphalia and in the southwest. The cities with the largest number of chemical workers are Ludwigshafen (enterprises of the BASF concern), Leverkusen (Bayer), Frankfurt am Main (Hoechst), Marl, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Cologne-Dormagen, Krefeld, Gelsenkirchen, and Wesseling.

Table 6. Livestock population
Cattle ...............11,149,00014,024,00014,510,000
dairy cows ...............5,734,0005,560,0005,402,000
Pigs ...............11,890,00020,961,00021,090,000
Sheep ...............1,643,000842,0001,094,000
Horses ...............1,570,000251,000342,000

TEXTILES. The structure of the country’s textile industry, the leading branch of light industry, has changed under the influence of scientific and technological progress. Chemical fibers, half of them synthetic fibers, now account for two-thirds of the fibers used by the industry. In 1973 the output of the textile industry was subdivided as follows: cotton fabrics, 38.7 percent (compared to 45.6 percent in 1950); wool fabrics, 9.9 percent (14.5 percent); linen and hemp cloth, 7.4 percent (3 percent); silk fabrics, 8.9 percent (6.9 percent); knitted fabrics, 26.1 percent (11.4 percent); and jute material, 3.2 percent (14.2 percent). The fastest growth has occurred in the manufacture of knitted fabrics, rugs, and nonwoven materials. Imports of textile goods exceed exports. Enterprises are dispersed throughout Rhine-Westphalia, which specializes in cotton and wool cloth; the southwest, which excells in knitted fabrics; and the south, which produces cotton fabrics.

FOOD PROCESSING. The country’s meat-packing plants, dairies, flour mills, sugar refineries, fish-packing plants, canneries, wineries, distilleries, and breweries process chiefly local farm products. Imported raw materials are used in the production of vegetable oil, margarine, tobacco, and chocolate. In general, imports of foodstuffs exceed exports. The FRG is the world’s leading exporter of beer and a major exporter of wine and tobacco products. The largest food monopolies are Deutsche Unilever (Anglo-Dutch capital), Deutsche Nestle (Swiss), Reemtsma, and BAT (British). Most of the enterprises are located either in major producing and consuming areas (Lower Saxony, Bavaria, and North Rhine-Westphalia) or in the large seaports, where imported raw materials are processed. The major centers of the food industry are Hamburg, Hanover, Cologne, Stuttgart, Dortmund, and Bremen.

See Table 4 for the output of the leading industrial goods.

Agriculture. The land reform of 1947–48 essentially did not affect large-scale landownership, and sharp social and economic contrasts continue to exist in agrarian relations. Between 1949 and 1975 the number of farms covering one to ten hectares (ha), as well as the total area of such farms, declined by more than half, from 1,262,000 to 491,000 farms and from 5.1 million ha to 2.1 million ha. At the same time, the number of farms with an area of 20 ha or more each increased by a factor of 1.7 and their total area increased by a factor of 1.6. The total number of farms decreased by 742,000, or 45 percent: in 1975 there were about 900,000 farms with a total area of 12.5 million ha, compared to 1.7 million farms covering 13.3 million ha in 1949. (See Table 5 for the distribution of agricultural land by groups of farms.)

Some 3,616,000 ha, or 28.7 percent of all the farmland, are leased. In 1971, 40 percent of all the farmers did not lease land, and 6 percent of the farmers did not own the land they worked. Agriculture was the basic occupation for only 60 percent of the total number of landowners. The family labor force—that is, proprietors and members of their families engaged in farming on a full-time or part-time basis—numbered 1,944,700 persons in 1975. Of the 315,400 hired laborers, 128,100 were full-time farmhands. From 1949 to 1975 the indebtedness of landowners to banking and industrial monopolies increased from 3,090,000,000 marks to 29,565,000,000, and annual interest payments rose from 160 million marks to 2,009,000,000 marks.

Table 7. Output of leading animal products (tons)
Milk ...............14,532,00021,889,00021,624,000
Beef ...............563,0001,289,0001,282,000
Pork ...............859,0002,187,0002,763,000
Poultry ...............52,000258,000280,000

The integration of all, or at least the principal, stages of the production, processing, and marketing of agricultural produce is a growing trend as a result of contracts between the agricultural producers, including small and middle ones, and banking, industrial, and commercial monopolies. Such vertical integration reflects the domination of agriculture by monopoly capital.

Agricultural land covered 53.8 percent of the country’s territory in 1975. Arable land, including truck gardens, accounted for 59.1 percent of the farmland, meadows and pastures for 39.4 percent, and orchards and vineyards for 1.4 percent.

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY. Livestock raising, chiefly for milk and meat, accounted for 70.5 percent of the value of the farm output in 1974–75 and crop cultivation for 29.5 percent. In addition to meadows and pastures, the fodder base includes hay and root crops, a large part of the country’s potato and grain output, byproducts of the food-processing industry, and imported feed. Highly productive purebred livestock is raised. The livestock population is shown in Table 6. The milk yield per cow averaged 3,997 kg in 1975. Poultry farming is thriving; there were 91.2 million head of poultry in 1975. Table 7 shows the output of the leading animal products.

CROP FARMING. Intensified production has generally doubled crop yields compared to prewar harvests. Agricultural machinery includes 1,425,000 tractors (1974) and 171,000 grain combines (1973). The FRG is one of the world’s heaviest users of chemical fertilizers. In 1974–75, 90 kilograms of nitrogen fertilizer, 65.7 kilograms of phosphate fertilizer, and 87.7 kilograms of potassium fertilizer were used per hectare of farmland. In the early 1970’s West German farms produced 70 percent of the grain, 87 percent of the sugar, 87 percent of the meat, 96 percent of the butter, and 86 percent of the eggs consumed in the country. In 1973 the value of imported agricultural products exceeded by 3.5 times the value of farm exports. Table 8 shows the yield of the major crops.

Table 8. Area and yield of major crops
 Area (hectares)Yield (tons)
1 Annual average
Wheat ...............1,020,0001,388,0001,565,0001,569,0002,669,0004,731,0006,718,0007,014,000
Barley ...............587,0001,107,0001,542,0001,756,0001,402,0003,343,0005,888,0006,971,000
Oats ...............1,134,000752,000833,000920,0002,522,0002,211,0002,985,0003,445,000
Rye ...............1,387,0001,175,000816,000624,0003,065,0003,223,0002,773,0002,125,000
Potatoes ...............1,149,000951,000532,000415,00024,254,00023,500,00015,112,00010,853,000
Sugar beets ...............192,000327,000426,0005,970,00011,400,00014,615,00018,203,000

FISHING. The marine fish catch is steadily declining. From 623,000 tons in 1965 it dropped to 598,000 tons in 1970 and to 438,000 tons in 1975. Cod accounted for 27.7 percent of the catch in 1975, herring for 12 percent, and perch for 12 percent. The main fishing grounds are in the North Sea and the northern Atlantic.

FORESTRY. The forest industry supplies a large part of the demand for wood. In 1975 about 2.2 million of the country’s 5.2 million ha of forests were owned by the state or by the federal Länder. The most densely wooded Land is Bavaria, where forests cover 1.4 million ha. In 1974 some 32 million cu m of round timber were produced.

Transportation. In 1970 railroads accounted for 34.1 percent of the domestic freight transport, calculated in ton-km (compared to 56.8 percent in 1954); highways for 36.2 percent (15.9 percent); inland waterways for 22.6 percent (27.3 percent); pipelines for 7 percent; and air transport for .05 percent. In 1974 railroads handled 35.1 percent of the domestic passenger traffic (56.1 percent in 1954); motor vehicles, 44.7 percent; and air transport, 7.0 percent. That year there were 32,000 km of railroads, of which 10,000 km were electrified. Although the overall length of the railroad network is diminishing, four express passenger lines are under construction. Out of 168,000 km of motor-vehicle roads in 1975,5,700 km were superhighways. That year there were 21 million motor vehicles, including 16.5 million passenger cars, 1.4 million multipurpose vehicles, 1.1 million trucks, and 1.6 million tractors.

In 1974 the country’s 6,002 km of inland waterways included 4,034 km of river routes, 1,843 km of canals, and 125 km of lake routes. The Rhine and its largest tributaries (Main, Neckar, and Mosel) account for 80 percent of the water transport. The other major waterways are the Ems, Weser, Elbe, and Danube. The principal navigable canals are the Mittelland Canal, the Dortmund-Ems and Rhine-Herne canals, and the Mosel Canal. The Rhine-Main Canal is being improved, and the Main-Danube Canal and the Hamburg-Mittelland Canal are under construction.

The largest river ports are Duisburg (with a freight turnover of 49.4 million tons in 1974), Mannheim (10 million tons), Hamburg (10.6 million tons), Cologne (10 million tons), Frankfurt (7.9 million tons), Ludwigshafen (8.5 million tons), Karlsruhe (7 million tons), Bremen (5.6 million tons), Krefeld (4.6 million tons), Wesseling (7.9 million tons), Gelsenkirchen (6.4 million tons), Heilbronn (5.6 million tons), and Dortmund (6.3 million tons).

A total of 252 million tons of freight were hauled on the inland waterways in 1974. Most of the cargo consisted of oil and oil products, construction materials, ores, metals, grain, and fertilizers. Of the total amount of freight carried, foreign-trade shipments accounted for 143.6 million tons and transshipments for 12.2 million tons.

Since the completion of the first pipeline in 1959, pipeline transport has been expanding rapidly. There are 1,579 km of oil pipelines and 507 km of pipelines carrying oil products. Of the more than 70 million tons of oil conveyed by pipelines in 1975, 27.6 million tons were carried by the Wilhelmshaven-Wesseling

Table 9. Commodity structure of foreign trade (percent of total value)
Foodstuffs ...............44.126.319.
Raw materials ...............29.621.713.516.414.
Semifinished goods ...............13.818.916.115.018.910.47.67.3
Finished products ...............12.632.250.050.564.882.485.885.0

Pipeline (390 km), 18.8 million tons by the Trieste-Ingolstadt-Karlsruhe Pipeline (287 km of which are in the FRG), 18.5 million tons by the line running from Marseille to the FRG border, 13.3 million tons by the Rotterdam-Raunheim Pipeline (259 km in the FRG), and 6.3 million tons by the Genoa-Ingolstadt Pipeline (227 km in the FRG).

Maritime transport is used in foreign trade, with coastal shipping accounting for about 3 percent of the weight of the freight hauled. The merchant marine totaled 8.8 million gross registered tons in 1976. About 50 percent of the tonnage was owned by ten monopoly associations, including Hapag-Lloyd and Deutsche Shell Tanker. The merchant marine included dry-cargo ships totaling 5.4 million gross registered tons (of which 600,000 tons were container ships) and a tanker fleet of 2.8 million tons. It handled 15 percent of the country’s imports and 25 percent of its exports in 1974. Some foreign-trade cargo is transported by foreign vessels. West German ports handle 46 percent of the country’s imports; ports of the Benelux countries, chiefly Rotterdam, 35 percent; Italian ports, more than 12 percent; and French ports, 6 percent. The Kiel Canal plays a major role in maritime, including coastal, shipping.

The largest seaports are Hamburg (which handled 47.5 million tons of cargo in 1975), Wilhelmshaven (23.7 million tons), Bremen (21 million tons), Emden (10.7 million tons), Lübeck (5.6 million tons), and Nordenham (5.3 million tons).

The state-owned company Lufthansa handles 90 percent of the air transport. In 1975 it carried 36.3 million passengers, 547,000 tons of freight, and 121,400 tons of mail, excluding transit shipments. The chief airports are those of Frankfurt am Main, Düsseldorf, Munich, Hamburg, Stuttgart, and Hanover.

Foreign trade. The economy of the FRG is closely tied to the world market. About 25 percent of the country’s industrial output is exported; the leading industries export from a third to more than half of their output. Most of the country’s demand for fuel and raw materials is met by imports; other major imports are food and equipment. With imports of 221.6 billion marks and exports of 256.2 billion marks in 1975 the FRG continued to enjoy a favorable balance of trade. The surplus in the balance of payments brought the FRG’s gold and currency reserves to $31 billion by the end of 1975. Its foreign currency reserves of $26.2 billion were the largest in the capitalist world and its gold reserves of $4.8 billion were exceeded only by those of the USA.

The decline in the import of foodstuffs is the result of a growing self-sufficiency in foodstuffs owing to intensified agricultural production. The increasing imports of finished products may be explained by the greater international division of labor and by specialization in production. The share of raw materials in exports declined principally because coal exports dropped sharply (see Table 9).

In 1975 oil and oil products, natural gas, and coal accounted for 17.5 percent of the value of imports; products of agriculture, forestry, hunting, and fishing, and foodstuffs and tobacco for 18.6 percent; “investment commodities” for 21.5 percent; ferrous and nonferrous metals for 8.3 percent; chemical products for 7.8 percent; textiles for 5.7 percent; and clothing for 3.4 percent. In exports, investment commodities accounted for 53.3 percent of the value, chemical products for 12.5 percent, ferrous and nonferrous metals for 10.8 percent, and textiles for 3.5 percent.

The FRG is one of the Soviet Union’s principal trading partners among the developed capitalist countries. In 1973 the USSR and the FRG signed a ten-year agreement providing for economic, industrial, and technical cooperation; a joint commission was set up to promote economic, scientific, and technical cooperation; several Soviet-West German firms were organized in the FRG; and a Soviet bank, the Ost-West Handelsbank, was opened in the republic. Soviet organizations and West German firms have concluded several agreements providing for reciprocal deliveries of equipment and materials, the exchange of technical information, and assistance in building several industrial projects in the USSR, such as the Oskol Metallurgical Combine in Belgorod Oblast. Shipments of natural gas to the FRG, which began in 1973, are expected to reach 10 billion cu m annually by 1980.

Foreign investments by West German firms totaled 42 billion marks in late 1975. About 70 percent of this amount was invested in the developed capitalist countries (more than 50 percent in Western Europe and the rest in the USA and Canada), and about 30 percent was invested in the developing countries, chiefly those of Latin America. The geographical distribution of the FRG’s foreign trade is shown in Table 10.

Table 10. Geographical distribution of the FRG’s foreign trade (1975, in percent)
Industrially developed capitalist countries ...............75.275.4
EEC coutries ...............49.543.6
USA ...............7.75.9
Developing countries ...............20.016.5
Africa ...............6.64.1
Latin America ...............3.64.0
Asia ...............9.58.3
Oceania ...............0.20.0
Socialist countries ...............4.77.9
Eurooean ...............4.37.2

About 7.5 million foreign tourists visit the FRG annually; revenues from the tourist trade amounted to 6 billion marks in 1973–74, considerably less than the 18.4 billion marks that West German tourists spent abroad.

The monetary unit is the Deutsche Mark (DM). At the exchange rate of the State Bank of the USSR, DM 100 equaled 32.11 rubles in August 1977.

Economic regions. The industrial development of different parts of the country has been somewhat equalized in the postwar period, and industry is now the leading branch of the economy in each region and federal Land. The level of economic development, however, varies in the different Länder (see Table 11).

RHINE-WESTPHALIAN. The center of heavy industry in the FRG, the Rhine-Westphalian Region encompasses the Ruhr Coal Basin, the country’s principal energy base. In 1974 the region’s industrial work force was distributed as follows among the various branches of industry: general machine building, 13.5 percent; chemicals, 9.2 percent; ferrous metallurgy, 8.7 percent; coal mining, 8.7 percent; electrical engineering, 8.4 percent; the textile industry, 4.6 percent; the food industry, 4.5 percent; and the automotive industry, 4.0 percent.

Most of the monopolies that dominate the country’s heavy industry were formed in the Rhine-Westphalian Region. The region’s newer industries, notably electrical engineering and the manufacture of motor vehicles and petrochemicals, were founded for the most part between the 1950’s and the 1970’s. The electric power industry also expanded rapidly in this period. The region produces more than 90 percent of the country’s hard coal, more than 95 percent of its brown coal, about half of its electricity, two-thirds of its pig iron and steel, and about half of its non-ferrous metals. More than a third of the country’s oil refining is done in the region. Crude oil is conveyed by pipelines from Wilhelmshaven and Rotterdam (Netherlands) to refineries at Gelsenkirchen, Cologne, Wesseling, and other cities. Another important source of energy is natural gas, either brought from Lower Saxony or imported from the Netherlands.

The production of hard coal, coke-oven products, and ferrous and nonferrous metals is concentrated in the Ruhr. The other industries are generally located elsewhere. The largest ferrous metallurgy plants are at Duisburg, Rheinhausen, Oberhausen, Mülheim, Bochum, and Dortmund. The major centers of nonferrous metallurgy are Duisburg, Essen, Lünen, and Grevenbroich. Heavy machinery is manufactured at Cologne and many cities in the Ruhr; machine tools, at Düsseldorf, Rheydt, and Bielefeld; textile machinery, at Wuppertal; motor vehicles, at Cologne and Bochum; and hardware, at Solingen.

The region’s chemical industry, which produces two-fifths of the country’s chemical output, shifted in the early 1960’s from organic synthesis using coke-oven by-products and brown coal as the principal raw materials to processing, mainly oil refining. Basic chemicals, notably sulfuric acid, chlorine, soda, and fertilizers, continue to be produced on a large scale. Chemicals are manufactured at Leverkusen, the main center, and at Marl, Troisdorf, Düsseldorf, Wuppertal, Krefeld, Dormagen, and Gelsenkirchen. The heavy industry of the Ruhr has long served as the basis for large-scale armaments manufacture.

The region’s textile industry, accounting for about one-third of the textile output of the FRG, enjoys such advantages as a plentiful female labor force, drawn from the families of miners and steelworkers, and a large consumer market. The main textile centers are Wuppertal, Krefeld, Mönchengladbach, and Rheydt. The food industry processes both imported raw materials, chiefly grain, vegetable oil, and cacao, and local farm products, used by the sugar, meat-packing, dairy, and beer industries.

The region’s highly intensive and predominantly suburban farming emphasizes livestock raising. Sugar beets, wheat, and barley are grown along the left bank of the Rhine, also an area of truck farming and animal husbandry.

Environmental pollution is reaching dangerous levels. Large capital expenditures are required to restore and protect the environment.

NORTHERN. The industry of the maritime zone rests on imported raw materials and fuel, chiefly Middle Eastern oil and American coal. There are oil refineries at Hamburg, Bremen, and Heide, ferrous metallurgy plants at Bremen and Lübeck, and nonferrous metallurgy enterprises at Hamburg, Lübeck, Stade, and Nordenham. The food industry, producing tobacco goods, beer, margarine, vegetable oil, and chocolate, is concentrated in Hamburg and Bremen. Shipbuilding and repair are a mainstay of the region’s economy. Merchant, fishing, and naval vessels are built and serviced at Kiel, Hamburg, Bremen, Emden, and Lübeck. Another major industry is fishing and fish packing. Several ports have enterprises that are oriented toward export, for example, the automobile plants in Emden. Hamburg and Bremen have a large aircraft industry.

The industries located in the belt of foothills and mountains process both local and imported raw materials. There are ferrous metallurgy works at Salzgitter and Peine and nonferrous metallurgy enterprises in the Harz area, at Harlingenrode, Goslar, Oker, and Clausthal. Other important industries are fertilizer manufacture, oil extraction and refining, and motor-vehicle construction, based at Wolfsburg, Hanover, Braunschweig, and Salzgitter. Heavy machinery is produced at Salzgitter, and chemical products, chiefly rubber, are manufactured at Hanover. The area’s large flour-milling, sugar, dairy, meat-packing, and canning industries process local farm products. The Mittelland Canal is a vital transport artery in this part of the Northern Region.

Farming is marked by a high level of technology and intensive production. The fertile soils of the foothills are planted to wheat, barley, sugar beets, vegetables, and fodder. Livestock raising is also important in the foothills, an area noted for its highly productive stall dairy farming and hog and poultry raising. Elsewhere in the Northern Region, which has large expanses of wet meadows and pastures, thriving dairy farms are interspersed with plantings of rye, oats, potatoes, and fodder grass.

SOUTHEASTERN. The Southeastern Region’s power industry, previously based on water power, has been strengthened by the building of a gas pipeline connecting West Germany with the USSR. In the postwar period the region’s share in the overall industrial output increased as a result of the rapid development of several new branches of industry, notably electrical engineering and radio electronics (Munich and Nuremberg), the manufacture of jet aircraft (Munich and Augsburg), oil refining (the Ingolstadt area and Burghausen), and the petrochemical and nuclear power industries. Nuclear power plants have been built at Gundrem-mingen, Grosswelzheim, Nieder Aichbach, and Kahl. The new branches have not displaced the region’s well-established older industries—general machine building (Augsburg and Munich) and the production of motor vehicles and locomotives (Munich), bearings (Schweinfurt), metal toys, office equipment (Nuremberg), and aluminum (Töging). The region has long been known for its textiles (Hof and its environs and Augsburg), porcelain and faience ware (Selb), dairy products, and beer (Munich and Nuremberg).

The leading branch of agriculture is dairy farming, often combined with hog raising and the cultivation of grain, potatoes, and fodder. Wheat and sugar beets are intensively cultivated on the left bank of the Danube, east of Regensburg. Truck farming is concentrated around Munich and Nuremberg. Other major crops are tobacco, hops, and grapes (Main Valley).

SOUTHWESTERN. Its economy having been virtually transformed in the postwar period, the Southwestern Region now produces a large share of the output of the country’s more modern industries. The region’s automotive industry, for example, employs about half of the FRG’s automotive workers. The largest factories are at Stuttgart, Rüsselsheim, Sindelfingen, Mannheim,

Table 11. Selected indexes of economic regions (1974) (percent)
Economic regionAreaPopulationIndustry1 (circulating capital)Proportion of industrial workersAgriculture
All industryChemicalElectricalengineeringTextileGrain harvestLivestock population
1Excluding construction andcrafts
Rhine-Westphalian (Land of North Rhine-Westphalia) ...............13.828.734.631.739.020.930.017.213.2
Northern ...............25.920.518.115.510.
Schleswig-Holstein ...............
Hamburg ...............
Lower Saxony ...............
Bremen ...............
Southeastern (Land of Bavaria) ...............28.418.114.817.211.027.521.924.131.5
Southwestern ...............31.932.732.535.639.837.839.027.124.2
Hesse ...............
Rhineland-Palatinate ...............
Baden-Württemberg ...............14.415.417.019.510.720.531.411.512.7
Saarland ...............

Wörth, Kaiserslautern, and Saarlouis. Its electrical engineering industry, employing some two-fifths of the country’s electrical engineering workers, is concentrated in Stuttgart and Mannheim, and its electronics industry is based in Stuttgart, Mainz, and Sindelfingen. About 60 percent of the FRG’s workers in the precision-mechanics and optical industry are employed in factories in Ober Kochen, Wetzlar, and towns throughout the Black Forest region. The largest chemical plants are in Frankfurt am Main and Ludwigshafen. Oil refineries, accounting for more than one-fourth of the country’s capacity, are located in Karlsruhe, Mannheim, Wörth, Speyer, Raunheim, and Klarenthal. Various equipment, mainly metalworking machines, is manufactured at plants in Stuttgart, Mannheim, and other cities that employ some two-fifths of the country’s workers in machine building.

The region’s traditional industries are developing slowly. They include coal mining, the coke-oven industry, and ferrous metallurgy, located at Dillingen, Völklingen, Neunkirchen, and Burbach in the Saarland and at Wetzlar in Hesse. There are numerous textile mills around Stuttgart, and Pirmasens is the center of the country’s leather goods and footwear industry. Many small hydroelectric power plants have been built on mountain rivers. The thermal power plants of the Saarland are fired by coal. The shortage of locally generated electricity has been to some extent alleviated by the construction of large atomic power plants at Biblis, Neckarau, and Obrigheim.

The region has a diversified agriculture. In the Upper Rhenish Lowland, grapes are grown in the Mosel and Neckar valleys, the country’s only large wine-growing region. Other important crops grown in the valleys are tobacco, hops, fruit, and early vegetables. Wheat and sugar beets are grown throughout the lowland. On the plateaus, mountain slopes, and uplands, the chief crops are rye and oats, although potatoes and fodder crops are also grown. Animal husbandry—highly productive dairy farming and hog raising—predominates only slightly over crop cultivation.


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The armed forces, called the Bundeswehr, consist of ground troops, an air force, and a navy. The post of commander in chief is held by the federal chancellor in wartime and by the minister of defense in peacetime. The defense minister directs the armed forces through the Ministry of Defense, which includes the chief of staff of the Bundeswehr and the chiefs of staff of the army, air force, and navy. The day-to-day supervision of the armed forces is exercised by the inspector general of the Bundeswehr through the chiefs of staff. The three branches are directed by inspectors (commanders) of the ground forces, air force, and navy. The armed forces are recruited by universal conscription (with the term of service lasting 15 months) and by enlistment (two to 15 years). The armed forces numbered about 495,000 men in late 1976.

The ground forces, numbering 345,000 men, consist of field troops and territorial troops. The field troops are divided into three army corps composed of 12 divisions, including four tank divisions, four motorized infantry divisions, two infantry divisions, one mountain infantry division, and one airborne division. There are four battalions equipped with guided rocket-propelled weapons, 11 battalions armed with unguided rocket-propelled weapons, and three army aircraft commands (one in each corps). The field troops are armed with modern tanks, including Leopards, infantry combat vehicles, artillery, and antitank guided rockets. The territorial troops, some 63,000 strong, comprise five brigades, four support commands, and communications and engineer units. In the event of mobilization, the territorial troops are organized into combat units and included in the field troops.

The air force of 111,000 men is equipped with about 470 combat aircraft. The highest unit is the tactical air command, which consists of two air support divisions and two antiaircraft divisions. The air force has 26 squadrons made up of various combat aircraft, five squadrons of transport aircraft, four squadrons of transport helicopters, two squadrons equipped with guided missiles, and 60 batteries with guided antiaircraft missiles.

The 39,000-man navy has 24 submarines, 11 destroyers, three of them armed with Tartar antiaircraft missiles, six frigates, five antisubmarine corvettes, ten escort ships, 57 minesweepers, 37 fast patrol boats, 16 of them armed with Exocet missiles, and 19 amphibious landing craft. The naval air force includes about 140 combat aircraft, 20 patrol planes, about 20 rescue helicopters, 20 communications planes, and 15 communications helicopters. The country’s border troops, about 21,000 men, are subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior.

The Bundeswehr, together with the US troops stationed in Europe, is NATO’s main strike force in Europe. It holds a dominant position in the ground forces in the Central European theater of operations. Generals and officers of the Bundeswehr occupy important posts in the staffs and institutions of the joint forces of NATO. The number of West German military men in NATO increased from 22 in 1956 to more than 1,600, including some 30 generals, in the 1970’s. Representatives of the FRG are included in NATO’s permanent Nuclear Planning Group, and they help formulate the nuclear strategy for NATO.

Medicine and public health. In 1975 the FRG had a birth rate of 9.7 and a mortality rate of 12.1 per 1,000 population; the infant mortality rate was 21 per 1,000 live births (1974). The corresponding statistics for 1950 were 16.5,10.5, and 56. The average life expectancy was 67 years for men and 74 years for women in 1970–72, compared to 64.6 and 68.5 in 1949–51.

Noninfectious diseases predominate. The leading causes of death are cardiovascular diseases (accounting for 45.9 percent of the deaths in 1972), malignant tumors (19.7 percent), diseases of the respiratory organs (6 percent), and occupational injuries and other accidents (7.1 percent). There is a high incidence of nervous and psychological disorders and of such infectious diseases as influenza, acute respiratory diseases, children’s infections, viral hepatitis, venereal diseases, and tuberculosis.

The public health system is decentralized, and it is the public health agencies of the Länder that run medical institutions and supervise the work of private practitioners. The federal Ministry of Youth, Family, and Health Affairs, founded in 1961, is responsible for drafting legislation designed to safeguard public health, prevent the outbreak of epidemics, protect the environment, and set standards for medical preparations. The Federal Public Health Council, a consultative body attached to the ministry, examines general questions of public health policy. The social insurance system, which covers 87 percent of the population, pays part of an individual’s medical expenses and provides assistance in case of disability. It pays 75 percent of the hospital fees and from 65 percent to 75 percent of the cost of other medical services. Employees contribute 35 percent of the social insurance fund, employers 45 percent, and the state 20 percent. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs deals with questions of social insurance.

In 1972 there were 3,500 public, nonprofit, and private hospitals with some 672,200 beds (1974), or 11.2 beds per 1,000 population. About 55 percent of the hospitals are public institutions run by federal and Land agencies, municipalities, medical schools, or social insurance agencies. Many of them provide only a bed, food, and nursing care; medical services are rendered by a private practitioner summoned and paid by the patient. Nonhospital medical care is generally provided by private practitioners. Several hospitals have polyclinics, and in the cities there are state and municipal tuberculosis dispensaries, venereological dispensaries, and women’s and children’s consultation clinics. The function of such institutions is limited to diagnosis; as a rule they do not provide medical care. In 1972 there were 12,300 pharmacies, most of them public.

In 1974 the country had 104,600 doctors, or one per 573 inhabitants, about 30,000 dentists, 23,000 pharmacists, and 161,000 intermediate medical personnel. Of the total number of doctors, 48 percent were in private practice, 42 percent worked in hospitals, and 10 percent were employed by public health and social insurance agencies and research institutions. According to official data, 11 percent of the doctors, 7 percent of the nurses, and 14 percent of the nurse’s aids working in hospitals are foreigners. Doctors are trained at 27 university medical schools and intermediate medical personnel, at 974 schools in various fields of specialization. In 1971 expenditures for public health and sports amounted to 12,638,000,000 marks, or 5.6 percent of the state budget.

The FRG is noted for its balneological and balneoclimatic resorts, of which the best known are Bad Ems, Baden-Baden, Homburg, Wiesbaden, Bad Nauheim, Bad Wildungen, and Bad Kissingen. There are maritime climatic resorts on the Baltic coast.

Medical and biological research is coordinated, planned, and financed by the National Science Council, the Ministry of Research and Technology, and the German Research Society. The leading medical research institutions are the Oncological Center in Heidelberg and the Diabetes Research Institute in Düsseldorf.


Veterinary services. In 1975 there were five outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, three of anthrax, 190 of plague, 82 of Newcastle disease, 5,332 of rabies, 21 of brucellosis of cattle, 72 of brucellosis of pigs, 63 of bovine tuberculosis, 180 of acariasis of bees, one of infectious equine anemia, 53 of blackleg, five of fowl cholera, 37 of sheep mange, two of equine mange, 21 of infectious equine encephalomyelitis, 295 of psittacosis, and 82 of trichomoniasis. Cases of vesicular disease have been recorded among swine, and of leukosis, rhinotracheitis, viral diarrhea, smallpox and mycoplasmosis among fowl. Carnivoral distemper is also known to occur.

Veterinary services are directed by two ministries, the Ministry for Youth, Family, and Health Affairs and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Forestry. Each Land has veterinary departments and diagnostic laboratories. The services of the state agencies are supplemented by private practitioners. The leading professional organizations are the Society of Veterinarians of the FRG and the Veterinary Medicine Society, to which researchers and teachers belong. There were 8,877 veterinarians in the FRG in 1975. Veterinary specialists are trained at the School of Veterinary Medicine in Hanover and by the veterinary faculties of the Universities of Giessen and Munich. Research in veterinary medicine is conducted at more than 20 specialized institutes, including the Max Planck Institute of Virology in Tübingen, the Small Animal Breeding Institute in Celle, and the Institute for Combating Epizootic Diseases in Oberschleissheim.


Under the constitution, the federal government may exercise only general supervision over the educational system. Each Land has a ministry of cultural affairs, which is responsible for education. The Länder governments bear about 70 percent of the cost of public education; the remainder is covered by the Cemeinden (communes) and federal government. The work of federal and Länder public education agencies is coordinated by the Standing Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, founded in 1948, and the German Council of Education (1965), both consultative bodies. The 1970’s saw a growing tendency toward centralization in public education and a strengthening of the jurisdiction of central agencies in matters of school policy. In 1973 a joint federal-Lander commission adopted a general plan outlining the development of public education until 1985. But even this plan has not succeeded in abolishing all the differences that exist between the Länder in the structure of school education, the goals and content of instruction, and teacher training. Under the constitution, religion is a required school subject.

The system of preschools is poorly developed. Some 75 percent of them are private institutions founded by churches, business firms, charitable societies, or private individuals. In 1975 kindergartens could accommodate some 1 million children, or about one-third of the children between the ages of three and five years. About 84,000 children were enrolled in state-run preschools.

School instruction begins at the age of six and is compulsory for nine, or in some Länder, ten years. The first level of compulsory education is the four-year or six-year basic school (Grundschule), formerly called the people’s school. Such primary schools were attended by 4.1 million children in 1975.

Upon completing the basic school, students are distributed among three types of schools, which differ in the scope and level of instruction. The first type, the five-year main school (Hauptschule), is actually the upper level of the basic school. About 70 percent of the students who complete the basic school are enrolled in this school. Graduates of the Hauptschule may enroll only in lower-level vocational schools. In 1975 there were about 19,000 basic and main schools with an enrollment exceeding 6.5 million. The second type, the Realschule, covering grades 5 (or 7) through 10, offers an incomplete secondary education with a practical vocational orientation. Those who have completed the Realschule may enroll in a vocational or technical secondary school and then go on to a higher technical school. About 12 percent of the country’s students are enrolled in Realschulen. Both the Hauptschulen and the Realschulen have a high dropout rate, more than 14 percent of the students in each grade. The third type of school open to those who have finished the basic school is the Gymnasium, covering grades 5 (or 7) to 13. This is the only general-education school that offers a complete secondary education (graduates receive a certificate) leading to the university. Besides the traditional Gymnasiums, which specialize in the classical languages, science and mathematics, or modern languages, new types have appeared in the last few years, including economics, technical, social studies, and pedagogical Gymnasiums. Some 18 percent of all students are enrolled in Gymnasiums.

The transfer from the basic school to the Realschule, let alone the Gymnasium, is complicated by the admission procedure, which varies from Land to Land and includes tests, a probationary period lasting from six months to two years, and an observation period. These conditions of transfer from one type of school to another are designed to preserve the class character of bourgeois upbringing and instruction.

There are several kinds of vocational education, and the system of vocational schooling varies from one Land to another. Basic vocational training, either full-time or in conjunction with a job, is compulsory for students over the age of 14 who do not attend a higher general-education school. In addition, there are advanced vocational schools, technical and engineering schools, specialized secondary schools with various curriculums and terms of study, and specialized higher educational institutions. The country’s 6,000 vocational schools of all types have an enrollment exceeding 2 million students. The government has given much attention to the improvement and development of vocational education.

In addition to the schools run by the Länder governments and Gemeinden, there are private schools, including denominational schools, which receive considerable financial aid, sometimes covering as much as 90 percent of their expenditures, from the state and other official organizations. In the early 1970’s private schools accounted for 10.5 percent of the Realschulen, 18.6 percent of the Gymnasiums, 26.6 percent of the vocational and technical schools, and 39.3 percent of the specialized schools.

The system of higher education includes universities, higher educational institutions in the humanities, higher medical and technical schools, higher schools of arts, engineering academies (ranking just below higher schools), and advanced specialized technical schools. The overwhelming majority of the higher schools are run by the state. The rest are either private or church-affiliated schools, the latter being higher schools of philosophy and theology or higher religious schools. The higher schools and universities charge tuition and require graduation certificates for admission. In the 1974–75 academic year the country’s 252 higher schools, including 22 universities, were attended by 725,000 students. Only 5.7 percent of the students came from working-class families.

The system of higher education is based on the principle of academic freedom whereby each higher educational institution has the right to determine its by-laws and forms of student government and to manage its financial affairs. The term of study ranges from three to 7½ years, depending on the specialization. Eighteen semesters of study are required to prepare for the examinations leading to an advanced degree.

At present, the system of higher education is lagging behind economic development and does not graduate sufficient numbers of highly trained specialists to meet the country’s economic and scientific needs. A plan has been adopted to reform higher education by expanding the network of higher schools, increasing student enrollment, changing the structure of higher education, abolishing the rigid boundaries between departments, introducing a more flexible curriculum, and improving the quality of scientific training.

The major universities are those of Munich (founded in 1472; 35,000 students in the 1974–75 academic year), Hamburg (1919; about 26,000 students), Münster (1780; more than 25,000 students), Cologne (1388; some 23,000 students), Bonn (1786; about 21,000 students), Heidelberg (1386; more than 17,000 students), and Marburg (1527; more than 13,000 students).

The largest libraries are the State Library in Munich (containing more than 3.8 million volumes in 1976), the German Library in Frankfurt (more than 2 million volumes), and the libraries of the universities of Göttingen (about 2.4 million volumes), Cologne (1.5 million volumes), Marburg (more than 1.2 million volumes), Munich (more than 1.7 million volumes), Freiburg (more than 1.7 million volumes), and Bochum (886,000 volumes).

The country has 146 museums, of which the most important are the Alte Pinakothek and Neue Pinakothek in Munich (seeBAVARIAN STATE COLLECTIONS OF PAINTINGS), the German Museum (founded 1903) and the Bavarian National Museum (1855) in Munich, the Museum of Applied Art in Frankfurt am Main (1877), the Museum of Fine Art in Bremen (1823), Beethoven House in Bonn (1889), the Brothers Grimm Museum in Kassel (1960), and the International Newspaper Museum in Aachen (1885).


Natural and technical sciences. In the first postwar years scientific work in the FRG was conducted under the supervision of the occupation authorities, a restriction that was removed only after the signing of the Paris Agreements of 1954. Some of the patents and other scientific and technical documents that had been taken from the country during and immediately after the war were eventually returned. At the outset, the West German government allocated little money for scientific research, preferring to increase capital investments in such traditional branches of the economy as mining, light industry, and the textile industry. This trend was encouraged by the USA, which sought to stimulate West German purchases of American technological innovations, patents, and licenses, as well as by some West German monopolies interested in immediate profits. Fundamental research, which had been disrupted during the war, played a negligible role in the country’s economic growth in the 1950’s.

At the same time, the country’s military and political interests and a lag, clearly evident by the late 1950’s, in such research-intensive industries as the manufacture of aircraft and computers and in such research fields as outer space and the world ocean obliged the West German government to take the initiative in centralizing scientific policy and coordinating research. The Ministry of Research and Technology was founded in 1955. The state assumed control over nuclear research and undertook to support several research programs in physics, chemistry, and electronics. By the early 1960’s the FRG had a network of research institutions operating under the jurisdiction of various agencies. Old research institutes and scientific centers were revived, and new ones were established, among them the Max Planck Society, organized in 1948 out of the former Kaiser Wilhelm Society, which had been abolished in 1945. Several new universities, including technical universities, were opened, and the research divisions of higher schools expanded rapidly. The growing emphasis on fundamental research ensured the rapid development of many branches of modern science.

MATHEMATICS. In the 1950’s some of the most promising research was being done in applied mathematics, chiefly by scientific societies and firms specializing in electronic engineering. Since the late 1950’s programs in this field have been coordinated with the work of the International Association for Mathematics and Computer Simulation, which the FRG joined in 1958. Later, research in cybernetics and systems analysis was coordinated by the Society of Cybernetics (founded 1962) and the Society for Operational Research (1972), both located in Frankfurt am Main. Research in theoretical mathematics gained ground in the 1960’s and 1970’s. F. Hirzebruch and K. Lamotke made an important contribution to mathematical logic, set theory, and algebraic topology. Work on mathematical and functional analysis was done by R. Ansorge, D. Bierlein, P. L. Butzer, W. Eberhard, T. Kaluza, H. Kneser, and L. Collatz and on number theory by K. H. Mayer, H. Hasse, and B. Schoeneberg. Various aspects of algebra and geometry were studied by W. Benz, M. Breuer, H. Karzel, M. Knebusch, J. Tits, H. Hasse, and H. Zieschang. Other research fields include game theory, the theory of algorithms, mathematical statistics, and operator theory.

PHYSICAL SCIENCES. The main research fields in the physical sciences are nuclear physics, solid-state and semiconductor physics, plasma physics, optics and spectroscopy, and low-temperature physics. Most of the research is conducted by specialized research institutes at the University of Bonn and at the Munich and Braunschweig technical universities, by government research centers in Karlsruhe and Jülich, by the DESY acceleration center near Hamburg, and by such private research institutions as the physics institute of the Max Planck Society in Göttingen and the Company for the Utilization of Nuclear Energy in Shipbuilding and Shipping. The development of the physical sciences owes a great deal to scientists of the older generation who continued to work in the FRG, notably M. Born, W. Bothe, W. Heisenberg, and O. Hahn, who won the Nobel Prize for their work in quantum mechanics and nuclear physics. In 1958, R. Mössbauer discovered the phenomenon of nuclear gamma resonance, now called the Mössbauer effect, for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1961. Also influential was the work of J. H. Jensen, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1961 for developing a shell model of the nucleus, and of R. Berthold and K. Winnacker.

ASTRONOMY. West German astronomers are noted for their work in astrophysics, particularly the physics of stellar atmospheres (H. Kienle and A. Unsöld), cosmology (H. Hönl), and radio astronomy. An extensive program of astronomical observations has been undertaken by the observatories at Bochum, Würzburg, Nuremberg, and Tübingen.

CHEMISTRY. Important work is being done in physical, analytical, and colloid chemistry, electrochemistry, chemical thermodynamics, adsorption, and catalysis. Both private firms and the state strongly support research in chemical technology. The Chemical Industry Foundation was established in Frankfurt am Main as early as 1950. Primary attention has been given to improving the methods of processing fuel and construction raw materials and to the study of corrosion and ion exchange. Problems relating to the chemistry of nuclear fuel are studied by the Society for the Study of Isotopes, founded in Frankfurt am Main in 1957, and by the West German sector of the European Company for the Chemical Processing of Irradiated Fuels, which the FRG helped establish and joined in 1959. Another intensively studied field is radiochemistry.

Among chemists who have won renown for their work in physical and inorganic chemistry are E. Allenstein, K. Weil, F. Becker, G. Matz, G. M. Schneider, and J. Jander. Outstanding work in organic chemistry has been done by G. Wittig, G. Herberich, R. Gompper, W. Kirmse, H. Fritz, K. Freudenberg, G. Habermehl, and B. Helferich. Research is continuing on diene synthesis, discovered by K. Alder and O. Diels (Nobel Prize, 1950). H. Staudinger was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1953 for his work on macromolecules; further research in this field has been done by H. Ringsdorf, R. Schulz, J. Schurz, and G. Ebert. K. Ziegler received the Nobel Prize in 1963 for his research on the structure and synthesis of polymers. A number of studies on ultrafast chemical reactions were conducted by M. Eigen, also a Nobel Prize winner (1967), who joined the Academy of Sciences of the USSR as a foreign member in 1976. Important work in organometallic compounds has been done by E. Fischer, who received the Nobel Prize in 1973.

BIOLOGY. Notable advances have been made in molecular biology and physiology. Biological research revived in the 1950’s under the auspices of the Max Planck Society, the universities, and such new scientific societies as the Biometrics Society, founded in Bad Nauheim in 1952, and the Research Group on Marine Algae, founded in Hamburg in 1956. In the course of the decade important results were obtained in the study of the fine structure of genes. A. Wacker showed experimentally that the difference between the nucleotide content of DNA and RNA was a relative one. In the mid-1950’s G. Schramm demonstrated the genetic functions of RNA using plant viruses. His experiments in the polycondensation of macromolecules (1958) revealed a possible approach to biogenesis. In 1960, F. Anderer and other researchers at Schramm’s laboratory in Tübingen established the amino-acid sequence of the tobacco mosaic virus. H. G. Wittmann’s studies have also been highly important for the deciphering of the genetic code. H. Bauer, A. Butenandt, and W. Schäfer made a valuable contribution to the study of biochemistry and cytology. F. Lynen conducted a series of important experiments on the biosynthesis of cholesterol and fatty acids and on the biological function of coenzyme A (Nobel Prize, 1964).

In botany, W. Zimmermann’s well-known studies theoretically substantiated the telome theory and the principles of phyloge-netic taxonomy. H. Walter and J. Schmithüsen did valuable work in plant geography. Between 1948 and 1961, E. Bünning made several important discoveries about the physiology of plant development and biorhythms. The 1960’s saw major developments in zoology, such as C. Gans’ work in herpetology and R. Sie-wing’s research in carcinology. H. Autrum won recognition for his work in comparative anatomy. Research in comparative animal physiology is expanding. Fundamental research on instinct and the evolution of animal behavior in the ontogeny of mammals has been conducted at the Institute of the Physiology of Behavior of the Max Planck Society by K. Lorenz, who received the Nobel Prize in 1973. K. von Frisch, a professor of zoology at the University of Munich, won the Nobel Prize in 1973 for his research on the orientation and “language” of animals and on the physiology of the sense organs of fish and insects.

Morphology has been dominated since the 1950’s by the typological trend, represented in botany by W. Troll’s school and in zoology by H. Weber’s school of evolutionary typology. A. Kühn, A. Remane, B. Rensch, and H. Spatz are noted for their work on the theory of evolution. Research in ecology, hy-drobiology, and phytocenology has been conducted by K. Mägdefrau, W. Ohle, and H. Elster and by A. Thienemann’s school. Since 1970 the FRG has taken part in the international program called Man and the Biosphere. Applied research in biology, oriented toward agricultural problems, is flourishing under the auspices of such government organizations as the Association for Problems of Reforestation (Stuttgart, 1951) and various public organizations, among them the German Society of Applied Entomology (1949). Other research subjects include soil science, agricultural biocenology, parasitology, and the selective breeding and physiology of farm animals.

GEOGRAPHY AND GEOLOGY. After the war, geographical and geological research was conducted at the Geography Institute in Bonn, at the Academy of Regional Planning in Hanover, and at such new specialized centers as the Society for the Study of the Quaternary Period in Hanover and the Society for Cartography in Karlsruhe, both founded in 1950. In the 1950’s and 1960’s geological and geographical research tended to focus on geodesy, terrestrial magnetism, seismology, speleology, geological survey methods, geochemistry, and theoretical and applied meteorology. As a member of such international scientific organizations as the International Geodetic and Geophysical Union, the International Geographical Union, and the International Union of Geological Sciences, the FRG has participated in several international programs.

In conjunction with the growing practical importance of geology and geography, research on the protection of the environment expanded in the 1960’s and even more so in the 1970’s. Environmental research is sponsored by government agencies and such private organizations as the Foundation for Ecological Research, established in 1970. Research in geodesy, especially satellite geodesy, is also flourishing. Both government agencies and private firms call on geographers, geodesists, and ecologists to analyze and resolve problems relating to urban planning and the location of industrial and agricultural complexes. C. Troll has made a valuable contribution to the study of the relationship between terrain, climate, and flora. He has also written extensively on the ecology of landscapes. J. Schmithüsen is known for his work in landscape science. H. Lautensach and his associates have published works on historical geomorphology and theoretical problems of geography.

O. Schindewolf’s school has won recognition for its contribution to historical geology and paleontological problems of evolution. Among other major achievements in the earth sciences are W. Hiller’s works on geophysics, H. Schneiderhöhn’s studies of ore deposits, the mineralogical investigations of H. Strunz and P. Ramdohr and his associates, and P. Woldstedt’s work on pa-leogeography and Quaternary geology. Much attention has been given to oceanographic research, conducted aboard the Anton Dohrn and Gauss during the 1950’s and 1960’s. G. Dietrich produced major works on the thermal conditions of oceans. H. Flohn made a noteworthy contribution to the development of many aspects of climatology. J. Blüthgen has written on the general geography of climates, and M. Schwarzbach on paleoclima-tology. F. Baur has continued his investigations into long-range weather forecasting. Another eminent meteorologist, F. Möller, has done valuable work in actinometry.

SPACE RESEARCH. In the 1960’s the FRG embarked on a program of space research that included the study of the upper layers of the atmosphere, the ionosphere, the earth’s magnetic field, and cosmic rays. The FRG is a founding member of the European Space Research Organization and the European Space Vehicle Launcher Development Organization. The country’s scientific organizations and industrial firms have participated in the construction of a number of artificial earth satellites, including Iris 1, Aurora, Heos 1 (main contractor, the Junkers company), Boreas, and the Aeros series (the Dornier company). The FRG also builds automatic interplanetary stations, such as Helios 1, launched in the USA in 1974.

Medicine. Several medical research societies were formed in the early 1950’s, among them the German Workers’ Group for Oncology in Munich (1951), the Society for Allergy Research in Frankfurt am Main (1951), and the Society of Anesthesiologists in Heidelberg (1953). W. Forssmann continued his work, begun in the 1920’s, on cardiac catheterization (Nobel Prize, 1956). Notable advances have been made in cardiology by H. W. Knipping, in age endocrinology and the study of metabolism by O. Wieland and J. Kracht, in pharmacology by W. Schulemann, in histology and microscopic anatomy by M. Watzka, O. Gans, and G. Steigleder, and in clinical roentgenology by W. Frommhold. West German medical men have also made valuable contributions to general surgery (R. Zenker), orthopedics (M. Hacken-broch), X-ray diagnosis (H. Jungmann), and neurosurgery (T. Riechert). In 1959, G. Maier-Zwickerath developed methods for treating eye diseases by light coagulation. Prominent researchers in neuropathology and psychiatry include W. Loch, H. Hippius, and W. Scholz. Depth psychology has had a marked influence on the work of D. Wyss, A. Dührssen, M. Müller-Küppers, and V. von Weizsäcker’s psychosomatic school. The 1960’s and early 1970’s saw intensive research in social hygiene, gerontology, and medical ecology.

TECHNICAL SCIENCES. From the first postwar years applied research in engineering and technology received much attention from the government, various state agencies, and the country’s many research societies and professional organizations, notably the Association of German Engineers, the Society for Constructional Engineering (both founded in 1946), and the German Society for Aeronautics and Astronautics (1968). Much of the research and development is done by large companies. The Hoechst, Bayer, and BASF concerns, for example, conduct research on dyes, plastics, and artificial fibers and in petrochemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry. Research in automotive engineering is done by Volkswagenwerk and Daimler-Benz, one of whose important inventions is the Wankel engine. Research in electrical technology and radio engineering is sponsored by Siemens, which holds one out of every four patents issued in the FRG, and by AEG-Telefunken. The bulk of civilian research is conducted in the chemical, electrical-engineering, machine-building, and automotive industries.

Much attention is also devoted to military research and development, which was speeded up as soon as the FRG joined NATO. Many West German research institutes are engaged in military research, working in close cooperation with research centers in the USA, Great Britain, Italy, France, and the other NATO countries. In addition to developing and improving materiel, they conduct research related to weapons of mass destruction, despite the fact that the country’s activity in this sphere is restricted by several international agreements and treaties, notably the Paris Agreements of 1954 and the Nuclear Nonprolifera-tion Treaty. The necessity of abiding by its agreements had obliged the government to conduct most of its military nuclear research under “peaceful programs” or in countries with which the FRG has special agreements, such as Argentina, Brazil, Israel, and the Republic of South Africa.

B. A. STAROSTIN and V. V. SHCHERBAKOV (physics and technical sciences)

Social sciences, PHILOSOPHY, SOCIOLOGY, AND PSYCHOLOGY. In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s clerical circles were highly influential in the country’s ideological life. Neo-Thomism and other Catholic neo-scholastic currents attracted a wide following. The leading exponents of neo-Thomism, whose main center was at Pullach, near Munich, were J. Lötz, A. Dempf, W. Brugger, and H. Ogiermann. Phenomenology was further developed by H. Conrad-Martius, E. Fink, and L. Landgrebe. In the postwar years most of its adherents rejected the basic tenets of E. Husserl’s doctrine, as did many phenomenologists of the 1960’s and 1970’s, notably R. Boehm, A. Diemer, G. Brand, and G. Funke.

Philosophical anthropology, another influential current, was expounded by A. Gehlen, H. Plessner, E. Rothacker, M. Landmann, and H. Hengstenberg. The predilection for synthesis is best exemplified in U. Sonnemann’s “negative anthropology,” which seeks to combine Marxism with Freudianism, and E. Bloch’s “philosophy of hope,” a blend of liberal-socialist and theological ideas.

The existentialist doctrine of M. Heidegger, K. Jaspers, and O. F. Bollnow dominated philosophical thought in the 1950’s. The existentialist views of R. Bultmann showed a strong affinity with Protestant dialectical theology. Since the late 1950’s herme-neutics (interpretation) has emerged as the basic methodological concern of existentialism. The dispute over hermeneutics is essentially an attempt to resolve, from a phenomenological standpoint, the question of the nature and specific characteristics of philosophical knowledge. Moreover, some philosophers developed hermeneutics as an ontology (H. Gadamer), and others believed it could be applied to individual disciplines, such as literary scholarship.

Upon returning from exile in 1949, M. Horkheimer and T. Adorno reestablished the Institute of Social Research in Frankfurt am Main. After a brief efflorescence in the 1960’s, largely owing to the work of J. Habermas, the Frankfurt school disintegrated in the 1970’s. The famous debate about positivism that took place in the 1960’s between Adorno and Habermas of the Frankfurt school and the positivists K. Popper and H. Albert touched on methodological problems of social research. Also influential are several currents akin to positivism, notably the philosophy of science and critical rationalism, expounded by Albert and H. Spinner.

In the late 1940’s and in the 1950’s West German sociological thought developed under the influence of American sociology, one of whose most ardent champions was R. Koenig, founder of the Center for Sociology at the University of Cologne, where methods and techniques of empirical research were developed. Along with H. Schelsky, Koenig contributed to the advancement of industrial and family sociology. The prevailing theoretical orientation of this period, American structural-functional analysis, was challenged in the late 1950’s by R. Dahrendorf, who proposed the idea of “social conflict” as an alternative to the Marxist theory of class struggle. In the 1960’s and 1970’s a great deal of research was devoted to youth problems (F. Neidhardt), education (H. Peizert), and mass communications. Other trends include A. Grabowsky’s revival of geopolitics and K. Loewen-stein’s anticommunist “sociology of the state.”

Psychoanalysis holds an important place in psychology. Its principles are used in developing psychotherapy for criminal behavior and for children and adolescents, as well as in treating psychosomatic disorders (A. Mitscherlich).

Marxist thought is waging a struggle against bourgeois philosophical and sociological views. J. Schleifstein, R. Steigerwald, and other prominent Marxists publish in the magazine Marxistische Blätter. The Institute of Marxist Research was founded in Frankfurt am Main in 1969.

The main learned societies are the German Philosophical Society, founded in Heidelberg in 1950, the I. Kant Society (1969), the German Sociological Society, based in Frankfurt am Main, and the German Psychological Society (1903).

The leading periodicals are Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung, published since 1946, and Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, issued since 1948.


HISTORICAL SCHOLARSHIP. West German historical scholarship is remarkably prolific. Numerous historical works, usually based on archival sources, are published, and much attention is given to the publication of documents. Most historians have remained faithful to the traditions of German bourgeois historiography: their works reflect an idealist methodology and philosophical eclecticism, a denial of objective laws, and an anticommunist outlook. Like their predecessors, many West German bourgeois scholars seek to enhance the role of the ruling classes in German history, glorifying such “strong personalities” as Frederick II and O. von Bismarck, to whitewash the aggressive foreign policy of both Prussia and Germany as a whole, and to ignore or belittle the struggle of the working people against the exploiters and militarists. In tailoring historical scholarship to the political needs of the ruling circles, some West German historians are finding a “historical basis” for the policy of rapprochement with the Western powers. To justify the “Europeanism” of their country’s foreign policy, West German historians, even those specializing in ancient and medieval history, look for ahistorical parallels to the “Western community” and for examples of “supranational federations.”

On the whole, however, scholarly interest has clearly shifted to contemporary history. Many works dealing with fascism have been published. Most of them strive to conceal the culpability of the monopolies that engendered and wholeheartedly supported fascism and to demonstrate that fascism was an “accident” in German history. For a long time, works dealing with World War II espoused revanchism, distorted the causes for the defeat of Hitlerite Germany, and disputed the Soviet Union’s decisive role in the defeat. While devoting much attention to the resistance movement, bourgeois historians have claimed that it was led by members of the propertied classes and the officer corps, and they have cast doubt on the consistent antifascism of the German Communists, often resorting to outright slander.

The differences between bourgeois historians became more striking in the 1960’s owing to major political shifts within the country and in the international arena and to the obvious successes of Marxist historiography. Although the out-and-out reactionaries, among them W. Görlitz, E. Hölzle, W. Hubatsch, and W. Treue, continued to be influential, the dominant position passed to the “moderate” trend, whose members included such scholars of the older generation as T. Eschenburg, W. Conze, T. Scheider, and K. Erdmann and most of the middle-aged historians, notably K. Bracher, U. Wehler, R. Morsey, H. A. Jacob-sen, and H. Mommsen. The moderates have rejected several ideas that were refuted by Marxist scholarship and certain practices of the cold war period. Moreover, they have expanded the scope of research in social and economic history, have begun using sociological methods of analysis, and have shown more interest in the history of the labor movement. On the whole, however, their views have remained unscientific.

An anti-Soviet and anticommunist attitude pervades many of the publications devoted to the history of Eastern Europe and the history of the USSR, the GDR, and other socialist countries. Neo-Nazi historians, notably W. Glasebock, offer apologias for the fascist regime and seek to rehabilitate Nazi criminals. Concurrently, left-wing bourgeois historians influenced by Marxism are coming to the fore, among them W. Abendroth, R. Kühnl, and D. Stegmann. The left wing was strengthened by the research of F. Fischer, who struck a blow at reactionary historiography when he exposed Germany’s predatory aims in World War I. Works by Marxist historians, devoted for the most part to the last few decades, are appearing with greater frequency. U. Hochmuth, J. Schleifstein, and other West German Marxist historians have made a notable contribution to the study of the antifascist movement and the history of the FRG.

The leading professional organizations are the Union of Historians and the Union of History Teachers, both founded in 1949. The foremost research centers are the Ranke Society in Hamburg (founded 1950), the Institute of Modern History in Munich (1950), the German Foreign Policy Society in Bonn (1955), the Commission for the History of Parliamentarism and Political Parties in Bonn (1951), the German Institute for the Study of the Middle Ages in Munich (1819), the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (1925), the August Bebel Society for the Study of Scientific Socialism in Frankfurt (1963), and the Institute of Marxist Research in Frankfurt (1969). The principal historical periodicals are the Historische Zeitschrift (since 1859), Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte (since 1953), Saeculum (since 1950), Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht (since 1950), and Marxistische Blätter (since 1963).


ECONOMICS. Two opposing trends hold sway in the bourgeois economic thought of the FRG: neoliberalism, whose theoretical principles were developed largely by West German economists, and neo-Keynesianism. The West German neoliberal school is headed by W. Eucken, and among its leading exponents are F. Böhm, H. Grossmann-Doerth, F. Lutz, V. Muthesius, L. Miksch, F. Meyer, B. Pfister, A. Rüstow, O. Veit, and G. Schmölders. Taking a metaphysical approach to the historical development of society, the West German neoliberals hold that the ideal type of economy is the “social market economy.” Such an economy calls for the immutability of private property, an absence of price controls, stable money circulation, free competition, private enterprise, and the accountability of entrepreneurs to society. In defending free competition, the neoliberals do not oppose strictly limited government intervention in the economy. They believe, however, that the practice of forecasting and programming economic development that has been adopted in other capitalist countries is unacceptable to the FRG.

The theory of the social market economy was proclaimed official doctrine, and the practical measures worked out by its founders became the basis of the economic program of the Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union, the leading parties of West German monopoly capital. The theory’s influence on government economic policy was assured when many of its exponents, including L. Erhard, obtained prominent government posts.

The cyclical crisis of overproduction that occurred in 1966–67 showed the inadequacy of the theory of neoliberalism and the economic policy based on it. Neoliberal doctrine, dominant from the mid-1950’s, gave way to the neo-Keynesian theory, which advocated broad state intervention in capitalist production. The West German neo-Keynesians G. Bombach, H. Hirsch, H. Ortlieb, W. Krelle, W. Hoffmann, and C. Weizsäcker replaced the static model of the social market economy with the dynamic model of the “enlightened market economy.” Although the neo-Keynesian model provided for economic growth and global regulation of the economy, neither of which had been included in the neoliberal model, both models rested on the same basic tenet, the immutability of private property.

With the formation of the “grand coalition” of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats in late 1966, the neo-Keynesian doctrine became the theoretical basis for a new national economic policy. After the “little coalition” of Social Democrats and Free Democrats was formed in 1969, the influence of neo-Keynesianism in economic thought and practice became even stronger. But not even the neo-Keynesian economic model could avert the economic downturn of 1971–72 and the crisis of overproduction of 1973–75, revealing its inability to free the capitalist economy of the FRG of its inherent contradictions.

The main economics centers are the Munich Institute for Economic Research, the Rhenish-Westphalian Institute for Economic Research in Essen, the Institute for World Economics at the University of Kiel, the Hamburg Institute for International Economics, the Bremen Economic Research Institute, and the Institute for Applied Economic Research in Tübingen.

The Institute of Marxist Research in Frankfurt am Main plays an important role in the dissemination of Marxist-Leninist economic theory.

The leading periodicals devoted to economics are Marxistische Blätter (since 1963), WSI-Mitteilungen (since 1948), Wirtschaft und Statistik (since 1949), Statistisches Jahrbuch (since 1952), Wirtschaftsdienst (since 1917), ORDO (since 1948), IFO Studien (since 1955), Monatsberichte der Deutschen Bundesbank (since 1948), and Handelsblatt (since 1946).


JURISPRUDENCE. The neo-Thomist version of natural law that dominated legal theory in the 1950’s was supplanted in the 1960’s first by positivist ideas and then by theoretical constructs associated with modern sociological trends, among them N. Luhmann’s functional system theory, E. Lampe’s legal anthropology, and W. Maihofer’s legal realism. The social-reformist view of law as a means of reorganizing society without revolutionary upheavals gained wide currency.

The most influential concept in the bourgeois theory of the state is that of pluralistic democracy, which purports to reflect not the class but the group interests of different strata of the population and to regulate social conflicts, thereby ensuring social harmony. Technocratic theories are also popular. The idea of the rule-of-law and social state holds an important place in West German official doctrine (seeRULE-OF-LAW STATE, THEORY OF THE).

In the study of constitutional law, special attention is given to such pertinent problems as federalism and the relation between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The growing tendency to study the actual workings of the state is bringing constitutional law closer to the nascent discipline of political science.

In civil law, the concepts embodied in the Civil Code of 1900, still in effect, are being reviewed with the aim of adapting the civil law to new conditions. The revision is intended to eliminate the dualism of private and public law, to “politicize” civil law, and to limit the principle of freedom of contract in the interest of economic turnover. The law of economic regulation is developing into a separate branch of jurisprudence. The intensively studied theory of general European law aims at integrating the regulation of political and economic processes in the EEC countries, as well as the regulation of the status of their citizens. Systematic work is being done in comparative law.

The foremost research centers are the five law institutes of the Max Planck Society. Legal research is also conducted at the law faculties of universities. The principal legal periodicals are Neuejuristische Wochenschrift (since 1947), Juristische Blätter (since 1872), Die öffentliche Verwaltung (since 1948), Der Staat (since 1962), Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen (since 1970), and Archivdes öffentlichen Rechts (since 1886).


LINGUISTICS. Scholarship in various branches of linguistics is flourishing. Some of the best work is being done in comparative historical Indo-European philology, in which the leading authorities are J. Knobloch, K. H. Schmidt, K. Strunk, and O. Szeme-rényi. Other linguists are working on problems of typology and linguistic universals (H. Seiler), general linguistics and semantics (E. Coseriu), textual linguistics (P. Hartmann), and the theory of communication. L. Weisgerber has emerged as a leading theoretician and philosopher of language. Important research is also being done on various language groups, including the Iranian (K. Hoffmann), Hittite (A. Kammenhuber), Turkic (A. von Ga-bain, G. Doerfer), Semitic (W. von Soden), Romance, African, and Slavic languages. Of the many studies of the Germanic languages, especially noteworthy are H. Pilch’s works on English.

The leading centers for the scientific study of German are the German Language Institute in Mannheim (H. Moser) and the universities of Bonn and Freiburg. Extensive research on the grammatical structure of German has led to the publication of major works on grammar by H. Brinkmann and P. Grebe. German syntax and vocabulary are studied with the aid of computers; H. Eggers used computers in his preparatory work on a dictionary of contemporary German. Also studied are colloquial German and its regional traits. A series of studies are under way to describe the use of German in various countries. Material for a dialectological atlas of German is being published under the direction of L. E. Schmitt, and W. Besch is writing a definitive work on early modern High German grammar. Another research field is contrastive grammar, in which German grammar is being compared with English, Spanish, and Japanese grammar. The major linguistics research centers are in Göttingen, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, Tübingen, and Mannheim.

Publications devoted to problems of linguistics include Indogermanische Forschungen (since 1891), Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung (since 1852), Zeitschrift für keltische Philologie und Volksforschung (since 1896), Zeitschrift für slavische Philologie (since 1924), Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie (since 1877), Phonetica: International Journal of Phonetics (since 1957), Wirkendes Wort: Deutsches Sprachschaffen in Lehre und Leben (since 1950), Sprache der Gegenwart (since 1967), and Heutiges Deutsch (since 1971).

Scientific institutions. West German research institutions, of which there were 3,000 in 1975, are divided into state (either federal or Land), university, private, and “independent” institutions, the last having a special status and form of administration. The majority of the research institutions belong to the German Research Association, founded in 1951. The responsibility for promoting research and development lies with both the federal and Land governments. The federal government works through the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Research and Technology, and such consultative and coordinating bodies as the Science Council and the Interministerial Research Coordinating Commission. Although the government has direct authority only over state research institutes, it affects all research organizations through legislation and financing. Under a law adopted in 1975, research projects costing more than 200,000 marks are to be supervised by the state.

Whereas most theoretical research is confined to university research centers, applied research and technical development are carried out either at state and private research institutes or at laboratories run by industrial enterprises. State institutions include the academies of sciences of Bavaria (1759), Göttingen (1751), Heidelberg (1909), and Rhine-Westphalia (1950), the Academy of Sciences and Literature (Mainz, 1949), and some 120 major research institutes (1975). As a rule, the academies of sciences do not have research facilities; their primary function is to represent West German science abroad and to organize scientific conferences. The FRG has one space research center and seven nuclear research centers, the largest of which was founded in Karlsruhe in 1956. Comprising 20 research institutes and laboratories and employing 4,000 scientists, engineers, and technicians, the Karlsruhe Nuclear Research Center conducts theoretical and applied research in physics, chemistry, biology, and medicine and develops industrial technology and fast breeder reactors. It also conducts applied military research financed by the Ministry of Defense. The federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Forestry has control over several scientific institutions, among them the Institute of Physics and Technology in Braunschweig, founded in 1887. The institute’s 140 research laboratories, including those operating in its branches, conduct research in physics, chemistry, instrument-making, and industrial technology. The Land governments maintain 800 research institutes, including the Institute for Economic Research in Munich, the Institute of Oceanography in Hamburg, and the Petroleum Research Institute in Hanover.

Most West German research institutes are part of the system of higher education. The largest such institutes are the physics and chemistry institutes of the University of Bonn, the Experimental Institute of Agricultural Machine Building at the Higher Agricultural School in Hohenheim, and the Institute of Nuclear Physics at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main.

The core of the “independent” research centers is made up of the 48 institutes (1975) of the Max Planck Society, among them the Institute of Medical Research, the Gmelin Institute of Inorganic Chemistry and Related Sciences, and the Institute of History. In 1975 the society had a staff of more than 10,000 scholars, scientists, and technicians, of whom 4,000 held university degrees. State appropriations covered more than 90 percent of the society’s budget of more than 500 million marks in 1972. Reorganized in 1948, the society is governed by a senate that includes prominent scholars and scientists, businessmen, and members of the government.

Large firms and monopoly associations, among them Hoechst, Siemens, AEG-Telefunken, Krupp, Mannesmann, and Dornier, spend 5 percent of their annual circulating capital on research and development. They maintain research centers employing from 2,500 to 8,000 scientists, engineers, and technicians. Medium-sized and small enterprises must either buy technology and patents or establish cooperative research institutes. In 1954 several cooperative research institutes banded together to form the Union of Industrial Research Associations, named in honor of O. von Guericke in 1967. Today, more than 70 different enterprises belong to the association, which is engaged in applied research and development and assists the government in coordinating applied industrial research and development and in founding new cooperative research institutes.

The private sector also contracts work in research and development with state, university, and private research institutes. One of the country’s largest private research centers, the Battelle Memorial Institute, works on a contract basis. Founded in 1952, the institute had a permanent staff of more than 1,000 scientists, engineers, and technicians in the early 1970’s. It spends more than 30 million marks a year on research and development, chiefly in applied mechanics, chemistry, physics, electronics, metallurgy, and machine building. By the mid-1970’s the country’s industry was served by more than 200 private or quasi-state research institutes, 20 of which were members of the Fraunhofer Society for the Advancement of Applied Research, founded in 1949, whose budget came to 80 million marks in 1975. Much of the research done by these 20 institutes is contracted by the FRG’s military-industrial complex.

In 1971 some 300,000 persons were engaged in scientific research in the FRG. Of these, 172,500 specialists with a higher or secondary education, including 89,400 scientists and engineers, were permanently employed in research and development. In 1970 state research institutes employed 15 percent of all the research specialists with advanced degrees; university research institutes, 52 percent; and private and independent research centers, 33 percent. State research institutes account for 19 percent of the country’s research and development, university institutes for 20 percent, and private institutes for 61 percent.

Each year about 20 percent of the graduates of higher educational institutions enter the field of research and development; between 25 percent and 30 percent of them hold doctorates. Nevertheless, there is a shortage of scientific personnel, a situation that has been exacerbated by the “brain drain” to the USA, Canada, and other capitalist countries. More than 15,000 specialists emigrated between 1949 and 1975. As part of its campaign to induce West German specialists to return to their homeland, the government in 1965 established the Center for Contacts With German Scholars Abroad under the Ministry of Research and Technology.

In 1975 a total of 20,539 licenses and patents for scientific discoveries and inventions were issued in the FRG, 9,282 of them to West German scientists and engineers.

In the mid-1970’s the state accounted for more than 50 percent of the expenditures for research and development, the private sector for 47 percent, and philanthropic societies for about 3 percent. In 1970, 18 percent of the money spent on research and development went for fundamental research and 82 percent for applied research and technical development. Expenditures on research are rapidly outstripping the growth rate of the gross national product (GNP). In 1976, 24.2 billion marks (2.4 percent of the GNP) were spent on research, five times as much money as in 1964. The state contributed 12.75 billion marks, of which about 7 billion marks came from the federal government; in 1964 the state allocated 10 billion marks. In 1976 the federal government was financing 5,000 major research projects; over 60 percent of the state appropriations went for atomic, aerospace, oceano-graphic, and energy research.

The private sector finances predominantly industrial research and development. It contributes more than 40 percent of the money spent on science and technology (some 10 billion marks in 1972) and not more than 3 percent of the expenditures for research programs of general national importance. The most intensive applied research is conducted in the chemical, pharmaceutical, electrical engineering, automotive, steel, and machine-tool industries, whose research laboratories receive considerable assistance from the state (2.3 billion marks in 1973).

Expenditures for applied military research, financed by the state as well as by the private sector, are increasing. In 1971 the state spent 3.7 billion marks, or 23 percent of its allocations for research and development, on military research. Of this amount, 1.6 billion marks were spent on developing weapons and combat equipment. Some of the military research and development is carried out under joint research programs sponsored by the NATO countries. In 1975 such joint programs were allocated 700 million marks, representing more than 2 percent of the FRG’s military budget.

In the early 1970’s some 3,000 private foundations were supporting research and development in the FRG. Three of the largest such foundations are the Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Humanities in Germany (1949), the Volkswagen Foundation (1961), and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation (1959).

In 1970 more than 350 private and government services were engaged in collecting and disseminating scientific and technical information. Their activity is coordinated by the Documentation Center, founded in 1961. The government is taking steps to establish a unified automatic system for storing and retrieving scientific and technical information.

A member of more than 70 international scientific organizations, the FRG has participated in such international research programs as the International Geodetic Year, the Years of the Quiet Sun, the International Hydrological Decade, and various programs for the study of the upper layers of the atmosphere. The FRG has concluded bilateral and multilateral agreements relating to science and technology with most of the major countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America, including such socialist countries as the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the Polish People’s Republic. Scientific and technical cooperation with the USSR is expanding, chiefly in the fields of polymer science, household chemicals, ferrous metallurgy, electronics, machine building, and agriculture.



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Sovremennaia filosofiia i sotsiologiia v FRG. Moscow, 1971.
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In 1975 the FRG had about 1,600 newspapers with a total circulation of 22 million and some 9,000 magazines with a total circulation of 200 million. The Springer concern controls more than 30 percent of the country’s newspaper circulation. Its publications conduct nationalist, anticommunist, and revanchist propaganda.

One of the most widely read dailies is the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, published in Frankfurt am Main since 1949 and having a circulation of 295,400 in 1978. The paper supports the Christian Democrats, serving as semiofficial organ during their years in power, and addresses itself to business circles, the civil service, and the intelligentsia. Another leading daily is Die Welt (founded in Hamburg in 1946; circulation in 1978, 276,800), a Springer newspaper that supports the right-wing of the Christian Democrats. It opposes cooperation with the socialist countries and conducts malicious anticommunist propaganda The most popular daily is Bild Zeitung (circulation 4.7 million), a sensationalists extreme-right Springer newspaper published in Hamburg since 1952.

Other major dailies include Süddeutsche Zeitung (circulation 235,800), a moderate liberal paper published in Munich since 1945; Westdeutsche Allgemeine (circulation more than 569,000), published in Essen since 1948; Hamburger Morgenpost (circulation 400,000), a newspaper sympathetic to the Social Democrats published in Hamburg since 1950; Hamburger Abendblatt (circulation 340,000), a Springer evening newspaper published in Hamburg since 1948; and Rheinische Post (circulation 350,000), a newspaper close to the Christian Democratic Union published in Düsseldorf since 1946.

The leading sociopolitical weeklies are Die Zeit (founded in Hamburg in 1946; circulation 340,000), a newspaper that generally supports the liberal trend; Der Spiegel (founded in Hamburg in 1947; circulation 1.1 million), a magazine that claims to be nonpartisan; and Stern (founded in Hamburg in 1948; circulation 1.6 million), a popular illustrated magazine that reflects the views of the Social Democratic-liberal coalition.

The major party organs are Vorwärts (founded in 1876; circulation 74,000), a Social Democratic weekly newspaper published in Bad Godesberg; Die Neue Geselleschaft (founded in Bielefeld in 1952), a Social Democratic monthly magazine; Einblick (founded in 1973; circulation 980,000), a Social Democratic magazine published in Cologne; Freie Demokratische Korrespondenz (founded in 1950; circulation about 2,000), a daily information bulletin of the Free Democratic Party issued in Bonn; and Unsere Zeit (founded in 1969; circulation 60,000), a daily newspaper and the main organ of the German Communist Party. Other major party organs are Deutsches Monatsblatt (founded in Bonn in 1954; circulation 272,000), a Christian Democratic monthly magazine; Bayern-Kurier (founded in Munich in 1950; circulation 160,000), a weekly newspaper published by the Christian Social Union; and Deutsche Wochen-Zeitung (founded in Hanover in 1959; circulation 30,500), a weekly newspaper and the organ of the National Democratic Party.

Since 1946 the information service of the Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union has published in Bonn the daily information bulletin Deutschland-Union-Dienst (circulation 3,000), the weekly magazine Gesamtdeutsche Nachrichten und Kommentare, and the weekly digest Das Wichtigste der Woche (combined circulation, 10,000).

Radio and television broadcasting is carried out by regional centers: the North German, South German, West German, Southwestern, Hesse, Bavarian, Bremen, and Saar. There are two national television programs, one produced by the Association of Public Law Broadcasting Organizations and the other by the television network Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen. Regional television centers broadcast their own, “third,” programs. The radio stations Deutsche Welle and Deutschlandfunk broadcast to foreign countries, the first station in three languages and the second in 14 languages.


West German literature was for a long time shaped by the events of World War II, the struggle against fascism, the rise and fall of Hitler’s Reich, and the postwar destiny of Germans in the two newly created states. The desire to comprehend what had happened impelled many humanist writers to a critical reexamination of bourgeois moral and social values. Some writers arrived at socialist views, among them L. Frank (1882–1961), known for his social and psychological novel The Disciples of Jesus (1949) and his autobiography Left, Where the Heart Beats (1952). Others felt compelled to write about political problems and events, as did K. Edschmid (1890–1960) in the novel If They Are Roses They Will Flower (1950; reissued in 1966 under the title Georg Büchner: A German Revolution). Among those who looked to religion for consolation and developed Christian motifs were Gertrud von Le Fort (1876–1971), W. Bergengruen (1892–1964), R. Schneider (1903–58), R. Hagelstange (born 1912), and Marie Luise Kaschnitz (1901–74). Several writers took refuge in skepticism, notably E. Langgässer (1899–1950), who espoused a blend of clericalism, agnosticism, and irrationalism, and H. H. Jahnn (1894–1959). Still others escaped into a private world of melancholy (lyrics of K. Krolow, born 1915) or derived pleasure from a refined feeling for nature (poems of W. Lehmann, 1882–1968).

The despair and bewilderment brought on by the crisis in traditional bourgeois humanism was brilliantly conveyed by W. Borchert (1921–47), whose play The Man Outside (1947) introduced the theme of antifascism into West German literature. An awareness of the meaninglessness of the bourgeois world drove many writers who could not accept revolutionary ideas to existentialism, whose doctrine strongly influenced West German social criticism. The existentialist assumption of the hopelessness of human existence was developed by H. Kasack (1896–1966) in his mystical symbolist novel The City Beyond the River (1947). A sense of man’s insurmountable loneliness in his eternal conflict with society pervades the religious and existentialist novel Zanzibar, or the Ultimate Reason (1957) by A. Andersch (born 1914) and the novel In November at the Latest (1955) by H. E. Nossak (born 1901), written in the spirit of A. Camus. Such writers as S. Lenz (born 1926) posed moral problems of guilt and responsibility, conscience, and freedom of choice, albeit in a somewhat abstract manner.

Social and moral issues were treated within the context of the war and the defeat of fascism, a theme that from the outset held an important place in West German literature. United by their fervent antifascism and antimilitarism, a number of writers who differed markedly in their political convictions and aesthetic principles formed the Group 47, named after the year of its founding. The group included H. W. Richter (born 1908), a traditional realist best known for his novels The Odds Against Us (1949) and Thou Shalt Not Kill (1955); M. Walser (born 1927), famous for his satirical symbolic plays Oak and Angora (1962) and The Black Swan (1964); G. Grass (born 1927), an experimental artist with a predilection for the grotesque and parody; the existentialist Andersch; the master of philosophical lyric poetry G. Eich (1907–72); the avant-garde poet W. Weyrauch (born 1907); and the critic, essayist, and poet W. Jens (born 1923), who tended toward intellectual aestheticism. Several non-Germans joined the group, among them the Austrian poet Ingeborg Bachmann and the Swiss dramatist W. Hildesheimer. Another member was H. Böll (born 1917), whose novel Adam, Where Art Thou? (1951), is a passionate indictment of the war unleashed by the fascists.

German militarism was denounced by G. Ledig (born 1921) in his pacifist novels Rockets (1955) and Retribution (1956). In his play The Devil’s General (1946), C. Zuckmayer (1896–1977) criticized fascism from the standpoint of abstract morality.

At the same time, the “trivial” novel, a form of mass literature, became popular in the FRG. These novels depicted the war in a superficial and entertaining manner, their seemingly realistic narration belying their justification of the fascist past. A good example of such writing was the trilogy Zero-Eight-Fifteen (1954–55) by H. H. Kirst (born 1914). Similar to the trivial novel was the “soldiers’ novel,” in which an apologia for the “little man” who is not responsible for anything and a glorification of frontline camaraderie verge on an outright vindication of the fascist Wehrmacht, bringing the genre close to neo-Nazi literature, which propagandized militarism, chauvinism, and anticommunism. Among those who cultivated this genre were E. Jünger (born 1895), H. Grimm (1875–1959), E. Dwinger (born 1898), and W. Beumelburg (1899–1963).

The economic boom, or “miracle,” that began in the early 1950’s stimulated a proliferation of other types of mass literature, including women’s and detective novels, espionage fiction, and “novels of fate,” as well as pornographic and decadent literature. A number of young poets were influenced by the social nihilism and profound skepticism of G. Benn (1886–1956). It is significant that many bourgeois humanitarian writers who had returned to their homeland after the war either emigrated during this period (A. Döblin [1878–1957], F. von Unruh [1885–1970]) or found themselves isolated (L. Frank, H. Rehfisch [1891–1960], P. M. Lampel [1894–1965]).

The “economic miracle” dispelled the myth of general prosperity in the FRG, however, and the subsequent disillusionment with capitalism caused many West German writers to intensify their social criticism and focus on political themes. The early warning against militarization contained in the mocking surrealist novel The Attic Pretenders (1946) by E. Kreuder (born 1903) and the description of the new “lost generation” in the novel A Time to Live and a Time to Die (1954) by E. M. Remarque (who lived in the USA and Switzerland after the war) developed in the 1950’s and 1960’s into a sweeping denunciation of West Germany’s antidemocratic social system and its political reaction and revanchism. High moral purpose, humanism, and compassion infused Böll’s novels Acquainted With the Night (1953), Billiards at Half-past Nine (1959), and The Clown (1963). This period also produced some outstanding satirical novels, among them The Prodigies (1957) by H. Härtung (1902–72), Richter’s Linus Fleck, or Lost Dignity (1959), Walser’s Half Time (1960) and The Unicorn (1966), Grass’ The Tin Drum (1959) and Dog Years (1963), and Don Quixote in Cologne (1967) by P. Schallück (1922–76). Acute psychological insight distinguished the novels Pigeons in the Grass (1951), The Greenhouse (1953), and Death in Rome (1954) by W. Koeppen (born 1906). Other fine works included the trilogy The Flood (1949–51) by the Catholic writer S. Andres (1906–70), the novel Final Ball (1958) by G. Gaiser (born 1908), the satirical songs and short stories of E. Kästner (1899–1974) and W. Schnurre (born 1920), and the experimental short novels of A. Schmidt (born 1914). The unvanquished past and the moral responsibility of the older generation are the themes of the novels Engelbert Reineke (1959) by Schallück, Without Counsel (1963) by T. Valentin (born 1922), and The German Lesson (1968) by Lenz.

A desire to give meaning to national and world historical events, social criticism, and a concern with moral and humanist values marked the finest West German plays: The Underground (1945) by G. Weisenborn (1902–69), The General’s Dog (1963) and In the Case of J. Robert Oppenheimer (1964) by H. Kipphardt (born 1922), The Deputy (1963) and Soldiers (1967) by R. Hochhuth (born 1931), who moved to Switzerland in 1963, MaratlSade (1964) and The Investigation (1965) by P. Weiss (born 1916), who became a Swedish citizen in 1945, Lenz’ The Time of the Innocent (1965), and the plays of T. Dorst (born 1925). Progressive ideas have characterized plays for radio and television written by Lenz, Eich, and Weyrauch.

Several new trends reflecting different sociopolitical and aesthetic aspirations emerged in West German literature in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Sensing the futility of an antibourgeois protest that was not based on a knowledge of the objective laws of historical development, some West German writers have succumbed to modernist tendencies and have destroyed the wholeness of the human personality by making the biological principle an absolute. This trend is best exemplified in the works of G. Seuren (born 1932), R. D. Brinkmann (born 1940), and other members of the Cologne school of “new realism.” The quest for a positive world view has sometimes led to ultra-left radicalism, from which revolutionary and socialist sympathies are not necessarily excluded. A notable example is the documentary play Inquest at Havana (1970) by H. M. Enzensberger (born 1929). The bonds within Group 47 are weakening; some of those who began by championing nonconformism and opposition to the bourgeois system ended up making anticommunist statements.

Concurrently, fine psychological prose has been produced by Gabriele Wohmann (born 1932). Exposé and antifascist writing continues to flourish in such novels as Raised by a Servant Girl (1968) by R. W. Schnell (born 1916), Nossack’s The D’Arthez Case (1968), Böll’s Group Portrait With Lady (1971), Walser’s The Gallistic Sickness (1972), and Lenz’ The Example (1973). Realism is gaining ground among West German writers, as illustrated by the more recent novels of the existentialist Andersch (Efraim, 1967; Winterspelt, 1974) and by the works of the modernist U. Johnson (born 1934), a West Berlin writer whose novel Anniversaries (1970) has been widely acclaimed. Another modernist, P. Handke (born 1942), an Austrian writer living in the FRG, turned to realism in the novel Resigned to Misfortune (1972). Various forms of propaganda art are thriving, including performances by agitation groups, leaflets, proclamations, and a factory press, giving political overtones to the interest in documentary writing that marked West German literature of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

New progressive forces are entering the literary scene. M. von der Grün (born 1926), a former miner and the author of the novels Will-o’-the-wisp and Flames (1963) and Slippery Ice (1973), in Dortmund helped found the literary Group 61, whose members write about workers and publish the series New Industrial Poetry. Among the group’s most promising writers are W. Bartock, B. Gluchowski, and J. Büscher. Led by P. Schutt (born 1939), some of the group’s politically more radical members seceded to form the Circles of Workers’ Literature, also known as the Workshops of Literature About the World of Labor. The essays of G. Wallraff (born 1942), the prose and television and radio plays of C. Geissler (born 1928), best known for his play Cattle for Slaughter (1963) and his novella Cold Times (1965), and the political and agitation songs of D. Süwerkrüp (born 1934) and F. J. Degenhardt (born 1931), also noted for his novel Safety Fuse (1973), attest to the vitality of social criticism in West German literature.

Literary scholarship and criticism. In their efforts to revise the methods of classical bourgeois literary scholarship from an idealist standpoint, West German literary critics gravitated toward existentialism. A current akin to the New Criticism, called the Interpretation school, arose under the influence of Husserl’s and Ingarden’s phenomenology and Heidegger’s theory of art. Its adherents maintained that literature as a product of the human mind was determined by factors outside the social sphere and that a literary work must be understood, essentially intuitively, and explicated as an autonomous phenomenon, independent even of its creator, and as something having intrinsic value. The school was headed by the Swiss critic E. Staiger and the West German scholar W. Kayser (1906–60), author of The Art of the Word (1948) and The Rise and Crisis of the Modern Novel (1955). M. Kommerell (1902–44), O. F. Bollnow (1903–53), J. Pfeiffer (1902–70), and R. Brinkmann (born 1921) produced some of the school’s most important works in their polemics against the Munich school of “old” normative stylistics, led by K. Vossler (1872–1949) and L. Spitzer (1887–1960). Nevertheless, the social skepticism and narrowness of such literary scholarship was regarded as a shortcoming even by its proponents, some of whom, notably H. E. Holthusen (born 1913), turned to Christian values. Others attempted historical and sociological projections, as did E. Auerbach (1892–1957) in Mimesis (1946).

Dissatisfied with the neglect of historically concrete analysis, some literary critics began to show a greater interest in the sociological aspects of literary study in the late 1950’s, among them the established literary scholars B. von Wiese (born 1903) and H. Rüdiger (born 1908) and the younger critics K. Schröter (born 1931) and L. Winter (born 1936). In confining themselves to empirical research, however, such critics as H. Fügen ignored the aesthetic functions of literature. The writer and literary scholar H. Heissenbüttel (born 1921) argued that a relationship existed between consciousness and linguistic forms. Despite the absence of a common philosophical world view and methodological diversity, West German literary scholars have made a notable contribution to the elaboration of specific problems of literary theory. The novel has been studied by K. A. Horst (born 1913); P. Szondi (1929–71) has written on drama; and P. Böckmann (born 1899) has focused on German poetry. H. Mayer (born 1907), a Marxist, has produced important works on the German classical heritage. F. Martini (born 1909) wrote on the history of literature, and the publicist L. Marcuse (1894–1971) was also a leading literary critic.

The literary criticism of such ideologically diverse writers as Böll, Jens, Schallück, and Enzensberger plays an important role in literary development. Since 1965 Enzensberger has published Kursbuch, a dissident journal of literary criticism. Kürbiskern, a progressive critical journal founded in 1966, also prints works by writers from the GDR. Literary works are published in Welt und Wort (since 1946) and Akzente (since 1954). The leading philological journal is Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur, issued since 1955. The first national writers’ conference was held in 1970. At the second conference, held in 1973, West German writers decided to join the Trade Union of the Printing and Paper Industry.


Fradkin, I. M. Literatura novoi Germanii. Moscow, 1961.
Fradkin, I. M. Restavratory orla i svastiki: O neofashistskoi literature v FRG. Moscow, 1971.
Arkhipov, Iu. I. “Levyi radikalizm v literature FRG.” In Ideologicheskaia bor’ba i sovremennaia kul’tura. Moscow, 1972.
Karel’skii, A. V. “Dortmundskaia gruppa 61.” In the collection Zarubezhnye literatury isovremennost’, fasc. 2. Moscow, 1973.
Mlechina, I. V. Literatura i “obshchestvo potrebleniia.” Moscow, 1975.
Geschichte der deutschen Literatur aus Methoden: Westdeutsche Literatur von 1945–71, vols. 1–2. Frankfurt-am-Main, 1973.
Die Gruppe 47. Neuwied-Berlin, 1967.
Conrady, K. O. Einführung in die neuere deutsche Literaturwissenschaft. Hamburg, 1968.
Reinhold, U. Antihumanismus in der westdeutschen Literatur. Berlin, 1971.
Kühne, P. Arbeiterklasse und Literatur: Dortmunder Gruppe 61. Frankfurt am Main, 1972.
Batt, K. Revoke intern. Leipzig, 1974.

In the second half of the 1940’s construction in the FRG was largely utilitarian. As soon as the ruins were cleared away in the destroyed cities and villages, numerous corrugated steel Quonset huts were erected. Rubble and prefabricated wood structural members were used to build Notkirchen (“emergency churches”) according to a standard design by O. Banning. Administrative and government buildings were generally built in the neoclassical style. At the same time, experimentation was encouraged, and some architects sought to adapt modern architectural principles, notably those of the Bauhaus.

Arising under the influence of W. Gropius and L. Mies van der Rohe, the “Mies school,” whose leading exponents were E. Eiermann and P. Schneider-Esleben, strove for strict rationality in composition. Certain traits of German expressionism were revived in the organic architecture of H. Haering and H. Scharoun. The style is best illustrated by the Romeo and Juliet apartment complex in Stuttgart (1957–59), designed by Scharoun. A German version of brutalism was developed in the late 1950’s by M. O. Ungers.

The early 1970’s saw a tendency toward greater compositional flexibility and dynamism as architects searched for structural solutions that would permit transformations along the horizontal and vertical. Church construction, an important branch of contemporary West German architecture, is marked by complex designs and fanciful spatial solutions. Urban planning, begun in the early 1950’s, aims at preserving the historical centers of cities, solving transportation problems, and expanding parks. Nevertheless, haphazard building has transformed many city centers into separate supercities overwhelmed by traffic problems. In housing construction, blocks of low row houses coexist with tower buildings. Many of the newer public buildings have cantilever suspension structural members and suspended reinforced-concrete structural members. Highly distinctive tent-like cloth structures have been introduced by the architect F. Otto, whose designs were used in building the Olympic sports complex in Munich (1968–72, principal architect G. Behnisch).

At the end of World War II artistic life in the area now constituting the FRG was stagnant. Gradually, art groups were organized, the realists forming the Munich Artists’ Association and the New Group, and the avant-garde founding the German Artists’ Union. Artists of the older generation, who continued to work in the styles that had flourished between 1910 and 1930, played a major role in early development of West German art. They included the expressionists M. Pechstein, K. Schmidt-Rottluff, and E. Heckel and the landscape painter H. Purrmann, a student of H. Matisse. The profoundly philosophical works of O. Dix were frequently imbued with strong civic feeling. Humanist and anti-militarist images recurred in the paintings of W. Geiger and O. Pankok. Some painters used a thoroughly obscure artistic idiom, among them W. Baumeister, W. Gilles, H. A. P. Grieshaber, and I. Kerkovius.

On the wane in other European countries, abstract art gained a wide following in West Germany in the 1960’s. Its leading exponents were T. Werner, F. Winter, and E. W. Nay. The surrealists R. Oelze, E. Ende, M. Zimmermann, and F. Radziwill evoked the drama of the catastrophe that befell Germany during the fascist dictatorship. Radziwill’s works are a blend of surrealism and Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity). By the early 1970’s, virtually all the latest international avant-garde currents were represented. Op art and pop art works tinged by social criticism were created by A. Baschlakow, P. Wunderlich, K. Klapheck, H. P. Alvermann, and K. Staeck. Other artists produced hyper-realist canvases and “happenings” (J. Beuys). The leading exponents of realism, also a strong trend, were T. Niederreuther and A. Heinzinger. Many progressive artists have rallied around the magazine Tendenzen, founded by the critic R. Hiepe in 1960.

West German graphic art has continued the traditions of political and social satire that developed in German graphic art in the first third of the 20th century. The acute contradictions in West German society are depicted in A. W. Dressler’s etchings, A. P. Weber’s lithographs, and K. Hubbuch’s engravings. The works of K. Rössing, O. Herrmann, and C. Schellemann are imbued with tragic pathos.

In sculpture, the progressive traditions in German plastic art have been carried on by G. Marcks, H. Wimmer, A. Lörcher, and E. Scharff. Highly expressive religious sculpture has been created by J. Weber and E. Mataré. Such sculpture contrasts sharply with the work of the older avant-garde sculptors K. Lehmann and B. Heiliger and with the abstract sculpture of N. Kricke, B. Meier-Denninghoff, H. Uhlmann, O. H. Hajek, and E. Hermanns, all of whom came to prominence in the 1940’s and 1950’s. In their monuments to the victims of the fascist concentration camps, some exponents of abstract sculpture, notably W. Elfes, are creating images more closely related to social and historical reality.

The art of design is flourishing. Many of the country’s foremost designers have been trained at the higher school of design in Ulm.


Vseobshchaia istoriia iskusstv, vol. 6, book 1. Moscow, 1965.
Vseobshchaia istoriia arkhitektury, vol. 11. [Moscow, 1973.]
Marchenko, E. “Iskusstvo Federativnoi Respubliki Germanii.” In the collection Bor’ba za progressivnoe realisticheskoe iskusstvo v zarubezhnykh stranakh. Moscow, 1975. Pages 160–90.
Simon, A. Bauen in Deutschland. Essen, 1969. (In English, French, Spanish, and German.)
Mörschel, J., and J. Roh. Deutsche Kunst der 60-r Jahre, vols. 1–2. Munich, 1971–72.

Musical life revived quickly after the defeat of fascism. The leading composer of the immediate postwar period was P. Hin-demith. Since the 1950’s the operas of C. Orff have held a prominent place in the repertoire of German opera houses, which have given outstanding performances of his Die Bernauerin (1947), Antigone (1949), Oedipus the Tyrant (1959), Prometheus (1968), and Play About the End of Time (1973). Fine new productions of Orffs earlier operas, Carmina Burana and The Wise Woman, have also been staged since 1947. Famous for his prewar operas The Magic Fiddle (1935) and Peer Gynt (1938), W. Egk composed several new operas, the most important of which were The Irish Legend (1955) and The Inspector-General (based on Gogol’s play, 1957). The operatic repertoire has also included excellent productions of H. Reutter’s Doctor Johannes Faust (1936), The Lübeck Death Dance (1948), and Road to the City of Happiness (1948).

Banned in the Nazi period, the music of K. A. Hartmann was again performed. His only opera, Des Simplicius Simplicissimus Jugend (revised in 1955), and his symphonies and chamber music have become part of the standard repertoire. B. Blacher, another prewar composer, wrote the chamber operas The Tide (1947) and The Night Swallow (1948), the opera-ballet Prussian Fairy Tale (1950), and experimental compositions for various instruments. W. Fortner’s postwar evolution from neoclassicism to expressionism may be seen in the operas The Blood Wedding (based on Garcia Lorca’s play, 1957) and Elisabeth Tudor (1972). Another prominent composer is G. Bialas, best known for his Indian Cantata (1951), his cantata In the Beginning (1962), and his operas Hero and Leander (1966), Aucassin and Nicolette (1969), and Puss in Boots (1974). Other composers of the older generation who have produced important works in the postwar period include E. Pepping, W. Maler, H. Genzmer, and S. Borris.

A large number of talented young composers emerged after 1945. In his operas, oratorios, symphonies, and chamber works H. W. Henze, who settled in Italy in 1956, employs both conventional tonality and various ultramodern techniques. His best-known operas are Boulevard Solitude (1952), King Stag (1956), The Prince of Homburg (1960), and The Young Lord (1965). The avant-garde music of K. Stockhausen is performed chiefly at festivals of modern music. Among his major works are Counterpoints for ten instruments (1953), the piano pieces of 1952–53, Song of the Youths (1956), and Contacts (1960), the last two works incorporating electronically produced sound. Stockhau-sen’s compositions of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s reflect his fascination with Oriental religion and philosophy. Operas and ballets are composed by G. Klebe, B. A. Zimmermann, known for his opera The Soldiers (after R. Lenz, 1960), and H. U. Engelmann. The younger avant-garde composers, notably M. Kagel (who emigrated from Argentina), the Swiss K. Huber, P. Ru-zicka, E. Karkoschka, and H. Lachenmann, continue to write experimental music, although interest in this type of music has declined.

The centers of musical life are Munich, Bonn, Stuttgart, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, and Cologne, which have conservatories or higher music schools, orchestras, musical theaters, and church and secular choirs. Numerous national and international music festivals and contests are held in the FRG, as well as conferences and symposia on musicology and musical education.

Important work is being done in musicology. An impressive achievement is the music encyclopedia Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, edited by F. Blume. The leading authorities on contemporary music are K. H. Wörner, H. H. Stuckenschmidt, and U. Dibelius. The philosopher and musicologist T. Adorno has written on the sociology of music. W. Boetticher is known for his books on Orlando di Lasso and R. Schumann, and W. Wiora has done important work in folk music. The state has taken a greater interest in mass musical education (in kindergartens and general-education schools) as a result of the efforts of the composer C. Orff and his students W. Twittenhoff and G. Keetman. Orffs system of musical education has been widely adopted not only in Europe but also in America, Asia, and Africa.

West Germany has produced such outstanding singers as E. Schwarzkopf, H. Pilarczyk, D. Fischer-Dieskau, I. Borkh, A. Schlemm, C. Alexander, and E. Haefliger. Its leading conductors are E. Jochum, R. Kempe, H. Knappertsbusch, J. Keilberth, F. Leitner, and R. Kubelik. Prominent operatic producers include W. Wagner, G. Rennert, and G. R. Sellner. The largest opera theaters are the Württemberg State Opera in Stuttgart, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, the Hamburg Opera, and the opera houses in Frankfurt am Main and Cologne. Among major performing groups are the symphony orchestras of the North German and Bavarian radios. The principal music magazines are Musik und Bildung, published since 1969, and Melos/Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik, issued in Mainz since 1974.


Stuckenschmidt, H. H. Musik des 20 Jahrhunderts. Munich, 1969.
Linden, N. Musik zwischen Konsum und Kult: Eine kritische Studie zum Musikleben in der Bundesrepublik, 2nd ed. Wiesbaden, 1974.
Wiesand, A., and K. Fohrbeck. Musiktheater, Schreckgespenst oder öffentliches Bedürfnist Mainz, 1975.

After World War II several ballet companies performing in opera theaters left to develop their own repertoires. The traditions of plastic and free dance, popular in the 1920’s and 1930’s, were revived by Y. Georgie in Hanover and D. Hoyer in Hamburg. Interest in classical ballet revived after 1955, stimulated by the productions of foreign choreographers, among them N. Beriozoff, who staged the first West German production of P. I. Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty, A. Carter, and T. Bolender, all of whom left a mark on the work of German choreographers. T. Gsovsky, who worked in Munich and Frankfurt am Main, also influenced the development of West German dance in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

In the mid-1970’s the leading ballet company was that of the Württemberg State Opera in Stuttgart. From 1961 to 1973 the company was directed by the British choreographer J. Cranko, who staged many interesting productions, among them The Taming of the Shrew to music by Scarlatti and Onegin to Tchaikovsky’s music. Cranko also strengthened the company through recruitment. The choreographer G. Tetley directed the company from 1973 to 1976. Appointed director of the German Opera on the Rhine (Düsseldorf-Duisburg) in 1964, the choreographer E. Walter has developed a repertoire that includes classical ballets, works by G. Balanchine and B. Nijinska, and his own ballets. Working in Hamburg since the late 1960’s, the choreographer J. Neumeier has staged fine productions of Don Juan (set to Gluck’s music) and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. There are also major ballet companies in Hanover, Munich, and Cologne. Ballets have been created to the music of W. Egk, C. Orff, B. Blacher, H. W. Henze, and G. Klebe. Prominent choreographers include H. Rosen, P. van Dijk, and H. Baumann.

The leading dancers of the 1950’s and 1960’s were G. Deege, N. Trofimova, H. Hallhuber, and G. Reinholm. In the mid-1970’s the leading ballerinas were B. Keil, S. Hanke, and K. Vernon, and the premiers danseurs were H. Bosl, F. Kapuste, P. Breuer, and H. Clauss. Several foreign dancers performing in West German ballet companies have become famous, among them M. Haydée, E. Evdokimova, R. Cragun, and E. Madsen. Books on ballet have been written by H. Koegler, M. Niehaus, K. Geitel, J. Schmidt, and H. Regitz. The magazine Tanzarchiv has been published since 1953.


Most of the theaters in West Germany were completely reorganized after World War II. The progressive actors and stage directors M. Burghardt, E. Geschonneck, M. Hellberg, and W. A. Kleinau, all of whom later produced plays and films in the GDR, tried to revive the theater on a democratic basis. W. Langhoff, E. Engel, and E. Thormann staged antifascist plays, including F. Wolfs Professor Mamlock (performed in 1946 at the Schauspielhaus in Düsseldorf, at the Kammerspiele in Munich, and at the Stadttheater in Bonn), B. Brecht’s Master Puntila and His Man Matti (performed at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg in 1949), G. Weisenborn’s The Underground (staged in several theaters in 1946–47), and W. Borchert’s The Man Outside (staged in 1947 by the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg and many other theaters). Some playwrights, including Borchert and Weisenborn, worked in theaters as stage and literary directors. The Ruhr Theater Festival was initiated in 1947 through the efforts of the director H. Hilpert.

Most of the modern plays performed in the late 1940’s and 1950’s were either surrealist and “theater of the absurd” plays by such foreign authors as S. Beckett and E. Ionesco or plays by West German writers that essentially justified the German militarists, for example, W. A. Schäfer’s The Conspiracy (1949). One of the most successful plays of the period was C. Zuckmayer’s The Devil’s General. The interpretations of the German classics and of plays by leading 19th-and 20th-century dramatists, among them F. Wedekind, H. Ibsen, and L. Pirandello, were highly subjective and arbitrary, reflecting a lack of philosophical and historical analysis. Despite excellent performances by such actors as K. Dorsch, H. Körner, B. Minetti, L. Steckel, and E. Flicken-schildt, productions frequently amounted to mere formal experimentation.

In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, as a result of the struggle of West Germany’s peace-loving forces against revanchist policies, the creative intelligentsia and theatergoers took a somewhat different view of the purpose of drama. Despite the opposition of reactionaries in the theater management and the press, some directors began staging plays by Brecht. First staged by H. Buckwitz at the Frankfurt Stadttheater in 1952, Brecht’s Good Woman of Setzuan was revived by H. Schweikart at Munich’s Kammerspiele in 1957. The director P. Palitzch staged The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at the Stuttgart Staatstheater in 1958, and G. Gründgens directed Saint Joan of the Stockyards at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg in 1959. Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s Brecht’s plays held a prominent place in the repertoire.

Among the most frequently performed contemporary plays are R. Hochhuth’s The Soldiers and The Midwife, H. Kipphardt’s The General’s Dog and In the Case of J. Robert Oppenheimer, and M. Walser’s Oak and Angora. Plays that truthfully depict the social contradictions and ugliness of the capitalist way of life have become increasingly popular. Among the best such plays are F. X. Kroetz’ Upper Austria, The Nest, and Agnes Bernauer, performed at the Schauspielhaus in Nuremberg in 1976. In recent years there have been fine productions of Russian classics, including A. P. Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard (Schauspielhaus in Essen, 1975), N. V. Gogol’s plays, L. N. Tolstoy’s The Power of Darkness (Schauspielhaus in Düsseldorf, 1976), and M. Gorky’s Vassa Zheleznova (Stadttheater in Wuppertal, 1975) and Smug Citizens (Bonn, 1976).

West Germany’s leading theatrical performers are M. Hoppe, M. Nicklisch, J. M. Gorvin, S. Kazzan, W. Quadflieg, P. Lühr, M. Achtermann, M. Böhme, J. Liebeneiner, G. Kunath, I. Benesch, and W. Hinz. Prominent directors include H. J. Heyse, M. Fried, E. Wendt, K. Paryla, H. Treusch, H. D. Schwarze, R. Noelte, H. Utzerath, G. R. Sellner, and H. K. Zeiser.

The theaters that were damaged or destroyed during the war have been rebuilt. They include the Residenz Theater in Munich, the National Theater in Mannheim, the Schauspielhaus in Darmstadt, and the theaters of Cologne. Many of the country’s theaters are subsidized by municipalities, the Land governments, joint-stock companies, or religious organizations. The rest are privately owned. Dramatic performances are also given by “chamber” theaters, most of them founded by unemployed actors, and by small theater studios and students’ and workers’ drama groups. The country’s most famous puppet theater is in Cologne. There are drama schools in Munich, Bochum, and Frankfurt am Main. The principal theater magazine is Theaterheute, founded in 1960.


Circus. Most of the circuses in the FRG are traveling tent circuses, the largest ones being run by younger members of the prominent German circus families of Franz Althoff, Paul Busch, and C. Krone. The Althoff family’s three circuses are headed by Karl, Rudi, and Elfrieda Althoff. The Busch family’s Busch-Roland Circus has been jointly directed since 1963 by Paula Busch and Roland. The Krone Circus, now called the Sembach-Krone Circus, has been run by F. Sembach-Krone since 1948. These circuses do not have a fixed repertoire; their programs are put together while they are on tour and feature both German and foreign artists. F. Sembach-Krone is the only circus owner to have a permanent winter circus, located in Munich, in addition to a giant tent circus.

Among the leading circus attractions are the trained animal acts of Corty Althoff, R. Bemmerl, M. Hoiske, W. Milde, F. Sembach-Krone, and C. Sachs. The most famous clowns are Martini, Mendez and Seitz, Moreno, and the Fratellinis (Popit, Baba, and Kiko). Feats of tumbling, aerial gymnastics, and tight rope walking are performed by Armon, Peter Weill, the Williams, the Winter sisters, Dwortas, the Diamonds, E. Pipke, Mimi Paolo, Tonika, and Lill.


In 1946 the American, British, and French occupation authorities began issuing film-making licenses to West German film companies. A number of films made between 1946 and 1948 grappled with pressing postwar problems, portrayed the Germans’ disillusionment with Nazism, and told about Hitler’s concentration camps. Most of the films of this period, however, dealt with the “theme of ruins”—the postwar devastation and homelessness. Twenty-six feature films were released in 1948. From 1949, as the economy revived, film output steadily increased, reaching a peak of 100 films annually in the 1950’s. The films produced were frankly commercial, entertaining, sentimental, and sometimes politically reactionary and nationalistic.

Nazism and militarism were condemned in but a few outstanding motion pictures, notably The Devil’s General (1955) and the satirical comedy The Captain of Köpenick (1956; Soviet title, The Power of the Uniform), both based on C. Zuckmayer’s plays and directed by H. Käutner; The Last Act (1955, based on E. M. Remarque’s novel) and It Happened on July 20 (1955), both directed by G. W. Pabst; and The Bridge (1959; Soviet title, The Grim Reckoning), directed by B. Wicki. The mores of bourgeois society were scathingly denounced in W. Staudte’s Roses for the Prosecutor (1959), Fairground (1960), and Stag Party (1964), R. Thiele’s The Girl Rosemarie (1958), and K. Hoffmann’s The Prodigies (1958) and The Haunted Castle of Spessart (1961).

In the 1960’s the West German motion-picture industry began collaborating with film-makers in the Common Market countries, mainly France and Italy. A fund was established to assist film producers. Despite these measures, the artistic level of films remained low, and the output did not exceed 55 films a year.

The development of West German cinematography has been adversely affected by the large-scale import of foreign, chiefly American, films and the competition from television. The country’s motion-picture theaters show many films that glorify violence (gangster, detective films), as well as erotic films. Famous film stars include M. Adorf, H. Buchholz, H. Messemer, H. Knef, L. Pulver, H. Rühmann, O. Fischer, Maria Schell, Maximilian Schell, R. Schneider, and C. Jürgens.

In the second half of the 1960’s a group of young film directors revitalized West German cinematic art by strengthening critical realism and employing fresh and highly original means of expression in their films. Among the finest examples of their work are A. Kluge’s Yesterday’s Girl, U. Schamoni’s It, P. Schamoni’s Closed Season for Foxes, and V. Schlöndorff’s Young Törless, all made in 1966, J. Schaafs Tattooing (1967), P. Fleischmann’s Hunting Scenes in Lower Bavaria (1969), R. W. Fassbinder’s Fear Eats the Soul (1974), and W. Herzog’s Every Man for Himself and God Against All (1974).

International film festivals are held in Oberhausen and Mannheim. Motion-picture performers and technicians are trained at the German Institute of Film and Television in Munich. Research is conducted at the German Institute of Film Studies in Wiesbaden. The major film magazines are Film-Echo-Film-Woche (since 1948), Film-Bild-Ton (since 1951), and Film (since 1963). About 100 feature films were released in 1975. West Germany has some 3,000 motion-picture theaters.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.