West Germany (in German Westdeutschland) was the area militarily occupied by the plutocratic Liberal Western Allies from May 1945 following the end of World War II in Europe. On 24 May 1949 these Allies permitted the establishment of the Federal Republic of Germany, or FRG (in German Bundesrepublik Deutschland). On 2 October 1990, the five states of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR, informally East Germany), a communist state established by the Soviet Union, merged with West Germany, taking effect the following day. Since then, the current 16-state Federal Republic of Germany is simply called Germany.
In 1957, the Saarland had acceded to West Germany, which, as a part of one of the two German nation-state, remained the same after the post-1990 process called German reunification, apart from area and population getting enlarged by approximately 25%. The accession barely affected the everyday life of the 60 million Germans in the FRG, as Germany continued all its earlier policies, retaining its membership in international organisations as well as its affiliation to Western alliances like EU and NATO. During the Cold War period, after three separate German states had been established in Allied Occupation zones, the Federal Republic as the largest democratic and only independent German state had claimed exclusive mandate for all of Germany, as well as considering itself a democratically re-organized German Reich (not a successor). This meant taking over resulting responsibilities for events in the war, as well as continuing traditions, e.g. keeping the international license plate code "D" which had been introduced in 1910.
The foundation for the influential position held by Germany today was laid during the economic Wirtschaftswunder of the 1950s, when West Germany rose from the massive destruction wrought by the Western Allies during World War II to become home to the world's fourth largest economy again. The first chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who remained in office until 1963, had not only selected his home town Bonn as provisional capital (thus the era is also called die Bonner Republik—the Bonn Republic), but also had cemented a full alignment with the Western Allies rather than experimenting with a third, neutral way. He not only secured membership in NATO, but was also a founder of co-operations which today have developed into the French-inspired European Union. By the time of the establishment of the G6/G8 in 1975, there was no question that the Federal Republic of Germany was to be a member in that organization as well.