The Bundestag mixed up the struggle against anti-Semitism with support for the most right-wing, populist government ever to rule Israel. Will Germany's government now make the same dangerous mistake?
Germany is a country in central-western Europe. It is a federal parliamentary republic with a population of 82 million people – the most populated country in the European Union.
The loosely connected German states, which were part of the Holy Roman Empire, were unified in 1815 after the establishment of the German Confederation. And later became a nation state under the Prussian German Empire, which was replaced by the democratic Weimar Republic after its defeat in the First World War. In 1933, the Nazi Party seized control in Germany and came under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler, and resulted in the Holocaust.
Following the Second World War, Germany was divided into four zones, controlled by the United States, Britain, France and the Soviet Union. Three of these merged in 1949 to for, the democratic West Germany, while the Soviet zone became the socialist East Germany. In 1961, they were divided by the Berlin Wall, but after the collapse of the Communist government of East Germany, the two were officially united in 1990.
The Reparations Agreement was signed between Germany and Israel in 1952. Under this, Germany acknowledged its responsibility for the Holocaust and agreed to compensate those persecuted by the Nazis, and transferred $845 million worth of goods to Israel. A military partnership was also established, under which Germany supplied arms and military aid to Israel. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were officially established in 1965.
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