1951 Ilse Koch, "The Bitch of Buchenwald", wife of the commandant of the Buchenwald concentration camp, is sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in West Germany.
1955 West Germany gains full sovereignty.
1962 A storm kills more than 300 people in Hamburg, West Germany.
1965 West Germany and Israel establish diplomatic relations.
1973 The Bahamas, East Germany and West Germany are admitted to the United Nations.
1985 Hans Tiedge, top counter-spy of West Germany, defects to East Germany.
1987 19-year-old West German pilot Mathias Rust evades Soviet Union air defenses and lands a private plane in the Red Square in Moscow. He is immediately detained and will not be released until August 3, 1988.
1989 Cold War: Fall of the Berlin Wall. Communist-controlled East Germany opens checkpoints in the Berlin Wall allowing its citizens to travel to West Germany. This key event led to the eventual reunification of East and West Germany.
1990 East Germany and West Germany merge their economies.
1990 German re-unification: East Germany accepts the Deutsche Mark as its currency, thus uniting the economies of East and West Germany.
1990 West Germany and East Germany announce that they will unite on October 3.