A map of Germany Germany is Europe’s second largest country after Russia by population, and one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Lying in the centre of Europe, it borders nine other countries. In 1945, after World War II, Germany was split into two countries: West Germany, a democratic republic, and East Germany, a communist state backed by the Soviet Union. In 1990, the two parts were reunited. Today, it is a federal parliamentary republic, with a president, the head of state, and a Chancellor, who is head of the government and the country's political leader. Southern and eastern parts of Germany have a continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. The rest of the country is milder and wetter, cooled by westerly winds from the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean.
The northern third of Germany makes up part of the flat North European Plain, crossed by the rivers such as the Weser, Elbe and their tributaries. The land was smoothed flat by glaciers during the most recent Ice Age. Along the North Sea coast, the land is low-lying, fringed by sandy beaches and mudflats.
Germany has borders with nine other countries—more than any other country in Europe apart from Russia.
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