Germany – Western Germany – West Germany – W.Germany – Germany

This topic contains 8 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  SEastman 3 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #33261 Reply


    I thought I had this Germany – West Germany dating thing worked out years ago. But I have long lost my sources and checking is giving me different answers.

    Has anyone worked out a really good timeline, if there is one?

    I can see that different companies did not necessarily use the same choice the same years.

    As far as I can figure, “Made in Germany” continued to be used by some firms right up to the late 70’s.
    At some point, some firms started putting “Western Germany” instead, definitely after the war but probably early 70’s to late 70’s.
    Sometime in the 70’s an actual law was passed to use “West Germany” but I’ve lost the date. It was not particularly enforced at first but the marking shows up in the late 70’s and through the 80’s. Sometimes, mostly in the later years, it became “W.Germany”

    Everyone switched back rapidly to “Germany” in 1990, probably just a few still using the old marks the following year.

    Just for added confusion, I just spotted a single stein from King that was exported to Canada which is marked both “Western Germany” and “importe’ d’ Allemagne” I thought everyone used English for those marks but I guess the Canadians are so sensitive they had to have both – and there is no west in the French version.

    So, has anyone worked out more detail, perhaps by manufacturer?

  • #33266 Reply


    Someone can give a more detailed answer but as I understand it “Western Germany” was required from after WWII until the removal of the Berlin Wall. I don’t know if there are hard/fast to/from dates. I am sure there are many steins made and stamped Western Germany but not released until a date after the requirement changed.

  • #33272 Reply



    Victory in Europe was officially declared on 05/08/45. It was divided into three Allied Zones (U.S., British and Russian) and France. Items are usually identified by the German zone. In 1949, Germany was divided. The Federal Republic of Germany (known as West Germany in English) was created on 05/23/49. Items are usually identified as W. Germany or West Germany. With the opening of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, the door was open to reunification. They started tearing down the wall in June 1990 and formal reunification took place on 10/03/90. Sometime during the Cold War the term Western Germany became popular. I think this may have been more of a political statement than a precise or official term. The marks on items do not necessarily follow the exact date of events.

  • #33275 Reply


    sbreuning, no you are quite wrong about that. Many people who collect steins are confused by the notion that once Germany was de facto separated that they immediately began thinking of themselves that way and began so marking their products. They did not.

    Ron, I know the political history and can easily look up precise dates; but, that’s not how the stein making firms marked their items, or other exporters. The timeline I described in my question is roughly correct but I was hoping someone had worked out something better. Maybe a timeline for the markings of each of the major firms? But I guess not.

    One of the ways I am able to be sure of part of the timeline is from my collection of SCI convention steins. I know the date of those to the year. Unfortunately not all of them are marked and they come from several different manufacturers.

    I didn’t mention that shortly after the war some steins were marked “French Sector” and I think a few “American Sector”. The sectors only lasted a few years but I suspect the markings were mandatory because there would have been no motivation to use them that I can think of.

    • #33279 Reply



      The exports were required to show the country of origin. The marks generally followed the historical dates and names. I am not aware of any one document showing how each manufacturer chose to show their country markings. If you go to the Gerz page on SteinMarks, you will see they used W. Germany, W-Germany, West Germany and Western Germany. I don’t think you are going to find any magic formula that will give you all the answers you want. In most cases, the name only helps identify a period, not a specific date.

      Eckhardt & Engler continued to use the back-to-back “E” over and “H” mark long after Hoehr and Grenzhasen merged in 1936. Don’t expect any of these rules to solve questions for you. They are not hard and fast rules. There are exceptions and mistakes.

  • #33281 Reply


    I found the reference to when they were supposed to start specifying West rather than plain Germany. It was in 1973, but it was a court decision rather than a new law. So before 1973 it was voluntary, probably Western Germany. After that they were supposed to use West Germany but no particular format and it does not seem to have been enforced, at least for a few years.

    I guess main takeaway is that the Germany vs West Germany did not occur at the end of the war as many people guess but into the mid-70’s.

    • #33284 Reply



      Can you share the reference with us?

    • #33375 Reply


      I guess we are not going to get the reference. At best, what we have is an exception to the rule, not the rule itself. We don’t know if this is one company or what product is involved. My guess is this is one company that didn’t want to say West Germany. The court is not making the rule, it is just enforcing what the law is.

  • #33389 Reply


    Darn. Now I’ll have to find it again. The law was actually about putting “Made in Germany” on the products to identify where the product was made. The court, as I read it, decided that it was no longer sufficient with there being two distinct, de facto countries comprising Germany. So the court said the manufacturers had to be more specific.

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