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From province to Federal State

In 1945, after the end of the Second World War, the territory of the present Saxony-Anhalt was formed out of several areas into the “New Province of Saxony” by the Soviet Military Administration. With the adoption of the new state constitution in 1947 the territory was legally declared to be a state and was dissolved in the year 1952 on the basis of the national restructuring of the GDR, and then during the reunification of both German states on the 3rd October 1990, reinstated with slight changes.

The tiled wall painting shows a former map of Saxony-Anhalt within its borders of 1947 with amateur performances of the emblems of district capitals, as well as the symbols of industries and professions. Photo: Stefanie Böhme

On the 14th October 1990 the first State Parliament, after the reunification of Germany, was elected. Two weeks later, on October 28, 1990, the constituent meeting was held. During this ceremony, Magdeburg was chosen to be the state capital. The state constitution of the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt was adopted on 16th July 1992 and came into force two weeks later.

The economy came to a standstill

In the field of politics and economy, Saxony-Anhalt did not have a good start. Within four years there were no less than four Prime Ministers. Moreover, after the collapse of the GDR and the subsequent closing down of numerous publicly owned companies, the state's economy nearly came to a standstill. The highest unemployment rate of all German states and the migration of people westwards were the consequences. Since 1990, the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt has shrunk by about 670,700 inhabitants. After two county property reforms, (1994 and 2007) the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt now exists of three urban districts and eleven county districts.

The positive progress after 1990

Nevertheless, since the reunification the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt has succeeded, however slowly, but in steadily recovering economically. The gross domestic product (GDP) doubled over the first eight years, in state comparison the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt nowadays takes the 13th place. Economically, the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt remains committed to its former strengths, i.e. chemical industry and engineering, but created itself other main pillars like tourism and renewable energies. The local universities and research centers contribute to the positive picture.

In the way of culture, Saxony-Anhalt has a lot to offer: carefully preserved and restored historical buildings (“Romanesque Road”) are evidence of the region’s historic importance. Furthermore, Saxony-Anhalt is the state with the highest density of UNESCO World Heritages in Germany (Bauhaus Dessau, Luther memorials in Wittenberg and Eisleben, the old town of Quedlinburg and the Dessau-Wörlitz Gardens), and furthermore Saxony-Anhalt is the cradle of the reformation.