|Erfurt (pronounced [ˈɛɐ̯fʊɐ̯t]) is a city in central Germany. It is the capital of the state of Thuringia with a population of 202,619 (2006). |
Erfurt is located 100 km SW of Leipzig, 113 km SE of Kassel and 180 km SE of Hannover. Erfurt Airport can be reached by plane via Munich, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Hamburg.
On April 12, 1945, during World War II, Erfurt was taken by units of the U.S. Third Army under General George Patton. On July 3, American troops left the city and it was occupied by the Soviet Red Army. In contrast to most other major German cities, Erfurt suffered only limited damage from Allied air raids during the war. Erfurt fell in the Soviet Zone of occupation, which would later become East Germany.
After German reunification, Erfurt became the capital of the re-established state of Thuringia.