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Former German state in what is now central Germany. The area around the upper Elbe River from which Anhalt was constituted was, in the 11th century, still part of the duchy of Saxony. It achieved separate territorial status in 1212. Subdivided and reunited frequently, it was finally reconstituted as the duchy of Anhalt by Leopold IV in 1863. It became part of the German Empire in 1871. Reconstituted after World War II as Saxony-Anhalt, it subsequently became part of East Germany and, in 1990, part of reunified Germany.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Anhalt, visit Britannica.com.