Reunification of Germany
Reunification of Germany
On October 3, 1990, East and West Germany were reunited after decades of separation.
Following World War II, the Allied Forces split Germany in two. The Western half was under the governance and protection of the United States, Great Britain, and France. The East was occupied by Soviet Russia. The city of Berlin, which sat entirely in the Eastern half, was similarly divided.
By 1949, formal occupation of Germany had for the most part ended. In May of that year, the West formed the Bundesrepublik Deutschland, (German Federal Republic). The East followed suit five months later, becoming the Deutsch Demokratische Republik, (German Democratic Republic).
Despite the newfound independence of East and West Germany, the city of West Berlin remained isolated. Though still politically a part of the Federal Republic, West Berlin had stayed under the authority of American, French and British occupation. It was an island “in a sea of red” – completely surrounded by Communist East Germany. And in 1961, the Berlin Wall went up, further cutting it off from both East and West Germany. It was almost like its own city-state.
Over time, the Soviet Union decreased their intervention in the area and in 1987 President Ronald Reagan challenged Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.” Two years later, East Germans began staging peaceful protests that led to the fall of the wall on November 9, 1989.
Two weeks later, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl introduced a 10-point program for the two Germanys to work together and eventually reunite. The first step came the following May when both German states signed a treaty establishing an economic and social union. Then on August 23, the Parliament of East Germany passed a resolution to unite the German states and submitted it to the government of West Germany. They agreed to the terms and it was signed on August 31.
East and West Germany were officially reunited at midnight on October 3, 1990. The German post office celebrated the event with the issue of two new stamps. Since 1990, October 3 is celebrated as the Day of German Unity.
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5 responses to "Reunification of Germany "
5 thoughts on “Reunification of Germany ”
The meeting where Germany was divided was the work of Stalin. Winston Churchill knew this was not the best resolution at the end of the war but he also understood that FDR, while the leader of the country that should have a strong influence in the Allies decision, was ill and did not counter Stalin on the negotiation as he should have.
How well I remeber, I had four brothers in WW2 and my turn came with Korean service. Let not two idiots, one of ours and one of theirs do a second take on it. The blind in Washington can’t see that Russia is doing to us what we did to the USSR.We made them go broke as we are currently going with the stupidity of our leaders and congress.
More accurately, the Allied Forces didn’t split Germany “in two”, but divided Germany into four occupation zones administered by each of the Allied Powers (France, Britain, US and Soviet Union). It was only later that the Soviet-administered zone (under Soviet direction/pressure) refused to join the other three zones and declared the German (Deutsche) Democratic Republic (DDR).
Active duty USAF that spent over 13-years in various European assignments as well as over eight years stationed in Germany. At the time, I was stationed at Bitburg Air Base, Germany getting ready to deploy for Desert Shield/Storm. Never thought the unification would ever happen-a great experience to actually experience it.
Believe it or not, Americans could enter into East Berlin through Checkpoint Charley as tourists. My Mom, who grew up in Germany but was a US citizen and I briefly crossed over one wnter day in the 1960’s just to see what it was like.
It was just as bleak and depressing a place as everybody at the time said it was. If you never thought about it before, it sure made you appreciate how fortunate you were not to live there.