At this time of year twenty years ago something huge happened.
Separated in West and East Germany after World War II, Germany was finally reunified in 1990.
The Berlin Wall that led through the capital for more than 28 years fall and gave way for families to unify again. All these years people had been living with this Wall that not just meant separation, but suppression, lack of freedom and even death when someone tried to escape to the West.
Even after the decision was made to unify Germany, the process of putting it into operation took some time. You cannot just do that overnight.
Two completely different systems were clashing:
Democracy vs. Communism.
Capitalism vs. Socialism.
Private ownership vs. community ownership.
And the list goes on.
All the political issues that had to be dealt with…
And on a more personal maybe cultural level: people growing up with these different backgrounds.
Step by step the reunification was implemented with some important milestones as the Fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9th 1989, and the official accession of Eastern Germany to the German Democratic Republic on October 3rd 1990. The last mentioned date is a national holiday nowadays. But in this week of November we commemorate the emotional scenes of people coming to West Berlin, finally feeling free and unified with their fellows. You can watch some of them here.
If you want to get an idea how the wall and all the other protection installations looked like, you can click here to watch a short video about it.
This short video shows what happened since the reunification.
Here you can get more information about the situation of Germany today in respect to the reunification – which problems and differences still exist and which ones are already solved.
The reunification was a major event in German history. It has changed a lot but it is still in progress.