On this day – 20 years ago by now – Germany experienced her one and only wonder.
The two parts of Germany – separated after World War II into two parts know as
Western Germany or Federal Republic of Germany (BRD) and East Germany known as German Democratic Republic (GDR / DDR) reunified after 41 years of
I can’t still believe it, it makes me cry all the time when I think of it.
When I was born, the separation of the two German states seems to be cemented forever.
Berlin was cut into two halves by an ugly wall made out of concrete as the rest of the country as well.
I have been lucky being born in the Federal Republic, the Western part of Germany.
I grew up with a similar system as the United States or Great Britain – a more or less free democracy with regular elections.
There was the opportunity of free speech, free travel, free anything – Freedom!
We got it.
People living in Western Germany and the Western part of Berlin, as I did from 1986 onward, even got the chance to travel to the East, the socialistic
part of Germany, the second half, the GDR.
The part of Germany, which was controlled by the Soviets, by Stalin, Khrushchev, later on by Gorbachev.
The people of the Federal Republic of Germany, the free part, started to become full, full of everything.
We got everything: freedom, traveling, the world, bananas, democracy, every food we wanted, pizza, later on doner kebab, spaghetti, chop suey,
hamburgers, cars, money – everything – economic miracle with a little help from our friends in the USA.
Sure the western citizens learned how to demonstrate as well. The subjects have been and still are high classed: nuclear power, disposal of the
remains of the nuclear power, dealing with history, nowadays environment, social justice – but even when demonstrating, we have been full.
When talking to people who grew up in the east part, nobody would say that compared to the western part they had nothing. That was not true.
Eastern Germans had work, they had a tremendous solidarity, something I have never experienced. They didn’t had bananas, which is not necessary to
live a full life .
They had enough food for sure, but it was on a different level as the western Germans experienced it, and as the Americans or British people are used
Much more simple as far as I remember the narrations of my East German friends.
But most of all our East German fellow citizens lacked freedom.
Free Speech, free travel, sometimes even free choice of profession – not for them.
So in 1989 East Germany started to demonstrate.
I am still getting Goosebumps when thinking about it.
Their slogan was very simple “Wir sind das Volk” – “We are the people” – to separate themselves from the government!
Luckily and despite the experiences down in 1953 everything remained peaceful.
This was a miracle.
Than in November 1989 that wall came down.
All of a sudden Berlin wall and German frontier was history.
Just watch the video to get an impression how dramatically this was.
It is amazing.
Two different countries, who had been once before but who had been separated for 40 years at that time, two different political systems finally
Despite the impression Western Germany and Germany of today give to Europe or the World, Western Germany has never been socialistic or communistic –
that was and is the democratic part of Germany. We learned everything we know in democracy from England, America and a bit from France. Communism went
German politics was made by conservative parties, by parties who worshiped the money or by social and green parties – but all in all the concepts
are not so different. Some election periods have been a bit more conservative than others ……… but most of all capitalism ruled!
Now in 1989 east met west, communism met capitalism, and the former communist were more than willing to merge into capitalism, to become part of
So in May 1990 the first really free elected GDR parliament and the Federal Republic signed a treaty agreeing on monetary, economic and social
July 1990 – DM (German Mark) became the only money in the GDR.
The outer re-unifciation was finalized, the inner re-unification is still on the way.
But as Willy Brandt, the former governing mayor of Berlin and chancellor of the FRG said: “Es wächst zusammen was zusammen gehört” – “It
grows together what belongs together” – we are still on our way, and most of all it is a good way.
There are problems in money, there is a new wall between rich and poor, there are tremendous social problems like unemployment or
But these days we are happy that we are together for 20
years by now!
I am happy that I have been part of this history, that I experienced it by myself.
I am also happy that I had the chance to grew up where I grew up but that I also had the chance to see how life had been in the other part of
But most of all I am happy that my son lives in one Germany, a united Germany in an united Europe.
For him this silly wall is history.
Sorry, it's just something I feel rather passionate about.
Anyways, I have German heritage as my entire grandma family(moms side) is all German coming from a previous Germanic King and a US presidential
hopeful in 1868 (Asa Packer). So Germany will
always hold a special place in my heart.
Also I find the German women sexy.
- God save the Republic!
edit on 10/4/2010 by Misoir because: (no reason given)
misoir you are quiet right.
no country ever should be divided into two halfs.
neither Israel and Palestine nor the two Coreas!
it is always a shame.
even if i never have experience the cage of not being free, i suffer with nations who have not the opportunity to move the way they want to move, who
imprision their citizens.
when moving to Berlin in 1986 it was a strange feeling.
being free to travel but living in a city surrounded by a gigantic wall!
when visiting my parents in Western Germany i had to travel - transit - through the GDR. Either via train or via car - people going from western
berlin to western germany and back had to present a passport!
due to transit agreement of 1972 you usually haven.t been rejected but it was a
strange very strange feeling.
yesterday i did the trip with a friend - had been at my mom.s 80s birthday - and we went by car via highway A2 back to berlin.
today it is a 5 federal state journey - west: northrhine-westfalia, lower saxxonia east: saxony-anhalt, brandenburg west: berlin - when passing the
former border between lower saxxonia and saxony-anhalt at helmstedt / marienborn we joked about getting the passports, but there was that strange
feeling again, a certain fear - the border is not there, but the feeling seems to be in the air, not going away so easily if you once experienced.
but all the time the strange feeling from the past is combined with the relief, that the frontier, the border, the barrier the wall is gone!
i from the bottom of my heart i wish that all frontiers will be gone soon.
europe is blessed with the schengen agreement which grants free travel without showing my
passport from denmark to italy from great britain to poland
Congratulations on your 20 year anniversary yesterday.
I remember coming home from school and finding Mom in front of the television, crying like it was the end of the world. It was strange to see her
care about anything outside herself. I asked her what was the matter and she explained they built a wall in Berlin, Germany. As a child, I was like
"What? A wall? What's so upsetting about a wall?" She explained about how families were divided, husbands had gone to work and were unable to
return home to their families. It was family divisions that was upsetting her.
I thought that was 1964; but, checking the history on wiki I found it was about 1961 - 1963 or so.
Wiki shows walls being built all the way up to 1989! That's just shortly before they began tearing them down.
Anyway, whatever year it was, it was tragic news here in America.
they have started to built the wall on august 13 1961.
but the process of building it - or lets say: to improve it lasted for years
it was a death zone.
and as your mom said: families and friends were divided
the western people have been able to look over the wall and some to visit the eastern parts but eastern people didn.t had the chance, only when they
were old enough to get pension.
The reunification of Germany is one of the greatest events of the last 100 years.
Celebrate and enjoy.
The trials and tribulations Germany has suffered are something no nation should have to endure.
Here's to the next 20 years.
May peace and prosperity reign
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