German reunification

reunification of Germanyreunificationreunified1990German re-unificationreunified GermanyGermany's reunificationGerman reunionreunitedGerman unity
German reunification (Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic (GDR, colloquially East Germany; German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik/DDR) became part of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, colloquially West Germany; German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland/BRD) to form the reunited nation of Germany, as provided by Article 23 of the FRG's then constitution (Grundgesetz).wikipedia
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West Germany

West GermanFederal Republic of GermanyGermany
German reunification (Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic (GDR, colloquially East Germany; German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik/DDR) became part of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, colloquially West Germany; German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland/BRD) to form the reunited nation of Germany, as provided by Article 23 of the FRG's then constitution (Grundgesetz). Between 1947 and 1949, the three zones of the western allies were merged, forming the Federal Republic of Germany and West Berlin, aligned with capitalist Europe (which later developed into the European Community).
West Germany was the informal name for the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesrepublik Deutschland), a country in Western Europe, in the period between its formation on 23 May 1949 and German reunification on 3 October 1990.

German Unity Day

Day of German Unity3 October 1990German reunification
The end of the unification process is officially referred to as German unity (Deutsche Einheit), celebrated each year on 3 October as German Unity Day (Tag der deutschen Einheit).
It commemorates the anniversary of German reunification in 1990 when the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) were unified, so that for the first time since 1945 there existed a single German state.

Germany

GermanGERFederal Republic of Germany
German reunification (Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic (GDR, colloquially East Germany; German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik/DDR) became part of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, colloquially West Germany; German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland/BRD) to form the reunited nation of Germany, as provided by Article 23 of the FRG's then constitution (Grundgesetz).
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990.

Berlin

Berlin, GermanyState of BerlinGerman capital
Berlin was reunited into a single city, and was once again designated as the capital of united Germany.
Following German reunification in 1990, Berlin once again became the capital of all of Germany.

East Germany

East GermanGerman Democratic RepublicGDR
German reunification (Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic (GDR, colloquially East Germany; German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik/DDR) became part of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, colloquially West Germany; German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland/BRD) to form the reunited nation of Germany, as provided by Article 23 of the FRG's then constitution (Grundgesetz). The Soviet zone became the German Democratic Republic with its capital in East Berlin, part of the communist Soviet Bloc.
The GDR dissolved itself, and Germany was reunified on 3 October 1990, becoming a fully sovereign state again.

Iron Curtain

the Iron CurtainSinews of PeaceEastern Europe
The East German government started to falter in May 1989, when the removal of Hungary's border fence with Austria opened a hole in the Iron Curtain. The wall had stood as an icon for the political and economic division between East and West, a division that Churchill had referred to as the "Iron Curtain".
The nations to the east of the Iron Curtain were Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, and the USSR; however, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and the USSR have since ceased to exist.

Politics of Germany

German governmentGovernment of GermanyGerman
Under the "Two Plus Four Treaty" both the Federal Republic and the Democratic Republic committed themselves and their unified continuation to the principle that their joint pre-1990 boundaries constituted the entire territory that could be claimed by a Government of Germany, and hence that there were no further lands outside those boundaries that were parts of Germany as a whole.
The political system is laid out in the 1949 constitution, the Grundgesetz (Basic Law), which remained in effect with minor amendments after German reunification in 1990.

Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany

Two Plus Four AgreementTwo Plus Four TreatyTwo Plus Four
Other negotiations between the GDR and FRG and the four occupying powers produced the so-called "Two Plus Four Treaty" (Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany) granting full sovereignty to a unified German state, whose two parts were previously bound by a number of limitations stemming from their post-World War II status as occupied regions.
In the treaty the Four Powers renounced all rights they held in Germany, allowing a united Germany to become fully sovereign the following year.

Hans-Dietrich Genscher

Hans Dietrich GenscherGenscherForeign Minister Genscher
The official and most common term in German is "Deutsche Einheit" ("German unity"); this is the term that Hans-Dietrich Genscher used in front of international journalists to correct them when they asked him about "reunification" in 1990.
He is widely regarded as having been a principal "architect of German reunification."

Oder–Neisse line

Oder-Neisse lineOder-Neiße linefrontier changes
The key question was whether a Germany that remained bounded to the east by the Oder–Neisse line could act as a "united Germany" in signing the peace treaty without qualification.
After the revolutions of 1989, the newly reunified Germany and the newly democratic Republic of Poland definitively accepted the line as their border in the 1990 German–Polish Border Treaty.

West Berlin

West-BerlinWestBerlin
Between 1947 and 1949, the three zones of the western allies were merged, forming the Federal Republic of Germany and West Berlin, aligned with capitalist Europe (which later developed into the European Community).
On 3 October 1990, the day Germany was officially reunified, East and West Berlin formally reunited as the city of Berlin.

1990 East German general election

1990free electionsfree election
The Peaceful Revolution, a series of protests by East Germans, led to the GDR's first free elections on 18 March 1990, and to the negotiations between the GDR and FRG that culminated in a Unification Treaty.
The largest bloc was the Alliance for Germany, led by the East German branch of the Christian Democratic Union and running on a platform of speedy reunification with the West.

Egon Krenz

Krenz, Egon
However, anti-communist activists from Eastern Germany rejected the term Wende as it was introduced by SED's (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, Socialist Unity Party of Germany) Secretary General Egon Krenz.
After German reunification in 1990, he was sentenced, in a politically motivated trial, to six-and-a-half years in prison for manslaughter, for his role in the communist government.

European Union

EUEuropeanEurope
As such, the enlarged Federal Republic of Germany retained the West German seats in international organizations including the European Community (later the European Union) and NATO, while relinquishing membership in the Warsaw Pact and other international organizations to which only East Germany belonged.
In 1990, after the fall of the Eastern Bloc, the former East Germany became part of the Communities as part of a reunified Germany.

Warsaw Pact

Soviet blocWarsaw TreatyEastern Bloc
As such, the enlarged Federal Republic of Germany retained the West German seats in international organizations including the European Community (later the European Union) and NATO, while relinquishing membership in the Warsaw Pact and other international organizations to which only East Germany belonged.
East Germany withdrew from the Pact following the reunification of Germany in 1990.

NATO

North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationNorth Atlantic Treaty OrganisationNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
As such, the enlarged Federal Republic of Germany retained the West German seats in international organizations including the European Community (later the European Union) and NATO, while relinquishing membership in the Warsaw Pact and other international organizations to which only East Germany belonged.
The first post-Cold War expansion of NATO came with German reunification on 3 October 1990, when the former East Germany became part of the Federal Republic of Germany and the alliance.

East Berlin

BerlinEastEast-Berlin
The Soviet zone became the German Democratic Republic with its capital in East Berlin, part of the communist Soviet Bloc.
On 3 October 1990, the day Germany was officially reunified, East and West Berlin formally reunited as the city of Berlin.

Socialist Unity Party of Germany

SEDSocialist Unity PartySocialist Unity Party (''"Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands"'' / SED)
However, anti-communist activists from Eastern Germany rejected the term Wende as it was introduced by SED's (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, Socialist Unity Party of Germany) Secretary General Egon Krenz.
The party's last leader, Egon Krenz, was unsuccessful in his attempt to retain the SED's hold on political governance of the GDR and was imprisoned after German reunification.

Ronald Reagan

ReaganRonald W. ReaganPresident Reagan
In 1987, US President Ronald Reagan gave a speech at the Brandenburg Gate, challenging Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down the wall" which divided Berlin.
Germany reunified the following year, and on December 26, 1991 (nearly three years after he left office), the Soviet Union collapsed.

Berlin Wall

fall of the Berlin WallWallthe wall
The wall had stood as an icon for the political and economic division between East and West, a division that Churchill had referred to as the "Iron Curtain".
The "fall of the Berlin Wall" paved the way for German reunification, which formally took place on 3 October 1990.

Revolutions of 1989

fall of communismthe fall of the Iron Curtaincollapse of communism
Further inspired by other images of brave defiance, a wave of revolutions swept throughout the Eastern Bloc that year.
This led to mass demonstrations in cities such as Leipzig and subsequently to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, which served as the symbolic gateway to German reunification in 1990.

Mikhail Gorbachev

GorbachevMikhail S. GorbachevMikhail Gorbachov
In 1987, US President Ronald Reagan gave a speech at the Brandenburg Gate, challenging Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down the wall" which divided Berlin.
The recipient of a wide range of awards—including the Nobel Peace Prize—he was widely praised for his pivotal role in ending the Cold War, curtailing human rights abuses in the Soviet Union, and tolerating both the fall of Marxist–Leninist administrations in eastern and central Europe and the reunification of Germany.

Peaceful Revolution

Die WendeWende1989
The Peaceful Revolution, a series of protests by East Germans, led to the GDR's first free elections on 18 March 1990, and to the negotiations between the GDR and FRG that culminated in a Unification Treaty. The turning point in Germany, called "Die Wende", was marked by the "Peaceful Revolution" leading to the removal of the Berlin Wall, with East and West Germany subsequently entering into negotiations toward eliminating the division that had been imposed upon Germans more than four decades earlier.
The Peaceful Revolution (Friedliche Revolution) was the process of sociopolitical change that led to the opening of East Germany's borders with the west, the end of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and the transition to a parliamentary democracy, which enabled the reunification of Germany in October 1990.

Fall of the Berlin Wall

fallBerlin Wall fellfall of the wall
The turning point in Germany, called "Die Wende", was marked by the "Peaceful Revolution" leading to the removal of the Berlin Wall, with East and West Germany subsequently entering into negotiations toward eliminating the division that had been imposed upon Germans more than four decades earlier.
An end to the Cold War was declared at the Malta Summit three weeks later, and the reunification of Germany took place during the following year.

East German mark

MarkMarksOstmark
The East German mark had been almost worthless outside East Germany for some time before the events of 1989–90, and the collapse of the East German economy further magnified the problem.
The East German mark (German: ), commonly called the eastern mark ( in West Germany and after the reunification), in East Germany only Mark, was the currency of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany).