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             18 October, 2018
 

    
Category:  Articles » Politics & Government » History

 

German Reunification - A Wish For Freedom !

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2007-06-30 10:18:04     
Article by seancarter

The 3rd of October this year, Germany will complete sixteen years of it's reunification. This day brings back many happy memories for the Germans as the symbol of the Cold War, The Berlin Wall was torn down and the people of East Germany could face the world again. The reunification of Germany took place when the areas falling under the former Germany Republic, known as east Germany were incorporated into the Federal Republic of Germany, known as west Germany.

When the first free elections were held on the 18th of march, it was decided after negotiations between the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic, which culminated into a reunification treaty leading to the full independence of a unified German state. But for various political and diplomatic reasons, West German politicians have avoided using the term "reunification". The most commonly used term in Germany is "Deutsche Einheit" or German Unity. To understand what German reunification meant to the people of Germany, we have to go way back to the end of the second World War. After the defeat of Germany in the second world war, four powers namely... the USA, Great Britain, France and Soviet Union influenced the economic and political situation of the country. Soviet Union controlled almost half of Berlin, formerly known as east Berlin while the allied powers held over the other half, west Berlin. Germany stopped being an united force and two political as well as socio-economic dividers arose with two different countries of east Germany and west Germany. While West Germany modeled itself on the glamor and rich lifestyle of the American cities, East Germany was not lucky in having such grandiose plans. The vast difference in the lifestyle of these two different cities reflected in the mindset of the people as seeing the other half better in every way, large number of Germans started to shift to west Germany in search of a better lifestyle and way of living. East Germany could not afford to loose out in so much brain flow but they were helpless to stop the people. To put an end to this migration, the decision to build the great Berlin wall was undertaken on August 13th, 1961. To say that the people on both sides of the wall were surprised is an understatement. The feeling of despair and sadness added up to the low socio-economic and political rights of the people in East Germany. But there was no way out, as any crossover on their part resulted in them being killed.

Over the passage of time, people realized that something needed to be done. The first step towards freedom came in May 1989, with the opening of the borders of Hungary to Austria resulted in an unbelievable flow of people. They were determined to leave their past lives behind. They demanded free access to information, the right to question the government, to discuss policies, travel and influence policies. There was simply no stopping them and in November 1989, the first train left for the West... with no restrictions. The Wall had opened. There was euphoria and jubilation all around.

The cost of reunification weighed heavily on the German economy, with nothing significant being contributed to the economic growth in recent years. As an after effect of the reunification, most of the German Democratic Republic has been de-industrialized, causing the rate of unemployment to rise high. It also resulted in the loss of highly skilled workers in various sectors. But, though the effects of the economic and political reforms taking place were high, it was never a deterrent for the people, who were aiming only towards a freedom... of an intellectual, social and economic nature and the will for co-existence and co-operation was so strong, that nothing mattered ultimately.

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