by Jutta Lausberg-Saam
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic were united 29 years ago. Germans will celebrate Reunification Day on Thursday, Oct. 3. It is a Germany-wide holiday and stores, government offices and schools will be closed.
Originally, Nov. 9 was intended as the national holiday. On that day in 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. However, since the date is already dedicated to the commemoration of the Reichskristallnacht, “night of broken glass“ in 1938 and the Hitler-Ludendorff coup in 1923, the starting point for the day of the official reunification of Germany was chosen as Oct. 3, 1990.
Before that, Germany was separated for more than 40 years: In the West there was the Federal Republic of Germany, in the East the German Democratic Republic. October 3 was not always the German national holiday. From 1954 to 1989, June 17 was celebrated as a national holiday in the Federal Republic of Germany. On that day, Germans commemorated the uprising of many workers in the German Democratic Republic in 1953. They demonstrated for more freedom and better living conditions. The uprising was crushed by the police and army. From 1949 to 1989, the German Democratic Republic, celebrated “Republic Day” on Oct. 7 due to the foundation of the German Democratic Republic on that day in 1949. The national holiday is officially celebrated every year on Oct. 3. The official celebration usually takes place in the state capital of the federal state, which at that time is chaired by the Federal Council. This year, from Oct. 2-3, the city of Kiel will be the host with the motto, Mut verbindet, “courage connects.”