Germany celebrates 15 years of unification

Petra Lessoing
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***Monday marks the 15th anniversary of reunification as Germans will celebrate the legal holiday, Unification Day.

The former German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany were officially reunited Oct. 3, 1990.

The process of reunification started in 1989. During September and
October of that year, East Germans demonstrated for democratic reforms
and the right to travel to Dresden, Leipzig, Halle, Schwerin and other

Chief of State, Erich Honecker was dismissed from his top position Oct.
18 and the new political office announced the opening of the borders to
the Federal Republic of Germany and the border gates along the Berlin
wall the night of Nov. 9, 1989. Over the next three days, more than 3
million East Germans crossed the border into West Germany just to
celebrate, sightsee and purchase goods, which they were not able to
obtain in the east.

The wall, a symbol of the Cold War for 28 years, was torn down during
the following weeks and months, and pieces were sold as souvenirs.

East Germany’s first free elections in 40 years were held march 18,
1990, and citizens elected a new government. Basic changes concerning
the country’s economy, currency, social laws and jurisdiction were
established by state contracts May 18 and Aug. 31.

Finally, Oct. 3, 1990, the German Democratic Republic ceased to exist. After 40 years it vanished from the world political map.

The celebrations in Berlin the night of Oct. 2, included a giant
fireworks display, hundreds of thousands of people dancing in the
streets drinking champagne, and the raising of the national flag on the
former East German parliament building.

Berlin was chosen as the new capital city of unified Germany.