To mark Germany’s current EU Council Presidency, we hosted the Shaping Europe giveaway the last couple of months to create a wonderful map of the best places in Europe. All participants sent us their favorite places and we created this wonderful collection of the most amazing magical places in Europe.
Since reunification in 1990, the Federal Republic of Germany has had 16 rather than just eleven Länder or federal states, the five new states being Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. Districts in the former East Germany (GDR) were merged to recreate the former historic states. There were no Länder in the GDR.
1990 was a year that changed the world. Germans remember 3 October in particular as this was the day on which Germany was reunited. But that was not the only far-reaching event of the year:
November 9, 1989, the day on which the Berlin Wall fell, marked the climax of a trend that was similar to a revolution and in which the citizens of the GDR played the main role. Some, because they did everything in their power to leave a state that refused to grant them the freedom to travel and who by occupying embassies abroad forced the authorities into allowing them to leave, and others because they proclaimed in no uncertain terms that they wished to stay in the GDR. However, they also demanded fundamental reforms, which the regime could not agree to without setting its downfall in motion. Given this assault on two fronts, despite massive security measures the GDR collapsed like a house of cards in the space of just a few months. This paved the way for the division of Germany to be overcome and for the country to be reunited on October 3, 1990.
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), 285.332 people have tested to be infected with the Covid 19 virus during the corona pandemic in Germany (as of September 28th). How many people in Germany have died from the coronavirus?
These films achieved international acclaim because they are entertaining, exciting and, quite simply, good. They take you back in time to the period of division and reunification:
On 3 October 1990, I remember that sunny early autumn day well, I was visiting a friend in Kiel. Her mother, an Englishwoman, congratulated me warmly on Germany’s reunification, exclaiming what an important day it was in terms of global history! 22 years old at the time, I did not really understand what she meant, and I certainly wasn’t in much of a celebratory mood. And yet I grew up in Lower Saxony, in an area close to the border between East and West Germany, with the Wall essentially on my doorstep. I was a “Wessi” who had always been interested in the East because the Iron Curtain itself made one curious about what might be behind it.
It was ten years before that famous 3 October 1990, the “Day of German Unity” that has been a national holiday ever since, that the way was paved for the end of Europe’s division and for German reunification. On 14 August 1980, almost all 17,000 workers at the Lenin Shipyard in the Polish city of Gdansk went out on strike. It was then that people behind the “Iron Curtain” – as it was known in the West – learnt that their voices could not be suppressed for ever. Five years later, on 11 March 1985, a new general secretary of the Communist Party was elected in Moscow: Mikhail Gorbachev. This was the second key step on the path to German unity and European freedom. After 14 August 1980 the road was still long and painful, with many people losing their freedom and many others their lives, before in 1990 the Two Plus Four Agreement and finally the Accession Treaty established the legal basis for a new, peaceful order in all of Germany and in Europe.