The Reichstag building is illuminated with lights out terrific. Many of those assembled in the centre of Berlin — tears in my eyes. These people became witnesses of a major historical event. That the day of German reunification ever comes, it seemed, did not wanted neither the Germans nor the other Europeans. Details — in the material of the publication Deutsche Welle.


Berlin. 3 Oct 1990. Photo: Reuters

During the peaceful revolution, which began in 1989, East Germans overthrew the socialist regime. Heads of state lost their jobs. It was not made a single shot, was not injured no one. That day, 3 October 1990, East Germany officially joined the Federal Republic of Germany. Now, the Germans again began to live in the same state.

Federal President Richard von weizsäcker in his speech that night before the fireworks, drew Parallels between the unity of Germany and unity of the entire European continent . “We Germans are aware of our responsibility and will continue to serve the cause of peace in a United Europe”, — he said.

Politicians of

Rudolf Seiters, who headed at that time the Federal Chancellor’s office, in leading up to this event twelve months was accompanied by Chancellor Helmut Kohl at numerous events. The night before the reunification of Germany Rudolf Seiters was not sleep.

“I thought the negotiations on the resolution to travel to the West East Germans taking refuge in the Embassy of Germany in Prague, about the treatment of Hans-Dietrich Genscher from the balcony of the Prague Embassy, about my speech in the Bundestag, dedicated to the fall of the Berlin wall, and finally, about the incredibly important speech of Helmut Kohl in front of the Frauenkirche Church in Dresden,” says the former head of the Federal Chancellery.

Exciting changes

3 October 1990, less than a year after the fall of the Berlin wall. For politicians of the two German States it was the days of difficult negotiations and important decisions. In the GDR quickly gave way to the power structure. Elected in March 1990, the deputies of the people’s chamber has created a Federal state structure. Federal land in its composition it was possible to unite with Western lands in the state. Furthermore, it dissolved the Ministry of state security (“Stasi”) and introduced the German mark (i.e. German mark).


31 Aug 1990 in Berlin, interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and parliamentary state Secretary to the Prime Minister of the GDR Gunther Krause signed the agreement on the establishment of German unity. Photo: Reuters

The rush was understandable. Since then, as in Eastern Europe there were movements aimed at overthrowing the socialist regimes, the entire continent was engulfed in excitement. Everywhere the citizens demanded freedom of movement and the reform of the political system.

The spark that ignited powerful protest movement in all the Eastern States, was perestroika and glasnost. Their slogans quickly spread from the USSR to neighbouring countries.

“I could only carefully manage the process, which was perceived with anxiety and fear not only in Moscow but also in Western Europe,” recalls Rudolf Seiters.

Concerns and skepticism

The desire of Germans to unite East and West Germany was perceived in the European capitals is not without skepticism. Neighbouring countries frightening prospect to have in the center of the continent a strong Germany. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher led the camp of opponents of the reunification of Germany. Against the idea initially, and French President françois Mitterrand. But German politicians, above all Helmut Kohl was able to convince him.


The people in front of the Bundestag celebrate the unification of Germany. Photo: Reuters

In the Soviet Union, developments in neighbouring States has caused a reaction. The former superpower is increasingly losing influence in the countries of the Warsaw Pact, which was considered a counterweight to NATO and the capitalist social order. In the West feared coup against the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Mikhail Gorbachev. In this case, the Soviet Union agreed to the reunification of Germany would have been called into question.

The Germans rode their luck. After all, if the process of reunification began, a little later, it could be otherwise. The world’s attention would be shifted to Iraq in early August 1990, invaded neighboring Kuwait and announced its annexation. And in the summer of 1991 the world held its breath: in the Soviet Union was an attempted coup. If these events occurred a year earlier, the process of German unification would become more complex and, in all likelihood, would last longer.

All-German Bundestag

On the Berlin streets have not had time to clean up the garbage left after mass celebrations and fireworks, and the deputies of the Bundestag and the GDR people’s chamber had already gathered at the joint meeting. Two months later, were the first since 1932, the all-German parliamentary elections. The confident victory was gained by the Christian-liberal coalition headed by Helmut Kohl.


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