Today Germany celebrates its National Day, the “Tag der deutschen Einheit” !
Today Germany commemorates the reunification of Germany. After WW II Germany got divided into East and West Germany. A fortified wall made sure that interaction between these two Germanys was limited and especially controlled .
Many Germans never believed that they would ever witness a unified Germany again, but November 9th, 1989 should catch them by surprise.
On this fateful day in history the East German government declared that all East Germans were free to go to the West and visit West Germany and West Berlin. Germany and the world went wild! Impactful, dramatic images of that day still captivate us today.
So why don’t we celebrate our German National Day on November 9th after all?
November 9th happens to be a day for a variety of historical events in Germany, and not all were such that they should be honored or remembered positively on a day that shall celebrate the National day of Germany .
November 9th was the day on which the German republic was proclaimed in 1918, and it was also a November 9th when Hitler’s first coup in 1923 was defeated. This ominous date however also marks the anniversary of the Reichskristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) in 1938, the day of the first large-scale Nazi-led pogroms against Jews.
November 9th therefore did not seem an appropriate date for the German National Day.
October 3rd was chosen instead since this was the day in 1990 when the formal reunification took place.
October 3rd replaced the date of June 17, which used to be the date for “The Day of German Unity” during the days of the BRD ( The Federal Republic of Germany).
Germany is celebrating the 26. Day of German Unity today, October 3, 2016; commemorating the anniversary of German reunification in 1990.
Germany’s celebration of the 24th National Day is underway!
Every year the official celebration of the “Tag der deutschen Einheit” on October 3rd is hosted by one of the 16 German federal states. Traditionally that particular state’s capital organizes a “Bürgerfest” ( a party for the citizens). This ”Deutschlandfest” as it is called offers a variety of entertainment but most importantly introduces and showcases every federal state of Germany on its “Ländermeile” ( “Federal States Mile”).
This year Hanover in the Lower Saxony state is ‘putting on the party’, and it will start tomorrow, Oct. 2nd lasting until Oct. 3rd!
What had happened in History:
25 years ago courageous citizens from Leipzig, East Berlin and many other cities of previous East Germany (GDR) demonstrated for their freedom and their rights. All throughout the year of 1989 a wave of protest against the SED (Socialistic Unity Party) regime was rising until finally the long-awaited day arrived, and the Berlin Wall came down. This historically important day was the 9th of November 1989, and Willy Brandt then said “ Now comes together what belongs together”! (excerpts taken of Ministerpräsident Weil’s ‘Welcome‘)
The two “Germanys” growing together turned out not to be as easy as initially perhaps anticipated, and it took a while before East and West Germans would consider themselves to be the people of one nation again. Even though the sincere wish was there, it took several years and a lot of work before the two “Germanys” would become one once more.
Today, 25 years later, we can say that most Germans feel like belonging to one nation again. Throughout the weeks of this year’s Soccer World Cup the world could see a collective German spirit rejoicing or recoiling during the German National Team’s games. The final winning of the Cup was an event that all Germans could proudly embrace and celebrate together. It was an event that made Germans in all parts of the country – whether from former East or former West – see themselves as one nation celebrating together in unity.
Photo Source: www.Tag-der-deutschen-Einheit.de
German Unity Day is a national holiday in Germany, celebrated October 3rd, to commemorate the nation’s unification, when the Federal Republic of Germany and the Democratic Republic of Germany united to create one single federal Germany in 1990.
German reunification (Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) took place twice after 1945: first in 1957, when the Saarland was permitted to join the Federal Republic of Germany and again on October 3, 1990, when the five re-established states of the German Democratic Republic (GDR / East Germany) joined the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG / West Germany). Berlin was also united into a single city-state. It was at this point that the unification process was commonly referred to as die Wende (The Turning Point) by citizens of the GDR. Die Wende marks the change from socialism to democracy and capitalism in East Germany around the years 1989 and 1990. The end of the unification process is officially referred to as German Unity (Deutsche Einheit). There is some debate as to whether the events of 1990 should be properly referred to as a “reunification” or a “unification”.
Many say that the initial unification of Germany occurred on January 18, 1871 at the Versailles Palace’s Hall of Mirrors. Princes of the German states gathered there to proclaim Wilhelm of Prussia as Emperor of the German Empire. Others feel that “reunification” is deeply affected by the November 9, 1989 opening of the Berlin Wall, when the checkpoints between the two countries were opened and people were allowed to travel freely. This date marked the “fall” of the Berlin wall and the physical reunification of the city of Berlin which had been divided since 1945. Others, however, argue that 1990 represented a “unification” of two German states into a larger entity.
For political and diplomatic reasons, West German politicians use the term “Deutsche Einheit” (German unity) carefully avoided the term “reunification”. German unity is the term that Hans-Dietrich Genscher used in front of international journalists to correct them when they asked him about “reunification” in 1990.
On August 23rd, 1990, the new parliament of East Germany voted to approve accession with West Germany and the “Treaty of Unification” was signed by both countries’ leaders. Germany was officially united on October 3, 1990. West Germany consisted of ten states, now referred to as the Old Länder, (Alte Bundesländer) plus West Berlin. The five New Länder states, re-established federal states of East Germany – Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, which had been abolished by East Germany in 1952 – formally joined the Federal Republic of Germany. The Land Berlin is not considered one of the New Länder, since West Berlin expanded throughout the whole city resulting in the dissolution of East Berlin.
The Berlin wall and the Brandenburg Gate were two important symbols of Germany’s division following World War II and their unification in 1990. Images of the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin wall’s destruction are often displayed on German Unity Day.
October 3rd is the official German national holiday, the Day of German Unity (Tag der Deutschen Einheit), commemorating the day that marks the unification of the former East and West Germany in 1990. Unity Day celebrations are hosted each year by whichever of Germany’s 16 regional states holds the presidency in the upper house of parliament.
Photo by Peer Grimm via German Federal Archives
Article Source: German Pulse
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