German reunification

1989–1991 unification process of Germany with its full sovereignty returned / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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German reunification (German: Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process of re-establishing Germany as a single full sovereign state, which took place between 9 November 1989 and 15 March 1991. The "Unification Treaty" entered into force on 3 October 1990, dissolving the German Democratic Republic (GDR; German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, DDR, or East Germany) and integrating its recently re-established constituent federated states into the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland, BRD, or West Germany) to form present-day Germany. This date has been chosen as the customary German Unity Day (Tag der deutschen Einheit), and has thereafter been celebrated each year as a national holiday in Germany since 1991.[1] As part of the reunification, East and West Berlin of the two countries were also de facto united into a single city, which eventually became the capital of this country.

Quick facts: Native name, Date, Location, Cause, Outc...
Reunification of Germany
Part of the Revolutions of 1989 and the end of the Cold War
Germans stand on top of the Wall in front of the Brandenburg Gate in the days before the Wall was torn down.
Native name Deutsche Wiedervereinigung
Die Wende
Date9 November 1989 – 15 March 1991 (1989-11-09 1991-03-15)
LocationFlag_of_East_Germany.svg East Germany
Flag_of_Germany.svg West Germany
CauseRevolutions of 1989
OutcomeReunification of Germany under the Federal Republic
West Germany and East Germany (1957[lower-alpha 1]–1990)
Germany (1990–present)

The East German government dominated by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) (a communist party) started to falter on 2 May 1989, when the removal of Hungary's border fence with Austria opened a hole in the Iron Curtain. The border was still closely guarded, but the Pan-European Picnic and the indecisive reaction of the rulers of the Eastern Bloc set in motion an irreversible movement.[2][3] It allowed an exodus of thousands of East Germans fleeing to West Germany via Hungary. The Peaceful Revolution, a part of the international Revolutions of 1989 including a series of protests by the East German citizens, led to the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 and GDR's first free elections later on 18 March 1990 and then to the negotiations between the two countries that culminated in a Unification Treaty.[1] Other negotiations between the two Germanies and the four occupying powers in Germany produced the so-called "Two Plus Four Treaty" (Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany), granting on 15 March 1991 full sovereignty to a reunified German state, whose two parts were previously bound by a number of limitations stemming from their post-World War II status as occupation zones, though only on 31 August 1994 did the last Russian occupation troops (Russia is the successor of the Soviet Union legally) leave Germany.

After the end of World War II in Europe, the old German Reich was abolished and Germany was divided by the four Allied countries. There was no peace treaty. Two countries emerged. The American, British, and French zones combined to form the FRG ie West Germany on 23 May 1949. The GDR ie East Germany was established October 1949. The West German state joined NATO in 1955. In 1990, a range of opinions continued to be maintained over whether a reunited Germany could be said to represent "Germany as a whole"[lower-alpha 2] for this purpose. In the context of the successful and international Revolutions of 1989 against the communist states, including the GDR; on 12 September 1990, under the Two Plus Four Treaty with the four Allies, both East and West Germany committed to the principle that their joint pre-1990 boundary constituted the entire territory that could be claimed by a government of Germany, and hence that there were no further lands outside this boundary that were parts of Germany as a whole occupied. East Germany re-established the federated states on its soil and subsequently dissolved itself on 3 October 1990; also on the same day, modern Germany was formed when the new states joined the FRG while East and West Berlin were united into a single city.

The reunited state is not a successor state, but an enlarged continuation of the 1949–1990 West German state. The enlarged Federal Republic of Germany retained the West German seats in the governing bodies of the European Economic Community (EC) (later the European Union/EU) and in international organizations including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United Nations (UN), while relinquishing membership in the Warsaw Pact (WP) and other international organizations to which East Germany belonged.

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