|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
"We're twice as big and yet so smallNow we have to share so the Chancellor said."
—"Life Isn't Easy in Germany" -- And One
Wir sind ein Volk!
On 3 October 1990, the two Germanies reunified (they'd considered 9 November, it being the date of the Berlin Wall crumbling in 1989, also the date of the proclamation of the first German republic in 1918, but decided that firstly they didn't want another birthday for the GDR and secondly there is another 9 November and another one). Actually, East Germany joined West Germany. The
new enlarged state kept the constitutional structure of The Bonn Republic.
Under the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany (or the "Two-Plus-Four Agreement"), which came into force on 15 March 1991 Germany gained full sovereignty and the Reds with Rockets (who soon become Russians With Rusting Rockets) left. The Americans and British stayed. The Oder-Neisse border with Poland became finalised in a separate treaty, the old East Germany became a zone free of nuclear weapons or foreign bases and Germany renounced any claim to areas east of Oder-Neisse that had been part of Germany before 1945.
There was some opposition to the idea, based on the ultimately unfounded belief that Germany would again try to dominate Europe militarily. It just teamed up with old enemy France and did it via the European Union.
The new Germany now had to deal with the legacy of a part of it having been Commie Land for 40 years. East Germany had a massive pollution problem, the whole issue of Stasi informers (a lot of them, verging on a very unfunny Flock of Wolves) and a whole bunch of police officers who needed retraining- or sacking. The ex-"Vopos" still face social stigma.
Some rather poorly performed privatisation of state industry didn't help and the states of the former GDR have high unemployment as a result. Even 20 years later you can see the exact location of the old border when looking at random charts for unemployment, social services, and economic data.
Germany has the problem of die Mauer im Kopf, "the wall in people's heads"- people still thinking in terms of two Germanies. There are divisions between Ossis and Wessis, East and West Germans respectively. However this phenomenon is almost non-existent with young Germans who grew up after reunification.
Germany became more actively militarily, being involved in Kosovo and Afghanistan, but opposing Iraq.
In 2005, an early election resulted in a Grand Coalition, led by Angela Merkel, the first female Chancellor (and first one from former East Germany). In September 2009, the late economic unpleasantness led to Merkel's Christian Democrats and their pro-business allies winning a majority coalition together, ending the grand coalition.
The Berlin Republic in fiction
- Monster: While the first chapter takes place a few years before reunification, the rest of the plot deals extensively with former GDR agents who try to come to terms with their country no longer existing and starting new lives while hiding the crimes of their pasts.
- Goodbye Lenin: Though the film takes place in the first months of the Berlin Republic, it's about the main character trying to hide from his ill mother that the GDR ceased to exist.
- Run Lola Run
- The Bourne Supremacy
- ↑ We are one people!