German reunification

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Reunification
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  • 1990
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    Map showing the division of East (red) and West Germany (blue) until 3 October 1990, with West Berlin in yellow.
    Berlin Wall at the Brandenburg Gate, 9 November 1989. Note the graffiti Wie denn ("How now") over the sign warning the public that they are leaving West Berlin
    Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, national symbol of today's Germany and its reunification in 1990.

    The German reunification (German: deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process in 1990 in which the German Democratic Republic (GDR, colloquially East Germany; German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik/DDR) became part of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, colloquially West Germany; German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland/BRD) to form the reunited nation of Germany, and when Berlin reunited into a single city, as provided by its then Grundgesetz (constitution) Article 23. The end of the unification process is officially referred to as German unity (German: Deutsche Einheit), celebrated on 3 October (German Unity Day) (German: Tag der deutschen Einheit).[1] Following German reunification, Berlin was once again designated as the capital of united Germany.

    The East German government started to falter in May 1989, when the removal of Hungary's border fence with Austria opened a hole in the Iron Curtain. It caused an exodus of thousands of East Germans fleeing to West Germany and Austria via Hungary. The Peaceful Revolution, a series of protests by East Germans, led to the GDR's first free elections on 18 March 1990, and to the negotiations between the GDR and FRG that culminated in a Unification Treaty.[1] Other negotiations between the GDR and FRG and the four occupying powers produced the so-called "Two Plus Four Treaty" (Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany) granting full sovereignty to a unified German state, whose two parts were previously bound by a number of limitations stemming from their post-World War II status as occupied regions.

    The 1945 Potsdam Agreement had specified that a full peace treaty concluding World War II, including the exact delimitation of Germany's postwar boundaries, required to be "accepted by the Government of Germany when a government adequate for the purpose is established." The Federal Republic had always maintained that no such government could be said to have been established until East and West Germany had been united within a free democratic state; but in 1990 a range of opinions continued to be maintained over whether a unified West Germany, East Germany, and Berlin could be said to represent "Germany as a whole" for this purpose. The key question was whether a Germany that remained bounded to the east by the Oder–Neisse line could act as a "united Germany" in signing the peace treaty without qualification. Under the "Two Plus Four Treaty" both the Federal Republic and the Democratic Republic committed themselves and their unified continuation to the principle that their joint pre-1990 boundaries constituted the entire territory that could be claimed by a Government of Germany, and hence that there were no further lands outside those boundaries that were parts of Germany as a whole.

    The united Germany is not a successor state, but an enlarged continuation of the former West Germany. As such, the enlarged Federal Republic of Germany retained the West German seats in international organizations including the European Community (later the European Union) and NATO, while relinquishing membership in the Warsaw Pact and other international organizations to which only East Germany belonged. It also maintains the United Nations membership of the old West Germany.

    In East Germany, it is clear that the freedom of movement (or travel) had been completely removed from the rights of the people while under the reign of the Soviet Union.https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/berlin-airlift On June 22, 1941, the Soviet Union took over East Germany and with that, they took away both the freedom of religion and the freedom of movement, along with many other freedoms and rights which were removed.https://www.eurozine.com/the-revolutions-of-1989-revisited/ This is the freedom which was regained after the revolution of 1989.

    Naming

    For political and diplomatic reasons, West German politicians carefully avoided the term "reunification" during the run-up to what Germans frequently refer to as die Wende. The official[1] and most common term in German is "Deutsche Einheit" ("German unity"); this is the term that Hans-Dietrich Genscher used in front of international journalists to correct them when they asked him about "reunification" in 1990.

    After 1990, the term "die Wende" became more common. The term generally refers to the events (mostly in Eastern Europe) that led up to the actual reunification; in its usual context, this term loosely translates to "the turning point", without any further meaning. When referring to the events surrounding reunification, however, it carries the cultural connotation of the time and the events in the GDR that brought about this "turnaround" in German history. However, anti-communist activists from Eastern Germany rejected the term Wende as it was introduced by SED's (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands, Socialist Unity Party of Germany) Secretary General Egon Krenz.[2]

    Other Languages
    Bahasa Indonesia: Penyatuan kembali Jerman
    Lingua Franca Nova: Reuni de Deutxland
    Baso Minangkabau: Pasatuan kumbali Jerman
    Nederlands: Duitse hereniging
    Simple English: German reunification
    srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Ponovno ujedinjenje Njemačke
    吴语: 两德统一
    中文: 兩德統一