BERLIN (AP) – Germany on Saturday marked the 30th anniversary of their reunion, drawing a generally positive picture of the progress made in weaving east and west together. The country’s president announced that today’s “is the best Germany has ever been” and proposed a new memorial to “peaceful revolutionaries” that helped end communist rule.
Germany reunited on October 3, 1990, four decades after the Cold War partition. East Germany joined the Western Federal Republic less than a year after the Eastern Communist rulers – under pressure from growing opposition – opened the Berlin Wall and the highly firm border between the two states. On November 9, 1989.
While much progress has been made since then, economic and other differences between the West and the less-affluent East still persist. A long-lasting trend of more people has stalled in recent years before moving east. Pensions in the east are near the level of those in the west, although wages are low. And Germany’s largest companies are still headquartered in the West, while political polarization has been most noticeable in recent years in the East, where the far-right alternative to the Germany party is particularly strong.
The coronavirus epidemic meant that celebrations were relatively less important – as Chancellor Angela Merkel said this week, “quieter than the occasion would really be worth it.” President Frank-Walter Steinmeier led the main ceremony with 230 guests in a hall in Potsdam, just outside Berlin – about one-third of the audience as originally planned.
Germany is proud of the “anniversary of reunification,” and no epidemic can be found that way, “Steinmeier said. He expressed mixed feelings about the progress of the last three decades, saying that” we are almost Not as far off as we should be, but at the same time we are far ahead of what we think. “
Eastern cities like Leipzig and Rostock are now financially stronger than parts of the Western Ruhr industrial zone, Stinemire said, and “have more and more Eastern success stories.”
Steinmeier, unlike the re-enactment in 1990, preceded peaceful protests and sealed by international settlement, with the emergence of a unified German state nearly 150 years ago – “after wars with our neighbors, brutally forced with iron and blood , Militarism and nationalism, based on Prussian dominance. “He said Saturday’s anniversary” reminds us of the value of an international order, which has been fought so strongly today, unfortunately even in Western societies. “
The President said, “We are living in the best Germany today.” “Let’s thank everyone who worked for this.”
He advocated building a memorial for the “peaceful revolutionaries” of East Germany, whose efforts ended communist dictatorship. It will add existing monuments to the remnants of the Berlin Wall and the former German secret police, and the former facilities run by Stacey, a previously planned unity monument in Berlin.
Steinmeier said that Germany “could use a place that reminded us that East Germans took their fate into their own hands and liberated themselves.”