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What happened on German Unity Day? Background on October 3, 1990

Berlin. October 3rd, 1990 marks one of the most important events in the history of Germany. The German Democratic Republic (GDR) joined the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), two countries became one again after 41 years. This historically significant moment is therefore commemorated throughout the republic with the Day of German Unity on October 3rd.

Day of German Unity: Info shortly

  • Since 1990 the German reunification every year onOctober 3 celebrated. This year the national holiday falls on one Saturday. It is also an anniversary: ​​Germany celebrates 30 years of reunification.
  • The ceremony on the 30th day of German unity takes place in Potsdam instead of.
  • The day of German unity is a National holiday throughout Germany.

Day of German Unity: Do business on October 3rd open?

Shops will be closed nationwide on the Day of German Unity. There are exceptions for bakeries and shops in train stations and airports, and petrol stations and pharmacies may remain open. In contrast, municipal facilities such as registration offices or libraries are usually closed on October 3rd. Restaurants can decide for themselves whether to open on the public holiday.

Schoolchildren and employees have time off on the Day of German Unity, provided that October 3rd, as in this year, does not fall on a day off from school or work.

How did the Day of German Unity come about?

After the Second World War, the victorious Allied powers, the USA, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union, divided Germany into four zones of occupation. On May 23, 1949, the three western zones became the Federal Republic, and on October 7, 1949, the GDR was established on the territory of the Soviet occupation zone.

But soon afterwards the fronts between East and West hardened, and the allies became enemies in a Cold War. The so-called Iron Curtain separated Europe, and one country was particularly hard hit. Because the border between the west and the states of the so-called Warsaw Pact ran through the middle of Germany, Berlin was divided into an east and a west part by the Berlin Wall.

At the end of the 1980s, the Soviet Union under Secretary General Mikhail Gorbachev continued to reduce its power in Eastern Europe. In addition, more and more people dared to rebel against the leaderships in the GDR and other Eastern European countries. The political opposition in the GDR grew stronger and the Peaceful Revolution was ushered in.

Finally, in the fateful year of 1989, Hungary, which has been allowing more and more people from the GDR to travel to the West since the end of August, opened its border with Austria. In the first three days after the opening of the border alone, around 15,000 GDR citizens made their way “over there”.

With the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, a few months later, the end of the GDR and the division of Germany was sealed. In the following year, the victorious powers of World War II officially agreed to German reunification: on October 3, 1990, the unification treaty between East and West Germany came into force - two countries became one again. German Unity Day was enshrined in federal law as a national holiday.

Where were you when the wall came down?