Monday, October 5, 2015
Following World War II, the area that was Germany was divided into four military sectors controlled by France, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union. On May 23, 1949, the sectors controlled by France, the United Kingdom and the United States became the Federal Republic of Germany. On October 7, 1949, the sector controlled by the Soviet Union became the German Democratic Republic, which in Germany is generally referred to as the DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik).
The two countries developed very different political and economic systems and, due to the political tensions in post-war Europe, there was little contact between the inhabitants of the two countries. Life in the DDR was characterized by harsh repression against political adversaries. Thousands of inhabitants were kept under intimate surveillance by the infamous East German secret police, the Stasi (Staatssicherheit). At least 137 people died trying to escape from the DDR.
On September 4, 1989 citizens of Leipzig protested peacefully against the DDR government. More so-called “Monday demonstrations” soon took place in other cities across the DDR. The protests called for political reform and to open the borders. On November 9, 1989, the checkpoints between the two countries were opened and people were allowed to travel freely. This date marked the "fall" of the Berlin wall.
These events lead to political change. Democratic elections paved the way for unity in the German Democratic Republic on March 18, 1990. The "Treaty of Unification" was signed by both countries' leaders in August that year. Finally, Germany's unification became official on October 3, 1990.
The Berlin Wall had fallen less than a year earlier, a dissolution that immediately — within 48 hours — saw 2 million people pour into the western-friendly West from the communist-supported East.
Since then, a unified Germany has become a driving force in the European Union, as well as the region's largest and most powerful economy and political voice. In recent months, Germany was a leader on the world stage over Greece's debt situation and Europe's swelling migrant crisis. Germany has offered to take in large numbers of Syrian and other refugees on a scale matched only by similarly left-leaning and liberal Sweden.
There used to be considerable differences between the East and West: in life expectancy, productivity, joblessness, wages, skills, political affiliation and access to goods.
The economies of Germany's eastern states are still relatively weak compared to those in the western part of the country — where banks, carmakers and other major employers have their headquarters — but those gaps have steadily closed. As has the perception of any marked differences between the people of these previously distinct countries.
25 years later - Germany has become the economic and political powerhouse of Europe, at the center of every major decision that affects the region.
Posted by GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD at 12:00 AM