Day of German Unity
Tag der Deutschen Einheit

(Photo: C. Reichert)

The third of October, which will be a Tuesday this year, is a very emotional day for every German because it brings them back to the years 1989/90 and how Germany was reunited again after 40 years of living in two separate countries. After the second World War, Germany was divided into four military sectors , which were controlled each by the United Kingdom, The Soviet Union, France and the United States. In 1949 the free western sectors united and the Federal Republic of Germany was founded. In the same year the eastern sector was transformed in the German Democratic Republic. The border between the countries was one of the most controlled borders in the world. Without a valid visa, which was nearly impossible to get for eastern Germans, your life was in great danger when crossing the border. With the construction of the Berlin wall in 1961 the border was nearly closed. On 9 November 1989 the Berlin wall came down and every German was waiting for the day the two countries would become one again. That day became reality, not even one year later, on 3 October 1990.

Since Tuesday, 3 October is a German national holiday, all the banks, post offices and nearly all the stores close. Additionally, public celebrations, concerts and communal meals are organized annually. Not to mention fireworks, cultural presentations and speeches by politics. Also many mosques in Germany open to the public on this day to encourage contact with Muslims and to show the role Muslims have played in forming modern Germany. Since the day the Berlin wall came down (9 November) coincides with the apex of the November pogroms (7 to the 13 November 1938), 3 October  was chosen to be the formal reunification day instead.

Please note: The Welcome Center will be closed on both 2 and 3 October due to the holiday and the bridging day on Monday. We’ll be back in the office on Wednesday, 4 October.

Event tip: The Saxon Parliament opens its doors to the publc to celebrate the German Reunification. How about you take this opportunity and have a look? More information here (German text): http://www.landtag.sachsen.de/de/aktuelles/veranstaltungen/17809.cshtml

 

Text: R. Zarour

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