German Reunification

German reunification (German: Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) was the process in which the German Democratic Republic (GDR/East Germany) and Berlin, reunited into a single city, joined the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG/West Germany), as provided by its then Grundgesetz constitution Article 23. The start of this process is commonly referred by Germans as die Wende (The Turning Point.). The end of the unification process is officially referred to as German unity (German: Deutsche Einheit), celebrated on 3 October (German Unity Day).[1]

The East German regime started to falter in May 1989, when removal of Hungary’s border fence 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] whilst 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 halves had previously still been bound by a number of limitations stemming from their post-WWII status as occupied regions. The united Germany remained a member of the European Community (later the European Union) and of NATO.

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