15 Years Of German Reunification

Rick van Opbergen

Bitterness mars Wall anniversary

No big German celebrations, parades or fireworks
By CNN Correspondent Chris Burns
Tuesday, November 9, 2004 Posted: 1537 GMT (2337 HKT)

SPD and CDU party leaders and Berlin's mayor lay flowers at the Wall memorial in Berlin Tuesday.

BERLIN, Germany (CNN) - Germany marked a subdued 15th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, weighed down by bitterness over unification costs. The nation's leaders laid wreaths Tuesday at a memorial in the Berlin Wall's former death strip, part of somber and subdued ceremonies marking the 15th anniversary of the fallen wall.

To the toll of a churchbell, the mayors of Berlin joined with leaders of Germany's major parties along with about 150 others in a quiet morning ceremony beginning with a church service. "Today is a high point and a low point of German history. We should not forget the victims," said Manfred Fischer, pastor of the Reconciliation Church. "The fall of the Berlin Wall was a worldwide sign of hope. It was a spring day in the middle of November for Berlin, for Germany, for Europe."

The service was held inside a concrete chapel built in the death strip in the years since the wall fell. It replaced a church once destroyed by East German authorities. Names of some of the more than 1,000 Berlin Wall victims, some of whom died after jumping out of nearby buildings, were read.

Few members of the German public attended, however, as many remain embittered by the process of unification, which remains a difficult marriage for East and West Germany. In former East Germany, unemployment is at least 20 percent. Western Germans, meanwhile, grumble about higher taxes, the proceeds from which finance reconstruction in the east. That reconstruction has cost more than $1 trillion since 1990.

A recent poll indicated one in five Germans, including nearly one in four western Germans, would like to see the wall return. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said in a statement that while much in the country has been achieved since the wall fell, "we must not relent in our efforts to complete German unification."

Source: www.cnn.com (external - login to view)
German reunification was a great day in German history. The final fall of the bankrupt nation we know as the former-DDR and a day of togetherness for the country.

It's very difficult with the unemployment rates in the east approaching 20%, while Western lšnder still fork over "equalisation" transfers. It's something which really stifles part of the country's economy as a whole. The east is still recovering... very very slowly.

One can only realise the tragedy when you visit Leipzig or East Berlin from other cities in the west to see vacant Plattenbauten or prefab apartment complexes covering the skyline of the suburbs.
Yes, that day really is a very important day in Germany's history...
The more unbelievable, that Germany's finance minister Hans Eichel wanted to undock the holiday of the reunification from October, 3rd to the first sunday in October to get one more working day for boosting the economy... One should imagine this to be done with July, 4th in the USA...

I actually don't think, that October, 3rd is the right day for celebrating the reunification, as the "real" act happened on November, 9th - which therefore should be the official holiday rather than October, 3rd. But well, our politicians are a bunch of idiots...
Rick van Opbergen
Could the reason be why they celebrate it October 3rd because November 9th is also the day on which the Kristallnacht is remembered?
and there are still people in germany who do want the berlinwall to go back up! how sad. after too many years apart from family they want to split again.

Quote: Originally Posted by Rick van Opbergen

Could the reason be why they celebrate it October 3rd because November 9th is also the day on which the Kristallnacht is remembered?

Maybe, yes - that's what they might say 'officially' - but that's a real stupid excuse:
Does that mean that everybody who was born on April, 20th is not allowed to celebrate his birthday because Hitler was born on that day, also?!

November, 9th is a special day for Germany anyway - this day includes at least 4 events that influenced the German history severely:

1918: Scheidemann proclaims the "Weimaran Republic"
1923: Hitler-Putsch
1938: Reichspogromnacht aka Reichskristallnacht
1989: Fall of the Berlin Wall

These 4 events are reason enough to gain November, 9th to be(come) a special holiday.

The Day of the German Reunification isn't really celebrated anyway, there are no parties or anything like that, it's a day of rememberance, nothing less but nothing more either.
So for the reason of bethinking and recollecting, November, 9th is a much better date than October, 3rd.
Rick van Opbergen
I see. I wasn't aware of the fact that November 9th has also been the date of the Hitler-Putsch and Scheidemann proclaiming the Weimar Republic. Interesting.

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