Category:East Germany–West Germany relations - Wikipedia
Value differences continue to exist between East and West Germans. The next section elaborates the relation between culture and economic performance. When East and West Germany reunited 25 years ago this weekend, the . While long-term relationships between Ossis and Wessis were once. Between and , the West German economy At the end of the decade, thousands of younger East Germans those with a territorial connection with Germany could.
Only the ban on marriage between Americans and German or Austrian civilians remained in place. At the Potsdam conferencewith the U. This included the destruction of all ship and aircraft manufacturing capability.
Further, it was decided that civilian industries which might have a military potential, which in the modern era of "total war" included virtually all, were to be severely restricted.
The restriction of the latter was set to Germany's "approved peacetime needs", which were defined to be set on the average European standard. In order to achieve this, each type of industry was subsequently reviewed to see how many factories Germany required under these minimum level of industry requirements.
Germany was to be reduced to the standard of life it had known at the height of the Great Depression Sources in the U. Byrnes made the famous speech Restatement of Policy on Germanyalso known as the Stuttgart speech, where he amongst other things repudiated the Morgenthau plan-influenced policies and gave the West Germans hope for the future. The next improvement came in Julywhen after lobbying by the Joint Chiefs of Staffand Generals Clay and Marshallthe Truman administration decided that economic recovery in Europe could not go forward without the reconstruction of the German industrial base on which it had previously been dependent.
Truman rescinded on "national security grounds"  the punitive occupation directive JCSwhich had directed the U. The final limitations on German industrial levels were lifted after the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community inthough arms manufacture remained prohibited.
French attempts to gain political control of or permanently internationalize the Ruhr were abandoned in with the West German agreement to pool its coal and steel resources in return for full political control over the Ruhr see European Coal and Steel Community.
With French economic security guaranteed through access to Ruhr coal now permanently ensured France was satisfied. The French attempt to gain economic control over the Saar was temporarily even more successful.
Byrnes stated the U. The Saar came under French administration in as the Saar Protectoratebut did return to Germany in January following a referendumwith economic reintegration with Germany occurring a few years later.
Although not a party to the Potsdam conference where the policy of industrial disarmament had been set, as a member of the Allied Control Council France came to champion this policy since it ensured a weak Germany. In August the French parliament voted down the treaty that would have established the European Defense Communitya treaty they themselves had proposed in as a means to contain German revival.
France instead focused on another treaty also under development. In May France had proposed the European Coal and Steel Community with the purpose of ensuring French economic security by perpetuating access to German Ruhr coal, but also to show to the U. Dismantling in East Germany[ edit ] The Soviet Union engaged in a massive industrial dismantling campaign in its occupation zone, much more intensive than that carried out by the Western powers.
While the Soviet powers soon realized that their actions alienated the German workforce from the Communist cause, they decided that the desperate economic situation within the Soviet Union took priority over alliance building.
The allied leaders had agreed on paper to economic and political cooperation but the issue of reparations dealt an early blow to the prospect of a united Germany in This was the beginning of the formal split of Germany. Though the Marshall Plan is regarded as playing a key psychological role in the West German recovery, other factors were also significant.
The Western Allies replied with a continuous airlift of supplies to the western half of the city. The Soviets ended the blockade after 11 months.
Reparations to the U. German reparations for World War II The Allies confiscated intellectual property of great value, all German patents, both in Germany and abroad, and used them to strengthen their own industrial competitiveness by licensing them to Allied companies.
John Gimbel comes to the conclusion, in his book "Science Technology and Reparations: Exploitation and Plunder in Postwar Germany", that the "intellectual reparations" taken by the U. Meanwhile, thousands of the best German scientists were being put to work in the U. During the war, Germans seized food supplies from occupied countries and forced millions of foreigners to work on German farms, in addition to food shipped from farms in eastern Germany.
When this ended inthe German rationing system which stayed in place had much lower supplies of food. Army sent in large shipments of food to feed some 7. The Germans were not high on the priority list for international aid, which went to the victims of the Nazis. When the Vatican attempted to transmit food supplies from Chile to German infants, the U. State Department forbade it. Forced labor of Germans after World War II As agreed by the Allies at the Yalta conference Germans were used as forced labor as part of the reparations to be extracted.
By it is estimated that ,[ dubious — discuss ] Germans both civilians and POWs were being used as forced labor by the U. German prisoners were for example forced to clear minefields in France and the Low Countries. By December it was estimated by French authorities that 2, German prisoners were being killed or injured each month in accidents. Further inspired by other images of brave defiancea wave of revolutions swept throughout the Eastern Bloc that year.
In MayHungary removed their border fence and thousands of East Germans escaped to the West — although even then, very many people inside and outside Germany still believed that a real reunification would never happen in the foreseeable future. Process of reunification[ edit ] Police officers of the East German Volkspolizei wait for the official opening of the Brandenburg Gate on 22 December Cooperation[ edit ] Berlin Wall, OctoberSaying "Thank You, Gorbi " On 28 November —two weeks after the fall of the Berlin Wall —West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl announced a point program calling for the two Germanies to expand their cooperation with a view toward eventual reunification.
However, events rapidly came to a head in early Second, East Germany's economy and infrastructure underwent a swift and near-total collapse. While East Germany was long reckoned as having the most robust economy in the Soviet bloc, the removal of Communist hegemony revealed the ramshackle foundations of that system. The East German mark had been almost worthless outside East Germany for some time before the events of —90, and the collapse of the East German economy further magnified the problem.
Economic merger[ edit ] Discussions immediately began on an emergency merger of the German economies. On 18 Maythe two German states signed a treaty agreeing on monetary, economic and social union.
The Deutsche Mark had a very high reputation among the East Germans and was considered stable. This created a suitable framework for a political union by diminishing the huge gap between the two existing political, social, and economic systems.
In the wake of that resolution of accession, the "German reunification treaty",    commonly known in German as " Einigungsvertrag " Unification Treaty or " Wiedervereinigungsvertrag " Reunification Treatythat had been negotiated between the two German states since 2 Julywas signed by representatives of the two Governments on 31 August The amendments to the Federal Republic's Basic Law that were foreseen in the Unification Treaty or necessary for its implementation were adopted by the Federal Statute of 23 Septemberthat enacted the incorporation of the Treaty as part of the Law of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The said Federal Statute, containing the whole text of the Treaty and its Protocols as an annex, was published in the Bundesgesetzblatt the official journal for the publication of the laws of the Federal Republic on 28 September Under article 45 of the Treaty,  it entered into force according to international law on 29 Septemberupon the exchange of notices regarding the completion of the respective internal constitutional requirements for the adoption of the treaty in both East Germany and West Germany.
With that last step, and in accordance with article 1 of the Treaty, and in conformity with East Germany's Declaration of Accession presented to the Federal Republic, Germany was officially reunited at These states were the five original states of East Germany, but were abolished in in favour of a centralised system.
As part of the 18 May treaty, the five East German states were reconstituted on 23 August. At the same time, East and West Berlin reunited into one city, which became a city-state along the lines of the existing city-states of Bremen and Hamburg. Berlin was still formally under Allied occupation that would only be terminated later, as a result of the provisions of the Two Plus Four Treatybut the city's administrative merger and inclusion in the Federal Republic of Germany, effective on 3 Octoberhad been greenlighted by the Allies, and were formally approved in a meeting of the Allied Control Council on 2 October In an emotional ceremony, at the stroke of midnight on 3 Octoberthe black-red-gold flag of West Germany —now the flag of a reunited Germany—was raised above the Brandenburg Gate marking the moment of German reunification.
Constitutional merger[ edit ] Fireworks at Brandenburg Gate after the reunification. The process chosen was one of two options implemented in the West German constitution Basic Law of to facilitate eventual reunification.
The Basic Law stated that it was only intended for temporary use until a permanent constitution could be adopted by the German people as a whole. The initial eleven joining states of constituted the Trizone. West Berlin had been proposed as the 12th state, but was legally inhibited by Allied objections since Berlin as a whole was legally a quadripartite occupied area.
Despite this, West Berlin's political affiliation was with West Germany, and in many fields, it functioned de facto as if it were a component state of West Germany.
History of Germany (1945–90)
The other option was Articlewhich provided a mechanism for a permanent constitution for a reunified Germany. This route would have entailed a formal union between two German states that then would have had to, amongst other things, create a new constitution for the newly established country. However, by the spring ofit was apparent that drafting a new constitution would require protracted negotiations that would open up numerous issues in West Germany. Even without this to consider, by the start of East Germany was in a state of utter collapse.
In contrast, reunification under Article 23 could be implemented in as little as six months. Ultimately, when the treaty on monetary, economic and social union was signed, it was decided to use the quicker process of Article By this process, East Germany voted to dissolve itself and to join West Germany as five new states, and the area in which the Basic Law was in force simply extended to include them. The five new states held their first elections on 14 October Nevertheless, although the Volkskammer's declaration of accession to the Federal Republic had initiated the process of reunification, the act of reunification itself with its many specific terms, conditions, and qualifications, some of which required amendments to the Basic Law itself was achieved constitutionally by the subsequent Unification Treaty of 31 August ; that is through a binding agreement between the former GDR and the Federal Republic now recognising each another as separate sovereign states in international law.
Hence, although the GDR declared its accession to the Federal Republic under Article 23 of the Basic Law, this did not imply its acceptance of the Basic Law as it then stood, but rather, of the Basic Law as subsequently amended in line with the Unification Treaty.
The reunification was not a merger that created a third state out of the two. Rather, West Germany effectively absorbed East Germany. Under this model, the Federal Republic of Germany, now enlarged to include the five states of the former German Democratic Republic plus the reunified Berlin, continued legally to exist under the same legal personality that was founded in May While the Basic Law was modified, rather than replaced by a constitution as such, it still permits the adoption of a formal constitution by the German people at some time in the future.
It also continued to be a party to all the treaties the old West Germany signed prior to the moment of reunification. The Basic Law and statutory laws that were in force in the Federal Republic, as amended in accordance with the Unification Treaty, continued automatically in force, but now applied to the expanded territory.
Also, the same President, Chancellor Prime Minister and Government of the Federal Republic remained in office, but their jurisdiction now included the newly acquired territory of the former East Germany. To facilitate this process and to reassure other countries, fundamental changes were made to the "Basic Law" constitution. The Preamble and Article were amended, and Article 23 was replaced, but the deleted former Article 23 was applied as the constitutional model to be used for the reunification.
The changes effectively formalised the Oder—Neisse line as Germany's permanent eastern border. It replaced the previous national holiday held in West Germany on 17 June commemorating the Uprising of in East Germany and the national holiday on 7 October in the GDR, that commemorated the foundation of the East German state.
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamirwho speculated that a country that "decided to kill millions of Jewish people" in the Holocaust "will try to do it again", was one of the few world leaders to publicly oppose it.
As reunification became a realistic possibility, however, significant NATO and European opposition emerged in private. Those surveyed stated several concerns, including Germany again attempting to expand its territory, a revival of Nazism, and the German economy becoming too powerful. Thatcher also clarified she wanted the Soviet leader to do what he could to stop it, telling Gorbachev "We do not want a united Germany".
German reunification - Wikipedia
And now they're back! Although she gradually softened her opposition, as late as March Thatcher summoned historians and diplomats to a seminar at Chequers  to ask "How dangerous are the Germans? The two leaders saw no way to prevent reunification, however, as "None of us was going to declare war on Germany".
Mitterrand still wanted Thatcher to publicly oppose unification, however, to obtain more concessions from Germany. Italy's Giulio Andreotti warned against a revival of " pan-Germanism " and joked "I love Germany so much that I prefer to see two of them", and the Netherlands' Ruud Lubbers questioned the German right to self-determination.