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What’s So Special about the German Unity Day

German Unity Day

German Unity Day (Tag der Deutschen Einheit) is held on the 3rd of October every year to mark the anniversary of the reunification of Germany. The day commemorates October 3, 1990 when the Democratic Republic of Germany and the Federal Republic of Germany reunited creating one federal Germany after 40 years.

Peaceful Monday Demonstrations Leipzig 1989

Monday Demonstrations Leipzig 1989

Historical Background

After World War II, Germany was divided into four military sectors, which were controlled by the Soviet Union, France, the United Kingdom and the United States. On the 23rd of May, 1949, the regions under France, the United Kingdom and the United States of American formed the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). On October 7 the same year, the region under the Soviet Union became the Democratic Republic of Germany (East Germany).

The two countries developed extremely different economic and political systems. In addition, because of the political tensions in Europe after the war, contact between inhabitants of the two countries was greatly reduced. Life in the Democratic Republic of Germany was harsh under the socialist regime and political opposition was not tolerated.

Fall of the Berlin wall 1989

Fall of the Berlin Wall 1989

On September 4, 1989, Leipzig citizens held yet another peaceful protest (also called Monday Demonstrations) against the government of the Democratic Republic of Germany. More similar demonstrations followed in other cities with the clarion call for political reforms and opening of the borders. The protests culminated in the opening of the checkpoints in Berlin between the two nations on November 9, 1989. This date marked what is now known as the “fall” of the Berlin wall.

All these events resulted in political change. Elections were held on March, 18, 1990 that paved the way for the unification of the two countries. Leaders from the two countries signed the “Treaty of Unification” in August 1990. The unification of Germany became official from October 3, 1990.

Celebration in Germany

This is a public holiday and most people do not report to work. Huge public celebrations are arranged. The events in this day include:

Food and cultural presentations from Germany’s regions. Speeches by politicians and other leaders. Fireworks. Communal meals. Concerts.

Interesting Facts and Events

The atmosphere is festive, welcoming and safe during the celebrations marking anniversary of German reunification on October 3. Every year, a different city in Germany hosts the national celebrations.

Many mosques in Germany are opened to members of the general public during the celebrations. This is aimed at stimulating contact between Muslims and non-Muslims as well as emphasizing the central role Muslims played in the formation of Modern Germany.

The Germany Unity Day is the only holiday in Germany administered nationally. The other holidays are administered by individual states.

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