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Die Wende and Reunification Tracy Barrett For nearly forty-five years the now-unified country of Germany was divided into two separate countries each with its own currency political system and social structure For twentv-eight of those years a physical barrier the Berlin Wall enforced the separation of Berlin and stood as a symbol of the separation of Germany into East and West More than just separating Germany however the wall also divided the world into East and West sectors serving as a symbol for the Cold War itself The so-called Autumn Revolution of 1989 culminated in a permanent opening of the wall on 9 November 1989 a date that became known as die Wendc or the turning point- In the following year the German Democratic Republic East Germany and the Federal Republic of Germany West Germany reunited Everyone demanding free access from East Berlin to the West the leaders responsible for this change in policy the masses of East Berliners crossing into West Germany and the millions of people around the world who watched this all on television recognized the historical significance of these events1 With the fall of the wall the reunification which had been so desired but completely unobtainable for so many years materialized not only as a possibility but almost as a certainty The euphoria and accompanying anxiety that surrounded the ninth of November quickly turned to frustration and outright fear for many people in both the former Germanys and around the world The new financial issues unemployment problems and social concerns of reunification found their roots in the two widely different political and economic structures that had prevailed in the two countries democracy with a free-market system in the West and communism with a state-run economy in the East In the years immediately following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the
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