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  • Writer's pictureWilliam Tyler

German History: The Final Chapter 1990 onwards

REUNIFICATION & BEYOND


When re-unification came, it came quickly. The East German Communist regime crumbled as the whole of Eastern Europe began to rise against their communist regimes. This time Soviet Russia did not come to the aid of the Eastern elites. They were on their own and facing revolution from their citizens on the streets. East Germany was no exception.


What was exceptional in East Germany's case was there was already a free and democratic Germany just over their border - West Germany. In practice this meant that the West German Government took control of the process of reunification, and in effect did not just incorporate the East German State into itself, but did so by extending West German democratic structures eastwards. A ready made alternative to German Communism.


Naturally, the process of assimilation was not always an easy one, even when Angela Merkel became the first East German to become Chancellor of the united Germany. However, Germany has continued to be a major Western European player, both politically and economically, a pillar of The European Union, and slowly but surely a genuine contributor to the Western Military Alliance of NATO.


As for the future it is (almost inconceivable) that the extremes of politics which engulfed the country in the 20th century will challenge the liberal democracy which has existed for nearly 80 years in the West, and over 30 in the East.


Anglo-German ties, despite Brexit, appear stronger than ever with close co-operation militarily, and recently exemplified by King Charles' first overseas visit as monarch when he was given an enthusiastic reception in Germany.

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