"We're twice as big and yet so small
Now we have to share so the Chancellor said."
Wir sind ein Volk!note
"Life Isn't Easy in Germany" — And One
On 3 October 1990, the two Germanies reunified
. (They'd considered 9 November, it being the date of the Berlin Wall crumbling in 1989, also the date of the proclamation of the first German republic in 1918, but decided that firstly they didn't want another birthday for the GDR and secondly there is another 9 November and another one
.) Actually, East Germany
joined West Germany
in a manner that left many feeling it was an annexation. The
enlarged state kept the constitutional structure of The Bonn Republic
Under the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany (or the "Two-Plus-Four Agreement"), which came into force on 15 March 1991 Germany gained full sovereignty and the Soviets
(soon thereafter most of it became Russia
) left. The Americans
stayed. The Oder-Neisse border with Poland
became finalised in a separate treaty, the old East Germany
became a zone free of nuclear weapons or foreign bases and Germany renounced any claim to areas east of Oder-Neisse that had been part of Germany before 1945.
There was some opposition to the idea, based on the ultimately unfounded belief that Germany would again try to dominate Europe militarily. It just teamed up with old enemy France
and did it via The European Union
The new Germany now had to deal with the legacy of a part of it having been Commie Land
for 40 years. East Germany
had a massive pollution problem, the whole issue of Stasi informers (a lot of them, verging on a very unfunny Flock of Wolves
) and a whole bunch of police officers who needed retraining — or sacking. The ex-"Vopos" still face social stigma.
Some rather poorly performed privatisation of state industry didn't help — most of it collapsing almost overnight the same as the rest of Eastern Europe — and the states of the former GDR have high unemployment as a result. Even 20 years later you can see the exact location of the old border when looking at random charts for unemployment, social services, and economic data.
Germany has the problem of die Mauer im Kopf
, "the wall in people's heads" — people still thinking in terms of two Germanies. There are divisions between Ossis and Wessis, East and West Germans respectively. However this phenomenon is almost non-existent with young Germans who grew up after reunification (although obviously they can't avoid the economic issues, it's not more fundamental than the difference between young Americans from the East Coast and young Americans from the Rust Belt).
Germany became more actively militarily, being involved in Kosovo and Afghanistan, but opposing the invasion of Iraq.
In 2005, an early election resulted in a Grand Coalition, led by Angela Merkel, the first female Chancellor (and first one from former East Germany
). In September 2009, the late economic unpleasantness led to Merkel's Christian Democrats and their pro-business Free Democratic (read: vaguely right-libertarian) allies winning a majority coalition together, ending the grand coalition. In 2012, the ceremonial President
Christian Wulff resigned amidst a corruption scandal; he was replaced by Joachim Gauck, a pastor from Rostock and former head of the bureau for investigating the Stasi's crimes, meaning that Ossis held the two highest offices of state for the first time since unification.
The Berlin Republic in fiction
Anime and Manga
- Monster: While the first chapter takes place a few years before reunification, the rest of the plot deals extensively with former GDR agents who try to come to terms with their country no longer existing and starting new lives while hiding the crimes of their pasts.
- By the same author, Pluto is also partially set in a futuristic Germany, with main character Kommissar Gesicht being a German police officer.
- Shinyaku Ookami Ga Kuru is set in Berlin. All of it's chapter titles are Rammstein songs.
- Blassreiter is about a German police force fighting techno demons.