German Unity Day

Published October 3, 2018, 12:05 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat


Germany celebrates today its “Unity Day,” to commemorate the day in 1990 when the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) reunited.

After the Second World War, Germany was divided into East Germany and West Germany. Due to the political tensions in post-war Europe, East Germany built the Berlin Wall to prevent its citizens from fleeing to the West. The wall caused the separation of German families for decades. In September, 1989, citizens launched a protest against the DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik) government – East Germany – calling for political reform and the opening borders. On November 9, 1989, the border between the two countries was opened. A “Treaty of Unification” was signed by East and West leaders in August and Germany’s unification became official on October 3, 1990.

The Federal Republic of Germany shares its borders with Denmark in the north; Poland and the Czech Republic in the east; Austria in the southeast; Switzerland in the south-southwest; Belgium, France, and Luxembourg in the west; and the Netherlands in the northwest. Its capital is the city state of Berlin, which is the seat of the President of Germany, whose official residence is Schloss Bellevue. Economically, it has the fourth-largest economy by GDP and fifth-largest by PPP. Aside from being active in international organizations (UN, NATO, EU, etc.) Germany is one of the global leaders when it comes to several industrial and technological sectors. Germany upholds high standards of living seen through its world-class social security and health care system and tuition free education.

Germany and the Philippines have long maintained strong and stable diplomatic relations. October 8, 2014, officially marked 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Germany has its official embassy in Makati City with honorary consulates in Cebu City and Davao City. The Philippines has an embassy in Berlin with consulates in Baden-Wurttemberg, Dresden, Essen, Hesse, and Munich.

We greet the people and Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on the occasion of its Unity Day.