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German Reunification Explained In 11 Minutes

German Reunification Explained In 11 Minutes

Uploader: History Scope - Avery Thing

Duration: 11:49

Date: January 06, 2018

German Reunification almost didn't happen. It was opposed by nearly all world leaders. But there was one man who made it happen, one who convinced everybody, one man who vowed that Germany. Will. Be. United.

Over time a wall was built between the two Germanies to make sure people from the poorer east could not emigrate to the richer west. In the 1980s the economic and social differences between the Capitalist West and the Communist east, were becoming apparent. Soon, peaceful protests broke out throughout the communist East, including East-Germany.
Then, on the evening of November 9, 1989, the East-German press secretary made mistake that would change history

Over time a wall was built between the two Germanies to make sure people from the poorer east could not emigrate to the richer west. In the 1980s the economic and social differences between the Capitalist West and the Communist east, were becoming apparent. Soon, peaceful protests broke out throughout the communist East, including East-Germany.
Then, on the evening of November 9, 1989, the East-German press secretary made mistake that would change history
in actuality, people could now apply to travel abroad in a few months, not right away. But the words were said, the people had heard, and thousands were flocking to the border crossings. Because the press secretary misspoke, people thought the gate was open. Without receiving orders, the border guards didn’t know what to do with the tens of thousands wanting to get through. And so, without being given orders to do so, the border guards opened the gates and let the East-German masses through the gates.
You see, the British, French, United States, and Soviet Union still had troops on German soil. And they had so called ‘reserved rights’ meaning these four countries had to allow German reunification. And all four powers were basically having none of it. A unified Germany is a powerful Germany… and a powerful Germany had been their enemy in 2 world wars. But Helmut Kohl was not deterred: Germany. Will. Be. United.
But now we have to look at the rest of Europe, particularly eastern Europe. Because, while East-Germany had been protesting, the rest of USSR’s client states were in similar stages of revolution. Within two years, the Soviet Union itself would collapse. Gorbachev was acutely aware of the state of his country and needed money to push through economic reforms he hoped would modernize the Soviet economy and, hopefully, keep the country together. East-Germany was broke and had to be kept afloat by continuous money supplies from the USSR. So what if, he could SELL it to West-Germany, he would lose his this large expense, gain some much needed income, and could gain this new powerful Germany as an important ally in European politics. But there were some conditions: no NATO bases in east-Germany and the Russian withdrawal was not allowed to be presented as a retreat. NATO agreed and so, West-Germany sent a delegation to Moscow to discuss Germany giving loans to the Soviet Union in exchange for German reunification.
He did it! 3 of the 4 powers had agreed! The UK would soon join the other three and Germany. Will. Be. United.

But now came one very important question: what territory does German reunification include? You see, large portions of land had been given to Poland and the Soviet Union after WWII, Helmut Kohl wanted all these lands returned as well: They were Germans, West-Germany had never given up its claim to these territories, and they should be returned to Germany as well! It was one thing to ask for two countries to become one, it was a whole other matter to demand Soviet and Polish territory to just be handed over after 45 years. And so, the other four powers basically told Helmut Kohl: it’s East-Germany or nothing.
In the end Kohl relented. He agreed that the newly formed Germany would relinquish all claims to Polish and Soviet territory in exchange for reunification.

And so it was done. The Soviet Union pulled its forces back from East-Germany in 1990, the four powers ended their occupation of the two Germanies, and a single unified Germany had been born. It was time to party. Because: Germany. Had. Been. United!