| 10.1°C Belfast

Close

Premium


Alban Maginness

Nationalists and unionists could learn from the Germans

Alban Maginness


Their experience of reunification could be helpful to Ireland

Close

Historic: the taking down of the Berlin Wall in 1989

Historic: the taking down of the Berlin Wall in 1989

Associated Press

Historic: the taking down of the Berlin Wall in 1989

In an extraordinary quirk of history in 1989, exactly 200 years after the French Revolution, a series of peaceful democratic revolutions transformed the map of Europe, marking the end of the Soviet Union's hegemony and the restoration of democracy in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including Poland and Hungary, who were the least compliant of the Soviet Union's vassal states.

At the same time, a similar uprising took place in East Germany, where the fall of the Berlin Wall brought about the collapse of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and the end of communist rule in that forlorn state.

On October 3 the following year, the actual political reunification of East Germany and West Germany took place. Last weekend, the German people celebrated the 30th anniversary of that momentous event.