3 Oct /14


Reunification - Word of the day - EVS Translations
Reunification – Word of the day – EVS Translations

3 October 2014 – national holiday in Germany and Korea

The first time the term reunification was mentioned in English was in The Times in an article commenting on German reunification. The author stated that “the reunification of Germany is considered as a great and solid fact by the sovereigns of the world”. As you might have already guessed, the reunification in question here is not the one that united East and West German 24 years ago. Instead, the article is referring to the formation of the German nation-state after the Franco-Prussian War in 1871.

After the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, Germany had been a loose collection of small kingdoms whose politics were guided by the two powerful empires of Prussia in the north and Austria-Hungary in the south.

24 years of reunification

The term reunification once again became tied to radical changes in German history when this united Germany was split up after the Second World War and eventually reunited in 1990. After the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, the country was divided into four allied occupation zones. Eventually, tensions between the Soviet Union and the Western allies led to the formation of a separate East German state, the GDR, in 1949.  The infamous wall was built to separate the two Germanys and for 40 years the country remained divided. Eventually, after years of protest and a sustained period of political rapprochement, Germany was officially reunited on 3 October 1990.  The result was the biggest state in Europe and a shift in the political balance of power on the continent. It also meant an extra holiday for what were now 80 million Germans.

The end of the Second World War also saw the division of Korea into a Northern and Southern part. Here reunification is still a dream. But the events that led up to 3 October show that even impossible dreams sometimes come true. Maybe 3 October could be a day that two countries celebration thier reunification.