Vertrag zwischen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik über die Herstellung der Einheit Deutschlands
That’s what Germany is celebrating on today’s national holiday: The commencement of the “Treaty between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic about the creation of the unity of Germany”.
Shown here are the two originals signed by the interior ministers Wolfgang Schäuble (FRG) and Günter Krause (GDR). They are on display in the archives of the Foreign Ministry of Germany.
With the creation of a united state, German unity was far from being reality. Even today, 27 years after the reunion, there are significant differences between the eastern and western parts of the country. Particularly notable is the absence of big companies in the east. The east German economy is still significantly lagging behind west Germany with a much lower density of the highly profitable small and medium-sized businesses that make the backbone of the (West-) German economy. Unemployment is higher, and much of the young and highly qualified population is moving to the west, leaving vast parts of the countryside as an overaged and underpopulated landscape. Reversing this trend is the most challenging task of German politics in the years to come.