Funny enough, for YEARS, most of European powers supported reunification - that is, until it became a realistic vision. Then, slooowly, the continent began to shift nervously and be like, “mmmmyeah we weren’t serious, you know??”
From a political standpoint, Europe shit a collective brick when the Wall came down. Europe held one fear - that WWIII would break out like, immediately, or at least that Germany would become a dominant power in Europe again.
Margaret Thatcher, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the time, was very outwardly opposed to German unification. Like, homegirl kept a fucking MAP in her PURSE of Germany’s territory in 1937, so she could instantly whip that shit out and explain the “German problem” to anyone who might have even mentioned Germany’s possible unification.
She (and the rest of Western Europe) just could not let go of the reasons that Germany was split up to begin with - namely, to prevent another war sparked by German aggression. She believed that a unified Germany would strengthen German nationalisation again and would destabilise Europe, rather than stabilise it. She goes on record to say, in December 1989 (after the wall came down), “We defeated the Germans twice! And now they’re back!”
Thatcher, as well as many nations, were in favour of a “transitional period” of five or more years where East and West would remain as separate nations, slowly fusing together, when reunification became obvious.
France was generally in the same boat, its president Mitterrand reporting to Gorbachev that, in 1989, “France by no means wants German reunification, although it realises that in the end it is inevitable.” Thanks for the support.
Italy? Its Prime Minister said, “I love Germany so much that I prefer two of them.” Netherlands also was in the “we’ll pass on that reunification BS” boat.
So Germany saw that Europe was like “HA. HAAA WOW CONGRATS….WISH YOU COULD REUNITE RIGHT AWAY BUT TOO BAD YOU CAN’T RIGHT?? HA..HA…” and was like, “fucking watch me, douchbags” and did the process in less than a year. Suck it.
So who was actually in support? Of all places, Ireland. Whose Prime Minister called a special session of the European Economic Community to Dublin just to alleviate the European powers’ fears of MechaHitler rising to power and zombie SS re-invading France. He stated, “I have expressed a personal view that coming as we do from a country which is also divided many of us would have sympathy with any wish of the people of the two German States for unification.” Two for you, Ireland! (Literally)
OH, and the Germans’ biggest supporters? America. Who was like, ‘YES WOW VERY GOOD. FORGET 1945 RIGHT? WATER UNDER THAT BRIDGE. GR8 FRIENDS. LET’S BE BFFLES. I’LL SHOW YOU A WHOLE NEW WORLD OF TRADE AND SHIT.” Though it may or not be because they saw reunification as America ttly “winning” over the Soviet Union.