This year, we are celebrating 25 years of German Unity. The Day of German Unity is celebrated every year on October 3.
Why October 3?
The decision to reunify East and West Germany was not made lightly. After the Berlin Wall fell in November of 1989, many leaders around the world, most notably Great Britain’s Margaret Thatcher, were against German unification. In the end, the steadfast support of a few countries, including the United States, and the will of the German people outweighed the doubts. Negotiations for a unification treaty went on throughout the summer of 1990 and finally a unifcation agreement between the Germanies was decided upon. On the sidelines, the 2+4 treaty between East and West Germany, Great Britain, France, the US and the USSR was also being negotiated and was signed on September 12.
All that remained, then, was the date. With two entire parliaments and various parties, it comes as no surprise that the decision on a date was a difficult one. In the end, the then Prime Minister of East Germany Lothar de Maiziere called a special joint session of parliament to debate this issue. It was as difficult as one might expect to come to a consesus, but eventually October 3 was chosen.
Later that day Helmut Kohl, the Chancellor of West Germany and the first Chancellor of unified Germany, said, “Today is a day of joy for all Germans.”