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On this day:

Re-unification of East and West Germany

On 3rd October 1990, East and West Germany are reunited, ending 45 years of Cold War division. In the aftermath of the Second World War, Germany was divided between the four major Allied powers; the Soviet Union, the United States, Britain and France. In 1949, the United States, Britain and France combined their occupation zones to create the Federal Republic of Germany in West Germany, while the Soviets established the communist German Democratic Republic in East Germany.

Over four decades later, nearly a million Germans gathered at the Reichstag in Berlin to mark German reunification. At midnight on 3rd October 1990, the Freedom Bell, a gift from the United States, was rung, and Germany was again a united nation. The East German state, which had essentially collapsed in 1989, was dissolved, and its people became citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1993, the united Germany joined the European Union.