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20 Years After the Fall, Uniting Germany Still a Work in Progress

November 9, 2009

As many of you may know, today marks the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. After the dust settled, almost immediately West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl began to push for reunification. Clearly the breaking of the barrier between East and West had wider implications, but in Germany it was the beginning of forging a new existence. The process of reunification was met with both enthusiasm and scepticism, but less than a year later Germany was one again. Nonetheless, while November 9, 1989 began the deconstruction of political boundaries in Germany, the present situation shows that the Wall still has a figurative presence. Here are a few maps I made about a year ago that illustrate the divide between the western states and the “Fuenf neue Laender” from the former DDR. Although the data is a little dated, I think it more or less support what even the most casual of tourists see in Germany today: The process of reunification may have begun twenty years ago today, but it did not just end in 1990.

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