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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Germany Series at GermanPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind German holidays and observances. I’m Matt, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 3 - German Unity Day.
In this lesson we will take a look at the most important public holiday in Germany, the Day of German Unity or Tag der Deutschen Einheit, celebrated every year on October 3. Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany had been divided into two states: the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). However, after reunification in 1990, the East German states once more became a part of the Federal Republic.
Now, before we get into more detail, I've got a question for you-
The Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989. Why then is October 3rd celebrated as the day of German unity?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep listening!
The East German government erected the Berlin Wall on the night of August 12 and 13, 1961 in order to prevent East Berliners escaping to West Berlin. The wall tore families who lived in East and West Berlin apart and made it impossible to visit friends and relatives who lived on opposite sides of the wall. While the East German population was forbidden from traveling to the West, the West German population had the option of travelling to East Berlin through certain limited transit routes.
In the GDR, frequent protests were held in 1989. Many citizens called for "freedom to travel instead of mass exodus" and declared their displeasure in prayers for peace among others at the Nikolai Church in Leipzig. The peaceful revolution developed into a mass movement across the GDR and thus increased the pressure on the government of the GDR to remove the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989.
On October 3, a street festival is held every year in different state capitals of Germany, which is also called Ländermeile or “State Mile”, and where everyone celebrates the reunification of Germany, often called Deutsche Wiedervereinigung.
The term Ostalgie, a combination of the words for “east” and “nostalgia”, describes the currently existing curiosity about the East German way of life and the interest in former East German products such as the Trabant or Ampelmännchen, which is the walking figure seen on pedestrian traffic lights.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Why has October 3 been decided as the day of German unity?
With the signing of the contract agreement, the official reunification of Germany took place on October 3, 1990. Because November 9 has negative connotations associated with other historical events, October 3 was instead chosen as the Day of German Unity.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Which festivals in your country remind you of its history?
Leave a comment telling us at GermanPod101.com! Until next time!

7 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

GermanPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Which festivals in your country remind you of its history?

GermanPod101.com Verified
Friday at 09:33 AM
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Hi Mary,


Thank you for the positive feedback!


We hope you will find many more enjoyable lessons

at GermanPod101.😉


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Kind regards,

Reinhard

Team GermanPod101.com

Mary Wright
Wednesday at 04:47 PM
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😄Danke!!! Ich habe das sehr interesante gefunden.

Mary

GermanPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 11:52 AM
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Hello Abdullah,


Thank you very much for your comment! ?

That is nice to hear. We hope you did enjoy this years national day on July 1st!


Please let us know if you have any questions.


Kind regards,


Albert

Team GermanPod101.com

Abdullah
Wednesday at 11:32 AM
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Well my country national day is on july 1

GermanPod101.com Verified
Friday at 08:56 PM
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Hallo George,


Danke für den Kommentar!


Vielen Dank!


Clara

Team GermanPod101.com

George
Sunday at 05:53 AM
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Today.