Germany on Thursday marked the 29th anniversary of the Day of German Unity with official celebrations in the northern city of Kiel.
Delivering a speech at the event, Chancellor Angela Merkel hailed the “Peaceful Revolution” that ended communist rule in East Germany three decades ago, but also acknowledged the disappointment of many East Germans today.
“Representatives poll show that majority of East Germans feel like second-class citizens today in Germany,” Merkel said, adding that less than half of them are satisfied with the democratic system.
“We must gain a better understanding of why for many citizens in eastern German states reunification has not been a positive experience,” said Merkel, who was raised in the former East Germany.
She underlined that despite many achievements over the last three decades, much has to be done to overcome continued divisions between eastern and western Germany.
“German unity is not a static condition, it is rather a continuous process, a constant mission for all Germans,” she stressed.
The Day of German Unity, annually held on Oct. 3, marks the anniversary of the official unification of West Germany and the former communist East Germany in 1990, a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
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