Berlin [Germany], October 4 (ANI): Germany celebrated 30 years of reunification in a low key event on Saturday amid COVID-19 pandemic. President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel were among the dignitaries who participated in the ceremony in the eastern city of Potsdam, 25 kilometres southwest of Berlin.
East and West Germany were unified in 1990 after more than four decades of Cold War division following World War II.
"We look back with gratitude at the end of the Cold War and the beginning of a new era," Steinmeier was quoted as saying by Deutsche Welle. In a keynote speech, he said, "Today we live in the best Germany that has ever existed."
Steinmeier said in his speech that Germany has become more diverse over the past 30 years due to reunification and immigration. He also called for unity beyond the differences in regions and religion.
Speaking at the event, Merkel said that "we have to be brave again today".
"Courageous enough to break new ground in the face of a pandemic, courageous enough to really overcome the differences that still exist between East and West, but also courageous enough to continually demand the cohesion of our entire society and work towards it," she said.
Meanwhile, the French President Emmanuel Macron marked the day on Twitter, saying, "Germany was reunified 30 years ago, which opened the way to European reunification. Today, we are defending democracy and progress, our sovereignty and European solidarity together. Our European resolve unites us!"
During the decades-long Cold War between the US and USSR, Germany was divided into East (Germany) and West (Germany). But after the fall of Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, the path towards reunification began. Thereafter, on October 3, 1990, the German Reunification Treaty went into effect.
Since then, German Unity Day has been celebrated as the country's national holiday. (ANI)