The German reunification, formally achieved on the 3rd of October 1990, is one of the most influential events of the second half of the 20th century. For many, it is a defining moment symbolizing a genuine end to the Cold War or – reaching back even further – World Word II. When the Allied Powers gathered in Potsdam in July 1945 to negotiate the conditions that would bring the war to a close, Germany faced a hazy future. Shouldering the responsibility for the turmoil that engulfed Europe for almost six years, the country stood to be partitioned and have its territory occupied by the powers that put an end to the devastating conflict. Over the next forty-five years, Germany would struggle to rebuild its identity while remaining a divided nation. The process of reunification began with the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 and marked a new stage in the history of the country that had been torn between East and West for almost half a century. It was one based upon repudiation of violence and determination to move forward in unity.
In his opening address given at Baltic Barracks, Colonel Manfred Kutz emphasized that the events of 1990 remained an uplifting expression of the power of the human spirit and reaffirmed that no oppression was strong enough to get in the way of freedom and democracy. As pointed out by Lieutenant General Manfred Hofmann, Germany – which serves as one of the three Framework Nations of the Corps alongside with Poland and Denmark – with its decision to support establishment of Multinational Corps Northeast did “visionary and courageous step with regard to foreign and security policy that nowadays meets with NATO-wide recognition of the Corps”.
Mr Volker Rühe, Germany’s longest-serving defence minister in his speech pointed out that reunification was only possible because of strong embodiment in European Union and NATO. Following on this Mr Rühe also indicated that “Back in the days, defence of the Alliance was the defence of Germany. Now this has changed.”
By acting unified and staying true to its commitments, Headquarters Multinational Corps Northeast has been consistently reassuring the nations of the Alliance’s northeastern borderlands that any aggressive action against their peaceful future will be met with a collective response. “NATO has fostered those values for more than 60 years and we are working hard to uphold them.” – Colonel Kutz concluded his speech.