October 3, 1990! A day Germay won’t forget and may not wish to for times to come for it happens to be one of the key dates in the modern history of the nation.
There are dates that hold extensively special meaning for various countries. Forget countries for a second, there are dates that hold meaning for a couple or an individual. In a lighter vein, long before remembering on which date does the chocolate day or a rose day falls, there were concepts like the wedding anniversary date. Of course, it’s not too hard to note that today, such dates find close competition from associate dates. As a matter of fact, there’s an International Teddy Bear Day, which as on October 27, would be observed by Denmark.
Now if there’s relevance attached to a soft toy, it’s probably not rocket science to understand why a specific date would hold so much value from the point of international or domestic politics- right?
While the football nerd may never forget that 1990 in Germany holds great value since its the year where ‘West Germany’ wrapped its hands around the crown, there’s a far bigger reason to remember 1990 for the very country that became Weltmeister that year.
After all, on October 3, 1990 Germany was reunified finally after spending no fewer than three decades split between East and West Germany. And as it always happens with such a prominent development, there’s this universality so to speak that surrounds shape-shifting dates such as this.
But what’s rather surprising is that 3 decades after having been reunified as one, instead of two separate entities, the country has warned that nationalism is the big threat.
But is that actually the case? And why is it so? Why is nationalism in Germany, according to the country itself, the threat? The question actually posits a reality that the average German may or may not feel but one that definitely beckons attention.
As the country observes a mega date in modern history, one of the most well-known politicians of the country alongside Angela Merkel and Peter Altmaier (the serving Federal Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy), Mr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier (serving President) happened to direct attention toward the benefit of the international order, one whose positives, he said, may still not be getting reaped fully even by western societies.
Whether or not nationalism in modern societies poses a challenge in that path is something one would wish to understand in principle and in depth, you’d feel.
The following is what Mr. Steinmeir (who hails from North-Rhine Westphalia) happened to state on the subject of nationalism in Germany and the key challenges that lay in front of the strongest economy in the European heartland in a speech on the occasion of the National Day of Unity holiday.
“We Germans stand for international cooperation, even if it’s become more difficult!”
Quoting more from Bloomberg Quint, the following excerpt submits a telling reality whether nationalism in Germany carries the same unifying value it did three decades back in the day or if, a more pragmatic approach that takes cognizance of the international order (and its changing vagaries) has risen to become a template of today:
“Under Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in the East, Germany has been an ardent defender of multilateral institutions like NATO, the European Union, and the World Trade Organization. U.S. President Donald Trump’s America First policy has posed a particular challenge to the post-war system.”