This week marked the biggest event of the year from the German Embassy: our annual celebration of the Day of German Unity! Thousands of guests came to the Ambassador’s residence on Wednesday to celebrate German food, culture and music. Each year we commemorate Germany’s reunification on Oct. 3, 1990, but this year’s party was particularly important, since 2014 also marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
As guests walked around the residence, they were able to take pictures with a Berlin Wall replica, sit in the driver’s seat of an East German Trabi and sample food from each of Germany’s 16 states.
In a speech before the event, German Ambassador Peter Wittig reflected on the significance of the fall of the wall: “All of Europe was overcome by a mood of unprecedented optimism for the future, by the desire for freedom,” he said, remembering the events of November 9, 1989. Special guest Tom Brokaw, an NBC News correspondent who was the only network anchor in Berlin during the fall of the wall, also spoke about the significance of that historic day.
Brokaw “conveyed the excitement and the great uncertainty of this momentous event to the world,” Wittig said before handing over the mic.
For Germans, Oct. 3 is an important public holiday – much like Independence Day is to Americans. Many workplaces – including our Embassy in Washington – are closed on this day, and festivals across Germany celebrate the reunification of their country 24 years ago. In Berlin, a large multi-day festival will take place at the Brandenburg Gate from Oct. 3 to Oct. 5, complete with music, food and performances.