The Unification of Germany and the Soviet Union in the 1990s

The Unification of Germany and the Soviet Union in the 1990s


The article discusses the events leading up to the unification of Germany and the breakdown of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. It explores the crucial decisions made by political leaders, such as Mitterrand and Kohl, and their impact on the direction of European politics at the time. It delves into the economic and social challenges faced by Germany during the period of reunification and Soviet Union’s struggles with the mounting demands for independence and reform.

Table of Contents

  • The Agreement between France and West Germany
  • The Dilemma of Unification
  • The Establishment of Currency Union
  • Solidarity Subsidy In Germany
  • The Breakdown of the Soviet Union


What was the significance of the agreement between France and West Germany?

The agreement between France and West Germany, reached on 8-9 December 1989, was significant in the reunification of Germany, as it provided a path for Germany’s integration into Western Europe. Mitterrand hoped to integrate Germany into Western Europe, while Kohl aimed to prevent any nationalist tendencies, anchoring Germany into the West. The leaders were able to come to an agreement, allowing for smoother negotiations regarding German unification.

What was the dilemma of German unification?

The dilemma of German unification was the question of division between states after World War II. West Germany was attracting East Germany, leading to the decision of unification. Kohl and his colleagues’ efforts led to a direct incorporation of the German Democratic Republic into the Federal Republic through five new Länder. The abolition of East German state in the People’s Chamber elections in March 1990 united Germany and was led by the Alliance for Germany’s promises of getting the D-Mark.

What were some of the challenges Germany faced during the unification process?

The establishment of currency union in July 1990 led to the end of the communist system and exposed East Germans to the market. Unemployment increased drastically, and many state-owned companies were privatized. Germany spent an estimated £120 billion on East Germany, increasing state debt and borrowing costs. Despite all the difficulties, East Germans were fortunate enough to receive extensive support from West Germany, unlike other Soviet-bloc countries.

What was the impact of the solidarity subsidy in Germany?

The ‘solidarity subsidy’ was introduced in 1991 to aid in the funding of the transition in East Germany. The subsidy added approximately 15 billion euros to the Federal government’s revenue and was kept in place despite the general public’s dislike for it.

What was the state of the Soviet Union during the 1990s?

The Soviet Union was experiencing significant political and social upheaval after the implementation of Gorbachev’s structural reform program. His popularity deteriorated as he struggled to manage the mounting pressure for independence. Boris Yeltsin emerged as a potential replacement and a beacon of hope for the future, but there were dissenting voices and ethnic tensions rising.

What was the impact of German unification and the breakdown of the Soviet Union?

German unification was recognized as a significant moment in European and international relations. It marked the end of Germany’s role in inflicting suffering and destruction on Europe and the creation of a new, stable Europe focused on prosperity and peace. However, there was still uneasiness among Germany’s neighbors regarding the future of the country. For the Soviet Union, the breakdown represented a significant change in the balance of power globally and in Europe, and it was a potential destabilizing factor.


In conclusion, the events of the 1990s regarding the unification of Germany and the breakdown of the Soviet Union were significant moments in recent history. The articles discussed the crucial political decisions and economic and social challenges faced by Germany during their reunification process. It also highlighted the impact on the Soviet Union, including leadership struggles, growing dissent and ethnic tensions in various regions. Overall, the events of this period mark a turning point in the balance of power in Europe and the world.

Scroll to Top