In 1949, when the occupying armies of the Allies left the region that
had been the German nation, two states were created, Communist-bloc East
Germany, and a western-friendly democracy, West Germany.In 1961, the East
Germany government erected a wall in Berlin to keep East Germans from
becoming West Germans.The wall, a hated symbol but also a real wedge into
German culture and society, stood until 1989.Suddenly, in the spring and
summer of that year, there was an exodus of East German citizens through
embassies in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.In early October, there
were unheard-of public demonstrations against the East German government in
With the world watching on TV, on November 9, 1989, the citizens of
East German and West Germany breached the Berlin wall, and changed
German;;;and even European;;;society in far-reaching ways.Only twenty-one
days later, on November 28, 1989, West German chancellor Helmut Kohl laid
out a program to overcome another division, that between Germany and the
A tacit quarantine of Germany, possibly because of the aggressive
posturing of East Germany (GDR), had existed since the Second World War.
On March 18, 1990, thefirst free elections were held in East
Germany.The result was virtual unification of the East and West Germany.
It was an event that would begin changes, startlingly enough, away from
completely socialized medicine in West Germany and toward a more market-
economy system. Despite its free market economy and democratic elections,
West Germany had an enviable socialized heath care scheme.
Historical basis of German healthcare
Healthcare is regarded by sociologists as asocial protection
system.’Designing such systems has always been high on the political
agenda in Europe; after World War II, during a period of high economic
growth in which there was a relati…