30 years of Reunification

Exactly thirty years ago, the Physical Society of the GDR (PG-DDR) and the German Physical Society (DPG) ceremoniously sealed their merger to form today's DPG in the Magnus-Haus Berlin.

The pro-democracy movement within in the GDR, which also assisted in the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9th November 1989, also had an impact on the physical society of the GDR. During the Leipzig Spring Conference in February 1990, it democratically elected a completely new Board of Directors. A small delegation of the DPG, consisting of President Otto Folberth, General Manager Wolfgang Heinicke and Board Member Ingo Peschel, had already been invited to this meeting. They in turn issued an invitation to the new Board to attend the DPG Spring Conference in Munich in March 1990. The executive boards of both societies quickly agreed that, parallel to political reunification, they also wanted to work towards a unification of the two physical societies. Negotiations on the merger were conducted and after a members' survey, which showed an overwhelming approval, the contract was then signed by Theo Mayer-Kuckuk and Gerd Röpke in the Magnus-Haus Berlin on 20th November 1990. The two Physical Societies were the only scientific ones in the GDR and the Federal Republic of Germany to unite in this way. The original document is now in the DPG archives, however it can also be viewed on the DPG website.

The reunification is only one milestone in the online chronicle of the DPG, which presents the 175-year history of our society.