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Before 1989, Germans used the term "Wende " (the tum) to refer to the transition from the Schmidt to the Kohl government in 1981-82. This meaning disappeared overnight between November 9 and 10, 1989. The real Wende became the revolution in the GDR and the subsequent unification of the two Germanys. Doubtless this shift in meaning was justified. By October 1990, Germany had experienced far more than a change in political leadership. It now had new expanded borders, 17 million new citizens, and a mountain of challenges to overcome.

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East European Quarterly