After eleven years of separation from Germany, the autonomous region of Saarland becomes the tenth state of the Federal Republic of Germany. On the basis of the results of a referendum, its inhabitants had opted for an accession to Germany, not least because of the “economic miracle“ in the West.
The first Earth-orbiting artificial satellite “Sputnik“ is launched by the Soviet Union. People in the GDR are thrilled. Inspired by the “Sputnik“ (Russian for: companion), the first East German model of the Volkswagen, developed at the people-owned enterprise VEB Sachsenring, is named “Trabant“ (Russian for: comrade).
What else happened?
80 German sailors are killed in the sinking of the commercial sailing ship “Pamir“.
In his book “Prosperity Through Competition“ Ludwig Erhard, the West German Minister of Economic Affairs, propagates the idea of social market economy. The signing of the Treaties of Rome marks the birth of the European Economic Community (EEC), antecedent of the EU.