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In 1960, the Nazi past dominates the public debate in the Federal Republic of Germany. Demonstrators in both East and West demand the resignation of Theodor Oberländer, the Federal Minister for Displaced Persons, Refugees and Victims of War. Oberländer is even brought to trial in absentia in the GDR. Despite Oberländer’s National Socialist past, Chancellor Adenauer initially refrains from dismissing his minister.

During a visit to the United States, Adenauer meets the Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion for the first time. In what is considered a historical moment, Adenauer faces up to Germany’s past, causing Ben Gurion to acknowledge that “The Germany of today is no longer the Germany of yesterday.“

The East German cruise liner “Völkerfreundschaft“ (“friendship between peoples“) sets sail for the first time. Merited workers and party officials are allowed to travel the Mediterranean.

What else happened?

Europe’s first drive-in cinema opens near Frankfurt/Main.

Two years earlier than West Germany, the GDR introduces oral vaccination against polio.

The number of people fleeing from the GDR continues to rise. In 1962, 150.000 refugees flee to the West.

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