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The extraparliamentary opposition movement gains in strength in West Germany. In Berlin, thousands of demonstrators protest against the state visit of the Shah of Persia in June. Hit in the head by a police bullet, the student Benno Ohnesorg dies in the street. The fatal shooter is found not guilty. Benno Ohnesorg’s death marks the birth hour of the protest movement of 1968.

The GDR is put into a state of shock by a disastrous accident in July. A short distance behind the station of Langenweddingen near Magdeburg, an 852 express train crashes into a fuel lorry carrying 15000 litres of petrol. Within seconds, the train is set aflame. 82 people lose their lives, among them 44 children who had been on their way to a summer camp.

What else happened?

Former Chancellor Konrad Adenauer dies at age 91.

Colour TV is introduced in West Germany.

In the GDR, a brand new city is constructed entirely out of prefabricated concrete slabs: Halle-Neustadt.

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