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Both German states become members of the UNO – a big step which opens up new opportunities for foreign policy, especially for the GDR.

Oil becomes scarce in West Germany as Arab countries put an embargo against Israel-friendly states. Several car-free Sundays are introduced. Traps and bicycles travel the motorways. The 1973 oil crisis causes the Federal Republic of Germany’s first economic slump.

1973 is an exciting year in the East as the World Festival of Youth and Students brings together millions of young people. With the slogan “For Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship“, the GDR aims to present itself open-minded and liberal.

What else happened?

Local (so-called “little“) border traffic is introduced between West and East Germany.

In the city of Duisburg, Europe’s biggest blast furnace is blown in. As local residents complain about exhaust gases and noise, the furnace has to be extensively retrofitted.

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