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1981 is a year of protest – against nuclear power, the nuclear arms race, vacant housing and housing speculation. In search of alternative ways of living, young squatters in the West occupy numerous vacant buildings.

A demonstration against the planned construction of the nuclear power plant at Brokdorf leads to a violent confrontation between protesters and the police. The so-called “Brokdorf Battle“ causes a nation-wide stir. A peaceful demonstration of 300.000 protesters against nuclear armament in Bonn in October of the same year marks the formation of the West German peace movement.

A summit meeting of GDR head of state Erich Honecker and Federal Chancellor Helmut Schmidt raises hopes among East Germans about reconciliation and rapprochement. However, the state visit yields no noteworthy results.

What else happened?

In an act of vigilantism, Marianne Bachmeier kills the alleged murderer of her little daughter in the court room. Heated discussions ensue.

Poland suffers a major supply crisis. The Germans send more than two million care packages to their eastern neighbours.

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