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On 1 January, Germany and eleven other EU-countries introduce the euro as the official currency of the European Union.

An expelled high school student commits a massacre at the Gutenberg-Gymnasium in Erfurt. The gunman shoots and kills 16 people before committing suicide. A national debate on the causes of school shootings ensues, resulting in a tightening of gun laws.

Large areas in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg are devastated by the biggest flood disaster in Germany in decades. 21 people die, the damage in property and infrastructure amounts to billions. But the population’s readiness to help is admirable. Donations amount to a total of € 300 million.

What else happened?

In autumn, the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens  win the federal election. One decisive factor is Chancellor Schröder’s “no“ to a German participation in the Iraq War.

14 German tourists are among the victims of a terrorist attack on a Jewish synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba.

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