Germans are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the country's reunification.
On October 3, 1990, Germany was officially reunified after four decades of division into the Soviet-controlled, communist-led German Democratic Republic in the east, and the NATO-member Federal Republic Of Germany in the west.
Reunification occurred only 11 months after the Berlin Wall had fallen, heralding the collapse of communist regimes in the east.
In a statement, U.S. President Barack Obama has congratulated Germany on the 20th anniversary, calling the country one of America's "closest allies and greatest friends."
The U.S. statement also praised what it called "the courage and convictions" of the Germans who helped bring down the Berlin Wall. It said German reunification was an "historic achievement" that advanced the vision of a Europe "whole and free, and anchored in the Euro-Atlantic institutions of NATO and the European Union."