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The discussion on two historical events and their consequences will reopen in 2018. The year's big topics.

Student protests against the Vietnam War in Kiel in 1968
Student protests against the Vietnam War in Kiel in 1968 © dpa

Germany. Two historical events will return to the centre of attention in 2018: the end of the First World War 100 years ago and the beginning of the '68 Movement 50 years ago. What happened?

1918: end and beginning

On 11 November 1918, a German delegation headed by Secretary of State Matthias Erzberger signed the Armistice in a forest clearing near Paris. Germany's defeat in the First World War also meant the end of the German Empire. Wilhelm II abdicated. The Republic was proclaimed amidst the turmoil of the subsequent revolution. The Weimar Constitution came into force in 1919.

Unterzeichnung des Waffenstillstand nach dem ersten Weltkrieg
© dpa

1968: a new era

In 1968, thousands of students demonstrated in Berlin, Frankfurt and many other cities of what was then West Germany, chanting "Unter den Talaren Muff von 1000 Jahren" ("The mustiness of 1,000 years under academic gowns"). The main reasons for the protest marches were the ossified social structures, the lack of debate on the Nazi past, and the Vietnam War. The protest went hand in hand with a new, alternative attitude towards life, which manifested itself above all in culture, but also in politics. In the early 1970s, a new political party, The Greens, emerged from the '68 Movement.

2018: important elections

Topical political decisions are also due in Germany in 2018. The new Federal Government is expected to be formed in the spring. In the autumn, state elections will be held in the Länder Bavaria and Hesse. The Prime Minister of Bavaria has come from the Christian Social Union (CSU) continuously since 1957. With one exception, Hesse was governed by the SPD from 1946 to 1999. The CDU has been in power since 1999, currently in a coalition with the Greens.

And what else?

Furthermore, the 200th birthday of Karl Marx will be commemorated in 2018. A major exhibition entitled Karl Marx 1818-1883. Life. Work. Times will open on 5 May in two museums in his home town of Trier. Sports enthusiasts are looking eagerly to Russia, where the Fifa Football World Cup will begin on 14 June. Germany's head coach Jogi Löw and his team will be attempting to defend their world championship title.