I'm not a german but i've lived here for over 30 years and was a teenager when the wall fell.
I didn't totally get the significance of it all (which teenager is that interested in politics and history?) but as the reports progressed and the situation developed it slowly dawned on how huge this actually was.
The image of people tearing down the wall is to me one of the most powerful expressions of people's desire to live free and i was happy for Germany to finally be reunited (i was only this happy for Germany when they hosted the Football World Cup and people proudly waved their German flags in public.. that was such a nice sight to see but it's a different topic).
Germany committed the same error as Russia, it sold East German public assets too quickly which lead to massive corruption, West German industries wanting to crush potential competition in the East and so on.
The rule is simple, regulate before you privatize and in the current austerity climate in which the mantra is 'sell government assets to reduce public debt' it is as actual as it has been two decades ago.
My country would have been better off if it had decided to not merge so quickly and remain separated. I do like the holiday though.
No it wouldn't. GDR's economy was in shambles and was barely able to adequately support its population much less keep up with world economics.. the industry was falling apart and outdated, no state of the art industry to speak of and there were shortages often enough due to mismanagement. Additionally i don't think West German companies were scared of East Germanies industry at all.. they simply saw an opportunity to invest and so they did. It was maybe a harsh lesson for East Germany how capitalism works but change can be painful too.
What would have happened if Germany didn't unite for another 10-20 years? The GDR couldn't modernize on its own because they lacked funds and it may have led to widespread riots and flight from the East to West Germany only hastening the implosion of the GDR.
Once merged the relocation to the West still happened but Germany took it upon itself to rebuild an entire nation which is no small feat and put quite a heavy strain on an otherwise prosperous Germany. Many mistakes were made but there was no blueprint on how to do things, no prior experience.. it was basically improvise as you go along.
It's not finished by far (if it ever can be called finished) and East Germany still has many problems (including new ones that were the result of mismanaged projects) but i think it was the only way how that could have been done.