The new millennium begins
Fortunately, the end of the world had not yet come, but nevertheless the serious climate changes made themselves felt in a drastic way and cost hundreds of thousands of people their lives. More and more animals and plants had to be put on the Red List because they were threatened with extinction. Successes in space travel had also long been a matter of course. All the more appalling was the catastrophe of the "Columbia" burning up in the Earth's atmosphere, which cost the lives of the seven crew members. That the death of Pope John Paul II brought a successor from Germany to the papal throne was unbelievable and caused enormous joy throughout the country, topped only by the hosting of the World Cup and Germany's third place finish the following year. The African-American, new U.S. president was a worthy finale to the decade.
Spirit of optimism at the turn of the millennium
The borders are falling, the euro is coming. Europeans are increasingly exploring the versatility of a common Europe in continental round trips. Yellow stars on a blue background become a symbol of commonality, openness, solidarity and tolerance.