The Reunification of Germany 1989-1991

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  • THE REUNIFICTION OF GERMANY
    • Other Factors (Internal)
      • Honecker was unwilling to accept changes to the system in the GDR, which sped up the process of its collapse
      • May 1989 - Protests broke out when opposition groups produced evidence that the SED rigged the elections and manipulated the resuts
      • Spring 1989 (onwards) protest groups began to hold meetings in Leipzig - became more and more popular until in October they attracted thousands - 'Monday Demonstrations'
        • On 9 October 70,000 went to the demostrations. Honecker went to crush them using violence, however he did not go ahead, avoiding bloodshed by a margin
        • Opposition groups grew particularly strong in Summer 1989 when Honecker was receiving surgery for cancer - the GDR was facing the problems of mass emigration and internal protest
        • Nov 1989 -  the largest demonstration in German history. Over 1,000,000 people gathered in East Berlin and 2 days later, 500,000 marched on Leipzig
          • They demanded free travel and elections, and began calling for a united Germany
          • 9 November 1989 - Govt. accepted the proposal that any GDR citizen with a passport or visa could emigrate to or visit the west
            • This was meant to be announced in the 10th, so that the Berlin Wall guards could prepare, however an error was made, and Schabowski said that they could travel 24 hours earlier that originally planned.
      • 17 October 1989 - Honecker was asked to step down, which he did, due to 'health reasons'. He was replaced by Egon Krenz
    • The impact of the fall of the Berlin Wall
      • Krenz hoped that after the opening of the wall on 9 Nov 1989, citizens of the GDR would visit the FRG and then return home
        • By midnight on the 9th all of the border gates were open
        • Citizens of the GDR were greeted with gifts an 100DM when they crossed the border - not much but it was meaningful
        • Many citizens did return home, however there was an increasing call for a reunification and most East Germans planned to emigrate to the west as soon as possible
      • By the end of 1989 there had been a 'silent revolution' within the GDR
        • Honecker was gone
        • The SED had lost its dominant position within govt (1 Dec)
          • Many SED members were removed from power
        • In Jan 1990, 75,000 East Germans left
        • Nov 1989, Kohl proposed the 10 point plan
          • Caused much debate  as Kohl did not consult the US, UK, France or even his own govt. about this
  • Other factors (External)
    • THE REUNIFICTION OF GERMANY
      • Other Factors (Internal)
        • Honecker was unwilling to accept changes to the system in the GDR, which sped up the process of its collapse
        • May 1989 - Protests broke out when opposition groups produced evidence that the SED rigged the elections and manipulated the resuts
        • Spring 1989 (onwards) protest groups began to hold meetings in Leipzig - became more and more popular until in October they attracted thousands - 'Monday Demonstrations'
          • On 9 October 70,000 went to the demostrations. Honecker went to crush them using violence, however he did not go ahead, avoiding bloodshed by a margin
          • Opposition groups grew particularly strong in Summer 1989 when Honecker was receiving surgery for cancer - the GDR was facing the problems of mass emigration and internal protest
          • Nov 1989 -  the largest demonstration in German history. Over 1,000,000 people gathered in East Berlin and 2 days later, 500,000 marched on Leipzig
            • They demanded free travel and elections, and began calling for a united Germany
            • 9 November 1989 - Govt. accepted the proposal that any GDR citizen with a passport or visa could emigrate to or visit the west
              • This was meant to be announced in the 10th, so that the Berlin Wall guards could prepare, however an error was made, and Schabowski said that they could travel 24 hours earlier that originally planned.
        • 17 October 1989 - Honecker was asked to step down, which he did, due to 'health reasons'. He was replaced by Egon Krenz
      • The impact of the fall of the Berlin Wall
        • Krenz hoped that after the opening of the wall on 9 Nov 1989, citizens of the GDR would visit the FRG and then return home
          • By midnight on the 9th all of the border gates were open
          • Citizens of the GDR were greeted with gifts an 100DM when they crossed the border - not much but it was meaningful
          • Many citizens did return home, however there was an increasing call for a reunification and most East Germans planned to emigrate to the west as soon as possible
        • By the end of 1989 there had been a 'silent revolution' within the GDR
          • Honecker was gone
          • The SED had lost its dominant position within govt (1 Dec)
            • Many SED members were removed from power
          • In Jan 1990, 75,000 East Germans left
          • Nov 1989, Kohl proposed the 10 point plan
            • Caused much debate  as Kohl did not consult the US, UK, France or even his own govt. about this
    • In 1989 the FRG encourages Easterners to leave the GDR
    • 11 September 1989 Hungary announced that any East Germans wishing to cross into Austria could do so
      • Many used this as an excuse to cross into Western Germany
    • 1989 - Gorbachev visited the FRG. He spoke wit Chancellor Kohl about a possible reunification of Germany
  • Even the FRG was worried about the cost of all of the East Germns emigrating to the West
    • In Nov 1989, Kohl said that it was best for East Germans to stay inside the GDR and demanded that the SED give up its control of the GDR
    • They worried that too many East Germans coming in would overwhelm welfare, housing and unemployment systems
  • Farmer s were hit hard. In the GDR farmers were protected by high food prices, but now they had to compete with farmers from the FRG an EEC to sell their goods
    • Agriculture an Industry had not modernised enough to garuntee the survival of the country

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