History - The Reuniting of Germany


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The Reuniting of Germany

Increasing problems for the GDR in Summer 1989:

January 1989 - Honecker declared that the Berlin Wall would stand for another 100 years

Late 1980s - Reforms and multi-party elections in Hungary

2nd May 1989 - Hungary opened its border with Austria: By Summer, 30,000 GDR citizens fled to FRG, and 100,000 by Autumn

11th September 1989 - Hungary legalised the crossing of its border by East Germans

3rd October 1989 - GDR closed its border with Czechoslovakia and made it harder to cross Polish border

Summer 1989 - Bush visited FRG and declared that the USA sought 'self-determination for all of Germany and all of Eastern Europe' and suggested arms reductions

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Developments on the International Scene:

June 1989 - Gorbachev visited the FRG - where Kohl stated his aim of reunification

The Growth of Opposition in the USSR:

1985 - Gorbachev takes power of USSR; Glastnost and Perestroika not followed by Honecker

1988 and 1999 - Increased repression and censorship in the GDR

7th May 1989 - Public protests at manipulated election results (99% SED)

June 1989 - Tiananmen Square - GDR govt congratulated Chinese govt - TV

Summer and Autumn 1989 - Opposition (demonstrations) in GDR became more vocal: Germany's peaveful revolution

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New Groups and the Growth of Protest:

August 1989 - Success of Solidarity in Poland

July 1989 - East German Social Democratic Party established

August 1989 - Democratic Reawakening formed

The Events Leading to the Opening of the Berlin Wall:

6th October 1989 - Gorbachev visited East Berlin for 40th Anniversary of the GDR, urged him to reform, said he would not intervene, 'Gorby help us'

Spetember 1989 - Honecker returned from illness, blamed FRG, reluctant to reform

2nd October - Honecker ordered the SED newspaper Neues Deutschland to publish a statement calling those emigrating to the FRG 'counter-revolutionaries'

Autumn 1989 - Lepzig churches reform groups at height of protest

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9th October 1989 - Leipzig demonstrations, 70,000 protestors, Honecker had Stasi and special armed forces on standby but did not use, just blocked FRG radio signals and refused entry of Westerners into East Berlin, etc, Soviets took no action

17th October 1989 - Politburo replaced Honecker for Krenz

Krenz's Attempts at Reform:

24th October 1989 - Krenz offered freedom of travel and agreed to meet church leaders and representatives of New Forum

4th Novermber 1989 - Largest demonstrations in German history in East Berlin, 1 million demonstrators, calling for end of SED monopoly and chanting 'Germany - One Fatherland'

6th November 1989 - Further concessions, passports and freedom of travel 30 days per year

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9th November - SED reccommended that every GDR citizen with a passport or visa visit the West

The Opening of the Wall:

9th November - Message misunderstood, unrestricted travel from GDR to FRG was announced and parts of Berlin Wall were opened, all crossing points opened by 12AM

December 1989 - Volkskammer voted to end the SED's political dominance, removed many SED members, Krenz resigned, power given to new Council of Ministers, Modrow became PM

End of November - censorship lifted in the GDR

Early 1990 - Reform agreed by Round Table and govt Ministers

January 1990 - 75,000 people emigrated from the GDR in one month

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Early February 1990 - 8 former opposition members made up part of the government

Reactions in the FRG to the Opening of the Wall:

November 1989 - Kohl advised East Germans to stay in the GDR and promised to help end the SED's monopoly on power, influx of easterners, 2 million emigrants

Kohl's Ten-Point Plan:

28th November 1989 - Kohl announced Ten-Point Plan (without consultation), proposal for reunification

The Disintegration of the GDR:

December 1989 - Demonstrations called for a 'united Fatherland', chants of 'We are the people' became 'We are one people', calls for reunification

January 15th 1990 - Protestors stormed Stasi HQ in East Berlin

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March 1990 - The First Free Elections in the GDR, brought forward from May due to economic/emigration crises, protests - won by Alliance for Germany (rapid merger)

Early 1990 - Modrow, etc accepted reunification, election centred on speed/extent

The Process of Reuniting the GDR and the FRG:

May 1990 - Kohl signed economic and social union treaty with the GDR, against the wishes of the Bundestag

1st July 1990 - Currency reform. Kohl iimplemented a one-to-one currency conversion between West and East German marks. Crippled GDR economy, decreased demand for East German consumer goods, took away subsidies in East and West, convinced Kohl of the urgency of reunification

Summer 1990 - 20% of GDR's workforce either unemployed or forced to work onloy part-time

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Negotiations with the USSR:

16th July 1990 - Kohl met Gorbachev, who agreed to support reunifcation and to Germany's membership of NATO. Agreed that no foreign forces would be placed in former GDR, Kohl agreed to fund Soviet retreat, promised to pay USSR DM12 billion to fund resettlement of soldiers

31st August 1990 - The Unification Treaty, agreed that pre-war Lander of the GDR would become Lander of the FRG

12th September 1990 - Two-Plus-Four Treaty signed in Moscow, where war-time allies gave up all rights to Germany and Berlin, Germany would honour the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, army limited to 370,000, no foreign forces/nuclear weapons allowed in former GDR

3rd October 1990 - GDR officially abolished and territory reunited with FRG. Now 'Day of German Unity'

December 1990 - The first all-German election, Kohl (CDU/CSU) won by 44%

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