In a push conference ~ above Nov. 9, 1989 GDR main committee spokesman Guenter Schabowski unintentionally announced that citizens can travel to West Germany immediately. It to be the start of the end for eastern Germany.

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A few remnants of the wall can still be viewed in Berlin

Guenter Schabowski"s push conference top top November 9, 1989 was a reasonably dull work for most of its duration, follow to those present. Yet a question by one Italian journalist best at the end turned it into one of europe history"s most memorable events.

Schabowski to be asked just prior to 7 p.m. Around when a brand-new law permitting GDR citizens more freedom of travel would go into effect. Schabowski famously told the journalist: "As far as i know, the goes into impact now, immediately."

Since television viewers in both East and also West Germany were adhering to the live press conference, his comments electrified east Germans and also eventually resulted in a redrawing of the europe map.

Immediately complying with the remark, GDR citizens rushed come the border separating East and West Berlin, wanting to visit the western component of the city. The GDR border guards were unaware that the push conference, and, taken aback through the crowds collection in front of them, made recurring calls to their superiors questioning for guidance. They efficiently prevented citizens from cross the border for 3 hours.

But later on in the evening, the safety relented and opened the borders. World were able to cross easily from east to West because that the very first time since the wall was erected on august 21, 1961.

"We are the people!"

In the months prior to Schabowski"s press conference, hundreds of GDR citizens had taken to the highways demanding politics reform. The so-called "Monday Demonstrators" in the east city the Leipzig had drawn special attention for their protests.

Shouts through demonstrators of "We space the people!" came to be commonplace, complied with by "Gorbi! Gorbi!" – calls command at Mikhail Gorbachev, the general Secretary of the Communist Party that the Soviet Union. Since 1985, Gorbachev had actually been implementing reforms in his country, and Germans life in the GDR hope to view his ideas adopted there together well.


70,000 protestors required to the roads on October 9, 1989 in Leipzig

However, the hardline federal government under GDR leader Erich Honecker was no interested in reform, and the government"s refuse to change ultimately brought about its very own demise.

On October 18, 1989, Honecker was forced to action down. The was replaced by Egon Krenz as head the state, however even this transition could not prevent the GDR"s collapse.

A November 4 protest at Berlin"s Alexanderplatz attracted 500,000 people, making the clear the a change of leadership would not victory the people"s trust. Once the Berlin wall surface opened five days later, requirements for reunification that East and West Germany flourished louder.

German unity and European integration

In light of the raising support for reunification, western diplomats took trip to the GDR a few weeks after ~ the Wall"s opening.

France and England in particular reacted through mistrust to the possibility of the big and economically an effective German state that reunification would produce in the love of Europe. If they might not stop reunification entirely, the two countries at the very least hoped to use political penalty on Germany.

Helmut Kohl, then-chancellor that Germany, retained their position in mind together he yielded a speech in front of the ruins of Dresden"s "Frauenkirche" cathedral that attracted worlcg-tower.comide attention.


Helmut Kohl (left) and also Francois Mitterrand negotiated on the future of the GDR

Kohl asserted that German unified would just be feasible in the context of a an ext unified Europe generally. He claimed German and also European marriage were simply two political parties of the very same coin. His decided garnered thunderous applause native the GDR citizen in attendance.

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Nevertheless, French president Francois Mitterrand travelled to the GDR 2 days later in an attempt to stop West Germany from linking the East.

By beforehand 1990, the international neighborhood watched carefully the procedure of German reunification to ensure that the understanding of Germans and also of the four dominating allied powers from world War II (England, France, the US and also the Soviet Union) were respected. German negotiators resolved the conditions of a German reunification internally, when both West and East German public representative consulted through the four powers around the international implications of their proposal.

This so-called "2 plus 4" process (representing the 2 German states and also the four allied powers) concluded through a statements of sovereignty because that Germany top top September 12, 1990. German negotiations had already resulted in a contract that stated all facets of the brand-new relationship between East and also West Germany on august 31, 1990.

On October 3, 1990, the former east German states officially join the federal Republic of Germany. The date marked the finish of the GDR and the start of a reunified commonwealth Republic.