Germany 4 Re-unification Timeline

Timeline – Collapse of East Germany
Reforms taking place in the Soviet Union and numerous signs of dissent are
appearing throughout the Eastern European states.
December 1988
slight relaxation of border controls eased East-West visitation rights. East
Germans made approximately 7 million visits to the West during1988.
January 1989
the meetings of the Leipzig Church dissident begins to gain momentum. The state
responds with numerous arrests.
Pro-democracy movements begin in China
Demonstrations in Leipzig and Berlin to protest the invalidity of the electoral
process in nation-wide communal elections
Hungary begins to dismantle border with Austria
June 3
Invasion of Tiananmen Square by Chinese troops
First round of elections in Poland. Solidarity forces win overwhelming support
East German television broadcasts only the official Chinese government’s version
of the events of June. 3. Viewers see contrary reports on W. German television.
Many East German vacationers overstay in Hungary and leave via Austria.
Hundreds of East Germans gathered in Budapest hoping to leave via West
German embassy. The Embassy was closed on August 14th due to overcrowding.
Groups of East Germans now cross the Astro-Hungarian border
August 19
600 people cross the Austro-Hungarian border after a “picnic” on the border.
Weekly pro-democracy demonstrations (the Monday demonstration) outside
Church in Leipzig
September 10
Austro-Hungarian border “thrown open”. 12000 East Germans left in 72 hours.
Government issues formal protest to Hungary and demands to stop the exodus.
New Forum opposition group is formed. Petition to become a legitimate
September 21
Permission to form New Forum is denied.
October 1
4000 East Germans camped in West German embassies in Prague and Warsaw.
They leave for West Germany via train through East Germany.
October 3
Visa and Passport-free travel to Czechoslovakia was suspended.
October 4-5
Another 10000 people leave by train via the same route. Riots in Dresden as
thousands more try to board the train.
Demonstrations in Leipzig and Dresden increase in size.
October 6-7
Gorbachev’s visit to East Germany
October 7
Violent arrests as 6000 people march in East Berlin
October 8
30000 march in Dresden
October 9
50 000 march in Leipzig. Reportedly, Honecher authorizes use of live
ammunition and is reported overruled by Soviets or Krenz (?)
October 16
100000 march in Leipzig
October 23
150 000 march in Leipzig
October 30
300000 march in Leipzig
October 31
Krenz (having replaced Honecker) goes to Moscow to discuss with Gorbachev.
November 1
Travel restrictions to Czechoslovakia are lifted. The West German embassy in
Prague is soon overflowing
November 3
Announced that East Germans would no longer have to renounce their citizenship
before being allowed to leave and could simply present their identity papers at the
Czech borders.50 000 leave this way over the next 5 days.
November 4
500 000 march in East Berlin
November 7
Entire East German cabinet resigns
November 8
Entire Politburo resigns. A new Cabinet was appointed under Modrow. The New
Forum is legalized
November 9
Schabowski announces to press that “All border crossings to West Germany and
West Berlin can be used and are now open”
Crowds gather on both sides, and on top of the wall. Begin to “hammer away at
the wall as border guards watch.
November 10-11
2 million East Germans visit West Berlin