Key dates

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 October, 2007, 12:00am

Events that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification

Rigged elections, mass emigration and demonstrations led to the collapse of the power structures in the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in 1989. After the resignation of the head of state, Erich Honecker, on October18 and the fall of the Berlin Wall at the beginning of November, a rapid unification process was set in motion.

November 9, 1989

Politburo member Guenter Schabowski mentions that the borders have been opened with immediate effect. Not long afterwards thousands of East Germans flood across the borders. After 28 years, the Berlin Wall comes down.

December 3, 1989

Under pressure from the party rank and file, the politburo and the central committee resign.

December 19, 1989

West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl arrives on his first official visit to East Germany to an enthusiastic reception in Dresden.

January 15, 1990

About 2,000 demonstrators storm the headquarters of the Stasi secret police in East Berlin, while 100,000 demonstrate in front of the building.

January 28, 1990

Representatives of the political parties agree to form a transitional government. Representatives of civil rights groups are part of the round-table talks.

April 12, 1990

The first freely elected East German parliament elects Lothar de Maiziere of the Christian Democrat Union as prime minister.

May 18, 1990

Treaty for economic, currency and social union is signed. Mr Kohl sees this as 'birth of a free and united Germany'.

July 1, 1990

Currency union implemented. East Germany changes to the Deutschemark. People crossing the inner-German border are no longer subject to controls.

August 23, 1990

The East German parliament approves the accession of the GDR to the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from October 3.

August 31, 1990

The reunification treaty is signed in East Berlin. Both parliaments later ratify the treaty by two-thirds majorities.

October 1, 1990

Germany becomes fully sovereign. The allies' special rights in Berlin are abolished from October 3.

October 3, 1990

The black, red and gold flag is hoisted in front of the Reichstag as crowds celebrate in Berlin and other cities.