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Chronicle 1990

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    • 1990

      1 February

      Upon returning from his Moscow visit, Hans Modrow gives a press conference in East Berlin at which he unexpectedly presents a four-step plan for German unity under the title "Germany, United Fatherland". more
    • 1990

      2 February

      As a reaction to Modrow, West German Finance Minister Theo Waigel proposes on 2 February to directly introduce the D-mark in the GDR as official legal tender, but draws attention to the risks and "unavoidable problems of adjustment". West German Finance Minister Theo Waigel, statement on the discussion about an economic and currency union with the GDR, 2 February 1990 (in German)
    • 1990

      5 February

      The formation of a "government of national responsibility" agreed upon at the end of January is taking shape. The eight candidates nominated by the opposition groups at the Round Table are elected as ministers without portfolio.
    • 1990

      7 February

      The West German cabinet decides to offer the GDR immediate negotiations on an economic and currency union. It says the growing numbers of GDR emigrants and the desperate economic situation in the GDR make this urgently necessary. more
    • 1990

      8 February

      The inner courtyard of the Ministry for State Security’s remand prison
      For weeks, the Modrow government has tried to preserve some structures of the State Security service. more
    • 1990

      9 February

      The West German government provides the Soviet Union with food aid to the tune of 220 million D-marks. more
    • 1990

      10 February

      Numerous interested people wait to visit the Ministry for State Security’s remand centre in Potsdam
      On several weekends in February, people in Potsdam have the opportunity to gain an impression of the inhumane prison conditions in the Ministry for State Security’s remand prison ("Lindenhotel") in Otto-Nuschke-Strasse (now Lindenstrasse). more
    • 1990

      10 February

      In Moscow, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl receives Mikhail Gorbachev’s basic go-ahead for forging German unity; the question of to which alliance a unified Germany will belong is left aside. more
    • 1990

      12 February

      Konrad Weiss, co-founder of “Demokratie Jetzt”, February 1990
      Preparation for the first free Volkskammer (parliamentary) elections in the GDR: The liberals become the last of the newly created parties to join to form an electoral alliance ("Bund Freier Demokraten" [Association of Free Democrats]) for the Volkskammer elections. The alliances "Allianz für Deutschland" [Alliance for Germany]" (CDU, DSU and DA) and the "Bündnis 90 [Alliance 90]" (NF, DJ and IFM) have already been founded previously. more
    • 1990

      12 February

      In East Berlin, the Round Table decides on "standpoints for the negotiations in Bonn". An immediate "solidarity contribution" of ten to 15 billion D-marks is to be demanded from the West German government. The Modrow government is not to negotiate on a currency union "because any hasty settlement would be to the detriment of both German states." Results of the 12th meeting of the Round Table of the GDR on 12 February 1990 (in German)
    • 1990

      13 February

      On the sidelines of the "Open Skies" conference of 23 NATO and Eastern Bloc states in Ottawa (Canada), the four victorious allies and the two German states agree on meetings ("two-plus-four negotiations") "to discuss external aspects of the establishment of German unity, including the issues of security of the neighbouring states," as a communiqué puts it.
    • 1990

      13/14 February

      Accompanied by no fewer than 17 ministers, the chairman of the Council of Ministers, Hans Modrow, arrives for talks with the West German government in Bonn. more
    • 1990

      15 February

      West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl delivers a government statement in the Bundestag: "Never since our country was divided, never since our constitution was written, have we come so close to our goal, the unity of all Germans in freedom, as we have today." Kohl wants to take up the opportunity now offered with prudence and determination.
    • 1990

      15 February

      The GDR Council of Ministers decides to replace the oath of allegiance sworn by the border troops with a pledge. It runs: "I swear to serve the German Democratic Republic loyally at all times and to protect its national border reliably according to the constitutional obligation." Oath of allegiance of the GDR border troops (up to February 1990) (in German)
    • 1990

      19 February

      The Round Table of the GDR rejects an annexation of the GDR to the Federal Republic according to Article 23 of the Basic Law and calls for a demilitarised status in a unified Germany.
    • 1990

      19/20 February

      In the night of 19/20 February, GDR border troops start taking down a two-kilometre-long segment of the Wall between the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie
      In the evening, the dismantling of the Berlin Wall in the Potsdam Square area begins, with the global public watching on. It is replaced by a modest, green fence of wire netting about two metres high.
    • 1990

      20/21 February

      Before the party and unification law was finally passed, there was a vote in the Volkskammer on various amendments and the vote count connected with them
      The Volkskammer passes an electoral law for the Volkskammer elections on 18 March. The parliamentary representatives are to be elected "in free, general, direct and secret ballot". There are 15 electoral districts that correspond to GDR districts. The elections are to take place according to the system of proportional representation, and no restrictive clauses are in force.
    • 1990

      22 February

      At a party conference in Leipzig, the SDP renames itself SPD. Ibrahim Böhme becomes party chairman and Willy Brandt is elected honorary chairman. more
    • 1990

      24 February

      At talks between West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and US President George Bush at Camp David, there is agreement with regard to the "two-plus-four process" that a confidential consensus between West Germany and the three Western Powers should be found before negotiations with the Soviet Union.
    • 1990

      24 February

      In East Berlin, the 1st Party Conference of the PDS takes place. It comes out in favour of German unity, provided that the GDR has equal rights and its social standards are preserved. The party chairman, Gregor Gysi, however warns against a quick and hasty unification.


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    • 1990

      26 February

      First appearance by West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl as part of the Volkskammer election campaign in the historic cathedral square in Erfurt
      At the start of the month, from 70,000 to 100,000 people were taking part in the "Monday demonstrations" – at the end of the month, the number has dropped to just 10,000. Interest is increasingly directed towards electoral campaign events.
    • 1990

      26 February

      In the Ministry for National Defence of the GDR, the time needed to dismantle all the border security installations is estimated at around 1.2 million man-days. This means that 1,500 members of the border troops would have to work for six years.
    • 1990

      28 February

      Gorbachev says later that it is on this day, after a call with US President Bush, that it became clear to him that Bush and Kohl had already definitely agreed that a unified Germany would belong to NATO. more
    • February 1990

      According to official figures, 64,000 GDR citizens have left the country in February. Since the Wall came down, some 250,000 people have moved from the GDR to West Germany. more
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