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Chronicle 1990

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    • 1990

      3 June

      US President George Bush phones West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl to tell him about how American-Soviet negotiations are running and the opportunities now available with regard to German unification. more
    • 1990

      5 June

      The three-and-a-half-metre-high GDR emblem is taken down att the East Berlin Palace of the Republic, where the GDR Volkskammer convenes.
    • 1990

      5-8 June

      From 5 to 8 June, West German Chancellor Kohl visits the USA. He is awarded an honorary doctorate from Harvard University and in his speech of acceptance refers to the famous address held by George Marshall at Harvard in 1947. In it, Marshall announced the recovery plan for Europe (“Marshall Plan”). more
    • 1990

      6 June

      The West German Federal Bureau of Criminal Investigation (Bundeskriminalamt) says it has known since 1986 that members of the terrorist Red Army Faction (RAF) have taken refuge in the GDR. In May 1990, extradition requests are made to the GDR. Susanne Albrecht is the first of the wanted RAF terrorists to be arrested, in the East Berlin district of Marzahn. more
    • 1990

      7 June

      The chairman of the GDR Council of Ministers, Lothar de Maizière, attends the conference of the Political Advisory Committee of the Warsaw Treaty Organisation in Moscow. There are clear signs that the organisation is breaking up. more
    • 1990

      7 June

      In Great Britain (Turnberry) the NATO foreign ministers are meeting. In their “Message from Turnberry”, the ministers welcome the Moscow declaration. more
    • 1990

      8 June

      The ambassadors of the three Western powers inform the West German Chancellor in a joint memorandum that they are lifting their Allied right of control (“alliertes Vorbehaltsrecht”) on direct elections for the Bundestag in Berlin and the full right to vote of Berlin representatives in the Bundestag and Bundesrat. more
    • 1990

      9 June

      The chairman of the Council of Ministers, Lothar de Maizière, becomes the first GDR head of government to travel to the United States with a four-day visit there. On 11 June, he holds talks with US President Bush. more
    • 1990

      11 June

      At the evening advisory session of the West German chancellor, the Head of the Office of the German Chancellery, Rudolf Seiters, surprises those attending with the news from East Berlin that an application to join the Federal Republic under the stipulations of Article 23 is to be introduced in the Volkskammer this week. more
    • 1990

      12 June

      After 42 years, the two Berlin city administrations (the Senate in the West and the “Magistrat” in the East) convene for their first joint meeting. The mayors, Tino Schwierzina (SPD) for East Berlin and Walter Momper (SPD) for West Berlin, announce that they will do everything possible to rapidly restore unity in the city. more
    • 1990

      13 June

      The Wall is turned into building materials, 16 June 1990.
      On 13 June, work begins on demolishing the border wall in the highly symbolic Bernauer Strasse. Segments of the Wall between the districts of Mitte and Kreuzberg, as well as Treptow and Neukölln, are also removed. more
    • 1990

      13 June

      Volkskammer vice president Wolfgang Ullmann from the parliamentary party Bündnis 90/Grüne announces that an application to join the Federal Republic under Article 23 will be made because the West German constitution (Grundgesetz) guarantees the social welfare of the people of the GDR more than the future state treaty. more
    • 1990

      15 June

      After negotiations have concluded on regulating unclear issues regarding assets, the two German governments announce that expropriations made on the basis of occupation law or sovereign acts by occupying powers between 1945 and 1949 cannot be annulled. In other cases, expropriated properties must, in principle, be returned to the former owners.
    • 1990

      17 June

      In the East Berlin Schauspielhaus theatre, members of the Bundestag and the Volkskammer commemorate the “Day of German Unity” – the day set aside in the Federal Republic to mark the East German June rebellion – to honour the victims of this popular uprising of 17 June 1953.
    • 1990

      17 June

      At the beginning of the special session of the Volkskammer on 17 June 1990, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who has taken his place in the guests' section, is welcomed.
      Following the ceremony, the Volkskammer again debates a motion by the DSU for the GDR to immediately join the Federal Republic under Article 23. However, the majority of the members feels that the process of unification will be put in jeopardy by an over-hasty accession. The motion is handed on to the constitutional and judicial committee. more
    • 1990

      21 June

      Both German parliaments vote in favour of the 1st State Treaty – on the creation of a monetary, economic and social union – with the necessary two-thirds majority. Before the vote takes place in the Bundestag, the West German chancellor repeats the words of GDR Prime Minister de Maizière in a government statement: “No one will be worse off than before – but many will be better off.” more
    • 1990

      22 June

      In Bonn, the government spokesman, Hans Klein, announces that West Germany is guaranteeing a 5-billion-DM loan by a West German bank consortium to the Soviet Union. more
    • 1990

      22 June

      Border sign at the American Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin.
      In East Berlin, the second round of two-plus-four negotiations between the foreign ministers begins. The Soviet side proposes that troops of all the victorious powers withdraw from Germany in stages and that Germany should only receive its full sovereignty after this has happened. more
    • 1990

      23 June

      On 23 June 1990, segments of the Wall are auctioned off  in Monte Carlo (title page of the auction catalogue published in 1990 by Elefanten Press Verlag in Berlin).
      In the Metropole Palace Hotel in Monte Carlo, another auction of painted Wall segments takes place. Six segments with a total weight of 16 tonnes have been transported to the capital of the principality of Monaco for the auction. more
    • 1990

      26 June

      The minister for disarmament and defence, Rainer Eppelmann, orders the GDR border troops to cease “measures of border surveillance and the control of border traffic” on the inner German border and in Berlin when the state treaty enters into force on 1 July 1990 (Order No. 10/90). As of July 1, the members of the border troops are to form a “border protection agency of the GDR” answering to the interior minister.
    • 1990

      27 June

      The GDR Council of Ministers and the West German government approve the mutual agreement on the abolition of identity checks on the inner German border and in Berlin as of 1 July 1990. On 29 June, the West German minister for inner German relations, Dorothee Wilms, speaks about the imminent abolition of identity checks: “July 1 1990 is a happy day in the history of Germany. On this day, after 45 long years that were almost unbearable for many, the last barriers within Germany will fall: identity checks have been abolished.”
    • 1990

      29 June

      At a ceremony in St. Nicholas' Church (Nikolaikirche) in the Berlin district of Mitte, the German president and former Ruling Mayor of Berlin (1981-1884), Dr. Richard von Weizsäcker, is given the freedom of all Berlin.


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      Speech by German President Richard von Weizsäcker in St. Nicholas' Church in Berlin, 29 June 1990 (in German)
    • 1990

      30 June

      On the eve of the monetary union, shelves in GDR department stores are swept bare.
      In a televised address, the chairman of the Council of Ministers, Lothar de Maizière, speaks to the people of the GDR on the evening before the monetary, economic and social union comes into force. more
    • 1990

      30 June

      A progress report by the Bavarian headquarters of the Federal Border Guard states at the end of this day: “At the conclusion of 30 June, border surveillance and border checks on the the inner German border cease.” Reinhard Killian from the Federal Border Guard and Uli Schmidt from the GDR Border Command carry out the last border patrol together in a Trabant jeep near the Probstzella border crossing point.
    • 1990

      30 June

      Flood of applications in a bank branch following monetary union, June 1990.
      In the night, some 10,000 people gather on Alexanderplatz square. The deutschmark is already celebrated hours before the newly set-up branch of Deutsche Bank on Alexanderplatz opens its doors. From midnight, the branch is the first to exchange GDR marks for D-marks.
    • Juni 1990

      10,689 GDR citizens move to the Federal Republic in June.