"Wall peckers" in Berlin, 10 November 1989. People started tearing down the Berlin Wall on their own. Official demolition began at Potsdamer Platz in November 1989, and continued from 20 February 1990 between the Brandenburg Gate and the border post at Checkpoint Charlie.
Source: Bundesregierung/Uwe Rau

On the road to unification

After the GDR parliamentary elections there was heated debate on the various steps towards unification: currency changeover, social regulation, basic constitutional issues and questions of property ownership. In July 1990 the Deutschmark was introduced into the GDR, along with the West German economic and social system.

East Germans on the night of monetary union, 1 July 1990. The West German deutschmark was now the sole currency in the GDR.
Source: ullstein bild/Jansson

In February 1990 the Modrow government tried to obtain financial aid from Bonn to stabilise the situation in the GDR. Instead, the West German government proposed a currency merger and economic union on 1 July. The reason for this rapid move was the persistent drain of people from the GDR, as well as the desperate state of its economy. Critics warned against pushing unification too quickly; they anticipated serious economic and social problems.

There was controversy over whether unification should be achieved by creating a new constitution under Article 146 of the Federal Republic's Basic Law or by the GDR joining the Federal Republic under Article 23 of the Basic Law. Other outstanding issues to be settled included questions about property ownership, and preventing illegal money transfers by former GDR party functionaries still in office.

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