West Germany’s Permanent Representation in the GDR had to be closed temporarily on 8 August 1989, as 130 East German refugees had sought protection in the building. The situation was similar in the West German embassies in Prague, Warsaw and Budapest throughout the late summer of 1989. There too, many people hoped they would be allowed to leave the GDR. Tens of thousands of East Germans also fled to Austria from Hungary via the opened border. Over a hundred thousand people had applied to leave for West Germany during the first six months of 1989. This wave of escapes and emigration played a key role in bringing the ruling Socialist Unity Party to its knees.