Protest against Egon Krenz being installed as chairman of the State Council outside the State Council building in East Berlin, 24 October 1989.
источник: picture-alliance/dpa/Wolfgang Kumm

Welcome to West Germany

The Federal Republic was the end of an escape route that was often dangerous, accompanied by fears and hopes for many East Germans. The great majority of West Germans welcomed them with open arms. They were provided with food and medical care even at the stations and border crossings.

The staff of the West German authorities dealt with the unprecedented and unexpected influx of people with impressive organisational skills and personal dedication. East Germans were not classified as foreigners, and formalities were dealt with quickly so that the refugees spent only a few days in the reception centres. They held up their brand new passports with pride for the television cameras.

The new West German citizens started out on the self-determined lives they had longed for, full of hope and optimism. They received support in the form of one-off welcome payments of 100 DM, low-interest loans from the state or help finding homes and jobs. Only a few weeks after their arrival, many of the new citizens were already integrated into West German society, having rented a flat, found a job or started attending school or university. At last they were free to live in a liberal democratic society.

Arrival in freedom: the embassy refugees were welcomed enthusiastically everywhere in West Germany, such as here in Alsfeld (Hesse) on 5 October 1989.
источник: Archiv Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung, Bestand Uwe Gerig, Nr. 3911
Overjoyed to reach Bavaria: the special trains from Prague arrived at Hof station.
источник: picture-alliance/dpa/Martina Hellmann
Red Cross helpers handed out food and drinks to the East German refugees directly in the station. Many of them had been waiting in the West German embassy in Prague for weeks. 5 October 1989 in Hof (Bavaria).
источник: Bundesregierung/Schambeck
900 East Germans arrived in Gießen on 1 October 1989. The town housed the central reception camp for refugees from the GDR. The new arrivals only had to spend a few days there, as they were classified as native Germans and quickly received West German passports.
источник: picture-alliance/dpa/Kai-Uwe Wärner
[Translate to Russisch:] Familie Kliewer flüchtet mit ihrem siebenjährigen Sohn Mario im Sommer 1989 aus der DDR. Mario malt dieses Bild, als er nach der gelungenen Flucht in der neuen Schule in Westdeutschland sein schönstes Ferienerlebnis festhalten soll.
источник: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft/Mario Kliewer
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