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5 - The fall

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  Work to open the Wall

Work commenced immediately to open further crossing points. On 12th November, the Wall was opened at Potsdamer Platz. The city’s two mayors met in the midst of a rejoicing crowd. The mayor in the west, Walter Momper, asserted that " the Potsdamer Platz is the old heart of Berlin and it will beat again as it used to " (Der Potsdamer Platz war das alte Herz Berlins ; es wird wieder schlagen wie früher). On 22nd December 1989, the Brandenburg Gate, the very symbol of the city, was opened.

Pressure in favour of reunification began to build up from the end of November. Whilst Chancellor Kohl proposed to set up a German confederation, in the streets the slogan " We are the people " was gradually being turned into " We are one people ". Following the Polish model, a round table, which from 7th December brought together representatives of the East German government and citizens movements, set 18th March 1990 as the date for new free parliamentary elections. Those in favour of speedy reunification won easily. InterGerman negotiations made swift progress and on 20th September, the People’s Chamber and the Bundestag adopted the Treaty of Union (Einigungsvertrag) which came into force on 3rd October 1990, at the same moment as the four former occupying powers ceased to exert their rights (" 2 + 4 " treaty of 12th  September). After over 40 years of division, Germany and Berlin were reunited once more.

On 20th June 1991, the Bundestag of united Germany decided by a small majority of 19 that Berlin should be fully reinstated as German capital. The transfer of government and of the federal parliament took place gradually over the spring and summer of 1999, marking the dawn of the " Berlin Republic ".

 

Extra crossing points
Extra crossing points

Les nouveax points de passage

Le Mur à la Potsdamer Platz
Potsdamer Platz

The day of German reunification
The day of German reunification

 

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