German reunification

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Federal Republic of Germany
Today's Federal Republic of Germany, above it the areas divided after 1949:
• FR Germany (until 1990),
• Berlin (→  Berlin question ),
• GDR (accession in 1990) and
• Saarland (accession in 1957, →  Saar Statute )
The Brandenburg Gate with Quadriga in Berlin, landmark of the reunified Germany

The German reunification or German unification (in the legal language of German unity ) was formed by the peaceful revolution in the GDR initiated process of 1989 and 1990, the accession of the Democratic German Republic to the Federal Republic of Germany on October 3 led 1990th The German unity thus completed, which has since been celebrated every 3rd October as a national holiday called the Day of German Unity , ended as a result of the Second World War in the Cold War erafour decades of German division .

Pointers for this development were the wave of emigration from the GDR , the growing opposition in the GDR and the opening of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, which brought about the final collapse of the GDR's political system . A necessary external prerequisite for German reunification was the consent of the four victorious powers of World War II, which until then still held or claimed responsibility for Germany as a whole under international law . The unity of the two German states was approved by the two-plus-four treaty, or officially the treaty on the final settlement with regard to Germany , and the unified Germany was granted full sovereignty over its internal and external affairs.

Significant intermediate stops on the way to German reunification were the Volkskammer election in March 1990 and the State Treaty on Monetary, Economic and Social Union . On September 20, 1990, the People's Chamber of the GDR and the German Bundestag approved the Unification Treaty of August 31, and the Bundesrat the following day .

Two German states as heirs of the Second World War

The parallel existence of two German states in the second half of the short 20th century of contemporary historical development was due, after the First World War and the Weimar Republic , the takeover of the National Socialists under Adolf Hitler permits and their the Second World War and in the unconditional surrender of leading large German Expansion policy had allowed. Heinrich August Winkler sees the period of German dual statehood structured by a peculiar 12-year rhythm, which ranges from the mutual founding of the state in 1949 to the decisive date of the construction of the Wall in 1961 and the entry into force of the basic treaty between the Federal Republic and the GDR in 1973 to the one with the Mikhail Gorbachev took office in 1985, which spanned a new era of international relations in the East-West conflict .

Post-war situation and foundation of the two German states

German states in the zones of occupation, as of June 1947 to April 1949

After the German surrender in May 1945, the German Reich was not dissolved or annexed, but the rest of Germany after Poland's shift to the west was taken under the joint responsibility of the allied victorious powers . According to the preliminary agreements made in the anti-Hitler coalition at the Yalta Conference , which were implemented with the June Declaration in 1945 , the victorious powers divided Germany into four zones of occupation : the Soviet , the American , the British and the French . The future four-sector city of Berlin created a corresponding division . The Allies proceeded in the same way in Austria and Vienna .

An Allied Control Council , which should also have implemented the decisions of the Potsdam Conference , was to act as the joint administrative organ of the four main victorious powers for Germany as a whole . The Cold War , which began in 1947, brought economic reconstruction aid to the western zones as part of the Marshall Plan and resulted in separate currency reforms in the United Economic Area and the Soviet Occupation Zone (SBZ), came to a head in 1948 with the Berlin blockade and airlift , which in 1949 resulted in the opposing establishment of two German states. The Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany was created by the Parliamentary Council as a provisional constitution and, according to the preamble, linked to the reunification requirement and, with its execution and promulgation on May 23, 1949, marks the conversion of the previous Trizone into the Federal Republic of Germany, Berlin retained a special status. The German Democratic Republic, whose government immediately claimed the Soviet sector of Berlin as the capital, was founded on October 7, 1949, when the constitution of the German Democratic Republic was passed by transforming the Soviet Zone.

The two German states 1949–1961

Under the impression of the division of Germany and the lack of self-determination of the East Germans, the GDR was not recognized by the Federal Republic as a separate state from the start. Rather, a legal position came into play, according to which the German Reich as a state and subject to international law did not perish in 1945, but continued to exist within the limits of 1937 and was merely incapable of acting. The founding of the Federal Republic of Germany thus merely represented a constitutional reorganization of its western part. Due to the lack of free elections or the right to self-determination in the GDR, the West German side established a claim to sole representation of the Federal Republic of Germany for all Germans; in order to give this international emphasis, the so-called Hallstein Doctrine was formulated and strictly applied as the most important instrument . The Federal Republic of Germany did not formally recognize its own citizenship of the GDR until 1990, so that every GDR refugee in the Federal Republic was recognized as a German citizen with equal rights .

The German Democratic Republic did not see itself as the successor to the German Reich, but described itself as the first socialist workers 'and peasants' state on German soil. In addition, the GDR negated any historical responsibility and claims for reparation. The government of the GDR signed the Görlitz Agreement of July 6, 1950, which recognized the Oder-Neisse line as the final “German-Polish state border” and was officially referred to as the “Oder-Neisse peace border” in the official GDR language.

One day after the signing of the General Treaty between the Federal Republic and the Western Allies, the GDR closed the interzonal border on May 26, 1952. The only loophole left for people who wanted to leave the GDR was Berlin, where such measures were initially neither possible nor seemed due to the city's four-power status . The suppressed popular uprising of June 17, 1953 in the GDR, which also called for reunification and which was subsequently celebrated annually in the Federal Republic as the Day of German Unity , strengthened tendencies towards emigration and flight from the GDR. Until the end of the 1950s, the loss of emigration from the GDR, especially to West Berlin, remained so high that Khrushchev triggered the second Berlin crisis : in the Khrushchev ultimatum named after him, he threatened the USA, Great Britain and France, the Soviet Union would control the GDR Transferred via the connecting routes between the Federal Republic and West Berlin, if an Allied agreement were not reached within six months, with which Berlin would become a Free City. This ultimatum passed without consequences. US President Kennedy had announced his three essentials in a response : the Western Allies should remain in Berlin, their free access there and the preservation of the West Berliners' freedom of rights. The SED regime solved the problem of mass emigration from August 13, 1961 by building the Berlin Wall .

German-German relations 1961–1989

Willi Stoph and Willy Brandt , March 19, 1970
Berlin Wall , 1980

After the new division situation - the large flows of refugees had dried up, but there were repeated fatalities during attempts to escape over the Berlin Wall as well as in the rest of the border between the GDR and the Federal Republic - as a lasting reality in everyone's consciousness, things soon broke out in the West increasingly about working towards human relief and cross-border encounters, especially between relatives. As a driving force here functioned especially Willy Brandt , as Governing Mayor of West Berlin it under his responsibility in 1963 pass agreement came with the GDR and the sign of his close advisor Egon Bahr developed concept of "change through rapprochement" as chancellor those new Ostpolitik , which in the early 1970s led to the four-power agreement on Berlin and the basic treaty between the two German states following contractual arrangements with the Soviet Union in the Moscow Treaty and the People's Republic of Poland in the Warsaw Treaty . The German government explicitly pointed out to the Soviet Union its goal of reunification when it signed the Moscow Treaty .

In this process, the GDR leadership was primarily concerned with enforcing equal recognition of the GDR as an independent state in the West based on the principle of peaceful coexistence . Heavily indebted and suffering from a notorious shortage of foreign exchange for imports from the West, she tried to gain financial advantages from intra-German relations, be it within the framework of transit agreements , be it in the release of prisoners .

The new Ostpolitik begun by the social-liberal government was continued uninterrupted by the Kohl / Genscher government , although it had been fiercely opposed at the beginning of the 1970s. An expression of serious problems in the GDR's state finances was already in 1983 the billion- euro loan for the GDR, which Bavarian Prime Minister Franz Josef Strauss was instrumental in . The GDR government was able to record Erich Honecker's visit to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1987 as a particular success in its efforts to achieve independence and recognition . Under the title “ The dispute of ideologies and common security ”, a joint “culture of dispute” paper had been published by the East German SED and the West German SPD shortly before as a result of several years of deliberations . a. meant: “Neither side may deny the other's right to exist. Our hope cannot be that one system will abolish the other. It is aimed at ensuring that both systems are capable of reform and that the competition between the systems strengthens the will to reform on both sides. "

Crisis, peaceful revolution and turning point in the GDR

Since the mid-1980s, the loosening of the Iron Curtain has allowed twinning relationships between GDR and West German communities: Eisenhüttenstadt and Saarlouis in 1986 and Schwerin and Wuppertal in 1987. At the same time, the GDR was increasingly in a state of stagnation and crisis. This was due, on the one hand, to the growing national debt , and, on the other hand, to increasing isolation within the Eastern Bloc , as the GDR government rejected any discussion of the reforms initiated by the Soviet Union under Gorbachev under the banner of glasnost and perestroika and now even Soviet publications of the Subjected to censorship. In August 1989, Otto Reinhold , Rector of the Academy for Social Sciences at the Central Committee of the SED and a major opponent of Erhard Eppler at the aforementioned SED-SPD consultations, affirmed what the core question of the "socialist identity of the GDR" was for him by making a difference on all other socialist countries: “They all existed before their socialist transformation as states with a capitalist or semi-feudal order. Their statehood was therefore not primarily dependent on the social order. Unlike the GDR. It is only conceivable as an anti-fascist, as a socialist alternative to the FRG . What right to exist should a capitalist GDR have alongside a capitalist Federal Republic? Of course not. Only when we keep this fact in mind can we clearly see how important it is for us to have a social strategy that is uncompromisingly aimed at consolidating the socialist order. "

Wave of emigration and strengthening reform forces

In the 40th year after the founding of the state, the SED regime came under pressure from within in two ways: When the willingness of the “ socialist brother states ” to consistently prevent GDR citizens from fleeing to West German embassies or across borders that were still guarded, and the By extraditing GDR state organs, an increasing number of politically and economically frustrated GDR citizens managed to flee to the Federal Republic via third countries . In August 1989, 661 East Germans crossed the border from Hungary to Austria at the Pan-European picnic at Sopron . It was the largest movement of refugees from East Germany since the Berlin Wall was built. This opening of the border, propagated by the mass media, then triggered the subsequent events. Three days after the Pan-European Picnic, another 240 people crossed the Austro-Hungarian border. The situation came to a head when Hungarian border troops prevented further crossings by force of arms and several refugees were injured. On the night of September 11, 1989, Hungary opened its border to GDR citizens. In addition to the “We-want-out!” Movement, a “We-stay-here!” Movement was added, which sought to end the SED dictatorship through democratic reforms.

Nationwide protests against the fraudulent local elections of May 1989 gave rise to opposition groups such as the New Forum and approaches to forming parties independent of the SED, as in the case of the Eastern SPD . Especially under the umbrella of church institutions , those willing to leave and those motivated to protest found protection and opportunities to develop themselves. Churches were also the starting point of the Leipzig Monday demonstrations , through which state power was brought about in a peaceful way.

Fall of the SED dictatorship

Crowds on the Berlin Wall at the end of 1989 after the historic fall of the Wall . In the background the Brandenburg Gate , symbol of the reunification of Germany

The “ republic birthday ” on October 7, 1989 took place under very tense circumstances, with protests and police attacks on the sidelines of the festivities in Berlin. Two days later, in Leipzig, the large numbers of threatening emergency services withdrew from the sheer mass of an estimated 70,000 demonstrators without using force. According to Winkler, it was a “new kind of revolution that began with the slogan 'No violence!' reined in and not least because of this she achieved her goal. The 'peaceful revolution' had conscious and unconscious participants: the conscious ones were the founders of the civil rights groups and the demonstrators who began to mass on October 2nd, the unconscious those who left the GDR en masse at the same time. "

Continuously exposed to this double, pincer-like pressure, the SED regime collapsed. Important milestones in this were the replacement of Head of State Honecker by Egon Krenz on October 18, 1989, the large-scale demonstration on Berlin's Alexanderplatz on November 4, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the associated opening of the Berlin Wall on the night of September 9-10. November, the control of the newly formed Modrow government by the Central Round Table and the forced dissolution of the Stasi apparatus .

The GDR on course for west and reunification

With the opening of the Wall and the subsequent mass exploratory visits by GDR residents in the western part of Berlin and in the Federal Republic of Germany, the thrust of the political expression of will in public spaces and on demonstration trains changed. It is recorded speaking in a modification of the slogan “ We are the people !”, Which was aimed at political participation rights and domestic reforms in the GDR, to “ We are one people !”, Which amounted to the demand for the establishment of German unity. Under the special domestic and foreign political circumstances of the time of the fall of the Wall, a resounding impulse was set. Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the term “reunification” appeared in public parlance in the GDR, but initially as something that would never happen. The Berliner Zeitung reported on November 13th of a telephone conversation between Egon Krenz and Helmut Kohl under the heading “Reunification not on the agenda”. A week later, in an interview with the television station CNN , Krenz turned against speculation that the opening of the German-German borders would one day lead to reunification.

Long-term plans of contractual ties and close cooperation, including confederative structures, such as the ten-point plan presented by Chancellor Helmut Kohl on November 28, 1989, quickly proved to be outdated. The economic predicament and political instability in the GDR caused Prime Minister Hans Modrow to embark on a course of “Germany united fatherland”. The date for the free election of a new GDR People's Chamber , which was agreed at the round table , was brought forward from May 6 to March 18, 1990 in view of the ongoing disintegration of the state order.

Joachim Gauck , who, as a Rostock member of the New Forum, first won his local comrades-in-arms and at the end of January 1990 in Berlin also the majority of all delegates of this citizens' movement for the idea of ​​German unity, describes his own feelings on the occasion of the vote in the Volkskammer election, which involved voting of 93.4 percent took place: “Then came election day, March 18, 1990. When I had cast my vote, tears ran down my face. I had to turn fifty to experience free, equal and secret elections for the first time. And now I even had the opportunity to help shape the future politically. ”With an overall disappointing result for the politically organized GDR civil rights activists and an election victory for the Alliance for Germany , which was perceived as sensational , Gauck was one of twelve MPs for Alliance 90 in the new People's Chamber .

From the Volkskammer election to a currency, economic and social union (March to July 1990)

Gauck sat among a total of 409 members in the new People's Chamber , in which the three largest parliamentary groups with 163 seats were the CDU , 88 the SPD and 66 seats the PDS . “And what had been a lie for 40 years,” writes Gauck, “would become truth: a German Democratic Republic. […] But on closer inspection, my joy and pride clouded: around 185 of the new MPs had belonged to the SED or a bloc party in the lost system. ”However, only a few of them were already members of the previous People's Chamber. Although the PDS was politically isolated as a party that emerged from the SED, at least the parties involved in their dealings with one another were united by growing up together in the GDR. Gregor Gysi describes the atmosphere in the Volkskammer meetings as comparatively informal: “People applauded when someone had uttered a clever thought, even if the MP was one of the political opponents. There was no compulsory booing or collective applause from the factions. Voting results were sometimes open. ”It has happened that the government factions of the CDU and SPD clashed because in controversial votes the PDS MPs voted for one side and sometimes for the other.

The new Prime Minister was on April 12, 1990, the CDU Chairman Lothar de Maizière , who had already been Deputy Prime Minister in the Modrow government and who had drafted the rules of procedure for the Central Round Table. In his new role, de Maizière got to know the full extent of the dire economic and financial situation in the GDR: “While in West Germany 47 percent of the gross national product went to public budgets and 53 percent to investments, in the GDR it was 85 percent for consumption and only 15 percent for investments. This meant that only the smallest repairs could be paid for and no innovations at all. The entire property of the country (companies, apartments, infrastructure) was out of date, neglected. "

Compared to Modrow, de Maizière, as the freely elected Prime Minister for the Kohl government, was now in the role of the indispensable negotiating partner and the main responsible party on the part of the GDR in the unification process. For this, two-thirds majorities were needed in the People's Chamber , so that the government participation of the Eastern Social Democrats in the de Maizière government came into question on both sides and then came about.

Course setting and acceleration factors

The development that was now taking place on the western side had first been considered by the former head of the Chancellery and then Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble . As a close advisor to the Federal Chancellor, he had already expressed his expectation to Kohl in November 1989 that German unity would be achieved within a year, and in mid-December submitted the initially skeptical proposal to the Modrow government to offer the Modrow government an economic and monetary union in mid-December to stop the flow of migrants from the GDR to the Federal Republic.

With continued financial hardship and the threat of insolvency in the GDR as well as an unchecked flow of emigrants in January 1990 - meanwhile between two and three thousand people left the GDR every day, so that production in many companies was extremely difficult to maintain - the Federal Republic of the GDR stopped on 7. February 1990 the prospect of economic and monetary union. In Kohl's government statement of February 15, it said:

“It is now a matter of sending a clear signal of hope and encouragement for the people in the GDR [...] For the Federal Republic of Germany [...] this means that we are bringing in our strongest economic asset: the Deutsche Mark . In this way, we involve compatriots in the GDR directly and directly in what the citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany have built up and achieved over decades of persistent work. "

The number of emigrants was a serious problem not only for the GDR. The federal government also came under pressure from the western federal states and the opposition. Like a bomb had the Leipzig slogan: "Come the D-Mark , we remain, does not come it, let's go to her," in Bonn taken, testified Richard Schröder. As early as November 1989, the Saarland Prime Minister Oskar Lafontaine , future chancellor candidate of the SPD, called for a change in citizenship law with the aim of making it impossible for both emigrants and “ ethnic Germanemigrants from Eastern Europe to have “access to the social security systems of the Federal Republic” do. The GDR and its residents should be offered better help to “stay” than to “leave” on the democracy course they have taken.

Due to his success - an absolute SPD majority in the Saarland state elections in January 1990 - Lafontaine found up to 80 percent approval of his position in opinion polls, which in view of the upcoming federal elections in the ranks of the CDU and CSU up to the end of the year made an impression on the party leaders and caused some displeasure with the position represented by Federal Interior Minister Schäuble, who did not want to change the previous admission procedure either before or after the Volkskammer election on March 18, but rather linked its expiry with the implementation of economic and monetary union as soon as possible .

In contrast to Lafontaine, Richard Schröder, as the parliamentary group leader of the Eastern SPD, also set great store by the implementation of a currency union. The aim was “to strike a stake on the way to German unity and to make the path irreversible. That was a very important aspect for me. We couldn't be sure how long Gorbachev would last. [...] Better to unite with a ruined economy than with an almost ruined one further on in the Soviet bloc. "

The hour of the executive

The decision in favor of a monetary union that could be implemented quickly resulted in the distribution of political weights in the unification process, namely a structural dominance of those responsible in the Federal Republic of Germany, as the GDR had economic and administrative expertise for the harmonization of economic and social systems on the basis of the Federal German Naturally, the model was missing. "The Federal Republic took command," says Andreas Rödder succinctly . The German Unity Cabinet Committee set up on February 7, 1990, with its working groups responsible for certain areas, had a coordinating function for the entire process; the detailed design of the political requirements was left to the ministerial bureaucracy, which filled out considerably more room for maneuver than in the usual legislative procedures .

Until the government declaration by Lothar de Maizières on April 19, the federal government did not even have a partner who was able to act, so that the important decisions initially came from the West German government and administrative bodies. Some of these were quickly at hand with plans. Thilo Sarrazin , the head of the National Currency Issues Unit, commissioned by Finance State Secretary Horst Köhler on January 26th, presented a concept for the immediate introduction of the D-Mark in the GDR at the conversion rate of 1: 1, combined with the approval of prices and the End of subsidies and a planned economy . First Finance Minister Theo Waigel and then Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl were convinced of this by Köhler . At the time of the offer for a monetary union, the main features of an implementation plan were already in place. Gerd von Scheven , Head of Division in the Federal Ministry of Finance , got billions of D-Marks on the financial market .

Hans Tietmeyer , former finance state secretary and member of the Bundesbank board of directors , was entrusted by Kohl with the preparation of the relevant basis for a state treaty between the Federal Republic and the GDR . In the opinion of Claus J. Duisberg, the head of the German Policy Task Force in the Chancellery at the time, the first draft was almost like a submission agreement in substance and language and, as it was not presentable to the new GDR government, had to be revised. Five days after de Maizière's government declaration, on April 24, 1990, both sides set the time horizon for monetary union: As early as the GDR local elections on May 6, citizens should foresee what to expect; the Bundesbank in turn saw itself technically capable of converting the currency in the GDR on July 1, 1990.

Economic upheaval in the GDR

A currency union without a corresponding restructuring of the GDR economic system was out of the question for the federal government and the political forces that support it. Market-economy structures, free pricing and the privatization of state-owned companies were consequently to the side effects of the unification process. The " Establishment for the fiduciary administration of public property" , founded by the Modrow government on March 1, 1990, was to become the most important funding instrument of the economic upheaval, which was to serve the conversion of state-owned combines , businesses and institutions into corporations . Western capital was still left out, an orientation corrected by the trust founding resolution of the People's Chamber of June 17, 1990.

When the law came into force on July 1, 1990, the Treuhandanstalt took over 7894 state-owned companies with four million employees, around 40 percent of the total workforce, as well as an area covering more than half of the GDR. This also included power stations and mining companies, extensive estates with agricultural and forestry operations as well as hotels and restaurants and even circuses. "In practice, the Treuhandanstalt was responsible for the vast majority of the GDR economy," writes Duisberg. Only 2 percent of the establishments were assessed as capable of operating profitably; 48 percent were thought to be developable in this sense; 25 percent were considered to be capable of renovation, with some reservations, 21 percent necessary to shut down (30 percent eventually became).

It was not possible to fall back on previous experience with regard to the transfer of a central administration or planned economy into a market economy. The trust management committed itself to the motto: "privatize quickly - resolutely renovate - carefully shut down". There was a lack of reliable knowledge about the East German economy in the West; There was no time for a careful inventory: "The actual experiences quickly deviated from the original expectations."

The productivity of the GDR economy in the year of reunification was less than a third compared to that of West Germany. This was based in large part on a showpiece of GDR social policy: the right to work as a general guarantee of employment. Because associated with this was an uneconomical overemployment in many companies and administrations and as a result “low work motivation and almost insurmountable obstacles to adapting companies to changed production and market conditions.” The immediate transition to a market economy at all levels therefore turned out to be for many people Shock experience.

“In 1990, the GDR economy suddenly lost almost all of its customers, namely domestic customers, because GDR citizens only wanted to buy western goods. It lost many foreign customers from the east because the socialist economic association RGW decided in Sofia at the beginning of 1990 to convert internal trade to foreign exchange. As a result, Hungarians preferred to buy Japanese cars than GDR cars. And they lost their West German customers because the goods from the East were no longer available as cheap products (e.g. IKEA ) when wages in the East had to be paid with West money . "

In addition, the competitiveness of GDR companies was impaired in the unification process by rising wage costs: under the impression of the discussion about the currency union, the employees of the east German companies implemented a wage increase of around 20 percent in the second quarter of 1990 and in the first 15 months after the currency union another 50 percent.

The conversion course in the socio-economic field of tension

Hundred mark notes West and East

The increasingly obvious low labor productivity and weakness of the GDR economy caused the Bundesbank and the Federal Ministry of Finance to move away from the planned 1: 1 currency conversion. On March 29, 1990, the Central Bank Council passed a resolution, according to which the conversion was to be carried out mainly in the ratio of 2 East Marks to 1 DM . (The ratio of 4.3 to 1 could even be considered a market rate.)

However, this contradicted the promises made by all parties in the Volkskammer election campaign and led to outrage and protest demonstrations in the East German population. The tenor of the demonstrations held in East Berlin and several GDR cities: “One to one, or we will never become one!” Halving net wages (an average of 854 marks from 1988) would have meant that wages in the east were initially mostly less than a fifth the western wages would have been. A major advocate of the 1: 1 course in this situation was Federal Labor Minister Norbert Blüm , who had already written to Kohl on March 27 and warned that “a conversion rate below the ratio of 1: 1 would lead to profound social upheavals as well as destabilizing political consequences. "

The politically responsible in the GDR consistently stuck to the demand for a 1: 1 conversion. The chairman of the Eastern SPD Markus Meckel made his party's participation in government dependent on it; Prime Minister de Maizière also committed himself to this and described such an exchange ratio in his government declaration of April 19, 1990 as fundamental. With regard to a 1: 1 conversion of all private assets of an estimated 190 billion marks, however, an inflation- driving excess of money was feared on the west side , and with a 1: 1 valuation of corporate debts, on the other hand, the financial ruin of countless companies that now expect the usual capital market interest when servicing their debts had.

From the internal compromise search by the Federal Government and the Bundesbank as well as the subsequent negotiations between the two heads of government, the final regulation arose on May 2, 1990: Current income and pension payments were converted at a ratio of 1: 1; Savings and liabilities (including corporate debts) generally 2: 1. Excepted from this and again converted 1: 1 were private savings balances in certain amounts, differentiated according to age: 2,000 marks per child up to 14 years of age; 4,000 marks for people up to 59 years of age and 6,000 marks for those who are even older.

Social union in desire and reality

In addition to the monetary union and the ongoing market-economy transformation, the third element in the First State Treaty between the Federal Republic and the GDR was the social union. Business circles and the Bundesbank had initially raised concerns that the full transfer of the social security systems to the GDR could hinder private investments and the restructuring of the economic structure; but the forces involved in this, from the Federal Ministry of Labor , the trade unions, the social democrats and the people's chamber parties, retained the upper hand. In view of the many and far-reaching changes in living conditions, it was ultimately a matter of providing the East Germans with a new form of social support, since the manageable and regulated existence of the past was coming to an end. De Maizière, as head of government, had the following typical career path of a GDR citizen born near the combine in mind:

“When he was born, he went to the combine’s own day care center, and after three years he switched to the combine’s own kindergarten. If he was sick, he went to the combine polyclinic . In the summer he visited the holiday camp that belonged to the combine, and then spent 14 days with his parents in the combine's own holiday facility. His life expectancy was straightforward, almost like a rail vehicle: 14 years of age, youth consecration with a moped gift and Trabant registration; 16 years of age skilled worker qualification; 20th year of life End of NVA service and entry into full working life. After attending the company's own vocational school, the takeover into the company was secured. And if he didn't steal silver spoons, he stayed there. It was considered dishonorable to quit his job. You just didn't change. This was followed by an early marriage because only one couple could apply for a shared apartment, which they had to wait eight years for anyway. "

The employment rate of women of working age in the GDR was 81% in 1989, which is far higher than that in West Germany . It was promoted through paid leave within the framework of a baby year and through a wide range of childcare facilities.

The social charter drafted by the Central Round Table and approved by the People's Chamber on March 7, 1990, served as an orientation basis for those responsible in the GDR in the negotiations on the social union . The aim was to achieve unity by means of a “mutual reform process of both German security systems”, which should result in a higher level of social security overall. Among other things, demands were made to preserve the right to work, an apartment with effective rental protection, free training and further education and health care. With the combination of West German social benefits with social security based on the GDR model resulting from the Social Charter, however, the question of financing remained open. This was heavily criticized on the West German side and denounced as an expression of a lack of a sense of reality.

Under GDR conditions, the situation of pensioners, disabled people, disabled people and surviving dependents, i.e. those who were not directly involved in the production process, was in acute need of improvement: “The old age and disability pensions from compulsory insurance offered nothing more than a largely leveled basic provision at a very low level, which did not lead to complete impoverishment only because of the high level of subsidies for the basic necessities. [...] The average household income of East German pensioners in 1983 was nominally only a quarter, taking into account the differences in purchasing power it was about a third of the West German level. ”With the transfer of the western pension law, the eastern pensions rose from 30% to 40% of the average earned income to 70 % after 45 years of contributions.

Overall, the social union also led to the transfer of the West German social security system to the GDR, although some more favorable regulations, e.g. B. were retained for women. After the State Treaty was finally adopted in the Volkskammer with 302 votes to 82, in the Bundestag with 444 to 60 votes and in the Bundesrat against the votes of Saarland and Lower Saxony on June 22, the date of entry into force on July 1, 1990 from West and East Germans use the D-Mark as their common currency.

External requirements of the unification process

Berlin Wall on October 3, 1990

Both German governments are convinced that the key to German unity in foreign policy lay in Moscow, even during the Modrow government and the Central Round Table. There, on February 10, 1990, Gorbachev made the basic concession to the federal government that the Germans in East and West themselves had to know which way they wanted to go. You have the right to strive for unity. In the Soviet press 11 days later he emphasized the responsibility of the Four Powers, to which the Germans could not simply submit their agreements for approval, the "immovability" of post-war borders in Europe and the necessity of embedding reunification in the creation of a new pan-European security structure.

On February 2nd, Federal Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher approved the State Department's proposal to define the external framework for the unification process in two-plus-four negotiations . When the representatives of Italy and the Netherlands called for their own participation in the negotiations on German unity at the meeting of the foreign ministers of NATO and the Warsaw Pact on February 13 in Ottawa , the two-plus-four constellation was already so firmly anchored among those involved, that Genscher was able to vigorously reply to his colleagues: “You are not part of the game!” From then on, however, two months passed before the GDR representative with Markus Meckel, the GDR representative for these negotiations, was able to begin official business at all.

The course had already been set in this field before the GDR side was able to make an effective contribution. From the central round table there was the idea of ​​a demilitarized status for a unified Germany. The peace movement of the GDR was an important gathering point of the early SED opposition, not least in the protection of the churches. The new foreign ministry under the leadership of the theologian Meckel went to work with idealism and creative standards, not just wanting to play the role of Bonn's junior partner and vicarious agent. With ideas about a pan-European security order, neutrality and overcoming the bloc thinking, one saw oneself closer to the goals of Gorbachev than to those of the federal government. Overall, however, there was not only a lack of international and diplomatic experience, but also, in view of acute economic weakness and the foreseeable limited scope of effects, of real influence.

Establishing a common position for the West

Among the Western powers still jointly responsible for the German question, the governments of France and Great Britain , who feared a future dominance of Germany and a disruption of the European balance, were not very impressed by the prospect of a unification of the GDR and the Federal Republic . Since the founding of the empire at the time of Bismarck , the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher argued , Germany has "always fluctuated in unpredictable ways between aggression and self-doubt". In essence, Germany is more of a destabilizing force in the European structure. In the end, French President François Mitterrand made a similar statement. Although he granted Germans the right to self-determination , he did not see them as being entitled to “upset the political realities in Europe”. As if to underline the French precautions taken in this regard, Mitterrand made a state visit to the GDR from December 20-22, 1989, and concluded a long-term trade agreement with the Modrow government .

The US administration under George HW Bush took another, ultimately decisive, position by advocating German unity at an early stage and linking this to the requirement that a reunified Germany should belong to the NATO alliance. At the end of February 1990 at Camp David, Bush reached an understanding with Chancellor Kohl on the common line in the two-plus-four negotiations, whereby Bush was also able to inform Thatcher's consent. The British government mistrusted Gorbachev's vision of a pan-European peace order with the dissolution of the alliance blocs and did not want to jeopardize close relations with the USA. For France, however, one of the main objectives was to continue European integration by way of economic and monetary union , to which the German government had promised a fundamental readiness, while Great Britain refused. “Both powers finally saw that the internal unification process in Germany could not be stopped, since the Soviet Union would ultimately not veto German unity, and that in this situation their security interests would best be served by integrating a united Germany into NATO. "

As early as January 1990, the European Community (EC), under French Commission President Jacques Delors, laid the groundwork for the GDR's swift admission to the EC, with Delors also expressly advocating German unity. Before the European Parliament he declared the GDR to be a special case to which the provisional freeze on enlargement did not apply. At a special summit in Dublin on April 28, the heads of state and government of the EC welcomed the impending unification of Germany and assessed it as a positive factor for the future development of the community. With its mainly economic support, the European Commission in particular also involved the smaller EC member states in the German unification process.

Alliance question and finality of the German borders

While there was agreement among the Western powers before the People's Chamber election in March regarding the promotion of German unity and the membership of a united Germany in NATO, it remained open for the time being whether the Soviet Union was ready to accept what was hardly expected in early 1990 has been. In the Moscow negotiations on February 10, Gorbachev brought up a non-alignment based on the model of India or China and made it clear that he would not accept a weakening of the Warsaw Pact in the balance of power with NATO as a result of German unity. Initially, Chancellor Kohl had doubts about the American line in this regard and was quoted on January 18 with differences of opinion vis-à-vis Washington: "But he thinks that the American view could change if the relationship between NATO and the Warsaw Pact changes." In direct contacts with Bush at Camp David, Kohl committed himself to the American line of unrestricted all-German NATO membership as the western negotiating goal (with a military transitional arrangement for the GDR area), while Genscher's mediating position of limited NATO responsibilities for the GDR had previously been agreed -Territory supported. After that, however, Kohl advocated the new course in part with the specific statement that he was not prepared to risk membership of the NATO alliance for German unity.

The Soviet stance on this question was changeable and fluctuating, so that the German government was increasingly optimistic that it would be able to push through the western line. Before the start of the two-plus-four negotiations, Gorbachev issued the motto: “Germany must not join NATO and that's that.” A few weeks later, however, he agreed with George Bush at consultations in Washington on May 31 when he said : "The US clearly advocates membership of the united Germany in NATO, but if Germany makes another choice, the US will not intervene against it, but will respect it." This concession was greeted with surprise by everyone, including within the Soviet negotiating delegation itself In the following weeks, in consideration of the upcoming CPSU party congress at the beginning of July, when the impression of weakness in foreign policy was to be avoided, the Soviet pace on the alliance question was again tougher. At the second meeting of foreign ministers as part of the two-plus-four conferences on June 22, 1990, the 49th anniversary of the Nazi German attack on the Soviet Union , Eduard Shevardnadze called for a five-year transition period for both parts of Germany to remain in the respective alliance systems, while the GDR delegation under Meckel wanted to establish a future European security order as a key subject of negotiations. Both were in clear contrast to Western interests and positions.

With the unification of the two German states in 1990, the final recognition under international law of the Oder-Neisse border as the Polish western border was on the agenda, as the question of border regulation in the east had never been finally clarified in the absence of a peace treaty . There was no sensible alternative to this, as all negotiating partners in the Federal Republic of Germany demanded it early on - US President Bush had made his approval of reunification directly dependent on it.

On the West German side, this question was kept in suspense for a long time; on the part of the GDR, the recognition of the " Oder-Neisse peace border " was already available from 1950. The post-communist Mazowiecki government made this a condition of their consent to German unity. Kohl, on the other hand, was able to rely on a Federal Constitutional Court ruling from 1973, according to which the German-Polish border could only be recognized by a unified and completely sovereign Germany. According to Rödder, there was an incompatibility of international law and political levels of argumentation, overlaid by external demands and internal considerations. On the one hand, Kohl held up the border recognition as a counterweight to possible Polish reparation claims ; mainly, however, were his reservations about the consideration of the displaced as an important electoral clientele of the Union parties .

Not only the governments of Poland and the Soviet Union, but also the Western powers, the GDR government and the coalition partner FDP with Federal Foreign Minister Genscher stood against Kohl's immobility on this question. What was meant as an important concession was the agreement of the coalition factions on a Bundestag resolution of March 8, 1990, according to which, soon after the Volkskammer elections, both German parliaments should declare that, with a view to German unity, the inviolability of the borders vis-à-vis the Republic of Poland would be affirmed and soon by one all-German government would also be contractually sealed. Neither Tadeusz Mazowiecki nor Mitterrand were satisfied with that either , but jointly demanded further securities and Poland's participation in the two-plus-four talks, which in turn angered Kohl. At the end of May, in a letter to de Maizière, he expressed concern about the further course of action on this issue after the GDR negotiators had introduced an unsettled draft treaty into the trilateral talks with Poland.

In the Bundestag debate on June 21, 1990, Kohl ensured final clarity within his own ranks and externally, in which he declared: "Either we confirm the existing border, or we are wasting our chance for German unity today and for now." was ripe for a final and permanent reconciliation with the Polish people; what was possible between Germans and French could and must also be possible between Germans and Poles. From the ranks of the MPs close to the expellees, only 15 votes against came when the Bundestag - and in an identical resolution the People's Chamber the next day - declared their will that the course of the border between the unified Germany and Poland be finally confirmed by an international border treaty would.

Balance of interests with the Soviet Union

The five-year transitional arrangement advocated by Shevardnadze in the second round of the two-plus-four negotiations on June 22nd, which was seen as a clear setback to the previous signals from the Moscow leadership, underscored the need for political interests To meet Gorbachev and his colleagues in order to be able to conclude the German unification process, which has got underway with monetary union, in a timely manner, also in terms of foreign policy. Western government centers are convinced that this could only succeed with Gorbachev and the reform forces who supported him in the Soviet Union.

But Gorbachev was already in great difficulty with his 1990 reform project. The economic restructuring made hardly any progress, and shortages of supply were noticeable; and the first signs of disintegration occurred in the Soviet Union, in particular as a result of the Baltic states' striving for independence. While the US Senate clearly supported the Baltic right to self-determination and the endeavor to detach itself, the German government was very careful not to alienate Gorbachev in any way. Foreign Minister Genscher had already warned us to change course at the beginning of 1987: “Let's not sit with crossed arms and wait for what Gorbachev will bring us! Rather, let us try to advance and shape development on our part ... Firmness is required, but a politics of strength, striving for superiority, arming in the corner must once and for all belong to the thinking categories of the past - also in the West. ”During the unification process in 1990, Genscher was more prepared than Kohl to accept a greater reduction in troops in the Bundeswehr and a special military status for the GDR in the wake of reunification. Since the beginning of the two-plus-four negotiations, both sides have been striving for a "package solution" with regard to the balance of interests, whereby the granting of the unity and sovereignty of Germany for the Soviet side should both preserve power and be economically and financially profitable.

As early as January 1990, an urgent Soviet request for food aid had been used as an opportunity to improve the political climate. Kohl advocated this help with the sentence that if Gorbachev fell, one could forget about reunification. The advocacy of economic aid in favor of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe at the world economic summit in Houston (July 9-11, 1990) was justified by Kohl in advance in the CDU federal executive committee with the assessment that for the USSR the question of future economic relations would ultimately be more important than NATO Belonging to Germany. Kohl responded positively to Shevardnadze's request on the eve of the first two-plus-four round, who urgently asked for credit assistance. Negotiations about this were conducted by Horst Teltschik and representatives of major German banks on May 14th in Moscow, also directly with Gorbachev, to whom Kohl made a loan offer of DM 5 billion on May 22nd. With reference to the restoration of German unity, the Chancellor told the bankers, concerned about the creditworthiness and solvency of the Soviet Union, that the farmer was in a position to bring the harvest into the barn in good time before the approaching thunderstorm.

The real grain harvest in the GDR was very plentiful in the summer of 1990: twelve million tons with only seven million GDR self-consumption. In August, the farmers made preparations to set fire to the fields - from de Maizière's point of view one of the most dramatic moments of his reign: “I thought the country would perish if it continued like this.” With the help of the federal government, grain sales to Russia were then organized. "It was actually a gift to the Russians, who were not solvent."

The London NATO summit of the heads of state and government on 5/6 March is an important step on the way to making united Germany's membership of NATO acceptable to the Soviet Union. July 1990, which decided on a new, defensive orientation of the alliance and invited the members of the Warsaw Pact to come to an agreement on renouncing the threat and use of force. This political reorientation of NATO meant at the same time a foreign policy success and an additional gain in prestige for Gorbachev at the CPSU congress held at the same time in Moscow, which cemented his position, which had previously become questionable. The West later deviated from the reluctance to expand NATO to the east that had been promised by the Soviet Union in the course of these negotiations , which aroused resentment in Russia.

After that Gorbachev was ready to wipe clean the German question, which he had not mentioned at all in his speech at the party conference. During negotiations and talks in Moscow and in Gorbachev's Caucasian homeland on July 15 and 16, which took place in a relaxed atmosphere and in some cases in a private atmosphere, Gorbachev was very accommodating to the German delegation under the leadership of the Chancellor on all unanswered questions: the immediate Unified Germany was allowed to remain in NATO, which was necessary for the consent of the USA, whereby the scope of the Western defense alliance should not extend to GDR territory for a transitional period until the complete withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1994. The end of the four-power responsibility was granted without transition and at the same time as the unification . The upper limit of the all-German armed forces was fixed according to Kohl's ideas at 370,000. Horst Teltschik rated Gorbachev's admission that parts of the Bundeswehr had already been stationed in GDR territory and in Berlin during the course of unification and integrated into NATO with the withdrawal of the Soviet armed forces as “sensational”.

Troop withdrawal regulation and attainment of full sovereignty

As he did with Bush at the end of May, Gorbachev made the central decisions on Germany's policy single-handedly in July 1990 when he met the West German delegation led by Kohl. The phenomena of disintegration within the Warsaw Pact had meanwhile progressed. By July 1990, important member states had come to the conclusion that NATO membership of a united Germany was preferable to neutralization. The maintenance of a military outpost through the continued presence of Soviet troops on GDR territory made less and less sense under these circumstances, even for the Soviet Union, which was in the process of reform.

The overall package of the German-Soviet reconciliation of interests following the agreements of the Caucasus meeting in July consisted of five contracts that had to be negotiated in detail: a German-Soviet general contract, the contract on the stationing and withdrawal of Soviet troops, and the transfer agreement on this associated costs, a general economic contract and the two-plus-four contract. The necessary urgency in view of the date of the unification, which was scheduled for October 3rd, strengthened the Soviet negotiating position, especially on the issue of troop withdrawal: the faster the withdrawal, the more expensive it could be paid for. With initial calculations and proposals for offers of 4–6 billion DM on the German side, Kohl was confronted with Soviet demands for a housing construction program, for transport costs and retraining measures for the Soviet military totaling 18.5 billion DM. Gorbachev left no doubt that the German goals could not be reached with the eight billion DM initially offered by Kohl and eleven billion DM after the talks were postponed. An agreement was finally reached on September 10 for twelve billion DM, spread over four years, plus an interest-free loan of three billion DM with a five-year term.

While the highly problematic development of Soviet perestroika and the resulting precarious position of Gorbachev in the West were known and helped determine action, with the military intervention of Iraq in Kuwait on August 2, 1990, a process came into play that opened the window of opportunity. , the time window for establishing German unity, also limited for Teltschik with regard to the USA. In view of the immediate energetic engagement of the USA in Kuwait, one can consider oneself lucky that nothing important otherwise withdrew attention from the German question during the first half of the year and that the foreign policy framework of the unit has already been clarified: “I wonder if it is us would have succeeded in enforcing the necessary decisions at the American-Soviet summit, the special NATO summit and the world economic summit so smoothly if, for example, the Gulf conflict had started two months earlier. "

On the eve of the signing of the Two-Plus-Four Treaty in Moscow, the negotiating situation came to a head again when Great Britain and the USA demanded that their own troops should be able to carry out NATO maneuvers in GDR territory before the Soviet troops withdrew. Only after Genscher's nocturnal intervention with US Secretary of State James Baker finally brought a diplomatic solution. Thus, on September 12th, the negotiations were mutually agreed and the treaty on the final settlement with regard to Germany was signed , which finally defined the united Germany within the borders of the GDR and the Federal Republic, guaranteed its free decision on membership of the alliance, excluded NBC weapons , Established troop strengths for the German armed forces and regulated the Soviet troop withdrawal until 1994. Since the four powers suspended their rights and obligations with a declaration of October 1, 1990, Germany was a sovereign state from the beginning after unification.

The way to the Unification Treaty

Immediately after the monetary union came into force, domestic German negotiations on a second state treaty began on July 6, 1990, which, at the request of the GDR representatives, should not be called that. The impression of secondary importance should be countered and the term Unification Treaty expresses the fact that the GDR, unlike the monetary union, had to contribute something of its own. The main persons responsible for the contract negotiations on the western side were Federal Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and for the GDR the Parliamentary State Secretary to Prime Minister Günther Krause , who had already represented the GDR side in the negotiations on the First State Treaty and was also the CDU parliamentary group leader in the Volkskammer.

The result of the negotiations not only had to be coordinated with Krause and de Maizière, but also required two-thirds majorities in the People's Chamber, in the Bundestag and in the Bundesrat. It was therefore important for Schäuble to successfully involve the representatives of the western federal states in the negotiations, especially since the SPD-led states now had a majority in the Bundesrat. Country interests were u. a. to be taken into account in financial regulations and in the future distribution of votes in the all-German Bundesrat, in the negotiation of an electoral law for the first federal elections after unification and in the capital issue. Other important subjects of negotiation concerned the constitutional form of the association, the partial continued application of GDR law, the clarification of property issues and reimbursement claims, the reorganization of administration and educational institutions in GDR territory and the handling of the Stasi inheritance.

Constitutional options in the field of political power

According to the Basic Law, two paths to German unity could be taken under constitutional law, namely the accession of the GDR to the Federal Republic of Germany according to Article 23 or the replacement of the original provisional Basic Law by a new common constitution according to Article 146 GG old version and a merger of the GDR and the Federal Republic. Large parts of the GDR civil rights and opposition movement campaigned for the second alternative and a referendum on the new constitution, as well as the West German left, the Greens and many social democrats. However, this far more time-consuming and complicated path had little chance of being realized from the start. The Volkskammer election in March, the de Maizière government's commitment to swift and responsible implementation of German unity on the basis of Article 23 of the Basic Law, old version, and the monetary, economic and social union that was implemented immediately, left a new all-German for negotiation, public debate and voting Constitution no space.

So everything ran towards the unification plan, which Federal Interior Minister Schäuble pursued with Kohl's support from the beginning. As part of the cabinet committee "German Unity", which was set up on February 7, 1990, Schäuble headed the "State Structures and Public Order" working group and formed a separate "German Unity" working group in the Interior Ministry.

“My stipulation for the task force was that we - without knowing the way or the time of German unification - had to work to ensure that we would not be unprepared in the event of an emergency. I considered it irrelevant whether the unity would be prepared by a unification treaty or whether it would come about suddenly and legally unprepared immediately after the Volkskammer election, for example in the event of a crisis that came to a head, whatever the reason. In any case, the law of the Federal Republic of Germany had to be transferred to the GDR, if necessary in stages with restrictions and reservations, regardless of whether this transfer was agreed in advance by contract or was to be passed by the legislature as transitional legislation afterwards. The Ministry of the Interior was in charge of this transition, so we had to prepare for it. Finally, I also told my employees that you should always think about faster development. If you had prepared yourself for the faster development, you were also prepared for the slower variant. "

In fact, there was always the possibility that the GDR could unilaterally declare its accession in accordance with Art. The DSU made such a move on June 17, 1990. After a memorial event in the Konzerthaus on Berlin's Gendarmenmarkt , the main speaker Manfred Stolpe warned something new as a result of the unification process that had to be implemented quickly: “The West is coming to the GDR, but the The GDR is also coming to the West ”, the DSU applied to the People's Chamber on the same day to resolve the GDR's immediate accession to the Federal Republic of Germany. Against the majority of the House, however, the motion did not make it onto the agenda, was referred to the responsible committee and put on the back burner there.

One of the basic strategic negotiating positions represented by Schäuble was the restriction of the regulatory matter to what is immediately necessary so that the unification agreement could be concluded in good time and with the necessary two-thirds majorities in the three legislative chambers. He took this line both in the first round of negotiations on July 6th against de Maizière, who u. a. Proposals to expand the Basic Law to include the state goals of the right to work and environmental protection , as well as to continue to face Western social democratic country representatives and the departmental employees of the various ministries involved in transition regulations, who tried to reach agreement that had failed until then.

Re-establishment of the states on the territory of the GDR

Comparison of the national borders in the GDR in 1947 and 1990

The GDR was restructured by an administrative law of July 23, 1952, by dividing the GDR states into districts to be created on the basis of district boundaries and transferring the tasks of the previous state governments to the administrations of the new regional administrations . With the resulting end of federalism in the GDR, the political structures in both parts of Germany differed considerably from that point on.

With the aim of promoting local self- government, the political centralism of the SED regime was replaced by the new Modrow government in the period of upheaval after the opening of the border in November 1989 . Although around three quarters of the previous municipal elected officials remained in office for the time being, with the involvement of local citizens' committees, a new municipal constitution with a mixture of various West German regulations and emphasized plebiscite elements in the form of citizen participation and referendums was passed on May 17, 1990 . With the establishment of party and state associations and demonstrations existing until 1952 were official national colors already reactivated before the People's Chamber on 22 July 1990. The ländereinführungsgesetz was adopted (LEG). The law contained resolutions on:

With 3 October 1990 accrued in compliance with Article 1. Unification Treaty in the still valid ländereinführungsgesetz provided the GDR new countries and from the union of its western and eastern part of the new state of Berlin. The new federal states were not yet able to act. It was not until the state elections of October 14, 1990 that they got parliaments that also functioned as state constituent assemblies.

All-German federalism and financial equalization

Partnerships with western federal states have been set up as a start-up aid for the newly established five eastern states. The cooperation existed with North Rhine-Westphalia for Brandenburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and Bremen for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg for Saxony, Lower Saxony for Saxony-Anhalt and Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate for Thuringia. In the unification process, the Western aid partners also represented their own political interests by keeping their own contribution to the financing of the unit as low as possible and avoiding a push of centralization from the federal side.

This also applied to the inclusion of the new federal states in the system of state financial equalization , which demands aid from the economically strong states for the weaker ones. So that the relatively weak western federal states would not also change from recipients to donors in the federal state financial equalization in view of the even worse starting position of the new states, the five new ones were excluded from this redistribution system until 1994/95. In return, the old federal states took half of the debt for the German Unity Fund , which was supposed to cover the new federal states' financing needs. As early as May 1990, they refused any additional cost sharing.

The agreement on the distribution of votes in the future all-German Bundesrat was similarly problematic . According to the key that was valid until then, the weights in the Federal Council would have shifted in favor of the smaller federal states with fewer populations. With 20 of a total of 65 votes, the four large West German states could no longer have formed a blocking minority in decisions with a two-thirds majority. After some back and forth, the solution was to grant the large federal states six votes instead of the previous five: with 24 of 68 votes, they had the blocking minority again.

Reunified City of Berlin

The reunified city of Berlin formed its own state in the future and became the federal capital , especially since Bonn was only designated as the provisional capital of the Federal Republic in 1949 . In the unification treaty, Berlin was recognized as the new capital, but no resolution on the future seat of the Bundestag and government. In the first round of negotiations on the Unification Treaty, de Maizière declared Berlin's function as a capital city to be a basic condition for acceptance of the Unification Treaty. On the other hand, there was an extensive rejection of the western state governments, which, with the exception of the Berlin Senate, wanted almost unanimously to keep parliament and government in Bonn. The compromise formula stated that the decisions of the legislative bodies on this issue would only be made after the election of the first all-German Bundestag and after the establishment of the full rights of participation of the new states. In the capital city resolution in 1991, the Bundestag decided, after a controversial discussion, to make Berlin the seat of parliament and government and to complete their move by 1999, whereby all ministries should also keep an official seat in Bonn.

Berlin was the only city in Germany that was divided by the wall and had to 'grow together' immediately. Not only did the people from West Berlin and East Berlin meet here immediately after the fall of the Wall, the problems also quickly emerged:

“In view of the political dimensions, the economic consequences of the change process were almost ignored at the beginning. That changed quickly [...] when the economic disaster of the GDR became clear. The appalling balance was not limited to the production sector, but equally to the entire housing industry. In particular, the situation in the inner-city districts of old buildings in East Berlin was alarming. "

For Berlin and the region, the "Urban Renewal Expert Group" of the Provisional Regional Committee "summarized an overview for the area with 1.57 million apartments, a" renovation requirement for approx. 178,000 apartments in the housing stock built up to 1918 ".

Samariterviertel Schreinerstrasse 1991

For the city it was determined: “High vacancy rates, approx. 25,000 apartments in East Berlin, approx. 8,000 in the Prenzlauer Berg district alone, i.e. approx. H. almost twice as much as in West Berlin as a whole at the beginning of the 1980s, when the squatting and disputes over housing policy reached their peak; Decades of neglected maintenance and advanced deterioration of a large part of the old building fabric, lack of urgently needed building materials; no cost-covering management of the houses from the current rental income; Urban renewal without citizen participation, demolition of historically valuable buildings, "dictation of the plan" without consideration of social structures and individual needs. "

Against this background and in view of the necessary urgency, "the Senate decided on February 6, 1990, the 'unscheduled provision of funds to promote urgent urban renewal measures in the greater Berlin area' in the amount of 25 million DM for measures to be implemented in 1990 and 1991." The award was "tied to the condition that complementary funds are made available from East Berlin for the renovation measures." Thus, a total of "a construction volume of approx. 60 million DM was activated."

Reorganization of law and administration in the acceding area

The prospect of accession under Article 23 of the Basic Law (old version) did not mean that all of the law applicable in the GDR was immediately null and void with the completion of the unification. Rather, one of the particularly time-consuming accompanying activities in the negotiation of the Unification Treaty was to check which of the many existing federal German laws and ordinances had to be applied across Germany when the unification was implemented. This task could only be carried out by the respective ministerial administrations across departments. Since there was no codified collection for GDR law , the comparison of the respective material was all the more difficult; it happened in coordination with the respective departments on the part of the GDR.

After the negotiations had commenced, a fundamental decision was increasingly needed as to whether GDR law should initially continue to apply and federal German law should only apply if necessary until further notice or, conversely, whether federal law should be the norm and GDR law the exception. While Schäuble preferred the former variant, corresponding to the Saarbeitritt 1957, because he hoped that a comparatively low density of regulations would lead to a faster harmonization of living conditions. a. the concern that in the accession area , for example, environmental protection would then be left behind. The Federal Ministry of Justice, employers and Federal Labor Minister Blüm took the opposite position. The latter favored the second alternative as a signal for the establishment of an efficient social insurance system based on the German model, which had begun with the social union, and expected that it would make it easier for the GDR to adapt to EC law . Federal Finance Minister Waigel did not stand in the way of the costs that were already associated with this in the short term. The attitude of GDR negotiator Günther Krause, who had previously agreed with Schäuble, changed in the second round of negotiations on the unification agreement at the end of July 1990. Schröder says:

“The adoption of the western order was decided by the last people's chamber, which emerged from free elections. It is therefore a blatant disregard for the popular will of the East Germans when it is claimed that the West has imposed its order on the East, as I have often heard from West Germans. "

On the east side, Schäuble had been told that a civil code for a centralized, planned economy and a dictatorship was unsuitable for a market economy with independent economic action by the citizens. That decided the matter.

Similar to the economic and legal system, administrative and educational institutions in the GDR were also put to the test in the course of the intra-German contract negotiations. According to Duisberg, the figures presented by the GDR delegation caused concern on the West German side: a total of 1.74 million employees in public administration, plus the railway employees (252,000), the post office (229,000) and the NVA (183,000). According to Schäuble, the 1.74 million civil servants in the GDR corresponded to more than three times the number of civil servants and salaried employees employed in the public service in the comparably large federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Considerable downsizing seemed inevitable to him so that the financial performance of the federal and state governments would not be strangled. Schäuble countered Article 33 of the Basic Law to the derivation of a far-reaching obligation to take on GDR employees, which was based on Article 36 of the Basic Law, taking quotas into account, which ties access to public offices to suitability, qualifications and professional performance.

The Federal Foreign Ministry, which saw no opportunity to take on GDR diplomats, and other ministries as well, suggested a central personnel trustee agency as an instrument for implementing the reduction in administrative positions. According to Schäuble, such an institution would have resulted in the Ministry of the Interior being responsible for all public administration personnel in GDR territory. "A single department could never cope with the task of accommodating over two million people in the federal administration, newly created states and municipalities or - to a large extent - dismissing them from the public service." Schäuble prevailed that each department "has to take responsibility for the personnel incumbent on it and has to create transition rules." The states were responsible for employees in future state responsibility, in the transitional period the so-called state spokespersons under the supervision of the Federal Minister of the Interior.

For those individually affected by dismissals, however, this was not a comforting circumstance. It cost the unified Germany the previously secure job, to which West Germans often moved up in higher positions. Richard Schröder rejects the talk of the colonization of the East by the West:

“In truth, it was the company workforce and teaching staff, community councils and citizens' assemblies that successfully replaced the previous directors and mayors in autumn 1989 and brought about the first change of elite. That was an east-east elite change. West Germans weren't even in sight. "

With the takeover of the Western order, a Western need for specialists arose quite naturally. “One can complain about that as the incapacitation of the East Germans. Nobody likes to sit in an airplane when they are told: The pilot is still learning. "

Reorganization of ownership

Since collective property had a clear priority over the private property of individuals in the state socialism of the GDR , especially in the area of ​​the economy, but also with real estate as required, the property relations in the GDR also required a new regulation in the course of the unification process.

“As a result of collective and individual expropriations as well as other state interventions of all kinds, a situation arose in the GDR in which not only the property relations were difficult to understand, but property rights themselves had largely lost their old meaning. Rights to the property and the building on it often fell apart without this being clearly recognizable. Also the land registers were mostly inadequate. As far as there was still private home and property, in many cases it was more of a burden than assets due to forced rent and extensive dismissal protection. In this respect, ownership was less important than the right of use; this alone was of real value. "

Since it could not stay with these conditions in unified Germany, the problem arose of how to deal with the expropriations that had taken place in the East German past without compensation in the creation of a property system corresponding to the conditions in the Federal Republic of Germany . There was room for political decision-making on this question, since the property guarantee according to Art. 14 GG did not automatically extend retrospectively to the GDR before its accession. On the West German side, the stipulation was developed that in 40 years of the GDR new economic and social circumstances had arisen that could not be easily reversed if they did not want to replace some of the old injustices with new ones. It depends on socially acceptable compromises taking into account the interests of all parties involved. Neither the stipulation of the GDR compulsory measures until 1989 nor their complete reversal by May 1945 can be seen as feasible in this sense.

Two to be considered separately phases there were regarding the implemented expropriation measures: the phase of the Soviet occupation authority from 1945 to 1949 and the time of the Soviet-backed SED rule in East Germany from 1949 to 1989. In December 1989, during a visit by Chancellor Kohl in Dresden at In a meeting with Modrow, a joint commission on property issues was agreed upon, in whose negotiations the Soviet Union was included. There, as in the two-plus-four negotiations, the Soviet Union demanded that the inviolability of its measures as the occupying power be guaranteed, especially on land and property issues. “In the summer of 1990, the People's Chamber wanted to pass a prisoner compensation law that should also compensate political prisoners between 1945 and 1949. We did not want to address the legitimacy of the judgments. Nevertheless, the Soviet side protested immediately and threatened to halt the two-plus-four process if we passed this law. ”Schäuble saw the greatest determination on this issue on the part of the GDR and in particular with de Maizière, who declared that the GDR would become Do not sign a treaty that wants to go back to the land reform and added: “No political group in the GDR will ever sign that. There are no majorities for this. "

State secretaries Günther Krause for the GDR side and Klaus Kinkel for the federal government were charged with looking for a consensus formula . The joint declaration of June 15, 1990 finally stated: “The governments of the Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic see no possibility of revising the measures taken at the time. The government of the Federal Republic of Germany takes note of this with regard to historical developments. She is of the opinion that a future all-German parliament must reserve the right to make a final decision on any state compensation payments. "

A more differentiated solution was sought for the 40 years of GDR history between 1949 and 1989. This involved expropriations in the state's interest with only minimal compensation, confiscated real estate and assets from GDR refugees, and landowners living in West Germany who bought their properties Foreclosure and foreclosure had also often lost to the state. Opposite the previous owners there were large numbers of bona fide owners of expropriated or compulsory administration properties who had erected a building on it with official approval, often in the form of a garden house-like dacha , which, however, often also served as a permanent apartment when expanded.

“Such a private refuge was the dream of many; and those who were lucky enough to fulfill it spared no effort to make their possessions as beautiful and comfortable as possible. Only those who knew how difficult it was to get building materials in the GDR - often only with connections or for money from the West - could gauge what energy, time and manpower had been put into it. But this world, on which the heart - and a piece of life work - of many little people hung, was now seriously threatened in not a few places by return claims from previous owners. "

In the above-mentioned joint declaration of June 15, 1990, contrary to the interests of the majority on the GDR side as well as on the part of the Western Social Democrats , it was stated that the property should be returned to the former owner or his heirs. This regulation should not apply where land or buildings were subject to commercial or public use, were used in residential or housing construction or had been acquired "honestly" by third parties. Richard Schröder writes in retrospect:

“At first there was great excitement about the principle of return before compensation in the east. Scandalous individual cases of West Germans standing on the doorstep and explaining to the residents without legal basis that the house belonged to them and that they had to move out as soon as possible - others immediately placed their caravan on 'their' property - went through the press like wildfire and mobilized fears of displacement. As a result, the principle of 'return before compensation' was perceived as a preference for West Germans, some of whom had long since forgotten grandma’s houses. Others had always been aware of the loss of their parents' home. But a lot of East Germans also benefited from it. I also got our parents' house back with my siblings. "

In practice, according to Richard Schröder, regulating the property issue has turned out to be very complicated, "because new groups of cases kept popping up and tenants and nature conservation should be taken into account." More old than new owners are likely to have been disappointed by the case law. "Whether you call this rule 'return before compensation with many exceptions' or 'compensation before return with many exceptions' makes little difference."

The Modrow government had taken precautions against the "fear of the sell-off" that was spreading in the GDR by initiating the sale of expropriated real estate on favorable terms by means of a law of March 7, of which the privileged persons of the old SED regime in particular preferred benefited. In the negotiations on the Unification Treaty, the GDR undertook not to sell land with unresolved ownership claims until further notice. Disposals from the time after Honecker's fall on October 18, 1989 should be reviewed, which was also directed against the law of the Modrow government of March 7th. According to Klaus Schroeder , the scheduled review had little effect:

"So were z. B. the houses of the supply facilities of the Council of Ministers (UEM) sold to nomenclature cadres, the conspiratorially used buildings of the MfS to members of the repressive apparatus. How many pieces of land and real estate came into the hands of deserving comrades at low cost and are still there cannot be quantified. The latest ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court, which declared the Modrow decree to be illegal, does not seem to have changed much. "

The Berlin House of Representatives has virtually legalized the former purchases, according to Schroeder; Municipalities would have ensured that the aforementioned transactions would continue to apply in the long term by means of subsequent notarizations and the waiver of the exercise of their right of first refusal. "The bottom line is that the only thing that remains is the realization that the formerly privileged were able to secure their old advantages to a considerable extent after a system change."

Dealing with the Stasi legacy

Among the most controversial fields in the German-German unification process, the legacy of the part Stasi -Apparates (Stasi) whose official resolution as early as the turn of time had been enforced long before the March elections for the new People's Chamber in cooperation of opposition forces rounds at the central table with protesters and citizens' committees all over the GDR.

Still in the process of dissolution and disintegration, quite a few MfS employees managed, since the end of 1989, to divert some of the hidden resources that this apparatus of power had at their disposal for their own further use, including money, land, real estate, technical equipment, etc. a. m. A memorandum from the central finance department of the MfS of December 13, 1989 recommended that the employees should better have sums of money transferred from the Sparkasse to the department, because high cash payments by members of the Office for National Security (AfNS, temporary MfS successor organization under the Modrow government ) were already noticed at civil savings banks.

So the year of the unification process was also one of the old "clans", the elite functionaries of the disintegrating state apparatus, who helped each other to put aside or rededicate what could still be "saved" or what one could get hold of:

"It is about the appropriation of land, dubious reorganization of cooperative and cooperative economic units in private hands, uncontrolled spin-offs from large companies as well as all kinds of asset transfers. Such clusters use the relationships in the administrations that have not yet been renewed, with the legal staff that has not been replaced, they practice Pressure on confessors and previous owners or pay with shares and hush money. "

However, the handling of the extensive written remains of the Stasi was less favorable for the MfS full-time staff and supporters. The energetic action taken by the opposition forces against the Stasi objects had made a decisive contribution to the fact that a large part of the files relating to the GDR-wide spying operations was preserved. What was to happen in the unified Germany was controversial in East and West. Since the MfS had recruited employees not only in the GDR but also in West Germany, there were many people on both sides who were interested in the inaccessibility, if not the destruction of the Stasi files.

In the agreements on the unification treaty, a restrictive approach to this Stasi legacy became apparent. Federal Minister of the Interior Schäuble as the western negotiator took the position that one should judge cautiously, especially as an outsider, where “a large part of the people tried to make the best of their lives for themselves without getting too entangled in personal guilt. In case of doubt, each of us in the West would not have behaved differently if we had had to live in the GDR during those forty years. ”Schäuble pleaded for concentrating on“ the serious cases of real guilt ”. He wanted to put mutual espionage out of pursuit as a "division-related crime". The Stasi files should be placed under the control of the Federal Archives in Koblenz "under the strict supervision of the data protection officer".

GDR negotiator Krause initially agreed to this. On the other hand, the reaction of many members of the People's Chamber was different, to whom the obstruction of the citizens' committee in securing the Stasi material under the Modrow government had seemed to thwart the investigation and favor the perpetrators.

“And after the Volkskammer election the situation did not get better, but worse, as the new Interior Minister Peter-Michael Diestel declared that a citizens' committee was no longer necessary. He quickly blocked their access to the archive and sent the committee members the discharge notices for the end of June 1990. "

From mid-June there was a special committee of the People's Chamber to dissolve the Stasi, chaired by Joachim Gauck. The work of the citizens' committees should continue on a parliamentary basis. "The State Dissolution Committee set up by Modrow, which the de Maizière government had taken over without any problems, tried to escape our control to a large extent, and the Minister of the Interior covered it." The Stasi officers turned out to be a special challenge for Gauck and his colleagues special commitment (OibE). These were covert MfS forces who held security-relevant positions in the economy, police and army and were supposed to secure the survival of the Stasi as a secret reserve in case of emergency. “Although the Stasi’s electronic data carriers with personal information had been destroyed by a decision of the round table in March 1990, we were able to compile a list of almost 2000 OibE. It was not our aim to denounce these people - there were still no regulations on how to deal with the Stasi files - but we absolutely wanted to remove them from their posts. "

From a political perspective, the Stasi committee pursued the goal of sifting through the files and making them accessible for political, legal and historical processing. Immediately a "law on the security and use of personal data of the former MfS / AfNS" was launched and passed almost unanimously in the People's Chamber on August 24, 1990.

The restrictive handling of the Stasi material envisaged for the Unification Treaty and its planned submission to the Federal Archives met with concentrated resistance both inside and outside the People's Chamber. On September 4th, Bärbel Bohley and Wolf Biermann, among others, occupied the former MfS headquarters in East Berlin as a protest and even went on a hunger strike on September 12th. Gauck turned to Krause with the express information that the CDU parliamentary group in the Volkskammer did not agree with the contractually stipulated regulation. The former parliamentary group leader of the Eastern SPD Richard Schröder reminds that many of his group colleagues made their approval of the unification agreement dependent on the western promise that the Stasi files would be accessible. "The commitment came one hour before the decisive meeting of the People's Chamber." The compromise negotiated with Gauck in Bonn on September 18 was to add an additional clause to the Unification Treaty, according to which the Bundestag should pass a law closely following the People's Chamber decision immediately after the unification . Gauck himself was elected on September 28, 1990 in the People's Chamber as the "special commissioner of the federal government for the administration of files and files of the former Ministry for State Security".

When the Stasi Special Committee's report on its work results was due in the last working session of the People's Chamber on September 29, 1990, there was a long and highly emotional argument about whether and in what way the names of members of the Stasi were known should be given. This was vehemently demanded by the parliamentary groups of the SPD and Bündnis 90, but decidedly rejected by CDU representatives. The responsible examination board refused to give names, citing confidentiality. Members of the Alliance 90 / Greens started a sit-in strike in front of the bureau table. After the session was interrupted, the People's Chamber Vice President Reinhard Höppner negotiated a compromise with both sides: The names of the 15 main offenders should be named, but those named should be given the opportunity to explain. However, lists with all 56 accused had already been leaked to the journalists outside the meeting room.

"Those affected protested their innocence or declared, asking for pity, how they got into this situation. Some also defended their activity. These performances were rather embarrassing for the audience. They did not help to establish the truth. Later it turned out that many bad cases had not been named, but some people had been wrongly on the list. "

Turbulent finish

Both copies of the Unification Treaty united in the archive of the Foreign Office in Berlin
Memorial plaque on the house, Unter den Linden 3, in Berlin-Mitte

Even after the introduction of the monetary, economic and social union, which was technically flawless, there was no political stabilization in the GDR. In the summer months of July and August 1990, the grand coalition broke up with the first liberals leaving the cabinet de Maizière, with the dismissal of the ministers for finance, economy and agriculture by the prime minister and with the subsequent departure of all SPD ministers. These signs of disintegration were accompanied by what was perceived as such a drastic rapid decline in the GDR economy that de Maizière visited Chancellor Kohl on August 1 at his vacation spot on Lake Wolfgang , in order to urge him to join the unification date as early as possible and for all-German elections on October 14 : Agriculture in the GDR seemed to be on the verge of collapse, and the pension payments were considered to be no longer affordable - despite the financial aid of 14 billion DM agreed in the First State Treaty. An election date for federal elections before December 2, however, failed due to one necessary two-thirds majority in the Bundestag. However, the earliest possible day after the final two-plus-four conference, October 3, 1990, was set as the unification of the GDR and the Federal Republic.

For the first all-German elections on December 2, 1990, a new electoral law adapted to the changed circumstances was needed. The existing five percent threshold , which decides whether a party is represented or not in the German Bundestag, proved to be problematic . Clear competitive disadvantages for the newly founded parties in the far less populous GDR were to be expected, provided that there had not already been mergers with West German parties. An electoral contract initialed by Schäuble and Krause on August 2, which combined a five percent hurdle for the entire German electoral area with the possibility of list connections (for example from CSU and DSU ), failed in the Volkskammer because of the necessary two-thirds majority. The Federal Constitutional Court finally decided on September 9, 1990 that only a separate five percent threshold clause for the areas of the former GDR and the old Federal Republic was permissible for this first all-German federal election. On October 1, the federal government introduced a corresponding bill to the Bundestag.

The regulation for the protection of unborn life turned out to be a serious complication, which led to a postponement of the initialing of the unification treaty and its possible failure. In the old Federal Republic of Germany there was an indication regulation for abortions at the time, while in the GDR any termination within the time limit regulation was permitted. At least for a transitional period, the GDR side insisted that the deadline regulation should continue to apply in the new federal states. On the German side, the question arose as to whether West German women would be able to have an abortion in the course of the transition period according to the "crime scene principle" in the territory of the new federal states (this favored the ruling party FDP as well as the SPD ) or whether after the "residence principle" favored by the CDU and CSU would continue to apply to all West German pregnant women. The last hour's agreement was based on the “crime scene principle”, albeit with a transition period shortened from five to two years.

The unification treaty initialed by Schäuble and Krause in the Federal Ministry of the Interior in Bonn on August 31, 1990 at 2:08 a.m. after approval by both government cabinets was signed by both on the same day at 1:15 p.m. in East Berlin's Kronprinzenpalais , so that he could go through the legislative procedure in time with a view to the GDR's accession date on October 3, for which the People's Chamber had voted 294 against 62 on August 23, 1990. The almost 1000-page German-German contract was supplemented by an “Agreement on Implementation and Interpretation” on September 18, 1990. The modalities of the accession of the GDR were u. a. regulated as follows:

  • Completion of German unity on October 3, 1990, the future day of German unity ; the five new states of Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia become states of the Federal Republic of Germany;
  • the People's Chamber sends 144 members to the German Bundestag; Plenipotentiaries are sent to the Federal Council (until a government is formed after the first state parliament elections) with an advisory vote;
  • Berlin becomes the capital of Germany (with the restriction: "The question of the seat of parliament and government will be decided after the establishment of German unity");
  • Continued validity of the expropriations carried out during the Soviet occupation;
  • Remaining of the Stasi files in the former GDR territory (i.e. no transfer to the Federal Archives );
  • various legal transitional regulations in the accession area .

In its 36th session, the People's Chamber of the GDR voted for the Unification Treaty on the morning of September 20, 1990 with 299 against 80 votes, on the same day the Bundestag with 442 against 47 votes and the next day the Bundesrat voted unanimously.

Celebrations for the completion of the agreement on October 3, 1990

The unity flag was hoisted for the first time on October 3, 1990, the day of German unity . Since then, it has been blowing uninterruptedly on Republic Square as a memorial to reunification.

The restoration of the national unity of Germany was accompanied nationwide by a large number of festive events and activities, the center of which on October 2 and 3 was the events in the east and west of the now common capital Berlin. The determination of October 3rd as the date of unification and thus the future day of German unity had been made in the People's Chamber.

Farewells after four decades of separated past

As the last day in GDR history, October 2nd was a day of farewells marked by very different emotions, not just at the East Berlin evening event in the concert hall on Gendarmenmarkt, but in the early afternoon when the Berlin Senate met the three western city ​​commanders in the Farewell to the Philharmonic . Their special function as the bearer of supreme power in the western half of the city now came to an end. According to Claus J. Duisberg, they made it clear that it was not easy for them to withdraw from these positions of protecting powers, which were both lucrative for high military officials and which have long been quiet. "I thought I felt a touch of sadness among the Berliners, too, because for them a time was coming to an end when West Berlin had recently lived quite well as a structure supported by Bonn, but otherwise quasi-autonomous."

In a televised address, Federal Chancellor Kohl emphasized the important role played by the Western allies in the unification process, the prerequisites that Gorbachev created for this and the decisive part of the democratic protest movement against the SED regime in the course of the peaceful revolution. Regarding the internal social perspectives in the united Germany, he expressed the expectation that the difficult road ahead would be successfully passed if solidarity and willingness to make sacrifices came to fruition. The economy was never better prepared for reunification than at that point in time. Added to this is the diligence and willingness of the East Germans to perform. "Through our joint efforts, through the policy of the social market economy, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia will have blossomed landscapes in just a few years." The development of mutual understanding of West and East Germans for each other and the overcoming of a way of thinking that continues to divide Germany into “over there” and “over there”.

In the concert hall on Gendarmenmarkt, in addition to the performance of Beethoven's 9th Symphony under Kurt Masur, the outgoing Prime Minister de Maizière gave a speech in which he combined a look back at 40 years of GDR history with a view of a unified Germany. Wall, barbed wire and state security would have degenerated socialism to a club, he quoted Václav Havel . To the applause of the audience, de Maizière extensively paid tribute to the protagonists of the peaceful revolution of autumn 1989. In the future one would have to deal with the hopefully changed conditions of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and social justice, which should be valued higher than the material advantages, which understandably so easily came to the fore after many hardships. The basic law, which is in high regard, is responsible for freedom.

“Freedom is the best promoter of our individual abilities; it is also one of the greatest tests of human character. Realizing it for yourself and at the same time for the common good is a fascinating task for all of us. Not what we were yesterday, but what we want to be together tomorrow, unites us in the state. From tomorrow on there will be a united Germany. We have waited a long time for it, we will shape it together, and we are looking forward to it. "

Unification after midnight

Main celebrations in front of the Reichstag building

Late in the evening of October 2, a huge crowd gathered on the Republic Square in front of the Reichstag building to celebrate the time of unification there. A nationwide church bells discussed in advance on the occasion of German unity did not occur due to resistance in the Evangelical Church ; but on October 3rd at 0:00 a.m. parallel to the hoisting of the federal flag, the ringing of the freedom bell donated by American citizens in 1950 was broadcast from the Schöneberg town hall before Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker announced in front of the microphones:

“Germany's unity is complete. We are aware of our responsibility before God and people. We want to serve world peace in a united Europe. "

Then the German national anthem was sung by a wind choir, and there was also fireworks.

Departure to a new Germany

In church terms, the day of reunification was celebrated in the morning with a central ecumenical service in the St. Mary's Church , which is the oldest still used preaching church in the historic city center of Berlin. Karl Lehmann, chairman of the German Bishops' Conference , spoke on the one hand of the chances and as yet unforeseeable new possibilities of unity, but also pointed out problems: “Many are at a loss and cannot find their way around. What worked right and bad, but was at least familiar, no longer exists, and the promising new is often not yet convincingly there. Many people have been thrown into learning processes that leave them no time. Unemployment threatens many. It is difficult to live with a state that is running out. [...] The weight of a prosperous and successful Federal Republic (see above) can weigh heavily on the other, who has to feel that he has been pushed back into the preschool class again and again. The help of the haves, no matter how well meant, can become unreasonable for those who depend on it. "

Richard von Weizsäcker at the state ceremony for reunification in the Berlin Philharmonic

Again in the Berlin Philharmonic, Federal President von Weizsäcker had scheduled a state act for October 3, 1990 , in which, in addition to himself, Sabine Bergmann-Pohl , President of the GDR People's Chamber, who was the last head of state of the GDR, Rita Süssmuth , President of the Bundestag, and Walter Momper gave speeches as the Governing Mayor of Berlin. In his address, like de Maizière on the previous evening, von Weizsäcker emphasized that the unification of Germany should be seen as part of a pan-European historical process aimed at a new peace order for the continent. The Germans wanted to serve this goal; their unity was dedicated to it. “We now have a state that we ourselves no longer see as provisional and whose identity and integrity are no longer contested by our neighbors. Today the united German nation finds its recognized place in Europe. "

For the process of internal unification that has just begun, the Federal President demanded above all mutual respect. It is the systems that produce varying degrees of success, not the people. Every life has its meaning and its own dignity. “No part of life is free, especially not one in need.” The Germans in the GDR are now exposed to a process of conversion that brings “often superhuman demands” with it. Even among those who welcomed the fall of the SED regime and the freedom it had gained, there were people who were reluctant to “replace almost all elements of their own life overnight with something new and unknown”.

With regard to the inheritance of the Stasi, too, von Weizsäcker turned against simply shaking off the past. To put on a cloak of oblivion over them, he called humanly unreasonable and legally unbearable. “Law and order take their course. When dealing with files, the necessary data protection must not be used to protect offenders. But nobody will fail to recognize the doubtfulness of the means of education. In a system that cannot do without lies, files can also lie. ”In addition, however, there is a political-ethical responsibility without the possibility of punishment:“ Guilt goes further than criminal liability. ”The goal, however, is justice that is not about retribution, but about reconciliation and inner peace.

Against the "in the marketing language of contemporary political communication" widespread notion that nothing should be taken from anyone in the course of the unification process and that it was only a matter of distributing growth, the Federal President pointed out that this would only postpone the necessary sharing into the future would, for some, outside of their own life expectancy. But there is no getting around the realization: “To unite means to learn to share. German unity will not be financed with high-yield bonds alone. "

First day newspaper of the Deutsche Bundespost on the first all-German participation in the Olympics since 1960

At the end of his address, von Weizsäcker expressed the conviction that the human success of unity does not depend crucially on government contracts, the constitution or legislation, but on the willingness to be open and caring for people. In Ernest Renan's sense, it is the “plebiscite of every day” from which “the character of our community” will emerge. “We can combine the established constitutional patriotism on the one hand with the human solidarity on the other to form a powerful whole. We know how much more difficult it is for other races on earth at the moment. We have a common will to accomplish the great tasks that our neighbors expect of us. History gives us the chance. We want to perceive it with confidence and trust. "

The next day, for the first time since 1932, an all-German parliament met in the Reichstag building. According to the Unification Treaty, the Bundestag now also had 144 members elected by the People's Chamber. Five members of the former de Maizière government were appointed and sworn in as the new Federal Minister for Special Tasks , including the last Prime Minister of the GDR himself.


See also


Web links

Commons : German Reunification  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. See Kurt Sontheimer / Wilhelm Bleek / Andrea Gawrich : Basic features of the political system in Germany. Munich 2007, p. 91.
  2. See the full official title of the Unification Treaty or about Section 26a BauNVO .
  3. ^ Recording of the press conference on GDR travel regulations on November 9, 1989. Youtube video.
  4. ^ Heinrich August Winkler: The long way to the west. Second volume: German history from the “Third Reich” to reunification. Fifth, reviewed edition, Munich 2002, p. 447 f.
  5. Hans J. Reichhardt (Ed.): The emergence of the constitution of Berlin. A documentation. On behalf of the President of the Berlin House of Representatives. Vol. II, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1990, online p. 2028 .
  6. Werner Weidenfeld , Karl-Rudolf Korte : Handbook on German Unity 1949–1989–1999. Campus, Frankfurt am Main / New York 1999, pp. 286 f., 408.
  7. Damian van Meli: " Flight from the Republic". Flight and emigration from the Soviet occupation zone / GDR 1945 to 1961. Oldenbourg, Munich 2006, p. 36.
  8. Letter on German unity.
  9. Quoted from Heinrich August Winkler: The long way to the west . Second volume: German history from the “Third Reich” to reunification. Fifth, reviewed edition, Munich 2002, p. 487 f.
  10. ^ Manfred Görtemaker : History of the Federal Republic of Germany. From the foundation to the present. CH Beck, Munich 1999, p. 725.
  11. Otmar Lahodynsky: Pan-European Picnic: The dress rehearsal for the fall of the wall. In: Profile from August 9, 2014.
  12. Andreas Rödder : Germany united fatherland - the history of reunification. 2009, p. 73 ff.
  13. ^ Heinrich August Winkler: The long way to the west. Second volume: German history from the “Third Reich” to reunification. Fifth, revised edition, Munich 2002, p. 513.
  14. Reunification not on the agenda. In: Berliner Zeitung, November 13, 1989.
  15. ^ The GDR is and will remain socialist. In: Berliner Zeitung, November 20, 1989.
  16. Claus J. Duisberg describes the situation at the turn of the year 1989/1990: “The government increasingly lost authority, subordinate bodies ignored their orders and proceeded as they saw fit. In addition, there were acts of revenge against former officials. Even in the tightly managed armed forces, discipline was loosening; Soldiers, including officers, no longer appeared on duty and even applied to the Bundeswehr. "(Claus J. Duisberg 2005, p. 127)
  17. ^ Joachim Gauck: Winter in Summer - Spring in Autumn. Memories. Munich 2009, pp. 228, 231.
  18. ^ Joachim Gauck: Winter in Summer - Spring in Autumn. Memories. Munich 2009, p. 235.
  19. Gregor Gysi: That's it. Far from it! Autobiographical Notes. Düsseldorf 1995, p. 168: “I went forward and commented on the process. The PDS would now find itself in a unique historical situation. Whenever the SPD and CDU voted against each other, we could decide who we wanted to discredit. "
  20. Lothar de Maizière 1996, pp. 65, 70.
  21. Lothar de Maizière 1996, p. 97 f.
  22. The SPD parliamentary group chairman in the People's Chamber Richard Schröder notes: “When the eastern SPD parliamentary group - against the resistance of the party executive - joined the grand coalition, an ice age broke out among the friendly members of the Bündnis 90 / Greens parliamentary group. They had warmly invited us beforehand to join the opposition as if we were still living in the GDR. ”(Richard Schröder 2007, p. 163)
  23. Wolfgang Schäuble 1991, p. 20.
  24. Klaus Schroeder 2000, p. 116.
  25. Klaus Schroeder 2000, p. 117.
  26. Richard Schröder 2007, p. 114.
  27. ^ Heinrich August Winkler: The long way to the west. Second volume: German history from the “Third Reich” to reunification. Fifth, revised edition, Munich 2002, p. 527.
  28. Stefan Reinecke: 30 years of the fall of the Berlin Wall: intellectual allotment gardening . In: taz . November 2, 2019, ISSN  0931-9085 ( [accessed November 3, 2019]).
  29. Wolfgang Schäuble 1991, pp. 72-78. Schäuble finally found his course confirmed in the following: “On Friday, June 29, 1990, the last day on which there was still a procedure for registering emigrants in the Federal Republic of Germany, 14 emigrants were still registered. For comparison: in the period up to March 18, weekly more than 15,000. "(Ibid., P. 78)
  30. Richard Schröder 2007, p. 115.
  31. Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 209.
  32. Gerhard A. Ritter 2006, p. 263.
  33. Andreas Rödder 2009, pp. 210, 225.
  34. Claus J. Duisberg 2005, pp. 191, 193.
  35. ^ Heinrich August Winkler: The long way to the west. Second volume: German history from the “Third Reich” to reunification. Fifth, revised edition, Munich 2002, p. 568.
  36. "However, this original trust was not up to its task and was partly staffed with questionable staff. If they had been able to act, the so-called national wealth would have been given to SED comrades, just as the SED tried trickily with its wealth (4 billion East German marks ). "(Richard Schröder 2007, p. 125)
  37. Claus J. Duisberg 2005, p. 214.
  38. Richard Schröder 2007, p. 130 (with reference to Wolfram Fischer, Herbert Hax and Hans Karl Schneider (eds.): Treuhandanstalt. Daring to the impossible. Research reports. Berlin 1993, p. 138); Klaus Schroeder 2000, p. 143.
  39. Andreas Rödder 2009, pp. 304, 306.
  40. Gerhard A. Ritter 2006, p. 165 f.
  41. Richard Schröder 2007, p. 18.
  42. Klaus Schroeder 2000, p. 128.
  43. Richard Schröder 2007, p. 117, with reference to Wolfgang Herles: We are not a people. A polemic. Munich 2004.
  44. a b Claus J. Duisberg 2005, p. 194.
  45. Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 302; Gerhard A. Ritter 2006, p. 202 f.
  46. Gerhard A. Ritter 2006, p. 13 f.
  47. Lothar de Maizière 1996, p. 153 f.
  48. Gerhard A. Ritter 2006, p. 170 f.
  49. Gerhard A. Ritter 2006, p. 189 f .; Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 186 f.
  50. Gerhard A. Ritter 2006, p. 168 f.
  51. Horst Teltschik 1991, pp. 140, 155; Claus J. Duisberg 2005, pp. 144-146.
  52. Claus J. Duisberg 2005, p. 141 f .; Heinrich August Winkler: The long way to the west. Second volume: German history from the “Third Reich” to reunification. Fifth, reviewed edition, Munich 2002, p. 449 f.
  53. Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 228 f .; Gerhard A. Ritter 2006, p. 44 f.
  54. Quotations from Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 45 f.
  56. Richard Schröder 2007, p. 15.
  57. Horst Teltschik 1991, pp. 159-161.
  58. Historical deal: Mitterrand demanded euros in return for the unit , Spiegel Online , September 25, 2010, accessed on July 10, 2011. See also Andreas Rödder (2014): Wunschkind Euro (FASZ January 12, 2014 p. 25)
  59. Gerhard A. Ritter 2006, p. 58.
  60. Gerhard A. Ritter 2006, p. 61.
  61. The Washington Post ; quoted n. Heinrich August Winkler: The long way to the west. Second volume: German history from the “Third Reich” to reunification. Fifth, reviewed edition, Munich 2002, p. 551. While still in Camp David on February 24th, Kohl “to the horror of Bush raised the question of whether a united Germany, like France, could not be a member of the alliance without belonging to its military organization. "(Ibid.)
  62. Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 245 f.
  63. Horst Teltschik 1991, p. 239.
  64. ^ Quotations from Andreas Rödder 2009, pp. 231, 248.
  65. ^ Heinrich August Winkler: The long way to the west. Second volume: German history from the “Third Reich” to reunification. Fifth, revised edition, Munich 2002, p. 581.
  66. Werner Weidenfeld, Karl-Rudolf Korte: Handbook on German Unity 1949–1989–1999 , Campus, Frankfurt am Main / New York 1999, p. 297.
  67. Hans-Ulrich Wehler , German history of society, vol. 5: Federal Republic and GDR 1949–1990 , CH Beck, Munich 2008, p. 334.
  68. Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 236 f .; Heinrich August Winkler: The long way to the west. Second volume: German history from the “Third Reich” to reunification. Fifth, revised edition, Munich 2002, p. 552.
  69. Horst Teltschik notes under the date March 6, 1990: “From my point of view, the Union has crossed the Rubicon for the final recognition of the Polish western border. The Chancellor comes back from the meeting in a good mood. He feels like a winner. After he became massive, he prevailed. That is necessary from time to time. I consider the whole thing to be an enormous waste of energy. "(Horst Teltschik 1991, p. 168)
  70. Horst Teltschik 1991, pp. 171, 253 f.
  71. Stenographic Report, p. 17144
  72. Stenographic Report, p. 17145
  73. Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 244.
  74. Horst Teltschik 1991, p. 286.
  75. Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 230: “Even after agreeing to German reunification in February 1990, the Soviet leadership was still able to act as a veto player. She held a trump card in her hand with the alliance question, because the West had set itself an extraordinarily high negotiating goal with the all-German membership in NATO. This gave Moscow the opportunity to either buy expensive concessions or to block the entire process. "
  76. Gerhard A. Ritter 2006, p. 62.
  77. Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 250; Horst Teltschik 1991, p. 100 f. The delivery should contain 120,000 tons of meat.
  78. Horst Teltschik 1991, p. 204.
  79. Horst Teltschik 1991, pp. 221, 230-234, 243; Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 250 f.
  80. Lothar de Maizière 1996, p. 80.
  81. ^ Heinrich August Winkler: The long way to the west. Second volume: German history from the “Third Reich” to reunification. Fifth, reviewed edition, Munich 2002, p. 586 f.
  82. The behavior of the West was later perceived on the Russian side in all political camps as a breach of treaty. Cf. Uwe Klußmann, Matthias Schepp, Klaus Wiegrefe : Absurd imagination . In: Der Spiegel . No. 48 , 2009, p. 46-49 ( Online - Nov. 23, 2009 ).
  83. Horst Teltschik 1991, p. 294; Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 255.
  84. Horst Teltschik 1991, p. 338.
  85. "Neither the Supreme Soviet or the government, neither the Defense or Presidential Council, nor the Federation Council, not to mention the Politburo or the Secretariat of the Central Committee, Gorbachev had received power for the decisions he made," says Valentin Falin (quoted in . n. Heinrich August Winkler: The long way to the west. Second volume: German history from the "Third Reich" to reunification. Fifth, reviewed edition, Munich 2002, p. 588).
  86. Gerhard A. Ritter 2006, p. 56.
  87. Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 260 f.
  88. “That phone call was really dramatic. Gorbachev tried surprisingly hard to exert pressure to get the Chancellor to make further financial concessions. He was visibly disappointed with the offer of eight billion DM. But this also made it clear that the financial package for Gorbachev is a central component of the overall result that he wants and probably has to show at home. I am sure that our offer cannot be the last word. "(Horst Teltschik 1991, p. 360)
  89. Horst Teltschik: “This ends a very difficult conversation that was only successful in the end because the financial offer was increased. Fortunately, the Ministry of Finance had prepared this additional proposal and submitted it to the Federal Chancellor in good time. The responsible State Secretary Horst Köhler is not only an outstanding expert, but also a top civil servant who thinks politically. ”(Horst Teltschik 1991, p. 362 f.); Andreas Rödder comments: "The fact that the German performance was beyond what the Ministry of Finance has put as the limit of German solvency was in a way just a foretaste: The unification of Germany should require completely different amounts of money in the future." (Andreas Rödder 2009, P. 262)
  90. Horst Teltschik 1991, p. 346.
  91. ^ Announcement of the Allies' "declaration of suspension" on their rights of reservation ( memento of June 11, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) of October 2, 1990
  92. Gerhard A. Ritter 2006, p. 49.
  93. Claus J. Duisberg confirms Krause: “It was obvious that he was the engine of the unification policy, which he also had the personal ambition to bring to a successful conclusion. [...] In negotiations he was wide awake and quick to react, very precise and determined in what he wanted [...] ”(Claus J. Duisberg 2005, p. 243). Schäuble paid great tribute to his partner when negotiating the contract: “With the unbelievable number of topics, he never lost sight of the essentials. Even the most complicated legal contract problems could not shake him. His professional competence also justified a considerable self-confidence, which enabled him to meet his unbelievable wealth of responsibilities in 1990. "(Schäuble 1991, p. 142) From initial difficulties with the not always considerate West German humor towards the - sometimes disparagingly as" amateurs Richard Schröder reports “apostrophized - East German politicians after the reunification. When he met Gerhard Schröder for the first time in 1990 on the SPD executive committee, he greeted him with the words: "I'll ask Austria whether they'll take you under Article 23." (Richard Schröder 2007, p. 161; to the "Laienspielschar" Reinhard Höppner : Miracles have to be tried out. The road to German unity. Berlin 2009, p. 108) Gerhard Schröder denies this representation, Richard Schröder , Der Spiegel from February 26, 2007.
  94. Wording of the old version of Art. 23 GG valid until 1990: “This Basic Law initially applies in the area of ​​the states of Baden, Bavaria, Bremen, Greater Berlin, Hamburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein , Württemberg-Baden and Württemberg-Hohenzollern. In other parts of Germany it is to be put into effect after their accession. "
  95. Wording of the old version of Art. 146 GG valid until 1990: "This Basic Law loses its validity on the day on which a constitution comes into force that has been freely decided by the German people."
  96. Helmut Quaritsch : The people's right to self-determination as the basis of German unity. In: Josef Isensee and Paul Kirchhof (eds.): Handbook of the constitutional law of the Federal Republic of Germany. Volume XI: International Relations . CF Müller, Heidelberg 2013, p. 136 f., Rn. 38.
  97. Cf. Ursula Münch : 1990: Basic Law or New Constitution? , Federal Agency for Civic Education , September 1, 2008.
  98. Wolfgang Schäuble 1991, p. 54. “But nothing of our preparations was allowed to leak out. Otherwise there would have been a public storm. We would have been accused: You are already preparing the connection, although those over there have not even voted in the first free election on their new People's Chamber. That was our risk. But I preferred to take this risk than to be left empty-handed in the worst-case scenario. "(Ibid. P. 151)
  99. Claus J. Duisberg 2005, p. 222 f .; Claus J. Duisberg, at that time head of the German policy working group in the Federal Chancellery and won over by Schäuble during the preparatory work for the unification agreement for the Ministry of the Interior (ibid. P. 219), emphasizes that the problem of spontaneous accession persisted and points out that some Parts of the GDR, i.e. districts or districts, could spontaneously have declared their accession: “According to the wording of Article 23, the Basic Law should have come into force there immediately, which would have raised a number of problems. The competence of the organs which had made such a declaration would certainly have been highly doubtful; the political unpleasantness of the situation would not have diminished, but rather increased. ”(ibid. p. 222).
  100. Wolfgang Schäuble 1991, p. 135. “I have always insisted on the principle that it is now about unity and not about changing something for the Federal Republic on this occasion.” (Ibid. P. 156) So too The opinion of Richard Schröder, the chairman of the Eastern SPD parliamentary group in the Volkskammer at the time, for whom it was and still is an alien demand, "on the occasion of German reunification in 1990, not only the East but also the West should be turned inside out." (Richard Schröder 2007 , P. 34)
  101. Law on the further democratization of the structure and functioning of state organs in the countries of the German Democratic Republic. Publication in
  102. See Scientific Services of the German Bundestag (ed.): The countries in the GDR. Materials No. 110 May 1990.
  103. ^ Wording of the version of the Land Introduction Act as amended on September 13, 1990. Publication on , accessed on December 10, 2012.
  104. Annex II, Chapter II, Section II of the Unification Agreement
  105. Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 335: “According to Article 1 of the Unification Treaty, the GDR was replaced on October 3rd in a 'legal second' by its newly formed states, which came under the scope of the Basic Law. Thus, on the day of German unification, the countries were already legally existent, but not yet capable of acting. With the state elections on October 14, 1990, they got parliaments that also functioned as state constituent assemblies. "
  106. North Rhine-Westphalia cooperated with Brandenburg; Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and Bremen were responsible for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania; Saxony was supported by Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, Saxony-Anhalt by Lower Saxony and Thuringia by Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate (Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 336).
  107. "Here the path had already been taken to finance the unit primarily at the expense of the federal government." (Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 338)
  108. "A formulation that would have stipulated an obligation for the approval of the federal government would not have been accepted by the Bundestag and would have meant the end for Berlin; the opposite would have failed in the Bundesrat. "(Wolfgang Schäuble 1991, p. 216)
  109. Urban renewal Berlin; Experiences, examples, perspectives; SenBauWohn, 1990 ( Memento from February 6, 2013 in the Internet Archive ).
  110. Iris Spielmann: Focal points of future urban renewal in Berlin and the region in: Various authors: Urban renewal Berlin. Ed .: Senate Department for Building and Housing, Berlin 1990, p. 86.
  111. Both quotations: Borgelt, This, Keckstein: The 25-million program in: Urban renewal Berlin , 1990, p. 101 f. Also: experiences, examples, perspectives , SenBauWohn, 1990.
  112. Wolfgang Schäuble 1991, p. 151 f.
  113. ^ Gerhard A. Ritter 2006, p. 242 f .; Wolfgang Schäuble 1991, p. 152 ff. "The construction of the Federal Republic in the fifties and sixties was only possible because the leeway at that time was greater in an even less delicately spun legal costume." (Ibid. P. 153)
  114. Gerhard A. Ritter 2006, p. 243.
  115. Richard Schröder 2007, p. 151.
  116. Claus J. Duisberg 2005, p. 273: “Krause was also aware that considerable cuts would be necessary here and that the main aim was to find socially acceptable forms. For the federal administration, however, he strived for a strong mix-up and sought to derive a far-reaching obligation to take over, including quotas , from Article 36 of the Basic Law, and in this context also particularly criticized the well-known negative attitude of the Foreign Office against the takeover of GDR personnel. "
  117. Claus J. Duisberg 2005, p. 273; Wolfgang Schäuble 1991, p. 199 f.
  118. Wolfgang Schäuble 1991, p. 201: “It makes sense that most of my colleagues supported this idea. In this way the defense minister would have got rid of his problem with the National People's Army and the finance minister would have got rid of his duty of care for customs officers. There was a heated argument. "
  119. Wolfgang Schäuble 1991, pp. 201-203; In summary: “We have created the conditions for a reasonably socially acceptable downsizing. Even if many, probably even most of the roughly two million employees in the public administrations of the former GDR belonged to the SED, they must still have a fair chance of finding themselves in the process of German unity. They too belong to the united Germany, and we want to give them a chance for a better future too. [...] Each case must be decided for itself. There is no automatic mechanism for layoffs. I have defended this principle from the beginning and I am glad that we kept it up. "(Ibid. P. 203 f.)
  120. Richard Schröder 2007, p. 154.
  121. Richard Schröder 2007, p. 152 f. With regard to the layoffs and personnel changes in the higher education sector, Schröder points out that research in the GDR was concentrated in academies, where there were “a considerable number of reputable specialists”, while this was the case with teaching staff at universities, regardless of the special course of study Marxist-Leninist basic canon was part of the compulsory workload and research did not play a major role, "was the case much less often."
  122. Claus J. Duisberg 2005, p. 199.
  123. Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 326.
  124. Richard Schröder 2007, p. 147. In the aftermath, Andreas Rödder considers the Soviet position to be less decisive: “Not to reverse the land reform from the time before 1949 in reunified Germany was obviously a Soviet petitum - but not a real causa major and certainly not a sine qua non . The question was obviously not even discussed at the highest level in Moscow and was represented much less resolutely than the question of membership in an alliance, in which Bonn overcame much greater resistance. "(Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 329)
  125. Quoted from Wolfgang Schäuble 1991, p. 104.
  126. Quoted from Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 328.
  127. Claus J. Duisberg 2005, p. 198. “Houses that belonged to West Germans were placed under state administration (without changes in the land register), but often encumbered with forced mortgages and, in the event of 'overindebtedness', also transferred to public property, i.e. expropriated. Some have handed over their apartment building to the state without compensation because they could not afford the maintenance costs. "(Richard Schröder 2007, p. 137)
  128. Claus J. Duisberg 2005, p. 205.
  129. Quoted from Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 327. Richard Schröder emphasizes: “The de Maizière government has decided that 'the honest acquisition' ('honest' means: according to the then applicable provisions, without corruption) of such expropriated land is protected, that there is no return to the previous owner, but compensation. That still applies today. A second important exception was decided in the People's Chamber: In the case of investment projects, the previous owner should only be compensated so as not to hinder them. The third exception: land expropriated by German Jews by the Nazis was to be returned. The GDR hadn't done that. "(Richard Schröder 2007, p. 137)
  130. Richard Schröder 2007, p. 139.
  131. Richard Schröder 2007, p. 140.
  132. Andreas Rödder 2009, p. 325 f. "The fact that the interior minister of the de Maizière government also bought a villa at a preferential price throws a single spotlight on a connection between personal enrichment and another form of 'sell-out' in the declining GDR, largely beyond the view of the public and academia." ( Andreas Rödder ibid. P. 326)
  133. Klaus Schroeder 2001, pp. 153, 161.
  134. Klaus Schroeder 2006, p. 163.
  135. Neubert 2008, p. 399.
  136. Wolfgang Schäuble 1991, pp. 267–269, 274. Schäuble, who, according to his own admission, has also thought about the unseen complete destruction of the Stasi files, invokes a misunderstanding on the part of the public with regard to the responsibility of the Federal Archives: “The files would not have been Koblenz are to be outsourced. The Federal Archives would have locked up the files after unification within the former GDR area, collected from the districts in Berlin, in order to make the control more secure. Abuse would have been excluded. "(Ibid. P. 274)
  137. ^ Joachim Gauck: Winter in Summer - Spring in Autumn. Memories. Munich 2009, p. 238.
  138. ^ Joachim Gauck: Winter in Summer - Spring in Autumn. Memories. Munich 2009, p. 238 f.
  139. ^ Joachim Gauck: Winter in Summer - Spring in Autumn. Memories. Munich 2009, p. 239 f. The best- known name among the OibE was Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski , who had fled to the West in December 1989.
  140. Richard Schröder 2007, p. 155.
  141. ^ Joachim Gauck: Winter in Summer - Spring in Autumn. Memories. Munich 2009, p. 244 f.
  142. Reinhard Höppner: You have to try miracles. The way to German unity. Berlin 2009, p. 134 f. Almost two decades later, Höppner sums up: “We have not been able to deal adequately with the legacy of the State Security Service and its accomplices. In view of the nervousness that prevailed during the last days of the GDR, one could hardly expect that the People's Chamber would set a good example of how to deal with our past. ”(Ibid. P. 135)
  143. Wolfgang Schäuble 1991, p. 158; Heinrich August Winkler: The long way to the west. Second volume: German history from the “Third Reich” to reunification. Fifth, reviewed edition, Munich 2002, p. 591 ff.
  144. In order to achieve entry into the Bundestag with a five percent threshold clause that is uniform for the entire German electoral area without additional votes from the old federal states , parties in GDR territory alone should have received 22.39% of the votes. The PDS was the relatively strongest among them, with 16.4% in the March election to the People's Chamber. (Wolfgang Schäuble 1991, p. 85 f.)
  145. ^ Heinrich August Winkler: The long way to the west. Second volume: German history from the “Third Reich” to reunification. Fifth, revised edition, Munich 2002, p. 599.
  146. 30th meeting of the 10th People's Chamber of the GDR: People's Chamber decision on the accession of the GDR to the Federal Republic, followed by a personal declaration by Gregor Gysis (PDS) (5'11 ″)
  147. Wolfgang Schäuble 1991, p. 230 ff., 309.
  148. Agreement on the Unification Treaty of August 31, 1990, September 18, 1990 , source: Bulletin of the Press and Information Office of the Federal Government No. 112, September 20, 1990.
  149. 36th meeting of the 10th People's Chamber of the GDR: Vote on the Unification Treaty (1'16 ″)
  150. Wolfgang Schäuble 1991, p. 311.
  151. Claus J. Duisberg 2005, p. 303.
  152. 20 Years of German Unity - Government documents and declarations from the years 1989 to 1991. ( Memento from June 5, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Written version of the televised address by Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl on October 2, 1990, accessed on October 3, 2015.
  153. Written version of the television broadcast from the Konzerthaus Berlin: Address by Prime Minister de Maizière on October 2, 1990.
  154. ^ Neubert 2008, p. 437.
  155. ^ A b Heinrich August Winkler: The long way to the west. Second volume: German history from the “Third Reich” to reunification. Fifth, revised edition, Munich 2002, p. 601.
  156. ^ Karl Cardinal Lehmann : Catholic Church in United Germany. Comments on the unification process ( memento of July 18, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 174 kB). Opening speech at the meeting of the Commission for Contemporary History on October 23, 2009 in Erfurt, p. 18.
  157. 20 Years of German Unity - Government documents and declarations from the years 1989 to 1991. ( Memento from June 5, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Address by the Federal President on the Day of German Unity, State Act in Berlin on October 3, 1990, accessed on October 3 2015.