March 19, 1990 |
If there was any one symbol for East Germans as they voted in their first free elections, it was the flag. Freedom, hope, peace--the simple banner seemed to somehow capture the complex feelings that have overwhelmed these people since the Berlin Wall cracked last Nov. 9. On Sunday, the flag was everywhere. It brightened the sooty windows of high-rises in Karl-Marx-Stadt. It waved in front of decrepit, cold-water flats in East Berlin.
January 1, 1990 |
Thousands of East and West Germans clambered over the Berlin Wall on Sunday in wild New Year's celebrations marking the new political freedom in East Germany. Fireworks exploded and champagne corks popped. Hundreds of souvenir hunters with hammers and chisels chipped away at the 28-year-old symbol of the Cold War that was finally opened in November.
October 4, 1989 |
About 11,000 East Germans, in hurried flight from their homeland, were set Tuesday night to board trains for a new life in West Germany. But the special trains, to come from East Germany, did not arrive in Prague, and the crowds faced another night in the streets and encamped in the muddy backyard of the West German Embassy here.
July 1, 1990 |
Barely five months after the first political decision was made, the two Germanys today implemented a monetary union, marking the first giant step toward full unification. The currency union constitutes one of the most significant, unusual economic experiments of the post-World War II era. Literally overnight, it made the West German deutschemark, one of the West's premier currencies, the currency of the centrally planned, former Communist country, East Germany.
January 2, 1990 |
The wild New Year's celebrations at the Berlin Wall turned sour when a giant video screen collapsed onto a crowd early Monday morning, injuring more than 100 people. Police also said they found a 24-year-old West German dead along East Berlin's Unter den Linden avenue, but his death did not appear to be connected with the collapse. A total of 300 people were injured in holiday revelry, 80 of them taken to hospitals in East and West Berlin with cuts, broken bones and head wounds, police said.
July 2, 1990 |
All borders disappeared between the two Germanys and a single Berlin re-emerged Sunday as the curtain rose on the final act of unification. Hundreds of thousands of East Germans lined up at banks to withdraw their first fistfuls of deutschemarks after the state treaty merging the two nation's economic, social and monetary systems went into effect at the stroke of midnight.