April 5, 1990 |
East German deputies got their first taste of parliamentary democracy today as they designated the country's first non-communist prime minister and asked him to form a government. They also voted in a Christian-Democratic Union Party member as Speaker at the inaugural session of the country's first freely elected assembly. Shortly after the opening ceremony, deputies elected Dr. Sabine Bergmann-Pohl as president of the Parliament.
September 25, 1990 |
East Germany, discarding two of the Communists' most cherished symbols just nine days before reunification, left the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact on Monday and bade farewell to foreign ambassadors. Disarmament and Defense Minister Rainer Eppelmann, a pacifist pastor, signed the historic agreement to quit the pact with the alliance's supreme commander, Soviet Gen. Pyotr Lushev.
April 12, 1990 |
After four decades of denying a dark past, East Germany today apologized to Israel and all Jews for the Nazi Holocaust and accepted joint responsibility for the slaughter of 6 million Jews during World War II. "East Germany's first freely elected Parliament admits joint responsibility on behalf of the people for the humiliation, expulsion and murder of Jewish women, men and children," said a statement read by Speaker Sabine Bergmann Pohl to a televised session of Parliament.
August 23, 1990 |
After weeks of bitter infighting, the East German Parliament early today set Oct. 3 as the date for German political unity. The vote fixing the exact timing of unification appeared to remove the most problematic of the stumbling blocks remaining in a process that will re-join a Germany divided for 45 years. "This is a truly historical event," Parliament President Sabine Bergmann-Pohl said after the conclusion of the session.
September 13, 1990 |
Ronald Reagan took a chisel to a remnant of the Berlin Wall on Wednesday and strolled into formerly Communist East Berlin on a visit heavy with symbolism, drawing tears and shouts of "Thank you!" for his role in liberating the East. The former President and his wife, Nancy, were cheered by thousands as they traced the scarred path left by the wall, a hated symbol of East-West confrontation that is fast disappearing as Germany reunites and Europe recovers from 40 years of division.
October 3, 1990 |
When East German head of state Sabine Bergmann Pohl gathered ambassadors to her presidential quarters last week for a toast to German unity, the celebration was tinged with a note of apology. The envoys, all 74 of them, had been put out of a job by the very event they had been called together to cheer. Joining them in joblessness will be 2,000 East German diplomats, made redundant by the reunification taking effect today.