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There were a few components that led to the unification of the GDR and the Federal Republic Most of them began in 1989 In the summer of that year thousands of East German vacationers in Hungary Czechoslovakia and other eastern bloc states escaped through holes in the iron curtain or pushed into West German embassies to demand free entry into their country On September 10th Hungary opened its borders to Austria and 50000 East Germans fled to the west In the next 5 months over 100000 more fled Millions demonstrated in Leipzig Dresden and East Berlin Gorbachov refused to involve the Soviet Union Between October and December the SED party had lost nearly one million members and Honecker was forced to resign On November 9th East German police unlocked checkpoints along the Berlin Wall and lacking any other orders allowed anyone through In May 1990 President Gorbachav announced that a united Germany would be free to join any alliance it wanted Official Unification took place on October 3 1990 West and East approved a unification treaty along with their four allied The GDR ceased to exist by acceding to the Federal Republic and splitting into 5 new states West Germany had taken over the electoral process in the East before official unification in what was the easts first free election in March 1990 They defined the issues of unification and worked out strategies with their East German party allies Civil Servants were sent to the east once officials were elected to help them build new governments and teach them how to govern democratically East German teachers were also retrained Many of them were fired or forced into early retirement because of their affiliation with the Communist party before unification To merge the west and east economically the West German Deutsche Mark became the sole currency for both states The two major issues under debate with unification were deciding what to do with the
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