The Fall of the Wall
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Thursday, 8. February 1990


At the urging of the Round Table, the government decides to form a state »Committee for the Dismantling of the Former Office of National Security« to manage the practical task of dismantling the Stasi as a central depository. The Round Table's working group on security announces that the Stasi recorded data on six million East German citizens. The many files will be placed in district depots under the supervision of citizens' committees.

U.S. Secretary of State James Baker proposes major troop reductions in Central Europe if the Soviet Union reciprocates by agreeing to German unification; he says the modalities would be negotiated among the four World War II occupying powers and the two German states.

British Prime Margaret Thatcher Thatcher acknowledges for the first time that the forthcoming elections in East Germany »will probably lead to the reunification of Germany.« Speaking in the House of Commons in London, she calls for discussions as soon as possible of the necessary effects on NATO.

Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, sees reunification of the two Germanies as unavoidable. Speaking in the Knesset in Jerusalem, he expresses the Israeli government's hopes that reunification will not once again bring forth a »murderous German nationalism.«

The chairman of the far right »Republikaner«, Franz Schönhuber, is once again denied permission to enter East Germany. Border guards stop him at the Berlin crossing point Checkpoint Charlie with the words, »You are an undesirable person in East Germany.«

Rudolf Stadermann, President of the East German Association of Entrepreneurs, announces East German plans to return 10,000 to 15,000
nationalized enterprises to their rightful owners over the next six
months, in hopes of thus boosting the economy. The largely middle-sized enterprises were taken over by the state in 1972 in return for a small, mainly symbolic compensation.

Prime Minister Modrow informs his cabinet that he has not yet been officially informed of Bonn's latest decisions regarding a monetary union, and that he only knows what the media has reported. With the new cabinet members from opposition parties and groups, he discusses the introduction of unemployment benefits and an early retirement law to deal with rising unemployment.