The ‘peaceful revolution’ in East Germany — epitomised by the opening of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 — set in train the process of merging the two German states: on 3 October 1990, less than a year later, the Länder of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) formally acceded to the Federal Republic, as provided by Article 23 of the Basic Law. Compressed into these few months were, first, the supplanting of the communist regime in East Germany and its replacement by a democratically-elected government and, second, the complex task of settling all the constitutional and other arrangements both internationally and internally that were necessary to bring the two states and two societies together (see pp. 30–3 for the chronology of unification).
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