Events of 1989 leading to the opening of the Berlin Wall:

August 19: 700 East German refugees cross the recently opened border between Hungary and Austria.

October 4: Mass anti-government demonstrations are held in the East German cities of Leipzig, Dresden and East Berlin.

October 7: East Germany celebrates its 40th anniversary, with ceremonies attended by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who urges liberal reforms.

October 18: East German leader Erich Hoenecker is forced to resign from his posts.

October 23: The "Monday Demonstrations" begin in Leipzig, with the slogan "Wir sind das Volk" ("We are the people").

November 4: 500,000 people attend an anti-government demonstration in East Berlin's Alexanderplatz.

November 7 and 8: East German government and Politburo leaders resign.

November 9: During an evening news conference, a government spokesman announces that East German citizens are now free to travel without restriction. Crowds of East Berliners arrive at the Wall and cross into West Berlin.

March 18, 1990: East Germany holds its first democratic and free elections.

October 3, 1990: East and West Germany are reunited as the Federal Republic of Germany.

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