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Today in German History

On March 18, 1990, the first free elections to the People’s Chamber were held in the German Democratic Republic. It was the first free election in this part of Germany since 1932. During the regime of the Socialist Unity Party (SED) elections were held as well, but these didn’t even deserve to be called such. They were rather nominations of the politician on the ballot with a voter turnout of 99%, and a similar high election result for those on the ballot.

The People’s Chamber held its constituent sitting on 5 April 1990. By the time of German unification on 3 October 1990, it had passed more than 150 laws and adopted about 100 resolutions. At a special sitting on the night of 22 to 23 August 1990, the People’s Chamber decided, by 294 to 62 votes, with seven abstentions, that the GDR would accede to the Federal Republic of Germany.

If interested in documents and television footage relating to the People’s Chamber check out the German Bundestag. In cooperation with the Federal Archives and the German National Broadcasting Archive, the Bundestag has digitized the historical printed papers, stenographic records and television recordings of the plenary sittings.

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