During an international press conference on 9 November 1989, Günter Schabowski, a member of the politburo, announces that the GDR will be opening its borders. An Italian journalist asks about changes to the laws governing the right to travel.
Schabowski answers: \”We have therefore decided today to put in place a regulation that allows every citizen of the German Democratic Republic to leave through any of its border crossings.\”
Journalist: \”When does it come into effect?\”
Schabowski: \”That comes into effect, according to my information… immediately, without delay.\”
Schabowski continues: \”Permanent exit can take place via all border crossing points between the GDR and FRG or West Berlin.\”
A few hours later, the Wall falls.