It took about three decades until the Wall was torn down. The reforms in the Soviet Union started by the leader Mikhail Gorbachev had their effects also on other Communist countries, especially Poland and Hungary. On August 23rd 1989 Hungary opened the 'iron curtain' to Austria. In September 1989 more than 13000 East Germans escaped via Hungary. It was the first mass exodus of East Germans after the erection of the wall.
From the end of September until November 1989 mass demonstrations against East German government were held throughout the country. Erich Honecker, East Germany's head of state, had to resign on October 18th 1989.
Thousands of East Berliners went to the border crossing and at 10.30 p.m. the border was opened at 3 Bornholmer Strasse. In the night the deadly border was opened by East Germans peacefully.