|[In 1990] the two German governments
responded to the concern of GDR citizens regarding the exchange rate, issuing
a declaration on the principles governing the introduction of the West
German D-mark to East Germany.
1. The governments of the GDR and the FRG, in
full awareness of the joint tasks of the two German states on the path
toward German unity, plan to conclude an international treaty for the introduction
of monetary, economic, and social union. This treaty is to take effect
on 1 July 1990.
Part of this treaty concerns conversion of the
GDR-mark to the D-mark. Both sides have agreed on the essential points
of this currency conversion. They were guided in their decision making
by the goal of improving living and working conditions of the people. This
2. Salaries, wages, scholarships, rents, leases,
and pensions, as well as other recurring welfare payments (such as maintenance
benefits), will be converted at a rate of 1:1. Salaries and wages will
be based on gross pay as of 1 May 1990.
the stability of the D-mark and the solidity of
state finances continue to be guaranteed
through the introduction of a social market economy,
the economy of the GDR will quickly become competitive and capable of modernization
3. The pension system of the GDR will be adjusted
to the pension system of the FRG. This means that most pensions in D-marks
will be higher than the current pensions in GDR-marks. In certain cases
in which a lower amount is calculated than the pension up to now in GDR-marks,
it is assured that this previous amount will be paid in D-marks.
4. Hardship cases which arise because of the
legal provisions to be laid down in the GDR, particularly people receiving
low pensions and college students, will receive compensation...
5. Other claims and obligations will be converted
at a rate of 2:1.
6. Persons with permanent residence in the GDR
can convert the following amounts (cash and bank balances) at a rate of
7. Obligations of the GDR toward other countries
continue in force.
Children up to their 15th birthday: 2,000 marks
Persons from 15 years of age until their 60th birthday:
Persons past their 60th birthday; 6,000 marks Amounts
exceeding these limits will be converted at a rate of 2:1, subject to the
conditions listed under point 9 below….
Sources: Gransow, Volker and Konrad
H. Jarausch, eds. Uniting Germany; Documents and Debates, 1944-1993. Translated
by Allison Brown and Belinda Cooper. Rhode Island: Berghahn Books, 1994.