1994, p20). In spite of potential Warsaw Pact pressure, Hungary chose in the end to put human rights above Eastern solidarity - such a policy also helped support its own fledgling reforms, and earned it the later gratitude (and economic support) of West Germany and the West (Jarausch 1994, p16; Thompson 2001). In January-October 1989 some 167,000 persons left the GDR, followed by another 177,000 from November-December 1989 (Brezinski 1992, p236). It was clear that by this stage that East Germany was in severe social and economic crisis, a fact not lost on the West Germans.
Former Chancellor Kohl of West Germany, after initial suspicion of Gorbachev, used the new international environment to pursue a proactive policy. He claimed that he would use his 1988 visit to Moscow to raise the long-term prospect of the ending of the Berlin Wall and beginning German reunification, a claim dismissed by Soviet spokesmen at the time (Macleod et al. 1988, p28). These overtures, aimed at improving security and economic relations, indirectly hastened peoples' expectations in Eastern Germany (see Thompson 2001). Furthermore, Gorbachev allowed the West Germans the opportunity to pursue unification without active Soviet opposition (Rothwell 1990a, p11). Gorbachev thought these events would take place much more slowly than they did.
Furthermore, once large numbers of East German refugees crossed the border, even West German resources to cope with these people began to be strained. The only long terms alternatives were to ask East Germans to stay at home, as Kohl did in November 1989 (Jarausch 1994, p23), and push for quick reform in the GDR, or to proceed to some form of unification. Certainly Kohl quickly grasped the extent of the collapse of Eastern German economy, and his 10 point plan for unification of Germany, published shortly after, was a stroke of initiative that surprised all of NATO (Rothwell 1990c, p28; see Jarausch 1994, pp67-8). Within the package were a number of 'time-bombs'. East Germans who reached West Germany were treated as citizens, and helped to resettle (Jarausch 1994, p15). As a starting point Bonn defined German citizenship to include any "refugee . . . of German stock" who came from what were the 1937 borders of Germany (Jarausch 1994, p17). Here the West German policy of granting any ethnic German full citizenship began to pay off - during 1988 some 200,000 Germans had arrived from Poland, the Soviet Union and Romania and elsewhere (Zeman 1991, p324). Since that time, many ethnic Germans living in Russia and Kazakhstan, closer to 2 million, have left (see Brubaker 1998).
Of course, this policy was complemented by the most liberal asylum laws in Europe, allowing West Germany to give refuge to a range of Eastern Europeans, as well as asylum seekers from the Balkans and other minorities. These laws were made less liberal after 1993, but Germany has been left with a complex legacy by its asylum laws and past utilisation of guest-workers. These guest workers and their families, drawn from Turkey, the Balkans, and earlier on Italy and Spain, numbered some 5 million, representing 6.5% of the population in 1992 (Roskin 1992, p200). Today, Germany has the highest number of resident foreigners of any European country, some 7 million (Cohen 2001), a fact which has become a major political issue in 2000-2004 with problematic efforts to more effectively co-ordinate migration across the EU as a whole. This issue has also contributed towards a xenophobic reaction, especially among youth in parts of former East Germany (in fact, part of a wider adjustment problem in a society undergoing rapid change, see Boehnke 1998). It