May 5, 1990 – A historic day in the history of Germany. The former Big Four Allies were meeting in Bonn West Germany this day to discuss the process of reunification of Germany, some 45 years after the end of the War in Europe.
Foreign Ministers of the two Germanys and the four victorious Allied powers; the U.S., France, Britain and The Soviet Union, sat down to work out the reunification of Germany and the end of confrontation between East and West in Europe. West German Foreign Minister Genscher told the group “We know what feelings and memories are evoked in people, as the result of what was done to them in the name of Germany”. He assured the group that Germany had not forgotten the horrors of the Second World War and the Holocaust. The Conference was technically limited to ending the special rights of the victorious powers in Berlin and to ratifying the Polish border. But there were larger questions that remained; membership for a United Germany in the NATO Alliance and the size of a new German Army. Those were to be discussed, but not decided during this conference. It was the hardest question for the group to tackle; how to make one nation and one army out of two power-blocks built around confrontation. The Soviet Union was alone in saying Germany must not become part of the U.S.-led NATO alliance, and many felt the Soviet leadership hadn’t yet fully made up its mind.
Meanwhile, Soviet troops moved to the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, prompting President Landsburg to accuse Moscow of a show of force. Soviet officals said the troops in Vilnius were merely rehearsing for the following month’s parade commemorating the fall of Nazi Germany.
And the Baltic republic of Latvia, who voted the day before for Independence from Moscow were busily at work trying to restore the pre-Soviet Latvian currency, with bonds and lottery tickets issued immediately to pay for the new money.
And that’s just a sample of what went on, this May 5, 1990 as reported by the CBS World News Roundup.