In 1989, East Germany’s communist regime was overwhelmed by the democratization sweeping across Eastern Europe. On the evening of November 9, 1989, East Germany announced an easing of travel restrictions to the West, and thousands demanded passage though the Berlin Wall. Faced with growing demonstrations, East German border guards opened the borders. Jubilant Berliners climbed on top of the Berlin Wall, painted graffiti on it, and removed fragments as souvenirs. The next day, East German troops began dismantling the wall. In 1990, East and West Germany were formally reunited.
Starting with the 1 Pf. in 1960, followed by the 10 Pf. in 1963, and the 5 Pf. in 1968, the old style coins were gradually replaced with new coins depicting the state name "Deutsche Demokratische Republik." Aluminium 1 Mark, 2 Mark and 50 Pfennig pieces were released for circulation in 1956, 1957 and 1958, respectively. In 1969, brass 20 Pfennig coins were introduced, with nickel-bronze (later cupro-nickel) 5 Mark coins issued from 1968. In 1973 and 1974, 1 and 2 Mark coins were redesigned dropping the former "Deutsche Mark" title. The brass 20 Pfennig coins were issued partly because pay telephones had a standard charge of 20 Pf. and were having problems with smaller aluminium coins jamming due to their light weight. Commemorative 5, 10, and 20 Mark coins of various types have also occasionally made it into circulation.