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Chronicle 1980

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    • 5 October

      1980

      The Bundestag elections have been preceded by an emotional and polarised election campaign (CDU/CSU slogan "Freedom or Socialism"). The CDU/CSU receives 44.5 percent of votes with its candidate for chancellor, Franz Josef Strauss, the SPD 42.9 percent and the FDP 10.6 percent; the "Greens" receive 1.5 percent of votes. West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt is reappointed on 5 November.
    • 9 October

      1980

      The GDR raises the compulsory currency exchange for Western visitors to 25 DM per person per day. The number of visits from West to East Germany falls suddenly by more than forty percent.
    • 13 October

      1980

      In a speech in Gera that draws a sharp dividing line to West Germany, SED General Secretary Erich Honecker announces four conditions for a further normalisation of relations: the recognition of GDR citizenship and an end to the issue of West German passports for GDR citizens; the dissolution of the "Registration Centre for Human Rights Violations in the GDR" in Salzgitter; the transformation of the Permanent Missions into embassies; and the establishment of the position of the national border in the middle of the Elbe River.

      However, a few days later, Honecker assures Günter Gaus, Bonn’s Permanent Representative in East Berlin, that his comments "by no means put the relations between the GDR and the FRG into reverse" – "a change of course is out of the question." Speech by Erich Honecker in Gera, 13 October 1980 (in German) weniger anzeigen
    • 16 October

      1980

      The GDR author Christa Wolf, a member of the GDR Writers’ Association, receives the Georg Büchner Prize in the West German city of Darmstadt.
    • 17 October

      1980

      The USA and the Soviet Union start talks in Geneva about a limitation of medium-range missiles in Europe.
    • 30 October

      1980

      The GDR suspends passport and visa-free travel to and from Poland, introduced in 1972, owing to the growth of the "Solidarity" movement. It fears that the GDR could be infiltrated.
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