Homepage > Chronicle

Chronicle 1989

"The Wall … will still be standing in fifty and even a hundred years' time": that's what Erich Honecker is still saying at the end of January 1989. And the GDR does seem stable to most people at the time, even though the dilapidated condition of industrial plants, the old parts of cities and the roads, as well as the air and water pollution, all herald the imminent economic disaster. more
  • January 
  • February 
  • March 
  • April 
  • May 
  • June 
  • July 
  • August 
  • September 
  • October 
  • November

     
    • 1 November

      1989

      Because of popular pressure, travel from the GDR to the CSSR is permitted again without passport and visa. GDR citizens again arrive in droves at the West German embassy in Prague to effect their departure for the Federal Republic. “Tourists going to the CSSR again”, Neues Deutschland, 2 November 1989 (in German)
    • 1 November

      1989

      The first meeting between the General Secretaries of the Central Committee of the SED, Egon Krenz, and of the CPSU, Mikhail Gorbachev, took place in Moscow, 1 November 1989.
      During a working trip to Moscow, Egon Krenz gives the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union a detailed account of the difficult economic situation in the GDR. more
    • 1 November

      1989

      Tens of thousands demonstrate in many East German cities, such as Neubrandenburg, Frankfurt (Oder), Freital and Ilmenau, calling for change.
    • 2 November

      1989

      A day of resignations: the First Secretary of the Suhl SED district leadership, Hans Albrecht, and the First Secretary of the Gera SED district leadership, Herbert Ziegenhan, step down from office. Gerald Götting resigns as CDU chairman, Heinrich Homann as chairman of the NDPD (Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands; Eng.: National Democratic Party of Germany) and Harry Tisch as chairman of the FDBG (Freier Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund; Eng. Free German Trade Union Federation). more
    • 2 November

      1989

      In Erfurt, Guben, Gera and Halle, more than 10,000 people in each city demonstrate for reforms.
    • 3 November

      1989

      Towards midday, GDR ambassador Helmut Ziebart is told by the Czechoslovakian Foreign Office in Prague that the CSSR does not intend to set up refugee camps for political refugees from East Germany. more
    • 3 November

      1989

      At a special afternoon session, the SED Politburo votes in favour of a "proposal" by the Czechoslovakian Party leader, Miklos Jakès, to allow the 6,000 GDR citizens who are once more staying on the grounds of the West German embassy in Prague "to travel directly from the CSSR to the FRG without touching GDR territory on the way." more
    • 3 November

      1989

      In the evening, Egon Krenz gives a television and radio address in which he stresses the SED’s willingness to carry out reforms (“There is no going back”), promises the speedy publication of the draft travel bill, announces the resignations of five Politburo members (Hermann Axen, Kurt Hager, Erich Mielke, Erich Mückenberger and Alfred Neuman) and refers to several points of the SED’s action programme, which is in preparation. more
    • 3 November

      1989

      The newspaper “Neues Deutschland” apologises to its readers for its report of 21 September 1989 on the alleged abduction of a Mitropa cook from Budapest to West Germany. “Statement on our own behalf”, Neues Deutschland, 3 November 1989 (in German)
    • 4 November

      1989

    • 4 November

      1989

      In front of the main entrance of the Stasi headquarters in Leipzig "An der Runden Ecke", November 1989
      Media reports on this day focus heavily on the demonstration in East Berlin, but there are also protest rallies in more than 40 other cities and towns across East Germany. more
    • 4 November

      1989

      The next morning, in conformity with the SED Politburo resolution of the evening before, the East German embassy in Prague gives GDR citizens a visa for travelling to West Germany, and assures them that their citizenship is not affected; every GDR citizen who leaves the country can return to the GDR. more
    • 4 November

      1989

      In the evening, the deputy interior minister, Major General Dieter Winderlich, announces in the state television newscast "Aktuelle Kamera" that applications to leave the GDR on a permanent basis would also be processed "unbureaucratically and quickly" and only refused "in exceptional cases where legitimate state interests were at stake" – but almost no one believes him. more
    • 5 November

      1989

      Over the weekend of 4-5 November, altogether 23,200 East German citizens leave the GDR for West Germany via the CSSR. more
    • 5 November

      1989

      An action group makes a public call for a Green Party to be founded. In its statement, it says: "The Green Party in the GDR is on the side of all the forces working for democracy and freedom through radical reforms in our country. It is ecological, feminist and opposed to violence."
    • 6 November

      1989

      The SED leadership publishes the draft travel bill as announced. The length of time people are allowed to travel is limited to thirty days a year. more
    • 6 November

      1989

      Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski
      In Bonn, Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski, representing Egon Krenz, secretly meets with West German Chancellery Minister Rudolf Seiters and Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. more
    • 6 November

      1989

      Freedom to travel is the main theme of the evening "Monday demonstrations" and protest marches of the following days. more
    • 7 November

      1989

      Because of the protests by the CSSR, the SED Politburo decides at its regular Tuesday meeting to put the section of the draft travel bill on leaving the country into force early and to draw up corresponding regulations.

      The Soviet Union and West Germany are informed of this intention on the same day. RIAS reports on the situation in the Prague embassy. The motives for leaving the GDR are presented in a collage.
      Hans-Hermann Hertle: Search for a regulation on leaving the country (in German)
      weniger anzeigen
    • 7 November

      1989

      The entire GDR Council of Ministers under its chairman Willi Stoph resigns.
    • 7 November

      1989

      After consultation with the Chancellor, West German Chancellery Minister Rudolf Seiters informs Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski on the telephone of the following general stipulations, drawn up in response to the discussions of the previous day, to be passed on to the Chairman of the GDR State Council: if the GDR wants material and financial help from West Germany, it has to be willing for "the State Council Chairman to declare publicly that the GDR is prepared to guarantee that the formation of opposition groups will be permitted and affirm that it will hold free elections within a period yet to be announced. more
    • 8 November

      1989

      In East Berlin, a three-day meeting of the SED Central Committee is opened, at whose outset the entire Politburo resigns.
    • 8 November

      1989

      After the SED Central Committee has confirmed a Politburo decision to finally permit the civil rights movement Neues Forum as an association, GDR Interior Minister Friedrich Dickel makes a public announcement to this effect. "Interior Ministry confirmed registration of Neues Forum", Neues Deutschland, 9 November 1989 (in German)
    • 8 November

      1989

      More than 40,000 GDR citizens have left the country for West Germany via the CSSR. The pressure of the CSSR on the GDR becomes increasingly urgent. GDR ambassador Ziebart is summoned to the Czechoslovakian Foreign Office and handed a request. more
    • 8 November

      1989

      Wolfgang Schäuble, West German Interior Minister
      In the Bundestag debate on the state of the nation, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl makes public the list of demands that Rudolf Seiters conveyed to the SED leadership the previous day via Alexander Schalck: more
    • 8 November

      1989

      In the newscast programme "Aktuelle Camera" on GDR television, the author Christa Wolf directs an appeal to all those wanting to leave the country, asking them to change their decision and remain in East Germany: more
    • 9 November

      1989

    • 9 November

      1989

      10.00 a.m.
      Start of the second day of the SED Central Committee meeting.
    • 9 November

      1989

      12.00 midday
      During a smoking break at the Central Committee meeting, members of the Politburo confirm the draft travel regulations drawn up by the officers. They are passed on to the Council of Ministers. Hans-Hermann Hertle: Politburo decides on new regulations (in German) Hans-Hermann Hertle: Council of Ministers’ resolution drawn up using the "circulation procedure" (in German)
    • 9 November

      1989

      2.00 p.m.
      West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl arrives in Poland for a state visit of several days.
    • 9 November

      1989

      2.30 p.m.
      SED General Secretary Egon Krenz, 9 November 1989
      During the regular break at the Central Committee meeting, SED General Secretary Egon Krenz meets the prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Johannes Rau.
    • 9 November

      1989

      3.00 p.m.
      The implementing regulations for the travel bill are given the final touches by the Interior Ministry and the State Security Service. Hans-Hermann Hertle: Finishing touches on the implementing regulations (in German)
    • 9 November

      1989

      4.00 p.m.
      Egon Krenz reads out the draft travel bill, which he now has as a draft resolution of the Council of Ministers, including a press release, to the SED Central Committee Hans-Hermann Hertle: Central Committee discusses new travel bill (in German)
    • 9 November

      1989

    • 9 November

      1989

      6 p.m.
      Beginning of an international press conference with Günter Schabowski, broadcast live by GDR television and radio.
    • 9 November

      1989

      6.50 p.m.
      International press conferenc: Schabowski announces a new travel regulation, 9 November 1989
      Schabowski announces the new travel regulations. When asked by a journalist when the regulations are to go into force, Schabowski answers: "As of now; immediately!"
      International press conference with Günter Schabowski (transcription) (in German) Hans-Hermann Hertle: Schabowski’s appearance (in German)
    • 9 November

      1989

      7.05 p.m.
      The news agency AP issues the news flash: "GDR opens border"; DPA at 7.41 p.m.: "The GDR border … is open." The agency reports become the top news during peak news time on television and radio until 8.15 p.m.. The current affairs programme "Tageschau" reports "GDR opens border".
      more
    • 9 November

      1989

      8.15 p.m.
      According to a progress report by the East Berlin Volkspolizei, altogether 80 East Berliners have gathered at the border crossing points Bornholmer Straße, Invalidenstraße and Heinrich-Heine-Straße. Instruction to the border guards: to put the people off till the next day and send them back.
    • 9 November

      1989

      8.40 p.m.
      End of the second day of the SED Central Committee meeting. Until now, the party and state leaders have not noticed the events occurring around them: neither the press conference, the media response to it, nor the rush on the border crossing points that is starting.
    • 9 November

      1989

      9.10 p.m.
      End of a Bundestag sitting.
    • 9 November

      1989

      9.30 p.m.
      End of the state banquet in Warsaw. West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl hears of the events in East Berlin.
    • 9 November

      1989

      9.30 p.m.
      Between 500 and 1,000 people have gathered at the Bornholmer Strasse border crossing point. The State Security Service decides on a "valve solution", i.e. to let people through the border gradually.
      more
    • 9 November

      1989

      George Bush, US President, May 1989
      9.34 p.m.
      In Washington, US President George Bush and Secretary of State James Baker hold a press conference. They have heard about the events in Berlin from agency reports.
      more
    • 9 November

      1989

    • 9 November

      1989

      Fritz Streletz, Colonel General in the Nationale Volksarmee
      10.00 p.m.
      After the end of the Central Committee meeting, Egon Krenz has gone to his office in the Central Committee building. His main concern is that the Central Committee has not voted the way he wanted for the Politburo.
      more
    • 9 November

      1989

      10.28 p.m.
      A last attempt to put a brake on the developments is made on the late-night broadcast of "Aktuelle Kamera" on GDR television: "At the request of many citizens, we inform you again about the new travel resolution issued by the Council of Ministers.
      more
    • 9 November

      1989

      10.42 p.m.
      Television host Hanns Joachim Friedrichs starts off the ARD current affairs programme "Tagesthemen" with the following words. "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. One should be cautious with superlatives; they tend to wear out fast. But this evening it is permissible to risk one: this ninth of November is a historic day: the GDR has announced that its borders are open to everyone as of now; the gates in the Wall are wide open."
      more
    • 9 November

      1989

    • 9 November

      1989

      12.00 midnight
      In the Soviet embassy in East Berlin, the envoy and deputy ambassador Igor Maximychev debates whether to inform Moscow that the border has opened. He decides not to do so to avoid any knee-jerk reactions.
    • 10 November

      1989

      The border regiments of the Mitte Border Command
      0.20 a.m.
      The commanders of the National People’s Army (NVA) are confused and do not know what to do. They prepare for all options, including the military one. At 0.20 a.m., they put the Berlin border regiments, around 12,000 soldiers, on the alert level "increased readiness for action". Because no more orders are given during the night, the commanders of the border regiments suspend the measures on their own responsibility.
      more
    • 10 November

      1989

      The border regiments of the "Grenzkommando Mitte"
      1.00 a.m.
      Between 1.00 and 2.00 a.m., thousands of West and East Berliners get through the Wall at the Brandenburg Gate and walk over Pariser Platz square and through the gate. People dance for joy on the Wall. The cement embankment remains occupied by several thousand people.
      more
    • 10 November

      1989

      2.00 a.m.
      The political and military leaders of the GDR do not make any public appearances during the night. The Interior Ministry announces that, as a "temporary measure", the border can be crossed upon presentation of identity cards until the next morning at 8.00 a.m.. This information is broadcast in the news on Radio DDR I from 2.00 a.m.
    • 10 November

      1989

      7.30 a.m.
      From the early hours of morning, Western media, particularly radio and television, report incessantly on the sensational events of the night: the breaching of the Wall at the Bornholmer Strasse crossing point and others, and the night-time party of celebration on the Kurfürstendamm in West Berlin.
    • 10 November

      1989

      Berlin-Treptow: Opening of the border crossing, 10 November 1989
      8.00 a.m.
      Because of the massive crowds of people at the Berlin border crossing points, the attempt to restart passport controls from 8 a.m. – as publicly announced during the night – fails. At the same time, throughout the GDR, long queues form in front of the district offices of the Volkspolizei.
      more
    • 10 November

      1989

      8.00.a.m.
      At the command of Egon Krenz, an "operative leadership group" is formed, made up of leading members of the security apparatuses, the Council of Ministers and the Central Committee apparatus, its purpose being to achieve "control of the complicated security situation under the present conditions in the GDR and [to cope with] the resulting necessity of reacting to every further worsening of the situation quickly and appropriately."
      more
    • 10 November

      1989

    • 10 November

      1989

      12.45 p.m.
      During their first visit to the West, GDR citizens are directly confronted with the economic plight of East Germany, which is disclosed for the first time in the SED Central Committee: they wait in long queues in banks and offices to be given their "welcome money" of 100 marks so that they can buy something.
      more
    • 10 November

      1989

      Hanns-Christian Catenhusen, a recruit at the time
      1.00 p.m.
      The NVA leadership gives the order to the command of the National People’s Army’s (NVA) land forces to place the 1st Motor Rifle Division [Ger: Motorisierte Schützendivision] (Potsdam) and the Airborne Forces Regiment [Ger: Luftsturmregiment-40] (Lehnitz) – two NVA elite units trained in street fighting and equipped with state-of-the-art military technology – on "increased readiness for combat."
      more
    • 10 November

      1989

    • 10 November

      1989

      Eduard Shevardnadze, Soviet Foreign Minister
      3.00 p.m.
      To this day, nothing much is known about the concrete decisions taken in Moscow – but their result was plain to see. In the late afternoon, Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze tells the international press that the Soviet Union regards the "events in the GDR as a matter for its new leadership and its people alone, and wishes them every success."
      more
    • 10 November

      1989

      4.30 p.m.
      On GDR television, Interior Minister Friedrich Dickel reads out an appeal to the people of the GDR from the Council of Ministers. The "dear citizens", it says, could rely on the new travel possibilities being permanent and did not need to "take any hasty decisions," adding that new border crossings were likely be set up in the near future.
      more
    • 10 November

      1989

      5.00 p.m.
      At a rally in front of the Rathaus (town hall) in Schöneberg, Walter Momper, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, Willy Brandt and Helmut Kohl speak in front of 20,000 to 40,000 people. The West German chancellor, booed mercilessly by supporters of the SPD-Green Senate of West Berlin, emphasises the unity of the nation, but rejects radical slogans and opinions, calling on people to "remain calm and to act wisely."
      more
    • 10 November

      1989

      6.00 p.m.
      At an SED rally in the Lustgarten park in East Berlin, Egon Krenz promotes the programme of action that the Central Committee has just decided upon, and professes his commitment to the new travel regulations, interpreting them as an expression of the fact that "we are serious about politics of renewal, and that we give our hand to everyone that wants to go with us."
    • 10 November

      1989

      10 November

      6.00 p.m.
      The Glienicker Bridge ("Bridge of Unity") between Potsdam and West Berlin is opened as the first new border crossing point.
    • 10 November

      1989

      7.00 p.m.
      A briefing takes place in the Soviet embassy in East Berlin. In accordance with the instructions from Moscow, General Snetkov, the top commander of the Soviet troops in East Germany, leaves the soldiers in their barracks: 350,000 men.
    • 10 November

      1989

      8.00 p.m.
      What is happening backstage has on this day not yet become public knowledge. The current affairs programmes "Tagesschau" and "Tagesthemen" report on the course of events.
      more
    • 10 November

      1989

      10.00 p.m.
      Back in the Federal Chancellery in Bonn, Helmut Kohl phones the British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, and US President George Bush to tell them about what is happening and the happy mood in Berlin.
    • 10 November

      1989

      West and East Berliners on the top of the Brandenburg Gate.
      11.00 p.m.
      On the anti-tank wall at the Brandenburg Gate, however, aggressive tones and shouts of abuse mingle with the mood of celebration in the evening and night hours. Under the glare of the TV spotlights and with increasing alcohol consumption, the calls of "The Wall has to go!" become louder and the attempts to further this aim by means of sledgehammers become more energetic.
      more
    • 10 November

      1989

      12.00 midnight
      Far from having any "control over events", the SED leadership keeps NVA units on "increased readiness for combat" during the night of the 10th to the 11th of November as well. Across East Germany, all Ministry of Security staff remain in their offices; they are still "on duty until further notice". Hans-Hermann Hertle: SED leadership – Political measures and military options (in German)
    • 11 November

      1989

      7.00 a.m.
      In the early morning the situation at the Brandenburg Gate is threatening to escalate. After hours of hammering and chiselling, the attempt to remove the segment of the Wall bordering on the anti-tank wall to the south, tearing the first breach, is nearing success.
      A letter written by an officer cadet to his family shows the emotional turmoil that the young soldiers who have sworn to “protect the state border of the GDR" go through from 9 to 11 November at the Brandenburg Gate. Letter written by an officer cadet in the border troops to his family, East Berlin, 11 November 1989 (in German)
    • 11 November

      1989

      8.00 a.m.
      In Eberswalder Strasse in the north of Berlin, a new border crossing is opened. Later in the day, yet another new crossing is added on Schlesische Strasse/Puschkinallee between the Berlin districts of Treptow and Kreuzberg.
      more
    • 11 November

      1989

      At the Helmstedt/Marienborn border crossing
      8.00 a.m.
      On this Saturday, more than a million East Berliners and residents from the surrounding area pour into West Berlin. Traffic on the roads comes to a standstill and in the city centre, on the Kurfürstendamm and the Tauentzien, even pedestrian traffic is impeded.
      more
    • 11 November

      1989

      9.00 a.m.
      In Bonn, the West German government convenes a special sitting; Chancellor Kohl telephones now and then with the French president, François Mitterand.

      At the same time in East Berlin, a special Party committee from the Ministry for Security begins a meeting. The special Party committee for the army gathers in Strausberg, near Berlin, the location of the GDR Defence Ministry. During this meeting, Defence Minister Kessler is handed information about the demolition action at the Brandenburg Gate; it suggests that the Gate is about to be stormed.
    • 11 November

      1989

      10.00 a.m.
      Defence Minister Kessler rings up the head of the land forces, Colonel General Horst Stechbarth. Stechbarth hears his minister ask him if he is prepared to march to Berlin with two regiments to clear the Wall at the Brandenburg Gate.
      more
    • 11 November

      1989

      10.13 – 10.22 a.m.
      West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl telephones with SED General Secretary Egon Krenz. Krenz is of the opinion that the “concessions" made by the GDR have created a “good atmosphere" for solving problems in the economic area and with regard to travel.
      more
    • 11 November

      1989

      12.00 midday
      West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl assures the General Secretary of the CPSU, Mikhail Gorbachev, by telephone that he does not want any destabilisation of the GDR.
      more
    • 11 November

      1989

      GDR border guards on the top of the Wall at the Brandenburg Gate on the morning of 11 November 1989
      1.00 p.m.
      In the meantime, the situation at the Brandenburg Gate has calmed down: border soldiers have cleared the Wall of people without force and taken it over themselves; West German police seal off the access routes to the Wall area with vans.
      more
    • 11 November

      1989

      2.00 p.m.
      The West Berlin chief of police, Georg Schertz, and the deputy commander of the “Grenzkommando Mitte" (Central Border Command) meet at Checkpoint Charlie. Günter Leo thanks Schertz for the “calm, but determined and vigorous action" by the West German police that morning, which led to “a de-escalation of the difficult situation there". They agree to set up a direct line between them – it has been broken off for decades.
    • 11 November

      1989

      2.30 p.m.
      After the all-clear for the National People’s Army, the Ministry for State Security also returns to the routine it had before 9 November. At 2.30 p.m. deputy Stasi minister Rudolf Mittig revokes the obligation to be in constant attendance and ready for action that Erich Mielke had imposed on all ministry workers the day before.
    • 11 November

      1989

      3.00 p.m.
      In the afternoon and in the evening, Berlin is threatening to burst at the seams. The mayor, Walter Momper, feels that Bonn has left him alone to deal with the hordes of visitors and criticises the West German government at a press conference.
      more
    • 12 November

      1989

      East and West Berliners at the new border crossing Potsdam Square, 12 November 1989
      8.00 a.m.
      In the morning, not far from the Brandenburg Gate in Potsdam Square, which was once the main traffic artery of Berlin, another border crossing is opened. This leads to a further reduction in pressure on the Wall at the Brandenburg Gate. On this day, a million GDR citizens visit West Berlin.
      more
    • 12 November

      1989

      "Wall-peckers" in Berlin, 12 November 1989
      1.00 p.m.
      GDR Defence Minister Heinz Kessler announces the abolition of the "order to shoot" (Schiessbefehl) on state television.
      more
    • 12 November

      1989

      1.30 p.m.
      The headquarters of the West Group of the Soviet armed forces in the GDR makes an appeal by telephone to the command headquarters of American, British and French forces in Germany via the Military Liaison Missions accredited to its supreme commander. It asks them "not to get involved in the events". On the same day, those in charge of the Western armed forces in Berlin promise the Soviets that they will exercise restraint. Letter from Heinz Kessler to Egon Krenz, 13 November 1989 (in German) Hans-Hermann Hertle: Neutrality of the Allies (in German)
    • 12 November

      1989

      Statement by Neues Forum on the fall of the Wall, 12 November 1989
      The political movement "Neues Forum" (New Forum) calls on citizens not to accept the negative economic consequences that are to be feared owing to the opening of the border, and appeals to them: "Don’t be distracted by the demands for a political reconstruction of society! (…) more
    • 13 November

      1989

      After the abolition of the "order to shoot": border guard in Berlin
      A ten-hour-long meeting of the GDR Volkskammer (Parliament): the representatives of the block parties withdraw their previously unconditional allegiance to the SED. Spokespeople from the DBD, the CDU, the LDPD and the NDPD demand that the SED’s claim to leadership as enshrined in the constitution be deleted, and call for free elections with a secret ballot. more
    • 13 November

      1989

    • 14 November

      1989

      Opening of a border crossing between Teltow and West Berlin
      The GDR prepares for the return of people who have emigrated – but only a few people sign into the reception centres. more
    • 15 November

      1989

      The head of the State Central Administration for Statistics, Arno Donda, announces that the GDR’s manipulation of statistics is to end immediately.
    • 15 November

      1989

      In West Berlin, over 150 million marks in "welcome money" have been paid so far to more than 1.5 million GDR citizens. more
    • 16 November

      1989

      The Soviet embassy passes on several "pieces of advice" from the Central Committee of the CPSU to SED General Secretary Egon Krenz. The suggestions it makes indicate that Moscow is keeping to its inflexible stance. more
    • 16 November

      1989

      In Bonn, the Bundestag discusses the situation in the GDR and a possible reunification. more
    • 17 November - 1 December

      1989

      The Volkskammer chooses a new government under Prime Minister Hans Modrow. On November 18, the "democratic coalition government" formed by the SED and the block parties starts work; nine of the now 28 (instead of the previous 44) ministers still come from the Stoph government. more
    • 19 November

      1989

      On the second weekend after the Wall has come down, over three million GDR citizens visit West Germany and West Berlin, according to ADN. more
    • 20 November

      1989

      Hans Modrow, Egon Krenz and Alexander Schalck try to capitalise on the mishap of November 9 in negotiations with Chancellery Minister Rudolf Seiters. more
    • 20 November

      1989

      In many cities and localities in the GDR, "Monday demonstrations" take place; in Leipzig, the motto is now "Germany – united Fatherland".
    • 21 November

      1989

      Nikolai Portugalov, who works in the Central Committee Department of International Relations within the CPSU led by Valentin Falin, holds a conversation with Horst Teltschik, an adviser to the West German Chancellor. Portugalov tells Teltschik that he could imagine that, in the medium term, the Soviet Union could give the go-ahead to a German confederation, whatever form it took. more
    • 21 November

      1989

      In a speech he gives at the inauguration to office of Mielke’s successor, Wolfgang Schwanitz, Hans Modrow explains his government’s ideas to the committee of the Office for National Security (AfNS), as the former Ministry for State Security is now called. He regrets the GDR’s awkward negotiating position with regard to West Germany brought about by the collapse of the Wall.
    • 22 November

      1989

      The SED Politburo declares its willingness to follow the Polish example and meet with the block parties, citizens’ movements and the new parties at a "round table" to discuss ideas on free elections and a reform of the constitution.
    • 23 November

      1989

      Günter Mittag, who was the Central Committee Economic Secretary until October 18, is barred from the SED. Legal proceedings are brought against Erich Honecker. – The GDR Council of Ministers decides to take measures against "racketeers and speculators".
    • 24 November

      1989

      Valentin Falin, as the head of the Central Committee Department for International Relations of the Foreign Ministers of the CPSU, holds talks with Egon Krenz and Hans Modrow in which he elaborates further on Modrow’s idea of a "Vertragsgemeinschaft" (union by treaty) – "and that it could go even further," as Modrow later recalled.
    • 28 November

      1989

      West German Chancellor Kohl announces a Ten-Point Programme to the Bundestag. The programme envisages the gradual establishment of confederative structures over a period of five to ten years, with the aim of establishing a uniform federal order. more
    • 28 November

      1989

      Stefan Heym publicly presents the appeal "For Our Country". It contains a plea for a reformed version of socialism and opposes the taking over of the GDR by West Germany. Appeal "For Our Land", Neues Deutschland, 29 November 1989 (in German)
    • 29 November

      1989

      The former chairman of the FDGB, Harry Tisch, who is also a former SED Politburo member, is barred from the FDGB for abuse of office.
    • 30 November

      1989

      The SED grass-roots organisation of the turbine and generator manufacturer VEB Bergmann-Borsig appeals to "all honest" party members in an open letter distributed by ADN. more
    • 30 November

      1989

      150 to 170 SED members from various Berlin factories, businesses and academic institutions meet in the Berlin Werk für Fernsehelektronik (WF). more
    • November 1989

      In November 133,429 GDR citizens move to West Germany.
  • December 
Top of page