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

     
    • 1989

      3 April

      Colonel-General Fritz Streletz, who is the Chief of Staff of the National People’s Army (NVA) and the Secretary of the National Defence Committee, informs top-ranking officers that Erich Honecker has informally revoked the order to shoot. more
    • 1989

      3 April

      At the synod of the Protestant Church of Berlin-Brandenburg, participants demand a more just organisation of travel regulations by the GDR government. One participant gives examples of the attempts young people are making to be able to travel to the West.


      Zum anschauen des Videos benötigen Sie Flash und Javascript

    • 1989

      4 April

      With one month to go till local elections, the supply situation in the GDR is precarious. RIAS reports on the situation in the country ahead of the elections.


      Zum anschauen des Videos benötigen Sie Flash und Javascript

    • 1989

      5 April

      In Poland, the government and the opposition sign a Round Table Agreement on political and economic reforms. The independent trade union "Solidarity” and the "Farmers’ Solidarity" are legalised once more. more
    • 1989

      5 April

      The GDR news agency ADN and the SED’s main mouthpiece, "Neues Deutschland", report on an allegedly growing influx of people moving from West Germany to the GDR. Exact numbers are not given. Franz Thedieck, Fleeing the Zone and West-East Migration, 8 April 1961 (in German)
    • 1989

      8 April

      On 8 April 1989, two young East Berliners jump over the boom gate at the Chausseestrasse border crossing in the Berlin district of Mitte. A GDR passport inspector shoots – the would-be escapees are arrested. Western journalists were in the know – and document the escape attempt.
    • 1989

      12 April

      During nationalistic unrest in Georgia - where Abkhazians demand that their republic secede from the Georgian Socialist Soviet Republic, while Georgians call for Georgia to leave the Soviet Union - the Soviet Army intervenes and creates a bloodbath: at least 19 demonstrators are killed.
    • 1989

      13 April

      German Chancellor Helmut Kohl reacts to the sinking ratings of the CDU in opinion polls and criticism from fellow party members by reshuffling the Cabinet. The former ministers Oskar Schneider (Construction) and Rupert Scholz (Defence) lose their posts. more
    • 1989

      14 April

      At a meeting of the council of the Eastern International Bank for Economic Cooperation from 11-14 April in Moscow, the GDR representatives learn that both the Soviet Union and the CSSR are holding informal contact talks and exploratory discussions on entering the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
    • 1989

      21/22 April

      Mass demonstrations in China: in Beijing, students demand the freedom to criticise state and Party leaders, and the right to form independent interest groups.


      Zum anschauen des Videos benötigen Sie Flash und Javascript

    • 1989

      26 April

      SED General Secretary Erich Honecker sends a telex to the 1st Secretaries of the SED district leaderships, telling them that the Hungarian Party leadership obviously no longer has the will "to defend its political power. more
    • 1989

      28 April

      At a briefing at the Ministry for State Security on 28 April 1989, minister Erich Mielke announces the revocation of the "order to shoot", photograph from the fifties
      At a "central staff meeting" of the Ministry for State Security, minister Erich Mielke announces the abolition of the order to shoot, but at the same time gives vent to his feelings: more
    • April 1989

      In April, 5887 GDR citizens manage to flee to the West; 4,996 are given permission to leave the GDR.
  • May 
  • June 
  • July 
  • August 
  • September 
  • October 
  • November 
  • December