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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
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  • June

     
    • 1989

      4 June

      The Chinese army brutally suppresses the democracy movement in Beijing with a massacre in Tiananmen Square (The Square of Heavenly Peace): the number of dead is estimated at several thousand.


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    • 1989

      4 June

      At the elections for the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, and the senate, in which "Solidarity" is allowed to take part, the communists suffer a heavy defeat. more
    • 1989

      4 June

      In the Soviet republic of Uzbekistan, there are clashes between Uzbeks and the Shi’ite minority of the Meshchera, which are broken up by force.
    • 1989

      8 June

      The GDR Volkskammer calls the massacre in Tiananmen Square on June 4 the "putting-down of a counter-revolution." Resolution of the GDR Volkskammer, 8 June 1989 (in German)


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    • 1989

      12 June

      Hungary’s joining of the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees comes into force. The Convention makes it unlawful to send refugees back to the country from which they have escaped. more
    • 1989

      12-15 June

      West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl gives a dinner in the Redoute in Bad Godesberg in honour of the Soviet state and party leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, June 1989
      During a state visit to West Germany, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, meets with demonstrations of support and enthusiasm at his public appearances ("Gorbimania"). more
    • 1989

      20 June

      Violent unrest in the Soviet republic of Kazakhstan.
    • 1989

      22 June - 1 December

      The 8th Plenary Assembly of the SED Central Committee meets in East Berlin. There is criticism of Gorbachev’s behaviour in West Germany, particularly regarding his lack of reaction to alleged "attacks" by Chancellor Kohl on the GDR; the relevant passages are not published. The meeting is concluded far ahead of schedule as there are not enough topics for discussion. more
    • June 1989

      In June, 12428 GDR citizens manage to flee to the West; 10646 people are given permission to leave the GDR.
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