Beginning of March: Inter-German trade reached a volume of 14.3 hundred million units of account in 1988, which, according to the West German Economics Ministry, means that it has decreased for the third successive year.
March 3: The Hungarian prime minister Miklós Németh, who came into office in November 1988 as a reformer, pays Mikhail Gorbachev, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, a first visit in Moscow. He informs Gorbachev of his government’s plans not to repair the border installations on the Hungarian-Austrian border and to introduce multi-party democracy to Hungary. The Hungarian prime minister demands the withdrawal of Soviet troops from his country, and in particular the removal of the Soviet medium-range nuclear missiles aimed at Western Europe. Gorbachev promises Németh that there will be no repetition of a Soviet intervention against the Hungarian course of reforms for as long as he is CPSU General Secretary.
March 8: While attempting to escape from the GDR in a home-made hot-air balloon, the 32-year-old Winfried Freudenberg crashes over West Berlin and is killed.
March 13: Several hundred people demonstrate during the Leipzig Spring Fair following a prayer for peace in the Nikolaikirche in Leipzig, calling "We want out! We want out!" The Volkspolizei (People’s Police) steps in; arrests take place.
March 16: In West Berlin, an SPD-Green coalition replaces the CDU-led Senate under Eberhard Diepgen; Walter Momper becomes the Mayor of Berlin. At the elections on January 29 1989, CDU and FDP had suffered unexpectedly large losses, while the SPD and the Alternative List improved their share of the vote and the radical right-wing "Republicans" were able to win seats in the parliament at their first election attempt: CDU 37.8 percent (1985: 46.4), SPD 37.3 (32.4), AL 11.8 (10.6), Republicans 7.5 (-), FDP 3.9 (8.5). West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl believes the fear of the growing number of ethnic German emigrants and asylum-seekers played a large role in the weak showing of the CDU and the success of the "Republicans".
March 26: The newspaper "Welt am Sonntag" reports that, according to information held by the West German Federal Intelligence Service (Bundesnachrichtendienst or BND), the GDR leadership believes that up to 1.5 million GDR citizens want to move to West Germany. Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of the synod of Berlin-Brandenburg, Consistorial President Manfred Stolpe says the Protestant (Evangelical) Church of the GDR estimates that there have been around 60,000 applications for some 150,000 people and that the BND’s figure has "one zero too many".
In March, 5,671 GDR citizens manage to flee to the West, 4,487 are given permission to leave the GDR.