UCSB Hist 133C, Germany since 1945
Prof. Marcuse

The "Turn" (Wende) in East Germany, 1989

1985 Election of Gorbachev as secretary general of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

1986 8 June: GDR parliamentary elections: 99.74% turnout, 99.94% for National Front parties.

1987 7 June: GDR police clash with youths wanting to hear rock concert near wall

9 June: 3000 demonstrate in E. Berlin for demolition of wall, in support of Gorbatchev.

7 Sept: Honecker in West Germany, agreement to promote exchange of experts

12 Oct: broad amnesty: 24,612 prisoners released; 1 Nov. easing of import restrictions

1988 17 Jan: 100 arrested during official commemoration of Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht's murders; members of E. Berlin Church of Zion protest restrictions on speech and travel. Face charges or emigrate.

Dec: Sputnik, popular Soviet news magazine, banned in GDR

1989 15 Jan: 80 arrested in Leipzig while demonstrating for freedom of expression during commemoration of Lux-Lieb. murders. "Freedom is always only the freedom of those with dissenting opinions."

2 May: Hungary begins demolition of fences at Austrian border

17 May: 98.85% reported voting for National Front candidates at local elections.
Widespread allegations of fraud by opposition and church leaders monitoring elections.

5 June: Neues Deutschland (SED newspaper) defends massacre at Tiananmen Square in China

15 July: first reports of GDR citizens taking refuge in W. German embassies in Budapest, Prague, E. Berlin

13 Aug: W. German embassy in Budapest closed (181 sought sanctuary there)

19 Aug: During a Pan-European picnic in Hungary several hundred GDR citizens lift barrier and cross over

- 26 Aug: Initiative for Social-Democratic Organization started at human rights seminar

4 Sept: Hundreds demonstrate in Leipzig for freedom of travel

7 Sept: 80 arrested in E. Berlin in demo against election fraud

10 Sept: First call for public reforms by New Forum

11 Sept: Hungary voids agreement with GDR to enforce visa restrictions of GDR citizens; in 3 days ca. 15,000 GDR citizens cross to West; New Forum "founded" (Havemann, Bohley, Reich)

18 Sept: 100 people arrested at Leipzig demonstration

24 Sept: 80 representatives of various reform groups meet in Leipzig

25 Sept: ca. 8,000 demonstrate in Leipzig (for legalization of New Forum, freedom to travel); 12 arrests

2 Oct: police break up Leipzig demonstration of 10,000-25,000 persons; 3 Oct: visas for Czech.

4 Oct: train on way to W. Germany with GDR emigres from Prague stormed by 3,000 Dresden residents; violent clashes with security forces; trains sealed

7 Oct: Gorbachev arrives in E. Berlin for 40th anniversary celebration, suggests change (quote on back)
Mass protests suppressed by police with mass arrests.

- 9 Oct: Mass demonstrations in Leipzig, police do not intervene

16 Oct: over 100,000 demonstrate in Leipzig, 10,000 in Dresden. Police do nothing

24 Oct: Egon Krenz succeeds Honecker, meets w/ New Forum leaders on 26 Oct.

27 Oct: Travel to Czechoslovakia w/o visa possible again

1 Nov: Krenz meets w/ Gorbatchev, says unif. of Germany is not "on the agenda of history"

4 Nov: Demonstration of 1 million in Berlin organized by Union of Artists; for freedom of expression, travel, association, and free elections. Criticism of SED; Stefan Heym, Christa Wolf speak.

- 9 Nov: border to W. Berlin is opened, tens of thousands cross

20 Nov: demonstrations in many cities against leading role of SED, Krenz meets with W. German officials

28 Nov: Kohl releases 10-point plan for new all-German structure, a "confederation leading to a federation"

3 Dec: Party Central Committee, Politburo, General Secretary Krenz resign

7 Dec: Gov't and opposition parties meet at Round Table; demand dissolution of Stasi and elections in May

8 Dec: Extraordinary SED Congress elects Gregor Gysi chair, Modrow and Berghofer vice-chairmen.

19 Dec: Kohl in Dresden, agrees with Modrow to form a "contractual community"

31 Dec: New Year's celebration at Brandenburg Gate: now primarily demand for unification

6 October 1989 demands:
1. free access to information
2. open political discussion
3. freedom of thought and creativity
4. right to maintain pluralist ideology
5. right to dissent
6. right to travel freely
7. right to exert influence on government authorities
8. right to reexamine our beliefs [not to adhere rigidly to doctrine]
9. we the people demand the right to voice opinions in affairs of state

Statements by Gorbatchev:
East Germany's problems are nothing compared to those he faces in the Soviet Union
"Danger threatens only those who can't react to life's challenges."
"Danger lies ahead only for those who are blind to what is happening."

4 November 1989 slogans at "artists' demonstration" of 1 million:
Against monopoly socialism -- for democratic socialism
Revolutions are holidays for the people
A 360-degree turn in the state security system?
Skepticism is a citizen's first obligation
Stepping down is a step forward (Rücktritt ist Fortschritt)
Reforms, but unlimited (unbekrenzt, a pun on Egon Krenz)
Those who don't move, don't feel their chains
No power for anybody!
Privileges for All!
*To go is silver, to stay is gold
------------------------------- at other times:
Freedom, equality, honesty (French revolution: liberty, equality, brotherhood)
One lies kills 100 truths
Glasnost and not sweet wine (Glasnost und nicht Süssmost)
The rule of law is the best state security (Rechtssicherheit ist die beste Staatssicherheit)

9 Nov. TV News ("Aktuelle Kamera")

Schabowsky's announcement that people have the right to apply to travel to West

Brokaw's announcement that they can travel with no restrictions

28 November: Helmut Kohl's 10-point plan:
I. immediate measures to help GDR (environment, communication, transportation)
II. Changes in GDR constitution: free elections, market economy; common E+W institutions
III.Emphasis on European context of path to unification: confederative structure

Three Phases of Transition=Wende=Turn

1. Late Sept (25th): [Fulbrook: 26 Aug: human rights seminar -- rise of organized opposition groups]
start of large Monday demostrations in Leipzig (movement becomes public)
[Fulbrook: 9 Oct. no force in Leipzig; "reform from above"]

2. 9 Nov.: opening of border to West [Fulbrook: changes in leadership after 9 Nov.: Krenz]
mass euphoria of free travel; uncertain direction of movement; nationalist revival
appeal of economic prosperity, of allure of consumption/wealth

3. 31 Dec. -- early hopes of reform clearly smothered under blanket of W. German manipulation
Neo-Nazis at Leipzig demos; New Forum no longer sponsored