Freya Klier was a leading theatrical director in East Germany. She and her husband, Stephan Krawczyk, were outspoken critics of the East German regime and were among the leading organizers of the counter-demonstration during the annual Liebknecht-Luxemburg parade in January 1988. This is an excerpt from Klier's diary in which she records the events of that day.
To view the associated….
Following the state visit of Mikhail Gorbachev during East Germany's 40th anniversary (October 6 and 7, 1989), it was clear to many observers that East German leader Erich Honecker was on his way out. Demonstrations in Berlin, Leipzig, and elsewhere continued to grow. During Gorbachev's visit, crowds cheered "Gorbi, Gorbi!" and called for perestroika and glasnost for the GDR. During the week….
Anatoly Chernyaev was Mikhail Gorbachev's chief foreign policy advisor during the dramatic events of 1989. In this excerpt from his personal diary, Chernyaev speaks about preparing Gorbachev for his official state visit to East Germany on the occasion of the GDR's 40th anniversary in October 1989.
There are several interesting elements that can be seen in this short excerpt. The first….
This personal account offers insight into the private sentiments of Anatoly Chernyaev, Mikhail Gorbachev's top foreign policy adviser in the 1980s. In this diary entry from May 2, 1989, Chernyaev showed deep concern about the instability and unpredictability of the direction in which Gorbachev was leading the Soviet Union. The document indicates that Soviet leaders were not united, at least in….
As the government of Nicolae Ceauşescu in Romania began to collapse in a wave of strikes and riots, Moscow looked on with growing concern. Shortly before Christmas 1989, the Soviet Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs met with the Yugoslav ambassador to the Soviet Union to discuss the situation. The ambassador described how an attempt by local police to evict the popular priest and regime critic….