Saturday, October 25, 2014

1989: popular mobilizations doom Stalinist police regime in GDR

November 3, 1989

Two days following the most massive political march seen in decades in East Germany, head-of-state Erich Honecker resigned.
The protest of 100,000 on October 16 in the city of Leipzig overshadowed a demonstration a week earlier of 50,000. "We want new leaders!" and "We want reforms!" were popular chants at the march. Protesters carried signs calling for greater freedom of the press, unrestricted travel and free elections.

The size of the protests grew rapidly following the mass departure to West Germany of more than 23,000 East Germans during September and early October. The government responded to the wave of emigration by restricting travel outside the country to those with approved visas.

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