The Archive of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989

A Catch-22 December 1989, Groundhog-Day Production. Presenting the Personal Research & Scholarship of Richard Andrew Hall, Ph.D.

Posts Tagged ‘Cold War Studies’

25 Years Ago: East German Exodus Continues and Things Start Getting Serious (Press from the Time)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on September 20, 2014


PURELY PERSONAL VIEWS AS ALWAYS.  As my own collection of copies of the Washington Post from the time suggests:  things began to really gather pace in the former communist Eastern Europe in September 1989.  On 11 September 1989–yes 11 September, the accidental historian thus drawing together other famous 11 Septembers (Allende’s overthrow in Chile in 1973 or al-Qa’ida’s horrific attacks of 11 September 2001)–the Hungarians essentially formalized their laissez-faire attitude toward East Germans using their country as a transit point for going West.  To the wrath of the East German regime of Erich Honecker–but also to the other members of the so-called Gang of Four rejectionists in Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and perhaps especially Nicolae Ceausescu’s Romania–the Hungarian regime released the pressure of the build-up of East German refugees in their country, opening the flood gates not only for future refugees but for the momentous collapse of the rejectionist communist regimes which followed in quick succession during October, November, and December 1989.  Mark Kramer of  Harvard University’s Cold War Studies Project lays out in excellent detail the dynamics and ramifications of these events in Mark Kramer, “The Demise of the Soviet Bloc.” The Journal of Modern History 83:4 (December 2011): 788-854, available online here (see pages 227-234):


24 September 1989



Note first article by Blaine Harden, “Move Intensifies Split in Bloc as Only Poles Back Hungary”



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