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 ‘East Germany 1989’

“The Wall Will Fall. Beliefs Become Reality. W. Oz.” (Photo) and the 9 November Washington Post on East Germany

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on November 9, 2014

Some non-descript Kodak automatic camera (“idiot camera” in German, as  I was to learn from an ethnic German in Romania in 1990) photos from my backpacking through communist Eastern Europe in the summer of 1987.  From my photo album, these are from 9, 12, and 13 August 1987, the latter two days being spent in East Berlin (13 August 1987 was the 26th anniversary of the construction of the Berlin Wall).  The most memorable–although it is hard to see here–is in the far upper right hand corner.  I took it in West Berlin on 9 August 1987 and I am sure locals and tourists remember it (only today, 8 November 2014, did I learn US President Ronald Reagan apparently invoked this in his now-famous speech of 12 June 1987 in West Berlin–an event, which, at the time, during that summer of 1987, seemed like a non-event and got relatively little lasting coverage as I remember, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tear_down_this_wall! ).  It seemed like pie-in-the-sky crazy talk at the time, and even on 9 November 1989 itself, as the newspaper from that morning suggests below (a realization that momentous things were happening, but no real expectation of the watershed event that was to occur later that day).

“The wall will fall.  Beliefs Become Reality W. Oz. [presumably a graffiti artist, conjuring the Wizard of Oz] 10/10/86

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

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on September 20, 2014

Relatedhttps://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/08/16/the-light-and-guns-of-19-august-media-accounts-and-video-about-an-important-day-in-the-fall-of-european-communism-in-1989-featuring-hungary-poland-and-romania/

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):  http://www.ustrcr.cz/data/pdf/seminare/2013/kramer/demise-of-the-soviet-bloc.pdf

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24 September 1989

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

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