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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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End of the Cold War

This is a collection of primary source documents covering the collapse of the Soviet Union during the late 1980s. The collection contains documents from archives in most of the former Soviet bloc countries. They discuss the changes occurring in Eastern Europe and the Tiananmen Square events in China. See also Cold War Origins. (Image, East German border guards look through a hole in the Berlin Wall, 1989)

  • October 09, 1989

    Telegram from the Romanian Embassy in Berlin to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Telegram from the Romanian Embassy in Berlin to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding protests in East Berlin on the anniversary of the GDR calling for following the model of the Soviet Union and liberalizing

  • October 11, 1989

    Excerpt from the Diary of Anatoly Chernyaev

    Chernyaev records Gorbachev's frustrations with Honecker following meeting with him in Berlin.

  • October 11, 1989

    Information Note from the Romanian Embassy in Berlin to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Information Note from the Romanian Embassy in Berlin to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the protests, concern on the part of the intelligentsia regarding the lack of dialogue with the population, and concern on the part of the SED about possible strikes

  • October 13, 1989

    Memorandum Regarding a Conversation between Vadim Medvedev and Kurt Hager in the CC of the CPSU in Moscow

    Medvedev and Hager discuss the future of the GDR and new resolutions to appease citizens of the GDR.

  • October 17, 1989

    Czechoslovak Ministry of Interior Memorandum, “Information on the Security Situation in the CSSR,” 17 October 1989

    The Czechoslovak Ministry of the Interior reports on the state of security within the CSSR. A growing anti-communist movement is active within the CSSR, with some cooperation of the "internal enemy" with Western political and ideological groups. Increased levels of crime, violence, and alcoholism are reported.

  • October 20, 1989

    Information Note of the Romanian Embassy in Berlin to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Note from the Romanian Embassy in Berlin to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the election of Egon Krenz as Secretary General of the SED and his efforts to create open dialogue, reform the system and initiate changes in the GDR system

  • October 23, 1989

    Bush-Kohl Telephone Conversation on the Situation in Eastern Europe

    Telephone conversation between President George H. W. Bush and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl on the situation in Eastern Europe.

  • October 24, 1989

    Letter from Foreign Minister Petar Mladenov to the Bulgarian Communist Party Central Committee

    Letter from Foreign Minister Petar Mladenov to the BCP CC criticizing Todor Zhivkov for bringing Bulgaria into economic crisis and doing everything to keep his family in power

  • October 25, 1989

    Czechoslovak Ministry of Interior Memorandum, 'The Security Situation in the CSSR in the Period Before 28 October'

    The Czechoslovak Ministry of the Interior reports on anti- government activity. Anti-socialist forces in Hungary are collaborating with those in Czechoslovakia. A demonstration on 28 October, 1989 is anticipated in Prague. Security measures have been taken in an attempt to prevent these groups from meeting, propagandizing, and organizing the demonstration.

  • October 31, 1989

    Information Note from Romanian Embassy in Berlin to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Note from Romanian Embassy in Berlin to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding peaceful street protests in the GDR, the opnening of dialogue between government and citizens, and the serious effort to enact reforms, including a cessation of criticizing West Germany in the media

  • November 01, 1989

    Soviet Record of Conversation between M. S. Gorbachev and the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), Egon Krenz

    Soviet record of conversation between M. S. Gorbachev and the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), Egon Krenz concerning the possible reunification of Germany and issues faced by both the Soviet Union and the GDR

  • November 01, 1989

    Memorandum of Conversation Between Egon Krenz, Secretary General of the Socialist Unity Party (SED), and Mikhail S. Gorbachev, Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU)

    Memorandum of Conversation Between Egon Krenz, Secretary General of the Socialist Unity Party (SED), and Mikhail S. Gorbachev, Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) regarding the economic and political crises in the GDR and measures to alleviate them

  • November 06, 1989

    Conversation on GDR-FRG Economic Cooperation between Alexander Schalck and Egon Krenz

    Note of conversation between East German leader Alexander Schalck and West German Minister of the Chancellery Rudolf Seiters on future economic cooperation between the two German states. The discussion makes clear that the East German economy will collapse without immediate and massive West German aid.

  • November 07, 1989

    Letter from Alexander Schalck to Egon Krenz

    Letter from Alexander Schalck to Egon Krenz regarding conversation with FRG government officials stating that the FRG Chancellor sees cooperation between FRG and GDR if GDR guarantees free elections and permission of opposition groups

  • November 07, 1989

    Minutes No. 49 of the Meeting of the SED Politburo

    Minutes No. 49 of the Meeting of the SED Politburo concerning situation regarding GDR citizens leaving the country. The Politburo decides a new travel law will be developed in order to placate some of the popular demands.

  • November 07, 1989

    Memorandum of Conversation between Comrade Oskar Fischer and the Soviet Ambassador V[yacheslav] I. Kochemassov at 11:45 a.m.

    Memorandum of Conversation between Comrade Oskar Fischer and the Soviet Ambassador V[yacheslav] I. Kochemassov discussing measures to be taken to prevent the permanent exit of GDR citizens via the CSSR

  • November 07, 1989

    Information Note from the Romanian Embassy in Berlin to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Note from the Romanian Embassy in Berlin to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding continuing protests in the streets, the proposal to allow freedom to travel to foreign countries, the demands by the population for the removal of the Politburo and all ministers, and the movement towards the economic integration of the GDR with the FRG.

  • November 09, 1989

    Material for the Session/For Circulation in the Council of Ministers, Draft: Temporary Transition Rules for Travel and Permanent Exit from the GDR, Berlin

    Draft resolution and press release announcing new temporary transition rules for travel abroad and permanent exits from East Germany.

  • November 09, 1989

    Information Note from the Romanian Embassy in Berlin to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Information Note from the Romanian Embassy in Berlin to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding changes in the structure of the SED and demands by the population for wider changes in the political system

  • November 09, 1989

    Transcript of the Tenth Session of the SED Central Committee from 3:47 - 3:55 p.m.

    Transcript of the Tenth Session of the SED Central Committee regarding the issue of new temporary travel regulations.