MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION BETWEEN COMRADE OSKAR FISCHER AND THE SOVIET AMBASSADOR V[YACHESLAV] I. KOCHEMASSOVCITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
get citationMemorandum 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"Memorandum of Conversation between Comrade Oskar Fischer and the Soviet Ambassador V[yacheslav] I. Kochemassov" November 07, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, BA, Berlin, DC-20 4933. Translated for CWIHP by Howard Sargeant. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113043
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The conversation took place at the request of the Minister, Comrade Fischer.
Comrade Oskar Fischer stated that the Politburo had discussed the problem of exits by GDR citizens, and the connected problems in the CSSR (blocking of the border crossings...). [It was the GDR's duty] to relieve the Czecho-slovak comrades. The GDR/FRG border would not be opened, because this would have uncontrollable effects. For the same reason, the border to the CSSR could not be closed.
The following measures were planned:
1. The media campaign aimed at inducing GDR citizens to remain in their country will be intensified. It was being attempted to co-opt certain people (person-alities) to join the campaign. At the same time, returnees from the FRG should also be effectively used in this campaign.
2. The campaign against the FRG's duty to take care of [the East Germans] will also be intensified. In this effort the support of our allies is desirable. Our ambassadors in Western Europe have been instructed to work along the same lines.
3. The [implementation of the] part of the travel law that deals with permanent exit of GDR citizens will be put in effect in advance.
4. It is to be discussed with the CSSR as to whether including its border crossings to Bavaria [Brambach Vojlanov] as an exit route would bring relief. At the same time the CSSR would be asked as to whether it could close the border with the GDR. That would mean, however, punishing well-intentioned GDR citizens. If the GDR were to close [its border], a power struggle would ensue.
5. The GDR will inform Bonn about what they can expect as far as GDR citizens traveling to the FRG are concerned. It will demand forcefully that the FRG oppose the entry of GDR citizens. We will take them at their word.
6. Comrade Schabowski will inform the bloc parties about these things today, and Comrade Jarowinsky will talk to the representatives of the churches.
7. Comrade Ziebart will be informed by the Minister immediately, since he has an appointment today in Prague at 1:15 p.m. with Comrade Lenart.
Comrade Gorbachev's opinion as to the larger picture as well as to our plans for the travel law is very important to Comrade Krenz. The GDR would appreciate the support of the USSR.
Comrade Kochemassov thanked Comrade Fischer for the information. As an additional measure, he suggested including the former allies (USA, Britain, France) in order to prompt them to put pressure on the FRG.
Comrade Fischer agreed.
Comrade Kochemassov assured [Comrade Fischer] that the request would be forwarded to Moscow at once and promised a prompt response.
[Source: BA, Berlin, DC-20 4933. Translated for CWIHP by Howard Sargeant.]