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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • June 10, 1989

    Agreement about the Commencement of Substantial Political Negotiations between the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, the Members of the Opposition Roundtable and the Organizations of the Third Side

    The agreement was signed at the first plenary meeting of the National Roundtable talks. The document put on record the legal framework and the conditions of the subsequent tripartite negotiations which lasted until 18 September. At the next meeting, on 21 June, two intermediate-level committees were established for political and social-economic issues, each having six working subcommittees in which the bulk of the legal work leading to the establishment of parliamentary democracy in Hungary was carried out. Between March and June the crucial question of the transition was whether the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party [HSWP] was willing to eventually accept the fact that it would have to negotiate with a unified opposition represented by the Opposition Roundtable [ORT]. Although the HSWP leadership tried to do everything it could to prevent this, by the beginning of June it gave up its previous position. However, the opposition parties had to make a serious concession too, since it was a precondition of the HSWP in agreeing to start official negotiations on the political transition with the ORT that the talks should be tripartite. The “third side” included mass organizations and civil associations, all of which were supporters of the HSWP and/or represented left-wing political ideas.

  • June 12, 1989

    Record of the First Conversations Between Mikhail Gorbachev and FRG President Richard von Weizsäcker

    Gorbachev and Weizsäcker discuss Soviet-American relations and the Bush administration.

  • June 12, 1989

    Information on a Meeting of the Chairmen of the Regional Citizens’ Committees held in the Citizens’ Committee in Warsaw, at 6 Fredra St.,12 June 1989

    Chairmen of the fourty-six regional committees discuss the upcoming round of elections in Poland.

  • June 12, 1989

    Record of Conversation between M. S. Gorbachev and Chancellor of FRG H. Kohl

    Gorbachev and Kohl share their impressions of the newly elected George Bush and discuss events in Eastern Europe.

  • June 13, 1989

    Second Conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and FRG Chancellor Helmut Kohl

    Discussion between Gorbachev and FRG Chancellor Kohl regarding arms control and the evolving diplomatic relationship between West Germany and the Soviet Union.

  • June 13, 1989

    Excerpts from the Opening Full Session of the Hungarian National Roundtable Negotiations

    Transcribed from previously unpublished video recordings, these discussions point to the unwritten "rules" of mutual civility that arose in the nonviolent dissident movements and found an echo among the Communist reformers during the negotiated revolutions of 1989. For example, Dr. Istvan Kukorelli from the Patriotic People’s Front proposes to "refrain from questioning the legitimacy of each other, since the legitimacy of all of us is debatable. It is a question which belongs to the future - who will be given credit by history and who will be forgotten."

  • June 14, 1989

    Letter from the DPRK Embassy to the GDR to Main Department for Consular Affair, GDR Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    The DPRK Embassy to the GDR thanks the GDR Ministry of Foreign Affairs for establishing border crossing procedures for Korean nationals in Germany.

  • June 14, 1989

    Conversation between M. S. Gorbachev and FRG Chancellor Helmut Kohl

    Gorbachev and Kohl discuss relations with the United States, Kohl's upcoming visit to Poland, and the status of reforms in various socialist countries.

  • June 16, 1989

    KGB Chief Kryuchkov’s Report, 16 June 1989

    KGB Chief Kryuchkov reports that research into Soviet repression in the 1930’s through 1950’s reveals that Imre Nagy willingly worked for the NKVD as an informant. Using the pseudonym “Volodya,” Nagy information is said to have led to sentences for Hungarian émigrés. Kryuchkov states that the documents should be shown to the Secretary General of the HSWP and possibly used in response to calls for Nagy’s rehabilitation.

  • July 05, 1989

    Excerpts from the Conversation of M.S. Gorbachev and Francois Mitterand

    Excerpts from a dinner conversation between Gorbachev and Mitterand where they discuss the political situations in Romania, Bulgaria, and Poland, and also comment on the US political system.

  • July 06, 1989

    Speech by Mikhail Gorbachev to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, "Europe as a Common Home"

    Mikhail Gorbachev exposes his idea of the "Common European Home" and states that he will not block reform in East European countries. Gorbachev told the Council that it is "the sovereign right of each people to choose their social system at their own discretion." Gorbachev's statements amount to an unofficial repudiation of the Brezhnev Doctrine.

  • July 12, 1989

    Memorandum from Foreign Minister Petar Mladenov to the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party

    Memorandum from Foreign Minister Petar Mladenov to the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party regarding a meeting of leaders of the Warsaw Pact countries to determine how to proceed with enhancing contacts with the West and pursuing disarmament

  • July 14, 1989

    Letter to Cde. Erich Honecker from Cde. Schabowski on a Meeting with Jiang Zemin

    Jiang Zemin describes the Tian'anmen Square Incident, stating that the "counterrevolutionary revolt had deep roots" and that the People's Liberation Army suffered casualties during the protests.

  • July 15, 1989

    Excerpts from the Conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and Rajiv Gandhi

    Gorbachev and Gandhi discuss the Tiananmen Square Incident in China and the ongoing turmoil within the Chinese Communist Party, including the fate of Zhao Ziyang.

  • July 15, 1989

    Minutes from a Meeting of the Presidium of the Citizens’ Parliamentary Club, 15 July 1989

    The Citizens’ Parliamentary Club formed by Solidarity deputies in June 1989 meets to discuss preparations for the future of Poland’s political system and election of a president.

  • July 22, 1989

    CPSU CC Memo with Excerpt from Protocol #163/44, 22 July 1989

    The protocol deals with the further arming of Afghanistan and the training of Afghan servicemen in the USSR.

  • July 24, 1989

    Minutes of the Meeting of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party [HSWP] CC Political Executive Committee

    Minutes of the meeting of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party [HSWP] CC Political Executive Committee discussing whether to hold elections in September or wait until November

  • July 24, 1989

    Memorandum of Conversation between President Mikhail Gorbachev, President Rezsö Nyers, and General Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party (HSWP), Károly Grósz, Moscow

    Memorandum of conversation between President Mikhail Gorbachev, President Rezsö Nyers, and General Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party (HSWP), Károly Grósz, Moscow regarding the publicized withdrawal of Soviet troops from Hungary and the commemoration of Hungarians who died on the Soviet Front or in POW camps in WWII

  • July 24, 1989

    Decision of the Moldavian KGB Collegium, On the Implementation Status by KGB MSSR Section 5 'Fulfillment of the Directives of the XXVIIth CPSU Congress on the Intensification of Ideological-Educational Work'

    Report by the Moldavian KGB on the decisions it had implemented of the USSR KGB Collegium from the previous year. Includes work to counter Romanian nationalist propaganda. Romania is referred to by the code name "Objective 24." General-Lieutenant G.M. Volkov, the Chairman of the Moldavian SSR KGB, maintained that an all-out offensive was required, including the use of “persons of trust from among the ranks of people of science, culture and art,” in order to neutralize “the subversive activity of the adversary” by identifying and isolating the “emissaries of the adversary” and imposing “permanent and reliable operational control” over them.

  • July 25, 1989

    Report of the President of Hungary Rezso Nyers and General Secretary Karoly Grosz on Talks with Gorbachev in Moscow (excerpts)

    President of People’s Republic of Hungary, Rezso Nyers, and General Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party, Karoly Grosz, report on their talks with Gorbachev in Moscow, 24-25 July, 1989. The excerpts contains economic reformer Nyers’ assessment of the political situation in Hungary, and first among the factors that "can defeat the party," he lists "the past, if we let ourselves [be] smeared with it." The memory of the revolution of 1956 and its bloody repression by the Soviets was Banquo’s ghost, destroying the legitimacy of the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party, just as 1968 in Prague and 1981’s martial law in Poland and all the other Communist "blank spots" of history came back in 1989 to crumble Communist ideology. For their part, the Communist reformers (including Gorbachev) did not quite know how to respond as events accelerated in 1989, except not to repeat 1956.