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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Berlin Wall

Documents on the history of the Berlin Wall, beginning with the conditions in Berlin and East Germany following WWII and the history of the wall's construction in 1961, and followed by the 1971 Four Power Negotiations on the status of Berlin, and the final tearing down of the Wall in 1989. See also the collections on German Unification and the End of the Cold War. (Image,  Berlin Wall between Mitte and Kreuzberg, Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-F078996-0006)

  • 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

    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.

  • November 09, 1989

    Günter Schabowski’s Press Conference in the GDR International Press Center 6:53 - 7:01 p.m.

    Schabowski announces new travel regulations allowing permanent exit for East German citizens at all border crossing effective "immediately, without delay."

  • November 09, 1989

    Conversation between Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Solidarity Leader Lech Walesa

    In this extraordinary conversation, Solidarity’s leader fears the collapse of the Wall would distract West Germany’s attention - and money - to the GDR, at the time when Poland, the trail-blazer to the post-communist era in Eastern Europe, desperately needed both. "Events are moving too fast," Walesa said, and only hours later, the Wall fell, and Kohl had to cut his Poland visit short to scramble back to Berlin, thus proving Walesa’s fear correct.

  • November 10, 1989

    Excerpt from the Diary of Anatoly Chernyaev

    Excerpt from Anatoly Chernyaev’s diary following the fall of the Berlin War, praising Gorbachev’s vision

  • November 10, 1989

    Verbal Message from Mikhail Gorbachev to François Mitterrand, Margaret Thatcher and George Bush

    Verbal message from Mikhail Gorbachev to François Mitterrand, Margaret Thatcher and George Bush regarding message sent to Chancellor Kohl appealing for measures to be taken to prevent destabilization of the situation

  • November 10, 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 the opening of borders between the GDR and the FRG and the celebration of citizens on both sides of the wall with the continuing maintenance of order

  • November 10, 1989

    Verbal Message from Mikhail Gorbachev to Helmut Kohl

    Verbal message from Mikhail Gorbachev to Helmut Kohl regarding the GDR’s decision to allow unrestricted travel to the FRG

  • November 10, 1989

    Letter, General Secretary of the SED Egon Krenz to General Secretary of the CC CPSU Mikhail Gorbachev

    General Secretary Krentz reports to Gorbachev that East Germany has allowed GDR citizens to cross the border to West Berlin following mass protests at the Berlin Wall and its checkpoints. Of the 60,000 citizens who took advantage of the open border, reportedly 45,000 returned to East Germany after visiting the west.

  • November 10, 1989

    Bush-Kohl Telephone Conversation on the Situation in Germany

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

  • October 03, 1990

    Bush-Kohl Telephone Conversation on the Situation in Germany

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