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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 10, 1989

TELEGRAM FROM THE ROMANIAN EMBASSY IN BERLIN TO THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

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    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
    "Telegram from the Romanian Embassy in Berlin to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," November 10, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AMAE, Berlin/1989, vol. 2, pp 422-423. Translated for CWIHP by Mircea Munteanu https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111538
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111538

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10 November 1989, 10:30 am

Cde. Constantin Oancea, Deputy [Foreign Affairs] Minister,

Yesterday, 9 November, after the announcement regarding the decision of the Council of Ministers of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) to allow all citizens to leave the country, temporarily or permanently, around 08:00 pm all border-crossing points with the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and (West) Berlin were opened.


Tens of thousands of people from East Berlin and the provinces went to the border-crossings and crossed into the FRG and West Berlin, without any formalities, showing just their identity papers.


The border guards had orders not to stop anybody. At some border crossings, were too many people showed up, the border guards no longer controlled any papers. The majority of GDR citizens made declarations to the mass media (who covered the events all last night) that they will be returning to their country.


In Berlin the event took the form of a popular celebration: people from the East and West met at border crossings, on each side of the "wall," expressing their satisfaction in various forms (songs, slogans, dancing, etc.). Despite the influx of visitors, order was maintained everywhere. The West German mass media is more and more concerned that [the West German government] will not be able to deal with the influx of immigrants [from the East].


It is suggested that the number [of immigrants] is approaching 1.3 million people. Politicians from all [West German political] parties are proposing that massive economic aid be given to the GDR so that the population will no longer leave the country. It is also suggested that a meeting (in person or over the telephone) between [Helmut] Kohl and [Egon] Krenz is inevitable [and will take place] today.

(ss)[Ambassador] Gheorghe Caranfil