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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 07, 1989


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    Information Note from the Romanian Embassy in Berlin to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the resignation of Egon Krenz, the scheduled Extraordinary Congress of the SED and its planned break with Stalinism, the beginning of ‘warning’ strikes, and the general movement of the GDR towards forming a federation with the FRG
    "Information Note from the Romanian Embassy in Berlin to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," December 07, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AMAE, Berlin/1989, vol. 3, pp. 137-140. Translated for CWIHP by Mircea Munteanu
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7 December 1989, 02:45 pm

Cde. Ioan Stoian, Minister of Foreign Affairs,

In regards with the evolution of events in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), we would [like to] inform [you] the following:

1. The Council of State of the GDR, which met on 6 December, accepted the resignation of Egon Krenz from the positions of President of the Council of State and President of the Council of National Defense. On the basis of Constitutional law, Manfred Gerlach who is [currently] the vice-president of the Council of State, will be named Interim President of the Council of State. Through another decision of the Council of State, all members of the Council of National Defense have been dismissed. Manfred Gerhard is the President of the Liberal-Democratic Party. In his resignation [letter] presented to the President of the National Assembly, Egon Krenz said that his activity in the Council of State and the Politburo when under the leadership of Erich Honecker has diminished the trust that the population has in the policies [he later] initiated for the renewal of Socialism.

2. The planning commission for the Extraordinary Congress of the SED, which was scheduled to take place on 15-17 December, decided to move the date [of the Congress] forward, now scheduled for 8 December. The Congress is suppose to "make a clean break with the Stalinist system [of government], with the monopoly and the abuse of power." As we have previously informed you, the party will have an entirely new [organizational] structure—both of the leadership and of its mass organizations—and most likely a new name. An Executive Bureau and a Secretariat will be created. The party organizations from industrial complexes will be dissolved. From the declaration of the planning committee, the Congress will "insure that the SED will be able to act, as an equal [on the political scene], in the process of renewal undertaken by the [German] society. The leadership role of the SED, which was removed from the Constitutions, is no longer mentioned.

3. The committee which investigates the measures taken against the protesters during the events of 7-8 October, has rendered a verdict of guilty against Erich Mielke, former Minister of State Security, against Major-General H=F6hnel, President of the Regional Committee for National Security, of the Commander of the Berlin Police, F. Rausch and against D. Simon, Chief District Attorney of Berlin. All of them will be judged in a court of law. During the investigation, General-Colonel Streletz, Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Ministry of National Defense, confirmed that Erich Honecker ordered, proceeding from the idea that the protests were counter-revolutionary actions, that "all rebellious actions must be actively stopped by adequate actions." It has also been concluded that, before the festivities celebrated on 7 October of this year, the Ministry of State Security was subordinated directly to Erich Honecker. During the depositions [regarding the events of 7-8 October] Erich Mielke has been accused of serious misconduct by workers in the Ministry of State Security.

4. Even though the government has made numerous appeals to the people not the disrupt production activity, yesterday, 7 (6) December, the first "warning strikes" took place in the South of the GDR. The workers who were striking based on an appeal from the "New Forum" organization, went on strike for two hours. [They] were demanding that all people guilty of abuse of power be judged [in a court of law], that factories be taken out of the SED's control and called for the reunification of Germany.

5. Due to unrest in the penitentiary, the government has adopted a decision of offering amnesty to all inmates who have been condemned to up to three years in jail—we are speaking, of course, about common inmates, all political prisoners have long been released. In the amnesty are not included those in jail for sexual offenses, armed theft, felony theft, premeditated murder and hooliganism.

6. Invited by political organizations such as "New Forum," "Initiative for Peace and Human Rights," and "Democracy Now," the Dalai Llama Genzong Gyatso visited Berlin. The GDR mass-media published, previously, news in regards with the protest of the People's Republic of China's (PRC) Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the visit of the Dalai Llama. The press secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the GDR reaffirmed that the GDR government considers "Tibet an integral part of China." While publishing a news story about some financial credit given to the PRC by Japan, the GDR mass media used for the first time the formula "the use of the military for dispersal of the protests in Beijing during this past summer." I was informed that the GDR parliament is expected to pass a resolution which will change the previous position taken by the GDR National Assembly in June by which the GDR government showed its support for the actions of the PRC government [in and around Tiananmen Square] against the students.

7. Sources within diplomatic circles in Berlin—both from socialist and capitalist countries—are of the opinion that the Modrow government is taking the GDR in the direction of forming a confederation with the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), no matter what term is used ("contractual community.") The unprecedented connection between the two countries—political, economic and cultural—on which no one has any control anymore, is creating a de facto situation in which there is no longer a border between the two states. We mention, as an example, that the West German political parties are organizing meetings and demonstrations in East Germany, that West German politicians (Brandt, Schilly) are speaking without any difficulty at demonstrations in the GDR. All socio-political organizations which are currently operating (from the structure of the government to the [organization] of the political parties) in the GDR are organized on the West German model.

(ss)[Ambassador] Gheorghe Caranfil