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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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

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    Draft resolution and press release announcing new temporary transition rules for travel abroad and permanent exits from East Germany.
    "Material for the Session/For Circulation in the Council of Ministers, Draft: Temporary Transition Rules for Travel and Permanent Exit from the GDR, Berlin," November 09, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Bundesbeauftragter für die Unterlagen der Staatssicherheit (BstU), Central Archive, MfS Working Group Nieber 553, sheets 15-19. Translated for CWIHP by Howard Sargeant https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113046
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Material for the meeting
For Circulation in the Council of Ministers
Berlin, 9 November 1989
Members of the Council of Ministers

It is requested that the attached draft resolution Temporary Transition Rules for Travel and Permanent Exit VVS b2-937/89 by the GDR Chairman of the Council of Ministers be approved through circulation today, Thursday, 9 November 1989, by 6:00 p.m.

[Harry] Moebis
[1]

Material for the meeting
Secret
Council of Ministers Circular b2-937/89
[11/9/89]
[40
th] copy 4 pages
V 1204/89

Title of the draft:
Temporary—Transition
Rules for Travel and
Permanent Exit from the GDR

Draft presented by:
Chairman of the Council of Ministers

signed: Willi Stoph

Berlin, 9 November 1989

Draft Resolution
The attached resolution on the temporary transition rules for travel and permanent exit from the GDR is approved.

Draft Resolution
To change the situation with regard to the permanent exit of GDR citizens to the FRG via the CSSR, it has been determined that:

1. The decree from 30 November 1988 about travel abroad of GDR citizens will no longer be applied until the new travel law comes into force.

2. Starting immediately, the following temporary transition regulations for travel abroad and permanent exits from the GDR are in effect:

a) Applications by private individuals for travel abroad can now be made without the previously existing requirements (of demonstrating a need to travel or proving familial relationships). The travel authorizations will be issued within a short period of time. Grounds for denial will only be applied in particularly exceptional cases.

b) The responsible departments of passport and registra-tion control in the People's Police district offices in the GDR are instructed to issue visas for permanent exit without delays and without presentation of the existing requirements for permanent exit. It is still possible to apply for permanent exit in the departments for internal affairs [of the local district or city councils].

c) Permanent exits are possible via all GDR border crossings to the FRG and (West) Berlin.

d) The temporary practice of issuing (travel) authorizations through GDR consulates and permanent exit with only a GDR personal identity card via third countries ceases.

3. The attached press release explaining the temporary transition regulation will be issued on 10 November.

[Attachment]

Responsible: Government spokesman of the GDR
Council of Ministers

Press release

Berlin (ADN)
[2]

As the Press Office of the Ministry of the Interior has announced, the GDR Council of Ministers has decided that the following temporary transition regulation for travel abroad and permanent exit from the GDR will be effective until a corresponding law is put into effect by the Volkskammer:

1) Applications by private individuals for travel abroad can now be made without the previously existing requirements (of demonstrating a need to travel or proving familial relationships). The travel authorizations will be issued within a short period of time. Grounds for denial will only be applied in particularly exceptional cases.

2) The responsible departments of passport and registration control in the People's Police district offices in the GDR are instructed to issue visas for permanent exit without delays and without presentation of the existing requirements for permanent exit. It is still possible to apply for permanent exit in the departments for internal affairs [of the local district or city councils].

3) Permanent exits are possible via all GDR border crossings to the FRG and (West) Berlin.

4) This decision revokes the temporary practice of issuing (travel) authorizations through GDR consulates and permanent exit with only a GDR personal identity card via third countries ceases.

[1] Head of the Secretariat of the Council of Minister since 7 November 1989.

[2] Allgemeiner Deutscher Nachrichtendienst, the official GDR press agency.