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November 9, 1989

Conversation between Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Solidarity Leader Lech Walesa

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation

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.

Document Information


"Dokumente zur Deutschland Politik; Deutsche Einheit: Sonderedition aus den Akten des Bundeskanzleramtes 1989/90," Hans Jürgen Kusters and Daniel Hofmann, eds. (Munich: Oldenbourg Verlag, 1998), document number 76, pp. 492-496. Published in National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 22. Translated by Catherine Nielsen.


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Leon Levy Foundation