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October 5, 1989

Excerpt From the Diary of Anatoly Chernyaev

M.S. [Gorbachev] is flying to the GDR [to celebrate] its 40th anniversary. He is very reluctant. Called me two times. Today [he called and said]: I polished the text (of the speech) to the last letter–you know, they will scrutinize it under a microscope… I will not say a word in support of [East German leader Erich] Honecker. But I will support the Republic and the Revolution.

Today in Dresden—20,000 demonstrate. Yesterday there was a demonstration in Leipzig. Information is coming in that in the presence of Gorbachev people will storm the Wall. Awful scenes when a special train [with East German refugees] passed from Prague to the GDR via Dresden. West German television shot everything and now is broadcasting this all over the GDR. All Western media are full of articles about German reunification.

Tomorrow the congress of the H[ungarian] S[ocialist] W[orkers'] P[arty] will announce the self-liquidation of “socialist PRH” [People's Republic of Hungary].

Not to mention Poland: the P[olish] U[nited] W[orkers'] P[arty] not only lost power—it will hardly survive till its next congress in February.

In a word, the total dismantling of socialism as a world phenomenon has been proceeding…Perhaps it is inevitable and good…For this is a reunification of mankind on the basis of common sense. And a common fellow from Stavropol [Gorbachev] set this process in motion.

Excerpt from the diary of Anatoly Chernyaev discussing Gorbachev’s upcoming visit to the GDR to celebrate its 40th anniversary, and Chernyaev’s comments on the collapse of the socialist system


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Archive of the Gorbachev Foundation, f. 2, op. 2. Translated by Vladislav Zubok. (National Security Archive).


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