Skip to content

November 10, 1989

Letter, General Secretary of the SED Egon Krenz to General Secretary of the CC CPSU Mikhail Gorbachev

This document was made possible with support from Leon Levy Foundation

General Secretary


comrade Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev




Dear comrade Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev!


In connection with the developments of the situation in GDR, tonight it became necessary to make a decision to permit the exit of citizens of the German Democratic Republic to West Berlin as well.  A large gathering of people at the KPP [Kontrollpassierpunkt - checkpoint] to West Berlin demanded a quick decision from us.  Denying passage to West Berlin could have led to serious consequences whose scale would become unforeseeable.  The articles of the Quadripartite agreement on West Berlin does not bear on this decision, since permissions for exit into West Berlin to visit relatives have been given out up until now as well.  


Last night, about 60 thousand citizens of the GDR crossed the KPP into West Berlin.  Of these, about 45 thousand returned back to the GDR.  


From 6 o’clock in the morning today, only persons having the appropriate visa from the GDR can go into West Berlin.  The same also applies for permanent exit from the GDR.


I request, dear comrade Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev that you instruct the USSR ambassador in the GDR to get in touch without delay with the representatives of the Western powers with the aim of ensuring normal order in the city and of averting provocations on the state border from West Berlin.


With communist greetings


Egon Krenz

General Secretary of the SED


Berlin, 10 November 1989.


General Secretary Krentz reports to Gorbachev that East Germany has allowed GDR citizens to cross the border to West Berlin following mass protests at the Berlin Wall and its checkpoints. Of the 60,000 citizens who took advantage of the open border, reportedly 45,000 returned to East Germany after visiting the west.


Document Information


CWIHP Archives.


The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.

To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].

Original Uploaded Date





Record ID



Leon Levy Foundation