Verbal message from Mikhail Gorbachev to Helmut Kohl regarding the GDR’s decision to allow unrestricted travel to the FRG
November 10, 1989
Verbal Message from Mikhail Gorbachev to François Mitterrand, Margaret Thatcher and George Bush
In light of the rather extreme situation currently taking place in the GDR, its capital city, and in West Berlin, and in reference to what I consider the correct and forward-looking decision by the new East German leadership, I have just sent a verbal message to Chancellor Kohl. I consider it necessary to inform you of the contents of the message as well.
According to our information, a meeting is taking place today in West Berlin in which official representatives of the FRG and West Berlin will participate. A parallel meeting is planned in East Berlin. With the current situation of de facto open borders and huge numbers of people moving in both directions, a chaotic situation could easily develop that might have unforeseen consequences.
I have appealed to Chancellor Kohl to take the extremely pressing steps necessary to prevent a complication and destabilization of the situation.
Our ambassador in Berlin was instructed to contact the representatives of the governments of the three Allied powers in West Berlin. I hope that you will also contact your representatives so that the events do not take an undesirable turn.
In general, I would like to emphasize that deep and fundamental changes are currently taking place in East Germany. If statements are made in the FRG, however, that seek to generate emotional denials of the postwar realities, meaning the existence of two German states, the appearance of such political extremism cannot be viewed as anything other than attempts to destabilize the situation in the GDR and subvert the ongoing processes of democratization and the renewal of all areas of society. Looking forward, this would bring about not only the destabilization of the situation in Central Europe, but also in other parts of the world.
I would like to express my hope that you receive this news with understanding.
Verbal message from Mikhail Gorbachev to François Mitterrand, Margaret Thatcher and George Bush regarding message sent to Chancellor Kohl appealing for measures to be taken to prevent destabilization of the situation
Associated People & Organizations
November 10, 1989
Verbal Message from Mikhail Gorbachev to Helmut Kohl
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].