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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • June 06, 1989

    Bulgarian Politburo Discussion on Radio Free Europe Monitoring Reports (excerpt)

    This extract from a Politburo discussion indicates the attention paid to monitoring Western broadcasts for the top Party elite and Party leader Zhivkov’s impatience with the regime monitors’ focus on RFE broadcasts.

  • June 06, 1989

    Meeting of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party

    Discussion of broadcasts of "Radio Free Europe" and other Western media on Bulgaria's policies towards the country's Turkish minority.

  • June 08, 1989

    Assessment Paper by the Austrian Foreign Ministry, '[Excerpt] Eastern Europe; Current Assessment'

    The paper addresses the change in economics, politics, and social structures in the Soviet bloc (Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, and the GDR) as a result of the USSR loosening up regulations.

  • June 09, 1989

    Records of the Talks between GDR Comrade Erich Honecker, and Member of the Politburo and Minister for Foreign Affairs the USSR, Eduard A. Shevardnadze

    GDR Chairman Honecker and Shevardnadze discuss the state of the German Democratic Republic and the CPSU's outlook on and relationship with East Germany, as well as both of their perspectives on the sociopolitical landscape in Poland, its recent election and the battle to maintain socialism in Poland.

  • June 10, 1989

    Secret Instructions by State Security (MfS) Chief Erich Mielke to Heads of all State Security Units

    In response to Western reports about the Tiananmen Square protests, Chief Erich Mielke alerts State Security to suppress all offensive anti-Chinese activity and propaganda in the GDR.

  • June 10, 1989

    Agreement about the Commencement of Substantial Political Negotiations between the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, the Members of the Opposition Roundtable and the Organizations of the Third Side

    The agreement was signed at the first plenary meeting of the National Roundtable talks. The document put on record the legal framework and the conditions of the subsequent tripartite negotiations which lasted until 18 September. At the next meeting, on 21 June, two intermediate-level committees were established for political and social-economic issues, each having six working subcommittees in which the bulk of the legal work leading to the establishment of parliamentary democracy in Hungary was carried out. Between March and June the crucial question of the transition was whether the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party [HSWP] was willing to eventually accept the fact that it would have to negotiate with a unified opposition represented by the Opposition Roundtable [ORT]. Although the HSWP leadership tried to do everything it could to prevent this, by the beginning of June it gave up its previous position. However, the opposition parties had to make a serious concession too, since it was a precondition of the HSWP in agreeing to start official negotiations on the political transition with the ORT that the talks should be tripartite. The “third side” included mass organizations and civil associations, all of which were supporters of the HSWP and/or represented left-wing political ideas.

  • June 12, 1989

    Record of the First Conversations Between Mikhail Gorbachev and FRG President Richard von Weizsäcker

    Gorbachev and Weizsäcker discuss Soviet-American relations and the Bush administration.

  • June 12, 1989

    Information on a Meeting of the Chairmen of the Regional Citizens’ Committees held in the Citizens’ Committee in Warsaw, at 6 Fredra St.,12 June 1989

    Chairmen of the fourty-six regional committees discuss the upcoming round of elections in Poland.

  • June 12, 1989

    Record of Conversation between M. S. Gorbachev and Chancellor of FRG H. Kohl

    Gorbachev and Kohl share their impressions of the newly elected George Bush and discuss events in Eastern Europe.

  • June 13, 1989

    Second Conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and FRG Chancellor Helmut Kohl

    Discussion between Gorbachev and FRG Chancellor Kohl regarding arms control and the evolving diplomatic relationship between West Germany and the Soviet Union.

  • June 13, 1989

    Excerpts from the Opening Full Session of the Hungarian National Roundtable Negotiations

    Transcribed from previously unpublished video recordings, these discussions point to the unwritten "rules" of mutual civility that arose in the nonviolent dissident movements and found an echo among the Communist reformers during the negotiated revolutions of 1989. For example, Dr. Istvan Kukorelli from the Patriotic People’s Front proposes to "refrain from questioning the legitimacy of each other, since the legitimacy of all of us is debatable. It is a question which belongs to the future - who will be given credit by history and who will be forgotten."

  • June 14, 1989

    Conversation between M. S. Gorbachev and FRG Chancellor Helmut Kohl

    Gorbachev and Kohl discuss relations with the United States, Kohl's upcoming visit to Poland, and the status of reforms in various socialist countries.

  • June 16, 1989

    KGB Chief Kryuchkov’s Report, 16 June 1989

    KGB Chief Kryuchkov reports that research into Soviet repression in the 1930’s through 1950’s reveals that Imre Nagy willingly worked for the NKVD as an informant. Using the pseudonym “Volodya,” Nagy information is said to have led to sentences for Hungarian émigrés. Kryuchkov states that the documents should be shown to the Secretary General of the HSWP and possibly used in response to calls for Nagy’s rehabilitation.

  • June 26, 1989

    Memorandum of Conversation Foreign Ministers Alois Mock (Austria) and Gyula Horn (Hungary)

    Transcript of official visit between Foreign Minister Horn (Hungary) with Foreign Minister Mock (Austria). In it they discuss Western European integration including Hungary's participation, the Europe Free Trade Agreement, and Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe. They continue with the development of Eastern Europe elaborating the developments with the Warsaw Pact, Hungarian/USSR relations, reforming Hungarian policy, and Austria's place in these changing times.

  • June 27, 1989

    Letter from NATO Deputy General Secretary Marcello Guidi to Minister Andreotti

    NATO's Deputy Secretary General Marcello Guidi writes to Foreign Minister Andreotti at the end of his term volunteering his rather optimistic views on the developments in East-West relations and NATO during the past three years. Key topics include disarmament, the German question, and the future role of NATO.

  • June 27, 1989

    Untitled report from Mieczysław Dedo, Polish Ambassador to the DPRK, concerning the visit of Yasser Arafat in North Korea (25-26 June 1989)

    Poland's ambassador to North Korea reports on cooperation between the Palestinian state and the DPRK following Arafat's visit.

  • July 05, 1989

    Excerpts from the Conversation of M.S. Gorbachev and Francois Mitterrand

    Excerpts from a dinner conversation between Gorbachev and Mitterrand where they discuss the political situations in Romania, Bulgaria, and Poland, and also comment on the US political system.

  • July 06, 1989

    Speech by Mikhail Gorbachev to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, "Europe as a Common Home"

    Mikhail Gorbachev exposes his idea of the "Common European Home" and states that he will not block reform in East European countries. Gorbachev told the Council that it is "the sovereign right of each people to choose their social system at their own discretion." Gorbachev's statements amount to an unofficial repudiation of the Brezhnev Doctrine.

  • July 12, 1989

    Memorandum from Foreign Minister Petar Mladenov to the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party

    Memorandum from Foreign Minister Petar Mladenov to the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party regarding a meeting of leaders of the Warsaw Pact countries to determine how to proceed with enhancing contacts with the West and pursuing disarmament

  • July 14, 1989

    Letter to Cde. Erich Honecker from Cde. Schabowski on a Meeting with Jiang Zemin

    Jiang Zemin describes the Tian'anmen Square Incident, stating that the "counterrevolutionary revolt had deep roots" and that the People's Liberation Army suffered casualties during the protests.