The Fall of the Wall
 german flag

Saturday, 16. December 1989


This is the start of a weekend of Party conferences at which the new and renewed forces will take stock and risk looking ahead. The first phase of revolutionary change seems to be completed. Old, static conditions have been shaken up and the groundwork laid for fundamental change. Now it is time to gather forces, draft convincing programs, and create majorities in order to introduce structural change that will reach to the roots of society in the coming elections.

At the final session of the CDU party Conference in Berlin, the party's newly-elected general secretary, Martin Kirchner, publicly admits his party's guilt, saying the perpetrators and victims had at the same time been victims and perpetrators.

Meanwhile, Democratic Awakening is meeting in Leipzig to found a party. Wolfgang Schnur, an attorney from Rostock, is chosen as its chairman. Gerald Wittenberg, a delegate from Erfurt, earns loud applause when he states that »the planned economy is dead, we don't want to resurrect that corpse, no more socialist experiments!«

At the second half of its special Party Conference in Berlin, the SED decides to regroup as the »Party of Democratic Socialism« and to operate under the double name »SED-PDS« until the next regular Party Conference. An earlier petition by radical reformers to dissolve the SED and form a new socialist party was rejected.

Criminal sociologist Wolfgang Brück, who has been observing the most recent activities of the right-wing radical »scene« in East Germany, gives his assessment: »I suspect that we will soon have to expect the organized emergence of a right-wing extremist organization from the darkness. There are considerable right-wing extremist views in East Germany.«

In the evening, rapid unification with West Germany is again demanded at a rally in Plauen attended by 10,000 people.