In a surprise statement during Prime Minister Modrow's visit to Moscow, Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev declares that the principle of German unification will never be called into question by anyone. The two politicians are discussing issues concerning the shape of German unity. Gorbachev insists that a united Germany must remain neutral. As a result of the talks, the SED-PDS leadership abandons its insistence on East German independence. In a statement, the party lends its support to the »commonality of the German nation and the two German states, which goes hand-in-hand with the unification of Europe and contributes effectively to it.«
In the view of economist Heinz-Dieter Haustein, East Germany is not facing a reform of its economy, but a change of economic systems. There is no historic precedent for this, he says, and researchers in East and West have no blueprint for turning a planned economy into a market economy. »We are living through a great adventure,« says Haustein. »We are pushing off from one shore, but do not know whether and when we will arrive on the other.«
Former East German leader Erich Honecker is released from custody this afternoon and brought to the church-run Lobetal rest home near Bernau, north of Berlin. Honecker's lawyers say the former leader is suffering from »general depression.« At a press conference, members of the citizens' committee working to dismantle the former Stasi headquarters on Normannenstrasse in East Berlin report at a press conference that they have found and secured twelve kilometers of files in the 60-building complex.
According to Kurt von Haaren, chairman of the West German Postal Workers' nion, the West German intelligence service, the BND, continues its surveillance of mail from East to West Germany for purposes of »strategic oversight.« Telephone conversations are also surveilled.
© 1999, Christoph Links Verlag, Berlin