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Archival description
Only top-level descriptions Brian Lapping Associates Dobrynin, Anatoly Fedorovich, b 1919, Soviet diplomat and statesman Germany, Berlin
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FALL OF THE WALL: television documentary archive on the end of Communist rule in East Germany

  • FALL OF THE WALL
  • Collection
  • 1994

Complete transcripts of 38 filmed interviews concerning events leading up to the 9 Nov 1989 when the border between the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) was opened, and the demolition of the Berlin Wall began. The interviews were recorded for the production of the television documentary _Fall of the Wall, _which was broadcast in 1994. The collection also includes programme scripts and press releases for each of the hour long documentary episodes titled 'A Hole in the Wall' and 'The Fatal Error'. Interviewees were either present or involved in the decisions and events which led up to the final destruction of the wall and include government leaders in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, German Democratic Republic (GDR), Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), and the Soviet Union, government officials and Politburo members, organisers of the Pan European Picnic, 19 Aug 1989, East German and Czechoslovakian civilians, border guards and security forces, a Foreign Ambassador, and an East German dissident. Most notable are Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet leader 1985 - 1991, Hans Dietrich Genscher, West German Foreign Minister during 1989, Miklós Németh, Hungarian Prime Minister 1988 - 1990, Milos Jakes (First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia 1987 - 1989, and Egon Krenz, East German General Secretary of the Socialist Unity (Communist) Party and Chairman of Council of State Oct - Dec 1989. Subjects discussed include the significance of Soviet policies under Mikhail Gorbachev and Eduard Scheverdnadze such as perestroika and glasnost, the demise of the Breshnev doctrine on Soviet intervention and the Warsaw Pact; reforming influences in government in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia; tacit support of West Germany and the USA for soviet reformers and later agreements for provision of economic aid; Hungary's signing of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951 , Mar 1989; Hungary's announcement that is will cease to maintain its electronic border fence, 2 May 1989; the visit of Gyula Horn, Hungarian Foreign Minister, and Alois Mock, Austrian Foreign Minister, to Sopron, Hungary to view the dismantling of the fence, 28 Jun 1989; visit of George Bush, US President, to Budapest, 11-13 Jul 1989; origin and development of plan to hold a Pan European Picnic at Sopron on 19 Aug 1989, an event promoted by the Democratic Forum under the patronage of Otto Von Habsburg and Imre Poszgay, to mark the dismantling of the fence; meetings between Hungarian and West German leaders concerning the Hungarian border opening; West Germany's principle of accepting all East Germans refugees; arrangements for a ceremonial crossing of the border by an official party during the Pan European Picnic which were upstaged by a group of East German refugees forcing the gates to cross into Austria; peaceful response of the Hungarian border guards; East German 'tourists' in Czechoslovakia seeking refuge in the West German Embassy in Prague, Czechoslovakia; the Fortieth anniversary celebrations of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) on 7 Oct 1989 and visit of Mikhail Gorbachev and other soviet state leaders; the East German government agreement to issue allow these refugees to legally cross to West Germany; special transport trains were passing through East Germany to the west; rioting occurring in Dresden as trains passed through; popular demonstrations in Leipzig during Sep and Oct 1989; influx of troops and police brought in to quell the demonstration in Leipzig planned for 9 Oct 1989 and diffusion of this situation; the resignation of Erich Honecker as East German head of state and party leader, 19 Oct 1989; succession of Egon Krenz as East German leader; East German television announcement of general issue of exit visas for East Germans citizens; and the forcing of the border between East and West Berlin on the evening of 9 Nov 1989.

Brian Lapping Associates