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1989 revisited: October 9th – Leipzig protests of 70,000 October 9, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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70,000 attend protest in Leipzig – many chanting “Wir sind das Volk!” (“We are the people!”). Orders were issued to allow security forces to engage using armed force against protestors and Honecker stated that a state of emergency might be declared (there is some evidence that shoot-to-kill orders were issued). However negotiations between the protestors and local SED members and representatives of the police saw the event pass off peacefully. The reasons for the retreat from using force on the part of the state include concern about the publicity following such events, the size of the protests, a willingness by local SED leaders to negotiate and clear indications that many members of the militia were unwilling to intervene (Stasi reports during this period pointed also to the unreliability the military). And clearly the Soviet Union was unwilling to support the use of force.

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1. The Flensburg Files - October 10, 2019

Reblogged this on THE FLENSBURG FILES.

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2. Ginge in Germany - October 10, 2019

Reblogged this on Ginge in Germany.

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3. Paul Culloty - October 10, 2019

The contrast with Poland in 1981 demonstrates that Gorbachev was the key difference here, but rather than full democracy, it seems apparent that his aim for the USSR itself was a Communist version of Putin’s regime, whereby opposition parties would be allowed, but strictly controlled, only for the various nationalist fronts to upset his calculations – see the attempts to put down protests in Lithuania.

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WorldbyStorm - October 10, 2019

I think that’s probably about right. I think he remained a committed Communist fairly clearly right the way through, albeit dissenting from the orthodoxies of the Soviet era. It’s striking how even at the end after the coup he was still trying to hold the USSR together in the last three months of his rule. Alexander Yakovlev is particularly interesting in that respect too. He threw up multiple ideas – even splitting the CP in two to contest seats as two distinct communist parties. There was a lot of that sort of stuff about.

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Jim Monaghan - October 11, 2019

The GDR had faux other parties, a Christian Democratic one as well.

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Dr. X - October 11, 2019

That would have been better than what they ended up with.

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4. CL - October 11, 2019

“He threw up multiple ideas – even splitting the CP in two to contest seats as two distinct communist parties.”
When GBS visited the USSR his Communist Party hosts took him to the race track; Shaw expressed surprise that there was more than one horse in the race. After a pause his hosts did laugh.

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