Demonstration by the Polish trade union Solidarnosc in the pilgrimage city of Tschenstochau (Poland). The illegal trade union Solidarnosc grew into a mass movement that could no longer be stopped.
Source: AP Photo

Making peace – without weapons

Andreas Friedrich from the Jena Peace Community disrupted a march by the state youth organisation FDJ on 19 May 1983 with his call for “swords to ploughshares”. The members of the Peace Community and their public activities played an influential role in the development of the GDR’s political opposition.
Source: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft/Bernd Albrecht
The Women for Peace group began working for disarmament and campaigning against the militarisation of East German society in 1982. Members of the group were arrested on numerous occasions. Information stall on the grounds of East Berlin’s Church of the Redeemer, 3 July 1983: Barbe Linke, Katja Havemann and Gisela Metz (l.-r.).
Source: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft
The conscientious objector Martin Böttger (standing) on the grounds of the Church of the Redeemer during the first Peace Workshop in East Berlin, 27 June 1982. The participants called for the introduction of an alternative community service under the motto “hands for peace”.
Source: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft
Exhibition opening event in St Bartholomew’s Church in East Berlin, January 1984. As of that year, the church housed the Anti-War Museum and from 1985 the Peace Library. The exhibitions planned there were seen by large audiences around the country.
Source: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft
Peace seminar in Königswalde (Saxony), May 1981. The church had been holding peace seminars here since 1973. By the beginning of the 1980s, hundreds of young people took part in the meetings, hoping to take action for peace independent of patronage by the state.
Source: Martin-Luther-King-Zentrum für Gewaltfreiheit und Zivilcourage/Werdau
Peace forum in an overcrowded Church of the Holy Cross, Dresden, on 13 February 1982, the anniversary of the bombing of Dresden in World War II. Over five thousand people then joined a silent march to the ruin of the bombed Church of Our Lady, where they lit candles in remembrance.
Source: Steffen Giersch/Dresden
Draft of the “Berlin Appeal”, December 1981. Written by the dissident Robert Havemann and the pastor Rainer Eppelmann and published in January 1982, the appeal was the first declaration to be supported by several different peace groups. Some two thousand people signed it, despite the ensuing repressions.
Source: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft
Draft of the “Berlin Appeal”, December 1981. Written by the dissident Robert Havemann and the pastor Rainer Eppelmann and published in January 1982, the appeal was the first declaration to be supported by several different peace groups. Some two thousand people signed it, despite the ensuing repressions.
Source: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft
Invitation to the Peace Workshop in East Berlin’s Church of the Redeemer in July 1983. Up to three thousand people from all over East Germany met up every year at the Berlin Peace Workshops. These major events provided uncensored information and space for public political debates.
Source: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft
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