Protest against Egon Krenz being installed as chairman of the State Council outside the State Council building in East Berlin, 24 October 1989.
Source: picture-alliance/dpa/Wolfgang Kumm

Foundation fever

Between November 1989 and January 1990, the people in the GDR were extremely active. Their protest against the rule of the SED grew, with their criticism becoming increasingly fierce. Gradually they took the liberties that had been denied to them for so long. In order to achieve their goals, they formed groups representing their interests in all parts of the country, from the cities to the villages.

Numerous parties and citizens' initiatives were founded. Their initiators ranged from young people to old age pensioners, single mothers and fathers, families, doctors and labourers, conservatives and Marxists. There was a real explosion in the number of new organisations during these months.

Alongside the many initiatives and political groups aiming for democratic change, right-wing organisations were also formed. At the end of January 1990 neo-Nazis set up National Alternative, which registered as a party in March.

A Green Party was founded in the GDR on 24 November 1989. There had been clashes between the previously autonomously acting environmental groups about the best way of working together. Those opposed to party structures amalgamated to form a Green League.
Source: picture-alliance/dpa/ADN
Agenda of one of the first works councils founded in East Germany, dated 4 December 1989. Workers at Geräte- und Reglerwerke in Teltow (Brandenburg) had been fighting for an independent representative interest group in the company since October 1989.
Source: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft
Agenda of one of the first works councils founded in East Germany, dated 4 December 1989. Workers at Geräte- und Reglerwerke in Teltow (Brandenburg) had been fighting for an independent representative interest group in the company since October 1989.
Source: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft
zum Seitenanfang