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

Dialogue with the Powers-that-be

Die SED wendet sich an die Bevölkerung. Eine Mischung aus halbherzigen Eingeständnissen soll Veränderungen vortäuschen. Die Staatspartei beharrt jedoch auf ihrem Machtmonopol. Auszug aus der Berliner Zeitung, dem damaligen Ostberliner SED-Organ, vom 12. Oktober 1989:

"[...] Die Probleme der weiteren Entwicklung der DDR lösen wir selbst – im sachlichen Dialog und im vertauensvollen politischen Miteinander. [...] Gemeinsam wollen wir in einer starken sozialistischen DDR die Schwelle zum nächsten Jahrtausend überschreiten. [...] Wir stellen uns der Diskussion. [...] Das Volk der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik hat sich für immer für den Sozialismus entschieden. [...] Unser Arbeitsplatz bleibt unser Kampfplatz für Sozialismus und Frieden." 

The members of the SED Politburo, the centre of power of the communist party and the state, watched the population parade before them on 1 May every year, as here in East Berlin in 1987.
Source: ullstein bild/P/F/H
The Berlin Sunday Discussion outside the “Red Town Hall” in East Berlin, 29 October 1989. Around twenty thousand people turned up, firing the representatives of the state, such as the East Berlin head of the SED Günter Schabowski (l.), with questions and complaints for over five hours. They forced them to hold a minute’s silence for those killed at the Berlin Wall. And East Berlin’s police president was made to apologise for the violence against demonstrators in Berlin on 7 and 8 October 1989.
Source: picture-alliance/dpa/ Wolfgang Kumm
The Berlin Sunday Discussion outside the “Red Town Hall” in East Berlin, 29 October 1989. Around twenty thousand people turned up, firing the representatives of the state, such as the East Berlin head of the SED Günter Schabowski, with questions and complaints for over five hours. They forced them to hold a minute’s silence for those killed at the Berlin Wall. And East Berlin’s police president was made to apologise for the violence against demonstrators in Berlin on 7 and 8 October 1989.
Source: Bundesarchiv/183-1989-1029-015/Rainer Mittelstädt
The Minister of Ore Mining and Mineralogy, Kurt Singhuber (front left, from behind), in discussion with miners in Mansfeld, 3 November 1989. The years of silence had come to an end. The Mansfeld miners did not hold back with their criticism of the GDR leadership.
Source: Eberhard Klöppel
Previously inconceivable: a general of the National People’s Army in a church. Colonel General Horst Brünner (m.), Deputy Minister of National Defence, faced uncomfortable questions from the people in Eibau (Oberlausitz/Saxony).
Source: Eberhard Klöppel
The dialogue offered by the SED as single ruling party did not extend to the opposition. Only days after its offer of talks, the SED instructed its members in this internal document that the newly founded movements and parties were illegal groupings and enemies of the GDR.
Source: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft
Berliner Zeitung, 3 November 1989, announcing talks with representatives of the state.
Source: Berliner Zeitung, 03.11.1989
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