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

Mass organisations in crisis

National Front leaflet. The National Front was a union of all parties and mass organisations in the GDR. This enabled the Socialist Unity Party (SED) to reinforce its power. The National Front was responsible for preparing the ideological ground for non-democratic elections.
Source: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft
View of the meeting room at the congress of the Confederation of Free German Trade Unions (FDGB), 22 April 1982. The FDGB was not a representative body, but served to integrate its members into the political dictatorship – like all mass organisations in the GDR.
Source: ullstein bild/Bildarchiv
There were no trade unions in East Germany independent of the state and the SED. Almost all working people were members of the Confederation of Free German Trade Unions (FDGB). In October 1989 this organisation was the target of severe criticism, as were all the old GDR structures. The FDGB members forced leading trade union functionaries, most of them SED members, to resign. FDGB pass.
Source: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft
There were no trade unions in East Germany independent of the state and the SED. Almost all working people were members of the Confederation of Free German Trade Unions (FDGB). In October 1989 this organisation was the target of severe criticism, as were all the old GDR structures. The FDGB members forced leading trade union functionaries, most of them SED members, to resign. FDGB pass with subscription stamps up to November 1989.
Source: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft
The Free German Youth (FDJ) was the only youth organisation permitted in the GDR, with the aim of raising young people as the single ruling party SED saw fit. All young people were practically obliged to join at the age of 13. Only a small number refused, often for religious reasons. In the autumn of 1989 its members began leaving in droves. Whole university classes left en masse. Members of the youth organisation with portraits of leading SED functionaries on the May Day parade in East Berlin, 1987.
Source: picture-alliance/dpa/Roland Holschneider
The Free German Youth (FDJ) was the only youth organisation permitted in the GDR, with the aim of raising young people as the single ruling party SED saw fit. All young people were practically obliged to join at the age of 13. Only a small number refused, often for religious reasons. In the autumn of 1989 its members began leaving in droves. Whole university classes left en masse. FDJ membership pass.
Source: Privat
The Free German Youth (FDJ) was the only youth organisation permitted in the GDR, with the aim of raising young people as the single ruling party SED saw fit. All young people were practically obliged to join at the age of 13. Only a small number refused, often for religious reasons. In the autumn of 1989 its members began leaving in droves. Whole university classes left en masse. FDJ membership pass with no subscription stamps for the last quarter of 1989.
Source: Privat
The German Liberal Democratic Party (LDPD) made a number of proposals for change from mid-October 1989 onwards. Unlike the East German CDU, its leadership was willing to make reforms. In the CDU, changes were only possible once members’ protests had forced the long-running chairman to resign. Der Morgen, party newspaper of the LDPD, 13 October 1989: “Paving the way for freedom”.
Source: Der Morgen, 13.10.1989
The German Liberal Democratic Party (LDPD) made a number of proposals for change from mid-October 1989 onwards. Unlike the East German CDU, its leadership was willing to make reforms. In the CDU, changes were only possible once members’ protests had forced the long-running chairman to resign. Report in the West Berlin newspaper Tagesspiegel, 29 October 1989: “Strong forces in East German CDU and LDPD in favour of leaving National Front”.
Source: Associated Press
With this programme dated 13 December 1989, the National Front hoped to save its own skin as a “national people’s movement”, retaining an important role in East German society.
Source: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft
The New Forum movement rejected the old structures in a press release from 22 February 1990.
Source: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft
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