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.
источник: AP Photo

The protest goes on

Эта статья еще не переведена русский.

The conflicts in East Germany began to escalate in 1988. More and more people applied to emigrate. They wanted to leave the GDR, as they saw no prospects there. An increasing number tried to pressure for emigration to West Germany through public protest.

The opposition took a different approach, wanting to reform the country. They called for the observation of human rights and political liberties such as freedom of assembly and association. They considered it essential for human and civil rights to be granted before the necessary changes could be achieved in society.

Rally outside Dresden’s Church of the Cross, 13 February 1988, marking the anniversary of the city’s bombing in World War II. Would-be emigrants and opposition groups found common ground on the subject of human rights.
источник: picture-alliance/epd/Bernd Bohm
Forum of the Ecumenical Assembly for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation in Dresden, February 1988. Under the heading of “justice in the GDR”, people called for changes in society, ranging from tearing down the Berlin wall to abolishing military training for young people.
источник: epd-bild/Bernd Bohm
Would-be emigrants demonstrating at the church congress in Görlitz (Saxony), June 1988. Despite the arrests in East Berlin at the beginning of 1988, the protests continued. More and more people who wanted to leave the GDR began speaking out in public.
источник: picture-alliance/epd/Bernd Bohm
Church newspapers started writing more critical reports in 1988, prompting the state to take action against them. Entire articles were banned on a number of occasions. On 10 October 1988 civil rights activists protested in East Berlin against state censorship. Security forces intervened, arresting many of the demonstrators.
источник: Bernd Weu

Thousands of people who were unhappy in the dictatorship met up at church congresses and forums run by the Ecumenical Assembly. It was a chance to talk to like-minded people, expressing criticism and emphasising their demands. Church newspapers tried to report on these meetings but were censored. Opposition activists demonstrated against censorship in the autumn of 1988 in response. Their criticism also extended to the militarisation of society and the state education system in the GDR.

Flyer for a protest against the East German education system in Jena. The protest was prompted by the expulsion of pupils from Carl von Ossietzky School (Berlin-Pankow) in September 1988. The young people were punished for making critical comments on the militarisation of society.
источник: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft/Mathias Guppke
Flyer for a protest against the East German education system in Jena. The protest was prompted by the expulsion of pupils from Carl von Ossietzky School (Berlin-Pankow) in September 1988. The young people were punished for making critical comments on the militarisation of society.
источник: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft
The Soviet magazine Sputnik, banned in the GDR in November 1988. As the head of state Mikhail Gorbachev introduced reforms in the Soviet Union, the press began to report on subjects that had previously been politically taboo. The GDR government wanted to prevent this type of information from spreading in East Germany.
источник: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft
Protest letter dated 24 November 1988. The ban on the Soviet magazine Sputnik by the GDR government prompted widespread protest. Criticism came from organisations close to the state, and from opposition groups and individuals angered by the ban.
источник: Privatarchiv Christian Sachse

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