Tuesday, December 1, 2015

This Day in European History: December 1st, 1989
The End of Communism in East Germany 

By Shaila Kavrakova

On December 1, 1989, the communist regime in East Germany removed the monopoly of power from the East German constitution. Leading up to this day, East Germans had expressed much dissatisfaction with the communist regime of Eric Honecker, which was in part apparent by the mass exodus of people from East Germany. Mikhail Gorbachev, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, eventually pushed for a new government and in October of 1989, Honecker was replaced by Egon Krenz, secretary for internal security issues.

Krenz restricted travel to the West in an attempt to end the exodus. This plan back fired on Krenz, as more East Germans decided to leave because of the restriction. In November, pressure intensified as Communism in the Soviet Republic and Eastern Europe began to fall apart. As a result, the East German government had no choice but to take down the Berlin Wall. A mass migration of East Germans instantly entered West Berlin. Gorbachev consulted with the United States, France, and Britain because of his worry for Germany’s future.

The communist regime finally surrendered its monopoly of power on December 1st and the section in the East German Constitution permitting sole power of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany was removed. This constitutional revision officially ended Communist rule in East Germany.

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