7 November 2009

Diary of a revolution

Wittenberg, GDR, Jane's diary dateline 7 November 1989 (Tuesday):

The official GDR news agency ADN is reporting that 23000 people left over the weekend. The Politburo meets on 10 November - many new members will have been elected. The situation at the top is drastic. Krenz is unlikely to hold onto his position for much longer. There's just no trust in him, but if he goes the chaos at the top will become even more obvious. But it seems difficult to think that he should stay just for the sake of stability.

Of course people like Otto Graf Lambsdorff (the leader of West Germany's Free Democratic Party) really don't help by telling the GDR to pull down the Berlin Wall. What utter nonsense, surely he realises that would be economic catastrophe. Of course in some way the Federal Republic is going to buy up the GDR anyway. Even before the Wende there were rumours of all sorts of entrepreneurs gambling on unification and buying up land. Of course it is very cheap here.

One of the other students led a meditation on Psalm 126 this morning. Very movingly she spoke of the almost dreamlike existence we all feel we are in at the moment, the changes, the unreality of this situation. But dreaming and dreams are important. Dreams are the roots of growing trees, the water and sap of our life.


Tonight it was the prayers for renewal again. It's strange. It seems normal to be in a church bursting at the seams. Tonight the phone rang three times. The caretaker came out and said, "The government has resigned!". Of course it doesn't mean that Krenz has gone, just that Willi Stoph and co. have stepped down. Tears came to my eyes as we sang, "Watch and pray". What is going to happen to this country? Who is going to take responsibility?

The justice commission of the central committee?, the Volkskammer? is going to look at the travel law again. As Gregor Gysi said yesterday, to be allowed to travel 30 days a year is not exactly a human right. People are not happy about it at all.

Things are moving so fast. A new electoral law might quieten things down but who knows? Maybe the leaders of the SED should wear sackcloth and ashes, as a symbol of what they have done wrong - how often will they have to say sorry?

Meanwhile the Trabbis are queuing up to leave into Czechoslovakia. Last night they crossed over at a rate of 500 an hour, today 200 an hour. How many more are going to go? How many will come back?

The synod of our regional church, the Church Province of Saxony, came up with some very thoughtful resolutions at its meeting, They sound a bit like the Barmen Declaration. I'm sure I can detect the hand of Heino Falcke behind them.


Jane said...

so what I want to know is have you ever found a copy of those resolutions - and was Falcke involved at all?

Holy-Disorder said...

The resolutions are probably in the basement of the library of the Ecumenical Centre in the epd-Dokumentation box for 1989. I don't know whether the hand of falcke was there but friends say he used to arrive as synod meetings with draft resolutions already in his briefcase!

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