The Storm

von Julia Brötz


25 years ago, the GDR-regime of injustice collapsed as the result of a peaceful revolution. Millions of citizens between Rostock and Chemnitz, from Suhl to Neubrandenburg, took to the streets — and they didn’t stop with the fall of the wall. They continued to protest and fight for freedom far beyond this historic date.

Today, this non-violent revolt and the subsequent reunification have been reduced in the minds of many to the negotiating skills of a few. As Helmut Kohl, the former German Chancellor, states: It wasn’t the civil rights movement that was “primarily responsible” for the turnaround. Rather, Gorbachev “sifted through his books” and realized that he was “shit-deep trouble” and couldn’t sustain the regime. The notion that the revolutionaries in East Germany were the main impetus behind the collapse of the regime was the product of “Thierse’s community college brain“, Kohl said.

The Archiv Bürgerbewegung Leipzig e.V. (Leipzig Archive for the Citizen’s Movement) has collected the data of the revolution: all demonstrations between August 13th, 1989, and April 30th, 1990. The occupations of the Ministry of State Security of the GDR, the protests and marches. CORRECTIV has now made this data visible. You can watch the protest grow until it takes over the entire country, see individual outcries transform into a storm of outrage, effectively wiping out the hegemony of Honecker, Mielcke, and their companions. The revolution wasn’t the result of a few individual decisions — it was the will of the people.

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