The day of the death of socialism in the GDR is considered to be 9 November 1989 when Berliners heard from a member of the Politburo of the Socialist unity party of Germany (SED) günter Schabowski, that the “GDR citizens will be allowed to apply for a Commission of private trips abroad without good reason on 30 days” and that “the permit will be issued in a short time,” and rushed to the nearest crossings to West Berlin. Border service came into confusion, opened for them checkpoints. It just so happened that I was at the Berlin wall near the Brandenburg gate in just a few days after the incident and saw that the transition from East to West Berlin became for these people a chore. East Berliners streamed into West Berlin for shopping. However, then I couldn’t understand where they got the West German mark.
For what had to torment these people for almost 30 years? After all, by hook or by crook, starting with the formation of the GDR in 1949, 3 million people moved to Germany. For what it was necessary to have shortages for a Soviet man living always at a minimum of material goods, to pick up the last crumbs for the preservation of the GDR as a showcase of socialism? For what it was necessary to crush the rebellious Soviet tanks in Berlin in 1953, of the workers, giving rise to the Germans of the GDR forever the memory of the blood on which was built their country-cell? Etc., etc.
In 2019 in a United Germany’s 30-year anniversary of the death of socialism on German soil began to celebrate a month earlier – on October 9. From the point of view of historical truth, the liberation from socialism in the GDR was not the result of the destruction of the Berlin wall on 9 November, but the month before, and not in Berlin, but in Leipzig. The thing is that on 9 October 1989 in Leipzig the demonstration demanding to open the borders of the GDR reached 70 thousand people. And this day became a significant event in the history of the GDR, for the first time her government has not used violence to disperse demonstrators. The demonstrators on this day carrying a slogan “We the people!” Recalling the indissoluble unity of the Germans of the GDR and the FRG.
In Germany there is a view that killed socialism on German soil, Mikhail Gorbachev, in his speech in Berlin, dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the GDR. In this speech Gorbachev in the struggle between Erich Honecker and his opponents in the Politburo of the SED stood on the side of the latter and hinted that the SED is still unused “intellectual capacity”, able to do what still have not been able to do Honecker. It was an expression that Gorbachev not only pushed for change in the leadership of the SED, but also led to the death of socialism on German soil with the subsequent unification of East with West Germany. Today survived only one person out of those who were involved in the creation of bombs – words about “intellectual capacity” of the SED in the speech Gorbachev. It’s me, a former consultant of the Department of socialist countries of the CPSU Central Committee, responsible for the GDR. This is the mine was laid by the head of the International Department of the CPSU Valentin Falin and his team.
The Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein, probably not by accident appeared in the CPSU Central Committee on September 25, a week before the departure of Gorbachev in Berlin appeared first in the office falina, and then in the office of his assistant, also known Germanist Nicholas Subject. On the same day, after a conversation with björn Engholm Nikolai Portugalov came to my office and asked me to on his behalf as a member of the Central Committee, responsible for the GDR, and sent upstairs guest expressed his advice to Gorbachev on the occasion of his upcoming speech in Berlin. The main thing in this story that Nicholas had told me that it was not his personal request, and the falina. When Nikolai Portugalov said that after his proposal, the leadership of the Central Committee to agree to the unification of East with West Germany, while the Germans give a lot of money, it is more “no light”.
The main idea that Engholm inculcated in the mind of Gorbachev and his associates: the fate of the GDR depends on what he will say in his speech about the inextricable relationship of socialism and democracy. “No reasonable person in East Germany,’ said the visitor of the Central Committee of the Communist party of Germany, – of course, does not expect that the Soviet leader condemned Honecker and his companions, their categorical rejection of the reforms and dialogue with its own population that he openly opposed a complete torpor of the current leadership of the GDR.” Most importantly, several times repeated Engholm to Gorbachev himself said that the Germans of the GDR of unity of socialism and democracy, his belief in the democratic future of the GDR.
Georgy Shakhnazarov complied with the request of Engholm and put in a word about “intellectual potential of the SED” in a speech Gorbachev, and Gorbachev, I know, is deliberately said these words-a call to removal of Honecker. Now I understand why on 9 October, a few days after the speech Gorbachev in Berlin, no one clocked in Leipzig demonstrators, who advocated the opening of borders of the GDR. They believed that Gorbachev was an obstacle between them and their government, which until now, they were constantly harassed.
Thus it is necessary to be careful in assessing the motives and Shakhnazarov, putting “bomb” in a speech of Gorbachev himself, Mikhail Gorbachev, who consciously contributed to his speech in the removal of Erich Honecker from power. Shakhnazarov, as I know for the rest of his life was a man of Marxist beliefs. In 1989, he believed that contributing to the removal of Erich Honecker from power, it opens the possibility of democracy in this country and the salvation of socialism on German soil. There is a qualitative difference between romantic ideology-Communist ideology Shakhnazarov and my boss since 1988, Alexander Yakovlev, who in August 1989, after an epopee with transition of tourists from East Germany to Austria through the Hungarian border, told me with joy on her face: “dear Alexander, socialism in Eastern Europe, the end.”
I don’t know, did you believe at the end of 1989, Gorbachev himself, that by the removal of the “obscurantist Honecker” from the power it saves socialism in the GDR? But I know exactly what Gorbachev belonged to Honecker as his enemy, which, as Husak and Castro were categorical opponents of perestroika in the USSR. The conflict between Gorbachev and Honecker intensified after the SED organ “Neues Deutschland” in March 1988, reprinted from “Soviet Russia” antiherbivory manifest by Nina Andreeva. And even then, the war of nerves has meant that Gorbachev began to truly enjoy the deepening crisis of the GDR. Indirect support of Gorbachev and Yakovlev leadership of Hungary, opened in August 1989, refugees from East Germany’s border with Austria, was caused by these same reasons.
The Berlin wall reminds us that without the abolition of freedom of movement of people, the values of European civilization, without a new serfdom, without rigid attachment of man to socialism, it is socialism, could not exist. It turns out that to compel a man to an imaginary socialist happiness, it is necessary to deprive of freedom of choice. History shows that the mechanisms of realization of the feudal essence of socialism can be different. In the USSR, they assumed the deprivation of the majority of the population – farmers – passports. Anywhere anti-human essence of Marxist socialism did not manifest itself so clearly as in the USSR, especially under Stalin. But the main thing for all these socialist countries was to their border with the capitalist West was shut. What was needed was the iron curtain, thousands and thousands of miles of barbed wire not so much to ensure that we did not come, the enemy, and to the people of the socialist countries can not escape from the imposed socialist happiness.
The tragedy of socialism in the GDR was the fact that, owing to the small area and the availability of nearby free, alluring, prosperous Germany, the chain that binds the country to socialism, was shorter than in the USSR. In 1985, I lectured in Berlin, I had only two weeks to understand that prosperous, at first glance, the GDR is the weakest link of socialism, because the Germans of the GDR inside the hoof. During the day they live in their territory, and in the evening glued to their TV screens, they soul and thoughts are immersed in Germany.
To understand the deep-seated protest against the life in the GDR helped me a recognition of my interpreter. He told me that the Germans of the GDR feel that people “drove to the stadium, forced to live in tents and to show examples of faith in socialism to the world.” But remember, nobody in the GDR have not forgotten 1953, about how Soviet tanks crushed the protesters of the workers. The gap between the outer life, between the values for show and the real values could not persist.
Socialism in Eastern Europe was not the choice of the people, it was imposed on them by force and, therefore, unsustainable. Anyway, he soon would die, not whether Gorbachev’s perestroika, for the inhabitants of Eastern Europe, human life was worth much more than the Russian. Gradually faded the willingness of the Communist authorities in Eastern Europe to kill people in the name of conservation imposed upon them socialism. In 1970 pole Gomulka agreed to the shooting of striking workers of Gdansk from a machine gun. But in 1980, the leadership of the PZPR – and Gierek and Kania and Jaruzelski then agreed with the Church and the opposition: pole to pole is not firing. I must say, that he who began in August 1980 strike in the Gdansk shipyard workers were still prepared for the fact that it will shoot. And they accidentally invited me to the shipyard close to them in spirit priests from nearby churches. But as it turned out, what was possible in the late 1960s – early 1970s, it became impossible, even unnatural to the Communist government.
By the early 1980s had exhausted the possibility of the peoples of Eastern Europe to adapt to unnatural for them the political and economic system. This is only a Russian could a century of torturing yourself, destroying the root system of a nation and a nation state, decimating the thinking and working people, strong farmers and intellectuals, to show humanity, which is not in any case to do – it is impossible to build a new society according to the recipes of “the Communist Manifesto” of Marx and Engels. Tormented, and killed each other, and only after 85 years back to from what have left from the market, of capitalism, of private property. The greatest absurdity!
Still not come to the realization that we have spent a century in vain and start all over again. Truly, the words of Fyodor Dostoevsky, we the people of Antioch in the sense that nobody, except Russian, are not able for so long to torture yourself in the name of the other become smarter and not make such mistakes. Continues our Russian thing to die, to die and is, instead of bread, grass in the name of the Communist idea – the poor people of North Korea.
Revived in Russia today, fans of socialist ideas, Gorbachev accused that he was “betrayed, destroyed the world of socialism”, I don’t know that the showcase of socialism flourished largely thanks to the economic aid to Germany. If a quarter of the budget of the GDR was formed by the Soviet Union, due to the resale of oil derived from our country’s “ideological” price, then another quarter of the budget of the GDR was formed due to the receipt of money from Germany, due to the receipt of payment for the roads connecting West Berlin with West Germany. We should not forget about direct aid to the remittances of relatives of residents of the GDR and the FRG, etc. In fact, with all the efficiency of the Germans undoubted welfare of the inhabitants of the GDR, which they are now nostalgic, it was the result of living for free. And Reagan lowered the price of oil to $ 16. per barrel, has hurt not only the economy of the USSR, which led to empty shelves in the stores in Moscow in 1990, but the economies of Eastern Europe, who resell our cheap oil to the West at higher prices.
Before the arrival of Gorbachev to power in the Department of socialist countries of the CPSU Central Committee, in which I started working since 1986 were the supporters of non-support of the socialist countries of Eastern Europe. These experts believed (I read their notes in the Secret Department), it makes no sense to invest there, where will never return. The basis for such a pessimistic concept was serious arguments on exports of oil to Eastern Europe via the “ideological prices” we were losing $ 20 billion. every year. No thanks for such assistance from the local population of the USSR did not. Indeed, as I recall, the poles of the late 1970s and sincerely believed that the Soviet Union lives at the expense of countries of Eastern Europe that the Soviet Union and all robbing, all of them takes. The experts believed that by supporting unpopular regimes in Romania, Czechoslovakia, GDR, we call the fire itself, undermine the authority of their own country. And most importantly, these experts believed (they began to speak out loud only at the beginning of perestroika), which, forcing the Eastern European countries unpopular regimes, we are with the military-strategic point of view, nothing win. Permanent political crisis in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, East Germany, the constant threat of mass unrest doing an unpredictable situation in the region of Eastern Europe. Perhaps these experts were right: now the main enemy of the new Russia was the countries of Eastern Europe, especially Poland.
Therefore, considering that the Soviet economy was no more viable than the economies of Eastern Europe that the fate of the Soviet Union from the mid-1960s, entirely dependent on oil prices and loans from the West, do not be surprised that Gorbachev began to listen to the staff of the International Department of the CPSU Central Committee, who advised him to go to the Association of GDR and Germany at the expense of serious loans. However, I don’t remember any of germanists, employees of the International Department, agreed to a United Germany remained in NATO. I left the CC in March, 1990 and do not know how had discussions on this topic in our Department. The most realistic of all specialists in Germany was close to Felino man, Nikolai Portugalov, he since 1989, after an epopee with refugees from East Germany who cross the border of Hungary, moved into Austria, urged the country’s leadership not to delay and on favorable conditions for us to negotiate with Germany on its unification with the GDR. “Fools, – said about the top Portugal during our traditional coffee with Andrey Grachev in the cafeteria on the first floor of the 3rd entrance of the CPSU Central Committee. – They forgot about Lenin: only today – tomorrow will be too late. Today will give a lot, and tomorrow you will be United without our permission and will not give us anything.”
It is clear that while the GDR was a socialist country, Gorbachev could not agree to this. But, in my opinion, already in July 1990, Gorbachev agreed to a United Germany’s joining NATO in more serious terms than 20 billion marks. However, now it is clear that, even if Gorbachev did not give consent during a meeting in Arkhyz for a United Germany’s joining NATO, the USSR would have been unable to stop the ongoing takeover of the economy of the GDR a more powerful Germany. It is unlikely the Soviet Union would be decided and if the other direction to start a third world war and use 4,100 tanks and 8000 armored vehicles at the disposal of the Soviet grouping in the GDR at the beginning of 1990.
Personally, I have not heard that in the International Department of the CPSU Central Committee after the fall of the Berlin wall anyone seriously discussed the possibility of salvation of socialism in the GDR by the uprising of its population. Don’t forget that in may 1986, the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, whose members were Gromyko and Solomentsev, Chebrikov, and took on the initiative of the Gorbachev Memorandum, which aims not only to abandon the limited sovereignty of Warsaw Pact countries, but generally, as mentioned in this document past practice “odergivaniya and paternalism”, “shout”, “prodding”, which caused enormous harm to relations of the Communist party with the Communist parties of Eastern Europe, gave rise to “insincerity and formalism”.
I remember when in October 1989 the Central Committee of the Communist party came First Secretary of the PZPR and came to the meeting with the staff of the CPSU Central Committee, he decided to tell us, members of the Central Committee, the terrible truth about socialism. “I came to see you, said tense, like a spring, ruffled Rakowski – not to listen to accusations and reproaches. I have to say: I didn’t sell socialism for the simple reason that it can not be sold. Nobody wants it. Everything we built, what we, poles, have spent 40 years and you 70, not worth a penny, he can’t do nothing. Even the pride of the Polish shipbuilding – Gdańsk shipyard – nobody wants to buy. So do not accuse me that I sold or are selling socialism. You cannot sell what has no price”.
I think then, at the end of 1989, the leaders of all the socialist countries of Eastern Europe understood how Rakowski, that in fact their Nations have spent 40 years wasted on an embodiment in life of the Soviet Stalinist model of socialism.
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