Opposition in the GDR under Honecker, 1971–85: An by Roger Woods

By Roger Woods

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Extra info for Opposition in the GDR under Honecker, 1971–85: An Introduction and Documentation

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169 But 1984 saw the largest number of East Germans allowed out since the Wall was built. Tbe criteria for selecting those permitted to leave also remain obscure, with the result that while some GDR citizens were being allowed to leave by legal means, others were resorting to entering Western embassies in East Berlin and Prague in their bid to get to the West. 170 Tbe connection between Western loans and relatively minor concessions from the GDR on formalities at the border between the two Germanies is fairly well established: even as Honecker was busy denying it, Pravda went out of its way to confirm the connection.

More recently, observers have noted that these units have been engaged in non-military tasks to a greater extent than in the past, and this 48 Introduction has been interpreted as a concession to the suggestion of a social service for peace. At a more subtle level the peace movement has also affected SED thinking. e. a shift in ideology, not in poliey, yet even this says something about the party's eagerness to avoid confrontation. The fact that so many East Germans who wanted to leave the GDR were allowed to do so in 1984 cannot simply be explained as the result of any direct inftuence of large numbers on SED policy.

17 The events which prompted critical intellectuals to abandon such thinkiJlg are the turning points in the GDR's history. The June 1953 Uprising destroyed Heym's illusions,98 and for Havemann the crunchcame with Khrushchev's denunciation of Stalin's crimes at the Twentieth CPSU Congress of 1956. 99 For the younger generation of critics, the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 marked the end of an 'experiment in democratic socialism' and the onset of disillusionment. 1OO Yet the early reluctance to speak out against the realities of socialism in the GDR was rarely immediately replaced by simple The Major Forms 0/ Opposition under Honecker 27 anti-party polemic.

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