The East German revolution of 1989

By Gareth Dale

The East German revolution of 1989

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7478-3
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £16.99
  • Published Date: January 2007
  • BIC Category: Humanities / General & world history, Humanities / Revolutions, uprisings, rebellions, Germany, HISTORY / Europe / Germany, HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century, European history, General & world history, History


This book offers a new account of the East German Revolution of 1989 and uncovers hitherto neglected events and phases of this tumultuous period. It draws upon published and unpublished primary sources, including twenty-five interviews with oppositionists, movement participants and state officials, as well as archive materials from the Stasi, police, SED and civic groups. It brings to prominence previously unexplored events, including the 'battle of Dresden station,' the 'December uprising' and the strike wave of January 1990. In addition, as a resident of East Germany in the late 1980s and an active participant in the civic groups and street protests of 1989, Gareth Dale succeeds in bringing an immediacy and vividness to the narrative.

This is the most comprehensive account in English of East Germany's 'peaceful' revolution. As a piece of sustained original research, this book will be an indispensable reference for historians of Germany and Eastern Europe. As an accessible narrative history, written in a fluent style and with an eye for the telling anecdote, it is keyed to the needs of students and lay readers.


Timeline, 1989-90
Map of the GDR
1. Prelude: sensing opportunities
2. A movement arises
3. Algebra of mobilisation
4. The Wende, and protest upswing
5. 'Evolution slipped out of our hands': Radicalisation and the fall of the Wall
6. Of raisins and yeast: Civic groups and mass movement
7. 'Last night in Munich for a beer, then back again for the demo here'
8. 'Power lies on the streets': December rebellion and the 'Great Anti-chaos Coalition'
9. The German Question
10. Protest swan-song, economic collapse


Gareth Dale is Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Brunel University

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