Leipzig to Mark 25th Anniversary of Peaceful Revolution
The Peaceful Revolution, or Friedliche Revolution, was the beginning of the downfall of the German Democratic Republic, known in the West as East Germany. The revolution started 25 years ago with a series of peaceful political protests in Leipzig and the anniversary will be commemorated with a Festival of Lights along with a reenactment of the protest and multiple museum exhibits telling the story.
The demonstrations started on September 4, 1989. The first was led by a Protestant pastor, Christian Führer, of the St. Nicholas Church. The East German government reportedly issued a shoot-to-kill order and the police and military presence that day was huge.
The people of Leipzig took to the streets on October 9 and were surrounded by police and military but no action was taken, even though the Stasi, or East German Secret Police, tried to incite violence by planting agents within the throngs of marchers.
East German leader Erich Honecker was forced to resign nine days later. The division of Germany from 1961 through 1989 impacted families and friendships and resulted in the unnecessary death of many, including 136 who attempted to cross from East Germany to West Germany at the Berlin Wall. Reunification took place on October 3, 1990.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)