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Chancellor Kohl describes the opening of the German border


In this telephone call between West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and U.S. President George H. W. Bush, the two leaders discussed the developing situation in East Germany. The chancellor had just returned from a trip to Poland, where he met with the new Polish government discussing financial assistance. The news of the Berlin Wall opening up on November 9, 1989, forced him to cut his visit short and immediately fly to West Berlin. The next day, on November 10, the chancellor called the U.S. president to inform him personally about the situation in East Germany. In his report to the president, Kohl made it clear that he was worried about potential disruption to West German political and economic stability as well as about instability in East Germany. He voiced his pessimism that Egon Krenz, who replaced Erich Honecker as the General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party (SED) on October 18, 1989, would be able to make the necessary reforms that would allow for a truly democratic society in East Germany.


George H. W. Bush, conversation with Helmut Kohl, November 10, 1989, Bush Presidential Library, Public Papers, Bush Library (accessed April 2, 2008).

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"Chancellor Kohl describes the opening of the German border," in World History Commons, [accessed November 27, 2021]