Letter from GDR Ambassador to Hungary, Gerd Vehres, to Foreign Minister Osker Fischer
Hungary began dismantling the barbed wire along its border with Austria in May, 1989. Over the summer months, thousands of East Germans risked their lives crossing over the Hungarian-Austrian border before heading north to West Germany. East Germany pressured Hungary to close its border with Austria, but on September 10, 1989 the Hungarian government announced that it was officially opening the border and no longer recognizing or enforcing the travel restrictions placed on East German citizens by the GDR government.
In this report dated September 10, 1989, East German Ambassador to Hungary Gerd Vehres assesses the authenticity of Hungarian claims that it had no other choice than to act as it did. In his report, Vehres vehemently attacks Hungarian intentions, arguing that the government had cooperated fully with the West German government and deliberately undermined the interests of East Germany and all Hungarian claims to the contrary should only be viewed as an attempt to stall and mislead East German officials. He ends his report with his support for Hungary to be excluded from the community of socialist states.
Gerd Vehres to Osker Fischer, 10 September 1989, trans. Christiaan Hetzner, Cold War International History Project, Documents and Papers, CWIHP (accessed May 14, 2008).