Memorandum Regarding a Conversation between Vadim Medvedev and Kurt Hager in the CC of CPSU in Moscow
Following on the heels of Mikhail Gorbachev's visit to the GDR to celebrate its 40th anniversary, GDR Minister of Culture, Kurt Hager, traveled to Moscow for the GDR Culture Days, which opened on October 12, 1989, and included not only a showcase of East German cultural offerings, but the signing of a new "Long Range Conception" for cultural cooperation between the GDR and the Soviet Union.
Despite the focus of their meeting on issues of cultural exchange, attention quickly turned to the political events in East Germany. Hager spoke openly about the challenges facing the GDR, especially from leading cultural and religious figures. Yet, both Hager and Medvedev spoke of long-range plans and the necessity to not lose sight of defending the ethos of socialism in the face of new opposition. It is clear from this memorandum, that both figures continued to cling to a belief that the merits of socialism could withstand the current challenges in the GDR. Certainly, reform was necessary, but neither Hager nor Medvedev foresaw the imminent collapse of the GDR that was now less than a month away.
Vadim Medvedev, "Memorandum regarding a Conversation between Vadim Medvedev and Kurt Hager in the CC of the CPSU in Moscow," 13 October 1989, trans. Christiaan Hetzner, Cold War International History Project, Documents and Papers, CWIHP (accessed May 14, 2008).