Browse Primary Sources

Goodbye, Comrade...

Of all of the East Central European revolutions, only Romania's turned violent. After government security forces killed protesters in the city of Timisoara, violence broke out between the army and the secret police, with the army standing by the protesters.

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Berlin 9 November 1989

With the regime in disarry, an announcement that travel restrictions would be liberalized led East Germans to rush for the wall; confused guards let them pass, and by nightfall, Berliners from both sides had converged on the hated barrier and begun chipping away. This poster was sold in a (West) Berlin souvenir shop after 1989.

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Comrades - It's Over!

Poster circulated by the anticommunist organization, Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) in the summer 1989 marking the anticipated departure-eviction of the Soviet Red Army troops who had kept Hungary in the Soviet bloc since the end of World War II.

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For Them We Have Already "Voted"

March 1989 election poster for the nationalist "Sajudis" movement in Lithuania, wryly alluding to the Soviet leaders pictured here - Stalin, Molotov, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev - whose rule had been imposed on the Baltic countries since World War II and ratified through sham elections.

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It Must Not Happen Again (1)

One of a set of posters reflecting glasnost-era exposès of the crimes of the Stalin era - including collectivization, purges, and the gulag. The quotation from Pravda (5 April 1988) reads: "The guilt of Stalin, as well as the guilt of those around him, toward the party and people for the mass purges [and] lawlessness [they] committed is huge and unforgivable."

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It Must Not Happen Again (2)

One of a set of posters reflecting glasnost-era exposès of the crimes of the Stalin era - including collectivization, purges, and the gulag. The quotation from Pravda (5 April 1988) reads: "The guilt of Stalin, as well as the guilt of those around him, toward the party and people for the mass purges [and] lawlessness [they] committed is huge and unforgivable."

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Wolf Vostell - 9 November 1989

A more abstract image of the night the wall fell appears in this painting by an artist whose work had also appeared on the western side of the wall itself. This painting represented a March 1990 show of Vostell's work in a gallery in East Berlin - formerly a bastion of "socialist realist" art hailing the communist regime.

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