Leipzig's Monday Demonstrations
Launching the "Peaceful Revolution" of 1989
From: Leipzig, Germany
East Germany's "Peaceful Revolution" didn't occur overnight, but the Monday Demonstrations of September and October, 1989 brought matters to a head in Leipzig and other cities of the German Democratic Republic, or GDR. After months of "Peace Prayers" in Leipzig's Nikolaikirche and other public protests, some 70,000 people gathered in the streets of downtown Leipzig on October 9 to demand reform from the SED (German Communist Party) regime.
Thousands of police and military personnel were on hand to stop the demonstrations, and soldiers with machine guns were posted on rooftops to intimidate the protesters.
Fortunately for the citizens, cries of "No violence" were heeded, and one organizer's ploy was particularly effective: The pastor of the Nikolaikirche suggested that marchers carry candles, which require two hands: one to hold the candle, the other to protect the flame from blowing out. With two hands occupied, protesters wouldn't be tempted to throw rocks!
A 20th Anniversary press release by Andreas Schmidt, Leipzig's PR Manager for Tourism, describes what happened next:
Tour the "City of the Peaceful Revolution," from €99 per person
Leipzig Tourismus und Marketing (LTM) is offering a special 3-day weekend package titled "Leipzig - City of the Peaceful Revolution." The package starts at €99 per person, double occupancy. It includes two nights in a hotel, a "Peaceful Revolution" sightseeing tour, a guided tour of the Stasi museum (the Museum in der "Runde Ecke"), and an evening meal at the Ständige Vertretung pub-restaurant, which is said to blend Cologne atmosphere with Saxon cooking. For more information, see the LTM's "Leipzig - City of the Peaceful Revolution" offer.
Other information resources:
Wikipedia: Monday Demonstrations in East Germany
Peaceful revolution (German)
Nicolaikirche: The Events in Fall 1989
NÄHER dran: Issue 21 (PDF)
Back to: Leipzig, Germany
Last updated: June 15, 2010
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