Events That Took Place in the Communist Countries in 1989



January 11th: The Hungarian Parliament accepted the idea of free elections and the existence of non-communist political parties.

January 15th: In Prague, the police scattered a meeting held in honour of Jan Palach, the student who committed suicide in 1968 as a protest against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

February 6th - April 5th: In Poland, communist authorities held debates with representatives of the non-communist movement “Solidarity”.

February 15th: The Soviet Army withdrew from Afghanistan completely.

March 17th: Hungary signed the UN Convention concerning the refugees. Consequently, the political refugees from communist countries were not extradited any longer. This led to a massive exodus of East-Germans who wanted to go to West Germany, which destabilised Honecker’s East Germany regime. Also the number of Romanians fleeing to Hungary increased.

March 28th: In Kosovo (Yugoslavia) confrontations between ethnic Albanians and the police took place.

April 9th: At Tbilisi, people claimed the independence of the Georgian Soviet Republic. In the clashes with the police some people were killed.

May 8th: Janos Kadar was replaced as chief of Hungarian Socialist Workers Party (the name of the Communist Party in Hungary).

May 28th: Radio Budapest spoke about Laszlo Tokes for the first time, in connection with the amateur theatre troupe “Thalia”. Afterwards, Tokes would always be in the attention of the Hungarian mass media.

June 4th: The Chinese authorities crushed the demonstration in Tian An Men Square.

June 4th: The non-communist party “Solidarity” won the elections in Poland.

June 16th: The leader of the Hungarian Revolution from 1956 was buried with official honours in Hungary.

July 7-8th: At the conference of the Warsaw Pact countries held in Bucharest, Gorbachev pronounced himself against the use of force and threatening with force in the relations between countries.

July 24th: The first televised interview of Laszlo Tokes, on TV Budapest.

August 19th: Tadeusz Mazowieczky, a member of “Solidarity”, became the prime minister of Poland.

August 21st: Big demonstration in Czechoslovakia to commemorate the 1968 military Soviet invasion.

August 27th: Big demonstration in the Soviet Republic of Moldavia. 300,000 people demanded that Romanian become the official language of the Republic.

August 31st: Romanian became the official language in the Soviet Republic of Moldavia.

September: Prodemocratic demonstrations began in Bulgaria.

September 23rd and 25th: Prodemocratic demonstrations started in East Germany (Berlin and Leipzig).

October 7th: The Soviet leader Gorbatchev visited East Germany.

October 9th: East German leader, Erich Honecker, asked for the stopping of demonstrations by force, but Egon Krenz opposed such a plan.

October 18th: Egon Krenz replaced Erich Honecker at the leadership of East Germany.

November 9th: The Berlin Wall was destroyed.

November 7th and 10th: At Kisinau (Soviet Republic of Moldavia) violent clashes between the demonstrators and the police took place.

November 10th: In Bulgaria, Petar Mladenov replaced Todor Jivkov.

November 16th: In the Soviet Republic of Moldavia, Petru Lucinschi replaced Simion Grosu as leader of the communist party.

November 17th: Tens of thousands of demonstrators in Prague.

November 23rd: A strike attempt at the Mechanical Factory in Timisoara failed.

November 24th: Ceausescu was re-elected as the leader of the Romanian Communist Party.

December 2nd and 3rd: Michael Gorbachev and George Bush met at Malta.

December 3rd: The entire communist leadership of East Germany resigned under the pressure of the demonstrators. A transition regime that would prepare free elections was formed.

December 4th: In Moscow, communist leaders from all the countries that were part of the Warsaw Treaty held a meeting. An official statement blaming the 1968 intervention in Czechoslovakia was issued.

December 10th: A government of a non-communist majority was formed in Czechoslovakia.

December 14th: In Iasi (Eastern Romania) the attempt to start a demonstration against Ceausescu’s regime failed.

December 15th: A crowd gathered near Laszlo Tokes’ house, supporting him against the court decision that ordered his eviction.

December 16th: The demonstration that began near Tokes’ house spread in the entire city of Timisoara. Many people were arrested.

December 17th: In Timisoara, fire was opened against people who demonstrated against Ceausescu. Dozens were killed, hundreds wounded.

December 20th: Many of Timisoara’s factories were on strike. Demonstrations against Ceausescu also started in Lugoj (a city 50 km from Timisoara).

December 21st: In many Romanian cities (Arad, Buzias, Sibiu, Cugir, Targu Mures, Caransebes, Resita, Brasov, Ghimbav, Fagaras, Cluj, Cisnadie, Alba Iulia) including the capital Bucharest people were protesting against Ceausescu.

December 22nd: The National Salvation Front took the power in Romania. New fightings started in the evening.