...the refugee situation here in Prague has taken on dramatic proportions
Hundreds of East German citizens have again fled to the West German
Embassy in Prague...
...more refugees from the GDR are expected to arrive in Prague
September ’89
The world is watching Prague
Sabine Braun, East German Refugee in Prague:
"The atmosphere was very special. You could feel that massive change was
coming."
Bernd Priske, East German Refugee in Prague:
"We didn't want to take any risks, because they said, and this proved to be
true, that they would put your children in a home."
Hans-Dietrich Genscher, 1989 Foreign Minister West Germany:
"On the 10th of September, Hungary hat opened its borders, despite furious
protest by leaders of the SED, the East German Communist Party.
Czechoslovakia looked at it differently, they said, if you want to get them out,
then you have to talk to the East German government."
German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher has left for New York, where
he'll address the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.
Hans-Dietrich Genscher, 1989 Foreign Minister West Germany, UN General
Assembly 27.09.1989:
"It's with deep emotion that, over the past few weeks, we have become
witnesses to the fate of these young people, who with heavy heart have left
their home and their familiar surroundings."
Hans-Dietrich Genscher, 1989 1989 Foreign Minister West Germany:
"The refugee situation escalated dramatically over the summer."
Bernd Priske, East German Refugee in Prague:
"The Embassy garden was normally a grass lawn, but it turned to mud. It was
just mud, about ten centimeters of it."
Sabine Braun, East German Refugee in Prague:
"It was amazing what the Embassy workers did for us."
Hans-Dietrich Genscher, 1989 Foreign Minister West Germany, UN General
Assembly 27.09.1989:
"Political reform would create new perspectives for the people of the GDR
and the people of the other countries in central and eastern Europe."
On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, German Foreign
Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher and GDR Foreign Minister Oskar Fischer
met at the residence of the West German UN Mission Chief for talks.
Hans-Dietrich Genscher, 1989 Foreign Minister West Germany
"I feel that he was seriously looking for a solution to the problem, a
humanitarian solution."
Ambassador Peter Wittig, West German Delegate to the UN in 1989
„When I opened the door, to allow Oskar Fischer into Ambassador
Bräutigams residence, he was alone, the night suddenly lit up, there was a
storm of flashes - 65th street had been staked out by the world's press. The
two ministers retired for one-on-one talks, and Minister Genscher presented
him with possible solutions to the refugee crisis."
Hans-Dietrich Genscher, 1989 Foreign Minister West Germany:
"To my great surprise, the next morning, the permanent representative told
me that they preferred the second solution, that is, for the trains to travel
through East Germany. And I said, well, if they're going to go through the
GDR, then I have to go to Prague."
Sabine Braun, East German Refugee in Prague:
"And suddenly that evening, a rumor suddenly spread through the crows:
something's about to happen, and then... Genscher, Genscher..."
Bernd Priske, East German Refugee in Prague:
"And a sigh went through the room, and he walked past me through the
room."
Hans-Dietrich Genscher, 1989 Foreign Minister West Germany, West German
Embassy in Prague:
„We're here to tell you that today, your permission to leave... "