[Berlin]: Evangelische Jungendarbeit, Stadtjugendpfarramt, . 43 leaves of A4 paper (various contributions with separate pagination), fastened with three staples to left margin; original and reproduced typescript and computer-printed text; compiled from various sources, as evidenced by the different quality of the paper stock. The first leaf lightly worn; else very good.
Rare compilation of eyewitness reports about the “centrally controlled and extremely brutal actions of the ‘security forces’ around October 7 and 8 in our city” (p. 3). October 7 saw the festivities commemorating forty years of the East German Republic. In the evening, a large group of youth gathered on Alexanderplatz to loudly protest the regime’s policies. After swelling to 2000–3000, they began to move toward the Palace of the Republic, where the heads of Party and state were gathered to celebrate the occasion, with noted guests including Mikhail Gorbachev. Soon police responded, sending special units to drive away the demonstrators, eventually cornering them and making numerous violent arrests. The reports, by some participants of the demonstrations but largely by innocent bystanders, were gathered by members of the protestant youth ministry in East Berlin, resulting in 150 subjective accounts showing the “shock of the victims of police terror.” In lively detail, they describe the police tactics, the unjustified force, and the procedures following many arrests. The report was released at a time when the GDR state media were struggling to gloss over abuses of police power, even as the growing wave of protest was quickly washing away the last foundations of the German Communist regime. Given the rush to publication, the document contains numerous errors and misprints. Evidently, the collection was very quickly re-issued by other protestant groups, as is suggested by a copy by the Frankfurter Gemeinschaftswerk der Evangelischen Publizistik (held at Frankfurt, Kiel, and Hamburg) as well as by the Green Party (Die Grünen) in Bonn (held only at Madison Wisconsin). According to KVK, OCLC, this edition is only found at IISG in Amsterdam. We can trace one additional copy at the Stasi Security Archive, which is digitized; our copy corresponds to this copy in pagination, suggesting that it is complete. A highly valuable document of the final weeks of the GDR. Book ID: P6402