Manifesto of the Federation of Democratic Communists in Germany

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The manifesto of the Federation of Democratic Communists of Germany is a manifesto published in January 1978 of an alleged opposition within the GDR state party SED . The author was the dissident Hermann von Berg . The manifesto was published in two parts in the news magazine Der Spiegel and comprises thirty pages. It is dated October 1977.

History of the manifesto

Conspiratorial Berg dictated the mirror correspondent Ulrich Schwarz, Berlin's East for editorial offices of the mirror was active, the first part of the manifesto around Christmas 1977, the second part just before New Year's Eve 1977. In response to the publication in the mirror at the 2 and January 9, 1978 the office was closed on January 10, 1978.

The manifesto caused considerable irritation in East and West through its publication. The SED leadership suspected that it was a joint action by the Spiegel and the Federal Intelligence Service ; The GDR Foreign Ministry informed Spiegel by telex:

“Over the past few months, your paper has viciously slandered the German Democratic Republic and its allies and deliberately attempted to poison relations between the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany through fabricated news and reports. A special role is obviously intended for the evil concoction 'Break in the SED', which you and the Federal Intelligence Service of the Federal Republic of Germany have fabricated. In it the head of state and other leading personalities of the GDR are slandered in a particularly infamous way. ... The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the German Democratic Republic therefore feels compelled to revoke the authorization to open your office in the capital of the GDR, Berlin, and to close the office with immediate effect. "

As a result, all Spiegel employees were denied entry to the GDR until 1985. Berg was arrested in the course of 1978 and came in Stasi in custody ; he was interrogated for three months. He lost his professorship and left the GDR in 1986. His authorship only became public in the 1990s.

Chancellor Helmut Schmidt saw the document as endangering the détente between the two states. The manifesto was also discussed in the Bundestag .


In the manifesto von Berg calls real socialism in the GDR a “pseudo- socialist late capitalism ” and the leadership of the GDR, the Politburo , reactionary and outlived. He calls for working towards a “democratic-communist order in which all human rights are fully realized for every citizen”. Von Berg subsequently analyzes important areas of current politics from the perspective of the fictional Union of Democratic Communists in Germany - war and peace, reform communism and Soviet orthodoxy, politics in Germany and the internal situation in the GDR. He calls for the reunification of Germany and far-reaching political reforms.


  • Dominik Geppert: Disruptive maneuvers. The “Manifesto of the Opposition” and the closure of the East Berlin “Spiegel” office in January 1978. Berlin: Ch. Links Verlag 1996.
  • GDR resistance: longing for democracy . In: Der Spiegel . No. 1 , 1978, p. 19–21 ( online - on the "Bundestag Democratic Communists of Germany").

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic: Dates / Anniversaries 2008 ( Memento from September 19, 2008 in the Internet Archive ).
  2. Chronicle of the Wall - Overview 1978 .