Valentin Michailowitsch Falin

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Valentin Michailowitsch Falin in Freiburg im Breisgau, 1992

Valentin Michailowitsch Falin ( Russian Валентин Михайлович Фалин , scientific transliteration Valentin Michajlovič Falin; born April 3, 1926 in Leningrad ; † February 22, 2018 in Moscow ) was a Soviet diplomat and author . Falin was the Soviet Union's ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany from 1971 to 1978 .


Falin grew up in his hometown and, after his family moved in 1930, in Moscow. During the Second World War he worked as a turner in the Moscow armaments factory of Red Workers. From 1945 to 1950, Falin studied at the Moscow University of International Relations (MGIMO) with the main subjects German and German studies as well as international law and graduated with the title magna cum laude .

He began to learn German as a child - initially with reluctance. After completing his studies, he developed into a recognized Germany expert.

1950 to 1951 he was a member of the staff of the Soviet Control Commission in Germany, which had replaced the Soviet military administration after the founding of the GDR . From 1952 to 1958 he worked on the information committee of the Soviet Foreign Ministry. He successively held the positions of a speaker, advisor and deputy head of department. From 1953 he was a member of the CPSU . From 1958 he was a consultant in the information department of the Central Committee (ZK) of the CPSU, then, after the department was abolished, from 1959 in the Foreign Ministry. Among other things, he was department head of the 3rd European department (Germany and Austria). Falin has authored several memoranda and speeches for the official ministry spokesmen.

In 1961 he became a member of Nikita Khrushchev's personal advisory team , where he was an expert on questions relating to German politics. In his own words, he did not always agree with the position of the Soviet party leader, who often ignored the advice of those around him. He was one of the authors of a memorandum in which the political leadership was advised against exerting military pressure on West Berlin : Such attempts could escalate into a world war.

After the fall of Khrushchev, he became head of the advisory group to Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko in January 1965 . He was the author of almost all of Gromyko's speeches, including the speech at the XXIII. Party congress of the CPSU, which was supposedly worked out in 17 variants. From 1968 to 1971 Falin was head of the 2nd European Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ( Great Britain ).

From 1971 to 1978 Falin was the Soviet Union's ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany . As early as 1970, the year before he took office in Bonn, he played a key role in negotiating the Moscow Treaty . From September 1978 he headed the international department at the Central Committee of the CPSU. After a conflict with the new Soviet party and state head Yuri Andropov , Falin resigned from the Central Committee in 1983. He later stated that, in view of the demands made by the Solidarność trade union in Poland in 1980/81 to clarify the Katyn massacre, he had proposed that historians should be entrusted with this task; but this advance was blocked by his superiors in the Central Committee. Falin got another functionary post of the party: he became political editor of the government organ Izvestia . During this time he did his PhD.

His second ascent began with the perestroika policy of Mikhail Gorbachev . At the end of 1985 he became an employee of the USA and Canada Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR . He was one of the co-authors of Gorbachev's report on the XXVII. CPSU party congress in February 1986. In the same year he became head of the Novosti news agency through the protection of politburo member Alexander Jakowlev . Falin was a candidate of the Central Committee of the CPSU (1986-1989) and 1989-1991 full member. Since 1988 he was head of the international department of the Central Committee of the CPSU. In this role he drove forward the investigation of the Katyn massacre. Supported by Alexander Yakovlev and Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze , he was able to convince Gorbachev to let the official news agency TASS admit the perpetrators of the Soviet secret police NKVD in April 1990 .

During the negotiations on German unity in the summer of 1990 between Helmut Kohl and Michail Gorbatschow, Falin played an important role as his advisor. From July 13, 1990 to August 23, 1991 he was secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU. At the same time he was since April 1991 chairman of the commission for problems of the international politics of the Central Committee of the CPSU.

Falin was a delegate at four party congresses of the CPSU and from 1989 to 1991 a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR . He was against the abolition of the sixth article of the Soviet constitution, in which the leading role of the communist party was enshrined. Falin was the initiator of the elevation of Soviet autonomous republics to the status of Soviet republics , which led to an increased striving of these republics for more independence and for sovereign rights.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, for which he made his mentor Gorbachev responsible, Falin settled in Tostedt near Hamburg at the invitation of Egon Bahr and worked at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy from 1992 to 2000 . In 2000 Falin returned to Moscow, where he taught as a lecturer at his old university, the Moscow State Institute for International Relations (MGIMO). He did not hide the fact that he mourned the Soviet Union.

Falin was the recipient of the State Prize of the Soviet Union (1982) and has been awarded several medals, including the Order of the October Revolution and three orders of the Red Banner of Labor .

Falin was a sought-after contemporary witness in a large number of historical documentaries.


“If robots wage wars, the main victims of those wars will remain the people, the races. That is why the perfection of the war technique will inevitably result in a more cruel war strategy. The only way to humanize relations among peoples is to destroy the instruments of violence and rebuild consciousness. That is the hardest part of converting thinking. "

- Valentin Falin



  • Николай Александрович Зенькович: Самые закрытые люди. Олма-пресс, Москва 2004, ISBN 5-94850-342-9 .
  • Erwin Koller in conversation with Valentin Falin and Horst-Eberhard Richter : A new way of thinking in East and West. Realotopia-Verlags-Genossenschaft, Zurich 1989, ISBN 3-907586-02-6 .
  • Alexander Kluge: Valentin Falin . Rotbuch Verlag, 1995. ISBN 9783880228177 .

Representation in the media

In the two-part docu-drama Deutschlandspiel (2000) about the turning point in the GDR and German reunification, Falin was played by Ezard Haußmann .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Theo Sommer : A Russian Patriot in Times of Communism . In his memoirs, Valentin Falin also reckons with Gorbachev: too early for a requiem. In: The time . November 12, 1993, ISSN  0044-2070 ( [accessed September 27, 2016]).
  2. Falin Valentin Mikhailovich. Meschdunarodny obedinjonny biographical center
  3. Werner Link : The Origin of the Moscow Treaty in the Light of New Archives. In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte . 49, 2001, pp. 295-315 ( PDF ).
  4. Valentin Falin: Political Memories. Droemer Knaur, Munich 1993, p. 208.
  5. Inessa Jaschborowskaja, Anatoli Jablokow, Walentina Parsadanowa: Katynskij sindrom w sowetsko-polskich otnoschenijach. Moscow 2009, pp. 230-231.
  6. Inessa Jaschborowskaja, Anatoli Jablokow, Walentina Parsadanowa: Katynskij sindrom w sowetsko-polskich otnoschenijach. Moscow 2009, pp. 306-310.
  7. rve., Valentin Falin 90, in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , April 2, 2016, p. 6.