January 1989

  • 1 January – In Poland, laws on entrepreneurship and joint venture adopted in the previous year enter into force.
  • 4 January – Representatives of the Catholic Church and the Polish Government meet in Klarysew. Polish Prime Minister Mieczysław F. Rakowski initiates the option of an early parliamentary election, and urges that the Solidariry shall be legally recognized following the elections.
  • 5 January – Leader of the Solidarity Movement Lech Wałęsa argues with Andrzej Gwiazda at a press conference. The leader urges to call on the National Committee of Solidarity Assembly in line with the elections of 1981.
  • 10 January – The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (CPC) Miloš Jakeš explains the new constitution shall facilitate the results of the socialist development, the continuity of progress shall be emphasized, and the key role of the CPC leader shall be highlighted.
  • 11 January – Czechoslovakian Prime Minister Ladislav Adamec urges the restoration of economic balance, the establishment of corporate autonomy, as well as, the consideration of substantive expenditure and demand in the market.
  • 11 January – The Hungarian Parliament adopt the law on political parties and associations (Act 33 of 1989) “the enforcement of citizens’ political rights and the freedom of assembly, in order to promote and enforce the representation of varied democratic values and different interests within the society.” The Act prohibits party operations at workplaces.
  • 15-20 January – Demonstrations take place at the Wenceslas Square in Prague on the 20th anniversary of Jan Palach’s death. Brutal Police intervention takes place and the huge mass of twenty thousand people routed. As many as 519 demonstrators, including Václav Havel, are under arrest.
  • 16-18 January – The second chapter of the 10th Plenum of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party. Despite the escalating social pressure, the Central Committee rejects the legalization of the Solidarity. Due to that, four members of the Parliament (Mieczyław F. Rakowski, Wojciech Jaruzelski, Czesław Kiszczak and Florian Siwicki) want to hand in their resignations. Eventually, the Plenum complies with the re-recognition of the Solidarity. The Resolution adopted by the  Central Committee declares that ”the Polish United Workers’ Party is ready for a dialogue and is willing to seek for the ways of agreement with all the constructive political powers that – regardless of political orientation and ideology – respect the constitutional order of the country, and recognize the good of the nation. Furthermore, they shall consider the successful future of the country as the key value.” As for the Central Committee, “the constructive opposition shall be integrated into the political system.” The Plenum admit that the strict regulation on trade union formation shall be mitigated and declares that, beyond the Round Table Talks, “the conditions, processes and schedule of introducing trade union pluralism are to conciliate. Also, paths for newly forming trade unions – including the Solidarity – shall be offered in order that they could represent the workers’ interests against the business management of the corporations.”
  • 20 January – The first public debate between the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party and the Hungarian Democratic Forum takes place in Budapest.
  • 20 January – The 41st President of the United States George H. W. Bush inaugurated.
  • 22 January – National Executive Committee of NSZZ Solidarity welcome the decision of the Central Committee Plenum. Wałęsa calls Zbigniew Bujak, Władysław Frasyniukot and Mieczysław Gila to prepare for the negotiations.
  • 23 January – In Czechoslovakia, the Charta ’77 calls upon the power for a social dialogue and objects to the brutal police intervention.
  • 26 January – According to the spokesperson of the Czechoslovakian Government, the Administration do not intend to avoid the dialogue, yet, the brutal police intervention at the Wenceslas Square is justified and regarded as legitimate.
  • 26 January – The Hungarian Government authorize the reburial of Imre Nagy and his fellows.
  • 28 January – A new negotiation between Kiszczak and Wałęsa in Magdalenka (the negotiations started in September 1988).  They accept the fundamental principles of the Round Table Talks. Thus, 56 persons are allowed to participate in the plenary sessions, including 20 oppositionists, 6 of the All-Poland Alliance of Trade Unions, 14 members of the government coalition (Polish United Workers’ Party, Democratic Party, United People’s Party), 14 “independent prestigious members” (5 of the Citizens Commission that is Solidarity) and 2 more representatives of the Catholic Church.  They agree that Solidarity regards as a legal organization from the beginning of the negotiations.
  • 28 January – During a radio interview of 168 Hours at Hungary’s state broadcasting institution Magyar Rádió the reporter asks Minister of State Imre Pozsgay to classify the events of 1956. The Minister says there was no counter-revolution, but an uprising in 1956. Also, he initiates the re-evaluation of Imre Nagy’s role. General Secretary Károly Grósz, currently staying in Davos, states that the conclusion on 1956 is to draw only after a comprehensive study of the documents has been made.

February 1989

  • 1 February – Wojciech Jaruzelski pays an official one-day visit in Prague. He negotiates with the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia Miloš Jakeš. Jaruzelski refers to the integration of the Solidarity into the power as ”a great historic attempt” as the Movement may have an influence beyond the borders, too.
  • 6 February – Round Table Talks launch in Warsaw. Negotiators organize committees in three main issues. The social and economic policy work group led by Władysław Bakaand, on behalf of the Government, and Witold Trzeciakowski representing the Opposition. Work group 2 negotiates about the political reforms. Leaders are Janusz Reykowski and Bronisław Geremek. Work group 3 discusses the issue of trade union pluralism. Aleksander Kwaśniewski, Tadeusz Mazowiecki and Romould Sosnowski lead the group. Apart from these, several minor committees formed to deal with different issues. Altogether, 452 members join the negotiations.
  • 6 February – The Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance amended in Budapest. In line with that, the target closing date of the construction works of the Gabčíkovo Dams is set to 1995 instead of 1994.
  • 10-11 February – During the Session of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, the participants agree that a new economic system is to set, which is based on the principles of the economic patterns and meets the requirements of the modern world economy, while focuses on economic performance and is in mixed private-public ownership. In the main branches, the economic system aimed to back up and maintain the key role of the state-owned ventures, as they are indispensible for the public. For this reason, the consequent development of the market conditions is to highlight. At the same time, the Party presses the significance of a comprehensive reform of the social policy. The Central Committee expresses their determination on the political pluralism, the establishment of a multi-party system: ”The political transformation has to be attached to the comprehensive reform of the economy in order that the benefits could improve”. The Central Committee deal with the issue of 1956: the events quoted as a popular uprising and a national tragedy in which ”the powers of the democratic socialism played a role, however […], powers striving for restoration -déclassé and lumpenproletariats- appeared. Also, from the end of October, counter-revolutionary events intensify”. The Central Committee express their regret, although they accept the earlier statement of Imre Pozsgay about the events of 1956, which may lead to misunderstandings.
  • 11 February – In Hungary, a social movement called Left-Wing Alternative Association formed against the economic, political and cultural monopolies.
  • 15 February – The last Soviet soldier leaves Afghanistan.
  • 20 February – The Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party disclaim their leading role to put down in the newly written constiution.
  • 21 February – In Czechoslovakia, Václav Havel is sentenced to a 9 month-imprisonment.
  • 23 February – Gorbachev gives a speech in Kiev. He remonstrates that ”In the name of the new foreign policy approach – not only in theory, but also in practise – we transform our relations with the socialist states on the basis of unconditional autonomy, full equality, interference with eachother’s issues is to avoid, the failures and distortions derived from the earlier period of the socialism are to eliminate, a greater consideration of the mutual interest in line with the solidarity and the mutual assistance”.
  • 24 February – In Poland, the Sejm adopt a law about ”a few conditions of the considalitation of the national economy”, which allow private people to lease state-owned ventures or properties, as well as, accomodation of contribution when establishing state-private cooperations. Meanwhile in Krakow, brutal conflicts take place between the students and the police, in which 74 policemen injure.

We have just arrived in Prague! Only 25 days left… PAREVO 2.0 International Documentary Film Festival in Prague!!!!!

23.10.2015

Our next event will be held at the Hungarian Cultural Centre in Prague 30th November – 1st December 2015. The complete program of the PAREVO festival has reached its final version! We intend to present 8 Czech, Polish, Slovakian and Hungarian documentary films during two days. All the films deal with the political events and social transformations of the prior 25 years and examine them from a certain aspect. The films are to present in original with English subtitles. Obviously, the film festival is FREE to attend!

March 1989

  • 2–3 March – Negotiations take place between Mikhail Gorbachev and Miklós Németh in Moscow. Gorbachev looks on the resolutions of the sessions held by the Central Committee Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party on 10–11 February with ”respect and trust” and essentially agrees with the directives of the Hungarian reforms. In return, Németh appreciates Gorbachev’s speech held in Kiev.
  • 2 March – New negotiations between Kiszczak and Wałęsa take place in Magdalenka (a little town not far from Warsaw). The key issue of the discussions is to share the mandates of Sejm, to create the position of president of the republic, and the reform of jurisdiction. Kwaśniewski initiates that the newly formed Senate shall entirely appoint the senators. Further 42 members joined the informal negotiations beyond the Round Table Talks. On behalf of the opposition, Zbigniew Bujak, Władysław Frasyniuk, Bronisław Geremek, Jacek Kuroń, Lech Kaczyński, Tadeusz Mazowiecki and Adam Michnik joined Wałęsa.
  • 3 March – The Hungarian People’s Republic, in cooperation with six other states, address the UN to investigate the conditions of human rights implementation in Romania via the Commission on Human Rights.
  • 8–10 March – At the parliamentary session of the National Assembly of Hungary, former ambassador of Moscow Mátyás Szűrös elected to become the speaker of the National Assembly.
  • 11–12 March – The first parliamentary session of the Hungarian Democratic Forum, where Mátyás Szűrös attends.
  • 15 March – Public holiday for the first time. The first nationwide mass demonstration of the Hungarian opposition held that represents a mutual platform.

What the Hungarian nation wants. Let there be liberty, independency and democracy in Hungary!

  1. Real popular representation and multi-party system. Ensure the clarity and the freedom of choice.
  2. The rule of law instead of the police state to establish.  Human rights to enforce, independent justice to introduce.
  3. The freedom of press, speech, conscience and education. The  liquidation of the state monopoly of newscast. The State Office of Religious Affairs to close.
  4. Right for strike. No restrictions on the freedom of interest groups, demands and solidarity.
  5. Fair general and proportionate sharing of taxation, the social control of public expenditures. Individual and aggregate privileges to abolish. The primary conditions for human life and dignity to provide for everyone.
  6. Rational economy, properly functioning market. All forms of ownership should be treated equally. Costly and environmentally destructive major projects to shut down, the support of loss-making corporations to suspend.
  7. The dismantling of bureaucracy and the apparatus of violence. The dissolution of the Workers’ Militia and the Young Guard.
  8. Liberty and autonomy to ensure for the nations of East-Central Europe. The military, economy and human rights bipartition of Europe to abolish.
  9. Neutral, independent Hungary. The Soviet military troops to withdraw from the territory of Hungary. The elimination of 7th November as a Hungarian national holiday.
  10. Responsible minority, asylum and refugee policy to establish. The Government shall stand up in the maintenance of the Hungarian minorities at international forums. Police approach and unlawful discrimination regarding the Romanian refugees to dissolve.
  11. National pride.  Distortion of history to finish. The Coat of arms of Hungary is to return. Justice for’56, integrity for the martyrs of the revolution. 23rd October shall become a national holiday.
  • 16 March – The extraordinary assembly of the presbytery of the Reformed Parish of Timișoara debate about the news that has leaked. The source says bishop László Papp intends to replace parson László Tőkés, one of the former initiators of the petition of 6th September 1988. Tőkés is declared to be an appointed permanent pastor, while the bishop’s right to replacement is withdrawn. In spite of this, 1st April, the bishop – unlawfully – orderes Tőkés to stop preaching in Timișoara.
  • 17 March – Hungary joins the UN Convention on the status of refugees, in order that Hungarian refugees from Romania could receive the status of ”political refugee”.
  • 22 March – The Opposition Round Table was composed of a small number (8) of elit organizations and opposition groups. It involved the Endre Bajcsy-Zsilinszky Society (BZST), the Hungarian Civic Alliance (Fidesz), The Independent Smallholders, Agrarian Workers and Civic Party, the Hungarian Democratic Forum, the Hungarian People’s Party, the Hungarian Social Democratic Party, the Alliance of Free Democrats, the Christian Democratic People’s Party. The Democratic Confederation of Free Trade Unions invited to take observations. The initiative of the Independent Lawyers’ Forum formed the Opposition Round Table (EKA), designed to prevent the Communists from trying to maintain power by dividing the opposition, and to establish some degree of unity in the face of the Kadar-regime’s own reform agenda.
  • 23–24 March – Negotiations between Károly Grósz and Mikhail Gorbachev take place in Moscow. Gorbachev highlights that ”You must make your own judgements on 1956”. He adds that the former standpoint of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) in relation to the events of 1968 in Czechoslovakia has not changed: in all aspects, it was a counter-revolution. However, Gorbachev presses that ”today, the possibility to interfere with the internal matters of the socialist states is to fully exclude.” Károly Grósz, in his press interview, interprets the statement as Gorbachev impliedly condemns the Soviet military intervention in Budapest in 1956. Also, ”analyzing the historical lessons of 1956 and 1968, Comrade Gorbachev stated that maximum guarantee needed to secure that the socialist states must not use external powers to resolve their internal affairs.” A conceptual agreement set between the two parties on the withdrawal of the Soviet military troops from Hungary. However, the news is not to release in favour of the Soviets.
  • 29 March – The resurrection of the corpse of Imre Nagy and his fellows starts in the parcel 301 of the New Public Cemetery.
  • 30–31 March – During the session of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, Miloš Jakeš talks about the successes of economic development, although, he admits that supply faces obstacles. About the opposition, he states that they utilize the problems for their own purposes: to hash criticism, to destroy the party’s reputation and to eliminate its leading role.

April 1989

  • 2 April – As for Károly Grósz, the labelling of the events of 1956 as a popular uprising is too simplistic, the precise approach is to refer to it as a student demonstration, a process in which an uprising shifts to a counter-revolution. The political rehabilitation of Imre Nagy seems impossible, he thinks, experts shall be appointed to implement the legal rehabilitation.
  • 3 April – Negotiations between Kiszczak and Wałęsa launch again in Magdalenka. By the finish of the talks, the negotiators reach a compromise about the legislative and judicial power of the future president, and the mandate distribution of the Sejm and the Senate. In line with that, in the Sejm, the Polish United Workers’ Party and its coalition partners, as well as, different Catholic organisations will receive 65% out of the 299 mandates. The rest 35% (161 mandates) are to distribute in accordance with the results of the elections.
  • 5 April – In Poland, the Round Table Talks come to an end. Parties announce a mutual agreement, in which they declare that ”in the spirit of the social agreements made in 1980, a Dialogue established that connects the Polish with one another via the issues of the economy, culture, society and the state, as well as, the faith of the Polish families, the future of the country, and the general responsibility for the future of Poland.” According to the Agreement, the democratization of the political system is indispensible, just like the authorisation for political pluralism and the freedom of speech, the holding of free elections, the guaranteeing of the independent judiciary, the implementation of the freely-chosen territorial self-management. They also stress ”the necessary state reforms are to implement in line with the national interest, also, in accordance with the state interest via evolutionary ways.” The parties agree on the undertaking of the next, early parliamentary elections (the parliament involves the Sejm and the Senate), and accept the principle of mandate distribution. They determine the tasks and responsibilities of the next Parliament, and the powers of the Sejm, the Senate and the President of Republic.
  • 7 April – In Poland, the Session of the Sejm adopts the previously adopted Constitutional Amendments and the changes to legislation as the outcomes of the former Round Table Talks.
  • 12 April – At the Session of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, a new 9-member Political Committee is appointed. Károly Grósz is to become the Secretary-General again. János Kádár also attends the session and reports on his medical condition. That is Kádár’s last, memorable speech about the sentence and the execution of Imre Nagy. He speaks slowly, haltingly and in a manner that is hard to understand.
  • 15 April – The reform powers of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party are consulting in Kecskemét. They demand an Extraordinary Congress to hold.
  • 17 April – The former First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia Alexander Dubček gives an interview for Panoráma, the Hungarian Television production dealing with foreign affairs. The former Czechoslovakian leader criticises the current Czechoslovakian leadership. In relevance with Hungary, Dubček speaks about János Kádár with harsh criticism, stating that Kádár failed him in 1968. The interview attracts a very high level of response in Czechoslovakia.
  • 17 April – The Court of Warsaw reregisters the Independent Self-governing Trade Union “Solidarity”.
  • 18 April – Lech Wałęsa and Minister of Interior Czesław Kiszczak negotiate about setting a committee that shall verify the enforcement of the Round Table Agreements.
  • 19–22 April – Lech Wałęsa pays a visit in Rome. Pope John Paul II receives him.
  • 21–23 April – The 12th (final) Congress of the Young Communist League (KISZ) and the first National Assembly of the Hungarian Federation of Democratic Youth (DEMISZ) takes place in Budapest.
  • 22 April – The first official meeting held with the participation of the Leadership and the representatives of the opposition.
  • 25 April – The withdrawal of the Soviet military troops stationing in Hungary launches. (The last Soviet soldier leaves the country 19th June 1991.)
  • 25 April – The Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia Jan Fojtík says Czechoslovakia is not to return to ”the outdated bourgeois parliamentary system ”, while the transformation is to achieve ”in line with the norms of Leninism”.
  • 26 April – Miloš Jakeš says the reforms are to give an impetus from 1st January 1990.

May 1989

  • 2 May – Hungary begins to dismantle the Iron Curtain set on the 260-kilometer-long Austrian borderline.
  • 4 May – Ladislav Adamec says that no other option left to solve the problems but the choice of the Soviet Union.
  • 4-5 May – The Second National Conference of the Polish United Workers’ Party. The Conference takes a position in relation to Stalinism as ”The Stalinism witnessed very adverse and unfavourable conditions in Poland, it could strengthen beside huge resistance, as it strongly contradicted with the Polish traditional love of freedom and social consciousness, just like the spirit of the Polish culture.” However, they state that thanked to the Polish societal opposition ”The Stalinism in Poland  could not be applied so widely and tragically as in the Soviet Union and certain democratic states.” The Conference of the Polish United Workers’ Party draw the attention on that ”the distortions of Stalinism must not overshadow the actual outcomes of those years […], we must confront the concept that identifies Stalinism with socialism in the minds of the public and in the social consciousness. […] The National Conference’s Opinion is that they shall entirely eliminate all the remains of Stalinism by introducing political and economic reforms, and they shall create the constant guarantees that may prevent the return of the bureaucratic, centralist structures in the economic and political life, as well as, the reappearance of the exercise of autocratic power.
  • 8 May – The paper Gazeta Wyborcza (Electoral Gazette) firstly published in Poland. (150 000 copies)
  • 8 May – The Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party exempt János Kádár from both his party leader position and his Central Committee membership.
  • 9–10 May – Lech Wałęsa pays a visit in Strasbourg at the Council of Europe. He receives his Prize in the Field of Human Rights that he awarded in February.
  • 13 May – New civil protests against the project of Gabčíkovo–Nagymaros Dams start. The Hungarian Government immediately suspend the construction works of Nagymaros.
  • 17 May – Václav Havel is conditionally released.
  • 22 May – Jaruzelski pays a one-day-visit in Berlin to negotiate with Erich Honecker. Jaruzelski tries to reassure Honecker. ”Currently, we are in the middle of a harsh electoral campaign. This is a serious old-school politics. The result of the election is difficult to estimate. […] The conditions within the army and the state security are fine. And the Opposition is aware of that.
  • 24 May – Hungarian Prime Minister Miklós Németh makes an announcement for the Czechoslovakian Prime Minister Ladislav Adamec about the suspension of the project Gabčíkovo–Nagymaros Dams during a face–to-face session and proposes a joint review.
  • 29 May – The Polish Sejm adopts 16 Acts of law that phase out the period started from 13th December 1981.
  • 30 May – The National Assembly of Hungary adopts the Act on the formation of economic entities and business corporations (Act 13 of 1989).
  • 31 May – The Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party talk about Imre Nagy ”Imre Nagy is a significant and emblematic figure for the Hungarian history following the period of 1945 […], his name has inextricably entwined with the Socialist approach that recognizes self-management and multi-party pluralism on the solid ground of the national separateness. […] The Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party express their honour for the memories of Imre Nagy and his fellows”.
  • 31 May – The Polish weekly magazine Tygodnik Solidarność republished. The paper started and published by the Solidarity movement in the spring of 1981 as the print of the Independent Trade Union ”Solidarity”, then banned it on 13th December 1981.

June 1989

  • 2 June – The National Assembly of Hungary take a Decision on the Gabčíkovo–Nagymaros Dams Barrage System: they accept the measures of the Government, urge further surveys, and grant the Government the authority to negotiate in favour of the amendment of the Interstate Treaty of 1977.
  • 4 June – The first round of the Sejm and the Senate elections in Poland, where 62% of the citizens entitled to vote take part in the vote. Voters decide directly only on 35% of the mandates (161 seats) during the semi-free elections. Still, the candidates of the Solidarity gain 160 mandates out of the possible 161. Thus, they achieve a landslide victory. The Polish United Workers’ Party win 173 seats (38%), the United People’s Party win 76 seats, the Democratic Party 27 seats, the PAX Association win 10 seats, the Christian Social Union win 8 seats, the Polish Catholic Social Club win 5 mandates. The candidates of the Solidarity win 92 seats out of the Senate’s 100 seats. None of the candidates of the Polish United Workers’ Party get to the Senate.
  • 8 June – Alexander Dubček and Oldřich Černík write a letter to the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, in which they indicate that the 1968 Action Plan of the Czechoslovak Socialist Workers’ Party  ”fully considered the relevant international obligations of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic”, that is they accomplished their fair share of tasks and requirements stated in The Warsaw Pact and the ones in the COMECON. They point out to the Hungarian leaders that all conditions were provided for the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia ”to keep the complicated and demanding period of the continuously renewing socialism under their control in their own democratic ways without any interference from abroad”. They emphasise that they ensured the order in the country, then, added that no armed anti-state group existed. ”The main reason for the current condition of the Czechoslovakian society lies in the failure of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia’s Program of 1968, which was meant to implement the large-scale political and economic reforms. The failure was caused by the unprecedented military intervention of the 5 member states of the Warsaw Pact 20 years ago.” Dubček and Černík asked the Hungarian Government and the party leaders to declare that there was no counter-revolution in 1968, and ”the Action Plan of 1968 was aimed to improve and foster socialism”. Furthermore, the intervention was in contrast with the Constitution of Czechoslovakia. They shall condemn the conclusions made in 1970 by the new leadership that formed following the military intervention.
  • 9 June – Adam Michnik initiates that the new government is to lead by a candidate from the opposition. He recommends Bronisław Geremek for the position.
  • 10 June – In Hungary, the negotiations between the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party and the Hungarian Round Table Talks completed with the agreement that – under the name of National Round Table – the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party and the Hungarian Round Table Talks, involving society organisations and movements, begin tripartite meetings on the transformation of the constitutional system in the Parliament.
  • 13 June – Negotiations involving the National Round Table, the partner associations of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party and the Hungarian Round Table begin in Hungary. The letter submits a declaration: ”the purpose of the negotiations is to ensure a peaceful transition from the dictatorial ruling system into the representative democracy that effectively enforces the popular will.”
  • 13 June – Helmut Kohl and Mikhail Gorbachev release a Common Declaration. The top of their agenda is to contribute ”to the abolition of the division of Europe”.
  • 15 June – The Hungarian Government take a Decision on the instalment of detention centres in the country for the Hungarian refugees from Romania. Reception centres open in Békéscsaba, Bicske and in Debrecen.
  • 16 June – In the frame of a non-official memorial service, the leaders of 1956: Imre Nagy, Pál Maléter, Miklós Gimes, Géza Losonczy and József Szilágyi re-buried. A huge mass of hundred thousand people attend the funeral bier at the Heroes Square. Viktor Orbán demands the withdrawal of the Soviet military troops from Hungary. The funeral takes place at the Parcel 301.
  • 18 June – The second round of the Sejm- and the Senate elections take place in Poland. 25.5 % of the citizens entitled to vote take part in the vote. The Solidarity wins the last remaining seat from the Sejm. Also, they win 7 seats out of the 8 that left for the Senate.
  • 20 June – Czechoslovakian Prime Minister Ladislav Adamec paints a gloomy picture about the future of the economy and prognosticates that the earliest time for improvement may come in the middle of the 90’s. However, former head of government Lubomír Štrougal protects the reforms of 1968 and regards the current plans to be unfeasible.
  • 21 June – A mass demonstration take place in Kraków. The demonstrators demand Jaruzelski leave the office, as well as, the withdrawal of the Soviet military troops from the country.
  • 23–24 June – At the Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, the Chair is to set on the top of the Party. The members of the Chair are as follows: Rezső Nyers (Chairman), Károly Grósz, Miklós Németh, Imre Pozsgay.
  • 26 June – The State Office of Church Affairs abolished in Hungary.
  • 27 June – The Foreign Ministers of Austria and Hungary, Alois Mock and Gyula Horn, ceremonially cut through the border defences separating their countries. In fact, the border fortifications were dismantled earlier.
  • 29 June – More than two thousand people sign Václav Havel’s political manifesto A Couple of Sentences in Czechoslovakia, in which they demand genuine social dialogue, democratic debate in Czechoslovakia and radical changes in the system.

“The initial months of 1989 showed this very clearly again, that despite the current Czechoslovakian leadership often allure the public opinion with using expressions such as ”restructuring” and ” democratisation”, they, in fact, desperately oppose everything that may lead to democracy, or anything that could recall even a far memory of the people about it. The Power reject the civil initiatives, declarations that are not self-organized, labelling them by ”pressure group actions”, while the  political views that differ from theirs, they regard to as ”anti-socialist” and ”antagonistic”. Peaceful demonstrations are dissolved by force. The public is not allowed to interfere with the preparations of the new laws.

However, these months showed that the public opinion is coming out of its depression. More and more people dare to express their wish for change. Thus, the clear shift of the society definitely clashes with the paralyzed Power, the social tension intensifies, an open crisis threatens. None of us could wish for such a crisis.

Therefore, we call upon the leaders of the country to realize that the time has come for the genuine and profound system change. This change can only be feasible and successful, if genuinely free and democratic debates precede it. The basic prerequisite for achieving this goal is to change the social climate by establishing the freedom of thought, conscience, trust, tolerance and pluralism. Let this change begin with the new constitution, and finish with the economic reforms.

As for us, to achieve these, the following steps are to take:

  1. The immediate release of all political prisoners;
  2. The immediate elimination of the restrictions on the freedom of assembly;
  3. The abolition of the varied independent initiatives, punishments and persecution. The Government shall regard the independent initiatives the same way as the public opinion has already long regarded to them. Namely, the natural elements of public life, the various legitimate expressions of the society. The forming of new social movements must not be restrained. The same relates to independent trade unions, federations, unions and associations.
  4. The tools of mass communication and all forms of the cultural activities are to get rid of the political manipulations, eliminate prior or ex-post hidden censorship; provide the chance for free exchange of views; legalise the mass communication tools and publications that have so far operated independently from the official structure. Respect for the eligible demands of all believer citizens.
  5. An immediate open professional and social debate is to set on all plans that have been conceived or carried out with a chance to permanently transform the nature in our country, thus may determine the lives of the future generations. An open discussion shall promptly begin, not only about the 50’s, but also about the Prague Spring, the invasion by the five member states of the Warsaw Pact, and about the ”normalisation”. It is a sad fact that, in some countries whose armies intervened in the Czechoslovakian social processes, people make factual disputes about this issue, while in our state it is still a taboo, so that some could not be forced to leave their office because they are accountable for the deteriorations appearing in every field of the social life.  
  6. Everyone who agrees with this statement can underscore that by signing it.

We call upon the Government not to respond the way they used to react on similar calls. That would strike at the heart of our hope that a genuine social dialogue will form, which means the only way out of the current dead end of Czechoslovakia.

  • 30 June – In an harsh article, Rudé Právo refers to the political manifesto A Couple of Sentences as a ”patchwork piece written by illegal groups.”
  • 30 June – At the 13th Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party, Jaruzelski announces that he does not run for Presidency. He recommends Kiszczak instead.

July 1989

  • 2 July – The paper Trybuna Ludu releases an interview with the President of the USA George Bush, who calls upon the Soviet Union to withdraw its military troops from the territory of Poland.
  • 3 July – Adam Michnik publishes his proposal in an article of Gazeta Wyborcza. He suggests that the Government is to lead by an opposition representative and Jaruzelski shall be the president.  (Wasz prezydent, nasz premier = Your President, our Prime Minister). However, in Paris, Vagyim Zaglagyin says the constitution of the Polish Government shall be a Polish issue.
  • 5 July – The Czechoslovakian opposition movement calls for the country leaders whose countries participated in the military intervention of 1968 to revise their previous decision and distance themselves from it.
  • 6 July – In Hungary, the Presidency of the Council of the Supreme Court rehabilitates the executed leaders of the 1956 Revolution including Imre Nagy. The same day, János Kádár passes away.
  • 7–8 July – The Political Advisory Board of the Warsaw Pact hold a session in Bucharest. Gorbachev says it is essential ”to respect the independency of the brothers” and excludes that the Soviet Union use force or threaten. The participants “consider the development of their relations be significant on the concept of equality, independence, based on the universal rights to individually elaborate their own political directives, strategies and tactics without external interferences”.
  • 9–11 July – The President of the United States of America George Bush pays an official visit in Poland. He negotiates with Jaruzelski and Rakowski. He ensures Jaruzelski about his support at the forthcoming presidential elections. In Gdańsk, he meets Lech Wałęsa and garlands the Memorial set for the shipyard workers, as well as, the Westerplatte Monument. On 10 July, at the Joint Session of the Sejm and the Senate, Bush – in six points – summarizes the steps the USA plan to take to consolidate Poland. Most important of all, he promises $ 100 million to boost private businesses, and he assures that Poland’s debts will be re-structured in the Paris Club. Additionally, he promises a $ 325 million credit via World Bank to support the Polish agriculture and industry.
  • 11–12 July – The President of the United States of America George Bush arrives in Hungary for an official visit. He recommends a five-point-”action package” to support Hungary.
  • 13 July – The Hungarian Government adopt an economic deregulation package.
  • 14 July – A new protest call of the Czechoslovakian opposition is released. Almost seven thousand people sign it, including Oscar winner film director Jiří Menzel and 52 police officers. They urge political reforms. Former Foreign Minister Jiří Hájek taken under house arrest.
  • 15–19 July – Hungarian-Czechoslovakian professional meeting takes place in Budapest. The Hungarian delegation delivers the documentation on the risks of the operation of the Dam, then, the Hungarian Government suspends the construction works at Dunakiliti.
  • 17 July – Diplomatic relations established between Poland and the Vatican.
  • 18 July – Jaruzelski decides to run for presidency.
  • 19 July – During the Joint Session of the Sejm and the Senate, out of 544 representatives and senators 270 support, while 233 object to Jaruzelski for president. 44 abstain from voting, while 7 representatives give invalid vote. In total, Jaruzelski wins a majority by gaining one additional vote.
  • 24–25 July – Rezső Nyers, Károly Grósz and Mikhail Gorbachev negotiate in Moscow. The Hungarian delegation report on the changes, Nyers highlights that ”our concept is to create a system that capitalize the existing capital funds more efficiently and effectively”, and they plan to increase the private equity share in the economy, while involving foreign investment. In his response, Gorbachev expresses his great understanding in relation to the changes in Hungary. Concerning the international issues, Nyers emphasizes that Hungary intends to undertake the linking role between the East and the West. Beside this, he welcomes Bush’s visit in Hungary. Nyers also asks for the confirmation of the principal agreement made in March about the withdrawal of the Soviet military troops from Hungary. Gorbachev agrees with that.
  • 26 July – Pope John Paul II appoints prelates in four dioceses of Czechoslovakia, however, the bishop chair still unoccupied in six counties.
  • 29 July – The second round of the 13th Plenum of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party takes place. Mieczysław F. Rakowski elected to General Secretary. The Plenum appoint Kiszczak for Prime Minister.

August 1989

  • 1 August – On the last day of the Rakowski government, the decision made on the ”commercialisation” of the price of food, which leads to hyperinflation.
  • 2 August – The Sejm appoint Kiszczak for Prime Minister with 237 votes.
  • 7 August – In his statement, Wałęsa qualifies the assignment of the Kiszczak government as a harmful decision. The main reason for the crisis lies in the autocracy of the Polish United Workers’ Party. In addition, he suggests that the only way out of the crisis is to create a coalition government.
  • 9 August – According to the Political Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party, Wałęsa’s statement makes the formation of a new government difficult. At the same time, the United People’s Party cancels the alliance with the Polish United Workers’ Party.
  • 12 August – The Czechoslovakian Opposition call upon the public to remember the military intervention of 20th August by a ”commemorative walk”.
  • 14 August – Czesław Kiszczak announces his resignation from the presidency, but he appoints his successor Roman Malinowski from the People’s Party.
  • 16 August – Wałęsa announces that the forthcoming Solidarity-led Government accepts that Poland is a member of the Warsaw Pact. He confirms he does not run for presidency. At the 14th Session of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party, Rakowski says that Poland ”is seeing a battle for the power now”.
  • 16 August – The Administrative Committee of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party dissociate itself from the intervention of 1968, however, the evaluation of the processes carried out in 1968 shall fall in the rights and tasks of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, therefore, they do not wish to deal with it. Besides, they admit ”it is a historical fact that the leaders at the time were originally devoted to political settlement, respecting the international relations, the fundamental norms and the interests of the socialism.” The Administrative Committee emphasize that the determination of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party is to establish good neighbourly relations between Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
  • 17 August – The Sejm release a resolution in Poland and judges the intervention of 1968 ”This operation symbolizes the violation of all nations’ inalienable rights for self-determination, and all the natural efforts made for respecting the right for democracy, freedom and human rights. The penetration of the armed forces to Czechoslovakia happened without the consent of the Polish society.”
  • 17 August – Lech Wałęsa meet Roman Malinowski and Jerzy Jóźwiak. The three politicians agree on the new coalition, then, negotiate with Jaruzelski. They inform Jaruzelski about the new coalition and elect Tadeusz Mazowiecki for leader.
  • 18 August – The Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia judge the resolution of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party on 1968, which carried ”an unconcealed intervention in the internal affairs of Czechoslovakia. […] It contrasts sharply with the democratic relations between nations and states, with the new way of thinking and the principle of transformation, the way we approach it. Simultaneously, this was a conscious attempt to support the Czechoslovakian forces that were trying to destabilise social development and cause unrest.”
  • 18 August – Jaruzelski negotiates with Mazowiecki and Primate Glemp, involving the Polish United Workers’ Party, the People’s Party and the leaders of the Democratic Party.
  • 19 August – In Sopron, during the Pan-European Picnic, nearly 700 East-German citizens break through the Austrian-Hungarian border.
  • 19 August – Jaruzelski calls on Tadeusz Mazowiecki to form the new government. Since 1947, Mazowiecki has been the first non-communist prime minister in the region. The Central Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party release a resolution in which they criticize the politics of the People’s Party and the Democratic Party, because they cancelled the coalition with Polish United Workers’ Party. The Central Committee say they infringed the agreements of the Round Table Talks. The Committee call the new Prime Minister for the establishment of a grand coalition with the participation of the Solidarity and the Polish United Workers’ Party saying that ”none of them will be able to tackle the dangers and save the country from collapsing if they fight alone or against one another”. Meanwhile, Nicolae Ceaușescu writes a letter to the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party offering his internationalist assistance. In an announcement, the Government of the USA informs that despite of the formation of a new government in Poland, the country cannot count on instant economic support from the USA.
  • 19-21 August – Demonstrations take place nationwide in Czechoslovakia on the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the military intervention in 1968. Demonstrators arrive from Poland and Hungary, too. A mass demonstration with ten thousands people take place at Wenceslas Square of Prague on 21 August. The mass stretch a poster saying ”May long live Poland”. The rally is brutally crushed by the police, in total, 320 Czechoslovakian and 54 foreigner demonstrators (including Hungarians, Polish, Italians, Dutch, Bulgarians and Germans) are under arrest. The Alliance of Young Democrats representatives György Kerényi and Tamás Deutsch are forced to pay penalty and expelled from Czechoslovakia.
  • 20 August – In his speech, Hungarian Prime Minister Németh Miklós judges the military intervention of 1968.
  • 20 August – The Central Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party decide not to join the Opposition. Instead, they start negotiations with the Solidarity about the shared governance.
  • 23 August – On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of signing the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, one million people proceed to form a human chain of 600 km stretching from Tallinn through Riga to Vilnius.
  • 22 August – The Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia judge ”the act of provocation by particular foreigner groups” during the Prague protest.
  • 23 August – The Sejm criticize the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, which is ”not only shameful but also it contradicts with the principles of the international law, consequently, it is to consider null and void right from the beginning.” The Sejm express their hope that the German and the Soviet politicians will criticize the Pact likewise and admit that it is void right from the first moment.
  • 24 August – With 378 votes, the Sejm authorize Mazowiecki to establish the new government.
  • 25 August – Mazowiecki negotiates with the American Senators and inquires for instant economic support.
  • 31 August – In a letter, Czechoslovakian Prime Minister Ladislav Adamec records his position on the project Gabčíkovo–Nagymaros Dams: he urges the instant continuation of the construction works in Hungary. Alternatively, he envisages the implementation of the construction works – needed for the instalment of the Dams – are to carry out exclusively in the territory of Czechoslovakia.