The “Monday Demonstrations” in Leipzig began in early September 1989, following the weekly peace prayers [Friedensgebete] at the city’s Nikolai Church. Supported by the Protestant Church, an ever-growing number of citizens gathered in the church and on nearby Karl Marx Square over the course of the fall for non-violent demonstrations to demand civil rights, freedom of travel, a free press, and democratic elections. This photograph from the Monday Demonstration on October 30, 1989, shows protesters carrying a banner reading “Gorbi, Gorbi, Help us!”]. “Gorbi” referred to the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, whose reform-oriented policies of glasnost and perestroika were not supported by the SED leadership.

“Gorbi, Gorbi, Help us!” – Monday Demonstrations in Leipzig (Fall 1989)


Source: Protesters carry a banner reading “Gorbi Gorbi Hilf uns!” (“Gorbi, Gorbi, Help us!”) with the Soviet symbols hammer and sickle painted on it in Leipzig, GDR. Date: October 30, 1989. Picture Alliance, media no. 2262417.

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