The Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe 1989-1990

Andrew Burke
Flowchart by Andrew Burke, updated more than 1 year ago
Andrew Burke
Created by Andrew Burke over 3 years ago
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Description

Part of our series on the Cold War, this chart details the main events across Eastern Europe that led to the collapse of communism. In May '89, Hungarians begin to dismantle the barbed-wire fence between Hungry and non-communist Austria. Within 9 months communism and barriers had collapsed.

Resource summary

Flowchart nodes

  • May 1989 Hungarians begin to dismantle the barbed-wire fence between Hungry and non-communist Austria.
  • September 1989 Thousands of holidaying East Germans in Hungry and Czechoslovakia refuse to go home. They escape through Austria into West Germany. 
  • December 1989  Short, bloody revolution in Romania that ended with the execution of Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
  • December 1990 The Communist party in Hungry renames itself the Socialist Party, declaring that free elections will be held in 1990. In Bulgaria, there are huge demonstrations against the Communist government. 
  • November 1989  Huge demonstrations in Czechoslovakia. Czech government opens its borders with the West, allowing the formation of other parties.
  • June 1989  Free elections are held in Poland for first time since WW2. Solidarity wins most of its contested seats. Eastern Europe has its first non-communist leader President Lech Walesa.
  • October 1989 Gorbachev visits East Germany and tells leader Honecker to reform. Honecker ordered troops to fire on demonstrators but they refuse.
  • March 1990  Latvia leads the Baltic republics by declaring independence from the USSR. 
  • November 1989  Thousands of East Germans march to the Berlin Wall. The wall was then dismantled. 
  • The Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe 1989-1990
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