Peaceful revolution at Leipzig,
October 9, 1989
The peaceful revolution in Germany began in my hometown Leipzig, when the
courageous parish priest, Christian Fuehrer, opened up a dialogue at the
St. Nicholas Church with prayers for peace each Monday. They attracted
large crowds – so many, that in time the church with its 2,000 seats could
barely contain them.
From September 4, 1989 on the peace prayers resulted in the so-called
Monday Demonstrations, with thousands of people holding candles, showing
banners and shooting paroles. The authorities tried to check the demonstrations
by means of road blocks and the presence of armed security forces in the
city. However, the number of protesters steadily grew.
The government had given orders to shoot and the fear of an impending
bloodbath was great. Nonetheless on October 9, 1989, on the all-decisive
demonstration, about 70,000 demonstrators showed up in downtown Leipzig
– face to face with the 8,000 armed security forces deployed by the state,
shooting in mighty choruses “We are the people” and “No violence” - an
incredible and unforgettable experience!
What transpired would go down in history as the “Miracle of Leipzig.”
Given the immense number of peaceful protesters, security forces did not
dare to shoot. The demonstrations ended with a victory of the people over
the authorities. Thus, the dam had broken. Protests quickly swept through
the whole of East Germany, ultimately leading to the opening of the borders
on November 9, 1989 and the fall of the communist regime.