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German History in Documents and Images
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Glasnost Now (October 1989)
Since the mid-1980s, Mikhail Gorbachev had pursued a reform policy in the U.S.S.R. known as glasnost (transparency) and perestroika (economic restructuring). Although the SED leadership strictly rejected this policy, many East Germans hoped that it would lead to political liberalization in their country as well. The photograph below features a spray-painted call for "Glasnost Now" on an apartment building in East Berlin. Photo by Volker Döring.