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State Visit by Erich Honecker (September 7-11, 1987)
During his visit to the GDR in December 1981, Chancellor Helmut Schmidt had invited Erich Honecker to the Federal Republic. After the political changeover in 1982, Schmidt’s successor Helmut Kohl explicitly repeated this invitation. Soviet pressure, however, forced Honecker to postpone his visit several times, and it was only in the summer of 1987 that Moscow’s leadership under Mikhail Gorbachev approved the trip. Honecker visited the Federal Republic from September 7-11, 1987. He was received with nearly all the honors that protocol bestows upon a head of state. For Honecker, it was at once a moment of personal gratification and the highpoint of his political career. In their joint communiqué, Kohl (right) and Honecker (left) announced their intention to engage in peaceful cooperation and to continue the East-West dialogue.