1989: There is No Revolution to Make without Women

HERstory and Dynamics of the Democratic Change of 1989 in the GDR

During the European cooperation on perceptions of history, we have developed educational materials on women and the democratic upheavals of 1989. The women were often the ones who gave impulses, inspired and had the courage to start. In addition, there were associations such as the „Lila Offensive“ (Purpur Offensive) and the Independent Women’s Federation, which claimed for political feminist concerns. In Part I, the treatise on the topic, this is explained using examples. The appreciation of individual women and women’s groups is embedded in a presentation of the events that took place BEFORE the opening of the Wall on 9th November 1989. The description leads to a critique of current memory politics, in particular the narrative of a linear development of oppositional activities during the GDR, the „Aufbruch ’89“ (breakup ’89) and the German unification on 3rd October 1990. Instead, it pleads for the ideas of the citizens‘ movements – including those of women – from the period of the democratic upheaval for „peace, justice and the preservation of creation“ to be updated in view of current crises. Part II and Part III contain (suggestions to) exercises for educational work with adults on sensitive historical issues. They were commonly tested together during two 5-day workshops. More on the multilingual project’s website.