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Masterpieces of History

Svetlana Savranskaya
Thomas Blanton
Vladislav Zubok


Document No. 89: Diary of Anatoly Chernyaev regarding German Reunification, October 9, 1989

Traduction de Vladislav Zubok

Texte intégral

1This diary entry reflects the overestimation, by Gorbachev and his top aides, of the strength of West European opposition to German reunification. Chernyaev notes with approval the chorus of French official voices that have spoken quietly against “one Germany,” as well as the earlier Gorbachev conversations with Margaret Thatcher (see Document No. 85). But a note of realism emerges as Chernyaev concludes that the West Europeans want Moscow to do their dirty work: “they want to prevent this [reunification] with our hands.”


2All of Europe is raving about M.S. [Gorbachev] in Berlin. And many people are “whispering in our ear:” it is very well that the USSR has spoken up now, although in a delicate way, against the “reunification of Germany.”

3[Vadim] Zagladin has just returned from a tour across France. He met with many people—from Mitterrand to city mayors. He sent a shower of cables to Moscow about his conversations. And everyone says in a single voice—nobody needs one Germany. And [Secretary of the French President] Attali talked with us about a revival of a solid Franco-Soviet alliance, “including military integration—camouflaged as the use of armies in the struggle against natural disasters.”

4Thatcher […] in her conversation with M.S. […] suddenly asked us “not to take notes.” She is decidedly against “the reunification of Germany.” But, she says, I cannot speak about it back home, or in NATO.

5In brief, they want to prevent this [reunification] with our hands.

6[Source: Anatoly Chernyaev’s Diary, Manuscript. On file at the National Security Archive. Translated by Vladislav Zubok.]

© Central European University Press, 2010

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