Did Gorbachev prepare the coup against Honecker?

According Geman daily Berliner Morgenpost he did. And what about the comments of the experts?


In the light of the situation in the Soviet bloc in the late 80’s do you think the info about the coup agaist the GDR leader Erich Honecker could be credible and why?


Mike Dennis, Professor of Modern German History, School of Law, Social Sciences and Communications, University of Wolverhampton

I do not find it surprising that Gorbachev would consider Modrow as Honecker’s replacement as Modrow was regarded as a moderate reformer and Honecker was an open opponent of glasnost/perestroika. But how seriously a coup was being planned is another matter: Honecker was not so politically vulnerable in 1987 as he would be 2 years later. He was soon to visit West Germany and Paris and was still a key figure in the amelioration of German-German relations.

Kay Schiller, Senior Lecturer, Department of History, Durham University

This is an old story/rumour. Impossible to say whether there’s any truth in this but a lot speaks against it. Modrow is the only one still alive who participated in the relevant meeting and he has never confirmed this suggestion. He was also not the type who believed in a putsch. It also goes against the non-interventionist stance Gorby adopted, the last time an Eastern bloc leader was removed by the Soviets was a long time in the past (Dubcek in 1969). He was also very busy with the SU but, of course, he would have preferred a reform-minded GDR leader. As long as there’s no DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE, it’s impossible to say anything more about this. Everything else is idle speculation.

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