Round table "The Fall of the Berlin Wall: Past, Present, Future"

On the 6th of November a round table 'The Fall of the Berlin Wall: Past, Present, Future', took place to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall. Professor Alexander Semenov, Director of the History department at HSE St Petersburg and assistant at the Laboratory for Historical Research, Yana Kitaeva presented a paper in the research section of the event on 'The Question of German Reunification in Teymuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze’s Diaries'.

The round table 'The Fall of the Berlin Wall: Past, Present and Future' was organised with support from the Yeltsin Fund,  the Yeltsin Presidential Centre, and the Russian representative office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (Germany).

 The lecture was based on a research project with an analytical approach into the (previously considered lost) diaries of Teymuraz Stepanov-Mamaladze. Stepanov-Mamaladze was personal assistant and speechwriter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR at the time, Eduard Shevardnadze.

This unique source provides an opportunity to take a fresh look at the history of German reunification. Stepanov-Mamaladze was not a typical employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and he observed the whole transformation of the changing foreign policy of perestroika like an anthropologist in the field.

Stepanov-Mamaladze writes about all the stages of the ‘peaceful revolution’ in the GDR: the fall of the Wall, the ‘4 + 2’ negotiations to decide on the military-political status of a new united Germany. A new united Europe was taking shape before his very eyes while the symbol of the soviet victory over fascism in WWII  came crashing down.