Documents show secret messages from Moscow sparked West German chancellor to announce German unification plans on November 28, 1989
Unintended consequences - the backchannel backfires: shock in Moscow and dismay in Washington
New evidence from National Security Archive book "Masterpieces of History" (forthcoming from CEU Press, 2010)
Secret messages from senior Soviet officials to West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl after the fall of the Berlin Wall led directly to Kohl's famous "10 Points" speech on German unification, but the speech produced shock in both Moscow and Washington, according to documents from Soviet, German and American files posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive.
Published for the first time in English in the Archive's forthcoming book, "Masterpieces of History," the documents include highest-level conversations between President George H.W. Bush and Kohl; the text of the letter Kohl had delivered to Bush just as he announced the "10 Points" to the Bundestag on November 28, 1989; excerpts on Germany from the transcript of the Malta summit between Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev; Gorbachev's own incendiary meeting with the German foreign minister after Kohl's speech; and more.
For more information, visit the Archive Web site: www.nsarchive.org