Demonstration against the single ticket voting system, Leipzig, May 7 1989: Street scene in Leipzig [6/19]



May 7 1989
Created By: Roland Quester, Quelle: BStU

License: Creative Commons License

A street scene in Leipzig, taken on the day of the communal elections in 1989, at which candidates of the National Front (an alliance of political parties and mass organisations in East Germany controlled by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany) received 98.85 of the votes at an official voter-turnout of 98.78, thereby achieving the worst electoral results in the history of the GDR. For the first time, citizens throughout East Germany were determined to prove the authorities guilty of electoral fraud. After polling booths closed, groups of voters participated in a public count and in almost every case it could be proven that the authorities were indeed guilty of electoral fraud. On the evening of the election, the first scattered demonstrations already began appearing in various cities. 72 protesters were arrested in Leipzig. (cf. Lindner, Bernd: Die demokratische Revolution in der DDR 1989/90. Bonn 1998, S. 25ff)


street, Trabant (car), tree


arrest, camera, fair, local election, protest, surveillance


Ministry for State Security, People's Police



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"The photos were taken in inner-city Leipzig on the day of the last local elections in East Germany 1989. There had been an appeal for people to make a clear show of their protest against the single ticket voting system by taking their ballot cards to Leipziger Markt. Those who did were meant to thereby use them as proof that they had not voted. Naturally the government body got hold of the flyers announcing the appeal and promptly organized for a fair to be held on Leipziger Markt the same day. They sent a tremendous amount of plain-clothed Stasi to the inner-city (many equipped with video and photographic gear) and riot police were ready and waiting in the side streets. I tried to document all of that. Then at some point, while taking pictures of a Stasi arrest, they realized that my camera and I did not belong to them but to the others and they arrested me. My films were confiscated and are currently located at the BStU [Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Archives]."

Roland Quester