GHDI logo
German History in Documents and Images
return to system

East German Cars on Budapest Roadsides (Summer 1989)
As part of its political reforms, Hungary began dismantling its frontier barriers to Austria on May 2, 1989. This afforded East German citizens an unexpected escape route; the “Iron Curtain” had suffered its first tear. This picture shows numerous East German “Trabants” and “Wartburgs” parked on a Budapest street. East German refugees had driven to Hungary in these cars but abandoned them when they fled to the West. Photo: Ulrich Hässler.