Excerpt From the Diary of Anatoly Chernyaev,
(Archive of the Gorbachev Foundation), 10 November 1989.
The Berlin Wall has collapsed. This entire era in the history of the socialist system is over. After the PUWP and the HSWP went Honecker. Today we received messages about the "retirement" of Deng Xiaopeng and [Bulgarian leader Todor] Zhivkov. Only our "best friends" Castro, Ceaucescu, [and] Kim Il Sung are still around – people who hate our guts.
But the main thing is the GDR, the Berlin Wall. For it has to do not only with "socialism," but with the shift in the world balance of forces. This is the end of Yalta … the Stalinist legacy and "the defeat of Hitlerite Germany."
That is what Gorbachev has done. And he has indeed turned out to be a great leader. He has sensed the pace of history and helped history to find a natural channel.
Translated by Vladislav Zubok, The National Security Archive
[Source: Notes of Anatoly Chernyaev. The Archive of the Gorbachev Foundation
Fond 2, Opis 2]
(From The End of the Cold War in Europe, 1989:"New Thinking" and New Evidence, A Critical Oral History Conference, Musgrove, St. Simon's Island, Georgia, May 1-3 1998)