On 9 October 1989, around 70,000 people took to the streets of Leipzig, East Germany, despite the threat of a command to shoot. With candles in their hands, they peacefully demanded more freedom and democracy in the GDR. This event was a decisive catalyst for the Peaceful Revolution, which eventually led to the fall of the Berlin Wall. With calls of “Wir sind das Volk” (We are the People) and “No Violence,” people gathered to march across Leipzig’s inner-city ring road.

The dramatic events of Autumn 1989 continue to inspire people today. The citizens of Leipzig keep the memory of those days alive in many ways, especially on 9 October. On this day, the focus is on the Prayer for Peace and the Speech on Democracy at St. Nicholas Church, as well as the Leipzig Festival of Lights at Augustusplatz. The 2022 edition took place on October 9.

Dates of the previous/upcoming edition: 9 October 2024