Embassy of Germany, Prague

The German Embassy in Prague is the highest German diplomatic representation in the Czech Republic. It is located in Prague's Lesser Town at the Palais Lobkowitz.

As of August 1989, the Prague embassy came into the spotlight of the media, as East Germans sought refuge there. In the following weeks, thousands occupied the premises on which the GDR authorities einlenkten and from 30 September a total of 17,000 of its citizens allowed to emigrate to West Germany. On 3 November, the Czechoslovak authorities allowed the East Germans, the unregulated travel to the West and thus lifted up their part of the Iron Curtain, which is considered one of the most important precursors to the fall of the Berlin Wall.


As the former seat of the Holy Roman Empire, Prague is inextricably linked to the history of Germany. Since Bohemia was not independent for centuries, Prague was the seat of the embassies of other countries again until 1918, Czechoslovakia became independent. This independence was suspended from 1939 to 1945 by the incorporation into the Greater German Reich. After the war, were part of the Federal Republic of Germany to countries that recognized the GDR, taken no formal diplomatic relations in the context of sole representation and Hallstein Doctrine. This changed only by the New Ostpolitik. In 1973, relations with the former Czechoslovakia were taken.

" East German refugees has always existed in our embassy in Prague, since we had ( 1974) Palais Lobkowicz based ," said Hermann Huber, Ambassador of December 1988 until 1992. Already four years before taking office, he had to help out in Prague to a larger wave of 160 refugees supply. These were bought out by the Federal Ministry for Intra- German Relations ( BMB ) through the mediation of attorney bird.

As he said then President Husak presented his credentials in December 1988, although there was no East German refugees in the message, but in February / March, the first refuge seekers featured a who had come to the grounds by the rear embassy fence or otherwise the strict Czechoslovak militias outwitted, who controlled every visitor.

Prior to the revolutions of 1989, the grounds of the embassy as a haven for refugees from the GDR was known. In the summer of that year, it ventured further East German citizens, the way to go over the Vltava from Prague Main Train across the West German embassy. On 19 August 1989 some 120 refugees lived there, came daily add 20 to 50 more. On August 23, concluded Ambassador Hermann Huber on instructions from the Foreign Office, the baroque palace to the public. The consular section has been temporarily relocated to a Prague hotel in order to maintain the embassy status.

However, the rush to the embassy grounds went on, more refugees forced their entry, partly because of the negligent nascent Czechoslovak policemen passing through the gate, or by climbing over the fence, which partly led to injuries. In the park of the embassy tents and sanitary facilities were set up and even set up a school system for the children. Abandoned vehicles of the brand Trabant and Wartburg dominated the image of the environment; the GDR tried once to a removal of the silent testimonies. The sanitary conditions in the embassy came to a head in the course of September, some 4,000 refugees were located simultaneously on the drenched by rains terrain. Preoccupation was the hour-long queue in front of the toilets, in ankle- deep mud. Some intense confrontations took place with individuals who were suspected of Stasi activity.

The former German Foreign Minister Hans -Dietrich Genscher arrived on the evening of September 30, 1989. He came from negotiations with the then Foreign Minister of the Soviet Union Eduard Shevardnadze and others at the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York. Assembled journalists, he said he would do them no message, because he wanted to speak first with the Germans from the GDR. At 18:58 clock, he announced from the balcony of the palace:

" Dear compatriots, we have come to you, to let you know that today your departure (Thousands Multiple outcry and cheers ) ... Has become possible in the Federal Republic of Germany. "

The end of the sentence was drowned with the word " departure" through short-tempered jubilation of camping in the yard, wishing to leave East German refugees. A plaque on the balcony railing recalls the touching words. The reached in negotiations possibility of indirect emigrate to the Federal Republic, by train with going through the territory of the GDR in order to maintain the facade of a regular departure from there, but was then anxiously questioned in heckling, as an arrest by East German authorities due to " flight from the republic " it was feared.

From 1 October 1989 drove the first trains from Prague via Dresden and Karl- Marx-Stadt up to Hof ( Bavaria). After the successful evacuation of the embassy were found but again thousands -be emigrants in the streets around the Palais, on 4 October 5000 were in the field, a further 2,000 were waiting in front of in the cold, so that siege -like conditions prevailed. Once again, a departure can be arranged, just before the 40th anniversary of the GDR, now they introduced a visa requirement for the sister country Czechoslovakia, and thus closed the border. The green border in the Ore Mountains was, especially in the fall, just in smaller numbers can be overcome, allowing the inflow almost dried up. On October 28, this group was allowed to drive even with legal GDR exit papers with their own vehicles directly into the Federal Republic, whereupon the ambassador continued his interrupted during the summer vacation.

It soon was racing events. On November 1, the GDR lifted the visa requirement again, were promptly on 3 again more than 5000 persons on the premises. On November 3, 21:00 clock the Deputy Foreign Minister of Czechoslovakia said in a brief interview that people without DDR - approval can emigrate to the Federal Republic Prague directly from what the deputy Armin Hiller from " Genscher - balcony " from announced.

The historical dimension of this decision for an unconditional departure is nothing more than the fall of the Czechoslovak part of the Iron Curtain, which soon was also visible by removal of the frontier fortifications. According to the dictum " How are you? - About Prague " now rose every day thousands of East Germans into a train to Prague, where embassy staff were now directly at the station support for direct onward journey in the Federal Republic. This meant that the East German government announced on 9 November to allow the departure directly, leading to the fall of the Berlin Wall after themselves on the same evening. From mid- November, the Czechs and Slovaks managed a Velvet Revolution.

" A historical analysis of the events that led to the German reunification, the dramatic events in the late summer and autumn of 1989 in Prague can not be ignored, looked as thousands of refugees from the GDR refuge in the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. The in August 1989 sudden rush to the embassy was not only on the scale appropriate to a novelty, but also provided quality represents an entirely new situation, with which it was to deal. They eventually accumulated on 3 November 1989 in a departure control system ( the part of Czechoslovakia ) that made obsolete the Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall. "

On the website of the embassy which those events are documented with photos. Grounds and buildings were hit hard by the week-long stay of the crowd affected and had to be restored afterwards.

Apart from the Genscher - plaque on the balcony railing recalls in the park, the sculpture Quo Vadis artist David Černý, which is a runaway on legs Trabant, "to the many thousands of Germans from the GDR, which the summer and autumn of 1989 on the Embassy in Prague way to freedom searched and found ".

Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany

See also: List of German ambassador in Czech Republic

  • April 25, 1974 - May 18, 1977 Dr. Gerhard pinion
  • June 8, 1977 - October 27, 1982 Dr. Jürgen diesel
  • December 13, 1982 - May 31, 1985 Dr. Klaus Meyer
  • June 25, 1985 - November 17, 1988 Dr. Werner Schattmann
  • December 21, 1988 - August 30, 1992 Hermann Huber
  • September 15, 1992 - March 13, 1996 Dr. Rolf Hofstetter
  • March 18, 1996 - January 31, 1998 Dr. Anton Rossbach
  • February 10, 1998 - September 30, 1998 Michael Steiner
  • February 23, 1999 - June 30, 2001 Hagen Graf Lambsdorff
  • August 22, 2001 - June 15, 2005 Dr. Michael Libal
  • September 25, 2005 - July 10, 2009 Helmut Elfenkämper
  • 3 September 2009 - September 2, 2011 Johannes Haindl
  • Since September 7, 2011 Detlef Lingemann


  • Harald Salfellner, Werner Wnendt: The Lobkowicz Palace - A place German history in Prague. Vitalis Verlag, Prague 1999, ISBN 80-85938-65-0. ( Picture book )

In October 2006, were held at the original location filming the TV movie " Prague embassy " about the events of that time. Actors are Hinnerk Beautiful man, Hans -Werner Meyer, Anneke Kim Sarnau, Timm - Marvin Schattling and Christoph Bach, director Lutz Konermann. Producer is filmpool. Original Air Date was on 23 September 2007, at 20:15 ( RTL).

Hans -Dietrich Genscher gave Gisela Marx as part of a documentary film on the spot a long interview. The documentation was the first time immediately after the first broadcasts of " Prague embassy " on 23 September 2007 RTL.