After German re-unification, he first fled to the Soviet Union but was extradited by the new Russian government to Germany, where he was imprisoned and tried for high treason and crimes allegedly committed during the Cold War. However, as he was dying of cancer, he was released from prison. He died in exile in Chile about a year and a half later.
- Die Mauer wird in 50 und auch in 100 Jahren noch bestehen bleiben, wenn die dazu vorhandenen Gründe noch nicht beseitigt sind.
- Translation: The Wall will be standing in 50 and even in 100 years, if the reasons for it are not removed.
- East Berlin (January 19, 1989)
- Den Sozialismus in seinem Lauf hält weder Ochs noch Esel auf.
- Translation: Neither an ox nor a donkey is able to stop the progress of socialism.
It is sometimes claimed, that he may have said instead:
- Der Sozialismus in seinem Lauf hält weder Ochs noch Esel auf.
- Translation: The progress of socialism is neither stopping ox nor donkey. (Hinting at the people who had been allowed to leave the eastgerman republic briefly before that 7th of October.)
- East Berlin (October 7, 1989)