East Germany Lives

Latest World News Headlines Times Online News: "German Chancellor personalised the festivities, shifting the focus into a celebration of the East German people"

Yesterday I listened to the radio program P1, Studio Ett, where they featured a two and half hour long discussion about the festivities surrounding the fall of the Berlin wall. A Swedish lady, guest professor at the Humbolt University, informed that there are more Germans at the University level that study Swedish than there are Swedes selecting German as a second foreign language in regular school!

I also learned, like it is featured in the above citation, that there is a problem with many Germans that began their lives in East Germany. They experienced the take-over by West Germany as arrogant where all that was East German was non-valid. Now, even if Germans of the East could not help that they ended up on the wrong side of the wall, their education and upbringing led to a silent membership of the Soviet Union culture. It is not easy to dissect out what might have been good in this culture from the doings of the secret police and the extensive need for the high level of control observed. According to a former East German journalist the Tiananmen Square massacre was pictured as righteous in East German press.

Another lady in the radio program had studied the problem of what to do with all the nazis after World War II in Germany academically. She now focused on the problem of what to do with all the stasis and their helpers. It is the second time over a relatively short period of time that Germany faces this problem. Merkel now apparently is trying to befriend her earlier compatriots. However, it is not entirely easy to just befriend the good guys.

The same problem of course exists in Russia but without a Western influence. Stalin is becoming popular and admitting that the Soviet Ideology was wrong is difficult at the same time as all these KGBs, like Putin, are still around in prominent places. Stretching out a hand to former East Germans is of course stretching out a hand to former Sovietunionists but also to other Eastern European countries. Gordon Brown, according to the above article, is contrary to his Tory colleagues positive on the European project which is becoming very "Eastern" lately. The word freedom is gaining a new meaning--free from US influence.

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