15 Aug 2011

German Leftists Grateful for Berlin Wall

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Border Guard Conrad Schumann defects August 15, 1961

Germans today observed a minute of silence on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Soviet’s construction of the Berlin Wall in honor of its victims. The Guardian reports on some representatives of the German left who refused to participate.

A group of leftwing politicians in Germany have been criticised for refusing to observe a minute’s silence on Saturday to commemorate the 136-plus people who died trying to breach the Berlin Wall.

A far-left newspaper added to the controversy by printing a front page saying “thank you” to the wall for “28 years of keeping the peace in Europe” and “28 years of plentiful crèche and kindergarten places”.

The timing of both stunts was provocative: Saturday marked 50 years since the East German government built what it euphemistically described as “an anti-fascist protection measure”. To mark the date, a minute’s silence was held across Germany at noon, with Angela Merkel attending an event on the former death strip in east Berlin.

But at a political conference in Rostock, in the former East Germany, three delegates from Die Linke party refused to join in when 100 colleagues stood up to observe the silence.

Read the whole thing.

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