Backtothepoint – in praise of Stalinism
On 27 May 2011, on Comment is Free’s You Tell US, Backtothepoint posted the following eulogy to the former Stalinist regime in East Germany:
I like to point out to the Nazis-were-Socialists people that as the GDR, East Germany was both Democratic and Republican.
In response the poster 10jiao posted the following:
“The GDR (German Democratic Republic), was never anything but a brutal Stalinist dictatorship as many young people discovered with their lives when they attempted to leave.
Democratic governments do not massacre their own citizens for protesting against having their pay cut.
In the 1953 Uprising in East Germany 513 people were killed, 106 people were executed under martial law or later condemned to death, 1,838 were injured, and 5,100 were arrested (1,200 of these were later sentenced to a total of 6,000 years in penal camps). It also was alleged that 17 or 18 Soviet soldiers were executed for refusing to shoot demonstrating workers.
The Uprising of 1953 in East Germany started with a strike by East Berlin construction workers on June 16 protesting about pay cuts. It turned into a widespread uprising against the Stalinist German Democratic Republic government the next day. The uprising in Berlin was violently suppressed by tanks of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany and the Volkspolizei. In spite of the intervention of Soviet troops, the wave of strikes and protests was not easily brought under control. Even after June 17, there were demonstrations in more than 500 towns and villages.
In memory of the 1953 East German rebellion, West Germany established 17 June as a national holiday, called “Day of German Unity”. Upon German reunification in October 1990, it was moved to 3 October, the date of formal reunification.
The event is commemorated in the following poem by Bertolt Brecht:
After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?
Chris Gueffroy died in February 1989 while trying to flee across the Berlin Wall. He was the last East German citizen to fall victim to the state’s policy of shooting escapees in the divided city.
And here he is again on 30-31 January.30 Jan 2012 talking about the former GDR being occupied by West Germany:
I think it’s obvious that the emergence of neo-Nazi groups in East Germany, like the emergence of the original Nazis, was linked to soaring unemployment, falling living standards and the East Germans or “Ossis” being treated as sub-citizens by a triumphant occupying power, West Germany.