Dominic Ambrose Blogblot

of words: narrative, film and non-fiction

Life in a country of air-quotes: On the steps of the “Parliament” of the “German” “Democratic” “Republic”

This was a few months after the opening of the wall. Certainly not before, - I can't imagine sitting on the steps of the East German Parliament grinning luridly in my weird 1990s jeans. That just was not done.

This was a few months after the opening of the wall. Certainly not before – I can’t imagine sitting on the steps of the East German Parliament grinning luridly in my weird 1990s jeans anytime before that. That just was not done.

German? Well, I suppose so, but really an extension of the Soviet Union. And Republic? That implies sovereignty, in a place fully occupied by the Soviet Union. But Democratic least of all. Correct me if I am wrong, but it seemed self-evident that there were no democratic institutions such as councils, advisory boards or community groups (other than the Lutheran Church) that were not overtly controlled by members of the SED, the East German Communist Party. Fear was so great that the only people who dared speak at any public meeting, no matter how small or local, were those ambitious SOBs who took the opportunity to kiss the asses of the party leadership. These were the people who succeeded in East Germany, the people willing to humiliate themselves with verbally talented fealty to the party elders. It was a gerontocracy with a backward looking dynamic with little space for new ideas. Inevitably, it was the Lutheran Church, the only independent institution, that became the forum for regime-change in 1989.

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November 10, 2014 Posted by | politics, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment