Snubbing the East Germans

A speech by the former head of state of the GDR Egon Krenz on Döpfner and arms deliveries

The statement by Mathias Döpfner that there are only “communists or fascists” in the East is unfortunately not an individual opinion in the West German-influenced “elite” of the republic. Presented in such infamous plain text or in more subtle spelling, the media landscape is still full of it. Arrogant attacks that ignore the actual life achievements of the people in the GDR and want to convince the nation that the systematic discrimination of the East Germans because of their supposed hostility to democracy and cultural “dwarfism” was and remains justified. Anyone who talks like that has not completed German unity to this day, and the degraded East Germans may ask themselves whether they want to be united with such contemporaries.

On the same day, when the statement of the head of Springer was published, the federal government approved that Poland can deliver Soviet warplanes from stocks of the GDR to Ukraine. This is malicious in several ways: it is a blow to those East Germans who are resisting arms deliveries. At the same time, it is a departure of today’s Federal Republic from the common formula of the GDR and the FRG that war may never again emanate from German soil. The decision of the federal government brings the war closer to Germany, even if the rulers do not want to admit this to themselves. The decision also shows that the Chancellor’s promise that there will be no deliveries of combat aircraft to Ukraine cannot be relied on. It makes no difference whether this is done from the territory of the Federal Republic or via Poland. Supplying Soviet military technology from the GDR to today’s NATO state Poland is also morally questionable. These are aircraft that were supplied to the GDR by its ally for its own defense and are now to be used by NATO against the successor state of the USSR. This is a snub to those East Germans who remember the GDR’s peace policy with a clear conscience. It will enter the collective memory of the Russian people as an unfriendly act of the Federal Republic of Germany.

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Egon Krenz was General Secretary of the Central Committee of the SED and Chairman of the State Council of the GDR from October 17 to December 6, 1989.

Published in Junge Welt (Berlin)

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