Die Welt revisits a once-tabu subject

Die Welt revisits a once-tabu subject

On Tuesday, 04 August 2009, the website of the German newspaper Die Welt re-published an article from 04 August 1989 [german] concerning right-wing youth within  communist East Germany.

As the article points out, the East German government tried its best to keep such stories under wraps, since “officially, the DDR had defeated fascism” (my translation).  The article highlights a report from the East German documentary film director and democracy activist Konrad Weiss.  Weiss’s report asserts that arrests due to right-wing activity had increased five-fold between 1983 and 1987.  The apparent goal of the neo-nazis was the return of a united Germany within the borders of 1938.  Weiss suggests that only true democratic reform could stop more and more youths from turning to right-wing ideology.

In fact, the Berlin Wall would fall just three months after Die Welt published the original article.  Now the problem of neo-nazi activity in today’s eastern German states is quite well known.  The wished-for democratic reform came, but unfortunately could not by itself to hold back the popularity of right-wing ideology among youths in that part of the united Germany.

(Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/romtomtom/ / CC BY-NC 2.0)

About the Author

Bill Dawson is an American citizen who, having married an Austrian, lives and works in Vienna, Austria. A programmer by trade, he studied history as an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley.