A few months ago I took an Austrian girl on a tour of the old German Democratic Republic (GDR). Part of the point was to show that the view of East German history differed quite a bit depending on where one was. Now unfortunately we did not meet all that many people with a positive view of the previous regime, and so i, who usually count myself as quite opposed to Stalinism, had to step in and try to show some of the positive points of the GDR as well.
One of these is without question that Western Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), has media that is at least as false and brainwashing as that of the GDR, and by following both one could therefore escape most of the propaganda.
< %image(20071231-GDR_shirts.jpg|489|386|Buy a youthfil shirt to show you support the GDR -- well if it hadn't collapsed some 19 years ago.)%>
But now a report on some states in East and Western Germany by the research community “SUP-State” (the SUP was the Socialist Unity Party, the ruling party of East Germany) at the Free University of Berlin (FUB) shows that views amongst students in East Germany on the GDR are more positive than what they had expected. It appears that the selection of informants the Austrian girl and I had made was skewed.
No, it’s not that I don’t have a life and that I only write about and am concerned with issues relating to the usually very far away Danish minority in Germany and its mother country. While I have not been blogging for several months, I moved to Hackney in north eastern London with Petra (false name), who I met in Oaxaca (see posts from about a year ago) and I started MPhil/PhD studies at Goldsmiths College — quite a radicalizing change from the University of Oslo. In October, the print edition of the Norwegian Dagbladet also had a piece on me coordinating activists from Norway and Germany to come to a demonstration for the youth house Ungdomshuset in Copenhagen, while I was situated in Århus. I wrote notes in online communities such as Facebook.com and Underskog.no — one of my Norwegian comments on the current political situation in Denmark in Norwegian was translated to Danish by Espen Stegger Ledaal — and I supplied Katie, with whom I had been traveling in Central America, with enough data on the Danish welfare state model for a group presentation as part of her social woks master degree, that her professor said she was very lucky to have “a significant other” from Denmark… So yeah, I sure have been active, although I stopped writing here for a while.
It is actually quite easy to record patterns of behavior of those around me here, but they are anarchists and so a bit paranoid of having their stories published all over the Internet. Also there were some events in the last few months that were so close to me that I would be afraid of putting them out for everyone to see. So you will have to wait until I go somewhere else — like Nicaragua some time this spring/summer.
Nevertheless, every now and then I find the time to scan through the Danish minority paper Flensborg Avis.
< %image(20071211-border-dk-de.jpg|800|706|The physical border line between Denmark and Germany consists of no more than symbolical markers in 2007. Nevertheless, maintaining "Danish culture" is still important to some.)%>