What is it with German youth and ‘socialist experiments’?

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.

Buy a youthfil shirt to show you support the GDR -- well if it hadn't collapsed some 19 years ago.
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.

I first saw the study in Spiegel Online. And because Der Spiegel (back then “Diese Woche” — “This Week”) was founded more or less directly by the British occupation authorities in 1946, just about anything that can be read as in any way positive towards the GDR or the Left Party is being twisted and talked down. Somewhere far down in the article I found the following bit of info:

Almost 70% of the students from Brandenburg believe that the FRG before 1989 was no better than the GDR, or at least they are undecided. More than 70% think it is “positive that in the GDR everyone had work, even though the state decided upon salaries and the level of prosperity was low”. Almost one of five thinks that the bankrupt economy of the GDR is better than that of the FRG, and more than half do not oppose the statement: “The GDR was not a dictatorship.”

Whatever they understand with the word “better”, is unknown. Is it supposed to mean “better at creating a surplus that can be sold at the capitalist world market”? Or “better at producing more units of whatever, independent on whether these are needed or not”? Or is it supposed to mean “better at balancing the production of the good that are needed to run society with making work life comfortable and focusing on the mental and physical needs of the work force”?

What Spiegel Online understands with “better” is hinted with the adjective “bankrupt”. The rest of the article really doesn’t do any good other than emphasizing once more on how stupid Brandenburg students really are. And because the trend of positive views on the GDR is mirrored in all other states they have researched, West- and East-Berlin as well as North Rhein West Phalia, as well, it really applies to them too. Some of it may be truly false, such as beliefs that the environment was better off in the GDR, but also these depend on how the question was stated.

In other FRG papers the results are presented using similar headlines such as “GDR Romaticism and pure Ignorance”, “Brandenburg students know nothing about the GDR” or “Many students in Brandenburg idealize the GDR”. Norwegian Aftenposten represents probably the low end of journalism when quoting and not commenting one of the researchers:

As an example he [Professor Klaus Schroeder] mentions that early in the 1990s, 200 former teachers received extra education at the university in order to be able to give a correct picture of what the situation in the GDR really was like, with political prisoners, massive surveillance, and killings of citizens trying to flee to the west.

Oh ok, so are secret CIA prisons part of the curriculum of West German schools? Is the fact that the federal government aided Pinochet in Chile and other dictators throughout the region, that the federal government repeatedly goes to war against the German populations will, that thousands have died trying to enter the EU for the past 17 years part of history on the FRG? Has anyone not heard of the shootings at the Berlin Wall? And look at the numbers — 1065 death altogether 1945–89, of which only 190 at the Berlin wall — against at least 3750 at the EU borders between 1993 and 2003.

Now I wanted to see the results of the study directly, so I googled for the, But unfortunately there was nothing to be found on the pages of the project itself. At this page you can only get to know that the results from Berlin can be acquired for €15. For that you need to send an email or call a phone number, there is no online payment system and my guess is they will then send the result in paper form by mail. In other words: the material is really made inaccessible for people with a personal interest.

All we get is the version filtered by Spiegel Online. But also these “researchers” behind the story comment it with statements such as “If I was with the Left Party, I’d say: ‘Great, cause all these are our potential future voters”. No, with the Left Party they are not. But with whom then? On their web page they posted the following event:

The third part of the series “Great were the times… ?” arranged by the Coalition90/Green Party in cooperation with the research community SUP-State at the FUB to the theme Myth of Equality. From banner appeal to citizenship science — everyday in the schools of the GDR.

Now imagine a research community at a federal German university entitled “Third Reich Successor state” that together with the Left Party has a series called “With the Federal Government for War, Dictatorship and Fascism — Everyday in foreign politics of the FRG in Latin America”.

Wikipedia tells us that the SUP-state project is fully financed until 2014 by sources from outside the university. They employ 13 academic, so it must be quite a sum. That not a single one of them has time to publish the results as a PDF on their web page, seems questionable.

Well, that is West European media. The funny thing is that by the very way they report on this study they reveal just how similar they are themselves to the state controlled media of the Soviet Allied countries. And what they fail to acknowledge is that it is not a generally higher level of stupidity among students across all of Germany that gives these another view of the GDR, but rather that their propaganda machinery isn’t working quite the way they want it too. Still, the generation of current retired people are being blamed for being too positive towards the GDR, usually with the excuse that they are just old farts who don’t remember clearly what it was like. Now they lost the youth as well.

Really, the unquestioning FRG supporters are getting quite lonely. Now none of the young people want to resurrect the GDR as it was, I am sure. But the FRG is not an acceptable alternative either.

6 thoughts on “What is it with German youth and ‘socialist experiments’?”

  1. I thought you would be interested to know that while I was searching the web today, I came across marx.su . I was just wondering if anyone would take up the obvious names for .su . I live in the US and probably share similar socialist ideals. Just thought it was interesting.

  2. It is quite shocking that after two dictatorships on German soil and after 60 Mio people killed by Nazism, 50 Mio by Stalinism and 80 Mio by Maoism someone, and especially a German, should write idealogically blind, historically false and intellectually weak stuff like that.

    You sound like the completely stupid people in the 50s in Germany that argued: Not all was bad with Hitler. Now you replace it with: Not all was bad with the East German dictatorship.

    Wow.
    Lothar Eckstein

  3. Ah Mr. Eckstein… Indeed, if you have arguments, why don’t you use them. Apparently you don’t have anything else to show other than to pull the Hitler card. So your enemy (in this case East Germany) is equal to Hitler. No proof needs to be given. For starters, you may have noticed that although some people were killed due to actions of the East German state, just like people are being killed due to the actions of the West German state, neither of these reach anywhere close to the million-scale under Hitler. And Mao, you may recall, was in China and not in East Germany.
    Btw, where did you get the 60 million? I see 20 million here: http://www.hawaii.edu/power

  4. Well, normally it is left wing extremists and conspiracy theorists like you that pull the Hilter card – in every possible and impossible place.

    My enemy? This is your slightly warped view of what I wrote. Please read again. Where does it say that East Germany is my enemy?

    Also: What a sick view of a dicatorship you have. You essentially say: It didn’t kill millions – so it wasn’t so bad. To begin with, you fully igonre that it was a satellite regime. The tough and rough jobs were carried out somewhere else in the system. I bet, you also support left wing dicators in South America, right? Chavez? Castro?

    On top, the point I am making is a completely different one and has little to do with your reply.

    Just on a sideline: Your link talks victims of Nazi terror in various forms and not about the total number of people that did in connection with Nazi rule. All figures I quoted above refer to the latter (also for Stalin and Mao)

    My basic point remains, though: Ideological and political extremists have been destructive all throughout history. It is those people that burned witches (catholic extremists). It is those people that built concentration camps and gulags (nazis and communists). it is those poeple that produce suicide bombers and honorary murders (islamic extremists).

    You pride yourself as being a political extremist. How sad.How crazy.

  5. The present task is to identify agencies and *individuals of the USA government who are responsible for the collapse of the constitutional democracy and the simultaneous formation of the current totalitarian state here. As may be expected the criminals and the terrorists of the two premier homicidal groups (i.e.: the fbi/cia) are also the spearheads of the nation’s global intel operations, both overt and covert.** Other intel groups take orders (either directly or indirectly ) from the fbi and the cia.

    Due to the corruption, incompetence and outright felonious mindset of the members of the fbi/cia, all of the other intel arms of the USA government are unable to protect the country from the mounting threats by persons and countries who seek to stop this nation’s assault on Humanity. The reason for the national intel failure, therefore , can be directly attributable to the fbi/cia and their foolish congressional and presidential Handlers. As a result of this website and (http://www.sosbeevfbi.com) I have learned that the following intel groups study my material sometime in an apparent effort to comprehend why the fbi would attempt to frame (or neutralize) one of their own:

    fbi ( this group of thugs ostensibly operates under doj, but in reality the fbi is the boss);
    cia- this group is a nation unto itself, operating completely independently of the US governmnet;;

    homeland security (responsible for many threats and assaults on my person)has an intel office manned by special agents and others who analyze data;
    dea has an intel office for national security matters, but dea is largely controlled by fbi/cia; dea also pretends to function under the authority of doj;

    the dept of defense is top dog in military intel, but they too take orders (or to put it mildly, "requests" from the fbi/cia)-within this dod group are army, air force, navy, marines (their respective intel offices);also under the dod banner are the dia, nsa, nro (national recon office), and the national geospacial intel office (Note that this office has extensively analysed my sites and for this reason I came to learn of their existence as a highly specialized tech office coordinating data both from earth and space);

    The US Department of State has its own office of intel which regularly reviews my material to determine whether I may be a candidate for a federal arrest warrant;The US depts of energy and treasury also each visit my sites in connection with their appraisals of finances, etc., in connection with my material and visits thereto.

    The various intel groups have their own subgroups which also carry out mission oriented objectives globally. For purposes of this report the reader should understand that the United States of America is run by the intel services and that these agencies are so completely corrupt in their operations and influence that no one can touch them.

    *The names of fbi and cia agents, operatives, thugs, assassins, etc., is a work in progress; see my sites, newspaper reports, and perform other inquiries to identify the government rat bastards who look to imprison, torture, kill anyone who stands in their path.

    **[Some of the above material is borrowed from the book, "Intelligence and National Security, A Reference Handbook" by J. Ransom Clark, Praeger Security International, Weatport Connecticut,2007.]
    *********************************************************************************
    Note: The Pentagon shows particular interest (see image below) in the above report because the people are supposed to be kept in the dark; I have a message for the Pentagon and the fbi/cia snakes that hang out therein: THIS LAND IS MY LAND.
    Site meter visit by ARMY at PENTAGON [See also subsequent VA threat below, dated 5-30-08]:

    GERAL W. SOSBEE vs. fbi
    Domain Name pentagon.mil (Military)
    IP Address 141.116.10.# (Army Information Systems Command-Pentagon)
    ISP Army Information Systems Command-Pentagon
    State : Virginia
    City : Annandale
    Time of Visit May 23 2008 2:56:13 pm
    Referring URL http://portland.indymedia.o
    Visit Entry Page http://www.sosbeevfbi.com/

  6. Johannes, very interesting article.

    I found your blog from your posts at Nica sites about the Nicaraguan election.

    This post interests me because I grew up in West Germany, left for the US before the reunification and it’ll always be the DDR or East Germany to me.

    I check the Stern and Spiegel sites regularly for German mainstream news, whish I had a better source.

    When I lived in Germany, I didn’t know that the Bushes and major corporations financed Hitler, that every war was planned by the elite for their benefit, that just about all the people in power are corrupt.

    The false flag "terrorist" attack on 9/11/2001 paved the way to change life in the US, ALL of Germany and most of Europe. The spying and control of East Germany over its citizens are starting to look like the GOOD OLD TIMES. At least most people had food and work.

    Torture is OK, locking people up forever without trial is OK, surveilling everybody everywhere is OK, FEMA camps are OK, eliminating FREE SPEECH is OK, censoring the internet is OK, turning the media into government propaganda is OK, …

    Many people are waking up, but when I saw Obama in Berlin and all these flag waiving Germans, I couldn’t help but think of Hitler.

    The "ONE" has arrived.

    And there’s NO place to escape to that’s safe unless you are a multi millionaire.

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