9 October 2009

Peaceful Revolution 'should have received the Nobel Prize'

Barack Obama was today awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. However, over on evangelisch.de, Henrik Schmitz writes that it should have been the GDR's peaceful revolution
whose turning point was 20 years ago today that should have received the prize.
Wouldn't it have been a great symbol if on 9 October, the day that makred the turning point in Germany, if the acadmey had awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to the people who actually managed to start a revolution to promote, and eventaully to accomplish, greater freedom, justice and peace - that is the people who were instrumental to ensure that the revolution in the GDR in 1989 was a peaceful revolution.
Der Spiegel is reporting in English about the peaceful revolution in Leipzig:
In the summer of 1989, East German politicians praised the Chinese decision to use violence against democracy activists camping in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. In September and early October, East German police had cracked down forcefully on protesters in Dresden, Berlin and Plauen. Protesters marching in Leipzig on Oct. 2 were beaten by police. "People had seen pictures from Beijing," Jens Schoene, a historian and author of "The Peaceful Revolution: Berlin 1989/90 -- The Path to German Unity," says. "It wasn't at all clear it would be peaceful. On Monday, Oct. 9, Fuehrer, Wonneberger and the others at the Nicolaikirche decided to go ahead with the scheduled protests. All of East Germany, it seemed, was holding its breath. "We were so worried they would come in and shoot everybody," said Dorothee Kern, then a graduate student in the nearby city of Halle. "We had goosebumps the whole day and the day before. Dissidents prepared for the worst. Couples with kids made sure one parent stayed home, in case there was a police crackdown. Rumors flew around the city: Hospitals had been stocked with extra blood and beds; stadiums were readied to hold masses of arrested demonstrators. On his way home from work at the opera house in the middle of town that day, Leipziger Hans Georg Kluge remembers seeing the city filling with soldiers and police. "Everyone had to reckon with the state suppressing any demonstration," he says. "Violently, if necessary."
And there is also a film on the "miricle of Leipzig"


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