Dagmar Enkelmann-GDR-Fall of Berlin Wall
The opportunity to modify the German Democratic Republic passed too quickly.
Dagmar Enkelmann, deputy of the Left Party of Germany, tells of her experience during the days of the fall of the Berlin wall and the reasons that led to the collapse of socialism in her country.
A CubaNews translation by Ana Portela.Edited by Walter Lippmann.
By: Luis Luque Álvarez .
“The problems of the GDR were not dealt with in a sufficiently open and
frank manner,” explains Deputy Enkelmann.
The German Democratic Republic (GDR), the country that was in the “line offire” during the Cold War, today is only a reference in the History Manuals. Many of the young Germans have known only one country and of the other one – socialist – they only know about the tales of glory or fall they hear about.
Dagmar Enkelmann, for her part, lived several of those years in the first person. In conversations with JR, she is today a deputy of the Left Party (the fourth political force in the Parliament of the German Federal Republic) recalls some of her experiences in that project of socialism that, under the weight of foreign influences and through its own errors, failed, like the rest of the eastern European countries.
— What memories do you have of the GDR?
— Well, for a large part of my life I lived there. There I studied and went to University; there is where my children were born. I was able to enjoy what was possible for many people at the time: a good education, obtain a good profession…
“I worked for a long time in the youth scenario. And, at the end of that period (the socialist) we began to understand that many young people had been alienated from the GDR as a State. Many wanted to travel, for example, others felt alienated from the youth organization because they were not taken into consideration. There were contradictions among them, on the one hand, between what their real life was, the deficits that existed and, on the other hand, what was being published in the press.
That is why there was a turn toward what was happening in the Soviet Union, its glasnost, its perestroika.
“But the GDR was not ready to reorganize its society to maintain socialism. That is what I see as a great loss, because many people of the eastern part of Germany have realized how much they have lost. That is why I look on what I see in Cuba with nostalgia: the educational system; the free lunch; medical attention; and everything that has been done in the field of health. Something that is not available to all in Germany, today, because both education and health depend on the wallet.” ...
— Where were you the day the Berlin wall fell?
— That same day I was preparing my doctoral defense that I had to do on November 10. The wall fell from November 9 to 10 and I had my defense scheduled for the 10th. The subject of my thesis was the loss of identity of the young people of the GDR.
“On seeing the news on TV I thought, like many other people, that it was not possible. Later I watched images of many people on top of the wall, crossing the border. Today I would like to know what became of these persons who jumped up with joy. I do not think they are not as happy as they were then.”
— How did you live those final days of the GDR?
— For many people it was clear that the system could not continue the same as before. Then, when the change of the governmental figure chanted (the transfer of power from the President Erich Honecker to Egon Krenz) I had a little more hope because I felt that with this step and the reorganization of the country could save the GDR and socialism.
“From there on I began activating my political work. Many open discussions occurred then on a great variety of subjects, and a movement of “round tables” began where representatives of many organizations analyzed properly the actions. I felt the change of spirit of rupture; only that the result was much different from what we expected.”
For complete interview, see the references below.
February 17, 2008 00:36:17 GMT
WALTER LIPPMANN, CubaNews
Los Angeles, California