Auferstanden aus Ruinen

“Risen from Ruins,” the national anthem of East Germany.

Risen from ruins
And facing the future,
Let us serve you for the good,
Germany, united fatherland.
Old woes are to be overcome
And we overcome them united
Because we so must succeed,
So that the sun beautiful as never before
Over Germany shines,
Over Germany shines.
Auferstanden aus Ruinen
Und der Zukunft zugewandt,
Lass uns dir zum Guten dienen,
Deutschland, einig Vaterland.
Alte Not gilt es zu zwingen,
Und wir zwingen sie vereint,
Denn es muss uns doch gelingen,
Dass die Sonne schön wie nie
Über Deutschland scheint,
Über Deutschland scheint.
Happiness and peace be granted
To Germany, our fatherland.
All the world longs for peace,
Reach your hand out to the peoples.
If brotherly we unite ourselves,
We shall defeat the people’s enemy.
Let the light of peace shine
So that a mother never more
Mourns her son,
Mourns her son.
Glück und Friede sei beschieden
Deutschland, unserm Vaterland.
Alle Welt sehnt sich nach Frieden,
Reicht den Völkern eure Hand.
Wenn wir brüderlich uns einen,
Schlagen wir des Volkes Feind.
Lasst das Licht des Friedens scheinen,
Dass nie eine Mutter mehr
Ihren Sohn beweint,
Ihren Sohn beweint.
Let us plough, let us build,
Learn and create like never before,
And, confident in immanent strength,
A free generation rises up.
German youth, best efforts
Of our people united in you,
You will become Germany’s new life.
And the sun beautiful as never,
Over Germany shines,
Over Germany shines.
Lasst uns pflügen, lasst uns bauen,
Lernt und schafft wie nie zuvor,
Und der eignen Kraft vertrauend,
Steigt ein frei Geschlecht empor.
Deutsche Jugend, bestes Streben
Unsres Volks in dir vereint,
Wirst du Deutschlands neues Leben,
Und die Sonne schön wie nie
Über Deutschland scheint,
Über Deutschland scheint.

Ökolöwen Leipzig

Ecological Lions of Leipzig, an East German environmentalist organization.

There’s an 1990 interview with them in a documentary film called “MITGIFT mit Gift” which shows before and after pictures of the terrible environmental damage East Germany inflicted on itself while attempting to meet its planning goals “in the clash of the systems,” as ZDF heute journal moderator Claus Kleber said.

The large hole in the ground at the beginning of this clip is not a giant coal pit but an open uranium mine, in Thuringia.

(Ə co LƏ ven   LIPED sig.)

Erichs Lampenladen

Erich Honecker’s lampe shoppe.

Nickname of the Palast der Republik in the former East Berlin, which had many moderne chandeliers under its ceilings.

From a wonderful website featuring timelines, videos and other explanations and evidence to help Berlin tourists celebrate 24 years of the fall of the Wall and to help everyone remember what things were like in the walled city between 1961 and 1989.

(Air ichhhhhh z   LOMP en LOD en.)

Mit Steuermitteln geförderte Dopingforschung

Taxpayer-funded performance-enhancing-drug research.

In 2011 historians from Humboldt and Münster universities finished an 800-page report called “Doping in Germany from 1950 to the present” that remained unpublished supposedly because of data privacy concerns for the many West Germans named in it. It found that a West German institute called the Bundesinstitut für Sportwissenschaft (“German Institute for Sports Science,” B.I.Sp.), founded in 1970, systematically with politician support researched performance-enhancing substances. At the time the researchers said they were trying to prove substances did not enhance performance, but when they found one that did it was then widely administered to West German athletes. The sports medicine physicians conducting the human experiments and administering the substances to athletes said West German politicians explicitly wanted this. This was not a reaction to East German doping; it was done in parallel, starting as far back as the 1950’s even before the East-West Germany conflict, according to sport historian professor and pundit Giselher Spitzer.

Athletes were not told about side effects. The substances were given to children, “to test age effects.” Pro soccer players doped too (pervitin and then amphetamines), though apparently there were few sports not involved. Epo experiments were done as early as 1988. The scientists worked with national sports groups to help doped athletes elude capture in competition testing. Sponsoring money for the performance-enhancement research was considerable, flowing from the West German government and from private sports associations mostly to the Freiburg university hospital but also to sports medicine centers in Cologne and other cities.

The Humboldt University sports history study was ordered by the Bundesinstitut für Sportwissenschaften (B.I.Sp.) and sponsored by the Deutscher Olympischer SportBund. Its findings were kept unpublished for two years. After an 03 Aug 2013 Süddeutsche Zeitung article about the report a spokesperson for the Deutscher Olympischer SportBund said the failure to publish and resulting ongoing exclusion from public discussion and review was the researchers’ decision. On 05 Aug 2013 the B.I.Sp. finally published it and apparently Hans-Peter Friedrich (C.S.U.)’s Interior Ministry, which the B.I.Sp. is still a part of, also released it.

What we still don’t know: Before the evaluation, many important files were apparently shredded. Files requested in 1991 from B.I.Sp. to use to answer a parliamentary inquiry from the S.P.D. party turned out to have been destroyed, for example (and apparently the B.I.Sp. started the Humboldt University research project at about the same time??). Not all the relevant original files were apparently registered in a-or-the federal archive [“Bundesarchiv“?], so historians will be unable to find them there due to that library guerrilla move. The Deutscher Fussball-Bund reportedly set unacceptable conditions for access to its archives, so information they contain did not flow into the study. Joseph Blätter’s international soccer organization Fifa only recently (2011) stopped destroying World Cup soccer players’ test samples only three months after collection. People are upset that anonymity and lack of prosecution have been apparently enjoyed by West German sinners but not East German. The study was sponsored to investigate only up until the year 1990. Apparently the published version is missing several hundred pages.

Solutions: Justice ministers from several German states are demanding a federal-level anti-doping law making the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs a criminal offense; this has been under discussion for years now. The president of the Deutscher Leichtathletik-Verband called for more such research to prevent all West German athletes from that era from being suspected of having illegally taken performance-enhancing drugs. Also, as news anchor Claus Kleber pointed out, because the actors have never admitted culpability we can’t know whether the unethical practices were stopped. They might still be going on today.

(Mitt   SHTOY ah mitt ellll n   geh FUR dirt teh   DOPINGK for shoong.)

Tag der deutschen Einheit

“German unity day.” Celebrated on June 17 for years in West Germany to remember the popular uprising against the East German government 60 years ago this week.

The German unity holiday was changed to October 3 when East and West Germany signed the agreement to reunify on Oct. 3, 1990.

Bundespräsident Joachim Gauck, a regime-critical East German pastor who after the Wall fell led the so-called Gauck-Behörde, the agency created to figure out what to do with the Stasi files left behind by the secret police, said,

“Today it remains essential, everywhere around the world, to stand by / provide backup for those people who, though discriminated against and marginalized, courageously take a stand for freedom, democracy and justice.”

“Es gilt auch heute, überall auf der Welt, jenen beizustehen, die sich obwohl diskriminiert und ausgegrenzt mutig für Freiheit, Demokratie und Recht einsetzen.”

(TOG   dare   DEUTSCH en   EYE n h eye t.)

“Wissen, wie es war”

“To know what it was like.” Motto for the twentieth anniversary of the museum for the Stasi documents, the files and systems of the East German secret police, that were saved from destruction, reconstructed despite destruction, archived, read, evaluated, reread and shown to visitors from all over the world.

The decision to preserve the files was not as obvious now as it may seem in retrospect. Some well-meaning West German deciders wondered if finishing the Stasi’s destruction of the files might not be a benison to the Stasi’s victims, in the extremely short term. Fortunately for victims, for voters who in the decades since might otherwise have elected candidates with an “inoffizielle Mitarbeiter” (“unofficial coworker,” “unofficial employee”) past, for people living in police states who are making plans about what to do when the dictatorship falls, and for people living in potential police states, the documents were not destroyed, systems were developed to work with them while preserving privacy for the innocent, and the people at these archives are happy to share what they’ve learned with visitors.

(VISS en   vee   ess   vahr.)

Der Mann ohne Gesicht

“The man without a face,” East German spy chief Generaloberst Markus Wolf. Whose son Franz now runs a complex web (a Geflecht or “weaving,” meshwork) of offshore companies supposedly from his registered residence in Gibraltar. The SZ calls his network an empire, stretching from the Caribbean to Russia. Companies in the network are involved in dozens of industries, including surprisingly water utilities (Wasserversorger, water suppliers). Speaking of water, the chains of companies also once helped hide ownership of the oil tanker Prestige after it sank off the coast of Spain in 2002 and its oil spilled onto Spanish beaches. The SZ said the Neue Zürcher Zeitung wrote that ownership was eventually traced to a Franz Wolf company which quickly disappeared.

(Dare   MONN   oh neh   geh ZICHH t.)

“Wir brauchen keine Volksarmee, wir brauchen Butter!”

“We don’t need a People’s Army, we need butter!” The East German uprising of 1953  will celebrate its sixtieth anniversary on 17 June 2013. To spread the word about the general strike on 16 June, people went through the streets of East Berlin the night before calling out where and when to meet, as well as slogans like this one. During the day East German protesters apparently used loudspeaker cars and bicycles to communicate between strikes in the central and outlying districts, while the strikers themselves got around on public transportation such as trams and the metro. Wikipedia says a West Berlin radio station reported about the East Berlin strike, probably helping the protests spread to other East German towns.

Bertold Brecht wrote a poem about 17 June 1953 called “The Solution.”

After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts.
Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

(Vir   brow chh en   k eye neh   FOLKS arm ae,   vir   brow chh en   BOO ter.)

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