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GERMANY: The tenth anniversary of eunification
Germany celebrated the tenth anniversary of reunification in different ways. The main celebration for das Volk, to which Hitler appealed, was around the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, where innumerable long tables had been set up. Das Volk ate piles of greasy sausages and swilled beer. The official ceremony was in Dresden, celebrating its rebuilt glory. The choice was made because the revolt in favor of reunification began in Saxony, In the old opera house, a full crowd of well-dressed people listened to long earnest speeches. One felt sorry for the many foreigners, like Madame Chirac, who had to sit there acting as though they appreciated them. Chirac was the guest of honor, Helmut Kohl, the architect of eunification, the great absentee. Poor fellow. Was there a reference to him?
NATO was created to keep America in, to keep the USSR out,and to keep Germany down. This last is still in the back of French minds, although Chirac was effusive in his praise of Germany's role and his support for his expansion of NATO. Germans stressed that Dresden is near Czechoslovakia and Poland and praised de Gaulle, without quoting his "Europe from Brest to the Urals" We wonder what the Russians thought of the inclusion of the Baltic states in the description of Europe. Presumably the menu of the banquets which were the reward for listening to those speeches was different from that of das Volk in Berlin.
French TV ran an excellent program on the real East Germany, life in a small town north of Berlin, indicating the gains and losses from reunification. A charming woman school teacher was interviewed. She said the behavior of the children had changed. Well...
Ronald Hilton - 10/04/00