Background: This is a translation of material provided to East German propagandists in August 1961, just after the Berlin Wall was built. Typical of the GDR’s approach, it presents the Wall as a glorious triumph of socialism. It was produced by the Election Commission of the National Front of the GDR as material to use to get out the vote for the September 1961 election.
The source: Büro des Präsidiums der Nationalrats der
NF, “Sonderargumentation zum Schlag gegen den deutschen Militarismus,”
SAPMO DY 30/IV 2/9.03/10. SAPMO is the archives of the East German Communist
Party in Berlin.
It all worked without a hitch! The measures to ensure peace caught our enemies entirely by surprise. The measures were solidly prepared. They were carried out with studied calm and exemplary order.
Less happened during our military and other measures than at a Bavarian church consecration. There are broken bones every night at the Catcher-Zelt near the zoo [This was a large circus-style tent at which boxing matches were held in West Berlin]. Our measures to secure peace were entirely relaxed.
Brandt and his team do not know what to do. These fine gentlemen and those in Bonn had confused our patience with weakness.
But now the proof is evident. A power has developed in Germany that can stand against barbaric militarism. Look at the authority of our workers’ and farmers’ state! Aren’t those splendid lads in our police and army? Look at the splendid men in our fighting groups who keep order and win respect for our workers’ and farmers’ state! Thanks to our lads, thanks to the workers and others in the uniforms of the fighting groups!
Peace is in good hands with the working class in power, with a government of the National Front under the leadership of Walter Ulbricht! When peace is threatened, Ulbricht does not hesitate to save it. He fulfills the legacy of Karl Liebknecht, old Berlin workers say. They think back on the forceful fighter against militarism and war. In 1916 he proclaimed the crimes of the destroyers of the German nation at Potsdamer Platz and called on the German youth to fight for peace. Walter Ulbricht established peace in 1961 when he closed the doors to the provocations of warmongers and front city hyenas by bringing order to Potsdamer Platz.
The militarists suffered a defeat! That is good, since they are the cause of the misfortunes of the German nation. German will live and grow in unity if the militarists are driven away. The balance of power in the world and in Germany has turned against the militarists, and thus the beginning of the general and complete defeat of the militarists is coming in Germany. Socialism has already conquered space, but the cold and hot warriors like Strauß and Brandt are still stuck in the past. The people who want to live in freedom and without militarism have an unshakable support in the socialist bloc and in the forces of peace throughout the world.
The big bankruptcy of little Brandt has come! He has incited and fought against peace long enough. He has supported luring human beings away and stealing children. What will little Brandt do now? He calls for foreign help, hoping foreign troops will help him. What a fine German he is! Instead of negotiating with Ebert and speaking as one German to another, he reveals himself as an adventurer and traitor in the service of foreigners! He runs from the politics of our government to the “Allied commanders”!
Panic in West Berlin! We take steps to secure peace and the warmongers start howling! Why are all the moving trucks in West Berlin suddenly reserved for months to come to move people to West Germany? Why the lines at the airlines? Is the average man afraid of peace or the warmongers? Why have so many West Berliners been complaining loudly to Brandt? He is leading them to ruin! He travels to the Rhine to drink wine and tans himself at alpine lakes, but West Berliners should accept what he gives them. Our advice to you, dear people in Neukölln, Schöneberg, Kreuzberg, and Wedding [districts of West Berlin], is to get rid of Brandt. Come to an understanding with the Berliners in the Red City Hall of [East]Berlin. Get rid of the foul air of Berlin, the stink from Schöneberg.
Brandt is whistling in the wind. He was calling the governments in Washington, London, and Paris for help every few minutes on Sunday and Monday, promising eternal loyalty. But people there were on vacation. A few members of these governments asked if Ulbricht had prepared everything thoroughly. They didn’t give much hope to Brandt. Brandt did know that many influential people from England have visited us recently. He knew how much they welcomed our measures to guarantee peace. Why? No one wants to die for Brandt when he can live peaceably in a peaceful Berlin.
We do everything thoroughly. The entire world welcomes that. They expect that of us. We have thoroughly punished the Nazi war criminals. We have carried out thorough land reform. We have cleansed schools and the courts of Nazism’s spirit. We did our work thoroughly on 13 August as well. One must be thorough when fighting militarism; it benefits the entire nation. We will thoroughly oppose the plans of the militarists, we will thoroughly stop the Hitler generals and we will thoroughly build peace in a united Germany. German thoroughness is a virtue when it serves the cause of peace.
We therefore warn anyone against stupidly endangering peace. Think it over seven times before raising one’s hand against the forces of peace! We are prepared with good weapons on the border, and good sons of workers and farmers in uniforms. These people who steal children and trade in human beings have no respect for baby carriages. But tanks are not baby carriages. Depend on it: Peace is holy to us, and we will protect it like the apple of our eye!
[Page copyright © 1998 by Randall Bytwerk. No unauthorized reproduction. My e-mail address is available on the FAQ page.]
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