Monday, November 9, 2009

"Nachruf" for two states

Well, we had Sarkozy at the wall spouting his tupence worth and then there was Gordon Brown, with his condescending "blah, blah, blah" and then there was Dimitry Medvedev and, finally, Hillary representing the hype man, and there they all were praising, and raisng their glasses to those who got on the streets and ended up forcing Günter Schabowski's slip of the tongue, that opened the wall and off they all went, "Wir sind ein Völk",  pouring down Bornholmer Straße all of twenty years ago. Well, 20 years down the road, it might suit Gordon, Hillary, Nicolas and, yes, even Dimitry, but it didn't quite turn out as we expected, did it?

No, there was me back then also thinking there was a chance, that there might be this, that and the next thing that we could learn from the "other Germany". However, all we got was the wee green man. In fact, in retrospect, for the last twelve years we have been increasingly finding ourselves in a country that, back in 1989, most, then, West Germans, would not have accepted. Oh right, the social system is still there, but it is being dismantled, and with "Hartz 4" we have arrived in a world of means testing and, while the "Zwei Klassengesellschat" (two class society) was always there it now really is a world where the rich are getting richer and the poor, poorer. American conditions, if they haven't arrived, are knocking on the doorstep.

Finally, we have a Germany that breaks its own constitutional law in order to assist its allies in pursuing an illegal war. Sort of breaking the law twice, they are! Yes, the 9th of November, remember, remember, and there was another 9th of November in Germany, back in 1938, "Reichskristallnacht" and where did that lead to, well it lead to Meineike's "Deutsche Katastrophe" and the constitutional consequence in the new Bonn Republic that "Nie wieder darf von deutschem Boden ein Krieg ausgehen" (never again will a war be pursued from German soil). Well, with German boys dying too in America's dirty wars, it is safe to say that it was not only the GDR that was to begin to disappear on that heady evening twenty years ago.

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