August 13: Berlin Wall 46 Years Old
History; Posted on: 2007-08-13 19:04:40 [ Printer friendly / Instant flyer ]
East German border guards had "shoot-to-kill" orders to stop defections to West
Researchers have discovered a Cold War "shoot-to-kill" order in what amounts to the clearest evidence yet that East German troops were given a licence to fire on people fleeing to the West, the Times of London reported.
The written order, issued to Stasi secret service agents, states: "Donít hesitate to use your weapon even when border breaches happen with women and children, which traitors have often exploited in the past."
It was found by a researcher in a regional archive of Stasi documents in the city of Magdeburg. The existence of a shoot-to-kill policy has long been assumed, given that more than 1,100 people were killed trying to flee East Germany. Most were shot trying to cross the Berlin Wall and the border between East and West Germany between 1961, when the frontier was sealed with the construction of the Wall, and November 1989, when it fell.
But senior Stasi agents and Politburo officials escaped prosecution or were given lenient sentences in a series of trials after German reunification partly because they maintained that no kill order existed, and no such written order was ever found.
Politicians and historians are suggesting that the document, dated October 1, 1973, could provide the basis for future prosecutions.
From a correspondent:
The Berlin Wall was excused by the quisling "Prussian Socialists" of the "German Democratic Republic" as an attempt to stop the outflow of intellectuals and others who had been "granted" a "free education" in the "workers' paradise" of East Germany: very similar to the arguments of slave-hunters in pre-Civil War days who saw escaping black (and white) slaves as a loss of capital.
Approximately 1000 people died at the "Wall of Sacrifice" in the 28 years of The Wall's existence, when it stood as an open self-condemnation of Marxism -- after all, why were so many people fleeing westward if Marxism was such a grand system?
We now know that the "Prussian Socialist" leaders of East Germany were, like traitors everywhere, "more Catholic than the pope." When the idea for the Wall was proposed, the Soviets -- the real rulers of East Germany -- urged restraint on the part of their local satraps like Walter Ulbricht. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev demanded that any Western attack be met with an immediate retreat, and kaiboshed Ulbricht's plea for a Red Army air blockade. (This upset the Stalinist Ulbricht to be stymied by the comparatively personally-decent Khrushchev, who had worked hand in hand with Stalin and was himself, as a Ukrainian, something of a sellout). The Wall, called the "Anti-Fascist Protective Rampart" by East German apparatchiks, became a symbol of the Cold War and a standing indictment of Marxism. Its collapse in 1989 led directly to the liquidation of the German Democratic Republic and the reunification of Germany after a lightning-quick series of events we should all closely look at.
Even hardline Stalinist Bertolt Brecht was moved by the lockstep reactionary mentality of the "Prussian Socialist" DDR regime, penning a poem that would have put him in the GULAG were he not so well-known. While he talks of the 1953 uprising of East German workers against the "national Bolsheviks," the points still sing out:
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?
News Source: Times of London