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Corona Demos: How the Peaceful Revolution is being appropriated by “lateral thinking”

The former pastor Christoph Wonneberger, who helped prepare the demo on Saturday, said in a speech in mid-October: “I am a provocateur. At least that is how the Stasi assessed me 40 years ago. They created a file: ‘Provocateur’, almost 10 For years. What is a provocateur? Someone who startles, challenges something, wants to create something new. ” Today he sees many provocateurs, unlike back then he is not in the front, but in the middle. Christoph Wonneberger – whose services to the peaceful revolution are very much to be appreciated – provokes in fact. But above all other former civil rights activists or historians like Achim Beier.

Monday demonstrations as street self-empowerment

Together with other researchers, Beier is investigating the “Myth of Monday Demos”. The fact that “lateral thinking” also makes use of this myth to attract participants is by no means in the tradition of these highly emotionally charged historical events. Especially since the planned demonstration on November 7, 2020 relates to the largest demo in the former GDR. It took place on November 6, 1989 in Leipzig. The Monday demonstrations were stylized into myths while they were still taking place, Beier explains: “The authority to interpret what the true Monday demonstrations are in the historical understanding of the people, there are of course conflicts about this. The point is that the Monday demonstrations from an open So there was no program behind it. There were no people behind it who came up with this concept, but the Monday demonstrations practically emerged from a kind of self-empowerment of the street. ”

This in turn explains why there were counter-demonstrations already during the supposed original demos and later, under the same label, against the Hartz 4 laws, the 3rd Gulf War or in Frankfurt Main against the smoking ban in pubs. The Monday demonstrations took hold of a feeling that stems from the original era: that the little citizen can achieve something when he takes to the streets. Achim Beier: “In addition, in 1989/90 it was of course a tremendous success for many people to be able to overthrow a regime. That left positive memories that should not be underestimated.”

The Federal Republic is not the GDR

Exactly at this point, the former civil rights activist Uwe Schwalbe also sees the abuse of the Monday demonstrations. Anyone who tries today to equate the former GDR with the present Federal Republic and to praise himself as the perfecter of an allegedly imperfect revolution and thus call for an uprising is spreading a historical lie from his point of view:

The GDR was a communist dictatorship and the Federal Republic is a liberal democracy and anyone who does not recognize this difference is playing down the SED dictatorship and its countless victims, who were imprisoned or lost their lives for our freedom.


Uwe Schwalbe, former GDR civil rights activist

He believes Germany does not need Revolution 2.0: “We are not being oppressed as the State Security has done on behalf of the SED. I therefore reject slogans like ‘Peaceful Revolution 2.0!’ from.” According to Schwabe, there would be no “press in line” today as there was in GDR times. Former civil rights activists like Stephan Krawczyk see it differently, who said MDR KULTUR that he was amazed at the trivializing reporting by left-wing vandals in the protests against the clearing of the Hambach Forest, whereas every swastika smear was reported in detail.

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