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Schneider, Rolf

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Die Welt - Germany | 12/02/2008

Rolf Schneider on the East German 1968

Writer Rolf Schneider recalls how East Germans experienced the year 1968 quite differently from the West Germans. For GDR citizens it was above all the year of the Prague Spring: "Instead of squabbling with members of the [West Berlin] Otto-Suhr Institute of the Free University and drinking Adlershof vodka, we preferred to travel to Bohemia to meet people who thought as we did and to buy censored literature in the bookshops. All this came to an abrupt end on 21 August 1968. In response to an alleged appeal for help ... Warsaw Pact troops marched into the CSSR to put an end to the supposed counter-revolution. ... In view of these events the West German demonstrations we saw on television where people ran through the streets waving red flags calling for a democracy of soviets seemed irrelevant, childish and very far away."

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