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Interview with Margot Honecker

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lev
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Soviet cogitations: 256
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Jan 2016, 14:43
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 05 Jan 2016, 11:31
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 4405
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 05 Jan 2016, 20:15
An interesting read, thanks! I appreciate it when former officials from the Eastern Bloc do not back down from their decisions, their mindset and their worldview. Perhaps time has a role to play, too. I was rather disappointed by certain moments in Markus Wolf's memoirs, written shortly after the GDR's destruction, where he basically spent a lot of time apologizing for what he believed in. Here, Margot stood up for the GDR, and explained the circumstances which led to the policies which are now commonly seen as negative (the Stasi, the Wall). Erich was a very lucky man, and the East Germans for having her as a political leader.

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"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
Soviet cogitations: 724
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Mar 2011, 14:10
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 07 Jan 2016, 23:59
soviet78 wrote:
An interesting read, thanks! I appreciate it when former officials from the Eastern Bloc do not back down from their decisions, their mindset and their worldview.
I've always found it funny reading materials from or interviews with prominent Party officials along with philosophers, historians, and numerous others in the USSR and Eastern Europe back in the 1970s-80s, and then seeing how in 1989-1991 their views magically changed.
lev
[+-]
Soviet cogitations: 256
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 02 Jan 2016, 14:43
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 08 Jan 2016, 21:37
They are opportunists. They change their views because of some favors or monetary compensation. We now can see who the wolves of socialism are.
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User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 3618
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 Oct 2004, 15:15
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 14 Jan 2016, 10:28
I was navigating to this section of the forum to post this same interview, only to find that lev beat me to it. It's an interesting conversation. It's worth nothing that she was never just "Honecker's wife". She was working on her political career in the GDR before she even met the guy.

You get a great sense of political and ideological clarity from her words. I have seen other interviews that use heavy editorialising and paraphrasing to make her appear "out of touch", but her own words show a different picture. I suppose being "in touch" means being like Schabowski, apologising in exchange for clemency and making a 180-degree political turn, working for the CDU.

Some insights by her and other former GDR leaders are now being vindicated: that the GDR had severe economic problems, but was certainly not "bankrupt" to the extent that the annexation was the only option; that the intelligence agencies today are more advanced and more invasive than the Stasi could ever have dreamt of. Or about the issue of her "militarisation" of education, because kids learned civil defence in school. I'll take that over the tears of a powerless US president any day of the week.

She also has a few choice words about current events outside of Germany, like the Greek situation. She understands the stakes well, even though it's probably far from her area of expertise. Again, it shows what clarity you have at your disposal when you have a reliable compass. Sticking to that is difficult in general, but I imagine it's even harder in exile. Great interview, all in all.
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