Postcard from... Berlin
Ostalgie is the term coined after the fall of the Berlin Wall to describe harmless nostalgia for East Germany. But a group of about a hundred East Germans now stand accused of taking Ostalgie too far. Their crime is to have paraded in a central Berlin park dressed up in the uniforms of the former communist National People’s Army (NVA) and the despised Feliks Dzierzinski regiment of East Germany’s hated Stasi secret police.
The parade was staged by a group of diehard communist sympathisers to mark the anniversary of the Red Army’s defeat of Nazi Germany. But it has since invoked the fury of conservative politicians and former anti-communist dissidents. They say such displays are an insult to those who suffered under communism.
The leader of one Stasi victims’ group called the parade, “The worst provocation imaginable”. Although the authorities point out that wearing the uniforms of a non-existent army does not constitute a criminal offence, the objectors are demanding that the display of communist East German symbols should be outlawed much in the way that all Nazi insignia is banned in Germany.
Apart from the fact that Stasi crimes were not quite the same as Nazi crimes, few have considered how such a ban would affect Berlin’s tourist industry. Hundreds of East German army caps and other communist paraphernalia are sold every day. Perhaps the organisers of the Stasi-NVA parade should get in on the act and start charging spectators a viewing fee.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...