‘Enemy Image’ America: Ex-GDR officer frightens ARD woman with her stance on war
The ARD report with Jesse Wilmer sheds light on the current East German relationship with Russia. A former officer of the National People’s Army shocked the broadcaster with statements about the United States and the war in Ukraine.
“If the United States had not intervened in Ukraine, it would not have come this far.” This sentence was written relatively early in the report “The Story at the Beginning: Russia, Putin, and Us East Germans” Monday evening.
It comes from a woman who met famous “Sportschau” presenter Jesse Wilmer at a demonstration in Dresden in mid-September. Some East Germans, but by no means all, think like the Unknown Lady. This became evident in the 45-minute film by Jesse Wilmer and Falco Kurth.
For four weeks, Wilmer, who was born in Güstrow, Mecklenburg, in 1979, traveled to her homeland and other East German cities, from Leipzig to Weimar and Berlin. She wanted to understand “why so many people in the East seem to still feel so close to Russia.”
She repeatedly emphasized her actual intention in different ways: “I do not want to judge anyone! I will ask questions and listen.” The journalist, who explains and categorizes other points of view, but also expresses her own opinion, has succeeded in this approach well.
ARD report by Jesse Wilmer shows the contradictory relationship between East Germany and Russia
The first stage led Wilmer to her parents: Lydia and Eberhard Wilmer are retired teachers. They were initially skeptical about the planned project, also because they still felt an emotional cultural closeness to Russia: “Why do I hate now what I did not hate before?” asked Eberhard Willmer.
He and his wife have been particularly bothered by the media’s handling of Russia since the War of Aggression: “It’s not about justifying these crimes, it’s just about gathering opinions first,” said Eberhard Willmer. In other words, it is the issue of blacks. And the white thinking that bothers them the most.
Erin Odzuk, a friend of the Wilmer family, also had a contradictory image of Russia. As a little girl, she fled the Sudetenland from the Red Army in 1945. She talks in the film about the good Russian who gave her millet porridge and the evil Russian whom she fortunately did not meet as a child. Odzuck also worked as a teacher in the German Democratic Republic. “The turning point was a tough cut for her, and yet she quickly learned to appreciate the new liberties,” Wilmer explained.
Odzuk referred to the different socialization experienced by the older generations of East Germans. The image of the USSR as a friend did not simply disappear after reunification. However, the 80-year-old also criticized: “Sometimes I cannot understand that Russian women who have gone to war and know what it means to lose husbands, brothers and sons, do not take to the streets and shout: “Not with us!” I thought old women They will revolt.” The fact that Russian protesters face heavy fines or even imprisonment is not mentioned at this point.
‘Enemy Image’ America: Ex-GDR officer shocked in ARD documentary with his remarks
Former parliamentary group leader Gregor Gyzy also warned against a generalized condemnation of all Russians. For him, the outbreak of the Ukrainian war was a “real breakout” and a “big, big mistake by Putin and the entire Russian leadership,” he said. But one has to distinguish between Putin and the Russian people: “That is why I say: sanctions against the leadership, yes, against the oligarchy, yes, but not against the population, which has not decided to go to war.”
Frank Turnau, head of the SPD in Lubmin, also spoke out against the sanctions. One has to ask oneself what the sanctions have brought so far, he said, given the rising gas prices: “Sometimes East Germans no longer believe what is being said in the media.”
Former NVA officer Reinhard Bartz goes further: “What we are witnessing is no longer a true democracy,” he said frankly. It was the sentence that shocked Wilmer and many at home viewers alike.
For Bartz, America is the “enemy.” He described the Ukraine war as a “proxy war of the USA”, for which Western provocations were responsible. He quoted the Dresden protester at first, who feared that Germany would be “sold” to the United States and that Europe would become the 51st country of the United States, saw this in a similar way.
The journalist criticizes the ignorance of the West and hides behind the eastern identity
As strange as these statements may sound to many West German ears, one pondered when Bartz criticized the one-sided view of today’s documentaries about the GDR: “If I had to get a picture of the GDR based on that, they lived in a movie.” horror. “
Journalist Anthony Richell would probably answer that question with a “yes,” at least in part. In the report, she criticized “the West’s ignorance of East German biographies” and complained that many people hide behind their eastern identity and that this part of the middle class is becoming increasingly radical, rather than people acknowledging and appreciating what they have done in the 1930s and 1930s since reunification .
“I think East Germans, like West Germans, are trying to understand what’s going on,” said historian Silke Satyukov. “In times of crisis and war, people tend to reduce complexity.” They drew on biographical and stereotypical influences, which also include high unemployment in East Germany after reunification and an aggressive NATO image.
Jesse Wilmer summed up 45 minutes later: “I have learned that the view of Russia today is inextricably linked with one’s own history and experiences, both before and after 1990.” Likewise, not all the people here are so-called “understanders of Russia”.
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The origin of this post “Former GDR officer frightens ARD woman with her attitude toward war” comes from Teleschau.
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