Markus Wolf dies

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Chinggis, Nov 10, 2006.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Markus Wolf, the last head of the East German intelligence service, the Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (Stasi) died yesterday.

    Coincidentally, yesterday was also the 17th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
  2. I read that yesterday too, Chinggis. I met this geezer at the beginning of 1992 at a PDS rally. A most charming and erudite person. It's such a shame he was vilified by the "Wessies". They even put him on trial for treason at one time! It was noticable that his one-time counterpart in the corresponding West-German organisation wasn't charged with the same crime, instead he went on to become the West-German Foreign Minister and was responsible for insisting on that reprehensible passage in the reunification contract between the two Germanys which mandated returning property in the GDR to its "rightful owners" instead of paying compensation.

    The "victors" always dictate the terms.

  3. He was head of the HVA, the foreign intelligence arm of the Stasi, not the entire thing. One of the great Cold War spymasters.
  4. Ah! Well spotted indeed, CarpeDiem. The last head of the Stasi was in fact Erich (ich liebe euch alle) Mielke.

  5. What's wrong with returning property stolen by the Communists? After all, considering that the Soviets made it a provision of German reunification that no property expropriated between 1945-49 should be returned to their original owners (which is why so many estates, castles, and manor houses are still vacant), I hardly think the passage in the reunification contract you mention was "reprehensible"; believe me, had you or yours beeen thrown out of their home of several centuries, you'd want it back, not compensation.

    Maybe the "losers" shouldn't have stolen millon of acres of land, thousands of homes, and murdered or imprisoned countless thousands. Retribution's a b*tch.
  6. problem is many of the owner either moved on and made new life or died, tracing them is also impossible in some cases as well, some claim can also be bogus, it would have been simpler to have drawn a line under the past and move on instead of lingering over open wounds
  7. Well done, gallowglass! Top marks for knowing fück-all about German reunification! The question of expropriation of property was one of the main subjects of the “Oder-Neisse Verhandlungen” dealt with in the early Seventies by the East and West German gobments, in which it was agreed that such property was forfeit. This was a valid agreement between two sovereign states which didn’t become invalid because of the (peaceful) fall of one of them!

    It fell upon Klaus Kinkel, the Foreign Minister at the time, to insist upon repatriation of all properties, since his party, the West-German FDP, had fallen upon very hard times and saw this as a prime opportunity to flog off all the property (nominally) belonging to the (East-German) FDP, and thus expand the party coffers. Since Klaus Kinkel was too stupid to insist on exceptions, the clause encompassed any and all property from when and where. Thus, as a West-German, if you could reliably prove that your great-grandfather’s Dalmatian once p1ssed up the gatepost of said property, you were in with a chance of taking ownership. Believe me, I know what I’m talking about on this!

    Home of several centuries? Don’t make me fückin’ laugh!

  8. Bugsy, he's has had that effect on me from time to time. He's sometimes very good for a giggle during the quieter moments. Good old GG
  9. Have known several Germans who found themselves in a position post reunification to lay claim to houses/ land in former DDR: all were of the view that it was their great good fortune to have ended up on the Western side of the IGB where, without exception, they'd prospered, and had no desire to turf "Ossis" out of what were now THEIR homes.

    Appreciate that not all Germans feel/ felt this way, but - on balance, and in strict law, as well as in terms of "natural justice" - find myself in agreement with "Bugsy" on this one!
  10. Try explaining it to Andrew Lloyd Webber.


    My sainted aunt!!
  11. Oh no! I'm being slagged off by frenchperson and Bugsy - it's the united leftist/conspirazoid front! Ahhhh! Run for your lives!

    Come on Bugsy, how long do you think the hundreds of palaces, manor houses, and castles in the former DDR had been lived in before the Workers' and Peasants' Paradise was imposed. Have you been to any of these places? I'll take your word regarding what you say, however, I would direct you to such works as Beyond the Wall: The Lost World of East Germany by Simon Marsden - he mentions the ruling regarding expropriations between 1945 and 1949. I knew people whose families had been thrown out of homes and off properties which had belonged to them for centuries - are you suggesting this didn't happen?

    I do not blame those 'ordinary' East Germans who were settled on or told to live on these former properties - after all, it had been the Soviets and their East German pre-SED lackeys who had engaged in the initial theft. However, I'm old fashioned - if some class-warrior had thrown me out of my home in 1945 and murdered members of my family, I'd want what was mine back.

    Back on thread - I admired Markus Wolf, as he was a thorough professional.
  12. Dear Gallowglass,

    I lived in East-Germany from Aug 1977 to Nov 1978, and again from Jan 1991 to March 1996. So it's not as though I'm not acquainted with the place. The "Oder-Neisse Contract", which placed the border of the GDR along those two rivers and thus ended the contentious issue of Germany actually being divided into three parts, was quite clear on this. Any claims to property expropriated by the GDR between the end of WWII and the signing of the contract (I think) in 1972 were declared null and void. On that basis, many East-Germans steadily improved their properties over the intervening years, only to have them snatched away after reunification rendering them homeless.

    I personally was privy to all manner of chicanery exerted on good friends by "Wessies" during the time I was there after reunification. The main problem was that West-German law was imposed on East-Germany, but the East-German judges hadn't a clue about it. Thus it was left up to "imported" West-German judges to interpret it. They obviously sided with their countrywo/men and manufactured all sorts of glaring injustices.

    People were committing suicide in droves because of this, but it was never reported in other countries.


    PS: My new book "Backlash" examines the problem in much greater depth (if it ever gets published).
  13. Gents - you both have a point, up to a point.

    For every wrong done in re-unification there was a right - that's life. I've spot to many Ost Deutschers who have substantially improved their lot but obviously the ones who have suffered won't have the dosh to meet me in Barbados.

    Time is the only healer for a division such as we saw and there will be many more injustices before it's all over.
  14. Howdo Bugsy,

    I defer to you greater personal knowledge in this regard. Personally, I have to admit to preferring Ossies to Wessies, as - paradoxically - I found the former to be somehow 'more German' and less stuck up their own you-know-whats. I agree with you that reunification was rammed down the necks of the East Germans, and that the Easterners are the poorer for it. For what it's worth, I'll try to dig out the reference in the Simon Marsden book regarding expropriated properties.

    Is Backlash a working title? - if so, do let me know, as I would like to read it.

  15. Don't forget that income tax had to go up in the West to pay for new housing, social schemes and job creation, while at the same time wages were being driven down by the cheap influx of East German labour.

    It's always a two-edged blade.