Was it better for the world’s oppressed and exploited to have one German state or two? The question arises as news reports say that the Berlin regime is sending MiG-29 jet fighters to Ukraine, to be used in the U.S./NATO proxy war against Russia.

German imperialism is sending Soviet jet fighters to make war on Russia.

Of course, the question is distorted as presented. We must first answer the question: Which class is to lead and guide this German state?

The jet fighters were part of the war material the Soviet Union left in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), after Soviet troops withdrew in 1990. When the Soviet Union provided them to what was then the East German workers’ state, they were part of the arsenal defending the socialist camp from world imperialism.

For decades, that alliance of non-capitalist, non-imperialist states provided aid and solidarity to many nations struggling for national independence from imperialism, especially in Africa and Asia. They also defended socialist Cuba, Vietnam and the Democratic People’s Republic of (North) Korea.

There is no doubt that it was better at that time to have two German states than one headed by the ruling class of West Germany. The one in the East, the GDR, was on the side of the oppressed and exploited of the world.

In the 33 years since the GDR disappeared, its people and territory having been annexed by imperialist West Germany, an avalanche of lies slandering the socialist German state has never let up. The latest was a statement by a boss of the Springer Press syndicate, Mathias Döpfner, who said there are only “communists or fascists” in the East.

It is helpful to hear a contrary opinion from a German perspective — in this case a German internationalist. Egon Krenz, who for a short period in 1989 — from Oct. 17 to Dec. 9 — led the GDR, has this to say about Döpfner’s big lie and the fighter aircraft shipment to Ukraine:

“Arrogant attacks that ignore the actual life achievements of the people in the GDR aim to persuade the entire nation that the systematic discrimination of East Germans was and remains justified, because of their supposed hostility to democracy and cultural ‘distortion.’ Those who talk like this have not yet achieved German unity, and the disparaged East Germans may ask themselves whether they want to be united with such contemporaries?

“On the same day that the Springer boss’s statement was published, the German government authorized Poland to deliver Soviet fighter jets from GDR stocks to Ukraine. This is malicious in several respects: It is a blow to those East Germans who oppose arms deliveries. It is at the same time a departure by the present Federal Republic [of Germany] from the common formula of the GDR and the FRG that war must never again be allowed to emanate from German soil.” (junge Welt, April 17)

John Catalinotto

John.Catalinotto@workers.org

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John Catalinotto

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