On visiting the Socialist Unity Party’s (Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands) headquarters in Görlitz in 1990, some months after it had reconstituted itself as the PDS (Party of Democratic Socialism), it might have been concluded that the party faithful were still displaying a level of pig ignorance that fully justified the substantive “Betonköpfe” (literally “cement heads” but can loosely be translated as reactionary diehards) that was being applied to them. There on the bookshelves the collected works of “Uncle Joe” were being given pride of place. Yes, our being in society really does determine our consciousness.
Of course, that being true we might also have concluded that the PDS and its successor party Die Linke (The Left) was bound to develop away from its adherence to Stalin. Therefore, perhaps we should be grateful for small mercies and just accept that it has. Unfortunately, it is not quite as simple as that and our “Betonköpfe” have metamorphosed into Wendehals (turncoats) in at least one crucial area. Yes, if you are going to be Salonfähig (politically acceptable) in the Federal Republic of Germany there is one sacred cow that cannot be slaughtered, and that is the state of Israel.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that in April 2008 Gregor Gysi, Chairman of the party’s Parliamentary Group, delivered a speech, in which he “warmly congratulated Israel on its 60th anniversary and called on his party to “show solidarity” with the Jewish state.” Yes, when it comes to the Zionist state, it is im Gleichschritt Marsch in the Federal Republic, which makes the latest news that Die Linke has joined in the attacks on Grass and signaled its full support for the Zionist state almost inevitable. Of course, if that little trip to the SED offices in Görlitz back in 1990 did teach me one thing, then it was that …..well, we were hardly going to trust them, were we?