East german uprising

Using radically refashioned archival footage of the Warsaw ghetto, this interview with Jon Avnet the director of Uprising talks about Marek Edelman who is an evocative memoir of his role in the rebellion that held back the Nazis for almost a month in 1943. The film begins with the growing list of prohibitions and regulations leading to the virtual imprisonment of about half-a-million Polish Jews in an old slum district of Warsaw with inadequate space and plumbing. An overhead tracking shot shows the number of people assembled in the first months of the relocation. The daily struggle against hunger and disease, especially among the dispossessed arrivals seen in their pitful rags, is aggravated by the German demands for "deportations to the east" that many begin to suspect are camouflaged mass murders. By the close of 1942, people living in the ghetto realize they are doomed, and the rudiments of resistance are planned by a handful of the young, including Edelman. Following some ... Written by Leonard Rubenstein

That was also his attitude even with the Hungarian problem:  it was terrible to sit by and not do something, and there were people who said we should at least take some effort to give them weapons and support, but he said, no, he was not going to jeopardize the possibility of peace, of any real conflict, that, agonizing as it was to see the Russians overrunning Hungary, for example, or the putting down of the uprising in Berlin and elsewhere in 1953, that was simply too risky in his opinion for the longer term, for the maintenance of deterrence.

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This was not the first time that economic dissatisfaction had boiled over into more politicised demands in East Germany. At the end of 1952, enraged by the overly-generous Christmas bonuses that the SED used to reward favoured employees, workers walked off the job in Weissenfels, Glauchau, Schkopau, Plauen, Cottbus, Berlin and Magdeburg. Despite being triggered by economic discontent, these protests also soon reached beyond monetary considerations, becoming more politicised as workers began to criticise the press and the SED’s lack of democracy.  Similar kinds of protests and criticisms were also recorded in April 1953. (Gary Bruce, Resistance with the People: Repression and Resistance in Eastern Germany 1945-1955 , Rowman and Littlefield Ltd: 2003)

East german uprising

east german uprising

This was not the first time that economic dissatisfaction had boiled over into more politicised demands in East Germany. At the end of 1952, enraged by the overly-generous Christmas bonuses that the SED used to reward favoured employees, workers walked off the job in Weissenfels, Glauchau, Schkopau, Plauen, Cottbus, Berlin and Magdeburg. Despite being triggered by economic discontent, these protests also soon reached beyond monetary considerations, becoming more politicised as workers began to criticise the press and the SED’s lack of democracy.  Similar kinds of protests and criticisms were also recorded in April 1953. (Gary Bruce, Resistance with the People: Repression and Resistance in Eastern Germany 1945-1955 , Rowman and Littlefield Ltd: 2003)

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