The Wall was as clear a physical symbol of the moral depravity of the Stasi and the other security organs of Warsaw Pact nations as can be imagined. The Statute of Liberty is the iconic architecture of Americanism. The Wall is the iconic architecture of Communism. These bureaucrats of police state repression committed crimes which landed members of the Gestapo into long prison sentences or the gallows. Stasi torturers, betrayers, and prison guards of decent Germans have never paid price for their crimes against humanity. The Reuters article even notes that many of these vicious goons are now police employees of states in the unified Germany.
We should not be terribly surprised. The boss of Russia today grew out of the KGB, the “Sword and Shield of the Party,” as the KGB and all its predecessors like the OGPU, dating back to the original Cheka, was called. Did anyone ever call for Putin to be called to answer for crimes against humanity? Come to think of it, did anyone ever prosecute any of the high ranking officers in the Soviet state security system? The Gulag was operating well into the Gorbachev Era, digesting human beings like some much sausage. Those unfortunates who suffered the tender mercies of Communist security organs and Nazi security organs had a very difficult time distinguishing between the two — except that Nazis who committed atrocities were hunted down around the world and brought to justice, while Communists who committed equivalent atrocities were … hired as police officers after the Berlin Wall fell.
Actually, those early members of the East German organs of totalitarian control were sometimes those very Nazis that the democracies hunted down and tried for war crimes. Boris Shub and Bernard Quin note in their 1951 book, Since Stalin, talk about specific instances of this happening: SS Obersturmfuehrer Adelbert Baumier ran counter-intelligence for the Communists after his Nazi Party lose power; Dr. Leo Lange moved from his job in the Gestapo to control of East German radio and press; German generals who were also pro-Nazi, like Van Lenski, Korfes, Lattmann, and Breidhaupt found good jobs under Communist boss Ulbricht.
If unrepentant Nazis moved into Stasi and other instruments of Communist oppression, why should we expect that minions of that system would celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall? Why should we expect that Communists, who openly allied themselves with the Nazis for almost two years, would find the values of Judeo-Christian faith or the American constitutional system of government — in any form that these might appear — noble or good?
These former Stasi operatives are no different than Communists of an earlier time. When the Party ordered it, they joined the Nazi Party or they joined the Gestapo. Nazis returned the compliment. Jacob Spolansky in this 1951 book, The Communist Trail in America, notes: “So closely knit was the Stalin alliance with Hitler than members of the German-American Bund were ordered to join the Communist Party.” Spolansky also notes just how truly creepy Communists around the world could be: tons of Nazi anti-Semitic literature reached American shores from Hamburg via Vladivostok during the 21 months in which Nazis and Communists were active allies. Doubtless Stasi agents, living on comfortable pensions in Germany today, look back with fondness also on the “good old days” when Moscow was helping Berlin with its vile anti-Semitic campaign.
The sad fact is that the horror Communists generally and Communism in particular has never been made to feel the full brunt of shame at the tens of millions of lives it destroyed or the billions of lives it warped, impoverished, and terrorized. The former Stasi agents, unpunished and unapologetic, are no different from Communists anywhere, any time, in modern history. The true shock would be if they or any of their Marxists friends ever expressed remorse for anything.
Photo: AP Images