Thomas Lundmark


Most East Germans perceive the new Government as something done to them rather than something done by them or for them. They misperceive that one group of dictators has departed only to be replaced by another. Indeed, in many cases, the old oppressors and rulers are still in positions of power. They will grant that the new group of dictators is more benevolent in most ways, but they insist that the old group had more social conscience. In either event, they feel disenfranchised. These misconceptions are not appreciated by those who can have a hand in confronting and dispelling them: community and church leaders, labor organizations, the media, teachers, authors, and politicians. Left unchallenged, deep-set, destabilizing patterns of disenfranchisement, resignation, resentment, duplicity, and passive resistance will continue. Without intense proselytizing, there is little hope for a speedy conversion to ideals of Western democracy.