The Words of the Schmidt Family
The Berlin Wall is going to be destroyed -- this time only symbolically.
The 17th of June in Germany is celebrated as the "Day of German Unity." Thirty years ago tens of thousands of workers rose up against the East-German government, in order to stop the decreed increase of working-time for the same amount of money (Normenerhoehung). Through these actions, which started in East Berlin and spread all over East Germany, the people there experienced a new kind of strength. Long-suppressed demands were openly expressed: "Liberate political prisoners," "Away with the government," "Free elections." Only with Soviet tanks could the people's revolution be stopped.
CARP wanted to remind the people of these events by a powerful demonstration. Different from other groups, our demand for re-unification of Germany is based on the ideal of creation. God did not divide mankind; therefore our striving for unity is actually a striving for the realization of God's ideal.
With this kind of spirit about 200 CARP-members from all over Germany gathered in Berlin. The march along Berlin's main boulevard, the Kurfuerstendamm, attracted many curious people who were attracted by our bright and hopeful spirit. The march ' ended near the famous Gedaechtniskirche where our Blue Tuna Band already was playing.
Everybody was moved by the strong testimony of a student from East Germany, who recently had to come to the West. She told of her terrible experiences over there without using unnecessary rhetoric. She also encouraged the West Germans to take more responsibility for the people under communist oppression.
After her speech representatives from four continents gave their short messages. Then we unrolled a big paper scroll symbolic "wall," which was then dramatically broken from both sides by our members. This action clearly expressed the burning hope that no wall can resist, if God centered people fight against it.
In his final message, CARP President Dieter Schmidt explained that June 17 marked one important aspect of the German character: the fight against injustice. He asked all Berliners to fight also today against any kind of injustice and not to forget the inhumanity of the wall. He called for a revitalization of the Christian spirit, in order to be strong enough to overcome the division of Germany.
The rally motivated all members who had participated to work much harder in Germany. Our members realized, especially through attending other rallies of conservative groups, that the CARP-spirit, which is inspired by Father, is unique for giving real hope for the future.
I have been waiting for a long time for this moment to arrive that I might speak to you. I am very happy that the 17th of June, by law, is a holiday in West Germany. I think it's a mighty fine law. People will never forget what happened on that day in 1953. They will never accept the existence of that wall.
This is a story which I and also many of my friends experienced. I grew up in an actually quite normal way: school, examinations, study. My confrontation with the party and its policy started quite early. It is difficult to move into a good profession or make any kind of career without being a member of the party. If you oppose or express your own opinion, your professional career is finished; then you can't even have a family. For that reason I couldn't stand it anymore, that's why I wanted to leave. My plan to escape was quickly made, but it unfortunately failed. I was arrested and sentenced. Sentenced like a criminal. Even though I didn't do anything; I didn't harm anybody. I just wanted to live in another country. I wanted to live in freedom. And simply wanted to express my opinion. But over there, they wouldn't even let me do that.
Then I was sent to a prison in East Germany. I stayed there for more than one year, thrown together with criminals, even with life-sentenced murderers. I was put on the same level with these people. Right now I don't want to speak in detail about the conditions of that prison. The people there live under impossible circumstances; conditions you hardly can imagine. I had read about this before, but I could never imagine that this still existed in reality. Only with the help of people in the Western part of Germany was I released.
The East German government sold me. The West German government paid a certain amount of money in order that I could live in freedom. And I am very thankful that I can be here now sharing all this with you. Especially since I know that the people in the East are waiting for a sign from the free part of Germany because only we on the free side of Germany have the possibility to express clearly our opinion; to formulate our thoughts of freedom and peace. And stand up for them. But we must pay attention to every reaction from the East, from the communist bloc. We must continually reassure them, that we think of them, stand behind them and that we recognize their ideas and their love for freedom. Above all that we are developing their thoughts, taking them on as our own and speaking up for them.
That's why I am standing here today. I beg you, never forget, that we are all German and that it is unthinkable for a country, a people to be divided by a wall. We are one nation! And a nation should not be divided by a wall. All men should be able to live freely; they must and should live a life in freedom and love. Only then is it possible to build a world of peace and love.
German CARP demonstrating for ONE GERMANY in West Berlin, "Ku-Damm", on June 17, 1983.
You may wonder what a representative of the African bloc has to do with the 17th of June in West Berlin. My only true justification is that I claim to be a religious person and as such, I am naturally called to go beyond national boundaries to seek for the realization of one united world under God. Therefore anything that serves to divide men and to pit them one against another is contrary to the will of God and damaging to the happiness of man. ...
What matters is then, that I am from Africa and you from this sophisticated land of Germany? Our house is burning. Time is running out. Together we must hasten to get to work in order that our children do not perish in the fire. This world can and will change. But first a change must come about in our hearts, in our consciousness. We are challenged to go beyond ourselves and move toward our greater and common goal.
So we must courageously rise up to the occasion and live our lives such that the generations to come may bear witness to our historical stand and say, long after we are gone, "These people were marvelous. They did an excellent job. Thanks to them we can now enjoy a world of peace and prosperity." God bless Berlin and the Berliners! God bless Germany!
CARP President Dieter Schmidt addresses the Berliners.
I read in a book today, written by a worker who participated in the demonstrations on the 17th of June, 1953. A few days afterwards he said, "I am proud of the 17th of June." Me, too, I am proud of the 17th of June, because I think that the 17th of June is more than just a political rhetoric, but it concerns the core of this land of Germany.
I believe that the German workers who 30 years ago found the courage to demonstrate against the system, who were prepared to rise up against tanks and throw stones at them, and who overcame their fears; they should be the core of our Germany. Their kind of courage should be the core of Germany. This kind of courage and decisiveness should be directed against every kind of suppression, against every kind of indifference and laziness. For these reasons I believe we need to celebrate the 17th of June. Because we as Germans want to send the message to the whole world that we will never accept such injustice.
Did you know thirty years ago at this time the Soviet tanks were already dispatched. Thousands of people had gathered together and they fired into the crowd with their machine-guns. Today we have it a lot easier. But I think it's important that today, in our hearts, we should remember this.
You know, at eleven o'clock they tore down the red flag from the Brandenburg Gate. I want to say that I would gladly do it again today!
I want to clarify why it is so difficult to overcome communism. I don't believe for a second that the Soviet people are bad people. On the contrary. I love these people. I love the people in the other part of Germany. But I think that the system which is forced on the people is the problem. It contains an ideology which I call satanic, because it is like a circle from which nobody can escape.
I would like to clarify this with an example. Thirty years ago the workers rose up in East Germany, in a country that glorifies the workers. These workers rose up and demonstrated against their own government. When this occurs communism itself has proved itself to be absurd. Today the same thing is happening in Poland. This means that in thirty years nothing has changed. And to put it quite clearly and decisively: There has never been a true communism!
For this reason I ask the leaders in those countries, "What do you think you are doing, when you close off your own people as in a prison? What are you thinking, when you shoot your own people, when they want to leave the country? That is, to put it into medical terms, 'schizophrenic'!"
The film about the French revolution "Danton" shows clearly the problems of communist revolutions. At the conclusion Robespierre says, "The Revolution consumes her own children." This is the problem of communist revolution. Even its best people are eventually consumed. This becomes a devil's circle, from which no one can ever escape.
... You know when you cross the border -- I'm sure you've all experienced it -- a different Germany begins over there on the other side which is kept in haze. When you enter it you feel that you can't speak freely, a place where you unfortunately feel you can't really have an honest encounter with your fellow men. At least that's how I feel.
But I want to express today that we have hope; and that we in CARP share this hope with many other people. This wall and this divided Germany can be overcome. Do you know why I have hope? Why do I have the feeling that it will be possible to overcome this separation? There is a simple reason for this: This world was created without walls and without separation. The world was created as "One World." And in the same way, men have been created as one united mankind. And this ideal, this ideal of creation is exactly that which we are demanding here today...
A last thought: the 17th of June is a day that many of us cannot celebrate easily. But the 17th of June is not only today. That day is continuous; the 17th of June is the day when we must bring our hope to victory! It is a day, where we must judge ourselves, where we must ask ourselves, "How much am I still dedicated to a unified world." …
We have an example: Jesus Christ. He was man who showed us how to live and how to love. I never received such lessons from Marx, Lenin or Stalin! From them I only heard the opposite.
Therefore we need to put this ideal of God, this ideal of love in our midst again. And from that ideal we must create this new world. That is our hope for this day.