1953 uprising marked with wreath-laying
17 June 2004, BERLIN - Wreath-laying ceremonies and silent vigils were held in Germany to mark the 51st anniversary Thursday of the East German uprising against Communism on 17 June 1953.
17 June 2004
BERLIN - Wreath-laying ceremonies and silent vigils were held in Germany to mark the 51st anniversary Thursday of the East German uprising against Communism on 17 June 1953.
In parliament, lawmakers in now unified Germany observed a minute of silence in memory of more than 50 people who lost their lives when Soviet tanks crushed the uprising by up to a million disgruntled workers in 700 cities and towns throughout what was then communist East Germany.
"On this day we Germans are reminded that liberty and democracy cannot be taken for granted," Bundestag parliamentary president Wolfgang Thierse told lawmakers.
"On this day we Germans are reminded that liberty and democracy must be fought for and that we must continually defend them," said Thierse, who was a child in East Germany when the uprising occurred.
"The heroes of 17 June were the role models for the peaceful uprising in the autumn of 1989 that led to the fall of a hated regime and to the reunification of our nation," said Thierse, who had taken part in the events of 1989.
Dignitaries and survivors of the uprising placed flowers and wreaths at the 17 June Monument in the heart of Berlin in memory of those who died when the Red Army moved in to crush the rebellion. The uprising started when factory workers walked off their jobs in protest against wage restrictions and bad working conditions.
Other wreath-laying ceremonies took place at town squares and cemeteries in scores of cities and towns where clashes between workers and military forces occurred 51 years ago.
Subject: German news