Exactly 70 years ago, the young GDR state experienced the formative trauma of its entire existence. More than 1.5 million people unequivocally signaled through their protests on the streets that they were not ready to recognize socialism as the only valid form of society. What was particularly shocking was the realization that ordinary workers, who were actually the main addressees of the SED, were the first to withdraw their trust in the government. The delegitimization of the state had begun and could only be averted with the help of Soviet tanks.
Only the crazy investments in a surveillance machine, the imprisonment of the entire people in an open-air prison and the unconditional willingness to suppress any dissenting opinion and to make the lives of obviously nonconformist people more difficult or even to destroy them could ensure the temporary survival of the GDR.
The uprising of 1953 resulted in a total of 55 documented deaths. An estimated 15,000 people were sentenced by East German courts. We should think about these personal fates today when we measure the value of freedom.
Original link: https://parteidervernunft.de/zum-gedenken-an-den-aufstand-des-17-juni-1953/