Several thousand students of Marburg University staged a protest march through the streets of Marburg, in Hesse, Jan 13, while Dr.
Several thousand students of Marburg University staged a protest march through the streets of Marburg, in Hesse, Jan 13, while Dr. Johannes Dieckmann of East Germany addressed other students on the subject of the "real possibilities of German re-unification".
Dr. Dieckmann, president of the Lower House of East Germany's self-styled Parliament, had come to Marburg at the invitation of the West German Liberal Students' Union, who are represented as a minority in the university's General Student Committee. The rest of the committee immediately protested against the visit and called its members out for a mass demonstration against the "establishment of official contact with East German functionaries."
Demonstrators, carrying a symbolic coffin and slogans directed against Dr. Dieckmann and the lack of freedom of speech in East Germany, gathered outside the Kurhaus as he arrived for his address. Students shouted "Hang him" and "Free elections in East Germany".
While Dr. Dieckmann delivered his address as planned, the demonstrators move on to a nearby sports ground, where they unfurled on East German flag, which is the same as the West German flag except for a centre piece showing a hammer and compasses. The offending emblem was ceremonially cut out and burnt, and the mutilated flag hoisted on a pole.
Then the crowds turned back to the Kurhaus, where they interrupted a discussion following Dr. Dieckmann's address with a shower of stones the thrown at the windows. Students listening to Dieckmann' crouched behind tables turned up to ward of the missiles. The rumpus went on till late at night.
The following morning Dr. Dieckmann - first high-ranking East German Official to visit West Germany since 1957 - returned home by car without attending a Press conference arranged for him. He left a message of apology for some 80 German and foreign journalists, saying "because the shouting started again during the night we had to leave".