Thousands of demonstrators from the West German opposition Christians Democrat Party marched through the streets of West berlin on Wednesday (16 June) waving banners and placards.
Thousands of demonstrators from the West German opposition Christians Democrat Party marched through the streets of West berlin on Wednesday (16 June) waving banners and placards. They were commemorating the 24th anniversary of the East German uprising.
SYNOPSIS: The Christian Democrats described the rally as a march for freedom, held in memory of the uprising.
Leading the marchers were the Christian Democrat's Berlin Chief, Peter Lorenz, West German opposition leader Helmut Kohl, and Youth Union Head, Matthias Wissman. There's been a lack of unity in the West German Opposition recently, with Helmut Kohl under a criticism from sections of his own party.
The latest squabble is over plans to cut unemployment, which were criticised as being impossible to finance. However on Wednesday Kohl marched with confidence. Ninety people died in the 1953 uprising -- they were opposed by Soviet troops. According to the Christians Democrats, the demonstration took place to stress the importance of the return of freedom, friendship and democracy to those who suffered 24 years ago. The demonstrators claim there are over 6,000 political prisoners in the German Democratic Republic.
Three thousand demonstrators were out in force to press their point home, walking through the streets of West Berlin at dusk. Later, as darkness fell, there was a torchlight procession along the Berlin Wall. The Christian Democrats described the demonstration as peaceful, but local observers say the freedom marchers believe they have made their point.