Twenty-five years ago, something big happened that helped bring an end to the Soviet Union. Germany, since the end of WWII, had been divided into two separate nations. East Germany was a socialist puppet-state for communist Russia, while West Germany was considered one of the many front lines of the Cold War. In 1990 the two nations, at long last, reunited. It was a greatly celebrated event, and is one of the biggest defeats suffered by the Soviets.
Now, two and a half decades later, Russian lawmakers are considering declaring the reunification of Germany an illegal annexation of land.
…Everyone else sees the irony of this, right?
The Speaker of Russia’s lower house recently ordered parliament to consider an appeal from a communist party deputy, Nikolai Ivanov, to declare the German reunification an illegal annexation by West Germany.
First off, Russia still has a communist party running around?! I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, but still!
And what has caused this sudden decision to be angry about an even that happened twenty-five years ago? Current events, actually. Ever since getting international condemnation for annexing the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine, Russia has been quite indignant. They’re now looking for a way to call the West a bunch of hypocrites for criticizing them.
“Unlike Crimea, a referendum was not conducted in the German Democratic Republic,” Nikolai Ivanov was quoted saying before the Russian parliament’s lower house, the State Duma.
“We understand that Western hypocrisy knows no limits,” Ivanov told AFP, singling out German Chancellor Angela Merkel for particular criticism over her tough stance on the Ukraine crisis.
That’s right, Western hypocrisy knows no limits! How dare their arch-enemies from the Cold War help a communist state that no longer wanted to be in communist?! If East Germany had simply made it known that they didn’t want to be communist anymore (they did in 1953,) I’m sure the Soviet Union would have happily let them go (they didn’t.)
Still, this new stance by the Russian government is not popular with everybody. In fact, one very important person thinks the whole thing is silly.
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev — who is praised in the West for his decision not to use force to quell uprisings in Eastern Europe, and to let the Berlin Wall crumble — called the contention “nonsense.”
Speaking to the Interfax news agency, Gorbachev said: “What annexation? One cannot even talk about it.”
“What referendum could one talk about when one hundred thousand-strong demonstrations were taking place in both countries — both in East and West Germany – with one slogan only: ‘We are one people!'”
Yeah, demonstrations in both Germanys are what caused West Germany to illegally annex the eastern half. Just like demonstrations in Ukraine demanding to become a part of NATO caused Russia to legally annex Crimea to protect the Russian speaking population of the peninsula.