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Helmut Schmidt defends Tiananmen massacre
Photo: DPA

Helmut Schmidt defends Tiananmen massacre

Published: 13 Sep 2012 12:44 GMT+02:00
Updated: 13 Sep 2012 12:44 GMT+02:00

Helmut Schmidt, ex-chancellor and sacred cow of German political punditry, has defended the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing. Casualty estimates were "wildly exaggerated" and the Chinese army was defending itself, he said.

Schmidt told Die Zeit weekly newspaper which he publishes, that the Chinese military had been attacked with stones and Molotov cocktails before the infamous massacre.

He said the Red Cross estimate that 2,600 people were killed did not tally with that of foreign ambassadors in the city at the time.

Schmidt, who was Germany’s Social Democratic chancellor from 1974 until 1982, added that other mitigating circumstances needed to be taken into account when assessing the riots and massacre.

Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was visiting China for the first time after a long interval, and that his Chinese counterpart Deng Xiaoping had "lost face" because Gorbachev had been forced to enter the city's "Great Hall of the People" by a back door because of the violence.

He also said that since the government had had no police force available, authorities were forced to send in the army. "And the soldiers had only learned to shoot," said Schmidt.

Schmidt praised Deng, who steered China to long-term prosperity, as the most successful communist leader in world history. He also rejected the claim that the Chinese had "sacrificed" civil rights in favour of material wealth, since there has never been a tradition of personal freedom in Chinese history.

Chinese politics could not be measured by European standards, he argued.

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:45 September 13, 2012 by Onlythetruth
Right. What did you expect from Helmut? He also praised Deng as "the most successful communist leader". Nuf said, consider the source and ignore the fool.
14:13 September 13, 2012 by Englishted
@Onlythetruth

So thing he said are correct (not all agreed )

When have the Chinese ever had a free election? ,

But I think Fidel Castro is a better leader when you consider how much pressure he was put under by the U.S.A. for all his time in office.
15:11 September 13, 2012 by Neanderthal
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:18 September 13, 2012 by ctsummerhead27
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:25 September 13, 2012 by Neanderthal
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:19 September 13, 2012 by neunElf
There is no fool like an old fool!
17:42 September 13, 2012 by Neanderthal
The local ,objective media !

Why did you delete my post? Because I said a truth about Germany !

Ok.Germany is the greatest country ,the land for the greatest people ever, greatest scientists ever from Isaac Newton to Karl Marx , Archimedes to Avicenna , Socrates to Plato , Hugo to Venter

bla bla bla bla bla
18:23 September 13, 2012 by Englishted
14:13 September 13, 2012 by Englishted

@Onlythetruth

Some things he said are correct (not all agreed )

When have the Chinese ever had a free election? ,

But I think Fidel Castro is a better leader when you consider how much
18:41 September 13, 2012 by Wise Up!
The Left has always had a love affair with Dictators. They long for absolute power, which is there ultimate goal.
18:58 September 13, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
This seems to be a tragic mental condition among SPD oldies. Former chancellor G. Schroeder also claims his friend Putin is a true democrat.
19:07 September 13, 2012 by christmascorner
One must take into consideration his far left commie view on all subjects. Check out the 1930 years.
01:27 September 14, 2012 by gorongoza
Why can`t people like the ex-chancellor Helmut Schmidt leave the affected Chinese to say their views on this subject?

Its people like Herr Schmidt who do down the Germans. He can not be found talking like this - as though he is just another man from the streets !

May be these are signs of senile decay - one may never know.
03:34 September 14, 2012 by marimay
He is just a Nazi. Like the Pope.
23:09 September 15, 2012 by rwk
Not as bad as Schroeder.
11:00 September 16, 2012 by strahlungsamt
Finally someone gives the Chinese credit for Tiannamen.

All the other ex-socialist countries had peaceful demonstrations, their commie regimes collapsed and the Americans and their neoliberal stooges a##raped them ever since. Only Russia has improved itself since Putin stepped up and threw the American stooges into prison where hopefully they'll rot for the rest of their days.

The Chinese broke up their demo at the first sign of unrest and nobody has f***ed with them since. Hell, they even own the entire US treasury now and their worst growth levels, the West would kill for.
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