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Guttenberg demands Ronald Reagan memorial in Berlin

The Local · 22 Dec 2010, 11:51

Published: 22 Dec 2010 11:51 GMT+01:00

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“I would welcome naming a street after this great honorary citizen and it would be evidence that the gratitude of (the city’s left-wing government) didn’t stop at (leftist student leader) Rudi Dutschke,” Guttenberg told daily Bild.

Guttenberg and other conservative politicians are upset that the German capital has no plans to mark what would have been Reagan’s 100th birthday on February 6. The former US president, who died in 2004, famously demanded Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev tear down the Berlin Wall in a speech before the city’s Brandenburg Gate in 1987.

“Ronald Reagan’s determination and clear message brought down the Iron Curtain in Europe,” said Christian Democratic MP Ruprecht Polenz, adding he believed German reunification would not have been possible without Reagan. “We should permanently remember this great friend of Germany in a prominent place.”

Martin Lindner, a state legislator in Berlin for the pro-business Free Democrats, said city officials were being “blind to history” by overlooking the Republican president. “Germany and especially Berlin owe a lot to Ronald Regan,” he told Bild.

Lindner attempted to no avail in 2004 to have Washington-Platz in front of Berlin’s main train station renamed for Reagan.

Story continues below…

Philipp Mißfelder, the head of the Christian Democrats’ youth wing, called the German capital’s decision not to celebrate Reagan’s upcoming birthday “shameful.”


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Your comments about this article

12:07 December 22, 2010 by Bravo2
Reagan's vision changed the world. A memorial in Berlin would be a tribute he would have particularly liked if he was still alive. Great man, great city.
13:11 December 22, 2010 by twisted
And call it Alzheimer Allee.
13:14 December 22, 2010 by Prufrock2010
It should be a dead-end street with only right turns allowed.
13:26 December 22, 2010 by iseedaftpeople
A Reagan memorial? Really??

A street or town square in honor of the man who sped up the cold-war arms race like no other U.S. president before him? Who caused hundreds of thousands of Germans to take to the streets in the early 80s protesting against more U.S. nuclear missiles on German soil??

And it's a corruption of historical fact to claim that Reagan "brought down the Iron Curtain". Not at all. He may have exclaimed "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" in his famous speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate, but it wasn't Reagan who brought down the wall, it was the East German people and the people in other Eastern European countries. Reagan was no "great friend of the German people", he was a stone cold militarist defending U.S. political interests in Western Europe. Nothing more and nothing less.

While we're at it, why not name a street after David Hasselhoff, after all, he too still claims that his stupid song "Looking for Freedom" helped bring down the Berlin Wall...
13:49 December 22, 2010 by SRaab
Reagan is a God, Just like ALL Americans are Gods.

Drop to your knees and respect them.
14:03 December 22, 2010 by Christine1
It's true...the street and a statue should honor the people who lost their lives being determined to cross the wall, and to tear it down. Reagen, the B actor, gave a B acting speech, and now is honored for it? Next we will hear that another American politician should be honored because invented the internet!
14:55 December 22, 2010 by iseedaftpeople
@Christine1: yeah, Al Gore in his infinite wisdom invented the Internet, did he not...

In his honor, however, a Manbearpig statue would be more apt.

(I hope you guys get the South Park reference)
15:02 December 22, 2010 by ukpunk1
No wonder the Wikileaks cables spoke good of Guttenberg.
15:18 December 22, 2010 by DoubleDTown
at iseedaftpeople: Dear Dafty, ask many a European or dedicated U.S. leftist who brought an end to the Cold War and they'll tell you it was Gorbachev. All the more reason Reagan needs some official recognition. Hundreds of thousands of Germans have been wrong before. That arms race might have had a lot to do with Bulgaria and Romania being upset they aren't in the Schengen area rather than upset they're behind an iron curtain.
17:23 December 22, 2010 by hOU
Man alive, Guttenberg's a prize ass.
17:35 December 22, 2010 by bernie1927
Why a statue for Reagan? Yes, the wall came down during his "reign" but the East German regime was brought down by the collapse of their economy and if you absolutely have to put up a statue why don't you do it for Gorbachev? Reagan was a bad president and a third rate actor.
18:36 December 22, 2010 by Major B
Now I have TOTAL respect for Herr Guttenberg as a visionary and for respect. This is one of the reasons I see him as a future Chancellor.

To the morons who want to slant history and forget the facts let's review Pres Reagan's impact.

1) He directly challenged the Soviets with a credible(albeit expensive) military build-up they could not compete with. True, the Germans rejected the more impractical aspects of that build-up, namely the intermediate range nuclear weapons the U.S. wanted to put on German soil, saying, "the shorter the weapons, the deader the Germans". But his military build-Up was for real and the Soviet knew it.

2) His call for Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall came just before the major political upheavals within East Germany, the rest of the Soviet Bloc and inside the Soviet Union itself. Reagan's tough negoitations with the Soviets over Arms Control and other issues was in far contrast to U.S. tactics with the Soviets a decade earlier

3) O.K. one give. By arming and training the Mujahadeen, Reagan helped defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan. Yes the U.S. is paying a price for it now but it needed to be done.

4) Reagan's actions ultimately brought about the conditions that directly affected the reunification of Germany, the REAL reason the memoria is fitting.

It took one more U.S. President, George Herbert Walker Bush, Pres. Reagan's former Vice-President, to seal the unity of Germany. Overruling the objections of the British and French, he sided with the super-strong Chancellor Kohl and supported German unity, the ultimate test of German-American Friendship.

The Memorial belongs to Reagan because his actions were the catalyst that started the unraveling of the Berlin Wall.
18:44 December 22, 2010 by christmascorner
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
19:48 December 22, 2010 by ngwanem
No probs... we need a memorial for reagan as well as a memorial for stalin. reagan's speech was as helpful as stalin's soldiers. the former liberated east germany while the latter brought the nazis to their knees and catapulted hitler to end his dream of the 3rd reich.
21:34 December 22, 2010 by xerion
Major B

At last a sensible post on this subject

after 18 posts of crap !!!!!!

Thank you sir .

22:02 December 22, 2010 by wxman
There goes Major B once again trying to prove his point by using historical facts. When will he understand that what actually happened isn't important, but how we prefer to FEEL about it?
00:48 December 23, 2010 by DOZ
I consider the Americans to be a dangerous entity of the Earth, but you have to admit that Howdie Doodie did work miracles for Berlin.
02:02 December 23, 2010 by Major B
Aw. Yarn. Nope, gotta keep these folks honest instead of just quitting in disgust, which you sometimes want to do.

Xerion, who are ya? What do you know about crap?

Wxman, you just can't "wax" over history and I can count millions, especially in Europe, who frankly don't give a darn what you "feel".

Comparing Ronald Reagan to Stalin, ngwanem? I surely hope you aren't German and if you are, it's people like you that feed the "don't trust the Germans" coalition. You do know about that coalition?

That comment is so despicable, so unworthy, so totally filthy and insane. Tell you what, let's not even talk the millions of Russians he killed. Let's ignore the the Eastern Europeans, Hungarians, Poles, Ukrainians, Czechs, et al, that his forces murdered. Just ask some still alive East German grandmothers who were raped by Russian forces, with his full knowledge and approval how they(and their children) feel about one Joseph Stalin. Ah, surely you know that even the Soviets quickly acknowledged his excesses, not long after his death.

Like I said in the first post.........morons are alive and well.
02:14 December 23, 2010 by Larry Thrash
Reagan is the greatest president of the 20th century. I see the leftist haters are out in full force on this board. I don't expect those who prefer socialism and communism will ever like him. They will continue to hate those who are happy and free. Millions around the world love what he has done for freedom and prosperity.

Why are people one the left so full of hate and violence? Just look at the "protesters" in the free world.
07:50 December 23, 2010 by delvek
Its hard to dispute Reagans legacy, those that do look like foolish children. Major B hit the nail on the head, so I wont rehash.
09:49 December 23, 2010 by frankiep
Reagan was a visionary and a great man. Without him taking a hard line against Soviet tyranny in Europe the world would be much worse off today with half of Europe still living under dictatorships. Those of you cretins who claim that Gorbachev deserves thanks for ending the Cold War and dismantling the Soviet Empire make just about as much sense as someone saying that Napoleon should be thanked for losing at Waterloo, or that Hitler deserves a lot of credit for killing himself and ending the WWII. Idiocy. But, as previous posters above have mentioned, nothing new from the brigades of lefties and socialists to whom a few hundred thousand, or million, politically imprisoned people living in tyranny and oppression is but a small price to pay for "social justice". Leaders like John F Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan deserve to be honored for standing up to the disease that is communism.
09:49 December 23, 2010 by ngwanem
Major B, don't jump to conclusions. i did not compare stalin to reagan... i was just pointing at the stupidity of erecting a memorial to the reagan because he said "Gorbachev tear down this wall" ... and where is the relevance to coalition? please be cohesive in your arguments... well stalin is evil, i did not argue against that but since it appears you like quoting history, you conveniently forget to quote his troops approached hitler's hiedout first and of course their pressure caused herr hitler to quickly end his life. now if we are awarding memorials to any figure because he changed something to german history, then fine! give reagan and give stalin, maybe give truman and churchill too!

personally i find reagan a joke... he was a teleprompter president, made to read speeches prepared for him... even up to the point one of his "masters" went as far as correcting him live in mid-speech... guess all of you conservatives are just like him... go home and rehearse your pre-prepared literature
10:36 December 23, 2010 by dbert4
Sure, let's honor the president that brought us, the Iran/CONTRA scandal. Who can say that selling advanced TOW missles to Iran was a bad idea? Or the Mujahadeen, freedom fighters to a man! And the AIDS epidemic, why bother to fight a "fire" in the "next apartment" when those people are playing with fire! Oh, and lets not forget the corporate buyout craze which his deregulation created. The destruction of the US industrial-base for short term profit was worth it, wasn't it? Or the destruction of the American pension system which occurred because his corporate raider pals wanted to plunder retirements accounts. Or being singlehandedly responsible for putting the mentally ill of America out on the streets and created the "homeless" problem in Amercia. Yeah, yeah something should be named after him.... how about the Berlin Mülldeponie?
14:34 December 23, 2010 by ngwanem
@frankiep. is capitalism a medicine to world problems? it sounds more like a drug that happens to stone and intoxicate its consumers. before you jump to call me a communist, note i'm not a partisan of any ideology - any system that guarantees the safety and welfare of everyone (without exception) would be my best and i guess capitalism fails woefully - it wastes resources to lower prices and creates the despicable gap between people with its ironical promise, that "Everyone can be rich" instead of "Everyone is equal".

communism has been practiced in monastic circles for long. ask the benedictine and cistercian monks about their way of life. i know our corporate media always equate stalinism, leninism, maoism with communism... that distorts the picture because they confuse between authoritarian communism (which is eveil) to social democracies (which beats the western notion of once-in-five-years electoral democracy) of latin America (especially in the 60s) were very beneficial to their folk before the capitalist companies influenced the us govt to sponsor criminals like pinochet and videla.

btw a victory today!!! videla is going to spend the last days of his life atoning for the 3000 people he killed during his rule...
15:55 December 23, 2010 by storymann
ngwanem, Capitalism sure isn't perfect ,Communism totally failed..Socialism is ok until as Margret Thatcher said you run out of other peoples money,,**so what do you propose** to solve all these inequities you have mentioned,beating up the USA and turning the world over to the Chinese or maybe we all should throw in the towel and were sandals.
15:58 December 23, 2010 by wxman
Major B

Sarcasm, my friend, sarcasm. From one conservative major to another.


Wxman (AKA Major K)
17:30 December 23, 2010 by tallady
AAH,, Ronald Reagan,,he was certainly more popular in the US than elsewhere...But after living with Jimmy Carter Reagan was an instant success,he sure but Gaddafi in his place. RIP Ronney ,,loved those movies you made
18:41 December 23, 2010 by fryintl
I am very pleased by all of the diverse opinions on this piece. Having spent 14 years stationed in Germany during the Bad old days, I would say that they were some of the best Days in my life. I remember President Reagan standing on the platform of AirForce1, waving to the people who loved him and respected him. Germany is free today due to the efforts of Brittain, Russia, to a lesser extent France, who always managed to glom on as a world power, but really fell quite quickly when Belgium sold them out.

You are all right to think and feel what you wish about who I feel was the absolute best President ever, maybe tied with Sam Adams and George Washington. You can do this in public, and freely because hundreds of thousands of AMericans shed blood on German ground for certain open freedoms you have now.

I married a German, I love Germany and wish to return one day to live. But I will always remember the bomb at Rhein Main, the red Army Faction, the number of spies, even the ones highest in German Government that gave secrets and help to the communists. THe French Government that did everything they could to help out the people who would oppress you.

I feel that the hope of a free Europe is now in the hands of the German volk. You have the rivers, the industry, the power to bring about stability. You have a responsibility to put aside petty politics and figure out that the Euro benefits no one but the poor nations and hurts Germany, France and those few places with industry. Socialism will kill you. I, like many, long for the Deutsch Mark, a strong and proud country that can decide its own fate, without the forced rules of people who could care less about each individual country and just want to take your money and live off of you.

Let us not talk about Ron, although you should be grateful he was there when the world needed him. THin about your economy, how you will survive socialism and the Euro, think about getting rid of taxes that stiffle your growth and enslave the working man while giving free money to those that just suck the blood of the great German and European people.

Frohe Weinachten, Prost Neu Jahr, and know that sane people know that we can't all agree, but if we just communicate, we will survive the idiocy of extremism on all sides.
18:45 December 23, 2010 by storymann
That was great@ fryint now lets bow our heads and pray !
19:01 December 23, 2010 by fryintl
I am new to your posting, I am sure there is some sort of sarcasm there, but maybe, there is not. Hey, as I drink my Asbach, I will at least think a prayer.

I miss the so much about Germany. BUt knowing the most Germans, on the west side, were educated in those days, had opinions, were going to make gGermany better, richer. Everyone had dreams of a nice house, a nice German built car, with German built electronics- German Products were the best in the world and people were seeking them. You had people going to become masters in many things, roaming the country side in tehir guild related clothing, Looking forward to the seasons and their time to build, create, live, drink good German beer (not BBK though), eat a good Wurst, or Schnitzel, soem decent no so fresh fish (I spent a great deal of tiem in Rhein Pfalz) and just let their kids grow up and do the same.

Remember those days when we all thought that it was going to last forever and we would always have a job, a house, a good life and a great future? It isn't impossible to be there again. You need leaders now that will put re-election at risk to the the right things, the hard things. Benefits must be cut until thecountry can afford them. People must be given honest work, get to keep most of the money, and be able to live, buy, and Germans need to start having babies again so the German, of German heritage does not die out.

Silly I know. But hey, one can dream, and wish for soemthing great that once was and have hope it will be again.

I am not sure what the age range is of the posters of comments, but surely some of you remember , no?
19:54 December 23, 2010 by biker hotel harz
Good idea!!!!! While you're at it, you could get a statue of that other great American liar Clinton placed in a square in Belfast.
20:09 December 23, 2010 by Prufrock2010
@ dbert4

Well said. But you left out a couple of Ronnie's other notable accomplishments. He set the stage for union busting in the US by firing the air traffic controllers, thereby showing his corporate cronies how to go about it. He sharply curtailed freedom of the press in America by staging a little "war" in Grenada to which only government approved pool reporters were invited, which has been the military's procedure ever since. And, oh, long before he was president (and even before he was the worst governor in the history of California), while he was still a B actor, he routinely ratted out his "liberal" friends to the FBI and the McCarthy Committee. Later, as president, he introduced the novel "trickle down" economic theory that has since been thoroughly discredited not only by history but by its very architects, and in so doing accumulated more national debt than all previous presidents combined. So hat's off to Ronnie for commencing the destruction of the American economy. All of these accomplishments overwhelm his achievements as California governor when he used Gestapo tactics on the Berkeley demonstrators and closed all the mental institutions. Forget a monument to Reagan in Berlin. Put the SOB on Mount Rushmore!
20:59 December 23, 2010 by fryintl
Mr Prufrock2010: It is nice to be able to just make up your own facts. But hey, who doesn't right?

1. Trickle-down economics works. It makes sense, if we have more money, we spend more after we take care of our (watch out for the nierarchy of needs from Maslowe's theory) basic security needs. Give the Rich money and the ability to create in a rich environment, and most people being good people will invent create and make life better for everyone.

2. I agree that the press does not have a right to just write what they will and lie about things. He made up pools for the press and those that could be there were allowed to write and observe for the rest. COntrolling the press? Free speech? Censorship? Maybe.

3. If you talk about McCarthy, know that almost everything he wrote about is being proven to be true. His cases were right on and he was right. You have to look at what you want out of life.

a) if you want to be a world driven country, run by evil people and worried about world opinion, you can afford to have communists, leftists, extremist right wing idiots or whatever infiltrate a department of the government and ensure their people are in charge. Ask Chiang Kai Shek (sp please) what happened when an overly COmmunist set of agents in US government helped him lose a war and helped the Red chinese, Mao and his group, take control of all of Mainland China. Also look at Korea, and see what happened with Sigmun Rhee.

b) As for the American Economy, I agree that things went wrong. It wasn't Ronald's fault, it was greed. You didn't see so many people fighting Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac give aways did ya? Oh, by the way, who was running the US Government then, I think the answer is the Democratic party.

This is greater than politics, this is greater than a party. When ever you have a party with too much power and a group of politicians with no regard for the safety and success of the people they represent, bad things happen and the press , who couldn't go to Grenada were part of this coup. They had freedom to report, investigate, and also to write essays, editorials, bring to light the truth. They remained silent. That noble press you talk about has forgotten about the real job of the press, print the truth, opinion, and to distinguish between both.

You must be happy the McCarthy died a painful broken man, but what he did was for America, to keep it soverign.

Lets bring this back to Germany: You need to put Germany before you put any other country. Treat your friends with respect and be true to tehm as no one else will be there for iyou in bad times. Youa re either a German, looking for what will make Germany Strong stable and permanent, or a member of the one world people who wish to eliminate sovereignty so that they can tell you what to do from any other part of the world.
23:01 December 23, 2010 by ngwanem
"Give the Rich money and the ability to create in a rich environment, and most people being good people will invent create and make life better for everyone."

"wasn't Ronald's fault, it was greed"

fryintl, please stop contradicting yourself...
23:32 December 23, 2010 by fryintl
ngwanem: NOt contradicting. I do say most people.

Most people will do good. Some will not. THose that go into politics, generally go there to achieve an agenda, and fewer and fewer good people are amongst the masses that go into politics.

So, my htoughts are this: Ron didn't cause the meltdown of the world economy. HE was humble, he believed in the good of man, but knew the bad guys only listen to soemone who talks from a position of strength. I just missed a bombing at Rheinmain AB in the early 80's (RAF). then two bombings in Spain from ETA. Lucky I guess to be a witness but not dead in Spain, and missed by being there and gone 30 minutes prior to the car blowing up. Ron won and those bombings stopped. Libya stopped killing people and sponsoring terrorism (remember the grenade attack in the Disco in Berlin?).

Yeah, teh RAF is almost completely gone. Teh PLO died with Yassir, teh guys in Greece, I forgot their name, 19 October? November something? They are't doing what they used to back in the pre Reagan days. Soo I guess, the world is a bit safer now.

The CIA used to be better, more powerful, and the Stasi is no longer around to kill German Politicians, what was the name of the guy they found iun the bathtub in the hotel in the late 80's? How about the 1FCK player that was killed by teh Stasi? Normal Germans that made political statements were open targets. Not any longer. God Bless the US and Ronnie Raygun!W!
23:48 December 23, 2010 by Prufrock2010
@ fryintl

It's pointless to respond to someone who defends Joe McCarthy. That alone discredits anything else that person might say. Revisionist history is a dangerous thing.
23:52 December 23, 2010 by fryintl
The truth hurts, even if you call me a revisionist, I point you to the facts. You must be a kim Philby lover but hey, I respect your opinion, and say, it is ok. You may want to look into soemone named Mark Lavine, or Bill Oreilly to give yourself a bit of a taste of anouther view. But I notice you didn't deny my last postingnor refute it, so you may have soem redeeming factors that will save your life from hell....

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
00:12 December 24, 2010 by Prufrock2010
You have no credibility and I won't waste my time with you. I lived through the McCarthy era and saw the damage that he did. You didn't. I lived in California when Reagan was governor; you didn't. I lived in the US when Reagan was president; you didn't. I worked in the private sector; you worked for the British military. I'm not surprised that you rely on Bill O'Reilly for you "facts," as he has none, either. You've been on this forum for about six hours and already you are resorting to sophomoric ad hominem attacks. You are indicted by your defense of Joseph McCarthy. Everything after that is white noise. I will not address you again.
16:36 December 24, 2010 by storymann
Prufrock ,my good man,,relax you have had a bit of a trying time with fryintl..Have a nice Christmas ,I read where you are going to Paris,,have fun and enjoy..best wishes
23:06 December 24, 2010 by bzh
Ronald Reagan has as much to do with the liberation of Eastern Europe as Pontius Pilat with the Credo.

Why not name a square or street for something related to Hungary - it were the Hungarians who let the East Germans to pass accross the Hungarian - Austrian border when Hungarian soldiers cut the barbed wire on command from a superior officer. Go and visit the Hungarian - Austrian border where this happeened (there is at that site the Paneuropean picknik every year , first organized by His Majesti Otto von Habsburg). When there, kneel down and say a prayer (Vater unser...) for all those who died trying to cross the Iron Cutain.

Do justice for those who deserve it.
09:51 December 25, 2010 by fryintl

I lived in California from 1961 until 1979. I saw the effects of McCarthy, and what I saw was that there were many bad men in teh US Government, working in State, working in the CIA, I know that the OSS was full of several people who sided with teh russians. I also know that there is no way you can say reagan was a bad Governor as most of us here that have been around the world, and come back to california, where I live now, think he was a hell of allot better than Jerry Brown, Grey Davis, Arnold Swarteneggar and Jerry's dad, whose name escapes me at the moment.

I know that you can stick your head in the sand and believe what you wish, but by the way, I served in the US Military for 21 years, not the british.

But hey, I have no idea why you get your ideas of who I am or where I served, but I ask you, did you serve?
00:41 December 26, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Well, I may have been mistaken about where you served, as your illiterate ramblings are somewhat hard to follow. I probably was misled by an earlier post on this thread in which you stated: "I just missed a bombing at Rheinmain AB in the early 80's (RAF). then two bombings in Spain from ETA. Lucky I guess to be a witness but not dead in Spain, and missed by being there and gone 30 minutes prior to the car blowing up."

Anyway, it's irrelevant whether you're an American or a Brit. Your homage to Ronald Reagan is just silly and misinformed, but your defense of Joseph McCarthy is indefensible.

Good night and good luck.
14:42 December 26, 2010 by Johnny Cash
dbert4 has the real drum on this puppet president.I know the Americans do not want to hear it. Does anyone really think his handlers would have let him make any decisions at all when he already had alzheimers during his second term in office. "What's this big read button on my desk do? Someone told me once but I forget" . Give me a break. If you believe any of these puppet presidents the New World Order keeps selling to the American electorate make any decisions at all apart from what they want from the menu today and"what is my cut again?" then you probably fell out of your cot at a young age and hit your head very hard on the floor. Just like W he was an embarassing buffoon promoted by people with a total contempt for our intelligence.
20:49 January 3, 2011 by wenddiver
The real monument to Ronald Regan is the Free World, before him those who practiced terror ran amoc with no responce from the West, Germany had a wall across it where Communist Leftists murdered Germans who tried to escape in broad daylight, Africa was a giant Commuist anarchy party of murder and even in the US people had begun to doubt the freedoms we traditionally enjoyed in the US and Great Britain were worth fighting for.

Reagan reminded the World that the West may not be perfect, but we are a hell of a lot more Free and Humane than all the other choices.

In the greatest military comeback, since Dunkirk, Ronald Regan and Margaret Thatcher, stopped the defeatism and led the Free nations of the world to stop Communism and pulled their filthy fingers off the throats of small nations around the world.
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