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The Spiegel Affair and the Strengths and Weaknesses of German Democracy (November 12, 1962)

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One day we will even catch the traitors in the ministries. And if we scream loud enough, those eavesdroppers on our telephones will disappear.

– Countrymen! Do not let pessimists, belly-achers, hysterics, and quasi-Communists spoil this young state of yours. This liberal state is better than its reputation and also better than its cabinet ministers.

Countrymen! Argue when it's necessary – and over the last few weeks it has been necessary. But reconcile, too, since this is necessary, as long as

– the Wall still stands
– as long as 17 million countrymen are being subjugated
– as long as Communism threatens us.

Countrymen, take note of the little enemies and fight them, but do not forget the big red danger!

Think about our national anthem. Live it – don't just sing it.

Everyone learned the first verse – the "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles" – down to the bitter end.

We still have to learn the third verse: Unity and justice and freedom for the German Fatherland. Let us all strive for that in a brotherly fashion with heart and hand.

Yours, Peter Boenisch, editor-in-chief of the Bild-Zeitung.

Source of original German text: Peter Boenisch, BILD-Zeitung, November 12, 1962; reprinted in Christoph Kleßmann, Zwei Staaten, eine Nation. Deutsche Geschichte 1955-1970 [Two States, One Nation. German History 1955-1970]. Göttingen, 1988, pp. 515-16.

Translation: Jeremiah Riemer

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