WARSAW, Poland (CNS): A German cardinal has criticised nostalgia for Communism in the former East Germany.
“I’m sorry so many people have forgotten how inhuman the system was under the Communist regime,” said Cardinal Joachim Meisner of Cologne.
“The generation now in its 20s and 30s experienced it as children, without fully realising the ideological and economic exploitation which existed there,” he said.
A survey published in the September 10 edition of the Stern weekly revealed that 20 per cent of former citizens of East Germany were dissatisfied with current conditions and yearned for the Communist system.
Cardinal Meisner told the archdiocese’s Dom Radio that East Germans had “benefited more than any other post-Communist society” from Western help.
He also said he hoped World Youth Day, planned for Cologne in 2005, would supply an “injection of new hope” for German society.
Catholics comprise about 10 per cent of the 16.2 million inhabitants of the former East Germany, which is widely considered Europe’s most secularised region.