"Kundgebung in Wittstock. 24.4.61"
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Picture 36: The picture shows people at a rally in the town of Wittstock on 24th April 1961.
Two slogans can be read in the background. The one on the house reads: "Under the leadership of the Socialist Unity Party, in alliance with gram and millimeter, we will beat Adenauer, Strauss and Brandt and all representatives of imperialism". This declaration of a rather strange alliance between the ruling party and units of measurement may have been meant to evoke an association with science and be interpreted as an expression of the widespread claim that scientific and technological progress would secure the victory of socialism. (Konrad) Adenauer, (Franz-Joseph) Strauss and (Willy) Brandt were West German politicians who belonged to different parties, had very different political biographies and stood for different political programmes. But it was a doctrine of East German propaganda that there were no essential differences between political parties in the West, because they all served capitalist interests.
The slogan on the right hand side reads: "He who wants peace must fight against war". This sentence seems merely tautological; it is, however, of some interest. It is a re-formulation of the Latin proverb: "He who wants peace must arm for war." This idea of deterrence was much closer to real politics of the time, but apparantly the authors of the slogan did not want to be that explicit. After a short period of pacifism after the war, governments in East and West had begun to get involved in armament and the arms race. Written in 1961, the slogan may express a concession to pacifist feelings by not explicitly mentioning armament while at the same time trying to justify it.